Archive for September, 2012

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

"Come See About Me"

The Afghan Whigs cover The Supremes

Photo via SubPopSub PopHistory likes to lump The Afghan Whigs in with the grunge end of the ’90s Alternative Nation scene – and yeah, they certainly benefitted from being on Sub Pop for the release of Up In It in 1990 and Gentlemen in 1993 – but they didn’t have much in common with their Pacific northwest brethren, stylistically. They came from much more of a place of R&B and soul than psych, metal, or other brand of classic rock… and while there may exist photographic evidence to prove otherwise, I don’t see Greg Dulli as much of a flannel guy.

So it actually makes a lot of sense that their only two official releases since reuniting early this year have been a couple of covers – one of 1970s soul singer Marie “Queenie” Lyons and another of 2012 R&B/hip-hop breakout star Frank Ocean. The Whigs have long made a habit of recording and releasing covers, specifically ones that point to their musical influences. Case in point, their 1992 EP Uptown Avondale which collected four Stax/Motown covers including this one (which again appeared on their 2006 best-of Unbreakable), a Holland/Dozier/Holland classic that was a #1 single in late 1964 and early 1965 for The Supremes. And it’s a pretty great example of what a few chord voicing changes can do to the character of a song, as the Whigs’ decision to take things into a minor key make it an infinitely more sinister tune; no, girl – don’t go see about him. Just don’t.

Diana Ross left The Supremes in 1970 and after a number of lineup changes, they disbanded in 1977. The Afghan Whigs are at The Phoenix on Wednesday night.

MP3: The Afghan Whigs – “Come See About Me”
Video: The Afghan Whigs – “Come See About Me”
Video: The Supremes – “Come See About Me”

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

CONTEST – Two Door Cinema Club @ The Sound Academy – October 5, 2012

Photo via KitsuneKitsunéWho: Two Door Cinema Club
What: Belfast-based purveyors of guitar-driven dance-pop whom I once said would probably last a Summer and then fade into obscurity, and instead they’ve gotten pretty well massive and show no signs of going anywhere. Yeah, so.
Why: Their second album Beacon was released at the start of Autumn and is giving them an excuse for a massive North American tour.
When: Friday, October 5, 2012
Where: The Sound Academy in Toronto (19+)
Who else: This show comes with a pretty solid New York undercard in the form of Friends and Guards.
How: Tickets for the show are $29.50 in advance but courtesy of Embrace and Universal Music Canada, I’ve got three prize packs consisting of a pairs of passes to the show and a copy of Beacon on CD to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want the Two Door Cinema Club” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, October 2.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Beacon”

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

CONTEST – The Afghan Whigs @ The Phoenix – October 3, 2012

Photo By Sam HoldenSam HoldenWho: The Afghan Whigs
What: Brilliant and deliciously soulful and sleazy ’90s Cincinnati noir-rock outfit, reunited and touring for the first time in over a decade to show the young’ns how it’s done.
Why: Why? What do you mean why? It’s the Afghan fuckin’ Whigs.
When: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Where: The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto (19+)
Who else: On any other night, Crocodiles would be able to headline their own show but on this one? They play at the pleasure of the Whigs.
How: Tickets for the show are $36 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to see The Afghan Whigs” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, September 30.
What else: Greg Dulli holds court with Exclaim, The Phoenix, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Mercury, and Washington City Paper.

MP3: The Afghan Whigs – “Lovecrimes”
MP3: The Afghan Whigs – “See And Don’t See”

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

CONTEST – The Raveonettes @ The Phoenix – October 2, 2012

Photo By James D. KellyJames D. KellyWho: The Raveonettes
What: Danish duo who continue to refine the art of melding big, fuzzy, guitar rock with sweet bubblegum pop instincts while wearing nothing but black and white.
Why: The band just released their sixth studio album in Observator. And since they love being on the road, they taking it on the road.
When: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Where: The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto (19+)
Who else: Parisians – who are themselves getting no small amount of buzz – are opening up the tour.
How: Tickets for the show are $19.50 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to see The Raveonettes” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, September 30.

MP3: The Raveonettes – “She Owns The Streets”
MP3: The Raveonettes – “Observations”

Friday, September 28th, 2012

In Other Words

Taken By Trees reveals Other Worlds

Photo By Amanda MarsalisAmanda MarsalisCognizant, perhaps, of the fact that Other Worlds, her third album as Taken By Trees, comes out the exact same day that her North American tour supporting both it and Jens Lekman begins – that’d be next Tuesday, October 2 – Victoria Bergsman has thoughtfully made the album available to stream in its entirety; you can hear it over at Prefix.

It’s a record that keeps the wanderlust feel of its predecessor, East Of Eden, as filtered through Bergsman’s signature shy, sleepy vocals. But where that album immersed itself in the sounds and spirit of Pakistan, Worlds draws influences from a variety of places, from the Mediterranean to Caribbean to South Pacific, to create a gentle, yet danceable aural vacation.

Taken By Trees are at The Phoenix on October 4. Work has a brief Q&A with Bergsman.

Stream: Taken By Trees / Other Worlds

Room 205 has poste the third and final video from their session with I Break Horses. You can also just stream the audio of the session via Soundcloud if you don’t want to deal with the… interesting camera work.

Video: I Break Horses – “Load Your Eyes”
Stream: I Break Horses @ Room 205

Stereogum and The Toronto Star have interviews with First Aid Kit.

DIY gets to know Icona Pop.

Sigur Rós have released another instalment from their Valtari “Mystery Film Experiment” series.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Ekki múkk”

In conversation with Drowned In Sound, Andy Bell discusses what’s next for Beady Eye, what was for Ride and Oasis, and what probably should never have been with Hurricane #1.

DIY, Cool Hunting, and Drowned In Sound talk to Efterklang.

Still Corners have released a new single to precede a Fall European tour. It’s pretty.

MP3: Still Corners – “Fireflies”

CBC Music talks to Beth Orton, in town at the Mod Club on Sunday night in support of Sugaring Season, out Tuesday.

Paste is streaming Don’t Be A Stranger, the new album from Mark Eitzel, ahead of its official release date next Tuesday. He’s at The Rivoli on November 28 and another career advice video is up at SF Weekly.

MP3: Mark Eitzel – “I Love You But You’re Dead”
Stream: Mark Eitzel / Don’t Be A Stranger

Exclaim and The National Post have features on Grizzly Bear, who’ve released a new video and download from Shields.

MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Speak In Rounds”
Video: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

Annie Clark of St. Vincent submits to an Exclaim questionnaire.

CBC Music and SF Weekly talk to Victoria Legrand and The Georgia Straight to Alex Scally of Beach House; they’re at The Kool Haus on October 13.

A couple of noteworthy support acts announced this week – Jason Lytle will be peddling his new solo record Dept. Of Disappearance at Massey Hall on December 5 before Band Of Horses take the stage. The album is out October 16, and a new song is available to stream.

Stream: Jason Lytle – “Get Up And Go”

And DIIV are back again, warming up for Japandroids at The Phoenix on December 11.

MP3: DIIV – “Sometime”