Posts Tagged ‘$100’

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Jailbird Blues

Ohbijou, Rock Plaza Central and $100 rally to raise funds for Tranzac Club

Photo By Jess BaumungJess BaumungToronto’s Tranzac may have been founded as the gathering place for the Toronto Australia New Zealand Club, but for the city’s musical community its role extends far beyond a place to discuss the mysteries of the Coriolis effect. It’s also one of the city’s all-ages venues and as such, has been both an incubator for many of Toronto’s up-and-coming acts and a low-key stop for bands touring through town.

I personally have fond memories of seeing Beach House’s first show here in November 2006 with about a dozen people in the building’s front room, an intimate performance from then-reigning Polaris winner Final Fantasy in February 2007, a matinee throw-down to maybe 30 people by Matt & Kim later that May, the release show for Evening Hymns’ debut Spirit Guides just last Fall – a lot of great stuff has gone down in that room

And, like many/most/all things run for love over profit, it needs money. The hows and whys of its finances go well beyond its role as a music venue, but needless to say if the city were to lose the venue, it’d be poorer for it. So with an eye towards doing what they can, a number of bands are returning to their roots over the next couple months by holding some fundraiser shows. On November 19, Rock Plaza Central will come out of their vague hiatus for a show of their own songs and collaborations with other city musicians – tickets $12 in advance, $15 at the door. The following evening, November 20, Ohbijou will hopefully offer a preview of their forthcoming third record in what is, I believe, their only hometown show of the year. Support comes from Lisa Bozikovic and tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door. And a couple weeks later, $100 will get up close and personal in the venue’s tiny Southern Cross Lounge, supported by Doug Paisley – tickets $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

So whatever incentive works for you, be it the opportunity to see some acts who’ve generally graduated to playing bigger rooms in more intimate environs or just helping out a local cultural hub while getting some entertainment out of the deal, hit up one/some/all of these shows if you can. It’s the right thing to do and the easy way to do it.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Black Ice”
MP3: Rock Plaza Central – “Handsome Men”

Vancouver’s Yukon Blonde will be making the most of their stop in Toronto on their Fall tour, adding an in-store performance at Sonic Boom at 3:30 on November 6 before their show across the street at Lee’s Palace later that night with The Wooden Sky. Admission to the in-store is free with a donation of canned good.

MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Wind Blows”

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Diamond Rings’ short set at CMJ in New York last week. He’s the subject of feature pieces in The Toronto Sun, Vancouver Sun, Montreal Mirror and Queens Journal.

Uptown and The Gateway get into the head of Owen Pallett.

Liz Powell tells Spin how Land Of Talk got their name.

Look At What The Light Did Now, the documentary film on Feist, is still without a Toronto screening date and it appears that fans might get to watch the film in the comfort of their own homes before they see it in a theatre – Exclaim reports that the DVD edition of the film will be released on December 7 and come with a 13-track bonus CD. Just in time for Christmas – fancy that.

Daytrotter has posted up a session with Tokyo Police Club. asks Hallowe’en-related things of Fucked Up’s Damien Abraham.

NOW devoted this week’s cover story to visiting Vancouverites Black Mountain.

The Take and Sticky talk to Dan Mangan while eye tries to figure out why he’s so darned popular.

This weekend, The Toronto Star ran a terrific feature about the realities of being a touring musician in Canada – the main feature is worth a read, as are the side-pieces including a Q&A with Dallas Good of The Sadies, the collection of touring stories, collection of road-related health risks and piece on the problems with not being on the road.

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Magic Word

Fucked Up and $100 at The Toronto Reference Library in Toronto (duh)

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangTruth be told, I don’t really like listening to Fucked Up. This isn’t any sort of comment on them in particular, just the fact that hardcore – their genre of choice – has never done much for me though if I were given the choice of current hardcore acts to listen to, I’d certainly choose them. If The Chemistry Of Common Life was Fucked Up’s Zen Arcade, then let me know when they release their Candy Apple Grey.

That said, I am a big fan of how they’ve become unlikely but excellent musical champions and ambassadors for Toronto at home and abroad, how they’ve used their elevated profile as reigning Polaris Prize winners to shed light on important social issues and their ridiculously entertaining and intense live shows. The hometown pride and sense of community was in full effect this past Friday night when they played a free show in the atrium of the Toronto Reference Library. That’s right, a free hardcore show in the lobby of a public library – no tickets, just show up – as part of the Toronto Public Library’s Make Some Noise Take Some Noise program, which makes sure that the library system is well-stocked with local and Canadian music, holds periodic concerts and workshops to engage the community with their local scene and generally be awesome.

The undercard for the night was almost as far from screaming hardcore as you could get – local country-rock outfit $100, themselves 2009 Polaris Prize long-listers for their debut Forest Of Tears. On record and live, they’ve always come across to me as a decent but not especially exciting act – good at what they do, but not really bringing anything fresh to the table. That general opinion hasn’t changed much, but their set was more entertaining than I remembered them being and the material they introduced as new had more immediacy and personality. And points to singer Simone Fornow for pointing out, while introducing their ode to the bleakness of work “Fourteen Hour Day”, that the Reference Library’s many floors overlooking the atrium would offer librarians an easy way out. A bleak sentiment, but pretty hilarious in context.

Given the disparity in styles between the two acts, it’s not surprising that there was some audience turnaround between sets with some folks who’d been sitting genially at the foot of the stage for $100 wisely decamping for somewhere more out of the line of fire. Wise, because when Fucked Up finally got up there, pretty much all hell broke loose in the very best way. I don’t know if anyone thought that their fanbase might have gotten tamer what with having (marginally) more mainstream exposure, but even though there were many, like me, who’d probably never be at another hardcore show in their lives, the kids crowdsurfing, stage-diving and generally going batshit. It was the sort of thing you’d normally only expect to see in such a locale after some breaking and entering, but this was an officially sanctioned and sponsored event. By the library.

There was a relative lull about mid-set where they invited some strings onstage and frontman Damian Abraham – by this point half-naked as always – set up behind a lectern for the epic-length “Year Of The Ox” but that just gave the audience an opportunity to catch their breath and when the band revved back up, so did the crowd. Despite being knocked down a couple of times, I managed to hold my position at the front side of the stage for most of the show but eventually had to pull back when my camera lens was knocked off the body – that’s not supposed to happen – and ceased functioning. A casualty of rock’n’roll – if you’re gonna go, that’s the way to do it (actually it’s just going to be in the shop a couple weeks). Anyways, from my final vantage point on the perimeter, watching the final throes of the chaos, I couldn’t help marveling – again – that this was happening in the public library. Sometimes – okay, lots of times – I love this city.

Exclaim rounds up what’s coming up for Fucked Up – a Fall tour with Public Enemy and new album entitled David Comes to Life in October chief among them, while Vue, See and Uptown ran features on the band when they were out west a couple weeks ago.

Photos: Fucked Up, $100 @ The Toronto Reference Library – May 28, 2010
MP3: Fucked Up – “Neat Parts”
MP3: Fucked Up – “No Epiphany”
MP3: Fucked Up – “Twice Born”
Video: Fucked Up – “Black Albino Bones”
Video: Fucked Up – “Crooked Head”
MySpace: Fucked Up
MySpace: $100

Interview talks to Emily Haines of Metric. They’re at the Molson Amphitheatre on July 9 and have released a new video from Fantasies.

Video: Metric – “Stadium Love”

Spinner, The Winnipeg Free Press, Whistler Question and Pique talk to Shad about his new record TSOL. He plays the Opera House on June 12 and has a new video. Yes.

Video: Shad – “Rose Garden”

Stereogum gets a status update on the new Black Mountain album from Amber Webber. It may or may not be called Wilderness but it will definitely be previewed when they play the Horseshoe on July 23.

Carl Newman of The New Pornographers gives Chart the incredible true origin of their band name – and it’s not the Jimmy Swaggert quote that’s usually cited. They’re at the Sound Academy on June 15, and as a sidebar, New Pornographers vocalist/keyboardist Kathryn Calder has a solo record coming out entitled Are You My Mother? on August 10.

MP3: Kathryn Calder – “Slip Away”

NPR talks to Win and Will Butler of Arcade Fire about their new record The Suburbs, coming August 3. They play the Toronto Islands on August 14.

Dallas Good of The Sadies talks to JAM and The Winnipeg Free Press while brother Travis chats with The Vancouver Sun. They play a free show at Harbourfront Centre on Canada Day, July 1.

NOW and Exclaim have interviews with Born Ruffians, whose new record Say It is out tomorrow.

Audio Blood Media is kicking off NXNE this year in style – and altitude – with a show on the observation deck of the CN Tower featuring The Meligrove Band, Hollerado and The Balconies. Admission is by contest only – enter here.

Also happening during NXNE is the release of the new Diamond Rings single, which will happen at his June 18 show at Wrongbar. Pitchfork, however, has a streamable preview of the new track – “Show Me Your Stuff” – right now.

And to double back on the “things about Toronto that are awesome/things that happened in the Toronto Reference Library” tip… new Scott Pilgrim Vs The World trailer! Book six – Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour – is out July 20 and the movie opens August 13. Midnight opening night screening – who’s in?

Trailer: Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Round And Round

Ariel Pink to spread Haunted Graffiti all over North America

Photo via 4AD4ADWhat do you get when you combine a slowish news day with the last post of the week and a compulsive inability to take a day off? A post led with stuff I don’t really know anything about! Yay!

Specifically, Californian outfit Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, whom I understand are both credited and blamed for what the kids are now calling “chillwave”. I don’t know what that is, particularly, but what I’ve heard of Mr. Pink is about half interesting trippy pop and about half aimless meandering; “Round & Round”, the first promo track from 4AD debut Before Today, due out June 8, is much more the former – if it sets the tone for the album, I’d certainly be interested in hearing more. That release will be followed by a North American tour that will bring them and tourmates The Magic Kids and Pearl Harbour to the Mod Club on July 22; tickets are $15 and go on sale Saturday.

MP3: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Round & Round”
Video: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Video Demo 2010”

When incredibly prolific bands suddenly go silent, it’s rarely good news but Pitchfork has confirmed what many of us suspected – Voxtrot is calling it quits. One more short US tour and that’s all she wrote; thanks guys, it was a good run.

The Pacific Northwest Inlander talks to Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater, who are currently on a western tour and need some pants.

MusicOmh has an interview with Spoon bassist Rob Pope.

Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard tells MTV that their next album is on track for an early 2011 release.

Tea Party Boston – no relation to the dumbass tea parties – interviews Hutch Harris of The Thermals. Their new record, tentatively entitled Personal Life, is set for a September 7 release.

Marah hit the Horseshoe on May 29; their new record Life Is A Problem arrives June 22 – sample some of it at Soundcloud.

Mirah is at the Horseshoe on June 26.

MP3: Mirah – “Don’t Die In Me”

Under The Radar reports that Dark Night Of The Soul, the album and project from Danger Mouse, the late Mark Linkous and David Lynch, will get an official release on July 13.

The Depreciation Guild’s new album Spirit Youth isn’t out until May 18, but you can stream it now over at Spinner.

Stream: The Depreciation Guild / Spirit Youth

It’s dueling tour diaries as Phantogram and The Antlers both prepare to take notes of their upcoming west coast tour together for Spinner. The Antlers will hook up with The National before coming back to Toronto for two nights at Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

The Guardian talks to that The National’s Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner, Hit Fix to Dessner alone, while The New York Times has both a massive feature on the band and a stream of their new record High Violet, well in advance of its May 11 release.

Stream: The National / High Violet

Great Lake Swimmers have released a new video from Lost Channels and have added a number of live dates through the Spring and Summer. That includes two unusual hometown shows: a May 1 performance at the Legion Hall at King and Niagara to tie in with their new Legion Sessions release, and another at the Hot House Cafe on May 3 as part of the Panty Schmooze benefit for women’s shelters.

Video: Great Lake Swimmers – “Stealing Tomorrow”

Also one to file under “unconventional locales”, on May 28 the Toronto Reference Library will host a free show with Fucked Up and $100, intended “for kids and families and punks and book nerds”no tickets, just show up.

MP3: Fucked Up – “No Epiphany”

JAM talks to Caribou’s Dan Snaith; they play The Phoenix on May 3.

SF Station has an interview with Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff about their new record Forgiveness Rock Record, coming out May 4. They play the Toronto Islands on June 19.

Mines Advisory Group (MAG) is a global charity dedicated to the elimination of land mines, and to that end have started up monthly newsletter called the Plug Five Project wherein bands and bloggers submit lists of new music they’re digging – in packs of five – and they’re delivered to your inbox. The first issue comes out next week and will feature recommendations from folks like John Vanderslice, Wavves, The Tallest Man On Earth, Gorilla Vs Bear, Largehearted Boy and, um, me. A subscription is available for a one-time fee of $2 (or 2 quid in the UK) and does directly to MAG’s work of clearing land mines.

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Santa Left A Booger In My Stocking

Aqua Teen Hunger Force (and me) wish Daytrotter (and you) a merry Christmas

Illustration By Johnnie CluneyJohnnie CluneyLast post before the holidays! And it comes courtesy of the ever-lovin’ Daytrotter, who’ve managed to wrangle a studio session of soon-to-be holiday classics from the animated miscreants of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. If the idea of Shake, Meatwad and Carl celebrating the season in song doesn’t do it for you, well I’m sorry, I don’t want to know you. And no, I don’t know where Frylock is – maybe he doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Or sing. Or both. And for context, the Aqua Teen Hunger Force isn’t singing just for the joy of it – they’ve got themselves a holiday album out in Have Yourself A Meaty Little Christmas. Do with that information what you will.

Also with a Christmas tune and a new album – but not a Christmas album – is The Magnetic Fields. Realism is out on January 26 and NME has posted up the one Yule-themed tune as a first taste of the record to download while Spinner talks to Stephin Merritt about the album’s influences. The Magnetic Fields will be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto on February 8.

MP3: The Magnetic Fields – “Everything Is One Big Christmas”

A Good Day For Airplay has an exclusive download of “Let It Snow” by Jon Auer of The Posies and Big Star.

BrooklynVegan has an end-of-year interview with The Pains Of Being Pure Of Heart and another one with Antlers.

Spinner talks to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips about their decision to cover Dark Side Of The Moon.

Some shows – big and small – coming up in the new year that you may want to take note of. Hamilton’s Dark Mean, whose free-to-download Frankencottage EP makes them worthy of note – are playing a free show at the Horseshoe on January 4. Hero Hill named their debut one of their top EPs of the year and has an interview and new song to download.

Video: Dark Mean – “Frankencottage”

The Balconies, who need no introduction in these pages, have a gig at Supermarket on January 6.

Amos The Transparent will make the trek down from Ottawa for a gig at the Horseshoe on January 9. Not sure why, but my years seem to end or start with Amos. A tradition I’m quite alright with.

MP3: Amos The Transparent – “Title Track”

$100 will be at the Horseshoe on January 22. Oh No Forest Fires are there the following night.

A little bit of Brooklyn pays Toronto a visit when Pattern Is Movement and Via Audio stop in at the Drake Underground on March 1. Via Audio’s new record Animalore is out March 9, tickets to the show are $10.

MP3: Pattern Is Movement – “Blanched & Threshed”
MP3: Pattern Is Movement – “In Tape Grass”
MP3: Via Audio – “Babies…”

I’d call Swedish electro-pop duo jj un-Googleable, but that implies that there’s something out there in the wilds of the internet to find. And really, there isn’t, except for this glowing Pitchfork review for this year’s No. 2. Their next record – the imaginatively-titled No. 3 – will be out on March 9 via Secretly Canadian and their Spring North American tour will bring them to Lee’s Palace on April 3. It’s certainly implied that The xx, who are accompanying their lower-case compatriots on most other dates, will be along for this one as well but considering they’re confirmed to be at the Kool Haus barely two weeks later supporting Hot Chip, I wouldn’t take that for granted. I’ll confirm that one way or the other when I can.

MP3: jj – “Ecstasy”

Trans Am have a date at the Horseshoe on Horseshoe April 21.

MP3: Trans Am – “Remote Control”

Canadian Musicfest has rolled out the first batch of performers for the 2010 edition of the festival, running March 10 through 14 all throughout Toronto. Noteworthy names include Constantines, reigning Mercury Prize winner Speech Debelle, The Acorn, Rural Alberta Advantage and Great Lake Swimmers.

And no noteworthy names of yet for 2010’s Olympic Island festival, but it is happening and all will be revealed on January 11 at 7:30 PM. Any guesses?

K, that’s it for a bit. Happy holidays all.

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009


Shearwater chart course to The Golden Archipelago

Photo via ShearwaterShearwaterIf there was a reason I finally got off my ass this past month and got my turntable fixed up with a shiny new cartridge, it’s this. Shearwater’s forthcoming The Golden Archipelago. The Austin band’s latest album, which is due out on February 23, has enormously high standards to live up to thanks to its two predecessors Palo Santo and Rook, but based on the just-released first MP3 from the album, the third part of this triumvirate will more than measure up if not eclipse the others. “Castaways” is nothing short of majestic, capturing the grand scope of Shearwater’s vision without giving up the the structure and immediacy of the pop song. It is amazing.

And it will look as grand as it sounds. Firm believers of the art of the album, both as an artistic statement and a physical package, Shearwater will be releasing The Golden Archipelago in distinct vinyl and CD formats that both appear to be essential to own. The CD will come with a 50-page perfect-bound book containing, as Matablog puts it, “a set of extracts from a dossier of records, photos, regulations and images collected by Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg” – probably not unlike that which you see in the video trailer released a little while back. As for the vinyl edition, the LP has two extra tracks making for a different running order and a coupon for digital downloads of the album and a PDF of the dossier, though those who pre-order will also receive a physical copy of the book.

As for the “why” of the differing editions, Meiburg chimed in with an explanation on the Shearwater message board in October. He described the CD as having “one running order, which we selected to be as concise as possible, so that it’s easiest to take in at one sitting” and the LP as “the version of the album I prefer, and the song that’s been placed back in the sequence was one of my favorites (and the one our co-producer, John Congleton, liked best of all). These songs make the LP about 20% longer than the CD”. So there you have it, the digital and analog offer two different experiences of the record though, obviously, if you have to choose one and are equipped to do so, the vinyl would be the way to go. Hence my getting the ol’ Rega serviced. February 23. I am ready.

MP3: Shearwater – “Castaways”

Pitchfork talks to Will Schaff, whose wonderful and often creepy artwork adorns the albums of Okkervil River. Buy one of his shirts, scare the neighbourhood children.

Blurt and New York talk to John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

There’s a new video out from The Dodos.

Video: The Dodos – “Long Form”

Spin declares Thao with The Get Down Stay Down to be a “hot new band”.

Interview and Stereogum interview Sufjan Stevens.

The Submarines have a new video from Honeysuckle Weeks.

Video: The Submarines – “Submarine Symphonika”

Spiral Stairs tells The Age that Pavement’s “no new material” edict for their 2010 reunion tour is doomed to fail.

Matt Ward and Zooey Deschanel tell Paste that She & Him Volume Two will be coming in Spring 2010. Deschanel also talks to The Wall Street Journal about her favourite music. I declare that this year, I will finally watch Elf. I’ve never seen it and it’s not the sort of film you can trot out in May. This year.

Holly Miranda records a Black Cab Session in the streets of New York.

Ca Va Cool interviews The Antlers.

Telekinesis stops in for a session with Daytrotter.

The Thermals certainly believe in long deadlines – Paste reports the band has gotten to work on album number five and are looking at a September 2010 release.

Craig Finn discusses the differences between Lifter Puller and The Hold Steady with Spinner.

You simply don’t get more French than Phoenix, Takeaway Shows and the Eiffel Tower. All you need is a fellow in a beret, striped shirt carrying a bague They’re at the decidedly un-Parisian Sound Academy this Saturday night, there’s an interview at The Detroit News and Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was just nominated for a “best alternative album” Grammy.

Billboard reports that the Arcade Fire’s third album is on track for a May 2010 release and that they’ll likely be doing (headlining) the Summer festival circuit.

The Varsity interviews Think About Life.

Malajube discuss their touring schedule and plans to release an EP entitled Control with Chart.

Quick Before It Melts and The Brock Press interview Two Hours Traffic.

Steeltown label Sonic Unyon is going for a ghosts-of-Christmas-past/ghosts-of-Christmas-present theme for their annual holiday fete, drafting SIANspheric and Tristan Psionic out of retirement/hiatus/whatever to perform alongside Spirits and Quest For Fire at This Ain’t Hollywood in Hamilton on December 19. Admission $10, $5 with a donation of a non-perishable food item or a toy donation.

Some previews of the new Final Fantasy album Heartland are available via live videos on PitchforkTV’s “Tunnel Vision” series and a free download of “Lewis Takes Action” from Domino Records.

Fans of $100 may be interested to know they’ll be performing as a duet this Saturday night at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall (Bathurst and Niagara) as part of a special fundraising event – details here and here.

Canadian Interviews talk to Jenn Grant.

Spinner enumerates the best Canadian songs of the decade.