Posts Tagged ‘Akron/Family’

Monday, July 15th, 2013


Chairlift at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAs mentioned when this show was originally announced in May, I was quite pleased to see that New York’s Chairlift were coming back to town as part of Harbourfront Centre’s Soundclash festival because I didn’t realize how much I liked their second album Something until they had finished touring it. And that’s largely because I found their 2008 debut Does You Inspire You? intermittently entertaining but largely uninteresting, the overall quality not matching their iTunes advert-elevated profile. I didn’t appreciate how much better they got after founding member Aaron Pfenning left, leaving the duo of Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly to regroup and realize ditching the cutesy/goofy songwriting o the debut for an approach that understood Polachek’s remarkable vocals were better cast in a more soulful, yet more synthesized context, would produce much stronger work.

So of course they opened up with an opera number. Or operatic, at the least. I’m not sure if it was an original composition, but if the intention was to grab the attention of passers-by out for walk along the waterfront with a riveting vocal performance, it did the job. “Sidewalk Safari” immediately followed to reassure fans they weren’t, in fact, at the wrong show, and the next song, a slinky slow-burner, was one of a few new songs in that vein. Compared to the recent and new material, the simple singalong pop of “Bruises” sounded almost quaint and emphasized how much more sophisticated of a band they had become, but there was no disputing its crowd-pleasingess, hence its inclusion though rather earlier in the show than one might have thought. And though they cited “I Belong In Your Arms” as a request, I can’t believe it’d have been omitted from the show otherwise – surely there’s consensus that it’s one of the best songs in their repertoire?

Chairlift on this evening were a three-piece, with a guitarist/keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist augmenting the core duo. Apparently they’ve toured as a larger live band in the past, allowing Polachek to focus on frontwoman duties rather than anchor herself to a keyboard for parts of the set, but even so she was still a presence on stage, all tassels and shampoo commercial hair – to say nothing of her remarkable vocals, even rangier and more expressive live than on record – as she roamed the stage and danced. The audience, in typically polite Toronto fashion, was appreciative but it took a direct invitation from Polachek to dance to get up out of their seats. I’d like to think, however, that they’d have done so on their own by the time the show closed with “Amanaemonesia”. A terrific way to spend a Summer’s evening, and cement my appreciation for the band, if somewhat late to the party.

Photos: Chairlift @ Harbourfront Centre – July 12, 2013
MP3: Chairlift – “I Belong In Your Arms”
MP3: Chairlift – “Lift Cool As A Fire”
MP3: Chairlift – “Garbage”
Video: Chairlift – “Met Before”
Video: Chairlift – “Amanaemonesia”
Video: Chairlift – “Bruises”
Video: Chairlift – “Evident Utensil”

American experi-folk collective Akron/Family are coming to southern Ontario for some Hillside Festival action, but aren’t forgetting their Toronto fans – they’ll play a free in-store at Sonic Boom on July 26 at 8PM.

MP3: Akron/Family – “So It Goes”

eMusic and Pitchfork have features on Northampton, Massachusetts’ Speedy Ortiz, who’ve been making a lot of noise – literal and figurative – with their wonderfully ’90s-vintage jagged-edge melodic rock on Major Arcana; they’ve just been confirmed as support for Thurston Moore’s Chelsea Light Moving at The Horseshoe on September 15 so that’s gone from can’t miss to CAN’T MISS.

MP3: Speedy Ortiz – “No Below”
MP3: Speedy Ortiz – “Tiger Tank”

Though they’re down a number of members since becoming band du jour in 2005, Philadelphia’s Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are still a going concern and will be at Lee’s Palace on September 28 to prove it. Tickets for the show are $22.50 in advance.

MP3: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “Same Mistake”

Brooklyn surf-punk-garage quartet Obits have readied a new long-player in Beds & Bugs, given it a September 10 release date and will be at The Horseshoe on October 4 as part of a North American tour, tickets $13.50. Hear one of the songs from the new record below.

MP3: Obits – “Taste The Diff”

Unclassifiable Ameri-Parisian sister act CocoRosie have assembled a North American tour behind their latest album Tales Of A GrassWidow and will be at The Phoenix on October 15. Exclaim has the full tour itinerary.

Video: CocoRosie – “Gravedigress”

If you were concerned because Ty Segall hasn’t been through town in a few months, don’t worry – he’s coming back as part of his psychedelic FUZZ project for a date at Parts & Labour on October 16 following the October 1 release of their self-titled debut album; Exclaim has all the dates. And don’t worry, the August 20 release of Sleeper, his next album under his own name, is still on track so expect some dates behind that sooner rather than later.

MP3: FUZZ – “Loose Sutres”

Brooklyn rock machine The Men have finally set a local date behind this year’s surprisingly Americana-ish but still fierce New Moon. They’ll be at The Horseshoe on October 20 and the rest of their Fall dates are up at Consequence Of Sound.

MP3: The Men – “Open Your Heart”

You don’t often see bands play support in rooms smaller than they headline, but with their date at Lee’s Palace opening for Wire in the books, NEVER MIND THAT PART. Minus The Bear have announced a show at The Opera House on October 20, tickets $25. This is partly but not really in support of their crowdfunded acoustic-versions record Acoustics II – they’re promising to play an acoustic mini-set as part of a fully-plugged in show.

MP3: Minus The Bear – “Hooray”

If you chose either Foals or The Breeders over Charles Bradley in this past May’s show-mageddon with the expectation that he’d be back before the others, congratulations – Bradley and his Extraordinaires are bringing No Time For Dreaming to The Kool Haus on December 12, tickets $25.50. As a bonus, you get this video session from NPR as well as a World Cafe session.

Video: Charles Bradley – “Strictly Reserved For You”

Superchunk are streaming a new tune from their new record, I Hate Music, due out August 20.

Stream: Superchunk – “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo”

Pitchfork have details of the new record from Of Montreallousy with sylvianbriar is out October 8, and the first single sounds like this.

Stream: Of Montreal – “fugitive air”

Widowspeak have announced the release of a new EP entitled The Swamps on October 29. Details at Pitchfork, lead track from said EP below.

Stream: Widowspeak – “True Believer”

NPR has premiered the new video from John Vanderslice’s latest album, Dagger Beach.

Video: John Vanderslice – “How The West Was Won”

Sterophile interviews Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

War On Holiday

The Black Angels lead this week’s salvo of concert announcements

Photo via theblackangels.comtheblackangels.comAnother week, another batch of show announcements to cobble into a blog post, another band with “black” in their name hitting the road.

This time, it’s Austin psych-rock veterans The Black Angels, who’ve announced a trans-continental tour this April in support of their fourth full-length album, Indigo Meadow, out April 2. A preview track has been made available to stream, and while it doesn’t stray far from formula – you don’t make it as far in the drugged-out, trippy drone-rock game by changing it up too much – it’s still got some jump and some teeth to it, to say nothing of being sadly topical of late.

The Toronto show goes April 23 at the Danforth Music Hall, tickets $23.50 for floors and $33.50 for mezzanine. The Allah-Las and Elephant Stone support.

MP3: The Black Angels – “Telephone”
Stream: The Black Angels – “Don’t Play With Guns”

U.S. Girls – which is actually just one girl, Meghan Remy, and a distinctive cut-and-paste sonic aesthetic – will be at The Shop Under Parts & Labour on March 13 in support of last year’s Gem.

Video: U.S. Girls – “Work From Home”

I don’t know either act that well, but enough to know that the pairing of mournful Minneapolis electro-R&B act How To Dress Well and Los Angeles singer-songwriter Sky Ferreira is a bit of an unusual one. Regardless, they’re hitting the road together this Spring – the former in support of last year’s Total Loss and the latter for the Everything Is Embarrassing EP, out March 25 in advance of her full-length debut I’m Not Alright; Pitchfork has the full dates, which includes a March 27 date at Wrongbar.

MP3: How To Dress Well – “Us In The Sense Of Forever”
Video: Sky Ferreira – “Sad Dream”

The Joy Formidable have taken the occasion of yesterday’s release of Wolf’s Law to confirm a North American tour that brings them back to Toronto for, like, the millionth time, for a show at The Phoenix on April 12, tickets $18.50, support from Team Spirit and Ribs. There’s interviews with frontwoman Ritzy Bryan at Spin and DIY.

MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Wolf’s Law”

American experimental folk outfit of no fixed address Akron/Family have announced a new album in Sub Verses, and while the record isn’t out until April 30 they’ll be on the road in support well before then. Look for them at Lee’s Palace on April 19, tickets $15, and listen to one of the new songs below.

MP3: Akron/Family – “Silly Bears”
Stream: Akron/Family – “No-Room”

Clinic are bringing their latest album Free Reign and their surgical masks for a show at The Garrison on April 23. Under The Radar also reports that they’ll have a companion/remix album entitled Free Reign II available digitally starting March 5.

MP3: Clinic – “The Second Line”

Los Angeles-based family act He’s My Brother She’s My Sister are here for a show at the Horseshoe on April 28 in support of their 2012 debut, Nobody Dances In This Town.

Video: He’s My Brother She’s My Sister – “Touch The Lightning”

English electronic artist Gold Panda will be at The Horseshoe on May 8, tickets $15. He released his new Trust EP digitally earlier this year and will put out the vinyl 12″ on March 4. You can stream it all courtesy of Pitchfork.

Stream: Gold Panda / Trust

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

No One Just Is

Jealous Girlfriend Holly Miranda goes it alone

Photo By Celeste Danger, elisabeth youngCeleste Danger, Elisabeth YoungHaving spent most of 2008 on the road and working their self-titled debut to death, Brookyln’s Jealous Girlfriends are quite understandably taking the first part of this year off to recover and recharge. And, in the case of singer/guitarist Holly Miranda, work on a solo record. Well, judging from her MySpace blog, work on the solo record has been ongoing for some time – since late 2007 at least – but presumably the time available now will allow it to wrapped up and hopefully see the light of day.

Details are scarce, but production duties appear to have been handled by TV On The Radio’s David Sitek and it will feature appearances from Celebration’s Katrina Ford and TVOTR’s Kyp Malone. The project may or may not be named Raven Mayhem and the album may or may not be called The Magician’s Private Library. Whatever it’s called, there’s a good number of tracks – demo or completed is unclear – at her MySpace and they sound quite compelling. Some distance away from the Jealous Girlfriends’ rock attack, they’re more atmospheric and sonically adventurous while remaining firmly rooted by her marvelous, sleepy yet soaring rasp of a voice. Who/what/whenever this stuff comes out, I’m definitely interested to hear more.

Thanks to Spicy Times for not only letting me know that this project existed but also pointing the way to this FabChannel solo show recorded in Amsterdam last May, wherein we see some of Miranda’s singer-songwritery side. And Get Glucky got her to assemble and comment on a playlist of favourite songs.

MySpace: Holly Miranda

Spinner premiered the new video from TV On The Radio yesterday.

Video: TV On The Radio – “Stork And Owl”

Prefix reports that the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album has a name – It’s Blitz. It’s due out sometime in the Spring.

Peter Bjorn & John are set to release their new record Living Thing on March 31 and will tour it across North America starting in April. Their Toronto date is April 25 at the Phoenix, and support for the whole tour will be Chairlift, who were featured in a Daytrotter session last week. PB&J have already released a video from the new album and Pitchfork premiered a remix MP3 of the first single earlier this week.

MP3: Peter Bjorn & John – “Lay It Down (Golden Filter remix)
Video: Peter Bjorn & John – “Lay It Down”

There’s a video from the new Loney Dear album Dear John, coming out next Tuesday.

Video: Loney Dear – “Airport Surroundings”

Stereogum has premiered the first MP3 from Marissa Nadler’s new album Little Hells, due out March 3. This ties in nicely with her previously-announced April 21 date at the El Mocambo with The Handsome Family. The Times talked to Nadler as part of a feature on what they call “goth-folk”.

David Berman has dissolved the Silver Jews. Maybe I should have gone to see them at Lee’s in September after all… Pronouncement from the man himself at the Drag City forums.

Clash interviews Of Montreal, who have released a track from their digital-only Jon Brion remix EP.

MP3: Of Montreal – “First Time High” (Of Chicago acoustic version)

NME talks to Final Fantasy’s Owen Pallet about his contributions to the new Rumble Strips record, currently in production.

It turns out the Born Ruffians/Akron/Family double-bill at Sneaky Dee’s reported on last week is also a double-header. In addition to the already-announced and nearly sold-out March 24 date, there’ll be a March 23 show, also at Sneaks, and the two will pair up again on the 25 and 26 at Il Motore in Montreal.

Franz Ferdinand’s Tonight is currently streaming at the band’s MySpace. It’s available this Tuesday. Conversations with the band are up at Clash, Metro and

Stream: Franz Ferdinand / Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

Neil Halstead drops by the Paste offices to play a song.

The Toronto Sun and The Ubyssey talk to M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez. They’re at the ACC tonight opening up for The Killers.

Send Me Dead Flowers talks to The Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner.

Aquarium Drunkard gets a Robyn Hitchcock guide to New York City. Goodnight Oslo, his new album with the Venus 3, is out February 17.

JAM reports that the threatened new Neil Young concept album Fork In The Road (which concerns bailouts of banks and automotive manufacturers as well as electric cars) will indeed be released on March 31 and the promised Archives have indeed been pushed back. It’s probably safe to say this will be the least-welcome Neil Young album in the history of ever.

A farewell to Mr Mick Harvey, who has elected to leave Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Details at the ANTI Blog.

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Jump In The Pool

Friendly Fires make a date

Photo ByCatherine LosingFor The Records pointed out a curious concert listing for UK indie-dance act Friendly Fires at the website for Beggars Canada – it puts the St Alban’s trio in town on March 31, but only narrows the venue down to two possibilities – Mod Club or Lee’s Palace. So all I can accurately say is that they’ll be in Toronto at an approximately 500-capacity venue on that date. And wherever they are, odds of a dance party breaking out are pretty much one to one. Personally, I think that Mod would be a much more suitable venue – the ass-shaking, slick and scratchy new wave/disco goodness of their self-titled debut demands spectacle, which Mod’s famously over-the-top lighting system is equipped to provide. Lee’s doesn’t even have a disco ball.

MP3: Friendly Fires – “Jump In The Pool”
MP3: Friendly Fires – “Paris” (Aeroplane Remix)
Video: Friendly Fires – “Skeleton Boy”
Video: Friendly Fires – “Paris”
Video: Friendly Fires – “Jump In The Pool”
Video: Friendly Fires – “On Board”
MySpace: Friendly Fires

Toronto vibraphone mavens The Hylozoists will release their new album L’ile de Sept Villes on February 3 and showcase it at the Mod Club on February 21. Update: They’re also playing a Soundscapes instore on February 10 at 7PM. Here’s some older stuff.

MP3: The Hylozoists – “Smiley Smiley”
MP3: The Hylozoists – “Strait Is the Gate”

Marissa Nadler, whom I believe ended up cancelling her last scheduled date here last Summer, will try and pay us a visit again on April 21 at the El Mocambo. She has a new album due out early this year. Here’s some older stuff.

MP3: Marissa Nadler – “Diamond Heart”
MP3: Marissa Nadler – “Thinking Of You”

Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains are doing an in-store at Sonic Boom on January 29 at 7PM.

MP3: Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains – “American Names”
MP3: Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains – “By Cover Of Night (Fire Fight)”

Putting lie to the notion that bands can only play larger venues as they get bigger, Born Ruffians and Akron/Family have a date at Sneaky Dee’s on March 24. Tickets are $13 and on sale now.

Earlier yesterday Uncut speculated that the release of that Neil Young video for “Fork In The Road” implied not only the impending release of a new album with the same name, which may well be true, but to also mean that the Archives set has been pushed back indefinitely to accommodate. They’ve since been corrected with the same information that one of the official Archive-ists left on a post at Thrasher’s Wheat – “NYA Vol 1 has been completed in BD, DVD, CD and Digital Download editions. The only thing remaining is announcement of a street date”. Which is good news, though it does put lie to the February 24 release date that most had been clinging to. In short, there’s lots of material coming from Neil this year. Only no one knows what and when.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer interviews Kathleen Edwards, who is at Trinity-St Paul’s on February 13.

MP3: Kathleen Edwards – “Asking For Flowers”

The Quietus talks politics with Death Cab’s Nick Harmer.

Beirut have released a video from their forthcoming EP March Of The Zapotec, out February 17.

Video: Beirut – “La Llorona”

The Village Voice profiles Antony & The Johnsons. The Crying Light is out Tuesday and they play the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 17.

Muzzle Of Bees asks five questions of Los Campesinos!

The Decemberists are giving away a track from their forthcoming album The Hazards Of Love, out March 24. All you have to do is sign up to their mailing list. Colin Meloy was also on NPR’s World Cafe yesterday for an interview.

Clash talks to Kathy Foster of The Thermals, who will release Now We Can See on April 7.

The previously-mentioned untitled Bob Mould album also set for an April 7 release now has a title – Life And Times.

Filter talks to Ra Ra Riot, Daytrotter videotapes them playing in a park.

Pitchfork has an MP3 from M Ward’s Hold Time, out February 17. This track features the She to his Him, Zoey Deschanel, on vocals.

MP3: M Ward – “Never Had Nobody Like You”

Drowned In Sound solicits a mixtape from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, the buzz around whom is growing at a pace that’s considerably larger than Neutral, the room they’re slated to play here in town on February 12. If you’re curious, an advance ticket may be a good idea. Their self-titled full-length is out February 3.

NPR has an acoustic session with The Hold Steady while Wireless Bollinger has an interview.

Former Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle will return to active musical duty on May 19 with the release of his first solo record, Yours Truly, the Commuter.