Posts Tagged ‘Baseball Project’

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Freedom Of Choice

Are we not men? We are the NXNE 2011 lineup

Photo via WBWarner Bros.Or at least we are the first batch of acts officially announced on Tuesday for this year’s NXNE festival, running June 16 through 19 around Toronto. It’s certainly not all of them, but there’s some moderate to big names in there and perhaps most key, the headliners for the free shows at Yonge-Dundas Square that have become the centrepiece of the fest have been revealed.

While there’s no one quite of the stature of last year’s Saturday night marquee of Iggy & The Stooges, New Wave legends Devo have certainly got the pedigree to act as a worthy centrepiece for this year’s event. They and their energy domes and jumpsuits will be headlining the YDS Stage on the Saturday night, closing off what will likely be a full day’s slate of acts. They were here in Fall 2009 offering full-album performances of Q: Are We Not Men and Freedom Of Choice, but have since released their first new album in forever with last year’s Something For Everybody. Which, I’m sure, the masses will want to hear lots of material from at this show. Mm hmm.

And while there’s enough tapped for the free stage that you could have a fine weekend just camped out in front of the Eaton Centre, NXNE is still a club-level fest and there’ll be hundreds more artists from near and far vying for your attention. The schedule won’t be out for a while yet but I’ve managed to cobble together a very early list of who will be playing where and when – obviously all subject to change – and while some of this was previously announced, a lot of it is new:

Thursday, June 16, 2011
The Descendents, OFF!, Rusty, Metz @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Evan Dando & Juliana Hatfield, The Luyas @ Lee’s Palace
Snowblink, Forest City Lovers, Evening Hymns @ The Music Gallery
The Dodos, Deerhoof, Gauntlet Hair @ The Phoenix
Ty Segall, The Dig @ The Garrison
Woodsman @ The El Mocambo

Friday, June 17, 2011
Stars, Land Of Talk, Diamond Rings @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Suuns, No Joy, PS I Love You @ The Horseshoe
Bouncing Souls, Anti-Flag, The Flatliners @ The Phoenix
Art Brut @ The Mod Club
Braids @ The Garrison
Dum Dum Girls, Cults, Superhumanoids, Writer @ Lee’s Palace
Ty Segall, Julianna Barwick, Daniel Pujol, Secret Cities @ Wrongbar

Saturday, June 18, 2011
Devo, Men Without Hats, Cults, Writer @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Twin Shadow, Wild Nothing @ Lee’s Palace
Foster The People @ The Mod Club
Hot Water Music, A Wilhelm Scream, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, Sharks @ The Opera House
Talk Normal, Prince Rama, AIDS Wolf, Grimes, Doldrums @ 918 Bathurst
Chad Van Gaalen, Braids, Jennifer Castle, Duzheknew, Grimes @ The Great Hall
The Balconies @ Sneaky Dee’s

Sunday, June 19, 2011
Wild Nothing @ The Garrison
The Pharcyde, Digable Planets @ Yonge-Dundas Square

And some of the acts who don’t have any more specific information available besides “they’ll be there” are Crocodiles and Lower Dens. Yeah, I think I can find enough to occupy myself for four evenings or so.

MP3: Art Brut – “Lost Weekend”
MP3: Julianna Barwick – “The Magic Place”
MP3: Braids – “Lemonade”
MP3: Jennifer Castle – “Neverride”
MP3: Cults – “Go Outside”
MP3: Deerhoof – “The Merry Barracks”
MP3: Diamond Rings – “Something Else”
MP3: The Dodos – “Don’t Stop”
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Broken Rifle”
MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Light You Up”
MP3: Foster The People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
MP3: Grimes – “Vanessa”
MP3: Land Of Talk – “Quarry Hymns”
MP3: The Luyas – “Tiny Head”
MP3: No Joy – “Hawaii”
MP3: OFF! – “I Don’t Belong”
MP3: Prince Rama – “Lightening Fossil”
MP3: PS I Love You (featuring Diamond Rings) – “Leftovers”
MP3: Ty Segall – “Girlfriend”
MP3: Snowblink – “Ambergris”
MP3: Stars – “We Don’t Want Your Body”
MP3: Suuns – “Up Past The Nursery”
MP3: Talk Normal – “In A Strangeland”
MP3: Chad Van Gaalen – “Sara”
MP3: Twin Shadow – “Castles In The Snow”
MP3: Woodsman – “Insects”
Video: Devo – “What We Do”
Video: The Descendents – “I’m The One”
Video: Digable Planets – “Rebirth Of Slick”
Video: Men Without Hats – “Safety Dance”
Video: The Pharcyde – “Drop”

If you prefer your festivals a little more rustically-set, Exclaim has the lineup announcement for this year’s Hillside Festival, happening in Guelph from July 22 to 24. The roster reads like a who’s who of up-and-coming Canadian talent, including The Rural Alberta Advantage, Dan Mangan, Karkwa, Little Scream and really too many more to list. Tickets go on sale May 7 at 10AM at $110 for a weekend pass and these sell out quickly every year so don’t dither too long if at all.

And while talking Canadian fests, it’s worth noting that Montreal’s Osheaga added a bunch more acts including Janelle Monae and Broken Social Scene among them, and broken things down day by day.

In other live music news, Steve Earle will be at the HMV at 333 Yonge for a signing and in-store on April 28 at 6PM – you’ll just have to buy a copy of I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive when it comes out next Tuesday for tickets. Or wait for his show opening up for Blue Rodeo at the Amphitheatre on August 20.

San Diego’s The Donkeys are in town at a venue to be determined Sneaky Dee’s on May 21 in support of their new record Born With Stripes, out on Tuesday.

MP3: The Donkeys – “Don’t Know Who We Are”

The Baseball Project – aka Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn, Peter Buck and Linda Pitmon celebrating America’s pastime in song – will bring their second album Volume 2: High & Inside to Lee’s Palace on June 1. And yeah, the Jays are at home that evening against Cleveland. Oregon Live has a feature on the band.

MP3: The Baseball Project – “1976”

Louisiana’s Givers, just here supporting Wye Oak a couple weeks ago, will return for their own show at The Garrison on June 21. Their album In Light is out June 7.

MP3: Givers – “Up Up Up”

With their new record D due out May 24, White Denim have announced a date at The El Mocambo for June 28.

MP3: White Denim – “Anvil Everything”

Antony & The Johnsons have released a new video from last year’s Swanlights

Video: Antony & The Johnsons – “Swanlights”

Spinner reports that one of The National’s next projects will be curating a Grateful Dead tribute album for charity. I can only hope that everyone involved covers “Touch Of Grey” because that’s about the only Dead song I know.

Exclaim talks to Explosions In The Sky guitarist Munaf Rayani about their new record Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, out on Tuesday.

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James goes over some of his influences for Spin. Their new record Circuital comes out May 31 and they play The Kool Haus on July 11.

Titus Andronicus discusses his love of Fucked Up and plans for following up The Monitor with Spinner.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Iron & Wine while The Washington Post and Boston Herald have interviews with Sam Beam.

Spectrum Culture and Spin interview Michael Benjamin Lerner of Telekinesis. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 27.

Bon Iver has declared their intention to make the Summer solstice a little more wintry by releasing their new self-titled album on June 21. Details at Pitchfork.

And finally, sympathies to family, friends and fans of TV On The Radio bassist Gerard Smith, who lost his battle with lung cancer yesterday morning. Fuck you, cancer. Just fuck you.

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Summer Stock

Review of John Vanderslice's Romanian Names and giveaway

Photo By Autumn de WildeAutumn de WildeHaving followed John Vanderslice’s career from a respectful distance for many years now – spending a lot of time with some records, completely overlooking others – I would have said that while I’d always expect his records to be enjoyable, coupling solid songwriting with subtly idiosyncratic production, I would never expect to be floored by anything he put out. He’s just been so content batting for average that there’s no reason to think he’d suddenly open up the stance and swing for the fences.

And you wouldn’t call his latest album Romanian Names a home run, but it does stand apart from the rest of his discography to count as a solid double, maybe even a ground-rule. And it’s hard to tell, at first, what sets this one apart because the ingredients are much the same as the previous records. The melodies are still just too twisty to count as immediate, but remain deeply memorable, the production full of aural treats that might just as easily go unnoticed but reward attentive listeners and Vanderslice’s voice and words as plaintive and moving as ever. So what’s different? Well there’s a certain sonic and emotional richness to the proceedings that’s not necessarily new, but is simpler, clearer and more striking. But best I can tell is all of the above have combined for some magical ratio or emotionally resonant frequency that the ‘Slice hadn’t quite managed before and has resulted in a record that’s as good an example as any as to why he’s so highly regarded and puzzlingly underappreciated.

Vanderslice just wrapped an extensive round of touring, but will gear up for a small handful of Canadian dates and courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got three pairs of passes to give away to his Friday night (July 10) show at the Horseshoe with Cotton Jones. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want the ‘Slice” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, July 8 – that’s tomorrow night.

American Songwriter has a feature piece and Decider an interview with John Vanderslice, while Blurt reviews and compares two of his shows. NPR declared “Too Much Time” their song of the day for yesterday.

MP3: John Vanderslice – “Too Much Time”
MP3: John Vanderslice – “Fetal Horses”
Video: John Vanderslice – “Forest Knolls”
Video: John Vanderslice – “Too Much Time”
MySpace: John Vanderslice

I don’t know if the above baseball metaphor was appropriate for John Vanderslice – does the ‘Slice like the baseball? – but it would have been perfect for the September 13 bill at the Horseshoe. That night you’ll have The Minus 5, The Baseball Project and The Steve Wynn IV – which as I understand will essentially be Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon playing material from all three above catalogs and basically just having more fun than Junior Felix’s inside-the-park grand slam against the Red Sox back in ’89 – and that, my friends, was fun. If you were a Jays fan. Tickets for that one are $13.50 in advance.

The Seattle Times talks to Death Cab For Cutie’s Nick Harmer.

Under The Radar interviews Justin Rice of Bishop Allen.

San Francisco’s Sleepy Sun are at the Drake Underground on September 21, tickets $10. Their debut album is Embrace and they released a Daytrotter session back in May.

The Washington Post talks to Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.

The Toronto date for Joe Pernice’s concert/bookreading tour has been set for September 15 at the Dakota Tavern. Not to say that it’s an inappropriate venue by any means, but I like how they selected the room closest to Joe’s west end digs. The new record It Feels So Good When I Stop is out August 4 but available to pre-order now with attendant bonus goodies.

The Dirty Projectors show cancelled last month on account of that unfortunate car accident has been rescheduled for July 22, presumable again at Lee’s Palace – tickets will only be available at Rotate This and Soundscapes starting Thursday. Pitchfork has an interview with Dave Longstreth, the dirtiest projector of them all.

The Skinny and The Quietus talk to Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal, though the latter only about Woody Allen.

You can download Ume’s recent session at WOXY, including a couple of new songs.

You Ain’t No Picasso asks Andy Stack of Wye Oak about his first time. At stuff. Their new album The Knot is out July 21.

Oklahoman psych-poppers – no, not those ones – Starlight Mints will release a new album in Change Remains on July 21 and hit the road to support, including an August 9 date at the Horseshoe – tickets $9.

MP3: Starlight Mints – “Zoomba”

NPR talks to Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance of Merge Records on the occasion of the label’s 20th anniversary.

The Skinny profiles The Horrors, who have a date at Lee’s Palace on October 14.

The Singing Lamb talks to Mica Levy of Micachu & The Shapes in advance of their July 14 show at the El Mocambo.

Daytrotter is sharing the goods from a session with Los Campesinos.

The Advocate interviews Patrick Wolf, whose recent Daytrotter session is now up and available for grabby hands.

The New York Times hangs out in New York City with Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan. Shopping ensues.

Elvis Costello plays a World Cafe session for NPR. He’s at Massey Hall on August 28.

Art Brut are finally touring their latest album Art Brut Vs Satan through Toronto, having scheduled a date at Lee’s Palace for August 12, tickets $17.50. Yes, they’re kind of ridiculous as a band but they’re undeniably fun. You can download a track from the new record over at RCRDLBL and this is the first video from the album.

Video: Art Brut – “Alcoholics Unanimous”

Three more new videos out of the the UK – the first single from The Twilight Sad’s sophomore album Forget The Night Ahead, due out September 22, Bloc Party’s new non-album single “One More Chance”, out August 10, and the latest from Franz Ferdinand’s Tonight.

Video: The Twilight Sad – “I Became A Prostitute”
Video: Bloc Party – “One More Chance”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Can’t Stop Feeling”

While one might feel compelled to salute The Stone Roses from jumping on the reunion bandwagon – John Squire tells BBC he’s had calls from relatives for reunion gig tickets – it seems it’s only because they intend to cash in on nostalgia fever via their 20th anniversary reissues. NME has details on the three tiers of reissues that will be coming on August 11. The remastering job from John Leckie is a real draw, but the rest of the bonus goods are probably not worth your while.