Posts Tagged ‘Bettie Serveert’

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada

Godspeed You! Black Emperor make appointment to lay waste to Toronto

Photo by Eva VermandelEva VermandelAt first, no one even believed it was happening. Apocalyptic Montreal post-rock godheads Godspeed You! Black Emperor, basically inactive since touring behind 2002’s Yanqui u.x.o. ceased and presumed defunct, out of nowhere announced they were reconvening to curate an All Tomorrow’s Parties in the UK in December 2010. And in typically cryptic Godspeed fashion, the accompanying press release mentioned that there would be additional dates in the UK and Europe and “9 American towns” but offered no further details.

Of course, it was that last bit that threw everyone into simultaneous euphoria and panic. Euphoria that those who missed out on their legendary live experiences would possibly get a chance to have their minds expanded/exploded, and panic that their own town might not be one of the lucky nine. Why nine? Did Manhattan and Brooklyn count as one or two? And the whole “America” thing was also alarming – North? United States of? The idea that the band would leave their home and native land out of the loop was unthinkable, but where Godspeed is concerned, nothing could be taken for granted. So a collective sigh was heard when the first set of dates was finally revealed a couple weeks ago, and there were decidedly more than nine municipalities covered and on both sides of the 49th.

Toronto, however, was conspicuously absent from the itinerary despite their routing coming oh-so close, wrapping in Detroit at the end of March. That there wouldn’t be shows here was unthinkable, but the when and the where… showed up last night. Though their shows at the Palais Royale at the start of the decade are nigh mythical (at least to hear it from those who were there, which doesn’t include me), their return will come at the decidedly cozier environs of Lee’s Palace over three nights next Spring – April 22, 23 and 24, the last of those being a dry, all-ages matinee show – you know, for kids! You’d think that would mean that 1500 people would get the chance to see them, but you can expect more than a few three-peat attendees. It might be almost seven months away, but when the $20 advance tickets go on sale this Thursday, hesitate at your peril.

MySpace: Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Chart talks to The Coast about their new album Queen Cities. It’s streamable at their Facebook (each track is embedded on their wall) and the lead track is available to take home for your very own.

MP3: The Coast – “Heartbreak City”
Stream: The Coast / Queen Cities

Soundproof profiles The Acorn.

As expected, here’s another video from Neil Young’s new record Le Noise, due out today. There’s a video interview with both Young and producer Daniel Lanois over at QTV.

Video: Neil Young – “Walk With Me”

Suuns have rolled out a new video from their forthcoming debut Zeroes QC. It’s out October 12.

Video: Suuns – “Up Past The Nursery”

Olenka & The Autumn Lovers have completed their new album and given it the title of And Now We Sing; it will be available for sale on their upcoming Fall tour which includes an October 17 date at The Garrison. Their show there last year was so good, I’m sad I won’t be able to make this one. One of you out there make it for me.

MP3: Olenka & The Autumn Lovers – “Eggshells”

The Chicago Tribune has an interview with and Baeble Music solicits a mix tape from Basia Bulat. She’s at the Phoenix on October 26 opening up for Josh Ritter.

Pitchfork has got another new track from Diamond Rings’ forthcoming debut Special Affections in advance of its October 26 release. He plays a free show at the Parkdale Branch of the Toronto Public Library on October 8 at 8PM and a record release show at The Garrison on October 26.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “Something Else”

Impact 89 has a chat with and NPR a World Cafe session with Dan Mangan, in town at Trinity-St. Paul’s on October 28.

Woodhands are back for a show at Lee’s Palace on November 19, advance tickets $13.50.

MP3: Woodhands – “Dissembler”

The Line Of Best Fit has assembled a thirteenth Oh! Canada download mix of Canadian artists.

And not quite fitting in with the Can-con meme of the rest of the post but time-sensitive, North Carolina’s Lost In The Trees – introduced and endorsed back in June – have announced a last-minute in-store performance at Soundscapes today – as in today – at 5:30PM. I haven’t yet had the privilege of seeing them live but I’m pretty sure it’ll be great. You should totally go.

MP3: Lost In The Trees – “All Alone In An Empty House”

And less good, tonight’s Bettie Serveert show at the Drake has been cancelled due to passport issues. Le boo.

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

"Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying"

Bettie Serveert covers Belle & Sebastian

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceWhen the Matador 21 was announced back in the Summer along with the fact that it would feature performances from label alumni past and present, I thought for sure that Holland’s Bettie Serveert would be part of it. Though never one of Matador’s flagship bands, they had a good, three-album run with them in the ’90s and with the release of their latest Pharmacy Of Love, were planning their first US tour in many years for this Fall – surely the two would be intersecting.

It was not to be, however – though visa issues have rejigged their itinerary such that this Tuesday night’s show at the Drake in Toronto is the kick-off, they still don’t hit the southwest US until a week after Matador’s “Lost Weekend” is over. It’s probably too much to have asked to have been able to see them twice in the span of a week, alongside all of the other great acts who’ll be at the Palms in Vegas, and considering I get to see Belle & Sebastian twice in a fortnight – once in Vegas and once in Toronto at Massey Hall on October 12, the day their new record Belle & Sebastian Write About Love comes out – I have no grounds for complaint.

The Betties and Belles do cross paths on the Matador At 21 charity box set that’s coming out on Tuesday and also on this tune, though, which dates back to who knows when – I think I got it off Napster for god’s sake. It’s Bettie Serveert frontwoman Carol Van Dijk strumming the Sinster tune solo and acoustic.

MP3: Bettie Serveert – “Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying”
Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying” (live)

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010


Mystery Jets and PS I Love You at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAbout midway through last night’s show at the Horseshoe, Mystery Jets frontman Blaine Harrison mentioned that earlier that day, they’d learned their US visas had fallen through and as such, this show could have been the first, last and only date on their already-short North American tour. Certainly not news any band who had hauled themselves and no small amount of equipment across an ocean would want to hear. But rather than let it dampen their spirits, the English four-piece channeled any frustrations into an impressive show that, if it turned out to be the only one they played, would still mark the tour as a success. Of sorts.

First up were Kingston duo PS I Love You, who had been making noise figuratively and literally since last year (at least) and were gearing up for the October 5 release of their debut Meet Me At The Muster Station. And while I liked the singles that had preceded the full-length, Muster Station felt like a let down because it rebalanced their sound such that their strengths – the big, melodic college rock-vintage guitar heroics – were turned down and their weaknesses – frontman Paul Saulnier’s Mercer/Krug-aping vocals – were turned up. Obviously identifying this as a deficiency is a subjective judgement, but it made the record feel like a wet blanket on my enthusiasm for the band. An enthusiasm that was rekindled by their opening set, which corrected the cosmic balance by burying the vocals and showcasing their musical sides. Saulnier’s ability to evoke the heyday of Superchunk and Dinosaur Jr. (you could argue their heyday is right now, but I digress) with his fretwork can’t be understated, particularly while handling low end via the bass pedals at his feet. The pair produced a great musical energy despite not having much in the way of stage presence and prompted me to give the album another chance which, really, is as much as you could ask for.

And back to Mystery Jets. I’m a relative newcomer to the band, being only really familiar with their latest album Serotonin, but I find it interesting how they were described to me before I actually got to sit down and listen. Terms like “post-Libertines” and “psychedelic” were commonplace and really, they’re all wrong. Temporally-speaking, they did enter the UK musical landscape after messrs Doherty and Barat made their mark, but they hardly share the same laddish/loutish affectations, instead coming across as unabashedly romantic and with little attitude (meant positively) and the psychedelia tag might apply to their fashion sense, but musically they’re pretty straight-ahead Brit-rock, reliant on great melodies, big choruses and just a touch of danceability. Over the course of an hour, they split their set evenly between Serotonin and its predecessor, 2008’s Twenty-One, and gave the respectably-sized crowd something to get boisterous about – which they did, right through to the soaring encore-closer “Dreaming Of Another World”. Any concerns about what would happen to the rest of the tour were set aside in favour of just enjoying the moment. And it’s just as well for at the time of this writing, the first of two New York shows had been cancelled. Good thing they’ve already got plans to return for more North American shows in January – visas permitting.

Chart and Panic Manual also have reviews of the show.

Photos: Mystery Jets, PS I Love You @ The Horseshoe – September 13, 2010
MP3: Mystery Jets – “Dreaming Of Another World”
MP3: Mystery Jets – “Flash A Hungry Smile”
MP3: PS I Love You – “2012”
MP3: PS I Love You – “Butterflies & Boners”
MP3: PS I Love You – “Facelove”
Video: Mystery Jets – “Dreaming Of Another World”
Video: Mystery Jets – “Half In Love With Elizabeth”
Video: Mystery Jets – “Two Doors Down”
Video: Mystery Jets – “Young Love”
Video: Mystery Jets – “Flakes”
Video: Mystery Jets – “The Boy Who Ran Away”
Video: Mystery Jets – “Alas Agnes”
Video: Mystery Jets – “You Can’t Fool Me Dennis”
Video: PS I Love You – “Facelove”
MySpace: Mystery Jets

Fresh off her appearance at the MTV VMAs, Florence & The Machine have released a new video for their contribution to the latest Twilight soundtrack. Florence plays the Sound Academy on November 3.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Heavy In Your Arms”

Barry Burns of Mogwai talks to Prefix about the band’s new Special Moves/Burning live set and to Clash about working on their new album, which it was just announced would be released on SubPop when it’s done next year instead of their long-time home at Matador.

Bettie Serveert have released a video for the sort-of title track of their new record Pharmacy Of Love. They’re gearing up for their first North American tour in far too long, which includes a September 28 date at the Drake Underground.

Video: Bettie Serveert – “The Pharmacy”

And also with a new video are The Concretes, whose new record WYWH will be out November 8.

Video: The Concretes – “All Day”

Australian psychedelicists Tame Impala have assembled a North American tour that stops in at the Horseshoe on November 24. Skiddle has an interview.

MP3: Tame Impala – “Runaway, Houses, City, Clouds”

Clash has a twopart interview with Alan McGee, former head of Creation Records, on the occasion of the release of the documentary Upside Down: The Story Of Creation Records sometime around the end of the year. It goes without saying that I must see this.

Trailer: Upside Down: The Story Of Creation Records

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Souls Travel

Bettie Serveert plan inspection of North American pharmacies (of love)

Photo By Phil HarderPhil HarderI was going to skip posting today entirely but a few choice bits came up on the radar that merited a quick mention – most notably, the announcement of Bettie Serveert’s Autumn North American tour that had been promised since their latest album – the surprisingly rowdy Pharmacy Of Love – was released back in march.

Amongst those dates is a September 28 appearance in Toronto at the Drake Underground, the Dutch rockers’ first visit since a barn-burner of a set at the Horseshoe back in February 2005. It’s a bit surprising that their tour routing doesn’t take them through Vegas for Matador 21 – they released three terrific college rock-defining records on the seminal label back in the ’90s and I thought for sure that their Fall visit would be timed to coincide with the anniversary festivities, but hey, I’m perfectly happy to see them closer to home.

MP3: Bettie Serveert – “Semaphore”
MP3: Bettie Serveert – “The Pharmacy”
Video: Bettie Serveert – “Deny All”

The Sadies have been added as support for Arcade Fire’s August 14 show on the Toronto Islands. It’s unclear if anyone else is being added or if that’s going to be it.

The Globe & Mail profiles Shad. He plays the Kool Haus on August 1.

Paste catches up with Tokyo Police Club.

The Deli features Fang Island.

Band Of Horses have released a new video from Infinite Arms; they’re at the Kool Haus on October 21.

Video: Band Of Horses – “Laredo”

The Los Angeles Times gets She & Him to compile a musical mixtape dedicated to California.

The Posies will release a new album entitled Blood/Candy on September 28. Blurt has details.

Tim Burgess of The Charlatans talks to NME about their forthcoming album Who We Touch, out in North America on September 14. They’re at Lee’s Palace on September 17.

Spinner continues to talk to The Joy Formidable.

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010


Arcade Fire announce show at Toronto Islands

Photo via Last.fmLast.fmIt’s been a long time since there’s been a live music throwdown of any kind at the city’s most picturesque and moderately inconvenient venue, the Toronto Islands. The 2009 edition of the almost-annual Islands concert was canceled thanks to a combination of the Toronto Indy and sluggish ticket sales, so excepting a private frosh week event last September, the last time the throngs gathered on Olympic Island was V Fest 2008, and that ended with the ignoble thud of Noel Gallagher getting knocked on his ass. 2010 seems set on making up for that absence, however. In addition to the heavyweight lineup of Pavement, Broken Social Scene, Beach House and Band Of Horses (and more) playing the June 19 Toronto Island Concert, a second excuse for people to complain about having to take the ferry was announced yesterday.

Having sold out three nights at Massey Hall on their last visit to Toronto in 2007, where Arcade Fire would play next was a reasonable question – the idea of another multi-night stand would make wallets ache and still probably not meet demand, and yet any of the larger venues in the city – Sound Academy, Air Canada Centre, Molson Amphitheatre – seemed unlikely for a multitude of reasons. But having played the inaugural Olympic Island Concert in 2004 at the bottom of the bill as veritable unknowns, Arcade Fire will return six years later on August 14 as one of the biggest bands in the country. Tickets are $47 in advance, plus ferry, fees and $1 charitable donation to Partners In Health, and go on sale Friday at noon. The band remain cagey about releasing details of their third album, but a single could/should be out next Tuesday and the record will probably follow soon after, almost certainly before their touring schedule starts in Finland at the end of June.

Gates for the show are at 4PM, so while that’s a little too late to assume this will blossom into a mini-festival, there’s certainly enough time for a few decent supporting acts to be added. So while this Summer is looking awfully lean as far as fests in the GTA go – V is MIA/probably DOA, Rogers Picnic’s 2009 hiatus looks to now be permanent, Imagine is feeling more like a pipe dream and there hasn’t even been a peep about Edgefest for the kids – we’re doing alright for festival-setting shows. And if you like, you can think of the Arcade Fire and Broken/Pavement show as a single excellent multi-day festival – just one that’s two months apart and require separate admissions.

MP3: Arcade Fire – “Keep The Car Running”
MP3: Arcade Fire – “Black Mirror”
MP3: Arcade Fire – “No Cars Go”
MP3: Arcade Fire – “Wake Up”

Having sold out their May 28 show at the Horseshoe, Born Ruffians will entertain those who couldn’t get tickets or just need another another encore with a free in-store at Sonic Boom on Saturday, May 29, at 3PM. Their new record Say It is out next Tuesday.

MP3: Born Ruffians – “Sole Brother”

Also confirmed for an in-store are Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit. Their debut The Big Black & The Blue is out now, and they’ll showcase it both at the Rivoli on the evening of June 12 and at Criminal Records that afternoon at 4PM. Exclaim has a feature on the band.

MP3: First Aid Kit – “Hard Believer”
MP3: First Aid Kit – “Sailor Song” (live)

The Old Crow Medicine Show will be at the Phoenix on July 13.

Video: Old Crow Medicine Show – “Wagon Wheel”

The Black Keys have added a second local date in support of the just-released Brothers; in addition to the sold-out August 3 show at the Kool Haus, they’ll also be there the following night, August 4. The Morning Benders will support both nights.

Video: The Black Keys – “Next Girl”

Though the new Belle & Sebastian record is nearly finished – their Twitter is abuzz with updates and hey, does anyone remember when this band was all mysterious and stuff? – Stuart Murdoch continues to find time to tend to his God Help The Girl project, releasing a new non-album single and video. “Baby You’re Blind” features vocals from Linnea Jonsson of Swedes Those Dancing Days; it’s available digitally and as a 7″, and has an accompanying video. And while I haven’t figured out exactly where they got it, the pull quote at BrooklynVegan certainly implies that there’ll be some B&S live dates in Canada this Summer/Fall. Hey, maybe we can get THEM to play the Islands as well!

Video: God Help The Girl – “Baby You’re Blind”

Yours Truly has posted a video session with Camera Obscura.

Amelia Fletcher, formerly of Heavenly and currently of Tender Trap, talks to Spinner about being name-checked on the new Hold Steady record. The new Tender Trap record Dansette Dansette is due out on June 22.

MP3: Tender Trap – “Girls With Guns”
Video: Tender Trap – “Girls With Guns”

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Neil Halstead’s performance at the Truck America festival in New York state earlier this month.

Love Shack Baby catches a word with Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, who also stopped in to play some songs for Tripwire, captured on video.

Johnny Marr tells BBC6 that work on The Cribs’ new record is coming along swimmingly.

Clash talks to The Futureheads about their new record The Chaos; it’s out next week and they’re at the Mod Club on June 10.

Platform chats with Frightened Rabbit.

Ian McCulloch of Echo & The Bunnymen gives Spinner his thoughts on audience participation at their shows.

Billboard talks to Richard Thompson about his decision to record his new record Dream Attic, out August 31, entirely live in concert.

NME reports that the second album from Nick Cave side-project Grinderman will arrive on September 13 under the title of Grinderman 2. The first record was greasy, grimy and awesome – I expect no less from this one.

Interview interviews Jonsi.

Magnet has a Q&A with Bettie Serveert’s Carol van Dyk as a kick-off to her week as guest editor of their website.