Posts Tagged ‘Black Lips’

Thursday, January 27th, 2011


Wilco go off on their own, Jeff Tweedy goes it alone

Photo via FacebookFacebookThere’s been no news to report on with regards to the new Wilco album proper besides that it will be out in 2011, but there still a few very noteworthy items to surface lately. Firstly, what with their deal with Nonesuch expiring with 2009’s Wilco (The Album), the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the band have done what pretty much everyone expected and started their own label to release their next album. The marque will be called dBpm Records and will be distributed by the folks at Anti Records, so the band will be in control of their own destiny yet remain in good hands.

More immediately and of interest to those in the general northeast/midwest of North America, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy is striking out for a handful of solo shows starting on March 22 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto. This will be the first time Tweedy has come here alone since an appearance at Trinity-St. Paul’s in 2001, a show I missed in favour of seeing the Toronto debuts of Doves and some flash-in-the-pans called The Strokes at The Opera House; a decision I simultaneously regret enormously and not at all. And whether I’ll be able to see this one is up in the air as I might still be in Austin post-SxSW on work when it goes down. Alas. Ticket info on the show is still forthcoming, stay tuned.

And of course a few weeks back it was confirmed that the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival would be returning for a second year at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts from June 24 to 26. No word on performers yet, but it’s a pretty safe bet that Wilco will be playing.

Wilco – doing it for themselves, yo.

MP3: Wilco – “What Light”

A slew more show announcements over the last few days – the latest addition to Sub Pop’s burgeoning stable of sensitive folk-pop artists from the Pacific northwest are Seattle’s The Head & The Heart, who released their self-titled debut last year and had it reissued digitally by the label earlier this year with physical re-release coming for April 16. They will be at The Horseshoe on February 24, tickets $10.50 in advance.

MP3: The Head & The Heart – “Down In The Valley”

Jessica Lea Mayfield will be at the Drake Underground with Daniel Martin Moore on April 4, tickets $15.50. Her new record Tell Me is out February 11 and his latest In The Cool Of The Day came out last week. Full tour dates at Pitchfork. Mayfield was declared “New band of the day” by The Guardian a couple weeks back if you need a primer.

MP3: Daniel Martin Moore – “In The Cool Of The Day”

Lou Barlow’s got to hold some sort of record for active ongoing projects or reunions – in addition to his solo work and Dinosaur Jr – and you know The Folk Implosion would be back if he could find John Davis – he’s also reconvened Sebadoh what with the impending reissues of Bakesale and Harmacy and will be hitting the road this Spring. Exclaim reports that Bakesale will be out on April 4 in the UK with Harmacy following in the Summer, but North American release details are still unclear. What is clear is that the band will be at Lee’s Palace on April 6 and that tickets will run you $23.50. Gimme indie rock… reunions.

MP3: Sebadoh – “Dreams”
MP3: Sebadoh – “On Fire”

The Old 97’s will make up that cancelled show with Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond at the ElMo back in November by bringing the rest of the band along for a date at The Horseshoe on April 6. Teddy Thompson supports and tickets are $23.50 in advance. Denver Westword talks to frontman Rhett Miller.

Video: The Old 97’s – “Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)” (live)

Toronto’s Timber Timbre will release their second fourth record in the terrifically-titled Creep On Creepin’ On on April 5 and follow that up posthaste with a show at Trinity St. Paul’s on April 8, tickets $20. Details and further tour dates at Chart.

MP3: Timber Timbre – “Demon Ghost”

The Phoenix will be doubling as some kind of garage on April 16 when The Black Lips and Vivian Girls come to town. Tickets will be $18.50 and Pitchfork has the full tour itinerary. Black Lips have a new record due out this Summer while Vivian Girls’ third album Share The Joy is due out this Spring.

MP3: The Black Lips – “Short Fuse”
MP3: Vivian Girls – “Where Do You Run To?”

Oakland, Californians Hunx & HIs Punx will release their new album Too Young To Be In Love on March 29 and hit The Horseshoe on April 27; details at Exclaim.

MP3: Hunx & HIs Punkx – “Lover’s Lane”

French dance-pop queen Yelle will release her second record Safari Disco Club on March 29 and will be touring North America post-Coachella, including a May 4 date at The Opera House.

Video: Yelle – “Je Veux Te Voir”

New York’s Sleigh Bells and Brazil’s CSS are teaming up for a Spring tour that includes two nights in Toronto, May 16 and 17 at The Mod Club. The Prague Post interviews Sleigh Bells.

MP3: Sleigh Bells – “Infinity Guitars”
MP3: CSS – “Rat Is Dead”

With a new album complete and presumably out sometime this Summer, Australia’s Architecture In Helsinki are coming to town for a date at The Mod Club on June 11.

MP3: Architecture In Helsinki – “Heart It Races”

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Eastbound & Found

Bloggers congregate in Austin, throw a party

Photo via Araba FilmsAraba FilmsIf there’s one thing Austin, Texas needs during Spring Break, it’s some live music. Particularly in the form of a day party. The past few years I’ve been very lucky to have been able to help put on some fantastic parties with some of my favourite blogger buds. And while the Hot Freaks marque has been put to bed for the time being, I’m very happy to be able to announce that You Ain’t No Picasso, My Old Kentucky Blog, Ultra 8201, Yours Truly and, uh, yours truly, will be presenting Eastbound & Found, a one-day, two-stage to-do that will be held on Thursday, March 18 at 1001 East 6th St – a location that’s a parking lot for 51 weeks of the year but on this occasion will be an epicenter of awesome.

What I like most about these blogger-assembled shows is how random the final results end up being. Without teaming up with a specific label, PR company or booking agency and just pursuing acts based on little more than a “what we like” mandate, we get shows that can veer from the sunny indie-pop of Freelance Whales to the insane guitar heroics of Austin’s own Ume, from the electro-glam of Diamond Rings (Toronto represent!) to giddy Anglo-folk duo Slow Club, right through to our headliner – GZA of the motherflipping Wu-Tang Clan. Eclectic? Yeah, a little.

This party is free and all-ages, though you do have to RSVP – information on that at the Sweet Leaf blog. Many many thanks go out to our sponsors Sweet Leaf Tea, Ziegenbock, Dos Lunas Tequila, Knuckle Rumbler and Car Toys for helping make this happen. And despite what the attached image from Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee & Cigarettes might imply, Bill Murray will NOT be making an appearance at the show. Unless he wants to. If any of you know Bill Murray, do let him know he’s invited?

The (almost) full lineup and set times are as follows:

Stage one:
12:15PM Ragen Fykes
1:10PM Freelance Whales
2:05PM Ume
3:00PM Warpaint
3:55PM The Morning Benders
4:50PM Here We Go Magic
5:45PM Maluca
7:00PM GZA

Stage two:
12:30PM Burnt Ones
1:25PM Diamond Rings
2:20PM Kid Sister
3:15PM Slow Club
4:10PM Danielson
5:05PM Delorean
6:00PM White Denim

MP3: Danielson – “Animal In Every Corner”
MP3: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs”
MP3: Freelance Whales – “Generator 2nd Floor”
MP3: The Morning Benders – “Promises”
MP3: Slow Club – “It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful”
MP3: Ume – “The Conductor”
MP3: Warpaint – “Elephants”
Video: GZA – “Liquid Swords”
Video: Here We Go Magic – “Fangela”
Video: Kid Sister – “Right Hand Hi”

And some concert news for Toronto folk NOT heading down to Texas next week – not content with playing two nights at The Horseshoe, The Black Lips have added a third local appearance during their visit. They’ll be doing an in-store at Sonic Boom on March 28 at 4PM; admission free with a canned good.

MP3: Black Lips – “Short Fuse”

Jakob Dylan has put together a new band to help perform his new solo record Women & Country, out April 10. They’re called Three Legs and you might know them better as a couple of women in country – Neko Case and Kelly Hogan. That got your attention, eh? Jacob Dylan & Three Legs will be at the Phoenix on April 25.

She & Him – yes, Zooey and Matt – will be hitting the road in support of Volume Two and are going to be at The Phoenix in Toronto on June 9. Tickets are $26.50, the album is out March 23 and the new video is just about the most adorable thing ever.

Video: She & Him – “In The Sun”

Stars have announced they will release their fifth studio album The Five Ghosts on June 22 – details at Chart.

Spinner talks to Metric in advance of their appearance at SxSW where they’ll be opening up for Muse at Stubb’s on the Friday night.

Broken Social Scene also talk to Spinner; they’re doing a couple of shows at SxSW and of course have that Toronto Islands show on June 19. Their new album Forgiveness Rock Record is out May 4.

Continuing on with the Spinner-SxSW interviews (there’s lots of them) – they chat with Venice Is Sinking, whose new album Sand & Lines will be out June 15.

Kunstlicher, The Georgia Straight, The Huffington Post and Spinner have interviews with Midlake. They’re at the Mod Club on May 25.

Spinner talks to The Uglysuit. They’re playing Lee’s Palace at 2AM on Friday night as part of Canadian Musicfest and their MySpace implies they’re making the most of their visit to Toronto with a bunch of other unofficial performances.

Spinner asks some pretty banal questions of Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Holly Miranda.

Filter takes all of the fun out of The Bird & The Bee’s internet scavenger hunt for streams of their new Hall & Oates tribute album Guiltless Pleasures Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates , out March 23.

Spinner and NME have collected a number of tributes from musicians for the fallen Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse. And a couple of worthy reads and listens from the Boston area – Buffalo Tom frontman Bill Janovitz has an essay and Sparklehorse cover at his blog Part-Time Man Of Rock while Bradley’s Almanac is sharing some thoughts and a recording of Sparklehorse’s last show in Boston from 2007.

MP3: Bill Janovitz – “Gold Day”

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Ibi Dreams Of Pavement

Pavement, Broken Social Scene and Band Of Horses play Toronto Islands 2010

Photo By Marcus Roth/Paolo Proserpio Marcus Roth/Paolo ProserpioI should start setting aside Tuesday posts for concert announcements – every Monday brings an absolute deluge of them, yesterday through to this morning being no exception. But even on a day filled with big announcements, there was this.

Toronto Island Concert isn’t the catchiest name – apparently calling it the Olympic Island Festival is now verboten? – but it really doesn’t matter what you brand a show that features Pavement, Broken Social Scene and Band Of Horses because everyone with a lick of sense will simply call it “awesome”. The show is only the third North American date officially confirmed for the reformed indie rock legends, after Sasquatch in May and the four-night stand in New York’s Central Park in September, though word is they’re also headlining this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, probably in mid-July. I tend to vacillate between indifference and great love for Pavement, depending on my mood. Right now it’s all love, and I would say that even with more acts to be added to the bill, this has already more than made up for last year’s canceled BSS/Explosions In The Sky event.

The show will go June 19, which is a bit ill-timed as it falls on the last day of NXNE but really, there’s no choice to be made. This must happen. Tickets will be $49.50 (plus $1.50 facility fee and $6.50 ferry admission) and go on sale next Friday, January 22 though a pre-sale through Arts & Crafts’ online store starts January 18 and also gets you a $5 credit towards their merch. So why wouldn’t you.

Pavement have a best-of in Quarantine The Past and series of vinyl reissues coming March 9. Broken Social Scene’s new record is supposed to arrive in May. Band Of Horses’ third album has a title of Night Rainbows and is due out sometime this year. Pavement drummer Bob Nastanovich talks to The Courier-Journal about the impending reunion tour and basically confirms the Pitchfork Festival appearance.

MP3: Pavement – “Gold Soundz”
MP3: Pavement – “Rattled By The Rush”
MP3: Broken Social Scene presents Brendan Canning – “Hit The Wall”
MP3: Broken Social Scene presents Kevin Drew – “TBTF”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “No One’s Gonna Love You”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “Is There A Ghost”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “The Great Salt Lake”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “The Funeral”

And everything else that came out yesterday, in chronological order:

Mumford & Sons’ February 15 show has been moved from the El Mocambo to Lee’s Palace due to overwhelming demand for bluegrass-ish music. Sigh No More gets a North American release on March 15.

Norwegian ambassadors of chillax, the Kings Of Convenience, will be at the Phoenix on February 18 in support of last year’s Declaration Of Dependence. Tickets are $21.50. The Independent has a feature on the duo.

MP3: Kings Of Convenience – “Boat Behind”
Video: Kings Of Convenience – “Boat Behind”

Born Ruffians have set a date at the Phoenix for March 14. Their new record Say It will be out sometime.

Well it looks like I won’t be going a half decade without seeing Spoon – in addition to headlining Stubb’s on the first night of SxSW, they’ve announced a full North American tour – they’ll be at the Sound Academy on March 29 with Deerhunter and The Strange Boys. Tickets are $24.50 for general admission, $33.50 for VIP balcony spots. Apparently this is what it will take to get me back to the Sound Academy. Transference is out next Tuesday and is streaming in its entirety right now at NPR. Deerhunter made an entire album available for free download last December.

MP3: Spoon – “The Underdog”
MP3: Deerhunter – “Rainwater Cassette Exchange”
MP3: The Strange Boys – “Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up”
Stream: Spoon / Transference

Beach House will finally make up their canceled appearance at last year’s Olympic Island show on their Spring North American tour – it brings them to the Opera House on March 30 with Bachelorette, tickets $14. Their new album Teen Dream is out January 26.

MP3: Beach House – “Norway”

Almost as exciting – or maybe even moreso – as the Pavement announcement was that of the April 1 date at Lee’s Palace for the amazing double bill of Shearwater and Wye Oak, part of a North American tour. Shearwater’s epic The Golden Archipelago is out February 23 and Wye Oak are still supporting last year’s excellent The Knot.

MP3: Shearwater – “Castaways”
MP3: Wye Oak – “Take It In”

The Black Lips are setting up for a two-night stand at the Horseshoe on March 27 and 28, tickets for each night are $15.50. I seem to recall hearing tales of anarchy the last time they played there – no reason to believe this time will be any different. Demon Claws and Box Elders support.

MP3: The Black Lips – “Lock & Key” (live at Amoeba)

Already posted but now official – The xx and jj at the Phoenix on April 4, admission $20. jj’s No 3 is out March 9, Creative Review has a look at the recently unveiled video sculpture for their debut album.

MP3: The xx – “Basic Space”
MP3: jj – “Ecstasy”

The Low Anthem will bring their Oh My God, Charlie Darwin to the Church Of The Redeemer on April 10.

MP3: The Low Anthem – “Charlie Darwin”
MP3: The Low Anthem – “To Ohio”

The Wedding Present have announced the dates for their tour commemorating the 21st anniversary of Bizarro and that includes an April 14 date at the Horseshoe.

Quasi have set a February 23 release date for their new record American Gong and are hitting the road to promote – look for them April 18 at the Horseshoe. And I could be wrong on this, but I think this is their first time back in town since 2001. That’s almost as long as, um, Pavement!

MP3: Quasi – “Repulsion”

Shout Out Louds are crossing the Atlantic this Spring to support new album Work, out February 23. They’ll be in Toronto at the Mod Club on May 8 and have just released a new video.

MP3: Shout Out Louds – “Walls”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Fall Hard”

And to close with something completely different – if you aren’t following my Twitter feed and didn’t hear the collective cry of fear/rage yesterday afternoon from the geek nation, it was announced that Spider-Man 4 – which as early as yesterday morning appeared to have confirmed John Malkovich as the Vulture – will instead be a complete reboot, jettisoning Tobey Maguire in the lead role and Sam Raimi in the director’s chair, and bring in a whole new cast while heading back to a high school setting for Peter Parker. I didn’t think it’d be possible to make a worse film than Spider-Man 3 but it seems they’ve found a way.

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Gimme Sympathy

Metric and Holy Fuck at The Mod Club in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhen Metric’s latest album Fantasies first became available to stream a month ago, the immediate reaction around the interwebs seemed to be largely along the lines of breathless, “their best album yet!”-type praise (tempered by the mandatory, “worst ever!” naysayers). I myself took to it far quicker than I did their last effort Live It Out, which I never really took to at all, and thought this would be the record to rekindle what had once been an intense interest in the band but which had waned significantly in recent years. Some more time spent with the album has tempered that opinion a bit – Fantasies boasts some of Metric’s very best choruses and some killer catchy tunes, but it’s not the game-changer they’d probably have to deliver to really turn me around completely. But that’s alright because it’s obvious that many, many people love them just the way they are and “just another Metric record” is probably synonymous with, “best thing in the world”.

And it was with these people that the Mod Club, a venue many times smaller than the band normally plays these days, was packed with on Tuesday night. The intimate hometown club show was one of the special events held to mark the new record’s release, following an even smaller secret show and in-store in the preceding weeks. For me, it’d been over five and a half years since I’d seen them play a full show (the exception being part of their V Fest 2007 set) – a fact I had to double-check to make sure was correct – so the experience was a bit odd, like running into someone you knew a long time ago and presumed to still know, but possibly/probably didn’t at all.

Opening things up were electro-instrumentalists Holy Fuck, a band who themselves are used to headlining much larger rooms. While I like their recorded output alright, I always enjoy seeing them live as they perform with more energy than a couple guys standing at makeshift tables decked out with keyboards and effects pedals have any right to, mutating their songs in real time. The privilege of seeing them do their thing in such close quarters seemed to be largely lost on the audience, however, who were there for one thing and one thing only.

And for that one thing – Metric, if you weren’t keeping up – they had to wait, as the band didn’t take the stage until over half an hour later than their scheduled set time (kind of like back in 2003 – nice to see some things don’t change). I don’t think anyone cared, though, based on the roars that greeted them when they finally strode onstage and into “Twilight Galaxy”, from Fantasies. Not the most high-energy opener, but an effective intro even with Emily Haines’ synth not firing on all cylinders. The roadies rectified it almost immediately after the song’s end, however, and the band played the song’s outro again to demonstrate how much better it’d have sounded if the synth had been working. Cute.

The last couple times I’d seen Haines live was in her solo/Soft Skeleton guise and banter or audience interaction was largely verboten, so I was a bit surprised at how chatty and engaging she was from the get-go. Of course, her banter was Billy Bob-esque in its randomness and incoherence, but it was nice to see her making the effort and the devout audience ate up every rambling word. There was no lack of focus in her performance, though – she and her Aladdin Sane makeup demonstrated the charisma that makes her arguably one of the most dynamic frontpersons in Canada, even if some of it felt more rehearsed than spontaneous.

The show focused heavily on Fantasies, with nine of the ten tracks getting aired, which suited me fine. Contrasted with the new material’s undeniable melodic and anthemic qualities, Live It Out‘s aggressive guitar-led tunes sounded even more abrasive (in a bad way) than I remembered. Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? was represented only by “Dead Disco”, and I’d thought that would be the end of the main set but had forgotten that they now had “Stadium Love”, a glorious anthem that will rightly close their shows from now until the end of time.

The encore consisted of “Monster Hospital” and a greatly stripped-down “Live It Out”, but by then I’d inched almost out the door and barely heard Haines thanking everyone and declaring her love for everyone. And possibly selling anti-depressants, it wasn’t entirely clear. Putting aside some garbage that left me in a somewhat sour mood most of the night, including but not limited to a heinously drunk guy threatening to smash a bottle on my head for asking him to stop shoving before the show had even started, Metric put on an impressive show that’s well-suited for the large-scale stages that they’ve grown accustomed to playing and will no doubt continue to do, buoyed by the mass appeal of Fantasies. It also made it clear that I’ll likely never be as into the band as I once was – we’ll always have 2003 – but they’ll go far, these ones.

eye, Chart, The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star and The National Post all have reviews of the show. RCRDLBL has a remix of “Help, I’m Alive” available to download and Ear Farm, and The National Post have interviews with the band. Their spending the next few months touring the world and will return home for a June 20 show as part of Edgefest at Downsview Park. Holy Fuck are touring Europe and the US this Spring and do a hometown show at Harbourfront Centre on July 10.

Photos: Metric @ The Mod Club – April 14, 2009
MP3: Holy Fuck – “Lovely Allen”
MP3: Holy Fuck – “Jungles”
Video: Metric – “Gimme Sympathy”
Video: Metric – “Monster Hospital”
Video: Metric – “Poster Of A Girl”
Video: Metric – “Empty”
Video: Metric – “Dead Disco”
Video: Metric – “Combat Baby”
Video: Metric – “Succexy”
Video: Holy Fuck – “Lovely Allen”
Video: Holy Fuck – “Milkshake”
MySpace: Metric
MySpace: Holy Fuck

The Dears have released a new video from last year’s Missiles and are hitting the road soon, starting on April 30 with a show at the Mod Club.

Video: The Dears – “Disclaimer”

CBC Radio 3, CityNews and AOL Music Canada interview Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers, who have a show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 25.

The Montreal Gazette talks to Arcade Fire’s Win Butler about making the Miroir Noir film.

Jeremy Jay will be at the Poor Alex Theatre on May 6 in support of his new album Slow Dance. Tickets are $10.

MP3: Jeremy Jay – “Beautiful Rebel”

Phoenix, not seen in these parts since V Fest 2006, will return on June 15 for a show at, wait for it, The Phoenix. Did that just blow your mind a little? Yeah. Full tour dates at Stereogum. Their new album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is out May 29. Here’s a video. You can grab an MP3 from their website.

Video: Phoenix – “Lisztomania”

For The Records reports that Friendly Fires, who stole the show from White Lies back in March, will return for a headlining show of their own at Lee’s Palace on August 10.

NOW reports that some of the acts coming to town for NxNE will include Black Lips, No Age and Matt & Kim. This year’s fest takes place June 18 to 20.

This Saturday is Record Store Day. Go out and hug your local record store. eye has a round-up of what’s going on at stores around Toronto while Pitchfork has rounded up some of the limited edition goodies that’ll be available at some outlets courtesy of various record labels.