Posts Tagged ‘Circulatory System’

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Yesterday's World

Elephant 6 collective to tour North America yelling, “surprise!”

Photo via Ground ControlGround ControlSo maybe some of you heard that Jeff Mangum, that guy who used to be in that one band, played a surprise show of Neutral Milk Hotel tunes to a Brooklyn crowd of about 75 this past weekend (MP3s or it didn’t happen). And while that’s a pretty cool thing in and of itself, not to mention giving those in attendance bragging rights in certain circles for the rest of their lives, that it happened just before word that the Elephant 6 collective of which the Neutral Milk was a founding member was planning a big Spring touring to-do was… interesting. Not implying anything untoward, simply observing that if it was a coincidence, it was a well-timed one.

Said to-do is the Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour, which was first rolled out at about this time of the year in 2008 by former Neutral Milk Hotelier, current Music Tapes leader and all-around Christmas fan Julian Koster. It consisted of a massive and random group of Elephant 6 alumni past and present, including members of Apples In Stereo, Elf Power, Circulatory System, Olivia Tremor Control amongst others – which is to say about 1/10 the population of Athens, Georgia – who trekked about performing holiday songs and each others’ compositions and generally celebrating the spirit of pop, psychedelia and community that informed the movement back in their heyday of the mid-’90s. And apparently they had such a good time of it, they’re doing it again.

The details on the who and the what are unclear as of yet – Koster will certainly be driving it again, covering much of the same terrain as his ongoing Lullabye Tour – but the itinerary is up, showing dates across North America running from late February through the end of March. You know, exactly when there aren’t any real holidays. Unlike the original Holiday Tour, this one includes a Toronto stop on March 18 at the Horseshoe, which is great for those of us who will be hundreds of miles away at SxSW at the time (that’s not a plea for sympathy, just statement of fact), particularly since none of Elf Power, Circulatory System or the reunited Olivia Tremor Control have come up this way in forever. But it is what it is and what it should be is an excitingly unpredictable treat for fans and you can bet no one is forgetting that Mangum made appearances at some of those shows in 2008… Will he be along this time out? Maybe he just needs to get re-accustomed to playing live OH WAIT.

The AV Club talked to Koster about the tour back in the Fall of 2008 while NPR has audio from the Chicago stop of that tour – all two and a half hours of it.

MP3: Music Tapes – “Majesty”
MP3: Neutral Milk Hotel – “Holland 1945”
MP3: The Apples In Stereo – “Benefits Of Lying With Your Friend”
MP3: Elf Power – “Stranger In The Window”
MP3: Circulatory System – “Yesterday’s World”
MP3: Circulatory System – “Now”

It’s understandable if you thought that The Wooden Sky’s show at Lee’s back at the start of November was their last local hurrah for the year, but they’ve got one more engagement on the calendar – an intimate December 19 show at the Music Gallery with Philadelphia’s Strand Of Oaks. It’s an all-ages gig, tickets $25 and all proceeds going to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Something Hiding For Us In The Night”
MP3: Strand Of Oaks – “Bonfire”

The double-bill of one-man act Wild Nothing and many-man band Abe Vigoda have made a date at Wrongbar on February 17, full dates of the tour available at Pitchfork.

MP3: Wild Nothing – “Golden Haze”
MP3: Abe Vigoda – “Throwing Shade”

Akron/Family will follow up the February 8 release of S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT with a date at The Horseshoe on February 20. And if you haven’t read the background on the record, Consequence Of Sound has details… which sound mental.

MP3: Akron/Family – “River”

The Low Anthem, who are readying their Smart Flesh for a February 22 release, have made a date at The Great Hall for March 2 – tickets $17.50 in advance. You can grab the first MP3 from said record in exchange for your email at their website.

Clash talks to LCD Soundsystem main man James Murphy.

Drowned In Sound interviews Britt Daniel and Eric Harvey of Spoon.

Exclaim has details on the long-awaited second Rural Alberta Advantage record. Departing will be out on March 1 and you can expect to hear at least some of it at their sold-out Lee’s Palace show next Thursday, December 16.

Daytrotter’s recent sojourn to Pop Montreal has yielded sessions with Karkwa and also with Diamond Rings. Karkwa are at Lee’s Palace on March 5.

Monday has a feature on Dan Mangan.

The Guardian, Winnipeg Free Press and Pitchfork talk to Feist about her Look At What The Light Did Now documentary, out today on DVD.

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Through The Front Door

Review of Vetiver's Tight Knit and giveaway

Photo By Alissa AndersonAlissa AndersonIf you’re looking to establish your country-rock credentials, you could do far worse than get tapped to be the backing band for once-and-future Jayhawk Gary Louris on his solo ventures. And it was in that role that San Francisco-based outfit Vetiver came to the attention of many in 2008, even though they were hardly wet behind the ears newcomers, with their 2009 release Tight Knit their fourth long-player.

But if you come to the Vetiverse – their own clever term, not mine – via the Louris connection, you might be a little surprised as their own creative compass tilts in a somewhat different direction from their sometime bandleader’s. Tight Knit could loosely be filed under country but not all under rock – instead, it’s a soft and billowy collection of folk-pop tunes that might have roots in ’70s AM if it were solid enough to have roots. It drifts prettily along, led by Andy Cabic’s gentle vocals and tinged with a dizzy psychedelia of the sort you might experience not by taking illicit pharmaceuticals but by rolling down a tall hill on a sunny day. Though released back in the cold days of February, Tight Knit could be the soundtrack for many a lazy Summer’s afternoon.

Vetiver are currently taking their show on the road and will stopping in at the Horseshoe next Friday, May 15, and courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got a couple pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to visit the Vetiverse” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Get that in to me before midnight, May 13.

The Winston-Salem Journal has an interview with Andy Cabic.

MP3: Vetiver – “Everyday”
Video: Vetiver – “Everyday”
MySpace: Vetiver

Billboard has had a listen to Wilco’s next album Wilco (The Album) in advance of its June 30 release and reports its findings. And Paste has info on the $50,000 lawsuit that former Wilco member Jay Bennett has brought against the band for allegedly unpaid royalties.

Pitchfork talks to James Mercer of The Shins about their impending return, with a new self-released album and new lineup. Well not that impending – the record probably won’t be out till next year.

Song, By Toad interviews Jason Lytle, whose solo debut Yours Truly, The Commuter may not be out until May 19 but is currently available to stream at NPR.

Stream: Jason Lytle / Yours Truly, The Commuter

New York Magazine and The New Yorker both devote features to Grizzly Bear, whose Veckatimest will be released on May 26 and who will play the Phoenix on June 5.

Tickets for the free Malajube show at Lee’s June 12 are now available at Soundscapes – probably Rotate, too.

Grand Archives will release their second album Keep in Mind Frankenstein on September 8.

The Tripwire asks five questions of M Ward. The Visalia Times-Delta asks as many questions as it wants.

Blurt talks to Patterson Hood about goings-on in camp Drive-By Trucker, including a rarities and b-side collection due out later this year.

A lifetime (if you’re eight years old) since the release of their first album, Elephant 6 survivors The Circulatory System will return with Signal Morning on August 4.

R.E.M.’s Reckoning will be getting the deluxe, double-disc reissue on June 23 with the original album getting a sonic buff and the package coming with a bonus live disc recorded in Chicago in 1984. Both Murmur and Reckoning will be released on 180-gram vinyl on that date as well.

So playing V fest-spotter has become something of a hobby of mine the last little while, trying to unearth info about the where, when and who with the festivals this year. Well the first official announcement came yesterday, and it was not what I’d expected. There’ll be five V Fests across Canada this year – British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Montreal and Nova Scotia – and based on who they’ve rounded up for Montreal next month, it’ll be interesting to see how things shape up if nothing else. I will give them this much – no one will be complaining about the same acts playing that fest as all the others in North America, nor will you be hearing about the indie/classic rock hegemony of music festival lineups. You may hear complaining about other things, but not those. There’s still no hint of when the Toron- sorry, ONTARIO lineup will be unveiled, or any of the others, but rest assured as they are, I’ll be there. And more than likely, incredulous. JAM has a bit of an interview with one of the Virgin PR people about the festivals.