Posts Tagged ‘CMJ’

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Bringing It Back Home

The Brother Kite at Lit, New York City – CMJ

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangNormally I try to cover stuff chronologically, but in summing up my time in New York City this past weekend, I’m going to jump around a little bit for the sake of grouping things together. And so I’ll start off at the end of Thursday night in the basement of a little club called Lit in the East Village.

Providence’s The Brother Kite would be well within their rights to ask me to stop coming to their gigs. In each of the three times I’ve now seen them play, their set was… marred by circumstances beyond anyone’s control. The first, last year at my Pop Montreal showcase, was a bit of a mess on too many levels to get into. The second at this year’s SxSW was significantly better but with singer Patrick Boutwell dealing with a cold, they still weren’t in top form. And this past Thursday night, at their CMJ showcase, their supposed headlining slot at the showcase for their label Clairecords appeared at real risk of being cut down to nothing because of every preceding act running long. It’s not my fault, I swear.

They were eventually given a truncated but still decent-length set with which they showcased both new material from the can’t-come-soon-enough follow-up to Waiting For The Time To Be Right alongside highlights from that utter gem of a record (one-liner for those who haven’t heard it – Ride crossed with The Beach Boys, but better). The new stuff sounded good – similar enough to the old in the ways that matter but also exploring enough new ground to not be a retread – but I still loved hearing the Time songs the most. And considering they were playing once again in less than optimal conditions – they hardly got any soundcheck despite having a decidedly complex equipment setup – they once again delivered a superb performance. I can’t imagine how good they’d sound if they were playing under optimal conditions. Though this is a band that gives new meaning to the phrase “flying under the radar”, it’s certainly not for lack of ability – their songwriting and performance both live and on record are sublime.

The band have been documenting the recording of the new record over at their MySpace blog.

Photos: The Brother Kite @ Lit, New York City – October 23, 2008
MP3: The Brother Kite – “Get On, Me”
MP3: The Brother Kite – “I’m Not The Only One”
Video: The Brother Kite – “I’m Not The Only One”
MySpace: The Brother Kite

Yuki Chikudate of Asobi Seksu tells The Georgia Straight she doesn’t buy into the idea of an ongoing shoegaze revival. Their new album Hush will surely do nothing to propagate that idea when it’s released in February.

The Montreal Gazette, JAM and BlogTO converse with Murray Lightburn of The Dears. While over at This Is Fake DIY, the band’s other/better half Natalia Yanchak ponders the meaning(lessness) of labels.

R.E.M. have a new video.

Video: R.E.M. – “Until The Day Is Done”

Sweden’s Love Is All, on the cusp of releasing A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night on November 11, have padded out their tour dates and will now be hitting the Horseshoe on December 11, tickets $11.50.

MP3: Love Is All – “Wishing Well”
Video: Love Is All – “Wishing Well”

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Get Outta Town!

Photo ByLibi PedderSo – I’m currently in a weird sort of position where after a fairly hectic few weeks of wholly bloggable stuff, I’ve finally gotten a chance to take a breath and have realized that I have nothing to blog about. Which is not to say that there’s nothing worthwhile happening in music, just that I’ve not had the chance to listen to anything in the last while sufficiently that I feel compelled to write about it nor is anything especially newsworthy happening that I can run with (besides Chinese Democracy! November 23!).

And so, instead, I’ll tread water for a day and look ahead to next week, when I jet off to New York City for CMJ though not for CMJ. As previously mentioned, I am going to witness the North American debut of Lucky Soul, which just happens to be part of the CMJ Music Marathon. You may recall that their retro-pop-tacular debut The Great Unwanted was one of my top albums of last year and even a year and a half later, it remains an absolute delight. And considering how difficult it is for them to cross the pond, this is an opportunity not to be missed. They’re actually playing two shows – the official showcase on the 23rd at what is apparently a brand new venue called The Studio At Webster Hall and then a headlining show of their own the following evening at Joe’s Pub as presented by Music Snobbery. And, around these two must-see shows I’m hoping to squeeze in a few more – currently on the calendar I’ve got The Brother Kite at Lit on the 23rd (immediately following Lucky Soul’s show a few blocks away) and then Emmy The Great is apparently doing a day show of some sort at The Delancey on the Saturday.

If I can fit all that in, I will declare the weekend to be a triumph. Anything on top of that is gravy. I’m also hoping to squeeze in a bit of touristing whilst I’m there – the last time I was in New York a couple years back, I managed to hit most areas in Manhattan except for Soho and the Lower East Side. This time, excepting a midtown pilgrimage to B&H, I don’t expect to leave that area. Anything particularly noteworthy to see around there? This is probably the last trip of any sort I’m taking for a good long while, probably till SxSW in March, so I’d like to make the most of it.

MP3: Lucky Soul – “The Great Unwanted”
Video: Lucky Soul – “Lips Are Unhappy”
Video: Lucky Soul – “My Brittle Heart”
Video: Lucky Soul – “Add Your Light To Mine, Baby”
MySpace: Lucky Soul

Ex-Pipette Rosay – now just Rose Elinor Dougall – has made her first single as a solo artist available for grabsies. It’ll be released as an ultra-limited 7″ single on December 8. The Von Pip Musical Express has an interview with Dougall about going solo. Oh, and the new lineup of the Pipettes look a little like this.

MP3: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Another Version Of Pop Song”

Paste talks reunion with Simon Jones of The Verve. I finally picked up a copy of Forth this weekend – used, natch – and to my surprise it’s not nearly as weak as I’d been led to believe. Not a classic by any stretch and it definitely has a potent case of the meanders, but still pretty listenable if in a wallpaper-y way. It doesn’t hurt my ears, though if I never ever hear the phrase “A latte, double shot” used in a song lyric again, it’ll be too soon.

The Quietus considers a recent Jarvis Cocker lecture on the importance of songwriting and comes up with a list of the 20 worst lyrics ever committed to, um, voice? And not even Dylan or Morrissey escape unscathed.

Billy Bragg sings Woody Guthrie to a lobster puppet for the CBC at the ANTI blog. Why ask why?

NME reports that Franz Ferdinand will release their third album Tonight on January 27.

The Killers are at Massey Hall on November 18.

Drowned In Sound talks to Murray Lightburn of The Dears about the difficult birth of Missiles, out next Tuesday. And I should clarify something that was pointed out to me after I talked about the record a few weeks back – though the previous lineup of the band is obviously now dissolved, some of them did play on the new record. From the sounds of the interview, probably Patrick Krief, now plying his trade as Black Diamond Bay and, incidentally, playing a gig at the Annex Wreck Room tonight.

MP3: Patrick Krief – “Worries Are Over”

Centro-Matic have released a new video from the Dual Hawks double-record. Will Johnson is in town tonight at Lee’s Palace as a pinch-hitter guitarist in The New Year.

Video: Centro-Matic – “Rat Patrol & DJs”

As they’ve done the past few years, the Toronto Public Library is injecting some hot rock into the stacks with their Make Some Noise program, basically an invitation to turn a library – in this case the North York Central branch – into a rock venue. On November 15, they’ll host a free show featuring Slim Twig, Masia One, Winter Gloves and Gentleman Reg and according to Soundscapes, there’ll be some workshops the following week covering topics such as breaking into the music business and DIY show booking. Tickets for the show are available now, first-come first-serve at Soundscapes and certain Toronto Public Library branches. Details here.