Posts Tagged ‘Coast’

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

The Good News

The Mountain Goats find religion, testify about Life Of The World To Come

Photo By Chrissy PiperChrissy PiperThe Mountain Goats have revealed (revelated?) details of their next album and rather than utilize more of his typically cryptic or obscure song titles, John Darnielle has instead opted to name all twelve songs on The Life Of The World To Come after Bible verses. Whether these are meant as shorthand for each song’s real, divinely-inspired title or if he’s just drawing thematic parallels is unclear, but what’s for certain is that the title of the first released MP3, linked below, is easier to say (and type) than “So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken” (that’s the referenced verse, I looked it up online. I’m not quoting scripture from memory, goodness no).

In a posting announcing the new record on their website announcing the new album, along with production details and the October 6 release date, Darnielle denies he’s found religion in any conventional sense or is planning on railing against it with the new record, but will expound more on how it has inspired the new record in the near future. He’s also just announced a slew of Fall dates which will have Final Fantasy, who did string arrangements on the new record, as support. There’s no local date as yet – perhaps because Final Fantasy would possibly be a larger draw in his hometown than the headliner, and that’s just awkward. But I’m sure the Goats will be up this way to spread their gospel sooner or later so in the meantime, just enjoy the new track and give praise to whatever or whomever you choose that there’s a new Mountain Goats record en route. Hallelujah!

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Genesis 3:23”

My copy of the book has yet to move to the top of my to-read queue and my copy of the album is in a USPS/Canada Post mailbag somewhere so I can’t talk too much about either of Joe Pernice’s new project It Feels So Good When I Stop but will hope to be all caught up before his show at the Dakota Tavern on September 24. In the meantime, read up on it with feature pieces on Joe at The Patriot Ledger, Blurt, The Boston Globe, Things I’d Rather Be Doing, The Boston Herald, Metro, The New York Post and The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Ohbijou are this month’s cover story in Exclaim and the band have announced Fall cross-Canada tour but if you think that there’s not going to be a hometown show either in that three day gap between Ottawa and Sudbury or when the whole thing’s over in late November, you’re taking crazy pills.

Ca Va Cool has an interview with the The Rural Alberta Advantage and Laundromatinee has a video feature on the band. By all accounts, last week’s show at the Horseshoe was pretty special – can’t wait to see them again, albeit in what’s probably an absurdly large stage, at V Fest on August 29.

Daytrotter has posted up a session with The Coast. They’re at the Horseshoe on Thursday night.

Spinner has the next installment in the Reverie Sound Revue blog tour, a performance of “The Leisure Lost”.

Check out the new video from Mew taken from No More Stories, out August 25. They’ll be at V Fest on August 30.

Video: Mew – “Introducing Palace Players”

Pitchfork has premiered the first MP3 from The Raveonettes, whose In And Out Of Control is due October 6 and who will be at the Phoenix on October 22.

MP3: The Raveonettes – “Suicide”

The Manic Street Preachers’ first North American tour in a decade, including an October 4 date at the Phoenix, will indeed be in support of a domestic release – the excellent Journal For Plague Lovers will be out in North America on September 15.

Charlotte Hatherley’s new album New Worlds has been given a UK release date of October 19 – hoping the North American release will be October 20 and those long-ago promises of promotion and touring on this side of the Atlantic still hold. There’s an interview with Hatherley at Spoonfed.

MP3: Charlotte Hatherley – “Colours”

Hatherley’s sometimes-day job Bat For Lashes have released a new vide from Two Suns. Filter also has a feature interview with Natasha Khan.

Video: Bat For Lashes – “Sleep Alone”

Another Mercury prize nominee with a new video is Florence & The Machine. Someone certainly got themselves a production budget.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Drumming Song”

NOW has an interview with La Roux, who is also included in this “Brit Pop Girls” feature at Interview along with Little Boots and Ladyhawke.

Paper talks to Polly Scattergood.

Friday, February 6th, 2009


Bruce Peninsula at Soundscapes in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangPlease understand, as much as I like them, I have no desire to make write-ups on Bruce Peninsula a weekly feature. However, their in-store performance at Soundscapes on Wednesday night to mark the release of A Mountain Is A Mouth merited a little more than cursory, “hey Bruce Peninsula played an in-store it was great let’s see what else is going on”.

Typically, in-stores involve a minimal setup – say acoustic guitar and mic into a PA – and a handful of songs, hopefully just enough to entice folks to buy a CD or attend a concert. And Bruce Peninsula did indeed invite the packed store to buy their album – cannily, the band set up across the width of the entire store and thus prevented anyone from being able to buy a CD from any other local independent artist – or a ticket to their February 22 show at the Polish Combatants Hall, but as far as the performance went there were no half-measures. The full band was in attendance – 10 members strong, though some different faces from when I saw them last – and they came equipped with electric guitars and drums (though just individual drums rather than full kits), intent on delivering almost a complete and proper show and demonstrating for those who hadn’t seen them before, the full power of the Bruce Peninsula live experience.

Their set ran almost 40 minutes, culminating in a stunning double-take of “Weave Myself A Dress” – double because it was being filmed for the Camera Music series on – and to thank the audience for sitting through the same song twice (though really, we should have been thanking them) the band moved the drums into the middle of the audience for a rousing, pounding finale of “Crabapples”. A headshakingly good performance – isn’t it great/scary when bands you already expect the world from still manage to raise the bar? And I promise this’ll be the last BP-led post until their February 22 show. Unless it’s not. and Metro have brief interviews with members of the band.

Photos: Bruce Peninsula @ Soundscapes – February 4, 2009
MP3: Bruce Peninsula – “Crabapples”
MySpace: Bruce Peninsula

Also at’s Camera Music – an episode with Ohbijou, who will release Beacons in April and play the Opera House on April 13.

And to finish off the live video component of the post, head over to Baeble Music to see footage from Constantines’ show in Brooklyn last December. They’re at the Phoenix on March 31 and April 1.

The Toronto Star, National Post and Exclaim talk to Jenn Grant, who just released her sophomore album Echoes this week and will play the Mod Club on next Thursday, February 12.

Glasswerk and Edinburgh News introduce The Coast to the UK, where the band are kicking off a tour this weekend. They’ll be back in town for a homecoming show at the Horseshoe on February 28 alongside The Diableros and Oh No Forest Fires.

PopMatters chats with AC Newman, booked in at Lee’s Palace for March 11.

Austin Town Hall talks to Brendan Canning and Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene, while The Georgia Straight talks to Spearin about his solo work with The Happiness Project, who have two dates at the Music Gallery on March 11 and 12.

The Vancouver Sun profiles Angela Desveaux, whose CMW showcase will find her at the Gladstone on Thursday, March 12.

Wireless Bollinger interviews Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers. Lost Channels is out March 31 and they play the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 25.

Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon makes a playlist for taking the train around Europe for The Calgary Herald and are the subject of a feature at The Georgia Straight.

Paste has details on the John Doe/Sadies collaboration Country Club, due out April 14.

Collider has a video interview with Brandon Routh (aka evil ex-boyfriend #3 Todd Ingram) wherein he says that the film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim, set to begin filming here in Toronto next month, will be a combination of live-action and animation. The penultimate volume of the series – Scott Pilgrim Vs The Universe – came out yesterday and I expect the final book will be timed to come out at the same time as the film next year, whenever that’ll be. I think one of the (many) reasons I love the series is that it creates a mythological Toronto which for me, at least, has never existed in any medium. And the mythology around cities is one of the reasons I love places like New York and London so much. The fact that our developing mythology includes killer robots and subspace expressways is just so much the better. And anyone who wants to set up field trips to stalk the production crews around the city, get in touch. No, I’m not kidding.

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Like A Hitman, Like A Dancer

Review and giveaway of A.C. Newman's Get Guilty

Photo By Caleb BuyersCaleb BuyersLet’s be honest, there’s not a lot of reason for there to be a Carl Newman solo record. The man is the chief songwriter in The New Pornographers, an outfit that turns out material at a pretty decent rate all things considered, and it’s not as though he has a metal jones to itch that wouldn’t work in the context of the Pornographers – when he puts on the AC Newman hat, he’s still the consummate popsmith.

But the whys and wherefores are his business – for the rest of us, there’s no sense in looking a gift horse in the mouth. And in this case, that gift is entitled Get Guilty. Like 2004’s The Slow Wonder, any of the songs on Guilty could have easily appeared on a Pornographers record but unlike that record, which seemed to deliberately apply a more traditional rock band ethos to the proceedings, Guilty seems more willing to incorporate the more ornate flourishes that you’d associate with a proper Pornographers release.

That said, without having to balance out the large cast of players in the Pornographers, the AC Newman experience is leaner and punchier – more of a raiding party than the mothership of the New Pornographers. And for those wondering where all the fast songs that weren’t on Challengers went, well, at least some of them are here – “Like A Hitman, Like A Dancer” and “The Palace At 4AM” have a rhythmic drive and energy that hasn’t really been there on the last couple Pornographer records. Of course, whether they’d have fit is another discussion altogether – the important things is that they’re here now and they’re excellent, as is pretty much all of Guilty.

Get Guilty is out today, and courtesy of Last Gang Records, I’ve got copies on CD to give away to five lucky Canadians (sorry Americans, you’ll have to console yourselves today with a new president). To enter, leave me a comment below telling me something you’re guilty of and make sure your email is there, spam-proofed as need be, so I can contact you. Contest closes at midnight, January 26. Also remember that AC Newman are heading out on tour in February, including a March 11 date at Lee’s Palace in Toronto.

NPR has a short interview with Newman, Magnet a longer one, and Allmusic has traced out his musical history from the early days with Superconductor through to the present. Update: Stereogum has another live session video from Newman to follow up the one premiered at Pitchfork last week. Update 2: The whole album is streaming at Spinner.

MP3: AC Newman – “There Are Maybe Ten Or Twelve”
MP3: AC Newman – “Submarines Of Stockholm”
Stream: AC Newman / Get Guilty
MySpace: AC Newman

Co-Pornographer Neko Case will release Middle Cyclones on March 3 and blow into town for two dates at Trinity-St Paul’s on April 17 and 18. Tickets for each of those shows are $35.50.

MP3: Neko Case – “People Got A Lotta Nerve”

And Neko’s ex-Boyfriends The Sadies will be Jon Langford’s band when he plays the Horseshoe on February 27 – tickets are $12.50 and that gets you not one but TWO sets of country rocking goodness.

Not your speed but still seeking something to do that night? The Music Tapes, featuring ex-Neutral Milk Hotelier Julian Koster, will be at Lee’s Palace that same night in support of last year’s Get Guilty. Like 2004’s Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes. Tickets also $12.50.

MP3: The Music Tapes – “Majesty”
Video: The Music Tapes – “Majesty”
Video: The Music Tapes – “Ministry Of Longitude”

There’ll be a lovely little show taking place at The Central in Mirvish Village next Thursday night, January 29, featuring the songwriters from a few of Toronto’s finest bands in a solo and acoustic setting – Casey Mecija of Ohbijou, Kat Burns of Forest City Lovers, Jonas Bonnetta of Evening Hymns and Gavin Gardiner of The Wooden Sky. Admission is pay-what-you-can.

The Coast are heading over to the UK for some dates next month and Clash has not only conducted a feature interview with the the Toronto boys, but set up a fancy little microsite about the band. And they’re making available to download a Born Ruffians remix of “All The Boys” from Expatriate.

MP3: The Coast – “All The Boys” (Born Ruffians remix)

The schedule for Canadian Musicfest (why do I think I’m going to be the only one not calling it Canadian Music Week?) is partially up, and by partially I mean barely. But there’s still some good information on lineups now available, foremost those of the Chart-sponsored shows at the Horseshoe. And they’re kinda stacked. Just a little. Thursday, March 12 you’ve got Chad Van Gaalen, Gentleman Reg, Women, $100, The Lovely Feathers, The Delinquints and Quest For Fire. The Friday night bill will be led by Handsome Furs and also feature Human Highway, The Bicycles, Daniel Wesley, Dinosaur Bones, Hot Panda and The Schomberg Fair. And finally, Saturday will wrap things up with The Golden Dogs, Two Hours Traffic, Young Galaxy, Rebekah Higgs, The Hundreds And Thousands, Vancougar and Hexes & Ohs. Admission to these shows is via CMF wristbands and needless to say, get there early. Of course, once in you probably won’t be able to leave but really, why would you want to?

But if you do, there’s a few other dates and venues to note. Malajube, who will release Labyrinthes on February 10, are at the El Mocambo on March 12. That same night both Angela Desveaux and The Rural Alberta Advantage are at the Gladstone and 6 Day Riot are at Rancho Relaxo. On the Saturday, Basia Bulat and Herman Dune are at Lee’s Palace while The Ting Tings are at the Mod Club. Still more to come, obviously, but things look to be shaping up alright.

Joel Plaskett will play Massey Hall – yes, Massey Hall – on May 23. Tickets from $29.50 to $39.50.

BlogTO talks to the members of Bruce Peninsula, who have a string of local dates surrounding the February 3 release of A Mountain Is A Mouth. There’s a January 31 date at the Horseshoe, a February 4 in-store at Soundscapes and the February 22 album release party at the Polish Combatants Hall.

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Midnight Man

Photo by Frank Yang

Dear every other touring band in the world: we appreciate your interest, but your services are no longer required. We have Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

My ticket to their show at the Kool Haus had been sitting on my corkboard for something like six months, and with every listen to Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, to say nothing of my ongoing explorations of his back catalog, I couldn’t wait for Wednesday night to come fast enough. Cave’s live show has long been regarded as legendary and as a recent convert, I was most anxious to see the spectacle for myself.

The openers were Black Mountain, who were making the most of their visit to the 416 with two shows – three if you include their Polaris gala performance – in five days. As they took the stage, one helpful audience member called out, “please don’t suck!” – no worries there. Despite myriad opportunities, I’d never seen the Vancouver quintet live before and was quite handily impressed. Despite their sludgy, stoner-rock reputation they weren’t unnecessarily loud and displayed considerable musical nimbleness in delivering tracks from In The Future, highlighted by Stephen McBean’s guitar heroics and Amber Webber’s unearthly vocals. And it’s quite an endorsement that the full house of Cave devotees seemed to quite enjoy their set, sending them off with an enthusiastic “you guys were pretty good!”. Which they certainly were.

But on this night, the bar for performance would be set considerably higher than “pretty good”. With the Bad Seeds taking up every square foot of the expanded Kool Haus stage – and if I can make a comic geek joke, Warren Ellis looks an awful lot like Alan Moore – Cave bounded on stage and turned “Night Of The Lotus Eaters” from a relatively low-key, mood piece on album into a searing and sleazy opening salvo that would set the tone for the show. Cave, natty in a purple pinstripe suit, prowled and pounced around the stage looking like the mad preacher offspring of Mephisto and Elvis here to welcome the apocalypse and convince the audience that they should as well. By rights, the persona that Cave inhabits in song and on stage should come off as theatre but he inhabits it so bloody well that there is no questioning it.

Not all was fire and brimstone, though. If his demon-possessed orator wasn’t able to convince you to join his merry voyage of the damned, then with jacket doffed and extra shirt button undone, his seductive balladeer would surely seal the deal. Not that he needed to try that hard to get the crowd to follow him anywhere or even at all – judging from the many declarations of love from the audience, all returned by Cave of course, they were his from note one. Credit must also go to the Bad Seeds, an absolutely crack musical outfit capable of moving from anarchic skronk to elegiac beauty at the drop of the hat, but at the end of the day it’s about Cave, who is definitely one of the most charismatic performers I’ve ever seen.

The one hour, forty-five minute set was pretty much a perfect blend of old material and new, one third drawn from Lazarus and the rest from the entire breadth of his 25-year career. He even seemed to take requests, delivering an elegant “Ship Song” in response to a placard in the audience, though set lists from the rest of the tour implied that it’d have made an appearance anyways. But gestures like that, as well as designating a girl in the audience as “keeper of the towel” – as in the increasingly sweat-soaked implement that he and she tossed back and forth throughout the show – are what make Cave such an engaging frontman. Well, that and an incredible voice, presence, catalog of songs and mustache.

For the encore, Cave and company delivered the two lead tracks from the double-disc masterpiece Abbatoir Blues and The Lyre Of Orpheus, the former turned into a squall of punk rock anarchy and the latter a lurching bit of audience call-and-response, and as a show finale, a scorched earth “Stagger Lee”. Oh mama. So worth the wait.

With Cave’s entire catalog being remastered and reissued in expanded form, I’m waiting a bit before delving further into his works but having now gotten a taste of what awaits me beyond The Best Of and what I’ve already gotten – I just ordered up the Abbatoir Blues Tour set – I can’t wait. The Globe & Mail has an interview with Cave and there’s more joyous reports from Wednesday night’s congregation at eye, Exclaim!, The Toronto Sun and Chart.

Photos: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Black Mountain @ The Kool Haus – October 1, 2008
MP3: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Dig, Lazarus Dig!!!”
MP3: Black Mountain – “Tyrants”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Dig, Lazarus Dig!!!”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Night Of The Lotus Eaters”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “More News From Nowhere”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Midnight Man”
Video: Black Mountain – “Wucan”
MySpace: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
MySpace: Black Mountain

Oasis’ new record Dig Out Your Soul is currently streaming in its entirety over at the band’s MySpace. It’s out for reals on Tuesday. NME has a piece on Gold And Silver And Sunshine, the making-of doc that’s going to accompany the album in some form, and JAM has some more from Noel Gallagher on the infamous stage attack from last month. Speaking of which, the band have announced a North American tour in December… and curiously, there’s not Toronto date? I wonder why?

Stream: Oasis / Dig Out Your Soul

Radiohead have selected the winner of their “make a video for In Rainbows” contest and made it the official video for “Reckoner”. Which they’re also holding a remix contest.

Video: Radiohead – “Reckoner”

Dave Gedge of The Wedding Present talks about life in California to LiveDaily and reveals to The Georgia Straight that after recording El Rey with Steve Albini, they went back and re-recorded the whole of their debut George Best with him. The Wedding Present are at Lee’s Palace tonight and if you’re going, remember it’s an early show – doors 7:30, Dirty On Purpose at 8:15 and Wedding Present at 9:30 – all over by 11.

Filter discusses matters sartorial with Flight Of The Conchords.

The Secret Machines have offered up the first taste of their new, self-titled album, out October 14. They’re at Lee’s Palace on October 22.

MP3: The Secret Machines – “Atomic Heels”

The Denver Post talks to Oliver Ackerman of A Place To Bury Strangers.

Last seen opening up for The Dandy Warhols, Los Angeles’ Darker My Love are at the Horseshoe for their own show on November 30, tickets $8.50.

QRO interviews The Coast, who are also profiled by The Guardian.

Sloan’s Jay Ferguson chats with The Muse.

The Wilmington Star-News rightly acknowledges both parts of a kick-ass tour crossing the continent, talking to both Okkervil River’s Will Sheff and Crooked Fingers’ Eric Bachmann. The latter’s Fortune/Forfeit is out on Tuesday.

The Tripwire interviews Jose Gonzalez.

The Stranger stops being strangers with Silver Jew David Berman.

After ceasing publication in the real world this past Spring, No Depression is back as a newfangled website, and they’ve got a feature on Basia Bulat. Welcome back.

Earlier this week Pitchfork put together a listing of all the medium and major album releases still due in 2008. I also maintain such a calendar for my own purposes but less interesting than what they noted that I didn’t – a new Wheat album on November 11 and a Cat Power EP on December 9 that shows she’s still in covers girl mode, guess The Sun isn’t coming this year – was what is apparently not showing up this year after all. I don’t necessarily know if these would show up on the ‘Fork radar, but I had been anxiously awaiting First Love from Emmy The Great and Clinging To A Scheme from The Radio Dept, both of which had been originally targeted for a September release. Obviously that’s not happened. My fingers are crossed that at least one will surface before the year’s out, but more than likely their reserved spots in my year-end list will have to carry over to ’09.