Posts Tagged ‘Cure’

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Welcome to My World

Depeche Mode announce North American tour to show off new album, sunglasses

Photo via FacebookFacebookMost bands of a certain vintage these days have at least one of a break-up, extended hiatus, reunion, core lineup turnover, artistic irrelevance, diminishing fanbase, or becoming a nostalgia act in their narrative. Depeche Mode, however, largely bucks that trend. At it – it being one of the most influential electronic/alternative bands going – for more than three decades now, their output may have slowed a bit following their opening pace of six albums in seven years, but since 1987’s massive Music For The Masses, they’ve kept a remarkably steady cycle of releasing a new record every three or four years – all critically well-received – with attendant world tours of impressively consistent (large) scale. And the core trio of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher has stayed intact since the departure of Alan Wilder in 1995.

All of which is to say that no one should be at all surprised that following last Autumn’s announcement of their thirteenth studio album Delta Machine, due out March 26, and corresponding Spring European dates, that there would be a North American tour to follow in the Fall. Not that fans shouldn’t be excited that the band are returning for their first dates on this side of the pond since 2009; Pitchfork has the full itinerary, which includes a return to the Molson Amphitheatre on September 1. Ticketing info is appropriately confusing, but even though the public onsale is officially April 4, there is a plethora of presale options to try and make sense of. So I leave you to that.

Exclaim talks to Andy Fletcher and Billboard to Dave Gahan about the new record, and the first single has a video to go with it.

Video: Depeche Mode – “Heaven”

If I’d waited a few days to post my writeup of Rachel Zeffira’s debut album The Deserters – out today – then I could have included the fact that she’ll be playing a show at The Drake Underground on May 2, tickets $15.50, but no – now I have to make a separate item for it. Alas.

Video: Rachel Zeffira – “The Deserters”

London-based dramatists The Veils have announced a North American tour in support of their new record Time Stays, We Go, due out on April 23. Look for them at The Drake Underground on May 4, tickets $15.

MP3: The Veils – “The Wishbone”
Stream: The Veils – “Through The Deep Dark Wood”

Having reaped the benefits of being on one of the most stacked buzz bills of the year a couple weeks ago with Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Wampire, Los Angeles’ Foxygen have already made a return date in support of their debut We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic – they’re at Wrongbar again on May 9. The Oklahoman has a feature piece.

MP3: Foxygen – “Waitin’ 4 U”

Flying Lotus has announced another leg of touring behind last year’s Until The Quiet Comes; see him at The Sound Academy on May 15. Tickets for that will run $24.

MP3: Flying Lotus – “Between Friends”
MP3: Flying Lotus – “Such A Square”

While the “TBA” Of Monsters & Men date revealed earlier this month clearly hinted at being part of something bigger, it didn’t tip off that they’d be the sole international act on the bill for the inaugural Festival, happening May 25 at Echo Beach. They’ll co-headline with The Sam Roberts Band, and be joined by Kathleen Edwards, Sloan, and a pile more CBC-approved Canadian artists; your tax dollars at work! Tickets are $59.50 and go on sale Saturday. So continue to complain, if you will, about the absence of a top-tier music festival in the GTA but don’t say you don’t have ample options for standing around all day in the sun watching a bunch of bands play short sets.

MP3: Of Monsters & Men – “Little Talks”
MP3: Sloan – “The Answer Was You”
Video: Sam Roberts – “Bridge To Nowhere”
Video: Kathleen Edwards – “Chameleon/Comedian”

Jose Gonzalez-led Swedes Junip have announced a North American tour in support of their self-titled new record, due out April 22. Look for them at The Great Hall on June 10, tickets $16.50. The first single from the record is also now available to download courtesy of Boing Boing.

MP3: Junip – “Line Of Fire”

That same night – June 10, if you don’t read these posts sequentially – San Francisco dance-punk unpronounceables !!! will be down the street at The Horseshoe, tickets also $16.50. They were here last July, yes, but this time they’ll have a new record in the wonderfully-titled Thr!!!er to push; it’s out April 30.

MP3: !!! – “Hello? Is This Thing On?”

If you were wondering who the big hip-hop NXNE closing act this year was going to be, wonder no more – Big Boi will play the free, Sunday night show at Yonge-Dundas Square on June 16 this year as part of his “Shoes For Running” tour with Killer Mike.

MP3: Killer Mike – “Go!”
Video: Big Boi – “In The A”

Alabama Shakes have done gone put together a Summer tour which brings them to Echo Beach on June 20, tickets for which are $37.50 in advance.

MP3: Alabama Shakes – “You Ain’t Alone”
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”

And in this week’s Toronto Urban Roots Fest lineup additions, we’ve got Kurt Vile & The Violators, with Vile’s new record Walkin’ On A Pretty Daze due out April 9. Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys in support of last year’s Big Station, The Felice Brothers still working 2011’s Celebration, Florida, and our very own Sadies, because it’s not physically possible to erect a stage anywhere in the 416 without The Sadies showing up to play it within 48 hours. It’s like boxes and cats. And with that, we’ve got almost 2/3 of the complete lineup announced – theoretically enough to convince people to buy a four-day pass? Those go on sale this Thursday at 1PM, with general admission passes going for $99.50 and VIP passes $299.50.

MP3: Kurt Vile – “In My Time”
MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”
Video: The Felice Brothers – “Celebration, Florida”
Video: Alejandro Escovedo – “Sally Was A Cop” (live)

If you were one of those disappointed by the abrupt cancellation of Animal Collective’s show at The Danforth Music Hall last Saturday night – attributed to a “sudden illness” that also claimed the next four shows, know that a make-up date has already been announced – your tickets are good for the new show on July 9, same venue, and if you can’t make it you can get a refund at the point of purchase.

MP3: Animal Collective – “Peacebone”
MP3: Animal Collective – “Water Curses”

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Montreal’s Osheaga announced this year’s lineup last night, both for Torontonians who might want to make the road trip up the 401 the weekend of August 2 to 4 for Canada’s only top-tier outdoor festival, and for people engaged in the noble sport of Lollapalooza-spotting, since the two fests traditionally share a goodly percentage of their lineups. Headlining this year are The Cure and Mumford & Sons, New Order, and Phoenix, followed by a solid lineup of usual suspects for the season. Some of the acts are already making an area stop at The Grove Fest in Niagara-On-The-Lake on August 3, but I’m hoping some of the others have a Toronto date on their itinerary between Montreal and Chicago. The Cure, in particular, I’ve never seen live and I wouldn’t mind getting the opportunity to rectify that – I expect a Molson Amphitheatre date would make sense?

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

"Young Americans"

The Cure covers David Bowie

Photo via Ten Man RecordsTen Man RecordsToday is David Bowie’s 65th birthday; traditionally, this would be the age where he could officially retire from the workaday world and spend his golden years tending to his garden and doing the daily crossword. Of course, one of the perks of being rock music’s most influential artists is that you can take early retirement and that’s what Mr. Jones has done since approximately 2005, making only sporadic guest appearances on others’ records and certainly not doing anything of his own – his final release of new material is almost a decade old, 2003’s Heathen Reality. And if this does turn out to be all he plans to do for the rest of his career, well he’s earned it.

Robert Smith has threatened to retire The Cure several times in the past, but no one really believes him anymore. But still, they’re now over three years removed from their last release of new material – 2008’s 4:13 Dream – and have of late been concentrating on revisiting their sizeable legacy, performing their first few albums live in their entirety and reuniting with former members Roger O’Donnell and Laurence Tolhurst. A month ago they released the live double-disc set Bestival Live 2011, which captured their headlining performance of the English festival last Summer and later this year, they will be inducted into last year they were nominated for entry into the Rock’N’Roll Hall Of Fame.

This studio cover by The Cure of David Bowie’s “Young Americans” is no spring chicken itself and a touch ironic considering that neither coverer or coveree is either young or America; it dates back to a 1995 compilation for London radio station XFM.

MP3: The Cure – “Young Americans”
Video: David Bowie – “Young Americans” (live on The Dick Cavett Show 1974)

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

"In Between Days"

Superchunk covers The Cure

Photo via AV ClubAV ClubThis week’s selection again comes from that treasure trove of people-doing-other-people-but-not-in-that-way-you-sicko goodness that is the AV Club Undercover. One of the things I liked about this series, besides everything, is that they didn’t only have it set up so that is was the new guard covering the old guard, but got a couple of the latter in to tackle other artists’ material as well.

So when the back with a vengeance Superchunk got their turn in the studio – and even though their own “Detroit Has A Skyline” was still in play, if they felt like not being sporting – they reached back another generation and opted to take on The Cure. And not one of their broodier numbers, though that’d have been interesting to hear, but the 1985 single which would serve as the blueprint for most of The Cure’s unabashed pop singles and biggest hits. Mac McCaughan’s voice is about as opposite from Robert Smith’s as you’re going to find, but otherwise the ‘Chunk pay pretty faithful service to The Cure in their take.

Superchunk’s first record in almost a decade, Majesty Shredding, gives the band reason to return to Toronto for the first time in forever this week with an in-store at Sonic Boom on Thursday, December 9 at 3PM in advance of their show opening up for Broken Social Scene at the Sound Academy that evening. The Cure haven’t put out a new record since 2008’s 4:13 Dream but their classic Disintegration was given a three-disc reissue this year so they’ve not been up to nothing, and Smith has promised more archival releases in the near future. And he’s also stopped saying each record/tour is going to be their last, so there’s that.

The Twin Cities welcome Superchunk back with a studio session at MPR and an extensive interview with McCaughan at Minneapolis City Pages.

MP3: Superchunk – “In Between Days”
Video: Superchunk – “In Between Days”
Video: The Cure – “In Between Days”

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

What You Know

Two Door Cinema Club and Bad Veins at Wrongbar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangNear as I can tell, there’s no great narrative that explains why or how Two Door Cinema Club’s sold-out show at Wrongbar earlier this week became the hottest show in town, with tickets in huge demand and scalpers having apparently missed the boat entirely. There’s been no soundtrack appearance, no ad placement, no celebrity scandal, nothing that could explain why people were lined up hours in advance of doors to see the Northern Irish trio (quartet live) except that, well, they liked the songs from their debut album Tourist History. Which is reasonable.

Not that folks had necessarily intended to line up for hours. The quoted door and set times proved to be completely wrong, but as it turned out, with good explanation – Miami’s MillionYoung, who was supposed to open things up, had all their gear stolen in Montreal the night before (really, Montreal? Again?) and consequently had to cancel, throwing the evening’s schedule into disarray. The way it all shook out, doors opened an hour later than planned – thankfully the weather was nice out – and the sole support act, Cincinnati’s Bad Veins, rolled out a little after 9.

As the duo pointed out early, it was their first time playing in Toronto though it wasn’t their first time here – they had already crossed the border last Summer en route to a date at the El Mocambo when headliner Now Now Every Children’s van self-destructed and the gig had to be canceled at the last minute. This I know because I was one of a handful of people standing around outside a shuttered ElMo that evening, wondering what the what. The delay may have proved to be a blessing, though, as they can now say they made their Toronto debut in front of a packed house instead of an empty one. And while the duo’s aesthetic might have appeared junk-store – drums and guitar were handled live, but additional backing tracks were run off a reel-to-reel analog tape recorder and singer Ben Davis often sang through an old telephone handset (and through the earpiece, no less) – their songs were stadium-sized, all heart on sleeve emotional and built on big choruses. I had forgotten that I actually quite liked their 2009 self-titled debut, but their set more than reminded me not only that I did, but why.

For Two Door Cinema Club, this show marked the finale of a two-week tour that saw them criss-cross the continent and a peak to the buzz that they’d been steadily building along the trek. And really, their appeal isn’t hard to understand – it’s upbeat, hooky, danceable guitar pop delivered by young men with accents. It’s not especially deep or rich in variety – the musical equivalent of empty calories – but it is fun and when the whole room is bouncing up and down and singing along, you’d have to be an exceptionally determined stick in the mud to not play along. With just the one album clocking in at a touch over half an hour, their set list was predictable with the whole of Tourist History being aired along with three non-album tracks. All were played tightly and nearly note-perfect to the recorded versions, but theirs is not the sort of pop with a lot of room for side trips or on-the-fly reinterpretations; it’s meant to be delivered fast and fun and to keep the kids moving. Countless bands have made it work for them in the past, countless more will do so in the future. For now, however, the moment appears to belong to Two Door Cinema Club.

Paste declares Two Door Cinema Club amongst their “best of what’s next”; after a Summer of European touring, they’ll be back in North American in the Fall – expect another and larger Toronto date in October-ish. Bad Veins will be back in town sooner than that on June 15 at The Phoenix, opening for Thrice.

Photos: Two Door Cinema Club, Bad Veins @ Wrongbar – May 17, 2010
MP3: Two Door Cinema Club – “I Can Talk”
MP3: Two Door Cinema Club – “Something Good Can Work”
MP3: Bad Veins – “Gold & Warm”
MP3: Bad Veins – “Go Home”
Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “I Can Talk”
Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Undercover Martyn”
Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Something Good Can Work”
Video: Bad Veins – “Gold And Warm”
MySpace: Two Door Cinema Club
MySpace: Bad Veins

State talks to Kele about his solo debut The Boxer, due out June 21. He plays the Mod Club on July 29.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of yet another Joy Formidable show from New York, this one from the Mercury Lounge on May 10.

The Twilight Sad will release a new EP on July 26 entitled The Wrong Side Of The Car; details at Clash. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 26.

MPR is streaming a studio session with Frightened Rabbit.

Filter and The Atlantic have feature pieces on Laura Marling.

Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine talks to BBC6 about how her second album is shaping up. But before that, a new and final video from her first album.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Cosmic Love”

Rose Elinor Dougall has also put out a new video and her debut album Without Why has finally been given a release date – it will be out on August 30.

Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Find Me Out”

Patrick Wolf has reported via blog that work is complete on his new record The Conqueror and it will be coming out on a new subsidiary of Mercury Records later this year, thus returning the Wolf to the major label fold. Here’s hoping it turns out to be a more enjoyable experience than last time…

Le Blogotheque scores a Take-Away Show with Echo & The Bunnymen. The song they convince Mac to play for them? One guess.

To accompany the deluxe reissue of Disintegration on June 8 in bonus-laden triple CD or bonus-less double LP form, The Cure have set up a minisite on which they’re streaming 20 live and unreleased tracks from the era which are not included in the reissue. Hit up Slicing Up Eyeballs for details on the set, the site, and a way to save those streaming tracks for your very own.

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Birds Flew Backwards

Review of Doves' Kingdom Of Rust

Photo via doves.netdoves.netConsistency is no great fault, particularly when the standard that one rarely fails to meet is as high as it is for Britain’s Doves. For nearly a decade, since their 2000 debut Lost Souls, the trio has turned out an album of classic-sounding, widescreen, melancholic space-rock every few years, each of which manages to expand and build on that which came before to some degree, but never coming up with the watershed record, the game-changer, the quantum leap forward. Some might argue that Lost Souls was that record, one so fully-realized right out of the gate that we should be thankful they’ve managed to maintain that level of quality and to an extent, that’s true. Not one of their albums have been a misstep, each rich with equal parts yearning emotion, musical textures and fist-pumping anthemicism, but even so there’s a risk in feeling too familiar.

Their latest, Kingdom Of Rust, perhaps even despite their best efforts, feels just that familiar. To their credit, they do go out of their way to incorporate new influences into their sound – the motorik rhythms of “Jetstream”, the country-western gallop of the title track, the scorching psych-rock of “House Of Mirrors” – but by the time they’re done with it, they’ve been so effectively absorbed by the band’s own personality that the finished pieces still feel Mancunian grey and simply Doves-ish. On the plus side, being Doves-ish means there’s at least a couple of spectacular moments – in this case, the soaring “Winter Hill” is the album standout – and not really any glaring weak spots. But I can’t help feeling I’ve heard this all before.

There’d been some speculation before the record’s release that given the breakout year their compatriots in Elbow had in 2008, that this might be the year that another band of never-too-fashionable northerners got their due. I still hold out hope that that’ll happen someday, but I don’t think Kingdom Of Rust is the record to do it. It’s a good record and a fine addition to the Doves discography, successful at adding further depth an detail to the musical world that Doves have already created, but doesn’t extend its boundaries. It’s pretty much exactly the record that long-time fans were probably expecting, and sometimes what you’re expecting isn’t what you actually want.

PopMatters has an interview with Doves and NME TV has a chat with the band on video. Q gets the band to offer thoughts on each of their albums – Lost Souls, The Last Broadcast, Some Cities and Kingdom Of Rust. Doves are at the Kool Haus in Toronto on June 1.

Video: Doves – “Kingdom Of Rust”
MySpace: Doves

Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan counts down her five favourite albums to Spinner. She’s at the Mod Club on Saturday night for a sold-out show.

Shoegaze week continues at Drowned In Sound as they interview Neil Halstead of Slowdive and Mojave 3. They also salute Slowdive’s oeuvre.

Blurt also gets in on the shoegaze action, reporting that Chapterhouse’s 1991 debut Whirlpool is getting reissued next week with a few bonus tracks.

NME is offering a track from The Early Years for download, the band’s contribution to a compilation by UK shoegaze label Sonic Cathedral.

MP3: The Early Years – “Like A Suicide”

JAM Q&As Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke.

You can currently stream The Cure’s recent secret MySpace show in Los Angeles in its entirety over at their MySpace.

Franz Ferdinand will release a dub version of their latest album Tonight entitled Blood on June 1 – details at Billboard. They’re at the Kool Haus on May 4.

State has an interview with Carey Lander and The Village Voice with Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura, latest recipient of the Pitchfork “Best New Music” honour for My Maudlin Career. They’re at Lee’s Palace on June 27.

NOW profiles Adele, who is playing Massey Hall on April 29.

Paste gets to know Micachu & The Shapes.

Artrocker goes behind the scenes of Sky Larkin’s latest video for “Antibodies”. Their debut The Golden Spike was supposed to be out domestically in North America by now, but apparently “technical difficulties” are holding that up some. No idea what the problem is – the CDs they had in the UK turned out fine. They just need to ship a few boxes of those over here posthaste.

MPR welcomes Robyn Hitchcock to their studios for a session.

I remember when people were all excited about M83 FINALLY came to town for the first time… Now they’re back for their fourth show in a year. Kinda less special. Look for them at the Phoenix on July 17.

NxNE has revealed a few more of the names set to play the festival this June 18 through 20.

But I suppose the biggest reveal yesterday was the fact that Virgin Festival is indeed coming back to Ontario for a fourth year (and also to Calgary and BC, apparently)- but you’ll note I said Ontario and not Toronto. I already knew that this year’s edition wasn’t happening at the Toronto Islands, but I’d assumed that meant Downsview Park. Nope. Try Burl’s Creek between Barrie and Orillia, an hour north of the city. That’s right – August 29 and 30 way up in cottage country – first reported at Consequence Of Sound and confirmed by myself through folks who know. I suppose this is actually keeping in the V Fest tradition, after all the UK editions in Chelmsford and Staffordshire are hardly in the hearts of any burgeoning metropolises, but then the British have an established tradition of traveling to and camping out at outdoor festivals. Over here? Not so much. So whereas my attendance at the first three were gimmes – festival a 10 minute bike ride from home? sure! – this one is far from it. I’m not a camper by any definition so there’s a whole issue of lodging to be dealt with on top of the transportation – I have not-so-fond memories of sitting for hours in traffic on the 400 up to Molson Park way back in the day – and that’s not even mentioning the prospects of being devoured by insects and/or bears. I’m going to reserve final judgment until I see the actual lineup – which should be soon – but it’s going to have to be pretty damned impressive.