Posts Tagged ‘De La Soul’

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

NXNE Day Four

De La Soul, Kid Sister, The Phenomenal Handclap Band and more at NXNE

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSo when this run of NXNE reports began earlier this week, I dismissed last Wednesday’s claim of being “day one” of the festival for its general lack of options in programming. So what made Sunday, the final day of the fest and also with only a smattering of options on offer, worthy of being called “day four”? Well, the fact that I went. I never promised anyone consistency.

It was a one-stop evening, though, with only the Yonge-Dundas mainstage on the agenda. After the rock-heavy, anarchy-inducing antics of the previous night’s Stooges show, the focus for the last day turned to more urban sounds and a hip-hop heavy lineup. It had run throughout the day but I only got there in time to see Big Freedia, who was visiting from New Orleans preaching the gospel of something called “New Orleans Sissy Bounce”, which as far as I could tell mainly consisted of soundtracking the impressive ass-shaking of Freedia’s two backup dancers. This was not the sort of N’awlins culture I saw on Treme. Apparently the scheduling of so… graphic an act in the late afternoon offended at least a few people and yeah – it was probably horribly inappropriate, but maybe that’s why it was so great. Well, great for the first little bit. Then it got old and I went for dinner.

Photos: Big Freedia @ Yonge-Dundas Square – June 20, 2010
MP3: Big Freedia – “Gin In My System”
MySpace: Big Freedia

Foodstuffs were obtained in time to make it back for New York’s Phenomenal Handclap Band. I’d seen them at SxSW 2009 and mainly recall them practically falling off the tiny Peckerheads stage whilst trying get a disco vibe going on, only somewhat successfully. Since then, however, they’ve released their self-titled debut and graduated to bigger stages such as this one while honing their sound even further. From their opening instrumental jam, it was clear they were bringing the deep groove and dancing was not going to be negotiable. The disco influence was still omni-present, but the presence of funk, soul and classic rock moves kept them from being so easily categorized. With super-tight harmonies and musicianship, the Phenomenal Handclap Band brought the funk it was nigh impossible not to enjoy it, unless you hated the funk. And if that was the case, what the hell were you doing there?

Photos: The Phenomenal Handclap Band @ Yonge-Dundas Square – June 20, 2010
MP3: The Phenomenal Handclap Band – “15 to 20”
MP3: The Phenomenal Handclap Band – “You’ll Disappear”
Video: The Phenomenal Handclap Band – “Baby”
Video: The Phenomenal Handclap Band – “15 to 20”

We had boked Kanye protege Kid Sister for our Eastbound & Found show at SxSW this year, and while I didn’t catch her set properly, I did see some of it from afar and it was, to put it mildly, a party. A terrific rapper and, as she ably demonstrated a few times, a good singer as well, she came out with loads of energy and never let it flag, delivering one jam after another just keeping the party going strong. She would play again later that night at the festival wrap party at Wrongbar and made a pretty compelling argument for folks to head over there after the show to see her do her thing again.

Photos: Kid Sister @ Yonge-Dundas Square – June 20, 2010
Video: Kid Sister – “Daydreaming”
Video: Kid Sister – “Right Hand Hi”
Video: Kid Sister – “Pro Nails”
MySpace: Kid Sister

But there would be no leaving before the night’s headliners. Legendary Long Island hip-hop trio De La Soul have been at it so long that even I remember hearing them way back in high school, and folks? That was a while ago. And appropriately, they were the very definition of “old school” – with just three mics, some turntables and a load of classic songs like “Me Myself & I” and “Saturday” (okay, those were the two that I knew best), shout-outs and banter, they were a reminder of an era of hip hop that was all about dropping rhymes and having a good time. Almost as much time was spent egging on the crowd with remarks like, “where’s the hip hop?” and “where’s the party?” and jokes about their age and the amount they were cursing. Some might complain about the amount of time spent talking, but it was evident that the reparte was as integral a part of their show as the rapping. They weren’t just there as performers, but as the masters of ceremony for the closing party for what had turned out to be a terrific festival and the best NXNE that I can recall. Congratulations to everyone involved, and see you next year. Exclaim and Spinner also have reviews of the show.

Photos: De La Soul @ Yonge-Dundas Square – June 20, 2010
Video: De La Soul – “Baby Phat”
Video: De La Soul – “Oooh!”
Video: De La Soul – “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)”
Video: De La Soul – “A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays’”
Video: De La Soul – “Me Myself & I”
Video: De La Soul – “Buddy”
Video: De La Soul & Teenage Fanclub – “Fallin'”

Blurt interviews Teenage Fanclub about their new album Shadows. They’ve got two nights at the Horseshoe on September 22 and 23.

Frightened Rabbit have released a new video from The Winter Of Mixed Drinks and with a lot of open space around a just-announced late October date at Terminal 5 (!) in New York City, may be putting together some more North American touring plans.

Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Living in Colour”

Spinner chats with The Joy Formidable.

The National Post and Spinner have interviews with Kele, who just released his solo debut in The Boxer and will be at the Mod Club on July 27.

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Fun House

NXNE announces 2010 lineup; even skeptics admit it’s a little bit of alright

Photo By Mick RockMick RockFor those of us who’ve become accustomed to the all-encompassing scale, splendour and chaos of that grandaddy of all club-level music festivals – that’s SxSW, in case you were wondering – It can be kind of fun to pick on the Toronto versions CMW/CMF and NXNE for, essentially, not being South-by. It’s not a fair comparison by any means, but it’s inevitable. We’ve had to check those darts and break out some laurels in recent years, however, as both fests have made significant improvements in terms of organization, public relations and most importantly, bookings. NxNE, in particular, has been wise in making use of the public space at Yonge-Dundas Square to get right in the faces of Toronto for the middle of June and make it feel like much more of a major city event, instead of one of many things going on in the Big Smoke at a given time. They started out with modestly interesting day shows but as of a couple years ago, began booking some of the biggest names of the fest there for shows that were completely open to the public. That is how you build good will.

And with the initial announcement of artists coming to town from June 17 to 20, they’ve really kind of outdone themselves. The big coup is clearly Iggy & The Stooges, who will play for free at Yonge-Dundas Square on the evening of June 19, and the punk legends set the tone for many of the other names announced yesterday, many of whom come from the big, loud and sloppy side of the tracks. Obviously the actual schedule is still a ways away, but some digging has revealed at least some of the when and where of some of the acts playing the festival – just to give you a taste of some of the tough choices that the Toronto club-hopper will have to make (besides the obvious one of Iggy vs Pavement/Broken Social Scene). These are not complete and are subject to change, but do come from legitimate sources.

Thursday, June 17 2010
X, Mudhoney @ Yonge-Dundas Square (free)
Warpaint, Free Energy, Elliott Brood @ The Horseshoe
The Besnard Lakes, Young Galaxy @ The Mod Club
HEALTH, Gold Panda, Indian Jewelry @ Sneaky Dee’s

Friday, June 18 2010
Sloan @ Yonge-Dundas Square (free)
Man… Or Astro-Man?, Mudhoney @ The Horseshoe
AA Bondy, Simone Felice, Avi Buffalo @ The Great Hall
Japandroids, Wavves @ Lee’s Palace
Inlets @ TBA

Saturday, June 19 2010
Iggy & The Stooges, Wavves @ Yonge-Dundas Square (free)
Quintron & Miss Pussycat, JEFF The Brotherhood @ The Garrison
Cold Cave, Avi Buffalo @ Lee’s Palace

Sunday, June 20 2010
De La Soul, Kid Sister, Phenomenal Handclap Band @ Yonge-Dundas Square (free)

And playing free shows at Yonge-Dundas at some point during the week will be The Raveonettes and Surfer Blood, while confirmed but still without a date or venue are Les Savvy Fav, Thee Oh Sees, The Soft Pack and The Strange Boys, amongst many, many others. And these are just the “bigger” names – by June, surely there’ll be a whole new batch of buzz bands to complain about being booked into undersized venues. Such is the joy of NXNE. But at least it will be warm.

Elsewhere and/or elsewhen. Rae Spoon has just released the thereisafire EP as a preview of his new record Love is A Hunter, due out in August. The EP is available to download for free and he will be at the Holy Oak in Toronto on Friday night, April 16, for a show.

MP3: Rae Spoon – “Come On Forest Fire” (CPI Remix)
MP3: Rae Spoon – “There Is A Light”
ZIP: Rae Spoon / thereisafire

Her time as a Decemberist at an end, at least for now, Shara Worden is returning to work as My Brightest Diamond and will be at the El Mocambo on May 4, presumably to showcase material from the follow-up to 2008’s A Thousand Shark’s Teeth. Tickets for that show are $10.50 in advance.

MP3: My Brightest Diamond – “Inside A Boy”
MP3: My Brightest Diamond – “The Diamond”

Local heroes-in-waiting Zeus have set a date at the Mod Club for May 27. Tickets for that will be $12 in advance.

MP3: Zeus – “Marching Through Your Head”

Blitzen Trapper have added a Toronto date to the end of their North American tour in support of their new record Destroyer Of The Void, due out June 8. Look for them on August 3 at the Opera House, accompanied by Avi Buffalo who – with their two NxNE shows – are going to be hanging around Toronto a lot this Summer.

MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “Heaven & Earth”
MP3: Avi Buffalo – “Remember Last Time”
MP3: Avi Buffalo – “What’s In It For?”

Dan Snaith of Caribou talks to Chart about new album Swim, out April 20. Caribou play the Phoenix on May 3.

MySpace Transmissions has a watchable/listenable/downloadable session with Broken Bells. They are at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 2.

A second MP3 from The National’s High Violet is now available. The record is out May 11. They play Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

MP3: The National – “Afraid Of Everyone”

Filter gets to know She & Him; they have a sold-out show at The Phoenix on June 9.

BBC6 talks to Ryan Monroe of Band Of Horses about their new record Infinite Arms, from which they’re previewing another new track on their website. The record is in stores on May 18 and they play the Toronto Island Concert on June 19.

Mother Jones and Spinner talk to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, who’ve just released a new video. Yeah, it’s weird.

Video: The Flaming Lips – “Powerless”

Josh Ritter previews his new record So Runs The World Away via Daytrotter session. The record is out May 4.

Le Blogotheque is hosting a Take-Away Show with Megafaun. Q&As Liz Powell from Land Of Talk, who also stopped in at Explore Music to perform a Big Star cover.

Video: Land Of Talk – “Thirteen” (live at Exploremusic)

Woodpigeon have a video for the title track of their new Spirehouse EP, which also appeared on Die Stadt Muzikanten. You can download the song for free in exchange for your email at Bandcamp.

Video: Woodpigeon – “Spirehouse”

OMG Blog has premiered a new video from Gentleman Reg for his cover of Stevie Nicks’ “Wild Heart” from his Heavy Head EP.

Video: Gentleman Reg – “Wild Heart”

Forest City Lovers have christened album number three as Carriage. Look for it around July.