Posts Tagged ‘Deerhunter’

Thursday, September 30th, 2010


The xx and Warpaint at Massey Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhen it was announced in June that The xx were not only coming back to Toronto for their fourth show in less than 10 months but doing it in a room far bigger and pricier than anything they’d done before, people thought they were mad. Now it doesn’t seem like madness so much as prescience. For starters, two of those three previous shows were support slots for acts who would have had no trouble selling out even without a buzz band opening and the third was at a room – The Phoenix – that was probably already undersized for them (it too was completely sold out). And really, all three of these shows were before the band REALLY blew up outside of indie circles, never mind the Mercury Prize win for their debut XX a few weeks ago. So was staging last night’s show at Massey Hall ambitious and unthinkable even as recently as a few months ago? Maybe. Was it the right thing to do? Yes, yes it was.

And while it would be presumptuous to suggest that Los Angeles’ Warpaint would find the same level of success as The xx in as short amount of time, they similarly didn’t seem to have any concerns about hitting their market saturation point – this was their third local show in less than four months and fourth in a year, and it’s still not enough as far as I’m concerned. Their debut The Fool, due out October 25, actually remains the last 2010 release that I’m looking forward to and haven’t heard yet and the fact that I won’t even contemplate my year-end lists until I’ve heard it should give you some idea of how much I’m anticipating it.

As to their show, it was interesting seeing how they translated into the much larger environs of a theatre having only experienced them in much more intimate club settings, and while the sound was murkier than ideal, their strengths – namely the thundering and undulating (thund-ulating?) rhythm section of Stella Mozgawa and Jenny Lee Lindberg and serpentine guitars and keening vocals of Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman – still came across loud and clear. And while the tempos they operated at made them sound like speed metal relative to The xx, their shared affinity for dark and dreamlike atmospherics should have impressed anyone who showed up in time to catch their 35-minute set; happily, there were quite a few of them but even if Massey had been empty, one suspects the band wouldn’t have noticed – once they started, the quartet were in their own world and seemingly playing just for themselves. We were just fortunate to get to watch.

Any question as to whether The xx could draw enough for a room the size of Massey Hall was moot before the house lights even went down – though not sold out, it was close enough to confirm that The xx were, indeed, huge. Even so, the ongoing complaint from some that their live show was lacking in charisma or stage presence have some basis, although I stand by my standard response of, “well what would you have them do – scissor kicks?” and maintain that their low-key demeanour is fitting to the music they make; they’re a soundtrack to what you get up to in the dark – it’s not about seeing so much as feeling. That said, The xx have improved their live show each time I’ve seen them and this time was the best yet. Perhaps not in terms of actual performance – there were more than a few missed notes and falling out of time with one another, perhaps a consequence of trying to get too loose up there – but for vibe, it was pretty special. For starters, I wager that this was the first time many of the 2500 or so in attendance had seen them play and the excitement in the room was palpable – these folks, who also seemed to have the youngest mean age of any full house I’ve ever seen at Massey Hall – were excited. And though the band were as polite but low-key as ever, when those seated in the floors spontaneously rushed the stage to dance or just get closer to their heroes during “Islands”, they seemed genuinely taken aback by the enthusiasm.

With an intimate delivery that was also possibly even slower and more sensual than on record and playing under a grand yet still somehow dark, meticulously synchronized light show, their set encompassed all of XX plus their cover of Womack & Womack’s “Teardrops”. As they’ve maintained there’s no new material ready to be aired or even any guarantee of a second album, the only “fresh” material came via in the instrumental intros, outros and inter-song segues that they used to expand and differentiate the live renditions from the album versions. The set barely clocked in at an hour including encore, but I didn’t get the sense that anyone felt they didn’t get their money’s worth – they heard everything they could have wanted to.

In a way, you almost hope that they don’t ever make a second record, if just to preserve the purity of their narrative arc thus far. Over a year and a half, these teenagers making music in obscurity have skyrocked to global fame, a Mercury Prize and massive tour of some of North America’s most hallowed venues, and their debut could stand as the single definitive statement of The xx, a document of their youth preserved in amber. In reality, this almost certainly won’t be the last we hear from The xx, but if it were? That’d be okay.

The Toronto Sun also has a review of the show. The Seattle Times has an interview with DJ/producer Jamie Smith, whom Spin reports is releasing a solo single next month.

Photos: The xx, Warpaint @ Massey Hall – September 29, 2010
MP3: The xx – “Basic Space”
MP3: Warpaint – “Undertow”
MP3: Warpaint – “Elephants”
MP3: Warpaint – “Billie Holiday”
Video: The xx – “Islands”
Video: The xx – “Basic Space”
Video: The xx – “Crystalised”
Video: Warpaint – “Stars”
Video: Warpaint – “Elephants”
MySpace: The xx
MySpace: Warpaint

PopMatters talks to the reunited Chapterhous, in town at Lee’s Palace on October 6.

Film School and The Depreciation Guild, both of whom will be at the El Mocambo on October 4, have each released new videos from their latest albums Fission and Spirit Youth, respectively. Wired talks to Film School’s Greg Bertens.

Video: Film School – “Sunny Day”
Video: The Depreciation Guild – “My Chariot”

Spoonfed and The Georgia Straight talk to Benjamin Curtis of School Of Seven Bells.

Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead tells Spinner they’re hoping to get a lot of mileage out of their latest album Penny Sparkle. They play The Phoenix on October 17.

Exclaim’s cover story this month is Deerhunter, whose latest Halcyon Digest came out this week. They are at the Opera House on October 19.

Spoonfed and Austinist have interviews with The Morning Benders, who premiered a new song in their Take-Away Show for Le Blogotheque. It may well be in rotation by the time they play The Mod Club on November 5.

Exclaim has details on the inevitable deluxe edition of The National’s High Violet which will be available on November 22. The good news is all the bonus tracks will be available a la carte via the usual digital retailers.

Muzzle Of Bees interviews Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.

Exclaim chats with Stephen McBean of Black Mountain, in town at The Phoenix on October 31.

Land Of Talk’s Liz Powell weighs in on the subject of illegal music downloads at Spinner (precis: she doesn’t like it one bit).

Daytrotter has posted a session with Born Ruffians.

Peaches will be celebrating the holiday season this year with her production of Peaches Christ Superstar, the content of which should be self-explanatory (but Spinner explains anyways). The touring production wraps December 21 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto.

And all those Neil Young videos from Le Noise are indeed parts of a larger filmic whole, and it’s available to watch in its entirety over at YouTube starting today. Young discusses the album with The New York Times.

Video: Neil Young / Le Noise – The Film

This is going to be about it for this week; off to Las Vegas tomorrow morning for Matador 21 and I’d normally be reporting all about it but… what happens in Vegas and all that. But you can follow along thanks to the magic of the internet as most of the sets will be streaming at MySpace – details at Matablog. And also check out this oral history of Matador Records at MySpace, with two parts up and the final one tomorrow. ‘Tis good reading.

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I'll Never Live Up To You

John Vanderslice gives away EP, consolidates status as swell guy

Photo By Elizabeth WeibergElizabeth WeibergA note: I’m presently barely conscious after staying up way too late the other night doing the Polaris post-game, so I’m just going to start tossing up stuff that’s been collecting in the hopper over the last few days until I pass out.

And we’ll kick off with a new batch of fully realized, produced and presented songs from the inimitable John Vanderslice, collected under the title of Green Grow The Rushes. It’s being given away for exactly zero dollars in both high-quality MP3 and uncompressed WAV format over at his website. Why? Because he’s got these songs he wants you to hear and because he’s great. But if you want to thank the ‘Slice in some monetary way, perhaps pick up a copy of his last full-length Romanian Names? It’s not quite as free but still a great record.

MP3: John Vanderslice – “Thule Fog”
MP3: John Vanderslice – “I’ll Never Live Up To You”
ZIP: John Vanderslice / Green Grow The Rushes

Exclaim has some details on the new Iron & Wine album, entitled Kiss Each Other Clean and due out in early 2011.

Michael Benjamin Lerner of Telekinesis chats with The Washington Post.

The Thermals have released a new single from Personal Life which, in the parlance of our time, means that there’s a new MP3 to download.

MP3: The Thermals – “Never Listen To Me”

The Line Of Best Fit and Spinner talk to Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer of The Posies. Their new record Blood/Candy is out September 28.

The Boston Herald talks to drummer Bob Nastanovich of Pavement. NYC Taper has also got a recording of their Williamsburg show to share.

Clash interviews Local Natives, in town at the Mod Club on October 19.

Spin declares Lissie to be “breaking out”. She’s at the El Mocambo on October 19.

Spin gets to the root of Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s name, while Filter has a track from their new record Buzzard available to download.

MP3: Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s – “Lunatic, Lunatic, Lunatic”

Spinner serves up an Interface session with Drive-By Truckers.

R.E.M. has completed work on album number 15 and are targeting a Spring 2011 release for it.

Drowned In Sound talks to Will Sheff of Okkervil River about working with Roky Erikson on this year’s True Love Casts Out All Evil.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Spoon’s show in the teeny tiny Cake Shop last week.

The new Deerhunter record Halcyon Digest is streaming at NPR in advance of its release next week. They’re at Lee’s Palace the Opera House on October 19.

Stream: Deerhunter / Halcyon Digest

The AV Club, American Songwriter, The Boston Herald, Pinnastorm, The Awl and NPR have interviews with Superchunk. NPR is also streaming their show in Washington DC last week and NYC Taper offering downloads of the Brooklyn show, giving you a taste of what to expect when they return to Toronto to play the Sound Academy on December 9 opening up for Broken Social Scene; you’ll just have to imagine the pogoing.

The Sydney Morning Herald talks to Interpol.

PitchforkTV has posted a POV session with The Hold Steady.

Clash declares Holly Miranda “One To Watch”.

New York Magazine talks to Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner.

Spin gets a live preview of Nicole Atkins’ new record Mondo Amore, due out on January 25 of next year, and you can download a new track from the record over at Nicole’s website.

Daytrotter has posted a session with Ra Ra Riot, who have made good on their promise to come back to town in December – they’ll be at the Mod Club on the first of that month, tickets $16.

MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Boy”

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Digging For Something

Review of Superchunk’s Majesty Shredding

Photo By Jason Arthurs Jason ArthursIf you’ve not yet read Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small, then get up right now, go out, buy a copy, and read it cover to cover right now. It’s okay, I’ll wait. And when you’re done, we can discuss plans to road trip down to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to give Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance big hugs, because the story of Merge is as much the story of them, and as such, is the story of Superchunk.

And though they’ve almost always coexisted, the arcs of each story don’t necessarily run concurrently – Superchunk’s heyday was the 1990s when they were one of the prototypical college rock bands laying the blueprint for what the kids now call indie, and though they’ve been around over 20 years, Merge only really became a powerhouse label in the past eight or nine years, after Superchunk went on hiatus following 2001’s perhaps prophetically titled Here’s To Shutting Up. If that were the final word, from the band, it would have been a fitting one as it found the once fuzz-coated pogo-tastic rockers in a relatively gentler frame of mind and while their songwriting was still in top form, it felt like they were looking forward to a break. And a break they took, with McCaughan taking his solo project Portastatic into rockier, full-band realms accompanied by guitarist Jim Wilbur, drummer Jon Wurster becoming both Mountain Goat and comedian and Ballance shepherding Merge to greatness. If the ‘Chunk were done, they should have had no regrets.

But sometimes a hiatus is actually a hiatus. Although they’d done sporadic shows since taking Shutting Up off the road, starting with the Merge XX anniversary celebrations last Summer, Superchunk began edging back into active status and following the release of the Leaves In The Gutter EP last year, there came word of a new album, their first in almost a decade. That record – Majesty Shredding – arrives next week and when I say it sounds just like a Superchunk record, I mean that with the highest possible praise. It fuses the pop perfection they’d reached with Shutting Up with a consistent level of energy, excitement and volume that you’d have to go back over 15 years in their discography to match. From the whine of feedback that opens “Digging For Something”, Shredding collects everything great about all that is Superchunk into eleven great, pogo-worthy tracks that individually might not measure up to the very best songs the band has ever written but as an album is as satisfying a listen as anything in their discography. It’s probably unrealistic to hope that this will be the start of a run of equally good records every year or two, but considering that I wouldn’t have even expected this record to exist as recently as a year ago, it’s kind of the best gift ever.

Majesty Shredding is streaming at NPR a week ahead of its release. I had previously hoped that the September 23 date in Montreal would imply a Toronto one the following night, apparently it’s not to be. I finally got to see them at SxSW in March and will do so again in a month at Matador 21, but still have my fingers crossed that a local show will appear on the books sooner rather than later.

MP3: Superchunk – “Digging For Something”
Stream: Superchunk / Majesty Shredding

Also up for stream at NPR and out next week is Blonde Redhead’s new long-player Penny Sparkle. They’re in town at The Phoenix on October 17.

Stream: Blonde Redhead / Penny Sparkle

NPR’s album stream slam continues with Of Montreal’s False Priest, out next Tuesday. Spin also gets in on the act with a new MP3 from said record available to download.

MP3: Of Montreal – “Sex Karma”
Stream: Of Montreal / False Priest

And out this week and streamable is Interpol’s latest Interpol. JAM, The National Post and Spinner have conversations with guitarist Daniel Kessler, presumably conducted when they were in town last month.

Stream: Interpol / Interpol

Deerhunter have put out a video from their forthcoming record Halcyon Digest, due out September 28. They’re at the Opera House on October 19.

Video: Deerhunter – “Helicopter”

Both NYC Taper and Bradley’s Almanac are sharing live recordings of Built To Spill shows from the past month or so.

Spin finds out how The Thermals got their name, while PopMatters turns in a regular old interview. They play Lee’s Palace on October 9.

Ra Ra Riot explain their cat-powered new video to Chart.

Black Cab Sessions runs the gamut with featuring Lissie, in town at the El Mocambo on October 19, and this one with The Flaming Lips – no bubble walk.

Rolling Stone takes Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy back to the days of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot for some insight on what that tumultuous period was like while Muzzle Of Bees has assembled a tribute album to Summerteeth recorded by all Wisconsin artists.

JEFF The Brotherhood are in town on October 20 at The Horseshoe.

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Basement Scene

Deerhunter hit the road; deer everywhere on notice

Photo By Barry KlippBarry KlippBradford Cox’s Deerhunter first began marketing their forthcoming album Halcyon Digest earlier this Summer via unconventional means, initiating a campaign wherein fans would download and print off old-school, xerox-styled flyers promoting the record and submit pictures of them posted up in and around their neighbourhoods in exchange for MP3 goodies, both from the new record and the Deerhunter archives. I can’t say as that I’ve seen any around my own hood, but clearly people have been participating.

As the September 28 release date for the new record draws near, the Atlanta-based band are gearing up for a more conventional but proven effective means of record promotion – touring their asses off. Pitchfork has the full itinerary, which includes a handful of northeast US dates this month before kicking off in earnest come October. Toronto welcomes them back – they were just here in March opening up for Spoon – on October 19 for a date at the Opera House, where they’ll be supported by Real Estate and Casino Vs Japan.

MP3: Deerhunter – “Revival”

A Place To Bury Strangers have released a new video from Exploding Head.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “I Lived My Life To Stand In The Shadow Of Your Heart”

Antony & The Johnsons have released an MP3 for the title track from their forthcoming EP Thank You For Your Love, out August 24, as a teaser both for the short-player and the full-length it’s taken from, Swanlights, which will follow on October 12.

MP3: Antony & The Johnsons – “Thank You For Your Love”

The AV Club interviews Dean & Britta.

Nashville Scene talks to Josh Ritter. He’s at the Phoenix on October 26.

Jim James tells Rolling Stone that My Morning Jacket have been back in the studio and a new record is targeted for mid-2011.

Spin talks to Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of The Posies about their new record Blood/Candy, out September 28, and has a stream of the song “Licenses to Hide”, which features vocals from Lisa Lobsinger of Broken Social Scene and Reverie Sound Revue.

The Tripwire gets in the back of a van with The Acorn. For a video session. Get your mind out of the gutter.

The Toronto Star has a feature piece on Arcade Fire. They’re at the Toronto Islands next Saturday and last night’s MSG show is available to stream on YouTube.

As proof that their gig at the Phoenix in April actually did count as an intimate club show, Wolf Parade will be back for the finale of their Fall tour in support of Expo 86 at the Sound Academy on November 26.

MP3: Wolf Parade – “Ghost Pressure”
MP3: Wolf Parade – “What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way)

The Line Of Best Fit has released a new Oh! Canada compilation of Canadian MP3s as assembled by Brits.

Dublin’s Villagers, whose Becoming A Jackal has been shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, has a date at the Drake Underground on September 27. Tickets $10 in advance.

MP3: Villagers – “Becoming A Jackal”

Spinner talks to Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite about the band’s new studio album which is targeted for a February 2011 release. Their Burning/Special Moves live set is due on August 24.

NME talks to Paul Smith of Maximo Park about releasing his first solo album Margins, due out October 11.

MP3: Paul Smith – “North Atlantic Drift”

Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers gives BBC6 some details on their forthcoming record Postcards From A Young Man, coming September 27.

Nick Cave discusses Grinderman with Rolling Stone. Grinderman 2 is out September 14 and the North American tour kicks of November 11 at the Phoenix in Toronto. I don’t think people are sufficiently excited about this show because it’s not possible to be sufficiently excited about this show.

Brooklyn Paper talks to Jack Rabid, publisher of The Big Takeover which has just celebrated 30 years of being one of the finest and most dedicated music magazines out there. Salut.

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Oh My Gawd!!!

The Flaming Lips, Spoon, Tokyo Police Club and Fang Island at The Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI’ve previously bemoaned the dearth of festivals in the 416 this Summer, but on Thursday night at the Molson Amphitheatre, if you squinted just right, it certainly looked like a festival. Sure, it was only four bands deep but it certainly had many of the necessary bases covered – buzzy young up-and-coming act? Check. Hometown representation? Check. Critically acclaimed, indie cred-toting vets? Check. Mind-bending, world-class headliner? Check and check.

Providence by way of Brooklyn’s Fang Island represented the rookies, and their 6:30 start time got them a good idea of what it was like at the last major festival to go down at this same venue, which is to say V Fest 2009 and the swathes of empty seats which many of the bands played to that weekend. But if the fact that people hadn’t made it down from work was bumming the five-piece out, it didn’t show; at several points in their set, they commented on how excited they were to be playing such a large stage and touring with The Flaming Lips. Of course, that was in between their unloading the massive, triple-guitar tapping, four-part harmony epics from their self-titled debut. Like prog rock edited down to just the crescendos, Fang Island’s set was a torrent of melodies and harmonies unleashed heavenwards. Yes, there is hype. Believe it.

I went digging for this post and was surprised to find it’s from only four years ago. That’s how long I’ve been acquainted with Tokyo Police Club, and it’s remarkable to see how far they’ve come in that time. Certainly, from day one they evidenced a knack for writing a good pop song but the sort of antics I mentioned in that first review were part of why I’d always dismissed them as being you know, for kids! Which was fine, since they weren’t especially aged themselves. But with their second full-length, the recently-released Champ, I was surprised at how much more mature-sounding they had become, trading more on melody and sophistication than shouts and handclaps and without sacrificing much at all in the way of energy or hooks. It’s got some weariness around the edges, which suits them – they’re still young, but have now been at this a while; the lines are well-earned. On stage for their first hometown show in support of the new record, however, they still bounced around with fresh-faced enthusiasm and while it’s hard to say if this was necessarily their crowd – not sure how much the Flaming Lips and Tokyo Police Club fan base venn diagrams intersect – they were appreciated.

Spoon may have just come through town in March as the big-name/big-venue headliners on an impressive bill of their own, the culmination of years of hard work and building their fan base, here they were again playing a supporting role and seemed perfectly fine with it. In fact, they seemed to be enjoying the opportunity to step out of the spotlight that’s been on them for most of this year – minor details, but seeing Britt Daniel take the stage in an immaculate white ensemble (but with black shoes – shame!), a proper upright piano to go along with Eric Harvey’s usual fortress of keyboards and a full, locally-recruited horn section to add a shiny exclamation mark to some numbers. But for all the polish, this Spoon is inherently rough and spiky; more like a dirty spork. And even with a set loaded with “hits” – though no “Everything Hits At Once” – their lean, clipped rock still felt dark and clubby, even in a big amphitheatre. And despite the size of the venue, I actually enjoyed this set somewhat more than the Sound Academy show as I was a) able to see and b) got to hear some of the songs I missed in that show’s encore on account of having to catch a cab – like “The Underdog”. This time with horns. Yes.

My history with The Flaming Lips is kind of long and twisty, and best summarized as they’re being the weirdest boundary of my listening in the late ’90s to a near-obsession at the turn of the century (I paid a guy in Kalamazoo, MI far too much for CD-Rs of the then-deleted Zaireeka because, well, I had to have it) to being kind of a prodigal, peripheral interest over the last couple records. Neither the overcooked At War With The Mystics nor last year’s sprawlingly messy Embryonic hit the spot with me, and it was somewhat alarming to me as a fan that their artistic energies seemed to be going more into the live show than writing songs.

But at least there were those live shows. I’d gotten a concentrated dose of the live Lips madness in 2006, seeing them twice in a month at Lollapalooza in Chicago and then again just over a month later at Toronto’s inaugural Virgin Festival, though that wasn’t a proper dose as their headlining slot famously went over curfew and the show was cut at barely half an hour. And despite promises to make it up to us soon, it took them almost four years to find their way back. Far too long, certainly, but you know? It’s hard to hold a grudge against a man in a giant plastic bubble firing confetti cannons at you.

It’s funny, but for all the reservations and criticisms I have for The Flaming Lips circa 2010, they all fade to nothingness as soon as the show begins. You know what it’s going to be – the bubble walk, the costumed dancers, the plumes of confetti (okay, the band entrance via LED-generated female bits was new) – but it just doesn’t get old. Though the general admission area allowed for personal space for most of the night, it was pretty well packed in up front by the time Wayne Coyne strode out onto them in his well-worn space bubble as the band led off with the instrumental, “The Fear”. When that bit of ceremony was done, it was time to fill the amphitheatre with confetti and get to proving my theory about their being less a musical entity than a theatrical one mostly false. Most of the set drew from either Embryonic or Mystics and while many of the visual aspects of their show were familiar from 2006, they clearly weren’t just delivering the same show. It had morphed and evolved along with the material, and as such what had been technicolour and cartoony circa Mystics was now accordingly weirder and trippier, in keeping with the darker, experimental vibe of Embryonic (though thankfully no agitated monkeys or Coyne’s nakedness made an appearance).

It was a little ways into the show that I realized that though I had seen the Lips live twice before, I had never actually seen them do a full performance (the truncated V has been covered and at Lolla, there were like a million other bands on at the same time so I’m sure I scurried after a bit) and as such, my impressions of the show were probably skewed by the sheer sensory overload of their grand entrance. But watching them once they’d gotten down to business – relatively speaking – it was pleasantly surprising just how much of a proper rock band they still were. When Coyne wasn’t working the crowd, which was a lot of the time sure, he never neglected his duties as lead singer and both Steve Drozd and Michael Ivins were all business with their myriad musical duties and Kliph Scurlock – whose “officialness” as a Flaming Lip is still unclear to me despite having manned the kit for over a decade – did a great job of making you forget that Drozd was an amazing drummer before moving to the guitarist/multi-instrumentalist role. It was a shame that with so much emphasis put on the recent material, that the truly classic Soft Bulletin – the record that will define the Flaming Lips in history – was ignored completely, but it was nice that they reached back to 1993 for Transmissions From The Satellite Heart for “She Don’t Use Jelly” and the acoustic “Yoshimi” was pure loveliness. And of course they encored with “Do You Realize?”. Of course.

The real magic of a Flaming Lips show, however, is how it manages to transcend its context as either rock concert or circus sideshow and become something truly unique and magical. Coyne comes across as just as much a prophet up there as he does a carnival barker or rock singer – though I’ve never heard any other prophet call his congregation “motherfuckers” quite so much – bringing a message of peace and love that never felt naive, but seemed to acknowledge through the madness of its presentation that asking to simply love one another is one of the most complex and incomprehensible requests anyone could ever make. The Lips get that, they do. But they’re asking anyways. And they’re doing it with laserhands.

The Flaming Lips. There’s nothing else like it.

There’s reviews of the show at The Toronto Sun, eye, Exclaim, Radio Free Canuckistan, Chart, Panic Manual and BlogTO. Spinner talks to Fang Island about hitting the road with The Lips, Blare has an interview with Tokyo Police Club and Spinner, eye and The Montreal Gazette have Lips features.

Photos: The Flaming Lips, Spoon, Tokyo Police Club, Fang Island @ The Molson Canadian Amphitheatre – July 8, 2010
MP3: Spoon – “The Underdog”
MP3: Spoon – “I Turn My Camera On”
MP3: Spoon – “The Way We Get By”
MP3: Spoon – “This Book Is A Movie”
MP3: Spoon – “Mountain To Sound”
MP3: Spoon – “Chips & Dip”
MP3: Spoon – “Idiot Driver”
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “In A Cave”
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Juno”
MP3: Fang Island – “Daisy”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “The Sparrow Looks Up At The Machine”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Powerless”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “I Can Be A Frog”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Watching The Planets”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “The W.A.N.D.”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Mr. Ambulance Driver”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Do You Realize?”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Part 1)”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Fight Test”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Are You A Hypnotist?”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Race For The Prize”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Waitin’ For A Superman”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “This Here Giraffe”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Bad Days”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Christmas At the Zoo”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “When You Smile”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Be My Head”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “She Don’t Use Jelly”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Turn It On”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Talkin’ ‘Bout the Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone Wants to Live Forever)”
Video: The Flaming Lips – “Redneck School Of Technology”
Video: Spoon – “Written In Reverse”
Video: Spoon – “The Underdog”
Video: Spoon – “Don’t You Evah”
Video: Spoon – “The Two Sides Of Monsieur Valentine”
Video: Spoon – “I Turn My Camera On”
Video: Spoon – “Sister Jack”
Video: Spoon – “Jonathan Fisk”
Video: Spoon – “Small Stakes”
Video: Spoon – “Everything Hits At Once”
Video: Tokyo Police Club – “Wait Up (Boots Of Danger)”
Video: Tokyo Police Club – “Graves”
Video: Tokyo Police Club – “In A Cave”
Video: Tokyo Police Club – “Tessellate”
Video: Tokyo Police Club – “Your English Is Good”
Video: Tokyo Police Club – “Citizens Of Tomorrow”
Video: Tokyo Police Club – “Cheer It On”
Video: Tokyo Police Club – “Nature Of The Experiment”
Video: Fang Island – “Careful Crossers”
Video: Fang Island – “Life Coach”
Video: Fang Island – “Daisy”
MySpace: The Flaming Lips
MySpace: Spoon
MySpace: Tokyo Police Club
MySpace: Fang Island

In advance of releasing their first new record in forever with Majesty Shredding on September 14, Superchunk are reissuing their second and third records – No Pocky For Kitty and On The Mouth – in remastered digital and analog for on August 17.

MP3: Superchunk – “Skip Steps 1 & 3”

Pitchfork brings news of a new Deerhunter record to be named Halcyon Digest and released on September 28.

The Fly talks to Warpaint, whom they’ve declared “a band to watch”. You can do just that when they play Wrongbar on August 11 and Massey Hall supporting The xx on September 29. Their debut album is due out around that time as well.

Filter chats with James Hanna of Asobi Seksu.

Pitchfork and Billboard interview Sleigh Bells, in town at the Phoenix on July 20.

Exclaim interviews James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.

Pernice Brothers have turned the “Pernice To Me” book of tweets into a puppet show. Of course they have.

Eric Bachmann of Crooked Fingers talks to Destroy Before Reading and says there’s no real reason an Archers Of Loaf reunion couldn’t happen. Crooked Fingers just released the Reservoir Songs 2 covers EP and are working on a record of new material.

Beatroute talks to Annie Clark of St. Vincent.

The Louisville Courier-Journal solicits influences from M Ward, whose current ongoing concern She & Him have just released a new video.

Video: She & Him – “Thieves”

Blurt contemplates the story of Love.