Posts Tagged ‘D’Urbervilles’

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

"Magic Arrow"

The D’Urbervilles cover Timber Timbre

image via FIBFriends In BellwoodsGetting kind of hyper-local for this week’s selection. About a week ago, Toronto post-punk stalwarts The D’Urbervilles appeared ready to be calling it a day, putting a cryptic “The D’Urbs are dead” message on their website along with a countdown clock. Many were disappointed but not surprised if this was indeed the case, given frontman John O’Reagan’s successes with electro-pop side-project Diamond Rings. But as it turned out, that was just marking time until the band emerged from their chrysalis, butterfly-style, in their new guise as Matters – an outfit with the same members, same tense and hooky musical stylings and presumably same great taste. Just now with an 80% less Google-able name.

So to mark the occasion, here is what I believe is was The D’Urbs’ last officially-released recording, a Timber Timbre cover that came out on the Friends In Bellwoods 2 charity compilation circa Summer 2009. In it, they take their labelmates’ dark and swampy blues and completely transform it, digging through the gloom to detonate an anxious and glammy energy bomb into its ghostly atmosphere. If it had appeared on their 2008 debut We Are The Hunters, it’d have been a highlight.

Matters officially release their debut single this coming Thursday at The Garrison when they open up for PS I Love You. Timber Timbre release their new record Creep On Creepin’ On this Tuesday and follow up with a sold-out show at Trinity-St. Paul’s on Friday night, April 8. Toro has an interview with frontman Taylor Kirk. There don’t appear to be immediate plans for a Friends In Bellwoods volume three, but donations to the Daily Bread Food Bank, for which the compilations were raising funds, is always a good idea.

MP3: The D’Urbervilles – “Magic Arrow”
Video: The D’Urbervilles – “Magic Arrow” (live in Ottawa)
Stream: Timber Timbre – “Magic Arrow”

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Too Old To Die Young

Timber Timbre are Creeps, possibly weirdos; wonder what the hell they’re doing here

Photo via Canvas MediaCanvas MediaThere’s records that you hear and, regardless of how you personally feel about them, you know that they will be a big thing, that their contents will resonate with the masses and will prove to be game-changers for the artist who created it. Timber Timbre’s 2009 self-titled album was not one of these, or at least I didn’t hear it. Building swampy textures and tempos around Taylor Kirk’s low, drawling Randy Newman-ish vocals, it didn’t seem the sort of record with a lot of crossover appeal and yet it did find an audience beyond lo-fi folk/blues enthusiasts and would be one of the most highly-regarded Torontonian and even Canadian releases of the year. What can I say, I’m wrong a lot. I’m okay with that.

And so I’m not at all surprised that people are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of Timber Timbre’s new record, the marvelously-titled Creep On Creepin’ On, which is out on April 5. It keeps much of the dark, out-of-time atmospherics of its predecessor, but with Kirk’s live band Simon Trottier and Mika Posen now full-fledged members, offers a more dynamic sound with some rather rich-sounding instrumental passages. I already like it more than Timber Timbre, so everyone else is probably going to love it.

Exclaim thinks enough of it to put the band on the cover of their new issue with accompanying feature story. The record is streaming in whole at Spinner and they’ve just released a video from it as well. Months of touring begin in earnest this weekend and include a sold-out hometown show at Trinity-St. Paul’s next Friday night, April 8.

MP3: Timber Timbre – “Black Water”
Video: Timber Timbre – “Woman”
Stream: Timber Timbre / Creep On Creeping On

PS I Love You have released a new video from Meet Me At The Muster Station and support for their April 7 show at The Garrison has been revealed as Matters. Whom you may have known better as The D’Urbervilles. Which you may know as John O’Reagan’s – aka Diamond Rings – rock band. Exclaim has some info on the change in identity, both sides of their new single – which is out next week and already has a video – is streaming at Bandcamp and NOW has a chat with the director of the last Diamond Rings video.

Video: PS I Love You – “Get Over”
Video: Matters – “Get In Or Get Out”
Video: Diamond Rings – “It’s Not My Party”

Creative Loafing and Ca Va Cool check in with The Rural Alberta Advantage, who will be at The Phoenix on April 29.

Spinner and talk to Tokyo Police Club.

A new MP3 from Sloan’s forthcoming The Double Cross is up for grabs. The record is out May 10.

MP3: Sloan – “Unkind”

Matablog announced that the lead-up to the June 7 release of Fucked Up’s new record David Comes To Life would consist of four digital singles, the first of which is already up for grabs. Exclaim also reports that the band will put out a compilation of fake ’70s-era punk bands as part of Record Store Day on April 16, and are offering a track from that to wrap your head around.

MP3: Fucked Up – “The Other Shoe”

Apparently coming out of SxSW as one of the buzz bands, Austra have scheduled a hometown show at Lee’s Palace for May 19 to go with the May 17 release of Feel It Break. The Guardian declared them “New band of the day” last week.

MP3: Austra – “The Beat & The Pulse”

The Meligrove Band have released a new video from last year’s Shimmering Lights.

Video: The Meligrove Band – “Really Want It”

The National Post chats with Basia Bulat.

Stars have released a new video from last year’s The 5 Ghosts, and congratulations to Amy Millan and Evan Cranley on the birth of their daughter last week.

Video: Stars – “Changes”

PopMatters talks to Natalia Yanchak of The Dears while The Village Voice chats with Murray Lightburn.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s show in Brooklyn in mid-March. Their sold-out three-night, four-show stand at Lee’s Palace runs April 22 to 24.

Exclaim talks to Little Scream, whose debut The Golden Record arrives April 12. She opens for Antlers at The Mod Club on June 14.

Exclaim has details on Miracle Fortress’ long-awaited second album Was I The Wave?, due out April 26 and previewed impressively (though in the dark) back Canadian Musicfest. A track from the record is available in exchange for your email address.

Ottawa post-pop instrumentalists My Dad Vs. Yours have released a video from their gorgeous new record Little Symphonies. The Link has an interview with guitarist Jose Palacios.

Video: My Dad Vs Yours – “Happy Wanderer / Carry The Weight”

The Take talks with Juno award winner Shad, who by way of thanks is giving away a new track recorded with Skratch Bastid. There’s also a video interview with Shad from the Junos by the Province of Ontario. Our tax dollars at work!

MP3: Shad & Skratch Bastid – “Give You All I Can”
Video: Shad & Skratch Bastid – “Give You All I Can”

eye, The Chicago Tribune, The Riverfront Times and Austinist talk to Dan Bejar of Destroyer, who are playing a sold-out show at Lee’s Palace tonight.

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Light Up The Night

The Besnard Lakes at Criminal Records in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWednesday night’s in-store at Criminal Records had something for everyone. For The Besnard Lakes, it was an opportunity to refine the translation of their just-released new record The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night into live performance before setting out on a world tour that would take them and their much-anticipated new album across Europe and North America. For those in attendance, it was a chance to be amongst the first anywhere to hear the new songs live and in an intimate – and free – setting, without having to endure the crowds that would surely be jamming the Horseshoe last night at their official Canadian Musicfest last night. Win-win.

That said, the brightly-lit retail outlet was an unusual setting for a band as much about atmosphere as the Besnards. Partway through the set, bassist Olga Goreas mentioned how much she was missing their signature smoke machine and a little bit of that probably would have better set the mood for the show, through which the audience sat almost too-respectfully silent on the floor of the store. Instead, all the mood would have to come from the music – epic in scope and massive in weight and probably requiring more hands to reproduce live, not less. Yet the departure of keyboardist Nicole Lizee after the touring cycle for The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse was done left the band as a four-piece and as such, frontman Jace Lasek had to augment his guitar-playing and pedal-stomping with laptop and keyboard duties. And while they probably could have gotten away with simply playing louder, the extra care taken to reproduce the fullness of the Roaring Night material was appreciated.

The set was made up mostly of new material which, with the record having been officially available for less than 48 hours, was probably unfamiliar to much of the audience but they did throw the fans a bone with a single number off of Dark Horse before going even further back – I assume from their debut Volume 1 – for a closing number that sounded almost completely unlike their present-day material. It wasn’t the most engaging Besnard Lakes show I’d ever seen – as befit a dress rehearsal of sorts, they were concentrating more on the playing than the performing – but I’m sure that by the time they return to town, with The Roaring Night fully road-tested, it’ll be something to behold. And there’ll be the smoke-machine.

Spinner, Chart, The Montreal Gazette,, The List, The Montreal Mirror, CBC and NOW all have feature pieces on the Besnard Lakes.

Photos: The Besnard Lakes @ Criminal Records – March 10, 2010
MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “Albatross”
MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “And You Lied To Me”
MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “For Agent 13”
Video: The Besnard Lakes – “For Agent 13”
Video: The Besnard Lakes – “Devastation”
Stream: The Besnard Lakes / The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
MySpace: The Besnard Lakes

Spinner talks to Think About Life, who play Lee’s Palace tonight at 1AM.

John O’Regan of Diamond Rings graces the cover of this week’s eye, who also talk to his bandmate in The D’Urbervilles, Tim Bruton. Diamond Rings the Silver Dollar tonight at midnight, while The D’Urbs are up at 10PM at the Garrison.

Torontoist questions Dan Mangan, who plays the Courthouse tonight at 11PM, Criminal Records tomorrow at 6PM and the Horseshoe on April 22.

eye takes a look inside the apartment of Rural Alberta Advantage frontman Nils Edenloff. It’s okay, they were invited. Spinner settles for a chat.

The Toronto Star, Lucid Forge and Torontoist talk to Woodhands, who have just announced they’ll be playing tonight (!) at Wrongbar as a last-minute CMF addition – tickets are $12.50, on sale now.

Chart interviews The Balconies, whom they’re rightly declared a hot act. Witness the hotness at the Horseshoe Saturday night at 9:20PM

The Sadies will release their new album, entitled Darker Circles, on May 18. Live dates are sure to follow, but I’m going to go out on a limb right now and say they’ll be at the Horseshoe on December 31.

The National Post Q&A’s Great Lake Swimmers.

The Weakerthans will celebrate the release of their live CD/DVD set Live At The Burton Cummings Theatre on March 23 with an in-store performance at Sonic Boom on March 24 at 5PM. Maybe they can play in front of the Burton Cummings vinyl section. They’ve also got a date at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on May 26.

MP3: The Weakerthans – “Plea From A Cat Named Virtue”
Video: The Weakerthans – “Tournament Of Hearts” (live)

Popolio has a quick interview with Ume. They’re playing Eastbound & Down during SxSW at 2:05PM.

Filter and Michigan Live talk to Ted Leo. The Filter piece is a two-parter.

Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers talks to Spinner about their next-next record, which will follow next week’s release of The Big To-Do with Go-Go Boots before the year is out. The Truckers are doubling up their next visit to Toronto with two nights at Lee’s Palace, April 6 and 7.

Spinner talks to Centro-Matic.

My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan tells Spinner he’s glad the band took a break.

The Scotsman interviews Spoon, who are at the Sound Academy on March 29.

Spin checks in with The Thermals, who are in the studio working on their next album Personal Life, due out September 7.

Rolling Stone has words with Midlake. They play The Mod Club on May 25.

Sharon Van Etten talks to Spinner. She is at the Horseshoe on April 5. interviews Joanna Newsom, who plays a sold-out show at The Phoenix on Saturday night.

She & Him are the subject of features at Spinner and Billboard. Volume 2 is out March 23 and they play The Phoenix on June 9.

Soiree de poche has a video session with Beach House, who have a sold-out show at The Opera House on March 30 and are also playing the Toronto Islands Concert on June 19.

Blurt and Spinner have features on Wye Oak, here opening up for Shearwater on April 1.

Spinner talks to Phantogram, who will be at Supermarket tonight at 1AM.

Spin has debuted the video for the title track of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s new album Beat The Devil’s Tattoo. They are at The Phoenix on April 1 and again on April 11.

Video: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Beat The Devil’s Tattoo”

Echo & The Bunnymen are sharing another track from their latest record The Fountain. They are at The Phoenix on April 23.

MP3: Echo & The Bunnymen – “Proxy”

Serena-Maneesh will release their new album S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor on March 23 and are not only streaming the whole thing, but they’ve debuted a new video over at Stereogum. They will be at the Great Hall on April 2.

Video: Serena-Maneesh – “I Just Want To See Your Face”
Stream: Serena-Maneesh / S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor

Swedish folk sister act First Aid Kit have set a North American tour for June and will be at the Rivoli in Toronto on June 12. Their debut Drunken Trees came out last year.

MP3: First Aid Kit – “I Met Up With The King”
MP3: First Aid Kit – “You’re Not Coming Home Tonight”

Shout Out Louds have released a new mini-documentary about the making of their latest record, the just-released Work. They play the Mod Club on May 8.

Video: Shout Out Louds “At Work”

Drowned In Sound has posted the first of a multi-part interview with Jonsi. Go is out March 23 and he plays the Sound Academy on April 30 and May 1.

Under The Radar interviews The Mary Onettes.

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Hot Tips

The D’Urbervilles, Forest City Lovers, Evening Hymns and Jenny Omnichord at The Garrison in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf you were at The Garrison on Friday night and felt a sense of deja vu, it was with good reason. Though the occasion was the third anniversary party for Toronto label Out Of This Spark, you might have also been at the second anniversary party a year ago at The Tranzac which featured 3/4 of the same performers in The D’Urbervilles, Forest City Lovers and Jenny Omnichord, or maybe the Evening Hymns release show in December, or perhaps at the Summerworks show in August which showcased The D’Urbervilles and Forest City Lovers, both separately and together. Maybe you were at one of these shows. Maybe you were at all of them. I was, anyways, and so trying to write this one up without overtly repeating myself is a bit of a challenge. But here we go.

As with last year, Jenny Omnichord (née Mitchell) was batting leadoff, armed with a couple of her namesake electronic instruments and a brace of odd and entertaining songs and banter. Her stuff was unapologetically twee and childlike, but also with a distinct streak of black humour running through them. Not necessarily the sort of stuff I’d listen to on my own, but as a way to kick off an evening, you could do far worse.

Following her were Evening Hymns, who’d crafted one of my favourite records of last year in Spirit Guides and while many artists spend their careers trying to capture the energy of their live show on record, the challenge of Evening Hymns is how to recreate the scope and grandeur of the album on stage. They came close at the record release show, but that required something like a dozen players and liberal use of smoke machines. This time out, they were a compact five-piece unit less concerned with recreating the songs as they were recorded than rendering them as best they could with what they had, and by and large it worked. While it was clear there was still some gelling necessary before they’d be at their best, all the parts needed to do these songs justice were in place – if this is the unit to take Spirit Guides on the road and out into the world, then it’s in good hands.

Much of the appeal of Forest City Lovers is their understatedness, and the way their melodic folk-pop insinuates itself into your mind subtly, rather than jump all about in your face. That said, it’s been quite nice to see them becoming more engaging and extroverted with each show and release of new music without losing those qualities – in particular, the two sides of their recent “Phodilus and Tyto” 7″ don’t even clock in at seven minutes, but offer a very exciting look at where their third album, currently being recorded, could be heading. Goodness knows they were the highlights of their live set, and considering the selections from Haunting Moon Sinking and The Sun And The Wind were no slouches, that’s saying something. The new record is easily one of the local releases I’m most looking forward to this year.

Considering how quickly frontman John O’Reagan’s Diamond Rings electro-pop solo project has taken off, it would be understandable if he opted to shelve the rock keep the eyeshadow on all the time. But happily, the man can multitask and The D’Urbervilles are wrapping up work on a new record and a number of new tunes were showcased in their set. Each time I see them, I further appreciate how they manage to evoke New Wave-ish/dance-rock touchstones without sounding like every other New Wave-ish/dance rock acts. Their set was short, punchy and would have been a fine cap to the evening and a testament to the quality of talent on the label, but they weren’t quite done yet.

As they did at the Summerworks show, the encore for the entire night brought Jenny Omnichord, Forest City Lovers and The D’Urbervilles out on stage together to perform one each of their songs in massive lineup-style. It wasn’t quite the prepared reimagining of the material as they’d done in August, but still good fun to see and hear regardless. And then they were done.

Narratives and Singing Lamb also have reviews of the show. Many of the performers are in action again over the next while – Forest City Lovers frontwoman Kat Burns is opening up solo-style for Asobi Seksu at the Drake on February 1, Evening Hymns are at the Music Gallery on February 10 as part of Wavelength 500 and The D’Urbervilles are opening up for Fucked Up at the Opera House on February 26.

Photos: The D’Urbervilles, Forest City Lovers, Evening Hymns, Jenny Omnichord @ The Garrison – January 22, 2010
MP3: The D’Urbervilles – “Dragnet”
MP3: The D’Urbervilles – “Spin The Bottle”
MP3: The D’Urbervilles – “Hot Tips”
MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Scared Of Time”
MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Oh Humility” (live)
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Dead Deer”
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Broken Rifle”
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Cedars”
Video: Forest City Lovers – “If I Were A Tree”
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Pirates”
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Song For Morrie”
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Please, Don’t Go”
MySpace: The D’Urbervilles
MySpace: Forest City Lovers
MySpace: Evening Hymns

Speaking of Diamond Rings, the final seven copies of their split-7″ with PS I Love You – which with a “Best New Music” honorific for each of its sides may well be the bestreviewed piece of music in the history of Pitchfork, at least from a linear or temporal density perspective – are now up on eBay with new hand-screened arwtork and signed by the artists, and with proceeds of the auction going to Haitian relief efforts. Diamond Rings also has a couple of Canadian Musicfest showcases announced – March 11 at the Garrison and March 12 at The Silver Dollar – to go with their February 11 show at the Steam Whistle Roundhouse for Wavelength 500.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs”
MP3: PS I Love You – “Facelove”

Pitchfork has details on the new album from Caribou, entitled Swim and due out April 20 – get the first MP3 in exchange for your email address.

Woodpigeon has paid tribute to the passing of Kate McGarrigle with a cover of what is probably their most famous song to those of a certain generation who grew up watching NFB shorts – “The Log Driver’s Waltz”. Woodpigeon plays the Drake Underground on February 11 and have an in-store at Soundscapes on February 14.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “The Log Driver’s Waltz” (live)

Celebrate the release of Basia Bulat’s new album Heart Of My Own today with a stunning performance of “The Shore” for Le Blogotheque’s Takeaway Shows, video sessions and interviews at Baeble Music’s Guest Apartment and interviews at The National Post, Canadian Press, Exclaim and Ca Va Cool.

Macleans has made available online the feature piece on Owen Pallett that came out of the multi-part interview posted at Radio Free Canuckistan last week. Pallett also plays cover boy of this month’s Exclaim, which I’ll link up when it goes up later today is live. He plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 8.

Southern Souls have posted a video session with The Balconies. They’re at the Drake Underground on February 10. talks to Joel Plaskett. He and the Thrush Hermit reunion are at Lee’s Palace on March 26 and 27.

Soundproof has an interview with Amy Millan, who is putting the solo thing on the back burner this year with both new Broken Social Scene and Stars records in the works.

Singing Lamb chats with Ohbijou’s Casey Mecija.

Those disappointed by the collateral damage from Fanfarlo’s canceled show last December will be pleased to know that the opener, Freelance Whales, will be joining the previously-announced Cymbals Eat Guitars tour and be at the El Mocambo on April 6. Express Night Out and The AV Club have features on the band, whose debut Weathervanes is getting a re-release on March 16.

And the best news of yesterday was that The National’s new album – previously rumoured to be entitled Shine but currently nameless – will be out in May and they’ll be on tour shortly thereafter with a Toronto date at Massey Hall on June 8. Massey Hall. This will be majestic. Ticket presale goes this morning at 10AM – your password is “bloodbuzz” – with tickets ranging in price from $32.50 to $53.50.

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

CONTEST – Out Of This Spark 3rd Anniversary Party @ The Garrison – January 22, 2010

Image via Out Of This SparkOut Of This SparkAnniversaries are those sorts of things that seem to keep coming around – every year or so, by my count – and so it is that just twelve months following their last “happy birthday to us” thrown down, Toronto label Out Of This Spark is doing it again. To mark their third anniversary, Out Of This Spark is commandeering The Garrison next Friday night, January 22, and putting on a show, Little Rascals-style.

On the bill will be The D’Urbervilles, Forest City Lovers, Evening Hymns and Jenny Omnichord – and yes, three of the four played last year’s show. It’s not an expansive roster, folks. Both The D’Urbs and Forest City Lovers are readying new records for 2010, Evening Hymns are still celebrating the late 2009 of their wonderful Spirit Guides and Jenny Omnichord’s last release was 2008’s Charlotte Or Otis: Duets For Children, Their Parents, And Other People Too.

Tickets for the show are $8 in advance and $10 at the door, but consider this your personal engraved invitation – courtesy of Out Of This Spark, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away for the show so if you’ve always dreamt of saying, “I’m on the list”, email me at contests AT with “I am out of this spark” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and get that in to me before midnight, January 20.

MP3: The D’Urbervilles – “Hot Tips”
MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Scared Of Time”
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Broken Rifle”