Posts Tagged ‘Flight Of The Conchords’

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

I Told You I Was Freaky

Flight Of The Conchords and Flight Of The Conchords' Eugene Mirman prepare albums

Photo By Brian TaborelloBrian TaborelloI’m thinking I should start declaring Fridays to be “Leftover Fridays”, or “Fragmented Fridays” on account of them more often than not being theme-less hodge-podges of whatever bits of linkage I have left over from the week that I’d rather not sit on through the weekend. Though today maybe it should be “Funny Friday” because rather than kick off with music, we’ve got some comedy to close out your week.

Season two of Flight Of The Conchords ended exponentially stronger than it started (which was pretty weak) and so the resulting second album I Told You I Was Freaky – out October 20 – should have a healthy quotient of parodic hilarity. Don’t know if there’s anything quite on the level of genius of “Inner City Pressure”, “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros” or “Foux du Fafa”, but “Sugalumps”, available to download below, was pretty great and “Too Many Dicks On The Dance Floor” is pure Gondry gold.

And further, Eugene Mirman – who plays landlord Eugene on Flight Of The Conchords – also has a new album out in God Is A 12-Year Old Boy With Aspbergers. It’s a straight stand-up recording and is chock full of LOL and LULZ moments, though I don’t think a bear was actually heckling as heard in the sample MP3. It’s out on Tuesday.

And that photo is pretty funny, too. Look, Jemaine is trying to bribe some miniature toy policemen. And he and Bret are also miniature!

MP3: Flight Of The Conchords – “Sugalumps”
MP3: Eugene Mirman – “Vancouver, Detroit & Bears”
Video: Flight Of The Conchords – “Sugalumps”

And oh yeah, David Cross is in town for two shows at the Queen Elizabeth theatre tonight, early and late. He’s labelmates with FOTC and Eugene Mirman so I thought I’d throw that in there. There’s interviews with Cross at eye and The Pitch.

MP3: David Cross – “Certain Leaders in Government Look or Act Like Certian Pop Culture References”
MP3: David Cross – “My Wife’s Crazy!”

Sentimentalist talks to A Place To Bury Strangers about their new record Exploding Head, out next Tuesday. Look for them at the Mod Club on October 27.

Asobi Seksu are offering tastes of their two new releases – a video for the title track of their “Transparence” 10″ single and an MP3 of the Hope Sandoval cover from their acoustic Rewolf album, due out November 10. The latter should give a sense of what to expect when they play the Horseshoe on October 13. There’s also an interview with the band at The Georgia Straight.

MP3: Asobi Seksu – “Suzanne”
Video: Asobi Seksu – “Transparence”

Hope Sandoval will herself be in town next week, with a show at the Mod Club on October 7. Interview has an interview.

I’m not usually one for posting remixes but this xx re-imagining of Florence & The Machine’s “You’ve Got The Love” is more cover than remix, with the young London outfit basically replacing all of the original with their own recorded tracks and vocals, saving only a bit of Florence for the chorus. Of course, Florence’s version is itself a cover of Candi Staton, so… yeah. Florence is at the Mod Club on November 2 while The xx are at the Phoenix on December 2. The Times has an interview with the latter.

MP3: Florence & The Machine – “You’ve Got The Love” (xx remix)

The Joy Formidable are giving away a new song via which is just about as good as anything on their superb A Balloon Called Moaning mini-album. They’re also putting out a limited-edition live CD entitled First You have To Get Mad, recorded this past Wednesday night (!) in London – it’s officially released on November 16.

MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Greyhounds In The Slips”

eMusic, The List, The Skinny and MusicOmh interview The Big Pink. They’ve a date at Lee’s Palace on November 29.

Clash interviews Editors. In This Light and On This Evening is out next week.

NME reports that Elbow are re-issuing their 2001 debut Asleep In The Back on October 26 enhanced with a second disc of bonus and live tracks and a DVD. I’ve fallen in love with all of their subsequent records but their debut still leaves me unmoved. I doubt this edition will change that, and I’m okay with that.

Mum have premiered a new video for the sort-of title track from Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know over at Stereogum. They play the Phoenix on October 27.

Video: Mum – “Sing Along”

Ladyhawke has released a new video. The San Francisco Examiner has an interview.

Video: Ladyhawke – “Magic”

Built To Spill are streaming their new record There Is No Enemy at their MySpace in advance of next Tuesday’s release date. They’ve got two dates at Lee’s Palace on October 6 and 7.

Stream: Built To Spill / There Is No Enemy

St. Vicent’s Annie Clark talks to Pitchfork about her contributions to the new Twilight soundtrack.

An MP3 from the Alela Diane EP Alela & Alina – out Tuesday – is now up for grabs. She plays the Horseshoe on October 16.

MP3: Alela Diane with Alina Hardin – “Bowling Green”

Canadian Interviews talks to Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers.

Though he’s in town on Monday at the Mod Club opening up for Bob Mould, Miles Anthony Benjamin Robinson has already scheduled a return engagement for after his new album Summer Of Fear is released on October 20. He’ll be at the Drake Underground on November 17 with These United States, who themselves have a new record out in Everything Touches Everything.

MP3: Miles Anthony Benjamin Robinson – “The Sound”
MP3: These United States – “I Want You To Keep Everything”

Luxury Wafers interviews Matthew Clark of White Rabbits. They’re at the Horseshoe on October 24.

And the Malajube show originally scheduled for that date at the ‘Shoe has been postponed to November 26.

Decider chats with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.

Wye Oak are the subject of feature pieces at Slap Magazine, LAist and Honest Tune.

Exclaim talks to Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance of Merge Records.

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

The Way It Is

Nicole Atkins changes labels, band names, salutes Jacko

Photo By Lucia HolmLucia HolmIt’s been not quite two years since the release of Nicole Atkins’ debut album Neptune City and even taking into account the relentless touring that followed, you’d think she’s about due for a new record soon, right? As she tells Spinner, work on the follow-up is well underway with 38 songs written set to be pared down to a baker’s dozen for the record. But whenever it does come out, don’t look for it on Columbia Records; according to the New Jersey singer, she and the storied label “got divorced” and while she hasn’t settled on a new home, she’s looking to the indie route this time around. Also on the topic of change, her band The Sea has decided to adopt and adjective and they’ll now be known as Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea.

But until the new album is done and has a new home, Atkins is keeping busy – she was an integral part of AC Newman’s last studio and touring bands, she’s been playing gigs at JFK Airport, keeping a blog, rocking the Twitter and taking the time to record a little tribute to the late Michael Jackson. It would have been interesting to hear her try one of the funkier numbers, but a torch song to a rat works as well.

MP3: Nicole Atkins – “Ben”

Also about due for a new record is Lightspeed Champion. He’s got a shiny new website and therein, says “The album is in the hands of the label for whenever they want to release it..but they’re good with that kind a thing, it’s their job! No idea when that will be though.” Which at least implies that it’s completed though it doesn’t give much hope that the October 2009 release date I had written down is still a go. But in the meanwhile, he’s offered a new song to those who register on his site entitled “Heavy Purple”, which is of a decidedly different flavour from anything found on Falling Off The Lavender Bridge.

Jarvis Cocker is also giving away the tunes – you can grab a different edit of Futher Complications’ “You’re In My Eyes (Discosong)” from his website. Hey Jarv, don’t think I haven’t noticed you didn’t add any more North American tour dates. ‘Cause I totally did.

Beatroute talks to The Decemberists’ guitarist Chris Funk and JAM to drummer Jon Moen. They’re at the Kool Haus on August 3.

Spin has excerpted a portion of this month’s Wilco cover story online and NewsOK has a conversation with Jeff Tweedy about how the band’s five-night stand at the Riviera in Chicago in December 2007 was a defining moment for the current lineup.

As the September 8 release of Yo La Tengo’s new album Popular Songs draws nearer, they’ve released information about the bonuses tied into the Buy Early Get Now pre-order promotion, the full Fall tour itinerary surrounding the previously-announced October 3 date at the Opera House in Toronto has been unveiled and there’s a second MP3 from the album now available for grabs.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Here To Fall”

M83’s Anthony Gonzalez tells The Riverfront Times exactly what it takes to get slapped by a Frenchman.

The Soulsavers, the latest project fronted by Screaming Tree/Gutter Twin/general man about town Mark Lanegan have slated a Fall North American tour including a September 25 date at the Mod Club in support of their new album Broken, out August 18.

eMusic, The Dallas Observer and Express Night Out talk to Jason Molina of The Magnolia Electric Co, who just released their new album Josephine and are sharing a new MP3 from it.

MP3: Magnolia Electric Co – “Little Sad Eyes”

Here’s a guy who hasn’t been sighted in these pages lately – Sufjan Stevens. Some are waiting for part the third in his albums saluting the fifty states; they can keep waiting, because he’s turned his sights on a geographical topic a bit more micro than that – the Brookyln-Queens Expressway. He staged the musical/cinematic/whatever production live in November of 2007 and come October 20, he’ll release a multimedia package consisting of a CD of the show, a DVD of the film portions and a ViewMaster slide of… well, unless you have a ViewMaster you’ll never know. He’s also re-releasing an old electronic album dedicated to the best (read: mine) year of the Chinese Zodiac entitled Enjoy Your Rabbit on October 6, so either of these could be the filling out his set when he hits the road this Fall, and yes, there should be a Toronto date. Probably right around the time he plays Pop Montreal. Keep an eye out.

Video: The BQE- A Film By Sufjan Stevens

There’s a new video from the new Hidden Cameras record Origin:Orphan, due out September 22.

Video: The Hidden Cameras – “In The NA”

The National Post talks to The Rural Alberta Advantage. They’re at the Horseshoe on July 30.

Julian Plenti is the solo pseudonym of Paul Banks, lead singer of Interpol. The record is called Julian Plenti Is… Skyscraper and is out August 4. Whether or not a solo record from the lead singer of Interpol is necessary is unclear.

MP3: Julian Plenti – “Games For Days”
MP3: Julian Plenti – “Fun That We Have”

The Tripwire have a feature piece on Dinosaur Jr. They’re playing the Phoenix on September 30.

Daytrotter has a session and Cincinnati City Beat an interview with Bad Veins. They’re in town at the El Mocambo on August 2.

Buffalo News and Creative Loafing have interviews with Jason Lytle.

Chart has details on the second Flight Of The Conchords album, due out October 20 and bearing the title of I Told You I Was Freaky. It’ll contain all the songs featured in season two of the HBO show and while the second series got off to an alarmingly slow start, both comedically and musically, it took a serious upswing about midway through – right around the time that Michel Gondry sat in the director’s chair and gave us this bit of brilliance.

Video: Flight Of The Conchords – “Too Many Dicks On The Dance Floor”

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

In Her Gentle Jaws

An Introduction To The Depreciation Guild

Photo By Katelyn RoofKatelyn RoofMuch of the buzz surrounding next Thursday’s show at Neutral is focusing on the evening’s headliners, Brooklyn’s The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, and with good reason – their new self-titled album, out tomorrow, is wonderful and will be discussed soon enough. But it’s a shame that all the attention is falling on them when their tourmates are just as noteworthy.

That would be The Depreciation Guild, also from Brooklyn, and talking points around the band generally center around the fact that they’re giving their debut album, In Her Gentle Jaws away for free on their website and also that their band’s sound is built off of an old 8-bit Nintendo gaming system. Which, as far as angles for getting noticed go, are pretty good. But putting those aside and focusing on the music, there’s still plenty to comment on.

Like how they take those tones and textures that evoke memories of pixelated plumbers amongst those of a certain generation and build soaring, shoegazing soundscapes of pop wonder out of them. And while the 8-bit aesthetic is fundamental to their sound, they’re not beholden to it – they also use more conventional instruments like guitars and drums to get where they’re going and the songs would more than stand up even without the Nintendo backbone – it just might not be quite as much fun.

Exclaim and Gothamist talk to The Depreciation Guild about, um, their Nintendo-fi sounds and their free album. And you can also get their EP Nautilus for free at 8-Bit Peoples. Update: This show has been moved to Lee’s Palace.

MP3: The Depreciation Guild – “Darklooming”
MP3: The Depreciation Guild – “Butterfly Kisses”
MP3: The Depreciation Guild – “Nautilus”
Video: The Depreciation Guild – “Nautilus”
MySpace: The Depreciation Guild

Rolf Klausener talks to The National Post about the utter bizarreness of The Acorn’s world right now, where just before setting out on an arena tour of the UK in support of Elbow, they get the Kanye West seal of approval for their video for “Crooked Legs”.

Video: The Acorn – “Crooked Legs”

The Village Voice and Exclaim talk to Matt & Kim, though it’s really just Matt.

Spinner interfaces with Of Montreal, feels vaguely dirty about it the next morning.

It’s a kiwi invasion! First, Cut Off Your Hands will make their Toronto debut at the Horseshoe on March 30 – tickets $10 in advance.

And then Flight Of The Conchords will play not one but two nights at Massey Hall on April 21 and 22. Presale goes today at 10AM, tickets $49.50. That’s… a lot.

Cloud Cult and Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s are at the El Mocambo on April 3, tickets $10.

Super Furry Animals have a new album in the can, if not a name for it, and will release it digitally via their website on March 16 and give it a physical release on April 21. Details at Beggars blog.

This Is Fake DIY interviews The Airborne Toxic Event, playing the El Mocambo on March 3.

Stereogum gets a progress report on the new Wrens record.

Spin gets the backstory on the AC Newman song “Submarines Of Stockholm”.

White Lies’ chart-topping (in the UK) debut To Lose My Life will get a North American release on March 17 – none of this, “wait a year before jumping across the pond” nonsense. Tickets for their March 31 show at Lee’s Palace with Friendly Fires and The Soft Pack will run you $15.

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Yuppy Flu

Land Of Talk, Zeroes, Little Scream at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI figure that by the end of last Thursday night, there was something like a sixty-degree centigrade difference in temperature between the patio at the Horseshoe and the front of the stage. Outside, it was the middle of a particularly nasty cold snap. Inside, it was a particularly intense show for a nearly-packed house from Land Of Talk.

It was a show a long time in coming. For the band, it was their first headlining date in a long time – their headlining tour in September to mark the release of Some Are Lakes, itself long-awaited, and while they technically made a Toronto appearance in late November opening for Broken Social Scene, there were many who wouldn’t accept an abbreviated set in an inhospitable venue. That included myself, whom after seeing them what seemed like every other week back in 2007, hadn’t seen them play since September 2007.

It’s been tough going for the band, with what had initially seemed like an unstoppable upwards trajectory turn into a seemingly endless series of stalls. In particular, a series of personnel changes that saw 2/3 of the initial lineup depart since the release of Applause Cheer Boo Hiss and health issues that were making this mini-tour of three Ontario dates the band’s last for some time. Not really ideal circumstances to promote a new record. But those were concerns for the past and the future – in the present, Land Of Talk were finally here and they’d brought friends with them from Montreal.

Little Scream were one of those most unique of acts – the ones without a website, MySpace or any information that I could find online – and as such, were a completely unknown quantity going in. Which was rather exciting, to be honest. And the reality of it wasn’t bad, either. An artist to whom a lot of the descriptors frequently used for Land Of Talk could also apply, singing with a PJ Harvey-ish intensity while playing riffs that echoed classic rock progressions (think Who) on an acoustic guitar amplified to the point of raggedness. At points, it seemed she was singing to herself in a trance rather than to the audience. Intriguing stuff, wish it were at all possible to find out more.

Zeroes were considerably less singular in their approach, flirting with pop, prog, new wave and punk that reminded me most of Wire and Franz Ferdinand. Some ideas worked better than others, but they veered from one to the next so quickly that any missteps were quickly left behind and the next brought to the fore. Unfailingly interesting and danceable, if you dance like a bit of a spaz.

Though the material is consistently superb, I’ve always found Land Of Talk to be a good to very good live act, with the obvious potential to be great but not quite hitting the target, at least not in any of the times I’d seen them. That, based on this show, is no longer the case. The trio put on an unquestionably powerful show, Liz Powell in particular displaying a sense of confidence that I hadn’t seen before. They split the set fairly evenly between Applause Cheer and Some Are Lakes material, with the latter being given a jolt of energy and excitement that I didn’t find to be present on the recorded versions. The album definitely succeeded in terms of stylistic growth, but it came at the expense of some of the live-wire sizzle of the first record. Translated live, the electricity was back.

And while I was dismayed by the departures of Bucky Wheaton and Chris McCarron, the rhythm section to which I’d first come to the band, new arrivals Andrew Barr – who played on the new album – and bassist Joe Yarmush – who also played in Zeroes but took the time to change outfits between sets – were also superb. Circumstances have dictated that Land Of Talk be considered the Liz Powell show, but her bandmates were doing their best to seem just as indispensable.

The show was a tremendous reminder of why Land Of Talk are one of the best new acts in the country, and ironically it came just as the band was going on hiatus. Though you couldn’t tell by listening, Powell is going in for surgery on her voice at month’s end and everything is on hold while she convalesces. It’s a good thing that Land Of Talk’s fans are used to waiting and know that it’s worth it.

eye and BlogTO also have reviews of the show, while The Whig Standard has a short feature and in The Globe & Mail, Carl Wilson talks to Powell about the band’s endless run of tough breaks.

Photos: Land Of Talk, Zeroes, Little Scream @ The Horseshoe – January 15, 2009
MP3: Land Of Talk – “Some Are Lakes”
MP3: Land Of Talk – “Corner Phone”
MP3: Land Of Talk – “Speak To Me Bones”
MP3: Zeroes – “Arenas”
MP3: Zeroes – “Lamentia”
MP3: Zeroes – “Optimist”
Video: Land Of Talk – “Speak To Me Bones”
MySpace: Land Of Talk

Aquarium Drunkard interviews The Rosebuds. JamBase also has a feature.

The Sydney Morning Herald profiles Annie Clark of St Vincent.

Dr Dog, who released Fate last year, and The Cave Singers, who are still working 2007’s Invitation Songs, will be in town together on April 4 for a show at Lee’s Palace, tickets $13.50.

MP3: Dr. Dog – “The Old Days”
MP3: Dr. Dog – “The Ark”
MP3: The Cave Singers – “Seeds Of Night”

Following up the release of As Seen Through Windows on March 10, Bell Orchestre will play the Courthouse on April 24, tickets $15.

The Toronto Star talks to Bret and Jemaine of Flight Of The Conchords.

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Business Time

Flight Of The Conchords return

Photo By Amelia HandscombAmelia HandscombI realize that the geek-correct reason to have this coming Sunday weekend circled on the calendar is for the return for the final half-season of Battlestar Galactica on Friday night – and don’t get me wrong, I’m as psyched as any socially awkward individual about the final episodes and revelations that will be contained therein – but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more excited about the return of Flight Of The Conchords that same evening on Sunday (or really, the following morning when my torrents will have finished downloading). And yeah, I know the first episode has been available online for a couple weeks now, but it’s the principle of the matter (there’s a non-geoblocked stream available at Movieweb, for those of you/us who couldn’t access the initial official stream).

As with most things, I was late to the party and spent an intense week catching up on season one, though the flipside of that is that I’ve only had to wait six months or so for new eps whereas those who caught on immediately have had to do without for a long, arduous 16 months. My condolences, though it’s good to know that a quick dose of Bret and Jemaine to hold one over is just a YouTube search away. Even after multiple viewings, it remains some of the funniest stuff I’ve seen in ages.

And with new episodes come new songs, and with new songs comes a new album, a follow-up to last year’s self-titled effort, the whole of which is streaming at their MySpace. It’s due out on April 14, as soon as the second season wraps though each episode’s new song will be available online immediately after the show airs each week – details on that at Billboard. The AV Club has an extensive interview with Bret and Jemaine about the upcoming season, The National Post has a feature and NPR had the band/show/comedy act on the air yesterday for a talk and Buzzsugar talks to super-stalker/fan Kristen Schaal. But the piece of preliminary press that most caught my attention was this item at Filter (whose Summer 2008 cover story is also worth reading) – not because of what it says, but the photo attached – have a look at Jemaine’s tote bag. Is that a Sloan shout-out or is there another Jay and Chris and Patrick and Andrew out there?


MP3: Flight Of The Conchords – “Business Time”
MP3: Flight Of The Conchords – “Ladies Of The World”
Video: Flight Of The Conchords – “Ladies Of The World”
Video: Flight Of The Conchords – “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros” (episode excerpt)
Video: Flight Of The Conchords – “Inner City Pressure” (episode excerpt)
Video: Flight Of The Conchords – “Bowie” (episode excerpt)
MySpace: Flight Of The Conchords

Metro profiles Land Of Talk, playing tomorrow night at the Horseshoe.

Chart has details on Gentleman Reg’s new album Jet Black, which will finally be available on February 24. He will mark the day with an in-store that evening at Soundscapes at 6PM and play a proper set on March 12 at the Horseshoe as part of Canadian Musicfest.

Reuters talks to M Ward about new album Hold Time – not out till February 17 but currently streaming at NPR.

Stream: M Ward / Hold Time

There’s a lovely new video for the title track of Emmy The Great’s debut First Love, out February 2.

Video: Emmy The Great – “First Love”

Rolling Stone Q&As Steve Earle.

There’s a first MP3 available from Elvis Perkins In Dearland’s forthcoming self-titled album, out March 10.

MP3: Elvis Perkins In Dearland – “Shampoo”

Even though there’s no information on a new album – everyone’s talking about the old (release date is still February 24!) – there’s a video of sorts for a new song from Neil Young. Shake it, Shakey!

Video: Neil Young – “Fork In The Road”

Get a taste of Neko Case’s new album Middle Cyclones, out March 3. And if you have a blog or iLike profile, check out Anti-blog for info on how going all viral with the track will help out Best Friends Animal Society. Everybody wins. Besides obviously being a good cause, the timing is extra-special because today marks my two-year anniversary as a cat owner, an occasion which he celebrated the other night by demonstrating his uncanny ability to run and puke at the same time. Yay, kitty.

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