Posts Tagged ‘Fruit Bats’

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Look At Me Now

The Elected elect to run again

Photo By Lauren DukoffLauren DukoffOnly the most optimistic of souls think we’ll ever hear new material from Rilo Kiley; aside from rumours of a b-sides/rarities compilation, it would seem that 2007’s Under The Blacklight – on which they already sounded disinterested – will be the final word for the Los Angeles pop outfit. And while frontwoman Jenny Lewis has already established a pretty successful solo (and duo) career, former partner Blake Sennett is returning to active duty by turning his former side-project The Elected – last heard from on 2006’s aptly-titled Sun Sun Sun – into a full-time gig with Bury Me In My Rings, out next Tuesday.

The album is currently streaming in whole over at My Old Kentucky Blog and it sounds as though Sennett is still content to mine the rich tradition of classic and breezy Californian pop – with a foray into funk that’s as questionable as any attempts at funk that can be described as a “foray” – for his purposes. His tunes were never the highlights of Rilo Kiley’s records – Lewis’ ascent to stardom over their run was impossible to eclipse – but he was always a solid tunesmith with a good sense of melody. Perhaps now, without having to be constantly measured against his bandmate, he can establish his own merits properly.

He’s also taking his show on the road and that will bring him to Toronto’s Drake Underground on June 30. American Songwriter and Consequence Of Sound have conversations with Sennett about the new record and the latter gets a pretty colourful and definitive-sounding quote about the current (and final?) state of Rilo Kiley.

MP3: The Elected – “Babyface”
Stream: The Elected / Bury Me In My Rings

PopMatters and The News Chief have interviews with Jason Isbell, in town for a show at The Horseshoe on May 22.

And Maria Taylor, who opens up that show and the tour for Isbell, has announced an August 16 release date for her new record Overlook. Details and a streamable new song over at Under The Radar.

Rolling Stone talks to The Head & The Heart.

The Fruit Bats have a new record in the can entitled Tripper, and will be sharing it with the world come August 2. Exclaim has details and a widget from which to download a new, non-album, J Mascis-guesting MP3.

eMusic interviews Will Sheff of Okkervil River. They’re at The Phoenix on June 10.

NPR has a couple notable World Cafesessions up for your enjoyment – one with The Mountain Goats and another featuring The Kills.

Blurt profiles The Antlers, in town at The Mod Club on June 14.

Spin and NOW talk to Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Chris Walla, respectively. Death Cab are at The Phoenix on May 18 and the Molson Amphitheatre on July 29 and their new record Codes & Keys is out May 31.

Daytrotter has posted a session with John Vanderslice.

Metromix and CityBeat welcome The National back to Cincinnati.

Captain’s Dead has unearthed an old 1988-vintage Uncle Tupelo demo tape and posted the contents online.

Interview does its thing with James Blake, playing a sold-out show at Lee’s Palace on Saturday night.

NPR is streaming a Lykke Li session from KCRW while Express Night Out has an interview. She’s at The Phoenix on May 22.

The Alternate Side has a video session and interview with The Raveonettes, The Columbian just an interview.

MSN talks to The Naked & Famous, back for a show at Lee’s Palace on August 9.

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Dream About Me

The Depreciation Guild announces second album

Photo By Josh EustisJosh EustisHaving quite successfully reaped the benefits of the “give it all away for free” ethos with their debut album In Her Gentle Jaws, given away as a free download from their website starting in late 2007 before making available for sale on CD and vinyl late last year, Brooklyn synth-rockers The Depreciation Guild have announced plans to release their sophomore effort Spirit Youth on May 18, presumably in “yeah you have to pay for that” physical form from the get go.

If it’s anything like In Her Gentle Jaws, though, it’ll be worth the price of admission – the debut was a splendid bit of dreampop whose Nintendo/Famicom-powered 8-bit aesthetic was so much more than a gimmick. It’s not clear if “Dream About Me”, the single released last Fall, will appear on the album but assuming it’s a reasonable barometer of where the band are now, they seem to be favouring a more organic, guitar-based approach – perhaps not surprising since a goodly amount of time and touring has elapsed since the debut was recorded. The blissful pop sensibilities remain, however, even if the wonderful Mario-gaze textures are dialed down, so I remain keen to hear the new record, regardless of what toys or technology went into its creation.

In advance of the record’s release, The Depreciation Guild are hitting the road supporting Serena-Maneesh, including their April 2 date at The Great Hall in Toronto. Spinner has an interview with the band.

MP3: The Depreciation Guild – “Dream About Me”
Video: The Depreciation Guild – “Dream About Me”

Hey Interpol fans – how badly do you want to see them live again? Enough to shell out to see them open up for U2 on their Summer tour, including the July 3 Toronto date at the Rogers Centre? Really? Wow.

And people must really be missing themselves some Strokes – demand for the April 2 Julian Casablancas show has been such that it has been moved from the Phoenix to the Kool Haus.

The Hold Steady have announced that they’ll release their fifth studio album entitled Heaven Is Whenever on May 4. Recorded without recently-departed Franz Nicolay, it promises to be more guitar-heavy than their last few albums. Check out the official press release for some quotes from Craig Finn and Tad Kubler about what to expect from the new record.

Stuff New Zealand talks to kiwi emigre Dean Wareham.

Exclaim checks in with Ted Leo, who will release The Brutalist Bricks come March 9.

Sonic Scoop interviews producer Phil Palazzolo about how work is progressing on Nicole Atkins’ new album.

Nada Surf have released the first MP3 from their forthcoming covers album, if i had a hi-fi, which will go on regular sale June 8, after being available during their on Spring tour which begins March 25 and hits Lee’s Palace on March 29.

MP3: Nada Surf – “Electrocution”

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Holly Miranda.

NPR is currently streaming the whole of Joanna Newsom’s new triple album Have One On Me – all two hours of it. I picked up the triple vinyl yesterday, but don’t know if/how I’ll absorb it in time for the March 13 show at The Phoenix. Hell, I don’t think I’ve fully processed her first two records. And if you were wondering, Vetiver guitarist Kevin Barker will be opening that show up.

Stream: Joanna Newsom / Have One On Me

NPR has a World Cafe session with Fruit Bats, slated to play the Horseshoe on March 24. A Daytrotter session with the band just went up a couple days ago as well.

RCRDLBL has got an MP3 from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s forthcoming Beat The Devil’s Tattoo, out March 9, available to download. Colorado Springs Independent also has a quick interview. They’ve got two local shows coming up – April 1 and April 11, both at The Phoenix.

There’s also a track available from The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s new album Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?, for which they’ll be appearing at the Phoenix on June 2.

MP3: The Brian Jonestown Massacre – “Let’s Go Fucking Mental”

Girls are giving away a b-side to their new single “Morning Light”, a cover of Skeeter Davis’ “End Of The World”. They’re at The Phoenix on April 9.

MP3: Girls – “End Of The World”

Wayne Coyne talks to Spin about the origins of The Flaming Lips’ name. As Summer tour dates in support of Embryonic trickle out without anything up here in the 416, I wonder if they think Toronto has forgotten they’ve yet to make good on their promise to make up their aborted V Fest 2006 appearance. Because, y’know, we haven’t.

eMusic talks to Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater, who recorded an Interface session for Spinner. They are in town for a show at Lee’s Palace on April 1. Update: The Interface session seems to be an old one, circa Rook… but still great.

Blurt talks to Midlake leader Tim Smith. They’re at the Mod Club on May 21.

AZCentral talks about the album format, Spoon, the vinyl resurgence and Record Store Day (April 17 write it down) in no particular order. Or in that specific order.

The Daily Herald profiles Justin Townes Earle, in town at the Horseshoe on March 1. The giveaway for passes to the show ends tonight!

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Being On Our Own

Review of Fruit Bats’ The Ruminant Band

Photo By Annie BeedyAnnie BeedyThe last time Seattle’s Fruit Bats visited was way back in 2005, opening up for Son Volt at the Opera House and in support of their album Spelled In Bones. At the time, I couldn’t help but be disappointed in the album and show not for what they were, but what they weren’t – namely their previous effort Mouthfuls and the cozy little show at the long-defunct B-Side in 2003.

And as I stated at the time, it was mainly the departure of vocalist Gillian Lisee from the Fruit Bats lineup that I had trouble with, having been such a fan of the way she and main Bat-man Eric Johnson’s parts played off one another on that earlier record. Objectively speaking, Johnson and the new Fruit Bats lineup did just fine on their own in crafting winning and winsome folk-pop – perhaps even better, with a less sleepy and more dynamic sound – but at the time I was having none of it and subsequently paid little attention to them over the next few years. Which worked out well, as the Fruit Bats went on a hiatus of sorts shortly thereafter with Johnson bringing home paycheques as a member of The Shins. And though James Mercer has cleaned house somewhat since The Shins’ last record, at last check Johnson was not only still a member, but Fruit Bats bassist Ron Lewis had also been recruited as a Shin.

Fruit Bats has continued as an ongoing proposition, however, and this past Summer they returned with a new album in The Ruminant Band. And with the benefit of a few years perspective, it’s easier to appreciate what Johnson has done since Mouthfuls – the new record is another terrific collection of feel-good, classically-styled pop that goes down real easy. Those who like some bitter with their sweet would be well advised to look elsewhere, because angst and melancholy aren’t part of the Fruit Bats recipe – just head-nodding, toe-tapping and melody to spare. Not to say that some female harmonies wouldn’t be the perfect compliment at a few points, but that’s neither here nor there.

And Fruit Bats will be here for the first time since that Opera House show with Son Volt – they’ll be at The Horseshoe on March 24, tickets $10. Usually doctor’s orders are to hole up for at least a week post-SxSW to handle the breakfast taco withdrawal, but here an exception might be in order.

MP3: Fruit Bats – “The Ruminant Band”
MP3: Fruit Bats – “My Unusual Friend”
Video: Fruit Bats – “The Ruminant Band”
MySpace: The Fruit Bats

While the new Shins record has no more precise target than sometime in 2010, James Mercer’s side-project with the ubiquitous Dangermouse – Broken Bells – is much more real. The album isn’t out till March 8 but the duo are giving away an MP3 of “The High Road” for one day only – today – in exchange for your email address. Head over to their website to submit and receive. There’s more details on the project at Exclaim.

Paste checks in with The Long Winters’ John Roderick about an upcoming collaboration with Kathleen Edwards, which should see the light of day after the next Long Winters album is completed. Which can’t be soon enough.

Penny Black interviews Trespassers William, who also recently recorded a video session with Off The Beaten Tracks, featuring a couple of songs from Trespassers William side projects but performed by both principals of Trespassers William. Which sort of makes them covers but not. Trespassers William are recording a new album this year.

The second installment of Paste‘s “Moog Sessions” is up and features a performance from White Rabbits.

NPR is streaming a radio session with Monsters Of Folk.

Exclaim reports that the Flaming Lips cover album of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon will have the excessive but factually accurate title of The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing the Dark Side of the Moon. It will be released digitally only – tomorrow on iTunes and next Tuesday at other online retailers. Pitchfork talks to Wayne Coyne and his nephew Dennis (of the titular Star Death and The White Dwarfs) about their decision to remake the classic rock staple. NPR also has an interview with The Flaming Lips frontman about their other “proper” album, Embryonic.

Saturday, June 13th, 2009


Jealous Girlfriends side-projects hit the road, co-exist without jealousy

Photo By Jeremy BaldersonJeremy BaldersonBlog? Don’t blog? Blog? Don’t blog? Fuck it. Blog.

Brooklyn’s Jealous Girlfriends have been good to their word of taking 2009 off, but their individual components have hardly been idle. As reported back in January, singer Holly Miranda was working on a solo project and that’s now manifested itself as a five-song EP entitled Sleep On Fire. You can download an acoustic version of one of the tracks on her website, and she’s playing some US dates through June with AA Bondy. She was also recently featured in a Takeaway Show from director Vincent Moon.

Two of Miranda’s bandmates – singer/guitarist Josh Abbott and drummer Michael Fadem – have also been busy, assembling a new band they’ve dubbed New Numbers. They’ve also completed a new EP entitled Islands which they’re giving away digitally for free, and are also touring behind, starting with a June 22 show at the Horseshoe in Toronto. Like Miranda’s work, New Numbers aren’t far removed sonically from the Jealous Girlfriends’ sound, focusing on the more pop-rock side of things whereas Miranda is exploring the atmospheric. Both augur well for the Jealous Girlfriends’ future works, though.

MP3: New Numbers – “Hinterlands”
MP3: New Numbers – “Islands”
ZIP: New Numbers / Islands
MySpace: Holly Miranda
MySpace: New Numbers

Laundromatinee welcomes Chairlift to their studios for a session.

Japan Times and Newsweek have feature pieces on Sonic Youth, whom it was just announced this week will be receiving their own line of Fender signature guitars. Gotta say, those things are pretty sexy. Sonic Youth are at Massey Hall on June 30.

NPR is streaming their World Cafe session with Grizzly Bear.

Drowned In Sound talks to Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan. Their new record Popular Songs will be out September 8.

The Scotsman talks to The Thermals’ Kathy Foster.

Wilco’s Glenn Kotche tells that he likes Cincinnati. Wilco (The Album) is out June 30.

The Guardian welcomes Blur back to active duty with feature interviewing all four members and including rehearsal footage.

Stuart Murdoch talks to The Guardian about assembling his “ultimate girl group” for God Help The Girl, the album for which is out June 23. The List also has a feature on the project.

For Folk’s Sake confabs Fanfarlo.

SubPop is previewing some of their upcoming late Summer collection, releasing MP3s from the new albums from Grand Archives and Fruit Bats. Their new records Mind Frankenstein and The Ruminant Band are out September 8 and August 4, respectively.

MP3: Grand Archives – “Silver Among the Gold”
MP3: Fruit Bats – “My Unusual Friend”

She didn’t particularly impress or disappoint in her Toronto debut back in April, but La Roux is coming back to town following the release of her self-titled debut on June 29 with a date at the El Mocambo on July 31, tickets $12.

Video: La Roux – “Bulletproof”

The Pains Of Being Pure Of Heart have apparently found a favourite restaurant or something here in the big smoke because they’re returning for their third show of the year on September 7 at the Horseshoe. Accompanying them will be The Depreciation Guild, who opened up in their T.O. debut back in February, and Cymbals Eat Guitars. Tickets for the show are $12. Drowned In Sound has an interview with the Pains crew.

MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Everything With You”
MP3: The Depreciation Guild – “Darklooming”

Regina Spektor has a date at the Sound Academy on September 16, Little Joy support. Her new album Far is out June 23.

MP3: Little Joy – “No One’s Better Sake”
Video: Regina Spektor – “Laughing With”