Posts Tagged ‘Go! Team’

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

If Loneliness Was Art

Review of Allo Darlin’s Allo Darlin’

Photo via allodarlin.comallodarlin.comIt’s of no surprise whatsoever to learn that Elizabeth Morris, frontwoman of London’s Allo Darlin’ also pulls duty as part of Tender Trap. Even without a formal connection to the works of Amelia Fletcher, the influence of the former Heavenly frontwoman is all over the band’s self-titled debut.

You can draw a pretty straight line from Heavenly’s archetypal indie pop to what Allo Darlin’ are doing, making adjustments for Morris’ Australian accent and favouring of the ukulele as rhythm instrument. But rather than go retro and try to recapture the youthful innocence of the movement circa the ’80s, Allo Darlin’ picks up in present day with the song’s protagonists perhaps in their late twenties, coloured by the anxiety, disappointment and melancholy that comes with age and experience. It’s also peppered with pop cultural references – when was the last time you heard “Max Von Sydow” as a lyric – that are less about being clever and more about trying to express reel feelings with the only frames of reference available.

I realize this sounds kind of grim and maybe unappealing, but Allo Darlin’ wraps these sentiments up in some of the most buoyant and catchy melodies you’ll hear this side of, well, a Heavenly record. It’s indie pop of the most irresistible variety with a real emotional weight to it that adds just the right amount of heartache to go with the sugar buzz. Recommended on so many levels.

I wouldn’t have thought that the band had enough profile to stage a North American tour but after having to cancel a handful of dates due to visa issues aside, they got underway last night in New York City and will roll through Toronto this Saturday night at the El Mocambo. Tickets just $10 in advance; you should go.

MP3: Allo Darlin’ – “My Heart Is A Drummer”
MP3: Allo Darlin’ – “Dreaming”
Video: Allo Darlin’ – “My Heart Is A Drummer”
Video: Allo Darlin’ – “If Loneliness Was Art”
Video: Allo Darlin’ – “Dreaming”
Video: Allo Darlin’ – “The Polaroid Song”

The Guardian gets Emma-Lee Moss – aka Emmy The Great – to annotate her second album Virtue, which is due for release next week but available to stream in whole right now. The Guardian and I Like Music both have interviews with Moss.

Stream: Emmy The Great / Virtue

The Alternate Side has an interview and session and The Dumbing Of America, The Vine, Shortlist, City Weekly, The Georgia Straight and Soundspike have interviews with Noah & The Whale.

The Globe & Mail, National Post, Georgia Straight, and San Francisco Examiner get to know Anna Calvi.

Florence & The Machine has released a video for their contribution to the Rave On Buddy Holly tribute album, due to be released on June 28. Gigwise reports that her second album will be done by the end of next month.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Not Fade Away”

File this one under “can’t be anything but wonderful” – English folk-rock legend Richard Thompson is coming to town for a solo show at Koerner Hall in the Royal Conservatory Of Music on Thursday, September 8. Ticket information is still forthcoming but having seen him at Toronto’s Bluesfest back in 2003 – way back when we had a Bluesfest – I can attest that whatever they charge will be worth it. The man is unbelievable.

Video: Richard Thompson – “Shoot Out The Lights” (live)
Video: Richard Thompson – “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” (live)

The San Francisco Examiner and Los Angeles Times have interviews with James Allan of Glasvegas.

The Grid chats with Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders.

Baeble Music is streaming video of a complete show by The Go! Team in Brooklyn from earlier this Spring.

Guy Garvey of Elbow ruminates on the British music scene for Shortlist.

NPR is streaming a WFUV session with Ellie Goulding, who will be at The Kool Haus on August 1.

Spin gets a notion of what Anthony Gonzalez has in store for the next M83 album. No release date or title, but apparently it will be an epic-scale double-disc set. So glad that Gonzalez is finally letting loose; all those previous M83 records being so introverted.

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

With Love

Review of Elbow’s build a rocket boys!

Photo via overarching storyline to Elbow’s career can generally be summed up as, “slow and steady wins the race”, with the race in question perhaps referring to the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, which they were nominated for in 2001 for their debut Asleep in The Back and finally won in 2008 for album number four, The Seldom Seen Kid. The adage could also apply to my own relationship with the band, which started with indifference to Asleep, complete ignorance to 2003’s Cast Of Thousands (though better late than never), respect with their third record Leaders Of The Free World (thankfully in time to see them live) and, in line with the Mercury jurors, something akin to love for The Seldom Seen Kid.

All of which is to say that the Mancunians’ fifth album build a rocket boys! was the first of theirs that I had been awaiting with hand-rubbing glee and though it’s not quite what I had expected, it hasn’t disappointed one bit. To the point of it not being what I was expecting, it’s hard to articulate what I mean by that as I don’t really know what I was expecting. Another record with the grandeur of Kid was unlikely, but the overt leanness of rocket was still surprising. From start almost to finish, it keeps things low and tight, the songs often built around a single unwavering chord or bass note like a pulse that must be kept strong and steady. The drama that Elbow excel at still manifests itself in swells and blooms throughout, but it’s not until the final tracks “Open Arms” and “Dear Friends” that it feels like the record is allowed to really exhale.

But despite the way things are constructed, tension is the last feeling that rocket evokes. Instead, it’s an almost preternaturally calm record – lead single “Neat Little Rows” is the only tune that you could consider a rocker – infused with a grace and sentimentality that’s distinctly Elbow. With orchestral and choral accents, it’s a recipe that from other bands’ kitchens might end up overly sappy but in Elbow’s masterful hands and delivered through Guy Garvey’s rough and yearning vocals, it deftly sidesteps melodrama pitfalls and is never anything less than gorgeous. For bystanders, the band’s Mercury win may have represented the culmination of a long career but clearly, for the band, it was just an affirmation that they were on the right track and people (like myself) were coming around. But they’re not done yet, not even close.

Though released in the UK and Canada since last month, build a rocket boys! gets a physical US release this week. The band plays its first North American show since Summer 2009 at Coachella and all indications are that a proper tour will follow later this year. Paste has an interview with Guy Garvey and the band have just released a video for the new record’s second single.

Video: Elbow – “Open Arms”
Video: Elbow – “Neat Little Rows”

Also making a return to America at Coachella – though a much longer hiatus – is Suede. The extensive reissue program for their back catalog which starts at the end of May in the UK and runs through the end of June will apparently also be happening in the US, though firm release dates haven’t been announced. Here’s hoping that it also includes more North American dates – even if they are with Fat Richard and not Bernard. Filter is marking the band’s return with a series of features all week including a history of and an interview with former Suede guitarist and Elastica leader Justine Frischmann. More will follow this week, and here’s one of the remastered tracks from last year’s The Best Of compilation.

MP3: Suede – “The Beautiful Ones”

NME reports that Bloc Party, their post-Intimacy hiatus apparently now at an end, will reconvene to work on a new record in September.

Pitchfork solicits a guest list from Ian Parton of The Go! Team while frontwoman Ninja has a quick chat with

Daytrotter serves up a session with Yuck, who also have a TunnelVision clip up at Pitchfork. They will be at The Phoenix on May 1.

The release of Patrick Wolf’s new album Lupercalia has been pushed back a couple of weeks from May 31 to June 20 worldwide, with a North American release date to be announced. DIY has the official statement from Wolf on the delay and an interview that talks about other things (almost certainly conducted before the delay was announced).

Spinner seems to have dug up an old interview with Dev Hynes of Lightspeed Champion, as it talks about last year’s Bye Bye EP and makes no mention of the fact that Hynes has shelved his Lightspeed Champion persona in favour of the funkier Blood Orange. That project’s debut release – the “Dinner”/”Bad Girls” 7″ – will be out on April 26 with a full-length to follow later this year.

Originally slated to come out in March, NME reports that Emmy The Great’s second album Virtue will now be out on June 13.

Noah & The Whale have put out a new video from Last Night On Earth.

Video: Noah & The Whale – “Tonight’s The Kind Of Night”

Interview speaks to Anna Calvi about the arm injury that forced the rescheduling of her North American debut dates. She will now be at The El Mocambo on May 27 and I hope that her inclusion on the just-released Osheaga lineup means there’ll be a return engagement come late July/early August.

Another day, another PJ Harvey video from Let England Shake.

Video: PJ Harvey – “On Battleship Hill”

The Fly reports that Johnny Marr has left The Cribs to devote more time to his solo project with The Healers and not reforming The Smiths. The Cribs have released a statement about the amicable parting of ways.

The latest Brit buzz band Brother will be at The Horseshoe on May 3 for a free show. The Slough Observer has an interview with their native sons; Live 4 Ever also has a chat.

Video: Brother – “Still Here”

Art Brut will bring their new record Brilliant! Tragic! to The Mod Club on June 17 as part of NXNE. The record is out May 23 and a second track from the album is available to download at Pledge Music.

MP3: Art Brut – “Lost Weekend”

Gomez will follow up the June 6 release of Whatever’s On Your Mind with a date at The Phoenix on July 17; tickets $26 in advance.

Though Guillemots frontman Fyfe Dangerfiend has done quite well for himself solo, he and his band have reconvened for a new record in Walk The River and it is streaming in whole right now at Hype Machine in advance of its release next week. The Independent has a feature piece.

Stream: Guillemots / Walk The River

Wild Beasts have released a video from their new record Smother, due out May 10.

Video: Wild Beasts – “Albatross”

Interview does its thing with James Allan of Glasvegas. Euphoric Heartbreak is out today.

The Georgia Straight, Vancouver Sun and Montreal Gazette chat with Two Door Cinema Club.

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

I Never Learnt To Share

James Blake tours North America, displays indifference to principles of supply and demand

Photo via FacebookFacebookBritish dubstep/soul-pop producing/singing/songwriting wunderkind James Blake has been getting a lot of press of late – in particular as first runner-up in the BBC Sound Of 2011 poll and a glowing Pitchfork “Best New Music” review for his self-titled debut, out in the UK since February but not here until March 22 – so it’s not unreasonable to think there’d be a lot of interest in live dates, even over in North America.

So on the bright side, tour dates have been announced in addition to his appearance at SxSW next week and they do include a Toronto date, but while the US dates are all in rooms ranging in capacity from 250 to 500 or so, despite this being one of the more Anglophilic markets on the continent, he’s playing pretty much the smallest room we’ve got – that’s The Rivoli, on May 14.

Tickets are $20 in advance, on sale Friday and done paperless/check your credit card at the door-style. Considering the room holds around 200 people, less yesterday’s fan pre-sale, less media and guest lists, there could be just a handful of tickets available for sale… I suspect that he’ll be back at a larger room around the time of his Pitchfork Festival appearance come mid-July, but that’s pure speculation on my part. All of which is to say that if you want to see him in close quarters, you’ll want to be on the Ticketmaster tomorrow.

The Fader has posted online their cover feature on Blake.

MP3: James Blake – “To Care (Like You)”
Video: James Blake – “The Wilhelm Scream”
Video: James Blake – “Limit To Your Love”

The Raveonettes claimed their acoustic in-store at Sonic Boom back in August 2008 was the first time they’d performed in such a setting; apparently they liked it, because they’re doing it again on April 2 at 6PM before their show at The Phoenix that evening. Expect to hear tunes from their new one Raven In The Grave, out March 22, done unplugged-style. They talk to Spinner about the new record.

MP3: The Raveonettes – “Forget That You’re Young”

Johnny Flynn – here solo back in November – returns with his band The Sussex Wit for a show at The Horseshoe on May 26, tickets $13.50.

MP3: Johnny Flynn – “Kentucky Pill”

In a bill that will make folks of a certain generation possibly/probably lose their shit, Brendan Perry, formerly of Dead Can Dance, and Robin Guthrie, ex of Cocteau Twins, have put together a North American tour together that will stop in at the Opera House on June 4, tickets $27.50. Perry released a solo album in Ark last year while Guthrie has a number of projects ongoing but whose latest solo record was 20009’s Carousel.

Video: Cocteau Twins – “Heaven Or Las Vegas”
Video: Dead Can Dance – “The Carnival Is Over”

Pitchfork asks Andy Bell of Ride for the musical touchstones of his lifetime.

Entertainment Weekly talks to Liam Gallagher of Beady Eye, in town at the Sound Academy on June 20.

Exclaim reports that Spiritualized will release a new studio album this Fall, to be released in North America on label of the moment Fat Possum.

Spin talks briefly to Guy Garvey of Elbow and have a stream of a live reading of one of the new songs from build a rocket boys!. There’s also band features at RTE Ten,, BBC and The Chronicle.

Spinner talks to The Joy Formidable, whose debut The Big Roar is out next week. And just as they did for “Austere”, which also appeared on their A Balloon Called Moaning EP, they’ve made a new video for the album version of “Whirring”. They play The Horseshoe on April 3.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring” (new)

NOW and New York Press meet Esben & The Witch, who are playing Wrongbar tomorrow night.

Let’s Wrestle has announced the release of their second album, entitled Nursing Home and due out May 17. Check out the first MP3.

MP3: Let’s Wrestle – “Dear John”

Also out on May 17 is Street Of The Love Of Days, the debut from Amor de Dias – a name that might not be too familiar, but as the new project from The Clientele frontman Alasdair Maclean and Pipas’ Lupe Núñez-Fernández, is worth getting to know. Exclaim has some info on the project, which has been ongoing for a while – as evidenced by this track premiered by Pitchfork last Summer in addition to the album track just released.

MP3: Amor de Dias – “Bunhill Fields”
MP3: Amor de Dias – “New Wine”

Arctic Monkeys have released details on their next album – the classily-named Suck It And See is out June 6; more info at The Fly. They have a date at The Kool Haus on May 21.

PJ Harvey has released a new video from her latest Let England Shake.

Video: PJ Harvey – “The Glorious Land”

Also with a new video are Mystery Jets, this one for the title track of last year’s Serotonin.

Video: Mystery Jets – “Serotonin”

Keeping the new clip parade going are Yuck with the lead track from their self-titled debut. They are at The Phoenix on May 1.

Video: Yuck – “Get Away”

And finally, a new vid from The Go! Team, from Rolling Blackouts – they play The Opera House on April 10.

Video: The Go! Team – “Apollo Throwdown”

The Quietus explains why “C86” is so important as a musical genre/era/adjective.

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

In The Dark Places

PJ Harvey Shakes out preview of new record

Photo By Seamus MurphySeamus MurphyThroughout her career, Polly Jean Harvey has managed the difficult feat of being artistically chameleon-like from one to the next, each often stylistically miles removed from that which came before it, while remaining consistently interesting and by and large excellent throughout. Her last effort, 2007’s fragile piano-led White Chalk, certainly didn’t hint at what Let England Shake – out next week – has to offer.

Just posted to stream in its entirety at NPR, it’s a strange yet immediately compelling collection built around themes of nationalism and war. While has echoes of her past works – the urgency of her early records, the melody of her middle-period works and the stark beauty of recent recordings – it sounds completely fresh, with Harvey favouring the higher registers of her voice in a way that I, at least, haven’t heard before. I’m only a few listens in and already I’m finding myself connecting with it in way that I haven’t with her stuff before. This is an exciting development.

She’s only got three North American tour dates scheduled right now (Los Angeles, Coachella and New York) but considering she’s not toured over here properly in forever – her last Toronto date was in 2004 – I have to think or at least hope that more will be coming.

MP3: PJ Harvey – “Written On The Forehead”
Stream: PJ Harvey / Let England Shake

The Guardian and State interview Anna Calvi, whose self-titled debut is due out on March 1 and who will be at Wrongbar on March 11 as part of Canadian Musicfest.

The Quietus goes over their debut Violet Cries track by track with Esben & The Witch while Drowned In Sound gave them the keys to their whole website last week. Paste just interviews them. They’re also at Wrongbar on March 11 for Canadian Musicfest.

Billboard has a cover story on Adele in advance of the February 22 release of 21. NPR is streaming the album in its entirety as well as a half-hour live performance from the singer, who’s just announced a North American tour in suport of album number two, including a May 18 date at The Kool Haus in Toronto.

Stream: Adele / 21

NPR has a World Cafe session with Duffy.

PopMatters interviews Kate Nash.

Spinner talks to Mira Aroyo of Ladytron about their forthcoming Best of Ladytron: 00-10 compilation, due out March 29.

Micachu & The Shapes are still working on the follow-up to 2009’s left-field gem Jewellery, but in the interim will be releasing Chopped & Screwed, a collaboration with The London Sinfonetta that will be coming out on March 22. What’s it sound like? Click below and read this piece on the collaboration at Clash.

MP3: Micachu – “Everything”

Pitchfork talks to Jamie Smith of The xx about stuff both xx and not xx.

The Fly checks in with Friendly Fires, who are finishing up their second record Pala, due out in the Spring – certainly before their May 30 date at The Phoenix.

The Fly and The Scotsman profile The Joy Formidable, who follow up the North American release of The Big Roar with a date at The Horseshoe on April 2.

Magnet handed over the editorial chair of their website to White Lies last week. The Mirror has an interview.

The Boxer Rebellion have made a date at The Horseshoe for April 18 in support of their new record The Cold Still; tickets $13.50.

Video: The Boxer Rebellion – “Step Out Of The Car”

State, Exclaim and Clash interview The Go! Team, who bring their new record Rolling Blackouts to The Opera House on April 10. They’ve released a couple new videos and an MP3 from said record.

MP3: The Go! Team – “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.”
Video: The Go! Team – “Super Triangle”
Video: The Go! Team – “Secretary Song”

Guy Garvey discusses Elbow’s forthcoming new record build a rocket boys!, out March 8, with The Quietus.

Toronto fans disappointed there’s no official stop here for the upcoming Trash Can Sinatras tour would do well to look at their itinerary, email the address noted on the right and ask themselves just how much seeing them play an intimate house show is worth to them.

Liam Gallagher of Beady Eye discusses his new band’s debut Different Gear, Still Speeding with Spin. The record is out March 1.

Spinner reports that Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire is disappointed that their last single didn’t chart in the UK; perhaps they overestimated the appeal of an Ian McCulloch duet? Time to dig up Nina Persson’s phone number again, methinks.

The Quietus contemplates the legacy of Teenage Fanclub while The Line Of Best Fit has an acoustic session with Fanny side-project Jonny. Their self-titled debut is out April 12.

Billboard profiles Mumford & Sons.

NPR puts folk-rock legend Richard Thompson behind a Tiny Desk and makes him play a concert. The indignity.

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Rolling Blackouts

The Go! Team are ready to go

Photo by Sarah BowlesSarah BowlesIf there’s any upside – and I type this knowing that there’s not – to the fact that the holidays are over and it’s back to the workaday week, it’s that my inbox and RSS reader are once again filling up with interesting news bits (and tonnes of uninteresting ones) rather than lists upons lists and year-end retrospectives. And that includes concert announcements, of which there were more than a few yesterday.

Including a return to North America for the first time in a couple years from Brighton, UK’s premiere electro/indie/hip-hop/dance/rock party-all-over outfit The Go! Team. Their third record Rolling Blackouts will be out on February 1 and while their official tour itinerary only goes as far as the end of March and doesn’t cross the Atlantic, a Toronto show at the Opera House on April 10 has just been announced (tickets $23.50), so expect more dates to be announced in the coming days. Spinner has an interview with chief songwriter Ian Parton about the shift in lyrical direction on the new record, while samples of said album can be had via the video for the lead track and the stream of next single “Buy Nothing Day” – featuring vocals from Best Coast’s Beth Cosentino – over at The Guardian.

Stream: The Go! Team – “Buy Nothing Day”
Video: The Go! Team – “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.”

Also coming to town, fond of exclamations and parties are Vancouver’s You Say Party – though apparently the “!” was dropped in their recent name change – and Montreal’s Young Galaxy, whose new record Shapeshifting has got a lot of folks talking in advance of its February 8 release. Both are at Lee’s Palace on March 4, tickets $15.50 in advance.

MP3: You Say Party! – “Laura Palmer’s Prom”
MP3: Young Galaxy – “Peripheral Visionaries”

BBC Sound of 2011 shortlistee Anna Calvi will be in town for Canadian Musicfest with a showcase at Wrongbar on March 11. Her self-titled debut will be out on March 1.

MP3: Anna Calvi – “Jezebel”

Destroyer’s new record Kaputt is out on January 25 and though the tour dates with The War On Drugs are still patchy, there will be a show at Lee’s Palace in Toronto on March 31, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: Destroyer – “Chinatown”
MP3: The War On Drugs – “The History Of Plastic”

They don’t really have a lot in common, but that’s not stopping …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and Surfer Blood from teaming up for a tour that stops in at Lee’s Palace on May 3. Trail Of Dead’s new album Tao Of The Dead will be out on February 8 and Surfer Blood will be putting out an EP sometime this year before getting to work on their major label debut.

MP3: Surfer Blood – “Swim”

The new British Sea Power record Valhalla Dancehall is up and streaming in its entirety at The AV Club, one week before it’s January 11 release.

Stream: British Sea Power / Valhalla Dancehall

NPR is streaming the whole of The Decemberists’ new album The King Is Dead two weeks before its January 18 release date. The band play The Sound Academy on February 1.

Stream: The Decemberists / The King Is Dead

Also up at the NPR has also got a new song from R.E.M.’s forthcoming Collapse Into Now, which continues to confirm that this record might well be pretty good. It’s out March 8.

There will be a new Strokes record in March. BBC says bassist Nikolai Fraiture says so.

Titus Andronicus have blogged a farewell to their founding bassist Ian Graetzer, who amicably left the band as of this weekend.

Specifics on the new Okkervil River record are still forthcoming, but Pitchfork reports that the first single “Mermaid” will be out on February 8 on 12″.

Laundromatinee has got a video session with Son Volt.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of the Drive-By Truckers’ New Year’s Eve eve show in New York. The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Boot talk to Patterson Hood about their new record Go-Go Boots, which will be out February 15.