Posts Tagged ‘Guards’

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Heard The News

Guards, Mates Of State, and other support acts elevated to blog post headline status

Photo By Olivia MaloneOlivia MaloneSome weeks, the inbox is a veritable cornucopia of interesting concert announcements for acts big and small. Compiling the blog posts that collect those up is a genuine delight. And easy. Generally so easy. This was not one of those weeks. Indeed, most of the news was of the “support announced” variety, which isn’t necessarily uninteresting – sometimes it’s more interesting than the headliner – but it is less easy.

Anyways, we’ll kick off with New York’s Guards, who will be supporting Palma Violets at Lee’s Palace on May 3. They’re fronted by one Richie Follin, whose did time in Cults with sister Madelin and also worked with Caroline Polachek of Chairlift, and while either of those reference points are probably enough to garner attention, the sun-kissed, retro-styled power pop of their debut album In Guards We Trust, released in February, are far more in line with the former than the latter. It’s not revolutionary by any measure, but it is well-executed and likeable.

The Bay Bridged has an interview with Richie Follin.

MP3: Guards – “Silver Lining”
MP3: Guards – “Crystal Truth”
Video: Guards – “Ready To Go”
Video: Guards – “Silver Lining”

It’s a bit of an odd pairing, but throwback jangle-poppers DIIV will be supporting Trent Reznor’s How To Destroy Angels at The Sound Academy on April 25. They were also here in December supporting Japandroids, but I’m sure there’s enough fans of Oshin that a headlining show – which they last did in September – would also be welcome.

MP3: DIIV – “Sometime”

Not that Titus Andronicus need any help drawing a crowd, but their May 2 date at Lee’s Palace announced last week just got a boost regardless with the announcement that they’re being joined by Brooklyn’s So So Glos for what they’re calling the “Bring Back The Dudes” tour – which will be a pretty apt description of the demographic at the show. Their new record Blowout is out April 23 and there’s an interview at The L.

Video: So So Glos – “My Block”

Some bands worry about announcing multiple upcoming dates in a given market out of fear that one show may cannibalize ticket sales from the other; Ra Ra Riot clearly do not. They spent most of the lead up to their early March headlining show for Beta Love with their name also on posters for the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Garrison Common on June 8, and now they’ve also announced that they’ll also be in town a couple weeks prior to that supporting The Shins at The Sound Academy on May 22. I don’t know if there are Ra Ra Riot fans so dedicated to hit up every one of their local shows, but if so, they’re probably pretty happy.

MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Beta Love”
MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Dance With Me”

Ra Ra Riot will also be opening up some of the dates on the upcoming Postal Service tour, but not Toronto – according to the itinerary released yesterday, we’ll have Mates Of State opening up at the Air Canada Centre on June 11 and that’s a-ok with me, though I can’t say I wouldn’t love to see peoples’ faces when Big Freedia shakes what she’s got on those west coast dates.

MP3: Mates Of State – “Maracas”
MP3: Mates Of State – “My Only Offer”

And in headlining announcements – Spencer Krug will appear as Moonface in a solo piano context on May 12 at The Great Hall in something called The Conversation Room. I don’t know what/where that is, but I kind of hope it’s like The Champagne Room. Tickets are $16.50 and there is probably no sex.

MP3: Moonface – “Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips”
MP3: Moonface – “Headed For The Door”

One of the buzzier bads at CMF this year were German electro-pop duo BOY, and those who missed out on their shows will be pleased to know they’re back in town at The Great Hall on May 16 in support of their debut Mutual Friend. Tickets for that are $17.50.

Video: BOY – “Little Numbers”

I could be wrong but I don’t think Richard Buckner has been to Toronto since the “two really big dudes with gravelly voices” tour with Eric Bachmann in September 2006. In any case, the upcoming release of Surrounded – about which there’s no other information besides that it exists and will be called Surrounded – will bring him back to The Horseshoe on May 23, tickets $13.50.

MP3: Richard Buckner – “Escape”

One of the unfortunate casualties of the canceled Efterklang show during CMF last month was the local debut of Philadelphia’s Nightlands, who were supposed to open up. They’ll make that show up at The Drake Underground on June 3, playing songs from their debut Oak Island, from which they’ve just released a new video. The Concordian also has an interview with band principal Dave Hartley.

MP3: Nightlands – “300 Clouds”
MP3: Nightlands – “Suzerain (A Letter To The Judge)”
Video: Nightlands – “Born To Love”

Brooklyn’s Yeasayer will circle back behind their third album Fragrant World with a show at The Phoenix on July 2.

MP3: Yeasayer – “Henrietta”
MP3: Yeasayer – “Longevity”

Two-tone legends The Specials are coming back to town, slating a July 9 date at The Kool Haus, tickets $39.50.

Video: The Specials – “Message To You Rudy”

“Edge” certainly doesn’t mean what it used to. Traditionally the region’s premier bro-fest, the CFNY-sponsored Edgefest has gone acoustic and plaid for 2013, taking advantage of Lollapalooza weekend to present a lineup headlined by The Lumineers and Band Of Horses at Downsview Park on July 31. Quite an about face from past editions of the festival, which has in the past been closed out by the likes of Billy Talent, A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, and Our Lady Peace. Tickets for the day are $49.50 plus fees.

MP3: Band Of Horses – “No One’s Gonna Love You”
Video: The Lumineers – “Hey Ho”

Okay, so as it turns out there was more announced this week than I thought. Elsewhere… talks to Redd Kross’ Steve McDonald, who will tear things up at The Horseshoe tomorrow night, April 11.

The Thermals are streaming their new super-short but super-intense new album Desperate Ground at Pitchfork before its out on Apri l6. They play The Horseshoe on May 21.

Stream: The Thermals / Desperate Ground

Another new track from Steve Earle’s Low Highway – out April 16 – has been made available to stream.

Stream: Steve Earle & The Dukes (and Duchesses) – “Calico County”

DIY talks to Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne ahead of next week’s release of The Terror.

Under The Radar interviews Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, in town at The Kool Haus on May 9.

NPR has a Mountain Stage session with Calexico, coming to Toronto for a NXNE show at the Mod Club on June 12.

Exclaim, The Village Voice, Pitchfork, and Consequence Of Sound all want to talk to Kurt Vile about his latest album Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze, out now. He plays the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 7.

Lissie has rolled out a lyric video fro the first sample of her second album, due out this September.

Lyric Video: Lissie – “Shameless”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Caitlin Rose.

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

SxSW 2012 Night Zero A/V

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFull writeup of the SXSW 2012’s abbreviated programme can be seen over here.

– New York-based garage-psych outfit led by Cults-bro Richie James Follin whose debut self-titled EP is available as a free download at Bandcamp.

Photos: Guards @ Parkside – March 13, 2012
MP3: Guards – “Hear You Call”
MP3: Guards – “Resolution Of One”
MP3: Guards – “Do It Again”
MP3: Guards – “Don’t Wake The Dead”
Stream: Guards / Guards
Video: Guards – “Feels Like That”

– Austin-based power trio led by the flailing hair and guitar of Lauren Larsen; their long-awaited album Phantoms finally came out last year

Photos: Ume @ Bat Bar – March 13, 2012
MP3: Ume – “Captive”
MP3: Ume – “The Conductor”
MP3: Ume – “Pendulum”
MP3: Ume – “Wake”
Video: Ume – “Captive”
Video: Ume – “The Conductor”

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

SXSW 2012 Night Zero

Ume and Guards at SXSW 2012

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangYes, that’s right – night zero. The Tuesday night of SXSW used to be a chance to settle in, to catch up with friends, to have a proper meal. And maybe get ripped and pass out. Whatever. The last few years have seen the number of Interactive closing party events grow significantly, and as of last year there were official Music showcases scheduled for the Tuesday; not a lot, but enough to see that the festival was growing yet again – remember when there wasn’t much going on on Wednesdays?

Anyways, I’ve been staging a bit of a protest of this by refusing to take part in any Tuesday shows – four nights of madness is quite enough, thanks – but this year, my options for the evening amounted to staying in and watching Escape From L.A. or just giving in and seeing some bands. After a little prodding from You Ain’t No Picasso, I gave in and saw some bands.

Inaugurating this year’s fest – for me, at least – were Guards from New York, whom I’d never heard, at Parkside, a bar I’d never been. I did know they were from New York and that band principal Richie James Follin was brother of Cults singer Madeline Follin – which explains why she and Brian Oblivion were standing side stage. And within a few songs of their set, which was given a bit of a Krautrock vibe thanks to a fire alarm beeping throughout their set, it was clear they specialized in a retro-friendly kind of garage pop that could and would take expeditions into psych jams when they felt like it. It wasn’t especially fresh but very much in vogue, and I suspect that a random sample of bands at the fest this year would sound similar. Still, they had good energy, a decent amount of showmanship and as warm-ups go, did the job.

Seeing Austin’s own Ume has become something of a SXSW tradition for me as dinner at Guero’s, and this time I was able to check them off early – so maybe there was an upside to this Tuesday night showcase thing. Their set was slightly delayed by soundchecking, but it gave time for a goodly-sized crowd to assemble on 6th St outside the open window of Bat Bar. You can probably refer back to any of the past writeups for a sense of how things went – high-energy rock showcasing crazy guitar heroics from Lauren Larsen. Nothing to complain about there. What made this show different was that it incorporated songs from their long-awaited full-length Phantoms, released last year. The new material didn’t necessarily grow the songwriting beyond what they demonstrated on the Sunshower EP, but did expand on it sufficiently to sate one’s appetite. And it gives Ume an excuse to keep touring and melting faces.

And some (mostly) non-SXSW content…

The Line Of Best Fit have premiered a new video from Veronica Falls, a track not taken from last year’s self-titled debut.

Video: Veronica Falls – “My Heart Beats”

Also with a new video – The Horrors, from Skying. The Quietus talks to director Pete Fowler about the clip.

Video: The Horrors – “Changing The Rain”

Tindersticks have released a new video from The Something Rain.

Video: Tindersticks – “A Night So Still”

Saw Clock Opera yesterday but won’t get around to writing that up for a bit so in the meantime, check out the new video from their debut Ways To Forget, out April 23.

Video: Clock Opera – “Man Made”

Summer Camp have re-recorded “Round the Moon” in French in honour of some upcoming French tour dates. DIY has the en francais version available to stream.

Stream: Summer Camp – “Autour De La Lune”