Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Jay’

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Heart Of Gold

Chromewaves co-presents Paper Bag Records showcase at SXSW 2010

Photo By Todd DuymTodd DuymI can appreciate that relations between Canada and the United States might be a bit strained today, following last night’s Olympic men’s hockey gold medal game – or at least between Canada and the dozen or so Americans who care about hockey – but perhaps this gesture of musical ambassadorship will help ease tensions a little bit.

When I head down to SxSW each year, going to see Canadian acts is usually near the bottom of my list of things to do. Not because it’s not worthy of my attention – far from it – but living in Toronto, I get more than my share of opportunities to see the best of Canadian talent so to fly all the way down to Texas to see those same acts seems… inefficient. But that in no way, shape or form means that I don’t heartily endorse those who aren’t so fortunate as to live in one of the major hubs of Canadian music to take the Sx opportunity to see said acts – so with that in mind, I’m very pleased to be co-presenting the official Paper Bag Records showcase at SxSW this year.

The show will kick off at 8PM with Montreal’s CFCF, though he’ll be handling DJ duties rather than performing pieces from his album Continent. Then it will be the one non-PBR act on the bill, Toronto’s choral-gospel blues choir Bruce Peninsula at 9PM, followed by Montreal electro-pop outfit Winter Gloves at 10PM. Toronto lo-fi rock outfit Little Girls showcases their debut Concepts at 11 and then it’s an all-out electro-rock dance party to wind things out, first with Woodhands and their latest Remorscapade at midnight and Vancouver’s disco-rock heroes You Say Party! We Say Die!, who are finally allowed back into the US following some immigration misunderstandings a few years ago, just in time for them to introduce their latest xxxx to America. Update: Well, my description on how the night will arc won’t be quite right – some set times have moved around, and it will now go: CFCF @ 8, BP @ 9, LG @ 10, WH @ 11, WG @ 12, YSPWSD @ 1. Everything else remains true.

To those headed to Austin in mid-March, the Paper Bag showcase will be taking place on Thursday, March 18 at Speakeasy, located at 412 South Congress Ave at West 5th St. And to those not, some/all of the acts on the bill may be coming to you. YSP!WSD! are making the most of their US visas with dates all over America through March before coming back to Canada including an April 2 date at the Horseshoe. Woodhands are crossing the continent through April, including a hometown show at the Opera House on March 13. Bruce Peninsula are making a couple of US stops en route to Austin and have a handful of Ontario dates in the Spring, including a March 25 show at The Garrison. YSP!WSD! are featured are Blogcritics and Sentimentalist. Uptown and See talk to Woodhands.

MP3: You Say Party! We Say Die! – “Laura Palmer’s Prom”
MP3: Woodhands – “Dissembler”
MP3: Little Girls – “Growing”
MP3: Winter Gloves – “Factories” (alternate)
MP3: Bruce Peninsula – “Crabapples”
MP3: CFCF – “Monolith”

Also noteworthy on the SxSW front is a day show taking place on Thursday, March 18 at the Flamingo Cantina on East 6th St at Red River and co-presented by Team Clermont and my associates at MBV Music. That show, which kicks off at noon, will feature Venice Is Sinking, Jeremy Jay, Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, Jookabox, Dengue Fever and Califone. Plus a special guest headliner whom, if it’s who I’ve heard it might be, will be a hell of a finish. So yeah, drop by. Have a drink. It’ll be a good time.

MP3: Califone – “Funeral Singers”
MP3: Dengue Fever – “Sober Driver”
MP3: Jookabox – “You Cried Me”
MP3: Collections Of Colonies Of Bees – “Flocks 1”
MP3: Jeremy Jay – “Breaking The Ice”
MP3: Venice Is Sinking – “Compass”

Okay, back to now and not Spring Break. There’s a new video available from Love Is All’s forthcoming Two Thousand and Ten Injuries, out March 23. They’re at the Horseshoe on April 3.

Video: Love Is All – “Kungen”

jj have a new video for the first single from No 3, due out March 9. They’re at the Phoenix on April 4.

Video: jj – “Let Go”

To anyone curious as to what Jonsi has in store for his two night stand at the Sound Academy on April 30 and May 1, check out this video about the making of his stage set. His solo debut Go is out March 23.

Ca Va Cool interviews Shout Out Louds. They play The Mod Club on May 8.

The Hamilton Spectator has a feature piece on Owen Pallett, who plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 8.

Volume 8 of The Line Of Best Fit’s Oh! Canada mixtape series is now up for grabs.

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

A United Theory

Review of Stuart Murdoch's God Help The Girl

Photo via godhelpthegirl.comGod Help The GirlI’ll not presume to speak for other Belle & Sebastian fans, but when word came out that Stuart Murdoch was putting the Scottish septet on hiatus to work on a film/stage/musical project, I couldn’t help but be concerned. After all, hiatuses, solo projects and retrospective compilations – last year’s BBC Sessions – don’t usually augur well for the future of a band going forwards.

The future of Belle & Sebastian aside, one can’t help but look on the results of Murdoch’s efforts, manifested as God Help The Girl (the band) and God Help The Girl (the album) – there’s also a “God Help The Girl” (the song) – and be impressed. In recruiting three new female voices to help him fulfill his dream of crafting a set of songs sung from a woman’s perspective and framed in a more orchestral, theatrical context, Murdoch has managed to create a record that’s as familiar and accessible to long-time fans as any new Belle & Sebastian record would have been, but also different enough from the day job to justify its completely separate identity. Though a couple of B&S songs appear here in reimagined form, it’s hard to imagine some of these tunes being done justice by the band. That’s no knock on Sarah Martin, but God Help The Girl demands a certain boldness and brassiness that’s simply not her forte.

Though recent Irish emigree Catherine Ireton takes lead vocals on the majority of tracks and does a lovely job, it’s the wide range of voices throughout the record – The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, Smoosh’s Asya and Murdoch himself contribute memorable turns – and the rich, string-laden arrangements, courtesy of B&S’ Mick Cooke, that make God Help The Girl such a success. The best songs soar to the same heights as anything Murdoch has ever done and the lesser moments drift amiably by, perhaps needing the visual narrative elements to which they were intended to work properly. That said, I’m not actually sure I’d want to see a filmic version of the record come to light – there’s something special about a soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist and in a less fluffy sense, I worry that without a proper production budget it’d not look as good as it should and thus detract from the overall experience. They did a pretty nice job on the videos so far, though, so perhaps these concerns are unfounded. Either way, even if God Help The Girl doesn’t ever become the multi-platform, multimedia juggernaut that Murdoch envisions, it will remain the unexpectedly attractive second cousin in the Belle & Sebastian family portrait, itself a pretty good-looking clan to begin with.

In this interview with eMusic, Murdoch provides a rough outline of the album’s storyline and says that the film already has a big-time Hollywood producer attached but that work will probably not begin in earnest until the next Belle & Sebastian record is done, with the band coming off hiatus towards the end of this year. Paste has made this month’s cover feature on Stuart Murdoch available online, and Magnet plays over/under with the Belle & Sebastian song catalog.

MP3: God Help The Girl – “Come Monday Night”
MP3: God Help The Girl – “Funny Little Frog”
MP3: God Help The Girl – “Mary’s Market”
Video: God Help The Girl – “Funny Little Frog”
Video: God Help The Girl – “Come Monday Night”
MySpace: God Help The Girl

Asia One talks to Emmy The Great.

MP3: Emmy The Great – “We Almost Had A Baby” (Simon Raymonde mix)

Uncensored has an interview with Polly Scattergood.

State and The List talk to The Horrors, who will be at Lee’s Palace on October 14.

The National Post, and The Singing Lamb get some time with Zach Condon of Beirut, while The Singing Lamb also says hello to tourmates The Dodos. Both are in town tonight for a mega-sold out show at the Phoenix.

Never one who could be accused of being a workaholic, Hope Sandoval will release her second album with The Warm Intentions, aka Colm O’Coisig of My Bloody Valentine, on September 1. Entitled Through The Devil Softly, it will be followed by North American touring this Fall and according to Rolling Stone, there’s another Mazzy Star album in the works.

MP3: Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions – “Blanchard”

I’m still waiting for Seattle’s Throw Me The Statue to name an album And I’ll Throw You The Whip, but it hasn’t happened yet. Their new one is called Creaturesque and will be released August 4 – look for them at a venue to be announced in Toronto on August 30.

MP3: Throw Me The Statue – “Ancestors”

Sondre Lerche is at the Mod Club on September 16 in support of his new record Heartbeat Radio, out September 8. Details and dates at Billboard.

Placebo have a new record in Battle For The Sun and are touring to support – look for them at the Sound Academy on October 6. The Star has a conversation with Brian Molko about making the new record.

Video: Placebo – “Battle For The Sun”

Echo & The Bunnymen will bring their orchestrally-enhanced live rendering of Ocean Rain to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 20. Tickets on sale Saturday for $65. Yowch.

Video: Echo & The Bunnymen – “The Killing Moon”

Jeremy Jay will be in town on November 8 at a venue to be announced.

MP3: Jeremy Jay – “Beautiful Rebel”

Billy Bragg, still touring on last year’s Mr Love & Justice, will be touring across Canada this Fall, including a date at the Phoenix on November 17.

MP3: Billy Bragg – “I Keep Faith”

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Gimme Sympathy

Metric and Holy Fuck at The Mod Club in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhen Metric’s latest album Fantasies first became available to stream a month ago, the immediate reaction around the interwebs seemed to be largely along the lines of breathless, “their best album yet!”-type praise (tempered by the mandatory, “worst ever!” naysayers). I myself took to it far quicker than I did their last effort Live It Out, which I never really took to at all, and thought this would be the record to rekindle what had once been an intense interest in the band but which had waned significantly in recent years. Some more time spent with the album has tempered that opinion a bit – Fantasies boasts some of Metric’s very best choruses and some killer catchy tunes, but it’s not the game-changer they’d probably have to deliver to really turn me around completely. But that’s alright because it’s obvious that many, many people love them just the way they are and “just another Metric record” is probably synonymous with, “best thing in the world”.

And it was with these people that the Mod Club, a venue many times smaller than the band normally plays these days, was packed with on Tuesday night. The intimate hometown club show was one of the special events held to mark the new record’s release, following an even smaller secret show and in-store in the preceding weeks. For me, it’d been over five and a half years since I’d seen them play a full show (the exception being part of their V Fest 2007 set) – a fact I had to double-check to make sure was correct – so the experience was a bit odd, like running into someone you knew a long time ago and presumed to still know, but possibly/probably didn’t at all.

Opening things up were electro-instrumentalists Holy Fuck, a band who themselves are used to headlining much larger rooms. While I like their recorded output alright, I always enjoy seeing them live as they perform with more energy than a couple guys standing at makeshift tables decked out with keyboards and effects pedals have any right to, mutating their songs in real time. The privilege of seeing them do their thing in such close quarters seemed to be largely lost on the audience, however, who were there for one thing and one thing only.

And for that one thing – Metric, if you weren’t keeping up – they had to wait, as the band didn’t take the stage until over half an hour later than their scheduled set time (kind of like back in 2003 – nice to see some things don’t change). I don’t think anyone cared, though, based on the roars that greeted them when they finally strode onstage and into “Twilight Galaxy”, from Fantasies. Not the most high-energy opener, but an effective intro even with Emily Haines’ synth not firing on all cylinders. The roadies rectified it almost immediately after the song’s end, however, and the band played the song’s outro again to demonstrate how much better it’d have sounded if the synth had been working. Cute.

The last couple times I’d seen Haines live was in her solo/Soft Skeleton guise and banter or audience interaction was largely verboten, so I was a bit surprised at how chatty and engaging she was from the get-go. Of course, her banter was Billy Bob-esque in its randomness and incoherence, but it was nice to see her making the effort and the devout audience ate up every rambling word. There was no lack of focus in her performance, though – she and her Aladdin Sane makeup demonstrated the charisma that makes her arguably one of the most dynamic frontpersons in Canada, even if some of it felt more rehearsed than spontaneous.

The show focused heavily on Fantasies, with nine of the ten tracks getting aired, which suited me fine. Contrasted with the new material’s undeniable melodic and anthemic qualities, Live It Out‘s aggressive guitar-led tunes sounded even more abrasive (in a bad way) than I remembered. Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? was represented only by “Dead Disco”, and I’d thought that would be the end of the main set but had forgotten that they now had “Stadium Love”, a glorious anthem that will rightly close their shows from now until the end of time.

The encore consisted of “Monster Hospital” and a greatly stripped-down “Live It Out”, but by then I’d inched almost out the door and barely heard Haines thanking everyone and declaring her love for everyone. And possibly selling anti-depressants, it wasn’t entirely clear. Putting aside some garbage that left me in a somewhat sour mood most of the night, including but not limited to a heinously drunk guy threatening to smash a bottle on my head for asking him to stop shoving before the show had even started, Metric put on an impressive show that’s well-suited for the large-scale stages that they’ve grown accustomed to playing and will no doubt continue to do, buoyed by the mass appeal of Fantasies. It also made it clear that I’ll likely never be as into the band as I once was – we’ll always have 2003 – but they’ll go far, these ones.

eye, Chart, The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star and The National Post all have reviews of the show. RCRDLBL has a remix of “Help, I’m Alive” available to download and Ear Farm, and The National Post have interviews with the band. Their spending the next few months touring the world and will return home for a June 20 show as part of Edgefest at Downsview Park. Holy Fuck are touring Europe and the US this Spring and do a hometown show at Harbourfront Centre on July 10.

Photos: Metric @ The Mod Club – April 14, 2009
MP3: Holy Fuck – “Lovely Allen”
MP3: Holy Fuck – “Jungles”
Video: Metric – “Gimme Sympathy”
Video: Metric – “Monster Hospital”
Video: Metric – “Poster Of A Girl”
Video: Metric – “Empty”
Video: Metric – “Dead Disco”
Video: Metric – “Combat Baby”
Video: Metric – “Succexy”
Video: Holy Fuck – “Lovely Allen”
Video: Holy Fuck – “Milkshake”
MySpace: Metric
MySpace: Holy Fuck

The Dears have released a new video from last year’s Missiles and are hitting the road soon, starting on April 30 with a show at the Mod Club.

Video: The Dears – “Disclaimer”

CBC Radio 3, CityNews and AOL Music Canada interview Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers, who have a show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 25.

The Montreal Gazette talks to Arcade Fire’s Win Butler about making the Miroir Noir film.

Jeremy Jay will be at the Poor Alex Theatre on May 6 in support of his new album Slow Dance. Tickets are $10.

MP3: Jeremy Jay – “Beautiful Rebel”

Phoenix, not seen in these parts since V Fest 2006, will return on June 15 for a show at, wait for it, The Phoenix. Did that just blow your mind a little? Yeah. Full tour dates at Stereogum. Their new album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is out May 29. Here’s a video. You can grab an MP3 from their website.

Video: Phoenix – “Lisztomania”

For The Records reports that Friendly Fires, who stole the show from White Lies back in March, will return for a headlining show of their own at Lee’s Palace on August 10.

NOW reports that some of the acts coming to town for NxNE will include Black Lips, No Age and Matt & Kim. This year’s fest takes place June 18 to 20.

This Saturday is Record Store Day. Go out and hug your local record store. eye has a round-up of what’s going on at stores around Toronto while Pitchfork has rounded up some of the limited edition goodies that’ll be available at some outlets courtesy of various record labels.

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

Hot Freaks at SxSW 2009… revealed!

Photo By Donald MilneDonald MilneThe first one went over like gangbusters, and the second one was even better… so why wouldn’t we do it all again for 2009? Yes’m, I’m once again very proud to be able to announce – along with fellow music blog compatriots Aquarium Drunkard, Gorilla Vs Bear, Largehearted Boy, My Old Kentucky Blog and You Ain’t No Picasso – the lineup for Hot Freaks 2009, taking place during SxSW at the Mohawk and Club DeVille in Austin, Texas on March 20 and 21. Two days, three stages, 32 acts.

It’s taken a little longer than usual to get things together this year, but it’s been worth the wait. I mean, we’ve had some pretty impressive Hot Freaks alumnus over the last couple years – St Vincent, Shearwater, The Polyphonic Spree, Grizzly Bear, Land Of Talk, Jens Lekman, Lykke Li, The Acorn and British Sea Power to name just a few – but I will hold this Hot Freaks lineup up against any of the others we’ve pulled together in the past. But don’t just take my word for it – have a look:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Club DeVille (Insound Stage)
12:30 PM Obits / MySpace / MP3: “Pine On”
1:30 PM Handsome Furs / MySpace / MP3: “I’m Confused”
2:30 PM American Analog Set / MySpace
3:30 PM The Thermals / MySpace / MP3: “Now We Can See”
4:30 PM The Hold Steady / MySpace

The Mohawk Patio
12:00 PM The Wrens / MySpace / MP3: “Everyone Choose Sides”
1:00 PM Bishop Allen / MySpace / MP3: “Dimmer”
2:00 PM The Henry Clay People / MySpace / MP3: “Something In The Water”
3:00 PM Port O’Brien / MySpace / MP3: “I Woke Up Today”
4:00 PM The Rosebuds / MySpace / MP3: “Life Like”
5:00 PM Delta Spirit / MySpace / MP3: “People C’Mon”

The Mohawk Inside
12:30 PM The Rural Alberta Advantage / MySpace / MP3: “Don’t Haunt This Place”
1:30 PM We Have Band / MySpace / MP3: “Hear It In The Cans”
2:30 PM These United States / MySpace / MP3: “Honor Amongst Thieves”
3:30 PM Alela Diane / MySpace / MP3: “White As Diamonds”
4:30 PM Richard Swift / Richard Swift / MP3: “Lady Luck”

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Club DeVille
12:30 PM Real Estate / MySpace / MP3: “Black Lake”
1:30 PM Girls / MySpace / MP3: “Lust For Life”
2:30 PM The Grates / MySpace / MP3: “Burn Bridges”
3:30 PM Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains / MySpace / MP3: “American Names”
4:30 PM Jeremy Jay / MySpace / MP3: “Beautiful Rebel”

The Mohawk Patio
12:00 PM Harlem / MySpace
1:00 PM Jason Lytle / MySpace / MP3: “Birds Encouraged Him” (live)
2:00 PM Vivian Girls / MySpace / MP3: “Where Do You Run To?”
3:00 PM Viva Voce / MySpace / MP3: “Drown Them Out”
4:00 PM Peelander-Z / MySpace / MP3: “Ninja-High Schooool”
5:00 PM Camera Obscura / MySpace / MP3: “My Maudlin Career”

The Mohawk Inside
12:30 PM Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers / MySpace / MP3: “Filthy & Free”
1:30 PM Roadside Graves / MySpace
2:30 PM Mason Proper / MySpace / MP3: “Fog”
3:30 PM Lemonade / MySpace / MP3: “Big Weekend”
4:30 PM Amazing Baby / MySpace / MP3: “Bayonets”

The Wrens are kicking things off at noon. The Rural Alberta Advantage will still be riding high on opening up for Grizzly Bear the night before. The American Analog Set – reunited and reactivated for this show only! – are playing The Golden Band in its entirety. The Hold Steady will be holding court on the Insound stage. Alela Diane will mesmerize. The Grates will be bouncing off the walls. Jason Lytle will unveil his post-Grandaddy works. Peelander-Z will do… what Peelander Z does. And Camera Obscura will close things out by showcasing their forthcoming album My Maudlin Career. This, my friends, is what we call bliss.

And thanks go out to our main sponsors GOOM Radio and, who are offering 75 free songs for signups. Please respondez s’il vous plait – admission is free, PBRs are $1. Awesome is guaranteed. And sorry, this is a 21+ event – the drinks will be flowing.

Add all our shows to your calendar. You DO have one, right?

MP3: Guided By Voices – “Hot Freaks”