Posts Tagged ‘Joanna Newsom’

Friday, March 15th, 2013

What We Done?

Austra album news and giveaway lead weekly wrap-up

Photo By Norman WongNorman WongIncreasingly, Friday posts are for clearing off the decks of whatever hasn’t gone out earlier in the week, but that doesn’t mean the content isn’t quality – this ain’t no fire sale, son. But it also doesn’t mean I’m not giving some stuff away. Because I am.

Earlier this week, Toronto electro-operatic sensation Austra announced details of their second album, to be entitled Olympia and due out June 18. And because they believe in deeds, not words, they also made the first single from the new record available to stream. And if you want to hear more new material – or are now in the mood to hear some Feel It Break material – you’ll probably want to be at The Danforth Music Hall next Saturday night, March 23, for their late-add Canadian Musicfest performance.

Though a limited number of festival wristbands and passes will be admitted, lineups and attendant stresses can be eliminated with advance tickets. Those are going for $24 in advance, but courtesy of Embrace, I’ve got four pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at with “I want to see Austra” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that me by midnight, March 20.

Stream: Austra – “Home”

The Line Of Best Fit talks to Alan Sparhawk of Low, who are in town at The Great Hall on Saturday night and release their new record The Invisible Way on Tuesday.

Brett Anderson of Suede chats with DIY. Their new record Bloodsports is out on March 18.

Brightest Young Things has an interview with Philip Ekstrom of The Mary Onettes about their new album Hit The Waves, due out next Tuesday, March 19. Ekstrom also proves game for mini Swede-pop summits, with The Line Of Best Fit having Sambassadeur’s Joachim Läckberg interview Ekstrom and vice-versa – Sambassadeur’s new record is due out later this year – and Q gets his label boss – Johan Angergård of Labrador – to ask him some questions.

Southern Souls has a video session with July Talk, taking part in Canandian Musicfest at Lee’s Palace on March 21.

The National Post has a feature interview with Nick Cave; he leads The Bad Seeds into Massey Hall on March 23.

The Strokes have rolled out the first video from their forthcoming Comedown Machine, out March 26.

Video: The Strokes – “All The Time”

The first video from The House Of Love’s forthcoming She Paints Words In Red – the one that went up last month and was almost immediately pulled – is back up, hopefully for good. The album is out April 1.

Video: The House Of Love – “A Baby Got Back On Its Feet”

In addition to announcing a local tour that includes a free show at the Parkdale Library on April 27, Dusted have made an unreleased track available to download and another rarity available to stream.

MP3: Dusted – “No Trouble”
Stream: Dusted – “In Yr Skull”

Exclaim and MTV Hive have interviews with Rachel Zeffira, coming to town as part of a two-date North American tour on May 2 at The Drake Underground.

MTV Hive talks to Airick Wooded of Doldrums. He’ll be at The Horseshoe on May 11.

I don’t know that a musical from the pens of Stephen King and John Mellencamp is something that I’d necessarily want to know existed, let alone hear, but that the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County soundtrack features performances from the likes of Neko Case and Elvis Costello, I can’t not pay a little attention. The album is out June 4 and a couple tracks are available to stream now. Neko Case is in town at the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 7.

Stream: Neko Case – “That’s Who I Am”
Stream: Elvis Costello – “That’s Me”

The 405 meets Ra Ra Riot, coming back to town on June 8 for Field Trip at Garrison Commons.

Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo compiles a list of his favourite albums for The Quietus. They’ll be at Garrison Commons for TURF on July 7.

The Von Pip Musical Express brings the good news that Nicole Atkins has just about completed her third album, entitled Slow Phaser, and while specific release details are still forthcoming, a first track from it is available to stream.

Stream: Nicole Atkins – “Red Ropes”

The AV Club is running a series of video session musical tributes to various states, and have kicked off in Texas – of course – with Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam offering an unreleased Texas-themed song in the first one and Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg covering Roy Orbison in another.

Also in interesting covers: Joanna Newsom tackling a Sandy Denny song in a performance for a Los Angeles clothing designer; watch the video at Spin and get a little background on the session at

Exclaim talks to Mark Perro of The Men.

If you hadn’t heard, School Of Seven Bells guitarist Benjamin Curtis was recently diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. While treatable, they have set up a website through which they are soliciting support and donations to help cover the costs. Help out if you can.

Robyn Hitchcock discusses his new album Love From London with Spinner.

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The First Time I Ran Away

M. Ward decides to try being M. Ward again for a while

Photo via FacebookFacebookMatt Ward has had a pretty good last few years thanks to his willingness to not be Matt Ward, or more specifically M. Ward. Yes, putting his solo endeavours largely on the backburner since 2009’s Hold Time has allowed him to put out two She & Him albums with Zooey Deschanel and one Monsters Of Folk record with Jim James and Conor Oberst, and certainly garner more popular success than he ever has on his own.

But apparently the time has come for Ward to stand on his own again, as it has been announced that his eighth solo record A Wasteland Companion will be released on April 10. “Solo” being a relative term, of course, as Exclaim points out there’s no shortage of high-profile guests (Deschanel, Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, Bright Eyes/Monsters Of Folk’s Mike Mogis) who’ll make appearances on the record. And as no one needs to point out, it’ll almost certainly be a timeless bit of rustic and rollicking Americana drawn straight from a golden age of music that probably never really existed but we’re perfectly willing to let Ward pretend did anyways.

That the record was coming wasn’t exactly a surprise as Spring tour dates had already been announced, but it’s nice to have some details. We’re still waiting on a local date and a first sample of the new record, so for now just listen to something off of Hold Time.

MP3: M. Ward – “Rave On”

The Alternate Side has posted a video session and interview with Chairlift, whose new record Something is out today. They’re at The Horseshoe on March 28.

As the January 31 release date of their self-titled debut draws nigh, Hospitality are building excitement by way of a Daytrotter session recorded last Fall at CMJ and a new video premiered at Stereogum. They play The Horseshoe on February 29 supporting Tennis.

Video: Hospitatality – “Friends Of Friends”

A Heart Is A Spade asks some quick questions of School Of Seven Bells. Ghostory is out February 28 and they’re at The Hoxton on May 2.

A track from Andrew Bird’s forthcoming Break It Yourself has been made available to stream. It’s out March 6.

Stream: Andrew Bird – “Eyeoneye”

The Young Prisms show at The Drake on March 10 announced last week now has some context – the outfit’s second album In Between will be out on March 27, and the leadoff track from it sounds like this. Tickets for the show are $10.

MP3: Young Prisms – “Floating In Blue”

MusicOmh has an interview with Howler while Paste declares them the best of what’s next; see if the title is deserved when they play The Drake Underground on April 5.

Low have been announced as opening up that Death Cab orchestral show at Massey Hall on April 19. Huh.

MP3: Low – “Especially Me”

The Fleet Foxes/Joanna Newsom episode of Austin City Limits is now available to watch in whole, or head over here for some sample clips.

Rolling Stone talks to John Darnielle about some of the new songs that The Mountain Goats will be road-testing on their current tour, which should eventually make their way onto a new record that may be called Transcendental Youth.

Clash checks in with Guided By Voices guitarist Mitch Mitchell.

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Cry Cry Cry

Stapling mishap delays Nicole Atkins’ Mondo Amore

Photo By Danny ClinchDanny ClinchThose anxiously awaiting the January 25 release of Nicole Atkins’ second album Mondo Amore got a little bad news via the Twitter yesterday when she announced that the record’s on-sale date had to be pushed back because of a manufacturing error with the CD booklets. Consequently, the CD and digital editions of the album will now be coming out on February 8, which was the original release date for the vinyl anyways. So that’s the bad news – the good news is that the record is worth the wait, even the extra fortnight, and that the previously announced tour– including the February 26 date at the Horseshoe in Toronto – is still all systems go, and even now kicks off exactly in line with the record release. Hey, you gotta look for the silver lining, right?

MP3: Nicole Atkins – “Vultures”
Video: Nicole Atkins – “Vultures”

The Greenhornes – the band from whence Raconteurs and Dead Weather Jack Lawrence originally came – released a new record in 4 Stars late last year and are setting out on tour this Spring. Look for them April 3 at the Horseshoe and read this interview with the band at Sentimentalist.

The National will be featured on next week’s Austin City Limits and by way of preview, they’ve released the clip of their performance of “Bloodbuzz Ohio”.

Video: The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio” (live on Austin City Limits)

Rock The Vote talks to Warpaint bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg.

The Economist proves it has other interests besides the economy, including Joanna Newsom with whom it has an interview.

The San Jose Mercury News chats with John Vanderslice, who has made an MP3 from his new orchestrally-enhanced album White Wilderness ahead of its January 25 release date.

MP3: John Vanderslice – “Sea Salt”

NPR is streaming a surprise show in New York last night from Iron & Wine, wherein they performed the whole of their new record Kiss Each Other Clean, out January 25. Note that while the audio isn’t there right now, it’s coming shortly – check back.

Guitar god J Mascis going unplugged isn’t unprecedented – his first solo record was the live and alone Martin & Me – but the first MP3 from his forthcoming Several Shades Of Why has got some sparkly backporch bounce that sounds nice and fresh. The record is out March 15 and he’ll be in town sometime during Canadian Musicfest the week prior.

MP3: J Mascis – “Not Enough”

Destroyer has released a video for the title track of Kaputt, to be released January 25. They’re at Lee’s Palace on March 31 and Crawdaddy has an interview with Dan Bejar.

Video: Destroyer – “Kaputt”

NOW checks in with Evening Hymns’ Jonas Bonetta – they’ll be playing the Out Of This Spark 4th anniversary show at the Tranzac tomorrow night before getting back to work on album number two.

An unexpected collaboration sees the light of day as Shad and City & Colour’s Dallas Green release a collaborative single digitally and on vinyl next Tuesday, January 11. There’s a new song entitled “Live Forever” and a remix of Shad’s “Listen” by Green and all proceeds from the single go to Skate 4 Cancer.

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Ten for '10

Chromewaves’ favourite albums of 2010

2010Image via WikipediaFrank Yang

Well this was certainly a better year than last year, on pretty much every level. Of course, it would have required something on the scale of low-yield nuclear detonation in my bathtub – while I was in it – for it to have been worse, but I’ll take it. Musically, it was actually something of a banner year with what seemed like every active artist that I liked not only putting out new records, but good to great records. More hiatuses ended than started and despite intending to slow down the show-going, I ended up going to even more life-affirming, if not -changing, concerts than in any calendar year I can recall. In short, 2010 brought it.

So you’d think that with such a wealth of great records to choose from, assembling a short list of ten faves should have been easier than a year without as many worthy candidates but if anything, it’s tougher. Acts that release records that meet expectations, however high, are held to extra scrutiny; it’s like, “yeah this record was good but so was the last one – where’s that next level?” which of course is completely unreasonable. And conversely, acts heretofore unknown to me had the element of surprise on their side when it came to triggering the ineffable “wow” reflex. All of which is to say that, like past years, there’s nothing scientific nor quantitative about these selections – they’re alphabetical by artist and represent what I could get behind as of the first weekend of December, 2010, and strongly motivated by a desire to get this list over and done with.

So here they are, after the jump, or if you want to peer closely at my little photoshop project above (click for a bigger version) you can try and guess who made the cut before seeing the answers. Because I know the suspense is delicious.


Thursday, November 18th, 2010


Review of Gregory & The Hawk’s Leche

Photo By Annie RaczAnnie RaczI liked Gregory & The Hawk’s last record, 2008’s Moenie & Kitchi. Really, I did. The combination of New Yorker Meredith Godreau’s sweet, girlish voice and her gentle, mostly-acoustic, semi-orchestral folk-pop is like kryptonite to me and maybe that’s why I was able to resist it – it’s the sort of record I’ve bought a dozen times before and while it’s not a style that I’m necessarily tired of, it is one that requires some above and beyond to really impress me. Which is why, I guess, I hung onto the record but didn’t write it up or make the 10-minute walk – or 5-minute bike ride – to see them at the El Mocambo last May.

The just-released follow-up Leche won’t be so easily ignored, though. While Goudreau hasn’t changed appreciably changed her approach, the new record is an impressive step forward in pretty much all departments. The arrangements are broader this time out, adding more percussion and both electric and electronic textures in just the right amounts to enhance but not obscure the songs’ simple charms. Not that the songs are as simple this time out; they still have the child-like sense of whimsy and fantastical edge to them, but have more dynamic and emotional range and even offer a whiff of darkness or anger that wasn’t present on Moenie. Add to this more immediate and memorable melodies and an unexpected crib of Cutting Crew’s ’80s hit “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”, and you’ve got a record that demands your attention for its own merits, and not just because it sounds like stuff you already like.

Sloucher has an interview with Goudreau.

MP3: Gregory & The Hawk – “Landscapes”
Video: Gregory & The Hawk – “Soulgazing”
Video: Gregory & The Hawk – “For The Best”
Myspace: Gregory & The Hawk

Spinner talks to Nicole Atkins about her new album Mondo Amore, out January 25, and offers a first look at the album art. Stereogum, meanwhile, has the b-side of her recent “Vultures” single – a Can cover – available to download.

Under The Radar has an interview with Sharon Van Etten.

Pitchfork brings word of a Joanna Newsom tribute album with the terrific title of Versions Of Joanna and featuring contributions fromM Ward, Owen Pallett and Billy Bragg, though the first two are previously released recordings and Bragg’s contribution presumably comes from his contribution to the Voice Project. It will be released digitally in December.

BBC Radio 6 and Pitchfork talk to Lykke Li about her new album, due out on March 1 of next year, which will carry the title Wounded Rhymes. She’s at The Phoenix on May 22.

Prefix talks to The Concretes. They’re at The Horseshoe on January 18.

Love Is All have released a new video from their latest, Two Thousand And Ten Injuries.

Video: Love Is All – “Bigger Bolder”

NPR is streaming the whole of Josni’s recent show at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC.

Daytrotter has got a session up with Suuns; they play the Silver Dollar on November 26.

Exclaim talks to Fucked Up drummer Jonah Falco about how progress is coming on their new record.

The Globe & Mail talks to the director of the Feist documentary Look At What The Light Did Now, screening at the ROM this Sunday night and coming out on DVD/CD on December 7.

Good news: in advance of their show at the Sound Academy that night opening up for Broken Social Scene, Superchunk will be playing an in-store at Sonic Boom on the afternoon of December 9. Bad news: it will be happening at 3PM, making it difficult or impossible to attend if you have a 9-5 job… unless you cut out early like some kind of slack motherfucker.

MP3: Superchunk – “Digging For Something”

Baths, Braids and Star Slinger are teaming up for a show at the El Mocambo on February 19, tickets $12. Baths’ debut Cerulean was released this past Summer, Braids’ debut Native Speaker is out January 18.

MP3: Baths – “Maximalist”
MP3: Braids – “Lemonade”