Posts Tagged ‘Jon Auer’

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

"A(nother) Salty Salute"

Everyone covers Guided By Voices

Photo By Michael LavineMichael LavineWhen Guided By Voices announced they were calling it a day back in Summer of 2004, I marked the occasion with a tribute cover of the week which basically consisted of me scraping together all of the GBV covers I could find and tossing them onto the internet (where they mostly came from in the first place). So it seems appropriate that as Guided By Voices have reunited and will play tonight as the grand finale of Matador at 21 in Las Vegas, I should bust out some/most of those same tracks to, again, mark the occasion.

And interestingly, many of the artists who are represented are also returning to active duty following long breaks. The Strokes, after an extended hiatus and countless solo projects, are back in the studio and Julian Casablancas has announced their fourth album will be released on March 11, 2011 though it’s doubtful anyone will actually try to hold them to that. Spoon have become one of the biggest and most reliable rock acts in indiedom, releasing Transference earlier this year and also appearing at Matador @ 21. For many years, Portastatic was Mac McCaughan’s primary creative outlet but now that Superchunk is back with Majesty Shredding. their first album in a decade – they too are celebrating their tenure on Matador in Vegas this weekend. Vancouver’s Salteens are putting out their first album in seven years in Grey Eyes, due October 12. Jimmy Eat World’s new record Invented is their first in three years; they’re at the Kool Haus in Toronto on October 17. And finally, Jon Auer’ Posies have just released Blood/Candy, their second post-reunion record but still first in five years.

Odds of any more Guided By Voices remain slim to none, but Robert Pollard will surely keep putting out at least a dozen records a year. Give or take.

MP3: The Strokes – “A Salty Salute”
MP3: Spoon – “Melted Pat”
MP3: Portastatic – “Echoes Myron”
MP3: The Salteens – “Motor Away”
MP3: Jimmy Eat World – “Game Of Pricks”
MP3: Jon Auer – “Gold Star For Robot Boy”
Video: Guided By Voices – “A Salty Salute” (live, 2007)
Video: Guided By Voices – “Auditorium/Motor Away”
Video: Guided By Voices – “Game Of Pricks” (live)
Video: Guided By Voices – “Gold Star For Robot Boy” (live)
Stream: Guided By Voices – “Echoes Myron”

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Santa Left A Booger In My Stocking

Aqua Teen Hunger Force (and me) wish Daytrotter (and you) a merry Christmas

Illustration By Johnnie CluneyJohnnie CluneyLast post before the holidays! And it comes courtesy of the ever-lovin’ Daytrotter, who’ve managed to wrangle a studio session of soon-to-be holiday classics from the animated miscreants of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. If the idea of Shake, Meatwad and Carl celebrating the season in song doesn’t do it for you, well I’m sorry, I don’t want to know you. And no, I don’t know where Frylock is – maybe he doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Or sing. Or both. And for context, the Aqua Teen Hunger Force isn’t singing just for the joy of it – they’ve got themselves a holiday album out in Have Yourself A Meaty Little Christmas. Do with that information what you will.

Also with a Christmas tune and a new album – but not a Christmas album – is The Magnetic Fields. Realism is out on January 26 and NME has posted up the one Yule-themed tune as a first taste of the record to download while Spinner talks to Stephin Merritt about the album’s influences. The Magnetic Fields will be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto on February 8.

MP3: The Magnetic Fields – “Everything Is One Big Christmas”

A Good Day For Airplay has an exclusive download of “Let It Snow” by Jon Auer of The Posies and Big Star.

BrooklynVegan has an end-of-year interview with The Pains Of Being Pure Of Heart and another one with Antlers.

Spinner talks to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips about their decision to cover Dark Side Of The Moon.

Some shows – big and small – coming up in the new year that you may want to take note of. Hamilton’s Dark Mean, whose free-to-download Frankencottage EP makes them worthy of note – are playing a free show at the Horseshoe on January 4. Hero Hill named their debut one of their top EPs of the year and has an interview and new song to download.

Video: Dark Mean – “Frankencottage”

The Balconies, who need no introduction in these pages, have a gig at Supermarket on January 6.

Amos The Transparent will make the trek down from Ottawa for a gig at the Horseshoe on January 9. Not sure why, but my years seem to end or start with Amos. A tradition I’m quite alright with.

MP3: Amos The Transparent – “Title Track”

$100 will be at the Horseshoe on January 22. Oh No Forest Fires are there the following night.

A little bit of Brooklyn pays Toronto a visit when Pattern Is Movement and Via Audio stop in at the Drake Underground on March 1. Via Audio’s new record Animalore is out March 9, tickets to the show are $10.

MP3: Pattern Is Movement – “Blanched & Threshed”
MP3: Pattern Is Movement – “In Tape Grass”
MP3: Via Audio – “Babies…”

I’d call Swedish electro-pop duo jj un-Googleable, but that implies that there’s something out there in the wilds of the internet to find. And really, there isn’t, except for this glowing Pitchfork review for this year’s No. 2. Their next record – the imaginatively-titled No. 3 – will be out on March 9 via Secretly Canadian and their Spring North American tour will bring them to Lee’s Palace on April 3. It’s certainly implied that The xx, who are accompanying their lower-case compatriots on most other dates, will be along for this one as well but considering they’re confirmed to be at the Kool Haus barely two weeks later supporting Hot Chip, I wouldn’t take that for granted. I’ll confirm that one way or the other when I can.

MP3: jj – “Ecstasy”

Trans Am have a date at the Horseshoe on Horseshoe April 21.

MP3: Trans Am – “Remote Control”

Canadian Musicfest has rolled out the first batch of performers for the 2010 edition of the festival, running March 10 through 14 all throughout Toronto. Noteworthy names include Constantines, reigning Mercury Prize winner Speech Debelle, The Acorn, Rural Alberta Advantage and Great Lake Swimmers.

And no noteworthy names of yet for 2010’s Olympic Island festival, but it is happening and all will be revealed on January 11 at 7:30 PM. Any guesses?

K, that’s it for a bit. Happy holidays all.

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Set The Sails

Review of Dan Mangan's Nice, Nice, Very Nice

Photo By Jonathan TaggartJonathan TaggartSaying I was a bit award-ed out following last week’s Polaris Prize gala would be something of an understatement, so the ceremonies for the Verge XM Awards the following night were largely ignored around these parts. But that doesn’t mean the results weren’t of interest – okay, Alexisonfire winning album of the year was of zero interest, but the declaration of Vancouver’s Dan Mangan as artist of the year certainly drew a double-take. This response had nothing to do with Mangan or his work, simply the fact that it’s a pretty heady honour to bestow on someone who’d only released his new album Nice, Nice, Very Nice a little over a month prior, though that was preceded by the Roboteering EP in the Spring. The whys and wherefores of that do interest me, but we’ll set that aside for now and just consider the record.

And it’s a good one. On the surface, it’s a tuneful collection of roots-rock/pop, hummably melodic and understatedly orchestrated, but what’s most compelling is the narrator that Mangan inhabits in his songs. Though his likeable rasp implies a certain forthrightness of character, that he’s the sort of guy who tells is straight and like it is, lyrically he’s much slipperier. Sardonic observer of the world around him one moment, absurdist storyteller the next, but I suppose when done right the two really aren’t all that different. You’re never sure if Mangan is telling tall tales or pouring his broken heart out because he does both with a twinkle in his eye; the unreliable narrator, the court jester, or just the guy perched on a barstool, it doesn’t really matter – there’s as much cosmic truth as fiction in these songs and either is where you find it. And if you’re just looking for some great songs, they’re here too. Artist of the Year still strikes me as a bit premature, but if Mangan is still finding himself up for awards in a year’s time or so, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

Mangan kicks off a cross-country tour this week and will be in Toronto in a couple weeks on October 16 for an in-store at Criminal Records on October 16 at 6PM and a gig proper at the Rivoli that night. Then it’s off to the UK and Europe. Okay, maybe he’s having a really good year after all. There’s features on Mangan at The Georgia Straight.

MP3: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Robots”
Video: Dan Mangan – “The Indie Queens Are Waiting”
Stream: Dan Mangan / Roboteering
Stream: Dan Mangan / Nice, Nice, Very Nice
MySpace: Dan Mangan

As promised, Sloan are giving away a new song. “Take It Upon Yourself” is a Chris song that sounds like a Jay song (it’s the piano) and is available for frees in exchange for your email address.

Note that the Rural Alberta Advantage show originally scheduled for November 4 at Lee’s Palace has been moved to November 20 – tickets for the former date are still good. There’s an interview with frontman Nils Edenloff at The Maneater.

Forest City Lovers have completed their first 7″ single, available to pre-order now in advance of its November 10 release. Something to hold you over until they release album number three next year.

Portions of the Caribou Vibration Ensemble performance at All Tomorrow’s Parties NY have been made available to stream or download at the Free Music Archive, with word that a full live album may be forthcoming. The Toronto show was amazing – I expect this was nothing less.

MP3: The Caribou Vibration Ensemble – “Skunks”
MP3: The Caribou Vibration Ensemble – “Barnowl”
MP3: The Caribou Vibration Ensemble – “Brahminy Kite”
MP3: The Caribou Vibration Ensemble – “A Final Warning”

Handsome Furs have set a date for Lee’s Palace on December 5, tickets $15. No occasion, just bringing some rock.

MP3: Handsome Furs – “I’m Confused”

NPR has a World Cafe session with The Jayhawks.

Spinner has another video taken from the forthcoming live R.E.M. album Live At The Olympia, out October 27.

Video: R.E.M. – “Man-Sized Wreath” (live)

Long-time R.E.M. sideman and once-and-future Posie Ken Stringfellow has a new band of Norwegians called The Disciplines. It’s got a garage-ish bent, but there’s no suppressing Stringfellow’s canny pop sensibilities. They’re heading out for a North American tour next month, including a stop at the Velvet Underground in Toronto on October 22 ($8 in advance), and are also looking for places to crash in many of the cities on the itinerary and a Vox AC30 amp to borrow.

Video: The Disciplines – “Best Mistake”
Video: The Disciplines – “Yours For The Taking (Smoking Kills)”

AZCentral talks to the other principal in the Posies, Jon Auer.

City Pages Q&A’s Built To Spill, whose new record There Is No Enemy is out next week and who have Lee’s Palace reserved for two nights, October 6 and 7.

Epigram Music talks to Sufjan Stevens about his BQE project, out October 20. He plays Lee’s Palace on Thursday night, October 1.

St Vincent’s Annice clark talks to Radar Online about her contribution to the soundtrack to New Moon, which I’m content to know nothing about save for one of the protagonists sparkles. Clark also gives an interview to The Vanguard.

There’s a new video for the Taken By Trees cover of Animal Collective’s “My Girls”, from her new album East Of Eden.

Video: Taken By Trees – “My Boys”

Blurt has a feature on Monsters Of Folk, who will be at Massey Hall on November 2.