Posts Tagged ‘Julian Casablancas’

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Dream About Me

The Depreciation Guild announces second album

Photo By Josh EustisJosh EustisHaving quite successfully reaped the benefits of the “give it all away for free” ethos with their debut album In Her Gentle Jaws, given away as a free download from their website starting in late 2007 before making available for sale on CD and vinyl late last year, Brooklyn synth-rockers The Depreciation Guild have announced plans to release their sophomore effort Spirit Youth on May 18, presumably in “yeah you have to pay for that” physical form from the get go.

If it’s anything like In Her Gentle Jaws, though, it’ll be worth the price of admission – the debut was a splendid bit of dreampop whose Nintendo/Famicom-powered 8-bit aesthetic was so much more than a gimmick. It’s not clear if “Dream About Me”, the single released last Fall, will appear on the album but assuming it’s a reasonable barometer of where the band are now, they seem to be favouring a more organic, guitar-based approach – perhaps not surprising since a goodly amount of time and touring has elapsed since the debut was recorded. The blissful pop sensibilities remain, however, even if the wonderful Mario-gaze textures are dialed down, so I remain keen to hear the new record, regardless of what toys or technology went into its creation.

In advance of the record’s release, The Depreciation Guild are hitting the road supporting Serena-Maneesh, including their April 2 date at The Great Hall in Toronto. Spinner has an interview with the band.

MP3: The Depreciation Guild – “Dream About Me”
Video: The Depreciation Guild – “Dream About Me”

Hey Interpol fans – how badly do you want to see them live again? Enough to shell out to see them open up for U2 on their Summer tour, including the July 3 Toronto date at the Rogers Centre? Really? Wow.

And people must really be missing themselves some Strokes – demand for the April 2 Julian Casablancas show has been such that it has been moved from the Phoenix to the Kool Haus.

The Hold Steady have announced that they’ll release their fifth studio album entitled Heaven Is Whenever on May 4. Recorded without recently-departed Franz Nicolay, it promises to be more guitar-heavy than their last few albums. Check out the official press release for some quotes from Craig Finn and Tad Kubler about what to expect from the new record.

Stuff New Zealand talks to kiwi emigre Dean Wareham.

Exclaim checks in with Ted Leo, who will release The Brutalist Bricks come March 9.

Sonic Scoop interviews producer Phil Palazzolo about how work is progressing on Nicole Atkins’ new album.

Nada Surf have released the first MP3 from their forthcoming covers album, if i had a hi-fi, which will go on regular sale June 8, after being available during their on Spring tour which begins March 25 and hits Lee’s Palace on March 29.

MP3: Nada Surf – “Electrocution”

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Holly Miranda.

NPR is currently streaming the whole of Joanna Newsom’s new triple album Have One On Me – all two hours of it. I picked up the triple vinyl yesterday, but don’t know if/how I’ll absorb it in time for the March 13 show at The Phoenix. Hell, I don’t think I’ve fully processed her first two records. And if you were wondering, Vetiver guitarist Kevin Barker will be opening that show up.

Stream: Joanna Newsom / Have One On Me

NPR has a World Cafe session with Fruit Bats, slated to play the Horseshoe on March 24. A Daytrotter session with the band just went up a couple days ago as well.

RCRDLBL has got an MP3 from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s forthcoming Beat The Devil’s Tattoo, out March 9, available to download. Colorado Springs Independent also has a quick interview. They’ve got two local shows coming up – April 1 and April 11, both at The Phoenix.

There’s also a track available from The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s new album Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?, for which they’ll be appearing at the Phoenix on June 2.

MP3: The Brian Jonestown Massacre – “Let’s Go Fucking Mental”

Girls are giving away a b-side to their new single “Morning Light”, a cover of Skeeter Davis’ “End Of The World”. They’re at The Phoenix on April 9.

MP3: Girls – “End Of The World”

Wayne Coyne talks to Spin about the origins of The Flaming Lips’ name. As Summer tour dates in support of Embryonic trickle out without anything up here in the 416, I wonder if they think Toronto has forgotten they’ve yet to make good on their promise to make up their aborted V Fest 2006 appearance. Because, y’know, we haven’t.

eMusic talks to Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater, who recorded an Interface session for Spinner. They are in town for a show at Lee’s Palace on April 1. Update: The Interface session seems to be an old one, circa Rook… but still great.

Blurt talks to Midlake leader Tim Smith. They’re at the Mod Club on May 21.

AZCentral talks about the album format, Spoon, the vinyl resurgence and Record Store Day (April 17 write it down) in no particular order. Or in that specific order.

The Daily Herald profiles Justin Townes Earle, in town at the Horseshoe on March 1. The giveaway for passes to the show ends tonight!

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Acts Of Man

Review of Midlake’s The Courage Of Others

Photo By Bil ZelmanBil ZelmanHaving initially only announced tour dates in short, hesitant steps, Denton, Texas-based folk-pop revivalists Midlake have taken a deep breath, counted to ten, and slated an extensive North American tour in support of their new record The Courage Of Others that will include a local stop on May 21 at the Mod Club.

Though highly-anticipated, Courage is not drawing the sort of unanimous acclaim that its predecessor, 2006’s The Trials Of Van Occupanther, did, with some finding its even gentler tone exquisite and others deming it narcoleptic. I tend towards the latter – it is immaculately crafted, there’s no question there – but it lacks the dynamics of Van Occupanther and that was hardly a record of extreme peaks and valleys. It’s as though the band’s questing pilgrim has exited the rolling foothills and is now trekking across a wide-open plain. Scenic, perhaps, but not especially exhilarating. Of course, it took me a goodly amount of time – like a couple years – to come around to Van Occupanther‘s charms, so making any final declarations about the merits of Courage could be premature. For the moment, however, it’ll have to remain a record to go to when I’m feeling mellow, or needing to feel mellow. Or need some flute.

And Midlake live? They sound great, but maybe bring a book.

MusicOmh has an interview with Midlake frontman Tim Smith.

MP3: Midlake – “Acts Of Man”
MySpace: Midlake

Local hero Jim Guthrie continues his return to active duty with a show at the El Mocambo on March 26, supported by Culture Reject and PS I Love You.

MP3: Jim Guthrie – “You Are Far (Do You Exist?)”
MP3: Culture Reject – “Inside The Cinema”
MP3: PS I Love You – “Facelove”

Iceland’s Seabear, whose We Built A Fire is due out March 5 on Morr Music, will be at the Horseshoe on March 31.

MP3: Seabear – “Lion Face Boy”

Stroke gone solo Julian Casablancas will hit the road this Spring in support of his solo record Phrazes For The Young… all eight songs of it. Look for him at the Phoenix on April 2, and look for a new Strokes album in September. Ish.

Video: Julian Casablancas – “11th Dimension”

Titus Andronicus bring the second leg of their “Monitour” to Sneaky Dee’s on April 9, in support of their Civil War-themed second album The Monitor, out March 9. Rolling Stone has a profile.

MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Four Score And Seven” (Part One)
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Four Score And Seven” (Part Two)

Boston post-rock instrumentalists Caspian will bring their latest album Tertia to Rancho Relaxo on April 13.

MP3: Caspian – “Of Foam And Wave”

With their first cross-Canada tour in some time scheduled to kick off tonight in Victoria, Wilco are set to leave a trail of press clippings in their wake – check out interviews with band members at, The Vancouver Sun, The Georgia Straight, FFWD, The National Post, The Edmonton Journal and The Province.

JAM and The Gauntlet have features on The Rural Alberta Advantage, who are re-releasing Hometowns on their new home at Paper Bag Records – the CD on March 2 and limited-edition, blue vinyl LP on March 23.

The Ottawa Citizen, The Chronicle-Herald, Spinner and talk to Basia Bulat, while The Montreal Gazette gets a peak inside her iPod. She will play an in-store at Soundscapes on Tuesday evening at 7PM.

The Scope and Ottawa X-Press have features on Owen Pallett. He is at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 8.

Drowned In Sound meets Retribution Gospel Choir’s Alan Sparhawk.

Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers talks to News & Observer and The AV Club about the forthcoming documentary about the band, The Secret To A Happy Ending. Their new album The Big To-Do is out March 16 and they’ve got two dates at Lee’s Palace on April 6 and 7.

Also mad for the two-fer is Jonsi, who is setting up shop at the Sound Academy on April 30 and May 1 – NPR has an acoustic performance from the Sigur Ros frontman, whose solo debut Go arrives March 23.

NME reports that Kate Nash’s still-untitled second album is due for release on April 19, and a new track is available to whomever signs up for her mailing list. I have to say I’m not overly impressed with that first sample, and not just because they give you a freaking WMA file. Who does that?

Also back and bearing gifts are The Pipettes, whose lineup is now made up of I have no idea who. Presumably this means a new album is coming this year? Update: Yes – Earth vs Pipettes is due out this Summer.

Video: The Pipettes – “Our Love Was Saved By A Spaceman”

Interview interviews Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields.

The Antlers have released a new video from Hospice and The Boston Globe has a feature piece. They are at The Phoenix next Tuesday night.

Video: The Antlers – “Bear”

Ra Ra Riot bassist Mathieu Santos gives Rolling Stone an idea of what to expect from album number two, when it arrives this Summer.

The Toronto Star, Spinner and The Globe & Mail reflect on the end of Wavelength, which wraps up the weekly series this Sunday night.

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

"Take It Or Leave It"

Arctic Monkeys cover The Strokes

Photo via arcticmonkeys.comarcticmonkeys.comArctic Monkeys and The Strokes. Two bands from opposite sides of the Atlantic who became huge in their respective homelands despite not bringing anything especially new to the rock’n’roll table. Or perhaps that’s exactly why. Easy to appreciate, hooky pop tunes delivered with a requisite amount of attitude by young men with good cheekbones will never go out of style, I suppose.

But it will go on a break. Arctic Monkeys took a breather following 2007’s Favourite Worst Nightmare to allow singer Alex Turner to work on his arguably more interesting side-project The Last Shadow Puppets, but have since regrouped and will release their third album in Humbug on August 25 with North American touring to follow, including a September 29 date at the Kool Haus in Toronto.

The Strokes have been on the back burner a while longer, having turned out no new music since 2006’s First Impressions Of Earth, but most of the band released solo projects, the latest of which to be announced comes from singer Julian Casablancas – his solo record Phrazes For the Young is due out sometime this Fall. But with all that out of their systems, they are aiming to release a new Strokes record in the early part of 2010.

This cover the Arctic Monkeys did of one of the catchiest tunes from the Strokes’ debut apparently comes from a television performance – note the existence of terrible quality video – but details elude me. I can tell you that they pull it off pretty well, Turner’s accent a more than suitable substitute for Casablancas’ sneer.

Alex Turner talks to Spinner about some of the influences on their latest long-player while Casablancas details some of his ambitious plans for his solo tour to NME.

MP3: Arctic Monkeys – “Take It Or Leave It”
Video: Arctic Monkeys – “Take It Or Leave It” (live)
Video: The Strokes – “Take It Or Leave It” (live)