Posts Tagged ‘La Roux’

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010


Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss and Fjord Rowboat at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangOne might think that after last weekend’s three-day salute to the ’90s I’d be ready to get back to the 21st century, musically-speaking, but instead last Wednesday night turned the dial on the wayback-machine even further – Chapterhouse was in town. The North American leg of their reunion tour, which began in late 2009, was delayed from May until this Fall due to volcanic ash though the Toronto show was cancelled earlier for reasons unknown. Hogtown was back on for the new dates, however, and at a larger venue no less that was respectably filled. Clearly whatever reason nixed the original date wasn’t lack of interest.

For anyone with even a passing affection for the British shoegazing movement of the early ’90s, it was hard not to be interested – My Bloody Valentine aside, this was the only first-wave shoegaze band in recent memory to reunite, let alone play shows in North America, in well over a decade (if anyone wants to fact-check that statement, feel free). And while Chapterhouse weren’t as seminal – in my eyes/ears, anyways – as the likes of Ride, Slowdive or Lush, their credentials are indisputable and their debut Whirlpool an essential listen for the genre. Which is basically another way of saying, “if you are a shoegaze fan and Chapterhouse come to your town, you go”.

Locals Fjord Rowboat know how that goes, but for them it was “if Chapterhouse comes to your town, you lend them your gear and open for them”. Which they did, and in return got to play an impressive show for probably a more receptive audience than they’ve ever had. I used Chapterhouse as a reference point their 2007 debut Saved The Compliments For Morning and that still holds for the just-released follow-up Under Cover Of Brightness, the band remaining faithful to the spirit of shoegazing while remembering, unlike many modern-day purveyors of the style, that what made the greats great was that underneath the layers of sound, there were solid songs. And in the interests of disclosure, I should mention that Fjord has two former bandmates in their number. High five!

I’d lived the Ulrich Schnauss experience twice before and thought I’d figured out the secret to appreciating his electro-ambient stuff – close your eyes. Then you don’t notice that the entire “live” set consists of Schnauss playing preprogrammed tracks off his laptop while adding keyboards overtop or mixing things in real-time, or at least I assume that’s what he was doing – I couldn’t actually hear anything changing in the mix as he clicked and fiddled. This time his set came with its own visual component – projections of European urban scenes, mostly looking as though they’d been filmed from a moving car, which held ones interest for a while but after they began to loop, one’s attention began to wander. By the end, I had a new way to enjoy Schnauss’ set – as a particularly cosmic soundtrack to a game of iPhone Civilization.

One of the first thing you notice about Chapterhouse is how young they all still look – all five are barely 40 (if even) and frontmen Andrew Sherriff and Stephen Patman still look remarkably boyish. This is less a comment on their skin care regimen than the fact that they were barely into their twenties (if even) when Whirlpool was released and so, returning to Toronto for the first time in nearly 20 years, they still seemed younger than many acts making their debuts. Also setting them apart from many other acts on the road today was the fact that they weren’t out trying to win over new fans or make a name for themselves – if you were there, you knew why and what you were going to get and were just happy to be there. This isn’t to suggest that the bar for performance was lowered at all, but any mistakes or less-than-perfection – and there was some, in the way of feedback (the bad kind, not the good kind), some awkward re-learning of songs onstage and a “Crystal” that wasn’t as tight or together as you’d want – were quickly and easily forgiven.

Instead, it was much easier to focus on the good. There was the seemingly endless rotation of my favourite guitars and the massive sounds the three guitarists coaxed out of them, including Simon Rowe whose status in Mojave 3 is as unclear as the band’s itself and who missed their last tour. There was their cover of The Beatles’ “Rain”, which got a pass on my usual “no Beatles covers please” rule, their pretty much perfect rendering of “Pearl” – more than making up for “Crystal” – and a set list that, while curiously light on their second album Blood Music, delivered almost all of Whirlpool and a selection of b-sides and rarities that they must have known would be appreciated by an audience of the faithful.

While they were hardly monsters of rock onstage, it was hard to imagine that their performances inspired the originally-derisive “shoegaze” label – sure, Rowe stood pretty much stock-still through the set but Sherriff and Patman moved around and hardly glanced at their feet. Of course, unlike many of their peers Chapterhouse have always been as much about the groove as the wall of sound, sometimes referred to as “baggy-gaze” and moving further towards dance and electronic sounds with Blood Music. None of which makes them sound any more contemporary, but no one was here for contemporary. We were here for 1990 and Chapterhouse brought it.

Prefix and The Faster Times have Chapterhouse interviews and Jess Barnett a conversation with Ulrich Schnauss. Exclaim and Panic Manual have reviews of the Toronto show.

Photos: Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss, Fjord Rowboat @ Lee’s Palace – October 6, 2010
MP3: Chapterhouse – “Pearl”
MP3: Ulrich Schnauss – “Passing By”
MP3: Fjord Rowboat – “Carried Away”
MP3: Fjord Rowboat – “Paragon”
Video: Chapterhouse – “Breather”
Video: Chapterhouse – “April”
Video: Ulrich Schnauss – “Medusa”
Video: Fjord Rowboat – “Carried Away”
MySpace: Chapterhouse
MySpace: Fjord Rowboat

Beatroute and The Boston Globe talk to The Vaselines; they’re in town on October 30 for a show at The Horseshoe.

The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Record and DCist have feature pieces on Teenage Fanclub.

NPR talks to Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian. He and his band are at Massey Hall tonight and their new album Write About Love is also out today – the promo TV talk show put together for the record is streaming at PitchforkTV and the performance of “I Want The World To Stop” from said programme has been excerpted as the first official video from the record.

Video: Belle & Sebastian – “I Want The World To Stop”
Video: Belle & Sebastian Write About Love

A track from Idlewild’s latest (and final?) album Post-Electric Blues has been made available to download to mark the album’s North American release today.

MP3: Idlewild – “Younger Than America”

Drowned In Sound has gone a little British Sea Power-crazy, what with the release of the new Zeus EP in advance of next year’s new full-length – they’ve commissioned a number of features from the band, including their top five UK castles, ten things they wish they hadn’t done, the joy of knitting and a guide to keeping amused on the road.

Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes takes to the band’s blog to thank fans for their support as he convalesces from surgery for a brain tumour while Clash talks to frontman Tim Burgess. A track from their new record Who We Touch has been made available to download.

MP3: The Charlatans – “Love Is Ending”

Barry Hyde of The Futureheads tells Spinner they’re planning on releasing an a capella record early next year.

The Fly has a first listen to the new White Lies record Ritual, due out January 17 in the UK.

A whole slew of new videos in the past few days from the other side of the Atlantic – let’s start with Kele, who has a new clip from his solo record The Boxer.

Video: Kele – “On The Lam”

Foals have rolled out a new video from their second record Total Life Forever.

Video: Foals – “Blue Blood”

Mystery Jets have a new short from this year’s Serotonin. eFestivals and MusicOmh also have interviews.

Video: Mystery Jets – “Show Me The Light”

6 Day Riot have a video for the first single from their forthcoming record On This Island, available in the UK on November 1.

Video: 6 Day Riot – “Take Me Out”

Oxford University’s Cherwell talks to Kate Nash, who has a new single to coincide with her North American tour. It kicks off later this month and includes a date at The Phoenix on November 13.

Video: Kate Nash – “Later On”

For whatever reason, the powers that be have decided that the UK video for La Roux’s “In For The Kill”, out for over a year, just won’t cut it for American audiences and have commissioned a new one. I guess their focus groups demanded more snakes, less cars.

Video: La Roux – “In For The Kill” (US)
Video: La Roux – “In For The Kill” (UK)

The Telegraph talks to Duffy, who releases her second album Endlessly on November 30.

Word is Johnny Flynn’s October 18 show at Lee’s Palace has been postponed until mid-November; all other shows on the North American jaunt, including the 19th in Montreal, appear to still be on, so no idea what the problem with T.O. is. Anyone else hear “Kentucky Pill” on last week’s Weeds? Of course not, because no one with any dignity should admit to watching Weeds anymore. Me, I just heard about it. On the Twitter. Yeah.

Spinner talks to Elvis Costello about his new album National Ransom, out November 2. You can download a track from the record at his website.

Norway’s Serena-Maneesh have rolled out a new video from S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor.

Video: Serena-Maneesh – “D.I.W.S.W.T.T.D.”

NPR is streaming a complete show from The Tallest Man On Earth.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Keep Quiet

A random collection of links featuring Hot Chip

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceWhy lead with Hot Chip? Well nothing else especially newsworthy came down the pipe yesterday and their new one One Life Stand came out this week. I’ve been spinning it moderately the last little while, though not enough to try and assemble a proper review. Sufficed to say that while I’ve never been a massive Hot Chip fan in the past and this effort doesn’t sound/feel too different from what I recall of their earlier records, I’m enjoying this one alright. Maybe I should revisit their earlier records – mayhap my ears are more attuned to their chilled-out electro-pop than before.

There’s feature pieces on the band at Dose, Spin, Spinner, The National Post and The Irish Times and there’s also an album making-of video streaming this week at PitchforkTV. They are scheduled to be at the Kool Haus in Toronto on April 20, but the date is not appearing on their website itinerary – not sure if that’s something to be concerned about or not…

Video: Hot Chip – “One Life Stand”
Stream: Hot Chip / One Life Stand

NPR has a World Cafe session with The xx, who are also playing that Kool Haus show with Hot Chip as well as their own headlining gig at the Phoenix on April 4.

Spinner talks to Victoria Hesketh, aka Little Boots, about the long delay between the UK release of her debut album Hands and the impending North American release on March 2. She plays the Phoenix on April 30.

JAM and The AV Club have interviews with Elly Jackson of La Roux.

Drowned In Sound has details on the new album from The FutureheadsThe Chaos is being released independently by the band and will be out in the UK on April 26.

Check out the first video from Jonsi’s Go. It’s out March 23 and he plays two nights at the Sound Academy on April 30 and May 1.

Video: Jonsi – “Go Do”

Stereogum has the MP3 and video for the title track from Under Byen’s new record Alt Er Tabt, out April 6.

Video: Under Byen – “Alt Er Tabt”

Swede Kristian Matsson, who plies his musical trade as The Tallest Man On Earth, is staging a North American tour in support of his new record The Wild Hunt, out April 13, and will be at the El Mocambo in Toronto on April 17. Check out a track from the album and another song he recorded as a theme song for the Yellow Bird Project charity out of Montreal – details here.

MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth – “King Of Spain”
MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth – “A Field Of Birds”

Check out a couple tracks from Bettie Serveert’s new record Pharmacy Of Love, due out March 23.

MP3: Bettie Serveert – “Semaphore”
MP3: Bettie Serveert – “The Pharmacy”

Paste reports that Josh Ritter will release a new record entitled So Runs The World Away on May 4 – they’re giving away an MP3 from his website in exchange for your email.

Falls Church News-Press and SF Station interview The Antlers. They’re at the Phoenix on February 16.

Muzzle Of Bees has a video performance from Sharon Van Etten, who will be at the Horseshoe on April 5.

Paste talks to Phantogram as part of their “best of what’s next” series. They have a show at the Drake Underground on February 20.

Daytrotter has your first preview of new material from Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea, recorded in a session last Fall. Her new record is currently in production and will be out later this year.

Lara Meyerratken of El May talks to Spinner about nearly getting fired from Luna and her new self-titled solo record.

Dan Mangan has released a new video from Nice, Nice, Very Nice. He’s got two shows as part of Canadian Musicfest, March 11 at The Great Hall and March 12 at The Courthouse.

Video: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”

Monday, January 18th, 2010

We Share The Same Skies

The Cribs at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhen it first got out that guitar-god-who-walks-amongst-us Johnny Marr had joined English sibling-trio The Cribs, the initial reaction was skepticism. After all, if run through the NME de-hyperbolizer, the truth was probably more like he crossed paths with a Jarman or three on the street and said “hello” – and anyways, wasn’t Marr already occupied as a full-fledged member of Modest Mouse? Well, yes, but it seems that Marr is almost as good at time management as he is at guitar because as the band’s fourth record Ignore The Ignorant showed, his role in the band is much more than stunt casting.

I can’t say I’d paid much attention to The Cribs prior to their latest, ranking them as a decent if not especially distinctive post-Libertines Brit-rock outfit – high on energy and attitude if not personality – so I’m not necessarily in a position to articulate what difference Marr makes to the band. That said, you can hear his distinctive fretwork all over the record in a manner that’s omnipresent yet unobtrusive, adding a melodicism and shimmer to the Cribs’ songs without blunting their more visceral qualities. This, combined with simply better songwriting and production, have made The Cribs an outfit worthy of note beyond simply the simply Anglo-inclined.

That said, I don’t that I’d have been as keen to hit up their show Friday night at The Phoenix had Johnny Marr not also been confirmed as participating in the North American tour. Technically, I’d seen him a couple Summers ago with Modest Mouse opening up for R.E.M., but that view was from the lawns of the Molson Amphitheatre and the soundtrack for the experience wasn’t especially agreeable (not a Modest Mouse fan here, Marr or no). The opportunity to watch Marr do his thing from 10 feet away would not be missed. But just as with the album, it turned out to be a case of “come for the Smith, stay for The Cribs”.

I may have been relatively new to the band but the heart of the 700-plus in attendance were clearly die-hards, and as soon as the quartet took the stage, a mosh pit manifested and I was thankful I’d gotten there just late enough to be up close, but off to the side. And The Cribs would give them plenty to slam dance about, tearing through a 70-minute or so, encore-less set of loud, raucous, anthemic rock. Be it familiarity or just the fact that their better tunes, I found the Ignorant material to be the standouts of the set, allowing Marr – looking almost unsettlingly ageless at 46 alongside his twenty-something bandmates – to really show his stuff. But he also looked quite at home on the older, more bludgeony material, bashing out power chords and providing backing vox while the Jarmans bounded around the stage and incited acts of stage diving and crowd surfing from their fans. Though the set wrapped relatively early for a Friday evening – not even midnight – there would be no complaining about any lack of rock action on the night.

It’s Not The Band I Hate It’s Their Fans was also in attendance with a review. and Metro have interviews with Ross Jarman while The Boston Herald draws the Gary Jarman straw. talks to them both.

Photos: The Cribs @ The Phoenix – January 15, 2010
MP3: The Cribs – “We Were Aborted”
Video: The Cribs – “We Share The Same Skies”
Video: The Cribs – “Cheat On Me”
Video: The Cribs – “I’m A Realist”
Video: The Cribs – “Don’t You Wanna Be Relevant”
Video: The Cribs – “Our Bovine Public”
Video: The Cribs – “Men’s Needs”
Video: The Cribs – “You’re Gonna Lose Us”
Video: The Cribs – “Martell”
Video: The Cribs – “Mirror Kissers”
Video: The Cribs – “Hey Scenesters”
Video: The Cribs – “What About Me”
Video: The Cribs – “You Were Always The One”
MySpace: The Cribs

Elbow drummer Richard Jupp talks to Clash about his contributions to the Sudan365 charitable project and also tells NME that, contrary to Guy Garvey’s comments that their new album wouldn’t be ready until 2011, he hopes they’ll release the record this year.

Though there’s been no official word on a follow-up to Do You Like Rock Music?, Spinner reports that British Sea Power are planning a release party for the new record at Britain’s highest bar for “May-ish”. Guitarist Martin Noble provided an update on the new record via their blog a couple weeks ago.

Beyond Race has a feature piece and Sasha Frere-Jones an essay-length The New Yorker review on The xx, in town twice in April – on the 4th at the Phoenix and the 20th at the Kool Haus.

Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard talks to Billboard about the Susan Boyle influence on One Life Stand, due out February 9. They’re at the Kool Haus on April 20.

Horrors frontman Faris Badwan compiles a list of best/worst/most/least for Clash.

NYC Taper is sharing a pretty terrific recording of one of The Joy Formidable’s show in New York City last weekend. Simultaneously makes me feel like I was there while feeling worse for not having actually been there.

Bandstand Busking is sharing a video session with Peggy Sue, whose debut
Fossils And Other Phantoms is due out in April.

PopMatters interviews The Twilight Sad.

Note that Laura Marling’s February 9 show at the Drake Underground has been moved to Lee’s Palace. Consequently, it is probably not sold out anymore. At least not right now.

Leading up to the February 16 release of Life Is Sweet! Pleased To Meet You, Lightspeed Champion is giving away a free MP3 a week via Domino Records. You have to make with the clicky on the widget and eventually you’ll find a download link. I got to it by accident, don’t ask me what I did. And yes, it’s a bit maddening.

Paste talks to La Roux’s Elly Jackson.

Clash gets an update on the new record from The Futureheads, who are targeting a late February/early March release.

Muse have released a video for the title track of their latest, The Resistance. They are at the Air Canada Centre on March 8.

Video: Muse – “The Resistance” talks to Tim Crompton of The High Wire about their new record The Sleep Tape, set to come out in March.

NME reports that Fat Richard-era Suede are set to reunite for a one-off charity gig at the Royal Albert Hall in London in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Note that I mock Oakes not so much for his weight, but for his not being Bernard Butler. And also being fat.

Members of Blur talk to BBC 6Music about the experience of making the new documentary on the band, No Distance Left To Run. The one-day Canadian screenings are set for this Thursday but for those unable to attend, like me, Pitchfork reports that the film will be released on DVD come February 15 with a second DVD of the band’s Hyde Park reunion show last year. Which is great if you have a region-free, PAL DVD player. Or live in the UK, which some of you might.

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

We Are The Men You’ll Grow To Love Soon

Let’s Wrestle seek to suplex America

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceWhen I was planning my trip to London back in the Spring of 2008, I was determined to NOT make it a concert-going vacation, Richard Hawley at the Royal Albert aside. But I did pencil in what looked like an interesting little gig at a Notting Hill matinee show presented by Drowned In Sound that I figured would be an opportunity to see some little British acts who’d probably never make it over to this side of the Atlantic. As it turns out, Sky Larkin made it to America sooner than expected, canceling their appearance at the show in order to record their debut The Golden Spike and they’ve returned to tour a times and the second-billed band on the bill, Let’s Wrestle, has just signed with Merge Records to release their debut album In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s over here come March 23.

I grabbed a digital copy of the record when it was released in the UK last Summer as well as its preceding EP In Loving Memory Of… and to say it’s a bit rough around the edges is an understatement, but it’s also deliberate. Musically and lyrically, the trio seek to cultivate an image of youthful insolence and indolence, favouring off-kilter and somewhat soused vocals with buzzsaw guitars to get their clever and sardonic pop culture-referencing points about matters of cosmic import like girls and wrestling across. The snotty punk delivery can’t hide their wicked pop sensibilities, though, nor their musical chops – they may not make a show of it, but they can play – the instrumental title track of the album is proof positive of that.

I’m glad to see that the band is making a stab at North America and that they’ve got good folks like Merge behind them – hopefully there’ll be some touring and I can feel better about ultimately skipping that Notting Hill show completely.

MP3: Let’s Wrestle – “We Are The Men You’ll Grow To Love Soon”
Video: Let’s Wrestle – “I Won’t Lie To You”
Video: Let’s Wrestle – “We Are The Men You’ll Grow To Love Soon”
Video: Let’s Wrestle – “I’m In Fighting Mode”

Paste checks in with Kate Nash, whose second album will be out in Spring of this year.

Little Boots’ Hands will finally get a domestic North American release on March 2.

NME interviews Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine.

BBC6 gets some details on the direction La Roux’s second album.

Cribs bassist and singer Ryan Jarman tells Spinner he’s of the opinion it’s too easy to make music these days. He longs for the old days when you had to go to the trouble of recruiting your siblings and a musical legend to get things done. The Cribs are at the Phoenix this Friday night, January 15.

Tom Smith of Editors talks to Spinner about the surplus of material that came out of the In This Light And On This Evening sessions, five of which will be added to the North American edition of the record when it’s released next Tuesday. They play the Phoenix on February 16.

Pitchfork solicits a list of current obsessions from The xx, who are at the Phoenix on April 4 and the Kool Haus on April 20.

NME reports that Noah And The Whale have recovered all the gear that was stolen from them way back in September.

Lightspeed Champion paid tribute to Elvis Presley’s 75th birthday last week with a cover video – check it out. His next album Life is Sweet! Nice To Meet You is out February 16.

Video: Lightspeed Champion – “Devil In Disguise”

Thanks to A Good Day For Airplay for pointing me to this online issue of Nightshift, music magazine from Oxford, England, which features an interview with all four members of Ride on the occasion of their debut, self-titled EP’s 20th anniversary. And yes, the reunion question is asked and no, it’s not happening. But it’s not dismissed either. So… there. Oh, and that link’s a PDF so forewarned.

The Guardian talks to Danny O’Connor, director of Upside Down – a documentary about the Creation Records story. No release date has been given but a vague Spring target has been mentioned.

Trailer: Upside Down

Pitchfork has premiered the first track from The Ruby Suns’ forthcoming album Fight Softly, due out March 10. They play the Drake Underground on March 30.

MP3: Ruby Suns – “Cranberry”

Ms Lara Meyerratken, aka El May, aka Australian ex-pat in America, aka touring keyboardist for Dean & Britta and Luna and vocal foil for Eric Bachmann on Crooked Fingers’ masterful Dignity & Shame, has completed her first solo record – also entitled El May – and will release it next Tuesday. Physical copies are limited to 500 so if you like the tangible media, pre-order one now.

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Good Morning Midnight

Review of Fanfarlo’s Reservoir

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceWhat’s this, a review in almost-December of a record I’ve been talking about since March? Yes folks, welcome to the year-end doldrums where laziness/burnout combines with slow music releases/news for a perfect storm of stagger-to-the-finish-line posts. Hey, at least it’s not a list. Anyways, while I’ve talked about Fanfarlo at length throughout the year, a proper review of Reservoir hasn’t been amongst them. And that’s not right, because as will quite possibly/probably become clear when I do fall back on list-making, it’s been one of my favourite records of this year. Oooh, spoilers!

Reservoir is a record that simultaneously aims sky-high while feeling completely at ease and effortless. To the former point, the most obvious touchstones for the British outfit fronted by Swede ex-pat Simon Balthazar are Arcade Fire and Neutral Milk Hotel with perhaps some Beirut and Belle & Sebastian thrown in for good measure, so even if you’re just trying to be objecticvely descriptive of their sound – a grand and sweeping orchestral pop that’s equal parts wistful and whimsical – you’ve set some unimaginably lofty expectations.

And that’s where the second point comes into play; for all of its widescreen presentation, Reservoir has a distinctly comfortable if not intimate feel that sets it apart from Arcade Fire’s angst or Neutral Milk’s fantasticism. Balthazar’s voice has a warm, inviting timbre that’s perfectly suited to delivering his looping melodies and the band’s deft multi-instrumentalism buoy the compositions with brass, woodwinds, strings, saw and all manner of wonderful noisemaking toys. Fanfarlo write joyous, swelling anthems, but it’s a joy that seems derived from enjoying the simple things in life, like making music, rather than any grand statements about the state of the world. For all their sonic bigness, it’s on that personal level that Fanfarlo really connects.

Reservoir was originally self-released in February of this year, and since then has gone through any number of editions and iterations both in the UK and North America, from simple home-pressed CD through ornately packaged deluxe editions to super-discounted digital editions. It’s official North American release came via Atlantic Records in October and it’s on that major label push that they’re in the midst of an extensive North American tour. They stop in Toronto at the El Mocambo on December 15 and having seen them back in March at SxSW, I can testify that their live show actually eclipses the album for sheer wonderfulness. I imagine this’ll be the last semi-major tour to come through town for 2009 and can’t think of a better way to finish the year off.

Soundcheck has an interview with the band and there’s a wealth of self-recorded live performances to watch in the video section of their website.

MP3: Fanfarlo – “Harold T Wilkins”
MP3: Fanfarlo – “I’m A Pilot”
MP3: Fanfarlo – “Luna”
MP3: Fanfarlo – “Finish Line”
Video: Fanfarlo – “The Walls Are Coming Down”
Video: Fanfarlo – “Harold T Wilkins”
Video: Fanfarlo – “Fire Escape”
MySpace: Fanfarlo

Drowned In Sound reports that Mew will release a live album on December 7 entitled Live At The Hollywood Palladium and recorded, curiously enough, at the Palladium in Hollywood, California back in September. They play the Mod Club in Toronto on December 6.

Three Imaginary Girls and AUX.TV interview The Raveonettes.

Mum have recorded a Takeaway Show on a Paris bus and in a Paris park.

Rumoured for a while, the feature documentary on Blur, covering the years from the band’s origins through their 2009 reunion, is now a reality. No Distance Left To Run will make its theatrical debut on January 19, 2009; the trailer was just unveiled.

Trailer: No Distance Left To Run

Elly Jackson of La Roux talks to BBC about getting to work on album number two.

PopMatters investigates the topic of independent artists allowing their work to be used in ads, talking to The Dears, Bishop Allen, The Dodos and Petra Haden about their experiences on the matter.