Posts Tagged ‘La Roux’

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Between Two Lungs

Florence & The Machine at The Mod Club in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangInitial buzz around Florence & The Machine was largely built on a handful of singles, live recordings and performances that positioned Florence Welch as a big-voiced musical eccentric (or as I put it last November, “batshit crazy”) surely set for a career of creative left turns and cul-de-sacs that would delight as often as it confounded. But the surprise – in these quarters, at least – came when it was announced that Florence had signed with major label Island for her debut, majors never really being the most adept entities at marketing “crazy”.

But they are better at marketing “glitz” and there’s far more of that in evidence than psychosis on Florence’s first long-player Lungs, a bright and shiny showcase for Welch’s pipes. Stylistically, it’s hard to pin down as it veers from garage rock to gospel/soul wailers through big pop productions, the only common denominators being Welch and her flair for the dramatic, not to mention an apparent determination to include as much harp as possible, everywhere. Credited to a brace of different producers, there’s definitely a whiff of “by committee” about the proceedings, some numbers are more show than song and are sometimes delivered with more bombast than necessary, but when the combination of Welch’s primal voice and pop hooks connect – and that’s still far more often than not – the results are remarkable. While some/many have their knives out for Welch for whatever reason – the amount of hype that buoyed her rise to fame, her admittedly over-played and over-calculated kooky public persona, whatever, they’ll find no traction in criticizing her talent – the packaging may be debatable, but the goods are for real.

And those goods were well on display on Monday night before a completely sold-out Mod Club, the final night of a North American tour that included four shows in addition to her CMJ appearances. Hardly a grueling itinerary, but that was perhaps to our advantage as Welch still had plenty of energy and nothing to conserve it for. Though starting small with “Between Two Lungs”, the show quickly picked up in scale and volume, thanks to a five-piece backing band – including harp – that was a far cry from the raw duo format she first turned heads with at SxSW – and hit an early peak a few songs in with a vigorous “Kiss With A Fist” before stepping away from Lungs briefly for a b-side and Cold War Kids cover, all delivered with that huge voice that was as powerful live as one would have imagined and hoped. Throughout the show, Welch managed to maintain her theatrical bearing, all arm gestures and flourishes, while connecting with her audience, genuinely and appreciatively. I fully expect that she organized the mass leaping for “Dog Days Are Over” at every show, but that doesn’t make her obvious glee at watching some 500 people bouncing up in down in unison any less real – it was a thing to see and my obvious high point of the night. Judging from the collective swoon that met the encore, for many others it was her reading of “You’ve Got the Love” that was the singular, crystalline moment of the night. I think all could agree, however, that “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” was a superb finale, pretty much encapsulating everything that is great and grand about Florence & The Machine – the voice, the drama, the songs and yes, of course, the harp.

eye has an interview with Welch while The Toronto Sun, Panic Manual and The Globe & Mail offer reviews of the Mod Club show.

Photos: Florence & The Machine @ The Mod Club – November 2, 2009
MP3: Florence & The Machine – “I’m Not Calling You A Liar”
MP3: Florence & The Machine – “Kiss With A Fist”
MP3: Florence & The Machine – “Postcards From Italy”
MP3: Florence & The Machine – “Girl With 1 Eye” (live)
MP3: Florence & The Machine – “Hospital Beds” (live)
Video: Florence & The Machine – “You’ve Got The Love” (The xx remix)
Video: Florence & The Machine – “You’ve Got The Love”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Drumming Song”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Kiss With A Fist”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Dog Days Are Over”
MySpace: Florence & The Machine

Rolling Stone declares La Roux a “breaking” artist.

The Music Magazine has an interview with Charlotte Hatherley, whose new record New Worlds should be available everywhere but is sadly available almost nowhere (at least in physical form). But is worth seeking out.

IFC has an interview with The Clientele frontman Alisdair MacLean while WFMU has a studio session available to stream.

Good news from Drowned In Sound – Lightspeed Champion will release his second record Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You on February 1 in the UK and February 16 in North America – The Quietus has an interview with Dev Hynes about what to expect off of album number two. He’s also the guest vocalist on the new single from Basement Jaxx.

Video: Basement Jaxx featuring Lightspeed Champion – “My Turn”

Eastscene caught an interview with Sky Larkin during their visit to Toronto last week.

Noah & The Whale have just released a second video from First Days Of Spring.

Video: Noah & The Whale – “Love Of An Orchestra”

The Tripwire converses with The Horrors.

The Line Of Best Fit talks to Editors bassist Russell Leetch about this, that and the other thing.

State interviews White Lies.

The Herald and The Independent catch up with former Suede frontman Brett Anderson, who’s just released his second third solo record in Slow Attack.

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

CONTEST – La Roux @ The Guvernment – October 23, 2009

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThat La Roux appears to be the leader in the “2009 British female indie-pop derby” is surprising to me. Not necessarily because their self-titled debut is sub-par, though I do find it a rather samey and thin-sounding overall though more ’80s-correct, but because I felt that Little Boots and Florence & The Machine, to name a couple of other contenders for the title, were not only more accessible and/or marketable, but simply put out stronger records.

If you want to rate them based on the size of the gigs they’re playing in North America, however, the duo of Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid win. In Toronto, Little Boots drew decently to Wrongbar for her debut appearance and Florence should have no problem filling the Mod Club, but La Roux are already back for their third show in less than seven months with an appearance at The Guvernment next Friday night, October 23. I caught them at their first appearance at the Drake Underground back in April and they weren’t the most riveting live act, Jackson’s hair aside, but with so much steady touring in the interim I can only imagine they’ve gotten better. Or hope so, at least.

Toronto’s own electro-pop sensation Diamond Rings will open things up at the Guvernment. Tickets are $20 in advance but courtesy of Rootmeansquare, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to see La Roux” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and get that in to me before midnight, October 21.

There’s interviews with Elly Jackson at

MP3: La Roux – “Quicksand” (Joe & Will Ask remix)
Video: La Roux – “I’m Not Your Toy”
Video: La Roux – “Bulletproof”
Video: La Roux – “Quicksand”
Video: La Roux – “In For The Kill”

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

No Brakes

Little Boots and Yes Giantess at Wrongbar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt could be inferred from last week’s review of Little Boots’ debut Hands that I felt that she’d failed to deliver on the immense expectations foisted on her at the start of the year, what with everyone in the media ready to crown Ms Victoria Hesketh the queen of pop for 2009 and so her failure to utterly dominate every aspect of the music industry could only be viewed as a disappointment. This is, in fact, not necessarily my view – I think Hands is a tremendously fun and catchy record. I was just interpreting the general tenor of the press, which had been ready to attend her coronation just months ago.

Well it may have come a little later than expected but Monday night’s show at Wrongbar in Toronto – the first of her North American tour – could well have been mistaken for one. You’d have had trouble finding anyone in the packed, sweaty club who wasn’t ready to declare the pint-sized electro-pop artist the greatest thing to happen to music since the invention of the Victrola. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit of an overstatement but people were indeed excited and anxious. And as the wait dragged on, restless and bored.

Openers Yes Giantess from Boston had done a decent job of warming things up. Collegiate-looking and casually dressed in t-shirts and plaid shirts, the quartet looked like they should be strapping on guitars and playing disaffected garage rock but instead, they were three keyboards and a drummer and turned out punchy, catchy synth-pop that offered more enthusiasm than sophistication but was enjoyable nonetheless. Over the course of their short set – barely a half hour if even that – the club had begun to fill in nicely and as they loaded out, the room began to pack in.

Exactly why it took an hour to set up the stage for a three-piece band, two-thirds of which were synths, is unclear, but as the clock ticked past 11:30 – half an hour past the scheduled start time – the anxiousness was palpable. Surely it wasn’t some ploy to build more anticipation? Does that actually work? Apparently it does. When her band finally took their places and they opened up with “Meddle”, the place went nuts, and didn’t stop for pretty much the duration of her set. Unsurprisingly, she stayed away from the slower numbers from Hands and stuck to the big, anthemic dancefloor bangers and while that made for a shorter set than you may have wanted for the price of admission, there was no skimping on the energy of the show.

Hesketh was pretty much always in motion, dancing and working both sides of the room when not tending to her keyboard, theremin and tambourine. Her signature Tenori-On and Stylophone were also on hand but as with the two previous times I’d seen her play, exactly what they did remained a mystery. She complained that the Tenori-On wasn’t working before the start of main set closer “Remedy” but they went on to play it exactly as I’d have expected it to sound if it was all systems go. Following a short break, they returned for their cover of Freddie Mercury and Giorgio Moroder’s “Love Kills” before going into an extended “Stuck On Repeat” which was as close to a jam as a largely synthesized and sequenced band could get. The only disappointment on the night was “Symmetry”, in which the absence of duet partner Philip Oakey was keenly felt. Both Hesketh’s drummer and keyboardist were mic-ed and tried to cover the boy parts, but were too low in the mix and un-Oakey-ish to properly compensate. But that’s a minor complaint, and was to be expected.

As they proved at SxSW, Little Boots sets a fine example for electro-pop acts hoping to succeed in the live setting – bring a live drummer, a willingness to keep the energy levels dimed for the duration of the show and oh yeah, have some terrific tunes. Worth the wait, and if the reception at the other stops on the tour come close to the one she got in Toronto, critics may want to reconsider writing Little Boots off.

Chartrigger, Time Out Chicago and Time Out Dubai have interviews with Hesketh.

Photos: Little Boots, Yes Giantess @ Wrongbar – September 14, 2009
MP3: Little Boots – “Love Kills” (Buffetlibre vs Sidechains remix)
MP3: Little Boots – “Meddle” (remix)
MP3: Little Boots – “Earthquake” (Yes Giantess remix)
MP3: Yes Giantess – “You Were Young”
Video: Little Boots – “Remedy”
Video: Little Boots – “New In Town”
MySpace: Little Boots
MySpace: Yes Giantess

The Star Observer talks to Elly Jackson of La Roux.

Check out the new video from Glasvegas, who are not making a stop in Toronto on this current Fall tour even though they totally could. There’s an interview with drummer Caroline McKay at JAM.

Video: Glasvegas – “It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry”

PitchforkTV visits DC Comics HQ with Eddie Argos of Art Brut.

The Globe & Mail talks to Nick Cave about his new novel The Death Of Bunny Munro. He’s at the Indigo in the Eaton Centre this evening for a Q&A and reading.

The Grates discus their new record Teeth Lost, Hearts Won – now out in North America – with Blurt.

Paste asks Karen O about her work on the soundtrack for Where The Wild Things Are, the new trailer for which was released this week. The movie is out October 16.

Trailer: Where The Wild Things Are

The Chicago Sun-Times chats with Ida Maria, who apparently had a breakdown of some kind in Boston the other night… here’s hoping she gets it together in time for tomorrow night’s show at the Opera House. Co-headlining that show is Ladyhawke, who is the subject of features at Flavorwire and The Independent. There’s also a remix contest going on over at Filter, where you can have your way with “My Delirium”

Check out the title track from Thao with The Get Down Stay Down’s forthcoming album Know Better Learn Faster, and note that pre-orders of the album – out October 13 – will come with a ticket to a show on their upcoming tour including the November 1 date at the El Mocambo in Toronto.

MP3: Thao With The Get Down Stay Down – “Know Better Learn Faster”

The Daredevil Christopher Wright, whom you may recall from this post, will return for a show at the Free Times Cafe on October 7.

MP3: The Daredevil Christopher Wright – “The East Coast”

Vampire Weekend – who just announced details of their second album Contra, due out January 12 of next year – will preview the new record with a pair of Canadian dates including an October 8 date at the Horseshoe. Word is tickets go on sale tomorrow morning via Ticketmaster only.

MP3: Vampire Weekend – “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”

Also pending further details is Fucked Up’s fourth annual Fucked Up Fest, happening over Hallowe’en weekend – information on participants and dates at Exclaim.

Florence & The Machine will make their Toronto debut on November 2 at the Mod Club, thus scuppering my plans of seeing Monsters Of Folk make their Toronto debut at Massey Hall that same night. Tough call, but I think I have to go with Flo. And M Ward wouldn’t let me take pictures anyways. Tickets $15.

MP3: Florence & The Machine – “Kiss With A Fist”

The Rural Alberta Advantage have set a date for Lee’s Palace on November 4, tickets $15. Lee’s! They grow up so fast!

Apostle Of Hustle will also be doing a hometown show at Lee’s – look for them on November 19.

MP3: Apostle Of Hustle – “Perfect Fit”

And here’s an interesting/exciting announcement – DEVO is coming to town for the first time in a quarter-century. They’ll be at the Phoenix on November 23 and 24, playing Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO! and Freedom Of Choice in their entirety, respectively. And there’s no reason to believe the energy domes will not be along for the ride. Tickets will be $48.25 with premium tickets including a meet and greet with the band available for $99.75. Either price tier will get you a bundle of demo MP3s to download. Those will go on sale on September 18.

Video: DEVO – “Whip It!”

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros will be at the El Mocambo on November 24, tickets $12.50. There’s a session with the band at Daytrotter and a Q&A at Denver Westword.

MP3: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – “40 Day Dream”

Their last gig at the Phoenix being such a triumph, Phoenix will return for a show at the Sound Academy on December 5 and to make sure things go just as well as they did that show, they’re even bringing Amazing Baby back to open. Tickets for that are $28.

MP3: Amazing Baby – “Bayonets”
Video: Phoenix – “Lisztomania”

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Stuck On Repeat

Review of Little Boots' Hands

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceSo Speech Debelle’s Speech Therapy won the Mercury Prize. Guess that shows all the predictors, pundits and bookies who were all Florence this and Bat For that what’s what. After all, before the nominations were even announced back in July, one of the odds-on favourites to win was Little Boots, and she wasn’t even nominated. That’s sort of how 2009 has seemed to go for Blackpool’s Victoria Hesketh – filled with immense expectations that were probably impossible to meet, and thus she was destined to be considered a disappointment no matter what she actually delivered.

And that’s really not fair. Taken entirely on its own merits, without any of the attendant buzz, her debut album Hands is a deliciously catchy collection of slick synth-pop that’s not especially deep, but is also never as vacuous as it could probably get away with considering its primary purpose is encouraging butt moving, not chin scratching. And perhaps that’s where the disappointment comes into it. I suspect that at the start, when Hesketh was making her name with cute and quirky bedroom performances of covers and originals on her YouTube channel, there were some expectations that she could be the thinking indie kid’s diva, crafting soundtracks for the skinny jean set to move awkwardly to.

Even though the initial singles that went onto her Arecibo EP were hardly lo-fi, they had a certain quality – like the slightly lurching, off-balanced throb to the beat in “Stuck On Repeat” – that seemed to imply that was a promise that she could deliver on. So for Hands to be as big and bold as it is could well have been something of a shock. I was certainly surprised at how unabashedly glammy and glossy it is – even after seeing her in full-on dance diva mode at SxSW – but it certainly hits my sugar tooth just right and has been in heavy rotation through most of the Summer. It may be a rather conventional dance-pop record but the hooks are still huge. Occasionally I wonder if I should be feeling guilty about enjoying it so much but if loving “Symmetry”, the duet with The Human League’s Philip Oakey, or the gorgeous shimmer of “Tune Into My Heart” is wrong then I don’t want to be right.

That said, it’s with the final, hidden track of Hands – the title track, no less – that you get a taste of what Hesketh sounds like away from the dance floor, and maybe what the album could have been. It’s a simple track, just voice and piano that contains more genuine personality than much of the rest of the album. It seems like a trifle, a little bit of Kate Nash flair, but somehow sticks long after the album is done. Don’t get me wrong – I have no complaints about Hands at all, but if the next record finds Hesketh stepping out of the disco and going for a contemplative wander through the quiet streets of the city, that might not be a bad thing at all.

In addition to Arecibo, Little Boots’ North American discography contains the Illuminations EP but not the full-length – it’s been given a vague “Fall 2009” target release date but the fact that it hasn’t hit the streets on the even of her first North American tour may be more evidence that some aren’t finding her to be the massive success they were expecting. Savages. Regardless, the jaunt begins this coming Monday night here in Toronto at Wrongbar and I am pretty certain that show will not disappoint in any way.

I Like Music and Portsmouth Today have interviews with Hesketh.

MP3: Little Boots – “Love Kills” (Buffetlibre vs Sidechains remix)
MP3: Little Boots – “Meddle” (remix)
Video: Little Boots – “Remedy”
Video: Little Boots – “New In Town”
MySpace: Little Boots

The Guardian talks to Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes, who I still maintain has the best of all the Mercury-nominated albums this year.

La Roux, who also didn’t win the Mercury, has a new video from the nominated self-titled album. Elly Jackson talks to The Daily Star and BBC and have a date at the Guvernment on October 23.

Video: La Roux – “I’m Not Your Toy”

Spinner talks to Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield about the problems that beset their last North American tour in 1999. Here’s hoping things go much better this time around, when they bring the ought-to-have-been-Mercury-nominated Journal For Plague Lovers, getting a domestic release come September 15, across the pond. They’re at the Phoenix on October 4.

Former Mercury nominee Richard Hawley will release his newest Truelove’s Gutter on September 22. There’s a video for the first single and the whole record is like a long, sustained swoon. Which is to say it’s lovely. Hawley chats with The Huddersfield Daily Examiner about the new record.

Video: Richard Hawley – “For Your Lover, Give Some Time”

Micachu & The Shapes have a new video. Look for them at the El Mocambo on September 29.

Video: Micachu & The Shapes – “Turn Me Well”

The Twilight Sad goes through Forget The Night Ahead track by track for The Skinny. The record is out September 22 and they play The El Mocambo on October 10.

The Sunday Mail has a quick chat with We Were Promised Jetpacks, also on that Twilight Sad tour and at the ElMo that night.

Noah & The Whale, whose new one First Days Of Spring is getting some solid praise, will be returning to North America including a Hallowe’en date at the Horseshoe in Toronto on October 31, tickets $15. Come dressed as your favourite Wes Anderson character! Actually, don’t – I am envisioning attending this gig surrounded by Richie and Margot Tenenbaum wannabes and it terrifies me. The album is out domestically on October 6.

Video: Noah & The Whale – “Blue Skies”

6 Day Riot have rolled out a new video from 6 Day Riot Have A Plan. I have an interview conducted with the band back in March I still have to finish transcribing. I so suck.

Video: 6 Day Riot – “O, Those Kids”

Los Campesinos are giving away a free track. Just because.

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future”
Video: Los Campesinos! – “The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future”

Massive Attack prepare for the release of a new EP entitled Splitting The Atom, out October 6, by talking to Spin, Under The Radar and Spinner, the last of whom also have a stream of a new song. There’s also streams of new stuff at Stereogum and The Guardian.

Clash interviews Milo Cordell of The Big Pink. A Brief History Of Love is out September 22, they’re at Lee’s Palace on November 29.

The Quietus and Drowned In Sound chat with Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne about the deluxe reissues of Foxbase Alpha and Continental and the Britpop days of yore.

Chuck Klosterman examines the Beatles reissues – out today, in case you hadn’t noticed the media saturation – for the AV Club.

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone

The Wooden Sky at Sonic Boom in Toronto

Photo by Frank YangFrank YangIt’s funny that though I offered readers an introduction to The Wooden Sky just last month, watching them play an in-store at Sonic Boom on Monday night, the eve of release for their new album If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone, it felt like I was the one being introduced to them for the first time.

Previously, I’d regarded them as very good with moments of great roots-rock band – terrific at what they did but unlikely to turn anyone’s world upside down. And initial listens to the new record backed that up – it was a definite step forward for the band in terms of concept and execution, but not a giant leap. But this understated show in the sweaty basement of a local record store was a real eye- and ear-opener. Just coming off a cross-country tour that saw them playing unusual and intimate venues – not for nothing was it called the “Bedrooms and Backtstreets Tour” – The Wooden Sky were perfectly comfortable in the cozy setting and their performance mesmerizing.

Drawing heavily on the new record with a couple selections from When Lost At Sea and a Townes Van Zandt cover thrown in for good measure, The Wooden Sky focused on their quieter side to stunning effect. In stripping things down and trading some of the crescendos on the record for a slow burn, they were able to emphasize their more emotionally resonant side. And while Gavin Gardiner’s raw twang has always been front and centre, I was particularly impressed with how effective and musically sympathetic his bandmates were – guitarist/keyboardist Simon Walker, in particular, was nothing short of astonishing with his high harmonies and the tones and textures he coaxed out of his instruments. It was like he was able to take the ghosts and bittersweet memories that inhabit Gardiner’s lyrics and give them sound and form.

In talking about the Wooden Sky in the past, I inevitable mention that I’ve been following them for over half a decade, as though that gave me some particular insight into the band that newcomers might not have. Now I think that it might have actually clouded my perceptions, convincing me I knew what to expect and what they were capable of when I quite obviously didn’t. Either way, with If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone and the way they’re translating it to the stage, The Wooden Sky are set to take their place as one of the finest bands this city has to offer – or maybe they already were, and we’re only now noticing. has a rooftop video performance with the band from late last year and the same director – Scott Cudmore – accompanied the band on their recent tour, filming all the while – that footage will be coming out in the coming weeks. There’s also an interview with the band at Sky. Aside from an appearance at the Friends In Bellwoods launch party at the Tranzac on Saturday, The Wooden Sky have no upcoming hometown dates. Americans can get a taste in October, however, as they’re heading south as support for Elliott Brood.

Photos: The Wooden Sky @ Sonic Boom – August 24, 2009
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Something Hiding For Us In The Night”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “North Dakota”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “The Wooden Sky”
Video: The Wooden Sky – “Oh My God (It Still Means A Lot To Me)”
Video: The Wooden Sky – “When Lost At Sea”

That Elliott Brood tour covers more than the US – they’re also going to be traversing most of Canada this Fall including an October 30 date at the Opera House.

MP3: Elliott Brood – “Write It All Down For You”

Final Fantasy recently taped a Black Cab Session while in the UK for the Field Day Festival. Final Fantasy plays an unrevealed location in Toronto September 5 and his new album Heartland is out in early 2010. Ambiguous much?

Thick Specs and Exclaim have interviews with Amy Millan, whose Masters Of The Burial is out September 22 and who will be at the Mod Club on October 14.

Cover boys for this month’s Exclaim are Two Hours Traffic. Their new one Territory is out September 8 and they play Lee’s Palace on October 16.

Spinner is streaming all ten nominees for the Polaris Music Prize this week – though I suspect they’re only available in Canada. The prize will be awarded on September 21.

Blurt talks to Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal.

Bradley’s Almanac is sharing live MP3s from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, recorded in Vermont way back in February on Valentine’s Day. Awwwww. They’ll be at the Horseshoe on September 7.

Laundromatinee is sharing a video session with The Avett Brothers. Look for them at the Horseshoe on September 30 and their new album I And Love And You in stores the day before.

Magnet plays over/under with The National. Interestingly, four of their five most overrated picks are some of my least favourite National tunes – I stand by “Green Gloves” – and their five most underrated are some of my most favourite. Make of that what you will.

The Wooden Birds have released a new MP3 and video from Magnolia. They’ve also announced Fall tour dates with Great Lake Swimmers but nothing in this neck of the woods.

MP3: The Wooden Birds – “Hometown Fantasy”
Video: The Wooden Birds – “Hometown Fantasy”

Uber-producer John Leckie reflects on the making of The Stone Roses’ debut album for The Quietus.

Grand Crew has an acoustic session with Camera Obscura. They’re at the Phoenix on November 26.

The Quietus talks to The xx. Their debut XX is out domestically on October 20 and they play the Phoenix on December 2.

The Mars Volta have a date at The Kool Haus on October 4 in support of their latest album Octahedron.

Video: The Mars Volta – “Since We’ve Been Wrong”

Silversun Pickups’ new record Swoon bring them to the Sound Academy on October 15 with Cage The Elephant and An Horse as support, tickets $29.50. There’s interviews with the band at, The Examiner and The Georgia Straight.

MP3: Silversun Pickups – “Panic Switch” (Bobby Evans remix)
Video: Silversun Pickups – “Panic Switch”

Rain Machine, the new project from TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone, will release their self-titled debut on September 8 and play Lee’s Palace on October 19 as part of a North American tour. Pitchfork premiered the first track from the album.

MP3: Rain Machine – “Give Blood”

La Roux returns to Toronto for her third show in seven months with a gig at the Guvernment on October 23, tickets $20.

MP3: La Roux – “Bulletproof” (Joe & Will Ask remix)
Video: La Roux – “Bulletproof”

The King Khan & BBQ Show will release Invisible Girl on November 3 and tour to support, including a December 4 date at Lee’s Palace.