Posts Tagged ‘Let’s Wrestle’

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Deep Wound

Swervedriver veer back into fast lane with new album

Photo by Gaz FailGaz FailFor a band that’s so intrinsically connected to the idea of powerful cars barrelling down the highway, Oxford’s Swervedriver have taken a pretty leisurely path since they reunited in 2008, touring fairly regularly behind old material but seeming to focus their creative energies on non-Swervies work; frontman Adam Franklin releasing three full-length albums with his Bolts Of Melody solo project including this year’s Black Horses, as well as one with Magnetic Morning, his project with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino. And while Toshack Highway hasn’t released anything since 2006, don’t discount Franklin returning to the project at some point in the future.

But for all of those releases’ merits, they’ve not been Swervedriver so it’s pretty exciting news that 2014 will finally see the band putting into gear with the release of a new Swervedriver album, their first since 1998’s 99th Dream. Now reunion albums are rightly regarded with suspicion – sometimes they’re great, a la My Bloody Valentine, but usually they’re passable at best and embarrassing at worst, but from just-released the first single – which they’re streaming along with the alternate version b-side, remixed by Ride’s Mark Gardener – their ability to meld great guitar riffs with catchy melodies remains wholly intact, and excitingly reminiscent of Raise, their 22-year old debut; it’s like dream-pop where the dream is of a muscle car going full tilt down the open road. Bring it.

The Feedback Society has an interview with Adam Franklin about both the new Bolts Of Melody record and the return of Swervedriver. And if you’re new to the band or haven’t been paying attention, a slew of live rarities – including complete on-stage versions of their first four albums – are available to download, gratis. Update: And now there’s a video.

Stream: Swervedriver – “Deep Wound”
Stream: Swervedriver – “Dub Wound”
Video: Swervedriver – “Deep Wound”

DIY talks to TOY about their new album Join The Dots, the title track of which they play in session for The Guardian. The album is out this week and they’ll be at The Horseshoe on January 14.

The Fly corners Cate Le Bon to play a video session for them. She’ll be at The Drake Underground on January 21.

Maxïmo Park have rolled out a second video from their new album Too Much Information, out February 3.

Video: Maxïmo Park – “Leave This Island”

The Fly has details on the new album from Bombay Bicycle Club, which will be called So Long, See You Tomorrow and be out in the UK on February 3.

Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Fanfarlo, taken from their forthcoming album Let’s Go Extinct, coming out February 11.

Video: Fanfarlo – “Landlocked”

London’s Let’s Wrestle return with their third album – a self-titled effort – on February 11 and they’ve permiered the first video from it at Noisey.

Video: Let’s Wrestle – “Codeine and Marshmallows”

Even though his latest album was the rather definitively-titled full-band affair Electric, It’ll be Richard Thompson solo and acoustic at Koerner Hall on March 6, just as when he dazzled there in September 2011. This time, though, he’ll have an opener with him and that’s none other than his son, Teddy Thompson.

Stream: Richard Thompson – “Good Things Happen To Bad People”

Intelligent Life hangs out with Guy Garvey of Elbow; their new album Carry Her Carry Me is out March 10.

What do you do if you’re releasing a single that appears in two different versions on your two current albums, one live and one studio? if you’re Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and the albums are Live At KCRW and Push The Sky Away, you record a third version. And then you premiere it at Rolling Stone. Cave and company are at The Sony Centre on July 31.

Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Higgs Boson Blues”

DIY have premiered a stream from Kate Nash’s new holiday EP Have Faith This Christmas. You probably know the song.

Stream: Kate Nash – “Silent Night”

Laura Groves has a new video for a Paul McCartney cover contributed to the Pun For Cover cover album; check it out via DIY.

Video: Laura Groves – “Waterfalls”

The Toronto Sun has an interview with and Stereogum a streaming b-side from Arctic Monkeys.

Stream: Arctic Monkeys – “You’re So Dark”

David Bowie has released another video from the bonus material on The Next Day Extra, though not for one of the new songs but again a remix – or an edit of a remix, to be precise, whatever that means.

Video: David Bowie – “I’d Rather Be High” Venetian Mix (Wasted Edit)

Rolling Stone asks Noel Gallagher how his year was. He answers as only Noel Gallagher can.

Thursday, June 30th, 2011


Bjork is doing stuff. No one is quite sure what, but there’s a lot of it.

Photo By Inez van Lambsweerde & Vinoodh MatadinInez van Lambsweerde & Vinoodh MatadinRelatively quiet since 2007’s Volta, Bjork is finally back with a new album… I think. To be honest, the press releases around her new project Biophilia haven’t exactly been designed for quick parsing, and that’s because the album component of Biophilia is just that – a component.

There will be a conventional album, presumably available in CD and LP formats, that is due out this Fall – September 27 is the unofficial release date being bandied about. There will also be ten apps corresponding to the tracks fo the record to add interactive elements to the compositions – there’s no specifics on device or platform, but presumably Mac OSX and iOS and Windows will be supported, possibly/probably more. Touring will be done unconventionally, consisting of six-week residencies in eight different cities worldwide over a course of three years and taking place in intimate, in-the-round performance spaces and utilizing a range of custom-built instruments intended to recreate the sound and atmosphere of the apps. A feature-length documentary about the creative process behind the whole Biophilia experience will be released. The website has been redone and is now all trippy, though to be honest I’m not sure what to do with it.

Blurt has helpfully reprinted the full text of the press release, which should offer some more insight into what’s what. Pitchfork and Sterogum also have interviews with the artist which shed some light on what she’s doing and why. The first of the aforementioned residencies is already underway in Manchester, England – not sure where the other seven will be but I’m not putting money on Toronto, or even anywhere in Canada necessarily. But while we may miss out on that aspect of the Biophilia experience, we can still hear the songs – the first single is available to stream right now, and a Michel Gondry-directed video is forthcoming.

Oh Bjork, you so crazy.

Stream: Bjork – “Crystalline”

The Concretes have put out a new video from WYWH.

Video: The Concretes – “My Ways”

It’s funny – while Wild Beasts’ last record Two Dancers took me a while to warm to – though I did – their new one Smother I warmed to right away, despite it seeming to garner a more tepid critical response. Either way, looking forward to seeing them live for the first time on September 29 when they return to the Mod Club as part of a North American tour. Oxford Student has an interview with the band.

MP3: Wild Beasts – “Albatross”
MP3: Wild Beasts – “Loop The Loop”
Video: Wild Beasts – “Albatross”

Though The Horrors machine is ramping up in anticipation of the release of Skying, Faris Badwan’s underappreciatedCat’s Eyes side-project has found the time to release a new video for a non-album cover of “The Crying Game”.

Video: Cat’s Eyes – “The Crying Game”

Following up the release of the first MP3 from their forthcoming debut album Gracious Tide, Take Me Home, Lanterns On The Lake have put out a video for the same song. The record is out September 19.

MP3: Lanterns On The Lake – “You’re Almost There”
Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “You’re Almost There”

GQ solicits a list of ten style essentials from Liam Gallagher of Beady Eye.

Drowned In Sound and DIY have features on Nick McCabe and Simon Jones’ post-Verve band The Black Ships. They’re giving away their first EP Kurofone in exchange for your email though forewarned – it’s a single 25-minute, 273MB WAV file. I’ve compressed it into something a bit more manageable for you because if you dig on early Verve, it’s worth a listen.

MP3: The Black Ships – “The Kurofone EP”

Donewaiting grapples with Let’s Wrestle, interview-style.

Octopus Windmill interviews Amor de Dias.

Australia’s Howling Bells have given their third album a title of The Loudest Engine and a release date of September 12. Details at Wears The Trousers.

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Primavera Sound 2011 Day Three

Pulp, Belle & Sebastian, The National and more at Primavera Sound

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangAsk me my dream festival lineup (within the realm of possibility) and I might well submit the four-block that was Primavera Friday night – you had The National as possibly my favourite act currently going and at the top of their game, Belle & Sebastian from the hall of all-time favorites, Explosions In The Sky to represent for my ambient/post-rock proclivities and as the hook – the mandatory reunion act – let’s say… Pulp. And this, in a nutshell, was why I was in Spain.

The previous night’s creep into this day’s morning meant a late start out of the blocks, and so arrival at Parc del Forum was timed just about right for duskfall and to see The National on the Llevant stage. This was the first time I’d seen them at a festival since they did a noon hour set at Austin City Limits in 2007 – clearly their stock had risen some in the interim. I’ve watched them at all levels since their days playing small bars circa Alligator and can confirm they already own in a theatre setting but dominating a major festival stage is something different. Or maybe it’s not, because The National had no problem at all with it. Even though their albums have gotten less overtly rock as you go, they have gotten more anthemic and that’s a trait that serves you well in these settings. As does having friends like Sufjan Stevens, who joined them to a roar of approval to contribute backing vocals on “Afraid Of Everyone”. Chalk it up as another glorious show from The National, even though those on the outskirts of the crowed seemed less enraptured, or at least more engaged in their own conversations. But in the heart of the crowd, there was nothing but devotion.

Like The National, I’d seen Belle & Sebastian many times but never in a festival setting. Unlike The National, big anthems weren’t exactly the Scottish pop outfit’s forte. But this didn’t prompt any sort of rejigging of their live show for the setting – they performed largely the same set as they did in theatres, clearly intending to draw the huge audience in rather than project out. They were stymied in this early on by a poor vocal mix, making them sound smaller than they should have, but eventually that got sorted out and their charms won the day. On the fan interaction end there was no autographed football tosses as there were in North America, but Stuart Murdoch did invite one audience member to apply some mascara to him during “Lord Anthony”, while inserting Pulp quotes into the lyrics to make things extra topical. On the downside, I learned that Belle & Sebastian fans can be seriously pushy jerks. Stop trying to get to the front – Stuart’s already has his makeover for the evening.

The last time I saw Explosions In the Sky was actually at a festival – albeit a midday, second-stage set at V Fest 2007 – but their stature has grown so much since then that comparisons are rather moot. Here, they were playing a midnight time slot at the grand Ray-Ban Stage, whose coliseum seating and massive floors area made it seem like a much more grandiose setting than the de facto San Miguel mainstage. It definitely suited the band, though, combining with their simple yet dramatic light show and massive, cinematic post-rock sound – now even bigger-sounding with the addition of a full-time bassist – and tens of thousands in the audience for a full sensory experience. Not easy for an instrumental band to do. I would have liked to stay longer than the 30 minutes or so that I did, but I’ll have a chance for the full show when they come to town in October and there was more pressing business to attend to. Business a long time in coming.

I had never thought I would ever see Pulp live, and I was by and large alright with that. Their hiatus in 2001 didn’t seem like it would be a temporary thing, as their career had already had an arc that many would envy, and I had adjusted my concert bucket list to just include Jarvis Cocker solo – which was already proving exceedingly difficult to check off. So when the reunion was announced in December, there wasn’t a lot of hesitation before committing to coming to Primavera. The final minutes of a decade of anticipation were heightened by a series of cheeky messages laser-projeted onto a scrim in front of the stage, behind which you could clearly see the letters “P”, “U”, “L” and “P” in giant neon signs hanging in back. Yes. And when they lit up and the band kicked into the totally appropriate His ‘N’ Hers classic “Do You Remember The First Time?”, it was showtime.

Pulp-era Jarvis Cocker was by all accounts a different creature entirely from post-Pulp Jarvis Cocker, but by god if he didn’t slip completely back into character more easily than anyone could imagine, particularly since one would assume that he was the main holdout in any Pulp reunion happening before now. With only the natty salt-and-pepper beard to distinguish him from his previous incarnation, he danced, leapt, strutted and vogued around the stage as if the halcyon days of Britpop were just yesterday and certainly didn’t look as though he were a decade and a half older.

His shedding the jacket and tie early on was the only warning that they were going to spring “Disco 2000” on us – with no asides about meeting up 11 years late – far sooner than anyone might have expected. But even when taken by surprise, the reflex of pretty much everyone at the sound of those opening chords was to dance, dance, dance. Another highlight was Cocker’s pulling out a prop video camera/flashlight for “I Spy”, with which he broadcast to all an in-audience wedding proposal between a couple from Athens, Georgia – major props to the guy for managing to orchestrate that.

That moment of romance led appropriately/inappropriately into “Underwear” which segued into the gloriously seedy “This Is Hardcore”, the only selection from their arguably best (if less festival-friendly) album. Part of this may have been because guitarist/violinist Russell Senior was back in the fold for this reunion and he had originally left the band after Different Class; he wasn’t even onstage for “Hardcore”, though he did step in to handle the guitar solo on “Sunrise”, from the unfairly malinged We Love Life. And I’d never particularly thought of Pulp as a guitar band, but when Cocker strapped one on as he did at a few points in the night, the seven member-strong band actually had four axes going at once.

The main set closed with an explosive “Common People” – dedicated to some of those very people who’d been assaulted by police in Barcelona’s Catalunya Square earler in the week – followed by a one-song encore of “Razzmatazz”, in honour of the club in Barcelona of the same name – and while it was a glorious performance, I couldn’t help but feel a touch of disappointment. Not in the show, but in knowing that I probably won’t see them again and won’t hear so many of those songs from the other records live. And while Cocker was clear that this “wasn’t about ancient history” but instead “making history”, for 90 minutes they did make it feel like it was 1996 again. And it was good.

An attempt to add Battles’ set as a nightcap proved futile – there would be no following Pulp.

The New York Post looks into The National’s real estate holdings.

BBC interviews Pulp about the lead-up to the reunion shows.

Let’s Wrestle have put out a new video from Nursing Home.

Video: Let’s Wrestle – “In Dreams, Pt II”

Florence Welch talks to NME about some of the lyrical themes informing the next Florence & The Machine album.

Artrocker has an interview with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, whose debut album Coastal Grooves has just been given a release date of August 8; details at DIY.

MP3: Blood Orange – “Dinner”

State has a feature on Elbow.

Interview and Stereogum check in with Arctic Monkeys, whose new record Suck It And See arrives next Tuesday.

JAM, Our London, New York Press and Filter interview Glasvegas.

Sons & Daughters have released a video from their new album Mirror Mirror, out July 12. The Scotsman has an interview with the band.

Video: Sons & Daughters – “Breaking Fun”

Gemma Hayes has just released her fourth album Let It Break in Ireland and the UK, though I’m in the UK and can’t find it… it’s due for a North American release later this year. There’s interviews with the singer-songwriter at State and The Irish Times.

Thursday, May 12th, 2011


Review of Jonny’s Jonny and giveaway

Photo By Mei LewisMei LewisIn case it wasn’t obvious from the name, Jonny is the musical marriage of Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake and former Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci Euros Childs. It’s perhaps not a pairing that people have been clamouring for – it never even occurred to me that the two might work together before it was announced that they were – but it’s not out of left field either. In fact, the more I think about it, the more logical it gets – Blake led the Fannies through two decades of power pop perfection while Childs’ now-defunct Mynci made their name with a unique blend of psychedelia and folk that proudly wore their Welsh heritage on their sleeves; there’s really no reason that the meeting of these minds shouldn’t produce something worthy.

And their self-titled debut, released earlier this Spring, is very much worthy. It’s not a record that necessarily aspires to greatness – the vibe is much more casual and off-the-cuff with a healthy dose of goofiness added in for good measure – but the combination of Childs’ distinctively fantastical songwriting and Blake’s immaculate songcraft can’t help but be a winning combination. Jonny offers both the spot-on harmonies and indelible melodies you’d expect from a Fanclub record but also some of the musical unpredictability that Gorky’s were known for. Not everything hits – opener “Wich is Wich” is pretty much a throwaway and there’s no reason “Cave Dance” needed to run over ten minutes, but songs like “Circling The Sun” and “Candyfloss” are the sort of gems that might represent the career highwater marks of lesser artists. Their name might be nigh-on meaningless but their music makes an impression.

The record is currently available to stream in whole at Merge, and their introductory EP – consisting of non-album material – is still available to download for free. They will be kicking off a North American tour with two nights at the Drake Underground in Toronto – fun fact, Blake now resides in Kitchener, Ontario – on June 3 and 4. Tickets for each show are $21.50 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts and Merge, I’ve got a couple of prize packs to give away. There’s one for each night and they consist of a pair of passes to the show, a copy of Jonny on CD and a pink balloon that was given away to those who pre-ordered the album. Why? Why not? To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to meet Jonny” in the subject line and your full name in the body along with your mailing address and a note as to which night you’d prefer or if you’ve no preference, say you have no preference. Contest closes at midnight, May 19.

MP3: Jonny – “Candyfloss”
Video: Jonny – “You Was Me”
Video: Jonny – “Candyfloss”
Stream: Jonny / Jonny
ZIP: Jonny / Free

Keeping with both the “streaming new records from Merge” and “bands made up of people from other bands” memes, we have Amor de Días – aka Alisdair from The Clientele and Lupe of Pipas – and their debut full-length Street Of The Love Of Days, which is out next week. The record is streaming at Merge, a new video from said record has just been released, the band is on the road and at The Horseshoe on May 25 and Design Sponge has an interview with Lupe Núñez-Fernández.

Video: Amor de Dias – “Late Morning”
Stream: Amor de Dias / Amor de Dias

Also out next week is Nursing Home, the second album from London’s Let’s Wrestle. Paste has the whole thing available to listen in advance of its release next Tuesday, May 17.

Stream: Let’s Wrestle / Nursing Home

Not out on Merge but definitely out soon – May 24 to be precise – and up and streaming at Hype Machine is Pala, the second effort from Friendly Fires. You can also download an MP3 over there and see them at The Phoenix on May 30.

Stream: Friendly Fires / Pala

The Fly and The Phoenix checks in with Arctic Monkeys about their forthcoming album Suck It And See, out June 7. Spin has also got a new track from the record available to stream. They play The Kool Haus on May 21.

Opening up that show are The Vaccines, who have got a Daytrotter session up, are interviewed by Buzznet and whose debut What Did You Expect From The Vaccines is out May 31. And oh yeah, they’re giving away a live track.

MP3: The Vaccines – “Norgaard” (live)

Black Book gets Paul Banks of Interpol to interview Anna Calvi while Mojo just sends some guy to do the same. She is at The El Mocambo on May 27.

Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit talks about the importance of music blogs at The Pop Cop. They’re at The Molson Amphitheatre on July 29, opening for Death Cab For Cutie.

DIY, The Guardian, The Skinny, The Australian, Clash, Paste and The Quietus all get some time with Wild Beasts about their new record Smother.

The AV Club talks to Stuart Staples of Tindersticks about the art of scoring. Movies. Scoring movies.

Clash welcomes the British festival season with a conversation with Elbow.

Drowned In Sound meets Graham Coxon.

Dev Hynes’ Blood Orange has released a new video for the A-side from his debut 7″ and put the b-side up on Soundcloud to stream.

Video: Blood Orange – “Dinner”

The Twilight Sad are giving away an acoustic EP to anyone who hands over their email address; the sign-up form is up on their website, as is a set of videos from the recording session.

Pitchfork reports that Upside Down, the documentary about Creation Records, has gotten a DVD release as of this week and comes packaged with a two-CD soundtrack/sampler of Creation artists. Which would be great if not for the the fact that it’s only PAL and region-2. Would someone please bring this film to North America in some watchable form?

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

I Never Learnt To Share

James Blake tours North America, displays indifference to principles of supply and demand

Photo via FacebookFacebookBritish dubstep/soul-pop producing/singing/songwriting wunderkind James Blake has been getting a lot of press of late – in particular as first runner-up in the BBC Sound Of 2011 poll and a glowing Pitchfork “Best New Music” review for his self-titled debut, out in the UK since February but not here until March 22 – so it’s not unreasonable to think there’d be a lot of interest in live dates, even over in North America.

So on the bright side, tour dates have been announced in addition to his appearance at SxSW next week and they do include a Toronto date, but while the US dates are all in rooms ranging in capacity from 250 to 500 or so, despite this being one of the more Anglophilic markets on the continent, he’s playing pretty much the smallest room we’ve got – that’s The Rivoli, on May 14.

Tickets are $20 in advance, on sale Friday and done paperless/check your credit card at the door-style. Considering the room holds around 200 people, less yesterday’s fan pre-sale, less media and guest lists, there could be just a handful of tickets available for sale… I suspect that he’ll be back at a larger room around the time of his Pitchfork Festival appearance come mid-July, but that’s pure speculation on my part. All of which is to say that if you want to see him in close quarters, you’ll want to be on the Ticketmaster tomorrow.

The Fader has posted online their cover feature on Blake.

MP3: James Blake – “To Care (Like You)”
Video: James Blake – “The Wilhelm Scream”
Video: James Blake – “Limit To Your Love”

The Raveonettes claimed their acoustic in-store at Sonic Boom back in August 2008 was the first time they’d performed in such a setting; apparently they liked it, because they’re doing it again on April 2 at 6PM before their show at The Phoenix that evening. Expect to hear tunes from their new one Raven In The Grave, out March 22, done unplugged-style. They talk to Spinner about the new record.

MP3: The Raveonettes – “Forget That You’re Young”

Johnny Flynn – here solo back in November – returns with his band The Sussex Wit for a show at The Horseshoe on May 26, tickets $13.50.

MP3: Johnny Flynn – “Kentucky Pill”

In a bill that will make folks of a certain generation possibly/probably lose their shit, Brendan Perry, formerly of Dead Can Dance, and Robin Guthrie, ex of Cocteau Twins, have put together a North American tour together that will stop in at the Opera House on June 4, tickets $27.50. Perry released a solo album in Ark last year while Guthrie has a number of projects ongoing but whose latest solo record was 20009’s Carousel.

Video: Cocteau Twins – “Heaven Or Las Vegas”
Video: Dead Can Dance – “The Carnival Is Over”

Pitchfork asks Andy Bell of Ride for the musical touchstones of his lifetime.

Entertainment Weekly talks to Liam Gallagher of Beady Eye, in town at the Sound Academy on June 20.

Exclaim reports that Spiritualized will release a new studio album this Fall, to be released in North America on label of the moment Fat Possum.

Spin talks briefly to Guy Garvey of Elbow and have a stream of a live reading of one of the new songs from build a rocket boys!. There’s also band features at RTE Ten,, BBC and The Chronicle.

Spinner talks to The Joy Formidable, whose debut The Big Roar is out next week. And just as they did for “Austere”, which also appeared on their A Balloon Called Moaning EP, they’ve made a new video for the album version of “Whirring”. They play The Horseshoe on April 3.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring” (new)

NOW and New York Press meet Esben & The Witch, who are playing Wrongbar tomorrow night.

Let’s Wrestle has announced the release of their second album, entitled Nursing Home and due out May 17. Check out the first MP3.

MP3: Let’s Wrestle – “Dear John”

Also out on May 17 is Street Of The Love Of Days, the debut from Amor de Dias – a name that might not be too familiar, but as the new project from The Clientele frontman Alasdair Maclean and Pipas’ Lupe Núñez-Fernández, is worth getting to know. Exclaim has some info on the project, which has been ongoing for a while – as evidenced by this track premiered by Pitchfork last Summer in addition to the album track just released.

MP3: Amor de Dias – “Bunhill Fields”
MP3: Amor de Dias – “New Wine”

Arctic Monkeys have released details on their next album – the classily-named Suck It And See is out June 6; more info at The Fly. They have a date at The Kool Haus on May 21.

PJ Harvey has released a new video from her latest Let England Shake.

Video: PJ Harvey – “The Glorious Land”

Also with a new video are Mystery Jets, this one for the title track of last year’s Serotonin.

Video: Mystery Jets – “Serotonin”

Keeping the new clip parade going are Yuck with the lead track from their self-titled debut. They are at The Phoenix on May 1.

Video: Yuck – “Get Away”

And finally, a new vid from The Go! Team, from Rolling Blackouts – they play The Opera House on April 10.

Video: The Go! Team – “Apollo Throwdown”

The Quietus explains why “C86” is so important as a musical genre/era/adjective.