Posts Tagged ‘Low Anthem’

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

SXSW 2012 Night Two A/V

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWriteups of all things Bruce and non-Bruce from Thursday night can be found over here.

The Low Anthem
– Rhode Island threesome-become-fivesome who are fluent in folk, blues and pop dialects of the language of Americana; their fourth album Smart Flesh came out in 2011.

MP3: The Low Anthem – “To Ohio”
Video: The Low Anthem – “Ghost Woman Blues”
Video: The Low Anthem – “Boeing 737”
Video: The Low Anthem – “Charlie Darwin”

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
– Bruce Springsteen. The Boss. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? He was at the festival to do the conference keynote and, of course, he had to play a show. His new record Wrecking Ball had just come out a couple weeks prior. NPR has got his keynote from earlier in the day available to stream.

Photos: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band @ ACL Live at The Moody Theater – March 15, 2012
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “We Take Care Of Our Own”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Ain’t Good Enough For You”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Save My Love”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “The Wrestler”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “My Lucky Day”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Working On A Dream”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “A Night With The Jersey Devil”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Long Walk Home”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Radio Nowhere”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “O Mary Don’t You Weep”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Pay Me My Money Down”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Devils & Dust”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Waitin’ On A Sunny Day”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Lonesome Day”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “The Ghost Of Tom Joad”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Dead Man Walkin'”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Secret Garden”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Murder Incorporated”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Streets Of Philadelphia”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Leap Of Faith”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Better Days”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Human Touch”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Tougher Than The Rest”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “One Step Up”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Brilliant Disguise”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “War”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “My Hometown”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Glory Days”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “I’m On Fire”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Born In The USA”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Dancing In The Dark”
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Atlantic City”

Patrick Watson
– Montreal-based singer-songwriter/band/perennial Polaris shortlister whose third album Adventures In Your Own Backyard comes out April 17. He/they play The Music Hall in Toronto on May 29.

Photos: Patrick Watson @ St. David’s Historic Sanctuary – March 15, 2012
MP3: Patrick Watson – “Into Giants”
Video: Patrick Watson – “Fireweed”
Video: Patrick Watson – “The Storm”
Video: Patrick Watson – “Drifters”
Video: Patrick Watson – “The Great Escape”

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

SXSW 2012 Night Two

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and more at SXSW

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSo – did I mention that I won a ticket to see Bruce Springsteen for the Thursday night of SXSW? I did? Okay then, just checking. The show was held in conjunction with The Boss’ appearance as the keynote speaker at this year’s conference and admission being doled out via lottery open to badgeholders. The actual location of it was kept secret, but minimal sleuthing pretty much guaranteed that it would be at the almost-brand new (opened last year) Moody Theater, where they held the tapings for Austin City Limits.

The old studio on the University Of Texas campus – where I’d been fortunate enough to see a Wilco taping in 2007 – was nice enough, but very much a soundstage/studio. The new facility, located right in downtown Austin, was easily one of the nicest modern concert venues I’ve ever been to, with stadium sightlines, comfy padded seating and an amazing sound and light system yet still relatively cozy with a capacity around 2800 people. Which by Springsteen standards may as well have been a tiny hole-in-the-wall bar. Yeah, this would be pretty special.

Openers came in the form of Rhode Island’s The Low Anthem, whose last release was 2011’s Smart Flesh. I’d seen them way back in December 2008, just before their star began to rise, and recall being impressed with their musicianship and intricate folk-pop songcraft, though apparently not quite enough to keep up with their career. Now a five-piece rather than a trio, they had even more musical options and I think each song in their set featured a different instrumental configuration than the last. A bit showy, perhaps, but they were quick about it and the focus remained on their elegant and ornate Americana sound that explored and maintained the trails blazed by Bob Dylan over the course of his career, but with smoother vocals and harmonies. It was a charming set but if we’re being honest, I doubt I’ll be following them any closer than I did after the last time I saw them.

Next up was Austin roots-rock mainstay Alejandro Escovedo backed by The Sensitive Boys & Girls, and those in the audience who were complaining about The Low Anthem putting them to sleep – and there were a few within earshot – certainly would have had the cobwebs blown out of their ears by Escovedo and company. Their lean, no-frills rock’n’roll was slick yet raucous and filled with evocative songwriting and ripping guitar solos. That the man is regarded as a legend in a city that’s turned out more than its share of musical legends is saying something.

But if we’re talking legends, then Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band would have to be at the top of anyone’s list. Now I think it’s important to note that though I fancy myself appreciative of Springsteen and reasonably familiar with his work, I would not file myself as a huge fan nor have I ever seen him live; tickets for his shows are pretty damned expensive and even then, sell out about immediately. I’ve just never gone to the extra effort to secure some, and so to have this one fall into my lap – or onto my arm, as the admission wristband did – was pretty exciting. There was a bit of a wait between the end of Escovedo’s set and the start of Bruce’s but then setting up a 16-piece band is no small task, even for pros. But a little past nine, the lights went down, a roar went up and they got underway.

The show started not with any of Springsteen’s own classics, but a solemn, gospel-tinged reading of Woody Guthrie’s “I Ain’t Got No Home”, gussied up with brass and chorus to mark the centenary of the original protest singer’s birth. From there, the lights went up, the Telecaster went on and the band tore into the anthemic “We Take Care Of Our Own” and the title track of their just-released new record Wrecking Ball; I haven’t paid attention to how the album has been received but damn if these two songs didn’t sound like fiery classics in the making. They pulled out one I did know – “Badlands” – next before returning to the new material and bringing Tom Morello out to guest on “Death To My Hometown”; Morello would return a few more times through the night, including an utterly incendiary jaw-dropping duet with Springsteen and solo on “The Ghost Of Tom Joad”.

And you know what? Billboard has the set list with their writeup of the show, and running through things song by song is pointless. Hell, reviewing a Springsteen show seems pointless – its been done thousands of times and its probably safe to say that there’s rarely if ever a bad Bruce show, and if there were it wouldn’t be this one. I just stood there marvelling at the charisma of the man and the power of the band; they were really the epitome of a rock band, of which all others were just reflections and shadows, with moves and routines that would have been hokey coming from anyone else but coming from Springsteen, totally genuine and uplifting. One couldn’t help thinking back to his keynote address earlier in the day where he named off dozens of subgenres of rock and it was easy to see why he found it all so amusing – the man only dealt in the original article.

The show seemed to mostly be made up of selections from Wrecking Ball and The Rising, which might not have been ideal for one like me who really only knew the hits – or at least the 20th century material – but it was understandable. Despite having a career spanning four decades, Springsteen remains creative and vital and the furthest thing from a nostalgia act – I didn’t expect to hear many or even any of the hits, so there was no sense of disappointment. And how could I be? I was finally seeing one of the great artists and entertainers in the history of rock music and in a setting that others would give their eye teeth for. It was amazing.

And so of course I left early.

Well actually I stayed for almost the entirety of the two-hour main set, though I kick myself for missing “Thunder Road”, but I also really wanted to catch the Jesus & Mary Chain and at that point it seemed like I was allowing enough time for that to happen. Of course it didn’t. I ended up standing in a line outside The Belmont for almost 90 minutes, eventually ceasing to move with 40 or so people ahead of me, while Bruce played on and was joined by Jimmy Cliff and Eric Burdon for the encore and Arcade Fire (and a slew of others) for the show-closing reading of “This Land Is Your Land”. But hey, I heard “Head Down” from the street, so not a total loss…

And maybe things really did land butter-side up considering that I managed to get over to St. David’s Historic Sanctuary for a good portion of Patrick Watson’s set. Now I’ve never been much of a Watson fan, but have slowly been warming to him over time and based on this performance, his new one Adventures In Your Own Backyard may be the one to get me fully onboard. Beyond the songs, which sounded great, and the setting, which with shifting and pulsing strings of lights draped around the church was rather magical if a nightmare photographically, there was the fact that I think I finally begin to get what Watson is about. The same way that band treated the stage more like a playground than a performance space, Watson’s compositions are lovely little things that exist simply from the desire to create something beautiful. It sounds a bit silly but it was a real mental shift for me with respect to him – hey, not every artist has to be exorcising demons in their work – and sent me back into the night feeling pretty damn good. And needing a hot dog.

Rolling Stone reports that a new Neil Young & Crazy Horse record not only exists, as rumoured, but that it will be called Americana, consist of reinterpretations of classic folk and protest songs and be coming out on June 5.

The Victoria Times Colonist, The Province, and Jambands profile Plants & Animals, in town at Lee’s Palace on April 21.

NOW, The Toronto Star, Boston Phoenix, The Telegraph, and Loud & Quiet talk to Grimes, whose show at The Horseshoe Monday night was cancelled due to illness and rescheduled for next Tuesday, but is still sold the fuck out.

Rolling Stone is streaming the new Zeus record Busting Visions ahead of its release next week; they play The Horseshoe March 23 for Canadian Musicfest and The Phoenix on June 9.

MP3: Zeus – “Anything You Want Dear”
Stream: Zeus / Busting Visions

On that bill with Zeus at The Horseshoe will be Snowblink, who are officially labelmates as of their second album, due out later this year. To mark the occasion, the band have uploaded a bunch of covers of dead artists – well, Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse – to Soundcloud. Don’t worry, they’re respectful.

DIY chats with Kathleen Edwards, who has been announced as one of the performers at this year’s LuminaTO arts festival in June.

Rae Spoon has put out a new video from I Can’t Keep All Of Our Secrets.

Video: Rae Spoon – “Ocean Blue”

The Waterloo Record talks to Al Spx of Cold Specks, who has made a track from her debut album I Predict A Graceful Explosion available to stream; it’s out May 22 and she plays The Music Gallery for Canadian Musicfest on Thursday, followed by an appearance opening for Great Lake Swimmers at The Music Hall on June 2.

Stream: Cold Specks – “Winter Solstice”

An unexpected but wholly welcome entrant in the ’90s Can-rock reunion ring? Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. Exclaim reports that the instrumental and influential surf-rock legends are getting back together for a couple shows to mark the reissue of their catalog on vinyl; 1988’s Savvy Show Stoppers comes out in June and the other two will follow at approximately six month intervals. As for those shows, the Toronto date is July 14 at Lee’s Palace and as for the fact that bassist Reid Diamond passed away in 2001, they’ve got a pretty good ringer lined up – Dallas Good of The Sadies. Fun fact – my band in high school would cover “Having An Average Weekend” in our sets. It did not make us popular.

Stream: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – “Having An Average Weekend”

And here’s your Osheaga 2012 lineup. Not. Bad. At. All.

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Yesterday's World

Elephant 6 collective to tour North America yelling, “surprise!”

Photo via Ground ControlGround ControlSo maybe some of you heard that Jeff Mangum, that guy who used to be in that one band, played a surprise show of Neutral Milk Hotel tunes to a Brooklyn crowd of about 75 this past weekend (MP3s or it didn’t happen). And while that’s a pretty cool thing in and of itself, not to mention giving those in attendance bragging rights in certain circles for the rest of their lives, that it happened just before word that the Elephant 6 collective of which the Neutral Milk was a founding member was planning a big Spring touring to-do was… interesting. Not implying anything untoward, simply observing that if it was a coincidence, it was a well-timed one.

Said to-do is the Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour, which was first rolled out at about this time of the year in 2008 by former Neutral Milk Hotelier, current Music Tapes leader and all-around Christmas fan Julian Koster. It consisted of a massive and random group of Elephant 6 alumni past and present, including members of Apples In Stereo, Elf Power, Circulatory System, Olivia Tremor Control amongst others – which is to say about 1/10 the population of Athens, Georgia – who trekked about performing holiday songs and each others’ compositions and generally celebrating the spirit of pop, psychedelia and community that informed the movement back in their heyday of the mid-’90s. And apparently they had such a good time of it, they’re doing it again.

The details on the who and the what are unclear as of yet – Koster will certainly be driving it again, covering much of the same terrain as his ongoing Lullabye Tour – but the itinerary is up, showing dates across North America running from late February through the end of March. You know, exactly when there aren’t any real holidays. Unlike the original Holiday Tour, this one includes a Toronto stop on March 18 at the Horseshoe, which is great for those of us who will be hundreds of miles away at SxSW at the time (that’s not a plea for sympathy, just statement of fact), particularly since none of Elf Power, Circulatory System or the reunited Olivia Tremor Control have come up this way in forever. But it is what it is and what it should be is an excitingly unpredictable treat for fans and you can bet no one is forgetting that Mangum made appearances at some of those shows in 2008… Will he be along this time out? Maybe he just needs to get re-accustomed to playing live OH WAIT.

The AV Club talked to Koster about the tour back in the Fall of 2008 while NPR has audio from the Chicago stop of that tour – all two and a half hours of it.

MP3: Music Tapes – “Majesty”
MP3: Neutral Milk Hotel – “Holland 1945”
MP3: The Apples In Stereo – “Benefits Of Lying With Your Friend”
MP3: Elf Power – “Stranger In The Window”
MP3: Circulatory System – “Yesterday’s World”
MP3: Circulatory System – “Now”

It’s understandable if you thought that The Wooden Sky’s show at Lee’s back at the start of November was their last local hurrah for the year, but they’ve got one more engagement on the calendar – an intimate December 19 show at the Music Gallery with Philadelphia’s Strand Of Oaks. It’s an all-ages gig, tickets $25 and all proceeds going to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Something Hiding For Us In The Night”
MP3: Strand Of Oaks – “Bonfire”

The double-bill of one-man act Wild Nothing and many-man band Abe Vigoda have made a date at Wrongbar on February 17, full dates of the tour available at Pitchfork.

MP3: Wild Nothing – “Golden Haze”
MP3: Abe Vigoda – “Throwing Shade”

Akron/Family will follow up the February 8 release of S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT with a date at The Horseshoe on February 20. And if you haven’t read the background on the record, Consequence Of Sound has details… which sound mental.

MP3: Akron/Family – “River”

The Low Anthem, who are readying their Smart Flesh for a February 22 release, have made a date at The Great Hall for March 2 – tickets $17.50 in advance. You can grab the first MP3 from said record in exchange for your email at their website.

Clash talks to LCD Soundsystem main man James Murphy.

Drowned In Sound interviews Britt Daniel and Eric Harvey of Spoon.

Exclaim has details on the long-awaited second Rural Alberta Advantage record. Departing will be out on March 1 and you can expect to hear at least some of it at their sold-out Lee’s Palace show next Thursday, December 16.

Daytrotter’s recent sojourn to Pop Montreal has yielded sessions with Karkwa and also with Diamond Rings. Karkwa are at Lee’s Palace on March 5.

Monday has a feature on Dan Mangan.

The Guardian, Winnipeg Free Press and Pitchfork talk to Feist about her Look At What The Light Did Now documentary, out today on DVD.

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Ibi Dreams Of Pavement

Pavement, Broken Social Scene and Band Of Horses play Toronto Islands 2010

Photo By Marcus Roth/Paolo Proserpio Marcus Roth/Paolo ProserpioI should start setting aside Tuesday posts for concert announcements – every Monday brings an absolute deluge of them, yesterday through to this morning being no exception. But even on a day filled with big announcements, there was this.

Toronto Island Concert isn’t the catchiest name – apparently calling it the Olympic Island Festival is now verboten? – but it really doesn’t matter what you brand a show that features Pavement, Broken Social Scene and Band Of Horses because everyone with a lick of sense will simply call it “awesome”. The show is only the third North American date officially confirmed for the reformed indie rock legends, after Sasquatch in May and the four-night stand in New York’s Central Park in September, though word is they’re also headlining this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, probably in mid-July. I tend to vacillate between indifference and great love for Pavement, depending on my mood. Right now it’s all love, and I would say that even with more acts to be added to the bill, this has already more than made up for last year’s canceled BSS/Explosions In The Sky event.

The show will go June 19, which is a bit ill-timed as it falls on the last day of NXNE but really, there’s no choice to be made. This must happen. Tickets will be $49.50 (plus $1.50 facility fee and $6.50 ferry admission) and go on sale next Friday, January 22 though a pre-sale through Arts & Crafts’ online store starts January 18 and also gets you a $5 credit towards their merch. So why wouldn’t you.

Pavement have a best-of in Quarantine The Past and series of vinyl reissues coming March 9. Broken Social Scene’s new record is supposed to arrive in May. Band Of Horses’ third album has a title of Night Rainbows and is due out sometime this year. Pavement drummer Bob Nastanovich talks to The Courier-Journal about the impending reunion tour and basically confirms the Pitchfork Festival appearance.

MP3: Pavement – “Gold Soundz”
MP3: Pavement – “Rattled By The Rush”
MP3: Broken Social Scene presents Brendan Canning – “Hit The Wall”
MP3: Broken Social Scene presents Kevin Drew – “TBTF”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “No One’s Gonna Love You”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “Is There A Ghost”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “The Great Salt Lake”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “The Funeral”

And everything else that came out yesterday, in chronological order:

Mumford & Sons’ February 15 show has been moved from the El Mocambo to Lee’s Palace due to overwhelming demand for bluegrass-ish music. Sigh No More gets a North American release on March 15.

Norwegian ambassadors of chillax, the Kings Of Convenience, will be at the Phoenix on February 18 in support of last year’s Declaration Of Dependence. Tickets are $21.50. The Independent has a feature on the duo.

MP3: Kings Of Convenience – “Boat Behind”
Video: Kings Of Convenience – “Boat Behind”

Born Ruffians have set a date at the Phoenix for March 14. Their new record Say It will be out sometime.

Well it looks like I won’t be going a half decade without seeing Spoon – in addition to headlining Stubb’s on the first night of SxSW, they’ve announced a full North American tour – they’ll be at the Sound Academy on March 29 with Deerhunter and The Strange Boys. Tickets are $24.50 for general admission, $33.50 for VIP balcony spots. Apparently this is what it will take to get me back to the Sound Academy. Transference is out next Tuesday and is streaming in its entirety right now at NPR. Deerhunter made an entire album available for free download last December.

MP3: Spoon – “The Underdog”
MP3: Deerhunter – “Rainwater Cassette Exchange”
MP3: The Strange Boys – “Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up”
Stream: Spoon / Transference

Beach House will finally make up their canceled appearance at last year’s Olympic Island show on their Spring North American tour – it brings them to the Opera House on March 30 with Bachelorette, tickets $14. Their new album Teen Dream is out January 26.

MP3: Beach House – “Norway”

Almost as exciting – or maybe even moreso – as the Pavement announcement was that of the April 1 date at Lee’s Palace for the amazing double bill of Shearwater and Wye Oak, part of a North American tour. Shearwater’s epic The Golden Archipelago is out February 23 and Wye Oak are still supporting last year’s excellent The Knot.

MP3: Shearwater – “Castaways”
MP3: Wye Oak – “Take It In”

The Black Lips are setting up for a two-night stand at the Horseshoe on March 27 and 28, tickets for each night are $15.50. I seem to recall hearing tales of anarchy the last time they played there – no reason to believe this time will be any different. Demon Claws and Box Elders support.

MP3: The Black Lips – “Lock & Key” (live at Amoeba)

Already posted but now official – The xx and jj at the Phoenix on April 4, admission $20. jj’s No 3 is out March 9, Creative Review has a look at the recently unveiled video sculpture for their debut album.

MP3: The xx – “Basic Space”
MP3: jj – “Ecstasy”

The Low Anthem will bring their Oh My God, Charlie Darwin to the Church Of The Redeemer on April 10.

MP3: The Low Anthem – “Charlie Darwin”
MP3: The Low Anthem – “To Ohio”

The Wedding Present have announced the dates for their tour commemorating the 21st anniversary of Bizarro and that includes an April 14 date at the Horseshoe.

Quasi have set a February 23 release date for their new record American Gong and are hitting the road to promote – look for them April 18 at the Horseshoe. And I could be wrong on this, but I think this is their first time back in town since 2001. That’s almost as long as, um, Pavement!

MP3: Quasi – “Repulsion”

Shout Out Louds are crossing the Atlantic this Spring to support new album Work, out February 23. They’ll be in Toronto at the Mod Club on May 8 and have just released a new video.

MP3: Shout Out Louds – “Walls”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Fall Hard”

And to close with something completely different – if you aren’t following my Twitter feed and didn’t hear the collective cry of fear/rage yesterday afternoon from the geek nation, it was announced that Spider-Man 4 – which as early as yesterday morning appeared to have confirmed John Malkovich as the Vulture – will instead be a complete reboot, jettisoning Tobey Maguire in the lead role and Sam Raimi in the director’s chair, and bring in a whole new cast while heading back to a high school setting for Peter Parker. I didn’t think it’d be possible to make a worse film than Spider-Man 3 but it seems they’ve found a way.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Teeth Sinking Into Heart

Rachael Yamagata, The Low Anthem at The Mod Club in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangGoing to as many shows as I do, I’ve come to expect a certain demographic in the audience with me. Which is to say largely male and frequently bearded. The audience at Friday night’s Rachael Yamagata show at the Mod Club, on the other hand, was most definitely predominantly female and for the most part, beardless. No, this was not one of my usual indie rock shows.

The audience was also impressively well-behaved, polite and attentive to support act The Low Anthem from Rhode Island. And they were easy to like, a trio with obvious and impressive musical ability – there was lots of instrument swapping on display – but able to check any muso inclinations in crafting a warm and gentle brand of country-rock, heavily indebted to Neil Young’s softer side but also able to turn it up a bit when the need arose. They may have been a bit too gentle to immediately spur me into seeking out their stuff, but a definite positive impression was made.

Rachael Yamagata has been through town a number of times in the past few years, supporting artists as disparate as Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore, but to my recollection this was her first headlining show in Toronto since her October 2004 show at the El Mocambo – that’s a long time. She even acknowledged as much early in the show, leading one to think she might make up for lost time and draw as much from her debut Happenstance as the just-released follow-up Elephants… Teeth Sinking Into Heart, but the set list still leaned heavily on the new material.

And that was perfectly fine – Elephants is a solid record, showcasing Yamagata’s ability to draw endless inspiration from the subject of hurt and heartbreak and spin them into either bruised balladry or pointed rockers. I don’t necessarily agree with the choice to split the two sides into separate discs – Happenstance blended them and offered a stronger impression of her range – but it’s a minor quibble. Her live show mixed up the fast and the slow, with Yamagata moving from keyboard to electric guitar as need be to lead her three-piece band. Though it seemed at a few points she was favouring her lower register, her voice was rich, raspy and appropriately torchy, and capable of heart-rending emotion.

Though Yamagata’s songs tend to dwell largely on sadness, she’s an engagingly chipper performer, chatting and joking with the audience at length. It was quite nice seeing a dynamic between artist and audience based on such genuine affection, where the former doesn’t have to try and win over the latter, but because of that fact gives it their all. The crowd – attentive and dead silent while she played – obviously loved her, and the feeling was mutual. Elephants should lift Yamagata to the stature of one capable of headlining her own shows, no longer the perennial support act. In Toronto, at least, she’s already there.

Metro, NOW and A’N’E Vibe have interviews with Yamagata, the latter also adding a live review of the Mod Club show. The Toronto Sun was also there. Paste profiles The Low Anthem.

Photos: Rachael Yamagata, The Low Anthem @ The Mod Club – December 12, 2008
MP3: The Low Anthem – “To Ohio”
Video: Rachael Yamagata – “Faster”
Video: Rachael Yamagata – “Sunday Afternoon”
Video: Rachael Yamagata – “Elephants”
Video: Rachael Yamagata – “Sidedish Friend”
MySpace: Rachael Yamagata
MySpace: The Low Anthem

The long-discussed Will Sheff/Charles Bissell split-7″ – Will Sheff Covers Charles Bissell, Charles Bissell Covers Will Sheff – was released last week, and features Sheff covering The Wrens’ “Ex-Girl Collection” and Bissell doing Okkervil River’s “It Ends With A Fall”. Essential? Yes. Italian site Maps, the morning show for Italian radio station Citta Del Capo Radio Metropolitana, is also featuring a video/audio interview/session with Sheff. The site is in Italian but the interview is in English. Mostly.

MP3: Okkervil River – “Calling And Not Calling My Ex” (live on Maps)
MP3: Okkervil River – “Lost Coastlines” (live on Maps)

Maps also had The New Year in for the same deal. Thanks to Jonathan from A Classic Education (and also a host on the show) for the tip.

MP3: The New Year – “Wages Of Sleep” (live on Maps)
MP3: The New Year – “Seven Days And Seven Nights” (live on Maps)

The good news is A Camp’s Colonia will be getting a North American release. The bad news is it will happen on April 28. The good news is the European label is still listing their street date as February 2.

Though I had Bruce Peninsula’s debut A Mountain Is A Mouth as one of the “next big thing”-ey releases for 2009, it’s actually available digitally as of today – but the CD proper isn’t out until February 3. The band has lined up a number of dates in the new year to promote it – they’re at the Horseshoe on January 31 supporting The Tom Fun Orchestra, will do an in-store at Soundscapes on release day February 3 and play a proper release show of their own on February 22 at the Polish Combatants Hall. If you can only make one, I’d say that’s the one to circle.

And while the 2008 concert year is pretty much done with, 2009 is already stacking up quite nicely. Jayhawks by any other name, Gary Louris & Mark Olson will hit the road in support of Ready For The Flood, out January 27, including a February 4 date at the Mod Club in Toronto. Tickets are $22.50 for this seated show. Seats! At the Mod Club! Zounds!

Blitzen Trapper are at The Horseshoe on February 21, tickets $10.50. They’re offering up a second MP3 from Furr and are the subject of interviews at Chart and The Georgia Straight.

MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “Gold For Bread”

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit will take their new eponymous album on the road following its release on February 17 and play the Horseshoe on March 4, tickets $12. There’s full dates at Paste and a new song streaming at their MySpace

Bloc Party continue their habit of coming to town only when it’s entirely inconvenient for me to attend (excepting festivals). Case in point, their just-announced March 14 date at the Kool Haus, tickets $35. Inconvenient because that’s the final night of CMW and I would hope that there’s worthwhile stuff going on at the festival, far from the foot of Jarvis St. Bloc Party also just rolled out a new video.

Video: Bloc Party – “One Month Off”

Australia’s Presets have a date at the Mod Club on April 6. Full dates at The Music Slut.