Posts Tagged ‘magnetic morning’

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

CONTEST – Adam Franklin @ The Drake Underground – January 31, 2010

Photo By Johnny MotoJohnny MotoAdam Franklin’s resume is a long and impressive one – guitarist in Shake Appeal, leader of Swervedriver, principal of Toshack Highway, half of Magnetic Morning and title role in Adam Franklin & The Bolts Of Melody, with duties throughout all of them remaining consistent – craft guitar rock that ranges from the roaring to hypnotic and make it look effortless. And while technically Swervedriver’s reunion continues and anytime Sam Fogarino has a spare moment Magnetic Morning can be back in action, it’s as the last of these projects that currently has Franklin’s full attention.

Though his last solo album Spent Bullets came out just last March, he’s already completed a follow-up entitled I Could Sleep For A Thousand Years and set a May 18 release date for it. And while that’s a ways off yet, Franklin isn’t being idle – clearly that’s not in his nature. He’s currently on a North American tour that’ll surely feature material new and old and which stops in at the Drake Underground in Toronto on January 31. Tickets for the show are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, but courtesy of Collective Concerts (formerly the good folks at ATG and RMS, if you were wondering), I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to be a Bolt Of Melody” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, January 29.

There’s feature articles on Franklin at The Georgia Straight, The San Francisco Examiner and The AV Club.

MySpace: Adam Franklin

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Baby, I Grew You A Beard

CONTEST – Neil Halstead @ The Drake Underground – November 8, 2008

MySpaceMySpaceThe arc of Neil Halstead’s long and storied musical career taken him many places. He was both an architect of sonic cathedrals at the dawn of Slowdive’s career and a pioneer of electronic ambiance at its end, then with Mojave 3 he played the roles of country-rock and power-pop songsmith with equal facility. With his first solo album Sleeping On Roads in 2002, he took the soft-spoken folk balladeer that’s lain at the heart of his songwriting throughout it all and brought it to the fore, a place he revisits once again with the long-awaited and long-delayed follow-up, Oh! Mighty Engine.

And even though six years have elapsed between records, Halstead picks up largely where he left off. The spectre of a failed relationship that hung overhead during the making of Roads isn’t present here, which perhaps explains why the new record is brighter in tone than its predecessor. Even so, Engine is still spare and homespun, built in rich melody on a sturdy framework built of voice and acoustic guitar with gentle percussion, piano and electric or steel guitar accouterments where appropriate. It’s a format that suits Halstead well, as for all the soundscapes that he’s surrounded himself with over the years, he’s always been at his best when conveying a quiet, thoughtful intimacy. And for showcasing his strengths as a singer-songwriter, Engine is Halstead at his best.

As solid and enjoyable as Halstead’s solo output is, it’s not a substitute for the chemistry and magic that is Mojave 3. So it’s good to know that even with drummer Ian McCutcheon busy with his solo project The Loose Salute and Rachel Goswell continuing to recover from the ear-related illness that kept her from playing a larger role on Puzzles Like You, in this interview with AgitReader Halstead says that he hopes to begin work on a new Mojave 3 record before the year is out.

Halstead is currently on tour across North America – finally Jack Johnson-free – and will be at the Drake Underground on Saturday night, November 8, for an early show (9:30 start). Anyone who saw him play at the Rivoli back in 2002 in support of Roads surely remembers how utterly magical that performance was and if this show even comes close to measuring up to that one, it’s going to be a special one indeed. Courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away to the show – to enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to see Neil Halstead” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, November 6.

Apparently as part of this tour, Halstead has an agenda to visit NPR as many times as possible. Currently there’s two sessions available to stream – one at the World Cafe and one at KEXP.

MP3: Neil Halstead – “Paint A Face”
Video: Neil Halstead – “Paint A Face”
Video: Neil Halstead – “Queen Bee”

Drowned In Sound reconsiders the musical oeuvre of Swervedriver, still isn’t overly impressed. The three albums in question will be re-released in North America on January 6.

Pitchfork has details on the debut album from head Swervie Adam Franklin’s current project, Magnetic Morning. A.M. will be out January 27.

Simon Jones of The Verve talks to Chart about why guitarist Simon Tong wasn’t invited to the reunion party.

Another Tong – Matt, of Bloc Party, gives an interview to Virgin Music. Bandmate Kele Okereke talks to Metro and The Edmonton Journal.

I wouldn’t normally bother noting anything that Norman Cook of Fatboy Slim gets up to, but when the second single from his new project The Brighton Port Authority features Emmy The Great front and centre, you have my attention. You can stream it at their MySpace or better yet, watch the video. Via Stereogum.

Video: The Brighton Port Authority featuring Emmy The Great – “Seattle”
MySpace: The Brighton Port Authority

EDP24 interviews Matt Urby of Noah & The Whale and Erockstar has a video interview with the band. They’re at the El Mocambo on December 9.

Scottish quartet Glasvegas, first considered in these pages last December, will begin their attempt to conquer North America the way they have the UK with the release of their self-titled debut on January 6. I picked up a copy on import a little while back, thoughts forthcoming. They’ll also be doing some touring over here in the new year, but no Toronto date as yet. They’ve also recorded a Christmas EP, which they talk to The Daily Record about.

Anyone see Wilco on The Colbert Report last week? I didn’t. Thankfully it’s viewable online in Canada on CTV and in the US at Comedy Central. Or you can just watch the clip of the new song they played.

Video: Wilco – “Wilco, The Song” (live on The Colbert Report)

Fleet Foxes are the subject of features at Rolling Stone and Filter.

Gotham Acme talks to Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste about the US election… which is today. How about that.

Speaking of election day, Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers has made available for free a new song written just after Bush II was re-elected. Hood has never been one to shy away from political statements, wearing his opinions on his sleeve… or his guitar.

JAM finds out why The Hold Steady always seem so dang happy. The Hold Steady and the Drive-By Truckers are at the Phoenix next Tuesday night.

Couple shows announced for the new year… on the same day. First you’ve got Annuals at the El Mocambo on January 24, tickets $10.

MP3: Annuals – “Confessor”
Video: Annuals – “Confessor”

And down Spadina at the Horseshoe, you’ve got buzzy band du jour, Passion Pit – tickets for that one are also $10.

MP3: Passion Pit – “Sleeyphead”
Video: Passion Pit – “Sleeyphead”

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Fast Blood

The Spinto Band and Frightened Rabbit in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSo hands up whoever had “50%” in the “How many people are going to take off after Frightened Rabbit’s set?” pool. Congratulation, you win some taffy (note: you do not actually win taffy). I had guessed that about that percentage of the couple hundred who showed up at Lee’s Palace on Tuesday night were there to see the highly-regarded Scottish outfit make their Toronto debut, and I was about right. This is not to take away from the other two acts on the bill – both headliners The Spinto Band and locals Spiral Beach put on good shows and were certainly well-matched stylistically, but if someone was there for the angsty anthems of the middle act, then the other two might not have been up their alley.

Now most local bands added to a touring bill would likely just show up, do their thing and leave, but full points to Spiral Beach for making the most of the opportunity, dressing up the stage in an elaborate setup of lights, signs and pylons to accompany their half hour set. They also brought their own fans, who turned the dance floor of Lee’s Palace into, well, a dance floor. I hadn’t seen Spiral Beach for at least a couple years, since they were a very green outfit, and it was immediately obvious that what unrealized potential I’d seen in them back then as they tried to meld New Wave and surf rock was now very much being realized. Like an un-kitschy but still tremendously fun B-52s, they were unceasingly energetic onstage in the way that young people are. I’m now exponentially more interested in this band than I was before.

I’d caught an approximately 15-minute set from Frightened Rabbit at SxSW back in March but even in such a short time, they – and their album The Midnight Organ Fight – made an immense impression. Similarly, though they were the ones most were there to see, they had only an opener’s set length in which to satiate the fans who’d been waiting a long time for them to visit. To this end, the barreled through their set – comprised mainly of Organ Fight but with a few nods back to Sing The Greys by request. Frontman Scott Hutchison’s cheerful demenaour was a decided contrast to the downcast nature of his lyrics, particularly as delivered in his thick Scottish burr, and though the band’s songs seem like fairly straightforward rocked-up folk, seeing the range of instruments and arrangements needed to recreate them faithfully – how many four-pieces do you see with three of them wielding Telecasters? – you come to appreciate how sophisticated they are underneath. To say nothing of simply being great songs. Next time back, Frightened Rabbit had best be headlining their own show. If not for the fans’ sake, then for the sake of the band who’d be unfortunate enough to have to play after them.

And this time out, said band was The Spinto Band, on tour in support of their new record Moonwink. But if the Delaware six-piece were at all perturbed at all the extra elbow room for those who stuck around, they didn’t let it show. Or they loved it. It’s hard to tell, they were simply so gleeful on stage. And that’s good because their technicolour pop songs demand glee and the Spinto Band played and danced like deliverymen of sonic candy floss overdosed on their own product. Their most impressive moment was when singer/guitarist Nick Krill broke a string on his guitar and proceeded to unwrap the mic from the stand, carry it over to the spare guitar, swap guitars and re-mount the mic all without missing a note. That was slick. And while I was definitely there to see Frightened Rabbit, I wasn’t sorry I stuck around.

Laundromatinee has a session with the Spinto Band.

Photos: Spinto Band, Frightened Rabbit, Spiral Beach @ Lee’s Palace – October 21, 2008
MP3: Spinto Band – “Summer Grof”
MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Head Rolls Off”
MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “The Modern Leper”
MP3: Spiral Beach – “Made Of Stone”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Heads Roll Off”
Video: Spiral Beach – “Made Of Stone”
Video: Spiral Beach – “Kind Of Beast”
MySpace: The Spinto Band
MySpace: Spiral Beach

Crawdaddy and Cord Weekly talk to Sloan.

Wired and Buzzbands talk to the principals of Magnetic Morning. They’re at the Horseshoe tonight.

The Verve have a new video.

Video: The Verve – “Rather Be”

Blurt interviews Lucinda Williams.

Paste and NOW feature Of Montreal. They’re at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre next Tuesday night.

So thanks to some serious pathos on my part and some serious excellence on the Apple Store’s part, my laptop got fixed yesterday (dead logic board) in under four hours turnaround. That is absolutely amazing. Which means that my laptop is alive and coming with me to New York. Which means pretty much nothing to you, but certainly makes things more enjoyable for me.

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

With NEW Hat!

Welcome to Chromewaves v7.5

Image via Simpsons Viewer Top 8And there we go. This is what I’ve been giving myself headaches over the last few days, dragging this here blog kicking and screaming from the horribly out of date CMS that I’ve been using for the last six years into a sleek, shiny and – most importantly – supported new system. I’ve been meaning to move to WordPress for ages but was daunted by the sheer scope of the task.

And so I must give profuse and immeasurable thanks to Ryan from The Catbirdseat for helping me with almost all the heavy lifting, including migrating over the entirety of my archives from the old system. You have no idea how big a deal that is. As it is, the old posts will remain up as there’s also six years worth of links to them, but they also all exist in the new system. Eventually I hope to come up with some manner of system to repoint all of those old links, but for the meantime, we’ll just run in parallel.

While you probably won’t see or experience much different – if everything works as it should, the only difference you should notice are the slightly changed cosmetics – but rest assured that under the hood is a very different beast. Moving to WordPress also means that I potentially have many more plugins at my disposal to play with and as we move forward, I’ll be doing so but for the immediate term, I’ll just be happy if nothing is horribly broken. I’ve tested a fair bit, but there’ll surely be some weirdness here and there that’ll need to be dealt with. If you find anything amiss, please email me or leave a comment telling me about it.

But enough about me. Here’s some links.

The Black Cab Sessions welcomes Jens Lekman to perform, what else, “Black Cab”.

Boston Music Spotlight and Express Night Out talk to Sam Fogarino of Magnetic Morning, who will play the Horseshoe this Thursday night October 23.

Matt Kadane of The New Year shuffles his ancient iPod for The AV Club.

Yuki Chikudate of Asobi Seksu talks to Chart about losing their second rhythm section in as many albums before the recording of their new one Hush, due in February.

Parts & Labor’s new album Receivers is out today, and is streaming at Spinner. They’re at Sneaky Dee’s on November 21.

MP3: Parts & Labour – “Nowhere’s Nigh”
Stream: Receivers

Also out today and streaming is Missiles, the new one from The Dears. They’ve also released the first video from said record.

Stream: The Dears / Missiles
Video: The Dears – “Money Babies”

While I’m wholly enthused for tonight’s Frightened Rabbit/Spinto Band show at Lee’s, I’m a twinge regretful that I can’t be at The Horseshoe at the same time for the free White Lies show. I keep hearing good things about the London trio, including being declared by SPIN as one of the hottest bands at CMJ this week – I may try to catch them in New York, but I fear the show may exceed my hipster tolerance levels and there’d be violence. Bassist Charles Cave wrote about their recent experience at Iceland Airwaves for The Guardian. Their Death EP is out today.

MP3: White Lies – “Death” (Crystal Castles remix)
Video: White Lies – “Death”
Video: White Lies – “Unfinished Business”

Black Mountain main man Stephen McBean brings his other band – Pink Mountaintops – to the Drake Underground on November 7, tickets $10.

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Don't Dumb Down

A while back – a long while – I got an email from a reader asking if I could perhaps help him identify a video he’d seen somewhere by an English band and which featured a single take of the singer riding a bicycle around London’s streets (or street – most of it’s a single circle). Not the most original idea for a vid, but apparently memorable enough to warrant hunting down. I’d never seen the clip, however, and was no help but he eventually tracked it down and let me know that the song was “Motorcycle” by a band called The Rumble Strips. Naturally my curiosity was piqued and I checked out the video myself and, indeed, it’s a fun little vid and a memorable song with jaunty horns, simple yet clever lyrics and a big-voiced singer who seemed to appreciate the proper balance between showiness and restraint.

Which eventually brought me to their debut album, Girls & Weather, released last year in the UK but only getting a North American release this Fall. Everything that made “Motorcycle” a good time is here in the proper doses, with a charming blend of working-class soul, ska and ’50s-era retro pop that in the wrong hands could wear out its welcome quickly, but in this case retains its appeal over extended listens – and this is from someone with very limited patience for horns in his pop music.

Credit for this goes to the band’s ability to tap into their innate flair for the dramatic judiciously while maintaining a boisterious sense of fun delivery throughout. Frontman Charlie Waller, in particular, has an engaging on-record charisma to go with his powerful pipes and demonstrates an equal lyrical facility for pathos and humour, with more depth to his words than you might initially guess. Girls & Weather is a rare record that succeeds no matter how closely you want to listen.

The Rumble Strips are currently undertaking their first North American tour and will roll into the the El Mocambo on October 29 with San Francisco’s Birdmonster. In addition to the tracks below, the band has a few more MP3s available to download over here. Waller talked to Clash about having UK uber-producer Mark Ronson helming their next album, targeted for a March 2009 release.

MP3: The Rumble Strips – “Time”
MP3: The Rumble Strips – “Motorcycle”
Video: The Rumble Strips – “Girls And Boys In Love”
Video: The Rumble Strips – “Alarm Clock”
Video: The Rumble Strips – “Motorcycle”
Video: The Rumble Strips – “Oh Creole”
Video: The Rumble Strips – “Time”
MySpace: The Rumble Strips

According to this pre-order writeup from Rough Trade for the first single from Emmy The Great’s First Love, the album is now set for a January 2009 release. Obviously some months later than I’d like but at least it’s sorta firm.

Liam Gallagher talks to Spinner about the vibe in the studio whilst making Oasis’ Dig Out Your Soul and bitches about England. NME reports that Liam Gallagher would like to beat up the guy who beat up his brother. Tangentially, The Mirror has compiled a list of the best Noel Gallagher quotes from over the years, and yes there’ve been some doozies.

The Quietus talks to Jim Reid of The Jesus & Mary Chain. And part two.

Peter Hook, formerly of New Order, discusses the process of going through the band’s back catalog for the forthcoming series of reissues – due November 11 – with Spinner.

The first three Swervedriver records will be remastered and re-released with bonus tracks on November 3 in the UK and January 6 in the US. Magnetic Morning, Adam Franklin’s project with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino, will release its debut album A.M. on October 21 and you can hear a sample over at Stereogum and read an interview with Fogarino at Plug In Music. They play the Horseshoe on October 23.

Pitchfork is streaming the first single from the as-yet untitled third album from Asobi Seksu, due sometime in the new year. They’re at the Horseshoe on October 20.

The Duke Spirit, whose tour with System Of A Down offshoot Scars On Broadway has apparently been cancelled, have found another tourmate in Eagles Of Death Metal – they’ll open up their November 13 show at the Mod Club.

NOW talks to Will Sheff of Okkervil River, who’re at the Phoenix on Sunday night.

The AV Club plays Random Rule with Kurt Wagner of Lambchop. NPR also has a video “Tiny Desk Concert” with the man.

Rolling Stone has a video session and interview with Gemma Hayes.

Even though the release date for Of Montreal’s new album Skeletal Lamping has been pushed back from this past Tuesday to October 21, Spinner is still streaming the thing in its entirety. There’s also a track to download. Rolling Stone has a profile of the band, who are at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 28. NPR are streaming last night’s performance in Washington DC.

MP3: Of Montreal – “Id Engager”
Stream: Of Montreal / Skeletal Lamping

QRO interviews The Jealous Girlfriends.

Jay Reatard has got an in-store scheduled at Sonic Boom on October 16 at 7PM. He’s at Sneaky Dee’s that night.

New Pornographer Carl Newman chats with The Sydney Morning Herald.

Liz Powell talks to Spinner and Blurt about being the newest part of Broken Social Scene and oh yeah, her other band too. The Star-Tribune has an interview with Brendan Canning. Broken Social and Land Of Talk are at the Sound Academy on November 27 and 28.