Posts Tagged ‘Marissa Nadler’

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Exile Villify

The National enlist fans’ help to vilify exiles

Photo By Keith KlenowskiKeith KlenowskiWhile 2010 was unquestionably the year of The National with the release of their breakout record High Violet, the band haven’t been entirely quiet this year, continuing to tour and also releasing a couple of new tracks for soundtracks to various things. One of them was for Portal 2, which I’m led to understand is a video game; I’m still working on finishing Super Mario Bros so I’ll have to take your word for it.

But rather than just put the song out there, the band and game producers made a proper single of it and enlisted fans to create and submit videos for the slow-burning, piano-led song and out of the 320 entries, chose two they found to be standouts – one featuring a sad lip-synching sock puppet and another animated in theme with the game – and awarded them first and 1.00000000001th place, with prizes awarded to both. The second place entry and other notable clips are available to view at the Portal 2 website.

MP3: The National – “Exile Vilify”
Video: The National – “Exile Vilify” (1st Place)
Video: The National – “Exile Vilify” (1.00000000001th Place)

Girls have released a video for the first single from their forthcoming album Father, Son, Holy Ghost. It’s out September 13 and they play The Mod Club on the 27th of the month.

Video: Girls – “Vomit”

Warpaint are re-releasing their 2010 debut The Fool in an inevitable deluxe edition come September 19, in the UK at least. The bonus incentives include the entirety of their 2009 EP Exquisite Corpse – which is absolutely worth hearing, even if it features actress Shannyn Sossamon on drums rather than current powerhouse Stella Mozgawa and also a re-recorded version of Billie Holiday, which is available to stream at Wears The Trousers. The Galway Advertiser has a feature piece on the band.

Paste has put tUnE-yArDs on the cover of their latest electronic edition of their magazine. She plays Lee’s Palace on September 24.

The London Evening Standard profiles Annie Clark of St. Vincent. Her latest Strange Mercy is out September 13.

Cowbell has an interview with Stephen Malkmus, whose new album with The Jicks Mirror Traffic is out August 23. They play The Phoenix on September 21.

One-time Guided By Voices member and rock journalist James Greer has posted recollections of the time GBV were being courted by Warner Bros to his blog.

MTV talks to Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn about the decision to make a solo record, as he is for release in early 2012.

Into The Woods has a video session with Okkervil River wherein they perform the B-side to their “Rider” single; the A-side of their new single is now available to download – the 7″ of which comes with another new song as the B-side – stream that one at Pitchfork.

MP3: Okkervil River – “Your Past Life As A Blast”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Jason Isbell while The Corner News and The Emory Wheel.

A new MP3 from Blitzen Trapper’s forthcoming American Goldwing is now available to download. The album is out September 13 and they play The Opera House on October 30.

MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “Love The Way You Walk Away”

Ryan Adams has confirmed an October 11 release date for his new solo record Ashes & Fire; Spin has details on the album and some of the guests who’ll make appearances.

Blurt reports that Calexico are assembling a vinyl box set of their many, many (eight in total) tour-only releases. Entitled Road Atlas, the collection is being targeted for a Fall release.

NOW talks to Dayve Hawk of Memory Tapes, taking the stage at Wrongbar tomorrow night around midnight.

Singer-songwriter Sean Rowe returns to town for a show at The Rivoli on September 9, tickets $11.50 in advance.

MP3: Sean Rowe – “Jonathan”

Spinner talks to Marissa Nadler, who has announced a Fall tour that brings her back to town for a show at the El Mocambo on September 13 with Irish singer-songwriter Vincent James McMorrow. She’s promoting her self-titled album, released earlier this Summer and has just put out a new video.

MP3: Marissa Nadler – “Baby I Will Leave You In The Morning”
Video: Marissa Nadler – “Alabaster Queen”

With their second album Dracula set for a September 20 release, Portland’s Nurses have made a date at The Drake Undergroudn for October 19.

MP3: Nurses – “Fever Dreams”

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011


My Morning Jacket at The Kool Haus in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI suspect my personal history with My Morning Jacket reads like many others’; discovered them circa At Dawn, was rocked by It Still Moves, had my mind blown by Z and was confounded by Evil Urges. I haven’t spent enough time with their latest Circuital yet to know how that chapter will play out, but while I bemoan the absence of even a token all-out rocker, it does feel as advertised – a return to their roots, even if they’ve brought many of the creative and musical souvenirs picked up along the trip so far with them.

Not that a final judgement on their latest effort was necessary to decide to catch their long-awaited return to Toronto – the Kentucky quintet were a fearsome live act since the first time I saw them way back in 2003 and in the years since they’ve graduated to major festival headliner status, become more creatively fearless and simply become one of the most interesting rock bands going, all without forgetting about the simple joy of bearing down and riffing the fuck out. My excuse for missing their last visit in June 2008 was seeing them a few months earlier at a Beautiful Noise taping, but all that really meant was that it was almost six years on from the last time I saw them play a proper Toronto show. Far too long.

Still, they were the ones apologizing a little ways into Monday night’s show at the Kool Haus, with frontman Jim James saying they’d wanted to come back sooner but simply hadn’t been able to. Maybe that’s why they made the rare move of dispensing with an opening act and treating us to an extended-length set, even by their standards. The show kicked off with “Victory Dance”, the lead song from Circuital, and James stalking the stage and waving his arms about like some carnival barker/madman and pretty much didn’t stop for the next two and a half hours. There’s a temptation to regard My Morning Jacket as a jam band – and for certain, they’re not averse to stretching their songs out to epic length – but that’s too reductive; the degree of physicality and theatricality that they put into their shows is as crucial to the experience as the many notes that they play. My Morning Jacket aren’t just there to play, they’re there to perform.

The epic-length show did an admirable job of representing not only the breadth of their catalog but all the stylistic facets of My Morning Jacket; no mean feat for a band that straddles so many genres and puts its own unique spin on each and every one. Barnburners like “Gideon” and “Anytime” showcased them at their hair-whipping, guitar-soloing finest while slowing down without going small on “Golden”, “Phone Went West” and “Movin’ Away”, the last of which incited not a few incidences of slow-dancing in the audience; be it slow jams or psychotic reactions, everyone was along for every step of the ride. Watching the show crest, ebb and crest again, I was struck by how even though some of their albums might be regarded as less than successful creative forays (Evil Urges I’m looking in your direction), when regarded in the context of entire the My Morning Jacket songbook, they make much more sense. The initial expeditions into uncharted terrain might be bumpy, but once that territory is charted they’ve that much more raw material to work with. You won’t find many bands capable of balancing such a clear musical identity with artistic restlessness.

These are all thoughts that crossed my mind over the course of the show, frequently punctuated with variants of, “holy shit these guys just keep going”. There was the equivalent of two of three sets from other bands in there, but when they loaded up for the monolithic “Run Thru”, you got the sense that they were moving into the final act and indeed, following a sprawling “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream”, it was up to “Mahgeetah” to close out the set in grand and extended fashion. The set, but not the show. The encore ran an extra thirty-plus minutes and if you wanted a six-song sampler of what makes My Morning Jacket so wonderfully weird and wonderful, those selections would have done the job. From the haunting “Wordless Chorus” through the psych-soul of “Holdin’ On To Black Metal”, into the ridicu-funk of “Highly Suspicious” and finally appropriately culminating with “One Big Holiday”, it was a long, strange, exhausting and amazing trip.

The National Post and BlogTO were also in attendance. eMusic has an interview with the band, NPR a World Cafe session and Spin is streaming a Muppets cover by the band. Yes they are.

Photos: My Morning Jacket @ The Kool Haus – July 11, 2011
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “You Wanna Freak Out”
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Circuital”
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Butch Cassidy” (live at Terminal 5)
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “The Way That He Sings” (live at Terminal 5)
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “One Big Holiday” (live at Terminal 5)
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “It Beats 4 U” (live at Terminal 5)
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Smokin’ From Shootin'” (live at Terminal 5)
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Off The Record”
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “One Big Holiday”
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “The Dark”
MP3: My Morning Jacket – “Heartbreakin’ Man”
Video: My Morning Jacket – “Off The Record”

Pitchfork and The Vinyl District get Marissa Nadler to name off some of her favourite things. She plays Supermarket on July 19.

No Depression and The Huffington Post chat with Ari Picker, leader of Lost In The Trees. They play The Drake Underground on July 25.

Having just announced the September 13 release date for their new record Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Girls have put together a North American tour that stops in at the Mod Club on September 27, tickets $16.50 in advance.

MP3: Girls – “Laura”

Mates Of State have made the first MP3 from their new record Mountaintops available to download and cherish. The record is out September 13 and they’re at The Phoenix on September 28.

MP3: Mates Of State – “Maracas”

The Drums have given their second record a title of Portamento and a release date of September 12 in the UK; stream the first single at Soundcloud.

Evan Dando and whomever he’s calling The Lemonheads right now will give the people what they want and tour It’s A Shame About Ray in its entirety this Fall. Presumably they will pad out the set with material from other records, given that their most popular album clocks in at like 33 minutes including, I believe, their cover of “Mrs Robinson”. I personally think they should flesh out the set with live-action recreations of the videos, but that’s just me. Blurt has details on the tour and full dates, including the October 17 stop at Lee’s Palace in Toronto.

Video: The Lemonheads – “It’s A Shame ABout Ray”

My Brightest Diamond will release a new album in All Things Will Unwind on October 18. Pitchfork has details on the record and a first MP3.

MP3: My Brightest Diamond – “Reaching Through To The Other Side”

Exclaim reports that Craig Finn is working on both a solo record and a new Hold Steady record.

New Superchunk vid from Majesty Shredding!

Video: Superchunk – “Learned To Surf”

Crawdaddy chats with Nicole Atkins.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a recent show from Savoir Adore.

The Kills shows The Guardian how they wrote the song “Baby Says”.

Eric Bachmann is the man of the hour – Spin gets him, in the capacity of Archers Of Loaf frontman, to list off some new music he’s listening to; Icky Mettle gets a deluxe reissue on August 2. It was also announced that the new Crooked Fingers record Breaks In The Armor would be put out on October 11 by Merge (who’re also doing the Archers reissues) and a video trailer released to go with it. And finally, The AV Club gets Crooked Fingers to cover Gershwin’s “Summertime” for their AV Undercover series on a Chicago rooftop.

Pixies drummer David Lovering confesses to Rolling Stone that now that the band have performed Dolittle for everyone on the face of the earth, they may have to write some new material.

Spin is streaming both discs of R.E.M.’s remastered and reissued edition of Lifes Rich Pageant – possibly probably still my favourite of their records – while Rolling Stone reports the band has already begun working on the follow up to this year’s Collapse Into Now.

Stream: R.E.M. / Lifes Rich Pageant Deluxe Edition

Spinner talks to Bob Mould about his memoirs while Spin solicits a playlist.

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011


EMA leads a sundry post of concert announcements and album streams

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI’m on vacation, I swear. But there’s always time to quickly run off various concert announcements over the last few days and other sort-of time-sensitive things, so let’s say I did this while everyone else was at siesta.

And we’ll start off with the most interesting to me, at least – that Ms Erika M Anderson, aka EMA, is coming to The Garrison on July 23 as part of a North American tour. Talk as much smack about Pitchfork as you like, but I’d not heard of her until they issued their “Best New Music” review of her debut Past Life Martyred Saints and encouraged me to spend the eMusic credits on the album. It’s not a groundbreaking album but it is a wholly engaging one, built around Anderson’s evocative, stream-of-confessional lyrics and free-form guitar work. I dig it and will be very keen to see it/her live. Tickets are $10.

There’s an interview with Anderson at eMusic and Rolling Stone declared her an “artist to watch”.

MP3: EMA – “Milkman”
MP3: EMA – “The Grey Ship”
Video: EMA – “California”
Video: EMA – “Milkman”

Everyone who thought that Sloan’s June 22 show at the Mod Club was undersized – you were right. They’ve added a second show for June 21, tickets $25.50 in advance. There’s also a nice album-by-album retrospective with the band at Chart.

MP3: Sloan – “The Answer Was You”

That Coeur de Pirate is finally playing a show in Toronto is great new. That it’s free is even better. That going to see her at Harbourfront Centre the evening of June 24 means missing a free Aretha Franklin show at Metro Square… less great. Your call.

Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Comme des enfants”

Speaking of Harbourfront, it had looked for a while like their tradition of free Canada Day shows was coming to an end, but indeed there will be music by the waterfront this year – and it will star Esterho and Luke Doucet. That’s July 1, in case you’re not from around here.

Video: Esterho – “Heaven Sent”
Video: Luke Doucet & White Falcon – “Blood’s Too Rich”

Jolie Holland will release a new record in Pint Of Blood on June 28 and be at The Horseshoe on July 9 to support – tickets are $17. Stream the first new song over at Soundcloud.

Stream: Jolie Holland – “Gold & Yellow”

Marissa Nadler has a date at Supermarket on July 19 in support of her self-titled album, out June 14. Tickets for the show $12.

MP3: Marissa Nadler – “Baby, I Will Leave You In The Morning”
Video: Marissa Nadler – “Baby, I Will Leave You In The Morning”

Cass McCombs has a date at The Rivoli for July 23, tickets $13.50. His latest Wit’s End also garnered a “Best New Music”, for what that’s worth to you. The Los Angeles Times has an interview with McCombs.

MP3: Cass McCombs – “County Line”

Ellie Goulding, who appears to be well on her way to conquering North America thanks to a certain appearance at a certain wedding a little while ago, will return to Toronto for a show at The Kool Haus on August 1 – tickets $25 in advance.

Video: Ellie Goulding – “Starry Eyed”

As I predicted – though less certainly after the Rivoli show was upgraded to Lee’s – James Blake is coming back for a Fall tour. He’ll be in Toronto for a show at The Phoenix on September 30, and the $27.50 tickets will be again will call-only/scalper-proof/annoying-to-all. Bring a book.

MP3: James Blake – “I Never Learnt To Share”
MP3: James Blake – “To Care (Like You)”

The news that many had been waiting to hear comes wrapped in news that no one wanted to hear. Explosions In The Sky have slated a Fall tour that sees them return to Toronto for the first time since V Fest 2007 for an October 7 show at The Sound Academy. If it makes it any more palatable, Wye Oak are opening up and they’re lovely… Tickets $25.50 general admission, $35.50 VIP.

MP3: Explosions In The Sky – “Trembling Hands”
MP3: Wye Oak – “Civilian”

And on the album stream tip – the new albums from My Morning Jacket, Death Cab For Cutie and The Wooden Birds are up to listen ahead of release. Circuital and Codes & Keys are out next week, Two Matchsticks the following week on June 7. All are also coming to town – The Wooden Birds at The Drake on July 10, My Morning Jacket at The Kool Haus on July 20 and Death Cab at The Molson Amphitheatre on July 27. The Wooden Birds are also giving away a free EP over at Consequence Of Sound.

Stream: My Morning Jacket / Circuital
Stream: Death Cab For Cutie / Codes & Keys
Stream: The Wooden Birds / Two Matchsticks

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Amidst The Movement

Alela Diane opts not to be still, buddies up for EP and tour

Photo By Alina HardinAlina HardinIf Alela Diane’s to-do list for 2009 had release a critically acclaimed album and tour relentlessly behind it, then it would be understood if she opted to take it easy through the tail end of the year. After all – her latest record To Be Still, with its timeless folk roots and clear-eyed songwriting, began collecting accolades as soon as it was released back in mid-February and she was on the road to promote it through much of this year. Yes, rest would be well-earned.

But not to be. Come October 6, she’ll release Alela & Alina, a new EP available on 10″ vinyl and in digital form. As the title implies, it’s a collaborative effort pairing her with Californian singer-songwriter Alina Hardin and while it sounds very much in the vein of To Be Still, the tight high harmonies provided by Hardin on the six new compositions do add an extra layer of loveliness to the proceedings. You can hear one of the new tracks at Diane’s MySpace.

And with the new release comes another excuse to tour, which Diane is of course doing. She’ll be spending September in the UK and Europe, but after a short break she’ll be setting out on an extensive North American tour. It’s unclear if Hardin will be joining her on the trek, but even if not, Diane has lined up a more than worthy tourmate in Marissa Nadler, herself no stranger to delicately beautiful folk music and who released a new album in Little Hells earlier this year. I’ve only managed to catch Diane live once, at a Soundscapes in-store back in February, and have never seen Nadler live despite her being no stranger to Toronto, so I’ve definitely got November 16, when they’ll be at the Horseshoe, circled on the ol’ calendar.

There’s interviews with Alela Diane over at Wears The Trousers, For Folk’s Sake and The Guardian.

MP3: Alela Diane – “White As Diamonds”
MP3: Marissa Nadler – “River Of Dirt”
Video: Alela Diane – “White As Diamonds”
MySpace: Alela Diane

Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater talks to Muso’s Guide about their just-completed new album which is currently targeted for a February 2010 release.

Woodpigeon’s recent European jaunt has yielded a five-part series of dispatches, each with an accompanying new recording. Enjoy.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Say Say Say” (Michael Jackson cover)
MP3: Woodpigeon – “Lonely Kiss” (The Consonant C cover)
MP3: Woodpigeon – “I’m Not Saying” (Gordon Lightfoot cover)
MP3: Woodpigeon – “Rambler Gambler”
MP3: Woodpigeon – “Reynisdranger Lullaby”

Pitchfork gets some background from John Darnielle on the Biblical themes pervading The Life Of The World To Come, the new album from The Mountain Goats, out October 6.

This week sees the release of Grand Archives’ new album Keep In Mind Frankenstein, which is streaming at Spinner. They play the Mod Club on October 15.

Stream:Grand Archives / Keep In Mind Frankenstein

Spinner talks to Big Star drummer Jody Stephens about sifting through the archives whilst assembling the Keep An Eye On The Sky box set, due out next Tuesday.

BeatRoute talks to Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady, playing a two-night stand at Lee’s Palace on September 26 and 27.

Spinner and here get to know Two Hours Traffic. Territory is out now and they’re at Lee’s Palace on October 16.

Dan Snaith gives eye an idea of what to expect at tonight’s Caribou Vibration Ensemble show at the Opera House as well as the new Caribou record, due out next Spring.

Malajube have made a date for the Horseshoe on October 24, tickets $13. They talk to Exclaim about some upcoming soundtrack work.

MP3: Malajube – “Porte Disparu”

Danish orchestral-pop collective Choir Of Young Believers will stop in at the Horseshoe on October 25 as part of a North American tour in support of their debut album This Is For The White In Your Eyes. Tickets for that show are $10.

MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Action Reaction”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Next Summer”

Just here in July, Wales’ Future Of The Left are back for a date at the El Mocambo on November 3 in support of Travels With Myself And Another. Tickets for that show are $10.

MP3: Future Of The Left – “Arming Eritrea”
Video: Future Of The Left – “The Hope That House Built”

Wolfmother are at the Kool Haus on November 11. The new album Cosmic Egg is out October 13.

Monday, April 20th, 2009

CONTEST – Gimme Five (free shows over the next seven nights)

Hooray for the short turnaround contest! I asked the good folks at Against The Grain if they had anything for me to give away in the next little while in the way of concert passes, and indeed they did – all over the next week! So rather than divvy them up and dole them out individually, I’m just going to lump them all together and let you have at them all at once. Here we go. And if you find yourself complaining you’ve got nothing to do this week, don’t blame me.

Photo By Mark OwenMark Owen Who: The Handsome Family with Marissa Nadler
Where: The El Mocambo
When: April 21, 2009
Why: Both The Handsome Family and Marissa Nadler have new records – they with Honey Moon, she with Little Hells
What: Two pairs of passes to the show
How: Email me at contests AT with “I want to see The Handsome Family” in the subject and your full name in the body by noon, April 21.

MP3: The Handsome Family – “When You Whispered”
MP3: Marissa Nadler – “River Of Dirt”
Video: The Handsome Family – “My Friend”

Photo via World's FairWorld’s Fair Who: Youth Group
Where: Lee’s Palace
When: April 23, 2009
Why: The Aussie rockers have a new album out in The Night Is Ours
What: Five pairs of passes to the show
How: Email me at contests AT with “I want to see Youth Group” in the subject and your full name in the body by midnight, April 21.

MP3: Youth Group – “All This Will Pass”
Video: Youth Group – “Two Sides”

Photo by Julé Malet-VealeJulé Malet-Veale Who: Hey Rosetta
Where: Lee’s Palace
When: April 24, 2009
Why: The Haligonian St John’s-ian outfit is continuing to tour last year’s Into Your Lungs (And Around In Your Heart And On Through Your Blood)
What: Two pairs of passes to the show
How: Email me at contests AT with “I want to see Hey Rosetta” in the subject and your full name in the body by midnight, April 22.

Video: Hey Rosetta – “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
Video: Hey Rosetta – “Red Heart”

Photo via World's FairGravy Who: Shout Out Out Out Out
Where: Lee’s Palace
When: April 25, 2009
Why: The Edmonton electro-dance-punk crew rockers will release Reintegration Time on May 5
What: Two pairs of passes to the show
How: Email me at contests AT with “I want to see Shout Out Out Out Out” in the subject and your full name in the body by midnight, April 23.

MP3: Shout Out Out Out Out – “Bad Choices”
Video: Youth Group – “Two Sides”

Photo by Matthew StinchcombMatthew Stinchcomb Who: French Kicks
Where: The Horseshoe
When: April 27, 2009
Why: The New York band are continuing to work last year’s Swimming
What: Two pairs of passes to the show
How: Email me at contests AT with “I want to see French Kicks” in the subject and your full name in the body by midnight, April 23.

Video: French Kicks – “Abandon”