Posts Tagged ‘Miracle Fortress’

Friday, February 17th, 2012


Grimes’ Visions; let her show you them

Photo By Raphael OulletRaphaël OulletWho would have thought that the title of Canada’s queen of electro-pop would be such a contested one? Just last year, Toronto’s Katie Stelmanis-fronted Austra seemed to have the title locked down, having collected numerous accolades both at home and abroad for their debut album Feel It Break. And yet just a few months later, it’s Vancouver native and Montreal resident Claire Boucher who operates as Grimes that everyone is talking about, what with her new record Visions set for release next week.

Not that it’s a competition, of course, and beyond the superficial there’s not that much in common; Visions is Grimes’ fourth album (but her first for indie juggernaut label 4AD) so if it is indeed her breakout album – and the just-awarded “Best New Music” won’t hurt – it’s been a long time in coming. And her sunnier sound, defined by Boucher’s affection for both dream-pop and R&B and her infectious chirp of a voice, is rather a far cry from Austra’s darker, goth-indebted aesthetic and Stelmanis’ operatic vocals. So why draw parallels? Lazy writing, of course, and the fact that it’s nice to have someone at the ready to pick up the Canadian electronic flag and run with it while Austra lays low and recovers from a whirlwind year.

The Georgia Straight, The Washington Post, The Province, Exclaim, Pitchfork, Prefix, The Guardian, The National Post, and SF Station all have feature pieces on Grimes and NPR has Visions available to stream in its entirety. Grimes is at The Horseshoe on March 19 and you’re damn skippy it’s sold out.

MP3: Grimes – “Oblivion”
MP3: Grimes – “Genesis”
Stream: Grimes / Visions

It’s not a total dearth of Austra happenings, though – their recent jaunt to Australia has yielded this video of a radio session wherein they cover Robyn.

Video: Austra – “None Of Dem”

Southern Souls has an interview with The Elwins, who are celebrating the release of their debut And We Thank You this coming Tuesday with a new video premiered at and an album stream at Exclaim. They play a record release show at the Burroghes Building on February 24 and will also look to chase your CMW hangover away with a set at Rancho Relaxo on March 25 at 11PM.

MP3: The Elwins – “Stuck In The Middle”
Video: The Elwins – “Stuck In The Middle”
Stream: The Elwins / And We Thank You

Contra gets to know Army Girls. Their next show is March 10 at the Bovine Sex Club opening up for Carole Pope and they’re waiting to be scheduled in for Canadian Musicfest at the end of the month.

Cold Specks has announced details of her debut album, to be called I Predict a Graceful Expulsion and due out on May 22 on Arts & Crafts at home and Mute worldwide. A video for the first single has just been released and she will be at The Music Gallery on March 22 as part of Canadian Musicfest – a much better setting for her than The Phoenix, I’d say. This show is in addition to the already-announced June 2 appearance at The Music Hall opening for Great Lake Swimmers.

Video: Cold Specks – “Holland”

John K Samson talks to Exclaim about what’s in store for the next Weakerthans album, which he’ll get started on when he’s done being a solo act. Samson does the solo thing at The Great Hall on March 22.

Beat and Nine To Five help introduce Dan Mangan to Australia. He plays The Indie Awards at The Royal York on March 24.

Spencer Krug’s Moonface has announced the April 17 release of With Sinai: Heartbreaking Bravery, a collaboration with the Finnish band Sinai. The first MP3 sounds like this.

MP3: Moonface – “Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips”

The new Miracle Fortress video from Was I The Wave? has premiered at IFC; a must-see for anyone who’s ever wanted to set Graham Van Pelt on fire.

Video: Miracle Fortress – “Raw Spectacle”

Bry Webb gets into the end of the Constantines with Spinner.

Southern Souls chit-chats with Olenka Krakus of Olenka & The Autumn Lovers.

NPR has posted a World Cafe session with Kathleen Edwards.

It’s not the specifics of the new album Spectral Dusk that I’ve been patiently waiting for, but this unexpected Evening Hymns cover of a Trembling Blue Stars tune is pretty nice as well. Spectral Dusk is due out sometime in the Spring.

Stream: Evening Hymns – “If I Handle You With Care”

Torotonist, The AV Club, and NOW (in two parts) salute Toronto music showcase Wavelength on the occasion of its twelfth anniversary; the party goes all weekend.

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Turn Up The Radio

Review of Camp Radio’s Campista Socialista

Photo via KillbeatKillbeatIf we were to spool up the Wayback Machine to November 2006, you’d find a post where I confessed that sending me a lovely slab of vinyl was a pretty good way to get to the top of my “to listen to” pile… something that apparently still holds true over a half decade later. But as I pointed out even way back then, a listen is not the same as a writeup so I find it comforting to know that Camp Radio still has the goods to impress in whatever format they’re auditioned on.

The three-piece comprised of Ottawa scene veterans released Campista Socialista last Fall but the five-year gap between it and their 2006 self-titled debut shouldn’t be attributed to overthinking or obsessive tweaking – Campista sounds like it was tossed off in an afternoon, and that’s meant in the very best way. It’s a short and spirited collection of guitar-driven power pop that’s high on energy and melody and low on frills, more than a little reminiscent of the sounds of American college rock circa the mid-’90s that are back in vogue. Sure, some of the harmonies might be imperfect but they’re well-intentioned and endearing in their wobbles and most importantly, they sound great while you, they, everyone, is pogoing around.

Camp Radio play The Horseshoe tomorrow night as part of Nu Music Nite. As always, it’s free and worth your while – they’re on at 9PM sharp.

MP3: Camp Radio – “The Girl Who Stole My Motorbike”
MP3: Camp Radio – “Turn Up The Radio”

Exclaim, Beatroute and CBC Radio 3 talk to The Darcys, performing at The Phoenix on March 1 in support of Bombay Bicycle Club and July 12 at Downsview Park for Edgefest.

The AV Club, Yahoo, and JAM talk to John K. Samson. He’s premiered the first video from Provincial over at IFC and will be at The Great Hall on March 22.

Video: John K. Samson – “Longitudinal Centre”

Le Blogotheque stages a Take-Away Show with Woodpigeon.

Exclaim reports that Patrick Watson will be releasing their new album Adventures In Your Own Backyard on April 30, and the first MP3 from it is already available to download.

MP3: Patrick Watson – “Into Giants”

Under The Radar talks to Graham Van Pelt about what 2011 meant for Miracle Fortress.

A second and much more in-character taste of Memoryhouse’s debut The Slideshow Effect is now up for grabs. The album is out February 28.

MP3: Memoryhouse – “Walk With Me”

Hooded Fang have released a new video from Tosta Mista, just in time – well almost – for their show at The Great Hall on February 24.

Video: Hooded Fang – “Vacationation”

DIY has a video session with Kathleen Edwards, while and The Courier-Journal have interviews. She plays The Phoenix on February 11.

The New Zealand Herald has an interview with Feist. And oh, new video.

Video: Feist – “The Bad In Each Other”

The L has a video session with Little Scream, who’s just announced a date at The Great Hall on March 1 opening up for The Barr Brothers.

MP3: Little Scream – “Cannons”

Jenn Grant has rolled out a sweet, split-screened new video from last year’s Honeymoon Punch.

Video: Jenn Grant – “Baby’s Been Away”

NOW talks to Rae Spoon.

And if you’ve ever wondered what it sounds like when Neil Young and Crazy Horse get together – that is, outside of the countless albums they’ve recorded together – head to Neil’s website to hear a 37-minute jam that’s presumably taken from their ongoing recording sessions.

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Iceland Airwaves 2011 Day Three

Austra, Olufar Arnalds, Veronica Falls and more at Iceland Airwaves

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt seems a bit counter-intuitive to travel all the way to Iceland to see a bunch of Canadian bands, but then there’s also something to be said about the sense of camaraderie one gets from hanging out with one’s countrymen in such a foreign setting. So after finally getting to sample some of Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur’s famous wares – those are hot dogs, by the by – and a bit of souvenir shopping, Saturday afternoon was largely spent at the Hressingarskálinn cafe where Canadian Blast had pitched a tent to showcase some Canuck talent to the Iceland Airwaves audience.

What was interesting was that either by coincidence or design, most all of the Canadian acts at the Blast off-venue and Airwaves as a whole fit quite nicely into the Scandinavian setting. For example, Karkwa – who opened up the Blast showcase – had the mysterious, incomprehensible language thing down pat. I think they called it, “French”. I kid, I kid. Playing with less gear than I’m used to seeing them with – keyboardist François Lafontaine was particularly light on his toys – they led their set with leaner, more rock-oriented material before allowing things to sprawl into more atmospheric realms, dazzling all the while with their musicianship. It’s funny that for the number of times I’ve seen them live and heard their Polaris-winning album Les chemins de verre, I still don’t really recognize the material when I hear it live and I think that’s why it’s my preferred Karkwa listening environment; it makes each experience unpredictable and unique.

Photos: Karkwa @ Hressingarskálinn – October 15, 2011
MP3: Karkwa – “Dors Dans Mon Sang”
Video: Karkwa – “Le pyromane”
Video: Karkwa – “Echapper au sort”
Video: Karkwa – “Marie tu pleures”
Video: Karkwa – “Oublie pas”
Video: Karkwa – “Échapper au sor”
Video: Karkwa – “À la chaîne”
Video: Karkwa – “Combien”
Video: Karkwa – “La facade”
Video: Karkwa – “La fuite”
Video: Karkwa – “Vrai”
Video: Karkwa – “Le coup d’etat”
Video: Karkwa – “Poisson cru”

Random Recipe couldn’t have represented a more dramatic shift in tone from Karkwa’s grand prog-pop if they tried, being a four-piece acoustic hip-hop funk band who proudly declared they formed one night when principals Fab and Frannie started busking to earn pizza money. And now they were in Reykjavik. Now musically, they weren’t really my thing but both frontwomen performed with such energy and enthusiasm that it was hard not to get caught up in it. Their debut Fold It! Mold It! came out last year.

Photos: Random Recipe @ Hressingarskálinn – October 15, 2011
Video: Random Recipe – “Bad Luck”
Video: Random Recipe – “Shipwreck”

Esmerine made the front half of the Canadian Blast lineup a Montreal-based hat trick, but again their sound was very different from that of their neighbours. Comprised of members of both Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion and built around the cello and marimba, the instrumental quartet had to pillage the country’s harp and marimba supply to equip themselves and still needed to substitute a xylophone for the latter instrument. Even so, they still managed to present themselves as a beguiling miniature orchestra and had a special guest in the form of collaborator and producer Patrick Watson – it’s not entirely clear what he was doing in Iceland but he was there – who offered vocals on a gorgeous and touching tribute to the late Lhasa de Sela, to whom the band’s latest album La Lechuza is dedicated.

Photos: Esmerine @ Hressingarskálinn – October 15, 2011
MP3: Esmerine – “A Dog River”
Video: Esmerine – “Snow Day For Lhasa”
Video: Esmerine – “Walking Through Mist I”
Video: Esmerine – “Walking Through Mist II”
Stream: Esmerine / La Lechuza

While the Canadians kept blasting away, at this point I withdrew to grab some food and just generally enjoy the last bit of daylight in Reykjavik I’d have on this trip. Such a sad thing. But before it was time to return to the real world, there was one more night of Airwaves to experience and it began in the ridiculously beautiful Norðurljós hall of the Harpa opera house – a world away, both literally and figuratively, from the basement of Parts & Labour in Toronto where I’d seen London’s Veronica Falls play just a couple weeks earlier. And in the poshest of settings just as in the grimiest, Veronica Falls were all business and their retro/C86 guitar pop great throughout, though there’s no denying that the vastly superior acoustics, sound reinforcement and lighting made this a better experience. Their set contained a number of new songs, surprising considering their self-titled debut was still a couple days from European release, but all sounded as good as you’d expect. The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with the band.

Photos: Veronica Falls @ Harpa Norðurljós – October 15, 2011
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Bad Feeling”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Beachy Head”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”

I didn’t think I was particularly zoned out between sets, but I certainly didn’t notice how quickly the stage crew moved out Veronica Falls’ standard rock band backline and replaced it with Ólufar Arnalds’ elaborate setup, consisting of a grand piano, string quartet and huge projection screen. And just as you didn’t need to hear anything to know this wasn’t going to be a rock show, once they started you didn’t need to be told to know that Arnalds was Icelandic. The feeling of his homeland was there in every gentle piano note, every wavering bowed string, every stuttering electronic beat – even in the projected animated bird mobiles and flickering strobe lights. Pure, slow-motion beauty. Check out his Living Room Songs project for videos and downloads of songs recorded, one a day, in his apartment.

Photos: Ólufar Arnalds @ Harpa Norðurljós – October 15, 2011
MP3: Ólufar Arnalds – “Þú Ert Sólin”
Video: Ólufar Arnalds – “Hægt, kemur ljósið”
Video: Ólufar Arnalds – “3055”
Video: Ólufar Arnalds – “Ljósið”

After saying goodbye to the stunning elegance of Harpa, it was time for one more go with the hangar-like Listasafn art museum. There wasn’t nearly the degree of audience madness – or lineups, thankfully – that I’d witnessed there on Thursday, though; it seems that Austra still has a little ways to go before they elicit Beach House-scale adulation from the locals. But even hailing from Toronto as they do (hometown represent!), it’s hard to imagine a place where Katie Stelmanis and her goth-y electro-pop would feel more at home than the land of fire and ice, fairies and elves. Though I’d seen Stelmanis in her past incarnations a few times, this was just the second time I’d seen Austra live and while I appreciated them at the Polaris gala, I now appreciated that I was seeing them outside of their element – this performance, with its huge sound, overwhelming light show and hundreds of fans dancing to the beats and pulses really made things impressive. And it was so hard to reconcile the dancing priestess persona that Stelmanis now inhabits – all platinum blonde locks, mystical conjuring gestures and charisma – with the bowl-cut and glasses wallflower look she favoured in past projects. The contributions of Tasseomancy’s Lightman twins also can’t be overstated; beyond the note-perfect backing vocals, their dancing on Stelmanis’ flanks offered an extra visual element and added a real sense of ritual to the show. It may have sounded like the ’80s but it felt much more ancient. Austra plays The Phoenix on December 1.

Photos: Austra @ Listasafn – October 15, 2011
MP3: Austra – “Lose It”
MP3: Austra – “Beat & The Pulse”
Video: Austra – “Lose It”
Video: Austra – “Beat & The Pulse”

That would have been a perfect way to cap off the festival, but at some point I’d picked up a second wind and the sooner I called it a night, the sooner I’d have to be going home. And so it was to the handsome little Iðnó restaurant/hall just across the lake Tjörnin from our apartment. There, the UK’s Mazes were just getting started and funnily, their meat-and-potatoes Brit rock almost sounded exotic after the week’s eclectically arty programming. And for a little while their workmanlike delivery of sufficiently melodic tunes was like a bit of a palette cleanse, but before too long it just started getting dull and that aforementioned second wind evaporated. And that was Iceland Airwaves 2011.

Photos: Mazes @ Iðnó – October 15, 2011
MP3: Mazes – “Vampire Jive”
MP3: Mazes – “Bowie Knives”
Video: Mazes – “Summer Hits”
Video: Mazes – “Most Days”

Everything about this trip – the festival, the city, the countryside, the company – was fantastic and as cliche as it sounds, there’s really nowhere on earth like Iceland. Icelandic music fans are some of the most rabid I’ve ever seen, as a people they’re incredibly friendly and welcoming, urban or rural the country is a feast for the eyes (in a desolate sort of way) and the food isn’t that expensive. Okay, it is. But at least it’s delicious. I will be returning – I still have a full slate of things that I didn’t get around to doing – but will aim for a slightly warmer season next time. There’s only so much gale-force wind and horizontal rain a guy can take. All photos, save a few frames of film still to be developed, are up at Flickr.

Patrick Watson, mentioned just a few paragraphs back, will be in Toronto on November 10 for a show at the Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall, tickets $40 in advance.

Video: Patrick Watson – “Fireweed”

NOW and BlogTO talk to Tasseomancy, who have released a new video from Ulalame and will be playing a release show for the record tonight at The Great Hall and open up for Austra at The Phoenix on December 1.

Video: Tasseomancy – “Diana”

Also on that December 1 Phoenix bill are Young Galaxy, with whom Impose has an interview.

Kathryn Calder’s new album Bright & Vivid is streaming at NPR in advance of its release next Tuesday, and Exclaim has an extended tour itinerary in support of it which now includes a November 29 date at The Horseshoe in Toronto – that’s a Tuesday, which means Nu Music Nite, which means free, which means there is no excuse not to go. At all.

MP3: Kathryn Calder – “Who Are You?”
Stream: Kathryn Calder / Bright & Vivid

Spin, The Globe & Mail, The New Zealand Herald and Vogue both have feature pieces on Feist while Black Cab Sessions have just posted a session with the singer. She’s at Massey Hall on December 1.

Though The Five Ghosts is over a year old, Stars have squeezed another video out of it. And here it is.

Video: Stars – “Dead Hearts”

Miracle Fortress also has a new clip, this one from this Spring’s Was I The Wave?. Death & Taxes has an interview with Graham Van Pelt.

Video: Miracle Fortress – “Possession”

Exclaim has a stream of The Wooden Sky’s new tour-only EP, which they think sounds best on cassette tape, and courtesy of Webster Media Consulting I’ve got two copies to give away – to enter, email me at contests AT with “I want The Wooden Sky cassette” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body; the fact that you’ve actually read this far and own a working cassette deck or walkman are the only other barriers to entry. Contest closes at midnight, October 25.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”
Stream: The Wooden Sky / City Of Light

The National Post and Ottawa Xpress have interviews with Dan Mangan, who plays The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 28.

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011


As good as their word, Tokyo Police Club cover the decade in ten days

Photo via FilterFilterTokyo Police Club are not a band you’d expect to announce an ambitious covers project. Not to say that they haven’t reinterpreted someone else’s song before – I’ve not heard it but I’m sure it’s happened – but they haven’t really made doing so “their thing”, so to speak. Well not until now. Last month, they announced their intention to record and release ten covers over ten days, one from each of the last ten years, and document the process via Polaroids and

Random on so many levels, and yet now that it’s done and the results a matter of public record, I have to say that I’m quite enjoying the results. The song selections are relatively obvious but not cliched (okay, the Kelly Clarkson maybe) or ironic (okay, the Miley Cyrus) and cover a decent range of genres, and TPC’s sound isn’t so unique that they can’t tackle most pop songs without rendering them unrecognizable. They strike a pretty good balance between remaining faithful to the original and still sounding like Tokyo Police Club – in fact, I’ll go a bit further and say that this set presents a much rangier and versatile TPC than their own albums have.

But if it wasn’t obvious, I’m a soft touch for cover versions so cheers to Tokyo Police Club for making up, taking up and beating the challenge. For their next little project, I suggest they pay tribute to a fellow 905 musical icon and try to rhyme the world in 80 days.

They’ve made all the tracks available to download, but if you don’t want to commit you can also stream it all at Soundcloud. And if you want to follow the actual internet release tour – each song was premiered at a specific website – and read some of the accompanying commentary, head over to any and all of Entertainment Weekly, Alternative Press, Mashable, Spinner, The AV Club (double-shot here) and Filter (another double shot). “Party In The USA” didn’t seem to get a proper premiere, but whatevs.

MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Southside” (Moby cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Sweetness” (Jimmy Eat World cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Under Control” (The Strokes cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Since U Been Gone” Kelly Clarkson cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Little Sister” (Queens Of The Stone Age cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Long Distance Call” (Phoenix cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “All My Friends” (LCD Soundsystem)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Kim And Jessie” (M83 cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Strictly Game” (Harlem Shakes cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Party In The USA” (Miley Cyrus cover)
Stream: Tokyo Police Club / 10 Days, 10 Covers, 10 Years

Keeping in the Canuck covers theme, check out this video of Evening Hymns trying on a little Tom Petty for size. Their new album of original material Spectral Dusk is due out this Fall – I expect formal details to be announced soon. ‘Cause it’s already Fall.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Learning To Fly”

Southern Souls has branched out from just videos to include editorial content, like this interview with Neil Haverty of Bruce Peninsula. The topic at hand being, of course, their second album Open Flames, which is due out October 4. They play a release show at Lee’s Palace on October 27.

Though their second album Tosta Mista has been out since late July, Hooded Fang are only now getting around to organizing an official release party. It’ll be a Wavelength Presents joint and happen September 24 at the Academy of Lions Crossfit Gym – how rock’n’roll is that – on Dundas West near Dovercourt, tickets $10 in advance.

MP3: Hooded Fang – “ESP”
MP3: Hooded Fang – “Den Of Love”

The Stool Pigeon and Beatroute talk to the Lightman twins of Tasseomancy. They have a release show for Ulalame at The Great Hall on October 20 and open up for Austra at The Phoenix on December 1.

Miracle Fortress has assembled some “what I did on my Summer vacation”-style films for the first video from Was I The Wave?.

Video: Miracle Fortress – “Miscalculations”

The Line Of Best Fit is streaming Memoryhouse’s revisited debut EP The Years, out next week. Now that their local dates opening up for Peter Bjorn & John are done, I expect confirmation that they’re doing the same for The Radio Dept at The Mod Club on November 17. If not, then perhaps a hometown release show of their own is in the works? The Milford Daily Times has an interview with Evan Abeele of the band.

Stream: Memoryhouse / The Years

Toronto country-rock stalwarts Cuff The Duke have commandeered The Horseshoe for the weekend of November 25 and 26 to celebrate the release of their new record Morning Comes, out October 4.

MP3: Cuff The Duke – “Standing On The Edge”
Video: Cuff The Duke – “Standing On The Edge” (Paper Bag sessions)

Beatroute interviews The Besnard Lakes, who will be at Lee’s Palace on October 13.

If you were wondering, “hey – why does Los Angeles get a special intimate preview of Metals and not, oh, Feist’s hometown?” then relax… or get more agitated. Exclaim reports that the Glenn Gould Studio at the CBC’s headquarters will host a very special concert on October 8 – just four days after the album’s release – wherein the singer will be joined by such guests as Jeff Tweedy, Ed Droste, Bry Webb, Joel Gibb and Doug Paisley. Tickets for the show are only available via a CBC Radio 2 contest but is open to all residents of Canada and will include airfare and accommodations if you hail from outside the Toronto area. If you are local, well maybe they’ll splurge for a cab. One-way.

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Muscle Relaxants

The Rural Alberta Advantage says, “Relax”

Photo By Tony ParkTony ParkFor the past month and a half or so, those given to keeping an eye on The Rural Alberta Advantage have watched with curiosity as the band has released a threepart series of video vignettes documenting the making of the second official video from their sophomore effort Departing for the song “Muscle Relaxants”. Not unusual in and of itself except for the fact that the video itself hadn’t been released yet. So rather than eliciting reactions of, “oh that’s how they did that”, they were met with reactions more along the lines of, “what on earth are they doing?”. What could be discerned, given the swimming pool setting, was that it’d be something aquatic in nature and possibly involved drummer Paul Banwatt and a giant inflatable turtle.

All was revealed yesterday, however, as Rolling Stone premiered the finished clip and it’s a rather stunning black-and-white short featuring the band cavorting, slow motion-style, underwater as musical instruments or parts thereof float around them. The inflatable turtle, sadly, didn’t appear to make the final edit but you can’t have everything. It’s quite a contrast from the simple, stripped down live performance vid that came out in the Spring around the same time as the album’s release – part of a series of low key, on-location videos shot by the folks at Southern Souls – but it just goes to show, whether hanging out in the back room of a bar or being artfully dunked at the bottom of a pool, The RAA are great.

Video: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Muscle Relaxants”

Bruce Peninsula have also revealed something new of themselves via video with the final (?) installment of their Fire Sale series leading up to the October 4 release of Open Flames. It’s the second original song to be premiered in the series and seems to confirm that the new record is coming from a decidedly different place than A Mountain Is A Mouth. To hear more, catch them at Summerworks at the Lower Ossington Theatre tonight or if you have to miss it – a doctor’s note will be required – they’re at Lee’s Palace on October 27.

Video: Bruce Peninsula – “Salesman”

Miracle Fortress will be headlining Summerworks on Friday night and he doesn’t come empty-handed, either. Following last month’s give away of a couple tracks from the abandoned Hoop Dreams sessions, Graham Van Pelt has put together another digital single consisting of two tracks from the Was I The Wave? sessions that didn’t make the album cut. And if that’s not enough, head over to Laundromatinee for a video session and accompanying downloadables.

MP3: Miracle Fortress – “Tropic Of Canada”
MP3: Miracle Fortress – “Seabird”

Memoryhouse are warming up for the September 13 re-release of their The Years EP with a new download and video for the song “Quiet America”, as well as a bit of commentary. The band are opening up for both of Peter Bjorn & John’s shows at Lee’s Palace on September 2 and 3 and if you notice they’re listed as support for The Radio Dept’s Fall tour right up until the November 17 Toronto show, I’m guessing the remainder of those dates will become official just as soon as the PB&J dates are done. Swedes love the Memoryhouse, I guess.

MP3: Memoryhouse – “Quiet America”
Video: Memoryhouse – “Quiet America”

Pitchfork’s Surveillance video series follows Diamond Rings around, spycam-style, as he washes up and plays a song shirtless and acoustic in his hotel room like no one is watching. As I’m sure he does. There’s also an interview at John Just Said It. He’s at The Mod Club on October 3 with Twin Shadow.

Colin Stetson has released a new video from his Polaris-shortlisted New History Warfare Vol 2 – Judges. He’s at The Drake on August 26.

Video: Colin Stetson – “The Stars In His Head”

Salt Lake City Weekly talks to Katie Stelmanis of Austra. They play The Phoenix on December 1.

Bloginity has details on a new Tokyo Police Club project that will see the band cover ten songs from the past decade and release them, one per day, over the end of August/start of September. There’s all sorts of other details about taking Polaroid of the sessions and premiering the songs at various media outlets, but that’s the upshot.