Posts Tagged ‘Most Serene Republic’

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Say Please

Monsters Of Folk to stage monstrously folky tour

Photo By Jennifer TzarJennifer TzarSo how exactly does a band who’ve not yet even released an album yet get to play arguably the most storied venue in Toronto – Massey Hall – their first time out? The kind that’s made up of My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, M Ward’s Matt Ward, Conor Oberst’s Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis, also known as the Monsters Of Folk.

As reported earlier this week, the supergroup will release their self-titled debut album on September 22, but it was announced yesterday that they would also be undertaking an extensive tour first across North America and then Europe, with $1 from each North American date ticket sale going to a worthy charity local to that city via philanthropic organization Air Traffic Control . The Toronto date falls on November 2 at Massey Hall and the charity selected to receive the proceeds is Foodshare Toronto. Ticket presale goes July 28, regular onsale July 31 – check back at for more information. Tickets for the Toronto show range from $36.50 to $49.50 plus charges.

And congrats to Lousiville, Kentucky for drawing the Halloween date – I expect everyone who attends that show to dress up as their favourite folk monster. Werewolf Woody Guthries, Zombie Pete Seegers. You know.

MP3: Monsters Of Folk – “Say Please”
MySpace: Monsters Of Folk

Woodpigeon have bid farewell to Michael Jackson by way of a cover. I hadn’t intended to post any MJ covers and yet here’s two, two days in a row. Hrm.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Say Say Say”

The Singing Lamb has an interview with The Most Serene Republic about their new album …And The Ever Expanding Universe. They’re at the Mod Club on October 15.

MP3: The Most Serene Repbulic – “Heavens To Purgatory”

Matt & Kim are coming back to town for a show at the Reverb on October 1, tickets $13.50.

MP3: Matt & Kim – “Yea Yeah”

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age talk to Friendly Fires, who have released a video for their new single, which will be appended to the deluxe reissue of their self-titled debut, coming September 9. They’re at Lee’s Palace on August 10 and I will bet that as soon as that date passes, the December 2 slot on their Fall itinerary will magically fill up. Just watch.

Video: Friendly Fires – “Kiss Of Life”

BBC talks to Little Boots about her new video for “Remedy”, which they are also premiering. She is at Wrongbar on September 13.

Video: Little Boots – “Remedy”

MPR has a session with Sonic Youth. There’s also an interview at The Georgia Straight and The Stranger nominates some of the best tracks from their career.

Drowned In Sound spends some time with St Vincent. You can do the same next Saturday night, August 8, at the Horseshoe.

Pitchfork has details on a new EP coming from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – look for four new songs packaged as Higher Than The Stars come September 22. The Georgia Straight and LAist have interviews with the band, who’re at the Horseshoe on September 7.

Opening up that POBPAH show are Cymbals Eat GuitarsThe Line Of Best Fit has an interview with the band and Baeble has a live video performance from the Cake Shop in New York. They’re also interviewed by altsounds.

Daytrotter and Noisevox have audio and video sessions with The Thermals, respectively.

Yours Truly has Loney Dear in for a video session. They’re at the Horseshoe on October 13.

PitchforkTV welcomes Andrew Bird to their Cemetery Gates series for a live performance.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Milk And Honey

Review of Wye Oak's The Knot

Photo By Dan StackDan StackI quite literally swooned when I first heard Baltimore duo Wye Oak via “Warning”, the first promo MP3 from their debut album If Children in January 2008 – for a completely unknown band to hit all the right buttons for me at first listen was a pretty remarkable thing. And yet the album itself failed to build on that excitement for no one particular reason.

Best I can reason is that while the ingredients of their sound – plaintive country-folking hurt mixed with crashing, ‘gazey guitars and droning synth tones, topped with Jenn Wasser’s aching vocals – seem tailor-made to trigger my endorphin receptors, the record seemed too hesitant to really connect. It was like the band felt like a couple of kids suddenly invited to the grown-up’s table, and were a bit overwhelmed by it all. Which, for a pair of musicians barely into their twenties suddenly signed to one of America’s top independent labels, they essentially were.

And so when I heard “Take It In”, the achingly gorgeous promo MP3 from their second album and again swooned, I wasn’t sure whether that would carry over to The Knot, out this week, as a whole. Short answer – it does, and quite heartily. The Knot is a much bigger album than its predecessor. Sonically, the louds are much louder, the quiets much quieter and the textures richer and more varied – and emotionally, the highs more ecstatic and the lows more despairing. The reluctance that permeated If Children has largely been replaced with a greater confidence, and while it may be true that The Knot still drifts in points towards the monochromatic, there’s no question that it marks a big step forward for the band and begins to deliver on their immense promise. Wye Oak are at the grown-ups table because they belong there.

The Baltimore Sun has a feature piece on the band. There’s no local date at the moment but their tour itinerary takes them through the US, across to Europe and back again in the Fall. I saw them >at SxSW last year and while they don’t have immense onstage charisma, it’s amazing to watch Andy Stack work both the drums and keyboards simultaneously. I recommend catching them if they’re in your neck of the woods.

MP3: Wye Oak – “Take It In”
Stream: Wye Oak / The Knot
MySpace: Wye Oak

Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, who probably quite sensibly records simply as Mirah, will be at the Mod Club on October 6 in support of her new record (a)spera with ex-Decemberists Norfolk & Western.

Here’s an odd pairing – the stately folk-rock of Grand Archives and the ADD-prog hijinks of The Most Serene Republic. But paired they are for a North American tour that will be at the Mod Club in Toronto on October 15. Grand Archives’ new album Keep In Mind Frankenstein is out September 8, The Most Serene Republic’s …And The Ever-Expanding Universe is out now. The National Post has an interview with Milton’s finest.

MP3: Grand Archives – “Silver Among The Gold”
Video: The Most Serene Republic – “The Old Forever New Things”

Metric have set a live date on October 20 at Massey Hall with The Stills as support. That is a looooong way from their September 2003 show at the Horseshoe where they didn’t even bother with advance tickets.

A Place To Bury Strangers are making their musical manifesto very clear with the title of their second album – Exploding Head is due out October 6 and will be their first for Mute Records. They’ve already lined up a Fall tour to promote, including an October 27 date at the Mod Club in Toronto. They’re changing up dance partners all the while they’re on the road, but that show will feature Dead Confederate and All The Saints as support.

The Phoenix has a feature piece on Wheat, who have released a new video from White Ink Black Ink. I’m still giving a copy of the album away – come and get it.

Video: Wheat – “Changes Is”

Beatroute talks to Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo.

Frank Black tells Music Radar that “As far as any new Pixies records, I’m literally in the dark,” so anyone flocking to Virgin Festival at Burl’s Creek on August 29 had best be prepared to only hear the classics. Try to contain your disappointment.

Magnet does the over-under with The Velvet Underground’s catalog.

And oh yeah, this was news to me so it might be news to you; that free Dears show at Harbourfront this Sunday is a matinee show – they’re on the Sirius Stage at 3PM. And Laura Barrett is on the Redpath Stage at 4:30PM, since you’ll already be there.