Posts Tagged ‘Muse’

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Do Wah Doo

Kate Nash jets across Atlantic for North American tour

Photo By Clare NashClare NashUpdates from the recording sessions for Kate Nash’s follow-up to 2007’s Made Of Bricks were few and far-between, but what did come out – that she was working with Bernard Butler, as famed for his stint as guitarist in Suede as his production work and that boyfriend Ryan Jarman from Brit-rockers The Cribs was hanging around – seemed to imply that her bubbly piano anthems might be taking on a harder edge on the sophomore effort. A theory borne out by the first released MP3 from the album, initially entitled Crayon Full Of Color but since changed to My Best Friend Is You and out on April 20 either way – “I Just Love You More” sounded like a not especially successful attempt at punk rock and certainly not playing to Nash’s strengths – clever wordplay and keen, observational songwriting that’s as humorous as it is pointed.

The first proper single, however, does sound like vintage Kate Nash. “Do Wah Doo”, for which a fun dancing stewardess-themed video has just been released, is very much in line with the best of Bricks, just gussied up with Butler’s signature retro-slick production. In fact it might be a little too similar to those who’d like to see some more growth from album one to two, but if “Do Wah Doo” represents one end of the stylistic spectrum covered on the new record and “I Just Love You More” the other, then My Best Friend Is You should be a fun and interesting listen.

Nash was already announced as one of the artists taking part in this year’s Lilith Fair revival, but this piece in Rolling Stone shows she’s not waiting for Sarah McLachlan’s say-so to bring her new record to North America. Less than a week after the record’s release, Nash is embarking on a small club tour across the continent, starting on April 26 in Toronto at the Mod Club – tickets $22.50. I missed both of Nash’s previous local shows back in 2008, so I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to finally see her live, and in cozy environs no less. And hopefully it will go better than her recent Glasgow show.

The Daily Record and Contact Music have interviews with Nash.

MP3: Kate Nash – “I Just Love You More”
Video: Kate Nash – “Do Wah Doo”

Spin finds out why Victoria Hesketh calls herself Little Boots while NYLON and Metro also have interviews. It seems that it’s not just the Toronto date of her North American tour that’s been scotched – none of her east coast, post-Coachella dates are listed on her website anymore.

Pitchfork has details on the forthcoming album from the all-new. all-different PipettesEarth vs. the Pipettes will be out on June 28 in the UK and if the band believes that it’s the planet Earth that is conspiring to have all their members quit… they may be on to something.

Magnet has an interview with former Delgados frontwoman Emma Pollock, who has been playing guest editor on their site all week. Her second solo record The Law Of Large Numbers came out last week.

MP3: Emma Pollock – “Hug The Harbour”

If the questions posed in these following Spinner quickie SxSW preview interviews look familiar… well, they are. Thankfully the answers are different.

Spinner talks to Frightened Rabbit, whose Winter Of Mixed Drinks finally began this week. They are at the Opera House on May 4.

Fanfarlo chats with Spinner and The Daily Texan. They’re in town with a show at Lee’s Palace on April 9, and Clash reports the band are planning to give away a free live EP in conjunction with this (or some other upcoming) tour.

This Spinner interview with The xx strays from the script a little bit. They’re at the Phoenix on April 4 and the Kool Haus on April 20.

Let’s Wrestle grapples with some questions from Spinner. They’re at the Horseshoe on April 18.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a recent show from We Were Promised Jetpacks and oh yeah, there’s one of those Spinner interviews too.

The Line Of Best Fit chats with Field Music. They’re at the Horseshoe next Friday night with The Clientele, with whom 77 Square and City Pages have chats.

The Tripwire has a feature piece on The Big Pink. They play The Mod Club on March 24.

JAM and The Montreal Gazette interview Muse.

The High Wire, heartily endorsed late last year, have made the title track of their new album The Sleep Tape available to download. It starts out small, but quickly becomes a pretty compelling argument for this as one of the best dream-pop records of the year. Which, as of this moment, it is.

MP3: The High Wire – “The Sleep Tape”

Exclaim reports that Belle & Sebastian are off hiatus and headed back into the studio to record album number eight. EIGHT. Goodness.

Daytrotter has a session with Ian McCulloch of Echo & The Bunnymen. They are at The Phoenix on April 23.

Rumoured a little while ago but now official – first-wave shoegazers Chapterhouse have slated a North American tour for this Spring and will kick it off on May 1 at the Horseshoe in Toronto.

Video: Chapterhouse – “Pearl”

Billboard wonders what David Bowie is up to – apparently, not much.

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Swim Until You Can't See Land

Frightened Rabbit to flee in terror across North America

Photo By Jannica HoneyJannica HoneyIt’s probably over-pedantic to point out that by the time Frightened Rabbit’s third album, the marvelously-titled The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, is released on March 9, there’ll be only 12 days left in Winter. Certainly enough time for a a righteous bender or four with it as a soundtrack, but before you know it we’ll be into a Springtime of body shots and that just doesn’t sound quite as epically melancholic, though possibly more fun.

Even so, the Scottish quintet will be doing their best to make it a season to remember for North American fans, first with a commando strike trip to SxSW in March and then a massive cross-continental tour that will start at Coachella and go from west to east then west again, including a May 4 stop at the Opera House in Toronto – tickets are $15 and go on sale this Thursday. I had to miss their July 2009 show at the Horseshoe because of an unfortunate incidence of real life, so this show – a week prior to my birthday – is ranking pretty highly on things I’m looking forward to in the next few months. And the album, too – Frightened Rabbit just released a second video from the album, this confirming that at least two songs from the record will be nigh-on brilliant.

Quarter-Life Crisis has an interview with drummer Grant Hutchinson while Spin questions frontman Scott Hutchinson about the origins of the band’s name.

Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Nothing Like You”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”

Tom Campesinos! takes point on press duties for Los Campesinos!, talking to The AV Club and MusicOmh while giving The Line Of Best Fit a list of 12 albums that influenced their latest Romance Is Boring. Metro talks to frontman Gareth Campesinios! and Drowned In Sound chats with the other members of the band about a myriad other topics. Los Campesinos! have a date at the Phoenix on April 20.

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “There Are Listed Buildings”

Spin checks in with Kate Nash on the status of her second album, recorded with Bernard Butler. The record is due out sometime this Spring, and she’s one of the artists supposed to appear on this year’s Lilith Fair.

Muse bassist Chris Wolstenholme tells BBC6 the trio are hoping to put together a live documentary film covering life on the road in addition to performance footage in the near future. They’re at the Air Canada Centre on March 8.

MusicOmh interviews David Brewis of Field Music. Their new record (Measure) is out February 16 and they’re at the Horseshoe on March 19.

There’s a new video from Mumford & Sons’ debut Sigh No More, filmed during their recent tour of India. The album gets a North American release on February 16 – one day after their Toronto show at Lee’s Palace. The Sydney Morning Herald talks to Marcus Johnstone, aka Marcus Mumford.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”

Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard talks to Spinner about the possibility of the band putting out a live album while Al Doyle chats with The Yorkshire Evening Post and The Times talks to Alexis Taylor and solicits a list of his favourite things. Their new studio album One Life Stand is out February 9 and is currently streaming at the band’s MySpace. They’re at the Kool Haus on April 20.

Stream: Hot Chip / One Life Stand

Tindersticks’ new album Falling Down A Mountain isn’t out until February 16 but is currently available to stream. There’s also a new video to go with the first available MP3.

MP3: Tindersticks – “Black Smoke”
Video: Tindersticks – “Black Smoke”
Stream: Tindersticks / Falling Down A Mountain

They Shoot Music has an acoustic video session with Editors frontman Tom Smith, wherein he reinterprets “Papillon” from the In This Light And On This Evening on acoustic guitar.

Ladytron’s Reuben Wu talks to Clash about his love of photography – ironic, considering his outfit seems to take extra care to make life hell for photographers…

Never Enough Notes talks to Tim Crompton of The High Wire. Their debut The Sleep Tape is out in March.

NME reports that Liam Gallagher and the other refugees from the wreck of Oasis hope to have a new record out by July.

And rather out of left field comes the news that first-generation shoegazers Chapterhouse will be reuniting for a North American tour this Spring. I can’t imagine anyone has been waiting for this to happen, but if the tour comes around this way I’ll certainly check it out – Whirlpool was a pretty good record. But really, of all the original shoegaze bands to get back together and cross the Atlantic… Chapterhouse?

Video: Chapterhouse – “Pearl”

Monday, January 18th, 2010

We Share The Same Skies

The Cribs at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhen it first got out that guitar-god-who-walks-amongst-us Johnny Marr had joined English sibling-trio The Cribs, the initial reaction was skepticism. After all, if run through the NME de-hyperbolizer, the truth was probably more like he crossed paths with a Jarman or three on the street and said “hello” – and anyways, wasn’t Marr already occupied as a full-fledged member of Modest Mouse? Well, yes, but it seems that Marr is almost as good at time management as he is at guitar because as the band’s fourth record Ignore The Ignorant showed, his role in the band is much more than stunt casting.

I can’t say I’d paid much attention to The Cribs prior to their latest, ranking them as a decent if not especially distinctive post-Libertines Brit-rock outfit – high on energy and attitude if not personality – so I’m not necessarily in a position to articulate what difference Marr makes to the band. That said, you can hear his distinctive fretwork all over the record in a manner that’s omnipresent yet unobtrusive, adding a melodicism and shimmer to the Cribs’ songs without blunting their more visceral qualities. This, combined with simply better songwriting and production, have made The Cribs an outfit worthy of note beyond simply the simply Anglo-inclined.

That said, I don’t that I’d have been as keen to hit up their show Friday night at The Phoenix had Johnny Marr not also been confirmed as participating in the North American tour. Technically, I’d seen him a couple Summers ago with Modest Mouse opening up for R.E.M., but that view was from the lawns of the Molson Amphitheatre and the soundtrack for the experience wasn’t especially agreeable (not a Modest Mouse fan here, Marr or no). The opportunity to watch Marr do his thing from 10 feet away would not be missed. But just as with the album, it turned out to be a case of “come for the Smith, stay for The Cribs”.

I may have been relatively new to the band but the heart of the 700-plus in attendance were clearly die-hards, and as soon as the quartet took the stage, a mosh pit manifested and I was thankful I’d gotten there just late enough to be up close, but off to the side. And The Cribs would give them plenty to slam dance about, tearing through a 70-minute or so, encore-less set of loud, raucous, anthemic rock. Be it familiarity or just the fact that their better tunes, I found the Ignorant material to be the standouts of the set, allowing Marr – looking almost unsettlingly ageless at 46 alongside his twenty-something bandmates – to really show his stuff. But he also looked quite at home on the older, more bludgeony material, bashing out power chords and providing backing vox while the Jarmans bounded around the stage and incited acts of stage diving and crowd surfing from their fans. Though the set wrapped relatively early for a Friday evening – not even midnight – there would be no complaining about any lack of rock action on the night.

It’s Not The Band I Hate It’s Their Fans was also in attendance with a review. and Metro have interviews with Ross Jarman while The Boston Herald draws the Gary Jarman straw. talks to them both.

Photos: The Cribs @ The Phoenix – January 15, 2010
MP3: The Cribs – “We Were Aborted”
Video: The Cribs – “We Share The Same Skies”
Video: The Cribs – “Cheat On Me”
Video: The Cribs – “I’m A Realist”
Video: The Cribs – “Don’t You Wanna Be Relevant”
Video: The Cribs – “Our Bovine Public”
Video: The Cribs – “Men’s Needs”
Video: The Cribs – “You’re Gonna Lose Us”
Video: The Cribs – “Martell”
Video: The Cribs – “Mirror Kissers”
Video: The Cribs – “Hey Scenesters”
Video: The Cribs – “What About Me”
Video: The Cribs – “You Were Always The One”
MySpace: The Cribs

Elbow drummer Richard Jupp talks to Clash about his contributions to the Sudan365 charitable project and also tells NME that, contrary to Guy Garvey’s comments that their new album wouldn’t be ready until 2011, he hopes they’ll release the record this year.

Though there’s been no official word on a follow-up to Do You Like Rock Music?, Spinner reports that British Sea Power are planning a release party for the new record at Britain’s highest bar for “May-ish”. Guitarist Martin Noble provided an update on the new record via their blog a couple weeks ago.

Beyond Race has a feature piece and Sasha Frere-Jones an essay-length The New Yorker review on The xx, in town twice in April – on the 4th at the Phoenix and the 20th at the Kool Haus.

Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard talks to Billboard about the Susan Boyle influence on One Life Stand, due out February 9. They’re at the Kool Haus on April 20.

Horrors frontman Faris Badwan compiles a list of best/worst/most/least for Clash.

NYC Taper is sharing a pretty terrific recording of one of The Joy Formidable’s show in New York City last weekend. Simultaneously makes me feel like I was there while feeling worse for not having actually been there.

Bandstand Busking is sharing a video session with Peggy Sue, whose debut
Fossils And Other Phantoms is due out in April.

PopMatters interviews The Twilight Sad.

Note that Laura Marling’s February 9 show at the Drake Underground has been moved to Lee’s Palace. Consequently, it is probably not sold out anymore. At least not right now.

Leading up to the February 16 release of Life Is Sweet! Pleased To Meet You, Lightspeed Champion is giving away a free MP3 a week via Domino Records. You have to make with the clicky on the widget and eventually you’ll find a download link. I got to it by accident, don’t ask me what I did. And yes, it’s a bit maddening.

Paste talks to La Roux’s Elly Jackson.

Clash gets an update on the new record from The Futureheads, who are targeting a late February/early March release.

Muse have released a video for the title track of their latest, The Resistance. They are at the Air Canada Centre on March 8.

Video: Muse – “The Resistance” talks to Tim Crompton of The High Wire about their new record The Sleep Tape, set to come out in March.

NME reports that Fat Richard-era Suede are set to reunite for a one-off charity gig at the Royal Albert Hall in London in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Note that I mock Oakes not so much for his weight, but for his not being Bernard Butler. And also being fat.

Members of Blur talk to BBC 6Music about the experience of making the new documentary on the band, No Distance Left To Run. The one-day Canadian screenings are set for this Thursday but for those unable to attend, like me, Pitchfork reports that the film will be released on DVD come February 15 with a second DVD of the band’s Hyde Park reunion show last year. Which is great if you have a region-free, PAL DVD player. Or live in the UK, which some of you might.

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Hug The Harbour

Emma Pollock prepares second solo release

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickI’m not quite at the point where I can refer to Emma Pollock without adding “former Delgados frontwoman”, but it’s getting there and with the release of her second solo album The Law Of Large Numbers, we’re getting there. Her 2007 debut Watch The Fireworks was a wholly enjoyable balance of intimate folkishness and scrappy rock, a recipe familiar to Delgados fans, but more immediate and accessible than her more idiosyncratic former band. If the first taste of the new record is any indication, it’s still quite direct but perhaps more ambitious, sonically speaking.

Either way, the new record is due out March 1 and one thing that’s certain is it’s certainly good to hear her voice again.

MP3: Emma Pollock – “Hug the Harbour”

And I was going to add a little bit asking what happened to Pollock’s co-lead in The Delgados, Alun Woodward, but it turns out he didn’t disappear so much as I just didn’t look. Some cursory digging reveals he released his self-titled solo debut under the name of Lord Cut-Glass this past Summer, so that’s both Delgados voices accounted for, and the drums as well, as Paul Savage appears on Woodward’s effort as well as on Pollock’s first record – though not, apparently, the second. Which only leaves bassist Stewart Henderson as MIA, but considering his wanting to retire is what caused the band to dissolve in the first place, that’s not surprising.

MP3: Lord Cut-Glass – “Even Jesus Couldn’t Love You”
Video: Lord Cut-Glass – “Look After Your Wife”

Decoding Static interviews Polly Scattergood.

Muse drummer Dominic Howard tells Spinner that touring as support for U2 earlier this year was an educational experience. Look for some of those lessons to be put on display when they play the Air Canada Centre on March 8.

The Quietus interviews Hope Sandoval.

Wears The Trousers has a conversation with Sharon Van Etten, who is in town on February 6 opening up for Great Lake Swimmers at Trinity-St. Paul’s.

Daytrotter is closing out the year with a session with The Daredevil Christopher Wright.

Interview does their thing with Kurt Wagner of Lambchop.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel talks to Spoon frontman Britt Daniel. Their new album Transference is out January 19.

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips names off some of this favourite records of the decade to Spinner. He also gives an interview to BBC6.

Their 20th anniversary year might officially end tonight, but Merge has at least one more goodie for the faithful – a new Portastatic digital EP featuring covers of other Merge artists, with proceeds going to charity.

And that’s it for this year. Have a safe New Years, everyone and – once more with feeling – fuck you 2009.

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Boy Lilikoi

Jonsi details second side project, first solo project (the same project)

Photo By Lilja BirgisdottirLilja BirgisdottirWhen it was revealed that Jon Thor Birgisson was going to be working on a project separate from Sigur Ros, many – well me, at least – assumed that the instrumental Riceboy Sleeps record which came out earlier this year was it. But in fact, it was credited to Jonsi & Alex, the titular Alex being Alex Somers of Parachutes and Birgisson’s boyfriend and the project being something else completely. Which is just as well because while it was a pretty piece of atmosphere, Riceboy Sleeps didn’t really engage as a piece of music and didn’t do much to tide one over while waiting for the new Sigur Ros record.

When flying solo as just Jonsi, however, the results are more satisfying. Details on Birgisson’s debut album entitled Go were revealed last week alongside the first MP3 – “Boy Lilikoi” – and it’s definitely not lacking in substance. Big and colourful, it finds Birgisson singing in English overtop buoyant and burbling pop arrangements, courtesy of Bjork arranger Nico Muchly and The National producer Peter Katis. This track and the extra audio samples available on the Jonsi website seem to ensure that Go will be enough like Sigur Ros to entice and satisfy fans of Sigur Ros, but different enough to justify not being Sigur Ros.

The album will be out on March 23 of next year, and a world tour to support will follow. Which basically ensures that the new Sigur Ros record won’t be out until Fall at the earliest.

MP3: Jonsi – “Boy Lilikoi”
MP3: Riceboy Sleeps – “Boy 1904”
MySpace: Jonsi

Rolling Stone talks to Ted Leo about his new album The Brutalist Bricks, available March 9. For a sneak preview of the new material, check out this downloadable live show from last week courtesy of NYC Taper.

Magnet does the over/under thing with Built To Spill’s oeuvre.

BrooklynVegan reports that The Antlers will be opening up for Editors on their upcoming North American tour, including the February 16 date at the Phoenix in Toronto. The Irish Times interviews Peter Silberman.

The Fader has posted their recent cover story on Bon Iver online while NME reports that a charity album entitled A Decade With Duke, pairing Justin Vernon with his Eau Claire, Wisconsin high school’s jazz band in performing Duke Ellington songs, Bon Iver songs and a few standards. NPR has a feature piece on the collaboration.

Though they just announced details of their next studio album, entitled Beat The Devil’s Tattoo and out on March 9, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club don’t want folks to forget they also just released a live album – they’ve released a video of four live performances and are offering up one of the tracks to download. Their two worlds collide when they play songs from the new studio album in a live setting on April 1 at the Phoenix.

MP3: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll (Punk Song)” (live)
Video: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club / Live

Paste kicks off their new “Moog Sessions” – featuring videos of performances recorded at the Moog factory in Asheville, North Carolina – with Yo La Tengo.

The Skeleton Crew Quarterly interviews Venice Is Sinking.

For Folk’s Sake interviews Jenn Wasser of Wye Oak.

Drive-By Truckers will release their new studio album The Big To-Do on March 16 – details at Muzzle Of Bees.

This week, PitchforkTV is streaming the 2004 Superchunk documentary, Quest For Sleep.

Video: Superchunk: Quest For Sleep

The Thermals’ Hutch Harris talks lyrics with Paste. Their next album is out September 7, 2010.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Beach House about their new album Teen Dream, out January 26.

The Independent has an extensive interview with Wilco.

Austinst has information on The Golden Dossier component of Shearwater’s new album The Golden Archipelago, which they are hoping to finance via Kickstarter. The album is out February 23.

Christmas has come early for fans of over-the-top British arena rock and those with nostalgic memories of the ’90s-era Canadian indie rock. Different gifts, though they could well be the same fans. To the former, word that Muse have added a March 8 date at the Air Canada Centre to their Spring 2010 North American tour in support of this year’s The Resistance. Support on the tour will come from Silversun Pickups.

Video: Muse – “Uprising”

And to the latter, the long-rumoured Thrush Hermit reunion appears to be a go. Official confirmation and full dates are still forthcoming, but an eastern leg of the tour appeared on last week and puts the reunited Haligonians at Lee’s Palace in Toronto for two nights, March 26 and 27. Once and future Thrush Hermit frontman Joel Plaskett also just released a new video from Three. Update: Plaskett has confirmed the reunion in an interview with Exclaim.

Video: Joel Plaskett – “You Let Me Down”