Posts Tagged ‘Passion Pit’

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Echo Or Encore

Eleanor Friedberger leads this week’s batch of concert announcements

Photo By Roger KisbyRoger KisbyYou can probably blame the entire music industry’s post-SXSW hangover for this week’s roundup of concert announcements being a little late and a little lean. But there were still some. And here they are.

While I believe the official status of The Fiery Furnaces is that they’re a going concern, it’s pretty clear that the burner that they’re on is pretty far back. Since they finished touring 2009’s presciently-titled I’m Going Away, both Friedberger siblings have busied themselves in solo form. Matthew Friedberger released six full-lengths as part of his Solos series in 2011 and followed that with Matricidal Sons Of Bitches last Fall. Eleanor Friedberger, on the other hand, has worked at a relative snail’s pace, with only 2011’s Last Summer to her name, at least until now.

Her second solo venture will be out June 4 and entitled Personal Record, and while complete dates in support of it haven’t yet surfaced, it is confirmed that they’ll include a June 5 date at The Horseshoe, tickets $15 in advance. Exclaim has details on the record, for which there is a trailer and a first single to stream. You can also download a live version of the song, which was part of an Epitonic Saki Session a couple years ago.

MP3: Eleanor Friedberger – “Stare At The Sun” (live at Saki sessions)
Stream: Eleanor Friedberger – “Stare At The Sun”
Trailer: Eleanor Friedberger / Personal Record

I can’t that I’ve ever heard of On An On, but that they’ll have New York electro-pop sweeties Savoir Adore as support when they come to town for a show at The Drake on April 12 – tickets $14 – puts them on my radar. Savoir Adore will be re-releasing last year’s Dreamers on June 4 through their new home at Nettwerk Records with some bonus goodies

MP3: Savoir Adore – “Dreamers”
Video: On An On – “The Hunter”

With his new album Mala out now, Devendra Banhart has put together a North American tour to support. He’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on June 3, tickets $29.50 in advance. Banhart is profiled by The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, The Independent, and Magnet.

MP3: Devendra Banhart – “Baby”
Stream: Devendra Banhart – “Never Seen Such Good Things”

His last scheduled show in December 2010 was canceled at the last minute, but former Beta Band-er Steve Mason is trying again; with his new album Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time due out April 9, Mason has put together a North American tour that brings him to the Drake Underground on May 1, tickets $13.50. The Quietus and The Guardian have feature pieces on Mason.

MP3: Steve Mason – “All Come Down”

New York electro duo MS MR might be making their local debut on April 6 at the Opera House as support for Jessie Ware, but with their new record Secondhand Rapture coming out May 14, they’ve already booked their first headlining show. They’re back for a gig at Wrongbar on May 22.

Video: MS MR – “Hurricane”

British punk veterans The Stranglers are back with a new record in Giants on May 28, and will be in town at the Danforth Music Hall on May 31 to support.

Video: The Stranglers – “Mercury Rising”

Los Angeles electronic artist Baths will be in town at The Horseshoe on June 9 in support of his new album Obsidian, due out May 28. Tickets for that are $15 and you can stream a track from the new record below.

MP3: Baths – “Exit The Mine”
Stream: Baths – “Miasma Sky”

This week’s additions to the inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Fest, running July 4 to 7 at Garrison Commons, are Dawes, Arkells, and Fitz & The Tantrums. And while Shovels & Rope aren’t in that list, they’ll be supporting Dawes on their Summer tour and will probably be officially added after their local date supporting Lucero at The Phoenix next week is in the books. One more round of major acts will be announced next week but if you’re planning to attend the fest a la carte, you should know the day-by-day breakdown of who’s playing when is already up. Single day tickets go on sale March 28.

MP3: Dawes – “If I Wanted Someone”
Video: Arkells – “On Paper”
Video: Fitz & The Tantrums – “Don’t Gotta Work It Out”
Video: Shovels & Rope – “Birmingham”

Another addition to the Summer of mini-fests in Toronto – July 12 at Downsview Park, you can get your bro on with a bill of Weezer, performing The Blue Album in its entirety along with other hits and favourites, Passion Pit doing those two songs that everyone likes as well as some others, and METZ confusing and frightening the early birds. Tickets for that are $82.50 in advance.

MP3: METZ – “Wet Blanket”
Video: Weezer – “Buddy Holly”
Video: Passion Pit – “Take A Walk”

Telekinesis have released a new video from their forthcoming Domarion, out April 2, and Benjamin Michael Lerner lists off some of his favourite things for Spin before playing an acoustic video session. They’ll be at The Horseshoe on May 12.

Video: Telekinesis – “Ghosts & Creatures”

Rilo Kiley have gone the home movie route for the video from their forthcoming rkives rarities comp, due out April 2.

Video: Rilo Kiley – “Let Me Back In”

The Black Angels talk to The Dumbing Of America about their new album Indigo Meadow. It’s out April 2 and they’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on April 13.

I don’t know why they called this a remix, because if it was a remix, I wouldn’t care. But what it is is a cover of the new Phoenix single by Dinosaur Jr, and it’s great. Thomas Mars talks to Spin a bit about why it exists. Bankrupt! is out April 23 and Phoenix are at The Grove Festival in Niagara-On-The-Lake on August 3.

MP3: Dinosaur Jr – “Entertainment”

Flavorwire talks to John Vanderslice about his crowdfunded new record Dagger Beach, which has been given a June 11 release date, and Rolling Stone has premiered a stream of one of the new songs.

Stream: John Vanderslice – “Raw Wood”

The Men have rolled out the first video from their new record New Moon. The Fly also has an interview with the band.

Video: The Men – “I Saw Her Face”

eMusic has an interview with Low.

Over at FasterLouder, Henry Wagons interviews Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

Ben Bridwell updates Rolling Stone on the status of the new Band Of Horses.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

All Through The Night

Win an evening with Escort! No, not like that.

Photo By Jody KivortJody KivortI’m not diversifying into the adult entertainment industry, despite what some ads that occasionally get served here might imply, but am instead talking about New York’s Escort. Sometimes a lean five-piece band, sometimes a proper orchestra numbering as many as 17 – but always fronted by diva Adeline Michele – Escort have been busting out old-school yet thoroughly contemporary dancefloor disco electro-soul since 2006 but only just released their full-length debut Escort earlier this year and are now taking their legendarily slick and irresistibly fun live show on the road.

They’re hitting The Horseshoe this Saturday night, November 10, and if you’re thinking there’s no way they’d fit 17 people on that stage, you’re right – it’s going to be a smaller-form Escort that rolls into town, but if you think that means it’ll somehow be a smaller party… no. Just no. Tickets for the show are $16.50 in advance, but courtesy of Webster Media Consulting, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at with “I want an Escort” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, November 8.

Metro has an interview with Michele about the genesis of the band, and the band’s just-released remix album – Escort Remixed – is available to stream in full.

MP3: Escort – “Love In Indigo”
MP3: Escort – “Make Over”
Video: Escort – “Why Oh Why”
Video: Escort – “All Through The Night”
Stream: Escort / Escort Remixed

School Of Seven Bells have made a track from their new EP, Put Your Sad Down, available to download. It’s out November 13.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Secret Days”

The Antlers have released a new video from their last EP, Undersea.

Video: The Antlers – “Drift Dive”

Ahead of their appearance warming up for Titus Andronicus at Lee’s Palace later that night, Ceremony will play an in-store at Sonic Boom’s Kensington location on November 27 at 6:00PM.

MP3: Ceremony – “Hysteria”

And speaking of Titus Andronicus, The Village Voice has a profile piece on the band. As mentioned – Lee’s Palace, November 27. Them.

Passion Pit will team up with Matt & Kim for a Winter tour that stops in at The Kool Haus on February 16; tickets for that are $32.50 in advance.

MP3: Matt & Kim – “Let’s Go”
Video: Passion Pit – “Take A Walk”

Denver Westword and The Seattle Times have interviews with Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, who also just recorded a World Cafe session with NPR.

Benjamin Gibbard submits to a questionnaire from Exclaim and answers some more questions beyond that. He also performs video sessions for The Fly and NPR, and has released a video from his solo joint Former Lives.

Video: Benjamin Gibbard – “Teardrop Windows”

MTV Hive talks to Jason Lytle, opening up for Band Of Horses at Massey Hall on December 5.

Nicole Atkins talks to The Village Voice about the damage that Hurricane Sandy did to her beloved New Jersey shore. She’s re-recorded the title track of her 2007 debut album, Neptune City, and re-released it to raise funds to rebuild the shore.

Stream: Nicole Atkins – “Neptune City (For The Shore)”

Bob Mould plays a video session for NPR.

Sam Fogarino reflects on Interpol’s past ten years to Spin. The Turn On The Bright Lights anniversary edition is out November 19. They’ve also shared a live video taken from their first Los Angeles show in 2002.

Video: Interpol – “Obstacle 1” (live at The Troubdaour, 2002)

Congratulations on doing several right things last night, America. First time I haven’t been bitterly disappointed by the outcome of an election in, oh, four years. I’ll be down there later this week to give some of you a big hug.

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Osheaga 2012 Day Three

Bloc Party, The Shins, Passion Pit, and more at Osheaga 2012

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangYou may have noticed my first two dispatches from Osheaga dwelled a bit on the hot, humid weather – this was partly because it was one of the defining factors of the weekend and certainly affected mine and everyone else’s experience, but also for some context. Because for the third and final day of the festival, things went from just hot to hot and wet – great adjectives for search engine optimization, not so great for spending the day outside. Indeed, the same storm system that shut down Lollapalooza the day before looked like it was aiming to put another notch in its belt and wallop Montréal and while it wasn’t sever enough to consider cancelling anything pre-emptively – the forecast was mainly for scattered thundershowers – it certainly had people keeping an eye on the sky as well as on the stages.

The stage manager at the Forest stage certainly was, and though Nika Danilova of Zola Jesus was certainly taking the weather in stride – soundchecking with a bit of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” was cute – but just two songs in and under a steady but not excessive rainfall, the stage lights went off and they declared the set over even though at that point the sky was actually beginning to clear. Danilova pleaded her case but for naught, and much to the vocal dismay of the audience, the show was over. Now I can appreciate wanting to err on the side of caution, particularly in light of the rash of stage collapses at festivals in the last couple years, but this seemed excessively paranoid and raised the question of what the festival’s “rain or shine” policy actually meant – people couldn’t get their money back, but they weren’t necessarily entitled to any of the performances they paid for? Troubling. If there was any silver lining to these rain clouds, it’s that in the 10 minutes that Zola Jesus performed – I’d never heard her save her contribution to the last M83 record – I quite liked what I heard of her operatic goth-pop and would be seeking some more out. So there was that.

DIY and The Moscow News have feature interviews with Danilova.

Photos: Zola Jesus @ Scène des arbes- August 5, 2012
MP3: Zola Jesus – “Vessel”
MP3: Zola Jesus – “Sea Talk”
Video: Zola Jesus – “Seekir”
Video: Zola Jesus – “Vessel”
Video: Zola Jesus – “Sea Talk”
Video: Zola Jesus – “Night”
Video: Zola Jesus – “Clay Bodies”

Also in them “I’d never really heard them or paid much attention but I’ll go see them anyways” category was Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Passion Pit, though I’ll admit that my curiosity was more due to the drama that had surrounded frontman Michael Angelakos as they released their second album Gossamer a couple weeks earlier – specifically the announcement that he was battling a bipolar disorder and cancelling a swath of tour dates as a result. Not that I went to gawk – I just found it interesting that this date, along with a few other festival dates, were still on and even though what I had heard of their first record Manners was at best annoying – Angelakos’ falsetto and I did not get along – most accounts were that this new record was much better.

Not that I know what a bipolar condition looks like – probably nothing overt – but Angelakos looked pretty hale and hearty on stage, and certainly energetic. As his bandmates pounded out declarative synth-rock riffs, he was leaping on monitors, waving around mic stands, and generally working the crowd like a pro. And happily, there was minimal to no falsetto to be heard, or at least I didn’t notice it. The guy’s got a reasonably soulful voice in its normal range, it was nice to hear him use it instead of resorting to gimmickry. And though I’m sure it was just coincidence, there was something fitting about how the weather went from overcast to a downpour to sunshine in the first 15 minutes of their set. Because it stayed sunny.

Rolling Stone has an in depth interview with Angelkos about his mental health issues.

Photos: Passion Pit @ Scène de la montagne – August 5, 2012
Video: Passion Pit – “Take A Walk”
Video: Passion Pit – “Constant Conversations”
Video: Passion Pit – “Little Secrets”
Video: Passion Pit – “To Kingdom Come”
Video: Passion Pit – “The Reeling”
Video: Passion Pit – “Sleepyhead”

One of the festival’s bleach-blonde witch-pop artists had already been taken down by the weather; what were the odds that both would? Thankfully, pretty bad. I had thought that the otherworldly environs of Iceland, where I last saw them, was the perfect setting for Toronto’s Austra but it turns out a suddenly sunny Montréal Summer afternoon worked pretty well, too. Dressed for the season in brightly-coloured dresses, Katie Stelmanis and her bandmates successfully got those assembled at the Green stage to ignore the burgeoning mud pit at their feet and dance. There was one new song in her set which from a single cursory listen shouldn’t alienate any fans, and I want to say that some of the lyrics were sung in French, but honestly with Stelmanis’ operatic delivery it was hard to say for sure.

Exclaim has a video session with the band where they perform the aforementioned new song “Painful Like” and Spinner has an interview. And to the surprise of absolutely no one, Austra have been announced as the special guest for the Saturday, September 29 lineup at Paper Bag Records’ 10th anniversary show at The Great Hall.

Photos: Austra @ Scène vertes – August 5, 2012
MP3: Austra – “Lose It”
MP3: Austra – “Beat & The Pulse”
Video: Austra – “Spellwork”
Video: Austra – “Lose It”
Video: Austra – “Beat & The Pulse”

I like Australia’s Tame Impala alright – their 2010 debut Innerspeaker was a nice bit of psychedelic space-rock – but that they were not only popular enough to be playing a late afternoon mainstage slot at a festival of this size but draw a pretty big and enthusiastic audience genuinely surprised me. Their fans clearly knew and liked their prog rock and they like it chilled out and spacey, seemingly cheering every key and tempo change and certainly every extended guitar solo. They’ve a big sound, but not an aggressive one, and their stage presence is similarly subdued. I wouldn’t say they’re much to look at or watch up there, but you’d have to open your eyes from you reverie to notice, and not many of those listening were prepared to do that. Enjoyable overall, but not quite able to keep my festival-ADD interest for the duration. And considering that the last time I saw them in May 2011, frontman Kevin Parker felt obliged to inform us all that Osama Bin Laden had been killed – the least he could have done this time out was announce the official fall of the al-Assad regime. Alas, no dice, but at least there was that evening’s episode of The Newsroom ready to indulge my nostalgia.

Stereogum and Spin talk to Parker about their new record Lonerism, due out October 9.

Photos: Tame Impala @ Scène de la rivière – August 5, 2012
MP3: Tame Impala – “Runway, Houses, City, Clouds”
Video: Tame Impala – “Expectation”
Video: Tame Impala – “Lucidity”
Video: Tame Impala – “Solitude Is Bliss”

When James Mercer and his reconstituted Shins came through Toronto last September – fully six months before their new record Port Of Morrow would be released – there were a lot of questions, not least of which being that it had almost been a half-decade since their last album came out; did anyone still care? The success of that record and the fact that the band were playing as large stages as they did before they went on hiatus proved quite unequivocally that they still did, and was a testament to the power of a good pop song. And if there’s one thing The Shins have, it’s good pop songs.

They also had some bad luck with the weather. Though the skies stayed fairly clear through Tame Impala’s set, they darkened in a hurry as soon as The Shins took the stage and as opener “Kissing The Lipless” built to the first big chorus, they opened up and utterly drenched everyone and everything. Everything save their spirits – the fans seemed to love it and if the band were concerned about little details like electrocution, it didn’t show. Mercer was as animated and energized up there as I’d ever seen him, and certainly seemed more integrated with his bandmates than in the Fall where they looked very much like hired hands. I stuck around for a while, savouring all the old, familiar tunes, but my tolerance for getting soaked was apparently lower than everyone elses.

The Wall Street Journal and Entertainment Weekly have conversations with James Mercer.

Photos: The Shins @ Scène de la montagne – August 5, 2012
MP3: The Shins – “Australia”
MP3: The Shins – “Phantom Limb”
MP3: The Shins – “Kissing The Lipless”
MP3: The Shins – “So Says I”
MP3: The Shins – “Know Your Onion!”
Video: The Shins – “It’s Only Life”
Video: The Shins – “No Way Down”
Video: The Shins – “The Rifle’s Spiral”
Video: The Shins – “Simple Song”
Video: The Shins – “Bait & Switch”
Video: The Shins – “Australia”
Video: The Shins – “Phantom Limb”
Video: The Shins – “So Says I”
Video: The Shins – “Turn On Me”
Video: The Shins – “The Past & Pending”
Video: The Shins – “New Slang”
Video: The Shins – “Kissing The Lipless”
Video: The Shins – “Know Your Onion!”

With my obsessions with the weather pretty much established, I’ve no problem admitting that I’d spent much of the day tracking the incoming storm via satellite radar maps. Based on the accumulated data, I figured that I would be able to take in Bloc Party relatively unscathed and then skip out on mainstage headliners Metric and The Black Keys just when the brunt of the storm hit. Science! That it was already raining moderately to heavily by the time I got to the Green stage certainly didn’t fit the plan, but it was good to see that the conservative attitude towards the weather that opened the day had seemingly been replaced with a sturdy, “the show must go on” attitude – the roadies were wrapping just about everything electronic on stage in plastic sheeting, but showed no signs that they weren’t going to go ahead with the set.

Kele Okereke was certainly up for it. Clad in a colourful shirt louder than some of the PAs at the festival and sans guitar, the Bloc Party frontman was all party, rain be damned, and led the London quartet through a ripping reading of “Octopus”, the lead single from their forthcoming album Four. It was – and is – an odd song, with its stuttering riff and loopy vocals, and taken as a representative of the new material does indicate that the random and experimental (and polarizing) direction of 2008’s Intimacy was more a signpost than a detour. Live, however, it was delivered with enough energy and conviction to persuade even the hardest skeptic that it was a winner.

Only one other track from Four made the set – the power chord-heavy “Kettling” – with the rest dedicated to older material and rewarding the audience for their willingness to wait in the weather by soundtracking their collective decision to ignore the “no crowd surfing” signs with gusto – Okereke thanked security for their diligence in making sure no one got hurt by dedicating “This Modern Love” to them; I’m sure they appreciated the gesture. It was certainly the most raucous audience I’d seen all weekend, with no one caring about the rain but instead revelling in it and the mud, both figuratively and literally. Though allotted a full hour for their set, Bloc Party wrapped their set at 45 minutes with a thundering and exhausting “Helicopter”; I would have liked for them to keep playing, sure, but that was also as perfect a place to wrap the set as any. And the fest. Though the rain had let up by this point – apparently the storm that I’d expected to hit the headliners had gotten there early and instead soaked me – I was tired, hungry, wet, and just done. Osheaga was the first big outdoor fest I’d done in over two years, and as much fun as it was, I’ve got a feeling it might have been my last.

Four is out August 21, and in addition to their September 10 show at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, Bloc Party have added a second show on September 11 – tickets $25 and $35 in advance. BBC and The Fly talk to them about their new record. Their set from New York earlier this week will be available to stream on demand today – sometime – at YouTube.

Photos: Bloc Party @ Scène vertes – August 5, 2012
MP3: Bloc Party – “Banquet”
Video: Bloc Party – “Octopus”
Video: Bloc Party – “One More Chance”
Video: Bloc Party – “One Month Off”
Video: Bloc Party – “Talons”
Video: Bloc Party – “Mercury”
Video: Bloc Party – “Flux”
Video: Bloc Party – “Hunting For Witches”
Video: Bloc Party – “I Still Remember”
Video: Bloc Party – “The Prayer”
Video: Bloc Party – “Helicopter”
Video: Bloc Party – “Two More Years”
Video: Bloc Party – “Pioneers”
Video: Bloc Party – “Banquet”
Video: Bloc Party – “So Here We Are”
Video: Bloc Party – “Tulips”
Video: Bloc Party – “Little Thoughts”

The Quietus has details on the next album from Patrick Wolf. A double album entitled Sundark & Riverlight, it doesn’t feature new songs but completely acoustic re-recordings of selections from throughout his recording career, all of which makes the intimate and acoustic setup of his upcoming Fall tour so much more logical. The album comes out on September 25, which just happens to be the day that Wolf is in Toronto at the Music Gallery, and support on this tour comes from Canada’s own Woodpigeon. More special than you can shake a stick at. Same Same and Q News both have interviews with Wolf.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “For Paolo”

Ladyhawke has made a date at The Hoxton on September 15 as part of a North American tour in support of her second album Anxiety.

Video: Ladyhawke – “Blue Eyes”

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Change The Sheets

Review of Kathleen Edwards’ Voyageur

Photo By Todd V WolfsonTodd V WolfsonI feel that I should say up front that any reservations I have about Kathleen Edwards and her work are entirely my own issues. Since her 2002 debut Failer, I’ve enjoyed her honest, roots-rock fare but always felt like I expected more from her creatively even though across her first three albums, she’d never shown any signs that she had ambitions beyond being a good singer-songwriter. That said, the fact that she spent her downtime following 2008’s Asking For Flowers songwriting with John Roderick of The Long Winters and becoming romantically/artistically involved with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver made me think that perhaps her fourth record would represent that creative hard left that for whatever reason I kept expecting her to take.

So just to get it out of the way, Voyageur, out today, is not that game-changing record. It does, however, represent a significant enough shift in Edwards’ modus operandi to be noteworthy and is arguably her best effort to date. She’s shed much of the country-rock accouterments of her earlier records and the more narrative songwriting structures for an approach that’s more sonically expansive and more thematically raw, but has balanced out that weightiness with some of her catchiest pop compositions to date in “Change The Sheets” and “Sidecar”. It’s surprising that two of the most personal and pensive numbers on the record – “Pink Champagne” and “A Soft Place To Land” – would be the Roderick co-writes; I’d have expected different lessons to be learned from one of the smartest power-pop songwriters around, but again perhaps that’s teaching me to think I know what to expect. Similarly, looking for Vernon’s overt fingerprints on the record are futile – there’s no vocoder or falsetto in effect, even though he contributes backing vocals throughout. Okay, the outro guitar solo(s) on “Going To Hell” are kind of Bon Iver-ish.

Whether it came from her collaborators of from within, what’s most remarkable about Voyageur is that Edwards is able to step away from her comfort zone just enough to establish a new creative boundaries – and I suspect that these are her boundaries as her voice sounds on the edge of strained at points – without abandoning the touchpoints that her existing fanbase would need to stick around. Maybe I’d have preferred that she went a little bit further – again, I don’t know what I mean by that it’s just how I feel – but Voyageur is pretty good proof that she knows what she’s doing better than I do.

The National Post, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, The Ottawa Citizen and 660 News have interviews with Edwards while The Line Of Best Fit has a mini-documentary on the making of Voyageur, as well a stream of the entire album. She plays The Phoenix on February 11.

MP3: Kathleen Edwards – “Change The Sheets”
Video: Kathleen Edwards – “Change The Sheets”
Stream: Kathleen Edwards / Voyageur

Bry Webb has finally announced a proper local show to mark the release of his excellent solo debut Provider; he’ll play two shows on Saturday, February 4 at the Music Gallery – one at 6PM, the other at 8:30PM. Tickets are $12 for each show and on sale now at Rotate and Soundscapes. Also check out his just-released video session for Southern Souls.

MP3: Bry Webb – “Rivers Of Gold”

John K Samson’s solo debut Provincial comes out next Tuesday and Exclaim has the whole thing available to stream now. Samson plays an in-store at Soundscapes on the day of release – January 24 – at 7PM and will be back as part of Canadian Musicfest on March 22 at The Great Hall. And if that’s not enough, he’ll be doing a signing for his new book Lyrics and Poems 1997-2012 at TYPE Books on January 23 at 6:30PM.

Stream: John K Samson / Provincial

American Songwriter has premiered the new video from Canadian songwriter Louise Burns, taken from her Mellow Drama album.

Video: Louise Burns – “Drop Names Not Bombs”

A new, non-album Ohbijou song has been made available to download via Nylon; have at it.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Mossy Lungs”

BlogTO talks to Rae Spoon, in town at The Gladstone on January 27.

The new Woodpigeon EP For Paolo is now available to stream in whole and will be available to buy on January 23.

Stream: Woodpigeon / For Paolo

You can now watch the whole of Arcade Fire’s performance on Austin City Limits. Yeah, you have to sit through some commercials first, but it’s worth it.

Another new song to stream from Leonard Cohen’s forthcoming Old Ideas via The New Yorker. And you can also read it in poem form.

Stream: Leonard Cohen – “Going Home”

In conversation with The Chronicle Herald, director Bruce MacDonald reveals that his next film project will be based on the next Stars album and that it’s called Those Days Are Gone.

Local label Out Of This Spark have announced details of their fifth anniversary show, and as always it’s an impressive showcase of local talent. This year’s show happens February 25 at the label’s spiritual home of The Tranzac and will feature Forest City Lovers, Snowblink, Snailhouse and more.

MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Light You Up”
MP3: Snowblink – “Ambergris”
MP3: Snailhouse – “I Never Woke Up”

Canadian Musicfest wasn’t able to follow through on their promise of more artist announcements yesterday, but the lineup for the Indie Awards did leak this weekend, and the lineup of artists performing is as random and arbitrary as the awards themselves… but solid, nonetheless. Performing at the Royal York Hotel on the evening of March 24 will be Passion Pit, Rich Aucoin, The Sheepdogs, Dan Mangan, Cœur de pirate, Treble Charger, and The Pack AD. And yes, that means that Treble Charger – or at least Greg Nori and Bill Priddle – have reunited… but you’re more likely to hear them play “American Psycho” than “10th Grade Love”. Unfortunately. Update: Treble Charger are also playing their own show on March 21 at The Phoenix.

MP3: Rich Aucoin – “It”
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Oh Fortune”
MP3: The Pack A.D. – “Sirens”
Video: Passion Pit – “Sleepyhead”
Video: The Sheepdogs – “I Don’t Know”
Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Adieu”
Video: Treble Charger – “Red”

Friday, June 5th, 2009

I’m On My Way

Yo La Tengo make a bid for popularity

Photo By Michael LavineMichael LavineI had thought that their Condo Fucks excursion earlier this year would represent Yo La Tengo’s recorded output for 2009 – after all, crafting a recording of such depth and intricacy has to be exhausting for a band, mentally, emotionally and physically. But as it turns out, that was just a warm-up and Hoboken’s finest will release a proper new collection of tunes this Fall in the form of Popular Songs.

From the write-up in the official bio, it sounds like the band are continuing on with the “everything goes” aesthetic that made 2006’s I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass such a welcome return to form, after a couple of pretty but overly snoozy albums to open the century. Expect sharp pop songs, extended jammed-out excursions and tender balladry, expect them to make preorders worth your while, expect touring this Fall and expect the record to be out September 8.

And expect the first MP3 released to sound exactly like this.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Periodically Double Or Triple”

Yo La labelmates Sonic Youth will release their new album The Eternal next week, and are currently streaming it all on iLike. And be forewarned, PitchforkTV is marking the occasion by declaring next week to be Sonic Youth Week – there’ll be video content galore. talks to Lee Ranaldo, The Guardian to the whole band and you can look for Sonic Youth at Massey Hall on June 30.

Stream: Sonic Youth / The Eternal

Currently on PitchforkTV is the entirety of Jarvis Cocker’s set at last year’s Pitchfork Festival, and there’s not much to say to that besides, “JARVIS COME TO TORONTO”. The Age has an interview.

Incidentally, the lineup to Virgin Festival BC was announced yesterday, and both Jarvis Cocker and Sonic Youth are part of it. But before you think that the festival’s good name has recovered from the Montreal fiasco, note that the BC headliners are Ben Harper and Our Lady Peace. So feel free to continue to despair, and no, I won’t be buying a plane ticket to Vancouver for that weekend. And they still have to announce Calgary before they get to Ontario, so it’ll probably be a couple weeks before we know what they’ve got in store for us come the end of August.

Dean Wareham talks to the Live Arts & Fringe Festival blog, Decider, QRO and Philadelphia Weekly about memoirs and Warhol, amongst other things. And via A Head Full Of Wishes, check out this video of Dean reading maybe the greatest Luna fan letter ever.

Dinosaur Jr and their stunt doubles unwind a bit (and fall down) while on tour in the new video from Farm, out June 23.

Video: Dinosaur Jr – “Over It”

NOW, The Times, Rolling Stone, The Montreal Mirror and talk to Grizzly Bear, playing a sold-out show at the Phoenix tonight.

Interview interviews Bjork.

Maximo Park’s Paul Smith tells NME about needing strategically reinforced suits for live performance. See him not split his crotch while doing a jump at Lee’s Palace on September 18.

Austin’s Ume have plotted a tour up and down American en route to Toronto for NxNE in a couple weeks, where they’ll play Neutral on Thursday, June 18 at 10PM. They’ve also made available another MP3 from their Sunshower EP available to download.

MP3: Ume – “Pendulum”

Gemma Hayes recently released a new digital EP and made a video for the title track.

Video: Gemma Hayes – “Oliver”

Singing Lamb talks to Lucas Jensen of Venice Is Sinking.

The Rural Alberta Advantage is conducting an interesting project over at wherein they’re soliciting donations to record and press a super-limited edition 7″ single that their backers will be able to take home for their very own. There’s also various tiers of support – for example, chip in a measly $3K and the RAA will come to your home and play you your own show. They’re running this campaign for a couple months, almost exactly until their July 30 show at the Horseshoe to mark the release of Hometowns on Saddle Creek July 7.

Billboard talks to drummer Jody Stephens about the forthcoming Big Star box set Keep An Eye On The Sky, due out September 15.

Beatroute interviews Malajube, who’ll be playing a free show at Lee’s Palace on June 12.

Their June 16 show at Lee’s is already sold out, but if you’re ducat-less, fear not – Passion Pit have already scheduled another show at the Phoenix for August 11, tickets $15. I guess they were really serious about making up each of those canceled shows from earlier this year.

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

Boston’s Drug Rug have a date at the Horseshoe on August 18.

MP3: Drug Rug – “Day I Die”

Words? Mono and Maserati don’t need no stinking words – just volume and grandeur, and they’ll prove it October 2 at Lee’s Palace.

MP3: Mono – “Follow The Map”
MP3: Mono – “Ashes In The Snow”
MP3: Maserati – “The World Outside”
Video: Mono – “Follow The Map”
Video: Maserati – “This Is A Sight We Had One Day From The High Mountain”

And congratulations to Scott Marchi, who won the contest for the National t-shirt.