Posts Tagged ‘Pat Jordache’

Monday, June 20th, 2011

NXNE 2011 Day One

The Postelles, Suuns, Lower Dens and more at NXNE

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhy yes, it was NXNE this past weekend in our fair city of Toronto. And yes, I was out partaking in the festivities, even going so far as to participate in some Wednesday night programming in camping out at The Garrison, which was hosting a nicely random bill of acts.

Opening things up was Pat Jordache, previously known for his associations with tUnE-yArDs and Sister Suvi but now looking to establish his own (pseudo)name with his debut album Future Songs. Those coming to them from the aforementioned connections weren’t lost, however, as there were echoes of Merril Garbus’ breakout project in some of their Afro-beat rhythms and Pat Gregoire’s affected baritone vocals but to my ears, Jordache and company sounded more comfortable in a more conventional, New Wave rock mode. And while it’s getting a bit common, it’s hard to argue with the impact that double drummers have on a live performance – when they’re as lockstep as Jordache’s were, it’s immensely powerful.

Photos: Pat Jordache @ The Garrison – June 15, 2011
MP3: Pat Jordache – “Phantom Limb”
Video: Pat Jordache – “Phantom Limb”

The fact that Baltimore’s Lower Dens was going to be playing was one of the main motivating factors in getting out of the house; I’d seen them at SXSW but that was a particularly short set and my affection for their debut Twin Hand Movement had only grown in the interim. So that they were disappointing was, well, disappointing. It was partly their fault and partly not, the latter because the mix was so loud and bass-heavy that the mind-bending, fuzz-laden intricacies of their on-record arrangements, which represented so much of their appeal, were frustratingly obscured and the former because, well, the PA didn’t force them to just meander through their material and look disinterested in the process. There were moments of clarity where they either pulled it together or the sonic murk cleared up or both and then, the results were impressive, but when someone asked later if they should see Lower Dens’ show at Lee’s the next night, all I could honestly answer was, “no, but do pick up the record”.

Photos: Lower Dens @ The Garrison – June 15, 2011
MP3: Lower Dens – “Tea Lights”
MP3: Lower Dens – “Hospice Gates”

If you’d seen my face upon learning that The Postelles’ just-released self-titled debut was produced by Albert Hammond Jr of The Strokes, you may well have been impressed by the complete lack of surprise in my expression. Because if you were to describe The Postelles’ sound in one word, it’d be “Strokes”. If you were allowed a whole sentence, it’d be along the lines of “The Strokes in the ’50s”. Reductive, sure, but also true. The New York quartet has that same dry, too cool aesthetic but rather than poach the ’70s punk scene for their influences, they seek to invoke the era of Elvis and Buddy, though made louder and slicker for modern audiences. And by and large it worked, as their set was fun and high energy but by bringing little new to the table, they also felt disposable even after hearing their material just once. Spinner has an interview with the band.

Photos: The Postelles @ The Garrison – June 15, 2011
MP3: The Postelles – “123 Stop”
MP3: The Postelles – “Hold On”
Video: The Postelles – “Sleep On The Dance Floor”
Video: The Postelles – “White Night”

Montreal’s Suuns weren’t the last band on the bill but they were the final act of my evening’s programme, and a wholly satisfying one at that. I’ve been keeping tabs on the outfit since they went by Zeroes and checked in last Fall, just before the release of their debut Zeroes QC and if possible, they’ve increased the amount of tension and intensity quotient of their distinctive electro-post-punk sound. Frontman Ben Shemi still looks like he’s in some kind of intestinal distress whenever he steps up to the mic and his tightly-wound vocals back that diagnosis up, but overtop his band’s throbbing, insistent analog pulse it’s a brooding yet heady stew of sounds.

Photos: Suuns @ The Garrison – June 15, 2011
MP3: Suuns – “Up Past The Nursery”
MP3: Suuns – “Arena”
Video: Suuns – “Pie IX”
Video: Suuns – “Up Past The Nursery”

Finally some good news on the Wild Flag front; two bits, actually. In addition to announcing a September 13 release date for their self-titled debut, a Merge release announced a Fall tour that included an October 11 date at Lee’s Palace. I had the pleasure of catching them at SXSW and you better believe that the rock will be brought.

MP3: Wild Flag – “Glass Tambourine”

Uptown profiles Blonde Redhead.

The Antlers have released a new video from Burst Apart.

Video: The Antlers – “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out”

Aquarium Drunkard talks to The Rosebuds, in town at the Sound Academy on August 9 opening up for Bon Iver. They’ve also got a new video from Loud Planes Fly Low.

Video: The Rosebuds – “Woods”

Clash talks to Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, whose new jam Bon Iver, Bon Iver is officially out tomorrow.

NPR and Daytrotter have sessions with The Head & The Heart.

MTV reports that Janelle Monae is ready to get to work on her second full-length album.

The Guardian profiles Brassland Records, co-founded by the Dessner twins of The National, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats walks The Atlantic through an early draft of the song, “Dance Music”.

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Straight Up The Dial

Wavelength turns 11, throws a party

Photo via MyspaceMyspace Toronto’s venerable Wavelength might have closed out their weekly showcase series last year in favour of intermittent events throughout the year, but they’ve not given up their tradition of throwing a killer birthday party or five. As they’ve done in years past, Wavelength Eleven (or event #515 if you’re keeping track) will commandeer venues around this city from February 16 through 20 and fill them with many of the finest acts the city and outlying regions have to offer, spanning all styles and genres, frequently on the same bill.

I missed last year’s festivities but hit up one of the 9th anniversary shows in 2009 and it’s interesting to see that one of the undercard acts at that show – Hooded Fang – has already graduated to headline status. This they’ve done on the strength of their debut Album, released last October to considerable praise. And indeed, it’s an impressive first effort that reflects the remarkable rate at which they’ve improved as a band since first making noise in late ’08/early ’09 – I saw them three times over the course of 2009 and each time, most flaws I’d have pointed out for the time before had been sorted without diminishing the amount of fun they were clearly having on stage. Album‘s orchestrally-inclined power pop still tends a bit more to the precious/twee side of things than I’d like and can feel a bit samey over the course of its dozen songs, but the degree of songwriting, musicianship and genuine joy it captures is undeniable. As was clear in each of those live reviews from 2009, big things seem an inevitability for this crew.

Hooded Fang will be closing out the Saturday night of Wavelength Eleven at The Great Hall. The rest of the week’s events look like this – tickets for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are $11 while Wednesday and Sunday are PWYC. There is also a $33 all-access passes available. Check in at Wavelength for descriptions of each act. has an interview with Hooded Fang.

Wednesday, February 16 @ Teranga – Anagram, Bruised Knees, The Guest Bedroom, The Jim Storie Juniors
Thursday, February 17 @ The Music Gallery РKite Hill, Eiyn Sof, Gordon Grdina’s East Van Strings, Not The Wind, Not The Flag
Friday, February 18 @ The Steam Whistle Roundhouse – Woodhands, Minotaurs, Pat Jordache, Romo Roto, Doldrums
Saturday, February 19 @ The Great Hall – Hooded Fang, Maylee Todd, Little Girls, Eric Chenaux Electric Trio, Grimes
Sunday, February 20 @ The Garrison – Lullabye Arkestra, Neon Windbreaker, Simply Saucer, Ghostlight

MP3: Hooded Fang – “Laughing”
MP3: Hooded Fang – “Mutant Beart”
MP3: Woodhands – “Dissembler”
MP3: Eric Chenaux – “Warm Charleston”
MP3: Little Girls – “Growing”
MP3: Lullabye Arkestra – “We Fuck The Night”

In other just-announced live music happenings – guitar goddess Marnie Stern and prog-rockers Tera Melos will be at Wrongbar on March 8 as part of an extensive North American tour.

MP3: Marnie Stern – “For Ash”
MP3: Tera Melos – “Frozen Zoo”

We’re still some ways out from having a Canadian Musicfest schedule to pore over, but you’d be just silly to not keep staying at the Opera House all night – that’s the Billions showcase – circled on your calendar. The lineup will read like Land Of Talk, Hollerado, Cadence Weapon, Isis (ex. Thunderheist) and Little Scream, so while club-hopping is part of the CMF experience, there’s something to be said for staying put all night.

MP3: Land Of Talk – “Quarry Hymns”
MP3: Hollerado – “Americanarama”
MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Real Estate”

And I’m very excited that Sharon Van Etten, after many visits in a support capacity, will be playing her first headlining show here at the Drake on April 12 with Little Scream supporting – there’s a recording of her show at the Bowery in New York City last week up at NYC Taper. You may recall that her epic was one of my favourite albums of 2010, and she’s already started work on the follow-up with Aaron Dessner of The National.

MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Love More”

The New Zealand Herald talks to The National’s Matt Berninger about their breakout year of 2010.

There’s a new video from Retribution Gospel Choir’s album 2.

Video: Retribution Gospel Choir – “Your Bird”

The Skinny talks to Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam about his new record Kiss Each Other Clean, due out January 25.

Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance discuss their visual artistic pursuits with Design Sponge.

Inara George of The Bird & The Bee chats with Spinner.

Pitchfork has a feature interview with Dan Bejar of Destroyer. His sax-y new album Kaputt arrives January 25 and he plays Lee’s Palace on March 31.

The Line Of Best Fit and NOW talk to Jonas Bonnetta of Evening Hymns about their new, nude video for “Dead Deer” from Spirit Guides. The band are currently out in the wilds of Ontario somewhere recording their next album, already dubbed Spectral Dusk – the proceedings are being documented on their Tumblr.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Dead Deer”

Diamond Rings’ John O’Regan discusses the therapeutic aspects of music with Spinner. He’s at the Sound Academy January 26 opening up for Robyn.