Posts Tagged ‘REM’

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Bringing It Back Home

The Brother Kite at Lit, New York City – CMJ

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangNormally I try to cover stuff chronologically, but in summing up my time in New York City this past weekend, I’m going to jump around a little bit for the sake of grouping things together. And so I’ll start off at the end of Thursday night in the basement of a little club called Lit in the East Village.

Providence’s The Brother Kite would be well within their rights to ask me to stop coming to their gigs. In each of the three times I’ve now seen them play, their set was… marred by circumstances beyond anyone’s control. The first, last year at my Pop Montreal showcase, was a bit of a mess on too many levels to get into. The second at this year’s SxSW was significantly better but with singer Patrick Boutwell dealing with a cold, they still weren’t in top form. And this past Thursday night, at their CMJ showcase, their supposed headlining slot at the showcase for their label Clairecords appeared at real risk of being cut down to nothing because of every preceding act running long. It’s not my fault, I swear.

They were eventually given a truncated but still decent-length set with which they showcased both new material from the can’t-come-soon-enough follow-up to Waiting For The Time To Be Right alongside highlights from that utter gem of a record (one-liner for those who haven’t heard it – Ride crossed with The Beach Boys, but better). The new stuff sounded good – similar enough to the old in the ways that matter but also exploring enough new ground to not be a retread – but I still loved hearing the Time songs the most. And considering they were playing once again in less than optimal conditions – they hardly got any soundcheck despite having a decidedly complex equipment setup – they once again delivered a superb performance. I can’t imagine how good they’d sound if they were playing under optimal conditions. Though this is a band that gives new meaning to the phrase “flying under the radar”, it’s certainly not for lack of ability – their songwriting and performance both live and on record are sublime.

The band have been documenting the recording of the new record over at their MySpace blog.

Photos: The Brother Kite @ Lit, New York City – October 23, 2008
MP3: The Brother Kite – “Get On, Me”
MP3: The Brother Kite – “I’m Not The Only One”
Video: The Brother Kite – “I’m Not The Only One”
MySpace: The Brother Kite

Yuki Chikudate of Asobi Seksu tells The Georgia Straight she doesn’t buy into the idea of an ongoing shoegaze revival. Their new album Hush will surely do nothing to propagate that idea when it’s released in February.

The Montreal Gazette, JAM and BlogTO converse with Murray Lightburn of The Dears. While over at This Is Fake DIY, the band’s other/better half Natalia Yanchak ponders the meaning(lessness) of labels.

R.E.M. have a new video.

Video: R.E.M. – “Until The Day Is Done”

Sweden’s Love Is All, on the cusp of releasing A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night on November 11, have padded out their tour dates and will now be hitting the Horseshoe on December 11, tickets $11.50.

MP3: Love Is All – “Wishing Well”
Video: Love Is All – “Wishing Well”

Monday, October 20th, 2008


R.E.M.'s Murmur being reissued

Photo via Murmur

Those fancy double-disc deluxe edition reissue sets have become fairly commonplace recently as the labels try to take advantage of the type of people willing to buy the same album over and over again while they’re still alive, but that doesn’t mean they’re not – at least sometimes – getting it right. Case in point, the announcement that R.E.M.’s debut album Murmur will be getting said treatment this Fall.

Pitchfork has your specifics, but basically you’re looking at the standard remastered album on disc one – maybe the same remaster job as the last couple times Murmur was re-released? – and for the second disc, a complete live show recorded here in Toronto circa 1983. The gig was held at a no-longer existent dive called Larry’s Hideaway which if memory serves (and by memory I mean Google – I was 8 at the time and wouldn’t have had the experience with Toronto’s live music dives that I do now) was located just a few blocks from here at Carlton and Jarvis. Anyone know if the place still exists in some form and if so, what it is now? I’m curious.

The Murmur deluxe edition is out November 25. Update: Blurt has some thoughts on what they view as a flawed reissue (thanks to Eugene for the link).

Video: R.E.M. – “Radio Free Europe”

Though guitarist Damian Cox has recovered from his stroke well enough to blog, he’s not sure if or when he’ll be able to play guitar again so as a result, The Long Blondes have called it a day. Details at NME. Singles, the compilation of their early singles, is out in the UK today.

MP3: The Long Blondes – “Once And Never Again”
MP3: The Long Blondes – “Here Comes The Serious Bit”
MP3: The Long Blondes – “Guilt”

Relix has specifics on M Ward’s new record Hold Time, due out February 17.

Pitchfork has an interview with a surprisingly lucid and non-crazy pills Kevin Barnes. Of Montreal’s new one Skeletal Lamping is out tomorrow and they’re at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 28.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune talks to Lucinda Williams.

Pop Reckoning and Paste interview Rachael Yamagata.

Sloan’s Chris Murphy talks to The Halifax Chronicle-Herald. They’re at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night.

So while I usually try and actually get a substantive post up for Mondays, this week will instead kick off only the slim bits above and a weak-ass apology. Rather than actually do any listening or writing this weekend, I was instead coding, trying to get a fairly significant upgrade to this here site working and while it’s tantalizingly close, it’s not there yet. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the day after. Hopefully before I leave for New York, at the very least.