Posts Tagged ‘Shins’

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Oblique City

Phoenix rises with new festival and cross-border shopping opportunities

Photo By Arnaud PotierArnaud PotierAs It’s been kind of funny to see the incredulity that has that has met the announcement of Phoenix as a top-billed act as the Summer’s festival lineups are rolled out in the US and Europe, with people scoffing “since when are Phoenix festival headliners?”. The answer, of course, being “since they began headlining festivals” – which is to say this year, following the massive success of 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and in anticipation of the April 23 release of Bankrupt!.

This elevation is obviously good news for those headed to Coachella, Primavera, or what have you – as well as for the French band, who are finding themselves in the enviable position of being able to gold plate anything they like – but is less good news for cities who don’t host big A-list Summer festivals… which includes Toronto. And while the return of something even on the scale of Virgin Fest seems unlikely – though you may recall Phoenix played the first one way back in 2006 with a decidedly non-headlining, early afternoon slot – we’re actually doing pretty well with somewhat smaller to-dos, particularly ones that are in a position to align with more established festivals relatively nearby. This year’s inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Fest is drafting quite nicely off of Ottawa Bluesfest and Montreal Jazz Fest, and yesterday’s announcement of The Grove Fest, taking place August 3 at The Commons at Butler’s Barracks in Niagara-On-The-Lake – looks to take full advantage of being located midway between Montreal and Chicago on Osheaga/Lollapalooza weekend.

Phoenix will headline this event – if that wasn’t obvious from the opening paragraph – and be joined by a diverse bill including Girl Talk, Hot Chip, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pretty Lights, The Gaslight Anthem, Bob Mould, Earl Sweatshirt, Wavves, Icona Pop, Palma Violets, Young Empires, and Nightbox. It’s a lineup that spans the globe, is heavy on the dance party vibe but with a decent dollop of guitar angst. The bill actually feels like those Rogers Picnics that ran for a few years down at Fort York in that there’s something to satisfy everyone and something to annoy everyone – mostly Macklemore, I would imagine.

Early bird tickets go on sale today at 10AM for $74.50, and after those are gone regular passes are $79.50; VIP tickets are available for $140. And no, Niagara-On-The-Lake is NOT in Toronto, but a 90-minute straight shot down the QEW isn’t bad, and if you want to make a long weekend getaway out of it, Buffalo is just across the border. And you know you’ve been looking for an excuse to go to Buffalo.

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Phoenix.

Video: Phoenix – “Lisztomania”
Video: Girl Talk – “All Day”
Video: Hot Chip – “Night & Day”
Video: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Thrift Shop”
Video: Pretty Lights – “So Bright” (live)
Video: The Gaslight Anthem – “45”
Video: Bob Mould – “The Descent”
Video: Earl Sweatshirt – “Chum”
Video: Wavves – “Sail To The Sun”
Video: Icona Pop – “I Love It”
Video: Palma Violets – “Best Of Friends
Video: Young Empires – “White Doves”
Video: Nightbox – “Relocate You”

And just as the likes of Field Trip and TURF further entrench Garrison Commons at Fort York as one of Toronto’s go-to Summer concert venues and former War Of 1812 battlegrounds as great places to throw parties – if only Olympic Island had seen bloodshed, perhaps it would have remaind in favour – southern Ontario concertgoers may want to keep Niagara-On-The-Lake’s Butler’s Barracks in their GPS. On June 29, it will also hosting a one-day mini-fest headlined by City & Colour and supported by Metric, Jimmy Eat World, Serena Ryder, and Yukon Blonde. Tickets for that are $64.75 and on sale now.

MP3: Metric – “Gimme Sympathy”
MP3: Jimmy Eat World – “Bleed American”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Fire”
Video: City & Colour – “Comin’ Home”
Video: Serena Ryder – “Stomps”

And back to TURF, another batch of acts has been announced for the four-day event running July 4 to 7. We’ve got Yo La Tengo, who will be playing on the 7th since they will follow headliners Belle & Sebastian on tour after that, and also JD McPherson, The Barr Brothers, and Larry and his Flask. Each week finds the lineup getting stronger and more eclectic; by the time the schedule and ticket information is released later this month, it should be a doozy.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Stupid Things”
Video: JD McPherson – “Fire Bug”
Video: Larry & His Flask – “Call It What You Will”
Video: The Barr Brothers – “Beggar In The Morning”

And in club show announcements – no, not everything is happening at a national historic site: Peter Murphy will mark the 35th anniversary of Bauhaus with a set comprised entirely of material of his old band. That happens May 10 at Lee’s Palace, tickets $29.50 in advance.

Video: Bauhaus – “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”

Doldrums will play his first show in town since last week’s release of Lesser Evil at The Horseshoe on May 11 – you know, in case there wasn’t enough going on that night with Foals, Charles Bradley, and The Breeders elsewhere in town. Tickets are $10 in advance.

MP3: Doldrums – “Jump Up”

If you’ve been waiting for Los Angeles buzz band Haim to come to town and are a Vampire Weekend fan, congratulations – the sister act have been named as support for their May 16 show at The Sony Centre. And if you’re not a Vampire Weekend fan… sorry, but you can at least take comfort in the knowledge that you’re not a Vampire Weekend fan.

Video: Haim – “Falling”

While it’s all well and good that Laura Stevenson is coming back to town – I enjoyed her set opening for Maps & Atlases back in August 2010 – I’m more excited that Brooklyn’s Field Mouse will be opening up for her at The Drake on May 21; verily do they hit my indie-pop sweet spot. Tickets for that are $12.50 in advance.

Video: Laura Stevenson – “Master Of Art”
Video: Field Mouse – “Glass”

The Shins have decided to take last year’s Port Of Morrow for another spin – they’ll be at The Sound Academy on May 22, tickets $34.50 general admission and $44.50 VIP.

MP3: The Shins – “Know Your Onion!”

It’s like a cross-generational synth-pop summit; Diamond Rings will open up for Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark at the Danforth Music Hall, both on the previously announced July 11 date and the just-announced July 19 second date. Tickets for both are $35 in advance.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

No One Ever Sleeps

The Walkmen and Father John Misty aim to find out exactly how often is too often

Photo By Arno FrugierArno FrugierUsually when a band says, “we’ll see you soon” as they walk off the stage, it’s a mostly-empty platitude that means “we’ll see you when we’ve got a new record to push”, or “we’ll see you when our next single becomes a huge hit and allows us to come back and play a much bigger room”. For New York rock stalwarts The Walkmen and Los Angeles psych-folk bard Father John Misty, though, at least lately, it’s been an ironclad promise.

The Walkmen were here twice already this year – once in March at The Phoenix as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations, and again in August at the Molson Amphitheatre supporting both Florence & The Machine and their latest album Heaven – and Father John Misty has one-upped them, making his local debut at The Horseshoe in May, opening up for Youth Lagoon at The Opera House in July, and then returning again to headline Lee’s Palace just this past weekend, all in support of his debut Fear Fun. Which is great news for their fans if a bit hard on their fans’ pocketbooks.

But if you reside in that section of their fanbase Venn diagrams that intersect, the fact that they’re teaming up for a Winter tour should be an exciting one. It will bring them to The Danforth Music Hall on January 16 with ticket prices ranging from $33.50 to $45.50, which isn’t the cheapest, but when you consider the two-for-one value proposition, it’s a pretty good deal.

Le Blogotheque has a couple videos from The Walkmen’s 10th anniversary show in New York this Summer. Bullett, The Chicago Tribune, and The Phoenix have interviews with Josh Tillman of Father John Misty, who is continuing on his current tour.

MP3: The Walkmen – “Love Is Luck”
MP3: The Walkmen – “Line By Line”
MP3: Father John Misty – “Nancy From Now On”
MP3: Father John Misty – “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”

Grantland goes behind the scenes of the first video from Titus Andronicus’ Local Business. That record brings them to Lee’s Palace on November 27 and provides context for this interview at The Guardian

Video: Titus Andronicus – “In A Big City”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Band Of Horses, hitting Massey Hall on December 5.

Pitchfork has details on the solo debut from Christopher Owens, former frontman for Girls. Lysandre will be out on January 14 and a couple songs from it are available to stream.

Stream: Christopher Owens – “Lysandre’s Theme / Here We Go”

The first preview track from Local Natives’ new record Hummingbird, due out January 29, is now available to download. They’re at The Opera House on March 28.

MP3: Local Natives – “Breakers”

Though busy for the last while as being part of Thao & Mirah, Thao Nguyen has gotten back together with The Get Down Stay Down – though grammar geeks will find it interesting they’re now credited as “and” instead of “with” – and will release a new album in We The Common on February 5. Stream the first track below.

Stream: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – “Holy Roller”

Under The Radar points out that Telekinesis has, for shits and giggles, made a new Hallowe’en-themed song available to download.

MP3: Telekinesis – “Clock Strikes Midnight”

Loud & Quiet and The Huffington Post talk to John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

Paul Banks talks to Exclaim and Northern Transmissions about and offers Drowned In Sound a track-by-track guide to Banks.

The Shins’ contribution to the now-available Starbucks holiday comp Holidays Rule – a Paul McCartney cover – is now available to stream in whole thanks to Stereogum, and if that’s not enough Shins for you, the whole of their Austin City Limits episode is available to watch. And if that’s still not enough, well I can’t help you.

Stream: The Shins – “Wonderful Christmas Time” talks to Lou Barlow about keeping the balance between Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, and all that other stuff he does.

Mojo interviews Bob Mould.

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”

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Would That Not Be Nice

Divine Fits show their band is real

Photo via FacebookFacebookIt would seem to be a mathematical and scientific fact that Divine Fits – the band meticulously assembled from the Britt Daniel quarter of Spoon, the Dan Boeckner half of Handsome Furs/quarter of Wold Parade, and Sam Brown quarter of New Bomb Turks – would be a swaggering rock juggernaut, but what works on paper or even in a lab setting doesn’t necessarily translate to real world settings.

So with the August 28 release of their debut album A Thing Called Divine Fits still a few weeks off, the world got its first taste of Divine Fits the other night when in advance of their first announced gigs – one in the hometown of each of the three principals of the band – they hit the Continental Club in Austin and by all accounts, it went over like gangbusters. Ultra8201 has got some videos of their inaugural performance, while Spin, Columbus Alive, and Donewaiting have interviews with the band about who they are and how they came to be.

And in addition to those hometown performances, the band have begun booking shows in other cities – including Toronto. They’ll be at Lee’s Palace on September 5, tickets $20 and on sale now.

Stream: Divine Fits – “My Love Is Real”
Stream: Divine Fits – “Would That Not Be Nice”

Quite pleased to see that LA’s Tashaki Miyaki are finally coming to town, but not so happy that it’s tonight as a last-minute-ish support act for Florence & The Machine at The Molson Amphitheatre (it was originally supposed to be the UK’s Spector but I guess that didn’t end up happening). I saw them at SXSW and their dreamy, Mazzy Star-ish garage pop went down real good, yes it did. I don’t expect their presence to sell any tickets but if you’re already going, I would suggest showing up early enough to see them – they’re on at 8. Spin has a stream of a new song and Spoonfed an interview. Update: Thanks to Mechanical Forest Sound for pointing out that they’ve also got their own show at The Garrison on Saturday night. THAT you should go to.

MP3: Tashaki Miyaki – “Somethin’ Is Better Than Nothin'”
Stream: Tashaki Miyaki – “Paisley Spangled Jangler”

James Mercer of The Shins talks to Spinner about the joys of analog recording; they’re at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4 opening up for The Black Keys.

Interview and The Village Voice talk to Al Spx of Cold Specks. They play The Great Hall on August 8.

Chan Marshall of Cat Power discusses the heartbreak that led to her new record Sun with Exclaim. It’s out September 4.

Drowned In Sound conversates with J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. Their new album I Bet On Sky is out September 18 and they’re at Lee’s Palace on September 24, 25, and 26.

San Francisco’s Fresh & Onlys have made a date at The Shop Under Parts & Labour for November 14. Their new record Long Slow Dance is out September 4. The Bay Bridged has an interview and DIY a video session.

MP3: The Fresh & Onlys – “Waterfall”
MP3: The Fresh & Onlys – “Do You Believe In Destiny?”

The Line Of Best Fit, Macleans, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Age interview Metric. They play The Air Canada Centre on November 14.

The Skinny gets School Of Seven Bells to put on their reviewer hats for a batch of recent singles.

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Until I Am Whole

New album news from (Mountain) Goats, and (Band Of) Horses, and (Grizzly) Bear(s) – oh my!

Photo By DL AndersonD.L. AndersonA veritable deluge of new album information came across the desk in the last day or so, though it could well have been delivered in a box of animal crackers.

First and least expectedly – at least I wasn’t expecting one – is a new Mountain Goats album entitled Transcendental Youth due out on October 2. There’s no sample track yet – not even one of those album trailers that are de rigeur these days – but instead and arguably better are a couple of essays about the album, one by John Darnielle, and another by way of the official bio by John Hodgman.

You can see the full album art over at Exclaim and, as something to listen to and keeping with the animal theme, a track from their 2000 album The Coroner’s Gambit.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Baboon”

Having teased that it was coming but not offering much in the way of specifics, Band Of Horses have spilled the beans on album number four, to be entitled Mirage Rock and due out on September 18; it certainly gives some context to their show at Echo Beach on August 15 opening up for My Morning Jacket. Pitchfork has some specifics and the first video from the album is available below.

Video: Band Of Horses – “Knock Knock”

And while Grizzly Bear had gone so far as to not only confirm a release date for their next record – also September 18 – and book a tour – Massey Hall on September 26 – they’d been coy about the actual title of the record until now. It’s going to be called Shields and you can see the album art and track listing over at Gigwise.

MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Sleeping Ute”

And while I’m not a fan, it’d be kind of ridiculous to not note that Animal Collective have a new one entitled Centipede Hz; it’s out September 4 and the first single is available to stream.

Stream: Animal Collective – “Honeycomb”

Ty Segall isn’t named for any kind of animal but he works like a mule; Pitchfork has details on his third album of the year – Twins is out October 9, giving some context to his show with Thee Oh Sees at The Hoxton on September 26.

San Diego garage-poppers The Soft Pack have announced a couple dates at The Garrison on October 9 and 10 as part of a tour in support of their second full-length Strapped, due out September 25. The first single is available to stream.

Stream: The Soft Pack – “Saratoga”

And shifting gears to some more concert announcements: After selling the hell out of Lee’s Palace back in April before their debut Boys & Girls was even out – the show was a week after the release date but every ticket was gone weeks before then – Alabama Shakes are coming back for a gig at the much more spacious Kool Haus on October 2, tickets for that $26.50 in advance. Full Fall dates over at Pollstar.

MP3: Alabama Shakes – “I Found You”
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “You Ain’t Alone”
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”

Of all the band hats that he has to choose from, Conor Oberst has decided to hit the road as Conor Oberst for a show at Massey Hall on December 8. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10AM and run from $39.50 to $60.50.

MP3: Conor Oberst – “Danny Callahan”
MP3: Bright Eyes – “Lover I Don’t Have To Love”
MP3: Desaparecidos – “The Happiest Place On Earth”

Major, the second album from Fang Island, is streaming over at NPR ahead of its official release on July 24.

MP3: Fang Island – “Sisterly”
MP3: Fang Island – “Asunder”
Stream: Fang Island / Major

The title track of Matt & Kim’s next album Let’s Go – release date still to be determined – is now available to download.

MP3: Matt & Kim – “Let’s Go”

NPR and The New York Times have interviews with James Murphy, who reveals that LCD Soundsystem may not be quite completely dead just yet. But close. And then, luggage. The LCD doc Shut Up And Play The Hits is back in Toronto for a couple screenings next week at The Bloor Cinema, on July 18 and 19.

As promised, Luna’s seminal 1992 album Bewitched is getting its first-ever pressing on vinyl this Summer. It’s out August 21 and is limited to an edition of 2000, so it’s a good thing you can pre-order it now.

MP3: Luna – “Tiger Lily”

A Heart Is A Spade asks a few quick questions of Peggy from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.

The Shins have a new video from Port Of Morrow. They open up for The Black Keys at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4.

Video: The Shins – “It’s Only Life”

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with Sharon Van Etten, who’s in town at the Phoenix on July 31.

PopMatters talks to Ira Elliot of Nada Surf.

Rolling Stone and The Boston Globe talk to Mission Of Burma about their new record Unsound, out now and streaming in full at Spinner.

MP3: Mission Of Burma – “Second Television”
Stream: Mission of Burma / Unsound

The Village Voice talks to Eric Bachmann of Archers Of Loaf.

PopMatters interviews Eisley.

Spin has posted their latest cover story on Cali power couple Best Coast and Wavves and thrown in a photo shoot gallery for good measure. Best Coast are at The Phoenix on July 21.