Posts Tagged ‘Silversun Pickups’

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”

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone

The Wooden Sky at Sonic Boom in Toronto

Photo by Frank YangFrank YangIt’s funny that though I offered readers an introduction to The Wooden Sky just last month, watching them play an in-store at Sonic Boom on Monday night, the eve of release for their new album If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone, it felt like I was the one being introduced to them for the first time.

Previously, I’d regarded them as very good with moments of great roots-rock band – terrific at what they did but unlikely to turn anyone’s world upside down. And initial listens to the new record backed that up – it was a definite step forward for the band in terms of concept and execution, but not a giant leap. But this understated show in the sweaty basement of a local record store was a real eye- and ear-opener. Just coming off a cross-country tour that saw them playing unusual and intimate venues – not for nothing was it called the “Bedrooms and Backtstreets Tour” – The Wooden Sky were perfectly comfortable in the cozy setting and their performance mesmerizing.

Drawing heavily on the new record with a couple selections from When Lost At Sea and a Townes Van Zandt cover thrown in for good measure, The Wooden Sky focused on their quieter side to stunning effect. In stripping things down and trading some of the crescendos on the record for a slow burn, they were able to emphasize their more emotionally resonant side. And while Gavin Gardiner’s raw twang has always been front and centre, I was particularly impressed with how effective and musically sympathetic his bandmates were – guitarist/keyboardist Simon Walker, in particular, was nothing short of astonishing with his high harmonies and the tones and textures he coaxed out of his instruments. It was like he was able to take the ghosts and bittersweet memories that inhabit Gardiner’s lyrics and give them sound and form.

In talking about the Wooden Sky in the past, I inevitable mention that I’ve been following them for over half a decade, as though that gave me some particular insight into the band that newcomers might not have. Now I think that it might have actually clouded my perceptions, convincing me I knew what to expect and what they were capable of when I quite obviously didn’t. Either way, with If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone and the way they’re translating it to the stage, The Wooden Sky are set to take their place as one of the finest bands this city has to offer – or maybe they already were, and we’re only now noticing. has a rooftop video performance with the band from late last year and the same director – Scott Cudmore – accompanied the band on their recent tour, filming all the while – that footage will be coming out in the coming weeks. There’s also an interview with the band at Sky. Aside from an appearance at the Friends In Bellwoods launch party at the Tranzac on Saturday, The Wooden Sky have no upcoming hometown dates. Americans can get a taste in October, however, as they’re heading south as support for Elliott Brood.

Photos: The Wooden Sky @ Sonic Boom – August 24, 2009
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Something Hiding For Us In The Night”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “North Dakota”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “The Wooden Sky”
Video: The Wooden Sky – “Oh My God (It Still Means A Lot To Me)”
Video: The Wooden Sky – “When Lost At Sea”

That Elliott Brood tour covers more than the US – they’re also going to be traversing most of Canada this Fall including an October 30 date at the Opera House.

MP3: Elliott Brood – “Write It All Down For You”

Final Fantasy recently taped a Black Cab Session while in the UK for the Field Day Festival. Final Fantasy plays an unrevealed location in Toronto September 5 and his new album Heartland is out in early 2010. Ambiguous much?

Thick Specs and Exclaim have interviews with Amy Millan, whose Masters Of The Burial is out September 22 and who will be at the Mod Club on October 14.

Cover boys for this month’s Exclaim are Two Hours Traffic. Their new one Territory is out September 8 and they play Lee’s Palace on October 16.

Spinner is streaming all ten nominees for the Polaris Music Prize this week – though I suspect they’re only available in Canada. The prize will be awarded on September 21.

Blurt talks to Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal.

Bradley’s Almanac is sharing live MP3s from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, recorded in Vermont way back in February on Valentine’s Day. Awwwww. They’ll be at the Horseshoe on September 7.

Laundromatinee is sharing a video session with The Avett Brothers. Look for them at the Horseshoe on September 30 and their new album I And Love And You in stores the day before.

Magnet plays over/under with The National. Interestingly, four of their five most overrated picks are some of my least favourite National tunes – I stand by “Green Gloves” – and their five most underrated are some of my most favourite. Make of that what you will.

The Wooden Birds have released a new MP3 and video from Magnolia. They’ve also announced Fall tour dates with Great Lake Swimmers but nothing in this neck of the woods.

MP3: The Wooden Birds – “Hometown Fantasy”
Video: The Wooden Birds – “Hometown Fantasy”

Uber-producer John Leckie reflects on the making of The Stone Roses’ debut album for The Quietus.

Grand Crew has an acoustic session with Camera Obscura. They’re at the Phoenix on November 26.

The Quietus talks to The xx. Their debut XX is out domestically on October 20 and they play the Phoenix on December 2.

The Mars Volta have a date at The Kool Haus on October 4 in support of their latest album Octahedron.

Video: The Mars Volta – “Since We’ve Been Wrong”

Silversun Pickups’ new record Swoon bring them to the Sound Academy on October 15 with Cage The Elephant and An Horse as support, tickets $29.50. There’s interviews with the band at, The Examiner and The Georgia Straight.

MP3: Silversun Pickups – “Panic Switch” (Bobby Evans remix)
Video: Silversun Pickups – “Panic Switch”

Rain Machine, the new project from TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone, will release their self-titled debut on September 8 and play Lee’s Palace on October 19 as part of a North American tour. Pitchfork premiered the first track from the album.

MP3: Rain Machine – “Give Blood”

La Roux returns to Toronto for her third show in seven months with a gig at the Guvernment on October 23, tickets $20.

MP3: La Roux – “Bulletproof” (Joe & Will Ask remix)
Video: La Roux – “Bulletproof”

The King Khan & BBQ Show will release Invisible Girl on November 3 and tour to support, including a December 4 date at Lee’s Palace.