Posts Tagged ‘Son Volt’

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Silver Age

Bob Mould and Now, Now at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangUnderstand that I am in no way, shape, or form complaining, but I was pretty surprised when it was announced that Bob Mould would be playing The Horseshoe this past Friday night. Not that one legendary artist doesn’t deserve a legendary venue, but considering that his profile arguably higher than its been in years thanks to a 2012 that included the 20th anniversary Sugar reissues and tour, the publication of his memoirs, and his best-received new album in some time with Silver Age, to say nothing of the fact that he hadn’t played Toronto in almost half a decade, I thought he’d have been booked into a larger room. At least something on the scale of Lee’s or The Mod Club, where he played the last two times through including the last time I saw him here at home in Fall 2005. But no, it was to be The Horseshoe and so unsurprisingly it was sold out and jammed and primed to go off.

Amidst the… older demographic that was gathered to see Mould celebrate his 30-plus year career, were a smattering of decidedly younger attendees who you could reasonably assume were here to see the opener. Minneapolis trio Now, Now – formerly Now, Now Every Children – have been through town a number of times, but usually attached to bills of a more pop-punk-emo persuasion. That’s why, despite having liked them for a few years, I’d only finally gotten to see them live at SXSW 2011 where I wouldn’t have to sit a half-dozen sets of tattoos and asymmetrical haircuts. Which is not to say that that’s not their natural scene – their thoughtful grunge-pop with downcast lyrics but delivered with big smiles is definitely of a genre – but thanks to Cacie Dalager’s terrifically emotive vocals and their sharp sense of melody, they’re also better than most of that genre and can definitely break to broader appeal. Their latest album Threads was both produced and released by Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla, and his band’s path is one that, with a few lucky breaks and soundtrack placements, Now, Now could reasonably follow them down.

Local fans might have felt disappointed that last year’s Copper Blue tour, wherein Mould, bassist Jason Narducy, and drummer Jon Wurster played the whole of 1992’s seminal Sugar debut in its entirety, didn’t come to town – I was lucky enough to catch one of those shows at SXSW 2012 – but if anyone thought that meant he wouldn’t continue to lean heavily on one of his most-loved records… well they’d have been dead wrong. Mould could have exulted in the roaring response from the audience as he took the stage – it’d have been well-earned – but instead he and his band got straight to work, tearing through side A of Copper Blue in sequence with brutal efficiency. This accomplished two things – it got the audience further worked up into a sweaty lather and got those songs out of the way.

The next block of songs focused on Silver Age and confirmed that these compositions were, as many have pointed out, Mould’s most Sugar-like in years, their balance of melody and white noise existing quite comfortably alongside the older numbers. The new material also elicited more furious guitar soloing from Mould, perhaps him feeling these songs still had room to improvise whereas the Sugar songs were fixed for the ages. Silver Age properly serviced, Sugar material began creeping back into the set, first with a couple of unexpected songs from Beaster – I don’t know that I’ve ever heard any Beaster material live – and then “Your Favorite Thing” from the underrated File Under: Easy Listening.

Finally, inevitably, it was time to reach into the Hüsker Dü songbook for “I Apologize” and “Chartered Trips” before wrapping back in the 21st century with Silver Age standout “Keep Believing”. The first encore contained the only non-Silver Age selection from his solo repertoire – “Egoverride” from his 1996 eponymous effort – and one more Copper Blue selection in “If I Can’t Change Your Mind”, while the second encore deviated from their regular set by inviting local music scribe Sam Sutherland onstage to lead a quick and furious cover of The Viletones’ “Screaming Fist” before closing for good with another trifecta of Hüsker songs.

It was a pulverizing set start to finish – the 15 songs of the main set clocked in at under an hour – but with Mould’s glasses fogged and shirt soaked from the sweat and steam of the crowd and Narducy and Wurster somehow managing to match his energy joule for joule, there was no question they’d given their all. And it answered the question of why they played a smaller room than they probably could have – small space, huge pressure, massive explosion. Legendary.

NOW and Backstage Rider also have reviews of the show and The Sydney Morning Herald an interview. Mould is back in the region on August 3 as part of The Grove Festival in Niagara-On-The-Lake.

Photos: Bob Mould, Now, Now @ The Horseshoe – March 1, 2013
MP3: Bob Mould – “The Silence Between Us”
MP3: Now, Now – “Dead Oaks”
MP3: Now, Now – “Thread”
MP3: Now, Now – “School Friend”
MP3: Now, Now – “Neighbors”
MP3: Now, Now – “Roommates”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Everyone You Know”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Sleep Through Summer”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Cars”
Video: Bob Mould – “Star Machine”
Video: Bob Mould – “The Descent”
Video: Bob Mould – “Egoverride”
Video: Bob Mould – “Slay/Sway”
Video: Bob Mould – “It’s Too Late”
Video: Sugar – “Gee Angel”
Video: Sugar – “Believe What You’re Saying”
Video: Sugar – “Tilted”
Video: Sugar – “Helpless”
Video: Sugar – “Changes”
Video: Sugar – “If I Can’t Change Your Mind”
Video: Hüsker Dü – “Could You Be The One”
Video: Hüsker Dü – “Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely”
Video: Hüsker Dü – “Makes No Sense At All”
Video: Hüsker Dü – “Love Is All Around”
Video: Now, Now – “Dead Oaks”
Video: Now, Now – “Thread”
Video: Now, Now Every Children – “Friends With My Sister”

Caitlin Rose has marked the release this week of her new record The Stand-In with a new video, premiered over at Billboard. She plays The Garrison on April 5.

Video: Caitlin Rose – “Only A Clown”

Brooklyn’s The Men are the topic of conversations at Consequence Of Sound, The Village Voice, Spin, and Interview what with their new record New Moon coming out this week.

The new Son Volt album Honky Tonk, out this week, is available to stream in whole over at American Songwriter. Blurt, The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, and The Riverfront Times have feature pieces on the band.

Stream: Son Volt / Honky Tonk

Ra Ra Riot have premiered a new video from their latest Beta Love. They play Lee’s Palace tonight – March 6 – and are back on June 8 as part of the Field Trip fest at Fort York.

Video: Ra Ra Riot – “Dance With Me”

Drowned In Sound talks to Alan Sparkhawk of Low. They play The Great Hall on March 16 and The Invisible Way is out March 19.

The Dumbing Of America has an interview with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, who are prepping for the March 19 release of their new album Specter Af The Feast by giving away an EP for the first single from their website. They play The Kool Haus on May 9.

Also at Dumbing Of America – an interview with Local Natives, who’re at The Phoenix on March 28.

The Black Angels are streaming a new song off their forthcoming Indigo Meadow, out April 2, with some supporting words at Rolling Stone. The new album brings them to The Danforth Music Hall on April 13.

Stream: The Black Angels – “Evil Things”

Even though The Flaming Lips have a new record in The Terror coming out April 2, Pitchfork wants to talk about their old albums, offering up a video oral history of The Soft Bulletin.

Steve Earle has released the first video from his forthcoming album The Low Highway, due out April 16.

Video: Steve Earle – “Invisible”

CBC Music talks to The Thermals, whose have a bunch of reissues out this week and a new record in Desperate Ground out April 16.

Billboard and Rolling Stone have features on Yeah Yeah Yeahs and their new record Mosquito, which comes out April 16.

Exclaim and Men’s Journal has questions for Jim James. He is at The Phoenix on April 24.

Saturday Looks Good To Me have announced details of their comeback album One Kiss Ends It All, out May 21, and made the first song from it available to stream.

Stream: Saturday Looks Good To Me – “Invisible Friend”

Consequence Of Sound has details on the 25th anniversary reissue of R.E.M.’s Green, which will come with the requisite remastering and second disc of period-correct live show. It’s out May 14.

Entertainment Weekly reports The Hold Steady will contribute a new song to the soundtrack of the upcoming season of Game Of Thrones. The show premieres March 31 and they play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Fort York on July 4.

NPR has a video session with Yo La Tengo, back in town at the Toronto Urban Roots Fest on July 7.

Spinner interviews Ted Leo on the occasion of Hearts Of Oak‘s tenth anniversary.

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013


Old new Hüsker Dü for you

Photo By Mark PetersonMark PetersonIt’s not often you see the words “new” and “Hüsker Dü” together – unless they’re followed, perhaps, but the word “lawsuit” – but that’s what we’re getting as part of the salvo of limited edition releases for this year’s Record Store Day. Okay, it’s not like Bob Mould, Greg Norton, and Grant Hart have secretly buried their many hatchets to follow the lead of fellow Minneapolis legends The Replacements and recorded new material, but they – or those who operate on their behalf – have unearthed some of their very earliest recordings circa 1980, originally released as their first 7″ and decades out of print, and will release them as a limited edition double-7″ on April 20.

Rolling Stone is currently streaming one of the tracks – a Grant Hart vocal which predates their discovery of hardcore and/or methamphetamines, and a far cry from the fury captured on their 1982 debut album Land Speed Record. It’s not an essential document by any means, but one that’s a hell of a lot more interesting than the twice-the-price coloured vinyl edition of a current album you already own that makes up most of the RSD exclusives.

Stream: Hüsker Dü – “Statues”

Dinosaur Jr have rolled out a new video from last year’s I Bet On Sky. And yes, that is Henry Rollins.

Video: Dinosaur Jr – “Pierce The Morning Rain”

Bad Religion have a new album in True North, out today and streamable below, and not one but two local shows coming up in support. They’re at The Horseshoe on January 27 for a private performance to which you can win tickets from CFNY, and then they’re back on March 31 for a date at The Kool Haus as part of the North American tour. Rolling Stone and Billboard have interviews with Brett Gurewitz about the new record and CBC Music with Jay Bentley.

MP3: Bad Religion – “True North”
Stream: Bad Religion / True North

As widely reported last week, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have confirmed the April 16 release of their fourth album Mosquito. Karen O talks to Pitchfork about what to expect from the new record and Rolling Stone talks to the artist responsible for the rather polarizing album art about what he was thinking.

NPR has a stream of II, the new album from Unknown Mortal Orchestra which comes out February 5. They’ll be at Wrongbar on March 3 to play it for you live.

Stream: Unknown Mortal Orchestra / II

Brooklyn-based Here We Go Magic spin-off TEEN – all caps mandatory – will bring their 2012 debut In Limbo to The Drake Underground on February 15.

MP3: TEEN – “Electric”

Divine Fits have a new video from A Thing Called Divine Fits.

Video: Divine Fits – “My Love Is Real”

Today marks the release of Ra Ra Riot’s third album – the rather less orchestral and more electronic Beta Love – and it’s available to stream in whole via YouTube, and there’s features on the band at Spin and Magnet. They’re at Lee’s Palace on March 6 and back in town June 8 as part of the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Fort York.

Stream: Ra Ra Riot / Beta Love

The National Post, Rolling Stone, Consequence Of Sound, CBC Music, and Interview all have feature interviews with Yo La Tengo.

Been wondering what Will Sheff has been up to? Presumably writing the next Okkervil River record, sure, but also establishing a new electronic-y side-project as Lovestreams. The first fruits of that labour is now available in both MP3 and video form.

MP3: Lovestreams – “Shock Corridor”
Video: Lovestreams – “Shock Corridor”

The 405 has an interview with Benjamin Gibbard and boy I bet they’re wishing they’d pressed a little harder about the possibility of a Postal Service reunion.

Of course, maybe they could have just done as Drowned In Sound did and just get Gibbard, Jimmy Tamborello, and Jen Wood to provide an oral history of The Postal Service’s watershed indie-pop opus Give Up on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. It’s pretty much assured that the duo will be reconvening for some live dates this year and a deluxe edition of Give Up is en route but no one should be expecting new material. Of course, no one was expecting live dates either, so who knows. Considering his solo album was mostly old material, Ben may have some recent stuff he’s been looking to get off his chest by way of song. Update: The Give Up anniversary edition is out April 9 and has two unreleased songs on it along with other stuff.

The Quietus interviews John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

Son Volt will release a new album entitled Honky Tonk on March 5. American Songwriter has details on the release, whose title is as much description of the contents as a name.

LA Music Blog, The Times-Picayune, Dallas Observer, and Blurt talk to Joey Burns of Calexico.

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Rolling Blackouts

The Go! Team are ready to go

Photo by Sarah BowlesSarah BowlesIf there’s any upside – and I type this knowing that there’s not – to the fact that the holidays are over and it’s back to the workaday week, it’s that my inbox and RSS reader are once again filling up with interesting news bits (and tonnes of uninteresting ones) rather than lists upons lists and year-end retrospectives. And that includes concert announcements, of which there were more than a few yesterday.

Including a return to North America for the first time in a couple years from Brighton, UK’s premiere electro/indie/hip-hop/dance/rock party-all-over outfit The Go! Team. Their third record Rolling Blackouts will be out on February 1 and while their official tour itinerary only goes as far as the end of March and doesn’t cross the Atlantic, a Toronto show at the Opera House on April 10 has just been announced (tickets $23.50), so expect more dates to be announced in the coming days. Spinner has an interview with chief songwriter Ian Parton about the shift in lyrical direction on the new record, while samples of said album can be had via the video for the lead track and the stream of next single “Buy Nothing Day” – featuring vocals from Best Coast’s Beth Cosentino – over at The Guardian.

Stream: The Go! Team – “Buy Nothing Day”
Video: The Go! Team – “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.”

Also coming to town, fond of exclamations and parties are Vancouver’s You Say Party – though apparently the “!” was dropped in their recent name change – and Montreal’s Young Galaxy, whose new record Shapeshifting has got a lot of folks talking in advance of its February 8 release. Both are at Lee’s Palace on March 4, tickets $15.50 in advance.

MP3: You Say Party! – “Laura Palmer’s Prom”
MP3: Young Galaxy – “Peripheral Visionaries”

BBC Sound of 2011 shortlistee Anna Calvi will be in town for Canadian Musicfest with a showcase at Wrongbar on March 11. Her self-titled debut will be out on March 1.

MP3: Anna Calvi – “Jezebel”

Destroyer’s new record Kaputt is out on January 25 and though the tour dates with The War On Drugs are still patchy, there will be a show at Lee’s Palace in Toronto on March 31, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: Destroyer – “Chinatown”
MP3: The War On Drugs – “The History Of Plastic”

They don’t really have a lot in common, but that’s not stopping …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and Surfer Blood from teaming up for a tour that stops in at Lee’s Palace on May 3. Trail Of Dead’s new album Tao Of The Dead will be out on February 8 and Surfer Blood will be putting out an EP sometime this year before getting to work on their major label debut.

MP3: Surfer Blood – “Swim”

The new British Sea Power record Valhalla Dancehall is up and streaming in its entirety at The AV Club, one week before it’s January 11 release.

Stream: British Sea Power / Valhalla Dancehall

NPR is streaming the whole of The Decemberists’ new album The King Is Dead two weeks before its January 18 release date. The band play The Sound Academy on February 1.

Stream: The Decemberists / The King Is Dead

Also up at the NPR has also got a new song from R.E.M.’s forthcoming Collapse Into Now, which continues to confirm that this record might well be pretty good. It’s out March 8.

There will be a new Strokes record in March. BBC says bassist Nikolai Fraiture says so.

Titus Andronicus have blogged a farewell to their founding bassist Ian Graetzer, who amicably left the band as of this weekend.

Specifics on the new Okkervil River record are still forthcoming, but Pitchfork reports that the first single “Mermaid” will be out on February 8 on 12″.

Laundromatinee has got a video session with Son Volt.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of the Drive-By Truckers’ New Year’s Eve eve show in New York. The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Boot talk to Patterson Hood about their new record Go-Go Boots, which will be out February 15.

Friday, September 18th, 2009

In These Arms

The Swell Season at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThis was the first year in many years that I did nothing at all involving TIFF. Not a screening, not a party, nothing. But I did get to do something tangentially cinematic on Wednesday evening, and that was attend a lovely little private show at the Dakota Tavern by The Swell Season, perhaps still better known as Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the real-life incarnation of the protagonists from the film Once and for it, winners of the 2008 Academy Award for Best Original Song.

But while that film and award have obviously defined their career, it hasn’t been their career – prior to the soundtrack to the film, they released a self-titled album and come October 27, will release their second proper record in Strict Joy, and while that date is still some time off, the duo were in town to do some promotion and to play this show at a room a miniscule fraction of the size of Massey Hall, where they’ll be on November 3. Special? Yes it was.

Though accustomed to much larger settings, the duo were perfectly comfortable in the down-home environs of the Dakota. Rather than use her own portable keyboard, Irglova opted to use the house upright piano, giving proceedings a distinct roadhouse (and slightly out of tune) flavour. This left her set up back somewhat on the stage and put Hansard front and centre, which is how it would have seemed anyways – he was the stereotypical gregarious Irishman, quick with the wit and charm in between songs, at one point thanking those in attendance for coming to this show instead of going to see his countrymen U2 at the Rogers Centre (where they were headed after the performance, apparently).

And most Swell Season songs are led by his voice and guitar anyways, with Irglova adding understated but crucial harmonies and piano accompaniment – her presence may be understated, but it’s still omnipresent. It’s remarkable how full they’re able to make their arrangements with just those four instruments at their disposal. They did swap places for a song, with Irglova taking the guitar and lead vocals and Hansard hitting the ivories, but by and large it was Hansard in the spotlight. Though the show ran only around 40 minutes, they struck a decent balance between the new material and old. Being really only familiar with the soundtrack and not heard the new record, I’m not in a position to comment on where their sound is going relative to where it’s been, but it did seem like the new material lacked the sense of anguish that ran through most of the songs in Once, instead taking on a more peaceful or perhaps resigned tone. “When Your Mind’s Made Up” was the exception, delivered with the fire (and perhaps overdramatic delivery) that was Hansard’s signature in The Frames but by and large the show was a gentle one. Unsurprisingly, the highlight was “Falling Slowly”, which Irglova started on piano but abandoned quickly due to tuning conflicts with the guitar, instead joining Hansard on his chair up front for a proper duet and stayed for their final song, a cover of Tim Buckley’s “Buzzin’ Fly” – the perfect finale to the show.

Just as the romantic relationship between Hansard and Irglova was a key talking point circa Once, the end of said relationship prior to the release of the new record is sure to be of interest to spectators. But anyone looking for Richard and Linda Thompson-style tension would have been disappointed – there was still plenty of genuine warmth between the two, implying they’ve either found a place of balance or are much better actors than you’d expect. Given their long and complex backstory, it’s futile to try and fully comprehend the emotions that were palpable between the duo and though that’s obviously a compelling facet of their story, it’s really no one’s business but theirs. We get the music, and that’s plenty.

Photos: The Swell Season @ The Dakota Tavern – September 16, 2009
MP3: The Swell Season – “In These Arms”
MySpace: The Swell Season

Rolling Stone talks to director Jonathan Demme about making the Neil Young Trunk Show concert film.

Dean Wareham interviews Buffy Sainte-Marie for Magnet.

Prefix and Access Atlanta chat with Son Volt’s Jay Farrar while The Austin Chronicle reports that Farrar has teamed up with Will Johnson , Anders Parker and Jim James to put more of Woody Guthrie’s words to music, a la Mermaid Avenue. Obviously any discomfort Farrar has with being measured against Jeff Tweedy is long past – good for him.

There’s interviews with Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan at Washington City Paper, The Daily Times, Spinner, The AV Club and Billboard. Last night’s show in DC is also streaming at NPR. Yo La Tengo are at the Opera House on October 3.

Unexpected, yes, but also real – Pavement are getting back together, more than a decade after calling it quits, for a world tour that will kick off next September in New York City and visit a number of as-yet undetermined “big towns” (as which I hope Toronto qualifies). There will also be a compilation album released at some point next year to let newcomers understand why indie rock fans of a certain age are getting whipped into a frenzy by the news, but they’ve stated quite clearly that this is not a prelude to a permanent reunion – it’s a one-off tour and that’s it. Stephen Malkmus will be working on the new Jicks album this Fall and Scott Kannberg’s first solo record (albeit as Spiral Stairs) The Real Feel will be out October 20. Kannberg discusses how the Pavement reunion came about with Rolling Stone.

MP3: Spiral Stairs – “Maltese Terrier”

Aquarium Drunkard interviews Big Star drummer Jody Stephens about the band’s new Keep An Eye On The Sky box set, while Interview talks to John Fry, owner of Ardent Studios in Memphis where the band tracked much of their early, classic material. Spinner also talks to Stephens and is streaming one of the rarities which has surfaced in the box set.

NPR is streaming Unmap, the debut album from Volcano Choir, aka the new project from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon – the album is out Tuesday. Spinner talks to Vernon about the project.

Stream: Volcano Choir / Unmap

Bishop Allen are heading out for a Fall tour which will bring them to the El Mocambo on October 30.

MP3: Bishop Allen – “Dimmer”
MP3: Bishop Allen – “The Ancient Commonsense Of Things”

Thunderheist have set a date at the Mod Club for December 3.

Gawker has posted an excerpt from Our Noise, the new book chronicling the first twenty years of Merge Records, and have a nice Q&A with Mac and Laura of the label (and Superchunk) in the comments.

Friday, August 14th, 2009

The Downward Spiral

Virgin Festival Ontario scales down, heads downtown

Photo By Rob Sheridan & Tamar LevineRob Sheridan & Tamar LevineThey do try their best, I believe that, but it might be time to declare any Virgin Festival in Canada to be well and truly cursed. Don’t get me wrong, despite everything, I’ve always had a great time at the three in Toronto thus far, but you can’t really say they’ve gone smoothly. In 2006, they lost one headliner in Massive Attack (Broken Social Scene wasn’t a bad pinch hitter at all, but that it was necessary was unfortunate) and then there was the infamous 15-minute set from The Flaming Lips. The 2007 edition fared a bit better but still lost Amy Winehouse and Peter Bjorn & John without equal calibre replacements. Last year saw the the headliner famously assaulted onstage.

And that’s just the Toronto editions. As the rumour goes, last year’s Vancouver edition was cancelled outright after Pemberton poached Coldplay as headliner. And this year, after keeping silent well into the Spring as to whether there’d even be a festival this year, they came out and announced five across the country, most of which befell some sort of calamity. Vancouver was struck by lightning and had to cancel the headline set by The Roots. Halifax lost headliners The Tragically Hip at the 11th hour and had to make up for it by making the whole event free. Montreal headliners New Kids On The Block failed to contract food poisoning before their set and were able to perform. I think Calgary managed to avoid any sort of disaster their two years running – good on them.

Which left Ontario. Though still the subject of many complaints, I thought the 2009 lineup was pretty solid – but the decision to hold it an hour north of the city at Burl’s Creek in Oro was met with howls of protest from the 416. And it wasn’t just whinging from those who didn’t like going north of Bloor – there were genuine logistical concerns about transportation, traffic, accommodations and whatnot. But I guess the assumption was that the absence of those who didn’t want to leave the city would be made up for by others in southern Ontario who would find it easier to not drive downtown and a lovely time would be had by all.

Not so much.

An unexpected press release showed up yesterday around noon declaring that due to slow ticket sales and protests about the location, Virgin Festival Ontario had been moved from Burl’s Creek to the Molson Amphitheatre in downtown Toronto, barely two weeks before the event was scheduled to happen. Considering that many/most who had decided to go had already made travel and lodging arrangements, myself included, this wasn’t as much of the gift as it may have been intended to be. For example, I was able to get a full refund on my hotel room (I don’t camp) – I know others had booked non-refundable rooms. They’re now out a couple hundred dollars. Others who bought tickets early at full price will be justifiably upset that the new pricing structure offers much cheaper options, though refunds for tickets are available so you could trade those in and buy the cheaper Amphitheatre lawns if you just want to grab a piece of sod and chill out for a couple days. Mind you, those already holding tickets have been promised to be given first crack at the Amphitheatre’s floors and 200-level seats, though that may give you an idea of how many tickets were sold in the first place. I can’t say exactly how assignments will go, but it seems that those first in line will get wristbands granting GA floors and then everyone else will get assigned 200-level seating.

And while the festival organizers are assuring that all the announced acts will still perform, there’s other questions, like how the stages will be set up – the Amphitheatre itself can’t easily accommodate a second stage, particularly not one big enough to handle Pet Shop Boys or Pixies, who I would assume would be closing that one out on their respective nights. Which means that the second stage would have to go outside the Amphitheatre grounds and somewhere else in Ontario Place. Looking at the satellite imagery, the spot south of the Amphitheatre is the only logical place it could go but I have no idea what’s there and what might get mangled by a big stage and thousands of concert goers, never mind the fact that this is all going down when the CNE is on and Ontario Place will already be lousy with non-V Fest visitors.

So how will it all end up going down? Will the V Fest brand be able to recover from this year and convince people to return in the future? Will they even try? I have no idea, but am very curious to see. And while I really was warming to the idea of the Burl’s Creek experience (if not the insect bites that would ensue), I can’t say I’m not pleased that like past years, I’ll be able to get there by bike and be able to sleep in my own bed.


They were just here last month opening for Frightened Rabbit but The Antlers have since garnered their own immense buzz for their new album Hospiceand so are are coming back for their own show at the Horseshoe on September 24.

Speaking of shows, after Wilco’s October 14 show at Massey Hall sells out minutes after tickets go on sale this morning at 10AM, look for a second show to be announced for October 15. This comes from a press release for opener Liam Finn which lists both dates at Massey Hall and considering how Wilco have been playing the same venue since 2004 while their fanbase has arguably grown considerably, and the idea of a multi-night stand seems eminently logical though it makes my eight-year streak of seeing every Wilco appearance in Toronto considerably more difficult to maintain. LiveDaily has an interview with Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche.

And if that’s not enough Liam Finn for you, Bumpershine reports that he’ll play his own headlining show at Lee’s Palace on October 29 with Miracle Fortress as support. Finn’s new EP with Eliza Jane Champagne in Seashells is out September 1.

MP3: Liam Finn with Eliza Jane – “Plane Crash”
Stream: Liam Finn & Eliza Jane / Champagne In Seashells

Those waiting for Sufjan Stevens ticket information for the October 1 show, looks like Ticketmaster is your only option. Face value is $17.50 so you’ll be lucky to come away a ducat for under $30, all said and done. Also note: “Tickets cannot be picked up at the outlet. They must be picked by the cardholder, with credit card in hand and photo identification at the venue by the cardholder ONLY”. So there you go.

And Cryptacize, who are touring with Stevens, are the subject of a feature video/audio session over at Luxury Wafers.

MP3: Cryptacize – “Blue Tears” (live on Luxury Wafers)

Antony & The Johnsons have not only covered Beyonce, but they’ve made a video. No Jay-Z, though.

Video: Antony & The Johnsons – “Crazy In Love”

Previously venue-less, the August 30 Throw Me The Statue show will now be happening at The Boat with support from The Brunettes and Nurses. And if you dig on Nurses, they’re back in town on October 15 at the Drake Underground with Le Loup.

MP3: Throw Me The Statue – “Ancestors”
MP3: Nurses – “Caterpillar Playground”
MP3: The Brunettes – “Small Town Crew”
MP3: Le Loup – “Beach Town”

Deerhoof will be doing a free show at Yonge-Dundas Square on September 17, somehow related to TIFF. Is there a Deerhoof documentary premiering that I don’t know about?

MP3: Deerhoof – “+81”

The Flaming Lips have set an October 13 release date for their next album Embryonic. Rolling Stone has details and Pitchfork is streaming a song from the record, and early response to new material from those who’ve lost interest in the band nearly as much as I have is quite positive.

Spinner and Billboard talk to Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard and Son Volt’s Jay Farrar about their work on One Fast Move or I’m Gone, the soundtrack album for a documentary on Jack Kerouac by the same name. The album will be out October 20 and there are plans for a tour to follow.

Video: Jay Farrar – “San Francisco”
Trailer: One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur

Laura Marling discusses her plans for album number two with BBC.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talks to Decemberists guitarist Chris Funk and The Philadelphia Inquirer to Colin Meloy.

The Dan Deacon show at Sneaky Dee’s on November 3 isn’t his only local date – he’s also at the Great Hall on November 4.

Luxury Wafers talks to Oliver Ackermann of A Place To Bury Strangers. Their new one Exploding Head is out October 6 and they’re at the Mod Club on October 27.