Posts Tagged ‘Sonic Youth’

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Matador At 21: The Lost Weekend Day One

Pavement, Sonic Youth, Fucked Up and more at Matador at 21

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangLas Vegas is the sort of place that everyone should go to once in their life, if just to bear witness to the astonishing and grotesque excess of the city. If you couldn’t tell, I am no great fan of the place and, having been there once as an adult some years back, I had been there, done that, eaten the deep-fried twinkie and had no need to ever go back. Matador Records, however, felt otherwise and so when the astonishingly stacked lineup for their 21st anniversary celebrations was announced earlier in the Summer, I begrudgingly made plans to return to Sin City.

And it was a hard deal to pass up. Beyond the sheer amount of indie rock royalty that was being crammed into three nights, there were packages that included rooms at the casino where everything was going down – The Palms – which as I learned was regarded as a party hotel even by Vegas standards and had a history of hosting such cultural watershed events as The Real World and hosting luminaries from Jersey Shore. But while the couple thousand Mata-fans who descended on Vegas Friday, Saturday and Sunday were but a drop in the ocean of decadence that was a normal weekend at The Palms, we were able to commandeer their fancy-pants Pearl concert theatre, fittingly located underground so as to keep the Morlocks apart from the Eloi, to celebrate the days when indie rock was called college rock.

The Friday night program was thankfully the most compact of the three, a thoughtful bit of consideration for those who traveled several time zones to be there (aside: Vegas is in the Pacific time zone, not Mountain, which is an interesting thing to discover when you land and it’s not what time you thought it was). But it was still as laden with great bands as you could hope for, though it was almost a little less laden before things even got started. In mid-afternoon, word was going around that Japan’s Guitar Wolf had had their flight delayed and weren’t going to make it in time to kick things off. Writing them off turned out to be premature, though, as they apparently opted to drive to Vegas rather than wait for a flight and were able to storm the stage with their leather pants and pure garage rock posture for an abbreviated but still incredibly bould electrifying set. Pretty great for a band that wasn’t even supposed to be there.

Photos: Guitar Wolf @ Pearl at The Palms – October 1, 2010
MP3: Guitar Wolf – “After School Thunder”

Next up were one of a few old-school Matador alumnus who had been largely inactive for the past decade but got it back together for the occasion – New York’s Chavez. Their aggressively mathy yet melodic sound was very much of the ‘90s but still undeniably potent. Led by Matt Sweeney’s vocals and Clay Tarver’s searing guitar lines, they played a tremendous energy you wouldn’t expect from a band that’s only occasionally active. Their compact set whipped the crowd into a delirium and offered a glimpse into what an alternate universe where these singles had been hits might have looked like – graying and clad in faded t-shirts, yes, but still delirious. I’d listened to a little Chavez in the past; clearly there’s a need to listen to a lot more.

Photos: Chavez @ Pearl at The Palms – October 1, 2010
MP3: Chavez – “The Guard Attacks/Unreal Is Here”
MP3: Chavez – “You Faded”

Considering the veteran demographic of much of the attendees, it’s not surprising that Fucked Up seemed to be the designated pee break band. They were the only band representing the Matador new school on this night and even though they’ve succeeded as a sort of gateway hardcore act, they weren’t exactly classically Matador-sounding. And it’s just as well that some of the audience cleared out as it gave the youth contingent more room to lose their shit, which they did with gusto as Fucked Up provided the ideal soundtrack for shit-losing. As his bandmates churned out an unrelenting rock attack, frontman Pink Eyes was in fine form with a plastic cup smashed and stuck on his forehead for am impressively long time as he roamed the stage, bellowing and hollering all the while. The highlight of their set, though, wasn’t Fucked Up per se but one of their fans who went on an epic-length crowd surf that found him on stage singing with the band, back into the crowd, back on stage, out into a cluster of photographers (not a good idea we don’t have free hands and dropping you is a preferable scenario to dropping our gear), way out the far corners of the Pearl floor, back on stage and then heaved up fireman-style onto Damian Abraham’s shoulders and once more back into the crowd. No, this was not something you were likely to see during Belle & Sebastian’s set.

Photos: Fucked Up @ Pearl at The Palms – October 1, 2010
MP3: Fucked Up – “Neat Parts”
MP3: Fucked Up – “No Epiphany”
MP3: Fucked Up – “Twice Born”

Sonic Youth have only been a Matador band for one record so far, but they certainly they shaped the landscape that allowed the label to exist and are spiritually intertwined on countless levels. But rather than focus on their official Matador material – last year’s The Eternal – they instead performed some revisionist history and adopted their back catalog with OLE numbers and delivered a jaw-dropping set of exclusively pre-1994 material in their original four-piece configuration, with Kim Gordon on bass full-time. The throwback song selections was a great contrast to their show at Massey Hall last year where they focused almost exclusively on the new material and while that was certainly a great show in its own right, this one was another level of riveting entirely. And maybe most terrifically, they closed out with a genuine, physical guitar duel as Lee Ranaldo dashed across the stage to cross guitar necks with Thurston Moore, laying flat on the stage. It was great to see the musical godfathers of nearly everyone playing this weekend still having fun like, well, youths.

Photos: Sonic Youth @ Pearl at The Palms – October 1, 2010
MP3: Sonic Youth – “Sacred Trickster”
MP3: Sonic Youth – “Incinerate”

The night closed with the reunion that a year ago no one ever thought would happen – Pavement – winding down a year of shows that had taken them around the world to claim some of the reward that largely eluded them when they were an active proposition in the ‘90s. And while Pavement 2010 has been a success by most standards, on this night there were clearly signs that the tensions that split them up a decade ago were resurfacing. Just one song into the set, some technical issues with Steve West’s drum kit opened up some dead time, prompting Steven Malkmus to invite Bob Nastaonovich to join him in an impromptu reading of “Perfect Depth” but not extending it to Scott Kannberg – whether it was an oversight or deliberate slight, only SM knows but the net result was an unhappy Spiral Stairs (credit to Prefix for catching it). Kannberg’s unhappiness boiled over when he stepped up for “Kennel District” and while Malkmus – who had earlier turned his mic stand so as to have his back to the band – rolled around on the floor covering his parts, Kannberg alternated verses with grimaces and by song’s end was fuming over perceived flubs, though it sounded fine in the audience.

Seething and palpable tensions aside, Pavement sounded great and their performance had an extra bit of looseness that wasn’t there when they played Pitchfork earlier in the Summer. Malkmus, in particular, was in a strangely goofy mood, cracking jokes and batting around the mic like a toy and Nastanovich was, well, Nastanovich, bounding around the stage like a kid while belting out his parts. The SM/SS dynamic would still be the biggest take-away from their set as Kannberg walked off stage a couple times before the set was done, only grudgingly returning to finish things off. It was a very Pavement moment that rather than have a properly grand finale prepared for their final North American show, they went with an off-the-cuff “AT&T” and, uncertain if they had any more time but down a guitarist, shuffled off stage. No handcuffs made an appearance but no one in attendance will likely be surprised if it’s announced that Pavement are, again, done. And for night one, despite some sweet-ass after party type events scheduled, I was also done.

Photos: Pavement @ Pearl at The Palms – October 1, 2010
MP3: Pavement – “Gold Soundz”
MP3: Pavement – “Rattled By The Rush”
MP3: Pavement – “Heckler Spray/In THe Mouth Of A Desert” (live)
MP3: Pavement – “All My Friends”
MP3: Pavement – “Greenlander”

You may note that no mention was made of the evening’s MC, Jeffrey Joe Jensen. This was deliberate.

eye talks to Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham at Matador at 21 while The New York Times considers the Pavement reunion and the band’s legacy. There’s more night one writeups at Las Vegas Weekly, The AV Club and Los Angeles Times. And loads more are out there, just look.

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

What's Up, Matador?

Matador turns 21, parties like it’s 1996

Photo By Michael LavineMichael LavineI think I spent my 21st birthday at the venerable Phil’s Grandson’s bar in Waterloo, Ontario, and while I feel obliged to point out to American readers that our age of majority (as far as drinking goes) is 19 so the 21st isn’t actually all that meaningful, I still spent it getting well and truly smashed. I won’t lie, It wasn’t classy.

Matador Records is looking to spend their coming of age in slightly glitzier environs. They offered some teasers earlier this year but yesterday made things official with an announcement that pretty much met any and all lofty expectations about what kind of party they might throw. Led by a reunited Guided By Voices – the most classic 1993 to 1996 Bee Thousand/Alien Lanes/Under The Bushes Under The Stars lineup no less – the three-day bender will take place in the Palms hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from October 1 to 3 and feature a who’s who of Matador artists, past and present. In addition to GBV (GBV!), you’ve got label stalwarts Pavement (who if they hadn’t already reunited might have had to for this party), Belle & Sebastian, Cat Power, The New Pornographers, Yo La Tengo and Liz Phair (whose contract probably has a strict “first three albums only” clause) as well as acts like Sonic Youth, Spoon and Superchunk who might be better associated with other labels but who have OLE catalog numbers in their discographies. In short, for anyone who came of musical age with the golden age of college rock in the 1990s, it’s a dream lineup and then some. AND there’s gambling.

Full details about pricing and additional acts are coming next week, but if you aren’t at least taking a look at how much flights and hotels in Vegas for that weekend will run you, you must have stumbled across this site by accident. That said, my attendance is far from certain but damn if I’m not thinking hard about it.

MP3: Guided By Voices – “I’ll Replace You With Machines”
MP3: Pavement – “Gold Soundz”
MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Another Sunny Day”
MP3: Sonic Youth – “Sacred Trickster”
MP3: Spoon – “Mountain To Sound”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Here To Fall”
MP3: Cat Power – “The Greatest”
MP3: The New Pornographers – “My Rights Versus Yours”
MP3: Liz Phair – “Fuck And Run”

In talking to, Bob Nastanovich of Pavement throws cold water on the prospect of new material coming out of the current reunion.

The National stopped in for a performance at CBC’s Q when in town earlier this month.

Video: The National – “Terrible Love” (live on Q) and The Guardian interview Warpaint, who’ve got two local dates coming up – a headlining appearance on August 11 at Wrongbar and as support for The xx at Massey Hall on September 29.

Insound has posted a video session with The Hold Steady and are offering one track as a download in exchange for signing up for their newsletter. And in related news, the Hold Steady’s Toronto show on July 16 just got twice as intimate, having been moved from The Kool Haus to The Phoenix. All tickets still honoured.

David Bazan (formerly of Pedro The Lion) will be joined by The Mynabirds, aka Laura Burhenn (formerly of Georgie James) at Lee’s Palace on September 18. Tickets $12.50 in advance.

MP3: David Bazan – “Bless This Mess”
MP3: The Mynabirds – “Let The Record Go”
MP3: The Mynabirds – “Numbers Don’t Lie”

Lee’s Palace will host two of Kill Rock Stars’ finest on October 3 when Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu perform as part of a Fall tour.

MP3: Deerhoof – “+81”
MP3: Xiu Xiu – “Gray Death”

Australia’s Temper Trap will be in town at the Phoenix on October 5 – tickets $21.50 in advance.

MP3: The Temper Trap – “Down River”

There’s new music from Sharon Van Etten, via the soundtrack to the film The Builder. The DVD for the film will be released on July 27.

MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “I Couldn’t Save You”
Trailer: The Builder

Offering more proof to the theory that they’re incapable of doing anything that’s not adorable, Mates Of State have released a new video from their covers album Crushes. Actually it’s the second video from the record, the first was for this Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds tune, which isn’t so much adorable but isn’t trying to be. Anyways.

Video: Mates Of State – “True Love Will Find You In The End”
Video: Mates Of State – “Love Letter”

Each Note Secure talks to Free Energy, who’ve recorded an Interface session at Spinner.

Yours Truly has posted up a new video performance from The Morning Benders, in town to open for The Black Keys at The Kool Haus on August 3 and 4.

Pitchfork has got the first sample of The Thermals’ new record Personal Life, due out September 7.

MP3: The Thermals – “I Don’t Believe You”

Vampire Weekend talks to BBC. They’re at the Molson Amphitheatre on September 7.

Best Coast have released an MP3 from their much-buzzed forthcoming debut Crazy For You, coming July 27. They’re at Lee’s Palace on September 25.

MP3: Best Coast – “Boyfriend”

Miami New Times talk to Tampa’s Sleepy Vikings.

NOW welcomes We Were Promised Jetpacks to the Horseshoe on Saturday night. Daytrotter has also posted up a session.

So this past Saturday night’s Thao/Mirah show at the Horseshoe was cancelled on account of burning police cars. The guys from These United States, who were slated to support, have some video of their trip to Toronto. Y’all come back now, y’hear?

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Memory Loss

The Radio Dept. promise new record for March. Seriously. They mean it.

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceIt’s not the firm, 100% release date that you’d want to see before getting excited, but this update from The Radio Dept. declaring that their third record Clinging To A Scheme – constantly rescheduled and delayed since September 2008 – will be available on CD and LP via Labrador in March is the most official thing we’ve seen yet.

Past target dates have come from their label and they’ve had to backpedal on each one, but this one comes from the band, and they’ve sealed it with a stream of a new song, album art and even a tracklisting! It seems the 2008 single “Freddie & The Trojan Horse” didn’t end up making the cut but their entire 2009 output – “David” – did. Either way, I’m allowing myself to hope this time the record will finally become reality and it somehow is worth the almost four-year wait since Pet Grief and year and a half delay from its originally-promised date. And I won’t hold my breath for live dates.

Update: Aaaaand they manage to push it back yet again. But the official new release date is April 20 in North America, April 21 in Europe. EXCITED.

MP3: The Radio Dept. – “David”

And keeping on the theme of reclusive Swedes finally getting into sharing, jj have let slip not only some images of themselves, but a couple new songs via a free digital single – one of which will also appear on their forthcoming album No. 3, out March 9. They’ll be at the Phoenix on April 4, on stage for all to see. Unless they turn off the lights. Which they probably will.

MP3: jj – “Let Go”
MP3: jj – “My Way”

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Philip Ekstrom of The Mary Onettes.

The Raveonettes have made a video for the cryptically-titled new single from In And Out Of Control, “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)”. I think there might be a message here; I’m not sure.

Video: The Raveonettes – “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)”

The Varsity chats with Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth.

NOW has words with J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. They’ve got an in-store at Sonic Boom tonight at 6:30 – be there early with an item of canned food for admission – and a sold-out show at the Phoenix afterward. eye also has an interview with Lou Barlow in the context of solo artist and opener for himself tonight.

Paste talks to Ted Leo, who is preparing his next record with The Pharmacists in The Brutalist Bricks, due out March 9.

Scout Niblett has set a March 17 date at the Horseshoe as part of a Spring tour in support of her new record The Calcination of Scout Niblett, out next week. Tickets for the show are $11.50 in advance.

MP3: Scout Niblett – “The Calcination Of Scout Niblett”

Last week I mentioned the release next week of El May, the debut album from Lara Meyerratken – well an MP3 from the album is now available to grab.

MP3: El May – “Don’t You”

Matablog has announced the next New Pornographers record will be entitled Together and be out May 4. And yes, both Dan and Neko are on board again.

Canadian Press gets some information from Amy Millan about the new Broken Social Scene record, including the fact that all of she, Emily Haines and Leslie Feist are appearing on the album and one track will feature all three singing together. It was reported that the album would be out in May, in time for their big Spinner Canada is streaming Basia Bulat’s new album Heart Of My Own – it’s in stores next Tuesday.

Stream: Basia Bulat / Heart Of My Own

The Hidden Cameras have rolled out a new video from Origin: Orphan.

Video: The Hidden Cameras – “Underage”

Via MySpace blog, Oh No Forest Fires have offered more explanation for their decision to disband, revealed that their doubling their recorded legacy with a second (mini) album that will be made available for free when it’s ready, offered a first track from said album to download (below), and announced that this Saturday’s final show at the Horseshoe will also be a benefit fundraiser for Haiti, with all proceeds from the $7 cover going to Partners In Health to assist the disaster-ridden country.

MP3: Oh No Forest Fires – “Spontaneous Changes In Isolated Systems (Song For Bobby)”

SubPop is giving away a big-ass MP3 mix of their Winter 2010 releases. Go get.

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Forest Green Oh Forest Green

Holly Miranda prepares to check debut out of library

Photo By Sebastian Mlynarski Sebastian Mlynarski When I rounded up all the bits of information around Holly Miranda’s solo project back in January, I had no notion that interest in it would eclipse that given to her main band, The Jealous Girlfriends. But her more atmospheric approach is certainly more in line with what people expect/want to hear wafting out of Brooklyn these days and it has apparently tickled more ears than the Girlfriends’ heaver, more guitar-driven rock did.

So while the Girlfriends take a deserved break, Miranda has been busy – a debut limited edition EP in Sleep On Fire was released earlier this Summer and followed up with some high-profile touring supporting The Antlers, and with the release this week of the Forest Green Oh Forest Green 7″ single, she’s back on the road with Friendly Fires and The xx. All of which should generate no small amount of anticipation for her debut full-length, details of which were just announced.

The Magician’s Private Library will be out on February 23 of next year on XL Recordings, and while it was unclear at the start of the year if that was the album title or just the name of her blog, apparently it’s both. And if it lives up to expectations, it’ll be great. Hopefully not so great as to render the Jealous Girlfriends unnecessary and defunct, though – that’d be a shame.

Dummy has an interview with Miranda about her solo work while The Daily Growl solicits a list of seven songs.

MP3: Holly Miranda – “Forest Green Oh Forest Green”
MySpace: Holly Miranda

Laundromatinee has posted up the second part of their studio session with The Antlers, the first part having surfaced back in September. The Dallas Observer also has an interview with Peter Silberman.

Pitchfork and Spinner talk to The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn about the impending digital reissues of his first band Lifter Puller’s entire oeuvre.

Paste talks to Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino, who reveals that they’re aiming to have their fourth album out in the early part of 2010. After Paul Banks is done pretending he’s someone else who, in turn, is a skyscraper. Or something. Banks attempts to clarify in talking to Spinner.

Magnet picks out Sonic Youth’s five most overrated and underrated songs. Carrie Brownstein interviews Thurston Moore for NPR and The Boston Globe puts his iPod on shuffle.

The Bay Bridged and WOXY have downloadable sessions with Thao with The Get Down Stay Down. Thao has also contributed a piece to Bitch about the art of the break-up song.

Pitchfork reports that The Decemberists have commissioned a full-length animated version of their latest album Hazards Of Love. Here Come the Waves: The Hazards of Love Visualized will be available for download from iTunes as of December 1, and will look something like this.

Trailer: Here Come the Waves: The Hazards of Love Visualized

The Globe & Mail, and have features on The Rural Alberta Advantage, who have a sold-out show at Lee’s Palace tonight.

Sloan will release a digital-only EP entitled Hit & Run next week, on November 23.

Nouvelle Vague, the French outfit whose gimmick of recasting ’80s punk and New Wave songs as loungey ’60s Bossa Nova numbers has proven surprisingly resiliant – NV3 is their third album – have set a date at the Opera House on January 27, tickets $24.50 in advance.

MP3: Nouvelle Vague – “Master & Servant” (featuring Martin Gore)
MP3: Nouvelle Vague – “Ca Plane Pour Moi”
MP3: Nouvelle Vague – “Guns Of Brixton”

Noah & The Whale have released a video for the title track from their latest, First Days Of Spring.

Video: Noah & The Whale – “First Days Of Spring”

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with Fanfarlo while The San Francisco Examiner talks to frontman Simon Balthazar. They’re at the El Mocambo on December 15.

Pitchfork talks to Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip. Their new record One Life Stand is out February 9 and they play the Kool Haus on April 20.

Monday, August 10th, 2009

It's Blitz!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Amanda Blank at The Kool Haus in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI haven’t done any sort of formal review of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ latest album It’s Blitz!, mainly because I think it’d be redundant. Not just because it’s already gotten largely universal praise, but because it should be evident to anyone listening to it that’s it’s a wholly splendid record, and to my ears, the band’s best yet and one of the top of the year from anyone. Heady praise? Yes, but considering my head is pretty much consistently enveloped in a bubble of happy before the end of opening track “Zero” and it doesn’t evaporate for the remainder of the record, I’ll stand by it. It’s remarkable that a band who made their name with abrasive, in-your-face, punk-infused rock would find their crowning achievement – so far – in a record as sleek, synthy and hooky as It’s Blitz!, but there it is. As good as they were at their original sound – which is pretty damn good – they’re better at this.

And as good as they are on record, they’re even better live. My only such experience came in September 2007 at the now-legendary Berkeley Church show, where I have fond memories of getting crushed by hundreds of fans drunk on free booze surging forward towards a mesmerizing Karen O, who just happened to be grabbing my head and screaming in my face. Getting one’s ass kicked was never so much fun, and I couldn’t wait for last week’s two-night stand at the Kool Haus, for which I went to night two, to experience it again. And considering that the Berkeley gig was a semi-private party, many of Toronto’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs disciples had been waiting even longer. A hotly anticipated show? You might say that.

Before the main event, of course, there was the support and for these shows it was a sort-of double-bill with two members of Spank Rock doing DJ duties for fifteen minutes or so before being joined by up-and-coming (based on the PR emails I get) hip-hop artist Amanda Blank, whose debut I Love You just came out. Her short set was high-energy and with a party vibe to it, but she seemed as interested in playing Yeah Yeah Yeahs cheerleader as performing her own material, calling for the crowd to show their love for Karen O on numerous occasions, the audience obliging each time.

Of course, no one in the sold-out house needed a cue to scream in adoration for Ms Orzolek – as soon as the band strode onstage, it was shrieking bedlam. And why not? O is easily one of the most charismatic frontwomen in rock today, complimenting her formidable vocals and presence with a most distinctive sartorial sensibility. Which is to say the woman does love her costumes. And we do love her and her costumes. And I do love photographing her and her costumes. Considering the Berkeley show was notable for being essentially unlit – fitting the dark vibe of the then-current Is Is EP, sure, but a bitch to shoot in – the fact that they decided to match the big and bright production of the new record with equally big and bright stage design was greatly appreciated. It’s never the wrong time for confetti cannons.

I suppose I should talk about the music some, but for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, more than most bands, the visuals are just as crucial as the sounds. With every strut across the stage, every point with her impossibly long fingers, every dramatic pose and particularly appropriate for Blitz!, every huge grin, O is physically embodying their music. It’s the whole package. Just as for all the praise laid at Karen O’s wonderfully stylish feet, equal accolades must go to her bandmates, drummer Brian Chase and guitarist/keyboardist Nick Zinner (and also to nameless fourth utility player) for laying down the massively tight and wall of sound behind her for the career-spanning, 15-song set – glam and glossy when appropriate as on “Heads Will Roll” and “Hysteric”, rough and jagged for the likes of “Y Control” and “Kiss Kiss” when not, though even their jags tend to sparkle like the rhinestones on O’s “Zero” leather jacket. And of course, as predictable as “Maps” was, dedicated to Toronto no less, it still broke your heart. No one loves you like Yeah Yeah Yeahs love you. It’s true.

The National Post, Exclaim!, Panic Manual and eye were all in attendance at the Wednesday show and offer their thoughts.

Photos: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Amanda Blank @ The Kool Haus – August 5, 2009
MP3: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Bang”
MP3: Amanda Blank – “Make It Take It” (Eli Escobar remix)
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Heads Will Roll”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Zero”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Down Boy”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Cheated Hearts”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Turn Into”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Gold Lion”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Y Control”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Maps”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Pin”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Date With The Night”
MySpace: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Exclaim talks to Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth.

PopMatters talks to Kim Deal, who will be seeing a lot of the 416 (and 705) in the next while as she’s in town this Saturday at Lee’s palace with The Breeders and then returns a fortnight later with Pixies at V Fest Ontario. And if Blurt has their information correct, their set will NOT be a Doolittle set, which is actually perfectly fine with me – they’ll still play the best tunes from that, and we may still get to hear the likes of “Where Is My Mind?”, “Velouria” and “Head On”. I’ll take it.

Under The Radar has an interview with Mew, who are playing the second day of V Fest on August 30 and who will release No More Stories on August 25.

The Line Of Best Fit chit-chats with Mum and Drowned In Sound have declared this Mum week, and are running all manner of Iceland-themed pieces including this one on the state of the Icelandic music scene, post-economic collapse. Their new album Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know is out August 24 and they’re at the Phoenix on October 27.

Daytrotter offers up a session with Longwave.

The new video from Julian Plenti, aka Paul Banks from Interpol finally escaped from the spectre of Carlos D’s dubious facial hair only to grow some of his own, features him canoodling with Metric’s Emily Haines in Toronto’s super-sketchy Waverly Hotel. The album, Julian Plenti Is… Skyscraper, came out last week.

Video: Julian Plenti – “Games For Days”

Matt Johnson gives The AV Club a tour of Kim Schifino’s iPod. Matt & Kim are at the Reverb on October 1.

Threadless (the online t-shirt shop, yes) has a video interview with Ume.