Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo Police Club’

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Racing Like A Pro

The National and Mumford & Sons officially graduate to arena rock status

Photo By Keith KlenowskiKeith KlenowskiJust to be clear: filling Massey Hall for two nights in a row is no mean feat. Not many bands can do it once, let alone twice, but when The National did just that last June in support of their breakout album High Violet, it felt like an arrival – the best and most natural setting for a band that had graduated from the bar circuit and were taking their rightful place in the city’s most hallowed room, hopefully for years to come.

Except clearly, they weren’t done. A year and a half on from their last album’s release, though a couple of high-profile singles released over this Summer as well as plenty of touring have kept them front of mind, The National have gotten big enough that their next North American tour will bring them to the Air Canada Centre on December 8. Granted, it will probably be the approximately 5200-capacity theatre configuration, which is about the same size as their Massey shows held, but still – it’s a remarkable thing (and a depressing thing for those who hate arena shows). The band are apparently conscious of the fact that their fanbase may not be especially keen on seeing them play such a large room, so they’ve sweetened the deal via the support acts – joining them for this show will be none other than Neko Case and Wye Oak. Yeah, that ACC isn’t looking so unappealing anymore, is it? Tickets range from $43.50 to $59.50 plus fees and presale goes Wednesday morning, public onsale Friday.

Express Night Out chats with bassist Scott Devendorff while NME gets the Dessner twins on camera talking about this and that, including their next record.

MP3: The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
MP3: Neko Case – “Middle Cyclone”
MP3: Wye Oak – “Civilian”

By the same token, people were incredulous when Mumford & Sons sold the hell out of the Sound Academy last Fall – hadn’t they just played Lee’s Palace that February? – but indeed, they were really that popular and now it seems they’re even more popular. Again, it’s probably the theatre configuration, but that doesn’t change the fact that when Mumford & Sons hit the Air Canada Centre on October 25, they’ll have taken their bluegrass-pop anthems arena-scale. And just to prove it’s not a fluke, they’re doing the same thing down the 401 in Hamilton when they play Copp’s Coliseum the following night and then Montreal’s Bell Centre the night after that. Maybe their quickie Canadian tour is just them trying to catch some hockey games? Tickets for both Ontario shows are $34.50 and $49.50 plus fees.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”

Certainly not on the same scale of “really” but still a bit surprising is Coeur de Pirate making what I think is her first regular and proper club show in Toronto at a room the size of The Mod Club on November 11. I assume this means that her new album Blonde, out November 8, will be getting a hefty push to get folks interested before then. Tickets for the show are $21 in advance and they’ve released a little trailer for the new record.

Trailer: Coeur de Pirate / Blonde
Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Comme des enfants”

The Rural Alberta Advantage, on the other hand, seem to have settled quite comfortably into The Phoenix as their home away from home while at home – November 17 will be their third show in a row there, I think. Don’t think there’s any particular occasion for this show besides, well, why not? Tickets are $20 in advance.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “North Star”

Zeus will be at Lee’s Palace on November 24, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: Zeus – “Marching Through Your Head”

Formerly operating as Harbourcoats, former Constantines frontman Bry Webb has decided to go with his own name for his solo debut Provider, which will be out on November 15. And he’ll be introducing the songs live in a pretty daunting setting – he’s opening for Feist at Massey Hall on December 1.

And finally, as far as show announcements yesterday go, Tokyo Police Club will be rolling into The Phoenix on December 8 leading a Can-rocking bill that also features Born Ruffians and Said The Whale. Tickets for that are $25 in advance. Northern Star chats with TPC drummer Greg Alsop.

MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Party In The USA”
MP3: Born Ruffians – “Sole Brother”
MP3: Said The Whale – “Camilo (The Magician)”

Pitchfork has an interview with Carl Newman of The New Pornographers, who’ve put out a new video from last year’s Together.

Video: The New Pornographers – “Up In The Dark”

Also with a new video is Diamond Rings, from Special Affections. He’s at The Mod Club on October 3.

Video: Diamond Rings – “You And Me”

Exclaim has got a new track from Ohbijou’s forthcoming Metal Meets, out September 27. They play Trinity-St. Paul’s in honour of its release on September 30 and PostCity chats with bandleader Casey Mecija about the new record.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Anser”

Pitchfork has a stream of Kathleen Edwards’ first new material in a while which will be released on 7″ on September 27 and oh yeah, features contributions from some guy who goes by Bon Iver.

Stream: Kathleen Edwards – “Wapusk”

The Line Of Best Fit chats with the sisters of Tasseomancy, whose record release show for Ulalame happens at The Great Hall on October 20. They also open up for Austra at The Phoenix on December 1. And speaking of Austra, a new b-side is available to stream, which is noteworthy because it’s kind of as good as their a-sides, and Prague Post has an interview with Katie Stelmanis.

Stream: Austra – “Identity”

The new Memoryhouse EP The Years has been available to stream for a while before its release today, but Drowned In Sound has sweetened their stream with track-by-track commentary from the band.

Southern Souls has an interview with Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon.

Canadian Blast chats with The Wilderness Of Manitoba.

Le Blogotheque has a Take-Away Show filmed in Toronto with Little Scream.

Rockerzine chats with Sloan bassist Chris Murphy.

Under The Radar and The Victoria Times-Colonist interview Handsome Furs.

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011


As good as their word, Tokyo Police Club cover the decade in ten days

Photo via FilterFilterTokyo Police Club are not a band you’d expect to announce an ambitious covers project. Not to say that they haven’t reinterpreted someone else’s song before – I’ve not heard it but I’m sure it’s happened – but they haven’t really made doing so “their thing”, so to speak. Well not until now. Last month, they announced their intention to record and release ten covers over ten days, one from each of the last ten years, and document the process via Polaroids and

Random on so many levels, and yet now that it’s done and the results a matter of public record, I have to say that I’m quite enjoying the results. The song selections are relatively obvious but not cliched (okay, the Kelly Clarkson maybe) or ironic (okay, the Miley Cyrus) and cover a decent range of genres, and TPC’s sound isn’t so unique that they can’t tackle most pop songs without rendering them unrecognizable. They strike a pretty good balance between remaining faithful to the original and still sounding like Tokyo Police Club – in fact, I’ll go a bit further and say that this set presents a much rangier and versatile TPC than their own albums have.

But if it wasn’t obvious, I’m a soft touch for cover versions so cheers to Tokyo Police Club for making up, taking up and beating the challenge. For their next little project, I suggest they pay tribute to a fellow 905 musical icon and try to rhyme the world in 80 days.

They’ve made all the tracks available to download, but if you don’t want to commit you can also stream it all at Soundcloud. And if you want to follow the actual internet release tour – each song was premiered at a specific website – and read some of the accompanying commentary, head over to any and all of Entertainment Weekly, Alternative Press, Mashable, Spinner, The AV Club (double-shot here) and Filter (another double shot). “Party In The USA” didn’t seem to get a proper premiere, but whatevs.

MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Southside” (Moby cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Sweetness” (Jimmy Eat World cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Under Control” (The Strokes cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Since U Been Gone” Kelly Clarkson cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Little Sister” (Queens Of The Stone Age cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Long Distance Call” (Phoenix cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “All My Friends” (LCD Soundsystem)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Kim And Jessie” (M83 cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Strictly Game” (Harlem Shakes cover)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Party In The USA” (Miley Cyrus cover)
Stream: Tokyo Police Club / 10 Days, 10 Covers, 10 Years

Keeping in the Canuck covers theme, check out this video of Evening Hymns trying on a little Tom Petty for size. Their new album of original material Spectral Dusk is due out this Fall – I expect formal details to be announced soon. ‘Cause it’s already Fall.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Learning To Fly”

Southern Souls has branched out from just videos to include editorial content, like this interview with Neil Haverty of Bruce Peninsula. The topic at hand being, of course, their second album Open Flames, which is due out October 4. They play a release show at Lee’s Palace on October 27.

Though their second album Tosta Mista has been out since late July, Hooded Fang are only now getting around to organizing an official release party. It’ll be a Wavelength Presents joint and happen September 24 at the Academy of Lions Crossfit Gym – how rock’n’roll is that – on Dundas West near Dovercourt, tickets $10 in advance.

MP3: Hooded Fang – “ESP”
MP3: Hooded Fang – “Den Of Love”

The Stool Pigeon and Beatroute talk to the Lightman twins of Tasseomancy. They have a release show for Ulalame at The Great Hall on October 20 and open up for Austra at The Phoenix on December 1.

Miracle Fortress has assembled some “what I did on my Summer vacation”-style films for the first video from Was I The Wave?.

Video: Miracle Fortress – “Miscalculations”

The Line Of Best Fit is streaming Memoryhouse’s revisited debut EP The Years, out next week. Now that their local dates opening up for Peter Bjorn & John are done, I expect confirmation that they’re doing the same for The Radio Dept at The Mod Club on November 17. If not, then perhaps a hometown release show of their own is in the works? The Milford Daily Times has an interview with Evan Abeele of the band.

Stream: Memoryhouse / The Years

Toronto country-rock stalwarts Cuff The Duke have commandeered The Horseshoe for the weekend of November 25 and 26 to celebrate the release of their new record Morning Comes, out October 4.

MP3: Cuff The Duke – “Standing On The Edge”
Video: Cuff The Duke – “Standing On The Edge” (Paper Bag sessions)

Beatroute interviews The Besnard Lakes, who will be at Lee’s Palace on October 13.

If you were wondering, “hey – why does Los Angeles get a special intimate preview of Metals and not, oh, Feist’s hometown?” then relax… or get more agitated. Exclaim reports that the Glenn Gould Studio at the CBC’s headquarters will host a very special concert on October 8 – just four days after the album’s release – wherein the singer will be joined by such guests as Jeff Tweedy, Ed Droste, Bry Webb, Joel Gibb and Doug Paisley. Tickets for the show are only available via a CBC Radio 2 contest but is open to all residents of Canada and will include airfare and accommodations if you hail from outside the Toronto area. If you are local, well maybe they’ll splurge for a cab. One-way.

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Muscle Relaxants

The Rural Alberta Advantage says, “Relax”

Photo By Tony ParkTony ParkFor the past month and a half or so, those given to keeping an eye on The Rural Alberta Advantage have watched with curiosity as the band has released a threepart series of video vignettes documenting the making of the second official video from their sophomore effort Departing for the song “Muscle Relaxants”. Not unusual in and of itself except for the fact that the video itself hadn’t been released yet. So rather than eliciting reactions of, “oh that’s how they did that”, they were met with reactions more along the lines of, “what on earth are they doing?”. What could be discerned, given the swimming pool setting, was that it’d be something aquatic in nature and possibly involved drummer Paul Banwatt and a giant inflatable turtle.

All was revealed yesterday, however, as Rolling Stone premiered the finished clip and it’s a rather stunning black-and-white short featuring the band cavorting, slow motion-style, underwater as musical instruments or parts thereof float around them. The inflatable turtle, sadly, didn’t appear to make the final edit but you can’t have everything. It’s quite a contrast from the simple, stripped down live performance vid that came out in the Spring around the same time as the album’s release – part of a series of low key, on-location videos shot by the folks at Southern Souls – but it just goes to show, whether hanging out in the back room of a bar or being artfully dunked at the bottom of a pool, The RAA are great.

Video: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Muscle Relaxants”

Bruce Peninsula have also revealed something new of themselves via video with the final (?) installment of their Fire Sale series leading up to the October 4 release of Open Flames. It’s the second original song to be premiered in the series and seems to confirm that the new record is coming from a decidedly different place than A Mountain Is A Mouth. To hear more, catch them at Summerworks at the Lower Ossington Theatre tonight or if you have to miss it – a doctor’s note will be required – they’re at Lee’s Palace on October 27.

Video: Bruce Peninsula – “Salesman”

Miracle Fortress will be headlining Summerworks on Friday night and he doesn’t come empty-handed, either. Following last month’s give away of a couple tracks from the abandoned Hoop Dreams sessions, Graham Van Pelt has put together another digital single consisting of two tracks from the Was I The Wave? sessions that didn’t make the album cut. And if that’s not enough, head over to Laundromatinee for a video session and accompanying downloadables.

MP3: Miracle Fortress – “Tropic Of Canada”
MP3: Miracle Fortress – “Seabird”

Memoryhouse are warming up for the September 13 re-release of their The Years EP with a new download and video for the song “Quiet America”, as well as a bit of commentary. The band are opening up for both of Peter Bjorn & John’s shows at Lee’s Palace on September 2 and 3 and if you notice they’re listed as support for The Radio Dept’s Fall tour right up until the November 17 Toronto show, I’m guessing the remainder of those dates will become official just as soon as the PB&J dates are done. Swedes love the Memoryhouse, I guess.

MP3: Memoryhouse – “Quiet America”
Video: Memoryhouse – “Quiet America”

Pitchfork’s Surveillance video series follows Diamond Rings around, spycam-style, as he washes up and plays a song shirtless and acoustic in his hotel room like no one is watching. As I’m sure he does. There’s also an interview at John Just Said It. He’s at The Mod Club on October 3 with Twin Shadow.

Colin Stetson has released a new video from his Polaris-shortlisted New History Warfare Vol 2 – Judges. He’s at The Drake on August 26.

Video: Colin Stetson – “The Stars In His Head”

Salt Lake City Weekly talks to Katie Stelmanis of Austra. They play The Phoenix on December 1.

Bloginity has details on a new Tokyo Police Club project that will see the band cover ten songs from the past decade and release them, one per day, over the end of August/start of September. There’s all sorts of other details about taking Polaroid of the sessions and premiering the songs at various media outlets, but that’s the upshot.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011


Review of Malajube’s La caverne and giveaway

Photo By Joseph YarmushJoseph YarmushIt’s almost certainly too much to read an excess of meaning into the title of Malajube’s last albums, but when you’ve only got a (very) rudimentary working knowledge of the French language, you do what you can do. That said, there’s something to the fact that 2009’s Labyrinthes was as dark and dense as the title implied – at least relative to the almost giddily carefree nature of 2006’s Trompe L’Oeil (“deceive the eye” in English, if you were wondering) – and a far less immediate listen. Still, it rated highly enough to score the band its second Polaris Prize shortlist placement in as many records and basically confirm the band as the ambassadors of Francophone rock to the rest of Canada, even if it would be Karkwa who would score the first win for French Canada last year.

Those seeking to find similar meaning in the name of their new record, the just-released La caverne, may be disappointed to learn that it comes not from the dark, subterranean underworld of their collective psyches mined for inspiration but more likely the fact that the album was recorded in a house shaped like a geodesic dome. But listening to the new record you wouldn’t have to go very far to imagine that they decked the studio out with lasers and mirror balls, given it’s surprisingly sleek and dance-friendly vibe. Lead track and single “Synesthésie” gives immediate notice that things are different for the band this time out, applying a fresh shimmer to both guitars and synths and mating them with an irresistible rhythm.

While signature elements like Julien Mineau’s smooth/raspy vocals keep things familiar, La caverne is leaner and more focused than either Trompe-l’oeil or Labyrinthes and also possibly their most immediate. So what happens when a band that’s already twice been acclaimed as having made one of the ten best Canadian records in a year makes their big pop move? Three guesses.

Malajube are currently on tour in Quebec and southern Ontario, with a few US dates thrown in, and will be at The Horseshoe Tavern on May 30. JAM, The Montreal Gazette,, Montreal Mirror and The National Post have interviews with the band.

And courtesy of the label, I’ve also got three copies of La caverne on vinyl to give away – to enter, email me at contests AT with “Je veux la caverne” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body. Contest is open to residents of Canada and closes at midnight, April 28.

MP3: Malajube – “Synesthésie”
Video: Malajube – “Synesthésie”

With the April 26 release – in Canada, anyways – of sophomore album Was I The Wave? nigh, check out one the new Miracle Fortress songs. Americans

MP3: Miracle Fortress – “Raw Spectacle”

Sometime Miracle Fortress-er Adam Waito’s own project Adam & The Amethysts have put out a video from their still-forthcoming second album Flickering Flashlight, due out sometime.

Video: Adam & The Amethysts – “Prophecy”

Pitchfork reports that Arcade Fire are going to let their Suburbs sprawl a little more this Summer, by way of a deluxe CD/DVD package due out on June 27. The DVD component will be the Spike Jonze-helmed mini-feature Scenes From The Suburbs and the CD will be their super-hit album with a couple of new songs added on for extra value.

Fucked Up have released the second of four MP3s leading up to the release of David Comes To Life on June 7 via Matablog, who also have details of a “Buy Early Get Now” presale promotion for the record in which you buy early…

MP3: Fucked Up – “A Little Death”

Caribou has elected to give away the complete recordings of the live Vibration Ensemble set from All Tomorrow’s Parties in upstate New York circa September 2009 – just hit their Soundcloud and make with the downloading. And while you wait, maybe refresh your memory as to what the Vibration Ensemble was with the writeup of their performance in Toronto the week prior.

MP3: Caribou Vibration Ensemble – “Every Time She Turns Round It’s Her Birthday”

Planet Notion interviews Stephen Ramsay of Young Galaxy.

Crawdaddy has got a nice live performance video of The Rural Alberta Advantage in a Toronto church. I don’t think it’s an official video, but it’s nice; it could be. They’re playing the Phoenix on April 29.

Spinner, The Vancouver Sun, and The Leader-Post, See check in with Tokyo Police Club as they tour across Canada. Their next local gig is Edgefest at Downsview Park on July 9.

And though it’s their eighth birthday, Toronto label Paper Bag Records are the ones offering the gifts – in the form of True Blue, a free compilation of Madonna covers by their artists, including the aforementioned Young Galaxy and Rural Alberta Advantage, PS I Love You and more, but my favourite would be the title track by Montreal’s Winter Gloves and guest vocalist Hannah Georgas. And as a sidenote, I apparently don’t know nearly as much of Madonna’s oeuvre as I thought I did. And am okay with that.

MP3: Winter Gloves w Hannah Georgas – “True Blue”

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Too Old To Die Young

Timber Timbre are Creeps, possibly weirdos; wonder what the hell they’re doing here

Photo via Canvas MediaCanvas MediaThere’s records that you hear and, regardless of how you personally feel about them, you know that they will be a big thing, that their contents will resonate with the masses and will prove to be game-changers for the artist who created it. Timber Timbre’s 2009 self-titled album was not one of these, or at least I didn’t hear it. Building swampy textures and tempos around Taylor Kirk’s low, drawling Randy Newman-ish vocals, it didn’t seem the sort of record with a lot of crossover appeal and yet it did find an audience beyond lo-fi folk/blues enthusiasts and would be one of the most highly-regarded Torontonian and even Canadian releases of the year. What can I say, I’m wrong a lot. I’m okay with that.

And so I’m not at all surprised that people are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of Timber Timbre’s new record, the marvelously-titled Creep On Creepin’ On, which is out on April 5. It keeps much of the dark, out-of-time atmospherics of its predecessor, but with Kirk’s live band Simon Trottier and Mika Posen now full-fledged members, offers a more dynamic sound with some rather rich-sounding instrumental passages. I already like it more than Timber Timbre, so everyone else is probably going to love it.

Exclaim thinks enough of it to put the band on the cover of their new issue with accompanying feature story. The record is streaming in whole at Spinner and they’ve just released a video from it as well. Months of touring begin in earnest this weekend and include a sold-out hometown show at Trinity-St. Paul’s next Friday night, April 8.

MP3: Timber Timbre – “Black Water”
Video: Timber Timbre – “Woman”
Stream: Timber Timbre / Creep On Creeping On

PS I Love You have released a new video from Meet Me At The Muster Station and support for their April 7 show at The Garrison has been revealed as Matters. Whom you may have known better as The D’Urbervilles. Which you may know as John O’Reagan’s – aka Diamond Rings – rock band. Exclaim has some info on the change in identity, both sides of their new single – which is out next week and already has a video – is streaming at Bandcamp and NOW has a chat with the director of the last Diamond Rings video.

Video: PS I Love You – “Get Over”
Video: Matters – “Get In Or Get Out”
Video: Diamond Rings – “It’s Not My Party”

Creative Loafing and Ca Va Cool check in with The Rural Alberta Advantage, who will be at The Phoenix on April 29.

Spinner and talk to Tokyo Police Club.

A new MP3 from Sloan’s forthcoming The Double Cross is up for grabs. The record is out May 10.

MP3: Sloan – “Unkind”

Matablog announced that the lead-up to the June 7 release of Fucked Up’s new record David Comes To Life would consist of four digital singles, the first of which is already up for grabs. Exclaim also reports that the band will put out a compilation of fake ’70s-era punk bands as part of Record Store Day on April 16, and are offering a track from that to wrap your head around.

MP3: Fucked Up – “The Other Shoe”

Apparently coming out of SxSW as one of the buzz bands, Austra have scheduled a hometown show at Lee’s Palace for May 19 to go with the May 17 release of Feel It Break. The Guardian declared them “New band of the day” last week.

MP3: Austra – “The Beat & The Pulse”

The Meligrove Band have released a new video from last year’s Shimmering Lights.

Video: The Meligrove Band – “Really Want It”

The National Post chats with Basia Bulat.

Stars have released a new video from last year’s The 5 Ghosts, and congratulations to Amy Millan and Evan Cranley on the birth of their daughter last week.

Video: Stars – “Changes”

PopMatters talks to Natalia Yanchak of The Dears while The Village Voice chats with Murray Lightburn.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s show in Brooklyn in mid-March. Their sold-out three-night, four-show stand at Lee’s Palace runs April 22 to 24.

Exclaim talks to Little Scream, whose debut The Golden Record arrives April 12. She opens for Antlers at The Mod Club on June 14.

Exclaim has details on Miracle Fortress’ long-awaited second album Was I The Wave?, due out April 26 and previewed impressively (though in the dark) back Canadian Musicfest. A track from the record is available in exchange for your email address.

Ottawa post-pop instrumentalists My Dad Vs. Yours have released a video from their gorgeous new record Little Symphonies. The Link has an interview with guitarist Jose Palacios.

Video: My Dad Vs Yours – “Happy Wanderer / Carry The Weight”

The Take talks with Juno award winner Shad, who by way of thanks is giving away a new track recorded with Skratch Bastid. There’s also a video interview with Shad from the Junos by the Province of Ontario. Our tax dollars at work!

MP3: Shad & Skratch Bastid – “Give You All I Can”
Video: Shad & Skratch Bastid – “Give You All I Can”

eye, The Chicago Tribune, The Riverfront Times and Austinist talk to Dan Bejar of Destroyer, who are playing a sold-out show at Lee’s Palace tonight.