Posts Tagged ‘Whigs’

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

We Can Get Together

The Hold Steady declare Heaven to be right now; advance stream new album

Photo By Mark SeligerMark SeligerPerhaps cognizant of the fact that their new record would be ripped and leaked to the internet approximately 41 minutes and 20 seconds after the first store opened up on Saturday for Record Store Day and the first of those 600 limited edition LPs sold, The Hold Steady have made Heaven Is Whenever available to stream at NPR in its entirety, more than two weeks ahead of its official May 4 street date. The record is their first since the departure of keyboardist Franz Nicolay and accordingly, first impressions reveal a leaner, more guitar-driven sound though there’s still keyboard flourishes where necessary and, if my ears don’t deceive me, some clarinet action as well.

The first leg of North American touring for the album only covered some American west coast and southeast dates, but after a month in Europe in June, they’re back on the road in July and while full dates are still forthcoming, one is confirmed for July 16 at the Kool Haus in Toronto with The Whigs as support. Yes, it took a while but it appears that everyone’s favourite bar band is now too big to play bars. They’re still trying to make the show special, however. Dubbed “Sneakers & Speakers”, it’s being co-presented by former Toronto Raptor and on-record music aficionado Matt Bonner – the Red Rocket – and a portion of the ticket sales will be donated to the Toronto Boys & Girls Club. Tickets for the show will be $21.50 and go on sale Friday. Update: Full tour dates from the second North American leg are up, and it looks like the T.O. show is the tour closer. If you think THAT’S not going to be beer-soaked, you are dumb.

And if you want to hear how the new stuff sounds alongside the old, NYC Taper is sharing a recording of the band’s show at the Bowery in New York last week.

Stream: The Hold Steady / Heaven Is Whenever

Also coming soon to your ears via advance stream is High Violet, the new record from The National. Starting this Friday, it’ll be streaming at The New York Times for the two and a half weeks leading up to its May 11 release. That’s right, the Old Gray Lady is getting her rocks off. Drowned In Sound and Black Book have features on the band, who will be at Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

Filter Q&As The Antlers, who have released a new video from Hospice and are opening up both of those Massey shows for The National. There’s a streamable session with the band at WPGU wherein they cover The xx and if you head over to their website, you can currently download two pre-HospiceNew York Hospitals and Cold War.

Video: The Antlers – “Sylvia”

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Santa Barbara Independent and Aquarium Drunkard have interviews with Beach House. They play the Toronto Islands on June 19.

The Colorado Springs Independent and OC Weekly talk to Alan Sparhawk of Retribution Gospel Choir.

The Courier-Journal, and Spinner talk to Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles.

Filter thinks you should already know Ted Leo. He’s at Lee’s Palace on June 26.

Voxy has an interview with Wilco’s John Stirratt.

MBV Music has got the first MP3 from the forthcoming Pernice Brothers record Goodbye, Killer. It’s out June 15.

New LCD Soundsystem video. I hope they dress their roadies up like pandas whilst on tour. This Is Happening is out May 18 and they play the Kool Haus on May 25.

Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Drunk Girls”

M.I.A. will release her third album, as yet untitled, on June 29.

The Fader have got an MP3 of the Blonde Redhead contribution to 4AD’s Record Store Day 12″ available to download.

MP3: Blonde Redhead – “Not Getting There”

CokeMachineGlow has an interview with A Sunny Day In Glasgow.

A Head Full Of Wishes reports that Dean & Britta’s soundtrack for the 13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests film will be getting a release this Summer.

Tonight’s Los Campesinos! gig at the Phoenix has been canceled due to volcanic activity; the band are still stuck in the UK. Refunds available at point of purchase.

Following their April 23 show at the Horseshoe, Heavy Trash will play an in-store at Sonic Boom on April 24 at 2PM.

Daniel, Fred & Julie are scheduled to play an in-store at Soundscapes on April 26 at 7:30PM.

It’s almost a V Fest 2008 reunion when Silversun Pickups and Against Me! hit the road with The Henry Clay People for a North American tour that includes a June 29 date at the Sound Academy in Toronto; tickets $34.50 in advance.

Crowded House will be at Massey Hall on July 12 in support of their new record Intriguer, due out June 12. The Herald-Sun and The Daily Telegraph talk to Neil Finn about the new album.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros have a July 30 date at the Phoenix, tickets $19 in advance.

MP3: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes – “40 Day Dream”

Bernard Butler gives BBC6 a guitar lesson, teaching them – and you – how to play “Animal Nitrate”. Probably the closest we’ll ever come to hearing him play Suede songs again.

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Canadian Musicfest 2010 Day Three

The Brother Kite and Kill The Lights at Canadian Musicfest

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe Saturday night of Canadian Musicfest featured a considerable shift in musical gears, starting out with the gentle, harp-led orchestrations of Joanna Newsom at the Phoenix – not a CMF show and which will be written up tomorrow – and ending with some big, loud guitar rock at Rancho Relaxo. Who says I don’t have varied tastes?

An expedient streetcar and longer-than-expected set meant that I was able to catch a couple songs from Montreal’s Kill The Lights. It almost seems wrong to say I’d seen them before, as June 2006 seems like a lifetime ago and the band has undergone changes in the interim, most notably losing co-lead singer Steph Hanna sometime in the past few years (I haven’t been keeping up). That said, Kill The Lights circa 2010 didn’t sound too different from what I remembered; their collective music collection clearly overlapped with mine in and around the drone-rock/shoegazer end of things, but they took their influences in a decidedly more extroverted if somewhat anonymous direction. Spending some time with last year’s Fog Area revealed more nuance than was particularly detectable live – they like it loud – and some more personality. The best moments sound like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club with a more electronic sheen and a bit more jump in their step; the rest is just kind of forgettable.

Photos: Kill The Lights @ Rancho Relaxo – March 13, 2010
Video: Kill The Lights – “Prince Pang”

I’d seen Providence, Rhode Island’s The Brother Kite in Austin, New York City and Montreal but never Toronto, even though I was the one who put together the show for their last visit here back in Fall of 2007 (I was still at Pop Montreal when they played Tiger Bar). It’s not that I was following them around, necessarily, it’s simply that our paths crossed at various festivals and why wouldn’t I take the opportunity to see the band who put out one of my favourite records of the past decade in 2006’s Waiting For The Time To Be Right any chance I got? But that they were here again and playing just down the street from home was extra sweet. No airfare required!

Not surprisingly, their set drew a fair bit from their new record Isolation, wholly in the can but still in search a loving home to release it into the world. Though the new material takes a leaner, more spacious approach than the Ride-meets-Beach Boys lushness that made Time such a joy, it’s still immediate and wonderful – what does it say about a band that they can step away from a winning formula and still impress almost as much? It was great to hear new material from them and the contrast it provided to the older material, with its soaring guitars and melodies, made the familiar songs sound even more majestic. It remains a crime that a band this good remains so unknown and underappreciated, but I did take some satisfaction as looking at some of the impressed faces around the room and knowing that they were at least now that much better-known and appreciated.

A few tracks from Isolation (as well as their other two albums) are available to stream at their website.

Photos: The Brother Kite @ Rancho Relaxo – March 13, 2010
MP3: The Brother Kite – “Get On, Me”
Video: The Brother Kite – “I’m Not The Only One”
MySpace: The Brother Kite

Spinner, Owl & Bear and SxSW profile Slow Club, one of my must-see acts for SxSW this week. They’re playing Eastbound & Found on Thursday at 3:15PM (and other days/places but let them plug their own shows).

The Guardian profiles Laura Marling, whose new album I Speak Because I Can is streaming in its entirety over at The Times, a week before its March 23 UK release and three weeks before it comes out in North America on April 6.

Stream: Laura Marling / I Speak Because I Can

The Futureheads’ new album The Chaos will be getting a North American release on June 1.

Video: The Futureheads – “Heartbeat Song”

Nota bene: Florence & The Machine’s April 10 show at the Phoenix has been moved to the Kool Haus. Original tickets still valid for the new venue and 1000 or so more tickets are now available.

Rock rules at the Mod Club on April 28 as Band Of Skulls and The Whigs roll into town. The Whigs released their new record In The Dark today; stream it over at Spinner, who also have an interview with Band Of Skulls.

MP3: Band Of Skulls – “Blood”
Stream: The Whigs / In The Dark

The Guardian, AV Club, SxSW and NPR have interviews with Frightened Rabbit, who have a date at the Opera House on May 4.

And what, you may ask, could possibly prompt me to miss Frightened Rabbit’s second Toronto show in a row? Well, the fact that Welsh trio The Joy Formidable, one of my top new discoveries of the past year or so, will be playing at the Horseshoe that same evening – May 4 – as part of Nu Music Nites (read: free). Now I love me some Frightened Rabbit, but I’ll be seeing them this week at SxSW and they will be back. I would like to believe that the world will discover how excellent The Joy Formidable are and they, too, will be touring the world regularly but… just in case, I’m going to this show. And if you’re not at Frabbits, you should too. The Alternate Side has an interview and video session with the band. Their debut mini-album A Balloon Called Moaning is due for a North American release in March or April and their as-yet untitled first full-length is due out in June.

MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Austere”
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Greyhounds In The Slips”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Popinjay”

Jamie Lidell has set a date for the Mod Club on June 12, tickets $20. His new record Compass is due out May 18 and Paste has a chat.

MP3: Jamie Lidell – “Multiply”

BBC talks to The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess about their decision to mark the 20th anniversary of their debut Some Friendly with a reissue and tour.

The Music Magazine has an interview with Jake Evans, the one member of Bad Lieutenant who was never in New Order.