Posts Tagged ‘Wolf Parade’

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Basement Scene

Deerhunter hit the road; deer everywhere on notice

Photo By Barry KlippBarry KlippBradford Cox’s Deerhunter first began marketing their forthcoming album Halcyon Digest earlier this Summer via unconventional means, initiating a campaign wherein fans would download and print off old-school, xerox-styled flyers promoting the record and submit pictures of them posted up in and around their neighbourhoods in exchange for MP3 goodies, both from the new record and the Deerhunter archives. I can’t say as that I’ve seen any around my own hood, but clearly people have been participating.

As the September 28 release date for the new record draws near, the Atlanta-based band are gearing up for a more conventional but proven effective means of record promotion – touring their asses off. Pitchfork has the full itinerary, which includes a handful of northeast US dates this month before kicking off in earnest come October. Toronto welcomes them back – they were just here in March opening up for Spoon – on October 19 for a date at the Opera House, where they’ll be supported by Real Estate and Casino Vs Japan.

MP3: Deerhunter – “Revival”

A Place To Bury Strangers have released a new video from Exploding Head.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “I Lived My Life To Stand In The Shadow Of Your Heart”

Antony & The Johnsons have released an MP3 for the title track from their forthcoming EP Thank You For Your Love, out August 24, as a teaser both for the short-player and the full-length it’s taken from, Swanlights, which will follow on October 12.

MP3: Antony & The Johnsons – “Thank You For Your Love”

The AV Club interviews Dean & Britta.

Nashville Scene talks to Josh Ritter. He’s at the Phoenix on October 26.

Jim James tells Rolling Stone that My Morning Jacket have been back in the studio and a new record is targeted for mid-2011.

Spin talks to Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of The Posies about their new record Blood/Candy, out September 28, and has a stream of the song “Licenses to Hide”, which features vocals from Lisa Lobsinger of Broken Social Scene and Reverie Sound Revue.

The Tripwire gets in the back of a van with The Acorn. For a video session. Get your mind out of the gutter.

The Toronto Star has a feature piece on Arcade Fire. They’re at the Toronto Islands next Saturday and last night’s MSG show is available to stream on YouTube.

As proof that their gig at the Phoenix in April actually did count as an intimate club show, Wolf Parade will be back for the finale of their Fall tour in support of Expo 86 at the Sound Academy on November 26.

MP3: Wolf Parade – “Ghost Pressure”
MP3: Wolf Parade – “What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way)

The Line Of Best Fit has released a new Oh! Canada compilation of Canadian MP3s as assembled by Brits.

Dublin’s Villagers, whose Becoming A Jackal has been shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, has a date at the Drake Underground on September 27. Tickets $10 in advance.

MP3: Villagers – “Becoming A Jackal”

Spinner talks to Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite about the band’s new studio album which is targeted for a February 2011 release. Their Burning/Special Moves live set is due on August 24.

NME talks to Paul Smith of Maximo Park about releasing his first solo album Margins, due out October 11.

MP3: Paul Smith – “North Atlantic Drift”

Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers gives BBC6 some details on their forthcoming record Postcards From A Young Man, coming September 27.

Nick Cave discusses Grinderman with Rolling Stone. Grinderman 2 is out September 14 and the North American tour kicks of November 11 at the Phoenix in Toronto. I don’t think people are sufficiently excited about this show because it’s not possible to be sufficiently excited about this show.

Brooklyn Paper talks to Jack Rabid, publisher of The Big Takeover which has just celebrated 30 years of being one of the finest and most dedicated music magazines out there. Salut.

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Walls Of Dry Clouds

An introduction to Heartbeat Hotel

Photo via FacebookFacebookI am going to go out on a limb and say that Fetus Dreams, the debut full-length from Toronto’s Heartbeat Hotel, is the best free complete album you can and should download today. And not just because all it’ll cost you is 78 MB of hard disk space and a half hour of your time

The ambient/electro psychedelic pop of Fetus Dreams has got some of that meandering Grizzly Projector Collective vibe that the kids are so into these days – probably a selling point for some but not really for me – but they maintain focus sufficiently to make sure that the pop side of things doesn’t take a back seat to the trippy. There’s a few punchy guitar rock moments that speak to the shoegazer in me but what I find most compelling is how they manage to so effortlessly evoke the golden era of Elephant 6, particularly the Olivia Tremor Control camp, without sounding like they’re trying. In fact I would be surprised if asking them whether they preferred the songs of Will Cullen Hart or Bill Doss was met with a blank stare (though I also wouldn’t be surprised if the had a shrine erected to them in their rehearsal space).

Point being, while they don’t necessarily transcend their influences, they use them well while hanging onto their own personalities. They’re on to something and that something is good. There’s no local dates on the horizon but I’ll be keeping an eye out.

MP3: Heartbeat Hotel – “Fins Of A Shark”
MP3: Heartbeat Hotel – “Walls Of Dry Clouds”
MP3: Heartbeat Hotel – “The Hello Barrel”
Album: Heartbeat Hotel / Fetus Dreams
MySpace: Heartbeat Hotel

The Georgia Straight profiles Wolf Parade.

Radio Free Canuckistan offers some ruminations on hanging out with Arcade Fire on the (figurative) eve of release of The Suburbs while The New York Times has a feature and Exclaim talks to bassist Tim Kinsbury. The official release date is this coming Tuesday but local retailers appear to have the go-ahead to start selling the double-vinyl this weekend. Arcade Fire play the Toronto Islands on August 14 and their show at Madison Square Garden next Thursday will be streamed live on YouTube starting at 10PM EDT, and the show will be directed by Terry Gilliam – which means you can expect a giant foot to come down and crush the band at the climax of “Power Out”.

The Sadies have released a new video from Darker Circles. They join Arcade Fire on the Island on August 14.

Video: The Sadies – “Cut Corners”

Sarah Harmer has released a new video from Oh Little Fire

Video: Sarah Harmer – “Captive”

FFWD profiles Dan Mangan.

Chart talks to Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon about his upcoming record(s). The vinyl edition of Balladeer, which was originally released as a companion disc to this year’s Die Stadt Muzikanten, now exists and will be available for sale soon. Woodpigeon play a noon-hour show at Yonge-Dundas Square on October 6.

Jason Collett will make up for his cancelled show at Mod which was supposed to happen last week with a solo acoustic date at the Church Of The Redeemer on November 11, part of his coast-to-coast “Undressed Tour”.

MP3: Jason Collett – “Love Is A Dirty Word”

Spin asks Metric where they got their name. Metric explains.

They were originally supposed to unveil a new video from Forgiveness Rock Record, but Broken Social Scene have decided to keep that under wraps until next week. PitchforkTV has your BSS video fix, though, as the band is featured in the debut of a new interactive multi-camera video session series called POV.

The Line Of Best Fit and A Pocket Full Of Seeds talk to Tokyo Police Club. There’s also a video session with the band at Baeble Music.

Born Ruffians tell Chart that they dig Bill Murray. And if you do too, then this interview at GQ and this bit of satire (yes) at Christwire. Because they’re funny.

Black Mountain are sharing a couple MP3s from the forthcoming Wilderness Heart, out September 14.

MP3: Black Mountain – “Hair Song”
MP3: Black Mountain – “Old Fangs”

Boise Weekly talks to The New Pornographers’ Carl Newman.

Caribou talks to whilst dropping a new video from Swim.

Video: Caribou – “Sun”

Spinner talks to Holy Fuck.

Pitchfork is streaming Fucked Up’s new epic-length single “The Year Of The Ox”, which will be out on 12″ come September 28.

The Toronto Star talks to Daniel Lanois about the new Neil Young record, which he is producing. He intends to premiere some of the new songs at Nuit Blanche in October. The Guardian also has some details on the forthcoming Archives : Volume Two due out… oh let’s not even play that game.

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World director Edgar Wright is the cover story in this month’s Exclaim and CTV has a feature piece on the comic. And head over here for a sweet Google Maps mashup of Scott Pilgrim’s Toronto.

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Pitchfork Music Festival 2010 Day 2

LCD Soundsystem, Wolf Parade, Titus Andronicus and more at Pitchfork Music Festival 2010

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangEven though it barely counted as a half-slate of acts, day one of the Pitchfork Music Festival had left me feeling more worn than it should have. Chalk it up to not having done a proper outdoor festival in a few years, and having forgotten what it was to deal with the crowds and the heat. Oh, the heat.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it yet, but this past weekend in Chicago was hot. Damn hot. Maybe technical heat wave hot. And while it was enough to make most North Americans melt, one gets the sense that Barcelona’s Delorean felt right at home. Not only do they hail from warmer climes, but the electro-euro, get-naked party anthems from their debut Subiza are tailor-made to celebrate it. The quartet did their best to turn hipsterfest into Ibiza and while they succeeded in getting some of the crowd moving, most could only muster the energy to sway.

Photos: Delorean @ Aluminum Stage – July 17, 2010
MP3: Delorean – “Stay Close”
Video: Delorean – “Stay Close”

Over at the Balance Stage, set a little ways from the main stages and more importantly in a shady grove of trees, Kurt Vile was turning in a set of ’70s-ish art-punk/pop that wasn’t much to look at, with Vile generally keeping his face hidden under a heavy head of hair, but was great to listen to. I think I still have a copy of his 2009 release Childish Prodigy kicking around somewhere – I should get better acquainted with it. Vile comes to town for a show at the Great Hall tonight.

Photos: Kurt Vile @ Balance Stage – July 17, 2010
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Overnite Religion”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Hunchback”
Video: Kurt Vile – “Freak Train”
MySpace: Kurt Vile

I’d mentioned that a lot of the acts at Pitchfork were performing in a setting far larger than they were accustomed to, and that it shouldn’t be a surprise if what works in a small club doesn’t translate onto an outdoor stage. Such was not the case for Titus Andronicus. Maybe more than any other band still living on the club circuit, the New Jersey punks not only rose to the occasion but used it as a launching pad for even greater things. Tearing through material from their excellent album The Monitor, they had the undivided attention of thousands who were more than up for screaming “you will always be a loser!” at the tops of their lungs. Though guest spots from tourmates Hallelujah The Hills on horns helped classy up the proceedings a bit, it was still all about the fury of Patrick Stickles’ grand and angry anthems. The first truly epic set of the weekend.

Photos: Titus Andronicus @ Connector Stage – July 17, 2010
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “A More Perfect Union”
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Four Score And Seven” (Part One)
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Four Score And Seven” (Part Two)
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus”
Video: Titus Andronicus – “A More Perfect Union”
Video: Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus”
MySpace: Titus Andronicus

Back at the mainstage, the throngs gathered for a little Wu-Tang action courtesy of Raekwon. Now no one in their right mind expects a hip-hop show to start on time, even at a festival where things had been running pretty damned smoothly, but this time the delays weren’t the fault of the performer – the DJ’s laptop was apparently overheating on stage and generally freaking out over the PA. I’m telling you, people, it was hot. Eventually they sorted things out sufficiently that Raekwon was able to come out and do his thing, and while my hip-hop education has been ongoing, his stuff seemed to have a harder, leaner aesthetic to the beats and backing than the more throwback, old-school (read: ’80s-style) hip-hop that I’d been listening to. But that said, his set had an extremely positive energy, buoyed by a sea of Wu Tang hand salutes from the crowd, and peaked with a performance from a quartet of pint-sized (child, not midget) breakdancers showing off their moves.

Photos: Raekwon @ Aluminum Stage – July 17, 2010
Video: Raekwon – “New Wu”
Video: Raekwon – “House Of Flying Daggers”
Video: Raekwon – “Ice Cream”
Video: Raekwon – “Canal Street”

I’m not sure if Jon Spencer, Judah Bauer and Russell Simins were going by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion or just Blues Explosion, but I suspect the former was more appropriate as they had taken the project out of mothballs to mark the reissues of the albums which came out under the JSBX name and not the ill-received Damage which was credited to just BX. Whichever it was, they clearly hadn’t let any rust settle because while Spencer wasn’t quite the unhinged blues prophet from their ’90s heyday, he still fit into his leather pants pretty well and those blues still exploded on cue, delivering big guitar jams and plenty of rock’n’roll swagger. Ever the showman. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion plays Lee’s Palace on July 31.

Photos: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion @ Connector Stage – July 17, 2010
Video: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “She Said”
Video: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Sweet N Sour”
Video: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Wail”
Video: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Dang”
Video: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Flavor”
Video: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Talk About The Blues”
MySpace: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Wolf Parade have always hung around at the periphery of stuff I like – I enjoy the live show but the albums never stay in rotation that long – but with their latest Expo 86, they may well have made an album that I can really get into though it may be for the reasons that some fans like it the least; to my ears, their many quirks and tics have been dialed down and they’ve just made a big rock record. And as such, they were more than suited to play the next-to-last mainstage set for the day, coming as close as the festival would to stadium-size rock anthems. Their live show still relied heavily on Dan Boeckner for stage presence, but it was good to see Spencer Krug not only moving his keyboards to centre stage – last time I saw them he was off to the side – but also contributing some serious hair whipping. JAM has an interview with Wolf Parade.

Photos: Wolf Parade @ Aluminum Stage – July 17, 2010
MP3: Wolf Parade – “Ghost Pressure”
MP3: Wolf Parade – “What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way)
MP3: Wolf Parade – “Language City”
MP3: Wolf Parade – “Call It A Ritual”
MP3: Wolf Parade – “My Father’s Son”
MP3: Wolf Parade – “Shine A Light”
Video: Wolf Parade – “Modern World”
Video: Wolf Parade – “Shine A Light”
Video: Wolf Parade – “I’ll Believe In Anything”

I have never counted myself as an Animal Collective fan, but was still curious to see what Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear, had up his sleeve for his Connector stage-closing set. As it turns out, he had pretty much nothing. Taking the concept of “solo act” very seriously, he was set up on a platform positioned well towards the back of the stage, standing with a guitar behind a bank of keyboards. And from this position, he played tuneless drones and random beats seemingly designed to test peoples patience. It was hard to tell if it was a deliberate anti-performance or if it simply hadn’t occurred to him that what he was doing was extraordinarily dull to watch, but from the faces in the crowd, the reaction seemed to be somewhat blissful but mostly bored and a few confused. If Panda Bear ever goes on tour, I’d like to suggest that he keep the same wheeled platform, but have it spew flames while being pushed around by armoured dwarves. Or something. Anything.

Photos: Panda Bear @ Connector Stage – July 17, 2010
Video: Panda Bear – “Take Pills”

The Toronto stop of LCD Soundsystem’s supposed farewell tour was an unqualified slice of amazing, but somehow I knew that this setting would potentially provide an even greater high, to say nothing of extra personal space for dancing. After all, the bigger the crowd, the bigger the party, right? In this case, absolutely right. James Murphy and crew seemed to be feeling extra loose and riding the vibe from the audience, as though their set list read much like that in Toronto, the rockers seemed wilder and the dance numbers groovier and Murphy’s between-song banter extra droll. It was 90 minutes of steady, throbbing good times with the highlight of many highlights being, unsurprisingly, “All My Friends”, which just sounds better and better the bigger and louder it’s played. I may have come late to the LCD party, but I’m not leaving till they kick me out.

Photos: LCD Soundsystem @ Aluminum Stage – July 17, 2010
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Drunk Girls”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Someone Great”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “North American Scum”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Tribulations”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Daft Punk Is Playing”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Movement”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Losing My Edge”
MySpace: LCD Soundsystem

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

That's When The Ceremony Starts

The Hidden Cameras lead off Summerworks 2010 lineup

Photo via FacebookFacebookSummerworks has long been an established name in Toronto’s theatrical community, staging successful festivals every Summer (hence the name) for as long as I’ve lived here, but in the last couple of years, they’ve been expanding their mandate with a musical series that has aimed to get theatre fans to to discover some of the city’s best up-and-coming independent music and vice versa. Each year has gotten better and better, and the just-announced 2010 music series is handily continuing that trend.

As previously mentioned, the main attraction this year is a two-night stand from The Hidden Cameras wherein they’ll reimagine their last record Origin:Orphan in a theatrical context, but also appearing at the Lower Ossington Theatre from August 5th through the 14th will be Ghost Bees, Diamond Rings, Laura Barrett, Snowblink, Evening Hymns and The Wilderness Of Manitoba, amongst many others.

The performance space is divided into a mainstage and a performance bar; tickets for the former are available in advance at Rotate This, Soundscapes and the venue box office while admission for the latter is pay-what-you-can on the evening of the show, with mainstage ticket holders getting in for free. Check out the schedule to see who’s playing where and when.

MP3: The Hidden Cameras – “Walk On”
MP3: Laura Barrett – “Decepticon Island Optimists Club”
MP3: Diamond Rings – “Wait And See”
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Broken Rifle”
MP3: Ghost Bees – “Vampires Of The West Coast”
MP3: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Hermit”

Domino Records is offering a download of Owen Pallett’s new Lewis Takes His Shirt Off EP for one week only. And that week started a couple days ago, so get moving. And speaking of getting moving, it was just announced that Pallett will be appearing at the Dakota Tavern tonight as part of White Whale Wendesdays this month, playing with Snailhouse, Octoberman and Tusks.

Hannah Georgas has released a new video from This is Good. She plays the Molson Amphitheatre on July 30 as part of the dog’s breakfast Disco Lemonade show.

Video: Hannah Georgas – “Bang Bang You’re Dead”

Spinner talks to Rolf Klausener of The Acorn about their new record No Ghost.

The Coast have announced their second album Queen Cities will be out on September 14, and they’ll play a hometown record release show at the El Mocambo on September 23.

Metric turned in a compact, two-song set for Daytrotter. Maybe they were in a hurry to make this interview with The Riverfront Times?

Paste catches up with Stars; they’re at Massey Hall on October 23.

Billboard has posted their cover story on Arcade Fire. They play the Toronto Islands on August 14.

The Boston Herald and Beatroute have features on Wolf Parade

Gord Downie & The Country Of Miracles will bring The Grand Bounce to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on November 5.

Video: Gord Downie & The Country Of Miracles – “The East Wind”

BeatRoute, The Montreal Gazette and The National Post talk to Sarah Harmer.

Indie rock endorsements: Liz Powell of Land Of Talk tells The Sound It Resounds why Fugazi’s In On The Kill Taker was so important to her while over at Rock Torch, Dan Mangan recommends some time spent with Bon Iver.

Both Acts Of Minor Treason and Comics Alliance take photo tours of Scott Pilgrim’s Toronto. The Beguiling is hosting a release party for Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour next Monday night, with the books going on sale at midnight, while Scott Pilgrim Vs The World opens in theatres on August 13.

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Ten More Songs

2010 Polaris Music Prize short list announced

Photo By Amanda SchenkAmanda SchenkTwo and a half weeks after announcing what a panel of unadventurous, sexist, regionally biased and indie-rockist media types had collectively decided were the 40 best Canadian albums of the past year, the Polaris Music Prize yesterday whittled said list down to a short list of ten, thus helping narrow the pool of records that everyone will complain are unworthy of recognition for the next two and a half months until a final overrated and predictably mainstream record is selected by a jury of people who are obviously pursuing their own agendas and wouldn’t know the best album in the country from a hole in the ground.

Okay, that was a bit over the top cynical but probably isn’t too far off from how some regard the prize awarded to what is deemed the Canadian album “of the highest artistic integrity”, now entering its fifth year and having gone in that time from a curious Juno upstart to an internationally recognized honour. And yeah, if so inclined you can pick holes in the prize’s methodology, jury and validity but the fact is, it’s done a pretty great job of supporting and spotlighting great Canadian artists and records over the past half decade and with this year’s list of finalists, continues to do so. Some would point to the presence of five past nominees – including two winners – on the list as proof that things are too narrow or predictable, but that’s what happens when you’ve got artists who’re at the top of their game turning out great records, and should really be cause for celebration rather than disdain.

I’ve talked at some length about many of the nominees, but haven’t really said much about Darker Circles, the latest from Canadian music veterans and first-time nominees The Sadies, and that’s probably because I’ve been following the band for so long that I pretty much take them and their awesomeness for granted now. It’s a given that they’ll tour incessantly and turn in incendiary shows every night, back up countless legendary artists on stage and on record and do it all while dressed impeccably and making it look easy. And lost in all of that is the fact that each album they’ve put out in recent years has been much more than just an excuse to tour – the brothers Good have also become excellent songwriters, making their unique psych-country-punk-surf-rock hybrid not only a showcase for their astounding musicianship, but their storytelling abilities. That Darker Circles made the short list only surprised me in that it felt like a logical progression in their growth and not a quantum leap ahead that demanded your notice, but I won’t complain either way.

That said, I still believe that Shad absolutely should and very well could win. Though if we get a repeat winner for the first time this year… I’m okay with that too.

The Polaris Prize short list for this year is as follows; a winner will be selected the evening of September 20.

The Besnard Lakes / The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “Albatross”

Broken Social Scene / Forgiveness Rock Record
MP3: Broken Social Scene – “World Sick”

Caribou / Swim
MP3: Caribou – “Odessa”

Karkwa / Les Chemins De Verre
Video: Karkwa – “Moi-Lèger” (live)

Dan Mangan / Nice, Nice, Very Nice
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Robots”

Owen Pallett / Heartland
Video: Owen Pallett – “Lewis Takes His Shirt Off”

Radio Radio / Belmundo Regal
Video: Radio Radio – “Dekshoo”

The Sadies / Darker Circles
Video: The Sadies – “Postcards”

Shad / TSOL
MP3: Shad – “Yaa I Get It”

Tegan & Sara / Sainthood
Video: Tegan & Sara – “Alligator”

Chart gets inaugural prize winner Owen Pallett’s thoughts on being nominated a second time, as well as second-time nom Shad. They also talk to Dan Mangan and The Sadies about being first time short-listers.

Ca Va Cool and The Korea Times talk to Caribou’s Dan Snaith.

They Shoot Music has posted a video session with The Hidden Cameras, whose contribution to the Buffet Libre Peace compilation – a fundraiser for Amnesty International – is now available to download. They play two nights at the Lower Ossington Theatre on August 5 and 6 as part of Summerworks.

MP3: The Hidden Cameras – “The Mild Mannered Army”

Also doing the video session thing are The Acorn; they’ve got performances up at The Fly and Southern Souls.

Toronto’s Zeus have released a new ninja-powered video.

Video: Zeus – “How Does It Feel”

Blurt profiles Wolf Parade.

ABC News examines the musical and marketing stratagems of Arcade Fire, whose new record The Suburbs arrives August 3. They play the Toronto Islands on August 14.

Spinner has the album art for and tour dates in support of Land Of Talk’s new record Cloak & Cipher, out August 24. They’ll be at Lee’s Palace on September 16 and presale packages consisting of the new album on CD and concert tickets are available. There’s also a live session with the band from last Fall available to stream or download at CBC Radio 3 (talking stops and music starts at around 1:50).

Magnet has an interview with Evan Cranley of Stars as they take over their website for the week. They also play Massey Hall on October 23.

Spinner solicits opinions from various Canadian musicians on the G20 clusterfuck that went down in Toronto a couple weekends ago.