Posts Tagged ‘Yelle’

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Something's Turning Over

C’Mon Low, give us a new record and tour already. Oh you are? Great.

Photo By Sara KieslingSara KieslingIt might not have seemed like four years, what with Alan Sparhawk’s Retribution Gospel Choir putting out not one but 2 records in the interim, but it really has been that long since Low released their last album. The wait for a new record finally comes to an end on April 12, though, when their uncharacteristically breezily-titled ninth album C’Mon is released.

Whereas once you sort of knew exactly what to expect from a Low record – beautifully slow, slowly beautiful – they threw expectations out the window in 2005 with the unqualified rock squalls of The Great Destroyer and then followed that with the exceedingly dark and skeletal Drums & Guns. So what will C’Mon bring? Hard to say, but Dave Fridmann, who lent his unmistakeable sonic signature to those last two records is out as producer and Matt Beckley, whose resume skews decidedly top 40 has a co-producer on the record, so there’s that. The first MP3 from the record certainly sounds gentler and more organic than the last couple records, reminiscent of the warm tones of Trust, but obviously this is just one song of ten – the other nine could well be auto-tuned dance floor jams.

In conjunction with the new record, Low have slated a Spring tour that brings them to Toronto for a May 2 show at the Mod Club – their first visit since opening for Wilco at Massey Hall in June 2007 and their first headlining show since January 2006. Stereogum has an interview with Mimi Parker about the new record and how she spent the downtime, and props go to Bradley’s Almanac, who took the photo that’s being used as the cover art.

MP3: Low – “Try To Sleep”

Young Prisms, who are opening up for The Radio Dept.’s sold-out show at Lee’s Palace on the evening of February 7 will warm up with an in-store at Sonic Boom at 4PM that afternoon. And if these two appearances are insufficient or inconvenient, they’re back on April 21 at Parts & Labour supporting The Fresh & Onlys.

MP3: Young Prisms – “Sugar”

Phosphorescent, who had to cancel their show at The Horseshoe last July on account of all their gear being stolen (it was later miraculously recovered) will finally make it to town on April 10 for a show at Lee’s Palace. Their latest is last year’s Here’s To Taking It Easy.

MP3: Phosphorescent – “It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama)”
MP3: Phosphorescent – “The Mermaid Parade”

Parisian pop from Jamaica may sound like a geographic impossibility but it’s a real thing. Jamaica (the band) will release their debut No Problem in North America on April 12 and follow it with a North American tour that includes a stop at Toronto’s Drake Underground on April 19.

Video: Jamaica – “I Think I Like U 2”
Video: Jamaica – “Short And Entertaining”

And whilst on the topic of French pop, Yelle is giving away an MP3 of the title track from her new record Safari Disco Club, which will be released March 29. Her massive North American tour brings her to The Opera House on May 4.

MP3: Yelle – “Safari Disco Club”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune talks to Ira Kaplan and James McNew of Yo La Tengo about the wheel of fortune controlling the destiny (and set lists) of the shows on their current tour – The AV Club examines the possibilities the wheel offers. Beatroute has a regular old interview with Kaplan.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of The Hold Steady’s show in Brooklyn last week.

Pitchfork has a Q&A with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart as well as a stream of the title track of their new record Belong, due out March 29, while Spinner solicits frontman Kip Berman’s Super Bowl predictions.

Spin talks to The Submarines about their new record Love Notes/Letter Bombs, out April 5. They play The Horseshoe on April 22.

Crawdaddy talks songwriting with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine.

And finally, I – along with what seems like every other website in the country – has made the long list of CBC Radio 3’s survey of “Best Canadian Music Website, which is nice because it’s been a while since I’ve lost any awards. If you’re feeling like exercising your franchise and helping me lose by a smaller margin than usual, please head over there and vote because if you don’t, then the terrorists have won.

Thursday, January 27th, 2011


Wilco go off on their own, Jeff Tweedy goes it alone

Photo via FacebookFacebookThere’s been no news to report on with regards to the new Wilco album proper besides that it will be out in 2011, but there still a few very noteworthy items to surface lately. Firstly, what with their deal with Nonesuch expiring with 2009’s Wilco (The Album), the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the band have done what pretty much everyone expected and started their own label to release their next album. The marque will be called dBpm Records and will be distributed by the folks at Anti Records, so the band will be in control of their own destiny yet remain in good hands.

More immediately and of interest to those in the general northeast/midwest of North America, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy is striking out for a handful of solo shows starting on March 22 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto. This will be the first time Tweedy has come here alone since an appearance at Trinity-St. Paul’s in 2001, a show I missed in favour of seeing the Toronto debuts of Doves and some flash-in-the-pans called The Strokes at The Opera House; a decision I simultaneously regret enormously and not at all. And whether I’ll be able to see this one is up in the air as I might still be in Austin post-SxSW on work when it goes down. Alas. Ticket info on the show is still forthcoming, stay tuned.

And of course a few weeks back it was confirmed that the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival would be returning for a second year at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts from June 24 to 26. No word on performers yet, but it’s a pretty safe bet that Wilco will be playing.

Wilco – doing it for themselves, yo.

MP3: Wilco – “What Light”

A slew more show announcements over the last few days – the latest addition to Sub Pop’s burgeoning stable of sensitive folk-pop artists from the Pacific northwest are Seattle’s The Head & The Heart, who released their self-titled debut last year and had it reissued digitally by the label earlier this year with physical re-release coming for April 16. They will be at The Horseshoe on February 24, tickets $10.50 in advance.

MP3: The Head & The Heart – “Down In The Valley”

Jessica Lea Mayfield will be at the Drake Underground with Daniel Martin Moore on April 4, tickets $15.50. Her new record Tell Me is out February 11 and his latest In The Cool Of The Day came out last week. Full tour dates at Pitchfork. Mayfield was declared “New band of the day” by The Guardian a couple weeks back if you need a primer.

MP3: Daniel Martin Moore – “In The Cool Of The Day”

Lou Barlow’s got to hold some sort of record for active ongoing projects or reunions – in addition to his solo work and Dinosaur Jr – and you know The Folk Implosion would be back if he could find John Davis – he’s also reconvened Sebadoh what with the impending reissues of Bakesale and Harmacy and will be hitting the road this Spring. Exclaim reports that Bakesale will be out on April 4 in the UK with Harmacy following in the Summer, but North American release details are still unclear. What is clear is that the band will be at Lee’s Palace on April 6 and that tickets will run you $23.50. Gimme indie rock… reunions.

MP3: Sebadoh – “Dreams”
MP3: Sebadoh – “On Fire”

The Old 97’s will make up that cancelled show with Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond at the ElMo back in November by bringing the rest of the band along for a date at The Horseshoe on April 6. Teddy Thompson supports and tickets are $23.50 in advance. Denver Westword talks to frontman Rhett Miller.

Video: The Old 97’s – “Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)” (live)

Toronto’s Timber Timbre will release their second fourth record in the terrifically-titled Creep On Creepin’ On on April 5 and follow that up posthaste with a show at Trinity St. Paul’s on April 8, tickets $20. Details and further tour dates at Chart.

MP3: Timber Timbre – “Demon Ghost”

The Phoenix will be doubling as some kind of garage on April 16 when The Black Lips and Vivian Girls come to town. Tickets will be $18.50 and Pitchfork has the full tour itinerary. Black Lips have a new record due out this Summer while Vivian Girls’ third album Share The Joy is due out this Spring.

MP3: The Black Lips – “Short Fuse”
MP3: Vivian Girls – “Where Do You Run To?”

Oakland, Californians Hunx & HIs Punx will release their new album Too Young To Be In Love on March 29 and hit The Horseshoe on April 27; details at Exclaim.

MP3: Hunx & HIs Punkx – “Lover’s Lane”

French dance-pop queen Yelle will release her second record Safari Disco Club on March 29 and will be touring North America post-Coachella, including a May 4 date at The Opera House.

Video: Yelle – “Je Veux Te Voir”

New York’s Sleigh Bells and Brazil’s CSS are teaming up for a Spring tour that includes two nights in Toronto, May 16 and 17 at The Mod Club. The Prague Post interviews Sleigh Bells.

MP3: Sleigh Bells – “Infinity Guitars”
MP3: CSS – “Rat Is Dead”

With a new album complete and presumably out sometime this Summer, Australia’s Architecture In Helsinki are coming to town for a date at The Mod Club on June 11.

MP3: Architecture In Helsinki – “Heart It Races”

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

SxSW 2009 A/V – Yelle

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangYelle
St Brieuc, France

French synth-pop outfit led by Julie Budet whose debut Pop-Up was released in 2007.
Show review

Photos: Yelle @ Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room – March 18, 2009
Video: Yelle – “Ce Jeu”
Video: Yelle – “Je Veux Te Voir”
MySpace: Yelle

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

SxSW 2009 Day One

Amanda Palmer, Yelle, J Tillman and more at SxSW

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor brevity’s sake, I’m busting up the days and nights of SxSW into separate posts. Of course, a greater volume of posts doesn’t exactly equal brevity, does it. Anyways. As with last year, photos, multimedia and assorted sundry links for all acts covered will come in the following week.

I started Wednesday with a plan. It took exactly no time for said plan to go off course. I’d meant to start with Henry Clay People at Paradise but a promise of free food and beverages at the Austinist party from Donewaiting had me starting things off at the Mohawk with a cup of absinthe. It was… kinda nasty, actually. There was music but nothing I paid particular attention to, and with my head just a bit fuzzy, it was to the Radio Room to see Amanda Palmer. I’m not especially a Dresden Dolls fan but I did see them at Lollapalooza a few years back and enjoyed them quite a bit, and Palmer solo didn’t disappoint. Just off a plane from Australia or New Zealand, she was a bit loopy but still in fine form, playing material from her recent solo record and closing with a ukulele-led, audience sing-along cover of Radiohead’s “Creep”.

Then it was across the street to Maggie Mae’s for new Scottish outfit We Were Promised Jetpacks. I’d been hoping they’d impress the way Frightened Rabbit did last year, but while they weren’t bad by any means, they didn’t make much of an impression with their mildly angsty and anxious indie rock. There were a few moments in a few of their songs that stood out, but not nearly enough.

I was headed out the door of Maggie Mae’s when I ran into a friend who said that French electro-pop act Yelle was about to start just upstairs. Sure, why not – I’d made half-hearted efforts to see her a couple times in the past (which is to say I thought about it), so now was as good a time as any. As it turned out, they were running quite a bit late but when Yelle finally took the stage, it was absolutely worth the wait. Backed by a live drummer and keyboardist and even with a truncated set, frontwoman Julie Budet was an electrifying presence, bounding about the stage and working the packed house into a frenzy. So much sweaty fun.

Gears could not have shifted more with the next act, as I moved from Parisian dancefloors to the Pacific northwest for J Tillman. Though best known as the drummer for Fleet Foxes, Tillman is also a notable singer-songwriter in his own right and was set to demonstrate his skills at Emo’s Annex. Unfortunately, persistent feedback prompted him to abandon the stage after a song and play unamplified in the audience. It was a terrific gesture and the crowd pulled in close around him, but with the racket of all the other day shows bleeding into the open-air venue, it was nigh impossible to hear him play or sing. But still, a noble effort.

Sound problems were also prevalent back at Paradise where I hopped over to see Justin Townes Earle, where there was much feedback coming through the monitors as music. And while Earle took it more graciously than his increasingly grumpy sideman, he was still obviously perturbed though not so much as to take it out on the audience. He may have gotten initial attention because of his famous father, but Earle is his own man and draws little from Steve Earle’s country-rock template, favouring a more traditionally-styled sort of country music. an impressive songwriter and performer.

It was then across the street to Peckerhead’s to wrap up the afternoon portion of the day. I got there in time to see Brooklyn’s Phenomenal Handclap Band. I’ve heard them called “Brooklyn’s Broken Social Scene”, which might be accurate if Broken Social Scene traded in ’70s funk-soul pastiches. There were a lot of members, though, maybe that was the angle. Mildly interesting, but I soon hopped over to the other side of the venue.

And that was where Reading, UK’s Pete & The Pirates were setting up. I’d heard a bit of buzz around the five-piece and had given their debut Little Death a few spins – it didn’t send me over the moon but I was curious enough to give them some time. Live, they weren’t any sort of revelation, one part Noah & The Whale and one part Arctic Monkeys, but adequately catchy and energetic – just kind of anonymous. I didn’t leave thinking that these guys were underrated, just properly-rated.

And then it was time for dinner.