Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tonight The Streets Are Ours

Richard Hawley on Later...With Jools Holland

Apparently, tickets for the Richard Hawley show at the Horseshoe Tavern this upcoming Wednesday(December 5) are selling briskly(Rotate This is sold out, Soundscapes is almost sold out, Horseshoe/ still have sometickets). I picked up my ticket at the Horseshoe today just to be safe. My impression of Mr. Hawley's music is based solely on a few samples I've heard so far - romantic and lush, with a sound that melds Morrissey with Roy Orbison. Perhaps, music for wusses some might say, but I'll wear that badge proudly. Check out Mr. Hawley's live performance on Later...With Jools Holland from a few weeks back:

Video: Richard Hawley - Interview
Video: Richard Hawley - "Valentine"
Video: Richard Hawley - "Tonight The Streets Are Ours"
MySpace: Richard Hawley
I got through Popmatters' interview with PJ Harvey yesterday and I'm glad to have found out two things: one, she's enthusiastic about touring and two, her current gigs have been solo performances of her performing her new material as well as stripped down one-person arrangements of her older tunes. As I said recently, I'm really looking forward to seeing PJ Harvey live performing her new material or the quieter tunes of her older repertoire. Polly read my mind.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Sons and DaughtersI'm almost didn't want to like Sons and Daughters' remake of Seal's song "Killer" but Son's and Daughters' version is too good not to like(I still don't like Seal' original version though). The band's new single "Darling" is streaming over at their MySpace along with the aforementioned Seal cover. Sons and Daughters are in the midst of a UK tour(check out their tour blog at NME) - I can't wait to see them when they hopefully come back to Toronto. I've seen the band live three times and I can't wait to make it a fourth. The band's forthcoming album "Gilt Complex" will be out through Domino Records in 2008.

And while were on the topic of bands that marry swagger and melody, I see that UK band The Duke Spirit also have a new album coming out in 2008. The new album is entitled "Neptune" from which three tracks are currently streaming over at their MySpace. I loved them when I saw them play NXNE in 2006. Like Sons and Daughters above, The Duke Spirit undeservedly seem to be flying under the radar which I hope things turn around in 2008.

Back on the local front, Toronto's The Airfields bring the indiepop live for their CD release that'll be happening at Sneaky Dee's on February 2 in the new year. And if my ears do not deceive me but are those new mixes of new songs "Prisoners Of Our Love" and "Never See You Smile" currently streaming over at their MySpace. At least with the former, I'm pretty sure they were only streaming a demo version of the song before.

Heads up for Cuff The Duke fans - they'll be at HMV(333 Yonge St.) tomorrow afternoon at around 5:30 pm for a live, in-store session sponsored by CBC Radio 3 in celebration of the recently released CBC Radio 3 compilation "CBC Radio 3 Sessions: Volume 3"[info via CBC Radio 3]. The band's newest album "Sidelines of the City" is out now, and the band will be performing some songs live on CBC Radio One's "Q" show this coming weekend - the show broadcasts at 2pm and 10pm, and as the spiel goes, check your local listings.

Thanks to Pitchfork(via Brooklyn Vegan) for pointing to a video clip of Carl Newman(of The New Pornographers) and Peter(of Peter, Bjorn and John) and their impromptu live cover of The Association's pop classic "Never My Love". As much as I was talking above about music with guts and swagger, sometimes I'm just a big softie.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tunnel of Love

Just a few tidbits today:

Lavender Diamond is back in Toronto on December 17 for a show at Lee's Palace.

Plants and Animals will be opening up the Patrick Watson show at The Mod Club on December 14[via Emerge.

Just a reminder that tickets for Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at Copps Coliseum on March 3, 2008 go on sale today at 10 am.

On an aside, I just want to say that Eye Weekly 's new interface for concert listings are a little whack. Did they get rid of their "Just Announced" weekly concert listings section? Reading that every week was one of my weekly rituals.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Air will be on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic tomorrow(Nov 21) for a live session of songs off their most recent album "Pocket Symphony" plus new versions of old favourites. The session is at 2:15 EST(11:15 PST).

Coming up this Thursday, is a CBC Fuse taping at Trinity St. Paul's Church in Toronto featuring the brassy country of Rock Plaza Central and the baroque orchestral music of Tafelmusick. This should be interesting, and it's in Trinity St. Paul's no less. Admission is free, but seats are first-come, first-serve with the shindig starting at 7 pm.

Lily Frost with full band will be playing the Royal Ontario Museum on Friday November 30 at 8pm.

Interesting show news courtesy of Stille Post, Punchclock(a Toronto screenprinting company who design and print a lot of items including band t-shirts) are sponsoring a music showcase on December 6 and 7 at 938 Bathurst St.(a yet to be named gallery). The December 6 showcase will feature Final Fantasy, $100, castlemusic, and The Youngest while the next night's showcase will feature Kids On TV, lsdoubleDcup, and The Blankett. The showcases will have art on sale(items $5-$10) as well. Oh and booze too. Proceeds go to Punchclock.

According to Outside Music, Baby Eagle will be at The Music Gallery in Toronto on December 14. Baby Eagle's MySpace indicates Christine Fellows will also be performing.

Jenn Grant makes her way back to Toronto for a show at The Drake Lounge on December 28.

Young Galaxy have a show coming up at the Horseshoe Tavern on January 18, 2008. Update: They'll also be opening the Peter, Bjorn and John show at the Phoenix on January 22, 2008.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

White Chalk

PJ Harvey live on Later...With Jools Holland

Gotta love YouTube. Here's a couple of clips of PJ Harvey performing live on Later...With Jools Holland on November 16, 2007:

Video: PJ Harvey - "White Chalk" (live on Later...With Jools Holland - Nov 16, 2007)
Video: PJ Harvey - "Silence" (live on Later...With Jools Holland - Nov 16, 2007)

The more I listen to her new material, the more I'm convinced that when she eventually tours she either has to perform just the new songs or a combination of the new songs and the quieter material of her repertoire. As exhilirating as PJ Harvey is during say her big-sounding "Big Exit" or her punk-ish "50 Foot Queenie" days I'm looking forward to spending a quiet evening with Polly Jean when she hopefully hits town in the future.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In Field & Town

Hayden’s fifth full length CD, titled "In Field & Town", is set to release in Canada, January 15, 2008 on his own Hardwood Records label and to celebrate Hayden's going on tour, including a date at Danforth Music Hall on Feb 19, 2008.

According to Emerge, Sondre Lerche's November 22 date at Lee's Palace has been cancelled.

Other concert announcements: The Fiery Furnaces will be at Phoenix Concert Theatre on December 12, 2007 promoting their newest album "Widow City" out through Thrill Jockey.

Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller will be at Horseshoe Tavern on December 19.

An alliance of sorts, The Jam's Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler are joined with The Stranglers' Hugh Cornwell, and will tour as From The Jam(performing Jam songs, natch) which will make its way to Toronto for a show at Lee's Palace on February 6, 2008, tickets $30.00.

Pollstar's listing some upcoming shows at Nathan Phillips Square, including In-Flight Safety and The Golden Dogs on December 15 and Tokyo Police Club on January 26, 2008.

Ministry will be at Kool Haus on May 4, 2008.

Listen to/watch the live session that Stars did for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic this past Monday November 12.

Washington, DC pop band Georgie James(who I caught live when they opened for Ted Leo at The Mod Club in October) did a live session for MPR's The Current this past Monday November 12. Good stuff.

Under The Radar has an interview with former Lush frontwoman Miki Berenyi. Although the likelihood of any solo work(nor a Lush reunion) isn't that great you can look out for her on the forthcoming debut album by The Seinking Ships(a project consisting of Eric Matthews and Christopher Seink) where she contributes some vocals. Check out their MySpace, as well as an mp3:

MySpace: The Seinking Ships
MP3: The Seinking Ships - "Mission To Mars"

Broolyn Vegan(via Sound Bites) brings news of a Versus reunion which happened over the weekend. Well, actually it was a birthday present for former Teenbeat labelmate Matthew Datesman. I wish they'd just jump on the reunion bandwagon.

Via Largehearted Boy, The Three Imaginary Girls list the top ten indie birthday songs...and on that note, I just want to wish my buddy a happy b-day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Piano

PJ Harvey live at AOL Spinner - Oct 2007

I've been on a PJ Harvey kick lately with her latest album "White Chalk", so I'm glad to see she hasn't been shy about making the rounds to promote the new album. It gives me hope that she'll likely make it back to North America for a tour in the new year. Here's more recent Polly Jean-related multimedia for you:

Video: PJ Harvey - Interview & Live Session @ Spinner (Oct 11, 2007)
Video: PJ Harvey - Live Session @ BBC 6 Music - The Hub Sessions(Nov 7, 2007)
Video: PJ Harvey - The Piano (music video)

Also Polly Jean was on the BBC Radio London Calling progam with Gary Crowley yesterday(November 10, 2007) when she was interviewed and performed a few songs. Listen here(the session is about an hour and a few minutes into the progam and the progam will only be archived for about a week).
Did anyone catch the Radiohead live webcast a few nights ago? Wish I'd known about it sooner because from what I've seen of it so far it looked like a lot of fun. At least we can all catch it after the fact. As with every live television/webcast performance it seems, someone has uploaded the webcast in its entirety onto YouTube, and Stereogum's collected the videos into one convenient blog post. Radiohead's cover of New Order's "Ceremony" doesn't necessarily outdo the original but it stilled brimmed with energy. Deaf Indie Elephants has mp3's of all of Radiohead's performances from the webcast.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

To Talk To You

While I still continue to absorb Ms. Harvey's latest album "White Chalk"(a few songs of which you can sample here) which is far mare subtle than I'd anticiapated but so far is stunning, here are a few PJ Harvey-related links for ya':

PJ Harvey filmed a session for Yahoo! Live Sets which she recorded during her most recent trip to The States. It features an 8 song set, in front of a studio audience, and a Q & A session with fans.

The Smudge of Ashen Fluff has converted Ms. Harvey's recent KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic session(from Nov 2, 2007) for your downloading and listening pleasure. Thank you.

Polly was on the BBC Radio George Lamb program yesterday(Nov 7, 2007) when she performed a live session. Listen to the session here(I think it's only archived for a week). View photos from the session here. Supposedly their should be video of the session very soon so keep on checking back here.

Check out the live session that Jens Lekman did for KEXP over at the radio station website's streaming label archive[the session was November 6, 2007 at 9:30 am].

Record label woes no more, the news is that The Raveonettes haved signed with Vice Records and the label will be releasing the band's new album "Lust Lust Lust" in early 2008, with a US tour to follow.

Vampire Weekend will be at El Mocambo on December 13, tickets $10. I'm digging the tunes over at their MySpace, especially their song "Mansard Roof", creative pop mixing equal parts melodicism and quirkiness. Their upcoming show is on my maybe list for now.

Monday, November 05, 2007

100 days, 100 nights

A potpourri of tidbits today:

Check out the video clips of Feist and her band performing "1234" and "I Feel It All" performing on SNL from a few nights ago. If you'd watched the actual episode this past Saturday, you would have seen Feist hug guest host NBC news anchor Brian Williams at the end - that was so cute.

BlogTO has a podcast interview with Canadian director Bruce Mcdonald.

Have a craving for some vintage soul? If you're looking forward to the Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings show at Lee's Palace on November 13, why not head over to Daptone Records' Jukebox and download the free soul playlist, "Binky Griptite's GhettoFunkPowerHour!". Also check out the vintage-looking new music video for Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings' song "100 Days, 100 Nights".

Soundscapes interviews Holy Fuck.

Check out the rest of the vote-getters in I Heart Music's "Hottest Canadian Bands of 2007" poll.

I heard on Edge 102.1 FM today that The Last Town Chorus was part of The Weakerthans/Jenn Grant bill at the Phoenix on November 7 and 8 - not sure if Last Town Chorus are playing both nights though.

Handsome Furs are back in Toronto for a show at Lee's Palace on December 20.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

My Top 10 Hottest Canadian Bands/Artists of 2007

Thanks to Matthew at I Heart Music for doing his "33 Hottest Canadian Bands/Artists" poll once again and also for again including me. I went more with my gut this time around in terms of who I'd listened to the most, who I enjoyed and who had things going on in 2007. The Arcade Fire would have likely made my list, but the fact is I didn't listen to their newest album "Neon Bible" that much even though what I recall of it is actually pretty good. Below is my submission ranked from 10 to 1 with each artist/band's final ranking in the poll in brackets. I've also included the commentary I submitted for the poll. A few of my picks didn't make the top 33 so I'll be looking forward on Monday when I Heart Music posts the list of the rest of the vote-getters. Did anyone else vote for Toronto's The Airfields or Barrie's Fox Jaws?

10. (7) The Acorn (MySpace) - I saw them at the Brampton Indie Arts Festival this year and was blown away by their set. They play delicate, intricate indie rock with great swooning melodies. Lovely stuff.

9. (3) Miracle Fortress (MySpace) - An unmanageable amount of CD's is the only reason I haven't gone back to this band's album "Five Roses" very much. It's a good album and track 4("Maybe Lately") is one of the best Brian Wilson-esque songs I've heard in a long time.

8. (32) Land of Talk (MySpace) - Okay, so all the 'cool' kids were into 'em in 2006. But better late than never. Their EP "Applause Cheer Boo Hiss" is one of the few current Canadian releases I'd bothered to put on my mp3 player. Muscular and melodic at the same time, rock music should always sound this good.

7. (5) Basia Bulat (MySpace) - If she isn't playing her own show, she's performing with others(Ohbijou, The Veils, Great Lake Swimmers). She's everywhere. Which is all the better for everyone. I saw her live a few times this year, and she's one of the more charming artists I've seen. And her smile is adorable.

6. (20) Great Lake Swimmers (MySpace) - Tony Dekker and company toured like crazy this year, released a great album "Ongiara" and performed an intimate show at a church in Toronto this year. And in the near future they'll be the opening act for some upcoming Feist dates. So they only made #6 on my list but I wouldn't be surprised if they're #1 on yours.

5. (17) Ohbijou (MySpace) - Having seen them live three times this year, they've only got better with each show. They're one of the few bands where the 'big band' concept actually makes sense because all the members play a vital role in creating the band's delicate, chamber-pop sound.

4. The Airfields (MySpace) - Like a blast from the C86 Brit pop days, The Airfields perform sparkling indiepop. An enigma in the Canadian music landscape perhaps, but I'm right there with them. They just released a new single("Yr So Wonderful") and a full-length is hopefully just around the corner.

3. Fox Jaws (MySpace) - I've been a fan of them since they were known as Doris Day but I'm glad they changed their name. Their fanbase hasn't exploded this year as I'd hoped but they made some progress. Check out their debut album "Goodbye Doris" , released this year - it's really good and lead vocalist Carleigh Aikins infuses soul into indie rock at a time when indie rock really needs it.

2. (1) Feist (MySpace) - iPod commercials, Starbucks affiliations, magazine covers and television appearances aside, her album "The Reminder" was a consistently wonderful set of pop music. Naysayers, get lost.

1. (16) Jenn Grant (MySpace) - I've mentioned her so many times in the past that I've run out of good things to say. She just released her debut album "Orchestra For The Moon" and it's terrific. A lot of people say she could be the next Feist which talent-wise isn't too far off the mark.

Update: The rest of the vote-getters.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Grow, Grow, Grow

Concert Announcements:

Nov 10/2007 - Rock Plaza Central @ The Music Gallery
Nov 29/2007 - Royal Wood @ The Music Gallery
Dec 04,11,18/2007 - Jason Collett & guests @ Dakota Tavern ($15.00)
Dec 08/2007 - Justin Rutledge w/ Bazil Donovan @ Horseshoe Tavern ($15.00)
Dec 13/2007 - Apostle of Hustle @ Lee's Palace ($15.00)
Dec 15/2007 - In-Flight Safety @ Nathan Phillips Square
Dec 20/2007 - Danko Jones, C'Mon @ Horseshoe Tavern ($17.50)
Dec 31/2007 - The Golden Dogs @ Lee's Palace ($15.00)
Apr 29-30/2007 - Reverend Horton Heat, Nashville P@ssy, Backyard Tire Fire @ The Mod Club

The Hidden Cameras are coming back to Canada for some tour dates - none in Toronto at this time, but the closest they'll be to Toronto will be at Starlight Club in Waterloo, Ontario on November 29.

Unfortunately, I didn't make it to The Diableros CD release show(for their new album "Aren't Ready For The Country") at the Horseshoe Tavern last week. They have some scattered downs in Ontario this month. I probably won't make it to any of those either but maybe you can. The band's offering a download of one of their new songs("No One Wants To Drive") over at their MySpace.

Nicole Atkins & The Sea made their US television debut on Late Show With David Letterman a couple of nights ago(via Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands):

YouTube: Nicole Atkis & The Sea - "The Way It Is" (live on Late Night With David Letterman - Oct 30, 2007)

PJ Harvey will performs a live session for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic tomorrow(November 2/07). The session will be at 11:15 am PST(2:15 pm EST). Oh, I hadn't even realized she was on The Tonight Show a few weeks ago:

YouTube: PJ Harvey - "Grow, Grow, Grow" (live on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno - Oct 16, 2007)

Daytrotter has Andrew Bird in a live session.