I anticipate the next few months should be busy with concert / festival announcements. Guelph's Hillside Festival and TOronto's Harbourfront Centre World Routes festivals should hopefully have some announcements over the next few weeks as their respective websites indicate. Hip Hop festival Rock The Bells will return again this year and their website does have a listing of artists confirmed so far but dates and venues are still to be announced. Over the weekend I was pondering whether Virgin Festival, Rogers Picnic or the Olympic Island Concert would make a return this year; so far no word yet on the first two, but destiny has it that the Olympic Island Concert will return this year on July 11 - on the bill are Broken Social Scene, Explosions In The Sky, Thunderheist, Beach House, Apostle Of Hustle, and Rattle Snake Choir. Tickets $49.50 onsale April 17, although a Inside Edge members presale is currently taking place at www.edge.ca until Thursday evening.
More exciting concert announcements courtesy of Against The Grain: psych-rock outfit Pink Mountaintops stop for a show at the Horseshoe on June 14, tickets $11.50 in advance, onsale April 16. Promoting their newest album "Hazards of Love" out now, The Decemberists with openers Heartless Bastards will play Kool Haus on August 3, tickets a whopping $30.50, onsale April 16.
Colin Medley spotlights Jenn Grant in his video Soundcheck. Jenn plays the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia - her MySpace lists her playing the festival on July 3-5.
The Toronto Star speaks with Neko Case about her new album "Middle Cyclone", major label record deals, and being a nature freak. She plays two way sold-out shows at Trinity St. Paul's on April 17 & 18. NPR has a stream of Neko's recent show at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC.
NPR's offering an exclusive first listen, starting today, to Camera Obscura's newest album "My Maudlin Career" which is officially released next week. They play a show at Lee's Palace on June 27.
Fazer has a very enjoyable interview with The English Beat's Dave Wakeling, speaking about director John Hughes and music, playing live, file-sharing, alcohol and the band's 30th anniversary. Good Stuff. The English Beat play two shows in Toronto at Lee's Palace this week, on April 15 (tickets still available I think) and April 17 (sold out).
Rob from Burgeoning Metropolis has an entertaining e-mail exchange with Bryan from Black Hat Brigade. Comparisons to Wolf Parade and Modest Mouse aside (given that I'm not really that familiar with those bands), I'm starting to dig Black Hat Brigade. They played a great set at Canadian Musicfest last month. They headline a show at Lee's Palace on April 23 with Australia's Youth Group and Toronto's Bellewoods also on the bill.
NOW has a feature with Olenka and The Autumn Lovers including a few audio interview clips with vocalist/songwriter Olenka Krakus. They played a few local shows over the last few days and I didn't make it out to either but they'll return to open for Barzin at the Rivoli on May 1, before they head out east for a tour. I've been listening to Olenka and The Autumn Lovers self-titled debut which I should hopefully have a review of up soon.
No Toronto date, but Ted Leo's playing the Tralf in Buffalo, NY on June 17. More dates at Brooklyn Vegan.
Phil Spector's a musical genious but he's also now a convicted murderer.