Saturday, January 31, 2009

Coachella 2009

Coachella 2009

Tickets for the 2009 edition of Coachella, taking place April 17-19 as it does very year at Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, are on sale now.

The Canadian contingent going down this year seems smaller from what I recall at least over the past several years. Canadian artists you can look forward to seeing at this year's festival are as follows:

April 17
Leonard Cohen
Crystal Castles

April 18
Billy Talent

April 19
Fucked Up
Junior Boys

What does everyone think of the lineup? I think it's a perfectly good mix up-and-comers, indie favourites, and established headliners and I'm sure there'd be a lot of interesting music to keep one entertained. If I've learned anything from my Coachella experience in 2004, it's two things: 1)it's damn hot, and 2)on the other hand when night falls and the headliner hits the stage, that realization of being thousands of miles away from home and experiencing the moment of being there is truly like no other feeling.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fitz & the Dizzyspells

Andrew Bird @ WFUV (image capture from The Alternate Side)
Andrew Bird @ WFUVAndrew Bird performed live on Late Show With David Letterman a few nights ago. Take a gander at him performing "Fitz & the Dizzyspells". Andrew performed the same song at Electric Lady Studios for WFUV. Andrew performs live in Toronto at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 3. Andrew's new album "Noble Beast" is out now.

I'd planned to post about these over the last few days, but was so pooped. By now you may have read about these on Chromewaves:

- Crooked Fingers are scheduled to open for both Neko Case shows(April 17-18) at Trinity St. Paul's.
- the experimental pop stylings of Danish group Efterklang take over the El Mocambo on April 1, tickets $10
- and most excitingly, UK postpunkers White Lies who currently have the number one album in the UK will be at Lee's Palace on March 31 with Friendly Fires and The Soft Pack. Via The Windish Agency.

As previously announced, Toronto's The Diableros play the Wavelength afterparty at The Cameron House on February 12 and according to Outside Music are scheduled to perform(as "Tropical Pets") opening for The Von Bondies at the Horseshoe on February 13. They're playing Marcello's in Mississauga on January 30, Guelph at Wally's on the 31st and are back in Toronto for a show at the Horseshoe Tavern with The Coast on February 28.

From The Jam pump out the hits at Lee's Palace on March 27. Via Against The Grain.

Ariel Pink and Duchess Says are at the El Mo on March 30, tickets $10. Via rootmeansquare.

Howie Beck has a show at The Mod Club on April 1, tickets $12. His new album "How To Fall Down In Public" is out February 24.

The English Beat are celebrating their 30th anniversary with a tour of course and will be at Lee's Palace on April 17. They'll also play shows Waterloo at The Starlight Room on April 16 and London, ON at Call The Office on April 18. Full dates over at their MySpace.

Marissa Nadler and The Handsome Family are at El Mocambo on April 21. Via High Road Touring.

Bell Orchestre play the swanky The Courthouse on April 24, tickets $15. Via rootmeansquare.

Shout Out Out Out Out bring it to Lee's on April 25 to promote their new album "Reintegration Time". Via Against The Grain.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band will rock the Air Canada Centre on May 7. Via Pollstar. The Boss' new record "Working On A Dream" is out now. For some Springsteen goodness check out Ted Leo's really good cover of "Dancing In The Dark" over at Pitchfork.

BSS' Charles Spearin's new project The Happiness Project have 2 shows planned for The Music Gallery on March 11 and 12. Tickets $20 each. Laura Barrett opens the first show while Muskox is the support for the second. Via Eye Weekly.

Stereo Total w/ Leslie and the Ly’s are at Lee’s Palace on March 21, tickets $13.50. Via Eye Weekly.

Jon-Rae Fletcher has a planned instore at Criminal Records on March 14, time still to be confirmed. Following the instore he'll be at Lee's Palace later that night for a CMW showcase along with Cuff the Duke, Basia Bulat, The Acorn and Herman Dune. Also catch Jon at the Horeshoe on March 7 with United Steel Workers of Montreal. [via Criminal Records MySpace]

Chartattack points to a link of Bon Iver performing a live Feist cover of "The Park" for a recent live session for Australian radio station Triple J.

Chartattack also has the entire new In-Flight Safety album "We Are An Empire, My Dear" streaming. Like their music player interface, btw.

And also from Chartattack, they report that the new Metric album is entitled "Fantasies" and will be out on April 14 in Canada through Last Gang. If you preorder the new album from the band's website, you'll get a free mp3 of the first single "Help I'm Alive", currently which you can hear on the band's MySpace. If free is your thing, head over to the band's website and in exchange for your e-mail address you can download an acoustic version of the first single. More electric-synth-y goodness from Metric as you'd come to expect.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

People Got A Lotta Nerve

Neko Case - People Got A Lotta NerveIt's an interesting method of fundraising that Neko Case has chose to raise money for charity Best Friends Animal Society - for every blog post that reposts her new song "People Got A Lotta Nerve" (off her upcoming new album "Middle Cyclone" out March 3) and/or iLike user who adds it to their profile, Neko and her label ANTI- will make a cash donation of $5 to the charity. The promotion runs from January 13 to February 3, 2009, so everyone step to it. It's another stellar swooning track from Neko, not quite country, not quite pop - I love how she sings, "I'm a man-, man-, man-, man-, man-, man-eater". Oh yes you are, Neko, oh yes you are.[photo from ANTI-]

MP3: Neko Case - "People Got A Lotta Nerve"

And with that bit of charity, Neko also spoils us with some upcoming tour dates, with not one but two dates planned for Toronto, April 17 and 18 at Trinity St. Paul's Church. Tickets onsale now, $33.50 a piece.

If my media accreditation for the upcoming Canadian Music Week comes through, perhaps it'll allow me access to the festival's film festival component "Music For The Screen" a day-long series running at the NFB Cinema on March 14. The film line-up has now been announced with highlights including the Toronto premiere of the science fiction musical from Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips entitled "Christmas on Mars" and a documentary, "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" on Canadian cult metal icons Anvil, who'll also be performing during the festival and be inducted into the Independent Music Awards’ Indies Hall Of Fame. Tickets to the film festival are $10.

A bevy of Toronto tour dates have rolled in over the past week (some of which Chromewaves has covered) and highlights include:

- Cuff The Duke, Castlemusic @ Harbourfront Centre (Lakefront Terrace), January 31, free show (via Stille Post)
- Power-pop legends, Paul Collins Beat @ Sneaky Dee's, Feb 3 (via Stille Post)
- Jon Langford with The Sadies (as his backing band) @ Horseshoe Tavern, February 27, tickets $12.50
- Asobi Seksu @ El Mocambo, March 3
- Chartattack CMW showcases (too many bands to list here) @ Horseshoe, March 12-14 (via Stille Post)
- Peter, Bjorn and John w/ Chairlift @ Phoenix, April 25 (via Brooklyn Vegan)
- Animal Collective @ Sound Academy, May 16
- Joel Plaskett @ Massey Hall, May 23

NME posts a remix by Eli Escobar of local electro-rock act Thunderheist's song "Sweet 16". Thunderheist and Shad will be playing live at Nathan Phillips Square on January 31 as part of the WinterCity Festival. Thunderheist's new album is out March 31.

And the repercussions of jumping up onstage unannounced during Oasis' Toronto Virgin Festival set last September and tackling Noel Gallagher from behind - NME reports that Canadian Daniel Sullivan's charge has been upgraded from assault to aggravated assault and could be looking at 14 years in prison if convicted with the maximum sentence. Sucka.

It's with great anticipation that Barrie's Fox Jaws have returned with some local dates. Bob at It's The Band I Hate, Not Their Fans reviews their show from yesterday night at Sneaky Dee's, pointing out that it was their first for Nevado Records the band's new label. Fox Jaws have a few more local dates lined up with a Valentine's Day show at El Mocambo then a show at Clinton's on March 5.

And what is it with vocal surgery these days? First, Land of Talk's Elizabeth Powell is set to go in for vocal surgery at the end of this month and second, as Bob points out, Fox Jaws' Carleigh Aikins recently underwent the surgery. Our Canadian girls rock hard.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

concert review: Land of Talk, Zeroes, Little Scream @ Horseshoe Tavern (January 15, 2009)

Land of Talk @ Horseshoe Tavern (Jan 15, 2009): photo by Michael Ligon
Land of Talk @ Horseshoe Tavern: photo by Michael Ligon

concert review: Land of Talk, Zeroes, Little Scream @ Horseshoe Tavern (Toronto, Ontario) - January 15, 2009

A Montreal musical invasion took over Horseshoe Tavern on a blistery cold Thursday night last week. On the heels of their latest album "Some Are Lakes", Land of Talk made good on a promise to reschedule a previously cancelled Toronto date, and heck no one counted their recent opening set for Broken Social Scene at Sound Academy as a proper substitute. A couple of unknown entities (to me at least and I assume to others) opened up the night giving some proof that perhaps Montreal has not fully tapped it's musical talent pool yet.

The so-obscure-she-doesn't-even-have-a-MySpace first opener female artist who goes under the name Little Scream opened up the night at a point where the Horseshoe had already filled up respectably for an early time slot. I arrived part way through the set though what I'd heard was intriguing enough. Singing with a stark vocal quality that reminded me of Cat Power, there was a rocky folkiness to the lone guitar instrumentation. The cool blue light that draped her person was in a way appropos - the music didn't evoke much warm tones. Performed with a little more dramatic flavour than your average singer songwriter chick, I think she'll appeal to fans of Cat Power, PJ Harvey, and Toronto's own Katie Stelmanis.

Young four-piece Zeroes looked like the sort of lads that you might expect to be your run-of-the-mill indie rock but surprisingly distill a range of influences that you wouldn't expect from a band that young. There music wasn't really pop at all but there was still an accessibility. A solid rhythm section kept things structured while the music had an experimental, post-punk, progg-ish quality reminding most of a less gimmicky Clinic. First impressions are important and I'll admit that Zeroes do make a decent one.

One has to admit that it was mighty decent of Land of Talk's Elizabeth Powell to go on with (rather that cancel again) the Toronto date of the band's tour which touched down at the Horseshoe last Thursday, especially considering that she'll be undergoing voice surgery at the end of the month. Her performance last Thursday didn't necessarily point towards any vocal problems, her raspy robust vocals being as delicious as ever, but such satisfaction comes with a slight of level of guilt, at times during the set I was hoping that Ms. Powell wasn't overdoing it at the expense of any permanent damage. Elizabeth, come back from your surgery stronger than ever. Their debut EP "Applause, Cheer, Boo, Hiss", a release I've admired for quite some time now, was mined generously for their set, as was their debut full-length "Some Are Lakes" which I've only really delved into with more effort recently. While the difference between the two might be that the raw visceral quality of their debut EP has been toned down ever so slightly for their full-length, the full-length does manage to continue their streak of scruffy pop songs enveloped within a simple yet robust rock guitar/bass/drums sound. Not a guitar solo to be heard, with only slight forays into simple guitar melodies and arrangements, Ms. Powell's casual guitar playing amplified with a little crunchiness is as perfect a compliment to her raspy vocals, neither one ever overshadowing the other. Wasting little time with banter, the set and encore went by quick, though it was long enough to quell any disappointment. By the time the band walked off the stage, most of us were melting, perhaps a little to do with the body heat and the heating in the venue, but let's not underestimate Land of Talk's contribution.

Photos: Land of Talk, Zeroes, Little Scream @ Horseshoe Tavern (January 15, 2009)
MySpace: Land of Talk
New all-ages event "Dapslove Presents: All Ages" promises to organize indie rock shows every other month to take place at Rolly's Garage on Ossington. The first one took place last weekend.

Pitchfork reports that Final Fantasy, as well as Johnny Marr, contributed to the latest Pet Shop Boys album entitled "Yes" to be released in Europe on March 23 with a US release date still to be confirmed.

REMG confirms that K'NAAN has a date at The Mod Club on February 24. His new album "Troubadour" comes out February 24.

Globecat has an interview with Love Is All's Josephine Olausson.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Junior Boys - new album "Begone Dull Care", out March 24, 2009

Junior Boys (photo from KindaMuzik)
Junior Boys

Their last album "So This Is Goodbye" was released in Canada way back in August 2006 and was shortlisted for the 2007 Polaris Music Prize. The last time I saw them perform live was in April 2007 at The Mod Club. They played Coachella at the end of that month and have seemed to be on tour non-stop since then, rarely coming around these parts it seems for a few years now. However, as Kat had pointed out, Junior Boys have a new album coming out in March and it's now confirmed by the guys themselves - the new 8 track long album is entitled "Begone Dull Care" and is going to be released in Canada on March 24 with a US release to follow on April 7. The first single will be 'Hazel' which will be released in both 12" and digital formats. Now a transatlantic partnership with Jeremy Greenspan still based in Hamilton, Ontario and the newly-married Matthew Didemus now living in Berlin, they spent most of 2008 focusing on the completion of the new album. As I mentioned last week, also look forward to Junior Boys' remix contribution to the Merge Records remix CD coming out (to SCORE! subscribers only) later this year.

An extensive six-week long tour is suppose to kick off in Toronto (at a venue TBA) on March 28 and they'll be joined by Domino roster-mates Max Tundra. Thanks to Pitchfork for the heads up.

So I've been listening to their first couple albums today and I almost forgot how scintillating their electro-pop really is. I'm looking forward to the new album, and if the YouTube link below (of a live performance of first single 'Hazel') is any indication, it should be a good one.

MySpace: Junior Boys
Video: Junior Boys - "Hazel" (live @ 2008 Tim Festival, Brazil)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just some random concert announcements and music news today. Getting psyched for Land of Talk on Thursday. Not looking forward to the deep freeze that night.

Ruby Coast are getting ready for their trip to SXSW by heading out on tour in Canada and the US through February and March. They're apparently at Hart House on January 22 according to Pollstar while confirmed dates at their MySpace include a Toronto date at Horseshoe Tavern on February 5 with Winter Gloves.

Bell Orchestre, newest Arts & Crafts signees, are set to release their sophomore effort "As Seen Through Windows" on March 10 and their closest(in terms of proximity) date will be February 7 in Guelph at Sleeman Centre as part of Hillside Inside.

Also confirmed for Hillside Inside this year are Stars, Sam Roberts Band, Bedouin Soundclash, Great Lake Swimmers, K'NAAN, Thunderheist, Jay Malinowski, That 1 Guy, and The Magic, with more to be announced. Info from Ticketpro Canada, through which link you can also purchase tickets.

The Hylozoists are at The Mod Club on February 21. Via Outside Music. According to their Facebook page, the band's new album "L'Île de Sept Villes" and will be released through Outside Music on February 3.

Handsome Furs are at the Horseshoe Tavern for CMW on March 13. Via Inland Empire.

Himmelfarb at Stille Post runs down the CMW lineup at Lee's Palace on March 14 which will include Jon Rae, Herman Dune, Basia Bulat, Cuff The Duke and more.

Beggars Group Canada gives the confusing info that Friendly Fires are at The Mod Club AND Lee's Palace on March 31.

Eric Warner posts over at Stille Post that Japanther, Meligrove Band and Ninjasonik will be at Wrongbar for a show on April 5.

Sebastian Tellier is at The Mod Club on April 8. Via The Windish Agency.

Black Kids and Mates of State bring giddiness to the Phoenix on April 10. Via The Windish Agency

NME brings us 10 incredible Motown tracks you haven't heard.

CBC reports that the Pemberton Music Festival has been cancelled this year.

Kat at Muchmusic posts her 11 highly anticipated albums of 2009 which include several that I'm actually looking forward to including new ones from UK outfit White Lies (Jan 20 UK), Lily Allen (Feb 10), Grizzly Bear (March), and especially Phoenix (April) and Junior Boys (March).

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Merge Records - Score

As most of you know, Merge Records is celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year with a special music subscription offer, SCORE!, that'll last you the entire year. TODAY is the LAST DAY to subscribe [I got my subscription in yesterday] so get out those credit cards. What you'll get - 14 celebrity-curated compilation CD's from the likes of David Byrne and Peter Buck, a Merge remix CD featuring remixes of Merge classics by the likes of Caribou and Junior Boys, a Merge covers CD featuring non-Merge artists including Broken Social Scene, The New Pornographers, Tracey Thorn and Jens Lekman, and The Shins, a 350+ page cover art book, a full-length comedy CD from Scharpling and Wurster, a SCORE box to put everything in after, plus a variety of other goodies(posters, CD's, digital downloads) that come up throughout the year. Already scheduled as part of the bonus stuff is an exclusive digital download of Superchunk's "The Clambakes Vol 4 — Sur La Bouche — Live in Montreal 1993" available to subscribers for download on January 13. For $199 US plus shipping you'll be getting Merge delivered to your mailbox each month. A lot better than getting that credit card bill right? And if you were thinking it was a tad expensive, just remember that ALL PROCEEDS will be going to charities handpicked by the 14 curators.

Later this year, Pitchfork reports that Merge will further celebrate with a five-day music festival in its native North Carolina from July 22-26. Perhaps this might deserve a visit.

Keep up-to-date with all SCORE!-related things over at the SCORE! blog.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


GlasvegasScottish quartet Glasvegas just released their debut self-titled full-length this past week domestically but I've been listening to a promo for the last month now. Even before I'd read things like Creation Records / PopTones head Alan McGee, heralding them "The most exciting thing I've heard since Jesus and Mary Chain" or the BBC saying that the band "...draw on rockabilly and pop from the 1950s and '60s, using a backdrop of brooding guitars to create their own wall of sound, a bit like the Jesus and Mary Chain playing the 'Grease' soundtrack", my initial impressions that the band dabbled in a 60's-ish pop sound combined with JAMC's wall-of-sound were already quite evident. Although, perhaps early JAMC's wall-of-sound aesthetics sounded a bit like they were filtered through a tin can, Glasvegas go for broke with a much clearer production, and glorious waves of guitar, bass and drums combined with vocalist James Allan's attractive emotive Scottish drawl leading things along more than competently. Glasvegas sound big, fit for stadiums or big halls, much in the same way that Oasis approaches their influences with a large robust sound. Lyrically, there's a few missteps, but I find myself better able to handle them the more I listen to the album. I'm looking forward to seeing them when they come to Toronto for a just-announced show at The Mod Club on April 3, tickets onsale January 10. They performed on Late Show With David Letterman a few nights ago and will perform on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on January 15. [photo courtesy of William Morris Agency]

MySpace: Glasvegas
Video: Glasvegas - "Geraldine" (live on Late Show with David Letterman)

Brooklyn Vegan informs that Femi Kuti has cancelled all upcoming tour dates in February (including a Toronto date at The Opera House that had been scheduled for January 15) due to illness.

Canoe indicates that Tokyo Police Club have a date at Metro Toronto Convention Centre on April 4. The venue site indicates that the event taking place that day is a Teen Consumer show. Anyone know what that's about.

NME reports that The Watson Twins are kicking off a North American tour on February 16 to support the release of their newest album "Fire Songs". The tour stops in Toronto for a show at The Mod Club on February 22.

Attack In Black post at their Myspace that they along with Baby Eagle and Shotgun Jimmie have started a new record label which will be releasing Shotgun Jimmie's new album "Still Jimmie" on March 10. A MySpace post over at Shotgun Jimmie's page says that the new record label imprint is called "You've Changed". Over at CBC Radio 3, they report that Attack In Black and Baby Eagle will be doing a split LP (perhaps being released on their new label I guess?). Attack In Black will be covering Baby Eagle's "Some Things We Lose".

Monday, January 05, 2009

This Tornado Loves You

Neko Case at the pianoPerusing Pitchfork's guide to upcoming music releases during the winter of 2009, I realize that there's a precious few I'm actually eagerly waiting for and majority of artists I've either only heard in passing, read about or not read/heard of entirely at all. So far I'm mostly eagerly waiting for March 3 when Neko Case's newest full-length, the recorded-in-a-barn "Middle Cyclone" is released. [photo from ANTI-]

Video: Neko Case -"Middle Cyclones" (EPK)

For more Neko, YouTuber ktparker also has some video she took of Neko at last year's Bumbershoot where she'd previewed some of the songs off of "Middle Cyclone".

Next up, Great Lake Swimmers release their new album "Lost Channels" (through Nettwerk) on March 31. Exclaim has the tracklisting and points out a few dates for '09 with the only Canadian date so far being February 7 in Guelph at Sleeman Centre as part of Hillside Inside.

While already out in Europe (and available in North America as an import), expect a domestic release in early 2009 for Marianne Faithfull's newest album "Easy Come, Easy Go", featuring collaborations with a number of artists including Chan Marshall, Sean Lennon, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Jarvis Cocker and Keith Richards. I only make note of this after finally getting around to listen to a bit of her 2005 effort "Before The Poison" (mostly a collaborative effort with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave) and being quite intrigued by it. The new album includes a cover of Neko Case's "Hold On, Hold On" featuring Sean Lennon:

Microsite: Marianne Faithful - "Easy Come, Easy Go"
Video: Marianne Faithful w/ Sean Lennon - "Hold On, Hold On" (Neko Case cover, live in the studio)

In the absence of any new album or material from Swedes The Cardigans, perhaps a new album from Nina's side project A Camp will suffice. The new A Camp album "Colonia" will be given a US release through Nettwerk on April 28. The first single is "Stronger Than Jesus" (Video director - Amir Chamdin):

Video: A Camp - "Stronger Than Jesus" (music video)

On a local front, I'm not sure how much I'm really into Jon Rae Fletcher anymore but according to Stille Post his new album "Oh, Maria" is out through Weewerk on February 3, with some of the demos of the songs from the new album available for listening right now over at his MySpace. No date confirmed yet, but he will be playing this year's Canadian Music Fest during Canadian Music Week (Mar 11-14).

And what else? Expecting new albums sometime in 2009 from Depeche Mode (as yet untitled) and Echo and The Bunnymen ("The Fountain") and Morrissey ("Years of Refusal" - UK release Feb 16, US release Feb 17).

Touring in 2009? Hoping and wishing for tours to come to North America and Toronto from Jesus and Mary Chain [or was Coachella and a few select North American dates last year just a tease], Portishead [ok, 2008's over and I know you don't like touring but get over it already], Blur [so far, only a few dates so far confirmed in London, England in July], Morrissey [no Toronto date so far on his current North American tour starting in March] and Depeche Mode [only European dates starting in May confirmed so far]. Yeah, I'm shooting for some biggies this year. Keeping my fingers crossed.

As I wrote recently, part of me hopes to get back into the Canadian and Toronto indie scenes in 2009. We shall see. Any suggestions?

If you've got this far, just at reminder that Iron and Wine will be performing "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" (from the soundtrack of "Twilight") on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Monday, January 5, 2009 which is tonight.