Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reminder >>> Fucked Up, One Hundred Dollars @ Toronto Reference Libary (May 28, 2010)

Fucked Up

Just a reminder of Toronto Public Library's Make Some Noise indie music concert series kicks off with a free show tomorrow night at Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street) with 2009 Polaris Prize winners hardcore locals Fucked Up and their special guests local roots outfit One Hundred DOllars. Doors are at 7:30 pm with the show starting at 8 pm. Having attended the Mississauga campus of University of Toronto back in the 90's, I only occasionally utilized the downtown U of T libraries and my trips to the Toronto Reference Library were virtually non-existent - I think I've been there only once more than a decade ago, and I don't at all recall the physical layout of the library. But as the press release advertises the event as a "concert in the stacks" it'll be interesting to see how accurate that turns out. At least One Hundred Dollars are a bit more on the subdued end [well compared to Fucked Up] of the musical spectrum. I expect Fucked Up to turn the place upside down.

In related news, Exclaim reports that Fucked Up are planning to tour with hip hop legends Public Enemy this September and will be releasing their Year of the Ox 12-inch sometime this year through Merge.

One Hundred Dollars' singer Simone Schmidt says a lot of nice things about their record label Blue Fog Recordings in this article.

photo above via The List

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Links for May 27, 2010

The Arcade Fire
Big news of the past few days is that The Arcade Fire just announced that they'll be playing on Olympic Island on August 14, making everyone's summer just that much happier. I'm still considering going to Osheaga where Arcade Fire(plus Pavement) are also playing but now it's not so essential (and of course Pavement is playing Olympic Island on June 19). Tickets for The Arcade Fire Olympic Island show are $47 Advance and go onsale Friday, May 28, 2010 at 12:00PM EST. Via Collective Concerts.

Paste has The Arcade Fire's soon to be released 12-inch single "Month of May" / "The Suburbs" available for your listening pleasure. And yes it's the full songs, not the measly audio snippets the band initially posted on their website.

Sonic Boom continue their streak of fantastic instores (many of which I haven't been able to make or were to lazy to go downtown for) when Born Ruffians play the store's basement on Saturday May 29 at 3 pm. The band will be on MTV Live on May 27 and play a CD release show at the Horseshoe on May 28 for their new record Say It which is out in North America on June 1 (May 31 in the UK).

Toronto 'it' dude John O'Regan aka Diamond Rings plays Wrongbar in Toronto on June 18 as part of NXNE, the same day his new 12-inch release Show Me Your Stuff comes out through One Big Silence. Also playing the show are Trust and Katie Stelmanis.

Heading out on their Business Casual tour, Electro-funksters Chromeo play the Phoenix with openers Holy Ghost on August 3. The tour is in support of their upcoming new album Business Casual out August 17.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Links for May 24, 2010

Massive AttackHow quickly my four day weekend[I had this past Friday off in addition to today's statutory holiday, Victoria Day] has gone. I've been nursing a cough and a cold which I've had for over a week now, and with family things occupying some of my time over the weekend, I didn't end up doing anything. However with the terrific weather we've been having, I couldn't resist but venture out to get some sunshine and some fresh air.

UK's Massive Attack made their American television debut this past Friday on the Jimmy Kimmel show performing two songs including "United Snakes" from the deluxe edition only of their newest album Heligoland and their modern classic, "Tear Drop" off their 1998 album Mezzanine. Kinda, sorta wish I went to one of their two shows in Toronto at Sound Academy a few weeks ago. Watch their performance on Jimmy Kimmel below:

Video: Massive Attack - "United Snakes" (live on Jimmy Kimmel Live, May 21 2010)
Video: Massive Attack - "Tear Drop" (live on Jimmy Kimmel Live, May 21 2010)

The Arcade Fire continues to tease us, recently releasing brief snippets of two new songs "The Suburbs", "Month Of May" which they apparently plan to release as a 12-inch in June. Listen here. "The Suburbs" sounds a bit Americana-ish while "Month Of May", to my ears has hints of late-70's DIY rock.

Phoenix performed a Tiny Desk Concert session for NPR performing "Lisztomania", "1901" and a cover of Air's "Playground Love". Fantastic.

Pitchfork has the tracklisting for both the regular and Deluxe-edition vinyl versions of the upcoming new album from indie veterans Versus entitled On the Ones and Threes is out on August 3 on Merge. Their last album was 2000's "Hurrah". The first single from the new album is entitled "Invincible Hero" which you can download below:

MP3: Versus - "Invincible Hero"

And some random concert updates:

Eels returns to Toronto for a show at The Mod Club on September 29. The new album entitled Tomorrow Morning is out August 24.

The experimental, electronic stylings of Baltimore's Matmos will be at Meta Gallery located at 124 Ossington Ave. in Toronto on June 11. Tickets are $20, onsale now.

German electornic duo Mouse on Mars play Wrongbar on June 1, tickets $15.

Soulful country crooner Carolyn Mark plays Dakota Tavern on August 28. Via Mint Records.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Concert Announcements (May 19, 2010)

The WeakerthansMostly concert announcements today:

Although not confirmed, Pollstar is showing that The Sadies will be playing the Mississauga Waterfront Festival on June 19. Jim Cuddy will headline that night, and that is confirmed. The Sadies will also headline the Canada Day Festivities at Harbourfront Centre - that's July 1st for you non-Canadians.

I just noticed that UK singer-songwriter Laura Marling is playing Guelph's Hillside Festival at Guelph Lake Conservation Area this year. Although the festival's schedule has not yet been finalized, Pollstar is listing Marling as performing the night of July 23. Hillside Festival runs from July 23 to July 25.

Collective Concerts has been busy with concert announcements lately. Check out the next six items:

Calexico and Elliott Brood play the Phoenix July 23. Calexico will also be participating in this year's Hillside Festival.

The Weakerthans play a special show at the Horseshoe on May 25 with part of the proceeds going to Regina band Library Voices who had been robbed of all their music gear this part February in Vancouver and then more recently their musical instruments been casualties of a flooded basement. Let's hope they persevere - the band are set to tour Canada through June and July and are scheduled to play the Horseshoe on June 19. Tickets are $25.00 advance, onsale tomorrow at 10 am. [photo above via Exclaim]

The Stills play the Horseshoe on July 29, tickets $20, onsale Friday May 21 at 10 am EST.

The return of NYC's Jon Spencer and The Blues Explosion to Toronto will take place at Lee's Palace on July 31. Tickets are $20.00 advance and onsale this Friday May 21 at 10 am EST.

UK's Wild Beasts make their return to Toronto on August 9 for a show at The Mod Club. Tickets are $18.50 advance and onsale this Friday May 21 at 10 am EST.

Unknown entity to me, Minneapolis indie "supergroup" Gayngs are at the Phoenix on October 1. Tickets are $20 in advance and onsale this Friday May 21 at 10 am. Apparently on indie label JAGJAGUWAR, I just checked out the band's MySpace and thought they were an intriguing listen.

Audio: Gayngs - "The Gaudy Side of Town"

The following news reminds me of that Saturday Night Live sketch with Seth Meyers punctuating his news commentary with "Really?" - Vampire Weekend will be headlining a show at the Molson Ampitheatre on September 7. Really? Apparently so. Openers are Beach House and Dum Dum Girls, which itself deserves another, "really?". Molson Ampitheatre is frickin' huge.

Via The Windish Agency, Girl Talk with openers Kid Street, and Keys N Krates play Sound Academy on June 18.

Check out The New Pornographers' live session from May 18, 2010 on BBC 6 Music's Marc Riley show (it starts 13 minutes in approximately). The New Porngraphers play Sound Academy on June 15.

Stream: Marc Rily, BBC 6 Music (May 18, 2010)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Links for May 17, 2010

Iggy PopThe schedule for this year's NXNE, taking place in Toronto at a multitude of venues from June 14-20, is now up. Arguably since last year or perhaps the year before, NXNE has been stepping it up but this year's lineup, stellar if not at least intriguing, is finally living up to what a an exciting music festival in Toronto should be. It's a shame I'll be missing the free Iggy Pop and The Stooges show at Yonge Dundas Square on June 19 in addition to whatever else is going on that day and night since I've chosen to take in the Pavement / BSS / Band of Horses show at Olympic Island (sorry but I just can't pass up Pavement even if it's quite possible I'll be going to Osheaga in Montreal later this summer where Pavement are also playing). [photo courtesy of]

I'd caught bits and pieces of the webcast of The National's charity show for the Red Hot Organization which took place at Brooklyn Academy of Music this past Saturday night. In case you missed it, video clips are now up at the band's YouTube VEVO channel. And also if you missed the band's appearance on Letterman last week when they performed "Afraid Of Everyone", you can see it on YouTube.

Though Toronto resident Joe Pernice has been promoting his book It Feels So Good When I Stop and it's associated covers album since last Fall, it seems he also found time to complete work on the new Pernice Brothers album entitled GoodBye Killer set for release on June 15 through Ashmont Records. You can stream three songs from the album at the band's website and the band are also offering a free mp3 download of song "Jacqueline Susann" also from the new album. Via Exclaim.

Perhaps a little high-brow than my usual tastes but I just became aware of Martha Wainwright playing The Great Hall on June 25, as part of the Toronto Jazz Festival. Martha plans on singing a set of songs by French singer Edith Piaf. Tickets are a whopping $37 available through

I'm not at all used to paying for shows at Harbourfront Centre's Sirius Stage (the last time I did was to see Neko Case in 2005 when the mainstage was sponsored by CIBC and tickets for the show were a steal at $20). Serena Ryder and Cuff The Duke play the Sirius Stage on June 29, tickets $36.50. Steep. If that doesn't rock your boat, take a gander at some of the highlights of the upcoming Harbourfront Centre World Routes free weekend festivals season. The Sadies on Canada Day! Kid Koala & The Slew Live on July 9 as part of Beats, Breaks & Culture!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Arcade Fire 12-inch Coming Soon

As The Arcade Fire's website points out, their new 12-inch will be in stores in a few weeks. has a listing for it with a release date of June 1, 2010 - apparently the song titles are "Suburbs" & "Month of May". However, according to Pitchfork, a conversation with a band rep claims the Amazon info isn't true. Well, at the very least something's stirring in the Arcade Fire camp so we'll all just have to wait. The band already have a bunch of European and North America summer festival dates lined up, the only Canadian dates so far being July 12 in Quebec City as part of Festival D'ete de Quebec, July 13 in Ottawa at Lebreton Flats Park as part of the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, and July 31 in Montreal at Parc Jean Drapeau as part of Osheaga Festival. No Toronto dates so far. I missed out on their last Toronto show which was at Massey Hall several years back only because I tried to buy several tickets online for me and a few friends and failed miserably (had I just concentrated on buying my own ticket, I would have been there). The band are set to be in the UK at the end of August and will be in Chicago at Lollapalooza on August 8 so a Toronto and or vicinity date before summer's end is a definite possibility. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Links for May 14, 2010

The NationalTime permitting I'd like to get back to a more frequent posting schedule(say 4-5 times a week) so I'm thinking that in between concert reviews I'd like to return to posting random linkage, say between one to five links at a time. It could be music news, music links, concert announcments, or perhaps just a random 'ok, this what I'm listening to and I think you should too'. Don't expect comprehensive music listings, or cd reviews (although, on the rare occasion maybe I will post a CD review if something really moves me). These days it's harder and harder to post frequently either because of time constraints, mental blocks or because I'm just plain pooped. I'm not yet ready to give up the blog - for me at least, it still serves a purpose and I hope people are continuing to read. Let's see how things go.

I missed the last-minute Band of Horses surprise set at the Horseshoe Tavern a few nights ago having only read the news on Facebook around 9 pm that night, then finally deciding to drive downtown only to find that there was a lineup to get into the venue. Oh shucks. The Panic Manual has a review of the show. Tunes in TO has photos from the show. Chromewaves was there and should have his review up soon. The band are sticking in town for a little while more and will join George Stroumboulopoulos for the 2nd installment of the Radio Take Over on this week's THE STROMBO SHOW which aris CBC Radio 2 Sundays from 8 p.m. EST to Midnight and can be livestreamed at You can stream the band's new album Infinite Arms here in advance of its release on May 18. The band will return for a set at Olympic Island on June 19.

As 4AD reminds that The National’s show this Saturday, May 15th will be webcast live via YouTube. It’s going to be directed by D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. Fans will be able to view it at here. I'm psyched to see the real thing when they stop in the for the first of two nights at Massey Hall on June 8. Their newest album "High Violet" was released this week.

I don't really agree with the charging of an E-ticket in order to view a webcast concert but I may give in for Florence + The Machine who play London's Hammersmith Apollo tonight. For North Americans, you'll get a chance to see the show at a reasonable time through the web tonight at 9 pm EST[although technically it's going to be an 'instant replay' of the show]. In order to view the show you'll need to register and the actual E-ticket will cost you $9.99 US. You could also just register for free but that'll only get you the first 15 minutes of the show. So make your decision soon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shout Out Louds @ The Mod Club, Toronto (May 8, 2010)

Shout Out Louds @ The Mod Club: photo by Michael Ligon

I celebrated my birthday this past Saturday with some family and friends down at Cafe Diplomatico in Toronto's Little Italy prior to the Shout Out Louds show at The Mod Club down the street. I terribly misjudged Shout Out Loud's set start time thinking they'd go on around 9 pm but apparently they went on about 20 minutes to 9 pm. I myself having a good time at dinner, eventually sauntered over myself to The Mod Club getting there about 20 minutes after 9 pm. Long story short, I missed most of the main set, but at least I caught the last three songs of the main set and was fortunate that Shout Out Louds played a three song encore during which they played "Your Parents' Living Room" and "You Are Dreaming" off of 2007's Our Ill Wills. Sold out crowd on hand, I was stuck near the back watching the show (hence the one photo above) - I could see pockets of movement within the crowd but overall the crowd seemed quite enamored with the Swedes. Hey, at least I caught seven songs. Damn you Mod Club and you're early start Saturday night concerts.

Fortunately, if you want reviews/photos of the show, check out Chromewaves and The Panic Manual. Aux also has photos from the show. fleeperzonk2 has some cool video from the show.

MySpace: Shout Out Louds

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Frightened Rabbit @ The Opera House, Toronto (May 4, 2010)

When a band visiting Toronto steps up in venue-size from their last visit to the city, one would hope they'd capture the magic they did in the smaller venue. More often than not it seems, I'm disappointed. When Scottish group Frightened Rabbit last played Toronto in July 2009 it was at the small-ish Horseshoe Tavern, and with that confined space and a fervently, enthusiastic crowd, the vibe of that night was electric. It was inevitable that Frightened Rabbit would be playing a larger venue the next time, and while last week's show at The Opera House had it's moments, it did pale in comparison to their last visit.

I made a conscious effort to skip first openers Our Brother The Native who had also opened for Frightened Rabbit at the 'Shoe last year, as I wasn't too keen on the band's quirky experimentalism. I had all intentions of catching second openers Maps and Atlases but having planned my arrival for around 10 pm (given I'd been told that Frightened Rabbit's set was at 11 pm) I'd been surprised to find out that I'd missed Maps and Atlases entirely; Frightened Rabbit's start time was actually closer to 10:30 pm as it turned out. In any case, Maps and Atlases will be returning for their own headlining show when they play the Horseshoe on August 7.

Promoting their latest album, cheekily entitled "The Winter of Mixed Drinks", I can't comment at all on the new songs since I hadn't heard them before the show but it was definitely the band's songs from their previous effort "The Midnight Organ Fight" which got the audience's juices flowing. Perhaps the most memorable moments of the night though were lead singer Scott Hutchinson's occasional banter. New song "Footshooter" was as Hutchinson explained, then chuckled, a personal apology to anyone he'd ever offended. Later on he quipped that with the band's merch t-shirts having a double-cross graphic on it, they must be doubly-better than Jesus, a humourous segue as Hutchinson belted out "Jesus" for fan-favourite "Heads Roll Off". And while the audience participation like a fan spontaneous yelling out "Coachella missed you!" [as the band could not fly over to Coachella in time due to the Icelandic volcano crisis last month] showed that fans were psyched for the show, overall the audience seemed a little too laid back. Between songs the fans showed their appreciation, but I wished there was a little more movement during songs. Audience enthusiasm picked up during the encore with Hutchinson's unamplified solo acoustic performance of "Poke" as the audience eventually hushed, then sang along and evenutally broke out into hoots and hollers, matching the sublimeness of the same song's performance at last year's show at the Horseshoe. Similarly, after the band played a newer song "Living In Colour", the band customarily ended off with fan favourite "Keep Yourself Warm" with as enthusiastic an audience singalong as you'll ever hear. So it ended off great and started off slow, with the net result being a decent show but not as inspiring as their last show at the Horseshoe. It was sort of expected by me that this show at The Opera House wouldn't match the brilliance of their last show at the smaller Horseshoe, but I wish that hadn't been the case.

Photos: Frightened Rabbit @ The Opera House, Toronto (May 4, 2010)
MySpace: Frightened Rabbit