Thursday, March 30, 2006

Baby's Got Sauce

G LoveI recall that back in the late 90's, G. Love & Special Sauce were quite the draw in Toronto. If I remember correctly, at least one year they'd come to Toronto three times! I won't call myself a huge G Love fan if only for the fact that I don't listen to my CD's of his very much, but I've always enjoyed his musical mix of old school hip hop and southern blues influences(less hip hop and more blues-y in recent years). It's summer music definitely. The last time I recall G. Love coming to Toronto was last year on a bill with Donavon Frankenreiter and Jack Johnson, performing at the gigantic Molson Ampitheatre. It is great news then that G Love & Special Sauce'll be swinging through Toronto for a show on June 8th at the decidedly more intimate Phoenix Concert Theatre. Tickets are onsale Saturday, April 8th at 10am! In the meantime, rekindle some fond musical memories over at his MySpace.[photo from http://../]

Pollstar indicates that Eels and Smoosh will be at The Mod Club on June 17th.

Danko Jones have a hometown show at The Opera House on May 6th, tickets $17.50.

And the band that has the dubious honour of being the first band I ever saw in concert(back in highschool during their "Sonic Temple" tour), The Cult are scheduled for a show at Molson Ampitheatre on May 26th, tickets $43.35-$53.25. Man, do I feel old.

Jason Little from Grandaddy performed a live acoustic session for BBC 6 Music's Gideon Coe program yesterday. Listen here(session starts about 1 hour and 40 minutes into the program; program only archived for a week.)

Eye Weekly's Michael Barclay reviews the Magnolia Electric Co./Destroyer/Nedelle show at Lee's Palace on March 25th which I attended.

NOW also speaks with Centro-Matic's Will Johnson. They band perform this Wednesday April 5th with Misra label-mates Great Lake Swimmers at Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.

Sarah Liss of NOW spoke with Neko Case by cell phone. The Toronto Sun also spoke with Neko[via Largehearted Boy]. Neko performs at Danforth Music Hall this Sunday April 2. I don't think I'll be going, unless I have a last minute change of heart and or it's not sold out, but I did manage to score a spot for the audience taping of Neko performing live for US television show "Beautiful Noise" which will be taping this Monday April 3rd at Berkeley Church in Toronto!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hold On, Hold On

Neko CaseMusic journalist Ashley Kahn at NPR profiles singer-songwriter Neko Case. Listen here. Pretty insightful actually.

Minneapolis/St Paul City Pages has the text of a debate between two individuals whether Neko Case is genuine country music or a faker.

Just a reminder that there's an interview with Neko Case that'll be broadcast on CBC television program Zed tomorrow(March 30th).

Anyone get a ticket to the April 3rd taping of the television show "Beautiful Noise" for the RAVE HD channel in the US? The show will feature Neko Case live in concert and will be taped this coming Monday April 3rd at Berkeley Church, 315 Queen Street East, Toronto - one block west of Parliament at the corner of Berkeley & Queen. There are 200 tickets up for grabs and you can request tickets by sending an email with your name to The subject line of the email must say NEKO CASE. Check out Neko's site for further details. I sent my e-mail yesterday so I'm keeping my fingers crossed! [photo above from http://../]

I read Pitchfork's review of The Concretes' new album "In Colour", then sampled the tracks...I will agree with them that the new album's not like the first album[gone are the "...faux-country sashay, the Diana Ross worship, and the willful wobble..."] but I do wholeheartedly disagree with the "...Elton-meets-Lilith piano-led pounce..." reference. ...4.7 my ass. I like the new album; I only wish it had some rave-ups on par with "You Can't Hurry Love". There's always next album. I hope they tear the roof off the Horseshoe Tavern on May 4th. I can't wait.

Heads up...Destroyer has an official website. [ via Catbirdseat]

Check out the newly rescheduled Built To Spill tourdates over at their official website. Torontonians I guess, can catch the band in Buffalo NY at Town Ballroom on April 29th. Actually, I have an advanced copy of the new BTS album "You In Reverse"(officially released on April 11th) and it's hard to believe I'd never gotten around to listening to this band until now. If the first few songs of the album is any indication, it's intricate indie-rock with a great pop sensibility. I think I know what all the fuss is about now.

According to the recent update at The Pernice Brothers website, the man himself Joe Pernice will make his episodic television debut in an upcoming Gilmore Girls and will be singing a song in the show. Check the band's website in the future for the air date of the show. ...Note to Joe(like he's actually reading this): Since you're living in Toronto with your wife Laura how about an appearance on a Canadian television show, like say, Degrassi: The Next Generation? Just a thought.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kicking Television

Pimps of Gore celebrates his 100th blog post by starting his Top 100 Jeff Tweedy songs, complete with mp3's.

Bradleys Almanac has a download(mp3) of Billy Bragg's recent show in Somerville, MA at Somerville Theatre from March 23, 2006.

Junkmedia mentions a new Phoenix album called "It’s Never Been Like That" but doesn't mention a release date. I'll have to look into that. Update: According to the band website, the album will be released in Europe on May 15th and Adrien in the comments says May 23rd(which I'm assuming is the North American release date).

Anyone know what happened to the Danielson tourdates for Toronto? They're now gone over at Kork, when I'd initally remembered seeing tour dates scheduled for May and late summer.

Some concert announcements of note:
  • April 21 - Jason Collett @ The Mod Club - Tickets $15, 19+ [via rootmeansquare]

  • May 19 - Islands, Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown, Cadence Weapon, Bus Driver @ The Opera House - Tickets $13, all-ages [via rootmeansquare]

  • May 25 - Joel Plaskett Emergency and Guests @ Phoenix - Tickets $15, 19+ onsale next week [via Horseshoe Tavern]

  • June 13 - Band of Horses, Mt Egypt @ Lee's Palace - Tickets $10, 19+

  • Monday, March 27, 2006

    It's Gonna Take An Airplane

    concert review: Magnolia Electric Co., Destroyer and Nedelle @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), March 25, 2006

    Destroyer at Lee's Palace: photo by Mike LigonThis past Saturday night at Lee's Palace was one of those concerts consisting of artists I was mostly unfamiliar with, having read more about them then actually heard. I was mostly there to see Destroyer because I'd warmed up to Mr. Bejar's New Pornographers contributions over the last year[yes, it took me three NP albums and a whole lot of music/blog press to finally take notice] and I've recently been discovering his own project Destroyer's off-kilter pop tunes.

    From Oakland, California, Kill Rock Stars' Nedelle was up first. The pixie-ish singer-songwriter with her acoustic guitar performed a set of lowkey acoustic pop tunes that glided along with her respectable guitar accompaniement and her clear, melodic vocals[initially slightly off-key but quickly found it's place]. Thankfully, her music stayed away from that coffehouse, folky singer-songwriter aesthetic and her music had more in line with Canada's Julie Doiron and Lois Maffeo. Nedelle was joined onstage by another young lady for a charming duet but other than that it was entirely a solo set. Nedelle's bubbly personality crept up every now and then, especially when she preceded one song with a description of it as "...a true story..." about a grizzly bear who killed a young camper. While the set was short and there was considerable chatter amongst the crowd during her performance, she managed to convince us(at least the attentive audience members) of her talent. Next time, she should book a more intimate venue like The Drake Hotel or El Mocambo.

    Destroyer were up next, and it at this point I should just direct you to Zoilus' review and leave it that. But I won't. Here's the setlist(courtesy of suckingalemon). It was a brief but effervescent set that managed to set off fireworks in my brain everytime I heard a song I recognized. Considering I'd only made a concerted effort to sample his music recently, it's truly a wonder how familiar his songs sound. Songs like "Rubies", "It's Gonna Take An Airplane", "European Oils" and "Looter's Follies" brimmed with a vitality that's missing in alot of 'indie' music in my opinion, if only because I couldn't necessarily pinpoint all the influences. Sure, every now and then a Bowie influence crept up but more often than not I was thinking, Destroyer's music sounded like nothing else out there at the moment. Sophisticated guitar pop, combined with twinkling keyboards arrangements, and a competent backing band plus Mr. Bejar's peculiar(but now comforting) vocals made for very a distintive set of pop music. Thanks to lead guitarist Nick Bragg at the merch table after the set for taking the time to take me through an 'oral history' of Destroyer's albums and finally convincing me to pick up "Destroyer's Rubies".

    Secretly Canadian's Magnolia Electric Co. were headlining that night and based on evidence both audible(some fans screeching) and visible(fans singing along) it was clear how beloved they were. Fact was I hadn't heard a note from them previously but from what I read about the band, I had fairly accurate expectations of what they'd sound like. Leading the competent backing band were the clear pitched vocal tones of Jason Molina and the amazing guitar lines of lead guitarist Jason Groth. While there was an inanimateness to most of the band, except for lead guitarist Jason Groth, the band made up for it by performing a perfectly competent, if not truly tight-sounding, set of Neil Young/Crazy Horse influenced country rock which also reminded me of early Wilco and Son Volt. Such influences in itself are great, but such conventionality makes me wonder how they ended up on Secretly Canadian. Nothing's quite sunk in yet nor motivated me to run out and buy their albums, but if last year's T.O. Twang festival at Harbourfront is revived again this year, I'd be a truly happy fella if Magnolia Electric Co. are booked.

    The Herald Sun spoke to Jason Molina recently.

    [my photos from the show]

    Saturday, March 25, 2006

    The Music Lovers

    Dan Bejar aka DestroyerBeing the Dan Bejar aka Destroyer newbie that I am, and the fact that I'm going to the Destroyer/Magnolia Electric Co./Nedelle show tonight at Lee's Palace, I've been reading up on Mr. Bejar and sampling some of his musical wares from the 'net. I was rightly impressed the first time I saw Destroyer perform live, when they opened The New Pornographers show at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in October 2005. Fortunately, it was also one of the few times that Mr. Bejar joined the touring lineup of The New Pornographers. Hmmm. Double-shot of musical goodness. To be honest I wasn't always enamoured with the Mr. Bejar-sung tracks for The New Pornographers; there was something about his vocals that I couldn't wrap my ears around. However, since then, having been able to sample more of Destroyer's music, I realize that it was a shame for my perception of Mr. Bejar's peculiar vocals to detract me away from his often-times spectactular pop melodies. I mean, if Neil Young and Bob Dylan can get away with it...[photo from http://../]

    Thanks to Catbirdseat(March 10, 2006 post) for pointing the the way to a bunch of Destroyer tracks which can be found across the web.

    Washington City Paper has an intelligent writeup on Destroyer's 7th and most recent album "Destroyer’s Rubies".

    Stylus expresses how Destroyer's most recent album "Destroyer Rubies" subverts the whole culture and music of "indie rock" from within the confines of indie rock itself. Actually, this point is touched on quite nicely in the Washington City Paper article above.

    There's a brief writeup on Destroyer over at

    Mr. Bejar's interviewed over at Odyssey Zine(circa "Your Blues").

    Pitchfork reports that Destroyer, among others(with more to be announced!), has been added to the Pitchfork Music Festival lineup, which will be taking place July 29 and 30 at Chicago's Union Park. (With all these Chicago music festivals, road trips will definitely be in order...or at least considered, right?)

    And finally, thanks to Zoilus for continuing to wave the Destroyer flag high.

    Thursday, March 23, 2006

    Totally Wired

    Mark E. SmithThe only logical conclusion I can come to is that Mark E. Smith is afraid of Toronto because yet again, Toronto's been overlooked on The Fall's upcoming North American tour, at least according to the band's provisional North American tour dates[note: the key word is 'provisional'; the dates aren't yet listed at the band's official site and are so far unconfirmed.] The last time they were supposed to come to Toronto in 2003, they cancelled[actually, they also cancelled their Montreal show at the time.] Apparently both of these Canadian gigs were cancelled because of the financial viability of playing in Canada; they would have had to pay $500 (£500?) for a Visa, and the tour had been operating "on a shoestring" budget. However, others insisted that the SARS epidemic was to blame. According to the provisional tour dates info, The Fall have only three Canadian dates scheduled in the near future, including May 20th in Vancouver, BC @ Richards @ Richards, May 22nd in Edmonton, AB @ Starlite Room, and May 23rd in Calgary, AB @ Warhouse. I'm happy for those three cities, especially for Edmonton and Calgary who particularly lucked out, but no Toronto? Mr. Smith, as far as I know, Toronto doesn't have SARS...Toronto has the odd panel falling off billboards in the downtown core, but don't let that stop you from coming to the city. [heads up of The Fall's Canadian tour dates from From Blown Speakers; photo from UrbanImage]

    In the meantime, here are some live video clips of The Fall; first, live on The Tube performing "Cruiser's Creek", and secondly, live on Snub TV performing "Deadbeat Descendant".[second video clip via Ralphadeus]

    Thanks to There's Always Someone Cooler Than You for pointing me towards Neko Case's music video for "Maybe Sparrow" which you can watch here. You can also watch it here and here.

    chartattack spoke to Howe Gelb about the intrinsic Canadian-ness of his most recent solo effort, "Sno Angel Like You".

    In other news, CNN profiles Billy Bragg while Salon exemplifies the concept of quality over quantity by asking Billy three insightful questions.

    If you can't stand listening to The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" for the millionth time, don't go over to Berkeley Place.

    Wednesday, March 22, 2006

    My Chosen One

    Aristazabal Hawkes of Guillemots at KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic[March 21/06]Watch the live session Guillemots did for Morning Becomes Eclectic yesterday. CalendarLive profiled the UK band and reviewed their SXSW set, apparently only attended by a few dozen people. Just you wait but I think these guys(and gal) could be big. Toronto's Stuart Berman reviews the band's debut release "From The Cliffs" for Pitchfork. Can you tell I have a little crush on Aristazabal?

    Beth Orton was in Morning Becomes Eclectic's studios today. Watch the session here.

    Villains Always Blink has a link to a clip of Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins' performance of "Run Devil Run"/"The Big Guns" live on Late Show With David Letterman from yesterday night.

    Pitchfork has some more details on Amy Millan's upcoming solo debut "Honey From The Tombs" being released through Arts & Crafts on May 30th in Canada(May 29th in the US).

    Filter reports on PJ Harvey's upcoming DVD release entilted "PJ Harvey On Tour - Please Leave Quietly" and directed by long-time music video director Maria Mochnacz. The DVD was filmed during her 2004 "Uh Huh Her" tour. That tour made a stop in Toronto at Phoenix Concert Theatre on October 15, 2004 and I was at the show(one of my favourite shows of 2004, btw); I hope some Toronto clips made the cut.

    Did you ever wonder what some of your favourite music bloggers look like and sound like; Stereogum spoke non-chalantly to some music bloggers at this year's SXSW Filter Blogger Brunch including Matt of Fluxblog, Janelle of The Real Janelle, Jen of Gothamist, Jeff of Central Village and Jinners. Watch the video. [via Jinners]

    Check out Chromewaves' massive collection of photos he took at this year's SXSW. Are we jealous yet? ;-)

    And finally, an open letter to Roni Size(who's apparently DJ'ing somewhere in Toronto sometime at the end of the month; sorry for lack of details, but I only caught a glance of a poster while I was riding the streetcar down Bathurst St. yesterday): please bring back Breakbeat Era.

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    I Found A Reason

    Evey and V: 'V For Vendetta'Over the weekend, a friend and I had chance to watch the film "V For Vendetta". While I won't bore you with any formal review, I thought it was a thoughtful, stylish and affecting movie and although the movie takes place against the backdrop of an Orwellian, not too distant future, it coincidentally tackles issues of topicality like government corruption, homophobia, and freedom of thought/speech. Not to say that the film isn't without it's faults. The blood splatter in the fight scenes didn't look like blood in my opinion and overall the film didn't necessarily meet the visual expectations I was hoping for. However, on the theme of all things music, the film's use of music was used to great effect. While I might agree with IGN that the film's soundtrack(part score and part songs) might be difficult to listen to on it's own, within the context of the film, the song's were well chosen. Songs included Julie London's "Cry Me A River", Cat Power singing The Velvet Underground's "I Found A Reason", and Antony and The Johnsons' "Bird Gehrl". a soundtrack for everyone has a more thorough commentary of the music in the film, but I'll agree that it was sort of strange to hear the Cat Power song in the film, especially since it was the character 'V' who chose to play the song on the jukebox(probably one of the only jukebox's in existence considering the government in the film had banned music - not to mention, where does one get a Cat Power 7-inch single in an Orwellian England?). The classical selections in the film including the "William Tell Overture"(although not included in the official soundtrack) added grandiosity to the scenes they were used in and The Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man"(also not on the official soundtrack) over the film's closing credits was just kick-ass.

    Listen to the soundtrack over at the film's official website(under 'Soundtrack').

    The Phoenix has a Q&A with Billy Bragg.

    It's reviews like this which make me feel a little better that Isobel Campbell 's CMW show on March 4th at Revival had been cancelled. Still, I want to see her live.

    The Montreal Mirror had a brief chat with Rick White of The Unintended.

    It's Australia's A Reminder that informs that Feist will be releasing a compilation of live tracks and remixes, entitled "Open Season" on April 17th.

    suckingalemon says that The Hidden Cameras are scheduled for two shows(a matinee and evening performance) at The Music Gallery in Toronto on Sunday April 2nd, tickets $20.00. Yowza!

    Sunday, March 19, 2006

    I'm Not Looking For A New England, Just Looking For Another Girl

    Billy Bragg on Late Night With Conan O'Brien[March 15, 2006]With my trio of concerts last week now over and with my next concert being this coming Saturday's Magnolia Electric Co./Destroyer/Nedelle show at Lee's Palace, let's get back to links, shall we.

    Billy Bragg spends some time with Northwest Indiana Times speaking about the process of choosing the bonus material for his recently released boxset "Vol I" and speaking about his upcoming new book which'll feature his thoughts on the world post-911. He also(in what seems to be many a musical artist's recent pasttime) manages a riff on James Blunt. ;-) The Chicago Tribue also speaks with Billy about the two kinds of politics which his music embraces - "those of governments and those of compassion."

    Watch the video clip of Billy Bragg's performance of "A New England" on Late Night With Conan O'Brien from March 15, 2006.

    So Much Silence has an mp3 download of the KEXP session which Billy performed on March 16/06 during SXSW.

    You Ain't No Picasso has a recording of a new Spoon song called "Target" that frontman Britt Daniels performed solo at Pok-E-Jo’s during SXSW on March 17/06.

    Falls Church News Press delves into marital/musical bliss with Jason Hammel, one half of husband/wife duo Mates of State.

    Muzzle of Bees has an mp3 download of the Belle and Sebastian 3-song promo disc of "The Blues Are Still Blue".

    Saturday, March 18, 2006

    The Big Guns

    concert review: Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins, Johnathan Rice, Whispertown 2000 @ The Opera House(Toronto, Ontario), March 16, 2006

    If you weren't a country music fan before Thursday's Jenny Lewis show at The Opera House, then I'd say that Jenny Lewis made a great case for one to explore the genre. Yes, I know a lot of people say that her music off her debut solo effort "Rabbit Fur Coat" isn't country music[maybe her brand of 'country music' is for people who don't like country music], but there were enough country trimmings[steel pedal, twanginess, even the wardrobe] during her set that I think firmly establishes her love for the genre. In fact, the two openers furthered the cause with their music.

    First openers were the 4-member Whispertown 2000 out of Los Angeles consisting of two cute young ladies, Morgan Nagler and Vanessa Corballa on vocals and two young gents, Colt Maloney and Tod Adrian Wisenbaker on guitar and bass guitar respectively. Yes, if you've been paying attention, they do not have a drummer. I thought this was a little gimmicky although they did provide a percussive elements with bits of tambourine. Thankfully, the band's brand of minimalist countrified indiepop was charming enough to prove that a drummer wasn't necessary. While Morgan's raspy childlike vocals were initially awkward I grew fond of it as the set wore on. Actually, background vocalist Vanessa Corballa definitely had stronger vocals, and I'm wondering why she never took reigns of lead vocals. Instrumentally, the music was fleshed out by Morgan's simple acoustic guitar strums/melodies, Tod's competent bass lines, and Colt's thoughtful guitar noodling. It is of note to mention that Whispertown were in fact late by about half an hour for their scheduled 8:10 pm set time because, as Morgan mentioned, it took them 6 hours from the US border to drive up to Toronto in their van. Yes, without so much as a soundcheck, the band was shaky at first, but charmed the pants off us in the end. Their last song was a playful ode to drinking and the dead that reminded me alot of The Barmitzah Brothers.

    Next up was Jenny Lewis' beau, Johnathan Rice. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed his music. Without any previous knowledge of his music, for some reason[maybe, it's his name], I was expecting some sort of lame-ass singer-songwriter bullshit. The most outstanding element of his music is his vocals, which had a swagger-ish Ricky Nelson resonating quality to it. With Johnathan Rice on acoustic guitar and his cohort who he referred to as Farmer Dave on pedal steel guitar/keyboards, they performed a set of swagger-y country ballads with really good melodies. Johnathan at one point encouraged the audience to sing along to a song which had lyrics along the lines of "We're all stuck out in the desert and we're gonna die, wipe the salt and sand from your blister and eyes." When security confiscated the camera of someone near the front of the stage[which is another story; yes cameras were not allowed during the show], Johnathan quipped that well then maybe we'll just have to listen to the music. I noticed chatter during Johnathan's set and finally it seems he was fed up because after he played his final tune during which I recall him inserting the lyrics "what the fuck", he walked off the stage and Farmer Dave followed, only after sarcastically saying "blah, blah, blah, blah." They were none too happy, and perhaps they over-reacted to the chatter, but I still think they performed a good set.

    Without a doubt I can say that from the first note of Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins strolling onto the stage singing acapella, "Run Devil Run" which led into the romp of "The Big Guns", Jenny had the audience captivated. Jenny and The Watson Twins' band was rounded out by a bass guitarist and drummer as well as Johnathan and Farmer Dave on acoustic guitar and keyboards respectively. Jenny was dressed in an old-style June Carter Cash-ish blue gown, The Watson Twins were dressed in long black dresses and guys were decked out similarly in cool-looking Flying Burritos Brothers-ish shirts and slacks. They pretty much performed all the songs off "Rabbit Fur Coat" except "Handle With Me Care". It was surprising how attentive the audience was that even during Jen's quietest moments like her solo performance of "Rabbit Fur Coat" with her sweet-as-honey vocals, there was absolutely no chatter whatsoever. Rounding out the setlist were other songs like the country-soul of new song "Jack Killed Mom" and a yet-untitled-song(for which a audience member cheekily suggested the title "Pumpernickel"). They also played a song called "Paradise" which was from a split single Jenny released with Whispertown 2000. They ended the main set in fine dramatic fashion with each person walking off the stage separately waving to the audience, first starting with Jenny and ending with her drummer after an extended drum solo. Amazing. Coming back for an encore, Jenny and the Watson gals(who I must mention were in fine vocal form the entire night) first came on to perform a fantastic cover of doo-wop song, The Shirelles' "I Met Him On A Sunday". I recall later Johnathan and Farmer Dave, then the rest of the band coming on for a song or two more. However, it was the song[I think it's a cover song actually] featuring Johnathan and Jenny on duet vocals, Jenny with her exhuberant singing and Jonathan during his part which sounded very Johnny Cash-ish in its spoken wordness, that makes me think that Jenny and Johnathan could be this generation's Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. I'm not necessarily saying they'll reach such high musical achievements but at the very least they are a very fine tribute to those musical icons.

    Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to bring in my P&S digital camera because The Opera House security guard I spoke to said that the artists weren't allowing photos. It did seem that at least a few people managed to smuggle their cameras in, although security personnel did manage to catch several people in the act of taking photos and subsequently confiscated their cameras temporarily. Really, does Jenny have a no-photos policy at her shows? I'm disappointed if that's true because it's a shame not to be able to document her show without photos. Funny thing is that although I couldn't snap any photos at the show, it was still an awesome experience.

    chartattack reviews the show.

    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    From The Cliffs

    concert review: Guillemots w/ The Outfit @ Horseshoe Tavern(Toronto, Ontario), March 16, 2006

    Fyfe & Aristazabal of Guillemots @ Horseshoe Tavern: photo by Mike LigonSince the beginning of the year, I've been excited about UK band The Guillemots based only on two singles: the horn-drenched Brit-soul of "Trains of Brazil" and the pure pop of "Made Up Love Song #43". They released their debut EP "From The Cliffs" in Canada this past Tuesday, and though I haven't had a chance to fully absorb it, I had a good sampling of their music yesterday evening when they made their live Canadian debut at the Horseshoe Tavern. With the blog-love picking up for the band recently, I was thinking the show would sell out, but for a Wednesday night, maybe I was being a little too optimistic. Not close to a sell out and a lot more elbow room than I thought, but I think there were enough people for Guillemots live Canadian debut that it wasn't a total embarassment(for both the band and Toronto music fans).

    Inconspicously, the 4 members of Guillemots marched towards the stage from within the crowd[I was standing right at the front of the stage], and from what I recall, were playing a variety of toy instruments. Band members Fyfe Dangerfield(vocals/keyboards) in striped shirt and tie, MC Lord Magrao(guitar) in a t-shirt and jeans, Aristazabal Hawkes(double bass) in a totally sexy sleevless long black dress and boots, and Rican Caol(drummer/percussion) in a blue gown sure looked like a motley bunch and their music really reflected it. Musically stylistically different from the getgo, it was somewhat exhausting. From the brit-soul and pure pop of the two singles mentioned above respectively, the band also made strides into pub-rock with rhythmic[ie drums and stand up bass] influences that sounded a little jazzy or hip hop at times. Lead singer Fyfe took a moment, while the rest of the band left the stage, to perform solo an innocent little love song with just his vocals and his ever so slight melodies of the portable keyboard which he cradled in his arm. It was one of the best moments of the evening, as a hush fell over the crowd as Fyfe sang that song. The gentlemen of the band were definitely the more maniacal of the bunch, each rocking out on their respective instruments, while Aristazabal, the lone female, was a little more reserved, not that stopped her from grooving with her stand-up bass when she came to a wicked bass line.

    Really, the only disappointment, and it's actually a biggie, is that I didn't find myself as enamoured with ALL their music as I hoped I would be. The two singles I mentioned above were still the highlights for me, especially "Trains of Brazil" which substituted the song's horn section with Fyfe and especially Aristazabal, exhuberantly mimicing those sounds. Hmmm, Aristazabal looked and sounded amazing especially. The band definitely picked up momentum during the second half of the set, so while the first half of the set seemed to drag a bit, the second half was much more satisfying. Not the mindblowing experience I was hoping(and I blame part of that on the show not being sold out), but it was a more than decent Toronto debut.

    Addendum: Forgot to mention that the guitarist at one point used a power drill to create some weird noises with his guitar. I'm all for experimentation, but it was a little too gimmicky for my tastes. Also, I missed openers, The Outfit. How were they?

    [my photos from the show]

    Wednesday, March 15, 2006

    Excursions Into "oh, a-oh"

    concert review: Stereolab w/ Espers @ Phoenix Concert Theatre(Toronto, Ontario), March 14, 2006

    Stereolab @ Phoenix: photo by Mike LigonTo all the naysayers, Stereolab at the Phoenix yesterday evening proved they are no one trick pony. Space Bachelor Pad Music my ass. They were so much more. It was definitely the better show of the two times I've now seen them live, the first time being in April 2004. The two year wait between Toronto appearances was definitely a long one and the crowd was eager in anticipation. When Laetitia Sadler, Tim Gane and the rest of the gang finally came onto the stage, there was a little disappointment that sometime-Stereolab conspirator Sean O'Hagan wasn't there. The initial disappointment quickly receded into the night, and the set just got better and better as it went on. There were some nice bits of rock instrumentation courtesy of the the drummer's loose rhythmic style and guitarist Tim Gane's strummy(sometimes aggressively so) guitar playing. I really liked the arsenal of keyboard sounds, touches of French horn, Laetitia's competent trombone contributions and energetic tambourine shaking, and of course, Laetitia's silky vocals. One of the most satisfying things of the show, was to see how much of a boogie-mood Laetitia was in. French Disko. Qui.

    Stereolab had some great song selections. "Pack Yr Romantic Mind" was exhilirating for it's loungey Space Age Bachelor Pad vibe. "Miss Modular" shifted to a dance-able vibe, complete with it's staccato trumpet arrangements. "Mountain" saw the band getting into 'punk-rock' mode with that more guitar-oriented tune. They performed a whole bunch of songs I didn't recognize, alot which were more funky/disco-y than much of their past catalogue, and perhaps from the new album "Fab Four Future"; they did perform that album's "Eye of The Volcano" as well as "Vodiak"(which Laetitia cheekly referred to the title as being similar to 'Zodiac', but with a 'V'...and a 'K'). "Cybelie's Revenge", which is in my top 3 of my favourite Stereolab songs, turned out to be the set closer, which was a relief because I'd been waiting for it ALL NIGHT. And it turned out to be even better than when I'd heard them perform it a couple years prior at the same venue. As set closer, "Cybelie's Revenge" had much more of an impact, starting out unassumingly but very pleasantly with it's pop song leanings, but building to a noisy wall-of-sound climax in its latter half. The two song-encore after that paled in comparison but was still much appreciated.

    Did anyone notice how happy Laetita appeared onstage? It wasn't just the playful dance moves, hand movements and such, but I caught her glancing around the crowd making eye contact with individuals every now and then, and then she'd smile. Man, she is sexy and I swear she made eye contact with me. Ok, maybe not.

    To quickly mention, although not to undermine their talent, Philadephia band Espers opened the show with their languid tunes. They almost defy categorization, at least in my realm of musical tastes. The 6 member band, consisting of three males and three females, had a hush Red House Painters quality but with a less straighforward melodicism, a chamber-classical element courtesy of the cello, and a Doors-y, jammy feeling at times with the young Joey Ramone-looking guitarist/vocalist's meandering guitar solos. Alternating male and female lead vocals kept things interesting. They performed a cover of a tune which was more melodic than their originals and I would have preferred more of that melodic sensibility. Interesting to say the least, but they'd go over better with me in a smaller venue.

    [photos from the show]

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    The Milkman of Human Kindness

    Billy Bragg @ HMV in Toronto: photo by Mike LigonBefore his show at The Opera House on March 11, 2006, Billy Bragg performed a great solo set over at HMV in downtown Toronto during the afternoon. It was the first time I've ever seen him live and while he was feeling a little under the weather with a cold, in between sips of tea he was drinking out of a Spongebob Squarepants mug!, Billy still managed to perform a thoroughly entertaining set. While we watched Billy tune his guitar, he then stepped up to the mic and surprised us with a great cover of The Verve's "Drugs Don't Work". This turned out to be his soundcheck. He returned soonafter and proclaimed to the audience that he was 'HMV employee of the month', then picked up his guitar and performed some old classics for us including "The Milkman of Human Kindness", "A New England" and others. He played about 5 songs or so, which is actually a pretty good quantity for an instore, and possibly sensing our disappointment that it was over, granted us one last song, his British-centric version of the song "Route 66". Check out my photos from the instore, my favourite of which is the one I've posted above. Sadly, I missed his show at The Opera House that night but apparently he'll be back in Toronto in September according to Chromewaves. In the meantime, check out Chromewaves review of Billy's show at The Opera House as well as his photos from both the instore and gig. chartattack also reviews Billy's show at The Opera House.

    Billy performed live today in the WYNC studios for the radio program Soundcheck. Listen here.

    In keeping with the Billy Bragg theme, Jason Buckley shot this video of Billy Bragg performing "It's All About The Price Of Oil" at the Get Out the Vote Rally at the AFL-CIO building in Washington, DC on 10/22/02.

    Billy supports the current OPSEU strike. He apparently even dedicated "There's Power In A Union" to the strike, during his show at The Opera House.

    And just a reminder, that Billy will be performing live on Late Night With Conan O'Brien this Wednesday March 15th. [via The Late Night TV Page]

    Neko Case tells chartattack that she hates the term 'alt-country'.

    Neko Case mentions to London Free Press that the podcasts she's planned for her website will each feature 20 songs that she says are an "eclectic, jumbly mess" from her personal vinyl collection, including plenty of old gospel tunes.

    The Los Angeles Times[Bugmenot] profiles Neko Case's career, and likens her as the female counterpart to another Chicago resident, Jeff Tweedy.

    Listen to/watch the live session Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins performed for Morning Becomes Eclectic this past Friday March 10, 2006. Can't wait for her show this coming Thursday at The Opera House.

    The Dears' UK label Bella Union is offering a free download of an acoustic version of "There Goes My Outfit" from the new album.

    I'm looking forward to seeing Stereolab tomorrow at Phoenix. If this torrent(of Stereolab's recent show on March 8, 2006 at The Wonder Ballroom in Portland, OR) is any indication, it should be a good one. Openers are Espers.

    Here's a torrent(registration required) of an intimate pre-"Let It Die" Feist set at House o'Muzak House Concert in New Haven, Conneticut on March 26, 2000. It features an early version of "Leisure Suite". [last two torrent links via Largehearted Boy]

    To make up for their cancelled show at Rancho Relaxo from last September, Architecture in Helsinki will be returning to Toronto for a show at Horseshoe Tavern on May 20th.

    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    Click Click

    concert review: The Wedding Present w/ The Airfields @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), March 10, 2006

    David Gedge of The Wedding Present @ Lee's Palace[March 10/06]: photo by Mike LigonThe Wedding Present returned to Toronto at Lee's Palace last Friday night for the second time within the last eleven months and played another stellar set for Toronto fans. Like their show last April, their setlist(courtesy of Chromewaves who has a nice review and some great photos from the show) this past Friday drew from almost their entire career, including The Weddoes very first single "Go Out And Get 'Em Boy!", selections from their latest "Take Fountain", oldies from "George Best", "Sea Monsters", and "Bizarro", mid-period selections from "Watusi", and "Saturnalia" as well as a few Cinerama tunes. I wonder how Mr. Gedge chooses the setlist? It's almost as if he loaded up an iPod with The Wedding Present/Cinerama catalogue, then clicked shuffle. I was at their last show last April but I enjoyed this most recent show more, if only because the Weddoes peformed "Click Click" which is possibly my favourite song of theirs, as well as a dynamite version of their cover of Julee Cruise's "Falling"(theme song from "Twin Peaks"). However Mr. Gedge chooses the setlists, I'm glad that he chose to mix it up this time, rather than duplicate last April's heavier-on-"Take Fountain"-set. I'd like to mention that this time around, I appreciated bassist Terry De Castro's role much more this time. Her bass playing doesn't seem to be very complicated but it's really her lovely background vocals(especially on "Click Click") which clearly establishes her role in the band. David seemed pretty chipper throughout the set, not really saying too much, but when he did he revealed to the audience a little bit of his wit. He's a really great gentleman actually, as I caught Mr. Gedge before The Weddoes set at the merch table where he graciously signed the copy of the Cinerama DVD which I bought from him.

    I was disappointed to catch only the last three songs of local Toronto C86/British-indie-inspired band The Airfields since what I'd heard from them that night sounded really good. Funny thing is that months ago, I'd previously heard some samples from their website and wasn't really blown away; their melodies seemed only partially fleshed out. This time they were promoting a new EP, "Laneways", and if the three songs I heard were from that EP, well then they seemed better realized. Or maybe the songs come off better live. It was also interesting to find out that the band also features The Diableros' Pete Carmichael(on bass guitar) and Ian Jackson(on guitar). I did purchase both of The Airfields' EP's("Laneways" and "City-State") and will be sure to catch them live in the future. They're having a release party at Sneaky Dee's on March 25th for their "Laneways" EP - can't make it unfortunately since I'll be at the Magnolia Electric Co./Destroyer show at Lee's Palace on the same night.

    [my photos from the show]

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    Up and Running

    The Super FriendzThe Coast spoke with Charles Austin of The Super Friendz who are currently in the studio recording their fourth full-length. The last full-length under The Super Friendz moniker was 2003's "Love Energy".

    The Straight points out Spin's favourite Vancouver indie music acts.

    The Montreal Mirror spoke with Tim Gane of Stereolab.

    More Neko press over at The Washington Post.

    Chase The Light and flop_pop_video were at Neko Case's instore at Amoeba Records in Hollywood yesterday. Check out Chase The Light's particularly spectacular photo of Neko during the autograph session. Anyone have a recording of the instore performance?

    A Reminder has for download mp3's of Broken Social Scene's show at La Maroquinerie, Paris (December 16, 2005)[via Broken Telephone].

    The Washington Post gives a glimpse of what to expect from The Wedding Present on this current tour. I'll be seeing them tonight at Lee's Palace. Cable and Tweed has a download in mp3 format of TWP's instore performance at Criminal Records in Atlanta on March 3, 2006.

    Thursday, March 09, 2006


    Not much news for this morning; I was dead tired yesterday evening. Maybe it has to do with my running around after work, trying to scoop up tickets to shows that were selling out around town at different outlets. Lesson is to not procrastinate; the shows that you think will not sell out, will always sell out(well at least advance tickets). I got a Wedding Present ticket at Soundscapes, got a Stereolab ticket at Rotate This, and then a Magnolia Electric Co./Destroyer ticket at Horseshoe Tavern. Ain't waiting anymore for friends to make up their mind if they want to go with me.

    Eye Weekly meets with UK's Guillemots who are in town for a show at Horseshoe Tavern on March 15th.

    Just Keep Bloggin' informs that we can download a free track, "Skinny Boy", from Amy Millan's upcoming debut Arts & Crafts full-length "Honey From The Tombs", being released May 30th.

    UK's White Rose Movement's show scheduled for El Mocambo on March 26th has been cancelled[via Rotate This].

    Sometimes Zero 7 vocalist, Sia will be at The Mod Club on April 13th[via Rotate This].

    And apparently, The Pixies have a SURPRISE show at Phoenix on May 6th, according to a poster at Stille Post. Update: I thought this was a fake post but I went against my better judgement and posted it anyway; assholes.

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Ballad of The Tuscon Two

    Howe Gelb @ Soundscapes[Mar 5/06]: photo by Mike LigonBury Me Not reviews Howe Gelb's show at the Horseshoe Tavern from this past Sunday[via Zoilus]. I managed to check out Mr. Gelb's instore performance at Soundscapes from Sunday afternoon where he performed five songs solo with just him and his acoustic guitar. The photo at left is from the instore.

    You can check out more of Mr. Gelb on Neko Case's new album "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood" which was released TODAY. And I know you all rushed out and bought it[like I did], right? The Toronto Star speaks with Neko about the new album[via LHB]. Pitchfork and PopMatters review the new album. And the new album's rockin' a 85/100 currently over at MetaCritic.

    And by the way, Neko Case's official website is now online. Check out the smoky photo of Neko. (On a related note, Neko ranks a respectable 76[out of 100?] over at Stream the music from ALL her releases.

    NPR has archived the audio recording of the recent Belle and Sebastian/The New Pornographers show from March 6 at 9:30 Club in Washington, DC[via Live Net Music]. Pitchfork interviews the band.

    chartattack has a list of the musical acts that most impressed them during this year's Canadian Music Week. I'm really glad that Australian band The Gin Club made it into the top 10. I saw them twice during the festival and their alt-country musical goodness really impressed me.

    Billy Bragg will be performing an instore and doing an autograph signing this Saturday March 11th at the HMV at 333 Yonge St. in downtown Toronto.

    Supersuckers will be at Lee's Palace on April 20th[via Pollstar].

    Regina Spektor will be in Toronto for a show at The Mod Club on April 24th[via Brooklyn Vegan].

    And finally, there's some preliminary lineup info for this year's Over The Top Fest over at Stille Post[via suckingalemon]. I'm already disappointed that I'll likely miss the Asobi Seksu/Pas/Cal show at Sneaky Dee's on May 6th because I have a bachelor party to go to. I'd really also like to see Halifax's Jenn Grant who'll be playing The Boat on May 6th as part of the festival. She's been singing with The Heavy Blinkers recently[I fortunately saw her sing with them last year in Hamilton] and she has a totally excellent voice. She will be Canada's next supa indie gal, I swear.

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Canadian Music Week 2006: part 2

    concert review: Canadian Music Week @ various venues(Toronto, Ontario), Friday March 3 and Saturday March 4, 2006

    The Parkas @ Healey's: photo by Mike LigonBlood Meridian(Friday 12 pm @ Healey's): On Eye Weekly's recommendation, I scooted on over to Healey's to check out Vancouver's Blood Meridian. Blood Meridian is the solo project for Matt Camirand of Black Mountain. The music was a slow burner for me with Matt's booze-fueled vocals initially overpowering the simple accompaniement of his acoustic guitar and harmonica. Perhaps, that was just the case with the songs at the beginning of the set, because the latter songs seemed to melodically gel much better with the vocals and instrumentation. Think a tougher-sounding Bright Eyes. With all his tattoos and rough swagger, he looked pretty young and even spoke about his mom. He said he didn't necessarily like performing for his mom because as a social worker she had a tendency to question his emotional state since his songs weren't entirely happy. ;-)

    The Parkas(Friday 1 am @ Healey's): I'd seen London, Ontario's The Parkas once live back in June 2004 during NXNE and if anything's remained the same, it's that their bassist[sorry I don't know his name] is one funny bastard. He brings stage banter to a new level. Funniest moment, at least for me, was when he said that he had stolen the Pitchfork staff's thesaurus. Rimshot please! Musically, they still continue their infectious brand of poppy indie rock that for me slightly harkens back to the Halifax alt-pop sound of Sloan, and in particluar The Super Friendz. For a 1 am timeslot, there was a decent turnout for their set. I'd recommend to Healey's to get rid of the tables and chairs in front of the stage. The Parkas are definintely not sitting-down music. [photos]

    The Gin Club(Saturday 10 pm @ El Mocambo): Not much to add to about The Gin Club which I hadn't already mentioned(see previous post) about their gig at Gladstone Hotel a couple of days earlier. I'd like to mention that this time around I was really happy that they had a cellist in tow. The set this time seemed a bit more somber, but I must say the cello was a nice touch. It wasn't a packed house by any means. There were maybe thirty people at most which was a disappointment. I just hope that doesn't discourage the Aussie band from coming back to Canada.

    Iron On(Saturday 11 pm @ El Mocambo): I'd like to mention that the whole lineup at the El Mocambo this night was an Australian showcase. My friend and I also stuck around for Brisbane, Australian band Iron On. The two males/two females band performed an entertaining set of noisy melodic indie rock mixed with emo-pop tendencies. The gentleman vocalist(Ross) sounded quite a bit like Ben Gibbard to me so the emo-pop DCFC comparison seemed obvious. The female vocalist(Kate) possessed a more Aussie-sounding accent in her singing and I particularly liked her Carrie Brownstein-styled body movements while she played guitar. Vocal duties alternated between the male and female vocalists, and so while one took lead vocal duties the other person would take over lead guitar. Ian the bassist was slumped over his guitar for most of the set and he looked really into it. Drummer Marieca kept pace with her solid drumming. For the most part, the material was melodically strong and energetically performed.

    Iron On @ MySpace
    Iron On LiveJournal Community
    Ian's LiveJournal
    Ross's LiveJournal
    Kate's LiveJournal

    Monday, March 06, 2006

    Canadian Music Week 2006: part 1

    concert review: Canadian Music Week @ various venues(Toronto, Ontario), Thursday March 2 and Friday March 3, 2006

    Barzin @ Holy Joe's: photo by Mike LigonEven with the disappointment of Isobel Campbell's Saturday night show at Revival being cancelled, over the course of the three-day festival I was still able to catch a bunch of worthy acts. I consciously decided this year that rather than catch the 'buzz' bands/artists, I'd tried checking out bands/artists who were for the most part unfamiliar to me. Recipe for disaster possibly, but I did my homework(checking out websites, audio samples) and the bands I ended up checking out turned out to be good, some even really good. It turns out that of eight bands I did see, it was an even split between Canadian and foreign acts.

    PE'Z(Thursday 10 pm @ Gladstone Hotel): I made it to the venue a little after Japan's PE'Z had just taken the stage. It was my first time at the Gladstone and it's a beautiful venue with high ceilings and nice wooden floors. Attendance was a little sparse but there was a Japanese(at least Asian) contingent of fans who came out to see PE'Z. While the crowd was quite subdued, PE'Z performed an combustible blend of jazz, swing and rock n' roll. The horn section of trumpet and saxophone provided the melodies, and were accompanied by some insane keyboard playing, rumbling bass lines, and energetic drumming. The set was mostly instrumental but one song featured the keyboardist shouting into his mic. Overall their spin on jazz music was quite refreshing. It would have been better if more people had shown up because it could have been quite the dance party.

    The Gin Club(Thursday 11 pm @ Gladstone Hotel): Brisbane, Australia's The Gin Club were up next. Eye Weekly described the band's music as a "unique blend of alt-country, folk, pop and psychedelia rock", drawing comparisons to The Band, Pogues, and The Sadies. After having seen them live, I'd say that everything that Eye Weekly said was quite on except for The Sadies comparison; The Gin Club were really not that twangy from what I could remember. I found the alt-country influence to be most dominant and they mostly reminded me of bands like early Wilco, The Jayhawks and Blue Rodeo. The music was mostly a guitar/bass guitar/keyboards/drums affair but also featured some accordion and harmonica. A young woman taking photos of the band set, ended up joining the band onstage to contribute some keyboards and background vocals. What I found most interesting was that lead vocal duties were taken on by most members of the band which meant that lead vocals changed at least seven times; and they were all good at it too, each giving lead vocals their own unique flavour! While most of the songs hovered in that alt-country territory my favourite song of the night, called "Drug Flowers" was a more uptempo pop tune.

    Barzin(Friday 9 pm @ Holy Joe's): Recently releasing Tomorrow their second album "My Life In Rooms" will be released on indie label Weewerk Records. Toronto's Barzin's performance at Holy Joe's was my favourite of the CMW festival by far. Within the intimate surroundings of Holy Joe's living room environment, Barzin performed a hushed set of Red House Painters-influenced tunes. The vibraphone was a nice touch and overall the instrumentation, vocals and melodies floated over the crowd while the disco lights overhead transformed the performance into something quite beautiful. On one instrumental number, the coda to the song featured melodica and trumpet, instruments which I hope they utilize more in the future.

    Radiogram(Friday 10 pm @ Holy Joe's): I'd been aware of Vancouver's Radiogram for a little while and had sampled some of their songs(in that alt-country/orch-pop vein) in the past so I was a aware what I was getting into when I stuck around for their set. I was a little disappointed that it turned out to be a solo set from Radiogram's Ken Beattie. Fortunately, though the strength of his songs(which were mostly new ones) held my interest. Accompanying himself with some simple guitar strumming and or arrangements, Ken sung a set of tunes which were mostly in a acoustic pop/country vein. Still, I'd have been a much happier camper if I could have heard the songs embellished with additional instrumentation, most notably strings and or horns.

    Audiotransparent(Friday 11 pm @ Holy Joe's): Audiotransparent are from Groningen, The Netherlands. While I think the band name is a little bland, it was Eye Weekly drawing comparisons of the band's music to Low, Sigur Ros and Sparklehorse which got me interested to see this band. The band performed a good set of tunes that straddled the line between slo-core indie rock and the epic-ness of Sigur Ros. There was a sad quality to Audiotransparent's quieter tunes but when songs would build up to epic proportions with drums and guitars in a massive collision of sound, it felt quite uplifting. The lead vocalist mentioned touring with Great Lake Swimmers in Europe where they played in one club to ten people and that it was nice to see Great Lake Swimmers play a 'full house' this time(this time being an hour before just downstairs at Reverb).

    Update: Here are photos from Thursday(@ Gladstone Hotel) and Friday(@ Holy Joe's).

    - Part 2 tomorrow -

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Late Show With David Letterman - March 2, 2006The following is yet another example of me discovering a band months after everyone else has already heard them. Yes, I'm a little slow about things sometimes.

    Months ago I'd seen this live video(of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah performing "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" at Seaport Music Festival on August 10, 2005) which was the first time I'd heard CYHSY. While I thought the song was catchy, I remembered it more for the insane guy jumping up and down along to the music, rather than for the song itself which I quickly shelved to the back of my mind. Recently, I've been hearing the song on Edge 102.1 without actually remembering who'd performed the song but I thought it was one of the most catchiest songs I'd heard in the last little while. Surprise, surprise it turns out to be CYHSY. Sam The Record Man in downtown Toronto happens to have a sale right now on selected CD titles and CYHSY's self-titled album is only $13.99 so last week I promptly purchased it. While the hype directed towards the band over the last six to twelve months almost destroyed any motivation I had to give the band a chance, I'm glad I finally hear what all the fuss is about. Too bad I won't be going to their show in Toronto at The Opera House, which was sold out long ago.

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah recently performed "Is this Love?" on Late Show with David Letterman. Enjoy the video.

    Friday, March 03, 2006

    You're The Funny Little Frog In My Throat

    It's Friday night. This is my lazy post. Caught a bit of CMW yesterday and I'll try updating you on that tomorrow. I'll probably go check out some more of the festival tonight and I've bought a ticket to the Isobel Campbell show at Revival tomorrow night which is part of the festival.[In related news, Chromewaves informs that the Soundscapes instore that had been scheduled with Isobel for tomorrow afternoon has been cancelled. :-( ] Update: The Rotate This site says Isobel's show at Revival has been cancelled?! In the meantime, this'll probably be the only time I'll ever embed a YouTube video clip into a blog post, but here's Belle and Sebastian performing "Funny Little Frog" on Late Night With Conan O'Brien on March 1, 2006:

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    It Could Be Sweet

    Portishead - SaturnineI'm not sure if the following is real or a hoax, but apparently this is the promo for a new Portishead album entitled "Saturnine" to be released this summer.

    As the excitement continues to build for Neko Case's new album "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood" to be released on March 7th, the press machine's been running on high. Neko is the cover star for the new issue(March/April 2006) of Harp and they've kindly posted their article on her online. I haven't read it yet, but I'll probably just buy the magazine. Exclaim! spoke with Neko about her new album, and she expresses that the reason she used more songwriting collaborators this time, was that she wanted 'a little more of that band camaraderie feeling', as compared to here previous album "Blacklisted" where she wrote most of the songs herself. Spin reviews the new album and their impression is that "...Lordy, is it dark." VH1 declare Neko's new album a 'Must-have CD', although the really interesting bit of info they offer in their blurb which I wasn't aware of, was that a poll in 2003 declared Neko "Sexiest Babe of Indie Rock". How can you disagree with that? Finally, ANTI- offer up another mp3 from the album, this time being "Hold on, Hold on".

    Mr. Dan Bejar of Destroyer is Exclaim!'s current cover star.

    If you missed Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twin's live appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson yesterday, you can download the clip here(registration required). (It's a Quicktime file and requires Quicktime 7; I'm unfortunately still running on Windows 98, which Quicktime 7 will not run on, so if anyone comes across a different file format of the clip, let me know.) Update: Between Thought And Expression has a link to a .WMV file of the video clip.

    The Flaming Lips will be playing of all places in Toronto, the Phoenix on April 4th. Openers are Wolfmother, and tickets are onsale this Saturday at 10 am. The Toronto date isn't listed on the band's website yet, but should be soon. And as the tour date page at the band's website says, "...don't forget to bring yer glove puppets, furry suits, fake blood and a big smile...". I'm really tempted to go to this, even though as MattR at Stille Post mentioned, the ticket price is $39.50. But it's The Flaming Lips in a small club. [via Stille Post and Emerge]

    The Silver Hearts with Andre Ethier and guests TBA are scheduled for a show at The Mod Club in Toronto on April 7th. Tickets onsale this Saturday at 10 am. [via Emerge]

    I came across the new music video for Cuff The Duke's "The Ballad of Poor John Henry". Check it out. [via Exclaim! Message Board]

    Belle and Sebastian are performing on Late Night With Conan O'Brien tonight!