Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Supine

concert review: Andrew Bird, Plants and Animals @ The Opera House (Toronto, Ontario), September 25, 2007

Montreal's Plants and Animals opened the night, of their set I'd only caught the last two songs, but which were enough to pique my interest. Their second last song was loud, with hints of an underlying melody trying to creep to the surface while their last song was on the other end of the spectrum, undeniably melodic, slow with some psychedelic pop influences. They're back in Toronto at Lee's Palace on November 16 then at The Drake Hotel on November 17.

Amidst a darkened stage, Andrew and his two bandmates(drummer & guitarist) took to the stage. I'm mostly a newbie to Mr. Bird's music only having made the effort for the first time earlier this year to listen to some of his songs. He straddles the line between standard pop conventions and more sophisticated, classical influences. His show at The Opera House was a fine performance, and somewhat like says Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird brings a new sophistication to pop music without suffocating what makes good pop music good - that is, the melodies. Andrew's an impressive multi-instrumentalist shifting from violin, to guitar, and xylophone, plus a generous amount of whistling, often times all within the same song. I also appreciated Andrew's different violin techniques, playing the standard way with a bow, but then shifting to playing it like a ukele and casually plucking at its strings. Not to leave his bandmates out, both drummer Martin Dosh and guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker were more than capable in their own rights, adding subtle nuances to their arrangements. With a multitude of multi-coloured lighting effects and the wonderful vintage amps and spinning gramphophone-like contraption on stage, the visual elements complimented Andrew's tunes nicely. The only thing I felt missing from the show was more stage banter from Andrew, and given the conceptually abstact song titles of his most recent album "Armchair Apocrypha"[which I picked up at the show], you'd figure Mr. Bird would have more to say. A minor disappointment of what was otherwise a terrific set.

Check out a few photos from the show below. More of my photos from the show over at my Flickr.

Andrew Bird @ The Opera House(Sept 25, 2007): photo by Michael Ligon

Andrew Bird @ The Opera House(Sept 25, 2007): photo by Michael Ligon

Check out more reviews of the show at Torontoist and Jordan Bower's blog.

MySpace: Andrew Bird
MySpace: Plants and Animals

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dance Music

Unfortunately, I had to miss The Mountain Goats show at Lee's Palace this past Tuesday(Sept 25) - I went to the Andrew Bird show at The Opera House instead which it self was awesome. I missed seeing The Mountain Goats live for what seems the like gazzilionth time now. Maybe next time, if there's a next time. Zoilus gushes about the show over at his blog and has an annotated set list also. Check out some videos from the show below (courtesy of flickeringwasteland):

YouTube: The Mountain Goats - "Old College Try" (live @ Lee's Palace 25/09/2007)
YouTube: The Mountain Goats - "No Children" (live @ Lee's Palace 25/09/2007)
YouTube: The Mountain Goats - "Dance Music" (live @ Lee's Palace 25/09/2007)
YouTube: The Mountain Goats - "Dilaudid" (live @ Lee's Palace 25/09/2007)
YouTube: The Mountain Goats - "Jenny" (live @ Lee's Palace 25/09/2007)

velvet2step has posted some more live video clips from last Friday's Okkervil River show at Lee's Palace. Check them out below:

YouTube: Okkervil River - "Black" (live @ Lee's Palace 21/09/2007)
YouTube: Okkervil River - "Okkervil River Song" (live @ Lee's Palace 21/09/2007)
YouTube: Okkervil River - "Unless It Kicks" (live @ Lee's Palace 21/09/2007)
YouTube: Okkervil River - "A Hand To Take Hold Of The Scene" (live @ Lee's Palace 21/09/2007)
YouTube: Okkervil River - "Lady Liberty" (live @ Lee's Palace 21/09/2007)
YouTube: Okkervil River - "Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe" (live @ Lee's Palace 21/09/2007)

Concert announcements: The Go Team! show's been moved to the Phoenix on November 1. KT Tunstall's at Kool Haus on November 22. The Most Serene Republic is at The Mod Club on October 25. M.I.A., Datarock, Holy Fuck, and The Carps at Kool Haus on October 20, 19+, tickets onsale this Saturday at 10 am. BSS PLAYS KEVIN DREW'S SPIRIT IF comes to Kool Haus on December 8 ..damn, I didn't win tickets through for Kevin's show at Lee's Palace tonight. :-(

The New Pornographers performed a live session for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic on September 20, 2007. Check it out - Dan Bejar was with them too!

Check out Toronto indiepop The Airfield's MySpace which is streaming a couple of new tracks ("yr so Wonderful", "Icing Sugar"). The physical version of the single will contain three songs (the aforementioned two songs plus "Long Way Home") and will be released through Cloudberry Records on October 1, of which only 100 copies will be made. The three songs will appear on the band's upcoming debut full-length out this Fall.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

On A Neck On A Spit

concert review: Grizzly Bear, Beach House @ The Mod Club (Toronto, Ontario), September 20, 2007

Sorry for the latesness of this following review. Grizzly Bear with openers Beach House played an early show at The Mod Club last Thursday September 20. It was obvious to me from the get-go that The Mod Club was not an appropriate venue for the show. Given the relative subduedness of both of the acts, Grizzly Bear and their acoustic, experimental psych-folk and Beach House, a duo on electric guitar and electric organ who play languid pop music alternating between desolate and blurry and miasmic, plus the mostly banter-less sets(aside from some polite acknowledgements), it was a show that I couldn't appreciate standing up. Sitting cross-legged on the floor in a more serene venue like The Music Gallery or a more intimate venue like Sneaky Dee's would have been preferable. That said, given my relative unfamiliarity with both bands, except for a few samples I've heard through their MySpaces, I came away from the show for an appreciation for both bands.

Beach House perform music that sounds sad[if not lyrically, probably is], featuring vocalist Victoria Legrand's sombre vocals, and humming electric organ arrangements and guitarist Alex Scally's electric guitar which alternated between slide and fuzzy. The songs maintained a fairly consistent languid pace, beautiful at times(well, many times), and the melodies were for the most part strong, but over the course of an entire set, it was a bit sleepy.

Grizzly Bear fared better with their musically more diverse set. If the melodies weren't so sparkling at times I might have judged some of their more experimental instrumental arrangements as art-school student noodling. Acoustic Simple guitar was at the basis of most of the songs and vocal harmonizing was also creatively utilized but there were also more experimental aspects at times. It was refreshing to see lead vocal duties alternate between Ed Droste, Daniel Rosen, and Chris Taylor. The lush vocal harmonies and creative but never busy musical arrangements of "Knife" were a reminder that Grizzly Bear can, when they want to, create beautiful and interesting pop music.

Check out some photos from the show below. More photos over at my Flickr.

Beach House: photo by Michael Ligon

Grizzly Bear: photo by Michael Ligon

MySpace: Grizzly Bear
Video: Grizzly Bear - "He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)" (Crystals cover - live at The Mod Club - Sept 20, 2007)
MySpace: Beach House

- live Grizzly Bear video above courtsey of mazzystarr83

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"I Want To Know This Time If You’re Really Finally Mine"

concert review: Okkervil River @ Lee's Palace (Toronto, Ontario), September 21, 2007

Last Friday night's Okkervil River show at Lee's Palace for me was just short of being a cathartic experience. I missed opener Damien Jurado 's set entirely but I hope to catch him next time - based on reviews I've read(check out Chromewaves), the overly chatty crowd didn't give him much of a break during his subdued set. The newbie that I am to Okkervil River first introduced to them by their song 'For Real' and its album "Black Sheep Boy", the cinematic and dramatic scope of that album was slightly toned down by what I thought was a more ramshackle performance in a live setting. Combined with the more straightforward scope, even poppier tone of the songs off the new album "The Stage Names", the performance didn't wash over me as much as I'd hope for. What they did however do was lessen the mystique that surrounded my impression of the band(which was based on "Black Sheep Boy") and prove to me that they're as much adept at rockin' out like the Rolling Stones as they are at evoking a quieter, dramatic atmosphere. A band that can utilize mandolin, horns, and accordion and not sound 'alt-country'[although, don't get me wrong - I like alt-country] is refreshing to say the least. A few overly rambunctious individuals yelled at some inappropriate times[someone yelled out 'Toronto' like it was some sort of friggin' Blue Jays game] slightly ruining some of the quiter moments to the point that lead vocalist Will Sheff calmed it down a bit by letting out a relaxed 'shhhh', intercepted by his mic and lingering over the crowd. For a moment I thought it was part of the song, but then thought otherwise. As much as the band puts into their sound, I do appreciate that they dressed up[ie in suit jacket, shirt, and slacks] for the occasion although a few of them(including Will) were casual enough to shed the jackets during the encore as I'm sure they must have been sweating buckets at that point[and believe me, the temperature in Lee's was cooking from the beginning]. Overall, one of the best shows of the year.

I took some photos - nothing really spectacular since I wasn't up near the stage, but I'll post a few and/or a link to some in the near future.

MySpace: Okkervil River
Video: Okkervil River - "Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe" (live at Lee's Palace - Sept 21, 2007)

- video above courtesy of velvet2step

Sunday, September 23, 2007


concert review: Rilo Kiley, Jonathan Rice @ Phoenix (Toronto, Ontario), September 18, 2007

Given the mixed reviews toward's Rilo Kiley's newest album "Under The Blacklight" and my own laziness of giving the new album a proper listen before the show, I really went into their show last Tuesday fairly open-minded. And the result? It was a fantastic show. With a glittery stage backdrop and Blake and the boys wearing dress shirt and slacks, it felt sort of like the prom. Except the band didn't suck. Added to the lineup, were two girls on horns and background vox. Lead vocalist Jenny Lewis threw aside the June Carter-ish wardrobe of her country-pop solo project touring show for a disco-y halter top and matching hot pants ensemble. A shout-out of 'I love you' from a female audience member to guitarist Blake Sennett prompted a humourous reponse from him along the lines of him that 'it just wouldn't work out', and Blake added a few more quips here and there. Performing mostly from the new album and their last one "More Adventurous", there was a lot of musical variety from the country pop of "Silver Lining", to the 'best song Fleetwood Mac never wrote' of "Dreamworld", to the raunch and roll of "Money Maker", to the disco-y "Breakin' Up", and the soul-influenced "15", to older favourites like the delirious power-pop of "Portions of Foxes", the horn-friendly "It's A Hit", and the audience singalong on "Does He Love You?"(for which if I'd actually known the lyrics, would have been 10 times better than it already was). What was most refreshing about the music was the total lack of irony. Rilo Kiley performed with a genuine love of the musical influences for which their songs touched upon, for the most part adding their own pop sensibilities to those different musical genres.

Jenny's beau Jonathan Rice(with some new length to this hair) and his band performed prior to Rilo Kiley - I missed first openers Grand Ole Party. His resonating voice is the most distinguishing quality of his music but the country-rock melodies and instrumentation performed by his three-piece backing band weren't bad either. If I weren't so excited to see Jenny and Rilo Kiley I'd might have been more in the mood for Jonathan's set but in the end it was just ok. The duet between him and Jenny was fantastic and prompted a glorious response from the audience.

Check out some of my photos from the show below. More photos over at Flickr.

Rilo Kiley @ Phoenix: photo by Michael Ligon

Rilo Kiley @ Phoenix: photo by Michael Ligon

Rilo Kiley @ Phoenix: photo by Michael Ligon

MySpace: Rilo Kiley
YouTube: Rilo Kiley - "Silver Lining" (music video)
YouTube: Rilo Kiley - "Dream World" (live on Jimmy Kimmel Live show - Sept 5, 2007)
MySpace: Jonathan Rice

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Broken Barns

A few concert announcements I've been sitting on that may have probably already heard of by now, but just in case you didn't:

Great Lake Swimmers perform an instore at Criminal Records(493 Queen St W) on Thurs Sept 27 at 7 pm. I'm thinking it's only going to be Tony Dekker and not the full band but then I could be wrong[via Stille Post] Oh just to let you know, Great Lake Swimmers will also be supporting Feist at her Hamilton, Kitchener, and London, Ontario dates on Dec 3, 4 & 5 respectively. Also via Stille Post, coming up this Saturday(@ 4:30 pm) at Criminal Records is a free acoustic show by Vice Records The Black Lips.

East coast favourites Wintersleep have a new record "Welcome To The Sky" coming out soon(the band's website is sort of cryptic about it) but you can hear a few songs here. They'll be in Toronto for a FREE CD release show at the Horseshoe Tavern on October 16 as part of 102.1 The Edge's Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite.

Toronto's The Sadies, whose new record "New Season" just came out in Canada on Outside Records(and is out in the US on October 2 through Yep Roc), will be touring the heck out of their new album including back-to-back dates in Toronto - Nov 2 at Horseshoe Tavern and Nov 3 at Lee's Palace[full tour dates over at Outside Music].

Britpop band Athlete will be touring in support of new album "Beyond The Neighbourhood"(out in the US on September 25) and so far only have a few select dates coming up including Toronto at Lee's Palace on November 6. Tickets $17.50 in advance.

The Russian Futurists have a few west coast dates at the end of October then return home to Ontario for a few dates including a show at The Drake Underground on November 22. (The date's not listed at the MySpace but it is listed on the band's official site.)

Oh, and check out the very Pavement-y new song "Broken Barns" streaming over at The Diableros MySpace. The CD release party for their new album "Aren't Ready For The Country" goes down at the Horseshoe Tavern on October 26.

Old news but on their way to world domination, Arts & Crafts have signed The Constantines and The Stills. On one hand I'm happy, but on the other, Arts & Crafts now seems like one big indie monopoly. Remember when The Dears, The Constantines, The Hidden Cameras, oh and The Stills were all on different labels?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Memories of TIFF 2007

Memories of the Toronto International Film Festival. This year was my first time attending. I only ended up checking out three films(I tried for several more but they were sold out), but I found the whole experience really invigorating, from tearing through the TIFF guide, schedules, and website for what movies to see, to lining up for tickets, to speaking to people in line about what movies they were going to see, and just the general buzz around town during the week about which celebrities I might catch a glimpse of downtown. In general, I could give a crap about celebrities, but who could resist the opportunity to see Jessica Alba or maybe Monica Bellucci in the flesh(alas, I didn't see one celebrity). My friend and I even ventured downtown to the "Blood Brothers" Gala Screening at Roy Thomson Hall last Wednesday chance to see if Hong Kong starlet Shu Qi might be there, but ended up missing the whole friggin' red carpet event. Oh, well there's always next year.

The first film of the festival for me was Asian action film "Flash Point" which my friend and I caught the midnight screening of last Thursday. In general, it was a decent film mostly worthwhile for the imaginative mixed martial arts fight sequences capably brought to life by star Donnie Yen and directed by Wilson Yip. Director Wilson Yip(with an interpreter) was gracious enough to stick around after the screening for a Q & A. On a side note, I must say that "Midnight Madness" audiences are the best, and the "Arrr!"'s from various audience members which rung through the theatre when the anti-piracy message was projected on to the screen totally cracked me up.

I took in a noon screening last Friday of the Bob Dylan 'biopic'(and I use this term loosely), the Todd Haynes-directed "I'm Not There". Preceding the screening, director Todd Haynes took some questions from the audience and gave us some insight about the film. Exploring the psyche of Bob Dylan at different stages of his life using different actors(including Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Richard Gere), the film is not a biopic in the traditional sense. There are cultural, historical, even biblical references in the roles of the different actors that draw parallels to Dylan's psyche at various stages of his life. The film is sort of like an abstract painting - you watch it hard enough, and you're bound to come to your own conclusions. Cate Blanchett, in particular, does a wonderful job in her role. If and when you end up seeing, keep an eye out for the segment featuring My Morning Jacket's Jim James and Calexico in a beautiful musical performance.

It's unfortunate that my TIFF experience had to end on a downer. My friend and I caught the Saturday night screening of "Blood Brothers" over at the Cumberland. It's an asian gangster film which I believe was set in the 1920's. My first inclination was to say it was alright, but I have to be honest, it was cliched and overly melodramatic, although it started out on a promising plot note(which unfortunately was not developed adequately). If Martin Scorcese sets the bar(for well-done gangster films), Blood Brothers barely gets off the ground.

So that's it from TIFF 2007. I hope to do it all again next year.

ps. The movie shoot on Yonge St which started yesterday for the new "The Incredible Hulk" film nicely coincides with the conclusion of TIFF, don't you think? Anyone catch the Apollo Theatre sign, yellow taxi cabs, and trash cans/garbage bags(ie. set dressings) on Yonge St. near Gerrard? So really, the final Hulk showdown is taking place in Harlem?

Video: "Flash Point" (trailer)
Video: "I'm Not There" (trailer)
Video: "Blood Brothers" (trailer)

Director Wilson Yip at Flash Point Screening @ Ryerson Theatre: photo by Michael Ligon

Director Todd Haynes at I'm Not There Screening @ Ryerson Theatre: photo by Michael Ligon

Apollo Theatre sign on Yonge St. for the

Saturday, September 15, 2007

La Da Da

concert review: Basia Bulat @ Yonge Dundas Square (Toronto, Ontario), September 12, 2007

Basia Bulat @ Yonge Dundas Square: photo by Michael Ligon

Currently promoting her debut album "Oh, My Darling"(released earlier this year in the UK through Rough Trade Records, and recently released domestically on Hardwood Records), Basia Bulat and her band have been touring non-stop. Last week she made a surprise appearance with one of her band members singing back up for Rough Trade Records roster-matesThe Veils during their encore at the El Mocambo last week. She'll be playing an instore at Soundscapes at 6 pm on September 19[via Chromewaves]. Her Toronto CD release shows will be on September 22 at The Music Gallery with an early show at 6 pm and and late show at 9 pm, so there's no excuse for not catching at least one of them. This past Wednesday she closed out the Summer Serenade series down at Yonge Dundas Square. Her band compliment was about the same(drums, keyboard, back-up vox, violin) with the only thing missing being a cellist that I've seen as part of her band before. The open concrete environment of Yonge Dundas Square was hardly conducive to the intimacy of her mostly chamber-folk-pop set, but that said I also wish Basia performed a few more foot-stompers to get the crowd into it. For most of the set I was eating lunch and conversing with a co-worker near the back, only to approach closer to the stage towards the end of the set. Up close I only realize that it'd have been a perfect opportunity to put those Jumbotrons to good use - Basia's smile would brighten anyone's day.

More of my photos from the show here.

MySpace: Basia Bulat
In other news:

Band of Horses have announced some Fall dates which include show at the Phoenix in Toronto on November 9. Maybe I'll finally get to see them live, after missing their last few swings through town. The band's new disc "Cease To Begin" is out through Sub Pop on October 9 - you can preorder it here[via Pitchfork]

Also via Pitchfork, The Walkmen come back to Toronto for a show at Lee's Palace on October 10.

Following in the footsteps of The Rheostatics, Joel Plaskett Emergency take up residency at the Horseshoe Tavern from December 10 through to the 15th[via Pollstar]

The Cure have rescheduled their Toronto dates for May 15 at Air Canada Centre.

You probably already know about this, but you can download a free live Great Lake Swimmers' set here. It's five live tracks from the Church of the Redeemer show in Toronto on April 14/07. The band returns to town for a show at the Phoenix on September 29 with opener Chad VanGaalen. It's an early show, FYI, and Chad performs later that night(Sept 29) at The Drake as part of the Nuit Blanche festivities(speaking of which I hope to check out this year!).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Night Starts Here

concert review: Stars @ University of Toronto [back campus], September 7, 2007

Stars performed before a hometown crowd(albeit a frosh concert for University of Toronto) for the first time in over a year last Friday(Sept 30, 2007) afternoon. Performing favourites from their last LP "Set Yourself On Fire" and some new ones from their upcoming new LP "In Our Bedroom After The War"(out Sept 25 on Arts & Crafts"), I realized that I've become quite indifferent to their music. Don't get me wrong - I think they're terrific and I like some of their songs a lot. The new material, except for new song "The Night Starts Here", I haven't actually heard except for what I heard at the concert which hasn't sunk in yet. I do think that frontman Torquil Campbell hasn't lost his touch with his banter with the audience, and that for me was really what made last Friday's show worthwhile. Quipping about his experience as a U of T graduate, introducing a song about "fucking someone to death", or taking a drag from a cigarette then blowing the smoke discreetly through the side of his mouth as if trying to avoid the smoke police from kicking his ass of the stage, these were all the hijinks one could expect to see at a Stars concert. Musically, I thought some of the lushness/atmospheric quality of the recorded material was lost during the live performance but it was a minor setback at that. Funny 'bout kids today, but there was a throng of frosh students that actually didn't stick around for the Stars show and walked away in droves. After the main set(and yes, Stars did come back for an encore), I even recall one student to say to her friend "Do you actually like this band?"(thankfully the other person replied "Yes I love them!) - I can only hope that the person asking the question discovers some good music over the next four years of school.

Check out some photos below. More of my photos from the show here.

Stars @ U of T - Sept 7, 2007: photo by Michael Ligon

Stars @ U of T - Sept 7, 2007: photo by Michael Ligon

Stars @ U of T - Sept 7, 2007: photo by Michael Ligon

Check out Stars on MTV Live who appeared on the show on September 11 for a live performance and interview. (Unfortunately, only Canadian residents will be available to view the link.)

MySpace: Stars

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nux Vomica

The El Mocambo hosted a terrific double-bill last Wednesday September 5 featuring Rough Trade Records roster-mates Halifax-by-way-of-PEI's Jenn Grant and Auckland, NZ's The Veils. (I'll try to update this space with a review of some sort, but I've been way too busy, preoccupied, and or tired lately...and I didn't even go to V-Fest over the weekend.)

Here are some photos from the show below. More of my photos here.

Jenn Grant @ El Mocambo: photo by Michael Ligon

The Veils @ El Mocambo: photo by Michael Ligon

The Veils w/ Basia Bulat @ El Mocambo: photo by Michael Ligon

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Spirit If

Kevin DrewKevin Drew's been getting around these days. He played a MySpace Secret Show in Cambridge, MA last week, and then at the end of the month goes to Halifax for a show before heading out to Europe in October then back to North America in November. So far he's yet to confirm any hometown Toronto dates, and the nearest show around these parts will be a show at Town Ballroom in Buffalo, NY on November 10. Kevin Drew is currently promoting the officially titled release "Broken Social Scene plays Kevin Drew's Spirit If"(coming out September 18 through Arts & Crafts). He was in the UK yesterday(September 5) to perform an acoustic live session for BBC 6 Music's Gideon Coe program - listen here(session is about 1 hour and 40 min into the program and program is only archived for about a week after the original broadcast date). Having listened to the session as well as the tunes at Mr. Drew's MySpace, everything I've heard so far's been actually quite good. Kevin's songs are pretty much a toned down version of the scrappy indie rock that Broken Social Scene specializes in and with the some of the layers of noise removed, the songs have more room to breathe. Nice. Update: Via Stille Post, Broken Social Scene Plays Kevin Drew's Spirit If.... at Lee's Palace on Sept. 27th, 2007, 19+ show, tickets $25. [photo source]

YouTube: Kevin Drew - "Safety Bricks" (live at McCarren Pool Park, Brooklyn NY, August 29, 2007)
YouTube: Kevin Drew - "Lucky Ones" (live at McCarren Pool Park, Brooklyn NY, August 29, 2007)
MySpace: Kevin Drew

YouTube videos courtesy of dominicvine.
The Airfields have annouced another upcoming Toronto date - in addition to their show on Sept 26 at The Smiling Buddha Bar, they'll also be playing a free show on September 25 at Mitzi's Sister.

Republic of Safety have an upcoming gig at Ryerson University on September 27, taking part in a uTOpia event put on by Coach House Books.

If you were looking forward to the New Model Army show at Lee's Palace on October 1, well it's been cancelled. Aversion reports that U.S. Customs and Immigration denied the band's application for a visa.

Portishead DJ Andy Smith is coming to North America for a DJ tour in October and will be in Toronto on Saturday October 13 at a venue TBA.

loveorsympathy has a audio bootleg of Joel Plaskett Emergency's set at Yonge and Dundas Square in Toronto on August 30.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Golden Skans

The KlaxonsUK band The Klaxons have won Britain's Mercury Music Prize for their debut album 'Myths Of The Near Future'[via Chartattack]. I'd caught a video of theirs on The Wedge a month or two ago, motivating me to pick up their album. For one reason or another, I haven't been terribly excited about the UK music scene over the last several years but I must admit that "Myths..." is a surprisingly enjoyable album. The songs vary from infectious pop songs akin to Tahiti 80, to dancier elements[hence the nu-rave tag they've gotten although I've read they hate it], and slight nods to the spiky post-punk rhythms of bands like The Futureheads and Maximo Park. I'd been sitting on purchasing a ticket to their show at The Opera House on October 10 but finally made the decision to get a ticket today before it's eventual sell-out. I just want to mention that about the time I actually started listening to The Klaxons about a month ago it was around the time that Factory Records founder Tony Wilson had passed away. Somewhat ironic that these two events coincided considering that a band like The Klaxons might have not existed without the influence of Factory Records.

YouTube: The Klaxons - "Golden Skans" (music video)
YouTube: The Klaxons - "It's Not Over Yet" (music video)
MySpace: The Klaxons
Misra Records' Mobius Band are at the Horseshoe on November 7 with Tigercity. Mobius Band's new album "Heaven" is out October 2 through Misra Records. Check out one of the tracks below[I haven't checked out the track below yet, but the tracks at their MySpace(surprisingly organic-sounding electro-pop) have piqued my interest.] The upcoming show at the Horseshoe is definitely on my 'maybe' list:

MP3: Mobius Band - "Hallie"
MySpace: Mobius Band

The Airfields have an upcoming Toronto show at The Smiling Buddha Bar on September 26.

Laura Barrett takes part in Ladyfest Toronto and will perform a set at Tranzac on September 27. Check out the full Ladyfest schedule over at Stille Post. Laura will also take part in another female-friendly event, Hysteria: a Festival of Women and will be at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre on Halloween[Oct 31].

Elvis Perkins will be at the Horseshoe Tavern on November 28.

Bradleys Almanac has a review as well as mp3's for download of Kevin Drew's recent MySpace Secret Show[check this link for photos from the show] set in Cambridge, MA at TT the Bears on August 28.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Sipping On The Sweet Nectar

Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala - video promo

The image capture above is taken from a video promo currently streaming over at Swedish pop crooner Jens Lekman's website. The video promo is for Jens' new album "Night Falls Over Kortedala" out September 5 in Scandinavia(through Service), and October 9 in the US(through Secretly Canadian). With a US tour starting October 23, I'm hoping a Toronto date'll will be squeezed in some time[he hasn't been here since his fantastic show in November 2005]. If you can't wait till October, sample some of the new songs over at YouTube:

YouTube: Jens Lekman - "A Postcard to Nina" (live in Melbourne - 2006)
YouTube: Jens Lekman - Into Eternity (live at Majas vid havet, Varberg, Sweden 14 August 2007)
YouTube: Jens Lekman - "Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo" (live in Norway - 2007)
YouTube: Jens Lekman - "The Opposite Of Hallelujah" (live in Norway - 2007)
YouTube: Jens Lekman - "The Opposite Of Hallelujah" (live at Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, OH)
YouTube: Jens Lekman - "Your Arms Around Me" (live from fecke tv400 - January 2005)
YouTube: Jens Lekman - "And I Remember Every Kiss (Like My First Kiss)" (live Gteborg Film Festival - February 2, 2002)
MP3: Jens Lekman - "The Opposite of Hallelujah"
Stream: Jens Lekman - "Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo" (also read Jens' description of the song)

My primary motivation for even writing this post up was that the imagery above was only a sad reminder that summer is over. Happy Labour Day everyone! We have Jens' album to look forward to in the Fall.