Saturday, May 31, 2008

Senses Working Overtime

News and a little housekeeping for the weekend:

FYI, The Raconteurs show on June 5 which was originally supposed to be at Ricoh Coliseum has been moved to Kool Haus. Tickets already purchased will be honoured at the new venue.

Just a reminder(although many of you are probably already aware) that the NXNE schedule is now up. I'm still wondering about the planned shows that are suppose to take place in various parks/locations around the city. Only a few of these actually appear in the official schedule. What about the rest? NXNE takes place June 12-15.

Via Emerge is news that UK sensation Duffy will return to Toronto for a show at Phoenix on August 2. Tickets went on sale this morning. 19+ show and are a whopping $27.50.

G Love and Special Sauce with openers The John Butler Trio will be in Toronto August 9 for a show at Sound Academy.

Harbourfront Centre will be hosting the finale of the Luminato Festival (june 6-15) with a weekend long festival of its own entitled Luminat’eau (June 13-15). Much of it will be free as I understand. It'd seem like a good opportunity to broaden one's(ie. my) horizons with various things to experience including Dance, Film, Visual Art and of course Music.

The updated band lineup for this year's Virgin Festival at Toronto Islands(September 6-7) isn't extraordinary but I have to say that Day 2 did get better with the addition of Sons and Daughters and Robyn.

For the third time in what will be just over a year, Okkervil River return to Toronto for a show at the Phoenix on October 12.

And finally, just a little housekeeping, but I got around to posting some photos to my Flickr including:

Destroyer at Lee's Palace (April 19) - photos, review
Clinic, Shearwater at Lee's Palace (May 11) - photos, review
The Long Blondes at Lee's Palace (May 22) - photos, review
Doors Open Toronto 2008 (May 25) - photos

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Here Comes The Serious Bit

concert review: The Long Blondes, Drug Rug @ Lee's Palace (Toronto, Ontario), May 22, 2008

Kate Jackson of The Long Blondes at Lee's Palace: photo by Michael Ligon

I didn't make it for first opener local artist Hunter Valentine but made it to Lee's Palace soonafter second openers Cambridge, Massachusetts' Drug Rug began their set. The four-piece had an exhuberance that was totally admirable. In a way, they sounded like kids bashing away at their instruments(keyboards, drums, bass, guitar) topping it off with their screechy vocals. Much of it came across like a big rig driving down the highway right at you - brash, noisy and ready to knock you off your feet. That's all well and good sometimes actually. I recall an underlying rootsy, melodic element that was quite decent though in some respect I sometimes hoped that the instrumentation would come across clearer to let the melodies shine more. The sparse crowd on hand seemed to love 'em which is well-deserved although I'm still on the fence with them. But I'll keep an ear on them.

Since Sheffield, UK band The Long Blondes' live Toronto debut at Lee's Palace last June, it's somewhat surprising I haven't gained much listening mileage out of their debut album "Someone To Drive You Home". It's a highly listenable album of spunky, glammy guitar pop, perhaps distinguishable most of all by the effervescent vocals of frontwoman Kate Jackson. Even moreso, they nailed their live Toronto debut, much of it of course due to the sparkling personality of Ms. Jackson, that left us salivating for more. Perhaps the only reason I didn't listen to them more often since then was for the simple fact of having too much good music to listen to last summer.

The Long Blondes returned to Toronto and Lee's Palace last Thursday and while it wasn't as packed nor as frenetic of an atmosphere as last time, both original fans and curious onlookers showed their appreciation for the band's energy. Sporting a shorter though still feminine haircut, and wearing a striped short-sleeved top(that prominently displayed her tattoo on her upper-right arm) and short shorts, Kate danced, shimmied and posed while singing. The rest of the band's energy levels may have been pale in comparison, but Kate only proved to showed that some bands are only as good as their frontperson. Guitarist Dorian Cox and drummer Screech Louder achieved a satisfactory level of energy, while the other ladies of the band, though not necessarily emotionally removed from the goings-on, rather, IMO, exuded an aura of euro-cool and subtle sexiness. Bassist Reenie Hollis had such a subtle yet endearing hint of a smile for most of the set while guitarist/keyboardist Emma Chaplin, wearing a retro prom-inspired dress was girl-next-door sexy in her own right.

Musically, as the set was a partial introduction to tunes off their most recent disc "Couples" (which I hadn't heard before that night), it was nice to hear the variations the band have added to the Long Blondes' sound. Some of the new tunes obviously were continuations of the band's uptempo glammy pop numbers from their first album, while others had a darker feel. I recall some almost disco-y influences and a little more variation in tempo with some of the newer material. In my review of their show last year, I wrote, "The band's greatest achievement that night - making this guy in his thirties(and probably many others there) feel like a teenager all over again." The new material shows a maturity of sorts perhaps, but in the end The Long Blondes showed they still are loads of fun.

Stay tuned for my photos. I recently 'inherited' a Canon PowerShot S5 IS and this was my first time using it at a concert - man, do I need to learn how to use all its features. It's hard getting good pics in auto mode. Update: Here's my photos from the show.

MySpace: Drug Rug
MySpace: The Long Blondes

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sweet Talk

On one hand it does make perfect sense that Spiritualized could be playing Toronto Islands on August 6(as Pitchfork reports and the band's own MySpace indicate) since they're playing dates in Montreal, QC and Buffalo, NY in the days preceding that. But then August 6 is a Wednesday night and Spiritualized are already scheduled to be at the Virgin Festival at Toronto Islands on September 6. I could understand this[the Aug 6 date] being a typo, but if it is, how could you on your own MySpace? The band's new album "A & E" is out in North America this coming May 27, and a day earlier in the UK.

Go to the band's MySpace Blog for a link to an iTunes download of a live version of 'Soul on fire' recorded at the Acoustic Mainline show at the Union Chapel last year.

The NXNE Facebook page has preliminary list of hot acts to look out for at this year's festival taking place June 12-15. Most of the acts on the list I'd already heard about but there's a few I hadn't heard about participating at this year's NXNE like Sloan, Ladyhawk, and Great Lake Swimmers - in what capacity I'm not sure, but we'll see. It's been a week since I dropped in on the NXNE media conference at the Mill St. Brew Pub in the Distillery District. The actual media announcements were actually quite brief, but there was free beer(well two beer tickets) and food. Some of the details for the upcoming festival you can read here - aside from the music, I more excited for the different events that'll be happening during the festival like the shows at Yonge-Dundas Square[including a set from Ted Leo and The Pharmacists on June 13!], and the promise of "2 weeks of free outdoor shows in parks and public spaces spread all over downtown". If the weather cooperates, things like these should make it feel much more like a festival atmosphere. Not "SXSW, eat your heart out", but at least a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Do You Like Rock Music?!

concert review: British Sea Power, The Rosebuds @ Lee's Palace (Toronto, Ontario), May 16, 2008

Yan and Hamilton of British Sea Power at Lee's Palace: photo by Michael Ligon

I started off my evening with Raleigh, NC's indie pop-rock trio The Rosebuds. (For an account on first opener Jeffrey Lewis, check out It's Not The Band I Hate ...). Not much has changed musically since I saw them in July 2005 at The Mod Club opening for Teenage Fanclub. They're an amiable bunch with their sunny pop melodies, girl-boy vocals and just enough ooomph in the instrumentation(electric & acoustic guitars, drums, and keyboards) to keep the twee to a minimum - over time I really think I could get into them. That said, their set was more a pleasant rather than exhilirating experience for me, although the opposite was true for that one vocal male fan in the audience who yelled out a request and which the band later did perform and dedicate to him to his delight.

2005 was also the last time I saw British Sea Power live when they played a frenetic live set in May of that year, also at Lee's Palace. As with that show in 2005, local Toronto anglophile/eccentric Kayvon was on hand again(handpicked by the band themselves apparently) to introduce British Sea Power to the excited crowd(and really 3 years is way too long of a wait!). The 6-member strong group took the stage holding in their hands leaf-adorned tree branches(presumably from the neighbourhood) which they proceeded to decorate the stage with. Yes, they did this last time they were in Toronto but I haven't tired of it yet. With a set heavily focused on the new disc "Do You Like Rock Music?", with several from their debut "The Decline of British Sea Power" and only one(unfortunately) from their second album "Open Season", the band's urgent melodic rock songs swelled with the mix of the energetically performed guitars, drums, keys, viola, cornet and Yan's(or sometimes Hamilton's) vocals. The physical antics(eg. shoulder-carrying of members) of the band were kept to a minimum this time around except for a moment when guitarist Noble lifted Kay-Von(who had a camcorder on hand) and carried him off stage to the side of the club for a moment as Kayvon continued to shoot. Shooting footage for a DVD perhaps? I don't know. Bass guitarist/occassional vocalist Hamilton was an interesting subject to watch for most of the night - wearing a loose sleeveless top(which in all honesty I think was a women's top, though showing off his muscular biceps) he gave off this eccentric weirdo vibe, with facial expressions that alternated between vacant gazes toward the audience and pained expressions of energy. Energy spent by the end of the more than hour long set and drenched in sweat, Hamilton and the band continued their tradition of no encores, and left the stage with the audience wanting more although thoroughly satisfied with what we'd already got. Overall, their set ranks as one of the most exhilirating I've seen this year.

Photos to come. Update: Photos over at my Flickr. In the meantime, check out reviews/photos of the show over at It's Not The Band I Hate... and The Panic Manual.

MySpace: The Rosebuds
MySpace: British Sea Power

Monday, May 19, 2008

Victoria, Victoria

I got my weekend off to a good start with the British Sea Power show at Lee's Palace on Friday. It was one my favourite shows of the year so far. It's Not The Band I Hate... already has his review/photos up - mine should be up hopefully by Tuesday. It's Holiday Monday(Victoria Day) today and I just want to take it easy.

Also my friend and I caught Iron Man on Saturday night and yes it lives up to the hype. But boy, those credits were LONG in order to get to that preview for The Avengers.

Swedish pop band The Concretes released their last LP "Oh Boy" last year but didn't tour North America(or at least Toronto) for it, but recently played in Paris, France which is their last show for a while apparently. While in Paris, they ran through a couple of intimate live performances which they filmed for posterity (links below via the band's MySpace blog):

Video: The Concretes - "A Whale's Heart" (live in Paris, France - April 28, 2008)
Video: The Concretes - "Military Madness" (live in Paris, France - April 28, 2008)

Heading to Glasgow, Camera Obscura are reported to be working with Swedes Peter, Bjorn and John on the followup to 2006's "Let's Get out of This Country". They have two handfuls of live dates this summer, though nothing on this side of the pond unfortunately.

And finally, I might as well rattle off some tour dates before the long weekend comes to a close. So a I get another opportunity to see Eric's Trip live as they're back for a show at The Mod Club on June 3, tickets $15.

I haven't heard much of The Stills these days, but they're kicking around and they'll also be at The Mod Club but on June 11, tickets $18.

I pointed out recently that Pollstar is listing The Hidden Cameras as performing as part of the Pride Festival on June 28-29 and while that hasn't been confirmed yet, I do see that Billboard is listing them playing Pride on June 28, and that Ian Cooke's MySpace says the Ian Cooke Band will be performing from 10:00 to 10:40 pm on June 28 at the TD Canada Trust Wellesley Stage, followed by The Hidden Cameras. Update: Pacquin Entertainment, lists the 'Cams performing June 28 as part of Pride at 10 pm at the South Stage, Church Street! Prior to Pride, Outside Music lists The 'Cameras to be at the Phoenix on June 12 with Rough Trade as part of an NXNE-sponsored event.

Thanks to Brooklyn Vegan for pointing out a new set of Hot Chip dates. They'll be touring this fall which'll bring 'em back to T.O for a show at the Kool Haus on September 30. Considerably sooner, Brooklyn Vegan brings just-around-the-corner tour dates for buzzy locals Crystal Castles who'll be at Harbourfront Centre on July 5, presumably as part of the Beats, Breaks and Culture festival.

Local Toronto turntablists iNSiDEaMiND are making the rounds over the next couple of months with several live dates including June 13 at Social (as part of NXNE), June 27 at Gladstone Hotel, and July 4 at Lakeside Terrace at Harbourfront as part of local record label Public Transit Recordings 10th anniversary showcase happening during the Beats, Breaks, and Culture festival.

The July 20 Toronto date for the Rock The Bells tour has been moved to Arrow Hall in Mississauga from original venue Molson Ampitheatre. Anyone happy about that? Anyone? I didn't think so.

Atlas Sound and El Guincho will be at The Mod Club on July 22, according to Pollstar.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Do It

concert review: Clinic, Shearwater @ Lee's Palace (Toronto, Ontario), May 11, 2008

Clinic at Lee's Palace (May 11, 2008): photo by Michael Ligon

Given Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg doing double duty in that band and Okkervil River at least until recently(as he's now officially left Okkervil River to concentrate on Shearwater), the easy path to describing Shearwater, by a newbie like me, is to compare them to Okkervil RIver. Based on their performance at Lee's Palace this past Sunday night, I did find that they mined a similar sombre territory as Okkervil River during their more introverted moments. With white lights at the base of the stage pointing upwards and half illuminating the band members, it set a dramatic mood that nicely complimented the similarly moody folk-rock numbers. I found Shearwater's dramatic folk-rock tunes to be precision-calculated from the intertwined instrumentation of strings, keys, guitar, drums and Jonathan Meiburg's choir-gentleman vocals to the length of the songs themselves which aesthetically I could have imagined as longer and drawn out but rather for the most part stayed within a more conventional 4-5 minute pop timeframe. All killer and no filler. Although, it wasn't a huge crowd onhand for their set, those of us there audibly showed our appreciation.

An odd lineup pairing Shearwater with headliners Clinic, but then who said consistency was a necessity. Frankly, I was bored with Clinic's last performance at the same venue in March 2007, but this time around it was a marked improvement, even if it seems that attendance to their shows seems to dwindle a little each time they pass through town. Perhaps it being Sunday night kept a few people at home, but by the time Clinic hit the stage at least it filled up more. With nary any medical scrubs in sight, the band still maintained their signature surgical masks, and also came decked out in Hawaian shirts. Clinic's maniacal pop-billy romps have over the years tended to sound a little samey across albums to the extent that I never even purchased their last few albums "Winchester Cathedral" and "Visitations", but with their recently-released new album "Do It" from which the band played some numbers from, Clinic showed they have a few tricks still up their sleeve. Worthy additions to the band's repertoire included skewed takes on rockabilly('The Witch') and 50's bachelor pad lounge music('Free Not Free'). Most of the set material resided in that menacing pop territory with hurried strummed guitar, plodding bass, sinister organ, a bit of melodica, topped off with vocalist Ade Blackburn's distinctive sing-speak and the band played it energetically. It's a bit bothersome they're not much of a talker but oh well, maybe they're trying to maintain their mystique. We did encourage the lads to come out for two encores[which in total, I recall wasn't more than four songs] and I realized one thing at the end - I'm not tired of Clinic yet.

I took some photos but have been too lazy to sort through them, but stay tuned. Update[May 31, 2008]: Photos up. I also added the photo above.

Chartattack enjoyed the show as well.

Just a reminder, that Shearwater will return to Toronto next month for a show with Frog Eyes and Evangelicals at Horseshoe Tavern on June 23.

MySpace: Shearwater
MySpace: Clinic

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wizard of Ahhs

concert review: Cut Copy, Black Kids, Mobius Band @ Phoenix (Toronto, Ontario), May 9, 2008

What differences there may have been between the three bands that played the Phoenix last Friday, the one thing they did have in common was that they all got our booty shaking, and as the night went on increasingly so.

However, given that propensity towards dancing, each band were actually relatively different from each other. Brooklyn, NY trio Mobius Band took the stage amidst the crowd chatted and almost immediately dove into their set. What's interesting about their music is that it merges indie rock, pop melodies and electronic rhythms quite seamlessly, that one never seems to overpower the other. Some easy points of reference are that Mobius Band sound like a rockier version of The Postal Service or from a different angle like the touring version of Junior Boys(who often now tour with a live drummer) with the electronica elements played more subtly. At the end of it all, it was just pop music which just as easily could have been stripped of it's electronica elements and played straight. Would it have been as interesting? I'm not sure, but I'd rather not dwell on that anymore than I have to. As vigorous and vibrant as the drumming was, it was somewhat haphazard and busy at times - at least it made for interesting watching, especially when the drummer seemed to hit the cymbals and snare drum at hummingbird speed. Their set was more intense than anything I remember hearing off their MySpace, especially so for a band on the roster of the usually-mellow Misra Records label.

It's been a long time since I've given in to blog hype and bought tickets to a show based on that, but I figured it'd be fun way to celebrate my birthday(well, actually May 8 was) and I got my buddy to come along, so why not. That said, I'd really only given Black Kids a few listens[alll the more surprising since I've had their free EP "Wizard of Ahhhs" on my hard drive for months] and I don't think I'd heard a note of Cut Copy before that night. I'd assumed that Cut Copy were next but was a little surprised to find Black Kids take the stage as the second openers. Whatevs. The young Jacksonville, Florida 5-piece(3 dudes, 2 girls) come off like the American version of The Go! Team, all youthful exhuberance. But rather than The Go Team! penchant for American hip hop, shouty pop songs, and Saturday morning cartoon themes, Black Kids take American indie rock and maybe a little British post-punk and give it a little funk, soul, and just a tad of doo-wop. As interesting as that might sound, I don't necessarily think they pull it off musically all the time. Lead vocalist Reggie Youngblood [how cool a name is that?] sounds often like The Cure's Robert Smith to me, but he dances(or at least tries to) like James Brown. My last few points leads to my main issue with them which is that such a sonic stew of influences deserves better songs. That said, although the first half of their set I found musically weak, they definitely improved over the second half of their set starting with a newer tune which Reggie stated they hadn't played much up till that point. A more conventional 'pop' tune compared to their other tunes perhaps, but that song was actually my favourite song of theirs during the night.

By the time Aussie headliners Cut Copy took the stage, the crowd swelled to the venue's capacity. If Black Kids' reception was warm, Cut Copy's was downright sizzling. Much-loved apparently by many fans who'd caught them on earlier jaunts through town, and here I was not having heard a note of theirs. I keep on reading about comparison to New Order which quite honestly I wasn't really thinking of as I listened to Cut Copy's set, but in retrospect I guess it does ring true. Although to me while New Order were fantastic at melding pop melodies with electronica influences and some band instrumentation, I thought Cut Copy were much less adept at that. It's like, when the song was more electronica influenced, some of the melodies weren't as memorable while when the electronica elements were laid to rest and the band was all guitars and drums, the melodies were actually better. Part of my impressions might just be due to unfamiliarity with their songs, but that's how I feel. Cut Copy must be given props for the momentum and energy they maintained throughout the show and which was obviously reflected in the crowd's adoring response.

Musically the night wasn't my usual cup of tea, but it was more like an energy drink that get's your heart pumping at just the right time.

MySpace: Mobius Band
MySpace: Black Kids
MySpace: Cut Copy

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Otherside

Hope everything went well at the Ohbijou show in New York City last night. Ohbijou's also playing a show in NYC tonight. I bring this up because it seems they aren't getting much love from New Yorkers, if the comment section over at Brooklyn Vegan is any indication. I must mention that the comments were made prior to Ohbijou's live NYC shows and based on cursory impressions of some YouTube video and photos that Brooklyn Vegan posted. Comments range from the "...asian Broken Social Scene...", "Wow! Another uber-quirky collective!! A new one every fucking day.", and "welcome to Brooklyn!, there are 56,435 bands/idiots just like you!". New Yorkers are a fickle bunch - way to be open-minded. Of course, we can retaliate and tell 'em all about they're shitty bands who come through Toronto, but then we're Canadian and of course we're polite about it(well, some times). Of course, we still like Ohbijou, and they'll be in Toronto for a show at Harbourfront on June 28. has a special live performance at Avatar Studios in New York City with The Last Shadow Puppets performing a stripped down version of the title track of their debut album "The Age Of The Understatement".

Tokyo Police Club took over MPR: The Current's studio for a live session. Black Kids recently did likewise. Black Kids are at the Phoenix with Cut Copy and Mobius Band tonight.

There's a few more additions to the Toronto Virgin Festival lineup - The Fratellis have been added to the Saturday September 6 lineup while Cadence Weapon and Ladyhawk will perform on Sunday September 7. [via Pollstar].

NME reports that Madonna will set out on a world tour (which she's dubbed "Sticky and Sweet") at the end of August and she'll stop in Toronto for a show at Air Canada Centre on October 18. She'll be in Montreal at Bell Centre on October 22.

Laetitia Sadler will be doing double duty when Stereolab and Monade hit the road together. Monade will open for Stereolab when the the pair drop in at the Phoenix for a show on October 8[via Pitchfork]. The new album "Chemical Chords" will be released August 18 worldwide and August 19 in the US.

Pitchfork reports on Coldplay's upcoming world tour which stops in at Air Canada Centre for two nights, October 29-30. Don't worry rest of Canada - you get a few dates too.

Yippee. Picked up my ticket today for My Bloody Valentine at Ricoh Coliseum on September 25. Floors. Mental note: bring earplugs.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


If the blooming cherry blossom trees in High Park didn't get you in the mood to throw onto your iPod the "Lost In Translation" soundstrack and listen to My Bloody Valentine well then why not the real thing? The big news this week(via Pitchfork) is that My Bloody Valentine have confirmed more North American tour dates which include a Toronto date at Ricoh Coliseum on September 25. Tickets are $47.50, onsale this Friday at 12 pm at Is Rotate This or Soundscapes getting a ticket allotment? I don't know. There's been some discussion about whether Ricoh Coliseum's too big of a venue for MBV. Granted I'm sure MBV have gained more and more fans over the years. It's quite possible that MBV won't sell out Ricoh but I'd rather that I have a realistic chance of snagging some tickets rather than the venue be a smaller one and risk not getting any tickets at all. MBV coming to Toronto - best concert news of the year so far. It makes the wait for Portishead(who should hopefully be touring North America next year) that much easier to bear.

Coming up next month with NXNE, there's already a partial list of confirmed bands including Young and Sexy(maybe I'll finally getting around to seeing them). I've been sampling some of the MySpace samples of the different bands and it seems like a stronger more interesting set of artists this year. It should be a good one. There's also a partial list of confirmed films for this year's film component to NXNE.

A few (relatively) recognizable names to look forward to at this year's NXNE are Toronto's The Diableros who'll be at the Silver Dollar on June 13 as part of the Magnificent Sevens showcase while Montreal's The Luyas will be at the same venue on June 14 as part of the Pop Montreal showcase.

I know Chromewaves already mentioned the following info earlier this week, but just another heads up that TV On The Radio hit the Kool Haus on July 2, and Calexico are at The Mod Club on July 6.

I might possibly expand on this further, but I just want to mention that the just released The Last Shadow Puppets disc "The Age Of The Understatement" notably featuring the string arrangements of Owen Pallett conducting the London Metropolitan Orchestra, is bloody fantastic.

Video: The Last Shadow Puppets - "Meeting Place" (live @ Avatar Studios in New York City on March 4, 2008)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Torn Blue Foam Coach

Grand Archives on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson - April 30, 2008Sometimes all it takes to discovering a favourite new band is to stay up late and watch the late-night talk shows. New Sub Pop signees Grand Archives made their debut television appearance yesterday on Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson performing an energetically poppy version of "Torn Blue Foam Coach". It was first time hearing them, and they're a wonderful discovery. I may just check 'em out live when they come to Toronto for a show at El Mocambo on June 6. Full dates over at their MySpace. And now their performance yesterday:

Video: Grand Archives - "Torn Blue Foam Coach" (live on Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson - April 30, 2008)

video link courtesy of Bona Fide Darling

Raleigh, North Carolina's Annuals are at the Drake Underground on June 16, tickets $15. The band's newest EP "Wet Zoo" was recently released. Check out the video for 'Sore' from the EP:

Video: Annuals - "Sore" (music video)

Jill Barber stops in at Harbourfront Centre on June 27 and 28 as part of the Banff Lake Louise Tourism sponsored 'A Rocky Mountain High' weekend event.

Beth Orton will be at Danforth Music Hall on July 8, tickets $29.50. Her last album "Comfort of Strangers" came out in 2006 and I've heard of no news of new material, but she did a brief solo acoustic tour in the US in March, so I wonder if she'll be going that route for the Toronto show.

Newest Vice Records signees Berlin's King Khan And The Shrines have two shows lined up at the Horseshoe Tavern on July 23 and 24, tickets $15, 8 pm doors the first night and tickets $10, 9 pm doors the second night. I don't know why the ticket price is different for each night but that's what rootmeansquare says.

Lycanthropy brings news that new blog-hyped act Does It Offend You, Yeah? will hit Toronto for a show at Drake Underground on August 4. They remind me of a collision between dance-punk and electronica - I'm sure the kids'll love 'em. Check out a music video:

Video: Does It Offend You, Yeah - "We Are Rockstars" (music video)

Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands points to new Shins. Ok, it's The Shins performing on a children's show, specifically Nickelodeon Jr.'s live-action music series for kids, Yo Gabba Gabba! The song's called "It's Okay, Try Again" and as kids songs goes, it's a fun little ditty. For convenience check out the YouTube vid below(which'll air on Nickolodeon in the future):

Video: The Shins - "It's Okay, Try Again" (on 'Yo Gabba Gabba')

Stereogum's got the goods on the new Sloan album "Parallel Play"[due out June 10]. Stereogum also has an mp3 of the song "I'm Not A Kid Anymore" from the new album available for download. Thanks to Stereogum for pointing to a stream of the album:

Stream: Sloan - "Paralell Play" (album)

Calgary's Sled Island Festival gets even better with the addition of grab bag full of worthy acts including Broken Social Scene, Tegan and Sara, Grizzly Bear, Yo La Tengo, and Okkervil River among others. Check out the news over at Chartattack. Broken Social Scene is playing Sled Island AND Montreal's Osheaga Festival, which makes me wonder if they're ramping up for more Canadian dates including a hometown show.