Monday, April 30, 2007

Good News For People Who Love Bad News: Modest Mouse @ Hummingbird Centre

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Bad news is my hard drive crashed and all my music is gone, which is why I haven't posted in a millenium. Good news is I saw Modest Mouse last Tuesday, on my birthday, in Toronto at the Hummingbird Centre.
Opening was Love As Laughter, a mellow prog-rock band who reminds me of Black Mountain/Stephen Mcbean. They were decent, but again, I would have really loved to see Man Man open.
When Modest Mouse came onstage, my first appearance after seeing the stage setup was that clearly they didn't want to put either Marr or Brock center stage, as they were both on either sides of the stage. They opened with 'Paper Thin Walls', followed by 'Ocean Breathes Salty' and 'Dashboard'. The energy was high, so were the group of kids a couple rows ahead of us blowing smoke signals to the securty, who surprisingly overlooked it. Fortunately, there was no self-mutilation.
Sorry that's kind of a half-assed review, but it was almost a week ago and I have been pretty stressed out over this computer deal.
This weekend, pretty stupidly, I missed Basia Bulat in London, but I did ring in my new year with a group of friends so it was still a worthwhile weekend. Come back to London soon, Basia!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Modest Mouse Goes the way of The Decemberists: Green Screen Challenge Pt. 2

Remember the Decemberists' fresh idea of having their fans finish their music video for 'O Valencia!' in their Green Screen Challenge, the winner, and the ensuing power struggle it sparked over at Colbertnation? Modest Mouse have released their own green screen footage for their second single off their latest LP We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, 'We Have Everything' to be finished by you, the fans.
You can download the footage here.
Chicagoans Have All The Luck

With the announcement of the ongoing lineup for the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this summer, I was already shooting the green eye towards our Sufjan-loving, midwest friends, but with the lineup for the annual Lollapalooza music fest just being announced yesterday, I hardly think I can contain myself.

It's as follows: Pearl Jam, Daft Punk, Ben Harper, Muse, Iggy & The Stooges, Modest Mouse, Interpol, My Morning Jacket, Satellite Part, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Snow Patrol, The Roots, Patti Smith, Kings Of Leon, The Black Keys, Regina Spektor, Spoon, Lupe Fiasco, TV On The Radio, Pete Yorn, G. Love, Paolo Nutini, Amy Winehouse, LCD Soundsystem, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Silverchair, Femi Kuti, Yo La Tengo, The Hold Steady, Jack's Mannequin, Stephen Marley, STS9, M.I.A., Slightly Stoopid, Blonde Redhead, Sparklehorse, Sean Lennon, !!!, Blue October, Son Volt, Motion City Soundtrack, Polyphonic Spree, Peter Bjorn & John, Sliversun Pickups, Cansei De Ser Sexy, The Raptures, The Wailers, Roky Erickson, Tapes 'N' Tapes, Heartless Bastards, The View, The Cribs, The Fratellis, Ghostland Observatory, Tokyo Police Club, Rhymefest, Soullive, Cold War Kids, Annuals, Fields, Electric Six, Jim Noir, Elvis Perkins, Sam Roberts, Black Angels, Charlie Musselwhite, Aqueduct, Juliette & The Licks, Dios, Viva Voce, David Vandervelde, Los Campesinos!, Chin Up Chin Up, Ryan Shaw, Colour Revolt, Satin Peaches, Illinois, Arckid, Mickey Avalon, The 1900's, Bang Bang Bang, High Class Elite, Carry Ott, Matt Roan


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Shadrach Kabango

I don't follow hip hop nearly as closely as I follow indie, but I do know that Shadrach Kabango (Shad K to fans, Shadrach to fellow Londoners) ain't kidding around. His first release When This Is Over was incredible and he remains the best hip hop lyricist I've heard of. Apparently he was signed to some independant label within Sony Records but my facts may not be quite straight on that one. Regardless, he's awesome, he's from London, he went to my highschool, (he once performed at our end of the year "Centralpalooza" bash) and these singles should be in your library.

MP3: Shad K - "I Get Down"
MP3: Shad K - "Out Of Love"

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

White Stripes Icky Thump Cover Art

Icky Thump is planned to be released June 2007 as the White Stripes begin to play various music festivals. For more Icky Thump details, go here.
Volta's first single: "Earth Intruders"

This first taste of Bjork's sixth studio album Volta (released in North America May 7) couldn't excite me more about a) buying the album upon its release and b) seeing her LIVE at the Virgin Music Festival in Toronto, ON. For cover art, tracklist and tour dates, go here.

MP3: Bjork - "Earth Intruders"
Indie Compilations For The Masses

According to Pitchfork Media, a number of independant labels are planning on releasing indie compilations of the genres most identifiable artists (Bloc Party, The Shins, Bright Eyes, Air, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, M. Ward, Ted Leo, Cat Power, Silversun Pickups, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sonic Youth). Their market isn't, however, aimed at us already indie-rock-appreciators (or discoverers, purists, love-to-haters), but the mainstream, generation 'y' crowd; who the labels identify as the flavour of the month indie artist followers, and supporters (ipso facto, the label supporters) of tomorrow. Vice Record's Adam Shore was quoted in Entertainment Weekly last week (with facts that have yet to be confirmed, he says):
"We're partnering with MTV2, and the focus is going to be Wal-Marts, big box stores, red states, and TV advertising-- to really go beyond... We don't really expect indie rock stores to support this record. It's for the casual fan."

My opinion on all of this? If I didn't have one good, indie rock lovin' friend who turned me toward the genre, I would never have gotten in so blissfully deep. It's great for those perhaps not living in big cities where the underground music scene is strong, or is unlucky enough to not have been exposed to the genre often enough (or lucky enough to shop at Wal-Mart), to get a feel for the genre, but the idea of a sort of indie crash course doesn't shake me the right way. The independant music genre (now not necessarily independant) is an expansive, deep culture that cannot be summed up in an "Indie For Dummies" sort of compilation. White bread mainstream kids may find an indie tune catchy, but will they recognize the band's influences? Be able to relate the music to said influences? Catch on and laugh along when the band plays a David Bowie or Ace of Base cover at their live show? Buy their next album?
If this compilation inspires the infommercial-watching crowd to delve deeper in the the underground music scene, then so be it. I congratulate Matador Records for their wise business plan. But won't it ruin the image and purity of indie rock if you can call in to buy it for two easy payments of $9.99 (slashed price if they call within 10 minutes of the ad, naturally).

Thursday, April 05, 2007

New Porn Album Title

A. Carl Newman has released some more details about the Pornographers latest album, to be released in August, called Challengers

Carl Newman on song titles:

Most of them are there. What are they? Let's see. Well, Dan's songs are called "Myriad Harbor" and "Entering White Cecilia" and "The Spirit of Giving", which first showed up as a Sub Pop single b-side years ago, which never got released, so it seemed safe to do it again. What else is there? A song called "All These Things That Go to Make Heaven and Earth" and "Go Places", there's a song called "Challengers", and there's a song called "All the Old Showstoppers". That's all I can think of right now. I'm always zoning out

Sounding good, A.C?

It definitely sounds like something that, when it's quiet, I think it's much quieter than it ever has been, to the point that there are actually songs that don't really have any drums. Or, a song that has no drums for the first half, but then the drums come in, and even then they don't come in that much. There's a little more instrumentation than we've really tried having before. We brought in a string quartet, and there's actually flute on it, there's going to be a little bit of trumpet. I feel like I kind of shied away from that in the past, but I thought, why not try it now? There was a long stretch there where I thought there were too many bands with strings and horns and flutes. Then I thought, I like those instruments, so I brought them in. Not that there's going to be that much of it on the record, per se, but you know, just wanted to add a few more colors to the palette


Also, 6 more bands have been added to the Virgin Festival in Toronto this September. On day 1, the Artic Monkeys, M.I.A. and Mute Math have been added to the lineup and on day 2 Metric, Peter Bjorn & John and Honeycut have signed on. The anticipation is growing....

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bjork's Volta Tracklist, Tour Dates, Artwork

If that doesn't get you psyched about the new Bjork album, coming out May 8 in North America, I don't know what will.
Apparently the colourful artwork is supposed to represent the 'fun' attitude she faced this album with, contrasting the neutral and calm album covers in the past.

Volta Tracklist:

01 Earth Intruders
02 Wanderlust
03 Dull Flame of Desire
04 Innocence
05 I See Who You Are
06 Vertebrae by Vertebrae
07 Pneumonia
08 Hope
09 Declare Independence
10 My Juvenile

Tour Dates:

04-27 Indio, CA - Empire Polo Field (Coachella)
05-02 New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
05-05 New York, NY - United Palace Theater
05-08 New York, NY - Apollo Theater
05-12 Chicago, IL - Auditorium Theatre
05-15 Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
05-19 San Francisco, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre
05-23 Vancouver, British Columbia - Deer Lake Park
05-26 Gorge, WA - Gorge Amphitheatre (Sasquatch!)
06-22 Pilton, England - Glastonbury Festival
06-28 Werchter, Belgium - Rock Werchter
07-01 Gdynia, Poland - Open'er Festival
07-05 Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival
07-25 Nyon, Switzerland - Paleo Festival
09-08 Toronto, Ontario - Virgin Festival

Monday, April 02, 2007

Man Man to open tour for Modest Mouse

Can you imagine that? The boys of Man Man bouncing around, growling and mocking all over those white bread Modest Mouse fans. They won't know what hit them!
Unfortunatley, they won't be opening at the Toronto show I'm going to see, which is a huge disappointment. They would be such a sesh opener. Here are the dates that they will be opening:

03-30 Portland, OR - Berbati's Pan
03-31 Seattle, WA - Neumos
04-01 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
04-04 San Francisco, CA - The Independent
04-05 Los Angeles, CA - TBA
04-06 San Diego, CA - Epicentre
04-07 Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture Gallery
04-09 Boulder, CO - Club 156 (University of Colorado)
04-10 Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
04-11 Urbana, IL - Canopy Club
04-12 Newport, KY - Southgate House
04-13 Gambier, OH - Horn Gallery (Kenyon College)
04-14 Oberlin, OH - Dionysus
04-15 Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
04-25 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis *
04-26 Rochester, NY - Main Street Armory *
04-27 Boston, MA - The Orpheum Theater *
04-29 New York, NY - The United Palace *
04-30 New York, NY - The United Palace *
05-02 Providence, RI - Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel *
05-03 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory *
05-04 Greensboro, NC - Civic Center *
05-05 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade Music Park *
05-06 Birmingham, AL - BJCC Arena Concert Hall *
05-08 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues *
05-09 Austin, TX - The Backyard *
05-10 Grand Prairie, TX - Nokia Live *
05-12 Mesa, AZ - Mesa Amphitheater *
05-13 Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre *
05-14 San Diego, CA - Cox Arena *
05-16 San Jose, CA - San Jose State University *

*with Modest Mouse, Love as Laughter