La Sera - Break My Heart

Sic Alps - Glyphs

This is Pop Download-o-rama

Monday, August 31, 2009

Yah Mo B-side

Brooklyn indie darlings, Grizzly Bear have always done things somewhat unconventionally. News from their camp today that the B-side of the single “While You Wait for the Others” from the very fine Veckatimest, features vocals on the same track as interpreted by the one and only blue-eyed and beardy soul legend Michael "I Keep Forgettin'" McDonald. Yes, it is indeed that ex-Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan dude, Michael McDonald

Thanks Grizzly Bear, you just blew my mind again. (Get the song on iTunes, or order the 7" directly from the band.)

Watch the band performing that song sans Macdonald on Later with Jools Holland in May.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Hardest Working Man in Show Business

Thom Yorke to Release "The Hollow Earth" Next Month

Radiohead frontman and red pants wearer Thom Yorke recently hinted that the band is not currently planning to release another album conventionally.

He went on to elaborate that he still had a lot of time for the album as an “artform”, but explained that to release another batch of songs in that format would "kill" Radiohead.

"None of us want to go into that creative hoo-ha of a long-play record again. Not straight off," he told The Believer magazine.

"I mean, it's just become a real drag. It worked with [2007 album] 'In Rainbows' because we had a real fixed idea about where we were going. But we've all said that we can't possibly dive into that again. It'll kill us."
Yorke added that Radiohead "need to get away" from releasing albums in the traditional format. (Observant readers will note two brand new Radiohead songs have recently surfaced and prove Thom to be a man of his word.)

And now information about another actual physical release, a solo, next month has been uncovered. Exclaim Magazine’s Brock Thiessen made contact with a source at beloved Sonic Unyon distributors who confirmed a limited 12-inch of two new Thom Yorke songs, “Apart By Horses” and “The Hollow Earth,” to be released on September 22nd. The release, by ATO’s TBD Records, is limited to only 4,000 copies in North America, 4,000 in Europe, and 300 in Canada. That in mind, you may want to get pre-order in now.

Presently, insider speculatation is that one or both of these new Yorke songs are his contribution to the forthcoming New Moon soundtrack.

Great news indeed from an artist who continues to break new ground with every step he takes.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dirty Projectors Announce 2009 Fall Tour Dates

Dirty Projectors, the Brooklyn-based experimental rock band led by Dave Longstreth are headed back out on the road in support of their amazing 2009 Bitte Orca release, as well as their upcoming Temecula Sunrise EP. Aurally complex and frontrunner for my album of the year this show is a must not miss. The band currently consists of Longstreth alongside Amber Coffman (vocals, guitar), Angel Deradoorian (vocals, keyboard, samples, guitar, bass), Brian Mcomber (drums), Nat Baldwin (bass) and Haley Dekle (vocals). Aside from their tour through October and November, (tour dates below) the band will also play the Late Show with David Letterman on Monday, August 31st.

Kicking off on September 9th in Paris, the band will spend the rest of September exploring Europe before traversing North America for a busy tour that includes mid-November Canadian stops in Toronto and Montreal.

Dirty Projectors Tour dates:

9/9 Paris, France - Maroquinerie
9/11 Dorset, England - End Of The Road Festival
9/12 Isle Of Wight, England - Bestival
9/13 London, England - Scala
9/16 Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
9/19 Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
9/20 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
9/21 Berlin, Germany - Kreuzberg Festival
9/25 Toulouse, France - Le Printemps de Septembre Festival
10/20 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
10/21 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero
10/22 Washington, DC - Black Cat
10/24 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade
10/25 Lafayette, LA - Nitetown
10/26 Austin, TX - Antones
10/28 Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
10/30 San Diego, CA - North Park Theatre
11/1 San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's
11/3 Portland, OR - Aladdin
11/4 Seattle, WA - Neumo's
11/7 Salt Lake City, UT - In The Venue
11/8 Denver, CO - Bluebird
11/9 Lawrence, KS - Granada
11/11 Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
11/13 Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
11/14 Toronto, Ontario - Opera House
11/15 Montreal, Quebec - National

11/17 Boston, MA - Paradise
11/18 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11/19 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall
11/21 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall
11/22 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

Friday, August 21, 2009

We Call Upon the Author

Nick Cave will be in Toronto next month but this time he’ll be leaving the Bad Seeds on the tour bus. The prolific singer/ songwriter/ author will be there to sign copies of The Death Of Bunny Munro, his second novel. He’ll be in Ottawa the next day to do the same thing.

Cave will be at Indigo Books in Toronto's Eaton Centre on Sept. 16th at 7 p.m. to discuss The Death Of Bunny Munro with Explore Music and 102.1 The Edge's Alan Cross. A signing and question and answer session will follow afterwards. Cave will make an appearance at Ottawa's Saint Brigid's Centre for the Arts and Humanities to discuss the book on the 17th.

I had blogged about Cave’s latest artistic foray earlier this year and the venture is certainly not a new direction for him. The Death of Bunny Munro is Cave's first novel since 1989's And The Ass Saw The Angel. The new novel is reportedly about a man who heads to England after his wife commits suicide and, yes, meets his own death. The book will be released Sept. 4th through HarperCollins.

Cave released his first book, King Ink, a collection of his lyrics and plays, in 1988. It was followed by And The Ass Saw The Angel, and King Ink's second installment was released in 1997. Cave and his former Bad Seeds bandmate Warren Ellis also wrote the scores for an Icelandic production of Georg Buchner's 1879 play, Woyzeck, and a stage version of Franz Kafka's existentialist classic, The Metamorphosis.
Autograph seekers and overeager Birthday Party fans take note: Cave will be signing only copies of his new book at these events.

Pssst, The Word On the Street…

This is One You Shouldn't Keep to Yourself

Canada's largest literary festival, The Word On The Street will be celebrating its 20th festival this September! The gala is yet another terrific literacy event that I can wholeheartedly endorse. The Word On The Street is a national celebration of literacy and the written word. On one extraordinary Sunday each September, in communities coast to coast, the public is invited to participate in hundreds of author events, presentations and workshops and to browse a marketplace that boasts the best selection of Canadian books and magazines you'll find anywhere. There is always plenty to see and do at Canada's largest book and magazine festival, and best of all, The Word On The Street and all of its events are free! Go here to find an event location near you.

The award-winning Toronto edition of the festival delivers a full day of fun for all ages, whether you want to learn how to get published at the Wordshop Marquee, sing along with the crowd at the TVOKids Stage, listen to a favourite author read from their latest book, or just sit under the leafy canopy of Queen's Park and enjoy a new found treasure.

There is always plenty to see and do at Canada's largest book and magazine festival and in addition to the endless kiosks of booksellers and publishers, there will be a first-rate music stage where the songwriters of Bruce Peninsula, Ghost Bees and Sandro Perri will be discussing their creative process.

Mark your calendar if you will be in the Toronto area:

The Word On The Street
Sunday September 27th, 2009
Queen’s Park
11am - 6pm

Monday, August 17, 2009

Something On the Way

Nirvana “Bleach” 20th Anniversary Reissue on the Way from Sub Pop

In the, "in case you didn’t feel old this morning department…" Nirvana’s debut album Bleach is being reissued by Sub Pop in a 20th anniversary deluxe edition. The expanded CD and double LP - on white vinyl (the first run of Bleach was also on white vinyl as well) includes a never-before-released live performance from 1990 at Portland's Pine Street Theatre. A comprehensive booklet will also be included: 48 pages on CD and 16 on LP, featuring many previously unseen photographs.

The 20th anniversary edition is due November 3rd. Jack Endino, the album's original producer, oversaw the remastering process which was done from the original tapes. Curiously, those original recording sessions were said to have been completed for a cost of $606.00. The album initially sold 40,000 copies, but was brought into the international spotlight following the release and worldwide success of Nirvana's 1991 sophomore effort, Nevermind. Subsequently Bleach went on to sell 1.7 million copies in the US alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan numbers.

Bleach: Deluxe Edition:

01 Blew
02 Floyd the Barber
03 About a Girl
04 School
05 Love Buzz
06 Paper Cuts
07 Negative Creep
08 Scoff
09 Swap Meet
10 Mr. Moustache
11 Sifting
12 Big Cheese
13 Downer

Live at Pine Street Theatre:

01 Intro
02 School
03 Floyd the Barber
04 Dive
05 Love Buzz
06 Spank Thru
07 Molly's Lips
08 Sappy
09 Scoff
10 About a Girl
11 Been a Son
12 Blew

These Are My Twisted Words

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kraftwerk Reissues On the Way

Kraftwerk remain arguably the single most important band in the electronic music genre. Their influence on that genre and even contemporary music has been immeasurable, even despite the fact that their physical music product has always been relatively hard to find.

To mitigate this cruel musical injustice a full series of reissued albums are at last set for release, and will be in stores via EMI in October of this year. The series of re-releases have been called 12345678 The Catalogue, and will be available as individual CDs, heavyweight vinyl, and as an eight-CD box set. The following records will be included:

Autobahn (1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans Europe Express (1977), The Man Machine (1978), Computer World (1981), Techno Pop (formerly titled Electric Café) (1986), The Mix (1991) and Tour De France Soundtracks (2003).

It’s been quite a year for the band as founding member Florian Schneider left the band in November 2008, apparently intent on pursuing a solo career. As well, the remaining members of the band were invited to open up for Radiohead earlier this year, and have promised new material “soon”. Considering the last time a similar announcement was made a seventeen year gap transpired between albums. Such is the fate of being a fan of this band, we may just have to make due with the bevy of reissues. For now...

Sufjan Stevens to Tour East-of-Lake-Minnentonka this Fall

Okay dear readers this one is exciting… The ever prolific and geographically inspired Sufjan Stevens has just announced an intimate fall tour with fellow Asthmatic Kitty artists Cryptacize. Be forewarned though - The venues are small, so tickets will be hard to come by. They'll go on sale this Saturday, August 15th at each venue's website. To make things equitable for fans clamouring to get tickets, Asthmatic Kitty is limiting each purchaser to two tickets and fans must pick up tickets in person at will-call the night of the show. Full schedule and ticket details below.

Bring on the costumes and banjo solos!
From the Asthmatic Kitty website:

We wanted to make this as equitable for all of the fans so there are a few things to read carefully here. Due to the sizes of the venues, tickets will be limited. With that in mind, we wanted to avoid ticket scalpers and ensure that as many fans as possible could attend these shows. Tickets must be picked up at will-call the night of the show (not mailed), tickets are non-transferable and purchaser must present a government-issued photo ID. Also, there is a two ticket limit per purchaser. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Tickets go on sale Saturday the 15th. We'll post the purchase links on Thursday, but the venues will be handling the purchasing and will turn those on when they can (we have no control over what time Friday they turn the links "on").

Update: tickets will go live sometime on Saturday.

Here's where Sufjan and Cryptacize will be, and when:

09-21: Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
09-22: Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
09-23: Ithaca, NY - Castaways
09-24: Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
09-25: Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom
09-26: Champaign, IL - The High Dive
09-27: Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar
09-28: Madison, WI - The Majestic
09-29: Bloomington, IN - Buskirk Chumley
10-01: Toronto, ON - Lee's Place
10-02: Montreal, QC - Cabaret
10-03: Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall
10-04: New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
10-05: New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
10-06: Brooklyn, NY - Hall at Williamsburg
10-07: Brooklyn, NY - Hall at Williamsburg

Coincidentally, Sufjan also has a film and corresponding soundtrack about the BQE to be released in October as well. Although this tour has nothing to do with that, you can view the trailer for The BQE here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Riceboy Sleeps and Apparently Cooks As Well

Riceboy Sleeps, the side project of Sigur Ros singer/guitarist Jon Thor "Jonsi" Birgisson and his partner Alex Somers released their self-titled debut album only a month ago and today word that another collaborative effort has all ready transpired. This one though decidedly more epicurean. The creatuve duo has produced a cookbook called The Good Heart Recipe Book. Initially created as a 2007 holiday gift for their friends and family, they've now made it available for free in PDF format on their website.

The book includes raw food recipes like Jonsi and Alex's Thai coconut curry, noodle rainbow miso soup, and the ‘gastro-alliterate’ Macadamia Monster Mash. There is even an accompanying video for the former that demonstrates how to prepare it posted here.

I suppose if their day job of creating some of the most beautiful music on the planet doesn’t pan out the two will now have something to fall back on. Mind you their latest musical effort is positively stunning. The nine-track, 68-minute album was recorded in Iceland and performed entirely on acoustic instruments. Riceboy Sleeps includes contributions from longtime Sigur Ros string collaborators Amiina and the Kopavogsdaetur Choir.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

“I Am the Only One That Got Through”

Radiohead Release New Track - “Harry Patch (In Memory Of)”

You may recall recent news that the last living British World War I veteran, Harry Patch, passed away on July 25th, 2009, at the age of 111. News today that a heartfelt tribute has been paid to Patch by Radiohead, who are offering a download of their song, “Harry Patch (In Memory Of),” for a small fee via their official online store. The download will cost £1 (approx. $1.80), with all proceeds going to the UK veterans' charity the Royal British Legion. It can also be streamed via the BBC.

Thom Yorke was inspired to write the song after hearing an interview with Patch on the radio four years ago, and it was recorded during sessions for a new Radiohead album with regular producer Nigel Godrich. Well worth your time I suggest you seek out this worthy track. The lyrics to "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)" are, in fact, all quotes from Patch himself. They are currently posted at Dead Air Space:

Harry Patch (In Memory Of)

"i am the only one that got through
the others died where ever they fell
it was an ambush
they came up from all sides
give your leaders each a gun and then let them fight it out themselves
i've seen devils coming up from the ground
i've seen hell upon this earth
the next will be chemical but they will never learn"

Yorke has issued the following statement about the song:
Recently the last remaining UK veteran of the 1st world war Harry Patch died at the age of 111. I had heard a very emotional interview with him a few years ago on the Today program on Radio4. The way he talked about war had a profound effect on me. It became the inspiration for a song that we happened to record a few weeks before his death. It was done live in an abbey. The strings were arranged by Jonny. I very much hope the song does justice to his memory as the last survivor.

It would be very easy for our generation to forget the true horror of war, without the likes of Harry to remind us. I hope we do not forget.

As Harry himself said

“Irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims".

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Horse and His Boy Benefit Show

I received this concert invitation earlier today via the Facebooks and I would like to encourage interested local readers to attend. A worthy cause, please read below.

On July 23rd Yale St. was robbed of some very important equipment belonging to A HORSE AND HIS BOY, plus other members of Yale St. and Open House. Due to the theft, AHAHB had to cancel a show in Toronto and is now left having to replace the stolen gear themselves, which amounts to approximately $2000 to the band and another $1000 to other Yale Streeters and Open House members.

Please join us and help raise money for the band!

Friday August 7th at the Blackshire Pub - $5 Doors at 9 PM

Performing are:


Aside from the money raised at the door (as all of the performers are donating their time and talents), we will be having a raffle of donated items from such great places like: The Village Idiot, Grooves Records, The Black Shire Pub, and The Grand Theatre! (amazing!)


the stolen items include:
Roland SP-404
Boss SP-303
Behringer Mixer
Boss Digital Reverb RV-5
Electro Harmonix #1 Echo
Microphones, Cables, Adapters, 3 years worth of samples
In addition, James and Nathan's projector and Play Station 3 along with Paterson's SM58 microphone.


Can't attend but you would like to help out a Horse and His Boy? Go here to visit their Paypal Donation site.

Again, a worthy cause for a terrific band. I urge you to come out and make a donation.