Entries tagged with: Cousins
Dodos / Braids @ Pop Montreal 9/26/2013
With the first day of POP Montreal always being a lighter day, Thursday (9/26) started things rolling toward the weekend and busier schedules with way too much to see in way too many parts of the city.
I freed up the early part of my evening by jumping at the chance to photograph the Patrick Watson and Braids soundchecks at L'Olympia ahead of their live broadcast performances and interviews with Jian Ghomeshi later that night for Q music. The restrictions for shooting the actual broadcast left little opportunity to get anything decent so, having shot both bands before, I found myself at a very empty O'Lympia in the middle of the afternoon.
After a brief stop at the POP Quarters for the media mixer it was off to the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art to see Suuns who I had last seen open for The Antlers at Webster Hall a couple years back. The sold out show featured projections of the band in duplicate. It took a song or so to realize that what we were watching wasn't live video but previously recorded live takes that were synced with each song and slightly off. The band sounded great and the extended back end of "Edie's Dream" was pulsingly hypnotic.
I left after that and made my way up Saint Laurent to catch The Dodos at Sala Rossa. When I arrived the venue was already on a one in, one out policy as Cousins finished up their set. The Dodos played a bunch of songs from their new album, Carrier, as well as a few older songs. The house lights came up after the first encore but with the crowd shouting for one more song the band obliged. "When you put it like that," said drummer Logan Kroeber, before the band launched into "The Season" to close out the set.
by Bill Pearis
PyPy at Club Lambi, 11/16/2012
Freedom...horrible freedom! One thing M for Montreal, part festival part industry conference, was previously known for was its tightly-controlled schedule. There was one show a night with two stages and attendees saw all the bands, no overlap. And while this was still the case for the first two nights of the 2012 edition, Friday and Saturday saw the launch of the M Fest which had shows at about ten different venues each night. So for the first time in the five years I've attended this fest I had to make up my own mind about what to see.
Cousins at Club Lambi, 11/16/2012
I was going to start the night at Sala Rossa with D'Eon but when I got to the club the schedule had been pushed an hour due to Sun Airway canceling their appearance later in the line-up. So, I headed down Saint Laurent to Club Lambi, a place that felt more like a nightclub than a rock venue, complete with "mandatory coatcheck." First band was Halifax, NS duo Cousins who make garage-y pop with an emphasis on the latter. A little rough around the edges but enthusiastic and they've got some good songs. You can stream their album, The Palm at the End of the Mind, below.
Yardlets at Club Lambi, 11/16/2012
Next up were Yardlets which features vocalists/guitarists Sam Goldberg (who spent time in Broken Social Scene) and Montreal scene vet Jeff Edwards. Backlit with strips of blinding light, Yardlets tore out of the gate and never looked back, playing balls-to-the-wall rock n' roll that could be the soundtrack for a trucker's pill-fueled 72nd hour of being awake. ("Ace of Spades" being played on warped vinyl is a good reference point.) DFA 1979's Sebastian Grangier plays drums on the record (em>Middle Ages is streamable below) but not live, but his replacement seemed just as pummeling. The aural equivalent to a shot of tequila and just what I needed to jump-start the night.
PyPy at Club Lambi, 11/16/2012
Though, honestly, if Yardlets hadn't played, certainly PyPy would've had the same effect. The band formed when Duchess Says and Red Mass shared rehearsal space and some of each decided to jam, the band features both wild-eyed redhead Annie-Claude and Red Mass' Choyce on vocals/guitar, neither of whom shy from the spotlight. No surprise Annie-Claude dominated the proceedings but here she's in relatively restrained mode, meaning she's still going crazy but not totally in-your-face. She even played guitar on one song. Musically, PyPy (yes, pronounced peepee) are almost '60s style acid rock, a lot of soloing and riffs, not so much memorable tunes. But a blast to watch.
USA Out of Vietnam at L'Esco, 11/16/2012
From here we cabbed it over to L'Esco for some heavier sounds via MTL hardcore act Dig it Up and the more mathy USA Out of Vietnam and bearded frontman Jonathan Cummins (formerly of Doughboys and Bionic) greeted the crowd thusly: "Hi we're Grimes. We've changed our sound a little and we hope you like our new direction." Their music is not my thing, but I like their attitude.
Pat Jordache, somewhere in Montreal, 11/16/2012
From here we headed to an afterparty at some DIY space I don't know the name of to catch a very late night (3:30 AM) set from Pat Jordache who played almost exclusively new material. While the PA wasn't doing the band a whole lot of favors, you could still get a feel for Pat's new musical direction, rhythm-heavy post-punk with watery bass and saxaphone that tipped its had toward Eno-era Talking Heads (or The Higsons or Pigbag). I was struggling to keep my eyes open at that point but the new material is very promising (and I liked 2011's Future Songs too). While the album won't be out till next year, Pat just dropped "steps (DAMAGED GOODS)" as an appepitizer and it is very tasty indeed. You can stream it below.
Yan Wagner at Cafe Campus, 11/16/2012
Next up that night... sleep. But earlier I did check out some bands at Cafe Campus during the day, the highlight of which was Parisian electronic artist Yan Wagner (who also played CMJ this year). While his mike-and-samplers setup didn't make for the most exciting live show, his style of electropop falls squarely between Depeche Mode and OMD which pretty much guarantees I'll like. And I did.
After that we were treated to a "headphone concert" by Kid Koala at Le SAT which was a very fun, relaxing way to ease into the evening and you can read about here. You can also read accounts of M for Montreal Day 1 here and Day 2 here. Streams are below.
by Bill Pearis
The seventh annual M for Montreal festival happens next week (November 14 - 17) in its namesake Canadian city. Previous years, M4M has featured mainly Montreal (and other parts of Canada) artists, being showcased to a group of "international delgates" (talent buyers, journalists, music supervisors, tour agenents and other industry types) in a tightly controlled set of shows, this year's fest expands its scope with nearly 100 performer at 16 venues, giving it more of an actual festival feel than an industry conference that has music showcases the public could by tickets to.
The line-up is much more global this year as well, with musicians from France, Iceland and, for the first time, the United States playing alongside bands from all over Canada. Artists playing the 2012 edition include Death Grips, Of Monsters and Men, Mac DeMarco, Suuns, Mykki Blanco, Sun Airway, A Place To Bury Strangers, Cadence Weapon, Memoryhouse, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Bleeding Rainbow and Blue Hawaii. Full list of performers is below and daily schedule is here and advance tickets to shows and panel discussions are available.
If you want a taste of Montreal this week in NYC, beyond the snow we're currently experiencing, Montreal rapper Cadence Weapon plays Glasslands on Friday (11/9) with Fat Tony. Tickets are still available. Cadence Weapon tour dates are listed below.
The 2012 edition of Calgary, Alberta festival Sled Island is set to take place from June 20-23 at venues throughout the city. This year includes over 200 bands performing at 30 venues plus a large comedy schedule, film screenings, and art shows.
Sled Island 2012 will once again use outdoor venue Olympic Plaza as its main stage, featuring performances by Feist, The Hold Steady, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, The Dudes, Shabazz Palaces, Parlovr, and others.
Acts including Russian Circles, Hot Snakes, The Antlers, Boris, Thurston Moore, Willis Earl Beal, Trust, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Terry Malts, Neil Hamburger, How To Dress Well, The Evaporators (aka Nardwuar's band), DJ Jonathan Toubin, Hannibal Buress, Andrew W.K., Tim Heidecker, Archers of Loaf, and many more will be performing at various bars and venues. Check out the full lineup at the bottom of this post.
Full lineup and 2012 festival trailer below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: Dirty Beaches - Lord Knows Best (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Widowspeak - Harsh Realm (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Esben & the Witch - Warpath (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Wise Blood - B.I.G. E.G.O. (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Mr. Dream - Crime (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Duzheknew - Came Out the Other Side (MP3)
We're 1700 miles and two weeks away from the eye of the storm, but you can feel the SXSW hurricane forming from here. People have begun talking about breakfast tacos and the clubs are filling with bands from Canada, Scandinavia and the UK. Even moreso than normal. There is too much going on. Decisions, decisions. Let's get into it.
Dirty Beaches play two shows this week: a headlining slot at Glasslands on Thursday (3/3) and then opening for Dum Dum Girls at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (3/4). The pseudonym of Montreal artist Alex Zhang Hungtai, Dirty Beaches sound like a band invented by David Lynch (or maybe Jim Jarmusch), like a half-remembered dream infected by an oldies station playing on a vintage transistor radio. It also kind of sounds like Suicide. Dirty Beaches' forthcoming album, Badlands (out March 29 and pictured above), is at times pretty, twangy and vaguely sinister. He's definitely got a vision to what he's doing. Check out "Lord Knows Best" at the top of this post for a sample.
The Glasslands show also has Austinites (and TWII faves) YellowFever on the bill, as are Widowspeak whose new single is out now on Captured Tracks (the a-side is downloadable above), and Ela Orleans. Plus, Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls is DJing. This should be a good night.
As should Dum Dum Girls' show on Friday. Their new EP, He Gets Me High, came out on Sub Pop this week and you can download the title track at the top of this post. I loved DDGs' debut, but I think these new tracks are a definite improvement: a little tougher, the production's better and the songs are solid. And I dig the Smiths cover as well.
Former Dum Dum Girls drummer Frankie Rose is also on the bill, and she has dropped The Outs from her name... and the band. This show will mark the debut of her new group and perhaps a new sound? We shall see. Frankie is promising mostly new songs for this one and I'm curious as to what Frankie Rose Mark 2 will be like.
Rounding out the Bowery line-up are MINKS. Tickets are still available.
Esben and the Witch
Also here this week are UK neogoths Esben & the Witch who play The Bell House on Friday (3/4) and then Mercury Lounge on Saturday (3/5). While I'm not crazy about their debut album, Violet Cries, which meanders a bit and generally takes too long to get going, I do recommend going to see them live. Guitarist Daniel Copeman rivals The Edge or Kevin Shields for the Most Effects Pedals award and the sounds he creates with them is genuinely mesmerising. He is also a whirlwind onstage. They are so much more compelling live, and worth giving a shot even if the record does nothing for you.
Opening the Mercury Lounge show is Wise Blood who has gotten a lot of love from Pitchfork, Altered Zones, GvB, etc. The alter-ego of Chris Laufman, Wise Blood is firmly in the low fi sample-based collage world. Some of it is pretty interesting for sure -- check out a track at the top of this post -- but I'm always a bit dubious about seeing this kind of stuff live. Maybe he'll pull it off. Maybe he'll be the next How to Dress Well. How was he last night at Glasslands with Young Magic? Wise Blood will also be at SXSW.
Representing Canada this week are Duzheknew and Cousins who play Bruar Falls on Sunday (3/6) and Death by Audio on Monday (3/7). Both bands hail from Halifax, Nova Scotia -- a town that hasn't had much of a scene (from what I can tell) since its '90s heyday of Sloan, Eric's Trip, Jale and Thrush Hermit. Duzheknew, from the tracks I've heard (like the one at the top of this post), sound somewhere between Wolf Parade (vocally), early Talking Heads and their hometown indie elder statesman. Cousins are a little more straight-up garage rock. Both sound pretty good.
And now onto some local action. Mr. Dream's debut album, Trash Hit, was released this week and will certainly appeal to those with a fondness for early '90s indie rock, be it Nirvana, The Pixies, Jesus Lizard, etc. Which is to say it's loud, it rocks, there is some yelling and snarling... but it's also got hooks, no shortage of tunes, and badass flinty basslines all over the place. You don't have to remember the early days of Late Night with Conan O'Brien to dig Mr. Dream. As far as I'm concerned this kind of stuff is timeless. You can download "Crimes" at the top of this post and stream the entire album via a widget below.
Mr Dream celebrate Trash Hit's release this Friday (3/4) at Glasslands, with Sleepies and Fort Lean (making their debut) along for the ride. I also hear Derek from Sleigh Bells will be performing as well, but not sure exactly in what capacity. Mr. Dream will tour with Sleigh Bells in April.
Another Record Release show is happening Friday night, this time at Cake Shop where Shark? celebrate the birth of their new 7" single "Kreegah." It's too bad Shark? and Mr. Dream couldn't have coordinated their parties together as Shark?'s straight-up, super-catchy indie rock would have made a great opening act. You can stream both sides of the single below. Personally, I'm partial to the b-side, "You Don't Love Me (Anymore)." Both songs will be on the band's debut album, True Waste, which was produced by Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone and should be out sometime soon?
Shark? hit the road next week, touring with the Sundelles on their way down to SXSW. Sundelles also have a show coming up at Glasslands with Cloud Nothing and Craft Spells. All tour dates are below.
And that is basically it for this week. Expect an equally-lengthy TWII next week. A few more day-by-day picks below:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2
Tennis, La Sera, and Holiday Shores team up for their first of two NYC shows together, tonight at Bowery Ballroom. They then play The Bell House on Thursday (3/3).
Norway's Heroes & Zeroes play Pianos tonight before heading to Alaska to play a string of gigs in Alaska, believe it or not. Tonight's show is an eclectic bill to say the least, with with French psycho noiserockers Headwar and Koonda Holaa adding to the strangeness.