Entries tagged with: Destroyer
On his eleventh studio album, Poison Season, Destroyer's Dan Bejar has moved beyond the quiet confrontation of 2011's Kaputt and into a musical realm more orchestral and far-reaching. That's not to imply that the Canadian singer-songwriter and reluctant indie tastemaker has embraced a newfound love for tawdry composition. It certainly suggests, though, that Bejar's creative inclinations have rarely if ever remained fixated on any one path to the music. Having created music as Destroyer since 1995, Bejar is understandably averse to the attitude of pop culture immediacy that assumes impact is equal to investment in one's art form. In a way similar to that of his just as notably talented bandmates in indie pop supergroup The New Pornographers, Bejar is content to let the music go where it will, allowing him to be a sort of vehicle for whatever destination great or small it may lead. It's a topic he and I discussed at length in a recent conversation in anticipation of his current tour with Jennifer Castle that hits Webster Hall on October 4.
Poison Season is very much a departure from Kaputt just in terms of the instrumentation that's involved and the altogether broader sound. Was that shift something deliberate on your part?
I don't think it was a deliberate move, though I agree with your reading of what it sounds like. I think the main thing is that I've never tried to start from scratch. If you look inside the records you'll see that there are tons of overlaps as far as the actual music making goes and as far as my songwriting goes. I feel like it's kind of more etched in stone than probably 99% of other songs out there, I mean, to a fault. If anything, it's like: Oh fuck, this really stands out me being myself, or here's me being me again. I don't think that changes too much. I guess in the postproduction, which is pretty elastic, I agree that sonically speaking, Poison Season and Kaputt couldn't be more different, but that's just like a world of weaver plugins and EQs and a certain approach to compression, which just got ignored in favor of classic 70s hardware and fancy microphones and a fancy recording space and the sound of a bunch of people playing in a room together. I don't think we were lampooning anything at the time, but when you listen to it now, the record that I did that came out in 2004 called Your Blues - I don't know, you can see the seeds of it. Even its use of a bunch of midi orchestral sounds, which sound like an orchestra really to anyone but me. The general feel of it is basically like a carbon copy or a blueprint of what we sounded like on stage in 2012. That was really a hyped tour and like the one in 2011, which was more of a Kaputt cover band tour, played more into Destroyer sounds, I guess. But anyone who saw those shows is going to listen to Poison Season and not blink an eye. It's like, oh I see, you guys went out and made a record. I think the one thing was this approach to strings and maybe an approach to the woodwind arrangement, which is faster but also has kind of a classical American film score style arrangements or something like jazz arrangements as opposed to just having Joseph shred all over the record like he did for Kaputt. But the instincts in Poison Season, you could find them on being used on any of the Destroyer albums.
by Bill Pearis
Destroyer's "Times Square," the centerpiece track to new album Poison Season, has now been turned into a charmingly weird music video. Director Shayne Ehman says the video started with an ill-fated trip to New York. "We ended up just wandering around New York til 3am and the city seemed completely dead. We could have been anywhere, really," which then put them on a different track. "I needed to get outside and shoot in natural light in order to serve as a sort of conduit for those 'forces of nature in love...' which seem to rule the song. I let the sun do its thing and let the earth do it's thing and watched time unfold. I watched the clouds unfold and unpack and packup. I was at their mercy, completely."
There's the briefest of shots from the NYC tourist mecca, but most of the video takes place in the forrest where magical woodland beings smoke dope from a saxaphone, lick mushrooms and get weird. Also: a little Dan Bejar lip-synching. Watch it below.
by Bill Pearis
Destroyer's new album, Poison Season, is out next week via Merge and, like with Beach House's Depression Cherry, some of you out there may already have your leak-loving mitts on it. For those who don't do that sort of thing, the album is now streaming via NPR. While not as cohesive as 2011's Kaputt, here you get The Many Shades of Dan Bejar: the Bowie-esque rocker, the dive bar cabaret singer, even the cruise ship entertainer. Plus three distinctly different takes on "Times Square." Destroyer is always worth your time, listen below.
by Bill Pearis
The new Destroyer album, Poison Season, is out at the end of August and Merge Records has just shared another song from it, "Times Square." With acoustic guitars and prominent sax, it's Dan Bejar at his most Al Stewart, all wistful and dramatic. "You could follow a rose wherever it grows, or you could fall in love with Times Square." The NYC tourist hub isn't very lovable these days if you ask me but if anyone could make it romantic, it's Bejar. Listen below.
by Bill Pearis
Destroyer's new album, Poison Season, will be out August 28 via Merge. Where 2012's Kaputt was a unified front, sonically -- all neon-lit, rain-soaked streets, new romantic vibes and fire escape sax -- this one has many different moods. First single "Dream Lover" was a heartland rocker and now we get "Girl in a Sling," which finds Dan Bejar in mournful torch song mode. It comes with an equally dark video, directed by David Galloway who spoke a little about the vibe he was trying to achieve:
We wanted to make a video that dealt with central Destroyer themes: to some, Destroyer is a lech; to some, he is an arsonist; to some, he is a savior. To me, he is the consummate comedian, but he resists that role. So we decided to go the opposite way and make something sad, something tragic, something that fits the new record. The adage "comedy equals tragedy plus time" is attributed to Carol Burnett's mum. Or it might have been Steve Allen. Either way, I always want Dan to do physical comedy, but he resists. He's a natural, though. He's the Pacific Northwest's Buster Keaton, and I hope one day to share that with the world. One day. For now, though, there's just this sadness. This poison season.You can watch the "Girl in a Sling" video below.
In addition to the new album, Destroyer will also release a companion 12" single on August 28, featuring a remix of "Forces from Above" and "Times Square, This Poison Season" on the flip.
Victoria, BC's Frog Eyes will release new LP Pickpocket's Locket on August 28 via Paper Bag Records. The new LP's genesis was a little different than usual. Main main Carey Mercer explains:
My dad left me his acoustic guitar in his will; it was all he had to give, because he wasn't a rich man. I wrote ten songs on it, and I think that was the real gift he gave me: a love of music, not just the way you all love it (music lovers), but also a love of creating it, sowing myself, in some small way, into the story of music.The record features guest appearances by Spencer Krug, and violinist Jesse Zubot. You can listen to "Joe With The Jam" from the album, below.
I was holding the guitar a lot, kind of savoring it: a Martin D-18. I had been making records for a few years with a computer, piling tracks on tracks, writing words over guitar licks already recorded in a studio.
I came to think of an acoustic guitar as somehow akin to a computer, only in the sense that they are both tools of transmission, both effective in their own way.
An acoustic guitar is still, in 2015, a very effective way of transmitting one's songs. I made a deal with myself: write ten songs, write all the words before anyone gets to hear any of the songs, memorize the songs so that I become the hard-drive that the acoustic guitar accesses. I mostly, if not totally, kept to this deal, which is rare: I'm generally pretty easy on myself.
Frog Eyes will be touring this fall, including dates with Destroyer. They're not on the NYC date of the Destroyer tour (10/4 @ Webster Hall), unfortunately, but all are listed, along with Pickpocket's Locket artwork, tracklist and track stream, below.
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Fabiola Carranza
Destroyer hasn't released a full length since 2011's excellent Kaputt, but he's finally ready to do that this year. He'll release Poison Season, a double album, on August 28 via Merge in the US and Dead Oceans in the UK. He just shared first single "Dream Lover," which is more of a swaggering upbeat rock song than the sophisti-pop of Kaputt, but still full of saxophones. Listen, and check out the album tracklist, below.
Dan Bejar & co. will also be touring internationally in support of the record for about two months from September to November. That tour hits NYC on October 4 at Webster Hall. That date and many others are with Jennifer Castle. Tickets for Webster are on sale now.
All dates are listed, with the new song and album tracklist, below...
by Bill Pearis
photo:::Hello, Blue Roses @ Glasslands, 2008 (more by Leia Jospe)
Back in 2008 Hello, Blue Roses, the musical and romantic pairing of Dan Bejar and artist Sydney Vermont, released The Portrait Is Finished and I Have Failed to Capture Your Beauty, an album steeped in '70s folk. (Some of you in NYC may have gone to see them at Glasslands as well.) Seven years later, HBR are back with Album #2, titled WZO. The record was produced by Dan's Swan Lake bandmate and Frog Eyes frontman Carey Mercer, who plays on the album as well. It's out now and you can stream the whole thing below.
Now if we can just get a new Destroyer album. Dan's other other band, The New Pornographers, are currently on tour with Operators.
photos by Chris La Putt; words by Bill Pearis
The New Pornographers @ The Brill Building 9/4/2014
"This is a throwback to those classic Brill Building basement shows...you know, like when Carol King would do Sonics' covers? It's in the book. That I'm going to write." Carl Newman, defacto leader of Canadian supergroup The New Pornographers, was joking about the deserted Brill Building storefront (technically next door to the famous golden BB entrance) that was hastily converted into a venue for this record release party. Anyone there who bothered to look up could see up into the next floor via holes by the building supports. Same for the floor -- Newman warned "Please don't fall into the abyss!" This was closer in vibe -- and in un-AC'd temperature -- to 285 Kent than something you'd expect in Times Square. It was HOT in there but a cool nod to pop songwriting's past that clearly is an influence on The New Pornographers in general and their great new album, Brill Bruisers, specifically.
The show, which was presented by NPR and hosted by All Songs Considered's (and nonstop showgoer) Bob Boilen, featured The New Pornographers in full effect, with Neko Case and Dan Bejar both there, along with the rest of the band, including new touring member Coco Hames (of The Ettes). (NPR gave away tickets via Twitter.) The band sounded fantastic and they were all clearly having a blast, despite the sweatbox atmosphere. Drummer Kurt Dahle, in particular, seemed to be having a particularly good time, making faces while dropping crazy fills on new LP track, "Spidyr." (I think I spent half the show just watching him.)
The crowd was eased into the new album, starting with a couple oldies first -- "Moves" from Together then Bejar sauntered out for Challengers' nugget "Myriad Harbor." Then we got our first taste of Brill via the driving "Dancefloor Domine," which is a good showcase for the new arpeggiated-keys-ELO-ABBA vibe of the new album. We got about half of Brill Bruisers, including the title track which is much more a wall-of-sound force live than on record. (They played it on Letterman the night before, video below.) Bejar came back out for single "War on the East Coast" which was extra-energized by some crazy/effected guitar blasts by Newman.
Other older tracks included "The Laws Have Changed," "Twin Cinema," "Mass Romantic" (many cheers for that), and they finished the hourlong set with the "hey las" of Twin Cinema deep cut "The Bleeding Heart Show." I woulda personally liked a couple more from the new album -- specifically "Champions of Red Wine" and "Marching Orders" -- but it was a solid, leave 'em wanting more set and was easily the best New Pornographers show I've seen since the Electric Version tour.
The New Pornographers -- with Neko and Dan -- will be back in NYC when their fall tour hits Hammerstein Ballroom on November 17 with openers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (tickets). More pics and setlist from the Brill Building show, plus the Letterman performance video, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Yesterday, Pitchfork posted their top 200 tracks of the decade so far, and today they've listed the top 100 albums to have come out between 2010-2014. There's some surprises on there. For example, I didn't expect to see Bon Iver's self-titled, their #1 album of 2011 and with a score of 9.5, rank as low as #27 on this list. I was also surprised to see Chief Keef make it but not, say, Shabazz Palaces or Schoolboy Q. And there's a few other glaring omissions: nothing by The National? Grizzly Bear? One thing that will surprise no one though, is their #1 pick.
You can check out the full list below...
Thee-day Oregon music festival Pickathon returns this year from August 1-3 in Happy Valley. The lineup includes Nickel Creek, X, Warpaint, The War on Drugs, Jonathan Richman, Mac DeMarco, Operators, Foxygen, Destroyer (solo), Courtney Barnett, Parquet Courts, Angel Olsen, Woods, Mikal Cronin, Julianna Barwick, The Men, Hiss Golden Messenger, Diarrhea Planet, Quilt and many more. Full lineup below. Tickets for the festival are on sale now.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Ex Hex @ Red 7, 3/15/14
As mentioned, Merge Records is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, including the four-day Merge 25 festival which happens July 23 - 26 in Carrboro, NC. Merge has released the initial line-up, which includes Wye Oak, The Clientele, Destroyer, Caribou, Lambchop (performing Nixon), Neutral Milk Hotel, The Rock*A*Teens, Ex Hex, and Bob Mould. While day schedules haven't been announced events will happen at the following venues:
July 23 Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University Campus, Durham, NCFull Festival Passes are $195 and will go on sale to the general public on Friday (3/21) at 11 am EST via the Cat's Cradle website. Individual tickets for the events in Carrboro will go on sale Wednesday, March 26 and the Duke University show goes on sale Tuesday, April 22.
July 24 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
July 25 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
July 26 Full Day Music Concert, outdoors, Carrboro, NC
Both Wye Oak and Ex Hex played our Saturday SXSW free day party this past weekend in Austin. Ex Hex (featuring Mary Timony of Helium and Wild Flag) put on a killer set of glammy powerpop. Pics from their performance are in this post and you can check out Wye Oak pics here. Ex Hex also have a new video for "Hot and Cold" that costars Ian Svenonius (Chain & the Gang, Make-Up, etc). You can watch that below.
More BV SXSW day party pics of Ex Hex, plus the new Ex Hex video, below...
Merge Records is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and they are planning a year-long celebration the culmination of which will be the Merge Festival which will happen July 23-26 in the label's hometown of Carrboro, NC. Line-up, tickets and other interesting details like those are still TBA, but you can watch a couple teaser videos below. (This will probably be one festival Outkast won't be at, but you never know!) They last celebrated back in 2009 with XX Merge.
Additionally, you can subscribe to Merge's "Or Thousands of Prizes" singles club where you get a new 7" on colored vinyl every month featuring 25 of the label's artists, including Superchunk, Mikal Cronin, Mount Moriah, The Mountain Goats, The Clientele, Destroyer, King Khan & the Shrines, Lambchop, and more. Subscribers will also get a collector's box, t-shirt, a surprise bonus 12" single, new E-book version of The Merge Records Companion and first crack at Merge Fest tickets. You can still buy in.
There's also a Merge 25k road race on March 22 which runs from Chapel Hill to Durham and more fun stuff to be announced. They gave their website a nice redesign too. Looking good at a quarter century, Merge!
Merge Fest teaser videos below...
Festival Nrmal is back again for 2014 and has expanded to now include an all day concert in Mexico City on March 1 in addition to the multi-day fest in Monterrey (March 5 - 9). (That's right before SXSW.) Tickets are on sale now.
The Mexico City concert features Blood Orange, Silver Apples, Destroyer, Anika, Wolf Eyes, Merchandise, Pional and more.
The Monterrey line-up, as it stands, has Death, Pional, Perfect Pussy, Blue Hawaii, Pure X, Kelela, and more -- with more to be announced.
All announced bands and flyers below...
photos by PSquared Photography
Destroyer @ Bowery Ballroom
Destroyer's Five Spanish Songs EP will be in stores on Monday, but you can listen to it now via Hype Machine.Dan Bejar aka Destroyer brought his most recent tour to Bowery Ballroom in NYC on 11/10, and we have some pictures from that show in this post. More of them below...
Produced by JC/DC and recorded at their studio in Vancouver earlier this summer, Five Spanish Songs features musical contributions from Nicolas Bragg, David Carswell, John Collins, Stephen Hamm, and Josh Wells.
by Bill Pearis
It was 2013. The English language seemed spent, despicable, not easily singable. It felt over for English; good for business transactions, but that's about it. The only other language I know is Spanish, and the only Spanish songs I really know are those of Sr. Chinarro, led by Antonio Luque. I've been a decades-long fan of how he conducted his affairs, his strange words, his melodies that have always felt so natural (this is important), his bitter songs about painting the light. Something about them, I knew I could do it...Destroyer will follow up 2011's incredible Kaputt, with a five-song Spanish language EP featuring five covers of songs by Antonio Luque. Five Spanish Songs was produced by longtime collaborators JC/DC and will be out November 29.
- Dan Bejar
No songs from the EP have been released yet, but you might hear some of them on Bejar's solo tour which hits NYC on November 10 at Bowery Ballroom with Pink Mountaintops opening. Tickets for that show are still available.
After his North American tour (to which he's added a couple shows since we last posted), Bejar heads to Europe to do the same. Updated tour dates are listed below.
Destroyer @ Webster Hall 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
While Dan Bejar muses over how to follow up Destroyer's 2011's near-perfect Kaputt (my favorite album of that year), he'll be going on a solo tour in November, playing songs from throughout his career...and maybe a couple new ones? The tour hits NYC on 11/10 at at Bowery Ballroom. Pink Mountaintops open and tickets just went on sale.
All tour dates are listed, along with the video for "Savage Night at the Opera," below.
Destroyer at Webster Hall in 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield
As mentioned, Destroyer will hit the road next month for a North American tour which comes to NYC on June 18 at Brooklyn Masonic Temple and June 19 at Le Poisson Rouge. When we first discussed those shows, no openers had been announced yet, but openers for both shows have since been revealed.
Meanwhile, the LPR show will be opened by Drag City-signed Sophia Knapp. Tickets for that show are still available. That show is one of a few Sophia will be playing this June, including another NYC show which happens at Knitting Factory on June 28. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All Sandro Perri and Sophia Knapp dates, along with some videos below...
by Bill Pearis
Destroyer at Webster Hall, April 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Destroyer have added a second NYC-area show -- June 19 at Le Poisson Rouge -- which is one day after their previously-announced show at Brooklyn Masonic Temple. Tickets for the new show go on sale Friday (5/4) at noon.
Armed with the "Destroyer Orchestra," Dan Bejar is ably reproducing the lush grooves of last year's Kaputt (my favorite album of 2012). Destroyer's show at Webster Hall last year was terrific, so do go see them this time around.
All Destroyer tour dates are below, along with footage of Destroyer's recent Coachella performance.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Buzzcocks / Bon Iver / Squeeze
"The earlier part of the afternoon felt a little sleepy. People waking up late after Friday, taking their time getting to the festival, and the earliest bands on the bill usually have a gentler style of music anyway. That all changed, for us at least, with the arrival of the Buzzcocks, those spiky, rapid-fire elder statesmen of melodic British punk, on stage in the Gobi tent.Before Radiohead closed out Saturday with a near-2 hour headlining set, Coachella-goers were treated to live music by Jeff Mangum, the Buzzcocks, Squeeze, fIREHOSE, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Bon Iver (videos & setlist HERE), Andrew Bird, The Shins, SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, A$AP Rocky (who played at the same time as Radiohead), Feist, Noel Gallagher, Destroyer, Grace Potter, The Head and the Heart, and many more.
Founders Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle look older now -- it's been 35 years or so since they launched the band --but their voices are strong, their rapid-fire guitar riffing still delivers an electric current to the brain. And, bonus for fans on Saturday, the short length of many of their songs meant you got a whole lot of Buzzcocks packed into a 55-minute set." [Orange County Register]
Destroyer at Webster Hall in 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Destroyer did a fair amount of touring last year in support of Kaputt, which was one of our favorite albums of the year. After playing Coachella this April, he'll kick off another tour in support of the album in June which hits NYC on June 18 at Brooklyn Masonic Temple. Tickets for the Brooklyn show go on sale Friday (3/2) at 9 AM. All dates are listed below.
In related news, Destroyer's Dan Bejar and his old band Points Gray are planning to issue their 2000 LP Offshore on vinyl. It was initially only released in a limited amount of CD-Rs. The band are raising money on IndieGoGo to press the album. You can check out the campaign video below.
All dates and video below...
Radiohead @ Roseland Ballroom in 2011 (more by Bao Nguyen)
Coachella which is taking place over the course of two weekends this year (April 13-15 and 20-22) revealed their 2012 lineup. Last week, Azealia Banks was the first artist confirmed, and earlier today they confirmed The Weeknd (maybe he found a band?), and before that, Jimmy Cliff, Breakbot, and Housse De Racket. The reunited Pulp then announced itself. The full lineup also includes headliners The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, not to mention, as predicted, the reunited At the Drive In and the reunited Mazzy Star (!), and Madness and Refused (!) and Jeff Mangum and many, many more that you can see below...
I hate writing year-end lists, as might be obvious to many long-time BrooklynVegan readers. That said, I also like them. They help organize things, which is related to my problem though. I'm too unorganized and hectic to ever get around to making one! But this year a few of us (BrooklynVegan contributors) got together and decided to come up with a collective list of albums that we loved that we think most represented 2011 in BrooklynVegan land. Our indie rock-centric list purposely does not include metal (that's HERE) or hip hop (we should make a separate list). With that in mind, our top 26 albums of 2011, in alphabetical order, are listed (with some commentary and a list of honorable mentions too) below...
We already posted Pitchfork's and SPIN's, so... here's Rolling Stone's top 50 albums of 2011. It's got tons of big sellers and major label players taking high spots like Adele, Jay-Z and Kanye West, Paul Simon, and Lady Gaga, but then something unexpected like tUnE-yArDs places at #13. There are also some odd inclusions like Wavves' Life Sux EP and then some albums you could only find on a Rolling Stone list like SuperHeavy (the supergroup featuring Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, and others). They also give shots to Little Dragon, Josh T Pearson, Das Racist, Wild Flag, and many more. Check out the full list below...
DOWNLOAD: Austra - "Spellwork" (MNDR Nighttime Remix) (MP3)
Austra at Santos (more by Vincent Cornelli)
2011's short list of nominees for Canada's Polaris Music Prize were announced. They include a mix of indie veterans, grammy-winners, a sax player who has played with those grammy winners, and some new kids on the block like the super buzzy The Weeknd whose resume includes working with Drake. Full nominee list is below.
One of the artists, Austra, will release a remix EP to follow-up their latest release Feel it Break. The remix collection, entitled SPARKLE will be released digitally on July 26th and on wax on August 23rd. The release features remix contributions from MNDR, Mark Pistel, and Planningtorock with the digital collection having an additional four bonus remixes. Preorder it at Domino, and download/stream one track, "Spellwork (MNDR Nighttime Remix)" above/below.
Reminder, look for Austra to play a FREE show on July 14th supporting tUnE-yArDs at Pier 54 in NYC. They'll also be on hand to support Cold Cave at Bowery Ballroom on August 6th (tickets). Cold Cave also plays NYC next week, at Knitting Factory with Cult of Youth on July 12th (tickets).
Braids, also nominated, recently announced a ton of tour dates.
Austra song stream and dates and the Polaris Music Prize nominees are below.