Entries tagged with: Plants and Animals

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by Bill Pearis

Featureless ghost

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.

Like in years past (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008), I'll be heading up for the M fest, and will be reporting the goings-on.

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.

Continue reading "2012 M for Montreal Festival: full line-up (Death Grips, A Place to Bury Strangers, Of Monsters & Men, Mac DeMarco + more)"

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

Garbage/Feist/JAMC at Osheaga - 8/4/12

Osheaga 2012 - Day 2 in Photos
Osheaga 2012 - Day 2 in Photos

Nineties alt-rock heroes Garbage returned this year with a new album, a refreshed attitude and a Shirley Manson who looked like she hasn't aged a day in her life. What's more impressive, though, was the fact that their repertoire of classic cuts didn't sound outdated at all. Instead, we're reminded that synth-laden rockers "Push It" and "Stupid Girl" were, in fact, much more ahead of their time and as a result sound brand new nowadays. Garbage was a cool blast from the past that festivalgoers who were unaware of their age would've mistaken them for a bright and exciting up-and-comer. - [National Post]
While Lollapalooza was going down in Chicago, Montreal was holding the Osheaga Festival. It kicked off on Friday, August 3 and continued that Saturday (8/4) with sets from Feist, Garbage, Yeasayer, A$AP Rocky, The Raveonettes, The Black Lips, and more.

Actress Jessica Paré (aka Don's wife and "Zou Bisou Bisou" singer on Mad Men) joined The Jesus and Marcy Chain for "Just Like Honey" (which Scarlett Johansson sang on at Coachella '07) and "Sometimes Always" and video of that is below.

Pictures and review of day 1 are HERE. Day 3 is coming soon. More from day 2 are below...

Continue reading "Osheaga day 2 in pics (Jesus and Mary Chain, Feist, Garbage, Yeasayer, A$AP Rocky, Raveonettes, Black Lips & more)"

Osheaga

We just posted about Austra who's coming back to North America (including 9/19 at Music Hall of Williamsburg) after a tour of Europe. She's also one of many artists playing the 2012 Osheaga Festival in Montreal which happens August 3 - 5Tickets are still available for the three-day event.

In addition to Austra, Osheaga plays host to The Black Keys, Snoop Dogg, Justice, Metric (who play Radio City Music Hall soon), Sigur Ros (who play Prospect Park and are streaming their new LP), Florence & The Machine (who plays Jones Beach this summer), The WeekndPassion Pit (who play Governor's Ball soon), The Jesus & Mary Chain, MGMTSantigold (who just played Irving), Zola Jesus (who just played the Guggenheim) and many many more.

Full Osheaga lineup is below.

Continue reading "Justice, Metric, The Black Keys, Sigur Ros and more playing Montreal's Osheaga Festival in August "

Off! @ NXNE 2011 (more by Natasha Ryan)
NXNE

The most memorable thing that happened the year I visited Toronto for NXNE was Iggy Pop & The Stooges playing their big, outdoor, free, no-ticket-or-badge-required show downtown at Yonge-Dundas Square. Last year the Descendents did it. This year they've landed the Flaming Lips which should be an amazing spectacle. And:

NXNE Music has confirmed that Bad Religion, Raekwon & Ghostface Killah and Matthew Good will headline free shows at Yonge-Dundas Square (YDS) throughout the seven-day festival. The NXNE Music line-up also includes performances at YDS and in the clubs by Of Montreal, No Use For A Name, Purity Ring, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Death Grips, The Men, Bleached, Good Riddance, METZ, Ceremony, Plants & Animals, The Death Set, The Sadies & Andre Williams, Oberhofer, Reigning Sound, Action Bronson, 2:54, Yamantaka/ /Sonic Titan, The Hundred in The Hands, Rival Schools, Killer Mike, Young Magic, Hayes Carll, Friends, Hollerado, Bran Van 3000, The Black Belles, Doldrums, Odonis Odonis, Mac DeMarco, Bass Drum of Death, Porcelain Raft, Exitmusic, Violens, Grass Widow, Eight and a Half, DZ Deathrays, Jonathan Toubin, Art vs. Science, B L A C K I E, The Nils and Ivan Julian (ex-Richard Hell & The Voidoids).
Jonathan Toubin!!

This year's fest takes place at multiple venues across Toronto from June 11-17, 2012. Tickets are on sale.

Last year BrooklynVegan co-hosted a boat party with M For Montreal and Bruise Cruise.

by Andrew Sacher

DOWNLOAD: Indians - "Magic Kids" (MP3)

Indians
Indians

Indians, the moniker of Copenhagen musician whose first name is Soren, made his NYC debut at Glasslands last night (4/15) with High Highs and is sticking around for two more shows. One of those shows is TONIGHT (4/16) at Pianos and the next is Tuesday (4/17) at Littlefield with Plants and Animals and The National's favorite new band This is the Kit (who played with them at Beacon Theater). Tickets for tonight's show at Pianos and Tuesday's Littlefield show are available.

Indians has two songs available, "Magic Kids" and "New," both of which are pretty solid cuts of dreamy bedroom pop. Check out videos for both tracks below and download an MP3 of "Magic Kids" above, or stream it below.

Tuesday's Littlefield show is the first of two NYC shows for Canada's Plants and Animals and the UK's This is the Kit, who both play Mercury Lounge on Wednesday (4/18). Tickets for that show are still available.

All dates for all bands, videos and stream below...

Continue reading "Indians is in NYC playing shows, one w/ the touring Plants & Animals and This is the Kit (dates & MP3)"

DOWNLOAD: Plants and Animals - "Lightshow" (MP3)

Plants and Animals at T5 in 2010 (more by Lionel Bergeron)
Plants and Animals

Plants and Animals will release the followup to 2010's La La Land; The End of That on February 28 via Secret City Records. Grab the single, "Lightshow," above and stream it below, along with the album art and tracklist.

Plants and Animals will tour the US and Canada in support of the album in March and April. The tour includes an appearance at SXSW and a NYC show happening on April 18 at Mercury Lounge. Tickets for that show are on sale.

All dates, stream, album art and tracklist below...

Continue reading "Plants & Animals releasing new album touring (dates & MP3)"

photos by Lionel Bergeron

Craig Finn & Frightened Rabbit
Frightened Rabbit

Just hours before Saturday night's Frightened Rabbit show, I wrote "The Craig Finn duet audio is still not available." That is no longer true, though the audio now available is the live audio from the part of the Terminal 5 show where The Hold Steady's Craig Finn came on stage and sang "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" live on stage with the headlining band during their encore (video below). The excitement continued after that when Frightened Rabbit invited up costumed crowd members, of which there were many in attendance since the show's date was October 30th.

Plants & Animals and a very stylish looking Phantom Band (who recently played our Friday CMJ day party) opened the show. More pictures with Frightened Rabbits' setlist and the videos, below....

Continue reading "Craig Finn joined Frightened Rabbit @ Terminal 5. Phantom Band & Plants & Animals played too (pics, setlist & video) "

Frightened Rabbit @ Bowery Ballroom in 2009 (more by Natasha Ryan)
Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit will be spending their summer touring the UK, Europe and Australia (with a stop at Lollapalooza in August). This November and December they'll double over the UK again, but will manage another trip stateside. They play NYC's Terminal 5 on Saturday, October 30th (mischief night) along with Plants And Animals. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon.

Frightened Rabbit put out a single for their song "Living in Colour" on June 14th through Fat Cat. The video for that, plus their recent performance on Fallon, an interview, a Plants And Animals video and all tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Frightened Rabbit playing Lolla, Terminal 5 & other tour dates"

Bumbershoot

Memorial Day Weekend officially opened the summer, and for those in the Pacific Northwest it also brought Sasquatch Music Festival (pictures from all three days are coming soon). Now the lineup for its Labor Day cousin, Bumbershoot 2010, has been announced. That fest, happening at Seattle, WA's Seattle Center September 4th-6th, will include headliners Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Weezer, Hole, Rise Against, Neko Case, The Decemberists, J. Cole and "one more very special guest to be announced soon."

Tickets (including non-Mainstage 'economy' passes) are on sale now. The rest of the lineup (by day) for the seven-stage festival is posted below...

Continue reading "Bumbershoot 2010 lineup (Bob Dylan... Hole... Mary J Blige)"

Union Hall photos by Kyle Dean Reinford, Bowery Hotel photos by Chris La Putt

Ra Ra Riot @ Union Hall
Ra Ra Riot

In town to play an Ann Taylor "Loft" party at Bowery Hotel last night (4/14), Ra Ra Riot also threw in a more public show at Union Hall one night earlier with Montreal's Plants & Animals also on the bill. Paper was at the more stylish one:

"Mena Suvari, Alexis Bledel, Amanda Hearst, and Alexa Chung stopped by the Bowery Hotel last night for the launch of Ann Taylor's new offshoot LOFT Style Studio... Chung started the evening off with a DJ set featuring lots of '60s pop and some Pulp thrown in for good measure, and was surrounded by a coterie, including friend and designer Henry Holland, who shooed away reporters and photographers from the DJ booth. Maggie Gyllenhaal, however, was up for a chat. Gyllenhaal, dressed in a flowy ACNE top and a striped cardigan by LOFT, says, like most New Yorkers, she's determined to dress for spring despite our yo-yoing temperatures. She's also looking to stock up on "some practical dresses that you don't have to wear a bra with and can get dirty" for summer. (But she'll probably just end up getting something from American Apparel, she supposes). Meanwhile a coterie of tweed-coated young men lingered near the stage, waiting for Ra Ra Riot to begin their set..."
Ra Ra now heads west for Coachella. More pictures from both NYC shows, and one of the setlist from the Bowery show, below...

Continue reading "Ra Ra Riot played Union Hall (with Plants & Animals) & Bowery Hotel (a "Loft" party) - pics from both (setlist from one)"

Plants & Animals @ MHOW in March (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
Plants and Animals

Ra Ra Riot and Plants & Animals are playing Union Hall on Tuesday (April 13th). Tickets go on sale at noon.

For Ra Ra Riot, it will be one of two NYC shows in two days. The second is a private party one day later at the Bowery Hotel (4/14).

For Plants & Animals the gig seems to be somewhat of a one-off ahead of their much larger tour that brings them back to NYC in June.

Both bands were just in Austin for SXSW. Ra Ra Riot played one exclusive show for Green Label Sound (with Neon Indian). Plants & Animals played a few gigs including the BrooklynVegan/M For Montreal day party at Galaxy Room. Earlier in March they opened for Broken Bells at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

words by Bill Pearis & (most of the) photos by Tim Griffin

Will Sheff & Roky Erickson
Roky Ericson with Okkervil River

"Welcome to Montreal -- how do you like the Weather?" - Martin Cesar, Think About Life.

After three lovely days of sunny, mild weather, the skies went grey and cold for the last day of SXSW, Saturday, March 20th, with temperatures dropping to around 45 degrees. Almost no one seemed prepared for it, judging by the throngs of under-dressed shivering all over town. With a lot of the Austin venues being outdoor, it especially hurt.  Our final party of a very busy week of parties was a free badge-less official SXSW event that we did with the M for Montreal folks, at the two-stage Galaxy Room (formerly Radio Room & Bourbon Rocks). The main stage was outside -- under a tent, which helped just a little -- and while temperatures were low, spirits were high and it was maybe the most fun I had all week.

My favorite set of the day came early. Think About Life are so much fun live, so much genuine positivity, it's hard to be in a bad mood with them on stage. An instant hangover cure. I think this was the first time a lot of the audience had ever seen them play, if the number of people who asked me who they were was any indication. At one point singer Martin Cesar left the stage as if their set was over, only to appear in the middle of the crowd dancing, hyping people up. That they didn't do "Johanna" is my only complaint. NYers can see them on April 27 when Think About Life play Mercury Lounge. It's part of a fairly extensive U.S. tour, do go see them.

I was also super-pumped to see The Besnard Lakes whose new album The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night is pretty fantastic. Specifically, I wanted to hear its epic opener, "Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent," and have it knock me back. Like a lot of Montreal bands, The Besnard Lakes' line-up ebbs and flows. Theirs does so around the core of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas. I've seen them seven strong before, but here they were a lean mean quartet and did not disappoint. They're on tour in May, including a 5/28 show at Bowery Ballroom.

Duchess Says
Duchess Says

Another set I knew would be fun was Montreal's Duchess Says who played one of our CMJ day parties last year. While their more aggressive take on Devo-style protopunk is fun, it's all about singer Annie Claude who looks very cute and innocent... until the music starts. She shrieks, jumps in the audience, tackles people, pulls them to the floor,  and causes general mayhem. It's more mischief than menace though. There are lots of other singers who do similar things, but never anything quite like her. After you've seen them once, part of the fun is watching other people experience them for the first time. The inside room was packed to the gills (it was warmer there). My favorite part of the show had her sitting down in the middle of the audience, methodically pulling people down with her, draping their arms over her into a giant pile of people. There's video at the bottom of this post.

The other major highlight for me was Roky Erickson with Okkervill River. I'd never seen him before and this was certainly a great live introduction to someone whose music I've loved for a long time. Will Sheff produced Roky's new album (first in 14 years) and Okkervill was his backing band on it, so the set was tight, rocking and just sounded fantastic. Roky was in great form too, and we got a few 13th Floor Elevators nuggets in there, as well as "Starry Eyes," one of my favorites of his solo material. They tour in May including a show at Webster Hall.

And there was lots more: the great Wye Oak kicked off the party with a lovely set despite cold fingers; Jason Collett was a class act with superbly-crafted country-pop (see video of his set below); Crystal Antlers filled in for BEAST who couldn't make it; Andrew WK was in full Meatloaf mode with a set of piano ballads; Plants and Animals were lush and harmony-laden; metal legends Voivod showed they've still got it; and a percussion-heavy set from L.A.'s Local Natives was probably the biggest draw of the day -- they were excellent.

Local Natives
Local Natives

Somehow I entirely missed sets by Holy Fuck (who I heard were great) and Suckers (who I've seen before many times here in NYC). A last minute addition, Nardwuar was there too, providing funny, heavily-researched band introductions as only he can. It was a great, if cold, day. Stay tuned for his video interview of Will and Roky.

Thanks to everyone who helped put this all together, and to our sponsors. More pictures and videos from the whole day below...

Continue reading "Roky Erickson/Okkervil River, Local Natives, Think About Life, Duchess Says, others @ Galaxy Room (BV/MfM day party) - pics"

by Benjamin Lozovsky

Broken Bells

Broken Bells, the new collaboration between producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse and Shins leader James Mercer, did everything that was expected of them Wednesday (3/10) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. A roundly good thing, unless like most live music fans, you come to a performance expecting the unexpected.

For Mercer and Brian Burton (Danger Mouse's real name), it was only their fourth show (they already played LA, Paris and London) together after a whirlwind musical courtship and friendship saw them create a stunning record of golden nugget mining 60s pop and psych rock. Brimming with melodious texture and refined emotion, the self-titled album released the day before the show is nearly spotless and blatantly thought through. For the majority of their set at Music Hall, the same rang true. But in a live implication, that translated into sterile, almost medically scrubbed renditions of all the songs from their first recorded effort. It was no small feat to reproduce such a nuanced and instrumentally rich work note for note, and the musicianship all night was stellar. But rock concerts aren't held in ICUs; germs and other unaccounted irregularities are encouraged.

The venue was dark, with dotted, drug-induced projections making up the entire lighting scheme. The album certainly has gloomy leanings, especially in Mercer's sometimes tortured vocals, but there are also mounds of joy clumped in there. With the exception of the lead guitarist and bassist, it was almost as if the band was hiding their lack of sentiment, obscuring their unease with playing the music on purpose. It wasn't necessary; hopefully Mercer and Burton realize as more shows unfold that they are readily capable of playing with precision and thoroughness, and that their skill will only shine clearer with a little dirt thrown over their pristine looking glass.

There was some pleasant filth present though. Openers Plants and Animals plenty soiled up the venue with their exciting identity crisis of stoner sludge-rock meets tainted indie crooning.

And after completing their album, Mercer and Burton came out together for an encore and performed a brightly paired down cover of Neil Young's "Don't Let It Bring You Down," followed by full band cover of Tommy James and The Shondells' huge hit "Crimson And Clover." They were faithful to both songs while taking thrilling liberties, with Mercer and Burton even showing uncharacteristic smiles throughout.

Coming up, both Broken Bells and Plants and Animals are heading to SXSW. Plants and Animals play six shows including a BV day party. Broken Bells play one big official NPR one at Stubb's with Spoon (3/17), as well as at least two more that have since been announced. On Wednesday 3/17 they're also playing an AOL pop-up day show with the location TBA that day, and they were added to the T-Mobile/Mog party happening March 20th at the Mohawk with the Black Keys also on the bill.

More pictures from Music Hall below...

Continue reading "Broken Bells & Plants & Animals @ MHOW in Brooklyn - pics "

Plants and Animals

Plants and Animals' sophomore album, La La Land, will be released April 20th on Secret City Records. The band has much in the works leading up to this release - a striking new video for the new single "The Mama Papa," several shows at SXSW, and a complete North American tour which will take the band through all the major cities and beyond.
Plants and Animals randomly play NYC this evening (3/10), but it's as opener for Broken Bells at Music Hall of Williamsburg, a show that sold out instantly. Don't have a ticket? Don't worry there are more chances to see them over the next few months, especially if you're going to SXSW where they have six shows scheduled including the BrooklynVegan/M For Montreal show at Galaxy Room. Then in April, one day after the release of their album (one track is streaming at the label's website) they kick of a tour that keeps them on the road until June 9th when they play Bowery Ballroom (no tickets yet). All dates and that new video with cover art and tracklist, below...

Continue reading "Plants & Animals - new album, video & 2010 tour dates"

Galaxy Room

I've been announcing individual bands on this party before now. Finally we have the full exciting lineup!

You know M For Montreal as the Canadian festival we've visited for two years in a row. Their yearly festival showcases bands from their home city in their home city, and they take that show on the road each year to both CMJ in NYC and SXSW in Austin (we already announced their official 2010 night showcase).

Being that we are such huge fans of so many Montreal bands, I thought it would be a great idea see if they wanted do a party together... and here we are. The lineup mixes some of our favorite Montreal bands with some or our other favorite Canadian (like Jason Collett of Broken Social Scene) and non-Canadian bands (like Andrew WK).

We have 13 bands total, a DJ set by another band, free ice cream from the Ice Cream Man (some of which is vegan), free vegan food courtesy of Austin's own Daily Juice and other surprises (drink specials on this particular party are pending). We're also proud to announce that KEXP is the official radio sponsor of all BV day parties this year. You'll find them, video cameras in hand, at many of our day parties throughout the week including this one. Those in attendance at this show will also have a chance to check out and win a pair of Nudie Jeans (another one of our kind sponsors).

Also unlike any other BV day party, this one is officially part of SXSW. That does NOT mean you need a badge. NO BADGES REQUIRED for this free show, but you will find the party listed on SXSW.com (and you can add it to your schedule on there). Full lineup with set times below...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan & M for Montreal free SXSW day party lineup (Roky Erickson, Andrew WK, Voivod, Holy Fuck, Local Natives, other bands, free food & more)"

photos by Chris Graham and Rae Holtsbaum

Basia Bulat on stage w/ Plants & Animals
Plants and Animals

"I'm not really sure what it is about this little folk festival in the city on the prairie, but they really have something special going on, and it's been going on for the past 40 years. It was my honour to host the very eclectic opening Friday night under cloudy but dry skies in downtown Regina."
[Grant Lawrence, CBC Radio 3 on Day 1]
The Regina Folk Festival took place August 7-9, 2009 in Canada. More pictures and reviews from the weekend below....

Continue reading "the 2009 Regina Folk Festival in pics & reviews"

Doolittle

Alt-rock kingpins the Pixies will make their live return to the U.S. this fall!

Frontman Frank Black tells SPIN.com that the Boston-born quartet will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their groundbreaking release, Doolittle, by playing the album in its entirety in Oakland, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, New York City, and "maybe Montreal" this fall.

"I believe we're doing the Wang Center in Boston," he says of his hometown gig at the 3,600-capacity venue.

Exact dates have yet to be confirmed. The U.S. tour is expected to follow a run of Doolittle shows in Europe scheduled for October.

The gigs will coincide with the release of the Pixies' ambitious Minotaur box set, which will arrive in October on 4AD Records (order yours now via Artist in Residence).

In the meantime there are plenty of side projects to keep us busy including two NYC-area Grand Duchy shows this week, one of which will take place in Coney Island at 5:00pm on Saturday (7/18).

It was also just announced that the Pixies will play the Ontario Virgin Festival on August 29th. The full lineup of that two day festival also includes Grizzly Bear, Sloan, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Pet Shop Boys, Plants and Animals, and one of Nine Inch Nails' final performances. All European Pixes dates below...

Continue reading "Pixies planning US/NYC Doolittle shows - current dates include Europe & Virgin Festival Ontario (full lineup)"

DOWNLOAD: Plants & Animals - Bye Bye Bye (MP3)

Plants and Animals

Canada's music heavyweights dominated the 2009 Juno Award nominations, with Nickelback garnering the most at five, followed by rocker Sam Roberts at four and Celine Dion and Hedley each picking up three.

But there were plenty of accolades for up and coming or independent acts, with nods for artists as diverse as The Stills, Crystal Castles, Plants and Animals and former Canadian Idol competitor Tara Oram. [CTV.CA]

As previously pointed out and proved again, Sam Roberts is huge in Canada, but not here where he just so happens to be playing Bowery Ballroom TONIGHT (2/18). Tickets (not surprisingly?) are still on sale.

As previously mentioned, Plants & Animals will share a bill with Blitzen Trapper and Alela Diane at Bowery and Music Hall of Williamsburg later this month (tix). From there the Canadian band goes on a March tour from DC to Michigan.

All P & A & SR dates, and a live Pitchfork TV video, below...

Continue reading "Juno-nominated PLANTS & ANIMALS and SAM ROBERTS BAND - touring (but not together) (dates) "

Blitzen Trapper @ Terminal 5 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper are going on a tour with folk-singer-songwriter Alela Diane in 2009. That includes two NYC shows that also have Canada's Plants and Animals on the bill. Tickets go on American Express presale on Wednesday at noon for the February 27th show at Bowery Ballroom, and for the one happening the next day at Music Hall of Williamsburg. All dates below...

Continue reading "Blitzen Trapper & Alela Diane - 2009 Tour Dates"

by BrooklynVegan Mike

Born Ruffians @ Central Park Summerstage (more by Ryan Muir)
Born Ruffians @ Summerstage

Coming off the heels of their nomination for the Polaris Music Prize (they lost to Caribou), Plants and Animals (my pick to win) are teaming up with Born Ruffians (a band I felt should have been nominated) and are embarking on a co-headlining tour this fall. The pair of Canadian trios, who both had turns at Central Park Summerstage this year, begin the month long trek Wednesday in Pontiac, Michigan and will travel as far south as Austin, Texas and will conclude in Champlain Quebec not long after hitting NYC to play both Mercury Lounge (tix) and Union Hall The Bell House (tix).

In other Ruffians news, it seems the UK is really taking a shine to them. At their show in London last week, fans rushed the stage, knocking over lead singer, Luke Lalonde in the process. The look on his face upon getting to his feet is priceless. See the UK incident video, and all tour dates, below....

Continue reading "Plants & Animals and Born Ruffians - 2008 Tour Dates"

by BrooklynVegan Mike

Polaris Music Prize

The time has arrived to crown another Polaris Music Prize winner. Last year's Canadian award was met with mixed response as relative unknowns (outside of Canada) Patrick Watson beat Arcade Fire, Feist (my pick to win), and seven others for the top spot.

This is the most open field in the brief history of the award. There are no big acts, though Stars certainly has a large following. Most of the artists on the shortlist have been playing since the beginning of the decade or longer. Coincidently or otherwise, the two youngest artists on the shortlist, Shad (27) and Basia Bulat (24), are two of the favorites this year. With that said, there will be no real "upsets." I can see any of the nominees walking away with the prize. It seems the award has positioned itself more to elevate someone then legitimize a popular artist's success (past losers include the aforementioned Arcade Fire along with Broken Social Scene, and Wolf Parade).

Like last year, I will go over the ten nominees in order of who I think has the best chance of picking up the prize on the 29th. We start with who I think has the least chance...

Continue reading "The 2008 Polaris Music Prize is about to be awarded"

by BrooklynVegan Mike

DOWNLOAD: Duchess Says - Ccut Up (MP3)

Osheaga (Vero.b)
Osheaga

Osheaga, the outdoor music festival in Montreal, celebrated its third birthday this weekend with a bevy of local acts, some emerging talent, and great live performers. Day one (Sunday August 3rd) of the festival was also one of the most hectic musical days in recent [Montreal] memory. The week long Francophone music festival, FrancoFolies, concluded the same day with a performance by former Osheaga artist Malajube, and Wolf Parade (another former Osheaga performer) finished a tour downtown with their first Montreal performance since the release of At Mount Zoomer....

Continue reading "Osheaga 2008 - day 1 (a review with pics & videos)"

words by BrooklynVegan Mike, photos by Ryan Muir

Basia Bulat

The shortlist for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize was announced last week.

a not-for-profit organization that annually honours, celebrates and rewards creativity and diversity in Canadian recorded music by recognizing, then marketing the albums of the highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history, as judged by a panel of selected critics and experts.
Unlike previous years, there are no "heavyweights" among the nominees. Stars is the biggest name on the list that also includes The Weakerthans and Black Mountain, but by no means do Stars tower over the other nominees like Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, and Feist did in years past. Except for maybe Stars, this year's shortlist is a collection of artists who haven't crossed over yet, but who have a good following and heavy rotation on college and CBC radio.

Crystal Castles, Born Ruffians, Destroyer, and Sandro Perri are conspicuously absent from this year's shortlist, although they did make the original 40-album long list. I think they should have also made the final cut. As we approach the awards, I will once again give my two cents on who I think will win, looking to avenge picking Feist over Patrick Watson, last year's eventual winner.

Basia Bulat also made the shorlist this year. Basia Bulat opened for Devotchka at Terminal 5 in May. Ryan took some pics that we haven't posted yet, so here they are. More of them and the entire 2008 shortlist, below...

Continue reading "the 2008 Polaris Prize shortlist, pics of Basia Bulat"

by BrooklynVegan Mike

Plants and Animals

It's been a busy month for Plants and Animals. They concluded an east coast swing that included some recorded performances for Pitchfork.tv, WERS in Boston (my favorite station growing up), and the "All Songs Considered" series for NPR (I'm a Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! guy). And now it has been confirmed that they will be part of the Central Park show on August 4th with The National and Yeasayer.

Tickets are on sale (@ noon).

Plants and Animals have an upcoming west coast jaunt as well. All dates and a live video below...

Continue reading "National, Yeasayer AND PLANTS & ANIMALS tickets on sale "

DOWNLOAD: Plants & Animals - Faerie Dance (MP3)

Plants & Animals @ SXSW 2008
Plants and Animals

Plants & Animals are back in NYC from Canada, and so are Rock Plaza Central. TONIGHT (May 16, 2008) Plants & Animals are playing at Mercury Lounge at 9pm and Rock Plaza Central is playing that benefit with the Mountain Goats. TOMORROW (May 17, 2008) both bands are playing together at Union Hall in Brooklyn. Tickets are still available. Check out our interview with Plants & Animals. All tour dates below....

Continue reading "Plants & Animals, Rock Plaza Central - 2008 Tour Dates (tonight, tomorrow, Mercury, Masonic, Union Hall...)"

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