Entries tagged with: Yamantaka Sonic Titan
by Bill Pearis
Moon King at Casa Del Popolo, 11/17/2012
Saturday was the fourth day of M for Montreal and the second day of the weekend M Fest with shows spread out all over the city. It was a welcome change this year, especially on Saturday, as all previous years have ended with a big show at the Metropolis theatre usually featuring a bunch of artists aimed toward a Montreal crowd that may not appeal to those who don't live there (like, say, Pierre Lapointe who I suffered through in 2008). There was still a big show at Metropolis this year (Of Monsters and Men, who played the tiny Casa del Popolo last year) which I stopped by check out opener Sóley (both of whom are in town this week), but soon split to see other things.
CTZNSHP at Sala Rossa, 11/17/2012
From there I went back to Sala Rossa to check out CTZNSHP, a trio from Montreal who play gloomy postpunk. "I've been a sick and my voice is shot," singer Jesse LeGallais admitted before the started. "You're gonna have to put up with my Ian Curtis imitation tonight." And he was definitely singing in a froggier register than what's heard on their recordings, so I won't judge to harshly. Musically they were pretty good.
Goose Hut at Casa Del Popolo, 11/17/2012
Then it was across the street to Casa del Popolo for another Montreal trio, Goose Hut. I wasn't too keen on the name, but they won me over pretty quickly and were one of the better laptop-reliant bands I've seen in a while. All three members sang, two played drums (one of whom also played keyboards) the main vocalist/guitarist flung his arms out like he was trying to fly whenever he wasn't strumming. They also have ridiculously catchy songs heavy on "wee-oohs" and "whoah-ohs" as well as a charming, low-key stage presence. Also, people were dancing throughout their set. Goose Hut are also better live than their free download EP might have you believe (stream it below) so keep an eye out for these three.
Moon King at Casa Del Popolo, 11/17/2012
At this point I was going to leave to go catch Duchess Says at Katacombes but, at the urging of a new friend, I decided to stick around Casa for at least a couple song of Moon King's set and ended up staying for the whole thing. They were terrific. As you may know, Moon King are Daniel Woodhead and Maddy Wilde, both of whom were in Toronto's Spiral Beach (who I once saw open for Sloan) along with Daniel's brother Arick (aka Doldrums) and Dorian Wolf (who now plays bass with Austra). Live Moon King are a four-piece with a drummer and synth bassist and make soaring, shoegazy pop (some of it is very Lush). Woodhead is a crazy confident frontman, throwing rockstar poses which looked all the more striking with the band's stark, bright lighting setup. I hadn't really given their Obsession I mini-lp musch of a listen but was really impressed with them and it was easily one of the Top 5 sets I saw at M. NYC can see Moon King next week when they open for Twin Sister and School of Seven Bells at Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 28 and tickets are still available.
Odonis Odonis at Casa Del Popolo, 11/17/2012
Maddy Wilde also played in Toronto's Odonis Odonis who were up next and played noisey, garagey psych. I enjoyed their set but wanted to scoot back across the street to Sala Rossa for some of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's set. Which I only stuck around for for two songs (interesting, but not really my thing), instead heading off to L'Esco for a couple Francophone rock bands.
Le Kid et les Marinellis at L'Esco, 11/17/2012
Le Kid et les Marinellis made very '60s Nuggets-y pop who were a lot of fun, and had the tiny room moving. A lot of bands make this kind of music, but not that many do it in French, which definitely worked to their advantage. Finally, it was Jesus Les Filles (who I've seen before and really like) who took the stage at nearly 3 AM. Having just got back from Iceland airwaves, the band had brought back some of that country's fermented shark delicacy for the crowd to try which, having seen that episode of No Reservations, kept far away from. There was talk of an afterparty, but I had to be at the airport at 10 AM so that was it for my fifth M for Montreal.
Philippe B at Cafe Campus, 11/17/2012
Actually, I should mention the annual Saturday matinee Francophone showcase at Cafe Campus which features bands that will likely never play America. We got three hip hop groups (one of whom, Koriass, was pretty good), cutie pie singer Maia Leia</strong> and Philippe B who played with a string quartet. Unfortunately I missed Les Trois Accords who are apparently "the Green Day of Montreal." So it goes.
In addition to everything else we posted, today, here's some more, and some reminders too...
It's also National Voter Registration Day, as miss Annie Clark has so kindly reminded us above. Did you register to vote yet? We also would like to know, however, what's the deal with the Tiny Tim photo in the background?
Speaking of St. Vincent, it's David Byrne / St. Vincent Week here in NYC. Their first of three area shows together happens tonight at the Beacon Theater, as Kelly Pratt pointed out in the latest edition of his tour diary.
Neil Young has started a Twitter account and will be taking your questions via it in October. Right now, though, @NeilYoung seems to handled by a marketing intern.
Paper Bag Records just released the free David Bowie tribute album, Paper Bag Records vs. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, with covers by Austra & CFCF, PS I Love You, The Luyas, Yamantaka/Sonic Titan and more. Download it for free HERE.
Speaking of Yamantaka/Sonic Titan, they performed at the Polaris Prize Gala in Toronto last night, but ended up losing to Feist.
Converge is back with "Shame In the Way" a new song from their forthcoming LP All We Love We Leave Behind. Stream that new track, coupled with an interview with vocalist Jacob Bannon in the latest Show Now Mercy at Pitchfork. Look for the LP on 10/9 via Epitaph.
Sweden's Terrible Feelings have released a new video for "Next Round's On You" from their Shadows LP. Check that out below.
Field Report visited the A.V. Club's HQ in Chicago and took on the Sufjan Stevens mainstay "Chicago" for their Undercover series. Check out the clip below.
More stuff below...
Last month the 2012 Polaris Music Prize, which awards a Canadian album of recorded music each year, revealed their long list and this week the short list was revealed. Cadence Weapon, Cold Specks, Drake, Kathleen Edwards, Feist, Fucked Up, Grimes, Handsome Furs, Japandroids, and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan are the 10 artists vying for this year's Prize, which will be announced at a gala on September 24. Who's gonna win?
photos by Zach Pollack, words by Parker Langvardt
Thurston Moore/Shadowy Men.../Yamantaka//Sonic Titan at Sled Island, 6/22/2012
We started Friday (6/22) of Calgary's Sled Island Music & Arts festival at Broken City, where we caught the Toronto instrumental legends Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, the secret headliners of an all ages Mammoth Recording Company show. Shadowy Men's first show in 18 years took place a couple nights before (6/20) at No. 1 Legion. Don Pyle played his hollowbody electric guitar with a twangy country edge, using the whammy bar heavily to provide the surf sound the band is known for. Bassist Dallas Good's bright tone had a slight distorted edge to it, helping to provide the sense of adrenaline in their performance, exemplified by "Having an Average Weekend" (aka the Kids in the Hall Theme, video below).
After a couple hours off, we saw Yamantaka//Sonic Titan at Grand Theatre Junction. The Montreal band's set was similar to their performance at Schubas in Chicago, where I saw them kick off their first North American tour, though it was much more polished. Near the end of the set the whole band broke into a hypnotic chant over rolling drums, with the occasional counter-chant from drummer Alaska. After "Hoshi Neko," they broke into the punishing and noisy "A Star Over Pureland". Yamantaka//Sonic Titan also played Saturday at the same venue after How To Dress Well."
Thurston Moore and his new band Chelsea Light Moving walked on stage, and Moore said, "We're the Cowboy Junkies," referencing the beloved, mega-selling Canadian folk-rockers. As a black and white video ran in the background, they began with the dissonant and crunchy "Pretty Bad" from Moore's 1995 album Psychic Hearts which ended, like a lot of Moore's work, with feedback and droning. Moore furiously vibrated his whammy bar and Samara Lubelski quickly bowed her violin. In the middle of "Ono Soul", Moore left his guitar feedback on his stage monitor to locate something as the rest of the band improvised noise. He casually wandered around the stage until he found a pair of sticks, which he used to scrape his strings before they fell back into the song. They then played their new song "Burroughs." One of the last songs I caught before heading to Feist was another new one, which I believe was called "Groove and Linda." Moore remarked that "all songs will be free this year until some record company makes product out of it, which may happen," and by "may happen," he means it will definitely happen courtesy of Matador Records. Videos of two songs are below.
I caught the last few songs of Calgary native Feist, who performed backed by female trio Mountain Man, as well as a drummer, keyboardist, and a guitarist/multi-instrumentalist. That said, most of the members were playing tambourine during the first song I heard. The show happened at Olympic Plaza, the outdoor main stage of Sled Island, which was a giant puddle after the rain that occurred earlier in the evening. Video from her set is below.
We headed back to Broken City for Dirty Ghosts, who also played at the venue earlier in the day before Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. Guitarist and singer Allyson Baker played a lot of distorted off-beat chords over live bassist Erin McDermott's melodic lines, providing a positive feel to their punk sound. The Strange Boys closed the night with their country-tinged garage rock.
More photos from Day 3, plus a few videos, are below.
photos by David Andrako
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan at The Garrison - 6/15/12
Like a Japanese Kiss, the self-described "Noh-wave" seven-piece were as much about the live spectacle as about their music, which oscillated between standard, straightforward rock and doom metal atmospherics. Not surprisingly, the band were better when they practised the latter, incorporating jabs of keyboard and harmonized group vocals into their full-bodied sound. They started weak -- plodding tempos and too-simple drumming did the band no favours -- but by the end, they'd won over the venue, using phrase cycling and repetition to build and release tension. -[Exclaim]NXNE's second night (June 15) included shows at more than thirty venues across Toronto. Pictures from shows at The Garrison, with Yamantaka//Sonic Titan (the subject of the above review), Doldrums, Art vs Science, and Peter Kernel, and at Silver Dollar Room, with TOPS and UN, are below.
If you missed it, check out pictures from Thursday's shows HERE.
photos by Tim Griffin
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan at Mohawk - 6/6/12
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan just finished up a tour with Xiu Xiu and Father Murphy. That tour didn't come to NYC (Xiu Xiu and Father Murphy played here with Dirty Beaches) but it did hit the Mohawk in Austin on 6/6, and YT//ST stopped by for their own show at Mercury Lounge on Wednesday (6/13). Pictures of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan from their Austin show are in this post, and pics of Xiu Xiu and Father Murphy from that show can be found on bvAustin.
More pics from the Mohawk show below...
The long list for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize, Canada's annual award for a great album, has been revealed. It includes Leonard Cohen, Cold Specks, Drake, Feist, Fucked Up, Grimes, Japandroids, The Weeknd, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, and more. Check out the full list below. Who's your money on?
photos by Joe McCabe
Xiu Xiu at Bowery Ballroom 5/4/12
Xiu Xiu and Dirty Beaches (whose live show is no longer a one-man affair) are wrapping up a tour together which hit NYC on May 4 at Bowery Ballroom with support from Father Murphy. Xiu XIu's set covered pretty much his entire catalog, reaching as far back as "Suha" off his 2002 debut, Knife Play, through stuff off this year's Always, and also threw in a cover of Joy Divison/New Order's "Ceremony." He returned for an encore to cover Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop" (video below). It's too bad he didn't bring out his Suicide-worshipping tourmate to help him on that one.
After Xiu Xiu and Dirty Beaches finish their run together this week, Xiu Xiu will continue to tour into next month with Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, who we recently interviewed on bvChicago. That leg of the tour won't return to NYC, but as discussed, YT//ST will play their own show here on June 13 at Mercury Lounge with YVETTE. Tickets for that show are still available.
More pics, videos, and setlist from the Bowery Ballroom show below...
Off! @ NXNE 2011 (more by Natasha Ryan)
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
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
Canadian duo Yamantaka // Sonic Titan (aka Alaska B and Ruby Kato Attwood) wrapped up 2011 with a self titled album that's been picking up more and more speed into the new year. The band combines progressive rock, psychedelia, sludge metal, noise, and a handful other genres, coming out with an undeniably eclectic sound. Both members are of Asian ethnicity and are practicing Buddhists, which they openly express as having influenced their sound. Redefine Mag are fans, but are a bit cynical about it saying, there is a degree of intense Asian fetishism present in YT//ST's schtick that translates to their image in an arguably trite way." Meanwhile, Now writes that "Yamantaka//Sonic Titan purposely position themselves at the nebulous centre of multiple dialogues about identity politics, culture, genre, discipline and even what it means to be a band," and Pitchfork calls them "stoner-rock imaginings of Chinese opera." The Grid says that the band explores "Asian, Indigenous and diasporic identities, riffing on and sending up stereotypes while crafting their own unique and utterly compelling ways of telling stories."
The band's desire to fusion Eastern and Western cultures does bring to mind Japanese bands Boris and Boredoms, and if either of those bands had Lizzi Bougatsos of Gang Gang Dance singing, it probably wouldn't sound too far off from YT//ST. Their Pitchfork interview also mentions that their band name references a Buddhist deity and a Sleep song, and that their self-penned genre, "Noh-wave" is a reference to the Japanese musical drama form Noh, and obviously, No Wave.
Referencing that many things from across the globe, history, and a wide musical palette and putting it all into one cohesive album (which clocks in just over 30 minutes with 7 songs) sounds great on paper. But if you're wondering if Yamantaka // Sonic Titan can actually accomplish it, stream the entire album at their bandcamp. It's as weird as it is catchy, as heavy as it is soft, and as modern as it is nostalgic. Also check out the video for album track "Hoshi Neko" below.
Their live shows, which include tons of theatrics like face paint, masks, costumes, and visuals, feature other members in addition to Ruby Kato Attwood and Alaska B. Their facebook credits Ange Loft, John Ancheta, Brendan Swanson, Alana Ruth, and Walter Scott. Note that three of the members include "art" as one of their "instruments" and that they also have members to handle lighting, stage, and costume.
You can catch them at one of their upcoming dates which include the Jeff Mangum-curated ATP Minehead UK in March and a run of US dates with Xiu XIu on their upcoming tour. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan don't play at Xiu Xiu's Bowery Ballroom show (5/4) (Dirty Beaches does) but they'll play their own NYC show just after the tour ends. That show happens at Mercury Lounge on June 13. Tickets go on sale Friday (3/9) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (3/7) at noon.
All dates and video below...
Xiu Xiu in Boston in 2010 (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
Xiu Xiu and DIrty Beaches are set to release a limited edition split 7" on Record Store Day which includes Xiu Xiu covering Erasure's "Always" and Dirty Beaches covering Francoise Hardy's "Tu Ne Dis Rien."
The two will also team up for a number of dates on Xiu Xiu's international tour including a NYC show happening on May 4 at Bowery Ballroom with support from Father Murphy. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale Friday (3/2) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (2/29) at noon. All dates, including some with Canada's Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, are listed below.
And, "Always" isn't just the name of the Erasure track that Xiu Xiu is covering. It's also the name of Xiu Xiu's new album which comes out on March 6 via Polyvinyl. The album was produced by Greg Sauiner of Deerhoof and you can stream the entire thing below.
All dates and album stream below...