January 25, 2008

Tokyo Police Club, Alfies, Kingston, 6 February 2007

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 1:31 pm by rgsc

photo taken at the Bowery Ballroom, NYC, 7 April 2007, by Maryanne Ventrice.

Are you ready for it? Tokyo Police Club have finished recording and mixing their new album – “Elephant Shell”, due out in April – and are embarking on a pre-release tour. It will be time to see if they can build upon their rather excellent (but very, very brief) EPs. I am quite interested to see how they handle a full length. Given the few new songs they were previewing on their last tour, it seems that they are sticking primarily with the blistering, short rawkers that they made their name with, but are exploring slower, more melodic songs as well. I have a feeling fans of the band will not be disappointed with the new album (which I haven’t heard) but exactly how much they have grown since “A Lesson In Crime” was released remains to be seen. They hit Nathan Phillips Square tomorrow for a free show (i think) and will be at the Ale House in Kingston on Wednesday, Jan. 30th. Here are some more Ontario dates:

Jan. 26, 2008 Nathan Phillips Square – Toronto
Jan. 30, 2008 The Ale House – Kingston
Feb. 1, 2008 Forwell Hall – London
Feb. 2, 2008 Sleeman Centre – Guelph

Full dates here, including a ton of US & CDN dates in March and April. Below you will find a few songs from their visit to Kingston nearly one year ago. Its a bit rumbly in spots – sorry about that it was loudloudloud in there – but I hope you dig it.

Tokyo Police Club, Alfies, Kingston, 6 February 2007

* Cheer it On
* Graves
* Cut Cut Paste
* Box
* Your English is Good
* Citizens of Tomorrow
* Nature of the Experiment
* Be Good

Until April rolls around, tide yourself over with the two eps and some shirts and stuff.

***

Be sure to check out The Burning Hell and The Barmitzvah Brothers at the Artel [hmm. looks like their website is down at the moment. keep trying] TONIGHT (Jan 25th). They both have smashing new(ish) albums out and it should be a great show.

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January 20, 2008

Arthur & Yu, The Orpheum, Boston, 27 September 2007/KEXP 21 June 2007

Posted in bootleg, mp3, radio session at 8:21 pm by rgsc

photo taken by Jeremy Farmer Photog, at the Metro Chicago, 3 November 2007

We are going to continue one the sorta folky track, started with the Hayden show last week, with a post on Seattle’s Arthur & Yu. While I had read some (very positive) reviews about A&Y, I don’t think I had actually heard their music until seeing them open for Iron & Wine during my trip to Boston in September. Seeing them was a definite highlight on a somewhat frustrating day. The debut album of A&Y (aka Grant Olsen and Sonya Westcott), ‘In Camera’, is filled with delightfully hazy pop songs that are sweet without being cloying. The vocal harmonies are outstanding – the voices of Olsen and Westcott are perfect counterpoints to each other, merging seamlessly, adding subtle texture to each other. Listening to Arthur & Yu is like putting your ear against your older sibling’s door as s/he is whispering gentle endearments to his/her highschool sweetheart. Intimate, affecting, and something you know you have no right spying on, yet you can’t tear yourself away. Below I have a couple of tracks from the Boston show but since the sound is a little more hollow than is should be (I blame the sound at the Orpheum – which was even worse for Iron & Wine, but that is a story/rant for another day) I am also going to share the band’s in studio session recorded with the fine folks at KEXP. Enjoy.

Arthur & Yu, The Orpheum, Boston, 27 September 2007

* There are Too Many Birds
* Afterglow
* Absurd Heroes Manifestos

Arthur & Yu, KEXP 21 June 2007

1. Intro
2. Lion’s Mouth
3. There are Too Many Birds
4. inverview
5. Afterglow
6. definitely the beer bottles (talk)
7. Flashing the Lobby Lights
8. Outro

Pick up the wonderful In Camera through Hardly Art.

January 11, 2008

Hayden, The Grad Club, Kingston, 2 November 2007

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 2:09 pm by rgsc

photo by Elisha & Alan taken Nov. 3, 2007, in Guelph.

After three years, Hayden is releasing his new album on Tuesday. This should be the source of much joy to music fans everywhere as Hayden is one of the most distinctive and gifted songwriters out there. The new record, “In Field & Town” is no great departure in substance or style from his previous work, although the instrumentation does veer away from the guitar+harmonica that Hayden is known for (the album features great piano lines, some wonderful horns, and, in the last song, beautiful pedal steel). This is not a criticism, however, as it is by no means formulaic and what he does, he does very well. As with his earlier albums, the new record is filled with carefully crafted lyrics, clever tropes, confessions, dreams, and wonderful & woeful tales. He excels in narratives of devastating heartbreak, featuring disenfranchised and beaten-down figures. While certainly the songs are not entirely autobiographical, even with the frequent use of the first person “I”, it is hard not to identify the characters in the songs with the singer who, with his distinctively low, crackly voice, seems to have been kicked around a fair bit in his life. It is a voice that allows the listener to identify with and he delivers the lyrics with such great sincerity it is hard not to sympathise with him. Hayden invites us to wallow in his misery. Although I always tend to associate Hayden with the morose, a fair bit of his output centres on tiny intimacies of charmingly naive protagonists and there are always a few moments of victory and a healthy dose of humour in his work as well. ‘In Field & Town’ is a beautiful record, both in its confidence and its fragility.

Hayden previewed a handful of his new songs during a little Ontario tour in November before heading to Europe to open for the National. The songs came to life when performed live and Hayden was fantastic onstage, holding the sold-out Grad Club crowd captivated. He said he hadn’t been in front of a mic in three years and, if that is the case, it didn’t show. It was my first time at a Hayden show, and the ultra-intimate set featuring Hayden with his guitar, harmonica, and piano, with a little help from Howie Beck, was pretty much perfect.

If you have half a chance I highly recommend seeing Hayden in concert. He is touring Ontario throughout the rest of January (with the stunning Basia Bulat) before heading to the East Coast and then Winnipeg and points west in February (with the also stunning Jenn Grant). However, be warned that a bunch of the shows have already sold out and chances are the rest will as well. So get your tickets quickly. Full dates can be found here.

Hayden, The Grad Club, Kingston, 2 November 2007

1. In Field & Town
2. Home By Saturday
3. its been a while (talk)
4. Weight of the World
5. Hollywood Ending
6. picture me in front of a white grand piano (talk)
7. Damn This Feeling
8. the worst chord I could have played there (talk)
9. Wide Eyes
10. Bass Song
11. no stories after three years (talk)
12. Killbear
13. a really smart cat (talk)
14. Woody
15. maybe shaker buddy should start the clapping (talk)
16. Where and When
17. could every single one of you come to Guelph tomorrow night? (talk)
18. Stem
19. is the piano stuff ok? (talk)
20. More Than Alive
21. any security guards in the audience? (talk)
22. Lonely Security Guard
23. Howie (talk)
24. The Hazards Of Sitting Beneath Palm Trees
25. i think its fun (talk)
26. Carried Away
27. encore break (talk)
28. Dynamite Walls
29. Between Us To Hold
30. that would be helpful (talk)
31. Bad As They Seem

Get the new record on Tuesday – you won’t regret it. Want to win it? Pay I{Heart}Music a visit (contest closes soon so get there quick). If you preorder through iTunes befure the 15th (Canadians, only, methinks) you will get a bonus track.

***

Congratulations to Adam and Jeff, the winners of the Nicole Atkins contest. Thanks to all who entered.

January 10, 2008

Katie Stelmanis – songs & dates

Posted in mp3, mumbling at 4:22 pm by rgsc

Katie Stelmanis is celebrating her new album “Join Us” (released by Blocks Recording Club) by holding not one, but two cd release parties with the absolutely amazing Luyas. They are going to be in Kingston on January 12th at The Artel and I highly recommend you check it out. I saw Stelmanis opening for Miracle Fortress in September (sadly, I didn’t record her set) and she blew me away with her powerful, dramatic voice. Her songs are brooding, passionate, and, when at their climax, are absolutely thunderous.

Here are a few songs from her website:
* In My Favour

* Natural Woman (yes, ‘that’ Natural Woman, but covered like never before).

Here are a few dates:

Jan.11 – Silver Dollar w/ the Luyas, the Torrent, and Emma McKenna
Jan. 12 – Kingston – Artel Series w/ the Luyas
Jan. 27 – Waterloo – the Grist Mill w/ Picastro and Nadja
Jan. 31 – Guelph – KAZOO at the E-bar w/ Bruce Peninsula

Go see her live if you can and be sure to get the album when its available – I expect it will be available at The Blue House and digitally at Zunior.

***
Don’t forget – the Nicole Atkins contest closes tomorrow at noon so get your entries in now.

January 6, 2008

Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew, Stages, Kingston, 5 December 2007

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 6:35 pm by rgsc

photo by Cimm, taken at Hey Depot, Leuven, 11 October 2007

While, I am not too sure about the accuracy of my nomenclature with the whole BSS presents Kevin Drew thing,¬† I do know that Drew and his BSS compatriots came to Kingston and rocked the socks of those present…well at least those of us who were paying attention. It was a chatty crowd – which resulted at least in part¬† from the venue and its layout – and the band made several pointed commentaries on it. They nevertheless didn’t show any sings of phoning their performance in as they played a fantastic, and long, set.

Drawing from the BSS catalogue as well as ‘Spirit If…’, they also previewed an absolute stomper of a song off of Brendan Canning’s forthcoming “Broken Social Scene Presents…” album, played one of my favourite American Analog Set songs courtesy of Andrew Kenny who was manning the keyboards all night, and played a pretty rad rendition of Dinosaur Jr.’s ‘Feel the Pain’. It was an excellent set featuring gems from the many BSS and BSS-related projects. The night was filled with passion, dramatic actions, subtle gestures, beauty and cacophony, tequila, swirling guitars and dreamy lyrics. While it may have not been all one might have wanted from a Broken Social Scene show – it was lacking a venue full of devoted and adoring fans and the ladies of BSS were missed – it was nevertheless rather wonderful, proving yet again that BSS always bring something special to their performance and reaffirming that they are one of the greatest bands around .

Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew, Stages, Kingston, 5 December 2007

1. Kingston spirit (talk)
2. Lucky Ones
3. Cause=Time
4. spilt tequila (talk)
5. Fucked-Up Kids
6. responsibility (talk)
7. Safety Bricks
8. chatty crowd (talk)
9. TBTF
10. Stars & Sons
11. Bill broke his collar bone (talk)
12. Hit a Wall (Brendan Canning)
13. save me (talk)
14. Frightening Lives
15. Backed Out On The…
16. Superconnected
17. lost our roadie to snowboard season (talk)
18. Hard to Find (American Analog Set)
19. british bulldog (talk)
20. Farewell to the Pressure Kids
21. I’ll take Jimmy’s shot (talk)
22. Feel the Pain (Dinosaur Jr cover)
23. judge and be judged (talk)
24. Major Label Debut
25. doin’ things for human beings besides singing songs about heartbreak (talk)
26. It’s All Gonna Break
27. sing-along (talk)
28. When It Begins
29. Tom Petty is a good man (talk)

You know what to do: go. buy. enjoy.

January 3, 2008

Nicole Atkins contest

Posted in contest, mp3, mumbling at 12:47 pm by rgsc

photo by WaterCoolerGossip, taken at the Bowery Ballroom, 14 July 2006

Nicole Atkins produces lush, soulful pop which hearkens back to times we think must have been simpler but, in reality, were undoubtedly as fraught as the present with the heartbreak, intrigue, and drama Atkins sings about. Rich orchestration, courtesy of her band The Sea, propels the songs – with strings and horns and warbley guitars all the things we like – but it is Atkins’ extraordinary voice that so memorable. It is a voice that can fill a room. Warm, but melancholic, it is eminently suited to her songs of lost love and tragic circumstances, her vocals alternating between tearing your heart apart and comforting you. The swell of the string section is easily outmatched by Atkins, whose voice moves from sensual crooning to passionately belting out her lyrics. She is equally comfortable with steamy, slow-boiling numbers to the positively rollicking tunes. The full-length “Neptune City” shows Atkins capable of incorporating a number of genres into her sound – from blue-eyed soul, blues, folk, and pop – without it ever seeming forced. Heres a couple to tracks to sample:

* The Way It Is
* Party’s Over

And be sure to check out her performance next Monday, Jan. 7th, on Late Night with Conan O’Brien .

To ring in the New Year and to celebrate the two-year anniversary B(oot)log (ok, not really, but I can pretend that I’m that important, can’t I?), I have a couple of copies of Nicole Atkins’ “Neptune City” to give away courtesy of SonyBMG Music Canada. Just send me an email with “Nicole Atkins contest” in the subject line and your mailing address in the body to gimmestuff.bootlog@gmail.com and I will chose the winners at random. The contest closes January 11th at noon (EST) and I will announce the winners shortly thereafter. Best of luck.