2019 – Week 3 Playlist: Hold That Thought

Every Monday morning, you can find my weekly playlist here. Feel free to follow on Spotify, or let me know what you think. If you’d like to have your music considered, please email me at ryan@tunesinto.ca.

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Kicking off this week, I wanted to lead some good news for anyone reading who’s been unable to buy advance tickets for some of the shows I have posted about, due to them being sold out before my posts. On Friday, Collective Concerts announced that Death Cab For Cutie will be playing a show on June 20th @ Echo Beach, with support from Jenny Lewis. Tickets go on sale this coming Friday, January 25th at Ticketmaster, but if you can’t wait until then there are some pre-sales being done by Spotify, Collective Concerts and Indie88 that you could probably sign up for. Or you can always wait until Friday and go pick your ticket up at Soundscapes and Rotate This, and check out their Death Cab, Jenny Lewis or Postal Service vinyl offerings to prepare yourself for what’s sure to be a lovely evening of music.

Here’s a photo I took of Ben Gibbard, frontman of DC4C, when he played solo at The Danforth Music Hall in October 2012.

A couple of weeks ago, I showcased Sam Evian on the playlist, with his song “IDGAF”. This is just a reminder that he’ll be opening for Cass McCombs at The Horseshoe Tavern on March 11th. If hearing him didn’t convince you to pick up tickets, maybe Cass’ new song “The Great Pixley Train Robbery”, off of his forthcoming album Tip of the Sphere (out February 8th via ANTI- Records), will help. Seriously, you’re not going to get a much better double bill for $17.50.

Then again, if you’re into female-fronted, guitar-driven 90s rock sounds, Julia Jacklin and Black Belt Eagle Scout could be more up your alley. Julia will be playing songs from her upcoming album, Crushing, which will be release February 22nd, while Black Belt Eagle Scout is touring their 2018 album, Mother of My Children. They’ll be making a stop at The Horseshoe Tavern on April 28th, and this one only costs $12.00 and should be worth every penny.

Notice how the prices keep dropping! Continuing on that trend, Dan Mangan announced that he’ll be stopping in to Tiny Record Shop on January 30th for a FREE in-store performance at 6:00pm. I haven’t been to their new location yet, but can only assume they’re a little tight on space still, so you might want to get there early for that one, especially considering that his show the next night at The Danforth Music Hall is sold out.

Dan Mangan @ Field Trip Festival 2013

Speaking of sold out shows at The Danforth, Toronto’s PUP have not one, but two sold out shows there on June 7th & 8th. They’ll be playing in support of their forthcoming album Morbid Stuff, which is set for release on the band’s brand new label Little Dipper, in partnership with Rise Records/BMG on April 5.

Since the release of Gemini in 2010, Wild Nothing has been one of the artists driving the dream pop genre, and they haven’t altered the formula too much in the albums since, including last year’s release, Indigo. One song cut from the release of that album, “Blue Wings” was released last week as a new single and though it does sound like a Wild Nothing song, I also can’t help but feel like it has a bit of a Cut Copy sound to it – which I like.

Nothing new on the Cut Copy front as far as music or a tour, but their fellow countrymen POND have announced a new album, Tasmania, which will be released March 1st on Interscope Records. The album is said to act as a sister album to 2017’s The Weather, and they will be announcing tour dates later this year – likely after the summer festival dates played by Tame Impala, who the band shares some of its members with.

None of those Tame Impala festival dates are here in Toronto, but if you want a similar sounding experience in the tighter environs of The Drake Hotel, be sure to check out Blac Rabbit when they come through town on April 2nd. Growing up in the “mecca of hip-hop”, Brooklyn, NY, identical twins Amiri and Rahiem Taylor were raised with a wider variety of musical influences, including 60s, 70s and 80s pop, funk and soul. The twins started out performing Beatles covers on the subway, and gained popularity one year ago this week when New York Nico, the “Unofficial talent scout of New York City,”  posted this video of one such performance to his 120K+ followers on Instagram. The last year has seen the group’s popularity increase, including recording a cover of The Beatles’ “Michelle” for a Gucci ad campagin, and an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Look for them to play songs from their 2017 self-produced, self-titled EP, and likely some new material, as the band plans to release their debut album Interstella in the Spring. This is definitely a chance to catch this band on the rise, so make sure to pick up your tickets at Soundscapes and Rotate for $15.00ea.

Now, as Blac Rabbit’s bio noted, Brooklyn is considered by many to be the “Mecca of Hip-hop”, and touted as the home of artists such as Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, ODB, Big Daddy Kane, etc… it’s hard to argue. However, when it comes to some of the all-time greats, you can’t sleep on Queens, the home of Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Nas, Chuck D (of Public Enemy), Mobb Deep, and, the subject of Hanif Abdurraqib‘s upcoming Love Letter to a Sound, a Group, and an Era, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest. I’ve been reading his collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until they Kill Us, and cannot recommend it enough. I’m very eager to see how he tackles Tribe, and will be sure to pick it up on release next month. If you’re interested, be sure to pre-order Go Ahead in the Rain here: https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/abdurraqib-go-ahead-in-the-rain

Shad and DJ T-Lo @ SCENE Fest (RIP) 2007.

One documentary series that has been exploring the origins of hip-hop, and beyond, is the aptly named Hip-Hop Evolution. Hosted by Canadian Rap sensation Shad, the Peabody-winning series has done a thoroughly fantastic job of putting together a hip-hop historical timeline. It also does an effective job educating people not only on the music itself, but the socioeconomic factors surrounding the release of many of the genre’s staple songs. The four episodes that make up Season two were added on Netflix in the Fall, including the final two episodes that showcase New York artists, such as many of the aforementioned Brooklyn/Queens artists, and more.

Based on where the series is at, it may be some time before we get to hip-hop outside the United States, but Shad himself can definitely take some credit for consistently being one of the best MCs north of the border in the last 10+ years. Last year saw the release of his 5th studio album (Six if you count his album released under the moniker, Your Boy Tony Braxton) A Short Story About A War, and though it clocks in at a tight 39 mins, the dense album demands multiple listens. He finished off 2018 with two nights at The Great Hall, so it might be some time before he returns, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see his album pop up on the Polaris shortlist this year.

If you finish the eight Hip-Hop Evolution episodes, and are looking for something else on Netflix, Killer Mike (one half of Run the Jewels) has a new series called Trigger Warning With Killer Mike in which he aims to challenge the misconceptions of what it means to be black in America. I have only watched the first two episodes so far, with the first involving its host “living black” for three days. It showed how a positive thing like the end of segregation had a negative consequence on black businesses, and how difficult it is in society today to keep dollars circulating within the black community, where during segregation black people had to buy from their own communities. It ended with a strong message that in order to fight systemic racism and oppression, both black people and “allies” need to support black businesses, and each other. It definitely challenges the status quo, and I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the episodes.

I was introduced to Killer Mike through one of my all-time favourite artists, Outkast, and there is news on both Andre 3000 and Big Boi from this week. First, it was just announced that Big Boi was added as a performer at the upcoming Superbowl Halftime show. Performing along with the previously announced Maroon 5 & Travis Scott, it at least guarantees that Atlanta’s rich hip-hop legacy is represented, seeing as that’s where the Superbowl is being held this year. Going back to They Can’t Kill Us Until The Kill Us, do yourself a favour and read his essay “The Night Prince Walked on Water”, in which he gives his account of the greatest Superbowl Halftime show ever. Seriously, just check the book out.

In other Outkast news, Andre 3000 popped up with vocals featured on the new James Blake album Assume Form, which was released on Friday. “Where’s The Catch?” is vintage 3 Stacks, with lyrics like: “Come with me, come with me, calming me down, Be chamomile, calamine lotion. Camel motion, humpin’ on the flo’ (Yeah).” The rest of Blake’s album is quite good and showcases how far he’s come as a producer since his first album in 2011. He’ll be at The Sony Centre, likely sans musical guests, on February 27th. Tickets can be picked up HERE.

Now, as far as the biggest concert announcement last week, that would be the one made by The Who, who announced a new album and tour. They’ll be at Scotiabank Arena on June 1st, and tickets aren’t cheap. That being said, The Who were once the “loudest band alive” according to the Guinness book of records, or at least according to Sam Weir from Freaks and Geeks, in the clip from below. Though only one season long, the show did an entire episode dedicated to The Who, and it is one of the most memorable. Back to The Who, their new album is still unnamed, but will be released later in 2019.

Also announcing a new album last week was Brian Jonestown Massacre. The new album will be self-titled, and released on March 15th (via Anton Newcombe’s A Recordings), but for now “Hold That Thought” is on here because it’s one of the songs I forgot to put on my end of year playlist. What a jam!

For this week’s cover, “Bonnie” Prince Billy‘s album I See a Darkness just turned 20 years old this past Saturday. Released on January 19, 1999, the album was received very positively, with Pitchfork ranking it their ninth best album of the 1990s, and Mojo dedeclaring it the twentieth best album released during the magazine’s lifetime. The title track also caught the ear of Johnny Cash, who recorded a haunting version of the song, along with “Bonnie” Prince Billy singer Will Oldham doing backing vocals for his album American III: Solitary Man.

Rounding out the playlist this week, is Strand of Oaks (the solo indie project from Tim Showalter) who dropped an early contender for song of the year. “Weird Ways” is the lead single from his forthcoming album, Eraserland (out March 22 via Dead Oceans), and it starts out sounding like a Ryan Adams song until building into a full on sonic tour-de-force. The sound can be attributed in part to My Morning Jacket, who, unbeknownst to Showalter, booked studio time to help him record songs that he never thought would see the light of day. If the rest of the album is anywhere near as good, I’m sure we’ll see it on plenty of end of year lists. A tour has been announced through May, though there is no Toronto date as of yet. Hopefully we get the second or third leg, because this feels like something you won’t want to miss.

 


Other concerts this week
Note: * indicates a show I will be taking photos at

01/22 – Guster w/ Henry Jamison @ The Mod Club
01/22 – The End of the Ocean w/ Tides of Man @ Lee’s Palace
01/22 – The Lemon Twigs w/ Jackie Cohen @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre
01/22 – The Lil’ Smokies w/ Michigan Rattlers @ The Drake Hotel
01/23 – Mineral w/ Tancred @ Lee’s Palace
01/23 – Anika @ Velvet Underground
01/23 – MØ w/ Abra @ The Danforth Music Hall
01/23 – Juan Waters w/ Nyssa, Sunshine & The Blue Moon @ The Horseshoe Tavern
01/24 – AHI w/ Kalyna Rakel @ The Horseshoe Tavern
01/25 – Kongos @ Lee’s Palace
01/25 – The Amity Affliction w/ Senses Fail @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre
01/25 – Lee Harvey Osmond – Record Release Party @ The Horseshoe Tavern
*01/25 – Ellis w/ Sorry Girls, For Jane, Rapport & TyriqueOrDie (just added) @ The Monarch Tavern
01/26 – Little Junior w/ Good Kid @ The Horseshoe Tavern
01/26 – Daley/JMSN @ The Mod Club
01/26 – Kallitechnis w/ Do Not Push @ The Drake Hotel

2019 – Week 2 Playlist: All This Time

Every Monday morning you can find my weekly playlist here. Feel free to follow on Spotify and let me know what you think. If you’d like to have your music considered, or have an upcoming event in Toronto, please email me at ryan@tunesinto.ca.

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Fresh off of having the title track from Separate Rooms be selected #2 by Canadian fans, and landing in the Top 100 of 2018 by CBC Radio, Megan Bonnell has announced a spring tour, which will see her performing at The Great Hall on April 4th. Presented by MRG Concerts, tickets are $19.99 + fees, and are available HERE.

Jeff Tweedy had a busy second half of 2018, promoting the release of both his memoir Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back), and its companion album WARM. 2019 doesn’t look to be slowing down, as he will be touring, with a newly announced show at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 3rd. The bad news is that tickets sold out super quick (as one would expect at this point in Mr. Tweedy’s career). The good news is that for those who did manage to snag tickets, you can request the songs you’d like him to play HERE. It doesn’t mean that he will definitely play the song, but it’s pretty cool that he gives the fans the chance to offer their input.

Jeff Tweedy from TURF 2015, when he didn’t bring out Feist to perform “You and I” despite my request. Boooooo!!

Back in 2013, Jeff’s band Wilco toured with some guy named Bob Dylan (with some other band called My Morning Jacket opening for them), making an appearance at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre Budweiser Stage. Bob Dylan is one of the subjects of a Documentary entitled, Festival. I bring this up because the film details the experience of the Newport Folk Festival in the 60s, which features live footage of Dylan’s early electric performances. That documentary is playing this coming Saturday, January 19th at the Hot Docs Cinema as part of their “This Film Should Be Played Loud” series, and you can get tickets HERE. Oh, and speaking of Newport Folk Fest, guess who’s playing this year? Some artist name Jeff Tweedy

We now turn our attention to the other side of the globe. With the recent rise of Australian talent, Stella Donnelly is a name you won’t want to sleep on. She’ll be in town on Sunday, March 24th @ The Drake Hotel. The show is brought to you by Collective Concerts, and tickets are a very reasonable $13.50 + fees. They can be picked up at Rotate This & Soundscapes. Earlier this week, she dropped the first single from her upcoming release Beware of the Dogs, entitled “Old Man”, and if the song is any indication of how good that album will be, she appears poised to follow in the footsteps of recent Australian successes Courtney Barnett and Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever. The album will be released March 8th, via Secretly Canadian, and can be pre-ordered HERE.

On April 11th, Patty Griffin will be coming to Toronto, in support of her soon to be released eponymous 10th LP. All that is known is that she’ll be performing somewhere in the city, and that she’ll be playing songs from that album, like “The River”. Stay tuned, and I’ll update with the details once they are out.

*EDIT* – A venue has been announced. Patty will be at The Danforth Music Hall on April 11th. Ticket info to be announce.

It’s been over four years since Sharon Van Etten released Are We There, but she’s got a new album on the way this Friday entitled Remind Me Tomorrow, via Jagjaguwar. Last week, she released the video for new single “Seventeen”, which can be seen below. In a Twitter post, Van Etten states: “It is with tears in my eyes that I share with you my love letter to NYC. Places I’ve lived, lost and found myself, let go of and embraced. Thank you to everyone that held me up over the years. Here is ‘Seventeen’, directed by the incredible Maureen Towey.”

It’s been a couple of years since my last visit to New York, but boy did that video make we want to go back. It also reminded me of some of the great places in Toronto that I’ve loved over the last seventeen years since I first moved here, and some of the new ones that have popped up recently. Even though some of my favourite spots are gone now, Toronto is still a city I am proud to have grown to call home. One place that was almost lost, but has successfully been revived is where Sharon will be performing next month, with a performance at The Danforth Music Hall on Monday, February 11th. Tickets are $27.50 + fees and can only be purchased at Ticketmaster. Sorry folks, the record shops sold out of these one quickly. Nilüfer Yanya will open the show.

Also coming out this week is Steve Gunn‘s new album The Unseen In Between, via Matador Records. There’s no Toronto date on his upcoming tour, but with new material I think it’s a safe bet that we’ll see him sometime before the end of the year.

Warbly Jets released their Propaganda EP earlier this month, and will be playing next month at The Drake Hotel on Wednesday, February 13th with support from Moonwalks & Keegan Powell (of Chastity). Tickets are $15.00 + fees and can be purchased at Rotate This & Soundscapes.

So, do you remember the band Guster? I saw them way back in 2000, when they opened for The Tragically Hip at Darien Lake, and was a fan of their song “Satellite” from their 2006 album Ganging Up On The Sun, but can’t say I ever kept up on them. Well, it looks like they’re still kicking around, as they’ll be playing The Mod Club on Tuesday, January 22nd, and they’re going to be playing music from a new album called Look Alive which is being released this Friday. Who knew? If you’re into checking them out, tickets are $25+ fees, and Rotate This & Soundscapes have you covered.

In birthdays this week, Dolly Parton birthday turns 73 on January 19th. Growing up in a home where my parents listened to a lot of country, I heard my fair share of Dolly’s work, and I was always a fan of her duet with Kenny Rogers: “Islands in the Stream.” So to celebrate, I’ve chosen to include the Feist & Constantines cover because, let’s face it, whenever you get a chance to throw in one of your favourite bands, you just have to do it. Neither artist has any tour dates scheduled at the moment, though I did get a chance to see the Cons in Hamilton over the holidays and they played a few of the unreleased songs they’ve been playing at their random shows over the last few years. Here’s hoping a new album comes soon, as this April marks the eleven year mark since their last album, Kensington Heights.

Can I Get a Witness?! – A photo I shot of Constantines at Lee’s Palace in 2015, for Live in Limbo. Click the pic to see the rest of the set, and read my review of that show.

Girlpool‘s new album What Chaos is Imaginary will be release on February 1st, via ANTI- Records. They’ll also be coming to town on April 20th, performing at Longboat Hall with Hatchie as the opener. Not a bad bill for $17.50 + fees (Good job, Collective!). If you’re reading this, you might want to hit Rotate or Soundscapes to grab those tickets up before they sell out.

A month before that show, in the same building, Spoons will be playing The Great Hall on March 23rd. Presented by MRG Concerts, tickets cost $29.50 + fees, and can be found HERE. Woo 80s!

February 15th marks the release of HOMESHAKE‘s new album Helium, via Royal Mountain Records. He’ll be taking the new album on the road with a quick jaunt through Europe before coming back for a tour of the northeast US/Canada, which includes a stop at The Phoenix Concert Theatre on Sunday, March 31st (with support from Yves Jarvis). Tickets can be purchased at Sonic Boom…Ha! Just kidding. Pick them up at Rotate or Soundscapes, or online HERE.

Ibibio Sound Machine have a new album, Doko Mien, being released on March 22, via Merge Records. They’ll bring their explosive live show to The Mod Club on March 23rd, and tickets can be purchased HERE (for $35 + fees).

Ryan Adams announced last week that he would be releasing 3(!) albums in 2019, the first of which will be called Big Colors (not sure if he’ll release a version called Big Colours here in Canada, but he did hint at it for the UK). For those who have followed his career, you’ll know this isn’t the first time he’s been so ambitious. 2005 saw the release of three albums, including 29, Cold Roses, and my personal favourite of his albums, Jacksonville City Nights. So far, two songs from Big Colors have surfaced. “Doylestown Girl” (video above) and “Manchester” were both premiered locally in Pittsburgh and Manchester, UK. Expect those songs to hit streaming platforms soon, as well as information about album #3. Oh yeah, realized I didn’t mention that album number two is called Wednesdays.

Closing out this week’s list is my pick for artist to watch in 2019: Ellis. She’s been steadily building buzz since the release of lead single “The Drain” last summer, and the subsequent release of The Fuzz EP in November (stream or purchase HERE). Her performance next Friday, Jan. 25th at The Monarch Tavern, as part of Exclaim’s Class of 2019 is the first show of what I’d expect to be a busy year. Tickets are $9.50 and can be purchased HERE. You won’t want to miss it.


Other concerts this week

01/15 – Martha Wainwright @ The Great Hall
01/17 – Wax Atlantic w/ Carleigh Aikans & Espanola @ The Dakota Tavern
01/18 – Wing Night (The Band) @ The Horseshoe
01/18 – Mappe Of @ The Drake Hotel
01/18 – Blue Sky Miners, w/ Olivia and the Creepy Crawlies @ Lee’s Palace
01/18 – Rusty @ Velvet Underground
01/19 – Mappe Of @ The Drake Hotel
01/19 – Biblical w/ WHOOP-Szo & Ian Blurton’s Future Now @ The Horseshoe Tavern
01/19 – Still Woozy @ The Garrison
01/19 – Iron Priest with Twisted Sista @ The Velvet Underground
01/20 – Cory Wong @ The Horseshoe
01/20 – King Princess @ The Danforth Music Hall

Be sure to check back next week! And if you have any suggestions or comments, please leave them here, or email at ryan@tunesinto.ca.