Artist: The National Release: Trouble Will Find Me (2013) Label: 4AD Rating: 4.5 / 5
2010 marked quite the year for The National. The release of “Boxer” gave them worldwide acclaim but it was “High Violet” that truly thrust them into the spotlight, making them perhaps the biggest band in the world that 80% of the population has never heard of. Essentially they become the indie world’s worst kept secret – selling out multiple stadium shows in the same cities and headlining festivals across the world – yet still evoking blank stares from most people when I mention them. Such is the age of the internet I suppose, where it is all too easy to ignore pretty much anything we are not directly seeking out.
2010 was also the first time I ever really worried about The National. They’ve been my favourite active band for the better part of a decade. The tortured mess of songs that make up “Alligator” form what is probably my favourite album ever. And then “Boxer” reigned all that energy in and harnessed it, a collection of songs that feel restrained but always ready to explode. Then came lead single Bloodbuzz Ohio from “High Violet”, one of the least inspired songs by The National to date. Sounding much like a b-side from “Boxer” and that the band was just phoning it in. For a band so reliant on subtlety of storytelling, the loss of authenticity is a death sentence. Continue reading →
Superchunk will release ”I Hate Music”, the band’s tenth studio album, on August 20 via Merge Records on CD, LP and digital. The limited-edition deluxe LP will be pressed on colored vinyl and include a bonus 7-inch containing two non-album tracks, along with an “I Hate Music” stencil. Both the standard and deluxe LPs will be issued on 150-gram vinyl and feature a die-cut sleeve. All pre-orders in the Merge store will come with an “I Hate Music” poster, the first 200 of which will be signed by the band, so get on this one early.
After taking nearly a decade off following the release of “Here’s To Shutting Up”, the band decided to come back with “Majesty Shredding”, an album well described by its own title. It’s a celebratory set of whoa-whoa-whoas from a group so thrilled by making music together again that they can’t contain themselves.
We took a bit of a hiatus since we didn’t post any videos last week. We are back this week with some exceptional videos. Sit back and listen / view, and make sure to share and / or leave a comment since we love to hear from you. We hope you enjoy the tracks as much as we have this week.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Mosquito – such a simple, but slick video.
Dustedrelease a new music video for Bruises off their latest album “Total Dust”. The shimmering flares of sunlight and soft focus of the video pairs perfectly with Dusted’s fuzzed out guitars and haunting vocals.
Director Ben Portas, who is a longtime friend and collaborator of Dusted’s label Hand Drawn Dracula (one of Culture Addicts’ favourite), shot the video in remote Australia, taking advantage of his surroundings to craft a beautiful visual interpretation of the song.
Artist: Vampire Weekend Release: Modern Vampires of the City (2013) Label: XL Rating: 4.5 / 5
Vampire Weekend have always been a paradox. They’re endlessly accessible yet incredibly polarizing. They’re upper class intellectuals with lyrical content that tends to border on the juvenile and sometimes even on the nonsensical. They’re a sheltered group of Columbia students making music that takes influence from the global south. And they’re a band seemingly tailor-made for hipster music snobs, yet they are just so incredibly uncool (and I mean this – I often find people listing their favourite bands will lower their voice to a whisper or accelerate their pace as they mention VW). Continue reading →
NXNE (North by Northeast) announces the first batch of programming as part of NXNE Film. Presented in partnership with Hot Docs, NXNE Film will screen more than 30 movies from June 13-16 at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema and at alternative spaces throughout Toronto. Film Festival wristbands are now available online at www.nxne.com/tickets and single tickets will be available at the end of May at www.bloorcinema.com.
NXNE Film will be presenting the North American premiere of ‘BB King – The Life of Riley’ on Friday, June 14. Directed by Jon Brewer, ‘BB King – The Life of Riley’ is a powerful and insightful documentary about legendary bluesman BB King. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the documentary features Eric Clapton, Bono, Ringo Starr, Carlos Santana, Slash, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Ron Wood, Mick Jagger, Bruce Willis and more. Continue reading →
As part of ongoing 10th anniversary celebrations, Arts & Crafts is preparing to release ‘X‘ - an entirely new collection of original collaborative recordings by pairing up the artist from the label roster.
The 10 tracks on the album include new compositions as well as fresh, unexpected interpretations from a list of artists that includes Broken Social Scene, Feist, Timber Timbre, Chilly Gonzales, Stars, Dan Mangan and many more.
‘X’ is available Tuesday, May 28 on LP, CD and in digital formats.
Apostle Of Hustle
Broken Social Scene
Gold & Youth
The Hidden Cameras
Ra Ra Riot
Still Life Still
Specific artist pairings will be revealed as May 28 approaches – this could get interesting. Stay tuned to Arts-Crafts.ca/xfor updates.