Tag Archives: Upcoming Shows

Guided By Voices Announce Spring Tour

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By Hollister Dixon

Guided By Voices are an amazing band, but their catalogue is an extremely dense collection to get into. Where do you start? Is it Bee Thousand? Is it Alien Lanes? How do the post-breakup albums stack up next to the rest? And what of Robert Pollard’s other projects, like Boston Spaceships (featuring Eyelids members/Faces on the Radio veterans Chris Slusarenko and John Moen) or Circus Devils (who released their final album, Laughs Last, on February 24th)? What about all of Pollard’s solo material, or the three (!) Ricked Wicky albums that came out in 2015? And what about the Suitcases?

One of the best ways to take in everything, though, is to just see Guided By Voices play live. I went into my first GBV show as a mild fan, and walked away a rabid obsessive, and part of this is Pollard’s willingness to play as many songs as can be fit into their time onstage. You want to watch a band play 40 songs with the gusto of a band a third their age? You got it.

On April 7th, Guided By Voices will release the double (!!) album August By Cake, the band’s 23rd album to date. That seems like a lot, sure! But it’s even more notable that this is the one hundredth (!!!) album with Uncle Bob’s name on it. That’s a hell of a lot to process! The band’s last, Please Be Honest, was mostly recorded by Pollard on his own, but this album finds him reunited with former member Doug Gillard, and backed by new members Bobby Bare Jr. and Mark Shue. This spring, the band will support the album with a lovely tour which includes a few nice and small rooms, including the ridiculously small Doug Fir Lounge here in Portland and Seattle’s Neumos – with a neat little stopover in Indio, CA for Coachella.. They’ll have a hell of a lot of great support on the tour, everyone from Rogue Wave to DTCV (fronted by James Greer, former GBV member and the man who literally wrote the book on the band).

After the jump, check out the band’s dates and support, as well as new tracks “Dr. Feelgood Falls Off the Ocean” and “Hiking Skin”.

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Fleet Foxes Announce Tour

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By Hollister Dixon

Do you have any idea how long it has been since Fleet Foxes did a tour? I do: roughly five years, when they were supporting Helplessness Blues, an album now old enough to be in grade school. The band took some time off while frontman Robin Pecknold went back to college, but they’re finally back, at long last, with Crack-Up (working title: Robin Goes to College*), out on June 16th on Nonesuch Records.

They’re going to be going on a tour of much bigger venues later, but Pecknold & Co. are going on a tiny tour of the Northwest in a series of intimate venues, including Spokane’s Knitting Factory (tickets here!) and Portland’s Crystal Ballroom (tickets here!). Their last Portland show was at Edgefield Amphitheater, so this will be a decidedly more cozy show than their last time through.

Below, you can check out their tour dates – which includes an incredibly enticing date at Portland’s Crystal Ballroom, and see the lyric video for Crack-Up lead single “Third of May / Ōdaigahara”.

*Not an actual working title

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Low Announce Co-Headline Tour With Mono

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By Hollister Dixon

Low, the (other) pride of Duluth, MN, the world’s best slowcore band, have been somewhat quiet since 2015’s fantastic Ones and Sixes. They’re a beautiful force on record, but they’re an entirely different beast when they’re playing live, especially in smaller rooms – their Doug Fir Lounge performance during the tour for Ones and Sixes still holds up as one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in that space. This June, west coast fans of their brand of patient music will get a chance to see the band play an all-too brief tour co-headlined by Japanese post-rock mammoths Mono.

This tour lasts just a week, starting at Los Angeles’ Globe Theater and snaking up the coast until they reach the Imperial in Vancouver, BC. For Portland-based fans, this will include a stop at the Wonder Ballroom on June 15th. Canadian fans will also be able to catch them at Calgary’s Sled Island Music and Arts Festival, as well as the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival in Saskatoon.

After the jump, you can check out the dates for this tour, and listen to “No Comprende” from Ones and Sixes, as well as “Requiem For Hell” from Mono’s lovely album of the same name.

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Los Campesinos! Announce New Album, Sick Scenes, Announce Tour

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By Hollister Dixon

Los Campesinos!, the best band in Wales (yes, the best, sorry Super Furry Animals) got somewhat quiet in the wake of their fifth album, No Blues. After rumblings of new recordings, this is set to change with their newly-announced 6th LP, entitled Sick Scenes. On the album, frontman Gareth Campesinos! had this to say:

We recorded the album, co-produced by long-time collaborator John Goodmanson and band member Tom Bromley, during Euro 2016 in Fridao, Portugal. The album exists as an expression of the pent-up aggression we felt due to being inactive for so long, but it’s also a celebration of just getting to be a band, of getting to play music with our friends. Thematically the record is concerned with fumbling for personal relevance while trying to be a better person. Repressing anxiety and attempting to function while constantly maintaining the perfect two-beer buzz. It is set upon a backdrop of non-league football, prescribed medication, and crumbling hometowns. These truly are the Sickest Scenes.

The album will be released on February 24th, 2017 worldwide courtesy of the always-lovely Wichita Records, and it’s available for pre-order right here. On top of that, they’ve released the first taste of the album with “I Broke Up In Amarante”, a song which hearkens back to their pop-punk infused roots. They’ve also announced a three-week North American tour, which will include (as Gareth Campesinos! points out, and as this writer is more than aware of) their first west coast dates in five years – This will include a date at Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge, if you, dear reader, are interested in seeing your writer in a state of joyful apoplexy. Tickets for all of these shows will go onsale at 9pm local time on Friday, November 11th. All North American dates will feature support from New York chiptune rockers Crying.

After the jump, you can have a listen to “I Broke Up In Amarante”, gander at the tracklist, and check out when they’ll be stopping by your town.

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Polyphonic Spree Celebrate 15th Anniversary With Beginning Stages Of… Tour

 

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Back at the very beginning of the last decade, The Polyphonic Spree, Tim DeLaughter’s charming (and vaguely but endearingly cult-like) Texas-based choir-rock monolith, released their debut record, The Beginning Stages Of…. If you heard the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack, or watched Scrubs, or saw a Volkswagen ad, you were undoubtedly aware of their infectious, ELO-esque single “Light & Day”, which helped to launch the band into the hearts and iPods of just about everybody who heard it. In the years since, they’ve put out a handful of equally poppy (though admittedly less psychedelic) records, the most recent of which being 2013’s Yes, It’s True.

Now, just in time for the band’s 15th anniversary, the band are embarking on a neat little tour: Every night, they’ll play through The Beginning Stages Of… in its entirety, plus a bunch of other “deep cuts and choice covers”, in the band’s words. You can expect this one to be a gloriously upbeat evening, and it’ll be worth the price of admission just to see how they handle the album’s slow-burning finale, “A Long Day”

You can check out the upcoming tour dates after the jump, and watch them covering Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” for The AV Club. For tickets to see the band’s Star Theater performance, head on over here!

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Swans To Play Roseland September 6th

By Hollister Dixon

To me, there’s always been something incredibly perfect about the name Swans. The bird is one known for being incredibly elegant, but is also known (though to a lesser degree) for being aggressive to an almost laughable degree, especially when threatened. I’m not quite sure if Michael Gira had this in mind when he formed and named his band Swans, but it’s so fitting because they are a band that manages to do build a brutal, aggressive, in-your-face exterior, and while it may appear to be an inelegant mess, every single note is exactly where it should be, thanks to the talents of Michael Gira, the frontman and sole consistent member.

Swans broke up in 1997, only to roar back to life in 2010 with My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, followed by the monolithic The Seer (2012) and this year’s equally massive To Be Kind. Since then, they’ve done their best to prove themselves (again) as one of the most unwavering, intense live acts around – intense enough to make people in the crowd physically sick at times. The band last played here in Portland in 2012 (at the Hawthorne Theater, as part of MusicFest Northwest), and put on a performance incredible enough to make seeing Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh seem like the wrong decision entirely.

Lucky for us, Swans are a beast that don’t seem capable of slowing down. Since reforming, they’ve started an interesting cycle: go on tour (while also working on new material), release a live album documenting that tour, use that money to fund a new album, repeat. And now, on September 6th, the band will be returning to Portland to blow the roof off of the Roseland Theater. The band’s most recent album, To Be Kind, is as close to perfection as one band can get, which says a lot, considering the same was said for the blistering tower that The Seer was. Can the band top these albums? Can they continue to make flawlessly executed songs? Will Michael Gira ever stop being the world’s most intense showman? See the band live and find out! Click right here to buy tickets to this show, or – if you’re outside of Portland – check out the dates below.

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