It’s been over three years since Local Natives released their last album, Sunlit Youth. However, yesterday they announced a new tour, with a stop here in Toronto. On Monday, May 27th, they will be making an appearance at The Phoenix, with support from Middle Kids. Tickets start at $39.50 + fees and go on sale tomorrow at 10:00am, and can be purchased HERE (via Ticketfly & Collective Concerts). With the concert announcement comes promise of new music, to be coming sometime in March, so we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for that.
Above is a photo from the one time I shot the band, playing a late afternoon set at Toronto Urban Roots Festival. I shot the fest for both Beyond the Watch and TURF, and neither site has the photos up anymore, so I will hopefully have the full sets posted at some point in the future, so there’s also that to keep an eye out for (though, less exciting I am sure).
Yesterday was the birthday of Gord Downie. I didn’t get to see any of their dates on the final tour in person, but this is a photo of the last time I saw The Tragically Hip play: a series of 3 song mini-sets at Supermarket to promote the release of Now for Plan A.
I couldn’t tell you what the other two songs were that they played, but seeing “Grace, Too” in that small venue brought me back to being the teenage fan I used to be. It reminded me of how great a frontman Gord Downie was, and also how much of a role that group played in my youth. The Hip made me expect more from a live show than just playing carbon copies of songs from their album. The way Gord would improvise stories in instrumental breaks, or ‘fight’ with his mic stand, or just point to someone in the audience and connect with them for a moment, they always made their audience feel like a part of something. Each night, and show, was a unique experience.
Gord may be gone, but he’ll never be forgotten. Happy birthday.
Growing up in the early 90s, one of the music groups I distinctly remember getting into was R.E.M. In 6th grade, I was starting to listen to music other than whatever was being played on Buffalo, NY’s KISS 98.5. Part of this was making new friends in school that were into different music I wasn’t aware of. Another part of this could also be attributed to the fact that I started watching MuchMusic, when they actually played music videos. But it was around this time that I really started to seek out music. It was also then that R.E.M. released their album Out of Time, and when I got that cassette tape for Christmas, I remember feeling really excited to be starting my musical journey away from Pop/Top 40 radio.
In the summer of 2008, I had the fortunate opportunity to photograph the band on what ended up being their final proper tour. At that point, I had equipped myself with a greater knowledge of their back-catalogue, but my favourite moment of that show was seeing the band perform the song that first drew me in, “Losing My Religion.” The mandolin took me right back and reminded me of why I was a fan in the first place.
The reason I bring this all up is because Dan Mangan, who plays the Danforth Music Hall tonight, released a cover of said song last week. In speaking of it, Dan stated: “I really wanted to try and approach it from a new angle. There’s no point in attempting to sing like Michael Stipe – there is only one Michael Stipe. So I tried my best to let it live in a new light while paying homage to the original.”
Hearing Dan’s version, though different, gave me that similar feeling of discovery. Though very familiar with Dan’s music (this post could easily have been a TBT to Dan Mangan shows) I felt I was hearing something very familiar have new life breathed into it. It’s a lovely cover, and I can only hope that some 6th grader out there hears it and in 25+ years remembers Dan’s music as fondly as I remember R.E.M’s.
So the one thing I have realized this week is that there is a lot of music news, and it’s hard to keep everything I want to post contained to one playlist. There’s just so much content that sometimes you have to split things in half (sort of). That’s why I’ve opted to add a weekly Throwback Thursday post where I can highlight one of the artists from the week that I’ve already had a chance to see/shoot in the past, but also provide some news on them.
It seems that I’m not the only one with a lot of content that I’d like to share. Yesterday came with an announcement that Foals will be releasing new material this year in the form of TWO albums this year, entitled Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost: Part I & 2. They announced this via their Twitter account.
This is exciting, as it likely means we can expect some touring from the band, presumably summer or end of the year, and there’s nothing quite like seeing this band live. The photo above was from one of the most lively & intense shows that I can remember. The band was having some technical trouble, and clearly didn’t want it to affect their show, so they just took out all of their aggression through their performance. The show ended with Yannis making his way through the crowd and climbing on to the bar at the back to sing to the crowd during “Two Steps, Twice.” It was a show/experience that can never be duplicated and I feel very fortunate to have caught that specific performance from them.