Welcome to our long-overdue weekly column: The Skinny, where we share what is happening in the world of Music, Art & Culture. Here, we report on the beats we follow of many bands (Canada, U.S., U.K., Europe) as well as track what is happening locally (for us, Toronto) over the summer. We’ll also be following the world of Indie & offbeat cinema, music-related literature (such as recommended rock biographies) the art world from the street to the gallery to the album cover and other original, authentic, essential news from the world of noise.
Being a skeleton crew, we find many many more stories than we can possibly cover in depth, but our interest and research means that we have a wealth of original stories we’d like to point out to our readers & friends, as well as throw some additional support behind the many bands & artists we love around the world.
If you’d like to take a stab at writing for The Skinny, feel free to send us a pitch. We also welcome reader suggestions and notices for possible inclusion.
BREAKING MUSIC NEWS:
Return to the glorious world of youthful exuberance (that was our 1998, anyway) with The Dears’ exuberant new song 1998 from forthcoming release Times Infinity Volume Two. The Montreal duo have been on the scene for the better part of the new millenium, and have always been a standout. First embraced in our scene as “the singer sounds like Morrissey!” (then a rare thing indeed and a high mark of praise causing a stir among all of us old-school Smiths / Moz fans) singer Murray Lightburn has made his own Indie Rock mark on the music world in subsequent years, making comparisons to other singers unnecessary.
Slowdive continues to change the world of music in their own way as they conclude their U.S. & Canadian tour with a significant result: the new album, Slowdive, which was officially released days into the tour, has made their first ever entrance on the U.K. & U.S. music charts (debuting at 25 on iTunes). Celebrate! And get this record/download if you haven’t already. Its become an instant staple for us.
Cigarettes After Sex, who’ve seen a massive growth in reach over the past little while on social media, is a real word of mouth success story. The ambient-pop band out of Brooklyn has just announced a world tour, and our eager co-founder has already jumped on our tickets for Toronto (that’s how you do!) We’ll have a full review of the album soon (it’s currently available for pre-order.) We hear tones of the great and underrated Cowboy Junkies, see a Twin Peaks landscape when we shut our eyes and and fell in love at first listen, complete with chills.
In the growing buzz over the last 18 months from so many iconic British bands of the 80s and 90s reforming, re-releasing & touring, many music watchers have kept one eye on the recent social media activity of Catherine Wheel in hopes that they will join the fray. Finally some rustlings have turned into news as the band’s essential album Ferment will be reissued on June 23rd. We avidly hope this is the start of the band’s long-awaited resurgence and not a one-off for this important band who has a massive following across the U.S. and Canada.
Thousand Yard Stare is back with a double EP release Deep dreaming/Stargrazing, and we had the chance to preview the CD (our review is here). Check out the band’s official site for tour dates as they are on the road in the U.K. to wild acclaim as we speak.
Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark (OMD) have a forthcoming record due September 1st entitled Punishment of Luxury. From what we’ve heard, it will not disappoint fans of one of our very favourite 80s Synth Pop bands, who never went away and are both tireless and full of excitement in their live shows.
Giving even more life to the ongoing resurgence of our formative music (lord knows the world need ’em) Violent Femmes have announced that they are releasing a new live album Unplugged & Unhinged ahead of their summer 2017 tour with Echo and the Bunnymen. (Via Slicing Up Eyeballs)
Let’s Rock Bristol (U.K.) is an event we hate to miss this weekend: with a fab late 80s/early 90s Indie line up: Happy Mondays, CAST, The Lightning Seeds, Stereo MCs, EMF and more.
Looking at some upcoming Toronto concert dates we’ve got on the summer calendar, we’re excited about The Specials June 6-7th, Danforth Music Hall, Violent Femmes at Massey Hall July 8th; Blondie, (touring off new release Pollinator) July 26th, Sony Centre; Ride, July 27th, Massey Hall; Fleet Foxes, August 4th, Massey Hall; and Seu Jorge, September 19th, Massey Hall. We’ll be posting a full summer concert & best of the summer music fests calendar soon.
Seu Jorge performs his version of David Bowie’s “Changes” in Portuguese in The Life Aquatic
The one and only ubiquitous rock historian & long-time Indie music champion and groundbreaker Rodney Bingenheimer says goodbye to “Rodney on the Roq” after 40 years on the air at L.A.’s KROQ. His last show will be an extended length broadcast Sunday night (June 4/5 at Midnight). He’s leaving his Sunday late night radio home but is not retiring…(via L.A. Weekly)
In Canadian Radio news, Check out Radio Hootenanny’s early June playlist (showtimes and stations can be found here) for the newest and best in eclectic, offbeat, new Indie music including:
Find & Like” Radio Hootenanny’s Facebook page here.
Our cover image (top of page) is by EGR Art and is a new project the artist is working on which we just had to borrow for this post! EGR Art’s “WW3 Women Take Over” has been applied to a Fender guitar for an upcoming project the Toronto-based artist is working on and we’ve never loved our favourite painting of hers more. EGR has built a name over the years all over Toronto as the city has begun to embrace mural art and graffiti as an art form. She’s also made significant contributions to that growth across Toronto. EGR’s diverse body of strikingly vivid and always witty murals are full of life and female power & beauty, and this new piece being created for the world of music is a perfect transition. We await more news on this…
Along with all of the recommended artists we’ve mentioned, here’s our new find of the week:
The Jealous Curator’s Facebook feed never fails to make us smile, think, want to share, or go see art. It is a rare feat in art curation by an art curator/artist & writer), features highly original images of art from around the world in photography that is stunningly crisp and art-appreciation clear (and credited to all artists) and is one of those wonderfully rare Facebook page that always stays focused on what it purports to be about. For us, it’s been a balm of art oasis in trying times. It’s medicinal. Check out The Jealous Curator on FB and at their own website, too.
Disarm Magazine was created in January 2015 by two life-long music lovers, a couple, who also happened to be opinionated / frustrated writers & one professional (and not pushy) live music photographer. Our approach is to offer authentic, sincere, original and meaningful journalism, reviews, opinions, essays, recommendations & original playlists from the heart and with a lot of care. We write about things that move us. Music we love. We ignore over-exposed and manufactured chart music, giving voice and light to original and often underrated artists of any period and genre that we fancy irrespective of what the hive-mind thinks, as it ever was before the hive formed. Since 2015, we’ve developed a solid reputation and credibility with artists, the industry, the indie press & radio, and the most discerning and impossible to fool music fans in the world. Because they are just like us. Music, art, film & culture (along with current-day media) is in a crisis and all who make it and love it fight (often alone) against a wall of aggressive & cynical marketing for lesser messages and products, against cynicism and in a gap left from old media. Thank you very much for reading. Tell your friends. If you use these media, please “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and check out our original live music gallery on Instagram (the ‘gram). Other foolishness & questionable but sincere late night ramblings can be found here & here if you really get a kick out of us, unfiltered. Dave & Jacquie