Absolute Zero, Berlin Got Blurry, Distortland, Ephemera, Harper Lee, Human Performance, Little Green Cars, Obsess Much, Parquet Courts, Purses, The Dandy Warhols, The Song They Play Every Night, Wheels on the Run, You Are Killing Me
What’s not to love about Parquet Courts? Is that an Ennio Morricone guitar riff? That sounds like Jonathan Richman’s cousin on vocals. What’s that great piano bit? Parquet Courts has it all going on with their new single “Berlin Got Blurry.” Frankly, I found their earlier work a bit too punky for my tastes so the new album Human Performance has just the right amount of polish and pockrock finesse. They play the Phoenix in Toronto April 22.
Dublin’s Little Green Cars are a curious mixture of things: melodic songs, pristine harmonies, with just a hint of Smithian ennui. “Harper Lee” from their 2013 album Absolute Zero captures a lot of what they do in one song. But their new album, Ephemera, taps into a more poprock vein. The debut single, “The Song They Play Every Night,” utilizes a sparse arrangement of acoustic guitar, a trebly – sometimes rumbly – electric guitar, and endearingly weird vocal interjections to add up to something catchy. Little Green Cars appear in Toronto at Lee’s Palace April 27.
For years the Dandy Warhols were, for me, just a song from the FOX TV show, The O.C., which then reappeared under the opening credits to another TV show, Veronica Mars. But I didn’t really pay them any attention beyond that. Boy, talk about not knowing what you were missing. The Dandy Warhols have a great back catalogue, featuring some standout singles like “Bohemian Like You” and “Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth.” Nor have they rested on their laurels, consistently putting out solid albums over the years. For instance, 2012’s This Machine had a killer single in “I am Free.” This year they are back with Distortland, and the opening single showcases a band that has not lost its touch: “You are Killing Me” chugs along with great distorted guitars and more subtle pop vocal hooks. The Dandy Warhols hit Toronto April 8 at the Phoenix.
I love that way the band just crashes in on the beginning of this song and never lets up. A great poprock onslaught. Popmatters tells us that the members of Purses are actually from other bands, this group representing a kind of Athens, Georgia supergroup. “Wheels on the Run” is rumoured to be from soon-to-be released debut album, Obsess Much, which if this single is anything to go by promises to be something else.