Hard to believe She & Him have been around for six years now. I guess it really isn’t a side project after all. I’m not sure if this is purely a cash grab or M. Ward just doesn’t feel like writing anymore songs but Classics is their latest record featuring covers of some of your grandparents favorite classics. Still, there is something there with the duo and the album is once again, entirely pleasant and something that you can easily give away to some excitement at Secret Santas or whatever.
You know what? You can win this album as well, thanks to our friends at With a Bullet promotion. To win, do one of three things!
1. Retweet this tweet and follow our twitter account
2. Like us on Facebook and comment on this post
3. Email email@example.com with the subject “Im dreaming of a She & Him Christmas” (include mailing address).
This is the third part of a three part series reviewing the first night of TURF. Thanks to our blogger friend Adam for his contributions, one day, I will upgrade him to a real life friend.
As one would expect, controversy plagued the She & Him show.
Adam: First off, why no photo pit She & Him? Also why no letting the VIP guests (WHO PAID A SHITLOAD EXTRA) into the VIP area?!?! That’s not nice, She & Him. Your songs can be best described as Zooey’s character on The New Girl; pretty, sweet, vapid. I did enjoy lying out on the grass with my eyes closed listening your music. Until you covered “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me.” Ugh! NO ONE CAN COVER THAT SONG… Unless you’re THE BEATLES! Are you the Beatles? Didn’t think so.
Ricky: She & Him could have probably played an entire set of Rancid covers and no one would have noticed because everyone was so busy tweeting/social mediaing about the photo ban. As a well established photographer, I felt slighted at my inability to capture the moment, so instead I photoshopped them onto Joel Plaskett Emergency (for consistency sake). I can understand how a band comprising of a pretty famous actress would want some sort of no flash photography, but when you have an all out photo ban, then it becomes a bit of a side show. Here is what everyone basically did:
a) took out cameras to get a shot of She & Him when they took the stage, much like you know, what happened when Camera Obscura and Joel Plaskett took to the stage. We live in an age now where people MUST take pictures at a show. They HAVE to post about it on facebook or twitter. It’s going to happen. Accept it.
b) got scolded by security about how M. Ward and Zooey would just like you to enjoy the show without photography
c) wow face
d) tweeted about it.
e) Looked around in amusement as security scurried about the grounds telling everyone who took a picture
f) Start to get angry when security start flashing their lights into faces/cameras of people trying to take picture
g) Take secret picture
h) oh yeah, She & Him are playing!
Set wise, as anyone who have heard any of the three She & Him albums can attest to, a She & Him show is like hoping aboard a delorean back to the simpler times. The bands retro-sounding pop sounds great on a summer night and the songs are so gosh darn sweet I feel like I left with a cavity. M.Ward’s still got those guitar chops and they had an older gentleman in a top hat who did an impressive whistle solo. Laid against the starry night backdrop, all the elements were there for a pleasant evening time show, if it wasn’t completely railroaded by the no photo ban. Never Wanted Your Love, a single from the new album sounds like an instant classic. It also sounds like it could have been written by Randy Newman for some pixar movie. Maybe that’s in the works. There was a bevvy of covers too, although some, including Unchained Melody came off as a bit awkward. As expected, Zooey Deschanel came off as completely adorable on stage, as did her taller, blonder backup singers. At one point she asked if anyone was going to drink beer the giant inflatable Coors can lurking near the back of the grounds, which struck some people as cute, but Paul thought it was a bit lame, to which I replied that she probably needed a script. I thought that was pretty funny, but I always think I’m funny. Anyways, In the Sun finished off the main set, and then in a shocking move, Zooey Deschanel pulled out a Postal Service record and ripped it in half. Okay, that didn’t happen, but how cool would that have been? We wouldn’t have the visual evidence to prove it anyways.
Toronto Urban Roots Fest (TURF) came out of nowhere earlier this year enshrouded by a haze of mystery. Initially, everyone was like who the hell was that, but as secrets revealed themselves, everyone went from curious to ecstatic as it finally dawned on people that we were finally getting a summer time music festival featuring some of our most beloved indie band.
What the hell is “urban roots” anyway? who cares. Lets take a look at 6 acts playing this thing next week.
The Scottish group recently released their fifth album – Desire Lines, recently and while it doesn’t necessarily break any new ground, their music is a pleasant summertime affair. I thought they would be put on a later slot, but I always over estimate a bands poularity.
She & Him
Zooey Deschanel has made an entire career out of being cute and quirky. It’s as if she took a look at two words in the dictionary and said “I’m going to dominate those words”. Underneath all those sun dresses, quirky mannerisms and hello giggles is an interesting voice. This voice has been harnessed by M. Ward to form She & Him, a power duo that has released three whole albums of vintage inspired folk-pop songs. Conveniently named Volume 3, She & Him’s third album came out earlier this year and they’ll be eager to show it off (everyone will just want them to play In The Sun). Just to fuck you up, here’s a picture of Zooey with and without bangs.
Surely by now this man has been declared a national treasure. Joel Plaskett returns once again to Toronto to delight us with his lively music. Last time he was here, he played five nights at the Horseshoe so this time around it’ll be a bit different. What won’t be different will be the elation of his fans every time he regales them with one of the many hits he has provided over the past decade. He hasn’t released anything since Scrappy Happiness, so maybe this show is just to enhance his own personal brand, or he’s just here to visit family or something.
Dawes was one of those bands whose name you couldn’t escape in Austin this year. They even joined John Fogerty on stage, and he called them ‘good ole boys’. Since this is a roots festival or sorts, it would only make sense that good ole boys with plaid shirts and beards would play this show. The LA quartet also recently opened for Bob Dylan.
People freaking love Xavier Rudd. Who they are? I don’t know. I went to his show at Queen Elizabeth Theatre a few years ago and let me tell you, his fans are so fanatic that it’s almost cult like. It also reminds me of Christian rock for some reason. Perhaps best known for his extensive use of didgeridoos, Rudd’s on stage show is energetic and if you are one of those lost souls looking for a random cause to join to feel something, maybe you too might turn into one of those Xavier Rudd fans.
Belle and Sebastian
Basically one of my favorite bands ever, Belle & Sebastian are hitting the summer festival this year hard. This includes a headline slot at Pitchfork as well. It’s been three years since they have released an album but who cares? Their live show has progressively better over the years and I expect nothing less then a wonderfully delightful show to close off the first ever TURF. No better way to finish off a Sunday.
Toronto – A lot of people like to classify music according to music genre – it’s electro, goth, indie-rock, twee, folk-pop. While that itself is quite informative, I like to classify music based on mood and time. For example, I would classify She & Him as spring time afternoon picnic music. Death From Above 1979 would be my ‘pre-game get ready to kick some ass music’ and so on. In this case, Glass Candy is the classic ‘it’s 2am, I don’t know where I am and looking at the dense city landscape’ type of music. Similar to the XX in that aspect. The Portland duo has been releasing records for most of the past decade, but it was their 2008 album Deep Gems that caught my attention.
With sleazy late night bass lines and minimal instrumentation, the music relies mostly on Ida No’s high pitched yet hazy voice and it works nicely together to give you that “late night too tired for the next day” vibe, which makes them perfect for a Thursday night 1 am Wrongbar show. They also sample Geto Boys in one of their songs, the appropriately named Geto Boys.