Austin’s American Analog Set have been turning out gorgeously hushed and hypnotic drone pop for a decade now, but with their latest album Set Free, they’ve now got a local connection – it’s been released in North America by Toronto’s own Arts & Crafts label. AmAnSet found themselves homeless when Tiger Style went out of business following the release of their 2003 album Promise Of Love, but that timing was fortuitous as frontman Andrew Kenny was also concentrating on a doctorate in biochemistry at Columbia University in New York City at the time. However the appeal of academia waned and the yearning to rock waxed and Kenny gave up school to once again concentrate on AmAnSet – the fruits of which can be found in Set Free, a record that is unmistakeably AmAnSet. And while there are no curveballs, it’s still a uniformly excellent album.
But while the band is still committed to putting out music, the touring life has lost its charm. While vehemently denying that they’re breaking up, they have announced that this will be their final tour. Anyone who has seen them live knows that, despite the laid-backness of the music, an American Analog Set live show is a thing of beauty and is not to be missed, especially now that this will almost certainly be the last chance to see them in Toronto, unless they trek up here at some point to collect royalty cheques. They play the Horseshoe on Sunday, November 13, tickets $12. Shawn Hewitt supports.
The entire weekend is stacked with live music. Check out what else is going on after the jump.
Thursday, November 10:
While for sheer acronym insanity it’ll be hard to top NIN, QOTSA and DFA1979 at the ACC (sold out), there are options. Mmm-bop survivors Hanson are at the Kool Haus ($34.50), ex-Swervedriver Adam Franklin does the solo thing at The Old York (167 Niagara St, $5) and British up-and-comer Tom Vek is at the Drake ($15). Kathleen Edwards and Joel Plaskett are at the Phoenix ($18.50) while Jann Arden continues her residency at Massey Hall through Friday night ($49.50). And last but not least, The boat plays host to a video release party for Final Fantasy, with guests Ninja High School, Henri Faberge & The Adorables and Laura Barrett. Cover? $8. Memories? Priceless.
Friday, November 11:
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings bring heavy soul to the Horseshoe tonight and tomorrow ($15) while Chris DeBurgh brings heavy dull to Roy Thomson Hall ($59 to $75). Top-notch whistler and violinist Andrew Bird is at Revival and Arcade Fire spinoff Bell Orchestre celebrates the release of their debut Recording A Tape The Colour Of The Light with two shows at the Music Gallery, one at 7pm, the other at 10pm, $12 each. Ottawa’s Kepler support. ($12.50) .
Saturday, November 12:
First The Cribs cancelled, then Longwave – now LA stoner-rock duo Giant Drag are all that remains of a once enticing bill. Still, Giant Drag on their own would worth seeing, if just for frontwoman Annie Hardy’s wonderfully out-there stage banter. They’re at Lee’s Palace, but call to make sure the show is still on before heading out – at this rate… It’s not a gig, but half of Ladytron are doing a DJ set at the Gypsy Co-Op and Michael Franti of Spearhead performs at the Bloor Cinema as part of the screening of his documentary on the Middle East I Know I’m Not Alone ($24.50). More conventionally, Matt Mays & El Torpedo are at the Opera House ($15) and Sianspheric are at the Drake with Toshack Highway.
Sunday, November 13:
Velvet Underground legend John Cale blows into town for three nights at the Lula Lounge ($25). The UK’s Art Brut is at Lee’s Palace with The Diableros ($12) and rock is served at the Kool Haus by H.I.M., Finch and Skindred ($23.50). Finally, Wavelength presents Brian Borcherdt, presumably out of Holy Fuck mode, Minsk Mensk and Ohbijou. Sneaky Dee’s, pay what you can.
Monday, November 14:
Hipster crisis! Do got to Lee’s Palace to see UK buzz band Arctic Monkeys for $10 or to Sneaky Dee’s to see up-and-coming Yanks Go Go Go Airheart and The Joggers for $8? Decisions, decisions.
Tuesday, November 15:
You want punk? Go see Bad Religion at the Kool Haus ($34.50). You want rock? Go see The Illuminati at The Horseshoe (free). You want MOR? Go see The Philosopher Kings at the Mod Club ($21.50). You want none of the above? Stay home.
Wednesday, November 16:
The Bauhaus reunion tour is in town at the for-once-not-ridiculously-named Kool Haus. Tickets are $42.50. No there isn’t anything else going on. Bauhaus reunion! What else could you possibly want?