Ex-Constantines frontman Bry Webb brought down the volume considerably on his mostly acoustic solo debut Provider, but still managed to stir up a fair bit of excitement with its Canada-only release in 2011. On October 2nd, Idée Fixe will give U.S. Constantines fans the chance to hear Webb in low-key mode when it releases the album stateside. Long-listed for the 2012 Polaris Prize and praised by PopMatters’ Zachary Houle as “a stunning and revealing record full of worldly insight”, Provider is a surprising turn from Webb’s old work, but not an unwelcome one. Webb will also tour the U.S. in support of the release.
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“‘Cruel’ was always one of the favorite live songs, especially when we were recording…what ended up being the live disc on To Venus and Back,” Jon Evans recently told PopMatters. “It was a real exploration, a kind of super-aggressive take on the song. It started that way in the studio, but it definitely took on a life of its own live. I know I used to break strings all the time on that song, because it was such an epic venting. The studio version is three and a half minutes or so and the live version was generally seven or eight minutes long. We’d have these long, drawn-out sections where she would improvise vocally and we would just try to keep building and building until she cued us. Which is also a really great thing about that, playing with Tori as opposed to so many people who are, say, pop singers, or in the rock world where everything is so scripted, with her there’s always a ton of improvisation. They never turn into hippy jams, but where there’s room to explore, she has always very comfortable doing that and letting things go where they need to go, knowing that we would be paying attention so when there’s a subtle queue we could get back to where we needed to be.”
MEN’s JD Samson has been working hard as a member of the Free Pussy Riot movement, acting as a spokesperson and also contributing to the PUSSY RIOT! A Punk Prayer for Freedom ebook. Now Samson’s group with Michael O’Neil and others, New York’s Men, has put together a video for the tune “Let Them Out Or Let Me In” written in support of the Russian protest band.