wears the trousers magazine


free music friday: the pack a.d.
March 5, 2010, 10:11 am
Filed under: mp3, free music friday | Tags: , ,

The Pack a.d.
‘Crazy’

Right from the moment the bass dunk-dunk-dunk arrives amidst the grating fuzz of ‘Crazy’, it’s clear that The Pack a.d., Vancouver’s rawest and buzziest duo, aren’t holding anything back third time around. A gem of the grittiest kind, the song teeters on White Stripes messiness but retains enough composure to keep driving and driving its hooks into our heads. A perfect retort to those who still brainlessly contest the ability of women to really rock hard, The Pack a.d. make it look so easy, so effortless. There’s a fantastic energy to ‘Crazy’, building throughout the song’s duration to reach a passionate, climactic ending with shrieks and grunts. There’s also one hell of a chorus, which benefits from Becky Black’s fearless and brilliant vocal performance. New album We Kill Computers is due May 3 through Mint Records. MP3 after the jump.

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incoming: the pack a.d.
January 26, 2010, 9:39 am
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , ,

The Pack a.d.
we kill computers

[Mint; April 26]

Fresh from blowing us away with the bluesy rattle and hum of their 2008 debut Tintype and its lightning fast follow-up Funeral Mixtape (released just 8 months later), The Pack a.d. threw themselves even deeper into touring, clocking up an impressive 157 shows in 2009 alone. Those prolific, ragged and gutsy performances feed directly into album #3, we kill computers, in that it’s all about volume, kinetics and electricity, with a healthy dose of lyrical misanthropy. As you’d expect from a band with such unapologetic tendencies towards Luddism, the album was recorded live off the floor to analogue tape at Hive Studios in Vancouver, with engineer Jesse Gander on hand to capture the energy of their live shows. Probably not one to play on your laptop.

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the pack A.D.: funeral mixtape (2008)
October 1, 2008, 2:31 pm
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , , ,

The Pack A.D.
Funeral Mixtape •••½
Mint

How important is the issue of gender when discussing The Pack A.D.? On the surface, their second album Funeral Mixtape is a relatively simple exercise in summation: a two-piece band – drums and electric guitar – playing competent, uncomplicated modern Delta blues. And yet The Pack A.D. is two women from Vancouver, personas that are, historically speaking, almost as far removed from blues as they can be. So, on paper, this is as postmodern and forward thinking as music gets.

Blues is a genre birthed from a struggle, one that has hardened roots in race, economic strife and prejudice. But blues has evolved, almost turned on itself, and become more synonymous with whatever it is we call the mainstream – that is, amalgamated with other styles, less political. From the first instance of plugging in, all the way to Jack White’s copious bastardizations – his only saving grace is Loretta Lynn – blues lost its soul. Somehow, thankfully, The Pack A.D. found a piece of it along the way.

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where’s the gigs: ladyhawke, rachel unthank & the winterset and more

Ladyhawke kicks off a headlining UK tour tonight at the Komedia in Brighton. She’ll play 7 dates before nipping over to the States (via Paris) to gig in NYC, Chicago, LA and San Francisco. After all that, the Cambridge Junction might seem a little less exciting but that’s where she’ll be on October 28th as she joins Black Kids on their European tour that stretches long into November. Catch her at the following venues:

30.09.08 Komedia, Brighton
01.10.08 Cockpit, Leeds
02.10.08 ABC2, Glasgow
03.10.08 Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh
05.10.08 Roadhouse, Manchester
06.10.08 The Rainbow, Birmingham
07.10.08 Scala, London
28.10.08 Junction, Cambridge +
30.10.08 Astoria, London +
31.10.08 Trent University, Nottingham +
01.11.08 Nation, Liverpool +
02.11.08 Pyramid Centre, Portsmouth +

+ with Black Kids

* * *

Buoyed by their recent Mercury Music Prize nomination for their debut album The Bairns, Rachel Unthank & The Winterset bring their special brand of folk and unmissable live act to various corners of the UK and Ireland (and some bits in the middle, too) from October through December, starting next week in Oxford. Here’s the full list of dates:

09.10.08 Holywell Music Rooms, Oxford
19.10.08 Gala Theatre, Durham
20.10.08 National Centre for Early Music, York
21.10.08 Belfast Queens Festival, Belfast
22.11.08 St Brides Church, Liverpool
23.11.08 Memorial Hall, Sheffield
25.11.08 Yorkshire House, Lancaster
26.11.08 The Brewhouse, Taunton
27.11.08 Acorn Arts Centre, Penzance
28.11.08 Ruskin Mill, Gloucester
29.11.08 Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury
11.12.08 Union Chapel, London
12.12.08 Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
13.12.08 Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Bristol
14.12.08 Guildhall, Lichfield
15.12.08 St Davids Hall Cardiff
16.12.08 Theatre Mwldam, Cardigan

* * *

Also on tour over those three months is the magnificent Eddi Reader, with support from the almost as magnificent Lucy Wainwright Roche, the stepsister of Martha and Rufus Wainwright (see our review of her debut EP here). Eddi has a new album coming out through Rough Trade on March 3rd, 2009. It’s called Love Is The Way and guess what? Thanks to the nice people at Rough Trade Records, you can buy a special pre-release, minimally packaged version of the album from the merch desk on the tour. We’ll be at the Shepherds Bush Empire show. See you there?

10.10.08 The Sage, Gateshead +
12.10.08 Music Hall, Aberdeen +
13.10.08 Eden Court Theatre, Inverness +
14.10.08 Concert Hall, Perth +
16.10.08 Festival Theatre, Edinburgh +
17.10.08 Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow +
19.10.08 Shepherds Bush Empire, London +
20.10.08 Oakengates Theatre, Telford +
22.10.08 Town Hall, Birmingham +
23.10.08 Grand Opera House, York +
24.10.08 The Picturedrome, Holmfirth +
26.10.08 The Lowry, Manchester +
27.10.08 The Stables, Milton Keynes +
28.10.08 The Stables, Milton Keynes +
30.10.08 Palace Theatre, Newark-on-Trent +
31.10.08 Coliseum, Aberdare +
02.11.08 Assembly Rooms, Derby +
03.11.08 Trinity Centre, Bristol 
04.11.08 Pacific Road Arts Centre, Birkenhead +
06.11.08 Waterfront, Norwich +
12.12.08 SECC, Glasgow §
13.12.08 SECC, Glasgow §

+ with Lucy Wainwright Roche
§ with Jools Holland

* * *

Emmy The Great plays a show in Winchester early next month as a precusor to a (very) mini tour that kicks off on November 8th and finishes on the 10th. Not coincidentally, that’s the release date for her brand new single, ‘We Almost Had A Baby’, from the forthcoming album First Love. See her and her merry band of men here:

14.10.08 The Tower, Winchester
08.11.08 Twisted Wheel, Glasgow
09.11.08 Deaf Institute, Manchester
10.11.08 ICA, London

* * *

Charismatic/bonkers Irish singing sprite Wallis Bird is taking a break from recording her second album in Germany to go on a wee tour of the UK and Ireland. Well, mostly Ireland, with a sole London date tacked on to the end. Take a needle and thread to stitch your sides back up if you go and see her. She’ll be at the following places on the indicated days:

22.10.08 Cyprus Avenue, Cork
23.10.08 Cyprus Avenue, Cork
24.10.08 Róisín Dubh, Galway
25.10.08 Warehouse, Limerick
27.10.08 Castlebar, Royal Theatre
28.10.08 Auntie Annie’s, Belfast
30.10.08 Button Factory, Dublin
31.10.08 Arts Centre, Wexford
01.11.08 Arts Centre, Wexford
03.11.08 Water Rats, London

* * *

Fellow Irishwoman Cara Dillon brings her tip-top live band on the road with her throughout October and November. The folk singer, who recently released her first live DVD (review coming soon), has been touring on and off since May so expect some highly polished musicianship and, of course, Cara’s unfailingly beautiful singing. The following venues play host:

03.10.08 Forest Arts, New Milton
04.10.08 Ashcroft Arts, Fareham
09.10.08 Par Hall, Warrington
10.10.08 Millenium Forum, Derry
11.10.08 McGrory’s, Donegal
16.10.08 Burnavon Arts Centre, Cookstown
17.10.08 Strule Arts Centre, Omagh
18.10.08 Riverside Theatre, Coleraine
31.10.08 Southill Park, Bracknell
02.11.08 Arts Centre, Norwich
04.11.08 Union Chapel, London
05.11.08 St Georges, Bristol
07.11.08 The Met, Bury
08.11.08 Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
09.11.09 Queens Hall, Edinburgh
12.11.09 Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham
14.11.09 Corn Exchange, Exeter
16.11.09 Royal & Derngate, Northampton

* * *

Kaki King plays just two UK dates on her latest tour and, OMG, they’re this week! Time flies. Catch Dave Grohl’s favourite guitarist at this pair of places:

02.10.08 Night & Day, Manchester
03.10.08 ICA, London 

* * *

Canadian blues duo The Pack A.D. make a quick dash over to the UK in mid-October to play a trio of London dates in support of their recently released second album, Funeral Mixtape. Review coming up soon. Meanwhile, here’s the dates:

16.10.08 ULU, London +
17.10.08 Dirty Water Club, London
18.10.08 Islington Academy, London §

+ with Towers of London
§ with Scarce

* * *

Funk this, funk that…funk you all! Yes, it can only mean one thing: the return of Chaka Khan to the UK stage. The soul diva plays two shows at the end of October in support of her most recent album, Funk This, which was, well, a bit rubbish. Seen live though, that could be a whole other story. Tickets are still available for both dates:

27.10.08 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
28.10.08 Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

* * *

Fresh from her triumphant performance on ‘Later…with Jools Holland’ a couple of weeks ago, VV Brown continues to hone her live act on stages all over the country. She’s got a bunch of dates coming up in October, and these are they:

01.10.08 The Forum, London [Q Awards show]
02.10.08 Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, London
04.10.08 Birmingham City University, Birmingham
07.10.08 In The City, Manchester
11.10.08 St Moritz Club, London
25.10.08 St Moritz Club, London
18.11.08 Soho Revue Bar, London

* * *

Finally, some one-off dates you might like to know about this month:

Lou Rhodes plays in St Margaret’s Church, Manchester, on October 25th. We’re reliably informed that this venue is beautiful, so if you’re in the area and you’re partial to a bit of hushed folk, you know what to do.

Less beautiful is London’s trusty ol’ Water Rats Theatre, which plays host to US singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson on October 7th. Ingrid has achieved remarkable independent success in the States and has been in Europe supporting Jason Mraz on his latest jaunt. She headlines this gig solo.

* * *

Alan Pedder