MUSIC CHEAT SHEET: Katy wants a Witness
Katy Perry is out with a new album and ready to hit the road. GETTY
Bringing the fire Arcade Fire - hot off a secret show in Montreal last weekend during which they previewed six new songs described as "in the vein of [last album] Reflektor" - have added more dates to their upcoming tour across the pond. All of this is adding fuel to rumours the Montreal alt-rockers'long-awaited fifth album - and follow up to 2013's Reflektor - is due soon.
"All of [the songs] have been recorded," drummer Jeremy Gara said. "The album should come out this year."
Can Katy get a witness?
New American Idol reboot judge Katy Perry has announced her new album, Witness, will be released June 9 and that her accompanying tour will include a stop at T.O.'s Air Canada Centre on Sept. 12 and Vancouver's Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena on Feb. 5. Witness: The Tour follows her 2005 Prismatic World Tour. Perry will also appear as musical guest on Saturday Night Live's season finale this Saturday.
Not so Broken Toronto's Broken Social Scene formally announced their comeback album, Hug Of Thunder - their first album in seven years - is coming out July 7 and shared the next single, the title track featuring high profile member Feist taking the lead.
The disc will include contributions from all 15 original members, including Feist who has also just released her longawaited new album, Pleasure, as well as new guest vocalist Ariel Engle. BSS - who already announced some Canadian dates including June 3 at Field Trip in Toronto - are also going to tour the U.S. for the first time since 2011.
Canada's women rock
Once again our country is being hailed for its indie rock invasion that began in the early aughts - this time in a May 15 article in New York Magazine - and it's the women who are getting the kudos. Among the acts that writer Frank Guan praises are The New Pornographers, Metric, Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene, specifically their female members.
"Really, the difference-maker was the women," writes Guan in an article titled, Rock Isn't Dead: It just moved to Canada. "In a decade in indie when, in America, male voices (with the Strokes and Jack White leading the way) seemed to be regaining prominence while many leading women indie artists who'd emerged in the '90s (Liz Phair, Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney) were going either silent or bad, the high concentration of female voices coming from Canada was refreshing and necessary." Boo-yah!
Vedder joins U2
Vancouver may have gotten the launch of U2's Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Tour last Friday but the second night show in Seattle last Sunday night got Eddie Vedder. The Pearl Jam frontman, along with openers Mumford & Sons, joined the Irish rockers for Mothers of the Disappeared, the final track on U2's 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. Vedder joined in following the first verse as Bono asked the Centurylink Field crowd, "Where's Eddie Vedder? Spirit of Seattle, spirit of Chicago, spirit of America. Where's Eddie?" Mumford & Sons were brought out later to provide harmonies.
Styles won't label sexuality
Harry Styles, who began a weeklong residency Monday night on The Late Late Show with James Corden, won't be pinned down about his sexuality. In an interview with Britain's The Sun, Styles was asked what he thought about Miley Cyrus'pansexuality: "Being in a creative field, it's important to be progressive. People doing stuff like that is great." He then added, "It's weird for me - everyone should just be who they want to be. It's tough to justify somebody having to answer to someone else about stuff like that." Styles told the paper he had never personally labelled his sexuality: "No, I've never felt the need to really. No ... I don't feel like it's something I've ever felt like I have to explain about myself." The singer's first Corden appearance saw him decked out in a flashy, bell-bottomed suit and singing his first single, Sign of the Times, and having fun with fellow guest Aaron Taylor-Johnson who taught him and Corden dance steps. (Check out our interview with Aaron Taylor-Johnson on page 13)
Elton/Loretta feeling better
The Rocket Man is on the mend. Three weeks after Elton John contracted a "rare and potentially deadly" bacterial infection while touring South America, "[He is] feeling so, so much better and looking forward to his fans at next concert dates," his rep told seeing his fans at next concert dates," his rep told Page Six. The 70-year-old British rocker recently announced two Toronto area dates in St. Catharines and Kingston in November. MEANWHILE, following a stroke on May 5, country music legend Loretta Lynn has been moved from hospital to a rehabilitation centre for therapy. "Loretta, who just celebrated her 85th birthday, has been advised by her doctors to stay off the road while she is recuperating," a note said on her website.
"Regrettably, upcoming scheduled shows will be postponed."
Among those with new music out Friday: Linkin Park, One More Light; Rascal Flatts, Back To Us; Snoop Dogg, Neva Left; Erasure, World Be Gone; Faith Evans and The Notorious B.I.G., The King & I; Papa Roach, Crooked Teeth.
Kendrick Lamar has added a second Toronto show on August 23 at the Air Canada Centre after his earlier July 25 date at the same venue. (Also previously announced Aug. 2 in Vancouver at Rogers Arena.)
The National will play Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre Dec. 1-2 and Toronto's Sony Centre on Dec. 9 and Hamilton Place Theatre in Hamilton, Ont., on Dec. 10.
Paramore plays Toronto's Massey Hall on Oct. 13.
Making stops at Fallsview Casino in Niagra Falls, Ont. are Don Felder, of The Eagles, on August 3-4; Vanessa Williams on August 18 and America on August 19.