Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. Many wise men have said that before, and I’m sure they will say it again as the years continue to pass. There’s another phrase that applies to this introduction as well, and that is, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Part of me suspects that’s why Broken Social Scene went on “indefinite hiatus” a couple years back. For many, the use of the “indefinite hiatus” tag effectively means the band has broken up but they won’t rule out reuniting sometime in the future. For BSS, I think that everyone still likes each other, they’d just like to spend some time working on other things. For band frontman Kevin Drew, that means putting out two solo records this year, one being a collaborative effort with songwriter Andy Kim. For guitarist and sometimes vocalist Brendan Canning, he’s re-formed his old band Cookie Duster, and is also working on scoring the soundtrack to the forthcoming Lindsay Lohan b-movie The Canyons. Most everyone else in the loose collection of friends they called a band could either be considered faceless or have other more main projects such as Apostle of Hustle and Do Make Say Think. That, and the main women of Broken Social Scene, who spent the last few years of the band’s existence tending to their own ever-expanding success in bands like Stars and Metric or simply Feist, are still going in remarkably impressive fashion. Perhaps the thing I’ll remember about BSS is the first time I saw them perform live, at Lollapalooza 2006. That was the only time (and one of the last times) that all members of the band were there, and their total numbers ranged somewhere around 20. The trio of Millan, Haines and Feist did “Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl,” among others, and I had goosebumps. Then when the band was supposed to end their set due to time restrictions, they chose to continue onwards and keep playing in spite of that night’s headliner starting at a stage not very far away. At some point there was a rush of adrenaline and zealous enthusiasm when Kevin Drew asked the crowd to scream at the top of their lungs to express the joy we’re feeling simply at being alive and in that very moment. And it was one of my favorite shows that I’ve ever seen. Perhaps that’s why I just recounted it. A 2008 Lollapalooza attempt to recreate those moments with far fewer personnel was a nice effort but overall disappointing. Once you’ve seen the real deal full band, nothing else quite compares. But back to the hiatus. I think it was about time for the band to take a break, and perhaps to re-think their strategy moving forwards. Yet when BSS popped up for the first time in a couple years via a performance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” last week, I couldn’t help but feel that tingle in my spine once more thanks to the performance of classics like “Almost Crimes” and “7/4 Shoreline” with Feist. Then thanks to the Arts & Crafts label putting together the Field Trip Music & Arts Festival in Toronto over the weekend, the band performed their 2003 classic You Forgot It In People in full, along with some other key songs throughout the band’s existence. What I would have paid to have seen that. Thanks to the magic of the internet, we kind of can. Here’s the band performing “KC Accidental” and “Lover’s Spit” live at the festival. Great stuff, and I hope this brief reunion inspires the band to do a full You Forgot It In People tour in the next couple years. Come back, Broken Social Scene, and try to get everyone to come with you for at least one more memorial tour. I’d love it. Anyways, speaking of things to love, Pick Your Poison has you covered with some new tracks today. Don’t miss songs from The Blank Tapes, Can’t Dance, The Julie Ruin, Lake Isle, Potty Mouth and White Dove. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream new songs from Coma Cinema, King Khan & the Shrines, Modern Hut, Owen, Thundercat and TOY with Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes).
White Dove – Cold Mountain
Coma Cinema – Virgin Veins
King Khan & the Shrines – Born to Die
Modern Hut – History
Owen – Coffin Companions
Thundercat – Lotus and the Jondy
TOY & Natasha Khan – The Bride