Monday, April 30, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Once again, the annual Hot Docs festival program has a strong music component with She Said Boom, Kevin Hegge's revealing look at Toronto's trailblazing post-punk heroines Fifth Column being among the most anticipated premieres of the 10-day extravaganza. She Said Boom: The Story Of Fifth Column screens at the Cumberland 2 on Tuesday (May 1) at 9 pm and again at the Fox Theatre on Friday (May 4) at 7 pm. Check out the interview with Hegge below. Hot Docs 2012 continues through to May 6, for more information about films and times, visit their site.
Interview with She Said Boom director Kevin Hegge
Friday, April 27, 2012
Making the most of his Maynards' Sour Patch Kids ad campaign notoriety, Grasshopper mainman and popular nightclub selecta Derek "Luke" Madison has decided to open a record shop – yep, you guessed it – Grasshopper Records.
Ideally located at 1167 Dundas St. West near Ossington, Toronto's newest vinyl emporium is having a soft opening tonight (Friday, April 27) from 7 pm to 12 midnight which seems perfectly appropriate since today also happens to be Derek's birthday. Along with a performance by Rituals, there will be DJ sets courtesy of Alphonse from Azari & III, Mikey Apples, Brendan Canning and others. Drinks are cheap and the records will be cool.
While on tour in Australia, Jeff and Steve McDonald sat down with ShockTV's James "The Hound Dog" Young at Melbourne's Cherry Bar to talk Redd Kross past and present eventually leading to a discussion of their forthcoming album Researching The Blues planned for release by Merge in August.
Redd Kross interview for ShockTV, Part 1
Redd Kross interview, Part 2
Five Essential Flosstradamus Retouches
Major Lazer – Original Don (Remix)
Matt & Kim – Yea Yeah (Remix)
Lil Jon – Act A Fool (Remix)
Twista – Overnight Celebrity (Remix)
Fame Nixon – Let It Go (Remix)
Diplo & Friends Mix
Look At The Sky (feat. Deniro Farrar) download
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Cheikh Lô is one of the great mavericks of African music. A superb singer and songwriter as well as a distinctive guitarist, percussionist and drummer he has distilled a variety of influences from West and Central Africa, to create a sound all his own.
Lô dedicates both his life and music to Baye Fall, a specifically Senegalese form of Islam and part of the larger Islamic brotherhood of Mouridism. Established by Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba M’Becke at the end of the 19th century, Mouridism emerged from opposition to French colonialism and many stories are told of Bamba’s struggles with the authorities who feared that the rapid spread of Mouridism would inspire armed insurrection. Bamba’s closest disciple Cheikh Ibra Fall (also known as Lamp Fall)
established the Baye Fall movement, and he was the first to wear the patchwork clothes and long dreadlocks that are still Baye Fall trademarks today. Cheikh Lô’s own marabout, Maame Massamba N’Diaye is said to be over 100 years old, and was a disciple of Cheikh Ibra Fall; Cheikh Lô wears his picture in a pendant around his neck.
Cheikh Lô was born in 1955, to Senegalese parents in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, not far from the border with Mali, where he grew up speaking Bambara (language of Mali), Wolof (language of Senegal) and French. His father was from a long line of marabouts. From an early age Lô was only interested in music, running away from school to teach himself guitar and percussion on borrowed instruments. During his teens he listened to all kinds of music, especially the Congolese rumba which was popular throughout Africa. Cuban music was also all the rage in West Africa at this time, so when his older brothers started up their 78s and danced to ‘El Pancho Bravo’, Cheikh, without understanding a word, would mime exactly to the Spanish lyrics.
Cheikh’s first release Doxandeme (aka Immigrants), on which he sang about being Senegalese abroad, came out in 1990. Despite his reservations about the quality of the local production, it sold well and earned him the Nouveau Talent award in Dakar. Youssou N’Dour remembers first encountering Lô as a session singer in 1989. “Whenever he sang the choruses I was overwhelmed by his voice,” explains N’Dour “but I really got to know him from his Doxandeme cassette. I found something in his voice that’s like a voyage through Burkina, Niger, Mali.”
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
One of the many problems with limited-edition Record Store Day releases is that they get hoarded by dealers looking to make a quick buck while actual fans of the group wind up empty-handed and are subsequently forced to pay outrageous prices.
Bevis Frond mainman Nick Saloman is well aware of the situation and being a collector himself, Nick has thoughtfully put aside 180 copies of The Bevis Frond RSD seven-inch single for fans who missed out on Saturday. Here's Nick's Facebook posting which explains how you can mailorder a copy directly – but be quick about it, those 45s with otherwise unavailable tracks won't last long!
The single comprises 2 previously... unreleased tracks recorded at home about 4 years ago. They are "Hard Meat At The Midnight Court" b/w "Number One Defender". I play everything. The single comes in a nice picture sleeve (right) featuring 2 photos I took, and you can buy copies direct from me for £5 a copy, plus P&P (which is as follows: UK £1.50, Europe £3, USA & Elsewhere £4). Sorry about the higher postage costs, but the Post Office has just put up all their prices!
You can pay via Paypal, using my email address, which is: firstname.lastname@example.org
By the way, Mojo Magazine has asked The Frond to contribute a track to their July issue CD, which is based around ‘Yellow Submarine’, and we’re recording an exclusive version of ‘Hey Bulldog’. So that should be interesting!
And as usual, thanks so much for your continuing support."
Monday, April 23, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
As part of the Innovative Leisure's new INNOV8 series of 8" singles, the label home of Nick Waterhouse has just made available Hanni El Khatib's fuzzy-buzzy cover of The Cramps' Human Fly which previously appeared in a commercial for Nissan's Qashqai compact SUV and iTunes. On the flipside of the limited run single is the otherwise unavailable Roachcock which I'm guessing isn't a cover of The Vibe's tune of the same name. While supplies last, you can mailorder a copy directly from the fine folks at Innovate Leisure right here.
For the moment, Khatib seems to be having too much fun on the road tweeting transcriptions of bathroom graffiti and face tattoo sightings to be overly concerned that his days are now spent surveying the walls of toilet stalls and looking for people with tattoos on their faces.
Hey, Dan Auerbach of the freakin' Black Keys has signed on to produce Khatib's sophomore album so it's all smooth skating from here on, right?
Human Fly by Hanni El Khatib
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
Having been reasonably well served by the CD format for the past 18 years, singer/songwriter Richard Buckner has unexpectedly decided to jump into the Record Store Day fray with his first ever 7" single. Hey, all the kids are doing it.
Unlike many RSD releases which simply repackage previously issued material, Buckner's Merge label seven-inch features two good unreleased songs Willow and Lost which were recorded for the soundtrack of a film that was unfortunately shelved. In addition to the pair of non-throwaways, the limited edition 7" will include a download card for a bonus track: Buckner's version of The Cars' Candy-O with which he's been known to delight crowds of flannel-wearing folks who survived the 80s.
Check out the vibes-enhanced studio take of Willow (below), tastefully mixed by Jon Marshall Smith, followed by a clip of Buckner strumming the song solo on his trusty Harmony Hollywood for Boston's Sleepover Shows.
Willow (single version) by Richard Buckner
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Some wiseacre thought it would be a really good idea for Feist and Mastodon to cover each other's songs for a Record Store Day split single. So the hairy Atlanta progressive metal crew chose A Commotion from La Feist's latest album Metals. In return, the Juno-winning Canuck superstar fought back the temptation to take a crack at Mastodon's Cut You Up With A Linoleum Knife and settled on Black Tongue from The Hunter, the 2011 album of the year according to such reliable sources as Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Rock Sound.
In related RSD news, the cover-happy Mastodon are also releasing their version of A Spoonful Weighs A Ton by The Flaming Lips as a limited-run pink vinyl single with – surprise – the Lips' original from 1999's The Soft Bulletin on the flip. Did you actually think that Wayne Coyne would go to the trouble of learning the lyrics to a Mastodon tune?
Black Tongue (Mastodon) by Feist
A Commotion (Feist) by Mastodon
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Since just about everyone on the planet who ever wanted a copy of Walk Among Us already owns it, this "faithful reproduction of the original with music cut from the original analog masters and packaging that duplicates details down to the printed inner sleeve” (i.e. no bonus tracks, liner notes or photos) is aimed squarely at obsessive Misfits collectors. As such, the vinyl will come in three different colours in the U.S. with 1,250 on red, 1,250 on blue and 500 on clear vinyl randomly distributed to participating RSD stores.
Those adept at arithmetic are probably wondering "what about the other 1,500 LPs?" Well, there will also be a purple edition of 1,500 copies earmarked for international export. That means Misfits fans in Canada will likely be buying multiple copies so they can swap their purples for alternate colours with U.S. hoarders er... dealers. It's sad but true.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
|Stanton Davis photo by Richard Conde|
Being based in Los Angeles, Now Again mainman Eothen "Egon" Alapatt was determined to make his compendium of California's best small label soul, funk and disco joints from the golden era the last word on the subject. And from the looks of it, the 15-track Soul Cal collection of rare and unreleased tracks (spanning 1971 to 1082) spread over 2 LPs that comes packaged with an 80-page book documenting each band’s unlikely-but-true story with period snapshots is as close to a definite survey as you'll ever get.
While other reissue operations seem to have no qualms about tossing off similar scene retrospectives in a weekend and then moving on to the next, Egon spent a full decade piecing Soul Cal together – tracking down tough-to-find group members, digging up master tapes and looking through dresser drawers for small fragments of photo evidence to complete the mammoth project.
Starting in 2003 with You Can Be A Star b/w To Be Free by the Luther Davis Group, Now Again began reissuing these choice jams on 12" vinyl with generic sleeves through their Soul Cal Records subsidiary and continued with 12 more through 2008 with the last being Mixed Feelings' Sha-La-La.
Of course as we now know, that was merely the set up for the full-on Soul Cal experience – a gatefold double LP and CD with an 80-page perfect bound book printed on heavyweight stock. Here's the complete track listing:
Soul Cal: Disco and Modern Soul Masterpieces, 1971-1982
Don’t Get Discouraged - UPC All Stars 3.36
Wake Up - Pure Essence 6:10
Ecology - Anubis 3:57
Put A Smile On Time - Rhythm Machine 3:52
I’m Gonna Miss You Girl - Ellis and Cephas 2:53
Bad Feeling - Mixed Sugar 3.:04
Free Your Mind - Record Player 3:51
Sha-La-La - Mixed Feelings 3:28
Love Is (Full Version) - Leon Mitchison and The Eastex Freeway Band 4.40
Keep Running Away - Clifford Nyren 4:24
Things Cannot Stop Forever (Remix) - Stanton Davis' Ghetto Mysticism 4.46
The Stranger (Edit) - C. Henry Woods 8:35
Get Down - Freedom Express 3:26
Those intrigued enough by Egon's dope remix of the stellar Stanton Davis track Things Cannot Stop Forever to want to hear more from his Ghetto Mysticism ensemble really need to check out the recent Cultures Of Soul reissue of the Boston-based combo's incredible jazz-funk epic Brighter Days album from 1977.
In quick succession over the last three years, Cultures Of Soul have knocked out an impressive assortment of soul and funk rarities on seven-inch vinyl in strictly limited quantities including a Northern corker from Kentucky garage crew Explosive Dynamiks. The topside screamer Whole Lotta Loving and the soul ballad flip I Need You were originally recorded in Lexington back in 1966 for the Lemco label also known for the swinging organ instrumental twin-spin Hush Puppies b/w Sweet and Sour by The Titans.
Using his Deano Sounds alter-ego, Swallom also curated the World's Funkiest Covers collection which brings together some old classics like Ray Barretto's version of Stevie Wonder's Passtime Paradise and Mongo Santamaria's percussion heavy blast through Cloud Nine along with more recent revisions like Nostalgia 77's jazzy swing at the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army.
The double seven-inch Jungle Funk pack has been mastered from the original reel-to-reel tapes and comes housed in a period-appropriate sleeve designed by Gossner in the style of Augustus Kerry Taylor's dope original cover for Moving World. It's due out on May 8th but you may want to pre-order a copy directly from Cultures Of Soul (see LINKS below) because they're only pressing 1,000 copies and dealers will no doubt be stocking up to flog at ridiculously inflated prices once it sells out.
Now Again http://www.nowagainrecords.com/announcing-soul-cal/
Cultures Of Soul http://culturesofsoulrecords.com/
Egon's Soul Cal podcast
In trying to come up with a worthwhile release for Record Store Day, someone at Domino hit on the boffo concept of having Nashville's fabulous Caitlin Rose work her magic on two atypical ballads from the Arctic Monkeys. When Alex Turner’s Piledriver Waltz first appeared in the British film Submarine as a bittersweet acoustic love song, and then took another swing at it for the Monkey's Suck It and See album, it was painfully clear that a singer with real pipes could do a much better job of it.
Caitlin Rose is currently in the studio recording the followup to her critically acclaimed debut, Own Side Now. Those who aren't completely creeped out by clowns should check out Caitlin Rose's video for Piledriver Waltz below.
Piledriver Waltz by Caitlin Rose
Monday, April 16, 2012
We're doubly delighted to offer a pair of tickets to Nick Lowe's Phoenix show to the first person who can correctly answer our skill testing question. Way back in 1996, while considering songs to record for Dig My Mood, Nick liked two Ivory Joe Hunter songs he'd heard on a mixtape and couldn't decide which to cover – so he cut a version of both. One of them, Cold Grey Light of Dawn appeared as the closing track on the album, however, the other was shelved. Just email the title of that Ivory Joe Hunter tune which didn't make it onto 1998's Dig My Mood album to email@example.com with "Nick Lowe Contest" in the subject line and you could be going to see Nick Lowe on April 23. Note: The winner must be able to pick up the tickets at the venue in person on the show date and provide legal photo ID.
Stop the presses: we have our winner! Congratulations to Andrew Johnson of Toronto who correctly named the Ivory Joe Hunter mystery tune as being I'll Give You All Night To Stop which eventually appeared on Nick Lowe's excellent 4-disc outtakes and rarites collection The Doings issued by Demon in 1999.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
"Ken Nordine, yea I know that guy, I heard his voice 1000 times, he's the guy in the bus station that says "go ahead I'll keep an eye on your stuff for you," and you see him the next day walking around town wearing your clothes. He broadcasts from the boiler room of the Wilmont Hotel with 50,000 watts of power. I know that voice, he's the guy with the pitchfork in your head saying go ahead and jump, and he's the ambulance driver who tells you you're going to pull thru. He's the guy in the control tower who talked you down in a storm with a hole in your fuselage and both engines on fire. I heard him barking thru the Rose Alley Carnival strobe as samurai firemen were pulling hose. Yea he's the dispatcher with the heart of gold, the only guy up this late on the suicide hotline. Ken Nordine is the real angel sitting on the wire in the tangled matrix of cobwebs that holds the whole attic together. Yea Ken Nordine, he's the switchboard operator at the Taft Hotel, the only place in town you can get a drink at this hour. You know Ken Nordine, he's the lite in the icebox, he's the blacksmith on the anvil in your ear." – Tom Waits
Perhaps stung by the criticism of the ho-hum Stars Of Fame EP released for Record Store Day last year, the folks at Ace Records' Kent subsidiary have dug a little deeper through the FAME Studios archive to come up with more tantalizing RSD treats aimed at collectors scrounging for lost treasures on April 21.
Of course, Dean Rudland and his Kent crew aren't the sort to just give you a straight repress. Instead, what you get is the Yo Yos nicely harmonized cover of the Joe South fave Leaning On You accompanied by three unissued tracks recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals in October 1966: Tommy Tucker's Hi-Heel Sneakers, the Allen Toussaint-penned Irma Thomas evergreen Wish Someone Would Care along with what is perhaps the main attraction for soul fans, Destroyed – an obscure Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham composition.
Check the Yo Yos sweet version of Leaning On You:
Next, there's a similarly styled 2x7" Clarence Carter package I Found What I Wanted: Unissued and Rare Fame Masters which features four tracks from the deep soul great's 1971 sessions at FAME cut after Patches somehow became a massive global chart hit.
The big draw here – well, apart from the snazzy unpublished sleeve photo – is the title track. Already a top spin on the UK crossover soul scene, I Found What I Wanted should be well known to collectors through alternate versions by Mary Wells and the tune's composer, the great George Jackson but it's hard to top Carter's crack at it.
Have a listen to Clarence Carter's I'm The One:
By far the most blathered about of the Kent bunch is the five-record Fame Singles Box bringing together faithful repros of the four rarest Fame sevens of the 60s by Jimmy Hughes (You Might As Well Forget Him b/w Everybody Let's Dance), Art Freeman (Slippin' Around With You b/w I Can't Get You Out Of My Mind), James Barnett (Keep On Talking b/w Take A Good Look) and the label's debut from Jimmy Ray Hunter & The Del Rays (The Girl That Radiates The Charm b/w Hot Toddy).
The limited edition collection comes wrapped in a sleeve marked "Educational material" that's a nod to Fame's original mail-out envelopes. Nice yes, but is it essential? Not really but then, the same goes for the vast majority of RSD releases. Have a listen to Art Freeman's northern classic Slippin' Around With You:
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Everything I Ever Had
Of A Dust Filled Town
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Along with today's release of Down and Out in Upalong (TeleSoul/Warner) – for which the Sadies' Travis Good, Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor have set the poems of celebrated Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent to music – comes the news that the trio will be performing songs from the album at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio on Tuesday, June 19 at 8 pm. Tickets for the one-off event are $39.50 and will be available starting Thursday (April 12) at 10 am Eastern at the venue's box office. Here's Greg Keelor's explanation of how the unlikely project came together followed by a couple of clips:
"On a cold day back in March 2010, filmmaker Mike Bolland phoned Travis Good out of the blue to ask him if he’d like to meet Gordon Pinsent. Strange, yes, but even more so because Travis did not know Mike Bolland – had never heard of him. Bolland had been the cameraman on Gordon’s bio-pic Still Rowdy After All These Years and they had traveled all over Newfoundland filming Gordon as he went about the business being Gordon. Up in the hotel rooms, after long days of shooting and a couple of single malts, Gordon would be encouraged to read his poetry. Bolland loved it. Gordon suggested to Bolland that if he knew any musicians he’d love to see these poems set to song. So Mike Bolland’s partner Ann Margetts is friends with Travis’ wife Joanne and by the bye Joanne tells Ann about Travis. Ann tells Mike. Mike calls Travis. Travis meets Gordon and leaves with about 20 poems under his arm. The next day Travis calls me with this great tale of going to Gordon’s, having a couple of beers, Gordon reciting poetry and then asking if he’d help turn these lyrics into songs. Well, I like all of this and volunteer my services as co-writer. It would be a while before we could actually get together – Travis had tours with The Sadies and I had commitments with Blue Rodeo. So a few months later I’m driving over to Travis’ not really expecting very much. When I arrive, Travis is already a little drunk. He’s sitting in the dining room at the table, scattered with wine glasses, ashtrays and a stack of lyrics. Across the room is a piano that Travis will visit many times during the night. The first lyric we did was “Night Light” and I’m just sort of blown away. It’s not easy to make another man’s words sound like your own, but I know this place, I know these people. It was like the song was writing itself. Gordon had told us we could edit his poems as we pleased and this one changed a bit, but for the most part the metre and the mood of his words inspired the melody and the feel of our songs."