Friday, July 30, 2010

The Roots salute Dilla

A couple of months back, Philly's phatest hip-hop band The Roots put together a fabulous mix of their interpretations of tracks created by James "J. Dilla" Yancey as a tribute to the innovative producer who passed away on February 9, 2006 at the age of 32. For those who missed it, you can get Dilla Joints... er... Jawns gratis for the moment right here
Track listing:
1. Donuts Outro
2. Hot Shit (I’m Back!)
3. World Full Of Sadness
4. Upper Egypt
5. Stereolab
6. The Stars
7. Antiquity
8. She Said
9. Hall & Oates
10. Eve
11. Look Into Her Eyes
12. Make Em NV
13. Oh! O!
14. Wicked Ways

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Huckleberry Friends release party tonight @ Silver Dollar

While you were out trick-or-treating last Halloween, Amanda Jade, Sienna and Hillary of Toronto's own Huckleberry Friends were over in Leaside recording creepy tunes in the spooky abandoned CNR warehouse with James Anderson. Two of the tracks they cut were pressed up on three song pumpkin-coloured vinyl 10-inch EP and wrapped up in a cardstock foldout made to resemble the Frederick Todd designed façade of the old Leaside Locomotive Shop where the session went down.

To celebrate the creation of this stylish limited-edition package, Dan Burke will be hosting a Huckleberry Friends record release party tonight (Thursday, July 29) at the Silver Dollar with suitably noisy support from Slim Twig and his Tropics crew along with Pony Da Look.
Doors open at 9:30 and the cover is just $6 but bring some extra cash if you wanna leave with that sweet piece of wax. However, if you really need a copy of the Huckleberry Friends 10" EP and you can't make it to the show, you might try sending a mail order plea to with the subject line "OMG, I so need that Huckleberry Friends EP"


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Felice Bros raise a ruckus @ Horseshoe tonight

The Felice Brothers: All The World's A Porch

The Felice Brothers on The River Café Sept. 5, 2008

Felice Brothers
Live @ BBC June 5, 2008 download  password: noassociation

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nite Jewel gets her shine on

Certainly having a song placed on James Murphy's soundtrack for the Ben Stiller character-comedy Greenberg helped boost Nite Jewel's profile but the Oak-town synth diva's quick rise to notoriety really began in San Francisco. It was there in the Groove Merchant record shop that Damon "Dam-Funk" Riddick first heard Nite Jewel's Good Evening debut from 2008. He was so impressed with Nite Jewel's twerked out sound that he bought the LP on the spot and grabbed an extra copy for his fellow 80s electro-soul fanatic Peanut Butter Wolf at the Stones Throw label who was equally floored.
Soon after, a fantastic seven-inch coupling of the Good Evening album's two stand-out tracks Weak For Me b/w Suburbia appeared on the mysterious 1984 Records label which looks very much like another Stones Throw subsidiary.
While Nite Jewel continued work on what would become her new Am I Real (Gloriette) EP, Dam-Funk was busy drawing up secret plans for a Jeff Phelps-inspired collaborative recording with Nite Jewel which will follow his other studio project involving vocalist Steve Arrington who formerly fronted legendary Ohio funkateers Slave.
Judging from the appearance of Dam-Funk and Nite Jewel together in webisode 136 of XLR8R's Tune In An Afternoon series (see clips below), the proposed Nite-Funk album for Stones Throw sounds very promising. 

A message from Nite Jewel:

Life just gets more expansive and interesting as time goes on.  In January 2008, I began recording what became my debut LP Good Evening.  Good Evening was recorded in moments of ecstasy, emotion, and hardship—barely considering or calculating—in the privacy of my own home.  Never did I imagine, at least until the final stages of recording, that these songs would form a discrete package for listeners to ponder, critique, and love.  Since finishing Good Evening in fall 2008, I continued to record, formed a live band and toured the globe, did remixes for several artists, collaborated with some incredible musicians, and graduated from college with a degree in philosophy.

The recordings after Good Evening have lead in several directions: the Want You Back EP, recorded for Italians Do It Better in collaboration with The Samps, a limited tour CD of demos called You F O, and an again limited 7″ through Japanese label Big Love featuring tracks “Falling Far” and “Spiritual Nite Life.”

Now in the wake of this whirlwind of people, places, artists, art (and non-art), I am finally ready to make official the second independent Nite Jewel release through Gloriette Records in the U.S., and internationally through No Pain In Pop and Big Love.  This six song EP entitled Am I Real? spans the gamut of Nite Jewel’s emotional, musical, and social development since the release of Good Evening.  The EP was recorded in-house on analog and digital equipment with production, arrangement, and performing assistance from Cole M.G.N..  Title track “Am I Real?” also features performances and writing and production assistance from Daniel and Andrew Aged from Teen Inc.


You can get your copy of Am I Real? digitally right now through our website (see link below) and on vinyl on August 16th through Other Music, NYC.  We will also be playing a handful of dates to support the release.

Thank you for staying along for the ride.

Nite Jewel

 Artificial Intelligence by Nite Jewel

Tune In An Afternoon w/ Nite Jewel + Dam-Funk

Am I Gonna Make It? by Nite-Funk


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Little Miss Higgins @ Harbourfront tonight!

With three days of performances at the Regina Folk Festival looming August 6 to 8, you'd think  that blues belter Little Miss Higgins might want to just stay put in Nokomis, Saskatchewan this weekend and maybe have a chat with her neighbor Jordan Hendry of the Chicago Blackhawks about bringing the Stanley Cup home to their town of 450 people.

Nope, not when there's a request to perform the swingin' tunes from her latest self-released album Across The Plains – even if that means catching a train and traveling more than 2,100 kilometers to Toronto for a free show at Harbourfront Centre's Sirius Stage tonight (Saturday, July 24) and then turning around and heading back. Now that's dedication.       

Middle Of Nowhere by Little Miss Higgins


Friday, July 23, 2010

A quieter, gentler Black Mountain?

The much anticipated new Black Mountain album Wilderness Heart won't be available (officially at least) until September 14 but you'll likely get to hear a big chunk of the songs Stephen McBean and company recorded with Dave Sardy at L.A.'s Sunset Sound and Randall Dunn at Seattle's London Bridge Studio when the BC badasses storm the Horseshoe tonight with Quest For Fire.
Considering the softer 'n' subtler direction in which both McBean and his Black Mountain bandmates Amber Webber and Joshua Wells have been heading lately with their folk-psych side projects Pink Mountaintops and Lightning Dust, it's a good bet that Wilderness Heart will be less concerned with Marshall melting than any of Black Mountain's previous riff rippers. However, I'd still recommend bringing proper ear protection to the Horseshoe show should you have plans to hear anything in the coming week. Have a look at Black Mountain's witchy video for Old Fangs which you can download for free right here.    

Old Fangs by Black Mountain

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Calexico says "download this..."

Calexico just kicked off a new tour – which brings them through Toronto for a show with Elliott Brood at the Phoenix on Thursday (July 22) – and to celebrate, Tucson's finest have made available a high quality digital recording of their concert last year in Nuremberg which you can download for free right here or stream it here.
For those who can't get enough of Joey Burns, John Convertino and crew in action, they'll be selling CDs of their performance at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels from 2008 at the Phoenix gig. The video clip below of the song Inspiracion, beautifully sung by guest vocalist Amparo Sanchez, will give you an idea of what to expect.    

Calexico - Live In Nuremberg 2009
01. Roka
02. Bend To The Road
03. Inspiration
04. Crystal Frontier
05. Two Silver Trees
06. Red Blooms
07. Victor Jara's Hands
08. Man Made Lake
09. Fractured Air
10. All Systems Red

Joey Burns: acoustic and electric guitar, vocals
John Convertino: drums
Paul Niehaus: pedal steel, electric guitar
Jacob Valenzuela: trumpet, keys, vibes, percussion
Volker Zander: upright and electric bass
Martin Wenk: trumpet, guitar, keys, vibes, accordion
Jairo Zavala: electric guitar, bouzouki

Inspiracion by Calexico live @ Ancienne Belgique Oct 13, 2008

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Near misses: Jim Weatherly

While discussing Jim Weatherly's recording Midnight Plane To Houston with a musician pal recently, I was surprised to find that he thought Weatherly's song was a cover of Gladys Knight's mega-selling hit with a slightly altered title. In fact, Midnight Train To Georgia was actually a version of Weatherly's original from the tunesmith's largely overlooked self-titled 1973 debut LP for RCA which has never been reissued on disc.
So the story goes, back in the early 70s, Weatherly – an All-American quarterback with Ole Miss during the Rebels' early 60s dominance of the SEC – used to play flag-football for kicks in Los Angeles with Lee Majors. One night while trying to reach the Six Million Dollar Man at home, Majors' significant other Farah Fawcett answered the phone instead and mentioned she was going to catch the midnight plane to Houston to visit her folks. The phrase stuck with Weatherly and he wrote a song around it thinking it could be right for Glen Campbell.
As it turned out, few people ever heard Wetherly's Midnight Plane To Houston, apart from Sonny Limbo, a record producer who happened to be cutting an album in Atlanta with Cissy Houston (Whitney's mom) and needed another song. Limbo thought Weatherly's tune might work for the former Sweet Inspirations singer if it had more of an R&B feel. So Limbo called Weatherly and proposed changing the title to Midnight Train To Georgia. The veteran writer famously fired back "change anything but the writer and publisher." Houston took a crack at it but the single went nowhere. However, Gladys Knight heard it and liked what Houston did with Weatherly's song enough to cop the clever vocal arrangement for her slightly funkier and more uptempo revision which shot to the top of the charts in 1973.
Just a few months later Weatherly was enjoying Songwriter Of The Year bragging rights courtesy of the Nashville Songwriters Association International and went on to compose Knight's Grammy-winning smash Neither One Of Us Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye as well as You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me. But after all these years, Midnight Plane To Houston remains his biggest miss.

Here's a clip of Weatherly performing his song the way he wrote it:

Midnight Plane To Houston by Jim Weatherly

Midnight Train To Georgia by Gladys Knight & The Pips

Midnight Train To Georgia spoof w/Jack Black, Ben Stiller & Robert Downey Jr.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yet more 70s Togolese insanity uncovered

If you thought the African Scream Contest collection of funky psych badness was a non-stop blast which would be tough to top, Analog Africa mainman Samy Ben Redjeb has returned from another exploratory trip to Togo and Ghana with a worthy follow-up. Due out August 3, Analog Africa 8's lengthy title – Afro-Beat Airways West African Shockwaves: Ghana & Togo 1972-1979 –should give you an idea of what sort of scorch the 15-track CD (or 2 LP) scene overview has in store.
But our man Samy is a much more conscientious historian than your average jet-setting digger out to make a quick buck. So unlike some reissue hobbyists who offset their vacation costs by simply ripping some scratchy vinyl they've copped for pennies from some dude who was going to use it to heat his family's mud hut, Redjeb goes the extra kilometers to track down the master tapes, sleeve art, photos along with the musicians involved, producers, engineers, etc. to tell the story behind the amazing music in the well-illustrated 44-page booklet accompanying this super-dope set. 

Here's how it all came together according to Redjeb:

"Somehow this project started at Frankfurt airport when I accidently checked in the bag which contained my passport. The flight to Angola (via Addis Ababa) was delayed and the plane's belly emptied in an attempt to find my luggage. Unfortunately, this was never found. As a consequence, I had to cancel my trip. I was at the Ethiopian Airlines offices the next morning (where this episode had become legend) trying to rebook my flight to Luanda, but everything was fully booked for weeks. I was told that if I wished I could selected another destination. The choices? Kinshasa, Yaoundé, Lagos and Accra. I selected the last, because my connections in Ghana had found some serious stocks of vinyl records, and I thought it might be the occasion to check them out.

"A few days later I'm in Ghana, and as on all my previous trips to Accra the first person I paid a visit to was producer Dick Essilfie-Bonzie, who I simply call Mr Essiebons, after his legendary label, Essiebons Records. Everything happens for a reason because the disappointment of missing my flight to Angola was soon replaced by excitement. Mr Essiebons explained that after more than a decade of being out of business he had decided "to give it another shot" and thus digitised all his master tapes for future releases. He then showed me the result – a box containing approximately 80 CDs, each with a track listing,– a total of 800 songs. I was allowed to take the "surprise" box to my hotel room and started listening. I had no idea what to expect, but I was in for a treat. Previously unreleased material by Apagya Show Band and Orchestre Abass were the first few amazing tracks that I discovered and that's when I decided to start working on this compilation.

"The whole selection of songs was completed about a year later and now that I knew which tracks were going to be included, I decided to dedicate some time to find the artists for interviews and research. December 2008 and May of 2010 were solely dedicated to that process, as I flew to West Africa to meet Rob, Ebo Taylor, Nana Ampadu (founder of the mighty African Brothers Band), Issac Yeboah (lead singer of Vis-a-Vis, one of Ghana's most impressive bands), Gyedu-Blay Ambolley (the personification of Ghanaian Afro-funk), saxophonist Ray Allen, Chester Adams (lead singer of the Uppers International) and few others. I did extensive interviews with all of them and managed to collect amazing pictures to document the liner notes that accompany the music.

"While some light has been cast on the Ghanaian music scene of the 1970's, Togolese music is relatively obscure and badly documented. However, we are working on this! In fact, we've already made a start, with our previous Analog Africa compilation "African Scream Contest" which showcased 3 Togolese artists. Afro-Beat Airways presents two more – Orchestre Abass and Cos-Ber-Zam. While the first band developed into one of the country's best, to such an extent that none other than Fela Kuti once offered them a contract to play at his Afro-Spot night club (which later became The Shrine), the second artist was a one-hit wonder. "Né Noya" was a monster hit in Togo but it is to date the only release by this obscure artist. The reason why I decided to include these Togolese tracks on this compilation is that they were all recorded in Ghana and thus they worked well in the mix."

Afro-Beat Airways West African Shockwaves: Ghana & Togo 1972-1979
01.  Uppers International Dankasa
02.  Apagya Show Band Ma Nserew Me
03.  K. Frimpong & His Cubano Fiestas Me Yee Owu Den
04.  Marijata Break Through
05.  African Brothers Band Ngyegye No So
06.  Orchestre Abass Awula Bo Fee Ene
07.  Ebo Taylor & The Sweet Beans Odofo Nyi Akyiri Biara
08.  Pagadeja Custom Band Okpe See
09.  De Frank Professionals Afe Ato Yen Bio
10.  3rd Generation Band Obiye Saa Wui
11.  Apagya Show Band Mumunde
12.  Rob More
13.  Cos-Ber-Zam Ne Noya
14.  Uppers International Neriba Lanchina
15.  Ebo Taylor & The Pelicans Come Along

Me Yee Owu Den by K. Frimpong

Afe Ato Yen Bio by De Frank Professionals

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Broken Social Scene video you won't see on TV

According to an Arts & Crafts release, an anonymous fan of Broken Social Scene is said to be the brains behind a provocative G20-inspired video for the group's anthemic instrumental Meet Me In The Basement from their new Forgiveness Rock Record album recently short-listed for a Polaris Prize.
Since it's unlikely that the potentially controversial juxtaposition of images will ever be shown on MuchMusic – at least in in an un-pixelated form – I thought I'd post it here along with a clip of BSS performing the song at Harbourfront last July.

"This video was made as a response to the G20 Summit in Toronto June, 2010. 
The rest speaks for itself.
It was sent to us by a lover of our music who wants to remain anonymous.  
We are very proud to share this mash-up with you." 
- Broken Social Scene

Meet Me In The Basement by Broken Social Scene

Meet Me In The Basement by Broken Social Scene @ Harbourfront July 11, 2009

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Helios repeat Mulatu magic with Lloyd Miller

Two years ago funky drummer Malcom Catto and his nine strong Heliocentrics massive joined  Ethio-jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke on stage as part of Karen P's Broad Casting series at Cargo. The sold-out gig went so well, they wound up collaborating in the studio a few months later on a fantastic album which became the third volume of the Strut label's Inspiration Information project. Evidently, that was just the beginning of Catto's cultural collision experiments.

While critics were heaping praise on the Helios better-than-anticipated Mulatu collabo, Catto and crew were busily making plans for an encore adventure, this time involving legendary ethnomusicologist and mult-instrumentalist Dr. Lloyd Miller. The title of Jazzman's career retrospective of Miller's work, A Lifetime In Oriental Jazz, is quite apt as the longtime University of Utah professor has been exploring Middle Eastern music since his first trip to Iran in the late 50s. Long before the term "world music" was coined, Miller was traveling around Europe in the 60s, applying traditional Middle Eastern instruments, rhythms and scales in different contexts with fellow forward looking artists such as Don Ellis and Jef Gilson. Suffice it to say that Miller was well-prepared for a monumental throwdown with the Heliocentrics crew which is due out August 1 on disc followed by a vinyl release on August 31.
Here's what you're in for...

Fantasia, Part 1

11. FANTASIA Pt. 2

Gol-e Gandom by Lloyd Miller on Iranian TV 1965

Yèkèrmo Sèw by Mulatu Astatke & the Heliocentrics

Yèkatit by Mulatu Astatke & the Heliocentrics

Monday, July 12, 2010

Harvey Pekar 1939-2010

Sadly, writer and noted jazz critic Harvey Pekar was found dead at 1 am this morning by his wife Joyce Brabner at their home in Cleveland Heights. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed pending the results of the coroner's autopsy but Pekar suffered from lymphoma as chronicled in the 1994 graphic novel Our Cancer Year and had more recently been battling prostate cancer in addition to high blood pressure, asthma and depression. He was 70. 
Perhaps best known for his contributions to the cult comic American Splendor and his hilariously confrontational on-air exchanges with David Letterman, Pekar was also an enthusiastic record collector with an impressively deep knowledge of jazz music and a delightful sense of humour as I came to appreciate through our infrequent telephone conversations that were informative as they were entertaining. He might start by discussing a review of a bop-era reissue he was working on at the moment but that was usually just the jump off point for a colourful anecdote-rich rant about some unjustly obscure artist who never received proper credit for their important innovations. It was through Pekar that I gained a greater appreciation for the accomplishments of saxophonist Joe Maneri and mandolinist/clarinetist Andy Statman among others and for that, I'm truly grateful. They sure don't make 'em like Harvey anymore. He'll be missed. 

Harvey Pekar on Late Night with David Letterman July 31, 1987

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Phosphorescent ripped-off, T.O. gigs canned

After Phosphorescent played a show in New York on Thursday night – the first gig of a planned six week tour – they had their rented tour van stolen containing all of their instruments, gear and merchandise in Brooklyn. A devastating $40,000 hit.
Consequently, Phosphorescent's Toronto show at the Horseshoe tonight and Soundscapes in-store on Sunday have been canceled (with hopes of rescheduling at a later date) while the group figures out their next move. They're currently offering a $5,000 reward for the return of their stolen stuff and $1,000 for any tips which lead to recovering it. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact which is also where concerned fans can make a donation via Paypal to help offset Phosphorescent's heavy losses.

The following note was posted on the band's myspace page on Friday along with a detailed list of what was stolen below:

Phosphorescent Gear/Van Stolen last Night
Last night, after an amazing show at Pier 54 in New York City, Phosphorescent's rental van -along with all of their equipment - was stolen from outside a residence in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 
Among the stolen items was Matthew Houck's custom, irreplaceable 1955 Gibson ES-125 guitar, vintage amplifiers, and a vintage pedal steel with losses totaling around $40,000.  If anyone has ANY information or leads on what might have happened, or if you see any of this gear in pawn shops, on Craigslist, etc, please call the NY Police Department, Vector Management, or anyone you think might be able to help recover this gear.  
The van rental company is insured - they are covered for their van and are therefore not greatly concerned with recovering it.  Phosphorescent DOES care though, greatly, about recovering any of this gear possible, and about right now figuring out how to rally up and make this US Tour happen.  Anything anyone can do to help would be simply amazing.  We have set up a Paypal account ( for anyone wishing to donate funds to help replace gear - anything helps.  We will be sending updates about the upcoming tour dates ASAP.  Thanks in advance for any goodwill and assistance and thank you for your support over the years.

Nick Stern
Vector Management
phone: 212-317-2323


1955 Gibson ES-125 Hollow-body Electric
1968 Gibson EB-3 Bass with slotted headstock (brown)
197? Fender Stratocaster - Custom, Blonde wood finish. No brand names or markings anywhere.
197? Emmons Pedal Steel Guitar - Push-Pull Model

1973 Fender Twin Reverb (Silverface) w/ Indian Sun Worshipper Tapestry affixed to grillplate
1978 Music Man 112 RD500 Custom Amp w/ 10" Speaker
SWR Workingman's Bass Amp
196? Fender Deluxe Reverb

(1) Line 6 DL4 Delay Pedal
(2) Fulltone Full-Drive 2 Mosfet
(1) Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Plus
(1) Electro Harmonix Little Big Muff
(2) Electro Harmonix 80's Memory Man Deluxe
(1) MXR Power Amp Pedal
(2) Boss TU-2 Tuner
(1) MXR Phase 90, CSP-026
(1) Fender Tuning Pedal

DW "Collectors Series" Drum Kit - Black Matte finish
22" kick drum
16" floor tom
12" rack tom
14" Yamaha, Anton Fig snare drum, with maple hoops
(1) Ludwig boom cymbal stand
(2) yamaha boom cymbal stands
(1) DW9000 Hi-Hat pedal, DW7000 kick pedal
(1) Yamaha, double braced snare stand
(1) Ludwig double braced snare stand
(1) Ludwig drum throne/stool.
(1) 20" Zyldjian Constantinople ride cymbal
(1) 17in Zildjian A Custom crash cymbal
(2) Zildjian Constantinople Hi-Hats (paired)

Black Arai Profile Full-face Motorcycle Helmet
Durango Boots - Brown Harness Boots

150 Vinyl (To WIlle/Pride/Here's to Taking it Easy)
150 CD's (To WIlle/Pride/Here's to Taking it Easy)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Phosphorescent's brush with greatness

It isn't every day that a big name artist you've admired for years walks into a joint where you're playing and agrees to come up on stage to sing your favourite tune of theirs. Matthew Houck must've thought he was living the dream last October when Willie Nelson turned up to see what Phosphorescent were puttin' down in St. Louis while touring in support of his To Willie (Dead Oceans) tribute to the timeless music of the great country tunesmith.
Unfortunately, the once-in-a-lifetime duet opportunity didn't work out exactly the way Houck imagined it would. On the upside, even if the situation doesn't inspire a song for the follow up to Phosphorescent's excellent new Here's To Taking It Easy (Dead Oceans) album, Matthew will still have a story he can use to introduce his cover of Reasons To Quit each time he sings it for years to come. On the off chance that Reasons To Quit isn't pencilled in for the encore at Phosphorescent's much-anticipated Toronto show at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West) on Saturday (July 10), you can hear Houck tell the tale in the following clip shot at The Ottobar in Baltimore back on October 14, 2009.

Reasons To Quit

It's Not Supposed To Be That Way

The snazzy award-winning storefront salute to the Here's To Taking It Easy album you see below belongs to the fine Toronto music boutique Soundscapes (572 College) who will be hosting a free in-store with Phosphorescent on Sunday (July 11) at 5 pm. It would be wise to arrive early and drink lots of water before you go. 


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Budos Band tune unleashed

The thumping new Budos Band tune called "Unbroken, Unshaven" is the first track to be released from their forthcoming Budos Band III album (due August 10) and it sounds like a winner. You'll get to hear a full preview of the Staten Island soul crew's 11-track opus when the Budos bashers get down at Lee's Palace (529 Bloor West) on July 17. 
Daptone currently has a special pre-order deal for the new album – if you're one of the first 800 to purchase a copy of Budos Band III on CD or LP (with download link coupon included) from the label's site, they'll throw in a free copy of the new Budos Band limited-edition 7" single KAKAL b/w Hidden Hand. Check it out here.

Budos Band III track listing

1 Rite of the Ancients
2 Black Venom
3 River Serpentine
4 Unbroken, Unshaven
5 Nature’s Wrath
6 Golden Dunes
7 Budos Dirge
8 Raja Haje
9 Crimson Skies
10 Mark of the Unnamed
11 Reppirt Yad 

Unbroken, Unshaven by The Budos Band

Budos Band site
Daptone Records htp://

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Before They Were Famous: Vincent Gallo

Way back in 1984, actor/musician/auteur Vincent Gallo made a cameo appearance as b-boy "Prince Vince" rocking a white Kangol and a gold chain in the early hip-hop TV show Graffiti Rock hosted by Michael Holman and featuring performances by Run DMC, Special K and Kool Moe Dee. Fresh!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kings Go Forth on Friday

Sure it's only Monday but I'm already amped to see Milwaukee's finest funkateers Kings Go Forth tear it up Friday (July 9) at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West). It's gonna be tough to top the electrifying display put on by Austin's Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears at the 'Shoe last Friday but I've got faith in the supercharged soul power of the Brew City Crew. Advance tickets are $15, that's just one quarter of what it'll set you back to see Metric at the Molson Amphitheatre for over four times the musical entertainment – plus the added bonus of no Twi-tards in jorts.

One Day by Kings Go Forth

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Explosive NOMO lights up Horseshoe tonight!

Anyone in Toronto for the Jazz Festival and finding nothing terribly thrilling listed for Sunday – the closing night of the 10-day blowout – might want to go off the official schedule and check out mighty Michicago Afro-jazz crew NOMO at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West). Saxophone-honking and electric kalimba plinking frontman Elliott Bergman and his charged-up combo headz will provide the hard-thumping fireworks for your July 4 celebrations.  Fans of Sun Ra, Fela Kuti, Segun Bucknor and/or Italo Calvino will be delighted.

Rings by NOMO

NOMO Live @ the Grog Shop, Cleveland April 11, 2010


Friday, July 2, 2010

José James: The other Minneapolis marvel

There's no shortage of jazz-lite shows around town this weekend with the Toronto Jazz Fest in full swing but if you're tastes run a bit deeper you should do yourself a favour and check out fast-rising vocalist José James and his Blackmagic band at Revival (783 College) tonight (Friday, July 2)  along with Elizabeth Shepherd and DJs John Kong and Jason Palma. Have a listen to what James does with John Coltrane's Equinox and Resolution and you'll understand why the 31 year-old baritone is considered to be the hottest musical prospect out of Minneapolis since the Purple Wonder himself.  Tickets are $25, doors open at 9 pm.

Equinox by José James

Resolution by José James

And while we're on the subject of Prince, that crazy caricature emblazoned tunic he was wearing on stage at the BET Awards on Sunday wasn't simply another head-scratching display of narcissism, the odd fashion statement was actually meant to be a promotional teaser for his new album, 20Ten.
Just as his Planet Earth album was distributed in the UK with the Mail On Sunday in 2007, the 10-track recording which Prince claims has "strong funk and new wave elements" (shock!) is being given away free as a cover-mount CD with various European newspapers and magazines. France's Courier International will have it first on July 8, followed by Belgium's Het Nieuwsblad, England's Daily Mirror, Scotland's Daily Record with their July 10 editions and then the German version of Rolling Stone will have it on July 22.
No date has been set for a North American release but with more than 2.5 million copies of 20Ten being distributed overseas, anyone interested in hearing it shouldn't have much difficulty finding it online next week. 

 20Ten track listing:

1. Compassion
2. Endlessly Beginning
3. Future Soul Song
4. Sticky Like Glue
5. Lavaux
6. Act Of God
7. Walk In Sand
8. Sea Of Everything
9. Everybody Loves Me
10. untitled bonus track

José James site
José James myspace

Thursday, July 1, 2010

We are the Toronto public. We want to SHOP!

Along with the flaming police cars, weedy black-clad vandals, riot squads and chain link fences, one of the more memorable images of the G20 Summit in Toronto is that of the frustrated dude trying to get into the temporarily shutdown Eaton Centre. The two-minute video clip documenting the bizarre case of retail rage has already gone viral and there are now the inevitable dance remixes and parodies popping up. Some viewers may find the following images troubling or hilarious, possibly both. 

Retail Rage @ Eaton Centre during G20 in Toronto

Retail Rage, part 2

Retail Rage (Fridge parody)

Retail Rage (xdrcft56 Remix)

Why (Are You Closed?) Retail Rage Happy Hardcore Remix

Retail Rage (Sparta Remix)