Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grails salute Bruno Nicolai

Some recent Grails converts who picked up their new album Deep Politics in advance of tonight's show with James Blackshaw at Sneaky Dee's might be surprised to hear Portland's instro-psych whumpers covering All The Colors Of The Dark, Bruno Nicolai's darkly twisted theme from Sergio Martino's 1972 satanic cult thriller Tutti i Colori del Buio. Have a listen:

A fondness for Italian film music isn't something new to Grails, it's actually a formative influence. You can hear the inspiration of Morricone all over their 2003 debut Burden Of Hope (Neurot) even if it wasn't explicitly stated.
As Alex John Hall and crew have slowly let go of the dream of being the new Sun City Girls, Grails have become considerably less self-conscious about openly paying tribute to the touchstone artists who helped shape their sound. While touring back in 2005, they were constantly listening to Gong's You: Radio Gnome Invisible, Pt. 3 and the Flower Travellin' Band's Satori albums on the road and they couldn't care less who knew it which led to their Interpretations Of Three Psychedelic Rock Songs From Around The World  (Latitudes) EP.
Increasingly indulging in yet more psych-damaged explorations on subsequent releases, the Grails returned to their appreciation for the gloomy goodness of Italian film scores – specifically of the giallo horror variety – with 2008's Doomsdayer's Holiday (Temporary Residence) and the proggy fourth installment of their Black Tar Prophecies series for Important from last year. It turns out, that was all just building up to the Grails crowning achievement, Deep Politics (Temporary Residence) which neatly ties up all of their disparate influences in one beautifully packaged coloured vinyl double LP set with an etched fourth side no less.

Deep Politics

I Led Three Lives


Friday, April 22, 2011

Goodbye Hazel

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What you don't know about Fukushima can kill you

Australian-born physician Dr. Helen Caldicott, who hosts If You Love This Planet, explains the dire global consequences of the ongoing Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. You likely won't see any portion of this enlightening press conference held in Montreal on March 18 re-broadcast on your local television news...

One For The Weekend: Mulatu Astatke

The Way To Nice by Mulatu Astatke in Brazil

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Byron Coley vs. David Bowie

At a recent tribute to outsider song-poet Michael Hurley at the Tranzac Club in Toronto, wiseacre music critic Byron Coley delighted the audience with a reading from his book C'est la Guerre: Early Writings 1978-1983 (L'oie De Cravan).     

Byron Coley @ The Tranzac Club, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

One For The Weekend: Luke & the Apostles

In honour of' Mike McKenna's birthday, here's one of the flash guitarists finest recorded moments...

Been Burnt by Luke & The Apostles

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Get Wizard Smoke's dope new album for free!

Just as Wizard Smoke kindly gave away their awe-inspiring previous album Live Rock In Hell as a free download, Atlanta's stoner overlords are now making the brutally whumping follow-up The Speed Of Smoke available to cheapskate headbangers everywhere right here.
Those who prefer to listen to their blistering metaloid scorch on vinyl will be pleased to know that Wizard Smoke have pressed up a few copies of their new opus which you can buy on their site ( while you're waiting for the download to finish. And if you've never experienced the hard pummeling glory of Live Rock In Hell, they've still got a download link for it on their site. But be forewarned, one listen may have you air brushing Frazetta-esque sword 'n' sorcery murals on your family van.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Alex Pangman unveils 33 at Hugh's Room tonight

It's been some time since Toronto's Alex Pangman released a studio album of her own but I'm pleased to report that her fabulous new 33 debut for Montreal's Justin Time has been worth the wait. Evidently, Canada's Sweetheart of Swing couldn't think of any better way to spend her 33rd year than interpreting a well-chosen selection of classic American Songbook tunes popular in 1933 for a delightful concept recording.
For the sessions produced with Don Kerr at Rooster Studio last April, she was accompanied as always by her trusty Alley Cats in addition to singer pals Ron Sexsmith who sweetly duets on the Bing Crosby fave I Surrender Dear and Denzal Sinclaire who joins Alex on a lovely reprise of You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me. Of course, the clever kicker for the album concept was that 33 would have a limited-run 33 RPM vinyl issue. Brilliant right?
Well, everything would be perfect if those hot new albums were back from the pressing plant in time for tonight's release party at Hugh's Room (2261 Dundas West) with singer/pianist Julian Fauth opening the proceedings at 8:30 pm, but even if the records don't miraculously appear, you can count on there being enough copies of the CD version of 33 to go around. In any case, you know that the always charming Ms. Pangman will be at her top-dollar best this evening with the superb support of her Alley Cats namely Peter Hill (piano), Chris Banks (bass), Glenn Anderson (drums), Jesse Barksdale (guitar), Drew Jerecka (fiddle, alto sax) and Ross Wooldridge (clarinet/tenor sax). Certainly not something you'd want to miss.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

R.I.P. John Bottomley 1960 - 2011

Thus far, there have been few details concerning the sudden passing of Toronto singer/songwriter and TULPA co-founder John Bottomley on April 6. On Sunday evening, Chris Bottomley sent out the following message to the members of the Facebook group I Remember TULPA:

Dear friends of TULPA,

As some may already know, This week we lost our brother and fellow TULPA member Johnny B.

John passed away suddenly on the morning of April 6/2011 at the age of 50. Sev and I can't express our grief at this time as we loved John immensely and we were planning on doing another TULPA record this year. Just a few weeks ago John and I had e-mailed each other with our wishes to release a TULPA single.

Over the years we had great formative experiences together, always pushing the musical envelope and playing our hearts out. So it is a sad time for me and Mike and Bob as we will miss his spirit and humour, a big part of the TULPA experience. RIP John.

We plan on doing a Tribute concert for John sometime soon so we will keep you posted.

Here is the funeral info:

A Funeral Mass for John Bottomley will be held at Church of Our Lady (28 Norfolk Street) in Guelph on Wednesday April 13/2011 at 11 AM. Cremation to follow.

Friends will be received at The Gilbert MacIntyre and Son Funeral Home, Hart Chapel  (1099 Gordon Street, Guelph) from 2-4 and 7-9 pm. on Tuesday April 12/2011. Vigil Prayers for John will be held there also on Tuesday at 3:30 pm.

Chris and Sev, Great Bob Scott 

Simply Saucer sighting in Hamilton

Simply Saucer live @ This Ain't Hollywood Feb. 26, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Teddy Thompson @ The Horseshoe Tonight!

Teddy Thompson talks ABBA and stage lighting

ABBA's Super Trouper by Teddy Thompson @ City Winery NYC

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Danko Jones vs. The Karate Kid

With the release of the brilliant clip for Danko Jones' I Think Bad Thoughts, the Diamond Brothers have completed the star-studded Below The Belt video trilogy which has the look and feel of a big screen Tarantino-esque crime thriller. The cameo appearances of bass-bashing music legends Lemmy from Motörhead and Mike Watt (Minutemen, Stooges) certainly raise the cool factor but the real masterstroke is the inspired against-type casting of Elijah Wood and Dancing With The Stars leaderboard topper Ralph "Karate Kid" Macchio in key roles alongside the exceedingly versatile Selma Blair, Frank Drank and rising star Jenna Malone in addition to the group members themselves. There's actually more intrigue, clever character development and cinematic excitement in these three short promotional videos for Danko Jones' Below The Belt (Aquarius/Bad Taste) album than most mega-budget motion pictures coming out of Hollywood. In fact, the Diamond Brothers should consider turning it into a full-length feature film before Guy Ritchie swipes the idea.  

Danko Jones on the "Below The Belt" trilogy


Full of Regret by Danko Jones

Had Enough by Danko Jones

I Think Bad Thoughts by Danko Jones

Friday, April 1, 2011

One For The Weekend: Lemmy

Sky Is Burning by Sam Gopal (1969)