Saturday, June 30, 2012

Antibalas get down 'n' Dirty for Daptone

   Antibalas "Dirty Money" (Radio/45 EDIT) by Daptone Records

Walter Daniels fires up Guadalupe Plata

Happy Birthday Andrew Hill

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cheers to Robert Forster on his day!

  • 1. Never follow an artist who describes his or her work as ‘dark’.
  • 2. The second-last song on every album is the weakest.
  • 3. Great bands tend to look alike.
  • 4. Being a rock star is a 24-hour-a-day job.
  • 5. The band with the most tattoos has the worst songs.
  • 6. No band does anything new on stage after the first 20 minutes.
  • 7. The guitarist who changes guitars on stage after every third number is showing you his guitar collection.
  • 8. Every great artist hides behind their manager.
  • 9. Great bands don’t have members making solo albums.
  • 10. The three-piece band is the purest form of rock and roll expression.

Fiver's first full-band show @ The Silver Dollar tonight

When singer/songwriter Simone Schmidt of Toronto's One Hundred Dollars decided she needed an outlet for her non-country tunes, Fiver was formed with her fellow bandmates, guitarist Paul Mortimer, bassist Kyle Porter along with Tropics drummer Simone TB. Check out the Colin Medley video clip for Oh Sienna (below), the A-side of Fiver's debut single which you can get right here

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Doc Pomus

"If the music business had a heart, it would be Doc Pomus" - Jerry Wexler

AKA Doc Pomus

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Sadies join Neil Young on the road

The Sadies are pleased to announce that they will be touring Canada in November as support to Neil Young & Crazy Horse (see dates below). They'll be sharing the bill with Los Lobos from Vancouver to Toronto and Patti Smith in Ottawa and Montreal which hopefully means that Patti will be doing a Hogtown show of her own. The Juno-winning Toronto twang troop will be returning to the studio with producer Gary Louris in the fall to begin recording the follow-up to 2010's critically acclaimed Darker Circles album which was short-listed for a Polaris Music Prize. That might not seem like much but considering the prevailing indie-rock slant of the Polaris jury pool, a recording by the Sadies getting short-listed is a huge freaking achievement. 

In 2010, the band saw their one-off Neil Young collabo on "This Wheel's On Fire" dispatched to obscurity on the Band tribute disc A Canadian Celebration of the Band (Sony) which became an instant cut-out bin classic largely due to the baffling list of contributors that included Raine Maida, Hawksley Workman, Great Big Sea, The Trews, Chantal Creviazuk, Ian Thornley and others who similarly had no business messing with songs by The Band.  More recently, The Sadies received further accolades for their inspired  studio throwdown with Andre Williams on the Jon Spencer-produced Night & Day (Yep Roc/Outside) album. 

Consisting of brothers Dallas and Travis Good, drummer Mike Belitsky and upright bassist Sean Dean, The Sadies’ reputation as “musician’s musicians” and “a real working band” has been earned in roadhouses and bucket-of-blood bars as well as theaters and festivals all over the world where, for the last 14 years, they have astonished audiences with their earthy arsenal of traditional roots music, country, spaghetti western excursions, surf, garage rock, psychedelia, and the slippery beast known as alt rock, all with uncanny precision and passion.

 Neil Young & Crazy Horse November Tour Dates

November 11th - Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena with Los Lobos & The Sadies
November 13thCalgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome with Los Lobos & The Sadies

November 14th - Saskatoon, SK @ Credit Union Centre with Los Lobos & The Sadies
November 16th - Winnipeg, MB @ MTS Centre with Los Lobos & The Sadies
November 19th - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre with Los Lobos & The Sadies
November 23rd - Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre with Patti Smith and Her Band & The Sadies

November 24th - Ottawa, ON @ Scotiabank Place with Patti Smith and Her Band & The Sadies

The Hives hit Sound Academy tonight

Happy Birthday Georgie Fame

Kelly Haigh sings Dallas Frazier

What Are Those Things With Big Black Wings - Kelly Haigh

What Are Those Things With Big Black Wings - Charlie Louvin

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A clever Zombies tie-in

After Otto Preminger finished the 1965 psychological thriller Bunny Lake Is Missing – his creepy black & white rejoinder to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho – the notorious control freak was so concerned with filmgoers showing up late and missing essential plot development points that he enlisted the Zombies to help create a special promotional clip to warn people against being tardy.

So the Zombies, who were already contributing three songs to the film's soundtrack, came up with Come On Time – a crafty rewrite of Just Out Of Reach which namechecks the principle players and presses the importance of punctuality. Now largely forgotten, the Zombies' Come On Time promo clip (reportedly shot under Preminger's critical glare)  is an early example of a celebrity tie-in now commonplace in the set-up of big budget Hollywood films.

Since Sony Pictures strangely left it off their 2005 release of the Bunny Lake Is Missing DVD and today happens to be the birthday of Zombies' frontman Colin Blunstone, here's Come On Time followed by Preminger's original trailer where you can see the Zombies performing Just Out Of Reach on a pub TV and hear Otto underscore his "iron rule" that no one will be admitted to the theatre after the movie has started. 

Happy Birthday Jacques Pelzer

Open Sky Unit label

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dizzy meets Clarke-Boland Big Band

First Aid Kit draw on Swedish star power

To coincide with the digital release of First Aid Kit's new single Blue taken from the Mike Mogis-produced album The Lion's Roar (Wichita), Swedish sibling harmony duo of Klara and Johanna Söderberg have just issued a superb video clip for the song.

Beautifully shot by Scandinavian filmmaker Daniel Wirtberg, best known for his short subject and video work – most notably Little Dragon's Crystalfilm – the Blue video is built around the performance of celebrated Swedish actress Ewa Fröling whom some will remember from her international breakout role as Emelie in Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander and more recently playing Harriet Vanger in Niels Arden Oplev's superior Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo from 2009.

First Aid Kit will begin the North American leg of their current world tour in late July, hitting the Town Ballroom in Buffalo on July 30 on their way to Toronto for a show with hugely promising Shreveport singer/songwriter Dylan LeBlanc at the Danforth Music Hall on September 26.  In the meantime, have a look at Blue:

Blue by First Aid Kit

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cat Power album due in September

After a lengthy break between Cat Power studio sets, Matador has slated September 4 for the new SUN album recorded, performed and produced by Chan Marshall primarily at the home studio she built in Malibu. From the upbeat tone of the lead off track Ruin (see the Austin Conroy-directed video clip below), it sounds like SUN could do very well for Marshall and Matador both. Watch for details of a limited-run vinyl editon to be announced soon. If you like the song Ruin, you can momentarily download it for free right here.

SUN track listing:
Always On My Own
Real Life
Human Being
Silent Machine
Nothin But Time
Peace And Love

Ruin by Cat Power


Mid-week Mixdown: Eldica's Andy Westbury

From the fab Sofrito site comes this funky fresh mix of Island heat put together by Andy Westbury – the man behind Hackney's well-stocked Eldica Vinyl and Retro shop (8 Bradbury Street, London N16 8JN) – which you can download right here.

Caribbean Boogie Selection
These Eyes – Soca Hustle
The Troubedours – Gimme Some More
Sylvania East Side Symphony – Hot Pants Road
Charlies Roots – Pastime Paradise
Embryo – Wanjang Woman
Robert Bailey – Trinidad
Last Supper – Black Bull
Lunar 7 – African Bump
The Fantastics – You Don't Love Me
The Outfit – Dr Spougenstein
Johnny Limbo – A Little Bit Of Everything
Carol Addison – I'm Tricked, I'm Trapped
Brothers – Thoughts

Eldica Vinyl and Retro

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Whaddya mean you don't know Michel Legrand

Good Pinsent Keelor @ Glenn Gould Studio tonight

Although some misinformed journalists have characterized Down and Out In UpalongGordon Pinsent's recent recording collaboration with Travis Good of the Sadies and Greg Keelor – as the Canadian screen icon's "musical debut", Pinsent actually had a brief career as an East Coast singer/songwriter during the mid-60s folk scare. None of the other Canadian stars of the time felt particularly threatened. Never once did Gordon Lightfoot think about changing his name in deference. But then. considering Gord's middle name, performing as Meredith Lightfoot probably wasn't an option.

And as you can see from the sleeve image at left, our man recorded an album called Roots for the Arc label in 1968, five years before Michael Budman and Don Green founded their popular clothing and lifestyle products enterprise of the same name. From the way Pinsent was styled for the album cover photo shoot, it appears he was already a proponent of Roots' summer camp chic. Oh the celebrity branding opportunities missed!

Check out Pinsent's sensitive reading of the old Newfoundland folk tune She's Like The Swallow from the album (below) which I'm guessing you probably won't hear him perform tonight with pals Good and Keelor at the Glenn Gould Studio. Show time is 8 pm. Tickets range from $19.50 through $39.50 and are momentarily still available at the Massey Hall / Roy Thomson Hall online ticket office. Better grab 'em quick.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Panama's got soul

Evidently the three volumes of sizzling vintage tropical funk jams which Soundway issued in their superb Panama! series were not enough to cover all the uniquely hybridized gems issued on the Isthmus during the highly productive 60s and 70s. So they've just knocked out the dope new Panama Soul 12" EP with three more club-ready bangers.

On the A-side Fredrick Clarke’s alter-ego Chombo turns his attention to a belting calypso-soul-funk cut with ‘Soul Chombo’ from his extremely scarce 1972 LP Chombo’s Show. The B-side boasts two more tough-to-catch cuts originally released as 45s in Panama back in the day and rarely seen since.  

Ralph Weeks was one of the stars of Panama! Vol. 3 – along with Fredrick Clarke – is perhaps best known for singing with the famous Exciters combo. With his soul cut We’re Still Strong you’d be forgiven for thinking he was based in Miami, New York or Chicago rather than Panama City. Lastly the enigmatic Jungle Rat USA comes up with a smokin' slice of Latin-flavoured dancefloor soul with Just Love One Another recorded at the studio of top Panamanian producer Eduardo ‘Balito’ Chan and released on the Discos Niño label. 

Have a listen:

Panama Soul 12" Medley by Soundway

Conan writes blues songs with kids

The Men @ The Garrison, Thursday

Happy Birthday Spooner Oldham!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Vortex's Summer Sale starts June 19

It's that time of year when the fine folks at Vortex Records (2309 Yonge) clear out their store stock to make room for all the new stuff that's been piling up. So the already reasonable prices of Vortex's new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays will be slashed accordingly for their annual five-day Summer Sale event.

Starting with a 30% across the board markdown on Tuesday, June 19 (from 10am to 8pm), the discount will rise to 35% off the remaining stock on Wednesday, June 20 (from 10am to 8pm) then 40% on Thursday, June 21 (10am to 10pm), 45% on Friday, June 22 (10am to 10pm) with 50% off the remaining Matthew Good discs, Erroll Garner LPs and whatever else is left on Saturday, June 23 (10 am to 10 pm).

Vortex Summer Sale

Whaddya mean you don't know Karo

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Alex Pangman turns back the clock for "Thanks"

Here's the delightful new video reverie from Alex Pangman singing "Thanks" – popularized by Bing Crosby – from her latest album "33" which she just released on vinyl. In the black & white clip, Alex is wearing Stop Staring! while her tasteful accompanist, guitarist Jesse Barksdale, is sporting a period-appropriate ensemble from the Tom Parker collection. The studio version of Pangman's sweet rendition of Thanks is available digitally on iTunes and now on vinyl as well at

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

Download Rub-A-Dub Style for free!

Toronto-based photographer and music journalist Beth Lesser has recently followed up her three excellent books Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture, “The Legend of Sugar Minott & Youth Production,” and  King Jammy (co-authored with Steve Barrow) with a fourth historical perspective Rub-a-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall.

Always on the cutting edge of contemporary culture, Lesser – who founded the important 80s zine Reggae Quarterly with her partner David Kingston aka Lord Selector, host of CKLN's Reggae Showcase program – is making her insightful new study of the largely misunderstood phase in modern reggae music's evolution available for free download on her site in advance of it's print publication. If the names Tenor Saw, Half Pint, Barrington Levy, Wayne Smith, Yellowman and/or Triston Palma mean anything to you, I'd suggest you stop reading this and check out Rub-A-Dub Style on the double, And pick up a back issue of Reggae Quarterly while you're at it.

Happy Birthday Ron Wood!