Thursday, August 30, 2012

Remembering John Peel on his day

John Peel's Record Box, Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Gap Dream covers the Squires

Go Ahead by Gap Dream

Go Ahead by The Squires

press contact
booking agent

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Toronto's Ugly Pop label digs the 60s

Lately it seems Simon Harvey has been on a time traveling adventure with his vinyl-only Ugly Pop label. What began with a strictly punk and/or hardcore mandate, befitting an operation that takes it's name from a Lip Cream tune, eventually moved from releasing singles by Rajoitus, Legion and Marilyn's Vitamins into putting out late 70s archival recordings by The Dream Dates. Then, earlier this year, Ugly Pop suddenly started pumping out look-alike repros of  overlooked Canuck seven-inch classics from Crash Kills Five (pre-Shadowy Men), Arson, Hot Nasties, The Spys and The Rock 'n' Roll Bitches – all welcome reissues but a surprising change in direction for a label that was launched with a contemporary hardcore tribute to Negative Approach. More intriguing still is the latest batch of Ugly Pop releases.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Kista beats & Cappo heat fires Soundweight

New UK hip hop and  funk vinyl concern Soundweight Records recently debuted in fine fat-lace style with an amped up old school style joint from North Yorkshire DJ/producer (and graf ace) Kista enhanced by the pinpoint poetry of Nottingham badass Cappo who waxes lyrically about the art of tagging and such. Graying b-boys, leery of any so-called rap music recorded after 1989, have reason to celebrate. You can download a digital version of Livewire Feedback  now or enjoy the video clip below and grab the seven-inch when it hits record emporiums iand mailorder outlets in September.

Livewire Feedback by Kista feat. Cappo

Happy Birthday Ronnie Splinter!

The Outsiders' Tom Krabbendam (left) and Ronnie Splinter at GTB Studios in The Hague, 1966

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Patterson Hood nearly makes a DBT album

Better Off Without is the first single off the forthcoming solo album from Patterson Hood and fans of his group Drive-By Truckers will likely be relieved to find that Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance won't sound drastically different from a DBT album.

And that's about what one would expect considering that Hood's third "solo" project was co-produced by longtime Truckers collaborator David Barbe and all of Hood's bandmates (Mike Cooley, Jay Gonzalez, Brad Morgan and John Neff) appear on the thing along with Hood's celebrated bass-playing dad David Hood, Centro-matic's Will Johnson and cracker soul chanteuse Kelly Hogan.

If the album had a typically colourful Wes Freed illustration on the sleeve instead of an artfully unfocused snapshot of our man in the mirror, you wouldn't know it from a DBT release. Personally, I would've liked to hear what Hood could've done backed by the Muscle Shoals crew with Rick Hall and Dan Penn overseeing the sessions at FAME but maybe next time.

ATO Records plans to release Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance on September 11. In the meantime, check out Patterson's first single Better Off Without

Better Off Without by Patterson Hood

Happy Birthday Keith Tippett!

"Your home computer in the year 2004..."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Catl documentary debuts Sept. 6

A Band Called Catl is a short, gritty and intimate peek into the twisted minds behind a west-end Toronto blues bashing party band, as seen through the eyes of director Jonathan Lawley. Shot with a 16mm throwback look, Lawley peels away layers of Catl's creative process with revealing interviews intercut with impromptu kitchen jams and wall-shaking club throwdowns. A Band Called Catl premieres at the Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina north of Queen) as part of the Toronto Indie Film Festival on Thursday September 6 at 7:45pm. 

A Band Called Catl trailer

Happy Birthday Alex Colville!

A Summer Special from Euros Childs


MC Angel Haze shows off freestyle skills

A newcomer to the hip hop scene, 21 year-old Angel Haze began writing at age 11 but the idea that her captions might actually be lyrics only occurred to her recently, when a friend suggested the possibility of turning her poems into raps. To date, she’s been featured on several music blogs and websites, such as:,,,, Unsigned Hype,, Pound Magazine, and a feature for Even Pitchfork ran a couple of blurbs about her New York and Werkin' Girls singles and you know how much hip hop they cover.

In two short years, she already has thousands of fans following her career and continues to build her buzz online. Her songs have presently surpassed the 100,000 mark in downloads, and have over 1,000,000 views on YouTube which was reason enough for Universal to offer her a recording deal. Angel Haze's Reservation EP – featuring production by Hira Sky, J La, Paris Jones, North Kid, Odhi Beats, The 83rd, The Rip, TK Kayembe, Trell Fields and Will Idap – was released on July 17 via Noizy Cricket!!/Biz 3 Records for that random rap look.

Angel Haze headlines HOT97's Who's Next Live at New York's SOB's (200 Varrick) on Wednesday (August 29).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Help Abs finish his "Broken" video

Some Background

I believe I met Abs through skateboarding when we were barely in our teens. We were both creative kids who liked to draw, made music and films, and throughout the years our paths have crossed within various creative and social circles. Abs makes incredible music, spits rhymes almost as fast as the Fu-Shnickens, has toured the world, and collaborated with some very cool musicians along the way. I run a small company called 3:AM Design that makes little films and animations.

A while back we had the opportunity to collaborate with Abs on the music video for “Abdominal Workout”. With a minimal budget, a small but enthusiastic crew, some volunteer actors, and a very patient rapper, we created something special. That project was an incredible experience and is still one of my fondest memories of filmmaking. It’s not everyday one gets to work with great people coming together and making a true labour of love.

Today we’re hoping to drum up some funding for an exciting project that we feel will recapture the same magic and awesomeness we had together previously. A new collaboration with Abs on the music video for his tune “Broken”. We've always been a fan of Abs, and we're all big into hip hop - this would be a great opportunity to give a little love to the scene.

There was no shortage of great stories in the many tracks we listened to off Abs’ new album "Sitting Music", but “Broken” above all others gave us a playground of ideas that

Must see at the CNE: Butter Rob Ford reading Margaret Atwood

Remembering Wynona Carr on her day

One For The Weekend: Adrian Quesada

The track below is from a special collaborative EP involving Adrian Younge (Venice Dawn, Black Dynamite), Adrian Quesada (Echocentrics, Ocote Soul Sounds, Brownout, Grupo Fantasma) along with soulful vocalist Sonia Moore who lights up the song Last Word. Ubiquity released the four-track 12" in a limited edition of 1000 copies on coloured vinyl for Record Store Day. Like many small-run RSD items the Adrian Vs. Adrian EP has since vanished although some stores may still have a copy hiding in the back of a bin.

Last Word by Adrian Quesada with Sonia Moore

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Worldly Los Straitjackets launch Jet Set

The new Jet Set (Yep Roc) album from Los Straitjackets is a collection of 14 carefully crafted guitar-driven songs that prove to be the most diverse and inventive of Los Straitjackets’ oeuvre. Jet Set also marks the return of Danny Amis (Daddy-O Grande) to the band after recovering from a difficult battle with Multiple Myeloma. The album was recorded at The Pow Wow Fun Room studios in Los Angeles with producer and friend Janne Haavisto (of Laika And The Cosmonauts) and includes a few guest appearances by The Basic Cable Horns (from Conan O'Brien's Conan show on TBS) and Finnish actress and musician Irina Bjorklund. Jet Set delivers the high-energy rock and roll instrumental music fans have come to expect from Los Straitjackets. And there's more...

The Yep Roc Store is offering Los Straitjackets fans the chance to order Jet Set on CD or 180 gram vinyl LP along with special limited bundles including a t-shirt, shot glass, or Jet Set “flight wings” with the album – check out Yep Roc's site for details.

Celebrating John Lee Hooker's 100th birthday

Monday, August 20, 2012

Brodie West's Legends Of Jazz Piano @ Hirut Ethiopian Restaurant, Friday

This just in from Toronto saxophonist/bandleader Brodie West:

"I've recently discussed with Ryan Driver the fact that Jazz is not dead, that must mean it is still alive, so come out and find yourself enjoying the latest thing in Jazz!
I am very pleased to announce that my group Legends of Jazz Piano will be returning to the stage for a special first time appearance at Hirut Ethiopian Restaurant (2050 Danforth – just west of Woodbine station) on Friday (August 24) at 7 pm.
Perhaps you're interested in having some tasty Ethiopian food this Friday night while checking out 'the newest thing in Toronto jazz!' It's going to be swinging.
Legends Of Jazz Piano features Ryan Driver on piano, Nicole Rampersaud trumpet, Rob Clutton bass, Jake Olerichs drums and myself Brodie West alto saxophone and compositions."

Check out this Legends Of Jazz Piano recording with special guest Han Bennink performing the Brodie West tune Thelonius Monk which you can momentarily download right here

Remembering Isaac Hayes on his day

Hip hop sleeve of the week: Abdominal

Firstly, I’m not going to pretend this is someone else writing about me in the third person. This is Andy/Abs… hi there.

So, I like rapping & I’m pretty good at it. But I’m also old (by rap standards at least). And as a result, I was getting a little tired of having to jump up and down on stages every night, screaming, just so that my raps could be heard over the super-loud beats playing in the background. So I decided to make some changes. My first move was to assemble a band (“The Obliques”). Well, they’re not really a band…more like two guys playing percussion and a guitar…but I like saying I have a band.

That took care of the music-being-too-loud problem. “But what about the jumping around bit?”, you ask? Good question…we sit down the whole show, like the verging on middle-age men we are. Basically, it’s awesome and I haven’t been this excited about making and performing music in years! I should add here, we have a new record coming out next month, called “Sitting Music” (for obvious reasons).

And that’s about all I have to tell you at the moment. That said, because this is a bio, I guess I’m supposed to wow you with a list of my past accomplishments. I’m gonna try to do that in max. two sentences, because frankly it’s boring as shit for all concerned, in my opinion (rather just let the music speak for itself as much as possible).

Anyway, I can sum it up by saying I’ve been lucky enough to have done some pretty cool stuff thanks to music over the past few years…played Glastonbury twice, toured all over the UK and Europe with Jurassic 5, opened for Roy Ayers, won the SOCAN Echo prize for best Canadian song in 2007, hosted the annual SOCAN awards show in 2008 and 2011, toured all over the world with the UK’s DJ Format, filmed three videos in LA, did songs with some of my idols (Chali 2na, Cut Chemist, Gift of Gab, my mom, etc.), kept the bills paid for close to a decade strictly doing what I love, etc.

Thanks for reading and hope you like the music,


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Animal Collective's Supernatural new video

"Today's Supernatural" video directed by Danny Perez taken from Animal Collective's forthcoming album Centipede Hz, released by Domino Records on September 3.

Listen to Animal Collective Radio This Sunday night at 9pm EST to hear Geologists' show and the LIVE premiere of Centipede Hz:

Preorder Centipede Hz on CD/LP/DLX LP from the Animal Collective web store:

Animal Collective on tour

09-18 Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre *

09-19 Vancouver, BC - Malkin Bowl *

09-20 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom *

09-21 Oakland, CA - Fox Theatre *

09-22 Oakland, CA - Fox Theatre *

09-23 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl #

09-25 Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues *

09-27 Dallas, TX - House of Blues *

09-28 Austin, TX - The Backyard *

09-29 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues *

09-30 Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle *

10/02 Columbia, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion *

10/03 Philadelphia, PA - Mann Center for the Performing Arts *

10/05 Brooklyn, NY - Williamsburg Park *

* w/ Micachu and the Shapes

# w/ Flying Lotus, Huun Huur Tu

One For The Weekend: José James

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Grasshopper Soundclash @ Red Light, tonight

DJs Grasshopper and guest selecta Tim Perlich will be spinning a stoopid assortment of crazy cool vinyl rarely heard in an establishment where chilled beverages are served. The records start spinning at Red Light (1185 Dundas St. West at Ossington) around 11 pm and amazingly enough, there is no cover. I know, I can't believe it either. While you're in the neighborhood, check out the enticing stash of choice second-hand LPs, Wu-Tang-related posters and snazzy cassette display frames at Grasshopper Records down the street at 1167 Dundas St. Mellows will not be harshed.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Porter Wagoner

Video of the Week: Jessica Stuart Few's Don't Ya

Download the new Don't Ya single by Jessica Stuart Few from the forthcoming album Two Sides To Every Story due this fall. 

Video Credits: 
Producer: Raymond Walsh
Editor: Ian Noble
Director of Photography: Mackenzie McLean
Production Designer: Justine McCloskey
Puppeteer: Andrew Young
Gaffer: Andrew Lanca
Grip: Marco Balonado
Art Assistant: Ambrosia Kingstone
Art Assistant: Mary Komech
Continuity: Brock Phelan
Make-up Artist: Frincess Arbour
Concept: Jessica Stuart


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Snoop Lion @ The Hoxton Friday, seen!

David Baker resurfaces in Variety Lights

More than 18 years since he left the public spotlight, David Baker, enigmatic frontman of the original Mercury Rev, is back with new band Variety Lights. The long overdue new release Central Flow is a collaboration between Baker and synth savant Will MacLean and demonstrates that Baker has lost none of his flair for the extraordinary, the experimental and the exceptional.

As co-founder and vocalist of Mercury Rev, Baker helped create their revolutionary sound with their first two (and best) albums; 1991's Yerself Is Steam and 1993's Boces. The innovative Buffalonians were loud, fun and hugely influential in the UK where their work was excitedly gushed about by the British music press. As Chris Roberts wrote in his review of Yerself Is Steam for Melody Maker  "At last, one of those rare records that revolve along once in a blooming moon and have something new to struggle to say... A daring, brazen, and demented juxtaposition of voice and guitars and timpani flings Mercury Rev, lemming like at your more responsive caches of fear." If you're wondering, that was meant to be a rave.

Having left the band in 1993, Baker went on to release a solo album World under the moniker Shady, which featured members of the Boo Radleys, Rollerskate Skinny, Swervedriver and Th' Faith Healers (remember them? Didn't think so). At times soaringly catchy and lightheartedly loony, World is a sonic adventure which someone writing for Vox described as "... awash with fragments of dense noise, stumbling, narcotic-laced tempos and lyrics from outer space... that mutate into spiky, bittersweet pop."

Although there has been much speculation about his life during his time away from the public eye, Baker has continued to make recordings and is an avid music fan, working as a producer for various artists. Now he is back, morphed and transmogrified into Variety Lights, a name lifted from Federico Fellini's 1950 cinematic debut. After Eminem forever ruined the name Shady, Baker clearly had to come up with something new. Copping the title from an obscure Italian film about an old dude and his band of misfits seems perfectly fitting for his new project and he can also rest easy knowing that there's absolutely no chance that Marshall Mathers or anyone associated with him has seen it. 

When he met Will MacLean, Baker found a songwriting partner who shared a passion for analog synths and electronic psychedelia. Initial experimentation together live to tape - to see how big and crazy just the two of them could sound - started to reveal melodies and Variety Lights was born.

Much of Variety Lights' debut was recorded by Baker at his own Over the Trees studio. The sound was created using a mixture of chained around-the-room 80's era midi expanders as well as the duo's collection of vintage keyboards and combining them with an array of drum machines and effected guitars.

In creating Central Flow, Baker says that "personal adventure is and always has been the most important thing". Baker and MacLean found themselves using references to colours, pictures and describing film scenes to help them communicate about their music. As in his early work, Baker took a richly layered approach, using multiple vocals in a search to find emotion in noises and sounds.

There are plans to play the songs live with a full band including drums and bass, with dates to follow later on in 2012. Have a listen to three tracks from Variety Lights' Silent Too Long EP below...