Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Majical Cloudz reveal Impersonator @ The Great Hall, May 13

Majical Cloudz is centered around Montreal-based songwriter Devon Welsh, who is joined by Matthew Otto to collaboratively produce and perform his songs.

Though Majical Cloudz stand stylistically apart from other artists in their Montreal scene - which includes Grimes, Doldrums, Blue Hawaii, and others - they're nevertheless proud beneficiaries of its camaraderie.  “The waves that are being made internationally by Montreal musicians really started in the fall of 2009," explains Welsh, "so the fact that it is finally happening is unbelievable and I’m euphoric about it, I don’t think I could find an art/music scene as rewarding to me anywhere else, because I think it takes a while to get comfortable being vulnerable in front of a whole community.”

While last year's Majical Cloudz II album relied heavily on the vocals of Welsh's ex, Claire Boucher (better known as Grimes), Welsh's own expressive voice became the main thrust of Majical Cloudz subsequent Turns Turns Turns EP. The forthcoming Impersonator – out on Matador May 15 – builds on that important development, bringing Welsh’s expressive ruminations on love, death and desire into sharper focus while further reducing the sonic accompaniment to a bare minimum of loops, whirs and thuds. 

"In the last few years there’s been a massive explosion of amazing music made with computers, samplers and other electronic equipment," observes Welsh.  "The possibilities became nearly endless and musicians indulged those possibilities. I love that kind of music but it also started to overwhelm me. I wasn’t cut out for the maximalist expressions of that style. So I took a break from music, and when I started again it was to make music that barely existed and felt like stillness more than movement. Where the songs could be more about humanness. I love all forms of electronic music, techno, house, rave, hip-hop, but I never want to feel like the music I’m making is just about stylistic play. The easiest way for me to do that is try to make something without obvious movement; where the music isn’t overstuffed sonically or referentially, it’s emptied out as much as possible. So the vision for Impersonator was to communicate a lot with as little as possible. It’s not meant to energize and turn you out to the world, it’s meant to do the opposite; it’s more like a cocoon."

Most of Impersonator was written at Welsh’s father’s house in rural Ontario, in the basement after he went to sleep. He says, “One day I realized I had 15-20 songs, and they made me feel like I had overcome the dead end I thought I was in. I started realizing that I could say anything I want in a song.”

Appropriately enough, Welsh cast his aforementioned dad, veteran actor Kenneth Welsh aka Twin Peaks' evil genius Windom Earle, as the lead in Emily Kai Bock's video for his song Childhood's End, one of Impersonator's more personally revealing statements.

"Emily and I have known each other for a long time, going back to the days of Lab.Synthese, which was the venue she lived in and ran with Sebastian Cowan, Alex Cowan and others," offers Welsh. "I have been a fan of her video work for a long time so I was thrilled that she was interested in collaborating with myself and Matt. I have been present at two of her other video shoots (for Grimes’ “Oblivion” and Solar Year’s “Brotherhood”) so it was an unfortunate but ironic twist of fate that we were on tour during the filming of this video. As a result, some of the details of its production are a mystery to me, but it makes it all the more fascinating for me to watch. My sincere gratitude goes out to Emily, Bobby Shore and everyone else involved in the production. It’s a truly cinematic video and we are honoured to have our song as the soundtrack.

"I’m also very grateful to have a video that features my father Kenneth Welsh, who is a very accomplished actor and who has spent decades acting for the stage, film & television. His career has been a long and impressive one but you may know him best from the television show Twin Peaks. His performance in the video is very moving and I’m mostly just really happy to be able to collaborate with him in some way (this is not the first time he has collaborated with Majical Cloudz, as he played the flute and trumpet on two early recordings back in 2010).

"Matt and I are both really happy and excited about the positive reaction to 'Childhood’s End.' It’s always a strange experience to make a deeply personal song and then release it into the world and play it for lots of different people during tours. Even though it gains a whole other significance by becoming part of who we are as a band, it still remains incredibly personal on some level. So it’s great that other people can get something out of it too."

Check out the Childhood's End clip below and catch Majical Cloudz on tour with Youth Lagoon, which makes a Toronto stop at The Great Hall on Monday, May 13.

Majical Cloudz tour dates with Youth Lagoon
4/30 Orlando FL @ The Social
5/1 Atlanta GA @ Terminal West
5/2 Nashville TN @ Mercy Lounge
5/3 Asheville NC @ Grey Eagle Tavern
5/4 Carrboro NC @ Cats Cradle
5/6 Hoboken NJ @ Maxwells
5/7 Northampton MA @ Pearl Street Nightclub
5/8 Hamden CT @ The Space
5/9 Brooklyn NY @ The Bell House
5/10 Philadelphia PA @ Union Transfer
5/13 Toronto ON @ The Great Hall
5/14 Columbus OH @ A&R Music Bar
5/15 Chicago IL @ Metro
5/16 Madison WI @ Majestic Theatre
5/17 Minneapolis MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe

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FUBAR's Deaner shotguns a brew

Deaner shows off his shotgunning skills on Vancouver chat show The Rush

Monday, April 29, 2013

Os Tropies play Caetano's Tropicalia @ The Piston on Wednesday


After two months spent recovering from their release residency party (see clip below), Os Tropies are back at The Piston (937 Bloor West) on Wednesday (May I). They'll be joined for the evening by
special guests Jessica Deutch on violin, Mari Palhares on percussion, and Capinan on vocals to perform Caetano Veloso's album "Tropicalia" from start to finish, followed by a set of Os Tropies own tropicalismo-inspired original tunes which you can hear on their Tropicalia debut EP available for $5 at the show. Check out their site ostropies.com for more info. Que bacana!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

It's official: catl. now a gruesome twosome

And then there were two...

Here's the press release from catl. hq:

After a winter-long hiatus, Toronto's rockin’ rhythm ‘n’ blues group known as catl. are re-emerging with a newly configured line-up. Real-life couple Jamie Fleming (catl) and Sarah Kirkpatrick have decided to continue their musical journey as a duo with Kirkpatrick playing drums. The result is a sexy, raw, primordial rock and roll experience. All stripped down but just as energetic and fun. You can expect exciting re-workings of your favourite catl. songs as well as some brand new jams. The duo has spent the winter writing a new record that they intend to record in the fall of 2013.

catl. are embarking on a 2 week U.S. tour that will take them deep into the Southern states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi - back to the origins of blues and rock and roll. Toronto dates to be announced soon!

May 7
Hamtramck, MI
Lo & Behold! Records & Books
w. Special Guest Danny Kroha (the Gories)

May 8
Cincinnati, OH
The Comet

May 9
Louisville, KY
Haymarket Whiskey Bar

May 11
Chattanooga TN
JJ's Bohemia
w. James Leg (of Black Diamond Heavies)

May 13
Nashville TN
Open Road Mondays at The Building

May 17
Atlanta GA
The Earl
w. St.Paul and the Broken Bones

May 18
Asheville NC
Appalachian Brewery
w. Reed Turchi

Muscle Shoals film screens at Hot Docs

Wilson Pickett chills with Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham and the rest of the FAME gang

Muscle Shoals at Hot Docs
Tue, Apr 30 9:15 PM
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Fri, May 3 6:15 PM
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Sat, May 4 9:00 PM
Isabel Bader Theatre
Note: Unfortunately, tickets for all screenings are now sold out.

Whaddya mean you don't know Masaru Satō

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Overdue documentary on Detroit proto-punks Death finally unleashed

On VOD/iTunes May 24th and in theaters June 28th
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was a band called Death. Punk before punk existed, three teenage brothers Bobby (bass), Dannis (drums) and David  Hackney (guitar) formed a band in the spare bedroom of their Detroit home in 1971, began playing a few local gigs and even pressed a single in the hopes of getting signed. But this was the era of Motown and emerging disco. Record companies found Death’s music— and band name—too intimidating, and the group were never given a fair shot, disbanding before they even completed one album. Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family love story, A Band Called Death chronicles the incredible fairy-tale journey of what happened almost three decades later, when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of the attic and found an audience several generations younger. Playing music impossibly ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (hell...the first punk band!), and are finally receiving their long overdue recognition as true rock pioneers. Watch the trailer below...

Death site
Drag City label

Remembering Ella Fitzgerald on her day

Here's a coke-happy Oscar Levant classic Ella cut with Chic Webb's Orchestra back in 1938

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pharrell Gets Lucky with Daft Punk

Evidently twice through Get Lucky was not enough for Pharrell Williams on stage with Daft Punk

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ghostface Killah goes giallo

Director David Wong draws on 70s Italian horror cinema for The Rise Of Ghostface Killah clip  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Joe Bussard uncovers banjo gems on his Country Classics radio show

Celebrated Maryland-based 78 collector Joe Bussard's popular radio program Country Classics can be heard live every Friday at 5pm on Atlanta's WREK 91.1 FM, and is also available as a podcast via iTunes. His annual Banjo Episode is always a special event, this year featuring Taylor's Kentucky Boys, Ernest Hilton, Dock Boggs, B.F. Shelton, Buell Kazee, John Hammond, W. A. Helton, Dad Crockett, Clarence Ashley, Uncle Dave Macon, Wilmer Watts, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Hobart Smith, Flatt & Scruggs, Carl Story. Take it away Joe...

Joe Bussard's Country Classics: Banjo Episode

Saturday, April 20, 2013

See Quantic @ The Garrison tonight, hear new mix of Angolan 45s

To mark the highly-anticipated Toronto return of Quantic, who'll be joining A Man Called Warwick for a Tropical Dancefloor throwdown at The Garrison (1197 Queen West) on Saturday evening, we've got a crazy hot new mix of Will Holland's most-prized scratchy old Angolan singles straight from his trusty 45s box. Here's what our man had to say:

"This is a selection of a handful of Angolan 45s that have proven their spirit & longevity in my record collection. Here's to the slap-echo guitars, scratchy dikanza, hope, aspiration and musical beauty that flowered from Luanda. This sound has long informed the systems of Barranquilla and parallels cumbia, samba & compas in sonic ancestral synchronicity."

Luanda Sonó mix by Quantic

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Guy Clark's loving tribute to wife Susanna

Fans of Guy Clark will be delighted to hear that his new studio album, My Favorite Picture Of You, is being released by Dualtone Records on July 23 – the follow-up to 2009's Somedays The Song Writes You. According to the label's press release, the songwriter's songwriter co-wrote 10 of the album's 11 poignant songs which are, as always, deeply rooted in personal experience.

"The album’s heartfelt title track (see clip below) was written for Susanna Clark, Guy’s wife of 40 years, and a successful songwriter in her own right, who passed away in 2012. If a picture says a thousand words, then the cover photo of My Favorite Picture Of You declares an entire life. The cover depicts Clark, slightly blurred in the background, holding up an old photo of his beloved from the 1970s. According to Clark, Susanna walked in and found him drunk again with friend, Townes Van Zandt. She stormed out of the house, which is when the Polaroid was taken. The song is a loving tribute that melts your heart while making you smile. As a master songwriter, Guy Clark has always made us smile by infusing his wry wit into thoughtful storytelling.

"Clark’s vocals on My Favorite Picture Of You exude truth, wisdom and warmth, only touching on the insight he has gained from an extraordinary life. From the delicate sweetness of “Cornmeal Waltz” to the poignant story of the veteran returned a changed man in “Heroes” to the determined “Hell Bent On A Heartache,” Clark delivers a standout album in a stellar four-decade long career."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Alex Pangman vs Bing Crosby

Alex Pangman's Just One More Chance is a lovely update of Bing Crosby's heartache ballad about asking forgiveness is set in the streets of Lisbon, Portugal. Home for over a century to the fado music that told of broken hearts and fate, here Alex remembers better times and pleads forgiveness as she wanders the streets with her memories. The clip includes vintage footage from Lisboa.

Just One More Chance, taken from Alex Pangman's fab new Have A Little Fun disc for Justin Time, features Drew Jurecka on violin, Michael Herring on double bass and legendary guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. Check it out and watch Bing croon it below...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Watch the Odonis Odonis clip for "Better"

Toronto surf-gaze titans Odonis Odonis have just released a creepy black & white video for the title track of their 6-song Better EP released today on Buzz Records. The low-budget frolic in the woods involving literally hundreds of dead leaves was co-directed by the group's mainman Dean Tzenos in conjunction with record sleeve designer Cameron Tomsett looking to expand his horizons. Odonis Odonis will be on tour with METZ in the US during April (see dates below), before making a triumphant return to Toronto for a Lee's Palace show Friday, May 17. Check out the clip and if you like what you here, grab their Better EP right here

Tour dates
04/16 Brooklyn, NY - Shea Stadium *
04/17 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
04/18 Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel *
04/19 Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
04/20 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 *
04/22 Atlanta, GA - 529 *
04/23 Birmingham, AB - Bottletree *
04/24 New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks *
04/25 Austin, TX, - Austin Psych Fest @ Mohawk's ~ *
05/17 Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace *
* w/ METZ
~ w/ A Place to Bury Strangers

Midweek Mixdown: Nik Weston

Jazz Meet resident and Mukatsuku Records label boss Nik Weston steps to the turntables this week to deliver a 40-minute jazz mix direct from his extensive record collection. He kicks things of with Dizzy Gillespie's effortlessly funky take on Matrix before unleashing the much loved Psychedelic Sally from Horace Silver and his quintet. Two covers follow with Blue Mitchell taking on The Message while Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers bring their classic version of Bobby Timmons' Dat Dere. There's then Japanese jazz from Norio Maeda & All Stars and Ryusei Tomoyose Quartet, killer funky jazz from Sam Most, a touch of soul from Alice Clark and a second number from Horace Silver, this time it's the title track' of his 1966 album, The Jody Grind. Finally, Nik winds things down with Bajka's modern deep jazz classic A Vision on Jazzman Records. Time to get down...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Clip Of The Week: Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Check out Ceramic Dog's live-in-the-studio performance of Masters Of The Internet

The Boss salutes The Saints in Brisbane


Friday, April 12, 2013

One For The Weekend: Lucky Peterson

Future blues great Lucky Peterson at age five, shouting about what he loves best – candy of course.

Good Old Candy by Lucky Peterson

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Redd Kross rock a convenience store

The weather may be getting uglier in Toronto but Redd Kross will still play the 'Shoe tonight at 11 pm.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Woods cover The Kinks, play The Horseshoe w/Parquet Courts July 17

To coincide with the Woods' East Coast tour with the amazing Parquet Courts, your favourite family band will be issuing a single on July 9 which will feature a B-side cover of The Kinks' klassic God's Children from the 1971 film Percy.

The topside of the seven will be a new version of Be All Be Easy originally recorded for 2011's Sun and Shade album, however, this updated take features new Woods drummer Aaron Neveu. Of course, we both know you really just want to hear what they do with the Ray Davies number, so here you go – the tour dates follow the song clip....

WOODS tour dates
 Sat-Jul-13 Boston, MA TT The Bears *
Sun-Jul-14 Portland, ME Space 538 *
Mon-Jul-15 Burlington, VT Signal Kitchen *
Tue-Jul-16 Montreal, QC Il Motore *
Wed-Jul-17 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern *
Thu-Jul-18 Cleveland, OH Beachland Tavern
Fri-Jul-19 Chicago, IL Pitchfork Music Festival
Mon-Jul-22 Louisville, KY Zanzabar *
Tue-Jul-23 Charlottesville, VA Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar *
Wed-Jul-24 Philadelphia, PA Morgan's Pier *
Thu-Jul-25 Baltimore, MD Ottobar *
Sat-Jul-27 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom #

* = w/ Parquet Courts
# = w/ Alex Bleeker and The Freaks

Redd Kross @ The Horseshoe, Thursday

Friday, April 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Joe Meek!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

See Caitlin Rose @ The Garrison Friday

Fast-rising Nashville starlet Caitlin Rose unveils her fab new disc The Stand In at The Garrison.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Clappy 'n' Creepy Kids On A Crime Spree

Although Kids On A Crime Spree's catchy "Creep The Creeps" has been a staple of the group's live set for a while now, it's finally being released on vinyl by Slumberland. As you might expect from Mario Hernandez, it's a typically Phil Spector-inspired powerpop romp cleverly employing hyper-handclaps and a pounding beat courtesy of drummer Becky Barron to offset the song's dark undercurrent. The 7" single release on April 9 will be accompanied by a suitably unsettling video by Stagnant Cult. "New Ex-Boyfriend" on the flip, which apparently has nothing at all to do with Taylor Swift, adds some minor-key drama and echoed surf guitar leads to the mix.

Creep The Creeps by Kids On A Crime Spree

It's A Living: Willie & Waylon

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Solving the Sheila Rickards mystery

In the heart of Kensington Market on Thursday April 4, Double Double Land (209 Augusta) will host the launch party for the much anticipated Jamaican Fruit of African Roots by Sheila Rickards, the first release on Shella Records. The limited edition vinyl 10" EP is the culmination of a 10 year search for the mysterious vocalist by Shella label founder Chris Flanagan after discovering her music in a rural thrift store in Canada.

The intriguingly off-key vocal track to King Tubby's heavyweight "Goldfinger" dub was previously known primarily to collectors of obscure reggae and deep-digging Canuck DJs who've happened upon the War Zone compilation LP (left) assembled for sale in the mid 70s by Monica's Records on Eglinton West in Toronto.

Carefully remastered and reissued on high quality vinyl, the newly packaged 10" includes two additional vintage dub instrumentals, an a capella version and full liner notes. You can order a copy of the Jamaican Fruit of African Roots 10" directly from Shella Records (see links below).

Even though the 10" EP might seem a bit pricey at $20 USD plus shipping, don't sleep on this one. With celebrity UK broadcaster Gilles Peterson already hyping it  like a new Galliano joint on Brownswood, the entire pressing run may sell out before word spreads to dealers that there's also a documentary film in the works.

Our man Flanagan discusses the origins and progress of his epic fact-finding quest following the clip...

"Jamaican Fruit of African Roots is the lost vocal cut to one of King Tubby's most dramatic and devastating dubs from the 1970s. It was never released in Jamaica, but housed on an obscure compilation released only in Toronto in tiny quantities in the mid 70s.
This reissue – if you can call it that – is the culmination of a 10 year obsession to try and find out more about the song's enigmatic singer Sheila Rickards. It all started in a musty Canadian thrift store with the discovery of an incredible 10-cent record credited to "Shella Record".
The singer's voice was unlike anything I had ever heard in Reggae before and sparked an international quest to find the lost siren. Beginning in Toronto where the record was pressed by local label Monica's in the mid 70s, I quizzed producers, collectors and reggae artists, all of whom were as mystified as I was.
Traveling to Jamaica, I tracked down legendary producer Bunny " Striker" Lee who recorded the song in 1975 with a full line up of Aggrovators, some of the most talented musicians who ever worked on the island including Robbie Shakespeare, Carlton "Santa" Davis, Earl "Chinna" Smith, Tommy McCook, Vin Gordon, Bobby Ellis, Ansel Collins and others. -
Bunny revealed that Shella Record was in fact Sheila Rickards, a Greenwich Farm Jazz singer from the Mento era who began performing as a child with artists like Lennie Hibbert and Carlos Malcolm.
He had not seen her since she vanished in 1975 after they worked on this song at Harry Js and later voiced the track at King Tubby's infamous Drumillie Ave studio. -
Despite tracking down many of the musicians who played on the song, Jamaican Jazz artists from the era and even Sheila's family, Sheila's whereabouts remained a mystery.
Hearing rumours of her relocation to Los Angeles or New York, I headed to the States desperate to find out what happened to this remarkable diva. Each clue proved to be a red herring  leading to a dead end. Now working with a private detective (and part-time ghost hunter) I hope to have more answers soon. The search has been filmed from the outset and will culminate in the documentary film Shella Record, A Reggae Mystery."

Chris Flanagan,
Shella Records
Toronto -
There will be a sneak preview of Flanagan's upcoming film documenting his search for Sheila Rickards at the Shella Records Launch Party on Thursday (April 4) at Double Double Land starting at 7:30 pm. Expect a suitably tough selection of vintage reggae jams provided by the Pressure Drop Crew, DJ Earl Grey and guests.

Shella Records site
Shella Launch Party FB page