Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hooded Fang album release w/ HSY, Germaphobes @ The Horseshoe, Friday

Toronto's Hooded Fang will be playing songs from their new Venus On Edge album which you can check below.

Monday, May 30, 2016

C.W. Stoneking @ The Drake, Wednesday

Don't miss the Toronto debut of Australian blues boss C.W. Stoneking at The Drake with Catl opening at 9 pm sharp.

Happy Birthday Harry Beckett!

Remembering the trumpet titan with some tracks recorded for the BBC in 1974 just issued as Still Happy.

Harry Beckett - Still Happy (My Only Desire Records)

This previously unreleased session from trumpeter Harry Beckett, was originally recorded in 1974 for BBC Radio 2's Jazz Club program. Remastered from the original tapes by Frank Merritt at The Carvery in Hackney, it presents a brilliant snapshot of music from the era, as he mixes turbo-charged jazz with his Caribbean heritage and the rock and funk of the 70s.

Beckett's group includes the twin saxophone line-up of Alan Wakeman on tenor and soprano and Don Weller on tenor saxophone, Brian Miller on electric piano, Paul Hart on electric bass, John Webb on drums and Robin Jones on percussion.

The title track "Still Happy" has never appeared on any of Harry's albums and until now has never been released in any format. It reflects Harry's personality and joy of music making perfectly. The playing and interplay between the musicians is first-class, as it is throughout the session. The LP is noticeable for its beautifully composed themes and proto-hip hop drumming from John Webb, which will have producers around the world reaching for their MPC60s.

Harry moved to the UK from Barbados in the 50s and played with a who's-who of British jazz stars during the 60s and 70s - Graham Collier, John Surman, Mike Osbourne, Stan Tracey, Mike Westbrook, Chris McGregor etc. - as well as rock/pop stars such as Jack Bruce, Keef Hartley, Robert Wyatt and Manfred Mann. Beckett worked in jazz for over five decades but also performed with pop/rock groups (Working Week, David Sylvian) and dub/reggae producers, such as Jah Wobble and Adrian Sherwood. Harry died in 2010 after suffering a stroke.

This limited edition release of Still Happy – out now on Plumstead's My Only Desire Records in a one-time 500 copy vinyl pressing with liner notes by Daniel Spicer (The Wire)  – celebrates the memory of Harry Beckett and should introduce him to many new fans.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Frank Secich book launch @ Circus, Saturday, 4 pm

Blue Ash founder and Stiv Bators collaborator Frank Secich has loads of entertaining stories to tell.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Happy Birthday Dee Dee Bridgewater!

Celebrating Dee Dee's birthday with her lovely version of Midnight Sun at Jazzwoche Burghausen in 1998.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

One For The Weekend: Peter Brötzmann

Don't miss Peter w/ Heather Leigh at the Velvet Underground Friday. I'll be spinning vinyl relics between sets.

Happy 100th Birthday Moondog!

Remembering the amazing Louis "Moondog" Hardin, born 100 years ago today in Marysville, Kansas.  

The American Spectator: Moondog at 100
NY Daily News: A look back at Moondog
The Viking Of 6th Avenue – Kickstarter campaign

TURF 2016 topped by Drive-By Truckers, Guided By Voices & The Mekons

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Marshall Allen!

Celebrating Marshall's 92nd birthday with the Arkestra music he selected for In The Orbit of Ra.

In The Orbit Of Ra (Strut)
Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra - Somewhere In Space 00:00 - 03:01
Sun Ra & His Solar-Myth Arkestra - The Lady With The Golden Stockings (a.k.a. The Golden Lady) 03:02 - 10:42
Sun Ra And His Astro Infinity Arkestra - Somebody Else's World 10:44 - 14:45
Sun Ra - Spontaneous Simplicity 14:48 - 22:44
Sun Ra & His Solar-Myth Arkestra - Plutonian Nights 22:48 - 27:09
Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra - Angels And Demons At Play 27:13 - 30:07
Sun Ra And His Arkestra - Island In The Sun (Extended Version) 30:08 - 40:28
Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra - Rocket Number Nine Take Off For Planet Venus 40:31 - 46:51
Sun Ra And His Solar Arkestra - Solar Differentials 46:53 - 53:15
Sun Ra And His Arkestra - Astro Black 53:19 - 1:04:11
Sun Ra And His Intergalactic Infinity Arkestra - Have You Heard The Latest News From Neptune 1:04:14 - 1:10:06
Sun Ra - Dance Of The Cosmo Aliens (Live In Milan, 1978) 1:10:08 - 1:21:11
Sun Ra - Trying To Put The Blame On Me (Live In Rome, 1977) 1:21:15 - 1:24:54
Sun Ra And His Solar Arkestra - Planet Earth 1:25:01 - 1:29:58
Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra - The Nile 1:30:00 - 1:34:53
Sun Ra And His Solar Arkestra - Reflects Motion (Part 1) 1:34:56 - 1:38:18
Sun Ra And His Solar Arkestra - Reflects Motion (Part 2) 1:38:19 - 1:46:29
Sun Ra And His Arkestra - Ancient Aiethiopia 1:46:31 - 1:55:45
Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra - Interplanetary Music 1:55:49 - 1:58:31
Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra - We Travel The Spaceways 1:58:33 - 2:01:55

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Whaddya mean you don't know Ural Thomas

Portland soul great Ural Thomas revised his '67 gem "Pain Is The Name of Your Game" with Nick Waterhouse. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Velvet Crush's Teenage Symphonies demos due from Omnivore July 22

The Velvet Crush's co-founder Ric Menck just posted on Facebook about Omnivore's plans to re-release the demos they cut for the group's classic 1994 album, Teenage Symphonies To God which have previously appeared on the Melody Freaks collection in 2002. Interestingly enough, Ric didn't mention anything about a vinyl issue and neither does Omnivore's press release which follows:

"Yes, it's true. There's a new Velvet Crush release coming soon! It's called Pre-Teen Symphonies, and it will be available through the fine folks at Omnivore Records!! It collects the demos we recorded for Teenage Symphonies To God, as well as a live show recorded in Chicago by the WXRT mobile unit.

"This stuff has been out before, but never in one place, and it has never sounded this good (totally remastered from original tapes!). I wrote the liner notes, and the cover of the CD features some really cool never before seen photos. It's been ages since there's been any new "product" by VC on the market, so I'm kinda excited about this! I'm really glad it's coming out on Omnivore, too, because they've been putting out some fantastic records for quite a few years now!"

Here's the Omnivore press release...

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. — When Rhode Island’s Velvet Crush appeared on the scene in the early 1990s, they were obviously a force to reckon with. Signing with England’s Creation Records (Oasis, My Bloody Valentine, Teenage Fanclub), they released their debut LP in 1991. But, it was 1994’s Teenage Symphonies To God (the title being a play on Brian Wilson’s description of what would become SMiLE) on Sony 550 Music that put them on the map. Co-produced by the legendary Mitch Easter, it opened America’s eyes to what those over the pond were so wild about.

But, what was the genesis of that record? We can now find out with Pre-Teen Symphonies, a collection of 16 previously unissued tracks from Velvet Crush: eight demos (including one for the classic single “Hold Me Up”) and eight tracks recorded live in 1995 at Cabaret Metro in Chicago. The set, available on CD and Digital, will be released July 22, 2016.

As the band—fronted by Paul Chastian (bass, guitar and vocals) and Ric Menck (drums) with Jeffrey Underhill (guitar)—proved the past was the future by taking elements from classic ’60s melodies, ’70s power pop, and ’80s reinvention, Pre-Teen Symphonies is a unique look into the development of a classic, and the live power that drove it.

Menck writes in the liners: “It’s probably no exaggeration to make the claim that Teenage Symphonies To God was the pinnacle of our illustrious career as a band. It’s certainly the album by Velvet Crush that most people know. Pre-Teen Symphonies collects all the loose ends, and hopefully, helps to usher in a new chapter for the little band that could from Providence, Rhode Island.”

Pre-Teen Symphonies CD/Digital Track List:
1. Hold Me Up
2. My Blank Pages
3. Time Wraps Around You
4. Not Standing Down
5. Turn Down
6. This Life Is Killing Me
7. Weird Summer
8. Star Trip

Live At Cabaret Metro, Chicago:
9. Window to the World
10. My Blank Pages
11. Ash and Earth
12. Time Wraps Around You

Happy 70th Birthday Famoudou Don Moye

Celebrating the birthday of the Art Ensemble's percussionist extraordinaire with their version of Fela Kuti's Zombie.

RIP Morley Safer, 1931-2016

Toronto-born broadcast news icon Morley Safer died on May 19, days after his retirement from 60 Minutes.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Fleshtones @ Montreal's Parterre du Quartiers des Spectacles, Sunday

Count on The Fleshtones to knock out the tunes their righteously rockin' new 45 at Pouzza Fest tonight.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Spilluffe vs. Motörhead

Ulf Sigvardson aka Spilluffe did Lemmy's Killed By Death synth-punk style for the Orgelvärk cassette comp in 1986. 

Neuköln's excellent Orgelvärk comp was reissued by Minimal Wave.

Four Tet w/ Ben UFO @ Coda, Saturday

Check out Kieran Hebden's Boiler Room set below or listen to his recent dublab session w/Ben UFO right here.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Peter Brötzmann & Heather Leigh @ Velvet Underground, May 27

Better get tickets quick for pedal steel dazzler Heather Leigh's upcoming bout with reeds ripper Peter Brötzmann.

Ears Are Filled With Wonder, the debut release from the duo of pedal steel player Heather Leigh and reedist Peter Brötzmann, blows the old adage about improvised music somehow not being best appreciated via the recordings to beautiful pieces. This is a music that demands re-visiting, that seems to alter, slightly, every time it is played, with new details emerging, new relationships of tone and style, new romance, even. Recorded during a mammoth stint in Krakow, Poland where Brötzmann and Leigh played as part of big bands, trios, quartets and duos, this duo performance represents the diamond heart of the sessions, an improvised set that bears little relation to what either of the players have achieved outside of its prodigious gravity.

We mentioned romance and really Ears Are Filled With Wonder, a play on a line from the poet Kenneth Patchen, showcases the full reach of Brötzmann’s rebel lyricism, his lover man style, now smoky, seductive, late night, now roaring and vibrating with energy. Leigh plays it extremely subtly, sometimes fixing on the most suggestive detail and from there spinning luscious webs of repeat-time bliss that make for some of the most psychedelic and otherworldly settings of strings and horn. Elsewhere the two of them tear the roof off with tactile fuzz and horn ascensions.

It’s a music of organic depth, of endlessly evocative unfolding, as themes bloom and sigh and disappear and arise and it feels curiously out of time, even as both players push their instruments into futuristic configurations. As such it doesn’t sit neatly in either players’ extensive catalogues. Rather, this is a music of perpetual change, of summing up and of pushing on, a music that feels genuinely new even as it runs an umbilical deep into the tradition of getting out. Indeed, even Brötzmann’s signature artwork and sleeve design seems to have mutated in turn, forsaking the blacks and whites and reds of old, the stark iconography of previous releases, for something more subtly evocative and colourful.

Ears Are Filled With Wonder is a coming together of two of the most original voices on their respective instruments and the title reflects the joyful uncovering of a whole new way of listening and relating. Indeed, it might well be the first ever freely improvised electric pedal steel and saxophone duet ever put to tape. Either way it is one of the most startlingly beautiful combinations of players and temperaments to orbit the European jazz scene in years. And this is only the beginning. So hold tight. 

Moshe Idel
Ronda, Spain
February 2016

Thursday, May 19, 2016

RIP Gétachèw Mèkurya, 1935-2016

Ethiopian saxophone colossus Gétachèw Mèkurya passed away on April 4 in Addis Ababa. He was 81.

Happy Birthday Cecil McBee

Here's the deep spiritual jam Agnez recorded live at Sweet Basil on August 2, 1977.

Peach Kelli Pop @ Smiling Buddha, Thursday

Check out Peach Kelli Pop's new tunes off their Halloween Mask 7-inch EP out now on Lauren Records. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop @ Danforth Music Hall, Wednesday

Watch Jesca Hoop and Iron & Wine's Sam Beam croon two wistful tunes from their duets album Love Letter For Fire. 

Happy Birthday Terry Zwigoff

Watch Terry's fab first feature, 1985's Louie Bluie, a documentary about string band great Howard Armstrong.

RIP Marlene Marder, 1954-2016

Zürich's Marlene Marder co-founded hugely influential Swiss punk exports Kleenex. 

Watch Margo Price @ Stubbs in Austin

Here's rising roots country star Margo Price playing an eight-song set at SXSW back in March.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

RIP Guy Clark, 1941-2016

Legendary Texas songwriter Guy Clark will be greatly missed. Here are a few memorable performances.

Royce da 5'9" @ The Mod Club, Tuesday

Watch Royce da 5'9" discuss the origins of his introspective new Layers album on the Breakfast Club. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

TSO plays the music of John Williams @ Roy Thomson Hall, Tuesday & Wednesday

Here are a couple of numbers from Star Wars composer John Williams you won't likely hear the TSO revisit. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Happy Birthday Karin Krog!

Celebrating the birthday of sensational jazz vocalist Karin Krog with New Spring and We Could Be Flying.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Lee "Scratch" Perry's Vision of Paradise screens @ Royal Cinema, Sunday, 7:30pm

Volker Schaner's 2015 documentary may have a special guest for the Toronto screening Sunday at 7:30pm.  

Friday, May 13, 2016

No Flash, Please! book launch w/The Lawn, The Dundrells, Adam Faux @ The Horseshoe, Sunday

Check out some fantastic 80s vintage photos of The Lawn shot by Rick McGinnis right here.

Watch The Louvin Brothers sing Hoping That You're Hoping

Here's Ira & Charlie Louvin on the Purina Grand Ole Opry Carnival in 1956. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Happy Birthday Ian McLagan

Remembering Small Faces and Faces keyboardist on his day with his performance of Ronnie Lane's Debris. 

Toronto's Pow Wows rock Spain

Check these clips of the Pow Wows tearin' it up in Alicante and Madrid last month.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Drake & 40 interviewed by Nardwuar

Watch Nardwuar zealously dig into the hidden past of Drake and his producer 40 along with their first collabo.

Neko Case, k.d. lang, Laura Veirs @ Danforth Music Hall, August 16. Tickets on sale Thursday

Listen to "Delirium" (below) off the case/lang/veirs album out June 17. Tickets for the T.O. show go on sale May 12.

Several years ago k.d. lang sent an email to Neko Case and Laura Veirs on a whim. It read simply, "I think we should make a record together."

Though the three musicians were barely more than acquaintances "Laura and I both responded immediately," recalls Case. "There was no question."

But now there is an answer. A new album by three unique, self-driven artists called simply case/lang/veirs will be released by Anti- on June 17 with an extensive tour to follow. case/lang/veirs features fourteen new, original songs written by the artists over a period of two-and-a-half years. It was recorded in Portland, OR where lang and Veirs both live, and produced by Tucker Martine with the group. Sessions commenced in lang's loft with a view of Mount St. Helens, and in Veirs' dining room and backyard studio.

Full of stunning harmonies and spellbinding rhythms, case/lang/veirs draws inspiration from alluring, mysterious subjects: a supermoon, the tumbledown story of 70s singer Judee Sill, and the "best kept secret" in Silver Lake, to name but three. Evidently, a fortuitous encounter with fireworks also provided a creative spark.

"At first we thought what can we possibly write about, we don't even know each other, there were no themes," says Laura Veirs. "So k.d. and I were having trouble writing and went on a walk. We saw this firework stand and we started looking at the names of the different fireworks, and one of them was called 'Delirium.' We were like, 'that's a good song title,' and we started building.

"Neko came in and, of course, she has a way of making everything great. She can even use one word to totally transform a song. We were writing things like 'the walls are falling in,' you know, trying to find a way of saying this person is in a delirious state. She said 'kaleidoscoping in,' and I was like, that's it! One word and the chorus went from cliché to magical." Have a listen to Delirium.

Tour dates:
June 22 - San Diego, CA @ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay +
June 23 - Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre +
June 25 - Saratoga, CA @ The Mountain Winery +
June 26 - Laytonville, CA @ Kate Wolf Music Festival
June 28 - Victoria, B.C. @ TD Victoria International Jazz Fest (Royal Theatre) +
June 29 - Vancouver, B.C. @ TD Vancouver International Jazz Fest (Queen Elizabeth Theatre) +
June 30 - Seattle, WA @ Woodland Park Zoo Amphitheatre +
July 2 - Portland, OR @ Oregon Zoo Amphitheatre +
July 3 - Jacksonville, OR@ Britt Pavilion **
July 5 - Bend, OR @ Athletic Club of Bend +
July 7 - Reno, NV @ Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater !
July 8 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Red Butte Amphitheatre
July 9 - Beaver Creek, CO @ Vilar Performing Arts Center !
July 10 - Denver, CO @ Denver Botanic Gardens !
July 22 - Newport, RI @ Newport Folk Festival
July 23 - Lowell, MA @ Lowell Summer Music Series +
July 24 - Camden, NJ @ XPoNential Music Festival
July 26 - Brooklyn, NY @ BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival +
July 27 - Washington, D.C. @ Lincoln Theatre +
July 29 - Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Botanical Gardens +
July 31 - New Orleans, LA @ Joy Theater
August 2 - San Antonio, TX @ Tobin Center for the Performing Arts +
August 3 - Austin, TX @ Long Center for the Performing Arts +
August 4 - Dallas, TX @ Winspear Opera House
August 6 - Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
August 7 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
August 9 - Bayfield, WI @ Big Top Chautauqua +
August 10 - Apple Valley, MN @ Weesner Family Amphitheater
August 12 - Grand Prairie, AB @ Bear Creek Folk Music Festival
August 14 - Winnipeg, MB @ Interstellar Rodeo
August 16 - Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall *

+ Special Guest Andy Shauf
! Special Guest Joseph
* On Sale 5/12
**On Sale 5/13

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

B-Side Wins Again: Atomic Rooster

The Rock is another ace head-nodder from UK prog rippers Atomic Rooster. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Birthday Hank Snow

Remembering the Singing Ranger on his day with a couple of vintage TV appearances.

The Waco Brothers @ The Horseshoe, May 13

Jon Langford and his Waco crew will be presenting songs from Going Down In History at the Horseshoe on Friday.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Ray Charles vs. The Southern Tones

Notice any similarity between Ray's I've Got A Woman and the Southern Tones' earlier It Must Be Jesus?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Black Lips with Death Valley Girls, Red Mass, Lint @ The Phoenix, Friday

Watch Cole and Jared discuss the origins of the Black Lips and play a few tunes acoustically in Nelsonville.

One For The Weekend: The Sterlings

Here's "Hey Boy" by The Sterlings which appears on the greasy-great new Los Alamos Grind comp (see below). 

Los Alamos Grind

Record buyers of a certain age need no explanation for Los Alamos Grind! They will be immediately transported back to a time when going to see The Dwarves was de rigueur for fresh-faced American youth, books like Apocalypse Culture were on everyone’s nightstand, and issues of Rollerderby were available everywhere, selling millions of copies. A natural reaction to this onslaught of hypersexual, transgressive, post-Throbbing Gristle art was a wave of interest in a kinder, gentler era of sleaze. For those space-age bachelors who occasionally invited others into their space-age bachelor- pads, the Las Vegas Grind series appeared to, ostensibly, compile the sounds and smells of vintage strip clubs, with all the pastie-twirling, sweaty-hip-gyrating, lap-grinding one could hope for, as if compiled by Lloyd Llewellyn himself. Like every bootleg series, however, the Las Vegas Grind series slid quickly into the untold darkness, much like a rotted-stripper panty swept off the stage at The Can Can.

Los Alamos Grind! picks up in the not-too-distant future where nuclear war has indelibly altered the physical structure of strippers and patrons alike, but the jukebox selections have returned to a simpler time. Join the time-traveling A&R men of Numbero as they simultaneously visit past and future, compiling a superior collection of sleaze than anything brought to the post-apocalyptic-bachelor-pad scene thus far. And because we are gentlemen and scholars, each track is licensed… no easy feat when the government has crumbled and all laws are dictated by treaties between mutant warlords (and warladies).

Includes an original comic penned by Doofus creator Rick Altergott. 1000 copies pressed on silver plastic compact disc. 1000 copies pressed on alien urine blue vinyl, 1000 copies pressed on galaxy black vinyl which come with a digital download code for MP3 files. Order directly from Numero Group right here. Check the impressive track listing below.

Los Alamos Grind (Numbero)
Johnny Knight - Rock & Roll Guitar
Classie Ballou - Classie's Whip
Eugene Blacknell - Jump Back
The Blazers - The Grasshopper Twist
A.C. Jones & the Atomic Aces - Give Me Your Love (Inst.)
The Kings - Just a Little Bit of You
The Dontels - Soul Nitty Gritty
J.J. Jones - Aw Shucks
The Sterlings - Hey Boy
L. Hollis & the Mackadoos - Bui Bui
Dino & the Deltones - Slap Stick
The Royal Jesters - Staletto 135
Cal Valentine - The Boogie Twist Pt.1
Lou Ragland & the Bandmasters - Party at Lester's
The Joy Rockers - The Gauster Bop
The Fabulous Rhythm Makers - Mini, Mini Afro Twist
The Soul-heirs - Hot Links
Johnny K. Killens & The Dynamites - Frenchy the Tickler