Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Whaddya mean you don't know Cromwell

 Cromwell's proto-metal whumper At The Gallop has just been reissued by Guerssen's Got Kinda Lost subsidiary. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Radio Birdman's Deniz Tek joins James Williamson for unplugged Acoustic K.O. EP

Radio Birdman ace Deniz Tek has teamed up with Iggy Pop's axe-wielding sidekick James Williamson for the Acoustic K.O. EP (out March 31) – a new spin on four classic Williamson compositions from the early/mid '70s. The proto-punk guitar stars have unplugged their amps for drastic reworkings of two numbers from Iggy & The Stooges’ seminal Raw Power album (“I Need Somebody” and “Penetration”) as well as two tracks from Pop & Williamson’s underrated Kill City (“Night Theme” and “No Sense of Crime”). These songs were orginally composed by Pop & Williamson, with the exception of "Night Theme" which was penned by Williamson and Scott Thurston.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Williamson explains hooking up with Tek and working with him on this new project: “I first met Deniz in 2011 when doing the Ron Asheton Tribute show at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor. Deniz had been a good friend of the Ashetons (having come from Ann Arbor like them) and had been asked to play on some of the old Stooges tunes that night.”

“Later we stayed in touch during the times I would visit Australia on tour with the Stooges, and it also turned out that he visited the Big Island of Hawaii frequently, as do my wife and I. In fact, during one of our get togethers on the Big Island Deniz mentioned that we should record some acoustic songs together.  Maybe do some of my old stuff. It was later that day, hiking in a remote area, that we came across some abandoned trucks. His wife, Anne, got her camera out and said 'there’s your record cover!’”

Oddly, in a parallel development, a long time fan and incredible collector of Stooges memorabilia, Hakan Beckman, had suggested to James a couple of years earlier that “Night Theme” should be orchestrated. Further, he had developed a fantasy album cover called Acoustic K.O. James loved these ideas and now, with Tek, had the vehicle to realize them.

“That’s how it all started,” Williamson admits. “However, once we began recording, the project took on a life of its own. If this was to be called Acoustic K.O. it needed to be entirely acoustic. Michael Urbano broke out his old 1920s drum kit and Gregg Foreman used my old 1930s pump organ and a piano. Guitars, of course, were acoustic, and the only exception was the bass that Bob Glaub played - an old hollow body Kay since an upright  just didn’t sound right for these songs. The horn section rounded everything out.”

“For ‘Night Theme’ I enlisted the help of Mark Culbertson, musician extraordinaire who had played contra-bass for me on the albums Ready to Die and Re-Licked, to do the arrangement. He did an extraordinary job! I was able to find an incredible group of players called The Awesome Orchestra from Berkeley, CA under the direction of David Moschler to realize Mark’s arrangement and I couldn’t be happier with the results.”

“It all came together once we layed down Deniz’s vocals while in Hawaii, and with the help of Petra Haden doing some backing vocals and violin, along with Annie Hardy (Giant Drag) doing the duet with Deniz on ‘No Sense Of Crime’ we had performances to be proud of.”

Check out Deniz Tek & James Williamson's reworking of Penetration followed by the original version by Iggy & The Stooges...

Susto @ The Drake Hotel, Monday

Check out Charleston, South Carolina's Susto performing on Audiotree Live then see 'em at The Drake. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Anton Newcombe & Limiñanas vs. The Kinks

MOJO's latest issue comes with a Kinks tribute CD w/ The Limiñanas  & Anton Newcombe covering "Two Sisters" 

One For The Weekend: Pushy

"Salem Man" is off Pushy's split album with Ragged Barracudas out now on Who Can You Trust? Records.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Pow Wows announce split single with Davie Allan & The Arrows

Here's the Olaf Jens sleeve art for the forthcoming Pow Wows / Davie Allan split seven-inch due in March. 

Writes Pow Wows' guitarist Chris McCann:

Anyone who knows me well probably knows that "one of my guys" is musical icon Davie Allan aka the King of Fuzz Guitar. His albums, 45s and psycho collectible '60s soundtracks have been among the most exciting and influential discoveries in my life as a musician and yes, record collector. If you don't know him you probably do: the Wild Angels, Born Losers and Wild in the Streets soundtracks, the Arrows albums Cycle-Delic Sounds and Blues Theme and on and on. 

Today we announce the release of a DAVIE ALLAN & THE ARROWS / POW WOWS split 7" on Get Hip Recordings with cycle-delic art by Olaf Jens, linernotes from Phantom Surfers' guitarist Mel Bergman and mastering by Jim Diamond!! It is beyond an honour to now know Davie, to (unbelievably) become a small part of his incredible musical history and of course to dedicate to him our Canadian-history instro biker-anthem "Satan's Choice". Dreams do come true!!! Thank you Gregg, Barbara, Brian, Ryan, Jon, Steven, Olaf, Mel, Jim and the legend and coolest man in California, Davie Allan.

The Pow Wows / Davie Allan & The Arrows split single is slated for release March 17th but you can pre-order a copy directly from Get Hip right here. Have a listen to the Pow Wow's ripper Satan's Choice below...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

DJ Format & Abdominal preview new Still Hungry album with the brilliant "Behind The Scenes" video

Like Drake, Abs enjoys having some T.O. flava in his videos – however, no Bentley GTCs were harmed in this shoot.

Possessing superior rhyme skills isn't necessarily a ticket to rap stardom. Toronto-based emcee Abdominal knows better than most that the day-to-day life of a real hip hop artist ain't all the glitz 'n' glamour people associate with celebrities like Drake and Kanye. In Dafydd Palfrey's fab new video for DJ Format & Abdominal's latest single "Behind The Scenes," our man Abs pulls back the curtain to show what goes into making a living with a microphone.

As can be seen in the footage shot primarily in Toronto, there's much more time spent alone scribblng ideas in corner cafés and digging for beats in dusty record stores like Grasshopper Records (1167 Dundas West at Ossington) than sipping champagne with models in hottubs. Have a look...

DJ Format & Abdominal's new album Still Hungry is out April 28 on AAF Records via Kartel Music Group. "Behind The Scenes" is now available at https://abdominal.bandcamp.com. The dynamic hiphop duo will be rockin' houses across the UK this spring – check the dates below...  

Jackson Browne covers Eleni Mandell's "My Twin" at Unsung Heroes benefit

Eleni Mandell was clearly delighted with Jackson Browne's version of "My Twin" at The Bootleg in L.A. last night.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tom Russell @ The Dakota Tavern, February 11

Always a few steps ahead, Tom Russell's Who's Gonna Build Your Wall? seems more relevant now than ever. 
Writes Tom Russell: "What the hell…the song ain't gonna go away and I wrote it ten years ago. This clip is from the David Letterman show nine years back. I actually wrote it for a San Diego developer who used illegals to build the wall to keep the illegals out…so it was a tongue in cheek, one trick pony sort of song. Went over quite well as a sing-along on the recent UK Tour. At the time I wrote it I was pissed off that our historic El Paso adobe was being surrounded by cheap development and herds of pit bulls running loose…but The Wall is back in the news. Though Nova Beat remains apolitical in scope, dedicated mostly to song and art. Tom in Norway reminded me again of this….Tusen Takk."

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ray Davies backed by Jayhawks on new Americana album due in April

Here's the press release...
On April 21st, Ray Davies will release Americana, his first new album in over nine years via Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. The 15-track collection of originals serves as a master-crafted return for one of the most acclaimed and iconic songwriters of the past 50 years, and follows Davies’ 2013 memoir of the same name, using the book as both source material and creative catalyst.  Davies enlisted The Jayhawks as backing band, and recorded the album in London at Konk, the studio founded by The Kinks in 1973.

Americana was written, conceived, and arranged, by Davies, and co-produced with Guy Massey and John Jackson.  The album is an autobiographical work, chronicling the inextricable role America has played in Davies’ life. From his earliest days touring the U.S. with the Kinks and subsequent blacklisting by the American Musicians Union, to his years playing stadiums and eventually settling in New York and New Orleans for a time, America has served as both muse and tempest to Davies.

The songs on Americana dig into the rich American musical tapestry, through the lens of Davies’ own wholly unique American experience. The music swerves from the open-road manifesto of “The Great Highway,” to a delicate duet with The Jayhawks’ Karen Grotberg on “Message From The Road,” to “Poetry,” which offers a vital reminder of Davies’ ability to spin small detail into penetrating truth.  The album also features a number of short spoken-word passages from Davies’ memoir. A second volume to Americana will be a released later in 2017.

Listen to the song “Poetry” courtesy of NPR's All Songs Considered...

Americana will be released on CD, LP and digitally and is available for pre-order now right here

1. Americana
2. The Deal
3. Poetry
4. Message From The Road
5. A Place In Your Heart
6. The Mystery Room
7. Silent Movie
8. Rock 'N’ Roll Cowboys
9. Change For Change
10. The Man Upstairs
11. I’ve Heard That Beat Before
12. A Long Drive Home To Tarzana
13. The Great Highway
14. The Invaders
15. Wings Of Fantasy

Monday, January 23, 2017

Watch You Left Me Blue: The Handsome Ned Story

Handsome Ned was a Canadian rockabilly pioneer in the late 1970's, early 1980's. He was an electrifying performer who inspired and conspired to transform the Toronto Queen West music scene. In the feature-length documentary You Left Me Blue: The Handsome Ned Story, original performances and interviews from Ned's heyday are complimented by performances of his music and interviews with many of his colleagues and family members.

Among those offering insights are Johnny MacLeod, Greg Keelor, Jim Masyk, Bee Masyk, Mojah, Tony Kenny, Herb Tooky, Steve Koch, Rene Fratura. Handsome Ned's performances include his bands: The Handsome Neds, The Hayseed Hellions, The New Neds, The Sidewinders and the Velours. The Ned Tribute Performances (2008-10) were performed by Cleave Anderson, John Borra, Rene Fratura, Sam Ferrara, Steve Koch, Eddie Kalwa, Johnny MacLeod, Jim Masyk and Frank Navarro. The film was produced and directed by Chris Terry and Ross Edmunds.

On January 29th, Toronto's Legendary Horseshoe Tavern plays host to the release of The Handsome Neds: Live At The Horseshoe, a collection of long thought lost Handsome Ned recordings captured live in 1985. You can read more about the release and the show right here.

Fred Armisen & Carrie Brownstein talk about stuff on The Talkhouse podcast

Portlandia's stars and co-creators Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein mark the start of the show's 7th season by sitting down together for a 40 minute chat on The Talkhouse podcast. Over the course of their wide-ranging conversation, the two friends and longtime collaborators discuss their cooking habits, bizarre medicinal uses for garlic, Fred's trip to Japan to find his roots, This is Spinal Tap, the difference between live comedy and live music, erroneous details on their Wikipedia pages, and much more. Listen below.

RIP CAN drummer Jaki Liebezeit, 1938-2017

Jaki reportedly died of pneumonia at age 78. Read the Independent obit right here.

Happy Birthday Pat Todd!

Celebrating Pat Todd's birthday with his performance at Gearfest 2016. Grab Outskirts Of Your Heart now on vinyl!

Hot Lunch vs. Crushed Butler

Bay Area bruisers Hot Lunch impressively rip through Crushed Butler's classic pounder Love Is All Around Me. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mavis Staples joins Arcade Fire for anti-Trump anthem "I Give You Power"

Thousands of women are marching on Washington to remind Trump that 75% of Americans didn't vote for him.  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Chris Cohen vs. NRBQ

Deerhoof dude Chris Cohen does a fine job with Joey Spampinato's It's Not So Hard off NRBQ's Scraps album.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Happy Birthday Horace Parlan!

Watch the Lord High Fixers rock Los Angeles in 1996

Here's Tim Kerr and crew blasting "Pay The Man" off their When The Revolution Comes album.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Look out Europe, Toronto's Pow Wows are comin' yer way!

After watching a couple of full-throttle Pow Wows' performances in Spain, grab their new "Hey Doctor" single right here.

Mardi Gras in Toronto w/ Alex Pangman & Her Alleycats, Red Hot Ramble @ Lula Lounge, March 1

Grab your tickets for Alex Pangman's Mardi Gras party right here or call (416) 588-0307 for dinner reservations.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happy Birthday Billy Harper!

Andrew Collins Trio @ The Burdock, Tuesday

Mando maestro Andrew Collins finds himself at the epicentre of Canada’s burgeoning acoustic/roots music scene. He didn’t invent it but he's certainly been a contributor, having co-founded noteworthy Canadian bands like the Creaking String Quartet, the Foggy Hogtown Boys and, more recently, the Andrew Collins Trio.

Comfortable on mandolin, fiddle, guitar, mandola, mandocello and vocals, Andrew is joined by fellow string guru, Mike Mezzatesta - who’s versatility and mastery shine through on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and mandola, and in-the-pocket James McEleney, holding it down on the bass, mandocello and vocals.

On their newest release And It Was Good, all three players continue their push into new territory. A collision of bluegrass, jazz, old-time, Celtic and classical, And It Was Good is good, receiving great reviews and winning them a 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Instrumental Group. Rather than try to pigeonhole what ACT does, just go and see them at The Burdock (1184 Bloor West) tonight and enjoy the fact that no one else is doing it. Doors open at 8:30 pm, show starts at 9 pm. Tickets are $12 advance, $15 door.

Death Waltz recirculates 1971 Bruno Nicolai giallo gem

The new Death Waltz sleeve for The Case of The Scorpion's Tail looks drab compared to the original Italian film poster.
For the first time on vinyl, Death Waltz is putting out one of the Bruno Nicolai's sought-after 1971 giallo score for the Sergio Martino thriller La Coda Dello Scorpione aka The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail as a 2LP set (1 LP black/yellow split, 1 LP black & red split). The package also includes a reproduction of the original locadina poster although it seems like the intense original Italian theatrical release one-sheet would've made for a much more exciting sleeve than the ho-hum knife 'n' blood splatter design Eric Adrian Lee came up with. In any case, here's an excerpt from Nicolai's score...

Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy Birthday John Carpenter!

Celebrating John Carpenter's birthday with a bit of his classic score from Assault On Precinct 13.

Scotland's King Creosote releases Greetings from Hamilton, Canada

A long rumoured album that insanely prolific Scottish singer/songwriter Kenny Anderson (aka King Creosote) recorded in 2010 with Paul Savage at Chemikal Underground, "Greetings from Hamilton, Canada" is King Creosote's oldest new record on his Fence label. A collaboration with Paul Savage for the main part, "Greetings From Hamilton, Canada" was recorded by Kenny with The Delgados drummer-turned-engineer between 2012 and 2014, and has more than a hairspray whiff of the 80s about it, tempered only by the 70s drumming of Captain Geeko, the retro 90s mono synth playing of Des Lawson and some gold star millennium vocals from Bams.

"Hamilton" is at last a finished record. The history of the record is that Kenny had booked into a studio with collaborator Paul Savage, with a view to release the record on CD and vinyl. After the proposed release never happened, the bills still had to be paid, meaning a hold-up in "Hamilton" seeing the light of day.

Finally, the album is now available for purchase on a physical format exclusively via Glasgow-based music retailer Monorail Music. So what's the Hamilton connection you may be wondering? Well, you'll have to shell out £30 (roughly $47.57 Canadian) plus shipping & handling to find out.

In the interests of transparency, Kenny has asked Monorail to detail the production costs of the CD and recording, in order to explain the higher-than-usual price point for the CD.

The costs are as follows:
Recording: £8500
Mastering: £360
Artwork: £150
Manufacturing: £930
Total Costs: £9940
Number of CDs made: 495, of which 490 are for sale
Unit cost: £20.29
Retail price: £30

Here's a 2007 mini-documentary on King Creosote and his Fence collective followed by a memorable NPR Tiny Desk concert from 2011...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Long thought lost Handsome Ned recordings being released

The Handsome Neds: Live At The Horseshoe EP launches at The Horseshoe on Sunday, January 29th. 

If not for some good old fashioned dumb luck, a collection of peak-period live recordings by Toronto roots rock legend Handsome Ned may never have seen the light of day. The forthcoming release of The Handsome Neds: Live At The Horseshoe is actually the result of a serendipitous reunion of former Horseshoe Tavern co-manager X-Ray Macrae and Ned’s brother, Jim Masyk, at a Toronto ATM. Here's the scoop:

Way back in 1985, The Handsome Neds were set to share a bill with fellow roots rock rising stars Blue Rodeo who'd just played their first show at the Rivoli on February 7th of that year. A 24-track mobile recording truck and veteran producer Terry Brown were hired in the hopes that a Blue Rodeo live demo would cement a record deal with Warner Music Canada. Fortunately, the tape was rolling during the Handsome Neds set and some real magic was captured on two-inch tape. Ned, who died tragically on January 10, 1987 at age 29, never got to hear that tape as the recording costs were never paid. As a result the tapes stayed in the possession of X-Ray who stored them in a Napanee farmhouse until the aforementioned ATM encounter. X-Ray generously donated the recording to the Masyks which made the current release possible.

You have to wonder whatever became of the early Blue Rodeo live document made on the same night. There's no question that any pre-Outskirts recording would be of interest to longtime Blue Rodeo fans – especially a professional quality 24-track job overseen by Terry Brown – so some further investigation into the whereabouts and condition of the tapes seems like a worthwhile pursuit.

In any case, Cameron House Records is launching the re-mixed and re-mastered Handsome Neds recording as the six-song Live At The Horseshoe EP – including the previously unissued original “Little Miss Lonely Heart” – at  The Horseshoe Tavern on Sunday January 29th at 8:30 pm. Set to perform songs from the Handsome Ned catalogue on the very same stage where the original performance was captured are:  John Borra (Rattlesnake Choir), Steve Koch (Handsome Neds, One-Eyed Jacks), Cleave Anderson (Blue Rodeo), Screamin' Sam Ferrara (Rattlesnake Choir), Tony Benattar (Rattlesnake Choir), Johnny MacLeod (Johnny & The G-Rays), Tony Kenny (Razorbacks), Devin Cuddy and some special guests.

Watch Handsome Ned performing "No Room For Cheating" on Ottawa's Capital City Hayride followed by the trailer for You Left Me Blue: The Handsome Ned Story below.

New Swears, Possum, The Kents, Crazy Bones @ The Horseshoe, Saturday

Ottawa's unhinged New Swears head up the Class Of 2017 showcase at the Horseshoe tonight at 8:30pm.

Whaddya mean you don't know Virgil Caine

Here's "Swamp Witch" off The Great Lunar Oil Strike, 1976 album by Virginia outsiders Virgil Caine.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Happy Birthday Mississippi Fred McDowell

Remembering blues great Mississippi Fred McDowell on his day with a couple of brilliant performance clips. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Happy Birthday Wilton "Bogey" Gaynair

Remembering Jamaican-born tenor sax titan Wilton Gaynair with a couple of typically stellar performances. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Slocan Ramblers, Ivan Rosenberg CD release @ The Tranzac, Friday

The Slocan Ramblers will be supporting Ivan Rosenberg who's launching his CD, The Littlest Dobro at 8pm.

For tickets and information about the show, check out the Tranzac site.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Whaddya mean you don't know Vetson' Androy

Here's the Freddy Ranarison-produced Madagascar psych-funk classic "Mavandeza" from 1978.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Steve Gunn & Meg Baird w/ Lee Ranaldo @ The Great Hall, January 14

Watch a couple of clips of Steve Gunn and Meg Baird performing live – you already know all about Lee. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy Birthday Slim Gaillard!

Here's Slim Gaillard's Civilization and a Toronto performance broadcast-oroonie from 1985.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Whaddya mean you don't know Chaplin Harness

 Chaplin Harness are Raymond Bozarth, Geri Mingori, Rick Iannaconne, Edward Monroe, Greg Hayes, Joseph Mingori, John Tiberi and William Vespe.

Introducing... Meet Your Death

Walter Daniels, John Schooley, Harpal Assi & Matt Hammer are doing their best to save Austin from itself.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Etta James vs. Bobby "Blue" Bland

Etta James & Harvey Fuqua's I Hope You're Satisfied doesn't quite rock like Bobby Bland's version, You Got Me.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Remembering Billy Miller on WFMU's Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban

WFMU's Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban is hosting a five-hour Billy Miller Tribute Marathon in honour of the Norton co-founder.
Tune into WFMU right now to stream the Billy Miller Tribute running today from 11am to 4pm.

Hear Philippe Noël's East African Selection

Check out the stellar mix of vintage vinyl gems from Montreal's Philippe Noël of Canicule Tropicale fame.  

Happy New Year!

Here's Dengue Fever performing New Year's Eve. They're at Massey Hall with Tinariwen on April 12.