Saturday, May 27, 2017

One For The Weekend: The Heliocentrics

"The Uncertainty Principle" is off The Heliocentrics' new album A World Of Masks out now digitally on Soundway.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Buy six not-so-great Nick Lowe albums and get a lunchbox free!


For years now, you've probably seen Nick Lowe's mediocre 80s albums cluttering used bins in record shops across the continent but now Yep Roc has decided to reissue them so you can get Nick the Knife (1982),  The Abominable Showman (1983), Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit (1984), The Rose of England (1985), Pinker and Prouder Than Previous (1988), and Party of One (1990) on CD and LP all in one place.

Considering the second-hand availability of the albums at a significantly lower price, Yep Roc has cleverly come up with an enticing sales pitch – for a limited time only, if you buy a bundle of all six reissues together, they'll throw in a Nick Lowe lunchbox gratis!

If purchasing the vinyl versions of the reissues, the LPs come with a bonus 45 of live tracks, demos, and rarities, as well as a digital download card. For those getting the CD versions, the 45 tracks are included as bonus tracks. Sorry lunchbox collectors, the snazzy tin sandwich carrier is not sold separately.

Listen to that horribly dated drum sound on "My Heart Hurts" from Nick The Knife (below).




Fiver presents Audible Songs From Rockwood @ St. Matthew's United Church on Friday; Array Space on Saturday

Simone Schmidt performs songs inspired by the stories of women inmates at Kingston's Rockwood Asylum. 

Simone Schmidt, aka Fiver, is a Toronto-based musician working within the frame of traditional North American folk music. Her latest album Audible Songs From Rockwood is a series of eleven fictional field recordings, gathered from case files of patients at the Rockwood Asylum for the Criminally Insane between 1854-1881.

The rigour of Schmidt’s writing process is shown through the work: Over the course of two years, Schmidt researched the asylum's primary documents – patient files, architectural diagrams, superintendents' diaries –  spinning her findings into historical fiction and, from there, into song. The voices on the record are crafty, witty, evasive, despondent, and lucid. Audible Songs From Rockwood shapes its subject matter with wit, optimism, sadness, and even joy. Using an acoustic sonic pallet and working with some local heavies in the old time folk tradition – John Showman, Max Heineman, Chris Coole, Kristine Schmidt – and highly skilled instrumentalists – cellist Cris Derksen and Blood Ceremony's Alia O’Brien  – the performances gives voice to  people living in the margins of history.

The album is accompanied by a book created by fictional ethnomusicologist, Simone Carver, written in the style of the liner notes of Smithsonian Folkways compilations.  It includes lyrics and supplemental information about the historical context of the inmates and their songs along with original artwork by Darby Milbraith, Geneva Hailey, Jennifer Castle, Jeff Bierk and Julianna Neufeld. The package carries questions about the archive as an apparatus of colonial power, definitions of sanity and criminality, and the early settler-colonial agenda foundational to those modes of thought still operating in today’s carceral system. Watch the mini-documentary shot by Colin Medley followed by Meg Remy's video for the song Mouser. Audible Songs From Rockwood is available in various formats from idée fixe records which you can get right here.

Fiver is at St. Matthew's United Church (729 St. Clair West) Friday at 7:30pm (now sold out);
also at Array Space (155 Walnut Ave) Saturday at 9:30pm, $15.



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Aesop Rock remembers Camu Tao with "Get Out Of The Car" video

Aesop Rock's friend and collaborator Camu Tao passed away on May 25,  2008 after a battle with lung cancer.
"This May 25th marks 9 years since the death of my friend Camu Tao, an event that serves as an emotional and narrative anchor in both this song and my life. I wanted to reflect on things that had changed since, and try to connect some events I hadn't realized were potentially related.

I asked my long-time friend and collaborator Coro to create some drawings that would accent parts of the lyrics, and director Rob Shaw was able to guide and weave the video into what it is here.

Camu was entirely singular as an artist and human.  You may notice those who knew him speak of him often still - his presence and humor and imagination and energy and impact.  It's all still right there.  I hope some of you that may not be familiar go check out his music.  This man was something special.

Unrelated factoid: This song was originally called "The Impossible Kid," titled after the line in the song that employs the phrase.  I ended up liking the name and moving it up the ladder.  I then settled on "Get Out of the Car" borrowed from the last line - which, while a somewhat clunky title, felt like it got to the point nicely."  – Aesop Rock

"Get Out of the Car" is off Aesop Rock's latest album The Impossible Kid (Rhymesayers) out now.  



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Happy 80th Birthday Archie Shepp!

In honour of Archie Shepp's 80th birthday, here's the explosive Attica Blues recorded with Jo Armstead in January 1972.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Happy Birthday Sun Ra!

Here's a clip of Sun Ra's Arkestra performing on French television in 1969. 

Tristen unveils Sneaker Waves @ Drake Hotel, July 19

Watch Tristen salute Television and Edgar Allan Poe below.  Sneaker Waves is out July 7th on Modern Outsider. 



Tristen on Tour
6/24 Louisville, KY Zanzabar
6/25 Charleston, WV Mountain Stage
7/6 Charleston, SC The Royal American
7/7 Athens, GA Georgia Theatre (Rooftop)
7/8 Chattanooga, TN JJ's Bohemia
7/14 Cincinnati, OH MOTR
7/15 Columbus, OH Rumba Cafe
7/16 Cleveland, OH The Beachland Ballroom and Tavern
7/19 Toronto, ON The Drake Hotel
7/20 Montreal, QB Le Divan Orange
7/21 Boston, MA The Rockwell
7/22 New York, NY Berlin NYC
7/26 Philadelphia, PA Boot & Saddle
7/27 Washington DC DC9 Nightclub
7/28 Pittsburgh, PA Club Cafe
9/8 Dallas, TX Sundown at Granada^
9/9 Austin, TX Stubb's Austin^
9/10 Houston, TX White Oak Music Hall^
9/12 El Prado, NM Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership^
9/13 Phoenix, AZ The Rebel Lounge^
9/15 Del Mar, CA KAABOO
9/16 Los Angeles, CA Resident^
9/19 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill^

^w/ Jenny O.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Introducing the Jukka Eskola Soul Trio

The new album from Finnish jazz trumpeter Jukka Eskola – released by Timmion on May 5 – is already sold out on vinyl.

One of the most prominent and busy players on the Finnish jazz scene at the moment is trumpeter Jukka Eskola. After over a decade of adventures in different spaces of jazz – from the dance floor burn of The Five Corners Quintet to the raw expressive modes of Mikko Innanen's small big band, Jimi Tenor's cosmic jazz and his own prime CTI styled solo recordings – Eskola takes things back to basics with his latest project, the Jukka Eskola Soul Trio.

Composed of the 38 year-old Eskola on trumpet and fluegelhorn, Mikko Helevä on organ and the Stance Brother #1 Teppo "Teddy Rok" Mäkynen on drums. When Helevä needs to take a break from the bass pedals, the trio gets assistance from Ville Herrala on the upright. In addition, tenor saxophonist Timo Lassy features on “Hong Tong” and “Subterranean Variations” and Magnus Lindgren spices the groove with his flute on "Railyard Boogie".

The Soul Trio's self-titled debut album for Finland's Timmion Records will be a delight for lovers of mid-60's American soul jazz from labels like Blue Note and Prestige. At parts the approach is even less sophisticated as on "For Anne Lee", where the group proceeds to lay down some of the rowdiest bar room hard bop. Creating an extra air of hipness, the package is completed with European Clarke-Boland-ish touches that hint at reinvention more than simple emulations. This record carries all the right ingredients for a grade A contemporary jazz album: virtuoso players, who know the heritage as well as how to play around it, and who know how to work as an entity surrendering strictly to the groove.




Saturday, May 20, 2017

Adult., Void Vision @ Velvet Underground, Saturday

Here's Adult. performing Shari Vari by A Number Of Names and the original played on The Scene in Detroit.




Friday, May 19, 2017

Boss Hog & Catl @ Lee's Palace, Friday

Check out Boss Hog's videos for Ground Control and Shh Shh Shh followed by a brief interview in France. 




Thursday, May 18, 2017

Watch the trailer for the Radio Birdman doc Descent Into The Maelstrom

Jonathan Sequeira's forthcoming Radio Birdman film coincides with the release of the Funhouse Jukebox comp due June 9. 


Descent Into The Malestrom – Funhouse Jukebox Soundtrack
Funhouse intro dialogue
Radio Birdman — Descent Into The Maelstrom
The Saints — (I’m) Stranded
Radio Birdman — TV Eye
Masters Apprentices — Wars Or Hands Of Time
Radio Birdman — Snake
The Easybeats — Friday On My Mind
Flamin' Groovies — Shake Some Action
Richard Hell & The Voidoids — Blank Generation
Radio Birdman — Burned My Eye
The Rats — Personality Crisis
TV Jones — Monday Morning Gunk
Ramones — Blitzkrieg Bop
Funhouse outro dialogue
Radio Birdman — New Race

One For The Weekend: Don Bryant & The Bo-Keys

Check out Don Bryant's version of O.V. Wright's "Nickel and a Nail" off his new album, Don't Give Up On Love.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Change Of Heart's Smile vinyl re-launch @ The Horseshoe, July 22

Watch Ian Blurton, Rob Taylor, Bernard Maiezza, Mike Armstrong & Ron Duffy play The Rivoli back in 1990.



Migos w/ Future, A$AP Ferg, Tory Lanez @ Air Canada Centre, Tuesday

Watch an entertaining Migos (aka Polo Club) interaction with Nardwuar after their amazing "T-Shirt" video. 


Endless Boogie's new Vibe Killer album out May 19

Listen to Endless Boogie's "Back In '74" and the title track off Vibe Killer on No Quarter.  


Monday, May 15, 2017

Savoy Motel w/ Love Wagon, The Knees Up @ Smiling Buddha, Tuesday

Don't miss the Toronto return of Savoy Motel on Tuesday. Check out "Western Version Boogie" & "Sorry People" below.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Here's a Mother's Day reggae classic from Dennis Brown. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Alejandro Escovedo gets Horizontal at WFUV

 Watch Alejandro cut loose with Kurt Bloch and Scott McCaughey on "Horizontal" from Burn Something Beautiful. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Watch the trailer for the new Go-Betweens doc Right Here

Kriv Stenders' 95-minute film about Brisbane's finest premieres at the Sydney Film Fest on June 15. See the trailer below.

Blues great Bobby "Blue" Bland gets a statue in Memphis

Andrea Lugar's statue of Bobby Bland at South Main and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue is dedicated today at 11am. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mellow Candle's Alison O'Donnell releases new album July 14


Alison O’Donnell, the legendary vocalist with acid folk luminaries Mellow Candle, sometime singer with Ireland's United Bible Studies and England’s The Owl Service, is releasing a new solo album, Climb Sheer The Fields Of Peace on Mega Dodo July 14. As with other strictly limited Mega Dodo releases designed to sell out quick, there will be a small vinyl pressing of just 250 copies.

Born in Dublin, Alison O’Donnell made her first single, "Feeling High" b/w "Tea with the Sun" for SNP's Simon Napier Bell and David Hemmings at the age of 15 with the folk-rock band, Mellow Candle in 1968 During their brief run which extended into the early 70s, Mellow Candle shared concert stages with Genesis, Thin Lizzy, Donovan, The Chieftains and Steeleye Span.

Picked up by Decca's Deram subsidiary, they recorded their incredible Swaddling Songs album  in December of 1971. Although it sold few copies upon its release in April 1972, over the years, the spooky cool songwriting, stellar arrangements and sweetly soaring vocal harmonies of O'Donnell and Clodagh Simonds made the unjustly overlooked Swaddling Songs a much sought-after item for serious Brit-folk collectors around the globe. Subsequent critical reappraisal in the early 90s has led to a couple of reissues and sky rocketing prices of the rarely seen original. Listen to Mellow Candle's "The Poet and the Witch" below.



Alison’s latest recording, Climb Sheer The Fields Of Peace, is a collaboration with United Bible Studies' Dave Colohan (aka Agitated Radio Pilot, Raising Holy Sparks) and mixes folk and electronics to remarkable effect. As with Alison’s previous work, Climb Sheer The Fields Of Peace is at turns unpredictable, chilling, heart-breaking and exhilarating. Listen to Alison tell Jason Barnard about her career on The Strange Brew podcast right here.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Just announced: C.W. Stoneking @ The Drake Hotel, July 21

Tickets go on sale Friday for C.W. Stoneking's return to Toronto's Drake Hotel. Watch C.W. talk about his gear after a tune. 


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Happy Birthday Terry Allen!

Here's Terry singing "Red Bird" on Shindig in '65, "Maybe" at Al's Grand Hotel in '71 and Neil Young's "Old Man" in 2017.



Saturday, May 6, 2017

Redd Kross, B-17 @ Lee's Palace, Saturday

The McDonald brothers rocked Lee's Palace with Dale Crover. Watch Jimmy's Fantasy and Standing In Front of Poseur below.


Friday, May 5, 2017

T.O. guitar ace Reg Schwager launches new Songbook album @ 120 Diner, Friday

Reg will be joined by his collaborators John Alcorn, Luanda Jones and Jeannette Lambert at 120 Church from 6-8 pm.






RIP Finnish futurist Erkki Kurenniemi, 1941-2017

Composer, multi-media artist and synth pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi died in Helsinki May 1 after a lengthy illness. He was 75.

"Imagine a Finnish hybrid of Stockhausen, Buckminster Fuller and Steve Jobs – who from the 1960s onwards was a pioneer in electronic music, computing, industrial robotics, instrument invention, and multimedia. Short of presiding over Finland's space programme, he was involved in every aspect of the Future.  Rediscovered and championed by the Finnish techno outfit Pan Sonic, Kurenniemi's clangorous bleepscapes such as "Electronics In the World of Tomorrow" (1964) compare favorably with the avant-classical creations emanating from Paris and Cologne during that time. He was also something of a techno-prophet, talking in the voice-over to 1966's "Computer Music" about how "in the 21st Century people and computers will begin to merge into hyperpersonas. It will be hard to say where man ends and machine begins."

"The documentary The Future Is Not What It Used To Be – by director Mika Taanila (watch trailer below) –  also looks at what became of Kurenniemi in the twilight of his career.  Grey-bearded and careworn, the aging innovator spends most of his time documenting himself. He takes 20 thousand pictures a year, which are carefully touched-up and filed on his computer. He inputs "cassette diaries" he made during the Seventies and records new ones detailing the minutiae of his existence, like the good steak he enjoyed courtesy of a friend.



"Why?  Kurenniemi believes that medical advances will virtually eliminate mortality in the not-too-distant future. "Mine is probably the last generation of mortals".  200 years from now, when the greater part of humanity lives off-world, in the asteroids or orbital zones, while the Earth is "a museum planet", he believes that the indolent immortals, confronted by "100, 000 years of uneventful life" and "with nothing else to do but study old archives", may be "genuinely interested in reconstructing the 20th and 21st centuries."  Kurenniemi's "manic registration" of every trivial detail of his life is intended to provide the "core material" for this resurrection project.  In the near-future, it will be possible to do "brain back ups", to download consciousness and personality into a computer. But Kurenniemi  can't count on lasting that long. So, he advises, "we just have to keep every tram ticket and sales slip, and write down or record all our thoughts." Video would make for a better imprint of his consciousness, a document of the world seen through his eyes, but it's impractical; the still snapshots will at least provide a "jerky account." He plans on doubling his current rate of 100 pictures a day.

"Erkki Kurenniemi's journey from future-minded visionary working at the interface of science and art, a fresh-faced young man who pioneered computers and robotics and kept one bright eye always on the stars above,  to the haggard and slightly potty sixty-something frantically collating the remains of his days for the benefit of some future race of curators,  strikes me as a perfect parable for our times."
– Simon Reynolds

Electronics In The World of Tomorrow (1964)



Pan Sonic plays Kurenniemi (2002)



For further reading about Kurenniemi, check out the collection of essays Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History: Erkki Kurenniemi in 2048, edited by Joasia Krysa and Jussi Parkikka, published by the MIT Press in hardcover and eBook in September 2015.



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Before They Were Famous: Pat Patrick

Here's "Down Pat" by Sun Ra's Arkestra saxophonist Pat Patrick with Andrew Hill, Von Freeman and Malachi Favors. 

Happy Birthday Link Wray!

Here's a German television clip from 1978. The Rumble documentary screens at TIFF Bell Lightbox Tuesday at 1:45pm.