Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Femi Kuti's One People One World album due February 23

Femi Kuti's 10th album, One People One World is being released by Knitting Factory Records. Here's the title track. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Barbara Manning vs. The Magick Heads

Barbara Manning recorded a fine version of Robert Scott's "B4 We Go Under" backed by Flophouse in 1993. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Real Kids early demos unearthed by Tim Warren

Coming soon on Crypt Records: two vinyl albums and a 79 minute CD of both albums chockfulla r&r greatness from John Felice & his various bandmates (Curt Naihersey, Jeff Jensen, Kevin Glasheen in 1974: 8 unissued demos by The KIDS from 1974); and the REAL KIDS (Alpo, Billy Borgioli and Howie in 1976-1978): 4 unissued demos plus 10 ripping live tracks by the REAL KIDS from 1977-1978. LP CR-120 is a gatefold with 32-page 12" x 12" booklet. LP CR-121 is a gatefold with 2-sided inner sleeve. CD version (Crypt-120) is a 204 page monster. Have a look...

Happy Birthday Bettye LaVette

Raising a glass to soul great Bettye LaVette with a lesser known gem "Ticket To The Moon" 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

More previously unheard George Jackson FAME demos unearthed by Ace

This 24-track set includes George's original version of "Your Love Made A U Turn" covered by Tift Merritt below.

Watch Yo La Tengo jam with Sun Ra's Arkestra

Yo La Tengo's new album There's A Riot Going On is out March 16. Watch the clip of "Sudden Organ" below.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Happy Birthday Henri Texier!

Cheers to French bass boss Henri Texier on his 73rd birthday. Here's a classic jam off his Varech album.

Preview Ghanaian Afrobeat great Ebo Taylor's new Yen Ara album

Ebo Taylor's forthcoming Yen Ara album, recorded with the Saltpond City Band, is out April 6 on Mr. Bongo. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Living On Soul screens @ Royal Cinema, Friday & Saturday

Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley and the whole Daptone Records family star in the Living On Soul documentary.

Cleveland's X blank X @ This Ain't Hollywood (Hamilton), Friday

Cleveland's legendary X blank X are joined in Hamilton by Pow Wows, Noble Savages and DJ Rob Sikora. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Happy Birthday Blind Willie Johnson

Remembering influential slide guitar great Blind Willie Johnson on his day with a couple of classics.

Catl's video launch @ Dakota Tavern, Saturday

Catl presents their clacker-enhanced clip for "Baby, You All Wrong" on Saturday night at The Dakota – have a look.

That time they opened a domed stadium in Toronto

In 1989, Toronto's Skydome was given a hilariously horrendous launch party hosted by Alan Thicke & Andrea Martin.

The Limiñanas present their new Shadow People album

Shadow People by The Limiñanas is out now on Because Music available via Forced Exposure.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

R.I.P. Mark E. Smith, 1957-2018

Mark E. Smith, the creative and cantankerous frontman of The Fall, has passed away at age 60. He'll be missed.
“The standard of music these days is fucking terrible," Smith told the Guardian in one of his last published interviews from late 2017. "Being poorly you have to watch shit like Jools Holland. A lot of it sounds like when I was 15 and I’d go round to a long-haired guy’s flat to score a joint and they’d always put on some fucking lousy Elton John LP. That sounds like Ed Sheeran to me, a duff singer songwriter from the 70’s you find in charity shops.”

Lonesome Ace Stringband album release @ Dakota Tavern, Wednesday

The inspiration for the title of Lonesome Ace Stringband's new album, When The Sun Comes Up, remains a mystery.

R.I.P. Hugh Masekela, 1939-2018

Remembering the great composer/musician Hugh Masekela with a 1964 appearance on To Tell The Truth.

Midweek Mixdown: Coxsone Ska – Killer 45 selection

Enjoy this fab ska mix featuring The Skatalites, Stranger Cole and more from The Ancient Archive Of Sound. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Lee Ann Womack @ The Horseshoe, Wednesday

Here's Lee Ann Womack singing "What Made Milwaukee Famous" written by producer Glenn Sutton.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Happy Birthday Jim Jarmusch!

Raising a glass to the filmmaker/musician with "Welcome Machines" and "Atom Satellite" by The Del-Byzanteens.

Introducing Orquesta Akokán

The 16-piece Orquesta Akokán cut their Daptone debut – set for release March 30 – at Havana's legendary Areito Studio.
Orquesta Akokán
Assembled and led by Cuban vocalist José “Pepito” Gómez, Orquesta Akokán is a 16-piece big band collective of the finest musicians on the island, both young and old. It features all-original music and was cut live to tape over a three-day session at Havana’s hallowed state-run Estudios Areito. Areito is one of the longest operating studios in the world and where important Cuban records have been made. The album was produced by Jacob Plasse and arranged by Mike Eckroth. Check the preview trailer below.

Calexico releases The Thread That Keeps Us on January 26

Calexico on Tour
4/19 - El Paso, TX - Tricky Falls*
4/20 - Dale, TX - Old Settler's Music Festival
4/21 - Tulsa, OK - The Vanguard*
4/22 - St. Louis, MO - Blueberry Hill Duck Room*
4/23 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Cafe*
4/25  - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall*
4/26 - Cincinnati, OH - The Woodward Theater*
4/27 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre*
4/28 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg*
4/29 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom*
5/1 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair*
5/2 - Philadelphia, PA  - World Cafe Live*
5/3 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater*
5/7 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West*
5/8 -  Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge*
* w/ Ryley Walker

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Nina Simone's first recordings reissued February 9

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Nina Simone was only 25 years old in 1958 when she entered Beltone Studios in midtown Manhattan for a one-day recording session for her debut album, Little Girl Blue, on Bethlehem Records. The 14 songs she recorded that day reveal just how well developed Simone’s sound — her powerhouse vocals, her classically-trained piano-playing, her inventive, genre-blind arrangements, and her dynamic personality — already was. Bethlehem, a small and financially faltering jazz label, picked 11 tracks for Little Girl Blue. This unheralded debut yielded Simone’s biggest hit, a cover of the Gershwins’ “Porgy (I Loves You, Porgy),” as well as her last one, “My Baby Just Cares for Me,” which charted in 1987 after being used in a TV commercial.

By the time “Porgy (I Loves You, Porgy)” was moving up the charts, Simone had moved on to larger and financially stronger Colpix Records. Wanting to capitalize on Simone’s hit, Bethlehem made the most of their Simone material. On Nina Simone and Her Friends, they placed “Porgy’ and the three songs left off of Little Girl Lost (“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” “African Mailman,” and “For All We Know”) with songs by her label-mates Chris Connor and Carmen McRae. Between 1959-62, Bethlehem also put out six singles utilizing all of their Simone tracks. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of these recordings, BMG/Bethlehem now has compiled these singles together as Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles, due out on February 9.

The 14-track CD version of Mood Indigo follows the chronology of Bethlehem’s single releases, starting with the first A-side “Porgy (I Loves You, Porgy)” and ending with the last A-side, “My Baby Just Cares Me.” The collection contains an alternative take of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” as well as seven single-only tracks that previously have only been available on the original 45s. The LP version, pressed in standard black and limited edition blue vinyl, holds 12 tracks plus a bonus 7" replica of Simone’s first single, “Porgy (I Loves You, Porgy)” backed with “Love Me or Leave Me.”
he Bethlehem Sessions displays a young Nina Simone confidently putting her distinctive stamp on the set of jazz numbers and Broadway tunes. She prefaces Rodgers & Hart’s “Little Girl Blue” with a bit of “Good King Wenceslas" and drops a Bach-like interlude into the hot jazz “Love Me or Leave Me.” Although this was her first album, Simone had written in her contract that she could chose the album’s musical direction, and she chose songs she was familiar with from playing in clubs. The session featured Simone performing either solo on piano or backed by bassist Jimmy Bond and drummer Al “Tootie” Heath, two then-young jazz players who went on to lengthy careers.

Mood Indigo’s liner notes include a new interview with Heath, who recalls the one-day session with Simone. “She sat at the piano and sang, and that was that … Nina was already Nina by then. She had her sound together — It was quite different. Her piano playing was something I had never heard before because it wasn’t typical jazz or it wasn’t typical classical. It was Nina Simone, it was her stuff.” Heath’s insightful interview is just part of the enlightening liner notes. Penned by Ashley Kahn, the author of the books Kind of Blue and A Love Supreme, the liner notes provide an excellent history on the making of Little Girl Lost, which was filled with its complications, much like the Simone itself.

This year not only marks the 60th anniversary of the Bethlehem Sessions, but it will also see Nina Simone being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, on April 14. Simone, who would have turned 85 on February 21st, has never disappeared from the public’s eye since she passed away in 2003. Recent years saw the release of two documentaries about her: The Amazing Nina Simone and What Happened, Miss Simone, the latter a 2016 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature. What Happened, Miss Simone also is the name of Alan Light’s well-received 2016 biography. Simone’s music continues to appear on TV and movie soundtracks (her tune "Take Care of Business” was used in the closing credits of 2015’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. film). Musicians, moreover, have long cited Simone as an influence. The song “Plain Gold Ring,” which is on Mood Indigo, has been covered by White Magic, Nick Cave, and Kimbra, while Simone’s version of “Little Girl Lost” inspired renditions by the likes of Janis Joplin, Diana Ross, and Diana Krall.

Simone’s career was as eclectic as her music. After leaving Bethlehem, she recorded for the Colpix, Phillips, and RCA labels, releasing more than 25 albums from 1959-1974. She continued to cover standards and pop songs, from Screaming Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You” to the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody”; from the traditional “Children, Go Where I Send Thee” to the original version of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” Starting in the mid-’60s, her music turned more political, highlighted by such memorable tunes as “Sinnerman,” “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black,” “Strange Fruit,” "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free," and “Mississippi Goddam.” The last 30 years of her life, Simone led a more peripatetic expatriate existence. She continued to perform live (especially overseas) but recorded only sporadically.

Just as Simone travelled the world, she also traveled down many musical roads. Mood Indigo, however, captures Simone at an incandescent moment — when her sound held both a complexity of style and a purity of youth. Listen to Nina's hard swingin' "African Mailman" below.

Mood Indigo tracklist
Side One:
1 Little Girl Blue
2 He Needs Me
3 Don’t Smoke In Bed
4 African Mailman
5 Mood Indigo
6 Central Park Blues 

Side Two:
7 For All We Know
8 Good Bait
9 You’ll Never Walk Alone
10 Plain Gold Ring
11 He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands 
(Alternate Take)
12 My Baby Just Cares For Me 

Also includes 7" single featuring “Porgy (I Loves You, Porgy)”
b/w “Love Me Or Leave Me”

One For The Weekend: Shabaka Hutchings

Shabaka Hutchings' "Black Skin, Black Masks" is off the We Out Here future jazz anthology due February 9. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Lindi Ortega announces new concept album and tour

Lindi Ortega's fifth album Liberty is out March 30. Listen to The Comeback Kid after the release trailer.  

Jan 19 - Saskatoon, SK - The Basement
Jan 20 - Regina, SK - The Exchange
Feb 4-11 - New Orleans, LA - Cayamo 2018
Feb 15 - Little Rock, AR - South On Main
Feb 16 - Kansas City, MO - Knuckleheads Saloon
Mar 15 - Swift Current, SK - The Lyric Theatre
Mar 16 - St. Albert, AB - Arden Theatre
Mar 17 - Fort Macleod, AB - Empress Theatre
Mar 24 - Seattle, WA - The Tractor Tavern
Mar 25 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
Mar 29 - Los Angeles, CA - Moroccan Lounge
Mar 30 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
Apr 1 - Phoenix, AZ - Musical Instrument Museum
Apr 3 - Austin, TX - Stubb’s BBQ
Apr 4 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada
Apr 5 - Houston, TX - McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Apr 12 - Calgary, AB - Festival Hall
Apr 14 - Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre
Apr 15 - Minneapolis, MN - Dakota Jazz Club
Apr 17 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
Apr 19 - St. Louis, MO - Old Rock House
Ap 20 - Nashville, TN - 3rd & Lindsay
Apr 21 - Decatur, GA - Eddie’s Attic
Apr 22 - Charlotte, NC - The Evening Muse
Apr 24 - Washington, DC - Union Stage
Apr 25 - Annapolis, MD - Rams Head On Stage
Apr 26 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
May 4 - Montreal, QC - L’Escogriffe
May 5 - Ottawa, ON - The 27 Club
May 6 - Burnstown, ON - Neat Coffee Shop
May 7 - Kitchener, ON - Centre In The Square
May 9 - Toronto, ON - Mod Club Theatre
May 10 - London, ON - Aeolian Hall
May 11 - Hamilton, ON - Mills Hardware
May 12 - Kingston, ON - Queen’s Grad Club

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Calibro 35 marks 10 years with new studio album "Decade"

Calibro 35 – Decade
On February 2, Italian cinematic funk combo Calibro 35 release their much anticipated sixth studio album Decade on Record Kicks – marking their 10-year milestone with with a super-sized line-up, appending the tight Milanese quartet of Massimo Martellotta, Enrico Gabrielli, Luca Cavina and Fabio Rondanini with a full orchestral complement of horns, strings and percussion. Produced and mixed by longtime Calibro 35 studio collaborator, Tommaso Colliva (Phoenix, Franz Ferdinand, Mark Lanegan, Muse, Arto Lindsay) the album brings to bare the enormous wealth of influences accumulated by the individual members over the course of the ensemble's brilliant 10-year run. For more info and pre-ordering information, check out the Calibro 35 bandcamp page right here. Watch the Decade trailer below.

R.I.P. Mike Carroll of Lord High Fixers, Poison 13

Charismatic frontman Mike Carroll died in Austin on Tuesday after a battle with bacterial meningitis.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Happy 75th Birthday Billy Harper!

Celebrating Billy Harper's milestone birthday with a performance of "Somalia" from 2016. 

Whaddya mean you don't know The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol

The latest album from Ottawa's TBWNIS, Droneverdose, is available as a limited run LP from Cardinal Fuzz.

Midweek Mixdowm: Vinyl Avenger – Soul Strut

Here's the Vinyl Avenger's swingin' mix of rare R&B and funk intercut with vintage Blaxploitation spots.  

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Peter Hook reunites with The Limiñanas for "The Gift"

The new studio collaboration "The Gift" is off The Limiñanas fifth album, Shadow People, due January 26. 

Lee Ann Womack @ The Horseshoe, January 24

Lee Ann Womack's great new album The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone is out now. Listen to All The Trouble. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy Birthday Captain Beefheart

Remembering the great Don Van Vliet on his day with a German TV performance from 1972. 

The Devil Makes Three @ The Phoenix, Thursday

Watch what The Devil Makes Three does with Ralph Stanley's I Am The Man then get tickets for their Toronto show.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Happy 70th Birthday T Bone Burnett

Saluting my pal T Bone with the finest example of his drumming technique, backing the Legenary Stardust Cowboy. 

R.I.P. Danny Woods, 1944-2018

Chairman Of The Board co-founder Danny Woods (left) has passed away at the age of 73.

Happy Birthday Jenny Whiteley

Here's Jenny and crew peforming Chris Coole's $100 from her album The Original Jenny Whiteley

Ethio-funk legend Ayalew Mesfin playing Los Angeles in February

Ayalew Mesfin will be backed by the Debo Band at L.A.'s Echoplex February 13 along with Ethio Cali and DJ Egon! 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Happy Birthday Eero Koivistoinen!

Celebrating the birthday of the Finnish saxophone great with three vintage gems.

Watch the trailer for the new rockumentary Crime 1978

Here's a preview of the forthcoming Larry Larson film Crime 1978 shot on location in San Francisco.

Class of 2018 w/ NC's Nude Party @ The Horseshoe, Saturday

Nude Party (11:30pm) will be joined by Blind Matty (10:40pm), Kaleidoscope Horse (9:50pm) & Deana Petcoff (9pm).

Friday, January 12, 2018

Watch First Aid Kit's video for "Ruins"

"Ruins" is the title track off First Aid Kit's new album out January 19. They play the Danforth Music Hall February 5.

Happy Birthday Mississippi Fred McDowell

Remembering blues guitar great Fred McDowell on his day with a couple of rare performance clips.