Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The 2019 Polaris Long List – who's on it and who should've been

Surprise! The latest Shawn Mendes album made it onto the Polaris Prize Long List but Doug Paisley's excellent Starter Home didn't. 

A panel of 199 Polaris Prize jurors considered 233 albums released by Canadian artists and last week they announced a long list of 40 albums (see below) that will be in the running for the top award of $50,000 for music excellence. Prior nominees Carly Rae JepsenWintersleep, Shad and 2009 winner Fucked Up are back again.

Canuck pop star Shawn Mendes also made the list with his self-titled third album which debuted at number one on US and Canadian charts upon release on May 25th. And although the  cut-off dates for the 2019 Polaris Prize consideration run from June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019, in certain special cases there are exceptions. According to the Polaris Prize rules for 2019, "Albums released between May 1, and May 31, 2018 that did not make the 2018 Long List will also be considered." So Mendes' hugely successful album – now certified platinum in Canada and gold in the US and UK – made the cut.

Technically speaking, mega-selling albums are qualified to be on the Polaris Prize long list. However, the real question is it really fair for established celebrities like Mendes and Jepsen – who have extensive music industry machinery grinding away on their behalf – to compete against artists working independently? It seems like the Juno Awards has the whole Canadian music biz popularity contest thing covered. The Polaris Prize could be much more beneficial to our shared musical eco-system in rewarding exceptional artistic achievement which isn't already being featured on glossy magazines and prime-time network television.

Perhaps one of those high-profile types will do the honourable thing – the Canadian thing – and give up their spot to a less established artist who could really benefit from the Polaris-related attention. Who you ask? Well, just off the top of my head there's Toronto singer/songwriter Doug Paisley who's brilliant Starter Home album really deserves to be a finalist and likewise Catl's blues rockin' Bide My Time Until I Die – which is their fifth album and no, none of their previous releases have been given the stamp of Polaris approval either.

Of course, there are loads of other credible Canuck artists who've released recordings deserving wider recognition. There's The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol's Aggregate Fractures... In Search Of Highs, Kilrush Drive by Red Mass, The self-titled EP from Vancouver punks Chain Whip, Kick It Till You Flip It by Brodie West's Eucalyptus, Toronto rapper Mathematik's ReAL/iS-Him, Chris Houston's Hazards Of Glitter, Abundance by Ernesto Cervini's TurbopropElizabeth Shepherd's homage to her hometown Montréal, or any one of Matthew "Doc" Dunn's numerous projects like his collaboration with James Matthew VII & Brian Tysoe which resulted in Some Horses Run, The Cosmic Range's The Gratitude Principle or The Sacred Lamp's self-titled debut. Take your pick. 

For those keeping score at home, the 10 album short list will be announced on July 16th and eleven person Grand Jury will then decide who gets the "Artist Of The Year" award at the Polaris Music Prize Gala at The Carlu in Toronto on September 16.

Here's the 2019 Polaris Music Prize long list

Tim Baker - Forever Overhead
Tanika Charles - The Gumption
Clairmont The Second - Do You Drive?
Charlotte Cornfield - The Shape of Your Name
Marie Davidson - Working Class Woman
Dilly Dally - Heaven
The Dirty Nil - Master Volume
Dizzy - Baby Teeth
Elisapie - The Ballad of the Runaway Girl
FET.NAT - Le Mal
Dominique Fils-Aimé - Stay Tuned!
Fucked Up - Dose Your Dreams
Yves Jarvis - The Same But By Different Means
Carly Rae Jepsen - Dedicated
Kaia Kater - Grenades
Kimmortal - X Marks the Swirl
La Force - La Force
LAL - Dark Beings
Laurence-Anne - Première apparition
Salomé Leclerc - Les choses extérieures
Lee Harvey Osmond - Mohawk
Jean Leloup - L'étrange pays
Shay Lia - Dangerous
Les Louanges - La nuit est une panthère
Loud - Tout ça pour ça
Shawn Mendes - Shawn Mendes
Haviah Mighty - 13th Floor
Operators - Radiant Dawn
Orville Peck - Pony
Sandro Perri - In Another Life
PUP - Morbid Stuff
Lee Reed - The Steal City EP
Jessie Reyez - Being Human In Public
Shad - A Short Story About A War
Snotty Nose Rez Kids - Trapline
Alexandra Stréliski - INSCAPE
sydanie - 999
Voivod - The Wake
Wintersleep - In The Land Of

Future Punx opening for The Mystery Lights @ Monarch Tavern, Thursday

"Want To Be Wanted" and "F Boys" are off Future Punx new EP, The World Is A Mess, co-released by Modern Sky USA and Dull Tools.

Introducing: Kit Sebastian

Merve Erdem and Kit Martin are Kit Sebastian. Check out "Tyranny 20" off their debut album Mantra Moderne. 
Here's the scoop...
Mantra Moderne is a stunning, contemporary masterpiece that fuses Anatolian Psychedelia, Brazilian Tropicalia, 60’s European pop and American jazz. A must for fans of Khruangbin, Portishead, Arthur Verocai, Goat, Caetano Veloso, Tom Zé, Os Mutantes, Cortex and co.

The duo is formed of Kit Martin, who lives between London and France and plays all instruments on the album, and Merve Erdem, vocalist and multi-disciplinary artist from Istanbul, now based in London. This is their debut album.

The album explores universal themes such as love, loss, decay, language and ideology, mixing three different languages: English, Turkish and French. Written and recorded by the duo - Kit composed all the songs and Merve wrote the lyrics - in rural France during 2018, each song was completed within a 12-hour window, pawning contemplation for spontaneity.

Dubbed by Kit and Merve as ‘lo-fi-hi-fi’ in reference to the high-end tube equipment that helped it find its way to 8-track cassette tape. The style owes its sound to narrow tape width, valve distortion, spring reverb, the mixture of high end gear with lo-fi equipment as well as a disregard to the norms of hi-fi studio techniques. All instruments were analogue and no samples were used. The instruments that are used range from tablas to darbukas, balalaikas to ouds, MS20 synths to Farfisa organs and a lot of cuica. The mixing techniques were done on-the-fly, tracking immediately to tape: compression, EQ, delay and reverb; meaning mixing could not be revisited! Listen to "Tyranny 20" followed by the title track off Kit Sebastian's Mantra Moderne album below.

Kit Sebastian - Mantra Moderne (Mr. Bongo)
Senden Başka
Mantra Moderne
Tyranny 20
Yanımda Kal
Yürüdüm, Büyüdüm, Çürüdüm
With A Sense Of Grace

Monday, June 24, 2019

Black Thought vs. Syl Johnson

Black Thought from The Roots does a fine version of Syl Johnson's "Is It Because I'm Black" backed by Adrian Younge.

Whaddya mean you don't know Minoru Muraoka

Check out "The Positive and Negative" by Japanese shakuhachi great Minouru Muraoka off 1970's Bamboo album. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

R.I.P. Dave Bartholomew, 1918-2019

New Orleans songwriter, arranger and bandleader who helped invent what came to be known as rock 'n' roll has passed away. He'll be greatly missed.

Offbeat Magazine: I Did Every God Damned Thing Myself: The Dave Bartholomew Century

Summer camp for grown-ups – bluegrass style!

The Old School Bluegrass Camp – started by Jenny Whiteley & Alysa Hawkins – returns to Milford, Ont from June 30th to July 5th.

Here's the scoop...
We are thrilled to announce the fifth year of our Old School Bluegrass Camp June 30th-July 5th! Our instructors are Joey Wright (mandolin), Kristine Schmitt (vocals), Sam Allison (clawhammer banjo) and members of The Barrel Boys: Kyle Kirkpatrick (guitar), Nathan Smith (fiddle), Rob McLaren (bluegrass banjo), and Tim O'Reilly (bass). Ivan Rosenberg will be at camp to teach electives and lead the nightly slow jams, and Luke Mercier is our on-site luthier, available to keep all your instruments in tip-top shape.

Students have a morning instrument or vocal class, electives, and band labs, instructor concerts to take in, open mics, and their own student concert.

The focus of this camp is learning to play music with others. We create several student bluegrass groups that spend the week jamming together, rehearsing with an instructor to guide them, gelling as a group, and ultimately performing on our stage in the student concert.

Enrolment is limited to 50 campers, giving each camper an unprecedented level of teaching, coaching, mentoring and one-on-one instruction. Students will leave camp with new friends, new skills, plenty to work on in the coming year, and improved confidence in their next jam.

Food, camping, special workshops, nightly concerts and more are included with registration.
Register at: https://oldschoolbluegrasscamp.wordpress.com/register/
More information at: https://oldschoolbluegrasscamp.wordpress.com

Happy Birthday Dallas Wayne!

Celebrating the birthday of country survivor Dallas Wayne with one of his classics co-written with Robbie Fulks.  

That time Elvis Costello sang Jesse Winchester's "Quiet About It" at Massey Hall

Back in 2014, Elvis Costello remembered fellow "occasional Canadian" Jesse Winchester with a sweet version of "Quiet About It"

David Wertman's 1978 free-jazz epic Earthly Delights reissued by BBE

Bassist David Wertman and his Sun Ensemble cut the four-song Earthly Delights in Amherst, Mass in May, 1978. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Hot 8 Brass Band @ T.O. Jazz Fest Mainstage, Saturday

Don't miss the New Orleans crew playing a free show at Bloor St. West near Avenue Rd starting at 6 pm. 

Makaya McCraven @ Adelaide Hall, Saturday

Beat scientist Makaya McCraven promises to be a Toronto Jazz Festival highlight tonight at Adelaide Hall . 

Listen to "Black Is Back" by Ethnic Heritage Ensemble

Kahil El'Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble's "Black Is Back" is off the Be Known album on Spiritmuse out now.

Friday, June 21, 2019

R.I.P. Crowbar's Kelly Jay Fordham, 1941-2019

Sadly, Crowbar mainman Kelly Jay has passed away after suffering a stroke on June 9. He'll be greatly missed. 

That time The Feelies shot a documentary for Japanese TV

Check out The Feelies documentary footage – a VHS transfer – shot at Maxwell's in Hoboken on Monday June 2, 1986. 

One For The Weekend: Alice Coltrane

Here's a previously unissued version of Journey In Satchidananda off Live At The Berkeley Community Theatre 1972.

Happy Birthday Lalo Schifrin!

Composer/pianist Lalo Schifrin went with a harpsichord for his throwdown with sitarist Bill Plummer resulting in "The Sniper" 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Jenny Lewis opening for Death Cab For Cutie @ Echo Beach, Thursday

Here's Jenny Lewis performing "Red Bull & Hennessy" and "Wasted Youth" on Jimmy Kimmel Live recently. 

Watch the new Mystery Lights video for "Thick Skin"

"Thick Skin" is off The Mystery Lights' new Too Much Tension! album. They hit the Monarch Tavern June 27th. 

Ace/Kent digs into Dave Hamilton's Detroit gospel archive

Sacred Sounds: Dave Hamilton's Raw Detroit Gospel 1969-1974 is due July 26th. 

Detroit guitarist, producer and label-owner Dave Hamilton worked in the city from the mid-40s until the end of the century. He was involved in most fields of black music and gospel was no exception. Although not a particularly religious person himself, his home was directly opposite Reverend CL Franklin’s New Bethel Baptist Church where his daughters Erma, Aretha and Carolyn would attend and sing. It was a major centre for the Civil Rights movement and Dave would have made many contacts through that church.

Having an affordable recording studio in the centre of the city and a reputation as an accomplished guitarist, producer and approachable character, meant his studios and label were in the right place at the right time.

Dave dabbled with gospel recordings throughout his career and in 1969 registered his Sacred Sounds label and entered the gospel field seriously. The label had around 20 single releases and at least one album. The records were presumably sold in the churches where the groups performed and pressed in relatively small numbers, judging by the scarcity of the discs today. There are likely to be more Sacred Sounds discoveries in the future. There were a few releases issued on one-off labels like New Creation, Silver Harp and Motor City, while the Reynolds Singers featuring Little Stevie was issued on his Demoristic imprint. Dave kept the master tapes so the sound on most tracks is very good. There were many unissued gospel recordings including an LP’s worth on the Scott Singers, two of which we have included, along with numbers from the Reverend Simon Barbee, blues singer Mr Bo and Dave’s main male soul singer OC Tolbert, whose family group was a major gospel act.

With Dave’s heavy involvement in soul music the tracks are a superb blend of gospel and soul and will appeal to lovers of both genres. Although recorded mainly between 1969 and 1974, the timeless nature of black church music makes their appeal relevant to fans of black music from any decade.

Local music historian Adam Stanfel provides excellent notes, including interviews with some of the participants, while a tremendous selection of photos, label scans and some trivia complements the package. Pre-order a copy from Ace/Kent right here. Listen to the Scott Singers' "I'm Not Ready To Die" below.

Sacred Sounds: Dave Hamilton's Raw Detroit Gospel 1969-1974
01  Jesus Is With Me Pt 1 - Little Stevie & The Reynolds Singers
02  I'm Not Ready To Die - The Scott Singers
03  Pressing On - The Silver Harps
04  (This Is) My Plea - Rev Simon Barbee
05  Little Boy - The Johnson Spiritual Singers
06  Savior On The Throne - Mr Bo
07  Wrapped, Tied Tangled Up In Jesus - Mary Ellen George
08  When The Saints Go Marching In - The Scott Singers
09  Someday We'll Be Together - The National Independence Singers lead by John King
10  Life's Pathway - Rev Evans
11  Moving On - Little Stevie & The Sensational Reynolds Singers
12  I Still Remember - Umble Faith lead by C Stuart
13  I Got A Home - The Detroit Motor City Singers
14  If I Had My Way - OC Tolbert & Clara White Houston
15  I Heard A Voice - Pt 1 - Sensational Angelettes
16  Grown Old And Feeble - The Soul Inspirers
17  I Thank You Jesus For One More Day - The Scott Singers
18  He's All I Need - The Sensational Sunset Paraders
19  Try Jesus - The Reynolds Singers
20  The Little Light - The Fantastic Voices Of Joy
21  Leaning And Depending On Jesus - The Jr Echoes
22  I Need Your Power - Pure In Heart Travellers
23  Down Here Praying - The Detroit Silvertones
24  My God Is Calling Me - The Scott Singers

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

WIVES kickin' back with a summer vibe for "The 20 Teens" video

"The 20 Teens" is off So Removed, the forthcoming debut album from Queens, NY upstarts WIVES. Watch Alexandra Noland's fab video below.

Queens, NY-based four-piece WIVES -- featuring guitarist/vocalist Jay Beach, guitarist Andrew Bailey (also of DIIV), drummer Adam Sachs, and bassist Alex Crawford – have just released the video for their latest single, “The 20 Teens,” off their recently announced debut album, So Removed, due out October 4th via City Slang. There's also a limited transparent gold vinyl version being offered by Vinyl Me, Please in an edition of 300 copies available for pre-order here.  

The intriguing clip for "The 20 Teens" was directed by Alexandra Noland and features the colourful animated squiggles of Robbie Pfeffer. "This video was really fun to make," enthuses Pfieffer, "and the track is really reminiscent of all the music I grew up loving -- Velvet Underground, Modern Lovers, Sonic Youth, etc. It reminds me of New York. I think the kind of blown out soft aspect of the old film mixed with kind of hectic animation and the footage of the band playing live make an interesting mix. It feels like a memory of something that may or may not have happened.”

WIVES today also announced their next Brooklyn show at Our Wicked Lady on June 26th and a fall European tour. See below for a full itinerary. More dates will soon be announced.

“The 20 Teens” is the third single released from So Removed, following “Workin'” and “Waving Past Nirvana,” the latter being the A-side of the band’s debut 7” (b/w 'Kinda Like You’) which appeared in  stores Friday, May 24th.

WIVES is the latest fit into a long lineage of New York’s gritty, melodic-meets-punk bands. So Removed is grungy dark-wave, tethered to daily anxiety without resorting to cynicism. The noisy dissonance of Sonic Youth, the edgy hooks of early Pixies, and the clever, cerebral sneering of the Fall simmer as touchstones within the album, sharp and prodding at the details, pulsing with urgency. So Removed plunges into the void of unknown, a tangle of contemporary dread and optimism, mapping the gray areas of alienation.

Embedded in New York’s DIY music scene through their respective projects, with years of playing house shows and booking their own tours under their belts, it wasn’t until a random day of extra studio time booked for another project that the four of them actually played together. So Removed came together in stolen moments, mainly during off-hours, with the band doing much of the recording themselves -- as such, it ripples with a visceral intensity and a live-to-tape sound.

Check out the videos for "The 20 Teens" and "Workin'" followed by a list of upcoming WIVES tour dates.

WIVES on tour:
06/26 - Brooklyn, NY @ Our Wicked Lady
11/10 - Lorient, France @ Les Indisciplinées Festival
11/14 - London, UK @ The Victoria
11/19 - Amsterdam, NL @ Cinetol
11/20 - Rotterdam, NL @ V11
11/21 - Berlin, DE @ Urban Spree
11/26 - Luxembourg, LU @ Rotondes
11/28 - Paris, FR @ Point FMR

Midweek Mixdown: Glitterbeat Records

The Walkabouts' Chris Eckman talks about why he started Glitterbeat Records and plays a sampling of the label's releases.  


Samba Touré – Fondora [from Albala; Glittebeat Records – 2013]

Tamikrest – Tisnant an Chatma [from Chatma; Glittebeat Records– 2013]

Noura Mint Seymali – Hebebeb (Zrag) [from Tzenni; Glittebeat Records – 2014]

Jon Hassell & Brian Eno – Delta Rain Dream [from Fourth World Vol​.​1: Possible Musics; Glittebeat Records – 2014]

AMMAR 808 – Boganga & Sandia (feat. Mehdi Nassouli) [from Maghreb United; Glittebeat Records – 2018]

Gaye Su Akyol – Meftunum Sana [from İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir; Glittebeat Records – 2019]

Happy Birthday Ernest Ranglin!

Toasting Jamaican guitar great Ernest Ranglin on his birthday with a couple of overlooked gems.

Ikebe Shakedown preview their new Kings Left Behind album with "Unqualified"

Brooklyn's Ikebe Shakedown are releasing their fourth album, Kings Left Behind on August 16th with a limited number on pink wax.
Here's the scoop...
Ten years ago, Ikebe Shakedown began pushing the boundaries of instrumental music. Each new track and live set has sent them deeper into combining the foundational elements of ’70s soul, raw psychedelic style, and cinematic Western soundtracks with powerful grooves and soaring melodies.

With their new release, Kings Left Behind (Colemine Records), the band is giving listeners more mystery and majesty than ever before. The album features the entire group – Barnaby Alter, drums; Dave Bourla, percussion; Vince Chiarito, bass; Robin Schmidt, guitar; Mike Buckley, tenor/baritone sax; Jason Colby, trumpet; Nadav Nirenberg, trombone – writing together, allowing each instrument and element to shine through. You'll find rhythms that punch you right in the gut, even as dreamy guitars, lush horn melodies, and vibrant string arrangements capture your imagination.

Kings Left Behind was recorded to tape by bassist, Vince Chiarito, at Hive Mind Recording, a Brooklyn studio built from the ground up and co-owned in part by Vince and saxophonist, Mike Buckley. Since it opened in 2017, Hive Mind has become a home base for the band, giving them the freedom to experiment with the textures and sounds of a genre they define as Instrumental Soul.

No matter how much things have changed over the past decade, Ikebe Shakedown has been a consistent, driving force. The band has gone from local clubs to the stages of Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits, playing with some of the biggest names in music. They continue to stretch their capabilities and add to their worldwide following.

Ikebe Shakedown’s Kings Left Behind will be available on August 16th via Colemine Records. The vinyl version was pressed at Cleveland's Gotta Groove Records, stored in Gotta Groove anti-static innsersleeve and packaged in a high quality Stoughton Tip-On gatefold jacket which includes a download card. The pink wax edition is limited to 1500 copies. Pre-order a copy right here. See the complete tracklist following the clips for "Unqualified" and a performance of "Assassin" off their previous album, 2017's The Way Home (Colemine).

Ikebe Shakedown – Kings Left Behind (Colemine)
1. Not Another Drop
2. Unqualified
3. The Witness
4. Mary’s Corner
5. Horses
6. Hammer Into Anvil
7. Over My Head
8. No Going Back
9. Kings Left Behind
10. Not Another Drop (Reprise)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Hear "What Heaven's Left" off Calexico's new Iron & Wine collaboration

Sam Beam's song "What Heaven's Left" is the lead track on the new Years To Burn album out now on Sub Pop. 

Agadez guitar ace Mdou Moctar rocks Feast In The East 74 – in Mississauga!

Mdou Moctar aka "The Hendrix of the Sahara" tops the bill at Feast In The East #74 being held in Mississauga on July 27th.

Feast In The East #74
Small Arms Inspection Building
1352 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, Ontario
Saturday July 27, 2019
Doors at 7pm. 

Feast In The East is a food, music, and art installation series originally located in Toronto’s east end. Presented by the City of Mississauga, Feast In The East brings its 74th edition to the Small Arms Inspection Building. The evening features Tuareg musician Mdou Moctar from Niger, kulintang ensemble Pantayo, and a DJ / Live PA set by Raf Reza; with immersive visual art projects by Chloe Lum & Yannick Desranleau, Arezu Salamzadeh, and Khanh Tudo; and a Nigerian Suya-spiced dinner by local Nigerian-inspired caterer, Twins In Kitchen - TIK.

Schedule of events:  
7:00pm doors + dinner
8:30pm Pantayo
9:30pm Mdou Moctar
11pm Raf Reza

Limited capacity. Reserve your free ticket right here.

Limited number of $10 (+ service charge) round-trip SHUTTLE BUS seats available for advance purchase at ticketing link.

Stop 1: 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media and Education (918 Bathurst St  just north of Bloor), departing at 6:30pm
Stop 2: Queen St W and Triller Ave in Parkdale (by the U-Haul lot), departing at 7pm
Arrival at SAIB approximately 7:30pm
Midnight from SAIB to Stop 2 (approx 12:15 arrival) and Stop 1 (approx 12:30 arrival)
2:00am from SAIB to Stop 2 (approx 2:15am arrival) and Stop 1 (approx 2:30am arrival)

Free dinner is first come, first served. Reserve your meal, veggie or halal chicken, as part of the registration process. Note: Dinner contains nuts.
Family friendly. Cash bar.
Accessible space, all-gender single-user washrooms available.

MDOU MOCTAR (https://mdoumoctar.bandcamp.com)
Niger based songwriter / guitarist Mdou Moctar brings his contemporary electronic adaptions of traditional Tuareg guitar music to Mississauga. Touring behind his newest studio record, Ilana: The Creator with a full band, Moctar's music has come a long way from the West African trading network of cellphones & memory cards that spurred his fame & his starring role in the Nigerien re-invention of "Purple Rain" aka "Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai," which translates as "Rain the Color of Red with a Little Blue In It." Constantly evolving the forms of Tuareg music Moctar's latest venture sees him dip into psych trance territory. Guitar grooves swirl in a never ending dance with each other, only breaking out into blistered solos over a locked in rhythm section. True desert psych the band prods forward as vocal pattern slip upward into a guitar fuelled heat sink. Merging western rock shredding with the patience & momentum of Tuareg folk tradition, Moctar creates a unique & lasting sonic world.

PANTAYO (https://pantayo.bandcamp.com)
Pantayo is an all-women lo-fi R&B gong punk queer collective based in Toronto, combining percussive metallophones and drums from the kulintang traditions of southern Philippines with synth-based electro grooves

RAF REZA (https://soundcloud.com/rafreza)
DJ / mood masher / creative soul Raf Reza (Cosmic Resonance Records) blends sonic landscapes together with ease, merging dance floor momentos with shifting synth nodes and airy nods. Percussive notes shuffle as organ swells move under sparkling electronic pulses. Though Reza's dance floor sensibilities shine, he also drops in for the long game building kraut inspired synth droners, full of climbing electronic patterns and glowing cosmic hums. Synthetic notes decay in a forest of minimalist inspired beats. Meditative moods grow into distorted grooves, lost post punk guitar licks, busted beats, zapping synths slap back on themselves. Raf brings the party, the choice vibe, the rejuvenation zone & so much more. Hang late for the post vibes party!

Environs by:
Chloë Lum & Yannick Desranleau (http://www.lum-desranleau.com)
Arezu Salamzadeh (https://arezustudio.com)
Khanh Tudo (https://khanh.online)

Dinner Menu (may contain nuts):
Pepper Soup
Suya Chicken* OR Suya Vegetable Skewers
Fried Rice & Coleslaw
Puff Puff & Ice Cream

New Dan Penn single "Blue In The Heart" issued by Spain's Soul 4 Real label

Soul singer/songwriter Dan Penn wrote Blue In The Heart with Irma Thomas in mind but check out his version below.

Wallace Daniel Pennington. More familiarly known as Dan Penn. Considered by many to be the greatest songwriter of his era, a key component in the evolution of Southern Soul, and a man whose lyrics and melodies completely define that genre.

Dan’s song list is much bigger than his discography, and opportunities to own any “new” Dan Penn 45 are rare. Fans everywhere will therefore celebrate this coupling of two exquisite tracks from Dan’s recent CDs for his Dandy label. You may know “Blue In The Heart” via Irma Thomas’ version on her Penn tribute album “My Heart’s In Memphis”. “Time To Get Over You” (co-written with Cajun legend Jo-El Sonnier) may be less familiar. Spin it frequently, and it will become no less loved.

Collectively these recordings show that, even after seven decades of peerless writing and singing, Dan’s music is still of a quality that today’s other tunesmiths can barely aspire to… …This IS Soul. For Real. – Tony Rounce

Soul 4 Real – which has previously issued vintage soul gems by Jimmy Gresham, The Masqueraders and Swamp Dogg's childhood pal Wilson Williams – is releasing their Dan Penn single in a limited edition of 400 copies on July 5th. For more info, check the Soul 4 Real site right here. Check out Dan's own versions of "Blue In The Heart" and "Time To Get Over You" below.

That time The Police went electro with Eberhard Schoener

Eberhard Schoener was joined by Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland for "Why Don't You Answer" in 1978.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Dead Don't Die soundtrack feat. SQÜRL getting vinyl release

The creepy, synth-enhanced score created by Jim Jarmusch's band SQÜRL for his new zombie flick is being issued by Sacred Bones on Sept 13th.

The Dead Don’t Die is writer/director Jim Jarmusch’s unique, semi-comic take on the zombie apocalypse genre. As with his recent efforts Only Lovers Left Alive and Paterson, the film’s score was composed and performed by SQÜRL, the band Jarmusch and producer Carter Logan founded in 2009. Sacred Bones Records, the same label that released the band’s EP #260 in 2017, is releasing the LP edition of the score.

The score to the The Dead Don’t Die is a true expression of where SQÜRL stand at the center of a decade of sonic exploration. It is the culmination of their passion for analog synths, with guitar violence reverberating from the darker corners of Americana. It is at once a tribute to the classic sounds of horror and sci-fi, as well as a decapitation of traditional film scores. It is naturally supernatural.

From their arsenal of tools, Jarmusch and Logan pulled electric guitars and basses made by Rick Kelly and Cindy Hulej at Carmine Street Guitars, an acoustic resonator, Moog Minitaur and Theremini synthesizers, Fender Rhodes electric piano, an old Ludwig drum kit, cheap vintage Casio and Yamaha keyboards and new synths from Critter and Guitari — all sculpted through a collection of effects pedals, notably from Earthquaker Devices.

The inspiration for SQÜRL’s score for The Dead Don’t Die came from some of the most iconic soundtracks of the past half-century of genre cinema — Tangerine Dream’s Sorcerer, Bebe and Louis Barron’s Forbidden Planet, Ennio Morricone’s The Thing and Once Upon a Time in the West, Goblin’s Dawn of the Dead, and all things John Carpenter. The singular Theremin work of Samuel J. Hoffman on films like Spellbound and The Day the Earth Stood Still also made its way into Jarmusch and Logan’s consciousness. The result is a new horror soundtrack that stands shoulder to shoulder with the great works of its genre.

Watch The Dead Don't Die soundtrack teaser below. Pre-order a limited edition "Black Dust" splatter wax copy of the LP right here.

The Dead Don't Die – Original Motion Picture Score (Sacred Bones)
1. Dialogue 1 (Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Chloë Sevigny)
2. The Dead Just Don’t Wanna Die Today
3. Dialogue 2 (Larry Fessenden)
4. Replacement Sky
5. Dialogue 3 (Chloë Sevigny, Adam Driver)
6. This Is All Gonna End Badly
7. Dialogue 4 (Selena Gomez, Rosie Perez, Austin Butler, Luka Sabbat)
8. Malignant Wave Of Doom
9. Dialogue 5 (Caleb Landry Jones)
10 Toxic Moon
11 Dialogue 6 (Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray)
12 Pulsating Elevator Of Light
13 Dialogue 7 (Chloë Sevigny, Bill Murray, Adam Driver)
14 The Dead Don't Die
15 Dialogue 8 (Tom Waits)

Sinkane, Bassel & The Supernaturals @ The Velvet Underground, Tuesday

Don't miss Sinkane aka Ahmed Gallab, Atomic Bomb! Band leader and Caribou & Yeasayer collaborator. 

Ottawa's The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol unleash Symbol Ensemble III

On the cusp of Ottawa Psych Fest II, The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol are releasing Symbol Ensemble III in an edition of 100 copies.

Here's the scoop...
On Wednesday, July 4th, 2018, The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol had a regularly scheduled rehearsal. Perched on the eve of the inaugural Ottawa Psychfest, an “Ensemble” recording had been organised to coincide. This would be the 3rd such gathering with an expanded lineup and the sole intention to roll tape and improvise. Outside Birdman Sound it was a humid 42 degrees and warmer still in the culture bunker downstairs. Scheduled to arrive by air was The Golden Rule, a North West, UK based duo who straddle the Penines and feature top lads Brett Savage (Dead Sea Apes) & Dave Cambridge(Cardinal Fuzz). TBWNIS co-founder Mark McIntyre, coming from Canada’s west coast would also be joining us!

What you hear on “Symbol Ensemble III” is 9 people celebrating friendship and commonality with regard to the simple love of music through free improvisation. This event was captured live off the floor and you hear exactly what went down, unfettered by any foolery or gimmicks what so ever. Super pleased to present this super ltd. edition LP that serves to mark the occasion and hope you all dig! Listen to "Mending Fences" below.

The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol – Symbol Ensemble III 
(Birdman Sound Records) # BS 017
Side A
Mending Fences 9:04
Mancunian Blues 7:05
Side B
Atlantic Barnacles 7:31
March Of The Teutons 9:36

Ltd. 100 vinyl 12” LP w/silk screened covers on recycled chipboard jackets. Includes download code with extra tracks.

Symbol Ensemble III
Dave Reford – guitar
Bill Guerrero – guitar
Mark McIntyre – guitar
Brett Savage – guitar
Dave Cambridge – guitar
Nat Hurlow – bass
Scott Thompson – space horn and electronics
Jason Vaughan – synth, keys, percussion
John Westhaver – drums and percussion

For more info about Ottawa Psych Fest II, check the Facebook page right here

Happy 75th Birthday Chris Spedding!

Here's Chris tearing it up with Jeff Clyne in Ian Carr's Nucleus back in 1970. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Whaddya mean you don't know Halima Ibrahim Awad

Here's Halima Ibrahim Awad's Sudanese funk gem "Zahra Nadya" on the Munsphone label. 

Happy Birthday Lamont Dozier!

Celebrating the birthday of composer/pianist Lamont Dozier with his 1977 classic "Going Back To My Roots"

Before They Were Famous: Elton John & Nick Drake

Before he was known as Elton John, DJM employee Reg Dwight sang some demos of songs by an aspiring artist named Nick Drake circa 1968. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Shina Peters' Afro-Juju gem Sewele gets reissued

After a stint with Ebenezer Obey, guitarist Shina Peters went solo with Sewele in 1986 featuring the classic "Yabis"
Here's the scoop from Strut Records...

“‘Sewele’ represented a time of transition in my music career,” explains Peters. “I had branched out to start as a solo artist after spells with Ebenezer Obey, Prince Adekunle and Segun Adewale and I was trying to find my own voice and to play juju in a more progressive direction. This was an important time for me. Three years later, I had honed that sound into Afro-Juju, and my ‘Ace: Afro Juju Series 1’ album broke me as an artist.

On ‘Sewele’, Peters explores different themes on four extended juju workouts, showcasing his incredible guitar work and his sense of fun as the odd Bob Marley and Abba riff pops up in the grooves. The title track means ‘shower of blessings’: “it’s like a prayer for my fans throughout Nigeria and the diaspora.” The funky Afrobeat of ‘Yabis’ is about being proud to be African and not to follow American ways and ‘Agbe’ere De’ states proudly that Peters is coming again with something different: “I always wanted to get the message across to my fans that I was keeping things fresh and creating melodies and music that people would enjoy.” The final track, ‘Late Aboderin’, is a moving tribute to Peters’ mentor, the late Chief Aboderin: “He helped me in many ways including legal aid in a court case against a record label. He also bought a van to carry the band to concerts.

This new reissue features all original artwork and a new sleeve note by Sir Shina Peters telling the story of the album and his wider career. The album audio has been restored by See Why Audio and remastered by The Carvery. Listen to "Yabis" below.

Friday, June 14, 2019

One For The Weekend: General Genius

Time to celebrate the 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors "Raptor Foot" style with General Genius – even Mayor John Tory is doing it. 

Cabana Room Electric Reunion @ Hugh's Room, Sunday

The Lawn's Gord Cumming and Richard & Patrick Gregory will be joined by John MacDonald for two songs Sunday.

Cabana Room Electric Reunion
at Hugh's Room (2261 Dundas St. West)
Sunday, June 16, 2019 | 8:00PM
Tickets: $25.00 advance, $30.00 at the door.

The second night of an a two-night reunion of the regulars from a legendary music room in the heart of Toronto. The Cabana Room – atop the Spadina Hotel – was the incubator of Toronto's Queen West  music scene of the 80s, and Jimmy Scopes was the host. He’s not here to hear it but we’re gathering to pay musical tribute. Thank you, Jimmy Scopes!

On Sunday (June 16), the mostly electric shenanigans are hosted by Arlene Bishop and feature some of Jimmy’s favourite music: Gord Cumming, Richard & Patrick Gregory (The Lawn, The Woods are Full of Cuckoos), The Dave Howard Singers, Dave Dysart (The Supreme Bagg Team),  Garage Baby, Fergus Hambleton (The Basics, The Sattalites),  Steve Ellis, Steve Ranger, and Bob Vezpaziani (API), Tony Malone (Drastic Measures, Basketcase), Blair Packham (The Jitters), Gordon Shawcross (Monkey Trial), and Mr! Mouray (Jaimie Vernon w/ Simon Bedford-James).

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Sadies get a shout-out in Jim Jarmusch's new zombie flick The Dead Don't Die

While trapped in a hardware store, Bobby Wiggins and Hank Thompson discuss the guitar playing skill of The Sadies' Dallas & Travis Good. 

Since Jim Jarmusch started making feature films, the part-time musician and full-time music fan has sought to sneak in cameos of his favourite artists. Beyond the starring roles frequently played by his longtime pals John Lurie and Tom Waits, Jarmusch always finds clever ways of getting some screen time for artists he loves, whether it's having underground NY rapper Rammelzee portraying "man with money" in his 1984 breakthrough Stranger Than Paradise, Screamin' Jay Hawkins serving as a hotel night clerk in 1989's Mystery Train, Butthole Surfters' frontman Gibby Haynes playing "man with a gun in alley" in 1995's Dead Man, Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and GZA discussing the finer points of alternative medicine with Bill Murray in 2003's Coffee and Cigarettes.

In Jarmusch's latest The Dead Don't Die – a cautionary tale about the hazards of fracking and consumerism run amok which opens this weekend), he's got regular collaborators Iggy Pop playing a coffee zombie, RZA appears as a WU-PS delivery man while Tom Waits has a key role as Hermit Bob, a mysterious forest-dwelling loner who provides Rod Serling-esque commentary. Alt-country star Sturgill Simpson is name-checked frequently as the singer of the film's title song whose CD of "The Dead Don't Die" serves as a prop throughout and Simpson himself later appears as a guitar-dragging zombie.

In a similar multi-level reference, there's a scene set in a zombie-surrounded hardware store where Bobby Wiggins (Caleb Landry Jones) and Hank Thompson (Danny Glover) talk about the awesome guitar skills of The Sadies' dynamic brother duo of Dallas and Travis Good after seeing a brief cameo which fans of the Toronto twangers won't soon forget. You'll need to see the film for that entertaining sequence but in the meantime, watch the trailer below followed by a video for Sturgill Simpson's title track.

Ginger St. James has invited The Sadies to play The Casbah (306 King St. West) in beautiful downtown Hamilton on Sunday (June 16) – Check the venue's page right here for more info and tickets – before they head to Saskatchewan for the Long Day's Night Festival with Reverend Horton Heat in Swift Current (June 20-23) and then continue on a Western swing through July before hitting Buffalo's Cobblestone Live Music & Arts Festival (49 Illinois St) August 2-4.