Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Fleshtones vs. David Wilcox

The Fleshtones take on guitar slinger David Wilcox with an unlikely cover of "Layin' Pipe" 

Whaddya mean you don't know Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux

Check out the excerpts of Micheline's inventive electroacoustic pieces "Zones" (1972) and "Trakadie" (1970) followed by "Alchera" (1974).

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Brodie West's Eucalyptus releases Kick It Till You Flip It

Kick It Till You Flip It is out now on HAVN Records. Toronto's Eucalyptus opens for The Ex at The Jam Factory May 17th. 

Eucalyptis is...
Nicole Rampersaud trumpet
Brodie West alto saxophone
Ryan Driver clavinet
Alex Lukashevsky guitar
Michael Smith bass
Nick Fraser drums
Evan Cartwright drums
Blake Howard percussion

Happy Birthday Harold Burrage!

Remembering the late Chicago R&B great Harold Burrage with his whumpin' "She Knocks Me Out" on Cobra. 

Buddy & Julie Miller preview new album with "Spittin' On Fire"

Buddy & Julie's new album Breakdown On 20th Ave. South is out June 21st on New West Records. 
Here's the scoop...
Their first album together in nearly 10 years, Breakdown On 20th Ave. South is an album of Julie Miller songs produced by Buddy Miller. As a couple and individually, Buddy and Julie have been nominated and received multiple awards including Grammy’s, Americana Awards, Dove Awards among others. Julie Miller’s songs have been recorded by a diverse range of artists including Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, Levon Helm, Solomon Burke, and Miranda Lambert. Buddy Miller is known for his work as a guitarist, performing live and in the studio with artists such as Robert Plant, Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris. Buddy’s production credits include albums with Plant, Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and many more.

Breakdown On 20th Ave. South is a first rate showcase for Julie’s finely crafted lyrics. There is a line from the track “Spittin’ on Fire” (listen below) that best illustrates Julie’s sharp edged word play: “You’re a dangerous little storm, one part cold and one part warm.” The song “War Child” is a cry for help that usually goes unheard. A cry for help from thousands and thousands of children stolen from their families, forced to carry a gun at ages as young as 7 or 8. Never to see home again. Tracks like, “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” and “Everything Is Your Fault” hint at the ups and downs of love. The entire album is tied together by Buddy’s unfussy production style. Breakdown On 20th Ave. South is a treat for long time fans of Buddy & Julie and a delightful discovery for new listeners.

Buddy & Julie Miller – Breakdown On 2Oth Ave. South
Breakdown On 20th Ave. South
Feast Of The Dead
Everything Is Your Fault
Unused Heart
I’m Gonna Make You Love Me
Till The Stardust Comes Apart
Underneath The Sky
Spittin’ On Fire
War Child
Thoughts At 2am
Storm Of Kisses

Friday, March 29, 2019

Happy Birthday Johnny Dowd!

Raising a glass to Johnny Dowd on his day with two tracks off his great new Family Picnic album and one that ain't. Catch him on tour in April. 

Johnny Dowd on tour
April 6: Rotterdam (NL) - Koffie en Ambacht
April 8: London (UK) - The 100 Club
April 10: Durham (UK) - Launderette Sessions
April 11: Bristol (UK) - The Thunderbolt
April 12: Leek, Staffordshire (UK) - Foxlowe Arts Centre
April 13: Bovey Tracey (UK) - The Dolphin
April 14: Nottingham (UK) - Running Horse
April 15: Sheffield (UK) - Greystones
April 17: Lewes (UK) - Lewes Con Club
April 18: Liverpool (UK) - 81 Renshaw
April 19: Gent (BE) - Het Ijle Land
April 20: Zeist (NL) - De Peppel
April 21: Karlsruhe (DE) - Kohi
April 22: Helmond (NL) - Lokaal 42

Terry Allen's Pedal Steal + Four Corners get long overdue proper release

Two and a half hours of Terry Allen's songs, stories and sound collages from 1985-93 have been issued by Paradise of Bachelors.

Texas Monthly: The Final Chapter of Terry Allen's "Pedal Steal"

One For The Weekend: Paul Burch

Here's Paul Burch and crew swinging through "Meridian" off his Meridian Rising album. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Happy Birthday Thad Jones!

Remembering the late great bandleader with a 1974 Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Big Band performance in Norway.

Tribe vs. Plastic Ono Band

Hidden on Tribe's 1971 budget Beatles tribute for Pickwick is a smokin' version of Yoko Ono's "Why" off the Plastic Ono Band LP.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Roman Lewis opening for Matt Maltese @ Monarch Tavern, Thursday

UK rising star Roman Lewis sneaks into town for a low-key gig with Matt Maltese at the Monarch Tavern Thursday. 

Happy Birthday Scott "Deluxe" Drake!

Raising a glass to Lovesores frontman Scott "Deluxe" Drake on his day. 

You can can check out the Lovesores' whumpin' Gods Of Ancient Grease album – produced by Thee Slayer Hippy – right here

R.I.P. "Ranking" Roger Charlery, 1963-2019

Sadly, Two-Tone legend Ranking Roger died Tuesday after a battle with cancer. He was 56.

Midweek Mixdown: Philophon Records

Here's a heady hour-long mix of Philophon's recent releases including tracks by Alemayehu Eshete, Jimi Tenor and The Pyramids. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Mekons head to Joshua Tree for new Deserted album

Check out "After The Rain" starring Sally Timms and "How Many Stars" from The Mekons' Deserted out March 29th. 

Doug Paisley, Jenny Whiteley @ The Drake Hotel, Thursday

Doug will be playing songs from his great new Starter Home album out now on No Quarter. 

Happy Birthday Rufus Thomas!

Remembering the amazing Rufus Thomas on his day with a demonstration of The Funky Robot. 

Monday, March 25, 2019

R.I.P. Scott Walker, 1943-2019

Scott Walker – born Noel Scott Engel in Hamilton, Ohio – has passed away. He was 76. 

The Wire: Mike Barnes recalls meeting Scott Walker in 2012

Mdou Moctar's new album Ilana due March 29

Tuareg guitar slinger Mdou Moctar – star of "Music From Saharan Cellphones" – plays Montreal Jazz Fest on July 6. 
Mdou Moctar immediately stands out as one of the most innovative artists in contemporary Saharan music. His unconventional interpretations of Tuareg guitar and have pushed him to the forefront of a crowded scene. Back home, he's celebrated for his original compositions and verbose poetry, an original creator in a genre defined by cover bands. In the exterior, where Saharan rock has become one of the continents biggest musical exports, he's earned a name for himself with his guitar moves. Mdou shreds with a relentless and frenetic energy that puts his contemporaries to shame.

Mdou Moctar hails from a small village in central Niger in a remote region steeped in religious tradition. Growing up in an area where secular music was all but prohibited, he taught himself to play on a homemade guitar cobbled together out of wood. It was years before he found a “real” guitar and taught himself to play in secret. His immediately became a star amongst the village youth. In a surprising turn, his songs began to win over local religious leaders with their lyrics of respect, honor, and tradition.

In 2008, Mdou traveled to Nigeria to record his debut album of spacey autotune, drum machine, and synthesizer. The album became a viral hit on the mp3 networks of West Africa, and was later released on the compilation “Music from Saharan Cellphones.” In 2013, he released “Afelan,” compiled from field recordings of his performances recorded in his village. Then he shifted gears, producing and starring the first Tuareg language film, a remake of Prince's Purple Rain (“Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red in it”). Finally, in 2017, he created a solo folk album, “Sousoume Tamachek,” a mellow blissed out recording evoking the calm desert soundscape. Without a band present, he played every instrument on the record. "I am a very curious person and I want to push Tuareg music far,” he says.

A long time coming, “Ilana” is Mdou's first true studio album with a live band. Recorded in Detroit at the tail end of a US tour by engineer Chris Koltay (the two met after bonding over ZZ Top's “Tres Hombres”), the band lived in the studio for a week, playing into the early hours. Mdou was accompanied by an all-star band: Ahmoudou Madassane's (Les Filles de Illighadad) lighting fast rhythm guitar, Aboubacar Mazawadje's machine gun drums, and Michael Coltun's structured low-end bass. The album was driven by lots of spontaneity – Mdou's preferred method of creation – jumping into action whenever inspiration struck. The resulting tracks were brought back to Niger to add final production: additional guitar solos, overdubs of traditional percussion, and a general ambiance of Agadez wedding vibes.

The result is Mdou's most ambitious record to date. “Ilana” takes the tradition laid out by the founders into hyperdrive, pushing Tuareg guitar into an ever louder and blistering direction. In contrast to the polished style of the typical “world music” fare, Mdou trades in unrelenting grit and has no qualms about going full shred. From the spaghetti western licks of “Tarhatazed,” the raw wedding burner “Ilana,” to the atmospheric Julie Cruise-ish ballad "Tumastin,” Mdou's new album seems at home amongst some of the great seminal Western records. But Mdou disagrees with the classification. Mdou grew up listening to the Tuareg guitar greats, and it was only in the past few years on tour that he was introduced to the genre. "I don't know what rock is exactly, I have no idea,” he says, I only know how to play in my style."

For Mdou, this style is to draw on both modern and traditional sources and combine elements into new forms. In “Ilana” Mdou reaches back into Tuareg folklore for inspiration, riffing on the hypnotic loops of takamba griots, or borrowing vocal patterns from polyphonic nomad songs, and combining them with his signature guitar. You can hear the effect in tracks like “Kamane Tarhanin,” where a call and response lyric lifts up over a traditional vocal hum before breaking into a wailing solo with tapping techniques learned from watching Youtube videos of Eddie Van Halen.

There is an urgency in Mdou's music, and the fury of the tracks are matched by their poignant messages. The title track “Ilana” is a commentary on uranium exploitation by France in Niger: “Our benefits are only dust / And our heritage is taken by the people of France / occupying the valley of our ancestors.” Other times, he delves into the complexities of love, but always with delicate poetics: “Oh my love, think of my look when I walked toward the evening / Tears fell from my face, from the tears that fell green trees grew / And love rested in the shade.”

As Mdou travels the world, he divides his time between two places, alternating from lavish weddings in Agadez to sold out concerts in Berlin nightclubs. It offers a unique perspective, but also means that he needs to address different audiences. At home, his compositions send a message to his people. Abroad, his music is an opportunity to be heard and represent his people on a world stage.

Mdou Moctar on tour
Mar 28 Andy Warhol Museum - Pittsburgh, PA
Mar 29 Now That's Class - Cleveland, OH
Mar 30 Trinosophes - Detroit, MI
Mar 31 Bell's Eccentric Cafe - Kalamazoo, MI
Apr 01 The Southgate House Revival: The Sanctuary - Newport, KY
Apr 02 Ace of Cups - Columbus, OH
Apr 03 The Bishop - Bloomington, IN
Apr 04 The Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL
Apr 05 The Cooperage - Milwaukee, WI
Apr 06 Cedar Cultural Center - Minneapolis, MN
Apr 07 Pageturners Lounge - Omaha, NE
Apr 08 Globe Hall - Denver, CO
Apr 09 Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 10 Visual Arts Collective - Garden City, ID
Apr 12 Octapas Cafe - Olympia, WA
Apr 13 Star Theater - Portland, OR
Apr 14 Chop Suey - Seattle, WA
Apr 16 Flynn's Cabaret & Steakhouse - Felton, CA
Apr 17 Argus Bar + Patio - Chico, CA
Apr 18 Red Bay Coffee - Oakland, CA
Apr 19 The Cellar Door - Visalia, CA
Apr 20 Zebulon - Los Angeles, CA
Apr 21 The Casbah - San Diego, CA
Apr 22 191 Toole - Tucson, AZ
Apr 23 Sister - Albuquerque, NM
Apr 24 Festival International de Louisiane - Lafayette, LA
Apr 25 Hotel Vegas - Austin, TX
Apr 25 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - New Orleans, LA
Apr 29 Santos Bar - New Orleans, LA
Apr 30 Saturn - Birmingham, AL
May 02 Ascend Amphitheater - Nashville, TN
May 03 US Cellular Center - Asheville, NC
May 06 St. Augustine Amphitheatre - Saint Augustine, FL
May 07 Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater - Miami Beach, FL
Jun 28 Mass MoCA - North Adams, MA
Jul 06 Festival International de Jazz de Montreal - Montreal, QC
Jul 17 River & Sky Music/Camping Festival - Sudbury, ON
Jul 25 La Sala Rossa - Montreal, QC

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Happy Birthday Carol Kaye!

Celebrating Carol's birthday with her version of "Burning Spear" featuring Earl Palmer & Joe Pass. 

Happy 70th birthday Nick Lowe!

Way back when Nick Lowe was 40, he figured he had a good idea of how he'd progress over the years. 

Peter Zaremba sort son deuxième 45 tours en français!

Check out Count Zaremba's "Mais dans le Sud" b/w "La crypte du Comte Zaremba" and his previous French single.

Jack Oblivian & The Sheiks vs. Roxy Music

Jack Oblivian & The Sheiks knocked out an impressive rendition of Roxy Music's 1972 classic Remake/Re-Model at a show in Belgrade. 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Two Koreas mark crystal anniversary with non-career retrospective

Stuart Berman and crew celebrate the release of The 15th at The Horseshoe opening for Spiral Stairs Sunday at 7:30 pm.

The only band in music history to open for Wire, call Mac DeMarco a labelmate for about two weeks, and play an in-store at the Eaton Centre Hot Topic, The Two Koreas mark 15 years of sporadic existence the only way they know how: with an egregious display of self-aggrandizement and cheap sentiment.

The 15th: A Revisionist History of The Two Koreas (out now) does just what it says in the pixelated print on the thumbnail: compile and reshuffle 15 neglected back-catalogue castaways to create the illusion that Toronto’s preeminent practitioners of electric jangular beat muzik have just released 2019’s most vital new rock ‘n’ roll record.

The 15th collects several Dan Burke-certified 2Ks klassix, some seriously slept-on deep cuts, radio sessions, and previously unreleased live material as if the botched MySpace server migration never happened. It’s the perfect Two Koreas album no matter if your knee-jerk reaction is “who the fuck are these guys?” or “are those dudes actually still around?”

Graeme Downes previews The Verlaines' 10th album Dunedin Spleen

Here's Graeme Downes discussing a few compositions from Dunedin Spleen due May 10th. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Mathematik connects with Saukrates on "Last of an Ancient Breed"

Veteran Toronto MC Mathematik is also joined by K-Cut, Dream Warriors & Bahamadia on ReAL/is-HiM out now.

Jimmie Vaughan vs. Eddie Bo

Jimmie Vaughan just cut a swingin' version of Eddie Bo's "So Glad" for his new album Baby, Please Come Home due May 17 on Last Music.

One For The Weekend: Mavis Staples

"Change" is off the Mavis Staples album We Get By, written & produced by Ben Harper, due out May 10th. 

Happy Birthday Juke Boy Bonner

Remembering late great Texas bluesman Weldon "Juke Boy" Bonner with his version of "Meet Me In The Bottom" 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ian Blurton goes metal classique with "Upon Yesterday"

"Upon Yesterday" will be released on the flipside of Ian's "Space Is Forever" single on Yeah Right Records in May. 

Upcoming shows
March 24: Velvet Underground, Toronto w/ Lucifer + Spell + IBFN
April 17: The Horseshoe, Toronto w/ Dead Quiet + IBFN + Mount Cyanide
May 1: Turbo Haus, Montreal w/ Dead Quiet + Mountain Dust + IBFN
May 4: The Dakota Tavern, Toronto 7″ release party with IBFN + Rough Spells + Sick Things

How Much Does It Pay: Bo Diddley

Back in the 90s, Bo Diddley shot a series of television spots for a pawn shop in Richmond, Virginia. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Supersuckers @ Lee's Palace, Wednesday

Here's a recent Supersuckers interview and a rippin' performance on the high seas during an Outlaw Country Cruise. 

Nick Waterhouse @ The Horseshoe, May 10

Nick Waterhouse presents songs from his new self-titled album at The Horseshoe as part of CMW on May 10th.

Nick Waterhouse's self-titled fourth album (out now) bridges the gap between Rock n' Roll & Waterhouse's signature take on Rhythm & Blues. Produced by Paul Butler (Michael Kiwanuka, Devendra Banhart) & featuring a talented cast of session players; Bart Davenport, Flying Lotus collaborator Andres Renteria, flutist Ricky Washington (father of renowned saxophonist Kamasi Washington), and sax players Paula Henderson (Gogol Bordello) and Mando Dorame (JD McPherson). This is Waterhouse's most refined & unhinged work to date.

Listen to "Black Glass" and "I Feel An Urge Coming On" followed by a list of upcoming tour dates.

Before They Were Famous: John Cale

In 1963, two years prior to founding the Velvet Underground with Lou Reed, John Cale appeared on "I've Got A Secret" 

Chuck D's Public Enemy Radio to headline Toronto's Festival of Beer – WTF?

Crazy as it may seem, Chuck D and crew – sans Flava Flav – are scheduled to play the summer brew bash on July 26. 
Here's the scoop from TFOB...
You read that right… The legends of Hip-Hop are coming to Toronto this summer. Public Enemy Radio will headline TORONTO’S FESTIVAL OF BEER presented by THE BEER STORE. This is the same Public Enemy that you knew growing up just with a new name – led by Chuck D, DJ Lord and Jahi. Flavor Flav will not be joining the band on this show but they will still bring you back to the hip-hop foundation of 2 turntable and a microphone with all the hits that you love from Public Enemy. It all goes down at Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place on Friday (July 26) and is in partnership with FLOW 93.5. Toronto’s first and only Hip-Hop radio station.

Most of you already know how legendary TFOB Friday is but if you’re new to our festival, trust us when we say that this year is going to be extra special. It’s the biggest Hip-Hop show of the summer and tickets sell out every year. Grab yours now while supplies last and don’t miss out!

Tickets are $45 to $115 in advance and available right here. Check out the Public Enemy classic "1 Million Bottlebags" following a list of possible amendments to the set list.

Black Shield In The Hour Of Chaos
Bring The Agenoise
Night Of The Living Bass-heads
By The Time I Get To My Corona
Sophisticated Beamish
Cold Lampin (IPA) With Flavor
How You Sell Sol To A Souless People Who Sold Their Soul
Terminator Dos Equis To The Edge Of Panic
They Used To Call It Dubbel
He Got Gose
Countdown To Altenmünster
Saison Of The First World
Fear of a Craft Planet

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Avey Tare's Cows On Hourglass Pond album out Friday

"HORS_" and "Saturdays (Again)" are off Avey Tare's new album for Domino. He's playing The Horseshoe April 4th.

Happy 80th Birthday Mike Longo!

Celebrating the 80th birthday of jazz pianist/keyboardist Mike Longo with a few memorable recordings. 

Watch Kraftwerk's TV debut in 1970

Here's some excellent early footage of Kraftwerk getting down for the Rockpalast broadcast in 1970. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

R.I.P. Andre Williams, 1936-2019

Sadly, singer/songwriter and hipster extraordinaire Andre Williams has passed away. Here are a couple of clips with The Sadies.

Molly Nilsson, Phèdre @ The Horseshoe, Tuesday

Don't miss this rare Toronto appearance of Berlin-based Molly Nilsson. Check out the clip for "Gun Control"

Happy Birthday Alessandro Alessandroni

Remembering the composer/multi-instrumentalist who is perhaps best known for his whistling on Sergio Leone's films. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

R.I.P. Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar

Bad ass Strat slinger deluxe Dick Dale, aka Richard Anthony Monsour, has passed away. He was 81. 

New film sheds light on the Ethiopian music phenomenon

Check out the trailer for the documentary Ethiopiques – Revolt Of The Soul which you can stream right here

Ethiopiques – Revolt Of The Soul is the story of the phenomenon of a unique music style which had a considerable influence on late 20th Century free jazz and pop music. Local musical traditions meet Western rock n' roll and soul, and fantastic music is the result in 1960s Ethiopia, where music was otherwise forbidden.

James Brown is shouting and screaming from the loudspeakers. People have gathered in front of the record store in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, and they are completely transfixed. When the day is over, all the records have been sold.

In the 1960s, a visionary Ethiopian imported records from all over the world, and was the first person to produce Ethiopian music, even though it was forbidden by the government. The groovy, beat-driven and almost hypnotising soul-jazz music made its way into the listeners' ears and hypnotised them.

The film shows how people danced in the streets until the day when a coup threw the country into civil war, and musicians were forced to escape from Ethiopia together with their music. This could have been the end of Ethiopian music history, but as fate would have it, a record fell into the hands of a French music enthusiast, who gave the genre a bustling afterlife with the critically acclaimed 32-record album series 'Ethiopiques'.

Happy Birthday Jessica Jennifer Williams!

Here's pianist Jessica Williams' recording of "The Weapon of Truth" with Eddie Henderson from 1981.