Monday, September 30, 2019

Isobel Campbell previews new album with "Ant Life" video

"Ant Life" is off Isobel Campbell's forthcoming fifth album There Is No Other due in January. Pre-order it here.

That time Van Dyke Parks produced a Ry Cooder promo clip for Warner Bros

Here's an intriguing time capsule from 1970 with Ry Cooder playing the 1940 Martin guitar his father gave him. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Trumpeter Matthew Halsall draws on Alice Coltrane inspiration for Oneness

Oneness is a triple 12" set of Matt Halsall's previously unreleased spiritual jazz recordings which share a meditative vibe. 

Here's the scoop...
The recordings on Oneness date from Jan, March and September 2008 and were born from a period of experimentation as UK trumpeter Matthew Halsall first began to explore the music that would provide the inspiration for his spiritual jazz recordings Fletcher Moss Park and When the World Was One. They also offer an intriguing snapshot into the birth of Halsall’s Gondwana Orchestra and feature many musicians who would go on to become a key part of Halsall’s musical journey, such as harpist Rachel Gladwin, bassist Gavin Barras and saxophonist Nat Birchall. The recordings sat in the Gondwana Records vaults for over a decade before Halsall felt it was the right time to share them. Asked about the recordings Halsall says:

“I’ve always treasured these recordings and loved how vulnerable, open and free they are, but I just felt they were too subtle and sensitive to release early on in my career, so I held them back until now. I also feel now is the right time to release these before I begin a fresh journey with a new bunch of musicians.”

Remarkably, the beautiful compositions heard here were all built around a simple tanpura drone sound. An instrument Halsall heard on Alice Coltrane’s ‘Journey In Satchidananda’ album and then at a later date in a concert featuring Arun Ghosh on clarinet and John Ellis on piano. “I loved the way this instrument created a sort of meditative atmospheric pulse for the musicians to work over and it had this beautiful feeling of togetherness, so after the gig I went out and bought a Raagini Shruti box featuring the tanpura drone and began to practice my trumpet over it and wrote lots of loose themes and melodies”.

The sessions that make up Oneness capture Halsall in the process of building a new band, reaching out to various musicians he’d discovered and admired on the Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds music scene. “I really liked this idea of bringing lots of musicians together from different backgrounds and was fascinated with how they would all react to each other and the tanpura drone box seemed to bring everyone together really well, it was kind of like a nice meditative icebreaker exercise for everyone to loosen up, before we got stuck into the more composed tunes I’d created, some of which ended up on the Sending My Love and Colour Yes albums”.

The album’s title, Oneness, speaks to both Halsall’s conviction that the planet should be shared equally with all of its inhabitants. That no human being or other inhabitant deserves to exist more than the other and that we can achieve far more together than against each other. And also importantly to what Halsall was aiming for musically:

“I really believe in Oneness and I’ve always loved the term ‘greater than the sum of its parts’. I could make music on my own and live a fairly isolated antisocial life, but there’s something far more rewarding about creating things with others. And for me these sessions document the coming together of lots of different musicians in a wonderfully organic soulful way to make egoless music”.

It’s a belief that continues to underpin Matthew’s music making and a message that the world sorely needs right now as we feel more divided and separated than ever. This then is Oneness, a decade in the making and well worth the wait. Get it right here. Listen to the track "The Traveller" below.

Snoop Dogg vs. Nick Cave

Snoop Shelby recently put his own spin on Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand" – the theme song for the British crime drama Peaky Blinders. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Happy Birthday Gary Waleik!

Celebrating Gary Waleik's birthday with Big Dipper's salute to GBV's Robert Pollard naturally. 

That time Pete Townshend joined Lou Reed on White Light/White Heat

Here's Lou and Pete performing White Light/White Heat acoustically at Joe's Pub in New York. 

Friday, September 27, 2019

Whaddya mean you don't know *D* Ivan

The extended dub mix of *D* Ivan's Fire is being issued as part of Soundway's electro soca comp Body Beat. 

Here's the scoop...
Compiled by Soundway Records founder Miles Cleret and DJ/collector Jeremy Spellacey, Body Beat brings together 17 obscure Soca B-side versions, dubs, instrumentals and edits as well as vocal tracks influenced by disco, boogie, house-music, soul and the more conscious lyrics of roots reggae. Owing as much to New York, Toronto and London as to the Caribbean cities of Port of Spain, Bridgetown and Kingstown this compilation traces the genre from its explosion in the late 1970s right up to the period just before contemporary soca became established around the end of the 1990s. As with many compilations on the label, Body Beat explores the fringes of this often maligned (by outsiders) genre. Boiled down to the bare bones of the matter though: soca is party music.

Soca was originally a re-invention of Calypso music; a genre that in the 1970s was fast becoming usurped around the Caribbean by Jamaican reggae and American soul, funk and later disco. The originator of soca (or sokah as he called it), the calypsonian Lord Shorty, began experimenting and modernising on the formulation of calypso in the early 1970s. His first album featured a strong emphasis on East African rhythms and a punchier recording style that emphasised the beat, and introduced arrangements that often owed as much to American funk and soul as to calypso.

Filled with up-tempo tracks from start to finish, the compilation's lead single "I Want Your Love" by Peter Britto is a soca-house number which originally came out on NYC-based label Hometown Music in 1998. It features the recognisable soca synth beat, along with Caribbean steel drums and horns - but with the obvious influence of New York's booming house scene, making it an ultimate crossover track for club dancefloors and carnivals alike.

So here you go - seventeen slabs of soca crossover, rapso, electronic calypso, and Caribbean ‘soca-soul’ for your enjoyment - and bound to fit well into modern, open-minded DJ sets alongside the resurgence of burger-highlife, digi-reggae, soukous and zouk. Listen to the instrumental dub mix of Juno D's "Hotter & Hotter" (arranged by Leston Paul) and Mohjah's "Zion Gates" (dub) followed by the track list below.

Various Artists - Body Beat: Soca-Dub And Electronic Calypso (1979-98)
Cito Jarvis - Fighting Soldier
Roger Bain - Stand Up & Rock Your Body (Instrumental)
*D* Ivan - Fire (Extended Dub Edit)
Bill Campbell - Body Beat
Brother Resistance - Move It (Version)
Adonijah - It's Alright
Peter Britto - I Want Your Love
Juno D - Hotter And Hotter (Dub Edit)
Colin Jackman - D'Jab Jab Dance (Bad Lad Mix)
Levi John - S-O-C-A
Spiking - Liberation Train
Mohjah - Zion Gates (Dub)
Andre Tanker - Wild Indian Band
Touch - Touch Music (Edit)
D' Rebel Band - Solid
The Millers - Last Days
Chocolate Affaire - Jump To Calypso

Cito Jarvis - Fighting Soldier
Roger Bain - Stand Up & Rock Your Body (Instrumental)
*D* Ivan - Fire (Extended Dub Edit)
Bill Campbell - Body Beat
Brother Resistance - Move It (Version)
Adonijah - It's Alright
Peter Britto - I Want Your Love
Juno D - Hotter And Hotter (Dub Edit)
Colin Jackman - D'Jab Jab Dance (Bad Lad Mix)
Levi John - S-O-C-A
Spiking - Liberation Train
Mohjah - Zion Gates (Dub)
Andre Tanker - Wild Indian Band
Touch - Touch Music (Edit)
D' Rebel Band - Solid
The Millers - Last Days
Chocolate Affaire - Jump To Calypso

Body Beat is out October 25 but you can pre-order a copy right here.

One For The Weekend: Orchestre Poly Rythmo

Here's the whumpin' soul groover "Mi Kpon Bo Do" from Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Monochrome Set return with new concept album Fabula Mendax

The Monochrome Set's latest recording was inspired by 15th century texts written by a Joan of Arc follower. 

Here's the scoop...
At the end of the 70s, The Monochrome Set were part of the first wave of ‘post punk’ bands. Right from the beginning, the band earned a solid reputation as purveyors of fine pop, gaining praise from 80s contemporaries such as The Smiths and Edwyn Collins. Importantly, in later years this praise has continued with artists such as Franz Ferdinand, The Divine Comedy and Graham Coxon, all citing the band as a key influence on their own work. The Monochrome Set sound has often been described as ‘timeless’, and that alone explains why, over the years, the band has continued gaining admirers.

Fabula Mendax (out Friday) is based on manuscripts written in the 15th Century by Armande de Pange, a companion of Jehanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc).

Follow Armande as she flees her unhinged family, only to be caught up in the chaos of The Hundred Years’ War. She encounters and trails the enigmatic Joan, later becoming a part of her expanding group of followers. As they travel west into the war zone of Northern France, they meet a motley medley of scheming noblewomen, bellicose knights, nefarious bishops, and assorted rotters, rogues and renegades.

This is The Monochrome Set at its most ornate, and, much like Joan of Arc’s ensemble, features a myriad of fiddlers, pluckers, beaters, tinklers and wailers, surrounding a central core of notorious crackpots.

The hauntingly melodic pop harks back to the early TMS period of “Eine Symphonie Des Grauens”, but is now complemented by a (periodically unemployed) vampire’s orchestra, whose cha-cha-charnel chiming careens into carnal rhyming chanting, while saints and demons trip lightly across the slick red fields of liberty.

As with all TMS albums, Fabula Mendax is at once accessible and arcane, upbeat and dark, lush and spare, and with lyrics that as ever remain tantalizingly opaque.

Watch Ali Farka Touré perform "Savane" in Brussels

Ali Farka Touré's Savane album – featuring Bassekou Kouyate & Mama Sissoko – has just been reissued on vinyl by World Circuit. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Midweek Mixdown: Earl Grey of Shella Records

Here's a new mix which Earl Grey of Toronto-based reggae reissue label Shella Records put together for Free Dots. 

Happy Birthday Santigold!

Celebrating Santigold's birthday with a performance of "The Keepers" from 2012 and "Run The Road" from Euphoria.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Brant Bjork, Ecstatic Vision, Ian Blurton's Future Now @ Lee's Palace, Wednesday

A few months back, Kyuss co-founder Brant Bjork released his Jacoozzi recording from 2010 which you can check out below followed by his Rockpalast show. 
Brant Bjork – Jacoozzi (Heavy Psych Sounds)
"Back in December of 2010, I went into a house in Joshua Tree California to record another solo record. About 4 days into the sessions, I decided to abandon the 8 songs I was working on, told my long time friend and engineer, Tony Mason, to start rolling tape and I proceeded to play drums in my natural improv style.

"After multiple drum track performances were captured, I then started layering guitars, bass and percussion in the same improvisational spirit. I essentially decided to "jam" by myself for the rest of my scheduled sessions. When the recording session had finally come to an end, I put the 8 unfinished tracks on the "shelf" as well as my "solo jam session" tracks. I was much more content with the "jam" tracks as it was a creative release that was needed at that time. I decided to call the collective tracks, Jacoozzi.

"At the time, it reminded me of the feeling of my first solo recording sessions for my first solo release, Jalamanta.... only more "free". At that time in 2010, I had no formal plans to release any of the music from those sessions....Jacoozzi included."  – Brant Bjork

Get a copy of Jacoozzi right here. Listen below.

B-Side Wins Again: Frank Wess

Here's Frank Wess, Roy Haynes and crew performing Thad Jones' snaky "The Lizard" aka "Mr. Lizard" on the flip of "Little Me" from 1963.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Cypress Hill vs. The 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett

Cypress Hill's Dr. Greenthumb makes good use of The 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett's version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly theme. 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

That time Dizzy Gillespie cut a John Barry-style version of "Bésame Mucho"

Back in 1969, Dizzy Gillespie transformed "Bésame Mucho" into what sounds like a lost James Bond theme. 

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Whaddya mean you don't know The Counts & Countess

Here's The Counts & Countess performing "Five Salted Peanuts" back in 1945. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

One For The Weekend: Martha Veléz

When folks discuss Sire label faves, this Martha Veléz gem produced by Mike Vernon in '69 rarely comes up. It should.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Watch a vintage Small Faces clip for "Talk To You"

Here's Ronnie Lane, Steve Marriott and company performing "Talk To You" in 1967.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Totó La Momposina vs. Bovea y sus Vallenatos

Here are two different takes on the Colombian cumbia classic "El Pescador" by Totó La Momposina and Bovea y sus Vallenatos caption

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

B-Side Wins Again: Maximilian

Del Shannon's keyboardist Max Crook let his loose on his Musitron for "The Snake" using his alias Maximilian in 1961.

Portland's "bubblegum doom" duo Fox Medicine preview new Procédures Mystiques album

Guitarist Neezy Dynamite says the video for their song Comfort Pony is about "magic and returning to nature"

Fox Medicine on tour

9/22 Portland, OR - No Fun Bar
9/27 Eureka, CA - Siren's Song Tavern
10/4 San Diego, CA -Black Cat Bar
10/5 Yucca Valley, CA -Gadi's Bar and Grill
10/6 Los Angeles, CA -The Lexington (Fuzzdaze -Matinee show)
10/31 Portland, OR -Misdemeanor Meadows
11/1 Astoria, OR -Charlie's Chop House
11/8 Seattle, WA - Lucky Liquor
11/9 Portland, OR- Kelly's Olympian ALBUM RELEASE PARTY)
11/15 Oakland, CA -The Golden Bull
11/17 Reno, NV -Jub Jubs
12/6 San Diego, CA - Til Two Club

Monday, September 16, 2019

C.W. Stoneking (solo), Brittany Brooks @ The Rivoli, Tuesday

Don't miss this rare opportunity to see Australian guitar slinger deluxe C.W. Stoneking play an intimate solo show at the Rivoli.

Happy Birthday Ralph Mooney

Remembering pedal steel great Ralph Mooney on his day with a Wynn Stewart gem and one of his own. 

R.I.P. Ric Ocasek, 1944-2019

Sadly, songwriter and producer Ric Ocasek (born Richard Theodore Otcasek) of The Cars passed away at his Manhattan home on Sunday.  

Before They Were Famous: Gabby Pahinui

Hawaiian slack-key gutiar legend Gabby Pahinui appears on an Eddie Spencer & The Queens Men album issued by Waikiki Records. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Bettye LaVette @ Supercrawl's TD Stage (Hamilton), Sunday

Here are two classic early recordings you won't likely hear Bettye reprise in Hamilton at her Supercrawl gig from 8pm to 9:15 pm.

Eleni Mandell, Lily Frost @ The Drake Hotel, Sunday

Watch Eleni Mandell's videos for "Evelyn" and "Ghost of a Girl" off her new album Wake Up Again out now on Yep Roc Records

Get tickets for Eleni Mandell and band (Ryan Feves, Kevin Fitzgerald, Milo Jones) at The Drake on Sunday right here.

Check out the title track off Gruff Rhys' new PANG! album

Gruff Rhys recorded the PANG! album in collaboration with South African producer Muzi (see interview after the clip).

Happy Birthday Cannonball Adderley

Remembering Cannonball Adderley with a performance of "Experience in E" and his David Axelrod collaboration "Tensity" 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Ebo Taylor's "lost" 1980 album Palaver released by BBE

The previously unreleased Palaver album recorded in 1980 by Ghanaian highlife guitar great Ebo Taylor is out now on BBE Music. 

Here's the scoop...
BBE Music unearths ‘Palaver’, a long-lost, previously unreleased 1980 album from Ghanaian guitarist and songwriter Ebo Taylor.

If Fela Kuti was the king of Nigerian Afrobeat, then Ebo Taylor, 83 and still playing hard, is the king of Ghana Funky-Highlife. No doubt whatsoever. Much of Ebo’s beautiful 70s and 80s output has been reissued, as more and more Afro music lovers are being converted to his unique pan-West African sound.

In 1980 while on a club tour of Nigeria with his regular touring band, Ebo bumped into Chief Tabansi of Tabansi Records. They agreed that Taylor would record a one-album session to be released exclusively on Tabansi. Within a few days the deal was signed, the session completed, the tapes signed off, and Ebo and his band went on their way to complete their Nigerian tour.

But for reasons that no-one (including Ebo) can now fully recall, the master tapes got shelved in a dusty backroom in Tabansi’s Onitsha HQ. Where they remained, undisturbed, unreleased, unplayed, for almost forty years.

Last year, Peter Adarkwah of BBE Music signed off on a major multi-album reissue deal with Tabansi and its affiliated labels. ‘What about unissued material, if we find any?’ Joe Tabansi, Chief’s son and current administrator of the label, casually asked.

Yes, replied Peter - but WHAT unissued material?

Upon which, Joe produces these masters. The tapes are rushed to the redoubtable Carvery vinyl remastering and pressing plant in East London, and all at BBE soon realised that they had a masterpiece on their hands. All-new material, all Ebo’s own compositions, all recorded with Ebo’s crème-de-la-crème touring and recording players, including George Amissah. Mat Hammond, George Kennedy and George Abunuah among others.

Here it is, for the first time, anywhere. Ebo Taylor’s Lost Nigeria Sessions.

Watch The Flamin' Groovies play "Slow Death" on French TV in 1972

Here are San Francisco's Flamin' Groovies (post-Loney) tearing through "Slow Death" live on TV in 1972.

Friday, September 13, 2019

One For The Weekend: Dan Haerle Trio

Check out "Snap, Crackle & Pop" recorded by former Univ. of North Texas music prof Dan Haerle in 1975. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Watch Tami Neilson's new video for "Hey Bus Driver!"

"Hey Bus Driver!" is off Tami Neilson's forthcoming album CHICKABOOM! due Feb 14th on Outside. Tami plays the Mod Club on Nov 18th. 

Here's the scoop...
Tami grew up performing across North America with the Neilson Family Band, working alongside greats such as Johnny Cash, Tanya Tucker, and Kitty Wells. With her parents Betty and Ron (her late father a songwriter of considerable accomplishment) and two brothers Todd (drums) and Jay (bass), she spent years on the road learning her craft. This enabled Tami to explore her increasing vocal and emotional range and build a deep well of musical influences to draw upon when she started to write her own material.

Subsequently, Tami fell in love with a New Zealander, moved to the bottom of the world and began her solo career without the support of the family. Over many years she built a platform for herself through open-mic nights, playing soulless casinos and the dead-air time-slots at festivals, finding a small group of fellow travellers and supportive players, and then a series of increasingly impressive albums followed.

The early records saw her in a self-created territory between mainstream country and alternative country, a couple recorded around the kitchen table back home in Canada with brother Jay, who is now an acclaimed producer and songwriter. Then awards started coming in New Zealand for albums that added breadth to her “country singer” label: Best Female Artist, Best Country Album, Best Country Song, an APRA Silver Scroll (songwriting) award and Album of the Year nominations. Her Dynamite! album of 2014 received rave reviews in Britain’s MOJO and the Guardian named it a Top 10 Best Country Music Album. Tami’s songs appeared on the Netflix series Wanted and the terrestrial TV series Nashville.

The road has now led to CHICKABOOM!, which is something different again, and even more personal. “In the past year, I started to notice something,” she says. “The artists I would spend time with backstage at festivals, the ones I gravitated to the most and followed on social media – artists like the Secret Sisters, Shovels & Rope, Kasey Chambers, Brandi Carlile – they all had family performing with them.”

“When you tour away from loved ones, it makes a world of difference to have part of your village with you on the road. Not to mention, nothing can come close to that special blend of blood harmonies and silent communication that only comes from being onstage with a person for over 30 years. Family has always been a huge part my music-writing, recording and creating with me, but I wanted family on this project and on the road with me again.”

Brother Jay flew to Auckland, New Zealand from Toronto to record a selection of new songs that have unmistakable sibling magic and harmonies. “I don’t think he quite understands what he’s gotten himself into but now the album’s coming out it’s a bit too late. Sucker,” she laughs.

Check the current list of Tami Neilson's upcoming Canadian tour dates following the clip for "Hey Bus Driver!" below.

Nov 16 - Wakefield, QC - Blacksheep Inn
Nov 18 - Toronto, ON - Mod Club Theatre
Nov 21 - Sorel Tracy, QC - Azimut Diffusion
Nov 22 - Quebec City, QC - Palais Montcalm
Nov 23 - Repentigny, QC - Centre D’art Diane Dufresne
Nov 28 - Knowlton, QC - Théâtre du Lac Brome
Nov 29 - Longueuil, QC - Theatre de la Ville
Nov 30 - Saint Therese, QC - Cabaret BMO

The Long Ryders, Joe Nolan @ The Horseshoe, Saturday

Here's Sid Griffin and the Long Ryders performing two different versions of Looking For Lewis and Clark.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Midweek Mixdown: 1970s Nigerian Afrobeat 45s from Dig This Way

Some rippin' raw Bola Johnson, Orlando Julius and others circa '71 to '75 courtesy of the Dig This Way Records Archive.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Watch the trailer for the forthcoming Redd Kross doc Born Innocent

The Redd Kross doc Born Innocent is currently in the works. Visit the Kickstarter page after viewing the trailer. 

Happy Birthday Raymond Scott

Remembering the amazing Raymond Scott, the man behind the whimsical songs that were the soundtrack of your favourite cartoons. 

Whaddya mean you don't know Abschaum

Fans of Neu! should enjoy this clip of Lyon's Abschaum getting down motorik-style in their living room rehearsal space.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Happy Birthday Fred Stone

Remembering the great Fred Stone on his birthday with a performance of "Inception" from 1965 and "Theme From Lawrence of Arabia"

Giallo-style synth maestro Umberto returns with Outskirts of Reno EP

Check out Umberto's 5-track Outskirts of Reno EP set for release in a limited run October 4th. 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

One For The Weekend: Caetano Veloso

It takes a bit to get going, but "Tempo de Estio" from Caetano Veloso's Muito (Dentro da Estrela Azulada) is a real gem.