Saturday, November 30, 2019

R.I.P. Jimmy Wisdom

Sadly, legendary Toronto barber and singer Jimmy Wisdom has passed away. He'll be greatly missed. 

Happy Birthday Brownie McGhee!

Remembering blues great Brownie McGhee on his birthday with "Rainy Day" and a couple of Piedmont classics with Sonny Terry. 

Analog Africa releases Mogadisco: Dancing Mogadishu, 1972-1991 on Dec 13

The ever-intrepid Samy Ben Redjeb has dug up a fantastic selection of rare dancefloor gems from Mogadishu. 

After being blown away by a few tunes – probably just as you will be after listening to this - Samy Ben Redjeb travelled to the infamous capital city of Somalia in November of 2016, making Analog Africa the first music label to set foot in Mogadishu.

On his arrival in Somalia Samy began rifling through piles of cassettes and listening to reel-to-reel tapes in the dusty archives of Radio Mogadishu, looking for music that "swam against the current".

The stars were aligned: an uncovered and unmarked pile of discarded recordings was discovered in a cluttered corner of the building. Colonel Abshir - the senior employee and protector of Radio Mogadishu's archives - clarified that the pile consisted mostly of music nobody had manage to identify, or music he described as being "mainly instrumental and strange music". At the words "strange music" Samy was hooked, the return flight to Tunisia was cancelled.

The pile turned out to be a cornucopia of different sounds: radio jingles, background music, interludes for radio programmes, television shows and theatre plays. There were also a good number of disco tunes, some had been stripped of their lyrics, the interesting parts had been recorded multiple times then cut, taped together and spliced into a long groovy instrumental loop. Over the next three weeks, often in watermelon, grapefruit juice and shisha-fuelled night-time sessions behind the fortified walls of Radio Mogadishu, Samy and the archive staff put together "Mogadisco: Dancing Mogadishu, 1974–1991".

Like everywhere in Africa during the 1970s, both men and women sported huge afros, bell-bottom trousers and platform shoes. James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations' funk were the talk of the town.

In 1977, Iftin Band were invited to perform at the Festac festival in Lagos where they represented Somalia at the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. Not only did they come back with an award but they also returned with Afrobeat. While Fela Kuti's 'Shakara' had taken over the continent and was spreading like wildfire throughout Latin America, it was the track 'Lady' that would become the hit in Mogadishu.

At the same time Bob Marley was busy kick-starting reggae-mania in Somalia, which became such a phenomenon that even the police and military bands began playing it. Some say that it was adopted so quickly because of the strong similarities with the traditional beat from the western region of Somalia, called Dhaanto.

But then suddenly the trousers got tighter as the disco tsunami hit the country. Michael Jackson appeared with a new sound that would revolutionise Somalia's live music scene. You couldn't walk the streets of Mogadishu without seeing kids trying to moonwalk.

"Somalia had several nightclubs and although most use DJs to play records, some hotels like Jubba, Al-Uruba and Al Jazeera showcased live bands such as Iftin and Shareero" - so ran a quote from a 1981 article about the explosion of Mogadishu's live music scene. The venues mentioned in that article were the luxury hotels that had been built to cover the growing demands of the tourist industry. The state-of-the-art hotel Al-Uruba, with its oriental ornaments and white plastered walls, was a wonder of modern architecture. All of Mogadishu's top bands performed there at some point or another, and many of the songs presented in this compilation were created in such venues.

Mogadisco was not Analog Africa's easiest project. Tracking down the musicians - often in exile in the diaspora - to interview them and gather anecdotes of golden-era Mogadishu has been an undertaking that took three years. Tales of Dur-Dur Band's kidnapping, movie soundtracks recorded in the basements of hotels, musicians getting electrocuted on stage, others jumping from one band to another under dramatic circumstances, and soul singers competing against each other, are all stories included in the massive booklet that accompanies the compilation - adorned with no less then 50 pictures from the '70s and '80s.

As Colonel Abshir Hashi Ali, chief don at the Radio Mogadishu archive - someone who once wrestled a bomber wielding an unpinned hand-grenade to the floor - put it: "I have dedicated my life to this place. I'm doing this so it can get to the next generation; so that the culture, the heritage and the songs of Somalia don't disappear."

Friday, November 29, 2019

R.I.P. Rudy "Tutti" Grayzell, 1933-2019

Sadly, Texas-born rockabilly great Rudy "Tutti" Grayzell has passed on. 

Omnivore releases Alex Chilton demos as My Rival 10" EP

The My Rival 10" EP – out today – is a previously unissued Alex Chilton session engineered by Big Star pal Chris Bell from 1975. 

It’s mid- to late-1975, what remained of Big Star is no longer, Third/Sister Lovers was sitting on a shelf and Alex Chilton was in Memphis at a very low point. Chris Bell spent a large part of the year in London trying to get a solo record deal, but turned up empty and flew home to visit family in late summer. While at home, Bell was cutting more solo tracks at Ardent, one of which, “You And Your Sister” needed a harmony vocal, so he called in Alex.

Fans have long thought that was the last recording of Bell and Chilton collaborating in the studio, but within what was probably a few days of that session, they were in the studio together again, with Bell engineering a set of demos for Alex.

Chilton laid down early takes of “My Rival” (later re-cut for the Like Flies On Sherbert album) and “All Of The Time” (later re-cut for the Singer Not The Song EP and Bach’s Bottom album) as well as the then unissued tracks, “She Might Look My Way” (which first appeared on co-writer Tommy Hoehn’s 1978 album, Losing You To Sleep) and “Windows Hotel” (which finally saw release in 2015 on the live album, Ocean Club ’77). Unfortunately, working together was not in the cards, nor was a Big Star reunion of any sort.

From the liner notes by Rich Tupica:
“If Big Star could overcome some personal difficulties, if we could get it together, I know we could do something very well,” an optimistic Chris Bell told journalist Barry Ballard in 1975.
“I don’t know if (Chris) wanted to work together again or not,” Chilton reflected years later with journalist Russell Hall. “I don’t remember that being the case. I mean, musicians get together to do things all the time, on all sorts of bases. I personally had no intentions of ever getting back together in a band with anybody again, pretty much.”

All that’s left is the music, and that’s surely something to celebrate. In some alternate universe, this could’ve been the next chapter for Big Star, and it sounds beautiful.

All versions on this special Record Store Day/Black Friday 10″ are previously unissued and presented here for the first time. Available digitally right here on December 6th. Check out an alternate version of "She Might Look My Way" below followed by the My Rival EP track listing.

My Rival
All of The Time
Windows Hotel
She Might Look My Way (take 1)
She Might Look My Way (take 2)

Happy Birthday Billy Hart!

Cheers to drumming great Billy Hart on his birthday. Here's Carlos Garnett's Black Love and the Dynamite Bros OST. 

One For The Weekend: Slim & Slam

Here's Slim Gailard & Slam Stewart's "Gettin' Kinda Chilly" issued by Vocallion in 1938. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Jerry Leger launches Time Out For Tomorrow @ Lee's Palace, Thursday

Jerry Leger & The Situation will be joined by openers Matthew Barber and Lindy Vopnfjörd. Doors open at 8 pm. 

Whaddya mean you don't know Stephen Colebrooke

Check out the 1979 boogie gem "Loving You" by Bahamian soul/jazz singer Stephen Colebrooke off his rare Stephen LP. 

Watch Pentangle perform "Willy O' Winsbury" in 1972

Jacqui McShee soars on "Willy O' Winsbury" backed by Danny Thompson, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch and Terry Cox.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Beast Music @ Grasshopper Records, Thursday

Don't miss Beast Music's free in-store performance at Grasshopper Records – the only Toronto vinyl emporium open late!

Midweek Mixdown: Sounds of Meditation: Deep roots reggae from Studio One

Here's another great mix of rare 45s by Leroy Wallace, The Cyclones, Dennis Brown, Prince Lincoln & Zoot Simms from the Ancient Archive of Sound.

Happy Birthday Jimi Hendrix

Here's the rippin' instrumental "Hornet's Nest" which Jimi cut with Curtis Knight's band in 1965.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tommy "TNT" Brenneck doesn't overthink shit

Guitarist/producer Tommy "TNT" Brenneck gets a big up for his studio savvy on the B-side of the new Menahan Street Band single. 

Menahan Street Band - "There's A New Day Coming" b/w "Tommy Don't"
Originally recorded as a single backing track for Charles Bradley, the tune was ultimately shelved (like many other tracks) after Charles' passing. After some time had gone by the reel made its way back onto the tape machine and producer Tommy "TNT" Brenneck had a eureka moment. He split the track into two sides and wrote some lyrics for the slower portion as a tribute to CB, which became "There's a New Day Coming". He loved the juxtaposition of having the slower, heavy tribute on side A, and the upbeat, lighter track on the flip.

When singers, Saundra Williams (Saun & Starr) & Alecia Chakour showed up for the session TNT played them what was to become "Tommy Don't". While it was playing Saun said "You know why I like working with you, Tommy? Cause you don't overthink shit". And with that Saun started singing "Tommy don't overthink shit." Brenneck started cracking up and said, "We HAVE to record that.". And with that...Voila!...a brand spanking new 45 from the kings of instrumental soul, Menahan Street Band. Get a copy of the new MSB single right here. Listen to both sides below.

Calibro 35 preview new Momentum album with "Stan Lee"

Calibro 35's forthcoming Momentum album is due out January 24. Check out "Stan Lee" below. 

Happy 80th Birthday Tina Turner!

Celebrating Tina Turner's 80th birthday with "Golden Empire"

Monday, November 25, 2019

Billy Childish vs. Link Wray

Wild Billy Childish & his CTMF crew cut loose on Link Wray's Comananche as a closer at BBmix in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. 

Happy Birthday Mark Lanegan!

Celebrating Mark Lanegan's birthday with a performance of "One Way Street" and a lengthy interview with Joseph Arthur. 

Brodie West Quintet @ The Rex Hotel, Tuesday

The Brodie West Quintet with pianist Tania Gill and bassist Josh Cole end their November residency Tuesday with two sets starting at 6:30 pm. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Happy Birthday Clem Burke!

Celebrating the birthday of drummer deluxe Clem Burke with a few vintage Blondie performance clips from 1977 and 1979.  

Will Birch discusses Cruel To Be Kind: The Life & Music of Nick Lowe

Author Will Birch's semi-authorized Nick Lowe biography Cruel To Be Kind is out now from Da Capo Press. 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Teenage Head, Drunkula @ Lee's Palace, Saturday

Hamilton heroes Teenage Head kick off your Grey Cup weekend with Drunkula at Lee's Palace tonight at 9 pm sharp.

The Rolling Stones vs. Jimmy Reed

Mick and Keef did a fine job recreating the haunting vibe of Jimmy Reed's 1956 Vee-Jay Records gem "Little Rain" 

Happy Birthday RL Burnisde

Remembering the late Mississippi blues great RL Burnside on his day with a performance from 1984. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Allah-Las, Mapache, Tim Hill @ Lee's Palace, Sunday

Check out a recent Allah-Las performance in Belgium and their latest album LAHS below followed by an interview with Mapache.  

One For The Weekend: The Iguanas

Here's an early Iggy Pop-penned gem "Again and Again" recorded with The Iguanas circa 1965 but wasn't released at the time. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Happy Birthday Charlie Palmieri

Remembering pianist Charlie Palmieri on his birthday with a couple typically stellar performances. 

Watch Ags Connolly sing "Say It Out Loud"

Oxfordshire rising star Ags Connolly sounds more country than anything currently coming out of Nashville. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Jayhawks, Harrow Fair @ The Horseshoe, Wednesday & Thursday

Here are a few clips of Gary Louris and his iconic Minneapolis alt-country crew The Jayhawks in action over the years... and a little Golden Smog.  

The Jayhawks on the road
NOV 21 - Horseshoe Tavern - Toronto, Canada w/ Harrow Fair
NOV 22 - Town Ballroom - Buffalo, NY w/ Harrow Fair
NOV 23 - Music Box Supper Club - Cleveland, OH w/ Harrow Fair
NOV 24 - The Magic Bag - Ferndale, MI w/ Harrow Fair
DEC 21 - Palace Theatre - Saint Paul, MN
MAR 5 -  Center for the Arts of Homer - Homer, NY
MAR 6 & 7 - Brooklyn Bowl - New York, NY
MAR 8 - Academy Of Music Theatre - Northampton, MA
APR 16 - Englert Theatre - Iowa City, IA
APR 17 - Turner Hall Ballroom - Milwaukee, WI
MAY 6 - Granada Theater - Dallas, TX
MAY 7 - Sam's Burger Joint - San Antonio, TX
MAY 8 & 9 - 3TEN ACL Live - Austin, TX
JUNE 18 - Neptune Theatre - Seattle, WA
JUNE 20 & 21 - The Chapel - San Francisco, CA

Happy Birthday Esquerita!

Remembering the late great Steven Quincy Reeder aka Esquerita with "Rock-A-Round" accompanied by Paul Peek.

Oxford American Esquerita and The Voola

Midweek Mixdown: Ethiopian Renaissance Tribute

Here's a mix of Ethiopian 70s gems from Alemayehu Eshete, Mahmoud Ahmed, Telahun Gessesse & Fatuma Gassim. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Hear the new Hot Snakes single "Checkmate"

Released to coincide with their UK tour dates, here's "Checkmate" by the Hot Snakes. 

Hot Snakes on tour
Dec 3 -  Bodega, Nottingham UK
Dec 4 -  Deaf Institute, Manchester UK
Dec 5 -  Cluny, Newcastle UK
Dec 6 -  Broadcast, Glasgow UK
Dec 7 -  Black Box, Belfast UK
Dec 8 -  Grand Social, Dublin Ireland
Dec 10 -  Hare & Hound, Birmingham UK
Dec 11 -  Brudenell Social, Leeds UK
Dec 12 -  Garage, London UK
Dec 13 -  Thekla Social, Bristol UK
Dec 14 -  Patterns, Brighton UK
Dec 15 -  Portland Arms, Cambridge UK

Kikagaku Moyo, Minami Deutsch @ The Horseshoe, Tuesday

Kikagaku Moyo's ripping cover of Ananda Shankar's "Streets of Calcutta" has become a reliable crowd pleaser on tour.  

Del McCoury & Billy Strings vs. Del McCoury & Bill Monroe

Five decades on, Del McCoury is still belting out bluegrass classics like he did in his days with Bill Monroe. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Moon Duo @ Longboat Hall, Monday

Watch the Andrew Knives video for "Lost Heads" off Moon Duo's latest album, Stars Are The Light. 

Happy Birthday Don Cherry!

Here's some rare live footage of Don Cherry in Rome with Sonny Rollins in 1963 followed by Neneh Cherry's tribute and a Sun Ra duet.  

Yaseen & Party's tarab gems recirculated by Afro7

Afro7 has just reissued a great collection of Yaseen Mohammed's swingin' tarab tunes from Kenya's Mzuri label. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Happy Birthday Gene Clark!

Remembering the late great Gene Clark on his birthday with a couple of outtakes from his No Other sessions.

Spend four days in a studio with Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe

Check out the entertaining Rockpile documentary Born Fighter from 1979 followed by a Danish TV performance that same year.  

Rare Gregory Corso poetry readings issued on The Gold Standard

Unrequited Records' limited vinyl-only release The Gold Standard captures Beat poet Gregory Corso in action during the 80s. 

Here's the scoop...
This record was compiled from the recently discovered Scrivani Tapes. George Scrivani – Gregory Corso’s longtime friend – traveled with Gregory in the late 1970s throughout Europe. Having cut his bootlegging chops at various operas in Europe, Scrivani recorded Corso at various readings, interviews, and events. This included an impromptu lecture Corso gave at the JFK Institute, in Berlin, on the genealogy of the Beat Generation.

Upon returning stateside, Scrivani continued to record Corso in San Francisco, in the 1980s, at locations such as S.F. Art Institute, New College (r.i.p.) and the legendary Keystone Korner in the North Beach neighborhood.

The Keystone Korner tapes include a phenomenal reading with Allen Ginsberg in 1980. The two had not read together in San Francisco since 1956. Another Keystone Korner tape features Jaki Byard on piano, the legendary pianist/composer/arranger, joins Corso for two extended poems. Also featured one track is local S.F. musician Phil Deal who has been a mainstay at various poetry events for decades.

Each side contains 27 minutes of unprecedented Corso material. Get a copy of The Gold Standard right here.

Check out Gregory Corso reading his poem "Marriage" from his book, The Happy Birthday of Death originally published by New Directions in 1960 along with a couple of other clips which similarly have nothing at all to do with The Gold Standard release.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Happy Birthday Teenie Hodges!

Remembering the great Teenie Hodges on his day with "Teenie's Dream" and "On The Loose"

Mikal Cronin, Shannon Lay, Plain Jade @ The Horseshoe, Sunday

Mikal Cronin brings the sounds of Seeker to the Horseshoe on Sunday. Check out "I've Got Reason" and "Shelter" below. 

Watch Tami Neilson's new video for "Ten Tonne Truck"

"Ten Tonne Truck" is off Tami Neilson's forthcoming Chickaboom! album due February 14th. Tami plays the Mod Club Monday (November 18). 

Tami Neilson on tour
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

Friday, November 15, 2019

DJ Shadow's Our Pathetic Age double album out today!

 Check out the clips for "Rocket Fuel" feat. De La Soul, "Kings & Queens" feat. Run The Jewels and "Drone Warfare" feat. Nas & Pharoahe Monch.

Get DJ Shadow's Our Pathetic Age album on your favourite music service right here.

One For The Weekend: Tina Brooks

Here's the title track off the Minor Move album from Tina Brooks along with the great Sonny Clark, Lee Morgan, Doug Watkins and Art Blakey.

Happy Birthday Little Willie John!

Remembering the late great Little Willie John with "I'm Shakin'" and Tom Russell's performance of "Blue Wing"