Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Happy Birthday Allyson Baker!

Toasting Toronto's own Allyson Baker with a couple of vintage Teen Crud Combo rippers.

R.I.P. William 'Bubbha' Thomas, 1937-2020

Legendary Lightmen Plus One bandleader and Houston jazz DJ Bubbha Thomas died of heart failure on Saturday at the age of 82. He'll be greatly missed. 

Now-Again Records Bubbha Thomas, 1937-2020
Houston Chronicle Legendary Houston Musician Bubbha Thomas dies

Watch Ben Watt perform "Bricks and Wood" in Glasgow

Hopefully Ben Watt will return Toronto when things get back on track. Check out his performance of "Bricks and Wood" from February. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Before They Were Famous: Kanye West

Kanye West's highschool artwork circa 1995 is appraised by Laura Woolley on a recent Antiques Roadshow episode from Arizona.  

Hear John Prine join Swamp Dogg for "Memories"

"Memories" is off Swamp Dogg's new country album, Sorry You Couldn't Make It, out now on Joyful Noise Recordings. 

Happy Birthday Harold Burrage!

Remembering Windy City R&B great Harold Burrage on his birthday with a couple of his gems.

B-Side Wins Again: Bobby Jameson

The flipside of Bobby Jameson's Viet Nam protest tune on Mira is a timeless Bo Diddley-inspired instrumental garage rock ripper.   

Watch John Gilmore with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1965

Here's saxophone great John Gilmore with Art Blakey's crew feat. Lee Morgan tearing through "Bu's Delight" on the BBC on March 7, 1965. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Happy Birthday Terry Jacks!

Years before the Poppy Family, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Terry Jacks formed The Chessmen with fellow UBC students to play frat parties. 

Watch the intro of every guest spot on the Cannon TV series

Along with numerous cameos by Dana Elcar and Martin Sheen, Canuck star Gordon Pinsent popped up in a 1973 episode of the popular crime drama.  

R.I.P. Krzysztof Penderecki, 1933-2020

Sadly, Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki – known for his work in The Exorcist, The Shining and various David Lynch films – has passed away. 

Redd Kross sez "Stay Away From Downtown"

"Stay Away From Downtown" is off the Redd Kross album Researching The Blues released by Merge in 2012. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Watch a 1964 film about Chicago's Maxwell Street Market

Check out Mike Shea's sweet 1964 documentary Maxwell Street: And This Is Free below. 

Happy Birthday Steve Turner!

Toasting Seattle guitar star Steve Turner with Mudhoney's rip through "Touch Me I'm Sick" on the Space Needle and other gems.    Photo: Charles Peterson

The John Cale mix of The Stooges debut finally pressed on vinyl

Vinyl Me, Please is pressing up the rawer sounding original John Cale mix of The Stooges debut album, mastered at the correct speed. 

Watch Tré Burt sing "What Good" in the French Quarter

Back in January, Tré Burt was captured performing "What Good" for passing horses on the street in New Orleans' French Quarter.

Tré Burt's debut album Caught It From The Rye was released via John Prine's label Oh Boy! Records. 

Whaddya mean you don't know Carol Anderson

Check out Detroit soul great Carol Anderson's "Taking My Mind Off Love" arranged by Funk Brothers bandleader Joe Hunter for the Whip label. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Listen to Bob Dylan's epic new track "Murder Most Foul"

"Murder Most Foul" is Bob Dylan's warning about pop culture misdirection. Also, check out his other intriguing new tune, "I Contain Multitudes"

Happy 70th Birthday Renaldo Domino!

Raising a glass to the Windy City soul great on his birthday with a string-enhanced performance of his Twinight classic "Not Too Cool To Cry" 

One For The Weekend: Peter Case

Here's Peter Case's "The Long Good Time" (with Ben Harper on slide) off of his superb HWY 62 album from 2015.  

Thursday, March 26, 2020

R.I.P. Danny Mihm of The Flamin' Groovies

Sadly, longtime Flamin' Groovies drummer Danny Mihm passed away earlier today. He'll be greatly missed. 

The Sadies re-release Archives Vol. 1 rarities collection on vinyl

Dine Alone's updated version of Archives Volume 1 LP replaces 5 songs from the Moi J'Connais issue of 2015 with 5 different tunes.

You can pre-order a copy of The Sadies – Archives Volume 1 limited-edition vinyl LP directly from Dine Alone right here, which will ship when the label's web store reopens. Check the track listing below.

The Sadies – Archives Volume 1 - 1995-2019
1. Dying Is No Way To Make A Living
2. Little Sadie (Traditional)
3. Wagon Wheel
4. 1,000 Cities Falling (Part 1)
5. Locust Eater
6. Within A Stone
7. All The Way Back Home (The Unintended)
8. Ballad Of Immortal Joe 
9. Oh, How She Rides
10. Travis And Robo
11. Out Of The Blue
12. External Sounds
13. Strange Birds
14. Carmine Street Guitars Theme
15. Goodbye Johnny
16. Dallas And Robo Theme

Quarantunes: Joe Pernice

For the past few days, singer/songwriter Joe Pernice has been sending out musical dispatches inspired by Barry Manilow. Have a listen.    

Happy Birthday Rufus Thomas!

Remembering the amazing Rufus Thomas on his birthday with a short doc and a memorable Schlitz Malt Liquor commercial from 1974.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Watch Ernie K-Doe on stage in New Orleans in 1982

If you can put up with the intermittent audio issues, this rare footage of Ernie K-Doe getting down at Winnie's is quite entertaining.

Happy Birthday King Buzzo!

Raising a glass to the amazing King Buzzo on his birthday with "I'm Glad I Could Help Out," "Six Pack" and "Science In Modern America"

Midweek Mixdown: Paul E. Lopes

Here's a sweet reggae mix from Toronto selector Paul E. Lopes to help get you through the week. 

R.I.P. Bill Rieflin, 1960-2020

Remembering Seattle-born drummer deluxe Bill Rieflin who passed away yesterday after a lengthy battle with cancer. Check his work with The Blackouts. 

Remembering West Texas great Tommy Hancock

Raising a glass to Lubbock legend Tommy Hancock – who passed away in January – with an early track cut in Clovis, NM 

Austin Chronicle – Tommy Hancock Dances His Way To Heaven

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

R.I.P. Manu Dibango, 1933-2020

Sadly, it was announced today Afro funk innovator Manu Dibango had passed away from complications due to COVID-19. He'll be greatly missed.

From Manu Dibango's Facebook page...
Dear family, dear friends, dear fans,
A voice raises from far away…
It is with deep sadness that we announce you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, further to COVID-19.
His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible. If you wish to express your condolences, please write to the following email:
A Manu, Ad Lib…

Chers parents, chers amis, chers fans,
Une voix s’élève au lointain…
C'est avec une profonde tristesse que nous vous annonçons la disparition de Manu Dibango, notre Papy Groove, survenue le 24 mars 2020 à l'âge de 86 ans, des suites du COVID-19.
Les obsèques auront lieu dans la stricte intimité familiale, et un hommage lui sera rendu ultérieurement dès que possible. Si vous le souhaitez, vous pouvez adresser vos condoléances à:
A Manu, Ad Lib…

Roaring Lion says "Wash Your Hands"

Calypsonian Roaring Lion recorded "Wash Your Hands and Clean Your Fingernails" sometime around 1954 but it's still good advice today.

R.I.P. Tres Warren of Psychic Ills

Sadly, Tres Warren of New York's Psychic Ills has passed away at the age of 41. No cause of death has yet been reported.

Listen to The Weeknd's Blinding Lights (Chromatics remix)

Oddly enough, The Weeknd's  original version of "Blinding Lights" sounds a lot more like a Johnny Jewel track than the Chromatics remix. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

R.I.P. DAF's Gabi Delgado-López, 1958-2020

Sadly, Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft co-founder Gabi Delgado-López passed away on Sunday. He'll be missed.

Cold Cave's Wesley Eisold teams with Mark Lanegan for Plague Poems

Wesley and Mark spent the past two months composing verse for their new book, Plague Poems, which follows the release of Mark's new album and memoir.  
Here's the scoop from Wesley...
"Thrilled to announce our new book, Plague Poems – a set of poems written by the great Mark Lanegan and myself. Plague Poems is a collection of 23 poems written by each, for love - lost, losing, and even sometimes found. Written in February and March of 2020, the sub-conscious presents a narrative of love in the end of days. This is Mark’s first collection of poetry and on my end, these are the poems I’ve always wanted to write but couldn't until now. Undoubtedly you will understand why once it's read."

You can pre-order a perfect-bound copy of Plague Poems signed by the authors directly from Heartworm Press right here.

There's more on the way from Mark Lanegan

Mark Lanegan has also finished his memoir, Sing Backwards And Weep which is due from Da Capo Press on April 28th followed by a new album, Straight Songs Of Sorrow out May 8th on Heavenly Recordings. Evidently, Lanegan's new recording was inspired by the process of self-examination which came with telling his life story.

The book is a brutal, nerve-shredding read, thanks to Lanegan’s unsparing candor in recounting a journey from troubled youth in eastern Washington, through his drug-stained existence amid the ’90s Seattle rock scene, to an unlikely salvation at the dawn of the 21st century. There’s death and tragedy, yet also humor and hope, thanks to the tenacity which impels its host, even at his lowest moments.

Today, Lanegan is a renowned songwriter and a much-coveted collaborator, as adept at electronica as with rock, constantly honing his indomitable voice: an asphalt-laced linctus for the soul. While the memoir documents a struggle to find peace with himself, his new album emphasises the extent to which he came to realize that music is his life.

“Writing the book, I didn’t get catharsis,” he chuckles. “All I got was a Pandora’s box full of pain and misery. I went way in, and remembered shit I’d put away 20 years ago. But I started writing these songs the minute I was done, and I realised there was a depth of emotion because they were all linked to memories from this book. It was a relief to suddenly go back to music. Then I realized that was the gift of the book: these songs. I’m really proud of this record.”

Straight Songs Of Sorrow combines musical trace elements from early Mark Lanegan albums with the synthesized constructs of later work. The meditative acoustic guitar fingerpicking – provided by Lamb Of God’s Mark Morton – on "Apples From A Tree" and "Hanging On (For DRC)" echo 1994’s "Whiskey For The Holy Ghost". Yet one of that record’s touchstones was Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, echoed in the new album’s opener "I Wouldn’t Want To Say", where Lanegan extemporizes à la Ballerina over musique concrète wave patterns generated by his latest favorite compositional tool, a miniature computer-synth called the Organelle. The lyric clings onto the music, emulating his book’s queasy momentum: “Swinging from death… to revival.”

“That song is the explanation, the beginning and middle and end of that entire period of time,” Mark says. “The encapsulation of the entire experience, book and record. So I started with that.”

Lanegan affirms that every song references a specific episode or person in the book, albeit some more explicitly than others. "Hanging On (For DRC)" is a loving ode to his friend Dylan Carlson, genius progenitor of drone metal and a fellow unlikely survivor of Seattle’s narcotic dramas. “I was always unhappy, and he was the guy who was always smiling, even through my crazy schemes that eventually got both of us into a lot of trouble.”

"At Zero Below" features two of the album’s many stellar guests. Singing admonitory harmonies with himself is Greg Dulli, another ’90s alt-rock veteran, Lanegan’s erstwhile partner in mischief and fellow Gutter Twin. The song’s incantatory fiddle is played by The Bad Seeds’ Warren Ellis. No lesser figure than Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones provides Mellotron on the serpentine "Ballad Of A Dying Rover". Aside from mandolin, all "Daylight In The Nocturnal House’s" cobwebbed atmospherics are by Portishead’s Adrian Utley. Ed Harcourt is Lanegan’s pick for album MVP (“He’s all over it – everything that he plays, piano or Wurlitzer, becomes magical”), with special mention to bassist Jack Bates, son of Peter Hook; that duo make especially distinctive contributions to Churchbells, Ghosts a bleakly humorous lament to the drudgery of life on the road.

The material on the last two Mark Lanegan Band albums had Lanegan’s words set to music by various other sources. But aside from the Mark Morton collaborations, Straight Songs Of Sorrow was built from the ground up by Lanegan alone, aided by producer Alain Johannes, his longtime consigliere. Only two other songs have shared credits, and even these stay in-house: "Burying Ground" and "Eden Lost And Found" were co-written by Mark’s wife Shelley Brien, with whom he also duets on the Rita Coolidge/Kris Kristofferson-style ballad "This Game Of Love". “Let’s put it this way,” says Mark. “Every girlfriend I’ve ever had, for any amount of time, left me. All the good ones left me! Until my current wife. It was great to sing that with Shelley, it really shows she’s a great singer. And it has a depth of emotion that I’m not used to. This is a more honest record than I’ve probably ever made.”

And indeed, there is a happy ending to this story. Just as his book closes with the hero overcoming adversity and turning, battered but cleansed, towards a new day, so Straight Songs Of Sorrow closes with "Eden Lost And Found". “Sunrise coming up baby/To burn the dirt right off of me,” marvels Lanegan, with his words echoed by Simon Bonney of Crime & The City Solution, an all-time hero. “I wanted to make a positive song to end this record, because that’s the way the book ended,” Mark says. “And what’s more positive than to have your favorite singer sing with you?”

Listen to the lead track "Bleed All Over" and "Stockholm City Blues" below. Pre-order Straight Songs Of Sorrow right here.

Crummy Stuff's Rob Sweeney doesn't hang out with anyone

About nine years back, Rob Sweeney knocked out this corker about self-isolation which could serve quite nicely right now as a public health PSA. 

Game Theory's final recordings with The Three O'Clock's Michael Quercio released

The final chapter of Scott Miller's Game Theory is captured on Omnivore's archive dig Across The Barrier Of Sound: PostScript.

Here's the scoop...
Throughout the 1980s, the California based Game Theory was one of the most original (and critically acclaimed) indie-rock bands. Their blend of ’60s and ’70s pop influences such as Todd Rundgren and Big Star coupled with a post-punk energy led to a string of diverse albums—nearly all produced by Mitch Easter of Let’s Active.

For the past several years, Omnivore has painstakingly reissued each and every one of their original albums with the addition of a slew of unreleased bonus tracks. Their final album, 1988’s Two Steps From The Middle Ages was reissued in June 2017. That appeared to be the final chapter of their story, or was it?

Hardcore Game Theory fans still talk about the band’s final line-up that toured the West Coast, but never released an album. Circa 1989–90, the band was rejuvenated with leader Scott Miller being joined by the legendary Michael Quercio from The Three O’Clock (who had recently broken up). Other interesting line-up changes included longtime Game Theory drummer Gil Ray moving over to guitar and keyboards, while Scott Miller’s former Alternate Learning bandmate (the original template of Game Theory) Jozef Becker, formerly of True West and Thin White Rope, joined as the drummer. Jozef is the brother of Game Theory’s original keyboardist, Nan Becker.

Across The Barrier Of Sound: PostScript is the album that might have been at the time. There’s a blend of home and studio and live recordings. Songs that many fans haven’t heard unless they were lucky enough to catch a live show at the time—and some songs which reappeared in significantly different form on the debut album from Scott Miller and Jozef Becker’s post-Game Theory band The Loud Family, Plants And Birds And Rocks And Things. Miller uniquely blended classic pop songwriting with groundbreaking art-rock influences, which is reflected in home recordings of Brian Eno’s “Needle In The Camel’s Eye” and The Nazz’s “Forget All About It”.

There’s a feast of Scott Miller penned delights on the 14-song vinyl LP, and the CD includes an additional 10 unissued bonus tracks with Game Theory originals and songs originally recorded by artists such as Big Star and The Three O’Clock. Journey Across The Barrier Of Sound and enjoy this PostScript to a great band’s career, but also as a wonderful album in its own right.

Check out Game Theory's aforementioned versions of "Needle In The Camel's Eye," "Forget All About It" along with Big Star's "Back Of A Car" below followed by the track listings for the CD and LP versions of Across The Barrier Of Sound: PostScript which you can mail order from Omnivore right here.

Across The Barrier Of Sound: PostScript CD track list
ALL MY LOVING (Home Recording)
FORGET ALL ABOUT IT (Home Recording)
WATER (Remix)
EVEN YOU (Home Demo)

BACK OF A CAR (Radio Session)
THE COME ON (Home Demo)
A DAY IN EROTICA (Home Recording)
IDIOT SON (Home Demo)
All tracks previously unissued except *

Across The Barrier Of Sound: PostScript LP track list
ALL MY LOVING (Home Recording)
FORGET ALL ABOUT IT (Home Recording)

WATER (Remix)
EVEN YOU (Home Demo)
All tracks previously unissued except *

That time Bola Sete sat in with the Vince Guaraldi Trio on Jazz Casual

Watch Brazilian guitarist Bola Sete in 1963 with Vince Guaraldi on piano, Fred Marshall on bass and the great Jerry Granelli on drums. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Hear Robyn Hitchcock perform Eye in San Francisco

Robyn Hitchcock was joined by Emma Swift, Rusty Miller & Kelley Stoltz to reprise his Eye album on his 67th birthday. Listen to the show after the clips.

Robyn Hitchcock performs Eye in San Francisco 03/03/2020
Set 1: Eye Album – Side 1 
 1 Cynthia Mask
 2 Certainly Clickot
 3 Queen Elvis 
 4 Flesh Cartoons
 5 Chinese Water Python
 6 Executioner
 7 Linctus House
 8 Transparent Lover 
 9 Sweet Ghost Of Light 

Set 2: Eye Album – Side 2 
 1 Beautiful Girl
 2 Raining Twilight Coast
 3 Clean Steve
 4 Agony Of Pleasure
 5 Glass Hotel 
 6 Satellite
 7 Aquarium
 8 Queen Elvis II 
 9 (encore break)
10 One Long Pair Of Eyes 
11 The Beauty Of Earl's Court
12 Madonna Of The Wasps

Baby Face Leroy vs. Hambone Willie Newbern

Hambone Willie Newbern's 1929 version of Roll and Tumble Blues was topped by Baby Face Leroy's 1950 update with Muddy Waters & Little Walter.

Feeding Tube releasing The Slowest Lift's Plutonic Shine on vinyl

Byron Coley's Feeding Tube label is reissuing The Slowest Lift's cassette-only release Plutonic Shine on wax in April. Read all about it. 

Here's the scoop...
Feeding Tube Records has just announced a vinylization of last year’s 'Plutonic Shine' cassette by UK duo, The Slowest Lift. Comprised of Julian Bradley (Vibracathedral Orchestra, etc.) and Sophie Cooper (whose Divine Ekstasys LP, FTR 342, is a dang classic), The Slowest Lift has been producing high-quality avant-pop form-waffling for several years. Their eponymous debut album was on VHF, and Plutonic Shine continues their drive into the heart of some very weird beast.

Sophie’s vocals sometimes breath like the air itself, although they can also surface as distorted puffs of lung-powered color, melodically-oriented, but trapped by no ordinary sense of song structure. The instrumental portion seems to be built with electronics and guitars, which create mounds of sound for the vocals to hide behind and dodge around.

Although the sound is as “now” as any hep cat could wish. there is really very little to date this music archeologically. The basic tools for what The Slowest Lift do have been around for decades. It is what Julian and Sophie choose to do with these tools that will knock that beaver hat right off your head.

Gorgeous stuff.

Byron Coley, 2020

The Slowest Lift's Plutonic Shine LP is being released in a limited-edition of 250 copies with a digital download coupon available April 24th. Pre-order a copy from Feeding Tube Records right here. Have a listen to 'Plutonic Shine' below then you can watch Ned Netherwood from Was Ist Das music blog discuss the cassette while it plays on his boombox emblazoned with Ecstatic Peace sticker and his furry sidekick runs for cover.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Shabaka & The Ancestors release We Are Sent Here By History

Check out three songs from Shabaka & The Ancestors' powerful new album on Impulse! followed by a spiritual jazz mix assembled by Shabaka Hutchings.

Shabaka Hutchings' Astro Black Mix track listing:
Feelin' Good - John Coltrane
Astral Travelling - Pharoah Sanders
Contemplation - McCoy Tyner
Om Shanti - Alice Coltrane
Believe, For It’s True - Billy Harper
Kubi - Zim Ngqawana
Fanfare - Bokani Dyer
Because You Knew - Mandisi Dyantyis
The Rain - Eddie Gale