Friday, June 28, 2013

Big Star doc hits Toronto July 5th

BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME is a feature-length documentary about the legendary Memphis band Big Star which opens at the IFC Center in New York on July 3 and will also be available that same day on iTunes and via most on demand video services. Big Star tribute concerts in Chicago and New York are taking place this weekend, featuring drummer Jody Stephens, the band's sole surviving original member, in anticipation of the film's release. The film has been scheduled for a brief run at Toronto's Cineplex Odeon Yonge & Dundas from Friday (July 5) through Wednesday (July 10), check the Cineplex site for times.

While mainstream success eluded them, Big Star's three albums have become critically lauded touchstones of the rock music canon. A seminal band in the history of alternative music, Big Star has been cited as an influence by artists including REM, The Replacements, Belle & Sebastian, The Velvet Crush and Teenage Fanclub, to name just a few. With never-before-seen footage and photos of the band, in-depth interviews and a rousing musical tribute by the bands they inspired, BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME is a story of artistic and musical salvation.

Big Star, is widely regarded as one of the greatest bands in rock history by music critics and music fans who have more records than they know what to do with. Never experiencing popular success in their time; even today somewhat sadly, their greatest notoriety is from having their tune "In the Street" used as the theme song for That 70s Show, which isn't even Big Star's version – it's Cheap Trick's cover from the second season on.

Despite their unique distinction of being famous for not being famous, Big Star's influence can be heard in the music of many of your favourite artists. BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME traces the origins and history of the legendary band from the late sixties with lead singer Alex Chilton sky-rocketing to stardom at the age of 16 with The Box Tops and their #1 hit, "The Letter" to the serendipitous meeting of Chilton and local Memphis singer-songwriter-guitarist,Chris Bell; through the tumultuous recording of the group's three landmark albums, #1 Record, Radio City and Third/Sister Lovers (Ardent Records); culminating with their implosion due to failed record sales, personal breakdowns and the tragic death of Chris Bell in 1978.

This film is a unique portrait of an incredibly talented group of musicians who crafted three albums now considered pop masterpieces (all of which charted on Rolling Stone's Top 500 albums of all time). The group had enormous aspirations but fell victim to the corporate stranglehold of the major record labels and radio stations who dominated the music business at that time. BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME is seen as a cautionary tale of the growing corporatization in pop music in the 70's as great American independent labels like Memphis-based STAX (Ardent's distributor), were swallowed whole or marginalized by the music conglomerates.

06/28 Chicago, IL - The Vic Theater - A Tribute to Big Star's Third
06/30 New York, NY - Central Park Summer Stage: A Tribute to Big Star's Third
07/03 New York, NY - IFC Center - film opening *
07/05 to 07/10 Toronto, ON - Cineplex Odeon Yonge & Dundas+
07/10 Detroit, MI - Magic Bag - film opening
07/12 Memphis, TN - Ridgeway - film opening
07/12 Nashville, TN - The Belcourt - film opening
07/12 Minneapolis, MN - Lagoon Cinema - film opening
07/12 Pittsburgh, PA - Hollywood Theater - film opening
07/13 Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa - film opening
07/13 & 07/17 Chicago, IL - Music Box - film opening
07/19 San Francisco, CA - Roxie - film opening
07/19 Phoenix, AZ - Valley Art - film opening
07/19 Seattle, WA - The Grand Illusion Cinema - film opening
07/19 Miami, FL - The O Theater - film opening
07/19 Cambridge, MA - The Brattle - film opening
07/20 Portland, OR - Hollywood Theater - film opening 07/21 & 07/22 Austin, TX - Alamo Ritz - film opening
07/25 Portland, ME - Space Gallery - film opening
07/26 Dallas, TX - Texas Theater - film opening
07/26 Denver, CO - Sie Film Center - film opening
07/30 New Orleans, LA - Contemporary Arts Center - film opening
08/03 Jacksonville, FL - The Sun-Ray - film opening %
08/09 Columbus, OH - Wexner Center for the Arts - film opening
08/10 Ooltewah, TN - The Barking Legs Theater - film opening

* = followed by Q&A w/ Jody Stephens & filmmakers 
# = followed by Q&A w/ Jody Stephens & filmmakers, plus live acoustic performance from Jody Stephens 
% = followed by Q&A w/ filmmakers 
+ = Friday showing canceled due to technical glitch 

One For The Weekend: Claude McLin

Thursday, June 27, 2013

RIP Darondo, 1946-2013

Sadly, Bay Area soul swinger Darondo recently died of heart failure in Sacramento.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Who's trying to kill The Dirty Nil?

Check out the dope new video for The Dirty Nil's  Zombie Eyed directed by Alexi Golob.

We a new video. It features people trying to kill us!

The Dirty Nil deserve to die because we’re too drunk, we’re out of catchy nicknames for Kyle, nobody wants to hear our experimental prog phase, too beautiful to live, Luke wore the same shirt for two years straight, we’re basically just a wedding cover band now, we hate everybody, because we slept with your sister, The Replacements are back together so nobody needs another band of drunk assholes, blood sacrifice, and so no one ever sees Dave without his mustache.

We also have a new summer mixtape out. This time it’s all covers. It's called “Summer Mix-Tape Vol. 2: Covers” and features songs by The Misfits, Iggy Pop, Guided By Voices, and Merle Haggard. Free until the summer ends. Then it goes away forever! Listen to it right here at a motherfucking loud volume.

Nikki Yanofsky 2.0 @ Koerner Hall tonight

Precocious upstart Nikki Yanofsky, now 19, is attempting a career relaunch with her Little Secret album.

The Rodion GA Story: Inside The Mind of Rodion Rosca

The first-ever retrospective of Romanian electro-prog innovators Rodion GA has just been issued by Strut

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Danny Michel joins Garifuna Collective @ David Pecaut Sq. Sunday at 2 pm

Belize's Garifuna Collective will be joined by Kitchener's Danny Michel to reprise their collaboration

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Midweek Mixdown: Lamento Indio – Vintage South American surf 45s

Here's a super swingin' mix of largely overlooked surf, shake, twist and percussion-heavy fuzz rock rippers issued in Peru, Boliva and Chile during the 60s assembled from the scuffed up 45s collected by Javier Martinez, Carlos Reinoso and Andrés Tapia. Gracias to Frentecumbiero! Dig it...

Lamento Indio
1. Lamento Indio / Los Ramblers -Twist- (Chile)
2. El Guazon / Los Belking´s -GoGo- (Perú) 1967
3. Cabeza de Diamante / Los VIP´S -Surf- (Perú) 1966
4. S.O.S / Los Derby´s -Surf- (Perú)
5. Sétima Patrulla / Los Belking´s (Perú)
6. Ritmo de la Vida / Climax (Bolivia) 1970
7. Moby Dick / Los Comandos -RitmoPop(Perú)
8. Una Bruja en el Cuzco / El Opio -Indian Rock - (Perú)
9. Solo Quiero Hacerte el Amor / Los Flinstones (Bolivia) 1970
10. Es Mejor que Corras / Los Burros (Bolivia) 1969
11. Tu Blanca Palidez / Sociedad Anónima Soul (Bolivia) 1969
12. En el Sol / Los Datsun´s -Heavy- (Perú)
13. Sentimientos / Los Belking´s (Perú)
14. Unico Camino / Los Diablos Azules -Shake- (Chile) 1965

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Sadies turn up the psych for Internal Sounds out September 17

Although The Sadies once again enlisted the studio expertise of The Jayhawks' Gary Louris in recording their new album, Internal Sounds – which Outside Music is releasing September 17 – assigns the production credit to Dallas Good.

Based on the trippy sleeve art and the effects-enhanced first track to be issued from the project (listen below), the decision to put Dallas in the driver's seat had a significant impact on the end result. Clearly this wasn't business as usual for the Sadies.
"There was a conscious effort to deliver a finished product that wouldn't suffer from a deadline or budget," explains Dallas. "We recorded this record over a span of a year, in session for twenty plus days. By the end, we'd spent every dime we had and used up every favour. There is usually a sense of immediacy to our records, maybe because we make a lot of them. I didn't want that this time."

Those favours called in resulted in them getting ace Toronto engineer Peter J. Moore to mix the tracks and having Canadian legend Buffy Sainte-Marie lend her haunting voice to the closing track We Are Circling. No doubt The Sadies will knock out a few tracks from the much anticipated new album at their Lee's Palace show July 5 which will hopefully include more stuff like this...

The First 5 Minutes

Funk Brother Dennis Coffey rocks Dominion On Queen Saturday

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Bob Neuwirth!

Alela Diane cuts the clutter for About Farewell out June 23

Over the past year, Alela Diane has finished recording and mixing her new album, About Farewell which will be issued by her own Rusted Blue label June 23 (digitally) followed by a physical release on July 30. It serves as an eloquent goodbye to lovers from years past, coupled with some poignant last walks down memory lane. While the lyrics deal most directly with her recent divorce, the album explores her entire last decade of relationships with honesty and nuanced insight.

One of the benefits of putting out records on your own label is having complete creative control. So after ditched her Wild Divine band, Alela built the entire album around her singing and economical guitar picking, wisely making her beguiling voice the center of attention. Since there was no one around saying, "Umm... we can't hear a single. Can you go back and have another crack at it?"we get to hear Alela's new songs on About Farewell as she intended them to be heard.

Much of About Farewell was recorded with producer John Askew at Portland's Flora Recording Studios during late 2011 and early 2012 with the help of her talented friends, namely Heather Broderick (see Horse Feathers, Efterklang) arranging and playing piano and flute, Holcombe Waller arranging strings, and Neal Morgan on drums.

These pared-down folk songs are perfectly suited to Alela's incredible voice. If you've got pipes like hers, any sort of instrumental ornamentation is just a distraction. Getting rid of the clutter is the best move she could've made at this point and About Farewell is all the better for it. Check out the clip for Lost Land shot inside the historic 19th century Parisian opera house Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Neko Case unleashes her inner Maiden

After covering Iron Maiden's Number Of The Beast, can a Neko Case metal album be far off?

Don't miss Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble @ The Painted Lady, Thursday

Foly Kolade asserts that Fela isn't on Broadway, his spirit is living in the music of Asiko Afrobeat 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Maestro returns with Dearly Departed clip

Maestro's Orchestrated Noise album drops June 25, check Dearly Departed with Kardi below

Miss Utah vs Miss South Carolina: "I think we can relate this back to education"

Miss Utah challenges Miss South Carolina 2007 for worst ever answer to a pageant question

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ken Vandermark clashes with The Ex in Lean Left @ The Tranzac, Saturday

For 13 years now, flame-throwing saxophonist Ken Vandermark and muscular drum-crusher Paal Nilssen-Love have been developing their explosive improvisational rapport as a duo, much like Dutch guitar slashers deluxe Terrie "Ex" Hessels and Andy Moor have been doing in The Ex for the past two decades.So when these two wildly energetic and intensely confrontational twosomes come together on the same small stage at the Tranzac on Saturday night at 10 pm, expect a brilliant cacophonous crunch 'n' clatter of wall-shaking dimensions that'll make Fucked Up's show over at The Horseshoe sound like an acoustic tribute to Christopher Cross. Innovative accordionist and tape manipulator Andrea Parkins opens the awesome Tranzac triple bill at 8 pm with the well-amped THIGHS blasting away at 9 pm followed by Lean Left at 10 pm. Check out the Lean Left performance footage below:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Video Of The Week: Catl

For their swank new video for Gotta Thing For You. catl. once again sought the expertise of filmmaker Jonathan Lawley which is their third collaboration. 

The clip depicts their time on the road during a recent swing through the red states beginning with our favourite gruesome twosome   couple Jamie "catl." Fleming and Sarah Kirkpatrick running through the track at Ardent Studios in Memphis which has previously hosted the likes of Bob Dylan, Booker T. and the MGs and Big Star. That fab live footage was shot by friends and fans at  juke-joint venues in Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia

Catl will be performing as part of NXNE with their first appearance at Exclaim! Patio Day Party at The Menalon (841 Bloor St. West) on Saturday (June 15) at 3:45 pm followed that same evening with a showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern  at 10:00 pm. Here's the video...

Whadya mean you don't know Seifu Yohannes

Ebo Lala by Seifu Yohannes   

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mikal Cronin rocks The Silver Dollar Thursday, Friday and yes, Saturday too!

Check out Mikal Cronin's video for Change followed by a grueling  five-part grilling.

 Mikal Cronin interview

Monday, June 10, 2013

RIP Ramones artistic director Arturo Vega, 1948-2013

Blood Ceremony @ Lee's Palace, Tuesday

Blood Ceremony blast the witchy wicked tunes from The Eldritch Dark at Lee's Tuesday night.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blowfly bolsters NXNE 2013 roster

Clarence Reid aka Blowfly promises to rock the Horseshoe on June 14 at 1 am.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ian Blurton resurfaces with Public Animal

Public Animal hits Lee's Palace June 13, The Bovine June 14 and Joao Carvalho's BBQ June 15.

Public Animal twitter
NXNE site

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Setenta does Nirvana

Parisian latin jazz combo Setenta put their own boogaloo spin on Smells Like Teen Spirit below

FB page
More info

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Daft Punk Vs. Mandré

So what are the chances that the Daft Punk dudes have Mandré's 1977 debut LP for Motown?

Ailsa McCreary CD Release @ The Jazz Bistro, tonight

Ailsa is joined by Reg Schwager, Adrean Farrugia, Ross MacIntyre & Riquinho Fernandes tonight.

Count Your Blessings

The Best Things in Life are Free

Monday, June 3, 2013

Devendra Banhart @ Danforth Music Hall, tonight

RIP Chris Levoir of The Mark Inside

Chris passed away at his home on Saturday. No cause of death has been released. He was 31.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Hazel Dickens

Singer/songwriter Hazel Dickens passed away in 2011 but her moving music continues to inspire.