Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bedfordshire bashers Wolf People deliver Ruins November 11; Benjamin Myers pens a preface


Wolf People's Ruins according to Benjamin Myers

A.D. 2016 and England is in flux. This bastard island is divided, shot through with doubt and self-loathing, ruled by the feverish egos of passing power hungry-dilettantes, two-bit aristocrats and smiling psychopaths. Swathes of the country have been sold off, paved over, neon-lit. England is at war with itself and this time the enemy is in the mirror. The people require a new narrative, a new soundtrack. They need to feel the pull of history and navigate a new path through the morass of misinformation.

Emerging from the woodlands, riverbanks and the dales like the grizzled ‘green men’ resistance fighters of the post-Norman invasions, the spirit-raising purveyors of pagan folk psyche prog Wolf People return to provide exactly just that.

Ruins is their new album, and its over-riding theme is that of nature reclaiming the land. The transcendence of life over politics, plants over people. It asks: where are we going and what comes next? If culture is history’s narration, then Wolf People are custodians and conduits; electrified sages, if you will. Through them runs a time-line of a nation rising from bloody glory to existentialist confusion. Yet within Ruins, their album proper, lies a spirit of hope too, it is a reminder that society is no match for the mighty power of music and nature working in perfect symbiosis. Wolf People are time travellers, their tools mythology, history, hauntology, big riffs, bigger beats, electricity.

“It’s not a concept album, but a lot of the songs consider what the world might be like without humans,” says singer/guitarist Jack Sharp. “The title refers to the ruins of civilisation. I suppose like many people – especially now – we’re constantly veering towards complete frustration with the human race one moment, and celebrating all the positive things about humanity the next. The aim was to try and portray that without sounding too trite or preachy.”

Lyrically Ruins imagines how the planet might appear when society has finally fallen to dust and ash, and the creeping vines and nettles have reclaimed the land. It is the product of letting go of conceit, contrivance and, indeed, a career plan. For following the release of 2013’s acclaimed Fain, and a tough year for all concerned, frontman Jack Sharp considered giving up. Out of this doubt came a wellspring of new ideas that could only be recorded by Wolf People. The universe had spoken. It was written in the runes. Their best album was yet to come. And it did. It is Ruins.

Such deep-drilling is evident on Ruins’ opener ‘Ninth Night’ (watch the video below), whose lyrics are an incantation once whispered by 18th century burglars and vagabonds while toting the famed Hand of Glory – the stolen hand of a hanged man, dipped in wax (or alternatively a candle made from human fat). Once lit it was believed to lull victims into a deep sleep. “Let those who rest more deeply sleep,” sings Jack Sharp. “Let those awake their vigils keep / Oh hand of glory shed thy light / Direct us to our spoils tonight…” Then there’s the album’s contemplative centre-piece ‘Kingfisher’ (and its subsequent reprisals), inspired by Sharp’s chance sighting of a kingfisher darting unseen past a courting couple: “I saw a kingfisher fly just feet from where you sat / It didn’t even catch your eye / What am I meant to make of that?”

Influences upon Ruins come in all shapes, size, contours and hues: the discovery of proto Sabbath/Zeppelin Scottish band Iron Claw (“the lost pioneers of heavy metal” enthuses guitarist Joe Hollick), the lesser known landscapes of rural Bedfordshire, backstage Taekwondo stretches (bassist Dan Davies is an instructor), Scandinavian psychedelia, fleeting rural epiphanies, Dungen, Trees, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, a group holiday on a remote Finnish island, the head of their label flipping out after seeing them play in Bloomington, Indiana and insisting it was time they made their Back In Black….

Wolf People began life in the ancient Bedfordshire village of Clophill, a place recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Clopelle (translation: ‘tree stump’), on land owned by a Norman knight, Nigel d’Aubigny. By the time future frontman Jack Sharp and drummer Tom Watt met there, Britpop, hip-hop and fresh fruit had replaced pillaging, chain mail and scrofula, but the mission not dissimilar to that of their forefathers: to embark upon crusades to foreign shores. This they did via a variety of bands, projects, sample-gathering sessions and home recordings that lead to the current formation of Wolf People in 2007. “Jack and I were endlessly compiling all these loops and drum breaks,” remembers Watt. “And we just thought – hang on – why not just make this music ourselves?”

That early love of hip-hop, funk and soul records may not be evident in Wolf People’s lupine appearance, but it’s there in the rhythmic swing that powers them, Watt’s drum patterns as much influenced by the dark beats of, say, Wu Tang Clan, as any tub-thumbing rockist bozos of yore. And while Wolf People create folk-rock of a distinctly hirsute and amplified bent – what comedian and fan Stewart Lee famously called “peat bog superfuzz sphagnum moss sludge”- there lies at their heart a duelling guitar interplay reminiscent of Marquee Moon-era Television, that place where textured cerebral exploratory prog had its edges refined by something more angular.

Recorded in Devon, Isle Of Wight and London, Ruins is their most direct and instinctive work yet, simultaneously reaching back into a fecund past to tell us who we are today, while harnessing the power of modern technology and ideas to ponder unknown futures. “People who complain that the internet has killed music are missing the point,” says guitarist Joe Hollick, who lives in the Lancashire market town of Barnoldswick (named in the Domesday book as Bernulfsuuic, translation: ‘Bernulf’s dairy farm’). “We’re not Fairport Convention mining Cecil Sharpe’s archives: it’s all at our fingertips now. For from being stuck in the dark ages, there’s a weight of amazing cultural material behind us to dive into. It allows us to cross-pollinate the past and present, so that inspiration can come from all angles, all ages. And if we are retro then it’s more likely the 1760s , rather than the 1960s.”

But this is no finger-in-ear trad trip, dad. Wolf People’s jams are heavy and their mauls bloody. Their music has bite. Teeth. There’s a both a ferocity and a tenderness to Ruins – and a love of volume too. These songs are as deeply embedded as the many mysterious stone monoliths that litter this country, as sharp as the scarp whose silhouette holds the form of a watching eagle, as meandering as a lowlands chalk-stream. The sole UK representatives on the Jagjaguwar roster (home to Bon Iver, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Dinosaur Jr), Wolf People have produced a clutch of releases, including two studio albums Steeple (2010) and Fain (2013) and an alchemical compendium of oddities, curios and musical trinkets, Tidings (2010).

Split between London, Bedford and Lancashire, the quartet’s stalking territory is wide, their senses always attuned. “Our surroundings seep into our sound,” says Jack Sharp. “I’m a champion of the English countryside, particularly where I live in Bedfordshire. Landscape-wise it has little of note: it’s flat arable land punctuated by little copses and woods. But there’s a charm to it and the history is rich. It’s unique – it’s unlike anywhere I’ve been to in the world, and isn’t everywhere interesting when you dig into its past?”

Consider Wolf People as aural archaeologists then, or human sound mirrors receiving signals from the ghosts that rest in the fertile soil of Albion. Their sonic visions are Arcadian, their music joining the dots between reverie-inducing rural landscapes and the hard-riffing rock birthed in England’s industrial towns. They marry north and south, country and city, the archaic and the modern. They are Fairport Unconventional. The 13th Floor Escalators. They are Blake Sabbath. “Not having a shared local pub or common place of residence means we draw on all sorts of physical influences,” says Hollick, “We’re not channelling urban oppression, yet have always been intent on having an English sound. When I first met Jack I was struck by someone who was writing songs that described my own childhood, even though they grew up at the other end of the country.”

Benjamin Myers.
Upper Calder Valley,
Yorkshire, UK.

Former Melody Maker staff writer and Kerrang! features editor, Benjamin Myers' 2014 novel Beastings won the Portico Prize for Literature, while 2012's Pig Iron won the Gordon Burn Prize. He has also knocked out music biographies on Green Day, System Of A Down, Muse and John Lydon. His latest English rural noir novel Turning Blue is out now on Mayfly Press.



Happy Birthday Alan Mcgee!

Here's Alan's Laughing Apple track "Wouldn't You?" from 1981 which seems appropriate today. 

Comet Control record launch @ The Horseshoe, Thursday

Comet Control's latest and greatest, Center of the Maze is out now on Tee Pee Records. Check it out below. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Michel Pagliaro @ The Phoenix, Thursday

Michel Pagliaro deserves a special citation for anticipating krautrock with the Ouba album in 1968. 


Dungen ready instrumental Häxan album for RSD

 A limited run of Dungen's witchy Häxan album on white wax is out Nov 25. Hear the title track below.


Here's the press release for Dungen's Häxan album from Mexican Summer...

In between the release of Dungen’s most recent two albums (2010’s Skit I Allt and 2015’s Allas Sak), the beloved Stockholm quartet was asked to create an original score to Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 touchstone The Adventures of Prince Achmed, understood to be the oldest surviving full-length animated feature film. Inspired by the nature of the work and the characters portrayed within, the members of Dungen collaborated on themes to represent their take on the film’s narrative, and immersed themselves in the groundbreaking visual language of this landmark film.

Häxan (translation: “The Witch”) is the result of those works, Dungen’s first all-instrumental album, and a continuation of all the things we love about their music. Moody, evocative, stormy, and brimming with life, Häxan provides both a tacit summation of the Dungen journey up to today, and gives the beloved group a chance to stretch out like never before. Here, the psychedelic rock is more bombastic, the softer passages more exquisite, the tension in their musical interplay more dramatic, their intentions remarkably robust. Häxan allows Dungen to move deftly between styles in a more circuitous fashion than their previous works, allowing them to build a story of their own around the action and characters in the film – Prince Achmed, Peri Banu, Aladdin, the Sorcerer, and most of all, the Witch – that reaches beyond the source material, returning to the hooks and melodies that come earlier in the album.

More pronounced collaboration with Häxan’s producer, Mattias Glavå, set the tenor of the sessions, fostered the interstitial moments between tracks, providing a more seamless listening experience. Recorded, mixed, and edited by hand to tape entirely in the analog domain, Häxan was sequenced away from the linear narrative of the film. This process helped to create a path of its own, fully capturing the rawness and spontaneity present in the sessions, as well as a loose, abstract, and fragmented collage feel, evident in the dense and dissonant free-form rock-outs, haunting ambient passages, and gorgeously cinematic soundscapes present in the work. As a result, Häxan works as new, original music by Dungen, both with and without the presence of the film itself.

With Häxan, the indulgences taken by Dungen find new corners in their creative space. “Trollkarlen och fågeldräkten” approaches the excitement of early ‘60s post-bop in a way that the band has yet to reveal until now, with Gustav Ejstes’ attentive piano melody connecting to Mattias Gustavsson’s bass, as Reine Fiske stretches out atmospheric strains of feedback-laced guitar overtop, while drummer Johan Holmegard establishes a busy, polyrhythmic background with a light touch, almost exclusively focused on cowbell and cymbals. The breezy, groovy theme to Aladdin’s appearances is cut across a handful of Häxan’s runtime, extended to both compact, flute-led bursts of melody, and a more luxuriant synth-based variant. Ejstes applies church organ sternness and harmonic majesty to “Kalifen,” which melts from a stately, Procol Harum-esque introduction into ‘70s soul stabs across a coolly understated rhythmic backing. Elsewhere, “Andarnas Krig,” “Wak-Wak’s portar,” and the title track represent some of the heaviest music Dungen has made to date, recalling the similarly burnt-edged Middle Eastern themes that Agitation Free cut for Vertigo decades ago. “Achmed flyger” ties it all together, with Ejstes and Fiske performing dual piano and synth leads, as the drums and bass surge underneath, creating a driving and focused backing, just as the film’s action begins to take flight.

Most recently, Dungen performed Häxan alongside the film at Mexican Summer’s 2016 Marfa Myths festival, marking its American debut performance. Asked about the experience overall, Gustav says, “In this setting, the movie becomes a solo instrument of its own, and we are simply backing up what we see on the screen. In many ways, it was a liberation to share the focal point with an audience when you’re performing with this kind of accompaniment. It’s a refreshing change to be playing live, and not be the center of attention; it’s the movie instead.”

Watch Dungen perform the title track from Häxan...


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Halifax hoser psych crew Walrus @ Silver Dollar, Wednesday

Check out the clips for "Wearing It" and "Feels" off the Goodbye Something EP by the fashion conscious Walrus.




Happy Birthday Mike Nock!

Raising a glass to keyboard ace Mike Nock with a lesser known gem and a reminiscence of his early days. 


Monday, September 26, 2016

Whaddya mean you don't know George Moxey?

Here's "Sol Tropical" featuring Ernest Ranglin on guitar off George Moxey Plays Music For Dancing.

Happy Birthday Gary Bartz!

Here's Gary Bartz doing "Celestial Blues" with Andy Bey and "The Wanderer" with McCoy Tyner. 


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Psychic Ills @ Double Double Land, Sunday

Check out the Psychic Ills' cloudy country joint "I Don't Mind" featuring Hope Sandoval off Inner Journey Out.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Introducing: Shabaka and the Ancestors

Shabaka & The Ancestors' Wisdom of Elders album is available now as a double LP, CD or digital download. 

Wisdom of Elders was recorded in Johannesburg in 2015 on one of many trips Shabaka Hutchings  took there to immerse himself in the country’s rich musical heritage. The album is a psalm in nine parts. An episodic unfurling of a sonic journey across the Atlantic.

“The grand scheme of this album is to present the musical language that I normally associate with my UK bands in the context of SA musicians and musical sensibilities,” explains Hutchings, who sometimes likes to call himself "King Shabaka" when playing with Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, Melt Yourself Down, etc.

Eight men in a studio in Johannesburg; one tenor sax, one alto sax, one trumpet. One on vocals, one on ivory, one bass, one on percussion and one the drums. 800 million voices. 700 years. Millions of bones cracking under the weight of 22 false free years. Innumerable tiny sparks. One uncontrollable blaze.

Shabaka & The Ancestors
Shabaka Hutchings - tenor saxophone
Mandla Mlangeni - trumpet (of Amandla Freedom Ensemble)
Mthunzi Mvubu - alto saxophone
Siyabonga Mthembu - vocals
Nduduzo Makhathini - Fender Rhodes, piano
Ariel Zomonsky - bass
Gontse Makhene - percussion
Tumi Mogorosi - drums





Friday, September 23, 2016

U.I.C. w/ Leather Uppers, Adaptor 45 @ The Horseshoe, Saturday

Here's a vintage U.I.C. photo from the What Wave archives to go with a couple of classic performances. 



Toast 25 years of Chixdiggit! @ The Bovine Sex Club, Friday & Saturday

Here's a recent Chixdiggit! wedding performance and an appearance on MuchMusic from 20 years ago. 


Brian Browne Trio @ The Old Mill Inn, Friday

Here's a Brian Browne Trio single from 1966, a CBC broadcast from 1969 and an Ottawa show in 2008.




Thursday, September 22, 2016

Jenny Whiteley @ The Burdock, Thursday

Jenny's latest album, The Original Jenny Whiteley features studio versions of roots songs she's been playing for ages.
Here's the scoop from Black Hen Music...
"Jenny has been inspired in her latest project to channel her early influences and musical life - her brand new recording “The Original Jenny Whiteley” includes several originals in the style of early jazz, jug band and old time music.  There are also some of Jenny`s live faves here, including In The Pines and Stealin` Stealin'.  The recording sessions were all done live off the floor at H. Chris Brown`s Wolfe Island Post Office Studio, with producer-musician Sam Allison and Teillard Frost (Sheesham and Lotus)."

Jenny Whiteley launches her new album at The Burdock tonight. Doors open at 8:30 pm, the show starts at 9 pm sharp. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 door. For more show info, check The Burdock site. Get a copy of The Original Jenny Whiteley album on CD or digital download directly from Black Hen Music right here. For the moment, you can also grab a free download of the song "$100." Check out her version of Uncle Dave Macon's "Morning Blues" below.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Southern Culture On The Skids go psychedelic with The Electric Pinecones

Southern Culture switch into The Pinecones for their latest album, The Electric Pinecones – stream below.

Hi Everybody,

Rick here, and I want to let you all know the band has a new record called The Electric Pinecones! Strange name, I know, but it has to do with an old side project we had called “The Pinecones”. The Pinecones was our “country pysch garage band”, or our excuse to induldge our musical crush on everything from the Seeds and the Byrds to Buck Owens and Ricky Nelson.

The Pinecones never went anywhere but practices and maybe a few parties with friends – though I do recall The Pinecones opening a couple local SCOTS shows (yes – we were our own support band at times). But, when it came time to start recording a new SCOTS album I found myself thinking about our old alter ego and how much fun we had playing those tunes and The Pinecones became ground zero for this new record. I hope you all enjoy listening to it as much as we did making it.

Thanks,
Rick Miller


Here's the official press release for The Electric Pinecones...

Southern Culture On The Skids' new studio album, The Electric Pinecones, has just been released on the band’s own label, Kudzu Records. Featuring a dozen original tunes — 11 brand new songs and a whole-lotta NOLA remake of the SCOTS classic, “Swamp Fox”, the record will be available on CD and as a digital download. A limited edition translucent turquoise vinyl LP will be available in November 2016.

“The Pinecones was our folk-a-billy garage band alter ego,” singer-guitarist Rick Miller explains. “In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, we would occasionally open up for ourselves as The Pinecones. What we played was not your typical SCOTS fare; more ‘60s west coast psych, folk and country. Those old set lists became the starting point for this record, The Electric Pinecones.”

The first single off the album, “Grey Skies,” is a minor key mood piece with that folk-a-hill-a-billy psychedelic sound. Listen to how the acoustic 12-string riff slides into the band’s hypnotic rhythms that propel Mary Huff’s vocal into the mind’s eye of times past and love lost.

The lead off track, “Freak Flag,” is more upbeat, but no less tweaked, with modulating guitars riding on pounding drums after the first verse. The song’s message is a good one – it is okay to be different and always respect yourself. The band debuted the song to an auditorium full of rowdy students at Carrboro Elementary School. “I was nervous,” Miller says “if the kids don’t like something they let you know, but when they started singing along with the second chorus and waving their imaginary freak flags in the air, I knew it was a hit!”

“Dirt Road” is Mary’s three-minute ode to séances, thunderstorms and good lovin’ long gone. The song is a backwoods southern gothic ghost story that opens with a big tom fill then twists and turns around a folky strum and a fuzz guitar. Mary’s spooky-good vocal takes it down that dirt road way back into the piney woods.

The album also has some country rock songs that highlight the melodic side of SCOTS, with “Baby I Like You,” “I Ain’t Gonna Hang Around” and “Given To Me” featuring some of the best harmonies Rick and Mary have ever recorded.

“Waiting On You” is the longest song on the album, coming in at 4:22; it’s a folk-garage-rocker with a sing-a-long chorus that segues into a surf raga breakdown before heading back to the big riff and out.  

The album has traditional Southern Culture flavor too. Check out the remake of “Swamp Fox – The Original”. This take goes back to the beginnings of the song and is much closer to capturing the essence of the many all-nighters the band pulled in NOLA with friends and colleagues. The country funk of “Rice and Beans,” is a good humored tale of a cash strapped southern courtship, and “Midnight Caller” is Mary’s slinky R’n’B flavored woman-to-woman warning about bad men looking for good times. 

From their 1985 debut Voodoo Beach Party, to their 1988 international smash, Dirt Track Date, and now to the SCOTS-ified tunes of The Electric Pinecones, 30+ years, 200+ songs and 1,000,000+ road miles in, Southern Culture On The Skids just gets better with time. Stream SCOTS new album right here. Check out the video for the first single Grey Skies below.



Barrence Whitfield & The Savages @ The Dance Cave, Wednesday

Don't miss Beantown belter Barrence Whitfield tear it up with his Savages tonight – doors open at 8 pm. 


Grab a copy of Barrence Whitfield & The Savages' latest album Under The Savage Sky right here.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sebastian Grainger's new band American Lips @ Silver Dollar, Friday

Check out the GIF-erific clip for "Heat Wave" off the forthcoming American Lips debut Kiss The Void. 

Happy Birthday Eddie Bo!

Remembering legendary New Orleans songwriter/producer Eddie Bo with a couple of his gems.



Monday, September 19, 2016

Neil Young chimes in on Dakota pipeline protest with "Indian Givers"

Check out Neil Young's video for "Indian Givers" while you can. 


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Selling Beer with Ken Nordine

When an ad company needed a creepy voice for an Green Belt beer spot, they called Ken Nordine. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

TURF: The Mekons @ Fort York, Sunday

The Mekons' new Existentialism book & CD is out now. Here's Fear & Beer (Hymn for Brexit).

TURF Sunday line-up

Doors @ 1PM

EAST STAGE
8:40 – 10:00 Death Cab For Cutie
5:50 – 7:10 Matthew Good
3:10 – 4:20 The New Pornographers
1:15 – 2:00 The Belle Game

WEST STAGE
7:20 – 8:30 Jimmy Eat World
4:30 – 5:40 The Hold Steady
2:10 – 3:00 Marlon Williams

BATTLE OF YORK STAGE
7:10 – 8:40 Rheostatics
4:30 – 5:40 Corb Lund
2:10 – 3:10 Sun K

REBELLION STAGE
8:30 – 10:00 The Mekons
7:15 – 8:00 Adam Baldwin
5:45 – 6:45 Wild Child
4:30 – 5:15 Julia Jacklin

Friday, September 16, 2016

Whaddya mean you don't know Wendell Austin?

Along with the Slidin' Thru LP, Wendell cut the outsider country gem "LSD" for Wreck Records in 1968. 



Sharon Van Etten w/ Etiquette @ The Drake Hotel, Saturday

Sharon's new single "Not Myself" was written for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.
I was home with my parents in New Jersey when I heard of the shooting at the nightclub in Florida. Hate, violence, and intolerance has always upset me, but I haven't been this overwhelmed with sadness and disbelief in a long time. The victims were only trying to be themselves and be comfortable and safe in their surroundings. That safety was violated out of fear and with a gun.


I originally wanted to raise money for the victims and their families, but I knew the issue was bigger than this. I wrote "Not Myself" for the victims of this horrific event, but I chose to support the research and awareness work of the Everytown for Gun Safety support fund: a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. In the memory of those trying to be safe and be themselves, I hope we can all come together to help prevent another massacre like this and end gun violence.

Sincerely,
Sharon Van Etten



Drive-By Truckers @ Fort York's Rebellion Stage, September 16

Drive-By Truckers don't shy away from hot-button issues on their new American Band album out Sept 30. 





Thursday, September 15, 2016

TURF presents Margo Price @ Lee's Palace, Thursday

Margo's top 10 hit album with zero country radio play is shaking the foundations of Nashville's music row.  

The Immortal Lee County Killers' 2003 Peel Session

Hear Chet Weise howl his fave Pussy Galore, Doors and Johnny Shines tunes at Maida Vale Studios.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Alejandro Escovedo enlists Peter Buck & Scott McCaughey for new album

Alejandro Escovedo brings Burn Something Beautiful to The Horseshoe November 23.

Alejandro Escovedo announced that his forthcoming album, Burn Something Beautiful – co-written & produced by Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey who also play on the recording – will be released by Fantasy Records on October 28.

Overseen by Alejandro's longtime pal, A&R man extraordinaire Bill Bentley, Burn Something Beautiful is described as a "deeply collaborative effort" recorded in Portland, Oregon with a stellar cast of contributors including Fastbacks guitarist Kurt BlochDecemberists drummer John Moen and Los Lobos saxophonist Steve Berlin. The cover art was shot by Nancy Rankin Escovedo and features Peter Buck hoisting what appears to be a mid-60s vintage Mosrite Joe Maphis double-neck guitar. Check "Heartbeat Smile," the first track off the album, right here. Get tickets for Alejandro's return to Toronto to play The Horseshoe November 23 via ticketfly.

Watch Alejandro perform an early composition "Five Hearts Breaking" and "Bottom Of The World" (co-written with Chuck Prophet) from 2012's Big Station album (below).






Jim Jarmusch's Stooges doc Gimme Danger screens at TIFF

Gimme Danger is at Isabel Bader Theatre Sept 17. Hear the TIFF press conference & watch the Cannes clips.
Check out the TIFF press conference for Gimme Danger hosted by Richard Crouse: part one and part two


Jeff Scroggins & Colorado w/ Foggy Hogtown Boys @ Junction City Music Hall, Thursday






Monday, September 12, 2016

Bill Kirchen gets an Austin assist on new Transatlanticana album for Red House

Bill Kirchen's new recording with Eggs Over Easy's Austin de Lone features "Oxblood" by Butch Hancock.
Here's the Red House press release for Transatlanticana...

Bill Kirchen and Austin de Lone team up for a hands-across-the-Atlantic collection with their new studio album, Transatlanticana, out now on Red House Records. This long-overdue release unites the pioneers of two major musical movements: Kirchen co-founded the original “Americana” band, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, and his trademark Telecaster licks drove their hit “Hot Rod Lincoln” into the Top 10 in 1972. De Lone dropped out of Harvard to start Eggs Over Easy, moving to London and recording with Jimi Hendrix’s producer/manager and The Animals’ bass player Chas Chandler in 1970. The Eggs are the progenitors of British pub rock, the first link in the chain to punk rock, new wave and beyond. Backed by both their all-star British and American bands, Transatlanticana finds Kirchen and de Lone trading songwriting credits and lead vocals on this soulful and rocking collection. They kick it off with the timely “Hounds of the Bakersfield,” a tribute to the late Merle Haggard and the Bakersfield, CA sound.

Kirchen and de Lone cut the album in Austin and London, capturing on disc the best of their 30-year collaboration. Kirchen is Austin-based; de Lone is in the San Francisco Bay Area, but both artists have longtime ties with the UK scene: Kirchen has toured as a guitarist with Nick Lowe and put out three albums on UK label Proper Records; de Lone has toured as keyboard player for Lowe and Elvis Costello and put out his first solo album on UK label Demon Records.

They first collaborated in the mid-1970s, writing together as The Moonlighters: “We sent Nick Lowe a bunch of songs for Rockpile, but unbeknownst to us they had decided to break up,” Kirchen says. What de Lone got back was a letter from Lowe that began, “Dear hero o’ mine. There’s not many of us left…” Lowe then offered to produce them in London, and the resulting Moonlighters album, Rush Hour, came out in 1983 on the Edsel label. Since then, Bill and Austin have teamed up with with Lowe and Costello many times: de Lone has worked with Lowe, Paul Carrack and Costello on several tours and Kirchen held the guitar chair for Lowe’s critically acclaimed Impossible Bird disc and tour. In 2008, Costello borrowed the title cut from Kirchen’s album Hammer Of The Honky-Tonk Gods for his band name at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco featuring de Lone, Kirchen, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welsh and Jim Lauderdale.

The songs of Transatlanticana represent the core elements of Americana music – R&B, country, rock and even a gospel track. Butch Hancock sings his song “Oxblood” with Kirchen. It’s a meaty slice of Texas boogie recorded with the Austin contingent. “I guess they used to color concrete with ox blood; I thought it was just an old shoe polish color” says Kirchen. Check out a live clip below.

Spirited and served up with wit and humor, Transatlanticana is a gem –- a ringside seat to these transatlantic sessions by a group of like-minded, top-of-their-game players enjoying each other’s musical company.  For tour dates and more info go to www.billkirchen.com. You can read a recent Pollstar interview with Kirchen discussing Transatlanticana right here.

Currently, there are no Toronto-area dates scheduled for Bill Kirchen and Austin de Lone – who would've been a perfect fit for TURF – but they'll be in Buffalo to play Sportsmens Tavern on Monday, September 19 and again Saturday, December 3. See their complete tour routing below.



Bill Kirchen and Austin de Lone on tour
Sept. 9 – Greensboro, N.C., Center City Park (National Folk Festival)
Sept. 10 – Greensboro, N.C., Center City Park (National Folk Festival)
Sept. 11 – Greensboro, N.C., Center City Park (National Folk Festival)
Sept. 15 – Wimberley, Texas, Wimberley United Methodist Church
Sept. 16 – Baton Rouge, La., Red Dragon Listening Room
Sept. 17 – New Orleans, La., Chickie Wah Wah
Sept. 19 – Buffalo, N.Y., Sportsmens Tavern
Sept. 23 – Bordentown, N.J., The Record Collector Store
Sept. 24 – Albany, N.Y., Private Function
Oct. 2 – Occidental, Calif., Private Function
Oct. 8 – Huntington Beach, Calif., Don the Beachcomber
Oct. 28 – Austin, Texas, El Mercado's Music Lounge
Oct. 29 – Houston, Texas, McGonigel's Mucky Duck
Oct. 30 – New Braunfels, Texas, Gruene Hall
Nov. 3 – Fairfield, Iowa, The Depot Brewery
Nov. 4 – Minneapolis, Minn., Lee's Liquor Lounge
Nov. 5 – Berwyn, Ill., FitzGerald's
Nov. 19 – Bethesda, Md., Private Function
Dec. 2 – Shirley, Mass., Bull Run Restaurant
Dec. 3 – Buffalo, N.Y., Sportsmens Tavern
Dec. 4 – Rochester, N.Y., Lovin' Cup
Dec. 8 – Philadelphia, Pa., Tin Angel
Dec. 11 – Piermont, N.Y., Turning Point
Dec. 16 – La Salle, Ill., Uptown Grill

Hip Hop Karaoke w/ J-Live @ Revival, Friday

Join hosts MC Abdominal & More Or Les with special guests J-Live & DJ Grouch for a massive throwdown. 


Hear Kim Gordon's new track "Murdered Out"

Kim Gordon's "Murdered Out" was cut with Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa & producer Justin Raisen. 

Black matte spray.

When I moved back to LA I noticed more and more cars painted with black matte spray, tinted windows, blackened logos, and black wheels. This was something I had occasionally seen in the past, part of low-rider car culture. A reclaiming of a corporate symbol of American success, The Car, from an outsider’s point of view. A statement-making rejection of the shiny brand new look, the idea of a new start, the promise of power, and the freedom on the open road. Like an option on a voting ballot, “none of the above.”

“Murdered Out,” as a look, is now creeping into mainstream culture as a design trend. A coffee brand. A clothing line. A nail polish color.

Black-on-black matte is the ultimate expression in digging out, getting rid of, purging the soul. Like a black hole, the supreme inward look, a culture collapsing in on itself, the outsider as an unwilling participant as the “It” look.

###

I met the uber talented Justin Raisen, the producer, offhandedly. He was working on a project with another artist and kept sending me tracks to listen to with the possibility of getting me to sing on one of them. When I learned I could make up my own lyrics, I was in. With the remaining bits of unused vocals, he started what would be “Murdered Out.” Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint) plays drums, based on the trashy drums that Justin first laid down. I went back and did more vocals and guitar and we mixed it…”Murdered Out” was such a great surprise! Looking forward to our next collaboration.

– Kim Gordon,  August 2016




Mystic Braves @ The Silver Dollar, Tuesday

LA's mighty Mystic Braves make a mind-altering stop at the Silver Dollar on their impressive autumn trip.   



Mystic Braves on tour
Sep 12 Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY
Sep 13 Silver Dollar, Toronto, ON
Sep 14 Casa del Popolo, Montreal, QC
Sep 15 Middle East Upstairs, Boston, MA
Sep 16 Cafe Nine, New Haven, CT
Sep 17 Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY
Sep 18 Johnny Brendas, Philadelphia, PA
Sep 19 DC9, Washington DC
Sep 20 Club Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA
Sep 21 The Basement, Columbus, OH
Sep 22 Zanzabar, Louisville, KY
Sep 23 MOTR Pub, Cincinnati, OH
Sep 24 Mothlight, Asheville, NC
Sep 25 The Earl, Atlanta, GA tickets
Sep 27 White Oak Music Hall, Houston, TX
Sep 28 Dada, Dallas, TX
Sep 29 Sidewinder, Austin, TX
Sep 30 Limelight, San Antonio, TX
Oct 1 Lowbrow Palace, El Paso, TX
Oct 2 Club Congress, Tucson, AZ
Oct 3 Valley Bar, Phoenix, AZ
Oct 6 Soho, Santa Barbara, CA
Oct 7 Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA
Oct 8 The Casbah, San Diego, CA
Oct 15 Visalia Recreation Ballpark, Visalia, CA
Oct 22-23 Beach Goth, Oak Canyon Park, CA
Oct 28 Don Quixote’s, Santa Cruz, CA
Oct 31 A Masquerade Ball with The Mystic Braves, The Chapel, San Francisco, CA


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Before They Were Famous: Joe Maneri

Microtonal jazz pioneer Joe Maneri was behind the mysterious Music Of Cleopatra On The Nile album. 
"The trumpet player on this album, The Music Of Cleopatra On The Nile (MVM), was a friend of my dad, Joe Maneri. He put together a band of guys known for doing Jewish and Greek weddings. The drummer was Pete Dolger. He played with my dad a lot and is on the album Paniots 9 released by Avant in 1998, but recorded in 1963. The bassist and piano player are the same as on Paniots 9 as well, John Beal and Don Burns respectively.

"So the story goes, the trumpet player who was also a wedding gig band leader put this session together. Apparently the guy playing Oud had just arrived in the US knew no English and was blind. Half way through the session the trumpet player got so drunk he couldn't play. That's why the B side is mainly Greek Folk tunes given funny names by the producer.

"My dad forgot about this recording and then his buddy who worked at a record store said, I just heard this fake soundtrack to the movie Cleopatra and the clarinet sounds like you. Joe went down to investigate and low and behold it was him. Some years after the recording for which Joe said he was paid $50, the band leader released it without any credits. Apparently it sold pretty well as the drawing of Cleopatra on the cover looks like Elizabeth Taylor and therefore some people thought it had something to do with the movie.

"Years later Joe gave his only copy of this record away to a student. In the 90s I looked through countless cut-out bins to track it down. I finally found someone selling it on eBay, but they didn't know who or what it was. I listened to the record with my dad in about 2002 shortly after I got it. He was happy to hear it, but he said, "Man, if I knew people would be listening to this thing in 40 years, I would have played better!" He sounds like a monster on this thing. I believe Harvey Pekar owned this record as well and wrote about it some years ago."       – Abe Maneri




Friday, September 9, 2016

Watch DJ Khaled's "Nas Album Done" video feat. Nas & Louie Rankin

DJ Khaled enlists Nas and Louie "Ox" Rankin for the most iconic and timeless hip hop video of the year.


Coastal Sound Youth Choir vs. The New Pornographers

Matching the vocal swells of Neko Case on Letter From An Occupant ain't easy but CSYC do a decent job of it.


Happy Birthday Zbigniew Namyslowski!

Cheers to saxophonist/bandleader  Zbigniew Namyslowski on his 77th! Here's his stellar 1964 quartet set Lola.

Watch Red Fang's imaginative Shadows video

It's revenge of the nerds Red Fang-style, again featuring PBR in a starring role. Only Ghosts ships October 10.  

Willie Nelson salutes his old boss Ray Price

Watch the short film about the making of For The Good Times: A Tribute To Ray Price.


Listen to a couple of tracks off the album...