Thursday, April 27, 2017

Modern Kosmology: In the studio with Jane Weaver

Jane Weaver's forthcoming Modern Kosmology album is out May 19 on Fire Records. Check the clip below. 
Alone in a home-spun cocoon with a metronomic heartbeat and the phasing voice of her former and future selves, Jane Weaver is preparing for the launch of her new album Modern Kosmology (out May 19th) and sees her on an extensive tour across the UK and Ireland through October and November.

Self taught, self penned, self played, self produced, and all-autonomous Jane Weaver's Modern Kosmology is by no means a reclusive mission. Heavily influenced by a cast of lesser-known spiritual muse (such as automatic abstract painter Hilma Af Klint and her fabled pre-surrealist secret society) Jane also enlists the physical skills of CAN's Malcolm Mooney amongst a skeleton crew of Mancunian drum-lords and well versed psychedelic axe-men to punctuate Jane's synth-loaded sonic architecture. Jane's unwaning yearning for psychoactive pop energy has just reached a new level of magnetism. As snowclones go, Modern Kosmology is the new Silver. Another Spectrum to add to the tension.

Watch the video of Jane in Eve Studios with her trusty Roland string synth and Korg Poly Ensemble P as she discusses her evolution since the 2014 release of The Silver Globe.  Modern Kosmology is available for pre-order via Fire Records right here, with first single Slow Motion available to hear and download instantly at

Jane Weaver Live Dates 2017
18th May: UK, Birmingham, Hare & Hounds 2
19th May: UK, Manchester, Band On The Wall
20th May: UK, Brighton, The Great Escape
22nd May: UK, London, The Lexington – sold out
23rd May: UK, London, Rough Trade East
2nd June: France, Paris, La Maroquinerie
7th July: UK, Cheshire, Bluedot Festival
20-23rd July: UK, Liverpool, Liverpool International Music Festival
29th July: UK, London, O2 Academy Brixton w/ Goat & The Moonlandingz
20th October: UK, Ramsgate, Ramsgate Music Hall
22nd October: UK, Brighton, The Haunt
23rd October: UK, Norwich, Arts Centre
25th October: UK, Folkestone, Quarterhouse
26th October: UK, London, Islington Assembly Hall
28th October: UK, Nottingham, The Bodega
29th October: UK, Oxford, The Bullingdon
31st October:  UK, Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
1st November: UK, Stoke, The Sugar Mill
2nd November: UK, Newcastle, The Cluny
3rd November: UK, Hebden Bridge, Trades Club
4th November: UK, Glasgow, Stereo
10th November: IRE, Dublin, Workman’s Club
11th November: IRE, Belfast, Maple Tour Leaf

Happy Birthday Ann Peebles!

Celebrating Ann's birthday with a Hi dancefloor classic from 1971 penned by George Jackson.  

Rosanne Cash with John Leventhal @ Koerner Hall, Thursday

Expect a few songs from the Grammy winning The River & The Thread when Rosanne and John return to Toronto. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Shiners a Hot Docs highlight @ Isabel Bader Theatre, Saturday

Stacey Tenebaum's film Shiners illuminates the world of street corner philosophers keeping your shoes looking sharp. 

Elvis Presley vs. Lonnie Johnson

 Elvis cut a version of Lonnie Johnson's "Tomorrow Night" with Scotty Moore at Sun circa 1954 which wasn't issued at the time. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Shabazz Palaces preview Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star with "Shine A Light"

Check out Shine A Light feat. Thaddillac below. Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star is out July 14 on Sub Pop.

Happy 100th Birthday Ella Fitzgerald

Here are two of Ella's early classics recorded with the Chick Webb Orchestra in the 30s. 

Celebrate 100 years of Ella Fitzgerald with Chicago's New Horizon Ensemble at Remix Lounge Friday. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Happy Birthday Joe Henderson

Remembering tenor saxophone titan Joe Henderson on his day with "Fire" off The Elements album from 1974.  

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Whaddya mean you don't know Pure Hell

Philadelphia's Pure Hell – formed in 1974 – is generally considered to be the first black punk rock band.  
In the late 1970’s. Ian MacKaye and I found out about the Philadelphia area band, Pure Hell. We found their two song single with These Boots Were Made for Walking and No Rules and tripped on how heavy the band looked on the cover. At some point, we were told that the band had made an album length tape that was sitting in a closet somewhere. In the middle of the 1990’s, Welfare Records released these songs, which did indeed exist, on album called Noise Addiction. I was amazed at how great the songs were and wondered why they had stayed unreleased for so long.

In 2016, an acetate of Pure Hell hit eBay. There two songs on it, Wild One and Courageous Cat. Both featured on Noise Addiction but different takes. I was able to secure the record. I played part of Wild One to get levels, then transferred the two songs.

I thought that if I could get the band’s permission, this would be a perfect Record Store Day release. I contacted Kenny Gordon, the band’s vocalist, told him what I wanted to do and waited to see what he had to say. He gave me the green light. I immediately contacted Larry Hardy at In the Red Records because I knew he would get the idea. He came on board immediately.

I went back to Kenny to get some information on the tracks. In 1975, the band recorded six songs at Magnagraphics Enterprise Studio in NYC. The mixes were committed to three two-song acetates. The band lost track of what happened to them as well as the source tapes. Basically, the only way to hear these versions is the acetate.

I figured if these tracks were not released, I was singlehandedly denying any Pure Hell fan the chance to hear the music. Not the thing to do.

We sent the tracks to audio wizard Tim Warren, who was able to bring a lot of sound out of the tracks. Mike Schneider at Welfare Records allowed us to use one of his photos for the cover. Everyone involved waved any monetary income. All profits are going to the band.

Larry and I being vinyl freaks, there are several color variants and they all look really cool. We put all this together to do right by history and rock Record Store Day. Our only intent was to put something great in the bin. This is what it’s all about. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring you this great music. Below is the back cover copy, which will hopefully answer any questions you might have. Thanks,  Henry Rollins

Pure Hell – The 1975 Acetate
Side A - Wild One
Side B - Courageous Cat
Recorded at Magnagraphics Enterprise Studio NYC 1975

Kenny "Stinker" Gordon - Vocals + bass on Wild One
Michael "Spider" Sanders - Percussion.
Preston "Chipper" Morris - Guitars
Lenny "Steal" Boles - Bass

These tracks are two of six that were recorded in the session. The other titles are Pretty Poison, I'm Crawling, Rot in the Doghouse and Cosmic Love.

The session was cut onto three two song acetates, in the A and B side order above. This single is the audio carefully transferred from the actual acetate, the only one we have been able to find so far. I have loved this band for nearly 40 years. The chance to team up with Kenny, Larry and Mike to bring this to you is beyond exciting. Long live Pure Hell. – Henry Rollins

At the time we were unaware that a whole new trend to be coined 'Punk Rock' would evolve as it did. I'm amazed that this acetate resurfaced after being lost along with the other two, and that Henry, and Larry at In The Red Records would be the ones to illuminate it in the 21st century! - Kenny Gordon

Digital transfer – Henry Rollins
Mastering - Tim Warren
Cover photo from the archives of Mike Schneider / Welfare Records
This is a co-release by In the Red Records and 2-13-61 Records

Saturday, April 22, 2017

One For The Weekend: Vanishing Twin

Watch Vanishing Twin's new "Telescope" video below. Grab their new Dream By Numbers 10" EP on RSD. 
Formed in 2015, Vanishing Twin came together to make an exploratory record that marries oblique English pop with a palette of arkestral sounds. Having previously released a string of conceptual cassettes under the name Orlando, founder Cathy Lucas named the group after her vanishing twin, an identical sister absorbed in utero, when they were both still a cluster of cells.

Enlisting the help of producer Malcolm Catto (Heliocentrics, DJ Shadow, The Gaslamp Killer) the band began work on their Choose Your Own Adventure album at his London studio, Quatermass Sound Lab, last spring. Recording the basis for eight tracks, they blended structure and improvisation in pop songs that describe a personal mythology through the adventures of Lucas’ vanished twin. Drawing on sounds outside of the usual pop vocabulary, the group used forgotten drum machines, home-made electronics, vibraphones, tablas, and harp to invoke the esoteric psychedelia of lost soundtracks, radiophonic experiments and minimal music orchestras. In a studio that Catto built for maximum atmosphere and minimum interfere, and crammed with obscure vintage equipment, he brought his own distinctive sonics to the table, informed by outsider jazz, Italian library music and ethnographic field recordings. Watch the video for "Telescope" below. Check out Choose Your Own Adventure right here.

Vanishing Twin is made up of singer Cathy Lucas (Innerspace Orchestra), drummer Valentina Magaletti (Raime, Tomaga, Uuuu, Neon Neon), bassist Susumu Mukai (Zongamin, Floating Points), library music head Phil Joseph (Man From Uranus, Broadcast) on strange sounds, and film maker and visual artist Elliott Arndt on flute and percussion.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dust-To-Digital recirculates vintage Cambodian cookers on RSD 7" single

Sinn Sisamouth's "Navy A Go-Go" comes backed with Ros Sereysothea's fuzz-enhanced "Old Pot, Tasty Rice"

Happy 70th Birthday Iggy Pop!

Here's a Late Night with David Letterman appearance from December 8, 1982 and a recent performance with Metallica. 

Young Gun Silver Fox vs. Player

The sleeve for Young Gun Silver Fox's forthcoming "Long Way Back" single is a clever homage to a Player classic.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Happy Birthday Tito Puente!

Remembering the late great Tito Puente on his day with the epic Night Ritual from 1957. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jody Stephens, Mike Mills, Chris Stamey & Mitch Easter star in concert film Thank You Friends: Big Star's Third Live

Check out the performances of Big Star's "In The Street" and "Kizza Me" from Benno Nelson's excellent film. 

Happy Birthday Big Youth!

Toasting reggae great Manley Augustus Buchanan aka Big Youth on his day with a couple of vintage 7" gems.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Before They Were Famous: Mos Def & Hi-Tek

Mos Def and Hi-Tek worked together on Mike Zoot's joint "High Drama" for Matt Fingaz's Guesswhyld label in 1997.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Suicide founder Martin Rev issues Demolition 9 on May 26

Demolition 9 is being released by Atlas Realisations. Have a listen to "Now" right here.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Wesley Stace opening for The Jayhawks @ The Opera House, Sunday

Wesley Stace's "Mr. Tangerine Man" and "There's A Starbucks Where The Starbucks Used To Be" are now both concert faves.  

And check out Wesley Stace's John Wesley Harding album on Yep Roc, available right here!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Watch the new DJ Format & Abdominal video for Dirt

"Dirt" is off the forthcoming DJ Format & Abdominal album Still Hungry out April 28 via Kartel Music Group.

DJ Format & Abdominal on tour:
May 03: Leeds / The Wardrobe
May 04: Glasgow / Stereo
May 05: Edinburgh / Voodoo Rooms
May 06: Newcastle / Cluny
May 10: Manchester / Gorilla
May 11: Nottingham / Rescue Rooms
May 12: Birmingham / Hare & Hounds
May 13: Sheffield / O2 Academy
May 17: Bristol / The Fleece
May 18: Oxford / The Cellar
May 19: Southampton / The Social Club
May 20: Whitstable / Duke of Cumberland
May 23: Cambridge / J2 at The Junction
May 24: London / Electric Ballroom
May 25: Brighton / Patterns
May 26: Norwich / The Arts Centre

One For The Weekend: Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington's new track "Truth" is available here. The Harmony of Difference EP will be issued later this year. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Luaka Bop launches new spiritual music series with Alice Coltrane's 80s devotional cassette recordings

The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda is out May 5 on Luaka Bop.
Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda’s devotion to spirituality was the central purpose of the final four decades of her life, an often-overlooked awakening that largely took shape during her four-year marriage to John Coltrane and after his 1967 death. By 1983, Alice had established the 48-acre Sai Anantam Ashram outside of Los Angeles. She quietly began recording music from the ashram, releasing it within her spiritual community in the form of private press cassette tapes. Luaka Bop will release World Spirituality Classics, Volume 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda on May 5, the first installment in a planned series of spiritual music from around the globe.

This largely unheard body of work finds Alice singing for the first time in her recorded catalog, which dates back to 1963 and includes appearances on six John Coltrane albums, alongside Charlie Haden and McCoy Tyner, and 14 albums as bandleader starting with her Impulse! debut in 1967 with A Monastic Trio. The songs featured on the Luaka Bop release have been culled from the four cassettes that Alice recorded and released between 1982 and 1995: ‘Turiya Sings,’ ‘Divine Songs,’ ‘Infinite Chants,’ and ‘Glorious Chants.’ The digital, cassette and CD release will feature eight songs. The double-vinyl edition features two additional tracks, “Krishna Japaye” from 1990’s ‘Infinite Chants, and the previously unreleased “Rama Katha” from a separate Turiya Sings  recording session. You can hear the entire Turiya Sings album at the end of this post.

Luaka Bop teamed with Alice’s children to find the original master tapes in the Coltrane archive. The recordings were prepared for re-mastering by the legendary engineer Baker Bigsby (Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, John Coltrane), who had overseen the original sessions in the 80s and 90s. The compilation showcases a diverse array of recordings in addition to Alice’s first vocal work: solo performances on her harp, small ensembles, and a 24-piece vocal choir. The release is dotted with eastern percussion, synthesizers, organs and strings, making for a mesmerizing, even otherworldly, listen. Alice was inspired by Vedic devotional songs from India and Nepal, adding her own music sensibility to the mix with original melodies and sophisticated song structures. She never lost her ability to draw from the bebop, blues and old-time spirituals of her Detroit youth, fusing a Western upbringing with Eastern classicism. In all, these recordings amount to a largely untold chapter in the life story of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda.

In addition to the recordings, GRAMMY-winning music historian Ashley Kahn has written extensive liner notes on the collection. The package also includes a series of interviews with those who knew Alice best, conducted by Dublab’s Mark “Frosty” McNeill, and an as-told-to interview between musician Surya Botofasina (who was raised on Alice’s ashram) and journalist Andy Beta. Here's the tracklisting.

The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda 
1. Om Rama – 9:39
2. Om Shanti – 6:52
3. Rama Rama – 7:35
4. Rama Guru – 5:52
5. Hari Narayan – 4:38
6. Journey in Satchidananda – 10:53
7. Er Ra – 5:00
8. Keshava Murahara – 9:43
9. Krishna Japaye* – 5:31
10. Rama Katha* – 11:40
 *Vinyl Only

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

RIP Alan Henderson, 1944-2017

Founding Them bassist Alan Henderson (left), who played on all the group's early recordings, passed away on Sunday.

Happy Birthday Hound Dog Taylor

Remembering the great Hound Dog Taylor on his day with some live footage backed by the HouseRockers. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dengue Fever w/ Tinariwen @ Massey Hall, Wednesday

Tickets for Dengue Fever's Massey Hall show with Mali's Tinariwen are $29.50-$69.50 and available right here

My Darling Clementine release Still Testifying June 2

My Darling Clementine preview Still Testifying with The Rizdales at London's Aeolian Hall April 19. Listen to Eugene below. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Porkkanas Unlimited vs. Earl King

Timo Tarvainen, Aarne Heikkilä, Antti Välitalo & Timo Vaskivuo put a Finnish spin on Earl King's Come On. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Never mind the bookbinding, here's Sallie Ford @ The Horseshoe, Sunday

Straight outta Portlandia: Sallie Ford enjoys doing watercolour sketches of cats or flowers on postcards she sends to friends. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Now Again issuing Function Underground comp on Record Store Day

The 14-track Function Underground LP comes with a download card w/ WAV files out April 22. 
Function Underground: The Black and Brown American Rock Sound, 1969-74 is an anthology of vintage DIY African-American heavy rock recordings by the likes of Jimi Macon, Black Maffia, Blacklites and a whole bunch of other important but largely overlooked artists from the early 70s slated for release on Record Store Day. Here's the scoop on Now Again's new compilation which – interestingly enough – takes it's name from a We The People heavy-funk instrumental recorded for Darlene Records and reissued by Numero Group on the Eccentric Soul: Mighty Mike Lenaburg comp back in 2006...

Nearly everyone in the world can rattle off the great African-American musical forms. Jazz, blues, R&B, soul, hip-hop, house, gospel. One influential genre is always left off of the list: a folk music known as rock n’ roll. Rock n’ roll was a term originally coined to market the white-friendly version of a genre that already existed; prior to 1965, the line between rock n’ roll and R&B was thin: Ike Turner recorded and released “Rocket ‘88’ ” in 1951 and, while its Chess Records release reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart, it is regarded by many as the first rock n’ roll record.

The Great Divide between R&B and rock n’ roll came after the Beatles and the British Invasion decimated the Top 40 chart in 1964. Simultaneously, R&B entered a new phase, soon to be labeled “soul,” which upped the music’s gospel quotient and turned its frantic twang. So somewhere in the mid to late-1960s, rock n’ roll became perceived as something for the Caucasian kids. When Jimi Hendrix and Arthur Lee made the scene, they were said to be black musicians entering into a white world. While that couldn’t be farther from the truth, that false dichotomy has existed in America’s popular conscious ever since, to the point where the idea of a black rock musician is on the level with the idea of a black cowboy.

In the mid-1960s, funk replaced soul as the rhythm that was going to move the world. We know all its progenitor – James Brown, The Meters, Kool & The Gang – and their innovations: the syncopated, 4/4 dance between the bass and drums, horns repurposed as percussion, chicken-scratch and wah-wah guitar. We can trace where they came from. But there is one crucial funk influence that no one seems to want to acknowledge – a devil-may-care attitude we can attribute to rock n’ roll. It’s not a stretch to say that funk is the African-American answer to psychedelia and hard rock rolled into one.

The idea of “progressivism” that took over rock music after psychedelia’s heyday in the late 1960s belatedly spilled over to funk. In the early 1970s, as the underground/psychedelic fire burnt out in the white rock world, it roared to a blaze in the black musical community. Nearly every American city with a large black population boasted self-contained funk bands that didn’t consider themselves simply revues or backup groups, but rather fully-operational ensembles In these bands, everything from composing, arranging, record production and distribution, was handled in house by band members. These are the bands whose music comprises this anthology, and while they’re all different, they’re unique in one way: they kept their ears open for new developments in funk and rock music.

This anthology presents earnest questions as to why we know so little about these bands and the movement of which they were a part. While we don’t anticipate that we’ll ever find a definitive answer as to what these ensembles’ true goals were, then, we do know that they took their charges seriously. And they knew they were onto something different, something that, though only they and their immediate kin might recognize it, was more interesting than the status quo. Function Underground shines light on an important and overlooked part of rock n’ roll’s history and talented ensembles that toiled in the shadows, derided by their peers.

“Do you realize that Hendrix was dead before most black people in America knew he was a black man?” Ebony Rhythm Band drummer Matthew Watson questions rhetorically. “We was scorned. In that era, everybody else in the black community was wearing three-piece suits, processes and Afro wigs and that shit. We was the first guys to wear bell bottoms. The first guys to wear big hats. We were off into a whole other thing.”

Friday, April 7, 2017

Buffalo's punk elite The Drains & Facilty Men play in-store @ Parkdale Platters, Saturday

Check out tunes by The Drains and Facility Men joining Toronto's own FLQ playing from 6pm to 9pm. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

RIP Don Rickles, 1926-2017

Comedian Don Rickles died at his home in Los Angeles. Here's a Midnight Cowboy parody with Don Adams. 

The Exploders @ Duggan's Brewery, Saturday

Check The Exploders' cover of Blondie's 1977 gem Kung Fu Girls recorded by Jim Diamond in Detroit, 1999.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Imelda May @ Danforth Music Hall, June 28

Tickets for Imelda May's Toronto show ($29.50-$49.50) go on sale April 7th at 10 am right here

Do Right 15 w/ Souljazz Orchestra, Soul Motivators, DJ John Kong @ Lee's Palace, Saturday

SJO's "Harmagedon" and the Soul Motivators' "Tito's Revenge" are on the Do Right 15 EP out April 7. 

Lisa Leblanc @ The Horseshoe, Thursday

Watch Lisa Leblanc perform Katie Cruel followed by an appearance on Tout le monde en parle.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Just Announced: Royal Headache, Career Suicide @ The Horseshoe, July 16

Oz punks Royal Headache are hitting the road with a T.O. stop at The Horseshoe on July 16th... tickets on sale soon. 

Sabbath worshipers Here Lies Man explore fully amped Afro-metal

Antibalas guitarist Marcos Garcia cranks it up to 11 for Here Lies Man's debut on RidingEasy Records out April 7th.

Happy Birthday Muddy Waters

Remembering blues legend Muddy Waters with Gypsy Woman, Trouble No More and Little Walter's Walkin' On.

Latin jazz piano legend Eddie Palmieri releases Sabiduría on May 19

Check out "Cuerdas y Tumbao" from the new album followed by an NPR special about the influential Harlem River Drive. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Chicano Batman @ Velvet Underground, Tuesday

Chicano Batman's Carlos Arévalo, Bardo Martinez, Eduardo Arenas and Gabriel Villa make their Toronto debut Tuesday.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Philip Lewin's Canuck loner folk gem reissued by Tompkins Square

Only 300 copies of Am I Really Here All Alone? by Toronto's Philip Lewin were issued in 1975. Read all about it. 

Philip Lewin recalls Am I Really Here All Alone...
"In 1967 I began my life in the student union of a university. In other words, I was in school. But, classes definitely took a back seat to people-watching and attempts at relationships. I would not say that I was particularly good at the latter, but I made a great observer. I even stayed near the school community for an extra year until an opportunity came up to move in with friends in Toronto, Canada, which turned out to be a pivotal opportunity for me.

"I was once told that one should first write about one's own experiences, then, expand to documenting the observed experiences of those around, and, finally write about what one imagines. Am I Really Here All Alone? encompasses all of the above. Something else I realized in writing lyrics is that sometimes it is good to be transparent about the meaning and others times, not so much. 'Unusual Day' is an example of me being honest struggling to develop and maintain a relationship, but ultimately realizing it was not going to succeed.

"'Watercolours' documents a crushing experience, but is couched in metaphor. I hope that listeners will relate through their own experiences, and because my reality is implied, not specified, will not be limited to mine. 'Sweet Georgia' is an example of me, as a writer, leaving my personal space. I think of it as an attempt to clone William Faulkner to Bobbie Gentry. 'The Magic Within You' is actually a commission where I was asked to write a song for a benefit to be performed by Doug Henning, the groundbreaking stage magician and friend. I once heard John Prine complain that there was no point in writing a 'train song' because Steve Goodman had already written the perfect one with 'City of New Orleans'.

"Naturally, I had to write 'Back Home, To You', my idea of a train song where I tried to capture the movement of the train in the rhythm of the guitar. As for the other six songs, to me, they all reflect realities, experienced, observed and imagined. Descartes said, "I think, therefore I am." However my question is, Am I Really Here All Alone?"

Philip Lewin, 2017

Brilliant Hamiton jazz singer Diana Panton wins another Juno!

It's going to be even harder for Diana to keep her music career secret after I Believe In Little Things took the children's album Juno.

QUIÑ, Dave B @ The Drake Hotel, Sunday

Los Angeles "fantasy soul" singer QUIÑ aka Bianca Leonor makes her T.O. debut at The Drake tonight – doors open at 7 pm.