Episode 24 – Wednesday, September 15 7:00 PM On Mixcloud and 8:00 PM on VoicEd Radio
Haska, Salif Keita – Madan
Whitehorse – Strike Me Down
Whitehorse –Strike Me Down from 2021 album Strike Me Down
This is the second album from the Hamilton based duo this year. From the early 2000’s, Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland were both recording and touring artists with numerous recordings under their belts. They married in 2006 and since have collaborated under the banner , Whitehorse. Here are two versions of this week’s selected song.
Matt Mays – NYC Girls (Acoustic)
Elvis Costello $ The Attractions & Nina Diaz – No Action
Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, MHD – Itarafo
St. Etienne – Pond House
Natalia Lafourcade – Tú Sí Sabes
Lucy Dacus – Gone Gone Gone (edit)
Claudia Sierra, Los Macorinos, Clayton – Voy
Haska, Salif Keita – Madan
Very hard to find much information on Haska, but Salif Keita is a legend in Africa and we feature him on two tracks for this show.
Haska – Madan (with Salif Keita) Visualiser
Taken from the website Inflyte
Blending their love of music from across the globe with progressive production, they kick off their catalogue with a massive statement.
Centred around the infectious vocals of Salif Keita, described as the ‘Golden Voice of Africa’, ‘Madan’ sees Haska weave together intricate rhythms, edgy synths and pulsating bass grooves to create an uplifting and inspiring modern classic.
The story of Salif Keita’s royal heritage is interested and is quotes here from Wikipedia
Salif Keita was born a traditional prince in the village of Djoliba. He was born to the Keita royal family, who trace their lineage to Sundiata Keita, founder of the Mali Emp ire. He was cast out by his family and ostracized by the community because of his albinism, a sign of bad luck in Mandinka culture. He decided to pursue music in his teenage years, further distancing him from his family as that was against occupational prohibitions of his noble status. In 1967, he left Djoliba for Bamako, where he joined the government-sponsored Super Rail Band de Bamako. In 1973 Keita joined the group, Les Ambassadeurs (du motel de Bamako). Keita and Les Ambassadeurs fled political unrest in Mali during the mid-1970s and subsequently changed the group’s name to “Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux”. The reputation of Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux grew internationally in the late-1970s, leading to Keita pursuing a solo career in the following years.
Matt Mays – NYC Girls (Acoustic)
Album Twice Upon a Hell of a Time
Love this acoustic version of an earlier song on Once Upon a Hell of a Time 2017
Twice Upon a Hell of a Time is the seventh studio album by Matt Mays, released on October 19, 2018. It comprises acoustic rerecordings of the songs from his 2017 album Once Upon a Hell of a Time
Yes, this may repeat those same thirteen songs, but as an acoustic offering, “Twice…” sees everything reimagined in a completely different context. And instantly apparent upon the first listen is just how different these songs appear to be. “Once Upon a Hell of a Time … is a Saturday night record,” says Matt. “This version is for the hangover on Sunday.”
With “NYC Girls,” for instance, the up-tempo beat is toned down significantly through a simple drum rhythm and piano, that accompany some multi-vocal harmonies to provide a choir-like rendition much more in the spirit of Sunday morning church. “I think if a song has meaning and is played with heart it can be done in a million different styles, tempos, time signatures and colours,” offers Mays when asked about his willingness to take these original compositions and reconstruct them this way.
Elvis Costello $ The Attractions & Nina Diaz – No Action
this is such an amazing song!!
Ever the pioneer , Costello along with producer Sebastian Krys, have taken the classic 1978 album “This Years Model”, removed the vocals and invited artists from across the Spanish-speaking world to adapt the songs.
With Krys’ contact list, it wasn’t an insurmountable feat to sign up a guest list that includes Juanes, Luis Fonsi, Draco Rosa, Cami, La Santa Cecilia’s La Marisoul, Jesse & Joy, Morat, Jorge Drexler, Fito Páez, Gian Marco, Vega and others, representing Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Spain, Uruguay, Argentina, Peru, Puerto Rico and, yes, even the mainland U.S. Underneath all these star turns remains the thrilling work accomplished in the late ‘70s by as great a backing band as ever lived, the Attractions,
San Antonio singer Nina Diaz of the group Girl in a Coma lends her vocals to the opening track, “No Action”
Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, MHD – Itarafo
Album – un autre blanc 2018
Such a powerful collaboration, you can listen to it here
I actually didn’t write up any notes for this track, but I love to see the collaboration that is going on in a whole collection of albums by various new and established groups.
A littler note on MHD who is the young one on this great track.
Born in Vendée to a family of West African extraction, MHD began his career as a rapper in Paris at the age of 18. He found success in the mid-2010s through material he published on social media (notably music videos on YouTube) and in 2016 released his debut album MHD, which sold more than 200,000 copies in 6 months. He later received international recognition, and toured in Guinea, England, Senegal and Morocco. His second album, titled 19, was released in September 2018.
Saint Etienne are an English band from London, formed in 1990. The band consists of Sarah Cracknell, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs. They created a buzz in the UK in the 90’s which really didn’t translate to this side of the Atlantic.
According to Wikipedia, “their work has been described as uniting 1990s club culture with 1960s pop.” Since the nineties they have consistently released new music. Stanley and Wiggs also have been responsible for curating interesting compilations for UK reissue label Ace Records.
Pitchfork reviews Saint Etienne’s latest.
On their 10th studio album, the UK electro-pop heroes look back on the end of the 20th century, when hooks and choruses dissolved into blissed-out loops and vibe became paramount.
Tú Sí Sabes – Natalia Lafourcade with Los Macorinos
a bit of an interview with Natalia Lafourcade and Los Macorinos who I featured on my last two tracks. I wish these guys would put out their own album.
Lafourcade has made a career out of her search for new sounds to adorn her melodies. In each of her efforts, she demonstrates a deep love for melody in all its forms, exploring it every way she can, and garnering a huge following in the Spanish-speaking world. Throughout the years, she has evolved into one of Mexico’s best songwriters and singers, thanks to her deep knowledge of music history and her ability to craft picturesque songs.
You told me you wanted to collaborate with Los Macorinos, but what was it like to finally have them in the studio with you? You also have a duet with Omara Portuondo. How was that experience?
I have collaborated with so many awesome people, but then I had this idea of making every collaboration much more deep and focused. They have to bring something new to me. In this case, it was a completely new experience to have Los Macorinos with me in the studio. We reached a whole new level because it wasn’t a very comfortable choice to work with them. How was I to play with these gentlemen? They have so much more experience.
Natalia Lafourcade – Tú sí sabes quererme (en manos de Los Macorinos)
Lucy Dacus – Gone Gone Gone (edit)
Lucy Dacus – Gone Gone Gone from 2021 album, Home Video
Dacus is an American singer-songwriter She is also a member of boygenius with Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker. Here’s a really nice live version of this selection.
To quote Dacus From Pitchfork, “When I wrote this one, I didn’t like it so much because it had that campfire vibe, and I thought it was too twee. For a long time, I’ve tried to establish myself in people’s minds as Not Americana, because people go to such lengths to show girls with guitars as country adjacent. People have called me alt-country… Genre is dead, and yet, I make rock music. But I felt more comfortable doing whatever the song wanted this time around. So if it’s a campfire song, then let’s get people on the refrains, and let’s do it with acoustic guitars and make it super cozy. My favorite moment is the talking at the end. I like that it’s the exact center of the record because it feels like an intermission.”
On a final note, we aren’t the only Old Fellas enjoying new music! From The Guardian
Claudia Sierra, Los Macorinos, Clayton- Voy
Another one of the many collaborations by Los Macorinos
Nostalgia Entre Amigos 2 – 2018
And that’s all I have, I actually could find no more information about this singer. Any leads? Please let us know.
Elwins – For Love to Come and Find You(Don’t Wait)
Anika – Change
Wapums – Sunray
Angelique Kidjo – Africa One of a Kind
Milky Chance – Colorado
El Michels Affair – Zaharila
Dan Mangan – Troubled Mind
Valley – Oh shit … are we in Love?
After 21- 22 weeks of the podcast, the time has come to repeat some fine artists. Here is Valley with their brand spanking new release, “ Oh shit … are we in Love?”
Status/Non Status – Find a Home
snippets from a CBC article (Holly Gordon · CBC Music · Posted: Jun 08, 2021 9:00 AM ET)
How a new EP and name are helping Status/Non-Status interrogate the effects of colonization
The band formerly known as Whoop-Szo questions who holds status — and who doesn’t
‘It’s been my whole life in many ways, but the reconnection process to culture, it’s been 10 or 15 years as well…. And I’ve learned a lot about my family and our history and the true stories around that, why maybe we were disconnected.’ — Adam Sturgeon (Savanah Sewell)
“The first song I wrote was called ‘Boozhoo,’ and I was just learning how to say the word hello [in Anishinaabemowin],” says Adam Sturgeon, lead singer of Status/Non-Status.
“‘Find a Home’ is a song about loving yourself, I think. It’s a traveling song, sort of — I think you can feel that. And so that was bringing me some sort of solace in that experience where you’re in that doldrum of wonderment. But it was comfortable and it’s kind of an older song that I was writing and reworking and yeah, just about accepting and loving yourself wherever you are on your journey.
Elwins – For Love to Come and Find You(Don’t Wait)
We have played The Elwins before as well and we are including this track as The Elwins finally returned to the stage a couple of weeks ago to do 2 shows at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto.
This song is taken from the 2021 ep release IV More
On Change, Anika delivers a call to action that she takes to heart. Though her first solo album in over a decade is indebted to the spooky, surreal sounds of her early solo releases and her work with Exploded View, it also sheds a decidedly different light on her music. Since much of her 2010 debut album and 2013 EP consisted of frosty covers of ’60s pop songs that ranged from ironic to heartbroken, listeners actually got to know more of Anika as a songwriter on Exploded View‘s albums, where she expounded on timely and timeless subjects in elliptical but gripping fashion. Even though she recorded Change with her bandmate Martin Thulin, it’s apparent that this is a solo album: Its songs are leaner and more flexible than her work with Exploded View
Wapums – Sunray
Bob heard Wapums – Sunray on the always dependable CBC radio 3. There isn’t a lot of info available on the internet about this artist but here is the link to the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Kicking off our Back To School special with a song featuring @angeliquekidjo and @YoYo_Ma
Angelique wanted to drop out of school but her dad wasn’t having it.
The singer and activist went on to found Batonga, an organization that supports higher education for girls in Africa.
Mother Nature finds 4-time GRAMMY-winner Angelique Kidjo joining forces with some of the most captivating young creators of West African music, Afrobeats, Afro-pop, hip hop and r&b, and represents a newly heightened awareness of her own musical legacy and remarkable influence she’s had on younger generations
Covid 19 video – what to do to stay safe from Covid – no touch time
This is a great song that I added to the extended version of the show. From her website:
UNICEF is excited to announce the official release of Angelique Kidjo’s music video for “Pata Pata”, a fresh take on Miriam Makeba’s 1967 hit song. Once called the “world’s most defiantly joyful song”, Makeba’s ‘Pata Pata’ has been re-recorded by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Angélique Kidjo, to spread information about COVID-19, with a focus on hundreds of millions of people in remote communities around the world.
Milky Chance – Colorado
Milky Chance is a German rock band who seemed to combine the vocals of Fontaines DC with the instrumentation of The Cars.
This track was heard on an Alt Nation live concert set from the Bottle Rocket Festival in Napa Valley. The crowd there seemed to know this 2021 song thoroughly as they lustily sang along…
Here’s the studio version
El Michels Affair – Zaharila
Album – Yeti Season 2021
this song is described as ‘languid, psyched-out’
El Michels Affair – Zaharila
I had to keep in this paragraph about the inspiration for Yeti Season – this is from Rolling Stone:
Covid upended that rhythm last spring. Suddenly, the kids were home 24/7, and Michels was looking for ways to fill the time while still finding ways to clock hours in the studio. He was also cut off from the close friends and collaborators who had been an integral part of El Michels Affair’s music and his own personal support system. So, one day last year as the snow was falling in Rhinebeck, he got out an old Yeti costume and decided to chase his kids around the yard.
Dan Magnan is a Juno award winning Canadian musician. He has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Australia, having released 5 studio LPs
The song “Troubled Mind” is taken from his 2018 lp “More or Less” The video is kinda fun
In 2017, Magnan started Side Door concert company where artists could put on shows online. Little did he know that three years later due to COVID, these types of shows would take off on platforms like Zoom.
How Dan Mangan’s Side Door Is Paving the Way for the Brave New World of Live Music
“I do believe that this new world is going to stick around,” he says of the company’s highly profitable livestreams
We are back! Last week we did a show but we never got to the show notes. These are the notes from last Thursday’s show – a little late, sorry – here goes!
Real Sickies – Destructive Nights
Mungos Hi Fi/Marina P – Divorce A L’Italienne
Los Poetas – Siembra Cultiva Cosecha
Low – More
Touché Amoré – Lament
Big Red Machine – Latter Days
Liam Corcoran – Tick Toc
Kurt Vile – Run Run Run
Lorde – Stoned at the Nail Station
Real Sickies – Destructive Nights
After 2020’s Quarantined, love is what the world needs now, and the Real Sickies’ take on it was worth the wait.
Officially released last Friday, Love Is For Lovers is a fast-paced, 14-track concept album of the band’s insights, anecdotes, musings and messages exploring our most complicated of emotions.
The band has plenty of experience with relationships in many different forms. Since its 2014 inception, new members have appeared on every album — this being the fourth, full-length on vinyl, and the second release with Montreal’s Stomp Records, a discography bolstered through the years by digital drops and EPs. Being a long time coming, this album encompasses all the Sickies through the years, active or not.
Endlessly creative, Crossman has conceived some of the most fantastic videos on a budget, collecting various props through the years and applying a lot of imagination and elbow grease. While the video for the title track is being released today, another for Communication Breakdown, the album’s self-explanatory opening track, came out last month and had the band at an air hanger where a frazzled controller sends the plane’s crew through wild scenes in time.
Real Sickies – a fun video
Mungos Hi Fi/Marina P – Divorce A L’Italienne
Mungo’s Hi Fi is Glasgow’s biggest reggae sound system and named after the city’s patron saint. You may not be expecting such a thing in the rainswept streets of Scotland’s biggest city, but since 2001 Mungo’s Hi Fi has been producing reggae music, putting out over 90 releases on its own Scotch Bonnet record label, building a sound system and running numerous club nights. They have collaborated with some of reggae’s biggest vocalists, including Sugar Minott and Cornell Campbell, as well as current voices such as Soom T, Eva Lazarus, and Charlie P. This latest release from September 2020 brings to the mic Italian vocalist and songwriter Marina P.
I heard this track on Frequencies and I just had to add it here. This screenshot from their website says it all.
With members hailing from El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, Panama and Colombia, via Canada, Latin Hip Hop collective Los Poetas sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before.
“Listen to the poets,” says Che. “There’s power in the word.”
Low – More
Low is an American indie rock band from Minnesota, formed in 1993. The group is mainly the husband/wife duo Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals). The music of Low is characterized by slow tempos and minimalist arrangements. Descriptions sometimes referred to it as a rock subgenre called “slowcore” This new track from the lp, Hey What is quite a departure from the slowcore description. Pitchfork has an excellent article about the band’s new record
Touché Amoré – Lament
From Pitchfork Best New Music
On their phenomenal fifth album, the post-hardcore band work with famed producer Ross Robinson and come away with their most affecting and resonant music yet.
It’s a long overdue revelation that he alone can’t be there for everyone at all times, which makes Lament their capstone—a Touché Amoré album that can reach the most people as possible from the greatest distance.
Soft guitar chords ripple with tremolo then vanish. Weeping pedal steel wafts upward over distant acoustic strums. “It’s that special kind of quiet where one might be concerned,” sings Jeremy Bolm in a softened version of his blunt, frantic bark. “But even with this silence, my voice can be misheard.”
From Sterogum (yes, the barking vocals are stunning!)
Big Red Machine – Latter Days
Big Red Machine is a that began as a collaboration between musicians Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon. The band is named after the nickname for the Cincinnati Reds baseball teams which won the 1976 World Series.
This song is from second record, “How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?” The album is a collaborative effort, featuring guest vocals from Taylor Swift, Fleet Foxes, Ilsey, Sharon Van Etten, and others. “Latter Days” featuring American singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and is the first single from the album, Dessner stated, “It was clear to Anaïs that the early sketch Justin and I made of ‘Latter Days’ was about childhood, or loss of innocence and nostalgia for a time before you’ve grown into adulthood — before you’ve hurt people or lost people and made mistakes. She defined the whole record when she sang that, as these same themes kept appearing again and again.”
Liam Corcoran – Tic Toc
Album Nevahland 2017
Earnestness is still en vogue; character-driven lyrics are cutting edge; and the ’80s never ended.
That’s the vibe you’re left with listening to NEVAHLAND, the debut solo LP by Liam Corcoran of Two Hours Traffic. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the throwback quality that the Charlottetown indie rocker instils NEVAHLAND with.
Kurt Vile is an American performer from Pennsylvania. He is known for his solo work and as the former lead guitarist of rock band The War on Drugs. Both in the studio and during live performances, Vile is accompanied by his backing band, The Violators. Vile is one of the many artists featured on the upcoming Velvet Underground and Nico tribute album.
Former SNL music director Hal Wilner who is responsible for producing many memorable tribute albums, died of COVID before the album’s release.
Look for a the highly anticipated documentary on the Velvet Underground in the fall.
It’s directed by Todd Haynes known for the feature films such as “Carol”, “Far From Heaven” and “Dark Waters”
Lorde – Stoned at the Nail Station
Album Solar POwer 2021
There is a great article on Lorde in the latest Exclaim! magazine – you can read it here
here is a bit of the article
Lorde would rather be outside, basking in the sun. Instead, she is speaking to Exclaim! on a video call from a New York hotel room, where she is doing press for her upcoming third album, Solar Power.
“I felt very centred [and] grounded in nature,” she says of her latest work. “That feeling was a very calm one, and also one of joy. It felt almost like sun-worship that was happening. It’s kind of an emotional album.”
It’s a new perspective for the singer, born Ella Yelich-O’Connor in New Zealand. At 16, she became one of the biggest pop stars in the world with 2013’s Pure Heroine and its chart-topping single “Royals,” which captured moody adolescence and gave teens a new lens through which to experience youth. At 20, she distilled love and heartbreak with 2017’s Melodrama, its booming drums and powerful synths feeling like a never-ending night at a house party.
Much of Solar Power feels experimental. She worked with co-writer and producer Jack Antonoff to create what she calls the album’s “nutty” sound. “[Solar Power] sounds crazy,” she enthuses. “There’s heaps of crazy vocals and live drums. There’s guitars on this album — like, 16-year-old me was not letting a guitar anywhere near anything,” she says. Multiple tracks also feature cicada sounds.
OK, we know these are notes written by other people, but we go out and research this stuff
Now for our music for this week
Katherine Priddy – Wolf
album – The Eternal Rocks Beneath
from The Guardian, really one of the best sources I know of for new music
The folk prodigy delivers an elegant debut, infused with soaring vocals and nimble guitar-picking
Feted as a folk prodigy as a teenager, Katherine Priddy has wisely taken several years to reach this debut, an accomplished set of original songs delivered in a breathtaking voice and launched on a reputation as a great live act. Her nimble guitar-picking helps. Not that this is a strictly solo album; producer Simon Weaver has supplied a rhythm section and a parade of accordion, fiddle and string quartet, but in judicious measure. The star turn remains Priddy’s voice and its soaring, lark-like turns, meaning a song such as Wolf, the title track of her 2018 EP, can suddenly take unexpected flight.
That several numbers were written when she was young perhaps accounts for their unevenness; the banjo-backed Letters from a Travelling Man doesn’t pass muster with a poetic piece such as Icarus – a fond farewell to a lover seen as “a radiant stain falling like rain” – or with her funny homage to a boozy night on the Hebridean isle of Eigg. The rocks of the title is a verb, not a noun, testament to a belief that life’s fundamentals don’t change, a notion resolved elegantly in opener Indigo and closer The Summer Has Flown. A classy arrival.
American indie artist Binki is back with his first single since 2019 from the EP Motor Function. Apparently, it is inspired by “ the wisdom of Confucius and the failings of David Bowie” Here’s the video which is directed by his brother.
Griff – One Foot in Front of the Other
another great pick from The Guardian’s July picks for albums. Really like this artist
The Brits’ show-stealing 20-year-old has earworms and wise words to burn on this tantalising mini-album
The rise ofGriff feels like a silver lining around the thundercloud that was 2020. While all around the 20-year-old pop powerhouse careers stalled, tours evaporated and sound engineers peed in bottles while driving delivery vans, this singer went from buzzy obscurity in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, locked down with her family and foster siblings, to a Top 20 hit and a Brits rising star award.
One Foot in Front of the Other is, though, an odd release. A debut album in all but name, this mixtape comes with the caveat that it was written and recorded during lockdown. Griff and her label feel that her debut album proper is still ahead of her.
Pom Pom Squad – Head Cheerleader
Pom Pom squad is a band Inspired by Billie Holiday, riot grrrl bands, and films Death of a Cheerleader/ But I’m a Cheerleader
Here’s the trailer for the 1999 cult classic
Pom Pom squad was originally just Mia Berrin but now it it is a full fledged band. For a better idea of what Pop Pom squad are all about, here is Pitchfork magazines review of the album.
Equally indebted to pioneering girl groups and her punk heroes, the New York singer-songwriter’s debut is a fiery exploration of love, anger, and coming-of-age.
In 1999, a satirical comedy film called But I’m a Cheerleader proposed an astonishing lead character: a cheerleader who isn’t quite like the other girls on her team. She gets whisked away to a hilariously straight-laced conversion-therapy camp on the suspicion that she might be—gasp—gay. “I’m a cheerleader!” she whines in hesitation, as if this makes it impossible to fall outside societal norms. The movie marked a memorable early instance of the divergentcheerleader, an increasingly popular trope that drives the creative mind of 23-year-old singer-songwriter Mia Berrin, who makes bratty grunge-punk as Pom Pom Squad. On her debut, Death of a Cheerleader, the New York musician stakes her claim to pleated miniskirt canon, joining the ranks of those who’ve weaponized cheer imagery to disrupt convention.
In April 2016, Mélissa Laveaux headed to Haiti in search of her roots and on a mission to honour her ancestors. Born in Canada to Haitian parents, she did not know what would emerge musically from her pilgrimage although she had a particular interest in the period of American occupation of the island between 1915-1934. Two decades had gone by since she had last set foot in Haiti when she was 12 years old. She felt like a stranger and yet, at the same time, she experienced the thrill of an exile returning home, for Haiti is an intrinsic part of her identity.
From these she built Radyo Siwèl, a unique album steeped in Haitian history and culture and yet which is also highly personal and intimate.
Blinker the Star – It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back)
Bob’s selection of a new Blinker the star track was a result of this article in the Montreal Gazette.
Excitingly, his burbling, pitch-perfect cover of Eurythmics’ It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back) was chosen last month as one of the 20 “best songs of 2021 (so far)” by Esquire — ranking alongside such luminaries as Lorde (Solar Power), Doja Cat and SZA (Kiss Me More), BTS (Butter), Justin Bieber (Peaches) and FKA Twigs (Don’t Judge Me). Heady — and moneyed — company.
Rare Americans – Crooked & Catchy. The band started on a whim two years ago when brothers James and Jared Priestner took an impromptu trip to the Caribbean. James joked they should try and write a song together, Jared said “A song? Fuck that, lets write an album!” Sure enough 10 days later the first Rare Americans record was born. Spring forward to 2020, the band has gained a reputation for story telling and genre bending fresh music, amassing over 50M YouTube views in the process. The bands roster includes two Slovak guitar virtuoso’s in Lubo Ivan & Jan Cajka, and Duran Ritz on drums.
“Lubo and I were in another band before called the Lunas that toured Canada a few times and was going along really well and had recorded an EP,” said James Priester. “Then I took a trip to the Caribbean with my brother Jared and joked I would bring along my guitar so we could drink a few beers and write a song or two together. He’d never written a song before and we’d never written together, but we sat down and wrote an entire album.”
Rare Americans also put its main emphasis on producing videos. James runs a production company in Vancouver so he was up on how to concept a video. The band steadily built its online profile with high-quality clips for songs such as Balmoral Hotel and the Barry Tielman (Run the Jewels, others) animated piece for Cats, Dogs & Rats.
Bob’s final choice is also a cover of an 80’s chestnut. Angel Olsen has the distinction of being the first three-peat artist on our venerable podcast. She has just released an Ep covering Laura Branigan, Men Without Hats, OMD, Madonna and Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face”
The NME has an excellent evaluation of Olson’s latest offering.
Angel Olsen – ‘Aisles’ EP review: ’80s classics through a warped lens
The North Carolina musician cuts right to the core of each song, before rebuilding her own mirror images with this five-track EP
“I’m really into doing shit that’s unexpected,” Angel Olsen told NME as she prepared to release the album ‘Whole New Mess’ last year. Taking the staggering orchestral ambition of her fourth album ‘All Mirrors’ and stripping it back to its rawest foundations, it marked something of a reset from an artist whose sound had grown grander and more intricate with each release. Though it was actually recorded first (and these demos later grew into ‘All Mirrors) the two records feel like subtly distorted reflections of each other when they’re placed side by side – almost as if Olsen is covering her own work.
The ten song titles on Treephones’ — the musical moniker of Stephen Trothen — new album Pink Objects read like an inventory of things found stashed away in a closet or neglected drawer. With every song named after an object, the concept album takes the approach of a short story collection and focuses on the interactions and relationships of characters centred around these items. The album was written and recorded at home by Trothen who also handled all but a few of the performing duties. The result is a set of songs that weave beautifully evolving textures into a carefully arranged sound that matches the directness and understated complexity of its lyrics.
Matt Sweeney and Bonnie Prince Billy – Resist the Urge
Merchant – Dead days and Gatorade
Sufjan Steven’s & Angelo De Augustine-Reach Out
Silk Sonic –Skate
Bobby Gillespie and Jehenny Beth – Chase it Down
John Sally Ride – Putting It Off
Hiss Golden Messenger – Sanctuary
Olivia Rodrigo – Brutal
Gram Parsons – Streets of Baltimore
Silk Sonic – Leave the Door Open
Sufjan Stevens – Mystery of love
Father John Misty – Real Love Baby
John Sally Ride – Don’t Flatter Yourself
Duran Duran – Invisible
Bob’s first 2 selections were suggested by good friend Lisa Riipi. Duran Duran has returned after a 5 year absence with the new single is “Invisible”. The music video for the song was created by an artificial intelligence system called Huxley.
16 years after their original underground classic, Matt Sweeney and Will Oldham reunite for an album that plays like the continuation of a decades-long conversation.
Afew years after he’d decided to start calling himself Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Will Oldham released a song called “A Wolf Among Wolves.” It’s about a person who doesn’t feel properly seen, and it’s exceptionally sad, even for the guy who wrote “I See a Darkness.” “Why can’t I be loved as what I am?” he sighs. “A wolf among wolves, and not as a man.” Wildness, ferocity, heart, all the things wolves tend to signify—the way he sings, it’s as if they’ve all been drained away by loneliness. In the years since, Oldham has made collaboration central to his work, partly, as he recently told GQ, in the hopes of “turning aspects of an innate introversion into something that resembles extroversion.” And while he’s had innumerable artistic successes, both on his own and with others, he never sounds more at home, more fully himself, than he does when writing and recording with guitarist Matt Sweeney. Not for nothing did they name their first album together Superwolf.
personally, I could really only find one or two. Bob added this song from Bonny Prince Billy. Nice song!
Merchant – Dead days and Gatorade
Lisa also suggested the song “ Dead Days and Gatorade” by Merchant because it features Duran bassist John Taylor. Looks like the song gives a excellent advice in how to deal with a hangover.
Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine – “Reach Out”
Heather suggested this song, and here are her notes. This sums it up for sure.
I chose this song because it has been a while since I have listened to Sufjan Stevens. I love the guitar plucking, like tiny thoughts flying through the air, the reflective lyrics and their beautiful voices together.
Bob’s other 3 suggestions were all taken from the blog. “Burning Wood”. This is an excellent blog that contains the musings and tastes of former New York record store owner Sal Nunziato Explore it here. http://burnwoodtonite.blogspot.com/
Silk Sonic is an American R&B superduo consisting of recording artists Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak. The duo released their debut single, “Leave the Door Open”, on March 5, 2021, with a forthcoming debut album, An Evening with Silk Sonic, announced for release. To quote the blog’s author Sal Nunziato, “I took a walk around the neighborhood on Saturday and heard a song coming out of some guy’s car, as he was fiddling with something under his hood. I knew what it was but I couldn’t place it. The Whispers? Tavares? No! Shuggie Otis! I couldn’t place it. Then, while scrolling through one of Brooklyn Vegan’s email blasts, the word “vintage” followed by “R&B” jumped out at me. Could it be Silk Sonic? Yes. It could. “Skate” is the brand new second single from Anderson.Paak and Bruno Mars doing business as Silk Sonic and it’s a good one. The first single “Leave The Door Open” got by me, and it too, has a classic summer soul sound, though I think “Skate” is the better of the two.
The Primal Scream frontman trades brashness for contemplation in this rewarding collaboration with the former Savages singer
During the course of a 35-year career, “sensitive” and “mature” are not adjectives that have often been wheeled out to describe Bobby Gillespie’s lyrics. Indeed, the Primal Scream lead singer’s canon of work has generally favoured MC5-lite rebel posturing over insight and depth. All of which makes this collaboration with former Savages frontwoman Jehnny Beth such a welcome surprise. The pair have written a set of songs located within the wreckage of a marriage that is falling apart, with both parties torn between looking back with remorse and nostalgia on what’s been lost, and moving on and making a new start alone. We’ve come a long way from Bomb the Pentagon.
Recorded with Gillespie’s Scream bandmates, as well as Beth’s regular foil Johnny Hostile, as much care has gone into the arrangements as the lyrics. Opener Chase It Down is a gorgeous slice of southern soul, made all the more powerful for its devastating “I don’t even love you any more” line. Grievances are aired in the despairing Living a Lie. Your Heart Will Always Be Broken, meanwhile, recalls Gram Parsons’s work with Emmylou Harris. Throughout, there are echoes of the rootsier moments from Give Out But Don’t Give Up, but with the earlier swagger replaced by vulnerability. It’s as pleasing as it is unexpected.
Next is “Putting it Off” by the John Sally Ride. Sal Nunziato plays the drums in this trio. Check out the band’s link for some excellent power pop
Hiss Golden Messenger – If it comes in the Morning
Album – Quietly Blowing It
MC Taylor offers up soulful Dylan-esque country rockers about the impact of the system on ordinary lives
At the start of the pandemic, MC Taylor, AKA Hiss Golden Messenger, sat in his North Carolina basement studio and began several months’ of pouring out songs about “life as I felt it”. There was a lot going on outside – protests after the murder of George Floyd, the presidential election, and fires burning across the US – but his thoughts turned to some of the deeper issues underpinning it all, from class and inequality to the climate crisis.
The title track finds him watching the news and sighing “things don’t look too good”. However, the tunes are stirring and uplifting and the overall spirit is optimistic. As the father-of-two sings in the exquisite If It Comes in the Morning: “There’s a new day coming, we’ve been a long time running … but all hope is contagious.”
Olivia Rodrigo – Brutal
Finally we wrap it up with, at this moment, one of the most popular performers on the planet. Olivia Rodrigo.
Sal comments, ““Rodrigo’s “Brutal” is a rip of Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up,” which it is, to some extent. Costello’s response? “This is fine by me, It’s how rock and roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy. That’s what I did.” Is a rip? You be the judge…
Just a note – this episode has extra songs, some come out of our conversations during the show. he extra songs are basically in context and were added to give the show the 90 minutes for VoicEd Radio – thank-you Stephen Hurley!
As they are extras, we are not writing about these ones.
We all have preferred styles of attention and ways that we perceive what is happening to us. It takes lifelong practice of what I call “mirror-wiping” to see things as they are, instead of as we are! “I” am always my first problem, and if I deal with “me,” then I can deal with other problems much more effectively. Similarly, grief work begins with cleansing the lens of my perception, and simply being “here” to what is. Buddhist teacher Cuong Lu is a student of Thich Nhat Hanh, and here he describes a practical way to be present to our pain.
Do you want to put an end to the dark thoughts racing through your mind, the pressures you feel every day, the many ways you don’t feel seen or heard? What do you really want? What do you really want to end? Your thoughts bombarding you 24/7? Your loneliness? Your despair? What do you think happens when life ends? Do you think you won’t feel anything, that you won’t suffer anymore? . . .
Instead of acting on these impulses—stop, wait, and study the details of your life: the skin on your hands, the despair in your throat, the searing currents running through your veins. Study these things as if your life depended on it. When you stay fully present with your feelings, your sensations, and the world around you, even when it seems dark and cold, joy will arise. Joy and suffering are two sides of the same coin.
The way to free yourself from pain is to feel it, not to run away, as difficult as that may be. Be a mountain and be porous at the same time. Become interested in yourself, your thoughts, your emotions, your sensations. This might not make sense now, but it will. . . .
Pain and suffering make life beautiful. This might be hard to believe while you’re suffering, but the lessons you can learn from hardships are jewels to cherish. If you’re suffering, it means you have a heart. Suffering is evidence of your capacity to love, and only those who understand suffering can understand life and help others.
The world needs your suffering, your courage, and your strength. Don’t try to kill your pain. Share it with another, communicate it. If the first person you talk to isn’t the right one, find someone else. Somebody somewhere wants to listen to your pain, to connect with you and understand you. When you find them, when you lighten your burden and discover the jewels and joy that are alive beneath the pain, later you’ll be present for others who are suffering.
I never do this in a blog post, but I am making an exception
The most important part of this post is the quote by Cuong Lu. I found it yesterday by chance after I clicked on Richard Rohr’s site – something I haven’t done in a very long time. It certainly speaks to me and what I am going through now as a result of a year and a half of Covid, and I think there are lots of people out there who could benefit from these words, so I am putting it all out there.
One of the distressing byproducts of Covid is the anxiety and depression it can induce in people. One of the high risk groups are people who have dealt with anxiety disorders in the past. In my case, Covid has led to a recurrence of an old anxiety condition that has not surfaced in seven years.
Now it is back and I am working really hard on drawing myself out from a prolonged period of pretty high anxiety. It is certainly a very slow road.
Many others I suspect are going through this too so I hope this is helpful to those who read my blog. These are extraordinary times and I really think we need to be communicating about how we are doing right now. To do so normalizes the distress and helps everyone to feel part of a community that is struggling with the prolonged pandemic.
No one likes to feel bad, whatever form this takes, but I sincerely believe there is value in times of distress. When we suffer, it causes us to lean in, to learn more about ourselves and grow. Growth and learning can be really hard, but it still is an opportunity to look inside with compassion and interest to see ourselves in a new way.
I have written about my own mental health struggles in the past and these posts are usually the ones that get the most response. That is a good thing. I don’t mind putting myself out there, especially if it helps someone else who is suffering.
We don’t like suffering and we usually do whatever we can to avoid this. While this is natural, I suggest that we have to be present to the challenging times, not just the good ones. We need to learn not to judge these times as ‘bad’, they really are just a part of what it means to be human and we all go through these at various times in our lives.
The best response is to take the time to settle in and reflect.
As Cuong Lu says, “Become interested in yourself, your thoughts, your emotions, your sensations. This might not make sense now, but it will. . . .”
I hope people respond to this post, especially if this helps. I hope people post on how they are doing right now so we can all realize we are a brave bright community that is struggling. I do believe that there is comfort in all of this and that this particular post may help out as people contribute to what I am writing here now.
Even if you don’t write anything, I hope you find some comfort in the notion that the dark times are times of opportunity to learn and grow. Even in discomfort and distress there can be the beginnings of joy.
This was a big week for me picking up songs on CBC Radio 3. This is one of three great ones I listened to during the week. All are pretty obscure, all are worth a listen!
Album – Love Songs for End Times
Ghost Twin is a dark synthpop duo – Jaimz & Karen Asmundson from Winnipeg, that combine roaring synthlines, dirty pulsing bass, dreamy guitar, and a haunting vocal dichotomy where Baroque meets Industrial, with live video percussion that feeds cinema through a cut-up technique imbuedwith occult aesthetics.
Here is a sampling of some of their music:
GHOST TWIN: “Blue Sunshine” LYRIC VIDEO #ARTOFFACT
from a 2017 CBC article:
They are getting ready to release their first full-length album, three years after the couple decided to bring their own brand of dark, brooding electronic music to Winnipeg stages.
On Plastic Heart, fans will get more of the sound they love from the band’s first EP, but this time, with cranked production values.
Jaimz and Karen Asmundson started writing the album in 2015, and after two failed attempts at securing funding to make it, finally got somewhere.
“On the third try, [Michael P. Falk], who is the co-producer and engineer, said, ‘What songs are you submitting?’ and it turned out we were submitting the weirdest songs, that nobody was getting, so we submitted all the really pop-y stuff and then we got the money [from FACTOR and Manitoba Film and Music],” said Jaimz.
The album was produced by Maya Postepski, who has worked with two major sources of inspiration for Ghost Twin: Austra and Tr/st.
The pair have more than a decade of filmmaking experience, including a short film in 2009 that got so much attention it took them to Cannes.
“We made one really silly film together called Goths on the Bus. That was stupidly successful,” said Jaimz. “I still kind of feel ashamed that that’s the most successful film I’ve ever made.”
But for fans of the “really silly” Goths on the Bus, there’s a bit of a callback in their upcoming music video. It’s set in a gym for goths.
All of Bob’s selections this week came from the Amazon Prime TV show Sneaky Pete. You can find which songs are on any movie or Television show using the website TuneFind
The Bright Light Social Hour – Harder Out Here
The Bright Light Social Hour is an American psychedelic rock band from Austin, Texas. The band performs its song, “Harder Out Here’’” over the opening credits of the show. Here is a version of the song live.
Packs – Silvertongue
Another CBC Radio 3 find.
Album – Take the Cake 2021
Initially a solo songwriting project of Link’s (Madeline Link)that she pursued between gigs as a set dresser for commercials, the band blossomed into a four piece, composed of Shane Hooper (drums), Noah O’Neil (bass), and Dexter Nash (lead guitar). Anchored by Link’s voice, which brings such an easy charm to her songs that it’s easy to miss her keen ear for acrobatic vocal lines, together they turn Link’s melodically adventurous and introspective songs into the purest and brightest kind of indie rock. The band’s debut is a collection of songs that marry the loose but incisive jangle of early Pavement with the barbed sweetness of Sebadoh and the wide-eyed wonder of the first Shins LP. It will be released in partnership with buzzy Brooklyn label Fire Talk (Dehd, Deeper, Mamalarky), and Toronto mainstays Royal Mountain (Alvvays, Wild Pink, Mac Demarco).
Just a note, Bob didn’t hear Pavement in this song. Or I would say the Shins either. Still, a good song.
PACKS – Silvertongue (Official Music Video)
To celebrate the announcement, the band have shared new single “Silvertongue” and an accompanying video. The fuzzed-out tune merges Pavement’s laconic flair with Sonic Youth’s simmering menace, while the video finds vocalist Link strutting, staggering and flailing across the Toronto harbourfront, looking effortlessly cool as she rocks a series of stylish jackets.
Of the song, Link said: “It’s easy to be lured into the comforts of past relationships. What’s harder is dealing with years of exhaustion, mistrust, and always hoping. Ditch the whiplash of manipulation and decide what YOU want out of love!”
Gospel Machine is garage gospel band out of Northeast Minneapolis resurrecting the soul and R&B styles of the 1960’s. Gospel Machine formed in 2011 when leader Kyle Burdine wrote a soul/gospel liturgy for a church in Minneapolis. Lutheran Church.
The band perform the featured track, ‘That Ring”
Russell Louder – Vow
My last CBC Radio 3 tune for this week.
Russell Louder is a trans Performance Artist and musician from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, now based in Montreal, Québec.
Borrowing inspiration from the Eurythmics, Florence and the Machine with a hint of Fleetwood Mac for good measure, the Charlottetown-born, Montreal-based Louder says the single “is the introduction. It is the wandering protagonist who sets the tone for the entire album. The idea of finding “home” is now a question, not an answer. Elements of preparation, the romanticizing of arrival, deep, deep uncertainty, pain, lack of belonging – yet bursting with hope.”
Louder’s upcoming album, Humor, is set to explore themes of liberation through an exploration of memory, grief, and identity, with each song representing different characters with some overlapping.
Louder says “some (of the songs) are written in the first person and some are witnessing other characters so it’s like the listener can be a character and also on a journey with other characters in the songs. The characters can be developed and formed in the listener’s mind from the feelings described in the songs and the questions being asked in the lyrics.”
White Denim – Mirrored in Reverse
White Denim is an American four-piece rock band from Austin, Texas, United States. Even after 14 album releases, they still managed to remain active during the pandemic.
Here is a great article about the band and how they dealt with the pandemic
The Pandemic Separated These Band Members. It Didn’t Stop Them From Creating an Album. – Texas Monthly
White Denim playing “Mirrored and Reversed” in Colorado
Los Pinguos – Debajo del Pelo
Debajo del Pelo | Los Pinguos | Playing For Change
Album – Hummingbird 2021
“Debajo del Pelo,” meaning “Under the Hair,” is a beautiful metaphorical song that speaks about life’s experiences and the many lessons learned throughout. Featured on Los Pinguos’ latest album, ‘Hummingbird,’ this video brings together a few of Los Pinguos’ friends across the globe in PFC style. Enjoy!
I am adding a note here about Playing for Change because they always offer such wonderful music and I think they are trying to do some pretty important things right now.
Playing For Change (PFC) is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. The primary focus of PFC is to record and film musicians performing in their natural environments and combine their talents and cultural power in innovative videos called Songs Around The World. Creating these videos motivated PFC to form the Playing For Change Band—a tangible, traveling representation of its mission, featuring musicians met along their journey; and establish the Playing For Change Foundation—a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting music programs for children around the world. Through these efforts, Playing For Change aims to create hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.
and about the band
Los Pinguos came to the United States from Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a mixture of Latin rhythms, reggae, rumba flamenca and rock. The sound of the band has claimed fans worldwide. The story began in 1999 when Adrián Buono, Enzo Buono, José Agote, Juan Manzur and Juan Manuel Leguizamón (later joined by bassist Santiago Lee) formed the band. In early 2001, Los Pinguos arrived in the City of Los Angeles and began playing on the street (3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica) and local bars.
exmagician is Belfast duo Danny Todd and James Smith. The track Kiss the Wealth Goodbye’ was taken from their debut album, “ I Scan the Blue”
BELFAST BAND HAVE PLENTY OF TRICKS UP THEIR SLEEVES.
While it was a sad day when Cashier No. 9 fizzled out a few years ago, fans of their sterling album To The Death Of Fun can turn their frowns upside down now, as the Belfast band’s song-writing nucleus have returned in the form of Exmagician. Featuring childhood friends Danny Todd and James Smith (and not to be confused with the latter’s initial foray under that moniker a decade ago), their debut is a dazzling collection of songs that dispenses with the sunny West Coast vibes of their previous incarnation and delves deeper down the rabbit hole to explore darker, grittier themes and soundscapes.
If her day job as one of America’s best if most underrated songwriters doesn’t work out for Laura Stevenson, her surreal lyrics could make for a poetry bestseller. But it would be criminal to miss out on the air-punching power pop showcased in her latest single, a tackling of heartbreak that’s as knotty and sticky as spaghetti chucked at the wall.
Durand Jones and the Indications – Morning in America
Dominique Fils-Aime – We Are Light
Stone Foundation – The Light in Us
Alejandra Ribera – Courage
Blow Monkeys – Time Storm
Horsey – Lagoon
Gabriels – Love and Hate in a Different Time
The OBGMs – All My Friends
Paul Weller – In Another Room
All of Bob’s selections are from the sampler cd which accompanies the June 2021 issue of Mojo magazine. Paul Weller is the guest editor who picked all the tracks.
Durand Jones and the Indications – Morning in America
Durand Jones and the Indications are a multi-racial neo-soul band from Bloomington Indiana. Blake Rhein and Aaron Frazer, two students at Indiana University got together with singer Durand Jones
This is a 2019 song but sounds like a early 70’s soul classic reminscent of The Isley Brothers or Curtis Mayfield. It’s called, “Morning in America” Neo soul at it’s finest.
Dominique Fils-Aime – Three Little Words
Fils-Aime’s “Three Little Words UPDATED MAR 8, 2021 9:39PM EST – With touring off the table, Canadian musicians with anticipated new records are finding new ways to approach the traditional release cycle – PUBLISHED MAR 6, 2021 9:30AM EST” completes a trilogy of albums celebrating the history of Black-American music, while Tobi’s “Elements Vol. 1” fuses hip-hop, jazz, pop and R&B.
Stone Foundation (featuring Laville) – The Light in Us. From Warwickshire, and Inspired by Stax Records, the Spencer Davis Group, and the Style Council, this Warwickshire, England-based modern soul band released material at a steady rate for over a decade before Paul Weller offered to produce their 2017 album, Street Rituals. That record, and its 2018 follow-up, Everybody, Anyone, were their first albums to grace the U.K. Top 30, and paved the way for the late 2020 LP Is Love Enough?
Alejandra RiberaCourage (Single)
COURAGE – Collective Lockdown Music VideoAlejandra makes her most audacious move yet – bringing us an electronic pop creation to spread courage and strength in uncertain times. COURAGE May 22, 2020
Alejandra Ribera is a Canadian pop and jazz singer-songwriter, who performs material in English, French and Spanish.
Of mixed Argentine and Scottish descent, Ribera was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, and has been professionally based in Montreal, Quebec. She released her debut album, Navigator/Navigateher, in 2009, and followed up with La Boca in 2014. NPR’s Alt.Latino referred to La Boca and her voice as Alt.Latino’s favorite of 2014.
Some of the proceeds from Courage will go to support Doctors Without Borders
Alejandra Ribera has written a song called ‘Courage’ to lift our spirits during these uncertain times. With the help of friends from Singapore to Switzerland – a collectively crafted “home lockdown music video” accompanies its release.
Co-produced by Rob Wilks and Brett Shaw (Florence + the Machine, Foals), this is Alejandra’s first foray into the world of electronic pop. “I normally write quite introspective mellow stuff. When I realised I’d written a whole song about the catharsis of facing what most frightens you I thought it should sound fairly epic. I knew it would take a lot more than me and an acoustic guitar.”
Blow Monkeys – Time Storm
The Blow Monkeys were an eighties band primarily know on this side of the pond for 1984’s “Digging Your Scene”
The band has been close to Paul Weller since then as both groups performed in the 80’s on the anti- Margaret Thatcher Red Wedge Tour
Londoners Horsey – centred around the core duo of Jacob Read (aka DIY fave Jerkcurb) and Theo McCabe – are almost certainly one of the most baffling yet brilliant new bands we’ve come across in a while.
Despite keeping a fairly low profile in terms of press and releasing only a handful of tracks online, the group have built up a firm live following, recently touring with King Krule and selling out none-too-small venues in their hometown.
Why? Because, from the glitzy gold sequinned jackets they sport onstage to the funny, noodling, dark-hearted jazz they tout, Horsey are intoxicatingly odd. Their tracks meander through chintzy piano, to shouty call and response heckles to – on occasion – something resembling a rock opera. They are basically uncategorisable and on new offering ‘Bread & Butter’ they’re doing nothing to make themselves more palatable.
This “Time Storm”from forthcoming album
Gabriels – Love and Hate in a Different Time
Gabriels – Love and Hate in a Different Time
Gabriels is a LA based group made up of singer Jacob Lusk and producers Ari Balouzian and Ryan Hope. ‘Love and Hate in a Different Time’ is their new single. This is anohter example fo how vintage soul music can be done in the 21st century. Gabriels explains, “Love and Hate in a Different Time is about how we appear to be losing the ability to peacefully be together in a space and express ourselves. Together. We have always endured agendas of hate, hardship and war but we have in someway always found a way to be together and put aside our differences. However in recent times with the development of the technology/disinformation it appears this is tested.” Here is an amazing video or as they call it, “a short film”
The OBGMs – All My Friends Album – The Ends
From Exclaim Magazine!
After returning with new single “Not Again” last month, the OBGMs have lifted the curtain on a new full-length record. The Toronto punk trio will release The Ends on October 30 through Black Box Music.
“This album is about death, wanting to die, and fighting for something to live for — it’s the end of all things. I feel this is the one of the most important cross-genre albums this century,” explained vocalist/guitarist Densil McFarlane in a statement. “We are Nirvana, we are the Beatles, and the Stones. We are really changing the dimensions of which the game is played like the Steph Curry of this rock shit. We all have feelings of doubt, uncertainty, and I used to live there. I’m trying not to die there. If I’m going out, I’m going out shooting.”
Produced by Dave Schiffman and recorded at Toronto’s Dreamhouse Studios, The Ends follows the OBGMs 2017 self-titled debut. McFarlane recalled that after touring that record, “I thought me and music was over… My life wasn’t very good at the time, people around me were dying, and everything I was making sucked. I thought it was a sign that I needed to do something else.”
Paul Weller – In Another Room was is a 2019 rarity released as a 7 inch on the experimental label Ghost Box. “Ghost Box is a record label for a group of artists exploring the misremembered musical history of a parallel world.”
Paul Weller, a British institution has been releasing music for almost 45 years. Whether as the leader of The Jam, Style Council or solo, Weller has had dozens of hits single and lps. In North America though, he is mainly remembered for 1982’s “A Town Called Malice”
Here is the Style Council Performing at Live Aid 1985.
The Daily Telegraph said of Weller: “Apart from David Bowie, it’s hard to think of any British solo artist who’s had as varied, long-lasting and determinedly forward-looking a career. The BBC described Weller in 2007 as “one of the most revered music writers and performers of the past 30 years”
I Used to be a Better Man – Small Sins – Album Volume II
This is the first album by Thomas D’Arcy in ten years. He is now mainly a producer (D’Arcy and Drew eventually founded the original Taurus near Cabbagetown. “We had this big huge control room, but I was still just using it for a writer space,” recalls D’Arcy. He quickly began working with friends like July Talk and Sheepdogs side project BROS.)in Toronto, but I think this is a great album, all tracks are pretty strong. One of a few musicians going strong again after a long career.
A few notes on Thomas D’Arcy
Yet, Volume II feels like the most personal work D’Arcy’s produced since, well, Small Sins’ debut. It inevitably fails to live up to it’s counterpart, but that hardly seems to have been the point. D’arcy clearly had some things he wanted to get off his chest that that record’s sound were uniquely suited to conveying.
Here is an interesting video that he self-produced in 2020 in Hyde Park on Christmas Day, featuring all the lyrics from his most recent album Volume II
Lee Perry – Run Evil Spirit
Lee Perry is an international Reggae legend as a performer and producer for such artists as Bob Marley, The Clash, The Beastie Boys and dozens and dozens of Jamaican artists. In 2019 in his 83rd year , he produced the lp Rainford from which “Run Evil Spirit” hails. Vinyl Factory offers an excellent primer in Perry’s work.
Also worth watching is this excellent documentary
How Not to Drown – Chvrches
This is a great track by the Scottish Indy band Chvrches. I love the vocalist Lauren Mayberry and the video is made all that more interesting by the menacing presence of Robert Smith of the Cure. Here are a few notes about the song, I think from Pitchfork.
“We’ve been working with Scott on all the visual aspects of Screen Violence and this video is the second installment in a connected trilogy,” Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry explains. The video builds off of the surreal, film noir-inspired imagery from “He Said She Said,” now with the addition of the Cure frontman appearing on a television screen.
Screen Violence, which derives its title from one of Chvrches’ original proposed band names, will be released August 27th via Glassnote Records, and was largely recorded remotely between Glasgow and Los Angeles during the pandemic. The album follows the band’s 2018 LP Love Is Dead.
And because Robert Smith is such an iconic figure, Bob suggested we add this video
Edwyn Collins – I Guess We Were Still Young
Edwyn Collins is a Scottish Musician. Born in in 1959 , he became known in the early 80’s as the leader of post punk band Orange Juice. Here is the “Sound of Young Scotland’ performing on TV in the early 80’s.
In 2005, Collins was hospitalised after 2 cerebral haemorrhages as detailed here.
I Guess We Were Young
Squirrel Flower – Flames and Flat Tires Album Planet (i) 2021
I just had to add this pithy quote from the Guardian music page
We’re going to blame the trials of 2020 for Ella Williams – AKA Squirrel Flower – not being ranked up alongside the celestial likes of Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten. The songwriter released her debut album, I Was Born Swimming, at the exact moment everything changed for ever. Talk about timing. Flames and Flat Tires is a grunge-folk intoxicant that comes in at under three minutes but will stick with you for hours.
Pitchfork likes Squirrel Flower (Ella Williams) too. They write about her tendency to write about roads and cars. All to say, it is a pretty fine track for a 24-year old.
On Planet (i), the road is a nexus of nostalgia and intimacy: “Iowa 146” uses a whisper-sing delivery and gorgeous, fingerpicked guitar melody to capture the sweetness of a night spent on top of a car with a love interest. But it’s also a site of disasters that haunt Williams’s imagination: the careening firestorms of “Flames and Flat Tires,” or the Missouri floods that inspired “Deluge in the South,” which has the openhearted, country-speckled quality of a Waxahatchee deep cut. Williams’ vivid songwriting and versatile voice bring both sides to life.
Born 1946, Arnold sang backing vocals for Ike & Tina Turner Revue in the fall of 1966 after their tour with the Rolling Stones in the UK. She remained in London to establish a solo career, with the encouragement of Mick Jagger. This interview with PP Arnold gives her amazing story
She released her first album in 1967 on Immediate records. This is a promo video with the Small Faces for the single “If You Are Feeling Groovy”
It took 51 years to see the release of her second album. From “The New Adventures of…”, is the song “Baby Blue”
Yola – Stand for Myself
Yolanda Quartey (born 31 July 1983), known professionally as Yola or Yola Carter, is an English musician, singer and songwriter from Bristol, England. Yola received four nominations at the 62nd Grammy Awards, including the all-genre Best New Artist category.
Again, am going with the Guardian quote, but I don’t get the Banksy reference:
The best thing to come out of Bristol since the rumour that Banksy is actually the scrawny one out of Massive Attack, Yola’s powerhouse vocals will pin you against the wall and make you rethink everything you thought you knew about the modern diva. Stand for Myself is builder’s tea for the soul: strong, warm and a bit of a wake-up call.
When you read about Yola, it is obvious that this is an artist who has hit here stride. In a recent recording done for a benefit MusiCares and the National Bail Out Collective, she played with Sheryl Crow (piano), Jason Isbell (guitar) and Brandi Carlile (back-up vocals). Pretty good.
The statement she wrote about this song – Hold On is worth repeating here:
“Hold On” is a conversation between me and the next generation of young Black girls. My mother’s advice would always stress caution, that all that glitters isn’t gold, and that my Black female role models on TV are probably having a hard time. She warned me that I should rethink my calling to be a writer and a singer… but to me that was all the more reason I should take up this space. “Hold On” is asking the next gen to take up space, to be visible and to show what it looks to be young, gifted and Black.
So, I had to add a clip from one of here performances of Hold On
One final note about Yola, on February 21, 2020, Variety announced that she has been cast to play the role of singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe — dubbed the Godmother of rock and roll — in Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s still untitled drama on the life of Elvis Presley.
I didn’t know who Sister Rosetta Tharpe was, but Bob mentioned a session where she played a great guitar session live. I found one here from 1964. I think might be a great movie!
Tinariwen – Amalouna
Tinariwen Is a group of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. which in the Tamashek language translates as The People of the Deserts or “The Desert Boys. This rotating roster of musicians have been performing and recording since the eighties. In 1980, Libyan ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi put out a decree inviting all young Tuareg men who were living illegally in Libya to receive full military training. Gaddafi dreamed of forming a Saharan regiment, made up of young Tuareg fighters, to further his territorial ambitions. Ag Alhabib and his bandmates answered the call and received nine months of training. Here, the band met additional Tuareg musicians and formed a loosely-organized collective, now known as Tinariwen, to create songs about the issues facing the Tuareg people. This NPR article explains Tinarwen in a nutshell.
Mali’s ‘Guitar Gods’ Tinariwen Receive Racist Threats Ahead Of U.S. Tour
A guitar band from Mali called Tinariwen is famous worldwide. The group’s fans and collaborators have included Robert Plant, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Bono of U2 and Nels Cline of Wilco. The band has fought extremism in their home country of Mali, and been victims themselves. But ahead of a September show in Winston-Salem, N.C., social media commenters are leveling violent, racist attacks against the musicians.
A refresher on Tinariwen: This a group of Tuareg musicians from the north of Mali. The members have been hailed as guitar gods, playing rolling melodic lines and loping rhythms that evoke the desert sands of the Sahara — the band’s native home. The band’s name literally means “deserts” in their language, Tamasheq.
An interesting part of this article talks about The Festival in the Desert. When we broadcast yesterday we talked about the famous concernt and we wondered what had happened to it,.
Again from the NPR article:
The hope for a larger Festival in the Desert was that it could serve as an economic engine and encourage cultural tourism to northern Mali, a region that has often struggled, and to show cultural unity among Mali’s richly diverse peoples, in the years after the country suffered terrible and bloody conflict in the 1990s. To that end, the organizers invited some incredible Malian musicians who weren’t Tuareg to perform — artists like Ali Farka Touré and Oumou Sangare — along with Robert Plant. The 2003 Festival in the Desert became legendary — and it spurred Tinariwen to worldwide success. But the Festival in the Desert didn’t last. The political situation in Mali grew more precarious, and by 2012, Islamist extremists — many of them foreigners — fanned out across northern Mali, in hopes of gaining control. Musicians became a prime target. The Festival in the Desert went into exile, and transformed by necessity into an international touring collective.
Yet another musician Bob and I didn’t know about, Alex Little comes from a pretty interesting famil;y line of musicians. This profile is from the local Vancouver Weekly:
Music has always been a big part of Alex Little’s life. Growing up she watched her father drum for bands around Vancouver, playing for bands like The Payola$ and the Bughouse Five. She was raised to be comfortable in a rock’n roll crowd. Looking up to her father, she would eventually become a drummer herself, playing in punk bands around Vancouver for many years. During that time she was writing her own material on the side, but was a bit shy about it.
It wasn’t until she met fellow Vancouver rocker Andy Bishop that she started down the path of becoming a front woman. Bishop has been a mainstay of the Vancouver music scene for some time, having played in bands like Twin Rivers, Red Cedar, and White Ash Falls. He and Little happened to work together at the Wallflower when they met.
“It was just a fun thing that we never necessarily saw a future in,” Little recalls. “He was very helpful in getting me going. We went to Long and McQuade and he helped me pick out a guitar because, as a drummer, I knew nothing about guitars. Then we just jammed for awhile and wrote together.”
“My best songs are written when I’m having the worst time,” says Alex Little with a wry laugh. “There’s no songs about feeling good. It’s about connecting to that deep dark part of myself, which is the reason why I make music.” This blunt emotional honesty is the driving force behind Vancouver’s Alex Little & the Suspicious Minds, whose scorching garage-pop songs unflinchingly tackle drug addiction, mental health and heartbreak. And yet, despite the heavy subject matter, the group’s soaring choruses and loud guitars mean that the mood is cathartic rather than heavy.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson – I Pity the Country (Paul)
Our updated Playlist
Classified – Powerless
selection by Bob
According to Classified, whose real name is Luke Boyd, the song, titled “Powerless,” is drawn from the experiences of multiple people who’ve reached out to the Nova Scotia musician.
Premiere: Classified’s ‘Powerless’ music video is an incredible ode to missing and murdered Indigenous women
Justin Chandler · CBC Music · Posted: Apr 04, 2018 12:00 AM ET | Last Updated: April 9, 2019
When rapper Classified released his new single “Powerless” two weeks ago, he wrote an impassioned post on his Facebook that concluded: “We need to speak up for these kids … don’t let them feel powerless.”
The track was inspired by responses Classified received when he posted about the news of a Newfoundland man who was sentenced to five years in prison for the rape of an 11-year-old girl. “I thought it was unbelievable,” he said, explaining his outrage towards the case, which led to his post on social media. As a result, he began writing “Powerless” to give a voice to children and women who have experienced abuse.
Buffy Ste Marie – You’ve Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind)
Selection by Bob
You Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind)” was inspired by champion dogsled racer George Attla, who competed in the inaugural Iditarod dog sled race in 1973 and whose story was the subject of 1979 film Spirit of the Wind.
For further exploration, try premier reissue label Light in the Attic’s compilation “Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985.” The following review from Pitchfork appears to hit the nail right on the head.
Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985 features artists from all over Canada combining Native American culture and popular music. The tracklist has been carefully curated to not only to emphasize the diversity of the artists and their ideas, but to reveal the vibrancy and energy of this large and largely undocumented scene.
Also worth viewing is Rumble:The Indians Who Rocked the World.
iskwe & Tom Wilson – Blue Moon Drive
selection and notes by Karen
Tom Wilson and Iskwe- Blue Moon Drive
Tom Wilson- I saw and heard him sing with Iskwe on an online music show during covid and I was so impressed by his stories and their beautiful voices which sound so great together.
He is a 62 year old Canadian rock musician from Hamilton Ont. whose career has included work in Blues, rock, psychedlic folk and folk you may have heard him as he has also been a major part of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Junkhouse and Lee Harvey Osmond along with members of the Cowboy Junkies and Skydiggers
He had a rough and tumble life, battled demons and addictions -with music and visual arts being a real life saver for him
He was raised by his great aunt and uncle but only recently found out that the woman he thought of as his cousin was actually his mother who is part Mohawk. His father was also Mohawk but Wilson didn’t learn of his Mohawk heritage until quite recently.
Tom was commissioned by the city of Hamilton to paint a mural depicting the history of music in that city and he has published a memoir in 2017 titled Beautiful Scars which discusses his discovery of his Mohawk heritage
His son Thompson Wilson is also a musician (formerly part of Harlan Pepper ) and they have toured together
Tom Wilson is very interested in learning more about and sharing his Mohawk culture. He partnered up with Ojibway trumpeter Chuck Copenace who sprinkles his notes, fluttering in the air, in space, and contributing a different breath to song and with
Iskwe( who has been featured on your podcast previously) whose name means blue sky woman- is an artist and creator and communicator of music and movements, pictures, poetry and prose. She’s a teller of stories that impacted our past and will inform our future. She has 3 albums and has performed 100s of shows in Canada and internationally and has been nominated for a Juno. She has a Cree- Metis background from Treaty One Territory who was born and raised in Winnipeg. She refers to herself as an urban indigenous 2-spirited woman from Red River Valley.
The single Blue Moon Drive is an incredible collaboration of 3 amazing artists, a celebration of 4 Indegenous nations uniting together to celebrate their art.
Greg Keelor – Black Feather
selection and notes by Karen
Most of you know him from Blue Rodeo fame but he also has 6 solo albums with the most recent one- Share the Love- coming out during the pandemic.
Greg had a studio version of the songs ready to go when the pandemic hit and decided to record them live in a community centre near Rice Lake with the same musicians. He actually liked the live version but both albums are available for purchase.
Greg says that writing songs is how he deals with “stuff”. He had recently lost a dear mother-like figure and his girlfriend of 5 years left and he was feeling rudderless. His good friend, Frank, who is Cree and from Saskatchewan invited Greg to go to a sweat lodge to pray and he realized Frank’s prayers were all about gratitude- thanking everyone and everything, sun, moon, everything. Frank had brought his pipe, sage and eagle feather and did a smoke ceremony and Greg felt relief for the first time in months.
During that same period, he visited Waskaganish Reserve in James Bay for a gig with Blue Rodeo and he felt a kindred connection to the place. The album grew out of a desire to get away somewhere and be isolated and think. He spent more time there and his friend Charlie Hester ( the director of culture, sports, leisure and tourism for the Cree nation of Waskaganish) took him on a tour of the community which Greg found to be healing in its own way- big beautiful landscape and generous and kind people. Greg had a lot of questions about the pipeline and other Indigenous issues across Canada and he found it a great place to gather his thoughts.
While there he saw a piece of art on the side of a local radio station and it said “Share the Love” on the front of a teepee with a heart in the centre. He found out it was there to honour the life of deceased resident- Claudia Stephen – who had shown many acts of love and kindness in the community and had passed away too soon. Greg obtained permission from Claudia’s family to use the design on his album covers as he was so touched by the 15 ft by 15 ft wall art in her memory.
A combination of his loss along with the generosity of spirit he found in Waskaganish and the example set by Claudia and the love the people had for her energized Keelor from his melancholy. Behind melancholy and sorrow and hardship, there is a river of love or energy that unites everybody and he felt that connection in James Bay very strongly.
Share the Love is a paradox of an album both reflective and uplifting and perfect for the times. Even though we are all isolated, we are all connected. There are many references to feathers on this album and their association with freedom, transcendence and communication with spiritual realms.
The Jerry Cans – Northern lights
selection and notes by Andrea
Shortly after Gord Downie passed away, I heard The Jerry Cans perform “Ahead by a Century” in Inuktitut. Having taught in an Inuit community, I loved hearing a familiar song performed in this beautiful language. The Jerry Cans are a band from Iqaluit, Nunavut. They combine traditional Inuit throat singing with folk music and rock. Their music is largely written in Inuktitut. “Northern Lights” incorporates throat singing and captures the power of the breath-taking land of the Arctic.
Snotty Nose Rez Kids – The Warriors
Selection and notes by Andrea
I first heard Snotty Nose Rez Kids during an interview with Eden Robinson, the Haisla and Heiltsuk author of Monkey Beach. They are a Haisla hip hop duo composed of rappers Darren “Young D” Metz and Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce. “Warriors” is a protest song as part of a benefit album for The Tiny House Warriors, a group that is fighting the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline expansion into Secwepemc Territory in British Columbia, Canada.
Eqpahak by Jeremy Dutcher
Selection by Steve Ferracuti- family friend who is hunkering down in Nova Scotia having finally been able to pierce the Atlantic Bubble and see his new grandson, Fred, and 2-year old, Flo.
Aik pa HUK – where the tide stops Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language
It is hard to know whether and what to celebrate and how to combine this with mourning. I don’t know how we approach all this apart from bringing a sense of humility and respect for our indigenous people and also a sense that these are present issues, not only historical ones, and I hope that we can also bring a sense of real responsibility to all of this. One little tiny part of the “answer” is the theme to this song, that is the songs. I thought it appropriate to celebrate that.
Lido Pimienta – Nada
selection by Mairi
Piqsiq – Artic Hallows – from their 2020 Album TAAQTUQ UBLURIAQ
selections by Claire
2 songs I chose:
1 – I have always been captivated by throat singing. Throat singing, katajjaq, ka TA jjaq was banned in the 20thcentury among many other Inuit traditions when Christian Missionaries went North. They believed throat singing was ‘Satanic’. The ban was only lifted in the 1980s. Watching a duet live has always given me goosebumps and is a beautiful tradition to be celebrated, not oppressed. Listening to throat singing is a reminder of the strength of the Inuit culture and their resilience. I am happy to share a song by this group named Piqsiq. The group consists of 2 sisters, Tiffany Kuliktana Ayalik and Kayley Inuksuk Mackay, with roots in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot and Kivalliq Regions, the sisters grew up in Yellowknife, NWT. They perform ancient traditional songs and eerie new compositions.
Ms.PANIK – Open Hearts from her 2018 Album Open Hearts
Another artist who is new to me is from the West Coast, Ms.PANIK. I was drawn to her beautiful voice, her mesmerizing musical loops and powerful lyrics. She lives in Tofino and the ancestral lands of the klaw-OH-kwee-awt Nation and is originally from the unceded Territory of the (Haida) Nation and member of the southern Kaayahl Laanaas Clan. Tla-o-qui-aht
An additional note from Claire
I wanted to share two artists that didn’t make the list because of the year cut-off. I thought you could hold onto them and add them to another show. Thank you again for organizing this episode. I truly enjoyed the process of consciously looking for Indigenous artists and love discovering new music.
Cris Derksen – Hindsight 20/20 – from the 2010 Album ‘the cusp’. Cris Derksen is from Alberta and is an Indigenous cellist and composer.
Digging Roots – Hwy 17 – from the 2014 Album ‘For The Light’. This song was written to raise awareness about the MMIWG and is a call to action.
Debbie – Claire’s mom who works actively in reconciliation in the Ottawa community and across Canada.
I would love to hear almost anything from Jeremy Dutcher
Maybe ‘Mehcinut’ – first song on his album (pronounced MEH-jin-nud)
I first heard Jeremy Dutcher about 4-5 years ago on CBC when I was driving somewhere. I had to pull over. My eyes filled with tears at his powerful voice, the haunting sounds and the voices from the past captured on wax cylinders. I told everyone about him. His music still stirs something deep within me. So thanks for playing one of his pieces today.
Blackbird sing by high school student, Emma Stevens, in Mi’qmaw, 2019
selections by Heather
Adapted from Paul McCartney’s song, re-written in Mi’kmaq to bring awareness to indigenous languages in 2019, International Year of Indigenous Languages.
Sung by Emma Stevens, performed by students at Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni, Cape Breton.
“The Stranger” from Secret Path, Gord Downey, 2016
I chose “The Stranger” by Gord Downie as my second piece. It tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year old boy who escaped from the Kenora residential school to make the 600 km journey home back to his family and never made it. He was found by the railroad tracks. This happened on 1966 and was actually reported on in 1967 by Macleans. Here is Downie’s introduction, better said:
Mike Downie introduced me to Chanie Wenjack; he gave me the story from Ian Adam’s Maclean’s magazine story dating back to February 6, 1967, “The Lonely Death of Charlie Wenjack.”
Chanie was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to walk home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor know how to find it, but, like so many kids – more than anyone will be able to imagine – he tried. I never knew Chanie, the child his teachers misnamed Charlie, but I will always love him.
I have always wondered why, even as a kid, I never thought of Canada as a country – It’s not a popular thought; you keep it to yourself – I never wrote of it as so. The next hundred years are going to be painful as we come to know Chanie Wenjack and thousands like him – as we find out about ourselves, about all of us – but only when we do can we truly call ourselves, “Canada.”
Downie’s music and Lemire’s illustrations inspired The Secret Path, an animated film broadcast by CBC in an hour-long commercial-free television special in Sunday, October 23.
I used the book – illustrated by Jeff Lamire and the video in my grade 7 and 8 classes. In 2017, I had the opportunity to hear Gord Downie and Chaney’s sisters, Pearl and Daisy, sing an Ojibwe – Anishinaabe blessing.
Rose Cousins – The Benefits of Being Alone, 2020
selection by Colleen
a video about Rose Cousins. She mentioned that hers was the last concert we saw before the pandemic changed everything.
Ahead By a Century – The Jerry Cans
selection by Liam
The Jerry Cans are a band out of Iqaluit, who combine traditional Inuit throat singing with folk music and country rock. The band’s music is written mostly in Inuktitut, and reflects “the challenges and beauty of life in the far north.” The band had local success, but their popularity began to grow after Tanya Tagac won the Polaris prize in 2014 and gave prominence to Inuit throat singing. The band’s name comes from the band trying to rig up a drum set out of jerry cans.
I chose this cover of Ahead by a Century because it reminded me of a couple of things. First, the Jerry Cans and other artists are bringing Inuit music to the forefront, and reminding us that Canada or Turtle Island has many different languages, each of which should be celebrated. Second, this song feels like a bit of a bridge. Ahead by a Century was the last song played in concert by Gord Downie and the Hip. In that same concert, Gord called on us as Canadians to inform ourselves about the ongoing impact of colonialism on Indigenous peoples, and “figure it out.” To me, this song is an ode to Gord and the Hip, but a bridge towards an expanse of Canadian music beyond our traditional understanding, and a reminder of our collective responsibilities towards the process of truth and reconciliation in our country.
Julian Taylor- “The Ridge”
selection by Beth
Julian Taylor started out with Staggered Crossing, a band he formed while still in high school in the mid 90’s. They were fairly successful playing around clubs in his hometown Toronto. They were classified as rock music. In the early 2000’s he formed the Julian Taylor Band which is hard to classify as it mixed many genres but was still within the realms of rock. With his very different introspective 2020 album, The Ridge (of which I chose the title song), he writes about his Black and Indigenous roots. The song The Ridge speaks about this as he reminisces about his childhood and the family members who formed his sense of identity. “The ridge is like a cut- a divide, in half, of me- not only from an emotional standpoint but also from a social standpoint as a Black and Indigenous person growing up in a predominantly white experience .”
Hailing from Portugal, Marito Marques is a Grammy, Latin Grammy and Juno nominee drummer and producer, he takes the sounds of the world into his soul to produce melodies that bring the audience together in an unparalleled unity. Born July 11, 1987 in Arganil, Portugal, Marito began playing the drums at the age of 2, quickly moving on to live performances, including television appearances at 5 years old. Marques pursued his formal instruction at CETM in Coimbra, Portugal. Afterward, Marques moved to New York City to further his studies at the Drummers’ Collective and later at the Manhattan School of Music where he studied under some of the best instructors the school had to offer, including John Riley, Kendrick Scott, Ignacio Berroa or Greg Hutchinson.
Currently living in Toronto, Marques is considered one of the most requested and versatile drummers and producers in Europe and Canada, having performed World Tours with artists in the most diverse music genres; some of which include two Grammy Winners Ivan Lins and Carlos do Carmo, Camane, the Grammy nominees Helik Hadar, Adonis Puentes, Hilario Duran and Jeff Coffin, Anna Maria Jopek, Mino Cinelu. Larnell Lewis, Gregoire Maret, The Wilderness of Manitoba, Sara Tavares, Jesse Cook etc.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
I Pity the Country – Theory of Ice
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the intersections between politics, story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity.
A Note on Leanne’s Family – this I had to include, it is amazing how many hurdles Indigenous people have had to go through just to keep their own status!
Leanne’s grandmother, Audrey Williamson (nee Franklin) was born in Alderville First Nation in 1925, and moved to Peterborough, Ontario at the age of three, as her Dad and Leanne’s Great Grandfather, Hartley Franklin, previously a fishing guide on Rice Lake got a job in town building canoes. Leanne’s grandmother regained her Indian Status under Bill C-31 at the same time as her mom, Dianne Simpson (nee Williamson) in the early 1990s.Leanne and her sisters, Shannon, Ansley, and several of their cousins, regained their Indian Status under Bill C-3 after the bill became law in 2011, and their children regained their status after Bill S-3 became law in 2019. They are all off reserve band members of Alderville First Nation. Leanne was born and raised by her mom Dianne and her dad Barry, who is of Scottish ancestry, in Wingham, Ontario.