When I put things down on paper or in a blog I make a public commitment. Right now I am working on developing an academic schedule that will take me through the next four years. Yes, this is an assignment for one of my courses, but this is really a letter to myself. I understand the importance of committing to a plan. When I was working as a principal I would plan ahead all the time, even though the job by its very nature, was unpredictable. Despite the chaos in running an elementary school, every week I would write weekly plans in a school blog to parents so that they would know what was intended to go on at the school. On some Sunday afternoons, this writing would take hours. I never resented the time. This was an opportunity to reflect on what had happened the week before and plan for upcoming events.
I never worried that the school schedule did not follow what was set down on Sunday. Writing was a way for me to take a longer view and celebrate what was going on with our parent community. This also made the learning more visible for the community.
Six years later I find myself planning again: this time for a Ph.D. which will consume my time for the next four years. The first year in a Ph.D. program is probably the most straightforward. I am in the process of taking six courses – two last semester, three right now and one in the spring. After this I will be starting work on my comprehensives. This begins with the development of my bibliography and continues on following the schedule below:
Committee Member List
Comprehensive Exam:Bibliography Written component Oral presentation
1) October 2) spring 3) fall 2022
Recruitment and data collection
summer – fall 2023
my first draft at a long-term schedule
To get to 2025, I need a detailed schedule. I am sure this will evolve as I learn more about the Ph.D. process. However, on this cold January afternoon in 2022, there is comfort in editing a draft schedule that sets a future path and supposes order to a very busy four years.
The challenge will not only be managing a busy writing and reading schedule, it will be finding ways to balance this work with many other interests. The foundation of the week will remain exercise. If I have learned anything through the Pandemic it is the importance of keeping body, mind and spirit healthy. The activity can change from the Peloton to hiking to biking, but this is where I have to start, I simply can’t afford to let this go no matter how busy things get.
At the heart of all this will be the thesis and defense. These are the end goals and I have to keep these in mind all of the time. Over the past summer I started to collect articles and write summaries of what I was reading. This has fallen off with the amount of work I have been doing, but now I need to get back to the process of preparing for my end goal. To do this, I will reserve one morning a week – Wednesday for reading and summarizing articles that I can start using for my comprehensives and beyond. It is a challenge to block out time for a goal that is so far away, but by the fall I plan to produce a bibliography of 20-30 pages that will prepare me for my comprehensives.
Every article – one-page images – can be single entry or represent a folder with hyperlink; text in different fonts – synthesized big ideas; icon for connections – your own and/or other articles or sources; photo scan – original written notes; ideas – applications for your own teaching.
content or topic with matching photo article on gallery walk – pedagogy
text – big ideas/concepts
← other resources
← applications for own teaching/inspirations
the summary chart I started using last summer – designed by Heather Swail
The summary chart above was really helpful last summer and I plan to start using it again this Wednesday. I have known for a long time that I write best in the morning, especially after an exercise session, so I am going to reserve time every day for writing – summary notes, assignments, reflections, and revising. I plan to put in two hours in the mornings each day to get something down. This semester, my goal is to improve my academic writing. Last semester I learned that while I write well, I am a little careless with my grammar and I need to brush up on my APA and academic style.
This leaves afternoons free for reading – a highly necessary Ph.D. activity. Right now, I am working through Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life by bell hooks (hooks, 1997). She writes that when researching her first book hooks would read up to three books a day, sometimes getting only one line she could use for her own writing (p. 102-103). That will not be me. I am a slow reader; sometimes I need most of the day to absorb one article. I will read every day, otherwise, I will never keep up.
It is one thing to write a schedule, it is another to live it. I will need to weave in the work I continue to do at the university and for Discovery Education. I won’t give up my work with Discovery, I love working with them. The assignments are always different and interesting. Whether I am writing or editing for one of their digital science books, there is a great sense of accomplishment in getting this work done. Without doubt, they are the most positive and affirming people I know, so why would I leave that behind? It is hard to add this work to my growing schedule as I never know when another contract will come up. When it does, I can easily put in 15 hours a week working on their material. Because there is always a deadline, I will have to estimate and portion out my hours throughout the week.
Right now I have one meeting a month with the graduate student committee for Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future. I am definitely the junior member of this group, but I am starting to meet some great people, so I need to find ways to become more involved.
I also want to keep up my teaching at the University of Ottawa. Right now the responsibilities are light: we work as faculty advisors to second-year teacher candidates, but we haven’t been able to visit their schools since the beginning of the Pandemic. Next year I hope to get either another section of this course or even better, a section of the history methodology course that I taught three years ago. I am certain that this experience led me to this PhD journey. I can’t really schedule this time yet, but when the fall comes I will have to restructure my days. For now, I will reserve one morning a week to work on our current course.
reading for comps
when available 3-4 hours daily
when available 3-4 hours daily
when available 3-4 hours daily
when available 3-4 hours daily
when available 3-4 hours daily
when available 3-4 hours daily
when available 3-4 hours daily
5:30 – 8:30pm
11:30 – 2:30 pm
6:00 pm –
9:00 pm –
6:00 pm –
6:00 pm –
6:00 pm –
6:00 pm –
6:00 pm –
My schedule – first draft
There will be adjustments to this schedule over time, but the daily reading and writing will remain the foundation of my schedule. I am leaving some events out like meeting with my supervisors and committee work, but as these become more frequent I will have to find space.
My schedule is seven days. Since my days as a principal, a seven-day schedule made more sense. There is less pressure and at times when there is no Discovery work I can get ahead on my assignments. I really hope to keep my nights free – there needs to be time for fun, just as bell hooks said (p. 122).
What is missing right now is something I love to do. If I mention it here I know I will get back to it – our regular radio shows – Old Fellas New Music. Bob Kennedy, a very long-time friend and I started doing this show in the spring. Work took over and we gave the show a bit of a rest. We got two episodes done over the holiday break and we hope to get another one in next week. This is a great creative outlet and I am determined to work this in, let’s say Wednesday afternoons for now.
What is also missing are some of the activities that were so important to us before Covid. In 2017 Heather and I developed a fundraising campaign for Christie Lake Kids, an Ottawa foundation that provides recreation programming for children throughout the year. Our campaign – Climb for Kids has raised over $100,000 over a three-year period. We raised this money by carrying out group climbing trips in Peru and the Alps. Our next trip was to be Mt. Kilimanjaro, but this has been on hold because of the Pandemic. Our whole family has been involved in this venture and all of our children have worked for Christie Lake Kids. The family is not on the schedule, but in all things, family comes first.
If I write it down, I will do it. If I publish this, I have to do it! Thanks professor for giving me the push to get all this down. I am writing again and it feels great!
hooks, b. (1997). Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life. Holt.
I did a really challenging Petoton class today with Denis Morton. He is tough and I really got a great workout from him. His theme was resetting in a new year and it resonated with me. I think I have been on a mental and emotional reset for most of this year and it is good to look at what this means to me as we enter 2022.
A reset is a good thing. To me, it means recasting, rethinking, and learning from experiences that are unique to me. The first reset for me has been the struggles I have had as a result of Covid. I have written about these in the blog and I am still in the process of recovery, but I am writing now to tell you that recovery is part of the process. It does come and we need to persevere.
This whole period of pronounced anxiety is not a loss, there is so much to learn while you are in such a state. For one thing, I am much more mindful of how I am doing and what I can do to further my recovery process. So many people go through periods like this, it is really important to take these opportunities to learn. Learning seldom happens when everything is going well – there is little motivation for reflection. There vis little real growth.
The resetting process has many components. One big one for me has been the work I have been able to do on my Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa. I have completed two graduate courses and am beginning to start work on three more. This has been such a wonderful learning experience and I find new vistas are opening up all the time as I begin my training as a researcher. Maybe this semester I will find the time to write about what I am learning – reflection through writing is a great way better absorb the experience.
I have also gained much through Noom. I started this last January and have kept at it throughout the year. The psychology behind the program is what keeps me with them. So much of what they write can be applied to other aspects of my life. This is a very positive approach to examining life and how you want to live it. I have also lost 30 pounds and am much more aware of what I need to do to stay healthy.
I have returned to daily meditation practice using another app, Headspace. I have taken a bunch of their courses and am working on the Pro level. This is now part of my daily practice. It is only 10 minutes a day, but I feel like I am learning more about the benefits of the practice.
An on again off again part of the reset has to be Old Fellas New Music. If you read this blog, you will see a number of posts having to do with the music show my friend Bob Kenndy and I have done since the spring. The latest episode is a New Year’s Eve edition. The show had to take a back seat for a few months as I worked through my assignments, but I am hoping in the new year that Bob and I can do this on a regular basis.
So, where does the resetting process take me in 2022? All these elements plus a few others will remain important. Another part of the process has to do with learning to live post-pod with my wonderful partner Heather. Our children are all again on their own with one daughter now in the Maritimes – lots of learning here and having time together is a wonderful reset.
After a challenging year, it is important to reflect on what one is learning. No experience is wasted, everything we do has its purpose. Resetting for a new year means reflecting on the old and setting sights on what comes next. It has been a remarkable year in so many ways; we honour the time by pausing to reflect on all this.
This week, we are getting out our blog early so you can read up on the bands we will be playing. Again, we will try to live stream through Mixcloud using OBS software this time – last week, the live stream dropped all the time so I am hoping this will work better. Here is the link to use if you want to hear and see the broadcast – https://www.mixcloud.com/live/paul-mcguire3/
here are our selections for this week – some of this year’s best songs
Kiwi Jr – Only Here For a haircut
Jenna Esposito – The Other Side of Forever – Guardian
Kiwi Jr. is a Toronto-based band. This is the third song from the album “Cooler Returns” that has been featured on this podcast twice already. Released in Jan. 2021, this hasn’t left Bob’s turntable since he bought the album.
I thought this was a great song, but when you read the incredible story below from the Guardian, I think you will agree we needed to include this one.
The best songs of 2021 … that you haven’t heard
It’s the heartbreak and hopefulness of a turbulent 2021 from the mind of a songwriter who knows them all too well. Ernie Rossi, owner of century-old gift and music shop E Rossi and Company in New York City’s Little Italy, was sidelined by health problems after reopening following the long city-mandated shutdown. Margaret, his wife of 51 years, knew the neighborhood icon might not stay afloat if doors closed once again and solely took over duties with the couple’s best friend, Freddy. Then this past spring, both Margaret and Freddy caught and died of Covid-19. In the wake of their consecutive deaths, Rossi wrote The Other Side of Forever, a heartfelt tribute to the bond the trio shared and the immense loss he feels. Recorded by the New York indie artist Jenna Esposito, the earworm ballad with a momentous opening and climatic finale was produced in the Italian folk style the store was known for being a chief importer of nearly 100 years ago. And today, Rossi is continuing his fight to stay in business.
This Australian band via Tasmania are an absolute delight. We had to be satisfied in listening to this album on Spotify as it is darned near impossible to snag a physical copy unless one is willing to pay a ridiculous price. The NME calls “Gutters of Love” an instant classic.
As the 2010s drew to a close, Quivers found themselves on the ascent. They’d established a new lineup, and permanently relocated to Melbourne from their native Tasmania. They’d released two acclaimed singles, ‘You’re Not Always On My Mind’ and ‘When It Breaks’, which balanced a summery jangle-pop exterior and melancholic inner turmoil. American broadcasters NPR and KEXP co-signed their music, while at home they crossed a rare divide by getting played on both Double and triple j.
Having essayed one end of heartbreak with the piano lament Drivers License, Rodrigo’s mood swung like a wrecking ball towards this equally massive hit (between them, they spent 14 weeks at UK No 1). From its sarcastic title downwards, Good 4 U’s recrimination has the kind of bitterness that softens with age and only a teenage palate can truly appreciate, as Rodrigo rages against her blithely happy ex. The ways the chords shift through different shades of hurt is riveting, as is Rodrigo’s delivery, as if writing in a journal with the nib piercing the paper. BBT
Released in January, Drivers License sprang (almost) out of nowhere like a heaved sob. Four days later, it broke Spotify records for the most single-day streams (Christmas songs exempted). The next day, it broke that record again. After 10 weeks at No 1 in the US and nine in the UK, it has been streamed 1.9bn times. Next Tuesday, the California-born songwriter makes her live debut at the Brits; the following weekend, she does Saturday Night Live; a week later she releases her debut album, Sour, a grippingly well written – all by her – collection of balladry, pop-punk, bitter diatribes and euphoric taunts that dwells on this romantic treachery. Even in an era when virality powers pop, Rodrigo’s is a fast rise.
The Drivers License singer reflects on turning her first big breakup into the year’s biggest hit – and how songwriting saved her from the anxieties of being a Disney star
My second source for the best music comes from Pitchfork Magazine. I chose their #3 and #7 choices – both great songs by artists that are new to me.
In another trying year, many of the best songs—from “Like I Used To” to “Pick Up Your Feelings” to “Hard Drive” to “Good Days”—were about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and trying again. These tracks gave us a shoulder to cry on, but also, crucially, a kick in the pants when we needed it most. They were the soundtrack to our 2021, and we have a feeling we’ll keep turning to them in better times yet to come. These are the 100 best songs of the year.
Wet Leg – Too Late Now .
Old Fellas featured Wet Leg’s catchy “Chaise Lounge” a while back which is one of four single releases in their small but impressive output. An album released is anticipated for spring 2022 so listening to the last single release “ Too Late Now” will have to do until then. Great bathrobes!
Low – Days Like These
Alan Sparhawk spirals through a series of escalating horrors as he offers a summary of his mindset over the past five years: “Holy crap, this guy’s going to be our president. Oh crap, he’s our president. Wow, things have been horrible for a long time, and it’s getting worse. What, we’re sick? We’re all going to die now?” Eventually, the Low singer and guitarist shifts from a cartoonish hysteria into a gruff acceptance as he makes a broader point about American life in 2021 as well as his band’s combustible new album, HEY WHAT. “Look at where we are,” he says, zooming to the present tense. “We’re still looking in each other’s eyes and going, What the hell?”
Along with his bandmate and wife, Mimi Parker, Sparhawk has long found inspiration in this type of unlikely perseverance. Nearly three decades into their career, and on their 13th album, Low are making their strangest, strongest, and most fearless music to date. On HEY WHAT, the duo is once again joined by producer BJ Burton, known for his work with Bon Iver and Charli XCX, who helped them explore abrasive digital effects and alien vocal manipulation on 2018’s Double Negative. The new album presents these abstract textures with even more intensity, as Sparhawk and Parker’s gorgeous harmonies pierce through a vertiginous landscape of glitches and static that may make you wonder if your speakers are imploding while you listen.
“Days Like These” is a song in the form of an eclipse: the first half made of blinding light, the second an uncanny, disembodied stillness. Singing into a static blur that sounds like wind noise on video, or like someone’s sawing through the tape, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker describe a vast and subtle longing, a desire for a kind of transcendence not found on Earth. “Know that I would do anything,” they cry, their fried-out vocals taking on the call-and-response pattern of a hymn. But in this strange, desaturated grief, there’s no action to take. Even the song doesn’t end, really; it just stretches out, twinkling in the distance, a lone satellite pressing on toward the edge of space. –Anna Gaca
James Clark Institute
James Clark institute – Little Powder Keg
To quote The Pursuit of Happiness’ Moe Berg, ““James takes the power pop traditions of The Beatles, Jellyfish and Split Enz and combines them with the high IQ lyrics of Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. The result makes him one of Canada’s greatest unsung songwriters”
Also, here’s great version of the Badfinger classic “Baby Blue”
Mitski: “Working for the Knife” #7
The saying goes that if you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Mitski would like to have a word on that. After a long and grueling world tour supporting her breakthrough album Be the Cowboy, the singer took time off in 2019, saying she needed a break from the “constant churn” of performance. “Working for the Knife” is her brooding, melancholic first major single back from this respite, and acts as an incisive warning about how much of our identity we give to our life’s greatest undertakings, and who we’re giving it up for. The song unfolds as a balancing act of vulnerability and expectation, of altruistic self-expression and the vanity of wanting to be seen, or even adored. There’s some humor to it all; forlorn, she recognizes that the world never stops turning, and that it’s fine to lie to ourselves if it helps pass the time. It’s a one-act play of existential malaise and a sardonic anthem for those who can’t help but seek out the spotlight. –Puja Patel
Silk Sonic is an R&B superduo composed of singer Bruno Mars and rapper and singer Anderson .Paak. The duo released its debut single, “Leave the Door Open”, in March 2021, and its debut album, An Evening with Silk Sonic, in November 2021. This song veers close to a parody of 70’s soul but it’s just too good to be considered so.
This is taken from the 2020 album, All the Good Times (Are Past & Gone). This won the duo a 2021 Grammy award for Best Folk Album. It features cover versions and traditional songs.
This is a cover of a 1978 Bob Dylan song.
Bon Enfant – Magie
Appearing seemingly out of nowhere on Nov. 1, 2019, the debut album by quintet Bon Enfant made quite a splash in an already-rich album release season. Featuring the core singer-songwriter duo of Daphné Brissette, of Canailles fame, and Guillaume Chiasson, of Ponctuation, the Bon Enfant album made its way to our ears with shimmering soft-rock, replete with catchy choruses. Daphné Brisette spoke to us about their unexpected critical success.
Bon Enfant is already busy writing the songs for their next project, while touring an increasing number of dates over the next year. “We’ll play all the festivals!” Brissette promises.
Story by Philippe Renaud | January 21, 2020
Aldous Harding – The Barrel
Aldous Harding – The Barrel from 2019 album “Designer”
Hannah Sian Topp , known professionally as Aldous Harding, is a New Zealand folk singer-songwriter, based in Cardiff, Wales.
This profile does an excellent job of capturing this singer.
Things You (Possibly) Didn’t Know About Aldous Harding
1 May 2019
By Triple R volunteer writer Katherine Smyrk
People seem to have a hard time pinning down 29 year old New Zealand musician Aldous Harding. Her first, self-titled album was described as ‘gothic folk’. Then Party hit the airwaves and people scrambled to pin its sound to the ground. One Guardian reviewer labelled it ‘mesmeric, folk-adjacent’. Now, her third album, Designer, is out to thwart your attempts at classification again. And yet, her music is only becoming more and more popular. Maybe listeners like that she is undefinable; maybe they like that she can be a jazz crooner, Kate Bush and the Wicked Witch of the West in one album.
Here is the official video for The Barrel which has a nice unhinged feel to it
Yo-Yo Ma and Jeremy Dutcher – Honor Song
write-up by Heather Swail
As soon as I heard that Yo-Yo Ma had a new album that featured Jeremy Dutcher I took a listen and then another. Just released, Ma’s album “Notes for the Future” features Dutcher and other artists representing 5 continents. Yo-Yo Ma’s site tells us that the album and its collaborators “explore our fears and hopes, reminding us that the future is ours to shape, together.” The nine tracks feature vocals in Arabic, Zapotec, Catalan, Paiwan, Spanish, Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqey, Ewe, Maori and English.”Honor Song” is a Mi’kmaq anthem. Dutcher’s haunting tones and MA’s cello bring you to another place, and also remind you where you are.
Notes for the Future brings together extraordinary artists from five continents: across nine tracks, Ma joins Angélique Kidjo, Mashrou’ Leila + Narcy, Tunde Olaniran, Jeremy Dutcher, Andrea Motis, ABAO, Lila Downs, and Marlon Williams to explore our fears and hopes, reminding us that the future is ours to shape, together.
Evie Sands – Leap of Faith
Evie Sands – Leap of Faith “Get Out Of Your Own Way” 2020
Evie Sands was born in Brooklyn, New York 1946 and has had a long and interesting career on the fringes of pop music.
When the pub quiz question comes up, be prepared: The guy who wrote Wild Thing, Chip Taylor, is the brother of actor Jon Voight and therefore the uncle of Angelina Jolie. For bonus points, he also wrote the country song Angel of the Morning which was a big hit for Merrilee Rush and further popularised by Olivia Newton-John and Juice Newton.
Unfortunately it wasn’t a hit for the first person who recorded it, the sometimes remarkable and largely overlooked Evie Sands.
Then again, it seemed Sands was doomed to never get a hit despite her impassioned voice and assured delivery.
Here’s her classic from the 60’s, “Take Me For A little While”
She’s still at it 55 years later
The Paranoid Style – A Goddamn Impossible Way of life
Write-up by Brian McGuire
Ok I have a song/band and I will give a script. Here go’s
So there is no wonder why the best band in America: Wussy which will be the subject of another broadcast totally lives The Paranoid Style. The name of the band comes from a famous article by American historian Richard Hofstadter called ” The Paranoid Style in American Politics “. The lovely and committed rock and rollers have day jobs. I think they are cool progressive lobbyists and their music shadows their political interests. But they are kick ass and to their credit these lovelies are moonlighting.
Robert Christgau gave the Paranoid Style’s 2013 EP The Power of Our Proven System an A- grade. In his review, Christgau wrote that “this band has yet to release a dull song” and that on the EP, the band “mine[s] a pop-rock vein that braces Nelson’s cleanly uncrystalline articulation against Bracy’s noisier guitar and a straight four that doesn’t quit.” He later gave Rock and Roll Just Can’t Recall an A grade, Rolling Disclosure an A- grade, Underworld U.S.A. an A- grade, and A Goddamn Impossible Way of Life an A grade.
Jennifer Castle – Justice
Jennifer Castle – Justice from 2020 album Monarch Season
This song has the distinction of being the shortest song played on this venerable podcast. Jennifer Castle is a Canadian singer-songwriter based in Toronto, Ontario. She has released music since 2006 and has been on the Polaris shortlist.
For those with the time or inclination, here is Castle performing a set in 2018 at Massey Hall.
Rina Sawayama – Enter Sandman
This is an incredible project and the only time we have played Metallica on this show. A great compilation by 53 artists with several versions of Enter Sandman.
Both The Metallica Blacklist and the deluxe anniversary release of The Black Album (14 CDs, six LPs, six DVDs, and more) will be released on September 10th. Along with the Weezer, Isbell, and J Balvin covers, the Blacklist also features contributions from Miley Cyrus, St. Vincent, Jon Pardi, Yo-Yo Ma, Elton John, Phoebe Bridgers, Chris Stapleton, and dozens of other artists.
Jeff Tweedy – Bad Day Lately from 2020 Love Is the King
Jeff Tweedy is an American songwriter, musician, author, and record producer best known as the singer and guitarist of the band Wilco. This song is from his 4th solo album. He started making this album after COVID hit and a Wilco tour was cancelled.
Judging by his pants? pajamas?…. This a truly COVID era video!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.