Old Fellas New Music Episode 16 Notes

Our newest episode on Mixcloud!!

Episode 16 – our song list

Small Sins  – I Used to be a Better Man 

Lee Perry – Run Evil Spirit

Chvrches – How Not to Drown  

Edwyn Collins – I Guess We Were Still Young

Squirrel Flower – Flames and Flat Tires

P.P. Arnold – Baby Blue

Yola – Stand for Myself

Tinariwen – Amalouna

Alex Little and the Suspicious Minds – Big Lies

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.

Exclaim Magazine

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

Thomas D’Arcy
Filmed on Christmas day, 2020 at High Park in Toronto. This is one continuous shot.
From the Album Small Sins: Volume II, out Feb 12th 2021 via Thomas D’Arcy Music, distributed by Arts and Crafts. 
Self-shot. Directed, edited and titled by Ryan Gullen.

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.  

If jazz has Sun Ra and funk has George Clinton, then reggae has Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Also worth watching is this excellent documentary

The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry

How Not to Drown – Chvrches

CHVRCHES, Robert Smith – How Not To Drown (Official Video)

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.

Earlier this week, Chvrches and Robert Smith released their collaborative single “How Not to Drown,” from the group’s upcoming album Screen Violence, and have now released a music video for the song directed by Scott Kiernan (who also helmed the band’s earlier “He Said She Said” clip).

“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

Robert Smith (The Cure) in episode of South Park where he battles Barbara Streisand

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. 

orange juice flesh…

 

In 2005, Collins was hospitalised after 2 cerebral haemorrhages as detailed here. 

Edwyn Collins talks about his two strokes (Channel 4 News, 2.10.14)

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.

The Guardian

Squirrel Flower – Flames and Flat Tires [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

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.

Pitchfork

P.P. Arnold – Baby Blue

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      

PP Arnold -Talks about T.Turner,M.Jagger,B.Gibb,Clapton,A.Franklin & more -Radio Broadcast 14/07/19

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”

SMALL FACES & P.P. ARNOLD – (If You Think You’re) Groovy RARE BEACH PROMO 1967

It took 51 years to see the release of her second album.  From “The New Adventures of…”, is the song “Baby Blue” 

P.P. Arnold “Baby Blue” Official Song Stream – Album out August 9th, 2019

Yola – Stand for Myself

Yolanda Quartey (born 31 July 1983[1]), 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.

The Guardian

Yola – “Stand For Myself” [Official Music Video]

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

Yola performs “Hold On” with Supporting Vocals by The Highwomen for Play On: A Benefit Concert

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!

Sister Rosetta Tharpe- “Didn’t It Rain?” Live 1964 (Reelin’ In The Years Archive)

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.

NPR

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.

NPR 2019
TINARIWEN – TAQKAL TARHA (feat. Micah Nelson)

Alex Little and the Suspicious Minds – Big Lies

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.”

Vancouver Weekly

Alex Little and the Suspicious Minds – Big Lies (Official Visualizer)

a little more about here from her website

“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.

Alex Little and the Suspicious Minds

Some of the lyrics that show a bit of that dark side:

Yeah you grew up fast in the city, you were always cool and ready for it all

you can walk real good in stilettos walk around all night til’ you fall

everyone in the place wants to know you

cause you seem like everything they wanna be

if I could take all the lights in the world and shine them in your eyes would you see?

A slight reflection in the glass is worth your time dear

worth your time dear

Our updated Playlist

A Broadcast for July 1st in Canada – Old Fellas New Music Episode 15

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT – we are broadcasting from unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe territory

Week 15 – July 1st Track List

Link for all our shows – https://www.mixcloud.com/paul-mcguire3/

Tracklist and contributors

Sequence

  1. Classified – Powerless  (Bob)
  2. Buffy Ste Marie – You’ve Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind) (Bob)
  3.  iskwe & Tom Wilson – Blue Moon Drive (Karen)
  4. Greg Keelor – Black Feather (Karen)
  5. The Jerry Cans – Northern lights (Andrea)
  6. Snotty Nose Rez Kids – The Warriors (Andrea)
  7.  Jeremy Dutcher –  Eqpahak (Steve)
  8. Lido Pimienta – Nada (Mairi)
  9. Piqsiq – Arctic Hallows (Claire)
  10.  Ms.PANIK – Open Hearts (Claire)
  11.  Jeremy Dutcher  – Mehcinut (Debbie)Emma Stevens – Blackbird (Youtube recording)(Heather) (pronounced MEH-jin-nud)
  12.  Gord Downey – “The Stranger” (Heather)
  1.  Rose Cousins – The Benefits of being Alone (Colleen)
  1.  Ahead By a Century – The Jerry Cans (Liam)
  2. Julian Taylor- “The Ridge” (Beth)
  3. Marito Marques – Manjerico (Paul)
  4. 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

Classified’s new music video for ‘Powerless’ focuses on the missing and murdered Indigenous women of Canada. (Screenshot from ‘Powerless,’ by Classified)

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.

CBC April 4, 2018

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.

Buffy Sainte-Marie & Tanya Tagaq “You Got To Run (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

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.

Pitchfork Magazine

and a video about the compilation – pretty interesting

Light In The Attic Docs Presents – Native North America (Vol. 1)

you can purchase the collection here

Also worth viewing is Rumble:The Indians Who Rocked the World.   

RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World – Official Trailer

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

Greg Keelor – Black Feather (Official Lyric Video)

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

The Jerry Cans

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.

The Jerry Cans – Northern Lights

  Snotty Nose Rez Kids – The Warriors

Selection and notes by Andrea

Snotty Nose Rez Kids

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.

Rose Cousins – The Benefits Of Being Alone (Live on eTown)

 

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 .”

Marito Marques – Manjerico

selections by Paul

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 Familythis 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.

The lyrics to a very powerful song

I pity the country

I pity the state

And the mind of a man

Who thrives on hate

Small are the lives

Of cheats and of buyers

Of bigoted news press

Fascist town criers

Deception annoys me

Deception destroys me

The Bill of Rights throws me

In jails they all know me

Frustrated are churchmen

From saving a soul man

The tinker, the tailor

The colonial governor

They pull and they paw me

They’re seeking to draw me

Away from the roundness

Of the light

[Verse 2]

Silly civil servants

They thrive off my body

Their trip is with power

Backbacon and welfare

Police, they arrest me

Materialists detest me

Pollution, it chokes me

Movies, they joke me

Politicians exploit me

City life, it jades me

Hudson Bay flees me

Hunting laws freak me

Government is bumbling

Revolution is rumbling

To be ruled in impunity

Is tradition continuity

I pity the country

I pity the state

And the mind of a man

Who thrives on hate

Willie Dunn

we have broadcasted from the un-ceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe peoples

Miigwech, thank you

Old Fellas New Music Episode 14 Notes

the artists for this weeksome of

Music for Week 14

Quivers- You Are Not Always on My Mind

Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen – Like I Used To

Coal Porters – The Day the Last Ramone Died

Bleachers – Chinatown 

Goon Sax – A Few Times Too Many

Japanese Breakfast – Paprika

Lambchop – A Chef’s Kiss

Mdou Moctar – Chismiten

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg – Reel Around the Fountain

Our show on Mixcloud

Episode 14. You can find all our episodes here
And here is our ever-growing Spotify Playlist

Quivers- You Are Not Always on My Mind

The Quivers performing some pop perfection:

Quivers – You’re Not Always On My Mind (Live on KEXP)

Sharon Van Etten and Angel OlsenLike I Used To

I have to start with another fun quote from the Guardian

“I strongly believe that if Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen teamed up to sing anything up to and including Las Ketchup it would be a moment so emotional we’d all emerge three minutes later with dewy eyes and a strong urge to become better people. So you can imagine what they’ve done with this swirling eddy of a song. Exhaustingly amazing.”

Guardian

Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen – Like I Used To (Official Video)

This is another artist(s) that seem to be really popular in the UK, but I have never heard them here. Not that this is any measure of note. But everything I read about this new single is really positive and the video is pretty good too. Last word goes to Pitchfork:

Their first collaborative single, “Like I Used To,” lives up to its potential, plays to their strengths, and still manages to pack a surprise.

Pitchfork

The Coal Porters

The Coal Porters was a long time Sid Griffin led band.  Sid  in the 80’s was in the band the Long Ryders .  This is a cut from their 1984 debut ep . 

The Long Ryders – 10-5-60

2016 brought the Coal Porters tribute to the Ramones, The Day the Last Ramone Died”   

The Coal Porters – The Day the Last Ramone Died (Official Video)

The “1234” used in the lyrics is of course reference to how many Ramones song began.  

 The “Gabba Gabba Hey”  references  Tod Browing’s 1932  disturbing horror classic, “Freaks” 

Freaks (1932) – Gooba Gabba Gooba Gobble

 Sid is also an accomplished author. 


Bleachers

Bleachers is an American indie pop act based in New York City. It is the official stage name of songwriter and record producer Jack Antonoff, who is also part of the bands Steel Train, Fun, and Red Hearse. Bleachers’ pop music is heavily influenced by the late ’80s, early ’90s and the high school-based films of John Hughes while still using modern production techniques. Their first single, “I Wanna Get Better“, was released February 18, 2014.

Panned on The Guardian with song – Stop Making This Hurt

The world’s premier Springsteen tribute act is back with producer extraordinaire Jack Antonoff channelling the Boss into a skittery break-up song. It feels as if it’s trying to say one thing and do another, with the gang vocals attempting to build to euphoria, but coming off a bit like a bunch of lads worse for wear on the train after a match.

Instead, we featured the song Chinatown  and there are several Youtube videos of this song, all with Bruce Springsteen. This is the one I liked

Bleachers – Chinatown (BLEACHERS ON THE ROOF live at electric lady) ft. Bruce Springsteen

How did Jack Antonoff get Bruce Springsteen to play on this song? You will have to listen to the broadcast to get Bob’s reasoning which makes lots of sense.

Another great song, but outside our timeline is Roller Coaster

Bleachers – Rollercoaster

Their upcoming album including Chinatown and Stop Making This Hurt will be Take The Sadness Out of Saturday Night.


Goon Sax

The Goon Sax are indie pop trio from Brisbane, Australia. Formed in 2013, the band consists of Riley Jones, Louis Forster and James Harrison.

The Goon Sax – A few times too many

I think Robert Christgau, (the “ Dean of US Rock criticism “) hits the nail on the head,  

The Goon Sax

  • Up for Anything [Chapter Music, 2016] A-
  • We’re Not Talking [Wichita Recordings, 2018] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Up for Anything [Chapter Music, 2016]
My brilliant wife heard Go-Betweens in this high school band well before I learned that Robert Forster’s son Louis was a cofounder or that they were “driven” by a female drummer or even that they were Australian. Nah, I told her, though I liked them fine–too crude. And indeed, they’re cruder than even the earliest Go-Betweens, who were a university band after all, and somewhat static at their worst. Usually, however, they’re charming at least. When Louis fantasizes about a “Boyfriend” or James Harrison hates the “Telephone,” it just accentuates the specifically adolescent angst they pin down so much more candidly and affectingly than any other high school band that comes to mind. “If you don’t want to hold my sweaty hands / I completely understand”? Pretty mature, in its way. A-

We’re Not Talking [Wichita Recordings, 2018]
Although Louis Forster takes fewer leads on this young threesomes’s smoother and trickier follow-up, their unpretentious affect, plain guitar, and flat groove still recall the early years of his dad’s Go-Betweens. True, Louis reports that he’s barely heard them. But I doubt de facto frontman James Harrison was so cautious, and can imagine drummer Riley Jones learning that Lindy Morrison never stepped up to the mike and deciding she’d better: “I don’t want distance / When distance always seems to be the thing / That comes and hurts us.” In any case, a university art band they’re not. Instead they’re still reflecting on adolescence with a humility and concentration that hurts. No one’s calling but they’re not picking up the phone. Passing your bus stop hurts even though they know you need time to yourself. Come to think on it, they “never knew what love meant” anyway. Yet already mortality impends in the form of “piles of books I’ll never read / And a list of things I’ll never be.” Twelve songs in half an hour that say more than they pretend and plenty they may only intuit. A-

Robert Christgau

Comparisons to the Go- Betweens are unavoidable.  Here’s a neat little 5 minute bio  with Louis Forster’s dad Robert.  

The Go-Betweens: The 80s band that never conquered the world – BBC Newsnight

Japanese Breakfast – Paprika

This is the second act that Bob and I were both planning to feature for this show. Here are some selected quotes from Exclaim Magazine.

“When the world divides into two people / Those who have felt pain and those who have yet to,” Michelle Zauner sings during the aching ballad “Posing in Bondage.” It’s clear that she falls into the former camp, but Jubilee, her third album as Japanese Breakfast, dances the pain away. Whether it’s the fashionable funk of “Be Sweet” and “Slide Tackle,” the stately Beirut horns of “Paprika,” or the honeyed pop classicism of “Kokomo, IN” and “Tactics,” Jubilee is always tinged with melancholy but never defeated by it.

I couldn’t find a good version of Paprika on Youtube so instead here is her performance on the Tonight Show with Be Sweet from the same album.

Alex Hudson – Exclaim Magazine

Japanese Breakfast: Be Sweet | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

# 20 0n Exclaim!’s 31 Best Albums of 2021 So Far

Japanese Breakfast is an indie rock band headed by Korean-American musician, director, and author Michelle Zauner (born March 29, 1989). The band released its first studio album Psychopomp (2016) on Yellow K Records, followed by Soft Sounds from Another Planet (2017) and Jubilee (2021) on Dead Oceans.

Zauner released her debut book, Crying in H Mart: A Memoir, via Alfred A. Knopf in 2021. The book is planned to be adapted into a feature film by Orion Pictures, with Zauner providing the soundtrack.


Lambchop –  A Chef’s Kiss

Lambchop – A Chef’s Kiss (Official Lyric Video)

Here is an interview with Lambchop’s head guy Kurt Wagner explaining the lp “Showtunes”

Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner: “I was looking for something less structured, something I hadn’t done before” – Interview by Steven Johnson

On the background to new album Showtunes, converting guitar into piano sounds, continuing to embrace technology and broadening his range of collaboratorsLambchop's Kurt Wagner

Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner (Photo: Angelina Castillo)

As frontman of Lambchop for the best part of the last 30 years, Kurt Wagner has pursued a long, satisfying musical journey where developments within the band’s sound have been gradual and considered. Yet, there have also been discreet nods to different genres along the way, pleasing embellishments and expansions to their core alt-country aesthetic. New album Showtunes provides another stylistic detour of sorts, building on the fresh direction put in place on 2019’s This (Is What I Wanted To Tell You) and 2016’s FLOTUS as Wagner takes indirect inspiration from showtunes, American standards from the first half of the 20th century.

These aren’t covers or close appropriations however, but rather typically impressionistic pieces that bring together Wagner’s songwriting strengths and his broader interest in musical experimentation. Given the sense of progression that has defined Lambchop’s recent releases it feels oddly apt that when we catch up with Wagner to talk about the album, the conversation begins on a travel-related note. “I’m out here in Las Vegas visiting my in-laws at the moment. We haven’t seen them in quite a while, so we just drove on out here. It feels weird to actually travel. I haven’t been on an interstate for over a year. It feels like things are transitioning with the pandemic. Having driven across the country, it feels like we’re on the cusp of a lot of people getting out and about.”

more here


Mdou Moctar – Chismiten

I read a few articles about this amazing musician from Niger the first one from Pitchfork. Their new album is listed as on of the top 6 you need to be listening to right now.

Some notes about who he is:

  • Mahamadou Souleymane,[1][2] known professionally as Mdou Moctar (also M.dou Mouktar; born c. 1986[3][1] or 1984[1]) is a Tuareg songwriter and musician based in Agadez, Niger, and is one of the first musicians to perform modern electronic adaptations of Tuareg guitar music.[4][5] He first became famous through a trading network of cellphones and memory cards in West Africa.[6]
  • Mdou Moctar is a popular wedding performer and sings about Islam, education, love, and peace in Tamasheq.[7][8][9] He plays a left-handed Fender Stratocaster guitar in a takamba and assouf style.

A little from the Pitchfork article:

If it were up to Mdou Moctar, the fiery, psychedelic rock music that has made him one of the most respected guitarists working today would be kept far away from professional recording studios. “With all due respect to all engineers,” the Tuareg virtuoso recently confessed to Reverb, “I find it much too square.” Late last year, the Nigerien musician gathered his bandmates outside a friend’s house in Niamey to test out material from Afrique Victime in a more comfortable environment. In the open air, the quartet quickly attracted an audience: adults dancing, children air-drumming, and others just watching in awe as Moctar’s songs ascended and burst in the desert sky like fireworks. As Sam Sodomsky writes in his Best New Music review: “You get the sense that when the lights go down and he looks out at his audience, he doesn’t just see his community: He sees the future.”

6 New Albums You Should Listen to Now: Mdou Moctar, CHAI, Erika de Casier, and More

and more from the Guardian

From the Guardian

‘We are modern slaves’: Mdou Moctar, the Hendrix of the Sahara

Kim Willsher

His first guitar was made from wood and bicycle parts and his first songs were shared via Bluetooth in the desert. But the Niger musician has become international – and is taking aim at France

How do you even dream of making music when your family and religious leaders disapprove, when you live at the edge of the Sahara desert, and you cannot afford an instrument?

It helps that the Tuareg musician Mdou Moctar, from Niger, is not easily discouraged. Unable to acquire a guitar, he made one out of a piece of wood with brake wires from an old bicycle for strings, and taught himself to play in secret. “I was from a religious family and music was not welcome, but I would go and listen to local musicians and dream of being like them,” the 32-year-old singer-songwriter says over the phone while on tour in the US.

“My parents didn’t have the means to buy me an instrument and wouldn’t have done so. To them, becoming a musician would mean I was a delinquent, a terrible person drinking beer and taking drugs. I never told them I wanted to play the guitar, I didn’t dare. So I made one.”

The next challenge was reaching an audience. Moctar, born in the village of Abalak in the Azawagh desert of northern Niger, began playing at weddings, singing in Tamasheq, the Tuareg language. His first album Anar – composed for a lost love – was recorded in Nigeria in 2008: it introduced Moctar’s simple, raw guitar sound and haunting lyrics, a style known locally as “assouf”, a word that does not easily translate, but evokes desert blues. Anar wasn’t officially released; instead, it spread across the continent via Bluetooth swaps between mobile phone data cards.

Mdou Moctar – Full Performance (Live on KEXP)

Mdou Moctar – Full Performance (Live on KEXP)

Mdou Moctar immediately stands out as one of the most innovative artists in contemporary Saharan music. His unconventional interpretations of Tuareg guitar and have pushed him to the forefront of a crowded scene. Mdou shreds with a relentless and frenetic energy that puts his contemporaries to shame.

(Bandcamp)


James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg – Reel Around the Fountain

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg are an instrumental duo who play original compositions and a stunning diverse set of cover songs.  Who would think of covering The Smith’s, “Reel Around the Fountain”?

Reel Around the Fountain – James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg

Here’s the original version juxtaposed to scenes from the film, “Atonement.”  I guess both song and film have fountains?

The Smiths – Reel Around The Fountain

Nathan Salsburg is also the Curator of the Alan Lomax Archive at the Association for Cultural Equity. This is the website.  It is definitely worth diving into.

I mentioned Brador in passing.  In celebration of June 24th, here is a stubby of Brador!