This is our 37th episode and the music remains always interesting. This show is a little bit longer – the tracks were mainly 5 minutes of more.
As always, I am including the notes we used to put together the show. Bob’s first, then mine.
Jim White and Mary Margaret O’Hara – “And the Angels Sing”
First up is a sort of Christmasy tune from Mary Margaret O’Hara and Jim White. Jim is an Australian drummer, songwriter, and producer. He has worked with Warren Ellis in the Dirty Three and collaborated frequently with Nick Cave.
O’Hara is from Toronto and of course, is the sister of comedy legend Catherine O’Hara. O’Hara made a huge splash in 1988 with her album “Miss America”. This song is their contribution to the Rising Singles Club. Rising is an annual festival that takes place in Melbourne Australia.
The song they tackle was first recorded in 1939 by Benny Goodman. here are both versions:
CMAT – “Every Bottle (Is My Boyfriend)”
Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson is known professionally as CMAT, is a singer, songwriter, and musician from Dublin, Ireland. Her debut album, If My Wife New I’d Be Dead, was released in February 2022 and entered the Irish Album Charts at number one. The Guardian wrote of her music; “Her songs are mournful yet accessible, emotionally literate and cleverly crafted, but, crucially, with a huge sense of humour…” She is a little reminiscent of Jann Arden.
Porridge Radio –“ Birthday Party”
Porridge Radio are a British indie rock band formed in Brighton in 2015. The The Guardian listed them among their top 40 new artists of 2018. Birthday Party is a track taken from the 2022 album, Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky”.
This is the third or fourth time The Beths have made an appearance on the podcast. The Beths are a New Zealand powerpop group. Formed in 2014, the band consists of Elizabeth Stokes (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jonathan Pearce (lead guitar, vocals), Benjamin Sinclair (bass, vocals), and Tristan Deck. This is the title track from their 2022 release. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KACt6YhOyY
Phoebe Bridgers is a Grammy nominated singer/ songwriter. Bridgers is also a member of the musical groups Boygenius (with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus) and Better Oblivion Community Center (with Conor Oberst)
Here, Bridgers tackles The Handsome Family 2001 Xmas song, “Too Much Wine”. Bridger’s version is a one-off single to benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
her real name is Natalie Mering from California. Big article in the most recent Exclaim! Magazine.
Her first album 2011. She also did an interesting cover of Your No Good (Linda Ronstadt) for the movie Minions: The Rise of Gru soundtrack.
some of the recent writing
Weyes Blood Reflects on Life’s “Sublime Violence”
Songwriter Natalie Mering talks her new album ‘And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow’ and why “California is a little bit like the canary in the coal mine”
By Kaelen Bell
Published Nov 17, 2022
Opening the door to Weyes Blood’s And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow, you’ll encounter the king and queen of loneliness, angels and dueling flames, an Emotional Cowboy looking to kick the moon’s ass. It’s a wonderland of sorts, a world awash in deep purples and reds so bright they blur white.
Possessed of a grounded warmth that pulls the cosmic swirl of 2019’s Titanic Rising somewhere closer to a slowly burning Earth, Natalie Mering’s latest opus dresses modern terrors — climate disaster, digital disconnection, apathy and fear for a future that may not come — in great swathes of velvet, silk and bloodied chainmail.
I think this is Pitchfork – interesting article, the guys are neighbours in Portugal – didn’t see them though
Panda Bear and Sonic Boom Wring Joy Out of Terrible Times on Their Collaborative Album Reset
When the Zoom window opens, giving me a peek into Noah Lennox’s basement studio in Lisbon, Portugal, the psych-pop pathfinder best known as Animal Collective’s (Animal Collective is an American experimental pop band formed in Baltimore, Maryland. Its members consist of Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Geologist (Brian Weitz), and Deakin (Josh Dibb). The band’s work is characterized by an eclectic exploration of styles, including psychedelia, freak folk, noise, and electronica, with the use of elements such as loops, drones, sampling, vocal harmonies, and sound collage, alongside complex production techniques.AllMusic‘s Fred Thomas suggests that the group “defined the face of independent experimental rock during the 2000s and 2010s.”)Panda Bear and journeyman producer Pete Kember (aka Sonic Boom) sit in semi-darkness, a single mic stand casting a stark shadow on the wall behind them.
Shot through with Beach Boys harmonies, sleigh bells, and toy-like synths, it’s infused with a naive, almost childlike spirit. “It’s one of those records that’s for children of all ages,” Kember says.
The two men clearly share a strong bond: After multiple work trips to Lennox’s adopted home of Lisbon, Kember—a lifelong resident of the English market town of Rugby—moved to Sintra, on the outskirts of the Portuguese capital, in 2018.
When you actually pay attention to the lyrics, they’re singing about the fact that they can’t get tea and they can’t get rice, and the police and the gangsters are indiscernable, but they do it in this really awesome way. I think we were trying to—”
Lennox interrupts him: “Make lemonade out of lemons.”
Video Go On from the album
Cole Pulice – Scry
Cole Pulice is a composer, saxophonist and electroacoustic musician from Oakland-via-Minneapolis. Following their debut album “Gloam” and two duo collaborations with Lynn Avery and Nat Harvie, Cole Pulice returns with their sophomore album “Scry”.
It’s a record that, for me, resonates strongly with this sort of “between-ness:” it began in Minneapolis, and was finished in Oakland, bridging pre-pandemic life with the “new normal” of current times; being genderqueer and navigating the spaces between and outside of the masculine and feminine binary; wandering through a musical interchange station that is interconnects improvisation, “song,” and collage experiments . . . multidimensional yet woven together by similar aesthetic threads.
“To scry” defines the practice of foretelling the future through gazing into a crystal ball or other reflective surfaces.
From what I could find, here earliest published material came out in 2019
From a Pitchfork interview – I am not sure how much I have learned about this musician, but I think we will hear more from her in the future…..singer, songwriter, and producer Hayden Anhedönia discusses her witchy alter ego Ethel Cain, her stifling Baptist upbringing, and her desire to soothe listeners even as she unsettles them.
Though Anhedönia was raised in a tight-knit Southern Baptist community—her dad was a deacon, and she and her mom sang in the choir—at this point, the 23-year-old’s relationship with religion is complicated. She left the church at 16, a few years after she was first ostracized for being gay, and a few years before she would come out as a transgender woman and start making harrowing music under the name Ethel Cain. She insists that her choice to live in a former place of worship—and to sometimes explore the nightmarish side of Christianity in her work—was made not out of spite but rather in the spirit of…
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.
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.
Consider this the latest page in a story he’s spent the past few years writing. His back story includes fleeing Vancouver years ago to hole up in a sprawling island home to care for an ailing grandmother, the relative solitude giving him ample time to invent the character that would become analogue-obsessed rocker Art d’Ecco. And what a great character that creation is, all pageboy hair, greasepaint-and-rouge makeup, and Rodney Bingenheimer fashion cues—right down to the retina-searing flares and platform shoes.
More on how he came up with his unique look:
I was getting my keys cut, and kind of stewing while I waiting,” the singer recalls with laugh. “Out of the corner of my eye I saw a wig store that had this $300 human-hair bob wig. I was like ‘I’ve never been more excited in my entire life.’ I was walking through the Bay on the way back to my car at after getting my keys cut, and figured I might as well go whole hog and buy some makeup. I had no idea what I was doing. I was just freewheeling.
Bob picked his selections from groups that he saw over the last five years at the wonderful Beau’s Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill, Ontario.
Sadies – Riverview Fog
A group never fails to put on a great show, The Sadies. Here performing this Riverview Fog
Austra – Messiah Album Hirudin 2020
Austra is a singer I have liked for a long time. I first heard her on CBC with her 2011 song Lose It. Pretty amazing display. You can see a 2017 version of the song on CBC here. The voice is something very different.
Katie Stelmanis has a voice like a beacon, a sound that can shear through any accompaniment, no matter how drab. She shares this power with ANOHNI and Zola Jesus, singers who enchant their surroundings with the depth and richness of their timbres, who are instantly recognizable in any setting. Her voice comprises the central pillar of her synthpop project Austra, the feature around which her music crystallizes. The Canadian artist’s previous album, 2017’s Future Politics, shifted deeper into the icy trappings of club music, laminating Stelmanis’ voice inside the production styles of deep house and trance. On HiRUDiN, Austra’s fourth LP, the project breaks from that rut, swinging for big, embodied pop moments that let the warmth of Stelmanis’ voice shine through.
Pitchfork May 6 2020
Kathleen Edwards – Options Open
Kathleen Edwards is represented here this week with a song from her “return from exile” album, ” Total Freedom”. The song is “Options Open” and it looks like she hasn’t missed a beat.
A David Lettermen fave, Edwards was a frequent guest on The Late Show. Dave discards his usual sarcastic goof persona here as shows is a genuine fan.
This is another artist heard first on CBC Frequencies, my go to place to hear new and exciting music.
From the bandcamp bio:
Born in Kinshasa and settled in Montréal since 2001, Pierre Kwenders learned music and found his voice in a catholic choir in the city. With his two EPs and two full-length records, the singer-songwriter has earned multiple awards. Passionate about offering music without borders, he’s also one of the founders of Moonshine, a collective that throws some of the best parties around the world.
Here is the great video we are playing from his most recent release, the song is Ego
Pierre Kwenders has been known to allow every style of music he hears to influence his own. This is even more remarkable given the diversity of influence that would have entered his realm; he emigrated from Kinshasa to Montreal at the age of 16. French-Acadian, hip-hop and Congolese Catholic church music are just some of the many influences in his path. His latest project, Classe Tendresse, is a collaboration with Parisian musician Clément Bazin, who is equally in love with technology and the steelpan.
The blending of traditional African melodies with post-human electronica is complete and seamless. In a sense, this is nothing new. All popular music is influenced by traditional African music and is impacted by advances in musical technology. What is interesting here is that it is not really a blend at all, as one cannot tease out traditional and electronic elements; this is traditional African music as heard through digital technology.
Sloan – The Day Will Be Mine
Sloan perform “The Day Will Be Mine” as part of the East Coast Music Awards (ECMA’s) at the Marquee in Halifax, NS on May 3, 2018. The Marquee is a legendary club in Halifax which is one of the 2 bars immortalized in the song, “ Marquee and the Moon” from the 1999 album “Between Two Bridges.” The Misty Moon closed down a number of years ago, but the Marquee lives on.
A clip advertising their upcoming 2018 appearance at Oktoberfest. The concert clips were taken from the June 28 show at Ottawa’s 27 Club. We were lucky to see both performances.
Rae SpoonThere’s No End, album Mental Health 2019
Another feature heard on CBC Radio 3 Grant Lawrence. Very happy I heard this one. Rae Spoon is an artist I was totally unfamiliar with (I say that a lot).
The narrator is a queer, guitar-wielding musician who arrives in Vancouver in 2000 at the age of 19. Written in Spoon’s usual highly accessible style, the story of youthful exuberance, excessive drinking, and emotional angst plays out across Vancouver—on the bus system, at the beaches, and in various neighbourhoods.
It’s astonishing to consider how far the trailblazing Spoon has come from being a poor couch-surfing, sometimes homeless trans youth living on the East Side. In addition to four books, including the Lambda Award finalist collection of short stories that kicked off their career, Spoon has created a dozen albums. In addition, they achieved their dream of touring extensively.
Here is the trailer from the NFB film made about Rae Spoon. All the music in the film was composed and performed by them.
John K Samson – Fantasy Baseball at the End of the World
“I manage my fantasy baseball team better than I manage my anger these days,” Samson sings. “And I’d trade my best pitcher for a draft-pick and picture of the president writhing in pain.” John K. Samson. Great video from Manitoba’s finest that combines his love of baseball with his loathing of Trump.
Here he is at Beau’s Oktoberfest performing his classic “One Great City”
Rural Alberta Advantage – Beacon Hill
Bob asked during the show which Beacon Hill the Rural Alberta Advantage is singing about. This is another band that he saw at Oktoberfest.
I think if you look at the video below you may get a clue.