Friday, December 31, 2010

more ghost town...

hang the JD

here's a frightening and utterly disturbing photo of coventry's the specials. bar the heavy, real, and utmost serious racial/historic implications, it also makes me think of the group's fragile inter-band relations (then and now). by 1981, specials' leader, keyboard player, and 2 tone label-founder jerry dammers (pictured in the noose) was putting the finishing touches on "ghost town," the anthemic UK chart-topper that hit #1 as inner city race riots ripped across england. despite the synergy and success, the boys simply couldn't get along. within a few short months, singers terry hall, neville staples, and rhythm guitarist lynval golding had quit the band and formed the equally fantastic (though far less dynamic) fun boy three. undeterred, dammers soldiered on w/ the (pre-specials) special a.k.a. mantle and eventually released 1984's in the studio (w/ help from specials drummer john "JB" bradbury and bassist horace panter). gone but not forgotten, punk lead guitarist roddy radiation was left to pursue his rockabilly and americana jones like the rebel that he is... in 2009, the original specials line-up (bar dammers and horn players rico rodriguez and dick cuthell) re-formed to sold-out concerts and new merchandise opportunities for a 30-year anniversary celebration. amidst much media baiting and cat-calling, the two camps—despite their trademark "nobody is special" mantra, cries of unity, and strong racial solidarity—still couldn't get along. equally busy w/ his sun ra-influenced jazz excursion, the spatial a.k.a. orchestra, dammers was still the outsider (and one-time dictator?) in a group he not only co-founded and branded, but one in which he'd also written the majority of the songs. with a fall 2011 UK tour on the cards for the dammers-less crew, i wonder what 2011 will bring in specials-land???



re-posted from
photo by kelly claude nairn
For some reason, I can’t remember a lot of last year. It’s been a good one though, have no fear. Communing with nature has been a prime focus. Both Light In The Attic and myself count ourselves lucky to be living on the coast. At this point, my focus is on the coming year (Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love: Motown’s Mowest Story 1971-1973, LITA 064!!!), but reflecting back into the void, these are my 2010 highlights…

1) Shooting Wayne McGhie for our From Yard To Yonge-Jamaica To Toronto documentary: Breaking bread with Wayne in the cold Toronto winter of 2004 alongside LITA honcho Matt Sullivan was an occasion I’ll never forget. In 2010, co-director Darby Wheeler and myself spent more time with The Sounds Of Joy (LITA 008) main man, one of Canada’s most unique musical voices. Against many odds, we are working hard to make From Yard To Yonge a reality. Keep your eyes peeled for more news in 2011.

2) Vancouver 2010 Olympics: Though I didn’t follow the sporting action and appalled by the finances, my distaste for the Games was mellowed out somewhat via a booming influx of people (power) and overall positive vibrations. Sorta felt like this sleepy town was awoken from a deep slumber. Basking in the sunlight on the sunny steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery while tram flyers soared across the sky kept me sane for a two-week spell this past winter.

3) Duffy & The Doubters: For me, the best new release of 2010 was easily Ladyhawk singer-songwriter Duffy Driediger’s latest project. Non-believers and curiosity seekers should peep “No Wild Horses” and “Doubters” for proof (*goes well with pudding). Scriptural Supplies is yet another incredible aside from the #1 rock group in Canada.

4) Needles//Pins: Really hype on this Vancouver trio. DL First World Problems for free at Catch their new album in early 2011.

5) The Mighty Pope recording with Sureshot Symphony Solution in San Francisco: April saw Canada’s boss soul, R&B, and funk legend (LITA 019) record 2 tracks with US crate digger and top breakbeat don Sureshot (The Sharpshooters) for a forthcoming 7”. “Mr. Fortune And Fame” will debut on CBC Radio 2’s The Strombo Show early January, 2011.

6) The Power: B.C.’s Sunshine Coast jewel. It’s a healing land where you can play 80’s records to seals, swim in quarries, eat oysters right off the beach, and communicate with tree spirits.

7) Huey Lewis & The News: Live at the PNE (August 25, 2010). “Heart And Soul.”

8) Time Cookie: Best DJ mixes of 2010.

9) Planetarium 2010: April also saw Transmolecular, BCVCO, and yours truly hit the H.R. McMillan planetarium stage with the Poppy Family’s Craig McCaw on mind-bending visuals and all-encompassing support from Morgan Tanner and family. With friends in town from as far away as California and Toronto, the after-party was equally cosmic.

10) Cratery: Toronto’s one-of-a-kind mix of vintage vinyl madness and music mayhem starring veteran rapper Arcee, the multi-talented Kaewonder, DJ Serious, and a motley crew of guests ranging from super producer Jake One to Alister Johnson (aka Catalist).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


wow!!! thanks to EVERYONE who came out last night... had a super BOSS time w/ kamandi and dancing bear on the turntables/bozack/system and nice to see so many familiar faces. here's the jamaican DJ version of john lennon's "imagine" that shut 'er down for the evening. BIG props to duffy for turning us on to this josey wales nugget (*on his jammy produced special prayer LP). listen closely to the lyrical twists. it's a trip!@#$%?!!!
PS - i'll be playing rex every monday at the waldorf tiki bar so please come by and join us again. we really appreciate your support... love, sip

Friday, December 24, 2010

kamandi + sipreano @ the waldorf tiki bar (dec. 27, 2010)

this picture is from the early morning hours of june 16, 1996: kamandi and sipreano DJ'ing @ the rock n' roll circus event ("3 bands, 4 DJ's, 1 brave night") in pre-condo gastown (warehouse 333, level 3, 310 water st.). the genesis (yeah, we're old...). after working hard at mastering our craft and digging deep in the crates, we'd secured a coveted residency at the chameleon urban lounge (in the basement of the hotel georgia) by the end of the millennium. the soulcial was an open-format DJ night where we played soul, reggae, pop, rock, psych, hip-hop, jazz, world beat, and whatever else we liked on vinyl 7"/12"/LP... for some reason (music, duh!@#$%!!!), we're still at it, but w/ kamo living back in the power for years, we haven't had the opportunity to play records together in vancouver for many moons. so stoked to have the old team back in action at the waldorf tiki bar this coming monday. f@ck new years, this is how we burn down 2010... FREE

an evening w/ sipreano: guest DJ - kamandi
when: monday, december 27, 2010
where: waldorf hotel - tiki bar (1489 e. hastings st.)
hours: 8 pm - 2 am

my god(s) #5/6

Thursday, December 23, 2010

message from the tribes #1

*here's some soulful holiday cheer, a special xmas set from the multi-talented nick krgovich (p:ano, no kids, gigi, etc...). this should keep us warm until our next "long hot summer," if you catch my drift... audi, sip

Hello Everybody!

Just wanted to pass along a link to a Christmas EP that I finished making this morning...  Two nights before the big day...
Kind of spur of the moment...  It's called "Chris Mastheim Is Here"...

It's got all of your holiday favourites: Jingle Bells, Away In A Manger, Sleigh Ride, Silver Bells and Christmastime Is Here...  If you like those songs, as well as, R. Kelly, Ca$hflow, Prefab Sprout, Billy Griffin and my friend Gus' remix of the theme song to Twin Peaks, you might like this recording!  Feel free to send this music to whoever...

Ok, hope everyone's good!  And Happy Holidays 2 U all!





Tuesday, December 21, 2010

cratery 23 session A | the real frequency

jeez, well, ok... super hype excited to share this post w/ you. cratery is by far the best on-line record nerd mix site going (and yes, i'm 100% biased)... it takes away the BS and hockey card collecting mentality of many in the record game and aims to please through a little old-fashioned heart and soul. in reality, it's simply an excuse to party w/ the hommies and share some of our favourite records to heads world-wide. this isn't about DJ technique, edits or a steady showcase of "grails", the folks at cratery (arcee, kaewonder, and DJ serious) are going for something a little more organic than that. thankfully, i've had the privilege to sit in on a couple of these sessions in the past, soaking up the vibes, but #23 was an opp to drop some treats of my own. so w/o further ado, here she be...

week 2 at the tiki bar...

wow. another late night at the waldorf tiki bar... guess i should be in bed, but had to give my pal paul a lift over to the skytrain so he could make the long trek home. what a trooper (and an incredible surprise!@#$%?!!!). despite the sleepy eyes, had a blast last night. thanks to all who joined the good times. playing records for close to 6 hours is a journey of sorts and the grooves reached far and free. the stunt man repped hard w/ a kiki dee 7" that shut 'er down...
PS - i still don't have a hawaiian shirt...

Friday, December 17, 2010

future mystery

well, i don't really know how to accurately describe what you are (hopefully) about to witness, so i'll leave it quick fast. here's a handful of blogs from the crew known collectively as transmolecular. long-time hommies and makers of music for music's sake, they mostly let the sound (and visuals) do the talking. with a set aimed at and inspired by the cosmos, they KILLED vancouver's H.R. macmillan planetarium this past spring at planetarium 2010 and will hopefully rock the sunshine coast come summer 2011 if kamandi can get the right set up going. this is muzak for the heads, roots brethren, and sky-pilots. it's real rebel music with no posturing—spiritual sounds... take your time w/ these links and the rewards will be tremendous!!! dig deeper, and you never know what you may find...





Thursday, December 16, 2010

my god #4

in the end you'll still be you
one that's done all the things you set out to do
there's a cross for you to bear
things to go through if you're going anywhere
for the things you know are right
it's the truth that the truth makes them so uptight
all the things you want are real
you have you to complete and there is no deal
stand. stand, stand
stand. stand, stand
you've been sitting much too long
there's a permanent crease in your right and wrong
there's a midget standing tall
and the giant beside him about to fall
stand. stand, stand
stand. stand, stand
they will try to make you crawl
and they know what you're saying makes sense and all
don't you know that you are free
well at least in your mind if you want to be
stand, stand, stand

rain ghost

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

when much played francophone music?

syrinx I

*here's a couple videos from toronto-based syrinx, a progressive group who blended early electronic synthesizers, horns, and percussion. look out for their 2 albums, originally released on true north records (bruce cockburn, murray mclauchlan, rough trade, etc...) in the early 1970's...
PS - sad to hear that percussionist alan wells, so rocking on the 2nd clip, recently passed away. RIP to another great!!!

syrinx II


Sunday, December 12, 2010


very sad to inform that wonton noodles restaurant on hastings has bitten the dust. since the mid-1990's, i spent many an evening there slurping away at a bowl of hot soup or murdering a full plate of singapore curry vermicelli, often among a motley crew of late night revelers, street workers, and police. it was always a sobering meal when needed and even a destination spot when i lived in the boonies back in the day. the owner/manager/waiter fellow was very kind and patient with customers, always greeting people w/ a hot pot of tea. still, you could sense things were going downhill many years ago — perhaps after a switch behind the scenes — when the large jackie chan movie poster was removed for a far more generic decoration. i believe the paper maché parrots were there until the end, also the positive framed georgia straight restaurant review. i won't bore you to death here w/ further reminisces (decaf and his love of deep fried combos, TSM and a particularly psychedelic episode, the card parlour next door, fortune cookie prophesies come to life, etc...), but rest assured that this place will be truly missed. it's not that the food was particularly amazing. it was just a comforting place w/ a fluorescent-lit no ambiance ambiance kind of vibe, paper-wrapped chopsticks on the table, soy and chili sauce. solid grub. cheap enough... you know the deal. i know that most things don't last forever, especially restaurants, but f@ck i'm bummed... rest in peace.

*click the link below for a great snap of a great restaurant (flickr find)...

Friday, December 10, 2010

my god #3

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

nobody told me

"nobody told me there'd be days like these," read the card's inscription. written by a dear friend who clearly knew me well, lennon's melody immediately came to life in my mind and i began to cry... the combination of a familiar lyric, spot on sentiment, and the recent passing of a loved one was too much to keep inside. whether we care to admit it or even understand how, the music of john lennon has affected us all. RIP...

truth is right

wowzers, just spent some time on jason lev's incredible truth is light website and blog yesterday and wanted to spread the love... jason is a good fellow, an oddball eccentric of the best kind. he brings passion and soul to DJ'ing and all of his projects (*peep the killer 7"/12" vinyl edits for sale!!! lots of audio to listen to as well...). it was sweet to see him getting a bit more local shine a few years ago when disco became all the rage (after grinding it out for eons and learning from the masters in deep concentration). but folks, please know that lev's work goes far beyond fashion and trends. we are blessed to have this man RIGHT HERE in vancouver!!! end gush. peace

the general takes a fall

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

an evening w/ sipreano (every monday)

ok folks, i've just signed up for a monday night DJ residency at the freshly re-minted waldorf hotel (1489 e. hastings). i played records there a few times prolly like 10 years ago now so not only do you know my age, but also that my crates are much, much deeper... the sonic focus will shift slightly depending on mood, but easy listening, jazz, exotica, and the odd mellow groover will be your soundtrack. special guest selectors will also drop by to enhance proceedings on occasion. thomas and mr. fazio, if you're reading, i think a microphone is in order. drinks... yes drinks... fine libations will be available at the friendly bar. remember folks, this is a tiki lounge of the highest calibre and we should be slamming back tropical beverages in celebration. be hypnotized by edward leeteg's stunning black velvet paintings, push a rattan door to use the can, hear birds chirping somewhere, look at the starry sky, and enjoy the company of your new family. i sipreano, will provide the vibrations. it's an honour. anyone w/ a spare hawaiian shirt out there, please holler...


best label design ever? mowest was motown's short-lived LA-based subsidiary. the focus, coastal grooves. w/ key output from syreeta (*hit the link folks), sisters love, odyssey, and frankie valli & the four seasons, it was surprising that most of the label's releases didn't even dent the charts. over the past few months, i've been helping to put the finishing touches on light in the attic record's Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love: Motown's Mowest Story 1971-1973. keep your eyes peeled for a late spring/early summer 2011 release (CD/2LP/digital)... surf's up!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

haters wanna war

here's a recently uncovered 2 tone promo clip from the man rico rodriguez (*thanks to sugarman on the specials fan page message board for the link!!!). love the OG spirit here!!! "what you talkin' bout... you say you don't like the jungle beat?" you tell 'em, rico!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BM night #2

* here's a piece i wrote on black mountain from 2004. i believe it was the first gig that the band played "no hits" live. sure sounded good last night as an encore... tonight, round II: black angels/black mountain (w/ yours truly playing old records in between)...

The Georgia Straight
December 23, 2004
At Video In Studios on Thursday, December 16
It was a dark, damp sky that guided us to an evening billed as Acid: Nouveau Drug Art Films and Videos, featuring found footage, psychedelic reels, and a performance from Vancouver's own rock 'n' roll army, Black Mountain. Presented by Destroy Children ( ) and Video In Studios, the event drew a good-looking crowd, which congregated in the venue's spacious exhibition hall. Some were mildly disappointed at the absence of alcohol for sale, but in lieu there were "baked" goods, water, chips, and pop available at the ad hoc canteen. It was a shame that there was no electric Kool-Aid, but regardless, everyone appeared to be riding a real mellow vibe. A row of comfy couches lined the back wall, and the only pressure was finding the best spot to soak up the festivities.
Acid upheld a fine tradition of multimedia events in Vancouver that harks back to the lysergic days of the Retinal Circus, where the Velvet Underground and local acts like Papa Bear's Medicine Show and Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck would play. Featuring both classic and contemporary sights and sounds, the night revisited the past while simultaneously building for the future. On this evening, Black Mountain was set up amid a cutout forest filled with magical mushrooms and animals. Did I dream of mountaintops as well? An ever-changing series of images--starting with ACID , spelled out in three-metre-high, blue sunshine--coloured letters--was projected behind the band on the immense wall.
From the moment the festivities got under way, Black Mountain set its controls for rock. Playing drums and a keyboard, Josh Wells came across as a one-man version of '60s electronic duo the Silver Apples. Singer Amber Webber had the presence of a late-'60s songbird with a powerful voice as satisfying as real maple syrup. Wizardly keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt has clearly studied greats like Can's Irmin Schmidt and the Band's Garth Hudson. Providing strong bottom end on the bass guitar was Matt Camirand (also a member of Blood Meridian), who pushed the songs along with earnest propulsion. Leading the army on vocals and guitar was Steve McBean, who proved to be grizzly soul personified.
Kicking things off was "No Hits", a pounding number with Schmidt's Germanic keys, brutal beats from Wells, hypnotic call-and-response vocals, and a wall-of-sound finale. From that point on, the tunes veered from loose-limbed workouts to concentrated bursts of pure energy. "Set Us Free", "Faulty Times", and "Heart of Snow" transfixed those assembled with equal measures of blues-, psych-, punk-, and folk-rock. Is it January yet?
Preceding Black Mountain's set was an hour of short, homespun drug films by Lyndsay Sung, Heather Trawick, Toby Bannister, Corey Adams, Julia Feyrer, P:ano's Nick Krgovich, and members of Channels 3 and 4. Also on display: cult-cinema odds and sods like Syd's First Trip , an 8mm look at Pink Floyd's Barrett tripping on mushrooms in 1966; and bizarre Monkees footage that saw the band accompanied by drummer Buddy Miles, organist Brian Auger, and vocalist Julie Driscoll. If that wasn't enough, DjMagneticring ( ) filled the gaps beautifully with monster psych sounds from his personal archives, as compiled on a Titanium PowerBook.
Considering the breadth of creativity on display for a $7 admission, the audience made off like bandits. Don't miss the next trip.

i'm gonna play this again tonight!!!