re-posted from Light In The Attic Records
1) Thin Lizzy – Over 10 years ago, my dearly departed record guru, Ty Scammell (RIP), turned me on to Thin Lizzy’s debut Decca LP w/ Eric Bell-inspired air guitar antics and a tear in his eye from the emotive poetry of Phil Lynott. In 2012, I was fortunate to spearhead a LITA vinyl-only reissue of Thin Lizzy, mastered from the original tapes and featuring an extensive interview w/ none other than OG Thin Lizzy co-founder and guitarist, Eric Bell!@#$%!!! So honoured to be involved in this long overdue vinyl re-release. Thanks for the music Eric, Phil, and Brian (and Ty)!!!
2) LITA 10th anniversary celebrations: I’ve been working w/ LITA for almost ten years now. Our initial collaboration was on a reissue of Wayne McGhie & The Sounds Of Joy, the first title in what became the 6-album Jamaica-Toronto series. I’ll never forget meeting Wayne (who had been “missing” for years) in Toronto w/ LITA honcho Matt Sullivan during the winter of 2003. The December weather was wicked and wild w/ enough snow and ice to remind this transplanted West Coaster of the occasional sub zero temps of my Ontario youth. Playing vinyl records at L.A.’s The El Rey Theatre nine years later w/ Rodriguez, Shin Joong Hyun, Michael Chapman, and Stephen John Kalinich on stage was far from frigid, but equally heart-warming. It was incredible to see an eclectic mix of groovy people coming together for the love of music!!!
3) Upcoming LITA projects: I’m super honoured to be assembling two more archival albums for LITA, the first, a long overdue look at folk and rock from a key selection of North America’s finest aboriginal musicians. It’s been incredible working w/ spiritual artists like Canadian First Nations music, film, and cultural legend Willie Dunn, learning more about his life and digging deep down into the sound. Secondly, is another compilation we’ve been working on for a number of years now, Share The Land: Canada, the product of multiple cross-country research trips w/ my digging partner Birdapres, where we seek off-the-grid and little-known folk, psych, country, and soul, and most importantly, a greater understanding of the country we live in. Please keep your eyes peeled and ears open for these releases in 2013.
4) Ladyhawk – No CanDo: No Can Do is Canadian rock group Ladyhawk’s third long player (released on vinyl and CD by Triple Crown Audio, home of Destroyer, Sports, and Duffy & The Doubters). Not to be confused w/ Kiwi chanteuse Ladyhawke, the ‘Hawk are hardcore rock and roll w/ an emotional melodic touch (hardcore like Crazy Horse, not hardcore like Black Flag, but hey, who am I to say!@#$%???) . Long time brethren born in the Kelowna, B.C., region, these musical brothers play in that special telekinetic way that so few musicians can. Seek No Can Do out!@#$%!!!
5) HK BBQ Master: Found underneath a giant grocery store in Richmond, B.C., HK BBQ Master is just that, the spot for Chinese char siu and other barbecued delicacies. This is a no-frills joint, a handful of tables, lovely staff, take-away biz, and 2 mind, body, and soul altering variations of chili sauce (one red, and one w/ burnt chili flakes immersed in oil w/ peanuts). Order fat or lean on your next B.C. visit (hey, you’re overdue for another stay, aren’t you???), you won’t be disappointed!@#$%!!!
6) Transmolecular –Offerations Vol. 1 and 1.2 Redemption Sessions: Hats off to my Transmolecular family Seekers International, WZRDRY A/V, ASTRX, and GALAXABURN. In December of 2012, we presented an evening of original art, music, and visuals unlike anything Vancouver has ever seen (well, at least since the Melodic Energy Commission’s early 1980s happening that advertised “original art, music, and visuals,” on a vintage concert poster Kamandi and I caught recently in a display of local punk-era artifacts!@#$%!!!). A reminder, that it’s all been done before??? Lol… Any which way, we tore it up for the heads and will continue to do so (this is just the beginning)!@#$%!!!
7) 9.79*: To quote “Let Your Backbone Slide” rapper Maestro Fresh Wes, “Ben Johnson’s still the fastest brother in the world.” I will never forget the elation and national pride watching Jamaican-Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson during the Seoul Olympics in 1988, probably the only time I’ve felt such an overwhelming patriotic feeling in regards to my country (well, until LITA’s Share The Land: Canada get released!@#$%!!!) A few days later, we all know Ben’s dream came crashing down and the track and field star’s career was tarnished forever. Director Daniel Gordon’s 9.79* is a gripping sports documentary that incredibly interviews every participant that epic 100 meter final and while the end results of that fateful race will never change, it definitely makes you think about how it all went down and what was going on behind the scenes. Any which way, Carl Lewis is still an arrogant prick (*sorry US brothers and sisters, f#ck that dude!@#$%!!!).
8) The Stone Roses: 2012 saw Manchester rock heroes, The Stone Roses (Mani, Ian, John, and Reni!@#$%!!!) overcome their differences and band up for a series of high profile reunion gigs. Over three days, they played to over 210,000 people at Heaton Park and while I couldn’t be there in person, I could certainly feel the positive vibrations all the way over here on the west coast of North America. I’ve wanted to see The Stone Roses live since the early 1990s after watching their “Fools Gold” video on late night CDN music TV. The next day, I raced to A&B Sound and bought The Stone Roses on cassette + repeated listens + much dancing + deep introspection= life changed forever!@#$%!!! How bout a stand-alone 2013 date in Canada or the States, eh??? “One Love.”
9) Holiday get together w/ Doug Randle: This one has yet to happen, but I’m very excited to meet w/ composer, arranger, and overall maestro Doug Randle this holiday season. He’ll be visiting Vancouver, B.C., to spend time w/ his daughter Joanne (w/ whom he’s just recorded a contemporary vocal jazz album w/) and it will be great to reconnect after a few years. Doug is an incredible visionary and deep music man rooted in Canada’s early jazz scene. His Songs For The New Industrial State (CBC, 1971/LITA, 2009) is a profoundly personal and timely socio-political masterpiece, a veritable What’s Goin On for open-minded heads who choose to dig (and listen) a little bit deeper than the rest. Not that you have to listen too hard to understand the still pertinent message Mr. Randle was laying down at the turn of the 1970s (inspired, at least in title, by Canadian-American economist John Kenneth Galbraith’s The New Industrial State).