Tuesday, December 29, 2015

John Bradbury (aka Prince Rimshot, aka J.B.) RIP

F%CK, I really thought I was done w/ this year!@#$%!!! But can't let the loss of a very special hero of mine go w/o a very special post...

Thankfully, the world of music is filled w/ a wide and wonderful variety of players. Yesterday, we caught wind that true rock and roll legend Lemmy Kilmister broke on through to the other side. Still, even in today's digital age, it's only a handful of musicians that gain such international recognition for their blood, sweat, and tears. Well, drummer and multi-instrumentalist John Bradbury was another one of this rare breed, laying down the crucial beat for The Specials, The Special AKA, and J.B's Allstars. I first heard J.B's trademark rimshot on the B-side The Specials debut single "Gangsters," a self-titled instrumental credited to The Selecter (*hear below) which later spawned a full group of the same name. As a somewhat culturally isolated youth, the music of The Specials played a MASSIVE part of my teenage development in the 1990s, giving me a sense of identity and pride. I never stopped listening to their music as time pushed along, despite being saddened by the lack of respect between members of 2-Tone's signature band after reuniting w/ original vocalist Terry Hall in 2008. Even w/o founder Jerry Dammers (or toaster Neville Staples), The "Specials" put on one a hell of a show in Vancouver in March of 2013. In unity w/ the heavy, yet sympathetic sound of original Specials' bass man Horace Panter (and creating one of the baddest rhythm sections EVER!@#$%!!!),  J.B's beat hit as hard as a professional boxer and certainly got the Commodore moving and grooving just like the good old days... Word through the grapevine was that there would be more touring in 2016 so Bradbury's certainly comes from out of the blue to his fans. Thanks for putting a little more purpose into my step J.B. I'll carry that razor sharp rude boy attitude w/ me for the rest of my life and continue to help to share your musical message any which way I can... I send my best to your family, friends, and band mates. PEACE!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Earlier this month, I recall lying on my couch in something of a state. I was tired, overwhelmed, and a bit disappointed at my TOTAL lack of motivation. With so much to do, but little inspiration, I fooled myself into thinking that I was wasting my time and that I hadn't accomplished all that I had set out to do this year. Looking back, I was simply recuperating from a year JAMMED w/ music, travel, dancing, eating, connecting, and much communication. Let me retrace my steps...

2014 ended in a BANG after the launch of Native North America (*NNA V1 as it will come to be known throughout the rest of this entry) and a quick stop at Vancouver General Hospital to remind me that I was 40, not 25...  Still buoyed by the NNA V1 gatherings in Toronto (w/ Duke Redbird) and Vancouver (Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback), it was a pleasure to hit the island and up the coast to Powell River and Robert's Creek w/ Willie/Linda and Dada Plan for a labour of love tour in January. February saw various DJ duties and a Thin Lizzy record release PARTY at the Lido (w/ contributions from Thin Lizzy founding members Eric Bell and Brian Downey). Sláinte! March was fairly chill, but it was a killer treat to see/hear Dada Plan launch their 2nd LP at the Western Front in April w/ such panache (*keep your eyes/ears peeled for the group's third in 2016!). A trip to Winnipeg in late April and into May was incredible. As always, it was a pleasure and honour to connect w/ the hommie Birdapres. This was followed by my first trip to Texas to participate in the Austin Psych Fest (Levitation) alongside Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback. I'll never forget the thrill of playing Willie Dunn's "Peruvian Dream Pt. II" to over 8,000 people before the 13th Floor Elevators reunion and to watch my friends Willie/Linda perform to an appreciative and respectful audience. Such a trip!@#$%!!! Willie/Linda played at SFU and at the Interurban Gallery in May and were the subject of two separate documentaries, one of which you can peep HERE! At the SFU event it was incredible to do another 16mm screening of Willie Dunn's The Ballad of Crowfoot, essential viewing that will be featured on an upcoming anthology of Dunn's music and film (for Light in the Attic Records). Toronto was up next at the end of May and into June. I was not only able to catch one of my favourite British guitar bands of all time (RIDE), but host a follow-up NNA V1 gathering, this time featuring a rare performance from Eric Landry in addition to more poetry from Duke Redbird and a screening of the NFB feature, Cold Journey (*not to forget special guest Shingoose, who was in the house all the way from Winnipeg w/ family!). The following weekend was the first edition of the Vancouver edition of Levitation. Watching Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback perform to an eagle perched high on a tree to the left of the stage was a special memory. Also to connect w/ Oslo's Joao (and posse) as well as the good Al Lover from SF, my fellow Levitation DJs. Playing records at the Lido and the Khatsahlano street party (all reggae 12" 45s for that one) in June and July was a hoot. Of note, but certainly bittersweet was the completion of my divorce at the end of July. July 27 was marked on my calendar as "NEW LIFE : )", very dramatic, but in reality, not much has changed (I bow my head). August saw a return to Winnipeg for a special NNA V1 event at Plug In ICA. This gathering was made extra special by a live performance from none other than Shingoose as well as a talk from NCI's David McLeod, who not only spoke with great passion and knowledge, but shared a mind blowing slide show of Indigenous vinyl recording artwork from his personal collection. Light in the Attic had their annual block party mid-month and it was BOSS to re-connect w/ the good folks of Seattle (and the L.A. LITA crew). Willie/Linda also played in downtown Victoria (w/ a Sipreano DJ set). Unable to catch my breath, September was the most chock full month yet. Unfortunately this made my regular summer Sasamat swim sessions difficult to continue, something that brought me great strength and peace this past year like never before. My first trip to Yellowknife, NT, to host a NNA V1 event at NACC (featuring Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback along with John Angaiak) was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The land, the people, the sky, the food, I will never forget my time there. Each and every Saturday in September was spent spinning vinyl records round and round at the ol' Lido (*thanks again Matt/Kim), including a multi-birthday jam for myself, Kamandi, WZRDRY A/V, and probably a few more September babies that are slipping my mind. Apparently, we set sales records at the bar that night which was cool and The Stunt Man had the dance floor PUMPING like never before (or until they bring him back ; )! Seeing Paul Weller for the first time on September 29 w/ Kamandi was sweet. He even played a version of the Style Council's "Long Hot Summer" which almost made me forget that the summer of 2015 whipped by so darn fast... October was made memorable with concerts by FIVER, Aileen Bryant, Dada Plan (at the Planetarium), Steve Lambke, and Destroyer (which I got to play records at, thanks Dan! As well as at the Mac Demarco show, both at the Commodore). There was also a trip to L.A. w/ The Stunt Man (Hi Eva!) where we ate killer tacos on a street named after Chevy Chase. November kept tings rolling w/ two more RIDE shows (YES!!! and YES!!! PLEASE COME BACK SOON!!!) and an appearance alongside Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback on Nardwuar the Human Serviette's CITR radio show to promote the re-release of Willie's 1981 CBC-produced Spirit Child LP on LITA. We marked this special occasion with a special gathering at the Lido. Not only did we have Willie/Linda in FULL effect (and gratefully after some health scares earlier in the fall for Willie), but a very special performance by NNA V1 featured artist Gordon Dick Sr. (Siwash Rock, Sound Tribe) who shared original material. Thanks again Gordie! December (still in progress, oh my) continues to amaze w/ another Willie/Linda gig in Victoria at the Copper Owl and a Grammy nomination for NNA V1 in the "Best Historical Recording" category. Um, "Hi Mom!" (RIP). 2 solid weeks of press later (including CBC TV, radio, and numerous print publications) and my mind is focused on 2016...

Ok, I basically just recited my 2015 calendar to you! More than happy to read this to you in person if needed/interested! Give me a holler! : )

More bits, bobs, shouts, and links: Thanks to the Goldstone Bakery in Chinatown for making the best Singapore vermicelli in Van, On Lok still on lock! HK BBQ all the way, King's Palace won ton soup, vinyl (the climate and the majority of people associated w/ the world of used records is making me retreat into my shell, but I KNOW that I found some gems going down the road this year... BIG thanks to Birdapres, though my touch hasn't completely evaporated), being single is weird (sorry) even for someone who enjoys his own company, I need to dance (outside of my home) more, The Beatles (always), MASSIVE thanks to all of the listeners who have been grooving on NNA V1 and Spirit Child and any of the reissue projects I've worked on this year (more to come!), BIG thanks to all of the media and social networkers who have helped to raise awareness about these projects, of course, the OG music makers, what's in MY fridge, writing about Maestro Fresh Wes' The Black Tie Affair for Exclaim! (w/ a Twitter nod from the Maes to boot! : ), sick hang w/ Chan in Seatown (nice to re-connect in person, still thinking about that soup!), Gino Vannelli (always), music video dreams (or were they?), walking (I still LOVE walking everywhere), the city of Winnipeg, so nice to see such a diverse mix of people at the various NNA V1-related gatherings, great to meet more of the NNA V1 artists in person (hopefully more links in 2016), my dear '95 Toyota Corolla (still rolling after all of these years, excited for cassette player #3), CRUSHING Sasamat Lake, RIDE (yes, again!!!),  THIS meal, Voluntary Tees (#1-3), Powell River, PRIDE, apocalypse ash swim, Destroyer at the Commodore (HOLY MOLY!!!), SEEKERS INTERNATIONAL at Mutek MTL, WZRDRY A/V's DJ set at the Lido (*honestly, right up there w/ the best I've ever heard, OG styles!@#$%!!!), DJ'ng at the Rickshaw Theatre, I always LOVED Arthur Lee's Vindicator, Primal Scream up close and personal, Grammy groupies, labours of love, feeling blessed, MOR passion, MOR mystery (yes, still), Arcee's appreciation of Sip talk (radio), always Kaewonder,  the fresh pineapple I bought today, grapefruits have been keeping me company recently, Linda McCartney (always), The Flame (always), mantra songs of 2015: "Revolution," "Overkill," and probably a couple more I'm blanking on, Birdapres rap show at the Red Lion, dim sum w/ Bird in Peg, old school or traditional restaurants over the latest, trendy or "greatest," "I just don't give a fuck dude" - Birdapres (*"No, not true... Positive. Positivity..."), music over format, dreaming of Japan, 2003 beats, up Island storms, land line RIP, Tayara Papigatuk (Sugluk) and Edwin Quinney (Saddle Lake Drifting Cowboys) RIP, Noel Ellis re-release soon come, "Creation Never Sleeps, Creation Never Dies: The Willie Dunn Anthology 1965-1984," good things ahead, and more and more and more... PEACE