Two of the best reads this week are Quincy Jones’ bizarre and at time outrageous interview given to Vulture, and a fascinating feature about Jimmy Buffett that appears in The New York Times (see our ‘Quoted’ section today). Back to the legendary record producer, actor and musician, QJ is in the midst of an extended victory lap ahead of his turning 85 in March — a Netflix documentary and a CBS special hosted by Oprah Winfrey, and in this flammable Q&A, he manages to firebomb the Beatles, Marlon Brando, Jacko, and Donald Trump. He even says he dated Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, once– and that he knows who really killed JFK. Claiming that he used to socialize with the US president, Quince describes him as "a crazy mother------", who is "limited mentally — a megalomaniac, narcissistic".
Also worth a read is Margaret Wente’s thoughtful opinion piece about ‘the humiliation of Steve Paikin’ that appeared in the Feb. 7 Globe & Mail, but you will need a subscription to read it. The TVO host, Paikin is perceived as being a straight-arrow and is now facing down an allegation by former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson, who alleges that he asked her to sleep with him back in 2010. Until proven guilty, his employer is allowing Paikin to remain hosting The Agenda on the public network. Countering the allegation, Paitkin took to Facebook to explain his position and feelings, in part saying that the “#MeToo movement is too important to be undermined by spurious allegations” and “I’ve spent 35 years building my reputation. In one fell swoop, these lies have prompted outrageous headlines and connected me to a story to which I have no business being connected.
“Well, all that ends today. Today, I begin to reclaim my reputation and fight back against these scurrilous allegations.”
– Molly Johnson hits the honey pot with her hypnotic version of Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues,” the first track from her all-star, Larry Klein-produced next album that UMC releases in spring.
– Edmonton rock outfit Whale And The Wolf showcases at CMW this spring and this week releases “So It Goes,” the follow-up to 2017’s top 25 hit, “Touch.”
– Juno-nominated Fortunate Ones – Newfoundland’s Catherine Allan and Andrew James O'Brien – have released “Northern Star” as the tease track from Hold Fast, their sophomore album set for release May 25 on Old Farm Pony Records. The duo connects with Alan Doyle (who appears on the album) on an N/A tour that opens at Peterborough’s Showplace Performance Centre Feb. 20.
– After a three-year hiatus recovering from vocal surgery, Victoria Duffield is ready to pick up the groundswell she created with her debut single “Shut Up and Dance” in 2011. The song garnered a platinum award and a #1 video on Much; was the most played song at radio by a Canadian artist for nine weeks straight; and contributed to amassing more than 100,000 spins at radio. This week she self-released the first single to radio from her next album. It’s entitled “Wow.”
– Big Machine Label Group has just released Jayd Ink’s single “Codes” to radio. For those not watching, the Toronto born R&B singer-songwriter is the fifth artist chosen by The Launch to release a new, original song.
– Colin Kutchyera teams up again with his childhood friend, Juno nominee, multi-platinum artist and producer La+ch (Coleman Hell, Dragonette, Emily Rowed, Chad Kroeger) to debut Kutch. “Collectable” is the lead single from their upcoming release Notionside, due out March 2. The indie release is being pitched by Last Tango.
– MDM Recordings has just released “Past the Past,” the title track single from Jess Moskaluke’s third EP, released late last year. Below is a mellow live version of the song. Dale Peters is quarterbacking this one.
– Regina’s The Johnny McCuaig Band is quite a site to see and can kick butt with kilts flying when they wish. The band has just released “Here We Go” as its debut single, included on its forthcoming Lions As Ravens LP. No video to match, but we include “Hell Of A Ride,” a live performance video shot in Las Vegas last year as part of the promo for the album.
– The 2018 annual edition of the Francouvertes competition began with a performance by last year’s winner, Lydia Képinski, at Montréal’s Lion d’Or on Monday. The 21 contestants (from Québec, Ontario and Manitoba) in the contest have been announced, and SOCAN will again offer support by presenting the “J’aime mes ex” series of concerts – during which 10 Francouvertes alumni will perform as opening acts of both the first and semi-final rounds.
SOCAN also sponsors the Paroles & Musique Award, a $1K cash prize to be awarded to a semi-finalist for their songwriting talent. The debut OFQJ-SOCAN Award, given to the winner of the Paroles & Musique Award, offers a creative residency at the Paris SOCAN House, plus a $1.5K international mobility grant from the Office Franco-Québécois pour la Jeunesse (OFQJ).
– Produced by MRG Concerts, the Vancouver-based Westward Music Festival has announced the first round of programming for the 2018 edition. Now in its second year, the fest takes place across multiple downtown venues, Sept 13-16. Notable names include Blood Orange, Kali Uchis, Kelela, Poppy, Mudhoney and Angel Olsen, with a strong Canadian contingent including Rhye, Metz, Odds, We Are The City, Milk & Bone, Nehiyawak, Jordan Klassen, and Tei Shi. More info here
– Brian Clemence, a veteran Ottawa snow sculptor, died earlier this week, leaving a frozen portrait of Gord Downie unfinished. CP reports that the sculptor's son Frederic will complete his father's final artwork based on his sketches, a tribute to both Brian Clemence and Downie. An ice sculpture portrait of Downie carved by Peter Vogelaar is on display in The Tragically Hip singer's hometown of Kingston, ON.
– Canadian indie-rock heroes Sloan return to the fray with a new album, set for release on April 6. It is entitled 12, a reference to the fact it is their 12th album. It will also feature 12 songs, with the four members of the band contributing three tunes apiece. An extensive North American tour has also been announced, beginning at The Townehouse in Sudbury on April 3 and running to June 27. Itinerary here
– Now an acclaimed author (Beautiful Scars) as well as a singer/songwriter (Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Lee Harvey Osmond, Junkhouse), Tom Wilson is also an experienced visual artist. This facet will be exposed to the public in his Hamilton hometown tonight (Feb. 9) as part of Art Crawl, as Tom and his daughter, manager and artist Madeline Wilson, open the doors to their Artworks Studio on the 3rd floor of The Hotel Hamilton (195 James St N) for the first time.
– Rishi Diir, leader of Montreal psych-rockers Elephant Stone, is a member of a new project, MIEN, alongside The Black Angels’ Alex Maas, The Horrors’ Tom Furse, and The Earlies’ John-Mark Lapham. A self-titled debut album is coming soon (April 6), and a first single, "Black Habit," has gained attention. Here's a brand new track, "Earth Moon."
– Vegetarian restaurant and event space Le Cagibi has long been valued on Montreal's live music scene, but escalating rent is forcing it to relocate in a bid to survive. The Mile End neighbourhood staple is eyeing a nearby space, but needs crowdsourced funding to make this happen. It is seeking $35K via GoFundMe, and has so far raised $6.3K. Source: Eater Montreal
– SOCAN members seeking a stronger voice in the direction of the pro can nominate themselves as a candidate for the Board of Directors election in 2018. If you’re eligible, you can self-nominate by petition, which requires a minimum of 25 signatures of members who are themselves eligible to vote for you. Submit your petition to SOCAN by March 2. More info on eligibility and the nomination process here.
– Kingston-raised, Montreal-based singer/songwriter Beatrice Keeler impressed at her Burdock showcase in Toronto last night. She mixed material from her current album, Bygone, with older originals and covers ranging from The Beatles to Bon Iver. Keeler has a clear and expressive voice, a minimal but effective guitar style, and a charmingly low-key stage manner. She made a splash in 2016 by reaching the semi-finals of La Voix, confessing last night that she had to take a crash course in singing in French to compete.
– The Music March For Music Therapy is set for Sunday March 4 in Toronto, from 11.30 am to 4 pm. It will be followed by an event at Lee's Palace. The March is organised by the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund. the goal this year is to raise $25K. More info here
– With little advance fanfare, The Devin Cuddy Band released a new EP, Amy's Dream, yesterday. It is available to purchase throughout their current tour across Canada, opening for Devin's dad Jim Cuddy. The five-cut EP includes covers of tunes by Luke Doucet and Jack Marks. Here's the focus track "Radio." Tour dates here
Mickey Jones, an American drummer turned actor, died on Feb. 7, at age 76. His career as a drummer began in the band of Trini Lopez in the late '50s. He then joined Johnny Rivers' band and in 1966 replaced Levon Helm in Bob Dylan's touring group. He played on Dylan's famed 1966 UK tour, then joined Kenny Rogers' band, The First Edition. When they broke up in 1976, Jones switched to an acting career.
He appeared on Home Improvement and Justified, and had small roles in such films as Sling Blade and Tin Cup. In 2009, Jones published his autobiography "That Would Be Me," the title based on the catchphrase often used by his character on Home Improvement. Sources: The Wrap, Wikipedia
John Perry Barlow, an internet pioneer and former Grateful Dead lyricist, died on Feb. 7, at the age of 70.
When Barlow was 15, he met Bob Weir at school in Colorado, and they became friends. Barlow began co-writing songs in 1971 with Grateful Dead founding member Weir, a teaming that would last until the Dead disbanded in 1995. "Cassidy," "Mexicali Blues," Black-Throated Wind" and "Looks Like Rain" are among the dozens of songs Barlow helped pen, and he contributed four songs to 1989 album Built to Last.
Barlow was also a civil liberties advocate, and in 1990, he co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation with John Gilmore and Mitch Kapor. He published a number of essays which called for an independent internet, void of government rule. In 2012, he co-founded Freedom of the Press Foundation, a non-profit that supports free speech in the press. A lyricist, poet and essayist, Barlow's work has been published in Wired, The New York Times and Nerve. His memoir, Mother American Night: My Life in Crazy Times, will be published on June 5. Source: Rolling Stone