Azealia Banks  FB photo
Azealia Banks FB photo

Music News Digest, March 18, 2019

Some notable new names have been added to the list of performers at Canadian Music Week (CMW) in Toronto, running May 6-12. Pioneering '70s NYC art-punk band Television plays CMW's opening party on May 6 at the Phoenix, and the same venue hosts Azealia Banks and Tasha the Amazon on May 8, with The Dirty Nil and Tokyo Police Club in on May 10. The Elwins have been added to the lineup for the Indies on May 11, joining the previously-announced Born Ruffians, again at The Phoenix. Full lineup here 

– Details of the 2019/20 season for the National Arts Centre in Ottawa have been announced. On the music side, Indigenous artists figure prominently, including three Polaris Music Prize winners, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jeremy Dutcher, and Tanya Tagaq. They all have concerts set for Sept. Other noted artists in the NAC Presents series include Raffi, Robert Charlebois, John Wort Hannam, Erin Costelo, Madison Violet, Kellylee Evans, Chilly Gonzales, Megan Nash, Port Cities, and David Francey. Major classical music artists Angela Hewitt and Yannick Nézet-Séguin and his Orchestre Métropolitain have 2020 performances booked. More info here

– Toronto pop band Valley has released a new single, “A Phone Call In Amsterdam,” through Universal Music Canada. Listen here. It coincides with the kick off of a fully sold-out North American tour headlined by Canadian pop artist Lennon Stella, beginning with two nights at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall, March 19- 20. Full itinerary here

– Bryan Adams was scheduled to play a concert at Hagley Park in Christchurch, NZ, yesterday (March 17), but he cancelled in the wake of the terrorist shooting in that city on March 15 that took the lives of 50 Muslim attendees at two mosques. Adams tweeted he was abandoning the show "in solidarity with the victims of the mass murder yesterday." Texan roots music star Alejandro Escovedo cancelled his Sunday night club show, posting on FB that "We feel the weight of the loss and want to respect everybody in this time of mourning."

– Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, ON, has added four more artists to its lineup: The Julian Taylor Band, Ralph, Birds of Chicago, and Ziggy Alberts. The fest runs July 5-7.

– CIMA is hosting another Lunch & Learn session on March 19. Entitled Measuring Your Metrics: Data Tracking with Nielsen Music, it features Paul Shaver and Paul Tuch from Nielsen Music talking about their role in the music industry, the value of registering your content, and the different platforms you can use to help gather and analyze that all important data. More info here

– Bangerz Brass, described as Toronto's only hip-hop and trap brass band, releases its debut single "Bangerz' Delight" on March 22, via Slammin Media and Believe Distribution. It is launched that night with a hometown show at The Garrison at which Bangerz will perform their newly composed debut album in its entirety.

RIP

Zippy Pinhead, (born William Brent Chobotar), drummer in many noted Vancouver punk bands, died on March 13, age 57. He had suffered from heart disease.

An early fixture on the BC punk scene, he started as drummer in The Stiffs, whose lineup also included Gerry Hannah (aka Gerry Useless), later of The Subhumans. Pinhead helped form The Rabid, then left to join US punk band The Dils in San Francisco.

When The Dils broke up, he came back to Vancouver and joined Los Popularos, alongside John Armstrong (The Modernettes), and Art Bergmann. He went on to play with many other bands on the scene, including D.O.A., The Sick Ones, The Randy Rampage Band, The Mutants, and 22nd Century. 

At the time of his reported death, Pinhead had been scheduled to play at a concert paying tribute to the Dils' Tony Kinman, who passed away last May. That concert will take place at the Rickshaw Theatre on April 5.

He was immensely popular amongst his peers on the scene. “I googled ‘happy-go-lucky’, and there was a picture of Zippy,” Joe Keithley of DOA told the Vancouver Sun's John Mackie. Sources: Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight

Dick Dale (born Richard Monsour), known as “the King of the Surf Guitar,” died on March 16, at age 81, various sources reported. No cause of death was given.

Dale is widely credited as the creator of the surf rock genre and an innovator on the electric guitar, one who inspired such musicians as Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Ry Cooder and the Beach Boys.

In 2015, Dale’s six-string peers named him one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in a Rolling Stone feature. “His arrangements were really complex, really unruly,” Rush’s Alex Lifeson said. “It was all staccato strumming reverb, but with a reverb that just sounded so cool."

Born in Boston, Dale moved to Southern California as a senior in high school in 1954, and was soon an avid surfer. He teamed with the Del-Tones to create tracks like 1961’s “Let’s Go Trippin’,” considered the first surf rock song and later covered by the Beach Boys, and 1962's year’s “Miserlou,” Dale’s take on an Eastern Mediterranean song. That tune was notably featured in the opening credits sequence of Quentin Tarantino’s hit Pulp Fiction.

Dale was also recruited by the Fender company to test drive and help improve their instruments and amps, and he helped popularise the Fender Stratocaster.

Stevie Ray Vaughan, another fan, teamed with Dale on a cover of the Chantays’ surf classic “Pipeline” in 1986; the rendition would be nominated for Best Rock Instrumental Performance at the 1987 Grammys.

In recent years, Dale battled cancer and diabetes, noting that the high cost of treatment kept him performing. Sources: Rolling Stone, California Rocker, The Guardian

Justin Haynes, a Toronto-based, Ottawa-raised guitarist and pianist, died last week, at age 46. No cause of death has been given.

Peter Hum writes in The Ottawa Citizen that "in his teens and early 20s, before he moved to Toronto, Haynes played with a wide spectrum of Ottawa musicians, including septuagenarian saxophonist Vernon Isaacs, guitar mentor Roddy Ellias, vocalist Rebecca Campbell, bassist John Geggie, singer-songwriter Jim Bryson and his young peers Nick Fraser and Jordan O’Connor, who like him would move to Toronto."

He took lessons with US jazz greats Gary Peacock in New York and Ralph Towner in Seattle, and moved to Toronto in 1997. Some of his most frequent collaborators there were drummer Jean Martin, trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, and vocalists Tena Palmer and Felicity Williams. He also composed for groups and theatre as well as short films. In 2012, Haynes was the artist-in-residence at the National Music Centre in Calgary.

Earlier this year, Haynes was homeless for several days and he wrote on his website and in Now of his stay at Seaton House, Canada’s largest homeless shelter. Haynes’s photos and exposé prompted Toronto’s director of homeless initiatives and prevention services to acknowledge that Seaton House was an “inadequate facility.”

The outpouring of affection for Haynes on socal media was strong.  Yesterday, on FB, Michelle Josef posted: "I am in a band called Hey Stella! We have a weekly gig at the Cameron House. n Toronto. Last week, Justin mentioned that he would love to come play a set with us. I replied that he was loved. Then tragedy struck. The band would like to invite all friends of Justin to the Cameron House Tuesday night from 8-10 for an informal gathering or "wake" for our friend Justin. This is nothing official or organized. It's just a way for Justin to be in our thoughts and hopefully, in our music. All are welcome to come and hang, get up and sing a song or play with us and collectively express our love for the man. Justin's musical scope and friends were very diverse. This is a "pass the jug" gig. All proceeds will be donated to the family."

A GoFundMe campaign to assist his 12-year-old son, George Freeland-Haynes, has been set up. Sources: Ottawa Citizen, Facebook

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