RIP: Stompin’ Tom Connors

RIP: Stompin' Tom Connors

From Billboard:

Canadian music icon Stompin’ Tom Connors, whose songs about every nook and cranny of Canada, its people and favorite pastime included “The Hockey Song,” “Sudbury Saturday Night,” “Bud The Spud,” “Tillsonburg” and “Big Joe Mufferaw,” died Wednesday of natural causes at his home, in Halton Hills, Ontario, his family at his side. He was 77.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted “We have lost a true Canadian original. R.I.P. Stompin’’ Tom Connors. You played the best game that could be played.”

The 11 o’clock news across the country dedicated segments to Connors, some even leading with the story. Twitter and Facebook were filled with dedications and personal comments about meeting or working with him or simply enjoying his music or his true patriotic love for Canada.

At the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Ottawa Senators game, his enduring anthem “The Hockey Song” was played in its entirety after news of his death was announced on the scoreboard. The song is played during every third period. The lyric includes: “Oh, the good old hockey game is the best game you can name. And the best game you can name is the good old hockey game.”

• Stompin’ Tom Connors:

Arctic Monkeys announce US tour, promise to play that song you like

Hey buddy.

Don’t know if you heard, but the Arctic Monkeys are coming to town. Your town, that is. Well, maybe not your town. Probably not even your town, actually. But, hey, you know, them’s the shakes. Ha ha. Well, thing is, they are coming to some towns in the United States. Doing a tour, that’s what they’re doing here, buddy.

Maybe you should go see them. They said they’re going to play that song you like. Unless, you know, they play the songs that you don’t like, but other people like. Boy, that would be a bummer. Just how it goes sometimes, heh. Still, to go to a town that’s not your town (because they’re not playing your town), just to have ‘em play songs that you don’t like? Woof.

They are playing six US dates this May, though. Look, I know you’re on the fence. If they’re playing your town, you should go see them. I really think they’ll play that song you like. Maybe don’t go if they’re not playing your town or they’re only playing towns far away from your town or you’ve got work tomorrow. Really, your call, man.

See you later, buddy.

Arctic Monkeys dates:

05.24.13 - Gorge, WA - Sasquatch! Festival
05.25.13 - Missoula, MT - Wilma Theatre
05.26.13 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory
05.28.13 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theater
05.29.13 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
05.31.13 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues

• Arctic Monkeys:

Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi puncture the inky dark with a new collaborative release, out April 30 on Black Truffle Records

A beige palimpsest came under my door today. It started out clear and readable, the lettering confident, but as the paragraphs stretched out, the letters grew cramped and angular, as if carved by a shaky hand into the bark of a tree. What follows is my attempt at a transcript:

New album from Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi announced. Called something like Now While It’s Still Warm Let Us Pour in All the Mystery. Recorded late last year during annual concert at SuperDeluxe in Tokyo. Follows past collaborative releases recorded at same annual get-together as 2012’s Imikuzushi (TMT Review) and 2010’s Tima Formosa (TMT Review). Just heard screams down the street. Probably nothing. Nothing. Sky grey as pewter, swirling all toilet-like. Album is out April 30. Released by Black Truffle Records. Not sure if I’ll make it until then. Mind slipping.

What was that? Companion says it was nothing. She hardly speaks these days.

Album is six tracks long, each piece reportedly showing a different side of the trio. (Note: trio is cubic in shape and all shapes are meaningless arrangements of matter). Track one features guests Charlemagne Palestine (note: yes, that Charlemagne Palestine) and Eiko Ishibashi. My last guest was Clarence. He’s long gone now. Now While It’s Still Warm… broader musically than past releases. It moves from atmospheric folk-drone to jarring free rock. It moves. It’s moving! (Note: The dark creeps in. Fields that were once wide expanses are cordoned invisibly). (Note: Replenish stock of dried meats in morning). To be released as six-panel digipak CD and limited-edition gatefold LP. Design by Stephen O’Malley. Live photographs by Ujin Matsuo. Artwork by Shunichiro Okada. Their shadows gather in the distance. One day I will be free.

• Jim O’Rourke:
• Oren Ambarchi:
• Fushitsusha:
• Black Truffle:

RIP: Alvin Lee of Ten Years After

From Exclaim!:

Blues rock guitarist Alvin Lee, best known for his work with Ten Years After, passed away today (March 6) due to compilations stemming from a routine surgery. He was 68.

The sad news was announced on his website by his wife and daughters, who wrote, “We have lost a wonderful and much loved father and companion. The world has lost a truly great and gifted musician.”

• Alvin Lee:
• Ten Years After:

Small Black announce Limits of Desire LP, intentionally mix up your order in the drive-thru

We’ve all been there: the fast-food drive-thru, rubbing our hands together, getting stoked for our “extra ketchup” cheeseburgers and large Cokes, only to pull away and realize that, shockingly, we’ve been given the wrong order, maybe a small Coke and some weird fish popper things. Well, I’m in my car right now sitting in a fast-food restaurant parking lot and I’m looking at the new Small Black record, Limits of Desire, thinking about how this is just like the time my mom accidentally put “Casimir Pulaski Day” by Sufjan Stevens on her workout playlist and ended up napping instead of pumping some iron. You see, I was expecting Big Black’s Songs About Fucking — I was sure I ordered a large.

I’ll admit, I was bummed at first, but I’ve come around. Sometimes it’s really a good thing when mix-ups like these happen. I mean, there’s no way I’m going to be ready for swimsuit season if I keep tossing back extra-large Cokes at the rate I’m going. Unlike Songs About Fucking, Limits of Desire is out May 14 on Jagjaguwar, and though it’s still in line with Small Black’s synth-pop sound (which is definitely not chillwave, thank you very much), it reportedly sports a more refined sound, dropping the layered production of 2010’s New Chain (TMT Review) in favor of a more direct sound. No ketchup, light mustard, hold the onions.

Small Black will play an album announcement show in Brooklyn on March 8 before heading to SXSW for a series of performances. No word yet on a new Medium Black record, though unsurprisingly, it’s slated to be third-wave ska.

Limits of Desire tracklisting:

01. Outskirts
02. Shook Loves
03. Limits of Desire
04. Only a Shadow
05. Proper Spirit
06. Breathless
07. Sophie
08. No Stranger
09. Canoe
10. Free at Dawn


03.08.13 - Brooklyn, NY - 285 Kent
03.14.13 - Austin, TX - Red 7 (SXSW)
03.15.13 - Austin, TX - Lustre Pearl (SXSW)
03.16.13 - Austin, TX - TBA (SXSW)

• Small Black:
• Jagjaguwar:

Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa collaborate on woefully cat-less album Toropical Circle

The Internet loves two things: cats and arbitrary point systems. Composer and musician Takako Minekawa apparently also “loves cats”, but does she love “karma”? The answer appear to be “no” because and I can’t find a single thing about her collaborative album with former Ponytail guitarist Dustin Wong that deals with cats. The album, entitled Toropical Circle, is coming out May 15 from Plancha and distinctly lacks any mention of felines. The tracklist is below, but be warned; there isn’t a single cute, furry, upvote-whore to be found.

Toropical Circle tracklisting:

01. Party on a Floating Cake
02. Windy Prism Room
03. Circle has Begun (yorokobi humming)
04. Two Acorns’ dreams Growing as One
05. I Want to be with You
06. Swimming Between Parallel Times
07. Bell Tree Dancers
08. Enneagram Journey
09. New Circle was Begun
10. Story of Roots and Hands
11. Solar Glory
12. Electric Weave
13. Mirror Underwater in a Magic Lantern

Dustin Wong is also touring in Texas, Mexico, and Japan, occasionally with Takako Minekawa. I have to assume this is a bid for yet more upvotes so here is a sure-fire way to turn the tour into a karma-train; a backing band entirely made up of cats. A foolhardy endeavor, you say? Cats can’t hold guitars, you say? These objections hold some water, but just think about the upvotes if they pull it off. Think how cool they would be then. I mean, screw the music, accruing digital points is all that really matters right? Ah well, if the music matters more to you than “Karma,” check them out when they come your way later this year. Not going to be any cats though.

03.07.13 - Denton, TX - 35 Denton
03.09.13 - Monterrey, Mexico - Festival NRML
03.14-15.13 - Austin, TX - SXSW
03.24.13 - Tokyo, Japan - SOUP *
04.10.13 - Tokyo, Japan - Tsukimirukimiomofu
04.16.13 - Tokyo, Japan - Kichimu *
05.18.13 - Osaka, Japan - epok
05.19.13 - Kanazawa, Japan - 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
05.20.13 - Nagoya, Japan - K.D Japon
05.26.13 - Tokyo, Japan - O-nest *

* Takako Minekawa

• Dustin Wong:
• Takako Minekawa:
• Plancha: