Corby's Orbit

Corby's Orbit
Listening in All the High Places illustration by John Kricfalusi

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Brainwashed ~ Canada's 150th Birthday ~ Our 17 Greatest Songs ~ Thirteenth Post

Illustrator from Buenos Aires Al Markha 

Street fighting reform school grad David Clayton Thomas got his rewards later, after replacing Al Kooper in Blood Sweat & Tears, but he was already an  anti-authoritarian icon and an important musical innovator after his hit single with The Bossmen in Canada in 1966. On the a.m. radio, Brainwashed was censored with a significantly irritating beeeep at the point in the lyric where he roared "60 million people reading all about Viet Nam / 85 percent of them don't give a damn". 

Aggressive snare and guitar, combined with a frenzied bridge of jazz keyboard / bass, all of it mixed waaay into the red, gave the song instant status as a standout track of social change, paving the way for songs like Ohio and Black Day In July. A future of musical breakthroughs, Junos and Grammies followed, but this moment stands as a high-water mark of ferocious Canadian song-writing.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Playlist For Show Of 9 June

                                                     Photo by Alexander Legaree (@coalphotography)

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 
(Brought to you by Guilt by Dissociation,  Anonymosity and Jumping To Collusions )

Guest: Tony Quarrington 
5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  
Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

5:00 Crucial As Usual

Gary Clark Jr. ~ The Life ~ Blak & Blu ~ @ Danforth Music Hall Monday & Tuesday 12-13 June

* Whitehorse ~ Kicking Down Your Door ~ Panther In The Dollhouse NEW DISK ~ @ Massey Hall 8 December

Taj Mahal & Toumani Diabate ~ Queen Bee ~ Africa Fête 1999

* Denielle Bassels ~ And Nothing Less ~ What About Wool Wishbags ~ @ Alliance Francaise Saturday for From Paris To Toronto

* The Band ~ You'll See Me ~ Jubilation ~ Tribute To Levon Helm @ Hugh's Room tonight

5:30 Molotov Fairytales

Joan Baez ~ Do Right Woman ~ No Woman No Cry ~ @ Massey Hall Wednesday for Four Voices

* Tara Williamson ~ Sundogs ~ Songs To Keep Us Warm 

Glen Brown ~ Version: 78 Style ~ Pressure Drop Remix (Blood & Fire)

Michael Jackson ~ I Wanna Be Where You Are ~ The Remix Suite ~ 50 Years Of The Jacksons tonight @ Rebel

Cheryl Wheeler ~ If It Were Up To Me ~ Stop Handgun Violence

6:00 Guitar Escarpments

Fred Lipsius ~ Better Believe It ~ Stop Handgun Violence

* Jon Brooks ~ Down By The Dirty Don ~ The Songs Of Tony Quarrington NEW DISK

Tony Quarrington ~ Interview

* David Storey ~ When Townes Sang 'Em Down ~ The Songs Of Tony Quarrington NEW DISK

* Willie P. Bennett (with string quartet arranged by Tony Quarrington) ~ Azure ~ Heartstrings

* Ed Bickert with Rob McConnell & Don Thompson ~ Dream A Little Dream Of Me ~ Tribute To Ed Bickert @ Hugh's Room Live Wednesday 14 June

* Nathan Hiltz ~ You're The Top ~ Songs Poetic ~ @ Mezzeta Cafe Wednesday 14 June

6:30 Orboretum

Bonnie Raitt ~ I'm On Your Side ~ Fundamental ~ @ Sony Center tonight

* Feist ~ Baby Be Simple ~ Pleasure NEW DISK

Mary Chapin Carpenter ~ Mellow Yellow ~ Steal This Movie sdtrk. ~ @ Massey Hall Wednesday 14 June for Four Voices

* Ed Bickert with Rob McConnell & Don Thompson ~ In The Blue Of Evening / Toronto Music Listings

* Shania Twain ~ Hallelujah God Bless The Child ~ Single

* Sarah MacDougall ~ I Want To See The Light ~ Grand Canyon ~ @ Desboro Music Hall Saturday

Friday, June 9, 2017

Ohio ~ Canada's 150th Birthday ~ Our 17 Best Songs ~ Twelfth Post

On the 30th of April 1970, U.S. president Richard Nixon announced the American ground invasion of Cambodia.

On the 4th of May 1970, 4 protesting university students at Kent State  were killed by National Guard riflemen under the command of Ohio governor James Rhodes.

On the 10th of May, 2 more university students at Jackson State were killed by Mississippi highway patrolmen and police shotguns.

On May 21st, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young recorded Neil Young's new song, Ohio, with their new rhythm section of Calvin Samuels and Johnny Barbata. Atlantic Records rushed it to release a few weeks later.

"And when you just might start to be thinking, you don’t dare have a voice or there is no voice, from the radio comes this voice of solidarity and outrage. It wasn’t just a pop song.” 
~ Pop-culture historian and journalist David Bianculli 

Although Keep On Rocking In The Free World comes close to being his best song, the cultural effect of Ohio still prevails as a beacon in our musical history. The mechanical, threatening guitar grind that opens the song promises no mercy. Name-checking the president, the song connected an entire generation to a gravity that had been suppressed by the media's theoretical dismissal of the peace movement (altruism) and the furious murders of many of the major Sixties activists (paranoia, conspiracy theories). Neil and his anthem brought back the ominous dread of the government with nine instant lines of rage. "We're finally on our own." He has been a free radical ever since. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Corby's Orbit My One Thousandth Post ~ About Canadian Beauty/Truth Music

This is the 1,000th post on my blog. It has been a labour of personal music-drenched luxury for seven years now, giving me opportunity to quicken and align with the prisms of positive creativity that shimmer in an orbit around our planet-bound ear-hearts. With intimations of othernesses beyond us all, beyond even the musicians who bring these masterpieces to ground, we charge up on an energy beyond definition that outlives time and transcends space.

" Music “says” things about the world, but in specifically musical terms. Any attempt to reproduce these musical statements “in our own words” is necessarily doomed to failure. We cannot isolate the truth contained in a piece of music; for it is a beauty-truth and inseparable from its partner. The best we can do is to indicate in the most general terms the nature of the musical beauty-truth under consideration and to refer curious truth-seekers to the original. "~  Huxley

I undertook, early in this year of Canada's 150th, to collect my great Canadian songs. These selections, significant to my mind's ear, mean to outrank your typical category of list, (usually featuring the admirable Four Strong Winds / American Woman team playing big-ass touch tag with Snowbird and The Circle Game). In the interest of furthering Huxley's Beauty-Truth enigma, I have resisted posting those traditional show-ponies and even my own personal deep cuts. So, with regrets, The Wheat Pool, Susan Aglukark, Feist and a hundred other worthy candidates are not included here either. Greatness, you know, is not uncommon in Canada.

My selections are for the most part still pretty well-known. Although the wrinkly and seditious significances of a few of these tunes have been pressed out of play by the C-Bestiary and their well-mannered serious satellites, there are still some global hits here. All six of our household deities (Joni Leonard Buffy Gordon Neil and Bruce) are included, but not with their characteristic chart champs. Rather, the hymns and manifestos that they conceived to effect perspectual metamorphosis in matters of history, social justice and spiritual growth are celebrated here. Curbing a national tendency toward the pompous, I have included songs of bright confidence and severe truthing, infused with the communal jubilation of clear-sighted younger writers, and woke Maritimers.

(No francophone artist is represented, sorry, simply because I don't understand the language well enough to assess the organic worth of, say, Ferland, Harmonium or Capitaine Nô. Maybe someone with better knowledge will represent).

I plan to play all of these consecutively on my show of Friday the 30th of June. I will probably succumb to terminal goosebumps. Please join me then, or watch for the podcast on Mixcloud.

Playlist For Show Of 2 June

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 
(Brought to you by Behavior Waivers, Melancholy Mahogany and Ceremonious Summerizations  )

Guests: Rachel Therrien and Kim Doolittle
5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  
Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

5:00 New Disk Colony

* Feist ~ Lost Dreams ~ Pleasure NEW DISK ~ @ Fort York Garrison Saturday for Field Trip 

Valerie June ~ Shakedown ~ The Order Of Time NEW DISK

James Taylor ~ Sunshine Sunshine ~ James Taylor (Apple 1970)

* Jory Nash ~ Helicopters Everywhere ~ Little Pilgrim ~ @ St. Nicholas Anglican Church Saturday for Acoustic Harvest 20th Anniversary

Illustration by Robert Gonsalves

5:20 Trampoline Trumpet 

* Rachel Therrien ~ Lost (Home Inspiration) / Red Leaves (Pensamiento: Projecto Colombia) / Interview ~ @ Lula Lounge tonight and Dundas West Festival Saturday

5:40 Fully Funk Channel

* Iauwata ~ Hotter The Battle ~ Rally ~ @ Woodbine Park Saturday for Muhtadi Drum Fest

Bob Marley & The Wailers ~ Cry To Me ~ Rastaman Vibration

Sun ~ Sun Is Here ~ Old School Funk ll (Capitol 1977)

Pee Wee Ellis ~ Moon Walk ~ Funk Essentials ~ @ Hugh's Room Live tonight with Jason Wilson

Steely Dan feat. Dennis Chambers ~ Book Of Lies ~ Live In America ~ Dennis Chambers @ Cosmo Music Fest Saturday

6:00 Radio Yoyo

* Dorjee Tsering Zatraya ~ Home @ Lula Lounge Tuesday for Thank-You Canada CD release Lula World Festival

The Chieftains ~ Marches ~ Celtic Wedding

* Vandana Vishwas ~ Yahi Ek Lamha (This One Very Moment)~ Monologues ~ @ Rodeo Brazilian Steakhouse for Four Worlds Festival

6:20 Prism Breaks

Little Richard ~ Taxi Blues ~ How Blue Can You Get

Tangle Eye feat. Fred McDowell Heaven ~ Alan Lomax's Southern Journey Remixed

* Wayne Neon ~ I Wanna Be A Blues Guy ~ The Songs Of Tony Quarrington NEW DISK ~ Tony Quarrington on Corby's Orbit next week, 9 June

Ella Fitzgerald (Layo & Bushwacka Remix) ~ Angel Eyes ~ Verve Remixed vol. ll ~ A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald Roy Thompson Hall Tuesday & Wednesday 6-7 June

6:30 Doolittle Alchemy

* Kim Doolittle ~ Into The Blue / Interview Under A Memphis Moon (live) / Snowballs Day In Hell ~ Into The Blue NEW DISK ~ CD release @ Hugh`s Room Live Thursday 8 June

Toronto Music Listings

Gothic Voices ~ O Ignis Spiritus (O Fire Of The Spirit) ~ A Feather On The Breath Of God Sequences & Hymns by Abbess Hildegard van Bingen

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Stormy Blasts and Warm Contrasts In Your Musical Forecast

From the Orbital surveillance satellite, conditions look good for some prevailing jazz and an incoming blues pleasure system to be closing in on Toronto this weekend.

At Lulaworld, , those with epicurious tastes will be pleased to learn that tasty trumpeter Rachel Therrien will be making a rare Toronto appearance this Friday night. The show starts at 7:30 pm but is free, take note, before 8 pm / $15 at the door after 8. The Montreal fireball is joined by pianist Jeremy Ledbetter, Anthony Szczachor and Roberto Riveron. She will call up the Orbit at 5:30 for a pre-show rendez-vous. Cafe Cubano will carry the carnival onwards at 10:30 BTW / FYI.

And at 6:30 blues bomber Kim Doolittle, working up her game for a Thursday night CD explosion at Hugh`s Room Live next week will be by to share some tunes and chat about Into The Blue.

Get your musical amelioration on Radio Regent Friday from 5:00-7:00 on the world-wide web.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Shine ~ Canada's 150th Birthday ~ Our 17 Best Songs ~ Eleventh Post

Joni Mitchell ~ born Roberta Anderson, 7 November 1943 in Fort Macleod Alberta ~ has made songs, paintings and honest declarations of freedom (and bondage) all her life.
She has suffered abuse by the media and her peers and made her stand over all the shamers and blamers. She has titled her 19th and most recent album (2007) with her career's most accurately descriptive verb ~ Shine

In the title song, she comes out laughing at the stubbornness of dualistic thought, which has interfered with her at life's every turn. Her paintings and philosophic contributions have yet to be seriously appreciated. Best to encounter her in the music itself, or in Malka Marom's book Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Playlist For Show Of 26 May

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

( Brought To You by Initial Descents, Final Clearances, and Happy Landings )

Guests: Kele Fleming, Dorjee Tsering and Lou Natale
5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  
Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

5:00 Cure For Solitaire

* Scott Cook ~ Dogs and Kids ~ Further Down The Line NEW DISK @ Junction City Music Hall 15 June

Norah Jones and Billie Joe Armstrong ~ Rockin' Alone ~ Foreverly ~ Norah Jones @ Massey Hall Friday and Saturday

* J.D. Edwards ~ Big City Dreams ~ Roads And Roads 

* Cold Jack ~ She Takes Me High ~ Spitfire Angels NEW DISK

5:20 Current Defense

* Jah Cutta ~ Tribute ~ The All Skanadian Club vol. 5

Frankie Paul (19 October 1965 – 18 May 2017) ~ Fall In Love With Me / Kissing In The Moonlight / Tomorrow ~ Legend Of Reggae

* k-os feat. Tuku, Saidah Baba Talibah and Shannon Maracle ~ Living In A World Corrupt ~ Peace Songs

The Beach Boys ~ I Guess I Just Wasn't Made For These Times ~ Pet Sounds

5:40 Superannuated Pianists 

Leon Russell ~ Stranded On Easy Street ~ Anything Can Happen ~ Mad Dogs & Englishmen: The Music Of Joe Cocker and Leon Russell @ Hugh's Room tonight

Little Richard ~ Twinkle Twinkle Little Star ~ Shake It All About

6:00 Total Re:Kele

* Kele Fleming ~ Ecologic / Interview / Me Oh My (live) /  In My Dream (live) No Static NEW DISK @ Saving Gigi tonight

6:20 Grand Dranyen

* Fraser & Girard ~ Hellhound On My Lawn ~ The Songs Of Tony Quarrington NEW DISK

Galactic ~ Second & Dryades ~ From The Corner To The Block

* Dorjee Tsering and Lou Natale 

Amma Changma (Mama`s Wine) / Interview / Thakring Kyi Garog (Faraway) (live) / Thank-You Canada CD Release for Thank-You Canada NEW DISK@  Lula Lounge Tuesday 6 June

* Melanie Peterson ~ Malibu ~ Unbreakable Castro`s tonight 

Stefon Harris Grand Unification Theory with Toronto Music Listings

* Austra ~ 43 ~ Future Politics @ Echo Beach for CBC Music Festival Saturday 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Pamphleteer ~ Canada's 150th Birthday ~ Our 17 Best Songs ~ Tenth Post

The songs of John K. Samson bleed out through the deliberate and epic patience of his band The Weakerthans. The songs render the listener progressively more and more helpless as the lyrics congeal into private articulations that make more sense to the feelings than to the mind. They have never had breakout success, although in 2005, Left and Leaving was named one of the ten best Canadian albums of all time in Chart magazine's reader poll.  The song Pamphleteer, from that epic second album, has an organic connection to Aside and My Favourite Chords and the title track, but stands above them, perhaps most for its noble Canadian stubbornness against all that I could never overcome.” 
 Nowadays, the band is essentially broken up, although they claim to be merely cryogenically frozen”.
It all sounds weird, I know, but that is because they are from Winnipeg, even more so than they are from Canada. Here is a summation from someone who has insightfully explained the significance of the band, and their special city, from an article in GEIST:
“ One of my favourite Weakerthans songs is about politics, or maybe about the limitations of politics. It’s called “Pamphleteer” and it’s written from the point of view of a weary, discontented activist standing on a street corner at rush hour, handing out leaflets. The song borrows nicely from the literature of the left; it ends with the line “A spectre’s haunting Albert Street,” echoing the first line of the Communist Manifesto: “A spectre is haunting Europe.” And it quotes from the protest hymn “Solidarity Forever,” like this:
Sing “Oh what force on earth could be
Weaker than the feeble strength
Of one” like me remembering
The way it could have been.
The quote is from “Solidarity Forever”— there’s a footnote in the lyric sheet that says so—but what I love about it is the way that the lyrics subvert the anthem, so that it’s no longer about political struggle but about lost love. City Still Breathing: Listening to the Weakerthans by