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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: March 31, 2015

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Hauled a lot of gear through snow & subzero temperatures this weekend. I thought it was supposed to be spring, no?
xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
We’re switching things up this week — instead of tipping you off to some rad CKUT events or special programming, we’re extending the invitation to join the CKUT family. That’s right: we’re hiring! If you are savvy with digital audio editing, love tinkering with & fixing equipment, and enjoy working with volunteers then you should apply for our production coordinator job. Do it!

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – march 31, 2015
1. ibeyi – s/t – xl
2. lightning bolt – fantasy empire – thrill jockey
3. michael feuerstack – the forgettable truth – forward music group CC *
4. viet cong – s/t – flemish eye CC
5. xarah dion – le mal nécessaire – zodiaque musique CC * Continue reading

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Concert Review: La Nuit Tribe – an EDM show unlike others

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For Nuit Blanche 2015, the Phi Center in Vieux Port, Montreal hosted a special show entitled La Nuit Tribe. There was a lot of things happening within the venue, mostly focused on indigenous culture and ethnic practices. Street artists Swarm and Red Bandit were creating a live installation. A video installation by Bear Witness and Jeff Barnaby’s feature film Rhymes for Young Ghouls was being screened. But the highlight of the night for most of the attendees was on the music stage / dance floor where EDM and powwow music was brought together as one.

If you’ve ever been to a powwow ceremony, you’ll be familiar with the iterative drumming that forms an integral part of the powwow music. Layered on this are long and harmonic vocables, falsettos and pitch shifts that bring a lot of emphasis on the hard down beats. Now imagine this, but with electronic samples, beats, drops, punches, and love. A basic flow, a bold feeling. Welcome to the “Electric Pow wow”. What tribe plays this, you ask? It’s A Tribe Called Red.

Their shows are never just an audio experience. The stage backdrop is showing videos from old movies, depictions of “native” or “tribal” scenes. There are occasionally powwow dancers or hoop dancers too. The stage and venue lights are similarly very beat driven, arousing a rave-like atmosphere. But it’s more than just a rave. There’s something special in the way the audience is responding to the music. There was force, there was moshing, there was a feeling of comradeship as the audience came as one and swayed together, like fingers closing in into a fist. I felt a sense of peace and harmony, as my ancestors long before me must have felt in the days before colonialism.

Understanding of colonialism and the present day status of the native population should be a must for any and all listeners of ATCR. They play music from the many tribes that were once part of the many nations across much of North America. They are also all witnesses to the effects of colonialism on their culture and livelihood. What they are doing has a great significance, greater than the feeling one finds at an uplifting rave. They play for the urban aboriginal, and they represent their nations with pride – Ojibway, Nipissing First Nation, Cayuga, Six Nations, and also other nations too, through collaborations. They have also spoken up in favour of the Idle No More movement and against cultural appropriation, and through their music, they are attempting to bring “more attention to that political struggle” faced by first nations throughout Canada and even elsewhere.

Such political messages and social depictions were equally alive in the installations elsewhere in the building during La Nuit Tribe, and there were many openings into life in first nation communities that many of us would not be aware of. Yet the unique merge between urban club environment and ethnic culture and sounds that ATCR brought together was definitely a captivating experience. They were followed by AfrotroniX, another brilliant DJ set who mixed electronic music with afrofuturistic ideas and ethnic imagery. It was another brilliant performance, and together, the show conveyed a minimalistic, back-to-the-roots feeling – one in which I was just another member of this dance tribe. And that tribe, would find itself dancing in harmony till the crack of dawn -ergo, La Nuit Tribe.

Review by Bimo Niraula

CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: March 24, 2015

Hey friends,

Had a pretty nice weekend that included getting to hear great sets from some visiting musician-pals (hi there Forest Management & Fire Moss) and lots of general catching up and hanging out. I sadly missed our current chart-topper Matana Roberts play on Saturday night because I was battling the Death Cough, but I heard it was terrific. Don’t wimp out like me if she plays your town!

xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
CKUT is proud to announce the launch of our residency at Montreal’s freshly-minted Maison Sociale every Thursday from 7-8pm. This place is part bar, part cafe, part hang-out zone and to top it all off they’ve got live DJs spinning tunes around the clock in specified timeslots, radio-style. Stop by on Thursday evenings to hear a different CKUT programmer behind the decks each week, soundtracking the start to your weekend — cuz Thursdays are the new Fridays, right? Right.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – march 24, 2015
1. matana roberts – coin coin chaptet. 3: river run thee – constellation
2. nancy pants – total nancy pants – self-released CC *
3. a sacred cloud/anarchist mountains – split – howl!/jeunesse cosmique CC *
4. viet cong – s/t – flemish eye CC
5.  BCH+C – live: taking a shot – small scale music CC * Continue reading

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: March 17, 2015

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Hope all you SXSW folks enjoy all the tacos, Lonestar, and Sonicbids-sponsored gigs that Austin has to offer. Up here in Montreal, we’re revelling in another fresh snowfall (no Texas weather for us) and digging deep into Hip Hop Week Mtl – read on for more about that…

xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
If you dig beats & rhymes, listen up: Hip Hop Week is going down March 15th – 21st, and there’s a stacked lineup of performances, workshops, and panels in the works. The program was put together by four independent McGill students and is supported wholeheartedly by us here at CKUT. They’ve got some pretty big names lined up, including Jean Grae, Rakim, Nomadic Massive and plenty more. CKUT is giving away tickets, airing interviews with the organizers, and doing plenty of coverage throughout the week. Check out the full schedule here.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – march 17, 2015
1. xarah dion – le mal nécessaire – zodiaque musique CC *
2. a sacred cloud/anarchist mountains – split – howl!/jeunesse cosmique CC *
3. ibeyi – s/t – xl
4. viet cong – s/t – flemish eye CC
5. stefan christoff & nick schofield – reves sonores a montreal – howl! arts collective CC * Continue reading

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Album Review: Ibeyi – Ibeyi

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Franco-Cuban twins Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz comprise Ibeyi. They’ve built a 2014 EP and now this self-titled LP debut with piano, traditional Cuban percussion, English poems of wildly variant efficiency, and Yoruban (a Nigerian language) chants. All these instruments are too defeated for hip-hop, but too indignant for jazz. Hence, they deftly choose to forge a fusion between the two genres, part of a broader spiritual and musical mending that’s compromised here over thirteen tracks.

The constant in Ibeyi’s universe: loss, and the ensuing yearning for people and ideas that aren’t present for them; whether because of death, health, unwillingness, or not being of this world entirely. This is a dialogue with themselves, the earth-bound humans, and the sky-bound entities they need to expel their grief.

We begin by hearing the twins’ personal talk with Eleggua, the Yoruban orisha tasked with linking the spiritual world with the physical one. The song is simple, like an easy morning with too much unassigned time and space.

“even if I don’t feel or see you, take me” they chant to Oya, orisha of female empowerment. The trumpets of the Western heavens foreshadow the falling out between human and spirit near the song’s end. “Ah, toi le seul et l’unique / Mais qui pars sans moi / Toi qui pars sans moi.”

Ibeyi dedicates the next three tracks to mending a tarnished relationship. Their appeals are scarred with harsh, loud, strong, unwelcome drums. Each song ends with pleas in tongues foreign to the vast majority of those crude enough to overhear. Ibeyi backs up their plea with two simple, repeated, poetic verses detailing their troubles of the soul and hidden, personal demons.  As they testify, they falter and hesitate. They deploy gentle, whimpering piano as witness, crippled here to only play the most simple chords. It’s the most they can muster while facing the scorn of an angry deity.

They reach Behind the Curtain, the demarcation, their final judgement on whether to spurn deities for good. They lose a man, both a suitor and a father. Or do different men play these roles? “Have you gone behind the curtain? / We are so far, oh very near”

Their decision is made clear in the album’s remainder. No spirits for the protagonists; they take their concerns to earth-bound creatures they can see and touch and obtain satisfaction from and maybe even enjoy the company of. Tracks are now flooded with lyrics not often repeated. Instrumental complexity aligns evenly with that of increasing lyrical – now a second constant for Ibeyi as they’re freed of divine rules and control of their lives.

Review by Evan Vassallo
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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: March 10, 2015

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You guys it’s actually above freezing in Montreal today. Hallelujah!
xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
A couple weeks ago we had lovely local songwriter Myriam Gendron in our studio for a live performance, and her pieces are freshly available to all hungry ears via our Free Music Archive page. For those not in the know, Myriam released an album of Dorothy Parker poems set to acoustic guitar last year on the always-awesome Feeding Tube Records, and it’s been making best-of lists ever since. Live performances are still a bit of a rarity for Ms. Gendron, so we’re extra excited to offer these minimal and lovely folk songs to a wider audience. Check them out here.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – march 10, 2015
1. cheap wig – magic idea – self-released CC *
2. viet cong – s/t – flemish eye CC
3. matana roberts – coin coin chaptet. 3: river run thee – constellation
4. rhys chatham & charlemagne palestine – youuu + mee + weeee – sub rosa
5. bonnie doon – an affair to remember – bruised tongue CC Continue reading

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: March 3, 2015

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Went on a pretty epic hike through Mont Royal park this weekend and got to watch a lot of cute dogs playing in the snow, which may be my number one favourite thing about winter. It’s turned out to be a record-breaking February for temperatures here in Montreal — good thing we’re a tough city, huh?

Hope you are staying warm wherever you are,
xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
We’re very excited to be welcoming local label Art Not Love into the studio to curate our March edition of the Montreal Sessions. Here’s a sneak peek at what they’ve got in store for the next month:

This March, Art Not Love records will be taking over CKUT’s Montreal Sessions and inviting their friends from in and around the label to talk about their process as independent artists. Expect to hear how music rules their lives, their personal approach to their work, and where they plan to take things in the not so distant future! Guests will include Rushing Silver, Saxsyndrum, Ari Swan, Robby Reis, DirtyOrgans, Jef Barbara and more in studio with ANL’s Charlie Twitch and Peggy Hogan. “Art Not Love unifies non-genre-normative art and music. We encourage the sacred practice of masochistic submission to craft and style.”

Catch them on the air every Tuesday in March from 3-5pm, starting this afternoon! Stream it live via ckut.ca, or check out full audio archives HERE.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – march 3, 2015
1. cheap wig – magic idea – self-released CC *
2. xarah dion – le mal nécessaire – zodiaque musique CC *
3. siskiyou – nervous – constellation CC
4. black givre – autorail – beaver club records CC *
5. mands – 15-6-2014 – misery loves company CC * Continue reading

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Revisiting the Dub Rifles

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THE DUB RIFLES
A Retrospect by CKUT’s Vince Tinguely

A few years ago, I read a beat-up copy of Subculture: The Meaning of Style by Dick Hebdige. One could immediately sense this was a damn clever book when it came out back in 1979 – back in 1979 there weren’t too many books partaking of ‘punk’ design values – a lurid pink-black-and-yellow cover, featuring a stark cartoon portrait of a Ziggy-era Bowie-clone. It stood out to such an extent that I remembered it, a quarter-century later, when I came upon it in some thrift shop or other. Based on that odd media-memory alone (in our mediated world much memory devotes itself to media) I bought the book.

Reading Subculture: The Meaning of Style now means reading it as an artifact. Hebdige was writing about the punk subculture in Britain, specifically – dragooning ruminations upon its ‘antecedents’ like the mod, teddy boy and glam scenes in order to pad the book out beyond a couple of chapters. (Weirdly, he completely ignores or excludes the hippie subculture of the sixties – apparently because hippie culture was so big it falls outside of the purview of the ‘subcultural’ focus. But to me it looks like an omission big enough to drive Kesey’s bus through. I guess he likes his countercultures nice and small and contained within the dominant überculture.)

He was writing about punk in the very midst of that scene’s flourishing, which lent his thoughts a nicely unfinished, unpolished and inconclusive flavour. What I found most stimulating about the book was Hebdige’s examination of British Rasta youth culture as the flipside of the British punk scene. For some reason it was only by reading this book that I finally ‘realized’ the connection. It’s a strange thing, since I know for sure I lived this connection at the time.

I distinctly remember the first time I really felt like I was participating in something that I’d only previously known through mediated forms like records (ie. Gang of Four’s Entertainment, and the Lee Perry-produced Bob Marley and the Wailers bootleg bought at Canadian Tire for $3.99) – when the Dub Rifles played Domus Legis, a law frat house in Halifax, in June of 1983.

Continue reading

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: February 24, 2015

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Still wintery here in Montreal. Who wants to take me on a vacation?
xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
We’re pre-empting regular programming tomorrow from sundown to sunup to present a very special broadcast: it’s the 13th annual Homelessness Marathon, hosted this year by our friends over at CFRC in Kingston. Every year, the Homeless Marathon serves up 14 hours of people-powered radio, broadcasted on nearly 40 radio stations across Canada. With the goal of being a consciousness-raising event, the Marathon will provide an opportunity for homeless people and their allies to take to the airwaves, and allow a nationwide discussion on homelessness issues and possible solutions. Stream it live on CKUT from 5pm onwards tomorrow evening, and be sure to catch the segments between 8-10pm for content produced by our own team here at CKUT.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – february 24, 2015
1. cheap wig – magic idea – self-released CC *
2. matana roberts – coin coin chpt. 3: river run thee – constellation
3. xarah dion – le mal nécessaire – zodiaque musique CC *
4. heathers – s/t – saturn returns CC *
5. siskiyou – nervous – constellation CC Continue reading

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Towanda on the Montreal Sessions


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For their third episode of the Montreal Sessions, local punks Towanda keep the mic pointed squarely towards the ladies in the house. Delving into the history of ’77 punk, feminist rap, and riot grrrl they dust off some true gems and dig into how these sounds came to influence Towanda as we know (and love) them today.

Bringing things into the present day, they invite local musician and Rock Camp for Girls coordinator Heather Hardie into the studio to discuss the intersection of feminism and music culture. If we do say so ourselves, it struck the perfect mix of insightful conversation and kickass music. In case you missed it the first time around, be sure to check out the full audio here.