Tag Archives: From the Vault

From The Vault: Los Microwaves

Digging through an odd cranny of the music office (where, seemingly, an old music director/volunteer had set aside some records for VENUS [Thurs 12-14h])we found this gem of a record.  Formed in San Francisco in 1979, new-wave/post-punk/synth-pop band Los Microwaves released only a few singles/EPs and one full length: Life After Breakfast.  Shooting the gap somewhere between Devo/Gang of Four/XTC and teeming with that particular brand of cheeky erratic humour that defines so many of those artists.  Singer/synth + bass player Meg Brazill’s vocals are upbeat and break the monotony of male-fronted… dance punk???

Closing track here:

Life After Breakfast can be purchased as a re-issued LP/DVD from Dark Entries Recordings

From the Vault: Shlonk! — Ee-Yow (1990)

Photo courtesy of Michelle Bouchard, Shlonk! drummer.

This blogger heard rumours about (very in-famous) Montreal punk Shlonk! around the CKUT hallways while looking for some diversity in the male-dominated 80s-90s cassette section. While our copy of their demo tape has been lost to the ages, I tracked down the vinyl release of their first and only LP.

Formed out of Montreal’s 80s weird-Anglo underbelly, Shlonk! were an all-girl punk band who associated closely with New York’s SCUM Rock community. (In this case, SCUM stands for “Socially Conscious Urban Musicians”, but see also Valerie Solanas’ tract of the same name.)

The record is a scuzz-covered testament to the scene’s creativity: crass, bold, and intelligent, Shlonk! mine hardcore, punk, and sludge metal for material, and they really, really don’t care what you think of it.

While they undoubtedly earned the “punk” label–for both music and lifestyle–the record is frenetic and diverse, accessing deep, aggressive, subgenres as much as conventional hardcore. . “Shlonk!” (the track) begins dissolves quickly into a repetitive, melodic riff and doomy vocals that wouldn’t be out of place in a metal song. Almost instantly, as if they were found out, the song flips on its head once more before being dragged back to its sludgy roots.The band gravitates around novelty with child-like glee; they abandon ideas as soon as they lose energy. The rest of the record is similarly hectic, with thirteen gloriously varied tracks, each of which has staying power.

Very little information about the band is available online, but I was able to track down a transcribed interview with the one and only Lorrie on CKUT’s ‘Aack!’. True to form, the band says very little.

Despite remaining fiercely underground, the band apparently played to rapturous audiences in Europe, and played some reunion shows in Toronto and Montreal a few years back. Check out this video for “Arm Your Children”, which showcases their brand of anarcho-madcappery better than I ever could. The video even features a close friend of CKUT as “Junior”, the armed child…


Bassist Colleen MacIntyre sadly passed away in 1996.

The full album is streaming on soundcloud below:

wolff blakey

From the Vault: Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – Caravan (1962)

wolff blakey

Art Blakey’s first on Riverside features the inimitable Freddie Hubbard on trumpet; Wayne Shorter,  tenor sax; Cedar Walton, piano; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Reggie Workman, bassist. These form the Jazz Messengers in late 1962, whose lineup was constantly revolving save for Blakey who led as percussionist, bandleader, and spiritual center for decades. Though his contribution is relatively subdued on this album, his effortless syncopation is undeniably the backbone of the group. The title track, written by Juan Tizol and first performed by Duke Ellington, is a standout on the album. The soloists wade in and out, responding to each other along with an ever-intensifying rhythm section. Blakey’s solo beats down like the desert sun, cymbals chiming with the breeze. The rest of the album restates and expands on tones and themes first presented, a true bop classic. Check out the link to “Caravan” below!!


From the Vault – Leadbelly Legacy Volume Four (1953)


I don’t really need to say much about this one. Old blues singers of Lead Belly’s calibre send a shiver down my spine every time. This 10″ compilation, put out by Folkways in 1953, is posthumous as Huddie Ledbetter passed away in 1949. His distinct voice and fingerpicking style  remain as haunting and breezy as ever. The self-proclaimed “King of the 12-string Guitar” was a true easy rider. Though you may not be able to find a copy of this particular record we have here at CKUT, his recordings are a must-have. This old country blues seems to suit any occasion well, particularly hot Montreal summers. I’ve linked the title track down below, listen in!



From the Vault: Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um (1959)


This week’s pick quickly jumped out at me as I perused the Super Lock-Up section of our library. Mingus Ah Um was released in 1959, while the virtuoso bass player was based in New York. An immensely fruitful year for evolution of jazz music, other albums include Dave Brubeck’s Time Out, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, Bill Evans’ Portrait in Jazz, and Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come. Mingus Ah Um stands up to all of these, a major achievement, and features many songs now considered classics of the genre.

The music itself is extremely colourful and vibrant, perfect for the recent arrival of warm weather. Openner “Better Git It In Your Soul” hits hard and fast right away with a steamin’ rhythm section and a heat wave of horns. The rest of the album is consistently engaging yet diverse, with a few slower songs among the cacophony. This is a formative album, people. A must-have.



suspiria uk 1 stampa

From the Vault: Goblin – Suspiria (1977)

suspiria uk 1 stampa

Original soundtrack of the psychedelic italian horror film released in 1977!! “Suspiria” is a must-see cult classic for those of you with eyes. It is full of intense, otherworldly visuals that will strike a fear deep in your heart. Goblin, referred to as ‘The Goblins’ in the film’s opening credits, composed the score in collaboration with director Dario Argento. The music itself is a blend of heavy, late 70’s prog and hallucinatory noise. Sometimes melodic, sometimes disorienting, the sounds herein are best listened to late at night, preferably not alone. If you dig this Goblin also made a soundtrack to Argento’s “Deep Red” with similar vibes. Find yourself a copy and freak out!


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtXz3OlFwZA&w=480&h=360]

From the Vault: Burning Spear – Social Living/Marcus’ Children (1978)


We’ve started yet another weekly series here on CKUT’s music blog. Every week we’ll be digging up an old release from our library! There’s a lot of focus on contemporary music these days, and given CKUT’s history and crazy diverse library we want to keep in touch with where it all comes from.

This week our feature is Burning Spear‘s 1978 album Social Living (AKA Marcus’ Children). I came across this album while searching through our vinyl reggae section. Burning Spear has been putting out music since 1969, starting off at the famous Studio One in Jamaica. This album picks up where his previous 3rd LP, Marcus Garvey, left off. It is filled with haunting bass-heavy grooves, traditional reggae rhythms, nyahbinghi percussion,  and distant, dream-like horns that seem to float above it all. Lyrically the album is quite dark, focussing on slavery, repatriation, and the great Marcus Garvey, for whom four tracks are named.  Definitely worth tracking down though copies are hard to find these days. Give a listen to the opening track I’ve attached below entitled ‘Marcus Children Suffer’. With the weather warming up I have a feeling this album will be on heavy rotation through the summer.

Lotsa Love,