Corby's Orbit

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Orbit's Favourite Songs Of 2020

 The torrential torment of commercial radio is not as toxic this year in Toronto, 
since all the stores and restaurants where we usually have to suffer under its miasma are in a dragged-out lockdown. We are left to our own devices, and we are also perilously susceptible to the best tunes that our neurons can retrieve for us.

There is a fine line between a rapturous song crush and a persistent, indelible earworm. For example, the other gorgeous songs on Rebecca Hennessy’s recent All the Little Things You Do, are as complex and memorable as any released this year, but the title/opening track got me almost crazed for a while when it first came out. It is soooo listenable, ornamented by the sparkles of Kevin Breit and David Travers Smith, and with a marching band that occasionally ploughs right down the middle of it, but as a simple one-line chant, it can be turned into a hypno-melodic moebius spool in the mind.

Be forewarned also that there’s a new record, by Montreal’s Justin Saladino Band, entitled Live. It seems to be a robust collection of raw bluesy fun with a blazing band, captured live in a bottle, but beware the second song, “Honey.” It has a hook that stitches itself into your mental fabric instantly. I. Wanna Know How. SWEET. Your. LOVE. Can. BE. Some nights it is there when I close my eyes and perched there again when I open them in the morning, restless as a lava lamp, churning through the darkness.

And always waiting just backstage on my brainstage is Borealis’ Braden Gates with his mop and fiddle, joyously cleaning up my cerebellum with “Norah Jones At Closing Time”; and Lynn Miles posting an amber alert to remind me about how “Main Street (Ain’t Main Street Anymore)”; and Joe Nolan’s tidal loneliness, that surges in with “If you wanna stay, then hold on, don’t turn away,” then hushes away with “but if you wanna go, go now, just fade away.” The song is “Jaguar,” off his latest for Fallen Tree Records, Drifters, and it’s so short, like a moment of decision, and it leaves you eternally pondering your choice. Just fade away… fade away.

Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar claim a significant part of my cerebral geography with the viral blue spark of “Loving You Is Easy (With A Broken Heart),” that can spiral around inside my skull for hours at a time; Rae Spoon pushes the mind rewind constantly with the appropriately titled “There Is No End.” Wait for it: “If … I had…magic POWERS!!!”. Perpetual musical oceans overflow whenever I hear Rick Fines’ country blues setting for Jesse Winchester’s “That’s What Makes You Strong” with Melissa Payne; the ominous “Sins We Made” by Harrow Fair, with its ancient mariner, heave-ho chorus, Melanie Peterson’s manifesto of seduction “Do You Want To Be Loved,” which a wiser radio conglomerate might easily boost into a hit, and Moscow Apartment’s “New Girl” with its sinister double hook (“Walkin like a movie” and “Don’ look at me, don’ look at me”) are all particularly infectious.

The insinuatingly insidious “Lemonade,” a new single by Lowell suffers no resistance, and once you hear her wistful “over and over and over and over again,” that’s all you will hear for a long long long long time. And just try to escape Dione Taylor. When you think you have turned off her new album, Spirits In The Water, SHE’S STILL THERE, coming up right behind you, singing “Now I’m STRONGER, stronger than I was BEFORE.”

Doctor Theresa Tam should soon be dutifully obliged to issue a public warning against the brain contagions that can potentially be propagated by such songs, to protect those unwarily listening or sharing them. They are covered in a vicious layer of aural velcro. Proper ear covering, regular application of mineral oil and swabs of clinically approved oldies stations can mitigate, but not cure, the affliction. And of course, one should stay a minimum of six feet away from anyone humming one of them.

Special caution should always be used when long periods of silence are imminent. Govern yourselves accordingly.

CAUTION: Most Dangerous Thirteen Songs Alert for 2020

“All The Little Things You Do” – Rebecca Hennessy – All The Little Things You Do

“Honey” – Justin Saladino Band – Live

“Norah Jones At Closing time” – Braden Gates – Kitchen Days

“Main Street” – Lynn Miles – We’ll Look For Stars

“Jaguar” – Joe Nolan – Drifters

“Loving You Is Easy” – Samantha Martin – The Reckless One

“There Is No End” – Rae Spoon – Mental Health

“That’s What Makes You Strong” – Rick Fines – Solar Powered Too

“Sins We Made” – Harrow Fair – Sins We Made

“Do You Want To Be Loved” – Melanie Peterson – We Got This

“New Girl” – Moscow Apartment – Better Daughter

“Lemonade” – Lowell

“Running” – Dione Taylor – Spirits In The Water

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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Corby's Orbit Playlist For Show Of 15 January 2021


Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

( Brought to you by Elemental Pique, You Arrest You, & Weed Hobbles Your Ex-Wive's Head <say aloud>)

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  

Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

Click on photos to enlarge.

Podcast Available At:

5:00 Climate Chains (Illustration by Julia Ivanova)

* Braids ~ Here 4 U ~ Shadow Offering

* Big Little Lions ~ Never Mind The Weather ~ Singles  PRE - Release Out Thursday 21 January

* Rita Di Ghent ~ Yearning For Something Cool ~ The Birth Of Sprawl (Groove Peoductions 1999)

* Amanda Tosoff feat. Lydia Persaud ~ The Fiddle And The Drum ~ Earth Voices NEW RELEASE

* Leahy ~ Little Moon ~ Good Water NEW RELEASE

* Stringbone ~ A Lot More Better ~ Single 

* Harris Allan ~ One Last Ride ~ Single NEW RELEASE

* William Prince ~ Love Don't Ever Say Good-Bye ~ Gospel First Nation

5:45 Infectuations

Dawn Drake ~ Corona King ~ Single NEW RELEASE

Selwyn Birchwood ~ You Can't Take Away My Shine ~ Living In A Burning House (Alligator) NEW RELEASE

* Fuel Junkie ~ All Out ~ All Out NEW RELEASE

* The Griffith Hiltz Trio ~ Ladies From The Eighties ~ Arcade

Percy Mayfield feat. Joy Hamilton ~ Sugar Mama Peachy Papa ~ My Blues

* Federico Luiu feat. Matt Schofield ~ She's Gone ~ Walkin The Blues NEW RELEASE

* Ben Racine Band ~ Contagious ~ Live à Montréal NEW RELEASE

* Doc MacLean ~  Africa Blues ~ Single NEW RELEASE

6:15 Catastrofreeing

* Postdata ~ Twin Flames ~ Twin Flames NEW RELEASE 

* Sussex ~ Caught In A Flood ~ The Ocean Wide

* Alexandra Beck ~ Blemished ~ Single NEW RELEASE 

* Pharis & Jason Romero ~ Right In The Garden ~ Bet On Love

* HiFiLo ~ Tangerines ~ Speak Your Name

* Frank Patrick feat. Rebecca Campbell ~ Surprise ~ Soul Medicine

* Ernie Smith & The Roots Revival feat. Tony Nicholson, Paul Corby, JoJo Bennett, Clive Ross & Wadi Daniel ~ Third World Man ~ Live At The Edge

* Tomato Tomato ~ Buddy Holly's Every Day ~ It'll Come Around

* Maria Dunn ~ Love Carries Me ~ Joyful Banner Waving NEW RELEASE >>>>

* Margaret Christl ~ How Long How Long ~ The Picture In My Mind (1998)

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Playlist For Orbital Outerviews - Corby's Orbit Show of 8 January 2021 with Matt Zimbel, John Finley, Rebecca Hennessy & Michael Herring

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

This broadcast was a composite of four archived interviews from 2020
( Brought to you by Vintage Voltage, Epic Amperage and The Spaceman Always Rings Twice )

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  

This show is dedicated to the immortal soul and music of Michael Fonfara

Guests: Matt Zimbel of Manteca, John Finley and Rebecca Hennessy & Michael Herring

5:00  Man-To-
Manteca Talk

* Manteca ~ Never Twelve / Interview with Matt Zimbel / Lowdown / Illusionist ~ The Twelfth Of Never 

Finley-Tuned Soul

John Finley ~ Party Party / Interview / Let Me Serenade You / Hallelujah / Who Will The Next Fool Be ~ Soul Singer 

6:05 Hennessy Waltzes

* Rebecca Hennessy ~ Interview with Rebecca Hennessy / All The Little Things You Do / Keep Your Light Bright / A Beautiful Day To say Goodbye / Eclipse ~ All The Little Things You Do  Available Here  

6:40 Herring On The Side Of Conscience

* Peripheral Vision ~ Interview with Michael Herring / Neo Expressionism For Pacifists / For Kent Monkman ~ Mutual Humiliation / Irrational Revelations 

* The Small Glories ~ Sing ~ Assiniboine & The Red   

Monday, January 4, 2021

The First Ever Corby's Orbit 2021 Calendar

So early last year my good pal Phil Weir, who has always been a Seeger-esque encourager and enabler of social music, and also a big source of moral support for my show, sent me some kind dollars and told me to do something for the Orbit with it. Since I have been taking photos over the past 12 years of some of the many great musical guests that have come up to Radio Regent studios to talk to me about music and to generously share their songs, I settled on putting out a calendar with some of those images. I also decided to include birth dates of every former guest star that would fit. 

 I was only able to do a small run of 100 of them this time, but they should be all up on walls and fridges by now, and the work of getting them up and out will be showing a worthwhile return over the next 12 months. Especially at this time, with links and bonds in our community becoming so tenuous, I hope it will provide a wide spectrum of songsters and music enablers with an opportunity to feel connected and appreciated again in a small way. 

Thanks to Phil, and Rich and his team at Staples, and to Otis for the logo. I'm sharing the pictures here, now, with all you Orbiteers, and wishing you all a better and much more musical year ahead. Stay best.

photo by Collette Savard

Adam Solomon and Ruth Mathiang

Valeria Matzner and Eliana Cuevas

Jon Brooks

Paul James (and Bob Dylan)

John Finley

Vivienne Wilder


Denielle Bassels Band

The Willows and Me

The Memberz

Samantha Martin

                            Özgü Özman of Minor Empire