Corby's Orbit

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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Compliments of 2010


My 50 Most Adored and Played Albums of 2010 in Orbital Non-linear Rotational Order
Kanye and Arcade and The National : yes, yes, I know, …..BUT!!!!! Listen To These!!!!
I have listened to thousands of disks this year. These are the ones that linger. All had something new to offer. Only one compilation.... the rest are monographs by (mostly) underplayed and marginalized musical innovators. Red denotes Canadian artists (50%).

۞Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra   Kollaps Tradixionales
۞The XX
۞Souljah Fyah I Wish

۞Sons of an Illustrious Father
۞Foals   Total Life Forever
۞Neon Indian Psychic Chasms
۞Easy Star All-Stars  Dubber Side of the Moon 
۞Bobby McFerrin Vocabularies
۞David Byrne / Fatboy Slim Here Lies Love
۞Mastrzofthayoonavrce   mastrzofthayoonavrce
۞Bruno Capinan Gozo
۞Brad Mehldau  Highway Rider

۞Floratone  Floratone
۞Justin Nozuka    you i wind land and sea
۞Massive attack  Heligoland       
۞Tanya Philipovich  Secret Fiction Romance
۞Rose Cousins, Jill Barber and Meaghan Smith  
A New Kind of Light 
۞Tucker Finn  The Cup & the Lip
۞Catl With the Lord for Cowards You Will Find No Place

۞Maylee Todd  Choose Your Own Adventure
۞Girl Talk  All Day
۞Zeke Mazurek  I Ain’t Dead Yet

۞Chris Bartos  Ft. William
۞Hands and Teeth  Enjoy Your Lifestyle
۞Elizabeth Shepherd   Heavy Falls The Night
۞Joy Kills Sorrow  Darkness Sure Becomes This City
۞Rae Spoon  Love Is A Hunter
۞Nascente Label  A Beginner’s Guide To South Africa
۞Baskery    Fall Among Thieves
۞Tara Holloway  Sins To Confess
۞Carmen Townsend  Waitin’ & Seein’
۞Microbunny  49 Swans

۞KC Roberts and the Parkdale Revolution Good Life
۞Ron Hynes Stealing Genius 
۞The Mountains and the Trees   I Made This For You
۞The Golden Dogs  Coat of Arms
۞Gilles Peterson  Havana Cultura Remixed
۞Shad   TSOL
۞Recoil   Selected
۞Beautiful Nubia and the Roots Renaissance Band  Irinajo
۞Colleen Brown   Foot In Heart
۞Saidah Baba Talibah (S)Cream

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quality Amounts of Wow Music 2010


Obsessive Compulsive Live Acts:
catl - metaphysical salt and pepper for your crunchy blues chili con carnival. What?
K.C. Roberts and the Live Revolution: High torque levels of fun, funk and fun-goo latte.
Saidah Baba Talibah: That's not a voice, that's a weapon.
Shakura Saidah: The statue of liberty came to life and sang soul blues in an excruciating red dress.
King Achilla Orru: My heart wakes up to the sound of the Lokembe at the Yonge Bloor subway.
Patsy Cline Birthday Party: Grouped annual incandescence of the sultry and the sweet cream of T.O. divas.
Rinse the Algorithm: God's gift to dance-jazz and storm bandits of the passing thought.
The Joyful Sinners, Spandex Effect (above), Jace and Van Dusen: Energy magnifires with true gifts (and prizes).
And they all live and work in Toronto. See them every time!

Guitar Playing Made Beefy from WFMU

Captain Beefheart's 10 Commandments of Guitar Playing

Beefheart1. Listen to the birds.
That's where all the music comes from. Birds know everything about how it should sound and where that sound should come from. And watch hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of times they aren't going anywhere.
2. Your guitar is not really a guitar Your guitar is a divining rod.
Use it to find spirits in the other world and bring them over. A guitar is also a fishing rod. If you're good, you'll land a big one.
3. Practice in front of a bush
Wait until the moon is out, then go outside, eat a multi-grained bread and play your guitar to a bush. If the bush dosen't shake, eat another piece of bread.
4. Walk with the devil 
Old Delta blues players referred to guitar amplifiers as the "devil box." And they were right. You have to be an equal opportunity employer in terms of who you're bringing over from the other side. Electricity attracts devils and demons. Other instruments attract other spirits. An acoustic guitar attracts Casper. A mandolin attracts Wendy. But an electric guitar attracts Beelzebub.
5. If you're guilty of thinking, you're out
If your brain is part of the process, you're missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something that is fur bearing.
6. Never point your guitar at anyone
Your instrument has more clout than lightning. Just hit a big chord then run outside to hear it. But make sure you are not standing in an open field.
7. Always carry a church key
That's your key-man clause. Like One String Sam. He's one. He was a Detroit street musician who played in the fifties on a homemade instrument. His song "I Need a Hundred Dollars" is warm pie. Another key to the church is Hubert Sumlin, Howlin' Wolf's guitar player. He just stands there like the Statue of Liberty-making you want to look up her dress the whole time to see how he's doing it.
8. Don't wipe the sweat off your instrument
You need that stink on there. Then you have to get that stink onto your music.
9. Keep your guitar in a dark placeWhen you're not playing your guitar, cover it and keep it in a dark place. If you don't play your guitar for more than a day, be sure you put a saucer of water in with it.
10. You gotta have a hood for your engine
Keep that hat on. A hat is a pressure cooker. If you have a roof on your house, the hot air can't escape. Even a lima bean has to have a piece of wet paper around it to make it grow.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ecliptical Solsticial Prequel

We were winterly wondrous as subliminal Christmas began to infiltrate today's playlist. Special fuzzy buzzes from Ox, with Xmas in the Jailhouse from Silent Night and Other Country Songs, alongside John Prine's more soulful Christmas in Prison. Also a fine rumpumpumpum-less Little Drummer Boy from the deeply felt A New Kind of Light album by Rose Cousins, Jill Barber and Meaghan Smith, benefiting Feed Nova Scotia.

A New Kind of Light
This album is back just in time for Christmas. Holiday songs from Jill Barber, Rose Cousins and Meaghan Smith. CDs are $20 each and all proceeds go to FEED NOVA SCOTIA. Order online, by phone (902) 457-1900 or by downloading and faxing an order form.

Calls from Lenny Solomon,  ringmaster of  Bowfire, who are at Roy Thompson Hall next Friday, and Patrick Hutchinson of Swift Years, "a somewhat odd & unruly folk/world/roots trio from Montreal" highlighted the variety of upcoming exotic musical macaroons available in Toronto as The Season blows in. 
Jason Pawlett gave us the west coast perspective of bands The Get Down, Fuzzcats, Jess Hill and Headwater, all available for scrutiny at his website,
   Bigtown listings wrapped up the show.
   Go see some live music while the social opportunity of Xmas offers you an alibi!
And don't miss the lunar eclipse on the solstice next Tuesday! This is as cosmic as the sky gets, whetting the appetite for predictions, ceremonies and transformation.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


After ten days of going all Repo-man on my audience, raising about 4 figures in pledges for the station, I am looking forward to reconsecrating the show to creative rather than fiscal goals. Coming up December 4th will be bard of the hour Mr. Peter Katz, and more music than you'd ever want to shake a stick at, with, or through.
Abundant Orbital Applause goes out to:
~Shoshannah, Christina, Bill Watson, Dave Hynes, Kate, Queenie, Verlia and all staff and callers for stamina, cheerleading and moral support.
~All pledgers for $uch generosity.
~ Jack Marks, K.C. Roberts, Sheriff Miller, Shakurah Saida, F&M, Jen Lane, Jerry Leger, Jace, Ivy Mairi, Greg Lawson, Luke Jackson, Stephen Fearing, and Rebecca Campbell for performance, personality and persuasion on-air.
~Prize and enticement donors Molly at Warner Brothers, Ken at Killbeat, A Man Called Wrycraft, catl, and Garry Topp.
~Sincere upward thanks for the rising of all to the occasion.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Friday Orbiting Radio Busker

Chipping away at yr pocket, all day straight up. Please surrender. Space exploration is expensive.

Guests galore as the galactic climactic Fund Raising Corby Orbits for $ with:

11:00 F&M: Live Anti- Billboard Rock on their CD release and Tour
11:30: Jen Lane: Appearing tonight at Not My Dog w/Amy Campbell and smokekiller (and Tuesday at MITZI's SISTER)
12:00 Massive dreadlocks record treasurer Greg Lawson plays and offers up lost Bob Marley tracks.
12:30 Jerry Leger: Live with his 4th Disk, Looking forward to his show on the 29th at Hugh's Room
1:00 Ivy Mairi: Live"I want you" and "In between love", from the Tom Waits Tribute tonight at Hugh's Room
1:15: Stephen Fearing does Nick Drake Live for the Sunday Tribute Show at Trinity St. Paul's
1:30: Microbunny: Live on air with Rebecca Campbell as Rancho Relaxo gig approaches this evening.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fundamental Fund-Raising Shows Nov.19 & 26

Thanks, Roger Humbert for the photo
We'll be switching from fund-raising to hair-raising and back fairly abruptly, the way the Orbit do, when gravity just doesn't apply. Friday the 19th will feature phone linkage ship-to-surface, hot-to-ground connections with missing blues/bluegrass link Joel Fafard, at the Free Times Saturday, supporting his new disk, Cluck Old Hen. Then a communique from country dolls Ladies of the Canyon's singer Senja Sargeant, anticipating a Dakota gig next Thursday, that will take place noon-ish. Then, songster Joey Wright whose latest, Hatch, featuring such roots music stars as Sarah Harmer, Jenny Whiteley and Amy Millan, takes flight at The Great Hall next Thursday, will call up with a tour update. Ticket opportunities will abound for shows galore, and disk bribes, though for these two weeks, we will be demanding $$$$$s for the famished radio station which, for 50 weeks a year at least, only lives to give.
But Wait!
You want live nebular celebrities?
Well, Shakura Saidah, who takes only YES for an answer internationally, is appearing appealingly at Hugh's Room that very evening, and yet will manage a gracious flightpath into the Orbit for a chat and insight into the inspirations of her vast talent. Radio-telescopes should be trained on the 12:30-1:00 time slot for best clarity. Also, at 1, Funk Titan K.C. Roberts and his sax avatar Jared, riding a new cd and gigs resplendant, will arrive prepared to jam some telekinetic volitional omni-beats straight into your cortex. Put on some headphones and get loose, let's pledge some juice to keep CKLN.FM 88.1 in use, and formidable pour tous! QL?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Snow White: The Remix

I have gotten out of my Blog routine since paper play-lists have become non-transferable from the station. They are impossible to print out, but Someday my prints will come back. Until then, enjoy this disneytronic version. Major jams, live beatbox, small choirs, and lonesome asteroids have all made flaming appearances on the airwaves of Corby's Orbit over the last month.
Please stay tuned at 88.1FM Friday afternoons from 11-2.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sealand White

Deep brown shadows arched beyond the golden streetlamps in a Regent Park co-op on that somber October Friday night as much of Toronto's critically obscure community of reggae musicians rose and gathered to support star drummer Raffa Dean and his family. The tragic loss of Raffa and Karen's son, Sealand White to a pointless discharge of gunfire into an opening elevator door last week has shattered their lives, and the lives of his school community. A tearful crowd of teens wept and hugged beside a tribute wall full of the fifteen-year-old's exploits, while the night's breezes flickered candles over a floor space covered in bags of Skittles. The purple ones were his favourite. Reggae and hiphop sounds gently soothed and smoothed the sobbing and the silence of the crowd of about a thousand mourners. The intensely inventive and fun-loving qualities of the popular lad were the epitome of all that Jamaican culture has to offer; these were characteristics largely inherited from his father, Raffa Dean. As a drummer, singer and a beacon of steady personal Rasta cultural force, Raffa has had no equal in this city. Growing up amongst tightly focussed musical peers of Jamaican background in Malton Ontario, Raffa would run home after school every day to practise the drums. He was called to Montreal at the age of seventeen to play for reggae royalty, Dennis Brown. As jazz musicians revere the abilities of Tony Williams, who famously joined Miles Davis' band at the same age, Raffa's progress was as precocious and as in fluential. Since Leroy Sibbles left Toronto in 1993, along with the passing of Jackie Mittoo, reggae, arguably the most important style of music to evolve at the end of the last century, has languished in Toronto. A once-thriving cultural scene, centered at the Bamboo and the Jerk Pit has been excised from the media and club interest that sustained dozens of local bands in the 80's and 90's.
I was at Jahmeel 'Shanx' Spence's funeral in September ( bullet-ridden at Lawrence Ave. and Brimley - another B.S. murder). He was carrying on the reggae cultural tradition in new ways. The pastor asked "where is the family", and a hundred people stood up.
Now Sealand White. These were good children that many knew to be full of the good things in life, not random gameboyz. More deaths are happening week after week.
Try to be a human and walk the earth in peace. Deep winds will blow you down in a moment too,( in Jamaican patois' idiom, the code of acceptance says do not feel no way). Let's work on the gun culture together; from cops n robbers movies, music and media and conversational bravado, retreat from levity and irony. Death is too real, but sudden and random death is soul-killing, fuelled by hatred and ignorance; it is just the end of the beginning of a pain and sorrow that will last through generations.

“He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” a devastated Jax White said of her younger sibling.

“My brother was the light of my life,” she added. “He didn’t live long enough ... I miss him already.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact Homicide detectives at 416-808-7400, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jim Bryson! Live! Free! With The Weakerthans!

The Falcon Lake Incident CD Release Show
Jim Bryson & The Weakerthans (full band) will be celebrating the release day of The Falcon Lake Incident by playing Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite at the Horseshoe Tavern. Doors open at 9:00pm. The band will be playing at 10:00pm. The price is free.

Tuesday October 19th
Horseshoe Tavern
Toronto, Ontario
Set Time 10:00pm (sharp)
Free Show.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rah! Rah! Rahman!

I was at the-almost-best-show that I've ever seen on Sunday. It is a close and unwinnable contest for first place, with perhaps a thousand to compare amongst. But not many like this, my friend. It was the vision of genuine Indian genius A.R. Rahman, performing a make-up show for the Journey Home tour that had stopped just before it reached Toronto last June, due to a collapsing lighting rig in Detroit the night before. I can't remember ever having felt the shivers of pain and pride emanating so intensely from any other performance piece (maybe Isaac Hayes at the O'Keefe, maybe Bob Marley at Massey Hall in '76. And Mary J.).

There were banks of empty seats. On the floor, where ticket prices ranged from $350-$500, about 3/4 of the seats were occupied. No matter, the view from the surrounding arena had the panorama and scope that Rahman's vision was crafted for. As grand as imposing as the sub-continent itself, the columned curtained stage was presented at the beginning as a temple. A ghetto youth ran in panic, spotlighted, from the back of the auditorium to the stage, where the projected image of a door opened to him and scooped him, and us, inside to play and dance to a world-wide variety of musical styles; indeed we had taken refuge together in the temple of music.

Twin staircases that would later become walls and prisons and stages ushered him up into the welcoming intoxication of O... Saya, the opening number, with the composer singing and strolling down the staircase in a fedora and suit, stylishly conjuring memories of both Sinatra and Michael Jackson, as dancers radiated out around the floorspace and a dozen virtuoso musicians stressed the groove to the depths and heights of their expressive powers; high-def live rear projections, expertly filmed and edited, focussed the audience's attention as lights and sliding patterns spun around the performers. (I didn't see a cameraman all night). Judging from internet evidence, the show has changed and evolved since the accident in Detroit. The singing progressed forward to a curved projecting catwalk that embraced a hundred of the lucky fans in the first ten rows with three singers led out on parade by a scepter-wielding DJ BlaaZe and caboosed by Rahman in casual whites with matching ball cap and a portable keyboard/lyre. This was the first of a dozen quick costume changes that Rahman managed during the show. Sexy hot-pants and suggestive dance moves were enticing, but they always stayed a few shades short of lurid, maintaining an admirable classiness that mixed well with the sensuous spiritualism of the music.

Rahman's prominence as a worldwide touchstone for the hopes of oppressed Tamils caused the majority of expats in the audience to respond boisterously to the Hindi and especially the Tamil songs of DJ Blaaze, Lata Mangeshkar, who appeared as a hologram on the front curtain to engage in a moving duet on Luka Chupi from Rang De Basanti , Desi superstar Hariharan, whose rapid fire microtonal pleas and endearments sent all into a state of rapture, the crystalline Richa Sharma, and Sufi / Ganesha / Bhangra echoes that permeated, but never dominated the truly global allegiances of Rahman's vision. Dance-pop, jazz piano, acoustic guitar duets, chanting, virtuoso solos on the violin, cylindrical drum, wood flute, sitar, and trap kit, as well as contortionists, acrobats, break dancers, ballet, reggae, MJ's Black or White, a Happy Birthday singalong for the composer's 62-year-old mother and a program of Indian music at the center of the show: each had their moment, and were swept away by a change of light, beat and costume, so that by the climactic Jai Ho finale, a seeming dream-time had taken up our collective consciouness for almost three hours, like an epic film. The boy of the opening returned and ascended the staircase with the man he had become, and the two turned hand in hand to wave farewell as credits rolled on the curtain, ending with urgent quotes from Gandhi and his disciple, Martin Luther King Jr., imploring us to further the dream for peace, especially in the arena of racism, which continues to frame the major conflicts that defile our world.Messages of hope and world-wide unity in the sweetest context imaginable.

Disks to find:
2002. The Legend of Bhagat Singh.
2001. Lagaan.
1999. Thakshak.
1998. Dil Se.
1997. Vande Mataram.
1995. Rangeela.
1992/4. Roja.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Today's Show : Goodness and Mercy

In the wake of the slaying of musical don-in-the-making Jahmeel "Shanx" Spence of the East-end La Phamillia crew, a special dedication to the goodness and mercy which must surely bring peace to the beleaguered friends and family and to a neighbourhood where a good life can be stolen away as casually as this.

Hometown hero Glen Ricketts was on the show describing the vast terrain of his reggae/soul/rock career, and his up-coming movie premiere at Revival this Thursday, a thriller entitled"Eyes Beyond"by Torontonian Elizabeth Rizzuto. Virtuosa singer Rosita Stone also gave up two live blasts of Spanish melody and passion, as her cd release at the same screening approaches. The show will benefit Mental Health programs in Toronto.

An interview with Dylan-approved singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier gave a warm heartbeat to the dramatic retelling of her wanderings in search of her true parentage detailed on her latest release "The Foundling".
Final trajectory was calibrated by Greg Lawson urging us to "Watch This Sound": sampling the best of those Jamaican artists who have called toronto home: Jackie Mittoo, JoJo Bennett, Leroy Sibbles and so many more that perhaps a Part Two will be necessary.

Foals forgot to call. Still worthy Mercury noms available live at Lee's Palace Monday.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labour Day

Wealthy people like to live, live near the water
They pass their real estate down to their sons and their daughters.
Generations are happy just enjoying the view, but
When the water starts rising you know what they're gonna do

The rich are gonna move to the high ground
The rich are gonna move to the high ground
Holy doodle, look at your town
The rich are gonna move to the high ground

All those singers and actors and philanthropists
Say the poor are at the top of the priority list.
But when the levees start breaking and the barriers fall
Where will they be when we come to pay a courtesy call?
With their mistresses, wives, pets, children and all
At the top of a hill behind a fortified wall.

The rich are gonna move to the high ground
The rich are gonna move to the high ground
Holy doodle, look at your town
The rich are gonna move to the high ground

Every sad number that the scientists find
You get the feeling that some people really don't mind
To see a new feudal age for the whole human race
'Cos the rabble will finally be all back in their place.
They'll be no revolution, we'll be meek as wet mouses
Begging them to let our children serve in their houses.

The rich are gonna move to the high ground
The rich are gonna move to the high ground
Holy doodle, look at your town
The rich are gonna move to the high ground
Take me higher to that higher ground
You and me baby, we're gonna watch the poor drown

The show went a little more electrotextural than normal, but what is ever normal in Orbital Music? Mod Pop trance-formations observed through the Corbiscope this week included the new Hawksley Workman Milk, new Stars' Ghosts, Winter Gloves' All Red, Rae Spoon, Neon Indian, and some re-grooved Beatles and loungey headspace loops. Then we let the blood rush back to your soul with Greg Brown, coming to Hugh's Room next weekend, Geoff Berner's eloquent High Ground (SEE ABOVE), and Mary Gauthier's and Stacy Burke's different songs about home and family. We let a touch of blue shift come over next with a new Charlie Musselwhite ("Sad and Beautiful World"), Les Copeland ("Don't Let The Devil In"), both on Alligator Records, and some rare retro Sly and the Family Stone and Curtis Mayfield, capped by Fred Hammond's jahovial "Happy". Then a Brazilian orgiastic drum chant from Black Orpheus took us to warp speed, Frail Fragment and Skindred brought the Metal Health and the landing pad came into sight with Tanya Philipovitch and her Secret Fiction Romance music.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Let's Play!

Today's show involves me chasing you down the street with a bucket of music and trying to soak you with it so you walk around wet and refreshed with the absorbed tunage for the rest of the day / month / life. James McKie and Greg Lawson will be turning on some of their sprinklers as well.
"Play," said Martin Buber, "is the exultation of the possible."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Start Spreadin Da Nooze...

I will be visiting the sweltering but freakingly, frigidly COOL island of Manhattan this week, taking in some jazz (Geri Allen with Reggie Workman, Oliver Lake and Andrew Cyrille at Birdland, Cindy Blackman with Antoine Roney at Jazz Standard, maybe Lewis Nash, or Al Foster....that'll be a tough decision), and Mr. Matisse at the MOMA.
I'm prepping with New York sounds. The Top Ten of New York, personally calibrated, follows. (It reads equally well backwards).

10) Garland Jeffreys, Garland Jeffreys The New York Skyline:"female, feline,feminine".
9 ) Laura Nyro New York Tendaberry You look like a city but you feel like a religion.
8 ) The Rascals, The Ultimate Rascals Life will be ecstasy.
7 ) Charles Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus A black black energy wrestles a contrabasse... and wins!
6 ) The Ramones, Acid Heads Their mature work.
5) Lou Reed, New York Duh!
4) D.D. Jackson, New York Suite Dig it! A Canadian masterpiece; on the inside looking in.
3) Talking Heads, Remain in Light Funking in the abstract
2) D'Angelo, Voodoo He sang his voice out at Madison Square Gardens and had to cancel the tour.
1) John Coltrane, Giant Steps Changed everything. Still does.

Friday, August 13, 2010