Corby's Orbit

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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Ultra Space GIF Certificate

Graphics Interchange Format Those little bursts of ocular noise that pop up on line to bring into disturbing focus random bits of impossibility. Bitmap loops that exist halfway between a still photo and a film. They bring confusion, energy hilarity or terror to a static page. De-contextualized from their original medium, the meaning that they originally held can become enhanced or degraded. The Orbit has always included a few. Here are some from the storage chamber that I've never used.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Take A Deep Breath And Vanish

I am never "on the air", not since CKLN days; I have been "under the air", broadcasting from a basement in Regent Park's Focus Studio for the last four years. I also like to think of my mission as being "over the air" because my mandate is to transcend mundane radio programming. This Friday I will be nowhere, unless it is in a lake or a forest somewhere with fresh air. Until then enjoy this dance of air. I will be back in Orbit Friday September third at 5 p.m. I am currently working on a spectacular September series with (perhaps) Scarlett Jane, Mimi Oz, and new music galore as TURF, Polaris Prize and Small World excitements begin.

As Frank Zappa said, "You have to get into it before you get
out of it and you have to get out of it before you get into it." 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Memberz Hit The Road To Make A Hit Video For King's Highway

On a fine August Saturday morning, big wheels started to turn for Toronto's rising Neo Roots band The Memberz as we set out to make a video for our soon to be released single, King's Highway. In one day.

Brampton was our first stop, for a departure shot of the band leaving for a gig from a suburban headquarters as well-wishers sent them off in royal style.

A drone was launched. Makeup was applied. White rum and cokes were cooling in the shade. At 11:57, Roscoe asked "Is it still too early for a drink?". Around.seventeen takes later, we had loaded and unloaded the truck seventeen times, driven up and down the street ten times and gotten the neighbours totally buzzed. In three different ways. Droned, stoned and adrenalized.

Then it was time to head for Little Jamaica, in the soul of downtown T.O. Even though Rastafest was happening at Downsview Park, Eglinton West was crammed with people. We had to line up for curry goat and coco bread take-out at Randy's We then proceeded to the newly-crowned Reggae Lane to find some wasp-free shade then to load out for the next scene.

Some hard-core reggae devotees had shown up at the new mural to skank and wave with us as Mavriq sang his lyrics to the circling drone. Dons and Donnas of the community relaxed and looked on as Memberz and friends played ball and danced til our foot tun blue. Entrepreneur Julion King came along late and loaded us up with Reggae Lane Couture to wear in the next act, at a rehearsal space on Dufferin.

Here we ran through the tune as we always do before a big show, and prepped for the final concert footage.

Out front, we rushed through a cheering crowd arriving at the show. (As we always do). That's got to make you feel good. Then, in a realistically hot and cramped club setting, we played out the song fifteen times as lighters sparked  and cameras waved and cups were drained.

We watched some of the scenes back and it's obvious even now that the director and his crew have set a new high bar for Canadian reggae videos. Stay tuned for the news of a single/ video launch in late fall of 2015.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Playlist For Show Of 21 August

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby

( Brought To You by Snakes & Leaders, Exes & Oafs, and Bozos And Arrows )

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  

Canadians in Asterisk’d RED

5:00 Special Effectuation

* Fake Tears ~ Hearts Break Loud ~ Nightshifting (Mint) NEW DISK

* Kalle Mattson ~ Avalanche ~ Avalanche NEW DISK

Karine Polwart ~ Don`t Worry ~ Traces ~ @ Hugh`s Room Wednesday 2 September

Leaf Rapids ~ Lucky Stars ~ Lucky Stars @ Painted Lady Friday 28 August 

* Buffy Ste Marie ~ Our Own Song ~ Power In The Blood

Ed Sheeran ~ You Need Me, Don`t Need You 

* Shawna Caspi ~ Driverside ~ Apartments For Lovers @ C'est What tonight

5:30 Unstinting Approximations 

* Derek Olive ~ Mystery And Dust ~ Mystery And Dust ~ @ Free Times Café Friday 28 August 

Pete Seeger ~ The Photographers ~ Circles And Seasons

* Jon Brooks ~ Worse Than Indians ~ The Smiling And Beautiful Countryside ~ @ The Cameron Thursday 27 August 6 p.m.

Devon Sproule ~ Drop By Anytime ~ Live In London

Ancient Astronauts ~ Oblivion ~ Saint - Germaine Des Prés Cafe vol. 13

6:00 Pre Luminaries

Chronixx ~ Eternal Fire ~ @ Sound Academy tonight

Leroy Sibbles (with The Heptones) ~ Choice Of Colour ~ @ The C.N.E. Thursday 27 August

Johnny Clarke ~ Easy Skankin' ~ Summer Reggae ~ @  Downsview Park Saturday for Rastafest

* Dan Mock ~ Ragged Mile ~ Miles To Morning ~ @ The Local Pub Tuesday 26 August with Kristin Kavoukian

The Kentucky Headhunters with Johnny Johnson ~ Fast Train ~ Meet Me In Bluesland (Alligator)

Memphis Slim (September 3, 1915 – February 24, 1988) ~ You Got To Help Me Some ~ Every Day I Have The Blues

Greg Brown ~ Pound It On Down ~ The Evening Call ~ @ Hugh`s Room Saturday 5 September

* Jack Marks ~ Ain`t Seen Him Lately ~ Wicked Moon NEW DISK

* Wendy McNeill ~ Owl And Boy ~  One Colour More ~ @ The Burdock  Thursday 27 August with Willow Rutherford

6:30  Divine And Conquer

Betty Carter ~ Open The Door / Let`s Fall In Love w. Harold Mabern @ The Jazz Bistro Friday & Saturday

Bill Cosby (with Harold Mabern) ~ Ursalina ~ Where You Lay your Head @ The Jazz Bistro Friday & Saturday Toronto Music Listings

Chicago ~ Got To Get You Into My Life ~ Live In '75 @ Molson Canadian Amphitheater Friday 28 August with Earth Wind And Fire

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Playlist For Show Of August 14

Photo by Snapping Turtle / Algonquin Park Sky Last Saturday

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby

( Brought To You by Tory-ceratops, Trudeau-sauri and Mulcairodactyls )

Guests ~ Devon Sproule & Brother Neil

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

5:00 The Thunder Years

* Buffy Ste-Marie ~ We Are Circling ~ Power In The Blood    Polaris Prize Nominee 2015

We Are Circling

We are circling
Circling together
We are singing
Singing our heartsong
This is family
This is unity
This is celebration
This is sacred

* Braids ~ Warm Like Summer ~ Deep In The Iris @ Lee's Palace Tuesday, 22 September Polaris Prize Nominee 2015

* Zaki Ibrahim ~ The Brave Ones ~ Every Opposite ~@ Yonge / Dundas Square tonight 8:30 Polaris Prize Nominee 2013

Aimee Mann ~ Wise Up ~ Magnolia Sdtrk ~ @ The Mod Club Saturday with The Both (Ted Leo) & Terra Lightfoot

 5:20 Omnivorous Omniverse

* Raylene Rankin ~ Blackbird ~ All The Diamonds 

* The Band ~  Daniel & The Sacred Harp (Alternate Take) ~ The Band: A Musical History ~ Sacred Harp Singalong @ Bloor St. United Church, Wednesday, 19 August

 * Brother Neil ~ Reap What You Sow / Interview / Evening (live) / Met Her In The West (live) ~ 

Bonfire Confessions NEW DISK CD Release Saturday @ 120 Diner 6-8 p.m.

* Jack Marks feat. Angie Gunn ~ Wallflower Waltz ~ Wicked Moon NEW DISK

Buddie Emmons (January 27, 1937 – July 21, 2015) ~ There Will Never Be Another You ~ Steel Guitar Jazz (Mercury 2003) 

6:00 Urban Sproule

* Devon Sproule ~ Nobody Tells Me A Thing / The Shallow End / Interview ~ Colours ~ @ The Burdock w. Bernice, Sunday 

6:15 Souls Out Performance

* Monsoon ~ Tiger's Eyes ~ Mandala ~ @ TORONTO Music Garden Sunday 4 p.m.

Jimmie Lunceford ~ Well Alright Then ~ Powerhouse Swing 

Percy Mayfield  (August 12, 1920 – August 11, 1984) ~ The Big Question ~ Specialty Profiles

* Patrick Lehman ~ Paper ~ Electric Soul Kitchen vol. 1 ~ @ The Rex Saturday

6:30 Glad Tambourines

* Mac DeMarco ~ The Way You`d Love Her ~ Another One EP  NEW DISK ~ Time Festival Fort York Garrison Commons tonight

* Terra Lightfoot ~ Moonlight ~ Every Time My Mind Runs Wild ~ @ The Mod Club Saturday

* Viet Cong ~ March Of Progress ~ Viet Cong ~ @ Lee's Palace December 4-5 Polaris Prize Nominee 2015

6:45 Reggae Your Composure

Luciano & Sizzla ~ Jah Blessing ~ Luci @ Redemption Reggae / Polson Pier Saturday 

Marcia Griffiths ~ Mark My Word ~ @ Redemption Reggae / Polson Pier Sunday

Dave Brubeck ~ St. Louis Blues ~ Live @ Carnegie Hall / Toronto Music Listings

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Rev. Max Woolaver Blesses Corby's Orbit

Max was on the show last May 
and said some kind things about the mission of the show 
and of Radio Regent....
Thanks for the encouragement.

Devon Sproule and Brother Neil Gathering Into The Orbit

Somehow, seventies folk singer Brother Neil was preserved into this century by rocket science, and he emerges from his  time capsule intact into the Orbital muso-sphere today at 5:15 to preview the songs of altruism, communal spirit and girlfriend troubles that he will be premiering at tomorrow's CD launch.

And at 6:00, Tin Angel recording artist and a true heroine of song, Devon Sproule , resident of Charlotteville, Virginia and Berlin, Germany and a Kingston, Ontario native, will be calling in to share the excitement of her impending One Garden Tour with co-billed cohort ensemble Bernice. She has rocked the city solo in past visits, but this Sunday night with big sound, she'll be reviewing her seven-record career and showing off new material at new local ear sanctuary The Burdock.

Live, The Whole Live, and Nothing But The Live Radio Experience, Fridays on

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Farther Adventures With The Conundrum

Drum keeper David Hynes and I set up on the front porch of The Arlington in Maynooth last Saturday night.
As expected, The Conundrum blew minds and powered up the dormant batteries of a lot of tourists, campers, music fans and Hastings Highlands Hillbillies at the Jane Bunnett / Pan Am All-Stars gig.

Onstage, Jane shared the front line with her hubz Larry Kramer on trumpet and the impassioned Venezuelan vocalist Eliana Cuevas, while the inspired support of keyboardist Jeremy Ledbetter and an intense rhythm section of Magdelys Savigne, Amhed Mitchel and Juan Pablo Dominguez kept the fire crackling all night.

Sunday morning, acting on a tip, we headed west into the pristine primeval wilderness of Algonquin Park in search of a non-aligned All Nations Pow Wow. Following the instructions on a hand-drawn invitation with no map, we went "about 20 minutes down the road" five times, before we finally turned back. But there it was, sighted by chance - a small sign in the grass at a corner:
 Pow Wow This Way >>>>.

People along the roadway were still donning regalia and being blessed in clouds of sweet grass and rosemary when we drove up. We thought we had missed it, but 
The Grand Entry had been delayed, so we set up the drum right away at the far side of a tall gazebo, crowned with an evergreen sapling, known as The Arbour. 

As soon as The Conundrum was pushed into the sun, a young man in sunglasses and a cowboy hat approached, and touched it carefully.
 "Is this really a drum?" he asked. "Are you going to play it?" 
I said, "Well I could, but I think you should."

He began to hit a heartbeat rhythm. With every beat, another person arrived with a stick and joined in until all of the drummers and singers and women and children in the clearing had gathered around it. Someone suggested doing "the Leonard Peltier song."

The drummers began a beautiful and powerful chant as a group. It went around for nine or ten cycles. I have heard the drum go loud before, but never THAT loud. The singing was poignant and prayerful, opening the hearts of all the people in the area (and probably those of a few trees and clouds too). The drum was rocking and making the tobacco dance on all of the other drums. Feathers were spread to shadow the rawhide membrane. Children were holding the edges of the rawhide to feel the ticklish vibrations.

When the song was finished there were tears and hugs and handshakes all around the instrument.
It was extraordinary, for a Toronto resident, to see no cameras or phones during the performance. The event had set the pace and the Grand Entry began soon afterwards with jingle dresses, flags, feather fans, and furs...

 The drum was invited into the Arbour circle, but it was left just outside of the perimeter of the canvas. Over the afternoon, the skin became very hot, so that we needed to put iced towels on both ends to keep it from cracking.  I put the camera away then. 

Speeches by two of the MC's about the meaning of the Conundrum followed. The connection of the Cheemaun (canoe) with the Dewe'igan (drum) needed to be investigated through cross-references to legend and tradition. MC Stan Taylor said "I've been drumming for forty years and I'm still going to have to think about this one some more." A woman selected our drum to sing a song about angels' wings.

The circumstances of its surprise arrival and awesome sound gave everyone pause for consideration. "It has me amazed and honoured," said the other speaker. It was explicitly and carefully declared to be the product of a vision separate from the Algonquin community's. It was a warning not to be seduced by its power. The young men had responded instantly to its grand volume and artful appearance. An elder put his hand on it gently as we were leaving and addressed the drum directly: "I will remember your voice for a long time.``

The discussion continued long after we had gone, and is probably still going to last for quite a while.

Another canoe usage.