Corby's Orbit

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

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Lonely Longings of Friendly Rich and The Lollipop People

Friendly Rich and the Lollipop People debuted the latest in their succession of musical concatenations at Burdock last night. The program was played in the same sequence as their current release, available in a digital-only format.

Entitled Friendly Rich Sings For Only The Lonely, (in homage to a celebrated 1958 Sinatra album) the hour-long set featured an oratorical delivery of Sinatra`s selections in an urbane lounge noir stylette, with a woodwind overlay of precariously sliding intervals and alternately quizzical and menacing voicings of cavernous timbres, harmonized between arranger David French's tenor sax stalactites and Julia Hambleton's dual clarinet stalagmites. 

The primary percussion tones of Tim Shia clung to a mid range of rhythm, defaulting to the lugubrious, making use of brushes, bundlesticks, and a long narrow bass drum. Providing a cosmic David Lynch creepiness throughout, guitarist Nichol Robertson undertook extensive reverb forays, occasionally venturing beyond the bridge of the guitar into sputnik spaces, to special atmospheric effect on Ebb Tide and Willow Weep For Me . 

Spiderwebbed together by the logical extensions of Tania Gill`s  Rhodes and Jon Meyer`s palpitating bass throb, the songs took on a threatening immediacy as they were restyled into seemingly interminable sonorous syllables by the cryptic motivations of vocalist Friendly Rich, whose husky rasp occasionally approximated a didgeridoo, and often suggested a subtle touch of the chainsaw or the dry moan of a thirsty vampire, repeatedly reducing the hopeless romance of each lyric to simple terminal hopelessness. The longing he portrayed was palpably beyond desperation, suggesting a state of psychic trauma, which his mordant onstage persona hipsterized into an archly self contained ecosystem of stoner misery.

Before releasing us back to the real world, (which now suddenly seemed oddly subterranean and dissonant by comparison), Rich read a page from his new pamphlet, illustrated by Gregory Pepper, which will be launched during the Lulaworld Festival at the Lula Lounge on June 9th. He also reminded us of his ongoing Monday night residency at the Cameron House and prayed for the rapid sales of his back catalogue, which includes vigorous original wrestlings with the work of Leonard Cohen, The Catholic Book Of Worship and Mussorgsy`s Pictures at an Exhibition, along with Only The Lonely, now available for listening and purchase at Friendly Rich on Spotify and

Buy it and weep.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Good Bye Pete Otis, And Cheers Along The Way

Click on pictures to enlarge

The avenue known as The Danforth has become the nexus of east-end Toronto's musical culture and heritage, and The Black Swan has evolved into its unlikely headquarters, thanks primarily to a series of tribute shows held there over the last decade called Honouring our Own. 

(Hap Roderman Band, below)
Dedicated to recognizing key song heroes, still living, they have been organized by entrepreneurial enthusiast Pete Otis. After working with SOCAN and spending a lot of time writing songs, and befriending a wide range of musicians, Pete became a promoter and celebrator of great T.O. legends

Local iconic honorees have included guitarist Mike McKenna, amp builder Pete Traynor, singers Steve Ambrose, Jon Finley, Debbie Fleming (right, with Luke Gibson), George Oliver & Cathy Young, rockers Ray Materick, Robbie Rox and Bob Segarini and many more. These are not, for the most part, artists that are sufficiently recognized, despite their historical significance and sustained powerful artistry. 

As the always provocative Steve Ambrose (left) said at his event, "And I'd like to thank the Canadian Music Industry for ignoring me for MY ENTIRE LIFE."

Ironically, Pete Otis has now received his own daylong fest of celebration, having passed on after his New Year's Eve show at the beginning of this year at the Swan. Mike McKenna (right, with Sebastian Agnello onstage behind him) was the chief co-ordinator. On a recent Sunday, much of the prime talent that he elevated with his nights of acclamation saluted him back with a daylong party of rhythm, rock and reminiscences.

It was a very successful event that bubbled down into an evening of fiery jams and eulogies, commemorating Pete`s life, not his death.
(left, Luke Gibson Band - photo by Debbie Fleming. Brian Blain below)

Toronto's musical community has been devastated with the recent passings of Whitey Glan, Johnny Lovesin, Garry Lowe and Justin Haynes, just to name a few. As the day was in full swing, news came that the great Joe Hall had just lost his battle with terminal cancer.

Sebastian Agnello (left) got up and sang a tune for Joe called Middle Aged Men with Guitars. As he sang, the truth of aging returned to me in the words of Cameo Blues songwriter John Dickie, "They're plowin' our row." Pete would have been seventy on April 20 this year. Condolences to his family and his loyal friends and peers.

(Below left, Johnnie Wright, and David MacLachlan, and "How about my girlfriend?")
Originally published at Roots Music Canada

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Playlist For Corby's Orbit Show of 19 April Good Friday with Gino Vannelli

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

( Brought to you by Broken Hurts, Hopeless Habits and The Good Old Suffer Time  )

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  

Guest: Gino Vannelli

Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

5:00 Resuming The Zoom

Foals ~ Afterglow ~ Total Life Forever ~ @ Rebel Monday 22 April

Busi Mhlongo ~ Iznziswa ~ Only The Poor Man Feel It

* Charlotte Cornfield ~ Wheels ~ The Shape Of Your Name ~ NEW DISK @ The Great Hall Tuesday-Thursday April 23-25

5:20 Redeemer & Blues

Levon Helm & Amy Helm ~ Calvary ~ Dirt Farmer ~ Amy Helm @ Danforth Music Hall Friday 10 May 

Michael Bloomfield ~ At The Cross ~ Analine

* The High Bar Gang ~ Hand In Hand With Jesus / Sinners You Better Get Ready ~ Lost & Undone

* Same Latitude As Rome ~ Bad Habits ~ Stay The Course NEW DISK

5:45 A Very Vannelli Millenium

* Gino Vannelli ~ Yet Something Beautiful / Interview / Wild Horses ( live ) / Older 'n' Wizer / I Just Want To Stop (live) / The Woman Upstairs ~ Wilderness Road NEW DISK ~ @ Bluma Appel Theatre Wednesday 24 April 

6:10  Zion Test

Mad Scientist feat. Massive Attack ~ Eternal Feedback ~ No Protection ~ @ Palais Royale Sunday 28 April, 3:30 pm, for Sunday Afternoon Social 

Alborosie ~ One Chord ~ Reggae Vibes: The Payback Edit

* The Memberz ~ Work It Out ~ Reggae Vibes: The Payback Edit ~ Junction City Music Hall Saturday for 420 Legalized

Sizzla (born 17 April 1976) feat. Shadow Man ~ It's Not Over ~ Burning Up 

6:30 Higher Fire

John Tavener ~ The Lamb ~ Byzantia

Jan Garbarek ~ Ave Maris Stella ~ Officium

* Sarah MacDougall ~ Bleeding On The Dance Floor (Nyg Remix)

* Joe Bowden & The Timeless Quartet ~ Take Five / Stolen Moments ~ Straight Up Groovin' ~ @ The Rex 9:45 Saturday / With Toronto Music Listings

*Joe Hall ~ How Deep Can You Dive? ~ Dementia Revox ~ Memorial to Joe Hall @ Tranzac Friday 17 May

W.S. Merwin  (September 30, 1927 – March 15, 2019) ~ The Last One ~ W.S. Merwin Reads His Poetry

Friday, April 19, 2019

Gino Vannelli Returns Along The Wilderness Road

For his twentieth album Canadian rock and soul icon has committed a set of new songs to his musical autobiography. He will be up in the Orbit today at 6:00 when we'll investigate the impulses that motivate his song-writing these days and talk about his upcoming Canadian dates:
April 24th @ Bluma Appel Theatre, Toronto
April 26th @ Place des Arts, Montreal
April 27th @ Place des Arts, Montreal

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Playlist For Corby's Orbit Show Of 5 April

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

( Brought to you by Infra-lofty Wingburn, Migratory Light Paths and Flock and Flow Music)

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  

Guest: Marc Jordan

Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

5:00  Rocket Up

* Max Jefferson ~ The Window ~ Two Circles NEW DISK

Spiritualized ~ Do It All  Over Again ~ Let It Come Down ~ @ Danforth Music Hall tonight

The Byrds ~ You Won't Have To Cry (Alternate Version) ~ Mr. Tambourine Man ~ Byrds Byrds Byrds @ Hugh's Room Live next Thursday 18 April

* Lido Pimienta ~Para Quererte ~ La Pompessa ~ @ MOCA tonight for We Are In A Non-Relationship Relationship

The English Beat featuring Ranking Roger (21 February 1963 – 26 March 2019) ~ Jackpot ~ I Just Can't Stop It

5:20 When The Night Has Burned

* Michele Mele ~Tick Tock ~ Laugh ~ @ The Old Mill tonight

Lionel Hampton ~ Flamenco Soul / Chet Baker ~ Moon & Sand ~ Jazz Cafe: Latin (Blue Bird)

* Kalya Ramu feat. Jacob Gorzhaltsan ~ She Drinks Alone ~ Living In A Dream NEW DISK ~ CD release @ Jazz Bistro Monday, 13 May

* Wesli ~ Proverb Granmoun ~ Rapadou Kreyol NEW DISK

5:50 Inside Both Sides

* Marc Jordan ~ Walk On The Wild Side / Interview / This (live) / I Saw Your Smile ~ 
Both Sides ~ NEW DISK 
Marc Jordan's TOUR DATES:
May 2 @ Meridian Theatres at Centrepointe, Ottawa, ON
May 4 @ Grand Theatre, Kingston, ON
May 5 @ Gayety Theatre, Collingwood, ON
May 6 @ Roxy Theatre, Owen Sound, ON
May 8 @ Market Hall, Peterborough, ON
May 9 @ River Run Centre, Guelph, ON
May 10 @ Regent Theatre, Oshawa, ON

6:20 Champion Bandolero 

Pinchers aka Delroy Thompson BornApril 12, 1965 (age 54 years) ~ Genie / No Borrow No Gun ~ King Jammy's Selector's Choice vol. 4

6:30 Blue Joys

* Fraser & Girard ~ Don't Blame It On Me ~ Fraser & Girard ~ @ Tranzac Sunday 5-7 p.m.

* Jay Aymar ~ Us Wild Dogs ~ Your Perfect Matador

* Coig ~ The Capable Wife ~ Ashlar ~ @ Hugh's Room Live 27 April NEW DISK

Levon & Amy Helm ~ Feeling Good ~ Dirt Farmer ~ A Tribute To Levon Helm @ Hugh's Room Live Sunday

Rahsaan Roland Kirk ~ Portrait Of Those Beautiful Ladies ~ The Case Of The 3 Sided Dream In Audio Color / Toronto Music Listings

* Mike Field ~ Road Trip ~ True Stories ~ Independent Music Award Nominee

Grails ~ Black Tar Prophecy ~ Split

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Monster Songster Marc Jordan All Up In The Orbit This Friday at 6

Long time facilitator of relaxation, romance and reflection, Marc Jordan has a brand new disk/stream ~ Both Sides. It is a blend  of original compositions, gems from the Great American Songbook and some deeply personal Deep Cuts, all swathed in a dreamy sound design and the orchestrations of Lou Pomanti. The record will experience an all-round Orbital immersion this Friday as Marc joins me on a true radio occasion at 6:00. Radio Regent and Corby's Orbit are now available at iHeart Radio - over here:
Come enjoy all the perspectives on new Canadian music.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Playlist For Corby's Orbit Show Of 5 April

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

( Brought to you by Cerulean Serenity, Azure Leisure and Robins Egg Repose )

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  

Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

5:00 New Disk Colony

* Elizabeth Shepherd ~ C`est Le Temps / Ainsi ~ Montréal ~ @ The Great Hall Tuesday 9 April for Seven Deadly Sins

  * Marc Jordan ~ People Get Ready ~ Both Sides NEW DISK ~ @ Hugh's Room Live Thursday 11 April at A Night For Sweet Jane and on Corby's Orbit next Friday 12 April

* Laura Repo ~ Happy Nights ~ This Is My Room NEW DISK ~ @ Dakota Tavern for CD Launch tonight 

* Charlotte Cornfield ~ Wheels ~ The Shape Of Your Name NEW DISK ~ @ Great Hall 23 - 25 April

* T. Nile ~ Sweet Talker ~ Beachfires NEW DISK

5:20 Sky Hooks

* Lennie Gallant feat. Jenn Grant  ~ Nothing Makes Sense ~ Time Travel ~ @ Hugh's Room Live Wednesday 10 April ECMA Award Nominee

Hannah Saunders and Ben Savage ~ Santa Fe Trail ~ Awake ~ @ Small World Music Center 3 May

* Jordan Klassen ~ Glory B ~ Javelin ~ @ Burdock Monday 8 April

Gomez ~ Girl Shaped Love Drug ~ How We Operate 

5:40 Uprooted Parachutes

* Mike Garrick & The One Nation Rebelz ~ Island In The Sun ~ @ Mount Pleasant Rose Saturday

* Lemon Bucket Orchestra ~ Heroes ~ If I Had The Strength @ The Great Hall tonight

* Tony McManus w, Beppe Gambetta ~ Slightly Gone Blind ~ @ Hugh's Room Live tonight

*Suzie Vinnick ~ Find Some Freedom ~ Shake The Love Around ~ @ St. Paul's United Church Saturday with Rick Fines for Acoustic Harvest

6:00 Temperate Mentalities

* Abigail Lapell ~ Shape Of A Mountain ~ Getaway NEW DISK ~ @ Tranzac Saturday for Early Birds

* Sarah Harmer ~ Late Bloomer ~ Oh Little Fire 

* Meaghan Blanchard ~ Broken Pieces ~ The Great Escape NEW DISK ECMA Award Nominee

* Karin Plato ~ Insomnia ~ This Could Be The One NEW DISK

6:20 Cumulative Nimbuses

T.S. Monk feat. Christian McBride ~ Bright Mississippi ~ Monk On Monk ~ A Tribute To Thelonious Monk @ Tranzac Saturday 10 p.m.

* Nikki Yanovsky ~Airmail Special ~ We All Love Ella 

* Patrice Légou ~ I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today ~ If It Ain't Love NEW DISK

Nelson Rengell ~ Let It Be ~ I've Got No Kick Against Modern Jazz

6:45 Vapor Tales

* Jacob Gorzhaltsan ~ Home / Jolly Man In A Can ~ Fly Softly ~ @ Burdock Tuesday 9 April with Toronto Music Listings

* Chris Bottomley ~ A Better Day Will Come ~ Bright Eye Day