Ep. #133: John Southworth

John Southworth is a remarkable songwriter, musician, filmmaker, theatrical performer, and author who splits his time between Toronto and Montreal. Over the past 20 years, Southworth has established himself as one of the world’s most fascinating and intriguing artists, with upwards of 13 music releases to his name, including a stunning new double album called Niagara, which is out September 30 via the UK label Tin Angel Records. And on October 1, the Vancouver publisher Simply Read will release Daydreams for Night, a children’s story and Southworth’s first book. He’ll be touring Ontario, Quebec, and select cities in England throughout October and here, John and I have a chat about saying his name, toddler meltdowns, the relationship between Canada’s Niagara Falls and the United States’ Niagara Falls and Niagara, living in England as a child before moving to Canada, classic immigration and feeling foreign, the Aboriginal legacy of Niagara Falls, how Niagara Falls might not even exist, almost running for mayor of Niagara Falls, an amazing scene in Superman II, Marilyn Monroe and the film Niagara, Alfred Hitchcock, Richard Lester, how the album Niagara might be a lot to digest, a streaming joke, a smoothly made ambitious record, motivation, Herman Melville and William Shakespeare are dead, there’s too many records, ego or weirdo, John’s musician father Peter Shelley is not in the Buzzcocks, what brought his family to Canada, how his dad invented the Kenner toy Robot Man, staving off bitterness, going to film school and making all of his own music videos, discovering that his first book Daydreams for Night is for children, writing a new novel might mean no new songs for a while, people might know more about us than we do, kids’ age range recommendations might be bullshit, challenging innocence, making music, acting, directing films, reading poetry, writing books, and painting paintings, the South Seas and the North Seas, Jean Martin and Tanya Tagaq, Simply Red and Simply Read, the song “Ode to the Morning Sky,” and then it’s over the falls.

Related links: johnsouthworth.ca tinangelrecords.co.uk vishkhanna.com

johnsouthworth

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Ep. #132: Christine Fellows

Christine Fellows lives in Winnipeg, MB and is one of the world’s best songwriters. She is an adventurous and compelling storyteller and a gifted musician who brings her work into other disciplines for really cool collaborations. Her sixth album also includes her first book of poetry; both are called Burning Daylight and were released by ARP Books on September 23. Here, Christine and I discuss things like how good looking Kyle at Milagro Mercer Mexican Cantina in Toronto is, secret menu items and difficult customers, good Toronto food areas and bikeability, the sparseness of Burning Daylight, the drums, the influence of writer/Klondike chronicler/renaissance man Jack London, the short story “To Build a Fire,” the Dawson City Music Festival songwriter’s residency, curling clinics and natural ice, rickety planes in the Yukon Territory, the gold rush and men, Women of the Klondike, the song “To Build a Fire,” we are full, our budgies Pickles and Buddy, things to know about budgies, Marianne Moore and her bathtub alligator, cats and computers, Gary the cat, I miss Buddy, sled dogs, celebration and adaptation, growing up in Kelowna, a drum kit and a punching bag, reading and remembering, the Humber College jazz program and the University of Guelph philosophy and english departments, that fucking Stephen Harper, meeting John K. Samson, couples who consult each other about their art, working in Nunavut and the Northwest Passage, how the Inuit people are oppressed, getting into the world of poetry, a new show with Shary Boyle, ARP Books, Jason Tait lives in Winnipeg again, the spoken word song “The Gold-Seekers,” and then it’s adios.

Related links: christinefellows.com arpbooks.org vishkhanna.com

Christine Fellows and Pickles

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Ep. #131: Ronnie Spector

Ronnie Spector is one of the most influential vocalists and performers in all of pop music. Her work with the Ronettes in the 1960s was legendary, altering the course of rock ‘n’ roll with its style, attitude, and gigantic international hits like “Be My Baby,’ “Walking in the Rain,” and “Baby, I Love You.” Spector simply casts a long shadow on contemporary culture, influencing filmmakers, fashion designers, hair stylists, and a list of musicians that includes the Beatles, Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen, Ramones and Amy Winehouse among many others. On September 19, Spector heads to the Riatlo Theatre and Pop Montreal with her acclaimed show, Beyond the Beehive, an evening of music and stories about her life. Here, Ronnie and I discuss the rock ‘n’ roll state of Connecticut, the origins of her current stage show and its unfiltered examination of her entire life, talking about yourself in an age of oversharing, how artists don’t have lasting power in the current music industry, doing her Keith Richards impression, making the live Ronnie Spector experience a special one, how her marriage to Phil Spector impacted her ability to tour and release records, losing years in court battles, deflecting her icon status, raising kids and living a perfect life, Bed Bath & Beyond, cooking, falling in love with the voice of Frankie Lymon, music homework, going to the Apollo Theatre for amateur night at 11 years old, what Phil Spector was like to work with in the studio, the wall of sound was people, her relationship with “Be My Baby,” how there is still a lot of unreleased material by the Ronettes and Ronnie that has yet to see the light of day, we get cut off, the song “Be My Baby” and that was it.

Related links: ronniespector.com popmontreal.com vishkhanna.com

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