Tag Archives: Jem Cohen

Ep. #192: Marker Starling

Marker Starling is the moniker of Chris A. Cummings, an ambitious and gifted pop songwriter based in Toronto. Previously working under the name Mantler, Cummings has created a distinct body of work that treads the line between thoughtful melancholy and infectious joy. His new album as Marker Starling just came out this past March. It’s called Rosy Maze, it’s available via Tin Angel Records, and it’s prompted Marker Starling to play some shows, including one in Guelph on Thursday June 11 at Silence, as part of the 9 Years of Kazoo! celebrations. Here, Chris and I discuss living in the east end of Toronto, the frustrating housing market, working for the Toronto International Film Festival, Jem Cohen’s We Have an Anchor, Will Oldham and mystical connections, Mantler and Michael Mantler and Marker Starling, the letter M, the other Chris Cummings, stars on the rise, the Evan Solomon getting fired from CBC debacle, in-depth talks versus sound bytes, I can’t remember Amanda Lang’s name, depleting press outlets, doing well in Europe, things that influenced Rosy Maze, owning 5,000 vinyl records, listening not collecting, the Beatles mono vinyl reissues, the overall brightness within Rosy Maze, forthcoming Marker Starling records like the covers record I’m Willing, working with Lætitia Sadier, the song “Stormy,” learning languages via songs, another Marker Starling solo record of original songs is also ready to go and a band record is well under way too, parenting and creativity, the song “Husbands,” John Cassavetes, and that was it.

Related links: tinangelrecords.co.uk vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #137: Xylouris White

Xylouris White is an extraordinary music pairing featuring George Xylouris, a renowned lute player in the Cretan folk tradition, and Jim White, a tremendous drummer known for his work in the Dirty Three and with Will Oldham, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, and more. The duo have just released a stirring new album called Goats that bridges gaps between Greek music and post-punk, while also touching upon other cultures and genres for something altogether unique. Goats was produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, it’s out now via Other Music Recording Co., and has prompted Xylouris White to tour across North America and Europe throughout October and November. Here, both men and I discuss how they met each other 25 years ago in Australia, how George lived in Melbourne for a while and saw Jim’s punk band with Mick Turner and also the Dirty Three, how Jim would see George and his dad play too, how George would some times play with the Dirty Three, how Xylouris White started two years ago, why Jim took a while to get to Crete but then went straight to the studio and ate goat for lunch, how the songs they worked on are constantly changing, sitting versus dancing songs in Cretan folk, how traditionalism works within innovation, feelings and space, when George began working with his father, renowned lyra player Antonis Xylouris, a.k.a. Psarandonis, at 12 years old, touring Europe as a kid, the piece “Psarandonis Syrto,” why Cretan folk traditions often include re-making older songs in some way, nothing is original, the melodies are not stuck on the words, pieces like “Fandomas” are ever-changing, 15 syllables, longing and love songs, keeping traditions vital, chickens, Jim’s musical origin story, the Saints, growing up in a Greek area of Melbourne, the Laughing Clowns and Jeffrey Wegener, being part of a community, working with Guy Picciotto and how he inspired deeper feeling within Xylouris White, when Jim, George, and Guy work on live scores for Jem Cohen films, making another record while on their extensive tour this fall, the songs “Pulling the Bricks” and “Suburb,” tremolo or caterpillar strumming, and then we’re like the wind.

Related links: xylouriswhite.com othermusicrecordingco.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #81: Doug Paisley

Doug Paisley is a very gifted singer, songwriter, and musician based in Toronto and specializing in country and western tunes. His latest album is called Strong Feelings and beyond containing some lovely love songs, it features a glorious guest list, including Mary Margaret O’Hara, Garth Hudson (The Band), Emmett Kelly, Colin Stetson, and members of Blue Rodeo, Zeus, Bahamas, the Weather Station, One Hundred Dollars, and many more. Strong Feelings is available now via No Quarter Records and Doug is playing select shows over the next few months. Here Doug and I discuss parental hair pressure, FaceTime and non-electronic electronic issues with technology, self-absorption, metrics, and social media, @RingoStarrMusic, why Doug won’t be listening to this interview, challenging people’s perceptions of him and his music, being self-aware but also insulating oneself from external considerations, the fine art of banter and avoiding self-effacement, stand-up comedy, home renovations, Gord and Dave Tough, Strong Feelings’ stacked guest list, Mary Margaret O’Hara and filmmaker Jem Cohen, working with visual artist Shary Boyle, the saga of recording music using Glenn Gould’s piano with the Band’s Garth Hudson, naming your kids, music that is timeless but of a time, being a teenaged reggae musician and country fan, Kenny Chesney in Jamaica, growing up in Toronto in a musical family, writing love songs in a world full of love songs, how Hamilton might be the new Toronto and the divisiveness of municipal politics, Stompin’ Tom Connors as a Canadian role model, working on new songs, an upcoming Record Store Day 7” with an outtake from Strong Feelings featuring the Weather Station called “Lies Lead to Lies,” the song “Old Times” and more.

Related links: dougpaisley.com noquarter.net vishkhanna.com

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