Tag Archives: Tom Waits

Ep. #143: Cold Specks

Cold Specks is Al Spx, a talented and fearless singer, musician, and songwriter who calls Montreal home. Originally from a Toronto suburb called Etobicoke, Spx has garnered international attention for her powerful voice, dark-hued lyrics, and post-punk aesthetic, which is all the more unique given the rather folk-oriented feel of her 2012 debut album, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion. In late August, Arts & Crafts and Mute co-released its follow-up, a decidedly more forceful and sinister record called Neuroplasticity. Beginning November 5 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cold Specks is on tour across the world for the foreseeable future but we connected for a candid conversation at the Halifax Pop Explosion last month. The discussion covered topics like living in Montreal and visiting Halifax, Loel Campbell and Tim D’Eon of WIntersleep, living in England, the concept of neuroplasticity and how it might apply to Cold Specks, getting bored, trying to perform songs from I Predict a Graceful Expulsion, destruction of melody and subtle aggression, London and Glastonbury, hills and pagans, corporate witchtowns, no socks, sonic goblin, wearing capes and goth people, the trumpet of Ambrose Akinmusire and the voice of Swans’ Michael Gira, growing up in Etobicoke with her Somali parents, Rob and Doug and the Ford family, not quite apolitical, Al’s oud-playing, soul-singing dad ‘Dr. Love,’ the late, popular Somali singer Saado Ali Warsame, Swans, Bill Callahan, the Strokes, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave, the Strokes on Letterman and emerging after 9/11, the Backstreet Boys have come up on two straight episodes now, having a persona, creative pursuits, loving True Detective, Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, and Rachel McAdams, Band of Brothers, shooting a cannon at The Nutcracker, meeting Joni Mitchell who is awesome, the art of the interview, yelling at a Q guest host and other bad journalists, why I talk to people, being and not being a diva, touring a lot behind a record that came out kind of quietly, the Hotel2Tango and Howard Bilerman, why Montreal is good, not wanting to interact with anybody, the song “Absisto,” a nervous breakdown, and then the exit plan.

Related links: coldspecks.com halifaxpopexplosion.com vishkhanna.com

coldspecks

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ep. #76: Jessy Bell Smith

Jessy Bell Smith is a Guelph-based musician with one of the most remarkable singing voices I’ve ever heard. She’s been playing her own songs live for a long time, was a member of a band called Beautiful Senseless, and is currently in the Skydiggers. She recently released her highly-anticipated debut album, The Town and will be playing Kazoo! Fest in Guelph between April 9 and 13. Here, beyond some friendly bickering and badgering, Jessy and I discuss my reputation as a totalitarian bandmate (sometimes we play together), artists in Guelph who need an encouraging push, the long-gestating history of Jessy’s first album, happenstance and J.J. Ipsen and Andy Magoffin, fate, confidence and productivity, a Gary the cat interruption, musical eras and nostalgia, Watergate comes up somehow, Kate Bush and Tom Waits and singing in a musical family, burnt rice, deliberation and re-recording The Town, her role in the Skydiggers, how you are not going to die, turning anxiety into antagonistic anger to conquer an annoying audience, the song “Douglas St.” and more.

Related links: choosemymusic.org/jessy-bell-smith/ kazookazoo.ca vishkhanna.com

jessybellsmith

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,