Tag Archives: Wavelength Toronto

Ep. #95: São Paulo Underground

São Paulo Underground is a cultural and stylistic collision between electronica, tropicalia, avant garde jazz, and punk, featuring Chicago Underground Duo’s Rob Mazurek on cornet, harmonium and various effects, and São Paulo’s Guilherme Granado on keyboards, synths, sampler and vocals, and Mauricio Takara on percussion, cavaquinho and electronics. All three men were in town last September for the 2013 Guelph Jazz Festival and we had a chat at a restaurant in Guelph called Ox, where we pondered their latest and fourth album, Beija Flors Velho E Sujo. Wavelength Toronto presents Chicago Underground Duo at the Garrison on Thursday May 1 so it seemed like the right time to dig into the interview archives and present this spirited conversation in which São Paulo Underground and I discuss vocal harmonies on “G-Ball’s Fantasia,” why the band keeps returning to Guelph for the Guelph Jazz Festival, G-Ball’s cheeseburger odyssey and Canadian generosity, their new band and the ol’ dirty hummingbird, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Sun Ra, and The Wizard of Oz, making an album with Greg “the Shark” Norman at Electrical Audio in Chicago, why SPU get along so well and the wisdom of Pharoah Sanders, G-Ball’s birthday, the band’s 10th anniversary, how São Paulo Underground came together and its connection to the Chicago Underground Duo, the experimental and punk music scenes in São Paulo, the tremendous impact Fugazi had on musicians in Brazil after they played a show there, Mauricio’s collaborations with Fugazi’s Joe Lally and Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Kenny from Wellington Brewery offers SPU an SPA, the story of Rob Mazurek, where the Exploding Star Orchestra came from, learning from elder musicians, why Chicago’s music history is out of hand and how the culture there impacted Rob’s wild aesthetic, Chicago bands like Tortoise, Sea and Cake, U.S. Maple, the For Carnation, Gastr del Sol, and the Smashing Pumpkins, bringing the ruckus, Rob’s involvement within numerous musical styles, how punk and jazz make sense together and galvanize people, punk rock free samba yoga, what’s coming up next for São Paulo Underground and Chicago Underground Duo and Rob’s love life, mental preparation before working with legends, beautiful vocal harmonies, the song “Ol’ Dirty Hummingbird” and a nice fade out.

saopaulounderground

Related links: cuneiformrecords.com/bandshtml/saopaulo.html vishkhanna.com

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes.

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

Ep. #71: Alden Penner

Alden Penner is a respected and idiosyncratic singer, songwriter, and musician based in Montreal. Penner was a key figure in the influential bands the Unicorns and Clues and went on to make heartfelt, enigmatic, and questioning music in a project called Hidden Words. On Feb. 11, he quietly released a lovely new album under his own name; it’s called Exegesis and has prompted him to play at the Silver Dollar in Toronto for the Wavelength festival on Thursday Feb. 13, Montreal’s Le Cagibi on Friday Feb. 14, and the Le Pantoum in Quebec City on Feb. 15. Here, Alden and I discuss my issue understanding release dates, the fact that Exegesis is a personal compilation of sorts with at least one song that was partially conceived by Nick Thorburn when the two were in high school, the self-reflexive nature of putting this record together, Penner’s evolution as a songwriter and the distinction between his simpler and more intricate work, his earliest days learning how to play music in his teens and the impact “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” had on him and his guitar playing, jamming with his geography teacher, meeting and collaborating with Thorburn for the first time, the influence that Jimi Hendrix, Reverend Gary Davis, Elizabeth Cotten, and Fugazi had on his guitar playing, interesting guitar teachers and Syd Barrett, playing every instrument on a record yourself, the importance of band chemistry and the Avengers, the multiple meanings of the album’s title, which came to Penner in a dream, how religion has impacted Penner’s ability to find his own voice and feel bolstered by his community, the importance of self-assertion in the face of confrontation, Laura Crapo’s role in producing Penner’s new album, the mysteries of mysticism and psychic surgery, having faith, his upcoming shows, why the Unicorns must reunite to play shows and maybe even reissue Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? in 2014, the song “We Seek,” and more.

Related links: facebook.com/aldenpennermusic vishkhanna.com

alden penner

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes.

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

Ep. #21: The Blow + Jonny Dovercourt & Ryan McLaren

Acclaimed, artful electro-pop duo the Blow moved to Brooklyn and are about to release their new, self-titled LP this October, which is their first album in seven years. Band founder Khaela Maricich and I have a chat about it, jury duty, the state of modern pop music, and their involvement in Wavelength Toronto’s ALL CAPS! Island Festival this August 10 and 11. In fact, before you hear from the Blow (including their excellent new single, “Make it Up”), Wavelength organizers Jonny Dovercourt and Ryan McLaren meet me and a dog named Socks in a Toronto park to talk about why this is the final ALL CAPS! Island Festival and why the off-leash zone is serious business.

Related links: theblow.org kaninerecords.com allcaps.ca vishkhanna.com.

theblow

 

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,