Friday, May 30, 2008

Reading Rainbow

It's the end of the month - time to look back on a busy May's worth of published material.

May turned out to be soulful. The biggest word count I got all month was for a career profile of Al Green for Exclaim. I feared his story had already been told numerous times, leaving me little to work with. But the further I got into the research, I found that there were a number of well-trod stories in his career, but few overall summaries. The obvious one is contained in the liner notes to his Anthology, but that's more than ten years old and there's more to tell since then. I found fewer dull spots in his discography than I expected, which made this article a listening pleasure.

Also in Exclaim, I wrote a profile of Feuermusik. I love those guys - great musicians & great people. Of all the adjectives that could be applied to the controlled sax and bucket frenzy of their new album "No Contest", 'soulful' ranks high. I also wrote about Feuermusik for Paste Magazine a few months ago, but haven't been able to find the piece online. If anyone comes across it, please let me know....

Over at AOL Canada, my overview of the impulses shaping the soul music of Toronto was published yesterday. I didn't actually pitch this article but I'm glad it came my way. Zaki Ibrahim, LAL and Ivana Santilli happen to be releasing discs all at the same time, so there seemed to be a natural thread to this piece. I've got to confess it was pretty easy to write; it's an article that I feel personally attached to in terms of the content. When speaking with Santilli, with whom I'd gigged once or twice many years ago, it felt like old times. Her recollection of the early 90s was very much like my own experience, and, as the article shows, also very much like those of Rose Kazi and Nick Murray from LAL. I'd never talked to Ibrahim before, but she picked up on all those sentiments in describing her favourite aspects of Toronto. Needless to say, everyone's criticisms of Toronto were also pretty similiar.

Finally, because I didn't post about this weeks ago, here's a profile of modern roots star Queen Ifrica for Eye Magazine. more thing that didn't make the print edition of Exclaim this month - here's an interview with Aidan Baker about the new release from polyrhythmic noise alchemists ARC.

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