South of Reality

J the Vinyl Daft Dad’s Top Ten Albums of 2019

Here is J, the Vinyl Daft Dad, with his annual Top Ten Albums list!

Hunt Sales Memorial – Get Your Shit Together 
Hunt Sales is quite an interesting fella.  He has played with Todd Rundgren, Charlie Sexton, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.  He was integral to Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life; so much so, that David Bowie asked him to be involved in Tin Machine. This, though, is his frst solo album.  It’s urgent, visceral and full of swagger – you’ll find rock n’ roll, soul, blues, punk, and truth in every groove of songs about life, addiction, relationships, and self reflection. Probably one of the best albums released this decade if you ask me.

The Claypool Lennon Dilerium – South of Reality
Better than the first album? I dunno, but Les Claypool and his pal Sean Lennon are exploring their version of this universe a bit further on their second album. Like the previous efforts, their sounds illuminate their surroundings. Absolutely exceptionally played and produced. Loads to get lost in and repeated listens really do reveal so much.

Mark Lanegan Band – Somebody’s Knocking
It’s hard to believe that this is Lanegan’s 5th album in 7 years (not counting collaborations with his cosmic soul brother Duke Garwood). While not as immedietely great as Blues Funeral, Somebody Knocking has grown on me quite a bit and it’s definitely worth sticking with.  Not just some of Lanegan’s best Lanegan Band moments, but some his best non-Lanegan Band moments too.

Perry Farrell – Kind Heaven
Say what you will about Perry Farrell, but he always aims his rocket ship at the moon and, whether he lands on there or not doesn’t really matter.  He’s fully committed.  If he ends up playing among the stars he’s in good company.  He glows when he talks about humans and the Universe and he gets to do that here.  Kind Heaven is, I guess, an extension of Satellite Party, with it evolving into The Kind Heaven Orchestra.  While Extreme’s Nuno left the fold of that band due to how it was evolving with Perry’s wife, here she’s celebrating and celebrated.  There may be no Nuno, but the support cast is exceptional.

The Flaming Lips – King’s Mouth
Released earlier in the year, King’s Mouth is a joyous return for Coyne & Co on the soundtrack for Coyne’s book and art installation.  The concept is rather brilliantly bonkers – there’s a giant King, folks love him, he dies, they cut off his head and carry it through the streets, preserve it in steel and, cause there’s all these swirling storms of psychedelic colours and suchlike inside his head, eh, people climb inside his mouth and watch. That’s narrated by Mick Jones, too.  Yeah, that Mick Jones.  Anyhoo, the songs are really rather brilliant, with “The Sparrow”, “All for the Life of the City”, “Feedaloodum Beedle Dot”  particularly being examples of The Flaming Lips at their best.

Jonas Munk & Nicklas Sorensen – Always Already Here
Sorensen’s Solo was one of my favourite albums of the last few years and it’s been a regular listen until this collaborative effort took over.  Sorensen’s trademark intricate and complex guitar tracking weaves with some subtle synth to create this beautifully melodic hypnotic 5 track long player.


Black Mountain – Destroyer
Not much to say about it’s inclusion here.  Right good slabs of Sabbath riffage with some synth shenanigans thrown in for good measure. I dig. Big time.

Keb Mo’ – Oklahoma
I’ve never really listened to Keb Mo’, but this one grabbed my attention and I thought I’d jump in.  It’s exceptional and there are strong collaborations on there. It’s a powerful album with strong messages and, hopefully, the kind that can inspire positive moments for those who delve in to its 10 songs, as he shines a spotlight on the environment, immigration, and mental health.

Big Wreck – …but for the sun
Well, this was unexpected. I can’t say I’d ever really paid much attention to Big Wreck prior to this release, but my pal SuperDekes gave this one a glowing report and I figured I’d check it out.  I’m glad I did.  It’s full of great riffs, big choruses and great hooks.  Plus, that Thornley guy has got the vocal chops to carry the tunes.  It left me wondering why no-one told me about these guys sooner.

Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains
After a 10 year absence David Berman was back with new music. The album is a remarkable and a weighty one that dealt with Berman’s struggles (including losing his mother and the separation from his wife), but he retains his wit and charm despite laying himself so bare.

 

CONCERT REVIEW: Claypool Lennon Delirium – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, April 10 2019

CLAYPOOL LENNON DELIRIUM – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, April 10 2019 

By Uncle Meat

 

Sometimes you go to Rock shows and are blown away by the venue, or the sound of the band, or the band itself, or something extra special happens.  Usually you are lucky to be subjected to one or two of these wonderful things.  It’s rare when all these things happen at once to make truly iconic memories you could never possibly forget.  This happened for me last night.  Music is the gift that keeps on giving.

Found out yesterday morning that I was going to see Claypool Lennon Delerium at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto.  Special thanks to friend and fellow Sausagefester Aaron Stepaniuk for inviting me.  I had never been to the venue, nor had I ever seen Les Claypool perform.  I found it interesting as well that it was the very first show of their tour, showcasing their new album South of Reality.

Walking into the venue during the opening band, instantly I loved the Danforth Music Hall.  Very cool place to see a show.  Warming up the proceedings was someone by the name of Jim James.  All I knew was that he used to be the singer for a band I know nothing about called My Morning Jacket.  I was informed on the way to Toronto by Aaron’s girlfriend Rachel that there is an American Dad episode basically dedicated to “the angelic voice of” Jim James.  Gonna have to check out some American Dad.  The few songs we caught I deemed as “whispy”.  It wasn’t bad but didn’t resonate with me.  Jim James’ look reminded me of Daryl Hall dressed as the Joker and I was kinda glad when it ended so we could go out and smoke a huge joint.

As I am hauling off of this Buck-constructed, Buck-approved monster of a spliff, a door opens beside me, (I was too concerned with smoking this massive joint to even realise we were standing right beside an equally massive tour bus) and while I’m taking a healthy drag out walks Geddy Lee.  Yes…THAT Geddy Lee.   I almost exhaled the drag right into his nose, he was that close to me.  Instantly I started wondering if he could be getting on stage, but that stuff never actually happens for real…Right?

The show starts off with Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine”.  I knew they might do some covers since they released an EP of covers in 2017 called Lime and Limpid Green.  On that note, the covers played that night were epic songs that most bands wouldn’t dare even try.  “Astronomy Domine”, “Boris the Spider” and “The Court of the Crimson King” are songs that you MUST play well live to even consider such an idea.  Interspersed throughout the covers were songs from their 2016 debut album Monolith of Phobos and their newest album South of Reality.  I enjoyed everything I heard that night.  First of all, Claypool and Sean Lennon can both sing very well and both comfortable in a high vocal range. The keyboard player also sang backup vocals.  No matter if it was Lennon or Claypool taking lead vocals, the background vocals were top-shelf fucking glorious.  This aspect was a definite highlight of the show.  I was there to see Claypool and he didn’t disappoint whatsoever.  However Sean Lennon was a bit of a revelation to me.  He is an amazing singer and a much better guitar player than I would have imagined.

The stage banter between Les Claypool and Sean Lennon (or “Shiner” as Les kept referring to him as) was comfortable and cool.   After some more of their anecdotes, the drummer breaks into a very familiar drum pattern.  I turned to my buddy Bucky and said “They aren’t really gonna play this are they?” The rest of the band started to join in and yeppers , they are playing Tomorrow Never Knows, written by the guitar player’s father.  You may have heard of him.  I can see off stage as a stage hand is standing there with a bass in his hand.  He hands it to an emerging shadow and out walks Mr. Geddy Fucking Lee, possibly still on a contact high from the joint smoking he walked through earlier.  Now I am watching Sean Lennon sing his late father’s song with two of the greatest bass players of all time on stage.  You cant make this shit up.  This kinda stuff never really happens and now it is happening.  As they are jamming out the song hard, Les Claypool does one of the coolest things I have ever seen.  He takes off his bass and starts kinda bowing to Geddy Lee with a huge smile on his face, gives a little “see ya” nod to the audience and walks off stage, leaving now only Geddy finishing “Tomorrow Never Knows” with the band.  For a couple minutes it was actually The Lennon Geddy LEErium.  The respect and tribute that Claypool shone upon Geddy by the nod and walking off stage will be a top 5 (Or higher) concert moment for me.  I had the utmost respect for Claypool before this night.  With one little wave to the crowd and the walk-off, he made my Rock & Roll heart melt.  I so wish Tom Morwood was there.  He would have cried like a big bearded baby.

The band walked off and came back for an encore.  Claypool says something like, “Gotta love when guys like Geddy Van Halen just walk on stage.  That’s what still gets my dick erect”.  The Delerium then went into their lone encore song, Primus’s “Southbound Pachyderm”.  It totally kicked ass with a sensational bass groove.  What a show.

What more could you ask for?  Did that really just happen?  Mind…Blown.