Lauryn Hill, Ooh La La La, Rock the Bells, NYC (Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Chris Rock, Jay-Z, John Legend)

Here's some great footage of Ms. Lauryn Hill's appearance at Rock The Bells NYC  (08.28.10, Governor's Island).  Hill who seems to have weathered somewhat the mental distress that she has presumed to have been in over recent years.  While confidently performing Ooh La La La in some sort of cosmic moo moo she managed to drag up most if not all of the sidestage notables from the sidestage/backstage area (being Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, (a visibly pregnant) Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Chris Rock, Jay-Z and John Legend).


Gene Ween at God Save The Qweens, New Hope, PA

Aaron Freeman also known as Gener, Gene Ween, The Golden Jew and around his hometown of New Hope, Pennsylvania simply Papa where he is known to drive around in his Honda Element, perhaps a carryover from the licensing of the Ween song Ocean Man.

While Deaner (Mickey Melchiondo) is busy captaining fishing his own fishing charter Gener has his blessing to tour their co-penned material in a solo acoustic context.  Here we see Freeman hanging at God Save The Qweens (13 Mechanic St., New Hope, PA) talking comfortably with Buck's Local News and performing a brief rendition the owner's favourite song Birthday Boy.


Sean Price interview (Random Axe, Mic Tyson)

Q: Sean you have such a long discography from your earliest collaborations with Heltah Skeltah, Boot Camp Clik, your countless mixtapes (including Master P and Kimbo Price) and of course your well regarded solo outings Monkey Barz and Jesus Price Supastar, to say nothing of your countless collaborations. What then can fans expect or what do fans expect from your live show, beyond the songs that the heads are always calling out for what are the songs that have stayed staples in your repertoire- that you really enjoy playing live?

A: I like to switch it up a lot at shows. It depends on the crowd, you know. Lot of high energy shit. Always like to do some newer stuff that the fans don't expect me to perform. Figure 4 has became a new favorite of mine. I like to keep em guessing, doing the same tracks every performance would be boring and it keeps me on my toes as well. I can get a better sense for how good my records are based on the crowds reaction to newer material.

Q: You once said that people are "mad 'cause I make music no longer for the fun of it." Yet having fun seems to be at the core of alot of your enterprises (like turning Duck Down Records into Ruck Down Records), what were you getting at when you made this remark and does it still apply?

A:  Basically, I used to just fuck around with it. I took it seriously but at the same time I didn't. Now it's a bit more serious, I still make good music and have fun but I got a family to feed. Does that mean I'm gonna do some wack shit just to get money? naw. The music is still dope and I'm still having fun.

Q: You're known for your frequent collaborations with individuals connected with Staten Island but you also have built ties to alot of other Hip Hop communites such as your priceless stab on Black Milk's Tronic standout The Matrix, or more recent collaborations with members of North Carolina's Little Brother. Do you feel like there's a 'Detroit' or a 'Midwest' sound you can identify with? Or is Hip Hop just Hip Hop no matter where it's from?

A: Hip Hop is hip hop. I've done music with people from everywhere. Little Brother and Black Milk are both amazing and that's why I mess with them. But Detroit is definitlely producing a good sound right now with cats like Royce, Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, Elzhi, etc.

Q: Ever since you Black Milk and Guilty Simpson collaborated on Run from Ode To The Ghetto (where the line 'Random Axe' first appears) and talk first leaked about a possible full length collaboration the excitement has just continued to build. It sounds like the time in the studio with Milk and Simpson was jokes (and single Monster Babies sounds like a good marriage of Milk's production and yours and Simpson's flow). What can you tell us about the collaboration or any random tale about you and Hex* throwing stories back and forth in the studio?

A:  We just finished up recording it in Detroit. The environment was definitely crazy with me, Guilty, Black Milk, and Hex around. We all joke around a lot and it's always a good time hanging with those dudes. Black Milk is mixing the project now.

Q: Random Axe is of course going to come out on Duck Down Records- what other new releases should we be looking for you on?

A:  The main focus right now is Random Axe, but after that is Mic Tyson!!! I may do a children's book too with free audio included.

*Hex or Hex Murda is both Black Milk's DJ in his live touring band as well as his business manager, he also manages the career of Elzhi.  Price and Hex both share colourful prison histories which apparently made the Random Axe recording sessions a hilarious process as each regaled one another with tales of the tape.


Swell Season Suicide (When Your Minds Made Up, Mountain Winery, 08.19.10)

The National Post is reporting that a man named Michael Pickels committed suicide during the Swell Season's performance at the Mountain Winery on Friday August 19.

On Thursday night in Saratoga, California, Irish act The Swell Season were well into their concert at the Mountain Winery when a 32-year old man was seen atop the roof of the amphitheatre. When the band completed their song “When Your Mind’s Made Up”, the crowd saw an object hit the stage near singer Glen Hansard. The object was Michael Pickels, who attended the concert that night with a friend.  Hansard rushed over to Pickels, and a doctor was soon on stage, but the man had died, and the concert was ended.

Read more: http://arts.nationalpost.com/2010/08/23/a-sad-refrain-the-week-of-concert-suicides/#ixzz0xTXxHFVt

Sean Price takes over Duck Down Records now officially Ruck Down Records


Young Empires White Doves live at ModClub, Toronto (08.18.10)

Young Empires ModClub, Toronto setlist (08.18.10)

Young Empires - ModClub, Wednesday August 18, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Diamond Rings
Against The Wall
White Doves
Summer Lovers 
Glory of The Night
Rain of Gold

Young Empires Against The Wall live at ModClub, Toronto (08.18.10)

This is not live audio but the demo version of Against The Wall that has set the world on fire. The images are all from the evening of Wednesday August 18, 2010 when Young Empires made their triumphant return to Toronto after a monumental summer and a considerable amount of righteous hype thrown their way.

Danny Brown Greatest Rapper Ever (lyrics)

My homey a magician with a Tech
make your chain disappear
and reappear on his neck
I ain't trickin' with your hoes
for shit don't act 'em
only thing I give a bitch a fuckin' orgasm
I throw you in the river
hands tied tight
watch your ass drown
feeling In The Air Tonight
I'm spittin' that dope shit
smokin' on regulars
ringin' sixteens like internet jail predators
rockin' that ten beat but I stay dolo
you wearin' Polo
who are you Young Dro?

I am fifth floor at the Bellagio
Vegas bitches that's resembling Rosario
Dawson awesome hit the head Mario
Started on my tongue now she's squirtin' up the sheets
She gave me that Becky
I gave her that Yoshi
The only time you niggers touch keys is motif
Go and sell a beat
You never sold a rock
Still be sittin' on the couch if I was on the Koch
Cause they're signed to the ROC
Na I'm signed to the streets
The D the only thing that's brothers and for me
Feelin' like big meats
when we bought to cook up
But not the one from BMF or the one from Linwood

And ain't a nigga I know
Three years straight, three dollar blow
Good in the hood anywhere I go I'm great
Nigga hit me with a hundred cause of the look on my face
Momma I'm honoured to be your son
Cause that's the second stab and so and not rip a single one
Used to be in a rush to finish off my sack
I was so thirsty dog sold a pregnant bitch crack
Let her pay me extra smoke it in the back
Then she came back titties all smackin' herself
on the back
Talkin' 'bout somethin' crawlin' on her
Lookin' like the world fallin' on her
And I pushed it
You wrapped the foots of the bitches I mushed
Boogie ass Cutlass  3D blowing Kush

Nerd got her shook
Started reading when the jerk through the fucking book
But the block was off the hook
Sayin' fuck class
Off them same pills that had Carlton dancin' fast
Young buck look not a grown up not about them same pills
listening to Donuts
I rap like I bet my life cause in all actuality nigga I did
You rap like you used to hit the pipe
naw nigga that ain't crack that's crackhead shit
Rep that shit
We don't tell a bitch
You don't break a bitch you ain't seein' this dick
You trick on a bitch
Dog you ain't rich take a bitch to the movies
Take her to the crib

You seein' Brown nope never
'Bout to the live the title of the Greatest Rapper Ever
It don't get no better
It don't get no better


Young Empires return home to Toronto (Mod Club, Aug. 18, 9:00 start)

We may not have heard or read much about Young Empires on this side of the pond since their blowout performance at NXNE at the end of June but they have had nothing if not a highly eventful summer.  If it seems like Young Empires came out of the gate running it's because they did.

Young Empires are a live electronic group that combines sequenced bed tracks with driving and insistent live bass and keys.  What makes the Empires particularly adept is lyricist and vocalist Matthew Vlahovich's persistent, timely and visionary lyricism.   It's a formula that's been often attempted and rarely pulled off.  In the case of the Empires (Aaron Ellingson - Swagger, Jake Palahnuk - Rhythm and Matthew Vlahovich - Hooks) they seem to have a deadly musical lock with one another and an infectious enthusiasm for their own stageshow - as if they are members of the audience geeking out at their own show.

In April they recorded Rain of Gold.

It's not complicated, someday we'll make it, it's not complicated, it's the way of the Ancient.

Here's the Vlsonn'a 50hz Below Remix of the same tune.

In May the Young Empires recorded Glory of the Night which continued to set the world on fire.

Then by July, with the international in particular British press already salivating at their every motion they recorded White Doves and Against The Wall which pushed them into a whole new trajectory.  Capitalizing on the moment the group toured in the UK and Scotland devastating crowds, influential bloggers, legit music journalists and the mainstream rags alike.   Everyone from NME Magazine, News Of The World (UK) have been making their stabs at what two bands combined Young Empires (neither is the answer) as if they were pitching a movie screenplay in an elevator.

Fortunately in the much more developed culture of British blogging there has been some really sensitive coverage and fortunately the leak/release of some great demos (which lyricist/vocalist Matthew Vlahovich recently told me were "recorded in our bathrooms, rehearsal space and bedrooms").

You can download the White Doves (demo) and Against The Wall (demo) here

The Empires are on such a roll that they were tapped to do a (very very Empires sounding, from the bongos, driving synth lines, and epic rolling melodies) remix for rising UK talent Sunday Girl (Jade Williams) which can be found here on Stoney Roads.

After taking Europe by storm (with an assiduacy even The Desert Fox would applaud) the boys returned stateside to start building that side of their Risk board.  Their forthcoming dates include:

NYC ( 08.13.10)
Brooklyn (08.14.10)
Toronto (08.18.10)
Chicago (08.28.10)
Bogota (08.28.10) - yes, that's Bogota, Columbia 
Ottawa (10.02.10)
Montreal (10.09.10)


Hip Hop Legend Sean Price plays Toronto's Revival (Aug. 26, 2010)

Born in Brownsville, NY Price is known in the rap world since his debut in the early 90s for his work with Heltah Skeltah and Boot Camp Clik. A frequent collaborator with a whole host of heavyweights Sean also has two solo full lengths (Monkey Bars, Jesus Price Supastar) and a slew of mixtapes under his belt, the most recent being the Kimbo Price Mixtape.

True afficianados though no Price from a single (literally) collaboration that Heltah Keltah (where Price was known as Ruck (The Irrational) with his partner Rock(nessmonster) and Originoo Gunn Clappaz did as The Fab 5.

Price has come a long way from his humble beginnings listen to for instance his contemporary work on The Matrix (from Black Milk's pivotal Tronic) likely one of the greatest Hip Hop tracks produced in the last 5 years.

Price is a frequent collaborator of  Black Milk's and makes up one third (with Milk and Guilty Simpson) of the supergroup Random Axe (predominantly mentioned on Guilty Simpson's song Run from Ode To The Ghetto).  Here is Monster Babies the first joint released from the forthcoming album.

Here we see Sean Price signing with Duck Down records (ostensibly for a gold rolex) for the release of the forthcoming Random Axe album.  Price drops a short a capella verse directly addressing the camera giving the listener some insight into his force, bravura and bravado.



Rural Alberta Advantage - Don't Haunt This Place (Ottawa Bluesfest)

The Constellations - "Setback"

Atlanta `Supergroup` The Constellations

I saw alot of amazing bands this summer, I met alot of amazing musicians, I met even more amazing fans, but hands down the Coolest Mutherfugging Band On The Planet these days has got to be Atlanta, Georgia's own The Constellations. Their combination of bombastic chops, heavy swagger rock, rocksteady bass, unabashed synthesizer and congo use and coolass chiquita backing vocals all made for both an epic liveshow and fortunately in person they are just as fucking badass as they are onstage.

Here's a movie I made of their stunning performance in the Black Sheep Stage tent (July 11, 2010) set to the lead track off of Southern Gothic (classed as 'religious' recording) Setback.

They've been dubbed a 'supergroup' by locals "having initially formed when vocalist Elijah Jones teamed up with Grammy-winning producer Ben H. Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley) to create Southern Gothic. Jones and Allen tossed ideas around for two years before finally recording. Now the band and its ever-changing line-up of Atlanta musicians is playing sold-out shows in Atlanta’s most popular venues, from the Earl, Star Bar, Lenny’s, the Drunken Unicorn, and even Athens’ the 40 Watt."

Different listeners will hear their own slate of influences in the sludgy sweet psychedelic riffage that is found on The Constellations fine fine record. Steeped in street culture, hard drug use references Southern Gothic has oddly more in common with collaborator Cee-Lo (Goodie Mobb, Gnarls Barkley) than other famous Georgia groups including The Allman Bros. Band, REM and Widespread Panic.

Here's a link to a youtube video (disabled by their big record company Virgin/EMI's request) Introducing The Constellations.

Black Milk first Album of the Year single - Welcome (Gotta Go)

The first single off of Black Milk`s long anticipated Album of the Year is now available for download.

Download Welcome (Gotta Go) here


Richie Hayward (February 6, 1946 - August 12, 2010) RIP

News of, and the cause of, Richie Hayward`s (co-founder and long time member of California Rock legends Little Feat) passing has been confirmed by his wife Shauna Hayward in these remarks:

Hello everyone x

The long journey to finding out the why and the what, became clear to us all yesterday.

Richie had Adult respiratory fibrosis, for many many years.
Left untreated, this disease compromises the lung tissue.

He then got pneumonia last week. Which with his history of lung damage, made him unable to successfully overcome it.

His body, as a response to the pneumonia, developed ARDS, Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which means for most who get it, automatic life support systems. This would be one condition, he was looking at never being without.

He fought a long battle with liver, and all that comes with that.....and quite successfully managed to get it in pretty good shape, with his name going on the list as he was now ready and able as of Sept 1st.

His additional battle with lung disease however.....he did not manage to win.

He passed away in my arms, at 11:45 am this morning.
There could never be more love between two people x

As I was helping him to continue on his journey, I asked him to let me know every day of my life, that I am not alone...and he is still with me.
I told him to be the wind that blows my dress up at the corner,...or be the wave that splashes me when I don't want to get wet....just be with me, and let me know he is there, and I am not going to be without him.
I told him that our love is stronger than these bodies,...and this life xo
And we will be together forever x

I want to thank you all, for your love and rainbows x
It meant the world to us both, on this beautiful journey Richie and I were so blessed to have shared xoxo

Richie Hayward.....you are my champion xoxo
I miss you already xoxo
Hayward`s last performance was in fact on Canadian soil (where he made his home in later years), where Little Feat has a strong and devoted following, at the Vancouver Island Music Festival where he sat in with Little Feat.

Just less than a year ago today Little Feat performed this fitting tribute (at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ) to their ill comrade  who was `warped by the rain` and `driven by the snow`.


Bear In Heaven - Lovesick Teenagers (Twins In Heaven Remix)

Inside Black Milk's Basement Studio Part 2

Inside Black Milk's Basement Studio Part 2 
You see?... I don't got no... this is like the pre pre pre pre-startup you know what I'm saying there ain't nothing alot goin' on here but the record, the MP and the turntable. Cats probably think I got hundreds of thousands or records, it ain't really like that. I just got good records man, I be searchin' for them good records and shit
- Black Milk

Inside Black Milk's Basement Studio Part 1

Based on Milk's referencing of 'being about to sign his first big record deal' this video might be safely placed as somewhere between Sounds of the City, two Pharaohe Monche records, Lloyd Banks, T3's Oleo Mixtape and the release of his definitive Popular Demand. Given that he is also working on predominantly an MPC 2000 it's likely from that period.

He lays down a track from Slum Village's Detroit Deli album (the track is one with Dilla - then Jay Dee - called Reunion). You can watch that clip/video on it's own here.

he introduces the listener to his love of The Sylvers (of whom Milk says 'they're right up there with The Jackson Five man'. At 6:00 Cross discusses the passing of J Dilla and Proof and the pause for thought it caused him and all of Detroit, indeed the world.

I don't even fuck with jazz records man.
- Curtis Cross aka Black Milk

Inside J Dilla's studio with Frank n Dank, Common

As the long awaited release of Black Milk's completely appropriately titled Album of the Year looms on the horizon perhaps our readers need a glimpse into Milk's (born Curtis Cross) mentor Jay Dilla aka Jay Dee's (born James Yancey) studio and technique.

Here is a very rare guided tour by no lesser production figures than Frank N Dank (with Common working in the studio and Dilla picking up some samples studiously).

The point to grasp here may be that while J Dilla had a copious and expansive musical sense, was a very strong MC and clearly the greatest Hip Hop producer likely ever - it may be that his production 'techniques' are impossible to duplicate. Frank N Dank allude to the fact that there are other rooms full of 'secret' gear.


Mother Whale Eyeless - Brian Eno

This is quite possibly one of if not THE greatest pop song of the latter half of the 20th century from the sprawling epochal concept album Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy (inspired by the Peking opera of the same name and particularly a set of 10 postcards depicting it's movements).

On the kit is Mr. Phil Collins who it is said was bestowed upon Mr. Eno as some sort of quid pro quo for some work he'd done for Genesis.

I can think of nowhere I would rather be 
Reading morning papers, drinking morning tea: 
She clutches the tray 
And then we talk just like a kitchen sink play 
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 
Living so close to danger, 
Even your friends are strangers 
Don't count upon their company.

This is for the fingers, 
This is for the nails: 
Hidden in the kitchen, 
Right behind the scales. 
What do I care? 
I'm wasting fingers like I had them to spare, 
Plugging holes in the Zuider Zee. 
Punishing Paul for Peter, 
Don't ever trust those meters 
What you believe is what you see.

In my town, there is a raincoat under a tree. 
In the sky, there is a cloud containing the sea. 
In the sea, there is a whale without any eyes. 
In the whale, there is a man without his raincoat.

In another country, with another name 
Maybe things are different, maybe they're the same.

Back on the trail, 
The seven soldiers read the papers and mail 
But the news, it doesn't change. 
Swinging about through creepers, 
Parachutes caught on steeples 
Heroes are born, but heroes die. 
Just a few days, a little practice and some holiday pay, 
We're all sure you'll make the grade.
Mother of God, if you care, 
We're on a train to nowhere 
Please put a cross upon our eyes. 
Take me - I'm nearly ready, you can take me 
To the raincoat in the sky. 
Take me - my little pastry mother take me 
There's a pie shop in the sky

- all lyrics Brian Eno (and the universe)

The Mohawk Lodge - Done Fighting (live at The Dakota Tavern)

It is almost impossible - even for a writer used to putting his heart in his mouth- to overstate how important the music of The Mohawk Lodge has become to me at least personally in such a short period of time.  It is partly by function of working as a music journalist that you listen to a great deal of music you respect but don't like, like but don't admire or admire for it's craftsmanship but it's just not your bag.   Then there is that one band that comes by about as often as a lunar (solar?) eclipse who manage to escape the trajectory of Canada's protectionist 'CanCon' regulations (which force our radio and TV outlets to play %50 Canadian music even if it's utter shite) and 'music industry'.  In an innately local way they thrust their offering out upon the world and though they may not be switftly judged it is with absolute certainty that I pass onto you dear reader the humble opinion that you should see The Mohawk Lodge now, as frequently as possible, acquire their music and continue to let them wear down the rough edge's of your hearts jagged ends.

In that vein Done Fighting moves beyond simply throwing one's arms up in disgust, refusing to play that game to something like a clarion call for a new way of being in the world. 

This again is the studio version of Done Fighting however the music is synced to intimate footage of the band playing their most confident set to date on a recent White Whale Wednesday at The Dakota Tavern (unfortunately now ended). 

That evening I made a single definitive declarative statement at the top of my lungs to an audience of two rounders at the bar Sean Dean (The Sadies) and Wild Blake Manning (a friend of The Lodge's):

Every once in awhile - just for shits and giggles - a band comes along like The Mohawk Lodge who has so absorbed and subsumed all of their influences to the point that everything they offer is wholly new.   - Luke C. Bowden


The Mohawk Lodge - Wicked Nights (Canadian Girl)

Going into the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest (which is not a 'Blues Festival' but something more like a more civil Bonnaroo spread out over two weeks in the Canadian Capital on a sprawling grounds known as LeBreton Flats attached to the Canadian War Museum - which houses a number of the festival's performance spaces) I had a very clear sense in my mind of the bands I was hawkish to watch:  Furthur (members of The Grateful Dead), Levon Helm Band, The Hold SteadySantana, Bear In Heaven, Passion Pit, Rural Alberta Advantage and a handful of very notable wild cards (one of which turned out to be a seperate ticketed event over and above my media accreditation to see a little comedian named Louis C.K. in the same tent in which The Mohawk Lodge are seen here performing).

That is to say going into the Bluesfest my entire applecart was upset one random night in The Dakota Tavern when a band called The Mohawk Lodge had a CD release show for Crimes (released June 22 on White Whale Records).   The song off Crimes that instantly jumps out and smacks it's way into the tapestry of your life is Wicked Nights (Canadian Girl) although over time particularly by way of their devastating live show many others come to the fore.  These then are still photos of The Mohawk Lodge playing in the Black Sheep Stage tent on July 10, 2010 (the audio is the studio version from Crimes, all lyrics Ryder Havdale, all music 'The Mohawk Lodge').  Wicked Nights was performed during their sparsely attended yet undoubtedly monumental appearance.

Ween - Your Party (live Koolhaus, Toronto, July 29 2010

There were beverages laid out for the party 
There were candy and spices and tricolored pastas 
The meat carved was drawn from succulent juices 
Served on platters of the purest gold 

I was calm when we arrived at the party 
I spoke with fervor, embracing the evening 
My wife leaned over and she whispered 'I love you' 
I held her close - we danced 

We had the best time at your party 
The wife and I thank you very much 
We had the best time at your party 
The wife and I thank you very much 

Creampuffs and bourbon and the music was louder 
My wife was competing in a game of chance 
The party raged and the guests were screaming 
I could have danced all night 

We had the best time at your party 
The wife and I thank you very much 
We had the best time at your party 
The wife and I thank you very much 

Later on when we were under the covers 
I closed my eyes, then I drifted to sleep 
I dreamt about me maybe throwing a party 
And just how great that would be 

And we said 
We had the best time at your party 
The wife and I thank you very much 
We had the best time at your party 
The wife and I thank you very much

- lyrics and music A. Freeman, M. Melchiondo

The Mohawk Lodge

It is with a formidable amount of pleasure that I am able to introduce to many of our American readers and certainly many Canadian and European readers as well the music of The Mohawk Lodge.  I first heard The Mohawk Lodge on one of many dim evenings spent at Toronto's The Dakota Tavern hoping against hope that some band or other would chafe against the grain.  And chafe they did.  Fronted by Vancouver transplant and iconoclast Ryder Havdale having assembled a young and devastating complement of head scalpers from the fringes of the Toronto 'scene', Havdale is essentially remounting in countless devastating and new ways his album Crimes recorded on the left coast.

Having moved to Toronto in the past couple of years Havdale began to hang out at some of the spots where rounders, night hawks and usual suspects percolate: this would include The Dakota Tavern (owned largely by The Beauties Shawn Creamer), The Communist Daughter and the Three Speed (owned by Creamer's bandmate Jud Ruhl) there he'd start to find the savage compliment of players he's now toured extensively with.

Havdale first recorded the material that became Crimes in a cabin in Pt. Roberts, WA with  Arch, Cory Price, Rob Josephson, Paul Goertzen and Jordan Koop engineering and recording.  After the preternaturally gifted Eamon McGrath (who has his own criminally good album Peacemaker out that manages not just to rival The Mohawk Lodge's Crimes but just possibly bests) re-jigged a couple of tunes in the back of a wine soaked van a handful of west coast heavyweights including Dan Mangan, Leah Abramson, JP Carter, Larissa Tandy, Megan McDonald and Jay Arner - all laid down in Darryl Neudorf's (Neko Case) studio.  The resulting album Crimes with it's obvious standalone 'hits' like Wicked Nights (Canadian Girl), Bad News and Done Fightin' bears out near-constant replay and an entire suite of material that belies a bar brawl beaten heart made soft like a pebble.

Here in this rooftop footage - that was the sight of one epically debaucherous Canada Day party in the heart of Toronto's Little Eritrea (just north of Little Portugal) - you can see the core of this formidable song and begin perhaps to glimpse the ragged glory of the wise-beyond-his-years McGrath.