Levon, I’ll never forget the first time I heard you. You were the voice of Americana, at a time when I first discovered the dusty tracks and whistle stops. You’ll be missed.
“I know my music cannot change the world, but I know my music can change someone’s moment.” – Randy Ponzio
It’s with an incredibly heavy heart that I write this post tonight. If you’re a fan of Burgo’s Music Blog on Facebook, you might have seen my post on Wednesday asking for help from anyone in the Vancouver area in finding Randy Ponzio, a local muso who had gone missing. It’s since been released that Randy has been found dead.
Randy exuded joy on the stage (with Little T)… poor sound quality, but it captures Randy’s free spirit.
I first came across Randy about 4 years ago, although his first mention on this blog was back in 2008 when the Questpoetics made it onto my “Best of 2008” roundup. After that post, we actually struck up one of those online “friendships” that seems to often happen between musicians and music bloggers. They’re often surface things, more a way of keeping in contact for future releases than anything else. But this one was different. I’d be lying if I said it was more than a passing friendship, but Randy was the type of dude that felt like a friend with the smallest conversations.
On my birthdays, he would stop by my Facebook profile, and wish me a happy birthday in his breezy-cool way, calling me a “cat” more often than not. I’d occasionally stop by his page when I had something to share, and – for my part – I’d call him “brother”. Because the guy had that effect on you. You cared about him. You really did. And he seemed to care about you.
The musical world has lost a true shining star. Randy was filled with just so much positivity, you really felt like he was going to change the world. And it was honestly just the beginning for him.
Although “The Sound Campaign” in 2008 was a truly rocking release, it was his win in ShoreFM’s song search competition in August that was getting him some well-deserved exposure.
Randy leaves behind 3 children, who he loved more than life itself. Just take a look at the below video, because it’s all about “love, peace, foundation and family”. This was shot the day after the Vancouver hockey riots…
Randy was spreading the love while kids on the block were painting the plywood and giving out free hugs.
If you can help his family, please visit helprandyponzio.com.
As a bonus, Randy had always put out his tunes for free to gain exposure. As such, here’s his LP, “A Sound Campaign” below. I’ll miss you, Randy. You were one cool cat.
Syd Kitchen is to South African music what the Sphynx is to Egypt; a landmark that has seemingly always existed, yet remains a true enigma. A teacher, thinker, and published poet, Syd Kitchen will always be, for me at least, the godfather of South African music. He is the very heart and soul of it all.
– The 30 South African bands you need to hear (Syd was artist #10)
For Syd, a man who inspired more of us Saffa musos then he ever knew. You were always yourself, Syd. I have no higher compliment.
You’ll be missed.
I can’t tell you how sad this makes me, but news today reached my ears that Alex Chilton, singer from personal favourites Big Star, passed away today at age 59 from a suspected heart attack.
To be honest, it’s been a really shitty last 4 months. First Chris “Spacewolf” Feinstein passed away. Scarcely a week later, Vic Chestnutt leaves us, highlighting issues in the US health care system. Then Mark Linkous tragically takes his own life.
And it’s just not f*cking fair.
It’s just not fair.
Big Star – Thirteen
Chris “Spacewolf” Feinstein, bassist for Ryan Adams & The Cardinals has passed away, and I can’t tell you how sad it makes me that the post to bring me out of my “lack of posting” funk is this one.
Feinstein joined the band after Catherine Popper’s departure in 2006, and initially recorded with the band on the 2007 masterpiece, “Easy Tiger”. On a personal note, both times I was lucky enough to catch the Cardinals perform live, Spacewolf was a consistent highlight for me. The dude looked exactly how a rock star should look on stage: natural, chilled, and effortlessly cool. Together with drummer Brad Pemberton, Chris Feinstein laid one of the most solid rhythm sections I have ever heard. I know that many fans out there will be feeling the same loss that I’m feeling today.
“This is the saddest day of my life. I lost my best friend today…things will never be quite the same.”
-Brad Pemberton, Cardinals drummer
Bugger. I missed posting this yesterday, but in the United States, it still is yesterday, if you know what I mean… so I thought I would post anyway.
Yesterday (or today, depending upon where you are when you read this), marked the 15th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death.
There’s a trifecta of musical deaths that shaped my life… Shannon Hoon, Bradley J Nowell… and Kurt. Even after all this time… Kurt still matters. Here’s to you, man.
me- 34-a non smoker and happy, for the first time in my life.. i am excited to finish this wonderful time i have had with the cardinals and whatever new adventures may come after march. atlanta will be my last venture with the band and i am grateful for the time we have had and maybe someday we will have more stories to tell together[…]
well, i will walk away now and it will not matter what anyone say’s. there are other things i can do in this life, other ways to be creative and to try and help others and be expressive without being demonized for attempting to gain the same things any other human being desires- love- friendship- understanding- and being able to express yourself without constant fear of being mistreated for speaking up[…]
and you know, whatever this is- it’s not my dream. and it is a punishing thing to endure when you are getting worse and worse- it’s not my dream, my dream was to try and tap into that energy i saw watching Minutemen vcr tapes when i was just a little shit in NC of mike watt’s crazy shaking leg and his electric fingers- or how sonic youth droned into beautiful clouds those guitars shaking, kim and steve rattling the pulsing lines into feverish thudding imaginary subway cars racing through my heart- and how it felt to just let go and static up a riff and find the sweet spot- but getting yelled at for just being a songwriter- to be called so many horrid things because i chose to love music so much, and also to look for peace and balance in my life- that is not kindness and just not my thing. at least not now.
Click through to read the whole thing; although, if you’re a Ryan Adams fan, it might be a slightly depressing read (although I’m sure most of us saw this coming… eventually).
I’m seeing them perform at The Tivoli at the end of Jan. Lord knows it’s going to be bittersweet this time.