In this post, I will be revealing ALL of the awesomeness I bought in Taranna during the 5th annual Record Shoppe Raid And Pillage trip last weekend with Mike!
It was a helluva trip, and I found SO much goodness. 42 CDs*, 1 LP, 1 DVD, and 1 book**.
And now, without further ado, here’s the whole lot for you to admire!
Yes, I am teasing you. But never fear. The actual big reveal will begin tomorrow afternoon, as I start going through each item, one at a time, and revel in all of this glory!
* It should be noted that this number is quite full of destiny. It is my age in years, and it is also the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything. So my finding that exact number of CDs during this trip cannot have been mere random chance. It was Universally foretold!
** OK, the book is one I can tell you about, as it is not music-related. Boringly (for you, surely), I could not find my copy of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count Of Monte Cristo, and I’ve wanted to read the book again, so I found a lovely copy at BMV for $6. Hooray! Also, I may be the only one who cares about this.
Alrighty then, folks!
It’s time to rock and roll over for the results of Your Favourite 1970s KISS Albums 1974-1979!!
Thanks to everyone who voted! KISS is one of those bands that generates very strong opinions, and has a very (very) loyal following!
As such, it’s no surprise that, even within our wee community here (the best blogging community ever, by the way), we received a total of 41 votes!
So, without further ado, here is everything together (#of votes/title/percentage of votes):
9 Destroyer (22%)
8 Alive! (live) (20%)
5 Rock And Roll Over (12%)
5 Alive II! (live) (12%)
4 Dynasty (10%)
3 Love Gun (7%)
3 Ace Frehley (solo) (7%)
2 Kiss (5%)
1 Dressed To Kill (2%)
1 Double Platinum (comp) (2%)
That makes the Top 5 Of KMA Reader voters as follows:
1 – Destroyer
2 – Alive!
3 – Rock And Roll Over
4 – Alive II
5 – Dynasty
How did your votes do in the final tally?
What are your opinions on the final results?
Anything else you’d like to say? Drop us many, many comments (below)…
Thanks so much for voting! Well done, everyone!
It’s worth noting that the following albums received no votes at all:
Hotter Than Hell
Gene Simmons (solo)
Peter Criss (solo)
Paul Stanley (solo)
The Originals (box)
The Originals II (box)
Here’s another one I found for $1 in She Said Boom! on our trip. I know, right? Yup, it was seriously $1, and in perfect shape. Unreal.
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 14 (CD, $1)
Blue Rodeo knocks out an incredible record, here. Every song is fully realized, and detailed perfectly. The soul groove’s gorgeous, and they sound playful and invigorated.
Add the Planet Soul Strings, the Bushwhack Horns (more trumpets!), and BR-newbie Bob Egan on guitar, and you’ve got a record that absolutely nails it.
Even with all these additions, they still sound like the Blue Rodeo we all know, love and admire. After all these years, we’re reminded of this band’s vitality.
The next few albums in this series I found at She Said Boom! for $1 each. Yes, you read that correctly. I am the Master Of Bargains!🙂
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 13 (CD, $1)
Every once in a while, an artist comes along who’s so real and pure, you instantly love ‘em. That’s Eva Cassidy.
Sadly, this is her only solo studio album, but it’s gorgeous. She runs through many styles (blues, folk, jazz, and more) and all of it fits perfectly. It’s her voice that haunts and captivates, with soulful range and tone. Emotion runs harrowingly deep, made infinitely more poignant by her untimely death in 1996.
An absolute must for any collection.
BEFORE THE SHOW (SATURDAY AFTERNOON)
Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith – Jay & Silent Bob – are somewhere in my town. Probably somewhere near the casino. They’re doing one of their speaking gigs there tonight. I was supposed to go. It’s been a long time since I’ve considered myself a Kevin Smith fan, but when the show was booked, I decided to check it out. His speaking engagements are legendary; in fact, DVDs of his appearances are my favourite things that he’s put out in a long time. But then the original show was postponed and rescheduled for today. Around that time, I heard about the Sarah Slean show, also tonight, so I had a choice to make. I returned my Jay & Silent Bob ticket, claiming that I couldn’t make it to the rescheduled show, and used the money to get my Slean ticket instead. The Jay & Silent Bob show is sold out, so they won’t miss me. I’m glad my seat will still have a butt in it.
Slean is “reimagining Broadway” with the Regina Symphony Orchestra. I wonder if a lot of people had to make the hard choice between Kevin Smith and the symphony tonight? Or any night?
My ticket is in the front row. That sounds great, but I note that it was also relatively cheap – something like $40. Five rows back, tickets were $90. I suspect I may find myself to be TOO close, like at the Art of Time shows earlier this year. Oh well, I don’t really need to see much, I just need to be able to hear things.
AT THE SHOW
Yeah, this is really close. But I think it should be okay.
ALSO AT THE SHOW
Intermission. I’m just off centre, front row, 6 feet directly in front of Sarah Slean at all times. I thought she’d be playing piano but she’s only singing (not ONLY only – you know what I mean – not multitasking). There’s a trio with her on piano, drums, and upright bass. Been very good so far. She accidentally tried skipping a song but recovered nicely. I know more of these songs than I thought I would. Will list all songs later; hooray for programs.
They’re selling CDs later and also having a reception to welcome the new musical director. I likely won’t buy anything or go meet anyone but it’s nice that these things happen.
No encore listed in the program. I wonder what they have planned? If anything?
AFTER THE SHOW
The encore was Over the Rainbow. She tried to encourage people to sing. Most did. Me, no. I didn’t sing on request for Edelweiss either, but that time I had the excuse of not knowing it well enough to even try.
Songs! Here they are:
• Overture (I noticed Anything Goes and If I Were a Rich Man; there may have been other songs in the medley if you know more than I do, which you probably do)
• Oh What a Beautiful Morning (Oklahoma!)
• I’ve Never Been in Love (Guys and Dolls)
• Chim Chim Cheree (Mary Poppins)
• Somewhere (West Side Story)
• Edelweiss/My Favourite Things (Sound of Music)
• Mein Herr (Cabaret)
Intermission (not a song)
• NYC (Annie)
• Consider Yourself (Oliver)
• You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile (Annie)
• America (West Side Story)
• Falling Slowly (Once)
• I Dreamed a Dream (Les Miserables)
• There’s No Business Like Show Business (Annie Get Your Gun) (presumably a gritty reboot of Annie)
Encore (also not a song)
• Over the Rainbow (I dunno, maybe Hamilton, that’s a thing I’ve definitely heard of)
The show opened with a bunch of introductions of symphony people that you probably don’t care about even though they do important work and give important money and make the entire symphony possible and have you ever even thanked them? I thought not. For shame.
This led to the introduction of Sarah Slean and the Mike Janzen Trio. Like I mentioned, Slean was singing and Janzen was on piano, with George Koller on upright bass and Ben Riley on drums. Plus there was that whole orchestra thing. This was the setup for pretty much every song, apart from Consider Yourself and You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile; both of those numbers had Janzen singing, and Smile featured just the trio.
Whether or not you think this was a good show would depend on your thoughts about 1) the musicians, 2) show tunes, and 3) Slean herself.
The musicians were fantastic and so of course that means they’re going to get the shaft and I’m not going to talk much about them. But yeah. All great.
Show tunes… I don’t know. I’ve never been a musicals guy apart from comedy stuff. That said, I knew an awful lot of these songs just because how can you not, right? I thought the arrangements (all done by Janzen) were really well done – true to the originals but took full advantage of the orchestra.
As for Slean, I know some people who love her and some who don’t. Obviously, I’m a fan, but I can see how it could get to be too much of a good thing. This is probably best summed up by the reactions of the folks I was sitting near; the group to my right loved her and praised how “emotive” she is. The group to my right said very little as they were leaving beyond “she’s a ham.” Two sides of the same coin, I figure. Even more than her own songs, Broadway show tunes gave her the opportunity to emote as she sang. So basically, if you already liked her, you’d have enjoyed this. And if not, nothing here would change your mind.
Like I said, I’m a fan, and I thought this was quite good. I’ve seen Slean in concert a few times now, and I’d have gone to see her playing another “normal” gig, but I love unique shows like this. Very glad I went, would go again. They should bring in other people too. Like Ben Folds, so I could see him with an orchestra without having to drive to Edmonton. I need every one of you to go on Twitter and tell the symphony they should do this; they’ve got me blocked for some reason.
• Bush w/The Dead Deads (October 27)
• Donovan Woods w/Joey Landreth (November 2)
• Steve Earle & The Dukes (November 3)
• Bif Naked w/Jordan Alexander (November 8)
• Duotang (December 2)
Here’s one I found, during my trip to Taranna with my lovely wife, at She Said Boom! for $3. When I exclaimed to my lovely wife at the ridiculously low price, she said it must surely be because there were so many copies released, so everyone already has one, right? But still! $3?? That’s NUTS!
The Racy Lacy Series, Part 12 (2CD)
Honestly, I struggled, here. How to cover this? After the over-produced, brittle brilliance of Siamese Dream, they drop a double album? What to say?
It’s fucking brilliant, a masterstroke. Most bands don’t even try this after their biggest release because they cannot comprehend the scope of such a project.
28 tracks. A pile of singles. Diamond certification. 7 Grammy nominations. I mean, you want big, this was the shit.
It was totally refreshing to hear this again, now. Hot damn!
Well, our 5th anniversary Music Shoppe Raid On Toronto has come and gone.
5 years. Whoa.
But please allow me to tell you, folks: it was an unmitigated success.
Many, many, MANY wonderful musics were procurred. Much delicious food was eaten. Much fun was had.
You can rest assured that, in the coming weeks, I will be going through everything I found in the city yesterday. I’m sure Mike will, as well. Oh my goodness. The TREASURES!
My huge thanks to Mike for being an awesome Dude and for putting up with my shenanigans all day. He only has to do so 1-2 times per year, but even that can be more than enough for the un-inured (and un-insured).
Further to discussion in the comments on this blog, after I posted Love Gun, there seems to be some differences in favourite albums by this band’s 1970s output.
Incredibly, KISS released 7 studio albums, 4 solo records, 2 live albums, 2 boxed sets, and 1 compilation between 1974-1979! That’s a frickin’ busy 6 years!
I thought a quick poll might lead to some more discussion, so let’s have at it, shall we?
Pick your Top 5 faves and then let the comments begin!
Now that my Lebrain Le-Rocks Series is done (and what a great pile of music THAT was!), I figure I may as well just keep hammering away at my finds from our trip to Taranna for our anniversary. Good times!
This one is a 200-word blast of love. Another She Said Boom! find, this copy was $10 and worth every fucking penny. “Put ten bucks in just to get the tank topped off,” indeed!
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 11 (CD)
I own an original LP of this one, and it’s an old, trusted friend. Finding this CD with a few bonus tracks, was awesome. A Japanese edition has even more bonus tracks, I’d love to get that, but this one will tide me over…
Funny thing, I thought I’d already written about this album, but apparently not. Hm. So, what can I possibly say about Marquee Moon that hasn’t been said? Not much, surely, except to say I love it unreservedly for the absolute gem that it is.
It’s one of those influential, essential records from that critical 1977 punk/new wave era. Is it completely either genre, though? Not entirely. But who cares? Drop the needle (er, in this case, laser) and it’s a sheer immersive, tasteful experience unlike any other. I love every song unreservedly.
I’m so used to the original playing order on the LP (I know when to flip to side B by rote!) that the bonus tracks are, while fun (I’ve listed them below), it messes with my usual listening experience!
No matter. It’s a friggin’ classic and if you don’t own it, you must. Yes, I am biased, but in this case, I’m not wrong!
I don’t always do this, but for this album I will. GO READ ALL ABOUT IT NOW!!!
The Track List:
See No Evil
Little Johnny Jewel (Parts 1 & 2)
See No Evil (alternate version)
Friction (alternate version)
Marquee Moon (alternate version)
And now we move into a few treasures I found at She Said Boom! on College Street…
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 10 (CD)
You know I always cheer for the trumpets. I’ve liked Payton since I first heard him on his duet record with Doc Cheatham (that one cooks).
And so does this one. Payton’s tone is sweet as honey and, while technically perfect, he still plays with a ton of the soul that’s in his New Orleans blood.
Add Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis and Joshua Redman, original tunes as well as covers, and this one is a sweet swingin’ winner!
As you know, we have a radio at work. It plays a lot of stuff, from the shite the nimnods like on pop radio, to actual good classics that make me happy when they come on. We also hear (right now) a lot of Halloween-themed songs. I fear Christmas.
Anyway, I wanna go back to the pop crap. Because it is, I think, sometimes the most dangerous.
Let’s take for example a song called Rude by someone calling themselves Magic. You might know it, it’s catchy, even a little reggae-infused in its pop insipidness. It’s a light, breezy affair… until you listen to the words…
Let’s go through this, shall we?
Saturday morning jumped out of bed
And put on my best suit
Got in my car and raced like a jet
All the way to you
Knocked on your door with heart in my hand
To ask you a question
‘Cause I know that you’re an old-fashioned man, yeah
Alright, so you’re going to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. A time-honoured tradition, so sure, good for you. Go on, Magic…
Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?
Say yes, say yes ’cause I need to know
Wait a minute. Isn’t marriage entered into by mutually agreement? Can you HAVE her? What is she, the last slice of cake?
You say I’ll never get your blessing ’til the day I die
Tough luck, my friend, but the answer is ‘No’
Oof, tough luck indeed, friend. The Dad says no, and rather emphatically. Still, you can respect his words and hope for a better future conversation with him, right?
Why you gotta be so rude?
Don’t you know I’m human too?
Why you gotta be so rude?
I’m gonna marry her anyway
Haha what. Wait a minute. Now he’s rude and you’re gonna go against his wishes anyway? Just because he said no to you, you little tyrant? Do you do this with everyone who says no to you? Also, are you trying to get yourself uninvited to every family function ever? Are you looking to get punched in the nose? You’re gonna marry her anyway? Why did you even ask him in the first place, then, if this is your response? No, instead it’s “let’s do an end run around Dad, that’s always a great plan. C’mon honey, let’s go!” What are you, 12? Is that why her Dad said no?
Marry that girl
Marry her anyway
Marry that girl
Yeah, no matter what you say
Marry that girl
And we’ll be a family
Why you gotta be so
Oh, I highly doubt you’ll be a family. And calling her Dad rude is always a solid plan. But you apparently have more to say, so why don’t you keep going with this hole you’re digging for yourself…
I hate to do this, you leave no choice
Can’t live without her
Love me or hate me we will be boys
Standing at that altar
Or we will run away
To another galaxy, you know
You know she’s in love with me
She will go anywhere I go
Hooboy. Now you wanna take her to outer space to elope, too? What a lucky girl! But love you or hate you, I still doubt you’ll ever be boys, with the way you’re behaving on this fine Saturday morning…
Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?
Say yes, say yes ’cause I need to know
You say I’ll never get your blessing ’til the day I die
Tough luck, my friend, ’cause the answer’s still ‘No”
Well, there ya go. You ignored his first answer, thought you’d try again and, guess what: blessing not received. Twice. Call it a day, my friend. Work on your relationship with her Dad, maybe you can talk with him some more before you press your point and call him rude again…
Why you gotta be so rude?
Don’t you know I’m human too?
Why you gotta be so rude?
I’m gonna marry her anyway
Marry that girl
Marry her anyway
Marry that girl
No matter what you say
Marry that girl
And we’ll be a family
Why you gotta be so
Hooboy. Alright, you’re not listening, are you. Catchy pop tune aside, the dude is not giving his blessing to this galactic wedding you want so badly. You asked and he gave his answer. More than once. How is that rude?
Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?
Say yes, say yes ’cause I need to know
You say, I’ll never get your blessing ’til the day I die
Tough luck, my friend, but ‘No’ still means ‘No’!
There, third time’s a charm. You finally get it, don’t you Magic? Leave it for another day, maybe, when cooler heads can prevail. Attaboy, Magic. Your passion is commendable, but maybe don’t go too far with this just now…
Why you gotta be so rude?
Don’t you know I’m human too?
Why you gotta be so rude?
I’m gonna marry her anyway
Marry that girl
Marry her anyway
Marry that girl
No matter what you say
Marry that girl
And we’ll be a family
Why you gotta be so
Why you gotta be so
Why you gotta be so rude?
Oh fer fuck sakes. One wonders if Magic was a spoiled only child who always got his way, and when someone say no to him, this is how he responds… Man, toddlers have better manners than this, and toddlers are nature’s me-monkeys.
Catchy though it may be, this is a stupendously stupid song. I get it, you love the girl. That’s awesome. You say she loves you (though we have no corroborating statement from her on this matter). Her Dad quite clearly does not give his blessing to marry her (three times!), so that’s that, right? Oh ho no, you’re just gonna go do it anyway! I can see that working out really well for you and your future ‘family.’ Honest, I can. We all know that pitting your girlfriend against her Dad and making her choose between you and her Dad always works out well in the end! Savvy move, brother, better to ask forgiveness than permission! But that once again bring up the thorny question of why you asked in the first place, then? Why not just do it?
Also, more importantly: what does “that girl” have to say about any of this? Does she even want to marry you, Magic? Have you proposed already? Does she even know you’re at the front door, repeatedly insulting her Dad and baldly ignoring what he says? Or are you doing all of this without any of her input? Because I still say a marriage is two people, mutually agreeing to do this thing together, equally. All I get from this is that you’re not being very mature about this issue, and you’re trying to force him into a different answer and using childish tactics to get your way. The Dad was right to rebuff you (three times!). Seriously, Magic, I don’t think you’ve thought any of this through very well…
And this, folks, is why the radio is often so very, very dangerous. Get an earworm hook and you can spout all kinds of crazy. The scariest part is, the ladies at work were humming along to this song, but the actual lyrics weren’t really sinking in. They just liked the tune, while the message floated right on by them… GAH!
Yesterday, I closed out the Lebrain Le-Rocks (because he does) Series, with a look at the brilliant KISS album Monster.
Who is Lebrain, you ask? He’s that fine looking fellow on the left, there. He’s also a maestro of the rock, a blogger extraordinaire whose site lives right here. He’s also a long-time friend and a stand-up dude. You should all be reading his blog. Follow the link, and follow his blog! GO!
I just wanted to post this here so that we could all be reminded of all the awesomeness that showed up at my house one day:
01 Deep Purple – Slaves And Masters
02 Deep Purple – The Battle Rages On
03 Deep Purple – Purpendicular
04 Faith No More – The Real Thing
05 Faith No More – Angel Dust (2cd)
06 Motley Crue – Live: Entertainment Or Death (2cd)
07 Kiss – Love Gun
08 Kiss – Monster (Japanese)
See what I mean?
Here’s my final Sonic Boom score from our anniversary trip. Fear not, we stopped other places too! Stay tuned!
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 9 (CD)
Excellent jazz score to a film I’ve not (yet) seen. With Duke Ellington involved, you just know this is fantastic stuff. The band just nails it, track after track, with jazz, blues, and big band sounds. Many alternate and rehearsal versions of songs appear, giving the whole thing a sense of returning themes.
With new liner notes from Phil Schaap and Wynton Marsalis, and newly remastered, this set (neatly called “crime jazz”) is a damn fine soundtrack to any film.
The Lebrain Le-Rocks Series, Part 8 (CD, Japanese edition, with obi!)
I remember when Mike was looking for this album (our 2012 trip to Taranna!). In fact, it was the one in which he had his infamous run-in with the “Japanese imports are VERY expensive” dum-dum at Sunrise records!
Anyway, there must’ve been another issue of it, because in this most recent box from Mike was this copy of Monster, Japanese release, complete with the obi strip! WTF! I even emailed him to make sure he hadn’t sent this in error. I mean, holy crap! Turns out it’s all good, so this one definitely has a welcoming home here!
Let’s get into this Monster, shall we? I’m only four years late to the party!
Hell Or Hallelujah was a single, and it’s a corker. What a great way to open a record! Pure KISS energy, rockin’ like hell (or hallelujah). Wall Of Sound is exactly that, a brilliant bluesy rocker with a great riff. I loved everything about this one! Freak is a heavy stomper, with harmony vocals and big crunchy guitars, and a pretty (brief) middle breakdown bit. It’s a bit slower, but it doesn’t rock any less!
I’m three tracks in and already getting the impression that KISS was swinging for the fences on this one…
Back To The Stone Age is double-fisted – one fist pumping in the air, the other one bonking you in the face with its rock and roll assault. What a huge tune! Shout Mercy is pure blues rock with a bit of a swing to it and tons of backing vocal adds. When the chorus comes around, it’s sheer bliss. Long Way Down is the other single, and it’s easy to hear why. This one’s built for radio play. It rocks, all the elements are right there in your face, the guitar solo wails, and there’s cowbell!
Eat Your Heart Out starts out with some awesome a capella, but of course the band kicks in fully (with more cowbell) shortly. It’s another fun rocker that has great bass presence, and by the end you realize just how damn well crafted it is. The Devil Is Me is a busy blues crusher, holy crap this might be one of my favourite tracks here. It’s all perfect! And before you can even catch your breath, it’s Outta This World, another big rocker (with cowbell!)! It stands up well in the mix for damn sure.
Folks, there are only three more tracks to go and there’s no ballad yet! Also, there’s cowbell everywhere!
All For The Love Of Rock & Roll sounds like an old school KISS song. If it had been on Love Gun, for example, it would’ve fit perfectly. It’s a mid-tempo rock tune that has pop rock sensibilities, but enough bluesy craft to make it perfect barroom fodder. Take Me Down Below brings back the bruising thumps of rock so you can keep on punching your fists in the air! This one would absolutely kill in concert. Holy crap that was fun. Last Chance is a great song title for ending an album, and guess what? It’s another big rocker! This tune is awesome. It fits my life philosophy pretty well. GIVE ‘ER! Yup, I liked this one best too.
Haha man, they did it. Not one ballad anywhere. Whoa.
And now we get to the bonus track that always makes the Japanese version worth buying… except according to the dum-dum at Sunrise:
Here comes the live version of Destroyer’s King Of The Night Time World (live). I did a little digging and found a KISS fan site that at first thought it was from Fuji, Japan in 2006. But then others found this exact track on a Rock The Nation Live EP from 2006, recorded in Virginia Beach, VA on July 25, 2004. Anyway, it’s an awesome track, and I am glad to have it and hear it, but it distracted a bit, for me, from the perfection of the Monster track order! Weird, I know. That’s me!
Holy shit, KISS crafted a damn-near perfect rawk record. It sounds like them, of course, and it’s full of huge rock tunes captured with perfect production. Not one weak spot anywhere. This should have sold crate-loads of copies everywhere that has electricity.
An album that lives up to its name: it’s truly a MONSTER. Full marks!
THANK YOU SO MUCH MIKE! FOR THIS ONE, AND FOR ALL OF THESE OTHER AWESOME DISCS IN THIS SERIES: THANK YOU!
For more reading fun, go check out Mike and Tommy’s reviews!
And Mike just posted his Japanese Tour Edition post today. We never talked about it, but we both posted Monster on the same day! Great minds truly do thing alike!
Here’s another one I found at Sonic Boom, this time for $2.99!
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 8 (CD)
Ah, Pixies! I do love ya! This single has some really great stuff.
Bossanova’s Velouria is a great mid-tempo rocker with that epic feel. You know this one.
Make Believe sounds like an 80s pop tune. The guitars are bigger, but it’s there!
Neil Young’s I’ve Been Waiting For You becomes a fun Pixies rocker, cool to hear them melding.
The Thing sounds like an OMD b-side, done by Pixies. I know!
The extra tracks aren’t typical Pixies. Fun times!
Mike, I did this one as a 200 word shot…
The Lebrain Le-Rocks Series, Part 7 (CD)
I was the jazz kid, so KISS wasn’t really on my radar, though of course I knew the hits.
Listening to Love Gun, it’s obvious KISS have many talents. They can rock hard (I Stole Your Love), offer up concert fist-pumpers (Christine Sixteen), blues rock us happily (Got Love For Sale), and go weirdly funky (Almost Human). They even tribute Cynthia Plaster Caster and, oddly, cover Then She Kissed Me…
At the time of this release, KISS were hugely popular, and this one surely added to the growing legend. There’s a sense of theater to the rock that KISS plays, and it’s highly entertaining. I know they’re as much for the eyes as they are for the ears, so hearing this record feels like half the picture. Still, it’s good clean fun… though they still might want to invade your personal space, so be wary…
Simmons’ bass stood out for me on most songs here, as much as the guitars, anyway. Taken in perspective of 1977, this record deserved to be huge. It’s tons of fun, and carries their cheeky humour (Love Gun, after all) in that way that not-so-gently nudges you with an elbow.
Right on. Thanks heaps, Mike!
Here’s another sweet set I found in Sonic Boom whilst there with my lovely wife!
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 7 (2cd)
This one takes me back to living in Montreal. I dug this sort of smooth groove electronica then, still do. Portishead figured large.
This 2cd set is super cool. It has mixes of songs from Dummy, and their theme for To Kill A Dead Man. The two discs are identical to the singles for Sour Times and Glory Box.
Aircraft Reconstructions hints, and Glory Box (Mudflap Mix) is pure Nirvana-grunge, not trip hop, but hey, those were Glory Times.
BreakOut West is a celebration of Western Canadian music, complete with an awards show, live concerts all over town, and various music industry-type events for musicians and labels and whatnot.
If you haven’t heard of it, that’s not too surprising. They’ve been doing this since 2003, but there was really no hype for this at all here this year. Even my local music-loving friends didn’t know much about what was going on. Mika said she only read about this on the CBC, and then, only after the events had taken place. It’s a real shame. It wasn’t what I’d call a star-studded lineup if you’re looking for national or international names, but there was tons of great local talent. And with a $20 wristband getting you into over 10 venues across the city, it was a ridiculous value. “You didn’t even have to make much use of it to get your money’s worth,” he said, foreshadowingly.
THURSDAY: The Junos and Prairie Music Week and all that good stuff have come to town before, and I’ve always skipped the awards shows. They cost extra, and even if you like a performer on the show, you’re only getting one song. Not really worth it. But you know how sometimes on Facebook, you’ll see a thing that says “like and share this status to win”? Sometimes that actually works. And that’s the story of how I won free tickets to the Western Canadian Music Awards.
I stayed late at work on Thursday, walking over to the casino to meet Mika shortly before the show was to start. We ran into Brian in the lobby, who introduced us to his wife; I had met her before, but to be fair, it was probably 15 years ago.
Also in the lobby was a table where one could buy the new Colin James CD, Blue Highways, the day before its official release. The CD was also your ticket into the afterparty, where you could meet him and get it signed. And, you know, you could congratulate him on his induction into the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame, which was the centrepiece of the awards show. We did none of these things.
Our free tickets were general admission. The nice casino lady told us to find any table we wanted and sit there, so we parked ourselves on some really uncomfortable chairs front and centre. She then came back and apologized for misleading us; general admission meant you could stand around the front of the stage, though she suggested we could stay at the table if we wanted and just move if someone with tickets showed up. At this point it appeared that maybe they hadn’t sold too many tickets for this shindig. Anyway, standing around by the stage would have given us a really good view, but we are old, and I wasn’t sure how into the show I’d be and didn’t know how much I felt like feigning enthusiasm should that be required, so we snuck up to the balcony. It was less than half full, so we found some open (and much nicer) seats and enjoyed the show from up there with drinks.
Normally, the awards show closes out the festival on Sunday night. However, the decision was made this year to switch things up and use it to kick off the event instead. Also, they removed some awards from the show to make room for more musical performances. The other awards were handed out at various venues on the Friday and Saturday nights. I am all in favour of more music and fewer speeches, so I was fine with this.
Also, I gotta say, having a program is real handy when you’re trying to remember what happened.
The show started about 10 minutes late, which is a tardiness record for a casino show. It opened with two songs from Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, who was the guy I was most looking forward to seeing over the weekend. This was a delightful development, because if the show sucked, it meant I was free to go because I’d seen what I came for. Spoiler: it didn’t suck! There were some kinda dodgy moments and technical issues, though. Anyway, MBF played One Love and This Isn’t It and they were good.
The MC was country singer Brett Kissel, who I gather is becoming somewhat of a big deal. You may remember that I saw him in Calgary a few years ago, opening for Loretta Lynn. He seems more confident now and handled his hosting duties really well, doing his best to get the crowd amped up while handling a few production snafus with a quick wit. But I have a quick tip for him: jokes at the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ expense don’t work here, even when they totally have it coming after a trainwreck of a season. Too many people will just never find them funny.
The next three performances were by David Morin, William Prince, and Justin Lacroix, all of whom offered some variation of guy-with-guitar, and all of whom were good. Morin was on the bluesy side, Prince was more of a country/roots artist, and Lacroix’s song was faster paced, closer to rock. I liked all these guys.
Rosie and the Riveters, from Saskatoon, got two songs at around the halfway point of the show. This is a four-piece from Saskatoon who play 40s/50s-inspired girl-group pop – think the Andrews Sisters. Or maybe there are a million better comparisons if you know more things about things? There’s a starting point for you, anyway, enough to let you know if this sounds like something you might enjoy or not. I liked them fine, but am not sure if I’d want a full set of them. Maybe?
After some more awards, we had performances from Lexi Strate and Diyet. Strate was pop while Diyet was more on the folk side, and also she apparently only made it into town about 20 minutes before she was scheduled to play.
I’ve been skipping past the awards as we go along here, because you can look them up if you really care, and to be honest, it’s hard to believe the awards are a big deal if nobody shows up to accept them. They gave out 9 awards on this show; of those, five winners were no-shows and one was represented by their publicist. Kissel wound up accepting a lot of awards on behalf of others. But hey, let’s celebrate the folks who did make the trip: William Prince got Aboriginal Artist of the Year, Jocelyne Baribeau won Francophone Artist of the Year, and the West End Cultural Centre in Winnipeg got the Community Excellence Award. Some guy who never gave his name accepted that award; I can only assume that the WECC assumed human form and made the drive from Winnipeg. That means I… I’ve been inside him, you guys.
Kissel was up for an award of his own, Breakout Artist of the Year, and he was also responsible for introducing the award and announcing the winner. “Let’s be real here, this is going to be awkward either way,” he said, getting the biggest laugh of the night, before announcing the Bros. Landreth as the winners.
He followed this up with a three-song performance, where he deftly handled several malfunctioning microphones, including singing a capella with a bandmate’s mic at one point, while also managing to pose for a mid-song selfie with fans in the audience. His style is modern country radio that I’m not particularly into, but at this point in the evening, the energy was welcome. He also played his new song, I Didn’t Fall in Love with Your Hair, for which he’s donating all proceeds to cancer charities. It’s… very earnest. But if it’s raising some money for a good cause and people like it, good on him.
Finally, the headline performance was by this year’s Hall of Fame inductee, Colin James. Jay Semko of the Northern Pikes introduced a video that chronicled James’ career, before the man himself took the stage for a short speech followed by four songs. Two were from the new album, and the others (i.e., the ones you might know) were Just Came Back and Why’d You Lie.
Here’s the thing about Colin James. Being from Regina, James is treated like a huge star here. And while he had some big hits and he’s really talented, I think if you live here, it’s hard not to feel a bit of Colin James fatigue. That tends to happen whenever anyone from here achieves any kind of success. Having said that, if you can ignore that and just watch his performance, the dude is incredibly good. Which you already know, but still. It’s easy to forget just how talented he is.
The Hall of Fame itself is a nice honour, though I looked at the list of inductees and the lack of the Guess Who, kd lang, Ian Tyson, Joni Mitchell, and others does make it feel a bit like a Hall of Whoever We Could Get to Show Up This Year. Which is not to say that these folks aren’t deserving in their own right, just that there are some glaring omissions. Anyway, you likely don’t care, but it took a lot of clicking to dig this up, so here it is for your reference.
2016: Colin James
2013: Jann Arden
2012: The Northern Pikes
2009: Loreena McKennitt
2008: Spirit of the West; Senator Tommy Banks
2007: Buffy Sainte-Marie; Queen City Kids
2004: The Stampeders
2003: Kenny Shields & Streetheart
With that, the show wrapped up and we headed home. Awards shows have never appealed to me, but this was a surprisingly fun evening. There was a range of artists and they kept the show moving at a decent pace. It would have been better with a larger and more engaged crowd, but what can you do?
FRIDAY: Um haha so yeah speaking of a not-very-engaged crowd, it was a long week at work so I just stayed home. Not the best use of my all-access wristband, but it was only $20, so I figured I could head out on Saturday, see a show or two, and that would be enough to make it worthwhile.
SATURDAY: So that’s exactly what I did. I got to the Owl at the University of Regina a bit before 9:00. My plan was to see the Dirty Catfish Brass Band in the multipurpose room, but the Owl has tasty beverages and I’ve been there before and thus am familiar with the place, so I bought myself a Magners and hung around for Belle Plaine, a local singer I’d heard a lot about but never had the chance to see. Inspired by traditional music, she did a set of originals that showed off her voice and her songwriting skills. She also covered Wayfaring Stranger, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out, and Tom Waits’ Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis, and those three picks probably say more than I can about what type of music she plays. I enjoyed this at the time, and the more I think about it, the more I liked it. Would go again.
Next up was, once again, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald. I hadn’t seen him play in a long while, and while I would have been up for more than a 45-minute set, what we got was real good. He focused almost exclusively on songs from his new album; if you wanted anything older, all you got was Follow and I Will, though he also played his new Justin Bieber cover, What Do You Mean. I haven’t spent enough time with the new album, so it was really good to get a chance to hear these songs live for the first (or, with the awards show, second) time. With some musicians, I listen to the album to make me enjoy the live show more, but with MBF, it seems to work in reverse; hearing the songs live makes me appreciate the album better.
With that, I was done for the evening. Like I said, not the best use of the wristband, but I’d pay more than $20 just to see MBF with Belle Plaine opening, so I made my money back. On the way out, I picked up a copy of Fitzgerald’s new album on vinyl (signed but still in the shrinkwrap). Good thing I raided Mika’s purse before I left the house. I also ran into Brian, who introduced me to his wife; I had met her before, but to be fair, it was probably two days ago.
SUNDAY: The website said there were events all weekend long, but the schedule didn’t actually list anything for Sunday. I love ending these things on complete anticlimaxes, so bye.
• Sarah Slean with the Regina Symphony Orchestra (October 22)
• Bush w/The Dead Deads (October 27)
• Donovan Woods w/Joey Landreth (November 2)
• Steve Earle & The Dukes (November 3)
• Bif Naked w/Jordan Alexander (November 8)
• Duotang (December 2)
The Lebrain Le-Rocks Series, Part 6 (2cd)
More Mötley Crüe to trash my house! Yay! 2cd live set has slightly muddy sound, but who cares? Recorded at gigs between 1982-1999, it’s a lot of the songs you’d want. The band delivers, no question. Vince Neil, on the other hand… not so much sometimes. Fair play.
This is still sleazy sexy sweaty black leather-clad rock and roll like only the Crüe can muster it.* So many memorable riffs, it’s crazy. They even cover the Beatles.
Thanks heaps, Mike!
* After this set, I need another shower!
I should just let Jeff write this one. This wasn’t a show for me.
Which is not to say it was a bad show! I liked it just fine. It’s just that my I Mother Earth fandom has not been properly nurtured. I didn’t think about it before the show, but I really don’t know their music that well. You know how I said Basia Bulat is one of those people I only ever listen to when I go see her in concert? IME is like that for me too. Except I’ve only seen them twice, and the last time was 16 years ago. So that’s a thing.
“We’ll find out how many I Mother Earth songs you know,” said Mika, right before the show began.
“One.” I answered with confidence, and nothing on this night suggested I was wrong.
It’s “One More Astronaut,” if you were wondering. Thank you, Big Shiny Tunes.
You may recall that we had tickets to see IME months ago. Then they got back together with Edwin, their original lead singer, much to Jeff’s chagrin, so the tour got postponed. I was fine with this development, because 1) the last time I saw them they were with their other singer (Brian Byrne), so this would be new for me, and 2) what the hell difference did it make for me anyway?
Though I feel bad for Byrne. Gotta suck for him, right? He had the tour all lined up and then bam, they bring back the old guy. According to Wikipedia, he’s trying out to become the new singer for Stone Temple Pilots, so I guess being “the other singer” is kind of his thing. Good on him.
Mika and I got to the casino and ran into Jeff and Jeremy on the way in. They made their way upstairs to the seats in the balcony, while we were standing on the floor. This means that we had to communicate via text, and part of me wants to just transcribe everything rather than think up words and put them in order. Maybe I should start with the most recent thing I texted Jeff; namely, that someone made a downloadable Harambe for WWE 2K17.
Our openers were the Standstills, who apparently get played on the local rock radio station, according to the DJ who opened up the show. This was an aggressively loud two-piece and, uh, I didn’t think they were very good at all. I mean, the first two songs were nothing special; mostly I thought “this is okay enough and I rarely go see bands like this, so it’s a nice change, but it sure sounds like these two are not playing the same song at the same time.” Then they covered part of Stone Temple Pilots’ “Vasoline” and it was out of tune and off time and he was screeching as if he was intentionally trying to sing horribly and this was just the absolute worst. My opinion of them never recovered. They played one of the shortest opening sets I’ve ever seen, so that was nice.
After an intermission, out came I Mother Earth. This should be the part where I say “I don’t know what they played” but I do! The entire main set was the Scenery & Fish album, start to finish. It includes One More Astronaut, so hooray for that. The encore, meanwhile, was three singles from the album Dig: Levitate, Not Quite Sonic, and Rain Will Fall (note: Mika says the songs weren’t played in that order) (and also she told me what they were). Nothing newer than that. No Byrne songs, poor guy.
So how was the show? I thought it was fine enough and I liked the encore the best. That is what I think and that is all I think, so here I will defer to the IME fans. Mika thought the show was really good, though she noted preferring Dig to Scenery & Fish. I’m going to assume that I do too. Jeff, meanwhile, said “holy fuck was this good.” Later, talking to Jeremy, he said he liked it even more than Jeff did.
I did find it funny that Jeff and I liked pretty much the opposite things about the show:
Jeff: It’s such a great album to perform live, because there’s all these opportunities for 10 minute mind-blowing solos & detours
James: See I think that’s what I don’t care for
James: But the encore was super good
Jeff: Heh, I thought the encore was the weakest part🙂
So yeah. I think we’ve long established that I’m not a fan of noodling on the guitar for the sake of noodling. Enjoy it if it’s your thing, but it just doesn’t do anything for me. But I think we’ve also established that if you’re into IME, you should clearly try to see them because you’ll really enjoy the show. And if you’re not, it’s still good and all.
Also, digging through text messages reminds me that at one point, all the security guards in the place went sprinting towards the lobby. One of them ran into Mika real good. Never did find out what happened there. I love ending these things on complete anticlimaxes, so bye.
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 6 (CD)
I texted Mike – why the red cover? It’s remastered and expanded, says he. Cool. I owned this ages ago, this is a replacement copy. Recorded for MTV’s Unplugged series, it’s a stellar ramble through Zeppelin tunes. You know all of this already.
Added are The Rain Song (beautiful, with orchestra) and Wah Wah (a great African-feel tune). Yallah is renamed to The Truth Explodes. Missing from the original is Thank You.
The sound is spectacular. What a set!
For those who need the whole news, here’s the track lists of the two releases (from Wiki):
Initially, the album was released in the United States with the following tracks:
- “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” – 4:06
- “Thank You” – 5:47
- “No Quarter” (John Paul Jones/Page/Plant) – 3:45
- “Friends” – 4:37
- “Yallah” – 4:59
- “City Don’t Cry” – 6:08
- “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (Jones/Page/Plant) – 7:29
- “The Battle of Evermore” – 6:41
- “Wonderful One” – 4:57
- “That’s the Way” – 5:35
- “Gallows Pole” (Traditional arr. Page/Plant) – 4:09
- “Four Sticks” – 4:52
- “Kashmir” (John Bonham/Page/Plant) – 12:27
- In international releases, “Wah Wah” was included before “That’s the Way”.
For the tenth anniversary, the album was re-released with a different cover and altered track listing. “Thank You” was cut, “City Don’t Cry” and “Wonderful One” appeared in substantially edited versions, and “The Rain Song” and “Wah Wah” were added. In addition, “Yallah” was retitled, and several other tracks had minor alterations to their running times. The new running order was as follows:
- “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” – 3:57
- “No Quarter” (Jones/Page/Plant) – 3:47
- “Friends” – 4:35
- “The Truth Explodes” (formerly known as “Yallah”) (Page/Plant) – 4:42
- “The Rain Song” – 7:29
- “City Don’t Cry” [Edit] – 3:15
- “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (Jones/Page/Plant) – 7:28
- “The Battle of Evermore” – 6:40
- “Wonderful One” [Edit] – 3:23
- “Wah Wah” – 5:24
- “That’s the Way” – 5:37
- “Gallows Pole” (Traditional arr. Page/Plant) – 4:17
- “Four Sticks” – 4:57
- “Kashmir” (Bonham/Page/Plant) – 12:36
“Gallows Pole” and “Wonderful One” were released as singles.
Here’s another great disc I found in Taranna during our anniversary trip there with my lovely wife!
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 5 (CD)
Finding this soundtrack for $2.99 was a score. Never seen the movie, but I love the music! It’s pretty mellow, but still has great energy… does that sound impossible? It’s not!
John McEntire (Tortoise) nails this whole thing, with track after track of cool vibe. We also get sweet songs from Bundy K. Brown, Sea And Cake, Polvo and Dianogah.
It’s atmospheric and intriguing, great music for the good headphones! If you like post-rock, add this one to your collection!
Well, this should be short. This was one of those evenings where the tunes were good and it was a nice night out but I don’t really have anything to say about it.
I was vaguely aware of Basia Bulat the first time I saw her play, which was nearly ten years ago now. I knew her name, anyway, though not how to pronounce it – I got that wrong for years. Am not particularly confident now. But I digress. Some friends of friends had a show at Amigo’s in Saskatoon, and she opened for them. That seemed a bit weird, given that I had actually heard of her. Seems more weird now.
I remember thinking that her songs were very pleasant and enjoyable. I saw her again at the Regina Folk Festival a few years later (which was now a few years ago, in what has to be some kind of time paradox) and felt much the same. You may note the lack of details or strong opinions here. That’s how it goes sometimes. Sometimes you just say “that was nice” and move on.
But nice is good! I like nice. So when the Folk Festival announced that they were bringing her back for a show this fall, I picked up a ticket. I figured that it might be the kind of show I’d be tempted to skip out on if I didn’t buy in advance. And I was right, since the show took place during the first snowfall of the year. I had to brush snow off the car, scrape the windows, all that nonsense. Staying inside was a tempting offer, but out I went. Toughed it out. For YOU. Mostly for me, but a bit for you.
I got to the Exchange and the place was surprisingly full. I go to lots of half-attended concerts in Regina, and between this and Fred Eaglesmith, you can really see where the Regina Folk Festival’s promotional efforts pay off. The casino does good work too, but I wonder what could be leveraged to get people out to other shows? musicreginalive.ca is great, but you need to proactively check it. There’s a business idea here. One that likely involves a ton of work for very little reward.
Anyway, you don’t care about that. What you care about is that I sat by the wall in the same place that I sat for the previous show. Also I maybe had a Diet Pepsi? Can’t remember. Sounds like a thing I might do. And Other James was there, but he was seated far away and we never crossed paths. He later messaged me to tell me that I missed a great show.
Our openers were Oh Pep!, a duo from Australia. Olivia and Pepita. Here’s what you need to know: Olivia’s least favourite nut is the cashew nut. Her most favourite nut is the Brazil nut. Olivia has ass-backwards taste in nuts, is what I got out of this. But despite that, these folks were pretty charming. They were touring their first album and played a set of classical-influenced pop (note that I don’t really know what constitutes “classical-influenced pop;” they just mentioned studying classical music together in school so sure, let’s go with that). Basically, if you like Basia Bulat, you’ll probably like them. Normally they tour with a full band, but being far from home, it was just the two of them. I enjoyed this and would like to hear what they sound like with some extra musicians. Maybe they’ll come back – their new album was recorded in Canada, and also they seemed really delighted that they got to experience snow.
Conversely, this was my first time hearing Basia Bulat with a backing band. I’m still not hugely familiar with her music – she’s one of those people I only ever seem to listen to when I see her in concert – but I enjoyed the fleshed-out sound. It was a full poppy tunes with a little more energy than I’ve seen from her before. This was all nice. I recognized the last song she played. And that was really about it. I’ll likely go see her again in a few years and I won’t be any better at this.
Here we go again with another incredibly generous gift from Mike! This was another disc I once owned but it ended up being damaged (a long, sad story), so I am thrilled that it is here once again. And in a special edition!
The Lebrain Le-Rocks Series, Part 5 (2CD)
Land Of Sunshine is just a huge track to kick us off, that riff and that creepy laughter over the carnival keys while the drums pound… ‘sing and rejoice,’ indeed! Up next it’s Caffeine, which keeps the heavy riffin’ alive and brings on the growly vocals. Love those guitars, great tone. Love the break down part with the low vocals. Great dynamics to the whole thing. If you’ll pardon the pun, this one’s really epic…
Midlife Crisis we all know well. I hadn’t appreciated the strings, all those times before, but through the good headphones I realized just how perfect they are here. Greatness. Then we roll into RV, a creepy and weird little ode to what sounds like a wonderful man… the music is delightfully off-kilter, and the lyrics are told like a drunk uncle on the couch (complete with nasal exhalations). When it goes into full crash mode, it’s deliciously crunchy.
Smaller And Smaller brings on the metal riffing, heavy and atmospheric with those (now so recognizeable) vocals soaring over top. We groove that way, with some screams too, for quite a while, before the song breaks down into this weird swingin’ bit with, what, native American vocals? Then a radio starts talking while he sings over top… Weird! But the metal comes back, and how. Great tune. Then it’s Everything’s Ruined, which starts off with some keys before lifting off into another (by now) template FNM song. Quieter verses, heavy as hell chorus bit. Yes!
Malpractice is a wall of varying noises and then the band takes off into a punk metal craziness wave that you’re best just to let pull you along. If you fight its frenetic energy and push-pull, you;re likely to get whiplash! The bit thta starts around 2:30 is disorienting, all gentle sounds and lovely dreamy vocals. But it doesn’t last long! Wow! This one will stomp you.
Kindergarten is a decent enough tune, but never really achieves lift-off. Maybe that’s the point, we’re only in Kindergarten, after all… I dunno, this one needed something, especially after the brilliance that was Malpractice. Maybe they need to… Be Aggressive, which leads us in with Phantom-like organ sounds, and then becomes a metal funk workout. That bass sound is a monster. Whoa. Plenty of weird bits in this, and the vocals remind me of Rollins’ approach. The ladies spelling this is apropos of FNM.
A Small Victory is one we all know well, so I won’t bore you with talking about this slow metal jam’s merits. Crack Hitler takes a long time to build, but it’s funky when it does. It never really achives lift-off until the heavier chanting bit at 2:55. That adds an edge the song really needed, and more bass. Also, love the air raid sirens… Jizzlobber is a wonderful song title, but never mind because we start of fin a swamp, I think, with water and insect sounds. The tune pounds us menacingly, with big heavy guitars and howled vocals while the drums pound us into submission. Even when it shifts tempos, even when the organs and choir take over and turn it into a creepy church service, this tune is really, really something else!
Midnight Cowboy starts off with a gentle swing, vaguely French sounding with that accordion. It sounds like a peaceful idyll, but we know it can’t last, right? Actually, the band does join in, but even when it gets a bit heavier this remains a lovely instrumental, and a nice respite from the complexity of the rest of this album. So, how will they end the record? Easy’s piano intro is lovely, wait, could that be… yes, suddenly we’re disorientated by FNM earnestly covering Lionel Richie (with the Commodores). OMFG this album. There’s only one band and that could pull all of this off and not sound like a joke, and it’s FNM. Friggin’ brilliant.
Album Proper In Sum:
Brilliance. Must own. Wow!
And now we get to the supreme generosity of this set that Mike sent to me… You see, this one has a 4-song live set included on a second CD! Wiki tells me that makes this an Australian release, with the four tracks recorded at a free concert in Munic, Germany on November 9, 1992. Sweet!
Easy is up first, with Patton silencing the crowd and dedicating it to “everyone with hemorrhoids this evening…” They seem to take a certain glee in playing this one, and good on them. Whoa baby. Up next is Be Aggressive, which brings back the FNM stomp with a huge bottom end and just a great sound all around. I’m sure the crowd was into it! Also, Laura Schumacher lost her wallet, and he invites her to go up and get it…
Kindergarten sounds way better live than it did on the record. And the crowd is singing along! Oh yes, much better! And finally it’s a tune called Mark Bowen, which is not an Angel Dust album track. It’s a cool FNM stomper, that punding bottom end while weirdness occurs overtop. Other bands would make a mess of this, searching for its sound, but FNM nails it and makes it sound like it was as good as any other of their songs!
Live EP In Sum:
This is actually the first time I’ve heard FNM live, and I liked it. I’ll bet they were a sight to behold!
Full Set In Sum:
Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. Loved this. THANKS HEAPS, MIKE!
I didn’t even buy this one on my trip to Taranna with my lovely wife, so this isn’t even technically part of the Racy lacy series. But since I posted their Territory record this morning, I thought I’d throw in a bonus post as a .5 just to mention this one as well (which I bought at work).
In fact, I had this one first, and again I snagged it because it said Produced By Joel Plaskett on it. Damn straight.
The Racy Lacy Series (Not Really), Part 4.5 (CD)
What we have here is another collection of brilliant, intricate, perfectly-proportioned pop rock gems. One after another, the tunes just impress. It has energy, smarts, and panache. And it’s damn infectious. I defy you to sit still while listening to it!
I totally get why this band (which hails from Charlottetown), was so popular, nominated for Polaris prizes and playing NXNE. This stuff is friggin’ brilliant. Oh yeah, and their songs were featured on TV shows like Gossip Girl, Smallville, Ghost Whisperer, Happy Endings, Castle, and The O.C.*
It also saddened me to learn that this band split up in 2013. All that promise, great records and… now, no more. The reason given by the band was not any problems in the band, just that it’s too difficult to make a living in the music business in Canada. So I guess part of the blame falls on us. We should all have been buying their records, so they could keep making more! Damn.
If you see this one, or any of their other stuff, in the shops, buy it with confidence!
* I typed this list of shows in from Wiki. I don’t own a TV and have never seen any of these shows (nor heard of most of them).
Alright folks, now that that 10th Anniversary shenanigans is behind us (thanks for all your well-wishes, folks!), things will return to normal around here. I’ve got two series on the go, so let’s get back to them today, shall we?
NB: As regards this album in discussion here, I am a simple man. I see “Produced by Joel Plaskett,” and I buy it. It’s that simple!
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 4 (CD)
This is perfectly perfect pop rock music. It’s ridiculously and brightly tuneful, complex without being obtuse, and highly enjoyable.
There’s definitely an 80s sound in here, but of course it’s all updated too. Not ever song is a big pop rocker, but even the gentler moments are way better than most things you’ve heard lately.
Something about this sound makes me think these guys would do well at Mint Records…
High praise indeed, I really liked this record. Get yours!
Exactly 10 years ago today, this album was my first-ever post on the KMA. I didn’t go song by song, back then, so this time I will! Time to revisit a favourite Sloan record of mine*!
* Bias spoiler alert – every Sloan record is my favourite Sloan record.
So here we go, with Aaron’s 10th Anniversary Review Of Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It:
Flying High Again eases us into the record with its easy beat and gliding feel. It’s a short jaunt, though, because we rollright into the brilliant Sloan pop party rock, complete with hand claps, of Who Taught You To Live Like That? This was a single, and with good reason. I’ve Gotta Try is next, with its spacey vocals intro and that great tom drum pattern. As the guitars build, it becomes a sweet confection of Sloan riff rock. Hells yes!
Everybody Wants You keeps the good feeling alive as the acoustic strumming and drums and guitars wait their turn to stomp rock a bit. Great stabs of sound and those sweet Sloan-y vocals ( you know it well). Listen To The Radio goes spacey again, floating on a bed of gentle rock. Sloan does Floyd, awesome. Fading Into Obscurity slows things down into beautiful balladry with wonderful chord changes. When it picks up, it isn’t by much, and is strongly redolent of the Beatles. But wait! Then it starts to rock.. briefly… then back, then up again, then a brilliant piano and handclap bit… wow, this one’s amazing. Talk about control and brilliance.
I Can’t Sleep jam rocks on a simple riff and that ride cymbal and more spacey sounds. Love that solo guitar line. I’m loving it, despite it being only 0:53 long. Someone I Can Be True With gleefully Sloan rocks us into another relationship song, and with even more handclaps! But right quick it’s Right Or Wrong, a sweet pop confection with all the right elements in the right places. Have I ever told you that I love this band? ‘Cos I do!
Something’s Wrong brings the big rolling fuzz riff as it stomps around with rockin’ on its agenda. The mix is wild on this one, the vocals (including the shout-alongs) back in with the instruments, so it’s all one big happy wash of the rawk. It’s also only a minute or so long, then it’s the bluesy rock riffs of Ana Lucia, the bell of the ball. Right around the 2:00 minute mark, it goes to a lovely acoustic guitar bit briefly but the rock smacks big in huge and away we go! Without that break, I might’ve said this one went on a bit long. Fortunately, Sloan already knows how to handle this.
Before The End Of The Race buzzes in and stutter-rocks us sweetly with that bass line rumbling and the guitar riffing, then the drums start pounding… when it takes of the piano joins in and the harmony vocals and there’s even a piano solo, and… hot damn. Next it’s Blackout sounds out of tune, and like he’s gonna go off-time with that mouthful of lyrics, but it all holds together as it falls together perfectly into a stagger of a rocker that would surely kill in a live setting. I Understand is another of those happy Sloan bouncing tunes, pure sweet pop with that edge of rock underneath. This has to be one of the longest tracks here, at 5:29.
You Know What It’s About is so slow it’s barely moving, flutes and a hi-hat while the guitar works in the background and the vocals tell the story. A neat 1:14! Golden Eyes plays heavy on the balance switch, moving side to side before the shuffle beat kicks in and the bass rolls along. This is definitely psychedelic trippy Sloan! Can’t You Figure It Out goes straight back for the throat with another sweet Sloan rocker. What a catchy hook chorus, just great! I love the lyrics of Set In Motion, “They’re coming out with the movie of my life, based on the novel that shouldn’t have been written either…” while the acoustic guitars jam and the band happily pops along. The vocals here are the clincher.
Love Is All Around pounds its way into our ears while the next indelible Sloan riff (sounds like it’s from the 70s! Cool!) tugs harder at our attention. What a cool, laid-back track. Will I Belong? brings high schooler angst about fitting in to a big riff rocker with gentler but still rocking bits in between. Air guitar heaven! Ill Placed Trust was another single, you know it well so I won’t bore you with what you already know. Just turn it up! What a great tune, aimed at the big stadiums. Up next it’s Live The Life You’re Dreaming Of, a beautiful piano and vocals slower tune. I love how the piano sounds that wee bit out of tune, like an old church piano. By the time the band comes in to add some backbone (and eventually to let it buld to a bigger tune yet), we’re already pulled in completely. This is a highlight track. Living With The Masses starts off with a drill sound, and then it punk pop rocks us into bliss while bemoaning a neighbour doing construction at bad hours. Haha great way to vent.
HFXNSHC is Sloan doing straight up quick punk rock. Of course, I love this track completely and name it another highlight track for sure. Go go go! It falls quickly into the super-bluesy swaggering of People Think They Know Me, what an awesome transition. It’s a cool track, but man we get it, no one knows you though they think they do! Haha fun. I Know You is next, another gentle and gorgeous ballad, Sloan at half-speed – still completely tuneful and full of harmonies and that great sound. But wait! They were just messing with us! It picks up speed and turns into a pop rocker, which also works perfectly. Yay! Of course, it bookmarks with the slower bit at the end…
Last Time In Love is another relationship track, with more handclaps, and a cool shuffling beat and harmony vocals. It’s easy to drift along with this one and want it to go forever… but soon we go into the acoustic guitar and vocal of It’s Not The End Of The World, not the first song on the record to be looking forward to the end of winter. A lovely ballad, I just love it. Light Years rolls in with that same slightly out-of-tune piano and Patrick’s vocals, as the band comes in the tambourine is the glue while the electric guitar playfully noodles in the background. A super-cool song idea, love it. And finally it’s Another Way I Could Do It, a full-on rocker with great bottom-end and a straight-ahead beat. Add in those harmony vocals and this is the kind of tune Sloan can crush out of the park like no one else can. But of course that’s not it, right at the end it goes down to just the guys singing and clapping until they stop and someone noodles on an acoustic guitar and they talk as the recording ends, a real personal touch.
Yup, that’s 30 tracks, folks. 75:26 of sheer genius. Sloan in 2006 was going for it in every possible way. So many ideas, all brilliantly realized. It’s all over the map, and every stop is absolutely perfect. Going back and forth between their Beatles-esque pop brilliance and their love of big riff 70s rock, with a little punk thrown in, there’s so much on offer here. I love how the tracks all roll together, too, no spaces between. It plays like a concept album, because that’s what it is, and the concept was Be Awesome. You friggin’ nailed it, Sloan!
This was my album of the year for 2006, and if it came out next week, I’d easily slot it for that prize again in 2016!
I hope I remember to do this album again on October 13, 2026…
I am THRILLED to report that Discogs has come through, and I have finally (FINALLY!), gleefully snagged a copy of a Grail List item that has, honestly, been on the list since before I even started the list in the first place…
What a GREAT 10th anniversary present to me!
Now, LP copies are still out there, but I wanted it on CD. Presumably because I like to do things the hard way… Anyway, the LP is next, if I ever see one! I’ve only ever seen one copy on CD in the wild, many years ago, and even then it was prohibitively priced. Neko’s website stopped selling them, and when I emailed to ask, they said it was unlikely that more were coming anytime soon. Gah!
But now this EP is here, thanks to a record shop in Connecticut, and it is a beautiful copy. YES! Let’s have a listen, shall we?
Andy (a Mike O’Neill tune) is a simple guitar bit with Neko’s haunting vocals over top. Glory! What a lovely way to start this disc off… Up next it’s Neil Young’s Dreaming Man, again a perfect version with Kelly Hogan on backing vocals, and other players adding a tasteful mix of guitars, banjo, ukulele and accordion as well. How does Neko sing it like Neil yet still sound like only herself? Magic!
Sook Yin Lee’s Knock Loud features Neko singing… and singing harmony with herself. This is not the first track here to feature this phenomenon. The electric guitars here are glorious, percussive yet also spacey and beautiful. The tune builds and crashes and abates again. Wow. Make Your Bed (a Neko/Sadies song) features banjo and Hawaiian guiar, Kelly Hogan on backing vocals again, and Andrew Bird on violin! It sounds like one of those old honky tonk heartbreak/angry at the other woman tunes, something Loretta Lynn or Emmylou Harris would’ve sung, and it’s awesome.
Poor Ellen Smith is a public domain track, and the banjos are having a party on this one! Neko’s voice soars like it so very much can soar. Holy crap that was awesome. Great storytelling. In California (a Lisa Marr tune) floats along gorgeously, Neko’s voice the main focus but the guitars the glue that holds it all together. Loved it loved it loved it.
Hank Williams’ Alone And Forsaken starts with the sound of a thunder and rain storm, the guitars ease in, and then Neko lifts us off the ground and we never look back. I’ve used the word haunting already to describe the quality of her singing voice, but it’s the best word for it. Ethereal would also work… Neko wrote Favorite, which rounds out this disc, and this is one we all know well because it later appeared on The Tigers Have Spoken. What a great track! Oh my yes. The version here is simple, but also completely effective.
This was originally a tour-only EP, but it later saw a wider release than just at the gigs. If this was the first Neko you’d ever heard, and that would have been likely for many as this was released in 2001, you’d be an instant fan. The tracks here are pure molten liquid glory, recorded perfectly with a big roomy sound, and I just wanted it to go on forever. Time to hit Play again…
If you ever come across this in the shops, do NOT hesitate. Buy it!
Some liner notes:
This album was recorded in my kitchen by Jon Rauhouse and myself. It’s so much easier than I thought, and you can do it in your underwear!
PROTECTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAWS. NOT INTENDED FOR MP3 INTERNET DOWNLOADING OR REPRODUCTION OF ANY KIND. THIS IS WHAT WE DO FOR A LIVING. WE HAVE KIDS, BILLS, AND RENT TOO. THANK YOU.
Here is the list of players:
- Andrew Bird – Violin
- Neko Case – Vocals, electric and acoustic tenor guitars, producer, engineer, mixing, photography, drawing, recording
- Mike Hagler – Producer, engineer, mastering
- Kelly Hogan – Vocal harmony
- Andy Hopkins – Guitar (acoustic), guitar (electric)
- Jon Rauhouse – Guitar (acoustic), banjo, engineer, Hawaiian guitar, pedal steel banjo, recording
- Tom Ray – Bass (upright), banjo-ukulele
- Brett Sparks – Vocals
- Chris Von Sneidern – Guitar (12 string acoustic)
Yup, as of today, it’s been 10 YEARS OF KMA!!
Imagine that. Crazy!
The 10th anniversary is, traditionally, tin or aluminum. Tin is so hawt right now…
We’ve seen a lot of things change, over these ten years. For example, the KMA has lived in a few homes, like Live Journal and Blogger, but WP seems to be working (for now) so that is where we’ll stay (for now). We do not have time for futzing around with glitchy free web sites. It’s free, dammit, we demand quality!
We’ve also added a whole lot of awesome Readers (that’s you!), when our humble beginnings were just James and myself and a few friends in Saskatoon. We’ve built a sweet community around here, and we love you all!
As for the writing here, well, of course we have very different styles, James and I. James writes quality, humourous slice of life posts. It’s excellent storytelling and knowledge about music all wrapped into one. These days, he mostly writes concert reviews rather than album reviews. We’re all fortunate that he goes to so many damn shows, because it means more James content! As for myself, well, you’d think that after 10 years of doing this I’d have gotten better at it in some small way… but, being me, that hasn’t really happened. I’ve tried a lot of things in these pages, including brevity, track by track reviews, the Sunday Services (where I jammed everything I’d heard all week into one long and surely boring post), and many other approaches. I always say I’m the monkey with the typewriter, flinging shit at the wall to see what’ll stick. You could probably boil down everything I’ve written here in these ten years into one word: WAHOO!
This blog came about, largely, because it was a cool way to keep in touch with James about music, after my lovely wife and I left Saskatoon and couldn’t have those conversations in person anymore. Mind you, James moved to Regina even before we left town ourselves, and we left in the spring of 2005, and this blog didn’t fire up ’til the fall of 2006… so even then we were right on the ball, eh?
And now it’s a 10 year anniversary. Crazy! I said to James that we needed to do something to mark this anniversary occasion. He said sure, let me know what you decide… Not having a lot of time to work on something big, he recently celebrated 20 years of his Stupid Little Concert Reviews (SLCRs) by re-posting his first post. Fair enough!
Now, if we did that with the KMA, it would read, in its entirety:
Music blog coming up. The KMA is gonna rock ya.”
The first actual album post came the next day, on October 13, with Sloan’s Never Hear The End Of It. Actually, that title’s pretty apt for the work of Aaron in these pages, eh? But it was 10 years ago today that James created the blog online (since I had no idea how to do it, back then, and James has always been an internet wizard), and slapped up that intro post just to get something up there and get us started.
Well anyway, I knew we had to do something for this anniversary. This is a real occasion, right? RIGHT! I mean, ten years of doing this? Yeesh…
I had several ideas. Maybe a joint post with James? Maybe we could interview each other, ask 5 questions each about these ten years… or maybe I could write a line, send it to him, he writes the next line, sends it back, and we repeat that process until hilariousness ensues? But he’s a busy dude and that would all take time.
I thought about maybe doing a giveaway, some cool album or trinket. But what? And how to decide between all of our lovely Readers? Nah… At the very least there’d have to be lists of stats to say wow, look at all we done did (see below)…
What if we each picked 5 highlights from these 10 years, like favourite posts (there have been so many), or cool things that have happened because of this blog that likely wouldn’t have happened without the blog (like the Grail List). What if we got our beloved Readers to submit what they’ve liked from these years? Yeah, let others do it for us! Haha lazy.
Maybe a new theme? Nah, I like the one we have, honestly. The site doesn’t need any modifications, I don’t think. Besides, if you need a facelift at your 10th anniversary, it’s only downhill from there!
So, after much deliberation, and after all of that gibbering you’ve just read, it really all comes down to two words:
Yes. Thank you to James, for putting up with my blathering all these years, and for keeping us entertained and edified with your awesome posts.
And THANK YOU to all of our Readers for continuing to come back and check out what we’re posting. This community has grown into an awesome thing. We thank you for your friendship and support, and we love you all of your blogs and everything that you are!!
Some Time Stats:
10 years is…
Some KMA Stats:
It should be noted that I don’t believe that these WP stats are accurate at all. Especially not for the whole ten year period. We weren’t with WP from the start (if I read the page correctly, it seems we joined WP in 2012), so I don’t think our stats from the other sites carried over (except Number Of Posts). I think we’ll maybe never know our real stats, what with all our moving around.
Also, WP lists site stats in weird ways, on two different pages, so I don’t even really know if any of these are accurate at all. I’ll leave it up to you if you want to believe any of it, but this is what I saw on our Stats page:
Number Of Posts: 2,014 Posts (including today’s)
Comments Per Month: 695
* This ought to be 2: Posts By James, and Posts By Aaron. Apparently some of our posts have remained Uncategorized, and I need to go fix those.
3,1072MB Space Allowed, 490.66MB (16%) Space Used
Askimet has protected us from 9,507 Spam comments. So, thanks, Askimet!
Most Popular Day: Monday (18% of views)
Most Popular Hour: 5:00pm (9% of views)
Best Views Ever: April 2, 2014, with 253 views of our site! In one day!
— The only thing posted on that day was a Classic Rock Magazine CD that HMO sent to me. The post has one comment on it. Must’ve been other things interesting to find on the KMA that day!
By nations, views from our Top 10 Readers’s Countries go like this:
Canada – 6,126
United States – 2,063
United Kingdom – 1,942
Germany – 314
Australia – 199
France – 168
Romania – 140
Brazil – 83
Ireland – 57
India – 42
Our Top 5 Post & Pages:
Home Page / Archive – 1,974
R.I.P. Marianne Ihlen – 351
R.I.P. Paul MacLeod – 137
Tragically Hip Series: Live Betwen Us (1997) – 130
KMA Sunday Service Week 4 – 123
* This is fascinating to me, as I do not and never will have a Facebook page. Maybe James does KMA stuff on his?
Our Top 5 Search Terms:
94.5 The Bull – 9
amazon music foo fighters b sides – 3
edenfest 1996 – 3
marianne ihlen – 2
the ben miller band – 2
11 Other Odd (some NSFW) Search Terms (all spellings are sic):
akai dialer silip
the rainbow connection kndd clockwork women
is there a heavy metal version of root down
kma fu pace katoon
sun brinnk milk and fucking video mom and sun
best fucking in the week
the best fucking
dog fucking calabrorations
http://www.sex evry thing animall fuking
seliat abelavel wather.com
That’s a thank you for every year we’ve been doing this, and it still doesn’t feel like nearly enough. You are the best community in blogging, and we are exceedingly grateful for all of your participation and patience in this little project of ours that has just kept on keeping us alive…
Here’s to another ten years of KMA! Cheers, everyone!
I’m still working on my next Lebrain Le-Rocks post, as it is competing with another post I’ve almost completed, so we’ll let this little musing stand for this afternoon’s edification…
We travelled to my lovely wife’s folks’ place yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner. This is always an awesome thing involving much family, food, and fun.
It was a beautiful day, crisp and clear fall air and bright sunshine making the changing tree leaves glow. Plus, our surrounding landscape for the trip is beautiful from start to finish. Perfect day, I thought, for a little bit of classical music for the drive south.
I selected my 2CD set of Herbert Von Karajan called The Legend, a compilation of tracks by varying composers. I was thinking, quite rightly, that this would be a brilliant companion on the drive. Added bonus: classical music is very good for your mind, and I’m all for boosting our kids’ already burgeoning creativites.
Anyway, we got rolling down the highway and I plugged in the first disc. Ah, Ravel’s Boléro. That lilting eastern European melody line, that martial snare drum. A lovely way to drift through the day… Except it wasn’t. The dynamics of the recording are fine, of course, but the quiet bits are really quiet, and the loud bits are just about right for highway driving.
Honestly, my lovely wife’s Subaru is a fantastic car. It handles like a dream, gives great gas mileage, and is as reliable as any car could ever be. But, as it turns out, it has quite a bit of interior cabin noise on the highway, which I’d never noticed before, so we only heard about half of this first track. I turned it up, but as the track built up in volume I had to keep turning it down again. And again. Then back up again for a quiet bit…
Needless to say, by the time the second track, Debussy’s Prélude À L’Après-Midi D’Un Faune rolled around, I was shutting the damn thing off. It was too distracting to have to adjust the volume all the time. My lovely wife’s car on the highway, as it turns out, is built for rock and roll, or anything other than classical that stays within a more narrow, louder range of volume.
Classical did not turn out to be the relaxing, wonderful thing I was hoping would be on this trip. I blame the Subaru, which is otherwise a completely brilliant vehicle. Shame, too, as I was really looking forward to having this set as a soundtrack to our idyllic drive through escarpment beauty.
NB: I’ll be bringing my own Subaru (yes, we own two of them) to Taranna when Mike and I go on our annual record shoppe raid, so we’ll see if it has the same interior noise problem. I don’t recall any such issue at highway speeds, but we’ll find out!
* For those who are interested, I have already covered this Von Karajan set here.
Mother Love Bone – On Earth As It Is: The Complete Works
Release: November 4, 2016
Thanks to The Second Disc for a heads-up on this beautiful, newly remastered boxed set of Mother Love Bone. It looks pretty damn sweet. 23 unreleased tracks (including demoes and vinyl-only tracks), and the first-ever DVD release of their old VHS.
Follow that link for Second Disc (above) to get details on the LP versions with randomly tipped-in autographs and such.
If you need some Mother Love Bone in your life, this would be a great place to get a whole bunch of it!
Check it out:
Disc 1: Studio recordings
- This is Shangrila
- Stardog Champion
- Holy Roller
- Bone China
- Come Bite the Apple
- Captain Hi-Top
- Man of Golden Words
- Capricorn Sister
- Gentle Groove
- Danny Boy
- Crown of Thorns
- Thru Fade Away
- Mindshaker Meltdown
- Half Ass Monkey Boy
- Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns
Tracks 1-13 from Apple (Polydor 422 843 491-2, 1990)
Tracks 14-17 from Shine (Stardog 422 839 011-1, 1989)
Disc 2: B-sides and alternates
- Holy Roller (Alternate)
- Bone China (Alternate)
- Hold Your Head Up
- Capricorn Sister (Alternate)
- Lady Godiva Blues
- Red Hot Shaft
- Seasons Changing (Live At The Plant)
- Stardog Champion (Live At The Plant)
Track 1 from Stardog/Republic single B0022082-21, 2014
Tracks 3 & 6 from self-released single JB-01, 1989
Tracks 4-5 from CD version of Shine (Stardog 422 839 011-2, 1989)
Disc 3: Unreleased material
- Lubricated Muscle Drive
- Savwahfair Slide
- Jumpin’ Jehova
- Bloodshot Ruby
- Chloe Dancer (Demo)
- Have You Ever Kissed a Lady
- These R No Blues
- Made of Rainbows
- Bloody Shame
- One Time Fire
- Stardog Champion (Live @ Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI – 9/3/2011) – Pearl Jam feat. Chris Cornell
– The Love Bone Earth Affair (released as PolyGram Video VHS 440 086 377-3, 1993)
– Captain Hi-Top (music video)
– Half Ass Monkey Boy (Live from The Oz)
– I’m in Love with My Car (Live from The Oz)
Three behind! Again! For a place I don’t like to be, I sure find myself here often enough. I procrastinate, that’s kind of my thing. And I suppose it’s kind of fitting for this show. Fred Eaglesmith is a dude I’ve been meaning to see for something like 15 years.
I don’t know who first recommended Eaglesmith to me. Probably Jason, aka “Your Librarian Friend” in Mika code. We’ve known each other online for a very long time, and he’s been a Fred fan for far longer than that. I remember Josy hearing Fred songs at the radio station and telling me that I’d like him. Other folks have said so too. And yet, I never made the effort. I heard one song and enjoyed it, though it was so long ago that I don’t really remember it. And it’s not like he’s never come through town; I’ve just been busy, or broke, or something. Always something. So when this show got announced – I’m sure it was six months ago – I picked us up a pair of tickets right away. If I get tickets, we’ll go, right?
Okay, so that doesn’t always happen. Didn’t quite happen here either, as Mika wound up with a ticket to the Rams/Huskies game that was the inaugural event at our fancy-if-not-quite-finished new stadium. It was in the afternoon, so she could have gone to both, but with limited non-school personal time available, she picked the football game. Fair enough. Judging from Facebook, she was there with every person I know. Luckily, Other James was available in the evening and made sure her extra ticket got a good home.
We met at the Exchange shortly before the show was to begin and there was a line out the door. Doors at 7:30 apparently weren’t. Other James was more reserved than usual. He was feeling a little worse for wear after a late night out the night before, followed by a full day of sunshine in the garden. As I’m writing this, I’m watching it snow, as it’s been doing for the better part of the past week. I know this review is late, but it feels this show was a million years ago, weather-wise.
We found our way inside and the place was pretty packed. I don’t think it was a sellout but it couldn’t have been far from it. Other James got us some drinks and we found a nice slab of wall to stand against.
Based on the advertising, I thought Tif Ginn was our opening act. I thought wrong. She did get a few songs by herself after intermission, and they were real good, but for the most part she was playing along with and singing backup for Eaglesmith. They’re also married, which everyone probably already knows, but that was news to me. Though we’ve established that I didn’t know much about what I was getting myself into.
This was a delightful show. As predicted, I really enjoyed Eaglesmith’s songs, but I didn’t know he’d be quite such a showman. So many stories. So many jokes. I clearly should have taken that advice 15 years ago, but maybe it needed to happen now? Eaglesmith laughed about the age of his audience, essentially suggesting that they die off with some regularity, but there are always new people in their 40s discovering his music. “They borrow their dad’s car, put in a CD, and bam, I’ve got them.”
Not that everyone there was 40 and up. There was a wee lad in attendance – he looked to be maybe 3 or so – and he wandered up to the front, hopped right up on stage, and shook hands with Eaglesmith. That was pretty cute. Then he tried to talk to Ginn during her songs, then wandered back on stage when Fred came back out after intermission, and finally requested the song Freight Train. I don’t know from Eaglesmith songs but people seemed to think this was a pretty solid choice. The kid hung out at the front of the stage for a few more songs after Freight Train until Eaglesmith asked that he be given earplugs or taken to the back to protect his hearing. This got some applause that led me to believe that maybe some other people were also thinking that maybe this had become too much of a good thing, and also, where were this kid’s parents anyway? One of them took the kid back to their seats, at which point he began loudly whining about wanting to go back up to the front. It was deemed to be bedtime and home they want. He still outlasted Other James, who pulled the pin at intermission.
After Other James left, Your Librarian Friend and I chatted over Twitter about the concert. I would have gone over and talked with him in person, but I thought intermission would be over more quickly, so I probably just came across as standoffish. Hahaha whoops. Oh well, we got to catch up a bit after the show.
I haven’t talked a ton about the music because like I ever know what to say? It was real good. There. Straightforward country-ish songs that told little stories, with lots of humourous asides and tales of life on the road. Luckily, the sound at the Exchange was excellent, making it easy to hear the lyrics and the everything else.
That still doesn’t say much. And this week I have to write two more reviews for artists I know equally little about, so you might want to just skip past this whole week, really.
I used to own this one, back in the day. Likely my copy was victim of needing the cash more than I needed the disc, so I’ve lived without it for far too long. So, I’ve been on the hunt for this album for quite a while (and I didn’t care if it was the digipak or the regular case version), but for some reason I never seemed to find it. I even (recently) mentioned to Bop to keep his eyes peeled on my behalf. It’s not a Grail item per se, because it’s ostensibly out there easily enough (I assume), but still…
Then, at the eternally amazing Sonic Boom, I found the digipak for $5.99 in pristine shape all around. Nobody had even completed the word search on the back cover (I remember several people doing that, the fools), and I did a little dance of joy right there in the aisle. The Dance Of Soup Joy.
For the longest time, it was No Soup For Me! Now, it is SOUP FOR ME!
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 3 (CD)
From its New Orleans funeral parade intro, through its easy swingin’ main bits, to its crashing end, Galaxie is one of Blind Melon’s best songs. The rest of the album stands up as purely phenomenal too.
Blind Melon did a thing, and they did it really well. Everyone loved the first record, but I always thought this one was waaaaaay better.
It grooves, moves, rocks, and it’s miles better than a lot of other stuff I heard then. R.I.P. Shannon.
Alright, I didn’t do a Lebrain Le-Rocks post yesterday because it is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canuckland, and I was too busy stuffing myself with delicious spiral ham and scalloped potatoes to have a post ready for you. But we’re back today, so here we go with another brilliant gift from Mike. I should say that I did own this disc, but it got scratched and I was gutted. And now here’s another copy! YAY!
The Lebrain Le-Rocks Series, Part 4
From Out Of Nowhere synth-punks us into happy oblivion. Faith No More have a sound – it’s in the chord changes and the vocals, and this one has it all. Go go go! And then it perfect flows into the utterly perfect rap-rock/metal Epic, which we all know and love. Yes yes yes.
Falling To Pieces guitar chugs and wails just right. A track like this makes me think it’s totally of its time (1989) but then I think ‘who cares?’ Turn it up! Up next is Surprise! Your Dead!, which has some fucking fantastic guitar riffage, and some crazy-man vocals. I love this track! It’s the most metal/thrash track here yet. Oh baby yes.
Zombie Eaters slows things down, arppegiating acoustic guitars, gentle tune. Very pretty. But wait, around the 2:00 minute mark… haha NOT! Here comes the heavy chug, baby, and it’s pure glory. This makes me want to drive really fast in my car. Not because of its speed, but because of its power. Next is the title track, and it’s another template FNM song. Hot damn, that’s awesome.
Underwater Love may be fairly straight-ahead pop rock with a real funky bass line, but it’s also a FNM song, so there’s that edge to it that must still carry a warning label… The Morning After has that recognizeable beat and bass sound, but also has enough of a sort of a Breakfast Club sound to it… until the guitars come in. Then all bets are off! A cool blend of the two sounds.
Woodpecker From Mars builds off weird sounds into an absolute rampage of guitar riffing that slows to meet and create a deluge of elements. When it really lets go, it’s practically Ministry. When it slows down, it could be a 90s Indian film track… when it shifts at the mid-point, it hardly matters – youre hooked. Super-cool! And then there’s the cover of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs which is spot-freaking-on. Loved it. And finally, Edge Of The World, which starts us off with finger snaps and then leads into a jazzy bluesy swinger of a tune. When it does the full reveal of this strip show, it’s exactly what you need to see.
Friggin’ brilliant. Of course. THANKS HEAPS, MIKE!!
It’s a holiday weekend, so what better way to celebrate than with three different cover versions of Rush’s Subdivisions? Haha whut? Exactly. Give ‘er!
First up is one Brother Wilf told me about, by Allegaeon. It’s heavy and cool!
Up next, it’s one we know well… here’s Jacob Moon’s rooftop version, which we’ve all seen before but can always see again anytime…
And finally, it’s Heaven Below’s decent cover, featuring William Shatner!
Well, and what the hell. Here’s Rush’s original. Because awesome.
Happy Thanksgiving holiday Monday, everybody! You now surely have Subdivisions stuck in your head for the rest of the day, and that’s a great thing!
I need to rewind two years, as Stone Alone was 1976 and this one’s 1974. Wish I’d paid attention to release dates and done them in reverse order. Ah well. This one, also found at Sonic Boom for $3.99 is… something else…
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 2 (LP)
Look at that hunk of man on the cover, ladies. Oh my.
This record’s better than Stone Alone because it’s damn weird. It’s still pop rock, but it’s just absurd. Friggin’ banjos on a hoe-down country tune called Pussy, OK? Haha WTF is this. I can’t tell I wanna say it’s utter crap or the most genius thing ever.
Bill still cannot sing, but it has hilarious lyrics, wild wtf music, and enough funk rock to call it what it should have been.
NB: This was done the same year as the Stones’ It’s Only Rock And Roll, so perhaps it was an outlet for all the weird stuff the Stones would never touch…
TWENTY YEARS OF THIS NONSENSE. My goodness. And all because Great Big Sea put on a good show and Pat said some funny things when he was drunk.
Aaron said I should do more to mark the 20th anniversary of the SLCRs than just post installment #1, but I disagree because I am lazy and uncreative. And we could quibble about the date anyway. Rereading this, it clearly was sent out on the 10th. And the SLCR name didn’t come for a while. If I’d known this would last for 20 years, I’d have come up with a better name.
In the original version of this review, I made fun of the girl from high school, who was in reality a very nice person who never did anything to me and didn’t deserve me being an asshole. (And I don’t think she was even there.) Then the review sat collecting dust on my old website forever until one day when she and Google came together to make a discovery that was unpleasant for all of us. I’d long forgotten what I’d written and felt like a complete ass. She was very gracious in accepting my apology. I was still mortified. I mention this in the interest of historical accuracy and/or owning up to it when someone rightly calls you out on your bullshit. I am not owning up to it enough to include the unedited original version, though.
Okay. So Deserée sends me an e-mail telling me to buy this new disc she got. “It’s really good,” she said, “like Ashley MacIssac but it’s not.” Fair enough. And I trust her judgment. But only to a point… I mean, after all, this is the same person who likes Blessid Union Of Souls, Journey, and even… Yanni. So I had to wait until I joined Columbia House to get the disc for free.
Last night, on tour to try and sell the discs (coincidentally enough, they had some right there), Great Big Sea played a concert at Louis’. So, when Céline Dion didn’t merit a full write-up, and “Weird Al” didn’t, and Smashing Pumpkins didn’t, and Meat Loaf didn’t (not that I had time to do one anyway, but still), why a report on Great Big Sea?
‘Cause it was the best concert I’ve ever been to.
Dez, Pat and I show up about 8:30. The concert has no set start time, so as to get people there early, and make them sit around and drink. We can’t find a table in a good spot, so we situate ourselves around a tabletop 1942 arcade machine.
Dez gets a drink (vodka paralyzer, was it?), Pat gets a rum and Coke, and I get a Coke and Coke. (Such is the life of the designated driver.) Dez and I head off to look at GBS shirts and stuff. I buy nothing. My arm couldn’t fit through a neck-hole that size. We come back, and Dez takes Pat to the souvenir stand. One of us must guard the 1942 machine at all times.
They each bought a shirt (the same one, of course. Dez claims she bought hers first). About this time, I bought food (chicken fingers & fries).
Dez then decides to try her skill at 1942 and… well, she got the little plane to move, at any rate. That’s a very good start.
She goes off and gets mozza sticks. Pat gets another rum and Coke.
We sit. And wait. And play some more 1942. We bemoan the lack of servers coming around to our arcade game/table.
At about, oh, 10:30, maybe, Jay Hails takes the stage. He’s the brother of a girl I went to elementary school with (and who both Josy and I went to high school with), and he was actually pretty decent. Then he takes off. People start to mill about the dance floor/pseudo-mosh pit. We wait. And wait.
And wait. About this time, we were noticing that the little airplane in the 1942 demo always did the same thing, and always got shot. We told him he was stupid, but he didn’t listen. I played a game of it to show him what to do, but I wasn’t much better.
I should point out that we weren’t drunk, but we were still talking to the arcade game. Pat, in order to remedy his non-drunkenness, finally locates a server and orders two rum and Cokes.
Finally, Great Big Sea takes the stage. And really, I can’t say anything but… wow. It was truly great. Even I was standing and clapping and cheering and (almost) dancing. And I don’t do those things.
The lead singer was in fine form, carrying on a running conversation with the audience. “Did anyone see us at the MuchMusic Video Awards? (crowd cheers) What a great party. Alanis was there. (crowd boos) And Bryan Adams opened the show, then we played. You know what that means? Bryan Adams opened for us! (crowd cheers) We said, ‘Hey Bryan, anytime you want to open for us again, you’re more than welcome.’ And you know what? He was playing in the parking lot, we were in the studio, so we told the guys, ‘You know, we’re not that big, you coulda let the poor bugger in to meet us.’ Ah, Bryan Adams. Keep an eye out for that kid, I think he’s got a real future in this business.” Then he played the first few notes of Summer of ‘69 and the crowd sang along, singing right through the first chorus.
Pat, not caring for this type of music, orders two more rum and Cokes.
It’s hard to say what the highlight was. Maybe it was their most popular songs; Mari-Mac, Run Runaway, Goin’ Up, Lukey, The Old Black Rum. Maybe it was the truly inspired Celtic cover of REM’s It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine). Maybe it was the one song that they wanted to use to unite the country, so that we never again lose in international hockey to a nation that colours it’s pucks on TV. Maybe it was the intensity of the crowd – I’ve never heard people chanting for an encore before. Maybe it was the closing medley that combined GBS stuff with Lou Reed and The Police, among others.
Then there was one other part. You can’t do what he said to do (since you’re reading this), so just imagine how I was feeling. “Okay. Close your eyes. Humour me now, just close your eyes. Imagine for a second that you’re at the Grade 10 dance. You’re scared out of your mind. You hope that guy won’t come over and ask you to dance to Stairway To Heaven. And although you pray that a good song is coming on next, it’s 11:45, the second-to-last song, and you just know what it’s going to be… ‘On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?’”
Yup. Just imagine what I was feeling at that point. They actually tried to do the entire dialogue, but the lead singer couldn’t say “I bet you say that to all the boys,” ‘cause he was laughing too hard. So was I.
I guess the most impressive thing I can say about the concert was that at a few points last night, I was sitting there thinking, “No, the Dummies couldn’t do this.”
Which says a lot, I think.
Oh, did I mention they made fun of Meat Loaf?
Well, with the ending of the massive 25-part Beam Me Up Scotty’s Series, there’s a hole in my schedule. I’m still doing the Lebrain Le-rocks Series every evening, as you know, but what about the mornings?
Simple: another new series! Because I’m on a roll! Now, as you may recall, my lovely wife and I recently spent a weekend in Toronto to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. For those playing the home game, year 13 is the lace anniversary. Racy!
We walked many miles across the downtown core, and saw/did many things (including Nuit Blanche, the aquarium, the AGO…), during our time in the city. We had tons of fun! It’s good to get out and do things in bigger centers, now and again.
Being the amazing, loving and incredibly patient lady that she is, my lovely wife made sure I got a wee bit of time in Sonic Boom and She Said Boom during our adventures. This was not the full, methodical dig of all the records that I usually like to do, but any time is better than none, so I made the best of it! And, of course, I found treasures…
So, let’s have a look through all of that stuff, shall we? YES WE SHALL!
The Racy Lacy Anniversary Series, Part 1 (LP)
Sonic Boom yielded this LP for $3.99… 1976, right around the time of Black And Blue… well, this is island infused disco pop. There’s no other words for it. Soul Satisfyin’ is odd, while heavy breathing Peanut Butter Time has a beat Pharrell has probably stolen a zillion times.… um, Bill? WTF? Covering If You Wanna Be Happy? Dude. Feet is no better.
Fact: Wyman cannot sing. This grooves, but badly. Shame, this one. Bad solo effort. Stone Alone indeed.
Deke called this one yesterday, and didn’t even know it!😉 Here we go with another Deep Purple record awesomely sent to me by our friendly neighbourhood Mike! The word geek in me loves the play on words in this album title.
The Lebrain Le-Rocks Series, Part 3
Vavoom: Ted The Mechanic starts us right of with guitar wizardry and blasting us into the rock, serving notice we’re here to fuckin’ rock, folks! Woo! What a track! That brilliant bluesy chug, and the guitar going nuts over the top. Ah yes. This is a band much, much happier about making music than they were on The Battle Rages On. Hot damn! Loosen My Strings is a sweet slower groover, love that guitar tone. It might at first come across as a lesser track, but stick with it. This one’s gota ll the right elements in the right places! Soon Forgotten is a creepy little rocker. What a fun track! Perfect for Halloween coming up, actually, just from the music side. Love it.
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming starts off gentle with acoustic guitars and keys, lovely. But I wasn’t fooled, I knew it was gonna blow up into a full-band thing… and it does! It’s a mid-tempo thing, love the piano support and that soaring guitar on top. And then it full-on rocks out. Is that a cowbell! I think so! This one shifts a whole bunch of times, all of the different sounds solid. It’s the guitar that wins, though. Cascades: I’m Not Your Lover intros us with odd synth and talking stuff, but then we’re straight into a template Purple rocker. Man, this band has a sound, eh? Awesome.
The Aviator brings back the acoustic guitars, and adds that lilting sound and martial snare drum that sounds (to me) like the east coast. When it gets into full swing, it’s a gentle pop rocker that just makes you feel damn good. I did not see this coming, and I really liked it! Rosa’s Cantina builds from pretty synths into an energetic proggy shuffle rocker. Fun times! Love Lord’s keys all over this one. And harmonica! Damn, what a fun track. A Castle Full Of Rascals is a great song title, full stop. Once again we build off spacey synths into a full-on rocker built for stadiums and big light shows. When the guitar latches into that slinky bluesy thing, hells yes. The drums own this one, too.
A Touch Away leads in with acoustics, what a work-out that playing is. Then the synths and band comes in and it’s a solid pop rocker. Hey Cisco rolls in on light guitars and that snare drum pattern, and when it all comes together it’s a fult-tilt boogie that reminded me of Hot For Teacher. Deep Purple does Van Halen? Neat! Of course, Puplre being Purple, there’s a gentle breakdown in the middle, but it doesn’t last long. Hold onto your hat! Somebody Stole My Guitar is full-on blues metal rock awesome. The cowbell’s back! I hear Van Hagar around the 2:00 mark too, don’t ask me why. As if these guys really need to emulate others. But hey, my ear heard it. Nevermind, this is a solid rock track. Yes! And finally it’s The Purpendicular Waltz wails in on harmonica, then the band stutter-rocks its way through a cool rock tune that swings!
Now, I was looking online and this must be the Japanese edition, because there’s a bonus track! After a Hidden Track of 4 seconds, there’s another Hidden Track called Don’t Hold Your Breath that’s a sweet Purple blues jam. Nice one! This should’ve made the album proper, and no doubt!
This album fuckin’ rocked. I liked it way better than the last two, and I really liked those! This is pure Purple rockin’, and it’s hard to find better if you’ve got a jonesing for the good stuff. Right on. THANKS HEAPS, MIKE!
Alrighty folks, this morning’s post on the amazing Mahalia Jackson LP was the finale of my 25-part Beam Me Up Scotty’s Series. It’s been a long, wild ride, one filled with so much great music!
Thanks so much for you patience and understanding as I blathered my way through all of this amazing stuff. If you read every episode, you deserve a medal.
As for myself, I just love finding so much greatness, all in one place. It’s really rewarding, and the excitement of the finds is unlike any other thrill.
Here’s a list of everything included in the series:
01 Mick Jagger – Wandering Spirit
02 Dave Brubeck Quartet – 25th Anniversary Reunion
03 Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
04 Eric Clapton – E.C. Was Here
05 Robert Cray – Strong Persuader
06 Jaco Pastorius – Jaco Pastorius
07 Ella Fitzgerald – Jazz Spectrum Vol.1
08 Ratt – Invasion Of Your Privacy
09 Aretha Franklin – Aretha
10 Firm – Mean Business
11 Emmylou Harris – Elite Hotel
12 Aretha Franklin – Let Me In Your Life
13 Wagner – The Wagner Album
14 Buddy Rich – Rich Riot
15 B.B. King – Indianola Mississippi Seeds
16 Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene
17 Kick Axe – Welcome To The Club
18 Sunday Nights: The Songs Of Junior Kimbrough
19 Wire – Pink Flag
20 Gene Ammons – Boss Tenor
21 Emmylou Harris – Cowgirl’s Prayer
22 Emmylou Harris – Quarter Moon In A Ten Cent Town
23 Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – The Proposition OMPS
24 Georgia Satellites – Georgia Satellites
25 Mahalia Jackson – Newport Jazz Festival 1958
Whew! What a beautiful life, eh?
And finally, we reach the last part of my 25-part Beam Me Up Scotty’s Series! It’s yet another I found elsewhere during that day, and what a record it is…
The Beam Me Up Scotty’s Series, Part 25/25 (LP)
This is one of my favourite finds from my excursion to Scotty’s and beyond. How do I even begin to express my love for Mahalia Jackson? And to find her performance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival? For about $2? Criminally awesome.
I’ve loved Mahalia for years, and on this disc she just nails it. Everything about her voice, the band, everything. Just everything. I cannot enthuse enough. This is pure power and range, beauty and genius besides. LOVE IT!
*Because this is so awesome, I’m including a video of three of the tracks from this performance, for your edification. Notice how far she’s standing back from the mic… now that, folks, is power. Take notes Beyonce, hahaha you can only dream…
Hey KMA Readers!
I’m headed to Toronto with Mike in a couple of weeks for our annual record shopping raid. YES!!! While this is fantastic news, it also means it’s time for everyone to update their Grail Lists! Have a look at the tab at the top of this page for your current lists. If there are any changes/additions to be made, let us know by dropping a comment (below).
And remember, the Grail List is only for items that are impossible to find otherwise, the kind of thing you’ve been seeking for years and have never been able to find. The Grail List exists so we can all help each other find our hardest-to-get items!
And if you haven’t yet got a list on the Master Grail List, but there are items for us to (hopefully) find for you, drop a comment and let us know and we’ll update the page to include your items!
Rawk on, KMA Readers. You’re AWESOME!
The Lebrain Le-rocks Series, Part 2
Alright so here’s another amazing gift from Mike. With this one, we’ve got Deep Purple in 1993, the follow-up album to Slaves And Masters (see yesterday’s review!). Ian Gillan returns to replace Joe Lynn Turner on vocals. Let’s see what’s up!
The Battle Rages On is a full-on tune of epic proportions, all the parts playing perfectly, and all held together by that monster of a guitar riff. Damn. You know, if this didn’t sound so damn much like Deep Purple already, I could hear Iron Maiden doing this song. Imagine!
For the record (pun intended), Lick It Up is not a KISS cover. Still, it launches us into bluesy guitar riff heaven. I liked the verse parts, but I admit I kept waiting for the bridge and chorus bit so that the guitars would do more of that thing they do! Anya begins with some beautiful acoustic guitar work, but of course that doesn’t last long. We blast into a straight-on rocker with those keys floating throughout. Talk About Love is here to rock you. Great barroom rock by a band that outgrew its barroom days ages ago!
Time To Kill sounds like exactly that, a rock band with time to kill in the studio. It’s a mid-tempo stomper, sure, but somehow not quite on par with the tracks that came before it. Still, that’s one helluva guitar solo in this one! The tune just goes on too long, we’d have got the point after 2.5 minutes not almost 6 minutes! Ramshackle Man sounds like a song I know already but do you think I can place it? Oh hell, that’s gonna drive me nuts. Anyway, it’s a decent rockin’ tune that (for some reason) makes me think of the southern States. Man, I wish I could think of what it is… Still, here’s Jon Lord’s big solo! Awesome!
A Twist In The Tail is what I’m talking about! Let’s rip out some bluesy rock at 100mph and go go go! Yes please! Haha that was FUN! Except that one line, where he says “I’ve been where the sun never shines…” Uh, dude? Hahaha. It takes a bit of a breather on the outro, but this thing otherwise just keeps on goin’. Up next it’s Nasty Piece Of Work eases us in with some noises, then fuzzes us out completely with a slinky blues riff and a slower pace. I dig it, it’s unlike anything else here. Lots of effects on this one.
Solitaire is an odd duck, that music that sounds like a million other songs, but then the vocals are just odd. Whatever that effect is on them, it sounds like when Axl sings low, sometimes. Weird. The whole thing gives the impression of being underwater, or done when the band was tired. I dunno, it stil rocks. Just an odd track! And finally, it’s the unfortunately-titled One Man’s Meat, yet another huge bluesy riff that Poison would’ve killed for a decade earlier. It’s OK, Purple pulls it off perfectly, and totally makes it sound like themselves.
I dunno, I’ve heard Gillan scream, and he really kept the vocals on the down-low on this one. He sounds… tired, and buried back in the mix. He never achieved lift-off, which is disorienting. Also, there’s not nearly enough Jon Lord pyrotechnics! But it’s still a smokin’ rocker of a record. I really liked it’s easy swagger and huge riffs. Right freaking on! Thanks heaps, Mike!
Here’s another I found elsewhere during my Scotty’s trip day. And after this post, there’s only one more to go until the end of this series!
The Beam Me Up Scotty’s Series, Part 24/25 (CD)
This is excellent southern barroom hard rock. Dan Baird’s turn of phrase and humour is charming and fun.
Keep Your Hands To Yourself, of course, kicks ass. Sometimes they really sound like the Crowes, and that’s OK. Hell, they even cover Rod Stewart’s Every Picture Tells A Story with aplomb.
But all the tracks here are surefire keepers. I love this sort of record. Put it on, rock along and don’t sweat the small stuff ‘cos it’s fun time, honey!
NB: I dunno what’s up with the sound on a few of these tracks. I had the good headphones on and the bottom end is huge, echoey, while the top end gets a bit buried. I know this on purpose, but it stood out, to me. Anyway, carry on rockin’!
First off, all apologies. I’d said in my post yesterday, announcing this new series, that I would have this here yesterday afternoon. It didn’t happen. I upgraded my computer and ended up busy with that. So here we are today.
Folks, we need to talk about the amazingness and generosity of our friendly neighbourhood Mike. Our venerable Lebrain. Not only does he continue to rock us on his web site, and remain a true stand-up dude, but he’s given me so much great music, over the years (we’ve known each other since the mid-late 90s) and, as if all of that wasn’t enough, I recently received another box in the mail from Lebrain HQ full of another mind-blowing pile of greatness!
This series is an homage, and huge thanks to Mike for all of these great tunes. It was Christmas In September! Seriously, Dude. THANKS HEAPS!
The Lebrain Le-Rocks Series, Part 1
Here we have Deep Purple in 1990. King Of Dreams starts off with some heavy breathing (haha), and then a driving beat over a sweet 80s action movie soundtrack tune. The pay-off chorus pulls you up with it. Cool. Next it’s The Cut Runs Deep, which begins with some sweet keys before giving over to an absolutely crushing guitar riff and then full band rockfest. Now that’s rock. Love the keyboard solos.
Fire In The Basement’s intro guitar tries to tear into our ear, and then it breaks into a sweet Purple shuffle swing rock beat. Bluesy! Fun! Crazy soloing! This one would sit well on In Rock. Truth Hurts has a stately rock stomp to it, and some truly great guitar work and bluesy vocals hells yes.
Breakfast In Bed has that sweet rock swing to it too, that silky bluesy guitar in the background. Love the chorus bit, it reminds me of Aerosmith. Love Conquers All starts off with strings, just beautiful. It shifts into a huge, glorious uplifting ballad. Again that guitar solo, damn.
Fortuneteller boils into a slinky bluesy tune, packed with elements that all come together to make a cohesive whole. Just like all Purple tunes, that way… Too Much Is Not Enough jams with keyboards and yet another classic-sounding riff. Cowbell! Haha yes. and the middle section, with that run-line and then the soloing… damn. And finally, Wicked Ways teases a bit before getting its feet and taking off at full rockin’ gallop. It takes on an epic quality, by the end, building to a crescendo that’s nigh on classical in its scale. Then back into the rockin’! Hells yes. I think I liked this track as one of the best!
This is a fantastic record. It’s definitely of its time, I can hear the 80s all through it. But there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a solid rock album, no doubt.
Wiki tells me this is the only Purple record to feature former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, and I have to say I think he did a fantastic job. I was shocked to read that this one had underwhelming sales and response. I mean, there was this:
Following its release, Slaves and Masters has been met with mixed reception from critics. Allmusic’s Alex Henderson gave the album two stars out of a possible five, saying “The songwriting is weak and pedestrian, and most of the time, the once-mighty Purple (who were at least 16 years past their prime) sound like a generic Foreigner wannabe”. Jon Lord himself, more than his mates (Glover and Paice), never recognized this record as a Deep Purple album.
Ouch! Hey Alex Henderson, I liked it a whole lot better than that! It’s a time capsule, sure, but it’s still a rockin’ good time. Thanks heaps, Mike!
There’s a new hire at work*, who arrived wearing a Gojira hoodie. I liked him immediately. We talked music. I gave him Magma. He loaned me this one. I’d never heard of them, but he swore I’d love it. He’s right.
This beast is full of heavy djent riffage, melodic lines, rubbery bass, guttural vocals and machine-gun drumming. Holy hell it’s heavy! I hear Slipknot and Sevendust, but also their own unique thing clearly. This would own, live. Fuck yeah!
* We have the same first name, so you know he’s a righteous dude.
Text from Mike this morning, catching me on my way to the shoppes to be first in line to buy the new Stones…
As was reported yesterday, it seemed the Stones would drop their new blues record today. Turns out, it’s a pre-order beginning today, album drops December. GAH!
This is, of course, a bit of a let-down for me. In retrospect, it did seem odd that they’d drop a release with no preamble, but I was more than ready to roll with it. Alas, it is not to be.
For today, all we have is more info on the release:
Title: Blue & Lonesome
Release Date: December 2, 2016
Just Your Fool
Commit A Crime
Blue and Lonesome
All Of Your Love
I Gotta Go
Everybody Knows About My Good Thing
Ride ‘Em On Down
Hate To See You Go
Hoo Doo Blues
Just Like I Treat You
I Can’t Quit You Baby
Dammit. Now I gotta wait ’til December 2. I think that’s a bit of false advertising on Don Was’ part. The way he said it, it sounded like the release was today. If it’s some dumbass way to drum up excitement, he may have a bit of a disconnect with Stones fans. As if we needed teasing to be excited about a new Stones release… Anyway. Mark your calendars for December, folks!
Here’s another one I picked up elsewhere during my Scotty’s run trip…
The Beam Me Up Scotty’s Series, Part 23/25 (CD)
I am a simple man. I see Nick Cave and Warren Ellis? I purchase!
Never saw this movie, but it’s a western drama of 1880s Australia. The music is full of dust, and that feel of wide open spaces. It’s moody, with gentle vocals – absolutely beautiful.
If this wasn’t a soundtrack, it would still be the most unique thing you’ve heard in weeks. It sounds random, but isn’t. Atmospheric, complex, and inbued with the landscape it’s about. Stellar work.
Hey there, KMA Readers!
I should have noted on the New Hotness Series that the recent Jack White – Acoustic Recordings post was my final entry for that series.
It was super-fun going through all the new(er) stuff I’ve added lately.
Thanks for reading!
Here’s the final list of what got covered in the New Hotness series:
01 Ghost – Popestar
02 Prophets Of Rage – The Party’s Over
03 Guided By Voices – Please Be Honest
04 Gone Is Gone – Gone Is Gone
05 Gojira – Magma
06 Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – Broken Lines
07 Tuns – Tuns
08 Jack White – Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016
Of course, with that one finished, it’s time for another new series! Stay tuned as, later this afternoon, we begin a new round of fun times!
NB: I just noticed that ⅝ of these new additions have artists that begin with the letter ‘G.’ Groovy!
According to the Guardian, who were quoting producer Don Was, the Rolling Stones will be releasing a new album tomorrow (October 6)!
Apparently it’s an album of Chicago blues songs, recorded in three days with a simple set-up and no studio trickery, to give it that raw feel. Reportedly, Eric Clapton was involved in the sessions…
I looked on Amazon and didn’t see anything about it (though there’s another live record coming in November on pre-order, and a 15CD mono boxed set, for those who want it), so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens tomorrow. Also, I couldn’t find any track info, but it won’t matter since we’ll (apparently) be able to buy the damn thing tomorrow! If that’s the case, I know that I will be first in line…
Thanks to Mike for the heads-up.