Welcome everyone to this week’s Sunday Service.
Fair warning, this one’s got A LOT in it.
It’s totally understandable if you need to go and come back a couple of times, as it’d be quite a bit to take in all at once…
That said, here’s your checklist for reading:
- Got a coffee (or the happy drink of your choice)?
- Wearing comfy clothes?
- Have you used the facilities before you get started? [I have small kids, I ask this a lot]
- “Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…”
Parcel From LeBrain!
Mike said a parcel was in the mail, and that when it arrived I would “poop turds of joy.” [actual quote]
Holy shit, that was an understatement!
I am blown backwards by these incredible donations to the always thrilled Aaron Audio Adoption Agency (AAAA). Check out all of this majesty!!
Deep Purple – Copenhagen 1972 (2cd) (was still in shrinkwrap!!!)
Def Leppard – Mirrorball: Live & More (2cd/1dvd)
Evilyn Strange – Evilution
Jethro Tull – Too Old To Rock ’N’ Roll, Too Young To Die (w. bonus tracks)
Scorpions – Animal Magnetism
Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia EP
And a Transformers tin that used to hold Autobot Strawberry Sours. Fun! Now, the candies were gone but I don’t dig on sour candy anyway. Makes the sides of my face tingle just thinking about it, so it’s more than OK. 🙂
Have I ever got a ton of reviewin’ to do!!! Bliss!!!
Folks. Holy crap. Whooooaaaa!
Mike. THANK YOU!
And how can I top that brilliance? With the boring shit, of course!
1) If you have a click on that handy Countdown To Iron Maiden link in the upper right-hand corner of our site, you can see that I have only 4 weeks to go until the Iron Maiden concert in Toronto! After waiting for months, it feels really, really good to be getting closer! \m/ \m/
2) Not that anyone likely cares, but back at the New Year I declared I would read all of Ernest Hemingway’s novels as my personal To Be Read challenge for 2016. I read the first two (The Torrents Of Spring, and The Sun Also Rises) and found them to be as dry as a popcorn fart. Halfway through the third novel (A Farewell To Arms), I honestly thought “this is also really, really fucking boring. I can’t watch paint dry anymore.”
All deference to those who dig him. And I did think, you know, maybe I should stick it out, maybe he gets better. I mean, I love The Old Man And The Sea, so it’s possible, right? But this is non-refundable lifetime I’m playing with here, and if I got 2.5 novels into his bibliography and I still don’t give a shit, it ain’t likely to happen. No more Hemingway for me, right now.
3) Remember my issue with replying to threads in the Reader? It’s still ongoing, but I figured out that I can click on the title of your posts in the Reader, which takes me to your sites themselves, and then I can reply to the thread as usual. It’s an extra click, for me, but it circumvents whatever is fucking up with WP on the commenting issue.
I’ll just leave this, taken from the Rheostatics’ web page to save me re-typing it all, for your edification. This news fills me with joy!
Rheos return to Massey Hall April 29 2016
Rheostatics at Massey Hall, Toronto, April 29, 2016. This will be the first time playing here — and the first time playing anything other than Music Inspired by G07 — since 2007, which was intended to be our final show. Our experiences reforming and playing in September w/ Hugh Marsh and Kevin Hearn were so great that we thought we’d walk down this road a little more, and try and bring new life to older material, as well as new works, which we hope to debut in the spring. The tickets here are only 30 dollars top price — everyone should be able to go, we hope — ticket info can be found on the Massey Hall site. Thanks to everyone who listens. We’re excited about this. We love you.
This is really great news! Yay for Rheos!!
Thrift Shop Scores
Bill Frisell – Good Dog, Happy Man
I recently played This Land, and loved it. I was thrilled to find another of his albums! Can’t wait to dig into it.
Glenn Miller – The Lost Recordings: The American Band Of The AEF
Total no-brainer purchase at $2, this 2cd set of 36 tracks is gonna be amazing.
A Tribute To Joni Mitchell
I’m not the world’s biggest Joni fan (as I’ve stated here before), but the list of artists on this disc (packaged in a lovely, shiny slipcase) made this disc too impressive to leave behind. Maybe I’ll like other people doing her songs better than hearing her do her own songs!
Hothouse Flowers – People (LP)
I loved these guys, back in the day. I got this LP, in beautiful shape and with the lyrics-printed paper sleeve intact, for $1. Score!
What Filled My Ears This Week
Last Sunday afternoon, it was house clean-up time. When asked what they wanted to hear as clean-up music, both kids shouted “Metallica!!” My daughter even jumped around on the couch making devil horns. So…
Metallica – Metallica
At this point, I don’t even need to say a goddamn word about this album. Of course I knew every word, every note, and every drum hit. The kids loved it, bouncing around, pretending to clean the house.
So then, after a brief break and no one paying much attention after the Metallica ended, Daddy chose the next clean-up album…
Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um
It’s still gorgeous.
The Roots – Do You Want More?!!!??!?
Not long ago, I scored a Grail List item in the first Roots album, Organix. I loved that one. And I’ve totally been in an old school Roots mood this week. Is there ever a week when I’m not? Haha not likely.
This is a mature, absolutely perfect release. I always see it in the shops for $5, brand-new, and I am floored. It’s worth waaaaaay more than that! This is my favourite rap act, and they’re nailing it here, track after track. It has a jazzy groove, immense soul and a great bounce and a crushing bottom end. The flow of the MCs takes a lot of rappers to school. Perfection. LOVE IT!
The Roots – Illadelph Halflife
Following up on the brilliance of Organix and Do You Want More?!!!??!? comes more typical fluid Roots genius in Illadelph Halflife. Immensely tuneful (and even better when you remember that they play their own instruments), the lyrics are thoughtful and thought-provoking, and the whole thing is just so damn smooth. Jazz funk soul hip hop gorgeousness all over this record.
Honestly, this band has a chemistry, a level of skill… they’re untouchable. One of a kind!
Alright, let’s get back to the music!
I Made A Mixed CD!
Yes. A CDr. Converted the MP3 files to WAV files, just like in the old days. How nostalgic! And I sat with it and mixed the tracks into order myself, choosing which tracks worked best from each artist, then placing them carefully into the mix. This took a lot longer than I remembered it taking, and I didn’t mind one bit. Listening to all the tracks, getting it sequenced just right… It’s still a labour of love, just like it was all those years ago when I got my first 2x CDr burner. My current one burns at 52x. Anyway.
I am inordinately proud of this mix. I was going for a feel, and for the mix to grow and become and have a sound that made sense all the way through. I think I nailed it!
It’s ten tracks and almost fills the whole CD. It sounds frickin’ GREAT in the car.
Dig this track listing:
Solstafir – Lagnaetti
Tool – Lateralus
Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
Dillinger Escape Plan – Gold Teeth On A Bum
Mastodon – All The Heavy Lifting
Baroness – Take My Bones Away
Killer Be Killed – Wings Of Feather And Wax
Dream Theater – As I Am
ISIS – Threshold Of Transformation
Opeth – Porcelain Heart
Hot damn! I think I’ve still got the Knack Of The Art Of The Mix! If anyone wants a copy, let me know. I can hook you up.
radiohead – In Rainbows
There was some talk in one of the other blogs/comments about this record, which inspired me to give it another spin this week. I thought it was gorgeous. Interestingly, I’ve already mentioned this one in these pages too, and it doesn’t seem like I enjoyed it quite as much then* as I did now. I came away from this spin of it thinking “wow, they really, really nailed it, with this one.” Excellent.
* Jeez, that was 2007-12-05.
10,000 Maniacs – The Wishing Chair, and Our Time In Eden
I haven’t spent nearly enough time with the albums of this incredible band. I found these two CDs, in pristine shape, at the thrift shop. Unreal.
Of course I know who these people are, and I know the hits, and I love Natalie Merchant’s solo work. But I’ve been wasting time, not listening to this group. Wow!
The band is a well-oiled machine that plays with such energy and lift, such beauty and grace. And Merchant’s vocals soar, fitting the sound perfectly and drawing you in further. Why have I not been listening to these albums all along? They’re so good!
rage against the machine – rage against the machine
Another one I’ve already done here**, and who cares? Every time I play this damn record, I blast it at top volume and get very indignant and ready to destroy some stuff. I also play viscious air drums with the whole thing. Oh my yes. I love this record. I’ve heard it a million times (and then some) and every time feels like perfection.
** haha wow, I wrote that on 2006-12-18. I’m old!
Neil Young – Unplugged
What can I reasonably say about this amazing performance? How do I not descend into hyperbole?
I’ve played this many times, over the years, and I’ve always loved it. I have to play it when my lovely wife is not around (she loves his lyrics, and the music, but strongly dislikes the sound of his voice). That’s OK. We have a lot of common ground, musically, but I’m happy to keep Neil all to myself if she chooses to not partake.
I still sometimes skip Helpless. I know it’s a great song, a classic, but I’m fairly tired of it. This is a nice version still, with piano, accordion, and harmonica. And people clapping along and hooting happily during The Needle And The Damage done is just gross. It’s a hard, sad song and they’re clearly not listening to the words. Even when he says “I know that some of you don’t understand…” Sigh.
Here’s all you need to know about this one:
Old Laughing Lady / Mr. Soul / World On A String / Pocahontas / Stringman / Like A Hurricane / Needle And The Damage Done / Helpless / Harvest Moon / Transformer Man / Unknown Legend / Look Out For My Love / Long May You Run / From Hank To Hendrix
Tom Cochrane & Red Rider – The Symphony Sessions
Recorded live in 1989 with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, this album is an old friend, to me. I have played and loved it many, many times. These run-throughs of their classic tunes are perfect – just different enough to be interesting, yet still totally recognizeable as themselves. There are too many highlights to list them all here. I mean, they even cover Leonard’s Bird On A Wire, and right before playing Boy Inside The Man and Lunatic Fringe, for crying out loud. The whole thing’s fantastic. If you don’t already have this, get it. Hells yes.
And now, it’s time to get harsh:
Owl City – Ocean Eyes
I got this one for $2 at the thrift shop, because it looked neat and I’d never heard of them. A total spec buy.
And… it really ain’t my thing. After getting a couple of tracks into it, I thought maybe this should have been a drunk review. But the level of drunk I’d need to be to hear this any differently would render me unconscious and unable to write a review.
I get it, people like this Mix One-Oh-Whatever FM radio-sounding crap, because you don’t have to pay attention to it and it blends into the background and gets you through your wait in the dentist office’s waiting room. It’s too precious and fluffy to be taken seriously. Take electronic blips and bleeps (think Casio keyboard) with drum machines, and autotune on the vocals, then mix in shite high school diary lyrics (my favourite was “there’s an underwater ferris wheel…” Haha WTF) and the occasional precious acoustic guitar dinkery and you’ve got this whole CD of I am never gonna listen to this again.
On another note:
Parenting: You’re Doing It Right
I was quite proud of my daughter (she’s 4) yesterday. We were in the car and the Watchmen’s most excellent In The Trees album came on. She and her brother had been fighting back and forth, as is their wont, but when the music came on she immediately sat up, told her brother very clearly to leave her alone, and focussed all of her attention on the music. She rocked out and sang along (without knowing any of the words) and had a great time. When we got home, I asked her what she thought of the music, and she said “That was great, Daddy!”
That’s my girl!
Alright, that’s enough for one week, isn’t it? It seems like a lot. But what fun!
Huge thanks once again to Mike for this amazing parcel of amazingness. Wowzers.
And for everyone, if you’ve made it this far, I thank you very much, and commend you for your exemplary patience. Feel free to comment on any, all or at least more than one thing you saw here. We love comments. They’re so tasty. So sexy.
Thanks for stopping by! See you next week!