Author Archives: keepsmealive
Hey folks! So, I’ve been slowly recounting my awesome Taranna finds from our trip there last month. I still have the rest of my BMV scores to tell you about, and ALL of the Sonic Boom finds too! So much to do.
Well, as a sign of how far behind I actually am, we were in Taranna again yesterday. And I have more music scores! So… um, I’ll tell you about all of them. Eventually. I am at the point where I’m gonna just have to post the album art and a one-liner and call it a day. Good grief.
Anyway, the city was awesome yesterday. Perfect weather, about 15C with a breeze off the lake. People had coats on, but us northerners were in t-shirts. Traffic was a bit rough on the way down, backed up at the 400 and the 427, but that happens often, and we made great time getting out of the city so that’s a win. The stores were way less busy as it wasn’t Record Store Day anymore.
Speaking of stores, Kops Records on Bloor was gone. No sign in the window that they’d moved, so I dunno. Maybe it’s all in the Queen St. location now? And She Said Boom! on College was gone too, but my panic was short-lived as they’d only moved a few doors further west down the street. Whew!
Also: I had a list of four albums I knew I definitely wanted to find, and I found two! Cool beans. I did not find any Grail List items. Speaking of which, have a look at the Grail List link (above) and if there are any updates for your lists, let me know!
Alright, stay tuned. I have awesome musics to hear/tell you about. And all the previous stuff too. Let’s see if I can find a way to get this done before we go again next month…
I still thank Mr. 1537 for pointing me towards this incredible unit.
If, like me, you dig their groovin’ desert blues, then this album will please you as greatly as any of their other work pleases you. Brilliant stuff!
My copy came with a DVD containing a 30 minute documentary about the band.
It’s cleaner-sounding, but he’s still shouting and they’re still rocking. They’re still in control, and the blues is still #1!
This is her 18th album, and I’ve been on the Ani bus for a lot of awesome listening years. She’s always on point, and she’s always brilliant. This one’s another fine example that sounds great.
This lady can sing. Without a doubt, she does it with control, power, and soul. Here she interprets songs others wrote for her (including M. Ward, Vic Chesnutt, Stephen Merritt, John Wesley Harding, Robyn Hitchcock, and Andrew Bird, to name a few), and is joined by Booker T. Jones and others to make it all sound stellar. Glorious.
So I bought this Neil Young book.
Nothing amiss there, oughta be a good read.
Then, when I got it home, I looked inside at the first page and saw this:
Yup, that’s in pen.
Alright. I have questions.
- Is this thing signed by Neil Young?
- Is he known to simply autograph with his initials?
- Further down the rabbit hole, could this have been signed to Rik Emmett? Am I thinking too hard about this?
Of course, surely there are other people named Rik, but there you go.
So what do you think?
Grammatically painful title aside, this is one hot CD. I knew of Kelly Hogan through Carolyn Mark. And Neko Case. Turns out she’s collaborated with a ton of others too, like Mavis Staples, Decembrists, Mekons, Tortoise, Jakob Dylan… the list is long and awesome.
You’ll know why she’d be a popular guest when you hear her creative, fun, beautiful record. What a voice! Hot damn. This is straight-up kick-ass gotta-hear it stuff.
I f*ckin’ love comps like this. The write-up on the back cover says it all:
Balling The Jack: 1) Gambler speak for risking everything on one throw of the dice. 2) A railroads man’s term for going full speed on a train. 3) Afro American argot for a dance characterized by sexually explicit pelvic movements. 4) Black slang for generally having a goooood time.
The Nu Blues: The Old Skool Blues feel, given a techno turbo-charge and pepped with hip-hop thrills, punk power, indie angst, art-rock experimentalism and an extra helping of 21st century soul to go. The Devil’s Music Deconstructed. You know it ain’t a sin…
Reid Paley – Lucky’ Tune
Asie Payton/Go Gittas Camp – Oooh Baby
Tom Waits – Big In Japan
Jimpson & Group – Road Song
Chris Thomas King – Mississippi Kkkrossroads
North Mississippi Allstars – Someday Baby
Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band – Electricity
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Stagger Lee
Olu Dara – Strange Things Happen Everyday
Pig In A Can – Slow Down Train
Gary Lucas w. Mary Margaret O’Hara – Poison Tree
Soft Boys – Give It To The Soft Boys
Billy Childish & His Famous Headcoats – The Wond’rous Day
Petit Vodo – Border Line
Moby – Findy My Baby
Penny Lang – Lost And Found
R.L. Burnside – Let My Baby Ride
Cowboy Junkies – Postcard Blues
Johnny Dowd – A Picture From Life’s Other Side
Bob Log III – Stirring Round A Stick
Diamanda Galas – See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
The only disc I found in the 3-for-$10 bin that needed to come home.
This bluesy beautiful set contains covers of Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, Paul Simon, Duke Ellington, Lennon-McCartney and Cyndi Lauper (among others). The sound is clear and roomy, and the band is on point. This one’s just more proof of her brilliance. She died far too young (at 33, in 1996). May she RIP.
TARANNA: As I mentioned in an earlier post, my Dad and I made were in Taranna recently. I bought musics, and will tell you about all of it. I plan to keep the posts super short, and to try to hone my Briefly Telling You Something Informatively skills.
(ARGUABLY UNNECESSARY) RESCUE MISSIONS: I keep a .txt list of all my music (artists and titles) on my phone. Apparently it needs an overhaul because on this last trip I bought a few items I already own. They were:
Rheostatics – Greatest Hits. I will forever love the Rheos, and not only because they called their first album their Greatest Hits. Turns out I already had this CD. And the LP.
Atoms For Peace – Amok (Deluxe Edition). I already own the CD. And the LP. But this was a shiny lovely deluxe fold-out CD edition for cheap, which I did not have. Unnecessary? Yes but also no.
Rollins Band – Nice (Advance CD). This is just the album (which I already own), with some promotional content added to the CD (which I also already own). This was a rescue mission (and my third copy). Because ROLLINS.
Mounties – Thrash Rock Legacy. I already own this CD, but it’s Hawksley (et al.) and it was in the clearance for $2.99 so I could not leave it to languish. I will find it a good home.
OK. First CD from BMV posts tomorrow.
Recently our son turned ten years old. Not sure where the time went, but our beautiful bundle of joy has grown to be a thoughtful, intelligent, strong young man.
He got a ton of gifts, of course (LEGO is still his favourite, now in the Technic form) but he got a couple of other gifts for which I think he’ll always remember this year’s birthday:
Up until now, he’s been listening to classic rock on his clock alarm radio. A rite of passage (I did the same). This year, my parents got him his first stereo. It’s a little CD/MP3 bookshelf unit with its own remote. I’ve been hooking him up with tunes (at his request – so far it’s been Gowan, Led Zeppelin, and Iron Maiden). I don’t know about you, but I’ve always remembered my first stereo, that light switch turning on and opening up the whole world to music and possibility. I can already see it’ll be the same for him.
And this year, I got him his first acoustic guitar. A real one, as he called it. An Art & Lutherie, just like mine. Actually, his is more capable as it has a pickup in it, but he liked the connection. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always remembered my first guitar, a Yamaha acoustic that endured my first plunking twangs. I was 18 or so when I got my first guitar, and I can’t help but think that if I’d gotten one at 10 years old, I’d have been so much further ahead. He hasn’t said anything about lessons yet, but we let him know it’s an option. I can show him basic chords to get him started.
There’s a different look in his eyes. I see that he sees the world opening up. Now he can listen to music (and control it), and he can begin to make his own.
Parenting comes with a lot of cool moments, too many to count. But some bigger ones you have to wait for, and I’ve been waiting a long time for these. I can confirm that when you get there, it’s so worth the wait.
It’s easy to trundle along thinking life will always be like it is now.
My lovely wife’s father has been ill for over a decade. He lived at home as long as he could. But eventually he wound up in the hospital and now, for the past couple of months, in a nursing home. It’s the best situation, with care on hand.
We visited him for Easter, and he’s in a room with an occupancy of four. He has a closet for a few clothes, a bulletin board above his bed, and a wee rolling shelf box beside the bed. Simple living.
Naturally, after visiting, my thoughts eventually roll to our own future. What if we end up in a similar situation? You want to live in your own home for as long as you can, of course, but as he discovered, health conditions can easily dictate otherwise despite your wishes.
And, being a collector, my brain takes the next logical step and asks: what about the records? Sure, they’d be at home. But, as an example, he’s unlikely to ever return home. And there’s no space in a place like that for anything like a turntable and even a few records. And, even if there was, the other three roommates might not like the tunes, so it’d be all headphones… I suppose an iPod would do, as a vehicle for getting the music to your ears.
And after we pass, what then? I don’t suppose I care what happens to any of it after I’m gone – I can’t play them anymore, after all – but the thought nags and, after our visit, I look at the collection in a different way. All my readings of Zen, Tao, and Walden flood back. I think minimalist. I calculate my current age and start guessing when I’ll be unable to maintain a private residence. It may never happen. Could be in 30 years. And so on. Isn’t my brain FUN?
The other side of this whole thing is to just not think about it, for now, and just enjoy the hell out of the music while I can. But that thought of the future will always be in there, and seeing his set-up which, admittedly, is comfortable and clean and enough, preemptively undoes all of my collecting efforts and life-hours. Eyes open.
Got my first free day with good weather (after winter), so Dad and I headed for Taranna.
It was Record Store Day. BMV wasn’t any busier than usual. Sonic Boom, however, was jammed with people so you could barely turn around. Great for sales, of course! But also hard to actually shop. They had live music on a stage at the back. I heard two acts (* photo credits to Sonic Boom’s Instagram):
I didn’t get any RSD 2019 scores. I could have bought the Mastodon Stairway To Heaven EP, but it was $27 for two songs and that’s too rich for me. I did get a ton of other scores in both shoppes, and I will report back here on all of them. Which leads me to…
As noted recently, I’ve got minimal time to blog/Read. Gah! I still want to tell you about stuff I hear, so I’m going to have to go shorter, though it must still tell you something about my thoughts about the thing, not just ‘hey this is what I heard/saw/etc.’
I’ll bet I could do it in one or two concise sentences.
Here’s one I’ve had in Dennis (my post hopper) for some time now. I’ve updated it to current and here it is:
I love hockey. I really do.
I grew up playing it, and wasn’t too bad as a center/left wing. But I got out at 14 years old, when everyone else had grown and I hadn’t, as with body contact allowed I was getting crushed. Turns out I don’t have or enjoy the mean tough hockey thing. I prefer the finesse have-fun hockey thing. Anyway.
As a kid, it made sense I should’ve been a Leafs fan. My Dad is a lifelong Leafs fan. Heck, they were the city closest to us, and they were the team we watched most on Saturday night Hockey Night in Canada. Yet I was an Oilers fan. Gretzky and Messier are still my top two hockey gods. Hard to fault a kid for cheering for those 80s Oilers. I even got to go to an Oilers/Leafs game at the old Gardens, ages ago, to see my heroes… And the Leafs… well, they’ve had a long, difficult slog since… the 60s.
Then I lived 20 years without a TV, so I didn’t see a whole lot of hockey. What I did see, I struggled to watch. I hated the zone trap, it actually made the game boring. And all the lazy hooking from behind on the backcheck (which is now a penalty, thank goodness) made the game unwatchable. I even hated when Fox tried to put that stupid streak behind the puck so everyone could follow along. Dumb. Honestly, who can’t follow the puck?
And now, over the years of having internet I began to follow the NHL again, just highlights and stuff. I’m not a Oilers fan, per se, anymore. I’ve tended to just hope that the team that deserves to win actually wins. And this season, I found a channel on Youtube that condenses every 60 minute game into an 8-10 minute highlight reel. I watched many of them here and there, while I was cooking supper, or while the kids were in kung fu, or whenever my attention wasn’t immediately required elsewhere. Over time I got re-acquainted with what has always been in my blood, and we even go to our local OHL games now and again, and I love those. I just grew to love watching hockey again.
And I found myself rooting for the Leafs.
I can’t quite articulate why. There are so many good teams in the league, now. Honestly, the speed and the skill these days is off the charts from what this old dog is used to seeing. And still, for all the great players the Leafs have, somehow they often manage to be a hot mess. But when they get it right, goddamn it, it’s superb.
So I’m learning what beginning to identify as a Leaf fan means. It’s an annual tough row to hoe, it’s a lot of bitter disappointments and crushed hopes… and yet somehow hope always springs eternal. I mean, even the Cubs won a World Series eventually.
And last night, at my folks’ place, I watched Game 7 of the Bruins/Leafs first round series, held in Boston. I found myself actually nervous for the buds. And they lost, in big fashion, 5-1. Despite out-playing, out-shooting (by a wide margin) and out-hitting the Bruins. Really it was 3-1, but they stupidly pulled Andersen with about 3:00 left, allowing those last two coffin-nail goals. And so their season ends.
Honestly, now with Toronto, Tampa, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg, Calgary (and maybe Washington, tonight) out of the playoffs [all major teams!], I don’t really care much who wins anymore. I’m happy Nashville’s out, though. I have watched (off and on) all season, and I’ll still watch to the end and see who wins the Cup, but with the Leafs out it just doesn’t feel exciting in the same way. That’s a huge new first for me.
And I hope for next season already. I hope they trade Kadri* and Nylander**, promote Ennis and Moore, and put super-speedy Kapanen back where he belongs. I hope they get another defenseman. I hope they work out the top guns lines and stick with what works. Hell, I cross my fingers Marleau sticks around forever. I hope they give Marner whatever he wants – they need him and that kid’s amazing. I hope they treat Tavares and Matthews like kings. If I was a kid now, they’d be my heroes. I hope they find Andersen a solid back-up (is Sparks it? Who knows). So much to handle in the off-season.
And here I sit, newly-minted and full of opinions, probably talking outta my ass. Haha shut up, noob! Yeesh.
Apparently, I’m now a Leafs fan. I wouldn’t ever have guessed it, and yet here it is. I know what it means. And I’m OK with that.
In a beautiful bit of life’s full circle, our son is an Oilers fan. He loves McDavid, and Draisaitl, and all the rest. Good on him. I support him in that, too!
* He’s let them down when they need him too often. Time to go, bud, thanks for everything good.
** I said at the time of all that trade holdout crap that they didn’t need him (not that he’s not a good player, just that They Did Not Need Another Expensive Forward), and I was proven right. Waaaay too many millions, and for waaaaay too little output (called it). Meh.
What? Tea? Am I ripping off Sarca (Juan Valdez Follows her, you should too!) and her coffee posts?
Nope. I mentioned a while back about managing to shed about 25 pounds. I don’t say I ‘lost’ weight because that sounds like something that could be found again and I have no interest in finding it again. Anyway.
I’m fairly certain a significant part of this accomplishment was the ingestion of healthy quantities of green tea. I know lots of folks think it tastes like grass, and who’d wanna drink the lawn? But me, I love it. Just plain, straight up, nothing in it. No lemon, no ginger, no extra anything. Keep it coming.
So I started a survey of green teas, out of my own interest, and thought I’d share the results (thus far, hence the Pt.1 in the title) in case any of y’all were interested.
I used a scale from 0 (hairy grossness) to 10 (rainbow unicorn panacea). Here’s what I’ve got so far:
1 – Lipton Green Tea – basic, cheap, not terrible. RATING: 5
2 – Tim Hortons Green Tea – lemon furniture cleaning spray nose, OK flavour. Would probably make a fairly good iced tea. RATING: 6-1 for the nose = 5
3 – Twinnings Green Tea – smooth, simple, solid go-to. RATING: 7
4 – Tian Hu Shan Dragon Well Green Tea – Chinatown Taranna find. Basic, not offensive. RATING: 5
5 – Lipton Magnificent Matcha Green Tea – expensive, in comparison, but so far above and beyond the others it’s not even fair. RATING: 10
And that’s the first 5. When I get through a few more, I’ll report back. Enjoy a cuppa!
I’ve posted crap like this a lot over these (now) 13 years, but this is a new general state.
All apologies, dear KMA Readers. Post counts are down. Worse, I haven’t read your posts, or commented. Where did Aaron go?
I’ve just lost the mojo. And the further it goes along, the harder it is to get back. I thought I could get caught up and then stay on top daily, but then it slid too long. Apologies all around.
I do still listen to music. In this current state, I’ve now heard more than I’ve posted (natch).
I need a sustainable plan. I probably need to let go of the idea of staying on top. I probably need to stop worrying about it. Not gonna lie, the reflex is dying hard, but it is what it is.
So, a few days ago, I barfed in a post about some of the pros and cons of going to concerts. And then we went to a concert (SADIES FTW!). So I thought I’d go back through my post and see how this show matched up. Thoughts are in italics in the (bolded) original text (because I am lazy)…:
You know, in a way, concerts are rather silly. This one wasn’t! It was awesome.
You spend extra money Truly not a problem, for seeing this band.
and set aside an entire evening to go out of your house not gonna lie, we needed to get out so bad.
and be amongst the masses who’ll mostly likely talk through the whole damn thing, check their cellphones non-stop, chew with their mouths open and probably get drunk and sloppy OK so this happened, in fact one drunk guy kept coming close to elbowing my lovely wife in the head several times and looked at us like we were the jerks when we calmly asked him to move, meanwhile he and his buddies stood right over us and had a shouted conversation throughout several songs but then stopped talking when the band stopped playing ASSHOLES… though eventually they got the hint and moved off, so um, yay?,
just to hear a band reproduce songs that you could reproduce yourself from their album anytime you choose – in your house, in your car, from your phone or iPod. I’ve seen several bands who did this, and I came away wondering why I didn’t just play the CD… Except, as J. correctly pointed out, the Sadies are on another level performing live. Their CDs are great, and their live show is just that much greater, so this was definitely not a re-tread experience.
Very often (for me) concerts are too loud to the point where the sound isn’t even pleasurable to listen to, breaking up and distorted. Admittedly, for certain types of concerts like punk or metal shows, that makes sense and can be fun (with earplugs), but more often, I find it would be better if it was slightly, reasonably quieter. At least, not crush-your-chest and head loud. Loud for the sake of being loud. This show was at a reasonable volume that suited the room and the music, so it was fine (even without earplugs).
Also, for me, most decent shows require at least two hours of travel to a larger city, so it’s not just the expense of the ticket itself, it is the expense of time, gas money, food money and, depending on where and at what time the show is, possibly hotel money as well. It is a planned event beyond just stopping by to check it out. Not to mention we’d need to arrange childcare, and make sure that it isn’t a work night. This one was right here in our town, ten minutes from our home!
So you commit to going somewhere, usually at expense, and being jostled by other people, to hear songs you’ve already heard at a volume that hurts. The mild introvert in me finds all of this very tiring. The mild introvert in me was fine with most of the evening, except for the drunken louts. They really could have tried harder. They’re also harder to take when you’re not drinking yourself. It’s been four years since I had a drink, and I suppose after a couple it might’ve been easier going, but through sober eyes they were just sad and annoying.
On the other side of the coin, concerts are special because very often bands don’t merely reproduce the songs as you hear them on the album. The best bands make the song recognizable, yet they will add solos, or change the words, or make the song shorter or longer, or even blend songs together that you hadn’t previously considered putting together. They will also play cover tunes, and talk to the crowd and tell jokes and stories, making it a worthwhile experience because it’s stuff you wouldn’t otherwise get. This was absolutely the case at this Sadies show.
If you enjoy merchandise, you can get T-shirts, hats, pins, CDs and whatever else. There was a stuff table. CDs were $15, LPs were $20. Pretty sure the t-shirts were $30 or $35. I didn’t buy anything but the prices seemed reasonable. There didn’t seem to be more than a few albums on display, so I don’t know if there were more in a box, available on request, or if that was all they brought with them.
If you enjoy meeting the people who make the music, sometimes you can get lucky and hang around after the show and meet them, although myself I’m more often tend to not do that than the times that I do. We did not stick around after the show ended, as it was nearing midnight and we had to get back and let our babysitter off the hook. There’s a very good chance, though, that if we’d hung around we might’ve met one or all of the band. They didn’t seem too inclined to be rushing out of the building.
Plus it is simply a night out and doing something, just different than the usual routine and sometimes that’s just what the doctor ordered. OMG this, for sure. We don’t often go out, just the two of us, and usually that’s fine. But it sure was nice, on this occasion!
Looks like, in this case, the Sadies win the Pros column easily, and easily disarm the Cons side as well. This was a show well worth it in (just about) every way. Thank you, Sadies. Come back again soon! And go to Glasgow – J. demands it! 🙂
On 1998-11-04, my lovely wife and I had our first date. So, hopeless romantic geeks that we are, every year we acknowledge that date in some small way. Of course, last November (2018-11-04) was 20 years since our first date. Accordingly, we said ‘hey, we oughta do something, like actually go out on a date and enjoy.’ Great idea!
Fast forward to this past Thursday night, our first real opportunity to get out just the two of us. Now, as the parents of two small children, a delay of 5 months is normal, right?
Anyway. This all came about because, one day, I noticed the concert poster bill (below) and I said to my lovely wife, ‘Hey look, the SADIES!’ and she said ‘We’re going!’ and so we got tickets that day. The gig became our plan to get out for the night!
So, first we went out for dinner, and then hit up the Heartwood Hall for the sold out Sadies concert. Life is grand!
Sharp-eyed KMA Readers will recall that the Heartwood is the same venue in which we saw Danny Michel perform last year. It’s an event space above the store (of the same name) on our main street. The acoustics are great and, even when full, it mustn’t hold that many people, maybe 200? I dunno, not many. This time around, a good amount of floor space in front of the stage was left empty for dancing.
At some point in the evening, I texted myself key words so I could write this review of the gig when I got home. That I am finishing this a couple of days later makes me even more glad I sent this. I kind of like it as it is, so here’s the text, verbatim:
Sadies raucous rocking swinging country punk jamming shifting time signatures tones moods tempos glorious sway fearless abandon infectious energy bare kuckles roadhouse barroom brawl gorgeous twang musical prowess varied Canadiana masterpiece with dancers and so goddamn tight yet relaxed about it all hot damn this fucking rules
There’s an easy swagger to what the Sadies do, but it belies the absolute control and energy that these four players possess. They are locked tight in the pocket at all times, yet there’s still that feeling of room to move, create, push the music forward. It’s easy to focus on the guitar pyrotechnics and the vocal differences between the Good brothers (Dallas and Travis), but to watch Mike Belitsky on the drums was, for me, a dream, and Sean Dean on the upright bass was unassuming but playing with style, panache, and holding the whole damn thing together like a boss. It’s a battery team par excellence.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better gig this year. These guys are amazing.
I noticed Dallas had two Telecasters, a red one which seemed to be his main instrument, and a blonde Tele with his name right on the fretboard under the strings, which he only played for a couple of songs. Travis had what looked like a Gibson 335 or maybe a Gretsch, I didn’t get close enough to see for sure.
You could tell the band was having a blast and, several times, Dallas made sure to mention that they really loved the room at the Heartwood (they’ve played here before), and they surely didn’t take for granted how welcomed they felt and how much they were enjoying the whole thing. He also took a wild stab at what people from this town call themselves, and he got it right first guess: Owen Sounders. He loved that, and stayed with it until blurting, “that’s, like, the best band name ever!” He’s not wrong.
Most Sadies songs are short, tight manifestos of awesome (and as my text to myself shows, they’re varied and amazing). As such, they blasted through a ton of brilliant songs, over the course of the evening. No one has posted the setlist on setlist.fm as of this writing, so the actual list will have to wait until some kind soul tells us for sure (I’ll post it if it ever does appear). I’m gonna guess we heard over 30 songs though, because the show was well over two hours long, and their intermission was short. I know!
As they neared the end, Dallas said they were gonna play four more songs and then wrap it up. They blasted through those four songs (including It’s Nothing To Me, which I was waiting to hear ‘cos I love it), set down their instruments and made to leave. Not long after, it was decided they’d play two more songs and then end the gig. After those two songs were done, same deal and a decision to play one more song, which they did, and then that was, finally, the end of the gig. You could just tell they were loving every minute, soaking up the fun and the love and they, like us, didn’t want it to be over.
Folks, if the Sadies play anywhere near your town, at any time, GO. Don’t even hesitate. They are so good, it’s a guaranteed great set. Just GO.
Happy date-iversary, indeed!
NB: Sorry, J., we didn’t get a chance to talk to the band after the show, as we had to go relieve our babysitter of duties (it was nearing midnight), so I didn’t get a chance to tell them about your hope for the band to come and perform in Glasgow. Who knows, maybe they’ll read this post and book a flight!
I snapped a couple of quick pics during the gig, with my phone, but I’m not gonna lie, I was having too much fun soaking in the music and the performance, so I didn’t take many. All apologies for the quality, it was an older iPhone in a darkened room:
Read details about this record, often considered among the best albums of all time, RIGHT HERE.
For this brief barf, I’m just gonna say I absolutely love this whole thing. It does have Son Of A Preacher Man on it, a song that was covered so many times after this, but every damn song here is so sweet and sexy and soulful and sophisticated. It just has an easy class that draws you in and holds you close.
This deluxe Rhino edition I have here contains the original 11 tracks, followed by 14 bonus tracks! Just amazing.
I need this on vinyl. Oh man.
My lovely wife got me this book as a gift, knowing I love the Kids In The Hall. It’s a great read.
A lot of the information in here is stuff that I already knew, but there was more than enough about their past and their relationships (and the depths of it all) that I did not know, and for this I am exceedingly grateful to have read it. It’s like getting to peek behind the curtains at the humans who make magic.
Also, this is indeed a music post because of Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. And because Craig Northey. And because Kids In The Hall are rock stars in their profession and I hope they remain forever popular.
I’m falling in love with The HU.
Mongolian metal for cranking in the good headphones. Get ready to charge over a hill into battle! HELL YEAH!
So I have been thinking about concerts. I haven’t hit any final answers, but it’s just where my brain is.
In a few days, we will be going to see the Sadies at the Heartwood and it’s going to be a fantastic time. However, in thinking about the experience of seeing a show, I’ve come up with a few pros and cons.
You know, in a way, concerts are rather silly. You spend extra money and set aside an entire evening to go out of your house and be amongst the masses who’ll mostly likely talk through the whole damn thing, check their cellphones non-stop, chew with their mouths open and probably get drunk and sloppy, just to hear a band reproduce songs that you could reproduce yourself from their album anytime you choose – in your house, in your car, from your phone or iPod. I’ve seen several bands who did this, and I came away wondering why I didn’t just play the CD…
Very often (for me) concerts are too loud to the point where the sound isn’t even pleasurable to listen to, breaking up and distorted. Admittedly, for certain types of concerts like punk or metal shows, that makes sense and can be fun (with earplugs), but more often, I find it would be better if it was slightly, reasonably quieter. At least, not crush-your-chest and head loud. Loud for the sake of being loud.
Also, for me, most decent shows require at least two hours of travel to a larger city, so it’s not just the expense of the ticket itself, it is the expense of time, gas money, food money and, depending on where and at what time the show is, possibly hotel money as well. It is a planned event beyond just stopping by to check it out. Not to mention we’d need to arrange childcare, and make sure that it isn’t a work night.
So you commit to going somewhere, usually at expense, and being jostled by other people, to hear songs you’ve already heard at a volume that hurts. The mild introvert in me finds all of this very tiring.
On the other side of the coin, concerts are special because very often bands don’t merely reproduce the songs as you hear them on the album. The best bands make the song recognizable, yet they will add solos, or change the words, or make the song shorter or longer, or even blend songs together that you hadn’t previously considered putting together. They will also play cover tunes, and talk to the crowd and tell jokes and stories, making it a worthwhile experience because it’s stuff you wouldn’t otherwise get.
If you enjoy merchandise, you can get T-shirts, hats, pins, CDs and whatever else. If you enjoy meeting the people who make the music, sometimes you can get lucky and hang around after the show and meet them, although myself I’m more often tend to not do that than the times that I do.
Plus it is simply a night out and doing something, just different than the usual routine and sometimes that’s just what the doctor ordered.
So, there, I don’t seem to have come to any sort of resolution on these thoughts. I’ve been to shows that I loved, and ones that I was ready to leave before they were over. The good and the bad, we’ve all been there. This is just a brain barf and I’m putting it out there. I’m assuming most of you will say that concerts are a positive and that the negative parts of the concert are outweighed by the better parts of the concert… Feel free to correct, add, argue, whatever in the comments. This was just what was on my mind today.
DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE OF NOWHERE AND EVERYWHERE
BY: RUGGER RUGGEDSON
For the longest time I thought perhaps the G-ds hate me. You see…
I’ve been sent to find Inukshuk.
Unsure what short straw I drew, or what bad karma I am working off to have been given this assignment, for the record I began executing my command against my better judgment. Now, even after I gave up on the paper’s agenda and this became solely a personal mission, I’ve carried on. Despite the fact that I’d likely have better luck finding Bigfoot.
MEMO TO ANYONE WHO FINDS MY BODY BEFORE I CAN ACCOMPLISH THIS MISSION:
Having long ago sold my laptop and phone for food and survival gear money, I’m writing these notes with a golf pencil in a crappy journal book I got at a dollar store. If my body is found, I will be clutching this journal and its pages should be enshrined in whatever journalism hall of fame you choose.
Yes, the notoriously absent and/or in hiding Canadian rockers have led me on a merry chase. After their unsuccessful attempt to cross the US/Canadian border, and after releasing two albums to small acclaim to only a very few, Inukshuk have long gone to ground. Again. And they’ve apparently created another album. Again. So this publication needs a story, and I’m the schmuck who got delegated. Was it Karen from HR who wanted me out of the office? Probably.
In the beginning, it was fairly easy going. Sightings and rumours were to be had, and company-paid supplies were full. But time has passed and I am wearying of the game. The per diem from the offices ended long ago, I am out here on my own fumes. Hotel rooms have given way to a tatty sleeping bag on park benches. I have passed through depression, anxiety, disorientation, and even a brief period where I believed my own name to be Gord, a flute-playing sixth member of the band. None of it helpful.
6 months I’ve been on the trail, following leads, lies, rumours and recent sightings. I’ve ridden every mechanical contrivance Canada can offer, paid fare or hitchhiking my way to the next surefire fabrication, descending from initial (naive) hope through to utter despair, rising again through ambivalence to my current state of calm. I’ve been from Dildo, Newfoundland to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta. From Climax, Saskatchewan to Swastika, Ontario. From Sober Island, Nova Scotia to Mayo, Quebec. From Stoner, British Columbia to Cardigan, Prince Edward Island, and from Crotch Lake, Ontario to Vulcan, Alberta. Band sightings are many, but I grew to despair of ever actually meeting up with one or (imagine the luck) all of the members of Inukshuk.
I am currently in Ball’s Falls, Ontario after having been outright lied to by a pair of enthusiastic underdressed teenagers in Punkydoodles Corners. Initially, there was no sign of Inukshuk here either, though they swore on their iPhones’ battery life that it was true. Exhausted and shambling, I had just reached a point of quitting on life in general when I happened to catch my own reflection in a Tim Horton’s window. My wild beard and hair, to match my wild eyes, are only outdone by my last outfit of clothing smelling little better than the sulpher mines near Temagami, Ontario.
My eyes gradually focussed past my reflection to the people at the window seat, staring back at me (and what a vision I present!). And there they were. After Spread Eagle Bay, Newfoundland, Eyebrow, Saskatchewan, and Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, Quebec, I’ve found them.
At first, none of us moves. I don’t wave, but they know they’ve been recognized. So I produce a tattered journalist lanyard I’d thought long-lost, and they look resigned and nod. I head in to meet the Gords. Based on my appearance and probable odour, though, they meet me at the door and we head down the street for a walk.
I am in the presence of the Gords and Gordons. Drummer Gord Tremblay. Bassist Gordon Murphy. Singer and guitarist Gord Brown. Singer and Guitarist Gordon Gagnon. Singer Gord Smith. All of them looking at me. They know what comes next.
So they start talking, without my even asking a question. I’m not even able to write any of this down, it all happens so quickly. I am going from memory, from this point, but I swear it’s as verbatim as possible despite my addled faculties.
Gordon Murphy starts, as though we were picking up on a conversation we’d had interrupted by a maitre d’. “So there we were in Conception Bay, Newfoundland and Gord (Smith) got the idea that maybe we oughta record a new album. We all laughed, of course, because we had no money and no ideas.” They all mumble agreement. “But Gord persisted. And when he persists, well, the rest of us don’t truly care and just go along, usually.” They all mumble agreement again.
Gord Brown took over. “So we set about finding a way to get to Cocagne, New Brunswick because we knew a guy there named Gordie Desjardins, and he could help us record. He has a wee studio and all the gear we’d need… Of course, when we got to Cocagne, Gordie was gone off with some new woman and no one knew where.” They all sigh. “But,” Gord brightened, “As long as we’ve known him, Gordie never locked his doors, so we let ourselves into his place and used his recording equipment and instruments.” They all nod.
Left unsupervised with decent recording equipment and instruments, it seems, turned Inukshuk into a songwriting juggernaught. “We wrote 157 songs in a week,” claims Gordon Gagnon. “Of course, only about six of them were any good, and of those I like two.” But they knew they had to flesh out the album, and, by democratic election, settled on twelve new songs. The other 145 songs are lost to the mists of time, though. “We don’t remember them anymore,” laments Gordon Gagnon.
At last I have the ability to speak. “Do you have a copy of the album with you? I’d love to hear it.” They all glance sidelong at each other, unsure of whether they can trust this dishevelled hobo who may or may not be beginning to lose teeth due to lack of care, especially with something so personal to them. It’s Gordon Murphy who shrugs and says “sure, why not, eh?” and produces a Maxell casette (complete with cover art) from his jacket pocket.
We retire to their campsite, in a ditch beside the highway. Gord Smith lights a fire. Gordon Gagnon smokes a cigarette. Gordon Murphy digs out a battered 80s boom box from an army surplus backpack and loads it with 6 D-cell batteries. Pressing play, he transports me to Cocagne, and as the first heavy rock guitar notes wash over me, I realize I have actually achieved culmination. Not only did I find Inukshuk, I am probably the only person outside of the Gords and Gordons to have heard Inukshuk’s new album.
The songs seem to blur past me, as they were all only about two minutes long each. Side A starts of with the heavy pulse of ‘King Tut Was My Bitch’, and the glam metal of ‘Insuring The Chrysler,’ before slowing down for the slow dance of ‘Dumpster Dive.’ The side is rounded out by the poppy ‘Happy Hookers,’ the complicated ‘Glue On The Fretboard,’ and the almost post-punk ‘Mayday Mayday Mayday (I’m Goin’ Down).’ Side B opens with another metal cruncher in ‘I Have To Go To The Bathroom,’ only to seque into three straight slower power rockers, with ‘Toothbrush Holder,’ ‘Lobster Boy,’ and ‘Maple Syrup Neti Pot.’ Inukshuk brings the goods for the last two side B closers too, going death metal on ‘Skeletal Sunday’ and black metal on ‘Shoplifter Satan.’
Home Sweet Home, indeed.
I ask if they plan to release this obvious masterpiece. “Nah,” says Gordon Murphy, as he puts away the boom box and the cassette. “We voted and it was decided that this one is just for us.” I press my case, arguing that the world needs more Inukshuk, and (withholding my opinion that it sounded like it was recorded with a potato, despite having been done, reportedly, in a studio) this album could really change the fortunes of the band, bring them notoriety and fame. Money, even. Gord Tremblay scoffed. “We’d only spend it.”
With the album played, and the boys of the band apparently done talking, it grew obvious that it was time for me to move along. I’d somehow overstayed my time with them, but they were too polite to say so. Gordon Tremblay even gave me the cover art from the cassette (reproduced above). “Will I see you guys again?” I ask, rising to trek on down the highway. “Never know, dude,” said Gord Smith. “We’re always out here somewhere.” I nod. “Well, if you change your mind, will you contact me in Toronto so I can help you get a record deal and get heard?” They all nod but I know they never will.
From down the road, I look back at Inukshuk around their campfire, not saying anything, not even watching as I go, already moved on in their lives to whatever happens next, wherever that may happen. And I know more clearly than I’ve ever known anything that they should never come to Toronto, never get a record deal, never become famous. It would ruin the magic of Inukshuk, which is something the band themselves intuitively know without having to say it.
I never went back to Toronto. Karen from HR can bite me. I’ve stayed out on the road, travelling from place to place across this huge, beautiful country of ours. I work odd jobs and meet people as diverse as any found anywhere. During my trials, I transcended the suffering of the search, and found peace in the movement, in the lack of routine, in the freedom of going with the wind. But mostly, I’ve stayed out here in case I ever run into Inukshuk again. Someday, somwhere, I hope I do.
SUBMITTED BY MAIL FROM FORGET, SASKATCHEWAN.
RUGGER RUGGEDSON NO LONGER WORKS FOR THIS PUBLICATION.
This is a sweet mix of hip hop beats, samples and scratches. It’s where creative musicianship enter into hip hop, the backbone of the works. It’s a helluva listen. You could throw it on in the background, especially at a party, but for me it needed to be in the good headphones, front and center so I could soak it all in.
This edition is part one of a series, and if I ever see others I’ll be grabbing them up for sure. Recommended!
Cut Chemist – Lesson 6 – The Lecture
Prince Paul – DJ Prince Vs. The World
RadaR – RadaR Frees Tibet (Gasho Mix)
The Angel – Strange Times (Version)
Ingrid De Lambre f. Eddie Def – Poeisies, Scene 1 Le Blues
DJ Swingsett & DJ Wally – Centaurus Spece Bass (Cloak & Destroy Mix)
X-Men – A Turntable Experience
Lyrics Born f. Lateef – Say That
Peanut Butter Wolf f. Babu & J-Rocc of Beat Junkies – They Don’t fall Down
Beyond There – On Wax
Mumbles – At The Mountains Of Madness
Q-Burn’s Abstract Message – Book Of Changes
When it comes to rap, I know what I like when I hear it, but it’s all gut instinct without much knowledge to back it up.
Eminem is one of those artists I intend to cover in-depth (eventually), but for now this Australasian promotional 2003 Shady mixtape is what was spinning recently. I don’t know if any of these tracks are rare, or even if some of these people are still performing (Joe Beast? Brooklyn? Shaunta? see lack of knowledge, above), but it was a fun listen.
Of course, Eminem is all over this. As a label sampler, these 14 tracks are hot and bangin’. Right on.
The Evil Genius DJ Green Lantern – International Invasion – Intro
Eminem, 50 Cent, Tony Yayo & Lloyd Banks – Bump Heads
Eminem, D12 & Obie Trice – Doe Ray Me
Tony Yayo – Freestyle
Eminem & D12 – Keep Talkin’
Obie Trice – Synopsis
50 Cent & Eminem – Patiently Waiting (live from State Theater, Detroit)
50 Cent & Eminem – In Da Club (live from State Theater, Detroit)
Obie Trice – Rap Name
Eminem – Stimulate
50 Cent – ‘Til I Collapse Freestyle
Joe Beast – Gangsta
Brooklyn – The Weekend
Shaunta – California
I saw the DVD of this (thanks heaps, James!), and I remember liking the show part of it, the concept was cool. But I vaguely recall thinking the final songs were OK but that, after all the work they did, maybe they coulda been stronger. Or something like that. Like I said, my memory of it has faded pretty well.
So. I grabbed this CD at work for cheap because why not, it’ll complete the set with the DVDs! And you know something, with this much separation from watching the show, these songs are strong and my vague memory of my impression of it is just silly. This is a varied work, from full-on rockin’ to beautiful acoustic parts, to solid middle pop like the Foos do it so well… Loved it.
First off, he missed a real opportunity, here, to call it k-os: kollected. Alas.
This is mostly a compilation of singles (some remixed) from this excellent Canadian rapper’s first three albums. There are a couple of new tracks here (leftovers from Atlantis: Hymns For Disco), too.
And then there’s Elvis Costello, for whom there’s no such thing as predictable. Given the day, I like him or not, depending on variables… if it’s an off day, maybe it’s just not what I want that day, or perhaps it’s whatever weird angle he took at the time didn’t hit me right, or maybe his voice grates on my nerves (it often does)… But there are other times it’s all great and I’m riveted. This is (mostly) one of the latter occasions.
Inspired by an Italian professor’s letters to Shakespeare’s Juliet, Costello goes way out into the field yet again, and returns with gold. Along for the ride is the Brodsky Quartet, and it’s a moody, atmospheric, romantic excursion. It’s contemporary classical music, chamber music, even. It has pop sensibilities, though. It plays like a stage performance. It’s not trying to be perfect, and it is never boring.
I still cringe at his voice, at spots, but the playing is stellar, the arrangements are engaging, and the overall vision is worth it.
Being adventurous pays off, this time.
Did I need to buy this? No.
Is it ridiculous to think this has covered the best of Dire Straits AND Mark Knopfler on one measly CD? Yes.
Is it likely just a label money-grab? Probable.
Does this still contain much goodness and feel satisfying upon listen? Of course.
Is it essential? Not really. But it was cheap and I see Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler and I just buy it.
Tracks (to show you what they thought was all of the best). These are listed in play order, showing how the disc is divided into two sections:
Dire Straits: Sultans Of Swing / Love Over Gold / Romeo And Juliet / Tunnel Of Love / Private Investigations / Money For Nothing / Brothers In Arms / Walk Of Life / On Every Street
Mark Knopfler: Going Home: Theme Of The Local Hero / Why Aye Man / Boom, Like That / What It Is / All The Road Running (w. Emmylou Harris)
This is totally one of those cheap-ass classical CDs you find in bins everywhere, but don’t be fooled. It’s beautiful.
Main themes performed by different orchestras, like Alfred Scholz and the Philharmonia, or the Orquesta Y Coros De Varsovia, this is a riveting listen. I like Wagner a lot – it’s two worlds, powerful and delicate, elegant and rough.. you get the idea.
Tannhauser – Overture
Lohengrin – Act 1: Prelude
Rienzi – Overture
Overture “Das Lebesverbot” (Forbidden Love)
Adam: Giselle – Adagio, Waltz
I’m no Jethro Tull expert, but this seems to be a fairly representative collection of the tunes noobs like me would want to hear of their better-known songs. I dunno, I got it off Amazon for $4 to get free shipping. Pleasant surprise: I really enjoyed it! I liked how complex the songs were. They were pretty fearless (I dig the inclusion of the flute), capable of showcasing many different styles, and just different enough to stand out from a lot of the other stuff cluttering that era. Right on, I’ll be spinning this again.
Remastered awesomeness. Time to make the Mothership Connection and get funked!
Tracks: Up For The Down Stroke / All Your Goodies Are Gone / Ride On / Chocolate City / Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker) / P. Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up) / Mothership Connection (Star Child) / Do That Stuff / Dr. Funkenstein / Let’s Take It To The Stage (live) / Fantasy Is Reality / Bop Gun (Endangered Species) / Flash Light / Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop) / Theme From The Black Hole / Agony Of Defeet
I bought this for two reasons: 1) because it has Cozy Powell on it. And 2), because the track listing told me they would attempt Holst’s Mars, The Bringer Of War.
Apparently this was the only album Powell recorded with Emerson and Lake, after Palmer left to join Asia. The result is prog rock Floyd-spacey grandeur meets 80s synth-filled fun times. Love Blind is closest to a radio single (to me), their synth blast cover of The Locomotion is throw-away hilarious, and Step Aside is jazzy left field wtf.
As for Mars? As a fan of Holst, this was an interesting, powerful take that somehow made me imagine the original Bladerunner. Worth the risk.
It’s dated, but the playing here is superlative, and with an understanding that this album was made in 1986, I think it holds up remarkably well in 2019. Use the good headphones.
GASCD is an acronym for Governments Accountable to Society & Citizens = Democracy. So, wouldn’t that be GATS&C=D? Anyway.
Bourbon Tabernacle Choir’s Chris Brown put this together, inspired by the protests as the Quebec City Summit of the Americas in 2002. Profits went to progressive media and social justice groups.
I bought this not for its political protest rally origins, but because of all the awesome artists playing their political songs. I’m all about the music. It’s a long listen, but it’s chock-full of goodness. Here’s the tracks list, from which you ought to be able to gather its awesomeness:
1 Sylvain Lamoureux – The Geese
2 Ani DiFranco – Your Next Bold Move
3 Rheostatics – Bad Time to Be Poor
4 Olu Dara – Red Ant (Nature)
5 Gordon Downie – Trick Rider
6 Jello Biafra – Spoken word excerpt from Mohawk College April 25, 2001
7 Sex Mob – Black and Tan Fantasy
8 Bruce Cockburn – Call it Democracy
9 Scotty Hard – Diurnal – 5:24
10 Propagandhi – Today’s Empire, Tomorrow’s Ashes
11 Maude Barlow – Spoken word excerpt from People’s Summit – Quebec City, 2001
12 Chris Brown and Kate Fenner – How You Gonna Bring Your Children to God
13 Tony Scherr – Food for News
14 Michael Franti – Oh My God
15 Interférence Sardines – Un Nescalier
1 Gil Scott-Heron – Work For Peace
2 Nikki Giovanni – Nothing Makes Sense
3 Clark Gayton – Glad I Found My Religion
4 David Suzuki – Phone interview excerpt, May 2001
5 The Tragically Hip – Putting Down
6 Sarah Harmer – 1st Lady
7 Christian Doscher – Straight Lines
8 DJ Serious – Trap Doors
9 Barenaked Ladies – Sell, Sell, Sell
10 Andrew Whiteman – Thot Provoker
11 Bionic – A Political Song for Danko Jones to Sing
12 The Dinner Is Ruined – Funk Asylum
13 Free Radicals – Bombs Burst Brightly on the Lawn
14 Jason Collett – Bitter Beauty
15 Chris Brown – The Shot Across the Bow
16 David Suzuki – Phone interview excerpt – May 2001
17 Bill Frisell – What’s Going On
Now this is something of which I’ve always thought there isn’t enough: instrumental metal music. I know there’s lots out there, I’m just greedy.
Anyway, Electro Quarterstaff are from Winterpeg, and they offer up awesome Slayer-like heavy metal with no vocals. And you know something? It’s not needed – these kick serious ass, as is. I mean, they have three lead guitarists. I know.
There was an EP called Swayze in 2004, and this full-length from 2006 does have some re-worked versions of earlier tracks.
This kicks serious ass. It’s melodic, moody, and metal as fuck. CRANK IT.
Tracks: Neckwrecker / Twisted Squid / Charmony / The Right To Arm Bears / Get Sick / Titanium Overlords / Eyepatch Romance / Something’s Awry In The Hetfield Of Dreams
I’d forgotten all about this track, but then I found the CD and laughed aloud. Of course I bought it.
There’s a whole story about it (found below)*, but just know this single version contains the Radio Bleep Version, the Radio Laugh version, and the Original XXXX version. By their titles, all are fairly self-explanatory.
Hahaha oh man, this was awesome all over again.
*Here’s all the Wiki stuff, for those who wanna know more…
Gompie is a Dutch band from Nijmegen, which in 1995 edited the Smokie hit “Living Next Door to Alice”, adding the words “Alice, who the fuck is Alice!?”. The song reached number 1 in the Netherlands and number 17 in the UK. Who the X Is Gompie! is the name of the album they released in 1995.
The song “Living Next Door to Alice” was listened to on a regular basis in café Gompie in Nijmegen. When the name “Alice” had passed, it was common for disk jockey Onno Pelser to turn the volume down, and the entire café would scream “Alice, who the fuck is Alice?”. Rob Peters, director of a record company, happened to visit café Gompie one evening and witnessed this show. He approached his friend, singer Peter Koelewijn, and one day later the song was recorded. “Gompie” was chosen as the artist name.
The single became a hit in the Benelux and 80 other countries. In the United Kingdom and the United States, a censored version was released with the name “Alice, who the bleep is Alice?”. This charted in Britain (though was less popular than Smokie’s own re-recording of the track with Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown) but made no impact in the US.
Tuesday Night Music Club holds a weird nostalgic place for me as it was everywhere during my first year at university. It grew on me, like a fungus and, though I probably haven’t played it in years, I still own it. I remember I bought the eponymous second album too (it got less play), but I drifted off after that. It happens.
Listening to this, though, tells me I recognize a helluva lot more Sheryl Crow songs than I thought I did. All I Wanna Do’s jiving Stuck In The Middle With You vibe retains its fun. Then it’s hit after hit after hit, some good, some not so much. My Favorite Mistake cribs Keef so hard it hurts. Picture (w. Kid Rock) was always hilariously bad, and her drag through First Cut isn’t anywhere near my favourite take on the old Cat Stevens tune, though it improves a bit on the included country version. A run through this tells me I prefer her sunnier tracks, like Steve McQueen, A Change Would Do You Good, or Soak Up The Sun.
Overall, a hit-filled mix that points out just how many huge songs this lady has shoved into in-store retail playlists, over the years.
Tracks: All I Wanna Do / Soak Up The Sun / My Favorite Mistake / The First Cut Is The Deepest / Every Day Is A Winding Road / Leaving Las Vegas / Strong Enough / Light In Your Eyes / If It Makes You Happy / The Difficult Kind / Picture (w. Kid Rock) / Steve McQueen / A Change Would Do You Good / Home / There Goes The Neighborhood / I Shall Believe / First Cut is The Deepest (Country Version)
2-song promo single, Dive b/w I Wanna Gun, both from the 1994 album, Irrevelant.
Dive is a bluesy slow jam heavy banger with a definite Soundgarden feel. I Wanna Gun drops a bunch of f-bombs and crashes through a truly punishing riff/sound. They attempted anger and nailed it.
KMA2911 Christopher Ward – Is This Live?: Inside The Wild Early Years Of Much Music: The Nation’s Music Station
NB: I would say this post ties nicely with brother Lebrain’s current, ongoing VHS Archives upload series.
This is a fascinating tale about a bunch of folks fearlessly figuring out how to do things on the fly, operating on gut instinct and little money, trusting in themselves and each other and, ultimately, piecing together a national treasure. The early days of Much Music were fun times, indeed.
Found in these pages is an oral history, as told by many of the players in the tale, and containing so many bands and stars too, and it’s a damn good read. There’s even a forward by Mike Myers. Ah, nostalgia for the good old days.
I learned a helluva lot, reading this, and you will too. In fact, this is essential reading. Thank you, Mr. Ward!
* “These were my first words out of the opening that Michael had cut to Eddy Grant’s ‘Electric Avenue…’ My first interview was with Kim Mitchell, legendary lead singer from Max Webster, who was embarking on a solo career. As the countdown reached five… four… three… Kim shoved his finger about two inches up my nose…” (C. Ward, pg. 6)
Yep. Over the past couple of days, I watched all three Lord Of The Rings movies. Extended versions. And I still got teary-eyed at the end of Return Of The King, when King Aragorn tells the hobbits that they bow to no one, and then he (and everyone else) kneels to them. So good.
Anyway, this is a music site, so I wanted to give a huge nod to the epic soundtrack work of Howard Shore. That haunting main melody, the rousing battle music, the gentle tunes for quieter moments, the themes for each character and place…
You know, those films are already masterpieces to many degrees: of acting, of cinematography, of adaptation from books to screen, of costuming and sets. Amazing. And the music score portions on all three is impeccable, making them masterpieces to some even higher nth degree.
Let’s face it, sometimes music in a film is just fine, whatever, and then sometimes it’s spot on, fitting each scene to a tee. These soundtracks, folks, are perfect. I’ve got all three on CD and they rule.
Stemming from my post (and the subsequent comments) yesterday, it occured to me that this might be a fun mental exercise for us all…
The subject was runs of four albums in a row. I’d said that the Rolling Stones’ run from 1968 to 1972 was the best ever. Check it:
1968 Beggars Banquet
1969 Let It Bleed
1971 Sticky Fingers
1972 Exile On Main St.
I mean, holy moly. That’s an untouchable string of classic albums that belong in everybody’s collection!
But then I got to thinking that my saying it was the best ever was only my pure bias towards the Stones showing itself. I mentioned this to Scott, our benevolent and malevolent Heavymetaloverlord, and he said he thought Manowar would have been the one:
1982 Battle Hymns
1983 Into Glory Ride
1984 Hail To England
1984 Sign Of The Hammer
You may agree with either! Others I had mentioned were Black Sabbath’s first four:
1970 Black Sabbath
1971 Master Of Reality
1972 Vol. 4
And then there’s Metallica’s amazing run…
1983 Kill ‘Em All
1984 Ride The Lightning
1986 Master Of Puppets
1988 …And Justice For All
Or what about Iron Maiden? Although arguably, this is a five album run… but maybe that’s just me not wanting to exclude Seventh Son…
1982 The Number Of The Beast
1983 Piece Of Mind
1986 Somewhere In Time
1988 Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Anyway, according to these options, the Stones are the one thing here not like the others. But Surely you can think of others in other genres, maybe your favourite bands fromwherever and whenever.
Like the Tragically Hip:
1989 Up To Here
1991 Road Apples
1992 Fully Completely
1994 Day For Night
Or the mighty Sloan!
1994 Twice Removed
1996 One Chord To Another
1998 Navy Blues
There again, it’s my bias showing with those last two, and if it really came down to it with having to choose Greatest All Time, well, I’d really struggle but probably default to the Stones.
What about you? Drop a comment if you have a Greatest Four Album Run to add!
I don’t often talk about single songs these days (that’s Steve For The Deaf’s territory!), but I wanna talk about a Stones song I’ve loved for years. It came up in a mix the other day, and I got to thinking about it a bit more, so I’ll ramble a bit. To me, it really is three parts in one song. It also influenced others, and is (possibly, though it’s been denied) influenced by others. I’ll be brief. Check it:
Found on Sticky Fingers (1971). You knew that.
Part I: The opening is pure rough and dirty, bluesy, fuzzy, chunky Stones riff rawk. I mean, goddamn. That open G monster has a swing, a shake, and a groove to it. There’s no overplaying, it’s sparse and gorgeous, like so many Stones riffs. Some bands spend their whole careers trying to write a riff as good, and for these guys it wasn’t even a single. Crazy.
Part II: The chorus bit is rousing, in a spaced-out sort of way. It all sounds like it could fall apart at any minute yet it never quite does. I’d wager it was this bit that the Black Crowes lifted for their track, My Morning Song. Of course, the Crowes owe such a massive debt to the Stones (and others, it’s true) for even sounding like they often do, so this should come as no surprise.
Part III: And then, at 2:43, the song takes its final form as an instrumental jam, complete with conga drums (RIP Rocky Dijon), saxophone (RIP Bobby Keys), and organ (RIP Billy Preston). Jeez, all three gone… Anyway, it’s a jazzy blues jam to the outro in extended guitar solos, starting at 4:40, by Keith Richards and Mick Taylor, and by the time it ambles past the seven minute mark (!) we’re so far from the opening riff that it’s like we left the planet.
Now, I’d swear that inspiration for some of this part came from Carlos Santana’s recognizable sound, but Keef says otherwise: “The jam at the end wasn’t inspired by Carlos Santana. We didn’t even know they were still taping. We thought we’d finished. We were just rambling and they kept the tape rolling. I figured we’d just fade it off. It was only when we heard the playback that we realised, Oh, they kept it going. Basically we realised we had two bits of music. There’s the song and there’s the jam.”
And it seems Mick Taylor has his story in line with Keef’s: “”Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” … is one of my favourites … [The jam at the end] just happened by accident; that was never planned. Towards the end of the song I just felt like carrying on playing. Everybody was putting their instruments down, but the tape was still rolling and it sounded good, so everybody quickly picked up their instruments again and carried on playing. It just happened, and it was a one-take thing. A lot of people seem to really like that part.”
I guess that’s that, then!
In looking it up, I, too, learned something new: In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine listed it at number 25 on its list of “The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.” Damn.
Alright, enough. Here’s the tune. Crank it!
Of course, I don’t really need to say much here except awesome and holy mackerel these guys were great, and they had so many big songs! This 20-track UK import mix walks through their wonkier early stuff and rolls right on through the tunes you know best. For a band that only had four albums, there’s a ton of great stuff! You’ll also find covers, like Spoonful and a smokin’ live* version of Crossroads. It’s a mighty fine 1CD introduction/refresher of this psychedelic blues rock combo. Hot damn.
Tracks: Wrapping Paper / I Feel Free / N.S.U. / Sweet Wine / I’m So Glad / Spoonful / Strange Brew / Sunshine Of Your Love / Tale Of Brave Ulysses / SWLABR / We’re Going Wrong / White Room / Sitting On Top Of The World / Politician / Those Were The Days / Born Under A Bad Sign / Deserted Cities Of The Heart / Crossroads / Anyone For Tennis / Badge
* Taken from Wheels Of Fire, recorded half live, half studio.
This album won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Album in 2005. It’s all one track, though on my CD copy it’s split into four tracks (titled Opening, then Track One, Track Two and Track Three) for navigation purposes. Do you like Pat Metheny Group, with Lyle Mays on keys? Do you like jazzy improvisation and solos? Do you like brilliant musicianship on an untouchable level? Do you like to just drift away on an album and let it carry you for 67:27? You need this beauty!
Containing tunes Metheny selected himself, this compilation marked his departure from ECM for Geffen. It may seem short, at 9 tracks, but even that is still 72 minutes total. And it’s still more than enough to whet the appetite. Call it a hits set, hell, call it what you want, but this is a beautiful collection of early Metheny. Oh baby.
Tracks: Bright Size Life / Phase Dance^ / New Chautauqua / Airstream^ / Everyday (I Thank You) / It’s For You* / Are You Going With Me?^ / The First Circle^ / Lonely Woman~
^ w. Pat Metheney Group
* w. Lyle Mays
~ w. Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins).
Willie’s 54th album. Released nine days before Walker’s death, this is Willie covering her stellar tunes. If you like brilliant songwriting, and you like Willie… and let’s be honest, who doesn’t!… you need this.
Tracks: Bubbles In My Beer / Not That I Care / Take Me In Your Arms & Hold Me / Don’t Be Ashamed Of Your Age / You Don’t Know Me / Sugar Moon / I Don’t Care / Cherokee Maiden / The Warm Red Wine / Miss Molly / Dusty Skies / It’s All Your Fault / I Was Just Walkin’ Out The Door
Their 5th record was recorded in seven different studios, with guest appearances from members of Beirut, St. Vincent, Okkervil River and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. Dedicated to the memory of Lynne Calder (Kathryn Calder’s mom, and half-sister of Carl Newman). That’s all on Wiki. What you wanna know is that this is a rock-solid NP record. This band is so cool. Start with Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk, Your Hands (Together), Moves, and Crash Years. Go from there to the rest of the tracks. Hot damn.
I got this Naxos 2CD set at work because I sure do love me some Spanish guitar, and it sure delivers! Beautiful work, full of passion and dynamics. I love how an orchestra gets woven in sometimes, too. I was gonna mention more, but this dude on Amazon already nailed it:
You probably need to be a real guitar enthusiast to want the two-CD collection The Spanish Guitar, but anyone who fears that at more than 140 minutes this Naxos set may be a few plucky numbers too many should swiftly be won over. Where the set scores is in some clever programming that never allows the ear to tire of a particular sound-world or even a particular style. After the longest piece of the set, Mompou’s beautiful Suite Compostelana, an orchestra broadens the aural world with Peter Breiner’s concerto based on Bizet’s Carmen. Three pieces fulfil (sic) a similar function on the second disc. Some of the best known Spanish “guitar” music was written for piano–Granados’ 12 Spanish Dances; here we get the first, in an arrangement for guitar and orchestra, and the famous fifth, which tops and tails the set with a guitar transcription as an opener and a guitar and piano version as a finale. In between you can find everything from foot-stomping flamenco to moody languorous pieces, played with great atmosphere by a fine line-up of soloists. Listeners in need of persuasion need look no further than Norbert Kraft’s playing of Tárrega’s celebrated Recuerdos de la Alhambra, a cracking piece, beautifully played. –Keith Clarke
This is two CDs of musically solid tunes, with incredible flow and skill with words. I like his songs about respect, and being strong, and trying to do good in the world. I can handle the language (can’t hurt these ears). But I just don’t dig tunes with regressive posturing, boasting and violent ideas, by anybody. I understand it’s his experience, and I know there’s a time and a place, I really do. I just prefer the message of Keep Ya Head Up to something like Hit Em Up.