Category Archives: posts by aaron
Come for the Motörhead. Stay for the Rollins.
That boxed set looks amazing!
You don’t need me to tell you anything about this one, right? Right.
I have, here, two original LP copies of this 3LP set, but not a CD set. Hm.
Anyway. Pure classic.
I don’t envy anyone who had the nigh-on impossible task of choosing such a short track list for an LP like this. Still, every song on here shines like a light.
I couldn’t find a YouTube video with this cover art (left), but you know this one. You probably already own it. As you were!
I don’t own Islands before this, or High On The Hog or Jubilation after it. So Jericho, their 8th studio album, is the last studio album of the Band I own, at the moment, and it’s on cassette! I intend to correct these oversiiiiights.
Released 17 years after their ‘farewell concert,’ Jericho is the first record featuring a new line-up (Jim Weider, Randy Ciarlante and Richard Bell joined Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko). There were also 14 other guest musicians on the album, including Champion Jack Dupree, Colin Linden and Steve Jordan (among many others).
Much was made of Robbie Robertson not being on the record, but I like it. I think it proves they did just fine without him, too.
They even covered Springsteen:
All apologies now for a long post. If you stick it out til the end, you’re a true champ.
I quit coffee a week ago, and did suffer some low grade headaches and energy lulls, but now I’m fine. My daily energy has evened out all day, and my stomach isn’t feeling acidic either. All good.
Full disclosure: I can’t remember the last time I had a pop/soda either, I don’t drink juice (especially not bottled and processed stuff), and I’ve given up green tea (caffeine there too). Just water for me, and it’s fine.
So. This post stems from a conversation that was part of Mike’s recent live stream about new releases. I went on a wee tangent about exercise.
I’m a pretty active guy, always have been (I like to think). As a kid, I played a ton of hockey, and did a lot of outdoor stuff as my hometown was so small. We rode our bikes everywhere. In high school, I switched to basketball, but played pretty much every day, even just in the driveway. At university and college, I still went to the gym somewhat, and rode a bike everywhere, and walked a ton. I had a weight bench for a while.
I was the skinny kid, but eventually grew to be 6’2” (188cm) while remaining rail thin. We walked everywhere. In our 30s, we got a car and started driving everywhere. Then we had babies and, with full-time jobs, and while we still walked most days, other priorities took over. Of course, around this time your body starts to slow down too (metabolism, etc). Now that the kids are older and I’m in my mid-40s, we do more active things again, but after a lifetime of bad eating haits (since there were no repercussions in my youth), naturally I put on weight.
I’ve made stabs, over these years, to regain some of my old form (though I wouldn’t want to be quite so skinny as I was at, say, 18). But I figure I could lose some pounds, especially off the middle (and there’s a relatable sentence for most, I’m sure).
For those interested, here’s my daily (morning) workout. For equipment, all I have here is walking poles, an exercise bike, dumbbells, a bar with plate weights, and a flat bench. Nothing fancy. So, starting at 04:00:
3km fasted brisk walk (with nordic walking poles) every day, no matter the weather
30 min exercise bike (with 10lb dumbbell shoulder raises, bicep curls, tricep work while I pedal)
Weights (bar 12lbs, wts 2×10 = 32lbs) in 3 sets of 10 (or 25 for bench press) each: deadlift (30), bent row (30), shoulder press (30), squat (30), calf raises (30), bicep curls (30), bench press (75)
200 incline (staircase) pushups (4 sets of 50) with pushup handles to appease my pre-arthritic wrists
200 crunch situps
I just stay at it, with rest breaks between, and it’s done no problem. You’ll notice none of this is heavy weight. Not even close. I don’t want to be bulky muscle guy. This is just maintenance work, and an effort to shed some weight.
I started out with just the walk. I love the wee hours of early morning, there’s nothing moving out there at 04:00 except me and the skunks and raccoons, maybe the occasional cat or rabbit here and there. A few times I’ve heard coyotes howling in the distance, but I’ve never seen one. I suppose there’s a small risk of bears, if one got confused and wandered into town (it happens often enough). I maybe see one car go by during the whole 3km walk. I don’t mind being up early, so long as I’m not too late to bed. I get about 6 hours sleep each night and I’m good.
You might think I’m crazy, up so early, and outside moving. But I choose it, because it’s the only time I can get time to myself all day. My lovely wife is up early (she leaves for work before 07:00), so I need to be back before she goes, and the kids aren’t long in waking after she leaves. They take over the whole day and don’t pass out until about 21:00 these days. I’m in bed by 22:00 or so, so the early morning is about the only space I get to quietly think my own thoughts. Of course I don’t say this begrudgingly. I love my family and want to be with them, I just also respect my need for my own mental space, so 04:00 affords me that.
I tried running for a while. After a month or so, I realized it’s not really me. All deference to those who love it. I’ll stick to the walks.
Anyway, the pushup handles came first, the weights were added later, and then the bike came last. Overall, I think it’s a decent way to spend time in the morning, and I feel great.
The other side of the coin is diet, hand in hand with the workouts. I generally avoid fast food for the nasty that it is, even avoiding the ubiquitous Tim’s donut shop, a quintessential Canadian place to go – except during a roadtrip (for the washroom break too), but of course this year we haven’t gone anywhere.
You already know I just drink water, these days, nothing else. I walk fasted, then I have an apple afterwards. Then a banana after the bike, but otherwise nothing until lunch, which is usually not much either. Maybe some carrots, low-salt swiss cheese, a few unsalted wee rice crackers. My one main meal is dinner, and even then I try to be mindful, keep the carbs quite low and the meat unprocessed. Some nights, I have two Oreos for dessert, because my son loves them and so we share them. Otherwise, it’s all just normal healthy stuff. I try not to eat after dinner either, so my caloric intake isn’t likely all that high.
I read somewhere that 1lb of body fat is equal to about 3500 calories. So by this metric, to shed one pound of weight, you’d reduce daily caloric intake by 500 daily (500×7=3500) for the week. I feel like I’m below whatever caloric number would recommended for me at my age, anyway. So, add in the exercise, and it’s a good bet pounds will drop off eventually. Let’s go!
I’ve read about intermittent fasting, but I need to do a lot more research about it before trying anything, and right now I kind of feel like I’m on a fairly decent path anyway. We’ll see.
The big things I’ve learned (from experience):
Daily maintenance (for a lifetime) is key. Drop the weight and then keep it off. You don’t drop the weight and then stop exercising, and you can’t really go back to “just this once” allowing yourself extra treats – that’s a quick, slippery slope. Sustainable weight loss and maintenance is a long, permanent game. Anyone who says they know rapid methods is probably selling something.
We think we need to eat more than we do.
Never let more than two days pass without exercise. One day off between is fine, but never two. The longer you go between workouts, the harder it is to go back.
Try not to call it “losing weight.” Saying you “lost weight” sounds to me like it’s simply lost and therefore can be found again. No, the idea here is get rid of it and keep it gone. I try to say eliminate, shed, drop, etc.
That’s just me. You mileage may vary, and I’m not saying you have to do anything. But for anyone who’s ever thought about feeling better, sleeping better, having consistent energy and just generally conquering your day instead of letting it conquer you, maybe some of what I wrote (above) can help inspire. Keep it simple, start small, and let the gains you see inspire you to keep going, maybe even do a bit more. Remember, it’s a long game, and all you’ve got is time. It’s up to you how you spend it.
The Band’s sixth album has lots of great songs and memorable melodies. Once again, I am glad to have a solid LP copy here, it feels like the only way to play this stuff…
By this, their fifth album, The Band wasn’t getting along so well, and they could only muster up a bunch of covers of old R&B tunes they used to play. Sad, but still some great tunes on this LP copy I have here!
Carrying on with the Band on LP in the collection, this being their fourth album. Van Morrison’s on this record too! Anyway, it’s the Band. Great stuff.
The LP copy I have here of this, their third studio album, is a mainstay in my collection.
Get you some.
I already posted this album yesterday, in that budget 2-fer set I have.
We all know it’s a friggin’ classic.
However, I also have these other copies of it, which are fun:
First up is a 24-bit remastered DVD-audio copy, housed in one of those outsized plastic cases. This plays in a DVD-logo player in four ways: Advanced Resolution Surround, Advanced Resolution Stereo, DTS 5.1 Surround Sound, and DVD-Video Compatible Dolby Digital 5.1. It does not work in a regular CD player.
And, of course, I have an old original LP copy. Because CLASSIC.
Alright, now we’re getting into a fave Band (see what I did there) of mine…
You can click these two images to make them bigger!
This is a budget ($10!) 2CD set that contains both albums.
And, each has a heap of bonus tracks, as if the albums proper weren’t already genius overload.
Consider all the beauty and genius herein… My goodness.
When Cream split up, Ginger Baker briefly joined up with Paul and Adrian Gurvitz (The Gun, Three Man Army). The result was bluesy classic-rockin’ mayhem, and the drumming is brilliant (natch), all of which I love. This debut album is awesome, and my LP copy sounds brilliant.
My copy of this LP’s cover isn’t in the greatest shape either, but the LP is mint and it sounds great. Love this stuff.
This LP I have here’s cover is in very rough shape, but the record is in good nick. This is happy, because it’s awesome. You knew this, already.
One of the awesome artists we met thanks to the Knox Acoustic Cafe series here in our town, several years ago. He put on a truly excellent show. This is a great album from a local (to me) artist.
The video (below) is one I found when trying, unsuccessfully, to find a YouTube track from this album. Here we see Chuck and his daughter singing together. Awesome stuff.
Lucky me, this was the tour when I got to see them in concert (finally!). Fantastic stuff. I love this album, top to bottom. Is it my favourite? Well, maybe. Seeing the songs live definitely helped cement the album for me, but honestly I love them all. This one does get a lot of play, though…
Sadly, my CD copy is a bit scratched up somehow (probably because I play it so much), so if I ever find another one in the wild, I will be replacing my current copy.
Also, this wraps up all the Bad Religion I have here. Yes, there are several holes in my collection, which I intend to fill. But good news to those looking for something different, tomorrow I start with the next band in the alphabetization!
Oh man this is so good.
If these past few days of rocking these albums has shown me anything, it’s that Bad Religion is always awake, always turned on, always ready to go. We’d all do ourselves a favour by paying attention!
All my life, I never drank coffee. I felt fine. But eventually, in my late-20s, Saskatchewan winters made it an easy hot drink for people to offer to help you warm up. Of course, I started out more milk and sugar than coffee, but eventually I was drinking it black. I grew to need it in my day. I started feeling bad, and needing more coffee to even get to normal. But it was easy to explain away as other thing, it couldn’t be the coffee, right?
So, as some of you long-time Readers may recall, more recently, I cut out coffee. I felt worse, but then I felt better, more like how I used to feel. So I cruised along like that, for a while.
Yet somehow, coffee crept back in. It’s a daily thing again. And guess what, it happened all over again. I never learn.
I looked into caffeine, and found some things. I’m not a doctor or an expert, so if you see anything here that is medically incorrect, tell me and I’ll correct it. I can also find just as many things that purport the benefits of coffee for health, so take this as you will. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s some of the big stuff:
1. During primal fight or flight response, the brain releases cortisol, so your liver makes sugar, and muscles break down (catabolic) to make more sugar, for energy. Also, unrelated, your adrenaline increases. This all increases your likelihood of survival. Now, caffeine unnaturally raises cortisol, so when you’re sitting in your cubicle or wherever in your (relatively) comfortable life, your coffee is making cortisol create sugar but, with no survival threat imminent, it just stores as fat.
2. Caffeine alters your mood and energy levels, giving highs and lows with little middle ground. So you take in more to keep the high, which causes your body to create more sugar (see 1).
3. Caffeine (and cortisol) wrecks your sleep. Your chances of restorative R.E.M. sleep decrease substantially, so you feel crappy, so you need more caffeine, and the cycle spirals.
4. Caffeine (and cortisol) increase stress, so you’re more likely to be anxious, irritable. It also increases likelihood of: insomnia, digestive issues, high blood pressure/rapid heart rate (and heart attack), incontinence, headaches and fatigue (in the lows). For women specifically, it can increase chances of fibrocystic breast disease, reduced fertility and miscarriage risk, and menopausal vasomotor symptoms. It can also inhibit collagen production in the skin, increase risk of bone fracture by interfering with ossification, impair hearing loss recovery, and it increases intraocular pressure when paired with exercise. The list goes on, but you get the point.
Worst, it’s a chemical addiction. Like cigarettes, alcohol, anything else. Dress it up with whatever justification you like, but a hat and a bow on it if you want, if you honestly need it to get through your day, you’re already operating at a deficit, pure and simple. You’ve drastically lowered your chances of having even, natural energy throughout the day. That was me, and I only have 2 cups every morning. I switch to decaf after noon. But the increased cortisol can last 18 hours…
Have you ever tried cutting coffee? Headaches, all sorts of nasty symptoms. Just like kicking any other addiction, because that’s what it is.
Coffee lovers will be screaming, saying it’s not that bad, I don’t drink enough to have a problem, I’m fine leave me alone, I only drink it for the taste of it, etc. That’s fine, do as you want. I drink two coffees every morning, and I noticed a difference when I stopped. Many folks drink a lot more than 2 cups.
But I cut and pasted even just these few things onto my own experiences with re-introducing coffee, and it matches up.
From today, I’m returning to giving all caffeine a rest. I am on decaf green tea and water. I don’t eat chocolate often, and I never drink pop/soda, so those are easy to avoid.
I expect withdrawal somewhat, but I’ll power through, because it’s worth it. Pair this with my daily exercise routines* and I ought to see progress in a month or so.
See you on the other side.
* Currently Daily Exercise: a brisk 3 km early morning walk, 30 min. exercise bike w. simultaneous dumbbells for upper body, 200 push-ups, 200 sit-ups, and a series of weightlifting (squats, presses, etc) with barbell and bench.
NB: I noticed that yesterday was my 200th day at home since this pandemic began. My last day of work was March 20. I’ve been here ever since. Through the layoff from work (which was only supposed to be two weeks), through a medical leave for reasons of childcare, and now providing remote school learning help for the kids as they’ve stayed home from school, at least for this term, as we watch numbers and the general state of things.
200 days (well, today is 201). How am I coping with it? Pretty well, I should think, given the circumstances. Our kids are awesome, we’re really lucky. I went through a period of (kind of) giving up, in the early days. But now I’m back online in life, in full, working out every day (James thinks I’m nuts for taking my walk at 4 am), and getting things done as best I can. I will say that I might have thought being home this long would seem like a vacation, it is not. I work hard, stay busy, and that is helping me stay at it. I don’t even have booze to help me, haven’t taken a drink in 5 years, and even then it wasn’t much, but still. That’s the kind of thing that might seem like it would help, but it’s usually only a crutch and a temporary evasion.
We’re getting through. I haven’t scratched 200 marks in the family room wall, I’m not wearing a bandana made from an old t-shirt and hiding behind the couch with an improvised spear made from the broom handle. Staying busy is holding it together. I’ve got family, music, and you guys. Thank you.
We’ll see what happens from here, as ever. Stay safe, everyone.
Anyway, more Bad Religion! Because more Bad Religion is better! Are you enjoying this trip through the Bad Religion albums, those that I have here anyway, as much as I am? So much awesome.
There will be a ton of posts in the community, and all over the internet, following this news. There will be tributes, montages, interviews and more.
This is momentous.
All of it will be far better and more eloquent than I could hope to express.
So, I’ll just say a few things:
FUCK CANCER. 65 is way too young.
RIP, Eddie, your legend is assured.
For maximum awesome, put the good headphones on.
2020-05-07 at National Gallery Of Ireland
Doesn’t matter what album you throw on the player, you get a needed wake up call.
As you can see in the counter in the upper-right corner of the page, as of early this morning, Monday October 5, 2020, our site sits at 90,000 unique (sexy) visits. Massive thanks to all of you for visiting, however often you do so. You know we love you, and you’re awesome. Community!
More Bad Religion! The greatness just keeps on rolling!
The mighty Slooooo-ooooaaaaan! have released a new single!
Of course, it’s awesome.
My huge thanks to everyone, especially James, who made me aware that it had dropped and made sure I heard it!
Dripping, at times, in tremolo, and backed with a swinging backbeat, this gently firm pure rock pop track does what Sloan has always done best: talk about one thing but totally also mean something else. It’s all done with clarity and heart, which only this band can do in this particular way.
Lacking an apostrophe in the title, as it does, this song is about relationships. But, given the politically-charged times in which we live, this is also totally a political song.
Pure genius. Sloan are Masters of their craft, and we are lucky to have them.
PS: Here’s the blurb Chris Murphy posted about the song:
“Chris Murphy said “I wanted to write a song about the importance of listening – whether to experts or the disenfranchised”.
It’s a song about people who won’t listen and won’t shut up, who are vain and can’t handle criticism, who talk about things for which they aren’t qualified and make promises they can’t keep.
As we are facing such profound global challenges including drastic climate change and racial injustice, it is imperative to remember that sometimes it is important to leave space for those with lived experience and studied expertise to take the floor.”
released October 1, 2020
©2020 murderecords/Two Minutes For Music
all rights reserved
Oh, WP, what have you done? I thought I found a work-around of your absolutely crappy new editor, and now even that doesn’t work. Apparently I must now look at this horrible UI and navigate around your insipid pop-up control panels. Do I want to try to customize it to my liking? No, I don’t have time or inclination. Can I, even? Probably not. Do I think you should offer us the option of using your site the way it has always been? Yes. Change for the sake of change is unnecessary. Change to something as unappealing, cumbersome, and user-unfriendly as this is, is enough to make me think maybe you’re done. Let me put it back the way it was, WP. I will lose patience with this editor very quickly.
Anyway, Bad Religion.
Awesome set, you need this one.
Some folks might be a bit tired of this one but, personally, I love it to bits. My favourite BR song? A tough choice, but just maybe!
- Today was the first day I logged in to put up today’s post and was confronted with the new WP editor as default choice. It sucks. However, I discovered that if I start the post in the new editor, and then ‘x’ out and choose to leave the page, I can go to WP Admin/Posts and see the draft at the top of the posts list. There, I can choose Classic Editor and finish the post with the old editor I’ve used for years. Your mileage may vary, but this worked for me today. I don’t mind the extra steps, because that new editor is absolutely horrible.
- I’ve been posting Youtube links to songs for all these albums I’m posting. Now, I do have an ad-blocker on this computer but, since my good old one was discontinued, I have never been able to find a current ad blocker that blocks those ads at the beginning of a video, the ones that can be skipped after 5 seconds. All this is to say fuck you, Grammarly, I’ve heard the first five seconds of your damn ad so many times that I will never, ever use your product and I will tell everyone I know to avoid you, too. Avoid Grammarly, people.
Anyways, Bad Religion. Always relevant, always awesome.
I love these guys, for everything they do. I wish I owned it all!
If my post about hockey yesterday caused you to miss my post about this band’s debut, you should go check it out. I love that album.
I can listen to these guys anytime. This one’s another great album.
This track seems relevant for today.
Here follows my opinion. It may not match yours. Fair play.
I’m a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. This means, like everyone else like me, that we are long-suffering as we watch one of the most talented teams in one of the most expensive markets lose every year. We keep faith and hope that THIS YEAR will be the year that they toughen up and make it happen. Every year since 1967. Still waiting. I know, I know.
But I still love hockey, and I have watched highlights of every game of every series in this weird, bubbled, piped-in crowd noise no-crowd playoffs. I just want to see the best team win.
Last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars in game 6 of the finals to win the 2020 Stanley Cup. Congratulations to them on their victory (I had them picked as winners at the beginning of the season, I should have bet money. Anyway).
It was a hard-fought series, with plenty of injured players and dramas, big hits and rivalries, amazing plays and many examples of solid hockey.
However, many times the Dallas Stars played with what my son calls sour grapes – when the other team is better, you find ways to hurt them and bring them down instead of digging in, playing it right, and finding victory in virtue and that nth factor.
I know it is play-off hockey, and the referees put their whistles away and just let them play (though they did call many penalties this series, many others were let go). Despite their talent, I just cannot respect Radulov, Benn, several others, I’ve never been a fan. I know that Tampa was rough too, and gave as good as they got but, ultimately, I feel the right team won the Cup this year. Dallas, despite playing well enough to get that far in the finals, did not (in my eyes) deserve it.
Looking forward to the 2020-2021 season!
I can’t imagine my life without this album in it. Just… yes. My goodness.
Here’s the whole album. Because.
Do I need this LP if I already own the Anthology 2CD set (see yesterday)?
For those keeping score, this post today marks a 150-day streak of posts since I started the Skip 5 series back in May.
What do I need to say about these guys? This 2CD slipcased set is proof of the power and glory of this band.
The Berliner Philharmoniker.
Herbert Von Karajan.
Deutsche Grammophon LP.
Herbert Von Karajan.
The Berliner Philharmoniker.
Deutsche Grammophon LP.
NB: I could not find the correct Deutsche Grammophon 139 005 cover art on Youtube, so it’s included (above).
For such a cheapo dump-bin CD (as we found it), this collection is amazing, and it sounds great too.
I first heard about this piece of art through Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records, and I immediately loved her work. She has at least one other record, and I want it too!
Setting the Tim Lambesis personal life stuff aside, this album is hilarious good fun. They’ve done other records too, but I kinda feel it’s a one and done for me, but who doesn’t want a metal album themed after Ahnie? Get to tha choppaaaa!
Absolutely gorgeous album from ‘that Black Keys guy’. Soulful, classic feel. This sounds stellar on LP!
The joy when this album dropped, all these years later. My goodness.
For those times when you just wanna cruise the hits.
Inexplicably, I couldn’t find this 2008 Sony/BMG compilation on YouTube, so I’ve just dropped another great track. I mean, take your pick, right?
Another great collection of tunes from one of the best acts! Get yours!
Pure classic. I mean, come on… Well, OK, the track about his pager is a bit dated, but as a time capsule it’s still awesome. There’s groove and a smooth feel here that is undeniable. Let’s go!
I love these guys. They’ve made so much classic music, and this 1990 album is very cool.
Another super-cool limited edition, embossed 12” LP single from Amok.
Default b/w What The Eyeballs Did, and Default (Instrumental Edit)
And at risk of repeating myself here, the non-album tracks here should’ve been included on Amok. I’d totally have been OK with an extended track list. I get that there was a vision for the playlist, but the b-sides were as strong as the album tracks. Amok was only 44 minutes long, they had plenty of space to include this other stuff.
Also, for those collectors out there who are really into this stuff, there were also a bunch of single-sided, single-song, limited edition 12” LP singles released for Amok: Unless, Amok, Reverse Running, Dropped, Ingenue, and Stuck Together Pieces. Cool.
Another brilliant limited edition, embossed 12” LP single from Amok.
Before Your Very Eyes b/w Magic Beanz (non-album track)
And again, Magic Beanz should be on Amok. Not replacing anything already there, just added.
I collected as many of these limited edition, embossed 12″ LP singles from the (amazing) Amok album as I could.
Judge Jury And Executioner b/w S.A.D. (non-album track).
Honestly, I don’t know how S.A.D. didn’t get on the album. Ah well.