Blog Archives

KMA2994 Hiatus Updatery

Hey there if you’re still out there, this is just to let you know I’m still out here. I haven’t blogged much in a long while, it’s just how it has gone. I still think of you folks a lot, though, so you know. I truly do hope you’re well.

Here’s some stuff from the past while…

Last GBV From Vinyl Diner

When we lived in Saskatoon, I always checked out Vinyl Diner on Broadway (Hi Stu!), and it was my go-to source for new GBV releases. I loved hanging out, chatting. Stu is straight up awesome. I used to say “I need something new, recommend something!” and he was able to parse that into a) something he knew I’d like, and b) something he had on hand. A great example is the mighty Nasty On EP called Lester Bangs. I still love that one.

Anyway, we left Saskatoon in 2005, and for the past 14 years, I have mail-ordered my new GBV releases from Stu because he is still my source and I love to support his shoppe. Well, Stu is retiring and the shoppe is being taken over by a couple of new guys. I received Sweating The Plague in the mail recently and it’s my last-ever Stu GBV album. End of an era. Thank you Stu. You are the absolute best!

***

Possibly The Last Big Smoke Run Of 2019

My Dad and I went to Toronto on Sunday, just to do our usual wander. We invited Mike but he had prior plans to be in London, which is geographically in the opposite direction from our goal. Alas. Still, we wanted to get in one more run to the city before winter makes the roads not worth the hassle. Turned out to be a beautiful sunny day, hovering around 0C and lovely.

Now, I’ve recently bought Charlotte (my kick-ass Classic Vibe Strat – see last post) and the Sloan Navy Blues boxed set (which I still haven’t opened, if you can imagine… I really should do, as I want the MP3s for the car!), so I really probably shouldn’t have even gone into record stores. But I seem physically incapable of going to the city without being magnetically pulled into them. It happens. But I tried to be good. I really did. And of course, I still found a few wee things to tide me over…

BMV

Hall Ranaldo Hooler – Oasis Of Whispers: Seems to be a jazz album, but with Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo? I’m in.

Wynton Marsalis Quartet – The Magic Hour: Bought because Wynton.

Leon Bridges – Good Thing: I have the LP but I saw the CD and thought why not, since I have the other one… ah, collector brain…

Elevator Through – Original Music From The Motion Picture “the such”: I see Rick White, I add to collection.

True Love Waits – Christopher O’Riley Plays Radiohead: all those cool tunes in piano versions? Yeah I could dig that.

SONIC BOOM

Ronnie Wood – Anthology: The Essential Crossexion: I do love Ronnie and this is a sweet-looking set. I had James check pricing and I got it for a deal.

Tool – Fear Inoculum (Limited Edition): I really didn’t need to buy this. Brother Criag gave me his download code, so I’ve heard it. But the collector in me wanted the cool set with the screen etc. And when Tool says Limited, they mean it. I left Salival one time, and when I went back they were long gone and now they’re stupid-expensive. So I panicked and bought this.

Mike Goldsmith – Discord: The Story Of Noise: I’ve always been sensitive to noise, and it seems as I age it’s getting stronger. This book’s flyleaf intrigued (see below). Looking forward to reading!

Noise is a widely recognized and ever-increasing problem–and a growing health concern–in the modern world. In Discord, Mike Goldsmith looks at the science and history of the long battle between people and noise–a battle that has changed our lives and molded our societies. He investigates how increasing noise levels relate to human progress, from the clatter of wheels on cobbles to the sound of heavy machinery; explains how our scientific understanding of sound and hearing has developed; and looks at noise in nature, including the remarkable ways in which some animals, such as shrimps, use noise as a weapon or to catch prey. Goldsmith also examines the importance of managing noise levels and developing suitable “soundscapes” in industry, schools, or public spaces. In addition, the book shows that noise, in the sense of dissonance, can also be used positively: composers have employed it from Baroque music to Rock feedback; medicine harnesses it to shatter kidney stones and treat cancer; and even the military uses it in (real and rumored) weapons. Goldsmith concludes by turning to the future, discussing ways in which new science and new ideas may change the way the world will sound. (pullled from Amazon dot com).

***

Personal Updatery

The rest is just living a busy life. I’m still at the same job, the kids are now 10 and 8 and going in lots of different directions and thriving. I’ve been cheering for the Leafs and, let’s face it, this year that’s become a really tough gig. Winter is upon us, and all reports say it should be good one, lots of snow. Cool, I love the snow. And it’s OK, we’ll hole up with my tunes and guitars and be just fine… As for this site, I suppose time just fills in with different things, when you let it. I do truly miss reading all of your blogs. As for writing, well, sporadic will have to do. I’m honestly not at the computer much, anymore. Take care, Dear Readers, and stay warm.

***

PS Just putting it out there that I have, of late, been absolutely hooked on listening to Opeth’s 2003 album Damnation. It is anomalous in their discography (not one single vocal growl to be found!) and that’s OK too. It’s just so utterly beautiful and haunting and memorable. I’ve been listening carefully and it truly seems to be a complete, perfect album. Get you some!

 

KMA2993 Introducing Another Other Other Other Other Other Other Woman

Herein lies a tale.

I’ve told you about my other women, by which I mean my guitars (it’s what my lovely wife calls them). I love them all equally, and play whenever I can. 

Now, you know I love my Squier Classic Vibe 50s Telecaster. She’s a beaut. Plays like butter, and she twangs and sustains like all get out. That was me happy.

Still, for years, in the back of my mind I’ve also eyed the Classic Vibe 50 Stratocaster (2-colour burst with maple neck).

Look at all the MAJESTY.

However, because I’m silly, I never pulled the trigger. I stalked it and watched as the price would jump to double as stock would deplete and secondary sellers looked to capitalize. 

Turns out, the Classic Vibe series, as I knew it, was ending after years of awesome. My 50s Strat was out of stock and unlikely to return. They had other series, but it wasn’t the same. 

Digging around, I found one left in Ontario, through Long & McQuade. I ordered it. It arrived very quickly, but it was the incorrect guitar! They’d sent a Classic Vibe 60s Strat in 3-colour burst with rosewood neck. It’d had the sales tag of my guitar, but attached to the wrong guitar!

A very nice guitar, indeed, but not the one I ordered!

The dude at L&M found one left in Charlottetown, PEI and ordered it in. Staff there said it had a slight blemish in the finish but we could have a look when it got in, decide then. It took two weeks to arrive. 

This time it was the right guitar, and I watched as it was removed from a Gretsch box (used for shipping only!), and it’s glorious. It called to me the minute I laid eyes on it. I played it in-store, on the exact same amp as I have at home, and it’s so sweet. It’s exactly what you want from a Strat and, not unlike the Tele, plays like the $2000 Fender Strat for a fraction of the price. And, like the Tele, it’s true to 50s spec.* This series is so damn perfect. 

The blemish in the finish is a truly wee little nick on the underside of the body. Obviously someone bonked it while trying it out in the store. Totally liveable, not even visible, not a dealbreaker. Otherwise, there’s not a mark on her. The guy at L&M even broke out the guitar polish and showed her some love before I played it. 

I’ve named her Charlotte.

Glory.

 

*

  • Alder body with gloss polyester finish
  • 1-Piece Maple, Modern C Shape neck, 9.5 in radius maple fingerboard and 21 medium jumbo frets
  • 3 Custom Vintage Style Single-Coil Strat Pickups with Staggered, AlNiCo 3 Magnet Pole Pieces and Aged White Covers
  • Vintage Style Synchronized Tremolo. Nut Width: 1.650 inches(42 mm)
  • Master volume with 2 tone controls with 5 position pickup selector switch

KMA2977 Taranna: A Labour Of Love

For the Labour Day weekend, Dad and I hit up Taranna yesterday. We took the streetcar to the CNE, where it was so busy and packed and loud that it actually wasn’t all that fun. I didn’t buy anything, and you couldn’t get near much of anything, so I just ate my $20 philly cheesesteak (and a Coke) and spent the afternoon pushing my way through the crowds.

We hung out in Chinatown, and I got some more new kinds of green tea to try. Dad also gave me some green tea egg rolls, cookies, and Pocky Sticks that he’d found. There was a theme. Anyway, after all, we didn’t get back to our town until almost midnight, so it was a long day with a lot of driving and a lot of crowds, but it was full and interesting and (ultimately) fun!

I did get to do BMV and Sonic Boom, though only quickly. It felt like skim-scanning rather than digging in, but getting to be there at all was still better than not. Sonic Boom was completely sold out of the new Tool album. I wanted to get it so badly and.. no. It’s sold out here in my town too, and I didn’t see it on Amazon, either. Ah well. Another time.

So you’re probably curious about what a cursory dig in those shoppes might turn up for me, so here ya go:

BMV

4-FOR-$9.99 BINS

Eva Cassidy – Somewhere. I love Eva’s albums, and I buy up what I don’t have, sight-unseen.

Robert Johnson – Devil On My Trail: The Complete Songbook. I didn’t need this, but, you know…

Subtle – For Hero, For Fool. I remembered this being a crazy record, wanted to try it again.

Tragically Hip – Evolution Advances. A neat promo disc containing the single for Vaccination Scar, and snippets of Summer’s Killing Us, Heaven’s A Better Place Today, Gus: The Polar bear From New York, and Mean Streak. Never seen this before, likely never see it again, so it had to come home.

 

REGULAR BMV

radiohead – Com Lag. I’ve never owned this Japanese-only EP. Now I do!

Wallflowers – Rebel, Sweetheart. I like these guys, never heard this one so I’m excited.

Dictators – Go Girl Crazy. I blame Geoff. This had to come home!

U2 – The Best Of 1980-1990, and The Best Of 1990-2000. These 2cd sets have what you wanna hear, and second discs full of b-sides. I don’t wanna own all the albums, but this was a good way to get all the singles in a fell swoop.

Rezillos – Can’t Stand The Rezillos: The (Almost) Complete Rezillos. I blame ROLLINS. He played these Scottish punkers on his show, and I wanted to hear more.

Viletones – A Taste Of Honey. Because awesome.

Undertones – Teenage Kicks: The Very Best Of. I was curious if anything more than the one song I know is any good…

***

SONIC BOOM

Jimmy Lee Williams – Hoot Your Belly. I am a simple man. I see Fat Possum blues records, I buy them. They’re always awesome.

Dinner Is Ruined – Love Songs From The Lubitorium. A great left field Canuck supergroup fun times.

Isis – Temporal. I grab up Isis releases whenever I see ones I need, and this 2cd/1dvd made my day!

Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg. I already own this on CD and LP, but this one was signed so I rescued it.

Steve Winwood – Chronicles. I was in the mood for some of this, and this hits set covered a lot of what I had in my head. Excellent.

Counting Crows – Hard Candy. Haven’t heard this one before, so I’ll be curious to try it out…

***

And that was a super-full day, covering a huge swath of the city. I felt like I’d done my 10,000 steps for the week all in one day!

KMA2975 Kids In Stereo

You may recall, back in April our son was gifted a cool wee stereo for his 10th birthday. Well, recently, it was our daughter’s 8th birthday and she got the exact same stereo!

Early this morning, when we were the only two awake yet, she sat on my lap in front of the the ol’ Mac, picking out songs she wanted on her first disc of MP3s. I was proud of her choices in Iron Maiden, AC/DC, and CCR. She went into unfamiliar turf for me, though, choosing Maroon 5, Pink, and a song called Old Town Road. I hadn’t heard it before, but since it’s been playing on repeat in her room all afternoon, I can definitely say I’ve heard it now.

I’m chuffed that both our kids like music (I’ve made it my on-going mission since before they were born… yes, I played music at my lovely wife’s belly bump), and I’m all for supporting whatever they want to listen to, so long as it’s not too violent or language-filled, at this point. They’re still in that cute stage where someone in a movie will say ‘hell’ or ‘damn’ and they’ll look at us to see if it was OK haha. We just tell them that other people use bad words, and you’re gonna hear them, from time to time. It’s just a better choice to not use them yourself. And they nod sagely and think about the times Daddy hits his head on something and how bad words might turn the air blue for a few seconds… Anyway.

So, now both kids have the machinery to blast their own tunes and they’re thrilled. It’s a rite of passage, and I couldn’t be happier that they’re both into being excited about music. They both have it in them and, as ol’ John Lee said, it’s got to come out. These stereos will really help open up the world for them. And, since their bedrooms share a common wall between them, we’re thankful both kids also have decent headphones.

Now I just gotta get Old Town Road out of my head. Time to crank some Stooges…

KMA2951 Every Picture…

…Tells A Story…

KMA2942 Formative Birthday

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.

KMA2941 The Future, Considered

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.

 

KMA2940 Two More Updates

One:

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):

Yves Jarvis. I liked his minimalist, trippy and quieter tunes.

Luge. Atonal wonky stop-starts. I was happy when they stopped.

 

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…

Two:

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.

KMA2939 The Good Ol’ Hockey Game

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.

In Sum:

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.

 

PS:

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.

 

KMA2938 Teas, Pt.1

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!

KMA2931 En Spectacle

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.

KMA2908 Four Album Run

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
1970 Paranoid
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
1984 Powerslave
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!

1992 Smeared
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!

KMA2892 Rationalizations

Found this on the interwubs…

KMA2890 Run To The Hiiiiills…

…Run for your liiiiiiives…

Our young kitty Oscar is awesome.

2871 Random Internets For Sunday Reading

Here’s some fun stuff I found online (all credit to others) that I thought fit here:

KMA2861 Things

Found this on the internet, loved it. Bet you know all the songs referenced…

KMA2847 He’s Goddamn Right

Shout-out to Andrew Robinson for this post. Sharing because he’s goddamn right.

This one was also fun:

KMA2846 Half-Time Band

Justin Timberlake’s half-time SuperBowl gig had nothing on this young lady’s performance:

 

KMA2844 Trumpet Solos (At Work)

NB: I would like to begin this post by saying I’m pretty damn proud of myself for figuring out how to post links to Youtube videos that only contain the wee sections of the songs you’re meant to hear (not the whole song). What a time-saver. I am a tech wizard!

So.

I’ve been paying attention to the music at work, and noticing some pretty great solos in some of the songs. The world is full of great solo turns, of course, but these are just a few of those that have caught my ear as they emanate from the in-house system:

I ALWAYS CHEER FOR THE HORNS!

Blood Sweat & Tears – Spinning Wheel (possibly my favourite rock trumpet solo)

Petula Clark – Downtown (muted outro horn is very cool)

Beatles – Penny Lane

Temptations – Papa Was A Rolling Stone (the whole damn song is awesome, but this clip is an example of the horn in the song…)

KMA2841 Sax Solos (At Work)

NB: I would like to begin this post by saying I’m pretty damn proud of myself for figuring out how to post links to Youtube videos that only contain the wee sections of the songs you’re meant to hear (not the whole song). What a time-saver. I am a tech wizard!

So.

I’ve been paying attention to the music at work, and noticing some pretty great solos in some of the songs. The world is full of great solo turns, of course, but these are just a few of those that have caught my ear as they emanate from the in-house system:

 

Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar (RIP Bobby Keys)

Spandau Ballet – True (OMG everything about this is so painfully 80s)

Huey Lewis and the News – The Heart Of Rock ’N Roll (I had to include the “Johnny! Ow!”)

Billy Joel – New York State Of Mind (returning here after also appearing in the piano solo post! I do love this song)

 

KMA2839 Piano Solos (At Work)

NB: I would like to begin this post by saying I’m pretty damn proud of myself for figuring out how to post links to Youtube videos that only contain the wee sections of the songs you’re meant to hear (not the whole song). What a time-saver. I am a tech wizard!

So.

I’ve been paying attention to the music at work, and noticing some pretty great solos in some of the songs. The world is full of great solo turns, of course, but these are just a few of those that have caught my ear as they emanate from the in-house system:

Fine Young Cannibals – Good Thing (possibly my favourite piano solo in a pop song EVER – thank you, Jools Holland!)

Billy Joel – New York State Of Mind (intro)

Aretha Franklin – Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (so damn good, here’s the whole damn song. Did you know that Aretha, through overdubbing, played both the piano and the organ on this track herself? SHE RULES)

Gloria Estefan – Conga

KMA2837 Guitar Solos (At Work)

NB: I would like to begin this post by saying I’m pretty damn proud of myself for figuring out how to post links to Youtube videos that only contain the wee sections of the songs you’re meant to hear (not the whole song). What a time-saver. I am a tech wizard!

So.

I’ve been paying attention to the music at work, and noticing some pretty great solos in some of the songs. The world is full of great solo turns, of course, but these are just a few of those that have caught my ear as they emanate from the in-house system:

The Knack – My Sharona

Richie Valens – La Bamba

Michael Jackson – Beat It (Eddie Van Halen)

Bryan Adams – Cuts Like A Knife (Keith Scott)

Eagles – Hotel California (the ending dual guitar battle, of course):

KMA2834 Singalongs

We have piped-in music at work, there’s no escaping it as it is pumped through the whole building. I believe I’ve ranted about it before.

One other dimension to hearing this sort of music all day is that my co-workers sing along. Yes. Back in the production room, while they’re working away, a bunch of small-town women sing along (very badly) to a myriad of songs. They laugh together at how bad they sound, and even camp it up to try to cover for how bad it actually sounds, but it doesn’t stop them from doing it. Every time they hear a song.

Here’s a short list of songs they butchered over just the past couple of days. There are plenty more, too. I’m telling you, folks, it’s a fresh circle of hell.

Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline
Billy Joel – Piano Man
Lisa Loeb – Stay
Don McLean – American Pie (they only know a few of the words, and the chorus)
Joan Osbourne – One Of Us
Meghan Trainer – No
Eagles – Hotel California
B-52s – Love Shack

There are many, many more.

I know.

KMA2827 Never Forget

Saw this online, thought it was fun. Old schoolers unite!

KMA2780 Stage Presence

KMA2779 Parenthood \m/ \m/

KMA2361 Taranna On A Whim

Random post to (long-windedly) tell you about yesterday (Sunday). Get a coffee and settle in…

My Dad and I went to Toronto.

This was the weekend wherein my lovely wife and I each get a day to ourselves to do whatever. On Saturday, she and my sister went to Stratford and saw a performance of Twelfth Night, which they said was excellent. Cool.

I’d been casting around for ideas as to what I wanted to do with my day for a while. I didn’t come up with much. But I knew I wanted to go somewhere, because soon enough the roads will be wintery and driving longer distances becomes less appealing. I discussed it with my Dad, and we ran through a list of possible places, but we didn’t warm to any of our ideas. That left Toronto, which is a decent haul from here, sure, but always holds much fun.

So away we went, through pouring rain and high winds that buffeted the car quite a bit. Several times I was really wrestling it back into line to keep the b*tches between the d*tches. Good times. It was also odd that mid-afternoon it hit well into the 20s (C), but coming back north around suppertime it was down to 5C. Quite a temperature drop in a few short hours.

Armed with umbrellas, we walked down from Bloor to Queen/Spadina. Dad took off to wander Chinatown, and I hit up…

SONIC BOOM

Interestingly, I went through the whole main section of rock/pop and smaller sections (country, electronic, classical, soundtracks) and didn’t find a single disc that had to come home with me. That has never happened. I noticed that a lot of the CDs that (for years) would have been $2.99 were now $5.99, and the previous $5.99s are now $7.99, etc. This isn’t a deterrent to me, really, but I noticed.

I did find one in the International section:

Tinariwen – Tassili +10:1. Mr. 1537 recommends these guys, but I rarely see their albums in the wild. I paid $12.99 for this one brand new, still in the shrinkwrap. Deal!

Then I dug through the clearance racks and found one:

Big John Bates – Take Your Medicine. We saw his bluesy rockin’ burlesque show in Saskatoon at Amigos. Fun!

Next was the metal, punk and hip hop row (their rows are long) and I found a few more…

Black Flag – Who’s Got The 10 1/2?. Live album I have (inexplicably) never owned. Score!

Monster Truck – The Brown EP. I have the two albums, and for $3 this EP was an easy grab.

Dillinger Escape Plan – Ire Works, and Miss Machine. Two I didn’t have from them, and the MM turned out to be a CD/DVD version!

Beastie Boys – Triple Trouble (single). I see Beasties I don’t have for $2.99, I buy it. Especially if it has a sasquatch on it. It’s an album track and two unreleased remixes. Fine by me!

Then I hit the Recent Arrivals bin…

Extreme – Extreme. I was missing this early album, and $2.99 was fine!

Ronnie Wood – I Feel Like Playing. Solo Stone, for cheap? Oh yes please.

And then (probably) my two biggest scores at Sonic Boom:

Sloan – 4×4 Sampler, and SloanMania! In-Store Retail Sampler. Both are promo samplers. 4×4 has four album tracks from Navy Blues, while SloanMania! has 14 album tracks from four different albums (Navy Blues, One Chord To Another, Twice Removed, and Smeared). Each has a Murderecords catalogue number, but are promo only. No matter, they have a good home now! Sloooooo-oooooaaaan!

 

***

Then we walked up through Kensington Market and got coffee at the Moon Bean for my lovely wife. I got to thank the owner for all the years of coffee (it’s been since the late-90s, for us). He seemed pleased and thanked us for being loyal. D’awww…

***

Back up on Bloor, we had lunch at Paupers (of course). Then Dad took off to wander, and I (of course) went to…

BMV

I always do well here. Yesterday was no different…

Black Crowes – Before The Frost. This is cool because the CD is all black, looks like an LP on top. I hope my stereo reads it!

Eric’s Trip – Long Days Ride ‘Till Tomorrow. Live Eric’s Trip? Hells yes, please.

Holly Golightly – Laugh It All Up!. A compilation of Holly’s stuff. 22 tracks! Sweet.

Iron Maiden – Flight 666 Soundtrack. 2CD live set for $8? No-brainer.

Operation Ivy – Operation Ivy. An old classic, a replacement for my old beat-up copy.

Tinariwen – Amassakoul. And look here, a second one of theirs in one day! 1537 was smiling benevolently down upon me!

And then I hit the 3-for $10 bins. Yes, it’s plural now, they’ve really expanded this sale section. So awesome. I saw many things in there that I own and was shocked to see – I mean, Rollins Band’s End Of Silence? That should be in the main section. At full price! It’s still more album than most can properly handle, what a record! Anyway.  I did very well here…

Matthew Good – Live At Massey Hall (2cd). Heck yes.

Corb Lund – Losin’ Lately Gambler. I like Corb.

Yngwie Malmsteen – The Yngwie Malmsteen Collection. I just like saying Yngwie. Yngwie Yngwie, Yngwie. A cool comp for me to try out his stuff.

Nirvana – From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah. Because I didn’t have it, now I do!

Bruce Dickinson – Accident Of Birth. Yup, Bruce Bruce in the sale bin? Crazy.

Les Claypool And The Holy Mackerel – Presents: Highball With The Devil. Time for some Claypool madness, but mainly bought ‘cos Rollins appears on here! ROLLINS.

Mars Volta – Amputechture. Someone recommended this one to me after I loved De-Loused In The Comatorium and Frances The Mute.

Alanis Morrisette – Jagged Little Pill Acoustic. I was just curious what this would sound like compared to the original album, so why not!

Julie Doiron – Heart And Crime. I will always (always) by Julie albums I don’t yet have. Julie rocks.

 

* I also got an item that should have been a Grail List item for one of our Dear Readers, but wasn’t ever on the list. They will be receiving it in future, and it will be theirs to reveal to all. I will share no details here. 

Fantastic haul. Thanks, BMV!

 

***

By 5:30pm we were done, and it was time to roll out. It took us 3 hours to get back home, through more high winds and slashing rains, but it mattered little. We had a great day. Toronto proved (again) an excellent choice.

Thanks for Reading!

***

 

PS: While I did not find any actual Grail List items, though (as noted, above) I did find one that should have been and will distribute it accordingly, I surely did look for all of you!

Note to Mr. 1537: I did find Julian Cope’s Jehovakill, but it was on evil silver disc, and I guessed (assuming) that you were wanting it on LP (alas there were none of those).

KMA2357 Taranna Trip: The Results

Breaking hiatus momentarily, just to share the treasures from our most recent Taranna trip. I’d announced this trip a week or so ago, requesting your updates to the Grail List. I figured the least I could do is share what I found on my sojourn into the Big Smoke.

There’s a lot to go through, here. Get a coffee, put your feet up. Ready? Here we go…

The city was hot and muggy, difficult to walk all day (as I did). Places with A/C definitely won the day. We were in town because my lovely wife was attending a 2-day conference by Norman Doidge on “all the latest in neuroplasticity.” She was excited to attend, this talk was a big deal. The trip fell near enough to our (14th) wedding anniversary, so I got the days off work and tagged along. Can’t beat a paid-for hotel downtown for a couple of days!

So as I was compiling this post, a thought occurred: It looks like I bought a ton (because I did). But I really bargain-shopped too, and remarkably, all of this came in well under budget. I actually came away from Sonic Boom and BMV having spent quite a bit less than expected! That’s awesome, of course.

Most are CD (sorry, 1537), unless noted.

DAY ONE: MONDAY

Up bright and early, breakfast out, then walked my lovely wife to her conference. Killed a wee bit of time just wandering until stuff opened up (usually 10am or 11am). First on the agenda, as it was nearest the hotel…

SONIC BOOM

As always, excellent finds in this mainstay place to visit:

Various Artists – Black On Black: A Tribute To Black Flag: This one I own, but it’s an earlier version with 9 tracks. This one is the updated version with 6 extra tracks tacked on to the front of the album, making a total of 15 tracks!

Ani DiFranco – Evolve: Yes, there are still Ani albums I don’t have, but I’m getting close to having them all.

Morcheeba – Dive Deep: I loved Big Calm, and impulse bought this because it was cheap.

Gojira – The Way Of All Flesh: Hell yes. \m/  \m/

Wynton Marsalis – Levee Low Moan: Soul Gestures In Southern Blue Vol. 3: Replacement copy. My old one’s a bit scratchy.

Frank Black And The Catholics – Devil’s Workshop & Pistolero: Two I didn’t have, and got them cheap. Yes.

Jurassic 5 – Power In Numbers (CD/DVD): No idea what’s on the DVD here (yet), but I loved this album.

Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble – The Sky Is Crying: Because SRV. ‘Nuff said.

And the big score from Sonic Boom was:

Cowboy Junkies – Trinity Revisited (CD/DVD)

Trinity Session is one of my favourite records, and this is the session where they went back to the same church, years later, and re-did the songs. With guests Ryan Adams, Vic Chesnutt, Natalie Merchant and Jeff Bird. YES.

Awesome scores. Thanks, Sonic Boom!

NB: I found a Grail List item for 1537 at Sonic Boom, the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series 1-3 on LP, but he confirmed my guess that the price was too rich (for now). But I did find one!

***

ROTATE THIS

After lunch at Tortilla Flats, I decided to walk out to Rotate This. Except they’d moved since my last visit. Waaaay out to Ossington and Dundas. Since I was already halfway there I walked it, but it went from stroll to heat death march fairly quickly. The new spot’s nice, but they don’t have CDs anymore, just LPs. I only got one item:

Jake Bugg – Live At Silver Platter (RSD release). Yeah, I have this already, but this can be my play copy.

 

 

 

 

 

***

GRASSHOPPER RECORDS

Just around the corner from Rotate This was this wee shop, which I figured I may as well check out since I was already to hell and gone. The gentleman in there was very friendly, helpful, but he didn’t have anything I’d wanted. Left empty-handed. Then I trudged alllllll the way back to University and then down to the hotel. What a hike, I wouldn’t do it (on foot) again. Glad I’d brought water.

***

Later that evening, my lovely wife and I walked north to Harbord for supper on an upstairs patio that was like being in a treehouse, then onward to Bloor. We had excellent dessert at Future Bakery, and then, of course, there was…

BMV (Part 1)

I always do well at this place…

Frank Black – Fast Man Raider Man (2CD): Keeping that Frank Black ball rolling!

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – Sunday At Devil Dirt: The venerable J. of Resurrection Songs has me keeping my eyes peeled for Lanegan’s work. Result!

Jaco Pastorius – S/T: This is a remaster with two bonus tracks. Essential.

John Doe And The Sadies – Country Club: Because Sadies. Also, cool collaboration!

Weakerthans – Live At The Burton Cummings Theatre (CD/DVD): Don’t know why I’ve not owned this til now, as I love Weakerthans. But here it is and it’s all good!

And as always, BMV has their 3-for-$10 bins, which always yield treasures. This time they had so much stock the regular spot was filled, and there was another bin in the center with more!

Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Yanqui U.X.O.: I didn’t have this one, right on.

Ron Sexsmith – Exit Strategy Of The Soul, and Time Being: Two excellent albums from a brilliant songwriter.

Jayhawks – Tomorrow The Green Grass: Always wanted to hear this one. Now I can!

Victor – Victor: Alex Lifeson solo? Yes please.

54-40 – Goodbye Flatland: I will always buy 54-40, of course.

And the big score from BMV was:

Refused – The Shape Of Punk To Come (2CD/1DVD)

Hereby hangs a wee tale. I’ve already reviewed this and LOVED it. On another city trip (perhaps my last trip?), I’d seen this special edition but I left it because I already owned the album and I had other goodies to get already. This trip, it was still there! Naturally it is obvious that the Universe believes that this one belongs to me, so it is now mine. It has the album, a full live album at Umea Open 1998, and the DVD is a film called Refused Are Fucking Dead. Yessss… Glory.

Bloody brilliant stuff. Thanks, BMV!

NB: I was also tempted by five John Frusciante solo albums. But I left them because I already had lots (above). I walked away knowing I’d regret this decision.

***

DAY TWO: TUESDAY

After dropping my lovely wife at her conference for 8:30, I had time to kill, as most places don’t open til 10 or 11. So I wandered across Queen, through Chinatown on Spadina, and up to College, just taking in the city… eventually I found myself back on Bloor after appreciating the shade and quiet of the Annex. I had no real reason to be back on Bloor, just wandering as the day heated up and that’s how far my legs carried me… Kops wasn’t open til 11, but BMV opened at 10, so…

BMV (Part 2):

I wandered their book sections, then did a bit more of a vinyl dig downstairs. I found one item in their LP sale bin, which I brought home:

One Speed Bike – Droopy Butt Begone!: Any friends of GYBE! ought to be a friend of mine, though I read online at lunch that this one isn’t their best. I’ll find out!

Also, because I reasoned I wouldn’t be back to the city til (likely) the spring, and because I don’t see these too often, I did pick up those five John Frusciante albums. I know. I am the king!

John Frusciante – To Clara
John Frusciante – Inside Of Emptiness
John Frusciante – The Will To Death
John Frusciante – To Record Only Water For Ten Days
John Frusciante and Josh Klinghoffer – A Sphere In The Heart Of Silence

Sweet!

Thanks again, BMV!

 

 

 

 

 

***

I had lunch at Paupers (as always), then did some bookshop research for my lovely wife on both College and Harbord, ultimately finding all three items she wanted. Result!

Heading back down through the Annex, I stopped at…

SHE SAID BOOM!

This place always has treasures too. Great music and books. Check it…

Small Faces – Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake: Always meant to grab this one but never saw it at a suitable price. This time it was in my range!

Various Artists – The Rebirth Of Cool, Vol. 3, 4 and 7 (2cd set): I already own Vol.1 and love it, so it was a no-brainer to grab up these three later additions to the series.

She Said Boom! also has bins on the floor, under the CD racks, where everything is $1. Often, there is damage to the packaging or the disc itself, but if you’re dilligent and dig through, you can find pristine copies of stuff you want. For $1. Last time I was there, I got two Blue Rodeo albums I needed from these bins. This time I got:

Jim Bryson – The North Side Benches: I have no idea if this is good, but we saw him perform in concert one time so I sort of impulse grabbed it up. I mean, it was $1.

Serena Ryder – Harmony: I do love me some Serena Ryder and this was one of the few of hers I did not already own. Right on.

Sarah Harmer – Oh Little Fire: Harmer’s records are just must-owns. Neko Case appears on one track, here!

It was hot as hell in the store, but I’m glad I stuck it out. Thanks a lot, She Said Boom!

***

So then, I wandered back south to the hotel, ditched the stuff in the car, and realized I still had an hour to kill before meeting my lovely wife. Finding myself on Queen St. again, I hit up…

KOPS RECORDS (Queen St.)

Because of course. They had a lot of LPs I would love to have brought home (seriously, tons), but I feel I showed excellent restraint. I only bought one LP for myself…

R.L. Burnside – I Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down: Brand new copy, still sealed, for cheap. Talk about a no-brainer.

NB: I did find another Grail List item in this Kops location. But I cannot disclose what it was, or for whom it was procured, as it is being kept secret for now. But suffice it to say, excitement level was pretty damn high!

 

 

 

 

 

***

And that was the extent of my forays into the shoppes.

My lovely wife and I grabbed supper at Fran’s on Shuter St., across from Massey Hall. I had a minor heart attack when I read their sign that said Wynton Marsalis and Jazz At Linolcn Center were playing. I LOVE Wynton Marsalis’ work. But it turned out that the tree blocking their sign and the angle at which I was reading it made me misread what it said. That night’s show was Seu Jorge. Wynton was playing the next night. But still! I would LOVE to see him perform at some point!

We blasted out of the city, made it home in good time. We were exhausted, from the heat, from all of the walking, from the energy of the city, but the conference was a full-on success, and I consider my scores a success as well (evidence: see above). This much music will buoy me for a looong time to come! Can’t wait to start digging into them all and discovering their sounds.

If you have read this far, thank you. It was a long haul and you stuck it out. Well done!

KMA2353 August

Hey folks, your friendly neighbourhood Aaron here.

So August has come and gone. The hiatus is still going strong. Gotta admit, it’s been nice to just chill and listen to tunes without wondering how to write it up, though occasionally I think up some fun stuff out of reflex. I haven’t written any of it down, though. I’ll worry about how to approach these pages whenever I decide to come back (and not before).

This month flew by. We had a week at the cottage, which was fantastic. The kids ran themselves ragged on the beach every day (as they should). We did stay in during the eclipse, because what’s the first thing a six-year-old will do when you say “don’t look at the sun?” Exactly. Still, we needed the time away, it was lovely. And now it’s September and the kids start school on Tuesday. Crazy.

***

HUGE thanks to Manipulant for sending me a CD copy of the excellent Eclectro album.

Cheers! I wish you every success!

 

 

 

***

Grail List Item Success!

Yup, I got me a copy of the 2CD Neil Young tribute called Borrowed Tunes.

Now all I need is the (even more rare) Borrowed Tunes II…

Check it out (below):

 

 

Disc 1: Out of the Blue: An Acoustic Tribute to Neil Young

Colin Linden, “Intro”
Hemingway Corner, “Tell Me Why”
Jann Arden, “Birds”
Crash Vegas, “Pocahontas”
Lawrence Gowan, “Heart of Gold”
Jim Witter and Cassandra Vasik, “Human Highway”
Jeff Healey, “Harvest”
Breits, “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing”
Lori Yates, “Helpless”
Waltons, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”
Amanda Marshall, “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”
Prescott-Brown, “Comes a Time”
Malcolm Burn, “Pardon My Heart”
Rose Chronicles, “Old Man”
Cowboy Junkies, “Tired Eyes”
Rheostatics and Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”
David Wilcox, “Transformer Man”
Stephen Fearing, “Thrasher”
Marc Jordan, “Borrowed Tune”

Disc 2: Into the Black: An Electric Tribute to Neil Young

Skydiggers, “Mr. Soul”
Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts, “Like a Hurricane”
Our Lady Peace, “The Needle and the Damage Done”
Junkhouse, “F*!#in’ Up”
Blue Rodeo, “I’ve Been Waiting for You”
Big Sugar, “When You Dance I Can Really Love”
Colin Linden, “Tonight’s the Night”
Treble Charger, “Albuquerque”
54-40, “Cortez the Killer”
Chocolatey (Steven Page, Tyler Stewart, Steve Duffy), “Burned”
Philosopher Kings, “Coupe De Ville”
hHead, “Look Out for My Love”
Andy Curran, “Cinnamon Girl”
Wild T and the Spirit, “Down by the River”
Randy Bachman, “The Loner”
Mystery Machine, “Southern Man”
Art Bergmann and One Free Fall, “Prisoners of Rock ‘n Roll”

***

One day, I found a CDr in a parking lot, well away from any cars (did someone throw it?). It was labelled “I Like To Fuck.” No one was around, so how could I not bring a disc like that home to investigate? Exactly.

And what’s on this CD? 13 songs, none of which I knew the song or the artist, when I played it back.

Thanks to Google Lyrics, I discovered that these were the tracks:

Lil Jon – Patron
Britney Spears – 3
Drake – Forever
Hot Rod – I Like To Fuck
Lil Mama – Shawty Get Loose
Cascada – Evacuate The Dancefloor
Obie Trice – Got Some Teeth
Obie Trice – The Set Up
Obie Trice – Shit Hits The Fan
Christina Milian – Dip It Low
Ciara – Click Flash
Fergie – Labels Or Love
Field Mob – So What (f. Ciara)

And what did I think of these songs? Folks out there like this stuff, and power to them, but this wasn’t really for me. I loved the title of the mix, though!

***

I showed my son that simple four note intro to Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters on the guitar a while back.

The song came on in the car the other day, and he said “Hey! I can play that song!”

 

 

***

We were jamming a hits of Queen in the car* and the kids loved the lines “She’s a Killer Queen / Gunpowder, gelatine / Dynamite with a laser beam / Guaranteed to blow your mind / Anytime.”

They made up all kinds of ideas about what it could possibly mean to be dynamite with a laser beam. The laughter in the backseat was beautiful.

 

***

See you again soon…

 

* For fans of Good Omens, you already know that every album left in the car will eventually become a greatest hits of Queen. Natch.

KMA2349 The Rest Of July

My last post here was on July 16, when I mentioned I would be taking a break from writing here (though I’m trying to still read and comment on your blogs). That was only two weeks ago, I know, but I thought I’d round up July… and it turns out not much has happened. Well, life has happened, we’ve been running four nights a week to various kids events (soccer [football, for our UK Readers], swim, etc), and working, of course. We got to the beach, that was nice. I had a birthday, for which I was surprised with a visit from friends and family (which I loved). I also got an Amazon gift card, which I’ve spent a million times already without actually hitting Place Order haha. One day I’ll actually order stuff, but right now it’s too much fun window shopping. Oh, and I got the Rolling Stones DVD of Olé Olé Olé: A Trip Across Latin America, which is the companion/run-up to the Havana Moon DVD I got a while back. I do love me some Stones.

One day, recently, my iTunes coughed up an amazing playlist. I hit Random on my entire collection [50,800 items, 140.7 days, 191.39GB] and this is what I got:

Izzy Stradlin – Shuffle It All
Hawksley Workman – Remember Our Wars
Guided By Voices – My Zodiac Companion
Blue Rodeo – Two Tongues
Robert Pollard – Into It
Jane’s Addiction – Strays
Pearl Jam – The Fixer
Wilco – Jesus, Etc.
Nightwatchman – The Lights Are On In Spidertown
Brent Hinds – Highwaters
Goober Patrol – Part Time SF Ecologist
Stone Sour – Your God
John Lee Hooker – The Motor City Is Burning
Accept – Teutonic Terror
Hope Blister – Sweet Unknown
Delta 72 – I Feel Fine
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Wall Of Denial
Marillion – Hope For The Future
Vandals – Moving Up
Girls Vs. Boys – Kill The Sexplayer
Me First And The Gimme Gimmes – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Rick White – I Don’t See You
Eric Clapton – Lead Me On
Red Hot Chili Peppers – This Velvet Glove
Queensryche – Breaking The Silence
Watchmen – Anything But That
Ozzy Osbourne – Spiders
Heavy Trash – She Baby
Danny Michel – Feather, Fur & Fin
Dio – Hungry For Heaven
Live – Dance With You

It was a little disjointed in places, mix-wise (John Lee Hooker into Accept? Sure!), but overall a super-cool collection of tunes.

Otherwise… We’re booked to go to Taranna for a couple of days in September, near our wedding anniversary, so my lovely wife can go to a work-related conference on the brain. Me, I’m gonna look for records, of course. I’ll have two whole days in the downtown, free to do as I please while she’s in conference, and then we’ll have evenings together to go wherever she wants to go. That’s gonna be awesome.

And that’s about it. I may do a round up of August, in early September. Right now I don’t forsee any new reviews or content from me for the next month. That could change, but I doubt it. This break is good on many levels.

Hope you’re having a great summer. Stay cool.

KMA2347 The Passing Of A Friend

Our neighbour Don passed away in the wee hours of Friday night. Sure, he was pushing 90 years old, and his body was riddled with cancer (among other health issues), but it doesn’t make it suck any less.

We moved into this house four years ago, and our neighbours adopted us – as older couples whose own kids live far away will do when a younger family moves onto the street. We went back and forth, they made a fuss over the kids, they’d watch our cat while we were on holidays, I’d always clear their lane of snow every winter… and then we’d have play fights over whether or not they should pay me for doing the work (I always won, because of course they should never pay me for that. I love being outside in the winter, so they’re doing me a favour). Months ago, Don gave me a bottle of whiskey. His chemo wouldn’t allow him to drink it, and he wanted me to have it. I haven’t opened it, and I doubt I will. Well, maybe some day.

Anyway, it’s a tough time for the family and the neighbourhood, even though we all knew it was coming. It was a long, slow decline for him, hard to watch. And it’s only adding to my own little reorganization here. You’ve maybe noticed I haven’t posted much in the last little while. A wee bit ago, I’d texted James to say I was thinking of taking the summer off from blogging. I was running out of steam. I’d just started that All The Everything series and it is (admittedly) very daunting. You’d just have to see the Man Cave’s contents to think I was nuts for even starting. James’ perfect response was “meh, just post when you want.” Good advice, as it is what he does in these pages.

I turn 43 years old in a couple of weeks (I am quickly coming to the end of my year of being the answer to life, the Universe and everything), and I was reflecting back on having done this blog for nigh on eleven years. It’s a labour of love and fun and great tunes and experiences and the building up of an awesome community and it’s cool. But for now I’ll read all your posts (likely at the weekends over coffee, mostly). I’ll rest for a bit, focus elsewhere… jam tunes for the sake of pleasure, not for how I’ll write about them. Chase the kids (and my lovely wife), do some work on the house, create, breathe… I’ve done this before, and I know I’ve said hiatuses are for chumps (they are), but here I am.

R.I.P. Don. The last few months were a true struggle of pain and worry, but hopefully now he can have some peace. And I’ll still be here, moreso as a Reader, for now. Some day, surely, I’ll be filling these pages with gibbering once again. Until then, see you in the Comments.

KMA2332 Hello There, Sunrise

Ages ago, we had a Music World in our shite little mall. They closed and I panicked. Then HMV took over and I felt better. As you all know, HMV closed out, and I panicked. But then Sunrise Records took over some of HMV’s spots and, when I found out we were getting one, I felt better. Apparently, these comings and goings are a bit of a rollercoaster for me. In my defense, if we didn’t have a corporate store like this, we’d be stuck with Wal-Mart and that one used shoppe downtown that, well, anyway.

Yesterday I spent about twenty minutes perusing our new Sunrise records. Apparently the shoppe’s already been open for about a week, but I just haven’t had time to get there before this. I wanted to see what was up.

It’s music store ver.3 in my town!

Some First Impressions:

– it really hasn’t changed all that much in appearance (yet, they may change more with time). Pretty sure they just re-used all the old HMV CD bins and everything.

– both staff members I saw working were from the old HMV, so at least a couple of the HMV staffers applied and got the new (old) job with Sunrise.

– I was approached by one staffer to see if I needed help, and I did – I’d looked and did not see the new Solstafir set. I’d have bought it if they had it. Not only had she never heard of them, they didn’t have a section for them in the shelves, and the deluxe wasn’t on their tiny end cap of boxed sets either. It didn’t seem likely they would be getting it either, so I guess it’s the Amazons for me, on that one.

– there are WAY more CDs than HMV ever had. This is awesome. The entire row that used to be DVD and Blu-ray in the HMV are now all CDs as well. This makes me incredibly happy. They do still have movies, at the back of the store, but music is clearly the focal point. Yay!

– CD prices seemed to be OK, maybe a wee bit higher (by $1-$2) than HMV would have done, but I’ve no way of proving that.

– they had a $5.99 CD wall, but it was all those ICON hits set CDs. Meh. Will see if they change things up, but if not I’ll miss HMV’s 2-for-$10 and 2-for-$20 sales racks.

– the LP section is much expanded, and moved front and center by the entrance, so the hipsters can’t miss it. I found most priced too high (like all places), but it’s nice to see them offering the hipsters of my town a new copy of OK Computer for $45.99 (it can be had for $30 online, shipping included). Some of the vinyls were better-priced, around $20-25, but I’d need more time to really dig.

– Punk and metal, in both CD and LP sections, are mixed into one category. Which means it’s possible that Gojira and Green Day might sit side by side in the bin. That’s OK, I guess, but a bit weird.

– There was no Guided By Voices section. While I am not surprised, this is still an oversiiiiight.

– Just testing things out, I looked for myself, then asked and… it turns out they did not have the new Kendrick Lamar album, called DAMN. (on CD or LP). This is quite weird, as it’s a huge record right now. The staffer said they may get it in soon, as their stock is still coming. They’d better!

– I found the 16’ of shelving for board games, and the entire wall of t-shirts (not to mention the other section full of crap tchotchkes, just like HMV had), to be a bit much, but after texting this to James he said (and he’s right) that no store can make it on music alone, anymore. Still, are board games that popular? Is this the new thing that hipsters will want so they can leave our LPs the hell alone? Do we need that many Ramones t-shirts? Hm. Maybe on that last point, we do…

– I didn’t see video games, but I wasn’t looking for them as I don’t play them. I assume they were at the back of the store, with the movies. Not a huge footprint for them, anyway.

In Sum:

It’s nice to have another record shoppe in town. Panic averted! I didn’t buy anything today, but I’m sure I will at some point. With only 20 minutes in the shoppe, I don’t feel I really had time to get to know it, but my first impressions are, by my gut feel, that it’s gonna do alright. I’m super-thrilled with how many more CDs they offer over the (in comparison) pathetic wee patch that HMV offered. Yes indeed, that’s great.

Alright Sunrise, time to make a go of it. Drop your LP prices and increase your sales, and you’ll have reason to stay!

KMA2321 Sunday Morning Coming Down

Hey Dear Readers,

So it’s been busy around here, and I have posts in the works but nothing completed.

To tide you over, here’s some goofy pics a la the old Sunday Service posts of yore.

Enjoy, and stay tuned (pun intended). More All The Everything posts will appear eventually…

KMA2315 Taranna, Grail List Stuff, Contest Reminder

Hiya KMA Readers, it’s your friendly neighbourhood Aaron, here!

Just some admin stuff to clear up…

Let’s get in there and give ‘er!

 

Taranna

I will be in Taranna on May 28. Looking for records. Oh baby. Which means…

Grail List Updates

If you have anything to add/remove from your Grail Lists, let me know by May 27! If you don’t have a list yet, but you want one, send it to us! Remember, these are items you really want but cannot get at reasonable prices. Let’s all help each other find our Grail Items!

Grail List Addition

While I’m at it, I have added the Five Hole Band – Tales Of Hockey Erotica to my list. I can’t find one online for under $50. Can you find me one for good price?

And lastly,

Contest Reminder

Don’t forget a new (still sealed!) copy of 54-40’s amazing Dear Dear album is up for grabs. GO ENTER HERE! Contest runs until Tuesday May 16. Winning entries will be drawn from a toque, and the winner will be posted in these pages on Wednesday May 17!

Thanks for reading. Carry on!

 

KMA2295 What’s The Saddest Song You Know?

There are a ton of songs out there that are sad, or about difficult things, but what’s the song that’s just the saddest damn thing you ever heard?

Giving it a few moment’s thought, the first few that came into my head were:

Nine Inch Nails – Hurt  (and Johnny Cash’s version, too)
Mike & The Mechanics – The Living Years
Eric Clapton’s Tears In Heaven
Hank Williams – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
Billie Holiday – Gloomy Sunday
Harry Chapin – Cat’s In The Cradle
and so on…

But for me, the winner has to be George Jones’ He Stopped Loving Her Today.

It doesn’t matter whether you like country music or not. This one is a relationship tune, but it’s not about a break-up. No, this one’s about a man who loved a woman for a long time, but he wasn’t even with her. Unrequited love. Still he loved her until the day he died. THAT was the day he stopped loving her.

Just… damn. Right in the feels!

The Lyrics:

He said “I’ll love you till I die”, she told him “You’ll forget in time”
As the years went slowly by, she still preyed upon his mind

He kept her picture on his wall, went half-crazy now and then
He still loved her through it all, hoping she’d come back again

Kept some letters by his bed dated nineteen sixty-two
He had underlined in red every single “I love you”

I went to see him just today, oh but I didn’t see no tears
All dressed up to go away, first time I’d seen him smile in years

He stopped loving her today
They placed a wreath upon his door
And soon they’ll carry him away
He stopped loving her today

You know, she came to see him one last time. 
Aww, ‘n’ we all wondered if she would 
And it kept runnin’ through my mind-“this time he’s over her for good.”

He stopped loving her today
They placed a wreath upon his door
And soon they’ll carry him away
He stopped loving her today.

KMA2282 Lazy Friday Continues

So this morning you got to read some copy/pasted stuff about an album I loved, so here. Have some pictures.

Can you tell it’s the end of the week?

KMA2280 What’s Your Rap Name?

Try this (and put your results in the comments below!):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently, I’m Lil Pretzel Goldfish.

I’ll call my album “This Record Is Making Me Thirsty!”

KMA2265 Metal Band Logos

Calling our benevolent infernal HMO. We need your help!

KMA2254 Back To The Grind, And A Hockey Game

Well, I’ve run out of days to be sick. It’s back to work today. And straight into hell week. Hooboy. Today is a 50% off sale in the store. And then Tuesday is the usual 30% off senior’s day. If the place is still standing on Wednesday, it’ll be a miracle.

And what a welcome back to work! I’ll need every reserve of strength, I imagine. Nothing like jumping in with both feet.

***

Some cool news from yesterday, partially music-related. For Christmas, my Dad got us tickets to see an NHL alumni hockey game, which was held yesterday. They didn’t release any player names beforehand, so it could be big names, or who knows. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to go, feeling as sick as I was, but come yesterday around noon, I thought I could do it. We went.

The tickets said doors at 1pm, puck drop at 2pm, but no one was assigned seats. It was general admission, first come and first served. So of course we showed up around 12:00, thinking there’d be a line-up. No one. We go into the building, the folks are still setting things up. They had a lot of the stairways roped off, only one way in. We stood around, and finally I approached an official-looking lady at the stairs and she let us up to the seats, just as a guy came over to say we couldn’t go up yet. I muttered under my breath “just keep walking!” and we did. Turned out we were the first ones into the rink, so we had our pick of every seat in the place. My son (it was his choice) selected the first row at the ice, right beside the penalty box at center ice. Attaboy.

We were still hella early. They were testing the sound system pre-game, and playing Queen’s We Will Rock You. On repeat. For half an hour, at varying volumes while some guy said “check, check, check” into a microphone. Now, I love that song, but come on. And that’s the music-related bit of the story. Carry on…

Finally the players come out for a skate-around pre-game. This was a benefit game, in support of Special Olympic Ontario and the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The local team was made up of some of my town’s police officers and firefighters. The NHL alumni team… was like we’d been zapped in the wayback machine.

There was Mark La Forest in net, with Mike Krushelnyski, Lou Franceschetti and Bryan Muir on defense. There was Dan Daoust, Dave McLlwain, Luca Caputi, Mark Napier, and Todd Harvey. Even the referee was Mike Pelyk. The two players I was most excited to see were Brent Gretzky (yep, Wayne’s brother), and Rick Vaive. Man, I loved Rick Vaive as a kid, the way he’d blast up the right wing and shoot pure bullets on the net from the top of the circle… Seriously, it was (mostly) like I was back being a kid in the 80s, watching Hockey Night In Canada on Saturday night.

In all, this was a really fun afternoon. The local law were trying their best, and the old pros were barely putting in effort and still winning. It was clear that if they’d turned it on and really tried, the score would’ve been 50-0, and PDQ. The power and smoothness of the skating was still there, and the control was a pleasure to watch. I was watching Vaive in the warm-ups and he still has a wicked shot. He may have a head of white hair, but he’s been keeping up his skills, it was beautiful.

This afternoon was for fun, though, so there was a lot of horsing around. The NHLers made duff passes just to give the other team chances, and the goalie even tried for an end-to-end rush. Krushelnyski kept collecting snow from along the boards with his stick blade, then dumping it over the glass onto the kids up front, yelling “it’s snowing in here!” Fransceschetti kept knocking the net off its moorings and throwing his stick along the ice to stop breakaways. When the referee gave him penalties for it, he threw his gloves at the ref. Oh man.

A highlight was the first goal the cops team scored. La Forest, the goalie, had requested a photo with the goal scorer for his own ‘wall of shame, in his garage back home.’ So they lined up for the photo and then Gretzky pied the guy in the face. That goal scorer is a dad at my kids’ school, so I’ll have to ask him his side of the tale.

In all, it was a fun afternoon. I wish I had been feeling better – the cold of the rink didn’t help much – but I’m glad I was at least well enough to go to the game. My boy, of course, loved it, and my Dad had a blast remembering all the old players. And, of course, just being in the rink and watching hockey (at any level) is a curative for the Canadian soul.

This is a tour of games, not just a one-off here. I don’t know if they have the same players for every match (probably not, just whomever’s available to come to the rink) but it’s a great time. If there’s one in your town, for all you folks in Ontario, get out to it. It’s for a great cause and it’s a really fun time.

KMA2253 Down With The Sickness

This started out out as a one or two post thing, with me figuring I would be back to fighting form fairly quickly (as is my usual). This goes on much longer, it could turn into a friggin’ series!

And so today was more of the same. In fact, now I can add dizziness to the lack of energy. Oh joy! I went with the kids to their swimming lessons this morning. We were at the pool for an hour. And that was enough to do me in for most of the day – and I wasn’t even in the water!

J. suggested tea and cookies would help. I’ve been downing a lot of tea already (with honey for the sore throat), but I hadn’t considered cookies. Which is some fundamental failure on my part, knowing as I do that cookies solve many problems. J. had suggested chocolate digestives and man, that sounded just right. So my lovely wife went out today for groceries and came back with two packets of McVities’ milk chocolate digestives. The real UK McCoy! Did I ever tell you I love that lady? ‘Cos I do.

So, since I haven’t watched any movies or listened to any tunes today (!) (I know, but it wouldn’t help the headache), I’m just gonna cheat and throw in a couple more pictures and call that enough. Man, we’ve got hockey game tickets for tomorrow (hope I can make it), and then I gotta work on Monday! I’m running outta time to feel this shitty.

 

KMA2252 Couldn’t Stand The Weather

Again, thanks to all who wished me well!

Day three, and I know you’re all riveted with how sick my pathetic ass is, lately. I ended up calling sick yesterday (Friday) too. I’d woken myself up coughing to the point of struggling for breath, around 3 a.m. I was awake until the alarm went off at 6:45. Nope, no way was work happening! Fortunately, my boss was understanding.

So again I had that thought, like “Hey I have the house to myself! I should do tons of stuff!” Aaaaaaaand I lay around all day doing nothing. I watched a Statham movie (they always cheer me), the Italian Job (yes, a remake of the old one). Then I started one of my favourite battle/strategy/kung fu films of all time, Red Cliff. It’s 288 minutes long (that’s almost 5 hours), each DVD has about 140 minutes on it. Anyway, it’s just so beautifully done, and so perfectly acted, and John Woo directed it, so the fight scenes are awesome… but my head wasn’t really into following the plotting and reading all the subtitles today. I totally recommend it (though make sure you get the full film, not the 150 minute edited version), if you ever want to watch an unsung hero of an epic frickin’ film. I love it completely.

Anyway, I still haven’t played any tunes, which is frustrating because I have a ton of cool stuff to cover here…

Ach, here’s some more silly pictures…

KMA2251 “Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you…”

First up, thanks to all who wished me better health yesterday! I’m getting there.

So I called in sick to work yesterday, something I almost never do. But I knew when I got up at 7am to get ready to go that I would be useless in my job. My supervisor was understanding. My folks stepped up and took the kids to school, even picked them up after school and fed them supper so I could sleep.

Here’s something my lovely wife rolls her eyes about, everytime I’m ill. When I get sick, especially when feverish, I decide right then is the perfect time to do all of the everything I’ve been meaning to do. One time, in Montreal, I went on a mission to buy a new stereo and was determined to carry the giant box across the downtown of the city to our apartment. She made me get a cab. I should have been home in bed…

So yesterday I thought ‘I have the house to myself. I can do all sorts of things I’ve been meaning to do! Work in the Man Cave! Play the guitar as loud as I want! It’s endless!’

In the end, I crashed on the couch and half-watched Suicide Squad (really, really stupid film, apologies to its fans). Then I ate a wee bit and slept the entire afternoon. So much for my big plans!

As you’re reading this it’ll be Friday, and I assume I will have gone back to work. I won’t be 100% by the morning, but I can’t afford two days off and I do feel better than I did. Well, better enough, I suppose. Instead of feeling like I weigh 500lbs, it’s more like 300lbs…

Lacking any musical listening and, remarkably, with nothing half-written waiting in Dennis (my hopper), I can’t even half-ass my way through a review of anything. Which is frustrating because I have a lot of really cool music here that I’ve been wanting to share.

Ah well, here are some silly pictures. I’ll be back to usual eventually!

 

KMA2250 The Weather I’m Under

Yesterday morning I woke up to a bit of a runny nose. No big surprise: we have two small children and they are petrie dishes and have been sick several times throughout this winter. I blame the big changes in temperatures this year. The lake hasn’t ever frozen over and that always messes with everything. Folks enjoy the spring-like temps but it’s a fool’s paradise. The cost is too large. We need deep freeze.

Ignore it. I went to work.

I was rocking it like I always do, on pace to crush my quota yet again. Come about 1:30, I suddenly felt like I weighed 500 lbs. Every limb just gave up. I had no breath or energy. I sat down, which I never do. Good thing I leave at 2:15.

I am typing this at 8pm last night, and I still feel that way. I skipped supper – I never do that. I just drank tea and rested. I went to bed early. There’s no fever, no upset anything. Just that feeling like something’s coming on and it’s taking it’s damn fine sweet time in getting around to it.

Here’s hoping tomorrow doesn’t see me waking up to a full-fledged flu or something. I would say a few blue words.

KMA2226 Picking My Way Through Your Work

Hello, dear Constant Readers!

After my further Collection Reorganization post yesterday morning, and my attack on the collection last night (I made it to the start of “S” in the CD section, in a couple of hours! This was quite a bit of work – go me!), I’m left with the realization that I’d also fallen well behind in my readings of your blogs. So my real gift to you today ought to be my insightful and riveting coments on (most) all of your blogs. It must have been like waking up on Christmas morning and finding all sorts of prezzies under the tree! You lucky kids.

Also, have a look at the new guitar picks I just got!

 

 

KMA2223 Super Bowl LI

So I didn’t have anything in the hopper, and I was over at my folks’ place last night watching one hell of an incredible Super Bowl game. The Falcons played so damn well, but the Patriots mounted one of the most incredible comebacks ever, forcing the first Super Bowl overtime in history, to take the win. It was unreal. It played like a frickin’ Hollywood movie.

All of this is to say that I have been listening to tunes but I’ve written nothing (gasp!). So I’m gonna just say Thanks Tom Brady! and slap in some funny pictures. Cool? Cool.

KMA2222 Sunday Ponderings: My Collection

collection2Welcome, one and all, to a rather huge post of Sunday Pondering. I hope you have a coffee and your feet up, Dear Readers, this one is a big ‘un!

Today, I take a closer look at filing music collections. Specifically, how I currently file mine!

Inspired by THIS EXCELLENT POST AT VINYL CONNECTION, I took a much-needed look at how I run things in my own collection. Turns out, given years of rampant collection and a half-assed method of keeping things organized, as well as inconsistent and (often) inexplicable mental whim on an on-going basis, I have quite the interesting process.

It is in dire need of restructuring to make life easier as the collection continues to expand.

I may need your help/suggestions…

***

First an overview. All format collections have the following method:

– Alphabetical by first letter of artist’s last name (“A” for Ryan Adams), or first letter of band name (“A” for Aerosmith).

– Bands with numbers for names, like 54-40, are kept at the start of the collection, before “A.” (Waiting for 1537 to yell… 😉 )

– Where subsections currently exist by genre (jazz, classical, OMPS {Original Motion Picture Soundtrack}, etc), they retain the same (above) alphabetization within that subsection. OMPS is alphabetical by movie title, not composer of score or artist within mix on album.

Simple enough. However…

Where things go a bit sideways… outside the normal alphabetization, I currently keep these in separate sections:

LPs

– Boxed Sets
– LPs from when I was a kid
– Various Artists
– “favourites” (rare, sentimental, expensive/collectible items)
– boxes of Hit It Or Quit It contestants (remember that series?).

CDs

– Guided By Voices/Related (kept chronological not alphabetical, as there’s so much and so many different band names), Various Artists compilations mixed in chronologically by release date too.
– Scratched, but keep ’til replaced
– Jazz (not blues/soul too), Various Artists at end of section
– Rap/Hip Hop, Various Artists at end of section
– Various Artists
– OMPS
– Classical (by composer name, not conductor)
– My Lovely Wife’s collection
– Boxed Sets (Lg) (long boxes and vinyl-sized boxes, etc)
– Boxed Sets (Sm) (CD-sized cases) (incl. abnormal-sized single CD packages)
– Some large artist collections in separate boxes/shelves: Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam, Ani DiFranco, Rush, Black Flag/Rollins Band/Henry Rollins, Rolling Stones.

Cassettes

– My grandfather’s cassettes
– My mother’s cassettes
– OMPS
– Mixed tapes
– My own recordings (bands I was in, etc)
– Collectible/nostalgia (childhood)

DVDs

Kept alphabetical by title in the following sections:

– Kurosawa
– Samurai/kung fu
– Action
– TV shows
– Music DVDs (alphabetical same as other formats)
– My Lovely Wife’s collection (movies and TV)
– Comedy
– Rollins
– Statham

Also: There’s a pile to (possibly) sell.

BOOKS

– Music (currently unalphabetized, but will eventually be by artist not author for ease of locating)

– Piles/shelves of authors’ works, e.g.: Guy Gavriel Kay, Terry Pratchett, Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, William Gibson, Henry Rollins, etc.

Sections:
Philosophy
Canadian (history and authors)
Short Stories
Poetry
Graphic Novels
Books from when I was a kid
Music books (large) (sheet music, coffee table-size, etc)
High school year books
Languages
Zen/Tao/Samurai
Sports
Miscellaneous (large)

Also: several stacks of to-be-sorted books from all sections.

***

collection1SO. A bit of a mess. If you’ve gotten this far, I’m impressed. Few could survive such a look into my crazy brain.

And now I could use your help… I’ve thought of three options for universal collection organization. Which do you like? Or can you think of a different, better way?

Here are three things I’ve thought of to try and make life easier:

1. All For One And One For All:

Rather than have separate subsections with formats, I could alphabetize all genres and types together. That would mean alphabetical by band name, last name of artist, and OMPS or Various Artists title. Reintegrate large band discographies too, all in one huge alphabetized collection, per format.

2. Consistent Subsections Across Formats:

I thought these 10:

Blues
Classical
Country
Jazz
Metal
OMPS
Rap/Hip Hop
Rock
Soul
Various Artists

NB: With this one, I run into many problems. For example, Chuck Berry. Is he Rock? Yes. Blues? Yes. So where do you put him? Or Jeff Healey… same thing. Rock? Blues? Also, I don’t have an electronic section (not enough to warrant it). Where do you put Radiohead, in Rock? And what about Atoms For Peace, then? Still Rock? With Radiohead or not? Or Nine Inch Nails? Rock? And no grunge section either, so does Alice In Chains go in Rock or Metal?

Nitpicking into genres seems like it would create more headaches than it’s worth, trying to remember how I filed this or that band’s work.

3. A (Possible) Compromise Solution:

Maintain full collection alphabetization (option 1.), but limit subsections per format (option 2.) to two subsections:

OMPS
Various

All other genres would be all mixed in together. Why separate those two? Because they’d be by title, not by artist or band name.

***

IN SUM:

If’ you’ve made it THIS far, you deserve every medal on the planet. Thanks for taking this trip with me through my collection. I would greatly appreciate your comments/ideas on how best to organize – by putting it out to you, I’ll wager you’ll return several ideas I hadn’t even considered. Maybe from your own collections, or maybe from something you’ve seen in someone else’s, or just based on what you’ve read here…

Thanks so much for Reading. I look forward to discussions in the Comments (below)! Happy Sunday, all!

collection3

KMA2215 Another Sunday Pondering

Recently, I’ve wondered how much we’ve spent on our collections, over the years. And last Sunday, I wondered what will happen to our collections when we get old and can (possibly) no longer maintain them.

Well, this week it’s a bit of a ramble… I hope it’s coherent. And it won’t have all the answers (not even close). I’m just spitballin’, here. Thinking out loud. Cool? Cool.

This week, I ponder creation versus criticism (and making space for both). And also ponder the future, a wee bit…

Read on…

Records. Books. Movies… I’ve been thinking about why I idolize others and their works, collecting them and, in the case of albums, writing about them in this blog. Appreciation of art, of course. And long conditioning – I’ve been a collector, now, for 32 years. I love me some groovy tunes.

Yet it feels akin to reading novels all my life, but never writing one myself. It doesn’t feel like enough. So, now I consider still collecting things and writing about them (records), but also making time and space to create my own new stuff.

So, it’s simple, right? If I feel like I want to, just go and create new stuff, right? Duh! Obvs!

The basic work of space and time to do this is obvious. The urge is there. The ideas as to what to do… somewhat, but sure to grow stronger given room to breathe. Hell, I used to write a lot of songs, I even played in a band. And I have boxes full of my old writing, but I only make weak stabs at any of it, these days… Why did it tail off? I dunno, but surely no good reason. I’ve been content to be the audience for a long while, now.

As for blogging, I’ve spent 10+ years slapping together my suspect quality contributions to these pages, and that’s fine. That’s a lot of unprofessional armchair criticism jibbering away into the ether…

There’s still a lot to love about it, though. I get to run this site with our great friend James, and I’ve met tons of awesome people via this community and wouldn’t trade that for anything (COMMUNITY!). And I do enjoy listening to records with the thought towards what I’ll say when I write it up so you folks can participate and (hopefully) learn something. In fact, after all these years I’d find it hard to listen to a record without aiming at a review.

And I need to be careful here, because I’m not saying that blogging about music isn’t creating something new. It’s my own thoughts about what I hear so, in a way, it is indeed fresh. But it’s not a record I made I’m offering you, just my own blather about someone elses’.

So as I said, lately, it doesn’t feel like enough. You’ll notice I’ve not read and commented your blogs with as much regularity since before Christmas, surely. And it’s no slight on you. I just feel a shift, that some of my attention needs to be elsewhere. For what? I don’t know yet.

All that’s well and good. But there’s more! Of course, you know my brain by now. If one thought is good, I’ll take it further! Discuss the following:

For example, what do those people in bands or authors do or have that I don’t? Well, they apply themselves to the act of creation of new work (same as we apply ourselves to blogging). Many have talent (whereas mine is weaker, but could potentially improve with work. Only one way to find out!).

Most of these folks, admirably, work damn hard to learn and get where they are and, yes, some of them are extraordinary and quite simply born and meant to do what they do. And I’m sure even those folks collect/hear the work of other people too.

The difference is, to me, primarily that they’re putting themselves out there, and they’re actually doing it. Instead of sitting back and commenting from a comfortable position on this or that work, they’re actively creating and putting it out there.

And yet more thoughts followed, regarding my own leanings, such as “creation for the sake of creation isn’t helpful either – what about meaning?” And also “is what you’re creating for personal use or with intention to sell it?”

In short, though, it’s clear to me that it isn’t for everyone (and that’s fine). As I said, without a second thought I’ve been happy to absorb the work of others most of my life. But I know for a fact for those who do create, it must have value (to yourself or an intended audience) or there’s no point in doing it at all. Just like anything else in your life.

In Sum:

I don’t have concrete answers. I’m just going by feel. But if I disappear now and again, it’s nothing you’ve done. I might be elsewhere… making stuff!

KMA2214 Stop Gap Post #4

Alright, alright. This oughta be my last one of these for a bit, as I might actually have stuff together for tomorrow! I KNOW!

Enjoy!

KMA2213 Stop Gap Post #3

Tra la la la laaaaaaaaa here I am still doggin’ it and posting up funny pictures instead of actually bringing you the incisive, hard-hitting, timely and valuable music reviews you have come to expect from… oh, haha nevermind.

As a result of a fit of being organized, this posts’s all about metal! So, um, yay!

KMA2212 Stop Gap Post #2

Hey folks! Here’s some more mildly humourous crap to cover up for the fact that I haven’t done any actual work for the site yet…

rhymeallnight.com/

1 Shot Spitune

Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Steve For The Deaf

Certain Songs Get Scratched Right In

BuriedOnMars

The World Revolves Around Mars

Aphoristic Album Reviews

Personal Album Review Website

My (life in) music lists

These are the songs that have and will continue to soundtrack my life.

timeweleftthisworldtoday

This world's so mixed up everywhere you go

Little Bits of Gaming & Movies

REMEMBERING THE GAMES & MOVIES I GREW UP WITH AND MUCH MORE

Blog All Night

Rhyme All Night

Stuff and That.

We do reviews, ya dig?

stoneygate

relaxing music

Every number one

Journey through all the songs that topped the charts

The Audible Stew

Salt to Taste

KingcrimsonBlog - The official Blog of Kingcrimsonprog

A Metal Nerd's Blog... Well, What did you expect, porn?

1537

If You Want Vinyl, You've Got It ...

HEAVY METAL OVERLOAD

R.I.P. Timi Hansen

Metal Odyssey > Heavy Metal Music Blog

Welcome to Metal Odyssey, it will be quite the Metal trip!

This is the story of the overly ambitious eagle...

...who evidently found a deer head in the landfill.

The Ü

On film, fiction, odds, and ends.

Songs on a Theme

pop, jazz, & other by subject

Living a Beautiful Life

~ Short Stories, Flights of Fancy and Everyday Anecdotes ~

Complex Distractions

conversations about music, life, and the alien overlords

vinnieh

Movie reviews and anything else that comes to mind

mixolydianblog

music is life, music is breath, music is us

A (Mostly) Music Blog

Some other stuff too, but mostly music.

Boppin's Blog

Albums, concerts, reviews, audio gear, how to's

Tangled Up In Words

Short Films, Stories, and Music/Film Reviews

Mike Slayen ~ Guitarist

Guitarist For Your Weddings, Private/Corporate Events & More

LP on 45

Celebrating how rock music sends us, saves us, and shows us our true selves—one single at a time

Free City Sounds

Album Reviews by Marshall Gu

80smetalman's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

mikeladano.com

LeBrain's Record Store Tales & Reviews

Every record tells a story

A Blog About Music, Vinyl, More Music and (Sometimes) Music...

KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

CD & Festival reviews

by Jon Wilmenius

the EARL of SWIRL

"to be average scares the hell out of me"

1001albumsin10years

Just another WordPress.com site

Thunder Bay Arena Rock

Hard Rock Album and Concert Reviews! (Odd Book Review as well!)

Caught Me Gaming

Confessions of a Casual Core Gamer

%d bloggers like this: