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Oscar

Last Friday was a professional development day (PD Day) for the kids’ teachers , so my lovely wife took the day off to be home with the kids. Sadly, I had to work. When I got done my shift, I came home to a new family member.

Meet Oscar.

So. Much. Cuteness.

We do have one cat already, our dear Sammy, who is (at a guess, as he was a shelter rescue cat so we don’t know for sure) around 16 or 17 years old. Sammy rules. My lovely wife and I had talked that maybe one day we’d bring a kitten in so that Sammy could raise him up properly before he leaves us (which will be years yet, touch wood). Just trying to be realistic, too, for our young kids.

Enter Oscar. He came with the name Pumpkin, but none of us liked that, so we tossed around a few names. Oliver, Ginger, Mittens (all four feet are white-tipped), Caramel. But I was recalling years ago, in Montreal, when my lovely wife and I had another great cat, Satchmo, and while naming him some of our other name-choices were Miles, Oscar… Oscar… Perfect.

Oscar is 10 weeks old, weighs two pounds, and is a rip-snorting good time. Very playful. He’s also (already) a total mush. Loves bellyrubs, so this bodes well for the future.

Welcome to the family, Oscar!

I’d say Sammy is OK with the little guy’s presence…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Already buds.

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Taranna Trip Finds! GRAIL LIST SCORE!!!

Yup. My Dad and I went to Taranna yesterday. Much goodness.  Of course, I hit up BMV and Sonic Boom. Here’s a quick post to share what I got. You will be seeing all of these at some point in future posts!

BMV

3-For-$10 Bin:

Pretty sure I owned Hindu Love Gods at some other point but it ain’t here now and I wanted it back! Warren Zevon fronting a bunch of the R.E.M. dudes? Awesome. The Memoirs Of A Geisha soundtrack looks sweet: music composed and conducted by John Williams, cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma, and violin solos by Itzhak Perlman. I loved the film, and this CD looks all kinds of awesome. And a solo Q-Tip album? I’m in!

Regular:

Jonny Greenwood (radiohead)’s soundtrack for There Will Be Blood intrigued me. Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky was a collection-gap filler. Neil Young’s On The Beach is one I didn’t yet have (exciting!). Wayne Kramer’s The Hard Stuff (complete with ROLLINS liner notes, and it’s on Epitaph Records) totally made my day. And Nine Inch Nails The Slip (Halo 27) is a CD/DVD set. It looks to be numbered, limited to 250,000. Rare? I have no idea. Still, cool!

I also scored a couple of books for winter reading. Our Band Could Be Your Life is one I read years ago, wanna do it again. And Mersereau’s History Of Canadian Rock will be lovely. My copy has a foreward by Neil Peart!

***

SONIC BOOM

Regular:

Someone in the Community (sorry I’m tired and I forget who) was recently talking about Biffy Clyro. Found this Puzzles album for $2.99 and decided to give it a go. Cynic’s Kindly Bent To Free Us finishes off my Cynic collection (sweet!). GZA’s Legend Of The Liquid Sword is exciting, I’ve never seen one in the wild before. Happy to have this one on board! And the 2CD Borrowed Tunes II, a collection of Canadian bands covering Neil Young songs, is gonna be sweet. I loved volume one!

GRAIL LIST FIND!!!!

Super-stoked to find this DVD copy of the remasterd and re-released Last Pogo DVD. Documentary about Toronto’s punk scene 1976-1978 and the last-ever punk show at the Horseshoe. Dubbed ‘Punk’s Last Waltz.’ So many bands involved, including Teenage Head, Viletones, Diodes, Simply Saucer, Forgotten Rebels, Demics, and tons more.

It also has a 24-page colour booklet and 1.5 hours of special features! Including the film itself, this set is 204 minutes in total. Whoa.

I cannot wait to watch it all!

Story: I asked at BMV if they had this DVD. They did not. But the dude there said to check Soundscapes or She Said Boom! as he knew the director had dropped off copies at those shoppes for consignment. We checked both, and that was about three years ago… no copies left. But then I walked into Sonic Boom, asked the lady there and (Sonic) Boom! There it was! I wasn’t even in the store more than two minutes and I had a Grail Item Find!

***

And those were my scores. Sweet!

Funny, I spent my time in both stores telling myself this could be my last trip before spring (we don’t tend to try to fight our way to the city when the roads are shite), so I oughta load up for the winter! And, comparatively with my usual piles, I came back with far fewer items than most trips. I tried like crazy to find more things that would suit, and I guess this time it wasn’t as many as usual… So I feel that I shopped for quality, not quantity! I am thrilled with it all.

‘Twas a great trip down to the city, no real traffic, and no snow (which had been forecast). Ultimately a perfect day, as not even the drizzly rain bothered us.

Watch for all of these scores, individually, in future KMA posts!

TARANNA!

Update

S’up KMA Readers,

I hope y’all enjoyed the coverage of Jennifer Doll’s upcoming release. Head to her bandcamp on the 21st of this month!

News: I was in Taranna yesterday! And yup, I was in BMV and Sonic Boom. Of course. I know, I know, I am not even done covering all the goodies I found during the Toasty Taranna trip with Mike, so I will finish those first. Then I’ll dig into these new goodies! 

Apologies: Life has been so busy lately, just slapping up brief posts is about all I can do. Worst, I haven’t read any of your blogs in so long, but I want you to know it’s not because I don’t love you, and it’s not because I’ve given up. Surely, one of these days things will calm down enough that I’ll have time to sit and read at leisure, and even comment…

Rock on, you beautiful Reader, you.

RIP Aretha

We mark the passing, yesterday, of one of the giants among us. This one hurts.

Baby, baby, baby I love you. RIP.

 

***

Please note:

We will be at the cottage for our annual family excursion. Wifi there always sucks, so I won’t even try to be online. However, I’ll have my iPod with me, loaded to the teeth with all the rest of my Toasty Taranna scores and a zillion other albums besides, and I’ll use the interwubs silence to fill my ears with tunes. I’ll write notes for posts, and deluge you with it all when we drag our sun-soaked, waterlogged, beach-addled carcasses back to civilization. Laters. A.

The KMA Today Is On Point… Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psssst. Hey you!

Hey Dear Readers, lots to cover. Let’s go point form ‘cos your time is valuable:

SUNDAY

– My Dad and I went to Toronto yesterday. Of course I bought records. Of course I’ll tell you about them as I hear them. NEW SERIES! 

– It rained super-hard during our trip, so we did not go all the way over to the Pride Parade. Haha I said super-hard. But we did see some of the summer street fest in Kensington Market. The hip hop dance-off was fun. Some neat moves and one great afro.

– We found a slick driving work-around for the construction-addled usual route we take, so note to future self: go this new way for the foreseeable future.

– Last trip, Dad and I tried Superburger in Shelburne. It was a 5/10. Across the street is Champ Burger, which we tried this time. It was a 7/10 burger, but it was waaaay too expensive so it drops to a 6/10 overall.

SITE

– You’ll notice a lack of postings here, over the past week. That’s ‘cos I was trying to get caught up on the tsunami of awesome posts of yours. I didn’t have time for Reading and Writing, so I chose Reading! COMMUNITY! So far, I feel like I’ve made a dent, so I’ll try to come back to writing here on occasion. (see above: NEW SERIES!).

– Out of necessity, I am going back to keeping things brief, to save time. I still have lots to read of yours, and life hasn’t slowed down at all. Be ready for short sharp shock posts. Not 200 or 80 word counts (that requires time to organize). Nope, just whatever blurts out, there ya go. It’ll be fun!

– I am bringing back the Hit It Or Quit It idea, but for now I won’t be keeping track of stats. Again, time.

– I am bringing back the On Spec idea, but only as a mention. Again, no stats.

NB: I know there were Hit It Or Quit It and On Spec albums a while ago, but I’m not gonna go back and look all that up. Forge ahead and deal one at a time!

So, In Sum: 

I’m still trying to get caught up on your posts, I will be dropping quick blurb posts on what I’m hearing here, and starting… well, probably tomorrow or the next day… but soon, anyway, I will be telling you about what I found in Taranna yesterday. 

Cool? 

Cool.

All Apologies

Taking a break from the Pronto Toronto series this Sunday morning to offer apologies all around for being such a terrible Reader. You guys keep coming here and Reading our posts and we thank you so much for it. Was a time I would read every post, comment, Like, the works. Then things started to drift into other uses for my time, until now you must be wondering what the hell gives! He’s the one that’s always shouting Community! Why isn’t he even Reading? Well, somehow, life has stepped in and made sure that by the time I get to the computer it’s all I can do to slap up drivel of my own before I forget about that album I’d been listening to in the car, and then I’m heading to something else, or sleep. But I mean to get caught up, I really do!

Funny, the more I resolve to get caught up, the less time I seem to have these days. Summer has brought us a myriad of activities for the kids. For example, between practice, regular game and a tournament, my boy played soccer 5 times this week. I’ve even been asked to step in as interim coach for his soccer (football) (fitba) team as his coach’s 2-year-old grandson is in Toronto fighting cancer in his brain. Imagine putting a two-year-old through chemo. Fuck cancer. My girl has a few irons in the fire too (dance, horseback riding), plus there’s kung fu and the fit kids times at the Y, and they both swim… yeah. We just follow their interests and let them do things (swim was non-negotiable. They have to know how to swim), but it does start to add up after a while! Plus all the usual things like maintaining an entire household against young child hurricanes, work, etc. Plus building projects – shelves and furniture for our boy’s room, and more shelving in the Man Cave… Honestly, by the time I get time to myself at the end of a day it’s time to go lie down to rest up for the next day. I ignore that and post up crap here, but that’s about it. Sometimes I sit and watch silly videos on Youtube and think ‘I should be Reading blogs!’ but honestly the brain capacity ain’t there by then. It’d be a disservice to us all!

So. I will get to you all. I know it. I cannot schedule it, though, it’ll just happen. I may go one site at a time, read every missed post, so if you see a deluge of Likes and comments from me, that’s what’s happened. Or I could just go through the Reader and hit each one in the order given until I’m caught up. I dunno.

Just so you know I still care and I haven’t forgotten any of you. I want to Read your blogs, it’s a highlight of each day.

Thanks, A

 

For now, here’s a couple of funny pics I thought might tide us all over…

 

This one’s not music-related but I laughed.

 

The I Wanna Taranna Series Round-up Extravaganza!

Once again, thanks for Reading the I Wanna Taranna series. I had a blast listening to all of these great finds. So, as a wee final post to put a cap on a long series of album listening, here’s the whole haul! With bonus CanCon* data!

BMV

1 Ripcordz – Your Mother Wears Army Boots But Man She Looks So Cool *
2 Eric’s Trip – Forever Again *
3 Elevator – A Taste Of Complete Perspective *
4 Blue Rodeo – The Things We Left Behind *
5 Blue Rodeo – In Our Nature *
6 Portishead – Roseland Live NYC
7 Joel Plaskett Emergency – Truthfully Truthfully *
8 Chelsea Walls OMPS: Original Music By Jeff Tweedy

BMV 3-FOR-$10 DEALZ

9 Stephen Fearing – Out To Sea *
10 Danko Jones – Never Too Loud *
11 Vic Chesnutt – Silver Lake
12 Nicholas Payton – Dear Louis
13 Glueleg – Clodhopper *
14 Ron Sexsmith – Whereabouts *
15 Solomon Burke – Don’t Give Up On Me
16 Ryan Adams – Rock N Roll
17 Tom Petty – She’s The One OMPS

SONIC BOOM

18 Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
19 Charles Mingus – The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady
20 Tragically Hip – 92nd Grey Cup Commemorative CD *
21 Tragically Hip – Gift Shop *
22 Sloan – The Rest Of My Life *
23 Thee Headcoatees – Bozstik Haze
24 Nashville Pussy – Let The Eat Pussy

SONIC BOOM $3 DEALZ

25 Buck 65 – Secret House Against The World *
26 Brad – Interiors
27 Bad Religion – No Substance
28 Hives – A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T
29 Reel Big Fish – Keep Your Receipt
30 Poison – Native Tongue
31 Corb Lund – Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier! *
32 Cuff The Duke – Sidelines Of The City *
33 Frog Eyes – The Golden River *

SHE SAID BOOM!

34 Blue Rodeo – Casino 2CD *
35 Boss Hog – Boss Hog

SHE SAID BOOM! $1 DEALZ

36 Grady – Good As Dead ^
37 Buckshot Lefonque – Music Evolution
38 Sandbox – A Murder In The Glee Club *
39 Peter Elkas – Party Of One *
40 Better Than Ezra – Friction, Baby
41 Kim Mitchell – Aural Fixations *
42 Whitey Houston – Whitey Houston *

TOTAL ITEMS: 42
* TOTAL CANCON ITEMS: 22 (22/42 = 52%)

^ I thought maybe Grady would be CanCon because the players are Canadian, though they are based in Texas. Boppin says they are, like The Band, a Canadian American band, but given where they’re based they’d be American. If you think Grady is Canadian due to the nationalities of the players, then my CanCon stats are 23/42 = 55%. Adjust your score sheets accordingly.

KMA Aaron Reporting In

Hey there, Dear Readers, it’s Aaron of the KMA here with a couple of things to start the week.

I spent the day in Taranna yesterday with my Dad, and of course it was awesome. It was our first foray to the big shitty since last fall – waiting out the winter is difficult! Anyway, I hit up the record shoppes and came away with MANY TREASURES, all of which I will share with you in these pages. I’ve decided I am going to reveal them one at a time, as I go through and hear them, instead of in one huge post of everything in one go. Stay tuned for all these many wonderful finds!

 

You’ll have noticed that I am way, way, waaaaaay behind on reading all of your wonderful blogs. This is because of many reasons, but the main one is a recent lack of time. I chip away at my own posts and slap them up, which is easy enough since they’re simple and blathering. But sitting and concentrating on Reading all your wonderful work requires focussed quiet time and I haven’t had too much of that, lately. So I promise that I will be making a concerted effort to read everything and get caught up. I will mark each post read with a Like. But I may not be commenting all that much, so if you see Likes but not a comment on every post, that’s just me trying to get caught up. I am reading every word. I promise!

 

And further to the lack of time these days, I am feeling the need to try to rein in my posts and keep things succinct. I dunno if the 200 (or even 80) word challenge is necessary, but I need to try to tighten things up, so if you see shorter posts, that’s why.

I’ve done this several times in the past, in varying ways and to varying success, but whatever happens next, hopefully I can write something you find worth your reading time.

***

Alright, stay tuned for my Taranna scores posts, as I go along with all this awesomeness. Some may even be On Spec posts (who knows)? Thank you so much for Reading.

Happy Holidays From The KMA

Dear KMA Readers,

Wishing you a very Happy Holidays from the KMA! Our very best to you and yours for a safe and wonderful time!

And we hope Santa brings you records. Lots and lots of records.

Cheers, your friendly neighbourhood KMA!

We Remember

Let’s Go

Hello dear Readers,

There were many reasons for my recent extended break from regularly writing here. Most of them I have not generally shared. Some of it I can help, some I cannot. So it goes.

With this space, though, came clarity.

Simply put: over these eleven years, too many times I’ve let these pages define too much of me and my time. Given this recent free space to reflect back, it’s fair to say that there were points where it was very tempting to just end my contributions here fully.

But with more time came realization: I’ve missed the pure act of simply doing it. Regardless of life and others getting me down, I’d completely lost track of why we started this unwieldy, disjointed, unprofessional blogbeast in the first place. As you may know, it was after my lovely wife and I moved from Saskatchewan to Ontario in 2005. This blog was started in 2006 as a place for me and James to talk about music, a (sub-par, surely) replacement for the regular musical conversations James and I had previously enjoyed in person. Simple.

That a generally supportive and friendly Community built up over these years has been a wonderful addition to our conversations. We love you all, and thank you for Reading.

Now, I am ready to return.

No schedule. No pressure.

Going forward, whenever it occurs to me to do so, I will add short posts about a song that has caught my ear from whatever album in my collection I’ve been playing at the time. Or perhaps something else music-related that I felt was worth sharing. Simple.

If you choose to come along with me, thank you for Reading.

Where It’s At

So, September is gone. We suffered through some real heat, days on end of 32C nonsense. Then, one day, it literally dropped overnight to more seasonal 15C or so. It was like shifting without a clutch. Clunk.

Apart from our trip to Taranna (about which I posted), not much else is new. I bought a bunch of records. Some artists I love have been or will be releasing new work. And so we enter October.

Life has taken over, in all sorts of ways (most of them good). And so I’ve been reflecting on this hiatus from the blog, and thinking I’m not going to call it a hiatus anymore. I don’t have another name for it, except that this has become the state of things.

Whenever I think of coming back even partially to what I used to do, it just makes me tired. So I don’t do it. I’m still listening to a ton of music, still organizing the man cave. But I’m truly enjoying just listening without thinking about how to write it up. The only time I get the urge to blog is when I get a new release, and even then I can simply remind myself to just listen and enjoy it.

Instead of worrying about it, or beating myself up about it, or forcing something out there just because some vestigial response tells me I ought to be doing so, I’ve accepted that this is the new state of things. This is not to say that I won’t post about this or that sometimes, but there’s no schedule, no plan, and currently no urge to do so.

Of course I will still be reading your blogs, though I will try to keep comments short. I’ll rely heavily on the Like button, because I do like what you folks do! You may see an album review here or there, if something really moves me but, until then, I’ll see you in the comments.

Taranna Trip: Grail List Updatery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking hiatus to let you know I’ll be in Toronto September 18/19, with two full days left to my own devices… of course, I’m gonna hit up the record shoppes as part of my travels.

Which means that y’all should have a look at your Grail Lists, see if there are any changes to be made. If you have any additions/subtractions to your lists, get them to me in the comments (below) by next Saturday, September 16.

If you don’t have a Grail List, or don’t know what it is, it is at the top of our main page as MASTER GRAIL LIST. Check it out, and bookmark it so you can help out our fellow Readers!

Here’s How It Works: We like to encourage Community, here at the KMA. And we all have albums we just can’t find, have never seen in our travels, maybe not even online (and especially not at good prices). The idea of the Grail List is that we all have your impossible items in the back our minds (or in/on our phones) when we’re checking out our local record shoppes. Never know when someone will find something you’ve never seen/wanted for ages just by walking past and looking! Community! If you have a few items like that, those ones you’ve wanted for years and have never seen, put your list in the comments (below) and I’ll add it to the Grail List.

Community!

HAPPY SESQUICENTENNIAL!

 

KMA Search Terms

A long while back Mike, among others, started featuring funny search terms that led people to his site. I was wondering about the KMA’s input, so while I was jamming some tunes recently, I dug around in the site info for the KMA, for all of 2017 thus far.

Honestly, we don’t get that many funny or weird searches. Nothing too sexual or crazy, though I did find a few that are interesting:

 

 

burm me alive wordpress

“burm?” I don’t know what that means. Burn me alive? Haha no thank you!

akai dialer silip

Gesundheit.

kalyln pear no go haste.com mp3

I see James’ last name (misspelled), but what that has to do with pears or ‘no go haste’ I have no idea.

he make accidental physical contact

I assume this resulted after my old post about accidentally ( I swear!) bodychecking Moe Berg and Liona Boyd (on seperate occasions, mind you). But that’s a random thing to be searching (who else has bodychecked Ms. Boyd?). However they ended up on this site, I am sorry to whomever had to Google this in their life.

“jon spencer” “masturbation”

Um, moving on…

“it suits the movie”

Does it? Does it really? And how did this lead you to our music blog?

saxytime tables name s

I may not know everything, but I know for sure that the times tables are saxy. Or maybe they meant saxytimes on tables?

bedlam, early 1990s rock band from nashville, released on mca records, fronted by jay joyce

I didn’t believe we’d ever covered a band called Bedlam or a person named Jay Joyce, but I was wrong. During the Film Soundtrack Festival of November 2016, I covered the Reservoir Dogs OMPS, and these both get mentioned in a footnote. I’d plain forgotten.

slaeyn sex

Um… Slayer sex? Is that what you were going for? Because nothing says sexy ties like South Of Heaven, if you know what I mean…

sexy fb album title

I did do a post about sexy album titles (I think?), but I have no idea what Facebook has to do with it. I don’t have a Facebook and I never will.

is natalie merchant with 10,000 at city winery on 5/25

I don’t know. Was she?

*

Well, there’s a few odd little searches that (apparently) led folks to our site. Nothing rude or sexual or genuinely crazy like those other guys sometimes get. Still, we thank the folks who wound up on our site for visiting us, even if it was inadvertent. And we hope they found what they were looking for, eventually.

Grail List Reminder

Hey Dear Readers, it’s Aaron aka Mr. Books of the KMA…

A quick reminder that it’s early this Sunday morning (two days from today) that I head to Taranna on my (most recent) record shopping excursion. I can’t wait!!

So, knowing this, if you have any changes or additions to make to your Grail List, let us know today or tomorow.

If you don’t have a list and you want one, by all means drop us an email at keepsmealive at gmail dot com. Remember, the Master Grail List exists to share the titles of those special albums you’ve never been able to find, in shoppes or online, at all or at reasonable prices. It allows us all to aid each other by keeping our eyes peeled when we’re in our own neighbourhood shoppes. Never know when someone might walk right past the album you’ve wanted for years! And in case you’re wondering, the list really does work. Since the list’s inception, we’ve had several successes already! GO, KMA READERS, GO!

COMMUNITY!!

54-40 Dear Dear Contest Winner!

First off, a huge thanks to everyone who entered!

The question was: What is the full running time of Dear Dear?

The answer is: 54:40!

Oh those clever Canucks.

 

As promised, I placed all correct entrants’ names into a toque (my Rage Against The Machine toque, natch). My lovely wife, a neutral third party, drew the winning name.

The Winner Is: SARCA!

Congratulations, Sarca! Your brand new copy of Dear Dear will be winging its way to you ASAP.

Thanks again, everyone! Keep your eyes peeled for more contests in future…

 

Special mention goes to Deke, who included the times of all individual tracks on the album with his answer, and then proceeded to jokingly comment the tracks of the debut L.A. Guns album. I’d had to have come up with a consolation prize for him if he had included its Japanese-only bonus track, Winter’s Fool. I’m sure Mike would agree! 😉

Contest Deadline Today

Hey Dear Readers!

Today is your last chance to enter to win your very own (brand new, still in shrink-wrap) copy of 54-40’s amazing Dear Dear album (1992)!

Entries have been coming in, so don’t miss your chance!

GO HERE TO ENTER! Or HERE! Or maybe HERE!

Or how about HERE?

Winning entrant will be announced in these pages tomorrow (Wednesday, May 17). Stay tuned!*

 

*See what I did there? 😉

Filing Snag: It Could Go Both Ways*

I ran into an interesting filing conundrum when it came to the next two bands in the All The Everything series, Accept and AC/DC.

Simply put, does one count the / in AC/DC’s name when filing alphabetically?

 

1) If not counting it, meaning removal of the / from the name, it would look like this:

Accept
AC/DC

because the order would be ACCept then ACDc.

2) If yes, it counts as something preceeding alphabetization between the C and the D, it would look like this (and iTunes does it this way):

AC/DC
Accept

because the order would be AC/dc then ACCept.

I know, right? These are the things which keep me up at night.

After chewing on this for a while, I asked my lovely wife what she thought. Basically, after looking at me to be sure I was seriously asking this of her (I WAS!), she asked how I will remember it best when I go to my collection to get an album, and go with that. Ultimately, she couldn’t care less. And fair play to her, she has suffered these minutiae questions of mine for many years, now, the dear lady.

So, to avoid spinning wheels any longer, I have chosen to flout iTunes’ tyranny, and to not count the / in AC/DC’s name. Which means I will follow option 1, covering Accept first, and then AC/DC.

After deliberation, I have found this choice to be Acceptable.

And it really doesn’t matter. I’ve got a whole lotta rockin’ in my future in whichever order I choose to cover them!

* In other words, it could be AC or DC… 🙂

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!

 

A KMA Milestone, And Another Contest!

Over there in the right-hand sidebar is our Visitor Counter. As always, thanks for visiting, you’re damn sexy! And as you can see, we’ve recently passed 50,000 unique visits to the site since we moved to WP, waaaay back in 2006.

That’s a lot of visitors.

Of course, we only have ALL OF YOU to thank, our lovely Constant Readers who tune in whenever James drops his awesomeness, or (more likely) whenever Aaron starts gibbering like a rhesus monkey on a three-day cocaine bender…

SERIOUSLY. THANK YOU ALL.

In honour of this milestone, we offer up another contest!

As mentioned in a recent query post (and the subsequent comments), this time we will not be offering the prize to the first person to correctly answer the skill-testing question in the Comments. To try to be fair to our friends in other time zones, and to those who may not blog every day, this time there’s a form (below) wherein you can place your answers before the contest closing date, and your response will be emailed to us. All correct players will have their names thrown into a toque, and my lovely wife (a neutral third party) will select the winner.

Also, for folks in other time zones (even half way around the world, wherever you are), please do feel free to enter. I’ll happily ship prizes anywhere.

Please do not put your answers in the Comments section, only use the form provided below. Thanks!

Cool? Cool.

So. This time, up for grabs is a brand new (still in the shrink-wrap!) copy of 54-40’s amazing 1992 album, Dear Dear.

Holy mackerel, I do love this album.

In fact, it would be far to say of it that it’s Nice To Luv You, Dear Dear…

Ahem.

Are you ready to get your mitts on this gem of an album? Of course you are…

 

SKILL TESTING QUESTION:

What is the full running time of Dear Dear? 

 

Contest closes one week from today, on Tuesday, May 16, with the winner being posted in these pages the following day, Wednesday, May 17th.

Alright kids, you’re off to the races. Submit your answers in the form (below), and above all, have fun!

 

 

54-40 Contest Winner! And Future Contests Query

Congratulations to Brian of Boppin’s Blog! He is the winner of the 54-40 Sweeter Things: A Compilation CD!

Bop correctly identified the origins/meaning of the term/name 54-40. From Wiki: “54-40 is a Canadian alternative rock group from Vancouver, British Columbia, who take their name from the slogan Fifty-Four Forty or Fight!, coined to express the unsuccessful expansionist agenda of James K. Polk’s presidency, intent upon controlling a contested U.S.-Canada border area in the Oregon boundary dispute.” You can get a ton more info on the dispute here.

Once again, congrats Bop! Your CD will be in the mail shortly!

***

Also folks, I’ve got a question for you, r.e. future contests…

As you’ll have noticed, in the past little while I’ve held two contests, with CDs as prizes. And as you may recall, Mike won the David Bowie CD, while (as noted above), Bop has won the 54-40. Congrats, you two!

So I got to thinking about the contest itself. For both of those contests mentioned, I just said whomever gets to the correct answer first wins. That was cool! I found that enjoyable, I hope you did too. Mike hit the Bowie win in 17 minutes!  But given that our AWESOME COMMUNITY is so far-flung in every corner of the globe, how can I make it so that everyone (given time zones and blogging habits) gets a chance to see the question and have a crack at it? Not to take away from the brilliant speed and accuracy of the previous winners, but as further comments trickled in I wondered if there was a way to make it not so time-sensitive…

How would you like to see future contests held? Is this way fine, or do you have a better method in mind? Drop a comment and let us know!

Contest: Win a 54-40 CD!

In honour of the recent 54-40: All the Everything Pt.3 post, I am offering up a copy of the band’s Sweeter Things: A Compilation CD!

The first person to drop a comment that correctly explains what 54-40 actually means wins the CD!

Put on yer thinking caps, folks. It’s time to give ‘er!

 

Sweeter Things: A Compilation is a 1991 compilation album by 54-40. It was their final release for Warner-Reprise, and compiled tracks from their albums 54-40, Show Me and Fight for Love.

The title track from 1984’s Set the Fire as well as two unreleased tracks, “Sweeter Things” and “Don Quixote”, are also included.

The All The Everything Series

Hey Dear Readers, Aaron of the KMA here.

As stated before, I’ve been finding other ways to spend some of my time, lately. Other projects have been building, mostly offline.

This lead to some reflection. What are my goals for this site, at this point? We’ve now been doing this for over 10 years… seems like maybe I oughta finally accept it as a permanent thing that sticks, eh?

You’re getting a condensed version here, but believe me when I say I’ve put a lot of thought into how to go forward. I realized that, over these years, I’ve made stabs at doing this or that, but it was bits and pieces. So instead, it’s time for the big kahuna. I’m wrapping up all my blogging goals into one all-encompassing series!

 

Some Goals I Thought Of (and thoughts to go with):

1 – Review every album I own: Long a goal of mine, and daunting as hell (given everything here). But imagine reaching a point where you’re only covering new things coming in… This would also (eventually, hopefully) cover any albums I still IOU to anyone.

2 – Create/maintain on-going What Owns Me (WOM) list as I go: cool, and also helpful to have an off-site list in case of damage, loss or fire.

3 – One band at a time, multiple albums per post: they say immersion is the best way to learn new things. Any reviews I’ve already done, I’ll link to them. No need to re-do 10 years’ worth of work. But I will still listen to everything again.

4 – Resume Hit It Or Quit it Series: will they stay or will they go? I’m doing a collection cull, so heads-up: I may get ruthless, here.

5 – Resume lower word count posts: honestly, I prefer this. Just say it and get out.

6 – Finish my behind-the-scenes site admin work: yawwwwwn… but it’s necessary.

7 – Make blogging fit into busy life: no schedule, I’ll post when I can.

8 – Have fun: Of course. Give ‘er!

 

Ready? Me too. It’ll take a long time, but who cares? Now that I’ve given myself a structure, it’s simply one step followed by another.

And what am I calling this ambitiousness?

The All The Everything Series

It’s the series to end all series.

Because the KMA loves you.

Hell yes.

 

Bonus Round Fun Facts: Some of the series I’ve undertaken here at KMA:

KMA Sunday Service, Album series (full artist catalogues or store purchases series), Hit It Or Quit It, IOU series, Drunk Reviews, Ontario Bands, Racy Lacy Anniversary, Beam Me Up Scotty’s, Taranna Was Hot, Greatest Hits Albums, Edenfest, and The Radio. Surely there were others, but you get the idea.

Grail List Updatery!

Happy news! I have managed to get my hands on copies of Black Sabbath’s Eternal Idol (the deluxe 2CD!), and one of my guitar heroes Doug Gillard’s Parade On. Removing two items from the list feels really damn good!

Also, let’s all keep our eyes peeled for Michael Penn’s March on LP, a new addition to the list for the mighty jhubner!

Also, I’m planning a trip to Taranna in May, so head on up to that Master Grail List tab at the top of our home page and make sure that your list is up to date! If you don’t have a Grail List yet, and there are items you just cannot find (in your town or online for reasonable prices), and you want the rest of us to watch for it in our own travels, send us your list and I’ll add it in! COMMUNITY!

Pieces Falling Into Place

I mentioned a couple of months ago that I was making space for other things, projects long overdue, new ideas. Some of the pieces allowing those things to move forward are falling into place. When they do, I will act.

These things are happening outside of this blog. I will not stop listening to music, and I am not stopping writing here, but I may not be posting daily, as I have been for so long. I’m working on how to make this blog fit into the other things, because I still want to tell you about what I’m hearing, and I still have my background work to do in these pages. I’ll think of something.

I’ll still be reading your blogs, but with WP commenting on the fritz (taking more time to go to each individual page to comment rather than using the Reader), you may only receive a Like. This is my signal I’ve read your work, and I will try to comment when I’m between things.

You must be wondering what I’m up to… I don’t blame you. Sometimes, honestly, I wonder too. But it’s all to the good. I’m still here. And I will keep posting, even if it’s altered slightly, and not as often.

Let’s go forward and see what happens!

 

PS: And who knows, we can all hope for more quality James content, too!

From Junk To Thrift

So recently I mentioned I’d culled through all our Uncategorized posts and updated them to the correct categories.

This was all towards my effort to do some behind the scenes housekeeping here at your friendly neighbourhood KMA.

So I’ve also finished one other, much smaller project, but one I felt needed doing:

In several posts, I referred to where I work as a junk shop. It is indeed a second hand store, but further reflection led me to think that calling it a junk shop wasn’t really fair. So I went through and changed every instance to thrift shop, instead. It just seemed more pleasant, and it was pretty easy to change.

There are still several other projects on the go, one larger than the others, but leave it with me. I’ll get it all done eventually!

Categorized

Way back around the new year, I said something about finishing up some admin crap on the site, some behind the scenes stuff that needed doing. The unsexy stuff. But it bugged me that it wasn’t done, so I’ve been chipping away at a couple of projects for the past while.

And recently, I got one done! You’re gonna care!*

If you don’t have categories on your site, WP automatically marks every post as “Uncategorized.” I won’t go into why I feel that’s not better than just not having a category on a post at all (it’s tyranny, that’s what it is!). Ahem, anyway. Here on the KMA, we have two categories: Posts By James, and Posts By Aaron. Simple.

But for some reason, there was a period of about 400 posts or so where neither of us was using our namesake categories, so we ended up with all of those posts marked as Uncategorized. That bugged me, more than it would a normal person (I never said I was normal!). So, I sat here and went through all of those posts using Quick Edit in the admin section, and I unclicked each Uncategorized radio button and applied the correct KMA category to each post that needed it.

It was boring. It sucked. But now it’s done and, going forward, it’ll be easy to maintain.

For any of you dear Faithful Readers who want to read only the work of one or the other of us (read James’!), I’ve added a Categories widget to the sidebar on the right side of the main page. The dropdown menu there lets you select either of us.

Anyway, that was a lot of reading about something for which you likely couldn’t care less. But the KMA is committed to bringing you the best experience, and this unsexy stuff is just part of the full meal deal.

 

 

* sarcasm is just one of the fine features we offer here at the KMA!

Assessing 1537’s Edicts…

My most recent Sunday Pondering was a fun one – how I organize my collection! Inspired by THIS POST by Bruce, I shared how my collection currently stands (and it’s a wee bit of a mess). My post brought out some interesting comments, to say the least, so thanks everyone!

But it even got 1537 to create THIS POST in which he said, essentially, that his way is the only way…

“Omnipotence/Patience Sorely Tested,” indeed! 😉

I had great fun reading through that post, the language and style was all highly amusing. Fascinated, I decided to reply with my own decisions held against his edicts.

Let’s have a look at 1537’s ideas versus what I’ll end up doing… Will I agree with him?

***

1537 Truth One: All LPs shall be filed in alphabetical order from left to right and THEN filed chronologically: in the event of a recording coming to light years later, Stones at The Marquee Club for example the LP is to be filed in the year it was recorded, NOT the year of release.

My Decision: I will do the A-Z left to right, mixing the (currently separated) categories (jazz, rap, classical, etc) back into one big pile. This makes sense because I realized that my computerized list of my collection doesn’t discriminate based on genre. It’s all one big happy pile in my list, so my physical collection ought to match that, just for consistency’s sake.

But I will not catalogue releases based on year of event. They will go in based on year of release. So, for example, the Stones Marquee won’t be at 1971, it’ll go at 2015.

I will keep my lovely wife’s CDs separate. If she ever went to get a CD of hers so she could play it in the car on her commute, and she couldn’t easily find her own CDs in my stuff, I’d hear about it. Easily avoided!

***

1537 Truth TwoSolo artists will be filed by their first name.

My Decision: Nope. I will file by first letter of the solo artist’s last name, or by first letter of a band’s name. This is because I take my list with me when I shop, and record stores don’t have “Willie Dixon” in their blues section, it’ll always be “Dixon, Willie.” This is a choice for simple ease of use when, say, in Taranna.

In the case of classical releases, I will store by composer name, not conductor name. First off, the conductor is never more important than the composer. And secondly, if you have, say, Bach by more than one conductor, you’ll have to remember all the conductor names to find each one… I’d just rather have all the Bach in one place – under Ba for Bach, Johann Sebastian.

***

1537 Truth Three: All Compilations and soundtracks will be filed under their name.

My Decision: Nope. They won’t go in the main pile. I will keep soundtracks and compilations separate, though they will still be alphabetized by title. I’ve always done it this way, and it makes sense to me, especially with compilations of various artists, that they be separate from single-artist releases.

Also, Star Wars will slot in by movie title, so it’ll go under S in the soundtracks section. Not under “Williams, John” (and especially not “John Williams” I’d never find it then).

***

1537 Truth Four:all bands/compilations using a number as their name will be filed in the alpha equivalent space.

My Decision: Nope. Bands with numbers for names go before “A.” I would never remember to look for 54-40 under “F.” Also, I don’t own very many bands with numbers for names, so having them all together makes sense to me, rather than digging through the whole collection to find one thing.

In Addition:

It may change, but I think I may still keep my Guided By Voices/related collection separate. There’s just so much of it, and it looks so collected and strong by itself. They deserve their own pedestal.

In Addition:

I will also be using this collection overhaul as an opportunity to do a wee bit of a (also long-overdue) cull.

***

In Sum:

So it looks like it’ll all be A-Z, with minimal category exceptions: soundtracks, compilations, my lovely wife’s personal collection, and GBV/related. That seems simple enough.

1537’s edicts were a fun read, but they didn’t click completely with me. I agreed with a couple of them, but not the majority. And that’s OK. His collection is his, and he’s welcome to file it however he chooses. For me, I just know I wouldn’t remember where I’d put stuff if I tried to follow all of that. Thanks to 1537, though, for being so inspired as to write to us from on high in Vinylhalla.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Not my Man Cave, though I wish I had that much shelving and space…

Another Sunshine Blogger Award!

I am remiss in not reading the blogs on the one day when the spectacular Vinnie awarded us a Sunshine Blogger award! Thanks heaps, Vinnie! Sorry I missed it that first go-round.

Same deal as last time, I post it here, thank Vinnie (THANKS!), nominate folks (ALL OF YOU!!), and answer Vinnie’s questions, and ask my own questions. Ready? Like so:

 

How often would you say you spend on your blog?

For the longest time, a post per day. Other times, in our ten years, not so much. Whatever could get done. Each post varies in time spent, sometimes written as I listen, others after the record’s done. Not usually more than 20-30 minutes from start of typing to posted, though. My last Sunday pondering post tells the tale of how these days I’m in a bit of a shift currently, though. I’ll still blog, but I have eyes on other things…

What has blogging taught you?

Awesome people will find you, and a COMMUNITY will be born! Also, I’ve heard A TON of records.

Amy Adams or Natalie Portman?

Both. At the same time. Or wait, do you mean as actresses, in their movies? Hahaha…

Walks along the beach or romantic meal inside?

Walk followed by meal. Yes.

Have you ever written in the nude?

Does half-naked count? I hate summer heat so, even in the A/C, shirts go buh-bye.

What film had the biggest emotional impact on you?

Good question. Off the top of my head, two that were memorable punches in the gut, for me, were Green Mile and Dancer In The Dark. There was also a scene with a frog in Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring that has stayed with me indelibly.

What is your fondest memory from childhood?

Hard to pick one, we had a good upbringing. Family, friends, hockey, you name it.

Is there any scene you would love to recreate from a movie?

Pretty sure I’m in a movie right now. But my name is Aaron not Truman. You’re all watching, aren’t you…

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Still here, still givin’ ‘er as best I can. I expect the KMA will still be rocking, 15 years at that point… My kids’ll be 12 and 10… whoa…

What film have you been meaning to watch for a long time, but just haven’t got the chance to?

The Hobbit trilogy. I have the fancy-pants boxed set of all three films, here, but never have 3 hours per film to sit and watch, these days! And I don’t like breaking them up…

And in the style of Stuff and That, do you think I have a nice bum?

It’s peachy!

***

And now, for all of my nominees (this means ALL OF YOU!), I must ask 11 questions:

Beatles or Stones?

Betty or Veronica?

If you could buy any (one) record right now, it would be:

Which famous person would you like to meet?

Do you think meeting famous people is a good or bad thing? Should we meet our heroes, or leave them be?

Which style of music can you not stand?

Off the top of your head, this instant, your favourite record is:

What record do you always recommend to others?

Do you have a record you use to test new stereos, because you know the sound so well that you need it to hear how the new equipment performs?

If the house caught fire, and you could only save one record, it would be:

Do you prefer CD, vinyl, cassette, 8-track, or digital files?

THANKS AGAIN, VINNIE!

Sunshine Blogger Award!

The folks at SpeedySailor have nominated our little corner of the interwubs with a Sunshine Blogger Award!

THANKS!

It is truly an honour to be recognized!

 

 

There are rules, as these blogging award things go:

  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions they set you.
  • Pick another 11 bloggers (and let them know they are nominated!).
  • Give them 11 questions.

Their Questions Be:

1. Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft?

This must mean gaming… but I don’t game… I’ll see myself out…

2. Favourite song?

Haha whut. Just one?

3. Favourite game?

This one?

4. Favourite insult?

“Alas, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits. I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”   – Bilbo Baggins

5. Favourite animal?

 

 

 

 

 

6. Last time you sent someone a pudding through mail?

It’s been at least a week.

7. Favourite sweet?

You.

8. Dream?

Yes please!

9. Best thing that happened in 2016?

This, that and the other, and then that one time…

10. Whaddaya say, are we a nice arse or not?

Hells yes.

11. Are you really gonna answer that?

I just did. Wanna see me do it again?

 

Aaron’s 11 Nominees:

You. You. You. And you. You, you and you. And you. And you, too. Definitely all of you over there. Y’all in the back. And you guys. All of you, you lovelies.

You are all notified of your inclusion. Participate, or not, as you see fit! You’re beautiful no matter what.

 Aaron’s 11 Questions For You, You Sexy Thing:

Have you accepted cheeses into your life?

Ever gone cow-tipping?

Is it overkill to use two question marks??

What’s your favourite misheard song lyric?

Can you pass the ketchup?

If space is a vacuum, who changes the bags?

Are we there yet?

If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

Would you put pineapple on a pizza?

Do you know how awesome you are?

Do you wanna dance?

***

Thanks again!

Aaron’s Site Crap

Hey Readers!

I cannot offer you a review for today, as we were at my in-laws for a belated Christmas gathering yesterday. It was a lovely day!

So instead, I have a few wee blog-related things to cover:

1 – I have not forgotten your blogs! You’ll have noticed that I have not been Reading as much as I’ve wanted to… You’ve all been posting wonderful things, and I will get caught up on all of them.

2 – There are three series left on my To Do list from 2016, so I will be attacking those shortly.

3 – As I mentioned elsewhere recently, I’m still working on a few new ideas for my contributions to the blog, going forward. Hopefully things will happen after those series (see 2).

4 – There are some things in the blog to fix. They need doing, but you won’t likely notice or care about it. Aren’t you glad I’ll be doing it?

So far, 2017 seems like a good time to play catch-up on all the things that need doing, blogging-wise. I can dig it.

TCB, baby, yeah!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Constant Readers, welcome to 2017. We hope this year kicks all sorts of ass for you.

There follows a list of some of the things Aaron would like to see in 2017:

1 – Cut out the exploitative re-issues.

Seriously, record companies. Stop reissuing things that have already been reissued, just to throw on one extra track you didn’t add last time. It’s obvious you’re holding things back to soak the true fans over and over, and we don’t appreciate it.

2 – Drop the LP prices to reasonable rates.

This one should be self-explanatory. But if you cut the prices in half, we might buy more over time.

3 – Hipsters Go Away

For once and for all, I want all the hipsters to discover vintage toasters, or cassettes, or yo-yos, or anything else. Then they can go away and leave the rest of us alone the way things used to be. This one might help entries 1. and 2. in this list too…

4 – Metallica

It’s a dead cert they’ll tour. I have never seen them (I know!) and I really wanna go. This needs to be my year!

5 – Mastodon

I’ve been told (and am reading online) that they’re releasing their new album at some point early this year. Of course I will be buying it. But it’ll mean they’ll be touring too, and I want to see them too!

6 – New Tool record

This isn’t too much to ask, is it? It’s reported they have lots of material in the can already, so let’s go boys! It’s only been 10 frickin’ years since the last record…

***

As for the KMA Blog:

There may be a few changes on the KMA this year, too. I’m still working out the details but Aaron, anyway, needs to streamline, make blogging fit my current schedule… I also want to finish a few projects that I started ages ago and have allowed to languish. I have some ideas…

James, on the other hand, will surely just continue to offer quality content if and when he decides to do so. All as it should be.

***

Here’s to a brilliant 2017 for you all. Let’s GIVE ‘ER!

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

All the best to you and yours this holiday season! Thanks so much for being KMA Readers, and for all your comments and awesomeness this year (and every year)! You all rawk. And you know it. Best blogging Community ever!

Happy happy! James and Aaron of the KMA

Changes Afoot on the KMA

Hey folks, some site admin notes for your edification!

1) The Master Grail Search List has been moved to the top left side of the page, and is no longer a sticky post. If that messes with anyone’s bookmarks, please update them. It’ll be living in its current spot from now on.

2) After getting quite far behind on updating the Table of Contents pages, I did a quick poll of the usual suspects around these parts and it was determined that they were not being used very often. So, they have been deleted. If there is anyone who was using them, we do still have the Search box in the upper right of the page, which finds things easily!

3) After joining Eva Stalker’s TBR20 project, I’ve added TBR pages for James and myself at the top of the page. Go there to see what we’ve been reading!

New Year, New Look

Hey y’all, Aaron here. As you may recall, I’ve been toying with the idea of brevity on the KMA for a while now, so I am taking the turning of the new year as a great opportunity to try it. Each record will receive distilled thoughts in a (hopefully) concise paragraph.

It’ll often seem alphabetical, as I go through my iTunes, but that’ll get broken up as I also hear new additions, and jump formats from MP3-CD-LP-cassette, and go back to listening to CDs in the Office (our Subaru) with my daughter when school fires back up on the 5th.

In the case of an artist having more than one album in a post, I will listen objectively and comment on each’s own merits while avoiding undue comparison.

I may still break out the longer posts if it feels warranted, such as in the case of gratitude posts for gifts, or maybe if I get possessed of the notion of doing more artist series, but by and large I want to try to tighten things down quite a bit. I’ll look forward to your thoughts on the new approach!

NB. James, of course, is not obligated to participate in this experiment at all, and will bring his own awesomeness in his own way, and on his own schedule!

2015, y’all. Let’s give ‘er!

Happy New Year!

The KMA wishes you all the best in 2015. May your year be filled with great music!

Grail List Additions: Aaron Edition

Hey folks, I’ve come across information about a few more CDs that would make me very very happy, but I cannot seem to find them online at all, or for crazy high prices. So, I’ll be adding these to the official Grail Search Master List.

Blue Rodeo – Live in Stratford January 13*, 2006 (2CD Instant Live)
Various – Borrowed Tunes: A Tribute To Neil Young
Various – Borrowed Tunes: A Tribute To Neil Young 2

* the January 14, 2006 show is available from the band’s web page, and I will have that one soon. It’s the show on the 13th that I need.

 

20,000 Visits

KMA READERS! Let’s have a little chat.

You are awesome. You know this, we know this, but it doesn’t get acknowledged nearly enough. The community built here is wonderful, and there’s been a boatload of music in our 8 years of doing this blog. All of this keeps us alive!

If you’ll have a peek at our site hit counter, up there in the upper right of the screen, you’ll see that we have now surpassed 20,000 unique visits! Not bad at all for a couple of guys who throw stuff up here because it’s fun.

Thank you so much for stopping by and checking us out, whether it be your first time here today, or whether you’ve been coming here for years.

Thank you.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Hey all,

A quick post to wish all of you a very Happy Holidays from the KMA. Our best to you and yours, and we hope you have a safe and most excellent time, however you celebrate! And we hope Santa brings you records. Lots and lots of beautiful records.

Cheers, your friendly neighbourhood KMA!

This Week

Our top posts on Views rankings, this week, were interesting…

29  Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales
15  Robert Plant – Manic Nirvana
10  S’up (Cupface Pt.3)
07  Dangerous Minds OMPS OST SNDTRK
06  Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch
05  Joe Walsh – Joe Walsh’s Greatest Hits (Little Did He Know…)
05  R.E.M. – Around The Sun
05  Surfin’ USA (various artists)

So.

– Sting (almost) doubled Boaby! Whoa.
– a cupface doubled Joe Walsh, R.E.M. and Surfin USA.
– Human Touch got 6 views, Lucky Town didn’t make the cut!

Fun!

Trophy Case

So WordPress has been dicking around with their site, as you may have noticed. Things you could find easily have moved to dumb-ass places, there are extra clicks to do simple things, and some functionalities have disappeared altogether. It all comes across as the brainchild of an overly-caffeinated group of programmers who really, really wanted to get this new look live and active but didn’t actually finish the job before they did so. So even now there are changes to the changes, as they muck around. I wish they’d just put things back to the way it was, when we knew it worked.

Anyway, clicking around trying to find something useful recently, I discovered that there is a Trophy Case, I assume all your blogs have this. In this page are awards for blogging milestones that WP has apparently programmed our blogs to track. Was this always here? I never saw it before, if it was. I was fine with that. If it’s new, it’s a frippery coming at the expense of other changes that need to be made in order to undo all this recent mucking around and put things back the way they were.

Some of the “trophies” in the KMA case, most recently, have included:

1000 Posts (2014-07-27)
50 Follows (2014-08-18)
1000 Likes (2014-09-11)
1337 Likes (2014-10-24)

I’m not sure of the significance of 1337 Likes. Certainly not a round number.

So… This is fairly useless information, but the numbers geek in me was momentarily distracted by it. Now I’m back to finding what I want in the New Look WP. If I’m not back in a couple of days, send out a search party. Tell them to bring sandwiches, and whiskey. Lots and lots of whiskey.

Comments Issue

First up, an apology if I (Aaron) don’t respond to a comment of yours on this site with my usual swift and devestatingly awesome wit. From here, I am not receiving email notifications when you post a comment on our posts. Thing is, I used to get emailed for every one. Now, nothing. So the only way I can know if you’ve commented is to come here and go to the Comments thing in the dashboard. I think James shut off the comments emails and just checks them at his leisure, because James is cool like that.

Oddly, I went into the Settings and it looks like we are set up to receive emails about comments… I am not a web wizard, though, and must spend some time in the Googles and the forums of WP to find an answer. James thought maybe something he did caused it, but it shouldn’t have because he was dealing with it by logging in as a separate user – shouldn’t affect the main blog email at all. Then again, this is WP.

So again, apologies if we miss a comment or thread. I will be checking the Comments section until this clears up. I hope we catch all of your insightful comments! Our KMA Readers matter!

GRAIL LIST SUCCESS!!

Last week, I hinted that I was likely to be receiveing a Grail List item. You guys thought  maybe it was GBV/Pollard-related, or Sloan. Great guesses! But not this time.

Today it arrived! It’s beautiful!

heartbreaker

Yup, that’s right! A first print, Bloodshot Records copy of the wonderful Ryan Adams debut album Heartbreaker, on CD! I am very happy about this. I used to own a copy ages ago, went to replace it and found it’s harder to get than it should be. The Canadian Amazon site lists it at $33.65 used or $72.95 new! Haha no. There are copies on Discogs now but when I looked last time there were only a few, and all also quite dear. No matter, I got this copy from Mike’s old store for $7. YAY!

I can’t wait to dig into it. Even just looking at the track listing, all the songs flooded back into my brain. This is gonna be awesome!

Givin’ ‘Er!

A comment from Deke today prompted a post rather than a comment! Another way to boost my post count! Haha.

First, Deke, just to be clear, this ain’t a race (except I’m choosing to make myself write more). You? You just keep on doing the awesome you’re doing. If your schedule works for you, then you keep that schedule, man. We’ll come read your stuff even if you only post once a week.

But Deke’s comment was a good one, in that he was basically wondering how the heck I’m getting all of this stuff up here. It’s simple, really – motivation, and time management. The motivation is easy, I just want to write about everything I’m hearing (and the music’s on all the time), so of course that’ll be more posts. Plus, I’m motivated to try to get everything I own up on these pages (from here I can’t even see the tunnel, let alone the light at the end of it, so this is definitely a daunting task!).

The other, time management, is also easy. For those reading this who don’t know this, I am a stay-at-home Dad. Aaaaand before you think Well! That explains it, he’s home all day, hell, he could be doing more posts than even this! Hahaha not a frickin’ chance. My daughter is 3, and anyone who’s had a three year old in their house can tell you that getting anything done in peace, even drinking a cup of coffee, is impossible. My whole day involves getting our 5 year old to and from school, chasing after the 3 year old for hours, as well as doing dishes, cleaning, laundry and any maintenance on the house that needs doing (and that’s endless).

I do a lot of my listening by showing up early for picking up my son from school in the afternoon. My daughter and I sit in the car (I call it the Office) and listen. I jot notes about it in a book from the dollar store. But honestly, the majority of my writing happens after the kids are in bed. Sometimes, in the morning before they get up, but mostly later at night. The house is quieter and I can concentrate! It’s a sweet, sweet time. Quiet is so rare, these days. Now, yes, I can often reply to comments through the day, but that’s far faster than a review post. A few seconds here or there, at my 50 wpm.

But how did I get three album reviews up today? Simple. I’d heard all three albums before, many times. I love that band. So writing it all up was pretty easy – I could hear a lot of the songs in my head before they even came on, so listening was just for pleasure. The posts wrote themselves. On another day, if it’s a record I haven’t heard before, that takes a bit longer, but still only the time it takes to play the record. I’d say that any post taking me longer than 20 minutes took too long. So, the hour that you people who take more care spend on one post, I can do three. Or, that hour of TV you watched, I spent it writing three posts. Voilà.

Another key to the time it takes for this stuff is my aim for brevity (this post notwithstanding). Look at other sites in this group – there are pics, videos, a lot of time and effort. Look at Mike, Scott, 1537, Sarca, Deke, 1001, Rich… to name just a few – there are more of you!!.. all you folks put a lot more time and care into your pages than I do, which is why they’re such a pleasure to check out every day (never ever stop, people!). And me, I used to try to write a lot more, and sometimes I still do. But now I aim for two or three paragraphs. Just the stuff I meant to say (which is usually something easy like “I liked it!!” haha I could just do one sentence each! Even faster!).

So, think of the time it takes to type a couple of paragraphs or so, given that I’ve already heard the albums. It ain’t long. 20 minutes per post, including time to copy/paste into WP and add a category and a couple of tags. Boom. Done.

So that’s it. I make time to do this, in the course of incredibly busy days, much the same (as I’ve already discussed with Sarca over on her excellent site) as I make time for reading books, writing my own fiction, spending time with my lovely wife, playing guitar, and occasionally watching a movie or a TV episode of something on the iMac (with my lovely wife). It’s all about application of non-refundable lifetime. When I’m gonna do it, I frickin’ do it. I give ‘er! And then, when it’s done, I go do something else. And I’m getting pretty damned good at being efficient. I still have more to go, but I’m getting there!

 

 

1200

Today’s 20 Miles 3-fer pushed us past our 1200th post, here on the KMA.

That’s… a lot of posts. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Hold On To Yer Hats… So Far…

Back on November 5, I posted that I was gonna step up my game, open the floodgates and really let ‘er rip. It’s something I really want to do, to cover everything I have here. I like to think of it as a noble pursuit… because really, how awesome would it be to be able to just sit back wait for new things to come home with me so I can write about them, knowing I’ve already covered everything here? Yeah, that’d rule. So.

10 days have passed. Let’s see how I’ve done so far! [NB.Posts per day are numbered (in brackets)]:

Nov 06 (3)
Nov 07 (2)
Nov 08 (2)
Nov 09 (2)
Nov 10 (5)
Nov 11 (3)
Nov 12 (2)
Nov 13 (2)
Nov 14 (3)
Nov 15 (3)

Total Posts: 27 (by James and Aaron)

Total Posts: 25 (by Aaron)
Min. Per Day: 2
Max. Per Day: 5
Number of days: 10
Avg. Per Day: 2.5

I have to say, this is a pretty good increase. I’ve definitely been trying harder to get stuff up here. But I still have so much to cover, SO many albums and books and DVDs here to digest and talk about. If I were to maintain 2.5 posts per day, on average, for the next year, by 2015-11-16 I would have posted just north of 900 posts. That would just about get me somewhere in the vicinity of nowhere near all the stuff I have here to cover already… and that’s not counting whatever else new that would come into my collection in that time.

So. Gotta step up the game! Remember, the goal that seems to be forming, here, is to eventually have everything I own written about. That way I can just cover new additions.

How best to achieve this? Well, of course, write more! Also, brevity. Really keenly and incisively jot down my thoughts on whatever I’m hearing, then move on. Get in and get out! And even at that, it’s still so daunting…

Sure, it’s a dream, and it seems impossible… but nothing’s impossible! Right? RIGHT! Because I believe I can fly. I can. Watch me!

Give ‘er! GIVE ‘ER! 🙂

18K

Just noticed, by the counter in the upper right corner… We’ve reached 18,000 unique visits!

Thank you, everyone, for making the KMA part of your complete breakfast! We’re thrilled you all come here and read our stuff!

New Look KMA… Again!

You’d think we were restless. Well, Aaron generally is (he can’t speak for James)! We all knew this.

But the idea here is to start hammering the ether with concise reviews of whatever is here in the collection. And that collection, as it turns out after the massive library reorganization done recently, is really rather huge.

There were no issues with the Suits theme we had previously. It was cool, and very pleasing visually as it was. But if that much content is gonna be coming at you, having one post at a time visible at the top of the page, things were gonna get lost pretty damn quickly in the the push down the page. And we don’t want you to miss out on any of the KMA goodness!

So. This theme makes everything much more accessible by putting teaser blurbs in a line across the page. I also found a neat setting where, if you (our Dear Readers) re-size your browser window, the number of posts in each row will adjust to match the size. Go ahead and try it!

I am also deeply in love with the picture in the upper left. It’s very cool and, if all you saw was that picture, youd know what this blog is all about! Perfect advertising. Sadly, though, the use of that picture made us lose the lady boners and burgergasms. But don’t worry. I’m already on a workaround.

So. Posts are chronological with newest posts always in the upper left. Of course, you all Follow this blog anyway (thank you so much for that, but if you don’t Follow yet, hop to it please! 🙂 ) so you’ll get emails every time another salvo comes over the fence. But this way, at least, you’ll be able to know you’re up to date at a cheap and easy glance. But not as cheap as your girlfriend. Ohhh!

Hold On To Yer Hats

Alright, folks.

While it’s not quite done, I’ve got the library re-organization at the point now where my energy can go back to listening moreso than alphabetizing and shifting things on shelves.

Also, I am still aiming for succinct expression in the writing, which I’ve mentioned here before.

What all of this means for you, as promised earlier, is an increase in KMA content. I won’t commit to a schedule or a number of posts per day, since my days are ever-shifting, but I already have a backlog of content to post, and now the time I spent working downstairs on getting my shit together can be redirected into listening and writing. So keep a sharp eye on the section of the right-hand sidebar called The Newest Hotness. If you don’t get emails for each new post (and if you don’t, just click the hand Follow button!), that list will tell you if you’re up to date on all the new stuff firing in here!

Also, I can’t speak for James because, as you know, he posts less but posts better. So this is just Aaron talking. I’m gonna give ‘er!

Are you ready?  I am. Because I learned, as I was digging around downstairs, that I have so much stuff to go through I may never get to it all, unless I get at ‘er now and give ‘er, Give ‘Er, GIVE ‘ER!

This is gonna be fun.

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