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KMA2979 SLCR #342: Regina Folk Festival (August 8-11, 2019)

This was the 50th Regina Folk Festival. Or 50th anniversary, maybe. We skipped most of it.

I get inordinately high hopes for the folk festival lineup every year. The festival is a rare opportunity to get bands who’d never normally play Regina to come to town, but I need to remember, it’s not a whole lineup of them. This year, they got Jason Isbell, which is pretty cool, but most of the lineup read like a SLCR reunion show – Colter Wall, The Dead South, A Tribe Called Red, Bahamas, Rae Spoon, Blue Rodeo – and I like all those folks! Which is why I’ve seen them all before. Ultimately, we settled on just getting Friday night passes, but when Charlotte Day Wilson backed out and was replaced by personal favourite (and another SLCR alum) Kathleen Edwards, we made plans to pop downtown on Sunday night too.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 8

If I was in charge here, this whole thing would be its own review – different venue, separate ticket – but this was put on by the Folk Festival and was covered in the Folk Festival program and it’s been over a month and sure, I’ll take the opportunity to condense these into one.

The important thing is that we paid money to listen to music through headphones in a grocery store.

Touring in support of their new album, Saskatoon’s Close Talker held a “3D-360 silent headphone concert,” which they named “Immersion.” The idea is that the band would play their entire new album How Do We Stay Here? from front to back, and everyone in the crowd would hear the music through headphones. This isn’t an entirely new idea, but they got some slick tech worked in that allows them to move the music around in real time, so the bass can move from left to right, or the drums can sound really far away, or the guitar can move towards you. I can’t explain the grocery store part, other than a local market named Local Market YQR has a small attached space that actually worked really well for this. It’s your proverbial “intimate venue,” which allowed the band to sell out two shows in one evening.

Being Olds, we opted for the early show. We were briefed about what was going on upon entering, and we took seats at the back of the room. One of Close Talker (or would you just say a Talker?) invited us to move up, which was nice, but we’re tall and the back works fine for us. Besides, every seat wound up filled.

They told us the show would start promptly at 8:00, but there was a lengthy introduction explaining how the show would work, the technology behind it, all that fun stuff. I thought it ran a bit long but it became apparent that this was intentional; one issue with the venue is there was nothing covering the windows, and some of us (most importantly, me) were getting the setting sun right in the eyes. The opening chatter was dragged out a bit until the sun was just low enough to not impact the show.

This was a really neat experience, an excellent introduction to a local band, and a fun way to kick off the folk festival weekend. The performance itself ran around 50 minutes of kinda folky, kinda artsy, kinda dreamy pop rock. The movement effects I mentioned above were there but never overused, complementing the music rather than overshadowing it. The band made a point of not talking much, especially early on, to help people focus on the music. To that end, the headphones worked really well; nobody talked, and people mostly kept their phones in their pockets. I wouldn’t want every show to be like this, but in the right cases, it could be really effective. I did think individual volume controls might be a nice addition, though I can see where that could add one more thing to possibly mess up in what had to be an already complicated technical setup.

At one point I slipped off my headphones for a second to see what it sounded like in the room. Mostly it was drums.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 9

This brings us to our one full night at the 2019 Regina Folk Festival. With gates opening at 5:00, I’d have had to come downtown early and wait in line with folding chairs to get a good spot where Mika could eventually join me. Instead, we took our time getting down there and skipped the chairs entirely. This was a controversial decision, given that we spent way too much money on those chairs and they’re very comfy and ridiculously strong. Seemed a shame to not get as much use out of them as we could.

We got to the park a little after 6:00. Once we made it through the usual organized chaos, the whole chair thing seemed like a bad move on our part. There were noticeably fewer people there than in previous years and we wouldn’t have had a problem taking our traditional spots. This was Garth Brooks’ fault. His two sold-out stadium shows on the Friday and Saturday nights surely siphoned off Festival attendees. I didn’t mind the extra space, as the park has felt a little crowded during recent Festivals, but I was concerned that too much of his noise would carry over to the park and drown out our noise. Luckily, that was never an issue.

Emilie Kahn had already started playing by the time we arrived and we saw a few of her songs in between checking out the Stuff Tent and the food trucks and whatnot. It was perfectly pleasant harp playing that we honestly didn’t pay a ton of attention to.

Between sets, Ila Barker played a few songs, just her and her guitar, and there was a spoken performance from the night’s emcee, Stella from Queer Songbook Orchestra (they used a number of names throughout the night, but Stella is the most fun to yell, so here we are).

We picked the Friday night to attend in part because Weaves was playing and Mika really wanted to see them. And so they took the stage, and then everything went to hell. After half a song – just enough time for me to admire the airbrushed picture of Dolly Parton on the singer’s pants – someone from the Folk Festival ran out on the stage holding arms aloft in the dreaded X. It had been cool and drizzling off and on thus far, but now lightning was in the area. Luckily, the guitarist for Weaves had trained for this situation and knew exactly what to do – play the opening riff of Thunderstruck before flipping the double bird to the heavens.

With everything on hold, we waited around the park for a while to see what would happen, before the rain picked up and we headed to the car.

And the car was where we’d spend the next 90 minutes, with rain pouring down and lightning all around us. We played games on our phones, lamented the lack of nearby bathrooms, regretted not having picked up dinner as soon as we’d arrived, and intermittently ran the air conditioner when it all got too suffocating. The Festival kept people up to date via Twitter, or at least as up to date as they could given that everything was really contingent on the lightning going away. At one point, Mika tried to tell me facts about thunder, but she started it with “somebody once told me” and I jumped in exuberantly with “the world is gonna roll me” and she got mad and now I still don’t know what she knows about thunder.

This was all great fun but it could have been worse – we could have tried to go see Garth Brooks. The lightning hit before his show began, and they quit letting people into the stadium (it’s open-air and there’s only so many places they can hide people), so the busses quit running. Thousands of people took shelter in the nearby arena, where (according to a video that was on my social media hundreds of times but which I never actually bothered to watch) they all cheered for a zamboni, I guess because they had nothing else to do. Couldn’t watch the Rider game on your phone – they were on a lightning delay too. And they were in Montréal.

Finally, the storm passed and the Festival announced that the show was going to resume. We ran into Rheanne on the way back, because we have to run into Rheanne at every Folk Festival, even if we’re only there for an hour. It always works out.

With a few minutes to spare before the show was to resume, we hit the food trucks, only to find that most of the vendors had packed up and left. Can’t blame them, really. I wound up getting a burger from the bannock truck, and it turns out that replacing the bun with fried dough is an excellent decision. Mika, however, was stuck getting the sole gluten-free option, popcorn with literal ladles of melted butter. And, for some reason, a lemon wedge. Until this day, “too much butter” only lived in the realm of the hypothetical, but no more. The lemon worked surprisingly well, though.

The Festival is scheduled like so: a main act plays for anywhere from 40-90 minutes (depending on where they are in the set), and then there’s a teaser who plays for about 10 minutes while the next main act gets set up. It repeats that way all night – main act, teaser, main act, teaser, main act. So when the Festival tweeted that the last three acts were still going to play, people didn’t know if that meant the last three main acts, or main/teaser/main. If it was the latter, that would mean The Dead South would lose their spot. On Twitter, on Facebook, people were SO upset at this idea.

And then Stella came out to introduce the next band. They got three words in – “The Dead South” – and I have never heard a reaction like this for anyone at the Folk Festival. Or nearly any concert ever. Folk Festival concerts always have these long, scripted, artist-bio introductions – I’ve heard more than one musician describe them as “awkward” – and Stella got through the whole thing, eventually – but really, the best move would have been to just skip it when the crowd was already so hot.

The Dead South are a bluegrass band from around these parts who’ve started to make it big elsewhere, and this was their triumphant return. They had their time cut, as did the next two bands, but they tore it up and in front of a most appreciative audience, they could do no wrong. This was a high energy performance and was a blast.

Bahamas was up next and he and his band played a delightful set, though of the three that came after the storm, it was probably the weakest. And I love Bahamas! Being shorted on time hurt, because they crammed in as many songs as possible with little talking, and I greatly enjoy his talking. I shouldn’t complain; they played Lost in the Light and that’s my favourite of his. And at least we got to hear about how they’re not the best band, and don’t get the longest sets, but they’re the most chill. And we thank them for stimulating our economy by dining at Famoso.

Near us, an increasingly drunk girl grew tired of listening to some guy tell her about his degrees and made plans to scale a fence, sneak into the back stage area, and get it on with Bahamas. Not sure I’d have put money on her climbing ability at that point in time but I hope her evening ended well, however it ended.

Between sets, we went to sit down by the remaining food trucks. After resting our tired old people legs, I ran into a Dave on our way back in and we stopped for a chat. Mika wandered off, but promptly returned telling us how she was hit on by a guy asking what she was doing with her phone. When she said she was checking the score of the football game, the guy said something like “more like checking the score of the porn game.” I’d like to think I’m a good husband, but I don’t think I can honestly take any credit for the failure of this gambit. Mika did give me one free pass to try using this line on someone should the opportunity ever present itself; if I can pull it off, I’ll be sure let you all know.

I first saw A Tribe Called Red five years ago, and if you’d asked me, I’d have guessed two years ago, and I’m feeling some existential dread right now. At least I enjoyed the show a lot more this time around. I think it was the setting – the crowd was really into it, and the larger stage had room for Indigenous dancers, including a ridiculously impressive hoop dancer, and an adorable little jingle dress dancer who would sneak waves at friends and family in the crowd while waiting in the wings. That the band decorated part of their gear with stinky old LJN rubber toy wrestlers and had wrestling footage as part of their video effects didn’t hurt. I did see some old people in the crowd who looked decidedly not into the music, but I also saw a dude in a T-Rex mask who was really into it, so that all evens out.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10

I had good intentions to check out some of the free daytime stages, but no.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 11

I had good intentions to check out some of the free daytime stages, but no.

We did make it down for Kathleen Edwards, though, if only so Mika could get the falafel she had hoped for on Friday. With no tickets and no real agenda beyond “let’s get there in time for Rae Spoon’s teaser set maybe,” it was a pretty casual evening.

Everything worked according to plan. Mika got her falafel and enjoyed it until feeling the effects of being glutened later that night. I got my first ever bánh mì, and I can’t speak for its authenticity nor its quality compared to other bánh mì, but it was super tasty. I kind of hope it was a terrible example of bánh mì, because if so, a good one would be mindblowing.

We ate and listened to a short set by Rae Spoon. Only a few songs, including There is a LIght (But it’s Not For Everyone) and the family-friendly version of a song I’ve seen them play before, Do Whatever the Heck You Want. Enough of a reminder that I need to catch a full show the next time they come through town.

Finally, it was time for Kathleen Edwards. She’s great. Of course. Played a bunch of songs I like; “all the hits,” as Mika put it. There was some new stuff. I think at least one song was the same new stuff as we heard in Bengough. Now, it’s important to note that as freeloaders, we couldn’t actually see the stage. Which is fine, we were there to listen, but it does mean that my descriptions of what was going on could be very wrong. For example, she had one musician with her, and was later joined by a member of Blue Rodeo. Or maybe several? Or maybe was just making jokes at Blue Rodeo’s expense? I’m pretty sure my initial description was right but I could be making it up entirely. But does that matter? You weren’t there and I won’t remember.

In here, I did make a tactical error. Remember the bannock truck from Friday night? I’d been told they made a mean bear paw (think beaver tail, or elephant ear, or your regional term for big fried dough with sugar on it) and went to get one. Which I did, but it was not what one would call a smooth experience. It had to take at least 20 minutes, maybe 30, and that’s with all of four people in line in front of me. And while the truck was closer to the stage than where we were sitting, it was also a lot noisier over there, so to be honest, I really didn’t get to hear most of this. At least the bear paw was exactly as good as you’d think fresh fried sugared dough would be, but I could have bought one at the farmer’s market sometime when Kathleen Edwards wasn’t concurrently singing.

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!

KMA2972 Recent Stuffs

Thought I’d share what I’ve picked up lately, so you know what’s been in my ears. Given the time available, this sort of post makes some sense these days. Give ‘er…

AC/DC – Powerage

I own most (if not all) the AC/DC studio albums. In oversiiiiiight, I didn’t have this one, so this fixes that.

 

 

 

Bon Scott with Fraternity – Livestock

Still haven’t played this one. Mike says it’s not so great, but it’s been a while since he heard it so maybe his opinion would be different now. I’m curious to try it out!

 

 

Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, and Cho-Liang Lin – Haydn: Three Favourite Concertos

Bought for the Marsalis, I’ll stay for the Haydn. Yes.

 

 

 

Wynton Marsalis – In Gabriel’s Garden

Wynton does Bach, Purcell, Torelli, Mouret, Clarke, Dandrieu, Charpentier and Stanley, with the English Chamber Orchestra and Anthony Newman. Yes please!

 

 

Diana Krall – Live In Paris 

A cool tracklist, and this copy looks like she autographed it. Neat-o!

 

 

 

Fleetwood Mac – 50 Years: Don’t Stop

Bought this out of curiosity. Didn’t really need it as I already have the Greatest Hits. Also, this is the 1CD version, and it turns out there is a 3CD version which would be a whole lot better. Anyway.

 

 

Various – Punk City Rockers (4CD)

Cool-looking comp with a pile of old-school punkers. Bands include UK Subs, Angelic Upstarts, Anti Nowhere League, Vibrators, Exploited, Gonads, 999, Cockney Rejects, Lurkers, Defects, Infa Riot, Stiff Little Fingers, The Business, Adicts, Ruts, Chelsea, Adverts, Slaughter & The Dogs, among many others. Cool!

 

Ryan Adams – 1989

I buy any of his stuff whenever I see it cheap. Bought this one despite his cover of Bad Blood. I think I’ve just heard it too many times on the piped-in music at work. Blah. There’s surely other, better songs here.

 

Counting Crows – This Desert Life

I spend most of my time with their first two records, so I never heard this one. Now I can!

 

 

 

Tin Machine – Tin Machine & Tin Machine – Tin Machine II

Always wanted these David Bowie project albums. Can’t wait to dig in!

 

 

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – Murder Of The Universe

Bought on spec. I mean, with a band name and an album title combo like that, this is has to be the most epic stuff possible, right?

 

 

 

Otep – Sevas Tra 

I love their song Blood Pigs. Love love love. Now I have the whole album!

 

 

 

Pantera – Far Beyond Driven

Love me some Pantera, and for some inexplicable reason, I never owned this album. Now I do, and I’m gonna crank it!

KMA2970 Catch-Up: Other Taranna

Hey y’all, it’s Sunday and this is a long one (that’s what she said), so settle in with a coffee and put your feet up…

Last post, I covered our July trip to Taranna, and all my scores. Fun! But with this extended time away from the blog, I haven’t even finished our May trip to Taranna. Not to mention my scores in June. This post corrects that.

 

***

So. There were a couple left from that abandoned series way back in May:

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Cardinology If I don’t already have one when I find them, I buy his releases (at reasonable prices) on the spot. I have yet to be truly disappointed.

 

 

 

Black Mountain – IV The only one of theirs I still needed (I think). Love their stuff.

 

 

 

 

***

And now here is the stuff I found during our June excursion…

BMV

3-For-$10

Live – Secret Samadhi For some inexplicable reason I did not have a copy of this on hand, so this corrects that omission.

 

 

 

 

Branford Marsalis – Romances For Saxophone Honestly, this one is in the 3-For bin during several visits. I rescued it, because Marsalis.

 

 

 

 

OMPS Natural Born Killers Love the film, been ages since I heard the soundtrack. Time for a re-listen. I remember NIN, and Leonard…

 

 

 

 

ALSO BMV:

Scarlett Johansson – Anywhere I Lay My Head I have the other (second) album she did with Pete Yorn too. I think I owned this ages ago, as the single is very familiar to me…

 

 

 

Paradise Lost – Medusa, and The Plague Within HMO recommended. Totally awesome.

 

Solstafir – Svartir Sandar 2cd, I Blodi Og Anda, and Otta Also HMO recommended, I totally cleaned up and, in this fell swoop, nearly completed my collection of this excellent Icelandic band’s output. I already had the deluxe Otta in the box with swag, so this rescue copy is for play.

 

Silver Jews – American Water I always buy Silver Jews albums when they contain Malkmus. This one does.

 

 

 

 

SONIC BOOM

Pixies – Indie Cindy Bought because Pixies, because I hadn’t yet heard it, and because the title (her namesake) makes my lovely wife happy.

 

 

 

Danny Michel – Matadora All Danny Michel is excellent Danny Michel. Another one for the collection!

 

 

 

 

Metallica – S&M I realized I didn’t have this 2cd Metallica/SFO set on CD (I have the LPs), so I snapped up a reasonably priced copy. “Of Wolfgang And Man,” indeed!

 

 

 

Opeth – My Arms, Your Hearse My first time seeing a copy of this one in the wild. There’s only one or two left, now, for me to have to the whole Opeth studio collection!

 

 

 

I like everything Rick White has done, so when I see a release I don’t yet have, it’s an instant yes please!

 

 

 

 

I also got a bunch of stuff for $2.99 at Sonic Boom, bargain-hunter that I am:

 

Big Rude Jake – Live Faust, Die Jung I realized there are gaps in my BRJ collection, which is inexcusable. This was one I needed.

 

 

 

 

Frank Black and the Catholics – Frank Black and the Catholics I do love me some Black Francis, and I was fairly certain I hadn’t heard this one. I’ve loved everything I’ve heard of the Catholics output.

 

 

 

Violent Femmes – Rock!!!!! I know next-to nothing about this one, but I do love the VF so why not!

 

 

 

 

Smashing Pumpkins – Momuments To An Elegy I grabbed this simply because I hadn’t even known it existed. What would SP sound like in 2014? Let’s find out!

 

 

 

 

Lyle Lovett – I Love Everybody, and Live In Texas There’s something about this loveable weirdo I have always enjoyed, so cheap albums of his made me happy. I especially liked the track listing on that live record…

 

Jesse Dangerously – How To Express Your Dissenting Political Viewpoint Through Origami I was thrilled to find this one, and for so cheap. James said this was the score of the trip and he’s right.

 

 

 

All in all, an excellent Taranna run!

***

ALSO:

And tucked way down here at the bottom, here’s what else I’d found in May, and covered in these pages, as you may recall. [Rescue Missions] are the ones I bought and already had because it’s what I do apparently…:

BMV

Rheostatics – Greatest Hits [Rescue Mission]
Atoms For Peace – Amok (deluxe) [Rescue Mission]
Eva Cassidy – American Tune
Various – Ballin’ The Jack: The Birth Of The Nu-Blues
Kelly Hogan – Because It Feel Good
Kelly Hogan – I Like To Keep Myself In Pain
Ani DiFranco – Allergic To Water
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – ‘Freedom Tower’ No Wave Dance
Party 2015
Tinariwen – Imidiwan: Comapnions cd/dvd
Pixies – Head Carrier
Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs – Medicine County
Paley & Francis – Paley & Francis

SONIC BOOM

Hardship Post – Somebody Spoke
J. Mascis – Live At CBGBs: The First Acoustic Show
Sadies – Precious Moments
Mark Lanegan – Bubblegum
Mark Lanegan – Whiskey For The Holy Ghost
Sadies – Tremendous Efforts
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – F#A#
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven

***

And if you’ve read this far, your coffee is surely gone and you are a true trooper. Thanks for Reading!

KMA2969 Taranna Trip, Slight Return

 

First up, HAPPY CANADA DAY! Give ‘er!

 

 

So, it’s about time I put something here. Dad and I went to Taranna yesterday. It was a perfect day in the city, gorgeous weather, easy traffic, and a big party in the market as it’s a holiday weekend. 

I’ll just post up my scores (no reviews), for y’all to see what caught my eye…

 

BMV

First up, the 3-for-$10 bins are now 4-for-$10 bins. Awesome! I asked the dude, and he said he’s pretty sure it’s a permanent change. They just have so much stuff to clear through. He did say they may make some 4-for-$10 and some 3-for-$10, depending on what they are. Will see going forward. 

4-For-$10 BIN

Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith – Nothin’ But The Blues Y’all Looks like Taranna-based fun, half studio, half live tracks.

 

 

 

 

Clutch – Pure Rock Fury I don’t own any Clutch, but they’ve come recommended, so why not.

 

 

 

 

Joe Strummer – Earthquake Weather This was an immediate grab. A rescue mission for Joe!

 

 

 

 

Hootie & The Blowfish – Musical Chairs Our son heard Hootie on the radio and loved it, so this was one I didn’t have and it rounded out the 4-for-$10.

 

 

 

 

OTHER BMV

Tim Armstrong – A Poet’s Life I think I owned this at one point, but not until I found it again yesterday. CD/DVD.

 

 

 

 

Jakob Dylan – Seeing Things I asked James if Wallflowers are making a comeback like Hootie is, and he didn’t think so. But I’ve been hearing them everywhere, so when I saw a Jakob solo album, I was curious.

 

 

 

Guided By Voices – Vampire On Titus/Propeller In all the years I’ve checked the GBV sections, I’ve never seen this double album single CD. I own both albums individually, but when I saw this I grabbed it because GBV. Then I went to Sonic Boom and saw another copy. What are the chances, in all these years…

 

 

SONIC BOOM

Tuns – When You’re Ready b/w Kiss Yourself Goodbye Awesome 7″ from awesome band. Woo!

 

 

 

 

Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs and Opel I owned Barrett already, so I was happy to round out the collection.

 

 

 

 

Descendents – Milo Goes To College Classic. Had to get a copy as I was inexplicably without it.

 

 

 

 

 

Godspeed You! Black Emporer – Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress and Luciferian Towers Slowly completing (if not completed) my GY!BE collection. Glory.

 

 

 

Baroness – Gold & Grey New Baroness makes me happy and this is probably the score of the day!

 

 

 

 

All told, a perfect run to the city, and so many great tunes, to boot. Thanks for Reading, folks!

 

 

KMA2946 BMV#2 Ballin’ The Jack: The Birth Of The Nu-Blues

I f*ckin’ love comps like this. The write-up on the back cover says it all:

Balling The Jack: 1) Gambler speak for risking everything on one throw of the dice. 2) A railroads man’s term for going full speed on a train. 3) Afro American argot for a dance characterized by sexually explicit pelvic movements. 4) Black slang for generally having a goooood time.

The Nu Blues: The Old Skool Blues feel, given a techno turbo-charge and pepped with hip-hop thrills, punk power, indie angst, art-rock experimentalism and an extra helping of 21st century soul to go. The Devil’s Music Deconstructed. You know it ain’t a sin…

Tracks:

Reid Paley – Lucky’ Tune
Asie Payton/Go Gittas Camp – Oooh Baby
Tom Waits – Big In Japan
Jimpson & Group – Road Song
Chris Thomas King – Mississippi Kkkrossroads
North Mississippi Allstars – Someday Baby
Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band – Electricity
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Stagger Lee
Olu Dara – Strange Things Happen Everyday
Pig In A Can – Slow Down Train
Gary Lucas w. Mary Margaret O’Hara – Poison Tree
Soft Boys – Give It To The Soft Boys
Billy Childish & His Famous Headcoats – The Wond’rous Day
Petit Vodo – Border Line
Moby – Findy My Baby
Penny Lang – Lost And Found
R.L. Burnside – Let My Baby Ride
Cowboy Junkies – Postcard Blues
Johnny Dowd – A Picture From Life’s Other Side
Bob Log III –  Stirring Round A Stick
Diamanda Galas – See That My Grave Is Kept Clean

KMA2929 Deep Concentration

This is a sweet mix of hip hop beats, samples and scratches. It’s where creative musicianship enter into hip hop, the backbone of the works. It’s a helluva listen. You could throw it on in the background, especially at a party, but for me it needed to be in the good headphones, front and center so I could soak it all in.

This edition is part one of a series, and if I ever see others I’ll be grabbing them up for sure.  Recommended!

Tracks:

Cut Chemist – Lesson 6 – The Lecture
Prince Paul – DJ Prince Vs. The World
RadaR – RadaR Frees Tibet (Gasho Mix)
The Angel – Strange Times (Version)
Ingrid De Lambre f. Eddie Def – Poeisies, Scene 1 Le Blues
DJ Swingsett & DJ Wally – Centaurus Spece Bass (Cloak & Destroy Mix)
X-Men – A Turntable Experience
Lyrics Born f. Lateef – Say That
Peanut Butter Wolf f. Babu & J-Rocc of Beat Junkies – They Don’t fall Down
Beyond There – On Wax
Mumbles – At The Mountains Of Madness
Q-Burn’s Abstract Message – Book Of Changes

KMA2928 Shady Records Presents The Evil Genius DJ Green Lantern Mixtape CD

When it comes to rap, I know what I like when I hear it, but it’s all gut instinct without much knowledge to back it up.

Eminem is one of those artists I intend to cover in-depth (eventually), but for now this Australasian promotional 2003 Shady mixtape is what was spinning recently. I don’t know if any of these tracks are rare, or even if some of these people are still performing (Joe Beast? Brooklyn? Shaunta? see lack of knowledge, above), but it was a fun listen.

Of course, Eminem is all over this. As a label sampler, these 14 tracks are hot and bangin’. Right on.

Tracks:

CD1

The Evil Genius DJ Green Lantern – International Invasion – Intro
Eminem, 50 Cent, Tony Yayo & Lloyd Banks – Bump Heads
Eminem, D12 & Obie Trice – Doe Ray Me
Tony Yayo – Freestyle
Eminem & D12 – Keep Talkin’
Obie Trice – Synopsis
50 Cent & Eminem – Patiently Waiting (live from State Theater, Detroit)
50 Cent & Eminem – In Da Club (live from State Theater, Detroit)

CD2

Obie Trice – Rap Name
Eminem – Stimulate
50 Cent – ‘Til I Collapse Freestyle
Joe Beast – Gangsta
Brooklyn – The Weekend
Shaunta – California

KMA2916 GASCD

GASCD is an acronym for Governments Accountable to Society & Citizens = Democracy. So, wouldn’t that be GATS&C=D? Anyway.

Bourbon Tabernacle Choir’s Chris Brown put this together, inspired by the protests as the Quebec City Summit of the Americas in 2002. Profits went to progressive media and social justice groups.  

I bought this not for its political protest rally origins, but because of all the awesome artists playing their political songs. I’m all about the music. It’s a long listen, but it’s chock-full of goodness. Here’s the tracks list, from which you ought to be able to gather its awesomeness:

CD1:

1 Sylvain Lamoureux – The Geese
2 Ani DiFranco – Your Next Bold Move
3 Rheostatics – Bad Time to Be Poor
4 Olu Dara – Red Ant (Nature)
5 Gordon Downie – Trick Rider
6 Jello Biafra – Spoken word excerpt from Mohawk College April 25, 2001
7 Sex Mob – Black and Tan Fantasy
8 Bruce Cockburn – Call it Democracy
9 Scotty Hard – Diurnal – 5:24
10 Propagandhi – Today’s Empire, Tomorrow’s Ashes
11 Maude Barlow – Spoken word excerpt from People’s Summit – Quebec City, 2001
12 Chris Brown and Kate Fenner – How You Gonna Bring Your Children to God
13 Tony Scherr – Food for News
14 Michael Franti – Oh My God
15 Interférence Sardines – Un Nescalier

CD2:

1 Gil Scott-Heron – Work For Peace
2 Nikki Giovanni – Nothing Makes Sense
3 Clark Gayton – Glad I Found My Religion
4 David Suzuki – Phone interview excerpt, May 2001
5 The Tragically Hip – Putting Down
6 Sarah Harmer – 1st Lady
7 Christian Doscher – Straight Lines
8 DJ Serious – Trap Doors
9 Barenaked Ladies – Sell, Sell, Sell
10 Andrew Whiteman – Thot Provoker
11 Bionic – A Political Song for Danko Jones to Sing
12 The Dinner Is Ruined – Funk Asylum
13 Free Radicals – Bombs Burst Brightly on the Lawn
14 Jason Collett – Bitter Beauty
15 Chris Brown – The Shot Across the Bow
16 David Suzuki – Phone interview excerpt    May 2001
17 Bill Frisell – What’s Going On

KMA2901 The Spanish Guitar

I got this Naxos 2CD set at work because I sure do love me some Spanish guitar, and it sure delivers! Beautiful work, full of passion and dynamics. I love how an orchestra gets woven in sometimes, too. I was gonna mention more, but this dude on Amazon already nailed it:

You probably need to be a real guitar enthusiast to want the two-CD collection The Spanish Guitar, but anyone who fears that at more than 140 minutes this Naxos set may be a few plucky numbers too many should swiftly be won over. Where the set scores is in some clever programming that never allows the ear to tire of a particular sound-world or even a particular style. After the longest piece of the set, Mompou’s beautiful Suite Compostelana, an orchestra broadens the aural world with Peter Breiner’s concerto based on Bizet’s Carmen. Three pieces fulfil (sic) a similar function on the second disc. Some of the best known Spanish “guitar” music was written for piano–Granados’ 12 Spanish Dances; here we get the first, in an arrangement for guitar and orchestra, and the famous fifth, which tops and tails the set with a guitar transcription as an opener and a guitar and piano version as a finale. In between you can find everything from foot-stomping flamenco to moody languorous pieces, played with great atmosphere by a fine line-up of soloists. Listeners in need of persuasion need look no further than Norbert Kraft’s playing of Tárrega’s celebrated Recuerdos de la Alhambra, a cracking piece, beautifully played. –Keith Clarke

KMA2895 CBGB OMPS

I’ve never seen this 2013 film, but after hearing this CD I wanna. I mean, this mix is incredible – all the kudos to whomever put it together. What a blast listening to all of these tunes (most of them for the zillionth time, for me).

Hot damn!

 

Check out the tracks included here:

01 Talking Heads – Life During Wartime
02 MC5 – Kick Out The Jams
03 New York Dolls – Chatterbox
04 Television – Careful
05 Richard Hell & The Voidoids – Blank Generation
06 Flamin’ Groovies – Slow Death
07 Velvet Underground – I Can’t Stand It
08 Wayne County & The Electric Chairs – Out Of Control
09 The Count Five – Psychotic Reaction
10 Tuff Darts – All For The Love Of Rock ‘N’ Roll (live)
11 Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers – All By Myself
12 Dictators – California Sun
13 Dead Boys – Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth
14 Joey Ramone – I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)
15 Laughing Dogs – Get Outa My Way
16 Blondie – Sunday Girl (2013 Version)
17 Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog
18 Dead Boys – Sonic Reducer
19 The Police – Roxanne
20 Hilly Krystal – Birds And The Bees

KMA2893 Verve’s Grammy Winners

This set is hot. Collecting (obviously) Grammy winners from the Verve label’s roster, it’s just great track after great track… You get Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, Charlie Byrd, Shirley Horn, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Betty Carter, Jimmy Smith, Joe Williams, and Joe Henderson. I mean, C’MON.

Found here: I will forever love Ella Fitzgerald for the time she did Mack The Knife live in Berlin but didn’t know the words… of course, she totally saves it in that inimitable Ella way…

Check it:

KMA2887 Dark Was The Night

Part of the Red Hot series of HIV/AIDS fundraising albums, this is two CDs of big names and cool songs. Full disclosure: it was a lot of (mostly) indie-sounding pop/rock all at once, and I had to do this set in more than one sitting. But that’s OK, it gave the tunes time to breathe.

Artists appearing:

CD1: Dirty Projectors & David Byrne, The Books (f. Jose Gonzalez), Feist & Ben Gibbard, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, The National, Yeasayer, My Brightest Diamond, Kronos Quartet, Antony w. Bryce Dessner, Justin Vernon & Aaron Dessner, The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, Grizzly Bear & Feist, Sufjan Stevens.

CD2: Spoon, Arcade Fire, Beirut, My Morning Jacket, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Dave Sitek, Buck 65, The New Pornographers, Yo La Tengo, Stuart Murdoch, Jónsi & Alex, Cat Power & Dirty Delta Blues, Andrew Bird, Conor Oberst & Gillian Welch, Blonde Redhead & Devastations, Kevin Drew.

KMA2867 Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead OMPS

I know I saw this 1995 movie, way back in the day, but I don’t have too many memories of it, these days. Might need a re-watch, because this soundtrack (which I owned years ago and only recently replaced) is a great collection of songs. It’s bluesy, rockin’ and funky, slightly oddball and all-around great. Worth noting: Dishwalla’s killer rip through B.B. King’s The Thrill Is Gone is a highlight. Yes, the Counting Blue Cars Dishwalla. Wow!

Artists appearing:

Tom Waits, Morphine, Freedy Johnston, Neville Brothers & Buddy Guy, Dishwalla, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Blues Traveler, Ape Hangers, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Reed, Johnny Cash, Dean Martin, Warren Zevon.

See what I mean? Hot damn!

KMA2852 James Dean Era

This is a cool collection of tracks from the likes of Chuck Berry, Bill Haley & The Comets, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Little Richard… as well as cool stuff from Big Joe Turner, Johnny Otis, Pee Wee Crayton… and so on. There are pull quotes in between tracks, which I felt ruined the flow of a great bunch of tunes. There are two tracks of Dean playing the bongos (apparently rare) at the end. There’s also a DVD of (apparently rare) TV movies included.

KMA2851 Sandra Boynton’s Frog Trouble

Y’all probably know Boynton’s kids books. The included CD here will impress the grown-ups as well, as it includes tracks by:

Dwight Yoakam, Fountains Of Wayne, Mark Lanegan, Kacey Musgraves, Ryan Adams, Ben Folds, Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Josh Turner, Darius Rucker, Linda Eder, and Fall Mountain Cowboys.

Fun times!

KMA2814 7 Worlds Collide – The Sun Came Out

Another Taranna December score…

 

This is a project for Neil Finn for the benefit of Oxfam. This 2cd set is a companion to the 7 Worlds Collide live album, and is chock full of names you know:

Johnny Marr, Jeff Tweedy, Saron Finn, Neil Finn, Ed O’Brien, Liam Finn, Don McGlashan, KT Tunstall, Bic Runga, Phil Selway, Glenn Richards, Glenn Kotche, Lisa Germano, Tim Finn, John Stirrat, Pat Sansone, Elroy Finn, and Sebastian Steinberg. 

I bought it for the Wilco and radiohead members, and because it contains many Finns, but the whole set is beautiful. There was also a film made of the live performances. 

Yessir it’s a keeper.

KMA2811 Rome OMPS

A Taranna December score…

 

Inspired by music from spaghetti westerns, this effort by composer Daniele Luppi and Danger Mouse is bloody fantastic. I read that it was recorded using vintage equipment (cool), and reunited the choir used by Alessandro Alessandroni on the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (cool). One track here, Black, was used in the final episode of Breaking Bad’s fourth season (cool). Throw in vocals from Jack White and Norah Jones and you’ve got a thrilling, atmospheric, fascinating and highly enjoyable album.

KMA2772 Tarannaaaaaaa!!!

Last month, my Dad and I made a run to Taranna, thinking that that would surely be our last chance before spring. And all this week, with white-out snow and icy roads, it seemed we were right. Then it started to warm up. And rain. Weather reports said this past Sunday would be only overcast, and 6C! We wondered if maybe… and it all turned out to be true. We had a perfect day and away we went. We hit little traffic, it was perfect downtown, and we were super-stoked to get another day out! And to top it off, reports say we’ll get a pile of snow in the next couple of days. We really truly timed this one right!

So of course I hit up the main spots. Here are the scores (no reviews, obvs). 

BMV

3-For-$10 Bin

The Thompson Twins is nostalgia for me, and full of remixes I’ve never heard. Cool. Super Friendz is one I’ve never heard (it’s from 2003), so right on I like those guys. And the PJ Harvey was a second-prize grab, as I’d found a copy of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy but the fellow couldn’t find the CD in the binders, so I had to let that one go and grab something else… hence the Harvey. Cool!

Regular

Bought on spec, these two Yuck albums (on Fat Possum) are new to me. Could be awesome, or not, who knows! I like She & Him, and these covers of classic tunes ought to be fun. And a 2cd live Wilco album? Yes please!

I also grabbed up three Chili Peppers albums I did not have. Sweeeet.

***

SONIC BOOM

$2.99 Dealz

I see cheap Iron & Wine, I buy it, and this EP looks promising. The Solomon Burke was a no-brainer, love that guy! And that old G. Love album (with Stepping Stones as track 1) will be super-fun, I just know it!

Regular

This soundtrack for Rome looks interesting. Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi Present, starring Jack White and Norah Jones. Cool! Iggy Pop is always fun, I’ve wanted to hear this one. Bought on spec, the Warlocks record just seemed to grab my attention… can’t place why… 

The 2cd 7 Worlds Collide looks awesome, I loved the other set so this one is a cinch. A tour edition Beasties, with live stuff? YES PLEASE! And I’d lost my copy of this Lee Ranaldo/Dave Dyment tribute to Tom Thompson, recorded at Lee’s Palace days before 9/11. I’ve already reviewed it, in 2010, HERE but I replaced it anyway because my collector brain made me want it because I can’t imagine there are too many of these out there…

Oh, and I grabbed a Hellcat DVD too… Give ‘Em The Boot: A Film By Tim Armstrong. Oughta be loud and obnoxious, lots of bands I like are involved, yes yes yes.

This trip was an absolute success.

Thank you, Taranna! You never disappoint!

 

KMA2759 Sounds Of The Times Uncut (2018-08)

My sister gave me this issue of Uncut magazine at my birthday. The main article is on Prince. On the tipped in CD I only knew Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Ray Davies (Kinks). The rest were new to me. Reminds me of when I used to buy CMJ New Music every month, just for the CD, because it opened me up to all kinds of new music. Love it!

KMA2748 Talent

KMA2732 Car Tunes

I’ve made it a bit of a project to educate our children in music. I play jazz, classical, country, just about anything around them. We play music in the car, and I have an iPod in a player in the kitchen, just running through a big playlist while we go about our lives in the evenings.

I do this because (selfishly) I am always listening to music anyway, so it’s natural to me. But for them, I do it out of love – love for them, certainly, because I want to try to help them to be well-rounded and intelligent people. But also for love of all music. If I generally played one genre non-stop, like… the only thing on was country radio, all day… it could take them years to get around to other things, and where’s the fun in that?

Still, both of our children tend to prefer rock music. Our son (9) prefers metal, especially Iron Maiden. Our daughter (7) likes metal, but also digs on CCR and more classic rock. So, because I was the first one I knew in the 90s to have a CDr drive (2x, baby, yeah!), I still live that instinct to make mixes. And I made the kids a classic rock car mix on a 700mb CDr.

I tried to go for the classics, anything with big riffs and that attitude, you know. My only rule was to try to only have one song per artist (I think I came close to succeeding). And I ended up with one helluva track list which, I’ll admit, looks like every animal-themed classic rock radio station’s playlist for the week. But from our kids’ perspective, it’s a goldmine of new songs.

Right now we’re at the Guess Who’s American Woman in an alphabetical run-through. Some hilarious moments have already happened, like their belly laughs at Alice Cooper’s School’s Out. They loved the line about the teachers’ dirty looks. And during Dio’s Rainbow In The Dark, our boy turns to me in the front seat and says, “Dad, you can’t have a rainbow in the dark. You need light, and it has to have just rained so that the water can refract the light.” I couldn’t argue, but I did tell him that was just Ronnie James Dio doing what he did best. Inwardly, I was chuffed our boy was listening so closely and thinking so critically.

Check it:

Accept – Balls to the Wall
ACDC – Back In Black
Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion
Alice Cooper – School’s Out
Animals – The House Of The Rising Sun
April Wine – I Like To Rock
Bachman Turner Overdrive – Takin’ Care Of Business
Bad Company – Feel Like Making Love
Beatles – Day Tripper
Billy Idol – White Wedding, Pt. 1
Billy Joel –  It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Blondie – Call Me
Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear The Reaper
Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
Boston – More Than a Feeling
Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69
Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth
Cars – You Might Think
Chicago – 25 Or 6 To 4
Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Cream – Sunshine Of Your Love
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son
Cult – She Sells Sanctuary
Deep Purple – Highway Star
Def Leppard – Photograph
DIO – Rainbow In The Dark
Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing
Don Henley – All She Wants To Do Is Dance
Doobie Brothers – China Grove
Doors – L.A. Woman
Eagles – Life In The Fast Lane
Eric Clapton, Derek, The Dominos – Layla
Europe – The final countdown
Five Man Electric Band – Signs
Foghat – Slow Ride
Free – All Right Now
George Thorogood – Bad To The Bone
Golden Earring – Radar Love
Grand Funk Railroad – We’re An American Band
Guess Who – American Woman
Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine
Heart – Barracuda
Iron Maiden – Run to the Hills
Janis Joplin – Piece Of My Heart
Jefferson Airplane – Somebody to Love
Jethro Tull – Locomotive Breath
Jimi Hendrix – Foxey Lady
Joan Jett – I Love Rock n’ Roll
Joe Walsh – Rocky Mountain Way
Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
Judas Priest – Living After Midnight
Kansas – Carry on Wayward Son
Kick Axe – Heavy Metal Shuffle
Kinks – You Really Got Me
Kiss – Rock And Roll All Nite
Led Zeppelin – Kashmir
Lou Reed – Walk on the Wild Side
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
Molly Hatchet – Flirtin’ With Disaster
Motley Crue – Kickstart My Heart
Motörhead – Ace of Spades
Mott The Hoople – All The Young Dudes
Mountain – Mississippi Queen
Nazareth – This Flight Tonight
Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
Police – Roxanne
Queen (f. David Bowie) – Under Pressure
Quiet Riot – Bang Your Head (Metal Health)
Rainbow – Since You’ve Been Gone
Ram Jam – Black Betty
Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop
Robert Palmer – Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)
Rod Stewart – Maggie May
Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Rush – Closer To The Heart
Santana – Black Magic Woman
Scorpions – Rock You Like A Hurricane
Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
Slade – Cum On Feel The Noize
Spencer Davis Group – Gimme Some Lovin’
Status Quo – Rockin’ All Over The World
Stealers Wheel – Stuck In The Middle With You
Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Pride And Joy
Styx – Renegade
Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
Sweet – Ballroom Blitz
T.Rex – 20th Century Boy
Them – Baby, Please Don’t Go
Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back in Town
Three Dog Night – Joy To The World
Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
UFO – Doctor Doctor
Uriah Heep – Easy Livin’
Van Halen – Panama
Warren Zevon – Werewolves Of London
Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
Who – My Generation
Yes – Owner Of A Lonely Heart
ZZ Top – Tush

The only one in the list you might wonder about is the Queen selection. Honestly, the Hits Of Queen disc plays in our car quite regularly anyway*, and our kids know all those songs inside and out, so it didn’t really mater what track from them I included and Under Pressure seemed like a nice change from We Will Rock You, or We Are The Champions, etc.

You can probably think of others I missed, or songs you’d have chosen differently for a given band, and that’s awesome. Drop comments!

Fun times!

 

*And here it behooves me to reference Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens r.e. mixed tapes in the car. You’ve read it, so you’ll know what I mean.

KMA2726 Overlooked Grail List Score!

During our last (most recent) Taranna trip, I scored this brilliant 2cd tribute to Neil Young. It’s chock full of cool stuff, just like the first volume one was (I have that too). Lovely!

When I went to the Grail List to update it for the Last Pogo DVD that I also found (wahoo!), I realized that this Borrowed Tunes II set was also on the list!

Double Taranna Grail List Score!!

 

NB: The list is now updated with these two items removed. Awesomeness.

KMA2720 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!

KMA2685 Return Of The Grievous Angel: A Tribute To Gram Parsons

A Taranna score…

Gram Parsons was a flash of brilliance who gave us so much music, showed so much promise, then burned out instead of fading away.

This compilation is filled to the brim with amazing artists paying tribute to Parsons’ songs. The album benefited Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation’s “Campaign for a Landmine Free World.”

You get the Pretenders & Emmylou Harris, Cowboy Junkies, Beck & Emmylou Harris, Evan Dando & Juliana Hatfield, the Mavericks, Chris Hillman & Steve Earle, Sheryl Crow & Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams & David Crosby, Wilco, Whiskeytown, Gillian Welch, and the Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers.

See what I mean? Every song is eulogy, every song is praise, every song is pure in thanks to Gram.

Beautiful.

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!

KMA2434 2017 Christmas Goodies

Each year I do a quick post of the goodness that has come my way from the holidays. Of course, most importantly, we were able to spend time with family and friends. And watching the kids tear through their stuff in record times was fun (and unnerving). As it should be.

My main gift this year was a new chair, a recliner. It’s pretty sweet, and I’m adjusting to it – I’m a bit tall for most chairs, so I’m figuring out how to maximize my use of it. But this is a music site, so I’ll share a few other things that might interest you guys…

CD (in alphabetical order):

Yup, the 2CD last-ever concert of Sabbath, oh baby… I’ve been wanting that case/lang/veirs album for a long time, right on… these two CCR albums (Green River, Pendulum) are the 40th anniversary releases, with bonus tracks, so now I wants them all…and the Motörhead covers album just pleases me to no end. Can’t wait to dig in!

LP:

 

 

 

 

 

This one’s from James. He probably got tired of telling me to buy the damn thing and just got it for me himself! Hooray! Thanks heaps James!!

DVD:

Letterkenny is also from James (thanks again, Dude!). It’s been recommended to us many times, as it is apparently sure to remind my lovely wife and I of where we grew up (the fictitious place of the show is based on a town about 20 minutes from our own home towns). Looking forward to seeing what’s up… Rogue One and The Force Awakens were ones I should already own and didn’t so here they awesomely are… and the two Tragically Hip DVDs are gonna be glorious and sad and wonderful and painful and awesome and, yeah, mostly awesome but also sad.

Birthday For Christmas:

I also got something awesome for myself. Which I know you’re not supposed to do. But I have good reason… see, I was given an Amazon gift card for my birthday, back in July. Over the past few months I’ve spent that thing a million and one times already without ever actually using it, just browsing and checking things out. Good thing they don’t expire! Well, last night I found a ridiculous post-Christmas sale on something I really wanted (and let’s be honest, I really need it too!), aaaaaaand it’s ordered. I will be sure to do a seperate post about it when it arrives, maybe even an unboxing if all goes well. I am so excited about this. Oh baby!

NB:

My final post for 2017 will be my annual year-end list. I’m still agonizing over the final details, but I promise to have it posted before the new year, which only gives me a couple of days… Stay tuned!

***

Thanks for reading – not just this post, but for every post you read. We really love this community and we thank you all for making us a part of it!

KMA2426 Thrift Store Religion

This one needs a disclaimer:

I give all deference to anyone’s beliefs. I do. I really do. This post is just pointing out something I’ve noticed, recently. And now you’re wondering what the hell I’m gonna say. Well, read on!

***

There’s a piped-in radio at our work. We have no say in what gets played. It’s been Christmas music lately, of course. Not my favourite, but it’s only temporary.

Thankfully, it’s not non-stop Christmas music, they’ve been playing regular pop music mixed in. And with those mixed in songs, I’ve been noticing that there has also been an increase in overtly religious songs in the playlist. Related to Christmas? Probably. Or maybe it’s just random chance. But I noticed.

Here are 5 songs I heard in heavy rotation last week, mixed in with Jingle Bell Rock and Blue Christmas:

Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky

Yes, the original. And if ever there was an overt religious song, it’s this one. You’ve heard it. You know.

Beach Boys – God Made The Radio

I generally appreciate the Beach Boys and what they were, but I’ve always found this song insipid and obnoxious, one of the worst in their catalogue. And every time it plays, all I can think is that God did not make the radio. A long list of human inventors discovered electromagnetic waves and subsequently built machines to use them. I don’t care how good your harmonies are, science made the radio.

Dishwalla – Counting Blue Cars

“Tell me all your thoughts on God, ‘cos I’d really like to meet her.” The story of a child asking a zillion questions, as “children often do.” Fun to purport that God is a woman (and why not, although Christianity seems certain it’s a man, who sent HIS Son, etc), and curiosity is great in anyone, but this one plays like pure calculation. like, ‘hey man, if we mention God in our song, and make it a woman, but package it as something relatable like a kid being curious, we might get radio play!’

Joan Osbourne – One Of Us

An OK tune the first couple of times I heard it, but every play after that (and it’s been countless times, in groceries stores, dentists’ offices, shopping malls, etc), has been annoying. And look, if God was “a slob like one of us,” “just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home,” well, first of all… where is that bus going, straight up? Don’t people believe heaven is in the sky? Shouldn’t it be a plane, not a bus? And if God is here on the earth amongst us, dealing with commuter traffic, who’s running things upstairs? It all hurts my head.

George Harrison – My Sweet Lord

Yup, he’s here too, and George was my favourite Beatle. I know a lot of his music was about spirituality in one way or another, but this has had a lot of play at work too and so here it is on the list because you know what it says too.

***

In Sum:

I’m just pointing out that I noticed an increase in the number of songs containing religious overtones and references on my workplace music system. It’s unusual for this many to be played daily. Again, it’s probably the proximity to a Christian holiday that’s brought this on. I also have not heard a single Hannukah song.

What’s probably worse is that my co-workers hum along and don’t pay any attention to the words. The tunes are catchy enough to grab their ear and attention, and the songs are played at just that volume that they can be heard but they don’t demand your full attention, and so the content doesn’t phase them. If they’re Christians, these tunes are great, but it’s pretty subliminal if they’re not. Of course, they also hum along to that horrid I can’t feel my face song, too, so it’s equal opportunity.

Fortunately, I am off all of this coming week. And with all the work holidays for Christmas and other days off when the production team (that’s me) isn’t in the building, I only work two days between now and January 2. By then, the Christmas music should be gone, and we can go (hopefully) back to our regular pap pop.

KMA2418 Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival: Healing The Divide – A Concert For Peace And Reconciliation

Welcome to the last day of this brilliant Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival. Hope you’ve had as much as we did with this one! Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts from all the writers involved in the series. And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!

***

This is a fascinating CD. I cribbed this from Amazon, which oughta tell you everything you need to know about it:

In September 2003, actor Richard Gere introduced a brief address by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, an evolved soul if ever there was one. The two men hosted a benefit concert at New York’s Avery Fischer Hall to raise funds for Healing the Divide, a humanitarian organization founded by Gere and dedicated to fostering understanding between East and West. The Gyuto Tantric Choir’s deep, overtone-laced throat singing opens the festivities. Appropriately enough, Tom Waits, hoarse and rumbly-tumbly as ever, is up next, appearing with the eternally questing and utterly fearless Kronos Quartet, as is Gambian kora (a West African harp-lute) virtuoso Foday Musa Suso. The latter also sits in with minimalist composer Philip Glass and his ensemble–an unexpectedly thrilling juxtaposition. The beautiful and brilliant young Indian mistress of the sitar, Anoushka Shankar (daughter of Ravi), shoots sparks while N. Carlos Nakai’s Native American wooden flute is heard in an ineffably spacious and moving peace chant with Tibetan musician/composer Nawang Khechog. Each of the artists involved and the record label are donating all their proceeds from the sale of this commemorative CD to the Tibetan Health Initiative, a program providing health insurance and medical care for refugee Buddhist monks and nuns. But aside from offering a painless opportunity for accruing positive karma, these awe-inspiring live tracks would be a bargain at double the price. –Christina Roden

As for my own take on it, after all that, I’ll tell you that I could not help but be pulled deep into this disc. It’s so different from what I usually play, and utterly intriguing and fully immersive, that as it unfolded it quickly became one of the best discs I’ve heard in a long time! This is how we expand our horizons and learn new things… And of course, anything with Tom Waits (with Kronos Quartet, no less!) is worth every penny. Buy this with confidence.

 

KMA2417 Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival: American Roots Songbook: The Blues – From Yesterday’s Masters To Today’s Cutting Edge

Welcome back to the Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival! The festival runs December 1st-10th, across many blogs in the Community… Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts as we go along! And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!

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This one’s super-easy for me – I loved it!

Me and the blues go way back. I was listening to old blues in high school and haven’t ever quit. Of course, I had no real perspective on it, back when I got started in it, but I was learning. And what happened in the listening was it got deep into my blood and never left.

This comp is amazing. Discogs struggled to nail down how they wanted to label it, check it out:

“Genre: Jazz, Rock, Funk / Soul, Blues, Folk, World, & Country

Style: Piedmont Blues, Blues Rock, Chicago Blues, Rockabilly, Jump Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Piano Blues, Delta Blues, Boogie Woogie, Soul, Folk, Swing”

Whew! Whatever label, the playing is stellar, the tracks are killer, and this comp is one I will play often, any time of day and any day of the week.

Track Listing:

01 Rev. Gary Davis – Cross And Evil Woman Blues
02 Michael Bloomfield – Memphis Radio Blues
03 Duke Robillard – Sayin’ Don’t Make It So
04 Debbie Davies – I Just Want To Make Love To You
05 Anders Osborne – Boxes, Bills And Pain
06 Pinetop Perkins – Hoochie Coochie Man
07 Sue Foley – Every Road I Take
08 Curtis Salgado – Cookie Dough
09 Otis Taylor – Stone Pony
10 Stefan Grossman – Love, Devils And The Blues

KMA2416 Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival: The Birth Of Surf

Welcome back to the Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival! The festival runs December 1st-10th, across many blogs in the Community… Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts as we go along! And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!

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There are tons of surf music compilations out there, but most of them leave me wanting more because I can always think of songs they should have added. Also, many comps like this (especially the real budget ones) have varying sound quality from track to track, which definitely downgrades the experience.

Then I stumbled across this UK comp and was blown away. Compiled by Pipeline Magazine, the 26 tracks here represent a fantastic overview of early surf music. Not a bad one in the bunch! It really captures how surf music burgeoned out of 50s rock and because its own thing in the early 60s. Love that Danelectro twang… Also, the sound quality is excellent across the, er, board.

And yes, I had more than one Pulp Fiction flashback as I listened to this haha.

Apparently, there are a vol.2 and vol.3 out there too. I wants them!

Check it out!

KMA2415 Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival – Vintage Sex Songs

Welcome back to the Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival! The festival runs December 1st-10th, across many blogs in the Community… Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts as we go along! And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!

***

This entire compilation pleased me to no end. 40 tracks of jump blues, swing and ragtime – all about sex, often couched in double entendre (though sometimes not!). What a great listen, seriously.

This is a euro comp from a label called Primo, who remastered everything and sent this out into the world for our amusement and edification in 2008.

If you ever happen across a copy of this set, don’t even hesitate. It’s pure glorious. So much fun!

Tracklist

CD1

1-1 The Swallows – It Ain’t The Meat (It’s The Motion)
1-2 Bullmoose Jackson – I Want A Bow-Legged Woman
1-3 Crown Prince Waterford – Move Your Hand Baby
1-4 Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon – It Must Be Jelly (‘Cos Jam Don’t Shake Like That)
1-5 Wynonie Harris – She Kept On Sittin’ On It All The Time
1-6 Julia Lee – King Sized Papa
1-7 Sister Rosetta Tharpe – I Want A Tall Skinny Papa
1-8 Mabel Scott – Just Give Me A Man
1-9 Connie Allen – Rocket 69
1-10 Cleo Gibson – I’ve Got Ford Engine Movements In My Hips
1-11 Margaret Carter – I Want Plenty Of Grease In My Frying Pan
1-12 Sippie Wallace – A Man For Every Day Of The Week
1-13 Fats Noel – Ride Daddy Ride
1-14 Jimmy Preston – Hucklebuck Baby
1-15 Papa Charlie Jackson – You Put It In, I’ll Take It Out
1-16 Al Miller – I Found Your Keyhole
1-17 Jimmie Gordon – Bed Springs Blues
1-18 Roosevelt Sykes – My Baby’s Playground
1-19 Memphis Minnie – Keep On Eatin’
1-20 Bessie Smith – I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl

CD2

2-1 Lillie Mae Kirkman – He’s Just My Size
2-2 Barrelhouse Annie – If It Don’t Fit, Don’t Force It
2-3 Sippie Wallace – I’m A Mighty Tight Woman
2-4 Johnny Temple – Sit Right On It
2-5 The Treniers – Poon Tang
2-6 Lowell Fulson – Let Me Ride In Your Little Automobile
2-7 Lightnin’ Hopkins – Let Me Play With Your Poodle
2-8 Charlie Pickett – Let Me Squeeze Your Lemon
2-9 Bo Carter – My Pencil Won’t Write No More
2-10 The Mississippi Sheiks – Driving That Thing
2-11 Lonnie Johnson – The Best Jockey In Town
2-12 John Lee Hooker – My Daddy Was A Jockey
2-13 Blind Boy Fuller – Sweet Honey Hole
2-14 Jazz Gillum – Sarah Jane
2-15 Wynonie Harris – I Want My Fanny Brown
2-16 Victoria Spivey – Good Cabbage
2-17 Lil Johnson – Sam The Hot Dog Man
2-18 Bo Carter – Banana In Your Fruit Basket
2-19 Floyd Dixon – Baby Let’s Go Down To The Woods
2-20 Lucille Bogan – Shave ‘Em Dry

KMA2414 Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival: Atlantic Jazz – Be Bop

Welcome back to the Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival! The festival runs December 1st-10th, across many blogs in the Community… Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts as we go along! And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!

***

Do I even need to say anything about this? I hope not, for a couple of reasons. First, I hope the names and songs you see in the track listing (below) are enough to make you say ‘holy shit, that’s an amazing mix!’ Because it really, really is. Second, writing about jazz is hard, for me anyway. I don’t have words when I listen to this stuff. It’s all visceral, elemental. It just goes into my blood and I know… but I couldn’t tell you how or why or all the reasons for its brilliance. It just is.

So. Seven tracks of be bop. This disc was amazing. Trust me!

 

Track Listing (Shamelessly copied from Discogs, tidied up by me):

1 Dizzy Gillespie – Our Love Is Here To Stay

Baritone Saxophone – Bill Graham
Bass – Percy Heath
Drums – Al Jones
Producer – Ahmet Ertegun, Herb Abramson
Trumpet – Dizzy Gillespie
Vibraphone – Milt Jackson
Written-By – George & Ira Gershwin

2 Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey – Evidence

Bass – Spanky DeBrest
Drums – Art Blakey
Engineer – Earl Brown
Piano – Thelonious Monk
Producer – Nesuhi Ertegun
Tenor Saxophone – Johnny Griffin
Trumpet – Bill Hardman
Written-By – Thelonious Monk

3 John Coltrane, Milt Jackson – Bebop

Bass – Paul Chambers
Drums – Connie Kay
Engineer – Tom Dowd
Piano – Hank Jones
Producer – Nesuhi Ertegun
Tenor Saxophone – John Coltrane
Vibraphone – Milt Jackson
Written-By – Dizzy Gillespie

4 Sonny Stitt – Ko-Ko

Alto Saxophone – Sonny Stitt
Bass – Richard Davis
Drums – Connie Kay
Electric Guitar – Jim Hall
Engineer – Tom Dowd
Piano – John Lewis
Producer – Ahmet Ertegun, Arif Mardin, John Lewis
Written-By – Charlie Parker

5 Philly Joe Jones – Salt Peanuts

Bass – Paul Chambers
Cornet – Michael Downs
Drums – Philly Joe Jones
Engineer – Phil Iehle, Tom Dowd
Piano – Walter Davis
Producer – Nesuhi Ertegun
Tenor Saxophone – Bill Barron
Written-By – Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke

6 Max Roach – Almost Like Me

Bass – Art Davis
Drums – Max Roach
Engineer – Tom Dowd
Piano – Hasaan Ibn Ali
Producer – Arif Mardin
Written-By – Hasaan Ibn Ali

7 The Giants Of Jazz – Allen’s Alley

Alto Saxophone – Sonny Stitt
Bass – Al McKibbon
Drums – Art Blakey
Piano – Thelonious Monk
Producer – George Wein
Trombone – Kai Winding
Trumpet – Dizzy Gillespie
Written-By – Denzil Best

Oh baby!

KMA2412 Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival: Milestones – 20 Rock Operas

Welcome back to the Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival! The festival runs December 1st-10th, across many blogs in the Community… Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts as we go along! And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!

***

This 1990 budget compilation is a brilliant listen. It’s the kind of set you can throw on, do other things, and let the time pass as the songs take you away.

The list of artists is impressive, and the songs are all worthy of inclusion: check out the track list photie (below). I couldn’t find what criteria the makers of this comp used when defining ‘rock opera,’ (I mean, some were obvious, not so with others to me, anyway) but no matter. I let the tunes do the talking and all was well.

Check it out:

KMA2411 Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival: The Earthquake Album

Welcome back to the Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival! The festival runs December 1st-10th, across many blogs in the Community… Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts as we go along! And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!

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Here’s another oddity (to me). Y’all probably know all about this one, already.

Compiled by the British music industry for Rock Aid Armenia to aid those affected by the 1988 Armenian earthquake disaster, it was the first UK charity album to go gold. There were (apparently) a series of singles and compilations in the project.

I can see why. This edition I have here is a cool, if slightly weird, mix of amazing bands all in one place.

The first track merits further information for your edification… Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water ’90”:

The project is most remembered for a re-recording of Deep Purple’s famous hit song, “Smoke on the Water”, with different vocalists singing each verse. The single made it to the UK Top 40 Singles Chart. The track was recorded by an elite group of contemporary progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal musicians who gathered at the historic Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, London. Recording began on July 8, 1989 and was completed over 5 different sessions.

The rock musicians involved in the recording of the song included Bryan Adams, Ritchie Blackmore, Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Downes, Keith Emerson, Ian Gillan, David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Alex Lifeson, Brian May, Paul Rodgers, Chris Squire and Roger Taylor. John Paul Jones and Jon Lord were credited as “helping” behind the scenes with the track. The track’s producers were Gary Langan and Geoff Downes. Talent co-ordination for the record was overseen by Jon Dee, with David Gilmour being the first to join up after a call from Dee. Ian Gillan’s manager Phil Banfield also helped out with talent recruitment. “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath was used as a B-Side for the releases.

In 1990, the song was released again with an alternate mix, one example of which was released by Dino Music, which unlike the rest, had “Black Night” also by Deep Purple as a B-side and had Tony Iommi’s name incorrectly spelt on the front of it. (Wiki)

It was even a making-of video:

The recording sessions for the re-recording of “Smoke on the Water” were filmed and released in the same year on video as Rock Aid Armenia: The Making of Smoke on the Water, along with interviews and a video clip for the single. Film producer Paul Lovell produced and edited the final extended version of the documentary which was released on Laser Disc and VHS in Japan in 1991. (Wiki)

But the rest of the disc is cool too. Overall the mix is pretty damn consistent. Sabbath and Maiden are the heaviest here, but even they fit in alright, all of the tunes are on about the same wavelength. I say right on, good for everyone that this got made, and if it went gold that means (hopefully) that a lot of relief money got sent to those who needed it most. Mixes like this can sometimes be a weird listen, but this one contains a lot of great bands and does a pretty good job all the way through.

KMA2409 Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival: The Royal Concert

Welcome back to the Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival! The festival runs December 1st-10th, across many blogs in the Community… Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts as we go along! And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!

***

I had to do a wee bit of detective work for this one, as the packaging on this set was shite for information.

Nowhere in the minimal booklet is it indicated where or when this concert was held. I found A&M Records listing 1987 (this Telstar version followed in 1989), and the bigger clue was the Prince’s Trust which, as you know, is Prince Charles’ long-standing charity in the UK to help young people.

Being like Sherlock as I am, I followed the information I had: Prince’s Trust and 1987, as well as the artist list on the back cover. The interwubs told me that the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Trust (1976) saw an all-star rock concert held at Wembley Stadium in 1986… An Eric Clapton fan site (which tracks every show Clapton has done) informed me it was held June 20, 1986…

So.  Setlist.fm shows more of the same artists as are on this CD set than does the 1987 listing they have, but the 1986 listing only gives artist names, not the actual set played that night. I have no idea if this is the whole concert, though it is a 2CD set so… probably? Also, on this set the songs are split up – e.g. Elton John plays three songs, but one is on CD1 and the other two are on CD2. I would guess he played them all back to back that night, since he was already on stage? Etc.

Ah well, I am reasonably certain that I have the right gig tracked down. As you can see by the set list (below) it was a pretty stellar cast of players all night long. It really dates itself with Midge Ure, Level 42, Paul Young and Howard Jones. I had no idea who Labi Siffre* or Mark King & Mike Lindup (Level 42, but I never knew the players’ names) are until I saw the names here. But I was pleased to see Big Country (I like that band lots!) and Joan Armatrading is a cool addition. And how cool is it to have Ben E. King there to sing Stand By Me? Exactly.

The big names you know well, of course, and the versions of popular songs are all pretty damn good. I enjoyed the covers, including Phil Collins and Paul Young’s Motown romp and Righteous Brothers tune besides, and Bryan Adams and Dave Edmunds doing Dion is cool, although I wish Adams had taken a turn singing verses. Early on, I cracked up when Phil Collins, before starting In The Air Tonight, said “Now I know what you’re saying… You’re all saying that he’s going to play that bloody song again. Well, I am.” Haha get ‘em, Phil!

The quality’s decent enough, and the versions are good, so I call this one a win. Even though it took me a while to figure out what and when this even was.

 

*Turns out I really should have known who Labi Siffre is. But look at me! I am learning new things!

KMA2408 Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival: Songs And Artists That Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11

Welcome back to the Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival! The festival runs December 1st-10th, across many blogs in the Community… Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts as we go along! And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!

***

Here’s a good one for a recharge of your righteous indignation battery. As the title says, it’s songs and artists that inspired Fahrenheit 9/11, the 2004 documentary by Michael Moore.

There was a soundtrack released for the film as well, with a different track listing entirely

Lots of great anti-war stuff here, like we’ve been zapped back to the ideologies of the 60s (fair point: Dylan has three tracks here, one by him and two covers of his songs). I dug a lot of the songs, live or studio, right up until the Jeff Buckley cover of Hallelujah. I have already stated, in these pages, that I am not a fan of this cover (or any cover) of that song. It’s only Leonard’s original version for me, everyone else misses the point of it completely. Mix-wise, I also question its inclusion here – I don’t think it fits the mix at all, better to end on the Nanci Griffith track. Ah well.

In the liner notes, it says “Ultimately this record speaks to the responsibility we all have as citizens to act upon our beliefs. This is our country, our world. We can help shape its future or we can have others do it for us.” Let’s break that down, as I get what they mean but the wording is interesting:

“Ultimately this record speaks to the responsibility we all have as citizens to act upon our beliefs.” You are acting on your beliefs and so are they. Thinking your way is the only way is what you gets you into all of these messes.

“This is our country, our world.” Excuse me, your world? Really? Ah hubris.

“We can help shape its future or we can have others do it for us.” This I agree with, except I’d have better worded it as “We can help shape its future by working towards peaceful resolution of conflict, pulling troops out of foreign countries (especially when the real reason is oil), and generally stopping being the manipulative power-hungry global bully. Then, perhaps, others wouldn’t feel so compelled to strike back.

Man, I try to leave politics out of this blog, and yet, look at me go. I just get so tired of all the conflict and drama and war. Resources, finance and greed. Perhaps we’re beyond repair, perhaps this will go on and on and my kids will be hearing the same damn thing in the news long after I’m gone. But discs like this remind us it doesn’t have to be that way. We can be peaceful. It isn’t likely, but we could and it’s worth holding on to the potential.

Anyway, most of the rest of the disc is a worthwhile listen. Have a look at the track list!

KMA2407 Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival: The Official 1991 (20th Anniversary) Juno Awards Collection

Welcome to the Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival! The festival runs December 1st-10th, across many blogs in the Community… Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts as we go along! And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!

***

I start off my contributions with a bit of a weird set. You see…

Discogs doesn’t list this, neither does Amazon. Google doesn’t even find it.

There is no barcode or label information anywhere on the packaging. But it still looks like an official release, manufactured by Cinram in Canada. So while I don’t know what this is, precisely (besides the obvious, that it is a compilation of Juno Award artists from 1991, natch!), I can surmise that perhaps it was handed out at the Juno event that year, as on the very back inside page of the included booklet it says NOT FOR SALE. Who knows. I can’t find anything about it, not even an image online!

It’s quite a mix (as you can see by the shite photie of the track listings). Lots of favourites here, several Canuck evergreens, a bit of a time capsule for the songs included (check out the Hip, Rush, Colin James, Maestro Fresh Wes! oh my). There are several classical pieces included here, which made me happy indeed. And there are several folks here about whom I knew nothing prior to buying this set (Susan Hammond, Mike Murley, Simply Majestic and B. Cool, Jayson & Friends). I am a bit miffed that I now have Celine Dion and Rita MacNeil in my collection (not my cuppa), but what the hell. Saving the whole thing, though, is the grand master, Leonard Cohen. Lovely!

As you can imagine, it’s a bit of an uneven listen, but not any weirder than putting my entire iTunes collection on shuffle… if you could somehow filter only Canadian artists in 1991…

Check out the shite photies (below), for which I apologize. My iPhone’s camera has stuff in front of the lens on the inside where I cannot get at it without dismantling the phone. I may soon have an updated (for me) iPhone, though, so perhaps by the new year I’ll have things clearer for you! I did try to get a picture of the front cover (above), the back cover with the track listing (below), and the sponsor page where it says NOT FOR SALE (bottom left corner of that last shite photie, below).

Also included in the booklet: four pages of all the artists nominated that year, with printed checkmarks beside the winners’ names… which tells me it was done well after the show? If so… how long after…?; two pages with the track list and all accompanying label/album information for each track; and two pages of all the (then current) contact details for management of every artist on the compilation… which makes me think this was handed out to the judges, or insider people in the crowd who might want to arrange tours or recordings with the acts… That last page indicates the set was presented by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS)… I wonder how many copies were even made…

I just don’t know how this set came about, so I don’t know if I have a rarity here, or not. But it’s a cool enough 2CD mix, and I’m happy it’s here!

KMA2388 Classic Rock Gold

I picked up this 2CD set for cheap and it does the job. It has all the songs you’ve heard a zillion times and (mostly) don’t mind hearing a zillion and one. I’ve been playing it in the car for the kids, and they really seem to like it.

I will admit, for myself, that I wasn’t as familiar with Head East’s Never Been Any Reason, nor was it necessarily the best track here, but so be it. Also, if I were in charge of the mix, I wouldn’t have wedged Evil Ways between the energy of Born To Be Wild and American Woman to start CD1. Ah well. The whole mix pretty much sounds like a day’s playlist for any of your animal-themed classic rock radio stations. And it’s got Lunatic Fringe, which we were just reading about over on 2loud2oldmusic blog.

One total oversiiiiiight about this mix is the omission of Mountain’s Mississippi Queen. I mean, seriously. That song owns.

Track Listing:

Disc One:

1 Steppenwolf – “Born to Be Wild” (3:30) (Bonfire) (1968)
2 Santana – “Evil Ways” (3:57) (Henry/Zack) (1970)
3 Guess Who – “American Woman” (5:07) (Bachman/Cummings/Kale/Peterson) (1970)
4 Free – “All Right Now” (5:30) (Rodgers/Fraser) (1973)
5 Jethro Tull – “Locomotive Breath” (4:33) (Anderson) (1972)
6 James Gang – “Walk Away” (3:34) (Walsh) (1972)
7 Rod Stewart – “Maggie May” (5:46) (Stewart) (1971)
8 Ten Years After – “I’d Love to Change the World” (3:44) (Lee) (1971)
9 Hollies – “Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)” (3:17) (Clarke/Cook/Greenaway) (1972)
10 Edgar Winter Group – “Frankenstein” (4:45) (Winter) (1973)
11 Elton John – “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” (4:55) (John/Taupin) (1973)
12 Grand Funk Railroad – “We’re An American Band” (3:26) (Brewer) (1974)
13 Joe Walsh – “Rocky Mountain Way” (5:16) (Walsh/Grace/Passarelli/Vitale) (1973)
14 Doobie Brothers – “China Grove” (3:16) (Johnston) (1974)
15 Golden Earring – “Radar Love” (6:25) (Hay/Kooymans) (1974)
16 Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Sweet Home Alabama” (4:41) (Van Zant/King/Rossington) (1974)
17 Bachman–Turner Overdrive – “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (3:53) (Bachman) (1974)

Disc Two:

1 Bad Company – “Bad Company” (4:48) (Rodgers/Kirke) (1973)
2 Nazareth – “Hair of the Dog” (4:09) (1975)
3 Head East – “Never Been Any Reason” (5:11) (1975)
4 Foghat – “Slow Ride” [Single version] (3:56) (Peverett) (1976)
5 Peter Frampton – “Show Me the Way” [Live] (4:39) (Frampton) (1976)
6 Blue Öyster Cult – “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (5:09) (Roeser) (1976)
7 Foreigner – “Cold as Ice” [Single version] (3:20) (Gramm/Jones) (1977)
8 Ted Nugent – “Cat Scratch Fever” (3:39) (Nugent) (1978)
9 Cars – “Just What I Needed” (3:45) (Ocasek) (1979)
10 Eddie Money – “Two Tickets to Paradise” (3:49) (Money) (1978)
11 Cheap Trick – “I Want You to Want Me” [Live] (3:42) (Nielsen) (1979)
12 .38 Special – “Hold On Loosely” (4:40) (Barnes/Carlisi/Peterik) (1981)
13 Red Rider – “Lunatic Fringe” (4:22) (Cochrane) (1981)
14 Billy Idol – “White Wedding” (4:13) (Idol) (1982)
15 Scorpions – “Rock You Like a Hurricane” (4:12) (Schenker/Meine/Rarebell) (1984)
16 Whitesnake – “Here I Go Again” (4:35) (Coverdale/Marsden) (1987)

KMA2327 Wanna Go To Taranna

A successful day in the big (sh)city for me and my Dad! Lots to tell, but it’s late, I did a lot of driving and walking (I’m tired) and there’s work and getting the kids to school in the morning… Still, the least I can do is report back on today’s adventures real quick…

Traffic was non-existant (Mike, our next trip should be on a Sunday!), the weather said rain but we got sunny and warm, and the city was alive with people and festivals and awesome.

Parked up at Bloor, saw that Honest Ed’s is gone. The signs are still there but the store is empty. End of an era. I hit up BMV and Dad went off and did his thing. I could have spent SO much in BMV, it’s crazy. Really quality stock, as always. I was thrilled to see they have turned all their CDs with spines up so you can scan the titles without flipping – an excellent development. I didn’t get a whole of time with the LPs, but they have a ton…

Here are my BMV Scores (all CD):

Soooo much greatness here, eh? Wowzers!

NB: The Iron & Wine, Chuck Brown/Eva Cassidy and Jeff “Tain” Watts came from the 3-for-$10 bin.

NB: I wish Watts had a song called “Bartók” on his Bar Talk album. Alas, he does not. Missed opportunity, that.

***

Dad and I then met at Paupers for lunch (awesome as always), and walked down through the Annex to Chinatown. Kensington Market was jammed with people, as some sort of Art Festival was going on. The whole area was blocked off to cars, and people were dancing and singing and doing things (one lady was a Poet For Hire. Give her money and a topic, and she would type you out a new poem on the spot on her old Underwood). I hit up Sonic Boom while Dad went off and did his thing.

My Sonic Boom Scores (all CD):

Holy mackerel, what a pile of awesome! And again, as is always the case with Sonic Boom, several of these were either $0.99 or $2.99. And I could have spent soooo much more in there, too. I had a basket full and made myself go through and put stuff back. It was painful.

NB: The Buddy Guy is a high school nostalgia grab for me. I loved that set then, and I bet I will now.

NB: The 10,000 Maniacs was one I said I’d watch for when I put Quit on the three records of theirs I have (during their All The Everything series post, a while back). And here it is! It’s a hits disc and a rarities disc together. Right on.

NB: Granelli is a jazz drummer. DJ Stinkin’ Rich is a Buck 65 alias. Oh baby.

NB: The Evens includes Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi). With my three (3!) Fugazi scores at BMV as well, it was an Ian MacKaye kind of day.

NB: Though it was new CD full price, the Cowboy Junkies had to come home. Check out who guests on it: Skydiggers, Sarah Harmer, Hawksley Workman, Jason Collett, Doug Paisley, Lee Harevy Osmond, The Good Family, Martin Tielli & Dave Clark, The Screwed, Reid Jamieson, Harlan Pepper, Jessy Bell Smith, The Potion Kings, Ivy Mairi… Wow!

NB: The Greg MacPherson… I texted James did he need it, it was only $0.99. Nope, he had it already and likes it alot, said I should get it for myself and if I didn’t like it, he would give me $0.99. Challenge accepted!

NB: The Jam tribute is cool. Yes, it has Oasis twats on it, but it has Beastie Boys too so that makes it all better.

***

So then we walked back up to the car, blasted out of town. Quick bite to eat in Orangeville (watching some of the Memorial Cup hockey game on TV – Windsor beat Erie 4-3), then home.

***

And there you have it. A busy day encapsulated in one short-ish post. You’ll see all of these albums in the All The Everything series, eventually. At least now you know from whence they came. Also, sad to report I did not find one single Grail List item for anyone. Sorry, folks. I tried! I really did (the list was in my phone)! Ah well, next time.

Thanks, Taranna!

KMA2302 Good Friday Jamming

Back when I was a stay-at-home Dad, a job I proudly undertook for three years, I would often leave the iTunes on random play for my whole collection and let it play away in the background all day long. This was a great way to introduce the kids to awesome tunes, and a way for some small part of the day to about something for Daddy…

As time has gone on, I’ve gotten out of this practice, focussing more on individual albums. This is also fun, but not nearly as, er, random.

But this past Good Friday, the whole family was home and I thought I’d try out the ol’ random play manouver again. The kids, who are older now, were busy playing and quickly tuned it out. My lovely wife was probably listening, but she never says much unless it’s a song she likes. As for me, I loved it!

Right now, my collection in iTunes looks like this:

47,508 items, 131.3 days, 179.57GB

That’s right, I’m approaching 50,000 tracks! Heh heh, that’s a wee bit!

Anyway, iTunes also keeps track of everything played previously, so I went back and collected up what we heard during my first trip back to random land!

Radiohead – How Do You?
Donovan Frankenreiter – Bend In The Road
Leonard Cohen – Le Manic (live)
Pavement – Harness Your Hopes
Rush – Red Sector A
Good Pinsent & Keelor – Shadows In The Sun
Haywire – Wild Wild
Bonnie Raitt – About To Make Me Leave Home
Nick Buzz – If You Go Away
Duke Ellington – Sound Track Music: Anatomy Of A Murder
Guided By Voices – He Rises! Our Union
Robert Pollard – Run Son Run
Dropkick Murphys – Far Away Coast
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell – Old Yellow Moon
Mastodon – Bedazzled Fingernails
Ani DiFranco – Subdivision
Hank Williams – My Son Calls Another Man Daddy
Glenn Miller – Everybody Loves My Baby
Dream Theater – A Change Of Seasons II: Innocence
Ozzy Osbourne – Mississippi Queen
Marillion – Assassing (single version)
Candlebox – Arrow
Meat Loaf – The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be
Mozart – Serenade No.10 in Bb minor, K361 “Gran Partita IV: Adagio
Mother Love Bone – Holy Roller
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Pearl Jam – Low Light
Fats Domino – I Want To Walk You Home
Songhoy Blues – Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Slayer – Filler / I Don’t Want Hear It
Headstones – Swinging
54-40 – Cheer Up Peru
Watertown – I’m Looking For A Love To Call My Own
Slash (f. Myles Kennedy) – Not For Me
New Morty Show – Terri (With The Delicate Hands)
Sarah McLachlan – Elsewhere
Frank Sinatra – Glad To Be Unhappy
Slipknot – Eyeless
Michael Franti & Spearhead – Radio Segment
Pussy Galore – Don’t Jones Me
Jeff Healey & The Jazz Wizards – Someday Sweetheart
Beatles – Nothin’ Shakin’ (BBC)
Pixies – River Euphrates
Modest Mouse – The Stars Are Projectors
Water – Thoughts
Dire Straits – Why Worry
John Lee Hooker – Crawlin’ Kingsnake
Pack A.D. – Hardtack Saloon #2
Kinks – Sunny Afternoon
Van Morrison – Little Village
Robert Pollard – Something Strawberry
Fleetwood Mac – I Don’t Want To Know
Wolfstone – The Howl
David Hillyard & The Rocksteady Seven – Father & Son
Gits – Social Love
Weezer – Peace
Mötley Crüe – Planet Boom
Gipsy Kings – Baila Me
Rheostatics – Power Ballad For Ozzy Osbourne
Pavement – Father To A Sister Of Thought
Live – Selling The Drama
Headpins – Just One More Time
Circus Devils – The Other Heart
Massive Attack – Spying Glass
Foreskin 500 – Superfamily
Buzzcocks – Paradise
Jeen O’Brien – Side By Side
Gordon Lightfoot – I Used To Be A Country Singer
Meta-Stasis – Space Occupying Lesion
James Keelaghan – Canadian Railroad Trilogy
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Free Girl Now
Coverdale/Page – Shake My Tree
Beastie Boys – Mullet Head
Hawksley Workman – A House Or Maybe A Boat
Rolling Stones – Rip This Joint
Duran Duran – Is There Something I Should Know
Black Flag – You Gotta Be Joking
Roots – BOOM! (f. Dice Raw)
Green Day – Reject
John Coltrane – Mr. P.C.
Psycho And The Birds – Oh My Chosen One
Louis Armstrong – Body And Soul
Spirit Of The West – Tell Me What I Think
Clarence Carter – Dr. C.C.
Serena Ryder – Is It O.K.
Robert Pollard – Motion Sickness Ghosts
Iron Maiden – The Aftermath

If I counted correctly, that’s 87 tunes. Assuming a 3.5 minute average, that’s 304.5 minutes, or just over 5 hours.

And that’s where I shut it down. It played for a good long while, and it was quite a good, eclectic mix! Some of the transitions were jarring, but it wasn’t on at a high volume as we were doing things around the house this whole time, so it was all to the good!

I daresay I’ll be jamming the random play feature again soon.

KMA2298 SLCR #277: The Last Waltz Remembered (April 5, 2017)

When I go to Calgary, I like unique concert experiences. It’s always good to see a band I like, but if I’m going to be in a bigger city anyway, I may as well go see something that isn’t going to come to Regina. And I’m pretty sure this all-star affair was a one-off.

You’re familiar with The Band, yes? And their farewell concert, the Last Waltz? Am I asking rhetorical questions so as to hide how little I actually know? Am I trying to avoid rewriting a Wikipedia article in a futile attempt to appear knowledgeable?

Replace Wikipedia with books and that was pretty much my entire university career, really.

Anyway, yes. Very famous farewell concert. 40 years ago. This show was to be a bunch of songs from that night, performed by Corb Lund, Amy Helm, Matt Andersen, and the Russell Broom House Band.

The show was at Jack Singer Concert Hall in Arts Commons. I’ve been there before but always took the train. This time, after an exceptionally lazy afternoon, I walked it. Took about 40 minutes. I wish I had something more exciting for you, but I like my walks to be uneventful, so really, I don’t.

The hall was mostly sold out. I was sitting in the first row of the mezzanine, far off to the right. After the Lyle Lovett/John Hyatt show, I was a bit concerned about my seating choice but this wasn’t really off ground level at all, so that was nice.

There was no opener, and the show got started right on time. This was my first time seeing both Andersen and Helm. Andersen had a bit of a rough start in the first song, Up On Cripple Creek, as he very clearly forgot the words to his part. As he tried to talk to Helm to figure out his spot, Corb jumped in and took over. Andersen seemed to have a good sense of humour about it – really, there’s no better option – and he redeemed himself later in the show.

Helm is the daughter of Levon Helm of The Band, a fact which became less relevant as the show went on. She may have been brought in for her name, but she has a fantastic voice and more than deserved her spot for that alone.

The first half of the show flew by. Like I hinted at, I’m not super familiar with The Last Waltz – I’ve never watched the movie or listened to the soundtrack album – but there were so many classic songs from that night that you probably know some of them. The first half included The Shape I’m In and Ophelia. Andersen, Helm, and Lund all got to perform some of their own material during the show, and during the first half, Lund played The Weight (dramatic pause) of the Gun. Possibly chosen solely so he could make that joke. The whoops from the crowd suggested that possibly Corb was the one who drew the audience.

During intermission, I could have gone for a bottle of water. However, I stopped to look at the merch table and as I did so, the lobby area filled up with an ungodly sea of humanity. Just making it back to my seat felt like a genuine achievement.

The second half was much the same as the first. Corb’s own song was This Is My Prairie, but he also did a fantastic version of Ian Tyson’s Four Small Winds. But the second half was mostly the Matt Andersen show, with a great version of Neil Young’s Helpless, followed by another song that drew a mid-set standing ovation.

The three singers would walk off stage for songs where they weren’t needed. Upon one return for Lund, someone yelled “CORB YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL,” to which Andersen simply replied “meh.” Perfectly timed.

Before the last song, Russell Broom introduced the house band, which was pretty sizeable. Including the singers, they maxed out at 11 people on stage, including a horn section and an organist who also played accordion when called for. It also turned out that the band included Chris Byrne of the Road Hammers, as well as Joey Landreth. This clarified things for me, as Landreth got to sing on a few songs and whenever he did, the folks sitting to my left were really excited.

They closed with The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and came back for an encore of I Shall Be Released and The Weight, and it was over too soon. What a great show. Fantastic performances from the three singers, and the band killed it. Highest recommendation. I mean, you’ll never get to see this, but hypothetically.

KMA2297 SLCR #276: I Love the 90s (March 30, 2017)

I can’t say that I love the 90s, really. The first four years were high school and let’s pretend that never happened. University was better, and there were various good times and new adventures and stuff, but I don’t look back at James aged 13-23 as being Prime Era James. I mean, God, I hope not.

As far as the music of the 90s, there’s a certain type of late 90s alternative that I still quite like because I am old and afraid of anything new. This show, however, was not that. Instead, we were treated to a selection of early 90s R&B and rap that isn’t really on my current playlists. But I loved some of this back in the day. Nostalgia, right? This should be fun, right?

Before the concert, Mika and I met up with Reagan, Deserée, and Reagan’s friends Dustin and Sarah for dinner. Twice, in fact, because the first place was full. I had a delightful Thai chicken pizza. Would get again. Then Mika went home because she is the only one of us with any sense. The rest of us were off to the show.

We had splurged, relatively speaking, on floor seats. Not too far back, pretty close to the centre, and I was even on an aisle. A lovely view for what was in store.

When we got to our seats, there was a party host on stage inviting people to join him for the opportunity to win Salt-N-Pepa t-shirts and a chance to dance on stage with the band. You could also just buy the shirt and get to dance with them that way too. Despite repeated requests from Deserée, I refused to take part in any of this. Anyway, the people who did go up for the contest would hear a snippet of a TV show theme – name that tune, and you get your shirt and can come back later and dance. Out of probably 20 contestants, I think they gave away three shirts. The thing is, this is I Love The 90s, right? But apart from the Jeopardy song (which is technically from the 80s or earlier anyway), it was all shows like The Odd Couple, Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days, and Welcome Back, Kotter. The host – whose name was also James – even said “you’re here because you love the 90s and the 80s and the 70s” and it’s like… no? That was never part of the deal, my dude. James seemed quite disgusted with how this all went down. As a black person, he was especially disappointed when the black contestants didn’t know the themes to Good Times, The Jeffersons, or Sanford & Son. He was also annoyed with the white guy who missed All in the Family and gave “I don’t know, I’m 35” as his excuse. Apparently age shouldn’t matter as Those Were The Days is “in the white people handbook.” Fair enough. The only contestant he seemed to like was a dude wearing a rainbow mohawk wig who grabbed the mic out of his hands and yelled FUCK YEAH and then James said FUCK YEAH and then rainbow guy said FUCK and James said FUCK and rainbow guy said IT’S MY BIRTHDAY and James said FUCK YEAH and then James said fuck like 30 more times and none of you who get reviews by email will ever see this. I’m sorry for clogging your spam filters. I should mention that rainbow guy’s theme was Knight Rider and of course he didn’t get it because he’s probably 25 and how would he know what the Knight Rider theme is?

Anyway, this may have been the highlight of the evening.

Our opener was Young MC, who also stretched the credibility of this 90s conceit as he’s known for one big hit – Bust A Move – that came out in 1989. Close enough, I guess. 1989 was quite a while ago and Young MC is pushing 50. I suppose that illustrates the danger of naming yourself “young” anything, though his actual last name is Young, so he gets a pass. He did five songs, I think, highlighting a new song called Nocturnal that is on the soundtrack to a movie he directed, possibly also called Nocturnal. He really wanted us to know about his directorial debut. Anyway, he did Bust A Move and then said that normally that was the end of his set, but he was going to give us something more (I assume every city gets something more) and asked if we remembered a song of his called Fastest Rhyme. I am 100% fine with admitting that 2017 James inherited 1989 James’ enthusiasm for Fastest Rhyme and if I could pick any one song of his for this show, that would have been it. So I was delighted, even if he did have to pause for breath in the middle of it. Though I did think it was a little funny that his only other hit single was Principal’s Office and he didn’t do that one.

Next up was Color Me Badd, the band Deserée was most looking forward to. I had always said I didn’t know anything about them, but when Mika did some YouTube research, it turned out I was actually pretty familiar with their hits. We also discovered that the Lonely Island’s Dick In A Box video is just Color Me Badd’s video for I Wanna Sex You Up reshot with new people (and some boxes).

Anyway, these guys got about 25 minutes to do a half-dozen songs and they were better than I expected. I knew all the songs, including No Diggity, which is not actually one of theirs. It reminded me of seeing Bobby Curtola and other oldies at the casino with my dad, where they play their own songs but also play random other songs from that era because you’re nostalgic for the time more than the specific artist. I can’t remember if I mentioned this then, but it would be like seeing 70-year-old Justin Bieber at the casino doing Gangnam Style and Call Me Maybe and Blurred Lines. Which could very well happen. I’ll go to his show in 2064 and report back.

In a compelling example of how expectations change one’s perception, Deserée didn’t care for Color Me Badd so much: “I was fairly disappointed with them actually. I mean, fun and nostalgic, yes. But for one thing – in 1990-whatever, I truly believed Color Me Badd was an edgy R&B group (that I had to turn down when listening to at home, because of all the sex songs). It wasn’t until dinner the other night when Mika talked about them that I realized they might actually be a boy band. And then when they came out in matching outfits (including hats) and started doing their dance moves, I realized the horrible truth. Overall though, it made me sad that the lead singer was off-key and off-time for much of it. But like I said, nostalgic and fun anyway.”

It should be noted that the crowd was very excited for all of this. Between sets, the DJ played Funky Cold Medina and people went wild for it. You didn’t really even need live musicians or rappers anymore. Just play recognizable songs and you’ve got them in the palm of your hand.

Right about now, we were about to be possessed by the sounds of MC Rob Base. Base got four or five songs too, most of which were about our hands, where we could put them (in the air), and how we could wave them (like we just don’t care). He also wanted to yell things and have us yell other things back at him. To be fair, everyone did that all night, but he was especially interested in this. He closed with It Takes Two. Of course.

We had a bit of an intermission while they set up the stage for Salt-N-Pepa. James came back out to talk to us and seemed delighted to spot his friend in the crowd. “HEY! IT’S FUCKING FUCK BIRTHDAY GUY!” Fucking Fuck Birthday Guy was delighted by the attention.

Salt-N-Pepa had about an hour-long set – the only one of the evening – and played pretty much everything you’d expect – Shoop, Push It, Whatta Man, Let’s Talk About Sex. Continuing a theme from earlier, they also played a bunch of things like Billie Jean (not 90s) and Smells Like Teen Spirit – by which I mean Spinderella just played the MP3s and everyone sang overtop them. Like I said, you didn’t really need any musicians at this point.

All the girls who bought or won t-shirts got to come up and dance to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (not Salt-N-Pepa, not the 90s) and then they invited guys up for Whatta Man. You could see a rainbow mohawk wig making its way through an ocean of humanity like a shark fin. He neither bought nor won a shirt, but Fucking Fuck Birthday Guy was allowed on stage anyway because James was in charge and James was laughing to nearly the point of tears. Fucking Fuck Birthday Guy tried to take Salt’s mic and yell FUCK YEAH but she just told him to settle down. Total professional. Then he didn’t want to leave the stage until James basically had to drag him out of there.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Pepa had apparently just discovered what Regina rhymes with. This happens a lot when bands come to town. I believe that by now, all possible avenues in this area have been explored (not a euphemism) (but probably true if it was?) but she was so amused and enthusiastic about it that nobody minded.

And then it was our headliner, sort of, Vanilla Ice. Grade 9 James (me, not the host) (if only there was an easy way to differentiate us) loved some Vanilla Ice. But even then, there are only a handful of songs I remember. Ice Ice Baby, of course. Play That Funky Music White Boy. Ninja Rap OBVIOUSLY. And beyond that – and I am not proud of this, much less proud than I am of admitting to having liked Vanilla Ice in the first place – I remember a verse he had on a Bloodhound Gang song. And that was what he actually opened with, which kind of blew my mind a little bit. I don’t think he actually did Ninja Rap (the sound was terrible all night – way too loud, distorted, and full of feedback) but he did say GO NINJA GO NINJA GO a few times and that was good enough for me. But it was pretty much downhill from there, and we weren’t starting from high up.

The absolute funniest moment of the night came when Ice said “I just wanna give a shoutout to the Pats. Regina Pats, making it to the playoffs! I think they’re going all the way this year.” And look, I know that “local sports team” is second only to “name of city” in terms of cheap pops. But you can get away with that if you’re talking about a major league team. Even if Ice had said something about the Roughriders, I can almost pretend that he cares enough to have CFL opinions. But come on. Far be it from me to call into question the credibility of Vanilla Ice, but I really don’t think he’s following the Western Hockey League that closely.

Anyway, if you’re Vanilla Ice, what song do you end on?

Guess.

He called a bunch of fans up on stage and played Ice Ice Baby about five songs in. It seemed early to wrap things up but where can you go from there?

“THE PARTY DON’T STOP!”

He did some song nobody knew.

“THE PARTY DON’T STOP!”

He did another song nobody knew. People were filing out of the place at this point. Including Vanilla Ice, who disappeared from the stage (or at least hid behind the fans, who were still up there) though his voice could still be heard.

“THE PARTY DON’T STOP!”

Deserée: “…but it could.”

At this point, Vanilla Ice played Turn Down For What.

“YEAH YOU LOVE THE 90S!”

Turn Down For What is from 2013.

“ALL THE HORNY PEOPLE PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!”

Not to reveal too much about myself, but I did not, in fact, put my hands in the air. I mean, sure, you’d THINK nothing would get a person going like hearing loss and complete bafflement, but it didn’t do it for me. In fairness, it seemed to be the secret sauce for lots of the folks who were left, including Fucking Fuck Birthday Guy who had found his way onto the stage by this point.

But hey, at least Turn Down For What is a good song to end a party on, right? But Ice – who had also made his way back onto the stage – possibly he got lost and followed the rainbow mohawk – had one more for us. First, he told us to follow our dreams. Believe in ourselves. Not let borders divide us. And then he sang No Woman No Cry. Vanilla Ice, reggae superstar. I texted this to Mika who simply replied “Oh no.” People were flooding out of the arena. I could not leave. I was transfixed. What is this? Why is this? And then it was over. No encore, just a voice – possibly prerecorded – thanking us for attending. It didn’t end with “…leave now” but it may as well have, not that I would have needed encouragement.

To cap off the evening, as I walked alone to my car, mostly deaf and lost in some sort of existential crisis, two guys stopped me and asked for a ride. They did not say to where, but they did promise me “a lot of money.” I declined, not feeling up to being a good Samaritan and also not wanting stab wounds and a stolen car. Though it would have made a more compelling conclusion than “I went home and had some Coke Zero and Crispy Minis.”

I’m writing and posting these reviews out of order. As I’m finishing this off, it’s the day before my trip to Calgary. By sheer happenstance, I am there during Canadian Juggalo Weekend. Part of me badly wants to go to Canadian Juggalo Weekend just so I can write about the experience. But I kind of feel like there’s much less reason for that now. I mean, sure, there will be wrestling and circus performers and crazy shit and clowns EVERYWHERE but is that really so different from this? I mean, Vanilla Ice even had two dancers who were fat guys in clown suits and wrestling masks who sprayed water on the crowd. Switch out the water for Faygo and we’re set.

I can’t recommend this show enough and I also can’t recommend avoiding this show enough.

KMA2293 Oh, The Places I’ll Go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Sunday morning. Get a coffee, put up your feet, and follow my travels!

Yesterday I had the day to myself. And what did I do? Hahaha silly you if you said anything other than “go record shopping.”

I’d thought about going to Toronto, but I’d be on my own and that’s no fun. Mike was just there recently himself, and my Dad wasn’t available. Plus, it’s a lot of driving from my door to downtown, and traffic on a Saturday can suck, so… no. Maybe next time!

Instead, I did a tour of local spots recommended by the illustrious and industrious Boppin. Go read his blog. I’ll wait!

There follows a wee description of my travels yesterday, and the treasures I discovered along the way:

Walkerton – Scotty’s

I was back to Scotty’s, my second trip. You’ll recall my first visit. The man always has so much music I want to get, and I must be very selective. It’s always fun talking to the man himself, too. Today, I think I did very, very well:

LP

Various – Castle Donnington Monsters Of Rock
Aretha Franklin – 30 Greatest Hits (2LP)~
Max Webster – Universal Juveniles^
Kim Mitchell – Shaking Like A Human Being ^
U2 – Rattle And Hum (2LP)^
U2 – War^
Roxy Music – Avalon^

~ a gift for my Mom. She doesn’t read this blog, but don’t tell her!
^ These were $2 each, but Scotty included them gratis because I was buying other things. What a guy!

CD

Black Mountain – Black Mountain
Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go
Corb Lund Band – Five Dollar Bill
Townes Van Zandt – Live At The Old Quarter (2CD)
Diana Krall – From This Moment On

Report: The Monsters Of Rock LP looks unplayed. Score! The U2 were a nice find, Mike loved that I found Max and Kim, and I think it was 1537 who recommended Roxy Music…. Black Mountain was recommended by Bop, the Manics recommended by 1537 and J., and the Diana Krall completes (I think) my collection of her stuff except her very newest one. Corb Lund and Townes Van Zandt always rule. Woot!

***

Hanover – Flea Market

Bop then recommended the flea market in Hanover, though Scotty didn’t think I should go. I backtracked and grabbed lunch (hello again, amazing meat lover’s panzerotti!), and hit up the market anyway. Who knows, right?

LP

Nothing.

CD

Nothing.

Report: I spent an hour and a half going through all of his stuff, CDs and LPs. It was dark in there, and dirty. All his stuff is alphabetized by first letter of artist’s first name, so Frank Zappa is under ‘F’, etc. It took a long time to dig through. Gahhhh…

A huge percentage of it was nothing I’d want. He had a bunch of Dillinger Escape Plan CDs I needed, but they were all nicked or scratched. I did find three other CDs I’d like, and held onto them a long while. I went through his rock music vinyl room, and found a few I considered getting, though most were priced too high. He wanted $190 for a Beatles LP called Beatles Story. I think I got that one for free…

Most were in sleeves and priced, which is fine, at least you know quickly where you stand. When he told me that unsleeved unpriced LPs were $10 each because he has high rent to pay, I picked up a basic copy of Duran Duran’s Rio LP at random and said “You mean to tell me you’d charge me $10 for this?” Yup. Haha you silly man. I put back everything I had been considering, including the CDs. I just left. Wasted an hour and a half of my day. Scotty was right.

Will skip in future.

***

Harriston – Raven’s Nest

Bop had also recommended a shop in Harriston, so it was down the highway through my old stomping grounds to check out the Raven’s Nest. CDs were all $3 each (nice!), and several boxes of LPs to dig through, sorted helpfully into genre (mostly).

LP

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – Drum Suite
Queensryche – Rage For Order (a Grail List item for Brother Craig!)
*undisclosed* – a gift for someone I’m not saying who, nope, no way

CD

Duff McKagan – Believe In Me
KISS – Alive! (2CD)
Dragonforce – Inhuman Rampage
Barstool Prophets – Last Of The Big Game Hunters

Report: Art Blakey on LP for cheap? Hells yes. And a couple of LPs for other folks. Cool! I’d wanted that Duff since Mike mentioned it, KISS Alive! is one I’ve meant to get for years because Mike keeps telling me how awesome it is. Dragonforce was an impulse grab but I’ll give it a go, and Barstool Prophets was one I still needed to get.

***

Williamsford – Williamsford Mill

Rolling back north towards home, I noticed our other car in the parking lot of the Williamsford Mill. I found my lovely wife, our beautiful and rambunctious kids, and my Dad inside the shoppe. They’d stopped to check out the books! Before that, they’d spent their day together in Holstein at the maple syrup festival, and it had been a great time.

There are a few LPs here occasionally, but it’s not steady stock and usually there are none. You might get one milk crate of LPs to dig in if you’re lucky. But today I scored big:

LP

 

 

 

 

 

Deep Purple – Made In Japan (2LP)

Report: Hells yes. The records are in mint shape too, though the glue has come loose from the sleeve. I can fix that!

***

In Sum:

And that was my day. It maybe doesn’t seem like much, but I think I got a ton of great tunes, and all for under $80. And I spent my day doing some of what I love doing: driving through beautiful countryside on a gorgeous sunny day, eating awesome meat-stuffed folded pizza and, most importantly, digging through records looking for treasure. 

My thanks to everyone for their recommendations, especially Boppin. The man certainly knows where to find records. 

Give ‘er!  \m/  \m/

KMA2249 Festival In The Desert

Mr. 1537 raved about this set a long while back, and I’ve spent the intervening time trying to find a copy that wasn’t too expensive. Finally, success! And holy shit, as always, the man was absolutely right. This set is incredible

I’ve got it all here in 80 words…

Live from Festival In The Desert (Essakane, near Timbuktu, Mali, January 6-8, 2003), this set is absolutely killer. I knew a few artists (Tinariwen, Oumou Sangaré, Ali Farka Touré), but most is new-to-me brilliance.

Sole westerner track is Robert Plant (with Justin Adams) doing a supremely bluesy “Win My Train Fare Home.”  But for me the real meat is the rest of the disc, in that gorgeous beat, that rhythm of life, that soul… Hands-down: Stunning.

 

The Tracks:
Takamba Super Onze – Super 11
Afel Bocoum – Buri Baalal
Tartit – Tihar Bayatin
Robert Plant And Justin Adams – Win My Train Fare Home
Sedoum Ehl Aïda – Ya Moulana
Lo’Jo + Django – Jah Kas Cool Boy
Oumou Sangaré – Wayena
Ali Farka Touré – Karaw
Tinariwen – Aldachan Manin
Adama Yalomba – Politique
Tidawt – Ariyalan
Ludovico, Einaudi & Ballaké Sissoko – Chameaux
Kel Tin Lokiene – Ihama
Kwal + Foy-Foy – Le Juge Ment
Tindé – Wana
Aïcha Bint Chihaly – Koultouleili-Khhalett La
Igbayen – Oubilalian
Baba Salah – Fady Yeïna
Blackfire – What Do You See
Django – Laisse-Moi Dire

KMA2225 SLCR #269: Winterruption 2017 (January 19-21, 2017)

Hola, amigos. How’s it hangin’? I know it’s been a long time since I rapped at ya. Before this, my last concert was Bif Naked, on the night of the US election. From there, I took a break until January 19, aka the day before Inauguration Day. This was coincidental though I don’t blame anyone for thinking I had sworn off my music-loving ways and runnoft to live in a cabin in the woods with a shotgun and some water purification tablets.

I mean, last time out I said “I will hope against all logic and reason that the next four years are mostly okay and not the racist, misogynist, transphobic, anti-immigrant pants-shittingly reckless dumpster fire that this campaign and Trump’s entire life would lead one to expect.” To which I now say hahahahahahahaha naive idiot, you had hope, you’re dumb. Hope is dumb.

But whatever. When last we talked – and for all of last year, really – I talked about trying to see 40 concerts in my 40th year. That year is over and my final concert tally for the year is… 39. So it goes. I had lots of opportunities to get to 40 – and probably 52 without much more effort – but by the end of the year, I was finding myself kinda broke and all concerted out. So I’m 39 and holding, I guess. I’ll take that. The break was appreciated, but I am back with an all-new slate of upcoming shows and we’ll keep this thing going for the foreseeable future.

To make up for my two-month absence, I am combining an entire weekend worth of shows (by which I mean “two”) into one review. Why? To give you the supersize concert review experience that you’ve been missing, and because there are only so many times and ways I can pad out “they were good.”

Winterruption is a new annual concert series put on by the Regina Folk Festival and the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon. This is only its second year; you may recall that last year Mika and I saw Whitehorse with Andy Shauf and Emily Wells opening in what was a fantastic show at Darke Hall. It was a little bigger event this year, which unfortunately led to us having to make the hard choices, but it would have been even harder were we in Saskatoon. For the most part, the Regina and Saskatoon Winterruptions share acts, but Saskatoon is a bigger city and has more venues so Regina missed out on concerts by TUNS and Holy Fuck, as well as the Canadaland podcast taping, among other events. But even with the lesser lineup, Regina had three nights of shows spanning multiple venues. And you surely want to know everything we saw and what I thought of it all, right? You’re not just bored at work, skimming this because it looks enough like email to fool anyone who’s checking out your screen, right?

THURSDAY: Elliott BROOD with IsKwé and Begonia

The first hard choice I made was to not go to anything on the Thursday night. We saw Elliott Brood last year (and like last year, you only get all-caps once), and while they were good, I’m trying to cut back on my concert expenses a bit. Plus I never know how much I’ll feel like leaving the house in the middle of January. But I did really like them last time out, so I decided to leave it to the whims of fate; namely, I entered a few Facebook and Twitter like/share/retweet contests for tickets. And fate (and Prairie Dog magazine) really wanted me to see this show, I guess. Mika had schoolwork to do and/or recover from and wasn’t up to going, so I checked with a few of my usuals, but everyone else had plans (such as “not being interested”) so I wound up going alone. Not the first time, won’t be the last. The Exchange is a good place for weird loners. I bought myself a Diet Pepsi and found a table near the back with an excellent view.

The opener was IsKwé, who we saw at last year’s folk festival. From Winnipeg and of Cree/Dene descent, IsKwé and her band played hip-hop-influenced pop touching on a number of indiginious issues. The smaller, more intimate setting was a much better fit than the outdoor folk festival stage, and the videos projected on screen behind them added weight to their message.

By comparison, the next act joked about how IsKwé was singing about powerful issues while she was singing about a hot dog stand. This was Begonia, the solo project of Alexa Dirks from Chic Gamine. This was much more straightforward pop and I thought it was fine, though nothing really stood out to me (though I thought the hot dog stand song was delightful). More than anything, I thought Dirks seemed like a really likeable person, and not just because she made the first Experience Regina reference of the new SLCR year.

Finally, we got to Elliott Brood. They started things off a lot slower-paced than last year, opening with some quieter songs. They repeatedly brought up the political situation in the US and it seemed like everything really had taken the wind out of their sails a bit. Can’t blame them. That said, I also think they recognized this and played Oh Alberta pretty early on, as that always gets things going. I’m still not super familiar with too many of their songs, so I couldn’t tell you a ton of what they played, though I do know they played a song from their upcoming new album and… it didn’t go well. They tried, bless ’em, but they weren’t on the same page and joked about it for the rest of the night, which more than made up for the song itself. Plus they led everyone in singing happy birthday to IsKwé, and the dancing little kid Elliott Brood superfan was back from last year. All in all, it was a fun show, if a half-step off from the year before.

The show didn’t seem like it sold out – there was tons of open space for IsKwé, and though it did fill up as the night went on, it also seemed like lots of people were leaving early. Still a work night, I guess.

FRIDAY: Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids podcast taping

This was another one of the hard choices, as the Grownups recording at the Artesian was up against the Said The Whale / Northcote / The Garrys triple bill at the Exchange. And I really enjoy me some Northcote and at least one Said The Whale song, but Grownups is one of our favourite podcasts and we couldn’t pass it up.

I’d describe Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids except I just did. It started as a CBC summer replacement series a few years ago, and I didn’t think I’d enjoy it; I was expecting cringe humour which is not my favourite. But it’s not that at all – aside from the fact that not all of the readers bring funny pieces to the show, the audience is very supportive and everyone’s sharing the experience of looking back in time at who you once were.

To that end, a few weeks after we bought our tickets, they were still looking for readers, and I had been graced with a box of stuff from my mom’s basement when she moved, so I bit the bullet and signed up to read. I went through my pile of stuff and settled on a choose-your-own-adventure space epic entitled Misson [sic]: Ring Rescue. The backstory is that a girl in my Grade 6 class wrote a long story and got a lot of praise from the teacher. I like praise too, so I decided I’d write a long story as well, but I also liked not putting any effort into things, so I used the choose-your-own-adventure format to camouflage the lack of actual content. This fooled nobody. To put it in perspective, I wrote an eight-page story, but when I typed it up for ease of reading on stage, it fit onto one sheet of paper with room for me to add comments and to enlarge the font.

I won’t give a detailed review of the whole show. Comedy is best if it’s not wrecked for you, after all. But I will say that I was pleased with how my reading went but I don’t know if I’ll make it onto the podcast. This was my third time seeing a Grownups live show and it was easily the best of the bunch. Seventeen readers and not a dud among them. Paring down those 90-ish minutes to a 30-minute podcast will mean a lot of good stuff hits the floor.

Luckily for you, you can watch all of it: https://youtu.be/Y5oI-d1rCMs

I start at 37:21 but the whole thing is worth it. Bear in mind that I haven’t actually watched the video and I likely never will (my own human voice, how horrific), so I hope you enjoy and I hope I didn’t suck.

SATURDAY: Danny Michel with Mohsin Zaman and William Prince

This was either the Danny Michel show or the William Prince show, depending on if you were talking to me or Mika. I’ve been a fan of Michel for a long time now, whereas we saw Prince for the first time last fall when he won Aboriginal Artist of the Year at BreakOutWest, and she knew some of his songs from CBC Radio.

All of which leaves out poor Mohsin Zaman, but hey, he was new to both of us. Zaman is of Pakistani heritage but comes from Dubai by way of the only slightly less exotic Edmonton. He shared his life story while talking about giving up a banking career for a much riskier life as a musician. The choice is starting to pay off, as he was named the 2016 Male Artist of the Year in the Edmonton Music Awards. The set was just Zaman and his guitar, playing mostly his original tunes, though there were two covers thrown into the mix as well – Springsteen’s I’m On Fire (which is kind of actually a really creepy song if you think about it) and, yes, Aaron’s favourite cover song ever, Cohen’s Hallelujah. Both of the covers were different enough from the original versions to be interesting and Zaman is an excellent guitarist, but all in all, this was reminiscent of Begonia, where I left thinking Zaman seemed like a good guy more than being really into the music.

Like with Grownups, the Artesian was again sold out for this show, and between sets, they asked to find seats for a few people who didn’t have them yet. Which is fine, I get that. If it’s a seated show and you bought a ticket, you deserve a seat. (On a related note, ask me sometime why I will never buy a ticket for a show at the Artful Dodger again, and indeed, why you couldn’t pay me to go there! It’ll be fun, I’ll swear a lot.) That said, they were asking people who were already seated to scrunch in together to make room, and… no? You don’t inconvenience the people who bother to show up on time to accommodate the latecomers. But maybe I’m just irritated because we watched the artistic director of the folk festival ask some people to move over, and it’s like, I’m a big guy. I sit on an aisle seat for a reason. And I bet this dude did too. And then after he did shove down, the lady who showed up late sulked and sighed because she wasn’t sitting with her husband. You want to sit with your husband? Show up on time for the sold-out show.

Now, if you want complaints (and who doesn’t, they’re super fun to read and also completely relevant to everyone and never tiresome at all), William Prince was a dude who had some complaints. He was not having a great day when we saw him, having spent the week touring Saskatchewan schools and consequently being infected with a cold from our germy, germy children. He apologized for this repeatedly; Mika said it was obvious he had a cold, but to be honest, I don’t know if I’d have ever caught on if he hadn’t said anything. He was also struggling for a while with getting the sound he wanted through his monitor, which wasn’t helping his mood any. Despite all this, I thought his set was really good. Again, this was just him and a guitar (at one point, he made mention of a part where he’d play harmonica if only he’d remembered to put it around his neck before the song began), playing all originals. In particular, I’ve had the song Breathless stuck in my head for two weeks plus. Highly recommended if you like roots/folk singer/songwriter stuff. Would see again, and we’ll likely get the chance – he wink-wink hinted that he’ll be back in town for the folk festival this summer.

Last up was Danny Michel, who was promoting his new album Khlebnikov (recorded on a Russian icebreaker with an astronaut), which came out the day before. For what was essentially an album-release party, you’d expect a bunch of new songs, but no, he only played the title track. Beyond that, it was a lot like the last time we saw him, only we had seats and most of the people in attendance were less obnoxious. He played the one token old song (Whale of a Tale) and lots of stuff from more recent albums (Feather Fur & Fin, What Colour Are You, Click Click, Who’s Gonna Miss You When You’re Gone). He told a few stories I’d heard before (regarding Wish Willy and Samantha in the Sky with Diamonds) and even played an Elvis cover I’d heard him do before. That said, it might have been the familiarity with the material that boosted his confidence; it was one of the better Michel shows I’d seen and he was a lot more charismatic on stage than I’d seen before. He usually seems a little reserved but not on this night.

I said that most fans were less obnoxious but I am not counting the dude standing right next to me who let out a monster belch so loud that it brought the show to a halt right before the encore. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m a little impressed, but c’mon. Or maybe we should own it? Make that part of our new tourism campaign, perhaps. William Prince and Danny Michel got to experience Regina and one got infected and the other got burped at. Who knows what delights will await you?

UPCOMING CONCERTS

  • Big Wreck w/Ascot Royals (February 9)
  • Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt (March 1)
  • Blackie & the Rodeo Kings (March 8)
  • The Tea Party (March 18)
  • Bill & Joel Plaskett w/Mayhemingways (March 23)
  • Lisa LeBlanc (March 30)
  • I Love The 90s feat. Salt N Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Color Me Badd, Young MC, and Rob Base (April 1)
  • The Last Waltz Remembered feat. Corb Lund, Matt Andersen, Amy Helm, & the Russell Broom House Band (April 5)
  • Martha Wainwright (April 20)
  • BA Johnston w/Napalmpom (April 28)
  • Guns N’ Roses (August 27)

KMA2221 The Best Of Blue Note (2LP)

I found this glorious set, in my travels, and I had already bought and paid for it before I realized what I was doing. It’s like I came to, and I had the record and a sales receipt in my hands. That’s what I told my lovely wife. It’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So I made sure that I had occasion to be in the Man Cave, and after a quick clean-up, I dropped the needle and floated away…

I’m including the tracks and personnel (below), so you can witness the beauty and power. Thanks to Discogs for making sure I didn’t have to type this all out again.

Various ‎– The Best Of Blue Note
Label: Blue Note ‎– BST2 84429
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 1984
Genre: Jazz
Style: Hard Bop, Modal

Tracklist

A1 Bud Powell – Un Poco Loco

Bass – Curly Russell
Drums – Max Roach
Piano – Powell
Written-By – Earl “Bud” Powell

A2 James Moody – Tin Tin Deo

Bass – Nelson Boyd
Bongos, Vocals – Chano Poxo
Drums – Art Blakey
Piano – James ‘Hen Gates’ Forman
Saxophone [Alto] – Ernie Henry
Saxophone [Baritone] – Cecil Payne
Saxophone [Tenor] – James Moody
Trumpet – Dave Burns, Elmon Wright
Written-By – Chano Pozo

A3 Thelonious Monk – Criss Cross

Bass – Al Mckibbon
Drums – Art Blakey
Piano – Monk
Saxophone [Alto] – Sahib Shihab
Vibraphone [Vibes] – Milt Jackson
Written-By – Thelonious Monk

A4 Milt Jackson – Bags’ Groove

Bass – Percy Heath
Drums – Kenny Clarke
Piano – John Lewis
Saxophone [Alto] – Lou Donaldson
Vibraphone [Vibes] – Jackson
Written-By – Milt Jackson

A5 Clifford Brown – Cherokee

Bass – Percy Heath
Drums – Art Blakey
Piano – Gil Coggins
Saxophone [Alto] – Gigi Gryce
Saxophone [Tenor] – Charlie Rouse
Trumpet – Clifford Brown
Written-By – Ray Noble

A6 Miles Davis – Tempus Fugit

Bass – Percy Heath
Drums – Art Blakey
Piano – Gil Coggins
Saxophone [Tenor] – Jimmy Heath
Trombone – J.J. Johnson
Trumpet – Davis
Written-By – Earl “Bud” Powell

B1 John Coltrane – Blue Train

Bass – Paul Chambers
Drums – Philly Joe Jones
Piano – Kenny Drew
Saxophone [Tenor] – Coltrane
Trombone – Curtis Fuller
Trumpet – Lee Morgan
Written-By – John Coltrane

B2 Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage

Bass – Ron Carter
Drums – Tony Williams
Piano – Herbie Hancock
Saxophone [Tenor] – George Coleman
Trumpet – Freddie Hubbard
Written-By – Herbie Hancock

B3 Donald Byrd – Christo Redentor

Arranged By [Arranger] – Duke Pearson
Bass – Butch Warren
Choir – The Coleridge Perkinson Choir
Drums – Lex Humphreys
Guitar – Kenny Burrell
Piano – Herbie Hancock
Saxophone [Tenor] – Hank Mobley
Trumpet – Byrd
Vibraphone [Vibes] – Donald Best
Written-By – Duke Pearson

C1 Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers – Moanin’

Bass – Jymie Merritt
Drums – Blakey
Piano – Bobby Timmons
Saxophone [Tenor] – Benny Golson
Trumpet – Lee Morgan
Written-By – Bobby Timmons

C2 Lou Donaldson – Blues Walk

Bass – Peck Morrison
Congas – Ray Barretto
Drums – Dave Bailey
Piano – Herman Foster
Saxophone [Alto] – Donaldson
Written-By – Lou Donaldson

C3 Horace Silver – Song For My Father

Bass – Teddy Smith
Drums – Roger Humphries
Piano – Silver
Saxophone [Tenor] – Joe Henderson
Trumpet – Carmell Jones
Written-By – Horace Silver

D1 Jimmy Smith – Back To The Chicken Shack

Drums – Donald Bailey
Guitar – Kenny Burrell
Organ – Smith
Saxophone [Tenor] – Stanley Turrentine
Written-By – Jimmy Smith

D2 Kenny Burrell – Chitlins Con Carne

Bass – Major Holley
Congas – Ray Barretto
Drums – Bill English
Guitar – Kenny Burrell
Saxophone [Tenor] – Stanley Turrentine
Written-By – Kenny Burrell

D3 Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder

Bass – Bob Cranshaw
Drums – Billy Higgins
Piano – Barry Harris
Saxophone [Tenor] – Joe Henderson
Trumpet – Morgan
Written-By – Lee Morgan

Yas yas yas!

KMA2206 Men With Brooms

A week ago, my son got invited to go curling with a classmate of his (it was Bring A Friend Day). They had a blast, to the point where my boy came in from the sheet about halfway through and said “Dad, can I sign up to do this every week?”

Of course, we signed him up. They’re already halfway through the season, so it wasn’t much to get him in, and they’re always looking for new members. We went again this weekend, and again he had so much fun. I can see his brain working, as they teach him the basics. He’s learning the rules, mastering a new task. Already he’s got great balance on the ice (the lady running it said he has ‘excellent agility’) and, knowing my son, no doubt he’ll be pretty damn good at it before long. It’s what he does in everything he tries.

So. Looking for distraction and a reason to finally sit and rest for a bit last night, my lovely wife and I re-watched Men With Brooms. For those of you who have seen this film, you’ll know it has a lot of heart, and it’s funny as hell. So many great lines, so many little moments that are pitch perfect, and I won’t lie, Molly Parker looked mighty damn fine throughout, yes indeed. The whole cast is perfect (including Paul Gross, Leslie Nielson, Polly Shannon, and a whole slew of others – you gotta see it). For those of you who haven’t yet seen this film, this is my hearty recommendation to go get a copy and watch it, post-haste. It’s a real gem. Ah, small town Canadian life… and curling.

As an added bonus, the Tragically Hip make an appearance as the Kingston rink during the tournament. The fans in the crowd start chanting “Hip! Hip! Hip!” when they’re anounced. Also, “Winnipeg curler and three-time Brier champion Jeff Stoughton also made a cameo appearance throwing his trademark “spin-o-rama” shot.” (Wiki)

Now, since this is a music site, the third part of this story is about the excellent soundtrack for this film. It’s a true slice of Canadiana of a certain vintage, all stellar songs well-chosen. I mean, just look at this*:

  1. Sarah Harmer with The Tragically Hip, “Silver Road”
  2. Kathleen Edwards, “Hockey Skates”
  3. The Tragically Hip, “Throwing Off Glass”
  4. Our Lady Peace, “Life”
  5. The New Pornographers, “Mass Romantic”
  6. Sean MacDonald, “God”
  7. Big Sugar, “Diggin’ a Hole”
  8. Tom Wilson, “Planet Love”
  9. Matthew Good Band, “Hello Time Bomb”
  10. Pepper Sands, “Can U Tell”
  11. Chantal Kreviazuk, “Leading Me Home”
  12. Paul Gross, “Kiss ’Til You Weep”
  13. Holly McNarland, “Watching Over You”
  14. The Tragically Hip, “Oh Honey”
  15. Jack Lenz, “Men With Brooms Theme”

Yup, you need this CD, and the movie, so chart a course to your favourite fine seller of music and films and, as they say, hurry hard!

 

*  Interestingly, I noticed that the Tragically Hip song “Poets” is used in the film, but is not included on the soundtrack. In fact, here’s the full list of songs from the film (thanks IMDB!). Note the inclusion of Big Sugar doing O Canada and Girl Watcher!:

Silver Road
Performed by Sarah Harmer with The Tragically Hip
Written by Sarah Harmer
Pare Publishing (admin. by Cold Snap Music) (SOCAN/BMI)
p. 2001 Cold Snap Records
Courtesy of Cold Snap Records/Universal Music Canada

Mass Romantic
Performed by The New Pornographers
Written by The New Pornographers
The New Pornographers (SOCAN)
p. 2000 The New Pornographers
Courtesy of Mint Records Inc.

Planet Love
Written and Performed by Tom Wilson
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada (SOCAN)
p. 2001 Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc.
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc.

Life
Performed by Our Lady Peace
Written by Duncan Coutts (as D. Coutts), Jeremy Taggart (as J. Taggart), Mike Turner (as M. Turner),
Arnold Lanni (as N. Lanni), Raine Maida (as R. Malda)
Under Zenith Publishing/I’m In Zihuatanejo Music/Catchit Songs/Two Months In The Hole/Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada (SOCAN)/Lanni Tunes (SOCAN)
p. 2000 Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc.
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc.

God
Written and Performed by Sean McDonald
Nett Songs Publishing/Bad Rock Publishing/Chrysalis Songs
p. 2000 Nettwerk Productions
Courtesy of Nettwerk Productions

Diggin a Hole
Performed by Big Sugar
Written by Gordie Johnson (as G. Johnson), Andy Curran (as A. Curran), Dan Gallagher(as D. Gallagher)
Zomba Enterprises Inc./Chan Diego Music (SOCAN) (Admin. by Zomba Enterprises Inc.) ASCAP/Molly Songs/Sony ATV Music Publishing Canada (SOCAN)
p. 1996 A&M Records
Courtesy of Universal Music Canada

Oh Canada
Performed by Big Sugar
Traditional/Arranged by Gordie Johnson (as G. Johnson)
Zomba Enterprises Inc./Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
(Admin. by Zomba Enterprises Inc.) (ASCAP)
p. 2001 Universal Music
Courtesy of Universal Music Canada

Girl Watcher
Performed by Big Sugar
Written by Gordie Johnson (as G. Johnson), Patrick Ballantyne (as P. Ballantyne)
Zomba Enterprises Inc./Chan Diego Music (SOCAN)
(Admin. by Zomba Enterprises Inc. (ASCAP)
P. Ballantyne (SOCAN)
Produced by Gordie Johnson
p. 1998 A&M Records
Courtesy of Universal Music Canada

Watching Over You
Performed by Holly McNarland
Written by Holly McNarland (as H. McNarland) & Steve McEwan (as S. McEwan)
Universal Music Publishing Group/BMG Music Publishing (SOCAN)
p. 2002 Universal Music
Courtesy of Universal Music Canada

Hello Time Bomb
Performed by Matthew Good Band
Written by Matthew Good (as M. Good) & Dave Genn (as D. Genn)
EMI-April Music (Canada) Ltd./Dunharrow Music/Bridgeburner Music (SOCAN)
p. 1999 Universal Music
Courtesy of Universal Music Canada

Can U Tell
Written and Performed by Pepper Sands
Efalin Productions (SOCAN)
p. 2001 Efalin Productions
Courtesy of Universal Music Canada/Efalin Productions

East Side
Performed by Smoother
Written by Andrew Franey (as A. Franey), Todd Knight (as T. Knight)
Courtesy of EMI Music Canada

Racket in the Attic
Performed by Barra MacNeils
Written by Lucy MacNeil (as Lucy), Sheumas MacNeil (as Sheumas), Kyle MacNeil (as Kyle), Stewart MacNeil (as Stewart)
Courtesy of Barratone (Barra Music Company Ltd.)

Running Away
Performed by Project Wyze
Written by Yas Taalat, Bobby McIntosh, and Project Wyze
Lyrics by Yas Taalat, & Bobby McIntosh
Music by Project Wyze
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc.

Hockey Skates
Written and Performed by Kathleen Edwards
Kathleen Edwards (SOCAN)
p. 2002 Kathleen Edwards
Courtesy of Kathleen Edwards

Land of the Silver Birch
Performed by Paul Gross (as P. Gross), Jack Lenz (as J. Lenz), D. Cameron
Traditional/Arrangement by Jack Lenz (as J. Lenz)
Courtesy of Lenz Entertainment

Men with Brooms Theme
Written by Paul Gross (as P. Gross), Jack Lenz (as J. Lenz), Asher Lenz (as A. Lenz),
Jay Semko (as J. Semko)
Courtesy of Lenz Entertainment

Kiss You ‘Til You Weep
Performed by Paul Gross (as P. Gross)
Written by Paul Gross (as P. Gross), Jay Semko (as J. Semko), David Keeley (as D. Keeley)
Don’t Blink Music Inc. (SOCAN)
p. 2001 Lenz Entertainment
Courtesy of Lenz Entertainment

Throwing Off Glass
Written and Performed by The Tragically Hip
Written by The Tragically Hip
Weiner Art, Arte Humane, Dirty Shorts, Bhaji Maker, Ching Music (SOCAN)
p. 2002 Universal Music
Courtesy of Universal Music Canada

Oh Honey
Written and Performed by The Tragically Hip
Weiner Art, Arte Humane, Dirty Shorts, Bhaji Maker, Ching Music (SOCAN)
p. 2002 Universal Music
Courtesy of Universal Music Canada

Poets
Written and Performed by The Tragically Hip
Weiner Art, Arte Humane, Dirty Shorts, Bhaji Maker, Ching Music (SOCAN)
p. 1998 Universal Music
Courtesy of Universal Music Canada

Shot Rock
Performed by Fred Eaglesmith
Written by Fred Eaglesmith
Courtesy of Sweetwater Music

Leading Me Home
Performed by Chantal Kreviazuk
Written by Chantal Kreviazuk & Raine Maida
Neverwouldathot Music (SOCAN)/Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada (SOCAN)
p. 2002 Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc.
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc.

KMA2194 Working Man

Here’s another IOU Series installment, folks!

The illustrious Mike Lebrain reviewed this tribute to the mighty Rush, a while back. I said I was all over it, as I do love me some Rush and I was curious, after his enthusiastic review, to check it out… I ordered it, it was here and waiting… and it sat. Why, oh why? Gah. Anyway, now I’m finally hearing the damn thing.

Let’s go!

You know, I started out writing quite a lot about every track here, full of enthusiasm, with things like “holy hell, that was amazing!” and such, mentioning guitar solos and the bass sound and the excellent drumming and it really all was quite a lot of repetition and blathering…. Seriously, folks, I can cut this down to a few clear words:

This album fucking smokes!

Here’s a few good reasons why: on most tracks, Jake E. Lee plays guitar, Billy Sheehan plays bass, and Mike Portnoy plays drums. Throw in George Lynch, Stuart Hamm, John Petrucci, Richard Chyki, and a whole whack of others (see them all, listed below) and you’ll get a sense of the level of musicianship we’re hearing here.

And the tracks? Let’s be brief:

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Working Man is frickin’ perfect. It rolls seamlessly into James LaBrie (Dream Theater)’s By-Tor And The Snow Dog, which absolutely wails. Jack Russell (Great White)’s Analog Kid goes full-tilt boogie and it’s mightily impressive all-around.

Mike Baker (Shadow Gallery)’s The Trees is another monster of a version. Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple, etc)’s La Villa Strangiato is a helluva stellar workout.

Now, Eric Martin (Mr. Big)’s Mission nails the track, though the vocals don’t quite make it… Mark Slaughter (Slaughter) nails a Geddy impression and wails through Anthem. Johann Sebastian Bach absolutely owns Jacob’s Ladder.

Fates Warning’s Closer To The Heart is simply perfect. Devin Townsend gives us a unique Natural Science, complete with the sound of running water in the intro… and then the track takes off and he’s shredding his vocals and… whoa…

James Murphy (Death, Testament, Obituary) does YYZ and the playing is fantastic. James LaBrie is back, this time with Red Barchetta and it’s a total winner. The vocals are spot-on, too. And finally, Gregoor van der Loo gives us Freewill, which whips along and pounds us into happy submission.

In Sum:

The playing here is stellar. The vocals are (almost completely) well done. The song selection is great. But what really comes across is how much all of these people love Rush, and just how damn happy they are to be recreating the band’s amazing songs.

My only regret is that I didn’t hear this sooner, especially since I could have (I had it right here, damn it)!

Two thumbs way the hell up.

 

The Tracks, and The Players (from Wiki, ‘cos I’m too lazy to type it all out):

1. “Working Man” (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson) – 3:52

  • Sebastian Bach / lead vocals
  • Jake E. Lee / lead guitar
  • Mike Portnoy / drums
  • Billy Sheehan / bass
  • Brendt Allman / rhythm guitar

2. “By-Tor And The Snow Dog” (Lee/Lifeson/Neil Peart) – 4.12

  • James LaBrie / lead vocals
  • Jake E. Lee / lead guitar
  • Mike Portnoy / drums
  • Billy Sheehan / bass
  • Brendt Allman / rhythm guitar

3. “Analog Kid” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) – 5:18

  • Jack Russell / lead vocals
  • Michael Romeo / lead guitar
  • Mike Pinnella / keyboards
  • Mike Portnoy / drums
  • Billy Sheehan / bass
  • Brendt Allman / rhythm guitar

4. “The Trees” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) – 4:32

  • Mike Baker / lead vocals
  • Brendt Allman / lead and rhythm guitar
  • Mike Portnoy / drums
  • Billy Sheehan / bass
  • Chris Ingles / piano
  • Gary Wehrkamp / keyboards

5. “La Villa Strangiato” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) – 9:26

  • Steve Morse / classical guitar and main solo
  • Mike Portnoy / drums
  • Billy Sheehan / bass
  • Brendt Allman / rhythm guitar
  • David Townson / rhythm guitar
  • James Murphy / ending guitar solo and keyboards

6. “Mission” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) – 5:34

  • Eric Martin / lead vocals
  • Brad Kaiser / drums
  • Robert Berry / lead guitar, bass, rhythm guitar, keyboards, background vocals

7. “Anthem” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) – 4:14

  • Mark Slaughter / lead vocals
  • George Lynch / lead guitar
  • Deen Castronovo / drums
  • James Murphy / rhythm guitar
  • Stuart Hamm / bass

8. “Jacob’s Ladder” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) – 7:38

  • Sebastian Bach / lead vocals
  • John Petrucci / lead guitar
  • Matt Guillory / keyboards
  • Mike Portnoy / drums
  • Billy Sheehan / bass
  • Brendt Allman / rhythm guitar

9. “Closer To The Heart” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart/Peter Talbot) – 3:00 (Performed by Fates Warning)

  • Ray Alder / lead vocals
  • Jim Matheos / lead guitar
  • Mark Zonder / drums
  • Joey Vera / bass

10. “Natural Science” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) – 8:39

  • Devin Townsend / lead vocals
  • James Murphy / lead and rhythm guitar
  • Matt Guillory /keyboards
  • Deen Castronovo / drums
  • Stuart Hamm / bass
  • David Townson / second lead guitar

11. “YYZ” (Lee/Peart) – 4:20

  • James Murphy / lead and rhythm guitar
  • Matt Guillory /keyboards
  • Deen Castronovo / drums
  • Stuart Hamm / bass

12. “Red Barchetta” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) – 6:13

  • James LaBrie / lead vocals
  • Steve Morse / lead guitar
  • Richard Chycki / rhythm guitar
  • David Townson / rhythm guitar
  • Sean Malone / bass
  • Sean Reinert / drums
  • James Murphy / rhythm guitar, keyboards

13. “Freewill” (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) – 5:29

  • Gregoor van der Loo / lead vocals
  • Marcel Coenen / lead guitar
  • Trent Gardner / keyboards
  • Jeff Brockman / drums
  • Carl Cadden-James / bass

KMA2181 The 10th Annual Aaron’s Best Of: 2016

It’s pretty easy to get mad at 2016. A lot of musicians died this year, and that seems unfair. But people die all the time, and I wonder… even in the wake of still more deaths as we drag ourselves screaming and bleeding towards 2017, if it just seems worse because we focus on those negatives. Yes, there’s a lot of negative. But there is positive too, and maybe we should be looking closer at that, shift our perspective…

So let’s see if I can pick a Top Album of 2016. Oh that’ll be easy, right? Haha not even close. Looking for positives, there was so much good music this year. So much! And I was very fortunate to be able to hear some of it…

Before we go too far, though, let’s look at my past winners. I’ve been doing these posts since 2006. I know…

2015  Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
2014  Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems / Sloan – Commonwealth (tie)
2013  Black Sabbath – 13
2012  Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
2011  Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton – Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At The Lincoln Center
2010  Jack Johnson – To The Sea
2009  Leonard Cohen – Live In London
2008  Metallica – Death Magnetic
2007  Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free / Immaculate Machine – Fables (tie)
2006  Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It

So. Those are all mighty damn fine albums, all of which I still love to this day.

And now for 2016…

Albums From 2016 That I Heard (In No Particular Order):
Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem
Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome
Rolling Stones – Havana Moon
Tuns – Tuns
Sloan – One Chord To Another (remastered boxed set)
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
John K. Samson – Winter Wheat
Carolyn Mark – Come! Back! Special!
A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
54-40 – La Difference: A History Unplugged
A Rebel Few – As the Crow Flies
Evilyn Strange – Evilution
Derek Kortepeter – Cataclysm
Metallica – Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité
Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct (deluxe)
Black Sabbath – The End
Gojira – Magma
Opeth – Sorceress
Gone Is Gone – Gone Is Gone
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – Broken Lines
Ghost – Popestar
Gojira – Terra Incognita (remaster)
Volbeat – Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie
Guided By Voices – Please Be Honest
Jake Bugg – On My One
Robert Pollard – Of Course You Are
Jack White – Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016
Prophets Of Rage – The Party’s Over
Mumford & Sons – Johannesburg
Rolling Stones – Totally Stripped
Trews – Time Capsule
ESP Ohio – Starting Point Of The Royal Cyclopean

I know! That’s one helluva list. So much good music! And even listing all of that I’m fairly certain I’ve missed adding a few. Hm.

Anyway, how to pick my fave from all of those? Silliness. Why not just say they were all awesome and let’s all move forward and try to make 2017 kick as much ass as we can? Who would even try to narrow it down…? THIS GUY, that’s who. Because tradition. I can’t stop making these now!

I won’t lie. I sweated over this for a long time. I went back and forth on many of these albums. Which will I play more? Which pleased me most? My lovely wife asked which of these records I’ll enjoy most 5 years from now… um, all of them? Dammit.

But I must decide, and I have. For reasons.

Aaron’s Best Of 2016:

Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker / Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct (tie)

 

Yup, it’s my third year coughing up a tie. But I’m not waffling! I’m not not choosing by choosing two choices. Wow that last one was an awkward sentence…

Y’all know I loved the new Leonard record. That I bought it before he died, and didn’t play it until after he died. Probably, it gained even more weight for all of that, as I am already a life-long Leonard fan, and his last studio album (before the inevitable post-humous stuff) is hugely significant. But forget all that other stuff. It is just that strong.

Y’all also know I loved the new Metallica album. It kicked so much ass. Just wow.

It balances: We lose Leonard, and his album brings us joy and catharsis in the pain of his loss. And Metallica lifts us back up, providing release in those mighty riffs.

So, two winners. And it could easily have been others. I mean, speaking of resonance following bad news, the latest Tragically Hip album (Man Machine Poem) gained much weight for it (possibly) being the Hip’s last album following Gordie’s announcement of his cancer diagnosis (stay strong, Gord! We love you!). And it’s a great record, which fits the discography perfectly… And if you look back through that list, you can see so many other albums deserving of mention, like Gojira and Carolyn Mark and A Tribe Called Quest and…

You see how this way leads madness.

No matter. It is done.

Thanks for reading!

***

For those of you still reading and still with me, there follows a list of records about which I either made a lot of noise, or in which I am still extremely interested. However, I have not managed to buy any of the following yet this year. Given unlimited resources, I would already own copies of all of these:

2016 Albums Aaron Still needs To Buy:
Case/Lang/Veirs – case/lang/veirs
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
Wilco – Schmilco
Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial
David Bowie – Blackstar
Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
Norah Jones – Day Breaks
Bonnie Raitt – Dig In Deep
Green Day – Revolution Radio
Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway
Lucinda Williams – The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation
Deftones – Gore
Dinosaur Jr. – Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not
Bob Dylan – Fallen Angels
Descendents – Hypercaffium Spazzinate
Van Morrison – Keep Me Singing
Jeff Beck – Loud Hailer
NOFX – First Ditch Effort
Pixies – Head Carrier
Violent Femmes – We Can Do Anything
Cult – Hidden City
Neil Young – Earth
Neil Young – Peace Trail

And even here there are likely still a zillion albums I have forgotten to list… its just endless!

***

In Sum:

Stay safe, Dear Readers. Stay warm. Be with those you love, and tell them you love them on a daily basis. Let’s make 2017 kick all sorts of ass!

Thank you so much for being Constant Readers. Without you, we’d just be rattling in the ether for no good reason, after this long. It’s all because of you. We love you! Thank you.

KMA2164 Taranna Trip Round-Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well folks, it may have seemed like it was never gonna end, but after a whole whack of entries, we actually did get through all of the stuff I found in Taranna when Mike and I went on our annual foray, back in the fall. SO much good music! And the best part is, I only paid more than $4 for about 5 of these discs. 16 of them were $1! I am the master bargain hunter. 🙂

Anyway, I kept an ongoing list, so if you’re interested, have a look!

01 Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
02 Sadies – New Seasons
03 Sadies – Darker Circles
04 Sadies – Internal Sounds
05 Julie Doiron – I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day
06 Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis and Norah Jones – Here We Go Again: Celebrating The Genius Of Ray Charles
07 Opeth – Still Life
08 Gary Clark Jr. – Blak And Blu
09 Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
10 Kevin Hearn And Thin Buckle – Night Light
11 Kevin Hearn And Thin Buckle – The Miracle Mile
12 Ani DiFranco – Trust (DVD)
+ Alexandre Dumas – The Count Of Monte Cristo
13 George Thorogood & The Destroyers – s/t LP
14 Mr. Holland’s Opus OMPS
15 Crowded House – Afterglow (2cd deluxe!)
16 Michael Franti & Spearhead – Stay Human
17 Counting Crows – Recovering The Satellites
18 Violent Femmes – New Times
19 Lisa Loeb And Nine Stories – Tails
20 Lisa Loeb – Firecracker
21 Lisa Loeb – Cake And Pie
22 Lisa Loeb – Hello Lisa
23 Crash Test Dummies – A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Dummy
+ I Don’t Care That You Don’t Mind
24 Live – The Distance To Here
25 Live – V
*25.5 Live – Birds Of Pray
26 Live – Songs From Black Mountain
27 Kelly Joe Phelps – Slingshot Professionals
28 Wooden Stars – The Moon
29 Kula Shaker – Summer Sun EP
30 Neil Young – Living With War
31 Neil Young – Silver And Gold
32 Various – Rebirth Of The Cool
33 A Hawk And A Hacksaw – The Way The Wind Blows
34 Morcheeba – Big Calm
35 Wilco – A Ghost Is Born
36 Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble – In Step
37 Buttless Chaps – Where Night Holds Light
38 Kevin Hearn – Days In Frames
39 Local Rabbits – This Is It Here We Go (autographed!)
40 Big Shiny Tunes 11 (CD/DVD)
41 Jane’s Addiction – Strays (CD/DVD)
42 Pussy Galore – Dial ‘M’ For Motherfucker
43 John K. Samson – Winter Wheat
44 Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker

Whew!

In Sum:

Thanks so much for all of your comments, and for sticking with me through this massive undertaking. And huge thanks to Mike for being awesome, as ever. Here’s to the next trip!

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