Friday, July 30, 2004

After initially praising its new design and colours, I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the speed and logic to the  I was able to get the media clips to play by clicking directly on the 'Listen Now' icon (resembling a tiny speaker) but there are not clips for all the songs and if you click directly on the song title or any other linkable text on that line, you can end up in weird places.  What I found annoying was having to register to be able to click on the 'Songs' section/tab and having to go through a bit of a wait in order to login to their site.  Still, it's free and can be very fun in a time-consuming, lazy summer Friday afternoons at work way.

For more than clips, here's a site I read about this week that links to legal mp3 downloads for cool bands. Check it out.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The new all music guide site now (in theory ) has all their music available to stream 30 second sound bites. For me this would be a good thing , but it does not seem to work for me. They say everything is fine, can you guys give it a try to see if it works for you?
Much obliged!

Friday, July 23, 2004

Until I find the time/inclination to do anything about the cd club website, this will be a good place to list the music.  Here then, is the unofficial tally:
Happy Go Unlucky –John Cunningham
Cellar Door – John Vanderslice
On My Way –Ben Kweller
Some South African Guy whose music was great but we can't buy the album here 

I, Lucifer – The Real Tuesday Weld
Let it Die – Feist

In a Safe Place - The Album Leaf
Wayne McGhie & the Sounds of Joy
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Cast of Thousands - Elbow
Bebel Gilberto - Bebel Gilberto
Attica Blues - Archie Shepp
Never Bring You Pleasure - Tangiers
Zen Arcade - Husker Du
Murder Ballads – Nick Cave & the Badseeds
Tour de France Soundtracks - Kraftwerk
A Ghost is Born - Wilco
Who is this America? - Antibalas
Bossa for the D?? - Dr. Rubberfunk
Quality - Talib Kwelli
New Country Classics - Canadian Idol Finalists
You can do the linking thing yourself by going to (link to your right). If I've missed any selections, let me know and I will re-post.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Well Id have to say that I dont know if its possible to pick 5 songs from any given decade. You run in to all the usual problems in picking such a small quota--are you picking songs that are most popular, or that you personally like the best, or that were most important in developing the genra, or that sold the most copies, or are you selecting one song from each genra etc...
I like all the songs they chose (in particular strange fruit) but I agree summertime should have been there, but so should any of a number of songs by the Carter Family  , Charlie Patton , Son House, Count Basie,  Ellington...
...Still, its always good for debate, lets just not get together to listen to our favorite 10 best albums of all time.
"The greatest songs ever written".  First we get poetry now we get this sort of hyperbole.  What is up with this site? Suffice to say that all poetry is naff and I thought we had all agreed that Mrs Miller's albums were at the top of the pile.
Just got back from two days on the road in Windsor and listening to CBC where they're compiling the best 50 "popular" tracks of the last century.  Good show and they just wrapped up the 1930's this week.  The panel of experts is picking 5 songs from each decade and for the 30's they included "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom" by Robert Johnson but left off Gershwin's "Summertime" recorded for the first time in 1939 and subsequently recorded by hundreds. As the blues guy Stuart does this seem right?  Admittedly I don't even know the Johnson song.
Here's the site link.
Say.. does anyone know whats happened to Kyle.. I think he has completely lost it...
Anyway , Brian I recently picked up Paul Kellys latest, after a quick web preview but its a bit underwhelming. Derek the Dan Bejar disc I do quite like ( accept the first song), I think it could have been great if he had used real acoustic instruments instead of cheap keyboard trickery..(casios)..
I have to say that the latest Grant lee Phillips solo cd that I was raving about when I first bouhgt it a few months back, is still stuck on my cd player. If any of you were big fans of GLB you owe it to yourself to pick it up. The first 6 songs could very well be the greatest songs ever written.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Gord Downie released a book of poems with a companion spoken word disc; i remember it being kind of well reviewed. Did I buy it? No.

Even though I may love someone's lyrics, there's something about the lyrics themselves that lends itself. To me poetry has to be pretty great to get beyond the 'hey this guy's a bit of a wanker' stage (see the published work of Jim Morrison).

Was the Duchovny reference a Stuart-like ruse or did he actually publish a book of poems? I imagine entries like 'Stop Calling me Mulder' and 'My Wife is Hot' or perhaps this:


We walked through towns packed with the living dead
Pursued through forests time and time again
Pumped countless crazy creatures full of lead
Saw sights t’would shatter all and sundry’s brains

Of UFOs, Dana’s doubt did persist
She strived speciously for a rationale
That aliens and monsters do exist
Surpassed the comprehension of my ‘pal’

Though countless cellphone conversations shed
Great light o’oer myriad conspiracies
I could not seem to get her in my bed
Or say one time, ‘alas I do believes’

Oh wait! You did! in that sweet final shot
My memory’s gone from smoking too much pot

damn. broke that poetry pledge. oh well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I can't think of too many songwriters who are self-important enough to publish poetry. Can you? I s'pose you got Leonard Cohen going in the other direction (poet writing songs), and few would argue that Dylan is a bona fide poet. Also, I have John Lennon's "In His Own Write", which came out in '65 I think. Light, clever stuff. I've seen Paul Kelly (very good Australian singer/songwriter) publish his lyrics as a book of poetry, but that's not quite the same thing. I also have David Duchovny's very strong book of poetry ("Why Me?"), but I've never heard him sing.

On the subject of poetry and Wilco...did anyone know that Jeff Tweedy recently published a book of poems? No, just me then?

I liked the three excerpts posted on the linked site. Any thoughts about singer-songwriters churning out books of poetry? Does anybody out there own any such books?

Monday, July 12, 2004

No new purchases or live shows to comment on so I thought I'd share a poem I've written that chronicles my feelings of isolation and... Wait!! I'm kidding. Here are some links to articles you might find amusing/enlightening/tedious:

Here's one about the apparent British Invasion in The Guardian.

Rolling Stone has a interesting story about Jeff Tweedy's recent rehab and the curative powers of the guitar. For those of you who dig the Cure (or at least their pre-1990s output, as is the case w/ me) there's also this piece where Robert Smith dishes behind-the-scenes dirt on each of his albums.

Hopefully, I'll buy some music this week and have some dazzling insights (though no poetry I'm afraid) to share.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I believe that Stuart, Brian and I discussed this somewhat a few weeks back when we initially heard the plug had been pulled on the Lolla show. The gist of it I think was that despite the amazing line-up of bands, most of them were really only critically acclaimed bands. Even Wilco has never sold a shitload of records.

Some of these bands like Modest Mouse and the Walkmen might actually only be "cool" amongst the few hundred people that shop at Soundscapes. And I'm not all that sure that the male 18-29 set who make up the majority of outdoor gigs like these really give much of a shit about the bands that were on for this show.

I believe it was Ben Rayner who wrote a column in the Star after the cancellation and his point was that most of us older farts tend to start moving away from the stadium spectacles and the outdoor all-day events and back in to the intimate and ultimately more rewarding small venue shows. I know its come pretty much full circle for me that way. I can't even be bothered with Kool Haus or the Opera House these days. Keep it close, small and cutting edge music and you'll get my lolly.

Call me a music snob but if a band has reached the ACC, the Dome or the Molson Ampitheatre then they're likely not worth listening to.

Perhaps that's why we really get our kicks with guys like GBV, the Wrens, Superchunk, Destroyer, Hayden etc because we're pretty damn sure they'll never reach those grandiose heights. As the succulent Carly Simon once said "makes me feel sad for the rest".
Speaking of Haight-Ashbury, Sarah and I stayed in a quirky little B&B there last week. We stayed in the Summer of Love room. The Gap store and Ben & Jerry's that now grace two corners of this famous intersection cheapen its mystique but there were/are a few cool record shops worth visiting. Though CD prices in America are not as crazy as they may be in Europe, it's still a whole lot cheaper to buy music in Toronto than in any other city I've ever visited.

If I knew everyone was so gullible, I'd have made up my own Drake-centred stories about the fetching Heather Graham, who is in town to shoot a movie (fact) and has been spotted at the forementioned Toronto bar (though not by me or anyone I know).

Since I haven't purchased any music lately, I haven't felt like commenting much. The upcoming CD club should remedy this.

As a followup to an earlier post, you may or may not have heard that Lollapalooza has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales. Has their demographic aged beyond the festival-going years?

Debate. Or ignore for a few weeks. Or continue to discuss the Destroyer disc, which I'd be interested in hearing.

Monday, July 05, 2004

I quite like the destroyer disc, but I have not listened to it recently, Ill let you know if my mind changes. I was not crazy about the cheap keyboards, but I thought the songs themselves were great.
Im avail thursday 22 & 29 and friday 16& 23 for la clubba..
Well done Stuart. You certainly had me fooled. After all you couldn't have picked a more plausible target than Don Henley. Despite the lack of celebrity presence I'm still OK with hosting a CD club. I'm pretty good for most Thursdays and Fridays in this month so perhaps I'll leave it up to you lot to throw out a date.

Stuart what are your thoughts on the Destroyer disc? You've probably listened to it more often than I have but after 3 or 4 spins I'm still not sure I'm convinced.
Well I guess I have to come clean. I thought i would stir up interest in the not much used blog site and in a long delayed cd club with my "obviously" fake posting, but considering Marc,Mary Ellen,Derek and you Brian all bought it apologies, what about that cd club...that is if Im still invited after all this...humbly yours...

Friday, July 02, 2004

Stu, I'm only now beginning to realize what an inveterate-schmoozer-bordering-on-party-whore you really are. And frankly, I'm getting the impression that you still have enormous untapped potential in this arena. Where were you when I was trying to promote my band? (I know, I know, hanging out with Molly Parker at film festival parties).

Don Henley at a CD club? That's one for the ages. I'll bring out my Moby Grape box set and we can reminisce about Haight Ashbury.