Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Thoughts on the new Strokes?

And what's everyone listening to?

I'm still fixated on the Animal Collective and the Deerhof, both of which are outstanding, and yes, I will be bringing them to the CD club (may as well completely eliminate any chance I had of surprising anybody). Derek and Kyle both made me some coolio disks recently which I'm working through, and which will no doubt create spin-off purchases, but it's too early to tell.

Monday, January 30, 2006

well kyle since you didnt say mar 4 is bad for you I will assume you mean it is OK and with that I can officially confirm march 4th is the date of the cd club.( Applause Applause!!!!...I can also confirm that the date for the following CD club will be wednesday june 21 Applause!!!! Applause!!!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

I like the idea of fixed dates, though I've gotta say, never has there been such a flourish of activity in this space in the span of two or three days. Perhaps we should switch the focus of the blog from music appreciation to the art of scheduling.

The Queer Dance night at Lee's is a hoot. The music tends to be typical dancecave fare, which is a plus, but the crowd is better costumed. A few summers back, I witnessed a thin little man disrobe in the middle of the dance floor. He made it through 2 songs before the staff realized that he'd shed the tiny speedo he'd been wearing. Not a pretty sight but a funny one!

I share your lack of enthusiasm for the Constantines, Bri, but anything I've heard from opening band The Deadly Snakes has been quite good and would probably be even better live. You can always start off at the 'shoe then cab it up to Bloor for gay dancing.
the broken record speaks...since march 4th "ain't February 9, 10 or the weekend of the 18th" i'm in. As for this evening, i suspect that i might be one of the kiddies that gets tucked into bed early! I like the idea of preset dates, possibly tied to the lunar cycle, but can't honestly imaging how it would work out in the end. Let me check my tide charts and get back to you.
Fixed date works for me too, and I will say March 4th is good (and check later). I'm particularly fond of referencing the fixed date to the equinox and/or solstice - and can we do an extra one when Jupiter next aligns with Mars?

Constanines are supposed to be good live, but I find them so numbing on record that to hear those songs "brought to life", well.....anyway, and more relevantly, I've made very simple (and yes, a tad boring) plans to stay at home with the fam tonight and watch movies. For those heading out and looking for non-Constantine options, I note with interest that tonight is the monthly Queer Rock Dance Party at Lee's.
Like the idea about having a fixed date. I'm good for March 4th.

The Constantines are playing at the Shoe tonight. Aren't they supposed to be a much better band live than they've ever been on record?
ok.....lets giver another shot....I feel like a game show host....saturday march 4th.
I also have 2 suggestions.....this process has made me very thursty....anyone up for a show tonight say 9pm after kiddies are down...also how about we formalise the cd club to the first friday night of the solstace and equinox months...ie march june sept dec...I know Kyle doesnt have much control over this but it has to be a little easier then the process we are now going through....
...ergo: February 25th works for everyone?
i'd have to vote for march over this saturday, as i have another commitment that night (don't you too, derek?). i'm pretty good for most fridays and saturdays throughout feb or march.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hey morning glories, what's the story? Is this thing on for Saturday or not? If we're going to use the blog as a conduit please keep it up to date.
This Saturday is great for me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

In going through previous blogs it looks like this Saturday January 28, February 4 and 25th are the only possibles outside of pushing it back to March. I'm good for any of the above.
RE CD club dates; a saturday night or wait for march???what do you guys prefer?? Im flexible
hey there...ufortunately, i can't do this friday. i won't be back from phoenix until saturday....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

like i said, if it ain't February 9, 10 or the weekend of the 18th, i'm in....don't know how much music i'll have to bring by Friday, but i'll make up for it in beer....consumption that is.
CD club this friday 27th january???? still waiting for confirms from Kyle and marc
That Brian, he’s such a clever little lad! Here’s the perfect opportunity to ask Al in person. I hear he is playing at an intimate little venue just west of Toronto. …I can just see it now…Brian standing in the back of the room, pint in hand…HEY AL! WHAT THE H…
What the hell is a "morning form a Bogart movie" anyway? All of Bogey's films (well, not all nut I don' think he's talking about Treasure of Sierra Madre here) were set at night. They didn't call it Film Noir for nothin'.

Monday, January 23, 2006

On a morning from a Bogart movie
In a country where they turn back time
You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre
Contemplating a crime
Could I show up just to hear Time Passages and then leave? I'm out of the country on those dates so I have a built in excuse. I would still like to see a show at some point at Hugh's Room however so keep trying Stuart.

This Friday is OK for me.
Please ignore my previous inquiry re shuffling songs. Found 'er.
Stu, re Al Stewart, no thanks. And now I have Year of the Cat playing constantly in my head you bastard.

This Friday for CD Club would be my first choice so let's hope that y'all can do it.
OK dont throw stones at me a polite decline is acceptable....Al Stewart is playing HUghs room April 7th , 8th and I was a big fan back some years ago and its a great venue if you have not been....You eat dinner and watch the show from your table...20 feet away from the stage...you are home by midnight...It is very civilized (its a venue Yvette loves) Anyone wanting to bring wives along ....?
Yvette and I will probably go to this one.....let me know ...$35.00 per head
marc is unavailable on the 10th,,,bookclub the week after, Im away the weekend after....sooooo Im OK this friday or we have to shift it to a Saturday night or march....Im oK with any of that...
Stu - I'm a possible for the 3rd but would prefer this Friday (Jan 27) or Feb 10th, reason being that my mother in law, visiting from Australia, is leaving the night of the third, so that's a hectic time. Hopefully we can all move it one way or the other but if you can't you can't.

Well, I've got 700 songs on my iPod and am playing away - it is great technology- but haven't figured out how to shuffle songs. So Kyle I'm interested in your last e-mail. A brief description would be most helpful (we can go off-line if you're concerned about boring the other bloggeres......hah!) - amazingly I couldn't find it through the on-line help, but then again I realized last night I was looking at the help for the nano and I have the iPod30. Blah blah.
I'm in for February 3rd, Stuart. Thanks for taking on the hosting duties. I'll brave the 45 minute streetcar glide along Queen St. by listening to some of the great, free podcasts I've subscribed to over the past year. To do this, Brian, you click on the 'Music Store' in Itunes, then the 'Podcast' text link that appears on the left, beneath the 'Choose Genre' drop down menu.

Once you 'subscribe' to the podcasts of your choice, every time a new show is available, it will automatically download whenever you have your itunes software open and then will sync to your ipod each time you sync. Some of the podcasts I enjoy: CBC Radio 3, KCRW's The Treatment, and NPR: All Songs Considered.

Another fun tip for using the ipod is to use the 'shuffle songs' feature that plays songs randomly, which can be fun if you have several thousand songs on your player and get to hear, probably for the first time in history, a Maria Callas aria followed by 'The Sporting Life' by the Decemberists followed by 'Blasphemous Rumours' by the recently much discusssed DM, followed by 'Round Midnight' by the Derek's suggested artist MD in a fifteen minute span.

Happy listening.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Barry Manilow is about the same age as my dad and there he was prancing about on television the other night with that same bleach bond perm and leather togs like he was still 25 and singing Mandy for the gazillionth time. I'd rather listen to my dad sing.

I'm in for February 3rd.
Ok...how is friday Feb 3 ...( no barry manilou since no positive response..)
I'm good for your place too Stu. My new location next to the subway makes the whole "west" thing much more do-able. Though, make no mistake, compared to us (left-wing) city folk, you are essentially a 905-er.
Count me in for a CD club at your place Stuart. I think we've scheduled the next book club for Thursday February 16 so we can probably rule out that week as you'll all no doubt be taking your sweethearts out for dinner on the Tuesday night.

The Depeche Mode song you heard might have been "Precious" which is a pretty fine song.

Brian, if you're looking to fill up that iPod and quickly you could probably do worse than start with Miles Davis 6CD set "The Cellar Door Sessions" from 1970 and just released at the end of last year.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I'd be up for a gathering at your place, Stuart...it's not that far...it's not as if it's Oakville! The only days i am not available are, at this point, February 9, 10 and the weekend of the 18th.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

There is this song Ive been hearing recently which sounds just like a hit 80's song ....but I think it is current as there is just a hint of a contemporary feel to it and I thought I heard the dj say Depeche Mode....if it is ....its the the only time I can remember a comeback song that is really good and sounds exactly how they used to sound 20 years ago....Anyone think of another example...?
with such a long span between....??

RE the cd club....I offer my place if you feel up to the trudge westward..but if you want to do it more centrally I understand.....however....I can promise a nice hot fire....french red wine...candlelight....perhaps a little Barry Manilow...you know ..."Weekend in new England".....ahhhhhh yes.... oh sorry lads!! Axel Rose it is then...
Really Mark?!! Jack Johnson the boxer from the tw - oh, right, the other Jack Johnson. The surfer dude with the silky voice. Nice job on the top ten, makes my year, and my exercise in list-building, look even more dull. Which sadly, it appears that it was. But never fear, there is no chance of a diminished appetite chez BD - I've found that my appetite for all things cultural is if anything growing every year, inversely related to my access to free time (not just a coincidence). So here's to 2006.

And on that note, I finally got my iPod up and running last night and the future is mine. Very exciting. Now I need approximately one thousand recommendations from each of you (so get working on it).

Re CD club, and me hosting it, truth is that until the little bastard, or pardon me, the wee bairn, starts going to bed a bit earlier - he's already sleeping through the night so I'm not complaining - holding it chez me is not a great option. I'll do the next one. This time 'round, why don't one of you other dudes take it on and I will be there with bells on.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Thanks for the props on the comp, marc. Glad you liked it. Also, good to have you back!

I hope that I don't lose my enthusiasm for new and interesting music as I age. So far it hasn't happened but then some would argue that I haven't necessarily matured with age yet either. I go through phases where I don't listen to much new music and other times where I'm listening to something new every day. October through December were big music months, where I downloaded and listened to close to 30 albums (legally) and almost 400 tracks. I do the same thing with movies and books. Sometimes I think a person needs those down times to better appreciate those up times. Just don't focus too much energy on work....you'll betray the essential thread which binds us to this blog and the cd club: enjoying that which isn't work.

Kind of agree with you with respect to BSS. I'm hesitant to use the word 'disappointed' but, after 3 or 4 listens, I'm not taking to it as quickly as I did 'You Forgot it in People'. I'm hoping that this will change with repeated listenings. The problem with a followup to a great album like 'YFIIP' or Moby's 'Play' is that the artist can either try to recreate the same sound or structure as the great album (ie. '18', which has always sounded to me like a B-sides companion to 'Play') or opt for a different direction altogether (ie. The Strokes' 'House on Fire'). BSS opted for something more inventive and while I'm not sure that it works, I do respect the effort. Also have to agree with Brian re: the 'Pavement' track which is good but comes across as a lesser 'Summer Babe' than an homage to, or titular 'dream' about, the 90s band's sound. Also, has anyone here ever seen them live? Sarah and I were speculating that one of their concerts would probably be more enjoyable for the band than the audience (ie. an extended, self-involved jam session). Is this an unfair assumption?

Stuart, ah dinnae ken ye gave tha rite cheek ta Derek, ye gormless numptie.

"Ah've nivir seen tha lek..." was what you should have said. I suggest you pick up an Irvine Welsh book to use as a reference for all future posts incorporating Scottish vernacular.
Hey Marc, great to have you back. Nicely done on the year end wrap up as well. I totally agree with you on the latest Metric disc. After one or two listens I was finding it all a bit underwhelming but stick with it and the album really comes together. Much more so than their first one I find. Sorry I can't agree with you on the B.S.S. but that seems to be a disc that is creating rather divisive opinions.

I too am extremely guilty on the Moby front. How is it though that an artist can release a disc where for 12 months you cannot go anywhere without hearing his music and then with 2 subsequent albums I haven't heard a single track?

Feel free to borrow my copy of Nostalgia 77. I've had it for a while and it's very groovy. Shall I bring it tomorrow night?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

What, …hunh? Did somebody say something? …sorry sir, could you repeat the question?…school was never this bad…the peer pressure!…marc, have another beer…why are you leaving so soon? you,ve only had six!….marc, when are going to get an mp3 player…a digital camera….a blackberry…high def tv decoder! Marc, when are you going to take some time off work so you can post something on the blog! Marc, when are we going skiing…well, considering the weather, at least I’m off the hook for the skiing.

Ok, ok, so I guess maybe I should make an effort on my top ten of the year before I have to start worrying about buying Christmas presents for 2006.

2005 was a peculiar year for me. In it’s twelve months, I don’t think I ever really got excited about anything other than work….how sad is that? No running, no biking, no climbing, no skiing, and way to little time spent with music, friends and loved ones (in no particular order). Maybe 2006 will see a change in that, although I somehow doubt it.

When I was young, I remember lamenting my father’s growing lack of interest in music over the years and it disturbed me because I could not understand how someone who had such a passion for something could loose it. Over the past few months I have found music taking a back seat in my life as well, and although it’s not as if I don’t have an interest…I just have little time for it…and I don’t even have kids!

So here goes. Since I bought scarcely 10 recordings 2005 my list is going to take on a slightly flavour…but then I always feel the pressure to be unconventional anyway.

#1 indie compilation: “Melodies” by KP? Sweet, energizing, crafted, and soulful. Finishing with Brubeck brought it all back home! Nicely done!

#1 worst highly anticipated compilation that I actually bought : Giles Peterson “digs America” I really expected more from this guy; Britain’s lord of the crates…he digs deep into the bins and usually come up with gems but his year he seems to have come up with a handful of beat up 45’s that were transferred directly to digital. The audio quality on a lot of this stuff blows and although some of the trax do have soul, the comp lacks direction and coherence.

#1 album released by a singer song writer that scored a score of classics over thirty years ago. Bruce Springsteen’s “Devil and Dust” Dark and gritty at times, always genuine and somehow manages to tweak the genre enough to bring new blood to the surface. …indeed, Stuart, a precious few artists are good for more that 10 years!

#1 album featuring an upright bass, violin, French horn, trumpet and a typewriter. Belle Orchestre. The concert at the music gallery blew me away (thanks Derek), and although the album has really strong moments, to me it somehow looses the thread on occasions. The sound is so different that maybe it’s me…I’m not able to stretch myself to fit within the space of the music. I find the production of the album fascinating, but the jury is still out on all the intervening street noise. That having been said, I really have the feeling that I am in an another physical space when I listen to this recording.

#1 Swedish pop rock album that I was able to buy used before it was actually released in Canada: The Shout Out Louds “Howl Howl Gaff Gaff”. Really good solid, driving pop. O.k, it turns a little Cure at times but we can excuse it for that, can’t we? Favourite stupid line from Oh sweatheart: “Someone studies archYtecture, someone works with fabric texture.” What’s that all about?

#1 revisited album: I had picked up Metric “Live It Out” back in the summer and was disappointed in it perhaps only because it was not what I was expecting it to be. The great thing about a year end review is that it forces you to look back at things that you might have overlooked though the year. “Live It Out” is a well structured album with many decent trax. Besides, you have to give cudos to an album that has a track called “Patriarch on a Vespa”

#1 disappointing follow up that I have not yet been able to get my head around: Broken Social Scene. It lacks the sweetness, drive, charm, craft and diversity of “You Have It In People”…I just don’t get it….yet. I’ll give it another try…again. To me it is still just a bunch of noise! I loved YHIIP to death. If it were on vinyl it would be worn out; but this, it just doesn’t click with me as much as I want it to.

#1 new-to-me band/album. Spoon: “Gimme Fiction” This was fresh and exciting. Nothing groundbreaking at all, but well worth listening in a “I want something that I don’t hear on the radio but is not too out there kinda way”

#1 industry discovery of a recording that was hidden deep in the library of congress…I don’t even have to go there do I ?

#1 album from a short bald guy who often deifies himself on stage: Moby. “Hotel” This is really solid stuff, and although it is not as ground breaking as “Play” was, both “18” and “Hotel” are really good offerings of well crafted songs assembled in fluid packages. The problem with creating an album like “Play” is that you set the “inventive” bar so high that few artists ever meet other’s expectations. A shame in a way that an artists work should be disregarded on the merits of it’s not living up to former brilliance.

#1 concert for which I have yet to buy any of the bands music. The Decemberists

#1 album that I have only heard a few trax of…have never seen and certainly do not own a copy of but am sure to pick up before the next get together: Nostalgia77 “The Garden”

#1 comfort food album: Jack Johnson “In Between Dreams” (no Brian, not that Jack Johnson…the other one!). Call it what you will…a guilty pleasure?…I can’t get enough of Jack Johnson. Something about his simple words and easy, melodic guitar… it’s a happy place for me to go, and it takes me there every time I put it on. Jack’s music brings contentedness to my body and soul and wafts of ocean salts and the moistness of air ripped by the breeze from a warm surf . It’s all good when I listen to JJ!
Peace, love and happiness.

weell listen ta tha cheek...Ive never seen the like...
Hey Stuart if you plan on using the Scottish vernacular you should know that bairn, not being French, does not have a trailing "e" and if you want to discuss the size of these bairns then "wee" might work better than we, so dinnae be glaikit.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Since you have the we little bairne...and since I have not seen the house since before the purchase....how about your place Brian?? for la supper club cd

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Great idea re CD club - I've actually purchased some music in the last few weeks. You know, music is pretty cool.
Oh and somebody wake up Marc!
May I suggest that we schedule a CD club for sometime next month? The last time we got together was in September and anything I can fill in on my calendar that helps me get through January and February is most welcome.
Stormy Monday is the album most often talked about ....but I think a posthumously released well selected double cd would be better....I await optomistically for such a thing...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Any albums of Rawls' that you'd recommend, Stu? The only song of his with which I'm familiar is the one you mentioned. Perhaps with his passing, a new compilation will be released. Which Wayan brother will play him in the biopic?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Lou Rawls died today...,and though some of you may only know him by his big hit "You'll never find.... another love like mine" from the mid 70's ( which is actually a stellar pop/disco track deserving of any dance mix cd)...,he has a backlog of very good R&B/Souls stuff from the 60's which deserves a better compilation then is out there due to changing labels so often in his career. He also deserves better critical attention then is generally given...R.I.P.
see link for more

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I wanted to wait until seeing some important films over the holidays before posting. Then I realized that there wouldn't be any important films released this holiday season. Yes, Brokeback Mountain came out in mid-December so technically qualifies as a holiday release but I'm referring to those movies that are usually released on Christmas Day, that I look forward to seeing on December 27th when Sarah and I get back from our family visitations. This year? Bubkus.

I thought that Woody Allen's 'Match Point' was supposed to be released on the 25th but alas, since I do not live in NY or LA, it was not playing at a theatre near me. I guess 'Munich' is supposed to be an important film but the reviews have been pretty mixed thus far.

Okay, I'm rambling about film in a space that's supposed to be about music. Let me just say then:

1) 2005 was a far better year for music than it was for movies, given that I can easily name 10+ 'great' discs but am forced to google my way through different online lists to try to recall even a handful of movies that come close.

2) Movie audiences have to learn to shut the fuck up. Children seem to know this--I recently saw 'Narnia' and 'Harry Potter' and the kids were far better behaved than the adults. But instead of worrying about declining attendance or piracy, those in the movie business should be doing more to muzzle their audiences. And I'm sorry, Varsity Theatre, $12 for a matinee on a Wednesday? Fuck off.

3) Glad you liked 'Aberdeen', Derek. I know you're a big Lena Headey fan and though her pulchritude is nicely showcased in this film, it's also a pretty moving story about a woman's relationship with her father.

4) Here were the best films I saw in 2005, in no particular order:

-Cache´ (Hidden)
-The Squid and the Whale
-Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
-Broken Flowers
-Nobody Knows
-Goodnight and Good Luck
-A History of Violence
-The Ice Harvest

I haven't seen: Capote, The Constant Gardener, Munich, King Kong or Crash, so it seems odd that I've excluded any of these, that's why.

Finally, the worst piece of crap I couldn't watch 5 minutes of even though I was on a 5 hour flight award goes to: 'Bewitched' Runner-up: 'Elektra' .

Here's the link to the Least Essential Albums of 2005, always a good laugh. And now, no more lists for awhile. I'll try to post some thought-provoking questions and insightful observations. At the very least, I will link to some.