Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Not sure if you've put the finishing touches on Gavin's disc(s) but Brian's post references some bands whose songs should definitely be on that list. Specifically, I refer to:

'Velvet Roof' by Buffalo Tom, 'I Can Dream All Day' by the Posies, 'Sunshine State' by Superchunk, 'Gold Soundz' or 'Range Life' from Pavement, and if he anticipates getting into a fight with his wife ( I right...have the drugs not yet entirely fried my brain and my memory is awesome??) perhaps the slowly building angry 'Not Too Amused' by Sebadoh.

Btw...if you could export and post the playlist when you're done that would be peachy.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Re driving music, I often find myself drawn to some of the grand ol' alt-rock of the nineties, with its big beats, guitars, drums, and angst and irony...ah, those were fine fine years. I'm thinking Pavement (probably Crooked Rain), Sebadoh's Bakesale, GBV (Isolation Drills, which admittedly is from '01), Eleventh Dream Day's "El Moodio", The Posies (Frosting on the Beater), Sloan, Superchunk, Yo La Tengo, I'll allow Radiohead (though they appear to be fading for me), and hell why not Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana?! OK, you may draw the line there.

As an aside, isn't it interesting how, ten or twelve years after the fact, I have distilled the early-mid nineties, which were a fantastic period of musical discovery for me, into about ten records - no mention of Drugstore, Polvo, Cracker, Hayden, Grant Lee Buffalo, or Buffalo Tom for that matter, and myriad other bands that I truly dug at the time. Does make you wonder about the true power and resonance of pop music.

So, admittedly, Derek, if you're looking to impress Gavin with your musical wherewithal, slapping on Nevermind may not get the job done....but there is some fine driving music to be mined from the period.

Another great source of driving music is hard bop - 50's and 60's jazz, you know, Sonny Clark's quintet stuff, almost anything by Lee Morgan, Jackie MacLean, Booker Ervin, yadda yadda. Particularly good at night.

And hey, while we're all talking about jazz.....

Friday, June 23, 2006

In that case, I'd advise Gavin to pick up a personal dvd player with lighter adapter, to play Dora/Einstein in the backseat for the younglings while he and his wife enjoy something a little less twee (that is, unless they decide to play anything by the Polyphonic Spree).
For the opposite mood....mellow crusing thru senic landscapes I like the first sigour rios disc, but the last one would probably work too, For rockin I like driving to the second strokes disc, clash london calling........james laid has a great up and down mix...lemonheads ( the one with its a shame about ray)...roxy music ..siren, sloan.twice removed... im sure there are more, but its all i can thik of at the office

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Kyle and Marc great work lads. Responses above and beyond the call of duty. Although now you're pretty much forcing me to go out and cut 3 or 4 mix CDs for Gavin. It would be completely irresponsible of me not to do so after such enthusiastic input.

Not many finer driving songs than "Destroy Everything You Touch". Were there any other particular tracks Marc off the albums you recommended that I should pinpoint for inclusion on a CD or two?

Kyle, I'll pass along your recommendation re books on CD but you fail to take in to account that senor Gavine has dos hijos (muy joven) and thus will be lucky to see his way past 2 or 3 track of any musical CD that I might pass his way.

Stuart and Brian any songs/albums you would like to posit?
Best Driving Albums

Okay, criteria first. No instrumental music. Putting pedal to the metal to the tune of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries may have some British researchers in a tizzy but I’d suggest you stick to something with lyrics, something vaguely familiar (so you can sing along), and nothing too negative in either tone or message; the last thing you want to be doing is contemplating the futily of human existence while maneuvering a ton of glass and steel at 120 kph .

Sometimes terrain can play a big role in determining the best music to select. The first time I was in Palm Springs, driving around at dusk, I found the instrumental tracks on Yo La Tengo’s ‘I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One’ to be particularly suited to the somewhat barren, dusty landscape that I was making my way through. I don't know what cds are best suited to the initially beautiful but ultimately monotonous sightlines of the Canadian Shield, though.

On my recent long driving stretches through various states, I’ve enjoyed:

The Shins’ “Chutes Too Narrow”. Clever lyrics that can be belted out at full volume (You TOLD US OF YOUR NEW LIFE THERE/You’ve got someone coming round/gluing tinsel to your crown) and it has a lot of ‘woos’ and ‘oohs’, which are easy to pronounce and cathartic to utter.

New Order’s ‘Substance’. Really a greatest hits collection up to 1987, most tracks have an underlying electronic beat that keep you awake. Crank up ‘Blue Monday’ for those long, curvy roads at night. If you can’t stand the synthesizers, go with the Joy Division release of the same title.

The Beatles ‘Revolver’. Because it’s not my favourite of their albums, but it's probably their best album of songs, if that makes any damn sense. Plus you’re bound to know most of the words.

The Doors ‘The Best of the Doors’. Again, you know the words and songs like ‘Break on through’ and ‘Roadhouse Blues’ (Keep your eyes on the road/your hands upon the wheel) can only truly be appreciated while driving.

The New Pornographers ‘The Electric Version’. Smart, tight, rocking pop ditties that will have you coasting down the road with a smile on your face.

Calexico ‘Feast of Wire’. Particularly for those moments when you’re in the middle of nowhere, and maybe even as he’s driving by some of the reservations up in northern Ontario, I get the sense that the mood of the album will just seem right.

Clinic ‘Internal Wrangler’ or ‘Walking With Thee’ – the harmonica that powers most of the tracks is not an unlike a horn, and combined with the pounding drums, seem to announce your presence on the road.

In the ‘It’ll either annoy the shit out of you or you’ll find it an interesting album to discover along the way’ department, may I suggest, ‘Blueberry Boat’ by The Fiery Furnaces. There are some tracks which still grate, particularly the opener, but there are some gems as well as gems within duds. With such a long drive, you'll either come to love it or want to throw it out the window.

As for individual songs, perhaps you could make him a mixed disc that would include:

‘Bathtime in Clerkenwell’ by The Real Tuesday Weld, for the beginning of the trip. You’ll want to bounce up and down in your seat as you head out of the city.

‘Faron’ by Prefab Sprout, not only because references the act in the lyrics (Driving/on a straight road which never alters/and the waitress serenades but doesn’t falter) but because the steady guitar propels the song forward in a car-like manner.

‘Mass Romantic’ by the New Pornographers. Not on the disc referenced above but another, anthemic, shout-out loud, energetic song.

‘Fingerpops’ by Garageland. Mentions driving up to a lake but also has a bopping kind of rhythm to it that’s really fun for driving.

‘Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out) by The Arcade Fire. Quick pace, relentlessly positive, will keep you awake.

‘Wave of Mutilation’ by the Pixies, which mentions driving your car into the ocean, which is course is impossible if you’re headed to Timmins to no worries.

‘Not Even Jail’ by Interpol, from their last disc, which has a pounding drum which again I find suitable for driving (as well as for fucking but this could be dangerous while behind the wheel --best to stick to oral while the car's in motion).

I gotta say, though, for a drive to Timmins, a handful of 30 to 60 minute cds will just not suffice, as he’ll will probably get tired of listening to just music. For a return trip of that length my recommendation would be to take along at least one or two Books on CD, many of which are available at the Public Library. You can also rent them from Audiobooks on Bay Street (just south of Richmond on the west side) for little more than the cost of a movie rental ($7-$8). An Inspector Rebus novel by Ian Rankin will do nicely. Any of the Harry Bosch novels by Michael Connelly are also enjoyable, as they make similar use of the truculent, unconventional cop with a dark past motif without resorting to self-parody.

Enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Did someone say ROAD TRIP!!!

…calls for an eclectic mix of moods…nothing to sombre that will lull you sleep.

Ladytron, Witching Hour
Garbage, Self titled
Antibalas, Talkatif
Branvan3000, glee
Art Bergman, Sexual Roulette
Lemonheads, It’s a Shame about Ray
Jack Johnson, Thicker Than Water
Bugge Wesseltoft, New Conceptions in Jazz – FILM iNG
Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks
Nightmares on Wax, Carboot Soul
U2 – Achtung Baby

Top 5 singles to get you arrested:

Lou Reed – New Sensations
Tom Petty – Running Down a Dream
The Who – Going Mobile
Springsteen –Night
Moby – Extreme Ways
An interesting challenge, which raises the question: what music best accompanies long stretches of driving? While there are doubtless some albums which fit the bill, they are many individual songs which have always enhanced the driving experience (first on my list, "No Love Lost" by Joy Division, though 'She's Lost Control', with its constant drumbeat, celebrated in Winterbottom's "24 Hour Party People", also does the trick). Since Stuart and Marc are racing enthusiasts, I imagine they will both have some interesting suggestions here. Well done, Gavin.

Thinking caps on.
I am also good for July 13th.

On a side note, Gavin here at work has a long drive up to Timmins on the long weekend and asked if I could suggest some good driving CDs. He's looking for complete discs by a specific artist so not a mixed CDR or a greatest hits thing. Old or new any suggestions?

Monday, June 19, 2006

the 13th works for me.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Time for someone (me) to show a little leadership and get this jazz list back on track.

My next ten are:

(20) Thelonious Monk - Brilliant Corners (1956)
(19) Dave Brubeck - Time Out (1959)
(18) David Murray - Body and Soul (1993)
(17) Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus (1956)
(16) Cannonball Adderley - Something Else (1958)
(15) Dexter Gordon - Our Man in Paris (1963)
(14) Rahsaan Roland Kirk - The Inflated Tear (1967)
(13) Chet Baker - Chet (1959)
(12) Bud Powell - The Amazing Bud Powell (Vol 2) (1953)
(11) Helen Merrill - Dream of You (1956)

A few quirky choices in there, but I love 'em dearly.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cheap ass sample of Soft Cell's signature hit, though it may be, SOS does indeed work in cardio situations. I'd caution you, Mr. Doyle, to listen at your peril. Thanks for thinking of me as I am indeed booked for June 22nd for a fundraiser, to which I'm happy to accompany my wife, don't let the looks on my face suggest otherwise.

I can do July 13th, no problem.
I am away on that week, but Brian and I can both do July 13th a thursday night...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

July 6th works for me.

As does "SOS" by Rihanna. For those who write off top 40 music without so much as a blink you do so at your peril.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Boys - Victoria has pointed out that Kyle cancelled our book club meeting for June 22 due to another engagement (Breast Cancer funtion he and Sarah are attending) , so, and I'm only guessing here, he likely isn't available for the CD Club either. And tempting though it is to shaft the man - after all he's been vacationing in Italy, and we haven't - my more mature side is whispering "no Brian, re-schedule".

So, how about Thursday July 6th ?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

thanks for the info lads.....guess Im off to Gregorian.....

Friday, June 02, 2006

Hilary gets the nod, though, because she's kind of cute.

I have the exact same selection of Vengerov disks, and had the pleasure of hearing him play the Britten violin concerto a couple of years ago. An absolute stunner. He reminds me of Evgeny Kissin, except on violin, with his authoritative, muscular style. I have mostly heard him play modern pieces and it suits them very well.
One of the first classical discs I ever purchased was Vengerov playing both the Shostakovich and Prokofiev 1st violin concertos under the guidance of the legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. It came out in 1994 on Teldec and Gramaphone gave it some serious accolades. I've never really warmed up to either piece but I think Vengerov is certainly a wonderful musician. Alongside Annie Sophie Mutter and perhaps now Hilary Hahn he is considered one of the pre-eminent players of our time. About 5 years ago at the CD club Greg brought along the CD "Vengerov and Virtuosi" which like a box of chocolates has Vengerov playing some beautiful short pieces written for violin.

My personal favourite of his is a disc from 3 years ago, again with Rostropovich conducting, has Vengerov playing the Britten violin concerto and the Walton viola concerto. A terrific disc that everyone should rush out and purchase right away. His disc from 2002 which contains primarily the Ysaye violin sonatas is also very good.
I must digress from jazz for the moment to classical....last night I saw maybe the best performance in the last few years at the TSO concert. ( I know I am prone to superlatives...but I actually stood up for a standing o...) Unfortunatly I dont know anything about the piece of music or the violinist or the conductor...They are Maxim Vengerov on violin, conducted by Andrey Boreyko performing Shostokovitch's Violin Concerto # 1 which I understand to be written in the late forties in the Stalin ruled soviet republic.... The piece was haunting grim and at the end almost maniacle...but in parts it is very minimalist with solo parts for various instruments including Vengerov of couse. The contrast of Vengerov playing solo and then the orchestra kicking in was dynamic. He played the instrument with much macho vigour which seemed short he plyed the shit out of it but it still was in control not ....missed or squeeked stinging. Boreyko was working the TSO like I have never seen , fascially and with his hands indicating too load or too quiet or gently times to various sections of the orchestra, Ive never seen that to such a degree before, but they responded.....anyway a quick web search didnt give me a whole lot to go on , do any of you know much about Vengerov or the concerto or Boreyko??