Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I haven't checked but I think I have Mischa Maisky playing the Cello, and Pletnev conducting.
I have a version that was released in 2003 on EMI with the LSO conducted by Atonio Pappano and Han-Na Chang on cello.
I have not picked a copy yet but have my eye on the London Philharmic recording with Mstislav Rostropovich on cello, Seiji Ozawa conducting ...have yet to find a copy.

Monday, January 29, 2007

just picked up the Prokofiev , and it sounds good on first listen....which version do you guys have?
I believe that itunes uses the AAC format . If Itunes sells you the song then you are able to copy it 3 times. If you get a new computer you need to de register your old computer w apple so as not to waste one of your 3 copys. I have heard some say if you burn your itunes bought song onto a disc and then copy that burned copy you bypass this issue. If you are simply ripping your own cd to your own computer you own the rights (I think) and you can make as many copies as you want. I have ripped about 400 cds using itunes AAC at 160 bit rate to generally pretty great results...
Am i right in thinking that most on-line sales such as emusic are mp3 @ 128bit with the exception of iTunes that are sold in the format of AAC files? Are there not copywrite protection isues with the AAC files that will prevent the user from backing up their files or copy write them to other sources?
further thought marc,
Jeff (of Charlotte and jeff) had said that if you connected the ipod by the usb like data port instead of the headphone jack to the home sterio or car sterio that the sound would be much better, but I have seen no other refernece to this online ( and I searched) and the sales people at the source say that that is bunk there is no difference to music, and that that type of connection only benefits you by the fact it now doubles as a power recharge station . At apple they only seem to have the headphone adapter kits as well. In short to improve sound you are left with tweaking the encoding format (like I describe earlier) which helps a lot or using as encoding format that leaves the music files too big to be practical. You can also buy a sterio audio receiver (like the one i refer to earlier) which can store limitless cds in a onboard computer, but they are extremely expensive...I think that will change soon though.....
I have put some effort into searching what file formats to use Marc. I found Mp3s at 120 bit rate to be crappy, and I found that apple lossless , which is a compressed format , but without anything removed, to be too big ....I have found the apple format AAC (which I think are mp4's)at at 160 bit rate to be much much better....You may have to stick with apple and itunes , as I think the mp3s are more universal, but I here that all these formats are evolving and within 5 years the ipods will be limitless in terms of storage space... Also , the Ipod is quite a good user friendly interface with your music collection , once you learn how to customise the genras and other identifying bits of information (which is quite easy) and I cant believe that there isnt a cheap type of new receiver which is basically a bigger version an ipod...but maybe thats wghat your friend has..
Apparently the new blogger does not like copy and pasted punctuation very much, what's up with that?
As everyone knows I have a problem with lists, but here goes. I’m not exactly sure how to define this list …I think that is nice that each of you have chosen to define it slightly differently.

In my mind, three albums stand above all others in the grunge world. They are:
Nirvana, Nevermind
Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream
Pearl Jam, Ten

These albums have what it takes to be classics; they’re strong from start to finish, flow from cut to cut, contain no filler and where, incidentally, all commercially successful and had a big impact on the public. Earlier I noted Disarm as being my favourite track off of Siamese Dream, because, as it is viewed in context of the album, it is the pivot point in the sequence of the whole. After all, Grunge was big on the turning point. It was all about the contrast, the crispness of acoustic guitar chords juxtaposed against layers of distortion, tender poetic moments contrasted with occasionally truly misogynistic anger, and all wrapped in a tidy package of plaid, angst and on occasions, volume. Most importantly it had to emote the depravity of a disenfranchised generation of youth.

From the top 3 grunge albums
Nevermind, 1) Smells Like Teen Spirit (interesting story about where that song came from), 2)Lithium
Ten, 3)Black & 4)Jeremy (having said what I said about solid albums, I would have cut the tenth of the eleven tracks on the album (Deep) to make it a solid “Ten”)
Siamese Dream, 5)Cherub Rock, 6)Disarm

I think though, that one of the main things that bonds Grunge together into a cohesive style is association. The reason that I bring this up is that when I sit down to listen to various albums and try to decide if they musically fit into the “grunge” slot it becomes difficult. Art Bergman’s Sexual roulette from 1990, for example, fits the mould in many respects but would never have been thought of as grunge.
6) Art Bergmann – Bound for Vegas

One of my favourite grunge tunes is Nirvana’s 7)The Man who sold the World, that is in fact a song that was written twenty years earlier when Cobain was only three. When you go back and listen to Bowie’s recording the performance is intrinsically very similar, but by association we think of it as Grunge when Nirvana performs it. Hmmm, we all know that Bowie was ahead of his time, but 20 years?

Enough wanking from me about what is or is not grunge. Damned if I can put my finger on it, but am indeed interested in digging a little deeper into some of the roots of the scene.

From the top of the grunge charts comes Stone Temple Pilots’ 8) Big Empty, from, in retrospect, a pretty crappy album and Pearl Jam’s 9Better Man.

Brian, I applaud you for your eloquent acronym “GLFWEOOOB” to define the limits of your list. I think that Beck’s 10) Looser might fall in to one of the o’s. I remember working with Stuart when that was first released and we both drove in to the job site and had heard it on the radio and said “WHAT WAS THAT!”
Lemonheads, definitely. 11) Bit Part, ‘cause I luv Juliana Hatfields voice in it.

I took a re-listen to Moist’s Silver and, in retrospect, could not believe how derivative it was. Parts of it almost sound like it where lifted. I had never really thought of it as Grunge for some reason… maybe because it was Canadian and I had a very narrow geographical idea of where Grunge came from. Vancouver is after all a good 20 km from Washington State. In any case, I was so big into Moist at the time that I have to give them the nod with 12) Push.

…and here is where things start to go awry and veer off into various obtuse directions.
Lou Reed’s Magic and Loss is another one of my favourite albums from the era. Deep and moving it is at times shocking and 13) Power and The Glory makes the cut for bringing our life full circle and setting us up for the Magic and Loss.

Next comes the Irish Segment of the listification
James: 14) Sometimes. It’s interesting to listen for the influence of the Waterboys in their music, or maybe it’s just the passion of the Irish!

Irish nod number two goes to U2 for coming back and re-defining themselves in 1991 with the release of Achtung Baby, their first full studio release since Joshua Tree. U2 found a new sound, and a new direction for the band that reflected the world that was changing around them. No it ain’t “GLFWEOOOB”, but you can definitely hear the influence and a lot more on 15) Zoo Station

The Waterboys were granted well on their way down hill when they recorded Dream Harder, however, 16) The return of Jimi Hendrix manages so beautifully to capture the energy the artist’s life. The lyrics are pure poetry …stunningly Irish, although I think the album should have be seriously paired down to an ep!

…brings us back full circle to Seattle, the birth place of lord Jimi …now if I could only be clever and somehow tie it all together! I think there is a thread there somewhere though.

And getting progressively further from GLFWEOOOB
The Lowest of the Low – 17) Bleed a Little While Tonight
R.E.M – 18) Texarcana
Counting Crows – 19) Mr. Jones
Tragically Hip – 20) Little Bones

And lastly, and in part because I don’t know how to count or play games by rules, the start of something completely new, but really not that new at all, sort of; US3 – 20) Cantaloop

This list does not reflect, in whole or in part, the views or opinions of the author!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Okay, we've switched to the new blogger. I'm with you both, Stuart and Derek, in that I'm reluctant to switch to something new when something old works well. I always resist upgrading to itunes, because I figure at some point the music transfer or some other feature is going to stop working and I'll curse myself for messing around with a good thing. However, I get the feeling that the longer we hold out, the more we'll be prompted to switch and the slower the 'old blogger' is going to get for us so I've made the change. Not sure whether you'll see this change, or if the choice to upgrade is up to each member/poster. Other than a few tweaks here and there, the interface looks pretty much the same so I'm guessing that most of the changes have been made to the back-end, so the overall performance should improve (less chance of losing those posts, Bri).

Marc, I'm guessing that the issues your client is experiencing stems from the encoding of the music file, but you can explore a little more at the Sonos forum site. I've never used another file format for my ipod but my ears aren't as keen as yours, and have arguably been damaged by years of high volume headphone use. I do like the concept of streaming the music from a central harddrive to different speakers in different rooms of the house, though. I suspect this is how we'll all listen to our music at home very soon.

As for book club tonight, I'll bring my ipod and put together an hour's playlist of music that I think will go well with a Michael Crummey novel. Might be a little tricky, given that I have yet to start the novel, but there many hours left in the day, and I'm planning on leaving work a little early.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The reason i ask the question below about the mp3's, is that a client recently hade an audio system installed, nothing at all over the top (Yamaha receiver) along with a rather cool Sonos mp3 player. As far as i can tell, it is basicly a hard drive which is connected to the receiver and it gets it files loaded on to it from a the home pc. The Sonos has a very cool remote that has an iPod like GUI.

To make a long story short, i had a stack of disks on the job site and Lisa loaded them onto the Sonos via iTunes on her pc an i was astounded at how different the sound quality was when listed against the original cd it was burned from. Dynamic range was down and the soundstage and imaging were very flat compared to the wav. file. ...and i don't even have a very good set of ears!

Was the difference in the mp3's or the Sonos? ...or is there an installation problem with this particular unit? Eager to hear any thoughts you might have on mp3's.

I know, i know; i am supposed to be listening to the music and not the sound, but i feel as if i am only getting 90% of the music.
Stuart, if i am not mistaken, I believe that the host of the site, Kyle, would first have to sign on with the new google blogger before any of his invited guests would be allowed to post with the new blogger; so until he does so, you are off the hook!

Stuart, I am curious about what file formats you are using on your iPod? ... have any of you other iPloders experimented with file formats other than the mp3 ...care to comment on your findings?

Still working on the list, honestly.
Hey Stuart I have my iPod connected to my living room stereo on a regular basis so yes I am set up for your convenience. As for the new vs old blogger I am like you Stuart. If something works then why switch so I haven't tried the new version.

Looks like we're good for Friday February 16th at my place. Still waiting on Marc's list re 1991-1994 but once that's in perhaps I can rip some compilation discs that cover the period.
Are you set up for ipods Derek? it saves me having to bring 8 cds along.... by the way Derek, you and Brian and Kyle are welcome to bring your ipods to Yvettes book club night ,as Yvette falls short in the music host department, and I am set up for it...( not that Im pressuring you Mr Mercer....)
Lads please do comment on my new metabeats blogger question that I asked previously, you may have missed it...Has it worked for you well?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Just re-reading earlier posts and I see you're hosting, Derek, which is fine. Hope Ciaran has earplugs.

I'm into bringing some of the classical pieces and Prokofiev is fine with me.

Good to hear about the Courthouse as I muchly dig east-end venues. As much as I enjoy traipsing through the Queen West West and College St. environs, the $20 cab rides seem like so much waste of beer money. I couldn't help but laugh at one of the quotes in the article, specifically,

“The opening week of The Courthouse is a tribute to the Montreal Bistro and Top O' The Senator” states Taylor. “Following in their footsteps, we hope this will become another great home for local and touring artists alike”.

He might have added, "Except we'll try to avoid those footsteps which led to suddenly closing up shop".
16th of Feb shoukd be OK for me too. Also, I'm in for Prokofiev cello music, it's a wonderful piece.
Yawn....well....was a nice little siesta...what day is it.....what?!!?

Okay, a little long since suggesting that we come up with lists and actually posting my own. Some will say that I've just waited until others have posted their lists so that I can agree with some of their choices but split hairs on some choices and come up with tracks that they've missed so that I look especially clever but....really, it's just laziness, and a busy bit of business travel in the last week and a half. If you're looking for examples of the above, look no further than this week's (last week's?) eye magazine, which boldy compiles its critics picks for best music of 2006 in late January. Can't imagine there were that may releases in December that would have prevented a much earlier listing but whatever.

Onto my list, which does include many of the tracks previously listed....

1991-1994 kyliep faves, limited to 20, but no doubt missing some key songs that i'll curse myself for forgetting:

  • Rave Down - Swervedriver
  • Grey Cell Green - Ned's Atomic Dustbin
  • Only Shallow - My Bloody Valentine
  • Vapour Trail - Ride
  • Mesmerize - Chapterhouse
  • Creep - Radiohead
  • Obscurity Knocks - Trash Can Sinatras (though I'm more than happy with Brian and Derek's picks here)
  • Deluxe - Lush
  • Lazy Day/Rodney King - Boo Radleys
  • Today - Smashing Pumpkins
  • Cannonball - Breeders
  • Trigger Cut - Pavement
  • Start Choppin' - Dinosaur Jr.
  • Animal Nitrite - Suede
  • Weirdo - Charlatons UK
  • Big Time Sensuality - Bjork
  • Whatcha Want - Beastie Boys
  • Laid - James
  • Sunshine Smile - Adorable

Honourable Mentions: Confetti - Lemonheads, Fait Accompli - Curve, We Are Each Other-The Beautiful South, Sliver-Nirvanna, Interstate Love Song-Stone Temple Pilots, Backwater-Meat Puppets, Loaded-Primal Scream, Connected-Stereo MCs, Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe-Whale, Call Me-Sons of Freedom, Can You Dig It-Mock Turtles, Slide Away-The Verve, Helpless - Sugar, Homeboy-Adorable,Big - New Fast Automatic Daffodils, Mockingbird-Grant Lee Buffalo, Velvet Roof - Buffalo Tom

February 16th looks good for me re: cd club meeting. Where we having it? Could possibly do it at my place...

i believe the 16th of feb is good for me...i have nothing really to add to your lists 91 to 94 , but i wait with baited breath for the compilation....the james laid album is probably my favorite from that era and one of my fave albums of all time...still played regularly...yada yada....I will work on my moist cd compilation for Brian in the meantime....are you lot all using the updated metabeats blogger and if so was the transition without problem, I am always suspicious of changing things that work perfectly well...
The 16th works for me ...and yes i am working on a 91-94 list, just takes me a while ...you know the problems i have with lists, don't yawl!
The only date that looks feasible in February given the blackout dates posted by Marc and Brian would appear to be Friday February 16. I would prefer to host it closer to the weekend. Any takers for this date?

On my early morning drive in to work this morning Andy Barrie was talking to a Toronto jazz drummer who mentioned the opening of a new live jazz venue in the city. Check it out.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

crap, once again with the double posting! sorry. very bizzar, checked before reposting, oh well, must be my manky wireless connection. Derek, don't give up so soon, there are still plenty of days left open in Feb!
I'm game for some beer and music. I'm currently pre booked on Feb. 9, 10, 14, 17, 19, 22-25. I'd also be up for some homework listening ...open to any suggestions.
How does June sound?
I'm game for a evening of beer and music, ooooops, music and beer! I'm prebooked the 9, 10, 14, 17, 19 22-25 of feb
I'll be in the Dominican Republic from February 3rd to 10th. Maybe the week of the 19-26th?

Kyle, where are your 90's songs?

Stuart - where is your list of favourite tracks by Moist?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hard to believe but it has already been over 3 months since the last CD club. I missed that one and some big changes have occurred in my life in the interim. I was thinking it would be nice to host a CD club at my place sometime in February when we all need something to get us through the worst month of the year (thank god it's the shortest). Are there any dates at this point that definitely don't work for any of you?

And just because it's your birthday on Feb 9 Kyle doesn't mean you can't attend a CD club that night.

Might I suggest also that we start up again the selection of one classical piece to be discussed on the night in question. Please say yea or nay to this suggestion. If the yeas win out I would put forward Prokofiev's "Sinfonia Concertante for cello & orchestra" as a good starting point.

And for those of you who like your music African style might I suggest Salif Keita's 2005 CD M'Bemba. I've listened to many of his records but this is a standout disc.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

First run at some 91 -94 (sometimes 95) faves from BD:

I'll loosely group them into "grunge, lo-fi, or with elements of one or both" versus "not". Multiple tracks only when it would be a crime not to.

Pavement - Gold Soundz, Summer Babe, Grounded ('95)
11th Dream Day - Motherland
The Breeders - Cannonball
Len - Stray (95)
Weezer - My Name is Jonas (not Jonah, strangely)
Sunny Day Real Estate - Seven
Squirrel - My Friend Sally (95)
Sloan - 500 Up
Superchunk - Driveway to Driveway
American Music Club - I've Been a Mess
The Posies - Solar Sister (or anyhting from that record)
Sebadoh - Not too Amused, Think
Juliana Hatfield - Feelin' Massachusetts
Cracker - Low
Buffalo Tom - Treehouse
Cranberries - Zombie
Liz Phair - Divorce Song (or Fuck and Run)
Doughboys - Crush
Flaming Lips - Turn it On
Matthew Sweet - Divine Intervention
Guided By Voices - Echoes Myron
Gandharvas - First Day of Spring
Soundgarden - Fell on Black Days
Rusty - Misogyny
Treble Charger - Red
Seaweed - New Tools
Hazel - Ascension
Lemonheads - My Drug Buddy
Radiohead - Creep
Nirvana - In Bloom, Teen Spirit, Rape Me
Hole - Violet
Teenage Fanclub - What You Do To Me
Superfriendz - Karate Man (95)
Velvet Crush - Hold Me Up
Swell - Song Seven
Belly - Super Connected (early 95)
Veruca Salt - Seether
Offspring - Come Out and Play
Afghan Whigs - What Jail is Like
Moist - Silver (that one's for Stuart)
Pearl Jam - Alive
James - Laid

Trash Can Sinatras - Hay Fever
Grant Lee Buffalo - Fuzzy
Jayhawks - Waiting for the Sun
Walkabouts - Whereabouts Unknown
Red House Painters - Grace Cathedral Park
Frank Black - Old Black Dawning

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Great list Derek. I'll take a similar trip through my CD's and come up with my list in the next night or two.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I like the idea of a double cd. I call the 91 to 94 years the "pre cd club era" when I had lost touch with pop music except for ,mainly, the MAJOR grunge acts who were played regularly on commercial radio....If you find you have too many songs to fit 2 cds , it might be better ( in my purely selfish way of thinking) to limit selections to grunge related songs, and not include dance oriented or purley pop tunes. I think there is obviously a lot out there that fits this category and it seems a bit more intellectually rigorous to have this thematic link....but since I am not likely to contribute much I will be happy with whatever you guys decide...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Much silence where 1991-1994 applies so let me get this thing started. I just went through the music I own and have compiled a list of the songs that did it for me during that period. Not all the songs are essential and I'm sure that it can be whittled down to a more formidable group of 10 or 20 songs. I've also limted myself to only 1 track per any given artist with the exception of Ride. Here they are:

Adorable - Sunshine Smile
Beck - Loser
Frank Black - Los Angeles
Beastie Boys - Sure Shot
Blur - Chemical World
Boo Radleys - Rodney King
Billy Bragg - Tank Park Salute
Bjork - Big Time Sensuality
Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic
Chapterhouse - Pearl
The Charlatans - can't Even Be Bothered
Lloyd Cole - So You'd Like to Save the World
The Cranberries - Dreams
The Cure - Friday I'm in Love
Drop Nineteens - Winona
808 State - San Francisco
Frank and Walters - Fashion Crisis Hits New York
Gandharvas - First Day of Spring
Inspiral Carpets - This is How it Feels
James - Laid
Morrissey - Glamorous Glue
My Bloody Valentine - Only Shallow
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Grey Cell Green
Nine Inch Nails - Closer
Nirvana - In Bloom
Oasis - Live Forever
Pixies - Head On
Pop Will Eat Itself - Dance of the Mad
Posies - Definite Door
Primal Scream - Higher Than the Sun
Pure - Anna
REM - Man on the Moon
Ride - Mousetrap / OX4
Sloan - Bells On
Smashing Pumpkins - Today
Soundgarden - Jesus Christ Pose
Spiritualized - Run
Suede - Animal Nitrate
Superchunk - Driveway to Driveway
Matthew Sweet - Divine Intervention
Swervedriver - Rave Down
Teenage Fanclub - Star Sign
Trash Can Sinatras - Easy Read
Weezer - My Name is Jonah

Thanks for all the input on the grunge scene. Plenty to think about should another CD be required.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Well I think it's a great idea - that period was the last time that I really felt a strong, almost magical, connection to the pop/rock music of the day, and yet I've pretty much eschewed it ever since. This blog exchange has made me aware that I'm primed for a re-visitation, and, hell, I'd even be willing to take on the compilation duties, assuming our Comp Master (DM) is busy rock-a-bye-in'. Two CDs feels about right. I'll let someone else start (a) to gauge interest and (b) because I've gone on at length on the subject already.
No, you're not wrong, Bri. In fact, I'd say yours was a far more eloquent clarification than my call for same. Still not sure how an album that features a song like "Judy Staring at the Sun" can carry anything close to a grunge label but I take your point that bands like CW and others were both influenced by, and owe some degree of their success to, their brethren from the Pacific NW.

In the spirit of reliving the great music of that period (91-94), perhaps we could each come up with a playlist of 20 odd 'quintessential' tracks that define the period for each of us, regardless of whether these tracks are 'classic grunge', 'grunge pop', 'brit pop', 'shoegazer', or 'egregiously bad frat-boy dance music', though I doubt anybody here would stoop to include offerings from the likes of C+C Music Factory or Snap. We could then possibly vote on which tracks we'd like to include in a 2-disc collective, which could then be produced for the group.

I'm thinking this would address Stuart's plea for a schoolin' in all things grunge and would allow us all to relish another list making exercise, with all the preening, pontificating and tough decision making entailed therein. Plus, we haven't put together a box-set in awhile and this seems like a worthy theme.

Whadda you tink?

Friday, January 12, 2007

You're right of course, K, and I'll admit to having taken some liberties in the use of the G word...but I think the remarkable thing about grunge was how the local (tiny, really) NW scene influenced pop and rock music dramatically for a number of years. You still hear it today, though I'm not so interested now.

So when I think of grunge I think, yes, of the growly-voiced chunky-guitared half speed minor chord music from the NorthWest, but also much of the rock and pop music that veered off its natural evolutionary path (for a little while anyway) to pay homage to the honesty and emotional punch that (initially) were fundamentally what made grunge compelling - both sonically, posturally, lyrically. In my mind, grunge "breaking" left enough room for bands like Pavement and Sebadoh to stay true to themselves and suddenly, perplexingly, get enough radio play to become mini pop stars...again, for a little while anyway.

Nevertheless, I was a good boy and didn't list Pavement as a favourite grunge band, because I don't think they have enough of the sonic elements. All of the ones I suggested, in my view, heard grunge and said "ah, that's cool, let's sound a bit like that" (I was guilty of this with my own band).

And I chose that particular Catherine Wheel record because I remember it sounding different, not shoegazer-esque like Chrome, but more poppy, more loud-quiet etc. I may be wrong...it's happened before...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Much as I'm enjoying the grunge discussion, I'd probably make a distinction between core grunge bands, like those predominantly from Seattle (Nirvanna, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, Alice in Chains, Screaming Trees, etc.) and those that are of the grunge era, such as bands like Weezer and the Doughboys, which have a similar grunge guitar sound but don't seem to be coming from the same darker emotional place. I'd say the Breeders aren't technically 'grunge' but are definitely 'grunge era', and 'Cannonball' is an amazing song, love that groovy base line. I like your 'grunge pop' as a sub-class though, bri.

I'd put Catherine Wheel and Swervedriver into the 'Shoegazer' camp (along with Spirtualized, Ride, Slowdive, Lush, My Bloody Valentine, and perhaps Curve), which may be of the grunge era, but seems to be more about creating walls of harmonic distortion than about angst-filled, quiet-loud-quiet, a little more straightforward guitar music, which is how I'd characterize grunge.

Agree with most of you that a Pumpkins track is much needed on the grunge compilation. My suggestion would be for 'Today', 'Cherub Rock', 'Mayonaise' or 'Drown'. Derek, if you chose 'Today', tell your nephew that you expect him to replicate the layered guitars that kick in 10 seconds into the song. And hey, why no Glueleg? I recall you cherishing them so...maybe a post-grunge-avoid list is in order....

I remember when the first Sloan single, "Underwhelmed", was released, they were considered Canada's contribution to grunge but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't include them in that group. You might want to add 'Happy' by hHead, which is a crap song in my opinion but at least gives you some CanCon.

Reading the words, "I Mother Earth" put a smile on my face. Never liked them either but thinking about how I never liked them makes me laugh.
soooooo Brian, do you like Grunge music ? holy jaysus.... looks like I need a seminar in this....
A few others - Doughboys' (Shine or Fix Me); I Mother Earth (I didn't like them but they were pretty big in Cda), Pond, Dig, and best of all Sunny Day Real Estate - first and third records are really, and the obvious track is "Seven" from their first album. If you don't know the SDRA stuff give it a listen, it's stood up pretty well compared to a lot of the stuff from that period.

In terms of the Brits, admittedly there aren't many, I think of Catherine Wheel's "Happy Days" record as having a foot deeply in grunge pop.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Like Weezer....total grunge pop. And the first three records are great. My Name is Jonas.....ah.
Personally I would put "Today" on, since it's more of a pure grunge number, much as I love Disarm.So, maybe I was just more into grunge then the rest of you, but it strikes me that there is at least a whole other disk of music once you start thinking about it...

On the Canadian scene, how about Treble Charger (Red or Even Grable), Ghandarvas (First Day of Spring or Downtime), Rusty, (California, Groovy Dead, Wake Me), Pure (Blast...though it's really grunge pop), Change of Heart (there are a few from there early 90's releases Tummycukle is one album but there's another, though the names escape me), there are other local bands if I think about it....

And on the big stage, bands like Helmet and Tool were huge on the dark nasty side of grunge, whereas on the pop side The Posies Frosting on the Beater is maybe the best record of all (I would suggest Flavour of the Month or Solar Sister, though Dream All Day was a fine single), and you can't dismiss Hole (Miss World or Violet), plus what about the Breeders (Cannonball is a great grunge rock single, or Saints)...I'll scour my collection for more.

(OK, I think I probably was more into grunge then the rest of you)

What was interesting about the grunge phenomenon was it influenced bands who had never rocked out before to plug in their guitars and make big noises - Andrew Cash, for example, make a great loud rocking record called "Hi" in 1993...then retreated back into his shell of country folk when grunge "died" (literally and figuratively). There are numeorus other examples. If you made a guitar record in 1993-1994 it had to rock. Sigh.
Good spotting Stu! i think the track would have to be Disarm.
well you missed my favorite grunge band, smashing pumpkins, any host of songs off siamese or melencholy...other then that your laughin....
Pretty good list. It does indeed take me back, although, i might have been tempted to finish off the disk with a track from the reputed god father of grunge, Neil Young ...perhaps Rockin' in the Free World. Maybe that's the subject of your next disk Derek, "Exploring the Roots of Grunge". Derek Mercer, the new Alan Cross?!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Flashback to 1991-1993 and the world was ruled by all things grunge. Whether you dug it or not there was no avoiding it. Where am I going with this you may ask.

Well my nephew, who is big into playing his guitar, just turned 14 (born in early 1993) and he scored an IPod from his mum for his birthday and as a result I picked up a handy little 400 page book for him titled "The Pocket DJ" which gives you (him) some guidance with respect to cool music lists. There are recommended playlists for the likes of The Smiths, Fela Kuti, Bjork and Neil Diamond for example. And then there are playlists by genre, one of which is grunge. So I figured I would cut him a CD with the IPod friendly grunge playlist and here is the 18 track list:

Nirvana - Lithium
Hole - Miss World
Pearl Jam - Jeremy
Soul Asylum - Runaway Train
Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun
Pearl Jam - Evenflow
Screaming Trees - Nearly Lost You (my personal fave)
Stone Temple Pilots - Plush
Nirvana - Come as You Are
L7 - Pretend We're Dead
Mudhoney - Touch Me I'm Sick
Stone Temple Pilots - Big Empty
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Bush - Everything Zen
Alice in Chains - Rooster
Nirvana - Heart Shaped Box
Everclear - Santa Monica
Bush - Glycerine

3 tracks that were listed in the book didn't make the cut due to CD space limitations but I don't think he's missing much leaving out Temple of the Dog, Candlebox and Babes in Toyland.

So here's the thing are there any primo grunge tracks that they've missed out on here? The list is solely US based with the exception of Bush. Were there no other UK grunge bands (Swervedriver??) or even Canadian standouts? What I'm thinking is if he likes this CD I may be required to come up with a second one in a similar vein.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Pretty much the only place where I require a real human in a retail setting these days is at Starbucks where they still won't let me jump over the counter and make myself a latte. Understandable on their part. Otherwise the human factor in selling me something is incredibly overrated as for the most part I'm usually way more informed than the underpaid and largely uninterested staff.
thanks for the info.....another point , spun off Dereks comment bout only going to Soundscapes for Jazz.....is that the same for you others...I mean , sniff, sniff does it really mean, sniff, that its over for the cd and record stores? I think there is still a spot for places staffed with learned people like Soundscapes , in that they vet the music, so its a bit like an online review website like pitchfork, except you actually see real humans....
Just to add a dissenting voice, my approach is a little different. What I tend to do is use my 65 a month to sample music I'm unfamiliar with - so, three or four songs from a band/album, chosen by listening, and/or by allmusic's choices for best cuts off the album, and then live with it for a month. If I'm into it at that point then I'll download the whole thing. Allows me to try fifteen or twenty new things with my monthly subscription, and then filter out the stuff that doesn;t work for me. Having said that, when the critics are all over something and it's available on emusic I will often just throw caution to the wind and download it - yes, I am that uninhibited.

Friday, January 05, 2007

forgot to add, thanks to marc for the gotan project reminder in your . it turns out i own lunatico, having downloaded it months ago, but completely forgot about it. am just discovering it now and enjoying it quite a bit. not a lot of new ground, but effectively conjures up fond memories of sipping beer on a patio in france (translation: they use accordians).
i'm with derek on the mostly album download. i don't find that listening to the 30 second track snippet is all that helpful. even downloading an individual song which may be great won't necessarily give you a good representation of the disc. a case in point is the serena maneesh disc, which isn't all as great as the the one pretty awesome song, (with which i know you're familiar since i put it on almost all of your xmas discs) 'drain cosmetics' would suggest.

so exclaim is a good reference point, as is pitchfork, and other online review sites. i'll usually have a few browser windows open and will go back and forth, searching emusic for artists i've read about at allmusic or elsehwere. if you want to download some free individual tracks, try sites like betterpropaganda.com , salon , or insound which usually offer a hit or two per band and have a good selection of artists. at some point, though, it's a leap of faith and i either end up with treasure (the submarines) or trash (herbert) but at $3.00 or less a cd, it's not going to be too much of a hit in the pocketbook.

not sure if you're using emusic but for those who are and haven't done so already, they have a two-track sinead o'conner disc for free. i like both tracks quite a bit.
Hey Stuart I tend to download only entire albums solely based on what I read on-line and off-line. Very rarely do I preview tracks and even less often do I download individual songs. The only exception might be with a classical CD where I'm only interested let's say in a string quartet and want the 4 movements that comprise it and am not interested in the other tracks that make up the rest of the disc. With my subscription giving me 65 donwloads per month it doesn't make sense to pick and choose songs and I'd rather listen to the album in the way the band intended it to be heard.

I'm not sure which service your using but I find with e-music that Exclaim magazine is a really good reference point for many of the albums that I download and end up enjoying. What I'm finding these days is that my trips to Soundscapes have dwindled to maybe once every 3 or 4 months as I can get all the obscure pop/rock/electronic CDs on-line. Pretty much the only things I shop for in a brick and mortar store now are jazz and classical which to my mind are still fairly weakly represented in the on-line format.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

so now I am in the ipod world , and have a subscription to one of these monthly download services , I was wondering about stategies for selecting songs...On the one hand its great to be able to download a wide range of tracks from bands whose music you are not sure about without the expence of an entire cd price, but doesnt one tend to preview the individual tracks prior to purchasing them , so that in a way you end up taking the tracks that have an initial appeal only.?? Or do you read reviews which talk about the better tracks off a disc? What do you people do?