Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hey Mike, maybe you could look at doing "Roscoe", by Midlake - I know you like that album, and the song meets most of the criteria (relatively simple musically, features a harmony throughout), and is a fantastic song.  Not sure if is familiar enough to the Tech Rocks crowd though  :).  What do you think? 
My company has entered "Tech Rocks", the local battle of the bands for high tech companies. The rules stipulate that each band must play an original song, a Canadian song and a third song that is unconstrained. Based on previous experience with this contest, I believe that the song selection is crucial. I think that the ideal choices are familiar but somehow unusual or unexpected. I'd appreciate any suggestions that this group might have. Our band has a very solid drummer and a very capable lead guitarist, but also a couple of relatively inexperienced players - one on rhythm guitar player and one on bass. Two of us are doing the singing, and something with nice harmonies always goes over well.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Kyle - well done. I was a huge fan of the G/harvas at one point, probably saw them five times in a six month period. They always put on a great show....ah the early days of alt/grunge.

I've heard from our convalescing amigo Stuart, who has asked that I post the following question (the spelling mistakes are mine....:)):

"What 5 movies to rent while laid up. Turns out my local video store has a wide range of classics old and new . Anything goes S"

I will make one suggestion, a little known but I believe classic piece of mid-seventies cinema, Elia Kazan's (in his final turn as director) The Last Tycoon, well suited to lying about, given its languid pace, this is a gorgeously observed study of early Hollywood, based on Scott Fitzgerald's last, unfinished novel of the same name. A huge, star studded cast headed up by Rober DeNiro (long) before he started making a movie every six weeks in a wonderfully quiet performance as movie mogul Monroe Stahr.
For all you Gandharvas fans out there, and to commemorate today:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm always a sucker for a Radiohead cover so thanks for pointing me to Gillian Welch's take on 'Black Star', Mike. For those who haven't heard it, you can get it on emusic or check out the live clip on youtube.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Some of my favorite purchases and downloads from last year? What music fan could resist such an invitation? I don’t really have any theme or system to the music that I buy – I’m woefully ignorant of new artists, and so I rely on people like Brian to point me in the right direction (that’s one of the reasons that I was excited to join this blog). And the backlog of music that I expect I’d like but haven’t yet bought is so enormous that I don’t particularly focus on new music. Of the CDs I’ve recently bought, highlights would include Orphans by Tom Waits and Beauty and Crime by Suzanne Vega. I also bought We Shall Overcome by Bruce Springsteen last year and really enjoyed that. On the other hand, I bought Bone by Tim Booth (who was the vocalist in the band James), but it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. Same great voice, but weaker songwriting. I’ve been a big Paul Simon fan for ages, and I bought his latest (Surprise). It was pretty good, I thought, with some nice lyrics, but it doesn’t match his best work. My downloading is almost entirely from emusic, which limits the field somewhat. Some of my favorites from there have been live albums - Near Truths and Hotel Rooms by Todd Snider, Karma to Burn by the Waterboys, Just an American Boy by Steve Earle and Live at the Bottom Line by Steve Forbert. I also really like Picaresque by the Decemberists and The Trials of Van Occupanther by Midlake (which was something Brian introduced me to). I’ve downloaded quite a lot of Janis Ian songs, some of which I like a lot, and others which don’t do much for me. I really like The Trumpet Child by Over the Rhine, which I’ve already mentioned once before. I also downloaded a cover of Radiohead’s Black Star by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings that I think is great.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A quick search of the metabeats blog for 2007 references yields no Do Make Say Think mention so you're the first. I didn't know they were still around....really liked their first two discs. Since it's available at emusic and is only 8 tracks, comes recommended by Brian, and has a great title, I'll have to pick it up.

New Destroyer disc out today....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Another great record from last year is/was Do Make Say Think's latest. I'm being lazy....did anybody peg it among their best of 07?

Hey Mike, any interest in rhyming off some of your favourite purchases/downloads from last year, since they will likely be pretty different from this incestuous bunch's?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hey Stu, glad to hear you're re-visiting Mahler and enjoying it.    I don't know all of his symphonies, though I own recordings of many/most of them, but the ones I am drawn to are the 1st and the 5th (with the 6th coming next).    Incidentally, I do agree with you that he is a slow burn, and tries for many (many!) things in each of his symphonies.   If I said otherwise in the past, I must have been drunk.   

So, in the case of the 1st and 5th , my fondness is mostly for the grandness, the massive sweeping romanticism (which yes, could use a little reigning in at times), plus the integration of (what I've always assumed to be) traditional Austrian folk melodies into the slow and scherzo movements.   There are some pretty thrilling moments in both 1 and 5, so give them a try sometime if you haven't already....of course, it's Mahler, so allow appropriate time.    #1 isn't too long, but the fifth is more typically interminable at (I think) around 90 minutes.  

Derek, thoughts on the Big M?

Not Mahovlich.

Monday, March 10, 2008

i may have to eat my hat a little bit (once again ) brian.... I picked up a copy of mahlers 4th symphony as I was curious about there being a vocal component...(Rennie Fleming and Abbadio version) loving it....nothing like the typical Mahlerian everything and the kitchen sink about this symphony...very etherial, almost Sibelius you know if there are any others in his file like this particular symphony?......
ps I am in to the hospital shortly and I cannot respond to blogs on my blackberry, but I can still read the posts....should I feel up for it, I will email (which i can do) to one of you yobs and perhaps you could clip and paste it for me...

Monday, March 03, 2008

I don't think artists ever did make money on the recordings - at least not most artists. I read an article on the Jayhawks at one point that made this claim - at that time, they had the biggest hit of their carreers with "Blue" and they were touring, but one of the band members commented that the roadies were making more money than they were. He said that all of the money that the record company had invested in creating and promoting their albums and videos had to be repaid from the band's share of the royalties before they would get any money from the recordings, and even with a big hit like "Blue", they couldn't forsee a time when that would happen. I heard a similar comment later on from one of the members of the Rheostatics (if memory serves). It was in response to a question about the impact of peer-to-peer downloading on his income, and he said that they didn't make any money from their recordings. They made money from playing shows.

I wonder if this is partly why the cost of concert tickets is so absurd now. I recall when I was in high school and even university, I could go to a major concert for a reasonable amount of money. The cost of an album was $12 or $13, and a concert ticket was 2-3 times as much. Now if you want to catch a major act, the cost of a ticket is 10x the cost of a CD or more. Maybe they're trying to recoup the cost of all that downloading with the concert tickets.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I cant see this monthly charge thing working for all of the reasons you all have fact, I think its over for artists making money via album purchases in any form, at least for most artists, (perhaps Britney and the like will still add to their fortunes)... I think the future lies with alternate means of income, primarily touring.... This , may be a handicap to electronic bands and others more suited to the studio...

As we have pointed out in earlier blogs, many big bands have only a brief moment in the limelight, when they are young...Most bands (arguably) are focused not on saving money for your retirement, but , on the music itself, stardom, girls (or boys, whatever...), and having a good time, when they first start out, (and not necessarily in that order)..So......perhaps the future financial penalties won't affect things that much, in terms of emerging new young artists....

1) you still have the urges driving youth forward to create the music
2) you now have a wide market available online to have the artists get their message out
3) you still make decent money touring in an early career (at least enough that it seems like a lot to a typical teenager or early 20 something
4) you still get the girls, fame, party life

but it will mean you dont get to maintain the lifestyle for long because you dont have the serious money required to sustain it...