Monday, May 25, 2009

wow, I had missed that....Really crappy....I agree that Wilco has not been as great since he has left. hard to say wether that is because of his missed contributions or if the band had just naturally peaked and was going to come down anyways, but I think it more likely the former. The current band sound is definately 2 dimensional now and his varied musicianship combined with his songwritting abilities as well as his ability to criticise Tweedy directly and increasingly indirectly must surely have been positive creative factors for the band. After watching that movie I doubt anyone in the current band cricticises the new Wilco material much as it is being developed. With myself being in a creative partnership and similarily with the other partner being the primary name, I know how difficult his footsteps had to be......
a sad day indeed.......
I was also reading some of the articles this morning re Jay Bennett. It is indeed very sad as he appeared to be a very passionate and committed musician who as you said Kyle contributed to several great Wilco records. His voice was also a great foil for Tweedy's. I'm not sure they've been the same since his departure.

Speaking of great albums like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Brian and I have had a few conversations lately re the fast approaching end of the noughts (or whatever this decade has been called) and were thinking that sometime in the latter half of 2009 we should get together for a retrospective CD club where we can listen to what we thought were the best of the last 10 years. Not as easy as it might have been for previous decades probably because our lives at this stage don't entirely revolve around seeing live shows and listening to and talking about nothing but music.
Don't give up on your Paste subscriptions just yet, Mike. Not sure that it's enough to entice a new subscriber but should provide some comfort if you've already shelled out some caja.

Very sad news out of Illinois yesterday about a former member of Wilco. Not sure if all of you have seen I am trying to break your heart, the documentary about the making of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but the tension between Bennett and Tweedy was even more compelling than the drama surrounding the record company contracts. Loved the first three Wilco discs, of which Bennett was a key contributor, and also downloaded and enjoyed some of his solo stuff as well. Always upsetting when somebody talented dies at a relatively young age, in what appears to be suicide. Must raise a glass to him soon. RIP.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What a coincidence! No sooner did I hit send on my previous post, when I received a message from Paste magazine with the subject "The Campaign to Save Paste"! So be forewarned - the magazine is struggling, and a subscription to their VIP club might not be the most prudent investment you've ever made...
I'm glad we've returned to music. I was feeling guilty for introducing the Family Ties theme that threatened to turn this into a retro-TV blog.

I've been listening quite happily to CBC Radio 2 during my commutes both in the morning and at night. There is more music than talk, and no commercials. It is the commericals that drive me crazy - my evening commute generally takes me across the 6 o'clock mark when radio 2 switches to a jazz show, and it usually loses my interest within a couple of songs. At that point I start flipping around the few Ottawa commercial radio stations that could conceivably play a song that I like. I end up hearing a few fragments of good songs, but I can't bear to listen to the endless commercials in between them, so I change channels restlessly. I also change when I hear a song that I don't like, or a song that I've heard too often, or a song that I'm just not in the mood for. I think that satellite radio would be perfect for me, if I weren't far too cheap to pay for it.

Another approach - which I may take - would be to get one of those gadgets that will pipe my ipod through my car stereo. Then I could load up my ipod with the newest batch of songs that I've downloaded (mine will take about 1,000 at a time), and listen to those while I'm commuting.

Speaking of downloading music, have any of you heard of or tried the Paste VIP club? For $6 each month you get an album by an up-and-coming band, a sampler of songs from various artists, 4 songs "live from the Paste studio" recorded by some of these same artists, an occasional DVD sampler (4 per year), an occasional bonus disk (about 4 per year as well) and access to their digital magazine. You can see a track list from their latest sampler to get an idea of the kind of music Paste focuses on.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

least funniest on the show was skippy, the next door neighbour, who i mostly just wanted to punch in the face. but you mentioned satellite radio...

I find it a mixed bag really. I enjoyed the access to the great national public radio programming in the US, which tends to steer clear of the wholly unjustified smug self-amused tone and lame attempts at humour that infects most CBC programming. And four different types of alternative music stations meant I could skip from 90s grunge to 80s new wave to some 'must have just been profiled on pitchfork' stuff. And satellite kicks the living bejeezus out of any commercial radio station in Toronto, which could very well offer the worst radio options of any city in North America, though this is a topic for another day.

But there's something a little overwhelming about having 200+ choices. Even when I was really digging an old Joe Jackson song I hadn't remembered existed or I got to hear a new Peter Bjorn and John song that sounded interesting but actually didn't sound like any of their previous stuff but I knew it was them because I could click on an info button and it told me all the details...even then, I couldn't help but wonder if I was missing something even more interesting or fond memory-inducing on another channel. And if a song came on that didn't immediately grab me, I quickly switched to another channel. Guess my point is that satellite radio only served to decrease my already very short attention span.

Other 'But...' question: it worth the X$/month? If, god forbid, I ever had to commute into the city for work from the suburbs, I would gladly shell out the monthly fee. If I was driving from high park to summerhill everyday, though, I'd save my dosh (or invest it in red wine).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

i remember that episode Kyle, fantastic... I think the father on that show was by far the funniest. I dont think he really got emnough credit, his timing and delivery were perfect....
I also completely agree with you on Patrick Sexsmith Watson....
I get satellite radio free on my next car (my current lease expires soon) so it will be interesting to see how good (or bad) it is. i will let you know...

Friday, May 08, 2009

I'm sure I'd still enjoy the episode where the Keaton parents return home to full-on homecoming party featuring a kangaroo in their livingroom. The father's line and its delivery were fantastic: "Parents expect some unpleasantry when they leave their kids at home for the weekend. A cracked dish. A stain on the carpet. There was a kangaroo in our living room....."

Also, Derek did mention Babe, which I happened to hear on satellite radio yesterday while driving a rental car. Yes, there are folks out there who shell out a monthly fee for Styx. Yowsa.

Btw...anyone listen to the new Patrick Watson disc? My father-in-law was raving about it on the weekend. I've liked his last two but kind of get the feeling that this might be one of those artists who fall into the 'if you have two of their discs you really don't need anymore' category? I'm thinking of other Cdn artists like Ron Sexsmith and Rufus Wainwright category-wise.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Styx! That reminds me - we forget to mention Babe...

It's funny how that works - I remember really enjoying "Family Ties" back in my early to mid twenties. Caroline and I used to watch it religiously on Thursday nights before I headed out to my weekly hockey game. I've since since an occasional episode, and I've been surprised at how terrible it is. Apart from Michael J. Fox's appealing caricature, there is nothing to recommend that show. And even that wears thin fast. Still, I don't think there's a point in beating oneself up over these things. It's all about time and place, and stage of life. There's no point in trying to go back, but there's also no need to be ashamed of all of those points along the way. The intriguing thing to me is to look ahead and wonder what I'm enjoying now that is going to seem completely unbearable to my future self.
My daughter is reading this book which is a new teenager fiction author and she mentioned that one of the charcters names is Loreli....well of course I had to mention that I loved this album by Styx (equinox) that has a song by that I put it on for the first time in about a quarter of a century expecting to have a beautiful nostalgic moment but OMG as they say...
This is the worst song with the worst lyrics ever.... its about this girl moving in with him....My daughter mocked me mercylessly for listening to this stuff. I must say I was surprised at how bad it was, because, I mean hell ,I still like John Denver, but somehow this really not aging well at all....

Saturday, May 02, 2009

no need to be so harsh bri. after all, stuart did spell baby correctly each time... give him points for that at least.

agree that the topics are thin these days so i'll ask the group to throw something out there.

in the meantime, i've been enjoying the new pitchfork redesign and some of the new song/video features. for one of the most interesting covers i've heard in awhile (wait until the guitars kick in), i direct you to the flaming lips version of madonna's borderline.