Friday, December 23, 2011

ok 2011 best of :

( liked best in no partticular order))
Bon Ivor: Bon Ivor
PJ Harvey: Let England Shake
Josh T Pearson: last of the country gentleman

(Liked next best in no particular order)

Within and Without: Washed Out
Beirut: The rip tide
Antlers: Burts Apart
Danger Mouse / Luppi: Rome
Kurt Vile: Smoke Rings for my halo
Kate Bush: 50 Words for snow
Decemberists : King Is Dead

best reissue by far for me : Mickey Newbury: American Trilogy...check this one out....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My favourite new releases from 2011, in order of preference, are:

The Decemberists: The King is Dead
Over the Rhine: The Long Surrender
The Rosebuds: Loud Planes Fly Low

The only other 2011 albums that I own are Blessed by Lucinda Williams, which I really didn't like, and Like a Man by Adam Cohen, which I bought for my wife. That one's OK, but I'm not ready to put it on a list of favourites.

The truth is that I haven't actually heard a lot of the albums that the rest of you are citing. I haven't signed up for rdio because I rarely find time to sit and listen to music at the computer. Most of my listening is done while driving. I've recently re-subscribed to Paste with their new mplayer format - it offers weekly issues with half a dozen or so downloadable tracks for $2.99 per month. I'm hoping that'll help me catch up!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Top Ten PopRock: I've been stewing over this for a while, moving bands and albums off and on. Silliness really. So, some that I enjoyed this year were:

Maritime - Human Hearts
Veronica Falls
The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues (likely my favourite album, liked it a lot more than their debut for some reason)
Real Estate - Days
Yellow Ostrich (Whale is one of my favourite songs)
The Feelies - Here Before
Hello Echo - Hello

Honourable Mentions to Widowspeak overcoming their their Mazzy-Star like derivativeness with great songs, Cymbals Eat Guitars for a strong follow up record, Malkmus's latest for sounding good again (and not sounding like Cymbals Eat Guitars), the Wire for making great music in their fifties, Sloan for the lifetime achievement award after 20 years (and Double Cross is very good) , and Iceage for rocking out with vim and vigour. Others that D and K have mentioned I also like - Lykke Li e.g.,

I'll throw a few jazz albums up later.
Taking a precious moment out of my extremely busy day here are my choices for my favourite (ie most listened to) records of 2011 in no particular order:

Mirrors - Lights and Offerings
Destroyer - Kaputt
Austra - Feel it Break
EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints
Thurston Moore - Demolished Thoughts
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
Charles Lloyd - Mirror
Eleanor Friedberger - Last Summer
Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know
Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes

There done my bit.
More year end polls, this time w/ respect to film. Trying to follow the train of thought around the selection and ranking will likely do your head in but I thought you'd appreciate the list of films you missed this year and might want to rent/stream/buy me for Christmas.

Also, thank you all for taking the time out of your busy day to post your own favourite music from 2011. I've really enjoyed reading through them. You're all awesome. Truly.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Also, latest GBV, streaming at NPR.

(Btw, I loved the ad for the Complete Collection of Tony Bennett that precedes the live stream, particularly the number of cds in the collection. You gotta really love Tony.)
The tagline for Metabeats now reads 'Musings about music or whatever amuses'. As such, book recommendations are allowed. Also, Sarah quite liked The Sisters Brothers as well, so I'm not convinced gender should be a barrier to enjoyment. Just started it myself last night but only a few pages in so can't really comment further yet.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Apologies to all if a book related post seems out of place here but I wanted to reiterate my my belief that The Sisters Brothers is the best novel of 2011. It's not likely a book any of the women are going to want to read so this seemed as good a place as any to recommend it. If you don't trust my instincts you can read here.
I think it was Derek who pointed out the lack of consensus among critics this year as to the best or most accomplished releases of 2011. Here's a nice summary of those scores across publications/blogs that really underscore that observation. Apart from Polly J and Justin V, not even much commonality in the top 10s.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kyliep's 2011, for what it's worth (and in no particular order)

Several Shades of Why J Mascis
Let England Shake P J Harvey
Within and Without Washed Out
Fading Parade Papercuts
Yuck Yuck
Civilian Wye Oak
C'mon Low
Hurry Up We're Dreaming M83
Looping State of Mind The Field
The Harrow & The Harvest Gillian Welch

honourable mentions: Wounded Rhymes Lykke Li, Burst Apart The Antlers, Days Real Estate, In Love With Oblivion Crystal Stilts, Bon Iver Bon Iver (growing on me, Stu), No Time for Dreaming Charles Bradley, Art Deco Smiles Bela


"Ritual Union" Little Dragon

"Need You Now" Cut Copy

"Midnight City" M83

"Rolling in the Deep" Adele

"Belong" The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

"Amor Fati" Washed Out

"The Altar" Wye Oak

"Piste 1" Galaxie

honourable mentions:
"Second Song" TV on the Radio, "Whale" Yellow Ostrich, "Video Games" Lana Del Rey

Thursday, December 15, 2011

If anything, the usual year-end lists are at least prompting a revisit to some of the releases I previously had neglected or forgotten about entirely. My Morning Jacket released an album this year? Was surprised to read that. Even more surprised when I searched my library in Itunes this morning and discovered that I actually own it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The good news: Magnetic Fields coming. The bad: Sound Academy, though. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Okay, I decided to start from track 4 onwards this morning on the Austra disc and it's working better for me. The vocal style and more polished production on the front-loaded tracks are what were causing me some problems.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tuneyards (mixed case, but not in the jumbled mix anyone writing about them is supposed to either remember or look up) do suck. Or at least, they never get past the 'kind of fucking annoying' stage for me. I have read tons of good things about Austra but haven't made it past the first few songs, which sounded alarmingly close to Evanesence, at least on first listen. Will revisit, though.

One I'm enjoying right now, and was featured on the Guardian list I linked to a couple of weeks ago, is Jonathan Wilson's 'Gentle Spirit'. Info on him here and streaming at Rdio.
Looked at the Stereogum list and have a few questions and comments.

1. Do you know anyone who likes TUNEYARDS? (block caps on purpose)
2. Cold Cave is crap. It's the kinda crap I usually like but it's still crap.
3. I'm likely never going to listen to Drake or any Fucked Up record (well at least until they get a guy who can actually sing)
4. Has any one of you listened to a Ryan Adams record in the last 10 years?
5. If I'm being honest Austra's "Feel It Break" is my fave album of 2011.
2011 Listing....
No real surprises.
After re-listening to a few albums over the weekend, should have my list together online tomorrow, hopefully ahead of some other end of year lists.

Friday, December 09, 2011

I could go on and on about how much I loved the Wye Oak/Neko Case/The National show last night at the ACC. How I'm consisently amazed at how such a rich, expansive sound can come out of such a tiny framed Neko. How the National's live performance exceeded anything I've enjoyed on record. How it was almost guilding the lily to have a second opening act in the form of Wye Oak, a band whose latest album is hitting the very top of some year end Best Of lists.

But you knew I'd gush about these anyway. More interesting was how each act handled the venue itself which, to be honest, almost put me off going in the first place. I hadn't attended a stadium/arena concert since the 1990s (U2, The Tragically Hip) and wasn't all that keen on on watching stick figures battle with an acoustically hostile environment for three plus hours.

Credit to the ACC, which seems to have figured out how to make the space sound-friendly, halving the available seating and creating a semi-circle of seating around one of the goal ends.

Wye Oak, whom we'd all seen last year at the Horseshoe, actually benefited from the larger space, where the band's frequent, sudden quiet-loud-distortion transitions can ripple out like a wave into the bigger space. The only drawback was that, taking the stage around 7:00pm (or just before then, we arrived around 10 minutes past), they played to only a few hundred people at best.

Of the three, Neko was the most uneasy in the space. She made several jokes about being in a hockey arena that came across as slightly nervous or maybe resigned to the absurdity of being there. When she lamented that the sad ballad she was about to launch seemed ill suited to a place that's usually filled with joy and celebration, the ensuing audience laughter was likely less an agreement with her assessment but a collective howl at the absurdity of the notion that a space whose tenants include the Leafs and Raptors could be incongruous with lamentation. Still, the strength of her vocals and set carried her through her approximately 1.5 hour set.

Even The National initially seemed to have trouble connecting with the audience, at least for the first third of the show. Their performances were great--polished but with a more dynamic urgency than one might expect from the often laidback vocal delivery one hears on the album--and the audience seemed appreciative, but there was an almost unspoken tension or distance between the performers and audience. As if sensing this, though, the lead singer completely took the entire dynamic into his hands, or rather, to his feet, by venturing into the aisles and inviting the audience down to the area in front of the stage. He'd return later during the encore to walk through half the lower seating area, while handlers scrambled to keep track of a microphone wire, its sheer length almost impossibly long or perhaps designed specifically for the occasion. From that point on, the whole mood of the place transformed from reserved appreciation to full on, rousing glee. It was amazing to witness.

Needless to say, no such reservations about future shows, especially if they feature this type of line up. Oh, and I liked it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Kyle, lol.

Hey anybody out there listening to the remastered Some Girls? it was such a record for me as a kid, and the new maters sound sound mighty crisp. Nice. The second record of unreleased material has some quality songs on it as well, though in most cases it's obvious why the songs were excluded from the record......good insight into how to piece together something cohesive sounding from a process that at one stage must have felt pretty disparate, based on the longer list of 20 tracks. I've renewed my 30-year old fascination with some of those songs (hello Before they make me run) and the sound of the band overall.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Oooh! Oooh! Stomach pumped. Definitely. Wait, that was just an example. Right.

My suggestion for going forward: We dispense with the music entirely and pit potential contest formats against one another in a double-knockout elimination tournament. The winning format will not necessarily result in its adoption in an actual contest but will certainly earn the winner bragging rights that they can lord over the rest of the group until the next contest is proposed. The winner must bear in mind, however, that any acknowledgement of victory will be reluctant, begrudging, and qualified with the shared understanding amongst the losers that an unfair advantage, likely inherent in the format structure itself, was the primary reason for the win, not any skill, effort, or inspiration on the part of the victor.

Also, how many words are there for rain? Seems more suited to this December than any discussion of snow. Perhaps we need to consult someone in Vancouver.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Food for thought. I like Stuart's idea about the "completely open playlist" as Brian puts it, but, agree with Brian that we need to push it further. I think the completely open playlist makes some kind of great spontaneous casual game to accompany copious amounts of alcohol...that is if anyone can keep score.

I like the idea of exploring new territory but also like the idea of a fair game. How about we choose a series of sub-genres, say six for example (or focus more on fewer) , or a grouping of music that has some sort of significance, say a music "scene" or era or whatever. We then all dig around a little in all the genres spin the music off and score the tracks a la Dr D's description.

I find that the notion of pitting a track from one genre against one from other a little unfair because it becomes like saying which do you like more, wine or steak? Apples or butterflies? Oranges or a drive in the country? Having a tooth drilled or your stomach pumped?

To make things more complicated (or more significant) it might be nice to link the genres in some meaningful way. Say take five different genres that where all thriving over a five year period ...Or five genres that flowed from a single scene or city, say New York, the Northwest, Manchester, or Route 61 ...come to think of it that would be wicked; music's journey up the Mississippi. Might be a long evening but we could travel it's length from south to north. As well whoever is hosting will need to have the event catered with courses that follow the musical trek.

But seriously, I like the idea of Route 61, we could even keep the format "open" beyond limiting it to "Route 61" so that the evening has a nice flow to it. Something we might want to do is also allow tracks that were not actually produced within the focused "genre" or whatever we call it. Someone for example, might make an argument for the greatness of a track that was the first to introduce a significant sound of the blues to a whole new audience, as one could for Steve Ray Vaughn perhaps as he was from Texas and not from "Route 61" ....don't agree with the fit and significance of a track, you vote me down in part for bending the genre too much!
Derek, with all due respect (of which i have come to realise there is little around here) set me straight on something. The other night over beers you claimed to not be a fan of lyrics and exclaimed "who listens to lyrics?". That being the case how can you possibly like the new Kate Bush album in which the lyrics are so front and center; I call bullshit! Are the words just notes to you? Do you not hear the words? Do you not take meaning from them? If that is the case, that you do not take meaning from the words and have not thought about "50 Words For Snow" how can you disagree with me about my the offense to the song?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Ok Let's nail 'er down on the 23rd. There is evidence to suggest that this group has a high percentage of leaders, low percentage of followers. Ha. This is why I wrote a screenplay about you dudes.

Stu, unlike Stella and Amy and Dolores and Candy I'm not a
big fan of the completely open play lists....I like pushing us to go deep in an era or a genre, to find (to some degree anyway) some new and unexpected music.. Wide open will mostly mean playing our existing favourite music, and we've all been at this too long. The decades night was (mostly) a blast because it was different.
Also...a great question, whose answer is probably: because radio listeners either like or will tolerate whatever shit you feed them.
Not sure what's more impressive about your post, Mike: that it suggests you understand all the arcane rules and nuances that have been proposed thus far and are suggesting further improvements or the fact that you published it at 1:00 AM. Well done.

Again, think an all-options on the table, sitting at betty's with some pints in front of us, perhaps conferencing in mr. gaines for his input should he not want to make the 4 hour+ trek from the greater Ottawa area to join us in person, to finalize. propose this happen on december 23rd lunch or possibly sooner, schedules permitting.

In the meantime, and since we're in December and the throes of the season, a contemplation of the Worst Christmas Music. Much loved Band Aid does not fare so well but my favourite dig of the lot is,

"But for me, the nadir of Christmas music is the soulless keyboard-driven holiday cheer of Mannheim Steamroller. It sounds like the sort of music an Orwellian totalitarian state would pump into the air to help citizens dutifully celebrate the season. It baffles me that millions have embraced it by choice."

The problem I have with the introduction of selected years (the undisputed cleverness of the 25 year rule notwithstanding) is that we would only be able to cover 12 years between us. That includes less than a quarter of the music produced between 1960 and 2011. If we want to avoid getting dragged back to the summer of love over and over again, why not stipulate that none of us can play 2 songs from the same decade until we've played at least one song from 4 other decades.

I do like the idea of selecting our own sub-genre, and I like the idea of frequent voting - many small setbacks rather than one crushing defeat (from a glass-is-half-empty perspective). And perhaps there should be some kind of bonus if everybody agrees that your song selection does indeed belong in the proffered genre. Or perhaps a penalty if the majority disagrees with the categorization. I see lots of potential for genre wrangling here.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Think this will need to be decided at lunch at Betty's on the 23rd.

Also, the Guardian's 50-11th best albums of 2011.
I got lost somewhere between the 14th and 15th clause.... the 25 years rule seems arbitrary to me...I prefer rules easily understood when under the short , no rules...I agree we dont want all our music from 1965 to 95 ....and in short we all want to be the winner of this contest, (OK maybe Derek wants to be the winner more then most of us) ...
so why dont we allow anything any year any genre... In short , we use Marcs system for the basic format:

6 participants – names in a hat at the beginning of each so-called round. Names are drawn at random and that person (let’s say Stuart) is required to play 1 song. The next name drawn (let’s say Brian) is also required to play 1 song. The 4 non-participants then vote on the song that strikes them as being superior. Another name is then drawn from the hat (let’s say Kyle) and he has to play a song that then is pitted against the song last played (ie the song previously played by Brian) and another vote takes place.

but after this no rules....

Each person comes armed with their favorite tunes form any genre any year..... The beauty will be to wacth Brian beat Kyles uber death metal song with a track by the Egolilies... In short you hear the challengers song and then you can try to beat it with any song from any decade or genre.....damn simple....and the art is listening to the opening tracik and thinking about what type of song is best to beat it , there on the spot...

you can coin toss to decide who plays first vs who one can complain they were stuck with a crappy year or genre

I think we should have a random draw for the order of selection for everyone's 1st choice and then go in reverse order for the 2nd pick.
My vote is for #2 and the years, with the clever 25 year proviso that Derek has come up with, over #1, with the sub-genres. I like playing one song after another. More voting. Each song is potentially worth more. Only questions: How do we pick the year (s)? What if two people want the same year? If it's first come, first serve, can I take 1967 and 1992? :)
I’m having a hard time taking that “not taking northern culture seriously” line seriously. Philistines aside for the moment however as we should really kick into gear this upcoming music contest.

First the format. Marc has suggested, and others that I’ve mentioned it to seem to concur, that we should scrap the format of the last clash. Instead of having 3-song round robins where someone might not play a song for an hour or more and could also be eliminated from the contest before the night is half done we go with the following:

6 participants – names in a hat at the beginning of each so-called round. Names are drawn at random and that person (let’s say Stuart) is required to play 1 song. The next name drawn (let’s say Brian) is also required to play 1 song. The 4 non-participants then vote on the song that strikes them as being superior. Another name is then drawn from the hat (let’s say Kyle) and he has to play a song that then is pitted against the song last played (ie the song previously played by Brian) and another vote takes place.

And on it goes. Voting is thus taking place approx every 5 minutes so you need to be paying attention. Ties can occur with only 4 votes cast. That will result in a half point for each competitor as opposed to a full point for an outright win. At the end of the night total point tally wins the contest. This keeps everyone engaged and on their toes.

This was Marc’s idea so if I have misinterpreted your suggestion please chime in.

As for the content of the contest that is proving much more elusive. After another discussion with Brian last night let me throw out two ideas:

1) We stick with the sub-genre format (letting people select their own) perhaps from an approved list like Wikipedia’s which seems fairly exhaustive. It was suggested that each person have two sub-genres at their disposal and have to play a balance of songs from each of their selected categories.

2) Each person picks a particular year lets say 1976 and has to pick a second year but one has to be at least 25 years removed from the one first selected. So if you love 1976 you’re going to have to go back to 1951 or prior if working backwards or 2001 or later if working the other way. As with suggestion #1 a balance of songs from each year would be required.

Suggestion #2 arose as a result of my fear that with the sub-genre format we would once again be listening to the bulk of music coming from the 1965 to early 1990s period. Music in more recent times doesn’t seem to be categorized the way it used to be and I threw out some names (Sigur Ros, Beck, TV on the Radio) and wondered how these artists would be categorized under format #1.

Enough from me. Need to hear from everyone else so we can finalize this thing well before Christmas so I can spend the holidays ignoring friends and family and keeping my head firmly stuck up my musical ass.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kyle, i'm sorry to disappoint, but i have to agree with you. I used to be a fan of hers back in da day but as for this work, i find it disturbingly MOR and i also find it disturbing that so many of the others have latched on to it like babes to teats. I fear they will be digging into Celine's back catalogue next as they exit their middle age. i'll give it another listen but not sure if i can make it through.

I find the title track somewhat offensive and disrespectful, but maybe i'm not getting something. I know that it is supposed to be playful but to me it come across as not taking northern culture seriously.
While you're scraping the last vestiges of my contact info from your address books, allow me to point you to this fun list of Pitchfork's Top Metal albums of 2011. I do so not to invite comment or ask if you've listened and/or enjoyed any of them but because the band names, album titles, and cover art are not to be missed.

The prevalence of occult symbols and skulls were no surprise but I was a shocked at the absence of umlauts.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm pretty meh on Kate Bush at the best of times. There are moments on her new disc that work, particularly the first few tracks, but the duet with Elton and the subsequent spoken word listing of the different words for snow strike me as pretentious twaddle. I realize that this may, in fact, be a contentious statement. I await your censure.

It appears that Big Boi is on your side(s), so I'm obviously in the philistinic minority.
Agreed...........Picked up madamn kate fri........ 10/10 somehow she has translated falling snow into a piano sequence.....completely conjures up the mood of a snowy day/evening...remarkable
Her last studio album aerial is highly underrated too if any of you missed that one...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just listened to Jian's interview with the exceptional Kate this evening. Thanks Kyle. I'm loving the new album and I'm probably biased where Ms Bush is concerned but in my opinion she can do no wrong. At the tender age of 16 she had me firmly in her grasp with Babooshka and then with the release of The Dreaming 3 years later and songs like this there was no turning back.

Bjork, Tori, Gaga, Joanna eat your hearts out ladies. Suffice to say this is why my wall was bedecked with posters of the divine Ms. Bush.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thought you cats wuld like this.
But will his passing be as mourned as deeply as hers?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wow that was sudden. It seemed to me that Motian was healthy and active just recently. Some of his recent recordings with Joe Lovano were great. Check out this one sometime, I urge you. And yes, I saw him two years ago at the Vanguard when I was there with Gerald. Very good show.
Stuart easily has the coolest office. We're never allowed to drop acid, slow American holiday week or no.

Not sure if any of you saw that Paul Motian had passed away. Did you ever see him play live in any of your NYC trips, Bri?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In our office we are listening to our 2nd hour of "smile" beach boys on rdio... they have the whole box set version for your listening the last 20 minutes we have commenced making diverse animal noises and we are running around flapping our arms while cursing ( turrets like) intermittently....

...please help....



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Love the new KBush song, aka the single. Apparently every song is 8 minutes or longer.
FYI the Kate Bush album was released yesterday as I picked it up at HMV. Not sure why but new releases seem to be coming out on Mondays now instead of Tuesdays.
Alive and tinkling (so to speak)! He played 30 consecutive nights in honour of his 70th birthday. The man is a (small-Jewish-looking-though-I'm-not sure-of-his-racial-heritage-perhaps-middle-Eastern) monster! All those guys are about 70 actually, except for that Roney kid.

Loved the article about no-laying on the road. I always appreciate it when musicians de-bunk life on the road, or life in a "successful" band. It ain't all it's cracked up to be.
Chick Corea is still alive?!!! Hot damn. Well done, Bri.

Also, for those of you salivating over the new Kate Bush album's release today, I feel it's important to inform you that Jian will be interviewing her today on Q.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hey boys, sat five feet away from Chick Corea Thursday night as he played a 90-minute set dedicated to Miles Davis at the Blue Note. An all-pantheon group of musicians made this one very memorable: Gary Bartz was a revelation on sax, Eddie Gomez on bass (first time I'd seen Bill Evan's long-standing partner), Jack DeJohnette on drums, and Wallace Roneya relative lightweight (well, contemporary player anyway, at 51) on trumpet. Yowza.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I continue to refrain from engaging in discussions around the pending battle of the genres. Why? Is it because I want to hold my cards close to my chest and not betray any potential strategies that would be evident in any request for clarification or suggestion? Is it because I don't completely understand what I'm going to be defending/promoting/arguing or why? Or is it because I'm simply content to let the pre-contest process play out before trying to figure how what I need to do to adequately prepare? The answer is....yes.

In the meantime, an amusing lament for the female musician, who, in addition to many other challenges faced in making it in the ever-shrinking biz, also apparently doesn't get laid.
I've been thinking about the battle of the genres. I'm leaning towards "Novelty Songs" - or possibly a sub-genre such as "Country Puns", "Ultra Raunch" or "Post Jankovic". I'm just not sure that my catalog has enough depth to do the category justice.

Actually, part of my problem in coming up with a genre to tackle is that I have a hard time sorting my music into anything but the broad categories that I mentioned earlier. For example, let me put this test to the group. How would you categorize this old favorite?

Oh - and as a response to the earlier question about favorite albums that are generally considered to be flops, one of mine is "The Final Cut" by Pink Floyd. And I agree about "In Through the Out Door".

Thursday, November 17, 2011

All this talk of movements....a tad unseemly for middle aged gentlemen or inspired because it's music related? Discuss.

Yes, the new Field mainly works on the level of moving me out of my seat and onto a treadmill or dance floor, but I do find something moody and emotional about it as well. There's something Steve Reich-like in what you nailed as the metronomic structure to many of the tracks. Beauty, art possibly.

We're completely on the same page when it comes to Atlas Sound. Bradford Cox can really do no wrong these days.
Kyle, taking a listen to The Fields currently and although i find it kicks ass and is very groovy, it fails to "move" me, and would not do so unless i was, perhaps, on a treadmill and in need of a metronome ...don't get me wrong, i like it, but it doesn't move me. What did move me today was my first listen to Atlas Sound "Parallax" available on Rdio (of coarse)
10+ listens into the High Places disc, I'm still unmoved. I can only imagine how underwhelming their live show must have been. Another 'band' I wouldn't want to see live but who's new album/ep is pretty damn kickass, IMO, is The Field's 'Looping State of Mind'. Warning: NSFBaM.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If you be talkin bout the High PLACES, the company was good but the show was craaap (IMHO) ...still, worth getting out on a Monday night. The pair of them were un-animated, drum pad thwacking, knob twiddling automatons. Mary Parsons does have a nice voice but i thought it was too frequently lost in the mix. I do like the music and actually enjoyed the show more when we retired to the front of the hall, away from the stage, where we could talk but still hear the music and did not have to look at the two of them performing ...what does that say about a show!
how the high dials show had good funnings?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ok Brian 10 points... you had me laughing out topic,
damn I love that new pj harvey album......tracks england and battleship hill just two of many standouts....certainly the greatest album ever created in the history....ok, I will tone down the hyperboly, but anyone who didn't see dereks tip on this...please indulge really is quite unlike anything she has ever done, so dont be shy if you have not liked her in the past...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hey Stu, yes i would say you need to get very specific about your folk sub-genre, given the expansiveness of that genre overall. So something like English late 60's/early 70's folk revival, Protest folk, Folk Rock, etc, each of which has fairly distinct boundaries. Then I would suggest that you need to state what your definition is to the group, and we would agree or question the sub-genre. So come smackdown time, your playlists would need to align to the definition that you're provided. Easier for me to think of this in jazz sub-genres, for example cool jazz, or west coast jazz. Make sense?
Frankly I will miss seeing Brian do country.....but I will park my sadist views and agree whole heartedly with you all..... I have already started with folk so if no one minds ( and I realise Derek has been pining for this category but too bad) I will stick with it..... I was wondering if we should try to define the category we have selected a bit ie with folk music does that mean folk rock is in? country infused folk?hard to say...If i do bring folk rock, perhaps a song like wooden ships would not be appropriate as no acoustic guitars at all, but suite judy blue eyes would be acceptable??/ also some electric guitars ok if the song and songwriter is promarily acoustic? Something like that maybe works or else not much separation between my category and rock...
what do you think?
It's your baby Brian. I'm quite happy to let you decide how we should set it up.
Having mused on this for a few days, I'm tempted to say that we should each pick a sub-genre that we're most interested in exploring - likely therefore within the major genres of pop, rock, or jazz - vet it with the group, and run with it. Keeping in mind you'll potentially have to play 20 tracks over the course of the night, so the genre would have to have some depth / breadth, while also still being a true, containable sub-set of the major genre. How does everyone feel about that?
Mike needs a category sop perhaps he should do country / or blues leavi8bng Brian to the do the other....or he takes country blues and Brian takes garage bands...or the like...
re the albums that are not really so bad link.... I never new In through the outdoor was dissed...always loved that record...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Food for thought on smackdown 2012. I think that Country and Blues are disparate enough that they should not be in the same grab basket and would thereby propose that Brian draws for either Blues or Country and the genre that he does not draw, would then be taken up by either Kyle or Derek (let them pull straws for it amongst themselves).

I think that we also need to be proposing some sub category for the last remaining Pop Rock category...perhaps something like Christian Death Metal? ...seriously, perhaps something like Experimental? has a long history to draw on but is a tough nut to crack in a crowd.

...other suggestions? ...perhaps Garage and it's post 60's revival?

...any thoughts on my thoughts?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Found this to be quite an interesting article about albums that are generally dismissed by fans and critics alike but on further listen might have more going for them than most would think. Not sure I ever need to hear anything again by Living Color though.

Do any of you have albums that rank high on your list while being written off by most.
In your words Derek, "there will be blood!"
After some discussion with Marc (great food man) tonight I am more than happy to let all but Kyle and I run with the full on category that's been assigned to them. I'm not sure that country, blues, electronica, or jazz (in Mike's case) need to be sub-divided any further. In the sake of fairness it makes sense for all but the rock categories to be given the full-on scope from which to choose from to state their case.

If there is still a gripe factor to be parlayed then state it now. Otherwise I think we should proceed with the assigned categories. I'd like to hear all of you chime in with your thoughts on what's about to go down.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ah, now the engagement!! Hmm, why do I get feel like you only just read some of my earlier blogs Mike :)

In truth I'm all good with whatever is agreed upon. I'd certainly rather research an obscure jazz sub-genre than country music (sorry Stuart), but we took this approach so as to challenge us to (similar to the Decades event) to evolve our breadth of music and support a (in this case) genre that you may not have a strong connection to. It worked quite well for the Decades - I've often decried the 80's as a lost decade of music but really enjoyed obsessing about /re-discovering that period for a month - it may work less well, or be less fun for all, when the theme moves from Decade to Genre.

So back to the drawing board? We all just choose genres we love?
So it appears that I committed a little too late, and I missed the draw. Luckily, we have over 2 months before the actual event, so we should be able to react. We need a taxonomy that includes 6 categories. We could go with broad categories such as rock, pop, dance, folk, blues, classical, jazz, country, opera, showtunes and world. Or we could go with very specific sub-genres such as avant-garde metal, breakbeat hardcore, freak-folk, gypsybilly, punk jazz and tin pan alley (all of which are included in Wikipedia's comprehensive list of music styles). Whichever way we do it, I think it would be more interesting if we were able to choose the genre we wish to defend, rather than having one thrust upon us.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

You’re just making me out to be your whipping boy ...set me up to be trounced in the first round once again ...what did I do to deserve this ...I will rise to the occasion and bring honour to the genre ...either that or just end up annoying the hell out of the lot of you.
Ah yes, well, looks like some hard cheese on this one given Mike's note. We may need to re-visit this approach, or at least this assignment of categories. So.....Derek and I randomly drew categories the other night at Betty's (ah, what an establishment) as follows:

Rock and Pop 1 - Derek
Rock and Pop 2 - Kyle
Folk - Stuart
Electronic - Mark
Country / Blues - Brian

Arguably it's pretty clear who will be having the most and least fun preparing for this event. If it's entirely untenable let me know. My heart would not be broken if we were to switch it up, as I am somewhat lukewarm to blues and country. And Mike, well, I believe I've heard him refer to jazz as "just random noise" more than once over the years. Once we settle on genre assignemnt, then we'll need to choose our own sub-genres, subject to group approval.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

And now the bad news....Brian?
I should respond to the invitation to come down and join another musical playoff. First, I have to say that I've never liked genres - or perhaps it's sub-genres that I don't like. I accept country, blues, rock, classical and jazz. But I've never had any use for alternative, art rock, roots rock, pop, new country, etc. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the battle of the decades, and I'd like to participate in this next big event. Barring something unavoidable and undeniable, I'll make the trip to the big Smoke on the weekend of Jan 20-21 armed with an ipodfull of choice selections for whatever piece of the music pie I am assigned. I should point out that my music collection is ill-equipped to handle jazz, classical or blues. I have lots of rock and folk, and some country, all of which spans innumerable arbitrary classifications.

Monday, November 07, 2011

I like it but don't love it Brian so much music these days. I picked up the cd way back then ...perhaps one the more recent that i have purchased; I Met Up With the King has still not worn out its welcome. We have spoken at length about the changing music scape and part of me wonders how much of my lack of enthusiasm is due to the changes in the musical landscape, technological and otherwise, and how much of it is due to me getting old and jaded ...they do, after all, have very sweet voice!

On a brighter note, i did go see Gluck's Iphigenia in Tauris by the coc back in October. It resonates with me to this day and pulls at my heart strings. I think that i would have to say that it is my favourite Opera performance that i have seen to date. It bridged its era with its antiquity past as well as alluding to our present torments was curiously timeful and timeless at the same time. Brilliant staging, stripped down and contemporary, clever and yet not annoyingly so. I would encourage anyone to see it next time it comes around in the COC cycle. I was astounded. The use of water on the stage was breathtaking. The opening aria was accompanied by a peculiar sound was only when the light slowly came up that you realize there is water cascading down the backdrop and towards the front of the stage ...can you use the word wicked to describe an opera?
Hey Marc, really?? Oops. Was it any good? Ahem. Well, I like it. Thanks for sharing. No takers on comments on the F/Foxes?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

why do i even bother bringing stuff to the club nights!

....just kidding Brian.
Derek, yes, yes and again yes. I'm in. Let's get together soon to names and genres. Others may join.

Incidentally, has the group at large spent any time with the latest Fleet Foxes record? I listened to it front to back at high volume yesterday - it's remarkable. Such clarity and soulfulness. The vocalist sounds a bit too much like Graham Nash but that's not his fault.

Another folky band I happened upon that is very nice weekend morning listening is First Aid Kit - a sister duo from Sweden. Incredible harmonies and some good songs, considering the lasses are only 17 and 20. Any lauders or dismissers among you?

Friday, November 04, 2011

Not sure that it was a cabal more like a coterie truth be told.

As it was about 5 days ago and a few pints in to a typically rambling discussion at the Rex late on a Sunday evening the details are now rather blurred. Brian has more or less outlined the proposed change in the setup.

Given that the original format of genre competition encompassed huge swaths of music under the terms rock, jazz, classical etc Stuart and I felt that it would make more sense and be a fairer contest if we made the categories much more refined.

First off we lop off the whole idea of classical and opera from this particular go around.

Let's keep the idea of rock, jazz, country, folk and electronic on the table. However rather than making it that simple and quite likely hearing many of the same tracks that were played 2 years ago I (we) propose that each of us has to select a "micro-genre" that perhaps spans a period of around 3-5 years so that one has to dig a bit deeper than the obvious candidates for this type of playdown.

So we could choose from the likes of post-punk, early 70's glam, bebop, the Manchester scene, acid house, alt-country, new wave, IDM, chill-wave, fusion, prog etc. I'm not really up on my categorization of the country and folk scenes per se but you get the gist.

I think it would be up to each individual to select their own sub-genre (perhaps one that they are less familiar with) and then let the group as a whole give it the stamp of approval over the next week or so.. We wouldn't for example want someone to pick 60's pop. Far too broad.

Anyway that's a rough sketch and I think it would be quite fun to hear some nuggets from genres that I am quite unfamiliar with.

What say the rest of you?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I've heard rumours of a late-Sunday summit of a small cabal of music men, who would like subversively (drunkenly) to re-introduce the notion of a sub-genre level (slightly varied from Marc's orignal, brilliant idea) to the proposed Genre night. Intriguing.

Would anyone care to elaborate?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

all good.... i agree with everything......russian opera thats my vote

Monday, October 31, 2011

My vote is Stuart. Leave it at that.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

OK boys, it seems we have consensus. Ha. To be honest, I'm not sure what your vote is for Stu (you're a madman and I've come to accept that) - do you mean you'd like to have Rock as your category? OR you'd chose to eliminate Rock if we needed to eliminate one?

Mark I like your idea, and we did have a discussion along those lines the other night. The reason we proposed a competition at the higher level (versus subcategories) is that (a) I quite like the idea - the goofiness if you will - of pitting Jazz or Folk against Pop or Classical and declaring one the winner (yes! finally we know! lol) (b) it gives the "player" tons of leeway and will make for some interesting choices and (c) not everyone is all that interested in the major genres, so to have an entire night of folk or classical or electronica might be less appealing to some. Happy to continue to consider this if others feel different. Majority rules.

In terms of categories, we spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out what to do with Rock/Pop (likely too big and dominant on its own), and came up with the idea of Soft Rock / Pop and Hard Rock as two categories. Thoughts?

Another question wrt categories was that there could be a challenge by a competitor against the other competitor if he didn't believe that selection belonged in the category (ie he played Led Zeppelin as Soft Rock/Pop), and if the majority of the non-players in that round agreed, he would have to skip the track.

Mike - any chance of you coming down for the Saturday night of that weekend?

Friday, October 28, 2011

It was more an attempt at humour..... my vote is rock, leave it at that....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wow. This is really fucking complicated. I have no idea what we're doing but... I'm in. Just give me my instructions and what music to prepare and I'll be there. (Apologize for the vulgarity, but I take all my verbal cues now from the mayor of Toronto, bitches.)

In the meantime, a hilarious review of possibly the least essential album of the millienium, though we be only a dozen years into it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

sounds good to me......better if its the friday as the 21st is an opening night at canstage and Brian and or I may be at it....

I would like to add British folk rock to this......,

but I do not want a face full of scottish fist so I will bid my time...

(I was seriously thinking of hosting a night next year wherein I would supply all the music of that genre from obscure to ....welllll you know ..... semi obscure..... but I take it that would not be popular. After finishing a book on this era I have become obsessively buried back in it, recently picking up far far too much of this stuff, )

Officially my vote would be rock , but that would be like every cdclub night.....
Brian, i like the idea but i might suggest that rather than talking meta genre vs. meta genre, that we pit the sub genre vs sub genre. i.e. one night we do "classical" and set the moderns against the classical vs baroque vs opera (although not a period) vs medieval etc. (or whatever)

A jazz night might include various sub classifications that might be geographical or by era or stylistic distinctions ...or maybe a showdown of the best jazz instrument.

I found that the last battle we did was fun but too polarizing and i think that pitting classical vs disco is just not fair because they are such different beasts. (although i am sure the disco would emerge triumphant)

With rock you could mix it up and send the "trio" into the ring against the "ballad" or the "glam icon" or whatever. I like to think it might be a little more interesting and there might even be some disagreement as to whether a particular cut should be allowed to fall into it's category.

Like Stuart, i always like the shades of grey that fall between the black and the white.

Monday, October 24, 2011

OK gents, the night of beer-drinkin' has occurred, and Derek and I have a proposal for the next (bi-annual) Music-Club-focused-listening-and-friendly-competition-in-which-Derek-gets-annoyed-night. I'm going to suggest the third week in January as the tentative date - say Friday or Saturday of the 20th-21st weekend. And Mike, you should plan to come down for it.

And here it is. Rather than considering (and comparing) our favourite music from the Time dimension, we are proposing that we look at it from the aspect of GENRE. Yes, that's right. GENRE. As we did in 2010, we suggest that each Music Guru is randomly assigned a genre, and can play 15 minutes (max) of music when his turn is called, up to 4 tracks, and, for some of the genres, MAY play partials. We can sort out some of the other rules later (I have a few in mind). Same double elimination format.

The genres for your consideration:

Rock (hard)
Rock (soft and pop)

Of course there are others, but we felt that these would have the most play within the group. If we need fewer for fewer attendees, arguably Folk would be the first cut. I know Derek had a case of the willies when he thought of programming a night within that genre. We could put that to a vote.

What say you to the idea?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I would deffer to Stuart on the official definition of the word Goooge as they invariably come from Scarborough, and, might also seek the correct spelling of the word from him although i realise that's like asking a blind man what he thinks of the colour of a wall. (if i may be so politically incorrect)
I'm still trying to figure out what a goooge is. Apparently something to do with Alice Cooper.

What immediately came to mind when you mentioned little known classics, Bri, were the Wheedle's Groove reissues, a collection of rare and dismissed 45s compiled and reissued a few years ago, as well as similar efforts from the Numero Group, my knowledge of which is directly credited to Derek, who bought me a series of these for my birthday a few years back.

But a direct reissue example, again courtesy Deeman's patronage, would be Opa's Back Home, some jazz fusion from the mid 70s. Surely there are others as well. All are very different from the 'take an album from 20 years ago and sell it again with a few lesser versions tacked onto the end' reissue.

Mike your comments echo my reaction to the Nevermind reissue, some of which I listened to on Rdio recently, and contains similarly underwhelming 'additions'. Tried playing the alt-take of Lithium and stopped it halfway through to return to the original. Which is probably what God, and certainly Kurt, intended.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yes I totally agree re re-issues. So many superfluous and silly re-purchases I've made! What CAN be exciting is when some clever A&R guy finds a little-known classic and brings it back to life via re-issue. Trying to think of a good example.....Kyle, care to assist?

And I might say I'm shocked, SHOCKED I say, that two of the blog confess to never having listened to Starfish in its entirety. I'm a pretty big Church fan. Particularly given the ass-kicking use I made of it in the Decades competition last year.

On a tangential note, but a good one, given how that Decades evening has gone down in Blog-lore, we should consider devising a new competition to focus our listening for the early new year. Derek, perhaps you and I need to go to Betty's.
I'd go as far as saying that many reissues actually diminish the album instead of enhancing it. The originally selected music, which is generally well-loved by the time the reissue emerges, is watered down by the addition of demo tracks, alternate versions and other "extras". Peeking behind the scenes and hearing a stripped down, unpolished acoustic demo that was never meant for public consumption doesn't help me appreciate the song. If anything, it makes the song sound more ordinary and less compelling. When I was downloading albums to replace the casettes that I was throwing away, I ended up with reissued versions of several of them. I can't think of one of them that was improved by the additional material - having heard it once, I generally choose to only listen to the original tracks thereafter.
Co-incidentally i just listed to Starfish just last week, excellent album. I have never owned it but was reputed to throw it own just about every time I went over to Stuart's for about a decade.

Talking about re-issues, i was listening to Alice Cooper on the mighty Q (ya i can be a goooge) the other night as he has a late night program and he was playing a Floyd re-issue as they have done just about the whole catalogue ...after the cut finishes, Alice comes on and says "can you hear the difference? ...I can't" ...i had to laugh!
Starfish = 1988. I must confess, though I've always loved the track off this album, I've never listened to the entire thing, an oversight I am currently rectifying through the magic of Rdio. So, definitely eligible for the best of the last 23 years, no less an arbitrary number that that selected by NME (I know, I know, they were consciously trying to come up with a post-grunge list...)

While I'm being cranky, is there anyone out there who's really into these reissues? I don't mean the Smashing Pumpkins specifically, though these are the two to own, but any type of reissue. I haven't really come across any that have added much value to my collection. Paler, unfinished versions of songs that didn't make the initial cut plus some warbling live performances thrown in don't compel me to fork over again for the same disc.

Again, we may have covered this territory already--after 7 years posting here, overlap is likely--but I'm wondering if any of you feel passionately about reissues either way. Am I completely misguided and ignorant. With regards to this issue, specifically, I mean.Link
I haven't heard anything new that really inspired me in a while, but the other day I listened to Starfish by The Church for the first time in a long while. It's a little too old to fit into the "last 15 years" category that Kyle just posted about, and I don't know how many people would list it on their "best of the decade" selections, but I was reminded of just how much I love that album. Revisiting old favorites after not hearing them for a long time is one of the benefits of having a collection that is too large to manage!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

While we've noted that all such attempts at definitive 'best of' lists are doomed, the misguided, nature of NME's top 20 songs of the past 15 years elevates the word, 'arbitrary' to a whole new level.

Can anybody who crafted that list say with a straight face that they ever listen to "Hey Ya"? Or Missy Elliot? Anybody who isn't currently living in early 2004? Is "Rebellion (Lies)" really The Arcade Fire song that you'd pick?

At any rate, if you have the time (and I don't really so I don't know why I'm urging you to do so), you can check out the entire 150 song list, which is a little bit better but still laughably, myopically British, in that it includes anything post-1995 by Oasis and is heavily stocked with the likes of the Manic Street Preachers and the Arctic Monkeys.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And now for something completely different....not exactly Wednesday morning listening at the office but thought I'd throw some love towards my cousin Michael's band's latest release, now streaming at exclaim.

Monday, October 10, 2011

damn...thanks Derek, I missed that entirely.....Will be dearly missed, and some coincidence as I am now buried once again in more obscure brit folk and folk rock of that era due to a book I am currently reading, which I think kyle put me on to in a previous blog

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I don't know his stuff very well (still getting up to speed) but I know Stuart reveres him. Another great one leaves us behind.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Indeed, must search that one out. Althugh let's face it the mix of gloss and hard core was one of the beauitful things about that record. In a way it's like George Martin writing string quartet arrangements for the Beatles....just because the singer doesn't understand (or in this case, like) it, or didn't do it himself, doesn't make it bad.

Nice new visuals KP.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More on Nirvana, would be interested in hearing the Butch Vig version discussed here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Also, Hallelujah.
All a function of age and relativity, Bri. Those first two decades always seem to pass slowly. The next twenty whiz by. The key is to make sure that your children listen to cool music, thus alienating them from their friends.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"It was twenty years ago today?" Ha....listened to that other twenty years ago album in the car today. Is it my imagination or did the Nirvana twenty years seem to have passed more quickly than the twenty between Pepper and the first Pixies record. Jesus Murphy......
Shod be posting something about Nirvanna, since their little known album called Nevermind was released 20 years ago today. However, I have this link to 20 cover songs performed by Radiohead. Yours for the always happy price of free.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I think we're all assuming, Bri, that REM will be back in 5-years, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Life's Rich Pageant, an event that will likely require a reissue and reunion tour. Start saving your cash now!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

That's just odd. I assumed they were a corporation that would carry on forever at this point. Do 31-year running bands really break up?
Earth-shattering news about a band breaking up. If this were 1988. Which it's not. So.....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm glad I'm not on Derek's island. I'd surely tire of Blancmange and Lemon Jelly and I'm not sure who this Duff person/people are either. The dessert part sounds intriguing...tiramisu and creme brulee to be had, I would hope.

As for your streaming theory, Stu (and Dirk), not sure that I agree. That I haven't listened to anything that would go on my desert island is less a reflection of how often I may or may not have listened to recent stuff than the fact that anything new will have a hard time competing with music I've enjoyed for decades. It usually takes a couple of years for something to make it to my 'best of all time' list, because I think distance provides the best perspective. Great example: Moby's 'Play'. Still think it would make the list, though I must confess that I don't listen to it as often as I once did and probably don't regard it with the same degree of enthusiasm that I once did.

Also, with streaming in general, I think it's a little too early to tell. We've only been subscribing to the service for a few months now and I don't believe you subscribe to the option that allows you to save the music to your device (iphone, ipod touch, etc), which is critical for someone like me, who listens to at least half of all music these days on my headphones. I don't actually own the new Little Dragon album, one which I played at the CD club and enjoy more with each listen--easily numbering now at around 10-12--but it's certainly one I'd put on my top list of the year and it feels as though I own it. Were Rdio to go away, I'd certainly buy a copy.

Where I think you have a point is again one of sheer volume, numbers, and opportunity cost. That I have access to so many new releases every week means that I often keep exploring new stuff, at the expense of revisiting and relistening to the new stuff from the previous week and the week before that and the week before that, or stuff from previous years, decades...I do think I'm listening to slightly 'more' music (if that's possible) but at some point, something has to give. And that inevitably means not spending the same amount of time with each new release as I once did.

But I don't find that a lack of actual ownership has led, at this point anyway, to me not embracing or taking ownership of music that I'm starting to like. Not yet anyway. Perhaps this is a long term consequence.

As a side note and perhaps further concession to your overall point of what's lacking in Rdio, they have to adopt better playlisting, genre, and organizational options. An alphabetical scroll or 'what's Bri/Derek/Marc/Drawing Room up to' is nice occassionally but getting to a violin concerto in one or two clicks, for example, not so easy or efficient. Hoping they improve on this in the future. Their ipad/phone app has improved quite a bit but the overall organization needs a bit of an upgrade.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Most of my favourite dessert island discs are by Lemon Jelly, Blancmange and Figgy Duff.
Dirk and I were talkin just the other day.. we have a suspicion that the rdio streming services tend to make one not repeat listen very short no one spends and signifivasnt amount of time with any new purchase because frankly there are no more purchases..only streaming....with that in mind can any of you prove us wrong by posting a single dessert island disc that you would chose, but it has to be something you bought / streamed in the last 6 weeks (approx) at least 4 times (approx) and love ...the suspicion is that none of you have listened to any 1 new disc more then a couple of times and will be unable to name one...let alone a favorite amongst lessers....

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Brian ,
the pogues and the stars classics thank you for the reminder,
Kyle .................................
back to you Brian, the Nancy w Lee video hilareous on 3 points for me..
Nancys face when lee starts singing in th e background, and lees face when he emotes those first few lines, I think I get what the point was of the stooges now....
also damn if she doesnt look like frank sinatra in drag ....... take another look

Friday, September 02, 2011

Mea culpa. Allow me to make up for it with a lovely little bit of Rollins/Coleman. Apparently both are still alive? Who knew? Besides Brian and maybe Derek. And possibly Marc and Stuart? Okay, so it's just me and Mike then? Fine.

Also, thought this Willie Nelson covering Coldplay was kind of nice, both the rendition and the sentiment/politics:

Kyle you sick bastard. You're too young to understand what torture those songs and images evoke.

Re Lee and Nan, that record is actually good tip to tail, in a more-relevant-then-they-could-ever-have-known kind of way. I remember hearing Jackson on the radio when I was seven or eight, and noticing it as different (read: stupid and funny) immediately.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Another great Lee and Nancy collaboration. Though when I think of duets, this one pops into my head first:

or this:

Duets. Yes there are literally thousands, though I think the genre (if that's the right word for it) tends to produce more dross than diamonds.

This one is the first to come to mind, for some reason. Probably the pop duet I've heard the most in my life, and yet still enjoy.

Mind you, this one occupies a hallowed spot in the BD pantheon. Amazing song. And nice video too, which I only came acorss now.

Next, any duet discussion would be imcomplete without this archetypal duet from the sixties. Not as laughably crap as their rep, imo. Not their most fanous song, but the one I like the best.

And finally, speaking of archetypal sixties duets, how about this one.

just listening to "girl from the north country" off nashville skyline....for me , the perfect duet...2 very different voices yet complimenting ea other ...the pace almost stopped, like 2 old friends resigned to a repeating storyline....and for the life of me I cant think of another duet that works as well.... I realise it is a common vehicle for quick cash for a label and there are many famous crap duets out there, but I must be having a seniors moment.. Im sure therre are other quality duets out there...anyone?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Don't call it a comeback. Actually, do. Yay vinyl. (Said the guy who only buys digitally).
While live dj sets of anything are usually awful, this is pretty great. That is, if you're Marc, Derek, or possibly Stu.
The grand taxonomy of rap names.
Thanks for the CEG link, Bri. Have been listening to Music Go Music after reading many a recommendation online and am less than thrilled. Watered down Abba as daring indie rock? I'll pass.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hey boys. Nice 90's-homage ear candy from Cymbals Eats Guitars on their new release. The last one was a real guilty pleasure and sounds like this will be no different.
Those of your irritated by yesterday's link can only be grateful that dear Babs decided not to go with this type of album cover.

Monday, August 29, 2011

If your Monday isn't annoying enough already, then.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hey Kyle, I agree, first and very brief listen sounds pretty exciting.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Listening to the new Malkmus. A welcome return to form, imo.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Apparently, CKLN is selling off its vinyl co this Saturday.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Recording tonight's music as we go:

1. Hello Echo - Hello. Brian
2. Bon iver - 2nd record Stu
3. Washed Out - Within and Without. Kyle
4. She and Him - Volume II. Marc

1. Radio Department - passive aggressive:singles 2002-2010. Stu
2. Erik Friedlander : Alchemy. Brian
3. UNKLE - where did the night fall. Kyle
4. Telekinesis - 12 desperate straight lines. Marc

1. Josh T.Pearson - Last of the Country Gentlemen. Stu
2, The Donkeys - Born With Stripes. Brian
3. Music Go Music - Expressions. Marc
4. Little dragon - Ritual Union. Kyle

1. Matt Pond - Spring Fair (ep) Brian
2. Dinosaur Jr. - Green Mind and Where You Been (all of us)
3. The Panics - Cruel Guards. Stu
4. Galaxie - Le Tigre Kyle

1. The Disappears - Guider. Brian
2. Calvin Jackson - Live at the plaza. Marc
3. Low Spark of High-heeled Boys - traffic. Marc

Friday, August 12, 2011

But I've already bought the family pack of cheesies......
i dunno Kyle, personally i would have preferred Derek's place....hes a little more accomodating and generally a better host...wouldnt you say?

Stunning, colossally stupid question(s). My place.
Hey Stu,
I don't think it's a stupid question. But that's because I'm not clear on the location either.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kyle, I picked up G. Welchs first record many years back and have loved her since... the best of the bunch is Time the revelator to my ears (of the 3 I have) , but the new one is pretty great too, im with you there... ( avoid her partners solo record ...David Rawlings....of last year)
I have a stupid question, but since i am stupid perhaps its not unsurprizing..... Where is this cd club at... Dereks or Brians?
The 18th is a go gents. Anytime after 7:30. Trying and failing to cut and paste some fave album covers, will look at it later today. Kyle, thanks for the G. Welch recommendation. Not to pigeonhole you, but I wouldn't have thought this was your kind of thing, as I don't think of you as a roots fan. Even in our forties we can surprise each other. Oh yes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

random notes, in advance of next week's apparent cd club meeting on the 18th, sans Mr. Gaines, of course, who apparently values his marriage and family above sitting around a room and talking crap about music with a bunch of men in their 40s (priorities, dude?):

-the new Gillian Welch album is gorgeous, and perfectly suited to hazy August mornings. Will likely be one of my last buys from emusic, where I'm enjoying a free last month but am still struggling to spend my last $12 or so.

-an update on the london fires' impact on the indie labels, referenced yesterday

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Here ye go laddie.

On those fires, it seems that a bunch of smaller independent labels may go under as a consequence.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Famine in Somalia, brutal oppression in Syria, London burning, and the markets in free fall. But since this is a music blog, your end of the world harbinger is the fact that the average price of a Jimmy Buffett concert ticket is over $216.

Also tried to find a good YouTube clip for Panic, which has been going through my head, but alas, only shitty covers, inaudible live bootlegs to be found.

Friday, August 05, 2011

18th looks good! will post again soon. kisses.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Hey Kylie P are you playing hard to get? How does the 18th look for a music night?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I'm afraid Aug 18 won't work for me - that happens to be my anniversary, and Caroline takes that sort of thing rather seriously! I'm going to be in Toronto on the weekend of Aug 12, but that weekend is a complete mess, with a softball tournament, furniture shopping for my daughter and my visiting parents in tow, so I wouldn't be able to participate in an evening of music regardless. I'll also be back in the Big Smoke sometime in late August or early September to drop Jenn off for another year of school - if music night slips until then, I could potentially join you. But I think you should go ahead with the 18th and drink a toast to my 21st anniversary while you're enjoying some suitably uptempo and celebratory tune.

I've given some thought to the question of musical predecessors, and I've drawn a blank. I can think of lots of artists whose original bands were better than their solo careers or subsequent bands, but I can't think of any that I discovered after the fact. And I also flipped through my album covers (although I've fully digitized my collection, I've taken great pains to ensure that every song is tagged with the correct album art), and I was surprised to find that it was difficult to identify many real favorites. I have lots of fond memories of gazing at album covers while listening to music, but when it comes right down to it, not that many of them really strike me as interesting artistically. Here are the few that I came up with:

Monday, August 01, 2011

Some of my favourite record covers as promised. You may not recognize the first or last. The last is Echo & the Bunnymen's 1982 12" release of "Back of Love".
Nice post Kyle. Have been to Chicago several times but sadly have never seen the Marina City buildings or at least wasn't sober enough to recognize them as such. Found it quite astonishing the number of potential album covers they run through before they decide on the right fit. Technology obviously makes that a much easier process.

I'm sure in the grand old days of full blown LP covers there wasn't as much deliberation over album artwork. Anyone care to throw out their fave 3, 5, 10 album covers in their collection. I'll post a few of my faves shortly. Kyle your participation is not required seeing as how you no longer own any music that comes with a cover.

I've spent a fair bit of time Brian pondering your question re predecessor bands coming to my attention after the fact and outshining their musical spin-offs and I can't think of a single example. Maybe it's because I'm just so plugged in.

August 18th works for me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

OK so we have a leading candidate for a music night. Kyle and curmudgeonly Derek, you available on the 18th? M. Gaines, feel like a trip to the big smoke for a grande music weekend? Adam (I know you're out there) is this the right time for you to come out of the woodwork and join us?

Stu, I keep meaning to check out Carissa's Wierd, and will do now for sure given your rec. Leads me to this blog question, can you name artists or bands whose predecessor bands you'veheard of / listened to only after the fact, and liked as much, nearly as much, or hell, even more then the artist through whom you discovered it / them? My mind goes immediately to Heatmiser, whose last record in particular (Mic City Sons) is better than the first couple of Elliott Smith records. There are doubtless many others.....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I only have to type in a new password 8 keystrokes long any rate thursday the 18th is good for me too.......
''''A record I downloaded from emusic a year ago has really been a steady find on my ipod recent plays...the band carissa's wierd is the predecessor of band of horses....which is my top band in the top ten list of great concerts that derek walked out on... ( would love to hear your choices for that list)...the album is a compilation of cariss'a wierd discs.... the band is not similar in sound to horses, and is a ernest band, but not syruppy at all...very interesting groove based songs that stay in your head..well worth emusic fees and then some...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Derek, not sure why you are getting the authentication request ...are you signing in on a g-mail account? ...when i sign in with a yahoo account i don't get it. Brian, the weekend of the 6th is no good for me but i am open the other dates you suggest and the limitless volume of the 18th sounds particularly enticing ...after all, you can always make it though a Friday!
Very funny in a non ha-ha sort of way. Looks like google has gone and made the decision for us as to whether continue on here or not. I'll be damned if I'm gonna type in some slanty half-assed 12 letter word every time I come on here. Maybe the time has come to part ways.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

OK I'll take up the challenge. Let's have everyone lay out their good and bad weekends for the month of August. In a possible show of desperation, let's chuck in Thursday nights. I'll start. The weekend of the 6th is good, the 13th is bad though I could do the Thursday the 11th. The next weekend is complicated but possible, and the Thursday the 18th is very good with the family away, so I could host and we could let 'er rock. I could also do the Saturday 27th but nothing before in the following week. Last week of Aug/first of Sept looks clear.

Friday, July 22, 2011

August 6th weekly is no good for me. Last two weeks in August much better. Plan as you will, though, as I don't expect accomodation of my often crazy schedule.

As for lists, yes, always down with the themes and a good suggestion by stu. breezy summer playlists are a personal fave, though i find they always tend to lean heavily towards gauzy, hushed female vocals. Don't think I'll be able to host but I can provide the next playlist.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hey lads. I'm lining up for tickets to the SF street car - long line, seemed like a chance to catch up on blogging. I suggest we plan do two things in short order - a might of rock music in the glorious city of downtown Toronto - there were a number of shows in the mix a few weeks ago, n'est ce pas? - and a CD club which I (or other volunteer(s) will be happy to host. Let's shoot for the weekend of August 6th for either - perhaps CD club first?

Stu I like the idea of making themed playlists - something I've always enjoyed. Two themes that spring to mind are Night Music, Joyful Music, and Sunday Music. OK that's three. I'd be happy to take the lead if those with younger children, or withoput children at all, are otherwise too busy. Other theme ideas?

Enjoy the smoking hot Big Smoke. It's 24 and perfect here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

oh, and that site is invite-only, even if you are stateside, so another barrier.
stu, good ideas for playlists, getting together, and a night out. no worries about lack of posts. the goal of this space is sharing, not to create another to-do or trigger guilt, additional stress, which it's clearly doing, to some degree. for now, we'll coast until another viable option presents itself.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

apologies Kyle....I seem to be unable to get my shit together to make a posting or even a response...pathetic really... I do check out the dialogue from time to time, but have not been pulling close to my share and Im not sure why....maybe you are right that the format is a little time consuming, and the fact that you are the only one who regularly responds makes the effort less rewarding.. Dont get me wrong, I love your effort and insite its just that it feels like as a group we are not responding much at all so whats the point... you really need regular input from a number of people to generate the debate and its not happening......
I have to think the time honoured excuse of life (read lots of little kids to look after) is a major factor and I agree maybe we need to coast through this era without getting down on ourselves too much about this lull.......As far as the cd club , I still love those nights, I think the last effort at a date stalled prematurely for some reason,,, it usually takes 4 or 5 dates to get one lined up and thats typical with anything these days I find,,, So whoever let the ball drop toss another date out and lets make it happen....... final thought... I have been really enjoying Brians summer theme playlists that he made last summer and burned for me..... Having someone else make a playlist and not knowing what songs will come in what order and not knowinf a third of the songs.. ( 1/4??) hAS BEEN good fun over a year now and I wonder if any of you would be interested in having the host of the next cd club prepare a playlist with a theme of their choice for distribution.....?
...perhaps we need a night out too..........

Friday, July 15, 2011

Nice when you type in a question in the blog at night and an answer (one possible, anyway) appears in column form in the newspaper delivered to my door the very next morning.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Digital backwater, thy name is Canada. Also tried spotify earlier today when I saw the announcement about their US launch. Who do I blame for this? The CRTC? The federal government for not passing digital rights legislation? Or Stuart?
I thought this looked good as an answer to our cd club woes but alas they are very sorry and don't like our type round here.
While the rest of the planet moves forward our beloved backwater status remains intact.
Call me a cynic but I'm beginning to think that axing the CD club might be a more prudent move than nixing the blog. Perhaps Kyle you can follow-up on a method for us to get together virtually and share our music. I know some of us have done this through Rdio but without the beer and cheetos it's just not the same.
Win Wilco Tickets.
Something shimmering and white/

(the link in the last post may have been too subtle)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And it's something quite peculiar.
I think about/the loveless fascination/...
Got it. Will leave as is. Am also on the path to quitting emusic. Hit cancel and accepted the free month. Enough fence sitting. Am also going to buy a bike and slowly drive it down Jarvis for the next 4 years. But that's another topic for another day.
As Brian has already stated it would be unfortunate if we were to let Metabeats die off. I don't post as often as I should but I still check in on a regular basis and find the discussions, recommendations etc useful and enlightening. I figure that the slowdown of late has as much to do with the arrival of summer than any lack of interest in the blog.

On another note I signed off on e-music 3 months ago and haven't found that I've really missed it. I always seemed to be downloading 50 or 60 tracks in the last 24 hours before my downloads expired. Not really the best way to purchase music.