Thursday, March 31, 2011

What would a Virginia playlist consist of, I wonder? Anyhow, it's fun to see how this Rdio experience plays out. Just got back from the west coast this morning and used the 'Match Collection' feature so you rdio-ers should now be able to see the bulk of my current music collection in all its glory and possible shame. NJoy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Derek ...Virginia? ...i think that calls for a play list.
Listening to Rdio as I sit in my hotel room in Virginia. Pretty cool stuff. Nice job Kyle and Marc. Now if I can only figure out a way to get this set up when I get back to the office. Off for some wings now and perhaps a few beers.
Stuart, I will pick up the tab for the account. Somehow i don't think the communal metaBeats account is going to be a big hit in the long run although i think it will be an interesting experiment. We will play it by ear.

As everyone knows, i love following rules of play ;} so let me make a suggestion for the metaBeats rdio account. Use the queue feature to see what is about to be played, lay down some tracks in the queue or an album if you wish. You can insert and move items around in the queue if you want. I think using the queue will add to the workability of the site when being used by multiple browsers at once.

To add items to the queue, hover over the + symbol of a track or album and select "add to queue" from the drop down ...for those who have not figured it out yet.

To view the queue, go to the player on the left of the browser and you will find it to the right of the rw, pause/play,ff buttons.

Monday, March 28, 2011

you may have adressed this but, if we log on in the morning and Kyle is playing that Miley Cyrus crap again and again.... you will have to either change the music and he will have to live without her or put up with his taste in music (unbearable to most) or have a separate account with a different log in... If this works out to be good, then that makes the most sence because the costs of the shared account are so minimal.... marc has set it up but if 4 of us join we can pay him a quarter of the costs (a whopping 30 bucks a year).... S

Sunday, March 27, 2011

for some reason blogger is removing all my paragraph breaks, sorry.
Welcome to metaBeats rdio; the experiment has begun. I set up a new e-mail address and rdio account, go to rdio site and participate. If you play or make changes, they will be simultaneously be made on all open metaBeats rdio players. I think Stuart's office will be online this coming week as will i during the day. Join the fun and respect your audience ...but not too much ;} I was talking with Stuart and a really interesting thing came up. They have a computer in the office that acts as the music server and is hooked up to an amp and speakers. This platform means that anyone can change the music from their own workstation simply by having an rdio browser open and making a changes to it. Go to rdio, find the sign-in in the top right corner, enter the e-mail address and password i have sent out or feel free to request it ...add songs or albums to the collection, make play lists, hit play. Once logged in you can close the browser and still stay logged in which is nice) even remembers what you where playing when you closed the window. ( I think it might make sense that if you stop listening close the browser window as a courtesy to others because that way you can tell if anyone is on-line) ...not exactly sure how well this is going to work but it could be interesting.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So, something interesting i noticed about an Rdio account, you can open it up simultaneously on multiple computers or portable devices. If one computer changes a song in play it will mirror the change on the other machines logged onto the one account. I think it might be interesting to open up an account on which we are all able to sign on, add music, playlists, and listen. The thing is it's like being in the same space ....if i walk over to the CD player and change the music (in mid bar) everyone else is forced to listen to the change ...until someone else puts their foot down! I expect that there will on occasions be several people tuned in and at other times it will be like CKLN ...a dj with no audience! Anybody interested in checking out Rdio without signing up (for free) and interested in my little experiment of Rdio metaBeats, e-mail me and i will pass along a log-in and password.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I like the feature that tells you what I've just eaten....correlating consumed foods to musical choices is just another exciting way to explore music. Hope you enjoyed those short ribs.
Kyle, I'm lovin' the Rdio. I particularly love the way that when i go to follow you, Rdio gives me a Google streetview of the current location of your iphone that you have linked your account to!
Nice to have a week in the office to work on strategy and presentations, which has afforded me some listening/screwing around time with this Rdio site.

Once you get over the fact that nothing you're listening to on the site is ever private....oh wait, you can't get over that? Well, than this site might not be for you. But if you can, well, it's a bit of a blast. Not just because it's fun to watch Marc add music to his account with the speed and intensity of a washed up tv actor from a shitty tv show going through an eight ball of coke. But because this type of social format offers, in a far more visual, intuitive, and user-friendly way, one of the most compelling features of Napster back in the day: the ability to see what's in someone else's music collection.

I'm listening to Ogden's the Small Faces. While doing so (though I should be going back to working on a powerpoint slide) I instead click on the profile of others who have recently listened to this or have saved in their collections, and see if they come up with any good suggestions for me as to what to listen to next. Stu alert: both Fairport Convention and Glen Campbell come up, which leaves me to suspect that you have signed up under an alias.

Kind of a more hands-on approach to the 'Recommended if you Like' algorithm. They're edging closer to getting $10 out of me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Back @ u KP ...though u beat me to the punch line that was going to be about my dirty little Sabbath and Maiden fetish!'s all a little creepy if you ask me (...the following, not the fetish)
Watch what you listen to, Marc. I am now following you! Queue Michael Jackson/Rockwell early 80s collaborat...oh wait you have already....very good. Carry on.
I like the Rdio setup although i find myself spending too much time digging around and looking for stuff to play's too much of a distraction for me when i really should be raking in the $$$! ...Checked out the new Wye Oak yesterday on Rdio and I give it my two thumbs up. That is what i find brilliant about a service like this is i gives me an opportunity to listen to stuff that i might not actually going out to purchase in any case ...if i fall in love something i will pick it up. Yesterday i thought i should acquaint myself with PJ Harvey's catalogue because i was really not familiar with it ...boom! done! i'll give some of it another spin or two but at this point i don't think i need to have it in my collection. Like i say, brilliant.
Derek, when ARE we getting our high school prog rock band back together? I know I was only 9 or so when we started belting out April Wine in your parent's garage--can you still do the harmony on 'Just Between You and Me'?

Have to admit, this is the first time I can claim I've heard 'Phasors on Stun' (or at least had it pointed out to me before or while listening to it...doubtless I must have heard it sometime on Q107). Though the synth sound is definitely of its era, the song still stands the test of time. Odd that you can't get it on itunes. Seems they do offer a few FM albums but not the one you mentioned, Mike. Brian, am happy to learn more and receive a disc at an upcoming music event.

Stu, agree that I'll probably want to listen to Elliott Smith in 20 years but would I necessarily want to listen to Pantha du Prince? Or Avi Buffalo? Or a few others that I enjoyed in 2010 but may not in 2030. I ask because, while I'm pretty certain I'm still want to own my music going forward, I'm not certain that I want to own all of it. Or rather, that I don't necessarily need to own all of it.

Last night I installed the Rdio iphone app and started playing around with the free 7-day account that I set up. I discovered I could not only stream to the phone, which was semi-useful, as I can of course connect this to the stereo and play through the house. But I also noticed I could sync/save songs to the device itself to play even when not connected to the internet. I noticed that the new Wye Oak album was a featured new release so I saved it and listened to it on the way into work this morning. First listen: pretty good, similar to what we heard last summer live. I also saved the new R.E.M. and, because Derek played this for me recently, 'Crocodiles' by Echo & the Bunnymen, which I do not currently own.

Perhaps I'll want to buy the Wye Oak album so I can do with it what I please--put songs on mixed cds, hoard digitally as long as my media will hold, put on a smaller ipod shuffle, mp3 player, etc.--but do I need to? Am I better off taking the $9.99 I'd pay for the single disc and use it to listen to as many (within reason and limits of availability, of course) discs as I'd like, knowing that some of these will only appeal to me in the short term anyway? It may be worth it to spend $10 a month to essentially sample what's new, rediscover what's old.

Still testing but it may be an interesting way to discover new music, and Mike, since you have another $12 you're no longer forking over to emusic, you may wish to explore this option. Warning though: they do not have 'Phasors on Stun' by FM either.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Phasors is an absolute classic, and (crazy as it sounds) had already made its way onto the Road Collection, pre-fascination by the blog. Of course the collection has quickly become a box set, numbering 148 songs and 9.8 hours, so basically every song every written is on it. In particular i've gone down the rabbit hole of 70's Canadiana, with songs by Fludd (Cousin Mary), The Stampeders (Ramona), Chilliwack (Fly at Night), April Wine (Bad Side of the Moon), Five Man Electrical Band (Absolutely Right), and the Cooper Brothers (Rock n Roll Cowboy). Among others!

So thanks for your lists, I have borrowed liberally from them in pulling together the tome. Perhaps I will customize a couple for each blogger when we next get together. Which is when?
I'd like to add my voice to those supporting "Phasers on Stun". Like many, I was introduced to FM because they frequently opened for Rush back in the day. The "Black Noise" album on which the aforementioned song appeared was excellent, although I couldnt' find a copy of it anywhere when I digitized my collection. I also used to own "City of Fear". The front man was particularly talented - generally singing lead while playing 2 different keyboard parts on two different keyboards and playing bass with pedals. This video comes from the early years before Nash the Slash (electric mandolin and violin) turned up the theatrics. When I saw them, he was always dressed in an elaborate costume, the most prominant feature of which was that his face was entirely covered with guaze bandages, mummy-like. It was everything rock and roll should be!
just a note that anyone who happened to see marcs posted video of phasors on stun: Despite evidence to the contrary, the song actually is good and the artists are actually cool... (I always wondered what that song would look like drawn out to prog rock excess and performed by Kyle and Dereks high school rock band )
As for the streaming service...unlike movies , one tends to want multiple repeated listens , much more so then a movie ..... Also, as with emusic the company can lose contracts with a label so that you couldnt listen to a ceratin Eliott Smith album 20 years from now, which is what i image I will still be doing...
I enjoy listening to NPR whenever I'm travelling through the US. I prefer it to the CBC, less navel-gazing from hosts and callers, and more focused on current events, cultural and political topics. Something very limiting about carrying around a set number of songs too. I always want to save the 'good' mixed cd or albums for the portion of the drive where I feel I'll need them the most, not wanting to waste them when driving through a heavily populated metropolitan area, with multi station offerings. When you get into those rural areas stateside, though, its either all tiresome religious preaching or even more tiresome Republican talking point ranting from right wing radio.

Perhaps something like this from these guys would be the way to go then. Came across the article in this morning's G&M. Lots of points of discussion here....from 'renting' vs. 'owning' to the apparent finding that young music fans prefer the sound of mp3s to vinyl or cds....

At any rate, I signed up for a free 7-day trial so will let you know what it's like. Of course, if I were in Stuart's magical office, it would always been free. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Stu, as you will attest, "Phasers on Stun" can make me drive WAY to fast. (note the date on the video ...1976)

Truth be told, the thing i find wonderful about a road trip is that, for us, it affords a different luxury of time ....time to listen to things you might not otherwise listen to ...sometimes looking for a diversion from a repetitive landscape, sometimes looking for comforts of the recognizable, sometimes at peace with the solitude of your thoughts. I love the time you have in car to listen to music and reflect upon it differently, ...whether it be an epically long tracks that you don't usually spin, or, the silence song of the landscape.

I must also admit to the love of the radio in the car. I love the temporal quality of moving through the reaches of radio station. It's signal grows and fades through a rolling landscape ...christian rock in Nebraska (or anywhere else you are likely to hear it in the US) (ok, i can only take a moment or two of it) or NPR in Vermont or alt college in Alaska.

I love listening to the voices of CBC; tuning in to an interesting program and fretting as all seems lost in static as the miles pass, only to scramble and find it half way up the dial again. I love listening to the Canadian broadcaster when we are coming home from a long trip, driving through the expansive mid west and catching it drifting across the border ...or having packed away a wet tent in the morning because it's be raining for far too many nights and i just want to be home ...I love the fact that i can pick it up in the states, try as they might, the boarder patrols and rein it in!

For me, there was something very surreal about our drive up to northern BC, the Yukon and Alaska. It was very far from home and yet somehow in retrospect i very much felt at home. I think radio does that (at least fm radio as apposed to satellite). By it's very nature it is somehow localizing and uniting at the same time. You become more a part of a place that you are in by listening to the same radio, the same new and whether that the locals are listening to.

I find we often throw on our music when we get bored with the radio (or each other), rather than the other way around.
Interesting and widely divergent list of 'road songs'. I like Mike's set of criteria though it hasn't quite helped me put together a list yet but I'm working on it. Do others have a set of criteria they use or are they just tracks that have really worked for you while behind the wheel?

While I work on this I have to wonder if anywhere here (esp. Bri) picked up Yuck? For those looking for a 90s itch to be scratched, look no further. Sweet harmonies, distortion, etc.

Also, Marc, Braids. Yes, picked it up a month ago or so and it took me a couple of listens but am definitely into it now. Interesting and varied album.
I have a softspot for the eagles soft rock, but I have never really gone much beyond the overly rotated greatest hits plus hotel C. If any of you have a favorite disc please do tell...I did pick up a comp of all tracks from Linda Ronstats first 4 records for a rediculous price and have loved that much...
Re road tunes here is a widely varied selection as I find I need that kind of range from hard driving to slower on a long trip... they also tend to be a bit older as now a long trip in the car involves kids and they like the classics a lot of the time... :

Whichitah Lineman... Glen campbel
Phasors on Stun... FM
If I had a boat Lyle Lovett
Gimmie Shelter
california 1.... Decemberists
Goin Underground .. jam
carey... Joni M.
4 Winds ... Bright eyes
The watchmans Gone Gorden lightfoot.( If you dont know this song you should)
Do you know the way to san Jose... bacherach
This Chraming man

I dont think this works as a playlist, so these would be highlites in a longer playlist better organized...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

...but definitely not a friend of this guy! (with all apologies to BD & SW)
I think he's a friend of this guy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is he a friend of yours?
Sad to see the passing of the great Joe Morello. Amongst other things, Morello was a driving force behind the brilliance of Brubeck's Time Out sessions, (imho) his drumming crafting a sonic architecture; It was mathematically intriguing, spatially voluminous and artistically soulful despite it's prevalence of Cali cool. (maybe I lay it on a little thick, but i always dug the cat!)

Joseph A. Morello July 17 1928 - March 12 2011

Take a look at this vid of the Beatles performing Hey Jude. Note the absolute boredom evident in the expressions of John, George and Ringo in the first part of the song and you get a feeling for how i feel about it. Perhaps i suffer from the ill effects of exposure to this song in much the same way that Derek suffers the Beatles in general.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm way behind here. Let's start with the driving tunes - I do definitely feel that there are some songs that are great to drive with, but I don't think the subject matter is the issue (i.e. songs about cars or driving). To me, they have to be songs with energetic, upbeat vibes. Songs that make you feel like you're going somewhere. Hard to explain exactly what I mean, but I've always thought that Alan Parsons instrumental songs are good to drive to - my list starts with one of those:

Hawkeye, Alan Parsons Project

The Friends of Mr. Cairo, Jon and Vangelis

Don’t Stop Me Now, Queen

London Calling, The Clash

Bitch, The Rolling Stones

Devil’s Haircut, Beck

Rebellion (Lies), Arcade Fire

Girlfriend is Better (live), Talking Heads

Watching the Detectives, Elvis Costello

Right Stuff, Bryan Ferry

Broken, Tears for Fears

When the Rainbow Comes, World Party

As for guilty pleasures - I've got lots of those. John Denver for example: I love his voice and his sense of melody. Neil Diamond was another guilty pleasure for years, but after a couple of cool covers of his tunes were released, he no longer has the same stigma. The aforementioned Alan Parsons Project - I've got 9 of his albums and I still enjoy listening to them. I have a Carpenters album - I really don't like all that many of their songs, but I think Karen Carpenter's voice is lovely.

But the Eagles are not a pleasure for me, guilty or otherwise. I can't explain it - I agree with Brian that their vocal work is beautiful, and their guitar playing is excellent. Their songwriting is reasonably sophisticated and varied. This is a band that I really should like, by all of the criteria that I use to judge music. But I don't. I've done a lot of campfire guitar strumming over the years, and the Eagles is one of the most often requested bands in those environments, but I've never learned one of their tunes. I've strummed and sang along while others play them, but even while I'm doing that, I don't find them engaging for some reason. I really can't explain it.

As a final note here - I've come to the point where I'm going to cancel my emusic membership. I don't find enough music on their site that I really want to download any more. I'm currently paying $11.99 a month for which I receive a total of $24.50 in credits. It seems a shame to let that deal go. It occurred to me that one of you could take it over (if you wish). You'd have to log in with my email address, but you could change the password and the credit card info, and keep the account live. If anybody is interested, let me know.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Not sure if the lot of you have given a listen up to the Braids album but i thought it might be up some of your alleys ...quite enjoying it myself.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lots of catching up to do so here goes.

The classical / jazz floor in Sunrise has been there since at least last summer. I've been in there several times and have been inclined to head upstairs and it has been lights out / doors closed. Yes it wont be around very long. In the rare occasion when I am in Sunrise I no longer make the effort to even check it out.

Brian, no I don't love the Beatles yet. I can say with all honesty I never have the slightest inclination to put on their music, but I totally understand why they are revered. As for "Hey Jude" it is a brilliant song. Sorry Marc but to say that it is the worst Beatles song ever is just ridiculous.

Kyle if nobody else has put a claim in yet I wouldn't mind getting my hands on the following discs: Beck - Midnite Vultures, both Built to Spill discs, Digable Planets, Grandaddy's - Sophtware Slump, The Complete Stone Roses, and XTC - Apple Venus.

As for artists we like who we find too embarrassing to mention to the cool kids I can think of a couple. Enya & Abba being the two most prominent. I don't come to Abba as part of the revival from about 5 years ago. I was a full fledged Abba lover in their heyday buying each record as it hit the stores. Cheese perhaps but songs like "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Take a Chance on Me" and "The Name of the Game" were pretty great. Loved the two pronged female attack and totally had the 13 year old hots for Agnetha Faltskog.

And yes Marc that is definitely the Duckman on track #13. It actually sounds like Mickey is singing lead on that one especially late in the track.
Because I'm sure most of you can't get enough of graphs and raw data, some interesting ones showing the state of the music industry today. Turns out album sales are down and that's how the music industry made most of its $.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Derek, i was giving your Palenque Palenque another listen and was surprised to hear that Donald Duck makes an appearance on backing vocals on "La Negra Kulende"
Audio porn, courtesy M. VanGinkel. win some, you lose some.
Trust me Kyle, those puppies fill the corner with plenty o' base. I find the asymmetry of the space makes the acoustic particularly sweet. The sound swirls, resonates, lingers and fills the head. I creates a luscious soundstage ....makes working very tolerable! (on occasions;-}
Marc, I'm disappointed that your audio set up does not dwarf your revenue generating equipment. Or perhaps you're hiding a subwoofer behind one of those monitors.

Bri, wasn't shitting on you but on the Eagles. Get that they are accomplished musicians but why put all that effort into sounding half assed? I say this as someone not completely immune to the charms of the genre, loving, as I do, the beautiful harmonic strains of America and Fleetwood Mac. But we'll agree to disagree for now. Or settle by knife fight.

It's hard to credibly pivot from a dissing of one band to an admission of a guilty pleasure ("So you don't like the Eagles but you like X?! Are you kidding me?!?") so I'll wait until Derek chimes in. I'll also work on a few less smart ass, god-themed driving songs. Did enjoy Deeman's choice of both 'Motor Away' by GBV and 'Faron Young' by Prefab.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Is it wrong that the audio equipment on my desk takes up as much space as the revenue generating equipment? ...but there's nothing like having a good party wall and a pair of monitors 25" from your ears ;} sweeeeeet! huh, what's that you said, i can't hear you! J tree sounds so crisp can feel the soul of the music; One Tree Hill, I'm actually there!
Guilty pleasures;} ...Lilly Allen, and i have a crush-on for epic retro disco these days. I did not get around to playing Music Go Music at the last sampler party. Bri, i'm all over the Eagles although i must admit to only being able to handle it in very small doses these days. Hotel Cali certainly manages to capture a juncture of California life.
And I can't understand why Hey Jude polarizes the listening public!

I love the song to death - perhaps it's my romantic inner self coming out, but HJ really works for me. In terms of (mixed) critical acclaim, I think for no other reason then being perhaps the first (and I still put it up with the best) modern power ballad (MPB), it deserves to be at the top. The MPB template hasn't changed since - the earnest solo-accompanied singer building over several minutes to the big all-band crescendo with multi-layered vocals. Myriad examples of this style, from Dream On, or Lightning Crashes, even Stairway, though Plant and Page couldn't resist pounding it out at the end. And HJ was the first (as an aside, Derek, do you love the Beatles yet?) I also admire the way Macca sings the number (come on, it's amazing), the melody is gorgeous, and the production is unbelievable. 10 out of 10*.

Re the Eagles, hey, don't shit all over me, I admitted up front they were uncool and embarrassing. But, I do take exception to some of Kyle's points (and so begins my effort to convice you of SOME merit of this music, KP). First off, there's nothing half assed about the Eagles. If anything, it's all craftmanship and no heart. They were a rare band that could both play really well (great guitar players) and sing beauitfully, with multiple lead vocalists. So in that way they were actually outstanding. And as a relic of the coke-addled California scene from the seventies, they are historically (almost) important. The sixties ended, and with it seemed to go much of the "seriousness" of music. Certainly in Cali - where great bands like the Byrds and Buffalo Springfiled engendered The Eagles, and Poco (though also briefly CSNY, thank God). Anyway, whether it's them, Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, America, yadda yadda they were part of a major movement. There were a gazillion bands below the surface making that rocking country music, but The Eagles were the exemplar. Their song have great melody, awesome (though a tad polished) singing, interesting-enough lyrics, and perhaps most importantly, great variety. And nostalgia has a strong pull - you could't grow up in the seventies without hearing the Eagles ad nauseum. Their songs are well constructed and beautifully played, and when you're a kid, good pop stylings are highly effective! So while it's true that I can no longer separate my longing for simple years of early teenagedom from my adult ability to filter out vacuous music, I will say that I genuinely enjoy when a bunch of their songs come on. I tend to prefer the more country influenced ones (I'm a bit more into that genre that KP it would seem) - so I would suggest Lyin' Eyes, Take it to the Limit, and Peaceful Easy Feeling (I would have suggested Take it Easy but....). True Confessions - I actually really like Best of My Love, which was a huge cross-over hit on easy listening radio. Ouch. But hey a great song is a great song. Stuart, Mike, I feel a need for some defense here!! Help!

Thanks for the driving-tune ideas, I am beginning to compile and will post up my final list. Would still love to hear from Mike G and Stu, and a less God-like Kyle. And is anyone else planning to throw out a guilty pleasure? Duran Duran is too simple (and almost retro cool), so doesn't count. Something truly questionable.

*from "Brian Doyle's Record Rater", 2010 edition.
i believe 'the ballad of john and yoko' is offically the worst beatles song of all time, but i take your point. 'hey jude' is a little overrated, i think mostly because it's easy to sing. same reason why merlot became such a popular wine in n. america - people could easily pronounce it. cab-err-nay sow-ving-yawn? fuggheddaboutit.

Monday, March 07, 2011

na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na ...i cannot comprehend why that song landed on the best tunes of all time for so many years on radio countdowns, it's "like the worst Beatles song ever!" ...but nice post Kyle
Enough Gowan. Onto the Beatles....Hey Jude lyrics in a handy diagram.
@ Kyle:) it's my criminal mind.
Marc, You're a strange animal. That's what I know.
I see that Gowan is playing up at Rama, "playing his greatest hits"...should i pick up a ticket for anyone? ...any takers?
Mike: Done. Happy that some of these will be embraced by a younger generation. Will get them to Bri this weekend. Bri: Still working on the list of embarassing bands. Trying to come up with some goodies. Derek: the first four songs on the PJ Harvey disc are terrific. She then reverts to form for the middle of the album, with the signature moaning and wailing that I've come to know and hate. The final third or so gets better, as though some of the other vocalists and musicians brought on board for the effort have convinced her to step back a bit. Overall, I'm liking it, though happy for technology that lets me skip ahead from some tracks. Marc: love how you seamlessly weaved Garbage and the Propellerheads into the class rock road mix! Well done. Arcade Fire track is very Springsteen-like too. Stu: Finally found and played your mixed country cd. I will say the closest I've ever come to enjoying country music. Perfect accompaniment to reading the paper and folding laundry while the young one napped yesterday afternoon. Much appreciated. Can you point me to the track listing, if it's still available? Did you post it here on metabeats? If so, then I may be able to find it through search.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


Thanks for your offer of CDs - if you haven't already found homes for them, I'd like to claim the Wilco disc and the Ron Sexsmith discs. And I mentioned this to my daughter, who is living in Toronto at Ryerson these days. Her reply was, "If they're still available, I'd love The Dandy Warhols album, The Shins album, both Bright Eyes albums, the Amelie soundtrack, the Moby CD, the Strokes album, the Wolf Parade album, and either Gomez album."

If any of these discs are still available, the easiest thing to do is probably to get them to Brian, and Jenn will pick them up from him at some point.

Many thanks!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

In no particular order, songs that are cliché songs about the car and the open road, the south, finding a home, escaping that which we once called home, ...or life ...or whatever, i lost the thread.

Springsteen, Open all night
Deep Purple, Highway Star
Mike Ness, I’m in Love with My Car
Golden Earring, Radar Love
Doors, Roadhouse Blues
Ramones, I’m Affected
Stooges, Search and Destroy
Lou Reed, Dirty Boulevard
Garbage, Only Happy when it Rains
The Grass Roots, Midnight Confession
Traffic, Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Dire Straits, Southbound Again
Neil Yong, Southern Man
Dylan, Tangled Up In Blue
Joni Mitchell, California
Neil Youn, Cowgirl in the Sand
Lynard Skynard, Freebird or Sweet Home Alabama
Allman Brothers Band, Ramblin Man
Dylan, Desolation Row
Propellerheads, Spybreak
Arcade Fire, Anarchist Television Blues
U2, In God’s Country
Charlie Daniels Band, The Devil Went down to Georgia
Ram Jam, Black Betty
CCR, Who Will Stop the Rain
Who, Going Mobile

Friday, March 04, 2011

Have to say I'm completely on board with Kyle when it comes to the Eagles. Maybe somebody can explain why they were so huge.

As for road songs here's my suggested mix.

Mr Mirainga - 57 South
Screaming Blue Messiahs - Jesus Chrysler drives a dodge
Superchunk - Precision Auto
Guided by Voices - Motor Away
Plugz (Repo Man s/t) - Hombre Secreto
Jazz Butcher - Groovin in the Bus Lane
The Fall - Hit the North (wrong direction but still a great driving song)
It's Immaterial - Driving Away from Home
Hunters & Collectors - Breakneck Road
Prefab Sprout - Faron Young
Go Betweens - Here comes a city
The Woodentops - Travelling Man
Buzzcocks - Fast Cars
The Jam - Precious
Teardrop Explodes - Reward
Btw...have we had a discussion about songs that tell a story and how we feel about them? Mike and Stu's posts prompt this question but we can shelve this discussion for the near future.

Given the backstory, I assume you’re looking for a playlist like this:

1) Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode (sorry Johnny but the driving beat of the original is better suited to the road)
2) Jesus Built My Hotrod - Ministry
3) Touched by the Hand of God - New Order
4) Godless – Dandy Warhols
5) Jesus Walks – Kanye West
6) Jesus Don’t Want Me for a Sunbeam – The Vaselines
7) Jesus, Etc. - Wilco
8) In God’s Country – U2
9) God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
10) Dear God – XTC (in case the buddy would like to a second opinion)

There are, of course, more and possibly better ‘devil’ songs, which goes some way to buttressing Bart Simpson’s contention that all the really cool musicians are affiliated with Satan.

As for the Eagles, my only reaction is: shudder.

A few bars of a song like "One of These Nights", admittedly one of their better efforts, with the comfort of a second pint and a belly full of greasy pub fare, is not the same as having to endure an entire album of the stuff. It's dreary, it's half-assed. No, it's not quite dreadful as aging frat-boy slapdash fare like Jimmy Buffet but it's on the same end of that continuum.

Sometimes an artist is unfairly assigned to the uncool camp and I believe your spirited defense of Paul McCartney a few months back was both thoughtful and convincing. He is unfairly derided as being the shallow while Lennon was deep. But the Eagles are no Macca and in fact swim solely in those shallow waters. A throwaway line here, underlined by a guitar lick and voila, 'Life in the Fast Lane'. 'Take it Easy', is easily one of the most boring songs of the 70s or any decade, which I attribute to the fact that the musicians playing it seem bored in so doing. 'Desperado' and 'Hotel C'? Very profound, in the same sense that smoking a joint and making a casual observation that sometimes life isn't what it seems is profound.

But perhaps I'm missing something. Though obviously highly opinionated on this band, I do have an open mind and am willing to be persuaded. Point me to something that will change my mind.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Stuart, if you like "Road to Moscow", and I agree that it is a fine piece of work, you may also appreciate "Red Army Blues" on A Pagan Place by the Waterboys. Have you heard that one? The subject matter is the same, but done with Mike Scott's passionately dramatic style rather than Al Stewart's cool moodiness. I'm very fond of both songs, and have listened to them both this evening in honour of this MetaBeats thread. I don't believe I've ever listened to these two back-to-back before, but I can't imagine why not.
Plus "Song on the Radio" charted for Big Al I believe. May sound familiar to you Kylie (does to me but I am woefully older).


I'd like to pose a couple of questions to Metabeats Nation (sorry, but with the playoff run, I'm seeing everything through Leaf-coloured glasses), reflecting a conversation I had with my friend Glenn at lunch.

(1) "Road Songs" Glenn is going on a road trip with a buddy - who is a reformed alcoholic who has found Jesus, but still (or, to be fairer...."and") likes music and is a good lad - to the Masters in Augusta Georgia in April. They are doing the drive as one long event - day and night - and so Glenn, also a music lover, has decided he needs to put together a few CDs of good road music. I, of course, with oodles of time to spare in my personal life (ha!), offered to help.

So, Gentlemen of the Blog (plus Adam, 'cause I know you're reading this), my ask of you is to suggest your top 10 road songs, entirely without genre or timeframe (ie 40's, 60's 90's etc) limitations. If possible in the next few days, at which point I will begin compiling. Waiver: Thinly-veiled suggestions meant subtly to torture Glenn and his buddy may be eliminated.

(2) I don't like it (yes I do) - I found myself at lunch extolling the virtues (in an odd other-worldly voice that came from somewhere deep inside me) of The Eagles, and realized how fond I am of their big hits. Disaster was averted when Glenn, arms madly waving, broke me out of a trance in which I had worked up to the second chorus - in my own thin nasal like-way doing a mean Glenn Frey - of "One of These Nights", unaware of the incresingly brooding crowd of lunchers around me. Close call there.

Despite my buried passion for the seventies So Cal scene, it's probably fair to say that the Eagles are considered one of the least cool bands of all time. And yet, and yet. So I'd like to hear from you on which bands (and why) you are embarassed about loving?

Note: I also love (truly) much of the Monkees's oeuvre and the (early) Bee Gees so obviously don't embarrass easily.
hey stu, it's not a question of cheapness if i'm offering you something to take! will put those aside for you my friend. and will sample al stewart on grooveshark today if time permits. my only familiarity is whatever i heard in the car radio as a child so yotc and tpassages are really my sole points of references for the man's oeuvre.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

.....and yes I confess to being an ardent al stewart fan...saw him at hughs room 2 years ago in fact.
year of the cat ...the perfect 70's pop song, lyrics..10/10 music 10/10 still raises a tingle when blasted on the hi-fi
Mike I too have past present future which i think has possibly a song that tops Cat ...that being the road to moscow which tells the story of the Russian check to the german advance on moscow from the perspective of a soldier who then falls under stalins scrutiny...again a perfect match of lyrics to music that tells like a cant put down novel...
well worth downloading that song if you can find it.....specially for the history buffs out there

ok cheap bastard i am this will get me blogging.......
I will take a few off your hands Kyle
Duran duran decade (please withhold your comments)
Fountains of wayne interstate...
luna romantica
lush lovelife
strokes first impressions
wayfaring strangers ...ladies..

thanks Kyle.......

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Here's the list. Let me know if there are any you would like and I'll set them aside and bring to our next outing. This goes for you as well, Mike, as I'm sure Brian will put them aside for the next time you're in town. If it's easier to email me, please do so.

Ash - 1977

4 Hero – 2 Pages

Amelie Soundtrack

Antipop vs. Matthew Ship – Antipop Consortium

Armand Van Helden – 2Future4U

Back to Love Chillout Compilation

Badly Drawn Boy – Have You Fed the Fish

Badly Drawn Boy – Live @ Glastonbury

Badly Drawn Boy – One Plus One is One

Baxter Dury – Len Parrot's Memorial Lift

Beck – Midnight Vultures

Bluiett, Jackson, ElZabar – The Calling

Boogie Nights Soundtrack

Book of Love – Book of Love

Boy – Boy

Bright Eyes – Digital Ash

Bright Eyes – I'm Wide Awake

Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene

Built to Spill – Ancient Melodies of the Future

Built to Spill – You in Reverse

Cafe Del Mar – Volumen Siete

Catherine Howe – What a Beautiful Place

Clap Your Hand Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

De La Soul – The Grind Date

Digable Planets – Reachin'

Do Make Say Think - & Yet & Yet

Do Make Say Think – Winter Hymn Country...

Duran Duran – Decade

Erik Truffaz – Bending New Corners

Erik Truffaz – Revisite

Fembots – The City

Fiery Furnaces – Blueberry Boat

Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers

Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand

Go Soundtrack

Gomez – Abandonned Shopping Cart Trolley Hotline

Gomez – Bring It On

Good Will Hunting Soundtrack

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci – Spanish Dance Troupe

Grandaddy – Sumday

Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump

Hayden – Everything I Long For

Hayden – Skyscraper National Park

High Fidelity Soundtrack

Hotel Costes 5

Ivy – Apartment Life

Jacqueline du Pre – Haydn Cello Concertos

Jaz Klash – Thru the Haze

Jazz Masters Verve Sampler

Joss Stone – The Soul Sessions

Kos – Joyful Rebellion

Leaves – Breathe

Llorca – New Comer

Looper – The Geometrid

Lost in Translation Soundtrack

Luna – Romantica

Luna – The Days of Our Nights

Lush – Lovelife

Magnolia Soundtrack

Marc Moulin – Top Secret

Medeski Martin & Wood – Combustication Remix EP

Metalwood – The Recline

Moby – Everything I Do Is Wrong

New Order – Get Ready

Nifty – A Sparrow!

Outside – The Rough and the Smooth

Pernice Brothers – The World Won't End

Pernice Brothers – Yours Mine & Ours

Raising the Fawn – The Maginot Line

Ride – Tarantula

Rinocerose – installation sonore

Ron Sexsmith – Cobblestone Runway

Ron Sexsmith – Retriever

Saint Etienne – Good Humor

Saint Germain des Pres Cafe II

Sloan – Navy Blues

Snow Patrol – Final Straw

Soulive – Doin Something

South – From Here On In

Spiritualized – Songs in A & E

Tahiti 80 – Puzzle

Teenage Fanclub – Thirteen

The Best of Bob Dylan

The Best of Cookin' 2 Disc Compilation

The Complete Stone Roses

The Dandy Warhols – Welcome to the Monkey House

The Deadly Snakes – Porcella

The Essex Green – The Long Goodbye

The Flaming Lips – Fight Test

The In Sound from the Way Out – Beastie Boys

The Ladies and Gentlemen – Small Sins

The Last Days of Disco Soundtrack

The Rebirth of Cool Acid Jazz Compilation Volume Seven

The Sea and Cake – Glass

The Sea and Cake – Glass

The Shins – Wincing the Night Away

The Strokes – First Impressions of Earth

The Tragically Hip – Phantom Power

Thievery Corporation – The Richest Man in Babylon

Thievery Corporation DJ Kicks

Tokyo String Quartet – Mozart Clarinet Concerto

Tosca – Suzu

Vlach Quartet Prague - Dvorak – Works for String Quartet Cypresses

Wayfaring Strangers – Ladies from the Canyon Compilation

West Indian Girl – West Indian Girl

What's Up Matador Compilation 1997

Wilco – A Ghost is Born

Wolf Parade – Apologies to the Queen Mary

XTC – Apple Venus

Zero 7 – Simple Things

Speaking of catalogs, I'm in the process of pre-spring cleaning and am ridding myself of cds that I don't want to hang onto anymore, having already created digital copies and backups. These will be offered to you all first at the cost of free. If you don't want 'em, I'll likely donate them. List to come....
I'll cop to being an Al Stewart fan. I don't have his whole catalog, but the 3 albums that I do have (Past, Present and Future, Year of the Cat and Time Passages) are all very well done. And I do agree that this was one of the few apt comparisons on the long list of supposed Decemberists influences.
You're saying you like it more than 'Time Passages'? Certainly not my favourite 'Cat' song. And yes, I could probably make at least a top five, but will spare you.
Actually, I think the Al stewart comparison is pretty bang on. Not for every song certainly but I hear it. And I'd go as far to say that Year of the Cat is a great song. Oh yes, I would. Stuart, care to comment?
I'm not sure about all those influences listed there--definitely a kitchen sink approach to musical referencing--but I definitely hear REM in a few of their songs, both the one you mentioned and others like, "We Both Go Down Together" from Picaresque which is similar, at least the musical arrangements, to "Losing My Religion". But I agree, they have a pretty distinct sound and not just because of Colin Meloy's unique voice. What other song does The Infanta immediately call to mind? Or The Rake's Song, either musically, vocally, lyrically? Please correct me if I'm missing an obvious reference point.

While the All Music Guide's list of all those artists may or may not adequately describe the Decemberists to newcomers, one sad consequence of reading it was having 'Year of the Cat' stuck in my head all damn day.

I love the concept of the NPR first listen but unless it's portable, I'm rarely in the position to listen to an entire streamed album. But I'll do you one better, Deeman, and buy the PJ disc b/c you and others are giving it much praise.

Also, anyone unhappy about the absence of reading material here is welcome to post at any time, even if it's just to simply answer a direct question from another poster. :)