Sunday, July 29, 2012

Interesting thoughts and comments boys.    Overall I have to say I agree with a bunch of Stu's points: I'd lke to re-invigorate the blog, and have always wished we did more with it than we do (like, more reflections and reviews on music we love and don't love).   And like Mike I would have to say that I'm having trouble finding music I adore, and have for a number of years, which I attribute in equal parts to stage of life, and yes the inundation of digital music.  So I would love to find a way to crack that nut.

On the other hand, I'm not right there with you Stu, in that I think the music competition nights have been a blast by and large, so I'm not so much interested in eviscerating ourselves for those night.   I would say that they were in fact a response to a music vacuum that extended to well before 2010 when we had our first one.   But I do get that we've had a lot of them so lets give it a break for now.   Wouldn't want to rule them out for the future though.   Fun will always part of the agenda for me.  And on another point, can't side with you on eschewing lists - list-making is just so part and parcel to being a guy and loving music that you will have a hard time eliminating it from this or any other music-obsessed cabal.    I've always loved making lists.    And re "oldies", there's no way I'm going to stop commenting on and loving music from the past - hell I probably buy more music from the 50's (jazz) than I do any other decade.  

So what I would like to try, and be happy if some or all of you joined in (I'm not hearing a rah rah from Kylie based on his post) is a once-a-month post of a record I really tried, i.e., had some initial interest in,   played a bunch of times, and have spent time thinking about.   Once a month seems doable.  More often than that risks being ignored (risking that already).   I will also throw out more tangible posts / discussions of music in the hopes of stimulating something from the group (although I do that fairly regularly now and not much comes of it).   No need for too much structure but I'm interesting in and willing to try a minor change in direction.   And I'll embrace the idea of bringing fewer and well-listened selections to the CD club.    Not sure about this week's get together but we'll see.

And DM, great point re the Packers.

I'd love to find time to comment more fully on the debate currently making the rounds here on the blog but for now let me just say the following:

the Packers don't play football in the summer (please try and keep up)

I don't go to concerts so that I can tell people who don't give a shit that I was the first person in Toronto to see "" when they played the Horseshoe.  I go to concerts to see bands whose music has struck a chord and because I love live music.

the reason Kyle that you found it odd that the source of the endless competitive music nights were the same one's decrying the preponderance of such, is that Brian and I were just nodding our heads and saying as little as possible in the faint hope that Stuart at some point would run out of steam or require a washroom break (no such luck)

I do think that playing a couple of well-worn records that we've lived with for a good while, whether they are likely to appeal to the rest of the group or not, is a much better way to conduct this dinosaur than bringing in the latest greatest release from the flavour of the month.  I have been guilty of this too often in the last few years and I plan to make amends.

I still greatly value the knowledge and input that you gents bring to the table and as such think that the club serves a useful purpose.

On another note I was walking around this afternoon on a perfect July day and listening to The Youngblood's "Elephant Mountain" album which I bought a while back as it's not on Rdio and man is the last track "Ride the Wind" an absolutely perfect accompaniment to a warm summers day.

Friday, July 27, 2012

all good still digesting what you are all sayng....One thing though....
I overstated the oldies point... I think we were more to Kyles point....for me anyways its more of a reaction to lists ...I agree with you all that an old piece of music is more then worthy of discussion, in fact I love that stuff....Its just that competition and list thang that I think could be throttled back ...
Id love to hear derek and Brian as I was more the grouch that night we had the discussion and perhaps I have roped them in with my comments unfairly...apologies if I have done so..
I agree that we don't need to do any more oldies nights/competitions for awhile. Not necessary and the focus should be on the new, whether it be actual newly released music or music that may have been around awhile but that you've only recently discovered yourself.  I do find it a tad odd, however, that a consensus emerged about the group becoming too 'oldies' centric from the same quarter that devised and advocated for the oldies competitions.

Also, not entirely convinced that we were ever as cutting edge as we perhaps like to credit ourselves. Yes, Arcade Fire and Band of Horses were concerts attended before they broke big, but I'm struggling to find other examples. I think that Derek has probably done the best job of keeping up with new groups by reading exclaim!, visiting soundscapes, and checking out online sources over the years. The rest of us have then checked in with periodic bursts of discovery and sharing. Certainly not an indictment of our musical prowess--we're still likely ahead of 95% of the population--but I don't think it's fair to indict our current performance based on a false sense of past glory.

Having said that....I don't know that I have the time or inclination to keep my ear to the ground for innovative, non-released music/bands these days. There are so many sources of potentially great music and so little time to devote to them. However, bringing 3 pieces that we've listened to at least a handful of times still sounds completely do-able to me. Happy to make that a rule/strong suggestion/legally binding requirement for subsequent meetings.

In terms of this metabeats space, I suggested last year that we maybe think of shutting it down or rethinkng the format. I love reading longer form pieces and prefer these to lists. I'm also happy to ban lists completely even though I think these have really served as jumping off points for discussion when it comes to meeting up in person ("Really, you included 'x' but not 'y'?"). But when it comes to submitting longer form pieces about music that I like, probably not going to happen for me. Very little time for this during office hours, even less time in the evenings. If others feel differently or have more time, great. Please post here as frequently as you would like.

In terms of needing that filter, or relying on the kindness of friends to curate some good stuff, definitely some ways that we could do so more effectively via other social media. Twitter would be the easiest, most obvious.
Stuart, there are so many fish in the sea.  I for one, am not feeling the need to fall in love this summer; to find something that "sticks".  I'm happy dating and occasionally getting laid.  I'll try and find some suitable matches for you (and the others) to bring to the "CD" club.
I certainly agree that the amount of music that is readily available now presents a challenge.  But I think that a group of trusted guides has immense value in these circumstances.  I can understand the thinking about looking backwards - as enjoyable as I've found those evenings to be, you can only get together to play old favourites for each other so many times.  But I don't think that means that our focus needs to be firmly and exclusively on very new material.  Whether playing songs for each other at a gathering or typing a blog entry late at night, if you have found a piece of music that you think is appealing that at least some of your fellow metabeaters are likely to be unfamiliar with, then no other criteria is needed.  It could be brand new or 10 years old - the original purpose and real value of this group is the potential to help each other find good music.  I'd give an example, but personally, I'm in a bit of a rut...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Well Marc that is a perspective I had not considered.... Unlike you I have been struggling to find new music I like... I find all the access points you mention like rdio to be too much information so nothing really sticks.....If you are saying that you are finding tons of new music that you love so much you listen to it regularly, bring it along to the cdclub in a few weeks and let us hear it....maybe you have a system wherein your new found music doesnt get lost in the avalanche of new daily listings of new music.........
Stuart, to a great extent I agree with you that we should get back to basics and listen and talk about new finds, but, I might question how relevant the forum has become.  Don't get me wrong, i'm all for the get togethers that are now largely anachronistically called "cd club", but I wonder how relevant they are as a source for new music these days.  The group started back in the day before file sharing, blogs, the resurgence of vinyl, and well before streaming audio services, when the only way to hear something new was to spin a CD.

With instantaneous access to SO MUCH good music, is it now really necessary to get together with friends to share one's latest find except for to say ...look how clever i am that i found this before you did!

Now really, don't get me wrong, i'm all for the beer, chat and music, but really, if i want to really listen to something you recommend i listen to, the best way for me to do it is on my own without a bunch of guys talking over the music about how the Green Bay Packers are going to do on the weekend!

But really, don't get me wrong, but are we not all just a bunch of old farts hanging around listening to music together, and is that not in and of itself a little bit behind the times?  Should we heed the words of Marshall McLuwan? is the medium really the message?
A week or 2 ago Brian, Derek and I were kicking around some issues with the "cdclub"....( or more like I was bitchin and they were patiently lisnin...)  Remarkably there was a consensus around the following although i may be putting it in slightly stronger words then strickly necessary;
  • We are now becoming an oldies club who obsess only about the past with our too many to name battle of the decades, bands, favorite whatever bullshit
  • As an entity we used to be on top of most of the new up and coming bands prior to them breaking commercially as evidenced by Arcade Fire, band of Horses etc... etc...
  • With rdio and other streaminf services none of us has a chance to listen to new music more then once before we forget everything about them
  • When we come to the rare cd club where we are actually playing current music , no one really knows if the selections they are bringing are any good as they have only given it cursury listens due to the previous point about streaming combined with our busy family lives....
  • In short , the whole exercise has become pretty pointless in a lot of ways

In hopes of rectifying this we came up with a few suggestions
  • Do less oldies greatest hits cd club nights and more new music nights
  • on metabeats less lists of songs, albums, girls, porn, that you like and more talk about either new music worth hearing or a serious written piece on why some past artist from the previous decades deserves being listened to now perhaps w recommended album purchases and why
  • have a new rule that everyone must bring at least 2 or 3 NEW pices of music that you ahve actually listened to more then three times... You dont have to pretend its the best cd  you have ever listened to, but the hope is that if we focus on less rather then more thoses cds that require multiple listens to appreciate may start filtering bacik into our cd club nights
I had another thought which is that at the cd night one can state that this is one of the seriously listened to cds and then rate in on a scale of 1 to 10.... Even if there is only one cd that you listened to a lot , that would be great... for the cds you dont know as well perhaps you can say you think it has potebntial or not and for those you dont rate yh=them at all...they are works in progress....

I realise this all sound dictatorial and I encorage you all to challenge any of this... I may be way out in left field and you all like the format the way it currently is... If so i promise to shut the f.. up


Thursday, July 19, 2012

97-01 Summer Songs

Okay, so Mike came up with a great list of albums. Brian came up with a set of a-sides and b-sides. I've opted to go in a slightly different direction, limiting my year selection to within 97-01 and focusing on music from that period that both brings back fond memories and also reminds me of summer. Came up with 50 tracks. No order in terms of year, preference, or artist. Many aren't even the best or even my favourite songs from the albums. But (I think) they're not too played out and still may be approachable today.

Name Artist Album Year
Hunted By A Freak Mogwai Happy Songs For Happy People 1999
Find My Baby Moby Play 1999
Kiss Me Like You Mean It The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs Volume 2 1999
At The River Groove Armada Vertigo 1999
Stone Wobble Gomez Bring It On 1998
Chained To The Moon The Folk Implosion One Part Lullaby 1999
What Is The Light? The Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin 1999
Tender (Radio Edit) Blur Blur 1997
Golden Age Of Life 4Hero Two Pages 1998
Be Thankful For What You Got Yo La Tengo Little Honda [EP] 1998
Lonely Soul Unkle Psyence Fiction 1998
Hey, Joe Sparklehorse Good Morning Spider 1998
Tonite It Shows Mercury Rev Deserter's Songs 1998
The Best Thing Ivy ApartmentLife 1997
Thru The Haze Jaz Klash Thru The Haze 1997
Old To Begin Pavement Brighten The Corners 1997
You Know Where to Find Me Portastatic The Nature of Sap 1997
I Think I'm In Love Spiritualized Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space 1997
Parsec Stereolab Dots And Loops 1997
Martinis on the Roof Superchunk
Lucky Man The Verve Urban Hymns 1997
Damage Yo La Tengo I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One 1997
Talisman Air Moon Safari 1998
Nightlife Amon Tobin Permutation 1998
Bottle Of Blues Beck Mutations 1998
Chickfactor Belle and Sebastian The Boy With The Arab Strap 1998
Turquoise Hexagon Sun Boards Of Canada Music Has The Right To Children 1998
Bug Powder Dust Bomb The Bass The K&D Sessions [Disc 1] 1998
North Country Boy Charlatans Melting Pot 1998
Maniac Cinerama Va Va Voom 1998
Everything Is Everything Lauryn Hill The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill 1998
Teardrop Massive Attack Mezzanine 1998
So Nice (Summer Samba) Bebel Gilberto Tanto Tempo 2000
Distortions Clinic Internal Wrangler 2000
Accused Of Stealing The Delgados The Great Eastern 2000
Streets Of Istanbul dZihan & Kamien Freaks & Icons 2000
In The Lost And Found (Honky Bach) Elliott Smith Figure 8 2000
Flavors Gomez Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline [Disc 1] 2000
Hewlett's Daughter Grandaddy The Sophtware Slump 2000
On The Flipside Looper The Geometrid 2000
So Flute St. Germain Tourist 2000
Felicidade Suba Sao Paulo Confessions 2000
Puzzle Tahiti 80 Puzzle 2000
Suzuki Tosca Suzuki 2000
The Host Built To Spill Ancient Melodies Of The Future 2001
Marrakesh Greyboy Mastered The Art 2001
Soul For Sahib Koop Waltz For Koop 2001
Lalo Caught Me Dancin' Llorca New Comer 2001
You And Whose Army? Radiohead Amnesiac 2001
Remind Me Röyksopp Melody A.M. 2001

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Great lists, Mike and Bri. I vow to get off my ass and contribute my list v. soon.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mike, holy wow, look at you just blogging out of the blue like that.  Impressive!  I had decided that the 16 for 16 concept was another BD exercise in musical masturbation.  Glad to see you joining me (so to speak).   Good list, and yes a few surprises and eyebrows up at my end.    There's a fairly equal balance of rock and more rootsy singer songwriter.  Remember when you used to like Rush? Ted Nugent?  John Denver?

I'm finally getting around to posting my list, having decided to focus only on songs, whether they be rock, pop, folk, or jazz.   Nothing longer than 11:00-ish here.   Once you get into choosing songs, it is of course much different than albums.   Less of an intellectual exercise, and more about little packets of joy.    It still seemed to start with favourite albums for me, but in many cases I decided against choosing a track - too bloody predictable be half,  and we besides don't you think we over-listen to our favourite records?  We just end up choosing them by rote - and moved onto to songs I hadn't heard in a while, but remembered with fondness.    So in the end I probably have an equal mix of the uber-familiar and the somewhat less so.    Lots of quieter music here, reflecting my advancing years and years in early fatherhood in this period (I'll rock out more in the next 16 years).

Also, given the time I spent on it, I have decided that I am justified in posting up two lists of 16.   Think of it as "32 for 16", or "16 more for the next 16".

The A Sides (in no order)

(1) Barbara H. - Fountains Of Wayne (first record)
(2) Time Stops  - Teenage Fanclub (Man-Made)
(3) Scythian Empires - Andrew Bird (Armchair Apocrypha)
(4) Dusk - Andrew Hill ( jazz record of the last 16 years, imo)
(5) Kissing The Lipless- The Shins  (Chutes Too Narrow)
(6 ) Someday - The Strokes (Is This It....too bloody predictable damn it)
(7) John Wayne Gacy, Jr - Sufjan Stevens (Illinoise...yes I think the whole album is utterly brilliant)
(8) We Gathered In Spring - Midlake (Trials Of Van Occupanther)
(9) Banished - David Murray Black Saint Quartet (Sacred Ground)
(10) Angeles - Elliott Smith - (Either/ songwriter of the past 16 years)
(11) Motor Away - Guided by Voices (Alien Lanes)
(12) Out Of Gas - Modest Mouse (The Lonesome Crowded did this sneak on?)
(13) What Were The Chances - Damien Jurado (And Now That I'm In Your Shadow)
(14) Don't Ask - Grizzly Bear (Horn of Plenty)
(15) Young Sensualists - Throw Me The Statue (Moonbeams....unexpected favourite show of the past ten years; and yes, Throw Me the Statue is the band name)
(16) New Hampshire - Matt Pond PA ( overly sentimental ballad about going back to your small-town home after you've lived in the big city for a few years, in the past 16 years)

The B Sides 

(1) Jessica - Avi Buffalo (self titled)
(2) Between The Bars - Elliott Smith (Either/Or....still the best songwriter ten minutes after I wrote it up above) 
(3) Sim Sala Bim - Fleet Foxes (Helplessness Blues)
(4) The Crystal Lake - Grandaddy (The Sophtware Slump)
(5) Market Girl - Headlights (Some Racing, Some Stopping)
(6) July Flame - Laura Veirs (July Flame)
(7) My Roots Are Strong And Deep - The Microphones (The Glow Part 2)
(8) Denial - Pure (Generation Six-Pack)
(9) My Gap Feels Weird - Superchunk (Majesty Shredding)
(10) The Funeral - Band Of Horses  (Everything All The Time)
(11) For Science Fiction - Maritime (Heresy and the Hotel Choir)  
(12) The Chalet Lines - Belle and Sebastian (Fold Your Hands Child...always loved this sad and slightly horrible number) 
(13) Hear Me Out- Ben Kweller (On My Way)
(14) Choose Drugs - Juliana Hatfield (Beautiful Creature) 
(15) Downtime - Gandharvas (Sold for a Smile)
(16) Winona Ryder - Egolillys (from their epochal first record, Pithy)

Derek, given that the exalted concept of a 16 x 6 playlist hasn't materialized for Saturday night,  I do expect to hear a smattering of these songs at the very least pal.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I've been wading through my music, and I've compiled my "16 in 16" list.   Brian's concept was broader than "albums" - "pieces of music" was his phrase, I believe.  But I started thinking about songs and backed off because the volume was too daunting.  So I've chosen 16 albums, and I've introduced a somewhat arbitrary restriction of one album per artist on my list.  I'm not suggesting that the rest of you apply that rule - it just helped me narrow things down faster.  I also started with the intention of ranking my 16 choices, but after a few minutes I abandoned that too!  Clearly I lack the decisiveness and discipline required of a music critic.  So in no particular order, my 16 are:

OK Computer – Radiohead
Funeral – Arcade Fire
Music Inspired by the Film “Dead Man Walking” – Various Artists
The Trumpet Child – Over the Rhine
Picaresque – The Decemerists
We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions – Bruce Springsteen
Birds Make Good Neighbors – The Rosebuds
Jerusalem – Steve Earle
Fisherman’s Blues Part II – The Waterboys
Mermaid Avenue – Billy Bragg and Wilco
East Nashville Skyline – Todd Snider
Mule Variation – Tom Waits
By Baby Don’t Tolerate – Lyle Lovett
Either/Or – Eliot Smith
Garbage 2.0 – Garbage
A New Day at Midnight – David Gray

I've been in this group long enough to know that there are some choices on this list that won't be on any other Metabeats lists, and I would guess that a few eyebrows were raised questioningly at a few of these choices.  Nonetheless, I recommend them all highly - they're great albums!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

As an accountant/auditor/forensic investigator by trade I for one find accuracy rather useful so in regards to Brian's 18 for 18 project it might need to be whittled down to 16 for 16 as the very first CD club took place at 214 Brunswick Avenue on the momentous evening of Wednesday September 25, 1996 when Brian was still a young pup of 32 and Kyle I believe was 19 and in his 2nd year at uni.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Cusp of mid 30s, if we're going for accuracy, but why bother. Was fully ready to dismiss Beachwood, given how much it was being talked up and my predilection for negative/harsh blog comments but...really liking the 2002 6 song disc currently streaming on Rdio. Hoping they sold more copies a decade ago than are streaming now. With 52 listens at present, they'll likely well on their way to earning a nickel sometime in the next week.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Oh indeed, it is quite a burden being so prescient and influential. 

Re 18 in 18, the more I think about it, the more I'm inspired to simply choose my favourite 18 pieces of music over the period 1994 - 2012.    By which I mean, songs and/or short pieces, rather than albums.   It'll be less about the obviously great (like, by the way I like Pavement's Crooked Rain?) and influential, and more a wide open selection (heck, a celebration) of songs I loved then and still love now, across all genres....which means mostly indy pop/rock.    That way it'll be fun coming up with the list through heavy late-night sampling.   And yes I will hearken back to MetaBeats on occassion, since y'all have had a big influence on my listening sicne way back when I was in my twenties (or was it early 30's).   
Saw the Beachwood Sparks were even reviewed in the G&M this weekend. Clearly, you and others here played an integral war in heating up demand for their music in the blogosphere. Clearly.

As for 18 years, plenty of good stuff. Are you asking for a review of music brought to meetings (which will take a hell of a long time to try to recreate) or just fave music since 1996 (which will still require some time)?