Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Did the entire crowd really pump their arms in the air with the two finger salute......yes
Did the drummer really spend the whole night twirling his sticks .... Yes
Did the singer really sing a song with the chorus"you are my daughters of darkness na na na     .......yes
Did the drummer really stand on his seat mid song to exhort the audience to give the two finger salute...yes
Did they really have a huge lit banner with strobe lights and their name aglow as the backdrop.....yes
Was the musicianship terrible ......no
Did that matter.....no
Would Derek have lasted past the first song?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed wake;
In the spirit of Rob's (chilly) Bob Dylan event (birthday?) I was thinking that iconic music artist deaths are going to become unfortunately a yearly event over the next 2 decades..... As each of these giants lays to rest I for one will be toasting to their memory with their music (and perhaps scotch) ...I am offering to host the first one in January or February...a wake for Lou and his entire lifes work.....the music will only be that related to him somehow...Let me know if any of you are interested ... the great spirit of Islay and myself will be doing this regardless , so do not feel pressure to attend...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Best Albums of 2013

Early? Perhaps?  Does anyone care?  Perhaps Not?

So here goes 10 great fucking records for the last 12 months.  No dissension brooked.

Dodos - Carrier
Kingsbury Manx - Bronze Age
Mark Kozelek & Desertshore - Self Titled
John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts
Eleanor Friedberger - Personal Record
Mikal Cronin - MCII
Ola Podrida - Ghosts Go Blind
OMD - English Electric
Inc. - No World
Jon Hopkins - Immunity

Best party album of 2013 (no surprise given the title) "Tough Love" by Party Supplies.

Still working on:

The Pastels - Slow Summits
Califone - Stitches
Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven
Tim Hecker - Virgins

Best Songs of 2013

Wavves - Lunge Forward
Villagers - Nothing Arrived
Daft Punk - Instant Crush
Hot Chip - Dark and Stormy
Gun Outfit - Young Lord
Holydrug Couple - Counting Sailboats
Chris Stamey - You n Me n XTC
The House of Love - Lost in the Blues
Suuns - 2020
Matthew E. White - Will You Love Me
Chelsea Light Moving - Sleeping Where I Fall
Kurt Vile - Never Run Away
Young Galaxy - Pretty Boy
The Dodos - Confidence
Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle - You Missed My Heart

Done.  Looking forward to the rest of your lists.  P.S. no need at all to wait for the release of the new Arcade Fire.  Streamed it in its entirety on Pitchfork this afternoon and as expected, based on the single, it suuuucks!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

CD Club Pleeeeze!

Just saying that the last one was in June, 4 months ago, and it will only get tougher to squeeze in another as the end of 2013 closes in.  So let's get this locked in.  Suggestions for a date and venue?
I was having a drink with Mathew Jocelyn last night, ( Brian will know him as the director of Canadian Stage) he does a fusion kind of theatre with offshoots into film and dance. He was interested in hearing interesting current ( meaning within the last 5 years but preferably within the last year or two) music. I wonder if you lot could do  me the favour of naming songs that have a theatrical bent to them and instrumental is totally fine. I am thinking Godspeed you..., the rachels, the braids , austra, for starters....open to any ideas. I will assemble a cd for him....

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Difficult 4th Album

Having heard, quite by accident, the new Arcade Fire single 3 times in the space of 24 hours on satellite radio while driving, I am worried.  Being a big fan of their 3 albums on first listen to "Reflektor" my reaction was WTF and not in a good "hey what a great new direction" kind of way.  Hopefully the single is a misstep and the double album to follow continues their good run of form.

On the off-chance that the new record is a disco dud I have to say that three straight very good records is still a pretty good streak.  Would any of you like to offer up a similar run of good/great albums by any band from 1980 onwards, thus leaving out some of the obvious behemoths of pop/rock.  Doesn't have to be 3 to start a career could be at any point in a bands lifespan.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Not your mom's Grammy acceptance speech

Here is a link to Godspeed You Black Emperor's non-acceptance speech of their Polaris Prize win. Ha bloody ha!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I am always amazed when a song I love turns out to be written by someone else.... Boys of Summer fits that bill... Im not sure why Lou is so fascinated by Henley..I really like a half dozen of his solo songs and its hard not to have a soft spot for the eagles, though you may not go public with that..
The song in particular is my favorite by far from his solo years and now I find out it is written by Mike Campbel, whom I hugely admire. not least of which because of his incredible guitar solo on Runnin down a dream that he did in one take off the floor the first time he tried it... See this link for other things he wrote etc...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

The humble cassette

I think I enjoyed the comments here as much as the article. Had me laughing more than once. Fond memories of the cassette tape (which I just ditched myself only a few weeks ago) but we don't really need it to make any sort of comeback.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Not to detract from the terrific indie music playlist discussion.....(I have finally figured out how to access it...no sniggering please) , but this article really nails a topic much of my heart....it relates to the arts in general, but it does have a music component and in fact could entirely be read about one of the problems w music today, so I think it qualifies to be read here...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Terrific job on the indie list there Brian and Kyle.  I gave the 26 tracks my full attention this morning.  Perfect mix of bands I don't know but should (The Love Language, Kitchen's Floor, Alexander), some I do but songs are new to me (Tricky), some artists I'll never dig (Laura Veirs, Kendrick Lamar) and a sprinkling of songs that make you go a-ha right in the wheelhouse (Richard and Linda Thompson, Crystal Castles).  Never less than interesting which is where too much radio goes wayward and definitely the case with 88.1.  How many fucking times do I need to hear Metric who haven't been cutting edge in almost a decade.

I have taken the liberty of adding 14 "new" tracks bringing the playlist up to a nice round 40.

I think the idea of keeping this thing organic is a great one.  Sort of supplements the CD club in some sense.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Radio that doesn't suck

Thought this was interesting. Like me, this person complained about the sad state of radio. Unlike me, he did something about it. Site is here. Kind of timely, since recent posts here about Indie 88 have complained about the format that plays the same song thrice daily, instead of an eclectic mix. Would be interesting to compare the two, side by side, for a few days to see if we truly like the eclecticism or if that too gets annoying.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Yo Derek!  Do you not owe some follow up riposte to the lusty 26-song indy extravaganza constructed by metab's K and B?  Perhaps a pile on of 10 equally cool trax (though, obviously difficile)?  Or at the very least a dismissive "does not merit" kinda thing?  What about the rest of you lot?

Friday, August 09, 2013

Really? Stuart? My bad. Guess I was confused because his last email was so dismissive of the station. He fell out of love so quickly.
Brian, your tracks on the Rdio list are stellar, btw.
Although i make my living off of taking credit where credit is not due, Kyle, i must in this case correct you and attribute the initial e-mail to Stuart. 

Mixed Bag Verdict

Love the enthusiasm, initiative, Bri. Be the change you want to see in the world, etc.... I just subscribed to your playlist on Rdio and will begin listening shortly.

I haven't listened much to the indie88 station beyond the first couple of hours after receiving the email from Marc Stuart. I don't drive much and usually just stream music at home rather than turn to the radio. However, tuning into the first few hours online last week were a mixed bag. Some interesting bands I'd never expect to hear on radio were featured, which was encouraging, followed by a bunch of fairly mainstream alternative music from the 80s and 90s (Bowie’s ‘I’m afraid of Americans’, Talking Heads’ ‘Burning Down the House’) which was less so.

I just took a look at some of the songs played within a given hour (you can search back through previous playlists) and it continues this trend:

-July Talk - Paper Girl
-Buffalo Soldier – Bob Marley
-Default – Django Django
-Would That Not Be Nice – Divine Fits
-Make it Wit Chu – Queens of the Stone Age
-The Ghost Inside – Broken Bells

Not sure that any of these are ground breaking but I certainly have never heard at least three of those on the radio dial before, at least in Toronto. Another quick hourly scan showed new music from Austra, an alt-j song but also Coldplay. Verdict: still a mixed bag.

I suspect one of the reasons for the ‘Indie Alternative’ branding is that they are trying to cast a wide net for their audience, attempting to appeal to those who want to be edgy and hear new things but want the comfort of a Killers or Oasis song every once in awhile. I’d prefer more straight up indie, as well as music that, Bob Marley in the example above aside, isn’t so decidedly white.

Even the good satellite stations and public radio stations in the US will repeat newer songs throughout the day. I think the goal is to familiarize the audience with the music to build some interest in it. I guess I’m willing to cut it some more slack on the here because a lot of these bands will never get exposure to listeners on the radio dial and it may take some repetition and familiarity to win over new converts. But it still grates a bit.

Btw...I have added tracks 17-26 to Brian's Rdio Playlist. 

Indy Radio!

You know, I've always thought (and expounded on this point on many occasions) that the Metabeats crowd should have entered the fray of public music broadcast, or criticism, or commerce.  Who was better positioned out there to launch a cool record store, set up a thoughtful review site, or hell even backstop a great radio station?   If there's something missing "out there" that you are passionate about, go and do it yourself.  Perhaps that ship sailed many years ago for us, but I know it would have been worthwhile.

So Derek I'll take you up on your idea of programming a few songs for an Indy station - quite a fun notion.  I'll pop the set list up on Rdio so you folks can add to it....and presto we'll have a cutting edge cool list.  The point begin stuff you don't hear too much or at all in the mainstream.  Perhaps we refresh every few weeks.

I'll do primarily new / contemporary, with a few older (indy! lol) mixed in.   For Mike G (i.e. not on Rdio, here are the first few songs....Mike, time to get on Rdio!).

The Evens - King of Kings
If We Have the Will - Grant Hart
Anthem - King Tuff
Banbury Grove - Hong Kong in the 60's
Shallows - the Mallard
Once Before - The Remains
Sun Song - Laura Veirs
Jackyl - True Widow
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight - Richard and Linda T
Calm Down - Love Language
Zhi Yuan De Ren - Carsick Cars
Lifeboats - Soft Swells
Sandy - Jackson Scott
Lander - Kitchen's Floor
Five Hundred Heartbeats - Le Futur Pompiste
All Come To Meet Her - Skip Spence


Thursday, August 08, 2013

Agreed, Derek. 

I feel a little bit like I was hit with a sucker punch.  I first tuned in to Alan Cross' "Throne of Glory" set (and who the hell thought up that moniker?) that was outstanding.  A set of songs, many of which i had never heard before strung together along with some meaningful banter and amusing anecdotes by someone, like him or not, who has a great radio voice and is articulate, insightful, well informed and, if you ask me, plain entertaining.  That's what i like about radio; human interaction, and 88.1 has none.

I also caught Adam Vancouverdon's guest set.  I think it's a nice idea and wish that that was the format of the station ...one to three hour sets by people with musical taste, be it to my liking or not.  Radio should have personality.  That's what i liked about CKLN.  Despite it's problems and un-professionalism, no DJ was on the air for more than 3hrs a week and that in part kept it fresh, if at times chaotic.

As for labels of what we call it, be it alt or indie or whathaveyou, i don't really care what you call it.   Make it good good music, don't over-commercialize it and and don't repeat.  There is SO much good music out there and a dearth of open airwaves that host it that i wonder why there is a need to fall into the same old formats.  I was wondering if the CRTC regs and royalties have something to do with it.  I am under the impression that on of the reasons that CKLN got their licence yanked was that year after year, on air personalities failed to properly log and report set lists ...how hard can it be though?  (and yes i know this is a completely different beast)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Indie Music time to put it to rest?

I'll admit that I was excited for a few minutes last week when the new radio station, indie 88.1 as they like to call themselves, hit the airwaves. I had read a very puffy piece on them in the Star in the lead-up to their launch and despite my built-in cynicism was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

More fool me I suppose. Driving for work over the last couple of days I have popped in and out on the station and despite very early initial promise they have now settled in to the same old routine that pretty much all radio stations seem to follow. Why do I need to hear the same song off the "great new album" by ______ (fill in the blank) over and over and over again. In total I have probably devoted about 90-120 minutes of my time listening to this station and somehow I have heard the new Arctic Monkey's single and "Shut Up" by the Savages 3 times each. Why?? Is it too hard for the programmer to push the random play button. And exactly how do the Killers, Arcade Fire and David Bowie ("Modern Love" yikes!) qualify as independent music? I'll stick to XM35 if I want any sort of dose of decent pop/rock music.

And if anyone out there is reading this I'm curious to hear what you would expect from a station that dubs itself as an indie alternative (2 words that seem to have lost all meaning a long time ago). In other words what would have made you happy to tune in to something like 88.1 and keep you there especially in a musical world where so much is at our fingertips.

Or to put it in yet another light if you had 60 minutes of their airtime and could play any 10-15 songs of your choice what would you spin to grab everyone's attention?

Saturday, June 08, 2013

CD Club June 2013

Brian - The Pastels - Slow Summits
             Beach Fossils - Clash the Truth
             Mikael Cronin - MCII
             Kate Nash - Girl Talk

Marc - Francis Poulenc - Dialogues of the Carmelites (played from the COC website)
            Seals & Crofts - Diamond Girls / Summer Breeze
            Christian Scott - Christian aTunde Adjuah
            Jonathan Edwards - Honky-Tonk Stardust Cowboy / Gram Parsons - Grievous Angel

Derek - Jon Hopkins - Immunity
             Ola Podrida - Ghosts Go Blind
             Kingsbury Manx - The Bronze Age
             OMD - English Electric

Kyle - Foxygen - We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic
           Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II
           My Bloody Valentine - m b v (not available on Rdio)
           Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I am sure you all know Nick Drake, but even for those in the know , this is a fascinating interview with the great Joe Boyd, producer of most of the iconic late sixties , early seventies folk rock masterpieces.... Well worth a listen...This is also my favorite music blog show.....

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I cant not play my hand at this point (before Dereks gig) as I am too enamoured with this disc to not rave..Definitely the best album of the year for me...I cant claim it is ground breaking or a bold new find, and maybe it shows how I have fallen behind in my music courses , but Kurt Viles new disc wont get out of my bloody cd player.....its the same kind of sound as his last album but generally a more electrified, long winded endless jam session of that sound... granted that sounds like the crappy last disc of All things must pass...but its not... the grooves are endlessly listenable, never tiresome and if anything I want the long songs to go on even longer.....the whole disc works as a single piece of music that endlessly varies twists and turns with underplayed / understated emotion that rings superbly real and true with hooks that pile on hooks...its as if he has deconstructed his sound into its base elements and then he sits back and grooves on it....perhaps the sound of the summer of 2013 for me....

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Your opinion please - An Appointment with Mr. Yeats

A while ago I suggested a mechanism to encourage more participation in our blog, whose pulse has grown weak.  The concept is that we take turns selecting an album to put before the group and inviting comment.  Your reasons for selecting any particular album are unconstrained - an old favorite, something new and different or something that you believe to be overlooked or misunderstood.  Tell us about your choice and offer your own thoughts about it.  Each of us is then asked to listen the album in its entirety and post our own thoughts - short or long, positive or negative.  That was the original concept - it is open to improvement.

Brian responded in the classic management style - supporting the idea, and then assigning me with the action item to actually implement it.  So I'm going to give it a whirl - the album I've chosen to kick this off is "An Appointment with Mr. Yeats" by the Waterboys.  I don't know whether any or all of you are familiar with this album, but I was not until recently, though it was released in 2011.  I discovered it in February while searching for a birthday present for my brother.

I have been an enthusiastic Waterboys fan since I first heard, This is the Sea.  I particularly love Mike Scott's dramatic lyrics, with his "murderous skies" and his "sea of lights sparkling on the face of a pearl".  This particular album is a departure in that respect, as the concept is to put music to Yeats' poems.  Scott had already done this once, with "The Stolen Child" on Fisherman's Blues; not my favorite track from that album, but one that I quite liked.  That album is a good reference point for this one - the music is much more consistent with the Celtic folk inspired songwriting than with the more rock-influenced writing that he displays on albums like This is the Sea and A Pagan Place.  The Yeats lyrics lend themselves well to Scott's musical treatment - the resulting songs sound very natural and cohesive.  Having stumbled across this record years after its release, I was worried that it would be a weak album that had faded into obscurity deservedly.  On the contrary, I think it deserves a place among the top Waterboys albums - and a little research shows that I am not alone in rating it highly.  I don't know how I missed it when it was released!

The music is passionate and energetic, and, as I said,  it fits the poetry beautifully.  Particular favorite tracks for me are "The Hosting of the Shea", "Before the Worlds was Made" (with guest vocalist Katie Kim, whose distinctive voice I really like) and "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death".  The rest of the songs are also strong - I like it from start to finish.  I also found this cool link to a blog post from Mike Scott himself, with track by track notes on the album.

So there we have it - an opportunity for all of you to listen to something you might not otherwise have played, and a chance to voice your opinions.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts about An Appointment with Mr. Yeats, and to listening to the albums on which you choose to shine the spotlight.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yet another artists RIP.... Richie havens , whom some of you may only know by the iconic woodstock performance "Freedom"    is an artist of greater depth then I originally thought. I bought a double album from the 60's recently on the advice of Bert (owner of Vortex records ...still around at Yonge and Eglington....) ...this album is a really fine slice of 60's pop/folk/psych    A mixed bag of covers and originals.it hangs together due to great songs and lovely arrangements......I love it.....worth well more then the 3 stars here

Saturday, April 13, 2013

For those of us still checking this blog space, a question from young Oliver (who is developing a taste for capital r rock music), which I thought worthy of group input:

What is the best / coolest / greatest guitar rock riff of all time?   Points for obscurity and depth of knowledge.....no points for Smoke on the Water.

Monsieur Gaines, looking forward to a post on an artist we should all dive into, and trusting that the bed rest isn't too horrible.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Also, one listen in mind you, I am thoroughly enjoying the new Steve Kilbey record (not sure if that link will work, but it's on Rdio is the point).   The man should be more renowned than he is.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I do recall the conversation Brian, however, you were, at the time, wrong!
I may have gone on record as saying they were "done" after Is This It.   Hmm, I can't recall.  Stu, Derek, do you recall? 

I'm liking the new Beach Fossils quite a lot.  Real ear-candy for those of us of an age where The Cure meeting mid-period Sonic Youth is sweet bliss.   

Also enjoying the new Bettie Serveert, under-recognized since their brief period of popularity in the grunge era, though they've put out a lot of solid records since.  The new one has four or five excellent songs.

What’s with the Strokes ....Comedown Machine? ....more like LetDown Machine! ...Tap Out? ....Tapped out indeed! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

you can find Suuns on rdio, I see they just came out with a new album on the 4th ...fuckin intense live show ...check out Gaze and Arena from Zero QC ...not sure how it translates if your first intro to the band was not through the live show.  Turn it up loud and make your ears bleed!
In response to Brian...yes all the music i see live sucks and yes of course I did not pick this show.....because all the music i choose to see live...................well they suck.....

twas my friend who knew of them.....The band Marc is the Savages ... We did not stay to see the Suuns...
Just learned that another beloved artist has passed away...jason Molina; AKA magnolia electric co.  also aka songs ohio  has died at the WTF age of 39...mainly due to booze     his music certainly reflected a disturbed guy and his heartfelt music will be sorry missed... he has a neil young acoustic and a contrasting crazy horse feel to it...but his music is perhaps even more wothout hope then mss Young...as is evidenced  most definatively here

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fill me in ...i'm confused ...the show looks like it was billed as Suuns and Savages ...is this the Suuns out of Montreal ...were the Suuns opening for Savages or vice versa? were they playing together?   (Savages are not a very unique name as a web search reveals but Suuns is a little more so)  ..the music sounds pretty similar from description.  I saw the Suuns a little over a year ago at the Silver Dollar and brought the CD to a spin session we had ...if it is the same band i'd be interested to hear what you thought of them as well.
I don't often say this about music events that you go to Stu, but that looks kind of cool.   I'll check them out.

P.S. Did you discover this band yourself?  he asked skeptically?
Granted i am usually a little on the hyperbolic side, but Saturday night at Lees palace i saw the best live show since Arcade Fire.... Im not sure whether that will translate to their soon to be released album and they may well crack under the pressure of being the perennial  next "greatest band out of the UK"...but The Savages hour long set was loud , raw, extremely angry, but also with great songs with hooks and with a suitably captivating if creepy lead singer who had the kind of stage presence I have only seen rarely in bands like Arcade fire..  The lead guitarist also had this manic anger that  makes you wonder if they will eb around for long or are they too disfunctional......
...dont miss them when they return to tour the first album.....which i know nothing about as they only recently finished recording it.....
here is the only review i can find but it has a photo that kind of captures the moment ......

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I like the idea too Mike.    If you're up for it, why don't you kick it off and we'll see if there's any life left in this thing.  

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

I like the idea Mike. 

Stuart, thanks for the post.  Not always my cup of tea but it's always enjoyable to be nudged to listen to something that someone else digs.  Ergo, my liking Mike's proposal.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Thanks for that, Stuart.  I had never heard of Kevin Ayer.  Reading the description of his work in AllMusic, he sounded a bit like Stephin Merritt.  I'm listening to him as I type this and I wouldn't say that comparison is particularly apt.  Less whimsical and musically much more rock and roll.  I can't help marvelling at the amount of music that is out there.  AllMusic lists 20 albums from  between 1969 and 2007, and in all the time that I've been listening to music and associating with people like you whose combined knowledge of popular music history is truly vast, I can't remember his name ever coming up (I confirmed with a search of Metabeats that had but a single result).  And I like what I'm hearing.  This is clearly the kind of music that I should have come across by now, given my preferences and predilections.

I've also been thinking of posting something for a while - for the interminable period that Brian's challenge for us all to produce our 2012 lists sat there at the top of the pile while the virtual crickets chirped.  So I've developed a concept designed to compel us all to contribute a little more regularly, and also (hopefully) to benefit more directly from this forum.  Here it is for your consideration and refinement (or rejection):

I suggest that each month, on a rotational basis, one of us is responsible for choosing a single album that we want everybody to listen to.  It could be something familiar that we want to create a discussion around, or it could be something more obscure that we want to introduce.  Either way, that person must identify the album  early in the month along with some reasoning for its selection.  The rest of us must commit to actually listening to the album in its entirety at some point during the month and then sending in our own comments.  We can simply say why we like it or don't like it very succinctly, or we can offer a track-by-track review.  But we all have to commit to writing something honest about our reaction to the chosen album.

I'm not suggesting that the blog be limited to this concept - any and all posts about music should be welcome as before.  But this will drive at least 6 posts each month, and more importantly, it will force us all to actually listen to each other's recommendations, and collaborate in a shared experience at least once a month.

What do you think?

Sunday, March 03, 2013

I was looking up Kevin ayers on Allmusic to see what other records of his might be worth exploring while listening to joy of a toy.   Somehow I got an alt site stating that he died feb 20.  A shame. He was a true eccentric from the Canterbury music scene that spat out mike old field and Robert Wyatt. He was a founding member of soft machine and he released a fantastic quirky late career cd a few years back that I play a fair bit.  R I P.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Um hello, lists of 2012 favourites?   Stu, perhaps you'd like to show a little leadership here?

Let me give you a teaser:

(1) Damien Jurado

(2) Beachwood Sparks

(3) Woods

Obviously a teaser should start at the bottom of the list and work it's way up.  But I've never been good at teasers. And besides, I have to decide what my next seven are. 

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Glad to hear derision, Kyle, discord is a sign of something positive, methinks.   I'd love to hear everyone's favourite songs and/or albums from 2012.   Who's up for the challenge?

Would also be interested, for those whose taste runs in this direction, of a list of 2012 classical or jazz faves.

This Pitchfork list is so in-your-face mediocre, uninspiring that I promptly abandonned investigation of all other lists, plans to post my own. 2012 was a decent year in music but you wouldn't know it after listening into this rat's nest of dreck. Brian, you mentioned that they often compile a list of songs that kinda sound great but aren't really well written or composed songs. With a few exceptions, these don't even sound great. Know it's past Christmas now but: Bah humbug.