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    Top 5 of 2014

    What a year!!! You take the good, you take the bad….. I had a lot of family heartache (hence the comprehensive list) and saw a lot of AMAZING live shows. I’ve been loving the picks by the other members of #GuelphMusicClub and I’m sure those of you that know me aren’t surprised that I’m posting my picks at the last possible moment of the year. So here is my mess of a list for 2014. Metal, princesses, some indie and some mega stars. And a record that came out in 2013. Let’s start with that one.


    Northcote – Selftitled

    Northcote coverYes, I know, it came out in 2013, but I hadn’t heard the name Northcote until this year. So it counts. On a random Tuesday this fall I headed up to DSTRCT to check out a show that was getting quite a bit of buzz. Northcote was already on stage and blew me away. When I saw they had their record on vinyl I knew I needed to have it. I left the show half way through the headlining act to go home, poor a glass of whiskey and put the vinyl on, where it stayed for three weeks. Northcote has a great mix of small town, working man rock, with some subtle punk undertones. I’d say it has a New Jersey feel, but it’s Canadian, so I’ll say it has a very Hamilton feel. One of the best bands I saw this year, and a great album that translates from the turntable to the stage perfectly. You can stream/download the whole album on the Northcote Bandcamp page. Do IT!!!

    Mastodon – Once More Round The Sun

    aetgrhsgdcnI’ve been a Mastodon fan for a long time. I find their albums are always above and beyond a lot of that other hard rock/metal dribble. Although I’ve loved almost every album they’ve done up to this point, often times felt like there was something missing. Like it could have been BIGGER or… whatever it doesn’t matter. What was missing is there on Once More Round The Sun. It’s a wickedly EPIC, juggernaut of an album. When I put in my headphones, this album makes me walk really fast. So it comes in really handy when you’re late for something like the bus. Once More Round The Sun has to be the most complete sounding Mastodon album to date and I love it almost as much as I love my dog. THAT’S how good it is!

    Prince & 3rdeyegirl – Plectrumelectrum

    Plectrumelectrum_Album_CoverPrince!!! Back with two albums and a major label! I prefer Plectrumelectrum to Art Official Age. Did you know he got the rights back to his his old songs?! That’s huge!  Prince is the most under rated guitar player EVER! I mean Prince just wails. Watch his musical guest spot on Saturday Night Live from a few weeks back if you don’t believe me. Why would they even get a host? SNL should have just played a Prince concert. I can’t listen to the album in public. Plectrumelectrum makes me tingle and fizzle and makes me awkward to be around. There is a flavour for everyone on this album. Rock, Funk, Soul, Blues, whatever. Call it a day. Prince is BACK!

    The Balconies – Fast Motions

    BalconiesFast Motions is an awesomely catchy rock record by Toronto band The Balconies. It came out last January and hasn’t left my MP3 player since. It’s the type of right on, sing-a-long, hooks for days, high paced rock record that you’ll be bouncing around to on your first listen. I’m sure Fast Motions is technical, crafted and produced and stuff. The Balconies could have slaved for years in the studio over these songs but they don’t sound that way and you won’t care anyway because you’ll be having too much fun listening to them. Tomorrow when you wake up all hungover from too much New Year’s partying drink a glass of water and take a dose of Fast Motions by The Balconies. You’ll feel better.

    Taylor Swift – 1989
    Cover FrontUgh. I know…. This is like that scene in High Fidelity, when Rob walks into the record store and Barry is listening to Vince and Justin. You know, the skater kids that hang out in the parking lot. Then Barry is  trying to describe the music but he’s reluctant and just saying, “It’s really… It’s really,” then he rubs his forehead like what he’s about to say is stressing him out or is going to hurt him and adds, “It’s really F@#kin’ good.” That’s how I feel about the latest Taylor Swift album. I knew I was in TROUBLE (anyone catch what I did there?) the second I heard Shake It Off. It broke some sales records and stuff too, so there’s that. I am a grown-ass man now and have no problems announcing my guilty pleasures from on high! Turn off your brain, stop stressing and over thinking what you may like, or my not like, and just enjoy a really fun pop record. If I ever cleaned my apartment, I’d listen to 1989 on repeat while I did it.

    There you go #GuelphMusicClub! From everyone here at Music Lives, be safe tonight and have a happy New Year one and all!

    This Week For Rec-Room Monday (Nov 10th)

    Super pumped for this week’s Rec-Room Monday up at DSTRCT Lounge!!! Along side our regular programming, Underplayed & Underplayed and The Fuzz radio programs on CFRU 93.3, I’ve got some exciting new releases and a couple records (I’m going to attempt to hook up the turntable once again) that I picked up at shows over the last couple weeks. Here is kind a run-down of what we’re bringing to you this week!

    Starting at 6 PM, local musician Ty Baynton will be on Underplayed & Underplayed. While we’re listening to Bryan‘s interview we’ll have the N64 rockin’ on the projector and all your favourite games ready to be played. Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, Dominoes, Trivial Pursuit among others are sitting there. Magic players arrive around 6:30pm and The Dragon is on hand with new packs for all your drafting (I know what that is now!) needs. I’m truly hoping we can get this Euchre club going this week too!

    You’ve no doubt heard of Guelph band Wakeless. They recently recorded a brand new song and video on the DSTRCT stage for GAIN TV. For those that don’t know about GAIN TV, it’s another way for bands and fans to be a part of Guelph‘s thriving live music scene. I’m looking forward to watching and listening to this brand new song by one of my favourite Guelph bands!

    Speaking of NEW MUSIC, two bands that are great friends of Music Lives and GAIN Music also have brand new EPs. First, Guelph Metal band Teleportoise have their release party on November 20th with WakelessQuiet Lakes and Earthbreather. Second, the guys from Sleepless are re-armed and loaded under their new name Strays. They just released their new four song EP on their Bandcamp page (which you can download right now for FREE!) and we’ll give it a listen before the night is through! If you want to bring some tunes of your band or a band you’re currently into, the more the marrier! Bring it on CD, USB or something with a headphone jack (no itunes/unreliable internet).

    If all this isn’t enough for you to come out and hang how about that it is also….

    LIAM’S 20TH BIRTHDAY!!!!

    Happy birthday buddy! See you tomorrow!

    This might be the BIGGEST Rec-Room Monday in the history of the WORLD!!! Hope to see you all out!

    Industry Spotlight: Turtleshell Studios

    Back in February I had a chance to be one of the judges for season two of “Out Of The Shell”. It was a great night of music with good people and by the end of it the eight finalists had been chosen. Each week’s featured band is a surprise but with Guelph bands The Medicine Hat, The Durants and Tear Away Tusa all making the cut, this is one YouTube channel you’ll want to subscribe to so you don’t miss out on any of these great performances. We asked the guys at Out Of The Shell for a little history on how this project came together and the rest is their response…

    Out of the Shell is a self-financed/non-profit initiative focused on bringing local musicians to the forefront of a growing worldwide community of online entertainment.

    Out of the Shell was developed as an internal idea to help increase the exposure for artists that had recently visited our recording studio: “Turtleshell Studio”. We found that artists were looking for ways to have their music both listened to as well as seen, not on TV, but on the internet. From the time that the studio officially opened in 2012 until the official launch of the first season of Out of the Shell in June, 2013 we had been very interested in exploring the multitude of new mediums of video and the power of YouTube.

    Josh has extensive musical and photography experience and Jake, the engineer for Turtleshell Studio, had the experience to support the technical aspect of sound and video production. Both incessantly talked about the possibility of a music video project based out of the studio. Having both dabbled in the medium throughout their careers; together, both men felt that 2012 was the perfect time to utilize this unique opportunity at the studio and create something of substance for the artists we already knew.

    In the beginning (Jan 2012) a few pilot/trial episodes were filmed with the help of a few friends. The results were archived and taken as good learning lessons to prepare us for the future.

    Officially, the first episode was recorded in the Spring with a Guelph punk rock band called The Nasties. Hosted by our friend Gerry Turple, he would introduce and
    interview each of The Baudelaires, ATMOS, Barrett’s Privates, Well Charged, Object 221, Steven Vincent & Ambre McLean for what would inevitably become Out of the Shell Season 1, airing June through August of 2012.

    Following a successful first season, we decided to reach out to a few of our favorite music supporters in the community to lend us their help getting the word out to offer this opportunity to a larger base of diverse talent that surrounds our area. It was important to us to offer this opportunity to more artists than just the ones we knew. So we ran a contest. We found some local music big wigs to help us judge the content and select the finalists. We brought in a great crew to help film…..

    The artists were all fantastic….
    And
    We are finally ready to launch season 2!

    Episode one airs Thursday May 1st and the series continues each Thursday throughout May and June. Subscribe to Out Of The Shell on YouTube to make sure you don’t miss an episode!

    Alanna Gurr & The Greatest State – Late At Night Review

    I felt the greatest sense of community this month when Missed Connections Records asked us if we would be interested in an advanced copy of Alanna Gurr & The Greatest State‘s new album Late At Night. Guelph label. Guelph musician. Guelph publication. These are the relationships that make Guelph the live music mecca that it is. Our team have always been huge Alanna Gurr fans, so obviously we jumped at the chance to give it a listen.

    Late At Night opens with “Swimmer”. A thoughtful song about reaching the maturity to fall in love that sets the stage and tone for the rest of the album. Water themes are used throughout Late At Night while the story of this budding relationship grows from a casual fling into an intense, but not always happy, relationship. I’m not saying that the whole record is about the same relationship but the arrangement of the songs suggests that it is.

    Styles range from a bluesy garage, and a little bit country twang with “Golden Coast” having a kind of Doo-wop vibe. Late At Night also has some of the most understated and amazing slide guitar parts I’ve heard recently. As the narrator in first person, Alanna always keeps her vocals consistent and mellow. It’s soothing and forces the listener to pay attention to the words if they want to hear the full story. “Trouble” is one of my favourite songs on Late At Night. It’s got a ghostly, southern vibe that you could easily imagine being used for the closing credits of lasts season’s True Detective. There is no filler on Late At Night. Every song of this eight song album is in it’s place and each songs transitions into the next perfectly. At just under twenty-eight minutes the it’s short and sweet in the most complimentary way.

    At times Late At Night might be a little dark or slow for some listeners. There are no upbeat pop songs here, but for anyone that loves song-craft and all it’s subtle nuances, Alanna Gurr & The Greatest State have created something special with Late At Night. I won’t tell you how the record and the story ends. You’ll have to listen to Late At Night yourself and you’ll enjoy every minute of it.

    Get your copy of Alanna Gurr & The Greatest State‘s Late At Night at their Guelph album release show April 24th at The eBar with Jerry Leger & the Situation and Dear sister.

    Sketches II by The Zilis – Review

    This Saturday Hamilton band The Zilis will play along side Guelph‘s Fitness Club Fiasco, both Kennedy Cult and Goodnight, Sunrise of Toronto share the bill as well. Born from the ashes of Dean LickyerThe Zilis have recently released their second EP, Sketches II.

    You would never guess by how polished this record is that it is only their sophomore effort. Pulling from a wide range of styles, The Zilis have created a modern version of something you’ll recognize. Blues with blistering leads and solos, Funky Bass lines and Rock N’ Roll pop sensibilities create a fun and danceable record that you’d be happy to put on at home but will translate great live. If you get a chance to come out on February 1st to see The Zilis in Guelph. DO IT! And bring your dancing shoes.

    Sketches II will be available February 4th or at the CD release party February 7th in Hamilton.

    Out of The Shell: Season Two!!!

    Head’s up! Turtleshell Studio are looking for musicians to appear in season two of their web-series Out Of The Shell. If you’ve got a newish song and would like to have a professionally recorded live performance video of said song, you’ll probably qualify.

    The guys from Turtleshell Studio will be on Underplayed & Underpaid at 6:05 pm today on CFRU 93.3 if you want more info .

    OR

    If you want more info on how to register or to see if you qualify, click here.

    The Monsters of Schlock

    The Monsters of Schlock are self described as “The World’s Most Extreme Two Man Circus Sideshow Comedy Magic Extravaganza”. These Guelph natives have truly made a name for themselves taking on some of the craziest record breaking attempts for a chance to get in the Guinness Book of World Records and performing their legendary sideshow act for fans all over the world. Burnaby Q. Orbax and Sweet Pepper Klopek perform at the eBar along side some other freakshow friends. We got in touch with Orbax to learn a bit more about The Monsters of Schlock.

    Music Lives: How do you decide which Guinness Records to break? Do you research things, make up your own, etc?

    Burnaby Q. Orbax: It took six years of submitting proposals to GWR before they finally accepted an attempt of ours, which was the brand new record for mousetraps on the tongue. Guinness has a strict policy of safety first for their records, and it took quite a long time until they decided that we weren’t just crazy, but that we were professional crazies. That record was set by Sweet Pepper in Vancouver (27), broken in Milan Italy (40), and decimated in Hollywood (47) where it stands today.
    Since then, and after our multiple appearances on different GWR TV shows, they’ve become very open to our ideas. Still, the guidelines are very strict. Guinness World Records are all about measuring something. The fastest, the heaviest, the most in a minute, so coming up with ideas for new records often takes a LONG time of batting about ideas.

    ML: What kind of training do you do for certain stunts? How does one practice getting hit in the head over sixty times? Do you test, for example, cookie sheets, or is that something that is regulated by Guinness?

    BQO: Most of our records are somehow tied into stunts that we currently or in the past have performed in our show. That at least gives us an idea as to what is actually a feasible record attempt. In terms of the actual records however we have a strict ‘no practice’ policy in effect. We either commit to the task or don’t do it at all. There’s no room for failure when the TV crews are filming, and it adds to the excitement of the event. We are literally testing ourselves to see if we can do it or not.
    note: we will be attempting to break our current record for the heaviest weight lifted from hooks in the arms by lifting a Wellington keg on Thursday!

    ML: You had your own group of Guelphites performing with you at one point and Pepper was in the bands before and/or between performances, is that how you met?

    BQO: From 2004 – 2009 we played Guelph pretty regularly with a whole troupe of freaks as the Great Orbax Sideshow, at times with Pepper in the freakshow or with his band The Legendary Klopeks playing with us. Over time it’s changed and transformed into the show we do now, which is the Monsters of Schlock. As a two man comedy show it makes way more sense for us, both onstage and off. My brother Pepper and I met face to face over a decade ago at a body modification event after being adopted into separate families as kids, and have been performing together ever since.

    This show in Guelph will be a bit of a throwback to the old shows, however, as we’ll be bringing up two fellow freaks from the US. It should give this event a real cabaret/vaudeville feel.

    Our good friend Donny Vomit comes from the immortal home of sideshow, Coney Island, where he carved a name out for himself there. Sword swallowing, juggling, whip cracking and hammering nails into his face are only a few of his skills. As well we’re bringing up the great deceiver, the man with the best abs in all of burlesque, Albert Cadabra. Albert’s the front man at Ripley’s: Believe It or Not! museum in Times Square NY and is not only a strip teaser and sideshow freak, but a master magician.

    ML: Your show has evolved over time, when did you feel you guys had it polished to a point where you could travel (last summer in Vancouver, European tour) as much as you do?

    BQO: Our first cross Canada tour was in 2006 and this coming summer will mark the fifth year that we’ve toured Europe. Last year alone we toured both the East and West coasts of Canada, traveled the UK extensively, played Helsinki for the first time, and opened for the Rolling Stones at the world’s largest music festival in Glastonbury. When do you know you’re polished enough to tour? You don’t, really. Performing is a constantly changing thing, and your show is always changing depending on the venue, the country, and the people in attendance. They key is to create something you’re confident in and get it out there. With the internet and social media the way it is today it’s easy to find an audience, just sometimes you need to travel to get to them!

    ML: I’ve seen you perform with several musical guests over the years, do you have a favourite? Is there a band you’d like to share the stage with? Pepper is in a few bands and always has been, lets give them all a shout out!

    BQO: We’ve performed with quite a few bands over the years. Sons of Butcher, the Matadors, Caution Inc and the Blue Demons are specific favourites. But when it comes to the greatest band of all time I would have to say it’s The Legendary Klopeks. 20 years strong the greatest punk band of all time has the greatest front man of all time my brother, Sweet Pepper Klopek. Pepper has also fronted the thrash band Skullkrusher, as well as his latest project Church Pussy. You can find them ALL online!

    http://youtu.be/h8Lydct6dHA

    Visit The Monsters of Schlock on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/themonstersofschlock. You can also buy tickets to their upcoming show on Thursday, January 9th from Music Lives!

    Citadels by Mandroid Echostar – EP Review

    The follow-up to Mandroid Echostar‘s self-titled debut EP has been a much anticipated release, not just in their home town of Guelph, but in Southern Ontario as a whole. Having been warned by the band not to expect a repeat of their first release I didn’t know what to expect but was eager to listen none the less.

    Citadels opens with a slow guitar track relying heavily on singer Michael Ciccia’s voice. It’s something you’ve never heard from Mandroid Echostar before but it sets the stage for the same amazing storytelling that the band is becoming known for. Imagine going to the theatre and having the narrator come out to deliver the prologue before the play actually starts. That’s exactly what “A Death Marked Dream” does. As the song fades out, the curtains open and the action begins. The smooth sound of an electric guitar creates anticipation and as soon as drummer Matt H-K counts “Ancient Arrows” in with his symbol you have a feeling that something epic is about to happen (and it does). That feeling remains for the rest of the EP.

    By the time “Haunted Vows” is about half way through you realize that Mandroid Echostar are playing songs about love in a medieval place in time. Most bands in heavy genres try to avoid the topic of love unless they’re really mad about losing one. “I can’t find love here, so we’re going to march until I find some” seems to be the paraphrased message to the army. The chanting parts of the song create an anthem that is a call to arms to all, if you’re willing to come along for the rest of the ride. You are on a quest to find the main character’s true love. “To The Wolves” takes you through the travels of this quest, ultimately finding this love, but it’s going to take a lot of work to actually make it happen. Mandroid Echostar find a way to musically and poetically get this message across to the listener.

    The final act (this whole album listens like a play) starts with “Ethereal Dawn”. The songs starts with such a crispy riff that you’ll want to pour milk on it and eat it like cereal. This is where the conflict becomes apparent. This love that is worth saving has become a real struggle. Our hero can’t seem to find where it’s gone but he knows it’s worth saving. One thing that has always amazed me about Mandroid Echostar is their ability to use their guitars as a means of communication. Rather than leaving all the responsibility to the singer, Stephen Richards, Sam Pattison, James Krul and Adam Richards have collectively figured out a way to SPEAK with their guitars. The final track, Citadels, starts down right evil. You can tell that the force holding back our hero is now in control. He’s still trying so hard, but the back and forth between our hero’s story and the good and evil guitars continues to intensify. The calmness with less than three minutes left in this 29-minute EP just crush you. You want the climax at the end of the story. You want to know what happened to our hero and their lover. I’m not going to ruin the ending, but the suspense should be eating away at you already. All you need to know is that the curtain finally does fall.

    You can grab Citadels right now on Mandroid Echostar’s Bandcamp. I strongly suggest you do!

    The Good For Naughts Interview

    Music Lives: Your new album No Great War has it’s release show coming up on November 9th. How excited are you to finally release it and what was the process like?

    James Murray: I am beyond excited for this release! So much time and hard work has gone into making this record and I can’t wait to finally see it all come to fruition.

    We recorded this record at Brixton Music in Kitchener. Our guitar player, Nick, runs a studio there. We went about the process very differently this time around. This time, guitar, bass and drums were done live off the floor. Not a lot of fixing and fidgeting. We took the same approach to recording this album as we take toward sex. Grip ‘er and rip ‘er. Kidding…sort of.

    Our philosophy with this record was that our rhythm section (Mike and Tim) was more than solid enough to pull everything off live. And if things get loose here or there, then that’s great! The push and pull between the players in a band is part of what makes music interesting. There’s just not enough of that these days.

    The process of recording took about 6 months in total but that was really a scheduling thing. Because we went live off the floor, the bed tracks for guitar, bass, and drums really only took two weekends. With that said, these songs were written two years ago and we have been road testing them for at least a year, so the entire process has been a long one. That makes us even more stoked to finally see a finished product at the album release.

    ML: You released an EP earlier this year called G20 Land. Was it hard getting two projects out in one year? Does the new record have a lot of political themes as well?

    JM: Yes, I released a three song EP in July of this year with some songs that I wrote that weren’t going to make it on to the full length album. They’re good songs and were definitely good enough for the album but there was just no more time to woodshed them with the band and record them. So I decided to put the G20 Land EP out in the interim. Part of the point of doing that was also so that people didn’t forget about us while we worked away at the full length album in the studio. The new record does have a lot of political themes, yes. Maybe not anything quite as starkly political as G20 Land but pretty close. Even the title track of the album, “No Great War”, is political. The idea behind that song was me wondering whether we go out of our way to manufacture war because it’s a way of testing our mettle and possibly creating a legacy (whether good or bad). My generation and younger ones have had no great war – no great sacrifice – and I wonder whether that pushes us to create conflict where there needn’t necessarily be any. I’ve always written political songs and, at least for me, it feels natural. Music is a great way to point the finger. That’s what Bob Dylan called those kind of tunes – “finger pointin’ songs”.
    Good For Naughts
    ML: I saw you playing a cigar box guitar this summer. Did you build it? If so, where did the idea come from and were there any challenges?

    JM: Ya. I built it over the summer. I don’t recall exactly where the idea came from but I know I was searching for something that was going to give my guitar a true vintage and simple tone. People used to build guitars out of whatever they could find and then play them with a slide. There are diddly-bows with only one string as well as cigar box guitars that have only three or four strings. My cigar box guitar comes from that tradition but I’ve got a telecaster neck on it that takes six strings and one vintage single coil pick-up in it. Finding some of the needed parts was definitely a challenge. I still wish I could have tricked it out with more truly vintage parts but it was just impossible to make some of them fit together. I must say, though, I absolutely love playing that guitar. After I built it, I went back and tracked every tune on the album over again using it.

    ML: How did the GFN come together, you guys seem to be all over the place geographically? Does that make it hard to practice/record/play gigs? 

    JM: Everything started when I had finished writing a whole bunch of tunes back in 2010. Our guitar player, Nick, owns a studio in Kitchener called Brixton Music and I went in there to demo the songs on acoustic guitar. That’s how I met Nick. I didn’t have a band at the time but I wanted to make a record. I went back to Nick’s studio with my cousins, including my bass player, Tim, and recorded the full length self-titled debut album. I still love that album and it’s still definitely The Good For Naughts but when the full band was finally able to come together regularly for rehearsal (with the addition of Mike on drums and Nick on guitar) the sound started to move in a different direction, eventually ending up where it is now.

    We are certainly spread out geographically. Nick is in Kitchener, Mike is in Waterloo, I’m in Guelph and Tim is in Toronto. To be honest, it doesn’t create much of a problem. The bigger problem is trying to get everyone’s schedules to coincide. We are all either in school or working full time so organizing rehearsal or recording takes a lot of planning ahead.
    GFN2

    ML: You’re playing with some of Guelph’s longest running/well known bands for the release. Do you feel like you have come into your own a bit on the scene? Does this change anything for you as far as looking at future opportunities?

    JM: I think we’re definitely starting to carve out our place in Guelph’s scene which is fantastic. Still lots of work to do but I guess it’s safe to say we’re no longer starting out. We’re a Guelph band now and that’s exactly what we’ve been working toward. It’s taken some time to do but luckily Guelph is blessed with quite a few people who genuinely care about music and the Guelph scene. We probably don’t need to name names here (those people know who they are) but, needless to say, Guelph bands owe a huge debt to the people behind the scenes making the Guelph music community what it is. It’s going to grow, it’s going to get stronger and that’s because of those people. We feel blessed to be a Guelph band and I find it hard to think of another city on earth where I’d rather have this band. This is the place to be as far as I’m concerned. As far as future opportunities go, as an established Guelph band I think we’re ready to mount a tour and go show the rest of Canada and the U.S. the caliber of music coming out of this city.

    ML: You did something that I think is absolutely brilliant having your logo made into a large stamp allowing you to make your own CD cases and other merch. It also gives your packing a kind of outlaw look. Where did that idea come from? Does it actually save you money on overhead costs? What was the name of the place you ordered it from?

    JM: The stamp actually worked out really well. I made the cover of the G20 Land EP with it and it allowed me to make it on less than a shoe string budget. I think the EP cost me under $1000 from start to finish. That’s exactly where the idea came from: “how can I make this EP cool but for as little money as possible?”. I saved hundreds by using the stamp and assembling the EP myself. I even recorded the songs myself in my bedroom. After it came out, the rest of the guys in the band said to me “Dude, those tunes sound great, stop telling everyone you recorded it in your bedroom. You’re underselling it.” I thought telling everyone I recorded it at home in my undies was a good thing, not a bad thing. If anyone out there wants to make an underwear EP, call the good folks at TST Rubber Stamp in Cambridge. They were great 🙂

    Check out Badlands Music presents The Good For Naughts with Lowlands and Cardboard Nationals on November 9th.

    Guelph Music Club – Pick Three ’74-’83

    I’ve realized a few things since my last post for Guelph Music Club. One, that this IS definitely the decade where most of my favourite sad music comes from. Secondly, I moved in to a new house over a month ago and have yet to sort my record collection, making my inner Rob Gordon cringe. It’s not entirely my fault. I have broken leg debt, so I work 6 days a week at my day job. One night a week I “work” doing Name That Tune, and I also spend a few hours a day updating and attending events featured on this very website. The other reason I haven’t thrown on High Fidelity and sorted my records is that this house and therefore my turntable isn’t grounded properly. When I listen to vinyl, it hums like a….you get the idea. If it makes my readers any happier, I’m still living out of a suitcase, constantly washing the same two loads of laundry on rotation, so I have fresh clothes. I had my turntable and stereo hooked up on moving day and was even able to locate my Billie Holiday record in time to supply dinner music. Anyway…..

    The last thing I realized since my last post is regarding one Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame. He was, musically speaking, the closest thing to an older sibling I’ve ever had. Again, read my last post to learn about how I discovered Pink Floyd. Maybe I’ll just dedicate a whole separate blog post to him in the near future. Anyway….In 1994 I bought my first Disc-man (it was $300!!!!) with my first full time summer job. This is when I decided to expand my musical horizons a little and, because as a 17 year-old with a bunch of disposable income, why not try to have every single CD in the HMV Top 40? My first three CDs ever purchased were Jar Of Flies, Alice In Chains, Siamese Dream, Smashing Pumpkins and The Crow Soundtrack. Not only is The Crow Soundtrack still my favourite of all time, it introduced me to Joy Division by way of the Nine Inch Nails cover of Dead Souls.

    Joy Division could be the seed that grew into a whole tree of spin off genres. They are the link between punk and new wave. The controlled chaos of  noise no doubt influenced Industrial bands like Skinny Puppy and Nine Inch Nails. Their lyrical content is on par with Emo bands from the 2000’s. Joy Division just seemed to be more sincere and less whiny about it (maybe that is just my age talking). You can easily hear their influence on current bands like Interpol, She Wants Revenge, The National and Editors.  They weren’t the tightest band or have the polish that New Order possessed, but Joy Division brought a different kind of soul to music that has been often imitated but never duplicated. So yeah….Unknown Pleasures. Pick number three!!! Enjoy! Don’t get too sad about stuff involving things.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVvoQIdD80U

    Guelph Music Club – Pick Two ’74-’83

    So it seems like the Guelph Music Club has discovered the decade where the Winter of my discontent began. One of the other albums I listen to every year, alone, in the dark, on my birthday, is Pink Floyd‘s Wish You Were Here. Like many Pink Floyd albums, each side plays almost seamlessly from song to song with almost no indication as to when one song ends and another begins. This is true for the opening five parts of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”. An apparent tribute to former member and now late, Syd Barrett, who apparently did too much acid and went crazy…Or something like that.

    I didn’t get introduced to Pink Floyd in the traditional way as a teenager, like from my parents or best friend. Instead, Trent Reznor had mentioned them in an interview saying how he had always admired them for creating full albums over trying to write hit songs, which is something I’ve always admired as well. Trent mentioned The Wall but my Dad only had one Pink Floyd record on vinyl (this was before the internet). Fast forward until my next serious grounding, and I was listening to Dark Side Of The Moon on repeat.

    Wish You Were Here the song was never released as a single but it’s probably the most well known. “Have a Cigar”, with it’s funky bass line and guest vocalist was the hit and only official single. Probably because it’s one of only two songs under six minutes.  In one of my favourite concert moments (moments NOT concerts) ever, Velvet Revolver (yeah, that forgettable super-group)  ended their show with this song. Have you ever been to a show where EVERYONE in attendance knew every single word?! It’s chilling in the most amazing way. What added to this, that you didn’t notice at the time, was the house lights were slowly coming up while the band performed the song. The whole audience was so caught up in the moment that when the song finally ended you knew the show was over, and you really didn’t need anything more.

    Drawing Lines by Odd Years – Album Review

    When Guelph band Odd Years asked us to review their new album Drawing Lines, I jumped at a chance to get an advanced copy. I’ve got to know a few members of the band since starting our website and they’re some of the busiest musicians and nicest guys in town.

    There is something on Drawing Lines for everyone. It’s a little bit country. A little bit rock and roll. Sometimes a little quiet. Sometimes loud. The slide guitar work on “Patient” is amazing. “Sea Widows” starts with some great vocal harmonies and the vibe you get from “Take You Anywhere” reminds me of some of the biggest bands of the early 1960s. The album is well paced and the production is spot on for their sound.

    The most amazing thing about Drawing Lines is how absolutely relaxing it is. You could have the worst day of your life and within one play through be fully relieved of all stress. That is the power of music! If you’re really desperate for Drawing Lines, as you should be, Odd Years is Missed Connection RecordsGuelph band of the month. Track down a download card and get ready for some musical relaxation therapy.

    Odd Years‘ official CD release party is happening October 9th at The eBar!!! Click here for more details!

    Visit http://oddyears.bandcamp.com/ to stream Drawing Lines and learn more about Missed Connection Records at https://www.facebook.com/MissedConnectionRecords.

    Nick Johnston’s In A Locked Room On The Moon – Album Review

    I went to a rock show, as I do. When a rock show is a CD release, I usually pick it up. We need to support our musicians and this way I know I’ve done my part. A few weeks ago I grabbed Guelph guitarist Nick Johnston‘s latest CD, In A Locked Room On The Moon. I really had no idea what to expect as there isn’t a lyricist/singer to be found on any of the ten songs on the album. I grew up loving Sci-fi movies, space themed Lego and He-Man. So as soon as I opened the disc and gazed upon the artwork of Mark Rehkopf I knew I was going on a journey.

    In A Locked Room On The Moon opens with “The Evil Stepsister”. It’s a little crunchy and inspires mischievous thoughts. You don’t know where Nick Johnston is taking you but the groove is so thick you don’t care. The diversity of all the musicians that appear on this album is unreal (look it up on-line, it’s seriously impressive) and the way they all seem to play off of each other is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle that is this album. The lead on “Even If It Takes A Lifetime” is understated and chill while the hard rockin’ blues of “Trick Question” could have appeared in your favourite movie about any town with tumble weeds and tough-guys. Midway through you find “Sandmonster”. It’s a Latin inspired song and the album’s first official single. “IALROTM” incorporates all of the styles of guitar you’ve heard before but without ever going full blues, full hard rock, full metal or full any genre. I felt like I was taken on a trip, via rocket ship, to all the important stops in guitar rock history.

    So why doesn’t Nick Johnston get a few featured vocalists to come in and collaborate? It couldn’t hurt, could it? I now know that when you have the talent-pool that Nick Johnston is part of and surrounds himself with, you really don’t need the help.

    The Medicine Hat – Old Bones With No Sign Of Slowing Down

    If you didn’t get a chance to check out our first edition of Music Lives print, here’s the show we reviewed from back in July. Enjoy!

    If you’ve never been to one of The Medicine Hat’s shows, you’ve probably interacted with a member of the band somewhere in Guelph and not realized it. One may have made your lunch at a local eatery. Maybe another member probably stood next to you at a show, enjoying and supporting the Guelph music scene that they’ve become such an important part of. If you’re a Downtown Guelphite you’d recognize at least one member of The Medicine Hat but maybe you wouldn’t know from where. That’s how I felt at The eBar when I arrived super early for their show on July 10th. I was surprised to find out that I have crossed paths with almost every member of the band, in just my Downtown Guelph, daily life.

    GAIN Music and The Medicine Hat have had a great working relationship in the past and the buzz around the band’s CD release party for Old Bones, was no exception. Adding Ptarmigan and Mara & The Marigold, both bands hailing from Toronto, as support didn’t hurt either. I was lucky enough to be able to have a drink on the patio with all the bands before the doors opened. Everybody was super excited about the night and happy to be apart of it. The eBar was already filling up by the time Mara & The Marigold started their set and, by the end of Ptarmigan’s set, filled to the brim.

    oldbonesYou could feel the anticipation in the audience as The Medicine Hat took the stage to tune up. Everyone was to the front of the room as close to the stage as possible and it was almost as if everyone were holding their breath in wait for them to begin. When The Medicine Hat finally did address the crowd, before a note was even played, the place erupted in a cheers and applause that lasted almost their entire set. Three songs into their set, I knew that Old Bones was one CD that would sell-out, like the show ultimately did, and made my way over to the merch table to make sure I got a copy, losing my spot to the side of the stage. I’m lucky and happy that I did though because everything about The Medicine Hat’s CD is just as good as their amazing performance. This was an event, with a band, for a CD, that everyone was waiting for, and nobody left disappointed.

    Print Campaign Update

    Thanks so much everyone! We’re all getting really excited here at Music Lives. We still have about a day and a half left in our campaign, but we’ve already surpassed our goal! I’ve started this update several times and every time I came back to it, someone had donated to our cause/grabbed themselves a sweet perk or advertising space, and I had to start over. There is still some advertising space available, if you feel like squeaking in under the wire. Click here to check out what’s left. Here is what has happened over the last week or so:

    More good news for the Music Lives Mix Perk, about fifteen Guelph bands have committed to donating a song to the CD, so we’ll probably be breaking it up into two CDs. A few of the bands are just wrapping up some new material in the studio, but we feel it’s worth the wait. You’ll be getting a few unreleased songs! If you’re a Guelph area band, there is still time to get in on this. E-mail me!

    Timing can be everything and with how well the campaign was going already, we saw a deal that we couldn’t pass up. We already bought a printer! It’s better than the one we previously thought would be in our budget, so we jumped on it! It prints over 11X17, is a higher quality, has higher resolution and has a better warranty. We’ve had some fun the last few days, playing with settings and trying out different paper and ink combinations. The quality is amazing and we can’t wait for you to see it.

    You should also start following our team if you don’t already. Kelly is and always has been our lead designer for the website and she, whether she’ll admit it or not, is really enjoying the challenge of going to print. She’s been my catalyst and chief motivator behind the scenes since before Music Lives was even a thing. If you see us doing something new or trying something different, it is usually Kelly‘s idea, with my spin on it. Next up, the other NEW boss lady, Editor-In-ChiefKaty Butters. Some of you already know Katy as one of your fabulous bartenders at Jimmy Jazz. She’s always had a love for the written word and live music, for as long as I’ve known her. Katy comes to us with a pile of experience from Velvet Rope Magazine and we’re lucky and honoured to have her on board.  You can check out some of her writting featuring Eamon McGrath at Kazoo! FestGuelph‘s own, Mandroid Echostar, and she even got to meet Henry Rollins!

    Chuck and Teresa will still be contributing, online and in print. Chuck will be continuing to helping me out by covering a lot of the punk and metal side of things. Head over to the Guelph Metal Heads Facebook Page and give it a ‘Like’ if you’re into that kind of thing. Teresa will continue to march to her own drum, writing her Music Monday feature for the site. She always writes from the heart. Sometimes Teresa exposes bands we’ve never heard of and should keep an ear out for, or she reminds us of bands we may have been in love with and forgotten about, all with a personal twist. And then there is me, the Music Lives guy. I didn’t coin the term, in fact, I get called that a lot when I’m out and about. I’ll still be out everyday, finding events to add to our listings, for both the site and print versions of Music Lives. On top of that, my evenings will still be full of live music in Guelph, going to shows to review or to buy CDs to review, snapping photos and helping out the scene, anyway I can. There are some other potential team members hovering around the fringes, but for right now, that’s THE OFFICIAL TEAM.

    So there you have it folks! Updates will become more frequent as our campaign comes to an end tomorrow and we’ll let you know when all of your perks are ready to go. We can’t tell you how grateful we all are that you, our contributors, our readers and our friends, believe that we could pull something like this off. Thank you so much!

    Now, if I could only find a date to our official release party….

    Going Classical With Guelph Music Club

    I was raised on some Classical Music, but not a lot, so this assignment for Guelph Music Club was a little tricky. I associate most of my favourite pieces with movies. It’s kind of surprising that Classical Music isn’t utilized more in modern cinema. Most movies have an original score, when, if they wanted to save a HUGE amount of money, they could use almost ANY piece of Classical Music they wanted, for little or no cost. Almost all “famous” pieces were composed or written before copyright laws. I’ve read a few books on the evolution of the music industry, Appetite For Self Destruction being my favourite, and it’s weird that we’ve pretty much come full circle. Pre-copyright musicians didn’t get royalties for their recordings either. That’s a whole book on another subject, RANT over, here’s  a couple of my favourites Classical pieces.

    Remember, remember…


    The only downfall of vinyl is the volume that you can play it at. You can get feedback through the needle or the bass can cause the record to skip itself. As a kid, it was an actual thing for my Dad and his buddies to try and find a turntable/amp/speaker/needle combo that wouldn’t skip when turning up your music. According to legend, in other words, what my Dad told me, certain recordings of 1812 featured ACTUAL CANON FIRE, guaranteed to skip any needle in THE WORLD. The song was also featured in the ending scene of V For Vendetta. I didn’t want to post it and ruin the end of the movie for anyone, so you can watch it here.

    What’s In The Box?!?


    Already posted as an honourable mentioned by שּׂreckedΔngle™, Bach’s Air on a G String became on of my favourite pieces of Classical Music after seeing Seven. It plays during the library scene, while Morgan Freeman does all the research and thinking. Sometimes when I’m reading or writing, listening to music with vocals can become distracting. I like Bach for those situations.

    Beware!!! Sadness Below


    I couldn’t remember if there was restriction on year our pieces had to be from for Guelph Music Club. To be honest, I might have skipped this whole assignment if not for Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber from 1936. I started this post back on Thursday at my day job. I searched out this song first, being one of my Top 20 songs of all time, and then had to put my laptop down and stop. I have to confess, I have no idea where this song takes me. I get a little choked up and my breathing gets heavy, every time I hear it. It’s intense sadness hits me in a way no other song does. Whoever had the idea to use it throughout Platoon is a genius.

    Now you probably need some cheering up. Crank this! It still sends shivers down my spine!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODh8_f9f_2s

    It Looks Like He’s Going To Make It!

    Picking a sports song or stadium anthem for Guelph Music Club could be a little tough for me. I go to stadiums and arenas for rock shows, not sporting events. I see Iron Maiden, Guns & Roses and Foo Fighters at the ACC, not the Leafs. I haven’t been to a Jays game since ’94. I’ve done rounds of Name That Tune only using songs from Jock Jams, usually around NHL and NBA playoffs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMQzfncqOQc

    I mean I’m sure they must use this song at ball games, it’s about baseball, right? At what age did I discover what this song is actually about? Who knows! This song came out the year I was born, the album is one of the best selling albums of all time, so I know I must have heard this song off and on MY WHOLE LIFE! But I was quite a late bloomer and better at Math than English, so I imagine the sports context in this song went right over my head until my teens. I still don’t know what all the bases represent. When I was younger holding hands would have been first base. Then in high school, kissing. Now that everybody can see pretty much anything and everything on the internet, have the Bases been changed? The comic below sums it up perfectly. I think more complicated game, like Football would be a better metaphor for sex, but at the same time, I don’t understand how Football works either.

    Base Meto

     

    Courage My Love, Mandroid Echostar – Show Review

    Recently GAIN Music hosted the Guelph stop of Courage My Loves’ Becoming Tour at Van Gogh’s Ear with Guelph band Mandroid Echostar joining them on several dates. They were joined by Uxbridge band Air Marshal Landing, performing in support of their new record, You Used To Be Me and Guelph band BoomEcho. In a rare occurrence, a band, all the bands in fact, were EARLY for their load-in times, with Courage My Love being the first to arrive. The night was all uphill from there!

    Guelph band BoomEcho started things off with an energetic set of their 90’s Alternative meets Pop. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing BoomEcho a few times now, they have a great loyal following that were paying attention from the get go. Having a funky, fun, dance-rock band opening for headliners being rooted in Metal and Punk could have been risky but BoomEcho played a great set to an audience that was willing to listen and won over some new fans.

    Guelph band BoomEcho start the night off.

    Next up were one of my new favourite bands, Air Marshal Landing. These guys impressed me back in April when they played at The A.N.A.F. and they were kind enough to send us their brand new album, You Used To Be Mea couple weeks before release. The album is getting rave reviews from everyone (check out their Facebook Page for more details) and they don’t disappoint live. Being only the second time Air Marshal Landing have visited Guelph, I feared their set may fall on deaf ears. They played a whole set of their brand new material piquing the crowd’s interest. Guelph is such a musically gifted city and it’s great that the out-of-towners are welcomed with as much enthusiasm as our own. Air Marshal Landing write and perform the type of songs you’ll move closer to the stage for.

    Air Marshal Landing prove themselves to a brand new audience.
    Air Marshal Landing prove themselves to a brand new audience.

    Mandroid Echostar are always happy to play in front of their hometown, and Guelph comes out in droves to cheer them on. By halfway through the first song of their set, almost everyone at Van Gogh’s Ear were collected right up against the stage. The boys have been in the studio recording their second EP as of late, but showed no signs of stage rust. Mandroid Echostar, the gentleman they are, asked permission to play a few of these new tracks, sending the crowd into a frenzied applause. The new songs are a departure from their debut EP but are just as good, maybe better. “Progressive” bands should make “progress” and it’s great to see Mandroid Echostar challenge themselves. The last song of the set saw everyone in the front row put their arms around each other while singing along. The audience was primed for PARTY MODE, and Courage My Love started setting up to take us even higher.

    Guelph's Mandroid Echostar bring out a loving crowd.
    Guelph’s Mandroid Echostar bring out a loving crowd.

    Considering Courage My Love hail from the KW area, it’s kind of shocking that this is only the second time they’ve played Guelph. They’ve been building a following in the GTA and the buzz surrounding the new album, Becoming, has been positive. Based on their youthful appearance, you might expect Courage My Love  to be just another pop/punk band, but they use the history of punk, metal and pop, take the best parts of each, and make them all fun to watch and listen to live.  Ultimately, Courage My Love blindsided me with their performance, playing their instruments faster and harder, nailing every solo and every vocal, all while bringing the crowd along with them for the ride. This is one band to watch and watch out for. Courage My Love don’t mess around and are already polishing a live show ready for thousands.. So, what did I learn? Never judge a band by their album cover.

    Courage My Love hit their notes, hard.
    Courage My Love hit their notes, hard.

    Courage My Love Online

    Website
    YouTube
    iTunes
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    Happy Canada Day!

    Happy Canada Day! I figured it would be festive to share a few of the Canadian bands I’m listening to right now. First up is East Coast band, The Stanfields. They played a Badlands Music/GAIN Music show in Guelph this past Saturday at Van Gogh’s Ear. Bryan at Underplayed & Underpaid will be playing some of The Stanfields songs on CFRU 93.3 at 6:05 today if you like what you hear.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ2q-1-vgfg
    Watch out for Ottawa band, The Balconies. It’s really easy to do because they’re all over social media. Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and they even have their own App. I’ve followed and enjoyed this band since they played Jimmy Jazz a couple years back. Please come back to Guelph soon.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxoo91od9kY
    A band that is recently exploded onto my radar is Air Marshal Landing. I can’t give these guys enough praise. They’re fun to listen to live or at home. If you like to dance around your house to Arctic Monkeys or Franz Ferdinand, check out Air Marshal Landing. They played Guelph twice pretty recently but if you missed them you should study up for next time.

    Speaking of dancing around, Soon This Will All Be Gone by catl is has been in my Top 10 played vinyl since I picked it up after seeing them live a while back. They’ve had some line-up changes and just toured through the deep south but catl is another band that needs to come back and visit Guelph soon.

    A band coming BACK to Guelph this week is Harlan Pepper. A little bit Country and Rock & Roll, from Guelph for a while, now in Hamilton, Harlan Pepper have written the best cottage song since Patio Lanterns. They’ll being playing the A.N.A.F on July 5th with a few other great bands. We’ve reviewed them previously, if you want to check it out!

    We are proudly Canadian here at Music Lives and I know I speak for all of us when I wish you all a safe, happy and fun Canada Day!

    Music Lives Goes Print Update 1

    This is a BIG THANK YOU to everyone that has already contributed or helped spread the word about our campaign to go to print.

    The last couple of weeks we have seen a lot of great live music in Guelph and we’ve been to almost every show. Attendance has been great! Summer usually means show attendance drops a little with a lot of people away on vacation or home for the summer, but this year attendance is steadily climbing each show. Working with the bands, from Guelph or abroad, local promoters and live music fans, there is a positive momentum in our scene I think everyone can feel building. For us specifically, we are already really excited with how things are going but we also feel that we’re just getting started.

    20130610195816-indiegogoBannerThe Music Lives Mix Perk is coming along great! We’ve already received a half dozen songs from Guelph musicians and have confirmed a half dozen more. Ambre McLean (she’s got some unreleased material!), Arkham Awaits, Bowjia, Breadfan, brand new Good For Naughts, Jordan Raycroft, Barrett’s Privates and more, have all graciously donated songs. With such a diverse talent pool of Guelph musicians getting on board we might have to make it a double disc!

    We couldn’t be happier with our campaign‘s progress so far and we are a little overwhelmed with gratitude. Thanks you so much for the support so far.

    Alex Ricci & The Still Nothing: Imprints Album Review

    Alex Ricci is a man of many bands and styles. He’s been an active part of the Guelph music scene, attending shows and playing in many bands, over the years.  Imprints is the first full length album by his newish band, Alex Ricci & The Still Nothing. It’s already available on their Bandcamp for digital download with the official Guelph CD release party happening June 20th, at The eBar.

    While listening through Imprints the first time, a few songs jumped out at me immediately, but I got lost in the middle somewhere so went back, plugged in my headphones and really listened.  Alex Ricci & The Still Nothing have started with great indie/pop/rock songwriting and didn’t let those fundamentals get away from them. Imprints is produced with a raw consistency that was lost somewhere in the late 80s or early 90s, before Bass Boost and modern sound compression. The warmth you feel from listening to Imprints is in the details. Yes, at first listen, you might confuse the record with any DIY album from someone with above average production or recording skills. What you should actually be listening for are the horns used on Mysterious Words,  Take The Pen and others. The want to jump in a car and take a road trip when the opening track, Moving On, starts. The way Living In the Past makes me smile for no reason at all.  You should be paying attention to the vocal harmonies and harmonica in the song End Of The World.

    I’m sure some of these songs have been rattling around for a while but I’m glad Alex Ricci & The Still Nothing recorded and released this album as quickly as they did. Imprints has it everywhere it needs it without anything sounding hurried OR over done. At a time where DIY bands with studios are too often left to their own devices, it’s great to hear that Alex Ricci & The Still Nothing know how to use them.

    Come see them perform live at GAIN Music presents Alex Ricci & the Still Nothing ‘Imprints’ CD Release.

    It’s Always All Just A Kiss Away

    I have one fond memory of Let It Bleed. I got it at Music In Orbit (I looked for a picture of the store front on the internet, but couldn’t find one) on vinyl for $8, because I was the only one to bid on it, during one of their weekly silent auctions. I also got the original pressing of Sticky Fingers, the one with the actually zipper on the cover, the same way. If you have the same version of Sticky Fingers take notice, the zipper will put a dent in the cover and the vinyl of the record next to it if there is enough weight on either side.

    Let It Bleed is a record I put on when I have the blues and want to stay that way. No stories of high school or discovering myself this week. Just straight up moodiness and good tunes. When people talk about the Rolling Stones, or Keith Richards, being blues based, they are talking about Let It Bleed.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ih4JcAaocs
    The album starts and ends with two of my Top 5 Rolling Stones songs, Gimme Shelter and You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Neither are classic “blues” but both songs are right up there with The Rolling Stones‘ greatest. Song two, side one is a Robert Johnson cover, followed by Country Honk, a stripped down version of Honky Tonk Women, played country-style, with a fiddle and such. The second side starts with an almost 7 minute version of Midnight Rambler, the harmonica and super-blues remix, and ends perfectly with YCAGWYW.

    Being 3/5th through the Guelph Music Club‘s first assignment, I’m not actually surprised that no one else has named any Stones record as a favourite. It’s okay. I’ve always been outnumbered when answering that important question.

    Air Marshal Landing: You Used Be Me – Album Review

    I had the pleasure of seeing Air Marshal Landing back in April at a GAIN Music event. I liked their live show, told them about Music Lives, and offered to help them any way I could in the future. A couple of weeks ago, Air Marshal Landing‘s You Used To Be Me arrived in my inbox. I’m really glad they took the time to send it in advance, as it usually takes me quite a few listens, to fairly review an album. I like to be able to absorb the album as a whole, to the point I know almost every song, well enough to sing along, in my head. This album was released today on iTunes and Bandcamp.

    You Used To Be Me starts of with a pair of banging, upbeat, dance rock, tunes, Move With You and Bourgeoisie. The production is crisp and clean. You’ll want to dance, until Nocturne starts. One of my favourite songs on the album, Nocturne draws your attention to the vocal talents of Air Marshal Landing, starting almost a cappella, building slowly in volume and intensity with, a military style, snare drum roll. Me And My Friends, Death By Calypso and Little Town get you back bouncing and remind me why I liked Air Marshal Landing when I saw them live. These guys have great energy. Jessie (West Coast) and Commander Edward Smith are tales of the sea with pirate themes throughout, and along with Heart, Head, Hands, show a depth and diversity in the song writing and story telling ability of Air Marshal Landing.

    Recorded on the West Coast last fall, You Used To Be Me is a great album. It has a professional sound throughout and a flow that keeps the listener interested. The songs aren’t cluttered or too busy, they sound like they are played by a power-trio, so they’ll transfer well to the stage. You Used To Be Me isn’t reinventing the wheel, what it does has been done before,  it’s just not usually done as well as Air Marshal Landing have done it here.

    See Air Marshal Landing live in Guelph, at GAIN Music hosts Courage My Love, Mandroid Echostar, Air Marshal Landing & Boom Echo at Van Gogh’s Ear to get a physical copy of You Used To Be Me.

     OR

    Get digital copies from either iTunes or Bandcamp.

    ENJOY LIFE!!!

    This HAS to be done at some point. But which album? Black Sabbath had five albums in three years that were better than most bands whole catalogue. Their self-titled debut has the creepiest intro you’ve ever heard, to this day. It also created the genre of Heavy Metal. It’s just not quite enough to make my Top 5 from 1963 – 1973. Master of Reality was the first record I bought when I decided to start collecting vinyl. Not in my Top 5. Metal got boring to me at the turn of the century. When a lot of bands coming out were trying to be either Pantera or Korn, I stayed in my high school years, listening to my favourite CDs, rather than seeking out anything new. One day while listening to one of my favourite albums, The Real Thing by Faith No More, I noticed one of the songs wasn’t written by them. War Pigs was one of the most epic songs (any Faith No More fans see what I did there?) I’d ever heard. I grew up sheltered and Baptist. But now that I knew I liked a Black Sabbath song, it was time to find more of their music. And I had some, right under my nose.

    How hard is it to check a box and throw something in the mail? I could never do it. That’s how lazy I was/am. I had Cracked Rear View, GordonUnder the Table and Dreaming all sent to me as the “Alternative Pick Of The Month”. The guy at Columbia House had no idea what “Alternative” music was to us in high school. So I had a rather large stack of CDs I’d never touched, I always assumed they sucked, which was my bad. One of the picks had been Nativity In Black: A Tribute To Black Sabbath. I played it. Loved it. Went down to the Beat Goes On, bought the sequel. This Pantera cover is amazing, and I just had to buy Sabbath‘s greatest hits, We Sold Our Souls For Rock N Roll.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gBg_EXBpKc
    I really start getting into Sabbath until I got into collecting vinyl. Here’s the list I have now:

    Not too shabby if I do say so myself! I’ve got most for between $4 and $10 at record shows over the last 6 years or so. You just have to know where to look.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avgMaWsJcRM
    So after all of this, I am choosing Paranoid as my second of five. The cover songs posted above are originally featured on the album, plus the title track and a little song called IRONMAN! There has been some controversy surrounding Paranoid that I want to help clear up.  The lyrics near the end of the song, are NOT, “I tell you to end your life. I wish I could but it’s too late.” I want you to actually think about the words for a second. IF those are in fact the lyrics, it means the narrator is singing from beyond the grave. A theme that wouldn’t be a stretch for Sabbath. The narrator can’t “end his life” because he’s already dead. That’s why, “it’s too late”. But we know he’s alive, “I need someone to show me the things in life that I can’t find,” he says so. The other line that, if thought about, support the “enjoy life” over “end your life” claim are, “Finished with my woman ’cause she couldn’t help me with my mind.” If our narrator is already dead, why is he worried about breaking up with his girlfriend?

    Guelph Music Club: First Week Wrap-Up

    Guelph Music Club had our first round of sharing this week. It’s not too late to join and it’s not just for Guelphites. Click the following links for more info on the assignment or the rules, Our first writing assignment, which ran for this, and runs for another 4 weeks, is Top 5 Albums from 1963 to 1973. So far, I’ve only been surprised by a few choices. But it’s only Week One! I’ll do this every week, but this week is important so you can follow us all on Twitter, and get a brief introduction. Here is how the first week shaped up.

    Tuesday

    220px-Ascension_albumMegan or @MMBRIS ‏started the assignment, making the first post of the week, choosing  John Coltrane , Ascension as one of her Top 5.  When Megan writes “I was 16 and decided to go grab a copy of the cd from my local HMV, having had to have it ordered in at that time. Read More… I actually had to stop reading to think about what I was getting ordered, to my local record store at, 16. Probably Pop Will Eat Itself albums, because I had heard Trent Reznor liked them.
    220px-Machine_Head_album_cover

    The same day, Pat AKA ‏@Type1DIABEETUS picks Deep Purple’s Machine Head as one of his albums. “My dad was the first person to play this album for me when I was a kid and it has stuck with me ever since. Read More… If you’ve read my post for this week you already know I also have a father with impeccable taste in music, even if mine turned his back on it for a while. And yes, there are more fatherly themes to come. Pat can also eat a cooking onion like an apple. I’ve seen him do it. It’s impressive.

    Wednesday

    220px-TheDoorsTheDoorsalbumcoverOur Metal/Punk contributor ‏@Chucky667 picked a record by a band that has been on every music lovers mind this week as keyboardist Ray Manzarek of The Doors passed away. This album isn’t in my Top 5, but I do know what ‏Chuck means when she says, “They were ahead of their time, and continue to stand apart from other bands, even to this day. Read More…” The Doors‘ sound was never duplicated, especially that keyboard/organ. You know a song by The Doors as soon as you hear it.

    Thursday

    NurseryCryme71Rob over at Sound In My Memory talks about one of his favourite bands, Genesis. I’m not surprised that ‏@soundinmymemory picked a prog band for his first entry. I’ve been reading his blog longer than I’ve had my own. What actually stood out to me was, “I regret that I allowed Genesis to be dismissed as a pop band for as long as I did. Read More…” Bands evolve over time and Genesis are a perfect example of that. I actually got into the band’s back catalogue because of a live DVD I’d seen, and was impressed by, during the Gabriel years. Otherwise, I also would have “Thought of Genesis as if they were just Phil Collins’ back-up band.”

    Friday

    220px-Pious_BirdThe end of the week scramble beings on Friday, first with ‏@kirstmck2 picking Fleetwood Mac – The Pious Bird of Good Omen. A lot of people forget that Fleetwood Mac were around long before  Rumours. They had a few different changes before settling with the “classic” Mick FleetwoodJohn McVieLindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks line-up. “Santana later popularized the album’s “black magic woman” and most listeners are none the wiser to its origin. Read more…” What?! My whole life has been a LIE! My favourite Santana song, is actually a Peter Green song! MIND = BLOWN! Thanks for crumbling my universe Kirstie.

    220px-The_Band_(album)_coverartI didn’t really get into The Band by The Band,  @MatCalverley‘s first pick, until I was in my late twenties. They had a hippie stigma attached to them, in my mind anyway, and I was metal. I had long hair and was called a hippie all the time. So after the long hair went, I was able to appreciate The Band. “It’s an album of sitting around, drinking bourbon, cold nights, and warm spirits. Read more… I agree with Mat‘s sentiment exactly, except I prefer a smokey Scotch to bourbon.

    David_Bowie_-_Hunky_DoryWho starts with David Bowie‏@MikeGamble that’s who!  Hunky Dory to boot. As some of you know, David Bowie is my favourite recording artist of all time. Mike pretty much sums up why when he says, “The catchiness and accessibility of every song, the guitar playing of Mick Ronson and just the overall “feel” of the album as a whole. You can really start to hear where Bowie was going to go in the future with his music. Read More…” Bowie did take a lot of chances with his music, some of it was good, and some was bad, but it was all fascinating on some level.

    Led_Zeppelin_-_I wrote some words too, picking Led Zeppelin’s IV as my first album for the assignment. I talk about being grounded, Lord of the Flies, tape trading and  more! Read it here.

    Saturday

    I guess I should be flattered that @Bejulip totally copied me! Just kidding. Her reasons for liking Led Zeppelin IV are completely different than mine. My favourite being, “It was an album so cool it didn’t even need a name. Led Zeppelin IV should totally beat Prince up for pretending he was the first one to think of it. Read more…

    220px-StoogesRawPower@whiskysodacider finished up the week one posts with her choice, Raw Power. An album I didn’t discover until late into my musical journey.  “Raw Power is exciting and hyper music that you can dance to. Read more…” You can dance to it, but I probably shouldn’t.

    Week two is already well underway, with about half of Guelph Music Club already having posts done. If you want to read those, check out #GuelphMusicClub on Twitter and follow this list!

    Waiting For The Angels Of Avalon

    I got grounded a lot as a teenager. My parents thought it was the only form of discipline that worked. You know, to teach me a lesson. I’m not so sure it was, but in hind sight, I’m starting to believe that’s where my love of music started. I’d lock myself in my bedroom with my Dad’s record collection, which was small compared to my collection now, but filled with amazing classics.

    Led Zeppelin’s IV (1971), Zoso, Symbols or whatever you want to call it, was one of the albums I discovered. This was probably after Grunge had run it’s course. I was a late bloomer in a lot of ways and music was one of my outlets to deal with that. Without being able to go to the record store after school, I had no new tapes to throw into my Sony Sports Walkman. My friends and I did trade tapes, but without me having anything new to trade with them, that was a resource that dried up pretty quickly. $1 for a tape was a lot of money back then, minimum wage was $5.65, so I couldn’t blame them. Really, digging through my Dad’s vinyl became a necessity.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqDLVR2I5QE
    I first heard Led Zeppelin‘s, Whole Lotta Love on a compilation record, which I turned it off as soon as the song had finished, to throw on Zoso. I’d been read Tolkien as a kid and my Dad told me that Led Zeppelin had a lot of songs about the books. So you would think I’d read them again right? Nope. Another thing that I started to do, while being grounded, was my homework. Album on repeat, reading Lord Of The Flies not The Rings. They suited each other perfectly, and I fell in love with reading too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHJH0ETi8D4
    I’m not doing my Top 5 Albums from 1963 to 1973 for #GuelphMusicClub in any kind of order, but this is one of those stars aligning, timing being everything, type of things. Sure, I like a couple of their albums more now, but had I not been grounded at a time when my my musical curiosity was at it’s peak, I may have never have discovered Led Zeppelin at all. Wrap your head around that for a minute.

    Guelph Music Club Homework Assignment #1 – Top 5 Albums from 1963 to 1973

    Our inaugural topic for #GuelphMusicClub! During a chat on Twitter last week, a pile of music fans, bloggers, Guelphites thought it would be fun to read/write their own opinions on a weekly set topic. For the rules and break down, read this.

    So The Bookshelf News mentioned a Top 5 list based on decade, with the first decade being 1963 to 1973. We were going to start with bands, but most of us agreed that albums would be easier, especially for our first run at this. I also believe it will be easier to do ONE ALBUM PER WEEK rather than all five at once. Justifying why you love an album could take up to 500 words. Multiply by five. 2500 words. That’s too many for most of us to write in a month, let alone a week. Plus, now you know what you’re writing about for the next 5 weeks. Which, with peoples summer schedule, will be easier to manage.

    2013-05-16_18-47-51So, if I’ve made any sense here, for the next five weeks we’ll be exploring each others favourite albums from 1963 to 1973. Again, check out The Rules of Guelph Music Club if you want to join, and remember to use the #GuelphMusicClub hash-tag when you make your post so the rest of us can find it.

    I got a list together on Twitter for making participants easier to find.

     

    Guelph Music Club

    Oh Twitter. Make one comment and next thing you know, #GuelphMusicClub is born.

    Tweet-1

    It started with The Bookshelf & Mike Gamble.

    Tweet-2 Tweet-3

    With the last reply I tried to open it up, just a little.


    And then the ball really started rolling…Tweet-6

    Tweet-5 Tweet-7 Tweet-8 Tweet-9
    Tweet-4Tweet-8.5There are a pile more screenshots, but you get the idea.


    So if a dozen of us, give or take, are gonna contribute to this, we will need some guidelines.

    Guelph Music Club Rules

    1st RULE: You do not talk about GUELPH MUSIC CLUB.

    2nd RULE: You DO talk about GUELPH MUSIC CLUB.

    3rd RULE: GUELPH MUSIC CLUB is FREE to all! Meaning we are allowed to re-post to blogs, Tumblr, Facebook etc. Rob Brown can re-post my favourites to Sound In My Memory, and MMBRIS can share Teresa Eh‘s favourites on Tumblr. If  The Bookshelf is selling one of our favourite albums in their music section, and want to use a quote from one of us in their monthly newsletter, Off The Shelf, they can. The catch here is that everyone has to give the author credit for their work. For example: If it’s originally posted by Rob, I’ll add a line at the top of the post including Sound In My Memory and his twitter handle. We could also only post segments of posts with the link to the original source like Alan Cross does. Agreed/Ideas?

    4th RULE: If you do NOT have an outlet for publishing, one will be provided for you. If you’re just a regular Joe or Josephine and need a place to publish your posts, there are a few of us on board already that could hook you up. Even if you send us an email with your post, I can create a profile for you, linking to your Twitter account, so you get the credit.

    5th RULE: If someone missed the deadline for their post, they are not removed from GUELPH MUSIC CLUB. It just means that they’ll have nothing contributed for that week’s theme. Summer is coming and I’m sure we all have different things going on. For example: If you don’t have time to post your favourite album from 1966. Cool. See you in 1967. Let’s try to keep this fun!

    6th RULE: Deadlines for GUELPH MUSIC CLUB start and stop at 12 AM each Sunday. Each week we’ll have a different goal. You can share your post whenever you like and others can share your post whenever they like, within that week. For example: I’ll try to feature at least one post a day on Music Lives, but never more than three a day.

    7th RULE:  #GuelphMusicClub is the hash-tag. Use it whenever you post a link in regards to the club, no matter what! I’m guessing we’ll all be using different Fan Pages, Blogs, etc. for our posts, but considering this started on Twitter, I know we all (so far) have one. Note: We’ll get a list together and I’ll do a quick introduction post to make sure everyone knows who to follow and which sites you might want to bookmark once we have a better idea of who is going to participate. 

    8th RULE: GUELPH MUSIC CLUB will go on as long as it has to. We’ll agree on different topics to discuss as we go. Also, posts may be as long, or short as the author sees fit. Note:I think we’re starting with Top 5 albums, by decade. I’m not sure which decade we are starting with. Should we do one album a week for the next five weeks and then pick a different topic or decade? Or Everyone do one post for ALL of their Top 5 of that decade at once? The later will be harder for people to stay dedicated to. 

    9th RULE: NEGATIVITY is THE ONLY WAY to get KICKED OUT of GUELPH MUSIC CLUB. This is supposed to be a open forum for music lovers. I’m fully aware that liking Meatloaf‘s, Bat Out Of Hell, is tacky. It’s one of the reasons I love it. And the album art is bad-ass! I just don’t need to be made fun of for it. Note: Anyone notice what I did there? 

    10th RULE: If this is your first night at GUELPH MUSIC CLUB, you HAVE to write.


    We’ll get feedback from everyone that wants to be involved over the next few days and try to have everything set up to go by Sunday. If you think The Rules for GUELPH MUSIC CLUB need amending, or if I missed something, let me know. I’ll make a separate post for them too, once everyone has weighed in.

    Just keep using the hash tag #GuelphMusicClub so I see everything. You can also comment on this post below, email or comment on the Facebook post

    Now off to see some Live Music!

    Mokomokai Are On My Radar

    Mokomokai is a band that I would have loved when I was thirteen. I would have had posters on my wall, T-Shirts, all of their cassettes. I would have followed them into my twenties, with the extra income I would have as an adult, I would have seen them live on all their Greatest Hits tours. Maybe Mokomokai are time travelers. As it turns out, they’re an up and coming band and I got to see them last Sunday at GAIN Presents (U) the Band, Mokomokai, Jeremy & the Pink Band and Waterbodies. A great all around line-up, down at the A.N.A.F. Club 344.

    What I noticed about Mokomokai right away, before I even entered the A.N.A.F., is that their singer John Ellis had the old-school Metal style. Tight jeans (not in the hipster kind of way), bullet belts (in the LMG kind of way), loosely tied high-tops (the FUBAR kind of way) and long hair (in the hair I used to have kind of way). John was a good twenty feet ahead of me while I struggled to get up to the venue door with my crutch (yeah, still on one crutch some of the time) and he held the door and waited for me to get in. Mokomokai people, are a courteous people. Then they hit the stage and became so much more than that.

    Mokomokai singer John has a angelic voice made of steel!
    Mokomokai singer John has a angelic voice made of steel!

    Have you ever been to a show where the audience high-fives each other as soon as a band starts playing? Because that’s what happened! As soon as the power-trio from Peterborough were grooving on the first song of their set, and John let out his first Rob Halford-esque wail, members of the whole audience looked at one another with giant grins and nodded. Mokomokai‘s whole sound is a throw back to the Classic Metal I grew up on, before the lace, lipstick and perms took over. They’ve compensated for the extra guitar players (a lot of NWOBHM bands have three) with speed and power. Simply put, Mokomokai play as loud and as fast as their bodies will allow. Drummer J.P. Contois nails a Led Zeppelin song. Who can say that?! Jeremy Pastic jumps around and makes the most insane faces while laying down a bass groove that kept the smiles on our faces through Mokomokai‘s whole set.

    Mokomokai---Metal-Faces
    Mokomokai: Rock so hard it turns to METAL!

    On stage, Mokomokai are aggressive, without being negative. Fun to watch, without being gimmicky. Different than anything new in The Metal you’ve heard in a while, without ignoring the fundamentals in The Metal‘s history. But mostly I’m a fan of Mokomokai because they ROCK SO HARD!

    See Mokomokai with Dance Laury Dance, Hellbros! and Little Foot Long Foot at Hard Luck Bar, Toronto, Thursday, May 16.

    See Mokomokai with Dance Laury Dance, Hellbros! and Little Foot Long Foot at The Atria, Oshawa, Friday, May 17.

    OR AS…

    Part of Pouzzafest at Pub St-Ciboire, Montreal, Canada.

    Grab their EP, Justice And Chrome, from their Bandcamp page.

    Hoodie Good – Show Review

    Hoodie Good is a name I recognize from posting shows in Guelph for almost two years but, up until Saturday, hadn’t had the opportunity to see live. Based on what I’d read, I expected a solo singer/song writer. I walked into The Cornerstone for week two of Hoodie Good’s May residency (brought to you by Fortnight Music) guessing they’d have their regular set up, guitar, amp, microphone. I was wrong. Drum kit, a table with some electronics, guitar, were all set up. Each musician’s spot was also set up with a vocal mic. Now I’m expecting at least a 3-piece. I grab a seat to the side of the stage, as The Cornerstone was very busy with Hoodie Good fans, and waited for the band to take the stage.

    Hoodie Good utilizes all of the gear on stage seamlessly. A modern take on the One-Man-Band.
    Hoodie Good utilizes all of the gear on stage seamlessly. A modern take on the One-Man-Band.

    A member of the band starts what I think is sound check and slowly the crowd starts to quiet down. What I didn’t realize, was that this IS the BAND. Hoodie Good gets on the drum kit and starts playing a beat, nothing fancy or complicated, just something to get the show going. As he stands up from the drum kit, I understand what some of the gear is to the side of the stage. The beat he was just playing continues in a loop. He stops at the table with the electronics and starts singing. Layering some subtle vocals over the drum beat. Finally, Hoodie Good moves to the front of the stage, straps on the guitar, and starts playing away and singing. One man, four instruments in a matter of minutes. I’m impressed.

    PWYC $5 or more and get a copy of Strange August. Do it!
    PWYC $5 or more and get a copy of Strange August. Do it! It’s great!

    As his performance continues I notice how efficiently Hoodie Good uses each station set up on the stage to add layers and loops of vocals and percussion to create a sound, that if you had your eyes closed, you’d swear a four or five piece band were making. Most of the songs performed have a firm foothold in Pop. Great hooks, sing along choruses, upbeat and heartfelt. If Hoodie Good weren’t so multi-talented, he’d need a full band to do his songs justice. Hoodie Good takes the if you want something done right, do it yourself attitude to a place where it’s perfectly executed, fun to watch, AND listen.

    Don’t miss Hoodie Good‘s last two nights of residency at The Cornerstone, Saturday, May 18th and/or Saturday, May 25th. Each has a different opening performer.

     

    Album Review: Cursed Arrows – Sonic Union

    I accidentally bought Sonic Union by Cursed Arrows. I use the word “accidentally” to explain things I did not intend to do, but ultimately did. Usually this is for a few reasons, but most times, it’s just plain laziness. “I accidentally slept in, because I didn’t set an alarm”, “I accidentally spent my whole paycheck at the merch table, but it cost the same as doing laundry”, “I accidentally got drunk because the bartender asked me if I wanted another drink”. I had intended to review Cursed Arrows‘ previous album, The Madness Of Crowds, and jumped on their Facebook Page to see if any lyrics were posted (upon further investigation, the lyrics are printed on a separate piece of paper, with the CD). I was surprised to find out that they had released something brand new, and off to Cursed Arrows’ Bandcamp I went. So, “I accidentally bought Sonic Union, but I had the money in my Paypal account”.

    Liner notes WITH lyrics. YES!
    Liner notes WITH lyrics. YES!

    It seams a lot of bands lately have tried to, or accidentally, become a sub-genre, of a sub-genre, of a sub-genre. Shedding the label of ROCK (We’ll just blame Nickelback for that). Before I go too far into what is a complete separate post, Sonic Union is just a great, naked (I’m putting theses parenthesis here to stop myself from creating the sub-genre Naked-Rock), ROCK album. Cursed Arrows deliver stories of warning, love, corruption and loss, among other things, over eleven tracks (45:28). Each track features a new character, telling a different story, from a different place. The liner notes with the download have a high resolution. I was able to read along with the record, something I’ve always enjoyed doing. I feel it keeps you attached to the music rather than being distracted by the rest of the world. Plus, I believe the sleeves, cases, liner notes, whatever you want to call them, are a visual extension of the album. So thanks for that Cursed Arrows.

     

    If you think the lyrics are good, trying listening to them to music!
    If you think the lyrics are good, trying listening to them to music!

    Sonic Union is heavy in blues. Heavy in noise and feedback and tone. Heavy in emotion. Heavy in soul. Not the Motown kind of soul. The, it’s from a special place, kind of soul. There are hints of Rock & Roll, Punk, Alternative, Grunge and Pop, but the album never commits to any of them. Sonic Union just dances around the fringes of said genres, staying true at the core, and commits to being a great Rock record. Cursed Arrows have created their most diverse offering to date with the marriage of so many styles. The name Sonic Union fits the album perfectly. Sonic Union and Cursed Arrows have me wishing all of my accidents could be this amazing.

    Adverteyes – Cultures Review

    Last week, Guelph band Adverteyes released their sophomore LP, Cultures, to their Bandcamp profile. After a cassette release in January and debuting some of their new material at last month’s GAIN Music Festival, a lot of people, including myself, have been eagerly awaiting this release.

    On my first listen, I noticed that Cultures doesn’t play through like I would normally want an album to. I usually prefer forty-five minutes (22 minutes on vinyl) of continuous music (like  most Pink Floyd or Nine Inch Nails albums), with the songs ordered in a way that takes you up and down. What I did find, and now ultimately like, about Cultures, is that it listens like a play or book, in three chapters. It’s almost like there is an introduction, conflict and conclusion, not just from the beginning to end of the record, but in each of the three chapters as well. Cultures, Adverteyes, is telling you a story, so I used my imagination, and just listened.

    This is the part of the review where I would usually break down a few of the key tracks, talk about production (which is great), point out the album’s strengths and weaknesses and boil it all down to a verdict on whether or not to buy the record. I can’t do that with Cultures. Every song is an important part of the story. The first track, Romancing The Stone, is like meeting your tour guide. The song introduces itself, the album, and the band. “Hello. We’re Adverteyes. We will be taking you on a forty-five (46:19) minute journey. Please, lean back, get comfortable, and close your eyes.” So, I followed my tour guide’s instructions. With a little imagination and a willingness to go, I went away with Adverteyes.

    These are the first words that popped into my head as my journey progressed as Cultures played through:

    Outer space, magic carpet ride, belly-dancing-gypsy pub, Marilyn Manson voice, excited, scared, Willy Wonka tunnel, happy & carefree, love, ghosts, an old church, longing, slowly watching a candle melt into a puddle of wax, dancing, struggle, victory, relaxation, anxiety, relief, exhale

     There are so many layers to Cultures that trying to describe the album with a few adjectives about the sound, influence, emotion, location or mood, would be unfair. I felt taken away, via many different forms of transportation, to different locations, and felt different emotions with each arrival. I haven’t had this type of experience from an album in seven years, let alone by a Guelph artist. If you like adventure and imagination in your music, Cultures by Adverteyes is for you.

    Don’t miss Adverteyes’ homecoming and official Guelph album release party this Friday!

    Bill Killionaire – Loose Noon EP Review

    Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Guelph band Bill Killionaire play several times, at several different venues. Over the last while, they’ve gone from a four or five piece band, down to two, and back up to a four piece. Singer and chief songwriter Scott Haynes and drummer Nathan Campagnaro were the whole band, for at least one show I remember. Alex Ricci (Pure Joy, Texting MacKenzie) and Dan Loughrin (Bare Claws) have come in on Bass and Lead Guitar, respectfully, to fill out the roster. The four piece spent some time recording the band’s debut EP, Loose Noon, in 2012, and released it at an event in January 2013.

    Right away the opening track, Healthy Chunk, grabs you with it’s upbeat tempo. The vocals are down in the mix, meaning on the same level as the instruments. Really listen though, lyric wise, it’s a very clever song. Rather than using multiple instrument tracking and overdubs, (they could be there, but done subtly) the band uses some great vocal layering to add texture to the song. This, paired with a great guitar solo at around the 2 minute mark, make Healthy Chunk the type of song that is catchy enough to get stuck in your head (it’s been stuck in mine every morning this week), and a great opening track.

    Bill Killionaire Album Release Show
    Bill Killionaire Album Release Show

    Yours & Mine is a great, straight forward, pop song and is what a second track on any album or EP should be. It is less frantic than Healthy Chunk and at no point is there any conflict or competition in Yours & Mine.  This whole song just meshes together perfectly.  It’s good, old-fashioned, songwriting. Yours & Mine just goes to show how talented Bill Killionaire are, they’ve created a song with perfect balance that almost EVERYBODY could like.

    IMAG3823The BIG song on this EP is River Rat. It’s not big as in long, or the best, but big, as in dynamic. The song starts loud and noisy, settles into a groove, gets loud again, then quiets right down, to an almost A Capella chorus. The loud/quiet dynamic really brings out the talents of all four members of the band and also makes all of the parts of the song stand out on their own.

    Dan "Shoeless" Loughrin
    Dan “Shoeless” Loughrin

    Loose Noon ends with The Windshield And The Frost. The final song of a record can be a make or break deal. There is nothing worse, to me, than an album finishing abruptly, like it’s unfinished. The Windshield And The Frost is a perfect closer. There is a certain sadness or better, desperation, behind it. When the song, and EP, is over, I’m still thinking about it. Sitting in silence. Completely satisfied.

    You can stream or buy Loose Noon from Bill Killionaire on their Bandcamp page or this weekend at Kazoo! presents Legato Vipers, The Highest Order, The Skeletones Four, and Bill Killionaire.

    Cobain’s Birthday. Does it matter?

    Wow! It’s been some time since I’ve made a post personally, but something caught my eye on Facebook today that I just couldn’t shake. It is, in fact, the day of Kurt Cobain‘s birth. Now, I know, I’m treading on some seriously sensitive subject matter here. There are those that love him, and those that don’t get what the big deal is about Nirvana. I am the former. But to put things in perspective, I started high school September 3rd, 1991. Twenty-one days before Nevermind was released. That album changed our whole musical landscape. Smells Like Teen Spirit was already in heavy rotation and was actually supposed to be the lead up to Come As You Are, which was supposed to be the hit. My peers and I latched on to it, and the rest is history. Up to that point my favourite song was the collaboration between Public Enemy and Anthrax doing Bring the Noise, and my favourite album was Appetite For Destruction by Guns & Roses (you’d have to pay me a pretty penny, like millions, to never listen to that album, start to finish, again. I have it on vinyl, original pressing, no big deal). I can’t believe how hard it would have been to find Sonic Youth tapes pre-Nevermind.

    So here is our conversation copy & paste style. You should all check out Dallas’ Blog and follow him on Twitter. It doesn’t really matter if you agree with either of our points. Opinions and arguments about music are what makes some of us tick. Dallas has spent the entirety of our friendship working with youth, the mentally unwell and volunteering for St. John’s Ambulance. Dallas cares about people and about Guelph. However, he is, in fact, a Flyers fan. Nobody’s perfect.

    Nirvana 1

    And my rant continues….

    Nirvana 2

    And then I said…

    Nirvana 3

     

    I was in the worst news ever category….Here is the full article.

    For the most part though, I feel Nirvana and Kurt Cobain‘s suicide is still fresh in a lot of ACTUAL music lovers minds. I think the band’s legacy will be either diminished or become greater over time. Jimi Hendrix changed things and influenced many a guitarist to be loud and distorted. He influenced the Heavy Metal sound for sure. John Bohnam changed drumming. Janis Joplin changed our impression of what a female vocalist should sound like (listen to Joss Stone for example). Elvis, I’ll love him until the day I die, never wrote a song, but was a great performer. I wonder though, were any of them white noise in their time? What did Jim Morrison actually change in the genre of what is now known as Classic Rock? All of these artists have been gone for 30 years or more, but they are revered as having this profound importance in music history. I think only some of them deserve it.

    This list can continue with people we’ve lost over the last 20 years. What about Shannon Hoon, he had something to do with the song No Rain? No one talks about Layne Staley, of Alice In Chains, and his legacy. What about Cliff Burton, know his name? The singer from Drowning Pool. The drummer from Avenged Sevenfold….

    What’s great about music is that it affects us all differently, and all rock heroes are our own. If you attach yourself to a song or album or band, that relationship is important to you, and you alone. It means something in a certain time and place. No one can take that memory or feeling away from you. Rock Stars do dumb things. Overdose, suicide, drown, die in plane, car or bus crashes….Let’s be honest though, some of these things have happened to someone you love. Someone you actually knew. That you talked to. That mattered to you on a personal level. We only actually love the musician and music that are presented to us through whatever means they, or their “people” deem appropriate.

    I’ll always be glad that Nirvana‘s Nevermind came out when I was 14 years old, no matter what anybody says.

     

    LP Review: Bowjia (Self-titled)

    Electro, Dance, EBM, House. Guelph band Bowjia is all, and none, of these things. What they are is part of all of these genres, with added influences, and all mixed together. Bowjia have created a sound a little similar to a lot of things you’ve heard before, without duplicating it exactly, which makes their genre almost impossible to nail down. This gives the listener a curiosity about every song on this album. You wonder what genre or boundary Bowjia will incorporate or deconstruct next.

    I was grabbed immediately by the opening track, Should’ve Been My Lover ft. Emma Aurelia. It fades in quickly and doesn’t make you wait for the momentum to build. The detail to production, for the whole LP, is great. Each song sounds as big or busy as it can, without being cluttered. Something I imagine could be very hard to do these days, when adding an extra synth track is as easy as clicking a mouse.

    If you have any sense of imagination or adventure you’ll love this album. I’m not quite sure if this will make sense, but it is a very visual album. To explain, I found myself closing my eyes during Bloomoon. There are so many subtle textures to the song that I found myself imagining stars in the sky. The type of sky you can only see up North in the middle of no where. The stars were twinkling in and out, in time to the music. The next song, Swagger Scale ft. Old Pal Brentskiis, goes the complete opposite direction. It has one of the dirtiest, crunchiest, sounds I’ve ever heard. It’s the kind of song that made me feel a slight panic, escalating my heart rate and making me a little nervous. Fresh Prints follows that and is a quieter, slower song, allowing you to calm down and reset your imagination before the bass pumping, dance song, OFY.

    Bowjia have made an album makes you curious about how the next song will differ from the last, without upsetting the overall feeling or style of the album as a whole. Every song is in it’s right place and has context to the songs before and after, giving you forty minutes of continuous music you won’t even think about turning off.

    There are different ways to enjoy this album; Turn it up, turn off the lights and close your eyes OR go to a club, they’ll turn it up, and you’ll dance the night away OR get in your car, turn it up, and hit the highway OR…You get the idea.

    Bowjia have given birth to something deep and textured, start to finish. Listen to this album anyway you can.

     

    Catch Bowjia LIVE!!! tomorrow night, October 6th, as they open for USA!USA!USA! Click here for more info!

    Your Neck Of The Woods Farewell Show

    I’ve been a fan of Your Neck Of The Woods since the first time I got to see them play live. I’m not exactly sure when that was. I’m not sure if I was at their first show, or if I’d just randomly come across them at one of Guelph‘s many venues for live music. All I do remember is the energy they brought to the stage and how it, somehow infected, everyone else in the room. I will talk about it a little, but now that I have great new phone (HTC One S, I love you!) I can show you as well.

    As you can see. The place was packed. Actually Van Gogh’s Ear stood at capacity for the entirety of Your Neck Of The Woods set, which ran almost an hour and a half. I’m sure they played every song they recorded, wrote, and songs they added into a medley at the end of their set (See video two below). Everything about the night was exceptional.  There were no drunk girls crying over their boyfriends. They were all dancing. There were no guys being macho and fighting, although, the front row of male fans did get topless near the end of the set. Everyone was just having the time of their life. I mean, body surfing, at Van Gogh’s Ear, at a country show. Really?!

    There was no real highlight to the evening. The whole show was the highlight, with Your Neck Of The Woods bringing up friends as backing vocalists for the last song they’d ever play together as a band. It’s very safe to say that Your Neck Of The Woods went out with a bang and will be one of Guelph‘s most missed bands.

    Visit our Facebook page for a Gallery of photos from the event with lots of crowd shots. If you were there, tag yourself and your friends!

    I’m glad to report that Ben Doerksen, their six foot plus lead singer, has formed a new band and will be playing Jimmy Jazz August 11th. Check out our event page!

     

    Welcome to V2.0!

    Welcome to V2.0 of Music Lives! It’s been almost 16 months (but who’s counting) since this project was started and a lot has changed. What hasn’t changed is the musical talent that comes from and through Guelph on a weekly basis.

    When we started talking about a site refresh we looked at all of our data for the first year to see what people were using. Then decided to put it almost everything right on the home page. We looked at what was the most time consuming part of maintaining the site, so Kelly at Oaktree Media built a custom calendar for the events page. If it takes us less time to list each event, we can post more events. That was our logic anyway. Getting our traffic up, was also a crucial component of the redesign. You might notice every event is it’s own page now, it also stays on the site so you can look up the Bands you might have seen on the weekend. We also added a Bands section, allowing us to link within Music Lives. These few things will cut down on time for us, but add a lot of things Google looks for when you search for something. Also, in the Bands and Events section you’ll find forms to be filled out. We get invited to a lot of Guelph‘s music events through Facebook but some still slip through the cracks. If you’re throwing a show you want up on the site, or you’re a local band that wants that extra bit of exposure, fill those forms out!

    Something else to look at is in the bottom left corner of the Home page. We are starting a weekly newsletter! Sign up and get the low down on the week’s upcoming events, updates from our blog and a quick note or two on how the shows over the weekend went. We always try to keep you as up to date as we are. This will help remind you to check out our site at least a few times a week.

    As for the blog, it will be growing as well. We’ve got a short list of people willing to lend their talents to help keep the blog busier than ever. You’ll still have Teresa supplying you with Music Monday. Teresa is great at exposing fantastic, under-the-radar, bands. A few of us will be tackling more show and album reviews, along with some amateur and professional photographers that could lend us their lens for future posts.

    We’ve got amazing support from Guelph‘s music community, performers and fans alike, and for that we couldn’t be more grateful. Thanks Guelph! We hope everyone enjoys the changes to the site, and we’re sure you can still easily find the information about Guelph‘s live music scene. With all of these additions to the site we can’t help but be excited about everything to come. Now, to fill the brand new events calendar…

    519 Punk Reunion Details

    I was going to write something up for this but THE Alan Cross beat me to it in his post. Well, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then one day I hope to be the Alan Cross of the 519. You may have heard a few rumours about a BIG, PUNK, FUNDRAISING (Guelph Food Bank) event happening this summer at Riverside Park. Those aren’t rumours. This show is happening tomorrow, July 14th!

    Get your tickets at:
    THE WARD SKATE PARK – 199 Victoria Rd South – Guelph ON
    THE ANAF CLUB – 32 Gordon St – Guelph ON
    STIGMATA TATTOO STONE RD – 304 Stone Road W. Unit 10 – Guelph ON
    STIGMATA TATTOO DOWNTOWN – 34 Carden Street – Guelph ON

    Here is every piece of info I can find in one place. If one thing Music Lives has become over the last year it’s a hub for all of Guelph‘s music scene and this event deserves some attention.  I regret not getting this up sooner, but I had to do what I had to do. Here we go…

    Event and Organizers Contact
    Main Facebook Event
    Twitter – @519Punk, @jhare1212, @reverendmatty

    RAWG! GWAR Unmasked!

    Website, Wikipedia, Myspace, Facebook, YouTube.

    Teenage Head

    Official WebsiteMyspaceFacebook, Youtube

    The Asexuals
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkb8JYROblo
    MyspaceFacebook

    Take Drugs

    Bandcamp, Facebook.

    The Nasties

    TwitterFacebookReverb Nation

    ACME

    Bigfoot

    CBCFacebookReverb Nation

    King & Academy

    WebsiteFacebookTwitter

    Nate Coles

    MyspaceCBC

    There you go folks! Hope to see all of you out tomorrow. Bring your lawn chairs and come on down for some punk music and to support a great cause.

    Catl Live Review

    I had the chance to see Catl and Jimmy Jazz, Guelph, on June 2nd, and am I ever glad I did. Their Bandcamp page describes them as “…a dirty, stripped down, juke-joint blues band that likes to drink, fight, and grind.” but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this trio from Toronto. Here’s a studio/official sample, which is still great, but doesn’t quite paint the whole picture of what this band does, and does well.

    Catl is driven by the consistent pounding of Andrew Moszynski on drums that are loose sounding in style but driving in perfect rhythm. It’s almost as if the drums are being played in the bottom of a deep canyon, echoing all the way to your ears. The other members of the band, the guitarist, named catl (according their CBC Music page) and organ/percussionist Sarah Kirkpatrick share not only vocals but also engage the crowd in a way most bands can’t. Vocally they share their parts, either working together in harmony or trading off lyrics in what can only be described as a beautifully controlled wail. Catl, the guitarist, not the band, gets right into the deep groove of the drums, rocking in his chair so hard he almost falls out of it, only stopping to look at the audience when he has a lyric or slide guitar part he really wants you to pay attention to. His guitar sound is muddy and deep which adds an integrity to their Delta/Dirty/Dancing Blues style. There is no Bass player in the band but the sound of the Organ, Maracas, Tambourine playing Kirkpatrick, with her well timed audience engagement, doesn’t give you a chance to miss it. At times her stage personality is as big as her hair, or her heels, joining the crowd on the dance floor whenever she has a chance to.

    I like my blues when they’re a little loose or underproduced and I want to feel attached somehow. Catl‘s live sound makes me believe, that deep down, they really do have the blues, and so do I. I’ve just never had as much fun realizing it before. Don’t miss them if they come to a local watering hole near you.

    Catl are touring all throughout southern Ontario July & August 2012.

    Find Catl Online
    Facebook
    Youtube
    Twitter
    Bandcamp
    CBC

    Show Review: My Son The Hurricane

    What happens when you cross R&B, a Marching Band, a little Ska and a pile of Hip-hop? St. Catherines’ My Son The Hurricane happens. Thanks to Fortnight Music I was able to see this great band live, for the second time at eBar, Guelph, May 10th, 2012.

    Some of you might be familiar with MSTH from Hillside 2010. I first saw them open for U.S.S. last summer courtesy of GAIN Music. They were slightly (members of U.S.S. were body surfing two songs in) upstaged by the headliner so I couldn’t give them a fair revue then. Now I can say that MSTH are anything but just fair. In fact, I think that FANTASTIC should be the only “F” word associated with the act. I know how hard it is for most bands, being three to five pieces, to co-ordinate themselves in the process of writing music, recording it and performing it live. I can’t fathom what MSTH must go through, playing with a ten to a staggering fourteen person line up, on any given night. Your standard rock band instruments are there. Bass, Drums, Guitar, but add to that, extra percussion, Trombone, Sax(es), Trumpet(s), Tuba and not a singer, but an MC. Maybe I confused you. I was confused the first time someone tried to explain to me what MSTH were like. Are they Hip Hop? Not really. Are they R&B, Soul or Motown? A little. Here’s a taste of what My Son The Hurricane do so well. CAUTION: INDUCES DANCING!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK2_wi-lqAA&feature=plcp
    I usually try to pick a highlight of the night or favourite part of a performance but in this case it’s biased. From start to finish My Son The Hurricane were high energy, great sounding and most of all fun. During their performance the whole band engages the audience, with  Jacob Bergsma, the MC, sharing the spotlight with whichever horn or stringed instrument is being showcased during any given song. The crowd, which should have been sold out for a band of the calibre, started dancing within the first song and didn’t stop until the show was over. Even the rhythmically challenged in the back were tapping their toes and bobbing their heads in perfect time. As I said however, my highlight is biased. About halfway through the set they dropped a cover of Metallica‘s “For Whom The Bell Tolls”. One of my favourite Metal songs. Most the crowd didn’t know this.

    My Son The Hurricane have a sound that is full, fun and most importantly original. Their subtle fusion of so many styles and their engaging and in-your-face live show should have you coming back every time they play in your area. Just remember your dancing shoes.

    Connect with My Son The Hurricane
    Website
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Youtube
    Myspace
    CBC Radio

    EP Review: Mandroid Echostar

    Almost two years in the making, Guelph band Mandroid Echostar‘s first EP was released on their Bandcamp page for free download (I highly recommend donation, though) on April 22, 2012. I was lucky enough to get an advanced CD copy of this 4 track EP and have listened to it almost constantly since.

    Right out of the gates, Kingdom And The Crown, starts quickly and surprises the listener. Maybe not every listener, but me anyway. The song, and whole EP actually, is clean and uncluttered sounding. Nothing seems mixed down too low or up too high. Every instrument is clearly heard and balanced, including the vocals. This gives the EP a fresh dynamic, or at least one you haven’t heard in a while. Instead of everything being drenched in distortion and overdubbed to make the music stand out or “Heavy”, Mandroid Echostar have taken a different approach, using riffs, balanced production and a vocalist that actually sings rather than whines. Kingdom And The Crown grabs you with it’s uptempo riff right away and within a minute thirty, of the 5 minute opening track, you’re already treated to a really understated, but perfectly situated guitar solo. If that’s not your kind of thing it’s okay, you get a blistering fast solo about half way through Kingdom And The Crown.

    Were Mandroid Echostar bold enough to launch with a concept EP? Lyrically you start to notice certain themes woven throughout. Lost Luminaries gives you a completely different flavour musically. Tempo/tone changes, almost choir-like vocal backing at some parts, that growl that only, guest vocalist Adam DL Lambert of Farewell To Freeway, can deliver, and bongo drums(?). You might be able to hear The Precursor on any rock radio station. It’s hook is simple and catchy but also has all the elements of a great rock song. It makes you a little sad or thoughtful about two minutes in, but turns those emotions into hope or determination, with a guitar solo and a sing-a-long, chant-like, fade out, lead by singer Michael Ciccia. And then there is HEXATON!

    The intro to Hexaton is like a guitar telling you the saddest story it knows, but you lack the empathy to understand why the story is sad. So the guitar, bass and drums build into desperate frustration to explain, getting faster and more intense. You still don’t understand. The vocals come in, calming everyone else down, to try to mediate the situation, but to no avail. Now all the members of Mandroid Echostar are working together in a passionate frenzy in hopes that you may have the emotion within you to understand WHY the intro guitar’s story was so sad. And then it happens. Mandroid Echostar slap your ears across the face (yep, Adam DL Lambert again). And then it’s over. It’s silent and you suddenly realize how sad the story was but it’s too late.

    Is that kind of story telling is too dramatic for you? Then you might not be ready for Mandroid Echostar. With dynamic musicianship, production and song writing that is refreshing  this EP was worth the wait. Mandroid Echostar use their imagination to take you on an adventure that you won’t regret.

    See Mandroid Echostar live in Brantford, May 11, and Guelph, May 30th, 2012.

    Download Mandroid Echostar for free on their Bandcamp.

    Mandroid Echostar

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    Album Review: Alberta Burning

    I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing Your Neck Of The Woods live about a half dozen times over the past couple of years, so to be asked (I was going to do it anyway) to review their first full length album, Alberta Burning, for them is great for both of us. The album was released at the band’s favourite watering hole, Jimmy Jazz, at a sold out event on March 30, 2012.

    Alberta Burning opens with Prairie Ontario. A song that you would almost expect to hear on any one of Canada’s great East Coast bands albums but the lyrics switched around to celebrate their home province. As a song, Prairie Ontario has all the foot stomping energy that YNOTW bring to all of their live shows. Some might say that Alberta Burning as a whole sounds slightly under produced. I would disagree. In a day and age where everything could be perfectly mastered digitally, it’s nice to hear an album that sounds professional, without sounding mechanical, matching their brand of alt-Country perfectly. Dare I say the production imperfections make it sound better, adding a great human sounding element. I want this album on vinyl (hint, hint), all it’s missing is the odd crackle or hiss from an old turntable.

    Speaking of which, I love an album that you can listen to start to finish. This is one of those albums. At just over 41 minutes long Alberta Burning is the perfect length. The album starts off fun and upbeat gradually slowing right down in the middle with the heartfelt ballad Wintry Heart. The next song, Cabin In The Woods, almost had me thinking it was another ballad but gets counted in at the 45 second mark to be a great transition into on of my favourite tracks on the album which sets up the largest sounding song on the album, Liar. If you’re a band reading this, and are putting out a full length LP, remember, song order is important. Although some songs aren’t as strong as others on Alberta Burning, every song is an important piece of the experience, taking you up and down in waves of tempo, fun, intensity and vulnerability.

    Alberta Burning, and YNOTW for that matter, have something to offer any listener. Clever lyric writing, songwriting maturity, a well balanced album, vocal harmonies to rival Fleetwood Mac and a fun and energetic live show. With all this going for them I look forward to more great things from Your Neck Of The Woods.

    Key tracks: Sleepwalking, Alberta Burning, Cabin In The Woods, Liar

    Your Neck Of The Woods – Playing Van Gogh’s Ear, Guelph, June 23rd.

    Booking – YourNeckOfTheWoods@Live.ca

    Buy Alberta Burning – hard copy CD Universe, download iTunesemusic.

    Website
    Bandcamp
    Reverb Nation
    Twitter
    Facebook
    CBC Music
    In the Kitchener Record

    My Life: Autobiographical Vol.5

    OH WOW! 35 was a couple of weeks ago and I honestly thought I had posted this already. If you need to read My Life: Autobiographical Vol.1,  Vol.2 , Vol.3 & Vol.4, DO IT! Also our YouTube channel has a playlist of all the songs in the series so far, plus the ones included in this post. Skip to video 20 if you’ve already listened to the previous tunes from the series. WARNING! The most dangerous music I’ve ever heard is included in this post. Well, minus all the danger I already listed in parts 1-4.

    Finally, I’m In High School
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSPeg5Nw9Tk&feature=fvst
    During the summer before high school this gem came out. It spoke to me in a way music never had before and was a hybrid of what were becoming my two favourite genres of music, rap & metal. This song made me listen to all my Run DMC, Beastie Boys and Guns N’ Roses tapes even harder. Any just when I thought mainstream music couldn’t get any more, well, non-mainstream, September happened and I started high school and this little record came out…

    This album (movement really, read my Grunge blog post) caused a shift in all social circles. Guys grew their hair long and greasy. Girls shaved their heads. Everyone dressed in plaid, wore Dr. Martins and started smoking. There were the freaks and the sportos (meaning athletes). There were only a few people that could handle the cross over. OMG!!! Remember that time that Cathy started dating one of the sportos during winter break and then there was a huge brawl in the foyer of school when all the students came back because her new boyfriend was a sporto? (I think that’s how it happened, remember, it was about 17 years ago) Good times. FYI, MetallicaTenUse Your Illusion I & IINo More TearsTrompe le MondeCeremonyNevermindBlood Sugar Sex MagikBadmotorfinger and others all came out within the first 6 weeks of starting high school. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

    High School Dance

    First song I ever danced to in high school, with a girl! This song really would be awkward to slow dance to near the end and because the song is so long I’m surprised I didn’t get dizzy. What I really do remember about this song, and dance with said girl, was that I really wanted to see the video. I was a huge Gunners fan, but didn’t have cable and hadn’t seen the video AND the VJ’s played the WHOLE thing! My apologies to said girl for being more into music than you. Somethings never change.

    Not A Country Boy

    I’m surprised with myself. I had no idea that losing a friend to New Country had such an effect on me. I guess it could have been worse. I could have lost him to death. So cleanse your palette before more danger.

    Crush With Eyeliner

    One of my favourite bands of all time is Nine Inch Nails. I got Pretty Hate Machine from a friend that ordered it through Columbia House but didn’t like how “synthy” it was (I later found out he thought he was buying their follow-up album Broken, which is WAY heavier). I loved it! I liked Depeche Mode and INXS but I felt this had more edge and honesty. I traded in my Alternative Rock plaid for black jeans (which later evolved into leather pants), black band T-shirts, and in my early 20’s, black nail polish and eyeliner.

    Next On My Life…

    Look at that mane!

    We get funny. Cover my first job, my late teens and early 20’s. And don’t forget church!

    My Life: Autobiographical Vol.4

    If you need to, read My Life: Autobiographical Vol.1,  Vol.2 , & Vol.3. Also our YouTube channel has a playlist of all the songs in the series so far, plus the ones included in this post, that I will just keep adding to as I go. Skip to video 14 if you’ve already listened to the previous tunes from the series.

    Danger Is My Middle Name

    So in 1984 Run DMC was the most dangerous thing I’d ever heard, but then this happened, and  I’ve been a lover of Heavy Metal ever since. I saw Axl a few years back with his new version of GNR, and then we saw Velvet Revolver to see most of the other band members. I wish I had a time machine to see them in their original glory. Velvet Revolver was the better of the two shows. Anyway, Appetite For Destruction is still in my Top 40 albums of all time.

    Two For Ms. Shannon’s Class

    In 1988 the first of my generation’s boy bands emerged. I don’t remember what my feelings about the NKOTB were then. I’m guessing that as an 11 year old I thought they were pretty cool. They did have pretty sweet dance moves, but I really have no idea. I know I was in grade 6, and I know all the girls in my class LOVED them.

    I almost Rick Rolled you. This one goes out to my sixth grade class and our french teacher, Miss Ferguson. She danced like him, dressed like him. This was the only music we were allowed to play in french class. She was probably the most stylishly dressed teacher I ever had. I remember a few altercations with the teacher losing her cool but never at me.

    Driving Tunes

    I already mentioned that there where only a few songs me and my best friend could agree on. This is one of them. Don’t judge me for liking Young MC when I was twelve. Judge me for still knowing most the words today.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4qZec7B6oU
    I really don’t know how my buddy’s Dad dealt with listening to these cassettes over and over. We loved them but you’d
    have to be a special kind of patient man to put up with these songs every time he had to drive us around.

    Lost It Somehow

    There are a couple reasons why I might have picked this song a few years back. I remember having a vague crush on the lead singer. Not as big a crush as I had on Alyssa Milano but it might have been my first musician crush. It also could have been that Pretty Woman was a huge movie in 1990 and my Mom & sister loved it. Either way it was on the playlist so here it is.

    Next time on My Life…So MUCH Danger, my first Much Video Dance and some funny stuff.

    Question: Alice In Chains, Grunge or Metal?

    Our first bit of news is that I’ve created a YouTube channel.  That means you don’t have to fiddle around with playing different videos, they play in the order I’ve chosen. You can just push play once and just keep listening to music while you do other things like ‘Like’ our Facebook page or play Angry Birds, whatever it is that you do.

    So our first Facebook question of the week was based off of an episode of Metal Evolution. In episode 7 they discuss the place of Grunge in Heavy Metal‘s history. I’ve always had my opinions on certain bands rolls in the genre. The Melvins, Mother Love Bone, Screaming Trees, and of course Nirvana, all sounded different to me but a few bands really stood out. I’ve always wondered if Alice In Chains (and Soundgarden for that matter) are Grunge or Metal? Well the Facebook has spoken and by a landslide vote Grunge takes it with 18 votes to Metal’s 8.

    So Why Are Alice In Chains Grunge?
    AIC, as I will now refer to them, were from Seattle. +1 for the Grunge voters. I’m not sure if  it was the climate, the public school system or just coincidence that so many new bands, all came from the same city, but it happened. How does a genre of music get attached to just one particular city?

    Yep! That’s Grunge!

    Another +1 for the Grunge voters and a common thread with most these bands is that they all play rock music. Angsty rock music at that. Something you have to keep in mind is that 1991 was saturated with ballads and dance music until September, and we’d grown bored of Hair Metal. These bands gave us a whole new list of things to be pissed off about. Mostly how bored we were in suburbia and how dark your mind can get when you’re apathetic about everything.

    So Why Are They Metal?
    By now you should almost be up to the AIC song on the playlist above. If that song had come out 2 years on either side of 1991 are you going to tell me it wouldn’t be classed as metal? Jerry Cantrell, the hair, the power-stance, the guitar solo that lasts over 20% of the song, all Metal.

    If this logo were any more Metal it would be a pile of sticks!

    The second reason I’m more inclined to put them in with the Metal bands is their first single. We Die Young went to number 5 on the metal charts off of AIC‘s first EP. Also their first major touring break came from opening on the Clash Of The Titans tour in 1991, opening for SlayerMegadeth and Anthrax. It doesn’t get more Metal than that.

    Conclusion
    Now to pull the National Geographic documentary kind of ending. If I was asked this question I would be more inclined to stick to the Metal side of the fence. However, I stopped using the term Grunge shortly after it’s birth for two reasons. The first being that I didn’t understand how so many bands that sounded so different could all be labelled under one genre. The other reason being that it didn’t incorporate the other bands I liked at the time like Stone Temple Pilots and Nine Inch Nails. I just called everything Alternative.

    Does anybody else remember those days? Being asked, “What are you?” Which I always replied, “Alternative.”

    Now, if asked I’d just reply with a Nirvana lyric, “Teenage angst has paid off well, now I’m bored and old.”

    My Life: Autobiographical Vol.3

    Two weeks until my birthday. Which means I’m behind on my posting to finish all 40 songs in this playlist. I will pick up the pace. I promise. If you need to, read My Life: Autobiographical Vol.1  & Vol.2 to get caught up. Remember that this is a blog series I did based on Rob Gordon in High Fidelity sorting his records Autobiographically. I think we’re picking up the story of my life somewhere between 1987 and 1989.

    Family Fun Times

    It’s funny how times change. As a kid my Grandparents had a great party house. Swimming pool with a slide, a screened in room for playing cards, lawn-darts (yeah lawn darts!). In the evening the whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins, we’re talking about a dozen people, would gather around the player piano and have a sing-a-long. This is where I learned about The Great American Songbook. Later in life I got into Sinatra, Martin and Cole, but only because I already knew the songs from these times with family. Here is where the funny comes in. Last Family Day I spent in Bradford with my, well, family and we all gathered around the TV, singing along to Glee Karaoke. The times our family spend together haven’t changed that much, just the way enjoy music together.

    Enter The Danger

    In 1987 I heard something for the first time. Rap, Hip-Hop, whatever you want to call it, had taken the pop charts by storm and it was the most dangerous thing I’d ever heard. Beastie Boys, Run DMC & Public Enemy. This was something new for my generation and it kicked ass. Whether you like or not, the evolution the genre will make a great documentary series one day. VH1 can call me for the rights!

    Other Peoples Kids

    This song made the list for one reason only. The kid next door. He was a year older than me and dressed just like Billy Idol. Being religious, my parents didn’t appreciate Billy Idol, or Madonna for that matter, wearing crosses when they obviously weren’t singing anything about their faith and in fact were singing about quite the opposite of the morals they should be conveying most of the time. My neighbour dressed just like Idol. Vest, bracelets, ear pierced even! I wasn’t allowed to hangout with him too often. I think it was because I lied to my parents a lot and they blamed him.

    Corky Knows Best
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LedUjMuTR7Q
    Given that this playlist I made was for Name That Tune three years ago, I really can’t remember why this song was played at this particular time. The only thing I can think of is the TV show Life Goes On used it for their intro music. It was on Sunday nights, right after church, or America’s Funniest Home Videos (the Bob Saget years). I don’t even remember being a huge fan of the show but it’s the only reason I can think of for playing this song. I didn’t get into The White Album until much later in life and it wasn’t news worthy.

    Read the next My Life: more DANGER, more DRIVING and more ROXETTE?

    My Life: Autobiographical Vol.2

    I almost bored all my readers to death with a Grammy recap but I figured I’d finish the second part of this series instead. In case you missed the first post in this series, My Life: Autobiographical Vol.1, get caught up! I last spoke of my first concert 1982 and I  gave you some Wham! So we’re up to 1984 which includes a lot of firsts for me.

    First Concert Disappointment
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUTFqxG-ziI&feature=fvwrel
    I was a huge Michael Jackson fan in 1984 and still am today. I think everyone was on some level. I don’t remember how I was almost able to go to this show. I was 7 years old so the details are a little foggy. All I know was that I was supposed to go to this show and all I got was a lousy T-shirt. I’m not kidding. I’m pretty sure it was this one! So my first big concert disappointment was one I never got to attend rather than a band I thought was awesome not delivering while on stage. I’m pretty sure the later happens more often. Come to think of it, 1984 was a pretty tough year for me. Let’s fast forward.
    My First Records
    We just jumped up to March 1986. My birthday. I’m not actually sure if I got these three albums all at once or if I got them spread out over a couple years but lets just say I got them all at once.

    I was a loyal Bryan Adams fan until 1991 at least. In fact, Waking Up The Neighbours was one of only 4 cassettes my best friend and I could agree on once we got our drivers licenses. In 1991 he started listening to New Country. I started listening to Nirvana. So we just listened to the stuff we used to as “kids”. Two of the other ones were Vanilla Ice, To The Extreme and Young MC‘s Stone Cold Rhymin’. Don’t judge me too harshly. ’87 to ’90 was a really confusing time in music. The forth album we could agree on will be talked about in my next post. I think Bryan Adams looks like a Footloose Kevin Bacon in this video.

    Boy In The Box was the second record of the set. Other than having the poster for it in my room and my Mom cutting my hair just like his as a kid I have no stories about Corey Hart so I’ll talk about two other things happened to me in 1986. First, I moved to Bradford from Kirkfield. It was a huge change! For example Kirkfield was a town of 400. In Bradford my new public school (Fred C. Cook alumni, what!) had almost that many students, and lockers to boot! In 1986 I also got my first brother. I’m the oldest of six kids and got two sisters first. Don’t get me wrong, I love my whole family but I’ve seen Anne Of Green Gables more than any man should.

    Twenty-seven years later and I’m still listening to The Boss and with good reason. If you missed his Super Bowl performance in 2009, here it is. If you missed the beginning and end of the (The BIG moment starts around 3:30min) Grammy‘s this year, well there you go. It’s really too bad that the awards mess up some really good performances but the only guitarists missing on that stage, in my opinion, are Slash, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page (and maybe Jack White but I still have forgave him for that Insane Clown Posse stunt). Anyway, Bruce Springsteen still rocks harder at 62 years old than most musicians do in their whole life, and I’ll fight anyone that says otherwise.

    Next time in My Life…Family Reunions and The Most Dangerous Music I’ve Ever Heard!

    My Life: Autobiographical Vol.1

    Looking for a playlist the other day, mixed with watching High Fidelity, again, I found a round of Name That Tune I had done for my birthday a few years back. An autobiographical playlist is way easier than reorganizing my records that way, not to mention it’s way easier to share a song at a time. The goal here is to get through all 40 songs before my birthday, March 7th. I did do some narrative between songs when I did this round of Name That Tune two years ago and I’ll try to recreate those points as best I can. I’m going to dedicate this first post in the series to my folks. Thanks for having such great taste in music!

    Birth!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm0nopK1BQM
    Three of the greatest things in the world happened in 1977. First, Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours came out. I remember being around 20 years old and reading somewhere that it was one of the best albums of all time. I picked it up on a whim, mostly because it was in the 2 for 20 bin at HMV, or something like that anyway. As soon as I put it on I realized I knew almost every track. I had recently moved to Guelph so I had to give my parents a call to see if they played it a lot. Apparently I could hum/sing the words to the whole album, before I could actually talk properly. In 1977/78 it was the go to album whenever there was a gathering. I still love this album now, having traded in my CD for vinyl. It’s one of the three albums I listen to, by myself at 3am, on my actual birthday. I have a special, discontinued, bottle of scotch that I only drink at this time. It’s been my ritual for the last 8 years or so. I’m almost out of scotch. I’d be willing to try this one. Hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMOhsvhF4Jw&feature=fvst
    Of course the second best thing that happened to 1977 was STAR WARS. Nobody really knew what it was and nothing had ever been done like it before. I’m lucky enough to have seen the film in it’s original glory, when it was re-released with Empire as a double header, before the explosions had giant rings, Jabba was C.G.I., and before DarthVader/Anakin Skywalker was a whiny little twerp!

    The last thing that happened in 1977 that was awesome? I was born!

    My First Concert

    In 1982, at the tender age of five, my parents decided that it was time to take me to my first concert. Actually, I’m pretty sure they didn’t have a choice. My Mom’s cousin, my second cousin I think, is Skip Prokop of Lighthouse. Meaning that all of my Aunt’s & Uncle’s, also known as babysitters, would also be attending their triumphant return to the stage. I know the show was at the old Ontario Place Forum, I know the stage spun around the whole show, and I know that the bass made me have to pee a lot. Uncle Skip is still touring with Lighthouse and making new music with his new band Mercy Train.

    In 2011 my Uncle Skip Accepts his SOCAN award for 100,000 radio plays 

    For My Folks
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k3JVfxluFU
    The Autobiographical playlist also included a song each for my folks. For Dad, I picked Supertramp. They were one of his favourite bands when I was a kid. For Mom, it was a little more difficult. I don’t remember her being ‘attached’ to any one artist or band. We lived in a town of 400 people (Kirkfield, ON) and had limited access to radio and TV. I do remember this next song being played often. I’m not sure if it was just constantly on the radio or if there was a copy kicking around the house. I just remember it then, and still know all the words now.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9abYzI9ycjk

    Next Time, On If My Life Was A Musical…
    My first concert disappointment, My first records and memories of the Grandparents player piano.

    Read it here!

    Stuck In The 90s

    I may very well be stuck in the 90s. That’s where I first heard 75% of the musicians I still regularly listen to. So last week I was hanging with none other than THE Dylan Awesome from GAIN Music. Somehow we ended up listening to 90’s tunes and taking turns on Youtube trying to what only can be described as “Out 90ing” eachother.  Here’s a few tunes we played that day that you may have forgotten about.

    Where’s My Self Control?

    What a great pop song. It’s pretty much perfect in all aspects but for me I love when it’s over. Rather than dragging the song out repeating the chorus twice at the end like a lot of songs do, it sounds like Age Of Electric is about to start another verse. Then the song is over. Timing is everything…Or not.

    Fade Away

    Moist’s Silver came out right around the same time I started driving back and forth from Guelph and Bradford. One of my favourite driving CD’s for sure. What I really like about this song is the delivery. There is a certain desperation or panic behind every syllable. The video performance is amazing as well. Learn your craft, rock singers, delivery can make or break you. I feel the words because of the emotion put forth, behind the voice and the facial expressions. It makes me believe every word David Usher says. This can be essential for your audience to feel connected with you. To see this in action, check out Joshua Doherty (be ready for the 1:50 mark of the video) of Among Millions. They play every couple months in Guelph, I’ll make sure I give you lots of notice for their next show.

    Left Behind In A Troubled Time

    I remembering buying Scenery & Fish on impulse, because it was on the charts at Sunrise Records next to Alice In Chains Unplugged, which is the album I had gone in to the store to buy. It quickly became one of my favourite records. Somewhere along the line though, I lost the record. I forgot about it. Until the big breakup of 2006. I took all the money I intended on spending on my ex, it was her birthday shortly, to The Beat Goes On. It was the only time I’ve ever gone through the store A to Z and through the discount bin. I may have walked out with over 30 CDs. Scenery & Fish was $3. $3! I ran into THE Aaron Levy on my way home. We grabbed a few beers and went through the big bag of music. He liked my choices. I miss that guy! What a great music conversationalist.

    Strong & Free
    I just realized this whole list is made up of Canadian artists. Nice to remember the how good the pre-Nickel Back era of Canadian music was. Actually, if you live in the Guelph area, you should check out our homepage. Tonight’s shows are amazing and I’m still having a problem deciding which one I’m going to go to. What a great problem to have!

    What are your favourite 90’s tunes? I need more nostalgia!

    OFF THE FLOOR FEST!!!

    Eleven Presents…

    The fourth annual OFF THE FLOOR FEST!!!

    Last week I posted two shows in my blog. Both had a lot of readers. The 100 Mile Riot happened already, and was a huge success (I’ll try to get you details on $$$ raised, people through the door, etc.) and Ladies Of The Canyon, The Heartbroken & Ben Caplan happens on Sunday, so we’ll see how effective these posts are. Music Lives is here to try to support the music loving community so here is a bit of info on this weeks Off The Floor Fest!!!

    This event features eight (8!) bands spread out over 5 hours (at least). It also utilizes both first AND second floors of Van Gogh’s Ear. It’s also this Thursday, January 26th. The price is modest. $10 the door or $8 advance available at Hempire. Or $1/ band advanced, or $1.25/band at the door if you can’t be bothered to do the math. Doors are at 7:30pm. Go out for dinner first, you’ll need the energy. It is a 19+ event. Get a babysitter. We already gave away a pair of guest list  passes at Jimmy Jazz, Name That Tune, last Wednesday, and we’re going to do it again this Wednesday (the 25th)!

    Here’s the list of bands performing at set times:

    8 pm –> Hinindar (1st floor)

    8:30 pm –> The Dirty Nil (2nd floor)

    9 pm –> The Folk (1st floor)

    9:30 pm –> Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs (2nd floor)

    10 pm –> Greys (1st floor)

    10:30 pm –> The Sweet Mack (2nd floor)

    11:10 pm –> Whale Tooth (1st floor)

    11:50 pm –> Teenage Kicks(2nd floor)

    According to the Facebook event, Off The Floor Fest has these people to thank:

    • GAIN Music – who are helping with production, which means this year is going to sound amazing.
    • Hempire – who have helped out with their generosity and overall radness.
    • Blake Stevenson – who has created the Off the Floor poster (that you see here) and logo for the second year in a row, and who is just a sweet dude whom we love dearly here at Eleven.

    So there is the run down on another great Guelph show. Remember you can WIN your way in to this show by attending Name That Tune Tomorrow at Jimmy Jazz, hosted by yours truly. If you have to do it the old fashioned way, and pay for your tickets, get them at Hempire or at the door and I’ll see you all at Van Gogh’s Ear.

    Ladies of the Canyon, The Heartbroken & Ben Caplan

    Kaleidoscope Promotions presents Ladies of the Canyon, The Heartbroken & Ben Caplan

    7:30 door, 8:00 show.
    $10, tickets on sale at Van Gogh’s Ear.
    R.S.V.P

    The Heartbroken

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4bXXyW_j6E&context=C371d830ADOEgsToPDskJZfzdhnRw1XX0j8cGaOU4c
    Imagine Johnny Cash and Bowie meet for a drink at Willie Nelson’s bar and Linda Ronstadt tries to pick a fight with them. Well, that’s the feeling you get listening to The Heartbroken (Pete Fusco, Stuart Cameron, Damhnait Doyle and Blake Manning) and their debut album, “Tonight, Tonight”.
    Find The Heartbroken
    Website http://theheartbroken.com/
    Facebook http://www.facebook.com/theheartbroken
    Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/theheartbroken
    Youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/theheartbrokenmusic

    Ladies of the Canyon

    Musicians and songwriters Maia Davies (vocals, guitars, mandolin, keyboards), Senja Sargeant (vocals, guitars, mandolin), Jasmine Bleile (vocals, guitars) and Anna Ruddick (electric and upright bass, vocals) have their distinct tone and personality, but when they come together for harmonies, it’s a gorgeous, soaring blend.
    Find Ladies Of The Cannon
    Website http://www.ladiesofthecanyon.com/
    Myspace http://www.myspace.com/lotcmusic
    Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/lotcmusic
    Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ladiesofthecanyon?sk=wall
    Youtube http://www.youtube.com/ladiesofthecanyon


    Ben Caplan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iODL5wvZbns
    Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma, Halifax’s Ben Caplan is to folklore what smoke is to bourbon. Ben’s songwriting is as bold in range as it is in ferocity. Fuelled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism, it’s the romance and the manhood crashing with his voice that gives Caplan a truly innovative and experimental artistry.
    Read our review of Ben Caplan here.
    Find Ben Caplan
    Website http://bencaplan.ca/
    Facebook http://www.facebook.com/TheCasualSmokers
    Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/bencaplanmusic
    Myspace http://www.myspace.com/bencaplanmusic
    Youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/bencaplanmusic

    This show is Music Lives Approved!

    100 Mile Riot!

    This show happening, Saturday, January 22, 2012 @ Van Gogh’s Ear is on our site but I thought that it deserved a special mention for three reasons. The first one being that is for a really good cause, or causes. I’m just going to quote the Facebook page here and add some links because I can.

    ” 100 Mile Riot is an all-day, all-night festival celebrating the amazing diversity of talent of woman-identified people from Guelph and surrounding area.  The festival is a fundraiser for the local Women in Crisis Centre as well as a revolutionary national program in Haiti, lead by a coalition of women activists, that is addressing sexual violence through art, advocacy, safe shelter, and legal services. This festival will be organized in collaboration with the V-Day campaign, which was started by activist Eve Ensler. V-Day has raised over $60 million and distributed the funds to grassroots, national and international organizations and programs that work to stop violence against women and girls through yearlong events such as this festival and culminating performances of The Vagina Monologues and MMRP (A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and a Prayer).”

    So there is one reason to support this Saturday. The second reason is (and I pulled all these links myself to make sure I got the best ones possible) the music is amazing! If I had another two hours I’d post every Twitter,  Facebook, CBC Radio 3, etc. link I could for these bands and solo performers. Here’s the list! SheezerRougeJenny OmnichordOlenka & The Autumn LoversThe FolkSarah MangleD Eve ArcherAriadne’s ThreadAmy BronsonNabi LoneyDJ Jungle Cat, DJ Madam D, and Meme Smith. That should keep us beautifully entertained for eleven hours!

    The third and final reason to come to the 100 Mile Riot  is the price. Tickets are ONLY $12! Having seen some of these artists live already and listening to some of there links I’ve posted here, you really can’t go wrong.

    So grab your tickets for Saturday, January 22, 2012 at The CornerstoneUniversity Centre #217, and ticketbreak.com. This event runs all day so you really have no excuse. If you live out of town it’s worth the drive in. 3pm start! All Ages until 9pm. 19+ 9 pm- 2 am. Thanks to V-Day Guelph and Fortnight Music for organizing this event and I hope to see everyone at Van Gogh’s Ear!

    Show Review – Ben Caplan, Graydon James & The Young Novelists/Harlan Pepper

    Ben Caplan, Graydon James & The Young Novelists/Harlan Pepper

    January 5th & 12th, 2012. Jimmy Jazz.
    Two shows. Two consecutive Thursdays. Same venue. Same opening act. Based on the last two points I figured I roll my first two live show reviews into one. I’m consolidating the two shows featuring Ben Caplan, solo, as the opening act that were brought to us by Kaleidoscope Promotions, and performed at Jimmy Jazz. The first show saw Hamilton band Harlan Pepper closing out the night on January 5th, 2012 and the second being January 12th featuring Toronto band Graydon James & The Young Novelists.
    That Crazy Gypsy

    We’ll start with the opener both bands shared, Ben Caplan. If you already read my 2011 wrap up, you know how I feel about him. He’s not marketable in mainstream ways, but he doesn’t have to be. His hair, beard mostly, is almost so long it’s ridiculous. With some performers this could distract you from what most live music fans would call the important things, the music & the performance. But with Caplan it actually makes you curious. As soon as he walks on stage you’re intrigued, and then the music starts. His songs start with great storytelling that would make some of the greatest song writers jealous. Then they are mixed with an arrangement that allows the music to be performed on piano, guitar, sometimes banjo (if someone in the audience has one handy), saxophone or with his full backing band, The Casual Smokers. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing all of these things happen and the music was perfectly executed, not necessarily played, every time.

    Ben Caplan performing as Harlan Pepper look on.

    Which brings us to stage presence and performance. Ben Caplan is overflowing with both and his energy spills out onto the stage and out through the audience like he’s trying to drown you. I was at his November show in Guelph by accident and couldn’t take my eyes of him. I can’t quite put my finger on what he does to demand your attention. It could be the way he shakes his head, losing his glasses at least three times per show. It could be the way he emotionally tears his undersized suit jacket off at the peak of his second last song. I really can’t say. What I can say is that everything about Ben Caplan is unique in a way that that you know you were entertained, start to finish, throughout his set, but you’re not really sure why.

    The Young Novelists Do More Than Write Great Songs
    Featured as the headliner for the January 12th show, were Toronto band, Graydon James & The Young Novelists. I had seen the band open for Guelph band Among Millions, back in November. I have to say, I wasn’t a huge fan. I’m not sure if I was off, or maybe they were off. I have no idea. What I can say now is that my first impression was wrong! It seemed on this given night in January that a lot of people came to see Ben Caplan, as the crowd seemed to thin out considerably. If you stayed, good on you. If not, you missed out. Their music is an acoustic mix of rock that could be cherished by rock, folk and country fans alike. They mix up the faster tempos to keep people dancing and swaying until it’s time to slow things down, before they take you back up. I really love a live performance with a dynamic set list. Veteran bands will tell you. You can’t play at 11 all the time. Graydon James & The Young Novelists nailed it!

    Toronto Band Gradon James & The Young Novelists

    Musically they had improved by leaps and bounds about the previous time I had seen them. I know they are currently recording an album but they could have saved themselves the trouble and just recorded their set this past Thursday. They couldn’t have sounded tighter. As I said, the crowd did seem to dwindle, but it didn’t seem to matter. The Young Novelists played with fantastic energy, playing for thirty or fourty like they were playing for two hundred. A great performance, that kept my eyes on the stage, connecting with them in a way I couldn’t before. If Graydon James & The Young Novelists are going to work this hard to improve as a live band, there is no doubt in my mind that they’ll be around for a long time. I look forward to seeing them again and I have a feeling they’ll be even better!

    The Kids Are Alright

    Relax everyone, I am not using the word ‘kid’ as any kind of negative connection with Hamilton band, Harlan Pepper, and they are more than just ‘alright’. [Editors Note: For those of you that are musically challenged, ‘The Kids Are Alright‘ is the name of a song, recorded by The Who, in 1965.] Jimmy Jazz saw a packed house on January 5th, with good reason. Harlan Pepper‘s song-to-song styles vary from blues, folk, rock & country that are all done with a sound I can only describe as BIG! Their songs, while sometimes thoughtful and slower paced, have an anthem quality to them.

    A packed house for Hamilton band Harlan Pepper

    For a four piece band, barely 20 years old, they write and perform at a level beyond them in years. They keep their subject matter close to what they know, the Great Lakes, for example, but the music that accompanies the lyrics is nothing short amazing, no matter their age, or the listeners age. If you closed your eyes and listened you would probably picture a veteran band, like The Sadies, in the place of Harlan Pepper. They have a song-writing maturity and live sound that takes most bands years to perfect. The band’s stage presence is amazing as well. On a small stage, like that at Jimmy Jazz, they were a well oiled machine, always knowing where the other members were and sharing the spotlight accordingly. If you get a chance to see them opening for Elliot Brood in the next little while I highly recommend it.

    Find Ben Caplan performing @Van Gogh’s Ear, Guelph, January 29th.
    On Twitter @bencaplanmusic
    On Facebook Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers
    On The Web http://bencaplan.ca/

    Find Graydon James & Young Novelists
    On Twitter @graydonj
    On Myspace www.myspace.com/graydonjames
    On The Web www.theyoungnovelists.com/

    Find Harlan Pepper
    On Twitter @HPHarlanPepper
    On CBC Radio 3
    On The Web www.harlanpepper.com/

    Find Us too!
    On Facebook Music Lives
    On Twitter @MusicLivesCa

    Resolute This

    Have you got your list of New Year’s resolutions? I’m generally not a big believer in resolutions, but I’ll make some up special, just for you. All I really want to do is make sure you listen to good music while reading my blog. Here are a few songs to motivate you through the delicate starting stages of your resolutions.

    Make ‘Em Scream & Shout

    First thing I need to do this year is get more focused. Music Lives seem to have a great umbrella effect taking place. We’re listen to the community we’re serving and trying to adapt. How can we better facilitate musicians, bands and promoters. How can we help get more people to more shows, allowing promoters to throw even BIGGER shows? Being able to bounce ideas off of bands like Wakeless & Among Millions, and promoters, like GAIN Music & Fortnight, has been of huge value. Thanks for having the patience with answering all my questions about the biz! I think a great goal for 2012 is to make Guelph a non-stop tourist attraction, just based on our thriving music scene.

    He’s Ordinary

    Maybe I’ll be more brave this year. I think I’m too scared in a lot of situations. In the past I think that I’ve associated quick thinking and reacting in the moment with increased odds of making mistakes. I’m starting to think that sometimes mistakes can be fun. How am I going to learn anything if I’m afraid to commit to new things? I’m pretty sure I’ve missed out on more opportunities because of my approach then I’ve actually taken advantage of. This year I’ll put more of myself out there and stop over thinking. Like RUSH said, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” I do this all the time. No more!

    Like A Tiger Defying The Laws Of Gravity

    So my last fake (but real) New Year’s resolution is to be more awesome. Less dark, more fun. I will turn down the suck knob and turn up the good. I hate negative people, which I’m not. I rarely ever complain aloud. I keep all my negativity all pushed down deep inside me to fester. This year I’ll try to live exactly like this Queen song. The lyrics are amazing!

    Same In The End
    So it turns out I do have so real resolutions. What started as a joke, as always, managed to become thoughtful and reflective. For me at least. Thanks readers! You’ve helped me out once again. Have any great resolutions you want to share on the internet for all the world to see? Have any ideas to make mine easier to accomplish? Share away! Let’s have a great 2012 and go out with a BANG!

    2011 The Review

    I don’t know about you but my 2011 was nuts. I left my first career, started working for Oaktree Media (Thanks for saving me Kelly!), started Music Lives. I’m sure I did some other stuff too but let’s get down to the good stuff. The music we saw, the hits we loved or plagued us and some of the musicians we lost. Me being me, I’ll start with the sad part.

    The Day The Music Died…

    This year we lost a pile of great artists but here are just a handfull. Gerry Rafferty, hopefully you’re playing now, of Stealers Wheel, and solo fame. Clarence Clemons, who played sax with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street band forever, and also had a #1 hit this year performing the sax solo on Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory. Losing Amy Winehouse wasn’t a surprise to many although it’s always sad to lose such a talented person. Warrant‘s singer, Jani Lane, and Alice In Chains original bass player, Mike Starr , both fell victim to previous addictions mixed with depression. Check out Rolling Stone’s Memoriam for a better run down. Now, on to happier pastures.

    We’ll Do It Live!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK2_wi-lqAA
    I have to admit that I’m completely spoiled to have such an amazingly vibrant and diverse music scene right at my doorstep. Guelph rules for several reasons but this is one of them. There is at least 8 live music venues, all within a 5 minute walk of one another. I love it. Some of my favourite shows this year were as follows. Ben Caplan is the the east coast of Canada’s answer to Tom Waits, but a gypsy. A crazy, running around the venue without missing a note, kind of gypsy. I came to this show just to lend a hand to the promoter with almost no intention of actually paying attention to the show as I had other work to do. I could not take my eyes off of him. If you missed the show, which most of you did, you’re in luck. Ben Caplan will be opening for three different acts in January, Guelph. Get out and see him at least once. Two of my favourite live music moments came courtesy of local promoters GAIN Music. One was My Son The Hurricane, that opened for USS. Twelve people on The Vinyl stage. A full horn section. An MC?! Seriously, just watch all their videos and you’ll see the energy and awesomeness that is this band. The other moment I have to mention from this year is the Cancer Bats. AND I got to see them twice! Crazy energy, crowd interaction, great sounding, metal maniacs. The whole place erupted when they busted out their cover of The Beastie Boys, Sabotage, and with good reason. See these guys live before they get any bigger! Just check out this gallery. In fact this whole card was stacked.  Starting Music Lives has really opened my eyes to what makes a show or band connect with people. I could list all the amazing shows I got to be a part of this year, but then I wouldn’t finish this post until next year! Thanks to everyone that let me be behind the scenes of the scene I love so dearly.

    Big Ones

    Now we get to the actual charts. I keep a vague on these but take them with a grain of salt. It was a notable year for a few artists. Katy Perry tied Michael Jackson‘s record for most Billboard number one hits from one album with 5 (and she’s single again! I so have a shot!). If the video I posted, which is stuck at number four, hits number one, she’ll win. That’s quite an accomplishment for any artist. The fact that she writes her own songs makes it that much more impressive. Korn, a band I loved in 2000, was given a lot of metal honours this year, even though they released a Dub-step album. I guess sometimes it pays to take a risk. I’m not the keenest on the album, but I don’t mind the lead off single. You really can’t mention anyone in music this year without mentioning Adele. Not only was her album #1 on every notable music publication and listeners choice awards, but it also spent 50 weeks on the Billboard charts, with over 20 weeks at the top spot. It’s not too often that such a young person can sing with so much soul and put together a whole album that is fantastic start to finish. I believe every word she says.

    Happy New Year!!!
    Have a safe one everybody! I’m really looking forward to what 2012 brings to the table. It’s an exciting time for me in my life and I hope that Music Lives can continue to grow as I am. See you all in 2012. Thanks so much for your readership and support! Feel free to list your favourite albums, songs or concerts of the year below!

    P.S. I have a feeling I’ll be fist pumping to this later!

    Countering The Season

    This is a pretty silly time of year. Really think about it. Lots of people take their holidays. Everyone puts all kinds of lights all over the place. Runs around like crazy buying gifts and trying to see their whole family or friends over two or three days. It’s like a week of parties, all for different reasons. It can also be a dark time of year for some people. I find it harder to stay in a happy mood when the nights are longer and the colder the weather comes in. Here’s a few non-seasonal songs I like to listen to when I get a case of the lonelys.

    We Will Make It Through Somehow

    It was kind of hard to pick just one Nine Inch Nails song for this post but I think this one works perfectly. I might have over 20 NIN CDs, DVDs, bootlegs etc. I was kind of obsessed with them in the 90’s and still love them today. Reznor’s lyrics have always spoken to me on an emotional level that I need, while the music is always just a little different than you’d expect, album to album. This song makes me want to punch something, or have a good cry, depending on the day.

    Turn Me Back Up

    Forget the fireplace channel! This track lights a fire in my gut and gives me a whack of swagger! I’m pretty sure that Eminem’s Recovery was in my Top 3 albums of 2010 if not number 1. While lyrical substance isn’t too overwhelming, the beat and rhymes are so killer it doesn’t matter. This song always turns my mood into one of kicking ass and taking names. A great song to rock out to when/if you’re spending time alone during this silly season. There is no way you’ll still be feeling melon-collie by the end of it.

    Feel The Energy Inside

    This is kind of a different type of song for me to post. I can’t remember if it was The Mortal Kombat 2 soundtrack or the second Hackers soundtrack (music mostly inspired by the film) that introduced me to this song so many years ago. I totally jumped on the 90’s Electronica band wagon when those movies came out though. I love this song. I makes me wanna rave dance!

    Blue Christmas
    I dedicate this post to everyone who gets a little down around this time of year. I know the feeling all too well. I hope everyone has a great holiday, filled with live music, dancing and good times! Share your mood changers below!

    Restless Heart

    I haven’t been able to sleep well for a few weeks now. Tossing and turning. Randomly waking up after only a couple hours and not being able to fall back to sleep until minutes before my alarm. I’m not sure if I’m feeling overwhelmed due to the lack of sleep or if I can’t sleep because I’m overwhelmed. I could be considered a ball of confusion, a work in progress, a lost soul, blah blah blah. I’m not hoping for a moment of Zen. I’d be happy with a neutral state and a good night sleep. Maybe I just need to go to a kick ass concert. Either way here are a few songs that can break through my calloused exterior and force me to have a good cry for no apparent reason.

    I Can See A Better Time
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwHyuraau4Q&sns=fb
    Probably the best song about a guy being an ass and screwing up anything, let alone Christmas. The idea of the couple falling out of love as the song progresses while both parties trade off line after line is amazing. It’s a great song for any season with some of the best storytelling lyrics you could ask for. My favourite verse is Kirsty McColl declaring, “You took my dreams from me, when I first found you.” To which MacGowan replies, “I kept them with me babe, I put them with my own. (I) Can’t make it all alone. I’ve built my dreams around you.” Just brilliant.

    Who Needs Words?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KylMqxLzNGo
    This one just builds and builds until it breaks you (around the 6 minute mark). I know I heard this as a child, but I rediscovered it again in my teens, doing an English project on war, and watching the film Platoon. One of my Top 5 Classical Music Pieces without question.

    I’ve Got Nothing To Do Today But Smile
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IwYQ1Vqf_4
    The song everyone forgot about until that epic screaming scene above the abyss in Garden State. There is nothing quite like making out in the pouring rain is there? I think I connect with this song because it makes me think that I might have a soul(?). Not the type of “soul” that religious institutions talk about, but whatever the word you’d use for the emotional, thoughtful kind of equivalent to “soul”. When I consider that I might have a “soul” I start to wonder why I haven’t found too many other “souls” to connect with. Or maybe I’m just disappointed I haven’t found “my souls recognition of its counterpoint in another.” I will always quote Wedding Crashers when I can. What is it about songs about New York making me sad? Hmm. Something to look at later I guess.

    Gone So Long
    With topics like these maybe you can see why I’ve taking a little while to get a post out. I’m not trying to depress anyone and I’m the last guy that wants anyone’s sympathy. Things are just on my mind. While writing this post I remembered how therapeutic writing can be. It’s been so long since I posted that I probably just forgot. Now that I remember how good writing feels I’ll do to it more often. Got a few songs that can take you from the brink of tears to over the edge? I really want to know!

    Confessions…

    So looking at the date of my last blog post made me feel guilty about not posting. I miss you guys. Oaktree Media, our parent company, has been getting quite busy, but I really shouldn’t make excuses. When I realized that I hadn’t posted anything in two weeks exactly the phrase that went through my head was, “I has been 14 days since my last confession”.  I wasn’t raised and have never been Catholic. I’ve never confessed. Until now. I might get into some actual sins, but for the most part I’ll just be talking about music I feel guilty for liking.

    The Monkees
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfuBREMXxts
    Fictitious band or not I still love these guys. When I first moved out of the hicks and into a city that had cable television I watched them everyday on Much Music. It was summer holidays. I’m pretty sure they played a few episodes every morning. At least in my mind they did. I bought one of their albums on vinyl from the local flea market with my own money. It was the first time I’d ever done this, and an obsession was born.

    Limp Bizkit

    Some times a group puts out an album that just does it for you. Significant Other was one of those albums for me. I could justify this pick several different ways. What needs to be explained though is that MY first music, meaning not my Father‘s music, was rap and metal. Public Enemy & Anthrax‘s collaboration on Bring The Noize is still one of my Top 25 Songs. Run DMC, The Beastie Boys, Guns & Roses, Motley Crue.  I loved them all all equally. My Father hated them with a passion. I know, sounds like Father issues. I’ll fully admit that. I was a teenager. He was a Dad. It’s all good now. That being said I’m not fully surprised that I got into this album, even though I was well into my 20’s when it came out. When I listen to the record now, it seems childish, but I still like it.

    Hall & Oates

    These guys write great pop songs. I don’t expect much from pop music so it’s really easy to get into them. Funky bass line. Sing-a-long chorus. That’s pretty much all you need. I probably would still be in the closet about Hall & Oates if it wasn’t for 500 Days Of Summer. The one scene in the movie brought a flood of Hall & Oates fans back from the brink of forgetting about them. Nicely done Joseph Gordon-Levitt . There is nothing a great dance sequence can’t do.

    Burden In My Hand
    I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted! Maybe on this series of posts we can start a virtual support group for each other in the comments section. You should never have to carry the burden of liking questionable music alone. I’m here for you. I can absolve you of your musical sins. I’m qualified, I’ve been listening to Katy Perry’s Unplugged album the whole time I’ve been writing this post.

    Video (Games) Killed The Radio Star

    Video games have music in them since I got my first Commodore 64 and Atari 2600. It would be really easy to write a post that only featured songs from music simulator style music games that flooded the markets recently. But I would feel like I’m copping out. I do have over 500 songs for Rockband on my X-box but that will be a topic of obsession for another time. My post yesterday, I Haven’t Seen Evil Dead Two Yet, I talked about a couple of directors that use music perfectly to set the mood in movies. That topic made me think of commercials but one of these videos crosses over into video games, which lead to this post.

    This Is War – 30 Seconds To Mars
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDwycv4rQaw
    While I’m not really a fan of this band, the video as a whole really works. Epic song is greater than, or equal to, epic cut scenes from the video game. If I were 15 and 30 Seconds To Mars was a band I liked, I’d so by this game. Maybe my problem has more to do with Jared Leto and less to do with the band, but we all have our crosses to bear (And yes, I know how dreamy he was in My So Called Life!).

    Shoot To Thrill – AC/DC
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuzaxlddWbk
    I really don’t think this game needs any help from me selling copies. It broke every sales record in the book at launch last week, moving over 6 million copies in 24 hours. I don’t think any music medium, EVER, has come close to those kind of numbers. That’s kind of the point. AC/DC rocks. Stamp Call of Duty on anything and it will sell. Take an action star. Add a comedy star. Then, throw them together in a situation that quite often happens online in a way that is funny for us (gamers) to relate to. Jonah Hill has lost so much weight I barely recognized him, Kudos!

    Mad World – Gary Jules

    This is my favourite example by far. The ORIGINAL Gears of War trailer is perfect! Not exactly what you’d expect for such a violent game but it’s sweet. Also, this song was the cross over from my last blog post. This cover of a Tears For Fears song, was used in the movie Donnie Darko. It was used perfectly there too. All the Gears of War trailers are amazing, using songs to make you feel tranquil before a moment of desperation, panic or loss.

    Just For Fun
    I like video games. I don’t get to play as much as I used to, but I still play whenever I get downtime. Here is a song, made famous by Guitar Hero 3, remastered, by Mario Paint. Enjoy!

    I Haven’t Seen Evil Dead Two Yet

    Everyone should immediately associate that line with this amazing clip from my favourite movie, High Fidelity.

    I’m using one of the last lines from the clip to discuss movie soundtracks but specifically scenes from movies that wouldn’t be the same without that special song. I used The Pixies, Where is my mind in my post yesterday, Overplayed?, but it is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. It makes you think about Fight Club, right? In some cases the song fits so well that you can’t hear the song ever again without thinking about that scene in the movie. He’s a couple of directors that do just that.

    Mr. Blonde goes bananas
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DohRa9lsx0Q
    Who isn’t thinking about the most grotesque dancing scene of all time? Tarantino is great at picking those songs that are vaguely familiar and breathing new life into them. Urge Overkill‘s cover of Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon, from Pulp Fiction and Zamfir’s The Lonely Shepherd as the closing credits of Kill Bill Vol.1 always remind me of his films.

    I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen

    Cameron Crowe is another great director having the perfect music for certain scenes. You, in the right generation anyway, should be thinking about Say Anything when you hear that song. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll quote Jack Black AKA Barry, from my first clip and say, “You’re a cinematic idiot, and I’d feel sorry for you“. There are also scenes in Jerry Maguire, one being Tom Cruise singing Free Falling and of course the Bruce Springsteen (I’m a sucker for all things The Boss) song Secret Garden. But my point is easily made by Almost Famous. Crowe really nails it with the bus scene, where the band is imploding, set to Elton John’s,  Tiny Dancer. Not only does the song fit the scene perfectly, but as Dave Grohl said, it introduced a whole new generation to the song.

    Closing Credits
    Here are just a couple of guys that really know what they’re doing when attaching a scene from a movie to music. I know I missed a bunch, but these two directors have to be in my Top 5 as far as this skill goes. If you have some good ones, start listing them for me and I’ll showcase them another time.

    Overplayed?

    I was talking with a friend last night about music. I know, that’s so unlike me. He was saying that he was amazed that he’s not sick of Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People yet, even though he hears it once or twice a day where he works. It’s an okay song. The lyrics are actually really dark for how catchy and and uplifting the beat is. I have a few of these songs and I figured I’d share them here.

    My Poor Housemates

    Two songs that were my first song of the day for a long time were 99 Problems by Jay-Z and The Imperial March from Star Wars. I would wake-up, everyday, double click, jack up the speakers and start walking downstairs for my morning coffee, letting my housemates know I was alive. I did this for a while, like way too long. These songs were like my entrance music to my day. These songs prepared me for being awesome at life.

    I Have No Idea
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCD14IrOcIs
    I’m pretty sure that Fight Club did just as much for The Pixies as Kurt Cobain. I might be wrong, but I know that my on-again, off-again relationship with The Pixies went to a whole new level when I heard this song during the closing credits. I was finally ready to make that commitment to them and tell the world that I LOVE THE PIXIES!

    I Gotta Launder, My Karma

    I just love this song. It really hits all the music bases, stealing from electronica, funk, rap & brit-pop. There really is something here for everyone.

    Final Countdown
    If you had to listen to 3 songs everyday, for the rest of your life, what would they be?  Maybe I’ll start a series on some our favourite songs. Maybe I’ll make a playlist out of them 😉

    How To Make A Mix Tape/Playlist Part Four

    If you need to get caught up on our unbelievable series of awesomeness, Part One, Part Two and Part Three are all kickin’ it around the internets. In Part Three I explained that Rules are more like tips, but the songs being played from here on in may NOT have anything to do with the Rule attached to them. As already discussed the track list on The Best Mix Tape Ever! so far is…

    1. D’yer Maker – Led Zeppelin
    2. Love Rollercoaster – Red Hot Chili Peppers
    3. Eruption/You Really Got Me – Van Halen (Kinks Cover)
    4. Open Road Song – Eve 6
    5. I Will Survive – Cake (Gloria Gaynor Cover)
    6. Same In The End – Sublime
    *NEW* 7. Sure Shot – Beastie Boys (We have to speed things up a bit, I think there is only a few posts left in series)

    Rule #7: Don’t exhaust your listener
    Ever notice that TV commercials are louder than the show your watching? Even the ads at the beginning of the Youtube videos I post are quite often louder than the song. Everything wants to be the loudest thing you hear, to grab your attention. Sadly, this train of thought was adapted by record companies sometime around 1999, killing the dynamic properties of albums everywhere.
    Older Recordings look like this. In fact whole albums did.

    Newer releases look like this because of digital sound compression and amplification.
    Californication, by Red Hot Chili Peppers

    Remember the eerie whisper of Nirvana‘s “Something In The Way“? That album, if released now, wouldn’t be nearly as good. But you wouldn’t actually be able to pin point why.
    Best Mix Tape Ever Track 8: Where It’s At – Beck

    Ear Fatigue exists. It could lead you to turning off a certain radio station or album, or tuning out family members at Christmas dinner. Either way it exists. If you mix up your songs in the right way, you’ll be fine, but pay less attention to tempo, instruments used, etc. and really focus on how LOUD the song is.
    Best Mix Tape Ever Track 9: Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate

    Personal Tip! When copying your CDs to your hard drive, anything before 2000 anyway, NEVER click the option to normalize the volume. When you do this you are changing the dynamic compression of the album, which will automatically make the albums sound waves look more like Californication, and less like Beethoven. This could change the way you’ve enjoyed an album for years, so be warned.

    Only one Rule this post, but I gave you a few songs. Now that you’re all super educated about science and stuff, the next post will concentrate on playing and toying with your listener.

    To Be Continued…..

    How To Make A Mix Tape/Playlist Part Three

    This is the blog post you’ve all been waiting for. If you haven’t read the first two posts in the series, catch up here and there. I’ve also revealed the first 4 tracks from the now 8 year old, Best Mix Tape Ever!

    1. D’yer Maker – Led Zeppelin
    2. Love Rollercoaster – Red Hot Chili Peppers
    3: Eruption/You Really Got Me – Van Halen
    4: Open Road Song – Eve 6

    I have fessed up to some mistakes along the way and got a little off track in Part Two.  Rules are more like tips, but the songs being played from here on in may NOT have anything to do with the Rule attached to them. As stated previously, I am making a NEW playlist as I go. Feel free to make yours as we go, or you can agree or disagree with me in the comments section of every post.

    Rule #5: Mix it up a LOT
    Best Mix Tape Ever Track 5: I Will Survive – Cake (Gloria Gaynor cover)

    This mix started off with some classic rock icons, but overall you can tell I was in high school in the ’90s. And the decade’s dominance isn’t going to stop for another 4 songs. Do these songs “fit” well? Yep! Would I go this route now? Nope! It’s a pretty diverse mix for a pile of 21-27 year olds in 2003, but doesn’t cut it now. MIX. IT. UP. A good mix needs different genres, decades, styles etc. This mix is a full of male vocalists from the ’90s. Big FAIL, me. Big FAIL. Now how do you facilitate all of your listeners and get that musical diversity as well?

    Rule #6: Know where you’re going
    Best Mix Tape Ever Track 6: Same In The End – Sublime

    Planning out the songs for your mix can be a tricky. I find it better to not get attached to any one song but maybe start with 10 songs you want to play in a 90 minute time frame. Remember! The longer a mix is, the harder it will be create. Most classic albums are less than 45 minutes long because of the constraints of vinyl. How good would some of these newer CDs be if they didn’t try to fill the whole disc, but instead tried to make 40 minutes of seamless music? I think it would make a huge difference. Slayer does this really well. Their first 5 releases barely breach 35 minutes each. They know that even their fans don’t want a 60 minute Slayer record.

    For our next post in this series you’ll need a lesson in ear fatigue and how you’ll learn that you need to be the master of puppets.

    To be continued…How To Make A Mix Tape/Playlist Part Four

     

    Name That Tune Answers, November 2, 2011

    This weeks Jimmy Jazz, Guelph, Name That Tune, came from a post made by Time Magazine showcasing their critics picks since the publication began. I mixed them all up and came up with this! As always, the number next to the song is how long it was played for.

    Round 1
    1. Iron Man – Black Sabbath – 10
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MII3ns2KTBc
    2. Heroes – David Bowie – 7
    3. Bad Romance – Lady Gaga – Less than a second
    4. That’ll Be The Day – Buddy Holly – 3
    5. Be My Baby – The Ronettes – 13 – Bonus From which OST? Dirty Dancing
    6. Gold Digger – Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx – 1
    7. All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem – Played once 1:15
    8. Wake Up – Arcade Fire – 23
    9. I Want You Back – Jackson 5 – 8
    10. God only Knows – Beach Boys – 15
    11. I Heard It Through The Grapevine – CCR – 8 – Bonus Original artist – Marvin Gaye
    12. Rivers Of Babylon – Sublime – 31 – 2 point bonusOriginal artist – Melodians
    13. I Wanna Hold Your Hand – Chris Colfer (Beatles cover, whole point for artist) – 17
    14. One Nation Under A Groove – Funkadelic – 21
    15. Scenario – Tribe Called Quest – 12
    16. Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen – 20
    17. Kiss – Prince – 2
    18. Fight The Power – Public Enemy – 24 – Bonus From wich OST? Do The Right Thing
    19. Common People – Pulp – 1
    20. I Wanna Be Sedated – The Ramones – 5
    21. Rock & Roll – Velvet Underground – 16

    Top Score 21.5/24.5 My Score 22/24.5

    Round 2
    1. Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin – 10
    2. Gimme Shelter – Sisters Of Mercy – 48 – Bonus original artist? Rolling Stones
    3. Paranoid Android – Radiohead – 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPLEbAVjiLA&ob=av3n
    4. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – R.E.M. – 2
    5. Jolene – Me First & The Gimme Gimmes – 19 – Bonus Original artist? Dolly Parton
    6. Crazy – Patsy Cline – 13
    7. Jailhouse Rock (Live) – Motley Crue – 26 Bonus Original artist? Elvis Presley
    8. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees – 1
    9. Being Boring – Pet Shop Boys – 40
    10. Borderline – Madonna – 11
    11. Girl From Ipanema – Frank Sinatra – 23
    12. Subterranean Homesick Blues – Bob Dylan – 8
    13. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down – The Band – 4
    14. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac – 18
    15. Get Ur Freak On – Missy Elliot – 4
    16. Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash – 5
    17. Master Of Puppets – Metallica – 17
    18. Blue Monday – New Order – 14
    19. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana – 2
    20. Hey Ya! – Outkast – 1
    21. Superstition – Stevie Wonder – 9

    Top Score  22.5/24 My Score 22.5/24

    Winners of the second round also won passes to Lifestory: Monologue’s album release party! If you want to win tickets on Monday, find out how here.

    3 Things That Actually Scare Me

    Happy Halloween from us here at Music Lives! I could easily just post Thriller and be done with it. I’m going to put myself out there and talk about what ACTUALLY scares me!
    Myself

    There’s a lot of ways I scare myself. None of them in the Dexter kind of way. Thinking too much, not enough, illness, stress, physical inactivity, not enough sleep etc. I’ve actually become physically ill twice because of stress related problems. Most of it stemming from indecision and not being happy and not knowing what to do about it. Like RUSH said “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” One day I’ll wake up and realize I’m not 21 anymore and it’s time to make things happen.

    Talking, Actually Talking

    I’m less than 1% scared of Psycho Killers. I’m more afraid of Talking Heads. This scene from Jerry Maguire pretty much sums it up (skip to 1:30 min). I’m not sure if it’s because I’m afraid of being judged on my actual reactions, decisions or opinions. Or if I sometimes feel we are all just waiting for our turn talk. It’s probably a bit of both. I have found though, that writing this blog allows me to connect, without either risk. Go blog, Go! And thanks for reading.

    Loneliness

    I’m sure this is something that a lot of us, especially those of us that are single, can relate to. Am I scared of being alone for the rest of my life? Sure. Am I willing to “settle” to ensure that I don’t. Absolutely not!

    Really, looking at this now, I think working on fears one and two will help me out before I try to solve number three. I’m still a work in progess and I’m not in any rush. Like I said before, I think I’m still 21.

    Here’s a couple of fun Halloween videos from guys that like to turn their front yards into ROCK CONCERTS! Happy Halloween everybody!

    How To Make A Mix Tape/Playlist Part Two

    So we concluded our first post in this series, How To Make A Mix Tape/Playlist Part One, with a question. Who’s it for? Who is your intended audience?

    I also revealed the first two songs on the tape, so here is the current track listing:
    1. D’yer Maker – Led Zeppelin
    2. Love Rollercoaster – Red Hot Chili Peppers

    The RHCP song leads me right into….
    Rule #3: Cover songs are important.
    I know that I’m totally breaking Rob Gordon’s rules. I’m okay with that. His “Rule #3” is to “Cool it off a notch”. I didn’t do that on this mix.
    Best Mix Tape Ever Track 3: Eruption/You Really Got Me – Van Halen

    Cover songs are super important and this one takes me right where I want to be. I really felt I could still go higher after Track 2. WAY higher! Eruption? C’mon! But there is also something else to consider. Did I have my whole audience on board with the mix so far? With this track I pick up rockers, Kinks (and other British Invasion) fans and people from Sault Ste. Marie. I did go a little Cover heavy on Side 1 of this tape, but they are a great way to introduce people to new bands without making them feel stupid for not knowing the words. Now we’ll get back on track with Rob Gordon….

    Rule #4: Cool it down a notch
    I totally broke this rule. I probably won’t put this song on a mix now. Come to think of it, this band would have trouble making the cut. There are two reasons for this song existing on this mix. One, it was intended for parties and road trips. And two, my friends all liked Eve 6 in 2001
    The Best Mix Tape Ever Track 4: Open Road Song – Eve 6

    A funny thing just happened…Listening to the song to try and find a good sounding one for this post, I still would take this song, just not in this spot. I’m rockin’ out and missing the friends I used to listen to this record with constantly. Music can be funny that way. Attaching a certain time and place with special people and events….

    So, back to the Rule #4. What would I pick now? I’d go a little more modern. Less epic, less tempo. Maybe a little deeper lyric wise. It’s important to bring people back and re-ground them. Something that everyone knows the words to would be great. I think Pink Floyd’s, Wish You Were Here, is a great song, but too deep. I want to scratch the emotional surface for my audience, with out making them cry. Sweet Child O’Mine would work, but I’ve already classic rocked this mix to death. I’d probably go with this one…
    *NEW* The Best Mix Tape Ever Track 4: Like A Stone – Audioslave

    I picked this song mostly because I didn’t want create a splinter in the mix tape continuum, this song still works with the next song.

    Be ready this week, we’re going to take our audience dancing!

    To be continued….How To Make A Mix Tape/Playlist Part Three

    Lunch Up Guelph, Playlist

    Here is the list of background music from Lunch Up Guelph. If you don’t know what that is, get a Twitter account! I know I broke some rules along the way, but I did only have a few hours this week to dedicate to this playlist. I’ll highlight a few of my favourites along the way.

    Lunch Up Playlist
    1. Need You Tonight – INXS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhvbRZWEtd4
    2. Sussudio – Phil Collins
    3. Heart Of Glass – Blondie
    4. Call Me Al – Paul Simon Had to be added to due to previous discussion on Twitter. VW bus what?
    5. Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presly See what I did there? Paul Simon’s album is Graceland. Get it?
    6. Little Deuce Coupe – The Beach Boys
    7. Uptown Girl – Billy Joel If the music had been louder we intended to do a sing-a-long flash mob/Glee style
    8. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
    9. You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Rolling Stones
    10. She’s Electric – Oasis I know Candice hates me for this one!
    11. Love Spreads – The Stone Roses
    12. Orange Crush – Editors (R.E.M. Cover) I played the studio version of the cover but had to post this one. If you’ve never seen Editors live, you are missing out!

    13. Just Like Honey – The Jesus & Mary Chain
    14. Wave Of Mutilation – The Pixies
    15. Pride & Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
    16. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
    17. Earth Angel – The Penguins Yep! These two back to back = Back To The Future reference.
    18. Superstitious – Stevie Wonder
    19. ABC – The Jackson 5
    20. Higher Ground – Red Hot Chili Peppers Stevie Wonder cover
    21. Empire State Of Mind – Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys
    22. It’s Like That – Run DMC
    23. Council Estate – Tricky
    24. Angel – Massive Attack Yeah, Rob Gordon would totally play this too!

    25. All These Things Things That I’ve Done – The Killers
    26. Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    27. Connection – Elastica
    28. The Passenger – Iggy Pop
    29. Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie
    30. Have A Cigar – Foo Fighters Pink Floyd cover

    31. Limelight – Rush Played this because Rush rule and they came out and played YYZ with Taylor Hawkins on drums last time I saw the Foo Fighters live!
    32. Like a Hurricane – Neil Young This is where I started slowing things down, to take us all home, so to speak.
    33. Hungry Heart – Bruce Springsteen
    34. Straight To Hell – The Clash Yep! MIA stole the intro for Paper Planes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQwm1v1R-qM

    There you go everyone! Thanks to Candice and TRC for organizing the Lunch Up, and to The Bookshelf/E-Bar for having us.

    How To Make A Mix Tape/Playlist Part One

    Thinking about ideas for a blog post series and look what I found! The Best Mix Tape EVER!!! This is what they used to be called, anyway, and mine is a little dated now (The newest track being from 2003).

    The digital equivalent of the mix tape would now be The Playlist. I know a lot of us, myself included, have “playlists” for different situations. Gym mix, driving mix etc. We usually throw a pile of songs in a folder, push random, and go. How often do you skip a song though? All the time. Right? The classic albums are that for a reason. Maximum 45 minutes of continuous music. We didn’t need to skip a song, nor did we want to. For the entirety of this series I will refer to both, a Mix Tape and Playlist, as a or the  “mix“.

    I’ll reveal the tracks for The Best Mix Tape EVER!!! as we go and I’ll reaveal a new mix at the end of the series. This one in particular was designed for background music at parties or for the car, with my friends (audience) in mind.

    Rob Gordon does lay down a few rules for us….I’m going to add a pile more. For those not familiar with my friend Rob Gordon, here’s your introduction.
    Rule #1: Start it off with a killer

    You have to grab attention right away. It’s a must! You don’t want to lose your listener in the first 2 minutes of a mix but you have to leave yourself some space to move either up or down.
    Best Mix Tape Ever Track 1: D’yer Mak’er – Led Zeppelin
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoF4Dsd1uRU
    I know what you’re thinking, Not one of their best. But keep this in mind, this song crosses a lot of genres. Reggae, Ska, Pop, Metal, Funk, Classic and Hard Rock lovers will all be right there with you, getting in the groove.

    Rule #2: Take it up a notch
    Best Mix Tape Ever Track 2: Lover Roller Coaster – Red Hot Chili Peppers
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwKvwD97cf8
    Two reasons to play this song next. One: More Funk. More up tempo. More fun! Two: I’ve also got my “stuck in the 90’s” Alternative buddy (which I was for a LONG time) paying attention to the mix. This song also leads us right into Rule #3: Cover songs are important.

    Today’s Conclusion
    I know this Mix Tape is dated, rule breaking and at times down right horrible. So much so that I can’t believe it took me weeks to make it. Here’s a question to ask yourself before you start your MIX. Who’s it for? Knowing that much can make or break a Mix, before it even starts.

    To Be Continued….How To Make A Mix Tape/Playlist Part Two

    Happy Monday!

    So I had a bit of a downer week last week. But last night I was listening to some Bobby Darin and it put me in such a good mood I actually had trouble sleeping. Sure, there are a lot of silly songs that make you laugh, but I’m talking about mood changers. Here is a few songs to change your mood, and get rid of your “Case of the Mondays”.

    I Have Been A Fool For Lesser Things

    Yeah, Billy Joel! Seriously though, can you control yourself from not snapping or singing along in that intro. Chuck Klosterman actually dedicates a whole chapter of his book Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs to how uncool Billy Joel is, and how cool that makes him. I find Uptown Girl also works.

    Oh, She’ll Make You Flip
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En1hI1iAtSY
    If you’re truly trying to beat the blues, clap along to the intro. The Cars wrote precision pop extremely well, for one album. They’ve had nuggets of genius along the way, but nothing as good as their debut. If you collect vinyl, you can find all their best albums, in mint contition, for $2 or less.

    Wouldn’t It Be Nice?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsPtOkaQKww&feature=related
    Great song! Maybe one of the best Side one, Track ones, of all time, from the classic, Pet Sounds. I can’t hit that high note, even in my imagination, but I will try and fail and laugh about it every time.

    I hope I helped cure your Monday blues and your day wasn’t nearly as bad as this guys!

    Name That Tune Answers, Oct. 19,2011

    I know I was supposed to post this yesterday, but I got too busy seeing live music! The first 7 questions were taken directly from my blog posts A Special Tribute, and Once More…With Feeling! respectively. I do get silly by number 8 though. The number after the artist is the length of time, in seconds, I played the track, for our live studio audience.

    Songs For My Funeral
    1. Amazing Grace – Leann Rimes – 14
    2. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen – 14
    3. Angel – Sarah McLachlan – 14
    4. My Way – Frank Sinatra – 8
    5. Hurt – Johnny Cash
    6. Pictures Of You – The Cure – 16
    7. Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd – 6
    So this is where I went silly and started adding conditions for songs to be played…
    If I were to die, and never marry, and my League Of Evil Exes are at my funeral, and are mad I never married them, you could play this song…
    8. Single Ladies – Beyonce – 2

    If that song were played, this should be played right after, as a reason why I didn’t marry them. I would never say this in real life. So don’t mess with dead me, I go low-brow!
    9. Bitches Ain’t Shit – Ben Folds – 10
    If, for whatever reason, I’m buried in my leather pants (Yes, I have leather pants), play this song.
    10. I Remember You – Skid Row – 13
    I would be so lucky to die involving a misadventure involving the song title, and if I do, play this song at my funeral.
    11. S&M – Rihanna – 2
    If I died and went to heaven….
    12. Get The Party Started – Pink – 12
    Everyone I know would insist this be played at my funeral….
    13. Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) – The Offspring – 6
    If I found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the mythical creatures from the Twilight series were having one of their battles, and I accidentally got killed. You could play the next two songs.
    14. Drain The Blood – The Distillers – 8
    15. Werewolves Of London – Warren Zevon – 9
    If I were killed by Zombies…
    16. Eat My Brain – The Odds – 9
    Died in a time machine accident…
    17. Power of Love – Huey Lewis & the News – 2 (That’s a Back To The Future joke BTW!)
    If I died today…
    18. Sexy And I Know It – LMFAO – 18
    Assassinated…
    19. Sure Shot – Beastie Boys – 6
    If I were to die in an explosion, from one of these, play this song…
    20. Time Bomb – Rancid 5

    Top Score 17.5/20            My Score 20/20

    Round 2
    The second round of Name That Tune involved dead artists/musicains including the five from my post The Show Must Go On.
    1. Foxey Lady – Jimi Hendrix – 9
    2. Riders On The Storm – The Doors 32
    3. Woman – John Lennon -12 Bonus Name his killer: Mark David Chapman
    4. Baba O’Reilly – The Who 4
    5. Dream Lover – Bobby Darin 9
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdLn-QhRSB4
    6. Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam – Nirvana – 8
    7. Got My Mind Set On You – George Harrison – 6
    8. Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin – 8 Bonus Who wrote it: Kris Kristofferson
    9. Them Bones – Alice In Chains – 3
    10. Bang A Gong – Marc BolanT Rex – 16
    11. Crying – Roy Orbison – 13
    12. Beat It – Michael Jackson – 8 Bonus Guitarist: Eddie Van Halen
    13. Baker Street – Gerry Raferty 25
    14. California Love – Tupac & Dr.Dre 5
    15. Who Wants To Live Forever – Queen – 25 Bonus movie: Highlander
    16. 5 Seconds Alone – Pantera – 8 Bonus Name his killer: Nathan Gale
    17. I Walk The Line – Johnny Cash – 10
    18. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye – 10 Bonus Name his killer: His Father, Marvin Gaye SR.
    19. I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown – 1

    Top score 20.5/25 My score 24/25

    Once More….With Feeling!

    Alright, second last post about death (last post if you don’t count Name That Tune answers). A quick 4 that are a MUST play at my funeral. I’m putting this out there now so no one screws this up if anything were to happen to me. For example, what if my sister insisted on playing a Britney Spears song, only because she knows I’ve seen her live in concert. While making this list I realized how many songs we (or maybe it’s just me) assume are about lost love or heartbreak but can just as easily be about death.

    And now the end is near…

    This sums up me, and how I live, or will have lived. It’s an oldie and a goody and actually makes me think of my Grandfather. It actually suits him WAY better. But in myself I see pieces of him. It would also make a strong exit for the pallbearers.

    You Were Bigger And Brighter And Whiter Than Snow

    Slide shows are pretty standard at funerals. Here is the obvious choice for my musical accompaniment. I always thought it was a the type of song that could choke you up all on it’s own. Good luck getting through it mourners.

    I Am Still Right Here

    This is a sneaky way of getting two of my favourite performers in one shot, Johnny Cash and Nine Inch Nails. Also, depending on the time of my demise, forcing some of my family to actually LISTEN to a NIN song.

    Bye, Bye, Baby It’s Been A Sweet Love

    There is not a lot that needs to be said for this song. Everybody knows it and loves it. “For I must be traveling on, now. ‘Cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see” can be taken as inspirational for the family of the departed.

    Miss You Love
    There are a lot of songs that I considered for this list, but most of them were conditional. If I were to die before I marry I would suggest “Too Fast For Love” by Motley Crue. If I was married, I’d hope my wife would want to play something like “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam or something like it. Is there a song you hear that makes you think of me? Comments? Your list? Post them here.

    The Show Must Go On

    Five bands/musicians I wish I had the chance to see live…..
    I’m not intentionally keeping with the dark undertones of my last post. For anyone that knows me and as I stated at the end of my last post, A Special Tribute, I’m usually a pretty optimistic guy. Everyone has their ups and downs and sometimes it’s better just to speak from the heart. I promise some light and funny posts in the coming weeks. So let’s get into this and give you something to listen to.

    Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnGc-6GHQps
    Nirvana where the biggest band in the world at the time of Kurt’s death and I whole heartily believed that Courtney had him knocked off until I read Heavier Than Heaven : A Biography of Kurt Cobain. I believed that there was NO way he could do that to himself. Really though, it doesn’t matter. If you’ve ever lost someone to suicide you already know it hurts the same as if they had died any other way. I picked this song because of it’s mentions of heaven and hell, but also because when I worked at a camp we actually sang the Christian rendition he mentions in the intro.

    Smooth Criminal?

    Say whatever you want about his personal life. I don’t care. If a jury of my peers found me innocent, I would hope that would be enough for everyone else. Michael Jackson was the greatest entertainer of all time. If you haven’t seen This Is It yet, do yourself the favour. I was supposed to see the Victory Tour in 1984, but all I got was a lousy T-shirt. This video rules and Eddie Van Halen kills it at 3:10!

    Guess Things Happen That Way
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CctaP71iNuQ
    Nothing can really be said about Johnny Cash. He lived his life hard. He screwed up and redeemed himself over and over. Johnny Cash toured with everybody cool. Check out Cash: The Autobiography. Used book stores have them all the time. I can’t imagine selling my copy.

    Cemetery Gates
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIHpsKzp-pw&feature=relmfu
    So Nathan Gale really didn’t think this one through. Was his intention to only wound two of the ex-Pantera members? If so, he’d still be locked up if his actions did somehow bring about a reunion. Whatever he was thinking he ripped the rest of the world off by taking away Dimebag Darrell and my chance to ever see the GREATEST metal band of the 90’s.

    A Kind of Magic

    Queen! Freddie Mercury has to be my favourite vocalist of all time! His range, power, stage presence, vibrato and grace have never been paralleled (Bruce Dickinson is right up there though). A lot of current performers have a lot to thank him for.

    The Last Waltz
    I know there are a lot more performers out there. I narrowed my list down from 11 to 3 but forgot about 2 that were musts! Write your own Top 5 or questions and comments here. Until later keep on, keppin’ on.

    A Special Tribute

    My family lost a very special person this morning. She was my dear Aunt, a Mother, a Sister, a Niece and everybody’s friend. I’m writing this post for the people that will miss her everyday. I always turn to music when something emotionally jarring happens and these are just a few of the songs I listened to while taking the time to think about all the great times my Aunt and I had together. I’m not sure if my Aunt would have even liked these songs, but they helped me out today when I got the news, and I hope my family feels the same.

    My Aunt = Babysitter Supreme
    My Aunt was my babysitter for a lot of my formative years. It was never sit you in front of the TV all day kind of babysitting. It was full blown, interaction, creation, activities, events, stories, teach you to use scissors, keep you so busy you fall asleep in the car, kind of babysitting. She wanted us to experience and enjoy life as much as she did, and I do, I truly do. It’s something I didn’t really realize until today.

    Recent Memory
    The last time I saw my Aunt was at my brother’s wedding this past summer (the photo above is from said wedding, July 2011). Although I hadn’t seen her in a few years, we quickly fell back into old habits. I resumed my role as her bratty nephew. And she resumed her role as the shocked, I can’t believe you’re making a dirty joke, Aunt. I’m glad we made time while there to catch up, just the two of us. We also got to share a dance. It was the first and last time I ever got to dance with my Aunt. We had a blast!

    To Friends And Family
    I know anyone that had the pleasure of knowing my Aunt is feeling a lot of hurt today. I know I am. If you consider how she lived her life, I think she would want us to move away from our sorrow. She did everything BIGGER!
    My Aunt smiled bigger, hugged bigger, lived bigger and loved bigger than anyone. My Aunt never let anyone tell her she couldn’t achieve something. If I ever have to remember something she taught me by example, it would be her optimism. Well, that, and how to use scissors.

    Name That Tune Answers October 13th, 2011

    Both rounds last night were artists or songs that had something to do with size in their title. Big, large, small, tiny etc. I also kept track of how long I played each song for, but not starting until number 3.

    Round 1
    1. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – The Police

    2. The Scene – Big Sugar
    3. Big Balls – AC/DC – 16 seconds
    4. Little Sister – Queens Of The Stone Age – 11 seconds
    5. Tutti Frutti – Little Richard – 1 second
    6. With Arms Wide Open – Creed – 17 seconds
    7. Hypnotize – Notorious BIG – 6 seconds
    8. Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong – Spin Doctors – 19 seconds
    9. Little Red Corvette – Prince – 16 seconds
    10. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter In A Small Town – Pearl Jam – 3
    11. Piece Of My Heart – Big Brother And The Holding Company – 13
    12. Istanbul – They Might Be Giants – 22 seconds
    13. Little Boxes –  TV show Weeds – Bonus 2 points: Elvis Costello – 10
    14. In A Big Country – Big Country 19 seconds
    15. Short D**k Man – Gilette/20 Fingers 19 seconds
    16. A Little Respect – ErasureBonus point: Cover by Wheatus 14
    17. Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix 17 seconds
    18. To Be With – Mr.Big 9 seconds
    19. Ordinary Day – Great Big Sea 13 seconds
    20. Super Freak – Rick James 3 seconds

    Top score: 22/23 My Score 20/23

    Round 2
    1. Logical Song – Supertramp 8 seconds
    2. A Milli – Lil Wayne 16 seconds
    3. Supermassive Black Hole – Muse 16 seconds
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwB8L092ZzU
    4. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen 5 seconds
    5. Powertrip – Monster Magnet 15 seconds
    6. Big Bottom – Spinal Tap 14 seconds
    7. Big Time – Peter Gabriel 7 seconds
    8. How Many Licks – Lil Kim feat. Sisqo 18 seconds
    9. Big Me – Foo Fighters 5 seconds
    10. Mother’s Little Helper – Rolling Stones 4 seconds
    11. Raise A Little Hell – Trooper 5 seconds
    12. Small Town – John Cougar Mellancamp (Authors Note:He’ll always be Cougar in my books) 15 seconds
    13. Big Empty – Stone Temple Pilots 20 seconds
    14. Tiny Dancer – Elton John 2 seconds
    15. Angel – Massive Attack Played only once!1 minute 11 seconds
    16. Larger Than Life – Back Street Boys 3 seconds
    17. That Song – Big Wreck 9 seconds
    18. Big Time Sensuality – Bjork 15 seconds
    19. All The Small Things – Blink 182 5 seconds
    20. Short Skirt, Long Jacket – Cake 3 seconds

    Top score: 18/20 My Score: 20/20

    I hope everyone had a great time last night! To leave questions or comments on this blog post click here!

    Music Lives Blog!

    Welcome to the Music Lives Blog!

    This blog has been a long time coming. My first post has been written and rewritten four or five times now. Instead of posting that one, thought, I’m going to keep it simple and explain a few things that will be in store for future posts. But first, a song/video for you to listen to while reading my musical based rantings. Being the first post, I thought I’d start with my favourite recording artist of all time… David Bowie!

    The first thing this blog will help me do is get all my random musical opinions and rantings down to share with the world! If you’ve seen the movie High Fidelity, I’ve always considered myself 75% Rob Gordon and 25% Jack Black. If you’ve met me in person, you really can’t argue this fact. Well, maybe you could argue the percentage. If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it. It’s in my Top 5 (Top 5 lists are continuous theme in the film) and explores the relationship between music and love in a way I can relate to. It’s funny and the soundtrack kicks ass! Wondering what my musical rents will sound like? Look forward to posts like this:

    What came first? The music or the misery?

    The second thing this blog will do benefits two groups of people: Those who attend Name That Tune at Jimmy Jazz every week, and those who wish they could but can’t for whatever reason. Name That Tune is an opportunity for you to test your musical knowledge, with the chance of winning great prizes and getting bragging rights, by recognizing the artist and song based on the first few seconds of the songs that are played. Hosted by yours truly, every week I divide 40 songs into 2 rounds that are usually themed based. The themes keep me playing music of all different genres and eras. By the end of the night, everyone (myself included) can have a hard time remembering all the answers. Let’s say they can get a little, umm, Fuzzy? Now on Music Lives, you’ll be able to get the themes and answers every Thursday from the night before’s Name That Tune. I will add some videos to keep it interesting, and you’ll never forget an amazing new song you heard on Wednesday night!

    I’m really looking forward to this new chapter for Music Lives. There has already been so many changes in the last 4 months it has been hard to keep track. And that’s part of what this blog is all about. Stay tuned for the first official post… Why Music Lives!

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