Posts Tagged ‘Music’


There’s Lightning

April 16, 2012

Here’s a new album from a talented Toronto singer-songwriter who was once hit in the face by a moving train, which has caused him to grow the greatest Magnum face foliage of all time. Give it a listen. Download the tunes. It’s good music for a grey, thoughtful day.

There’s Lightning


The Beatles Smack Their Bitch Up

February 26, 2011

I just watched this video at The Retroscope, a very cool weird anachronistic history blog. The Retronaut himself borrowed the video from a YouTube user named PleaseUnhelpMe. I love it. It’s a great example of how skilled editing can accentuate the synchronicity that runs through all popular music.

Synchronicity is a funny thing. A lot of people believe in that whole Pink Floyd/Dark Side of the Moon business; I have never tried it, because I understand that it works if you want it to. You can test it: flick on the TV, turn the sound down, fire up some music, and watch. If you soon see everything lining up, you believe in Synchronicity. If you don’t, you’re a skeptic. If you see The Police singing Every Breath You Take in black and white, you’re taking all of this too seriously and should probably just go get a sandwich.

I also enjoy this clip because it’s a reminder of how powerful Beatlemania was at the time. We marvel at it over and over again, most recently with Justin Bieber, but this makes it clear that it was happening close to 50 years ago, and will always happen so long as floppy-haired boys make light, fun music — or cover Smack My Bitch Up.


Why Justin Bieber Lost

February 14, 2011

You will probably want to say something about how wrong it is for me to criticize a teenager, but really, people, once you are able to purchase Caribbean islands, you stop being a teenager. Game on.

Have I ever mentioned that I’m pretty sure I once threw Justin Bieber a Toonie outside a theatre in Stratford, Ontario while he played Neil Sedaka songs on an acoustic guitar? No? Well, your loss. Also his, as Justin was not named Best New Artist at last night’s Grammy Awards, a decision that created a vacuum as millions of grownups grinned just as millions of young girls imploded in a storm of misspelled Facebook messages and text messages. “OMFG!”

But while the Bieberians struggle with the reality that the music establishment knows Justin for what he is — a talented kid with about six more months’ worth of future — I have put some thought into just what caused his Grammy flameout.

  • … He’s Canadian, but not very polite, and that confuses Americans.
  • … Cutting all that hair off his face has turned out to be a mistake. Young people started thinking he was Zac Efron, and people my age started thinking he was just another kid who needs to pull up his pants.
  • That girl who won “Justin’s Grammy” is like all talented and everything, so it’s okay. “She like totally deserved it,” said the Bieb through his tears.
  • … It’s an evil Jonas Brothers conspiracy. During the seven months they ruled the world, they bought most of the music industry under a variety of trusts and shell corporations, like three Bruce Waynes with sure-it’s-not-a-mullet haircuts. “Next,” says Joe or possibly Kevin Jonas, “We’ll tell Bieber he has to star in a remake of E.T.”
  • … “As E.T.”
  • … Arcade Fire won big, and that hit the Canadian suck-ass garbage music quota for this year’s Grammy Awards.
  • … Shaun Cassidy, Ricky Nelson, Leif Garrett, Menudo, NKOTB, N’Synch or whatever they were called, 98 Degrees, The Bay City Rollers, Fabian, Donny Osmond, Hanson … The Bieb may be big today, but it’ll be a few years before he can compare himself to teen idol Paul Anka. But then again, Paul Anka was no Neil Sedaka.

Coming soon: “I’m doing this CD of heavy metal covers because I want to explore my boundaries.”

Also coming soon: Me taking my daughter to the Justin Bieber 3D movie. I sort of promised, and now she thinks I’m cool.


Turds of Misery 1913

July 26, 2010

Long before the boys we love gathered in the basement to crank out Stones covers and drink Blue Ribbon, the original Turds were the talk of Black Lick, Pennsylvania, in the early years of the 20th century. The band included Buster, Lefty, Fingers, Jeremy and Little String. Jeremy, the grandfather of Bagpipes MacDonald, chose not to have a rock-cracking nickname because he knew his grandson would need it later. The original Turds later added Hoots, who blew into an old whiskey jug, and interpretive dancer Calvin Coolidge, who later went into politics. Years later, leftover souvenir Lefty masks would be sold in England and become a bit of a novelty.

Jude Law has been cast as Fingers in the movie.


I Kissed An Oompa Loompa … And I Liked It

July 9, 2010

Here’s Katy Perry. I have no idea what’s happening in this photo, but it appears to be either the world’s best house party or the world’s worst art school. Or maybe the other way around.

The sad thing about this photo is that you probably didn’t notice the Oompa Loompas at first.


New Kids On The Block: The Comeback

July 8, 2010

Their fans may have grown up, but the New Kids On The Block are still Hangin’ Tough.  From left, Joe, Donnie, Jon and new member Buster are hitting the road again, performing their hits and ducking thrown panties as they help revive the early 1990s.

“We had been doing different things,” says Donnie Wahlberg. “As you may know, I was an actor. But after a while people realized they had been mixing me up with my brother, and after The Happening, well, the work just wasn’t there anymore. So I returned to my first true love: Pizza Hut. They give me the weekends off to tour.”

With a new sound, a new look and a distinct lack of the one guy who looked kind of like an ape, the New Kids are coming soon to a shopping mall food court near you.

“We were really influenced by edgy new music like Nickelback,” says Jon Knight, the quiet one who never talks. “I would tell you more, but I’m the quiet one who never talks.”

Buster, the newest member of the band, wasn’t even born when the Kids had their heydey.

“I’m more into Cradle of Filth, Deicide, that sort of thing,” says Buster, who until recently was working as a bathhouse janitor, but has since quit to pursue his dream of making music full-time. “It’s my job to be the musical brains of the band, and also to spray off the whores after the show.”

The Spin Doctors have been booked as the opening act for the tour.


The Pollyanna Cowgirl Records Podcast

May 10, 2010

Another show has joined the Simply Syndicated media network: The Pollyanna Cowgirl Records Podcast. This one always makes me want to say “Yeeeeee-ha!”

Despite this Simply Syndicated debut being called Episode 1, PCRP has been around for a while. I first heard this show a couple of years ago, I think on the recommendation of Jakob from Nerd Hurdles. “What a nifty idea,” I thought. “It’s like a radio show or something, but without all the bullshittery.”

Tony Pucci, the maestro behind the show, offers up a weekly spin of unusual and eclectic independent music from around the world. This is great stuff for a variety of reasons. Tony knows his music, and his ability to program a show like this is testament to his diverse and informed musical knowledge. It’s also important for one key reason: You won’t hear this stuff anywhere else, unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with a campus radio station (like me) or you grew up with a hippie mom with the world’s strangest taste in music (also like me).

Most of the musicians featured on this show will not get this kind of exposure otherwise. I just got off the phone with a singer-songwriter from Vancouver who’s on her way here to play a few shows and speak to schoolkids about tolerance and diversity; she described a typical year in her life, and it really hit home how hard these people have to work just to be heard. This show, and Simply Syndicated’s Musical Mouse Mat online music store, offer a new alternative for them. They deserve to be heard.

And let’s face it: CD sales success is not in the cards for most of them. They’re just too talented, too creative, too real to land on a major label today. The only acts landing contracts these days are assembled cardboard cutouts, corporate clones and surefire sales success stories sold to sheep.

The real music is happening where it always has: in the background, in the quiet. And now online, thanks to Tony Pucci. Check it out here.

  • Note: Jakob leads off this first episode with a cool Urbane Decay track, and Tony teams up with Tim Powles of The Church (one of his favourite bands, and one of mine, too). I like knowing rock stars.