Monday, December 31, 2007

Home For The Holidays

Thought I would squeeze one last entry on TDIT for 2007.

Home for the holidays is what a lot of people have in mind at this time of year, while other's would like to be as far from home as possible...perhaps a much warmer location? Winnipeg's very own Weakerthans returned home last week as their "Reunion Tour" took them throughout much of North America and Europe for the past couple of months. In case you missed it, the Weakerthans never broke up (despite the long periods between releases), Reunion Tour is the name of their latest release and as you may have read in a previous post, I think it's one of the year's best.

This concert at the Burton Cummings Theatre felt a bit like deja vu because the band played this same venue last September (see my previous post) and performed a set not unlike last time.
A few random observations:

  • They played a similar mix of songs from the new album (last time they were still unreleased) as well as favourite's from the previous 3 albums.
  • Both times they played a 15-16 song main set followed by a 7 song double encore.
  • My seats were in the same section as last time. (middle 1st balcony)
  • Ottawa's Jim Bryson opened the show. Performed solo on guitar and occasionally some keyboard and he was joined by violinist Julie Penner, drummer Jason Tait, egg-shaker Christine Fellows and various incarnations of other Weakerthans' members. (including John K on bass). Bryson also performed as a 5th member of the Weakerthans for their whole set adding guitar, keyboards and backing vocals.
  • Was it just me or did John K. seem to sing a bit off-key in a couple of songs most notably, Hymn Of the Medical Oddity and Manifest?
  • I love the song, Tournament of Hearts! Best song about Curling ever! (a close second is the Dik Van Dyke's, Curling Song)
  • They really should ban beer sales at the Burt. I've complained about this at other concerts before because I had to stand up continually throughout their set for a girl that alternated beer runs with washroom runs. Was worried my recording might get affected having to shuffle up and least wait until the end of a song.
  • Great concert, sound was good and in the balcony you can always see clearly without having to stand for the whole show.
  • The Weakerthan's are a band Winnipegger's should be proud of. They are highly respected and critically acclaimed outside of Manitoba (maybe more so...?) and when I'm in another city and I mention I'm from Winnipeg, I've had people say, "Winnipeg...the Weakerthan's are from there". Yes, I kid you not, I've had that response more than once. Much like how the Winnipeg Jets put us on the sports fan's radar.

I have posted a lossless FLAC version of the concert on Dimeadozen and I'll post a zip of mp3's for those that can't access Dime (coming soon). I would love to post individual FLAC files, but uploading on my archive storage site takes way too long...sorry. If you do download the mp3's, please do not share or trade these lossy versions. If you want a hard copy of the show, please message me.

(photo credits- Davevdb and Keith Hartley)

For now here's some highlights:
Burton Cummings Theatre
Winnipeg, MB
December 22, 2007

Civil Twilight
Our Retired Explorer
Tournament Of Hearts
Confessions Of A Futon Revolutionist
One Great City

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bare (Unreleased/Demos) Juliana Hatfield

A couple of days ago I spoke about the Martial Arts free downloadable tracks from their new album on their MySpace page, another interesting concept is the Honor system. Juliana Hatfield has once again posted unreleased and demos on her website for download, she previously posted most of these songs about a year and a half ago. The Honor system is basically a pay what you want or can afford for the songs she has posted for download, if you choose you can download the songs free guilt-free and without breaking any laws. All payment (paypal-online, cash-mail) will go directly to the artist not a record label or an iTunes-like site. This concept has been recently been deployed for Radiohead's latest release, but I haven't really heard how successful this went, so I can't comment either way. Personally, I like this idea, if a band has some songs they want people to listen to without the restrictions and interference of a major label, the band should have the right to control the distribution of their own songs. For Juliana these demos and unreleased songs nicely compliment her albums to give more insight into her creative processes and obviously she is proud to stand behind all her work. I love Juliana, so support her, buy her albums and see her shows and most of all enjoy her music.

I'm posting some songs she hasn't had available for download before (they are on her site), read about these songs here and visit the site and have a listen. Don't forget if you like what you hear, donate to Juliana!

Can't Worry 'Bout It
Just Like That (Some Girls demo, Juliana all instruments)
I Can't Kill Myself (from the unreleased God's Foot)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Been Along Time Since They Rock'n'Rolled

The most anticipated rock reunion in some time took place last night in London to a wildly enthusiastic crowd of 20,000 who paid $250 a ticket...and yes, they we're the lucky ones! An online lottery saw over a million people from more than 50 countries enter for a chance to attend this once in a lifetime show. From all reports so far, Led Zeppelin did not disappoint and the fans that attended can now die happy. The Winnipeg Sun's Darryl Sterdan wrote a song-by-song review from the concert and his first hand (did he attend the show??) observations of the concert.

In the next few days I'll be scanning the internet for links or torrents from this show as I'm sure someone must have sneaked a recorder into the arena. I'm almost positive Led Zeppelin will release an official document of this concert be it DVD and CD, but I'm sure the true fan will want to hear this sooner....stay tuned!

update: an audience recording from the back of the floor is posted on... if you're registered, Dimeadozen (been downloaded over 3,000 times in half a day-Dec. 11) and

Instead of posting mp3 samples from the show, here's a link to a zip file of the complete show in mp3 format. I've had a listen to the recording posted on Dimeadozen and it sounds a little distant and has that large arena boom echo. Overall not bad, can't guarantee anyone closer will post the show though, so it's worth the least historically.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Martial Arts - Free (Legal) Music To Enjoy!

When I saw a link on a message board for a band that was offering it's newest CD for free on it's MySpace page I was skeptical. I expected a lame amateur band giving away some lo-fi recording because it wasn't worth selling...I was totally wrong! What I discovered was some catchy power pop that immediately drew me in and sampled all 5 songs on it's MySpace media player.

The band is The Martial Arts from Glasgow, Scotland fronted by singer/guitarist Paul Kelly who originally used the name for a solo project that eventually led to a full band lineup. Their sound has a great 60's new wave sound, nice melodies and a fresh sound that will get your toes tapping and head bobbing. Their debut full length (they have an EP, Do It Riot Girl as well) is called Your Sinclair and is available for free download, including the front cover and credits (download .rar or .zip file), until strings attached! Yes, this is the band's idea, I think they would be excited to have as many people as possible listen and let them judge if they want to buy a hard copy or see them live.
Have a listen, if you like it tell your friends, I highly recommend Your Sinclair!

MARTIAL ARTS Your Sinclair (2007)

Murry And Audree
Don't Want To Talk

Monday, November 26, 2007

Seeing Stars In Winnipeg

Way back in August when I bought tickets to Stars I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I loved their last release, Set Yourself On Fire, I'm enjoying Amy Millan's solo album, Honey From The Tombs (and her performance at the Folk festival) and I'm a fan of the Broken Social Scene (Amy is in that as well). Stars has been to Winnipeg a few times before, but I never have seen them live. When I got the tickets I wasn't aware they would be touring behind a new album, In Our Bedroom After The War , which they eventually released in September. They had it available for legal download on their website four days after the completion of the album on July 10. I managed to listen to the album in late August and since then it has stuck around on my iPod still to this day, it's that good! I was anxious to hear the new material (and the older) in a live setting, so Saturday's show was much anticipated.

When Sumi and I arrived at the Burton Cummings Theatre, it was 10 minutes to eight and the doors weren't open yet and there was a long lineup down Smith street to Ellice. I thought the show started at eight, not the doors, apparently we weren't in the minority. I pity the people that waited in the falling snow for the last hour. Once inside after finding our seats, a long 30 minute wait in the merch-table line gave us something to do until the opening band . If the Burt was ever planning any renovations, the lobby would be a great place to's way too crowded.

The openers were Miracle Fortress from Montreal who have a similar guy singer/girl guitar player, bass and keyboard band makeup, like Stars. The main difference being Miracle Fortress had duo percussionists which sometimes seemed to overpower the mix and made it difficult to understand the vocals. They didn't exactly excite me, but toward the end of their set I started to warm to them, if only slightly.

When the lights went down for Stars, everyone of the floor stood. The front of the stage was already crowded with teenage girls waving their camera phones in anticipation and the fog machine was spewing out layers of misty...fog! This was good because everyone in front of us in direct line of the stage left their seats to stand up front, it gave us a clear unobstructed view of the stage. During the first song, Take Me To The Riot, the back spotlights frantically panned up and down floor to ceiling and flashing blue light in our faces, creating an exciting frantic start to the show. The lights were crucial in creating atmosphere and mood throughout the show, it give it a very noir-like setting creating brilliant silhouette images and generated a welcoming feeling when the stage was flooded with warm pinks, purples and blue light. The elaborate stage setup was decorated with illuminated framed pictures and numerous vases of flowers that emulated a living room, or possibly a bedroom. Throughout the show, band members tossed flowers into the crowd.

They played a nice mix of songs from their new album and favourites from previous releases, the older songs had a renewed energy to them live and with during the songs from the new album, the band sounded fresh and enthusiastic to show off their new material. I was initially drawn to the band for Amy Millan's beautiful voice and the songs she sang, but live I developed an appreciation for co-front person, Torquil Campbell's compassionate heartfelt vocals. Torquil provides the spark and energy for the band, in contrast to Amy's somber stage persona, he doubled on keyboards and trumpet and he provided a highlight moment when he wandered off-stage and came back in a lighted suit. He looked like a lit up Christmas tree sauntering around the stage. Torquil thanked the audience for coming to the show and he sincerely appreciated the support and warmth he felt from Winnipeg...except when he goofed and said, "hope your team wins the Super Bowl tomorrow".

The band played 21 songs in just over an hour and a half which included a 4 song encore. I thought the show was everything a concert should be: visually pleasing stage show, tremendously tight performances, enthusiastic, but not crazy crowd, I was able to see the band clearly and up close (row 6 floor!), and the sound was decent (a little muddled at first, but it improved). Though Indie groups like Stars, BSS, and Feist seem to have a more dedicated following in Europe, this week they play Toronto for 4 nights and 2 dates in Montreal before heading off to Europe, so they probably won't tour Canada again until next year. If you have a chance to catch Stars in the future, see them!!

(If you have any photos from the Winnipeg show, please let me know so I can replace these photos from a past show on the tour).

I'm posting some of the highlights from the concert, about half the songs they played. I've posted the entire concert on Dimeadozen and if you want a copy, let me know. (note: I don't think I'll be able to post FLAC files as it'll take my file storage archive way too long to upload...sorry).

Burton Cummings Theatre
Winnipeg, MB
November 24, 2007

Take Me To The Riot
Set Yourself On Fire
Bitches In Tokyo
One More Night
Your Ex-lover Is Dead
In Our Bedroom After The War
The Night Stops Here
My Favourite Book
What I'm Trying To Say
Calender Girl

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How Far Would You Go?

A few weeks ago I received an interesting message on Dimeadozen (where I have an account), someone saw I posted the New Pornographers show from Calgary and he was wondering if I can help him out. He was looking for someone to record the Billy Joel concert in Calgary and Edmonton on November 3rd and 5th because he was would be away during those dates, he was willing to buy tickets for me to attend the shows. First of all, I don't live in Alberta and I live 1,000 miles way and if he wanted me to tape it he would have to fly me out there, plus the Edmonton show was the day after I received the message. I replyed back with those concerns and he responded by saying if the price of the flight wasn't too bad, he would be willing to cover my expenses. I kind of hemmed and hawed mainly in disbelief, would someone seriously fly me to another city to tape a band? I quickly searched for flights and hotels to Calgary, as the Edmonton show was less than 24 hours away (didn't think they would let me take off Saturday from work on a couple hours notice) and forwarded the prices of my anticipated expenses. In the end I didn't get a followup reply as he may have been too freaked out by the price, though it probably still would cost more for a floor ticket to Bon Jovi or Celine Dion.

The point of this story is how far are people willing to go or pay to see and hear their favourite performers? I have gone to Minneapolis (8 hour drive) to see bands on many occasions, but I have never flown anywhere just for a concert. I now don't go anywhere without my mini-disc recorder and mics. With that in mind I would have loved to have gone to Seattle last weekend to see a reunion show from the Young Fresh Fellows or to Pittsburgh for the Break-Up Society's CD release with special guests..a reunited Frampton Brothers. (note: YFF's and FB's are my two favourite bands) I would have paid big time to see either one of those concerts and I'm hoping some audio recordings surface. I did find video of the YFF's show on a site called Synchronicity (you'll have to register) which has complete live concerts by mainly obscure bands. The Tripwires set from the same night is also up.

In the upcoming months there are of couple of concerts I have tickets for, I plan to tape those shows, but I'm also considering some other shows if I have the time. If anyone has any suggestions or requests I might be convinced to attend certain shows with appropriate incentives such as complimentary tickets etc.

November 24, 2007- Burton Cummings Theatre (going!)

November 30, Dec. 1, 2007- Royal Albert Arms (?)

December 7, 2007- West End Cultural Centre (?)

December 22, 2007- Burton Cummings Theatre (going)

January 26, 2008- MTS Centre ($)

(?)= might go?
($)= would consider attending w/ticket?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Stars On KCRW

In anticipation of the Stars show in Winnipeg next week, I'm posting a recent radio performance by the band when they were in California during their West Coast leg of their North American tour. They stopped by the KCRW studios in Santa Monica and played songs from their new album for Morning Becomes Eclectic with host Nic Harcourt.

The uncompressed torrent is available at dimeadozen (for registered members) and the stream of the program can be found on the KCRW website so you can listen and watch the video of the entire show. If you don't have the new album, In Our Bedroom After The War you can stream the whole thing at the band's MySpace site.

I'm posting mp3's of the songs only (minus the interview portion). Please don't distribute these compressed files, listen and enjoy! I'll be recording the Winnipeg show for future postings, so let me know if you're interested.

KCRW "Morning Becomes Eclectic" Santa Monica, CA
aired November 12, 2007

The Night Stops Here
My Favourite Book
Midnight Coward
Take Me To The Riot
Window Bird
The Ghost Of Genova Heights

Thursday, November 15, 2007

30th Anniversary Of My Aim Is True Concert

One of the greatest debut albums of the 70's was released 3o years ago and it was performed in it's entirety from top to bottom with the original arrangements and with most of the original musicians that played on the album.

On November 8th at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, Elvis Costello and the members of Clover recreated My Aim Is True, which they recorded together in 1977. This is the first time they have performed the album together live (Elvis explains this between songs) since the studio recording over 30 years ago. Clover was Elvis's backup band for the recording sessions. This one-time-only performance was a magical moment that must of been amazing to have witnessed, if I could have been anywhere in the world last Thurday, it would have been the Great American Music Hall. Elvis's first album opened my eyes to some incredible music that also opened the doors to some great new wave/pub rock bands such as Nick Lowe, Graham Parker, Dave Edmunds, Brinsley Schwarz, The Motors and Ducks Deluxe. The second set of the show consisted of songs written before 1977, either solo or with different combinations of Clover, all rare gems!

For a review of the show, San Francisco Chronicle

Elvis Costello (& Clover)
Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA November 8, 2007
(selected tracks-For the complete show: Dimeadozen or leave me a message)
Welcome to The Working Week
Miracle Man
(Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
Less Than Zero
Mystery Dance
Waiting For The End Of The World
Watching The Detectives
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding

Monday, October 29, 2007

Emma Pollock Live In Calgary

Almost forgot, as promised here are some songs from Emma Pollock's set when I saw her on October 12 in MacEwan Hall at the University of Calgary. She is opening for the New Pornographers on their present tour of North America, she is mainly playing songs from her recently released album, Watching The Fireworks. If you haven't heard this disc, I urge you to check out her myspace page and sample the 4 songs posted, and buy her album (or download it?), it's pretty good.

Emma was formerly in the Glasgow band, The Delgados who strung together 5 studio albums (as well as a live and BBC session CD) over a 10 year period. I've started to seek out their releases and so far I really enjoy what I've heard. Again check out their myspace song samples.

"MacEwan Hall
" Calgary, AB
October 12, 2007

Paper and Glue
Here Comes The Heartbreak
You'll Come Around
Acid Test

If you want the complete show, I've posted it at OR let me know and I'll get you a copy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

R.I.P. Lance Hahn (1967-2007)

I came upon this sad story Monday morning:

Founding member of J Church and all around well-loved punk icon Lance Hahn has passed away. Hahn had been comatose since Friday, October 12th following a collapse during dialysis. According to a post attributed to Hahn's girlfriend:
as far as the doctors can tell, this collapse was due to a sudden, drastic drop in blood pressure, which in turn was probably caused by a recurrence of the infection he had had in September combined with the stress of dialysis. he received immediate CPR from medical professionals at the dialysis center, but as it took fifteen or twenty minutes to resuscitate him, he suffered neurological damage from lack of oxygen to the brain, leaving him in a coma from which he never returned.
Lance Hahn was the lead singer, guitarist, and founding member of J Church. He also wrote extensive "punk rock history" articles for Maximumrocknroll. In addition of all of this, he found time to run Honey Bear Records. Hahn was working on a compilation book of writings on anarcho-punk bands, called "Let the Tribe Increase," to be released on AK Press.

To me this story has special significance since I was a big fan of J Church and had the pleasure of seeing them live in Winnipeg 1996 and 1997. After both shows, I had the opportunity to talk to Lance about life on the road and upcoming projects and of course to sign a couple of CD's. He seemed to be a genuinely nice guy and very knowledgeable about music and the punk scene in the U.S. If you don't know J Church, seek them out and listen to their music, they were greatly under-rated and very prolific releasing at least a dozen albums and countless 7'' ers during their 15 year career.

I noticed in the last day or so, a memorial blog has been created for fans and friends to share their remembrances about Lance and the band.

If you have never listened to J Church, I've posted a small sample of the band's highlights. I also recorded both Winnipeg shows when they were in town and I posted the complete 1996 show on Dimeadozen, sort of as a tribute to Lance. I've included 4 songs here from that show.

Bomb (from: Camels, Spilled Corona And The Song Of Mariachi Bands)
Rockville (REM cover: Camels, Spilled Corona...)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Procession Of Simulacra)
Simple Gesture (The Drama Of Alienation)

Pyramid Cabaret Winnipeg, MB June 12, 1996My Favourite Place
No Surprise
Hope (Descendants cover)
Yellow, Red And Green

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

There's Nothing Like Great Porn!

When the New Pornographers announced their North American tour a few months back, I was kind of hesitant to buy tickets. They have come through Winnipeg twice in the past two years and both those shows almost mirrored each other both in song selection and band lineup. I said to myself I'll go see them again when Neko Case tours with them or they release a new album. Well guess what, they released Challengers in September and then it became known that Neko Case and Dan Bejar would accompany the core band for their whole NA tour. Just when I decided I would go, they cancelled the show! They realized they under-estimated the distance and time it would take to travel from Montana to Winnipeg in one day.

As faith would have it (or pure luck), I had to attend a meeting in Calgary the same weekend the New Pornographers tour would hit the city. I waited too long to purchase tickets through TM as the Friday October 12 show soon was sold out. The Saturday show was less likely as I had to attend a dinner that night and it was unpredictable when it would end. I decided to just show up at the U of C campus in hopes of buying a ticket from someone outside the venue, fortunately they still had tickets at the door and I got in.

The opener Emma Pollock was a pleasant surprise, her spirited personality and sense of humour won over the crowd with a solid 9 song set. She played many songs from her new album, Watching The Fireworks (which I highly recommend!) and I would go see her again if she tours through Winnipeg. I recorded her set and I'll post some songs from the concert in an upcoming post.

I have seen the New Pornographers 3 times, twice without Neko and once with (Aug 2002), but I never seen them with Dan Bejar. Like Neko, he sings on at least a song per album and rarely tours with the band, he has appeared during local shows in Vancouver. Bejar drifted on and off the stage with drink in hand throughout the show, only appearing when he sang. When Neko performs it takes the band to a higher level, her powerful voice is so dynamic and hypnotic, she commands the spotlight. Her physical presence on stage tends to draw your attention as well, I was thrilled to watch Neko smack a tambourine for an hour and a half.

A cute moment in the show was between songs when a fan yelled "I love you Kathryn", Carl turns to Kathryn and says,"you hear that?". She smiles and turns to the audience and says, "thank you", then her face blushes a bright red. This was funny because when you listen to live recordings of their shows, fans continually scream, "I love you Neko", as Kathryn seems to stay more out of the limelight and not attract the attention of Neko Case.

Though the new album isn't the best they've produced, seeing and hearing it live gives the songs a higher intense energy and appreciation. The eight-member band is a must-see on this tour, it might be the only opportunity to hear the songs the way they were meant to be heard with the complete line-up.

I brought my recording equipment to Calgary, so I have a decent sounding recording of the show. I was in the middle of the huge scrum on the floor in front of the stage, squished and squeezed probably about 15 people back, dead centre surrounded by screaming girls. I've posted some highlights from the concert, 9 of the 20 songs (4 new) they performed in loss-quality mp3's, if you want the complete show in uncompressed flac or wav files, check out EZTorrent (you'll have to register) or contact me and I'll get you a copy.

MacEwan Hall (Ballroom)
Calgary, Alberta
October 12, 2007

All The Things That Go To Heaven And Earth
Use It
My Rights Versus Yours
Mass Romantic
Sing Me Spanish Techno
Mutiny, I Promise You
The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism

(the NP's photos are actually from a previous show in Seattle 9-15-07 and EM's photo from Mpls 10-16-07)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Finally!...Some New Weakerthans

Quick name a band that has released 4 albums in a row that you would consider great, or better yet make that their first four albums...hmmm? Without giving it too much thought...Uncle Tupelo, Led Zeppelin...Weakerthans?

Yes, Winnipeg's Weakerthans have a new disc coming out next week, Reunion Tour and take my word it's as good as the previous three. Sure 4 albums in ten years isn't a large quantity of material, but it's all quality and their four albums stand up to the test of time. I'll had the pleasure of listening to Reunion Tour for the past few weeks and I'm already touting this as one of the best releases of 2007. John K. Samson have garnished much attention as of late with his appearances on CBC radio last week (hosted "Shaken, Not Stirred" and contributions to "Definitely Not The Opera") and Winnipeg's national profile has been raised with Guy Madden's film, "My Winnipeg", that debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last week to rave reviews and accolades. An upcoming tour, which includes a stop in Winnipeg before Christmas, and this release will guarantee it will be a fine start to the latest chapter of the Weakerthans career.

Weakerthans- Reunion Tour (2007)
Civil Twilight
Tournament Of Hearts
Elegy For Gump Worsley
Night Windows

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wilco CANCELLED In winnipeg!

I knew it was too good to be true, just found out the Wilco show on Wednesday is cancelled. Guitarist Nils Cline is suffering from the chicken pox, so obviously they couldn't perform. A Jeff Tweedy solo show would have good enough for me, but they're not even in Winnipeg right now. How often do you get to see Wilco with 4th row centre seats! It would have been so great. Last year when they were in town I sat last row first balcony. I guess someone is punishing me for something, but hopefully they'll be back sometime in 2008. I was really looking forward to record the show in such a prime seat location....Shit!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My New Favourite Band?

I guess I must be living in a cave somewhere up in Canada as I had never heard of this band called Grand Champeen. A guy I met in St. Paul introduced me to this Austin quartet (thanks Mike!) with by supplying me with cuts from their 2nd album, Battle Cry For Help, their 3rd, The One That Brought You and their most recent release, Dial T For This. Their sound echoes bits of early Soul Asylum (back when they still kicked ass), Superchunk, Flop and even Wilco. Since I love all those previously mentioned groups, Grand Champeen has that "sound"I really enjoy, kind of a power pop type of thing. Apparently they've been around for over ten years and it's funny how a band this great (well, my opinion anyways...) can stay under my indie rock radar for so long.

I can't gush enough about Grand Champeen, the best thing I can do is recommend you have a listen to Grand Champeen and according to my friend Mike (he saw them in Mpls) they are awesome live. I'm looking forward to hearing more, they seem to get better with each release and if anyone has some live recordings from one of their shows, please let me know!

Dial T For This (2007)
Wounded Eye
Cities On The Plain
Raul Yela

The One That Brought You (2003)
The Good Slot
Paid Vacation
Thats Never Why

Battle Cry For Help (2002)
Paper Rock Scissors

I think the songs should work now. I'm experimenting with MP3PRO which is a smaller file, but supposeably isn't as compressed sounding as a regular MP3. When I click on the song it plays on the my default MP3PRO player, but I need to know if it plays on the Windows Media or Realplayer. Someone please tell me if it works!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Don't Panic, I'll Be Back Soon!

Just about to leave for a two week trip up to the cabin. I won't have any internet connections, nor a laptop computer to write this blog, so there won't be any updates until August. Don't worry though, I'm taking up lots of new music to review and I'll continue to read all those books I've started but haven't finished. I'll attempt to take my guitar (if it fits in the trunk) and hopefully write and record some new songs. I've loaded up my ipod full of tunes, portable CD player with 25 CDs, and a Minidisc recorder, so life won't be too shabby or boring (we also have a 12" TV and an old VCR and god bless everybody..flush toilet and shower)...hope I survive!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Jesse Plays Folk Fest

For the second straight year, my son J graced the Young Performers Stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. If you're not familiar with the Young Performers Program basically it consists of emerging musician ages 14-24 who participate in a one day workshop and mentoring with professional musicians (J's mentor was Carolyn Mark). They have the chance to then perform on-stage at the Festival and they each got to play 2 songs each. This is an excellent opportunity to first play in front of a large crowd, but also to meet other young performers as well as backstage access to rub shoulders with the pros.

I've posted J's 2 songs for your listening enjoyment. During the second song there is drop in sound (a thump!), that was when the microphone fell when the tape gave out holding it to my backpack. There is some wind noise too, but enjoy!

Jesse Miki
Winnipeg Folk Festival

Shady Grove Stage
July 6, 2007

1. Calling For
2. Something About Sleep

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Avril A Thief?.. Maybe..

There has been much allegations towards Avril Lavigne in the last few days accusing her of stealing songs or at least not giving credit where credit is due. I don't want to wade into the argument for either side, but I thought I would post the songs for comparison. The question is regarding Avril's hit, Girlfriend which according to songwriters Tommy Dunbar and James Gangwer, the song sounds suspiciously like the Rubinoos 1979 song, I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend. I don't think the songs sound that much alike except the Rubinoos chorus is, "Hey, hey, you, you, I wanna be your boyfriend" while Avril's is a similar, "Hey, hey, you, you, I don't like your girlfriend. Is this any different than the Rolling Stones, "Hey, hey, you, you get off of my cloud, get off of my cloud", okay, maybe I'm stretching things here, you decide. I think the only crime Avril Lavigne is committing is producing badly overproduced canned teeny pop. Her teams of writer's, producers, stylists are creating an image that is calculated, non-spontaneous, but apparently very marketable.

The other allegation is from that talented "songwriter", Chantel Kraviazuk (and writer of many songs on her Best Damn Thing disc) who claims Lavigne stole one of her songs, Contagious that she said she gave to her two years ago then appeared on her CD not credited to her. The Winnipeg native vowed, "Never work with her again". Despite her clean-cut holier than thou let's help the starving in Africa-image, I always thought of Kraviazuk as arrogant and self-satisfying, a spoiled rich girl who has had everything given to her. She's much Burton Cummings where she wants everyone to know that she's giving back to the community, but it's more a ego-driven thing and I think she's consciencely looking for some kind of humanitarian prize (or having something named after her) for her efforts. Kraviazuk went on to say she won't go after Lavigne in court, "I won't do that. I'll just tell you. Art should not be subjected to that kind of controversy. Art should be pure. In my head it is, anyway." If she truly thinks art should be pure why is Chantel part the big music industry machine and supplying songs for the Lavigne corporation. Looks like some of that L’OrĂ©al’s Garnier Nutrisse hair dye (that she flogs on TV ads) has sunk too deep into her brain.

AVRIL LAVIGNE- Girlfriend mp3
RUBINOOS- I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend mp3
ROLLING STONES- Get Off Of My Cloud mp3

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Stripes Ride The Bus In Winnipeg

The question for many Winnipeg White Stripes fans on Monday was where will they do an early secret show? A park, a bowling alley a street corner, a bridge, a bus? If you said bus and bridge you were right, Meg and Jack rode and serenaded strangers on a Transit bus and played a impromptu acoustic set on the Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge before their concert at the MTS Centre. This continued their pattern of secret performances in quirky locations for a small fortunate audience of surprised fans.

On Canada Day, the White Stripes entertained about 200 people for a free 15 minute set at the Eastview Bowl in Saskatoon. They set up on one of the lanes as onlookers and bowlers seated themselves on the plastic benches in front of the lanes. Jack White even grabbed a bowling ball and threw first a gutter ball, then proceeded to throw another leaving 2 pins standing. This ended yet another interesting and unique performance by this internationally acclaimed rock-duo.

The White Stripes
Eastview Bowl Saskatoon,

July 1, 2007 (Early)

01. Red Bowling Ball Ruth
02. Let's Shake Hands
03. Lafeyette Blues
04. I Fought Pirahnas
05. Let's Build A Home
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