What are you listening to today? Me, I’m in a shufflin’ mood

ipod-classic-accessories-3I’ve added a bunch of stuff to the iPod lately, including the new discs from Paul McCartney (pretty good), Pearl Jam (really good) and a classic compilation from the Faces that I picked up for the awesome price of $4.99(!) at Sunrise Records in downtown Toronto (great store). So after listening to those discs and other complete albums  for a while I decided to flip the switch back to shuffle mode. At the time of this writing, here are the latest 15 that have come up in the rotation.

1. That’s The Way–Led Zeppelin

2. Clifton Springs–Steven Page

3. Holly Holy–Neil Diamond

4. I Fought The Law–The Clash

5. Sting Me–The Black Crowes

6. I’ll Survive–B.B. King

7. Little Bones–The Tragically Hip

8. Two Janes–Los Lobos

9. My Little Town–Simon & Garfunkel

10. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You–Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

11. Love Is The Drug–Roxy Music

12. Busted–Ray Charles

13. Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)–Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

14. Time Stand Still–Rush

15. See You–Foo Fighters




Admit it. You always wanted to be a back-up singer.

twentyI love a good music documentary. In recent years, some of my favourites have been Rush’s Beyond The Lighted StageFoo Fighters’ Back and Forth and Dave Grohl’s Sound City which took a fond look back at the famed recording studio. Earlier this year, there was another music doc that premiered at Sundance but unlike the Rush or Foo Fighters films that focused on the performers at the front of the stage, this one bypasses the main performers and points the camera at the back of the stage.

As described on the Sundance festival website, Twenty Feet From Stardom “juxtaposes interviews with industry legends (Bruce Springsteen, Bette Midler, and others) and the relative unknowns who support them like Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill as they illuminate the art of melding their own distinct voices with lead vocals and reveal their desires for careers as solo artists. Twenty Feet from Stardom traces the backup singers’ history—from those Phil Spector–produced pop tunes and soul-inspired British Explosion acts (Joe Cocker, the Rolling Stones) of the 1960s, to their reversal of fortune when the recording industry changed in the 1990s, and into today. Filmmaker Morgan Neville’s unprecedented look at the moving personal journeys of these normally uncelebrated artists pays tribute to their indelible role in popular music.”

After playing at the festival circuit in recent months, the film will see its theatrical release on June 14th. Based on the trailer below, I think this is definitely worth seeing:

First comes the RnR HOF, and now this–RUSH gets a stamp, along w/Beau Dommage, The Hip and The Guess Who

Rush-stampThis comes from rush.com:

Ottawa (ON) – Just in time for the celebration of Canadian music and musicians at the JUNO awards next week, Canada Post is proud to give Canadians a preview of this edition of the Canadian Recording Artist stamp series, to be released in July, featuring for the first time, Canadian bands. Beau Dommage, Rush, The Guess Who and The Tragically Hip will be spotlighted in this fourth issue in a series created to honour musical legends.

“This year’s series features Canadian bands that have shaped the music industry in Canada,” says Jim Phillips, Director of Stamp Services for Canada Post. “Each band has achieved national acclaim, along with international radio air-time and extensive tours.”

Beau Dommage
Formed in 1973, Beau Dommage played a significant role in defining Quebec’s music in the 1970s. Considered the Beatles of Quebec and French music, the group released their first self-titled album in 1974, and broke sales records at the time. The following year “Où est passée la noce?” went platinum (100,000 units sold) on the first day of sales. Following successful tours in Europe and throughout Canada and Quebec between 1975 and 1978, Beau Dommage broke up in 1978, but reunited in 1994 to release their second self-titled album and tour Quebec the following year. In 2005, Beau Dommage appeared at the FrancoFolies in Montréal and were honoured by their musical peers.

Rush has sold in excess of 40 million records worldwide, placing them third – behind the Beatles and the Rolling Stones – for the most Gold and Platinum records by a rock band. Since their debut album in 1974, the Toronto group’s musical style has changed from British blues rock, utilizing synthesizers, sequencers, and electronic percussion. The band recently returned to its rock and roll roots. Rush will be the first Canadian band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 18, 2013, making them part of an elite-few Canadian artists to be so honoured.

The Guess Who
The Guess Who got its start in Winnipeg in 1962 when singer/songwriter Chad Allen joined forces with Jim Kale, Randy Bachman, Garry Peterson and Bob Ashley to form Chad Allen and the Reflections. In 1965, the band’s single, “Shakin’ All Over,” was released to radio stations in a plain white record jacket with only the words “Guess Who?” written on it. Intended to peak curiosity, the name immediately caught on. The rest, as they say, is history. Over the course of their career, The Guess Who have recorded 14 Top 40 hit singles, sold millions of albums, won two JUNO Awards and been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. In 2002, the band received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. While membership in the group has changed over the years, they continue to record and perform to sold-out audiences across the globe.

The Tragically Hip
Formed in 1984 in Kingston, Ontario, The Tragically Hip sought inspiration for their name from the Michael Nesmith movie, “Elephant Parts.” They have released 12 studio albums, two live albums, one extended play (EP), and 54 singles. The Tragically Hip has been the recipient of numerous awards, including 14 JUNO Awards and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, and have been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. They have sold millions of records worldwide, managing to enjoy both mass popularity and critical acclaim.

The Canadian Recording Artists stamp series will be available from Canada Post retail outlets starting July 19 or online at canadapost.ca/shop.

Getting ready for the weekend–what’s on your agenda?

polite-umbrella-1Well so much for an early Spring. Freezing rain, snow, slush…seriously? Last week I saw some folks around my neighbourhood working in their gardens. My first thought was “a little early, don’t you think?”. Well, I’m sure by now they’re regretting their decision. My weekend will probably the usual errands to run, but I’m hoping to maybe take in a movie (42?) and will be heading out Sunday afternoon for some NBA action to see the Raptors take on Brooklyn. As for the Jays…don’t get me started…although I do have tickets for a few upcoming games in May so hopefully by then their fortunes will have turned. And as for my beloved Habs, with a playoff spot clinched, all I have to say to the rest of the Eastern conference is “bring it on!”

And tunes. Let’s not forget some good tunes for the weekend. Have forgone listening to the iPod in shuffle mode lately in favour of  whole albums or groups of songs by the same artist. But for the weekend I thought I’d get back to shuffle mode. So here we go, with a “shuffle songs” reset, are the first 15 songs to come up on the iPod as I head into the weekend:

The Friday 15:

1. A Little Is Enough–Pete Townshend

2. Tequila–Wes Montgomery (BONUS VIDEO:  click here)

3. Wreck This Heart–Bob Seger

4. 100 Days, 100 Nights–Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

5. Movin’ Out–Billy Joel

6. Time Stand Still–Rush

7. You Don’t Know Me At All–Bettye LaVette

8. Who Do You Love?–Bo Diddley

9. Boom–Flight of The Conchords

10. You Got The Silver–The Rolling Stones

11. Mr. Moonlight–The Beatles

12. It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll–The Rolling Stones

13. Clocks–Coldplay

14. When Your Mind’s Made Up–Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

15. Three Time Loser–Bonnie Raitt

Aaannnd we’re back!

_01-9374038e-c4e5-102f-a39e-0019b9d5c8dfPhew, that was one helluva commercial break, wasn’t it? So you may have noticed I’ve been away for a while. Why the extended vacation? I just found that I was suffering from life interruptus–just too much going on to devote any time to this thing. But as 2012 came to a close, I was talking to a couple of acquaintances about the history of sidetwo, and I thought maybe I’d try getting back to it. No promises, mind you–I’ll do my best as 2013 gets underway to post stuff, hopefully on a regular basis. If you like what you see, feel free to stay in touch, drop me a line, make suggestions.

So…let’s talk 2012. Everyone and their uncle puts out year-end “best of” lists that focus on the releases of the last 12 months. I’m taking a different approach. While my own list includes some of those, I also came upon all sorts of older music that while not actually new in 2012, these albums were new to me and my trusty iPod and would probably be on my own personal best-of list any year. Old stuff, new stuff… for me 2012 was a mixed bag, and that’s not a bad thing.

In no particular order, these are just some of the albums that were added to the rotation in 2012, new and old  (12 from ’12–get it?).

  1. Bruce Springsteen–Wrecking Ball (OK fine, this was my fave of the year. If you know me, you shouldn’t be surprised. After all, I did see him three times in 2012.)
  2. Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia (An essential box set for fans of classic Philly soul.)
  3. Darry Hall–Laughing Down Crying (Just Hall, no Oates. A solid release from a pop veteran.)
  4. Emeli Sande–Our Version of Events (Disappointed I missed her opening set at the Coldplay concert. Great debut.)
  5. Rush–Clockwork Angels (The RnR HOF. About bloody time.)
  6. Alejandro Escovedo–Big Station (A great rock n roll record.)
  7. John Hiatt–Mystic Pinball (Another excellent release from one of the best American singer-songwriters out there.)
  8. Mumford and Sons–Babel (I can’t believe how huge these guys are.)
  9. The Gaslight Anthem–Handwritten (Another excellent band from New Jersey.)
  10. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors–Passenger Seat (Never heard of ’em? Here’s your chance.)
  11. Dave Matthews Band–Away From The World (These are the Dave’s I know, I know…)
  12. John Lee Hooker–The Definitive Collection (The coolest bluesman ever.)

Hope your 2012 was awesome and have a Happy 2013. 🙂