It’s Friday. That’s my 2nd favourite F word. How about some F songs?

ipod-classic-accessories-3To be filed under ‘why not’:  I took a rough count of the number of songs that begin with “F” on my iPod: 328. That includes songs that start with “The” as in “The Fever”. Listing all of them and adding links so you can have have a listen would be somewhat of a ridiculous undertaking, so instead I have provided a sampling. I chose them based on alphabetical order, moving down the alphabet and choosing the first two (if there are two) for each letter that’s the second letter in the song title. Hope that makes sense. It’s an interesting mix of tracks.

1. F The CC–Steve Earle (Note: really funny, but NSFW)

2. F.I.N.E.–Aerosmith

3. Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)–Otis Redding

4. Face Dances Part Two–Pete Townshend

5. Fear For Your Future–Ronnie Wood

6. Fear of Falling–Robbie Robertson

7. Fiddler’s Green–The Tragically Hip

8. Fields of Gold–Sting

9. The Flag–Barenaked Ladies

10. Flamethrower–J. Geils Band

11. FM–Steely Dan

12. Folds In Your Hands–Passion Pit

13. Follow–Susan Tedeschi (just a sample for this one)

14. Fractured Mirror–Ace Frehley

15. Fragile Bird–City and Colour

16. Ft. Worth Blues–Steve Earle

17. F*ck You (NSFW)–Cee Lo Green

18. Full Moon–The Kinks

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Steely Dan–The “Mood Swings: 8 Miles To Pancake Day Tour” heads to Toronto

carhead2During their early years, Steely Dan did pretty much what every other rock band did: record an album, then hit the road. They did that pretty consistently for oh, about three years. That came to an end around 1975 when Walter Becker and Donald Fagen decided they had enough of touring and essentially became a studio band. Then came the breakup after the release of Gaucho in 1980.

Fast forward to 1994 when they reunited for a series of concerts which sparked a reunion-with-the-road so to speak. Another tour followed, then came the Grammy winning Two Against Nature disc in 2000, followed by more tours. And now  they’ve announced another tour, their sixth since 2006, dubbed the “Mood Swings: 8 Miles to Pancake Day Tour” (No, I don;t know what it means either). This one will kick off July 19th in Atlantic City and close September 28th in Connecticut. With no new music to promote, save for Donald Fagen’s latest solo outing Sunken Condos, fans should expect a night of solid, classic rock-jazz fusion. And there’s one Canadian date on the schedule: July 21st at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre. Ticket prices and an onsale date are still TBA. The complete tour schedule can be found here.

I had an opportunity to catch Steely Dan in late 2009 at Toronto’s Massey Hall and it was an incredible show. Read my review (with video) from that show here.

And check out this clip out from their 2011 tour. Great stuff.

It’s Monday. What songs are helping you get the week started on the right foot?

ipodAfter listening to a variety of albums over the weekend, I thought it was time for a shuffle reset on the iPod. So it’s back to square one. Or should I say, number one. Here are the first 15 songs, of all the songs on my iPod, that came up in the rotation. Hopefully there’s something in there you’ll like.

1. Some Kind of Wonderful–Grand Funk Railroad

2. Love Rollercoaster–The Ohio Players

3. River Knows Your Name–John Hiatt

4. My Rival–Steely Dan

5. Waiting For The End of The World–Elvis Costello

6. They Just Can’t Stop It (Games People Play)–The Spinners

7. Hold On, I’m Comin’–Sam & Dave

8. Anyway–Genesis

9. Stupidity–Solomon Burke

10. Radio Nowhere–Bruce Springsteen

11. Little Queenie–Chuck Berry

12. Somebody Knocking–Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation

13. Sour Suite–The Guess Who

14. Maybe That’s Something–Sheryl Crow

15. (I Believe) Our Time Is Gonna Come–REO Speedwagon

 

 

2010 lineup for Massey Hall continues to grow

Ever been to a concert at Massey Hall in Toronto? I love seeing performers in a theatre-setting like that one. Sure, the building is showing its age (hell, it was showing its age 25 years ago) and the seats are a little on the snug side. And while a sell-out means just over 2700 in the hall, it’s still a remarkably intimate venue. Over the last 100+ years, the grand dame of Toronto concert venues has seen an incredible range of performers grace its stage, from Canadian icons like Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Oscar Peterson and Rush to a who’s who of American and international performers. I’ve seen a handful of shows there, including Lyle Lovett, Paul Simon and most recently, Steely Dan.

For 2010, the roster is building nicely. Already scheduled are homegrown faves like Colin James (January 26th), Jann Arden (January 27th-30th) and Blue Rodeo (February 2nd and 3rd). Blues legend Buddy Guy comes to town on April 9th, and another guitar virtuoso, Mark Knopfler plays later in the month on April 29th.

Now comes word of three new additions to the Massey Hall calendar, with tickets all going sale within the next week. First up, Canadian rockers Our Lady Peace will play two shows on March 12th and 13th. Tickets are $42.50-52.50 and go on sale to the general public Saturday December 12th @ 2:00 p.m. ET at ticketmaster.ca. According to the Massey Hall website, the band will perform their album “Clumsy” in its entirety on March 12th, and “Spiritual Machines” on March 13th. Each show will be rounded out by selections from the OLP catalogue.

On March 23rd, singer-songwriter Norah Jones takes the stage to promote her latest cd, The Fall. Tickets are $55.50-65.50 and go on sale to the general public Monday December 14th @ 12:00 p.m. ET at ticketmaster.ca. You can listen to music from the new cd streaming on Jones’ website here.

And then on May 13th, the always interesting jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny hits the stage for a solo show, of sorts. Metheny’s new disc, Orchestrion, will be out in January. According to his website, the disc is described as follows:
“With Orchestrion, Metheny dramatically redefines the concept of the solo album. He is indeed the only live musician on this recording, but it’s the opposite of, say, the austere 2003 One Quiet Night, in which Metheny hunkered down in his home studio to explore the musical possibilities of a single new guitar. Here Metheny works with a magical set-up of acoustic and acousto-electric instrumentation, assembled for him by a far-flung team of mad musical scientists and digital dreamers. ”
Make of that what you will. I am a huge fan of the Pat Metheny Group (featuring long-time collaborator, keyboardist Lyle Mays) and have seen them in concert a couple of times. This is probably the configuration for which he is the best known and popular. Tickets for the Metheny show are $42.50-85.50 and go on sale this Friday December 11th at 10:00 am on tickemaster.ca.

All good stuff. Can’t wait to see how the rest of 2010 fills out.

Our Lady Peace:

Norah Jones:

Pat Metheny Group:

Steely Dan: November 25, 2009–Massey Hall, Toronto

If it was up to the capacity crowd last night, Steely Dan’s performance would have lasted well-beyond the just over two hours that partners in crime Walter Becker and Donald Fagen and their 11-piece band performed. It was that good.

As advertised, it was Aja night, with set one being a performance of the classic 1977 album in it’s entirety (tonight’s second show will feature 1976’s The Royal Scam; trust me, it was a tough choice to pick one night over another). No big special effects with this kind of show; it was all about top-flight musicianship. I did get a kick though when, to signal the start of the Aja set, one of the backup singers placed an album on a turntable at the side of the stage then flipped it over to ‘side two’ at the appropriate moment. The band was met with tremendous cheers and applause at the conclusion of each song from Aja, and when Part 1 of the evening was done, it was onto the real fun of the night.

Hitting the ground running with one of my faves “Bodhisattva” from 1973’s Countdown To Ecstasy, it was one crowd-pleasing number after another. With such an amzing catalogue of material to choose from, and going in you know an entire album is going to be played, there were bound to be tunes not played which I would have loved to have heard, such as Do It Again and FM. But still, one can’t fault them, this is Steely Dan after all, and for those of us who have been fans of the band for years and years, they could really do no wrong.

Donald Fagen held court mostly at his electric piano at center stage, lurching back and forth like a man possesed but he was having a great time, part lead vocalist, part ringmaster. Guitarist Walter Becker, who’s looking more and more like an English professor the older he gets, took lead vocals on Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More, and also took charge of the band intros while the band played the Supremes Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart. Didn’t expect that one, but a lot of fun nonetheless.

The post-Aja setlist covered tracks from various points in their career, form the aformentioned Bodhisattva , to Don’t Take Me Alive, to Black Friday (to which I said “YES!”. Love that song) to a couple of tracks from 1980’s Gaucho. The lone latter-day track was Godwhacker from 2003’s Everything Must Go. (Nothing from 2000’s Grammy winning Two Against Nature).

The sole encore, the outstanding Reelin’ in the Years, had the crowd on its feet wanting more. Kudos go out to drummer Keith Carlock and lead guitarist Jon Herington, who thoughout the evening more than held their own in not only recreating the solos and fills that are so familiar from the records but for providing the solid musicianship that has alwas been the cornerstone of Steely Dan, both live and on record.

Pardon the pun (but I can’t resist) the band will Do It Again tonight. The final show of the tour hits Montreal on Saturday.

Opening act Chicgao-based Deep Blue Organ Trio (just one killer Hammond B-3 organ actually, plus drums and guitar) provided a brief of but upbeat set of jazz-blues instrumentals that the crowd ate up which set the mood for what was to come, including a well-received cover of Earth Wind & Fire’s “Can’t Hide Love“.

Steely Dan set list:
Aja album
Black Cow
Aja
Deacon Blues
Peg
Home at Last
I Got the News
Josie

Bodhisattva
Hey Nineteen
Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More
Godwhacker
Babyolon Sisters
Green Earrings
Black Friday
Dirty Work (sung by the backup singers)
Love is Like an Itching in My Heart (band intros)
Don’t Take Me Alive
My Old School
Kid Charlemagne

Encore
Reelin’ In The Years

My attempts to get a decent video of Steely Dan were thwarted by the Massey Hall security goons who told me to turn off my camera. Oh well, I tried. Here’s what I got. Better than nothing: