From The Ticket Stub Vault: Supersnore. No wait, I mean Supertramp.

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Supertramp—August 1981 (Montreal Forum)

The great concerts tend to stand out in your memory, but sometimes the not-so-great ones stand out even more. For example:

Anyone who (a) grew up in Montreal in the 70s and (b) listened pop/rock music knew all too well the city’s infatuation with Supertramp. Count me among the throngs who owned “Crime of The Century“, “Crisis? What Crisis?”, Even In The Quitest Moments” and of course, their biggest commercial success, “Breakfast In America“. I had never seen the band live, so when a friend offered up an extra ticket, I figured it was a sure thing. Love the music, will be a great show, right? Well…

As much as I enjoyed (and still do) Supertramp in the studio, in concert they were about as exciting as a hard boiled egg. They were just….there. Very competent musicians, no doubt about that. But stimulating live performers? Not really. I could have stayed home and listened to the albums.

But all was not completely lost: many years later (think it was the summer of ’97) I went on a family outing to a place called Puck’s Farm, north of Toronto.  While there, it turned out  there was some kind of family gathering for now ex-Barenaked Ladies front man (and now ex-Toronto resident) Steven Page. That’s cool item #1 for that trip.

Cool item #2: while we were taking in the sights, sounds (and smells) of Puck’s Farm, we started to hear, from somewhere off in the distance, someone playing Supertramp music. Sounded like one guy and a guitar. Ok, no biggie, some guy is playing Supertramp cover tunes. Gradually we made our way over to where the music was coming from and it turns out the “guy” was in fact Roger Hodgson, ex-Supertramp front man. (Is everyone in this story an ex-something?). Just him and his guitar. Turns out that the Page family gathering was actually some sort of release party for a Roger Hodgson solo album that was being distributed by the music publishing company run by Page’s family (at least that’s how I remember it. (BTW, Steven Page also performed solo that day.) Anyway, with Roger Hodgson, I guess sometimes the parts are better than the whole.

Here’s clip of Supertramp performing the classic “School”:

And here’s Roger, solo:

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The “Just Because” Shuffle Report

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Haven’t done one of these for a little while, so I figure I was due. Here are 10 tunes that kept me company on the way into work this morning.

1. Backstreets–Bruce Springsteen (Born To Run) [Nothing like a little Boss to start the day.]
2. I Thank You–Sam & Dave (The Best of Sam & Dave) [Classic ’60s soul.]
3. Summer’s End–Foo Fighters (Echoes, Silence Patience & Grace) [Love the Foos. Next release in the Fall reported to be a ‘best of’ with a couple of new tunes, one of which they played for Obama at the White House recently.]
4. Tears Are Not Enough–ABC (Absoultely ABC: The Best of ABC) [Always thought Martin Fry was a great frontman. Saw these guys live. Beter than you might think.]
5. Another Man’s Woman–Supertramp (Crisis? What Crisis?) [The follow-up to ‘Crime of The Century’. Pretty good album.]
6. Sweet Rosalyn–Sheryl Crow (Sheryl Crow) [Probably her best album.]
7. Feelin’ Good–Nina Simone (Verve Remixed) [Classic jazz remixed. Not all the songs in this series work, but this one definitely does. Forget Michael Buble; go back to the source.]
8. Stranger To Himself–Traffic (John Barleycorn Must Die) [Phenomenal early Steve Winwood work.]
9. Is She Really Going Out With Him? (Acoustic Version)–Joe Jackson (Live 1980/86) [There’s three versions of this hit on the Live 1980/86 compilation, each one very different from the other, and all intruguing in their own way.]
10. She’s No Lady–Lyle Lovett (Pontiac) [Interesting mix. If she’s really going out with him, then she’s no lady? There’s a joke in there somewhere. Lyle hits Toronto in November. Still waiting for ticket info. Anyone want go?]

The “Sunday Night Cleaning Up From Dinner Then Folding Laundry” Shuffle Report

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Boy do I know how to party it up on a Sunday night or what? Hey, nothing like some good tunes to go along with the ol’ household chores.

1. Little Child–The Beatles (With The Beatles)
2. Noises–Ian Hunter (Shades of Ian Hunter)
3. Doctor My Eyes–Jackson Browne (Jackson Browne)
4. Water or Gasoline–Blackie & The Rodeo Kings (Bark) [Awesome Canadian band. Please check them out.]
5. (The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Feather–The Alan Parsons Project (Tales of Mystery & Imagination)
6. King Pleasure Time–Joe Jackson (Rain) [In my opinion, a must for Joe Jackson fans.]
7. Follow Your Daughter Home–The Guess Who (Greatest Hits)
8. Shooting Star–Bad Company (10 From 6) [Classic story of the rise and fall of a rock star.]
9. Goodbye Stranger–Supertramp (Breakfast In America) [Seriously, can you remember another album that got as much radio airplay in the summer of ’79?]
10. On The Border–The Eagles (The Very Best of The Eagles) [Back when The Eagles were still relatively young and hungry, not old and greedy like they are now.]

My Favourite Dance: The iPod Shuffle

Not to sound like a commercial, but our house has always been an Apple house. We’ve gone through several Mac computers, and several iPods. But a couple of years ago, when my wife asked me if I was interested in owning an iPod, I said no. I figured the only way I’d be happy with one was if I could get one with a large enough capacity to hold most if not all of my favourite tunes, and at the time I just didn’t feel like spending the money. I was content to listen to my cd’s (the old fashioned way: one at a time) on the home stereo, the car stereo, my trusty cd Walkman or on the boombox on my desk at work.

Then she surprised me. She bought me a 30gb model for my birthday. Depending on song length, that model can hold up to 7500 songs. I’m not quite there, but not far off. I don’t use it to watch movies as I find it drains the battery quickly and the peaks and valleys of the audio can make it tough to watch on a noisy subway.

Fast forward to today–I never leave home without it. I bought this inexpensive wireless adapter to listen to it in the car and while not perfect, it works way better then some of the more expensive models I bought (and returned) at the Apple store. I also have a great set of speakers that I use at the office.

So do I still listen to my music one album at a time? Hardly ever. I love doin’ the Ipod Shuffle. It’s like Radio Free Dave, all Dave, all the time. My own personal radio station. I love the surprise element. I never know what song is going to come next. Sometimes the mixes are great, sometimes they can be a little jarring. But that’s the fun. As an example, here’s a list of the last 20 songs that I listened to in shuffle mode:
1. Pump It Up–Elvis Costello
2. What Love Can Do–Bruce Springsteen
3. Revolution Rock–The Clash
4. Suffragette City–David Bowie
5. It’s For You–Pat Metheny Group
6. Fantasy–Earth, Wind and Fire
7. Fly Away–Lenny Kravitz
8. I Can See For Miles–The Who
9. Breathe On Me–Ronnie Wood
10. Life On Mars–David Bowie
11. This Time Baby’s Gone For Good–Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes
12. Weather Channel–Sheryl Crow
13. Mystery Kids–Garland Jeffreys
14. The Wrong Thing To Do–Mudcrutch
15. Hey Julie–Fountains of Wayne
16. Darlington County–Bruce Springsteen
17. A Higher Place–Tom Petty
18. Don’t Count Me Out–Charlie
19. Another Nail In My Heart–Squeeze
20. Downstream–Supertramp

Do you own an iPod or similar portable music player? Do you always have it with you? Do you do the Shuffle?