Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Clash and Oasis

Hello Friends,

A couple things on my mind in the past 2 days, Oasis breaking up (seems real this time) and all things The Clash.

I watched 'The Future is Unwritten', story of Joe Strummer, yesterday for the first time. I have always adored their music - but i see it now as perfection for its time. The man is truly a legend and did so much in his short life. Seems the trend these days which is sad.

Joe Strummer loved a campfire - who knew? I didn't - but damn right - a campfire is a perfect place to talk and tell stories or play music. I need more of these in my life :)

The Clash had their ups-and-downs like any other band - but when they recorded and album - they infused genres that had never been mashed before. Joe was the son of an Indian father that worked as a diplomat and his mother was from the far North of Scotland. Raised around the world and influenced by so many great things along the way. It all added up to a catalogue of music that stands-up today and will do for years to come.

Here's a quick list of must own Clash tracks...

  1. Rock the Casbah

  2. Magnificent 7

  3. Straight to Hell

  4. White Riot

  5. Train in Vain

I'm sorry I never had a chance to see this band as they sure as hell brought it each and everytime they walked on a stage. Long live The Clash!

Now. Oasis breaking-up? Again? Is Noel serious this time? I think he is. In this day-and-age of twitter and facebook - the word of his departure spread like wildfire...and details are not spared. The updates seem fierce and angry. I hope it can be sorted - but if not - they had a good 18 year run. The mighty Oasis has fallen.

Although the press are reporting it as Noel leaving Oasis...lets face facts here - Noel is Oasis. He writes all their tunes (I know - Liam wrote a few over time - but honestly - Little James??).

They work perfect together on stage - like The Beatles once did. Much like John and Paul - I guess the off stage relationship was too much to carry on. Not sure where Liam will end up - but I'm certain that Noel's solo career will flourish. Time will tell...but in the meantime check this classic performance and song!!

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Perfect Pop Song

Hello Friends,

I think it has to be played on headphones as you wander around a city regardless of what it is. I have so many on my list that are simply perfect because of just that.

Top 5 headphone pop tracks (well... in the past 2 years anyway)

  1. Kim & Jessie - M83

  2. House of Cards - Radiohead

  3. Kick Push - Lupe Fiasco

  4. Live Your Life - T.I. Feat Rihanna

  5. Summertime - NKOTB (yep - that one;)

Guilty pleasure? There's nothing to feel guilty about listening to a piece of music that makes you smile. I have so many things in my collection that one might feel embarassed about. I don't anymore as I now don't care. Good music really is good music and and gimic is a gimic is a gimic (stole that from Noel).

I bought the Drake track from iTunes today as it's a great pop tune. I know it's Jimmy from Degrassi - but come on - Hova is now doing tracks with him. This guy is for real.

Anyway - just left a showcase for an artist from Australia named Daniel Merriweather. It was amazing and I hope that you all get a chance to hear his music.

Speak soon.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Canadian Radio = Balls

Hello friends,

I had last week off from work and decided to take some time away from Twitter and Facebook. Get back to basic really. It was liberating to not be looking at my blackberry every five second (albeit I did out of habit - just didn't reply). I borrowed car to go away for a night and learned about radio and it's nasty ways.

I swear to you that in the 2 days I spent in a car I heard the following 3 songs at least 10 times each...

          1. Lady Gaga - 'Papprazzi'

          2. Kings of Leon - 'Use Somebody'

          3. Black Eyed Peas - 'I Gotta Feeling'

          I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with these songs - because I know that they are great pop songs. The problem is that this is all that Canadian radio is playing these days. I had the radio of scan and I could not differencieate between any station other than a rock on out of St. Catherines. Don't get me started on that - these stations have not updated a playlist since 87.

          The good thing that came of this was that I now know that we (the media types) have our work cut-out for us and need to do a better job of letting people know what is out there by way of new music and interesting music that will excite and keep them smiling.

          Here's a top 5 tunes tht should be on radio in Canada today...

          1. Daniel Merriweather - 'Change'

          2. Little Boots - 'Remedy'

          3. Snow Patrol - 'The Planets Bend Between Us'

          4. Bloc Party - 'One More Chance'

          5. La Roux - 'Bulletproof' (this one pains me to say as I really hate it - but 'good music is good music')

          Give real radio a chance.

          Hope you're doing well - speak soon!


          Monday, August 10, 2009

          Jack Penate

          Hey There,

          Alright - I keep hearing new singles and love this guy more and more each time I do. It seems ages since I first heard his name - but was impressed to be walking through a GAP the other day and heard 'Tonight's Today' playing over the in-store system. Now the album isn't out here until next week - but the 3 songs I know of are killer. The other 2 I've heard are 'Have I Been A Fool' and 'Be The One'.

          I know I've said it before - but British radio is the best in the world. It's the best for one simple reason - they know that good music is good music (full circle raff). They can play a track by Beyonce into Will Smith's 'Gettin Jiggy With It' and then into a classic Stone Roses track. They know that it's their job to teach people about music and open them up to other genres and artists. Here in Canada the radio station is programmed by the advertisers. For argument sake the Automobile ManuFacturers are the reason why you hear so much of the same stuff on repeat. They advertise with stations (television too) that reaches the largest # of audience. There's no thought as to what is being played and to whom they are actually hitting. They go for the biggest bang for their buck. How does this dictate you ask? The radio stations fear that if they stray from playing the same 10 recognizable songs that they will lose listeners/viewers and so they don't take a chance. Jack penate would be a house-hold name if give the time to be heard. There's countless artists like him that you can say the same for. It's a shame!

          It's funny that a friend of mine recently told me that they were fed up with radio as all they are hearing is Nickelback, Our Lady Peace, Kings of Leon and Arkells. The crazy thing is that the Arkells are amazing and I was so happy to hear that he even knew them. It's one in a million that broke through the mold. Note: As the title of my blog says - good music is good music - so know that I'm not knocking any of the bands - even Nickelback...I'm simply saying there's more room and that we should not allow advertisers to set the playlists.

          Everybody wants to have their hand in the entertainment business. Look at what a mess Edgar Brofman Jr made of Universal. Stick to alcoholic beverages.

          Give people more credit - introduce them to other music and people will generally be happier.

          My quick top 5 list of songs that should be on radio in Canada right now (not just as a feature)...

          1. Gossip - Heavy Cross

          2. Jack Penate - Tonight's Today

          3. Kasabian - Fire

          4. Passion Pit - Cuddle Fuddle *I live the opening beat of this track

          5. Doves - Winter Hill
          Thanks for reading this far.


          Tuesday, August 4, 2009


          Hey There,

          Eminem is someone I go through phases of liking and then not liking at all. It seems to be at the start or release of his first single as i find the formula to be the same. Remember Slim Shady, Just Lose It and now We Made You? These are the songs that I hate by Eminem. On the other side of the coin - Eminem is a genius who has released some classics that will withstand the test of time for sure.

          Even though I may not like those above mentioned singles I can still appreciate them as great pop songs.

          The following is a list of my top 5 Eminem songs (in no particular order)

          • Superman

          • Stan

          • Beautiful *this is my new favourite

          • Bitch Please II

          • What's The Difference

          I had the pleasure of working on The Marshall Mathers LP as my first job with the record company back in 2000. That album brought Eminem through Toronto on tour with the Up in Smoke Tour featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop, Ice Cube with a partial NWA reunion (minus Eazy of course). Snoop filled in and they performed one song...but I digress. Eminem opened the night and was in fine form. The afternoon was simply amazing as we did a press conference with Eminem and Dr. Dre (Snoop and Ice Cube got held up at the border) to confront all the protest that he was allowed to perform in our fair city. After the conference we actually watched soundchecks of Eminem and the master himself Dr. Dre. Damn I wish I had a camera phone back fact I wish I had a cellular phone back then.

          Alright I'm rambling here.

          Thanks for reading.