Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why Radio Is Still Important To Me

Hello Friends,

In recent weeks I have rediscovered CBC Radio 2. It's been a while since I tuned in regularly but my god am I happy to be back. I forgot how great it can be and how many great tunes they play that I likely own - but never get to hear anymore. Radio is the best medium to be reminded of old gems and do it without the added pressure of finding the best track for that moment in your iTunes library.

I listen to lots of BBC Radio 1 and 2 and enjoy learning about artists and hearing the latest and greatest tracks at the same time. They are the master of this. Their DJs make it so exciting and tell you the stories you want to hear about rock stars and speak to the bands on a level in which they feel comfortable. This makes for the best interviews going and keeps my attention.

The same can be said for my 2 current favs on CBC - Bob Mackowycz and Rich Terfry (Buck 65) - they are truly wonderful and relevant spokesman for music. They too make things exciting.

The single best reason to give radio another chance is that these are experts tell you what they like. These people decided to make a life's love into a career and so they live and breathe music. Then they get on the airwaves and share this knowledge with you.

I'll keep this short - but here's a quick list of tunes I recently heard on CBC radio that has got me excited again.
Keep the music coming.

Thanks for reading/listening.


Monday, April 19, 2010

It Got Loud

Hey Friends,

I am embarrassed that it took me this long to watch the critically acclaimed music documentary 'It Might Get Loud'. This is the doc about Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White as seen here.

I was searching HBO's recent selection of on demand movies and was ecstatic to see this one listed. I owe you again HBO my old friend.

It's exactly what you would think it is and then some. The film maker takes a look at all 3 of these guitar gods lives and brings you on a journey as they detail how and when they picked up an axe for the first time. It gives you insight as to their influences and sounds that moved them. Pretty amazing to learn how young Jimmy Page was when he started - and that U2 had no idea how to play their instruments when they started.

I was never a big White Stripes fan before this - although they did release some epic videos and I understand how talented Jack is. The only song I loved by this band was Hotel Yorba - but I will go back and give his work another try after watching this.

The biggest benefit to having watched this was that I instantly needed a Zeppelin fix. I went to the collection (I have at least 2500 CDs and 13,925 tracks in my iTunes library) only to find I only had 'How The West Was Won' 3 CD set. That alone scared me - but I guess I had their tunes on cassette - so it make sense. In all fairness I had not really listened to much Zep in recent years. I got my fill in the 90s and kinda put them on the back burner. I promise to never do this again. I went to Vortex Records the next morning and bought 'Mothership' :)

Everyone needs to go through a Led Zeppelin phase in their lives. Drugs or not - Led Zeppelin is for everyone. The band were epic and untouchable in what they did and what they did was fuckin rock.

Here's a quick hit list of must hear Zeppelin from me...
Here's a couple of suggestions for you to check out from the other 2 gents...

The Edge - unmistakable riffs and sound. You can tell it's him with one note
As I said - I was never a big fan - but they sounded like the future of punk the first time I heard 'Fell in Love with a Girl'. Talent oozes from this guy. (Meg's his sister BTW)
I would love to thank Wes' uncle Big C. for introducing myself and friends to Led Zeppelin at such an early age. That was a true TSN turning point to my love of music.

Thanks for reading and listening.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Best Video, Best Song, Best Album, Best Band Ever?

Hello Friends,

With a mere 4 albums under their belts they decided to call it a day. Drugs, band squabbles, or creative differences - whatever the case may be - The Verve created some amazing music since they formed in 1990.

I was backpacking around Europe in 1997 when the album 'Urban Hymns' was released. Radiohead also released 'Ok Computer' that same being in and around the UK at that time was electric indeed. It was a time when you relied on radio, word of mouth and HMV charts in the store to determine what was hot. They were all on these 2 albums - it's all you heard throughout Europe. Seems like a lifetime ago really.

The thing that doesn't seem like a lifetime ago is the music that was on these 2 albums. While Radiohead's 'Ok Computer' is definitely one of my favourite albums of all time The Verve's 'Urban Hymns' is in fact the #1 album of all time on my albums list. I don't care how many times I've heard 'Bittersweet Symphony' - it always sounds brand new. The video for this song is also my favourite video of all time. It is the most perfect mix of pop, rock and classical music out there (IMHO).

Because this album was released in a time before MP3s - it really gave you the chance, want and need to listen to a full album. I know that sounds like an old dinosaur thing to say - but you youngster need to listen and appreciate full albums. The artists you love don't create one amazing song and then record 10 more tracks to make up the rest of an album. They spend months, years and sometimes longer to ensure that the album sequencing is perfect. They want you to hear the album the way they designed it. I digress - but please do yourself a favour and listen to 'Urban Hymns' from start to finish.

This album opens with 'Bittersweet Symphony' and closes with 'Come on'.

It's a shame that the band's come back was brief a few year's back- but the album entitled 'Forth' (Forth album they released) was not without its own hits. You've likely heard 'Love is Noise' but check out 'Appalachian Springs'.

Anyway - here's links to each individual track. All you have to do now is click and listen...

  1. Bittersweet Symphony
  2. Sonnet
  3. The Rolling People
  4. The Drugs Don't Work
  5. Catching the Butterfly
  6. Neon Wilderness
  7. Space and Time
  8. Weeping Willow
  9. Lucky Man
  10. One Day
  11. This Time
  12. Velvet Morning
  13. Come On
So on my checklist these guys have garnered 3 out of 4 best evers. Sorry lads - Oasis is the best band can't have that one.

Thanks for reading.