Mental Health – a postscript

My last post was pretty dark, and I am a bit sorry for that. I am more than a little tired, dealing with a prolonged period of anxiety wears on a person. When I wrote this, I felt a little bit like at the end of my rope. But there really is lots of rope left.

To anyone worried about what I wrote, I want you to know that I am really resilient and I will get through this. I have before, I know how this works.

This week I have received some lovely notes and phone calls and it really warms my heart. When you go through a tough time it is really wonderful to hear from friends who really care. Thanks for this!

I have wonderful support from my friends and family.My therapists are wonderful, I have a really great team.

The point of this post is not just to apologize, it is a hopeful message that even though mental health can be really tough, these conditions are treatable and if you stick with it you get better. I know the support system is not as comprehensive as it should be, but things are getting better.

I really think the fallout from the pandemic will prompt all of us to look at how we support people in mental and emotional distress. This is all so common and this really can happen to anyone.

My first post may not have offered much support for those who are struggling, but I hope this one does. Healing happens, you just need to trust in the process. You need to reach out and gather your community together.

This week, I realized that I have a good community. People care and they are now part of the healing process.

It is a challenge to put this story out there. I do this mainly because healing happens, even if it is really slow. If you are reading this and you are going through a tough time please know there is hope, healing and a community. Not everyone will understand, but some will.

Also, because of your struggles you can be there for someone else. This is important. Those who have gone through this are part of a special community. People in this community can be more empathetic, more supportive more aware of how this goes.

So, everyone take heart. We are complicated beings in a complex society still undergoing a global crisis. Take a moment and take a deep breath. Learn from difficulties and be ready to share what you are learning. And above all, be kind to yourself.

Thank-you to all those who have reached out – you are all very special.

The Next COVID Crisis – Mental Health

All my recent posts have been about music, but here I am taking a break.

There is an burgeoning crisis coming as a result of COVID and it will be just as painful and damaging. There is a mental health crisis as we begin to emerge from the global crisis. I really don’t think we will all survive this.

Here is an article that backs this up from the Mayo Clinic.

I am not writing this because I have a feeling about what will happen, this has happened to me. I am a casualty and there is no end in sight. This is a really tough road.

I have written about mental health in the past and it seems to help some people. For me, I have been going through moderate to severe anxiety since late June. It is certainly related to COVID because I have been really healthy for seven years. Now this is a big struggle and it is one I do with no discernable community. How is that possible? How does no one care?

Don’t get me wrong, I am fortunate to have a therapist and now a great resident psychiatrist. But the healing process is really slow – it always is.

Before the pandemic, I met up with one of my climbing buddies. He came to one of our fundraisers and I thought that was great. He looked gaunt and worried, but it was a big night and I didn’t pick up the signs. A few months later he committed suicide and I still wonder if I had really reached out to him I could have helped out in his desperate situation. People really can help people.

The big thing about mental health is that it is a silent killer. People love to send you caring notes on Facebook when you are sick with something they understand. When it comes to mental health, people are cruel. They want to distance themselves from the affliction as if they can actually can catch it. They won’t write you a nice note on Facebook. You are so on your own.

There are so few cases where I have talked about periods like this and have received a sympathetic response. This is really sad.

What is most important is for everyone to realize that there are now a lot of people suffering, most without the great support I have. They probably also don’t have a community of support – like me, because people are more scared about mental health than anything else. I have to say now, I have absolutely no sympathy for your discomfort. Try to take on a larger role. Try to see outside yourself.

I talked to my psychiatrist last week and she said the next pandemic will be a mental health one. Just like the first one, we are so unprepared for this. The victims are invisible, but they are right in front of you are they are suffering in noble silence.

Anxiety and depression are understandable reactions to a global pandemic. Those with anxiety as a predisposition are even more at risk of falling under this emotional wave. I have no idea how much longer this anxiety will go on, but I have to bear it. It would be so much easier if I knew anyone apart from my therapists and partner actually cared. We really suffer in total uncaring silence.

If you read this and you are in this situation you need to start busting down doors to get help. Don’t listen to GPs who say you’ll get over all this – fire them and move on (I did). Reach out any way you can and get help. Anxiety and depression are treatable, but it can be so much of an easier road if you have a community. Try to make your friends and family know that you are going through a rough time. If they don’t listen, you don’t need them. There are lots of people like you, but we really can’t stay silent. We deserve better than that.

I write with a certain amount of anger here. I am tired of people who just want comfort. I really hope, once I recover that I will never again be one of those people.

Old Fellas New Music Episode 25 Notes

Week 25

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings – Señor

This is taken from  the 2020 album, All the Good Times (Are Past & Gone).  This won the duo a 2021 Grammy award for Best Folk Album.  It features cover versions and traditional songs.

This is a cover of a 1978 Bob Dylan song.   

Bon Enfant – Magie

Appearing seemingly out of nowhere on Nov. 1, 2019, the debut album by quintet Bon Enfant made quite a splash in an already-rich album release season. Featuring the core singer-songwriter duo of Daphné Brissette, of Canailles fame, and Guillaume Chiasson, of Ponctuation, the Bon Enfant album made its way to our ears with shimmering soft-rock, replete with catchy choruses. Daphné Brisette spoke to us about their unexpected critical success.

Bon Enfant is already busy writing the songs for their next project, while touring an increasing number of dates over the next year. “We’ll play all the festivals!” Brissette promises.

Story by Philippe Renaud | January 21, 2020

Aldous Harding – The Barrel

Aldous Harding – The Barrel from 2019 album “Designer”

Hannah Sian Topp , known professionally as Aldous Harding, is a New Zealand folk singer-songwriter, based in Cardiff, Wales.

This profile does an excellent job of capturing this singer.

Things You (Possibly) Didn’t Know About Aldous Harding

1 May 2019

By Triple R volunteer writer Katherine Smyrk

People seem to have a hard time pinning down 29 year old New Zealand musician Aldous Harding. Her first, self-titled album was described as ‘gothic folk’. Then Party hit the airwaves and people scrambled to pin its sound to the ground. One Guardian reviewer labelled it ‘mesmeric, folk-adjacent’. Now, her third album, Designer, is out to thwart your attempts at classification again. And yet, her music is only becoming more and more popular. Maybe listeners like that she is undefinable; maybe they like that she can be a jazz crooner, Kate Bush and the Wicked Witch of the West in one album.

More here

Here is the official video for The Barrel which has a nice unhinged feel to it 

Yo-Yo Ma and Jeremy Dutcher –  Honor Song

write-up by Heather Swail

As soon as I heard that Yo-Yo Ma had a new album that featured Jeremy Dutcher I took a listen and then another. 
Just released, Ma’s album “Notes for the Future” features Dutcher and other artists representing 5 continents. Yo-Yo Ma’s site tells us that the album and its collaborators “explore our fears and hopes, reminding us that the future is ours to shape, together.” The nine tracks feature vocals in Arabic, Zapotec, Catalan, Paiwan, Spanish, Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqey, Ewe, Maori and English.”Honor Song” is a Mi’kmaq anthem. Dutcher’s haunting tones and MA’s cello bring you to another place, and also remind you where you are.

Notes for the Future brings together extraordinary artists from five continents: across nine tracks, Ma joins Angélique Kidjo, Mashrou’ Leila + Narcy, Tunde Olaniran, Jeremy Dutcher, Andrea Motis, ABAO, Lila Downs, and Marlon Williams to explore our fears and hopes, reminding us that the future is ours to shape, together.

Evie Sands – Leap of Faith

Evie Sands – Leap of Faith “Get Out Of Your Own Way” 2020

Evie Sands was born in Brooklyn, New York 1946  and has had a long and interesting career on the fringes of pop music.

When the pub quiz question comes up, be prepared: The guy who wrote Wild Thing, Chip Taylor, is the brother of actor Jon Voight and therefore the uncle of Angelina Jolie. For bonus points, he also wrote the country song Angel of the Morning which was a big hit for Merrilee Rush and further popularised by Olivia Newton-John and Juice Newton.

Unfortunately it wasn’t a hit for the first person who recorded it, the sometimes remarkable and largely overlooked Evie Sands.

Then again, it seemed Sands was doomed to never get a hit despite her impassioned voice and assured delivery.

More here

Here’s her classic from the 60’s, “Take Me For A little While”

She’s still at it 55 years later   

The Paranoid Style – A Goddamn Impossible Way of life

Write-up by Brian McGuire

Ok I have a song/band and I will give a script. Here go’s

So there is no wonder why the best band in America: Wussy which will be the subject of another broadcast totally lives The Paranoid Style. The name of the band comes from a famous article by American historian Richard Hofstadter  called ” The Paranoid Style in American Politics “. The lovely and committed rock and rollers have day jobs. I think they are cool progressive lobbyists and their music shadows their political interests. But they are kick ass and to their credit these lovelies are moonlighting.

Critical reception[edit] – Wikipedia

Robert Christgau gave the Paranoid Style’s 2013 EP The Power of Our Proven System an A- grade. In his review, Christgau wrote that “this band has yet to release a dull song” and that on the EP, the band “mine[s] a pop-rock vein that braces Nelson’s cleanly uncrystalline articulation against Bracy’s noisier guitar and a straight four that doesn’t quit.” He later gave Rock and Roll Just Can’t Recall an A grade, Rolling Disclosure an A- grade, Underworld U.S.A. an A- grade, and A Goddamn Impossible Way of Life an A grade.[6][7][8]

Jennifer Castle – Justice

Jennifer Castle – Justice from 2020 album Monarch Season

This song has the distinction of being the shortest song played on this venerable podcast. Jennifer Castle is a Canadian singer-songwriter based in Toronto, Ontario.  She has released music since 2006 and has been on the  Polaris shortlist.

For those with the time or inclination, here is Castle performing a set in 2018 at Massey Hall.

Rina Sawayama – Enter Sandman

This is an incredible project and the only time we have played Metallica on this show. A great compilation by 53 artists with several versions of Enter Sandman.

Both The Metallica Blacklist and the deluxe anniversary release of The Black Album (14 CDs, six LPs, six DVDs, and more) will be released on September 10th. Along with the Weezer, Isbell, and J Balvin covers, the Blacklist also features contributions from Miley Cyrus, St. Vincent, Jon Pardi, Yo-Yo Ma, Elton John, Phoebe Bridgers, Chris Stapleton, and dozens of other artists.

Rolling Stone

Rina Sawayama is the latest artist to cover Metallica for the band’s forthcoming compilation The Metallica Blacklist. Sawayama’s contribution to the project is a cover of “Enter Sandman.”

The Metallica Blacklist is out September 10 and includes additional covers from Phoebe Bridgers, Weezer, J Balvin, Miley Cyrus, St. Vincent, and many others.

Jeff Tweedy – Bad Day Lately

Jeff Tweedy – Bad Day Lately  from 2020 Love Is the King

Jeff  Tweedy  is an American songwriter, musician, author, and record producer best known as the singer and guitarist of the band Wilco.  This song is from his  4th solo album.  He started making this album after COVID hit and a Wilco tour was cancelled.

Judging by his pants? pajamas?…. This a truly COVID era video!    

Wew will be back next week with Episode 26!!

Old Fellas New Music Episode 24 Notes

This week’s show

Episode 24 – Wednesday, September 15 7:00 PM On Mixcloud and 8:00 PM on VoicEd Radio

Haska, Salif Keita – Madan 


Whitehorse – Strike Me Down

Whitehorse –Strike Me Down from 2021 album Strike Me Down

This is the second album from the Hamilton based duo this year.  From the early 2000’s,  Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland were both recording and touring artists with numerous recordings under their belts. They married in 2006 and since have collaborated under the banner , Whitehorse.  Here are two versions of this week’s selected song.


Matt Mays – NYC Girls (Acoustic) 

Elvis Costello $ The Attractions & Nina Diaz – No Action

Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, MHD –  Itarafo 

St. Etienne – Pond House

Natalia Lafourcade – Tú Sí Sabes 

Lucy Dacus – Gone Gone Gone (edit) 

Claudia Sierra, Los Macorinos, Clayton – Voy  

Haska, Salif Keita – Madan 

Very hard to find much information on Haska, but Salif Keita is a legend in Africa and we feature him on two tracks for this show.

Haska – Madan (with Salif Keita) Visualiser

Taken from the website Inflyte

Blending their love of music from across the globe with progressive production, they kick off their catalogue with a massive statement.

Centred around the infectious vocals of Salif Keita, described as the ‘Golden Voice of Africa’, ‘Madan’ sees Haska weave together intricate rhythms, edgy synths and pulsating bass grooves to create an uplifting and inspiring modern classic.

 Inflyte website

The story of Salif Keita’s royal heritage is interested and is quotes here from Wikipedia

Salif Keita was born a traditional prince in the village of Djoliba.[1] He was born to the Keita royal family, who trace their lineage to Sundiata Keita, founder of the Mali Emp  ire. He was cast out by his family and ostracized by the community because of his albinism, a sign of bad luck in Mandinka culture.[2] He decided to pursue music in his teenage years, further distancing him from his family as that was against occupational prohibitions of his noble status.[3] In 1967, he left Djoliba for Bamako, where he joined the government-sponsored Super Rail Band de Bamako. In 1973 Keita joined the group, Les Ambassadeurs (du motel de Bamako). Keita and Les Ambassadeurs fled political unrest in Mali during the mid-1970s and subsequently changed the group’s name to “Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux”. The reputation of Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux grew internationally in the late-1970s, leading to Keita pursuing a solo career in the following years.

my dream is to see him live in Africa one sunny day!

Matt Mays – NYC Girls (Acoustic) 

Album Twice Upon a Hell of a Time

Love this acoustic version of an earlier song on Once Upon a Hell of a Time 2017

Twice Upon a Hell of a Time is the seventh studio album by Matt Mays, released on October 19, 2018.[1] It comprises acoustic rerecordings of the songs from his 2017 album Once Upon a Hell of a Time

 Yes, this may repeat those same thirteen songs, but as an acoustic offering, “Twice…” sees everything reimagined in a completely different context.  And instantly apparent upon the first listen is just how different these songs appear to be. “Once Upon a Hell of a Time … is a Saturday night record,” says Matt.  “This version is for the hangover on Sunday.”

With “NYC Girls,” for instance, the up-tempo beat is toned down significantly through a simple drum rhythm and piano, that accompany some multi-vocal harmonies to provide a choir-like rendition much more in the spirit of Sunday morning church.  “I think if a song has meaning and is played with heart it can be done in a million different styles, tempos, time signatures and colours,” offers Mays when asked about his willingness to take these original compositions and reconstruct them this way.

Great Dark Wonder Review

Elvis Costello $ The Attractions & Nina Diaz – No Action

this is such an amazing song!!

Ever the pioneer , Costello along with producer Sebastian Krys, have taken the classic 1978 album “This Years Model”, removed the vocals and invited artists from across the Spanish-speaking world to adapt the songs.  

From the Variety article

With Krys’ contact list, it wasn’t an insurmountable feat to sign up a guest list that includes Juanes, Luis Fonsi, Draco Rosa, Cami, La Santa Cecilia’s La Marisoul, Jesse & Joy, Morat, Jorge Drexler, Fito Páez, Gian Marco, Vega and others, representing Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Spain, Uruguay, Argentina, Peru, Puerto Rico and, yes, even the mainland U.S. Underneath all these star turns remains the thrilling work accomplished in the late ‘70s by as great a backing band as ever lived, the Attractions,

San Antonio singer Nina Diaz of the group Girl in a Coma  lends her vocals to the opening track, “No Action”

Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, MHD –  Itarafo

Album – un autre blanc 2018

Such a powerful collaboration, you can listen to it here

I actually didn’t write up any notes for this track, but I love to see the collaboration that is going on in a whole collection of albums by various new and established groups.

A littler note on MHD who is the young one on this great track.

stage name MHD, is a French rapper from Paris, who is known for blending trap music with music of West Africa; a genre he coined as “Afro Trap“.[1][2][3] He was previously part of the rap collective 1.9 Réseaux.

Born in Vendée to a family of West African extraction, MHD began his career as a rapper in Paris at the age of 18. He found success in the mid-2010s through material he published on social media (notably music videos on YouTube) and in 2016 released his debut album MHD, which sold more than 200,000 copies in 6 months.[4][5][6] He later received international recognition, and toured in Guinea[citation needed]EnglandSenegal and Morocco.[7] His second album, titled 19, was released in September 2018.

Wikipedia


St. Etienne – Pond House

Saint Etienne are an English band from London, formed in 1990. The band consists of Sarah Cracknell, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs. They created a buzz in the UK in the 90’s which really didn’t translate to this side of the Atlantic.

According to Wikipedia,  “their work has been described as uniting 1990s club culture with 1960s pop.”   Since the nineties they have consistently released new music.  Stanley and Wiggs also have been responsible for curating interesting compilations for UK reissue label Ace Records.

Pitchfork reviews Saint Etienne’s latest.  

On their 10th studio album, the UK electro-pop heroes look back on the end of the 20th century, when hooks and choruses dissolved into blissed-out loops and vibe became paramount.

Pitchfork Magazine

Tú Sí Sabes – Natalia Lafourcade with Los Macorinos

a bit of an interview with Natalia Lafourcade and Los Macorinos who I featured on my last two tracks. I wish these guys would put out their own album.

Lafourcade has made a career out of her search for new sounds to adorn her melodies. In each of her efforts, she demonstrates a deep love for melody in all its forms, exploring it every way she can, and garnering a huge following in the Spanish-speaking world. Throughout the years, she has evolved into one of Mexico’s best songwriters and singers, thanks to her deep knowledge of music history and her ability to craft picturesque songs.

You told me you wanted to collaborate with Los Macorinos, but what was it like to finally have them in the studio with you? You also have a duet with Omara Portuondo. How was that experience?

I have collaborated with so many awesome people, but then I had this idea of making every collaboration much more deep and focused. They have to bring something new to me. In this case, it was a completely new experience to have Los Macorinos with me in the studio. We reached a whole new level because it wasn’t a very comfortable choice to work with them. How was I to play with these gentlemen? They have so much more experience.

Natalia Lafourcade – Tú sí sabes quererme (en manos de Los Macorinos)


Lucy Dacus – Gone Gone Gone (edit)

Lucy Dacus – Gone Gone Gone  from 2021 album,  Home Video

Dacus is an American singer-songwriter She is also a member of boygenius with Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker.  Here’s a really nice live version of this selection. 

To quote Dacus From Pitchfork, “When I wrote this one, I didn’t like it so much because it had that campfire vibe, and I thought it was too twee. For a long time, I’ve tried to establish myself in people’s minds as Not Americana, because people go to such lengths to show girls with guitars as country adjacent. People have called me alt-country… Genre is dead, and yet, I make rock music. But I felt more comfortable doing whatever the song wanted this time around. So if it’s a campfire song, then let’s get people on the refrains, and let’s do it with acoustic guitars and make it super cozy. My favorite moment is the talking at the end. I like that it’s the exact center of the record because it feels like an intermission.”

On a final note,  we aren’t the only Old Fellas enjoying new music! From The Guardian

 

Claudia Sierra, Los Macorinos, Clayton- Voy

Another one of the many collaborations by Los Macorinos

Nostalgia Entre Amigos 2 – 2018

And that’s all I have, I actually could find no more information about this singer. Any leads? Please let us know.

Old Fellas New Music Episode 23 Notes

This week’s tracks

Valley – Oh shit … are we in Love?

Status/Non Status – Find a Home

Elwins – For Love to Come and Find You(Don’t Wait)

Anika – Change

Wapums – Sunray

Angelique Kidjo – Africa One of a Kind

Milky Chance – Colorado

El Michels Affair – Zaharila

Dan Mangan – Troubled Mind


Valley – Oh shit … are we in Love?

After 21- 22 weeks of the podcast, the time has come to repeat some fine artists.  Here is Valley with their brand spanking new release, “ Oh shit … are we in Love?” 

Status/Non Status – Find a Home 

snippets from a CBC article (Holly Gordon · CBC Music · Posted: Jun 08, 2021 9:00 AM ET)

How a new EP and name are helping Status/Non-Status interrogate the effects of colonization

The band formerly known as Whoop-Szo questions who holds status — and who doesn’t

‘It’s been my whole life in many ways, but the reconnection process to culture, it’s been 10 or 15 years as well…. And I’ve learned a lot about my family and our history and the true stories around that, why maybe we were disconnected.’ — Adam Sturgeon (Savanah Sewell)

“The first song I wrote was called ‘Boozhoo,’ and I was just learning how to say the word hello [in Anishinaabemowin],” says Adam Sturgeon, lead singer of Status/Non-Status.

“‘Find a Home’ is a song about loving yourself, I think. It’s a traveling song, sort of — I think you can feel that. And so that was bringing me some sort of solace in that experience where you’re in that doldrum of wonderment. But it was comfortable and it’s kind of an older song that I was writing and reworking and yeah, just about accepting and loving yourself wherever you are on your journey.


Elwins – For Love to Come and Find You(Don’t Wait)

We have played The Elwins before as well and we are including this track as  The Elwins finally returned to the stage a couple of weeks ago to do 2 shows at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto.

This song is taken from the 2021 ep  release  IV More  

Anika – Change

From Album of the Year website – how can you do this, it is only September!

On Change, Anika delivers a call to action that she takes to heart. Though her first solo album in over a decade is indebted to the spooky, surreal sounds of her early solo releases and her work with Exploded View, it also sheds a decidedly different light on her music. Since much of her 2010 debut album and 2013 EP consisted of frosty covers of ’60s pop songs that ranged from ironic to heartbroken, listeners actually got to know more of Anika as a songwriter on Exploded View‘s albums, where she expounded on timely and timeless subjects in elliptical but gripping fashion. Even though she recorded Change with her bandmate Martin Thulin, it’s apparent that this is a solo album: Its songs are leaner and more flexible than her work with Exploded View


Wapums – Sunray

Bob heard Wapums – Sunray on the always dependable CBC radio 3.  There isn’t a lot of info available on the internet about this artist but here is the link to the artist’s Bandcamp page.

https://wampums.bandcamp.com/album/sunray-3 

This is First Nations music at its finest.  

Angelique Kidjo – Africa One of a Kind

Album – Mother Nature

Africa, One Of A Kind

Kicking off our Back To School special with a song featuring @angeliquekidjo and @YoYo_Ma

Angelique wanted to drop out of school but her dad wasn’t having it. 

The singer and activist went on to found Batonga, an organization that supports higher education for girls in Africa.

Mother Nature finds 4-time GRAMMY-winner Angelique Kidjo joining forces with some of the most captivating young creators of West African music, Afrobeats, Afro-pop, hip hop and r&b, and represents a newly heightened awareness of her own musical legacy and remarkable influence she’s had on younger generations

She has a great website where there is lots to explore.

Angelique Sings for the Opening Ceremony of the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Angelique Kidjo – UNICEF – no Pata Pata Official Video

Covid 19 video – what to do to stay safe from Covid – no touch time

This is a great song that I added to the extended version of the show. From her website:

UNICEF is excited to announce the official release of Angelique Kidjo’s music video for “Pata Pata”, a fresh take on Miriam Makeba’s 1967 hit song. Once called the “world’s most defiantly joyful song”, Makeba’s ‘Pata Pata’ has been re-recorded by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Angélique Kidjo, to spread information about COVID-19, with a focus on hundreds of millions of people in remote communities around the world. 


Milky Chance – Colorado

Milky Chance is a German rock band who seemed to combine the vocals of Fontaines DC  with the instrumentation of The Cars.

This track was heard on an Alt Nation  live concert set from the Bottle Rocket Festival in Napa Valley.  The crowd there seemed to know this 2021 song thoroughly as they lustily sang along…

Here’s the studio version  

El Michels Affair – Zaharila

Album – Yeti Season 2021

this song is described as ‘languid, psyched-out’

El Michels Affair – Zaharila

I had to keep in this paragraph about the inspiration for Yeti Season – this is from Rolling Stone:

Covid upended that rhythm last spring. Suddenly, the kids were home 24/7, and Michels was looking for ways to fill the time while still finding ways to clock hours in the studio. He was also cut off from the close friends and collaborators who had been an integral part of El Michels Affair’s music and his own personal support system. So, one day last year as the snow was falling in Rhinebeck, he got out an old Yeti costume and decided to chase his kids around the yard. 

Rolling Stone Magazine

Dan Mangan – Troubled Mind

Dan Magnan  is a Juno award winning Canadian musician. He has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Australia, having released 5 studio LPs

The song “Troubled Mind”  is taken from his 2018 lp “More or Less” The video is kinda fun  

In 2017, Magnan started Side Door  concert company where artists could put on shows online.  Little did he know that three years later due to COVID, these types of shows would take off on platforms like Zoom.

How Dan Mangan’s Side Door Is Paving the Way for the Brave New World of Live Music

“I do believe that this new world is going to stick around,” he says of the company’s highly profitable livestreams

How Dan Mangan's Side Door Is Paving the Way for the Brave New World of Live Music

When Vancouver songwriter Dan Mangan co-founded the concert company Side Door in 2017, he thought he was creating an “Airbnb for gigs” — an online platform to allow artists and unconventional venues to connect and put on DIY shows. Once coronavirus lockdowns began, however, he quickly realized that he had accidentally stumbled onto the perfect platform for interactive online shows.

By Alex Hudson Published May 21, 2020 Exclaim! Magazine

Old Fellas New Music – Episode 22 Notes

We are back! Last week we did a show but we never got to the show notes. These are the notes from last Thursday’s show – a little late, sorry – here goes!

Our episode poster

Episode 22

Real Sickies – Destructive Nights

Mungos Hi Fi/Marina P – Divorce A  L’Italienne

Los Poetas – Siembra Cultiva Cosecha 

Low – More

Touché Amoré – Lament

Big Red Machine – Latter Days

Liam Corcoran – Tick Toc

Kurt Vile – Run Run Run

Lorde – Stoned at the Nail Station


Real Sickies – Destructive Nights

After 2020’s Quarantined, love is what the world needs now, and the Real Sickies’ take on it was worth the wait.

Officially released last Friday, Love Is For Lovers is a fast-paced, 14-track concept album of the band’s insights, anecdotes, musings and messages exploring our most complicated of emotions.

The band has plenty of experience with relationships in many different forms. Since its 2014 inception, new members have appeared on every album — this being the fourth, full-length on vinyl, and the second release with Montreal’s Stomp Records, a discography bolstered through the years by digital drops and EPs. Being a long time coming, this album encompasses all the Sickies through the years, active or not.

Endlessly creative, Crossman has conceived some of the most fantastic videos on a budget, collecting various props through the years and applying a lot of imagination and elbow grease. While the video for the title track is being released today, another for Communication Breakdown, the album’s self-explanatory opening track, came out last month and had the band at an air hanger where a frazzled controller sends the plane’s crew through wild scenes in time.

 

Real Sickies – a fun video


Mungos Hi Fi/Marina P – Divorce A  L’Italienne

Mungo’s Hi Fi is Glasgow’s biggest reggae sound system and named after the city’s patron saint. You may not be expecting such a thing in the rainswept streets of Scotland’s biggest city, but since 2001 Mungo’s Hi Fi has been producing reggae music, putting out over 90 releases on its own Scotch Bonnet record label, building a sound system and running numerous club nights. They have collaborated with some of reggae’s biggest vocalists, including Sugar Minott and Cornell Campbell, as well as current voices such as Soom T, Eva Lazarus, and Charlie P. This latest release from September 2020 brings to the mic Italian vocalist and songwriter Marina P.

Analog Planet.


Siembra Cultiva Cosecha – Los Poetas


From Los Poetas website https://www.wearelospoetas.com/

I heard this track on Frequencies and I just had to add it here. This screenshot from their website says it all.

With members hailing from El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, Panama and Colombia, via Canada, Latin Hip Hop collective Los Poetas sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before.

“Listen to the poets,” says Che. “There’s power in the word.”


Low – More

Low is an American indie rock band from Minnesota, formed in 1993. The group is mainly the husband/wife duo Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals). The music of Low is characterized by slow tempos and minimalist arrangements. Descriptions sometimes referred to it as a rock subgenre called “slowcore”  This new track from the lp, Hey What is quite a departure from the slowcore description. Pitchfork has an excellent article about the band’s new record

Touché Amoré – Lament

From Pitchfork Best New Music

On their phenomenal fifth album, the post-hardcore band work with famed producer Ross Robinson and come away with their most affecting and resonant music yet. 

It’s a long overdue revelation that he alone can’t be there for everyone at all times, which makes Lament their capstone—a Touché Amoré album that can reach the most people as possible from the greatest distance.

From Pitchfork

Soft guitar chords ripple with tremolo then vanish. Weeping pedal steel wafts upward over distant acoustic strums. “It’s that special kind of quiet where one might be concerned,” sings Jeremy Bolm in a softened version of his blunt, frantic bark. “But even with this silence, my voice can be misheard.”

From Sterogum (yes, the barking vocals are stunning!)


Big Red Machine – Latter Days

Big Red Machine is a that began as a collaboration between musicians Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon. The band is named after the nickname for the  Cincinnati Reds baseball teams which won the 1976 World Series.

This song is from second record, “How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?”  The album is a collaborative effort, featuring guest vocals from Taylor Swift, Fleet Foxes, Ilsey,  Sharon Van Etten,  and others. “Latter Days” featuring American singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and is the first single from the album,  Dessner stated, “It was clear to Anaïs that the early sketch Justin and I made of ‘Latter Days’ was about childhood, or loss of innocence and nostalgia for a time before you’ve grown into adulthood — before you’ve hurt people or lost people and made mistakes. She defined the whole record when she sang that, as these same themes kept appearing again and again.”


Liam Corcoran – Tic Toc

Album Nevahland 2017

Earnestness is still en vogue; character-driven lyrics are cutting edge; and the ’80s never ended.
 
That’s the vibe you’re left with listening to NEVAHLAND, the debut solo LP by Liam Corcoran of Two Hours Traffic. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the throwback quality that the Charlottetown indie rocker instils NEVAHLAND with.
 

read more here in Exclaim!

Kurt Vile – Run Run Run

Kurt Vile  is an American performer from Pennsylvania. He is known for his solo work and as the former lead guitarist of rock band The War on Drugs. Both in the studio and during live performances, Vile is accompanied by his backing band, The Violators.  Vile is one of the many artists featured on the upcoming Velvet Underground and Nico  tribute album.

Former SNL music director Hal Wilner who is responsible for producing many memorable tribute albums, died of COVID before the album’s release.

Look for a the highly anticipated documentary on the Velvet Underground in the fall.  

It’s directed by Todd Haynes known for the feature films such as “Carol”, “Far From Heaven” and “Dark Waters”


Lorde – Stoned at the Nail Station

Album Solar POwer 2021

There is a great article on Lorde in the latest Exclaim! magazine – you can read it here

here is a bit of the article

Lorde would rather be outside, basking in the sun. Instead, she is speaking to Exclaim! on a video call from a New York hotel room, where she is doing press for her upcoming third album, Solar Power.

“I felt very centred [and] grounded in nature,” she says of her latest work. “That feeling was a very calm one, and also one of joy. It felt almost like sun-worship that was happening. It’s kind of an emotional album.”

It’s a new perspective for the singer, born Ella Yelich-O’Connor in New Zealand. At 16, she became one of the biggest pop stars in the world with 2013’s Pure Heroine and its chart-topping single “Royals,” which captured moody adolescence and gave teens a new lens through which to experience youth. At 20, she distilled love and heartbreak with 2017’s Melodrama, its booming drums and powerful synths feeling like a never-ending night at a house party.

Much of Solar Power feels experimental. She worked with co-writer and producer Jack Antonoff to create what she calls the album’s “nutty” sound. “[Solar Power] sounds crazy,” she enthuses. “There’s heaps of crazy vocals and live drums. There’s guitars on this album — like, 16-year-old me was not letting a guitar anywhere near anything,” she says. Multiple tracks also feature cicada sounds.

Last week’s show

And our updated playlist on Spotify
AND a new show coming this Thursday! Right here on Mixcloud

Old Fellas make it to week 20! Our notes

This is our updated playlist – I think you should put this on and chill
This was a fun show – hope you take a listen

OK, we know these are notes written by other people, but we go out and research this stuff

Now for our music for this week

Katherine Priddy – Wolf

album – The Eternal Rocks Beneath

Katherine Priddy – great song

from The Guardian, really one of the best sources I know of for new music

The folk prodigy delivers an elegant debut, infused with soaring vocals and nimble guitar-picking

Feted as a folk prodigy as a teenager, Katherine Priddy has wisely taken several years to reach this debut, an accomplished set of original songs delivered in a breathtaking voice and launched on a reputation as a great live act. Her nimble guitar-picking helps. Not that this is a strictly solo album; producer Simon Weaver has supplied a rhythm section and a parade of accordion, fiddle and string quartet, but in judicious measure. The star turn remains Priddy’s voice and its soaring, lark-like turns, meaning a song such as Wolf, the title track of her 2018 EP, can suddenly take unexpected flight.

That several numbers were written when she was young perhaps accounts for their unevenness; the banjo-backed Letters from a Travelling Man doesn’t pass muster with a poetic piece such as Icarus – a fond farewell to a lover seen as “a radiant stain falling like rain” – or with her funny homage to a boozy night on the Hebridean isle of Eigg. The rocks of the title is a verb, not a noun, testament to a belief that life’s fundamentals don’t change, a notion resolved elegantly in opener Indigo and closer The Summer Has Flown. A classy arrival.

Guardian- Neil Spencer

and one more – she really is wonderful

Binki – Clay Pigeon

American indie artist Binki is back with his first single since 2019 from the EP Motor Function. Apparently, it is inspired by “ the wisdom of Confucius and the failings of David Bowie” Here’s the video which is directed by his brother.

Griff – One Foot in Front of the Other

another great pick from The Guardian’s July picks for albums. Really like this artist

The Brits’ show-stealing 20-year-old has earworms and wise words to burn on this tantalising mini-album

Griff – One Foot In Front Of The Other (Official Video)

The rise of Griff feels like a silver lining around the thundercloud that was 2020. While all around the 20-year-old pop powerhouse careers stalled, tours evaporated and sound engineers peed in bottles while driving delivery vans, this singer went from buzzy obscurity in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, locked down with her family and foster siblings, to a Top 20 hit and a Brits rising star award.

One Foot in Front of the Other is, though, an odd release. A debut album in all but name, this mixtape comes with the caveat that it was written and recorded during lockdown. Griff and her label feel that her debut album proper is still ahead of her.

Pom Pom Squad – Head Cheerleader

Pom Pom squad is a band Inspired by Billie Holiday, riot grrrl bands, and  films Death of a Cheerleader/ But I’m a Cheerleader

Here’s the trailer for the 1999 cult classic  

Pom Pom squad was originally just Mia Berrin but now it it is a full fledged band.  For a better idea of what Pop Pom squad are all about, here is Pitchfork magazines review of the album.

Equally indebted to pioneering girl groups and her punk heroes, the New York singer-songwriter’s debut is a fiery exploration of love, anger, and coming-of-age.

In 1999, a satirical comedy film called But I’m a Cheerleader proposed an astonishing lead character: a cheerleader who isn’t quite like the other girls on her team. She gets whisked away to a hilariously straight-laced conversion-therapy camp on the suspicion that she might be—gasp—gay. “I’m a cheerleader!” she whines in hesitation, as if this makes it impossible to fall outside societal norms. The movie marked a memorable early instance of the divergent cheerleader, an increasingly popular trope that drives the creative mind of 23-year-old singer-songwriter Mia Berrin, who makes bratty grunge-punk as Pom Pom Squad. On her debut, Death of a Cheerleader, the New York musician stakes her claim to pleated miniskirt canon, joining the ranks of those who’ve weaponized cheer imagery to disrupt convention.

Pitchfork June 30 2021

The video  

I concur with one commenter … “this is my new favourite song”


Melissa Laveaux – Angeli-ko

Album  – Radyo Siwèl

Really need to watch this series of videos on Youtube – Mélissa Laveaux – Radyo Siwèl Series

One in the series

In 2018, Laveaux’s album Radyo Siwel was long-listed for the Polaris Music Prize.[6]

In April 2016, Mélissa Laveaux headed to Haiti in search of her roots and on a mission to honour her ancestors. Born in Canada to Haitian parents, she did not know what would emerge musically from her pilgrimage although she had a particular interest in the period of American occupation of the island between 1915-1934. Two decades had gone by since she had last set foot in Haiti when she was 12 years old. She felt like a stranger and yet, at the same time, she experienced the thrill of an exile returning home, for Haiti is an intrinsic part of her identity.

From these she built Radyo Siwèl, a unique album steeped in Haitian history and culture and yet which is also highly personal and intimate. 

Youtube

Blinker the Star – It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back)

Bob’s selection of a new Blinker the star track was a result of this article in the Montreal Gazette. 

Excitingly, his burbling, pitch-perfect cover of Eurythmics’ It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back) was chosen last month as one of the 20 “best songs of 2021 (so far)” by Esquire — ranking alongside such luminaries as Lorde (Solar Power), Doja Cat and SZA (Kiss Me More), BTS (Butter), Justin Bieber (Peaches) and FKA Twigs (Don’t Judge Me). Heady — and moneyed — company.

Montreal Gazette

Welcome back Blinker the Star!This is a cover version of an old Eurythmics song that was unfamiliar to both of us. Compare the 2 versions here 

If you would like more Blinker the Star, you can listen to a full show dedicated to his music put together by David Widmann on Mixcloud.

Rare Americans – Baggage 

I heard this one on CBC Radio 3 – a great find I think!

Rare Americans – Baggage (Official Music Video)

They also have a great website

Rare Americans – Crooked & Catchy. The band started on a whim two years ago when brothers James and Jared Priestner took an impromptu trip to the Caribbean. James joked they should try and write a song together, Jared said “A song? Fuck that, lets write an album!” Sure enough 10 days later the first Rare Americans record was born. Spring forward to 2020, the band has gained a reputation for story telling and genre bending fresh music, amassing over 50M YouTube views in the process. The bands roster includes two Slovak guitar virtuoso’s in Lubo Ivan & Jan Cajka, and Duran Ritz on drums.

(from website)

“Lubo and I were in another band before called the Lunas that toured Canada a few times and was going along really well and had recorded an EP,” said James Priester. “Then I took a trip to the Caribbean with my brother Jared and joked I would bring along my guitar so we could drink a few beers and write a song or two together. He’d never written a song before and we’d never written together, but we sat down and wrote an entire album.”

Rare Americans also put its main emphasis on producing videos. James runs a production company in Vancouver so he was up on how to concept a video. The band steadily built its online profile with high-quality clips for songs such as Balmoral Hotel and the Barry Tielman (Run the Jewels, others) animated piece for Cats, Dogs & Rats.

Vancouver Sun

Rare Americans – Cats, Dogs, & Rats (Official Video)

Angel Olsen – Eyes Without a Face

Bob’s final choice is also a cover of an 80’s chestnut.  Angel Olsen has the distinction of being the first three-peat artist on our venerable podcast. She has just released an Ep covering Laura Branigan, Men Without Hats, OMD, Madonna  and Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face” 

The NME has an excellent evaluation of Olson’s latest offering. 

Angel Olsen – ‘Aisles’ EP review: ’80s classics through a warped lens

The North Carolina musician cuts right to the core of each song, before rebuilding her own mirror images with this five-track EP

“I’m really into doing shit that’s unexpected,” Angel Olsen told NME as she prepared to release the album ‘Whole New Mess’ last year. Taking the staggering orchestral ambition of her fourth album ‘All Mirrors’ and stripping it back to its rawest foundations, it marked something of a reset from an artist whose sound had grown grander and more intricate with each release. Though it was actually recorded first (and these demos later grew into ‘All Mirrors) the two records feel like subtly distorted reflections of each other when they’re placed side by side – almost as if Olsen is covering her own work.

New Music Review

Treephones – Matches

Also a CBC Radio 3 catch

Album Pink Objects

The ten song titles on Treephones’ — the musical moniker of Stephen Trothen — new album Pink Objects read like an inventory of things found stashed away in a closet or neglected drawer. With every song named after an object, the concept album takes the approach of a short story collection and focuses on the interactions and relationships of characters centred around these items. The album was written and recorded at home by Trothen who also handled all but a few of the performing duties. The result is a set of songs that weave beautifully evolving textures into a carefully arranged sound that matches the directness and understated complexity of its lyrics.

Killbeat Music

I love this video of Treephones playing in Waterloo, Ontario. A terrific song with the addition of the saxophone. How many videos have we shown that shows the band playing in their bedroom?

Live version of “Matches” from the album “Pink Objects” (out now on digital, vinyl, streaming).

Recorded July 2021 in Waterloo, Ontario.

Stephen Trothen – Vocals, Guitar

Michael Borkovic – Saxophones, Sampler

Ahmad Hachem – Drums

Chris Hull – Vibraphone, Synths

Old Fellas new Music Episode 19 Notes

This week’s songs

Duran Duran – Invisible

Matt Sweeney and Bonnie Prince Billy – Resist the Urge 

Merchant – Dead days and Gatorade

Sufjan Steven’s & Angelo De Augustine-Reach Out 

Silk Sonic –Skate

Bobby Gillespie and Jehenny Beth – Chase it Down 

John Sally Ride – Putting It Off

Hiss Golden Messenger – Sanctuary 

Olivia Rodrigo – Brutal

added after

Gram Parsons – Streets of Baltimore

Silk Sonic – Leave the Door Open

Sufjan Stevens – Mystery of love

Father John Misty – Real Love Baby 

John Sally Ride – Don’t Flatter Yourself


Duran Duran – Invisible

Bob’s first 2 selections were suggested by good friend Lisa Riipi.   Duran Duran has returned after a 5 year absence with the new single is “Invisible”. The music video for the song was created by an artificial intelligence system called Huxley.


Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy          Superwolves

Song – Resist the Urge

16 years after their original underground classic, Matt Sweeney and Will Oldham reunite for an album that plays like the continuation of a decades-long conversation. 

Afew years after he’d decided to start calling himself Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Will Oldham released a song called “A Wolf Among Wolves.” It’s about a person who doesn’t feel properly seen, and it’s exceptionally sad, even for the guy who wrote “I See a Darkness.” “Why can’t I be loved as what I am?” he sighs. “A wolf among wolves, and not as a man.” Wildness, ferocity, heart, all the things wolves tend to signify—the way he sings, it’s as if they’ve all been drained away by loneliness. In the years since, Oldham has made collaboration central to his work, partly, as he recently told GQ, in the hopes of “turning aspects of an innate introversion into something that resembles extroversion.” And while he’s had innumerable artistic successes, both on his own and with others, he never sounds more at home, more fully himself, than he does when writing and recording with guitarist Matt Sweeney. Not for nothing did they name their first album together Superwolf.

From Fader – 10 Songs you need in your life right now

personally, I could really only find one or two. Bob added this song from Bonny Prince Billy. Nice song!


Merchant – Dead days and Gatorade

Lisa  also suggested the song “ Dead Days and Gatorade” by Merchant because it features Duran bassist John Taylor.  Looks like the song gives a excellent advice in how to deal with a hangover.


Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine – “Reach Out”

Heather suggested this song, and here are her notes. This sums it up for sure.

I chose this song because it has been a while since I have listened to Sufjan Stevens. I love the guitar plucking, like tiny thoughts flying through the air, the reflective lyrics and their beautiful voices together.

and from elsewhere

Last year, they released their first collaborative song, “Santa Barbara.” In April, Stevens shared “Celebration VIII,” from Celebrations, the fourth installment of his five-volume set, Convocations, which arrived in May. De Augustine dropped his latest album, Tomb, in 2019.

 Silk Sonic –Skate

Bob’s other 3 suggestions were all taken from the blog. “Burning Wood”.  This is an excellent blog that contains the musings and tastes of former New York record store owner Sal Nunziato  Explore it here.   http://burnwoodtonite.blogspot.com/ 

Silk Sonic is an American R&B superduo consisting of recording artists Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak. The duo released their debut single, “Leave the Door Open”, on March 5, 2021, with a forthcoming debut album, An Evening with Silk Sonic, announced for release. To quote the blog’s author Sal Nunziato, “I took a walk around the neighborhood on Saturday and heard a song coming out of some guy’s car, as he was fiddling with something under his hood. I knew what it was but I couldn’t place it. The Whispers? Tavares? No! Shuggie Otis! I couldn’t place it. Then, while scrolling through one of Brooklyn Vegan’s email blasts, the word “vintage” followed by “R&B”  jumped out at me. Could it be Silk Sonic? Yes. It could. “Skate” is the brand new second single from Anderson.Paak and Bruno Mars doing business as Silk Sonic and it’s a good one. The first single “Leave The Door Open” got by me, and it too, has a classic summer soul sound, though I think “Skate” is the better of the two.

Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth – Chase It Down

Album – Utopian Ashes

My choices are now from the Guardian – they released a great article last week – The Month’s Best Albums – July.

I pan to go back to this great list for our next show. Incredible what can come out in one month!

Born in Glasgow, Bobby Gillespie, 58, founded Primal Scream in 1982. The band’s third album, Screamadelica, won the 1992 Mercury music prize. Utopian Ashes, Gillespie’s album with Jehnny Beth, is released on 2 July; their single, Remember We Were Lovers, is out now. He lives in London with his wife, fashion stylist Katy England, and two sons.

The Primal Scream frontman trades brashness for contemplation in this rewarding collaboration with the former Savages singer

During the course of a 35-year career, “sensitive” and “mature” are not adjectives that have often been wheeled out to describe Bobby Gillespie’s lyrics. Indeed, the Primal Scream lead singer’s canon of work has generally favoured MC5-lite rebel posturing over insight and depth. All of which makes this collaboration with former Savages frontwoman Jehnny Beth such a welcome surprise. The pair have written a set of songs located within the wreckage of a marriage that is falling apart, with both parties torn between looking back with remorse and nostalgia on what’s been lost, and moving on and making a new start alone. We’ve come a long way from Bomb the Pentagon.

Recorded with Gillespie’s Scream bandmates, as well as Beth’s regular foil Johnny Hostile, as much care has gone into the arrangements as the lyrics. Opener Chase It Down is a gorgeous slice of southern soul, made all the more powerful for its devastating “I don’t even love you any more” line. Grievances are aired in the despairing Living a Lie. Your Heart Will Always Be Broken, meanwhile, recalls Gram Parsons’s work with Emmylou Harris. Throughout, there are echoes of the rootsier moments from Give Out But Don’t Give Up, but with the earlier swagger replaced by vulnerability. It’s as pleasing as it is unexpected.

Phil Mongredien– Guardian

Bobby Gillespie, Jehnny Beth – Chase It Down

John Sally Ride – Putting It Off

Next is “Putting it Off”   by the  John Sally Ride.  Sal Nunziato plays the drums in this trio.   Check out the band’s link for some excellent power pop

Hiss Golden Messenger – If it comes in the Morning

Album – Quietly Blowing It

MC Taylor offers up soulful Dylan-esque country rockers about the impact of the system on ordinary lives

At the start of the pandemic, MC Taylor, AKA Hiss Golden Messenger, sat in his North Carolina basement studio and began several months’ of pouring out songs about “life as I felt it”. There was a lot going on outside – protests after the murder of George Floyd, the presidential election, and fires burning across the US – but his thoughts turned to some of the deeper issues underpinning it all, from class and inequality to the climate crisis.

The title track finds him watching the news and sighing “things don’t look too good”. However, the tunes are stirring and uplifting and the overall spirit is optimistic. As the father-of-two sings in the exquisite If It Comes in the Morning: “There’s a new day coming, we’ve been a long time running … but all hope is contagious.”

Dave Simpson

Hiss Golden Messenger – Sanctuary (Official Video)

Olivia Rodrigo – Brutal

Finally we wrap it up with, at this moment, one of the most popular performers on the planet.  Olivia Rodrigo.

Rodrigo has had some controversy recently as Courtney Love accused Olivia Rodrigo of plagiarising the cover of Hole’s “Live Through This.”   https://www.spin.com/2021/06/courtney-love-says-olivia-rodrigo-ripped-off-live-through-this-album-cover/

Sal comments, ““Rodrigo’s “Brutal” is a rip of Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up,” which it is, to some extent. Costello’s response? “This is fine by me, It’s how rock and roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy. That’s what I did.”  Is a rip?  You be the judge…

Just a note – this episode has extra songs, some come out of our conversations during the show. he extra songs are basically in context and were added to give the show the 90 minutes for VoicEd Radio – thank-you Stephen Hurley!

As they are extras, we are not writing about these ones.

have a great week everyone!

Episode 19 all 90 minutes!
and our updated Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure

Feeling our Pain

Taken on a quiet paddle

We all have preferred styles of attention and ways that we perceive what is happening to us. It takes lifelong practice of what I call “mirror-wiping” to see things as they are, instead of as we are! “I” am always my first problem, and if I deal with “me,” then I can deal with other problems much more effectively. Similarly, grief work begins with cleansing the lens of my perception, and simply being “here” to what is. Buddhist teacher Cuong Lu is a student of Thich Nhat Hanh, and here he describes a practical way to be present to our pain.

Do you want to put an end to the dark thoughts racing through your mind, the pressures you feel every day, the many ways you don’t feel seen or heard? What do you really want? What do you really want to end? Your thoughts bombarding you 24/7? Your loneliness? Your despair? What do you think happens when life ends? Do you think you won’t feel anything, that you won’t suffer anymore? . . .

Instead of acting on these impulses—stop, wait, and study the details of your life: the skin on your hands, the despair in your throat, the searing currents running through your veins. Study these things as if your life depended on it. When you stay fully present with your feelings, your sensations, and the world around you, even when it seems dark and cold, joy will arise. Joy and suffering are two sides of the same coin.

The way to free yourself from pain is to feel it, not to run away, as difficult as that may be. Be a mountain and be porous at the same time. Become interested in yourself, your thoughts, your emotions, your sensations. This might not make sense now, but it will. . . .

Pain and suffering make life beautiful. This might be hard to believe while you’re suffering, but the lessons you can learn from hardships are jewels to cherish. If you’re suffering, it means you have a heart. Suffering is evidence of your capacity to love, and only those who understand suffering can understand life and help others.

The world needs your suffering, your courage, and your strength. Don’t try to kill your pain. Share it with another, communicate it. If the first person you talk to isn’t the right one, find someone else. Somebody somewhere wants to listen to your pain, to connect with you and understand you. When you find them, when you lighten your burden and discover the jewels and joy that are alive beneath the pain, later you’ll be present for others who are suffering.

Richard Rohr Center of Action and Contemplation


I never do this in a blog post, but I am making an exception

The most important part of this post is the quote by Cuong Lu. I found it yesterday by chance after I clicked on Richard Rohr’s site – something I haven’t done in a very long time. It certainly speaks to me and what I am going through now as a result of a year and a half of Covid, and I think there are lots of people out there who could benefit from these words, so I am putting it all out there.

One of the distressing byproducts of Covid is the anxiety and depression it can induce in people. One of the high risk groups are people who have dealt with anxiety disorders in the past. In my case, Covid has led to a recurrence of an old anxiety condition that has not surfaced in seven years.

Now it is back and I am working really hard on drawing myself out from a prolonged period of pretty high anxiety. It is certainly a very slow road.

Many others I suspect are going through this too so I hope this is helpful to those who read my blog. These are extraordinary times and I really think we need to be communicating about how we are doing right now. To do so normalizes the distress and helps everyone to feel part of a community that is struggling with the prolonged pandemic.

No one likes to feel bad, whatever form this takes, but I sincerely believe there is value in times of distress. When we suffer, it causes us to lean in, to learn more about ourselves and grow. Growth and learning can be really hard, but it still is an opportunity to look inside with compassion and interest to see ourselves in a new way.

I have written about my own mental health struggles in the past and these posts are usually the ones that get the most response. That is a good thing. I don’t mind putting myself out there, especially if it helps someone else who is suffering.

We don’t like suffering and we usually do whatever we can to avoid this. While this is natural, I suggest that we have to be present to the challenging times, not just the good ones. We need to learn not to judge these times as ‘bad’, they really are just a part of what it means to be human and we all go through these at various times in our lives.

The best response is to take the time to settle in and reflect.

As Cuong Lu says, “Become interested in yourself, your thoughts, your emotions, your sensations. This might not make sense now, but it will. . . .”

I hope people respond to this post, especially if this helps. I hope people post on how they are doing right now so we can all realize we are a brave bright community that is struggling. I do believe that there is comfort in all of this and that this particular post may help out as people contribute to what I am writing here now.

Even if you don’t write anything, I hope you find some comfort in the notion that the dark times are times of opportunity to learn and grow. Even in discomfort and distress there can be the beginnings of joy.

Could this be a dialogue? I sincerely hope so.

Old Fellas New Music Episode 18

Episode 18 on Mixcloud – 1 hour 2 minutes

Songs for Thursday

 Ghost Twin – Strobe Light

The Bright Light Social Hour – Harder Out Here

Packs – Silvertongue 

Gospel Machine -That Ring

Russell Louder – Vow

White Denim – Mirrored in Reverse

Los Pinguos – Debajo del Pelo

exmagician – Kiss That Wealth Goodbye

Laura Stevenson – Don’t Think About Me 

Ghost Twin – Strobe Light

This was a big week for me picking up songs on CBC Radio 3. This is one of three great ones I listened to during the week. All are pretty obscure, all are worth a listen!

Album – Love Songs for End Times

Love Songs for End Times

Ghost Twin is a dark synthpop duo – Jaimz & Karen Asmundson from Winnipeg, that combine roaring synthlines, dirty pulsing bass, dreamy guitar, and a haunting vocal dichotomy where Baroque meets Industrial, with live video percussion that feeds cinema through a cut-up technique imbued with occult aesthetics.

Here is a sampling of some of their music:

GHOST TWIN: “Blue Sunshine” LYRIC VIDEO #ARTOFFACT

from a 2017 CBC article:

They are getting ready to release their first full-length album, three years after the couple decided to bring their own brand of dark, brooding electronic music to Winnipeg stages.

On Plastic Heart, fans will get more of the sound they love from the band’s first EP, but this time, with cranked production values.

Jaimz and Karen Asmundson started writing the album in 2015, and after two failed attempts at securing funding to make it, finally got somewhere.

“On the third try, [Michael P. Falk], who is the co-producer and engineer, said, ‘What songs are you submitting?’ and it turned out we were submitting the weirdest songs, that nobody was getting, so we submitted all the really pop-y stuff and then we got the money [from FACTOR and Manitoba Film and Music],” said Jaimz.

The album was produced by Maya Postepski, who has worked with two major sources of inspiration for Ghost Twin: Austra and Tr/st.

The pair have more than a decade of filmmaking experience, including a short film in 2009 that got so much attention it took them to Cannes. 

“We made one really silly film together called Goths on the Bus. That was stupidly successful,” said Jaimz. “I still kind of feel ashamed that that’s the most successful film I’ve ever made.”

But for fans of the “really silly” Goths on the Bus, there’s a bit of a callback in their upcoming music video. It’s set in a gym for goths. 

A couple of uber-goths ride the public transit to go to the mall and buy more lipstick.
Shot in sequence and in one take, for the One Take Super 8 Event at the WNDX Festival in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Film and Music by Karen & Jaimz Asmundson
* Winner of the Audience Favourite Award @ $100 Film Festival, Calgary
* Winner of the Audience Favourite Award (3rd Place) @ Weiterstadt Film Festival, Germany
* Winner of the Best Music Video Award @ Chicago International Movies & Music Festival

from CBC Goth synth-pop duo Ghost Twin readies for first full-length album release


All of Bob’s selections this week came from the Amazon Prime TV show Sneaky Pete.  You can find which songs are on any movie or Television show using the website TuneFind

https://www.tunefind.com/

The Bright Light Social Hour – Harder Out Here

The Bright Light Social Hour is an American psychedelic rock band from Austin, Texas.  The band performs its song, “Harder Out Here’’” over the opening credits of the show.  Here is a version of the song live. 

Packs – Silvertongue

Another CBC Radio 3 find.

Album – Take the Cake 2021

Take the Cake 2021

Initially a solo songwriting project of Link’s (Madeline Link)that she pursued between gigs as a set dresser for commercials, the band blossomed into a four piece, composed of Shane Hooper (drums), Noah O’Neil (bass), and Dexter Nash (lead guitar). Anchored by Link’s voice, which brings such an easy charm to her songs that it’s easy to miss her keen ear for acrobatic vocal lines, together they turn Link’s melodically adventurous and introspective songs into the purest and brightest kind of indie rock. The band’s debut is a collection of songs that marry the loose but incisive jangle of early Pavement with the barbed sweetness of Sebadoh and the wide-eyed wonder of the first Shins LP. It will be released in partnership with buzzy Brooklyn label Fire Talk (Dehd, Deeper, Mamalarky), and Toronto mainstays Royal Mountain (Alvvays, Wild Pink, Mac Demarco).

Bandcamp

Just a note, Bob didn’t hear Pavement in this song. Or I would say the Shins either. Still, a good song.

PACKS – Silvertongue (Official Music Video)

To celebrate the announcement, the band have shared new single “Silvertongue” and an accompanying video. The fuzzed-out tune merges Pavement’s laconic flair with Sonic Youth’s simmering menace, while the video finds vocalist Link strutting, staggering and flailing across the Toronto harbourfront, looking effortlessly cool as she rocks a series of stylish jackets.

Of the song, Link said: “It’s easy to be lured into the comforts of past relationships. What’s harder is dealing with years of exhaustion, mistrust, and always hoping. Ditch the whiplash of manipulation and decide what YOU want out of love!”

Exclaim!

Gospel Machine -That Ring

Gospel Machine is garage gospel band out of Northeast Minneapolis resurrecting the soul and R&B styles of the 1960’s. Gospel Machine formed in 2011 when leader Kyle Burdine wrote a soul/gospel liturgy for a church in  Minneapolis. Lutheran Church. 

https://wtmd.org/radio/2015/08/27/in-the-mix-gospel-machine/

 The band perform the featured track, ‘That Ring”

Russell Louder – Vow

My last CBC Radio 3 tune for this week.

Russell Louder is a trans Performance Artist and musician from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, now based in Montreal, Québec.

In this case I can hear some of the bands mentioned below. I would add Austra.

Borrowing inspiration from the Eurythmics, Florence and the Machine with a hint of Fleetwood Mac for good measure, the Charlottetown-born, Montreal-based Louder says the single “is the introduction. It is the wandering protagonist who sets the tone for the entire album. The idea of finding “home” is now a question, not an answer. Elements of preparation, the romanticizing of arrival, deep, deep uncertainty, pain, lack of belonging – yet bursting with hope.”

Louder’s upcoming album, Humor, is set to explore themes of liberation through an exploration of memory, grief, and identity, with each song representing different characters with some overlapping.

Louder says “some (of the songs) are written in the first person and some are witnessing other characters so it’s like the listener can be a character and also on a journey with other characters in the songs. The characters can be developed and formed in the listener’s mind from the feelings described in the songs and the questions being asked in the lyrics.


White Denim – Mirrored in Reverse

White Denim is an American four-piece rock band from Austin, Texas, United States. Even after 14 album releases, they still managed to remain active during the pandemic.

Here is a great article about the band and how they dealt with the pandemic

The Pandemic Separated These Band Members. It Didn’t Stop Them From Creating an Album. – Texas Monthly

White Denim’s Greg Clifford playing drums in Radio Milk’s live room. (Texas Monthly)

White Denim playing “Mirrored and Reversed” in Colorado  

White Denim live at Twist & Shout – “Mirrored In Reverse”

Los Pinguos – Debajo del Pelo

Debajo del Pelo | Los Pinguos | Playing For Change

Album – Hummingbird 2021

“Debajo del Pelo,” meaning “Under the Hair,” is a beautiful metaphorical song that speaks about life’s experiences and the many lessons learned throughout. Featured on Los Pinguos’ latest album, ‘Hummingbird,’ this video brings together a few of Los Pinguos’ friends across the globe in PFC style. Enjoy!

Los Pinguos’ Hummingbird

I am adding a note here about Playing for Change because they always offer such wonderful music and I think they are trying to do some pretty important things right now.

https://playingforchange.org/

Playing For Change (PFC) is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. The primary focus of PFC is to record and film musicians performing in their natural environments and combine their talents and cultural power in innovative videos called Songs Around The World. Creating these videos motivated PFC to form the Playing For Change Band—a tangible, traveling representation of its mission, featuring musicians met along their journey; and establish the Playing For Change Foundation—a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting music programs for children around the world. Through these efforts, Playing For Change aims to create hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.

and about the band

Los Pinguos came to the United States from Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a mixture of Latin rhythms, reggae, rumba flamenca and rock. The sound of the band has claimed fans worldwide. The story began in 1999 when Adrián Buono, Enzo Buono, José Agote, Juan Manzur and Juan Manuel Leguizamón (later joined by bassist Santiago Lee) formed the band. In early 2001, Los Pinguos arrived in the City of Los Angeles and began playing on the street (3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica) and local bars.

Website


exmagician – Kiss That Wealth Goodbye

exmagician is  Belfast duo  Danny Todd and James Smith. The track Kiss the Wealth Goodbye’ was taken from their debut album, “ I Scan the Blue”

BELFAST BAND HAVE PLENTY OF TRICKS UP THEIR SLEEVES.

While it was a sad day when Cashier No. 9 fizzled out a few years ago, fans of their sterling album To The Death Of Fun can turn their frowns upside down now, as the Belfast band’s song-writing nucleus have returned in the form of Exmagician. Featuring childhood friends Danny Todd and James Smith (and not to be confused with the latter’s initial foray under that moniker a decade ago), their debut is a dazzling collection of songs that dispenses with the sunny West Coast vibes of their previous incarnation and delves deeper down the rabbit hole to explore darker, grittier themes and soundscapes.

Hot Press

exmagician – Kiss That Wealth Goodbye (Live)

Laura Stevenson

Don’t Think About Me

Because you have to have at least one Guardian pick

If her day job as one of America’s best if most underrated songwriters doesn’t work out for Laura Stevenson, her surreal lyrics could make for a poetry bestseller. But it would be criminal to miss out on the air-punching power pop showcased in her latest single, a tackling of heartbreak that’s as knotty and sticky as spaghetti chucked at the wall.

Guardian

Don’t Think About Me – lyrics

Lyrics

It’s all the same, “the kettle cools,”

that’s just the thing that we repeat when we can’t sleep cuz we hope it’s true.

But then there’s you, then I think of you, 

and I’m run through so I beg of you,

please don’t think, like I think,

like I think of you.

For a minute, I watch the scenery unfold, I think of you.

For a minute, I watch the clock and when it stops I think of you.

I think of you.

Here is our updated Spotify Playlist – hope you like this!