Old Fellas New Music Episode 6 Notes

Our Spotify Playlist – changing all the time

Paul’s Songs

ME REX – song Flood from Sugar Rex 2019

The New Pornographers – Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile

Suzie Ungerleider – Baby Blues

Death Cab for Cutie – Waterfalls

Matt Maeson – Hallucinogeics

Bob’s songs

Lemon Twigs – Queen of My School

Lowest of the Low – Powerlines

Fadeawaays – She Don’t Know Why

Larkin Poe – Bell Bottomed Blues

Mikal Cronin – Feel Like

One of the larkin Poe incredible Youtube songs from their channel that Bob mentions

  1. ME REX – song Flood from Sugar Rex Jan 2020

“Shouty electronic bedroom pop”

This is the video that I mentioned on the show – I love this live version of Flood

Myles McCabe is the London-based singer-songwriter behind the ME REX moniker. ME REX have now expanded to a four-piece band, featuring Rich Mandell and Phoebe Cross from Happy Accidents, as well as Myles’ Fresh-bandmate, Kathryn Woods.

Heart of Garbage also a great song

You can find them on Bandcamp → https://merex.bandcamp.com/

ME REX may only just be beginning their journey, but they are already one of the most forward thinking and exciting new bands around, coming together to create something that resonates on several levels; sparking joy, hope and reflection with a collection of songs that are achingly poignant.

The New Pornographers – Newest release – In the Morse Code of Brake Lights – 2019

Falling Down The Stairs Of Your Smile (Collected Works/Concord Records) is the song we chose for this week, but really, you could choose almost anything this band puts out.

Here is a great video on their performance, plus a very interesting interview with AC Newman (‘The weird old guy making music’.)

They have a very interesting Spotify Playlist that we mentioned on the show

Interesting, in some of the reading done in prep for this show, the new Pornographers were seen in Vancouver as sort of a ‘super group’ – yet another one in this sub-theme. The onion unravels even more!

Current members

Members’ other projects in brackets

  • Neko Case – vocals (solo artist, also of Maow, the Corn Sisters, and Cub) (1997–present)
  • John Collins – bass (the Evaporators and Destroyer) (1997–present)
  • Carl Newman – vocals, guitar (solo artist (as A.C. Newman), also of Superconductor and Zumpano) (1997–present)
  • Blaine Thurier – keyboards, synthesizer (independent filmmaker) (1997–present)
  • Todd Fancey – lead guitar (solo artist (as Fancey) and of Limblifter) (2003–present)
  • Kathryn Calder – vocals, keyboards, guitar (solo artist and of Immaculate Machine and Frontperson) (2005–present) Also niece of Newman Carl is in her birth family. At that time I was a teenager and playing in a band and didn’t really know I had that family … so that’s how I met Carl.”[5]
  • Joe Seiders – drums, vocals (Beat Club) (2014–present)
  • Simi Stone – violin, vocals, percussion (solo artist and of Suffrajett) (2019–present; touring member 2015–2019)[14]

Former members

Former touring members

  • Lindsay “Coco” Hames – vocals, percussion, acoustic guitar (the Ettes) (2014)

This song I mentioned during the show without adding the title, so I have to add it here – played with Niko Case on I’m Not Talking (2012) Great video of the song here – I’m Not Talking.

Death Cab for Cutie – “The Georgia E.P

This is a great EP. We played it first because of the songs, second because of the political work they have done for the Democrats and Stacey Abrams in Georgia.

On December 2, 2020, the band announced that a Bandcamp exclusive EP titled “The Georgia E.P.” would be released for 24 hours only on December 4. The album is a collection of covers by artists from Georgia. The proceeds will go to Stacey Abrams organization Fair Fight Action in honor of Georgia voting for Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, as well as the 2020–21 United States Senate election in Georgia and the 2020–21 United States Senate special election in Georgia

Wikipedia

The fve-song collection of covers of Georgia artists helped raise over $100,000 for Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight in December.

Recorded during quarantine, The Georgia EP features covers of Georgia-based artists R.E.M. (“Fall on Me”), TLC (“Waterfalls”), Neutral Milk Hotel (“The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1”), Cat Power (“Metal Heart”), and the late Vic Chesnutt (“Flirted With You All My Life”).

Here is the story we mentioned near the end of the show about the origin of their name.

Gibbard took the band name from the song “Death Cab for Cutie“, which was written by Neil Innes and Vivian Stanshall and recorded by their group the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. The song is a track on the Bonzo’s 1967 debut album, Gorilla, and was performed by them in the Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour. The title was originally that of a story in an old pulp fiction crime magazine that Innes came across in a street market. In a 2011 interview, Gibbard stated, “The name was never supposed to be something that someone was going to reference 15 years on. So yeah, I would absolutely go back and give it a more obvious name.”[73]

Wikipedia (again)

Neil Innes on Dutch Television 1968

EP on Band Camp

Suzie Ungerleider

“Baby Blues” 

We played this because Suzie Ungerleider (Oh Susanna) is amazing, but also, she has had a name change in the last year. She writes about this on her web page and we recount some of the story below. This is her 10th album which is pretty amazing. This album is a collaboration with Jim Bryson, another fan favourite.

The album is actually entitled My Name is Suzie Ungerleider, and comes out on Aug. 13 via her new label, UK imprint MVKA  (Eva Cassidy, BOY, Sarah Blasko)

From her website:

The song Oh Susanna is part of Minstrelsy, a tradition in which (usually) white actors perform as characters that are demeaning and dehumanizing to black people.  Foster wrote the original lyrics in “plantation dialect” meaning in the manner of how Foster (a white person) thought a black person from the American South would speak.  The racist nature of the song is most explicit, however, when a verse makes a joke of the death by electrocution of “five-hundred n—–“.   This verse, of course, is rarely sung today and therefore not widely known.  After the Civil War, Stephen Foster himself changed many of his “plantation dialect” songs into standard English. 

Suddenly those racist lyrics felt absolutely current.  Right here and right now, the lyrics conjure and make present violence against black people.  This is the power of language.  By saying something, you make it happen in the listener’s mind.  It didn’t matter to me that not very many people know that the original lyrics to the song Oh Susanna are racist.  I felt that if I were to continue to use the name Oh Susanna I would be passively accepting and perpetuating its racism.

Matt Maeson – Hallucinogeics

This artist is pretty incredible. His story is almost as interesting as his music. The song we are playing has a few videos, I decided to include this one from a live performance. It is pared down, but it really shows what a great performer he is.

There is a great article from Riff magazine you can read below. Pretty incredible life already.

Matt Maeson found the straight and narrow on a long and winding road

Riff magazine

Maeson was raised by a family of convicts-turned-evangelists, who founded a ministry that preached to other convicts, out of and in prison. When he was 5, his uncle was murdered by one of the convicts.

Some of his lyrics from Hallucinogeics :

‘Cause I carried on like the wayward son

And now through and through, I’ve come undone

And now I am just but the wayward man

What with my bloodshot eyes and my shaky hand

‘Cause I carried on like the wayward son

And now through and through, I’ve come undone

And now I am just but the wayward man

What with my bloodshot eyes and my shaky hand

From Cringe

She said I’m looking like a bad man, smooth criminal

She said my spirit doesn’t move like it did before

She said that I don’t look like me no more, no more

I said, “I’m just tired,” she said, “You’re just high”

And I said, “I saw you in the water”

And I said, “I saw you in the water”

More next week including the incredible band Alvvays.

The original!

Canadian History – looking for connections – a rewrite.

This is a rewrite of a post I put out earlier this week. I am rewriting it because it lacks direction and frankly, it’s not very good.

My poor writing reflects my confusion.

I am taking a few months to read lots of academic material on the teaching of history. I am entering a Ph.D. program at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa and I am trying to get my head around the writing that is out there on teaching methodology.

History is a hard subject to teach well, but it is also hard to write clearly on what good teaching in this field is all about. Much of what I have read is confusing and complex. I despair that if we can’t write clearly about this topic we will fail to put out much that is helpful for teachers.

To bring down the confusion (I hope) the earlier writing I am keeping is in italics.

So, I wrote:

Today I am trying to figure out what we can possibly do to make history interesting for our students.

I started by randomly going through some of the sample questions in the Ontario History Curriculum document for Grade 9. This is what I found.


B: Canada, 1914–1929

Here are some of the Sample Questions based on Specific Expectations B 1.1 – B 3.4

When you analyse census data, what do you think is the most significant trend in the Canadian population between 1914 and 1929? Why? Did this trend affect all people in Canada?

What were some of the short- and long-term consequences of Canadians’ participation in battles such as the Somme,Ypres, Passchendaele, and Vimy Ridge?”

How did First Nations, Métis, and Inuit tend to view Canada’s participation in World War I? How did they view Canada’s status as part of the British Empire?

Every time I rewrite this piece, I take out more of the ‘sample questions’. I am now down to four. There are so many and they don’t do anything to help people teach or learn. Someone sat around and threw together a bunch of questions making sure they covered all the right bases. Why were these questions chosen? What is the thought process going on here?


What I wonder is this. How do we follow a provincial curriculum with so many specific expectations – 14 for the unit Canada, 1914-1918 – and at the same time enable students to build connections in the narrative?

Whose questions are these? How are they relevant?

As part of my reading, I am working through Samantha Cutrara’s book Transforming the Canadian History Classroom. She is challenging many of the ideas on what the Canadian history classroom looks like and she is arguing that the focus needs to be put squarely on the student.

I continue to read her book, but as I read I am again feeling lost. By the fourth chapter, she seems to be basing her theories on the teaching of one educator who is struggling with a Grade 9 Applied History class. She seems to be saying that the teacher does not ‘see’ the real students and is caught up in ‘edu-speak’ in order to explain what is not working well in her class (p. 109)

This is a really dangerous approach – to blame a teacher as a way to prop up your own ideas is simply wrong. Anyone teaching high school applied history for the first time would probably fail – based on my own experience, this is something that is really hard to do! It is so easy for a theorist to point out the practitioner’s failings. Nothing good can come from such an approach.

Cutrara does ask some pretty important questions about how we teach history:

“…when students encounter histories that lack meaningful connection to the present, when students have no clue where the information or story is heading, it contributes to a sense of demoralization about learning history” (p. 73)

She continues, Canadian history “fails to connect to the Canada they live in outside of class…”(p.74 Cutrara) – if we fail to connect to our students, what is the point of all the specific expectations and suggested questions we find cluttering up our history curriculum?

At this point in my writing, I am beginning to get lost, I continue:

What does our current curriculum have to do with creating the relevance students need to take an interest in history?

Maybe what we need to focus on is the telling of stories – maybe by doing this we can create relevance. This works for me. Every day when I go to the Globe and Mail, I often go first to the Moment in Time section – I do this because the photos tell a compelling story like the one below.

Part of the delegation of the Negro Citizenship Association is shown here boarding the train at the Union Station in Toronto, for Ottawa, where they presented a brief to Walter E. Harris, Minister of Immigration on April 27, 1954.
THE CANADIAN NEGRO

Protesting Ottawa’s immigration laws

More than 60 years ago, a group of determined Black activists boarded a train in Toronto to head to Ottawa to protest against discriminatory immigration laws. This marked the first time in Canada that a Black-led delegation brought activism directly to the doorstep of the federal government. The delegation, comprised of civil-rights activists, including Bromley Armstrong and brothers Stanley and Norman Grizzle, was led by Barbadian Canadian Donald Moore. 

Madalyn Howitt

This is a real story, this is interesting, it also could have some relevance to the students we teach. If not this story, there are hundreds more that could engage their interest.

As I reflect on this, I realize there is nothing really helpful in what I am writing here – any good teacher should be able to personalize the curriculum to fit their students. I will look for more writing on this topic, but nothing new here.

When so much is predetermined for students, how is it possible to link the interests of students to what they will be learning in history? This is one subject that really needs to cater to the interests of students in order to create connection to the lives of the people we are teaching. When we are in the process of telling our national stories, how can we decide what are the elements of this story before students walk into the room?

Another case in point, today I read this on the CBC website.

I grew up a young Black girl in Olds, Alta., without ever hearing the name Amber Valley.

Amber Valley was the largest Black community ever to have existed west of Ontario. It was only an afternoon’s drive away from where I lived. 

I also never heard or read about any of the self-sustaining all-Black communities founded by the 1,600 or so African-Americans who moved on to the Canadian Prairies at the turn of the twentieth century: Wildwood, east of Edson; Breton, southwest of Edmonton; Campsie, northwest of Edmonton; Maidstone in Saskatchewan. 

I grew up a Black girl in Alberta without ever hearing of Amber Valley. How does history go missing?

These are ramblings at best. I am throwing these ideas out there then I am rewriting them on the fly. I am mainly disappointed with what I am reading, but I am a long way from articulating something of value for myself. It seems to me that we have put a great deal of focus on effective teaching for math, language arts, and science, but we are at a collective loss when it comes to telling our own national story.

I will keep reading and writing. Sorry for the confusion, I have a long way to go.

Old Fellas new Music – Episode 5 Notes

Bob’s Songs

Tuns – We Stand United

Amy Rigby – Tom Petty Karaoke

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – Bike Lane

Parquet Courts – Human Dimension

This is a great interview with Parquet Courts that Bob has shared, pretty interesting! Nardwuar is new to me. This is really fun – Parquet Courts get lots of albums here and Nardwuar asks some great questions including where the band would go to get beer on Friday nights.

Little Barrie – Better Call Saul

Paul’s Songs

Barr Brothers – Kompromat – suggested by Donna Clark – thanks Donna!!

Terry Presume – Did Me Wrong

Arkells + K.Flay – “You Can Get It”Anyway Gang – Big Night
Half Moon Run – Grow into Love,

Here is the link to our show on VoicEd radio – we store all the shows here on Spreaker.

The great thing for me this week is that we actually got a song suggestion from a good friend Donna Clark. I asked her to let me know why she chose the first song and this is what she wrote:

First heard The Barr Brothers music on CBC a couple of years and especially loved the driving and insistent beat of Kompromat as a great road trip song.   Could see myself driving across the prairies in a convertible, ahem, trying to adhere to the speed limit and blasting this tune.  Lyrics are pretty deep and angry and when I saw them on paper gave me food for thought.   Maybe not the best song to listen to as travel is curtailed, but you can always crank it up as your heading out to do essential shopping in your SUV!

Here are some of the lyrics Joan was talking about. Yes, dark, but a great song!

Look at the sun go behind the hill

Look at the country through a dollar bill

I can’t see the bottom of the hole that we’re trying to fill

I think we’re in love with your abuse

You got one hand on the driver’s wheel, in the other a noose

You can call it whatever you want, I say we call it a truce


My next choice was Terry Presume, Done Me Wrong.

From the Guardian This Week’s New Tracks James McMahon – this guy writes great columns every week. Many of his picks he really doesn’t like all that much, but this makes for very entertaining reading.

From Nashville via Florida comes a rap cut so gentle it’s unfeasible its creator recorded it standing up. Less a song than a daydream, here Presume (pronounced like “résumé” – remember that, his inevitable ubiquity will require it) has delivered a tune at odds with the chaos of the modern world. Lyrically he’s just wanging on about being dumped. Philosophically, he’s eating an ice-cream while the world burns.

From The Music Mermaid

Terry Presume is the voice we didn’t know we needed. Unpolished for good reason — Terry’s style is more stream-of-consciousness, not perfection — and backed by emotion, the Florida rapper’s work is a welcome addition to fellow talk-music artists, especially on his new EP, I Got Nothing To Lose, produced by Willie Breeding.


The Arkells + K.Flay

Quitting You from Campfire Chords was going to be my choice, but then I read this in their blog. You have to love a band that has their own blog. Pretty interesting reading, especially in the middle of Covid.

From their blog – 

While we were setting up the track, K.Flay shared a pointed quote about the tune: “This song is about finding your momentum, the potential energy that’s inside of you. The future doesn’t just feel unknowable – it feels impossible. We wanted this song to feel like possibility. Like the world is opening up. Like you are powerful.”

We hope this song gives you that jolt that you’re longing for these days.

March 21, 2021 – Arkells + K.Flay = “You Can Get It


The Anyway Gang was our second Canadian super band of the show. Interesting, both TUNS and The Anyway Gang have Chris Murphy from Sloan in them.

I chose – Big Night, you can see them play here in what I think is the CBC Q studio.

CBC Radio Q did an interview with the band last January. It is a great way to get a sense of how the band formed and also how much fun these guys have playing together.

CBC Radio interview with Tom Power  Posted: Jan 21

Here are some notes about the band. I love the idea that they get together to tell dad jokes!

Dave Monks – Tokyo Police Club, Sam Roberts, Menno Versteeg – Hollerando, Chris Murphy – Sloan

Last summer a few friends from some of Canada’s most notable bands – Dave Monks (Tokyo Police Club), Sam Roberts (Sam Roberts Band), Menno Versteeg (Hollerado), and Chris Murphy (Sloan) – got together to write some songs.  They mostly made dad jokes but also jammed on a bunch of 3 chord songs they all had lying around. They recorded a bunch of stuff in a few days and over the year added some ideas here and there and all of a sudden a year had past and they realized they kinda had an album so they said let’s name ourselves the first thing they thought of and release it. Anyway, they’re called Anyway Gang

Talking about the Tokyo Police Club, Bob mentions a tour video with a bunch of band members, including Brendan, Bob’s son. He sent me the video footage of a night on the road. I wonder how they were all doing the next day 😃


One last note for this week. Bob has mentioned Zunior several times, so it seemed like a good idea to add some information about them here. Here is their website.

They are also on Twitter here

That’s all for this week – our show now starts at 7:45 so that we can get all the music in. You can hear us LIVE next week on the VoicEd Radio Stream.

My mom in dementia

People need to be honoured, people need to be written about.

In 2017, I wrote about my dad as he lay in a coma. It got lots of attention. He fell and lingered for weeks before he died. This post I honour my mother, but I doubt it will get as much recognition.

My mom is alive, but the wonderful character, the beautiful person who she was is almost dead.

My mom has advanced dementia. Her last real grasp of reality died with my father, but she lingers.

We moved her to Ottawa after my dad died, and when Covid allows, we visit her. She has endured months in the hospital after a broken hip, but she rallied and survives.

Today I had a visit and she railed at me, she screamed when we tried to give her medication.. She shouted at me when I wouldn’t bring her home -what is home??

She clawed at my visor and spit at me. I tried to distract with an old movie, she was a lover of old movies. Today it didn’t work.

I took her outside, I toured her around the residence. She complained – really loudly, that this was not her home.

For one moment, I think more of myself. I have no family to help with this. There is a brother, but he is in so much psychic pain he is not able to help.

I witness this and I have to remember. My mom was a good mom. My mom loved us and made our home the hub that all my friends felt comfortable coming to. Our place was always so much fun, she welcomed everyone to our place. we all grew up with her.

My mom was crazy, she would dance right into the super 8 film my dad was trying to take of beautiful cliffs in New Brunswick. My mom is who I talked to when I came home after too many beers who listened patiently when I blathered on about nothing. My mom let us use her wedding dress for a movie we were making. Who dived into the pool in that dress??

My mom was always there for us. My mom listened.

Now who is my mom? What does she think, what does she feel?

I am not sure she feels the absence of her wonderful partner. She talks about ‘Frank’ but I don’t know if she realizes he is no longer there.

Soon after my dad died, she told me a story. She was asleep in a different section of the room on the night he died. She talked about how he came to her that night and talked to her. I can’t remember what she said about that encounter, but it was a vision of comfort and love.

Now there are photos of the two of them together throughout the room, but I don’t think she recognizes them. Some times, I am Frank or her brother Paul also long gone. Sometimes I am Paul, but I am a bit surprised when she recognizes me.

Today her plea was to take her home. I told her that she was home, but really, that made no sense to her.

This is living with dementia. It is too easy to be angry with her because she is no longer the mom I knew. I write this to help me to remember to respect who she was even though she is still here. She is not who she was.

This is part of life, seeing your loving parent descend into something that resembles madness. There is no solace in this. There is no comfort, there are memories, but they are faded right now.

I write this out of great respect for my mom. I write this to remember. I write this to help me to me a loving son on the next visit when who knows what will happen.

Is it possible to mourn the living? I don’t know. I respect and love who she was. This is life, this is dementia.

Old Fellas new Music – Episode 4 notes

The Beaches

Playlist for this week:

Bob:

Janey Brown – Closer

Ellis Meek – Night Moon

Loon Choir – Lust & Divisions

Liam Deery – Unknown

Bravestation – Ray of Love

Paul:

The Beaches Lame

The Glorious Sons Panic Attack

Art Bergmann – Your Second Amendment

Jesse Roper – Horizons

Shakey Graves – Unlucky Skin

Here is the link to the show on Spreaker

And here is the link to our ever-growing Spotify playlist

Lots of great music again this week. The most unique aspect for this show has to be the Brockville element. All of Bob’s songs have a connection to Brockville and Thousand Islands Secondary School.


You really need to listen to Bob’s stories here – each artist has a unique and interesting journey. I say it several times in the episode, but it is pretty incredible that all this talent is coming from a relatively small place in Ontario.

This is one of the mandates of the show, to feature and promote artists that don’t necessarily get much airplay on regular radio stations. Each of the Brockville artists could do really well on the CBC for sure! This also shows the connections a teacher can make to their students over their career. Pretty cool.

I started with the Beaches. I think their music is great, but in my comments I seem to have focused on their interesting connection to Elton John.

It was not to be a moment of fleeting infatuation on John’s part. Since then, the Rocket Man has proven a more than loyal supporter of the youthful east-end outfit. “T-Shirt” would also go on later in June to top his weekly Spotify playlist, Elton John: Loves — motto: “Loved by Elton, discovered for you” — where it remains in the mix to this day alongside tunes by the likes of Courtney Barnett, Little Dragon, Charlie Puth, Young Thug and, more recently, a new cut from Toronto folk-pop ensemble Great Lake Swimmers, “The Talking Wind.”

And when he came to Toronto to play a pair of dates on his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour at the Scotiabank Arena this past September, who turned up in his Instagram feed the next morning? Damn right it was the Beaches.”

Toronto Star November 2018

We also played Art Bergmann – Your Second Amendment, which at first I thought was a new artist for me, even though he has been awarded the Order of Canada for his musical accomplishments.

Then Bob reminded me of Hawaii

Art Bergmann and The Young Canadians

It’s humbling. And I want to know who did this to me,

Art Bergmann upon receiving the Order of Canada – for his “indelible contributions to the Canadian punk music scene, and for his thought-provoking discourse on social, gender and racial inequalities.

His latest album, Late Stage Empire Dementia, will be released May 21, 2021

His latest video for Your Second Amendment is really worth watching. It certainly explores America’s obsession with guns

Lyrics from Your Second Amendment

           I don’t know why you’re hitched to that post

           You know that office ain’t goin’ nowhere

           You know those guns weren’t heaven sent

           Beware of the men who are waiting there

           I don’t know how love can be saved

           But I know how we fail

           Say goodbye to your second

           God damn your second

           Goodbye to your second 

           Amendment

           Say goodbye…

I chose Jesse Roper from Victoria for his great voice. However, here is another video you should watch. I am not sure where the connection is to the song, but this is pretty fun.

He also performed ‘Horizons’ from Ciels Rooftop in James Bay, Victoria, BC. This looked like lots of fun to make.

My last song was is by Shakey Graves real name – Alejandro Rose-Garcia.

This one is a toss up. The album, Roll the Bones is actually a re-issue, so this release is actually Roll the Bones X – do re-issues count??

Not sure about this, but this is Shakey Graves from an earlier Youtube video where he is singing, playing guitar and two different drums. He concocted this assortment as a way to avoid the hassle of borrowing drum sets for his shows. Pretty amazing to watch all this.

Shakey Graves – Roll the Bones – Audiotree Live

There is actually a Shakey Graves Day in Austin, Texas on February 9th of every year – since 2012. On this occasion, he releases his music on a pay-what-you-can basis on Bandcamp. His latest album is a 2-CD set that was released in April. This is a CD I really want to get!

For next week, I think Bob will be focusing on Octoberfest at Beas, I think.

I want to focus on this Tweet I found that talks about the resurgence of World Music on CBC Frequencies.

More on this latter.

Climbing for Kids Again!

Hi everyone!
It has been a year since I have been in contact with you. COVID has put a break on our trips and our fundraising, but Christie Lake Kids continues to offer to program for kids.

CLK on Zoom over the past year

Last summer their wonderful camp was closed down, but they offered kids a virtual camp and delivered materials and activities directly to the doors of the virtual camp.

this incredible program was funded in part by your donations – kids received a box of activities for a week of activities last summer

All of you who have taken the time to donate have helped fund these programs. The programs keep running so we need to keep climbing!!


From CLK staffer Kim Banks:

In 2020 – you kept us stable and operational – you ensured that we could develop a hybrid of programming both virtual and eventually back in person in small groups in the Fall of 2020.  Thanks to Climb for Kids- Mt. Kilimanjaro, even though the trek didn’t happen, your funding ensured that we could source, box and deliver packages directly to families for virtual programming as well as purchase new equipment for a skills – and – drills program in person.

Since 2018, so many of you have been loyal supporters of our fundraising initiatives for Christie Lake Kids – Climb for Kids. You have turned up at our community fundraisers, contributed and bought from the silent auctions, donated to Canada Helps and, last year, sponsored our climbing hundreds of stairs through Step up for Kids – when the pandemic stopped our travelling and required some innovative and creative endeavours to continue to support Christie Lake Kids. Right now – we still are not congregating, nor climbing mountains, but we are still committed to Christie Lake Kids.


Although grounded again in 2021, we are not still. The growing needs of Ottawa families and kids are never still, and the pandemic has even further deepened the divide between children who can access recreation and supportive programs and those who cannot.  Next week, on Saturday, April 24th, CLK is supporting another STEP up for KIDS event. Funds raised through participation and/or sponsoring others/donations will help CLK to keep connecting with, and supporting kids as we head into the spring and summer.
Please consider participating in STEP up for KIDS – walking, climbing, playing – and/or sponsoring me or Heather Swail through our STEP up for KIDS donor page. Heather and I are committing to climbing stairs for one hour, maybe with some small breaks!

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/christie-lake-climb-for-kids-kilimanjaro-2020-c-12/

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/christie-lake-climb-for-kids-kilimanjaro-2020-ch-4/


And we will be climbing together somewhere in 2022 – our destination is not yet set, but we are committed to putting on another adventure that you are all welcome to join!


Thanks very much for your past support and we hope you can participate in some way next Saturday!


Paul McGuire

Old Fellas new Music – our latest episode

We have three episodes done now and you can still hear them all on Spreaker. There is now limited access on Spreaker due to copyright rules. If you can’t listen to an episode, please let me know and I will send you a link. The episodes will also be playing regularly on VoicEd Radio.

Bob Kennedy and I have been doing this show for three weeks. The basic idea is simple – 10 songs over one hour, all songs have to have been produced after 2015 – hence – New Music.

Here are Bob’s selections for this week.

I had to add the album cover for Minus Five – what magazine is this a parody of?

Rolling Coastal Blackout Fever – An Air Conditioned Man

Fontaines DC – Oh Such A Spring

Seaway – Lula on the Beach

Solange – Cranes in the Sky

Minus 5 – Davy Gets the Girl

You can hear all of Bob’s songs and much more on our Spotify playlist. If you listen to the podcast, you will find out so much more, for example, who is Solange’s famous sister?

What I find so much fun about all this is researching the stories for the songs. My first choice came fro a twitter suggestion by Errol Nazareth whose new show Frequencies on CBC Radio 2 is amazing.

Errol Nazareth describes Finley as the ‘real deal’ and goes on to say “One day, I’d like to see Mr. Finley at the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi.”

After listening to him and especially after watching his video for his newest release I totally agree!

from Under the Radar Magazine

Robert Finley, described by The Black KeysDan Auerbach as “the greatest living soul singer,” has returned for a third studio album, Sharecropper’s Son. Co-written and produced by Auerbach, the album sees Finley follow his acclaimed 2017 record Goin’ Platinum! alongside studio legends and bluesmen, some of which have worked with everyone from Elvis Presley to Wilson Pickett. Finley has returned today with the video for his latest single, “Country Boy,” premiering with Under the Radar.

Under the Radar April 2021

You really need to watch this.

Louisiana-based musician @therobertfinley has shared the video for his latest single, “Country Boy,” premiering with Under the Radar. Finley’s new record, ‘Sharecropper’s Son (co-written and produced by @danauerbach) is out May 21st on Easy Eye Sound.

We also featured a young singer from Kitchener, JJ. Wilde – The Rush

Her video is very interesting and you can watch it here

This track is from her album, Ruthless released in April 2020. She has written over 500 songs and is 28 yrs old. Another single – Mercy is also terrific. The Rush was #1 on all 3 Canadian Rock Radio formats – JJ Wilde was the first woman to do this. She has also toured with bands like The Glorious Sons.

The lyrics to Rush are really interesting. Even though she is pretty hard hitting, the song has lots to do about not disappointing her mom with her risky lifestyle:

Woke up this morning, in panic

I had my red dress on again

Last night I came out I was so damn manic

Don’t even know where I went wrong

But I went wrong

And it’s times like these that I swear to god

I’m glad my mother can’t see me

And if she did, I don’t know how I would keep it together

I don’t know how I would keep it in

It’s the Rush, it’s the lust, you can’t trust

Kandle, the daughter of Neil Osborne from 54-40, was another new discovery. Stick Around and Find Out her fourth album features the track Happy Pills. It is a little dark, but if you listen to her explanation, it really is a song about regeneration and growth. Her voice is haunting which makes this song all the more evocative.

I was sitting around in the Hipposonic studio in Vancouver trying to finalize arrangements for recording when I picked up a guitar and wrote it, almost by accident, in about 10 minutes. I had been focusing so much on rockin’, Motown, power house songs that I kind of missed being a little bit folky.  At the time I was working on getting off of the medications that I’d been put on post breakdown and realized I wanted to reclaim and manage my life without them. “When did I start? And how do I stop? I caught my reflection, tied my stomach in knots”. 

You can read the full interview with Kandle here on American Songwriter.

Only some of her material like Honey Trap is out on video. This again is worth watching.

Another artist that was new to me (they are all new to me) is Phoebe Bridgers. She has great songs and really interesting lyrics. Bob mentioned the controversy about her smashing a guitar on Saturday Night Live that was news to me.

Now she is auctioning off this guitar which should make David Crosby happy. You can read more about the controversy here in Rolling Stone Magazine.

While I don’t have that video, I do have a New York Times interview that discusses her song writing. This is probably more interesting than smashing guitars.

This year at the Grammys she was up for Best New Artist, Best Alternative Album, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Performance (the latter two are for “Kyoto”).

Also the song Motion Sickness is really good!

All this is from a new music source for me – Under the Radar, a source I will continue to go back to in the weeks ahead.

And finally a video from one of Bob’s picks Valley.

Old Fellas New Music

our new logo – lots to talk about here!

This week, music from

Honest Heart Collective – North American Dream
Elwins – Take Me all the Way

Valley –There’s Still a Light in the House – see them below


Born Ruffians – Waylaid
US Girls – And Yet It Moves / Y Se Mueve

Not Our First Goat Rodeo – Yo Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile

Future Islands, Plastic Beach

July Talk – The News

What do two old fellas – Bob Kennedy and Paul McGuire listen to when they want new music? Each week we bring you some samplings of new music produced after 2015. There’s lots of great material out there and for an hour each week, we spin some tunes and talk about pretty cool stuff. All on VoicEd Radio!

our opening on Spreaker

Some notes on where to find us.

Our ever-growing Spotify playlist is here.

You can find us on Spreaker here

And episode 2 can be heard LIVE on VoicEd Radio at 8:00 pm on Saturdays.

We plan to add some fun notes, not complete, at the end of each week of looking for new music. This seems like a good place to leave some of what we have talked about and discovered over the past week.

After two weeks, Bob Kennedy and I have played eight songs that are all newer than 2015 – this is the main criteria for choosing a sone.

All of this is possible because of the continuing encouragement of Stephen Hurley and VoicEd Radio. It has been a bit of a technical journey, putting two people together on radio from different locations with music chosen by both is quite the challenge!

So, this post is mainly about the music and stuff we talked about during the episode.

My first choice was US Girls

Meghan Remy

 

US Girls was my first choice. The song I chose was And Yet It Moves / Y Se Mueve, but it could have been

4 American Dollars – this is a great song too, very different style, really great sound. Hard to choose which one to play.

U.S. Girls is a Toronto-based band formed in 2007, consisting solely of American musician and record producer Meghan Remy. She had released music on a variety of independent record labels before signing to 4AD in 2015.[3]

Half Free, her first record for 4AD, was released the same year.[4] It garnered a Juno Award nomination for Alternative Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2016,[5] and was a shortlisted finalist for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize.[6]Remy collaborates with a number of Toronto-based musicians on both songwriting and music production.

notes from Wikipedia

My second choice is a beautiful piece of music by an ensemble that includes Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan and Chris Thile.

Their video is really worth watching to see how these great musicians play together.

The album – Not Our First Goat Rodeo, is their second project, following The Goat Rodeo Sessions.

A got Rodeo is an interesting term and I think you can see an example of this in the video. The term is an aviation term that means that 100 things need to go right to avoid disaster. This is beautiful playing and the video really shows why their releases are so popular.

The Los Angelas describes this best:

There can be little doubt that the greatest composer ever would have been unfazed hearing his music played by a trio of cello, mandolin and bass, as Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer did at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Wednesday night. Five years ago the three took part in what became known as “The Goat Rodeo Sessions,” unlikely musicians on unlikely instruments in concerts and on bestselling recordings that were part blues, part bluegrass and a smidgen of Bach. Although sometimes slang for hapless chaos, for everything that can go wrong going wrong, a goat rodeo can also imply that out of pandemonium can come something new.

Los Angeles Times May 5, 2017

The next track is Plastic Beach by Future Islands. The song has some really great lyrics by Samuel T. herring:

I spent a lifetime in the mirror

Picking apart, what I couldn’t change

Now I see, I see tomorrow

I see, I see tomorrow

I see, I see tomorrow

I see, I see tomorrow

I see, I see tomorrow

What you saw today

This is accompanied by some really striking vocals. You can see them best on stage with David Letterman in 2014. This incredible performance by Herring was a sensation several years ago. Watch it and you will see why.

We choose five songs each for an episode, but we never get beyond four. My last choice was July Talk, an incredible Toronto Band known for dynamic live shows. The dramatic play between vocalists Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay is incredible. Again, seeing is believing.

July talk has some amazing videos you really have to watch.

The band has a new album out and I chose one track, The news which is great, but unfortunately only features Leah Fay. I would suggest listening to Push + Pull or Guns + Ammunition. They have an interesting use of the + symbol, but you will have to listen to our broadcast to find out more about that!

More notes – Bob mentions a site for music that has been around for a long time, again, news to me, but I am adding this to one of the places I need to go now every week – Aquarium Drunkard – how could you not love a name like that!

Screen shot from Aquarium Drunkard

You will also hear a reference To Never Repeated, a Spotify playlist – you can find it here.

If you want to hear the whole show, you can find it here

Historical Thinking for the Common Good

Everyone knows what history is until he begins to think about it. After that, nobody knows.

Alan Griffin

I find sometimes that this blog is a good place to put ideas still in formation out there for me to take a look at.

This is one of those blogs. The teaching of history is one of the building blocks of our society. In Teaching History for the Common Good, Keith Barton and Linda Levstik write that history provides citizens with capability to engage in collaboration towards a common good Barton, Levstik (2004). The teaching of history is what makes us responsible and discerning citizens. So, if this is the case, why do we seem to have so much difficulty teaching it?

I started my career as a history teacher and I have a graduate degree in History from York University. My studies didn’t prepare me to teach the subject beyond putting out a narrative to my students. A narrative that was not really up for debate, a narrative that was a pretty traditional retelling of the classic Canadian story.

Later on when I scheduled teachers into their high school classes, the mandatory history class – CHC 2D/2P was rarely taught by someone who majored in history. Generally, we put in junior teachers who were working their way up in seniority hoping one day to get senior courses in grades 11 and 12. These teachers were provided with a text and possibly some resources from the more senior members of the department. I don’t think in most cases, the narrative model for teaching was ever really challenged. Consequently, history was one of those subjects that many students really dreaded. It was not relevant, it was not engaging and it told just one side of the story.

Now this was a long time ago and I would love to learn that this doesn’t happen anymore, so if you are a history teacher and I am missing something, please let me know. Now, of course there are a wide variety of resources available to the teacher. Some are better than others, some are curated, credible sources of information, others not so much. But I wonder, even with all these new shiny digital resources, has anything changed in how we actually teach the subject?

 

The Think Like an Historian series by Historica Canada is an example of material now available to educators in Canada – this might help to makes some of the necessary changes in how we teach history

Actually, a lot has changed since I taught in the classroom. For more than 20 years, scholars have been writing about historical thinking – what it is and how to impart this in classroom. Theorists started to write that students needed to be asked to do more than just consume a national narrative. Students should be analysing or establishing causal linkages in history, they should be responding morally by remembering, admiring or condemning people and events of the past. Beyond this, students could be expected to identify with the past by making connections between themselves and the people and events of the past Barton, Levstik p. 6.

These ideas are percolating and changing all the time. In 2013, Peter Seixas and Tom Morton came out with The Big Six: Historical Thinking Concepts and in 2017, the Critical Thinking Consortium came out with Teaching Historical Thinking, both texts that I relied on heavily when I taught a history methodology course at the Faculty of Education last year at the University of Ottawa. Besides these works there is a whole range of other material that has been produced on new methodologies for teaching history. The ideas are fresh and exciting and all challenge the notion that history needs to be a boring apology for a national story.

When you start to look into this material, you will see that the really big idea here is teaching students how to discern and think. The Big Six concepts include historical significance, the use of evidence, continuity and change, cause and consequence, the development of an historical perspective and thinking about the ethical dimension of historic events.

This approach to teaching is well researched. Great material continues to be written, for example, a recent study by Lindsay Gibson and Carla Peck, examines how to teach historical thinking methods to pre-service elementary teachers Gibson & Peck (2020). They make an important point as part of this study:

The hope is that identification of core practices will establish a coherent language of history teaching practice, and will create a closer relationship between research on teacher education and research on teachers’ professional learning and bridge the gap between research and practice

Gibson & Peck p. 220

While Gibson and Peck have been able to develop teaching methods that have shown positive results with their teacher candidates, the real challenge is how can this methodology be extended to other pre-service programs, in-service professional development programs and teacher-support publications and websites. This is the work that needs to continue. Work has been done on what represents effective teaching practice in history, Fogo (2014), but has this been translated into materials and resources for educators?

This work has been done much more effectively in Science, Math and Language Arts and there are materials available that can effectively guide teachers on how to conduct inquiry in these subjects. Where this work has been done in History, the scale of the work is much smaller and does not focus enough on the links between teaching and learning Fogo p. 152.

A good example of the current work being done in other fields includes the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) which map out the key concepts and practices for teaching science in the United States.

Venn Diagram featured in The NSTA Quick-Reference Guide to the NGSS K-12

Maybe what is needed for history instruction is a version of the work being done to develop teaching strategies to be used in the classroom like the NGSS. This would be a huge task, but if we truly want to see a change in the way history is taught in our schools, we need to find more ways to translate the research into practice as Fogo suggests.

While there are materials for teachers to assist with teaching historical thinking concepts, like The Critical Teaching Consortium, The Historical Thinking Project, and the Think Like an Historian series by Historica Canada to name a few, there needs to be more resources that really assist teachers who are doing this important work. In other words, there is a great deal of the what and why of historical thinking concepts, but not nearly enough of the how.

There is no question that the teaching of history in our schools can be more effective. Research is showing that by and large, classrooms are still “sites of memorization rather than questioning, analysis, and interpretation” Gibson & Peck p. 213. While in other fields a great deal of work has been done to collect and study high-yield teaching strategies and then translate these though pre-service and in-service programming, this work still needs to be done in history education in our schools. If we really want to be doing history on a daily basis, we owe it to our teachers and students to bridge the gap between research and practice and replace old narratives with real thinking and analysis.

REFERENCES

Bain, R. B. (2005). “They Thought the World Was Flat?” Applying the Principles of How People Learn in Teaching High School History. Dans J. B. S. Donovan (dir.), How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom (p. 179-214). Washington: The National Academies Press.

Den Heyer, K., Abbott, L. (2011). Reverberating Echoes: Challenging Teacher Candidates to Tell and Learn From Entwined Narrations of Canadian History curi_567 610..635 KENT DEN HEYER & LAURENCE ABBOTT University of Alberta Edmonton, AB, Canada

Gibson L., Peck C.L. (2020) More than a Methods Course: Teaching Preservice Teachers to Think Historically. In: Berg C., Christou T. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of History and Social Studies Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi-org.proxy.bib.uottawa.ca/10.1007/978-3-030-37210-1_10

Fogo F. (2014) “Core Practices for Teaching History: The Results of a Delphi Panel Survey. In: Theory & Research in Social Education, 42: 151–196, College and University Faculty Assembly of National Council for the Social Studies Theory and Research in Social Education 42, no. 2 (2014): 152.

Miles, J., Gibson,L., Denos, M., Case, R., Stipp, S., (2017) Teaching Historical Thinking (Revised and expanded edition) The Critical Thinking Consortium and THEN/HIER

Salinas, C., Blevins, B. et Sullivan, C. (2012). Critical Historical Thinking: When Official Narratives Collide With Other Narratives. Multicultural Perspectives, 14(1), 18-27.

Seixas, P., Morton, T., Colyer, J., & Fornazzari, S. (2013). The Big Six: Historical Thinking Concepts. Toronto: Nelson Education

Teaching Historically for Canada’s Future: Overall Goals and Objectives (2020)

The Washington Riots: We are like this

This week, in the midst of one of the most powerful and disturbing moments in recent American history, I decided to start an examination of why we study history.

This is the first blush at a longer project where I will be looking at how we teach history in our schools and what is the purpose of teaching history.

I am starting with Teaching History for the Common Good, Barton, K. C., & Levstik, L. S. (2004).  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers. As I work through this and other texts, I am going to record what I am learning here, the place I go to sort out my ideas. I think this is going to take some time.

It is never been enough to teach history as a series of events with no overview of why we choose these particular events. Why do we study the First World War? Have we always done this? Does it teach us anything? What, if anything does it say about us and our national journey?

In 1962, Alan Griffin wrote this in the World Book Encylopedia:

Everyone knows what history is until he thinks about it

When you start thinking about why we teach history and how we teach the subject, this quote rings true. If we want to go beyond a recitation of facts, names, and events, we need to understand why we are doing what we are doing. Not so much of the what, but much more of the why.

I was faced with this when I taught preservice teachers a course in Intermediate History last year. I have written about this before and I will eventually look in more detail about some of the key themes in history as current writers see them.  They include ideas like historical perspective, continuity and change, cause and consequence, and a number of other themes chosen to help students and teachers grapple with important issues.

But even before we choose the themes that are meaningful, we need to pause and think more about the why. Why these themes, why these events?

Before answering this, I want to return to this week in Washington.

When we witness events like this, we have to find a way to start making sense of what is going on. I am not going to try to do this here, but we do have the tools to do this important and really necessary work.

Now, if you haven’t, take a look at the photo essay at the beginning of this post.

The Paris mob attacks the Tuileries – look familiar?

The challenging point in the essay is this: we have always been like this. Saying ‘this is not us’ is not accurate. Actually, for most of our history, this is exactly what we have done. Whether we look to the Roman mob, the Parisian mob attack on the Tuileries, or the Montreal Richard riot, we have a long history of losing control.

The riots in Montreal when Rocket Richard was suspended

We know this. But listen to the New York Times.

American is a nation built on stolen land, by stolen people

Of course, so is Canada.

Listen to the narrative. It is all about our history. We can really only come to terms with what happened this week if we are able to see ourselves in our own story, that all of us come from a violent past where force made things right. Where when the mob held sway there was no justice and no peace, especially for the marginalized.

This is why we study history. Barton and Levstik write that at its very base, we study history to engage in discussions about the common good. We need to look at issues surrounding justice and we need to allow students to make their own considerations and “reason deeply about important human matters” (pg 37).

If I had a history class right now, I would show this short piece first thing on Monday morning. While this is a condemnation of present-day America, it is a condemnation rooted in history. We here in Canada do not get a pass on this either. Our own purposeful study of our own story reveals the same level of violence and hypocrisy.

mob violence in Republican Rome

So when we study history it has to be with a purpose. The New York Times piece is all about history. It is a considered examination of how we got here. It is related to so much that we all should know about. Saying, we are better than this, this is not us is missing a really important historical point. If we don’t see ourselves in these rioters we are making a fatal mistake.

How would the national conversation change if we took the longer view and say – yes this is us, now what?