Old Fellas new Music – Episode 10 Show Notes

Music This Week

Art D’Ecco – Desires

Sadies – Riverview Fog

Austra – Messiah

Kathleen Edwards – Options Open

Pierre Kwenders and Clément Bazin –  Ego 

Sloan – The Day Will Be Mine

Rae Spoon – There’s No End

John K Samson – Fantasy Baseball at the End of the World 

Rural Alberta Advantage – Beacon Hill

Our updated playlist
Our shows on MixCloud – you can follow us here!!

Art D’Ecco – Desires from the album In Standard Definition, May 19th 2021

Art d’Ecco – Full Performance (LIve on KEXP) – on 2019 album release  Trespasser 

I am the dancefloor from Art D’Ecco’s latest album

Reference – Grant Lawrence on CBC Radio 3 did a great feature on him.

CBC’s Grant Lawrence

There is more on Art D’Ecco in the article from the Georgia Straight

After years of self-doubt and spinning his wheels, Art d’Ecco is now on a mission to make his own fantastical myths (2018)

Consider this the latest page in a story he’s spent the past few years writing. His back story includes fleeing Vancouver years ago to hole up in a sprawling island home to care for an ailing grandmother, the relative solitude giving him ample time to invent the character that would become analogue-obsessed rocker Art d’Ecco. And what a great character that creation is, all pageboy hair, greasepaint-and-rouge makeup, and Rodney Bingenheimer fashion cues—right down to the retina-searing flares and platform shoes.

More on how he came up with his unique look:

I was getting my keys cut, and kind of stewing while I waiting,” the singer recalls with laugh. “Out of the corner of my eye I saw a wig store that had this $300 human-hair bob wig. I was like ‘I’ve never been more excited in my entire life.’ I was walking through the Bay on the way back to my car at after getting my keys cut, and figured I might as well go whole hog and buy some makeup. I had no idea what I was doing. I was just freewheeling.

Bob picked his selections from groups that he saw over the last five years at the wonderful Beau’s Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill, Ontario.

Bob and Karen

Sadies – Riverview Fog

A group never fails to put on a great show, The Sadies.  Here performing this Riverview Fog

Bob mentioned on the show this very cool trick that the Sadies can do. Hard to imagine doing this!

Austra – Messiah Album Hirudin 2020

Austra is a singer I have liked for a long time. I first heard her on CBC with her 2011 song Lose It. Pretty amazing display. You can see a 2017 version of the song on CBC here. The voice is something very different.

This Pitchfork article explains the power of her voice better than I ever can:

Katie Stelmanis has a voice like a beacon, a sound that can shear through any accompaniment, no matter how drab. She shares this power with ANOHNI and Zola Jesus, singers who enchant their surroundings with the depth and richness of their timbres, who are instantly recognizable in any setting. Her voice comprises the central pillar of her synthpop project Austra, the feature around which her music crystallizes. The Canadian artist’s previous album, 2017’s Future Politics, shifted deeper into the icy trappings of club music, laminating Stelmanis’ voice inside the production styles of deep house and trance. On HiRUDiN, Austra’s fourth LP, the project breaks from that rut, swinging for big, embodied pop moments that let the warmth of Stelmanis’ voice shine through.

Pitchfork May 6 2020

Kathleen Edwards – Options Open

Kathleen Edwards is represented here this week with a song from her “return from exile” album, ” Total Freedom”. The song is “Options Open” and it looks like she hasn’t missed a beat.

Kathleen Edwards – Options Open (LIVE from her home)

A David Lettermen fave, Edwards was a frequent guest on The Late Show.  Dave discards his  usual sarcastic goof persona here as shows is a genuine fan.

Kathleen Edwards – “Change the Sheets” on Letterman 01-17-12

Ego by Pierre Kwenders and Clément Bazin

album – Classe Tendresse 2020 – on Bandcamp 

This is another artist heard first on CBC Frequencies, my go to place to hear new and exciting music.

From the bandcamp bio:

Born in Kinshasa and settled in Montréal since 2001, Pierre Kwenders learned music and found his voice in a catholic choir in the city. With his two EPs and two full-length records, the singer-songwriter has earned multiple awards. Passionate about offering music without borders, he’s also one of the founders of Moonshine, a collective that throws some of the best parties around the world.  

Bandcamp

Here is the great video we are playing from his most recent release, the song is Ego

Clément Bazin & Pierre Kwenders – Ego (Official Music Video)

From Exclaim MagazinePublished Oct 21, 2020

Pierre Kwenders has been known to allow every style of music he hears to influence his own. This is even more remarkable given the diversity of influence that would have entered his realm; he emigrated from Kinshasa to Montreal at the age of 16. French-Acadian, hip-hop and Congolese Catholic church music are just some of the many influences in his path. His latest project, Classe Tendresse, is a collaboration with Parisian musician Clément Bazin, who is equally in love with technology and the steelpan.

The blending of traditional African melodies with post-human electronica is complete and seamless. In a sense, this is nothing new. All popular music is influenced by traditional African music and is impacted by advances in musical technology. What is interesting here is that it is not really a blend at all, as one cannot tease out traditional and electronic elements; this is traditional African music as heard through digital technology.

Sloan – The Day Will Be Mine

Sloan perform “The Day Will Be Mine” as part of the East Coast Music Awards (ECMA’s) at the Marquee in Halifax, NS on May 3, 2018.  The Marquee is a legendary club in Halifax  which is one of the 2 bars immortalized in  the song, “ Marquee and the Moon” from the 1999 album “Between Two Bridges.” The Misty Moon closed down a number of years ago, but the Marquee lives on.   

Sloan – Live at the Marquee – The Day Will Be Mine

A clip advertising their upcoming 2018 appearance at Oktoberfest.  The concert clips were taken from the June 28 show at Ottawa’s 27 Club.  We were lucky to see both performances.

Rae Spoon There’s No End, album Mental Health 2019

Another feature heard on CBC Radio 3 Grant Lawrence. Very happy I heard this one. Rae Spoon is an artist I was totally unfamiliar with (I say that a lot).

A wonderful musician and author Rae Spoon is versatile and prolific with albums and books stretching back tp 2000

again from Georgia Straight:

Trailblazers 2021: Rae Spoon’s Green Glass Ghosts reflects Vancouver through lens of young trans adult

Georgia Straight – Apr 28 2021

The narrator is a queer, guitar-wielding musician who arrives in Vancouver in 2000 at the age of 19. Written in Spoon’s usual highly accessible style, the story of youthful exuberance, excessive drinking, and emotional angst plays out across Vancouver—on the bus system, at the beaches, and in various neighbourhoods.

It’s astonishing to consider how far the trailblazing Spoon has come from being a poor couch-surfing, sometimes homeless trans youth living on the East Side. In addition to four books, including the Lambda Award finalist collection of short stories that kicked off their career, Spoon has created a dozen albums. In addition, they achieved their dream of touring extensively.

Here is the trailer from the NFB film made about Rae Spoon. All the music in the film was composed and performed by them.

John K Samson – Fantasy Baseball at the End of the World 

“I manage my fantasy baseball team better than I manage my anger these days,” Samson sings. “And I’d trade my best pitcher for a draft-pick and picture of the president writhing in pain.” John K. Samson.  Great video from Manitoba’s finest that combines his love of baseball with his loathing of Trump.

Here he is at Beau’s Oktoberfest performing his classic “One Great City”

Rural Alberta Advantage – Beacon Hill

Bob asked during the show which Beacon Hill the Rural Alberta Advantage is singing about. This is another band that he saw at Oktoberfest.

I think if you look at the video below you may get a clue.

Old Fellas New Music – Episode 9

You can always find us here

Week 9

Soccer Mommy – Up the Walls

Kiwi Jr – Waiting in Line or Maid Marian’s Toastv  

Beach Slang – Future Mixtape For the Art Kids

Nick Ferrio – The Dam

Car Seat Headrest – Fill in the Blanks

Aviva Chernick – Ti Espanya 

Angel Olsen – Intern

Jon and Roy – Runner

James Clarke Institute – Should I Tell Her

Allison Russell – Persephone 

This is the Kit – Coming to get you nowhere

Our updated Spotify Playlist for Week 9
You can find Episode 9 and all our shows (from Episode 5) here on MixCloud

Also live here on VoicEd Radio at 7:30 PM Saturdays

This week’s notes

Soccer Mommy

 A nice slice of pop perfection.

Here in a performance on KEXP 

Kiwi Jr – Maid Marian’s Toast

Kiwi Jr. is from the PEI North Shore – CBC Grant Lawrence recommends this as his new favourite band. Album Cooler returns – was released January 2021

Kiwi Jr. is Jeremy Gaudet (mic, guitar), Brohan Moore (drums), Mike Walker (bass), and Brian Murphy (guitar). 

This is a very cool video that I watched as I prepared the show this week.

Directed by Sean Egerton Foreman, who also shot Kiwi Jr videos for “Cooler Returns”, “Maid Marion’s Toast” and “Gimme More”,No Trace Evidence is a short mini-documentary of Kiwi Jr’s recording process during the Summer of Covid 19, a candid peak into the recording studio as well as al fresco out-door mixing, isolation booths, temperature checks and black cats crossing their path.

No Trace Evidence

Here is the Pitchfork review of their latest album.


Beach Slang – Future Mixtape For the Art Kids

Beach Slang formed in 2013 as a vehicle for Alex James’  noisy teen anthems.  We featured his song “Future Mixtape For The Art Kids.” In 2017 he did an offshoot called “Quiet Slang “ where he rerecorded his songs as chamberpop using just vocals, piano and cello.

Nick Ferrio – The Dam

2021 single Sutton Ontario  album Television of  Roses  releases  June 18, 2021 heard first on CBC Radio 3

Performed by:

Nick Ferrio Tanner Paré Lewis Parker Nathan Truax

With: Jonas Bonnetta Evangeline Gentle Caylie Runciman

The album was recorded and co-produced by Evening HymnsJonas Bonnetta and features contributions by Said the Whale‘s Nathan Truax, Heaps‘ Tanner Paré, Boyhood‘s Caylie Runciman, Evangeline Gentle and For Esmé‘s Lewis Parker.

From an Exclaim! Magazine article – March 21, 2021 – this is a pretty incredible story

Georgina, ON-based folkster Nick Ferrio has shared plans for a new record titled Television of Roses. The artist will deliver the goods on June 18, but today he’s offering up a glimpse of what’s to come with a new single titled “The Dam.”

The new track is a response to a letter sent to Ferrio by his late mother, in which she asked if he remembered her from “before her struggles with alcohol began.”

“It explores those early years of my life, the poverty we experienced, but also my mother’s resilience and strength,” Ferrio explained of the track. “We were estranged from each other at times in our lives and she passed away a year ago after being diagnosed with leukemia. But, I played it for her before she passed and we made amends.”

Ferrio said: “When I grew up there were a lot of people in my household and not everyone was a fan of my constant singing and guitar playing, so I would go to the cliff in the woods near our house and sing out to the lake. We recreated that in the video. It was cool to go back there and explore. Brought back a lot of memories.

Here is the video – watch this.

There is also a good article on his indigenous roots and advocacy for local music in Peterborough 


Car Seat Headrest – Fill in the Blanks

Car Seat Headrest have been around since 2010. We featured a song from 2016’s Teens of Denial but they are still making waves as seen in this NY Times article from April discussing their latest release..

Will Toledo, the founder and principal songwriter of Car Seat Headrest, sat in his Seattle apartment, looking into his iPhone camera through the eyes of a modified gas mask.

His face wasn’t visible, but somehow he still seemed a little sheepish. Months ago, Toledo made up his mind to wear a costume, including the mask, while promoting his indie-rock band’s first album of new material since 2016, an atypically concise and beat-driven collection of songs called “Making a Door Less Open.”

NY Times By Alex Pappademas April 23, 2020

Here they are on The Tonight show in 2016 performing Drunk Driver/Killer Whale

Aviva Chernick A Ti Espanya –Album 2019 La Serena

This is a beautiful singer who has collaborated with a range of artists. From the Bandcamp page:

On Bandcamp

Singing in Hebrew, Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) Yiddish and English, she has had the pleasure of making music with many wonderful musicians including Frank London, Yair Dalal, Jackie Richardson and Flory Jagoda. Aviva’s collaborative recordings have garnered several nominations and awards, including Juno nominations for Jaffa Road’s albums Sun Place (2010) and Where The Light Gets In (2013), a Canadian Folk Music Award for Where The Light Gets In(2013), a Canadian Folk Music Award Nomination for When I Arrived You Were Already There(2012)as well as for Under the Canopy (2008). for her albums La Serena (2020) Aviva and her co-writers from Jaffa Road won the John Lennon International Songwriting Grand Prize for their rendition of “Lo Yisa Goy”, a prayer for peace.

Pocket Performance: Aviva Chernick with Joel Schwartz

Another incredible performance on the Aga Khan Museum YouTube site

Video of A Ti Espanya  

For you, Spain, my dear one.

Our mother, we love you

and throughout our whole lives 

your sweet language we will never let go of.


Angel Olsen – Intern

Angel Olsen performing “Intern”.  In her words, “A sarcastic take on synthpop.” 


Jon and Roy 2017 Runner

from 2017 The Road Ahead is Golden

Yet another band I have never heard before, but out west they are popular and well known. After 8 albums, this makes sense.

From an article Five things to know about Here by Jon and Roy in the Vancouver Sun

Jon Middleton is blessed with one of those perfect old-timey folk voices which quavers with just the right amount of blues, croons like a classic country singer, and can flow like lubricant over quiet fingerpicking (That Is You) or uptempo horn riffs (Headstrong) alike. It’s a pretty special sound, and brings all the material a sense of spirit that it might not otherwise possess.

Vancouver Sun

James Clarke Institute – Should I Tell Her

A single from the the just released album “The Colour of Happy” This wonderful melodic powerpop. Like Big Star, Badfinger and the Beatles?  This is right up your alley then. James is also a talented artist as ably demonstrated in his “Clartoons”


Allison Russell – Persephone 

“Bigotry and abuse are intergenerational traumas,” Russell said. “It’s not just my story.”
Credit…
Bethany Mollenkof for The New York Times

 Album – Outside Child release May 21 2021 

Really, for me this week, the stories are just as important as the music – this is another example. I learned about Allison Russell through the New York Times feature about her last Sunday:

Her solo debut, “Outside Child,” speaks bluntly about sexual abuse by her adoptive father. She spells it out, over a steadfast Memphis soul beat, in the first song she wrote for the album, “4th Day Prayer”: “Father used me like a wife/Mother turned the blindest eye/Stole my body, spirit, pride/He did, he did each night.”

The singer, songwriter and folklore explorer Rhiannon Giddens invited Russell to join Our Native Daughters along with Amythyst Kiah and Leyla McCalla — all four of them Black female banjo players — to make a 2019 album, “Songs of Our Native Daughters,” for Smithsonian Folkways that celebrated the banjo’s West African origins and encompassed narratives of slavery, perseverance and resistance.

The article is really worth reading and speaks to her Montreal roots and how she has overcome the terrible legacy of abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother’s partner and also how she was able to eventually get him arrested and put in jail.

Like always, the NY Times version of the article adds lots of great video material.

This is the Kit -Coming to get You Nowhere 

album 2020 – Off Off On – (found on BBC playlist on Spotify)

This Is the Kit is the alias of Paris-based British musician Kate Stables, as well as the band she fronts

This Is The Kit were a long-time favourite among various BBC Radio 6 Music DJs, which is where the musician and presenter Guy Garvey discovered them, playing their music frequently. Fellow 6 Music DJs Lauren Laverne, Radcliffe & Maconie, Cerys Matthews, and Mary Anne Hobbs have also been major supporters; DJ Marc Riley has hosted the band for three BBC live sessions to date.[2] BBC Radio 1 has offered the band spot plays via DJs Huw Stephens, Jen & Ally, and Phil Taggart.

Next week we will be going to an 8-song format to get the show down to 60 minutes. We will still be working to broadcast the show live on SoundCloud, Wednesday at 7:00 PM and it will be broadcasted on VoicEd Radio at 7:30 PM on Saturdays. We really appreciate the support of both of these great organizations for encouraging and supporting our weekly efforts!

Old Fellas New Music Notes for Episode 8 – May 14 show

This week’s list:

Fanclubwallet – C’mon Be Cool

Weyes Blood –  Andromeda

IsKwé – Little Star

Margo Price – Learning to Lose

Rich Aucoin – How it Breaks

Joan as Police Woman – The Silence

Junior Varsity –  Cold Blood

Julia Holter – Les Jeux to You

Sarah Jarosz – Blue Heron

Gabrielle Shonk – Habit

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Not in Love We’re Just High

You can find all the songs for adding to your own personal playlist here

Our 11 songs for this week’s show

We also can be heard now on MixCloud – this is a new audio adventure that we are working our way through! We hope to be able to go live on this site once we can figure out the technology. I am thinking we have one or two many things playing at the same time right now to make this work – Audio Hijack, Zencastr, OBS, Rodcaster and eventually Hindenburg. Maybe a bit too confusing right now!

Stuff from the show

Bob mentions Mojo Magazine several times during the show – for more you have to listen to what he says! But, we wanted to include some material for you here so you know what the magazine is all about. Really, you need to look at The Mojo List a be prepared to get lost in their great collection of material.

From the Mojo Magazine website

Bob also mentions Uncut Magazine. Both magazines are British and have options for digital and magazine subscriptions. With Uncut you also get a CD every month with the magazine which is pretty cool.

Fanclubwallet – C’mon Be Cool – single 2021

I had to find out what a fan club wallet is so I found one on ebay and included this below. Hannah Judge, from Ottawa has a great sense of humour and a healthy perspective on life. This comes out in her music and the stories she tells.

Beano Dennis The Menace Fan Club Wallet Set

Lyrics form C’mon Be Cool

I went to bed and didn’t get out for ten months

I learnt every twenty eight days your skin falls off

Did you get a new set of eyes since we last 

talked I don’t see what you see in making all this fuss

music video from C’mon Be Cool

Prior to the pandemic, Hannah was in bed for months suffering from Crohn’s Disease. The quote below is from Exclaim! Magazine, I have bolded some of their lines because this musician is really talking about things we all need to take seriously and reflect on after 14 months in a pandemic.

Written during and about the pandemic (with the added stress of a 10-month recovery from an unrelated health flare-up), fanclubwallet’s debut EP, Hurt Is Boring, is a testament to the creative benefits of enforced solitude. Ottawa-based musician Hannah Judge’s five-track release is a deeply-felt — but not necessarily depressing — slice of bedroom indie-pop dealing with experiences many of us are likely familiar with these days, including isolation, boredom and the rehashing of minor events that take on looming proportions in our memories. The specifics may be personal, but the vibes are relatable. Produced by grade-school friend Michael Watson and recorded with guitars and lo-fi synths kicking around the house, Hurt Is Boring is a friendly and unpretentious mix of indie folk and pop sensibilities.

Exclaim! Magazine

Weyes Blood –  Andromeda

Weyes Blood (Natalie Laura Mering) took her stage name from the 1952 Flannery O’Connor Southern Gothic novel Wiseblood.

A beautiful song, I really should have come up with a more intelligent comment for this work.

Iskwe  – Little Star

This is one of those songs where the story, and the video almost outshine the song. The video for Little Star won a Juno in 2020 for best video.

Iskwē video Little Star

Iskwē, originally from Manitoba now lives in Hamilton. The story behind Little Star is one that centers on the the continuing sad story of reconciliation in Canada with Indigenous People. Little Star focuses on the media treatment during the murder trails of Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier – From CBC Tapestry:

‘They’ in the lyric refers to iskwē’s response to the press coverage of the trials of Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier — the men charged for the murders of Colton Boushie and Tina Fontaine.

Little Star was a direct response to media [reports] and the way they were – in my opinion – being reckless during the trials of Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier,”  singer iskwē said in an interview with Tapestry guest-host Laurie Brown.

“I felt endangered. I felt angry. I felt hurt. I felt afraid… The way our [Indigenous] bodies are viewed as disposable and how that sentiment seems to be in repetition when we see the way the media represents these stories.”

“It’s not just scary for Indigenous people… if we’re living in a country where we can truly say there is a demographic of people that is considered lesser than others, then we’re not doing very good as a society.”

You can hear her interview on CBC Tapestry here. The interview is a great way to get a good sense of what drives her music. The video is really something you should watch. The story is tragic and compelling.

Margo Price – Learning to Lose

on Saturday Night Live

Rich Aucoin – How It Breaks

from 2020 album United States

Rich Aucoin is a really interesting artist from the Maritimes. Apart from the fact that he has written an alternate soundtrack to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, he supported the release of his first EP by riding his bike across the country. On a later tour, he ran partial marathons between gigs.

You can hear his most recent album here on Bandcamp.

I would like to explore the ideas behind his music more. There is no question that this is a very political album.

From a verse in How it Breaks:

Someone will dig it up maybe make em lose their piece of mind

We wanna see it come undone by the picket sign

Someone will call it out maybe when it’s children caught behind

We wanna hear it tearing free from their thin blue line

I read the news today oh boy

She was a young American

Opressed by old established men

I heard the news today oh boy

He was a young American

Killed cause the colour of his skin

Junior Varsity Cold Blood – single 2021

This is just a great song and we really need great songs.

and a fun video

From Fader – The best rock songs right now

Junior Varsity, LA-based duo Greg Aram and Zach Michel, load their swaggering pop-punk anthems with a rap production style that makes every beat sound cavernous. Custom-built for big stages, “Cold Blood” is a fearless shot at the moon that emits enough confidence to make you think they might just make it.

Julia Holter – Les Jeux to You

from a KEXP live session – these are all so compelling

“Julia Holter is Siouxsie Sioux meets Kate Bush, with a matchstick intensity, relighting her own wick by the conversation in her voice, her diaphragm shifting between instruments” – got to love this quote from Under the Radar Magazine.

Sarah Jarosz – Blue Heron Suite 2021

I love this song and Sarah Jarosz’s voice you can see her here performing Blue Heron

Live From Here recording 2017. Just a beautiful song

The song has a beautiful, healing message in it about hope and recovery, again a message we are all looking for right now.

“2017 was an emotional year for me—my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer the previous winter and the town of Port Aransas was severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” recalls Jarosz. “Those two events caused me to think back to the early morning walks my mom and I would take along Mustang Island beach—we would always spot the Great Blue Herons along the shore… The bird came to be a symbol of hope for my family during a difficult time, and even now, throughout my travels, whenever I spot a Blue Heron, I always think of it as a good omen; a little reminder of the important things in life, especially family.”

Jarosz notes, “Thankfully, my mom is now in remission and Port Aransas is slowly on the mend, but Blue Heron Suite still encapsulates so many of the feelings associated with that time – I like to think of the song cycle as a quiet acknowledgment of life’s many uncertainties; you never know what will be thrown your way, but you can always work to try to face the highs and the lows with grace and strength.”

Music Row, April 14, 2021

Sarah Jarosz. Photo: Kaitlyn Raitz

Gabrielle Shonk – Habit

This is a great video and really shows why people stopped in the middle of what they were doing when she started to play at the Bronson Centre

photo Gabrielle Shonk 2018 @ The Bronson Centre Ottawa

What does your Covid balance sheet look like? The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

I am starting with a question for you all. What does your life balance sheet look like after 14 months in a global pandemic?

This is a unique time in all of our lives. No story has dominated the news cycle anything like Covid – not in our lifetime. If you wanted to look for comparisons, you would have to go back to the Second World War. Absolutely nothing has dominated our lives like the pandemic.

So, how is your life going? I get asked this a lot mainly because I am in my fifth month on Noom and they tend to ask you lots of questions that call for a certain amount of personal reflection. I think it’s worth the trouble. Since the beginning of January I have been able to shed almost 20 pounds of excess baggage and I am looking to lose 10 more – Nomm likes it when you make public declarations!

How do you figure out your balance sheet in the biggest global crisis you are likely to see?

For me, it has to be a balance – Good, Bad and yes, Ugly. There is some of all of this for me and I would say probably for you too.

The Good is important, it is what we value the most and it is what paints the brightest self portrait. There are good things going on because of Covid. I have signed up for a Ph.D. which I will start this fall. I have had enough time to reflect that this is a good life challenge for me and many of you in the Twitterverse actually supported my decision to take this on – thanks for this.

I mentioned Noom, that is something I am doing with my partner, Heather and along with this we are new converts to the Peloton which is helping up get our hearts and I would say our heads back into good shape. Both of these healthy projects took flight nearly 10 months into the pandemic. Think of that; we have done our fair share of languishing, but we decided to take something back, get some greater control in a world where so much is beyond us.

One big positive thing in all of this has been the noticing. Early on in the pandemic I started walking our dog Dory all the time. This was Dory’s version of the Peloton, and she is still looking pretty sleek! The walks allowed me to see all around our neighbourhood and some of the walks eventually took Heather and I as far as the Ottawa River – these walks unfortunately were beyond what Dory could manage.

A recent Covid Walk shot – the photos had to be in our neighbourhood and no people could be in the shots. At any one time, only four pictures could be displayed.

The walks and the photos are a long-standing Good that has come out the pandemic. Once you really start noticing the world around you things begin to open up.

The Bad is not somewhere I want to dwell. We all hear this all the time, every day. It is almost comical how many bad news stories our local CBC Ottawa radio station is able to conjure up. They seem to take a certain glee in featuring yet another colourful local story about how our lives have been strained and drained over the past 14 months.

My Bad is the same as everyone’s. The places we can’t go – Kilimanjaro – Cuba – Montreal – the Maritimes – you get the picture. The people we can’t be with – for me this is mainly family. Our meetings with family are challenging and sometimes downright silly like when we all hid under a canopy on Christmas Eve in the middle of a torrential rainfall.

So, let’s not linger, the Bad is part of our shared experience, it varies depending on people’s circumstances, but we all share the Bad.

What about the Ugly? What does that look like for you? How have things become ugly for you and for your world? The Ugly could be your social media. Here we have a neighbourhood Facebook Page where post after post decries the habits of some of the homeless people in our area. That is nothing but Ugly.

For me too social media has played a part. When you can’t see people except for their screen, sometimes things can go terribly wrong. Just a few days ago I totally lost it when something I had spend hours on got a bit messed due to a technical glitch. Really, no one’s fault, but I totally lost it.

Why does this happen? How is it that it seems easier now than ever to become totally unhinged?

Is Covid unhinging us?

I later apologized for my bizarre behaviour, but I am perplexed by the Ugly. Can we understand this? Can you talk about your ugly side?

While I love the Good and accept the Bad, the Ugly has me wondering. What is going on? In other cases, long-time friendships are at risk because of some of the strains brought on by the pandemic.

I do not have any answers to finish off this post. The Ugly is what it is and I do hope the damage is not permanent. For me in times like this, I like to go back to Pema Chödrön and all of her wisdom. She is truly a voice for our time. She talks about treating ourselves, even with the ugly with loving kindness:

But lovingkindness—maitri (Pali, metta)—toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy, we can still be angry. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.

Pema Chödrön meditation

This is my answer to the Ugly. We are challenged to treat ourselves as fallible humans capable of great things and sometimes of true ugliness. We don’t dwell in the Ugly instead we lean in to learn.

We lean towards the Good, we acknowledge the Bad and we learn from the Ugly.

Old Fellas New Music Episode 7 Notes

The promised video by Boy Wonder

Why this video? From Exclaim magazine:

As is Faist’s trademark, the new single comes with an accompanying video, shot on his trusty 16mm film camera. The “Hoodwink” clip features the dancing stylings of cowboy hat-clad Lee Kennedy, who busts some moves outside Toronto’s Dufferin Mall with her trusty scooter by her side. 

Said Faist about the video’s star, “The video features Lee Kennedy, who I met in Kensington Market on her scooter one day. She was dressed in pink head-to-toe, and I took her photo while we drank coffee. I remembered her enthusiasm and tracked her down because I wanted to put her in a video. She showed up to Dufferin Mall on her scooter, danced for a minute and a half, and then we went home.”

Songs this week

Bob’s songs

Dinosaur Jr. – I Ain’t 

Guided By Voices – Trust Them Now 

Yo Le Tengo – Shades of Blue 

Teenage Fanclub – The Sun Won’t Shine On Me

Paul McCartney – Winterbird /When Winter Comes

Paul’s songs

Alvvays – In Undertow

Groupie – Thick As Glue

Du Blonde – I’m Glad We Broke Up

Kobo Town – Scarborough Girl

Boy Wonder – Hoodwink

Our Spotify Playlist for this week
Here is this week’s episode!

Before we get started, we have to put in a note about John Peel, the legendary DJ we talk about at the beginning of the broadcast. If you want to listen to some, or many of his broadcasts your can download them off this great blog – The Perfumed Garden.

More about John Peel here:

Mairi McGuire has been asking for the Alvvays for a few weeks, so here they are! A great band with deep Maritime roots. I am including a full KEXP session here so you can listen to more of their great music.

Alvvays – Full Performance (Live on KEXP)

The band consists of Molly Rankin (vocals and guitar), Kerri MacLellan (keyboards), Alec O’Hanley (guitars), Brian Murphy (bass) and Sheridan Riley (drums). Their second studio album, Antisocialites, was released on September 8, 2017 and would go on to win the Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year. Both albums have been short listed for the Polaris Music Prize.

From Wikipedia

I have to give a nod this week to Pitchfork for some of my stories this week. What a great resource for new music!

Yo La Tengo

Bob tells an mazing story about how the band got it’s name – you really need to listen to this on the show.

This is an excellent interview with Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo

This video from 2013 shows the band’s more heavy guitar “skronk”approach

Groupie

I like this song and the story from Pitchfork is really interesting. The song is Thick as Glue and you can read more about this new band below:

Groupie began when Ashley Kossakowski put out a call for bandmates on Craigslist, which was answered by guitarist Johanna Healy. Now a quartet, the Brooklyn band recently released a full-length debut, Ephemeral, an invigorating collection of post-punk leaning tracks about identity, nostalgia, and female empowerment. On the dreamy centerpiece, “Thick As Glue,” they interrogate the myth of the male artistic genius: “Young woman idolizing heroic men singing about heroin/Tried to keep it cool, now it’s my turn too. Who you think you’re looking up to?” –Quinn Moreland – Pitchfork

Guided By Voices

This best of Guided By Voices album is the best way for the uninitiated to approach the band.  Solid from beginning to end.

Ever the contrarian, Robert Pollard left their most “radio-friendly” and well known song off this collection. From the TV show Scrubs:

Du Blonde

Song: I’m Glad That We Broke Up from the album Homecoming

I really had to add this video – this really defines who Beth Jeans Houghton is all about.

More about Du Blonde from the Guardian:

If you want something done right, do it yourself: so Newcastle’s Beth Jeans Houghton resolved for her third record as Du Blonde. Tired of feeling limited by the industry, she wrote, recorded, produced and released Homecoming herself, right down to tie-dying her own merch. Despite this bravura show of self-reliance, she still makes space, in a record bursting and bouncing with fuzzy, pop-grunge hooks, for guests from Garbage’s Shirley Manson (on the heat-hazed, delirious Medicated) to Ezra Furman (the glam-punk scrap of I’m Glad That We Broke Up) and Andy Bell of Ride (the alternately dreamy and hard-rock-anthemic All the Way). Houghton is always centre stage, though, right from opener Pull the Plug, whose sweet, surfy melody and low, scuzzy riffs recall early Frank Black, as does the divinely nonchalant I Can’t Help You There.

The whole album conjures the catchiest moments of 90s Boston indie rock – Pixies, Belly, the Breeders. It’s a style appropriated by many, but invoked by a genuine, dedicated kook like Houghton, those dynamics live and breathe. Smoking Me Out, in particular, is a riot – a campy, monstrously distorted vocal on the verse contrasted with a blissfully sweet, sharp powerpop chorus: DIY at its wilful, weird finest.

Guardian

Teenage Fanclub

Here’s Teenage Fanclub playing at Reading 1992.  This was gig Nirvana blew open their popularity. Kurt Cobain is sometimes credited as calling Teenage Fanclub “the best band in the world”

The “Fannies” were often compared to 70’s cult heroes Big Star.  There is an excellent film on Netflix documenting Big Star’s unlucky foray into the music business .

Kobo Town

Scarborough Girl album – Where the Galleon Sank

Kobo Town was played on Frequencies on May 4th. A great song and an amazing episode!

Again from Exclaim Magazine:

Founded and fronted by émigré Trinidadian songwriter Drew Gonsalves, Kobo Town’s music has been variously described as “an intoxicating blend of lilting calypsonian wit, dancehall reggae and trombone-heavy brass” (Guardian) and a “unique, transnational composite of rhythm, poetry and activist journalism.”(Exclaim!) From their home in Toronto, the JUNO-nominated group has brought their distinct calypso-inspired sound to audiences across the world, from Port-of-Spain to Paris and from Montreal to Malaysia.

The wonderful Errol Nazareth from CBC Frequencies

Boy Wonder – Toronto

Song – Hoodwink – it was hard to get information on Boy Wonder, I went to Exclaim magazine to get this information. You can also go to Revibe Toronto to see a live version of his song – Smile Moma off his 2019 EP

And from Exclaim’s article by Matt Bobkin

Published Apr 30, 2021

Talented Torontonian Ryan Faist is a filmmaker by day, boy wonder by night. The garage rock project is set to drop a new album, Kinda Blue Too, on June 4 via his own Rainbow Land label, alongside a live concert film, Fear In Public. A month ahead of the album’s release, Faist has released new single “Hoodwink.”

The 95-second blast pairs sturdy rock chords with Faist’s reverbed-to-hell vocals, as he raspily howls about a mutually destructive relationship: “Would ya sell your soul for a buck or two? / ‘Cause if you’ve got me, then I’ve got you.”

In a statement, Faist told Exclaim!:”Hoodwink” is about the beginning of the end of compassion and kindness between us. It’s about the ugly parts of the world, the people who benefit off of people’s misery. I feel like that their wave is gonna rip-curl soon though. Kindness will shine.

The song is an ode to my dad’s old Brit garage rock records that I grew up listening to. Three chords. Less than two minutes. No bridge or breakdown. I love how those songs always trimmed the fat. In and out, like your favourite drive-thru.

This week we played an extra track to get us to 90 minutes

I read about Yasmin Williams first in the New York Times.

Yasmin Williams has described her approach to acoustic guitar as a kind of creative problem-solving. Drawn to the instrument after mastering Guitar Hero 2, she dreamed of tapping along the fretboard like rock virtuosos before her. Unable to replicate their style, she laid the guitar on her lap, tuned the strings in harmony with each other, and played it like a keyboard. Drawing from a love of hip-hop, she sought an underlying rhythm throughout her wordless, melodic compositions. Without an accompanist, she attached a kalimba—a type of thumb piano—at the bottom of her instrument, plucking it with her right hand while her left navigated the strings.

New York Times May 2

“I don’t want my music to be limited by being the ‘Black guitarist,’ but somebody had to start doing something,” Williams said. “With all the horrible stuff in 2020, it seemed like it was time.”

Credit…

Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

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.