You Kids with Your New Music   April 24th, 2010

Originally Written 08/01/08

There’s something I’ve been noticing more and more these days. I don’t listen to the radio or music as much as I used to, I spend more of my listening time on podcasts and audio fiction. So over the past several years I’ve grown more out of touch with new music.

I’ve heard of the bands my teenage niece is into now, and I know a couple of their singles, but a lot of the time I’d be hard pressed to name their songs. I figure I’d recognize the songs if I heard them though.

Still, as part of the process of growing older, I realize there’s not a lot of new music that clicks with me. I think it’s true for most people that you tend to lock into the music from your younger years. There are some exceptions and you can discover some new music, but for the most part it seems you fix on music from that era.

Another example was awhile ago when I was half listening to the radio as I drove and thought, that I caught myself absently-mindedly grooving to a Bon Jovi song! Heh, that was a surprise. I still didn’t like it, but it took me a bit to realize what it was, when years ago I would’ve yelled at the radio and immediately switched the station.

I think it was a two-fold effect, one from not having the song crammed down my throat like it was from when it was in heavy rotation back then, so it wasn’t as obnoxious. Secondly, I think it’s the familiarity to songs from my youth, even ones I didn’t like. It’s funny when the songs you grew up with are now considered oldies.

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Rush – “Feedback”   April 21st, 2010

Originally Written 08/10/04

I found Feedback a new album from Rush which I hadn’t known about. In celebration of their 30 years together (wow, that’s staying power!) they revisited some songs they covered when they were first starting out in the bands they had in their teen years.

The songs are a little rough. They don’t have quite their usual level of synergy and it isn’t exactly their sound, but it’s very fresh and definitely sincere covers. There’s some good classic rock on there and a couple of the songs. “Heart Full of Soul” and “Crossroads” really rock.

After suffering some disappointment from their previous couple of albums, it’s nice to see the boys coming back and doing something fun and with some energy. It also reminds me of the Ramone’s Acid Eaters, which were great covers of 60s songs, but a little more for novelty value. Still a very worthwhile album though.

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Give me Smut and Nothing But   April 21st, 2010

Originally Written 02/04/04

Hee hee, my mind was wandering and I chanced to think of one of Tom Leher’s old songs. I love his sarcastic wit and socially-conscious humor. He has a good way of making fun of just about everything too. He ribs on both sides of the argument a little here, plus I agree with him that dirty books are fun.

Tom Leher – “Smut”

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Originally Written 01/31/04

Having a streaming MP3 player down with my treadmill makes workouts a lot better. It gives me a better selection of music and I don’t have to drag CDs down to the basement. Plus it lets me reconnect with albums I haven’t listened to in awhile.

Today it was “Moving Pictures,” which is probably Rush’s best album and an old favorite. It was envigorating working out to YYZ and cool hearing those old songs again. Then came “Witch Hunt” and it hit home a little harder than it ever has before. The message is still poignant after 20 years, and unfortunately it’s still applicable…

“Witch Hunt” by Rush

The night is black
Without a moon
The air is thick and still
The vigilantes gather on
The lonely torch lit hill

Features distorted in the flickering light
The faces are twisted and grotesque
Silent and stern in the sweltering night
The mob moves like demons possessed
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right
Confident their ways are best

The righteous rise
With burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat and burn and kill

They say there are strangers who threaten us
In our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness too dangerous
In our theaters and bookstore shelves
That those who know what’s best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves

Quick to judge
Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear walk hand in hand…

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Anthropomorphic Music Videos   April 20th, 2010

Here’s a couple of music videos which make use of anthropomorphic animals and also show the genre as artform is still alive.

Ramona Falls – “I Say Fever” is trippy with some nice stylish animation and makes an interesting metaphor for exposing people’s baser animal behaviors. Plus, a gun that shoots birds is just cool.

Menomena – “Evil Bee” is an older video which is attributed to the same director and is another wonderful piece It’s a dystopian world and a view on life, relationships and the birds and the bees that’s darkly beautiful.

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