A musical edition of the Friday Five:
1. Who is your favorite singer/musician? Why?
Yikes, that's a really tough question for me as it varies from time to time. I would have to say that overall, my favourite female, singer / songwriter is Kirsty MacColl. I also have a favourite male singer / songwriters, favourite Canadian Band, American Band, UK Band, etc. but for the sake of this Friday Five, I'll say it's Kirsty.
I absolutely love Kirsty's music. She wrote beautifully constructed pop songs with intelligent lyrics. She was a strong, independent woman and her songs reflect that. She was a brutally honest writer and I believe that the honesty and passion in her music is what inspires her extremely loyal fans. It breaks my heart that she's dead. As I type this, I am fighting back tears thinking about it. She was killed in December 2000 while diving with her sons in Mexico. A motor boat was speeding through a "no boat" zone and hit her. Her mother, Jean, has launched a campaign to bring those responsible for Kirsty's death, to justice. To learn more about the campaign, please visit Justice For Kirsty.
2. What one singer/musician can you not stand? Why?
Oh there are so many to pick. One that pops immediately into my head is Shania Twain. I've never liked her, I'm ashamed of the fact that she is from Canada and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what it is that people like about her. Her music is inane. She dresses like a skank (not to mention that nothing she wears would be considered age-appropriate for a woman who is almost 40). She likes to play up the fact that she grew up poor in Timmins yet doesn't have a residence in Canada anymore. To me, she represents everything that is wrong with popular country music. The fact that you can her her pop shlock shit on Country radio and you can't hear Neko Case's, makes me want to vomit.
3. If your favorite singer wasn't in the music business, do you think you would still like him/her as a person?
Absolutely. The fact that singer / songwriters can remain creative and still be a part of something as soul-sucking as the music industry amazes me. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to meet Kirsty MacColl. As I worked in community radio for almost 10 years and helped to promote shows locally, I've met many musicians over the years and almost all of them were very lovely people. Genuinely sweet and appreciative of the support that they receive from Campus Radio and from the folks who go to their shows and buy their CD's & 7"''s.
4. Have you been to any concerts? If yes, who put on the best show?
I've been to hundreds of concerts in my lifetime. Hands down, the best show I ever saw was Tom Waits at the Hummingbird Centre in Toronto. It was during his summer 1999 tour and he had the entire audience mesmerized and on the edge of our seats for over 2 hours. Tom rules!
5. What are your thoughts on downloading free music online vs. purchasing albums? Do you feel the RIAA is right in its pursuit to stop people from downloading free music?
I think that the RIAA has a lot of nerve trying to impose their regulations on other countries. I also think that they are seriously fooling themselves if they think that it's going to stop anytime soon. I download music and, if I like something, I'll buy the album. If I don't like it, I delete it and look for something new. I've found out about more new music this way. I think it's a great way to exchange new music and get "smaller" artists exposure that they ordinarily wouldn't have.