Friday, August 31, 2018

Not Guilty, Just Pleasure - Low Key

It's Labour Day Weekend again.

The unofficial end of summer (technically we all know it goes on for a few more weeks).  This summer was weird for me.  I wasn't a big fan of the weather we had and I felt like I hibernated a lot.  Summer what not what I'd expected so I guess I'm not too sad to see it go. I don't think I'm alone in feeling this way.  If you didn't have access to a pool or a cottage, hiding out in air conditioned spaces seemed the only safe thing to do.

For me, fall has always been my favourite season. I'm a big fan of sweater weather.  I love the colours that you see as the trees start to shed their leaves.  Fortunately, I live in a part of the world that explodes with yellows and oranges during autumn. I'm not a pumpkin spice lover but I am not a hater either.  There is something about the rituals attached to this time of the year which I like.  Back to school, back to normal, feels like a new year starting.  Could be because I work at a University but my job isn't really affected by the academic calendar so maybe not... perhaps I measure the year by the presence or absence of students.

In any event, the summer was low key for me.  On that note, I'm going to share with you one of my favourite songs.  Coincidentally the video for the song is just flat out great.  It's fun and funny and has bananas and costumes and some pretty dead pan Tweedy dudes.

Enjoy Jeff and Spencer Tweedy, aka Tweedy, and low key xo

Thursday, August 30, 2018

CanCon Thursday - Destroying Souls

Music fans, well, indie music fans who lived in and around the Kingston area during the 1990's couldn't help but know about PF Records.  Formally known as "Proboscis Funkstone" Records, the label was started by Dave Ullrich of the Inbreds.  It became "home" to many Kingston bands during the early to mid 1990's.

One of the most beloved of the PF bands was The Caspers.  They were really young (still students at KCVI) when they got started.  If you wanted a good time, you were sure to not miss a Caspers show (or be at a show or party with members of the Caspers in the crowd - those guys could dance!).

In May 1994, the "In the shop scooter club" folks (my brother Patrick basically) presented a show starring (all the way from Vancouver!!)  Mint Records legends cub and the Evaporators.  Patrick's band Inspector Fuzz was on the bill and the opener was the Caspers.  On that night, in Louise D Acton hall, the first copies of their full-length cassette release, "Gunther Goes to Keelorville" would be sold at the merch table.  How do I know this?  I know this because I helped them assemble the cassettes before the show started (and I bought the very first one they sold!).

The Caspers made a super fun video for their song "Destroying Souls" and I'm sharing that with you today.  Dave Ullrich, in his bathrobe, also stars in the video (if I'm not mistaken, that same bathrobe makes an appearance in the Inbreds video for Prince).  It's some awesome, crunchy, power poppy 1990's fun which I hope you enjoy xo

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Way Back Wednesday - Enough Is Enough

During the summer of 1982, I was 15.  I won tickets (listening to CKLC - 1380 AM) to see April Wine at the memorial center.  It was a whole package actually, tshirt, record and the tickets.  It was the first time my folks gave me permission to go with a friend.  Prior to that, I'd only gone to a concert with my parents. Not so much fun when you're 14 or 15.

I wasn't a particularly big fan of April Wine but hey, free tickets to a legit concert (I think Harlequin opened for them).  What's not to love about that.  I remember that it was loud and I hadn't really figured out the ear plugs thing yet but, I also remember that we had a great time and felt pretty grown up.

Just recently, I went back and revisited some April Wine songs.  They definitely represent a certain time in Canadian music.  Do they sound a bit dated? Sure... but they are still fun.  Today, in honour of Way back Wednesday, I'm sharing a video from April Wine, Enough Is Enough.  Now, I'm not a prude and definitely not a film critic but, I would imagine that folks in 2018 would frown upon a truck load of grown men picking up young girls from along the side of the road and throwing them into the back of a truck.  Again, no judgement, just perhaps not something that you'd really want to encourage.  Kinda really glad that the times have changed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Because It's Tuesday - week of August 28

Longer ago than I care to really admit, I loved a little combo called Archers of Loaf.  To this day, if I'm feeling grumpy or sad, all I have to do is listen to "Web In Front" and I'm instantly in a good mood.

I totally love that about music.

So, today is Tuesday, and that means I'm sharing a cover with you, gorgeous reader.

Today it's another Queen cover (what is it about these songs that makes them so awesome to cover).  The original was a duet with Freddie and Mr Bowie.  I remember in high school, studying for exams and hearing "Under Pressure" come on the radio and it helped break the tension.  Funny how much pressure we put on ourselves back then.  Anyway, what does any of this have to do with Archers of Loaf?  Well a super talented dude named Eric Bachmann formed Crooked Fingers after his previous band, Archers of Loaf, broke up.

Crooked Fingers recorded a perfectly awesome cover the Queen / David Bowie classic, Under Pressure.  Today, I'm sharing it with you and you can let me know if you agree (or not) with my perfectly awesome rating.  Apologies in advance, this is just audio... anyway, please enjoy kiddies xo

Friday, August 24, 2018

Not Guilty, Just Pleasure - Hot Burrito #1

For those of you who read my posts regularly, it should come as no surprise at all that I'm a fan of the late, great Gram Parsons.  I often ponder about what we missed out on by losing him at such a young age.  Thankfully, he left us a lot of really wonderful stuff and his music continues to find new audiences because of it's timeless quality.

One of my favourite songs (not just of his but in general) is Hot Burrito #1.  I love covers of it, it's a hauntingly beautiful song and one I can listen to on repeat, over and over and over again.

Coincidentally, I also really love burritos and if there is extra guacamole around, well, I'm a really happy kid.

So for this week's "not guilty, just pleasure" song, I am delighted to share with you the Flying Burrito Brothers and a really fun television performance of Hot Burrito #1.  Put on your cool shades, grab a burrito and enjoy xo

Thursday, August 23, 2018

CanCon Thursday - It's called a cavestomp, Babe!

It's Thursday, already. 

No idea how it got to be Thursday again already but it is.  They say that time flies when  you're having fun.  I must be having a blast this week.

Speaking of having a blast, do you like fun? Do you like awesome surf punk / instro music? Do you like to dance? Do you like super sophisticated underwater visual effects?  Of course you do, yes yes yes to all of my questions.

For CanCon Thursday, I'm going to share with you some local music.  You can't not at the very least smile and tap your toe when listening to this, I promise you. And turn it up, it's really good when it's really loud.  Dance around your home or office (or wherever you're reading this right now), wear a jump suit, or your birthday suit (best to do that if you're at home probably).

And because my time is flying this week, without further adieu I share with you Kingston's very own The Huaraches and their awesome tune "It's called a cavestomp, Babe!"

Enjoy xo

And while you're at it, buy some music, it's a good thing to do, and you'll feel better about yourself!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Way Back Wednesday - Chain of Fools

It's a bit hard to imagine that the Queen of Soul has left us.

Her beautiful, powerful, amazing voice, silenced.

Far more eloquent folks have written volumes about her life, career and legacy since she passed away last week.  I'll just say that I love her music and how she inspired so many women to sing.  I'm so grateful that we still have all of those wonderful recordings to enjoy.

Thank you Queen.  You'll be so missed.

For Way Back Wednesday, I'm going to share a little bit of Ms Aretha Franklin, performing "Chain of Fools" in 1968.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Because It's Tuesday - Week of August 21

Well I know that in general the older I get, the faster time seems to fly.  That is particularly noticeable at the end of a vacation.  I guess it was a staycation really.  I took 12 days off and it was quite nice.  Saw lots of folks, had a lot of down time, just recharged my batteries really.

Of course, the end of vacation means the ice cold water bucket of reality was dumped over my head yesterday morning and I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing.

Because of that, I'm feeling a bit pressed for time.  For our cover (because it is Tuesday after all) I'm sharing a Cat Stevens composition (popularized by the Tremeloes).  I hope you enjoy Yo La Tengo's wonderfully toe tappingly good version of "Here Comes My Baby" xo

Friday, August 17, 2018

Not Guilty, Just Pleasure - Impossible Germany

I don't think I talk about Wilco enough.

Honestly, I don't think you can talk to Wilco too much, or listen to them too much either for that matter.

I always have some Wilco in almost all of my playlists (not CanCon ones though, obvs).  One of the things I respect about them is that they are constantly evolving, they change things up with each new release and don't sit on their laurels.

When I was younger, I did not understand or appreciate long songs.  They seemed like a waste of time to me, and any long solos in the middle seemed self-indulgent, masturbatory actually.  Sometime in the 1990's, my opinion on that changed.  Thank goodness it did or I likely would not have given the song I'm sharing with you a second listen.

"Impossible Germany," from the Sky Blue Sky album is one of my favourite songs, not just of Wilco's, but in general.  It's brilliant and this particular performance of it (live on KCRW) is fantastic.  Watching Nels play will give you goosebumps, it does me, every time.

Sit back and be ready for today's not guilty, just pleasure tune... I think it's impossible to not love it, hope you agree xo

Thursday, August 16, 2018

CanCon Thursday - From The Night

Let's be young
Let's pretend that we never will die
Let's imagine that no one is lost it's not easy but we got to try

Three years ago today, Mark died.

Three years.

Grief and loss are funny things and they affect people in a million different ways.

For me, the first year, I think I functioned on auto-pilot.  There were important things I needed to do, sell my house and move were at the top of that list.  You go through the motions and folks are very supportive as you navigate all of those "firsts." First Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first Mardi Gras (his favourite holiday), first birthdays, and finally, marking the end of the first year since they left you.

What no one talks about it is how difficult the second year is.  It was gut-wrenchingly difficult for me.  The reality starts to truly set in that the person is gone.  I had never experienced pain and anguish like I did that second year.  It was absolutely awful.

Year three, as it happened, got a bit easier.  In fact, had I not had to deal with the death of my Sam in the middle of year three, I would have said it was a good one.  Overall, I had more good days than bad, I no longer cry every day (year two, I had a cry, sometimes just for a moment, sometimes a big fat ugly one, daily).  I still get upset by certain
things, ambulances with their sirens on while I'm in traffic, I'm still no good in large crowds of people and it seems to take me forever to read a book but, overall, things are good.

Took a while to figure out what I was doing and where I was going after Mark died.  Losing your partner, the person who you had it all figured out with, especially suddenly like I did, really knocks you down.  I like where I'm going right now.  My job is great, I work with a wonderful team of folks, my boss is insanely supportive and encouraging.  My friends are terrific and my family continue to be just huge rock stars in my life.  They love and support me unconditionally and I would be lost without them.

On August 16, 2015, as I walked in the house, alone for the first time, I could not have imagined where I would be three years later.  At that moment, imaging three hours later was almost impossible.  I say all of the time, that you never ever get over a loss like mine but you can get through it.  I'm living proof that this is true.

So, today is CanCon Thursday and I'm going to share a song today that I've shared here before (a while ago) because there isn't one thing that I don't love about it and the video is terrific (reminds me of our many trips to Montreal, wandering the streets after a concert, looking for a spot where Mark could smoke a sneaky joint while we walked) and it's just a perfect pop song.  Thank you Stars, for "From the Night."  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and remember, hug your loved ones, tell them how you feel about them, all the fucking time.  You never ever know what might happen when you least expect it.  xo

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Way Back Wednesday - Heart

Today would have been my sweet Sammy's 11th birthday.  As you know, I lost him to cancer in November and I must admit that I miss him every day.  He was a bit of a jerk at times but he was almost never a jerk to me, and he was MY jerk.  That white, furry, ball of smiles and goofiness could take me out of a bad / sad mood instantly.

Sam, an American Eskimo Dog
In honour of Sam's birthday, I'm sharing an old favourite song of mine.  I love the Pet Shop Boys (and interestingly enough, Sam was rehomed to us by people who purchased him in a Pet Shop - you can no longer buy pets in stores in Kingston - thank goodness).  I love this song and the video.  Say what you will about the music of the Pet Shop Boys (and I get that it's not everyone's cup of tea), they give GOOD video. The video for this song is gorgeous and stars Ian McKellen (SIR IAN FUCKING MCKELLEN!!).

The song held the number 1 spot in the UK charts for 3 weeks in the spring of 1988.  30 years ago, how are all of these songs that old? It sounds like something that could be on the UK charts this year, timeless.

I hope you enjoy this Way Back Wednesday video, it's Heart by the fantastic Pet Shop Boys. xo

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Because It's Tuesday - Week of August 14

I'm presently enjoying week two of my annual summer staycation.  I had a day trip to Ottawa last week with my family, spent some time with a variety of very wonderful and special friends and have had some truly wonderful and restorative naps during the first week and a bit of my holidays.

This week, I'm doing more of the same, day trips, coffees and lunches with friends, hanging out with my good girl Gracie, staying cool and eating freezee pops.

As I usually do on Tuesdays, I'm sharing a fun cover with you.  Panic! At the Disco's version of Queens classic "Bohemian Rhapsody."  Long before Wayne's World, this was always the ultimate sing along in the car song (well, this and possibly Alice Cooper's School's Out - just based on me and my friends in high school).  Thank goodness for Freddie Mercury.  He left us such a wonderful legacy of super fun songs and it's always nice to see/hear other artists try their hand at them.

So, for your listening and viewing pleasure, today I leave with you Bo Rap by Panic! At the Disco.  Enjoy xo

Friday, August 10, 2018

Not Guilty, Just Pleasure - How We Met, the Long Version

Is it a science lesson?

Is it a love song??

Does it matter? Simply, it's awesome.

Oh Jens, you clever fellow.  I know I've shared the music of Jens here before and I suspect that I shall continue to do so.

His 2017 album, "Life Will See You Now" is in my regular rotation of records I can't stop listening to.  It seems like each week, I get fixated on a different song.  For a while it was "to know your mission" and then "hotwire the ferris wheel" but recently it's been his evolutionary love song, "How We Met, the Long Version."

Nothing became something
Turned itself inside out
Subatomic particles became atoms, became stars, became galaxies
The earth's crust became solidified
The planets became perfectly aligned
Jupiter blinked with its little red ey

It's just super catchy, incredibly cute and of course super smart, just like Jens.  Enjoy xo

Thursday, August 09, 2018

CanCon Thursday - Good Mother

This week, CanCon Thursday is also my mother's birthday.

It's a big one this year and I hope doesn't mind me wishing her a very Happy 75th Birthday.  She doesn't look anywhere near 75, good genes and clean living I think! She's an amazing person and I wouldn't be half the woman I am today without her constant support and love.  It's a great thing in this crazy world, to know that you have someone who loves you unconditionally and will always have your back.  I know that not everyone is lucky as I have been.  Literally won the great parents lottery when I was born!

In honour of mum's birthday, I'm sharing Jann Arden's beautiful tribute to her parents, "Good Mother."  I hope you enjoy it.  If she's still in your life, call you mum today or, even better, give her a hug.  Lucky kids know that no one will ever love them like she does xo

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Way Back Wednesday - This Is The Day

The The.

I really should listen to The The more often than I do.  I spent countless hours listening to The The back in the 80's and early 90's.

I'm on a bit of a staycation this week so I'll keep this brief.

Recently I read that Matt Johnson (who basically is The The) was putting a new band together and was planning for new stuff to be released in 2018.  I sure hope that happens because I think he's terrific.

Enjoy this oldie but a goodie from1984 (1984!!!) kiddies xo

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Because It's Tuesday - Week of August 7

So yesterday would have been my 9th wedding anniversary which means it was 19 years ago yesterday that I met Mark. We got hitched up in our back yard, 10 years after we met (I wore a dress but changed into the pictured t-shirt after the ceremony, he did get married in the "groom" shirt - we both wore flip flops - it was a casual affair).

Unlike the past couple of years, I wasn't totally crippled by grief yesterday.  On years one and two after his death, I spent the biggest chunk of the summer just dreading August.  That hasn't happened this year.  I did have a little sad moment in the afternoon, thinking about our wedding and what a crazy, fun day we had, what a great party it was.  The dark cloud passed though, and I'm glad that I seem to be at a place now where I can get through those milestone days and not be a complete wreck.  Being able to remember the good without getting mired down in the bad feels weird but good.  That's progress friends. 

A couple of weeks after I met Mark, I went to visit him in Toronto.  He took me to the Fred Eaglesmith picnic that weekend.  I had a fantastic time, we hung out with his wonderful old friends Kim and Karen Deschamps.  It was a perfect summer day... we saw Fred and Oh Susannah and Washboard Hank's kid show...  Fred was just one of the many artists we shared an admiration for when we met.  We often had his albums (taped onto cassette for the stereo in his ancient Toyota Tercel he affectionately called Baby). Wilder than Her was a song that always resonated with us because, really, he was wilder than I was at the time. He was 15 years older than me and had lived a bit of a crazy life in a big city.  I was a small town girl and at that point, the craziest thing I'd probably done was hook up with him.

Anyway, as it's Tuesday, I'm sharing a cover and it's a Fred song.  I know that Dar Williams did a lot better than Fred ever did with this song and while I think it's a very nice version (and many folks prefer it), I actually love Fred's version.  So, in honour of my anniversary, I'm sharing a lovely cover of "Wilder Than Her," enjoy xo

Friday, August 03, 2018

Not Guilty, Just Pleasure - Across the Multiverse

Lost in another dimension
How did I grab your attention
Through an empty void?
You crashed into me like an asteroid

So says Dent May.

I recently, very happily, discovered Dent May.  He's a bit quirky and probably not everyone's idea of fun but I enjoy his music, very much.

I think I found him because I'd been listening to a lot of Jens Lekman and You Tube thought to say, "Hey Peggy, do you know about Dent? You like Jens and Benji Hughes, check him out too!"

So check him out I did.

I think the first song I listened to was "Face Down In The Gutter of Your Love."  I was smitten, instantly.  I have no idea who is he, I think he's American.  I normally like to read up on folks I'm into but with this guy, it didn't matter, it was all about the music.

Today, I'm sharing "Across the Multiverse" with you.  It should not be confused with "Across the Universe" (although I deeply love both songs).  Seriously,  I would like to share a whole bunch of clips of Dent May here today but I'm going to stick to one, this one.  I hope you enjoy it just 1/5 as much I do because that would be a lot and it should put a smile on your face for the rest of the day.

Happy long weekend kittens xo

Thursday, August 02, 2018

CanCon Thursday - 500 Up

Can you remember the early 90's?

Didn't we all have a lot of fun? Canadian music was amazing and it seemed like cool Canadian bands were touring constantly, often ending up in sleepy little Kingston.

Sloan is one of those bands.  For over 25 years now they have been touring the country, making great music and being generally cool, nice dudes.  Back in the early 1990's, I think most of us had a copy of Smeared, their 1992 release, in our record collections.  One of the singles from that album was "500 Up."

For CanCon Thursday, I'm sharing the video for "500 Up" with you today.  It's a cute video, the boys look so young in it.  My favourite part is right at the end when the camera lands on their feet, reminds me of "My Three Sons" (google it if I you have no idea what I'm talking about, if you know what I'm talking about, congratulations, you are old just like me).

Don't get me wrong, Canadian music is still amazing and cool Canadian bands still visit Kingston on a regular basis but the early and mid 1990's... well that was a special time, for me anyway and, I suspect, for many of you Canadian indie pop/rock nerds.

So, enjoy some Sloan with your morning coffee kiddies xo

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Way Back Wednesday - Private Idaho

Some bands are just classics from the get-go.

Not many but some.

B-52's are in that camp. 

They have a timeless quality, nothing about them seems dated and the songs are solid that they hold up no matter how old they are.

Today I'm sharing "Private Idaho" with you.  It's from their 1980 album Wild Planet.  I dare you to try to not dance around your room while you're listening to this.  Impossible.  Cannot be done!!

Happy Wednesday kiddies xo