The Eve of the War

I am not a fan of Hallowe’en music. There, I said it. The day itself, I could take or leave, though I’ve had some fun over the years at a handful of costume parties, and enjoy seeing little ones in their cute costumes coming to the door for candy.  Maybe some of my ambivalence isContinue reading “The Eve of the War”

Coming to Get You Nowhere

The British band This Is the Kit is one I’ve heard from quite a lot on my favourite radio stations, BBC 6 Music and KEXP Seattle. Most of the BBC’s presenters have been playing their songs, and Guy Garvey is no exception: today’s selection aired on Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour this past weekend, as partContinue reading “Coming to Get You Nowhere”

Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It

Back on March 26, around the start of this whole lockdown life we’ve been stumbling through all these months, and all the while with the faint hope that tomorrow everything will be okay, I heard today’s selection, by the Montréal, Canada band, Stars. DJ John Richards played the track on The Morning Show with JohnContinue reading “Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It”

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Today I did another “thing” on the bike. Not a long distance outdoors, like the 100 kilometres (60 miles) I cycled on September 18, but inside, on the trainer. I rode one of the most challenging climbs on the smart trainer platform, Zwift, the Alpe du Zwift, a virtual course designed through GPS data toContinue reading “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

Wintergreen

Today there’s been light, off-and-on snowfall and some blustery winds. A good day to hang about indoors and maybe do a virtual bike ride on the trainer. Instead, after the usual morning routines dictated by Perry Como the cat, then a Zoom meditation and a meeting, then lunch, I had a snooze while my sweetyContinue reading “Wintergreen”

Don’t Dream It’s Over

Don’t you dare dream it’s over. Because it’s not. In Manitoba, we were once the envy of our country, and maybe even the world as we flattened — no, stomped — our curve to keep COVID-19 infections around 300 in total through the whole first wave of the pandemic. Maybe that told a lot ofContinue reading “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

Flight from the City

In case you’re following here and wondering… no, today’s post isn’t a continuation of the holiday theme I mentioned yesterday. Browsing the Deutsche Grammophon record label’s YouTube channel this morning, I came across a lovely piano and string ensemble piece. “Flight from the City” is the opening track from Orphée, the tenth and final solo album byContinue reading “Flight from the City”

Holiday

Holiday, anyone? “If we took a holidayTook some time to celebrateCome on, let’s celebrateJust one day out of lifeHolidayIt would be, it would be so nice You can turn this world aroundAnd bring back all of those happy daysPut your troubles downIt’s time to celebrate” (from “Holiday,” by Lisa Stevens, Curtis Hudson) If there wasContinue reading “Holiday”

Friday

Happy Friday! Do you remember Show and Tell at school? I was always looking for cool things to bring to school to share. Not sure I ever came up with that many, or at least really good ones. Today’s selection takes that ritual to a new level. “Friday” is a song by the New YorkContinue reading “Friday”

Worlds Away

Many have said that after the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the 1980s were a wasteland for music. I beg to differ. The emergence of post-punk, new wave, new romantic, synthpop and other genres, combined with other major genres like folk, progressive rock, heavy metal, arena rock and others, led to many different sounds for modernContinue reading “Worlds Away”

Into the Mystic

Today I received an opt-in text notification that the flu vaccine had finally arrived at a nearby drug store. Being the responsible folks we are, both over 60, wanting to protect any vulnerable folks we might come into contact with (as limited as it seems that will be for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19,Continue reading “Into the Mystic”

Keep on Running

Today I learned that Spencer Davis (born Spencer David Nelson Davies) died yesterday at age 81. Davis formed the Spencer Davis Group in 1963 and at that time discovered the 14-year-old Steve Winwood, who left the band in 1967 to start the band Traffic. Davis was also instrumental in the career of Christine Perfect (whoContinue reading “Keep on Running”

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

Serendipity is such a cool part of life. And I find, the more I am open to recognizing it, the more it happens.  This morning I was feeling drained, and ready to have a slow day. The online retreat I attended this past weekend was intense, and more than 12 hours spent on Zoom madeContinue reading “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”

Symphony No.8 in B Minor, D.759 – “Unfinished,” I: Allegro Moderato

Symphony No. 8 by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) is known as the “Unfinished Symphony.” He completed the first two movements, but a third was left to sit as a work-in-progress for six years until he died at age 31. Despite his short life, the Austrian composer wrote seven full symphonies, over 600 vocal works, plus operas,Continue reading “Symphony No.8 in B Minor, D.759 – “Unfinished,” I: Allegro Moderato”

Father and Son

Back before the pandemic lockdown, before all the changes thrust upon us from the outside, and before all those changes we perhaps sought in ourselves, maybe often in solitude (or to be more blunt, in straight-on loneliness), I shared a post about the song, “Where Do the Children Play,” by Yusuf / Cat Stevens. TodayContinue reading “Father and Son”

Just Breathe

Happy Friday, friends! This morning I’ve been catching up on past episodes of Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on the BBC Sounds app, as they’ve been collecting on the e-pile. In one sense, I suppose it’s a good thing he returned to two hours from his pandemically-induced three-hour slot (partially filling in Amy Lamé’s time); however,Continue reading “Just Breathe”

Hot Thoughts

Spoon (not to be confused with the Canadian 80s avant-garde band Spoons) is another band I know very little about, though I believe the Austin, Texas group, formed in 1993, has a big following in the indie-rock world. I heard the song “Hot Thoughts” a while after the band released it on the album ofContinue reading “Hot Thoughts”

How Shall I See You Through My Tears

Many years ago, Sweety and I watched the IFC Films release Camp (2003), written and directed by American Todd Graff. It is a comedy-drama-musical about teenagers attending a summer performing arts camp in New York state, USA. The film features actor Anna Kendrick in her first movie role (among other parts, she’s starred with GeorgeContinue reading “How Shall I See You Through My Tears”

The Sunshine

I definitely would have first heard the band Manchester Orchestra on KEXP Seattle. The sound of the the indie-rock foursome from Atlanta, Georgia, USA is a natural fit for the broadcaster. The public radio station, affiliated with the University of Washington, held its annual fall fundraiser last week, raising over 1.1 million USD in justContinue reading “The Sunshine”

Autumn Leaves

Autumn leaves. As autumn begins. My sweety loves to create a family dinner. Over the years, we’ve had the good fortune to share our Thanksgiving dinner table with our own and other families, sometimes folks who had no relatives here to be with, or were experiencing severe challenges, or came to be with us forContinue reading “Autumn Leaves”

Piano Concerto No.2 In C Minor, Op.18, II: Adagio Sostenuto

The Russian composer, pianist and conductor Sergey Rachmaninov (also written as Sergei Rachmaninoff, 1873-1943) is one of my favourite composers of the classical Romantic era. After mentioning in my post from yesterday that it was World Mental Health Day, it seems fitting to feature Rachmaninov today. As some know, he descended into depression illness forContinue reading “Piano Concerto No.2 In C Minor, Op.18, II: Adagio Sostenuto”

Love Right (prelude)

The American musician, composer, producer, educator, blogger, author, activist and all-around awesome human, Noah Baerman, made a brief appearance on this blog once before when I bought one of his recommendations on one of those days when Bandcamp was waiving fees, forwarding 100% of payments to the artists. That recommendation and purchase inspired the postContinue reading “Love Right (prelude)”

Quiet Life

Happy Friday! Well, I’m not going to point you to the barn-dance kind of venue where the video for last night’s post on Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” takes place, but I hope this song inspires you to get up, move around and celebrate life. Even a “quiet life.” Japan is a band I told youContinue reading “Quiet Life”

Harvest Moon

How is your week going? Has it been a “long week”? Have they all been lately? It’s not Friday yet, but that’s tomorrow, so if that is part of your workweek schedule, then great. If not, well, hopefully, today’s selection will help anyway. There’s so much going on in our world. It affects us directly,Continue reading “Harvest Moon”

I Can See Cleary Now

American singer-songwriter Johnny Nash, who died yesterday at age 80, was one of the first artists to bring reggae music to the United States as I learned today, reading a CBC.ca article about his death. He was famous for today’s selection, the 1972 hit “I Can See Clearly Now.” I don’t know much about Nash, but everyContinue reading “I Can See Cleary Now”

Hello It’s Me

Todd Rundgren is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer who has been active since the mid-1960s. He has played as a solo artist and a member of Utopia. I’ve never known much about him or followed him, but I remember that my first girlfriend was into his music and spoke as if there wasContinue reading “Hello It’s Me”

Love Theme

Today, I’m sharing an old favourite from the electronic music genre, “Love Theme,” from Ridley Scott’s 1982 film, Blade Runner. Spoiler alert: in this post I reveal some of the ending of the film so if you haven’t seen it yet, you may not want to read on! The movie depicts Los Angeles in 2019,Continue reading “Love Theme”

Symphony No. 6, the “Pastoral”

Cruising around YouTube today, I had a pleasant discovery in finding a recent reinterpretation of the Sixth Symphony, the “Pastoral,” by Ludwig van Beethoven. “A ‘Pastoral’ for the pandemic” is shortened at 21:44 (versus anywhere from 42 to 50 minutes, depending on the conductor and orchestra). A much smaller orchestra plays the piece and isContinue reading “Symphony No. 6, the “Pastoral””

True Colors

On March 22, 2020, London, England a capella, jazz, and pop vocal group Camden Voices posted a YouTube video that now has 1.8 million views. It’s the ensemble singing Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” remotely, in self-isolation at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown. “True Colors” is a beautiful song of encouragement and hope — aContinue reading “True Colors”

I Am Woman

The Australian-American singer/songwriter, actor and activist Helen Reddy strode, with a modest but confident air about her, solidly into musical stardom in 1972 with her massive hit, “I Am Woman.” I was only 12 at the time, and I suppose a slightly immature or insulated 12 or, at least, lacking a deep understanding of theContinue reading “I Am Woman”

MLK/Pride (In the Name of Love)

My philosophy on anything the British musician, visual artist, sound designer, music producer, theorist and activist Brian Eno puts his name to is simply, “buy it.” That practice has never failed me since first picking up one of Eno’s albums at the behest of one of my brothers in 1976 (as I’ve mentioned before here,Continue reading “MLK/Pride (In the Name of Love)”

Cool Change

Little River Band is a group that I have enjoyed listening to since I first heard their music on the radio in the late 1970s. In addition to today’s selection, some other hits by the band include “Help Is on Its Way” (released in 1977), Reminiscing” (1978), “Lady” (also 1978, another song I like aContinue reading “Cool Change”

I Want To Come Over

Melissa Etheridge’s song “I Want To Come Over” is one of those goosebumps songs for me. Its rocking beat, wailing guitars, and the simmering desperation in Etheridge’s voice in the chorus make it a fantastic piece of music.  It is a ballad, with Etheridge singing about deepest yearning and longing — feelings that can tormentContinue reading “I Want To Come Over”

Lovers in Japan

Coldplay’s second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, came out in 2002. I bought it quite a few years after its release, when I became quite interested in the band after hearing the track, “The Scientist,” among others, but don’t recall exactly when that was.  Then I bought their first album, Parachutes (2000)Continue reading “Lovers in Japan”

Concerto For Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in F Minor, Op.21, II: Larghetto

Many have probably heard piano works by Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849, born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin), without even knowing the music is by him. For example, the opening chords of the third movement of his Piano Sonata No. 2, known as the “Funeral March,” are often used as music to create a senseContinue reading “Concerto For Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in F Minor, Op.21, II: Larghetto”

Can’t Find My Way Home

Blind Faith was a British supergroup featuring Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton, and it was active in 1969 after the breakups of their two respective bands, Traffic and Cream. Blind Faith was together for only one record and tour. On September 13, when I was working on my post about Vivaldi’s “Summer” concerto from TheContinue reading “Can’t Find My Way Home”

European

Happy Friday… let’s listen to some music! I probably first heard Lydia Loveless played on KEXP Seattle. I bought her third album, Real, in November 2017, just over a year after it was released. My two favourite songs from the album are “Heaven” (not to be confused with a song of the same title byContinue reading “European”

Lay, Lady, Lay

Okay, just one more summertime song memory… In my post on Mazzy Star’s “Fade into You,” a song I feel has a definite Bob Dylan vibe to it, I promised to share a summer memory associated with one of Dylan’s tunes. A song can be memorable because of its meaning, or how the lyrics relateContinue reading “Lay, Lady, Lay”

Grace

It feels like it’s time for another piece of ambient music. Yesterday, on the first official day of autumn, Sweety and I drove to the beach and spent all afternoon and early evening there. Strangely, more insects were chomping on us than any time this summer, but I suppose they were just stocking up. WeContinue reading “Grace”

Lara’s Theme

James Last (1929-2015) was another fixture in my childhood home. Last, who led the James Last Band and James Last Orchestra and worked up until the year of his death, was a favourite of my late father. Dad died in January 2001 and there were many times over the years when wished I could callContinue reading “Lara’s Theme”

Summer 2

Gratitude. For life. For love. For everything. Yes, everything. I learned about three years ago, through Jeffrey Duvall, a beautiful, soulful, kind and generous spiritual guide and very dear friend I’ve known since 2008, of the immutable connection between grief and gratitude. And, how receiving all the sorrowful experiences of our lives helps us to moveContinue reading “Summer 2”

Symphony No. 9, II: Largo

I’ve always thought when listening to the 9th symphony by Czech composer Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904), that the second movement, the largo, is so understated and unique that it almost doesn’t belong with the rest of the work.  The movement starts so simply, peacefully, and as one online reviewer comments, it says so much with soContinue reading “Symphony No. 9, II: Largo”

In a Manner of Speaking

Sweety and I have a friend we met through another, longtime friend, but have only seen a handful of times over the years. We have connected on social media and come to know her better in the past year or so, much of this through the pandemic where online conversation was one of the fewContinue reading “In a Manner of Speaking”

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Okay, so we’re stuck in the 80s for another day… call it a distraction from the challenge I’ve told you about, with me not wanting to let go of summer. It’s real, folks, I tell ya… Anyway, today’s selection reminds me of summer. The most powerful memory I have of hearing Tears for Fears wasContinue reading “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”

I Melt with You

Do you ever notice how, when you start your day off with an upbeat song, it has an influence on your mood for the rest of the day?  I think music can have that power, though I wouldn’t claim it will cure all ills. But I believe it does make a difference. Maybe that’s whyContinue reading “I Melt with You”

Taking Tiger Mountain

Today I was thinking of posting an ambient piece — something to chill out on. You see, last night, I was not feeling tired at all, and so I stayed up to watch two episodes of a new series I found on Netflix, Away, about a NASA mission to Mars. I enjoy a quality scienceContinue reading “Taking Tiger Mountain”

Nobody Knows

Today, I’m sharing an exhilarating piece I heard for the first time this morning. As followers of this blog know, I gain a lot of my new-to-me music through Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC 6 Music, where the host and lead singer of the British band Elbow shares his musical taste, history bits byContinue reading “Nobody Knows”

Violin Concerto No. 2, “Summer”

Antonio Vivaldi composed his best-known works, four violin concerti that form The Four Seasons, around 1716 or 1717. They were the first four concerti of 12 in his Opus number 8, Cimento dell’ Armonia e dell’ Inventione (The Contest Between Harmony and Invention).  Each concerto of the four is written in three movements, and the soundsContinue reading “Violin Concerto No. 2, “Summer””

Listening Wind

Today I was thinking of the 1980 album by Talking Heads, Remain in Light. In my opinion, it’s their best and most inspired work. A visit to the vinyl collection in the basement and a look at the album and liner notes reminded me that Brian Eno, David Byrne and Talking Heads co-wrote the album’sContinue reading “Listening Wind”