Speed of the Sound of Loneliness

One night around 20 years ago, after I came home late from work, my sweety greeted me, saying, “Come here… you’d GOT to hear this song!” She’d videotaped a musical performance on a late-night TV talk show and it would the first time I would ever hear Nanci Griffith. The memory is a bit foggy,Continue reading “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness”

Girl from the North Country

Yesterday, I was browsing around YouTube looking for an official video or audio for a Johnny Cash song from his American IV: The Man Comes Around album when I came upon a duet he did with Bob Dylan on Dylan’s song, “Girl from the North Country Fair.” Like Zucchero and Paul Young singing “Senza unaContinue reading “Girl from the North Country”

On My Way Back Home

(Warning: lyrics contain a cuss word.) Today’s song, by the American indie rock group, Band of Horses, is on my biggest iTunes playlist, “Bday party playlist.” I set it up many years ago to play during parties, and it’s my go-to when I want a somewhat random set of music on “shuffle” at home orContinue reading “On My Way Back Home”

Mirrorball

Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! Aside from the oppressive commercialization of the occasion, I hope you are feeling loved today, whether it’s romantic, simple companionship or the just knowing you’re supported by friends.  I shared the story for today’s song, “Mirrorball,” back when I featured another Elbow song on January 18, 2020 (“This Blue World”), soContinue reading “Mirrorball”

Touched by the Sun

The haul of CDs I scored from Columbia House (please see my February 4, 2020 post on “Jimmy Mo Mhíle Stór”), many ye ars ago, included Carly Simon’s Letters Never Sent. I remember Simon’s early hit, “Anticipation”(1971), which was used by Heinz for a commercial demonstrating how slowly their ketchup poured because it was soContinue reading “Touched by the Sun”

Senza una Donna

I first heard Paul Young in 1985 when his song “I Was In Chains” from the album The Secret of Association was being played on CBC FM’s late-night radio; I think it was Night Lines, though it could have been Brave New Waves that year. I think it’s probably on one of those cassettes IContinue reading “Senza una Donna”

This Guy’s in Love with You

Okay, so technically this is a repeat artist — and really, that would have to happen at some point; I only have so many records, CDs, and MP3s. Herb Alpert and His Tijuana Brass appeared here on January 17, 2020 (“A Taste of Honey”) as an instrumental act, but today he’s the singer on aContinue reading “This Guy’s in Love with You”

Everything_Now (continued) / Everything Now

One of our boys introduced me to Arcade Fire when, on a visit here, he bought their first full-length album, Funeral, not long after it was released, and played it at our home. (They named the album in recognition of the fact several band members had deaths in their families around the time it wasContinue reading “Everything_Now (continued) / Everything Now”

Factory

Hearing this song reminds me of riding home in the car on a mini road trip when one of our boys drove my sweety and me to an extended family dinner outside Winnipeg. While I like driving, I enjoyed being in the back seat that night after a long walk in the afternoon and thenContinue reading “Factory”

Age of Steam

From 1979 to 1999 (with a few years out of the paid workforce to stay at home full-time caring for my sons from 1993 to 1996), I worked at a railway. I was mostly in office work, then management, but in the late 90s when I returned, administrative positions were disappearing to cutbacks, and IContinue reading “Age of Steam”

Under a Stormy Sky

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, long trips to cottage country in northwestern Ontario meant some CDs and some radio, but FM stations didn’t reach too well in rural areas, so it was often AM radio. Near noon on Saturday meant CBC’s Quirks and Quarks (with Jay Ingram) and Basic Black (with the lateContinue reading “Under a Stormy Sky”

Sunshine on Leith

If you’re from or have lived in Manitoba, Canada, you’ll know about the local phenomenon, “the social” (when I was very young, it was called a “social evening”). It’s a big sort of party, usually in a hall or community centre, with a music person playing unbearably loud music well beyond the negligible acoustical accommodationsContinue reading “Sunshine on Leith”

Little Hell

When one of our sons started getting interested in bands, I would take him out to shows he wanted to see. We once went to Winnipeg’s Garrick Event Centre (a former movie theatre I used to go to as a teenager) to see this new act, called City and Colour… it must have been aroundContinue reading “Little Hell”

Jimmy Mo Mhíle Stór

When my sweety and I started our relationship, money was often tight. To continue satiating my appetite for new music, I joined one of those eight-ten-or-twelve-CDs-for-one-cent clubs. I only stuck around long enough to make the minimum commitment of purchases. (Two such clubs, Columbia House and BMG, merged in 2005 but filed for bankruptcy inContinue reading “Jimmy Mo Mhíle Stór”

Deadlines

(Warning: video contains a cuss word.) I don’t know much about the Hamilton, Canada band, Arkells, but I purchased the song “Deadlines” from their debut album, Jackson Street in 2008, the year it was released.  A few years later, in a job where my days often felt like they were awash in unmeetable deadlines, I’dContinue reading “Deadlines”

I’m Gonna Be Strong

Cyndi Lauper broke out onto the popular music scene with her colourful, audacious and whimsical style in 1983. I remember spinning her She’s So Unusual long-play record often and have enjoyed her music since then. She became big when music videos were still a relatively new thing, but each one was well crafted, and sometimesContinue reading “I’m Gonna Be Strong”

Chasing Cars

The night before my marriage to Sweety in July 2009, I was listening to songs over the computer speakers. I was listening to music I thought would nudge my inspiration to write the words she’d read in a card the afternoon before our ceremony: what I was feeling about our life together going into theContinue reading “Chasing Cars”

Drive

A friend, with whom I’ve connected, disconnected and reconnected several times over our 42-or-so years of knowing each other, introduced me to R.E.M. when they were becoming big in North America, particularly on college radio, when we reconnected around 1981-82. He was in community college at the time, and I was working an office jobContinue reading “Drive”

Don’t Delete the Kisses

Whenever sweety and I have gone to the United Kingdom, part of my routine has been to scout out plays, musicals and concerts in London. We’ve been lucky to see some pretty terrific performances over the years. On our last trip there three years ago, I noticed that the North London foursome Wolf Alice wasContinue reading “Don’t Delete the Kisses”

Going Home (Theme of the Local Hero)

Trigger warning: this post contains discussion of suicide. A half-dozen friends and I went to see the movie, Local Hero in 1983. They all hated it. I loved it. All the characters had such magnificent and unique personalities and the story was wonderful, playful and touching. I won’t give it away if you haven’t seenContinue reading “Going Home (Theme of the Local Hero)”

The Law and the Lonesome

I first met up with and heard Canadian troubadour and national treasure Corin Raymond when one of our sons (Kieran West and His Buffalo Band; watch for them and other KW music projects on these pages) opened for Raymond in February 2015 at Winnipeg, Canada’s best honky-tonk, the Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club onContinue reading “The Law and the Lonesome”