Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Op. 23, TH. 55, I: Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso – Allegro con spirito

If you’ve been following along, you’ll recall my post about ten days ago, “Introvert,” a rap song by Little Simz introduced to me by one of our lads. I commented in that post about the symphonic sounds in the track. He and I discussed it a few days later as I was drawn to thoseContinue reading “Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Op. 23, TH. 55, I: Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso – Allegro con spirito”

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

This week, Canadian schools observe Truth and Reconciliation Week, while tomorrow, September 30, our country will pause to mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in our history. The day comes after much introspection and examination of our country’s past and publicity through the year regarding the unmarked graves of thousands of FirstContinue reading “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”

call the police

One of the most beloved songs on my Car Tunes playlist is the American rock band LCD Soundsystem’s dance-punk anthem, “call the police.” Whenever this song comes on the car stereo system, I crank the volume and get lost in band member and co-founder of DFA Records James Murphy’s fantastic drum fills, as well asContinue reading “call the police”

Duel

In many of my previous posts, I’ve shared how I often discover new music through programs like Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC 6 Music, or The Morning Show with John Richards on KEXP Seattle. Back in the 1980s my main sources were FM radio programs on the Canadian Broadcasting Network: Night Lines (Fridays andContinue reading “Duel”

Spiegel im Spiegel

This summer, while I wasn’t blogging, I acted on the advice one of my brothers gave when I told him about my planned break. He suggested I take notes of things and music that resonated with me. He and I share a love for the idea of those happenings in life considered “chance,” which weContinue reading “Spiegel im Spiegel”

Just the Way You Are

A few days ago, I was in the car driving to do a collection of errands including the joyous experience of picking up an ice-cream birthday cake for one of our lads (his favourite dessert, at least at some time, and now a tradition), to share at our first family gathering in a year. IContinue reading “Just the Way You Are”

Gloria, RV 589, I: Gloria in excelsis Deo

Welcome to my first Classical Sunday post since resuming this blog after my summer break. Recently, my sweety and I discovered the TV mockumentary sitcom Modern Family on Netflix. The American series originally ran from 2009 to 2020, but somehow we managed to completely miss it until this summer when a friend recommended the show.Continue reading “Gloria, RV 589, I: Gloria in excelsis Deo”

I’ll Be Seeing You

The other day, I was looking for a “see you in a while” song and found today’s selection. Serendipitously, the first version I came upon was by Rosemary Clooney, whose singing of “Sway” I shared a little over a week ago.  In addition to Clooney’s version, I found renditions of “I’ll Be Seeing You” byContinue reading “I’ll Be Seeing You”

Cups (When I’m Gone) (from the film, Pitch Perfect)

For all the bad press it gets, the Internet can be a magical place. This evening, after four big meetings/gatherings on Zoom through the day, some housework, phone calls, and then dinner in the summer porch made by my sweety, I finally settled down to write today’s post. I was looking through a few songsContinue reading “Cups (When I’m Gone) (from the film, Pitch Perfect)”

Du bist die Ruh, D. 776; Op. 59, No. 3

Winding my way down an Internet rabbit hole this afternoon, I found a beautiful piece by Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828), “Du bist die Ruh” (“You are repose,” or “You are rest and peace”). Schubert wrote music, for solo voice and piano, to four poems by German poet Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866). Today’s selection is theContinue reading “Du bist die Ruh, D. 776; Op. 59, No. 3”

Hard on Things

Tonight my sweety and I will be watching the last in a series of three spring/summer online concerts by Canadian singer-songwriter and dramaturgist Corin Raymond. The show is being produced through Canada’s Home Routes, a non-profit organization established by founders of the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the West End Cultural Centre. Home Routes also presentsContinue reading “Hard on Things”

Sway

Earlier today, after morning routines, chores and a bit of reading, I caught up on another instalment of BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, the May 23, 2021 edition, “Birthday Mentions Galore.” A song that really drew me in played about halfway through the program was “Sway,” sung by American singer and actor RosemaryContinue reading “Sway”

La carnaval des animaux, R. 125, VII: L’aquarium

The French romantic composer, pianist, organist and conductor Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) wrote Le Carnaval des animaux (The Carnival of the Animals) while in a small Austrian village in 1886. The piece has 14 movements, each representing a different animal or animals. The seventh movement, “L’aquarium,” has a mystical, magical sound about it, and listening toContinue reading “La carnaval des animaux, R. 125, VII: L’aquarium”

Calling All Angels

Last night, my sweety and I watched an online conversation between American singer-songwriter, writer, producer, fisher, carpenter and philanthropist Brandi Carlile and Shelley Youngblut, CEO and Creative Ringleader of Wordfest, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on Wordfest’s Imagine On Air series. Wordfest held the event to promote Carlile’s just-released memoir, Broken Horses. We truly enjoyed theContinue reading “Calling All Angels”

Carry On

It has been a while since I’ve sat and listened to an episode of BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour. And I think I might have missed out on finishing one program I had started, as they only remain available on the BBC Sounds app for a month. Come to think of it, IContinue reading “Carry On”

The Thrill Is Gone

I mentioned the other day, I was looking for a blues song, though I ended up posting something entirely different. Today that urge came again, and I thought of an old blues standard made famous by American Blues singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer B.B. King (1925-2015), “The Thrill Is Gone.” Whenever I think ofContinue reading “The Thrill Is Gone”

Destination: Anywhere (from the film, The Commitments)

Happy Friday! Destination: anywhere? These days, it’s more like destination: nowhere. But being at home isn’t so bad now that summer is here. And my oh my, is it ever here. It was only two weeks ago that gardeners in Winnipeg, Canada were covering their plants overnight to protect against frost. Today, the temperature reachedContinue reading “Destination: Anywhere (from the film, The Commitments)”

I’m Going Home

I was horrified and deeply saddened by the news that the remains of 215 Indigenous children of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation had recently been discovered at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. My country, Canada, was built on the oppression of the First Peoples. That oppression extended toContinue reading “I’m Going Home”

In a Big Country

Well, happy Friday, friends! Another week has gone by so quickly… how does that happen when we are still so restricted and isolated? Surely, time should be dragging! My province, Manitoba, continues to be subject to seemingly (or realistically) ever-widening restrictions, and it’s my opinion that this is primarily due to the arrogant, myopic leadershipContinue reading “In a Big Country”

Heaven

I remember one night very clearly, after closing time, at the McDonald’s restaurant where I worked part-time during the mid- to late-1970s. The night-time cleaning crew had arrived; two grown men with long hair and beards, and plenty of attitude and bravado. They would work all night, cleaning the greasy kitchen and all areas ofContinue reading “Heaven”

In Your Eyes

In 1993, Peter Gabriel was touring in support of his 1992 album Us. I’m not sure all the places that his Secret World tour played, but during two nights at the Palasport Nuovo in Modena, Italy, a crew filmed the concerts. The resulting film was Secret World Live, released in 1994 on VHS tape, thenContinue reading “In Your Eyes”

Gather Round the Table

Yesterday morning, I was listening to Colorado Public Radio’s classical music stream. It’s a station often recommended to me by a dear friend who lives there. At one point, CPR Classical host David Ginder played a new piece by American pianist, composer, music scholar and author Bruce Adolphe, titled “Gather Round the Table.” Adolphe setContinue reading “Gather Round the Table”

Yesterday Once More

In one of my previous posts (Herb Alpert’s “This Guy’s in Love with You,” February 11, 2020), I tell a story about Saturday shopping trips with my parents and what felt at the time like an ordeal, following them around women’s clothing stores all day. In that post, I mention that Alpert’s songs remind meContinue reading “Yesterday Once More”

Papa Don’t Take No Mess

I think I need more funk and soul in my life! Last evening while puttering with dinner — one of the few times I’ve made it lately (or rather, reheated it, if I’m honest!) — I was trying to find an online radio station to listen to. I landed on BBC 6 Music, and duringContinue reading “Papa Don’t Take No Mess”

Les Enfants Terribles, VI: Terrible Interlude

That’s quite a title, isn’t it? I promise, the piece is far from terrible… Today, I’m featuring a relatively new release I found today on the Deutsche Grammophon YouTube channel, played by the French piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque. “Terrible Interlude” comes from an 11-part suite for piano duet, Les Enfants Terribles. The workContinue reading “Les Enfants Terribles, VI: Terrible Interlude”

This Is Our Home (8:30 Newfoundland)

Happy Friday! So, the country I live in, Canada, is a vast land that extends from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, to the North Pole and the border with the United States of America. It’s a big country, at 9.9 million square kilometres (3.82 million square miles). We occupy six time zones (Pacific, Mountain,Continue reading “This Is Our Home (8:30 Newfoundland)”

What a Wonderful World

“And I think to myself / What a wonderful world…” (from “What a Wonderful World,” by Bob Thiele [aka George Douglas], George David Weiss) Today’s my birthday. It’s my second pandemic birthday, and while last year I felt a slight tinge of sadness about not gathering with family and friends, this year my feelings ofContinue reading “What a Wonderful World”

Coat of Many Colors

American singer-songwriter, author, actor and philanthropist Dolly Parton has been in the news recently. She donated USD one million for research into COVID-19 vaccines and recently celebrated her vaccination. But true to her style, Parton deferred her own jab until others received it. During her rise to popularity in the 1970s, I remember it wasContinue reading “Coat of Many Colors”

Birds and Stars

In November 2020, I shared with you a song by the American transcendental folk band Elephant Revival. When active, the group based itself in Nederland, Colorado, a beautiful little town I spent time in with some friends in the summer of 2012. My sweety and I have come to know many people in the vicinityContinue reading “Birds and Stars”

Walking on Sunshine

Katrina and the Waves were a British-American band active from 1981 to 1999. The band actually started in 1975 as The Waves, but never recorded any music and morphed into Mama’s Cookin,’ a pop cover band from England which featured American Katrina Leskanich as singer and keyboard player. Some more personnel changes led to theContinue reading “Walking on Sunshine”

Almost Home

Today I was thinking about music by American electronica singer, songwriter, musician, producer, philanthropist and animal rights activist Moby, whose songs I’ve posted before. Cruising around his YouTube page, I found a version of “Almost Home” recorded as a lyric video featuring cats and dogs in the Best Friends Animal Society, a Los Angeles, CaliforniaContinue reading “Almost Home”

The Best Is Yet to Come

Happy Friday! With a title like “The Best Is Yet to Come,” today’s song seems like a good one on which to ride into the weekend. Wikipedia tells me composer Cy Coleman (1929-2004) and lyricist Carolyn Leigh (1926-1983), both of America, wrote it in 1959. They also co-wrote “Bewitched,” another piece sung by American singer,Continue reading “The Best Is Yet to Come”

Wild Is the Wind

Today one of my lads reacted to my Facebook post of Saturday’s blog entry on Nina Simone’s (1933-2003) “Lilac Wine,” from her 1966 album Wild Is the Wind. He commented that yesterday was the late singer’s birthday. I hadn’t noticed the date when looking up information about her. My blog piece on “Lilac Wind” mightContinue reading “Wild Is the Wind”

Lilac Wine

In 1966, American singer, songwriter, musician arranger and civil rights activist Nina Simone (1933-2003) released her sixth studio album, Wild Is the Wind. The album was assembled from recordings left over from previous recording sessions. (Please check out my post on Simone’s cover of “I Put a Spell on You” for more about her lifeContinue reading “Lilac Wine”

Poor Poor Pitiful Me

This afternoon I was in the car on errands and listening to SiriusXM’s The Bridge (soft rock stream) when a song came on that somehow reminded me of the (now-retired) American singer Linda Ronstadt. My thoughts then went to Ronstadt’s top-40 hit rendition of a song by American musician Warren Zevon (1947-2003), “Poor Poor PitifulContinue reading “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”

Kiss Them for Me

I can’t say I followed the punk rock scene of the mid-1970s, though I suppose I observed from a distance what was going on due to my constant fascination with music. But English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer Susan Ballion, better known as Siouxsie Sioux, sure did. She first saw the English punk rock bandContinue reading “Kiss Them for Me”

Carry On Wayward Son

“Carry on my wayward sonThere’ll be peace when you are doneLay your weary head to restDon’t you cry no more” (from “Carry On Wayward Son,” by Kerry Livgren) If you were living in the 1970s, I think it would be nearly impossible not to immediately recognize the above lines as the unaccompanied introduction sung byContinue reading “Carry On Wayward Son”

Goose Snow Cone

Content warning: this post contains discussion of mental health. I first heard Aimee Mann’s music in the film, I Am Sam, which starred American actor Sean Penn as a single father with an intellectual disability, at risk of losing custody of his daughter. The soundtrack is made up entirely of covers of Beatles songs; MannContinue reading “Goose Snow Cone”

Things to Live For

Jackson Maloney is an American poet and singer-songwriter living and creating art in Colorado, USA. I came to know him through a mutual friend and at online community gatherings held early in the 2020 lockdown, including early-morning poetry sharing sessions. He released his first collection of poems, Becoming, in 2018, and the ten-song album ThingsContinue reading “Things to Live For”

Cinderella, Op. 87, Act I: No. 1, Introduction (Andante Dolce)

Many years ago, one of my brothers and I were together a lot to watch movies and listen to classical music long-play records (it was a long time ago, so we probably were watching VHS tapes!). He helped me learn who the composers were through their different styles and the periods in which they lived.Continue reading “Cinderella, Op. 87, Act I: No. 1, Introduction (Andante Dolce)”

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

The English singer-songwriter and actor Elvis Costello (born Declan Patrick McManus) began his musical career in the London pub early in the 1970s. In 1977, he released his debut album, My Aim Is True, which lit a rocket taking him to stardom in the still-forming new wave music scene. Costello’s band, the Attractions, joined himContinue reading “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding”

All the Young Dudes

Here’s my third and final instalment in observance of David Bowie’s birth and death. Bowie was a longtime fan of the English rock band Mott the Hoople and encouraged them to stay together when there was talk of a break-up. He wrote “All the Young Dudes” for them and produced their 1972 album of theContinue reading “All the Young Dudes”

Symphony No. 1, I: Subterraneans

Two days ago, I posted a song by David Bowie (1947-2016) on the 74th anniversary of his birth. Today is the fifth anniversary of his death. On Sundays since June 2020, I’ve been posting classical music pieces. Today, I’m sharing one that has a deep connection to Bowie’s music, written by American composer and pianistContinue reading “Symphony No. 1, I: Subterraneans”

Handle With Care

The Traveling Wilburys were a British-American supergroup formed in early 1988 after joining together to record a song to accompany a single by ex-Beatle George Harrison (1943-2001). “Handle With Care” was meant to be that song, but when it was complete, it was decided the track was far too good to be used as aContinue reading “Handle With Care”

Maple Leaf Rag

Released on Christmas Day in 1973, the film The Sting starred American actors Paul Newman (1925-2008) and Robert Redford as a pair of grifters who join forces to pull a complicated con job on a mob boss played by British actor, playwright and novelist Robert Shaw (1927-1978). George Roy Hill was director for the filmContinue reading “Maple Leaf Rag”

Elevator to Heaven

Neither any of my siblings nor I have musical talent. It wasn’t something any of us learned as children, though we all share a deep love for music, and that certainly was something influenced by our parents, and later by friends and the bands we grew up listening to and sharing as a family; somethingContinue reading “Elevator to Heaven”

Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’

As promised a few days ago, tonight, I’m sharing a Charley Pride (1934-2020) song, one that was his biggest hit. As most people know, the American country music legend died on December 12 from complications related to COVID-19. I don’t know Pride’s music well, so I called upon my sweety for a suggestion, and herContinue reading “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’”

Belong

This morning, I listened to part of the archive of Friday’s episode of KEXP’s The Morning Show with John Richards, as I’d missed the start of the program that day. In Richards’ opening set, he played “Belong,” an R.E.M. song covered by the Hobart, Australia band, Quivers. I Shazamed the piece, but the app couldn’tContinue reading “Belong”

Hurt

Hurt. There’s a lot of that going around. Many of us hurt because of what’s going on in the world. And we cannot hug our loved ones in the pandemic time. In Manitoba, we can’t even gather with anyone outside our home as of Thursday. Lockdown 2.0. I felt really stirred up today learning ofContinue reading “Hurt”

Lonely People

The day before yesterday, in the car just getting on the road, I flipped on the SiriusXM soft-rock radio channel, The Bridge, as I wasn’t yet sure what playlist of my music I wanted to hear. (We still have Sirius as, whenever I call to cancel, they offer me a ridiculously cheap, six-month extension ofContinue reading “Lonely People”