Love at the Five and Dime

“Woolworth stores are the same everywhere in the world. They have this wonderful smell to them; they smell like popcorn and chewing gum rubbed around on the bottom of a leather-soled shoe…” — Nanci Griffith Yesterday I did some grocery shopping, and Sweety came along as she wanted to get a few more annuals toContinue reading “Love at the Five and Dime”

Planet Earth

Today’s selection is the first song I ever heard by the English new wave/art-rock/new romantic band Duran Duran. Formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, the band takes its name from the character Dr. Durand Durand from the 1968 science fiction film Barbarella, which starred American actor, environmentalist and political activist Jane Fonda. Duran Duran isContinue reading “Planet Earth”

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”

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”

Lakmé, Act I, No. 2: Duo des fleurs / Sous le dôme épais

Occasionally I’ve listened to Colorado Public Radio’s online classical music stream lately, and have enjoyed their programming and insightful host commentary. That station was where I heard “Gather Round the Table” (posted here on May 10), and today I heard several bookmark-worthy pieces. YouTube is another source of suggestions and is where I found aContinue reading “Lakmé, Act I, No. 2: Duo des fleurs / Sous le dôme épais”

The Scientist

One of the first songs I remember hearing by the British band Coldplay is “The Scientist,” from their second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002). Today’s selection is the fourth song I’ve posted by a band I used to listen to almost incessantly once I came to know their music. Previously, IContinue reading “The Scientist”

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”

Locus iste

Last Sunday, I posted music from Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, which my sweety and I had heard during a virtual concert by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on a dinner and concert “date night out, at home.” I explain in that post that four members of the WSO played the sacred motet, Locus iste (Latin for “thisContinue reading “Locus iste”

The Road

The Matinée is a Canadian band from the west coast. While categorized as alternative, the band has a southern kind of sound, with influences of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. I first heard them on CBC Radio 3 when I listened to that Internet station years ago, before they did away with live hosts/DJs. MyContinue reading “The Road”

Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, K. 364, II: Andante

Sweety and I got all dressed up and went to a concert last night! Well, sort of… We attended a special livestreamed Mothers’ Day event held by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Masterworks with Mom, from the comfort of our living room.  Conductor Daniel Raiskin was at the podium directing Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola andContinue reading “Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, K. 364, II: Andante”

Do You Feel Like We Do

While writing my May 5, 2021 post on Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” I watched a video by music educator and producer Rick Beato’s What Makes This Song Great? series in which he takes apart and explains the many elements in the piece. So it’s no surprise that today my feed was flooded with BeatoContinue reading “Do You Feel Like We Do”

Whole Lotta Love

As I opened YouTube today, I saw it offered up a few suggestions of videos by American record producer and educator Rick Beato, whose “What Makes This Song Great?” series I quote in several posts on this blog. I watched episode 43, which profiles and breaks down today’s selection, “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin.Continue reading “Whole Lotta Love”

Can’t Let Go

This week, former Roxy Music founding member and frontperson Bryan Ferry released a live solo album, Royal Albert Hall 2020. The collection was recorded in London, England during the a world tour that was to be cut short soon after the UK shows due to the global pandemic. Today, an email blast advertised that theContinue reading “Can’t Let Go”

Home to You

The last live, in-person music show my sweety and I saw was just over a year ago: March 6, 2020. And it was a house concert… in our home! Canadian alternative/indie singer-songwriter Danielle Dayton added our address to a tour of Saskatchewan and Manitoba promoting the release of her single, “Lady Luck.” The bluesy-styled artistContinue reading “Home to You”

Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya

Last night as I lay in bed at 1:00 am, unable to get to sleep (the change to daylight savings time always messes me up), the song “Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya” randomly popped into my head. I have no idea why. The song was the only major hit for New England, a group discoveredContinue reading “Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya”

Long in the Tooth

Today I decided to cruise around the KEXP Seattle website, and looked through their Song of the Day feature. I clicked on October 1, 2020; I suppose drawn in by the name “Long in the Tooth,” a song chosen by DJ John Richards, host of The Morning Show with John Richards. The track title wasContinue reading “Long in the Tooth”

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”

Thank You

It’s a year ago this week that things really started unravelling in my city of Winnipeg, Canada, with the COVID-19 pandemic. By around Friday, March 13 of last year (and I am not sure I picked up on the significance of the date at the time…), most non-essential stores and venues were talking about closing.Continue reading “Thank You”

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”

Fix You

“Tears stream down your faceWhen you lose something you cannot replaceTears stream down your face and I…Tears stream down your faceI promise you I will learn from my mistakesTears stream down your face and I…” (from “Fix You,” by Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman, Will Champion. Full, unofficial lyrics are available at AZLyrics.com.) Today,Continue reading “Fix You”

New Clothes

“It’s raining outsideWater falls from the skyAnd it’s sad but it cleans all the dirt from the streets” (from “New Clothes,” by Amy Belle) A new day, a new week, a new month. A chance to begin again, again. And similar to the lyric, rain may not always be welcome and uplifting, “but it cleansContinue reading “New Clothes”

Democracy

The artistry of the Canadian poet, songwriter, singer and novelist Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) has been, I think, among the most significant gifts to the world that have come from my country. In 2008 in London, England, at age 73, Cohen was on a tour believed to have been necessary because his former manager bilked aContinue reading “Democracy”

Wake Up

It’s been a while since I posted something by the Canadian indie-rock band Arcade Fire. This afternoon, I went down an Internet rabbit hole, scouting out some songs I’d thought of or captured on the Shazam app recently. And as I surfed, my searches for other songs and artists and YouTube’s algorithms brought me toContinue reading “Wake Up”

Limelight

Formed in 1968, Rush has to be one of Canada’s most extraordinary rock acts. And clearly, institutions agree. In 1996, band members Geddy Lee (vocals, bass, keyboards, composer), Alex Lifeson (guitars, composer) and Neil Peart (1952-2020; drums, percussion, lyricist), were named as Officers of the Order of Canada, the Canadian government’s highest distinction for aContinue reading “Limelight”

Helpless

Ever feel helpless? It doesn’t happen to me often, but it can be tough to get through when it does. Occasionally over the past ten months, I’ve felt low. Like you, I know the pandemic isn’t going to be forever, and I really hope that we’ll be able to be with family and friends andContinue reading “Helpless”

The Birds

Maybe you’ve been a follower of this blog for a while. In that case, you’ll know I take a lot of inspiration and acquire much of my new music from the recommendations of Guy Garvey, the lead singer of Elbow during his weekly program, Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC 6 Music, on Sundays (2:00Continue reading “The Birds”

Bluetonic

Well, hello there, Fri-Yay! It’s time to bring up the tempo a little from yesterday’s ambient piece since it’s the weekend for many of you (and a long Thanksgiving weekend for those of you south of the Canada/USA border). So, let’s go! This morning, I listened to Shaun Keaveny’s early Friday afternoon (in the UK)Continue reading “Bluetonic”

Round and Round

Happy Friday! It feels like the weather has suddenly changed. When I set off on my bike this morning, it was just 7°C (44°F). It stayed on the cold side through the ride, so I was wearing some extra clothing to keep warm. It felt good to be moving after a few days off theContinue reading “Round and Round”

We Used to Wait

It’s time for another selection from The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. “We Used to Wait” is the 13th track on the album. The song continues the theme of waiting that comes in on “Suburban War,” and I interpret this as similar to the often painful waiting that goes on in any conflict. At the WinnipegContinue reading “We Used to Wait”

Ready to Start

Today, we are continuing with Arcade Fire’s album, The Suburbs. (By the way, we won’t get to all the tracks, as there are 16 songs on the album!) The second song on the album is “Ready to Start.” It was, rather appropriately, the song their The Suburbs concert began with. It’s a great opening songContinue reading “Ready to Start”

Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971, II: Andante

Years ago, soon after her 1985 debut, I saw Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the Centennial Concert Hall. Her playing was divine. I don’t remember which pieces were on the concert playbill, but I do recall being mesmerized by the graceful movement as her hands moved over the keyboard. It’sContinue reading “Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971, II: Andante”

Deadwood, South Dakota

Today in the car, Nanci Griffith’s rendition of the song “Deadwood, South Dakota” came on autoplay.  I’ve posted Griffith’s songs twice before: “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness,” and “Late Night Grande Hotel,” and the latter is one of the selections on Sweety’s and my wedding CD. In these posts, I talk about Griffith’s longContinue reading “Deadwood, South Dakota”

In My Place

Sweety and I were married on a Saturday; it was July 25, 2009. It wasn’t quite as hot as today will be. It was a perfect, non-humid 25°C (77°F).  We had a small wedding, which was initially going to be at the home of friends. As the date drew nearer, Sweety’s mom was having challengesContinue reading “In My Place”

Black Water Falls

I first heard the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania band The War on Drugs on CBC late-night radio in around 2017, and bought the album A Deeper Understanding, released that year. Since then, I’ve also heard them on KEXP Seattle and purchased one song from an earlier issue, Lost in the Dream (2014). The singer, Adam Granduciel, whoContinue reading “Black Water Falls”

Dreamboat Annie

The Seattle-based band Heart formed in 1970, but it wasn’t until 1975 that they started to gain commercial success. Their 1975 record Dreamboat Annie was a staple at parties I attended as a high school student, and I followed them for their next three albums, Magazine (1977) Little Queen (also 1977), and Dog and ButterflyContinue reading “Dreamboat Annie”

Flume

In my February 14, 2020 post on Elbow’s “Mirrorball,” I told you of Peter Gabriel’s album recorded with a full orchestra, where he made cover versions of other artists’ songs.  Many of the tracks on Scratch My Back are melodically very beautiful and the cover of Bon Iver’s composition, “Flume,” is particularly so. It seemsContinue reading “Flume”

Jubilee Street

(Warning: video contains a cuss word.) It’s been less than two years since I got onto Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds; whoa, what was I missing! I have some of his music but have to admit I don’t like all of it. I’m not partial to his murder ballads, but there are songs IContinue reading “Jubilee Street”

Moonage Daydream

As I’ve mentioned before (in my post on January 17, 2020, for example), David Bowie was a regular guest on the record player in my parents’ home, after a brother discovered his music. We listened to his early stuff, and I saw him in concert in both Liverpool, UK and again about ten years laterContinue reading “Moonage Daydream”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Under the Ivy

The B-side on Kate Bush’s 12-inch single of Running Up That Hill (1985) was “Under the Ivy.” That record and a number of her other albums on vinyl, CD and digital are in my collection. She’s always intrigued me with her unique and beautiful voice, and her magical performances on the many official videos producedContinue reading “Under the Ivy”

A Taste of Honey

In addition to its healing and mood-lifting qualities (for more on that, please see January 15, 2020 post on Ben Wytinck’s “’Bel”), music has a tremendously powerful way of evoking memories for me. While down another internet rabbit hole recently, I came across a song by Burt Bacharach… the composer, producer and performer was behindContinue reading “A Taste of Honey”

Come Talk to Me

Peter Gabriel was what I guess I’d call a “musical acquaintance” through my teen years; I didn’t have any of his records early on, but one of my friends was a big Genesis fan and had continued on with collecting Gabriel’s solo works. So while not a collector, I enjoyed the music.  But the 1992Continue reading “Come Talk to Me”