Day by Day

Today, I dug into and — rare for me — listened to a whole episode of BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour in one sitting. It was the November 8, 2020 episode, “Hello Matt Berninger” (the frontperson of the band The National is interviewed by Garvey). Garvey said how much he has always lovedContinue reading “Day by Day”

Oh My Love

Monday in lockdown 2.0, and it’s time for another #buylocal post. And today, did I ever buy local. I did a round of curbside pickups and a drop-off of pet food to the animal shelter after taking Perry Como the cat to the veterinarian. Our feline landlord doesn’t mind me sharing his personal health informationContinue reading “Oh My Love”

Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85, III: Adagio

English composer Edward Elgar (1857-1934) is probably most famous for his five Pomp and Circumstance Marches. Historically, his music has been followed mostly by British listeners. For example, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches No. 1, is considered by many to be an unofficial British national anthem, and is played every year on the last nightContinue reading “Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85, III: Adagio”

Dreaming of You

Hey, it’s another Friday, folks! Another challenging week here in Manitoba, learning of new record numbers of COVID-19 cases, a health-care system under strain, a lockdown 2.0, and deaths rising at a frightening rate. One of the few politicians I genuinely respect, Calgary, Alberta mayor Naheed Nenshi, spoke today at a televised press conference carriedContinue reading “Dreaming of You”

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”

All You Need Is Love

One of the most hard-fought, nail-biter elections in memory is now over, aside from recounts and other formal processes. The conclusion comes while the COVID-19 pandemic still rages around the world, economies are struggling, and divisiveness seems like it is at an all-time high. We live in an era of increasing polarization, and it sometimesContinue reading “All You Need Is Love”

The Waiting

Happy Friday! What a week it has been! The United States federal election continues to dominate the news, and the stress and tension are evident. I believe the ongoing pandemic adds to and complicates the anxiety of this time… we are facing numerous situations over which we have little or no control, but still weContinue reading “The Waiting”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

The Yellow Lights of Moray

It has been a while since I have highlighted a local musician. Today, a song by Winnipeg, Canada’s Scott Nolan. Nolan is a talented individual with a good heart, who supports the local music scene and musicians, and has exposed Winnipeg to talent from other places. A great example of this was the playbill heContinue reading “The Yellow Lights of Moray”

You’re All I’ve Got Tonight

Back on March 26, just days into the lockdown, Sweety and I were already scheming with neighbour-friends on how to get together, and I posted about a gathering we had at the time. Later, I wondered if it was really such a good idea after all. Since then, public health recommendations have loosened, though they’veContinue reading “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight”

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”

Sunset

Tonight, I searched my collection for a song that might do some justice to the sunset that Sweety and I witnessed this evening.  Like yesterday, we took a road trip up Manitoba Provincial Trunk Highway 59, but this time stopped in at Patricia Beach Provincial Park. I was probably in my twenties the last timeContinue reading “Sunset”

A Gaelic Blessing

Welcome to Classical Sunday. I’ll say right off that I would never have wished for the global pandemic. It is horrible to know that so many people have suffered and died, many alone, and countless peoples’ health and livelihoods are still under threat. Our family and friends have remained healthy, and we hope to continueContinue reading “A Gaelic Blessing”

I Want to Know What Love Is

When I think of it, it’s funny how the relationships in youth often seemed so predicated on competition, on one being better than the other. Today, Sweety and I were on a mission to find some fresh-picked corn-on-the-cob. There’s a farmers’ market we went to once this summer, but it did not feel safe toContinue reading “I Want to Know What Love Is”

Suspicious Minds

Life has been busy for the last few weeks, particularly since I’m cycling a lot… Two hundred forty-four kilometres (152 miles) on four rides over the previous seven days. How I love being retired! One indicator of how full life has been is that I only this week finished listened to the August 2, 2020 episodeContinue reading “Suspicious Minds”

Stars

After a bike ride in the heat today, I was grateful to be lounging in the shade of our summer porch and listening to some oldies this afternoon. At some point, I got onto Simply Red. Someone among our family and friends was talking about them in the past week… I can’t remember whom orContinue reading “Stars”

Hold You in My Arms

I am not sure where I first heard American singer-songwriter and musician Ray LaMontagne’s music; it may have been in a film or TV (as his music has been featured in numerous soundtracks). Or perhaps it was on late-night radio, though film/TV seems more like it is correct. In August 2011, I bought his secondContinue reading “Hold You in My Arms”

What the World Needs Now Is Love

After the last two days’ posts, I gravitated toward posting something by Burt Bacharach today. First, it was a track from Painted from Memory, his 1998 collaboration with Elvis Costello (which Sweety and I also listened to with our Brightman/Stewart/Lauper friends… we have been very tight with them for years, and after the husband’s passingContinue reading “What the World Needs Now Is Love”

Yellow Moon

Last night over Winnipeg, Canada, the Moon appeared big and yellow in the southeastern sky. A friend and neighbour had told us on Friday night, at an outdoor, socially-distanced dinner hosted by another couple of neighbour-friends, that it would appear like this, and so we all took note to watch the next night.  On Saturday,Continue reading “Yellow Moon”

Who Loves the Sun

Happy Friday, friends! Who loves the sun? I do… though it was almost mostly absent for my 68-kilometre (42-mile) bike ride south of Winnipeg to Saint-Adolphe this morning. When I set out, the temperature was 21°/28°C humidex (69.8°/82.4°F) but was up to 27°/38°C humidex (80.6°/100.4°F) by the time I returned. I was wearing a recently-acquiredContinue reading “Who Loves the Sun”

Courage

I heard today’s song on this past weekend’s instalment of Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, listening to the show archive after the broadcast through the BBC Sounds app. Of a few songs that I was looking at yesterday, I couldn’t decide which I wanted to post more, this one or yesterday’s, so yeah, you’re getting themContinue reading “Courage”

Pick Me Up

Have you ever had a close relative or friend that you knew you could count on, no matter what? If so, isn’t that the most amazingly comforting thing, ever? Especially when you truly need it? Life hands us all sorts of things, and some are bad; some of them are hardwired into us, some happenContinue reading “Pick Me Up”

French Countryside

This past weekend, while listening to Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC Sounds, I heard this song by Jehnny Beth. I’d never heard her before, and it seemed a good fit for the hot summer, slow moving mode I’ve been in for the past couple of days. The song also made me think of theContinue reading “French Countryside”

Streets of Philadelphia

Full disclosure, here at the start: I’ve never been a big fan of Bruce Springsteen’s. But, I honour him as a significant musical presence in the world. We just have never really clicked… for the most part. But I hope you’ll read on anyway; I am sure it will be worth your time. One songContinue reading “Streets of Philadelphia”

The Trip

Sitting in the summer porch today, I’m thinking about past trips and trips we’d like to take. Family care and other responsibilities prevented us from travelling far away since the spring of 2017. We did take a short road trip to Calgary, Alberta in 2018 as a quick but not uninterrupted bit of respite. AndContinue reading “The Trip”

Time

A few weeks ago, listening to Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC 6 Music (May 31, 2020 – “Tom Waits, Tim Buckley and Talk Talk”), I heard a recording of Tom Waits singing his composition, “Time.” It reminded me of the Tori Amos cover of the piece. I like her version a lot; she capturesContinue reading “Time”

New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)

Today’s song is one of my favourite Simple Minds songs. It grabs me from the beginning synthesizer lines and percussion to the arrival of the thundering main drum kit. And yeah, there are credits to two drummers on this song on the LP… I was wondering if it was a drum machine, but, nope, a drummer. Continue reading “New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)”

I Must Be in a Good Place Now

It’s Friday, again! You made it through another week of working remotely, working the frontlines, caring for others, navigating this challenging time we’re living in; whatever you are doing, pat yourself on the back. Hopefully, it’s your weekend now. Enjoy! And if you are taking a break from work or other obligations, or have gottenContinue reading “I Must Be in a Good Place Now”

Let It Go

Today, I drove to a local bookseller to pick up two poetry books I bought online for Sweety, for Mothers’ Day. Yeah. They were in the city when I ordered them ten days or so in advance. But whatever; we lived… just hungering for poetry… anyway, she loved them. Mary Oliver and Maya Angelou. TheContinue reading “Let It Go”

Isolation

Happy Friday, friends! Of all John Lennon’s compositions for The Beatles and his solo work, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard today’s song, “Isolation,” before today. This morning I was poking around the BBC 6 Music website and delved into some April 2019 archives of Cillian Murphy, the Irish actor in Peaky Blinders (a show IContinue reading “Isolation”

Running Red Lights

I’m not one to advocate for excessive government intervention in most things, but when society shows a lack of will to control certain behaviours, I’m all in. Speeding and the running of red lights is one such area. I’ll apologize in advance for the rant, like “sorry-not-sorry.” In some cases, government regulation is essential, byContinue reading “Running Red Lights”

Homeward Angel

When Sweety and I returned home the night of my retirement party, April 20, 2017, I was filled up to overflowing with gratitude for the loving sendoff my administrative staff had arranged for us, and the way everyone there made me feel special. An older brother and his partner had come to pick us upContinue reading “Homeward Angel”

Ahead by a Century

Today’s post is really late. Almost missed the day, really. It’s been a hectic day with an important project, many conversations, and a couple of special, physically-distant visits. Plus, I wasn’t nearly as organized as yesterday when my daily post and most other daily rituals and chores were mostly finished by noon and I headedContinue reading “Ahead by a Century”

Goodnight, California

I’m not sure why but I often confuse Kathleen Edwards with Sarah Slean. I suppose there are some similarities in their styles, though their voices are quite different. Maybe it’s because they are both highly successful singer-songwriters who come from Canada.  Or, maybe it’s because like Slean’s album, The Baroness (discussed in my post onContinue reading “Goodnight, California”

I Want

I couldn’t recall yesterday when hearing “I Want,” where I discovered the song. Apple Music metadata reminds me I bought the track from the iTunes Store on January 2, 2014. While on a Christmas break from being at the office, I must have been playing a pre-recorded program of CBC Music or listening to CBCContinue reading “I Want”

Love Is the Drug

Roxy Music released “Love Is the Drug” as the first single from their 1976 record, Siren. It’s a classic, with a unique beginning under the bass line:  footsteps to a car, opening the door, the motor starting, then racing off. (For two other songs by Roxy Music, please visit my posts on “Oh Yeah” andContinue reading “Love Is the Drug”

April in Paris

In what passes for wisdom, the government in my province of Manitoba, Canada has already set out a staged return to commercial and other activities. Sweety and I are unconvinced that a specific date suddenly makes it safe to be among people again, say, for haircuts, followed by beers and wings on the patio. WeContinue reading “April in Paris”

Top of the World

Today has been virtually great. Well; great, really, too. It started with a bike trainer ride, virtually connected to the worldwide Zwift community (please see this post for a description of that platform), though with a different group than usual (ironically, one based here in Winnipeg, Canada), and I was joined by a former co-worker,Continue reading “Top of the World”

Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot

Today, I had the gift of an online visit with some deeply soulful men who are close to me and essential in my life. It felt good to spend time together and share our life experiences, words of sorrow, hope, joy; many feelings, and much compassion. The gathering brought me near to these men inContinue reading “Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot”

Gone Hollywood

Supertramp was a band that rose to fame and commercial success during my teenage years, with significant long-play record releases that I remember from 1974 to 1979. I remember “School” and “Bloody Well Right” from the album Crime of the Century and “The Logical Song” from Breakfast in America were anthems for my friends’ andContinue reading “Gone Hollywood”

The Rose

When dear friends of ours lived on a farm property on the outskirts of a small community called Erickson, near Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park, starting in the later 2000s, we often (though not often enough) drove out to visit and stay with them for weekends. We even had our own room on the secondContinue reading “The Rose”

Sleep

I first heard a version of today’s selection sung by an a cappella choir in Winnipeg, Canada called Prairie Voices, which a friend, Amanda, belonged to some years back. (She is the same person who created our wedding invite theme, as featured in this post. By the way, Amanda has recently been called upon byContinue reading “Sleep”

(the actual) Birthday

“Yes, we’re going to a party, party (No we’re not!)Yes, we’re going to a party, party (No, we’re not!)Yes, we’re going to a party, party (No, we’re not!)” (adapted for COVID-19 ‘extreme social distancing,’ from “Birthday,” by John Lennon, Paul McCartney) Today, they say it IS my birthday; is it your birthday, too, yeah? HappyContinue reading “(the actual) Birthday”

Birthday (a teaser)

Today has been a good day! And no, today is not my birthday. I spent some truly wonderful time in an online connection this morning with some men who are vital to my existence; it’s a small group that feeds my soul. Then, a bike/smart-trainer ride using an online platform, Zwift.com, connecting my trainer to theContinue reading “Birthday (a teaser)”

Distant Sun

Today I was listening to The Morning Show with John Richards on KEXP Seattle, and cruising around the website. Like on so many artist and collective pages, there’s a list of live events there, to entertain and keep people connected to a sense of normalcy in terms of hearing musical performances, even though we can’tContinue reading “Distant Sun”

Wildflowers

I had been browsing through my vinyl collection to refresh my memory on which Pink Floyd records I own when posting the song, “Wish You Were Here” (as those details somehow seemed important at the time). When I had grabbed that bunch of records, the next LP sidled up to them was the 1979 albumContinue reading “Wildflowers”

Spanish Pipedream

As the music world reacts this week to the death of John Prine from complications of a coronavirus infection, I have seen numerous friends posting his songs in memory of the American country-folk icon. I have never been very familiar with John Prine (I only recently learned he was the writer of a song thatContinue reading “Spanish Pipedream”

Night Moves

The song “Night Moves” (from the 1976 album of the same name) by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet band is played frequently on the SiriusXM channel we often listen to in the car — or at least did — until the recent direction to stay at home to wait out the coronavirus. (I hopeContinue reading “Night Moves”

Time

In my youth, Alan Parsons was a musical enigma; he wasn’t the front person of his band, per se; he had vocalists who embodied the words that dotted his rich, complicated, aural soundscapes. Parsons was a trendsetter, but few followed his path and, as a result, he retained a unique place in rock that noContinue reading “Time”

Dear Friends

If you’ve visited this blog any number of times, it’ll be no secret to you that I’m a fan of Guy Garvey. Every Sunday, I look forward to hearing the lead singer of the band Elbow on his (now three-hour) program, Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC 6 Music. He shares some beautiful music, asContinue reading “Dear Friends”

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Today is a tough day. And a good day. A mix. A challenging, sad, delightful combination. What made the positive difference for Sweety and me is the connections we have with family and friends; folks we can talk with through this time. Coincidentally, we both had Skype calls with groups of friends this morning. It’sContinue reading “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Wish You Were Here

Pink Floyd is a band that had a formative influence in my early life. I believe that their blending of rock with experimental music was part of what made me seek out more obscure types of rock music, a taste I’ve retained through my life.  When one of my brothers was still living in theContinue reading “Wish You Were Here”

Late Night Grande Hotel

Today’s song is another one of the selections from the mix-CD that Sweety and I gave out at “night-night time” to the small group of family and close friends who witnessed our marriage. In a previous post, I talked a little about how Nanci Griffith’s music has meant so much to us in our lifeContinue reading “Late Night Grande Hotel”

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Edit, March 30, 2020: Since making the post below, I’ve read this article, and have been thinking twice about the wisdom of gathering eight, ten, even twenty feet apart. It seems there’s still so much that isn’t known about the virus, so maybe it makes sense to exceed the recommendations of public health officials, outContinue reading “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”