Friday on My Mind

Yes! Another Friday! This weekend, pandemic restrictions will loosen significantly in my province, Manitoba, Canada. While I’m grateful we are closer to having family gatherings (at least outdoors, like the latest one we had in September 2020), I do think some of the measures the government will implement are once again too much, too soon,Continue reading “Friday on My Mind”

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”

(Just Like) Starting Over

I remember, in 1980, being excited about Double Fantasy, a new record by John Lennon (1940-1980) and Yoko Ono, after Lennon had pretty much disappeared from the music industry a few years earlier. Back then, I was a 20-year-old with a few circles of friends, a great job, and several relationships with women that wouldContinue reading “(Just Like) Starting Over”

Ballrooms of Mars

I’ve been admiring my old vinyl records for a while and really should play them more. One of these is the 1972 album The Slider by the English rock band, T. Rex. The band, initially called Tyrannosaurus Rex, was formed in 1969 by band leader, lead singer and sole songwriter Marc Bolan (1947-1977). After makingContinue reading “Ballrooms of Mars”

Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major for Piano, Violin, and Violoncello, Op. 100, II: Andante con moto

Today I found a mix set of classical music videos on YouTube that contained several pieces I’ve already featured on my Classical Sunday posts. Also on that list was a piece by Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828), the second movement (Andante con moto) from his Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major for Piano, Violin, andContinue reading “Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major for Piano, Violin, and Violoncello, Op. 100, II: Andante con moto”

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”

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”

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”

Alive and Kicking

It’s Friday! (And, to begin, my apologies… I planned to post much earlier in the day, then an appointment, groceries and other obligations got in the way. But here we are now. Let’s settle in and enjoy, shall we?) Back when I was working, Friday was a day that arrived with much celebration of planningContinue reading “Alive and Kicking”

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”

Stay

Seventy-four years ago today, English singer, songwriter, musical innovator and actor David Robert Jones was born. Professionally he became known as David Bowie, an artist who crossed and mixed many musical genres and performance styles in his long, influential career. I’ve featured Bowie’s songs several times before on this blog: “A New Career in aContinue reading “Stay”

Absolute Beginners

At the start of a year, we’re all beginners. We start fresh, with a new beginning, a clean slate… or so some of the clichés go. In “Absolute Beginners,” David Bowie captured this notion, from the perspective of one telling his lover that, even though they’re absolute beginners, the two of them can do anythingContinue reading “Absolute Beginners”

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”

Space Oddity

During my morning routine from around 7:00 to 9:00 (Central time in Canada), I like to have a random, unknown music mix playing. But among the radio stations I listen to online, mainly KEXP Seattle and BBC 6 Music, there isn’t usually anything on that appeals to me for that time of day. The MorningContinue reading “Space Oddity”

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”

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”

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”

More Than a Feeling

September 1976. Like I told you in this post from early on, about the David Sylvian song “Orpheus,” I was working at McDonald’s and spending all my spare money on records. Music was my most reliable friend even back then, as it has been through all my life. It never let me down. It wasContinue reading “More Than a Feeling”

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)”

Crazy Love

The song “Crazy Love” was a hit single in 1979; the year I began my first full-time job (at the railway), and the year before I’d buy my first car, a silver 1980 Ford Mustang: I bought it for $6,467 in a year when bank car loans were at 16.25% interest, so with interest, theContinue reading “Crazy Love”

I Feel Love

In the 2017 article, “Song from the Future: The Story of Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder’s ‘I Feel Love,’” Pitchfork.com contributor Simon Reynolds writes, “The reverberations of ‘I Feel Love’ reached far beyond the disco floor, though. Then unknown but destined to be synth-pop stars in the ’80s, the Human League completely switched their direction afterContinue reading “I Feel Love”

Wordy Rappinghood

Every time our boys come over, we have lovely, fun, serious conversations and often recount memories of their childhood and youth. They’re such great guys, and while it’s rare for us to be able to have all four of our boys (and partners, where applicable) together at the same time, it happens once every twoContinue reading “Wordy Rappinghood”

Trade Winds

When I reunited with some of my high school buddies in about 1982, they’d branched out into a bigger group of friends: in addition to the original crew, I now had friends who were from north St. Vital in Winnipeg. Parents of one of these friends were very welcoming. They invited a group of fiveContinue reading “Trade Winds”

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”

A New Career in a New Town

David Bowie collaborated with Brian Eno, Robert Fripp and others on what’s referred to as his Berlin Trilogy, three albums made between 1976 and 1979 (Low, “Heroes”, Lodger), all overseen by his long-time producer, Tony Visconti. The albums, particularly Low, are a real departure from the soul and funk of Diamond Dogs and ‘Young Americans’Continue reading “A New Career in a New Town”

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”