Love Vigilantes

I find it intriguing to get a glimpse at what a songwriter has in mind when crafting a piece of music, especially when it’s a song I feel I know well. In the case of the English band New Order’s “Love Vigilantes,” I had a rather rude awakening today when I did a little InternetContinue reading “Love Vigilantes”

Dreams

I wouldn’t say I listen to the Cranberries that much, but I do like a lot of their music, including “When You’re Gone.” (As I mention in a January 2020 post, that is one of the tracks on Sweety’s and my wedding CD because of memories associated with the song.) Formed in 1989 in Limerick,Continue reading “Dreams”

River Man

I first came to know of the music of English singer-songwriter Nick Drake (1948-1974) through the BBC 6 Music program Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour. As I’ve referred to so many times before, the host is the lead singer of the English band, Elbow, and I often find post-worthy songs on the show. The first NickContinue reading “River Man”

(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”

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”

Redemption Day

In 1995, American singer, songwriter and actress Sheryl Crow travelled to Bosnia to give a concert for military service people. What she witnessed there, along with the largely-unheeded genocide in Rwanda, inspired her to write “Redemption Day,” a song which she says has a Bob Dylan-inspired lyric. The song is on her 1996 self-titled album.Continue reading “Redemption Day”

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”

Kinderszenen, Op. 15, No. 7 in F Major: Träumerei

Many recognize the German pianist, composer and music critic Robert Schumann (1810-1856) as one of the greatest composers of the classical romantic era.  However, Schumann’s short life was one of considerable difficulty. He suffered from mental health issues that plagued him at times, as early as 1833. His love for pianist, composer and teacher ClaraContinue reading “Kinderszenen, Op. 15, No. 7 in F Major: Träumerei”

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”

Sandman’s Dust

As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, my sweety and I have numerous friends in Colorado, USA. We all hold heavy hearts at the senseless killing of ten women and men at a grocery store in the city of Boulder on Monday. Sweety and I spoke with some of our folk today andContinue reading “Sandman’s Dust”

I Grieve

Late last evening, after a full and busy day that ran well into the evening, I was unaware of the shooting in Boulder, Colorado, USA, until a near-bedtime visit to Facebook told me a friend there had checked in as safe during a major public crisis. No doubt that message, and all it meant, wasContinue reading “I Grieve”

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”

To Build a Home

Last week, when working on my post for the Nina Simone (1933-2003) cover of “Lilac Wine,” I found a list of other bands that had covered that song. Among the other artists was the Cinematic Orchestra, and I wrote how I enjoyed their version of the piece. The band name stood out for me atContinue reading “To Build a Home”

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”

An Ending (Ascent)

Yesterday’s post held many thoughts, and one element of it, the Moon, is still high in the sky of my consciousness. Last month I posted “Capsule” from the Brian Eno/Roger Eno/Daniel Lanois album, Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks – Extended Edition (please check out the post for more about the album and the documentary film For All MankindContinue reading “An Ending (Ascent)”

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”

Sunshine on My Shoulders

Today, I am sharing a song of pure comfort after a week that has been tough on many in my circle. Several loved ones have been carrying heavy burdens, often with no sign of when these might be lifted or with no solution in sight. My heart has also been heavy at learning a friendContinue reading “Sunshine on My Shoulders”

What Sarah Said

The American alternative rock band Death Cab for Cutie was formed in Bellingham, Washington, USA, in 1997. The group took their name from a Neil Inness and Vivian Stanshall song, “Death Cab for Cutie,” featured in both the 1960s British TV show Do Not Adjust Your Set and the Beatles’ musical movie Magical Mystery Tour.Continue reading “What Sarah Said”

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”

Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind Stayed on Freedom)

On my trip down an Internet rabbit hole yesterday, I randomly came across a few spiritual-type songs and other tunes. Among these songs was a video of a performance of “Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind Stayed on Freedom)” by the Resistance Revival Chorus at TEDxAsburyPark in New Jersey, USA, in 2019. However, theContinue reading “Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind Stayed on Freedom)”

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”

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”

You’ll Never Walk Alone

Today’s selection is the 365th piece I’m posting to this blog. If you’ve followed since the start, or just for a while, or you occasionally drop in, thanks for joining me here to share in music and a few stories! “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was the biggest hit released by Gerry and the Pacemakers. TheContinue reading “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

Good Mother

Yesterday, I shared reminiscences of my record collection and one of my favourite artists, Brian Eno. Ah, memories. As each December ends, Sweety and I look at memories we’ve made together, and with family and friends, in the past year. We also look ahead to what we would like to do in the coming twelveContinue reading “Good Mother”

Winter Song

The first time I heard the Canadian alternative-folk trio, Good Lovelies, was at the Stuart McLean (1948-2017) Vinyl Cafe Christmas tour show at Winnipeg, Canada’s Centennial Concert Hall. They were McLean’s musical guests and sang some beautiful pieces, including a cover of Sara Bareilles’ “Winter Song.” The show was in November 2013. It became anContinue reading “Winter Song”

Colorblind

Tonight, Sweety and I took part in an online marking of the winter solstice. In part, it was like an inventory of the losses and heartaches the year has brought for many in attendance, and there have been many; some big, some small and yet, here we are. We are blessed in so many ways,Continue reading “Colorblind”

Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, III: Lento – Cantabile Semplice

Today I ponder on the eve of the eighth anniversary of one of the pivotal days of my life: the day our dear friends’ daughter was killed along with 27 other people: children, educators, the killer’s mother and himself in two incidents (at a home and a school). Upon returning to my office from aContinue reading “Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, III: Lento – Cantabile Semplice”

Let It Be

The day has flown by today. I was up early and did the usual routines, playing with Perry Como the Cat and all that. And having had that one last opportunity to take my road bike out on Tuesday, I gave it a season’s-end scrubbing and buffing in the basement, then covered it up forContinue reading “Let It Be”

The NeverEnding Story

A few days ago, I came upon a song that made me think of some studies I did back in the 1990s. I’ve mentioned before here that from 1993 to 1996, I was at home full-time caring for my sons as that was the arrangement that best suited our family at the time. I supplementedContinue reading “The NeverEnding Story”

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”

Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Opus 92, II: Allegretto

The second movement (Allegretto) of Symphony No. 7 by the German composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), is a favourite of mine. The movement combines dramatic, sombre and calming melodies in a lyrical landscape of symphonic instruments. When listening to it, I prefer to hear it as a standalone piece as I find the calmness atContinue reading “Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Opus 92, II: Allegretto”

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”

Love Right (prelude)

The American musician, composer, producer, educator, blogger, author, activist and all-around awesome human, Noah Baerman, made a brief appearance on this blog once before when I bought one of his recommendations on one of those days when Bandcamp was waiving fees, forwarding 100% of payments to the artists. That recommendation and purchase inspired the postContinue reading “Love Right (prelude)”

I Can See Cleary Now

American singer-songwriter Johnny Nash, who died yesterday at age 80, was one of the first artists to bring reggae music to the United States as I learned today, reading a CBC.ca article about his death. He was famous for today’s selection, the 1972 hit “I Can See Clearly Now.” I don’t know much about Nash, but everyContinue reading “I Can See Cleary Now”

I Am Woman

The Australian-American singer/songwriter, actor and activist Helen Reddy strode, with a modest but confident air about her, solidly into musical stardom in 1972 with her massive hit, “I Am Woman.” I was only 12 at the time, and I suppose a slightly immature or insulated 12 or, at least, lacking a deep understanding of theContinue reading “I Am Woman”

Lara’s Theme (from the film Doctor Zhivago)

James Last (1929-2015) was another fixture in my childhood home. Last, who led the James Last Band and James Last Orchestra and worked up until the year of his death, was a favourite of my late father. Dad died in January 2001 and there were many times over the years when wished I could callContinue reading “Lara’s Theme (from the film Doctor Zhivago)”

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”

On the Sea

It’s Friday, September 11, the last day of what’s been for many a challenging first week back in school in Canada. It’s also a day when the world remembers the deaths and other losses suffered in terrorist attacks on the United States 19 years ago. The commonality is life and death, the sometimes thin veilContinue reading “On the Sea”

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”

La Lune

Mid-October, 2000. We were months past the dreaded Y2K changeover from 1999 to 2000. I was into the second year of my first government job, taking on new tasks and roles, trying to earn permanent placement, which wouldn’t happen for nearly two more years, and not long before a new, enticing and permanent position cameContinue reading “La Lune”

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”

Thank U

Today I was looking for a song about gratitude, and when I thought about it, Alanis Morissette’s “Thank U,” from her 1998 album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie was ideal. Let me tell you why.  I’ve mentioned before that a few years ago, my mum died. Months after, I took part in a retreat themed onContinue reading “Thank U”

Ultramarine

Today, I’m feeling a little low on energy. I’ve been cycling in the high heat and humidity, so am taking a couple of days off. It also has been an emotional day, attending the COVID-socially-distanced, outdoor interment service for our dear friend’s mother; she was a delightful, vibrant and kind soul who was taken tooContinue reading “Ultramarine”

American Tune

Today, on July the 4th, I’ve been thinking of dear friends and family living in America. Like Canada’s national holiday a few days ago, it is a day of pride in one’s nation and celebrating the vast and beautiful countries we live in. But it’s also a reminder of what European settlement here has costContinue reading “American Tune”

Sailing

Sweety and I have seen Rod Stewart in concert in Winnipeg, Canada, three times, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing him each time. We saw him once with my mum, and twice with dear friends — once in the tenth row at what’s now called Bell MTS Place. This was a couple I have talked about before,Continue reading “Sailing”

I Look to You

I remember when Whitney Houston first broke onto the mainstream pop music scene in 1985 with her soaring vocals and spunky numbers like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (the video for which features the same trademark grin that appears on the cover of her second album, Whitney). I’ve always enjoyed her music, the gifts sheContinue reading “I Look to You”

When I Come Home

I paused the blog yesterday out of respect for the music industry’s Blackout Tuesday movement. It was a day of action, not without its complications and controversy as there were varying opinions on what people should or should not post or hashtag. In the end, I did what felt right in my heart, to showContinue reading “When I Come Home”

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”

Adagio in “G”

This week I took another trip out to Birds Hill Park to ride my bike around the perimeter roadway. The park is officially open now, and as it is the May Long Weekend, the campground is open, and many camper-trailers were being hauled in. I stood half an hour in a physically-distanced line at theContinue reading “Adagio in “G””

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”

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”

This Woman’s Work

Today’s post is in a different part of the same room from — though walking toward a teary embrace with — this post on Peter Gabriel’s evocative cover of “Flume,” in terms of its deeply emotional portrayal of and connection with life, love and loss from the perspective of the life-giving mother. If you’ve beenContinue reading “This Woman’s Work”

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”

Here Comes the Sun

I was still only three years old when I was allowed to stay up late, already in my pyjamas, of course, to watch The Beatles when they debuted on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964.  The Beatles have remained a part of my life ever since, coming in and out in greater measure whenContinue reading “Here Comes the Sun”

Gold

The Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland, Oregon based band Wake Owl have been active since 2102, and that year they issued today’s song as a free download. They re-released it on their Wild Country EP through Vagrant Records, in 2013. I am quite sure I would have heard it on CBC Radio 2 or, moreContinue reading “Gold”

Gravedigger

I have only a few Dave Matthews songs in my collection. Not sure why; I like his voice and music but have never been a collector of him, though a friend and former colleague is a big fan, as I remember. The first time I remember hearing the song, “Gravedigger” was as a live, coverContinue reading “Gravedigger”

Gimme Sympathy

The Canadian band Metric released the album Synthetica in 2012. I played it a lot, and bought three versions: there was the original release; the deluxe version (which included several acoustic versions of songs from the album, including “Gimme Sympathy,” the plugged-in rendition of which — and today’s selection — was on their Fantasies album…Continue reading “Gimme Sympathy”

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”

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”

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”

Going Home (Theme of the Local Hero)

Content 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)”

‘Bel

I remember, about 30 years ago, I heard a family friend was leaving a secure job in education to learn music therapy. While the field sounded new and unknown, I thought, yeah… that would work! I have always believed that music has a healing power to it, shown in the way a favourite piece canContinue reading “‘Bel”