Rock Pools

Today I thought I’d look for another unknown (to me) artist or song in the hopes of finding something new and spring-like to enjoy, kind of like shopping for a new spring outfit. You see, in my city of Winnipeg, Canada, on Monday and Tuesday, we were hit with a late winter storm that droppedContinue reading “Rock Pools”

Don’t Let It Bring You Down

The often-reliable suggestions feed on my YouTube account today offered up the Annie Lennox cover of “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” a song which appears in the 1999 film American Beauty (though it isn’t included on the official soundtrack). The song is an excellent one. While I like Canadian-American singer, songwriter and musician NeilContinue reading “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Some months back, I listened to an episode of Irish actor and music aficionado Cillian Murphy’s BBC 6 Music guest host program (“Volume 6: Music for After Dark,” from November 23, 2020). Murphy has sat in on Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour when the Elbow frontperson has been away touring or recording, and I often enjoyContinue reading “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”

The Course

Today I’m sharing a folk song I heard during an online gathering over a month ago and which has stayed with me since. “The Course” is a stirring, soulful anthem by Ayla Nereo, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and filmmaker from northeastern California, USA. The song evokes, for me, a sense of fellowship and the togethernessContinue reading “The Course”

The Last Exit

The few songs I know by the British/American band Still Corners all have an aspect of long-distance driving… and apparently, that’s not by accident… Such was the case for “The Trip” (from their 2013 album Strange Pleasures), the only other song of theirs that I’ve posted. I like hearing that song when I’m in theContinue reading “The Last Exit”

Weird Fishes

Happy Friday! On this bright, sunny day (and cool/windy… not like Monday’s “heatwave” day across Manitoba!) I’m sharing a song with dreamy and rocking aspects to it, “Weird Fishes,” by British singer-songwriter and producer Lianne La Havas. I heard the song on BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, the February 7 episode, “Enjoy EnjoyContinue reading “Weird Fishes”

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

One of the pieces of classical music I remember being drawn to as a younger man is Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). The fantasia is probably one of Vaughan Williams’s most famous orchestral works. He based it on a theme written by the English Renaissance composerContinue reading “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis”

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”

Salut d’Amour, Op. 12

This morning, I stumbled upon a video I thought would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. Salut d’Amour (originally titled Liebesgruss or Love’s Greeting) was the first published work by English composer Edward Elgar (1857-1934). He wrote the short piece in 1888 for his soon-to-be-wife, Caroline Alice Roberts (1848-1920), in response to the poem she wroteContinue reading “Salut d’Amour, Op. 12”

Your Silent Face

“Rise and fall of shameA search that shall remainWe asked you what you’d seenYou said you didn’t care” (from “Your Silent Face,” by Bernard Sumner, Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris) The album Power, Corruption & Lies (1983) was the second release by New Order, an English rock band formed in 1980. The group wasContinue reading “Your Silent Face”

Your Song (from the film, Moulin Rouge!)

In addition to directing the dazzling, colourful and audacious 2001 movie musical Moulin Rouge!, Australian Baz Luhrmann also produced the motion picture soundtrack. Similarly, with his modern-day film adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy Romeo + Juliet, he produced two CDs of music from the film. “Your Song” is an Elton John/Bernie Taupin composition, which JohnContinue reading “Your Song (from the film, Moulin Rouge!)”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Piano Concerto No. 23, K. 488, II: Adagio

It was a long day of online Christmas shopping yesterday. No hassles with crowds and parking, but many different websites, all with very different, sometimes confusing online experiences and slow responses from my computer, the Internet, and or websites; it was good to complete all that, hours later. Then I relaxed, listening to an archivedContinue reading “Piano Concerto No. 23, K. 488, II: Adagio”

It’s My Life

Three years after forming in 1981, the English band Talk Talk released a song that was one of the biggest hits in their repertoire, “It’s My Life,” the title track of their second album. Music videos had become a significant part of music marketing in the early 1980s. I remember this single being accompanied byContinue reading “It’s My Life”

Cinnabar

This morning during a chat with a friend from Atlantic Canada, we both recalled fun times we’d had at beaches in our respective provinces this past summer. That has caused me to think about vacation travel. Today, the stairs and sidewalks outside the house were all covered with slick ice. It would be a greatContinue reading “Cinnabar”

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”

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

Serendipity is such a cool part of life. And I find, the more I am open to recognizing it, the more it happens.  This morning I was feeling drained, and ready to have a slow day. The online retreat I attended this past weekend was intense, and more than 12 hours spent on Zoom madeContinue reading “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”

At the River

Having spent two afternoons and evenings at the beach this week, I’m keenly aware of and appreciating the beauty of the living world — the sky, the land, the water and the air. Such magnificence all around us. (And sure, a little irony that my sweety and I drove out there twice, but I rationalizeContinue reading “At the River”

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”

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”

Starwalker

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians! I wasn’t on social media much today, but I did come across a few posts where people wrote about how fortunate they feel to live in our country. Many of them are like me, first-generation Canadians; our generation’s parents moved here from countries around the world. Some ofContinue reading “Starwalker”

When Will I See You Again

Yesterday, I listened to much of this past weekend’s edition of BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, “Nina Simone Rules.” A feature of the show I quite enjoy is when Garvey brings his family members onto the program, in the various ways he does. His toddler son Jack is fascinated with all the buttonsContinue reading “When Will I See You Again”

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”

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”

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)”

Denmark

I’ve mentioned my UK cousins before (please see my January 18, 2020 post on Elbow’s “This Blue World”). While visiting the families in 2011, we took a road trip of northern England and southern Scotland. One day, we took in the opening day of the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe (the largest arts festival in theContinue reading “Denmark”