Shape of My Heart

The British artist Sting (aka Gordon Sumner) released “Shape of My Heart” as the fifth single from his wildly successful fourth solo album, Ten Summoner’s Tales (1993). Like “Wild Is the Wind,” “Sultans of Swing,” and many other songs, today’s selection sounds perfect for the ending credits of a film. And, in fact, Sting’s songContinue reading “Shape of My Heart”

Hard on Things

Tonight my sweety and I will be watching the last in a series of three spring/summer online concerts by Canadian singer-songwriter and dramaturgist Corin Raymond. The show is being produced through Canada’s Home Routes, a non-profit organization established by founders of the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the West End Cultural Centre. Home Routes also presentsContinue reading “Hard on Things”

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”

Calling All Angels

Last night, my sweety and I watched an online conversation between American singer-songwriter, writer, producer, fisher, carpenter and philanthropist Brandi Carlile and Shelley Youngblut, CEO and Creative Ringleader of Wordfest, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on Wordfest’s Imagine On Air series. Wordfest held the event to promote Carlile’s just-released memoir, Broken Horses. We truly enjoyed theContinue reading “Calling All Angels”

Sowing the Seeds of Love

One of the most remarkable bands to emerge in the 1980s has to be Tears for Fears. Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith: an English twosome who, I feel, revolutionized music by merging new romantic/new wave sensibilities with the rawness of arena rock, mixed with socio-political consciousness. “Sowing the Seeds of Love” perfectly represents all thoseContinue reading “Sowing the Seeds of Love”

Happiness

Guy Garvey, the lead singer of the English band Elbow, is a big admirer of the Scottish group, The Blue Nile. I’ve only come to know the latter’s music through Garvey’s Sunday program on BBC 6 Music, Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour (in the afternoon in England; morning over here). I previously posted another song byContinue reading “Happiness”

Heartbeat

The new wave band The Psychedelic Furs was formed in London, England, in 1977. They took a hiatus in the early 1990s, reformed in 2000 and are still active today. They are definitely up there on my top-thirty list of bands, and I often like to listen to their music. In fact, they were theContinue reading “Heartbeat”

Crystalline Pools

A couple of months ago, I posted some music that had been shared with me, by Michigan, USA-based Seth Bernard. (Please see my post on “Sandman’s Dust” for more on him and his work and art.) This week, Bernard released a new single and music video, “Crystalline Pools.” On the Bandcamp page for the song,Continue reading “Crystalline Pools”

Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626, Act III, “When I am laid in earth” (Dido’s Lament)

No one knows for sure when the English composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695) wrote his three-act Baroque opera Dido and Aeneas, though it is believed to have been completed sometime between 1683 and 1688.  The work is one of Purcell’s best remembered theatrical compositions and his only true opera. He based the music on the play BrutusContinue reading “Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626, Act III, “When I am laid in earth” (Dido’s Lament)”

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”

When Your Mind’s Made Up (from the film, Once)

One of the first songs that caught my attention when skimming over my digital collection this morning was “When Your Mind’s Made Up,” from the soundtrack of the Irish romantic musical drama Once (2007). Most of the characters in the movie are referred to by their gender or occupation: Glen Hansard (who has a minorContinue reading “When Your Mind’s Made Up (from the film, Once)”

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”

If You Could Read My Mind

There are many world-renowned musicians and bands that my country Canada has produced. One of them is singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, an incredibly talented balladeer of folk, folk-rock and country music who has an unmistakable sound. Even as a younger man, he had a depth and gentleness in his voice that belied the age at whichContinue reading “If You Could Read My Mind”

Flying

It’s been a while since I posted a song by the Beatles. If you query for them on my Index of Songs/Search page, it’ll point you to posts on “Here Comes the Sun,” a supergroup cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Help,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “All You Need Is Love,” and, most recently, “Let ItContinue reading “Flying”

What a Wonderful World

“And I think to myself / What a wonderful world…” (from “What a Wonderful World,” by Bob Thiele [aka George Douglas], George David Weiss) Today’s my birthday. It’s my second pandemic birthday, and while last year I felt a slight tinge of sadness about not gathering with family and friends, this year my feelings ofContinue reading “What a Wonderful World”

Secondhand

Happy Friday, folks! This afternoon, I went to Costco to do a big shop for my sweety and me and for a friend, and, while driving, Apple CarPlay was on a totally random play, picking from my entire music library. It was pretty cool… heard some things I hadn’t played in a long time! SweetyContinue reading “Secondhand”

Suddenly Last Summer

Today I made a quick stop into our local Safeway grocery store, and while in line to check out, a familiar old song came on the store’s canned music channel. The song was “Suddenly Last Summer,” one I remember well from a sometimes solitary period in my music enjoyment as I branched out from theContinue reading “Suddenly Last Summer”

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”

Vincent

The American singer-songwriter Don McLean is likely best known for his hit song “American Pie,” but one of his most remarkable compositions has to be “Vincent,” which came from the same album, American Pie (1971). Often misidentified by its opening refrain, “Starry, starry night…” “Vincent” is a beautiful, poignant homage to the Dutch post-impressionist painterContinue reading “Vincent”

New Amsterdam

Recently I wrote, in a post on Fleetwood Mac’s “Second Hand News,” about my record-playing parties at my parents’ home where I’d often play only one song from a record, take it off, put on another, and so on. A more modern take on that practice is to buy only one track from an album,Continue reading “New Amsterdam”

Gitchi-Manidoo

Over the past two days, I’ve posted songs about two different responses to being down on one’s luck. Today, I randomly landed on the piece “Gitchi-Manidoo (Advice for the Young).” The track comes from the album Chants and Dances of the Native Americans, by the Sacred Spirit project, which I explained in my post onContinue reading “Gitchi-Manidoo”

The World Song

Time is such an interesting concept. A few weeks ago, well, January 17 at 10:03 pm, to be exact (according to the Shazam app), I heard a song, and my iPhone told me it was Petula Clark singing “The World Song.” Based on that time of the evening, it had to be while my sweetyContinue reading “The World Song”

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”

Big Jet Plane

So, hands up, everyone who’s yearning to get away on holiday! It’s now over a year since the first COVID-19 cases developed worldwide, and most of us have spent ten or more months in some form of restricted lifestyle. Like the character in the video for today’s song, many are trapped in unrewarding routines (orContinue reading “Big Jet Plane”

Goose Snow Cone

Content warning: this post contains discussion of mental health. I first heard Aimee Mann’s music in the film, I Am Sam, which starred American actor Sean Penn as a single father with an intellectual disability, at risk of losing custody of his daughter. The soundtrack is made up entirely of covers of Beatles songs; MannContinue reading “Goose Snow Cone”

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”

Bros

In my two previous posts on the London, England alternative-rock band Wolf Alice (“Turn to Dust” and “Don’t Delete the Kisses”), I’ve mentioned their single, “Bros.” This morning I figured, it’s about time I posted about the tune. It makes a good “Friday song,” as I hope you’ll agree. The official music video portrays manyContinue reading “Bros”

Capsule

Today is a fine day. A morning meditation shared with friends across the country; appointments made for car and house maintenance; a few text chats with various friends and family; then this afternoon, time outside with my sweety. We walked along the river path in the sun with the temperature hovering around freezing. It wasContinue reading “Capsule”

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”

Mother Whale Eyeless

When I listen to Brian Eno’s music and the recordings of bands he has produced in his long musical career, it is hard for me to grasp the idea that he has called himself a “non-musician.” Eno studied painting and experimental music in the 1960s and joined the glam-rock band Roxy Music as its synthesizerContinue reading “Mother Whale Eyeless”

Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)

Merry Christmas, family, friends, followers! One of the longstanding Christmas traditions in our home is to play the Vice Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. We aren’t all together this year because of restrictions on gatherings, but we can still honour our traditions and adapt them to this “temporary normal.” When Sweety and I andContinue reading “Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)”

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”

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 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”

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”

Thank You for Being a Friend

Most people will remember the song “Thank You for Being a Friend” as the theme for TV’s The Golden Girls, which ran from 1985 to 1992. The show used a cover version recorded by Cynthia (Cindy) Fee. Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Andrew Gold (1951-2011) wrote the song and recorded it in 1978, and itContinue reading “Thank You for Being a Friend”

I Wandered by a Brookside

I have been taking a course over Zoom on the topic of intentional life transitions. Tonight was the third of four classes, and it was an illuminating evening, as was the coursework in preparation. Among the tasks we were to do between classes was to go and “wander aimlessly.” I had a lot of troubleContinue reading “I Wandered by a Brookside”

The Silence

After yesterday’s “2 Minute Silence,” today, we’re visiting another type of silence. Late in the evening on November 10, while I was writing my just-before-midnight post on Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt,” today’s song came up on YouTube autoplay. Just a month ago, on October 13, I posted “The Sunshine” from Manchester Orchestra’s 2017 album,Continue reading “The Silence”

Love & Hate

Love & Hate. Right & Wrong. Us & Them. Black & White (or any colour contrast…). Today as I observe the ongoing coverage of the United States election, I try to wade through the biases of two extremes that have expanded to take up so much space in our consciousness. I just want to knowContinue reading “Love & Hate”

Friday

Happy Friday! Do you remember Show and Tell at school? I was always looking for cool things to bring to school to share. Not sure I ever came up with that many, or at least really good ones. Today’s selection takes that ritual to a new level. “Friday” is a song by the New YorkContinue reading “Friday”

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”

The Sunshine

I definitely would have first heard the band Manchester Orchestra on KEXP Seattle. The sound of the the indie-rock foursome from Atlanta, Georgia, USA is a natural fit for the broadcaster. The public radio station, affiliated with the University of Washington, held its annual fall fundraiser last week, raising over 1.1 million USD in justContinue reading “The Sunshine”

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)”

Can’t Find My Way Home

Blind Faith was a British supergroup featuring Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton, and it was active in 1969 after the breakups of their two respective bands, Traffic and Cream. Blind Faith was together for only one record and tour. On September 13, when I was working on my post about Vivaldi’s “Summer” concerto from TheContinue reading “Can’t Find My Way Home”

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”

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”

Two Cold Nights in Buffalo

This morning was a little warmer than yesterday, so I set out with fewer layers hoping I’d be warm enough on the bike. Soon the knee-warmers came off and were stuffed in my jersey pocket. Then just south of Saint Adolphe, Manitoba, where I turned around after riding 40 kilometres (25 miles) against a mildContinue reading “Two Cold Nights in Buffalo”

Deep Blue

The most powerful films I’ve seen leave me rapt in attention to the music at the ending credits… often wishing the film just wouldn’t end. In my imagination, I’ve pretended that some of my most favourite songs were the ending themes to movies. I mentioned in my post on Dire Straits’ song “Sultans of Swing”Continue reading “Deep Blue”

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”

Celeste

Tonight I’m revisiting the 2020 Brian and Roger Eno album, Mixing Colours. The album has been on my mind again lately, and later today, as I travelled through the various aspects of the day. (Please see my previous thoughts about the album, Brian Eno and his musical roots, in my posts on the pieces “Ultramarine”Continue reading “Celeste”

No One

Today, we’re back to the band that was the subject of my first post this blog, back in January 2020, “Heaven,” by The Psychedelic Furs. I initially thought I’d post another of their old singles, “Here Come Cowboys,” which has been another favourite and comes from the same album, 1984’s Mirror Moves. Maybe another time… “Heaven”Continue reading “No One”

Love Songs for Robots

Last night, the song “Love Songs for Robots,” by Montréal, Quebec band Patrick Watson (led by a fellow named that), came into my mind as a possible song to write some thoughts on. I wrote down the title in my document of blog notes. It’s an interesting song I first heard on CBC Radio 2Continue reading “Love Songs for Robots”

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”

Lawyers in Love

Today I thought of the Jackson Browne song, “Lawyers in Love,” from the 1983 album of the same name. And whenever I think of it, I recall one of my brothers asking me what I thought about the keyboard part echoing Browne’s “love call” in the then-new song. I honestly didn’t catch that at first, butContinue reading “Lawyers in Love”

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”

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”

I Drove All Night

Here is another one of the songs Sweety, my boys and I heard when we watched the “best of” album companion DVD Twelve Deadly Cyns… And Then Some. (I recently posted on another, “I’m Gonna Be Strong,” and the memories associated with that song and the album.) Our family enjoyed the DVD many times togetherContinue reading “I Drove All Night”

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”

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”

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”

I’m Not in Love

The English band 10cc was another band I learned of during those basement suite parties that one of my brothers invited me to, as talked about here and here. “I’m Not in Love,” released 45 years ago last month, is likely 10cc’s most famous, commercially-successful single. “The Things We Do for Love” is another bigContinue reading “I’m Not in Love”

Ramblin’ Rose

Whenever I hear the song, “Ramblin’ Rose,” a Noel and Joe Sherman composition made famous by Nat “King” Cole, I think of my mum singing along, and have an image of her dancing around the living room to it. She loved music throughout her life and savoured opportunities to hear it. I have a vagueContinue reading “Ramblin’ Rose”

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””

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)”

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”

Enjoy the Silence

Our youngest lad and I don’t seem to speak a lot about music, though we share some similar likes. We both enjoy country music, though I tend to gravitate to the grittier, outlaw-country side of the genre. And it seems that seeing his older brother’s appearance several years ago at Dauphin’s Countryfest in Manitoba’s Interlake ignited ourContinue reading “Enjoy the Silence”