Planet Earth

Today’s selection is the first song I ever heard by the English new wave/art-rock/new romantic band Duran Duran. Formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, the band takes its name from the character Dr. Durand Durand from the 1968 science fiction film Barbarella, which starred American actor, environmentalist and political activist Jane Fonda. Duran Duran isContinue reading “Planet Earth”

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”

(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”

The Man Comes Around

Checking out my digital library today, I happened upon the album American IV: The Man Comes Around by country music legend Johnny Cash (1932-2003). It’s a favourite. The album was the fourth in Cash’s American series and the last to be released while he was still living. It’s an absolutely superb collection, mostly made ofContinue reading “The Man Comes Around”

A Case of U

Noah Baerman, a friend who is a composer, musician and university educator in Connecticut, USA, reminded his people that today is the fifth anniversary of the death of the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actor and dancer, Prince (1958-2016). As Baerman often does, he accompanied his message with a top-ten list of favourite Prince tracks.Continue reading “A Case of U”

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”

Work Is a Four-Letter Word

While Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour is my number one BBC 6 Music program to listen to, there are some others I like quite a lot, too. Amy Lamé, whose program comes on right after Garvey’s Sunday time slot, is another presenter I like. I’ll occasionally listen to Sean Keaveney on weekdays, too. Sometimes Liz KershawContinue reading “Work Is a Four-Letter Word”

Reap the Wild Wind

In my post on former Japan front person David Sylvian’s “Orpheus,” I talked about my weekly record shopping excursions of the mid- to late-1970s. On one of those trips, I discovered the British new wave band Ultravox (which went by Ultravox! from 1976 to 1978) and their 1977 debut, eponymous album. I don’t remember ifContinue reading “Reap the Wild Wind”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Hello It’s Me

Todd Rundgren is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer who has been active since the mid-1960s. He has played as a solo artist and a member of Utopia. I’ve never known much about him or followed him, but I remember that my first girlfriend was into his music and spoke as if there wasContinue reading “Hello It’s Me”

Lonely People

The day before yesterday, in the car just getting on the road, I flipped on the SiriusXM soft-rock radio channel, The Bridge, as I wasn’t yet sure what playlist of my music I wanted to hear. (We still have Sirius as, whenever I call to cancel, they offer me a ridiculously cheap, six-month extension ofContinue reading “Lonely People”

Eleanor Rigby

Today, when searching a few other songs, I came across The Beatles’ song “Eleanor Rigby.” I distinctly remember it from my childhood as the first song where I learned words for feelings of loneliness and other darker emotions. That was back in 1966 which, from a health perspective, was a pretty terrible year for me.Continue reading “Eleanor Rigby”

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 aContinue reading “Who Loves the Sun”

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Today’s selection is a cover of a song by The Beatles from the two-record set titled, The Beatles, also known as the White Album. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a composition of the late George Harrison, believed to arise partly from the discord going on in the band in 1968 when the record wasContinue reading “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

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”

(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”

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”

Tomorrow Never Knows

In 1976, ex-members of Roxy Music Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera, the latter also formerly of Quiet Sun along with Bill MacCormick, plus Lloyd Watson, Simon Phillips and Francis Monkman formed a side project they called 801. The collaboration took its name from a verse in the Eno song, “The True Wheel,” a fabulous selectionContinue reading “Tomorrow Never Knows”

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”

Strange Little Girl

When one of our boys played the Tori Amos CD, Strange Little Girls in 2001, I was immediately intrigued by each of the 12 songs on the album, all of which are covers. I later found they were all intended as reinterpretations from a female perspective, on songs written by men.  I didn’t realize untilContinue reading “Strange Little Girl”