Saturday, November 29, 2008

Greg Laswell Linked and Liked

It's early Saturday morning and I've logged on to Facebook to pick up some messages. Although I resisted Facebook at the onset last year, I must admit it has its advantages.

First it's about people. I've been able to connect with friends and family that I would otherwise not be able to. There just wouldn't have been that opportunity. The other of course, is the iLike application. I'd like to say that I'm turning friends on to new music by 'publishing' my iLike selections, but also, there are friends like Terrie, Jennifer and of course Marni, who are doing the same for me. So while many folks like to blame Book-Visage for everything from break-ups to gossip machinery, there's something to be said for the connection that a song or music can make between people.

With that said, thanks to Terrie and Jennifer for being very cool and selecting and publishing your pick for the multi-talented artist, Greg Laswell - hailing from San Diego, California. Besides being a producer and engineer, the guy clearly knows how to write and record good music. From his album, "Three Flights from Alto Nido", this song is entitled "How The Day Sounds" and it is my pick of the week.

Now I have to finish - actually start - my review for the new Snow Patrol. It's not doing it for me so far. Looks like another bleak 6 out of Tener.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Snow Patrol to Ryan Adams and back to Lucinda Williams

After receiving a brief email last week, the new Snow Patrol album is coming my way for review. The problem is, I wouldn't consider myself a big Snow Patrol fan. I mean, they're alright for soft edged pop. They're kind of like Coldplay's little brother aren't they? But I suppose I should save my reservations until I actually get the CD and hear it. Who knows, maybe I'll love it. It's much easier to write with love or hate. It's dreary if your feelings are grey or lukewarm. In writing, nothing could be more boring than indifference. In any case, my starting point before receiving the CD is research and I've found a few tricks for comprehending a band and an album. This morning my iTunes Store was my first stop. There's a few songs on it which might be palpable. But I was immediately uninterested and moved on to the new Ryan Adams and The Cardinals - now that's more my speed. I could sing my teeth into that one.

iTunes beguiles you in with one purchase and then thoughtfully recommends other artists and albums with their subtle "Listeners Also Bought" tool. Which naturally lead me to the newest Lucinda Williams' CD, "Little Honey". Steve said that Lucinda Williams was having a relationship with the wee Ryan Adams. I don't know about a romantic relationship. He's 34 and she's past 50. That would be rather Oedipus Rex-ish. I don't doubt they've observed in one another a strong sense of symmetry as artists.

The iTunes review of "Little Honey" was stirringly perfect; clearly the writer understands what it means to hear Lucinda Williams. The final paragraph of the review was irresistible, surmising

"the cover of AC/DC's "It's a Long Way To The Top" is at once bizarre and absolutely perfect, a blues lament coming from the mouth of a woman who has spent decades trying to get her point across."

Yes, that's exactly her.

It seems that most people are fairly flagrant with their music tastes and sadly, again, indifferent towards it. Hawksley Workman asserts "The poets let a generation down and modern music could be a healing sound" in his "We Will Still Need A Song". It's true, modern songwriters - real singer-songwriters - are vessels of poetry today; dispensing their stories and truths and harnessing them to harmonies; a double feat.

I guess my point is, I personally can't waste my precious time trying to assimilate monochromatic, common pop music. I know; pretty elitist.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I worked on Saturday to help out at one of the showhomes in Heritage Woods. On the way home in the dark just after 6pm, driving along the quiet Barnet Hwy that hugs the inlet from Port Moody to Burnaby, I was listening to CBC Radio 2 and this catchy song came on. It was Sunny Day by local Vancouver music project Phontaine. Before the song ended I took note of the time and thought once I got home I'd check the CBC Playlist Web Site and find out what it was - there was no need because Tim Tamashiro, Tonic's host, plugged it immediately 'If you don't have any Phontaine, go out and buy an album - it's great music to have..." I was rummaging into my purse, nearly driving off the road for my ballpoint and note pad to scribble it down. Once home on Saturday night I purchased the album in which Sunny Day appears, Bibliotec. I wouldn't declare myself as a fan of electronic music, but I have to say, this got my attention.

This unofficial Phontaine video is of the final song on that album. I can't seem to find Sunny Day, but this entire album is pretty addictive at the moment. The track "Fin" is also fantastic.

Grant Baldwin is Phontaine and the music is grade A.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Home By The Sea - A Genesis forgotten classic

Tonight at the Cross, I scammed a few dollars off Steve Jones to throw into the "Juke Box". I punched in a few classics, but one surprised me - a Genesis song. I was a Genesis person in the eighth grade but this was post 1982. This is a great song. Post Genesis fan or not. The pub was filled and they liked it - but they didn't remember why.

"as we live relive our lives in what we tell you"