Category Archives: music

Crisis postponed

Rick Mercer has summarized this past week’s political excitement (and he did a good job too). He concludes:

Meanwhile, this great democracy of ours has ceased to function. We have no government because they just can’t get along. It is a mess that defies comprehension but has one simple solution.

We need one more strange-bedfellows event: a historic press conference at which Stephen Harper and Stéphane Dion apologize to their country and then to their parties. And then they resign — no questions please.

Because, quite frankly, they deserve one another — and Canada deserves better.

Even I, who mistakenly thought Dion was the best of a dozen leadership choices (who better to win back the trust of Quebeckers than one of their own?), would be happy to expedite his departure if he took Harper with him.

Look! A wide-screen high-quality YouTube video

You have to click through for the promised qualities, unfortunately.

Another Nickelback review

It is not quite five in the morning as I write this, so I hope you’ll forgive a second post bashing Nickleback. I need something to brighten this bleak hour.

The album Dark Horse was reviewed in Eye Weekly by Dave Morris, and he put into words that unpleasant feeling the band gives me:

we all have a cousin or a high-school friend who basically is Chad Kroeger, a borderline-dangerous neanderthal whose ultimate fantasy is a stripper with a heart of gold who wouldn’t mind bailing him out of the drunk tank.

This demographic made up a disturbing proportion of my highschool’s population.

CBC Radio 2 sans Windows Media Player

Sometimes Microsoft deserves to a little slack. You don’t get to be Number One for nothing, right? On the other hand, there is no shortage of things to hate.

Like Windows Media Player. It’s choppy and clumsy and sometimes it won’t load at all when I want to stream CBC Radio 2 (and other online radio stations). So here’s a way to listen in just about any other media player:

  1. Select your preferred stream and quality from the Radio 2 website, for example, Eastern High.
  2. When the new window opens, right-click on some white space and select View Page Info (You’re using Firefox, right? You should be.)
  3. Under the Media tab, you will see a list of images and stuff found on the page. Right-click and copy the address which is labelled Embed. It will look something like:
  4. Now open that file with Notepad or an equivalent text program. It’s as easy as pasting the above address in the field File Name and selecting Open. Notepad will spit out something like:
    <ASX VERSION="3.0"> <ENTRY>
    <REF HREF="" />
    </ENTRY> </ASX>
  5. Copy the hyperlink between but not including the quotation marks and Open it in your media player of choice (but not iTunes). And that’s all there is to it.

Thus, if you live in the Eastern timezone and want the High quality stream, all the work is finished for you. All you only need to do is paste

into your media player.

A bit of elitism I can get behind

Nickleback released a new single today with which we will all be bludgeoned into a tasteless coma by November 18, when their new album goes on sale. Summary of the single: Strippers are awesome!

The National Post’s Ampersand blog is not impressed. And rightly:

Now, we are aware that there is nothing original about trashing Nickelback, but the awfulness of Something In Your Mouth demands fresh damnation. The band’s ode to a stripper boasts lyrics that seem destined — if not designed — to become the unofficial anthem of dudes who follow creeds like “bros before hos” and, well, like Nickelback.

Go download the single (don’t pay for it!), burn it on a CD, and put the CD in your microwave. Bake for 30 seconds or until toasty.

Caribou wins Polaris 2008

Their album Andorra is the best of the best, according to the learned people who decide such things. Caribou took home twenty grand for their troubles.

It’s impossible to be disappointed with whoever wins the Polaris Prize, because the nominees are always excellent.

(link that proves it’s true)

(photo source)

The New Two

I finally have time to sit down and listen to some Brand New Radio Two.

Intending to sit down from the beginning of the Radio 2 Drive program, I immediately discovered that my wireless connection wasn’t up to snuff, and my LAN cable is out of commission (strangled to death in a closed window).

So I stole my roommate’s cable.

My ears were immediately treated to Gonzales with “Working Together” (video embedded below). This bodes well.

As I write this I’ve been listening for less than a half hour, but my impression is that R2 Drive is like a softer, more mature version of the online-only but cool and eclectic Radio 3. Though I still think that Radio 3 deserves to be broadcast on the real radio alongside One and Two, R2 Drive is the next best thing.

CBC Radio 2 has been making a slow transition from an Opera For Farmers model (to the distress of some) to something more resembling BBC Radio 2, with a focus on contemporary music and drawing a sizable audience. Noble as the old Radio 2 was, the ratings were appalling to the point where even this occasional listener and self-confessed tax-and-spend liberal was asking himself,  “Is it worth the cost?”

My only reservation, based on what I’ve heard and read, is that the hosts still sound like they are introducing Canon in D instead of Solomon Burke or Two Hours Traffic. I’m not looking for mindless DJ jabbering but musically inclined guests might be nice. It’s just a suggestion, not a deal breaker.

I welcome the New Two if only for R2 Drive. Hopefully I will get a change to hear the morning program soon.

“7:53 a.m. Oh, hell. Coldplay.”

The New Two, liveblogged for the first twelve hours.

Polaris Music Prize

At the Polaris Prize shortlist announcement.

The shortlist for 2008’s Polaris Prize is out:

Black Mountain – In The Future

Plants and Animals – Parc Avenue

Basia Bulat – Oh, My Darling

Stars – In Our Bedroom After The War

Caribou – Andorra

Shad – The Old Prince

Kathleen Edwards – Asking For Flower

Two Hours Traffic – Little Jabs

Holy Fuck – LP

The Weakerthans – Reunion Tour

Are you surprised? There are a couple nominees I didn’t expect to see. Somehow I have never heard of Kathleen Edwards, and her Wikipedia entry suggests she doesn’t deserve my ignorance. The same goes for Shad.

My knowledge of Cancon doesn’t have the breadth, let along the depth, that I sometimes like to imagine.

Having said that, I can vouch for the excellentness of Stars, Caribou, Holy Fuck, and The Weakerthans. Finding out more about the other artists will make an excellent task for after I have my wisdom teeth pulled in a few weeks.

You can hear samples from all the artists in a special Polaris-themed Radio 3 Podcast. Have I told you lately how wonderful the CBC is?

[photo] “DSC_3465” by David Topping


Another good name for a band.