Tuesday, 30 June 2020

June Album Releases: June 19th and 26th

Another case of something outside myself eating my life, and so it's another double week of release reviews. I know, I run the risk of upsetting my army of readers, but I hope you'll forgive me. Less preamble, more reviews!

Sault, 'Black Is...'
- a bit of an unknown in terms of who precisely is behind this collection of interesting snapshots into what it means to feel empowered by your own (black) culture

Phoebe Bridgers, 'Punisher'
- I like Phoebe, really I do, and I know that anyone who can already has given this album glowing praise BUT (and I never thought I would say this, ever) this album is just too much of a downer for me ... it's really well done and really interesting but also filled with abject misery
- final rating: Recommended (on it's musical merits)

Wait, Neil Young AND Bob Dylan released new albums and you aren't going to review them? No, I am not. Experience tells me what I need to know here and if I am missing out then so be it...

Daniel Avery, 'Love + Light'
- I thought Daniel Avery was going to be something huge in the world of EDM/IDM but he's had a bit of an off year having already released an average album early in the year and now this, a surprise release that spends far too much of its runtime repeating itself ... "London Island" and "Infinite Future" still standout but overall this is not a very compelling listen

MIKE, 'Weight of the World'
- any album described as "experimental hip hop" is going to get a listen from me and this quirkily produced album is both experimental and awesome
- final rating: Recommended

A bit of an uninspiring fortnight if you ask me. I listened to a few other albums and EPs but there was nothing that held me. Peace,

Sunday, 21 June 2020

IDLES, "Grounds"

Crushing, heavy, relevance...enjoy

For some reason, the new Blogger update makes some videos unavailable. If you want to watch the official video (and I strongly recommend it), here is the link. Peace,

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Friday, 19 June 2020

Juneteenth, 2020

It's hard as a white, middle-class Canadian, who is fully aware of his privilege and who naturally leans towards pessimism (quite the preamble) to not find all the white people posting about Juneteenth on social media as disingenuous. Are you posting because you have taken the time to really reflect and analyze the privilege that is inherently yours and that exists without question, such that you really do feel that your voice is raised in empathy and solidarity? Or are you just wanting to boost your social media numbers and look good to others? I can't help but lean, naturally, towards the latter. Rant.

Here is a collection (via YouTube, bandcamp) of some solid music released today that reflects our current racist reality...


Sunday, 14 June 2020

Curt's Countdowns #18

Editor's note: I am sorry that I misplaced this countdown from our friend Curt, especially considering it is meant to make you smile. We need a good smile just now, but please do not misunderstand me either - I am very aware that there are very serious issues being struggled with daily that impact all of us and I don't wish to take anything at all from that seriousness or that very worthy struggle. Know that, as I have posted prior to today, I m 100% in support of any movement that has equality as its ultimate goal. Know also that perhaps, if only for a minute, Curt's countdown is designed to make you smile ... please, enjoy

Much of the world is in lockdown and many of us are bored. I find myself constantly searching for new things to read and/or watch everyday. I’m either re-reading/watching stuff I like or reading/watching things I only have a mild interest in just to pass the time. Some people out there are really creative and have produced some very clever and entertaining pieces to keep the masses feeling better and I doff my cap to these bright individuals.

There are a lot of great musicians out there. There are also a lot of great writers out there, too. I find it really special when someone is able to blend music, with great lyrics and then toss in humour. It’s a rare talent. So rare, I decided to make a list of my Top 10 Parody Songs...

Saturday, 13 June 2020

June Album Releases: June 5th and 12th, 2020

You'll hopefully forgive me for not putting all of my effort into keeping up with the blog but there have been a few matters in the world that have taken my attention, heart and mind. I have spoken, albeit briefly, about the Black Lives Matter movement that the world, and most forcefully the USA, is finally being shaken to its core by and my only hope is that we come out the other side, likely bearing more than a few bruises and broken bones, at nothing less than FULL equality. My voice is not a loud one, but it is with you. Let's talk music too then...

Monday, 8 June 2020

Curt's Countdown #17: editor's edited attempt

Admittedly, this isn't exactly the same as Curt's past three "blast from the past" posts BUT he did ask me to attempt to make some sort of list of my favourite songs of all-time. I am editing that slightly and instead of a list of ALL songs, it's going to be two lists - a list of my favourite 15 Pearl Jam songs and a list of my favourite 15 songs from The Beatles. These two bands have abided with me for quite a long time and though one doesn't hold my attention in the same way as it used to while the other is long-retired, there are countless hours accumulated between the two, listening and internalizing. I can't give the same scope or breadth as Curt perhaps, but here goes...

Friday, 5 June 2020

Black Lives Matter, and processing the chaos

I am having a really difficult time making sense of what is happening, primarily in the USA, as the nation comes totally unglued and daily we are engulfed in more violence, accusations, and racism. I am very aware of my privilege being white and male, aware that racism comes in far too many forms, as well as that reality in Canada is not the same as reality elsewhere. I am aware that my country has a long and dark history of racism and mistreatment of minorities, especially our indigenous peoples and I am aware that my job allows me opportunities to educate children and open their minds to these truths. I am aware that perhaps none of this belongs on a blog dedicated to music too but I just don't know how else to convey my sadness or solidarity, my support or sickness, my rage. 

We must all weigh within our own selves, our own morals (or souls, depending on your beliefs) our own identities and choices; all that I can offer right now is the truth that I am aware of my privilege, I am in awe of those struggling against systemic injustice, and that I offer all the compassion that I possess. 

Rise. Struggle. Learn. Demand change. And above all, hope.


Wednesday, 3 June 2020



If you've been following RTJ in this past week, you'll know that a) they have a lot to say about racial inequality in America, and b) they are releasing their much-anticipated fourth album for free. Here is the link to their youtube page...