Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I want you, I don't want your photograph...

... I'll never forget your face, I don't need a picture

A tribute to Matt Mays & El Torpedo who sadly cancelled their appearance at JunoFest. However, if they hadn't, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of hearing Arkells live!

JunoFest weekend photo album (don't mind the blurriness, Arkells and The Trews shows were taken with a cellphone camera.)


The Trews

Matthew Barber

Hey Ocean!

P.S. On a completely unrelated note -- 2 companies I would never want to do business with again: LG (the LG Chocolate is the worst POS I've ever possessed) and AcomData (they sell external HDs).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Featuring Mister Plaskett

Triple record- Now that’s just rattling off
My past is checkered, and my future’s polka dots
I’ve been gone too long; I’m so sick of all these songs
You’re in the driveway
Our love is like a highway
It goes on & on & on

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions!

PICK YOUR ARTIST: Joel Plaskett (& the Emergency)

Male or female:
"Written All Over Me"

Describe yourself:
"Precious, Precious, Precious"

How do you feel about yourself?:
"Natural Disaster" :p

Describe where you currently live:

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?:
"Nowhere With You"! Perfect!

Your best friends are:
Oh boy, this one has many choices, take your pick: "Fashionable People," "Drunk Teenagers," or "Waiting To Be Discovered"

Your favorite color is:
"New Scotland Blues"

You know:
"There's Love In The Air" (but I'm on the ground)

What's the weather like?:
"Snowed In"!

If your life were a TV show, what would it be called?:
"On & On & On"... especially if it's a talk show :)

What is life to you?:
"Unconditional Love"

What is the best advice you have to give?:
"Shine On, Shine On, Shine On"

If you could change your name, what would it be?:
err "Nina and Albert"

What is your favorite food?:
"Gone, Gone, Gone" ... 'cause I ate it :)

What is the first thing you think when you wake up?:

What is a good pick-up line?:
"Penny For Your Thoughts"?... or "Maybe We Should Just Go Home" ;)

Describe the vehicle you drive:
"Wait, Wait, Wait"-ing for the bus

How would you quit a job?:
Depending on the season, "Mystery & Crime" or "Lying On A Beach"

Juno weekend review (proper)

Thursday night:
Caught last song in Hey Rosetta!'s set. They sounded good, had a cellist and a violinist which sounded fantastic.

Friday: (aka. Rock night)
Worked at merch table at main tent, where the Beat showcase was happening. Overheard performances by Kay & Ace (sp?), Divine Brown and Elise Estrada. When I asked who the last person was I got a "omg, you loser" look from one of my co-volunteers. why should I know? all she did was plug Parasuco repeatedly over the course of an hour. Divine Brown has a great voice and sounded very polished, but nothing new. Like a Canadian attempted answer to Beyonce or something.
Snuck into the Fox Showcase (sold out) with a co-volunteer after our shift with our volunteer shirts on. Security guy recognized me and that made things extremely easy.. we felt like such rebels!
Incura: winner of Fox's seeds competition. wasn't too much into their style. almost screamo. front man very acrobatically gyrating, very amusing. realized during this set that black skinny jeans = certification for rockers.
Arkells: PHENOMENAL. I broke my no-music-buying Lent rule for their CD... which is a downer. but they were so good. anthemic stadium rock. brought out Zaki Ibrahim and another female singer to sing backup for a couple of songs. Did a rendition of "Ain't too proud to beg" which had everyone singing along. No Champagne Socialist sounded so good live...
Daniel Wesley Band: a more offensive Jack Johnson. I can't believe people moshed to this. Alcohol is a strange substance.
The Trews: SO GOOD. They were visibly confident because they were good and they knew it. Wow, they brought down the tent. I was barely standing.

Saturday: (aka. folk/funk night)
Got up at 6-ish because I was presenting research at a psych conference at 8... gosh. Closest thing to a hangover I'll ever get. Mysterious bruises, groggy, half mute and deaf and head wobbly. Poster presentations went well though, I didn't fall over once! Although I did fall asleep in the talks so I just didnt go after a couple.
Got home, Tim and I went to Cheryl's, the three of us set off to have our musical adventures for that night.
Matthew Barber: if I didn't love him, his set would've been only ok. Doolin's was really dingy. a new friend and i went up to the front. we were probably the only 2 in vancouver that knew his music. we were requesting songs and chatting with him haha. guitar + harmonica, charming and good with banter, forgot some of his own lyrics. met Alex, a fellow fan of CBC R3 which was awesome! Also talked with Grant Lawrence (CBCR3 host) and Jill Barber (Matt's also very talented sister). Got a picture with Mr. Barber.
Hey Ocean!: The always talented and fun Vancouver band. Party central! We were very glad to get into Media Club. Missed the first 2 songs of their set but they played for a good hour and 20 minutes or so. their music is catchier than herpes. you can't not dance, it's a physical impossibility. :)

So sleep deprived. Lost voice so couldn't sing at church haha. Kept hoping that the worship band would burst into Caribbean rhythms but alas, t'was not so.
Juno ceremony-- (aka. low point of my weekend)
seat filler. got into GM place after about an hour and 45 minutes. got actually seat filling about another hour after that. Gordon Campbell was right in front of me, as was the bassist from Hey Ocean!. I think they're quite acquainted with each other actually. curious. Gregor Robertson front right. 2 of the judges from so you think you can dance canada (the pretty black lady and the french dude) and Nico (one of the previous winners?) right behind me. Nickelback were about a section over to my right. pondered the likelihood of self getting hurt in a targeted air raid one section over to the right. all that having been said, the only person I wanted to talk to was the Hey Ocean bassist.
Sam Roberts Band: artist of the year, their performance of Them Kids, bassist wearing a poncho
The Stills: performance. unfortunately was blocked off to where i was sitting
Kathleen Edwards & Bryan Adams: KE on violin; did a nice duet where they looked into each others eyes instead of audience. very sizzling and beautiful
City & Colour w. Gord Downie: did Sleeping Sickness, sounded way more upbeat than studio version which is appreciated
Great Big Sea & Hawksley Workman & members of Eccodeck: wrapped up the show with a rollicking finish beyond the credits.
Lights: acceptance speech was good. she's a cutie-patooty. mentioned how it's fantastic to be recognized as a independent musician in a large institution. a small crack in the gloomy clouds, she was.
Nickelback: DON'T NEED MORE AWARDS. NEED TALENT AND RESPECT FOR WOMEN. they beat Feist for fan favorite (what) and The Trews and Tokyo Police Club for group of the year (WHAT.) album of the year category had really awful nominees so it was no loss. honestly, I felt sick. the whole stadium was roaring. I have never felt so disillusioned about music, nor musically lonely in a sea of people.
Simple Plan: meh.
MCs: Russell Peters was "about as funny as a kick in the nuts," to quote another blogger. The gay guy from video on trial was about as funny as a violent karate session to the nuts then. I'm glad he wasn't in the broadcast.

Juno weekend review (a prelude)

My tweet about the Juno awards ceremony got quoted by Grant Lawrence on CBC R3 blog, which makes me very happy because it almost legitimizes my online quips.

And here are some of my favourite Juno-reaction Tweets that I received last night:
jimbryson: "The Juno set says one thing to me: 'Jungle Book on ice'".
amandaputz: "Stills could use autotune and red carpet class".
knottyn3rb: "Nickelback doesn't need more awards. They need talent and respect for women".

Wow, quoted right after a talented musician and a (former) CBC R3 host. My ego feels slightly more inflated... but just a little. :)


[Edit] Later on during work-- because working for the gov't means you have plenty of free time

Re: an emailer's comment that people who vocally disliked the Juno awards are being "sour grapes"

I agree somewhat with your comment. If the complaints about the Junos were simply because the people we want to win didn't, then it would be juvenile. And fan awards should be given to the one with the most votes; no matter how distasteful the choice, it is by vote.
However, I have a problem with mediocrity being awarded, as well as mainstream radio choices being pushed as "Canadian musical diversity." The Juno for album of the year was between Nickelback, Hedley and Simple Plan and I'm being told that there's representative variety there? If our awards do not reflect our vast talent, why have them?
My final beef (for now) with this specific Juno awards is with the lack of respect, no matter what your standpoint on certain issues. Russell Peters and his obnoxious amount of pot jokes does not do any justice to the push to decriminalize marijuana. The awful Much Music guy's comments about how he wants to hump every living male in the stadium don't do jack for gay rights. Nickelback's song "Something in your mouth" with gyrating suggestive female imagery -- come on, really? It wasn't just my musical taste that was soured, but my moral fibers as well.

Joel Plaskett: "Three"

I'm the Berlin Wall, I'm a communist
You're a wrecking ball in a summer dress

I thought I'd start this blog off on a good note, coming off of the most packed musical weekend of my life thus far... i.e. Juno weekend! My very ambivalent feelings towards that will come in the next post when I get home.

Joel Plaskett does an interview with The Globe and Mail about his latest triple-disk release Three.
A songwriter's holy trinity

Do good things come in three? Dartmouth-based singer-songwriter and rocker Joel Plaskett believes they do. He's just released Three, the follow-up to 2007's Polaris Prize-nominated Ashtray Rock. It's a triple album that loosely documents the three-sided life and journey of a touring musician.

I got the album in the mail (along with concert tickets and autographed liner notes) as part of a package on Maple Music, which made me feel like some kind of industry insider with the inside of the industry. Through & Through & Through, the first single off the first CD, had already been on CBCR3 and The Peak for about 3 weeks. It was even a free track of the week on iTunes which drove my hype meter up like, 34 notches. Everything that immediately catches my attention were present in this song, namely Plaskett's playful drawl-y voice, the back-up vocals of 2 lovely artists in their own right, a wicked horn section and witty lyrics.

The album does not disappoint at all. There's even an epic send-off, On & On & On, a 13-minute track that sounds like Plaskett and co. just kept jamming, stringing together whatever inspiration that struck in the moment. It's glorious. A definite departure from his stuff with the Emergency, and my favorite of his solo career by far.