25 February 2008

Take this sinking boat and point it home we’ve still got time…(part 2)

I don't know which is more exciting - Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova winning the Oscar for Best Original Song for their tune "Falling Slowly" from the film Once or their deeply inspiring, and touching acceptance speeches (see the videos below). Either way their win was the most exciting moments of last night for me as I watched one of my favourite songs from last year get the recognition it truly deserves. It is absolutely one of the best songs of 2007 and if you'd like to read my original review hit this link:


Oscar performance:

Acceptance speeches:

What can I possibly add?

Thanks for tuning in....Until next week...CHEERS! and Congrats to Glen and Marketa!!! WAY TO GO!!!!!!

18 February 2008

Is it a warning? Is it a sign? Is it a people who have lost their mind?

[James Blunt – “I Can’t Hear The Music” from All The Lost Souls]

It embarrasses and shames me to think that on this day next year, President’s Day 2009, George W. Bush could very well one day be among those honoured. He could be included on that list of mostly worthy Presidents that we celebrate. The list of greats like Washington, Lincoln, or an Adams. It disgusts me in fact. I didn’t vote for him the 1st or 2nd time he cheated, er, was elected to the highest office in the land and I’d never vote for anyone in his family irrespective of their party. All the dignity and grace of the White House has been tarnished by this idiot cowboy who’s been allowed by many in Washington (including the Democrats) to run loose and remain unaccountable. It makes me sick to my stomach.

On a brighter note – with any luck – this time next year Hillary Clinton could be among those Presidents to possibly be honoured in coming years. It’s small – but it offers some relief to know that the reign of terror is nearly over - because no matter who gets elected – anyone will be better than who we have now. 10 ½ months and counting……

GO HILLARY!!!!!!! www.myspace.com/hillaryclinton

Thanks for tuning in…Until next week…CHEERS!!!

Here's a fascinating video about Barack Obama....you can also go to www.obamatruth.org to read some very interesting articles about him....

11 February 2008

There's a big, a big hard sun, beating on the big people, in the big hard world….

If ever there were a perfect symbiotic relationship between a film and a soundtrack it would be, hands down, Into The Wild. The story of an overly intelligent, idealistic and adventurous soul, the film, based on Jon Krakauer’s book of the same title retells the true story of a recent college graduate, Chris “Alex” McCandless, who leaves his cushy, privileged life behind to travel the country with the intent of conquering the Alaskan Wilderness. As we follow “Alex” (the name he takes to free himself of his WASPY upbringing and to avoid being located by his family) we are led on a journey of self discovery both within Alex and those he touches along the way of his two year sojourn. No one he comes in contact with is left unmoved; no one escapes his hypnotizing view on the material world.

So it is when the film begins and the voice of Eddie Vedder starts to ring out. While “Hard Sun” is written by Gordon Peterson, the rest of the songs, including “Rise” and “Far Behind”, other prominent songs we hear throughout, are penned by Vedder himself. As we follow Alex we hear Vedder somehow saying all that Alex is unable to say. The music becomes another character, or really, another facet of Alex.


When I walk beside her
I am the better man
when i look to leave her
I always stagger back again

Once I built an ivory tower
so I could worship from above
when I climb down to be set free
she took me in again

There’s a big
a big hard sun
beating on the big people
in the big hard world

When she comes to greet me
she is mercy at my feet
I see her inner charm
she just throws it back at me

Once I dug an early grave
to find a better land
she just smiled and laughed at me
and took her rules back again


Once I stood to lose her
and I saw what i had done
bowed down and threw away the hours
of her garden and her sun

So I tried to want her
I turned to see her weep
40 days and 40 nights
and its still coming down on me

[Hard Sun lyrics on http://www.metrolyrics.com]

There is a subtle pain one witnesses when watching/listening to this film. A young man struggling to find his voice thrusts himself into any adventure that comes his way and embraces the world at his feet. Initially penniless (he gave the remainder of his $24,000 college fund to Oxfam) he grabs any job he can to get him to his next destination – sometimes unknown, sometimes haphazardly, but ultimately as the miles and months move along he knows Alaska is where he will find his final truth. That is where he believes the rest of the answers lie – in the solitude and the quiet of The Great Wilderness; only then can the answers within him be fully realized.

It is hard to imagine this film without the sometimes thundering music and insight that Eddie Vedder provides. Having read the book in 1996 when it came out I wonder if he did the same in order to really understand Alex’s heart, soul and desires for the world. Somehow Vedder really ‘gets’ him – really taps ‘into the wild’ that was in Alex. Perhaps we can all understand his need to question, be free and to take those brave steps to leave it all behind, but few of us actually go. His misanthropic leanings, as well as his inexperience (and some might say, stupidity) are ultimately his downfall. Simultaneously the one thing he was escaping most in the end turns out to be what he craves the most. There is a cruel and heartbreaking irony to this fact – something that we hear and feel as we take this journey with Alex, Eddie and Sean Penn the writer/director of the film.


Take Leave
the conscious mind
Found myself
to be so inclined

Why sleep
in discontent?
Oh the price
of companionship

My shadow runs with me
underneath the Big Wide Sun
My shadow comes with me
as we leave it all
we leave it all Far Behind

Empty pockets will
Allow a greater
Sense of wealth
Why contain yourself
Like any other
Book on the shelf

My shadow lays with me
underneath the Big Wide Sun
My shadow stays with me
as we leave it all
we leave it all Far Behind

Subtle voices in the wind,
Hear the truth they're telling
A world begins where the road ends
Watch me leave it all behind

Far Behind

Far Behind

[Far Behind lyrics on http://www.metrolyrics.com]


Will I walk the long road?
I cannot say
There's no need to say goodbye
Oh, the pressure's building
All the memories going round
Round, round, round...
I have wished for so long...
Now I wish for you again
And the wind keeps blowin'
And the sky keeps turning grey
And the sun is set
The sun won't never rise again
I have wished for so long ...
Now I wish for you again
I have wished for so long...
Now I wish for you today
Will I walk the long road? (3x)

[The Long Road lyrics on http://www.metrolyrics.com]

I can’t say enough how amazing, powerful and haunting this film was. Thankfully it had been so many years since reading the book that much of it felt new whilst I was taken on the long rivers journey that is this piece of work – both musically and visually. Not only did Eddie Vedder capture Alex – it would not have been so without Jon Krakauer and Sean Penn and their deep love and compassion for the man that was Chris, the man that was Alex, and all the conflict and understanding that made him who he was and made his story so compelling. Stupid or not – he was braver than most of us could ever hope to be.

Do yourself a favour - don’t wait for the DVD – see this on a HUGE screen – you will be glad did.

Thanks for tuning in…Until next week….CHEERS!!

HARD SUN video:

04 February 2008

Wonder if you’ll understand it’s just the touch of your hand behind closed doors….

It’s hard to explain the excitement I felt a few weeks ago when I read on her blog that Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke, collectively known as Yaz, or Yazoo, had decided to reunite for a U.K. tour, entitled Reconnected, (as preceded by In Your Room a four disc box set of their work) that begins in Galsgow on 4 June 2008. I damn near grabbed passport and credit card to book a flight and follow them around like some Grateful Dead hippie only with an Electronica/New Wave bent. It’s something akin to lots of people with interesting haircuts, skinny ties, and lots of black clothing gulping down espresso and dancing like there’s a backboard up their asses. I know – it sounds crazy – afterall – they AREN’T The Dead – but they sure are a hell of a duo who wrote some amazing tunes and would be more than worthy of their cult following following them around.

I don’t actually remember when I started listening to Yaz. I know it wasn’t until either late High School or early College – long after their 1982 debut, Upstairs At Eric’s. I do remember listening to Alison Moyet’s solo work (Alf, and Raindancing in particular) which perhaps caused me to look backwards and investigate her time with Vince Clarke. Either way their effect on me was immediate and powerful as evidenced by the above quoted song, “Only You”. There is something so pained and honest about it – the distance we can feel from someone we love and yet have no power to change. We can’t change our feelings and we can’t change their desire to move away. It’s like a drug – you want more – you can’t get it and yet you can’t walk away. Instead we are left holding a bag of emotions that we have no idea what to do with; still, we keep putting more in the bag and as it gets heavier we stand still because we can no longer carry it. What to do then? The song leaves it open and all we know, quite simply, is that there is only one person – only you. There are no answers sometimes – only feelings.

I woke up the other morning with this song in my head. You could say it’s haunted me ever since. I have no idea why it’s in my brain right now – but I woke up and put The Best of Yaz on (I think my copies of their only two albums, Upstairs At Eric’s, and You and Me Both disappeared in a move) and listened anew with great pleasure and astonishment at how refreshing the songs are and, of course, how timeless. Some say the test of a really great song is how it sounds on an acoustic guitar and an acoustic guitar alone. In it’s more bare form without all the trickery of synthesizers and vocal overdubs a song shows it’s true essence and heart. But I believe that another sign is how a song sounds twenty five years later.

Holy crap! Did I just say that? Yeah – twenty five years later their work sounds as relevant and meaningful as you can ever be. Alison Moyet, with her deep, throaty, soulful, hearty like a great stew voice has one of the best sounds of ANYONE since the beginning of time. You can’t go wrong with either her solo work or with her time within Yaz. With all the bands who have come and gone in these twenty five years their union will be one of the most everlasting. They are like The Eurythmics, time will go on, trends will come and go – but their music will last a lifetime. Oh yeah – if you’re wondering how “Only You” stands up to the acoustic guitar test – believe me – I investigated it and sure as the day is long – the song stands up and holds it’s own. But don’t worry – I won’t be doing a cover of it anytime soon because this is one of those songs that unless you are Yaz , The Flying Pickets, or Joshua Radin you can do more damage than good. www.myspace.com/yazooofficial or www.myspace.com/alisonmoyetofficial or www.alisonmoyet.com

It was a slow week in my world this past one; nothing too great to announce or even discuss so I thought I would toss out some random thoughts and then perhaps turn you on to some cool blogs I’ve started reading of late.

Delightful moment of the week: Joshua Radin on XM CafĂ© singing “Only You”. Yep – he’s good!!! Loved his tune, “What If You” on the Catch and Release soundtrack and have been paying attention ever since.

Snoozefest moment of the week: Colby Caillat on David Letterman. No – it wasn’t because it aired at 12.30a – I have tivo - I was wide awake when I put it on. Quickly I was put to sleep wondering – what’s the big deal? BORING. Oh right – your dad’s a music producer – THAT explains it. DELETE!!!!!!

Odd moment of the week: Seeing my uncle on a blog. Or at least seeing a present he gave to a friend. Whether my uncle is on it or not – it’s a cool blog: www.plaidshirt.blogspot.com

Bummer moment: The Patriots loosing the Super Bowl.

Happy but not the happiest moment: The Giants winning the Super Bowl. What can I say? They’re both my teams – I was going to be happy either way.

Happiest moment (despite the outcome): Watching the Super Bowl with two of my favourite people, Abby and Rebecca. Great afternoon, R! Thanks a bunch!

Sad moment: Getting an email from my dear friend Jodi about my 2nd favourite dog, Tigger, letting her peeps know that Tigger has cancer and had to loose a leg. All is good right now and she is doing well but if you want to follow their journey: http://hopalongwithtigger.blogspot.com/

True New Yorker moment of the week: My uncle (a die hard Brooklynite) sending me a link to a smart, biting and funny blog about Hipsters in our beloved city: http://www.diehipster.com/

Alright kiddies – enough of my blather for this week – I hope you all check out Yaz – check out Alison Moyet - and have yourselves a great listen...all of this work is worth your time...and you just can't go wrong!

Thanks for tuning in…Until next week…don't forget to vote.....CHEERS!!!

"Only You" Videos:


The Flying Pickets