shoebox_dw: (mythbusters problem)
It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these, isn’t it? And now, not liable to again. I was feeling rather wistful about the whole situation – the way you do, when you hear the fate of a friend long past – until I happened to catch judge Zack Werner’s reaction. Something about how bitterly ironic it was that the show was being canned as too expensive, when it’s in just this sort of economy that kids need dreams to hold onto.
Er, yeah, Zack. Not to worry; they can always still aspire to be contestants on Don’t Forget the Hits! And there, they’ve a chance to be paid real money.

Anyway, I dragged out my old home-made ‘Best of CI2’ CD as part of the total music overhaul, inspired by Brian Melo’s version of Karma Police from CI5. It’s worth a download, mostly; Melo’s rock voice sounds authentic, and I was heartened to learn that he and the bubblegum factory have since parted ways.

As for CI2…oy. Remember I said I wasn’t particularly embarrassed by my past musical choices? Well, I lied. Shorn of the excitement of the moment, Teh Greatest CI Season Evah comes off, largely, as…how do I put this? Like you thought you were watching American TV, and it turns out it was Canadian all along.

Mind, this does have the effect of throwing the glimmers of real professionalism into high relief:

Top 32:

What I preserved
- Kalan (Lady), Theresa (Summertime), Kaleb (Water Runs Dry)
What I'd keep now - None of the above. These are three canny kids showing off their vocal tricks for the voters; that's all. Kaleb probably gives the closest thing to an actual performance.

Top 10:

What I preserved- Kalan (Born to Be Wild), Theresa (Good Mother), Elena (Mary Jane)
What I'd keep now  - Theresa. No idea how I put up with Elena's shouting for even this long, anymore. Meanwhile, Kalan's developed a serious case of Johnson novelty syndrome: it's not so much that he's performing well, as that he's performing it at all.

Top 9:

What I preserved- Jacob (Space Oddity), Kalan (House of the Rising Sun)
What I'd keep now  - Both, unreservedly. They are collectively the reason us Canucks were all "Our Idol is better than yours, nyahhh!" at AI all season. (Although I do wish Kalan would just record the damn song already so I can get a version clear of all the SCREEM!s.)

Top 7-Finale under the cut... )
shoebox_dw: (kitty fabulous)
So the music project has somehow morphed (coughcoughcoughwith the aid of Frostwirecoughcough) into a super-spectacular star-studded trip down memory lane.

All I know for sure is, I went to the Closet of Half-Forgotten Things to check my cassettes for a song title, and suddenly realised...I have a LOT of cassettes. Like, entire previous musical lives were sitting there mouldering away.
Naturally I paused to take a closer look, which on reflection may have been a tactical error. Awww, hey, it's Huey Lewis! The Cars! Tears For Fears! Music From Miami Vice! How could I have denied my heritage this way? Come to my arms, you beamish little plastic memories, I must ensure you are immortalised forever!

...I think it was the realisation that I was eagerly searching for Parachute Club lyrics that finally snapped me out of it.

The encouraging part is that, as it turns out, I had pretty good musical taste back then ('then' being roughly 1983-93). Aside from your standard teenage flirtations with a good beat and a cute bod - Eric Carmen, what was I thinking? -  and the weakness for big, Meaningful power ballads that I think it was illegal not to have in the 80's, I seem to have escaped the worst. Even the aforementioned Miami Vice soundtrack now just makes me smile indulgently, not cringe.

(Bonus fun true coincidence: As I was coming home from work today, the local EZ-Rock station's 'Feel-Good Favourite at Five' was Glenn Frey's The Heat is On, from that very same soundtrack. And lo, there was much indulgent smiling right there.)

I'm even rather proud, like a fond parent would be, of my fascination with Brit synthpop - Eurythmics, Thompson Twins, the Human League, that sort of thing.  This is where it would be really nice to go back in time and advise my HS self; I seem to have been flirting on the borderline of cool all that time without even realising it...

*has a relisten to I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight*

...OK, maybe not. Still...

*smiles indulgently*

shoebox_dw: (toy story modern art)

But I'm afraid I'm becoming something of a shopaholic in the process. Which worries me not least because it forces me to self-identify with cutesy chick flicks.

At any rate, I decided to head over to the iTunes Store the other night for some serious musical medication. For good reasons; Bruce Springsteen's latest had reminded me that my library was still missing Streets of Philadelphia, and I mean, really. After that, though, things may have gotten just the teensiest bit out of hand...I probably didn't need all that Bruce Hornsby, let's put it that way.

I did find a bunch of Hall & Oates classics that filled the mood-lifting bill most excellently. I have always had a thing for Daryl Hall's, also Daryl Hall's picture staring out at me from the iTouch while the songs play, nice bonus. Seriously, they were among the premiere pop craftsmen of my generation, and when your generation also includes Boom Boom Boom (Let's Go Back to My Room), that is something you hold on to, believe me. 

While I was at it, I picked up a couple tracks off Duran Duran's Arena, another key entry on my Remember Back When I Was Young and Carefree setlist. That I was carefree mostly because I had no musical taste is debatable, but I don't care, it's The Seventh Stranger and I get to feel gloriously hedonistic all over again.

So between the need to organise the new music, the circuit assembly this weekend, and another vow not to write another word unless it's in the furtherance of my fictional ambitions (ha ha ha), things are getting back on track, here @ Shoe Central. Will keep you posted.

shoebox_dw: (kitty fabulous)
Jack Black, eat your heart out. A full thirty years before there was a School of Rock, Sesame Street enrolled us all in the School of Funk. In honour of Motown's 50th anniversary, here's Stevie Wonder, rocking the beloved ol'block with Superstition. Yes, really.

(And for those of you wondering - according to the comments, the guitarist in the blue cap, who looks like a young Ray 'Who ya gonna call' Parker Jr., is a young Ray Parker Jr.)

click tracking
shoebox_dw: (pbs aaaaaaahhhhh)
All the cool kids are doing it!

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write that song name down no matter how silly it makes you look.
4. Title this post what the answer to your last question is.
5. Good luck and have fun!

Sometimes a Fantasy - Billy Joel (Hey, this might be more fun than I thought!)

I'd Really Love to See You Tonight - England Dan & John Ford Coley (Well, yes. Specifically in my new DKNYC tunic)

Unpack Your Adjectives - Schoolhouse Rock (You know, in an odd way, this makes total sense)

Monday, Monday - The Mamas and the Papas (Oh, keep reading, it'll all become clear...)

Sour Suite - The Guess Who (Heh. Or alternatively, just check in with anybody who's ever asked for my 'honest opinion')

After the Love Has Gone - Earth, Wind & Fire (OK, which one of you clowns told Shoemom about the tunic purchase?)

Unloved - Jann Arden (Damn. I am, like, thisclose to becoming a Twilight character, aren't I?)

Walk on Home - Kalan Porter (Sure, it looks like things are getting progressively worse, but check out the bright side! I didn't say I wasn't coming along...I mean, I have to keep measuring off fifty feet 'cause of the restraining order, which is kind of a pain, but...You know what, let's just move on)

Goodnight Saigon - Billy Joel (Yep. Flashbacks, man, it's all about the flashbacks. I can see the newspaper reports now. "She seemed like such a quiet, harmless girl...I mean, she liked Billy Joel a lot, but...")

Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley (, I like to dance with them a lot?...oh lord help me i am in hell)

New Kid in Town - Trisha Yearwood ("...and that's when I was forced to hunt them down and kill them all, Your Honour.")

Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain - Ricky Nelson (That'll show 'em! [sob])

Jane - Barenaked Ladies (While elsewhere, in a tragic coincidence, perusal of the songwriter's rough notes reveal this as the in-house handle of 'Number 47' from Jailhouse Rock...)

Prelude/Angry Young Man - Billy Joel (Yes, it's true; I am an underground rebel, bent on destroying society and all its institutions [and really, after reading this far, can you blame me?] In fact, my 'Clueless White Chick Like Me' pose has been so successful no one has ever thought to check out my potential connexions to Barack Obama...until now. Muwahhahh-hahh...)

Spider-Man (1967) - Theme (So how come nobody ever invites me out for a night's web-swinging, huh? Nooooo, I want action of a Friday night, I've got to troll the local podunk jail. Thanks a lot, 'friends'!)

Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat - Phil Harris & Scatman Crothers, The Aristocats (Count me in, my brothers. Count me in.)
shoebox_dw: (self discovery)
...also, I have an emergency dental appointment in a couple hours (a wisdom tooth randomly popped out sideways and is 'ulcerating' - lovely word - my inner cheek). So I need some happy fun distraction, like, NOW.

Courtesy [ profile] tree_and_leaf - I believe it's her own invention:

Go into iTunes (or your mp3 player of choice) and search for 'love'. Post the results under a cut.

Well, this is interesting. I think. Anyway a lot shorter, and more...revealing...list than I'd been expecting, out of 10+ gigs of music:

In which Shoe turns out to be much less brooding, dark and mysterious than she had hoped...again. [sigh] )
shoebox_dw: (kermit muppet show)
So I ran the semi-something Google checkup on Kalan Porter this afternoon - why yes, it is kinda boring waiting around for the new processes to kick in gear after the office reorg, however could you tell?

At any rate, there's still no news of fresh music-making; kinda disappointing. Especially in light of the award SOCAN handed him...well, today, actually. Looky that, for a brief (and somehow vaguely disturbing) moment I'm current with the Porterverse once again. In this nostalgic mood, I rejoice to discover that an award is 'really nice because it kind of keeps you going'; way to chat up the leading lights of your industry, there, boyo. What were you planning on doing if this honour didn't pan out, pre-law? Lawn & garden maintenance?

Yeah. Because I was idly fiddling with my iPod just after this discovery - why, yes, the new commute does double as an hourlong Great Industrial Wastelands of Southern Ontario Tour 2008, why do you ask? - anyway, as it turns out Wake Up Living, the CD from whence this honour springs, is still on there, and I was in a heard-everything-else sort of mood, so gave it a relisten. You know, interesting to see what's emerged from the mists of obscuring adoration and all that.

OK, bad idea. Most of it is patently dreadful, of course, in exactly the manner suggested by the quotes in the article - a beautiful voice repeatedly banging up against banal cliches. I am thinking now that they didn't provide the lyrics on the CD liner because they were hoping to cadge a few more months' sales off discreet fudging on lines like 'Before I let this sinking ship go down/And I watch you swim away'.
Mind, with our boy here it doesn't even have to be all that discreet. In fact, it's to his real credit that the thing contains lyrics at all, beyond "Hi there, potential CD purchaser! I'm Kalan, and you really kind of keep me going. Unless you happen to be male of course...I mean, not that there's anything wrong with that idea, it's just that..."

Yeah. I did say 'most'. There is Hurray. There is Try, the still-passable Beatles pastiche, and there is the fragile elegance of Out of My Head, which is based off real emotion and thus always to be respected. Also, over in a different part of reality, there is the amusing Run Run Run, in which our Earnest Young Musician takes a random unexpected holiday from trying so damn hard. Just mucks around in his own earnest young psyche for awhile: 'Do you ever stop to think about lines that run, run, run?/And fall past each other on the edge...'

The thing is, that song is in its way most intelligent thing on the CD - even more so than Hurray - because here the wit is somehow incorporated right into the standard Lite-FM drivel, transmuting the whole into...well, assuming you've listened to one too many Bob & Ray routines and do a nice line in wishful thinking to boot, it sounds an awful lot like subtle satire.

There's still promise there, somewhere. I said once that I'd love to see Kalan follow in the manner of Franz Ferdinand, and got some awfully funny looks - but to me this is where the boy's real talent has always lain, in riding that same razor-fine line between loving homage and sly parody (the snappy-suit thing is a nice bonus).  Awareness without anger...or even much awareness, I suspect. How exactly do you convince somebody to be snarky for their own good?

shoebox_dw: (gf enlightened)
...Ahem. OK, done ranting about the Supreme Unfairness of Being Ordinary, I swear. Have reconciled myself (once again) to the realisation that I am in fact not a lead Pixar character, therefore if I want drama and excitement in my existence I'm gonna have to work for it.

Have also, not co-incidentally, read a rather scathing article indicating that the most successful blogs are those in which the author looks up from their navel occasionally and enthuses over their areas of outside interest. Which works out rather neatly, since as part of the reconciliation agreement I get to work out my Bob & Ray fascination around here whenever the need strikes.

Anyhoo, that's an entry for another day, when I've found a hook to hang those particular observations on. Meanwhile, I was casting about for something else I do around here that isn't personal, and realised it's been ages since I updated this series (follow the tag below) of major mellow
musical moments from everybody's, wait...everybody's...the decade that didn't contain the Jonas Brothers, OK? Or Hannah Montana. Say what you like about disco, at least the fantasies were legal. Sort of.

Read more... ) 
shoebox_dw: (gf enlightened)
Before we get back to the music, a public service announcement:

In the course of discussing our weekend plans, a co-worker mentioned trying to find a Britney Spears costume for a 'Hollywood trainwrecks' theme party. I jokingly asked if she was going for the full-bore VMA 'Night Under the Trailer' effect, and she informed me that there was no way. "Britney may have had a belly...but at least she didn't have stretch marks!"

So there you have it, folks: It really could have been worse.

Keeping that in mind might also be helpful as we peruse the next set of 70's mellow musical marvels. Trust me...even the fleeting thought of Three Dog Night performing in satin pants that was required to construct this joke will eventually cost us both many therapy bills. (On the plus side, I'm saving the bling-ed out belt buckle for my next flamewar.)

shoebox_dw: (gf enlightened)
--I've spent this evening's hour - and then some - catching up on the correspondence that had lapsed, along with yours truly, into semiconsciousness this past week. New (sort of) and (vaguely) exciting resumes tomorrow, promise...

Remember 'way back in the Music thread on the old forum, when I mentioned I was deep into an experiment to see how well my favourite AM songs held up? No? Well, too bad.

Since then, I've accumulated an entire iPod playlist based on the ineffable grooviness that is the 'Sounds of the 70's - the lite-rock stuff that tends to get collected on the K-Tel label a lot. (Albeit some of it technically comes from the early eighties or late sixties. The 70's, I've discovered, are less a date than a state of mind.)


shoebox_dw: (Default)

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