Archive for the ‘Music from Canada’s Bow-tie’ category

Transmissions from the Punk Heart

2011/02/02

When the music scene in Seattle exploded in late 1991, bands from everywhichwhereplace rushed to the Pacific Northwest to try and get in on the buzz. This wasn’t how things usually went. Normally, a musician had to leave the Emerald City in order to make it big. Heck, even Jimi Hendrix had to do a reversal of “follow the yellow brick road.”

Example of a brilliant scientist

Here’s some other examples of people that had to ditch Seattle to order to find “success.” I put success in quotations because it can be a pretty subjective term, and the following musicians certainly achieved different levels of it.  Of course, the examples given will then be combined into a trifector (trifecta?), because science has proven that’s the best way to make an overall argument. Thanks in advance, science.

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Here Comes the Sun, part II

2010/12/19

You know, you’re right to say that Sam Phillips sure recorded a lot of good black and white artists down in Memphis in the 1950s.

The Fantastic Four

BUT – how the heck did he do it? What happened to musicians having to go to major music industry centres like Los Angeles or New York to get a start on their recording careers? For example, didn’t Ray Charles have to leave Seattle in just 1950 for California to get going on what would eventually culminate in Jamie Foxx getting famous and Kayne West shamelessly ripping him off?

The thing of it was, there were big changes to recording technology following World War II. And when an innovator like Sam Phillips came along to seize on untapped talent that was the Memphis region’s musicians, well, the rest is history.

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Here Comes the Sun, part I

2010/12/19

You know, you’re right to say that Sam Phillips recorded white guys like Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and some upstart named Elvis (I can’t remember his last name).

BUT – he had his hand in recording black cats too. B.B. King for one, and here’s another:


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punk’s passionate heart

2010/12/18

Compare, if you will, the following two songs:

The Ramones, “Judy is a Punk” 1974

Talking Heads, “Psycho Killer” 1975

Boy, each band sure does have sonic uniqueness. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t both punk.

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“the world touches too hard” Captain Beefheart, 1941-2010

2010/12/18

Don Van Vliet, better known as Captain Beefheart, died yesterday.

Here’s the NPR article on his life:

Remembering Captain Beefheart 

"John Peel called Beefheart a true genius"

Down at the Crossroads

2010/10/21

Ian Stewart

Growing up in Red Deer Alberta you can be certain of 3 things:

1– Anywhere you stand in town you can see three liquor stores. 

2– Anywhere you stand in town you can see three huge trucks. 

3– Anywhere you stand in town you can see three people Ian Stewart taught how to play guitar.

An immensely important and influential musician and teacher in the Red Deer music milieu, Ian Stewart picked up his guitar and headed down to Michigan – the land of Motown, the MC5 and Iggy Pop and the Stooges. I sat down with Stewart in Internetland to discuss what it was like changing locations after being a regional fixture in Alberta for so long, and of course from there the conversation naturally goes from Eric Clapton to the heart of the economic recession.  

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