Nicole Byblow Plays All the White Keys by Nicole Byblow (Shiny Nickle Music 2011)
Manitoba born, British Columbia educated, and now calling Ontario home, Nicole Byblow brings a sound that all of Canada can love. The young singer/songwriter who is finding her footing in the national music scene has embarked on a tour to promote her latest CD, entitled “Nicole Byblow Plays All the White Keys.” She made a stop in Victoria where I saw her play and met with her to discuss music, school, life and even a little fashion. Nicole and her piano are packed and ready to go back east with a few more stops in the prairies before heading home.
Over the years, we have seen enough examples of “boys playing guitar”, and Nicole falls into the female opposition of “girls playing pianos” which seems to be a common theme in recent musical trends. Starting with Alicia Keys and Vanessa Carlton, this movement led the way for the likes of Sara Bareilles, Sarah Slean and more.
Slean is one of Byblow’s biggest influences for the career path she chose. The Canadian Juno-Nominated singer was one of the reasons Nicole started playing piano and writing songs when she was just 16. Luckily, Nicole was able to meet her other idol at the 2011 Juno Awards Dinner and Gala in Toronto in March of this year. The spontaneous introduction initiated by her sister and singer Matt Dusk left Byblow both wide-eyed and starstruck. It’s nice to know that even people who make CD’s and tour get a little speechless every once in a while.
When listening to Nicole’s music, you can immediately hear the impact of her influences in her vocal and piano stylings. Citing Ben Folds as one of her biggest inspirations, Nicole told me of how she spent many hours trying to learn his songs. When things weren’t going well, she would write to Ben via email. She assumed that her angry rants about the difficult of Folds’ songs went unheard, until she received a reply from an artist who has sold over 3 million records in his career spanning almost 2 decades. The two pianists continued emailing and eventually Nicole was invited to meet Ben at his show in Seattle. Fully expecting to be turned away at the door, Nicole was shocked when two tickets had been left under her name. The evening concluded with a conversation at the hotel bar where Folds was staying.
Now, I think this is enough background for you, what you’re really here for is to know what her CD is like and whether or not Nicole Byblow is worth a listen. But before I give you that answer, I’ll do my best to break it down for you.
Nicole Byblow Plays All the White Keys actually comes with one of the “Parental Advisory” stickers commonly found on albums from Eminem, NWA and 50 Cent. This is rather unexpected from the girl on the cover with a white background and staring at a red balloon. Nicole’s been described as “hyper-feminine” and “delicate” and for me; this is one of the first things that grabbed me about this music: Nicole’s unabashed attitude towards profanity is rather striking. When hearing her drop an “F Bomb” for the first time in a small coffee house on a rainy night in Victoria, I instantly looked up from whatever it was I was doing and started paying attention. Not many singer/pianists of this genre have the guts to swear on their records. You’ll never hear Sara Bareilles say “I don’t give a shit” about her former job in a hospital, but Nicole is unafraid to tell it as it is. She speaks the way in her songs the way she does in her normal life and that translates to her songs. She’s not trying to beat around the bush or use a clever metaphor to say she doesn’t care; she just doesn’t give a shit.
(Things That I Learned When I Worked in the Hospital)
My favourite track from the album is “Things I Learned When I Worked in the Hospital.” Starting with the toy piano, and the rolling drums chugging along, Nicole’s witty lyrics bring you a real insight to the life of a hospital. Lyrics like, “Patient confidentiality is of the utmost importance, but you’d be surprised how accessible that information is when you have to sweep the room it’s in”, are the kind of sarcastic backhanded lines that riddle this song. The chorus reminds us “who cares what we do in the mean time, it builds character doing the things we hate all our lives,” which, in out of context is rather quite depressing. But in the nature of the song, it’s understood that this is a sarcastic inflection of the songwriter and just an excuse for her to get through her shitty job. The bridge of this song builds follows the typical pattern of most pop songs, with one slight deviation. We have all come to expect the key change going into the last chorus of songs (think “You Raise Me Up”, “My Heart Will Go On”, etc.), and thankfully, Byblow doesn’t go this route with this song.
Once you get past the occasional expletive, the music itself is simplistic in its nature. All the songs only feature piano, drums and bass guitar, with the occasional splashes of violin and the toy piano from the CD cover. It’s Nicole’s song writing and melodies that stand out musically. Some of her lyrics are complex and compact, not unlike the rap counterparts who share her “Parental Advisory” sticker, which is juxtaposed by simple melodies and hooks that make the CD a treat to listen to. The track “February” has a particularly catchy “Ooh ah” section, that later features the range of Nicole’s vocal in the bridge.
Aside from the first single “They Didn’t Think So”, which Nicole describes as a song about what would happen if Jesus came and let every person on earth ask him a question about life, the lyrical content of the album is mostly what you would expect from the genre of girls playing piano. “A Song About A Lover” and “If I’m Lucky” may not have different thematic content, but are striking and beautiful in their own right. The production quality of the entire CD is superb. Ben Nixon, who was the bass player, recording engineer and co-producer of the album, did a fantastic job in a “garage turned studio” to produce The White Keys. I can only hear one minor slight throughout the whole album, but overall I have been impressed throughout.
You will be happy to know that Nicole does play in keys other than C major and A minor, utilizing more of the piano than the album title implies. I hate to use the buzz-word “up-and-coming” to describe Nicole and this album, as I think it gets thrown around too liberally these days, but I feel that you hipsters out there need to latch onto this girl so you can say that you liked her “before she was mainstream.” Byblow’s album is a melting pot of the fairy tale wonder of Cinderella, the epic storytelling of the Princess Bride, with just a sprinkle of Tarantino-esque profanity. If you love “girls with pianos” but are missing something with a little bit of an edge, Nicole Byblow Plays All the White Keys will be able to fill that void for you. No matter what kind of music you enjoy listening to, I would highly recommend this album for anyone (even if there is a Parental Advisory on it).
This is what Canadian music is all about and I look forward to everything else Nicole Byblow has to offer.
SO WOW. I just added my old composition professor on Facebook. And on his wall is this music video.
He’s the guy in the glasses in the white suit. A white suit!? Awesome. And he is definitely STILL this cool. I always knew he was in some kind of rock band in the 80′s but never knew what it was called. So cool.
Also – watch him rock out in this video around 3:30
I hope you enjoyed this Matt Good song. One of my favourites off of his newest album.
So this post is going to mostly be about my music and recording stuff that’s been going on lately….
The two songs below are two I worked on for a girl auditioning for CBC’s “Cover Me Canada”. It’s basically a competition like American Idol but open to solo acts and bands and what have you. It was all organized via email, and I was apprehensive about it because it’s sometimes hard to explain what we can and can’t do. And clients have this great image in their heads of what they’d like, and most of the time we just don’t have the equipment to do it. In this case, we didn’t have the background track for the girl to sing along to, for both songs, so we had to re-create it. Which meant bringing in a band and re-recording it. For me this wasn’t a big deal, more recording experience, but it gets frustrating to have to change your idea of a project – it was initially only a vocal track – and then it spiraled into this. All in all, it actually turned out really well and I was impressed with the final product(s). I hope you enjoy!
Another weird thing has happened with my music lately. Way back this year, I recorded a band Carmanah, and they’ve started getting more publicity and more shows and what have you. And they took the tracks I recorded for them, and went back and recorded over the parts that weren’t so nice (due to the limitations I was referring to before), and put out their own CD. Basically, I ended up getting no credit for it, which was pretty much not cool. Anyways, I was looking at my Bandcamp stats (the website I post my music), and from June 28, 2011 – July 8, I have 222 plays of my music. Most of which is from that CD. Which is kind of unusual to me. But I guess someone out there likes it, so that’s nice.
I’ve also finished recording some ESL Tapes for a company a few weeks ago. It was basically recording conversations and monologues and then editing them. They’re going to use them for teaching and testing purposes for what’s called the IELSTs test (I think). The students will have to listen to the recordings and be able to answer questions based on that. The recording sessions went really well, and the people were great, so it was a good experience for me, and will definitely be a resume booster. Woot.
Other than that, I haven’t really been working on my own music or covers too much. I tried starting a “Freaks and Geeks” cover a few days ago (I posted the video a while back), but I am not very good with transposing melodies and such so it makes it kinda tough for me. I’m getting there though. Hopefully I’ll be able to work with that in the days off I have coming up. We shall see.
- Bandcamp Recommendations 6/30/2011 (thesodashop.wordpress.com)
- Video Killed the Radio Star: Focusing on Singers in Music Videos (brighthub.com)
- 10 Free MP3 Albums To Download [Sound Sunday] (makeuseof.com)
Can I just say that I am really loving Will and Kate? All the articles I’ve read about their trip to Canada have been great.
He flew one of our helicopters when he got here, they raced each other in PEI, and now he’s playing hockey and giving speeches in the native languages of the territories? This guy is impressive. It’s good to see a Royal visit that’s actually interesting and they’re ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING! As opposed to his grandmother, the Queen, who just walks around and looks at stuff. Granted he’s probably 50 years her junior, but still!
I might actually make an effort to go see them when they come to Victoria just because of things like this.
So I’m going to be applying for a show called Operation Unplugged. Link here. The idea is that they’re going to take 8 students who are techno-addicted and throw them in the wilderness for five weeks. I’m hoping to get on. For the application we have to create a video showing our personality, so I’ve decided to write a “rap” / song thing and then I’ll perform it or do my video over it or whatever.
This is what I’ve got for words so far, thoughts? I know Girlfriend is going to hate it, buttttt she’s gone to Europe for three weeks so – there’s nothing she can do about it! But – she’s gone to Europe for three weeks, so I am sad
This is Operation Unplugged, We’re a nation of subs
We’re followers, friends, connected to the ends
Of the earth, haven’t you heard?
Did you check your feed? I sent a tweet?
updated my status, did you get my friend request yet?
We’re the self-proclaimed, techno-dependent,
what’s gonna happen when you away take our internet?
It’s sick and twisted how we’re all addicted to the technology.
Open your eyes, open your ears, hopefully you can follow me.
The kids these days got heads connected to their speakers,
cell phones, headphones, we’ve all become drones
Can’t eat, can’t sleep unless you kickin’ the right sneakers
Gotta fit in gotta keep up to the Jones’
They’re gonna throw us in the parks for 5 weeks,
And I’m here to prove, I got the marks, I ain’t weak.
With Alan Bishop, Cap’n of our little ship,
gonna be the one to make the most outta this trip
So gimme all you got Canada, I’ll take command of ya.
Natural born leader, ain’t gonna deceive ya.
This is me, who I am, I’ll make you a believer.
Artist, musician, rapper, what you make of it,
I can also tell you how many bytes are in a bit,
Now you might be wondering how am I gonna survive
without the iPhone, iPod, Macbook Pro. I’m gonna show
I got the strength to kick the machine,
to wean the brain from the life that i’ve been leadin’,.
I’m like Neo, pull me out of the Matrix, I need to feel,
I’m better off with the stones and the sticks.
Don’t like what you hear? So shoot me,
Maybe you’re the one with fear but this is my Call of Duty,
turning off the PS3, so I can see the world behind the TV.
So tonight I went to the Hey Rosetta! concert, and I was a little apprehensive at first, as I was going alone and the night seemed like it wasn’t going to turn out great. But boy was I wrong.
I’m going to try and write as much of this as I can now before I forget it all, so here goes.
The indie darlings of Canada were nominated for the Polaris Prize last year and are riding high off the release of their newest album. Seeds came on out the 15th of February, and the band is currently touring to promote the new tunes. Seeds has been rumored to be the one that is their breakout; the one that gets noticed and is the final step to international stardom. Personally I don’t agree with this. I think that Into Your Lungs, the band’s sophomore album is more rounded and balanced record. Not that Seeds isn’t up to snuff with what is to be expected from Hey Rosetta!, I just prefer Into Your Lungs.
And this band knows how to put on a good show. It was probably one of the best I have seen in the past few years, if not in my life. Their sound is impeccable and their presence immaculate.
It’s not just the mass amount of people on stage: with usually two, sometimes three guitars, a bass, piano, cello, violin, viola and drums. There is a lot of sound produced by this band. And it’s their balance and reign of that power that which makes them a great band. Although the live settings doesn’t allow for the best mixture of sounds, it still exists and is a wonderful thing when you can hear it. There are plenty of moments like in “I’ve been Asleep for a Long, Long Time” where you think the song is about to end and the lights fade, and then the back is back in with a huge last chorus.
Hey Rosetta! is one of the only bands in this day in age that I know that really uses dynamics effectively. Their range of volumes is captivating and are a huge drawing factor for me. In particular “There’s An Arc” has a perfectly executed crescendo through the first 2 and a half minutes of music. Another thing about Hey Rosetta! that strikes me is their sheer musical talent. The cellist, sometimes holding his cello with his knees, guitar around his neck playing chords and then switching back to the bow and playing with the strings in the same song is awe-inspiring. The string players themselves are very skilled and use extended techniques to extend the musical lines. The band as a collective also has the ability to nail syncopated lines and complex off-beat rhythms that shatter the typical four-to-the-floor beats of the Top-40 today.
But the biggest and most important thing about Hey Rosetta! that makes them a great band to see live, is that they look like they’re enjoying and really feeling the music. Tim, the lead singer appears almost in pain singing some of the lyrics and the rest of the band is moving and reacting to each other. As the band came out for a 3 song encore, playing a moving rendition of “Time After Time“, the sparklers came out as well. A feat that I have never seen done at a live show probably had the security guards shitting their pants, was a homage to the band’s video for “Yer Spring” and a nice way to end the evening.
If you haven’t already heard Hey Rosetta!, I highly recommend you give some of their songs a listen and hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
- In a new music world, Hey Rosetta! rises to the occasion (theglobeandmail.com)
- Hey Rosetta! is full steam ahead (arts.nationalpost.com)
So the other day, I was riding the bus home from somewhere or other, and I sat down on one of the back sideways seats. Here in Victoria there’s 5 seats that are parallel to the bus at the back, I was in the middle of the five, and the Older Gentleman was in seat one of five.
I had noticed the Older Gentleman when I sat down, he gave me that look like I was one of those “up-to-no-good-kids” so I tried my best to avoid contact with him as much as possible.
Unfortunately for me … in between us lay a newspaper, it had been written on in a big blue marker. This implied that it was from a hotel and probably free to read. So, naturally I picked out the Arts/Life section and opened up the paper to read.
I glanced up and saw the girl across from me. She looked back at me with a little concerned. It occured to me after that she had probably seen the Older Gentleman give me an even meanier scowl after I had taken the newspaper.
As I skimmed the CD reviews and up coming movies, I catch from the corner of my eye the Older Gentleman hovering his hand over the newspaper and moving it closer to his body. It was then that it hit me that it was his newspaper. Sheepishly, I finished up the section and folded it nicely and placed it back on top of the pile as I left the bus.
Now I’m sure the Older Gentleman was pissed because I took his paper without asking. Or that I didn’t even say thank you after I had returned it, but really he should be pleased by my actions. I, as an “up-to-no-good-youth” actually enjoying reading the newspaper. The older generations preach about the newspaper and how fantastic it is and how we should all take the time out of our day to read the paper instead of all this technology stuff. I should be applauded for my interest in the world, albeit the entertainment world, not scolded or frowned upon for the desire to be part of a greater society.
So, Older Gentleman, I’d like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to read your paper. Even if you hated me for doing so.
I guess it finally makes sense why his books are so friggen crazy. It’s great to know that we give drug addicts the Order of Canada.
But in an interview with Global Television aired Saturday, Mr. Munsch admitted he is a recovering cocaine addict and alcoholic, adding he has been clean for about four months.
He moved to Canada in 1975 and four years later wrote his first book titled Mud Puddle. He’s since written more than 50 books, including some best-known titles like Love You Forever and The Paper Bag Princess. His latest books are Down the Drain and Roar, published in 2009.
He has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
Mr. Munsch was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1999 and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame last September.
Oh, Canada. Study finds kids don’t know the words to the national anthem | Macleans.ca – Canada – wire – Features
Well this is gross. I wonder if I know the person/prof who did this study!
Oh, Canada. Study finds kids don’t know the words to the national anthem
May 12, 2010 – 15:56
The Canadian Press
VICTORIA – A new study says more than half of Canadian high school choir students are out of tune when it comes to the national anthem.
The University of Victoria study found that less half of the students surveyed knew the melody for “O Canada,” and only 67 per cent knew the lyrics.
Music education professor Mary Kennedy says many students mangle the words, changing “thee” to “the,” swapping “thy” for “our,” and in some cases even paying homage to “our home and nature land” instead of “native land.”
Newfoundland high school choir students were the stars of the national study, while Quebec students hit a real sour note.
Kennedy says the study was undertaken prior to the Winter Olympics, where Canadian fans became known the world over for their spontaneous renditions of “O Canada,” but she notes nobody was checking for lyrical correctness or proper pitch.
The music professor says she would like schools to take more care in teaching students the national anthem.
So I’ve been getting more flack on the Sick Puppies fan forum about my review for their CD.
So this is fun! I’m kind of enjoying being this bad guy who ‘hates’ on their band with no valid opinion and no taste in music. So I decided to listen to this album for a second time and see if I was wrong in what I said in my first review. With all my new insight on this band and that they’re not actually this soft rock band that I had originally expected them to be, I was willing to see if my opinion had changed at all.
Granted this is probably what Sick Puppies fans want. A CD with tracks very similar to each other and what they’re used to. Fair enough. I recently picked up the new Secret and Whisper album, Teenage Fantasy, and a lot of the songs on that CD are very similar to their first. And many songs on that CD are very similar to each other. So I’m not saying that songs that sound the same are a bad thing if that’s what you want.
For me, when I pick up a CD I try and come into it and give it a good representation of what I think it is in a whole. I am looking to hear something new, something different and something that stands out from everyone else. And I didn’t hear that on this Tri-Polar album. I heard a variation of a form in many of these songs. The same form that almost every band these days follows – Verse Chorus Verse Chorus Bridge Chorus. Every musician and popular music enthusiast knows this same form. Comparable to Sonata form of the Classical Era, everyone these days does it. It’s what makes a catchy consistent pop song. And a catchy consistent pop song makes money. Period. And this doesn’t stand out from the crowd. Which is why this album fell by the waste-side for me.
So there are a number of good songs on the album, and the three-piece band is comprised of great musicians. I am impressed with their musicianship, particularly the bass lines – usually more than just eight notes of the chord. But there’s nothing that stands out! Each chorus feels like it drops into half time and each verse has some kind of guitar riff, comparable to that of Billy Talent. To me it just got boring. Plain and simple. I decided to look through all the lyrics too. Regarding the Explicit Content sticker which I think was unnecessary. I found one use of profanity and maybe two songs that involve “Explicit Content” – involving sex. Now, this sticker was brought into effect with the NWA’s CD Straight Outta Compton and I just think it’s distributed a little to freely these days. Songs about life don’t automatically make them explicit, I could name hundreds of songs about life that are able to make their point without being explicit.
It may be because I am not a particular fan of this kind of music. Because to me, it all sounds the same. Breaking Benjamin, Seether, Default, Nickelback, etc etc etc. Everyone lumps those bands together, and I hope that Sick Puppies, if they reach a larger audience and larger reign of stardom don’t fall into the same category. But unfortunately, I have no reason to believe that they won’t. But apparently their fans love them long time. So we’ll see.
Now speaking of these fans. Crazy sorts. I feel kind of insulted that my review was considered half-assed. As I said earlier I try and give a good representation of the CD on a whole. That’s not including the back story of the band and not including what they’ve done previously. It does help when you try to chart the progress of the band. I feel that when you’re trying to write for a certain audience – in my case, university students – you have to write a certain way and give them something that they can relate to. Now the majority of students at my university – in Canada – have probably never heard of Sick Puppies and if they have, it’s going to be from the Free Hugs/All The Same video. So that’s what they could relate to. I said if this is what you like, you’ll enjoy it. If not avoid it. It’s a pretty fair and general review, and I think that if you (being all you Sick Puppies Fans out there who didn’t appreciate my review) were to read my review from an unbiased point of view, say if my review was for a different band (which is you weren’t half-assed and did some “research” and realized I did OTHER reviews) you will see my point. A bad or sub-par CD deserves an equal review, not for the views on a blog. One doesn’t write a CD review for his university newspaper for the views.
Well fans, if you got this far, thanks for reading. Thanks for all the nice comments about me and my musical styles. I’m looking forward to my plane ticket to Australia to see the band live – which I’ll requires a review on entirely different circumstances.
Is this lie worth defending?
Close your eyes cover your ears,
Shut your mouth.
You can act naive
But I know you’re not stupid.
(“In It For Life” – Sick Puppies – Tri-Polar – 2009)
I was listening to CBC Radio 3 tonight, and forgot how much I missed it. Here’s a song I heard that I really liked! It’s the revenge of Johnny Laundry!!!!
I think Stephen Harper would probably do a better job as a goon for the Calgary Flames than as Prime Minister. I don’t really understand how the guy has anything to complain about. He basically just took leave from his job for 2 months so he can hang out and watch hockey. It’s just stupid.
Stephen Harper says he’d rather be playing hockey in the NHL than playing politics in the House of Commons.
“It’s probably terrible to say but any Canadian boy, if he could play in the NHL, would play in the NHL,” Mr. Harper said in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Michael Farber.
In a piece setting up the Vancouver Olympics, Mr. Farber had asked Mr. Harper if, given a choice, he would rather be serving as prime minister or playing professional hockey.
A fan and student of the game (and of U.S. media interviews), Mr. Harper is writing – and has been for years now – a book on the history of hockey in Canada. Not surprisingly he had some interesting insights about it and how it complements the Canadian psyche.
“Hockey is a fast, aggressive, tough sport and that’s an important part of the Canadian psychology and history,” he said. “It’s sometimes forgotten because Canadians are thought of as peace-loving and fair-minded and pleasant – which I think we are – but that’s not inconsistent with tough and aggressive and ambitious, which I think is also part of the national character.”
He also noted that he was recently “chatting” with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about the game, noting that they come from the two coldest countries on Earth and “not by coincidence, the two best hockey countries.”
Doing a Google search for this band you will find out: how to sneak alcohol onto a cruise ship, what the drink “rum runner” is, and that a rum runner is someone who snuck alcohol into Canada during the 1900’s. Once you do find the band, you’ll find their poorly crafted, un-maintained website. This five-piece band, with a combined age of at least 150, seems less like a professional band and more like a group of guys with some talent, and a little extra cash to make a CD.
One nice feature of this CD is the drink suggestions. In the liner notes, each track has a different suggested drink. Including, champagne, a keg of Anchor Steam, and a lukewarm 40 oz of Olde English, Rum Runner definitely just wants to get you drunk (maybe they think it might make their record sound better).
Image aside, and focusing on the music, it’s a blend of punk and rock and roll, with a splash of folk and Celtic. Traditional tunes such as “The Leaving of Liverpool” and “You’re Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond,” are classics that you’ll probably hear down at Irish Times.
The rest of the songs have a little more weight and power in them. Rum Runner immediately reminds me a little bit of Rancid, except without the whole hardcore punk rock edge. The title track, which should be accompanied with Monthelie, is a fairly standard song from a fairly standard band.
Rum Runner can be summed up just as that: a fairly standard Celtic/rock/folk band. You would be better off passing them up for a Rancid CD and a 40 of Olde English.
So in leui of Kayne’s freakout at the VMA’s this sparked him to go apologize on Jay Leno last night. Stating:
“… I need to, after this, take some time off and just analyze how I’m going to make it through the rest of this life, how I’m going to improve,”
I’m pretty sure this means he’s going to go to rehab. Well hopefully that’s what he means. I think we all noticed he was draining that big bottle of Hennessey on the red carpet. And I’m sure he had a few other drinks while he was in the show. So by the time Taylor Swift came on, he was probably pretty trashed.
This makes me wonder. How the HELL does the get away with this? How does he walk up on stage and grab a microphone and just start blabbering away? Is there no security there? Can anyone walk up on stage and grab a mic? Or a boob? Or whatever. I’m sure if an anyday Joe tried to get up on that stage, they’d either be tackled so fast, or criminally sentanced for 10 years in prison. But if you’re Kayne West, outbursts like this are clearly okay.
Maybe it’s something you get when you’re famous, like a 10 free tantrum card or something. We saw Venus Williams do it at the US Open too. Not to mention the countless other celebs who go nuts when they don’t get their way. I really wish it was the same for normal people too…
In other random news, check out this site if you’re even mildly interested in Canadian Politics: http://www.tweetcommons.com It’s basically a collection from all the politicians in Canada who are on twitter. Kinda neat if you ask me.
Just opened up the globeandmail.com this morning and started skimming some articles.
Disney has forked over $4 billion dollars for the rights to the entire Marvel Collection. The agreement see’s characters like The Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Spiderman coming under the giant umbrella of Disney. It makes me wonder if we’ll see a some guy dressed up as Spiderman climbing up the Disney Castle at Disneyland in the coming months. I do hope so. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/disney-buys-marvel-for-4-billion/article1270467/
Here’s a nice comment piece on Much Music – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/television/when-muchmusicmattered/article1270220/ - and how it’s gone downhill. Which I whole heartly agree with. Most of the stuff on that show is scripted filth, and shows that feature metal, punk, indie, french, and any other style of music that isn’t mainstream, is slotted to a half hour at some ridiculous time of the night. I would love to see MuchMusic and MTV for that matter, do some kind of election coverage for the next federal election, maybe it’ll end voter apathy.
An interesting side of Harper here – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/gods-verdict-outranks-historys-pm-says/article1269229/
And a huge change in international politics, the Democratic Party of Japan defeate the Liberal Democractic Party in an amazing showing. The winners captured 300 out of 480 seats in parliment. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/in-historic-shift-japanese-vote-for-change/article1269747/ This is pretty nifty as the LDP had ruled for something crazy like 54 years. Maybe this change will spark some changes for the global society.
And that’s your news for this morning.
BidiniBand – The Land Is Wild – Pheromone Recordings
The band name may be a little daunting at first, but it becomes much clearer when you learn that “The Land Is Wild” is the debut solo effort from Dave Bidini. His website proclaims that is a CD of “dead hockey players, cannibalism and lesbian school teachers”, which definitely sounds like an interesting combination. Dave is clearly a fan of hockey, also penning more than 5 novels on the subject, one of which inspired one of the songs on the album.
The whole CD is unabashedly Canadian, the title track was used during the Stanley Cup Playoffs on an opening of Hockey Night in Canada. You are left hoping that Dave might sing a song about your current town, or your home town. The first track “Desert Island Poem,” is the one about cannibalism in Drumheller; ” But who would cook and season the body?/He’s always done this before/What happens if we don’t leave Drumheller.” The track ends with a disorderly merge of another song is unnaturally dissonant.
“Take A Wild Ride” is simple minute track, the only lyrics in the minute long track are that Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
the title, it’s fun and easy and gets you singing along. BidiniBand is very similar to the rock styles of Sam Roberts, Sloan with a hint of Buck 65. You’ll need to read the lyrics as you listen just so you can catch all the pop culture references in the lyrics, a little research is required for “The Land Is Wild” which is about the hockey great Bryan Fogarty. Dave definitely knows how to make fun of himself and his Canadianity, but you’ll have to listen to the last track for his poking fun at Chad Kroeger and Tim Horton’s.
Most of the music is acoustic guitar based, with a band surrounding it and driving it forward. Each track is it’s own little story in a book of stories, and you’re a part of the adventure. Much of the content on this CD is told to the you like you’re a friend of the band, and you’re sharing all these experiences with them. It feels like a journey of University student in the heart of Canada with it’s random themes and sometimes silly lyrics. This is the kinda CD you need in your car on your roadtrip across the great country we reside in.