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Final Post of the Year

partyI have no plans tonight. The two year old is already asleep and the four year old is going to bed soon, so somebody has to stay home and protect them from dragons and the boogey man or men.

You're probably all dressed up and on your way to an exciting New Years party. If you're hosting such a party, you're going to need some suitable tunes for the night. My New Year's Eve gift to you is this list of ten songs that are certain to make your year end bash a complete success.

  • As Years Go By - Mashmakhan
  • This Will Be Our Year - The Zombies
  • It Was A Very Good Year - Frank Sinatra
  • Pretty Good Year - Tori Amos
  • Reeling In The Years - Steely Dan
  • New Year's Resolution (with Carla Thomas) - Otis Redding
  • Ya Shoulda Killed Me Last Year - Ice-T
  • Next Year - Foo Fighters
  • New Year's Day - U2
  • Happy New Year - ABBA

You're welcome... and have fun.

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Make Your Own Kind of Music

musicTaryn and I have started watching season two of Lost on DVD. We enjoyed watching season one this way and now we're three episodes into the season you all watched last year.

The first couple of episodes featured a song sung by Mama Cass Eliot called "Make Your Own Kind of Music". That Desmond guy kept playing it on the turntable in that hatch. I wasn't familiar with the song but it reminded me of another tune. It reminded me of Eric Carmen's "Make Me Lose Control".

I hadn't thought about Eric Carmen's "Make Me Lose Control" in years but then I heard it during an episode of Dexter last month and the memories came flooding back. I'm almost certain the 45 single of this cheesy Carmen song was in our house. I don't think I bought it... I think maybe my brother Ryan did. I can see the 45 rpm record in my mind and I remember hearing it quite a bit in the late 80s. Ryan, chime in here and set me straight...

"Make Your Own Kind Of Music" must have inspired Carmen because both songs have this poppy catchiness that pounds the song into your cranium until you're forced to sing it aloud, even though you know you shouldn't.

I'm trying desperately to scrape out the remnants of Mama Cass to no avail. Meanwhile, here's Eric Carmen's "Make Me Lose Control".

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Have You Heard It Yet?

clockYikes, it's New Year's Eve. Time is running out. I can't promote a holiday podcast much longer!

If you haven't heard it yet, head on over to humbleandfred.com, click play and hear what all the fuss was about. Even if you've never heard of Humble and Fred, you must be curious what this 17th Annual Humble & Fred Gift of Christmas Podcast thing is. Aren't you?

If you need another reason to give it a listen, do it because it's free. The next podcast will cost $999.99 a download.

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Canada 3, Slovakia 0

Canada HockeyWhile Maple Leaf prospect Justin Pogge was coughing up the Spengler in Switzerland, our Juniors were playing a nothing game in Sweden to finish off the preliminary round. Kris Russell scored another two goals to lead the offence to a nice and easy 3-0 win.

Our semifinal game is January 3rd at 1:30 pm.

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Maple Leafs 2, Senators 3

LeafsThere was 2:06 left in the third when Chris Kelly scored. That's all. With Boyd Devereaux and Alex Steen providing the unlikely offence, I thought we were actually going to win this one.

A win against our provincial rivals to close out the year would have been something sweet, but a blown lead late in the third is just bitter. Bit him, too.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
17-17-6
40 points
5th in Northeast
3-2 OTL vs. Ottawa
4-1 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
4-3 Win vs. Minnesota
M. Sundin - 35
T. Kaberle - 34
D. Tucker - 31

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My Ten Favourite Songs of 2006

musicFor a variety of reasons, I heard less new music in 2006 than I did in 2005. Still, I heard a lot of new tunage and kept my ear to the ground as much as I could.

Here are the ten songs I enjoyed most in 2006.

10. illScarlett - Heaters
When I first heard this song on the radio, I thought of Sublime. It had that Sublime vibe I've always dug and it was catchy as all hell. I've since learnt they're Toronto based which clinches them a top ten finish for 2006.

9. Pearl Jam - World Wide Suicide
PJ gave away high quality DRM-free MP3s of this first single from their self titled release. It was a grand statement and the tune was up to the challenge. A return to form for my favourite American band.

8. Regina Spektor - Fidelity
I heard this song and immediately listened to every Regina Spektor note I could find. From Russia via New York with much love.

7. TV on the Radio - Province
A new music blog introduced me to these guys. This song is so amazing it's a wonder our local new rock station doesn't play it. There's almost an Outkast feel to this solid single. It's funky.

6. Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On the Dance Floor
Every year there's a new next big thing band out of Britain. These guys didn't disappoint with a great album and this fantastic lead single.

5. The Flaming Lips - Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber)
First of all, I love that title. That title alone earns it a listen, but it's the unpredictability and addictive mania of the song that kept me coming back over and over again. This is the best song you'll never hear on terrestrial radio.

4. The Strokes - Red Light
Get yourself a lawyer and a gun. That's not only damn good advice but that's a sample of this song's lyrics. These guys keep getting better and there will always be a home for them at SLS.

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Phenomenon
This song blew me away when I first heard it and then it actually started to grow on me. With echoes of LL Cool J's song of the same name, this should probably be #1 on my list. There's no way I heard a better single in 2006.

2. The Tragically Hip - In View
Yes I'm biased, but isn't the whole idea of blogging to be biased? I controversially called this the best Hip single since Bobcaygeon and I stand by that statement. I don't know anyone who didn't like this song and didn't find themselves singing it at one point or another.

1. The Raconteurs - Steady, As She Goes
At this point Jack White could probably sing the phone book and I'd rave about it. He was amazing with The White Stripes, he got me to enjoy Loretta Lynn and the Cold Mountain soundtrack, and with Brendan Benson he's responsible for my favourite song of 2006. Is She Really Going Out With Him?

Here were my favourite songs of 2005, in case you want to rewind a year.

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Daniel Cleary and the '94 Bulls

hockeyMy cousin played two seasons for the Belleville Bulls in the mid 90s. In 1994-95 he started 39 games in net for the Bulls which meant I was following that team closely. The big story that season was a fifteen year old Newfoundlander named Daniel Cleary.

It was Cleary's first of four seasons in Belleville and he finished his rookie campaign with 81 points. This kid was highly touted right off the bat and labelled a future star with can't miss potential. He was a first round pick and when Cleary made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks in 1997-98, I was watching.

After playing limited minutes in Chicago he found himself in Edmonton for a stretch where he proved useful but didn't shine as the potential all-star we were expecting. After a brief trip to the desert in Phoenix, Cleary ended up a Red Wing and I had all but given up on him.

On a team with Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and Robert Lang, it's Cleary who leads the Red Wings in goals with 17. That's already the highest goal output of his career. Unbelievably, that 15 year old kid is now 28 years old and is now playing the way it was always believed he could.

Better late than never.

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Maple Leafs 1, Penguins 4

LeafsI've written a recap for every Leafs game since game one of the 2003/2004 season. That first game was a 4-0 loss to Montreal. When we lost a season to the lock out, I switched my focus to the St. John's Maple Leafs. I monitor my team's progress this closely because they're my team and I love it, but it's not always fun.

This years Leafs team is mediocre. There is little hope. We're alone in last place in our little division right now and the only good news there is there's nowhere further to fall. We're 11th in the conference, but when you factor in the games in hand Pittsburgh has, we're really 12th. That's 12 out of 15 and Philadelphia is having the season from hell.

I watched last night's game and I saw a young Penguins team led by Sidney Crosby's three points, Evgeni Malkin's two points and great play from a young goalie and another stellar Staal. I'm jealous. Even though they might not stay in Pittsburgh, fans of that franchise have hope. In Leafs Nation, we're hopeless.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
17-17-5
39 points
5th in Northeast
4-1 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
4-3 Win vs. Minnesota
3-2 Loss vs. Washington
M. Sundin - 35
T. Kaberle - 33
D. Tucker - 31

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"We're goin bowling. If we don't come back, avenge our deaths."

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Canada 3, Germany 1

Canada HockeyWe've got Slovakia on Sunday, but no matter. Our 3-0 record is good for a first round bye. We're in the semifinals, baby.

The German team has played one hell of a good tournament thus far. They managed to score the first power-play goal against us in three games.

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Ten Entries That Mattered in 2006

lightningThis is my 1588th entry of 2006. Below are ten that mattered.

The 17th Annual Humble & Fred Christmas Show - I've said it before and I'll say it again, this was the most fun you can have on a Saturday morning without taking your clothes off. Humble and Fred hadn't broadcast together since August 2005 and when we all got together at Dan Duran's house to record the Christmas podcast it was like that scene on the roof of Moe's when the B-Sharps sang together one last time.

My Ten Favourite Song References to A Canadian Place - Inspired by a question on Ask Metafilter I hit up my collection for Canadiana and threw together this list. My blood, sweat and tears soak these ten tunes.

When Parkdale-High Park Went Orange, An Analysis - Ok, maybe I'm not a particularly good political blogger, but I was in the eye of the storm for a couple of elections that showed a decisive move to the left for me and my neighbours.

My YouTube Favourites - At the time I put this entry together, all the videos I linked to were actually online. Today, many have been yanked for copyright violations. Still, I was proud of this effort and a little slice of YouTube I carved out for my fellow Canadians.

Humble Howard, Are You Okay? - Written on a whim one night after detecting a blip in this site's referral log, about 400 people chimed in and this entry became the indisputed de facto home page for those wondering what the hell happened to Humble Howard Glassman. Since then, Howard and I have become great pals, I set him up with a blog of his own, I helped put their podcast online, I've flown his plane and our families have literally broken bread together. I'm glad I wrote that entry and had the Google juice to make it dance.

Hurry Up And Wait - At the time this was merely my observations after visiting the St. Joseph's Health Centre emergency room. I realized it was a series of long waits as opposed to one long one, but it was still a lengthy trip. Months later, St. Joe's was in the news for their zero wait time policy and were hailed as a model for those hospitals who couldn't keep their emergency rooms open. A nurse at St. Joe's printed this entry of mine and posted it on a bulletin board to clarify how they can make such an absurd claim.

A Homemade Hallelujah! - I was and am obsessed with this Gord Downie cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". There's no official release, so when I offered to email my copy of the song which was ripped from the Saint Ralph DVD, the response was and is intense. I'm not alone in my search for a quality MP3 of this song. Hopefully, one day, there's an official release. Maybe this entry will help make that happen.

The Tragically Hip at Fort York - 38 Years Old, a stellar playlist, a beautiful night in downtown Toronto and killer acoustics made this night one I'll never forget.

Hail Hail Pearl Jam - I attended the Pearl Jam show the night before which was the tour opener, but this concert the next night blew that one away. The vibe, the band and the entire ACC energy was electric. I just feel sorry for those who attended night one and not night two.

100 Wedding Songs - My brother Steve got married in 2006. I got to create the wedding playlist. I took the job very seriously.

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Munich

A Movie ReelMunich: 8.5 out of 10.

My biggest complaint about this movie is that it's almost three hours long and our wild and crazy lifestyle forced us to break it into three parts. Steven Spielberg has directed another great movie that's not only suspenseful and thrilling but also thought provoking and controversial. This movie completes a great dramatic trilogy alongside "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan".

Not that it's required, but a great prerequisite to viewing "Munich" is checking out the documentary "One Day in September". I saw it last year and it definitely enriched this flick for me.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveSaddest celebrity passings of 2006

  1. James Brown
  2. Bernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion
  3. Jane Jacobs
  4. Ed Bradley
  5. Darren McGavin

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Warren Blackwood Remembered

rewindI was at Howard's house earlier today and he was telling us about his friend Jeff Hamilton who passed away in 1987. Every time he hears Steely Dan, he thinks about his friend. Hearing this story made me think about Warren Blackwood.

Warren and I went to Michael Power high school together and he sat in front of me in Mr. Rowe's World Issues OAC class. He was a budding musician who rapped as Warren Peace and he and I used to create virtual mix tapes during class. For example, ten songs for a girl you liked, ten songs for a girl you no longer liked, ten songs for a rapper whose microphone wouldn't work during the school talent show, etc.

One day we were discussing Mary J. Blige's What's the 411?. Warren was a huge fan but I really only knew the hit "Real Love". Mary J. Blige kept appearing on these mix tapes Warren and I would assemble during class and he swore she was going to be massive. Warren was right, and every time I hear Mary J. Blige I think about our mix tapes.

Warren was stabbed to death on October 8, 1995. He was knifed in the stomach by someone who was mad at his girlfriend and took it out on the nearest target. It happened in Ottawa where Warren was attending Carleton University. They still have a bursary in his name.

Warren was one of the most peaceful, gentle people I knew. This is for you, Warren.

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Deconstructing SLS16

SLSNow that SLS16 is in the bag, it's time to deconstruct the 20 tunes that made the final cut. How much of SLS16 is CanCon? How many artists are making their first appearance on SLS? Find out the answers to these questions and more below.

  • Canadian Content - 9 (AlexisOnFire, Billy Talent, City and Colour, DJ Champion, illScarlett, k-os, Sam Roberts, The New Pornographers & The Tragically Hip)
  • Making Their SLS Debut - 9 (AlexisOnFire, City and Colour, DJ Champion, illScarlett, k-os, Regina Spektor, Sonic Youth, The Flaming Lips & TV on the Radio)
  • Artists That Also Appeared On SLS15 - 7 (Arctic Monkeys, Billy Talent, The New Pornographers, The Raconteurs, The Strokes, Wolfmother & Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
  • Providing a Female Voice - 3 (DJ Champion, Regina Spektor & Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
  • Longest Current SLS Streak - 3 (The Strokes)
  • Longest SLS Drought Ended - 8 (Sam Roberts)

By the way, here's the cover of SLS16.

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SLS16 Unveiled

slsIt is with great privilege and honour that I unveil to you the final song list for SLS16. For an SLS primer, go here and to see what appeared on SLS15, go here.

We listened to hours and hours of new rock before deciding upon these 20 tracks. Without further adieu, I give you SLS16.

  1. This Could Be Anywhere In The World - AlexisOnFire
  2. Fake Tales Of San Francisco - Arctic Monkeys
  3. Original Fire - Audioslave
  4. Nausea - Beck
  5. Red Flag - Billy Talent
  6. Comin' Home - City and Colour
  7. No Heaven - DJ Champion
  8. Heaters - illScarlett
  9. Sunday Morning - k-os
  10. Fidelity - Regina Spektor
  11. Bridge To Nowhere - Sam Roberts
  12. Incinerate - Sonic Youth
  13. Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber) - The Flaming Lips
  14. Sing Me Spanish Techno - The New Pornographers
  15. Level - The Raconteurs
  16. Red Light - The Strokes
  17. In View - The Tragically Hip
  18. Province - TV on the Radio
  19. Dimension - Wolfmother
  20. Phenomenon - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

I just updated The Complete SLS Database. Look for SLS17 in late June, 2006.

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Canada 6, United States 3

Canada HockeyThis was a much closer game than the score would indicate. We seemed to be sitting back on a 3-0 lead early in the second period when the USA got within one.

It wasn't a shutout, but it was an entertaining game and a solid win.

We've got the upstart Germans on Friday afternoon.

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Weekly MP3: Don't Think Twice It's Alright

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Emily Haines and James Shaw - Don't Think Twice It's Alright
Taryn picked up Help! A Day In The Life Of, a benefit disc for children of war. This cut, a Bob Dylan cover by the people behind Metric, is really sweet.

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Maple Leafs 4, Wild 3

LeafsMinnesota must be bad on the road because even we managed to beat 'em. Jeff O'Neill scored the winner at 17:42 of the third. Our winning streak is now at one.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
17-16-5
39 points
4th in Northeast
4-3 Win vs. Minnesota
3-2 Loss vs. Washington
3-1 Loss vs. Chicago
M. Sundin - 34
T. Kaberle - 33
D. Tucker - 31

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Gerald Ford, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumGerald Ford was 93. He was the 38th president of the United States of America.

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Canada 2, Sweden 0

Canada HockeyRemarkably, Canada has now won 13 games in a row in this tournament. Even sweeter, this is our third shutout in a row going back to the back-to-back shutouts Justin Pogge had to win gold last year.

Carey Price was solid between the pipes this afternoon, but the team in front of him wasn't spectacular. Perhaps the last two squads have raised my expectations, but I'm used to dominating. We were actually outshot 31-18.

We've got the USA tomorrow afternoon. I'll be watching.

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We Did It Again

simpsons3rdseasonSteve and I have been exchanging the same gift for years, but this Christmas we reached a new level of indolence. I bought him The Simpsons Season Nine on DVD and he bought me the same thing, only I bought the DVD with the plastic Maggie cover and he bought the old style cardboard version. When it became apparent Steve didn't want the Maggie cover I ended up giving him his gift for me and keeping the gift I bought for him. Got that?

Ryan and I got each other the same gift as well. We exchanged Season Eight.

The tradition continues.

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A Sampling Sport

peMy appreciation for James Brown comes directly from Public Enemy. Sure, I dig a James Brown song or two, I own The CD of JB (Sex Machine & Other Soul Classics), but I prefer my JB sampled by PE.

I mentioned yesterday the dominance of James Brown samples in the Public Enemy catalogue. Thanks to Wikipedia, I put together a list of these samples. I don't think it's complete, but it's a very good start.

Cold Sweat

  • How to Kill a Radio Consultant
  • Prophets of Rage
  • Welcome to the Terrordome

Escape-Ism

  • Don't Believe the Hype

Funky Drummer

  • Bring the Noise
  • Fight the Power
  • Hazy Shade of Criminal
  • Rebel Without a Pause
  • She Watch Channel Zero
  • Terminator X to the Edge of Panic
  • The Enemy Assault Vehicle Mixx

Funky President

  • Fight the Power

Get Up Offa That Thing

  • Rebel Without a Pause
  • Welcome to the Terrordome

Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved

  • Brothers Gonna Work It Out
  • Can't Truss It
  • Night of the Living Baseheads
  • Nighttrain
  • Party for Your Right to Fight
  • Shut 'Em Down
  • Terminator X to the Edge Of Panic
  • Welcome to the Terrordome

Hot Pants

  • Don't Believe the Hype

I Got Ants in My Pants

  • Don't Believe the Hype
  • How to Kill a Radio Consultant

I Got You (I Feel Good)

  • Contract on the World Love Jam

It's a New Day

  • Who Stole the Soul?

Make It Funky

  • Who Stole the Soul?

Make It Good to Yourself

  • 1 Million Bottlebags

Night Train

  • Nighttrain

Shoot Your Shot

  • Nighttrain

Soul Power, Pt. 1

  • Caught, Can We Get a Witness?
  • Night of the Living Baseheads
  • What Kind of Power We Got?

There It Is

  • Anti-Nigger Machine

This is indeed a sampling sport.

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One Year Removed

BereavementIt's been one year since Jane Creba was shot and killed last Boxing Day. It was outside the Footlocker near Yonge and Dundas and her death shook this city up. It certainly shook up visitors to this site.

At the time I wasn't allowing comments on entries, but I did allow Guest Blogs. Here's what we had to say.

What have we learnt? Has anything changed? One year removed from the year of the gun, do we feel any safer on our streets?

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Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

James Brown - Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto
We lost James Brown today. You had to dig James Brown. Ask any Public Enemy fan what kind of an influence James Brown was - "Funky Drummer" and "Sex Machine" were sampled like crazy.

It's Christmas and I can't think of a better song to share than "Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto". Merry Christmas everybody, and James Brown... rest in peace.

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We Hope You're Enjoying Christmas Morning

radioWe hope you're enjoying Christmas morning...

Other promo clips in this seasonal series:

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James Brown, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJames Brown was 73. He was the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms made him a founder of rap, funk and disco.

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One More Sleep

christmasIt all goes down tonight. Santa will come with gifts for good little boys and girls who will wake up tomorrow morning full of excitement. This has been a particularly fun build up with James a total believer in the magic of Christmas and Michelle gaining a slight understanding of it all as well.

James just told me that Santa prefers chocolate milk to white milk, so that's what he's getting tonight. Any kind of cookie will do, apparently. Michelle sees the presents that are already under the tree and she tells me they can't be opened until tomorrow. She knows this now because she opened one from her grandmother last week and we had to make the rules ultra clear. At least she opened the gift that was for her and not the one for her brother, but we understand James helped guide her away from the one with his name on it.

They say these years fly by and I believe it. The following two photos are only two years old but they seem like yesterday. It was Michelle's first Christmas and the first time James understood what it all meant. If I could bottle this addictive innocence, I'd do more than buy the world a Coke. You'd all get a Wii.

Michelle on Christmas Morning Opening a Present II

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I Saw Santa Kissing Who?

radioHere's our second last Humble and Fred holiday promo of the season. On a Christmas Eve afternoon, what would be better than thinking about Santa kissing Humble and Fred?

By the way, the 17th Annual Humble and Fred Christmas Show podcast continues...

Other promo clips in this seasonal series:

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
      - Dr. Seuss

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Maple Leafs 2, Capitals 3

LeafsThat was an entertaining third period, wasn't it? Mats Sundin scored on a penalty shot and then 14 seconds later and I could taste the comeback. I'm still shocked we couldn't come up with a third.

The less said about the first two periods, the better. If you remove those two periods from the record sheet, we won 2-0. It's a fact.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
16-16-5
37 points
Tied for 4th in Northeast
3-2 Loss vs. Washington
3-1 Loss vs. Chicago
7-3 Loss vs. Florida
M. Sundin - 32
T. Kaberle - 32
D. Tucker - 31

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Happy Festivus 2006!

Snow FlakeI want to wish each and every one of you a very happy Festivus. For those who don't know what Festivus is, there are three easy to follow steps:

  1. "Get the pole out of the crawl space". Or go out and buy one. Remember, it should be aluminium, due to the "very high strength-to-weight ratio". Remember, "it requires no decoration". Tinsel is "distracting".
  2. "The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances...At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and you tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year."
  3. After dinner, it is time for the "Feats of Strength". Remember, Festivus is not over until someone is pinned.

The origin of Festivus was explained nicely by Frank Costanza in the Seinfeld episode "The Strike". Here's his exchange with Cosmo Kramer.

Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born . . . a Festivus for the rest of us!
Cosmo Kramer: That must've been some kind of doll.
Frank Costanza: She was.

Here's everything you need to know. Happy Festivus everyone!

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The Mighty Raptors Lead the Atlantic Division

raptorsWhile the Leafs were coughing up another one, the Raps were clawing out a win in Portland. With a 12-15 record, the Raptors now lead the Atlantic Division.

We last time led the division was November 25, 2003. It's fair to say the Raptors didn't play up to this standard but the division played down to us. 12-15 has no business leading any division, anywhere, but we'll take it.

The Raptors and Leafs share a personality trait as well as owners. Both teams seems to come together nicely when the superstar is injured. The Leafs play quite well without Mats Sundin in the lineup and the Raptors have been surging without Chris Bosh.

TGFAWD: Thank God for a weak division.

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Maple Leafs 1, Blackhawks 3

LeafsWe lost our second in a row and Mike Peca with a serious knee injury. I knew we should have held on to some of those nine we scored Saturday night.

As we turn our attention to the World Junior team, expect Finnish goalie Tukka Rask to shine brightest. Remember, he's the chap we sent to Boston for Raycroft. And yes, I'm aware that was Aubin in net last night, but I'm just sayin'.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
16-15-5
37 points
3rd in Northeast
3-1 Loss vs. Chicago
7-3 Loss vs. Florida
9-2 Win vs. New York Rangers
T. Kaberle - 32
D. Tucker - 31
K. Wellwood - 31

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"I bet Einstein turned himself into all sorts of colours before he invented the light bulb."

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30 Years Ago Today

rewindI was just digging through the vault when I came across a picture that was taken thirty years ago today. This is my little brother Ryan.

Ryan's Birth

Happy 30th Ry!

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My Linking Protest Is Over

newspaperA while back I stopped linking to articles in The Toronto Star to protest their horrible URI structure. Fellow bloggers know exactly what I'm talking about.

Part of their newly unveiled redesign is a decent URI structure. It's about time! My protest is over.

I actually came within a whisker of being a part of the Torstar Digital team that worked on this redesign. They did a great job.

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Classifying Torontonians By Their Morning Shows

notepadI wrote about a CFNY for grownups following a comment from Doug, but he was quick to remind me that we're talking about two different CFNYs. Last week Humble Howard made a comment about three different groups of CFNY / Edge102 listeners that can be grouped by morning shows. This concept has been bouncing around my head all week so I'm going to try and make sense of it all in this entry.

In 1989, when Humble & Fred started their morning show on CFNY, I was starting grade nine. I listened to that morning show throughout high school, through university and up until it moved to AM in 2001. Humble & Fred were followed by the Dean Blundell show. Here are entries in which I used the expression blundell. It's not my morning show. Although I tried, Lord knows I tried, I just can't listen to it. I just don't find it funny.

If we reach for our history text books we'll learn about Pete & Geets who did mornings from 1982 to 1987 on CFNY. I never heard a minute of their show, but for many this was their CFNY, the spirit of radio. From 1982 until today Toronto's youth with a taste for new rock can be grouped by their morning show: Pete & Geets, Humble & Fred or Dean, Jason & Todd.

Some overlap, but most are in one of these three camps. There are Dean fans who never heard Humble & Fred on 102 just as I had never heard Pete & Geets. Which morning show belongs to you?

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A Virtual Tour of The Simpsons House

homerJewelgurl just sent me this. It's a virtual tour of the Simpsons house and it looks bang on.

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Mr. Roboto

phoneFor the past couple of days I've been having issues with my Rogers Internet connection. You might know what I'm talking about because I hear it's effecting the entire GTA. Some domains are not available, others are sporadically available, it's a crapshoot.

Calling Rogers means having to talk to that robot for a while. He peppers questions at me and I answer. Why am I calling, what's it about, what's my home phone number... I keep thinking of Kramer saying "Why don't you just tell me the name of the movie you'd like to see."

I hate jumping through those hoops just to get a human being on the line. I miss the good old days when you called a toll free number, chose the English stream and spoke to someone about your problem.

Those days, it seems, are long gone.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveThings about my brother Ryan

  1. In primary school, a classmate was cold and Ryan gave him his gloves
  2. Attending camp on the island, Ryan was so homesick an emergency parental pickup was demanded
  3. My grandmother tells a story about Ryan lifting his arms and exclaiming "I love everybody in the whole world!"
  4. I got Ryan three of his part-time jobs: game booth attendant at the CNE, cook at McDonald's and grocery clerk at Food City / Pricechopper
  5. Ryan is 30 years old today

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Gift of Xmas Podcast Technical Support

giftA few minutes before nine this morning, we went live with The 17th Annual Humble & Fred Christmas Show at humbleandfred.com.

Plan A was to have Odeo host it all. We have their player embedded on the page for streaming and the podcast and MP3 link were pointing to the file on Odeo's servers. All week long the tests were successful until last night when I noticed Odeo's servers were sputtering. It would work, then it wouldn't work. It would have a good hour and then a bad hour. I quickly went to Plan B, hosting the file at Filelodge, but I kept the Odeo player in the hopes that it would work itself out.

I'm now looking for a Plan C. If you have tons of bandwidth at your disposal and don't mind hosting a popular 42MB file, please let me know.

If you have any technical questions about subscribing to the podcast or hearing the show, leave a comment here. Consider this the Gift of Xmas technical support page.

Oh yeah, enjoy the show. It'll be up through the end of the year.

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How The Penguins Moving Benefits Leaf Fans

nhlMario Lemieux just took the Pittsburgh Penguins off the market. The writing's on the wall and it looks as if the Penguins will call another city home next season. Ever the optimist, I've found a nice silver lining for Leafs Nation.

Kansas City, Las Vegas, Houston, Oklahoma City and Seattle are among the cities trying land an NHL franchise. A move to any of those cities will bump the Pens from the Eastern conference to the Western conference. That would mean the Detroit Red Wings would be heading back into the Leafs' conference and a glorious rivalry will be renewed. We'll have lots of games against our Norris division pals and that's great news from this perspective.

They can't say Mario didn't try. Bring back the Scouts and bring the Red Wings home.

Kansas City Scouts

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New York Doll

A Movie ReelNew York Doll: 8 out of 10.

My lack of knowledge about the seminal New York glam-rock-punk band the New York Dolls going into this doc was a little embarrassing. I knew of them, but I certainly didn't know them. I didn't even realize the lead singer was Buster Poindexter. I certainly didn't know anything about Arthur "Killer" Kane.

Going in cold made this one helluva ride. I won't ruin it for you by giving anything away, but the focus is the resurrection of the New York Dolls after 30 years. Don't miss this one.

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The End of an Era

cbcAdmittedly, I'm a CBC fan. I listen to CBC radio, I watch quite a bit of CBC Newsworld, I subscribe to CBC RSS news feeds and I even watch a little of CBC television proper. I'm not a CBC fan because I'm a part owner, I'm a CBC fan because I enjoy their often intelligent programming.

The biggest television event in Canada each year is the Grey Cup. CBC has broadcast the Grey Cup every year since 1957, but in 2008 it will air on TSN. TSN will air all CFL games starting in 2008.

By no means do I believe the CBC should have a natural born right to broadcast the Grey Cup, but they weren't even invited to the bargaining table. Personally, I don't care if I'm watching the game on TSN or CBC so long it's a quality broadcast, but I've been paying Mr. Rogers for the cable tier that includes TSN for all of my adult life. What I've always liked about CBC broadcasting the Grey Cup is that every television in the country can get the signal. If you can't get the signal, invite me over and I'll bring over a paper clip that'll do the trick. How many Canadians won't be able to watch the Grey Cup at home now that it's been bumped up a tier?

Nothing in this world lasts forever. There are rumours the CBC may lose the rights to Hockey Night in Canada next. I can punch up channel 30 as quickly as I can punch up channel 6, but a Saturday night Leafs-Habs game on another channel would take some getting used to.

I'd adapt. I always do.

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Toronto Star Exposure

newspaperIf you're wondering if every article in The Toronto Star makes it online, the answer is no. Today, for instance, there's a quick SPOTLIGHT mention of the 17th Annual Humble and Fred Christmas Podcast on page A31, but it didn't find its way to thestar.com.

Here's a pic of the write up. Much thanks to Vinay Menon who sat in front of Steve and I during Conan O'Brien's show at the Elgin Theatre back in February 2004.

Toronto Star Article

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2006 Year-End Google Zeitgeist

googleAccording to Google, here are the top ten searches of 2006. You'll see there's nothing left over from the 2003 Year-End Google Zeitgeist.

  1. bebo
  2. myspace
  3. world cup
  4. metacafe
  5. radioblog
  6. wikipedia
  7. video
  8. rebelde
  9. mininova
  10. wiki

A few of those are new to me. Don't ask me what a rebelde is. I'm surprised youtube didn't make the cut.

Here are the top ten Google News searches of 2006.

  1. paris hilton
  2. orlando bloom
  3. cancer
  4. podcasting
  5. hurricane katrina
  6. bankruptcy
  7. martina hingis
  8. autism
  9. 2006 nfl draft
  10. celebrity big brother 2006

Where's the Brit? Perhaps the divorce and loss of underwear occurred too late in the year.

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The Best/Worst Thing About The World Wide Web

webWhat do you know about Vancouver Canuck Rory Fitzpatrick? I know he's pointless in 19 games this season. I also know he's second in all-star voting behind Scott Niedermayer.

This is what I love/hate about the web. Fitzpatrick has no business representing the Western Conference in the all-star game but he'll likely get voted in thanks to a fan campaign that's just starting to gain steam.

It's horrible and wonderful all at once.

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The First Jingle Sounds Sweetest

christmasMy first born child is performing in his first school Christmas concert tonight. He's been practising his performance of Jingle Bells and I'm proud to say they're going with the beloved alternative lyrics regarding Batman's odour and Robin's egg production. Some things never change.

This novelty will no doubt wear off one day and these things will become chores or a duty a parent has to perform, but today I'm excited. Today I'm actually looking forward to hearing the little dude belt out his song in front of a full auditorium. Here's hoping I always feel this way.

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Weekly MP3: Song For A Winter's Night

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Sarah McLachlan - Song For A Winter's Night
I love the way Sarah McLachlan sings this Gordon Lightfoot classic. It's particularly great at this time of year.

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Maple Leafs 3, Panthers 7

LeafsHappy holidays Leaf fans! Here's a steaming pile of shite for your stocking.

It's time for another goalie controversy. Andrew Raycroft allowed six goals on 26 shots and we can't blame them all on Hal Gill. It was a horrible effort all around, but if we're going to make the playoffs it's going to require rock solid play between the pipes. Raycroft isn't the guy.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
16-14-5
37 points
3rd in Northeast
7-3 Loss vs. Florida
9-2 Win vs. New York Rangers
4-3 Win vs. Carolina
D. Tucker - 31
K. Wellwood - 31
T. Kaberle - 31

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Great Videos: Fairytale of New York

tvThis is the video for my favourite song of the season. It's The Pogues but Kirsty MacColl makes it work. For many, Christmas kind of sucks. This tune doesn't sugar coat that fact.

Yes, that is Matt Dillon as a cop in the opening scene.

Here are the other videos covered in this continuing series.

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The Grinch Chimes In

emailI just received an email from The Grinch. The Grinch is a well deserved alias for a curmudgeonly dude I used to work with. This message is a little less Grinchy than usual

Well its that time of year again and I would like to wish Mike and all his readers a Merry Christmas.

I would also like to say to everyone that at this busy time of the year it is easy to rush through the holidays getting ready and then its over. Take the time to enjoy your familly with happiness. I was always a grinch at this time of the year and now I am missing someone that was very important to my whole life and I wish that I had taken the time to enjoy it more.

Mrs. Grinch passed away suddenly in 2006. If you're out there Grinch, Merry Christmas to ya. I hope to bump into you again soon. Your advice is very wise.

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Brian Wilson Sing Along

musicI already blogged the crap out of last Saturday morning. Head over there if you're curious about the Humble & Fred Holiday Reunion show. On Friday morning the entire 57 minute show will be available at humbleandfred.com.

In that lengthy account of the morning's festivities I failed to mention my favourite moment. During a break Humble picked up a guitar and started playing the Barenaked Ladies' "Brian Wilson", one of my favourite BNL tunes. Scary Pete was on vocals and I captured some video with Fred's digital camera which kept crashing on me. By the end of the song we were all singing along at the top of our lungs. It's a great sing-along song, and we were all doing our best Steven Page impressions. The chill factor was through the roof.

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More Popular Than You Would Believe

starwarsWhen this blog was fairly young and only visited by a few dozen people, many of my visitors dropped by because of this entry about the Star Wars kid.

His name is Ghyslain Raza and he was fifteen at the time he made a video of himself imitating the combat style of Jedi knights with a golf-ball retriever. Classmates stole the video, put it online and the rest is history. It was totally viral and far more popular than you would imagine.

A marketing firm just called it the most downloaded video of all time. They estimate it's been viewed 900 million times.

He's eighteen now and keeping a low profile. As I wrote back in 2003, he'd be wise to embrace this notoriety. 900 million is an awfully big number.

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Joe Barbera, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJoe Barbera was 95. He was half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that produced such beloved cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and the Flintstones.

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Metal: A Headbanger's Journey

A Movie ReelMetal: A Headbanger's Journey: 7.5 out of 10.

I was never a metal head. This was as long and crazy as my hair ever got and the hardest rock I would listen to was from Ozzy, GNR or Motley Crue. Still, I respected metal heads and considered many of them friends. In this documentary, Sam Dunn lets me peek into the world of metal. I learnt a great deal.

I love how metal can be broken into several sub-sections and the Norwegian Black Metal scene just scared the crap out of me. If you're a metal head, or a curious observer of the culture like me, you'll enjoy this Canadian-made headbanger's journey.

Me as a Teen

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If Archie's Not Sacred, What Is?

paintingI remember reading Archie comics when I was knee high to a grasshopper. On preview, that's really short. That would make me about 3 mm tall. Let's just say, I remember reading Archie comics as a very young kid and they were always around the house when I was growing up. Archie, Jughead, Reggie, Betty, Veronica, Big Moose and Ethel were all a part of my childhood.

If this is correct, the Riverdale gang is getting a new look in the new year. They're modernizing the appearance of the characters, giving them a more contemporary style. In other words, they're ruining what works about Archie.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the allure of Archie the 1950s innocence of it all? They don't belong in 2006, they're cut from a different cloth and that's okay. They've looked a certain way for decades and there's no point in changing that now.

If Archie Andrews and his pals aren't sacred, what is?

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Stupid TV! Be more funny!"

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An Actual Promo

radio promoIf you were too lazy to read my lengthy recollection of the 17th Annual Humble & Fred Christmas Show recording, you can listen to this little promo Dan Duran cooked up.

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The 17th Annual Humble & Fred Christmas Show

microphoneI was lucky enough to be a little slice of broadcast history this weekend. Regular visitors to this site have seen me write about The Humble & Fred radio show. It began in 1989 on CFNY-FM (later renamed Edge 102) and was the morning show I awoke to until it moved to Mojo 640 in April 2001. The team was broken up in the summer of 2005 when Fred Patterson was relieved of his duties at Mix 99.9. In July 2006, Humble Howard experienced the same cruel fate.

For many a Humble & Fred fan, their annual Christmas show was a highlight of the season. This Christmas marked the first time in seventeen years that neither was on the radio. The Humble & Fred Christmas Show was dead... or was it? I received a call on the QT from Humble on December 8th in which we discussed the logistics of recording a Christmas show and sharing it at humbleandfred.com. On December 10th I wrote a plan of a attack and received a late night call from Humble indicating it was a definite go. I threw a temporary countdown page at humbleandfred.com and was told to be at Dan Duran's house on December 16 at 10:30 in the morning. I was going to be the embedded journalist as history unfolded.

It had been well over a year since the two conversed on the mic as they had daily for over sixteen years, so I knew this was something special. I was also a fan of their folksy charm and humour that never failed to make me laugh. I charged the battery of my digital camera and made the short stroll to Dan's house yesterday morning unsure of what to expect but certain I'd be witnessing something extraordinary.

In addition to Dan Duran who was producing the show in his home office, his wife and son were mingling about when I showed up. Soon thereafter, Humble Howard arrived with his daughter Spencer, followed by Fred Patterson, Scary Bald Headed Pete (who is no longer bald) and Bingo Bob. Dan, Pete and Bob were all former producers of the Humble & Fred show making me the one person in the room who had never appeared on the radio show. My plan was to not pollute the process, take it all in and snap a ton of pictures.

The first thing I noticed was how natural and genuine it all seemed. There was some discussion about how it would all unfold, some audio checks and arrangement of the non-live material and then it was show time. It was all so slick, Humble and Fred anticipated each other so well, it was like watching a couple that's been together so long they finish each other's sentences. Even better, it's totally organic. No scripts, no second takes, just a natural flow that's both endearing and hilarious. The warm and fuzzy nature of the hour long show is perfect for this time of year. The Baileys Irish Creme in the coffee didn't hurt either. By the end of the show, Dan's wife was literally preparing martinis. It was the most fun you can have on a Saturday morning without taking your clothes off.

The show itself included a frank discussion about what transpired since Mix 99.9, a recollection of Christmas shows past, some great performances by The Doo Wops and Barenaked Ladies, the annual favourite "Snow Removal Machine" and a number of great Humble & Fred exchanges that make you scratch your head and wonder why these two are still out of work.

On the morning of December 22, the 17th Annual Humble & Fred Christmas Show will be available at humbleandfred.com. You will be able to stream it from the site or download the MP3. If you were ever a fan of the Humble & Fred morning show, or if you're just curious what all the fuss is about and in the holiday spirit, you're going to want to check this out.

Throughout the broadcast yesterday morning I was overwhelmed with this tingling feeling that had nothing to do with Baileys or Jackie's martinis. A large media company forced Humble and Fred off of their airwaves ending a seventeen year run in Canada's largest market. Without a time slot on terrestrial or satellite radio, the Christmas show survived. Think of the Grinch stealing all the Christmas trees and presents in Whoville. The Whos' holiday spirit could not be crushed just as Humble and Fred's voice could not be silenced. You can take their jobs, but they belong to us.

Take a moment to check out my Humble and Fred Holiday Reunion photoset. Witness history in the making for yourself. I was honoured to be a part of it.

The Gang

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Maple Leafs 9, Rangers 2

LeafsThis team sure is streaky. We've now won three in a row and this one was awfully impressive. Even more shocking than the fact we scored nine goals is the fact we're now tied for fifth in the conference.

Kyle Wellwood had three goals and two assists to lead the attack. The nine goals we scored equals our total offence during that recent seven game losing streak. Go figure.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
16-13-5
37 points
3rd in Northeast
9-2 Win vs. New York Rangers
4-3 Win vs. Carolina
5-4 Win vs. Tampa Bay
D. Tucker - 31
K. Wellwood - 31
B. McCabe - 30

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Tipitina's Foundation's O Holy Night

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday, but this is Saturday, so we'll consider this a holiday bonus.

Tipitina's Foundation - O Holy Night
If you watched "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" a couple of weeks back, you'll remember band members were calling in sick to create work for New Orleans musicians in need of cash. These musicians were given a spot on the show and they performed this fantastic rendition of "O Holy Night". Add it to your Christmas playlist right away!

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Mad About Madd Madness

angryI received an email yesterday from twins from bolton. He's upset at the recent Toronto Star report that Mothers Against Drunk Driving only gives 19 cents of every dollar to victim services and the fight against drunk driving. Here's what he wrote.

This whole MADD charity situation has gotten me totally PISSED off. We have donated much coin to this supposed charity where only 19% goes to actual funding & the rest to telemarketers & door to door fundraisers. We feel we have been ripped off.

Yesterday they called again (as usual every month) for their donation. I questioned the person on the phone regarding the % actually used & they had no response. No more coin going to a worthy cause - too bad THEY BLEW IT. $ going elsewhere. My wife is sending a letter (& no donation this month) asking for some splaining to do LUCY.

19% doesn't sit well with me either. It's like when I sold those chocolate bars in primary school to pay for a new playground. I got two bucks for each box, but the manufacturer walked away with more than half that amount. St. Pius X even tore down that playground and built a new one.

Are you now sceptical of all charities? Has this recent controversy adversely effected your holiday giving?

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Celeb Spotting: Dan Aykroyd

binocularsLast night I attended a little Christmas party at Spuntini Ristorante which is on Avenue Road near Davenport. Not only was Dan Aykroyd there, but he held open the door for me as I left.

I'm going to list my five favourite Dan Aykroyd films one day. Expect "Grosse Pointe Blank" to lead the pack.

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Maple Leafs 4, Hurricanes 3

LeafsWe had it, we gave it back and then Alexander Steen of all people extended our winning streak to two. Mats Sundin and Bryan McCabe each had three points in the win.

Sundin now has 858 points with the Maple Leafs which moves him ahead of Dave Keon into second place in franchise history. Darryl Sittler has 916 points to reign supreme.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
15-13-5
35 points
3rd in Northeast
4-3 Win vs. Carolina
5-4 Win vs. Tampa Bay
5-1 Loss vs. Detroit
D. Tucker - 29
B. McCabe - 29
T. Kaberle - 28

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Great Videos: Do They Know It's Christmas?

tvIf I had to pick one video that represented Christmas time on MuchMusic back in the day when they actually played music videos, this would be it. It's a great song, a great message and totally seasonal.

Band Aid was made up of these guys and the money raised went to famine relief in Ethiopia.

Here are the other videos covered in this continuing series.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveThings you can buy me for Christmas

  1. The Simpsons - The Complete Eighth Season
  2. The Simpsons - The Complete Ninth Season
  3. A black scarf
  4. An official Scrabble dictionary
  5. World peace

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Sid the Kid

hockeyThe first mention of Sidney Crosby on this site was October 6, 2003. I opened with "Sidney Crosby. Are you familiar with that name? You will be."

I wrote that entry after reading a quote from The Great One himself. Wayne Gretzky said Crosby was the best player he'd seen since Mario Lemieux and Sid the Kid was only sixteen at the time. That's a boatload of pressure.

Crosby is now 19 and he's leading the NHL in points with 47. Only one other player led the NHL in points as a younger man, and his name was Wayne. There's really no telling how good Crosby will get. He's on pace to have the most points in a season since Mario.

There will never be another Gretzky, but it sure is fun watching the tremendous progress of #87. Go get 'em, Sid.

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Remember Snow?

snowflakeOne of the benefits of maintaining a site like this is you can always reference dates of past occurrences. I can link to this entry from December 9, 2005 in which I mentioned the big snowfall we had. I can also link to this picture of the snowman James and I built on December 10 and this entry from March 13, 2006 in which I mentioned the fact we never had a decent snowfall after that so we were never able to build another snowman. On that March day it was 13° and we were coming off the warmest winter on record.

We're ten days from Christmas and we're expecting a high of 11° this weekend. Snowmen in this city are an endangered species. I don't want to sound like an old coot telling the kiddies how tough it was in my day, but I'm certain we had a ton more snow. At least we had snow, I think. I remember snow.

I don't have the stats handy, but if you go more than a year without being able to produce a half decent snowman in the city of Toronto, there might just be an inconvenient truth in need of attention. Mr. Snowman, you are missed.

The Finishing Touch

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Not Everybody Loved Raymond

tvWhen Peter Boyle passed away earlier this week, many mourned the passing of Raymond's dad on "Everybody Loves Raymond". The fact is, not everybody loved Raymond. I never found it funny.

Many others mourned the passing of the monster in "Young Frankenstein". The scene in which Boyle sings "Puttin' On The Ritz" with Gene Wilder is classic. Here it is.

I mourned the passing of Clyde Bruckman. Boyle played Bruckman in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose", one of my all-time favourite episodes of "The X-Files". Here's a taste of his wonderful performance.

Not everybody loved Raymond. Luckily, Peter Boyle was a whole lot more.

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Link: Toronto Transit Map

LinkToronto transit map - This map contains public transit (bus, subway, street car, train, and LRT) lines for much of the Greater Toronto Area on a map provided by Google. Data for TTC, GO Transit, VIVA, Brampton Transit, Mississauga Transit and Vaughan Transit is included.

This is a useful tool Mr. Ian Stevens. The TTC should thank you, but knowing them they'll send you a cease and desist order instead.

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Deck the Halls With Humble and Fred

radioHere's a quick Humble and Fred hit from holiday seasons past. It's short but sweet.

I'd still like to know what this countdown is for.

Other promo clips in this seasonal series:

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SLS Submissions

SLS SubmissionThe SLS countdown is on. I just submitted a bunch of tunes for SLS16 consideration. Here are the new nominees that can be added to this list.

  • Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber) - The Flaming Lips
  • Phenomena - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Province - TV on the Radio
  • Incinerate - Sonic Youth

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War of the Worlds

A Movie ReelWar of the Worlds: 6.5 out of 10.

I'm one of those guys who thinks Tom Cruise is a pretty good actor. I almost always enjoy his movies. In "War of the Worlds" he's not smiling and playing a super lawyer / agent / pilot or whatever, he's just a guy and it works.

This movie is far from great, but it's a pretty easy view. At least it looks cool. Don't even ask why Boston was left untouched. It's better for us if we don't understand.

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We Are The Media

digitalWe are the media. At about 11:30am, a kitchen fire started at Sassafraz, a Yorkville hot spot for celebrities and celebrity watchers. Local bloggers started covering the event immediately. Even yours truly was on the scene filing this report.

Check out this Technorati search for the term sassafraz and these Flickr photos tagged sassafraz. We were all over it. There's instant discussion, first hand accounts and photos online before the clock strikes noon.

Oh yeah, and video. We can't forget the video.

We are the media. It's a different world.

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Sassafraz On Fire

cntowerI was hearing an inordinate number of sirens, so I threw on my jacket and took a stroll along Bloor. Sassafraz, a cafe in the heart of Yorkville, is on fire.

I've got to stop taking walks without my camera. I watched as firemen hammered into the roof of the trendy restaurant and police offers tried to get us gawkers to move along. It was like that scene in The Naked Gun when everything is happening and the cop says "move along, there's nothing to see here."

All the local news outlets were on the scene so you'll probably hear and read all about it any minute now.

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Weekly MP3: Green Christmas

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Barenaked Ladies - Green Christmas
It's time for some Toronto-born Christmas tunage. BNL does the trick nicely with "Green Christmas".

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Peter Boyle, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumPeter Boyle was 71. He was the tall, prematurely bald actor who was the tap-dancing monster in "Young Frankenstein" and the curmudgeonly father in the long-running sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond."

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Maple Leafs 5, Lightning 4

LeafsThe Isotopes win a game! The Isotopes win a game!

Chad Kilger proved why he excelled in our skills competition by coming oh so close to his first NHL hat trick. The pulling of Jean-Sebastien Aubin for Andrew Raycroft seemed to provide the required spark. I think it had more to do with the presence of Pat Burns and seventeen players from our 1992-93 team that came within one win of going to the Stanley Cup.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
14-13-5
33 points
Tied for 3rd in Northeast
5-4 Win vs. Tampa Bay
5-1 Loss vs. Detroit
3-1 Loss vs. Boston
D. Tucker - 28
T. Kaberle - 26
B. McCabe - 26

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A Christmas Story

teddybearOne of my favourite Christmas movies is "A Christmas Story", which inspired the phrase you'll read in the current masthead for this site. I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!

Heck, Ralphie says it best.

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New Lights Count Down For You

traggiclightThis week I saw a new kind of crossing light in Toronto. It's similar to the walk / don't walk lights, except there's a counter that ticks down the seconds until it changes.

I first noticed these new traffic lights yesterday at Bloor and Bedford. It makes so much sense I'll bet we'll soon be wondering why it took so long for lights to do this.

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Count Down To What?

questionmarkHumbleandFred.com looks awfully cryptic this morning. Head on over and check it out. There's a count down, currently showing 9 days, 21 hours, 53 minutes, and 33 seconds left.

What are they counting down to? What's happening over there on the morning of the 22nd? What's with that creepy picture?

Discuss "Count Down To What?" (3 comments so far)


A Charlie Brown Christmas: Alternate Ending

christmasFirst things first. If you're with your young children, don't play this until they're out of ear shot. It's so sweet when they believe and I'd hate to be the catalyst for any crushed spirits this holiday season.

Now that it's just you adults, you've got to watch this. It's disturbing, thought provoking and brilliant. It's also likely to get taken offline just as soon as the Charlie Brown lawyers wake up and smell the coffee.


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Little Drummer Boy

radioIf you've never heard of Humble and Fred, this series of holiday themed jingles from the duo must be boring the crap out of you. They were on the air in this market for seventeen years and it was their morning show that woke me up every weekday morning of the 1990s.

Here is the best rendition of Little Drummer Boy since Bing Crosby met David Bowie.

Other promo clips in this seasonal series:

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Cindy Klassen Wins 2006 Lou Marsh Award

canadaCindy Klassen beat out some great competition for this years Lou Marsh award. Klassen won over such formidable opponents as Steve Nash, Justin Morneau and Joe Thornton.

I knew it. Five Olympic medals was not going to be denied.

Here are recent winners of the award.

  • 2006: Cindy Klassen
  • 2005: Steve Nash
  • 2004: Adam van Koeverden
  • 2003: Mike Weir
  • 2002: Catriona Le May Doan
  • 2001: Jamie Sale/David Pelletier
  • 2000: Daniel Igali
  • 1999: Carolyn Brunet
  • 1998: Larry Walker
  • 1997: Jacques Villeneuve
  • 1996: Donovan Bailey

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Three Kings, Humble and Fred Style

radioAll month long I'm streaming some old holiday themed audio from the Humble and Fred morning show. This jingle is yet another take on We Three Kings.

Other promo clips in this seasonal series:

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The Polar Express

A Movie ReelThe Polar Express: 8 out of 10.

I just sat down with the kids and watched "The Polar Express". I loved it. Of course, I'm a sucker for that "I believe!" stuff.

This DVD had been floating around the house for about a year but I only got the motivation to watch it this afternoon. I'm glad I did, it looks great and gives you that nice Christmasy feeling inside. It also gives me an excuse to share this photo I snapped at the 2004 Santa Claus Parade.

Toronto Santa Clause Parade 2004

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Niagara Motel

A Movie ReelNiagara Motel: 5.5 out of 10.

Part of the deal with TMN, the movie network we get here in Southern Ontario, is that for every quality movie you've heard of there are a few movies you'll never hear about anywhere else. Following another dismal hockey game, we decided to give this unknown Canadian movie a shot.

It's not bad... It's only 88 minutes and I made it all the way through. The big name imported "star" is Craig Ferguson but it's definitely Niagara Falls, Canada. And now, because it's sort of justified by this movie review, here's my photo of Niagara Falls taken from Humble Howard's airplane.

Niagara Falls

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Kids and Santa

santaThis will be James' fifth Christmas. Between the ages of one and four, James wouldn't sit on Santa's lap. When he was one he was too little to fear anything so he just sat there like Daddy and Mommy told him. Then, he got too smart to sit on some stranger's lap, even if Daddy and Mommy told him it was okay. This year, he's back on the saddle because he knows the big guy is going to reward him with gifts on Christmas morning.

This will be Michelle's third Christmas. Unlike James, Michelle was more than happy to sit on Santa's lap this year. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but Grandma was there telling her it was okay. That made this the first year both kids sat on Santa's lap and told him what they wanted. I don't think either asked for world peace.

Here are pictures from James' and Michelle's first Christmases. Note that both Santas have legitimate beards. No fakery here!

James' First Christmas Michelle's First Christmas

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My Ten Favourite Song References to A Canadian Place

cassetteYesterday I wrote about songs that reference Canada. I promised I'd share my ten favourite musical references to my home and native land. Here are my top ten with apologies to Stompin' Tom Connors.

"Bobcaygeon" by The Tragically Hip - I'm starting this list with Bobcaygeon because it's a village of 2500 people, nestled along the Trent-Severn Waterway in the Kawarthas area of east-central Ontario, Canada. Throw in a shout out to Toronto that always gets the loudest cheer during local Hip shows and it can't be left off this list. Did I mention it's also a spectacular song?

"The Spirit of Radio" by Rush - There are two CFNYs... the "Spirit of Radio" CFNY which sort of died in the late 80s and the "Modern Rock" CFNY that my generation knows. This song is about that first CFNY.

"Further Again" by Staggered Crossing - I've always liked this song. It's cut from the same cloth as "Little Bones" and opens with the great lyric "Heading out on the 401, don't it make you nervous". The 401, baby!

"Runnin' Back To Saskatoon" by The Guess Who - This song had to make this list because this tune is home grown. It's all about Saskatchewan and some town where nothing much ever happens.

"The Old Apartment" by Barenaked Ladies - This song broke around the time Taryn and I were moving into our first shitty apartment. I dig the tune and the local setting. They bought an old house on the Danforth for goodness sake.

"Prairie Town" by Randy Bachman and Neil Young - Bachman and Young are jamming about prairie life with that great refrain "Portage and Main fifty below". It doesn't get much more Canadian than this.

"Wheat Kings" by The Tragically Hip - The Hip get a second mention on this list because "Wheat Kings" is so damn pretty. It's one of my all-time favourite Hip songs and that's saying something. It's about David Milgaard and starts with a loon call and even mentions the CBC. It still gives me chills.

"Helpless" by Neil Young - If you put a gun to my head and made me pick one Neil Young song, this might be it. Again, it's stunningly beautiful and opens with "There is a town in north Ontario". Helpless, helpless, helpless.

"Canadian Railroad Trilogy" by Gordon Lightfoot - On the Ask MetaFilter page that sparked this discussion I went on the record by saying "two songs are so drenched in Canadiana your playlist won't be complete without them." This is one...

"Northwest Passage" by Stan Rogers - This is the other essential song that has to conclude this list of songs that reference Canadian places. It's a definite sing-along that opens with "Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage". If you haven't heard this song and would like to, leave a comment below (include your email address, it won't appear on the site) and I'll email it to you. It's the least I can do for my country.

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Maple Leafs 1, Red Wings 5

LeafsThat was shite... pure shite.

Normally I'd write something about Hasek having our number because he's beaten us nine straight times but I think Detroit would have won with Mark Gowan between the pipes. Welcome to the winter of our discontent.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
13-13-5
31 points
Tied for 3rd in Northeast
5-1 Loss vs. Detroit
3-1 Loss vs. Boston
5-2 Loss vs. Atlanta
D. Tucker - 26
T. Kaberle - 25
B. McCabe - 25

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"I've worked in almost every other place in Canada except Toronto, funny enough, where my husband's from. The first time I was here it was winter, and I got engaged. The second time I was here it was summer, and I was married. My family lives here, my stepson lives here, so it's a wonderful place. Everyone's very nice and hospitable, unlike Hollywood."
      - Tori Spelling

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Coaches Corner

canadiantireRon and Don just finished their thing, so here are a few quick thoughts from Toronto Mike after twenty minutes. Yes, I'm going to start referring to myself in the third person.

I miss the Canadian Tire guy. He got the boot back in March and now the Canadian Tire campaign has something to do with signs dropping from the ceiling. It's not very memorable and it makes me long for CTG. Does anyone else miss the Canadian Tire guy or is it just me?

Joe Nieuwendyk has announced his retirement. The guy started his career in Calgary where he won the Stanley Cup. He then moved on to Dallas where he won the Stanley Cup. His next stop was New Jersey where he won the Stanley Cup. Poor Joe then came to Toronto and guess what? That streak came to a grinding halt.

Down 2-0 to Hasek and the Red Wings, I will be absolutely floored if we manage to come back. This will be our seventh loss in a row and I have no confidence this streak won't hit seventeen. In hindsight, that good start to the season was a mini-miracle. What's worse is I don't know what we can do to right this ship. Do we trade Sundin, McCabe and Raycroft and start thinking about a couple of years down the road when Pogge is ready to rock? Do we acknowledge that our young buds aren't nearly as good as we hoped they would be and replace them with different young buds? Where the hell do you find decent young buds?

Last season, I begged MLSE to gut the pig. They did clear out Quinn, Belfour and Domi, but we're no better now than we were then. I know things are bleak yet I cannot turn away. I will watch, I will follow, I will hope for the best while expecting the worst. Don't feel bad for me, this is the life I chose.

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The Hockey Hall of Fame

stanleycupPerhaps the reason the Leafs haven't won the Stanley Cup in almost forty years has something to do with the fact the Cup lives in Toronto. There's no incentive to win it for your fans when anyone can see it at the Hockey Hall of Fame. This afternoon, James and I made our way to the Hockey Hall of Fame to see Lord Stanley's mug and a jolly fat guy in a red suit.

The first thing I noticed is that the Gretzky wing is gone. Last time I visited the Hockey Hall of Fame, which was about three years ago, I was blown away by this massive display devoted to #99. It's gone and has been replaced by the NHL Zone which includes a very cool new exhibit called Stanley Cup Dynasties. The Leafs are represented twice there, once for their 1947-1951 run and again for their 1961-1967 dominance. It was a little easier when there was only six teams.

Highlights for James was meeting Santa and the TSN booth where we recorded calls of major goals by Paul Hendeson, Bobby Orr, Jacques Lemaire, Lanny McDonald and Bobby Baun. They're right now sitting in my inbox. If they're half decent, I'll share them later.

Here's a photoset from our day at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

James, Santa and Stanley

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Songs That Reference Canada

musicThere's an interesting discussion going on at Ask MetaFilter. Someone wanted to know "What pop songs mention Canada, or a place or city in Canada?" That question was custom made for me.

I piped in three times, suggesting tunes from The Tragically Hip, Rush, Neil Young, Guess Who, Barenaked Ladies, City and Colour and Maestro. Although someone beat me to it, I made sure to let this person know the two essential tracks are "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" by Gordon Lightfoot and "Northwest Passage" by Stan Rogers. They're both drenched in Canadiana.

When the discussion winds down I'll list my favourite songs that reference a place or city in Canada. Leave your favourites in the comments.

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Syriana

A Movie ReelSyriana: 7 out of 10.

I'll admit I had difficulty following the complete plot of Syriana. I got lost a few times and I'm still not sure I understood it all. At some point today I'll hit the web in search of Cliff Notes that will break it down for me. I normally don't have this issue, but I found "Syriana" particularly complex.

Even though I couldn't follow it all, I liked it. I probably would have liked it more had I not kept comparing it to "Traffic", a film I absolutely loved. "Syriana is Traffic-esque but not as clear and not as fulfilling. Still, it's smart, well acted and a worthwhile watch if you don't mind using your brain while you view.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Well, it's 1am. Better go home and spend some quality time with the kids."

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Conversing With Ryan

gaimI've never done this before, but what the hell. My brother Ryan and I just had a seven minute chat via IM and I thought I'd share it. During an uneventful seven minute exchange I counted five references nobody else would get. Well, maybe Steve would get a few of them, but otherwise it really was a targeted convo.

Here's the complete chat and an explanation of these five references.

IM-Convo-With-Ry

1. We love our annual playoff pool, but we're sick of Marc winning every year. We don't know how he does it, because he's not the sharpest tool in the shed and he hardly knows hockey, but he consistently wins or places second. He won in 2006 and 2004. If you can beat him, you're welcome to join in the fun next spring.

2. When Daniel Marois scored 31 goals in 88-89, our expectations were lofty. I wrote about him last year. He was going to be the next Sittler, but instead he was a bust.

3. My two brothers and I frequently played basketball against the Russians. Us three were teammates on Team Canada and we were taking on those damn Russkies for basketball glory. The Russians always got off to a huge lead before we came back. There was play by play, buzzer beaters and miraculous comebacks galore. We never lost to those Russians, but they always put up a fight.

4. For a while in the early 90s, Ryan and I used to say "Deeeeeaaaaaddddd" to each other in a voice that doesn't translate well to print. It was sung tauntingly and it became a thing that we did. We bring it back every so often, retro style.

5. Big Daddy Kane's Taste of Chocolate was a disc I enjoyed back in 1990. The guy had this ultra smooth rhyming style and dropped lines like "I gotta jump back and kiss myself" and "love, peace and hair grease". These lines found there way into my vernacular.

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Great Videos: Imagine

tvI was pretty young when John Lennon was murdered. I shared my memories of that day last year. I remember sort of understanding what it all meant and realizing that many of the adults around me were upset about this loss.

In survey after survey "Imagine" is honoured as one of the greatest song in the history of popular music. There's no doubt it's something special. On this day, twenty six years after his senseless death, we can still imagine.

Here are the other videos covered in this continuing series.

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Humble and Fred Christmas Cheer

radioI mentioned I'll be sharing all fourteen holiday season Humble and Fred radio show promo bits I have throughout this month. This jingle is a spin on Little Town of Bethlehem.

Other promo clips in this seasonal series:

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Jose Uribe, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJose Uribe was 47. He played 10 seasons in the major leagues from 1984 to 1993, mostly with the San Francisco Giants.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveTunes I dig at this time of year

  1. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl
  2. Christmas Don't Be Late - Alvin and the Chipmunks
  3. Welcome Christmas - The Whos of Whoville
  4. 2000 Miles - The Pretenders
  5. Anything from A Charlie Brown Christmas

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Link: Top 50 Music Videos of 2006

LinkTop 50 Music Videos of 2006 - This is the big one folks. The link of the year!

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Maple Leafs 1, Bruins 3

LeafsIt's deja-vu all over again. Another third period lead blown, another loss. That's six in a row my friends.

I missed the only goal because James' kindergarten teacher insensitively scheduled a parent-teacher interview during the second period. We've only scored eight times during this slide so when you miss one it's a serious bummer.

Even a team coached by Quinn with grumpy old Belfour in net and Domi on Sundin's wing can lose six in a row.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
13-12-5
31 points
Tied for 3rd in Northeast
3-1 Loss vs. Boston
5-2 Loss vs. Atlanta
4-3 SOL vs. Montreal
D. Tucker - 26
T. Kaberle - 25
B. McCabe - 24

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Canadian Idiot

canada"Canadian Idiot" is the third song off of Straight Outta Lynwood, Weird Al Yankovic's latest parody album. It is, of course, to the tune of Green Day's "American Idiot" and chock full of the typical Canadian stereotypes, eh.

There's no official video, but search for Canadian Idiot on YouTube and you'll find many fan made videos for the tune. Here's one example.

Here are the lyrics.

Don't wanna be a Canadian Idiot
Don't wanna be some beer-swillin' hockey nut
And do I look like some frost-bitten hose head?
I never learned my alphabet from A to Zed

They all live on donuts and moose meat
And they all leave the house without packin' heat
Never even bring their guns to the mall
And you know what else is too funny?
Their stupid monopoly money
Can't take 'em seriously at all

Well, maple syrup and snow's what they export
They treat curling just like it's a real sport
They think their silly accent is so cute
Can't understand a thing they're talking a-boot

Sure, they got their national health care
Cheaper meds for prime rates and clean air
Then again, well they got Celine Dion
Eat their weight in Kraft macaroni
And dream of driving a Zamboni
All over Saskatchewan

Don't wanna be a Canadian idiot
Won't figure out the temperature in Celsius
See the map, they're hoverin' right over us
Tell you the truth, it makes me kinda nervous

Always hear the same kind of story
Break your nose and they'll just say "Sorry"
Tell me what kind of freaks are that polite
It's gotta be they're all up to something
So, quick, before they see it coming
Time for a preemptive strike

Actually, it's dead on. Is it still a stereotype if it's true?

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It's Time To Move On

ottawaAs promised by the PM, the Conservatives tried to pass a motion to reopen same sex marriage legislation. It was defeated 175-123 this afternoon.

C-38 filled me with pride and I'm glad to see it stick. It's time to move on and let it be.

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Freedomland

A Movie ReelFreedomland: 5.5 out of 10.

This flick seemed unfinished, as if they had all the footage and they threw it together. It starts pretty strong but loses it's way. Some plot lines are dropped completely and the ending seems tacked on.

I'll admit, I agreed to watch this with Taryn because of the cast. I dig Sam Jackson and Julianne Moore, and both are pretty decent in "Freedomland", but where was the direction? What was the point of Freedomland? Can they really lock down an apartment complex? What was Ron Eldard's purpose?

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Canadians Who Have Played For The Blue Jays

bluejaysThe Toronto Blue Jays signed Matt Stairs yesterday to a one year contract. Stairs, who was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, will become the thirteenth Canadian to suit up for the Jays.

Here are the first twelve.

  • Dave McKay
  • Paul Hodgson
  • Rob Ducey
  • Denis Boucher
  • Vince Horsman
  • Rob Butler
  • Paul Spoljaric
  • Paul Quantrill
  • Rich Butler
  • Steve Sinclair
  • Simon Pond
  • Corey Koskie

My favourites on that list were Rob Ducey, Rob Butler, Paul Spoljaric and Paul Quantrill. It's a shame we never landed Larry Walker.

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My Daily Hallelujah Ritual

emailBack in June I wrote about Sophie's response to my Hallelujah hunt. I finally had an MP3 of this elusive Gord Downie cover of Leonard Cohen's classic that was heard during the sweet Canadian flick "Saint Ralph". I had the MP3 and I wanted to share it with other Hallelujah hunters.

My offer was simple. Leave a comment requesting the MP3 and I'll email it to you. As of this moment, 108 people have taken me up on that offer and many others defied my orders and wrote me directly requesting the file. Replying to these requests has become a daily ritual of mine.

At 108 comments, that's my second most commented on entry next to "Humble Howard, Are You Okay?" which currently tips the scales at 393 comments. Had I not set Humble up with his own blog that figure could have easily doubled by now.

Reading the comments on the Homemade Hallelujah page reassures me that I wasn't alone in being haunted by that song. There are many on a hunt similar to mine. Paul wrote a comment that shed a little light on why we're all so frustrated by this.

My story is similar to yours looking for a copy of the song (not as exhaustive), a friend of mine works for Alliance Atlantis and I asked him about a soundtrack. He said (last summer) that they were trying to put it together but were having licensing issues and then interest kind of died out.

When was the last time a movie was released with great tunes but no soundtrack. Only in Canada...

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S4 2006 Radio Ratings

radioThe S4 2006 radio ratings are out. All BBM will give away for free is this top-line report (pdf).

Here are the ten most listened to stations in Toronto when sorted by share percentage.

  1. CHFI 98.1
  2. CHUM-FM 104.5
  3. CBC RadioOne 99.1
  4. Q107
  5. EZ-Rock 97.3
  6. 680 News
  7. Classical 96.3
  8. Edge102
  9. Z103.5
  10. AM740

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Weekly MP3: Linus and Lucy

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Vince Guaraldi Trio - Linus and Lucy
For my money, there's no better Christmas album than A Charlie Brown Christmas from the Vince Guaraldi Trio. That jazzy sound blended with images from that spectacular Christmas special does the trick for me every time.

All Weekly MP3s until Christmas will be holiday themed.

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Humble and Fred Seasonal Jingles

radioI mentioned I'll be sharing all fourteen holiday season Humble and Fred radio show promo bits I have throughout this month. This jingle is a spin on Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

Other promo clips in this seasonal series:

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Freedom Rock

tvThis entry sort of ties in with my blue transistor radio. In the 80s I'd always see television commercials for music compilations available in vinyl or cassette formats. They'd scroll the songs in the collection and play a quick snippet of the big hits.

This is essentially how I first heard many staples from the 50s, 60s and 70s. I loved these commercials and thoroughly enjoyed getting a taste of The Doors, The Allman Brothers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Elton John, The Guess Who and whatever else made the ad. To this day I'll sit and watch a Time Life infomercial just to hear the music.

This ad is for Freedom Rock, a four record or three cassette tape collection that could be had for $19.95. It's an ideal example of those ads I used to love.


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Maple Leafs 2, Thrashers 5

LeafsThis sucks. Another third period lead blown, another loss, another pathetic effort from the blue and white. That's five straight losses.

I'm trying to remember the last time we put in a solid sixty minute effort. A glance at the standings this morning is alarming. We're seventh in points but when you consider the extra games we've played we're closer to 11th or 12th. Our hopes for a return to the playoffs this season are fading quickly. Jean-Sebastien Aubin, you're my only hope.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
13-11-5
31 points
Tied for 3rd in Northeast
5-2 Loss vs. Atlanta
4-3 SOL vs. Montreal
5-0 Loss vs. Atlanta
D. Tucker - 26
T. Kaberle - 25
B. McCabe - 24

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My Blue Transistor Radio

giftIn my lifetime I've probably received hundreds of Christmas gifts, but there are a few I remember best. I never lobbied for an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle so what I got on Christmas morning was always a surprise. On one particular Christmas in the early to mid-eighties I received a little blue transistor radio.

It was freedom. The radio would go everywhere I went. I used to sleep with it. In the summers, I listened to 1430 CJCL which was carrying Blue Jays games called by Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth. Other nights I would crawl the dial just to see what I would pick up. I'd start at one end and slowly make my way to the other side, stopping for a bit whenever I pulled in a station. I guess it was sort of a low tech scan. I'd do this for FM and then switch to AM. I loved that damn radio.

It's a love affair that has continued to this day. The primary reason I have an iRiver instead of an iPod is because the iRiver has a radio built in. I want my MP3, but I'm not ready to give up my radio entirely. In this day of MP3 players and satellite radio there's little room in a kid's life for a transistor radio. I'm just glad there was room in my life for one that Christmas morning.

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Link: Comedy Central

LinkComedy Central - iFilm has legitimate Comedy Central clips available from their best shows: Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Colbert Report, Chappelle's Show and Crank Yankers.

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Canada's Top Athlete

canadaThere's some fierce competition for the Lou Marsh Award this year. Usually there is one or maybe two potential winners, but this year there are four.

Justin Morneau is the American League MVP, Joe Thornton in the NHL MVP and Steve Nash is the NBA MVP. In any other year, you could pick one of those as your clear winner. This year, none of them will win.

Speed skater Cindy Klassen came home from the Turin Olympics with an unprecedented five medals. I'm predicting she'll win the Lou Marsh Award. How do you ignore five Olympic medals?

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Who the Hell is Pete Doherty?

questionmarkSometimes you know someone but you're not sure why. For me, that's the case with Pete Doherty.

I'm always reading about this Pete Doherty and his drug addiction, relationship with models and troubles with the law. If it were Shannen Doherty, I'd understand all the press, but who the hell is Pete Doherty and why does he get so much attention for someone I've never heard of?

His Wikipedia page explains why I should know him. He's "the singer and songwriter of the band Babyshambles, and formerly co-frontman and songwriter (along with Carl Barât) of The Libertines". Wait a minute, I have The Libertines' "Up the Bracket" in my collection and I stick "Boys in the Band" on all sorts of playlists. It turns out I do know Pete Doherty, I just didn't know him by name.

I still think this would be more exciting if we were talking about Shannon Doherty. From "Heathers" to "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back", she's the Doherty of choice.

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The Monday Shuffle

iTunesEvery once in a blue Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in iTunes and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today with a personal story about one of them.

  1. Kick It In - Simple Minds
  2. I'm Hiding - Korn
  3. One Step Closer - Linkin Park
  4. One - Filter
  5. Hypnotize - System of a Down
  6. One Day - The Verve
  7. Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
  8. Song 2 - Blur
  9. Sweet Hitch Hiker - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  10. Next Man - Everlast

I was working at my first full-time gig when "Song 2" was released. It was a smash hit and everyone was singing that "Woo Hoo" chorus. A work buddy of mine, Jay Gonzalvo, was sure the lyrics started with "I got my head shaved". I had actually seen the video in French with English subtitles and knew for a fact Damon Albarn was singing "I got my head checked".

Needless to say, hilarity ensued.

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Humble and Fred Holiday Sound Bite

radioI mentioned I'll be sharing all fourteen holiday season Humble and Fred radio show promo bits I have throughout this month. Here's another one, a mock of Carol of the Bells.

Other promo clips in this seasonal series:

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The Top 1002 Songs Of All-Time

freeplayrangerIf any former CFNY listeners haven't heard of http://www.spiritofradio.ca/, get over there and kill a few hours. It's a great tribute to our station. There are updates on the personalities, sound checks and CFNY Edge 102's top 1002 of all time.

CFNY Edge 102's Top 1002 of all time was put together in 1999 and I remember following that countdown very closely. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" ended up in the top spot, and at the close of the 90s that's exactly how it should have been. At the end of the 90s, there was no doubt that Nevermind was the album of the decade, but as time marches forward, I sense this is no longer the case. If we were to put together a list of the top albums from that decade right now, it's probable Radiohead's Ok Computer would finish first. Time is less kind to Nevermind than it is to OK Computer.

The first track from OK Computer to show up on this list of 1002 is "Karma Police" at 268. There's no way that would be the case if they rebuilt this list today.

Because I also sense you're curious as to what their top 1002 looked like in 1999, here's the top 700. I'd have listed all 1002, but I hit that same file size limitation again and had to kill a few hundred tunes.

 ARTISTTITLE
1NIRVANASMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT
2THE SMITHSHOW SOON IS NOW?
3PEARL JAMJEREMY
4U2PRIDE (IN THE NAME OF LOVE)
5NINE INCH NAILSCLOSER
6THE TRAGICALLY HIPNEW ORLEANS IS SINKING
7THE CULTSHE SELLS SANCTUARY
8SOFT CELLTAINTED LOVE
9R.E.M.LOSING MY RELIGION
10PEARL JAMALIVE
11U2WITH OR WITHOUT YOU
12THE SMASHING PUMPKINSTODAY
13THE TRAGICALLY HIPBLOW AT HIGH DOUGH
14STONE TEMPLE PILOTSPLUSH
15LIVELIGHTNING CRASHES
16TALKING HEADSONCE IN A LIFETIME
17SOUNDGARDENBLACK HOLE SUN
18U2I WILL FOLLOW
19PEARL JAMEVEN FLOW
20PETER GABRIELGAMES WITHOUT FRONTIERS
21TEARS FOR FEARSSHOUT
22NEW ORDERBIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE
23THE TRAGICALLY HIPLITTLE BONES
24THE VIOLENT FEMMESADD IT UP
25THE SMASHING PUMPKINSDISARM
26THE POLICEROXANNE
27THE CLASHSHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?
28RED HOT CHILI PEPPERSUNDER THE BRIDGE
29PEARL JAMYELLOW LEDBETTER
30JOY DIVISIONLOVE WILL TEAR US APART
31U2I STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR
32METALLICAENTER SANDMAN
33THE WATERBOYSTHE WHOLE OF THE MOON
34DURAN DURANHUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF
35OASISWONDERWALL
36SIMPLE MINDS(DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME
37RADIOHEADCREEP
38SOUNDGARDENSPOONMAN
39DEPECHE MODEPERSONAL JESUS
40THE CULTLOVE REMOVAL MACHINE
41BAUHAUSBELA LUGOSI'S DEAD
42THE BARENAKED LADIESBRIAN WILSON
43R.E.M.THE ONE I LOVE
44NIRVANACOME AS YOU ARE
45THE CUREJUST LIKE HEAVEN
46PRETENDERSBRASS IN POCKET
47BECKLOSER
48THE TEA PARTYSAVE ME
49IGGY POPLUST FOR LIFE
50THE SMASHING PUMPKINSBULLET WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS
51RAMONESI WANNA BE SEDATED
52U2NEW YEAR'S DAY
53TALK TALKIT'S MY LIFE
54THE CRANBERRIESZOMBIE
55XTCMAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL
56FOO FIGHTERSTHIS IS A CALL
57OUR LADY PEACESTARSEED
58YAZOOSITUATION
59GREEN DAYTIME OF YOUR LIFE (GOOD RIDDANCE)
60STONE TEMPLE PILOTSBIG EMPTY
61EURYTHMICSSWEET DREAMS (ARE MADE OF THIS)
62JANE'S ADDICTIONBEEN CAUGHT STEALING
63THE TRAGICALLY HIPFIFTY-MISSION CAP
64GARY NUMANCARS
65PEARL JAMBLACK
66PETER GABRIELSOLSBURY HILL
67U2WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME
68DEPECHE MODEJUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH
69THE BARENAKED LADIESIF I HAD A$1,000,000
70TEARS FOR FEARSEVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD
71TALKING HEADSLIFE DURING WARTIME
72THE TRAGICALLY HIPGRACE, TOO
73ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONSPUMP IT UP
74WORLD PARTYSHIP OF FOOLS
75ALANIS MORISSETTEYOU OUGHTA KNOW
76THE SMASHING PUMPKINSCHERUB ROCK
77THE OFFSPRINGCOME OUT & PLAY
78THE CLASHROCK THE CASBAH
79THE TRAGICALLY HIPCOURAGE
80SOUNDGARDENPRETTY NOOSE
81DURAN DURANTHE REFLEX
82OUR LADY PEACECLUMSY
83R.E.M.RADIO FREE EUROPE
84THE ENGLISH BEATMIRROR IN THE BATHROOM
85BLURSONG 2
86RED HOT CHILI PEPPERSMY FRIENDS
87THE TRAGICALLY HIPAT THE HUNDREDTH MERIDIAN
88DAVID BOWIESPACE ODDITY
89MIDNIGHT OILBEDS ARE BURNING
90LOVE & ROCKETSSO ALIVE
91JESUS JONESRIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW
92PEARL JAMCRAZY MARY
93PETER GABRIELSLEDGEHAMMER
94DEPECHE MODESTRANGELOVE
95PEARL JAMDISSIDENT
96ECHO & THE BUNNYMENTHE KILLING MOON
97LENNY KRAVITZARE YOU GONNA GO MY WAY?
98GREEN DAYLONGVIEW
99NIRVANAIN BLOOM
100THE PET SHOP BOYSWEST END GIRLS
101UB40RED RED WINE
102THE SMITHSBIG MOUTH STRIKES AGAIN
103DEXY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERSCOME ON EILEEN
104STONE TEMPLE PILOTSCREEP
105TEARS FOR FEARSPALE SHELTER
106MADNESSONE STEP BEYOND
107BUSHEVERYTHING ZEN
108THE CURECLOSE TO ME
109R.E.M.MAN ON THE MOON
110ULTRAVOXDANCING WITH TEARS IN MY EYES
111NINE INCH NAILSHURT
112THE THEPERFECT
113DURAN DURANRIO
114THE BEASTIE BOYSSABOTAGE
115THE SMASHING PUMPKINSTONIGHT TONIGHT
116U2MYSTERIOUS WAYS
117THE POLICEEVERY BREATH YOU TAKE
118SILVERCHAIRTOMORROW
119ALPHAVILLEFOREVER YOUNG
120NINE INCH NAILSHEAD LIKE A HOLE
121TALKING HEADSPSYCHO KILLER
122INXSNEW SENSATION
123BECKWHERE IT'S AT
124PRETENDERSMIDDLE OF THE ROAD
125MODERN ENGLISHI MELT WITH YOU
126FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOODRELAX
127THE CLASHCLAMPDOWN
128THE VAPORSTURNING JAPANESE
129MORRISSEYEVERYDAY IS LIKE SUNDAY
130JAMESLAID
131THE BOOMTOWN RATSI DON'T LIKE MONDAYS
132GREEN DAYBASKETCASE
133ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONSEVERYDAY I WRITE THE BOOK
134THE CURELOVE CATS
135SINEAD O'CONNORNOTHING COMPARES 2 U
136KILLING JOKELOVE LIKE BLOOD
137U2ALL I WANT IS YOU
138RAMONESROCK & ROLL HIGH SCHOOL
139RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINEKILLING IN THE NAME
140KATE BUSHRUNNING UP THAT HILL
141THE BEASTIE BOYSFIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT
142NIRVANALITHIUM
143THE POGUESYEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH
144THE HUMAN LEAGUEDON'T YOU WANT ME?
145WALL OF VOODOOMEXICAN RADIO
146DURAN DURANGIRLS ON FILM
147THE TRAGICALLY HIPLOCKED IN THE TRUNK OF A CAR
148THE B-52'SROCK LOBSTER
149BUSHMACHINEHEAD
150TONES ON TAILGO!
151OASISDON'T LOOK BACK IN ANGER
152THE PSYCHEDELIC FURSTHE GHOST IN YOU
153OUR LADY PEACESUPERMAN'S DEAD
154LIVEI ALONE
155THE SMITHSTHIS CHARMING MAN
156I MOTHER EARTHONE MORE ASTRONAUT
157STEPHEN TIN TIN DUFFYKISS ME
158THE TEA PARTYRELEASE
159THE CLASHTRAIN IN VAIN
160R.E.M.STAND
161HOLEDOLL PARTS
162DAVID BOWIECHANGES
163RADIOHEADHIGH & DRY
164SIMPLE MINDSALIVE & KICKING
165SLOANUNDERWHELMED
166ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONSRADIO RADIO
167GREEN DAYWELCOME TO PARADISE
168ALICE IN CHAINSNO EXCUSES
169SPOONSNOVA HEART
170THE CLASHLONDON CALLING
171WHITE ZOMBIEMORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN
172NIRVANAALL APOLOGIES
173THE WATERBOYSFISHERMAN'S BLUES
174STRANGE ADVANCEWE RUN
175GENERAL PUBLICTENDERNESS
176THE SMASHING PUMPKINSTHIRTY-THREE
177THE SPECIALSA MESSAGE TO YOU, RUDY
178INXSNEED YOU TONIGHT
179NIRVANAHEART-SHAPED BOX
180LOVE & ROCKETSBALL OF CONFUSION
181THE JAMTOWN CALLED MALICE
182TALKING HEADSBURNING DOWN THE HOUSE
183THE STONE ROSESFOOL'S GOLD
184FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOODTHE POWER OF LOVE
185YAZOONOBODY'S DIARY
186FILTERHEY MAN, NICE SHOT
187PIGBAGPAPA'S GOT A BRAND NEW PIGBAG
188DURAN DURANPLANET EARTH
189THE FIXXONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER
190ENDGAMESFIRST-LAST-FOR EVERYTHING
191U2BAD
192THE POLICEMESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
193STONE TEMPLE PILOTSVASOLINE
194R.E.M.SOUTH CENTRAL RAIN
195RED HOT CHILI PEPPERSGIVE IT AWAY
196DAVID BOWIEHEROES
197BECKTHE NEW POLLUTION
198IGGY POPREAL WILD CHILD
199THE CRANBERRIESLINGER
200RAMONESBLITZKREIG BOP
201DEPECHE MODEPEOPLE ARE PEOPLE
202THE SMITHSTHE BOY WITH THE THORN IN HIS SIDE
203COUNTING CROWSMR. JONES
204BIG COUNTRYIN A BIG COUNTRY
205THE GOO GOO DOLLSNAME
206EVERCLEARSANTA MONICA
207THE SEX PISTOLSGOD SAVE THE QUEEN
208THE PROCLAIMERSI'M GONNA BE (500 MILES)
209DEPECHE MODEMASTER & SERVANT
210THE TRAGICALLY HIPNAUTICAL DISASTER
211THE SMITHSGIRLFRIEND IN A COMA
212SIMPLE MINDSPROMISED YOU A MIRACLE
213THE NAILS88 LINES ABOUT 44 WOMEN
214SQUEEZETEMPTED
215THE CUREFRIDAY, I'M IN LOVE
216MOISTPUSH
217THE CULTRAIN
218FOO FIGHTERSMONKEY WRENCH
219MARTHA & THE MUFFINSECHO BEACH
220BEN FOLDS FIVEBRICK
221NIRVANATHE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD (LIVE)
222THE CULTREVOLUTION
223THE SMASHING PUMPKINSZERO
224PRETENDERSBACK ON THE CHAIN GANG
225NO DOUBTJUST A GIRL
226THE ROMANTICSWHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU
227OUR LADY PEACE4 A.M.
228PORNO FOR PYROSPETS
229PRINCEWHEN DOVES CRY
230CATHERINE WHEELBLACK METALLIC
231BLONDIEHEART OF GLASS
232COLLECTIVE SOULSHINE
233A-HATAKE ON ME
234THE TRAGICALLY HIPTWIST MY ARM
235THE CURELOVE SONG
236BIG AUDIO DYNAMITEE=MC2
237JANE'S ADDICTIONJANE SAYS
238U2THE SWEETEST THING
239BLURGIRLS & BOYS
240UB40 with CHRISSY HYNDEI GOT YOU BABE
241ALICE IN CHAINSROOSTER
242LOVE & ROCKETSYIN & YANG (AND THE FLOWER POT MAN)
243THE CLASHTHIS IS RADIO CLASH
244R.E.M.BANG & BLAME
245THE CHEMICAL BROTHERSSETTING SUN
246THE ICICLE WORKSBIRDS FLY (FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM)
247SOUNDGARDENFELL ON BLACK DAYS
248THE PSYCHEDELIC FURSLOVE MY WAY
249FAITH NO MOREEPIC
250JOE JACKSONIS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM?
251THE OFFSPRINGSELF ESTEEM
252MEN AT WORKDOWN UNDER
253O.M.D.ENOLA GAY
254THE VERVEBITTERSWEET SYMPHONY
255NIRVANADUMB
256GENERATION XDANCING WITH MYSELF
257SPANDAU BALLETTRUE
258TALK TALKLIFE'S WHAT YOU MAKE IT
259EURYTHMICSHERE COMES THE RAIN AGAIN
260SHRIEKBACKNEMESIS
261THE ENGLISH BEATTWIST & CRAWL
262DEVOWHIP IT
263TOOLSOBER
264DAVID BOWIEREBEL REBEL
265THE SPECIALSENJOY YOURSELF
266HOLEMISS WORLD
267THE VIOLENT FEMMESAMERICAN MUSIC
268RADIOHEADKARMA POLICE
269OASISMORNING GLORY
270SIMPLE MINDSNEW GOLD DREAM
271KATE BUSHWUTHERING HEIGHTS
272THE INSPIRIAL CARPETSCOMMERCIAL RAIN
273MINISTRYEVERYDAY IS HALLOWE'EN
274U2ONE
275NEW ORDERTRUE FAITH
276INXSDEVIL INSIDE
277GARBAGEONLY HAPPY WHEN IT RAINS
278THE SISTERS OF MERCYTEMPLE OF LOVE
279THE PIXIESHERE COMES YOUR MAN
280PETER GABRIELBIKO
281LEVEL 42SOMETHING ABOUT YOU
282BUSHGLYCERINE
283THE BUGGLESVIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR
284RED HOT CHILI PEPPERSSUCK MY KISS
285R.E.M.DRIVE
286TALKING HEADSCROSSEYED & PAINLESS
287LENNY KRAVITZALWAYS ON THE RUN
288REAL LIFESEND ME AN ANGEL
289STINGWE'LL BE TOGETHER
290MPOP MUZIK
291HOWARD JONESNEW SONG
292THE FINE YOUNG CANNIBALSSHE DRIVES ME CRAZY
293BILLY BRAGGSEXUALITY
294DEPECHE MODESOMEBODY
295RANCIDTIME BOMB
296XTCDEAR GOD
297CONCRETE BLONDEJOEY
298ECHO & THE BUNNYMENBRING ON THE DANCING HORSES
299THE VELVET UNDERGROUNDSWEET JANE
300YAZOODON'T GO
301HOLEROCK STAR
302DAVID BOWIEASHES TO ASHES
303THE SMITHSPANIC
304O.M.D.IF YOU LEAVE
305MORRISSEYNOVEMBER SPAWNED A MONSTER
306U2SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY
307JOE JACKSONLOOK SHARP
308FOO FIGHTERSI'LL STICK AROUND
309WHEN IN ROMETHE PROMISE
310THE OFFSPRINGGOTTA GET AWAY
311TEARS FOR FEARSSOWING THE SEEDS OF LOVE
312PRETENDERSPRECIOUS
313THE CHARLATANSTHE ONLY ONE I KNOW
314NEW ORDERBLUE MONDAY
315THE BEASTIE BOYSSURESHOT
316ALICE IN CHAINSI STAY AWAY
317JAPANTHE QUIET LIFE
318SILVERCHAIRABUSE ME
319DURAN DURANA VIEW TO A KILL
320LLOYD COLE & THE COMMOTIONSPERFECT SKIN
321LIVESELLING THE DRAMA
322DEPECHE MODEBEHIND THE WHEEL/ROUTE 66
323FOO FIGHTERSEVERLONG
324THE VIOLENT FEMMESBLISTER IN THE SUN
325THE PET SHOPSIT'S A SIN
326JANE'S ADDICTIONSTOP!
327CROWDED HOUSEDON'T DREAM IT'S OVER
328THE BEASTIE BOYSINTERGALACTIC
329THE STONE ROSESI WANNA BE ADORED
330MEN AT WORKWHO CAN IT BE NOW?
331MARILYN MANSONSWEET DREAMS (ARE MADE OF THIS)
332FAITH NO MOREMIDLIFE CRISIS
333THE SMASHING PUMPKINS1979
334THE BARENAKED LADIESBE MY YOKO ONO
335KRAFTWERKTHE MODEL
336KORNFREAK ON A LEASH
337THE SEX PISTOLSANARCHY IN THE U.K.
338SLOANMONEY CITY MANIACS
339LIMP BIZKITNOOKIE
340THE SISTERS OF MERCYLUCRETIA (MY REFLECTION)
341ALANIS MORISSETTEJOINING YOU
342BILLY IDOLREBEL YELL
343RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINEFREEDOM
344COLLECTIVE SOULGEL
345ERASUREA LITTLE RESPECT
346I MOTHER EARTHANOTHER SUNDAY
347SPLIT ENZI GOT YOU
348THE TEA PARTYSISTER AWAKE
349FINE YOUNG CANNIBALSGOOD THING
350GREEN DAYHITCHIN' A RIDE
351O.M.D.SECRET
352THE TRAGICALLY HIPSCARED
353THE CUREIN-BETWEEN DAYS
354OASISCHAMPAGNE SUPERNOVA
355VISAGEFADE TO GREY
356OUR LADY PEACENAVEED
357TRACY CHAPMANFAST CAR
358AZTEC CAMERAOBLIVIOUS
359THE BANGLESWALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN
360THE ART OF NOISEPETER GUNN
361SARAH McLACHLANINTO THE FIRE
362SUGAR RAYFLY
363DAVID BOWIEFAME
364THE BARENAKED LADIESENID
365HEAVEN 17LET ME GO
366RED HOT CHILI PEPPERSSOUL TO SQUEEZE
367GENE LOVES JEZEBELDESIRE
368MOISTSILVER
369WHITE ZOMBIETHUNDER KISS '65
370TORI AMOSCRUCIFY
371THE COLOURFIELDI CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF YOU BABY
372THE ODDSIT FALLS APART
373SQUEEZEPULLING MUSSELS (FROM THE SHELL)
374B-MOVIENOWHERE GIRL
375HUNTERS & COLLECTORSTHROW YOUR ARMS AROUND ME
37654 40LOVE YOU ALL
377INXSTHE ORIGINAL SIN
378SINEAD O'CONNORMANDINKA
379ROUGH TRADEHIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL
380PEARL JAMLAST KISS
381THE PSYCHEDELIC FURSHEAVEN
382JAMESBORN OF FRUSTRATION
383THE TRAGICALLY HIP38 YEARS OLD
384ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONSALISON
385SONIC YOUTHKOOL THING
386THE POLICEWALKING ON THE MOON
387BIG WRECKTHAT SONG
388IAN DURY & THE BLOCKHEADSSEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL
389NINE INCH NAILSWE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER
390THE STRANGLERSSKIN DEEP
391OASISLIVE FOREVER
392THE NORTHERN PIKESSHE AIN'T PRETTY
393DURAN DURANIS THERE SOMETHING I SHOULD KNOW?
394TEMPLE OF THE DOGHUNGER STRIKE
395ROMEO VOIDNEVER SAY NEVER
396FOO FIGHTERSALONE & EASY TARGET
397SIMPLY REDHOLDING BACK THE YEARS
398MATTHEW SWEETGIRLFRIEND
399RUSTYWAKE ME
400THE B-52'SROAM
401U2BULLET THE BLUE SKY
402BLONDIERAPTURE
403PEARL JAMELDERLY WOMAN BEHIND THE COUNTER…
404BLUE PETERDON'T WALK PAST
405THE CARSLET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
406THE SMASHING PUMPKINSROCKET
407THOMAS DOLBYSHE BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE
408THE LEMONHEADSINTO YOUR ARMS
40954 40BABY RAN
410THE DREAM ACADEMYLIFE INA NORTHERN TOWN
411THE CULTEDIE (CIAO BABY)
412DEPECHE MODEIT'S NO GOOD
413KATE BUSHHOUNDS OF LOVE
414ECONOLINE CRUSHALL THAT YOU ARE
415HOWARD JONESTHINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER
416ALPHAVILLEBIG IN JAPAN
417OUR LADY PEACEHOPE
418THE CLASHTHE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
419BOOK OF LOVEI TOUCH ROSES
420NIRVANARAPE ME
421SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEESPEEK-A-BOO
422SLOANPEOPLE OF THE SKY
423LOVE & ROCKETSNO NEW TALE TO TELL
424BRONSKI BEATSMALLTOWN BOY
425PETER MURPHYCUTS YOU UP
426ALANIS MORISSETTEHAND IN MY POCKET
427JONA LEWIEYOU'LL ALWAYS FIND ME IN THE KITCHEN…
428BECKTHE DEVIL'S HAIRCUT
429ICEHOUSECRAZY
430BUSHGREEDY FLY
431ECHO & THE BUNNYMENLIPS LIKE SUGAR
432THE TRAGICALLY HIPGIFT SHOP
433THE THEUNCERTAIN SMILE
434TEENAGE HEADLET'S SHAKE
435ALICE IN CHAINSMAN IN THE BOX
436BLIND MELONNO RAIN
437THE SPECIALSCONCRETE JUNGLE
438RED HOT CHILI PEPPERSSCAR TISSUE
439TEARS FOR FEARSCHANGE
440ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONSACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN
441KILLJOYSSOAKED
442BILLY IDOLMONY MONY
443RADIOHEADFAKE PLASTIC TREES
444PUBLIC IMAGE LTD.RISE
44554 40BLAME YOUR PARENTS
446ABCTHE LOOK OF LOVE
447THE SMASHING PUMPKINSDROWN
448PETE SHELLEYHOMOSAPIEN
449SARAH McLACHLANSWEET SURRENDER
450IGGY POPI'M BORED
451STONE TEMPLE PILOTSINTERSTATE LOVE SONG
452BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERSJAMMIN'
453GREEN DAYBRAIN STEW
454FRUERDOOT DOOT
455THE TEA PARTYFIRE IN THE HEAD
456THE BANGLESETERNAL FLAME
457YELLOOH YEAH
458DOUGHBOYSFIX ME
459THE JAMTHAT'S ENTERTAINMENT
460KID ROCKBAWITABA
461BAUHAUSSHE'S IN PARTIES
462THE BARENAKED LADIESLOVERS IN A DANGEROUS TIME
463THE PSYCHEDELIC FURSPRETTY IN PINK
464GARBAGE#1 CRUSH
465R.E.M.CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE
466A FLOCK OF SEAGULLSI RAN
467THE TRAGICALLY HIPLOOKING FOR A PLACE TO HAPPEN
468THE CUREWHY CAN'T I BE YOU?
469BILLY BRAGGA NEW ENGLAND
470THE INSPIRIAL CARPETSTWO WORLDS COLLIDE
471THE ART OF NOISEMOMENTS IN LOVE
472THE ENGLISH BEATSAVE IT FOR LATER
473NINE INCH NAILSTHE PERFECT DRUG
474SINEAD O'CONNORTHE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
475BLURTHERE'S NO OTHER WAY
476MOISTTANGERINE
477CROWDED HOUSESOMETHING SO STRONG
478THE MIGHY LEMON DROPSINSIDE OUT
479CRACKERLOW
480ADAM ANTGOODY TWO SHOES
481THE TRAGICALLY HIPBOBCAYGEON
482THE NORMALWARM LEATHERETTE
483SOUNDGARDENBURDEN IN MY HAND
484COWBOY JUNKIESSWEET JANE
485THE VERVELUCKY MAN
486RE-FLEXTHE POLITICS OF DANCING
487THE GOO GOO DOLLSLONG WAY DOWN
488THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESSI'M AN ADULT NOW
489MIDGE UREDEAR GOD
490CREEDMY OWN PRISON
491CHINA CRISISWORKING WITH FIRE & STEEL
492NIRVANAABOUT A GIRL (LIVE)
493PRETENDERSMESSAGE OF LOVE
494TOADIESPOSSUM KINGDOM
495THE POLICEWRAPPED AROUND YOUR FINGER
496MOISTLEAVE IT ALONE
497THE FIXXSTAND OR FALL
498I MOTHER EARTHSO GENTLY WE GO
499DEPECHE MODEBLASPHEMOUS RUMOURS
500LENNY KRAVITZMR. CAB DRIVER
501TRIODA DA DA
502WEEZERSAY IT AIN'T SO
503IMAGES IN VOGUECALL IT LOVE
504OASISSUPERSONIC
505SIMPLE MINDSWATERFRONT
506THE CRASH TEST DUMMIESSUPERMAN'S SONG
507THE PET SHOP BOYSOPPORTUNITIES
508EDWINTRIPPIN'
509SOUL ASYLUMRUNAWAY TRAIN
510DAVID BOWIEGOLDEN YEARS
511THE REPLACEMENTSALEX CHILTON
512JOE JACKSONSTEPPIN' OUT
513SLOANTHE GOOD IN EVERYONE
514THE ROMANTICSTALKING IN YOUR SLEEP
515COLLECTIVE SOULLISTEN
516BOW WOW WOWI WANT CANDY
517OUR LADY PEACEJULIA
518MEN AT WORKBE GOOD JOHNNY
519ENYAORINOCCO FLOW
520STONE TEMPLE PILOTSLADY PICTURE SHOW
521TEENAGE HEADSOMETHING ON MY MIND
522JAMESSAY SOMETHING
523STINGIF YOU LOVE SOMEBODY
524SPIRIT OF THE WESTPOLITICAL
525THE VERVE PIPEPHOTOGRAPH
526R.E.M.SUPERMAN
527MIDNIGHT OILBLUE SKY MINE
528SPECIAL A.K.A.FREE NELSON MANDELA
529THE CHARLATANSWEIRDO
530LIVEALL OVER YOU
531THE B-52'SLOVE SHACK
532FOO FIGHTERSMY HERO
533MADNESSOUR HOUSE
534K.M.F.D.M.JUKE JOINT JEZEBEL
535ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS(ANGELS WANNA WEAR MY) RED SHOES
536KATE BUSHTHIS WOMAN'S WORK
537THE CARSMY BEST FRIEND'S GIRL
538THE CRANBERRIESDREAMS
539THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONESTHE IMPRESSION THAT I GET
540COUNTING CROWSROUND HERE
541U2GLORIA
542KRAFTWERKTHE ROBOTS
543TOOLFORTY-SIX & TWO
544THE MISSIONTOWER OF STRENGTH
545DEPECHE MODEENJOY THE SILENCE
546SOUNDGARDENJESUS CHRIST POSE
547LEVEL 42LESSONS IN LOVE
548THE BEASTIE BOYSSO WHAT'CHA WANT?
549FRONT 242HEADHUNTER
550SIMPLE MINDSLOVE SONG
551THE LEMONHEADSIT'S A SHAME ABOUT RAY
552THE STRANGLERSALWAYS THE SUN
553LIMP BIZKITFAITH
554ANNIMOTIONOBSESSION
555THEY MIGHT BE GIANTSISTANBUL (NOT CONSTANTINOPLE)
556EVERCLEAREVERYTHING TO EVERYONE
557ICEHOUSENO PROMISES
558THE CULTURE CLUBDO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME?
559BUSHCOMEDOWN
560FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOODTWO TRIBES
561THE CHEMICAL BROTHERSBLOCK ROCKIN' BEATS
562THE CULTFIRE WOMAN
563AZTEC CAMERAWALK OUT TO WINTER
564SUEDEWE ARE THE PIGS
565PETER SCHILLINGMAJOR TOM
566MORRISSEYSUEDEHEAD
567THE HUMAN LEAGUEKEEP FEELING (FASCINATION)
568THE INSPIRIAL CARPETSDRAGGIN' ME DOWN
569PRINCELET'S GO CRAZY
570THE SOUP DRAGONSI'M FREE
571MATTHEW SWEETSICK OF MYSELF
572PETER GABRIELIN YOUR EYES
573LIMP BIZKITREARRANGED
574THE PATTI SMITH GROUPDANCING BAREFOOT
575ALICE IN CHAINSOVER NOW
576RANCIDRUBY SOHO
577TALK TALKTALK TALK
578ECHO & THE BUNNYMENSILVER
579FAITH NO MOREWE CARE A LOT
580THE JIM CARROLL BANDPEOPLE WHO DIED
581INXSNEVER TEAR US APART
582ECONOLINE CRUSHSPARKLE & SHINE
583U2TWO HEARTS (BEAT AS ONE)
584THE CULTTHE WITCH
585ELTON MOTELLOJET BOY, JET GIRL
586RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINEBULLET IN THE HEAD
58754 40ONE GUN
588THE TRAGICALLY HIPGREASY JUNGLE
589POP WILL EAT ITSELFWISE UP! SUCKER!
590THE CUREBOYS DON'T CRY
591CHALK CIRCLEAPRIL FOOL
592SID VICIOUSMY WAY
593THE PRODIGYFIRESTARTER
594MINISTRYN.W.O.
595I MOTHER EARTHRAIN WILL FALL
596BLONDIEONE WAY OR ANOTHER
597MARILYN MANSONTHE DOPE SHOW
598THE SMITHEREENSA GIRL LIKE YOU
599KILLING JOKEEIGHTIES
600CONCRETE BLONDEGOD IS A BULLET
601BLURCOUNTRY HOUSE
602MOISTRESURRECTION
603FLASH & THE PANHEY ST. PETER
604THE MATTHEW GOOD BANDAPPARITIONS
605YAZOOONLY YOU
606ECONOLINE CRUSHHOME
607TALKING HEADSTAKE ME TO THE RIVER
608RADIOHEADJUST
609DEPECHE MODEEVERYTHING COUNTS
610SARAH McLACHLANDRAWN TO THE RHYTHM
611GREEN DAYWALKING CONTRADICTION
612GENE LOVES JEZEBELMOTION OF LOVE
613ROUGH TRADEALL TOUCH
614CATHERINE WHEELI WANT TO TOUCH YOU
615DEVO(I CAN'T GET NO) SATISFACTION
616THE CLASHGUNS OF BRIXTON
617THE PSYCHEDELIC FURSHEARTBEAT
618ULTRAVOXVIENNA
619PUKKA ORCHESTRALISTEN TO THE RADIO
620BIG AUDIO DYNAMITETHE BOTTOM LINE
621LOU REEDWALK ON THE WILD SIDE
622SOUL ASYLUMSOMEBODY TO SHOVE
623SQUEEZEANOTHER NAIL IN MY HEART
624THE MANIC STREET PREACHERSIF YOU TOLERATE THIS, YOUR CHILDREN…
625PETER GODWINBABY'S IN THE MOUNTAINS
626RAMONESDO YOU REMEMBER ROCK & ROLL RADIO?
627THE BARENAKED LADIESMcDONALD'S GIRL
628ALICE IN CHAINSWOULD?
629SIMPLE MINDSSANCTIFY YOURSELF
630RED HOT CHILI PEPPERSHIGHER GROUND
631OUR LADY PEACEONE MAN ARMY
632BILLY IDOLWHITE WEDDING
633CAKETHE DISTANCE
634NENA99 LUFT BALLOONS
635THE WATCHMENINCARNATE
636THE ENGLISH BEATTEARS OF A CLOWN
637NINE INCH NAILSDEAD SOULS
638THE GRAPES OF WRATHALL THE THINGS I WASN'T
639THE CUREPICTURES OF YOU
640ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOWTHE TIME WARP
641THE CARDIGANSMY FAVOURITE GAME
642THE SMITHSPLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET ME GET WHAT I WANT
643A-HATHE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON TV
644ALANIS MORISSETTEIRONIC
645THE LOTUS EATERSTHE FIRST PICTURE OF YOU
646THE JESUS & MARY CHAINHEAD ON
647SARAH McLACHLANTHE PATH OF THORNS
648BUSHLITTLE THINGS
649HOWARD JONESNO ONE IS TO BLAME
650FUN LOVIN' CRIMINALSSCOOBY SNACKS
651I MOTHER EARTHUSED TO BE ALRIGHT
652A FLOCK OF SEAGULLSWISHING
653THE DIODESTIRED OF WAKING UP TIRED
654SOUNDGARDENBLOW UP THE OUTSIDE WORLD
655DURAN DURANUNION ON THE SNAKE
656SUZANNE VEGALUKA
657THE HUMAN LEAGUEHUMAN
658BIG WRECKTHE OAF (MY LUCK IS WASTED)
659THE HOTHOUSE FLOWERSDON'T GO
660THE TEA PARTYHEAVEN COMING DOWN
661THE STYLE COUNCILLONG HOT SUMMER
662BLUE PETERRADIO SILENCE
663KIRSTY MacCOLLA NEW ENGLAND
664THE CRYSTAL METHODBUSY CHILD
665THE CRASH TEST DUMMIESMMM MMM MMM MMM
666SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEESSPELLBOUND
667RUSTYSOUL FOR SALE
668BJORKARMY OF ME
669THE POLICEDON'T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME
670THE BREEDERSCANNONBALL
671THE BOXL'AFFAIRE DUMOUTIER (SAY TO ME)
672THE LA'STHERE SHE GOES
673SPOONSARIAS & SYMPHONIES
674HOWARD DEVOTOTHE RAINY SEASON
675CAMPER VAN BEETHOVENTAKE THE SKINHEADS BOWLING
676LLOYD COLE & THE COMMOTIONSRATTLESNAKES
677HAIRCUT ONE HUNDREDLOVE PLUS ONE
678FATBOY SLIMPRAISE YOU
679THE BARENAKED LADIESJANE
680O.M.D.SO IN LOVE
681JOE JACKSONSUNDAY PAPERS
682THE TRAGICALLY HIPSO HARD DONE BY
683THE BANGLESHAZY SHADE OF WINTER
684KILLJOYSTODAY I HATE EVERYONE
685PAUL HARDCASTLE19
686THE CULTWILDFLOWER
687ICEHOUSEELECTRIC BLUE
688R.E.M.SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE
689SPIRIT OF THE WESTHOME FOR A REST
690ROBERT PALMERLOOKING FOR CLUES
691HOLEGOLD DUST WOMAN
692THE MONKSDRUGS IN MY POCKET
693I MOTHER EARTHRASPBERRY
694KATE BUSHBABOOSHKA
69554 40OCEAN PEARL
696WANG CHUNGDANCEHALL DAYS
697STONE TEMPLE PILOTSUNGLUED
698THE CHURCHUNDER THE MILKY WAY
699THE KNACKMY SHARONA
700COUNTING CROWSA LONG DECEMBER

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Where We're At With SLS16

slsLest we forget, the sixteenth edition of SLS is due at the end of the month. The SLS committee is listening to a bunch of new stuff so expect some late additions. Don't know what we're talking about? Check out the SLS guide and my little SLS tracker for the 411.

It hasn't been a particularly good six months of music, in our humble opinion. Here's where we're at, but not where we'll be.

  • Level - The Raconteurs
  • Sunday Morning - k-os
  • Fidelity - Regina Spektor
  • Nausea - Beck
  • Red Flag - Billy Talent
  • This Could Be Anywhere In The World - AlexisOnFire
  • In View - The Tragically Hip
  • Sing Me Spanish Techno - The New Pornographers
  • Fake Tales Of San Francisco - Arctic Monkeys
  • Red Light - The Strokes
  • Gross Out - The Vines
  • Comin' Home - City and Colour
  • Heaters - illScarlett
  • No Heaven - DJ Champion
  • Bridge To Nowhere - Sam Roberts

Remember, submissions are always welcome on the official site. Just read the SLS guide first, k?

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Another Holiday Humble and Fred Promo: Three Kings

radioI mentioned I'll be sharing all fourteen holiday season Humble and Fred radio show promo bits I have throughout this month. I shared the first one yesterday and here's number two.

This one is is pretty generic, but I'm saving the better ones for later in the month.

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Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 4

LeafsOn the bright side, we scored a whopping three goals and actually earned a point in the standings. On the down side, we lost our fourth in a row and blew a two goal third period lead to those damn Habs. We'll be last in the Northeast in no time.

Mr. Maurice, can we please try Aubin for a bit? I'm not blaming Raycroft for this downturn, but I recall an even worse stretch last season and Aubin bailed us out nicely. I know we have to pretend like Raycroft is Cujo or Crazy Eddie while they were in their prime, but he's clearly not. He's okay, but play my hunch and give Aubin another shot at the number one job. I'd appreciate it.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
13-10-5
31 points
3rd in Northeast
4-3 SOL vs. Montreal
5-0 Loss vs. Atlanta
4-1 Loss vs. Boston
D. Tucker - 25
T. Kaberle - 25
B. McCabe - 24

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"I didn't realize Toronto was so beautiful. Everywhere you go you see beautiful architecture."
      - Kevin Costner

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The Next Prime Minister of Canada

ottawaThe Liberal Party of Canada has selected Stéphane Dion as their new leader. That means Stéphane Dion will be the next Prime Minister of this great country. It's all unfolding according to plan.

I layed out the plan back in January, just before Harper's Conservative party won a minority government. Paul Martin was to step aside and a fresh face was to assume leadership of the party. This person would be far removed from Adscam and will lead the Liberal party to victory in the summer of 2007.

It's all unfolding as it should. The great national Harper experiment won't last long. Stay the course, Neddy. Stay the course...

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Humble and Fred Radio Show Promo: Let It Snow

radioI've got hundreds of Humble and Fred radio show promo sound bites. About a dozen of them are designed to air during the holiday season. Since there is no Humble and Fred show this December, I'll be sharing these throughout the month. Don't tell the guys, I don't need a cease and desist order right now.

This one is really short but appropriate for today because I see a strange white substance falling from the sky. It's not accumulating on the ground, but it's definitely falling!

Update: Most of the 14 seasonal promos I have are from the 102.1 days but some are from the "dark" Mix 99.9 period. I'm sharing the thirteen others over the next three weeks so if you're a fan or if you just dig this sort of thing, drop by regularly.

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Link: Sexual Consent

LinkSexual Consent - Very, very funny. Trust me.

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38 Years Old, Fort York Style

tragicallyhipI still think about that June 24 Tragically Hip show at Fort York. Here's the review I wrote the next morning. Besides being a fantastic show with great audio and a perfect venue there was "38 Years Old". My 13 for 38 entry sheds some light on why this was so special. Prior to that pretty June night about six months ago the Hip hadn't played "38 Years Old" live since July 24, 1993. That's thirteen years in the wilderness, thirteen years without playing a fan favourite and gem from their breakout album, Up To Here.

Someone at hipfans.com posted this performance on YouTube. I really like this footage because it was taken from almost the exact spot I was standing.


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Tinkering With Perfection

leafsThe Toronto Maple Leafs are getting a new uniform. The new jersey will be unveiled next month at the NHL All-Star Game in Dallas. We're being assured the changes will represent a "modernization" of the logo rather than a dramatic redesign.

I hate it when they mess with our jerseys. They do it every once in a while to sell more merchandise. I remember when silver joined blue and white and of course the maple leaf used to look quite different than it does today. They've already gone pink but they were smart enough to keep those jerseys in the shops and off the ice.

The thing is, we've got the best uniform on the planet. Sports Illustrated has us at #6 overall, and although they're off by five, their synopsis is spot on.

Blue and white are winter colors, and nothing says old time hockey quite like that crest. Just looking at it makes you want to put on the foil.

Next month, that crest will be altered. I won't judge the new design until I see it, but I'll be sitting on pins and needles until then.

Some things shouldn't change.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"I'm going to act how America acts best... unilaterally!"

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December Arrives

christmasBefore James arrived almost five years ago, I didn't really get into the Christmas spirit until the 23rd or 24th of December. With a couple of kids talking about Santa every day, it seems there's now a solid six week ramp up to the big day. Other than taking them to the parade, I wasn't going to feed their frenzy until we hit December.

It's now December. The lights are up outside the house and even the look of this site is festive. James and Michelle are counting down the days on their Advent Calendars and they're off to meet the big guy himself on Sunday. It's only December 1 and already the Grinch DVD is out and in use and we're making plans to borrow A Christmas Story which inspired the quote at the top of this page.

The miracle of Christmas might be that these kids have made this season fun again. Expect lots of holiday themed links, videos and audio throughout the month. To get things started, here's my little brother Stephen and I sitting on Santa's lap in the very late 70s. Yes kids, I was alive in the 70s.

Long Ago...

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IE6 and IE7 Together, Sort Of

firefoxMicrosoft's release of IE7 has made my life difficult. In the past I would develop a site and check it out in Firefox and IE6 to make sure all was well. I've yet to install IE7 because doing so will clobber my installation of IE6. I don't want to lose IE6 because I want to be able to test my code with that browser which an awful lot of fools people are still using.

Not installing IE7 has created another problem. How do I test my code in IE7 if I can't have both IE6 and IE7 running on my pc? I can have multiple version of Firefox, but only the one version of IE. I just came upon this IEBlog entry about running IE6 and IE7 on the same computer. They recommend running IE6 in a virtual instance using their Virtual PC. There are links on that page, if you've got the same issue I do.

One more thing. Get Firefox and the entire issue becomes moot. Thanks.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite TV catch phrases culled from this list

  1. D'oh! - Homer Simpson
  2. Hey now! - Hank Kingsley
  3. Yabba dabba do! - Fred Flinstone
  4. The truth is out there - Fox Mulder
  5. You eeeediot! - Ren

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Maple Leafs 0, Thrashers 5

LeafsWe had outscored the Thrashers 37-9 in our eight straight wins before last night's debacle. In three straight losses we've scored a whopping two goals. We've lost six of our past eight.

LeafsI know you're itching to press this panic button, but don't do it. It's premature overreaction. We're in a slump, no doubt, but I'd rather go through this now than revisit that total collapse we experienced last year when McCabe went down.

The fact is, Montreal is clearly second in the division, Ottawa has survived their slump and is making a charge and even Boston could overtake us once they make up their games in hand. If all the teams with games in hand actually win them, we could be looking at 12th in the conference. On the other hand, you might want to click that button after all. No wait... let's see if we bounce back against the Habs Saturday night first.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
13-10-4
30 points
3rd in Northeast
5-0 Loss vs. Atlanta
4-1 Loss vs. Boston
3-1 Loss vs. Boston
D. Tucker - 25
T. Kaberle - 24
B. McCabe - 23

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