Jeff Healey's Grave
Published by Toronto Mike on August 22, 2014 @ 14:32 in Music, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus
Many moons ago, an old Irish relative was visiting my grandmother while I was visiting her in Gilford, Ontario. This gentlemen proceeded to tell me that jazz and blues-rock vocalist and guitarist Jeff Healey was related to us somehow. I forget the details, but Jeff Healey was supposedly my second cousin twice removed or something to that effect.
Today, while visiting Park Lawn Cemetery, I found Jeff Healey's grave site and took a couple of pictures.
It's worth noting that in the early stages of planning my wedding, while we were picking the music, I made an impassioned plea for Jeff Healey's Angel Eyes. It didn't make the final cut, but I still think it's a sweet ditty.
54-40 Was Great - What's the Best Free Concert You've Ever Seen?
Published by Toronto Mike on August 4, 2014 @ 10:22 in Music
Last night, I saw 54-40 at a free concert in Colonel Samuel Smith Park. They sounded great, playing all their hits (and there were many) and we had a blast.
It was this little dude's first concert.
As a kid, I saw several "free" concerts at the old Ontario Place forum, but you had to buy tickets to the park to see the show, so it wasn't really free. As a young man I biked to Yonge and Dundas to watch Sloan perform a free concert outside the Edge 102 studio. I thought that was pretty awesome.
What's the best free concert you ever attended?
Questions for Jeremy Taggart
Published by Toronto Mike on July 11, 2014 @ 11:32 in Music
I will be sitting down next week with Jeremy Taggart, best known as the drummer for Our Lady Peace from 1993 - 2014. He'll be dropping by to record an episode of my podcast Toronto Mike'd, and I get an entire hour to ask him anything I want.
I know what questions I'll be asking him, but I'd love to know what you would ask him. What questions would you like me to ask Jeremy Taggart?
In Praise of Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker
Published by Toronto Mike on May 18, 2014 @ 16:33 in Music
Like many of you, I first heard Ubiquitious Synergy Seeker when 102.1 started playing the mess out of "Hollowpoint Sniper Hyperbole" about six years ago. I loved that single, caught them live a few times and scored myself a copy of Welding the C:/.
I loved every track on Welding the C:/. This Parkdale-based duo rocks a sound that totally appeals to my sensibilities. It's this unique rap / rock / folk / electronica hybrid I can't seem to get enough of.
Questamation was great. Approved was great. And now I'm enjoying their new album, Advanced Basics. You likely heard "This is the Best" a million times on 102.1 or "Yin Yang" on the radio and TSN's NHL playoff coverage. Here's the official video for the extremely catch "Yin Yang".
I don't care whether it's cool to like USS or why they're not a bigger deal, all I know is that when I need to get my heart pumping and my feet pedalling, nothing does the trick faster than throwing on a tune from these guys.
Bob Geldof and the Telex Machine
Published by Toronto Mike on March 16, 2014 @ 13:37 in Music
I've been listening to Scot Turner's Spirit of Radio Sunday on 102.1 the Edge and it's great. Earlier today, they played I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats, a song that references a telex machine.
If you're my age or younger, you've likely never seen a telex machine. A telex machine is a printer that receives and prints text messages in the pre-fax era. In January of 1979, Bob Geldof read a telex report at Georgia State University's campus radio station, WRAS, on the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer, who fired at children in a school playground at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California. Her reason for killing two adults and injuring eight children and one police officer? She didn't like Mondays.
The story struck such a chord with Bob Geldof that he wrote I Don't Like Mondays and included this lyric that ensures every generation will ask the question "what's a telex machine?"
The Telex machine is kept so clean
And it types to a waiting world
Of Sheriff, Alias and Frozen Ghost
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2014 @ 10:17 in Music
Remember Sheriff? They were a Canadian rock band that scored a big US hit with When I'm With You years after they disbanded. Sheriff was vocalist Freddy Curci, guitarist Steve DeMarchi, keyboardist Arnold Lanni, bassist Wolf Hassel and drummer Rob Elliott.
Sheriff - When I'm With You
When Sheriff broke up, Freddy Curci and Steve DeMarchi started a new band called Alias. Alias had a massive hit with More Than Words Can Say.
Alias - More Than Words Can Say
Arnold Lanni and Wolf Hassel, meanwhile, formed Frozen Ghost and had Cancon hits with Should I See and Pauper in Paradise.
Frozen Ghost - Should I See
The Power of Song
Published by Toronto Mike on December 10, 2013 @ 20:43 in Music
I caught an interesting discussion on CBC Radio this morning about the power of music as therapy. Music can be used to soothe and revitalize those suffering from dementia, for example.
A popular example of this can be seen in this clip of Henry that made the rounds a few years ago.
The music therapist said they were experiencing the most success with the music one enjoyed most as a young person in their late teens. For me, that would be the very early 90s. In the very early 90s, my go-to musical acts were:
- Pearl Jam
- Public Enemy
- The Tragically Hip
- Beastie Boys
Even today I feel a sense of revitalization when I hear a tune I was cranking on my Walkman back in '92. Start a cut from Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet and I'll finish it for you. Play me the opening chords from Pearl Jam's Porch and I become Eddie Vedder.
It's the power of song. There's nothing like it.
Christmas Songs I Enjoy
Published by Toronto Mike on December 1, 2013 @ 11:14 in Lists, Music
It's December, and that means you'll likely need to assemble a Christmas party playlist for a holiday party or two.
A great deal of Christmas music is awful, but there are a few dozen or so I can stomach. Here are my personal favourite Christmas songs if you need a little help building your playlist. To make things extra fun, I'm going to mark my top 7 by making them bold.
- Christmas Don't Be Late - Alvin and the Chipmunks
- Christmas Must Be Tonight - The Band
- Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
- Green Christmas - Barenaked Ladies
- White Christmas - Bing Crosby
- Mary Had A Baby - Bruce Cockburn
- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Bruce Springsteen
- Merry Christmas Baby - Chuck Berry
- Joy To The World - Clem Snide
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Coldplay
- First Noel - Crash Test Dummies
- Little Drummer Boy - David Bowie and Bing Crosby
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Dean Martin
- Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Death Cab For Cutie
- Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
- I Believe in Father Christmas - Greg Lake
- Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto - James Brown
- Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John & Yoko And Plastic Ono Band And The Harlem Community Choir
- Honky The Christmas Goose - Johnny Bower
- I Wish It Was Christmas Today - Julian Casablancas
- Father Christmas - The Kinks
- Christmas Night in Harlem - Louis Armstrong & His All Stars
- Carol Of The Bells - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat King Cole
- Merry Christmas, Baby - Otis Redding
- Let Me Sleep - Pearl Jam
- Fairytale of New York - The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl
- 2000 Miles - The Pretenders
- Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight) - The Ramones
- The Christmas Song - The Raveonettes
- Baby, It's Cold Outside - Ray Charles
- Christmas in Hollis - Run DMC
- Song For A Winter's Night - Sarah McLachlan
- What Christmas Means To Me - Stevie Wonder
- You're A Mean One, Mr Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft
- O Holy Night - Tipitina's Foundation
- Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis - Tom Waits
- Baby Please Come Home - U2
- Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental) - Vince Guaraldi Trio
- Greensleeves - Vince Guaraldi Trio
- Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
- Welcome Christmas - The Who's of Whoville
If you're interested in hearing about the worst Christmas song ever, there's more on that here.
Bob Dylan's Interactive Video for Like a Rolling Stone
Published by Toronto Mike on November 19, 2013 @ 18:57 in Music
Use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to change channels.