The White Stripes Break Up

musicThe White Stripes have officially broken up. Their site is down right now, but earlier it contained this paragraph about their breakup.

The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health. It is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way.

Back in 2007, I proclaimed The White Stripes the best band from the previous ten years. I stand by that statement.

Fantastic band... (even if you argue they're less of a band and more of a Jack White).

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5 Observations About Coachella 2011

MusicI just got a glance at the lineup for the 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Here's the poster, followed by a few observations by yours truly.


  • The first thing I noticed is that Death From Above 1979 is on this bill. Welcome back, guys. You were missed.
  • Good on Arcade Fire for scoring the largest font. Their Saturday bill includes Cancon heavyweights Broken Social Scene and The New Pornographers.
  • Speaking of Cancon heavyweights, if you scroll way down that poster, and look at the very last line in the smallest font... you'll find one of my favourite performers of all time.
  • And a few lines above Gord Downie, you'll see City and Colour. I smell a Sleeping Sickness duet.
  • I'm embarrassed to report there's a band in the 2nd largest font that I had never heard of. I had to Google Caifanes to learn they're a Spanish-language rock band. We don't get a lot of Spanish-language rock up here.

Who's going?

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35 Sick Songs (Or Music to Get Sick By)

sick songsHere are songs in my collection with the word "sick" in the title. Assembling this list, I had to make a decision regarding covers. I decided to allow them, so you do get "Subterranean Homesick Blues" from The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

  • World Sick - Broken Social Scene
  • Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song) - Fiona Apple
  • Subterranean Homesick Blues - The Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan
  • Subterranean Homesick Alien - Radiohead
  • Sleeping Sickness - City And Colour
  • The Sickos - Robert Rodriguez
  • Sickman - Alice In Chains
  • Sickening Song - Rheostatics
  • Sick, Sick, Sick - Queens of the Stone Age
  • Sick To Death - The Beatles
  • Sick Stew - Buck 65
  • Sick Sad Little World - Incubus
  • Sick of You - The Killjoys
  • Sick of Myself - Matthew Sweet
  • Sick of It All - Finger Eleven
  • Sick of Goobyes - Cracker
  • Sick Muse - Metric
  • Sick Love Song - Mötley Crüe
  • Sick Bed of Cúchulaínn - The Pogues
  • Sick Again - Led Zeppelin
  • Sick & Tired - Default
  • Lovesick Blues - Madeleine Peyroux
  • Lovesick Blues - Hank Williams
  • It's Sickening - Classified
  • I'm Sick Y'all - Otis Redding
  • I'm Sick of You - Iggy Pop
  • Homesick - The Vines
  • Homesick - Soul Asylum
  • Helicopter Sicko Chopper - Robert Rodriguez
  • Good Times (Sick Pimpin') - Atmosphere
  • GhettoMusick - OutKast
  • Emotion Sickness - Silverchair
  • Down With the Sickness - Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine
  • Down With the Sickness - Disturbed
  • Countdown (Sick For The Big Sun) - Phoenix

If I could only keep three of the songs above, I'd take "Sleeping Sickness", "Sickman" and "The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn". Although I must confess, "Down With the Sickness" is a guilty pleasure.

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United State of Pop 2010 (Don't Stop the Pop)

musicDJ Earworm did this in 2008 and again last year. He calls it "United State of Pop 2010 (Don't Stop the Pop)". It's a mashup of the Top 25 Hits of 2010, according to Billboard.


Ke$ha - Tik Tok
Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
Train - Hey, Soul Sister
Katy Perry Featuring Snoop Dogg - California Gurls
Usher Featuring - OMG
B.O.B. Featuring Hayley Williams - Airplanes
Eminem Featuring Rihanna - Love the Way You Lie
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Taio Cruz - Dynamite
Taio Cruz Featuring Ludacris - Break Your Heart
B.O.B. Featuring Bruno Mars - Nothin' On You
Enrique Iglesias Featuring Pitbull - I Like It
Young Money Featuring Lloyd - Bedrock
Jason Derulo - In My Head
Rihanna - Rude Boy
Lady Gaga Featuring Beyonce - Telephone
Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are
Mike Posner - Cooler Than Me
The Black Eyed Peas - Imma Be
Jay-Z + Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind
Usher Featuring Pitbull - DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love
Travie McCoy Featuring Bruno Mars - Billionaire
Eminem - Not Afraid
Iyaz - Replay

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The China Wall Sings Honky The Christmas Goose

MP3Johnny Bower didn't just help lead the Leafs to Stanley Cup wins in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967, he also recorded a local holiday classic. Sung with Little John and the Rinky Dinks, Johnny Bower's "Honky the Christmas Goose" was released in 1965 and enjoyed a significant amount of airplay, making it to number 29 on our Canadian music charts.

play Johnny Bower - Honky The Christmas Goose

The China Wall didn't need no auto-tune.

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10 Cool Christmas Songs

giftEarlier in the month I shared the perfect Christmas playlist. Now it's time for the 10 coolest Christmas songs.

Who says Christmas music has to be awful? Here are ten cool Christmas tracks.

Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis - Tom Waits

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

I Wish It Was Christmas Today - Julian Casablancas

Let Me Sleep - Pearl Jam

Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight) - The Ramones

Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid

Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses

2000 Miles - The Pretenders

Fairytale of New York - The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl

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Christmas Rappin': From Kurtis Blow to the CanRap Collective

xmasKurtis Blow released "Christmas Rappin'" all the way back in 1979. You don't hear much about Kurtis Blow when chatting about old school rap. Grandmaster Flash, The Sugarhill Gang, and Run-DMC all get far more credit.

Here's Kurtis Blow performing "Christmas Rappin'" on Top of the Pops.

Here's a cool cover of Kurtis Blow's "Christmas Rappin'". It's from CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight Holiday Special and it features Canadian rappers Kardinal Offishall, Maestro, Moka Only, Michie Mee, Buck 65, Saukrates and D-sisive.

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But I'm A Creep, I'm A Weirdo - All About Radiohead's Creep

creepI've always loved Radiohead's Creep. I love lots of songs, but I'm crazy about this one. I love the melody, I love the lyrics, I love the vocals... I love this tune, and have since I first heard it in '93.

Surfing the web yesterday, I caught a little video from Scala & Kolacny Brothers about one lonely doll's desperate attempt to be accepted. It's haunting, and it's set to this awesome boy's girl's choir cover of Radiohead's Creep. It's crazy good, check it out.

Speaking of haunting covers, I once wrote about a homeless guy who covered Creep on the Opie and Anthony show. His name is Mustard.

But my all-time favourite version of Creep might be the unplugged version by Radiohead combined with this awesome piece of Flash.

And can we discuss covers of Creep without talking about Sad Kermit's Creep? He even drops the F bomb.

The writing credit for Creep goes to Thom Yorke, Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood. Did you ever wonder who Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood are? They wrote "The Air That I Breathe", a major hit for The Hollies in 1974. Listen to the opening of "The Air That I Breathe" and think about Radiohead's Creep.

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If that fact is news to you, I just blew your mind.

You're welcome.

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Fast Romantics - You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

musicJust got an urgent telegram: "Our Toronto-based band, Fast Romantics, just released a rock-n-roll version of The Grinch".

If you want the MP3, download it here.

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My Columbia House Memories

cdI've always loved music. Throughout my life, I'd discover new genres, and do a deep dive.

I started as a kid with 50s music and rockabilly. I loved The Stray Cats, and made Built For Speed the first cassette I purchased on my own. I then discovered Duran Duran, bought Rio on vinyl, and fell in love with top 40 as heard on 680 CFTR.

As a pre-teen, I was introduced to Billy Idol, and managed to parlay that into Sex Pistols and The Clash. There was still room in the diet for Top 40, but suddenly I realized there was so much more.

As a teenager, the genre discoveries were fast and furious, and that's where the Columbia House CD Club came into play. For example, I went through a classic rock phase, and I took advantage of the Columbia House's 7 cds for a penny to flesh out my collection. I needed Led Zeppelin 4, Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and so much more. I'd whip out my calculator, figure out the least amount of money it would cost me per CD via the club and quit.

I did the same thing when I discovered Heavy Metal. I'd whip out the old calculator again and sign up for another run. That's how I got my Ozzy, Motley Crue, AC/DC, Anthrax and Skid Row and Def Leppard.

And lest we forget my deep dive into the world of rap. Big Daddy Kane, Ice Cube, NWA, Ice-T, Tribe Called Quest, BDP, Run DMC, Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass, Eric B and Rakim and, of course, this Rap Traxx collections.

I was finished with the Columbia House Music Club by the time the 80s wrapped up, and strictly bought my CDs at the Sam the Record Man, HMV or A&A Records at Yonge and Dundas. I'd go to all three and see which one was charging the least for the disc on my hit list. In the case of a tie, Sam got my cash.

Columbia House Canada just went under. I was surprised it was still around. After 70 years, it's the end of an era.

In the days before CD burning because easy, long before the Internet and Napster, we actually bought our CDs. A big part of my early collection came from this club.


Were you ever a member of the Columbia House CD club?

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