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Tag Archives: song of the week

Ben E. King – Stand By Me

song of the week!

I have a feeling that everyone on the planet has heard this song at least once in their life, which is enough times to feel affected by it.

As a 13-year-old I was obsessed with the movie Stand By Me (and River Phoenix), so this song has a special place in my heart.

Ben passed away on Thursday, but this song will literally live on forever. RIP Ben, thanks for making us feel all the feelings and reminding us to hold our friends a little closer.


Jack White’s Awesome New Interactive Video

Jack White black bat licorice

It’s no surprise that Jack White is easily one of my favourite musicians on the planet. He brought it again this week, calling out the media for making an uproar of stupidity about his rider. If you’ve ever been curious about why a rider sometimes has strange requests, like brown M&Ms – give this a read.

Musicians need to know that their rider is being taken seriously not from a food point of view so much as an equipment safety point of view. If something as simple as seeing a bowl of M&Ms free of the brown ones lets them know the show will go on safely without technical errors from the rider not being read properly, it’s not quite the diva move we paint it out to be.

Imagine if Radiohead had a brown M&Ms clause? Maybe their team wouldn’t have been onstage when the whole thing fell apart and took one of their own with it (but we also know it is certainly not up to Radiohead or any band to ensure the safety of the stage).

Of course, Jack’s rider doesn’t even have that kind of demand – pointing out that the guacamole recipe is a joke between his manager and the promoters. So much can get lost without context, hence why judging a rider is stupid.

ANYWAY  – the real point of this post is his new video which is so great I couldn’t wait until Sunday to share it as my song of the week. The genius man released an epic video for “That Black Bat Licorice” and I’m obsessed with it.

They shot three different videos for the song, and you can easily flip through each video by holding down the 3 or the B key on your computer. The standard video is my favourite, completely animated, then the 3 key gives you the live action version featuring Jack himself, and the B key is another live action version with people headbanging. This is what you do when you have three ideas for the video but like them all equally. Forget decisions, make them all!

The most interesting way to watch is to flip between the animated and the live action Jack videos (cutting out the semi pointless headbanging one), to see how they used animation to do what they couldn’t actually pull off in real life.

Is it better than Arcade Fire’s or Bob Dylan’s interactive videos? Maybe not, but it comes close.

Whatever you feed me, I’ll fee you right back. But it’ll do no good. 


Frank Turner – Hits and Mrs

song of the week!

The perfect Valentine’s weekend tune.

What is love if not someone to give you hangover hugs and comedown kisses.

Frank Turner is coming to the Horseshoe in March, if you hadn’t heard. Can’t wait to finally see him live.

Hope you’re spending this weekend with someone you love, romantically or not. Yes, it’s a Hallmark holiday – but it’s never a bad thing to have another excuse to tell the people in your life just how much you love them. Life is short, guys.


Absolutely Free – Synchromy

song of the week!

How gorgeous is this live soundtrack to Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren’s 1971 classic, Synchromy ? Absolutely Free was asked to create a new soundtrack this year at TIFF for a special multimedia event, Re-sounding The Films of Norman McLaren.

McLaren’s work and Absolutely Free’s music go incredibly well together.

Also, loving this reminder of TIFF’s Festival Square, and how much fun it was to have King Street closed down that first weekend – not to mention the live music stage.

Remember when we could still be outside and listen to music? Damn you, winter.


Tanya Tagaq – Caribou

song of the week!

Well, by now you should know that Tanya Tagaq took home the Polaris Prize this year.

She wasn’t who I wanted to win, but that’s only because – to put it mildly – I didn’t get it. I didn’t give myself time to get it.

Her music is the kind that needs to be witnessed. Experienced. Just listening to the tracks at home didn’t appeal to me. It was too feral. Too scary. Too dark. I thought to myself, “I don’t really enjoy listening to someone howl and grunt their way through a song.”

But of course, that’s the point. The album is called Animism after all.

I’ve never been shy to admit I get stuck in lyric driven music far too often, which can sometimes lead to closing myself off to other genres.

And that is why the Polaris Prize is such a great thing. Not because it gives awards to music – as last years winners Godspeed felt the need to point out isn’t that amazing of a thing to do – but because it shines a light on music you might not otherwise take a chance on.

The fact that an aboriginal artist finally took home the prize is a big deal. As many pointed out, with this being the 9th Polaris, it is long overdue. And I’m glad it went to an artist whose music is so visceral, so honest, so unapologetic and in your face about her roots and her culture.

If you watched her stunning performance before she took home the award, you’ll know it went to the right artist. With names of all the missing aboriginal women currently out there scrolling behind her, and a choir backing up her throat singing, you’d be inhuman not to feel something – too many things – watching it. This is music from the gut. It is all emotion. Overwhelming emotion. Try not to tear up.

This is music that skips right past your head (where lyrics live) and goes to the root of how it feels to be alive. There’s no filter. No need to overanalyze as humans so often do. It is raw and angry and passionate. It is sound in its purest form.

Her vocal abilities capture all the sounds of life, from birth to death and everything in between. I’ve never seen anything like it, and that is why it so deservedly won. Being truly original is such a rare thing in music these days.

If you are new to the unique music she makes as I was, start with her cover of the Pixies “Caribou” below or here if the stream stops working. It’ll ease you into the brilliance of what she does, without scaring you away if you’re unfamiliar with the raw nature of throat singing.