Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Research Process

I'm a huge fan of David Cronenberg's 2005 film "A History Of Violence." It was one of the first DVDs i ever bought and i must have watched it eight or nine times. But i tried to play it again a few weeks ago and, like so many of my older DVDs, it would no longer play. So, i did what anyone would have done: i bought another copy. My new copy included bonus features, woo hoo!

One of the bonus features was an interview with the god-like David Cronenberg, and in it he mentioned that the film had been based on a graphic novel by John Wagner (writer) and Vince Locke (artist), and that the novel had included a lot of detail that had to be omitted from the film, and that intrigued me, so i set off on a quest to find the book.

First stop: my friendly local independent bookshop. Always buy locally when you can, folks! It keeps the money in the community. Alas, the book is no longer available in Canada. Bummer.

So then i started looking around online. I know a few independent online dealers. But dagnab it, no luck there, either.  OK, so i succumbed to the lure of the whore of Babylon (a.k.a. the corporate world). First stop: Nope. Amazon can often resell schtuff via other dealers, but in this case they came up empty. I really didn't want to go to -- not with the Canadian dollar currently worth around 76 cents American, but i did anyway -- you're only young once, after all! -- but they let me down, too. Oh, they could get it, but it would cost me around $120 + postage. I declined.

Then i thought of -- they've occasionally found schtuff for me that i couldn't find anywhere else. My slightly-used but in good condition copy should arrive any day, and it cost me about $18.

Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The KSHE Klassics Program, April 24, 2016

Quotation du jour: Nora Ephron~ That's the truest sign of insanity --insane people are always sure they're just fine.It's only the sane people who are willing to admit they're crazy.

Well, it is my favourite radio programme, after all!

The problem i have is in the fact that i have to listen online. The outfit that streams KSHE's audio (i'm not afraid to name names),, is ridiculous. They sometimes replace the local ads with other songs and this morning i heard Robert Plant's "Tall Cool One" three times! I mean, i like the song, and love Planty's music, but three times?

Dire Straits -- Skateaway
Eric Clapton -- I've Got A Rock 'n' Roll Heart
Heartsfield -- House Of Living
Stillwater -- Women (Beautiful Women)
Supertramp -- Hide In Your Shell
David Bowie -- Fame
Flash And The Pan -- Hey, St Peter
Billy Joel -- Rootbeer Rag
Stephen Stills -- Love The One You're With
Thin Lizzy -- Romeo And The Lonely Girl
Charlie -- Killer Cut
The Police -- Invisible Sun
Badfinger -- Perfection
Genesis -- Eleventh Earl Of Mar
Tony Carey -- A Fine, Fine Day
Charlie Daniels -- Long Haired Country Boy
Aliotta Haynes & Jeremiah -- Lake Shore Drive
Jackson Browne -- Boulevard
Prism -- Spaceship Superstar
Spirit -- Nothin' To Hide
Zebra -- Tell Me What You Want
The Grateful Dead -- Estimated Prophet
Roger Daltrey -- Say It Ain't So, Joe
Kansas -- Play The Game Tonight
Andy Pratt -- Avenging Annie
Climax Blues Band -- Using The Power
Bob Welch -- Ebony Eyes
Traffic -- Rock & Roll Stew
Joe Vitale -- Lady On The Rock
Aerosmith -- Big Ten Inch Record
Grand Funk Railroad -- Closer To Home / I'm Your Captain
Fleetwod Mac -- World Turning
America -- Sandman
Santana -- Everybody's Everything
Blend -- The Prize
Cream -- I'm So Glad
Mama's Pride -- Can I Call You A Cab
Robin Trower -- Sweet Wine Of Love

And here's my personal playlist, from the past coupla days...

Rory Gallagher -- Top Priority
Jethro Tull -- Catfish Rising
The Broadside Band -- English Country Dances
Renaissance -- Turn Of The Cards
The Boys Of The Lough -- To Welcome Paddy Home
Martin Carthy -- Because It's There
Ian Thomas -- Looking Back
Annie Haslam -- Annie In Wonderland
Anderson Ponty Band -- Better Late Than Never
James Taylor -- Mud Slide Slim & The Blue Horizon

Wednesday, 20 April 2016


Quotation di jour ~ Arthur Fadden: Once you reach 40, never pass a lift or a lavatory."

Just some schtuff....

1. The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.

2. Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

3. If you don't have a sense of humour, you probably don't have any sense at all.

4. Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.

5. A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water.

6. How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?

7. Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.

8. Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?

9. Stroke a cat and you will have a permanent job. 

10. No one has more driving ambition than the teenage boy who wants to buy a car.

11. There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.

12. There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4 a.m.; for example, it could be the right number.

13. No one ever says "It's only a game" when their team is winning.

14. I've reached the age where 'happy hour' is a nap .

15. Be careful about reading the fine print.  There's no way you're going to like it.

16. The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket.

17. Do you realize that, in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old ladies running around with saggy   tattoos?

18. Money can't buy happiness, but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Cadillac than in a Chevy.

19. After 65, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you're probably dead.

20. Always be yourself because the people who matter don't mind and the ones who mind don't matter.

21. Life isn't tied with a bow , but it's still a gift.



And a small playlist from me:

Martin Carthy -- Crown Of Horn
Anderson Ponty Band -- Better Late Than Never
Annie Haslam -- Annie In Wonderland
Jon Anderson -- Deseo
Jefferson Airplane -- Crown Of Creation


Monday, 18 April 2016

KSHE Sunday Klassics, April 17, 2016

Quotation du jour ~ Groucho Marx: You're only as old as the woman you feel.

As i can't think of anything else to bore you with at the moment, i'm just going to repeat what i did last Sunday: post the playlist of this week's Sunday Klassics program on KSHE: my favourite radio program. John (Ulett, the host) played quite a lot that i'm not familiar with, but that's okay -- most rock radio these days seems to play mostly schtuff i've heard too many times. And he played a lot of music that i love (but rarely hear), too!

Charlie Daniels -- The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Kansas -- Portrait (He Knew)
Graham Nash -- Chicago/We Can Change The World
David Bowie -- Golden Years
Grateful Dead -- Touch Of Grey
Creedence Clearwater Revival -- The Midnight Special
Supertramp -- School
Jo Jo Gunne -- Ready Freddy
Tony Carey -- I Won't Be Home Tonight
Blind Faith -- Can't Find My Way Home
Iron Butterfly --Scorching Beauty
Wet Willie -- Baby Fat
Utopia -- Love Is The Answer
Loverboy -- Lucky Ones
Starz -- Cherry Baby
Rare Bird -- Turn Your Head
Trooper -- Raise A Little Hell
Van Morrison -- Into The Mystic
David & David -- Welcome To The Boomtown
Jethro Tull -- Cross-Eyed Mary
Dixie Dregs -- Take It Off Top
Derek & The Dominos -- Bell Bottom Blues
Jefferson Starship -- No Way Out
Bruce Springsteen -- Jungleland
Santana -- Well Alright
Badfinger -- Day After Day
Todd Rundgren __ Can We Still Be Friends
Traffic -- Light Up Or Leave Me Alone
Head East -- Since You've Been Gone
Point Blank -- Nicole
Trapeze -- Midnight Flyer
John Mellencamp -- Hot Night In A Cold Town
Michael Schenker Group -- Cry For The Nations
Genesis -- I Know What I Like In Your Wardrobe
The Tubes -- Talk To Ya Later
The Byrds -- Turn! Turn! Turn!
Ian MacLagan -- Little Troublemaker
Robin Trower -- My Love (Burning Love)
Grinderswitch -- Higher Ground
Dwight Twilley Band -- Twilley Don't Mind

My trip to St Louis -- kickstarted by my discovery of KSHE and learning about the place thereby -- is finally taking shape. Last week in June seems to be it. I want to (amongst many other things) see a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium and they're playing Kansas City all week, at home, so that's the present plan. I confess i'm not looking forward to the trip, though....

Let me clarify that! I'm certainly looking forward to being there; it's the process of getting there that's going to be a hassle. My flight leaves London (Ontario) at 6:30 a.m. and i have no way to get there that early, which means an overnight stay in a London hotel -- i don't know anyone there well enough that i can ask them to let me crash at their place.

Further, my original plan was to fly to Chicago, and take the train from there (and fly home directly, after a week of baseball, the blues, beer and bacon --St Louis's four b's!). Now, i haven't investigated this too fully yet but that could be like buying three one-way tickets rather than one return ticket, i.e., pretty damned expensive, and although i've got quite a bit set aside, i'm not exactly loaded, either.

Oh, well, i'll let you know. And i'll send you a postcard! Meanwhile, here's my playlist:

Talk Talk -- Laughing Stock
Jack Bruce -- More Jack Than Blues
Rory Gallagher -- Fresh Evidence
Saga -- Images At Twilight
June Tabor & Oysterband -- Ragged Kingdom
Martin Carthy -- Crown Of Horn
Rod Stewart -- Unplugged ... And Seated
10 c.c. -- The Original Soundtrack
Yes -- Tormato
Yes -- Relayer
Ashley Hutchings, et al -- The Compleat Dancing Master
The Baltimore Consort -- La Rocque 'n' Roll
Jackson Browne -- Running On Empty
Stan Rogers -- The Very Best Of Stan Rogers

Monday, 11 April 2016

KSHE Sunday Klassics, April 10th, 2016

Quotation du jour ~ George Thorogood: Classic rock gave us our longevity.

Without a doubt, the Sunday Klassics show is my favourite radio program. Unfortunately (there's always a catch), i have to listen online and the outfit that streams KSHE's audio – – sucks! In the three and a half years i've been listening to KSHE, they've used several different streaming services and all of them, for reasons i don't comprehend, replace most of the local ads with national advertising, public service announcements and / or a wildly inappropriate song of their own choosing. (KSHE on-air personality Tommy T. once told me that this is for copyright reasons, but that doesn't make sense to me, especially as none of the other radio stations i listen to online feel it necessary to do this.)

Listenlive is the worst, though, because their selection of insertable songs consists of maybe half a dozen different numbers and their CD player -- or whatever they use, it's probably all digital nowadays – doesn't work very well. The music keeps slowing down and then speeding up, oh, it's painful. Plus they seem to occasionally delete a KSHE track in favour of one of their own. F.F.S....

Anyway, here's yesterday's playlist:

Manfred Mann – For You
David Bowie – Young Americans
Bob Dylan – Lay Lady Lay
Ambrosia – Holdin' On To Yesterday
The Marshall Tucker Band – Can't You See
Todd Rundgren – Just One Victory
Nick Gilder – (You Really) Rock Me
Santana – She's Not There
The Byrds – Eight Miles High
April Wine – Like A Lover, Like A Song
Off Broadway – Stay In Time
Greg Kihn Band – The Breakup Song
Bob Welch – Sentimental Lady
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Sweet Hitch-Hiker
Charlie Daniels – Saddle Tramp
Heart – Dog & Butterfly
Ted Nugent – Hey Baby
Pete Townshend – Pure And Easy
Diesel – Sausalito Summer Night
Detective – Recognition
Zebra – Who's Behind The Door?
John Mellencamp – Ain't Even Done With The Night
Breathless – Takin' It Back
Grinderswitch – Pickin' The Blues
Chilliwack – Baby Blue
Uriah Heep – Sweet Lorraine
The Alan Parsons Project – I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
The Grateful Dead – Playing In The Band
Henry Gross – One More Tomorrow
The Tubes – Don't Touch Me There
Robin Trower – Little Bit Of Sympathy
Michael Stanley – Rosewood Bitters
Electric Light Orchestra – Sweet Talkin' Woman
Eric Clapton – Let It Grow
Brownsville Station – Lady (Put The Light on Me)
Genesis – Dance On A Volcano
Poco – You Better Think Twice
Wet Willie – Everything That You Do (Will Come Back To You)
The Spencer Davis Group – I'm A Man
Gamma – I'm Alive
Dan Fogelberg – Illinois

And just a small playlist of my own:

Anderson Ponty Band -- Better Late Than Never
Jane Siberry -- Ulysses' Purse
Peter Hammill -- ...all that might have been...
Chicago -- Chicago II
Yes -- Going For The One
Jack Bruce -- A Question Of Time
The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver -- Beat Of The Street

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Music And Radio 2015

Quotation du jour ~ Groucho Marx: Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.

There was a time, when i would buy around 100 vinyl albums a year, but that's pre-history, let's forget it.

There was a time when i would buy maybe 100 compact discs a year. I have a huge collection, far more music than i could possibly listen to in a lifetime – and i don't have a lifetime left.

Then there was another time – i spent years and a lot of money copying many of my old vinyl albums to CD-Rs, cos i really only ever listen to music on my computer these days. I had over 3000 of them (CD-Rs), they became like an infestation taking over my apartment, it was ridiculous. But then i discovered that quite a few of the older ones would no longer play – whether it was because the CD-Rs were poor quality or because of the crappy freeware i used to use to burn them, i don't know (although i suspect it was the former) and in a fit of pique i threw them all out, yes i did. Thank goodness i kept the original albums, although i have no way to play them these days.

And although i download music all of the time (and not always legally, shhh) i vastly prefer something that i can physically hold rather than a bunch of digital ones and zeroes.

In 2015, i bought a grand total of 28 CDs (oh, and several music DVDs, although i don't really watch music DVDs much). Here's the complete list. You knew there's be a list, didn't you.... (Titles with an asterisk are those i already have on vinyl.)

The Allman Brothers Band – Brothers And Sisters*
Arkells – High Noon
Jeff Beck – Live+
Birth Control – Backdoor Possibilities*
The Cars – The Essentials
Paula Cole – 7
Elvis Costello – The Best Of Elvis Costello: The First Ten Years
Fairport Convention – Myths And Heroes
Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Rory Gallagher – Cradle Rock
Rory Gallagher – Irishman In New York
David Gilmour – Rattle That Lock
Peter Hammill -- ...all that might have been...
Honeymoon Suite – The Essentials
Colin James – Hearts On Fire
John Jones – Never Stop Moving
Kensington Market – Aardvark
Kensington Market – Avenue Road*
John Kirkpatrick – Tunes From The Trenches
Van Morrison – Astral Weeks*
Jone Osborne – Relish (20th Anniversary Edition)
Steve Rothery – The Ghosts Of Pripyat
Runrig – Party On The Moor
James Taylor – Before The World
Thin Lizzy – Live And Dangerous*
Richard Thompson -- Still
Van der Graaf Generator – Merlin Atmos
Max Webster – Mutiny Up My Sleeve*

I suppose that, of the new releases, the Richard Thompson and the Steve Rothery were my favourites (i'm a little disappointed that there is so little new music coming out these days that interests me), and of the old schtuff, i would consider the Van Morrison, Joan Osborne and Thin Lizzy albums to be essential.

So let's talk about (or should i have written “let me blether about”?) radio stations for a bit. I don't have cable, and where i live there are exactly zero (0) radio stations that i can receive on my radio that i like, so i listen to radio online, and there are four stations upon which i click in the mornings. (I rarely listen to the radio other than in the morning.)

The primary one is KSHE, from St Louis ( I don't like them as much as i did when i first was told about them – they've changed somewhat and now play performers i detest far too often (Aerosmith, Ozzy Osborne, Guns 'n' Roses every bloody hour!) but they also have two of the greatest programs ever: Tommy T.'s “The Rock Magazine” (it runs from 4:00 – 5:00 a.m., my time, every weekday). On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Tommy spotlights an artist and plays schtuff that rarely gets played anywhere – deep tracks, in other words. On Wednesdays, he has a “theme” edition, i.e., all songs with a certain subject, songs about cars, songs about the weather, etc. Friday it's anything goes – miscellaneous classic rock songs that are never heard elsewhere.

But the jewel in KSHE's crown, IMFFHO, is the Sunday morning Klassics show, hosted by John Ulett, a.k.a. Uman – a legend in St Louis broadcasting, i'm told. It is four hours (9:00 – 1:00, my time) of classic rock that's rarely heard elsewhere and it is invariably magic. I used to work every Sunday and would listen on my phone (i have the KSHE app), but i could barely hear the music most of the time (i work in a noisy place). I fought for literally a year for Sundays off and they finally, a few months ago, gave them to me. I love having Sundays off!

There's another St Louis station i listen to a lot, too: an Internet station called St Louis Classic Rock [dot] com – the link to their audio stream is I listen to them on my laptop at work every morning, and they play a huge variety, most of it great but some of it pretty obscure, too. An extraordinary station.

Sunday is my day off and i generally listen to KOCI, from Newport Beach, California. Find them at They play classic rock, too, but schtuff that's a bit more mellow and they include more soul, folk, and blues than KSHE & SLCR. I like to ease my way into Sunday morning, and they're my ticket, until, obviously, i switch over to KSHE at nine o'clock.

On weekday mornings, after “The Rock Mgazine” ends, i generally switch to K-ROCK, from Kingston, Ontario. Yes, a Canadian station! It's pretty much a generic rock station, playing a mix of the old and the new. I started listening because my old friend Wendy Boomer went there, and, although she has now moved on to a country music station (and i have no intention of following her there!) I'm used to them now, and although Kingston is quite a long way away from me, i still like them for “local” news and weather. And i like the jocks there, and i like the music, so there ya go.

And , ooh, here's a playlist:

Rory Gallagher -- Notes From San Francisco
Steve Hackett -- Watcher Of The Skies
Chicago -- Chicago III
Yes -- Fragile
Afrocelts -- Seed
The Albion Band -- Live At The Cambridge Folk Festival
Jon Anderson -- Olias Of Sunhillow
Jethro Tull -- Heavy Horses
Stan Rogers -- Fogarty's Cove
Soft Machine -- Third
Happy Rhodes -- Equipoise