Tag Archives: Neil Young

Recollection Volume 40 – On The Beach

Recollection is a project to review my record collection. I will listen to an album I own and review it. The album will be chosen randomly by computron. Today computron chooses…

Album: On The Beach
Artist: Neil Young
Released: 1974
Format(s) I own it on: CD

On_the_Beach_-_Neil_YoungThis is the final selection by Computron 1.0. It was a FileMaker database, that somehow went missing. I don’t know where the file ended up. As I unpacked from my move, I recreated Computron as a Google Sheet. The next entry will be generated from that.

I haven’t been able to put down On The Beach, it’s one of Neil Young’s best records. I’ve had this record on loop since I finished writing the Another Side edition of Recollection.

Contributions from Ben Keith, Graham Nash, David Crosby, Levon Helm, Rick Danko and many more make this one an all-star lineup for a bit of a strange record.

Neil Young is no stranger to strange, and this won’t be his furthest departure, but this, his fifth record, is the beginning, or perhaps the end of the classic Neil Young. Depends on your perspective. He had his self-titled record under his belt, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (his first with Crazy Horse), and the brilliant After The Gold Rush and Harvest. Young would spend the rest of the decade creating with a quality of valleys and peaks. However, On The Beach is as much a child of Harvest as it’s the parent of Tonight’s The Night. This record is unique in its own right.

But is it good? Hell yes.

Highlights

The opening two tracks, “Walk On” and “See The Sky ABout To Rain” are amongst the best of Young’s output. I would put those on any best of compiled for Young’s career. When the original line up of The Byrds reunited they took the spots usually reserved for Dylan covers and provided them to Young and Joni Mitchell. They performed “Cowgirl In The Sand” and “See The Sky About To Rain.” While the former isn’t much to write home about, Gene Clark’s vocals on “See The Sky About To Rain” are divine. It doesn’t compare to the Neil Young original, which in turn doesn’t compare to the version on his Massey Hall album.

Lowlights

It’s hard to pick a lowlight, as the record is solid. There’s nothing I would remove, but I think “Vampire Blues” would be my least favourite.

Men 32.625 (82%) | Women 7.375 (18%)
CD: 24 (60%) | Vinyl: 13 (33%) | Digital: 0 (0%) | 7″: 2 (5%) | Box: 1 (3%)
1960s: 5 (13%) | 1970s: 3 (8%) | 1980s: 1 (3%) | 1990s: 11 (28%) | 2000s: 17 (43%) | 2010s: 3 (8%)
Canada 12.8 (32%) | USA 17.2 (43%) | UK 8 (20%) | NZ 1 (3%) | FR 1 (3%)
Ontario 5 (38%) | Quebec 1 (8%) | Nova Scotia 4 (31%) | New Brunswick 1 (8%) | Manitoba 0 (0%) | British Columbia 1 (8%) | Prince Edward Island 0 (0%)
Saskatchewan 0 (0%) | Alberta 0 (0%) | Newfoundland and Labrador 1 (8%) | Northwest Territories 0 (0%) | Yukon 0 (0%) | Nunavut 0 (0%)

Recollection Volume 24 – Greatest Hits

Recollection is a project to review my record collection. I will listen to an album I own and review it. The album will be chosen randomly by computron. Today computron chooses…

Album: Greatest Hits
Artist: Crosby, Stills & Nash
Released: 2005
Format(s) I own it on: CD

CSN Greatest HitsCrosby, Stills & Nash. Yup, those three who released three great records1 and some mediocrity. Two of those great records are actually not credited to Crosby, Stills & Nash, but instead to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Albums seem to get much better when you add a Canadian.

Although the album contains tracks from the classic Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young record Déjà Vu, it doesn’t feature a single song with any Neil Young performance on it. However, while Young might be completely missing from this compilation, Art Garfunkel does provide vocals on “Southern Cross” and “Daylight Again.” Is that a consolation?2

I’m not a fan of greatest hits compilations, but this one came to me for free when writing for Being There.

It’s a strange compilation because it only features songs from their first four studio albums, and completely ignores the rest. The other issue is that since CSN(Y) only have two great studio albums, the rest of the compilation is lacking. Ten of the nineteen tracks all come from their self-titled debut and Déjà Vu. I think what I’m essentially saying is go buy those two records. You can buy them on vinyl at nearly any record store for about $5 a piece.

Highlights

The album starts off perfectly with one of CSN(Y)’s best songs “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” At seven and a half minutes, it could try you patience, but CSN seem to be able to perfectly craft a song that keeps your attention throughout the whole length of the song. I actually put this record getting into the shower this morning. As the shower came to its conclusion, so did this song.

“Our House” is a classic love song about Nash and his then-girlfriend moving in together. He wants to hear her sing her love songs, and honestly who wouldn’t? When you’re moving in with one of the greatest songwriters of the ’60s and ’70s, it must be a great experience. You would’ve hoped that Nash would have learned a thing or two, but unfortunately his songwriting didn’t seem to improve from hanging out with the brilliant Joni Mitchell.

Stephen Stills can be hit or miss, but “Helplessly Hoping” is perfection. The voices of Crosby, Stills, and Nash meld so perfectly on this song. His melody is sublime, and the alliterative lyrics create a great canvas for their vocals.

CSN(Y) didn’t tend to write together a lot. They would each have their own songs and work on them together. “Wooden Ships” is a rare exception where Crosby and Stills worked together on this song. “Wooden Ships” is a dialogue between shipwreck survivors. I don’t know why it appeals to me, but I’ve always loved this song since I first heard their album Crosby, Stills & Nash.

I equate “Carry On/Questions” to be Déjà Vu‘s answer to “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” They’re both the opening tracks on their respective albums, both penned by Stills, and both very dramatic and beautiful. They both set the tone for the record you’re going to get to hear.

Lowlights

I really wish I could skip songs during this project. I would skip “Southern Cross.” As I said, Stills is hit or miss, and this is definitely a miss.

A lot of people love “49 Bye-Byes,” I’m not one of them. There’s always been something about this song that just sits with me in a bad way.

“See The Changes” is another Stills song that is just shit.

Okay, let’s give Graham Nash one of the lowlights. “Wasted On The Way” is kind of a tedious song. It’s pleasant enough, but so generic and cheesy.

Editor’s note: I’m expanding the stats to include decade and format.

Men 19.25 (79%) | Women 4.75 (21%)
CD: 14.5 (61%) | Vinyl: 7.5 (31%) | Digital: 0 (0%) | 7″: 1 (4%) | Box: 1 (4%)
1960s: 3 (13%) | 1970s: 2 (8%) | 1980s: 0 (0%) | 1990s: 7 (29%) | 2000s: 12 (50%) | 2010s: 0 (0%)
Canada 6.8 (28%) | USA 12.2 (51%) | UK 5 (21%)
Ontario 3 (43%) | Quebec 0 (0%) | Nova Scotia2 (29%) | New Brunswick 1 (14%) | Manitoba 0 (0%) | British Columbia 0 (0%) | Prince Edward Island 0 (0%)
Saskatchewan 0 (0%) | Alberta 0 (0%) | Newfoundland and Labrador 1 (14%) | Northwest Territories 0 (0%) | Yukon 0 (0%) | Nunavut 0 (0%)
  1. Crosby, Stills & NashDéjà Vu, and 4 Way Street []
  2. No. It’s not. []

O Canada

Not too long ago, a close friend of mine became a Canadian citizen. Today we celebrated that fact. I told her and her husband that I would provide the music for the party…

 

  1. Blue In Yr Eye – Amy Millan
  2. Snowbird – Anne Murray
  3. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) – The Arcade Fire
  4. The Power – Army Girls
  5. Sleepy Maggie – Ashley MacIsaac
  6. Tall Tall Shadow – Basia Bulat
  7. Two Girls From Montreal – The Bicycle
  8. Somebody Waits – Blue Rodeo
  9. Hasn’t Hit Me Yet – Blue Rodeo
  10. Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl – Broken Social Scene
  11. Lovers In A Dangerous Time – Bruce Cockburn
  12. Pop Goes the World – The Burning Hell
  13. Golden Baby – Cœur de pirate
  14. Claire – Cuff The Duke
  15. Sold – Dan Mangan
  16. The Valley Town – Elliott Brood
  17. Assoholic – 54-40
  18. Highschool – The Flashing Lights
  19. It’s Not Safe – Gentleman Reg
  20. Outside Of Saskatoon – The Good Family
  21. Song For A Winter’s Night – Gordon Lightfoot
  22. Straight Up the Dial – Hooded Fang
  23. You Will Know – The Inbreds
  24. True Patriot Love – The Joel Plaskett Emergency
  25. A Case Of You – Joni Mitchell
  26. Raised On Robbery – Joni Mitchell
  27. I Woke Myself Up – Julie Doiron
  28. Crabbuckit – k-os
  29. If Rap Gets Jealous – K’naan
  30. Back to Me – Kathleen Edwards
  31. Never Had To Fight – Local Rabbits
  32. Let Your Backbone Slide – Maestro Fresh Wes
  33. Fil de soie – Marie-Pierre Arthur
  34. Echo Beach – Martha And The Muffins
  35. Cocaine Cowgirl – Matt Mays & El Torpedo
  36. Ages & Stages – The Meligrove Band
  37. Rockin’ In The Free World – Neil Young
  38. Pocahontas – Neil Young & Crazy Horse
  39. Mass Romantic – The New Pornographers
  40. Someone Who’s Cool – Odds
  41. Joy of Cooking – Old Man Luedecke
  42. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Paul Anka
  43. Scott Pilgrim – Plumtree
  44. 9 Piece Luggage Set – Radio Radio
  45. April Fools – Rufus Wainwright
  46. Edmonton – The Rural Alberta Advantage
  47. North Humberland West – The Sadies
  48. Possession – Sarah McLachlan
  49. Money City Maniacs – Sloan
  50. Everything You’ve Done Wrong – Sloan
  51. Underwhelmed – Sloan
  52. Home For A Rest – Spirit Of The West
  53. Northwest Passage – Stan Rogers
  54. Up And Running – The Super Friendz
  55. The Day We Hit The Coast – Thrush Hermit
  56. Life Is A Highway – Tom Cochrane
  57. Raise a Little Hell – Trooper
  58. D.D. – The Weeknd Trilogy
  59. Common People – William Shatner
  60. I Wasn’t Made For Fighting – Woodhands

Music Roundup

I’ve been buying records like crazy over the past month or so, and I haven’t written about any. HERE WE GO…

Belmundo Regal by Radio Radio

This hip-hop trio from Nova Scotia rap in the Chiac dialect of Acadian French. Chiac mixes French with words and phrases of the more prominent English. This leads to lyrics such as:

Canned tuna, caviar ∙ Michelina, superstar ∙
Marcher sur la Main ∙ Ou marcher sur la ∙
I don’t know ∙ Ini mini miny moe ∙ C’est qui
c’qui veut du Jello ? ∙ Si ton sport c’est du vélo ∙
Ben come on baby hello ∙ Saute, danse autour
de la question ∙ Marcher sur la hey ∙ Ok ∙
J’t’explique que ça icitte c’est un cirque ∙
Jet Set dans mon minivan ∙ Dors dans un cot ∙
J’ai ma case in case ∙ Que ma case work pas ∙
Head case ∙ In case ∙ Que mon style work pas ∙
Penny Loafer Deck Shoe ∙ Garde à ça ∙ Garde à
ça ∙ Garde à ça ∙ J’ai ma ∙ Non man ∙ Moi ej work
ma tan ∙ Shopping channel vendre une scam ∙
Copy coller j’su comme damn ∙ Basically so basic

I heard about Radio Radio thanks to the Polaris Music Prize. They were on the shortlist, and when I saw them perform at the awards ceremony I was taken aback at how good they were. The songs are fun, and though I don’t understand the lyrics, it doesn’t matter.

Le Noise by Neil Young

Sigh. Everyone was talking about how amazing this record was. Everyone was saying that the collaboration between Young and Daniel Lanois was something spectacular. It isn’t. It doesn’t have anything to do with Lanois’ production, as that’s really interesting, but instead it’s Neil Young’s songwriting.

Young, who’s considered by many to be the greatest Canadian songwriter, has always been hit or miss, and I believe Le Noise to be an example of the miss category. His lyrics are blasé, and show an artist who seems to be screaming for the sake of screaming.

Next we look at Daniel Lanois. Again, a Canadian at the top of his field, but while Lanois’s production on this album, creating an atmosphere that seems to bring one into a feeling of Young singing in a giant church far off sounds good, but it doesn’t hold the interest throughout the album.

Double Fantasy (Stripped Down) by John Lennon & Yoko Ono

One of Lennon’s greatest albums, Double Fantasy has been repackaged, remastered and remixed as a stripped down version. For those unfamiliar with the album, it features such Lennon classics as “(Just Like) Starting Over,” “Woman,” “I’m Losing You,” “Watching The Wheels,” and I think there’s some Yoko Ono songs on there, too.

Honestly, the Yoko songs aren’t as horrible as most people think. Hell, “Yes, I’m Your Angel” is a downright, adorable song, and anyone who doesn’t like it is plainly wrong.

I’m not sure if these are different takes, or not, I don’t think they are. I’m pretty sure that it’s the main takes, just remixed with the music lower, and the vocals higher. I honestly don’t see the point to it. It comes with a remastered (but not remixed) copy of Double Fantasy which sounds lovely.

Of these remastered, I’m more interested in picking up Lennon’s Walls and Bridges and Sometime In New York as I didn’t pick them up in the last round of remasters. I bought this one as a test, as it wasn’t in the boxset that was released with all the remasters, I used it to judge if I wanted to repurchase all of Lennon’s solo career, again. I won’t.

1,000 Years by The Corin Tucker Band

Have you ever heard of a band called Sleater-Kinney? Well, you should. They were an incredible punk rock/alternative band from the 1990s. Back in 2005, they released their final and best album, The Woods. Since then we’ve waited. Slightly impatiently. Tucker’s the first of the trio to release a solo record, and as she was a principal songwriter, and lead vocalist, it was worth the wait.

While it’s not as ear-shattering, bold, or strong as The Woods, 1,000 Years is fantastic. The best I’ve been able to describe this record is with “It sounds like a Sleater-Kinney record, and it sounds nothing like a Sleater-Kinney record.” While parts of it will remind you of pre-The Woods SK, it really is something of its own, and it’s not because of what it lacks.

Sure it lacks the screaming backing vocals of Carrie Brownstein or the pounding drums of Janet Weiss, it’s not that which characterizes the record. The record starts off slowly, and then suddenly with “Doubt” it gets heavy, and the listener starts to hear the similarities to SK. It’s an awesome song that’ll make you want you want to dance.

“BREAK UP WITH THE BOOGIE, BREAK UP WITH THE BEAT!”

Okay, I think four records is enough to review in one go. I still have lots more, like Women, Apples In Stereo, Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, Dum Dum Girls, Deerhunter, Dan Mangan, Laetita Sadier, and Amy Millan.

Vous avez un joli sourire. Je voudrais vous voir suspendus la tête en bas d’un crochet à viande.

Music Monday

Joni Mitchell plays “California” on The Johnny Cash Show

Neil Young plays “Needle and the Damage Done” on The Johnny Cash Show

Ray Charles performs “Ring of Fire” on The Johnny Cash Show

Andy Kaufman performs as Elvis on The Johnny Cash Show

Top 50 of the Aughts further explained

A list is a list, and it doesn’t really cover what I hope to let people know. If you don’t know me, you won’t know why I chose these records. I thought I’d further explain the top 10.


10) God Help The Girl – God Help The Girl (2009)

God Help The Girl is the soundtrack to Stuart Murdoch’s unwritten film. The Belle & Sebastian frontman used the opportunity of a hiatus to record a new record using female vocalists who he wouldn’t usually have the opportunity to work within the stricter environment of a Belle & Sebastian album.

The songs are damn good, and Stuart arranges for a wide array of female vocalists who bring a new light to his songwriting. Though it’s not a Belle & Sebastian album, every member of the band does contribute to the record.

Highlight: “I’ll Have to Dance With Cassie,” is fuckin’ awesome. I love that song. Wholeheartedly.
Lowlight: Someone other than Stuart Murdoch singing “Funny Little Frog” is a tad weird.  It’s good, just weird.

Photo Credit: Beth Hamill (This woman deserves a medal for her photography)

Linky link: MySpace


9) Valery Gore – Avalanche To Wandering Bear (2008)

Much like the woman herself, Valery Gore’s music is beautiful and intelligent. Her lyrics are quirky and fun, while being layered, complete stories. On Avalanche To Wandering Bear, Gore grew as a songwriter, and took advantage of a bigger band. Adding a horn section seemed to add wonders. While her first record can easily be described as “a girl and her piano,” with a band that seemed to be superfluous. On Avalanche, the band seems to work as a more cohesive unit, better able to expand on Gore’s vision, bringing R&B, Jazz and Pop elements.

Highlight: “Without the beautifully worried head, there’d just be a bleeding neck.”
Lowlight: While I love the song “Red Eye Family,” it sounds like it belongs on her self-titled album and seems out of place here. One of the reasons I love it is that it reminds me of “Big Sky” by the Kinks.

Photo Credit: Me.

Linky link: Webpage | MySpace | Tune In Your Aerial: Adam Interviews Valery


8) Neil Young – Live At Massey Hall 1971 (2007)

I don’t generally like live albums but I did always have a favourite; it was 4 Way Street by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This live disc from shortly after CSNY’s Déjà Vu was filled with beautiful acoustic renditions of some of their best songs, and Neil Young was in top form. Around the same time as that live album was recorded, Young did a solo tour with a brief stop in Toronto at the legendary theatre, Massey Hall. Live At Massey Hall 1971 captures this brilliant performance.

The songs aren’t all familiar, and very few were familiar to the audience, but most of them are classics. Young’s in top form during this performance, and Massey Hall is the best concert venue in the city.

Highlight: Fuck man! “Journey Through The Past.” Hands down.
Lowlight: Neil isn’t the greatest at between-song banter.

Photo Credit: The album cover.

Linky link: MySpace


7) Julie Doiron – Woke Myself Up (2007)

This album found me at just the right time. A divorce album, as I was going through a divorce… hooray! Well it might not have related to my specific situation, I still found great comfort in it. This might not be a brilliant record, but being a personal list, I cannot tell you how important this album was to me.

Highlight: “Don’t Wanna Be / Liked By You”
Lowlight: I could never get into “Yer Kids…” except live.

Photo Credit: Me. I <3 Julie.

Linky link: MySpace | Webpage


6) The Joel Plaskett Emergency – Down At The Khyber (2001)

In late September, I drove across the Prairie, the mountains behind me and the radio on.

Joel Plaskett’s first record with the Emergency band, after the totally ignored, but brilliant In Need of Medical Attention. The previous album was released silently while Plaskett was still touring with Thrush Hermit, and didn’t receive much if any press, as it was overshadowed by the Zepplinesque brilliant of Thrush Hermit’s Clayton ParkDown at the Khyber was his first release since the split of Thrush Hermit, and though it returned Plaskett to the heavier sound found on Clayton Park, he couldn’t shake the country that was added to his sound on Medical Attention.

“True Patriot Love” is perhaps the most iconic of the songs, but “Light of the Moon” and “Blinding Light” are serene beauties, perfection in a nutshell.

I don’t really know what to say about this record, it’s a fantastic record. I don’t know if it’s so good because of a personal history, or if it’s just a really good record. The fact that Plaskett didn’t become “famous” until long after this record was released makes me think it’s a personal thing, but I love it.

Highlight: Ruth Minnikin and Joel Plaskett duetting on “Blinding Light.”
Lowlight: “Maybe We Should Just Go Home.”

Photo Credit: Me. Taken at the Down At The Khyber night at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.

Linky link: Webpage | MySpace | In Need of Radio’s Attention: Adam Interviews Joel


5) Neko Case & Her Boyfriends – Furnace Room Lullaby (2000)

It was 2000, so it was either OAC year or the year afterwards. I cannot remember. I bought two records at Sam The Record Man, A Taste of Complete Perspective by Elevator and Furnace Room Lullaby. Though I love both records with a passion, Furnace Room became on of my favourite records. Neko Case’s amazing voice is enthralling, and sublime. Case, a Yankee, enlisted a who’s who of CanRock “legends” to join her in writing and recording this record, from The Local Rabbits to The Sadies, Ron Sexsmith to Don Kerr and many more.

Furnace Room Lullaby is among my first dips into modern country music. Though I was already a fan of The Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, my knowledge of modern country music was limited to Being There-era Wilco and Beck’s indulgences in country. While the others took their country with a heavy side of rock, Case was unashamedly in love with twang. The songs are strong and supported by incredible musicians, and finally Case’s beautiful voice makes them perfection.

I can never get enough of listening to this record.

Highlight: “We’ve Never Met.” If my copy of the CD weren’t three whole metres away, I might get up to check to see who it is who is duetting with Case, but it doesn’t matter. Their voices are perfect together, and the song written by Case, Ron Sexsmith and Don Kerr is a perfect showcase.
Lowlight: “Thrice All American” is a great song, but I think it’s the weakest on the record. I wanted to say “‘Thrice All American’ because we want to pretend Neko is a Canuk,” but the truth is, it’s the weakest song on the record.

Photo Credit: Beth Hamill. Beth took this photo at The Rivoli in Toronto, where Neko was premiering Fox Confessor Brings The Flood to Toronto. An incredible show, and Beth’s first Neko show.

Linky link: Webpage | MySpace


4) The Flashing Lights – Sweet Release (2001)

We’re known in the Valley and big back in Hali, we’re the kings of the Canadian now.

Sweet Release is hands down the worst album by The Flashing Lights, and yet it’s in my top four albums of an entire decade. Makes me wonder where Where The Change Is would’ve ranked on this list if it was released a year later.

Matt Murphy’s Flashing Lights were perhaps one of the best shows in Canada. When the Flashing Lights hit the stage, you knew you were in for a good time. Draped in ’70s garb, destroying tambourines, while guitarists went flying from bass drums. Their live show wouldn’t have been anything special without the music, and Matt Murphy has proven time and time again to be a master at creating some of the best pop music of our time. Whether is the Super Friendz’ “Karate Man,” or The Flashing Lights’ “Friends You Learn To Hate.”

Highlight: The first two songs of the album set this record off on a note it never catches back up to.
Lowlight: “It’s Alright.” Never got into that one too much.

Photo Credit: Me! I took this photo during the Guy Terrifico DVD release show. Sure it’s not the Flashing Lights, but I wasn’t taking photos of bands when they existed.

Linky link: CBC Radio 3 | Hump The Drum: Adam Interviews Murphy


3) Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003)

Belle & Sebastian’s output this decade has been subpar, however par for Belle & Sebastian is perhaps the best of any band since The Beatles. Okay, so that’s a highly personalized opinion, but Tigermilk and If You’re Feeling Sinister are among my favourite records of all time. Dear Catastrophe Waitress is not really by the same band, while the first two records were a singular vision of Stuart Murdoch’s, all subsequent albums were a collective creation by Belle & Sebastian as a whole. Yes, Murdoch is the the primary singer-songwriter of the band, but it’s still a creation of the whole band.

Dear Catastrophe Waitress has some of the band’s best material, nothing as staggeringly great as “The State I Am In” or “Judy And The Dream Of Horses” or a sugary sweet as “Sukie In The Graveyard” or “The Blues Are Still Blue,” but it does have some of their best material. “Wrapped Up In Books,” “Lord Anthony,” “Piazza, New York Catcher,” etc. etc.

One thing I find odd. Why do I love this record so much? There’s so much religion involved in the record, and I’m not the biggest fan of religion. 

I’ll forever be indebted to a woman named Teri who I haven’t spoken to in over a decade. She introduced me to Belle & Sebastian by sending me a cassette with If You’re Feeling Sinister on it.

Highlight: “I’m A Cuckoo”
Lowlight: “Roy Walker,” I think it’s time for Stevie to give it up.

Photo Credit: Beth Hamill, once again.

Linky link: Webpage | MySpace


2) The Magnetic Fields – i (2004)

If Howard Jones can be God Help The Girl’s Mozart, then Stephin Merritt can be mine. Stephin Merritt is the frontman of The Magnetic Fields, a band who’s music is as vast as it is acute. While Merritt seems to attempt to cover every genre imaginable, when hearing a Magnetic Fields recording, you know it’s The Magnetic Fields.

I think i is the album I return to the most frequently. I don’t know if it’s their best, it probably isn’t, but there’s something I love about this album. It might be the ridiculous theme (all the songs begin with the letter i), maybe it’s the stupid/hilarious/smart/smirk-worthy lyrics such as “so you’re brilliant, gorgeous, and ampersand after ampersand” or “I don’t die, I say ‘hi,’ how clever. I turn blue, I love you forever. I’m tongue-tied and useless.”

I can easily and have been lost in Merritt’s naratives, and wondered if he was singing about me in “I Looked All Over Town” or “I’m Tongue-Tied.”

Highlight: “It’s Only Time” is perhaps one of the most beautiful and romantic songs ever written.
Lowlight: “I Was Born,” I usually skip this track.

Photo Credit: Some dude. I dunno. It’s not my photo.

Linky link: Webpage | MySpace


1) Sleater-Kinney – The Woods (2005)

My lord, what can I say about this album? It’s bloody perfect!

Angry, bold, strong, melodic, bassless, ear-shattering, adjectives!

Simply just listen to this, it’ll cost you less than $20 to buy it, it’s worth it. Hell, you can even borrow it from the Toronto Public Library.

Perfection.

Highlight: “Jumpers”
Lowlight: You have to be in a rather specific mood to listen to so much guitar-wankery.

Photo Credit: Someone took this.

Linky link: Webpage | MySpace

Top 50 Albums of the Aughts

1) Sleater-Kinney – The Woods (2005)
2) The Magnetic Fields – i (2004)
3) Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003)
4) The Flashing Lights – Sweet Release (2001)
5) Neko Case & Her Boyfriends – Furnace Room Lullaby (2000)
6) The Joel Plaskett Emergency – Down At The Khyber (2001)
7) Julie Doiron – Woke Myself Up (2007)
8) Neil Young – Live At Massey Hall 1971 (2007)
9) Valery Gore – Avalanche To Wandering Bear (2008)
10) God Help The Girl – God Help The Girl (2009)

11) Wilco – A Ghost Is Born (2004)
12) Joel Plaskett – Three (2009)
13) Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (2005)
14) The Rural Alberta Advantage – Hometowns (2008)
15) Valery Gore – Valery Gore (2005)
16) Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire – The Swimming Hour (2001)
17) Elevator – A Taste of Complete Perspective (2000)
18) The Guthries – Off Windmill (2000)
19) The Magnetic Fields – Distorion (2008)
20) Cuff The Duke – Cuff The Duke (2005)

21) Matt Mays – Matt Mays (2002)
22) The Apples In Stereo – New Magnetic Wonder (2007)
23) Neko Case – Canadian Amp (2001)
24) Local Rabbits – This Is It, Here We Go (2001)
25) One Hundred Dollars – Forest of Tears (2007)
26) The Guthries – The Guthries (2002)
27) The Joel Plaskett Emergency – Ashtray Rock (2007)
28) Amy Millan – Honey From The Tombs (2006)
29) Elliott Brood – Ambassador (2005)
30) The New Pornographers – Mass Romantic (2000)

31) Rufus Wainwright – Poses (2001)
32) The Superfantastics – Pop-up Book (2007)
33) Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice (2009)
34) George Harrison – Brainwashed (2001)
35) Belle & Sebastian – The Life Pursuit (2006)
36) Sleater-Kinney – One Beat (2002)
37) Final Fantasy – Has A Good Home (2005)
38) K’naan – The Dusty Foot Philosopher (2005)
39) The Bicycles – The Good, The Bad & The Cuddly (2006)
40) Elliott Smith – From a Basement on the Hill (2004)

41) Peter Elkas – Wall of Fire (2007)
42) Gentleman Reg – Darby & Joan (2004)
43) Neko Case – Middle Cyclone (2008)
44) Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
45) k-os – Joyful Rebellion (2004)
46) Matt Murphy – Bring It Back Home: The Life And Hard Times of Guy Terrifico (2004)
47) Cuff The Duke – Life Stories For Minimum Wage (2002)
48) Tom Petty – Highway Companion (2006)
49) Travis – The Boy With No Name (2007)
50) Ruth Minnikin – Marooned And Blue (2004)