Do you know it’s Christmas?

December 25, 2009 at 10:56 am (Music, Random Ramblings)

In honour of Christmas I’m presenting my favorite Christmas song of all time.  Do They Know it’s Christmas by Band Aid.  I should note that I know every frame of this video off by heart having watched it upwards of 100 times back when it came out in 1984.   The numerous viewings were partly because I loved the song but mostly because I was a huge Duran Duran fan (still am) and I believed at the time that John Taylor would one day be my husband (it’s possible I still believe that but I’m not admitting anything).  Seriously, how cute is he in his red and black Duran Duran shirt?  I wanted a shirt like that so badly at the time and I think I still kinda do, if anyone knows where I can find one my eternal gratitude is yours.

I do find it interesting to watch this video 25 years later to see who was featured in it at the time.  I mean Paul Young, who currently resides in the ‘where are they now?’ files and who’s success was mainly from doing cover songs, is arguably the ‘star’ of the song and video.  He sang the opening lines and also got to jump back in for a few key lines later in the song.  I remember hearing that those lines were actually meant for David Bowie but he couldn’t make it – that would have made more sense.  Meanwhile, Sting doesn’t even get a solo, but he does get quite a bit of face time.  Bono gets one line as a solo and even though he puts everything into that one line and is sporting his spectacular mullet, he is barely seen again.  We’re talking about Bono people!  I’d say the other soloists are valid for the time and stand up now, Simon LeBon of Duran Duran – you can’t argue their contribution to the music and videos of the 80s, (at least you can’t argue it with me cuz you’ll never win) and they have managed to keep a fairly solid musical career going – although I would have rethought the horizontal striped shirt with the vertical striped jacket.  George Michael,  although I’m not really a big fan of his solo work and I want to stab myself in the ear every time I hear the song Faith, he went on to do big things in music as well as public washrooms and has built quite a tabloid career.  And then we have Boy George who has also managed to keep his name in the press in the last few years what with his arrest for kidnapping and forcible confinement of a male escort and an arrest for drug possession after he called the cops to his apartment to report a burglary and they showed up to find cocaine sitting on his desk – I guess some people are just born brilliant.  And of course there is his contribution to the theatre world

A few last things, after 25 years I still sorta want to punch the singer for Spandau Ballet at the 1:14 mark, why do you have to look so pretentious when everyone else looks kind of chill and relaxed?  I also like at the 1:56 mark how they all look like they’re moving to a different beat.  Back then I really wanted to be one of the Bananarama girls, I thought they were so cool, and now when I look at them all I can think is ‘did you just roll out of bed and head down to the studio?’ – does that mean I’m getting old?  Don’t answer that. 

As an extra bonus, here is my second favorite Christmas song.  Ahh the 80s, good times.  Good, fashion-challenged, times.  

Merry Christmas!!!

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I’m in love…

December 16, 2009 at 9:42 pm (Music)

…with the new 30 Seconds to Mars album This Is War. 

I think this could be “The One”.  I mean it, I think this album and I are soul mates.  We are going to do everything together: spend lazy Sundays relaxing on the couch, take long walks, have candlelit dinners, enjoy a nice bottle of wine, go for long drives – everything!  We’re going to be together forever and nothing and no one will ever come between us!!!!!!   

Playlist:  

“No matter how many breaths that you took you still couldn’t breathe.” ~ Hurricane

Seriously, it is SO good I can’t even begin to describe it.  I could have put every song in the playlist and trying to choose 3 was tough, This Is War is my favorite song right now.  When he sings “I do believe in the light, raise your hands up to the sky.  The fight is done, the war is won, lift your hands toward the sun”  I get chills.  Love that song.  It’s been 4 years since their last album came out and wow, is this album ever worth the wait!!!!  I’ve been listening to it non stop since it came out last week and I’m beyond obsessed.  Definitely think this one is my favorite album of the year (sorry Madina Lake, but you guys are still my boys).  

I remember last spring reading that the band was doing something called The Summit, they didn’t release many details about it at the time but basically they gathered a bunch of fans together and recorded their vocals doing different things to use on the album.  At the time I thought it sounded like a cool idea and how awesome that would be to say that your voice is actually on the new 30STM album.  Now, I think it is the best idea any band ever had!  The result is amazing!!!!  The crowd vocals and clapping bring something extra to the songs and makes them even more stirring.  Here’s some footage from the initial event in LA, they later did some other events around the world but the band wasn’t in attendance at those ones.  

So cool!!!!!!  Oh, and the monks chanting at the end of the last song on the album – very cool and also, creepy.  

On a completely different note, I found this clever Flowchart that helps you determine what fast food to eat based on your circumstances, ex.  Are you high?  Genius!

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Mew and the dangers of late nights

December 7, 2009 at 6:55 pm (Concerts, Music, Random Ramblings)

Playlist:  all Mew

She Came Home For Christmas

Snow Brigade

Repeaterbeater

The Zookeeper’s Boy

I went to see Mew play at the Mod Club last night – amazing!!!  Jonas Bjerre has one of those voices that makes me nervous about seeing a band live because you never know if it is going to sound the same or be a complete let down.  I was not let down, his voice was just as haunting and piercing live as it is on their albums.  Magical.  I only caught on to Mew earlier this year when I heard Snow Brigade, I then bought Frengers and became mildly obsessed with She Came Home for Christmas – neither of which were played last night but I’ll forgive them since the rest of it was so fantastic.  I have Frengers, And the Glass Handed Kites and their new album No More Stories… and love them all – very dreamy music.  If you’re interested I would suggest starting with Frengers and going from there – fantastic album!!!!  I almost dragged myself to the Virgin Festival this summer just to see them but I’m glad now that I waited and saw them in a great venue instead of on a second stage at an outdoor event.  Worth the wait for sure!!!!!!!

The only problem with the concert last night is that it is indirectly responsible for what transpired on my way home from work today.  So I’m driving home from work, obviously on autopilot, and I just followed the car in front of me when it turned into my building, followed them into the parking garage and then parked in my spot.  I get out of my car and notice there is a cement step close by that wasn’t there before.  That’s weird I thought, maybe they just put that there today, but not really sure.  So I’m a little confused but I keep walking towards the elevator lobby, once I open the door to go in there I notice that there are completely different tiles on the floor than usual.  So I stood there for a few seconds before it occurred to me – I’m in the wrong frickin’ building!!!!!  O.M.G.  How embarrassing!!!  In my defence my building is one of three in a row that are the same so the layout etc of the parking garage is identical, but still.  How do you drive into the wrong building?  Of your home?  Where  you have lived for two years!!  Unbelievable!  So let that be a lesson to you all on the dangers of lack of sleep and the demon alcohol – you may find yourself  brain dead the next day!

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Andrea Bocelli at the ACC

December 5, 2009 at 3:20 pm (Concerts, Music)

On Thursday I was lucky enough to score a last minute free ticket to see Andrea Bocelli at the ACC – box seats no less – and I have to say that although it was not something I would normally have really thought to go see, it was pretty amazing!  He was joined by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a soprano Ana Maria Martinez, Aussie pop star Delta Goodrem and David Foster.  So my thoughts on the concert:

  • Andrea Bocelli has an incredible voice and seems like a very gentle, sweet person.
  • I do not like the sound of most soprano voices.  If someone were to ask me if I like opera I would probably answer no and I realized that night that the reason is because I just don’t find the female voices pleasant to listen to.  The men I could listen to all night, but when Ana Maria was singing I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  So while I appreciate her talent and the incredible instrument that is her voice, much like the recorder or the accordion I really don’t want to listen to it.  
  • I love David Foster!  I have loved him since high school when I fell asleep to the soundtrack of Stealing Home every night for about six months.  Between that and St. Elmo’s Fire I have always been a fan and I still am.
  • During the opening song I quickly became intrigued with the guy playing the cymbals in the orchestra, I just loved watching him get all geared up before his big moment and slamming those things together for all it was worth and then just sitting there waiting for the next time.  I am intrigued partly because I always wonder how someone becomes the cymbal player.  Obviously someone has to do it, but did this guy always want to be a cymbal player, or is he just part of the percussion section and that’s just his job?  Do they rotate around and sometimes he plays the drums?  Or do you start at cymbals and triangle and work your way up?  I’m not knocking it by any means, I am always fascinated by any of the percussion instruments because I really think they do take a lot of skill and timing.  I remember being completely transfixed at a Queens of the Stone Age concert a few years ago watching one of the guys shaking some maracas to the beat for an entire song, I couldn’t take my eyes off of him wondering if he was ever going to slip up and lose the beat (he never did) and thinking how tired his arm must have been after doing that for 5 mins straight.  Very intriguing.  
  • Delta Goodrem is phenomenal!!!  I LOVED her voice and I definitely could have listened to her all night.  This isn’t from the Toronto show but here’s a sample – very Celine Dion-ish – only less annoying.
  • I loved watching the bows of the violins all moving in unison while they played and seeing them all scramble and lean forward to turn the page of their sheet music at the same time. 
  • I ADORED the conductor of the orchestra, Steven Mercurio.  What a character.  He was so animated that I spent most of the concert watching him.  My friend and I compared him to Bugs Bunny because he really seemed like a cartoon jumping around and waving his wand.  Very enjoyable to watch.
  • I was brought to tears (shocking, I know) on a couple of songs – Ave Maria, Silent Night and The Prayer, couldn’t help it, the music and his voice were so stirring.

Great concert!!  Great night!!  Definitely something I’ll remember and not bad for free tickets.  And we lucked out and found underground parking for only $15 at Bay and Lakeshore, while the other lots around the ACC were charging $30 – $35 for parking.  I found out the next day that there was an NFL game in town that night which explains the parking prices a little, but $35 is RIDICULOUS!!!!! 

So I will leave you with this……

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