Mike Whissell: “Heart Clinic”

Mike Whissell- Heart Clinic

In “Heart Clinic”, Mike Whissell explores the various ways that human hearts interact with each other and the myriad trials of trying to connect with another human being. His melodically rich, varied songs are filled with wry observation on relationships, but they are also emotional and direct pleas about the need for connection. The songs have a cathartic kinetic energy, like a thrilling conversation. There is a sense of redemption and release. On this album, the clinic is one that Whissell needs as much as the listener. Continue reading

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Segovia: “Music For The Guitar”

Segovia- Music For The GuitarContinuing my exploration of the history of the guitar as a concert instrument, today I am digging into “Music for The Guitar”, an LP released in the late sixties/early seventies featuring the immortal titan of classical guitar, Andrés Segovia. Continue reading

Guitar Music & Songs of the Spanish Renaissance

Guitar Music & Songs of the Spanish Renaissance (LP, 1968, Everest)

Guitar Music & Songs of the Spanish Renaissance (LP, 1968, Everest)

Today being Thursday, I am exploring the ultimate throwback in the form of the earliest surviving compositions for the guitar, contained on this remarkable and arcane slab of vinyl. Continue reading

The Huaraches: “The Huaraches Steal Second”

The Huaraches Steal Second

Wherein our heroes up the ante on ribald rhythms, dark dance grooves, and cavernous compositional structures. Continue reading

The Method: (s/t)

The Method

On their self-titled record, Kingston, Ontario’s The Method create the sort of no-nonsense alt-rock that used to populate radio all over the world back to from the beyond. Continue reading

Buddy Black & The Ghost Umbrellas: “The Story on the Road to Waterloo”

Buddy Black

Buddy Black and the Ghost Umbrellas will guide you down dusty roads. Their ragged music, a guided tour through the history of folk, country, and punk, will lead you from the country down to the sea, to the place where we all come together. Continue reading

Page Tuner: “The Man Who Sold The World: David Bowie & the 1970s”

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Early on in his remarkably well-researched book, “The Man Who Sold The World: David Bowie & the 1970s”, Peter Doggett posits that Bowie’s seminal folk-rock song “Changes” is a thesis statement for his entire legend, a sort of musical I Ching wherein all the complexities and possibilities of David Jones the man combined to form David Bowie, the legend. Continue reading

The Goatbox Rebel: “(S/T)”

The Goatbox Rebel

The Goatbox Rebel has constructed a thoroughly post-modern take on the blues. Transplanted into the 21st century, the music fuses analog crunch and buzz with digital thrum to create a compelling and fascinating re-casting of one of the foundational sources of rock and roll, given a new electrical tension from the fusion of man and machine. Continue reading

In Conversation With Daniel Lanois @ TIFF

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Last night I had the supreme pleasure of attending an evening billed as “In Coversation With Daniel Lanois” the the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Any time I get a chance to hear a great artist, an icon, talk about their work, I jump at the opportunity. Continue reading

Motion Pictures: “20,000 Days On Earth”

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The rock biography is a tough form to work with these days. With the expansion of the documentary form and the rise of the “mockumentary”, the format is rife with expectations and clichés. “20,000 Days On Earth” manages to avoid all of this by sidestepping any concept of straightforward documentary. Instead, the film functions as a sort of biography of the myth, rather than the man. Continue reading