Let’s call this a little art experiment: I got off work early today so I thought I’d take a really bloody long walk along the entire length of College Street, throw my songs on shuffle, and take a picture while each song played. Two rules: no skipping songs and no picture do-overs. Is there any way I can write my way into making each picture make sense for each song? Good luck with that, Kev. But there’s definitely one near the end that blew my mind. I know, that’s a little click-baity, but it’s true.
- “La Dee Da,” Foo Fighters
To be honest, I didn’t really know what this experiment was going to be about when I started it. I took this picture because it’s the building where my dad used to work and I loved visiting him there. As a kid I thought it was so cool that he worked in this curvy, mirrored building. So, a connection… the last word of the title is almost “dad.” Does that count? Or Dave Grohl is a dad?
- “Good For Sule,” I Mother Earth
Um… Toronto band, Toronto’s most recognizable building… I guess?
- “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day,” Robert Johnson
I just thought this library at College and Shaw might have been around when Johnson recorded his music in the 1930’s. Good guess: a little research tells me it opened in 1922.
- “Wasting Time,” Juliana Hatfield
Obviously this is a legendary Toronto music venue. The serendipity would have been sublime had a Stevie Ray Vaughan song been playing, since he shot a famous early concert video there. I guess it’s the kind of intimate venue Hatfield would play when she came here, although I never knew her to play anywhere other than Lee’s Palace up on Bloor Street.
- “Two Bones and a Pick,” Texas Johnny Brown
Surely someone has played the blues at Free Times Cafe over the years. I remember having the blues over an unrequited love while I watched her read poetry here.
- “Ending Start,” Metric
The cover of Metric’s Live It Out album, where this song resides, looks kind of like graffiti. And I guess I gave a hoot about this Croft Street barber shop graffiti.
- “Lost in Space,” Luna
This shot would have gone well with the first song, with the “Dee” and all. Is there a connection? I just saw Sneaky Dee’s and had to take a picture of it. People play music there. Luna probably never did, but bands play there. I was in a band that almost played there. Is that anything?
- “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” Aretha Franklin
Look at the gorgeous multi-coloured stained glass on the Toronto Spiritualist Temple at Montrose Avenue. It just put me in the mind of the ‘60s and early ‘70s, when the Queen recorded this song (1971).
- “No Hassle Night,” The Dead Weather
I don’t know, how could I not take a picture of this awesome, crusty little turntable? I just imagined how haunting it would be to hear the crackles on some Dead Weather vinyl on this thing.
- “You Don’t Know Like I Know,” Sam & Dave
Well, hello there, chalky Death. It would’ve been perfect to have walked by you a couple minutes earlier, when The Dead Weather was playing. But you can’t predict Death. You work on your own time. Alas, you came for Dave Prater (the Dave of this classic duo) far too early (he died at 51), but at least you haven’t swung your sickle at Sam yet.
- “Monty Got a Raw Deal,” R.E.M.
There’s just something about this funky garden near Havelock Street that made me think “R.E.M.” Maybe it’s their old song “Gardening at Night.”
- “Sin,” Nine Inch Nails
The black façade of what I assume is a laundromat at Gladstone Avenue couldn’t help but put me in that goth, Nine Inch Nails frame of mind. But I also love that it’s contrasted by that shiny-happy message about how beautiful you and I are.
- “Gary’s Got a Boner,” The Replacements
For real. This happened.
- “Say Hello 2 Heaven,” Temple of the Dog
Just look at the big open sky and the endless horizon as College Street comes to its dramatic end just past Lansdowne Avenue. Heavenly.