The Spirts of Dear Rouge’s “Spirit”

The “About” page on Dear Rouge’s website currently asks the reader, “What does the word ‘spirit’ invoke in you?” I purposely didn’t read further because I wanted to think about this. It means a lot of things to me. It means your essence, almost like a soul; the light within you; everything that makes you you. It can suggest a kind of internal joy. Sometimes it’s a sense of inspiration. And there’s the obvious ghostly connotation.

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R.I.P., Taylor Hawkins

It’s so sad to have to type that headline. So shocking. Taylor Hawkins seemed like a man so full of joy and life. And that came through so strongly in his drumming. It seemed like he was always having fun behind that kit. Even though he wasn’t always smiling back there. Often when you looked at his face, he had the determined look of concentration and exhaustion that you see on a marathon runner mid-race. Teeth gritted, almost wincing.

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New Dear Rouge: “Fake Fame”

Three years ago – 2018 – was a big Dear Rouge year. Their bombastic second album, Phases, dropped, I saw them live twice, chatted with them once, and just generally fell deeper in love with them. On the new music front, they’ve been quiet ever since, yet still engaged with their fans, especially during the pandemic, performing full albums during livestreams (which I tried to enjoy like I was actually there), on Instagram, etc. But today, finally: new music! So here are my first thoughts on “Fake Fame”:

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Review: Juliana Hatfield in my living room, “Beautiful Creature” edition, June 19, 2021

Man, that opening riff of “Daniel” really made me want bok choy. Just kidding. Bok choy was somehow a surprisingly wonderful theme in Juliana Hatfield’s livestream of her 2000 Beautiful Creature album this afternoon. What that opening riff really made me do was smile, because of how immediately and intensely it took me back to the summer of 2000.

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Review: Juliana Hatfield in my living room, Blood release party edition, May 8, 2021

Normally when I write these, the shows are tied to older albums that bring back memories and I write about those memories, because this blog is all about memories induced by music. But the only way I could have memories of Juliana Hatfield’s new album, Blood, would be if I had a time machine, listened to the album, lived a little and created memories around the album, then travelled back to today and wrote about the memories I’d make in the future. Unless anyone can direct me to Doc Brown and Marty McFly, that’s just not possible.

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New Beaches: “Let’s Go”

It may be a grey day in the GTA, but The Beaches brightened my world by dropping an infectious new song (“Let’s Go”) and the cover of their upcoming EP, Future Lovers, which features (almost) all the colours of the rainbow. More than anything, this song makes me long for the day I can see them live again. They were my last pre-pandemic show last February – maybe they’ll be my first post-pandemic show.

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#MuchMusicMemories

It’s no secret that MuchMusic, like MTV south of the border, is not what it once was. Formerly home to cool VJs and music videos, music videos and more music videos, as I write this, here’s what’s airing on Much: six episodes of Seinfeld followed by eight episodes of The Simpsons. These were two of my favourite shows during Much’s heyday, but they never would have come near its airwaves back then.

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