Juliana Hatfield has had a way with words during her pandemic concert series, which started a couple months ago. Once a month, she plays a full album all the way through, during a livestream on YouTube. This lead-off quote was one of my favourite things she said during today’s solo electric performance of her 1995 album, Only Everything, which also happens to by my favourite.
Yesterday The White Stripes released a 2005 From the Basement performance they recorded in London for Sky Arts. It was shortly after their penultimate album, Get Behind Me Satan, was released. And it blew me away.
Once upon a time, we gathered together in sweaty rock clubs and destroyed our ear drums and we loved it. I miss it. My last show was almost 11 months ago now. But it’s comforting to have many artists perform for their fans from afar (like I wrote about Dear Rouge doing a couple months ago), thanks to the internet. Man, this pandemic would’ve totally destroyed us psychologically (not to mention the horrifying physical toll) without the connection the internet has provided us. In fact, during today’s live acoustic performance of her 1998 album, Bed, Juliana Hatfield said that as much as she moans about how terrible the internet can be, she’s grateful the internet provides these kinds of opportunities to play and connect with fans.
Five years to the night since the first time I saw them live at Toronto’s Mod Club, Dear Rouge played my living room tonight. Well, sort of. They played a live concert on YouTube from a funky joint in Vancouver, giving the live treatment to their entire first album, Black to Gold.
Do you remember your first crush? Like, your first real crush? I’m not talking about the girl whose pigtails you pulled in kindergarten or the boy you played dress-up with in that surely unsanitary corner of the classroom filled with wigs and hats worn by 25 six-year-olds per day. I’m talking about that first pubescent obsession where you had feelings. Nothing graphic, just whatever heart-bursting emotion a 12-year-old thinks love is. Feeeeeeeelings.
“Acton?” you ask? Yup, Acton. Why not Acton? I’d never been, it’s like 25 minutes from home, I had the day off, I like to explore new places, and it’s fall so everything is pretty. So why not Acton? It was nice. And like I’ve done a couple of times before with these things, I listened to music and took one picture during each song to sort of represent it. And away we go…
Yesterday, after I heard the news of Eddie Van Halen’s untimely passing at the age of 65, I strapped on my rollerblades and skated for almost an hour, listening on shuffle to all the Van Halen music on my iPhone. I needed to be alone with the music.
Just over a year ago, I took a walk along Toronto’s College Street and embarked on a fun little experiment: put my songs on shuffle, take a picture to represent each song as it’s playing, then see if I can tie the song and image together through words. Yesterday I had a little time to myself in my old home of Newmarket, where our boys were born, and decided to take a little stroll from lush parkland to dusty industrial sideroad. Here’s how it sounded and how it looked…
What did I do yesterday? Did yesterday happen? Sometimes it’s hard to remember these days. Um, I went to the grocery store, I know that, and I can’t say it brought too many smiles to my face. But some things did, most of which are piano-centric. Continue reading →