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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My Shuffled Walk, College Street, Toronto

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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. Continue reading

Review: Foo Fighters at Rogers Centre in Toronto, July 12, 2018

Me and my boys at the Foo Fighters concert

This is not a concert review. Yeah, I know what the headline says. So if you’re here for a retelling of all the face-melting rock majesty that Dave Grohl and company poured over the Rogers Centre crowd, I’m sorry to disappoint. The thing is, my attention wasn’t 100% on the show. My attention was on my boys, because it was their first ever concert. My 10-year-old little dudes have now been baptized in rock by Reverend Grohl and his rock and roll apostles, and I couldn’t be prouder. Continue reading

Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton John: Declaration & Invitation

Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John was my first celebrity crush. When “Physical” was a big hit in 1981 – a Jazzercise anthem – I was just eight years old. It’s probably one of the first pure pop songs I really loved. It was also the first time I was really aware of her and I remember thinking, “Wow, that’s a pretty lady.” And it made me feel kind of good, but simultaneously embarrassed. Continue reading