The Year As It Was #4

Seeing as last year is now last year, I think this will be my final post about it. As a nice final thought on the year, I was asked to submit my favorite Canadian songs from 2011 to Southern Souls. Looking at the list, it’s leaning pretty heavy towards Halifax.

Fair enough: it’s where I live and there is so much good music coming from Halifax right now that it’s hard enough keeping up with it, let alone the rest of the country. That being said, I’m sure if I’d spent less time watching John Maus interviews, I might be more up on what was happening elsewhere in Canada.

But really, the album title We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves alone is enough to inspire a certain curiosity, non?


The Year As It Was #3

April brought my empty wallet and I back to the North End of Halifax. I moved into a dreamy home of lovely ladies. I worked my first contract job for the Halifax Jazz Festival, writing program blurbs and eating sweets from the cafe downstairs. It gave me enough money to coast through the summer unemployed (I did work a few odd jobs, including unloading a massive transport truck full of dusty, gawdy, ‘sexy’, Halloween gear into one of those heinous pop-up shops).

I spent most of my early afternoons alone, cooking myself elaborate breakfasts, listening to a lot of reggae. I took up smoking again, and would spend afternoons on my back deck drinking black tea with a cigarette , or, if I felt ambitious enough, I’d bike to the lake.

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The Year As It Was #2

In late February/early March, I was passing through Toronto; watching Deadwood (the greatest television show ever made) with my pal J, swigging whiskey backstage with Makeout Videotape at CMW, visiting beautiful bookstores with A.C., spending some quality time with D (listening to the mighty Orchestre Poly-Rythmo) and telling no one it was my birthday.

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The Year As It Was #1

How to understand a whole year?

Piece by piece.

If you’d like to see what albums I thought were really great this year, click here. Otherwise, stayed tuned for a smattering of short-winded posts about things that excited me this year. Firstly…

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Wenders, Rilke And A Dead Fish

Last night, I went to my friend S’s to watch a film. We hadn’t spent much time together in the last month, so before we got to watching, we played catch up. As usual, this means talking as much about listening habits as it does personal life (what other form of life is there?).

We’d been corresponding via e-mail and S had expressed a concern for a stagnation in his musical interests, particularly for 2011, with year-end lists looming on the annual horizon. For him, nothing was ‘new’. Understandably; he was listening to The Fall and  This Heat when I was in tiny trousers. I sent him some links to records that I thought sounded new and exciting this year (which I’ll get to in my year-end round up) and a really enthusiastic message about Nap Eyes, a four-piece from Halifax that just put their first recordings up on Bandcamp. I’d asked S if he’d listened to them yet, but he said he hadn’t gotten around to it.

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Recollections: At The Record Store

Not so long ago, I got (what was, at the time) my dream job: I was hired at a record store. I assume it’s every music geek’s dream to work at a record store. It certainly was mine from the time I paid upwards of $20 for a cassette copy of Me First And The Gimme Gimme’s Have A Ball at the Moncton Radioland in my early teens, through to when I was 17 and saw High Fidelity for the first time, and up to when I was 22 and I started working at this shop, where I scored a mint condition 7” copy of one of my all-time favorite songs when some fool sold it to me for $3.

I have so many fond memories of my two-year stint there: I met all kinds of wonderful music lovers, was hassled by plenty of downtown crazies, worked with some of the coolest people (who turned out to be geeks just like me) and even had a jam space that we all shared above the shop.

Here are some things I learned at the record store:

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Mixtape #3: Simpleton Jive And Justice Ramblin’

Only two days away from The Khyber Flea Market which, especially after visiting that now-bustling Tumblr, I’m getting more and more excited about. Here’s the third mix of twelve. Get educated after the jump (including sports content!).

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The Mangroves Go Live!

This Monday, November 21st I’ll be doing a fill-in slot at CKDU 88.1 FM from 1:30-3:30pm. I’m working on putting a playlist together right now. So far, I’m only certain that I will play ‘Hitchhike’ by Swiss punk band Kleenex. I couldn’t find a decent version to stream, so here is a cover version by one of the most exciting bands of the last decade, Deerhoof.

Mixtape #2: An Eager Boy Carving The Pacific County Line

Where the last one gets quieter, this one gets sadder as it goes on. It’s starts off well and good, bouncy and hopeful and then somehow it get’s to Jackson C. Frank, one of the more depressive music personalities of the 1960’s. The song featured on this tape is one of those gems that people often associate with cover versions, but the original is the finest I’ve heard. According to Wikipedia it’s been covered by: Simon and Garfunkel, Sandy Denny and Nick Drake, and later by Bert Jansch, Counting Crows, John Mayer, Colin Meloy and Laura Marling. To that incredible/horrifying list, I’ll add Jef Jef (who played guitar in one of my first love’s in the Halifax music scene, Special Noise). He did a great version this past summer at The North Street Church.

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Mixtape #1: A Secret Song Softly Running Out

I’ve been toiling over a borrowed tape deck for the last few weeks preparing a new batch of mixtapes. I started compiling the tracklists months ago, but am only just now beginning to dub them. There is a Night Flea Market at The Khyber on November 26th, which provided me with the deadline I needed to actually get to work on them: I’ll be hocking these beauties (12 different mixtapes available) and DJing whilst the great people of Halifax shop for the finest of the finest.

Leading up to the flea, I’ll be posting tracklists with some preview links:

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