Category Archives: music

Mamma’s got the blues

Dalannah Gail Bowen. I saw her live a few months ago and wow, does she have a voice. I found out later that it was the third show she played that day. This is from a different concert, in Winnipeg two years ago.


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Gustavsen and Stanko

While you’re waiting for something more substantive…

This is sort of by request. Tord Gustavsen and Tomasz Stanko, with their respective bands, played a fantastic show in Vancouver last week. There are no clips from that show to the best of my knowledge, but these two should give you some idea of how good it was.

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The extreme right tail

Some arguments never die, they just go around in circles like zombies. John Tierney in The New Your Times brings back the old trope about there being more men than women at the “extreme right tail” of the bell curve.

As it happens, I already responded to this two years ago. I could simply copy and paste it here, possibly with a few updates. Instead I think I’ll just note that “The Extreme Right Tail” would be a perfect title for an Andrew Bird song.

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Midnight Directives

From Owen Pallett’s Wikipedia page:

In 2007, the song “This Is The Dream Of Win & Regine” was used in a commercial for Wiener Stadtwerke without Pallett’s permission. Instead of litigation, Pallett and his booking agent Susanne Herrndorf approached the company for sponsorship for a music festival of their curation. The resultant Maximum Black Festival featured Final Fantasy, The Dirty Projectors, Deerhoof, Frog Eyes, Max Tundra, Six Organs Of Admittance and others. It played Vienna, Berlin and London.

This might be the sanest and most inspiring thing I’ve read all week.

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Lhasa de Sela

This is absolutely not becoming a full-time music blog, but I have just learned today that Lhasa de Sela – who has been featured here before – died on New Year’s Day from cancer, at the age of 37.

According to news sources, she grew up on a converted school bus in the U.S. and Mexico, then lived in France before settling down in MontrĂ©al. She sang in English, French, and Spanish. On her trilingual The Living Road, she seemed to have a distinct personality in each language. I thought she was more convincing in French than in English, and I liked her best in Spanish even though I don’t speak the language at all. It fit her so well.

The YouTube comments, too, come in several languages. I’ll translate one from French: “My wife gave me her second CD [The Living Road] the evening before our first night. At the end of that evening I loved them both.” That’s how it worked with Lhasa. She was never a megaselling artist, but if you got hooked, that could go deep. She sure had me.

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Starting the year on a good note

Martha Argerich plays Rachmaninoff:

This is my favourite Rach 3 performance ever, for the dazzling technique (watch her hands), the incredible energy, but most of all for the joy that both Argerich and the conductor Riccardo Chailly bring to it. Enjoy!

Here’s the rest of it: Movement 2, Movement 3/Part 1, Movement 3/Part 2.


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Another Night In

I’ve read somewhere that Tindersticks wanted to call it “A Night In”, but it so happened that they already had a song with that title, so they had to settle for “Another Night In”.

It’s one of their best – and that’s saying something.

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