Monday, September 27, 2004

Random Thought Generator, Prior to...

Only in this day and age could four people in four different cities and three different countries simultaneously do the same exercises in the same book and keep each other motivated to continue through.

It sure isn't easy, learning to live alone. Just when you think you've got it figured out, you realise that you really don't.

Why do I live in this city, honestly? Why couldn't we have had summer in, you know, summer?

Nothing beats a Sunday evening spent with a pint of berry ale and an improvised soap opera, especially when said soap opera is starting to hit its stride and understand its own internal conventions, and especially when I always get a long hug from Johnathan, the cast is happy to see me when I arrive, the cute bartender knows me by name, and the waitress knows my drink order.

I shouldn't only review things that I like. I should review things I don't, as well, shouldn't I? But there are so many things that I actually like. Should I waste my time not recommending something?

I should post more than just reviews.

I apologise for the tardiness of this week's review. I took a bunch of CDs out from the library last week, and I had to listen to them all before I could decide which one to review.

The Stealth Project is subtitled music under the radar, and that's what it is. You will not hear this music in high rotation on the radio, if you hear it on any radio at all. Why did I pick it up then? Because in the brief time I listened to CKUA, I heard Christine Lavin sing a song called New Age Sensitive Guys, and it was one of the funniest things I'd heard in a good long while. And since she was the one to put this compilation together, I decided to give it a try. Glad I did, too.

The fact that none of these songs will be played on any conventional radio station does nothing to take away from their brilliance. In fact, it's because they're not radio-friendly, mass-media darlings that they seem so fresh. The CD opens strongly with Red Grammer's Hold Me Tonight, a sweet melancholy ballad, and continues in that vein. These songs are introspective, and some of them are a little sad, yet still hopeful. No track disappointed, but if I had to pick three stand-out ones, they would be:

  • #7: Dee Carstensen, Ten Complaints. Immensely powerful, wonderful chording, and the content! I just got chills at the end of the song.
  • #9: Christine Lavin, Harrison Ford. I laughed! It's brilliant, really. I must take it to Mom and let her listen to it.
  • #12: Grit Laskin, Hi Sal, Have You Checked Your Email? Wonderful satire about our dependence on technology. It's hard to work "domain name server" into a song, but he manages very, very well.

Jackie Tice's The Marijo Tonight, Deborah Pardes' Prom Dress, and Ron Renninger's Twilight came very close to being on this list.

The library, for the sake of convenience or perhaps because they didn't know what else to do, filed this one under MA (Popular Music), but it's more folk or modern troubador than anything else. I'm glad I found it. It's well worth the time.



Harrison Ford??!! Must hear it!! Do bring it over, Vanessa!


Just thought I should post a comment to say I'm enjoying your reviews. So you don't feel all isolated and as if nobody reads your blog!
I want to hear about the U of C course too, though...

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