I died three years ago…

I’m always fascinated by how social media has facilitated the Indie music explosion…and even more fascinated when one of us regular guys can do Indie just as good as the big name bands.

Case in point: John Watson, one of my favorite bloggers, who posts on all things eclectic, put together a wonderful little ditty entitled, “I died three years ago” full of satire, sarcasm, and Indie goodness. Frankly, minus the “mild” language, I think it’s as good as, if not better than, anything you can find on the Juno Soundtrack or Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Check it out and download it on his blog.

He’s inspired me to put some tracks together. Many don’t know this, but I have written a number of songs, including one I wrote to propose to my wife.

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Sign the Petition: Don’t Let Kevin Hearn Sing

By signing this petition (leaving a comment on this post), you affirm that:

popup_02_32While Kevin Hearn is an unparalleled musical talent, providing the Barenaked Ladies with fantastic songs, amazing piano arrangements, and all out rockin’ albums, he should not replace recently departed Steve Page as 2nd lead singer, because he sings like Kermit the Frog. If anything, Jim Creegan is more suited to sing with Ed.

Let your voice be heard and make a difference in the future of the greatest Canadian import since dry soda! Sign the petition today!

Message to BNL: Never is Enough

2591_140659470726_12589090726_6292787_3387540_nNow, I understand it’s tough to re-build on the fly. Steve Page leaving the Barenaked Ladies is nothing short of catastrophic. In times of crisis, the decisions you make are critical…and I’m concerned about one that BNL may have already made.

Their latest email featured a link to download their recent concert in Orlando–which I must say is a nice touch. (I think every group or company going through a crisis should give stuff away–especially the banking industry.) It didn’t take long to realize who was replacing Steve as 2nd lead vocal: Kevin Hearn.

 Now. I love Kevin. I think he’s a virtuouso at the piano, and an amazing guitarist…but, he’s no singer.

Apparently BNL is set to hit the studio in a month. If anyone at that studio is reading this, I have one humble request:

Please don’t let Kevin Hearn sing.

I’ve blogged on this before. Kevin’s voice is ok, but it’s boring and bland. It even borders on being flat. Don’t believe me? Listen to the Orlando concert.

If Kevin replaces Steve as the 2nd lead vocal, it’s the end of BNL  as we know it.  If anything, let Ed sing everything and redefine who you are–that is, ditch the belting-out vocal songs and go total Indie, but don’t let the guy who’s voice is dry and often off-key sing.  Heck, even let Jim Creegan sing–at least he can stay on key.

If Kevin is really going to replace Steve,  I have one thing to say: To quote one of their hits from not too long ago–“Never is Enough”.

Say it ain’t So Steve

This morning I found an email in my inbox from the Barenaked Ladies.  Apparently, they wanted to reach out to me personally to let me know about their latest 4-man show.  I’ve met them once at a concert, and I often use their Bathroom Sessions as classroom fodder for my PR courses…but I guess they thought it was important to reach out to me..Wait…you got the email too? Ok, nevermind.

At any rate, their announcement shocked me…their first show as a 4 man outfit? So I hit google to find what had happened and to my surprise, Steve Page quit the band….now he’s dressing up as a 1980’s prom king outcast and playing to Fortune cookies to get Decemberist front man, Collin Meloy’s, attention:

Seriously though, this could be catastrophic. The Lennon-McCartney duo of Steve and Ed was what made Barenaked Ladies great.  Apparently Steve didn’t feel that his voice was being used the right way…and though I may side with him, his pipes were downright amazing, I don’t think it’ll fair well for Mr. Page. The last time someone left the band, he did it to his own demise (sorry Mr. Creegan).

At least the guys decided to make lemonade out of the whole thing: they’ve offered a free download of their gig without Steve.

I’ll close on a message for Steve: I’ll miss your stage kicks and cartwheels. Good luck, man.

A smattering of good online Indie

I may be in the throws of writing a dissertation…(yes, I have a life outside of Indie)…but that doesn’t mean I can’t offer up a few online treats I’ve found. Here’s the music that’s been helping me stay up at night to write*:

Brett Dennen: Ain’t No Reason. I’m not usually a big fan of singer-songwriter Indie-types, but this Brett-guy matches his unique voice with a simple style that is really hard to not like. (on a side note, I think this guy should have been doing the blues-y singles on the Twilight Soundtrack, instead of Rob “Edward Cullen” Pattinson].

Black Gold – Detroit. Nothing short of the hallmarks of fast-paced indie-synth rock. The chorus and vocal stylings are downright addicting.

British Sea Power: Atom. Just because it sounds like nearly every other Brit-pop rock piece doesn’t mean it’s not good.

Nicole Atkins: Carouselle. I’m sorry, I’m a sucker for jazzy piano riffs, even if they can be hokie and predictable at times.

Zee Avi: Slow Hands (Interpol Cover). You know what I like about Indie artists? They’ve got the guts to do a cover of a song that’s still relatively current. This one isn’t that great to tell you the truth, but I had to point this out (and I’ll probably point it out again in a future post). Most mainstream pop will only do a cover if either 1. someone from original band dies or 2. everyone forgets about the song.  I haven’t seen this kind of gusto since Morrissey’s Everyday is Like Sunday cover (which I remember ended up with the original version on the same top 100 songs of 1994 list at KROQ). Tori Amos’ Nirvana and Depeche Mode covers get an honorary mention here.

Well, that’s it for now.

*I’d like to thank Spinner.com and their free Mp3s for keeping me awake long enough to write until the wee hours of the morning. Keep it coming!

Al Capone Does My Shirts (Review)

Al Capone Does My Shirts Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
This book has amazing depth for such simplicity. Choldenko grabs you with a unique setting, and then hooks you with real people. A pure delight. She really recreates an older era, the 1930s, where society was different, and takes you into that era like no other book I’ve read.

I only have one “beef” with this book…and it’s a minor inconsistency. In one small quote, Moose regrets that he’ll have a normal life, but his sister won’t, saying that he’ll graduate from high school, go to college, get married and have kids…The only problem with this is that college wasn’t an assumed route by everyone back in the 30s. In fact, college as a rite of passage, that is the feeling entitlement to go to college, is only 2 or 3 decades old.

Other than this, simply an excellent book.

View all my reviews.