Friday, April 30, 2010

April Shananigans: Tear it Down

I spent the morning playing acoustic and writing some lyrics. I forgot how much more difficult the acoustic can be with heavier gauge strings, less action, and no help with the tone.

Still... it forces you to push your skills that much more and gives you a lot of respect for moments like these:

-This here's no change for the better, it's a change for the best

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April Shananigans: Cash

I was kind of an idiot today. My body was already screaming at me, feeling like complete ass, and yet for some reason I still felt the need to do a 25k run, go for a bike ride, and hit the gym with the boys.

I feel like absolute death, so I suppose this is only fitting.

-Finish being what is expected and start being what you never thought possible

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April Shananigans: Local

When I was a teenager, I used to hunt for obscure Canadian music just to make myself feel like I somehow had the upper hand on other people. I used to feel that the more cool, random, local music I could find, the more powerful I was.

As I grew into my 20s, my hunt for Canadian indie music became a matter of wanting to support Canadian and independent artists. Canada's music scene is bloody tough, and in a country our size, every little bit counts.

These days, I still listen to primarily Canadian tunes. One could argue that this is a knock on effect of SOCAN regulations and that my little brain has been washed into a deep maple red. Be that as it may, I've found that if you actually give a damn, and spend a bit of time researching new music (as simple as reading Exclaim! and your local music rag) you can find Canadian indie artists as good as anything you'll find in this world, within nearly every genre. Do I still listen to stadium rock from the states? Yes. Do I still love Scandinavian stoner rock? Yes. In my two years overseas, did I develop a love of British Indie rock? Hell no. I'm not saying people should be Canadian exclusive, however just like SOCAN, it's really not that hard to keep a good, healthy ratio.

Besides, you might be amazed what you find.

-Divide me by zero and watch me blow

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April Shananigans: Rock n' Soul

I love it when you can describe a song as sunshine. It's rare that you can find a track which is simultaneously rockin, uplifting, fun and catchy as all hell.

What's even better is when you find out you're playing a show with these guys next week.

-We won the battle but forfeit the war

Monday, April 26, 2010

April Shananigans: Patience

After waiting almost 3 years for Jordan Cook to release something (ANYTHING!!), I often come close to wondering if the Saskatoon virtuoso will ever scratch my rock itch. Usually, around the same time that I start to lose hope (every few months), some tiny little gem of pure glory will squeak out of the internet and rekindle my hopes once again.

Thanks a lot Jordan. Here's to another 6 months of impatiently waiting.

-Put up your dukes but throw down your arms

Friday, April 23, 2010

April Shananigans: Affirmation

When things are good... they should be great. When things are bad... they should be horrible. I've always been a believer in extremes and music has always helped me achieve further extremes. A good song can be like the cherry on an ice cream sunday.

Equally, it can be a kick in the junk when you're already lying on the ground.

Or is it laying?

-It's the brink of my life that sees me through each dying day

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April Shananigans: Tradition

Anyone who's ever lived with me knows that I have a tradition on this holiest of days which dates back to when I was still a baggy pants-wearing little skater punk. I haven't listened to a lot of punk in ages and I definitely don't listen to the Vandals much anymore.

That said, I'm not about to break nearly 15 years of tradition.

-Only thing I'll ever ask of you; you've gotta promise not to stop when I say when

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April Shananigans: Collaboration

I'm getting old, and tomorrow I get even older. In my time on this earth, I've been lucky enough to be a part of a lot of musical projects. Personally, while I love my mainstays more than life it's self while I'm in them, I always jump at the opportunity to try something new and a little different on the side. I feel that after you play with one group of people for so long, songwriting can become stagnant, and it's very easy to fall into patterns.

However, when you experiment around, listen to new music, go to open mics and share with others, sing with random people on the beach...anything just find any new way to connect with someone, not only does it reiterate and even grow your appreciation for music, but it also opens up your mind to possibilities, ones that you'll take back in all facets of your life. Also, I love run on sentences.

Nobody in the business understands this quite as well as Jack White. (The music thing, not the sentence thing)

-This busy mess on the floor ain't gonna come clean just yet

Monday, April 19, 2010

April Shananigans: Aftershocks

Saturday at the Silver Dollar ended up being the kind of night that was so rock and roll, I couldn't simply walk away from it.  I've had to spend most of Sunday bringing myself down slow and have found even Monday morning to need a little hit to get my day going.

How many people believe in rock and roll? Cause I sure do.

-Tear me to pieces, bury me whole

Friday, April 16, 2010

April Shananigans: TGI Anyday

Somedays I wanna talk about it, others, I'd prefer to let someone else do the talkin.

If you're free and in the GTA tomorrow, swing by Silver Dollar for a bit of Rogue fun.

-Dirty minded empire crowned, crumble, tumble, empire down.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April Shananigans: Early Morning Cool

Sometimes, the first song I hear in the morning ends up being the defining point of my whole day.  Sometimes, I wake up feeling set in my mood and I need to go hunting for a song, much like a soundtrack to life.  Today, my music and my emotions just kinda met half way.

I think this experience is a product of either musical or emotional apathy.  Don't get me wrong, I'm feeling fantastic, I just had yet to figure out how I was going to plan my assault on the day.  When I woke up, I knew it was going to be a gorgeous day and I'd find some means of getting up to no good, I just wasn't entirely sure how to pull it off.

Now I know.

-You can't have artificial shade if you don't have artificial light

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April Shananigans: Meet Sheila

Through March and April, I'd been slowly re-integrating myself into the cycling world, much like a sex addict, trying to get back in the saddle after going through rehab and months of abstinence. I knew that my break was a healthy thing and that these little flings were fun, but eventually, I had to really get out there and ride.

...feel free to go nuts with that one...

Still, since my rather epic bike journey from last summer, I haven't had the courage to tackle any sizable distances for fear that the memories triggered would leave me a trembling, psychotic mess on the side of the road. However, today it was important to welcome someone properly.
Meet Sheila.

Am I cheating on Gladys, my touring bike? One could look at things that way, however, I would argue that it would be lunacy to ride a $1500 touring bike around the city and leave her locked up in sketchy back alleys near Ben's place.

Sheila is a 55cm road frame of no corporate affiliation (read: she's a junker). I bought her very used and have been fixing her up and making slow mods to turn her into an urban assault vehicle. This being her first day on the road, it was only fitting that I see what she could do.

After a quick 20km ride out to Mississauga and back, my mind was ripe with memories from last summer, including singing this song at the top of my lungs while riding down the trans-Canada highway, weeks unshaven and obviously out of my freaking mind.

-This second place just won't do

Monday, April 12, 2010

April Shananigans: Fightin Monday

Need a hand getting through the Mondays? I got you covered. I've always been a morning person, and personally, I've never really had an issue with Monday mornings. Maybe it's because, while the weekend is amazing, I really never saw what made the week so bad.

Or maybe it's because I always have an ace up my sleeve.

-Rinse and repeat so my cycle becomes my curse

Friday, April 9, 2010

April Shananigans: SWEET 34 YR OLD JESUS!

I was quietly, quaintly doing some contract work this afternoon when suddenly, audio shit went all messy-like and my productivity went into massive overdrive due entirely to this song:

Nothing like a bit of 90's Japanese electro-hardcore to spice up your day.

I love you, Mad Cap. Happy Friday.

-I am a gale force wind, but you're a tornado

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April Shananigans: The Greens

I've had a strong connection to the blues pretty much since I first heard BB king around the age of 15. Let's be realistic; I've never been that downtrodden or had life that rough. To sing the blues... and I mean really sing the blues... maybe one has to hit true rock bottom. However, to appreciate the blues... to empathize with what's going on, I think we can all connect on a certain level.

These days, the blues seem to be the core of my being. Yet, I'll admit, I've forced them to lose their way. I don't think of the blues as a human emotion anymore, I think of them as a musical style... which for me is a completely different emotion.

I don't hear the crying anymore... I just hear the wall of sound burying life.

-I could use another drink, another life, another way to get through this

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April Shananigans: Shine the rain

It was gloomy and rainy today, but in my mind, the sun was shining.

I've always marveled at my ability to allow music to completely control my mood, my thoughts and in general, my life. I could have the worst day of my life made beautiful by hearing the right song at the right time.

By the same logic... I refuse to ever wake up to a clock radio in the off chance that my day will be polluted with some terrible Top 40 pop crap. The incessant buzzing of a harsh alarm, while painful, is at least predictable.

-Lean towards the moon like that beautiful man with his cheese

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April Shananigans: Try Me

I spent nearly 3 hours waiting for an Ontario license today to officially earn the moniker 'Ontarian' .  What pained me most wasn't necessarily the wait... it was the end result.

I laughed just after hour two when some guy completely blew his lid and started screaming in the middle of a service Ontario office.  He went on for a solid minute or two before security got to him.  While I too felt annoyed for being there for so long, I guess I just never considered my time to be any more important than anyone else... nor did I ever think myself significant enough for the government to be specifically targeting and screwing with me.

People like that need to learn about ETID.  This shit does wonders for trying days.

-Wash me clean, give me someone else to be

Monday, April 5, 2010

April Shananigans: Movin'

I felt the sun on my face and the wind blow through my hair as I rode my sweet chariot home. I felt a new Toronto, and the winds of change blowing. I felt like I had a plan, and it was working. I felt like today was a start and while the finish was still undefined, at least I knew I was moving again. I felt like something good was on the way.

And I was right... damn was I right.

-It's not what it looks like unless it looks like nothing

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April shananigans bring May... flannigans?

With the Evil Shananigans blog now running for more than 2 years and me having chewed up and spit out (apparently) 214 posts, I find myself hitting a wall.  This blog has been a fantastic writing outlet for me, as well as a great way to further connect with one of the most important things in my life; music.  For you, hopefully it's at least brought a few cheap laughs and the odd good music find.

However, recently, I find myself struggling for inspiration.  Posts have become forced.  Music has lost some love.  Shananigans have become less cheeky and fun... more cruel and tragic.  As such, to spice things up, I've decided to slightly change the format of this blog for the month of April.  While the past two years have been a *somewhat* proper review of new bands providing *very basic* historical information and *abysmal at best* descriptions of tunes... I've found that my best posts have always involved a more personal edge.

So to hell with whatever shred of integrity I had left.  Out the door with proper sentences and  logical progression.  For the month of April, I want to get to the core of what music means to me and why I'm listening to, what I listen to.  Each post will be a very brief description of why I've been listening to a tune that day and what it means to me.  Each tune will be a projection of my personality, and my day.  This format will likely mean that I may post more often, however, there will likely be less obscure music, and things are likely to get a lot more random.

You've been warned.

I'll continue to post videos and audio links through the website, so if you've been reading the republished versions though facebook, and have yet to figure out that you need to click the link at the bottom to hear the tunes... man must these posts have been boring.

Until then... enjoy the music.  I know I will.

-I'm a mountain stuck in your shadow.  I am a fire and you're a volcano.