supplies are limited

History will be made Saturday, April 21, 2018.

I know this to be true: Rhino Records told me so in its latest newsletter.

“Breaking news!” it began — not a term used lightly by today’s information sources. “Led Zeppelin’s first ever Record Store Day release!” Continue reading

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reasons to be cheerful part 4

In recent days our eyes have been opened a little wider to harsh reality.

Rock stars may no longer be the paragons of morality they were in the days of Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry. Canada may now suck at hockey and curling. Ottawa’s LRT may experience delays. A working vacation with family can go awry, even for the best of us. We should have got the flu shot. The Montreal Expos are no closer to that first pitch.

And Tom Cochrane continues to tour. Continue reading


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ground control

I now realize everything I thought I knew about music was wrong.

Thank you, Quincy Jones.

Then again, I had already experienced some doubt. For one thing, I do not consider Justin Timberlake’s new album to be the worst atrocity ever inflicted on peoplekind. Don’t ask me to make a list, y’understand, but I can think of worse things. Heck, that Say Something is rather catchy, in its way. Continue reading

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thank the lord for the Neil time

The Grammy Awards were handed out last night. And there was much outrage.

Outrage over the lack of female winners. Outrage over the lack of hip hop winners. Outrage over the lack of Walter Ostanek winners.

It seems the all-important Grammys behaved as though the whole event was just an opportunity for the music industry to pat itself on the back. A popularity contest, if you will. Small wonder music lovers everywhere are disappointed. This, after all, is the trusted validation-therapy ceremony that has justly recognized Bent Fabric’s Alley Cat as a great rock and roll recording, The Starland Vocal Band as a band with a future and Boyz II Men as pace-setters in the world of rhythm and blues. And that’s not to mention heavy metal heroes Jethro Tull. Continue reading

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Slow descent

The greatest rock and roll band of all time.

That is how I have long referred to Slow, the Vancouver-based combo that gave the world the ‘grunge’ blueprint Have Not Been the Same and burned brightly for such a brief time that it left behind but one album, one single and a Christmas song. There was also a shocking performance that remains the only reason to ever speak of Vancouver’s Expo ’86, plus a tour that ended (as did the band) with the epiphany that driving across Canada to play gigs for less than gas-money kinda sucks.

It was, in so many ways, the perfect rock and roll career.

Last November, some 31 years on from that magnificent disaster, the members of Slow uncharacteristically quietly reunited for an unannounced live performance at a North Vancouver art gallery. Very-much-announced shows in Vancouver and Victoria followed, without incident. Last month, Slow reportedly entered the studio to begin work on a new album. There is talk of a tour. Against the Glass, long out of print, is once again available for purchase in your favourite format.

Slow is back! Continue reading

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