Archive for the performance Category

Stephen Harper Hates Music (because he sucks so bad at it)

Posted in Live Music, music and art, performance with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2014 by theEARLofSWIRL

Just when you might think the tiniest glimmer of common sense could happen in Ottawa, they backpeddle away and do the exact opposite! After Harper’s government quietly dropped the $275 dollar processing fee for foreign musicians performing in Canada (on top of a $150 work permit fee) they RE-INSTATED it, only now referring to it as a “Labour Market Opinon”!!  And now the fee has to be paid for every venue played, for every person in the band’s employ. As we have seen so many times with the HarperCONS, vindictiveness is at work here. We complained about foreign workers undercutting wages at fast food chains (coached by Employment Minister Jason Kenney in how to get around rules), so they target who they perceive as “Artsy Lefties”– independent music fans. As of today, 90,000 signatures have been collected in a protesting petition to Minister Kenney, but to no-ones surprise, he has no intention of listening. They never do.


This means nothing to most music fans, the large tours and venues are unaffected by this. This discrimnaTORY charge is leveled at small venues and struggling bands that are touring in station wagons and squeezing every cent already. The alternative acts and unknown artists playing for very little, out to spread their name, frequently only meeting their expenses but doing it for the love of music. Far from taking any Canadian performer’s job, their one-night stands help grow club scenes, or as opening acts give you value-added entertainment dollars. The part that truly baffles me here is the total lack of understanding of what helps grow a tourism economy – right-wingers love to lecture us how “cultural tourism” will replace our manufacturing base, yet turn around and do deliberate damage to events that comprise it. Recently one of these “Economic Development Consultants” (Hot Air Salesmen in my book) was paid $25,000 to speak to a local group and described Cultural Tourism as “Project Managers, Accountants, Lawyers, etc” WHO would take a day trip to watch a project manager or book-keeper? Is there a historical re-enactment village full of desk jockeys I’m unaware of?

Sing Along With The Earl

Posted in music and art, performance with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2014 by theEARLofSWIRL


Don’t laugh, but I have gotten hooked on the M3 show “It Takes A Choir”. English choir director Gareth Malone comes to an economically depressed town and recruits locals to join a community choir, working with them for a mere week and then staging a concert. The choir members are reborn- it is quite amazing to see some of their reactions; people who haven’t experienced singing in a choir get truly ecstatic about it. And this spills over into their daily lives, changing their outlook on the town for the better. That is the magic of music – scientists have done multiple studies that prove the psychological & physiological benefits. Singing and playing is capable of easing depression, staving off senility, even reaching the imprisoned minds of autistics. I would argue that music is the first civilizing force of mankind. Hunting is done in unison by many animals, but the beating of bones and howling around the campfire of our remote ancestors drew them closer together in concert against the night and it’s demons.

I was fortunate when I was younger to have the experience of filling in for our church organist during his summer vacation. It’s a powerful rush playing loud hard rock, but that’s only volume. A choir and organ working together has an awesome punch that is volume combined with group dynamics. When my feet hit the low notes on the bass pedals, and the choir’s harmonies flowed up into the rafters, I got chills! (Don’t tell them, but I also managed to sneak in Uriah Heep & Procol Harum as Postlude music) Churches now turn the service music into karaoke nights, soloists without choir gowns, guitars replacing the organ, headset mikes, etc. They are abandoning the unity of the choir and that is tearing away at the essence of community that choral music creates.

The colossal ego machine of TV-land sells dreams of stardom, tells you you’re a ROCK STAR, you’re one-of-a-kind, here’s the spotlight!! Too common are the spoiled tantrums of celebrities who think that they ALONE are responsible for their success. To those who think that I say, there was a hand guiding that spotlight, someone switched on that microphone, and cued the music.

I was never interested in the Guitar Idol or Rock Band video games. Everyone kept telling me how it was “just like being in a band”– No. It. Wasn’t. You are two competitors in a game, out to score points and outdo each other, but a band is teamwork. I had this argument with a gamer guitarist I was playing with “But it’s encouraging them to want to play music”said he. No, it’s encouraging them to desire instant stardom and adulation, I doubt if the games foster the patience to practice, practice, practice and achieve that. Those games instead re-inforced the wrong attitude that music equalled ego, that musicians only play solos at each other until one wins (The worst jazz music encourages this too). The true joy of playing in a group setting is listening to the other players and adjusting your pitch, volume & timing to blend together better – to create something as a unit. I have always preferred dynamics to show off a band’s ability, over constant soloing.Faced with a drummer who did Keith Moon solo endings to every song, I made him do a fade-out to display control. Fed up with a guitarist who constantly lost himself in soloing when we were ready for the next verse, I would lead the rhythm section in stop-start cues and soft-loud dynamics to get his attention. At first he resented this, until he saw how it actually forced him into putting a period on his solo, instead of just trailing off into the vocals. Only guitarists enjoy “cutting heads”-trading solos to one-up each other. The longer that goes on, everyone else (audience & other band members) get bored – the best performances I have been to drew the audience in with call & response vocals (Gospel!), or had the audience sing the chorus, to make them feel part of the event. A fave concert memory is of the audience slowly dispersing after a Police show, we were all singing the Yo-eyo-eyo-yo’s of “Walking On The Moon”. You could hear it for blocks, fading off in every direction.


Music Enthusiast - At the intersection of rock, blues, R&B, jazz, pop,and soul

#𝟓𝟕 Top 80 American Music Blogs 2021. #𝟗𝟒 Top 200 Most Influential Music Blogs 2019.


music and moods

The PROG Mind

Delve Deeper

Fancy Notions

etiquette, superstition, ephemera

Alt Dialogue

All your Alt needs

LP on 45

Celebrating how rock music sends us, saves us, and shows us our true selves—one single at a time

Flibbertigibbet News

The Truth about Goats

Julia McAlee

LA based actress and singer-songwriter

The Audible Stew

Salt to Taste


Just another site

No Rhyme Or Reason

Positive/Thought Provoking Essays on One Fan's Love of Music

The Tyranny of Tradition

Lamentations and Jeremiads 25 Years After The End Of History

StevoMusicMan - Ramblings Of A Music Man

... take a look you might find something

The Drunken Handyman

If we can do it drunk, you can do it sober!


Short Films, Stories, and Music/Film Reviews

Caught Me Gaming

Confessions of a Casual Core Gamer

Complex Distractions

conversations about music, life, and the alien overlords

The Delete Bin

pop, rock, punk, folk, new wave, R&B, blues, electronica, and jazz

Joe Hall

Just another weblog

Guitar Train

Hop aboard the Guitar Train to the final destination of Advanced Musical Knowledge

Sampling Station

Tasty tunes, laughs, TV + film


A creative guy, looking for a few good records

The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

The Prudent Groove

Exploring the Vinyl Universe

The Pulmyears Music Blog

Musings on music from the desk of Paul Myers.

Tomyamaguchi's Weblog

Just another weblog

Scout66com's Blog

Commentary on the music business and things related to the arts

Record at Random

Some thoughts about records. Chosen at random from my box of vinyl in the attic. And maybe other stuff from time to time.


musings about music and hi-fi

Heavy Metal OG

An old dude rants about all things heavy


Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

Flea Market Funk

Dig Deeper!

What Owns Me

Documenting My Piles Of Stuff

Shaun Blezard

has moved....


Toronto's Top Funk Concert Experience

this is... The Neighborhood

the Story within the Story


... and classic rock too!


Home to fearless journalism & hard-hitting investigative reports


"No dress rehearsal, this is our life."


Because we really need something trivial right now

CD & Festival reviews

by Jon Wilmenius

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma