"There's a love in the man that's breaking his heart."
– John Martyn
I went to see Stephen Fearing last night, and he covered "Don't Want to Know" by John Martyn. It's one of my favourite songs. But as he picked his way through the intro, he shared some warmhearted thoughts about John and...it was the first I'd heard of John's passing. The show was set in a tiny, old church in Kitsilano, and as I looked up into the cathedral, with John's words "I only want to know about love" resonating through the rafters, I wept. It was but the day before; I had fallen asleep on the couch, in the wee hours of the morning, with John's music softly playing in my headphones. He just had too much soul for his heart to hold.
We will remember every time. We will remember every line. We will remember all your love.
3 hours and change, from Kamloops to Surrey (that's nearly 400kms); 2 agonizing hours, from Surrey to the coast (I'm pretty sure baseballs have been hit further)...
Personal transportation, in the context of mass transit, is a failed urban experiment. We keep adding lanes, but no matter how many cars you can get on the freeway, there's still the same number of parking spots downtown.
I can't say that I've ever given Evanescence the time of day, but Amy Lee just did it for real on Leno. Seriously, one of the best live vocal performances I've seen; up there with K.D. Lang covering "Helpless" at the `05 JUNO Awards.
Take that, all you pro-tooled pop tartlets!
Whilst I'm talking integrity: The Eagles, Blue Rodeo, Eddie Vedder, and Bruce Springsteen—back with the E Street Band, no less (halleluiah!)—still got it.
Lest we overlook my favourite bona fide underdogs of late:
Check 'em out!
It seems Mr. Thomas finally came to his senses and is fronting Matchbox 20 again (phew). You had me going there, Rob.
Oh, and have you seen this cat Andy McKee play the freakin’ guitar? Holy F___, I've got some work to do!
In order to spare y'all one tedious tirade, I decided to let the JUNO Awards wane... And yet, a month later, k-os’ lyrical libel resonates: "This show is propaganda!"
Indeed! An overly festooned Billy (so called) "Talent" was a little suspect; never mind this year's inept host-with-the-most (groan). Humbug aside, however, there was some integrity to offset the slander: Stephen Fearing, Jim Cuddy, Jacksoul, and Tomi Swick; all warranted wins.
Still, it's getting ever more difficult to find artists deserving of any real recognition. Every year, the technological veneer becomes less discernible, and we (those of us actually looking for the wires) are left wondering who to admire. Here are some genuine cats you can root for in good conscience:
Low Stars is simply the best singer/songwriter collaboration I've heard in years.
"I Traveled" by Jully Black gets me every time; it's that gospel choir, chorus-out... So much soul! Plain White T's got me with "Hey There Delilah"; go figure, I hated that band... Being open-minded can be so hard on one's convictions (smirk). Hedley sucker-punched me with "Gunnin’", and apparently I'm a masochist. Despite my skepticism, The Killers managed to bring me round; I just bought "Hot Fuss" and "Sam's Town". Well, at least I'm not getting stale.
If you're looking for a quality Queen supplement, you might appreciate Mika. I'll forgive him his Freddy-worship and blatant borrowing of `80's pop hooks, on account of the fact that "Life in Cartoon Motion"—albeit a tad frolicsome for my peevish personality—rocks!
It seems new music may just be finding an edge again. Perhaps Neil Young's "Prairie Wind" reestablished the value in being honest... We'll see.
On the downside: Avril is becoming Britney; Beyoncé has become Shakira; Thomas became Timberlake; Gwen left No Doubt, started singing about bananas, disappeared down the rabbit hole, and never came back... I should have taken the blue pill, sometime in the early `90's.