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#100 - One Hundred

I finally made it to the 100th episode!  I would have been there sooner, had I stuck with a bi-weekly schedule.  Nonetheless, we're fina...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Gord Downie's Secret Path

This review originally appeared on my personal blog.  You can read it there: http://noformatblog.ca/2017/04/13/gord-downies-secret-path/ 


Gord Downie's Secret Path
Secret Path is an adult alternative album from Gord Downie (lead singer of The Tragically Hip), released in October 2016.  It was released with an accompanying graphic novel, as well as an animated made-for-TV film that aired on CBC in the same month.  You can read more about the production background of the album on Wikipedia.
Secret Path tells the story of an Anishnaabe boy named Chanie Wenjack, from Marten Falls First Nation, who died in 1966 while trying to return home.  He was escaping from an Indian Residential School.  All of the proceeds from this album and book are being donated to the University of Manitoba's National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation project.
* - Note - the above paragraph was paraphrased slightly and partially copied verbatim from the Wikipedia article I linked to.
As a preface to this review, I want to say that I'm not a "strong" music reviewer.  When it comes to music, I don't dive deep.  I know what sounds I like, and occasionally lyrics stand out to me.  Usually when I listen to an album, I don't really look into the details about it beforehand.
However going into Secret Path, I was at least peripherally aware of the subject matter.  I knew that it dealt with an aboriginal boy who died in the 1960s, but didn't really explore it much further than that.  It was always one of those "Oh I'd like to listen / read that, but maybe later" kind of things.
That really influenced my listening to this album.  I tried to focus on the lyrics when I listened to the album, but personally I have a hard time doing that.  For me, music is more about the overall sound and like I said, I don't normally pinpoint on what's being said (with a few exceptions here and there).
Knowing the subject matter, the album gave me a distinct atmospheric feeling.  Overall, the album gave me a feeling of being alone.  The first couple of tracks start out on a bit of a positive note - Chanie sets out to escape the residential school, and looking forward to going home.  But the rest of the album gradually descends into a gloomy tone, as Chanie faces increasing hardships.
Most of the instruments on the album are guitar and piano.  I think what really helps create this mental image is Downie's voice, which is best described on this album as strained at times and haunting.  Everything fits together so well to tell this story.
In a way though, I think I should have listened to this album while reading the accompanying graphic novel.  I definitely will still pick it up and read it, but I think it would have helped me even more in understanding what was going on in the music.
Still, the album is technically very well done.  And I think that it does exactly what it sets out to do: tell the story of Chanie Wenjack and his ill-fated journey home.  You're not going to hear these songs on the radio, and that's OK.  That's not what this is meant to be.  In one sense, it's a bit of a disappointment that it might not get widespread mainstream attention (though I contend that since its release, it's received a LOT of mainstream reviews, so it has received attention); but on the other hand, I appreciate that this project wasn't undertaken with commercial success as the first thought.
I read a Pitchfork review of the album that Downie was approached by Broken Social Scene member Kevin Drew to record an album, and that Downie didn't have any material - but he was writing about Chanie.  I don't know why, but I get the idea of this tragedy nagging away at Gord Downie until he could get it out to the world.
I definitely recommend listening to the album, and I hope you follow my example by picking up the graphic novel and read that, too.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

#104 - Wingin' It 2017 Edition

Every now and then I like to just throw a podcast together without putting a ton of work into it.  I already had the playlist, but I decided I didn't want to do the research today.  So here you go!  A very eclectic mix of tracks, grouped in no particular order.  Hope you enjoy it!  If you like the podcast, consider supporting it by joining the Patreon campaign!



Track List

  1. Derwald - Berlino
  2. Nuns of the Tundra - Robot Love (Single Verison)
  3. Mickey Blue - Give Yourself Away (Produced by Benstar)
  4. Strangezero - Burnin Star
  5. Brady Harris - Welcome Me Back
  6. The Madpix Project - When the Sun Goes Down
  7. Matt Confusion - Pride
  8. The Artisans Beats - Finally Find
  9. Jekk - Survive
  10. Nicolas Falcon - My Island
  11. The Green Duck - On the Rise
  12. Doc Aquatic - All Timer
  13. Alexander Mack - Sharp Dressed (Prod. Alex Mack)

Friday, February 3, 2017

#FridayPlaylist - Alt-Rock Country-Ish

You may or may not have seen some of my tweets last night; I was able to see Brad Paisley in concert.  His band really likes Star Wars, I discovered.  I can get behind that.

I've been hearing some good rock tunes as well on Alt Nation (Sirius XM).

With that in mind.  I put together a playlist that was going to be more of a mix between indie rock and country, but ended up being more country-leaning.  You can listen to it via Spotify, here: https://play.spotify.com/user/wlgrs/playlist/3p1fNzQ3WQD8VliUcmkymp


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

#103 - Songs You Missed in 2016

Back to the "grind" - I've had a long time off from the podcast and work, but settling back into routine.  As per usual, this is the yearly look back at the tracks I overlooked from the previous year.  Some good stuff to be found!  Additional links below.  Also be sure to check out Brickabrack's album Irrelevant Thoughts on Band Camp!


Playlist


Links:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#101 - Sharon Jones Tribute + Leonard Cohen Covers

Welcome to another episode of Alternative Airwaves!  In today's show, a sort-of tribute to Sharon Jones (who passed away November 18th 2016), and a couple of cover songs of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah (he passed away November 7th 2016).  Also - I got the name of a song wrong during the show.  The track by Reole ft. Sophie Mendoza is actually titled "It's A New Day".

If you want to support the podcast, please consider donating via the new Patreon page, found at http://www.patreon.com/alternativeairwaves.  Thank you for your support!



Playlist


  1. Toussaint Morrison - A 2nd Devil
  2. Devon Elizabeth - All I Ever Wanted
  3. Nikki J. Crawford - Played
  4. Nicolas Falcon - Big Big Boss
  5. Jasmine Jordan (ft. Blanchard De Wave) - Time Travel
  6. Reole (ft. Sophie Mendoza) - It's A New Day
  7. Tickle - My Wee Tribe
  8. The Nuri - Hunger For Life
  9. Moon & Sun - Salt & Indigo
  10. Count To Four - Lavender Town
  11. Dorine Levy - Alice
  12. Dan Bryk - Discount Store
  13. Yavor (ft. Mey) - Illuminate
  14. Danielle Helena - From Here
  15. David Krystal - One More Dance
  16. The Broken - Hallelujah
  17. Ezra Kachi - Hallelujah

Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday Playlist - Best of October 2016

Hope you all had a good week!  Coming down from recording the 100th episode, and looking forward to #101.  Got a simple post for you today; here's a playlist from www.jamendo.com featuring the best tracks of October 2016.

The playlist is a pretty good representation of the great music you can always find on Jamendo!