Friday, October 20, 2017

#109 - New Tracks + Gord Downie

Brand new episode!  Featuring many Canadians, a few new tracks, and I forgot what episode I was recording.  It's definitely 109.  The songs picked in today's show were picked somewhat with Tragically Hip music in mind, in honour of Gord Downie's passing Wednesday October 18th.



Track list:
1. Plastic Light Factory - Robyn
2. The Ladies Of - Deep Possession
3. Not From Georgia - Highway 84
4. Plants - Luminance
5. Madelyniris - Never Look Back
6. Arrow & Olive - Whiskey Woman
7. Mercury and the Architects - The Wolf
8. Stunts - Tragically Hip Hop 
9. Ralph Castelli - Good Morning
10. Lower Loveday - I'd Do Anything You Wanted
11. Rogerthat - Lucky Day
12. Alex Cohen - Good Old Times
13. The Happy Somethings - Happy On My Own

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Live Show Alert: The Split

I love The Split - such a great band, from my local area too.  This is just a quick post to let you know that they have a concert coming up, in Wakefield, QC!  Check out the details via Facebook.  The concert is Friday, November 10th.

If you want to hear their music, go to their website!  http://www.thesplitsoulmusic.com.  I played one of their songs on episode #90.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mainstream Monday - Beck "Colors"

Welcome to the first edition of "Mainstream Monday"!  While the blog focuses primarily on music released under a Creative Commons license, I also don't live under a rock.  Mainstream Monday is just a quick listing of what I'm listening to in the world of popular music. 

Right now it is most definitely NOT Portugal. The Man.  Well, not "Feel It Still" anyway.  I loved that song when it first came out on the Alternative radio stations (for the record, the station I listen to the most lately is Sirius XM's Alt Nation), but it's almost everywhere now.  I hear it on the local KiSS FM station here, which is basically Top 40.  I'm still liking Live In the Moment. 

Do you ever feel like you can't listen to some songs anymore because they cross over?  Luckily I'm not there yet with Imagine Dragons, though they're not getting near as much airplay as Feel It Still. 

What I'm most excited is a new album from Beck, "Colors".  I'm listening to it right now, as I type it.  I like it a lot.  It's got a good alternative feel, but is also somewhat light.  The one downside is that it sounds like a lot of his previous work of late.  That's not really a bad thing I guess, just that it doesn't feel like it's entirely new.  More like a continuation.  My least favourite track though is "Wow", which I heard last year...not really a fan.

What's got your attention?

Note: there are links to albums on Amazon; at the moment, there are no affiliate links on this blog.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ghosts of Invention - Galactic Shadows



Ghosts of Invention - Galactic Shadows Release date: October 5, 2017

"Synthwave" is not exactly the most-listened-to category of music in my playback history, nor am I big fan of electronic music in general.  But friend of the blog/podcast Alex Hindriks (you might remember him from Alternative Airwaves #94) sent along a link to a new 7-track concept album featuring some cool, spacey electronic music.  I found myself liking it a lot!

Hindriks, creating the music as Ghosts of Invention, describes the album on his BandCamp page:

This record is a collection of sounds and tunes that remind me of what it would be like to travel through space. In a way, this is a concept album; with most songs having a constant, non-melodic soundscape filling in the space behind them. I started writing this record shortly after David Bowie passed away; which was also around the time I was watching a lot of films based in space.

I happened to read the description first before listening, and I'm glad I did, because I found that it informed my listening experience quite a bit.  I think GoI does a great job re-creating that "travelling through space" feel and you can easily lose yourself in the music.  I was actually recently listening to a few other 80's-inspired synth music (the Stranger Things soundtrack chiefly among others) and this lines up quite well with them. 

I first listened through the album while at work, and I thought it did a great job at moving me through the work I was doing. 

I highly recommend checking out "Galactic Shadows", especially if spacey synth music is your thing.

Note: there is a link to the Stranger Things soundtrack on Amazon; at the moment, there are no affiliate links on this blog.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Return of the Blog

Hey everyone!  Hope you are all well.  As mentioned earlier this week, I've been making some background changes that affect mostly the podcast feed, but also some minor tweaks to previous posts.

The background changes were that I switched podcast hosts; this past Wednesday I fixed ALL of the links (except for Episode 7 - that one is missing!  If you have a downloaded version, get in touch with me!), so everything should be working.  This also means that finally, ALL regular episodes are back on the feed.  I didn't re-upload any Weekly Airwaves, if those links are broken, they're staying broken.

I also have some exciting changes in the FOREGROUND for you!  I used to blog regularly about creative commons music (and other CC topics, too) but faded away in favour of just doing the podcast.  Well, I'm starting to find I have less time to produce a show all the time, but I'm re-gaining my interest in blogging.

Starting next week, you'll start to see a return of regular blog posts on www.alternativeairwaves.com.  I no longer send my podcast feed through the blog - I use Pinecast for that now.  You can find that feed at https://pinecast.com/feed/alternative-airwaves (I'll make a more friendly link for that soon).  But since my feed isn't exactly complete - you can only find episodes 79 through 107 right now, plus a handful of earlier shows from 6+ years ago - I'm not going to leave you without podcasts entirely!

I still plan on recording new shows - hopefully that will become easier with various changes on my end that I plan on doing for curating.  But I will likely be recording less often.  My original plan was to pick out some of the shows not available on the feed anymore, but since I fixed that, I've pooched my own plans already.  I'll come up with something good, I'm sure.

I might start things a little slow - at least once a week - but you never know what kind of groove I might fall into.  Thanks for listening & reading!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Background Changes

Hi everyone,

I'm going to be making some background changes to the website & podcast in the next little while.  You shouldn't see any changes on the RSS feed - though that likely will be changing - but for a short while the streaming links on the individual blog posts might be broken. 

There are also other changes on the horizon - more on that soon!

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: