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I Stubbed My Tao

Every day I get up, have a cup of coffee, check my e-mail or read the paper (when I'm lucky enough to have it delivered before I leave for work), have a shower, have a second cup of coffee, and then I'm ready to go. On the weekends, ready to go usually means somewhere between 11 and 2. Weekdays, it's 7:20 am.

In order to fit all of that in, I have my alarm set to 5:38. My alarm is set to radio, and my radio is tuned between stations, so i can ease out of sleep without suffering unmentionable crappy radio music, and I don't waste time lazing in bed listening to a fantastic song from my own collection. My clock is set five minutes ahead of the actual time—in this way, if I roll left out of our bed, head downstairs, piss and get to the coffee maker, it's 5:38 in real time.

There are two kinds of people in the world—on average. The kind that set their alarm clock ahead, and the kind that set it at actual time. There's the kind that get bitchy when they get hungry, and the kind that can skip a meal every now and again. There's the kind, and there's the mean. In the former I'm the first, in the middle I'm the second, and in the latter I'm in the middle. So the average is a little more than two, and less than three—three kinds of people in the world...

I tried embracing my mean side at one point in my life, and people kept making me smile—so I couldn't take it seriously. In my current work/life, I've threatened to go to the dark side on occasion. I can be pretty funny at work, like the other day when my keyboard tray fell off so I sent a message to our facilities people with the subject "I've got a couple of screws loose." After they fixed it I replied with the message "thanks for really screwing up my desk."

It's the little things that I try to do to keep people laughing at their desks, to keep the day moving along without being too drab. There are other days when I think I might drag people down with all my complaining. From my desk I can see all the problems and the solutions. I commiserate, I complain, I work really hard to bring people up to my skill level against an environment of not caring.

Here, though, I get to fulfill my need to help people pass the time by recommending music that I feel doesn't get a fair shake to people that probably know how that feels, and in return all I ask is that you remain glued to your seat, try to decipher my writing, and be your amazing, curious self. That's a fair trade, isn't it?

I can imagine you scanning your computer screen, hand lightly playing with your mouse, as you wonder if you should click on the links I put together for your leisure. You should. It will change your life...

My parents are coming for a visit—quick... hide the paraphernalia!

Dad was raised on a farm, while Mom was raised in a rough environment. It would have been the inner city for her, if North Battleford could have been a city. Dad is from Unity. I've always liked that phrase.

Their musical taste is a bit here and there. When I was a child... Dad loved his Stompin' Tom... Mom leaned more toward fifties pop and disco. We all grooved along to K-Tel Records until the company dissolved.

Before I left Saskatchewan forever, I was into the Smiths and The Cure... Dad couldn't go anywhere without his Don Williams... Mom pretty much listened to whatever was on the radio, but I remember she really liked when an Elton John song came on.

In the last month or so, I've been prepping my playlists for their arrival here in Victoria, and I've found some interesting gems. I have a feeling Mom's already going to like a lot of what I've already got—The Love Language, Seabear or Shawn Lee is probably going to be high on her list.

For Dad

Sparrow and the Workshop

Sparrow and the Workshop
Sleight of Hand

listen

Sparrow and the Workshop is cattle rustlin' gypsy music brought into this millennium with a whispering whip crack of personality.  Imagine Dale Evans ghost echoing tambourine chains dragging on Black Francis' guitar.

Patriotic Banners

Around the mid-90’s, my life was redefined by a broken limb… a very important limb for my pedestrian lifestyle. I fought for four years to get my life back on track. One of the bands that was with me through that time was Stereolab (and a guy named Peter, who I called Simon because we already had a Peter—just like Jesus!). Poppy, groovy sounds make everything better again…

Hurray for the Riff Raff Hurray for the Riff Raff
It Don't Mean I Don't Love You
listen

Just sweet intimate chords supplying a gentle yearning voice in the swamps here... isn't that enough?

Modern Walls

Megafun

Megafaun
Gather, Form and Fly

listen

Condescending musical reference alert:  Bon Iver meets Olivia Tremor Control.  But wait there's more... Iron and Wine cast casks at Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young... Fleetwood Mac throw hamburgers at Wilco.  Yessss... I've finally bred the perfect specimen.

For Mom

She and Him

She and Him
Volume One

listen

I earmarked it to download later at least five times, and I'm glad I finally had an excuse to download this gem from last year.  A much simpler time of Brenda Lee or Mama's and Papa's comes through on this one.  I know you haven't heard enough about this being Zooey Deschanel.

For Me

Mum Smokes

Mum Smokes
Easy/House Music

listen

Just some nice clean background music with enough Pixies twist to make Teenage Fanclub blush a sweet My Bloody Valentine rouge. 'Left For Dead' is amazingly catchy with it's falsetto "yeah yeah yeah—yeahyeahyeahyeah—yeahyeah yeahyeahyeahyee—yeah yeahyeah yeahyeahyeah yeah yeah—yeahyeah yeahyeah yeahyay"— add to Halloween.

Idgy Dean

Idgy Dean
Ok Cadavers!

listen

She's 21.  Check one - alternative.  She recorded this in her basement.  Check 2 - low fidelity.  Layered perfectly, this album recalls early 80's Athens GA via Pylon and early '09 via Sin Fang Bous. Throwing Muses at their rawest moment was at this place once.  If Madonna wants a punk lesson, here she is... Idgy Dean!

Want more music reviews? Check out previous articles of Sound Tracks:


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