Vancouver Music – Fall / Winter 2018

Lots of good stuff coming!

Pugs & Crows – UNCLE!
Great new album from the Juno Award winners, with Marin Patenaude adding vocals. CD Release party Oct. 13th at the Western Front (tickets online).

Early Spirit – UnRelated
Celtic Jazz with a twist. CD Release Nov. 9th at Wise Hall (tickets online).

Reggae at the Princeton Pub:
Friday Nov. 16th – Rebel Republic with guests Mosaic Riddim

Thai funk from Texas. Playing Nov. 18th at the Vogue (tickets online).

Media – December 2017

Things that caught my attention this month, in no particular order:

The Power of Love: still my favourite “christmas song”. Merry merry everyone!

Dizzy:  Oshawa band with just a couple of songs released. I am eager to hear more. Playing Vancouver Jan. 12, 2018.

Original Swimming Party – Biggest Curse: I don’t really have words for this piece, just watch it.

How to Ditch Apple Completely:
In the early 2000’s I switched from PC to Apple after struggling for years trying to produce media on Windows machines. Microsoft had locked me in to their platform for years using illegal monopoly, but the emergence of the internet had helped me escape that business lock-in. The extra cost of going Apple was well worth it since their devices were far superior for my needs.

For years now, I have been feeling locked in to the Apple platform in much the same way. The value I perceived back then is gone, and when my 2011 MacBook Pro gives up the ghost I will probably be switching back. I have already abandoned their mobile and music platforms. There are many concerns about making such a move, that’s what “lock-in” is. This article does a good job breaking down how to do it.

Here’s an interesting article on alternatives to the Google products.

Dope Lemon:
Seems I’m a bit late to the party, but better late than never. Ran across this band and am really enjoying the vibe.

Media – November 2017

Some things that have caught my attention this month:

What the End of Net Neutrality Means for You:
Don’t kid yourself, the effects of upcoming US legislation changes will be felt throughout the ‘net. And as is often the case, legislators in other countries will continue to be pressured by the same powers moving American decision makers.

Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference:
If you are a jazz fan you know this man. His new EP continues where “The Epic” left off.

The Dark Side of New Media
Here is a good piece on some of the many worries about our new media, and what it is doing to us. I can hear Marshall McLuhan and Neil Postman muttering “we told you so” from the great beyond. There’s no doubt that our technologies change us. I do doubt, however, whether we have sufficiently thought through the problems that our new media can and will cause.

“This is a deeply dark time, in which the structures we have built to sustain ourselves are being used against us—all of us—in systematic and automated ways. It is hard to keep faith with the network when it produces horrors such as these. While it is tempting to dismiss the wilder examples as trolling, of which a significant number certainly are, that fails to account for the sheer volume of content weighted in a particularly grotesque direction. It presents many and complexly entangled dangers, including that, just as with the increasing focus on alleged Russian interference in social media, such events will be used as justification for increased control over the internet, increasing censorship, and so on. This is not what many of us want.”  Read more…  Something is wrong on the internet – James Bridle – Medium

Next is a tenuously related video discussing the effects of the same media from the perspective of a wildly successful pop artist:

A More Positive Side of New Media
This internet thing isn’t all bad. Or even mostly bad. It certainly has been destructive to old forms of media, in particular large (slow) companies relying on monopolistic power artificially enabled by barriers based on the old media forms. But it has also allowed artists that are interested to connect directly with their audience. Kickstarter is a well known site for facilitating this sort of thing, and their latest project, called Drip, is worth checking out. Currently in an invite only stage for artists, it allows them to manage subscription type relationships with their audience: read more.


Tori Amos – Cloud Riders (Audio) :
I often lose track of Tori for years at a time and then a new release comes out that reminds of how consistently good she is.

Slow – Against the Glass Remastered:
It still stands up as simply great music.