Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Top 10 Covers of 2009

And the lists just keep on coming.

10) Paul James covering The Rolling Stones : Sweet Virginia

Love the artist, love the song, gotta make the list.

09) NIN covering David Bowie : I'm Afraid of Americans

Ok, I know it's a bit of a cheat.

08) The Kills covering Patsy Cline : Crazy

'nuff said.

07) Dead Weather covering Bob Dylan : New Pony

Ya, climb up on top of me, why don'cha.

06) Green Day covering everybody: Shout!/I'll Be There/Stand By Me

It was even better live.

05) CR Avery covering Lucinda Williams: Bus To Baton Rouge

Canadian hip-hop, spoken word artist doing New Orleans boozehound blues.

04) DEVO covering The Rolling Stones : Satisfaction

Had no reason to expect I'd ever see this live.

03) Dead Weather covering Van Morrison : You Just Can't Win

It's all about Jack.

02) Street Sweeper Social Scene covering MIA : Paper Planes

I mean, get the fuck outa here, Tommy Morello does Desi? Should have been Number 1.

except for this masterpiece

01) Billy Bragg covering John Cooper Clarke to the tune of Bob Dylan's Desolation Row : Evidently Chicken Town

We are not worthy.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Top 10 Music Related Events of the Decade

I've only been doing this 'blog' thing since 2006. Prior to that, from 2000 to 2005, I put all my typings into a book.

10) CR Avery opened for Billy Bragg at the Harbourfront Sirius Stage one cold June night in 2008. Had no idea who he was but he opened his set with a harmonica blast version of Leadbelly's Sylvie and followed it with a cover of Dylan's Things Have Changed. I was hooked. Next time he was in Toronto I turned my son on to him and he's produced dvd's of two live sets from Toronto's Rivoli club. Looking forward to more shows over the next few years, a full-time member of my "must see" club.

9) NIN: Back in 1989, when Pretty Hate Machine came out I tried to turn my 6 year old and 4 year old on to the industrial beat of early NIN. It was too early. In 1994 when both Green Day and NIN had breakthrough performances at Woodstock, they noticed. Trent wasn't much for touring though so it took until this decade before I was able to add him to a regular rotation. Saw all of these shows with one or two of my kids and most times, a handful of their friends. 2009 w/Janes Addiction

8) The wide variety of bands I've seen because Bob taught me it's all about the live show: Loretta Lynn, NOFX, BB King, Foo Fighters, Peter Noone and Hermans Hermits, Finger Eleven, Perry Farrell, John Prine, Mustard Plug, Billy Bragg, Buck 65, English Beat, Teddy Thompson, Springsteen, and a shit load more.

7) Marianne Faithfull Back in 1981 my wife and I lived about 50 yards away from the Danforth Music Hall. We got to see a lot of great acts there; Rockpile, Iggy Pop, George Thorogood and the wonderful Marianne on her "Broken English" Tour. Almost saw her in 2005 or '06 until her tour was cancelled due to her bout with cancer. In '07 I waited for a Toronto date during her "Canadian Tour" but it never came, as Canada seemed to be Vancouver and Calgary to her management. In 2009 we took two trips to NYC to catch her at the City Winery and Town Hall.

6) Robert Gordon In 1979 I was all set to see Robert Gordon but his date conflicted with my honeymoon so I thought it best to pass. In 2005 I'm sitting in the Cadillac Lounge with some friends and spy a poster advertising his set coming up in the New Year. Haven't missed a Toronto date since. Most shows were with the marvelous Chris Speddingon guitar but this summer I caught a 'superstar' set where he was backed by Chris, Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols and Slim Jim Phantom of Stray Cats at the Legendary Horseshoe.

5) Leonard Cohen : Comeback story of the decade! Fifteen years off the road and it's like he got stronger and better. A singers-singer forever, Leonard's comeback has branded him as a major player in the rock 'n roll oeuvre. The accolades keep on coming and he's soon to receive too little recognition, too late in the game, but it's gotta happen so the record is there.

This tour is a gift. The music is superb, the singing is wonderful, the whole feel of the evening is magical.

4) Jack White: I was late catching onto the Stripes but White Blood Cells got me right into them. Didn't take long to see past the 'candy cane' crap and realize this guy was the real thing.

3) the places I've been.. Paris,Amsterdam, New York, Venice, Boston, San Fran, NO, Quebec, London and more.

2) the people I've met...can't rank 'em.

1) Bob Dylan : 100+ shows, I could go on forever about this, and I did. Without him, most of the other things on this list wouldn't have happened.