Archive for March, 2009

Saturday Fluffernutter: Britney Goes Live; Dakota Goes for Currie; Robin Goes Under the Knife.

March 7th, 2009
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Saturday Fluffernutter – all the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities.

fluffincolorBritney Spears returned to the stage with her new Circus tour in Louisiana this week The early review: not good. No audience engagement and, according to People magazine,  “given that Spears probably doesn’t do much live singing either,brighams-fluffernutter-761079 it left a definite chill in the air.” Ouch.

fluffincolorMorkian funny-man Robin Williams was hospitalized with “heart issues.” The 57 year old comedian was in Florida to perform his one man show “Weapons of Self Destruction,”  when he complained of shortness of breath.

The tour has been postponed and Williams will have an aortic valve replacement surgery. Best wishes and Godspeed to Robin Williams.

fluffincolorFifteen year old Dakota Fanning is progressing her career toward adulthood by taking on the role of Cheri Currie in the upcoming Runaways biopic. It’s a nice transition role from child star to adulthood, as Currie was a fifteen year old when she joined the infamous LA band. A child herself, Currie none the less strolled the stage in garter and stockings singing songs of teenage rebellion and sexuality.

The movie will also star Twilight’s Kristen Stewart as Runaway guitarist Joan Jett.

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John Tory Loses

March 6th, 2009

As the following image shows, John Tory did not get beaten last night in Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, he flat out lost. A full third of his voters stayed home (thanks to Right From Alberta for the graphic).


It is long past time for John Tory to resign as leader of the Ontario PC party, but he must now do so immediately.

by-election fever, John 'Red Green' Tory, John Tory , , , , , ,

The Right Man for the Job

March 5th, 2009

The National Post is today running an excerpt from my friend Gerry Nicholls’ new book Loyal to the Core.

core_cover3_mediumThe NCC’s board of directors instituted a search process shrouded in secrecy. None of us on staff knew even who was interviewing for the position. But in the fall of 1996, when Reform MP Stephen Harper announced he was not seeking re-election, I knew he would get the job…

Ah, hell, read it all, then go buy the book.  I have a personally autographed copy on order, and will review it when they finally arrive in Gerry’s hot little hands and we can arrange lunch.

Gerry Nicholls, National Post , , , , , , ,

Vote for Freedom

March 5th, 2009

Today in Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock a by-election is being held to keep John Tory as Progressive Conservative leader or finally dump him like the guy who makes Joe Clark look astute that he is.

If you are a conservative voter in that riding, consider voting for Freedom Party candidate Bill Denby. For that matter vote for the NDP candidate or the Liberal candidate: vote for anybody but John Tory.

If you are a Liberal Party supporter, I would recommend you vote for Tory. He’s your best shot at never losing another election. If, however, your leanings are small government freedom loving conservative, even if Tory wins, you lose.

In Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock today, vote for change. Vote for anybody but John Tory.

by-election fever, John 'Red Green' Tory, John Tory, Ontario Election , , , , , , , , , ,

Shutterbugging Picture of the Day: Hidey Cat

March 5th, 2009

Someone Quick Call 911…

March 4th, 2009

They’re out of McNuggets:

“This is an emergency, If I would have known they didn’t have McNuggets, I wouldn’t have given my money, and now she wants to give me a McDouble, but I don’t want one,” Latreasa L. Goodman later told police. “This is an emergency.”

“…this is an emergency, my McNuggets are an emergency.”

Good thing she wasn’t having a Big Mac attack.

Make sure to listen to the audio.

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Blue Blogging Soapbox Blogging Tories Site of the Week

March 4th, 2009

The Blue Blogging Soapbox Blogging Tories Site of the Week for the week of March 1, 2009 is:

Alberta Aardvark

Everyone has an opinion, but only some are right. Tired of undelivered big promises and big government in general.

Blogging Tories Site of the Week

Those Poor Gates Children…

March 4th, 2009
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ShutterBugging Picture of the Day: Ass Over Tea Kettle

March 3rd, 2009
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Happy 65th Birthday…

March 1st, 2009
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It’s easy enough to find reasons to celebrate Roger Daltry. As the vocalist/front-man for The Who, his strong voice has led the rock ‘n’ roll charge for almost 45 years. The voice of My Generation, Squeeze Box and Pinball Wizard, Daltry has few peers as a singer.

But at the end of the day it’s that one moment, after the synthesizer section of Won’t Get Fooled Again, when Daltry and the band kick the song back in with, literally, a scream.  The finest scream in rock ‘n’ roll, a genre that can be defined by it’s screamers.

So Happy 65th Birthday Roger Daltry, leather lunged belter extraordinaire.

Birthday Wishes, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin', The Kids are Alright , , , , , ,

The Freedom of Music

March 1st, 2009

One likes to believe in the freedom of music.

Rush – Spirit of Radio.

It was the late 90’s, around the time of his first album Industrial Lullaby, that I first heard Stephen Fearing. He was on TV, TVO’s In Studio if memory serves me correctly. His playing was virtually classical, with two and three separate lines of music weaving across his finger picked guitar. Yet unlike any classical player I had ever seen, he was singing as well as playing this complex music. I’ve been a fan since.
The Best of Stephen Fearing

The Best of Stephen Fearing

I saw him live once, in one of the most amazing shows I have ever been to. It was in a music store in Fearing’s hometown of Guelph. Expensive hand-made acoustic guitars lined the wall of Folkway Music, adding ambiance and sympathetic harmony while Fearing played acoustically and un-amplified for about 50 lucky fans. It was one of those deeply poetic moments when art reaches down and touches you deeply. A fabulous performance that left everybody feeling overawed.

Fearings problem has always been in his recorded output. Put simply, additional instrumentation, added harmonies and basic production mean that his virtuossidebar-6ic guitar playing gets either simplified or lost, his percussive right hand technique disappears for a drummer, always it seems, to the songs detriment. Buy the live CD would be my advice, not a studio one.

Putting his recent Best of CD, The Man Who Married Music: The Best of Stephen Fearing on the stereo, it was a pleasure to hear the bulk of the music was stripped down to it’s basic elements the way a Stephen Fearing song should. Sure, some of the music is overly produced and subsequently uninteresting. And yes, Fearing’s habit of lyrically reaching unnecessarily for profundity and depth is on full display. But that does not mean this is not a very good CD.

I always wonder how a guy like Fearing chooses songs for a best of CD. If your Dan Hill or Bruce Cockburn it’s easy enough, you pick the songs that get, or got, radio airplay. But what if you rarely get radio time? Pick your favourites? The ones the fans tell you they love? Flip a coin? Either way, Fearing chose reasonably well, and the amount of paired down songs that made the collection tell you that Fearing understands his strengths as well as anyone.

The dichotomy between the two types of songs, heavily acoustic and heavily produced, is no more apparent than the collection’s second song, Yellow Jacket. The verses are stripped back, that right hand percussion and delicate finger-picking over a strongly melodic vocal line. At the chorus, however, in comes orchestration and extra vocals, and a nice song begins to fall down. It’s not enough to ruin the song, but it hurts the effort.

Under no circumstances should it be said that all tracks with band are not good, as someone throwing the CD on and playing from the beginning will quickly find out. The opening track, Home, is a mid tempo, almost poppy piece, crossing between Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young in a song that could easily get heavy radio rotation. And it is, for all my complaints about what makes a good Stephen Fearing song, a very listenable piece.

But the collections strengths are in it’s simple numbers: The Bells of Morning, played live; The Longest Road, also live; the marvellous guitar solo in Dog on a Chain/ James Melody. All predominately acoustic, all exceptional songs.

The highlight of the album is the very pretty title track The Man Who Married Music: a deeply sweet almost apologetic song to his wife, filled out wonderfully with banjo, Dobro guitar, mandolin and haunting background vocals, The Man Who Married Music is a testament to Fearing’s songwriting and an example of how production can benefit his songs. All the added instrumentation complements his wonderful guitar work, layering a finely honed song from the pen of a craftsman.

If you’re looking to pick up some quality Canadian music, but unsure what to get, grab Stephen Fearing’s The Man Who Married Music: The Best of Stephen Fearing, a solid collection of the best from one of Canada’s most respected music men.

The Freedom of Music, This Week on my I-Pod , , , , , ,