Wednesday, April 06, 2005


T.O. Five Oh . . . Numero One Four

Wondering what all this is about? Before you begin, you might want to read days one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve and thirteen. Round 1: Hockey: Jane Siberry (Mike) Helpless: Neil Young (Keith) I Go Blind: 54-40 (Peter) Nothing at All: Maestro Fresh Wes (Aaron) Tired of Waking Up Tired: The Diodes (Carol) A Case of You: Joni Mitchell (Carl) Round 2: Have Not Been The Same: Slow (Mike) Hallelujah (Live): Leonard Cohen (Keith) Wheat Kings: The Tragically Hip (Pete) Vetoed By Carol Subdivisions: Rush (Carol) Vetoed By Keith Rags and Bones: Nomeansno (Carl) Round 3: One Great City!: The Weakerthans (Mike) Westray: Weeping Tile (Keith) Vetoed By Pete Deeper Than Beauty: Sloan (Pete) Having an Average Weekend: Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet (Aaron) I've Been Everywhere: Hank Snow (Carol) Illegal Bodies: Simply Saucer (Carl) Round 4: Help Me Rhonda: The Langley Schools Music Project (Mike) Vetoed By Pete Secret Heart: Ron Sexsmith (Aaron) (FC's note: Actually Aaron's Round 2 Catch Up Pick!) Daylight: The Nils (Keith) Barrett's Privateers: Stan Rogers (Pete) Vetoed By Mike War in Peace: Skip Spence(Aaron) Vetoed By Carol Static: Terrible Canyons of Static; Chart #3; World Police and Friendly: Godspeed You Black Emperor! (Carol) What About Me? The Nihilist Spasm Band (Carl) Vetoed By Keith Round 5: Blues For Big Scotia: Oscar Peterson (Mike) Sudbury Saturday Night: Stompin' Tom Conners (Keith) Little Girl: Death From Above 1979 (Pete) Brian Wilson (Live): The Barenaked Ladies (Aaron) Vetoed By Carl Carol's Pick TK Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: Buffy Sainte Marie (Carl) Round 6: Blues for Pablo: Gil Evans with Miles Davis (Mike) O Marie: Daniel Lanois (Keith) Can't You See: The Matt Minglewood Band (Pete) In tonight's futile cry for help: Matt Minglewood makes the list of fifty (but gets vetoed by Mr. Blackwell) Love the OTHER 50? HATE the OTHER 50? Be sure to leave a comment. Carol: On Daniel Lanois: Nice pick. Very pretty musically and I'll have to take your word on the lyrics; I understood "donner moi un chance." Ah well, c'est la vie. On Buffy's Production: Dated can be good or bad. Old and tired, cheap and new, or classic vintage. I suppose it depends on the artist. On Carl's Nomination: The song is intemperate, conspiracy minded and wild - and those are all good things, now and then, in a song raging over injustice. It’s less a protest song than a howl of pain - it aims not to convince listeners of a position but to convey a horror. I completely struck by this. Her anger and emotion ring through her voice and take over. I loved the drums, the voice overs, the overall feel. She definitely inhabited the song. Peter: On a completely unrelated note. Got this from one of my freelance writers, fyi. And, by the way, I'm enjoying the "Other 50 Tracks" discourse. Though I am extremely distressed to hear that the Nihilist Spasm Band might not pull through...(I once sat in the NSB's garage in London as the only 'audience' to their weekly Monday-night improv. It was the most glorious noise ever.) Keith: Fire 'em. Peter: I already did, for not endorsing my picks. Keith: He doesn't like Joe Cocker either, eh? Peter: Oh man, now you're really pissing me off. I know where you live. Keith: Some one has to say it. I mean just look at the guy's HAT for the love of God . . . Carl: I was skeptical about Minglewood but Peter played too big a regional authenticity card. It knocked everything off the table. It even had a tear-jerker ending. Peter: I know I went heavy on that regional theme, but I really had no idea if any of the Upper Canadians or Left Coasters have ever heard of the guy, or heard the song, and I wanted to make it clear how big a deal it was to a generation from back home. Carl, this one fits into your timeless-dated equation. Can't You See certainly sounds like the '80s, but I still enjoy listening to it - though it doesn't sound like anything else I listen to. You're right when you say the joy of some tracks is in their very datedness. The fact is, I can't imagine that "timeless" could ever be used as a criticism, but "dated" can be used either way. Some things are horribly dated, some things are charmingly so. Like me, I'm charmingly dated. I tell myself. Carol: (A little) HEAVY?!?! I'm starting to feel guilty that my folks came to this country in planes destined for Toronto not boats headed to St. John! However, I listened to Mr. Minglewood. I do not know the attraction. And I wish for the love of all that's holy, I hadn't laid eyes on the photo.But I did that too. I still don't know the attraction or why he is popular short of the fact he's one of the lads and ya support your own and all that. I dunno. Compared to the roster so far, how does this fellow stand? Peter: It's not a question of supporting your own - there are many eastern tracks I could nominate, but I don't because that's not the point of this list. The list is to peg 50 essential tracks that most people probably haven't heard, like this one. Ya, it's a bit corny, and ya, it lacks the edge of many of the acts we're picking, but the fact remains it's a song that's important and loved by a lot of people in at least one part of the country. Don't judge a man by his bad hat. Or his godawful shirt. Keith: While you're not judging, don't forget to not judge a man for his terrible mullet n' mustache combo. K (Who has many relatives in Cape Breton who all seemed to have avoided dressing themselves at CCR merch tables) Carol: My judgment was purely musical. Recall that I nominated Rush, a band who actually dressed WORSE than Matt Minglewood. Mike: I think Matt Minglewood's shirt is an exact medical replica of his inner structure. If you were to take all his flesh and blood off, that's exactly what you'd see. It would even be that shade of blue (likely from drinking too much Schooner or Oland Export). And so say all of us . . . Tap into America As for the song, if someone asked me to describe it I'd say "Imagine if Hello Walls was re-written as Cape Breton rock-opera for Meat Loaf." Carol: Hysterical!! Ya know, I bet you could get a grant for that and it would be aired Thursday nights on CBC. But only if you cast Rick Mercer. It's in his contract; anything resembling East Coast he's gotta be in Peter: It's a fine line between stupid and clever and bad fashion sense and holy crap, can we not preserve the six minutes a day when Rick Mercer is not on tv, sort of a telenational park, a Mercer-free zone? Mike: I just realized that Minglewood song actually contains the lyric - "Oooooh, such a crazy mama lady!" I have no idea what that means - could it be the east coast equivalent to the modern day "baby-daddy?" This is etymological gold. Keith: Is it just me or does the spoken word bit at the beginning kinda sound like Frank's Wild Years: "Frank settled down in the (Annapolis) valley and drove his wild years through a spike that he drove through (the door of apartment 2505)" Ok, I'll go back to listening to Buffy St. Marie records . . . K PS: The Nihilist Spasm Band Documentary is going to be screened here at the National Gallery in a few weeks. Carl? Dinner and movie? Peter: You guys do your flirting somewhere else. Keith: Carol, you're up. Carol: The Demics New York City I don't have a lot to say about The Demics except "New York City" is their best known song. It's snotty and musical. This isn’t a new observation, but the refrain “I wanna go ta New York City ‘cause I heard it was the place ta be” is the unspoken undercurrent of music in Canada. Make it there and you’ll make it here. This remains true to a certain extent today... Like Slow, their recorded history is limited to an ep and an lp. They burst on the scene and deflated nearly as quick. Perhaps that's best; do the job, leave an impact, and don't grow old or fade away. The version of the song I bought is the 1980 remake from their first s/t record. Mike: Not much to say about this one. I'm really surprised it didn't make the CBC list as it always seems to get cited in lists like this. The Demics New York City EP is out of print. You can learn more about the band here. You'll find more of The OTHER 50 in EPISODE 15.
Geoff Pevere put New York City up for consideration on the CBC show. Unfortunately he was on the same show as Lee Aaron - for whom it didn't register, and Emm Gryner - the pixie who fashions herself as oh-so-hip and knowledgeable re: her covers but had never heard of it before (?!) and thought it was one of the most awful things she'd ever heard. What do you want from someone who covers Def Leppard?
I guess no one really wanted to veto Carl twice in a row, but that B. S-M track sucks. Be honest, if this crap had made it to the CBC top 50, the nation would've imploded in a snarl of outrage.

It's not the production, it's just a b-a-d song. period. Recognition-schmrecognition.

I hope a back-veto (vetoing a track from a session more than 48 hrs old) is possible for the health of the Other Top 50 list. So I implore the board not to think of it as 'vetoing Carl', but rather 'vetoing an unworthy track'.

Not sure I agree with you.

I don't think the buffy "Non Veto" is because no one wanted to veto Carl again (there is no charity in this group, we're all to bloodthirsty) I think it was, as Mike pointed out, partially in recognition of BSM's contribution, partially because the track has some significance (As Carl points out, the aboriginal angle is important) and partially because you can't veto everything (some of us: Carol, Pete, Myself) only have one veto left.

That should read "We're all too bloodthirsty"
Ahh, yes, I keep forgetting
this is less a game of hot potato
and more a game of strategic veto.

It's a good reminder FC, because I, like some other readers may have done, had forgotten this ground rule: that you each have a limit of vetoes at your disposal.

So this is going to get even more interesting, to see what picks are going to get bulldozed through in the last, unchallenged round.

Will song-selectors stay true to their original list? Or will there be some last-minute, vindictive selections just to cheese off fellow critics?

Getting back to Buffy, Carl's and Mike's respective comments are convincing: I understand the "keeping a balance" angle, but the actual song cannot redeem itself sonically as an artistic feat that is worthy of being placed alongside the likes of "Having an average week-end", "Sudbury Saturday Night" , or "Hockey"..

In fact, by comparison, that Nihilist Band stuff is beginning to look good in comparison to B.S-M. Bring on the noise. (Stinkin' Rich anyone? or how 'bout Paul Cram and his orchestra ? Seriously - Cram's a genius).
the BSM song is a valiant and noble pick, but although i'd never think i'd ever hear myself say this... EVER... i prefer the indigo girls' live cover version.

surprised no one mentioned the history book that the song took its title from, which was one of the first massively popular "alternative" histories of the US.
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