Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Past Two Behind the Beats.

My apologies for the lack of anything on here.  No excuses, I've just been lazy (and in Chicago...keep your eyes peeled for a blog about that, maybe later on today).

Not only have I been absent from the blog world, I missed two shows in a row a few weeks back.  I was at The Pixies show for one of them and, as mentioned above, in Chicago for another.  Both places present major issues when trying to broadcast from there.  And guess what...I won't be there next week either, since my brother and I are heading down to Fargo to catch a Red Fang show next Wednesday.

May 11/2011 - random tunes with returning guest Dani Finch

A Tribe Called Quest - Check The Rhyme
Bon Iver - Skinny Love
Bright Eyes - At The Bottom Of Everything
Buddy Guy - Ninety-Nine and One Half
Galactic (feat. Cyril Neville) - You Don't Know
Matthew Good - A Silent Army in the Trees
James Vincent McMorrow - If I Had a Boat
Fort Knox Five (feat. A-Skillz) - Ain't it Funky
Neil Young - Walk With Me

May 18/2011 - summertime songs

(yeah, our Ustream crapped out briefly, so the video is broken into two.  If I can fix it, I'll re-post)

We introduced a new segment this week, called "The Sarcastic Pick of the Week".  Essentially, we'll choose one song that fits the theme, but isn't real good.  Then we'll talk over it and make fun of it.  Because, as I mentioned on the show, we're dicks.

Mungo Jerry - In The Summertime (background)
The Allman Brothers - Jessica
Sam Roberts - Brother Down
Robert Randolph & The Family Band - Homecoming
Jimmy Buffett - Volcano (Sarcastic Pick 1/2)
LEN - Steal My Sunshine (Sarcastic Pick 2/2)
The Cat Empire - The Car Song
River City Hum - America's Finest
Sublime - Doin' Time (Uptown Dub remix)

Tune in next week when Al does some stuff, maybe with a guest.  I'll be back on the show on June 1st, when we do a show based on YouTube artists.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz

Recently all first-year CreComms shuffled over to the Rachel Browne Theatre to see former CreComm instructor Armin Wiebe's first venture into theatre.  Wiebe is the writer of the Mennonite-sex-romp that is The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz, a play centred around four characters and one setting.

The story is based around a farmer, Obrum Kehler, and his wife, Susch, and their desire to have a baby.  In the beginning of the play, Obrum finds a broken old "piano-thing" that has fallen off a wagon.  He enlists the help of his old friend Beethoven Blatz, a pianist, to fix up the instrument, and help Susch learn to play.  Through a series of confusing altercations between the three, and Susch's best friend Teen, it is revealed that Obrum cannot get Susch pregnant due to a bout of mumps during his childhood (which I didn't know could affect a man's Gennys, but you learn something every day).  Through a series of even more confusing dialogue with double meanings (what does Obrum really mean when he says he wants Blatz to "tune his instrument"?) a love triangle is formed, with Blatz longing for Susch.  Then it turns out Teen has a thing for Susch, too.  This is followed by a few awkwardly staged sex scenes (done for artistic purposes, I guess), some out of place singing, a few angry altercations, then Susch has a baby.

If my description above sounds a little confusing, that's because it is.  The play itself followed a basic story line, but has a few scenes which make the viewer think twice about what is happening, which begin to make it quite confusing.  Add to that the actor's use of accents, and half the dialogue being in low German, and what do you get?  A confused looking group of first-year CreComm students.  Although the accents were fairly well done (and as an actor, I know how difficult accents can be), the fact that there was a lot of German thrown into the dialogue, it just made the story that much harder to follow.  I know some German, so I was able to understand basic things, but even still, I feel as though I missed out on a lot of the jokes and plot twists.

Wiebe makes no apologies for the way the play was written.  In a talk-back with the audience after the show, he stated that was the way he wrote, and it always has been.  Growing up in a Mennonite family, he was always around the Germglish (I just made that up, it means German/English) that he features so prominently in his writing.

Wiebe later came to RRC to talk with my classmates and I once again.  When I asked about the potential to alienate the audience by using the dialogue he does, Wiebe answered curtly.  "That's the way I write, and I make no apologies for it."

So, if you want my honest opinion (which I know you do), I feel like the actors all did a great job with what they were given, though the accents got confusing.  The dialogue made the play tough to follow, and unless you speak low German, you probably won't get about half of the jokes in the play.  As someone who enjoys theatre, I was mildly entertained.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Behind the Beat "Good 90s" with guests!

You may remember the time when we did our tribute to crappy music from the 90s (if not, watch it here).  This time we decided to play 90s music that wasn't crappy, with a little help from our always well-dressed friend Dani Finch.  Our past (and future) guest Chuka Ejeckam came by near the end and, as always, classed up the joint. 

I'll be away for the next two shows (Pixies show this week, in Chicago next week), but never fear, Al will be providing you with all the Behind the Beat goodness you crave.  

The Wallflowers - The Difference
Moist - Push
No Doubt - Different People
Fatboy Slim - The Rockafeller Skank
The Tragically Hip - Scared
Rage Against the Machine - Ashes in the Fall
Bad Religion - Drunk Sincerity
Beastie Boys - Body Movin'
Meredith Brooks - Bitch
Pearl Jam - Glorified G

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Kanye Sucks" - everyone at Bonnaroo 2008

As you may know, I am a big fan of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee.  I have been for the past three years, and seen some incredible shows there.  One show that wasn't so incredible was Kanye West back in 2008.  After hearing tons of buzz and watching social networks explode last night over Kanye's show at Coachella, I've decided to share my own story and videos.

It was my first year at Bonnaroo, and the main attraction for me was Pearl Jam.  Sure there was a lineup of great artists from here to the moon, but a big outdoor PJ show just doesn't come around anymore, so I was pretty stoked.  Kanye was originally scheduled to play on the second main stage (Which Stage) right before PJ closed out the evening on the main stage (What Stage).  Of course music goes all night at Bonnaroo, and that night had some great hip-hop (Chali 2na, The Coup, Talib Kweli to name a few) on the side stages and Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead anybody?) on the Which Stage.  Kanye freaks when he hears this.  Insists he needs to play main stage late night.  Schedule gets totally fudged last minute to accommodate Kanye's ego, which results in me missing all of the GOOD hip-hop that night.  Now Kanye is scheduled to play at 2 on the What Stage, hours after PJ is to finish.

There had been a lot of buzz about this show, and I, like many others, planned to check it out, entering with a clean slate.

For those of you who are out of the loop, Pearl Jam is a legendary festival band, and have been since the early 90s.  They ended up playing an epic (and I don't normally use that word, but it's the only way to describe it) three hour show which kept the audience transfixed right through their third encore, a cover of Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower.

Now the details of what happened next are fuzzy, depending on who you ask.  I heard, and like to believe, that Kanye wasn't even in Tennessee yet, but was partying in LA or something.  Others claim that there were technical difficulties with his gear.  Another rumour states that Kanye refused to take the stage while others were performing, causing the festival to cut down Phil Lesh's set (which did happen, so this situation is plausible).  All I can confirm is that the screens by the What Stage initially said "Kanye West, 2 am".  Then "Kanye West, 2 30 am".  Then "Kanye West, 3 am".  Then "Kanye West, up next".

He came out a little after 4 to a chorus of boos and a barrage of water bottles.  I had left by then, deciding it wasn't worth my time.  From what I could hear from my tent and online after the festival, it was a brutal show, with Kanye appearing tired and uncoordinated.  

Most artists would shit themselves at the mere thought of playing at a festival the size of Bonnaroo, but instead, Kanye decided he was above the festival, its organizers, and the 65 000 people in attendance that year.  He wasted everyone's time by delaying his show, showed absolutely no respect for the fans or festival, and did nothing but complain about the show in the aftermath.  For the rest of the weekend, everywhere you went, fans and artists alike were bashing Kanye West.  And rightfully so.

I would like to leave you with some videos and a nice hearty "Fuck Kanye!".

This first one won't let me embed, you'll have to click the link and watch it on YouTube.  It pretty much just tells you what I did, but with some visuals and a soothing female voice.

Audio is a little quiet, but you can get the point.  Side note, Robert Randolph is the man, you should check him out.

These people can't ALL be wrong.

The crowd anxiously awaits, most of them now just waiting to boo the man himself.

This much auto-tuner has NO PLACE in live music. Also, notice that the sun has started coming up.

Funny or Die saves the day!

Lastly, here is a link to a site where you can read Kanye's reaction, which has been taken off of his blog. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Behind the Beat "I, Me, Mine"

This week's episode, entitled "I, Me, Mine", featured songs with self references in the title.  It was my first show back after a couple of weeks off, and my energy level was a little low.  I guess if I want to do this professionally one day, I'll have to learn how to force myself to be energetic.  Either way, good music!

The Beatles - I, Me, Mine
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - I Should Have Known It
Audio Bullys - I Go To Your House
Robert Randolph & the Family Band - Deliver Me
Cypress Hill - How I Could Just Kill A Man
Galactic feat. Lyrics Born - I Got It (What You Need)
Blind Melon - All That I Need
The Raconteurs - You Don't Understand Me
Roky Erickson & The Aliens - Mine Mine Mind
The Doobie Brothers - You Belong To Me
Pretty Lights - I Can See It In Your Face

Tune in next Wednesday at 8 for our 90s show, round 2.  This time we are going to focus on the good part of the 90s, not the bad.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Behind the Beat (minus Jaremy plus Jason Wysynski)

I had to miss out on the fun this past week, but fortunately Al had a trick up his sleeve and brought his old roommate and (apparently) twin Jason Wysynski to fill the hole.  I'll be back next week (I know, I know, I said that last time, but I didn't expect my soccer team to still be in the playoffs at this point) and Al and I will resume our usually schtick.

PLAY LISTRage Against the Machine - Down Rodeo
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Aeroplane
Sense of Truth - Push and Pull
Hilltop Hoods - Mic Felon
Sense of Truth - Crawling
Flying Fox & the Hunter/Gatherers - Nurse
MC I-Ras - 2007 Poundermix
DJ WyZa - The Birth
The Asteroids Galaxy - Lady Jesus
Spacehog - Lucy's Shoe

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Carolina Chocolate Drops

It's been a while since I've written about a band that I like, and these guys have been stuck in my head for a couple of days, so here ya go.  I first heard of Carolina Chocolate Drops in 2007, when I saw them at Folk Fest.  I remember leaving and thinking "that was pretty cool" but never got around to checking out any of their recordings.  My Dad enjoyed the band, and ended up buying one of their t-shirts, so their name always stuck with me. 

I decided to check them out when I saw their name on last year's Bonnaroo lineup.  After watching a few videos on YouTube, I decided we had check out their show.  Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances didn't allow me to see the whole show (okay, I admit it, I got way drunk the night before and couldn't bring myself to get up in that heat).  The part I saw made me immediately regret not dragging my sorry ass out from under the shade tent and getting there for the start.  This is just some good ol' fashion music.  No overused effects, no auto-tuners, no stupid repetitive loops, no testosterone-drenched cock-rock lyrics, get the point. Just three really talented people playing a variety of instruments and singing.

I don't know much (anything) about Carolina Chocolate Drops, so I'll let the videos do the talking.

Cornbread and Butterbeans

Memphis Shakedown

Covering "Hit 'Em Up Style" at Bonnaroo.