1996, Music

Falling Into You (1996) by Celine Dion

As a Canadian, I’m proud to say this is the first Celine album I’ve ever listened to enough to review. I did try to review the soundtrack to Titanic before I realized it was mostly a score. And my stepfather, or someone had Unison, which I may have listed to at some point. And, of …

2006, Movies

Muffins for Granny (2006, Nadia McLaren)

This is an artsy, dare I say ambitious, documentary about the survivors of Canada’s residential school system which desperately needs a bigger budget and a surer hand to achieve its goals. And that’s unfortunate, because it’s a story that definitely needs to be heard. I hope that someone has made something more successful since. (If …

1986, Music

Parade: Music From the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon (1986) by Prince

I have never seen Under the Cherry Moon, just like I haven’t seen his other movies. But everything I read says that this is a lot better than the movie, so I should be okay.

1986, Music

Born Sandy Devotional (1986) by The Triffids

There’s this weird thing which happens with what we might call “colonial bands,” specifically bands from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, places like that. If these bands produce decent music, British and American critics sometimes lose their shit, as if they cannot imagine such small, quaint countries producing decent music. I understand why we Canadians lose …

2021, Economics, Politics, Psychology, Society

It’s Status, Stupid

Note: I wrote this in January and then it set in my Drafts. So I’m publishing it now, with very few edits, in the hopes that it still makes some sense. When I was in undergrad and grad school, studying political philosophy, I was extremely skeptical of explanations of human behaviour based in class. Especially …

1986, Music

Black Celebration (1986) by Depeche Mode

The theoretical appeal to me about Depeche Mode was always that they were moodier and “darker” than other synthpop bands. But I must admit it took me some time to get there, both because it’s synthpop (a genre I don’t particularly like) and because their distinctness from other synthpop bands has always been somewhat overblown. …

1976, Music

Takin’ It to the Streets (1976) by The Doobie Brothers

A little while ago I wrote about a 1976 Boz Scaggs album where I wondered publicly if it was the birth of Yacht Rock. And then I thought, “no obviously that would have to be the Doobie Brothers, they were likely first.” Though I have not heard Stampede the first Michael McDonald Doobies album does …

1971, Music

This Is Madness (1971) by The Last Poets

I don’t have the context for this record: I’ve never heard their debut album and the only other contemporary spoken word I’ve heard is Gil-Scott Heron, and I’ve only heard records that came out a little bit later. So I really, really don’t know how to judge this.

1971, Music

Al Green Gets Next to You (1971)

It took me a little big to “get” Al Green. Years ago, I knew “Let’s Stay Together” and maybe nothing else. And the first album of his I heard struck me as “slick” (though, admittedly, only in relation to like Otis or someone like that). Since that time I’ve basically flipped on him, and now …

1971, Music

Histoire de Melody Nelson (1971) by Serge Gainsbourg

I first encountered Serge Gainsbourg through the Great Jewish Music series. (I was probably more aware of his daughter, who I was barely aware of, than I was him.) I liked the Gainsbourg album the least of those records – and I still wish they had made way more – but it did give me …

1956, Music

Calypso (1956) by Harry Belafonte

It’s so hard to know what to do with this album, ostensibly the first LP to sell a million copies. It launched a calypso fad that I’ve literally never heard of before – though I’ve heard some of the aftereffects, notably in the music of the Kingston Trio – but it’s legacy really does seem …

2007, Music

Long Way Down (2007)

The sequel to Long Way Round is another excellent adventure travel documentary series featuring the same lovable cast of characters (i.e. a movie star, his far less famous friend, a Swiss camera man and some producers). This time they head from the top of Scotland to South Africa. There are similarities to the two series, …

2021, Music

G_d’s Pee at SATE’s END! (2021) by Godspeed You! Black Emperor

From the first moments of Lift Your Skinny Fists, I was in love. I was at the height of my prog rock phase and I had no idea post rock existed. I had no idea Canadians were making ambitious music vaguely in the prog rock tradition at the very time that I was alive and …

2010, Movies

In the Name of the Family (2010, Shelley Saywell)

This is an episodic and workmanlike documentary about girls killed by their family members, ostensibly because they are not behaving correctly. It feels a little like it was made for TV but that could also just be the budget.

2013, TV

League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis (2013)

This is a thorough, but very Frontline, overview of CTE back in 2013, right when the NFL lawsuit happened. It’s very clear it was mostly assembled beforehand, and then a few additional aspects of the story broke and they were incorporated into it before it aired.

2021, Music

Tonic Immobility (2021) by Tomahawk

I possibly anticipated this record too much, despite being sort of underwhelmed initially by Oddfellows. (And I’d say I’ve come to like it, as I did on my first listens, but I haven’t listened to it in forever.) There are things about this record that just aren’t completely working for me right now – it …

2021, TV

Murder Among the Mormons (2021)

We watch Forensic Files. A lot of Forensic Files. (We’ve seen most of the original series, I would guess. At least a majority.) And they all sort of blend in together after a while. It often takes us a few minutes to realize we’ve seen an episode. Well, it took me well into the second episode of …