2018, Personal, Philosophy, Psychology, Society

What if One of Your Core Beliefs is Based Upon a Lie?

Like any self-reflective adult, I like to believe that the beliefs I hold are based upon facts, not other beliefs. I spent a long time between the ages of 18 and 25 working to come to what I thought were defensible beliefs, beliefs based upon objective reality (as much as possible), rather than what I …

2012, Movies

Call Me Kuchu (2012, Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall)

This is an absolutely devastating documentary about the situation for LGBTQ people in Uganda and the fight to make homosexuality legal again (as it wasn’t illegal until 1984 for me and 2000 for women). SPOILERS (though that’s obviously a relatively silly thing to say for a documentary about something you can just google)

Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

50 Years of Misawarding the Conn Smythe

The awarding of the Conn Smythe in 2015 to Duncan Keith felt like a dose of sanity, he was well deserving of it. Unfortunately, since the award’s introduction in the mid ’60s, it hasn’t always been so obvious and oftentimes the writers responsible for voting for the award have picked odd, sometimes even terrible winners. …

1988, Music

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) by Public Enemy

Though I have no one coming on the podcast to help me with this record, I made a promise to listeners and myself that I would try not to ignore major hip hop releases, even if I feel like an imposter when I try to talk about music I have no context for. So, here …

1983, Music

Texas Flood (1983) by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

When I was first becoming a really serious music fan, Stevie Ray Vaughan was just one of the guitar greats. It was just assumed but it was hard to really question it. If you talked to more knowledgeable (inevitably male) music fans about which guitarists to listen to, SRV was always on the list. I …

1978, Music

Real Life (1978) by Magazine

As an album recorded by a band featuring the former lead singer of one of the original British punk bands, but manifestly not playing punk rock, I think there’s a temptation to say this record could be the original post-punk record. (It literally is “post punk” in that sense.) That in itself would make this …

1978, Music

The Cars (1978)

The Cars’ debut album marks the point where, for better or worse, New Wave goes commercial. Basically very previous (American) New Wave album was too arty, too quirky, too herky jerky to connect with the average listener. But Ocasek and company found how to merge New Wave with that basic American need for big dumb …

Music

Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) by Bruce Springsteen

Sometimes I feel like I go on and on about how I think Springsteen is overrated. At least a little of that is because I feel like I have to compensate for all the rock critics who told people Springsteen “saved rock and roll music from disco” or whatever the fuck. But part of that …

1978, Music

Peter Gabriel [Scratch] (1978)

Because of the nature of the collaboration – my favourite guitarist, Robert Fripp, produced this record – I had sort of viewed this record as the holy grail of early Peter Gabriel records, in spite of the lukewarm reviews. I had just assumed that, whenever I got to it, I would discover this incredible mixture …

2016, Movies

Cameraperson (2016, Kirsten Johnson)

When we’re watching movies, I think most of us never really think about the shots and scenes that got left “on the cutting room floor.” Unless we’re absolutely obsessed with a particular movie or filmmaker, most people don’t buy or watch the outtakes of most movies. Most of us accept the finished film as is, …

1993, Music

janet. (1993) by Janet Jackson

As I say all the damn time, coming at an artist backwards is a bad idea. And yet here I am doing it again. This is only the second Janet Jackson album I’ve ever heard, but the first one I heard was the sequel to this one. The problem for me is that the sequel …

1993, Music

Symphony or Damn (1993) by Terence Trent D’Arby

Somehow I managed to grown up when D’Arby was releasing music and completely avoid him. We listened to an Oldies station primarily, so we didn’t hear him there. And I swear I never saw any of his videos. (If I did, I didn’t see them enough to remember them.) So all I knew was the …

2013, Books, Music, Non-Fiction

Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion (2013) by Robert Gordon

This book tells the story of Stax Records, but it isn’t just a the story of Stax the record label, as it also places the story in the context of Memphis and the civil rights movement, and there are some very interesting parallels between the rise and fall of Stax and other American businesses.

1999, Movies

Notting Hill (1999, Roger Michell)

I have avoided this movie for nearly decades simply because I figured it was a typical romantic comedy. I made the decision that I had no interest in romantic comedies sometime in my teens. I’ve since come to realize that was maybe a little unfair to some of these movies, but I’m kind of amazed …

2018, Daily Log, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Memphis, Tennessee May 31 – June 3, 2018

So I went to Memphis over the weekend. We chose Memphis for an odd reason: it was our fallback after we decided we didn’t want to go to Nashville, as flights to Nashville for this particular weekend were too expensive, and we both read an article that soured us on that city. So we looked …

1973, Music

Felona e Sorona (1973) by Le Orme

I don’t understand Italian, and I didn’t realize there was an English version – and I don’t really want to listen to that – so whatever this grand concept is, I don’t really know or care. Sometimes it’s better to listen to “High Concept” rock music in another language, that way you’re not confronted with …

1973, Music

Shotgun Willie (1973) by Willie Nelson

The evolution of country music has been, needless to say, very different from the evolution of pop rock music. That evolution, which began later, and which is still very much ongoing, is something I am only partially familiar with, and it is an evolution that is often measured in very slight deviations and innovations, compared …

1973, Music

Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) by Budgie

My memory of Budgie’s self-titled debut album is that it is fast; Budgie play faster than just about any of the original metal bands (with the exception of Deep Purple on occasion). And so, putting everything else aside, that record is important as it points towards the New Wave of British Heavy Metal well over …

1973, Music

Fresh (1973) by Sly and the Family Stone

I don’t know enough about the history of Sly and the Family Stone to know whether or not There’s a Riot Goin’ On was something sustainable on an emotional level – I suspect it wasn’t – or a commercial level. But this record feels like a major step… not back, exactly, but to the side, …

1973, Music

A White Sport Coat and Pink Crustacean (1973)

I gave a listen to Down to Earth recently, as I figured that I should give the infamous Jimmy Buffett a listen for the podcast, given his longevity, his popularity and his notoriety. But I read that he had essentially disowned that album – it is a pretty conventional singer-songwriter album that does not give …

1968, Music

It’s All About (1968) by Spooky Tooth

This is one of those records I thought about listening to a decade and a half ago and I’m just getting to it now. That’s often a recipe for disappointment as my tastes in my mid 30s are definitely not what they were in my early 20s.

1968, Music

Os Mutantes (1968)

Like so much popular music from countries other than the US and the UK, there is a tendency to overrate Os Mutantes’ debut simply because it is not American or British. I’m not sure this record would be considered so seminal had it been made by an American or British band singing in English. I’ll …

1968, Music

Randy Newman Creates Something New (1968)

For someone with my oft-stated supposed ability to tolerate weird, unconventional voices, I sure seem to struggle with them lately. On first listen to this record, I thought about dropping it, as I wasn’t sure I could deal with the 1968 iteration of Randy Newman’s legendarily unconventional voice.

2010, Movies

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010, Craig McCall)

Cameraman is a fascinating but idiosyncratic look at one of the first technicolor cameramen in film, the first person to be awarded a lifetime achievement Oscar for cinematography.

2018, Hockey, Philosophy, Society, Sports

The Nihilist Hockey League

I have been a fan of the hockey comedian/commentator Down Goes Brown for some time. I don’t remember when I became aware of him, but it was before he started writing for Grantland. I have appreciated both his comedic takes on what is a very silly league and also his perspective, which often seems to …

1998, Music

Leitmotif (1998) by dredg

Apparently these guys were Nu Metal once upon a time. You can sometimes hear that in the vocals – without actually knowing anything about Linkin Park, I’d say I hear a similarity in the way this guy sings – but on the whole the idea that this was a Nu Metal band on their EPs …