Category Archives: music

my bid for “obscure reference boy 2009”

walking with my friend/boss Lisa through the hall at work, we pass a contractor/colleague.  she’s familiar, but I don’t know her name.

Lisa: “Hi Lisa.”

Lisa: “Hey, Lisa.”

Me: “whoa, where’s the Cult Jam?”

Lisa, Lisa:  <crickets>

yeah.  I’m going to chalk it up to a generational thing.  or maybe the fact that not everybody has the compulsive need to make a witty (and I know that’s being generous) pop-culture reference to every other little thing that is said or observed.  I’ve seen those references beget more references, which beget even more obscure references, to the point that two people are just hurling random movie/tv quotes and associated trivia at each other.  it’s kind of scary.


Filed under music, whatnot, women

innocence lost

When my daughter J was a newborn, I remember a conversation with my wife about what it meant to have a daughter. I told her that even though our infant daughter was a perfect, tiny little angel up to that point it was bittersweet because “daughters will break their father’s hearts.”  I wasn’t entirely sure what I meant at the time, but I knew it to be true.  my wife asked her father about my comment, and he agreed, and even recalled one of the times when it was particularly true for him in their relationship.

anyhow, so I was singing one of my favourite new songs to J yesterday:

Oh no, no, I never go to work.
Oh no, no, I never go to work.
Oh no, no, I never go to work.
Oh no, no, I never go to work.

On Mondays, I never go to work.
On Tuesdays, I stay at home.
On Wednesdays, I never feel inclined.
Work is the last thing on my mind.

On Thursdays, it’s a holiday!
And Fridays I detest.
Oh it’s much too late on a Saturday,
And Sunday is the day of rest.

I modified the lyrics a little bit to make the song an apology for leaving her, because I had to go to work.  something like, 

It’s Monday — so I gotta go to work,
I don’t want to — but I’ve got to make some money,
On Tuesday — I’ll probably go to work,
Cuz really — I’m just a mindless wage-slave…

something like that.  

“honey, I’d love to stay home with you — no NO, I never want to go to work!” I say.

my daughter responds with all earnestness, virtually pushing me out the door with her hug: “oh daddy, that’s just a song.

so somehow along the line, in her two and a half brief years, my daughter has learned that working 40 hours a week Monday to Friday is the norm, and “playing trumpet everyday” is only appropriate in songs.  I guess I thought that it would take a few years of public-schooling before she built a box around her creativity and energy and resigned herself to working for a living… and I can’t help but feel like a failure as a father.

maybe it’s not too late to turn her ship around.

once again ladies and gentlemen — They Might Be Giants: [zip forward to 0:30]

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Filed under damn lies, fear of the day, I believe the children are our future, money money money money, music, reasons to homeschool

fireworks, revisited

It’s a rare night, sitting alone at home, watching the Leafs play the Caps on TV.  At the intermission, they flashback to a man named Sawchuck; Terry “Gordon” Sawchuck — I wonder if he was listed in the Barenaked-liner-notes with all the other great Canadian (and international) Gordons…  “gordon howe” — yes.  “veal gordon bleu” — yes.  but “terry gordon sawchuck”? — tragically (gordon downie), he was not.

[and the commentator just seqeue’d with , “that night in Toronto…”  :P]

But dude; Sawchuck barely wore a facemask — and he was a goalie.  To see the footage of him and Bower; I mean, they had big leg pads, but their shoulder and chest pads were hardly more substantial than the rest of the players, and that’s way less than I wear when I get out on the ice.

Anyhow; so many of the hits on this blog are the Hockey Songs…  it seemed fitting to revisit this song.

Fireworks — The Tragically Hip:

If there’s a goal that everyone remembers it was back in ole’ 72
We all squeezed the stick and we all pulled the trigger
And all I remember was sitting beside you

You said you didn’t give a fuck about hockey
And I never saw someone say that before
You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr

As I said in the original post, this is the adolescent view of the Canada Cup; Paul Henderson and Bobby Orr and all that.

Isn’t it amazing anything’s accomplished
When the little sensation gets in your way
Not one ambition whisperin’ over your shoulder
Isn’t it amazing you can do anything

That’s the chorus.  Not so exciting to read, but in the song it’s a little more enthusiastic: “Isn’t it amazing (?); You can do anything (!)”

We hung out together every single moment
Cause that’s what we thought married people do
Complete with the grip of artificial chaos
And believing in the country of me and you

Crisis of faith and crisis in the Kremlin
And yea we’d heard all of that before
It’s wintertime, the house is solitude with options
And loosening the grip on a fake cold war

Anyone who has lived with someone else in a committed relationship can relate to that… (no?)

[repeat chorus]

Next to your comrades in the national fitness program
Caught in some eternal flexed-arm hang
Droppin’ to the mat in a fit of laughter
Showed no patience, tolerance or restraint

OK, so this is something that is uniquely Canadian.  We had the National Fitness Program when I was in school; it was a yearly measurement of physical fitness for which you were awarded a Bronze, Silver, or Gold badge.  Kind of like a Boy/Girl Scout merit badge, but in your school phys-ed program.  I like to think I got a Gold once, but I’m sure if I did it would be in my momento-box (and there is none).  I remember the “flexed-arm hang” as some kind of torture-test;

Fireworks exploding in the distance
Temporary towers soar

Fireworks emulating heaven
Til there are no stars anymore

Fireworks aiming straight at heaven
Temporary towers soar

Til there are no stars shining up in heaven
Til there are no stars anymore


Isn’t it amazing what you can accomplish
When the little sensation gets in your way
No ambition whisperin’ over your shoulder
Isn’t it amazing what you can accomplish, eh
This one thing probably never goes away
I think this one thing is always supposed to stay
This one thing doesn’t have to go away

“This one thing” being that original thing — the goal that everyone remembers, the sense of unlimited possibilities, of national pride, of sitting beside that blasphemous girl, of finding true love… the fireworks.  Great song.

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Filed under hockey, married life, music, nostalgia, petty jealousy

this just in…

the Barenaked Ladies broke up.

well, Steve Page is gone; and as far as I’m concerned, he and Ed were the Barenaked Ladies.

my wife broke the news to me thusly:  “oh yeah, the other week*, Jodi told me Steve Perry left the Barenaked Ladies.”  close, but not quite.

and why did it not cross your mind to tell me this the-other-week-ago?  I’ve been a fan since my bootleg copy of The Yellow Tape and that early concert at Ontario Place, 1991?  1992?

not that I’m all that broken up about it.  I guess Stephanie Ford ended up being their Yoko Ono.  it was bound to happen eventually.  “King of Bedside Manner” to follow…

— dude, Steve’s Yoko ad-lib in the middle of that song is exactly why BNL will never be the same.

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Filed under music, nostalgia

how will we explain to our children…

that once apon a time, this was cool; and that 18 years later nostalgia might get the better of us and we might link to the video and reminisce about simpler times:

it’s amazing to think that this was before all that Austin Powers psuedo-psychedlic 60’s stuff.  maybe in explaining it to my children I can use it as a segue into the works of Q-Tip and A Tribe Called Quest..

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Filed under boogie woogie, music, nostalgia

overheard at the Germantown Oktoberfest…

“and I can end the planet in a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust”

now I realize they were covering a recently popular song (Handlebars by the Flobots), but even if it’s the song they cover the best, they ought to have some sense of context.

perhaps the misguided youth onstage have no idea what World War II was, or the fact that Germans were involved, or the irony of screaming out these lyrics at a festival celebrating German heritage.  they probably think the Bush regime is a ‘holocaust’ and don’t realize that the word has very powerful meaning to other people.  or maybe they get it, and they’re just sticking it to the man.  the rest of their set was all RageAgainstTheMachine-y, so I assume they all just think they’re as smart as Zack de la Rocha.  (that was a joke.  though I have been known to Rage…)

walking out of the park, we passed a middle-aged woman with a shirt that simply read “Blame Republicans”.  I was surprised to hear my wife mutter, “why?  the Democrats are in charge in Congress, seems like they ought to get the blame…”  wow, like words from my own mouth.

and made me think up a t-shirt that I might get printed:


of course, I’m not sure what that message sends about the wearer; and I would be stymied if I ran into that guy with the “I’m rubber, your glue…” t-shirt.  man, I hate that guy.

Handlebars video (lyrics below):

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

Look at me, look at me
hands in the air like it’s good to be
and I’m a famous rapper
even when the paths’re all crookedy
I can show you how to do-si-do
I can show you how to scratch a record
I can take apart the remote control
And I can almost put it back together
I can tie a knot in a cherry stem
I can tell you about Leif Ericson
I know all the words to “De Colores”
And “I’m Proud to be an American”
Me and my friend saw a platypus
Me and my friend made a comic book
And guess how long it took
I can do anything that I want cuz, look:

I can keep rhythm with no metronome
No metronome
No metronome

I can see your face on the telephone
On the telephone
On the telephone

Look at me
Look at me
Just called to say that it’s good to be
In such a small world
All curled up with a book to read
I can make money open up a thrift store
I can make a living off a magazine
I can design an engine sixty four
Miles to a gallon of gasoline
I can make new antibiotics
I can make computers survive aquatic conditions
I know how to run a business
And I can make you wanna buy a product
Movers shakers and producers
Me and my friends understand the future
I see the strings that control the systems
I can do anything with no assistance
I can lead a nation with a microphone
With a microphone
With a microphone
I can split the atoms of a molecule
Of a molecule
Of a molecule

Look at me
Look at me
Driving and I won’t stop
And it feels so good to be
Alive and on top
My reach is global
My tower secure
My cause is noble
My power is pure
I can hand out a million vaccinations
Or let’em all die in exasperation
Have’em all healed of their lacerations
Have’em all killed by assassination
I can make anybody go to prison
Just because I don’t like’em and
I can do anything with no permission
I have it all under my command
I can guide a missile by satellite
By satellite
By satellite
and I can hit a target through a telescope
Through a telescope
Through a telescope
and I can end the planet in a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handle bars
No handlebars

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars


Filed under if you aren't outraged you aren't paying attention, music, politics

our radically different musical tastes will tear us apart, again

overheard, on the sofa:

“so who do you like better,
the Wombats or Joy Division?”

“well, I’d have to say the Wombats…”


“because although I’ve never heard of them,
I have heard of Joy Division
and they’re… weird.”


you be the judge:

The Wombats: Let’s Dance to Joy Division

Joy_Division:  Love Will Tear Us Apart

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Filed under married life, music