Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A little music to get you in the holiday spirit

With Christmas fast approaching, and still no snowfall in sight, perhaps an assortment of music will get you in the holiday spirit.

Check out all of our past holiday episodes for more music playlists:

In particular, our three-part series from season one highlighting the best, worst and most loved holiday songs!

Episode 47: Baby, It's Cold Outside
Episode 46: New Old-Fashioned Way
Episode 45: Roasting Chestnuts


Sunday, December 18, 2011

FYI, iTunes subscribers

Howdy folks.

We'll be changing some wiring in the next few weeks, so you'll likely be unable to follow the show on iTunes for awhile. You'll still find new episodes here on the website, though.

More anon.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

S03 E22: Let It Snow

Never mind the bare pavement...

For the last episode of the year, we've crammed all we could into our Christmas extravaganza: amusing holiday anecdotes, scathing political attacks, a bevy of yuletide musical favourites, plus an interview with the makers of TV's Late Night with Matty D! Why, we haven't even bothered keeping the receipt.

(From the 1980 TV movie classic)


Darlene Love - White Christmas
Vince Guaraldi - Skating
Brassroots - Home Alone For Christmas
Elvis Presley - Blue Christmas
She & Him - Christmas Day
John Williams/Mykola Leontovych - Carol of the Bells
Carla Thomas - Gee Whiz, It's Christmas
Hunter Collins - Le Terminator
Matt Drappel - Hardcore Rap
Nat King Cole - Deck the Halls


Scrooged: Frank's Scrooge Promo
Justin Bieber Duet with Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You (SuperFestive!)
Stephen Harper: disliked.
Late Night with Matty D's website

Saturday, December 3, 2011

S03 E21: Three's Company

To sell you this episode, we only need two words: Tara Tran! Enjoy!

Our guest did not provide us with a picture, so the closest we have
is this image of the Tara St. Train Station in Ireland.


Death Cab for Cutie - Title and Registration
Givers - Up Up Up
Mumford and Sons - White Blank Page
Interpol - Leif Erikson
The Dears - Whites Only Party
The Supremes & The Four Tops - River Deep Mountain High

Hamilton: The Comeback Kid of Canadian Cities from the Ontario Business Report website
The feather in our bad news cab (Op-ed piece from the Hamilton Spectator)

Monday, November 21, 2011

S03 E20: Better Late

I suppose we could try to pass it off as some meta statement, but the awkward silence you've been getting from us lately was both unexpected and unpleasant. Apologies.

But the good news is that we're back, and we've haven't learned a thing from the experience. Click here for the latest episode. Enjoy!
It was something like this, but Tara Tran was involved.


Yeasayer - Tightrope
Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma
Grouplove - Tongue Tied
Florence and the Machine - No Light ,No Light
The Beach Boys - I Know There's an Answer
Stuart Murdoch - Another Saturday
Echo & the Bunnymen - The Killing Moon

Louis C.K. on Conan, on Twitter

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

S03 E19: Gearing Up

Preparation is everything.

This week, in anticipation of a certain special guest visiting soon, we're actually taking on some more academic subjects, between regular segments on popular culture. It makes, we hope, for a well-rounded experience, especially with Alissa's musical interjections. Speaking of which, its also time to bring back a lovely segment idea.

Back in the early 2000s I still sought out Much Music, specifically The New Music and The Wedge, as my primary source for new and exciting music. I looked forward to hearing George Strombo and Hannah Sung introduce bands I'd never heard of, but that I knew I should. The first time I heard Rilo Kiley was watching their music video for Portions for Foxes from the album More Adventurous released in 2004.

While the video's taxidermy metaphor was lost on me, it didn't matter; I was hooked. The close-ups of lead singer Jenny Lewis singing her naked-yet-commanding lyrics pulled me in instantly. From there, my former classmate and music pusher, Andrew Gulya, passed along a mix of music, including a few more tracks from More Adventurous. This only fuelled my fire. I began listening to their older albums (Take-Offs and Landings and The Execution of All Things) and became obsessed. It was the combination of catchy rock hooks and a strong frontwoman singing insightful and feminist lyrics that kept me coming back. But when Jenny Lewis released her first solo album, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat, in 2006, everything changed.

Jenny Lewis emerged as one of my favourite songwriters. Lewis has released three more albums since then: Under the Blacklight with Rilo Kiley, Acid Tongue (solo) and I'm Having Fun Now, her most recent release as Jenny & Johnny with her boyfriend Johnathan Rice. Her heartbreakingly beautiful lyrics continue to compel me.

Adele - Rumour Has It
Sam Roberts - The Canadian Dream
Feist - Graveyard
*Rilo Kiley - Portions for Foxes
Feist - A Commotion
Feist - Comfort Me
Heart - Alone

TV's Best Worst Very Special Episodes
CBC TV Pilot - Cracked

Monday, October 3, 2011

S03 E18: Cultured

You might be excused for expecting some urban planning talk this week, given that we both studied in that field and pretty much are massive nerds. However, last week's ranting ignited something within us that hasn't quite burned away yet. So here's another hour or so of cultural analysis by a still sharp but slightly less incensed duo. Enjoy!

This episode is like to a jet of ranch dressing to the face.

In a good way.

Rilo Kiley - Spectacular Views
The Cure - Just Like Heaven
Cold War Kids - Relief
Jenny and Johnny - Animal
Sufjan Stevens - The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
Handsom Furs - No Feelings


Mexico's toying with a temporary marriage license

Thursday, September 22, 2011

S03 E17: Rants

This week, we return to the grand tradition we've developed organically over three seasons: namely, spending an inordinate amount of time talking without any real agenda. Strangely, it always seems to work out remarkably well... enjoy!

This week's random mumbling has taken the form
of some near-Mercer-level ranting.


Handsome Furs - When I Get Back
Arcade Fire - Deep Blue
The Dandy Warhols - Not If You Were the Last Junkie On Earth
Handsome Furs - Serve the People
John Hartford - I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow
Martin Solveig feat. Dragonette - Hello


StoryCorps' 9/11 section of animated interviews

Monday, September 5, 2011

S03 E16: Ch-ch-ch-changes

We've made some slight additions to the line-up this week as well as a rather refreshing website redo. Nothing drastic, but an attempt to liven things up a bit. Whetted? Enjoy!

Try to guess which one Tyler particularly dislikes


The Temptations - Get Ready
The Guess Who - She's Come Undone
Portugal the Man - Telling Tellers Tell Me
Port O'Brien - In Vino Veritas
Pleased to Meet You: Broken Social Scene - Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl

Thursday, August 18, 2011

S03 E15: The Tampon Story

Nothing tastes better than ill-gotten, high-end poutine.

The story behind the picture (and the title above) is part of this week's episode, as is talk on Harper, London, Mila Kunis, barbecue and other topics so disparate it's tough to unite under one theme. But don't worry; we're always more charming when we're aimless. Enjoy!

(Also, please note that we are aware our discussion about Mr. Layton is now sadly out of date. R.I.P.)


Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers - Home on the Range
Handsome Furs - Dead + Rural
John Mellencamp - Small Town
Lynard Skynard - Sweet Home Alabama
Journey - Don't Stop Believing
Harry McClintock - Sweet Rock Candy Mountain
Lou Reed & John Cale - Small Town

Saturday, July 30, 2011

S03 E14: M

It's our 100th episode.

That's all you need to know.



U2 - The Streets Have No Names
Sam Roberts - Hard Road

Sesame Street Theme Song
The Bees - End of the Street

Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Road Trippin'
Simon and Garfunkel -59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)

Of Montreal - Oslo in the Summertime

Thursday, July 28, 2011

S03 E13: Jetlag

Arsty conceptual photograph or
a poor understanding of how glass works?
You decide!

Late July?


Oh... well, in Paris, podcasts don't air until weeks after they are recorded. Very continental... very sophisticated.

Actually, it's been a busy time for us and we've just gotten around to editing a session done while Tyler was in Paris. The wait was worth it, though. Why, you can almost smell the Seine in this week's episode.

And don't fear, the big #100 is coming up very soon. If you've got any comments or suggestions, let us know what you'd like to hear.


Ray Charles - Hit the Road Jack
Duke Ellington - Take the A Train
Willie Nelson - On the Road Again (although more of a travelling song...)
Canned Heat - On the Road Again (ditto, though a different song)
John Denver - Country Roads
Simon & Garfunkel - Homeward Bound
CCR - Proud Mary

Sunday, June 26, 2011

S03 E12: Domo in the City

As summer bursts onto the scene, people are packing their bags and hitting the road. Some leave the city to head to the country; others do the opposite; others still stay put and rediscover the place they call home. As part of a summertime arc, this week's episode focuses on songs about the city. Given our backgrounds, you can imagine how hard it was to collect the music... well, to cut down the list. Enjoy!

This is Domo. Lover of cities. Real class act.

Fun fact: Alissa is one of seventeen people on
earth who remembers this show. (Two of
the five pictured can't even claim that.


The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer in the City
The Jam - In the City

Stevie Wonder - Living for the City
David Bowie - Suffragette City

The Bananas - Gentrification for Dummies
Arcade Fire - City with No Children

The Stampeders - Sweet City Woman

Guns N' Roses - Paradise City (Mike, this one's for you.)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

S03 E11: Lavigne and Poutine

So apparently the picture of Alissa dressed-up as Avril Lavigne is so old
that it pre-dates the ubiquity of digital cameras. Until we can locate
the original print, this will have to do.

If Tyler sounds less erudite or eloquent this week, this is why.
(In Quebec, poutine is the word for, "I love you".)

Umm... did you see the two photos above? What's the point of writing the usual intro paragraph here? If those two pictures don't get you clicking to hear this week's episode, what will? It's that great, folks! Enjoy!


Jackie Wilson - Your Love is Lifting Me Higher
Robyn - Call Your Girlfriend
Rihanna - Man Down
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues


Here's a few we were able to track down:

Monday, May 30, 2011

S03 E10: He Said, She Said

Why doesn't anyone play Six Degrees from Elizabeth Perkins?

Tyler: Given the theme of this episode, we've split the requisite intro paragraph into two parts: one for me, the other for Alissa. You see, this week we cover duets about the highs and lows of love, about the Mars/Venus divide between the sexes. It's quite clever, if I do say so myself. Enjoy!

Alissa: Since Alissa usually lets me do the writing here, I'm just going to fill this in with a few casual insults directed towards my co-host (she stinks and has poor taste in contemporary art). Let's see how long it takes for her to notice and rectify the situation. [Ed. - Very clever Tyler. Although I'm surprised you didn't just do the entire show yourself and imitate my voice/laugh in response you your long-winded stories. ZING!]


Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
Dave Thomas and Catherine O'Hara - Steve and Eydie's Song

Otis Redding and Carla Thomas - Tramp
John Travolta and Olivia Newton John - Summer Loving

Stevie Nicks and Don Henley - Leather and Lace
Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin - Je t' non plus

Stars - One More Night
Postal Service - Nothing Better

Meat Loaf - Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Saturday, May 14, 2011

S03 E09: The Name Game

This week we explore the vast repertoire of songs named after people. And vast is no exaggeration; we could have easily just played the many songs (and covers thereof) entitled, "Gloria". So we hope you like the idea, because in all likelihood we'll be revisiting this trove of tunes again in the future. Enjoy!

Don't get the wrong idea. Slim Shady will not make an appearance.


Shirley Ellis - The Name Game
Dolly Parton - Jolene (the Grammy's performance by Jones, Mayer & Urban)
Bobby Darin - Mack the Knife
The Police - Roxanne
The Passions - Gloria
Them - Gloria
Laura Branigan - Gloria
The Ramones - Sheena was a Punk Rocker
Derek and the Dominos - Layla
The Jimmy Hendrix Experience - Hey Joe
Simon and Garfunkel - Cecilia
The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby


The Family Guy points out how frequently songs are named after women
The "virtual" exhibit on the Habitations Jeanne-Mance social housing project

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

S03 E08: An Inferior Race (Part 2)

Well, this is embarrassing...

We really shouldn't have gone for a two-parter. At least, not with this title. Turns out a lot can happen in a couple of weeks. An election campaign can veer towards interesting. Oh, and while we're at it, royalty can get married, terrorists can get killed and televisions shows can shine. At least the unpredictability of world events makes for a killer conversation this week. Enjoy!


OK Go - Here It Goes Again
The Beach Boys - Darlin'
Modest Mouse - Ocean Breathes Salty
The Strokes - Between Love and Hate
Sam Roberts Band - Longitude
Bruce Springsteen - My City of Ruins (in loving memory of Michael Ignatieff)


Rick Mercer's article in Maclean's on his time on the campaign trail;
his pre-election interview on NPR
Obama and Seth Meyers at the White House Correspondents' Dinner
Christopher Hume: Where would Toronto hold its revolution?
Michael's growth (That's What She Said)
T-Mobile's fake wedding procession

Sunday, April 17, 2011

S03 E07: An Inferior Race (Part 1)

A Prime-Ministerial race, that is. Yes, we couldn't help but get underwhelmed by the current election campaign here on Awkward Silences, so this week we talk politics. As you can imagine, we have a lot of positive things to say about everyone running and particularly kind words for the campaign as a whole. There's something about voting that brings out mankind's more noble qualities, no? Enjoy!

Yes we can!


The Detroit Cobras - Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand
Cat Power - He War
The Beatles - Norweigan Wood
Little Joy - Keep Me In Mind
Seu George - Life on Mars
Passion Pit - Sleepyhead


Bill 140 - The Strong Communities Through Affordable Housing Act, debated by NDP Cheri DiNovo, MPP for Parkdale-High Park in Toronto
Scenario-Buffered Building, from Stewart Brand's How Buildings Learn (see Chapter 11 for some great quotes from the book)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

S03 E06: It's a Living

It's been far too long since we've had a theme episode, and so this week we're tackling the subject of work, while listening to songs doing very much the same. Enjoy!


The Vogues - Five O'Clock World

Tennessee Ernie Ford - Sixteen Tons
Lee Dorsey - Workin' in a Coal Mine
Eddie Cochran - Summertime Blues

Elvis Costello - Welcome to the Working Week
The Ramones - It's Not My Place (In The 9 to 5 World)
The Smiths - Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now

Loverboy - Working for the Weekend
Bachman-Turner Overdrive - Taking Care of Business
Sheena Easton - Morning Train (9 to 5)

Dolly Parton - 9 to 5
Donna Summer - She Works Hard for the Money

Tragically Hip - My Music At Work


Tyler's re-enactment group sings a song

Sunday, March 20, 2011

S03 E05: Hit the Streets

You never quite know what you'll encounter when you leave the secure comfort of home to pound the pavement and explore the streets. You may discover a charming downtown, a festive parade or a wall of water...

Take a walk with us this week as we talk about what's currently making news in the streets. All this plus Andy Rooney!

"Exquisite, savage, compassionate and brilliant," is also
the tagline on Alissa's business cards


The Raveonettes - My Boyfriend's Back
TV on the Radio - DLZ
The Lemonheads - My Hero, Zero
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Melt Your Heart
Stevie Wonder - We Can Work It Out
Badly Drawn Boy - Stone on the Water
Death in Vegas - Killing Smile


The Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator

Sunday, March 6, 2011

S03 E04: Here and Now

Where did the time go? March? Really?

A variety of topics this week: not much on planning, but a lot on recent cultural happenings. If there's an overriding theme , it might be "current perspectives on one's sense of place and identity", but there probably isn't one, really. Just enjoy!

We're the Franco/Hathaway of the Internet


J.Lo feat. Pit Bull - On The Floor
Luke Doucet - You Gotta Get It
Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon
Arianne Moffatt - Montréal
Wolf Parade - Soldier's Grin
Luke Doucet and Melissa McLelland - Broken One
Luke Doucet - Hey Now


Luke Doucet's Website
Hamilton artist David Collier
Academy president admits Oscars weren't that great, but at least "we tried something"


I'd pay good money to see that.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

S03 E03: Be Mine

Considering Valentine's Day is tomorrow, the holiday garners little attention this week. We do, however, discuss Alissa's new-found affection of Philidelphia's neighbourhoods; discuss the lovely awkwardness that love brings to our beloved The Office; and play some music we adore. Oh, also, we try to solve the free market/government intervention quandary in twenty shambling minutes. What could be more romantic? Enjoy!

P.S. Let us know what you think of the intro. Actually, let us know what you think, period!

The Office: still love-able after all these years.


David Bowie - Golden Years
Peter, Bjorn and John - Teen Love
A.C. Newman - Take On Me (Cover)
Will Smith - Fresh Prince of Belair
Rilo Kiley - Capturing Moods
Pogo - Upular
Kaiser Chiefs - Na Na Na Na Naa
Talking Heads - Road to Nowhere

Sunday, January 30, 2011

S03 E02: Devil's Advocate

Just to play devil's advocate here for a second, do we really need these little intro paragraphs? I mean, I bet most people just click on the episode title and listen to the show when they want to discover the contents, not read someone's exercise in self-aggrandizement through cheeky writing. Hmm... maybe this is all a bit hypocritical. Anyway, enjoy!


The Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You
Tommy James and the Shondells - I Think We're Alone Now
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum
Little Joy - Don't Watch Me Dancing


Court blocks challenge to condos threatening view of legislature

Saturday, January 15, 2011

S03 E01: Get on Board (The Train)

No need for an intro when we're so awesome:

Pictured: Our awesomeness, Lego-fied


Quad City Djs - C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)
French Kicks - Said So What
Jenny and Johnny - Animal
Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
Jack Johnson - Good People
Peter, Bjorn and John - Amsterdam
Nat King Cole - Almost Like Being In Love


Hamilton's vision for LRT revealed
Montreal's exhibit on the heritage of rue Ste-Catherine
Toronto police officer killed in snowplow jacking
'Money for Nothing' in dire straits
Comedian Louis C.K. devotes a scene of his show to the word "faggot"; real etymology here
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart and Larry Wilmore talk about Huckleberry Finn and the n-word
Is the role of public engagement in the planning process a hinderance?
Demolition threatens culturally significant reliefs in Downtown Hamilton

(Conceptual drawing of light rail transit in Downtown Hamilton)