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

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1 comment:

William Robert said...

Every two weeks and I am introduced to music that I have not heard before! Some great female vocals in this episode. Nancy Wilson of Heart for one. Then the distinctive voice of Feist doing some songs that I was not familiar with, and a bit of departure from her usual fare.

The Champlain Bridge is a reflection of the throw away society in which we now find ourselves. It is the youngest of the four bridges joining Montreal and the South Shore. It seems we are tossing it out with the trash after only 50 years or so of service. The most solid and stable bridge is the Victoria, which also happens to be the oldest. What does this say about modern design and construction???

When the Champlain Bridge collected tolls in the eighties, it drove me absolutely around the bend. It was an automatic traffic-jam maker. While my car idled and inched forward in traffic, all I could think of was how much of a non-renewable resource like oil/gas were we consuming/wasting. Much more than the 25 cent toll I estimated. Food for thought.

All the best Roz and Frasier.