A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for the ‘Popular Culture’ Category

[MUSIC[ Kygo and Whitney Houston, “Higher Love”

I have recently found last year’s version of this Steve Winwood classic song, and I am caught by how suited this critical but hopeful song is for this year.

“Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair
We will walk the line
And try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Written by Randy McDonald

September 10, 2020 at 11:59 pm

[CAT] “Meww”

Written by Randy McDonald

August 30, 2020 at 11:15 pm

[PHOTO] Abandoned books now, 1076 Dupont Street

Abandoned books now, 1076 Dupont Street #toronto #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #abandoned #books #bookstagram

Written by Randy McDonald

August 30, 2020 at 10:15 pm

[MUSIC] Avenue Beat, “F2020”

The song “F2020”, put up in July on Tiktok by Nashville-based trio Avenue Beat, is still perfect in August.

December 31st, I grabbed a beer
Threw it up, said, “2020 is my year, bitches”
(Three, two, one, Happy New Year)
And I honestly thought that that was true
Until I gave this motherfucker like a month or two
This is getting kind of ridiculous at this point”


Put your hands in the motherfuckin’ air
If you kinda hate it here
And you wish that things would
Just like chill for like two minutes

Forbes and Nylon and Rolling Stone all describe how a song that the group tossed off onto their TikTok account became a viral hit, first on that platform then in mainstream culture. Their success is deserved: This is the sadly funny and melodic summer anthem that we really need.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 6, 2020 at 10:35 pm

[PHOTO] “Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it.”

This mural by Canadian artist Isabella Vella, built around a quote from Canadian politician Rosemary Brown, decorates the front of the Sistering women’s shelter in Bloorcourt.

"Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it." #toronto #bloorcourt #sistering #publicart #mural #quotes #rosemarybrown @isabellagvella

Written by Randy McDonald

August 5, 2020 at 11:54 pm

[MUSIC] Martha and the Muffins, “Echo Beach”

I first blogged about the Martha and the Muffins 1980 hit “Echo Beach” back in May 2005, noting how the song resonated with me. The narrator, dreaming of an escape to an idyll beyond in the mid of a boring conventional job, speaks to me.

On a silent summer evening
The sky’s alive with lights
A building in the distance
Surrealistic sight
On Echo Beach
Waves make the only sound
On Echo Beach
There’s not a soul around

I was also amused to learn in 2011 that the song was going to give its name to a new performance space down at Ontario Place.

I heard the song again, sitting on my lunch break at patio of the Church and Wellesley Second Cup coffee shop when the song came on the speakers. Again, it resonated deeply: Who would not prefer a summer rather different from this one?

As I noted back in 2005, the song is a classic. It lasts; it not merely endures the decades, it thrives.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 31, 2020 at 12:00 am

[MUSIC] Eurythmics, “Would I Lie To You?”

The Eurythmics song “Would I Lie To You?” is a perennial joy, a sound of self-assertion told with Annie’s imitable voice with joy and (among other instrumentation) a great horn section. The song and its album, Be Yourself Tonight, might be a break from the Eurythmics’ more experimental synthpop and New Wave material on earlier albums, but they carried it off.

Would I lie to you?
Would I lie to you honey? (oh honey, would I lie to you?)
Now would I say something that wasn’t true?
I’m asking you sugar, would I lie to you?

Written by Randy McDonald

June 11, 2020 at 11:59 pm

[PHOTO] A look at the #PianoTowns site, Dupont and Westmoreland, 2011 and 2017 and 2020

The Piano Towns development, on the southeast corner of Dupont and Westmoreland, is nearing completion, units selling at more than $C 1 million each.

Piano Towns (1) #toronto #condos #pianotowns #construction #architecture #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #westmorelandave

Piano Towns (2) #toronto #condos #pianotowns #construction #architecture #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #westmorelandave

Piano Towns (3) #toronto #condos #pianotowns #construction #architecture #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #westmorelandave

I photographed the site in 2011, just another empty lot left after a 2009 fire.

Empty lot, Dupont and Westmoreland//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I also photographed the place in 2017.

Empty lot, Dupont at Westmoreland #toronto #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #westmorelandavenue #vacant//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Written by Randy McDonald

June 11, 2020 at 10:45 pm

[OBSCURA] For #blackouttuesday

h/t to Twitter’s Jay Pitter for the original image, here.

For #blackouttuesday

Written by Randy McDonald

June 2, 2020 at 5:45 pm

[PHOTO] Valencia on my screen in Toronto

Valencia on my screen #toronto #valencia #spain #satelliteimage #googleearth #googlehome #television

Written by Randy McDonald

May 8, 2020 at 11:30 pm