A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘popular music

[NEWS] Five links about Canada, from #Canada150 travel to cultural visibilities

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  • In The Globe and Mail, Ian Brown and Nam Phi Dang’s photo essay tracking the adventures of a bus of Chinese tourists who went from Toronto to the Island and back is insightful and amusing.
  • Alex Ballingall’s account in the Toronto Star of his week-long trek along the Trans-Canada Trail from Niagara to Toronto is enlightening. Would I could do this …
  • Mark Milke in MacLean’s argues that, regrettable excesses aside, Canadians should be proud of our British heritage.
  • The Montreal Gazette‘s Brendan Kelly wonders why a supposedly Canadian music compilation does not include any French-language songs.
  • In the Toronto Star, Emma Teitel points out that visibility, including corporate visibility, is hugely important in Pride.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes a new study suggesting some hypervelocity stars were ejected from the Large Magellanic Cloud.
  • Crooked Timber’s John Holbo wonders how else Trump can transgress the norms of the presidency.
  • The Crux notes the exceptional hardiness of the tardigrade. These forms of life might well outlive the sun.
  • Gizmodo notes the evidence for a recently frozen subsurface ocean on Pluto’s Charon.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the Israeli government’s effective, if confused, opposition to same-sex adoption.
  • Unicorn Booty looks at the significant impact RuPaul’s Drag Race has on music sales.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Putin’s political allies have been having trouble coming up with a positive future.

[MUSIC] Moev, “Yeah, Whatever”

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“Yeah, Whatever” is the title track off of Vancouver-based Canadian electronica group Moev‘s 1988 album “Yeah, Whatever”. Produced by the second incarnation of this band, featuring one Dean Russell as vocalist and lyricist, this song deserved wider recognition. Russell’s vocals and the guitar-driven lyrics bring to mind a sort of Canadian fusion of Depeche Mode with the Smiths.

Most unfortunately, Moev and Dean Russell never got the chance to break through into the mainstream, Russell dying of HIV/AIDS in 1994 and the band subsequently splintering. What could have been–But at least we have this.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 13, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[NEWS] Four Canada links, from the innocence of Khadr to the joking alt-right to CanCon workings

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  • Sandy Garossino considers the furor over Omar Khadr. What if the 15 year old was actually not guilty of the crimes of which he was accused?
  • The Globe and Mail‘s Tabatha Southey points out, after the Proud Boys incident in Halifax, how the alt-right’s claims to be joking reveals their intent. Hannah Arendt knew these kinds of people.
  • The CBC’s Haydn Watters describes how one Ottawa couple is planning to visit in 2018 every location involved in every one of the 87 Heritage Minutes.
  • Ben Paynter at Fast Company writes about the system of funding and other support that keeps Canadian pop music thriving.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • Language Log argues that, despite a lack of official or public support, Cantonese remains the dominant language of Hong Kong.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money makes the case for the global relevance of the Cranberries’ song “Zombie.”
  • Marginal Revolution seems to like the end results of Canada’s immigration system.
  • The NYR Daily notes that, even after ISIS, Iraq will be beset by multiple ethnoreligious crises.
  • Out There’s Corey S. Powell interviews an astronomer about the very strange Przybylski’s Star, rich in rare radioactive elements.
  • Savage Minds considers the decolonization of anthropology in the context of Iraq.
  • Arnold Zwicky considers the surprisingly deep historical resonance of the loon in Canada.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait talks about some new observations of the dusty ring of Fomalhaut.
  • Centauri Dreams reports on a new theory about the magnetic fields of Uranus.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on a new Lin-Manuel Miranda mixtape referencing immigration, including the refugee crisis.
  • The LRB Blog reports on the terrible psychological toll of Grenfell Tower for the survivors, including the very young.
  • Neuroskeptic wonders if psychology papers might give criminals ideas.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy reports on a Canadian court ruling ordering Google to remove search results worldwide.
  • Window on Eurasia argues Russia must take care not to undermine protection for non-Russian languages in the republics, and describes a new total mobilization policy in Belarus possibly aimed against Russia.

[MUSIC] Bruce Cockburn, “Lovers In A Dangerous Time”

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Possibly Canadian folksinger Bruce Cockburn‘s signature song, his 1984 single “Lovers In A Dangerous Time” amply deserves its fame. It’s a strong song, deserving its top ranking on any number of lists of top Canadian love songs, the poetry of Cockburn’s lyrics carried by the urgency of his vocals.

This song arguably achieved greater fame outside of Canada by virtue of the Barenaked Ladies’ later cover. That cover is decent, I grant, but it lacks Cockburn’s signature urgency. Cockburn wrote this song, like other songs at this time, in the context of the Cold War, in his concern for refugees from Latin America. (I read somewhere that he was thinking of couples caught up in Argentina’s then recently-concluded dirty war.) Other critics linked this song to the emergence HIV/AIDS crisis. The Barenaked Ladies’ cover is light, too light–their Scarborough might have been boring, but it was not that bad. Cockburn understood perfectly that love matters, even especially when times were difficult, and his performance gets this across wonderfully.

These fragile bodies of touch and taste
This vibrant skin, this hair like lace
Spirits open to the thrust of grace
Never a breath you can afford to waste

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Sometimes you’re made to feel as if your love’s a crime
But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight

Written by Randy McDonald

June 29, 2017 at 11:59 pm