Monday, July 16, 2007

Don't Panic, I'll Be Back Soon!

Just about to leave for a two week trip up to the cabin. I won't have any internet connections, nor a laptop computer to write this blog, so there won't be any updates until August. Don't worry though, I'm taking up lots of new music to review and I'll continue to read all those books I've started but haven't finished. I'll attempt to take my guitar (if it fits in the trunk) and hopefully write and record some new songs. I've loaded up my ipod full of tunes, portable CD player with 25 CDs, and a Minidisc recorder, so life won't be too shabby or boring (we also have a 12" TV and an old VCR and god bless everybody..flush toilet and shower)...hope I survive!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Jesse Plays Folk Fest

For the second straight year, my son J graced the Young Performers Stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. If you're not familiar with the Young Performers Program basically it consists of emerging musician ages 14-24 who participate in a one day workshop and mentoring with professional musicians (J's mentor was Carolyn Mark). They have the chance to then perform on-stage at the Festival and they each got to play 2 songs each. This is an excellent opportunity to first play in front of a large crowd, but also to meet other young performers as well as backstage access to rub shoulders with the pros.

I've posted J's 2 songs for your listening enjoyment. During the second song there is drop in sound (a thump!), that was when the microphone fell when the tape gave out holding it to my backpack. There is some wind noise too, but enjoy!

Jesse Miki
Winnipeg Folk Festival

Shady Grove Stage
July 6, 2007

1. Calling For
2. Something About Sleep

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Avril A Thief?.. Maybe..

There has been much allegations towards Avril Lavigne in the last few days accusing her of stealing songs or at least not giving credit where credit is due. I don't want to wade into the argument for either side, but I thought I would post the songs for comparison. The question is regarding Avril's hit, Girlfriend which according to songwriters Tommy Dunbar and James Gangwer, the song sounds suspiciously like the Rubinoos 1979 song, I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend. I don't think the songs sound that much alike except the Rubinoos chorus is, "Hey, hey, you, you, I wanna be your boyfriend" while Avril's is a similar, "Hey, hey, you, you, I don't like your girlfriend. Is this any different than the Rolling Stones, "Hey, hey, you, you get off of my cloud, get off of my cloud", okay, maybe I'm stretching things here, you decide. I think the only crime Avril Lavigne is committing is producing badly overproduced canned teeny pop. Her teams of writer's, producers, stylists are creating an image that is calculated, non-spontaneous, but apparently very marketable.

The other allegation is from that talented "songwriter", Chantel Kraviazuk (and writer of many songs on her Best Damn Thing disc) who claims Lavigne stole one of her songs, Contagious that she said she gave to her two years ago then appeared on her CD not credited to her. The Winnipeg native vowed, "Never work with her again". Despite her clean-cut holier than thou let's help the starving in Africa-image, I always thought of Kraviazuk as arrogant and self-satisfying, a spoiled rich girl who has had everything given to her. She's much Burton Cummings where she wants everyone to know that she's giving back to the community, but it's more a ego-driven thing and I think she's consciencely looking for some kind of humanitarian prize (or having something named after her) for her efforts. Kraviazuk went on to say she won't go after Lavigne in court, "I won't do that. I'll just tell you. Art should not be subjected to that kind of controversy. Art should be pure. In my head it is, anyway." If she truly thinks art should be pure why is Chantel part the big music industry machine and supplying songs for the Lavigne corporation. Looks like some of that L’OrĂ©al’s Garnier Nutrisse hair dye (that she flogs on TV ads) has sunk too deep into her brain.

AVRIL LAVIGNE- Girlfriend mp3
RUBINOOS- I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend mp3
ROLLING STONES- Get Off Of My Cloud mp3

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Stripes Ride The Bus In Winnipeg

The question for many Winnipeg White Stripes fans on Monday was where will they do an early secret show? A park, a bowling alley a street corner, a bridge, a bus? If you said bus and bridge you were right, Meg and Jack rode and serenaded strangers on a Transit bus and played a impromptu acoustic set on the Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge before their concert at the MTS Centre. This continued their pattern of secret performances in quirky locations for a small fortunate audience of surprised fans.

On Canada Day, the White Stripes entertained about 200 people for a free 15 minute set at the Eastview Bowl in Saskatoon. They set up on one of the lanes as onlookers and bowlers seated themselves on the plastic benches in front of the lanes. Jack White even grabbed a bowling ball and threw first a gutter ball, then proceeded to throw another leaving 2 pins standing. This ended yet another interesting and unique performance by this internationally acclaimed rock-duo.

The White Stripes
Eastview Bowl Saskatoon,

July 1, 2007 (Early)

01. Red Bowling Ball Ruth
02. Let's Shake Hands
03. Lafeyette Blues
04. I Fought Pirahnas
05. Let's Build A Home

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

White Stripes Not So Secret Show In Edmonton

As I write this the White Stripes are in my city performing at the MTS Centre, the hockey arena in downtown Winnipeg. I didn't go as I'm not a big fan of watching concerts in vast arenas, I never really feel part of the show and it always feels so impersonal. What caught my attention this week was that the White Stripes were playing smaller secret shows in the Canadian cities they are visiting (they are performing in all the provinces and territories in our country). Nothing is cooler than seeing a band up close without the need for a enormous stage and light show.

When the Stripes were in Edmonton, Saturday June 30th, they delivered a surprise gig at a youth centre. Just over 100 fans jammed into the Hope Mission's R.W. Tegler Youth Sports Centre for a free afternoon concert that they gave last minute notice on their website. Now I'm not a huge White Stripes fan, I like some of their music and I appreciate they're attitude towards music, but if they played a small club or tiny venue I would be there for sure. In Saskatoon they played at a bowling alley, would be interesting if they played a complete full length show in a place like that. I'll try to post songs from that performance as well. Not sure if anyone in Winnipeg was taping (I seem to be the only one for this genre of music), and hopefully a recording will surface at another "secret gig" as well.

Hope Mission's R.W. Tegler Youth Sports Centre Edmonton, AB June 30, 2007

01. Screwdriver/Black Betty
02. Cannon
03. Same Boy You've Always Known
04. Black Jack Davey
05. You Don't Know What Love Is
06. Ball and Biscuit

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