107.5 Dave Rocks

#664: Heading to The Beaches

GETTING MORE TALE #664: Heading to The Beaches

I’m exposed to a lot of music through the radio.  I am lucky enough to hear roughly seven hours of radio at work every day.  I feel a bit like Milton from the classic movie Office Space.  “I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven.”

I just celebrated my 10 years at my job.  There was always a bit of a battle between staff and receptionists over the radio.  You see, everybody’s desk phone gets the radio piped in from the same station.  It was also the “on hold” music for incoming callers.  When I first started, the station was Chym FM.  That was a downstep from my prior job at United Rentals, who had Dave FM and all the rock and roll that entailed.  But soon enough, my current job switched the station to Dave, after several complaints about the repeat repeat repeat of Chym.

This went back and forth, back and forth, between Dave and Chym.  Some clients who were on hold would tell me, “I was really enjoying your AC/DC there.”  The receptionist really hated Dave, though.  One afternoon she switched us over to a new country station.  (That ended swiftly!)   Eventually I determined the best course of action was for me to turn off my phone radio, and just bring in my own.  So that’s what I did and for the last many years I’ve had my own radio tuned to Dave.  I’m happy that this small luxury is accommodated.  Rock and roll ain’t noise pollution.

Dave introduced me to many bands that I love today.   The Arkells, Monster Truck, Greta Van Fleet and July Talk are just a few from the last couple years.  I’m really grateful I get to hear great music every day.  The good bands more than make up for the Nickelback, Three Days Grace, My Darkest Days, and other assorted shit they’re forced to play.

The other day, a younger guy at work named Leo came up to me and asked, “Have you heard of the band The Beaches?”

“No,” I answered immediately.  “Let me Google them.”

I pulled them up, had a look at the four women that make up the band, and read a few blurbs.  “Undertook a tour in 2011 opening for Allstar Weekend” was the line that jumped out, and I said simply, “Yeah, they suck.”  Leo laughed that I could know such a thing in 60 seconds of Googling but my judgement had been declared.

I continued reading.  “Album was produced by Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric.”  Metric?  Hey, they’re cool.  They probably wouldn’t produce shit.  I approached Leo and told him of my new research.  I re-opened the case of The Beaches.

Time goes by.  A song comes on the radio.  “Here’s ‘Money’, by The Beaches, on Dave Rocks,” said Craig.

Holy shit, The Beaches on Dave Rocks?  I put down my pen and listened.  It was a song I already knew and liked, but couldn’t remember who it was by.  I assumed the singer of “Money” was a guy.  Somebody with a high voice, like the guy from Royal Blood, maybe.  It turns out, I already liked The Beaches.  A band that I declared “sucked” after looking at a Wikipedia page.

Well, fuck me!

That should teach me about judging bands by appearances (a lesson I should have learned decades ago).  Double dumb-ass on me.  I didn’t even guess the gender of the singer correctly, while declaring that they sucked, also while already liking their single.  Triple dumb-ass on me!

So who are The Beaches anyway?  Toronto sisters Jordan and Kylie Miller are on lead vocals/bass and guitars respectively.  They were joined by friend Eliza Enman-McDaniel on drums, and a guitarist named Megan Fitchett.  They formed a teen pop rock band called Done With Dolls (a pretty cool name for an all-girl teen pop band) and it was actually they, not The Beaches, who toured with Allstar Weekend.  This early Done With Dolls incarnation does not resemble the band they transitioned to.  In 2013 Fitchett left and they took on double threat Leandra Earl (guitars/keyboards).  They evolved into a sleeker garage rock band.  Their image became cooler with a 60s and 70s-inspired evolution.  Yet they still have bite.

Check out that irresistibly simple guitar riff. The backing keyboards of Leandra Earl give it some depth, and then the chorus jumps right out. With tunes this good, Jordan Miller won’t have to worry about making money. It’s gonna happen.

Unlike my crush on Avril Lavigne 15 years ago, nobody can accuse me of liking The Beaches just because they’re attractive.  Turns out, I liked them when I thought they were dudes.

The title track to their debut LP Late Show is real punk rock, via Debbie Harry and the Go-Gos.  It alleviates any question that these girls will kick your ass.  They will indeed, and you will like it.  It really is easy to like these energetic tunes.

Don’t be surprised if you hear more about The Beaches as summer approaches. Their music sounds like a good fit for summer action, whether in your car or at a party. The buzz is building. They were nominated for Breakthrough Group of the Year for the 2018 Juno awards, taking place this Sunday (March 25). Keep your eye on The Beaches and wish them luck at the Junos!

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Sunday Chuckle: A Call from “Visa Mastercard”

Big thanks to Craig Fee over at 107.5 DaveRocks for this one!

During Craig’s live “Tedious Tiresome Trivia” segment on the Tuesday afternoon show (on which he takes live phone calls), he received a call from Ray at “Visa Mastercard”.  The entire thing went out on the air, live, just as you hear it below.  There’s nothing Craig loves more than messing with a solicitor calling into his show. Needless to say, things go wonky very quickly.

What I learned from “Visa Mastercard” on this call is that, apparently, your credit card number is not personal information.  It’s right there on the face of the card, so that makes it public…apparently.  “Anyone can see that or memorise that,” according to the “Visa Mastercard” rep (“not a third party!”) that unwittingly called a radio station.

Please enjoy!

 

Sunday Chuckle: Too Many Mikes

Hi!  I’m Mike!

Some people call me LeBrain.  Some of my friends in the radio community call me LaLoofah.  It doesn’t matter, I’ll answer to those, but I’m a Mike.  Always have been, since I was born actually.

As readers generally know by now, my radio friend Craig over at 107.5 DaveRocks has nicknames for most of his listeners.  He also likes to claim that he has “only 3.5 regular listeners” according to the last surveys.  I’m one, and there’s another one named “Ass Kisser Mike”.  Sometimes people mix the two of us up.  I’ve met Ass Kisser Mike.  He’s a really nice guy.  We actually met recently at a protest.  (You can read all about that here.)  At the time, I jokingly said that we should take a picture together to prove we’re not the same person.  However there was a lot going on and we never took the picture.

Fast forward to the April 12 2017 instalment of the Craig Fee Show.  Another Mike called in, a new Mike.  Craig feigned disbelief, he couldn’t have three callers named Mike out of 3.5 listeners, could he?  This led Craig to start the rumour that I and Ass Kisser Mike are the same person.  Fake news!  He also speculated that Ass Kisser Mike’s righteous beard may be fake.  And of course, I could not produce a photo of the two of us together.

I assure you, my faithful readers.  LeBrain and Ass Kisser Mike are two different people.  One day I’ll get a photo to prove it!

Not an actual photo of LeBrain and Ass Kisser Mike

 

#554: LaLoofah

GETTING MORE TALE #554: LaLoofah

Ever had a nickname that you acquired accidentally that you didn’t care for?  Who hasn’t?

What about a loofah, have you ever heard of those? It’s a spongey thing that some people use to clean themselves in the shower.

On June 5 2014, the subject of loofahs came up during the Tedious Tiresome Trivia segment on The Craig Fee Show on 107.5 DaveRocks. Craig didn’t know what a “loofah mitt” was. Having seen one in my own shower (not my loofah I assure you), I tried to be helpful and sent him an email. I probably should have clarified that it wasn’t mine, because what did I get for my kind gesture? Mockery!

His response, which was live on air, was that I needed to renew my “Man Card”.

I let him know that the loofah mitt “is not mine, sillypants” (exact words). It was too late, the damage had been done. Thousands heard his mockery of my Man Card status. I made the mistake of speaking up, and Craig wasn’t about to let it go. On June 10 he re-ignited the loofah issue, again stating that I needed to get my Man Card updated. The nickname “LaLoofah” began to take off. If we hashtagged it, it would have been trending.  On June 25, DaveRocks listener Duncan dubbed me with his own modified version of the nickname: “Optimus LoofaBrain”.  That one’s not bad.

The LaLoofah nickname only died recently. That’s why I’m bringing it back. I hated the name but now miss the attention. Can’t stand my reviews or opinions? Then go ahead – call me “LaLoofah”, the derogatory nickname of choice for your friendly neighborhood LeBrain!

 

Optimus LoofaBrain

#515.5: Nooner!

img_20160916_121806_editGETTING MORE TALE #515.5: Nooner!

Local station 107.5 DaveRocks is currently doing a promotion called the Morning Buzz Nooner.  Every Friday at noon for eight weeks this fall, the crew from the DaveRocks morning show are broadcasting live from a local eatery.  When they announced the schedule, I had to make sure I didn’t miss the Friday at Beertown!

Mrs. LeBrain and I headed out and met two friends, Debbie and Eleanor, at Beertown for a couple hours of good times and prizes.  We love the food there.  I enjoyed the beer and cheddar soup, and their unbelievable mac and cheese.  Mrs. LeBrain had the soup as well, and the steak and blue cheese salad, which received rave reviews.  Everyone received a music download card worth either two or five songs.  I only won two.  Drat!  So I downloaded some Glorious Sons and a great track from a newer Toronto band called July Talk.  Check out their infectious and dance-y single “Push + Pull”.

We didn’t win the grand prize, a $250 gift card, but not for lack of trying.  We did get to chat a little bit with Darryl (who was clearly having a great time), Gayle and Brad.  Cool fact:  Brad was wearing the same Star Wars shirt he’s wearing in the promo photo.  Coincidence?  I think he might only own one shirt.  It’s possible.  Speaking of shirts, Eleanor made her own custom DaveRocks shirt which they loved.

Great times today at the Dave Nooner.  I think I’ll have to attend the upcoming one at Borealis.  Thanks for the good time, and the new tunes, DaveRocks!

Listen to July Talk’s “Push + Pull”. I think we’ll hear big things from them in the future.

#469: Stump LeBrain (Getting More Retro!)

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GETTING MORE TALE (Retro) #469: Stump LeBrain Week, by Aaron!

“Getting More Retro” is a sub-series of my music stories Getting More Tale.  I posted this back in March in 2012, when nobody was reading except Aaron and my old boss from the Record Store.  Before that, Aaron posted it on the KeepsMeAlive (Feb. 19).  And now, for the third time, here’s Stump LeBrain Week!

I had become such a dominating force on the 4 O’Clock 4-Play, my favourite music contest on 107.5 Dave Rocks, that listeners were now writing in 4-Play quizzes specifically to stump me!  For a while there it seemed everybody wanted to be the one to put an end to LeBrain’s reign!

Craig had me in the studio for the contest, live on the Craig Fee show, during what he dubbed “Stump LeBrain Week”.  Each day that week, I came in at 4 o’clock in order to play the contest on the air.  Craig selected five 4-Plays, one for each day.  If I answered correctly, I won the prize (I Mother Earth tickets).  If I was stumped, the person who wrote the 4-Play question would win the prize.

At the end of the week, I sent Aaron audio CDs of all my appearances minus commercials.  He was kind enough to document it in the written word for history.  Since very few saw this when I re-posted it at the launch of this site, I’m re-posting it once again for you!  Re-use and recycle, baby!

Big thanks to Aaron for listening to all five shows and writing it down, and of course thanks to Craig for giving me the opportunity!  Here we go.  Ready?

 


Four-Play #1 (submitted by Chris Cottingham)

01 Motley Crue – Shout At The Devil

01 Mike’s Guess: ‘tracks that were not singles’ (no)

02 Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar

02 Mike’s Guess: ‘bands that have toured with guns ‘n roses’ (no)

03 Bruce Springsteen – Cover Me

03 Mike’s Guess: ‘special lp packaging’ (no)

04 Loverboy – Working For The Weekend *

04 Mike’s Guess: ‘album covers featuring pants’ (yes!)

* at this point, before Mike’s last guess, it was exposed that the Motley Crue song was supposed to have been Live Wire, which changed everything, and he got it from there.

Comment: He still got it, even with a wrong song played. Improbable? Never! The man is a machine.

Score: Mike is 1/1.

 

Four-Play #2 (submitted by The Crook in Elmira)

01 Motorhead – Ace Of Spades (live)

01 Mike’s Guess: ‘artists who’ve done duets with Ozzy Osbourne’ (yes!)

02 Alice Cooper – School’s Out

03 Dio – Holy Diver

04 Lita Ford – Kiss Me Deadly

Comment: He nailed this one before the first song was even over. Jeez.

Score: Mike is 2/2.

Four-Play #3 (submitted by Kathryn Ladano, Mike’s sister)

01 Rush – Subdivisions

01 Mike’s Guess: ‘album covers with dogs on them’ (no)

02 Neil Young – Rockin’ In The Free World

02 Mike’s Guess: ‘all Canadian artists’ (no)

03 Guess Who – Runnin’ Back To Saskatoon

03 Mike’s Guess: ‘songs about Canadian cities’ (no)

04 Loverboy – Turn Me Loose

04 Mike’s Guess: ‘all artists who sang on Tears Are Not Enough’ (yes!)

Comment:

Broadcasted live from Chicopee ski resort. This was not the Four Play that Kathryn had wanted played, so her confidence at being able to stump her brother was pretty low, at the outset. It shocked me that Mike had never heard the Guess Who song before. I thought everybody knew that song.

Score: Mike is 3/3.

Four-Play #4 (submitted by Greg Laughtenschlager)

01 Megadeth – Hangar 18

01 Mike’s Guess: ‘science fiction, aliens, conspiracy theme’ (no)

02 Quiet Riot – Mama We’re All Crazy Now

02 Mike’s Guess: ‘books (1984, Roswell)’ (no)

02 Mike’s Extra Guess: ‘stripey pants’ (no)

03 Iron Maiden – The Trooper

03 Mike’s Guess: ‘bands that opened for Sabbath’ (no)

04 Dio – Rainbow In The Dark

04 Mike’s Guess: ‘all four albums covers were paintings with mascots’ (yes!)

Comment: Definitely a HEAVY set, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And Mike nails it. So cool.

Score: Mike is 4/4.

Four-Play #5 (submitted by Nick Byerjean sp?)

01 KISS – Beth

01 Mike’s Guess: ‘songs that originated as b-sides’ (no)

01 Mike’s Extra Guess: ‘no members of the band played on the track’ (no)

01 Mike’s Extra Guess: ‘crappy songs from great albums’ (no)

02 Guns ‘N Roses – Used To Love Her

02 Mike’s Guess: ‘single monikered album titles’ (no)

02 Mike’s Extra Guess: ‘songs with unusual percussion’ (no)

02 Mike’s Extra Guess: ‘songs people think is about one thing, but it’s about something else” (no)

02 Mike’s Extra Guess: ‘acoustic ballads’ (no)

03 Aerosmith – Angel

03 Mike’s Guess: ‘bands led by duos’ (no)

03 Mike’s Extra Guess: ‘bands who shortened their name from something longer (no)

03 Mike’s Extra Guess ‘all are bands from America’ (no)

04 Slash with Andrew Stockdale – By The Sword

04 Mike’s Guess: ‘songs released in even numbered years’ (no)

04 Mike’s Extra Guess: ‘all albums released in leap years’ (no)

04 Mike’s Extra Guess: ‘songs released in Canadian-hosted Olympic years’ (yes!)

Comment: OK, that was RIDICULOUS. Hearing him work through that last one was incredible. Even with all the extra guesses, that answer was from so far out of left field. Wow.

#465: LeBrain Week (Getting More Retro!)

 

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GETTING MORE TALE (Retro) #465:  LeBrain Week

Ah, the 4-O’clock 4-Play, we hardly knew ye!

My favourite half-hour of every day used to be 4 PM, on 107.5 Dave Rocks.  The Craig Fee Show.  Craig’s still slinging the rock, but the contest came to an end on April 27, 2012.  It was a fun challenge and since I dominated the contest so much, I earned the nickname “LeBrain”.  Craig would play four songs with a common thread.  The thread could be absolutely anything.  I won more times and more quickly than anyone else, including two first-song-guesses.  I also contributed dozens of 4-Plays of my own construction.

Back then, when nobody was reading, I posted a week’s worth of 4-play quizzes “live”, so to speak.  Craig featured a week of my own custom made quizzes, (following LeBrainuary and a few prior LeBrain weeks) just before they put the contest on ice.  From April 16-19 2012, I updated the site with the quiz and that day’s results.  Since my only readers back then were stalkers from the old Record Store, I thought it would be fun to re-post these!

Here are my daily update posts from that week — a week’s worth of 4-Play quizzes written by yours truly.  Could you have been a winner?


April 16, 2012
Woah Nelly!

Tune in ALL WEEK to the Craig Fee Show on 107.5 Dave FM, at 4 pm!!
IT’S LeBRAIN WEEK! The 4 O’clock 4-Play! And it was off to a KICKING start this week!

Song #1:  Skid Row – 18 & Life
Song #2: Twisted Sister – The Price
Song #3:  U2 – Bullet The Blue Sky
Song #4:  Kiss – I Was Made For Loving You

Answer (highlight to view): All artists have done MUSICALS (Jeckyl & Hyde, Rock of Ages, Spiderman, Phantom!)

CAN YOU OUT-BRAIN LeBRAIN?


April 17, 2012
Tune in ALL WEEK to the Craig Fee Show on 107.5 Dave FM, at 4 pm!! It’s LeBRAIN WEEK all week!

Today’s 4-play:

Song #1:  Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water
Song #2:  Rainbow – Stone Cold
Song #3:  Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer
Song #4:  Journey – Separate Ways

Answer (highlight to view): All five piece bands (on these recordings, anyway) of the v/g/b/d/k configuration!

Incidentally, two of those bands spent some time as four pieces.

Bon Jovi has been a four piece since 1994 when original bassist Alec John Such left. He was unofficially replaced by Hugh McDonald, but McDonald remains a side musician even after 18 years with the band! Journey was a four piece for a short while, on the second and third albums.

CAN YOU OUT-BRAIN LeBRAIN?


April 18, 2012
Tune in ALL WEEK to the Craig Fee Show on 107.5 Dave FM, at 4 pm!! It’s LeBRAIN WEEK all week!

Today’s 4-play:

Song #1:  Bon Jovi – Runaway
Song #2:  The Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue
Song #3:  Kiss – Magic Touch
Song #4:  The Darkness – I Believe In A Thing Called Love

Answer (highlight to view): All songs featuring falsetto vocals!

Note: I have never heard Magic Touch on the radio before today!


April 19, 2012
Tune in ALL WEEK to the Craig Fee Show on 107.5 Dave FM, at 4 pm!! It’s LeBRAIN WEEK all week!

Today’s 4-play:

Song #1:  The Beatles – A Day in the Life
Song #2:  Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
Song #3:  Kiss – Shout It Out Loud
Song #4:  Kiss – Black Diamond

Answer (highlight to view): Each song features performances by two lead vocalists singing different parts!

Lennon sings the start, and Paul sings the finish on A Day in the Life.
Roger sings the verses, with David on the choruses.
Gene and Paul trade off some lines.
Paul sings the intro, Peter sings the body of Black Diamond.

Incidentally, Black Diamond is one I have never heard on the radio before.


April 20, 2012
I want to say a big THANK YOU to Craig at 107.5 Dave FM, for yet another fantastic LeBrain week. I think this is the third LeBrain week, and of course all of February was LeBrainuary!

To cap it off for me, Craig picked my favourite 4-play. Would you have solved it?

Today’s 4-play:

Song #1:  Guns N’ Roses – You Could Be Mine
Song #2:  Ozzy Osbourne – Mama I’m Coming Home
Song #3:  Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls
Song #4:  Hanoi Rocks – Boulevard of Broken Dreams

ANSWER (highlight to view): Vince Neil is a Douche!

1. Guns N’ Roses – You Could Be Mine (Vince and Izzy got into a backstage scuffle with led to a longstanding rivalry with Axl Rose.)
2. Ozzy Osbourne – Mama I’m Coming Home (Vince started a feud with the “Mama” of this song – Sharon Osbourne which basically makes it a feud with Ozzy too. He trashed her in his book. And you know Sharon doesn’t back down.)
3. Motley Crue – Girls Girls Girls (What Vince, where? FIRED that’s where! And let’s not forget the MTV interview with the Crue where they mocked Vince Neil for hitting a coral reef while surfing.)
4. Hanoi Rocks – Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Vince killed their friggin’ drummer!)


That last one is still one of my all-time favourites! I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane and some killer tunes.