hockey night in canada

#775: Eleven


It was eleven years ago this weekend that life changed forever.

On August 31 2008, I dressed up in a tux, gathered a hundred of our closest family and friends, and got married.  It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

We didn’t get to celebrate ten years.  At this time last year, Jen’s mom was terminally ill.  We were at her bedside.  I know what she would have said to us if she knew what day it was.  “You guys go out, have a nice dinner, on me.  Enjoy yourselves.”  That’s just who she was.  But we didn’t feel much like eating or celebrating.

I think “mum” would appreciate that this year, we are going to celebrate #11.  We’re going to remember her, and we’re going to be thankful that we have each other.  Making #11 our year to celebrate seems appropriate for us; we’re the couple that is 1) always late, and 2) rarely doing anything the “normal” way.

In order to do things right, I’ll be taking a break from but we will all re-convene back here after Labour Day.

It’s a well deserved break!  We have some general ideas but the plan is just to take it easy and go with the flow.  I just bought a 2 terabyte external hard drive, so I’ll actually be able to take all my music with me, in the car and on the laptop.  I couldn’t do that eleven years ago!

Here are some songs that mean the most to Jen and I.  Turn ’em up and we’ll catch up again next week.

Stompin’ Tom Connors – “Sudbury Saturday Night”

As told in Record Store Tale Part 20: I Believe in a Thing Called Love:

It started with Stompin’ Tom. I think I had told her that I had a stack of new movies, a huge bag of chips & a case of Red Bull, and was ready for the weekend or something. She responded, “Sounds like you’re ready for a Sudbury Saturday Night.” So right then and there, boom! She was speaking my language.

The Darkness – “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”

I was into The Darkness in a big way.  As told in Record Store Tales Part 80, these guys were absolutely one of my favourites when we met.  “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” was a major feature at the wedding reception.

Guns N’ Roses – “Patience”

This was one of Jen’s favourites from the reception. When it played, all the couples slow-danced together. She thought it was a really sweet moment, and a lot of those couples are still couples today!

The Beatles – “Revolution”

When I asked Jen to pick a song she liked, this was the first one she named.

Van Halen – “Why Can’t This Be Love”

Before we met, Jen actively disliked Van Halen (classic rock in general). Today this is one of her favourite songs. Rock radio had a lot to do with that.

Neil Peart – “The Hockey Theme”

Before I met Jen, I’d never heard this theme in my life.  Today, I can name pretty much every Maple Leaf and dozens of other players too.  I can’t believe she’s done this to me!  But don’t you dare call me a “hockey fan”.

The Traveling Wilburys – “Handle With Care”

No story, we just love this song.

Johnny Cash – “In My Life”

I’m sure everybody plays this at their weddings, don’t they? We knew that, so we chose Johnny Cash’s version. Let me tell you, that was a really cool moment, in the church signing the registry to this song. I hope my buddy Tom appreciated that, being such a huge Cash fan. I was psyched for him to hear it at a wedding instead of the usual.

I hope you enjoy some of our songs too.


#524: Hockey Night in Canada (Video – thanks to Geoff from 1001AlbumsIn10Years)

In Getting More Tale #521, we discussed the pros and cons of DVD recorders, a now-outdated technology. In short the cons were the price, but the pros were the ability to keep a television recording virtually forever.  DVD recorders were meant to replace VCRs.  A VCR and a decent quality tape could enable you to keep a recording for a couple decades, at least.

I lamented that one recording that we lost on our old PVR was a vintage re-run of Hockey Night in Canada, May 8, 1994.  My wife, Mrs. LeBrain, had the honour of meeting Don Cherry that night, and got to be on Canada’s most popular television show.  Periodically, Leafs TV would re-run the old games, and we recorded it the last time it was on. However this was lost when the PVR bit the dust.

If only we had a working VCR…

Well, as it turns out, Geoff from 1001AlbumsIn10Years has a working VCR.  Not only that, but he also possesses an original recording of that night’s hockey game from over 22 years ago!  He dug it out, and sent the below video to me.

That’s Jen with her Dougie Gilmore sign, and Canada’s national treasure Don Cherry.

The story goes, Jen’s dad won a radio contest to see the Maple Leafs wherever the next round of the playoffs were being held.  That happened to be San Jose, California.  This happened to fall on Mother’s Day.  Jen’s dad intended to take her mom on a nice vacation.  This however was not to be, not after a young crying Jennifer bellowed “But mom doesn’t even LIKE hockey!”  It was true, and Jen got to go with her dad.

Thanks Geoff — you have no idea how much this video means to us!

Mike + Jen


Top Five(s) of 2013 – Part 2: Movies, TV and the rest

If you missed the Top Five Albums of 2013 lists, click here!

Some people got carried away and submitted more than 5 in their lists this year, Uncle Meat being the number one offender. But since Tom & Uncle Meat were good this Christmas, here are the Top Five (or Six) (or Ten) Movies of 2013.  And while we’re talking about movies we may as well do a Top TV Shows of 2013 as well huh?




6. Sound City
5. Star Trek: Into Darkness
4. This Is The End
3. John Dies At The End
2. The World’s End
1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

TV Shows 

SCHANGhhhhhhhh10. Rick and Morty
9. PTI
8. Colbert Report
7. Daily Show
6. Eagleheart
5. Venture Brothers
4. The Jeselnik Offensive
3. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
2. Community
1. Game of Thrones



10. Carrie
9. Kick Ass 2
8. Pacific Rim
7. This is the End
6. Man of Steel
5. Star Trek: Into Darkness
4. 42
3. Sound City
2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
1. The Wolf of Wall Street

TV Shows

Meat came up with a Top Nine.  Sure, why not!

HEISENBERG9. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
8. The Following
7. The Killing
6. Walking Dead
5. Californication
4./3. Tie: Mad Men/Breaking Bad
2. American Horror Story: Coven
1. Game of Thrones



man-of-steel-25. Iron Man 3
4. Pacific Rim
3. Star Trek: Into Darkness
2. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
1. Man of Steel

Seb also had some Top Concerts he wanted to mention:  “Brian Setzer and Meshuggah….. Yeah, I know its weird….he he he!”

Mrs. LeBrain


5. Jeopardy!
4. Dragon’s Den
3. Blue Bloods
2. The Big Bang Theory
1. Hockey Night In Canada


For a variety of reasons I don’t get out to the movies often, so I decided to just post Five Movies I Saw in 2013!


5. Man of Steel
4. This is the End
3. Sound City
2. Star Trek: Into Darkness
1. The World’s End

TV Shows

When Mrs. LeBrain wasn’t watching hockey, I watched these shows in 2013:

5. Star Trek re-runs (best I could come up with)
4. The Liquidator
3. Toy Hunter
2. Survivorman
1. Breaking Bad


REVIEW: Neil Peart – “The Hockey Theme” (2010 single)

NEIL PEART – “The Hockey Theme” (2010 single, iTunes)

For my international friends and readers, you’re just going to have to take my word for it that this little tune is one of the most iconic pieces of music in our nation’s great history.  Mike Myers called it “Canada’s second anthem”.  If you’re home on a Saturday night, it’s a given that any true hoser is watching Hockey Night In Canada.  That theme song was the anthem that said, “Alright fans, go get your beer and your jerseys, the action starts now.”

I won’t get into the details of why this song isn’t the theme to Hockey Night In Canada anymore, but the song was picked up by another network, and it still kicks off hockey games every week — just not on Hockey Night in Canada.

In 2010, Neil Peart did a drum and horns version of the theme song, and put it up for sale on iTunes.  People bitched that they had to pay $1.29 for a song that was barely over a minute long.  All I can say to those people is, don’t buy it.  It you’re really huffing and puffing about paying $1.29 for a simply incredible piece of music by the world’s greatest drummer, then it is possible that you may in fact have no soul.

If you’re familiar with Neil’s work on the Burning For Buddy albums, then you already know that he tends to really kick traditional arrangements in the nuts.  And that’s what he does here.  He turns “The Hockey Theme” into a stomping, fill-laden anthem that is perfect for kicking off just about any mix CD that you have in mind.

Now, if we could only get an actual hockey season happening this year, we’d be talkin’!

5/5 stars