PART ONE (Vignettes I – VI)
PART TWO (Vignettes VII – XIII)
Lockdown got ya bored? Not me! Today I’m playing with my Star Wars guys.
Enjoy music just a little different from the norm? Here are Kathryn Ladano and opening act, combining members of Harp+ and Seagram Synth Ensemble at the TWH Social After Dark Space January 11 2020. My Samsung couldn’t get a good image in the dark, but the audio is decent in full stereo. Enjoy the track “Flow” from the new album Masked and clips from other tracks on the disc!
The synthscape of the opening act was quite awesome. Now, I don’t normally drink, but I was with Max the Axe. Before long I had a rum and Coke in me and I was taken on this wild synthesizer trip through the cosmos! For roughly 30 minutes, a stream of music emanated through the room, like a slideshow of NASA photos from the 1960s. Can’t wait to hear the Seagram Synth Ensemble’s album which was for sale and now in my collection.
Kathryn Ladano played interpretations of music from her album Masked. “Interpretations” because the music is improvised and never the same twice, they just follow the same rough blueprints. “It’s better live” whispered Max (you can hear this in the video), and Dr. Ladano agreed.
Great show, great venue, try and catch them live!
GETTING MORE TALE #721: Christmas Mix 2010
Making mix CDs was a lot of fun (and work). I used to make custom Christmas discs that didn’t suck, for my family and friends every year. Why did I stop? I ran out of good Christmas songs. Let’s face it: unless you’re one of “those” people, Christmas music is nails on a chalkboard. You can only take so much. If you’ve worked retail in the past (or present), you probably can’t take any at all!
2010’s Christmas CD is a good example of what I used to make. You’ll notice there’s no Trans-Siberian Orchestra on there. I used up all their best stuff on the previous instalments. I tried to avoid duplicating songs from previous years although Hawksley Workman’s Christmas album is so good that I made exceptions for him. Hawkley’s Almost A Full Moon is the best Christmas CD that I own, and probably the best one I’ve heard. I bought it twice. He reissued the album after only a year with two extra songs! I forgave him, because Almost A Full Moon is so warm and perfect.
What do you think of the Christmas 2010 CD? Would you have wanted a copy that year?
1. Bill Ward – “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Yes, that Bill Ward! The Black Sabbath drummer did a spoken word recording of the classic Christmas poem, and I opened the CD with it. I can tell you that when we played the CD at dinner time, this track was a failure. Nobody paid attention.
2. Kathryn Ladano – “Jingle Bells”. I got their attention back by putting on a track by my sister. This instrumental version on bass clarinet is from her CD The Christmas Album. Of note, her Schnauzer Ali is credited for barks on “Jingle Bells”!
3. Lemmy, Dave Grohl, Billy F. Gibbons – “Run Rudolph Run”. This breakneck Christmas carol is done in the Motorhead style. I played it in the car for sis. “This is shit!” she proclaimed. “Why do these guys get to put out albums and not me?”
4. Marillion – “Let It Snow”. This drunken favourite is from 2007’s Somewhere Elf. The spirit is intoxicating, as I’m sure they were!
Found some booze in a flight case,
And I’m afraid that we’re all shit-faced,
So I guess that we’ll have to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
5. David Bowie and Bing Crosby – “Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth”. This is the David Bowie song that your grandma likes. It’s just lovely. I didn’t own anything with this song on it, so I had to download. That’s why it didn’t appear until 2010!
6. Helix – “Happy Christmas (War is Over)”. Yes, it rocks, but not too hard! Helix covered Lennon for their Heavy Metal Christmas. Singer Brian Vollmer is trained in the Bel Canto technique and he’s more than capable of singing songs for your Christmas dinner in mind.
7. Extreme – “Christmas Time Again”. My mom always liked Extreme, or “Nick Strean” as she thought they were called. This isn’t the greatest Christmas song in the world, but it doesn’t suck.
8. Hawskley Workman – “3 Generations”. Told you there would be some Hawksley. This touching song is about three generations of women in the kitchen making Christmas dinner together.
9. Elvis Presley – “Blue Christmas”. I must have downloaded this one too. I am a bit of a sucker for Elvis. I included Joe Perry’s instrumental version on a previous CD.
10. The Beatles – “Christmas Time is Here Again”. Not one of their best songs, but it’s the Beatles so it had to be included eventually. This version comes from the 1995 CD single for “Free As a Bird”. Relatively few have heard it, and I thought that would get people’s ears perked up, but by this time, the wine was out….
11. Steve Vai – “Christmas Time is Here”. This is from the first Merry Axemas. It’s a lovely track and not too shreddy. Remember this song from the Charlie Brown Christmas special? Steve does it on guitar, of course!
12. Jethro Tull – “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman”. This funky flute version will get the toes tappin’. Hard to believe that this is from Tull’s final studio album in 2003, The Jethro Tull Christmas Album! It would have been nice to get one more, but Tull’s Christmas Album is a good one to have around. If you need to tolerate Christmas music, you may as well listen to Tull jamming it out.
13. Brian Vollmer – “The First Noel”. Helix’s Vollmer put out a rare charity album in 2005 called Raising the Roof on Mary Immaculate. “The First Noel” is one of the best tracks. Vollmer is the first artist to get two appearances on my CD.
14. Ted Nugent – “Deck the Halls”. Much like “Run Rudolph Run”, this one smokes! It’s a guitar instrumental at full speed. Grandma didn’t like this one.
15. Twisted Sister – “O Come All Ye Faithful”. I really don’t like the Twisted Christmas album. This song was a hit though, and since it’s virtually identical to “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, I can…errr…take it.
16. Cheap Trick – “Come On Christmas”. My sister was a huge Cheap Trick fan at one point. She had this song before I did. Essentially just a Cheap Trick pop rocker with Christmas lyrics. Sounds like classic Cheap Trick to me.
17. AC/DC – “Mistress For Christmas”. I put this song on as the joke it is. I like to remind people that AC/DC did have a Christmas song. “Jingle bells, Jingle bells, jingle all the day. I can’t wait to Christmas time, when I roll you in the hay.” Hey, it counts.
18. The Darkness – “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)“. In my review, I said, “Even though the guitars are thicker than a good ol’ bowl of Thin Lizzy pudding, there is no mistaking this for anything but a Christmas song. It is a joyous rock re-imagining of a Christmas carol, with the unmistakable Justin Hawkins falsetto.” Plus, sis likes The Darkness.
19. Jon Bon Jovi – “Please Come Home for Christmas”. I like this one. Fuck off.
20. Jimi Hendrix – “Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne”. From an EP called Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Jimi and band jammed out some impressive licks but the dinner party didn’t enjoy.
21. Jim Cuddy – “New Year’s Eve”. Cuddy’s solo debut All In Time is tremendous CD and comes highly recommended by this guy right here. It’s like listening to a Blue Rodeo album, but only the Jim songs. The sentimental “New Year’s Eve” is a lovely ballad that fits right in with the Christmas theme.
22. Bob & Doug McKenzie – “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. You gotta end with a classic. From 1981’s The Great White North comes the big Christmas hit. We used to hear this every single year on my mom’s old clock radio. We’d squeal with laughter trying to sing along. “A beer…in a tree…”
How would you rate this one? Trying to avoid overlap was previous instalments was my Achilles’ heel. I’d swap out a lot of the lesser songs for better ones, but it’s not bad. It’s listenable. It’ll do.
Another spin ’round the sun, another basket full of goodies!
Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes. Here are some of my favourites. You might recognise some of these people!
Had a lovely dinner at Borealis with the family & Dr. Kathryn. And so we get to the gifts!
First up! A signed first edition copy of Dr. Ladano’s The Improvising Musician’s Mask: Using Musical Instruments to Build Self-Confidence and Social Skills in Collective Free Improvisation. That’s a mouthful and a generous gift. These books aren’t cheap, even for her! The funny thing is that when I grabbed the wrapped hardcover-shaped package, I said “I hope this is a copy of your book,” but I didn’t actually think it would be out so soon!
Dr. Kathryn also gifted me some music. Ho! It’s Derek Smalls’ debut solo album Smalls Change! Appropriately considering the occasion, it is subtitled Meditations Upon Ageing. I can’t wait to spin this one. She also got me this nifty Worf (Star Trek) not-Lego head. These look great in the office. I have Spock as well.
The lovely Mrs. LeBrain was amazing to me as well. She trekked up to Encore Records where she met my old pals Al “The” King and Chris Boyne. They hooked her up with some live Ghost, on vinyl. This is my first Ghost vinyl. Ceremony and Devotion is a great album, and the vinyl has two “exclusive” songs…that are also on the CD! Anybody know what’s up with that?
It doesn’t really matter. Double live albums have a certain intangible quality that almost always makes them better on vinyl. Scientists have been trying to figure out why that is since the advent of digital media.
Since my wife also dresses me, check out the cool shirts. I think I’m going to wear that getup to work tomorrow. Han Solo and BB-8 look awesome together.
Thanks again everyone for the happy birthday wishes. I keep getting older, and you keep getting awesome-er!
Kathryn Ladano is now Dr. Ladano PhD.
Music is in her blood and now her title!
Guest post by Kathryn Ladano
Now that NUMUS‘ most recent season is finished, I just want to say that next season, I can’t friggin’ wait to present Sasquatch: The Opera – composed by Roddy Bottum of the band Faith No More. I saw this at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last summer and knew that we had to find a way to bring it to Kitchener/Waterloo. It’s happening in February 2019! We’ll be doing four performances which will feature the original cast and the NUMUS orchestra led by Roddy himself!
February 14, 15, 16 and 17, 2019. Registry Theatre, Waterloo.
Read more at the Guardian: Bigfoot and me: Roddy Bottum on his avant garde monster opera
Guest directed by: Kathryn Ladano
I poached this one from the social media of world famous bass clarinetist Kathryn Ladano. She blamed this mess on her Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Industrial Orchestra. [That show was
April 14 cancelled due to an ice storm.]
This just proves even world class musicians are human beings…who need coffee to function!
My sister, world-travelling bass clarinetist Kathryn Ladano, is in Scotland!
This should surprise no-one, but one of the things she is doing in Scotland is drinking beer.
As luck should have it, on her first day, she had a fall at a pub. I am assuming alcohol was involved, but that’s not important to the story. She spotted a black Scottish Schnauzer, and jumped up to see it. She bumped her head and injured her shoulder. In her email to the family, she said, “I have a lump, but I didn’t have to go to the hospital.” Glad she’s OK!
My dad read this email first, and he immediately announced to the family that “Kathryn had a great start to her vacation…got a concussion, dislocated a shoulder. In a hospital.”
Talk about misreading! My dad has been known to 1) stretch the truth, and 2) immediately go to worst-case scenario, but I’ve never seen anything like this before! She specifically said she didn’t have to go to the hospital, and she made sure to put that up front so my dad wouldn’t worry too much. Well shit!
GETTING MORE TALE #572: A Weekend at the Lake
A new summer, and new tech! My beloved BlackBerry Z10, bought over four years ago in early 2013, has bitten the dust. That Blackberry was responsible for most of my Sausagefest and Mike and Aaron Go to Toronto videos, not to mention the hundreds of photos it provided for this site. In that time, my BlackBerry required no service at all. So to all those who told me not to buy a CrackBerry:
My new weapon is a Samsung (not the kind that explodes) and so far I’m very pleased with it. This past weekend I had a chance to give its camera and video abilities a test run. Needless to say the quality of both exceeds my four year old phone. I was so happy with the quality that I decided to edit together a little video and post it for you. I’ve done this for a few good reasons:
Please enjoy some of the music of Stealth, and the sounds of pure nature. Look for a cameo by my dad, up to no good prob’ly. Leave your comments below: What do you think LeBrain’s dad is up to this time?