Category: Music

Mar142013

Billy Joel – Sings in the piano accompaniment of student – YouTube

Going viral for a reason – Billy Joel still has the voice and this kid can play.

Billy Joel – Sings in the piano accompaniment of student – YouTube.

Oct182012

Havoc and Bright Lights Review

Alanis Morissette is back with another fabulous, thoughtful and melodious sounds. While some find her lyrics tedious, I find her stories brilli

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 09:  Singer Alanis Mo...

LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 09: Singer Alanis Morissette performs at the MDA Show of Strength held at CBS Television City on August 9, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The show airs on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 8PM ET/PT, 7PM CT/MT. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

ant. Couple that with her angelic voice (she could sing the phone book) and you have a solid set of classic Alanis.

If you liked her last album, you’ll love this one. Alanis has stated in the past that she often writes double the songs per album that get released. Clearly this album reflects a continuation of Flavors of Entanglement.
Many songs have elements of past songs. Havoc sounds similar to All of Me. This is comforting to true fans.
Standout songs include Lens, Numb, and the powerful Celebrity.
Once again, the album is brilliant from start to end. In this age of easy redistribution and sharing, I even paid for it!
I’ll reiterate that I think Alanis is a musical genius. She has few peers from Canada or the US with her talent and intellect. Put her beside a ready-to-serve manufactured pop star and the contrast is stunning.
It’s comforting to know real talent still exists.

Havoc & Bright Lights

Alanis in Brazil 2012

Alanis in London 2008 full concert

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Oct152012

Rush review – 3 hours with Geddy, Neil and Alex

Was lucky enough to be invited down to Rush last night at the ACC. The boys are pushing 60 but announced they were going to do a three hour 30 set. Ambitious to say the least. There was no opening act. The arena was packed to a sell out crowd. The male: female ratio was 50:1, and that 1 was most likely a date to a male fan. Most were 45-60. Lots of gray hair. The first set (bit.ly/OBxFMR…) was mostly hits, but after intermission we went full into new material. It was accentuated with pyrotechnics and a string ensemble. Most were unfamiliar with the material so the crowd was quiet. The third set brought the crowd back to life with the typical crowd pleasers. Most were on their feet by the final encores. Lowlights include 15$ beer and imperfect sound. Couldn’t hear or understand Geddy at all when he addressed the crowd. Aside from the outstanding catalogue and incredible complexity of Rush’s music, you must respect their ability to play at their age. We were all amazed at Geddy’s ability to try for many high notes. Neil gave us three drum solos and Alex treated us to many incredible guitar playing clinics. All in all a superior concert experience.

Dec182008

Creep on ukelele

Something creepy about this that I like.

Oct122008

Alanisized

I’m finally going to write about this week’s Alanis Morissette show at Massey Hall.  First I was going to do a full review, but that seems unnecessary since every major Toronto paper did one.  There’s also a good ongoing thread at what seems to be the leading Alanis forum.

Above photos courtesy of Jeff at concertaholics.com…

To say I am a fan of Alanis is an understatement.  If her records were on vinyl, I’d have to keep buying them, as the needle would wear a hole in each album.  I cannot believe more people haven’t written that she is possibly the most talented Canadian musician alive today.  I like an eclectic mix of music, from Pink Floyd to Tom Cochrane to Rush to Abba.  Very few musicians have the skill to compose the music and lyrics – and perform without a band AND sound amazing.  I’ve put all her songs, plus as many live “bootleg” recordings as I can scrape from the ‘net, onto one usb stick/cd and played it over and over again for weeks now, and still don’t get tired of hearing her.  Sometimes I just listen to the incredible lyrics, trying to decode the meaning of her story.  Her lyrics are complex yet simple – no one can pack so many words into one line, into one song, and still make sense.  It’s clear from her writing that she must have a mensa IQ.   Watching interviews with VJs and DJs make me cringe, since none even approach her intellect.  She’s almost always amused by them, toying with them like a lioness and a mouse (if anyone has a link to her being interviewed by someone close to her level, please let me know).  People always seem to dwell on where her music came from, and overlook the fact that she writes, produces, and sings like no-one else out there today.  Although she may have peaked in popularity back with Jagged Little Pill, her latest albums are as compelling and sonically beautiful as they are varied in lyric and texture.

I was excited to see her in a setting as intimate as Massey Hall.  Alanis writes such personal and emotional lyrics, anyone who listens cannot help but be more moved by her words in such a relatively small setting.  You feel like she’s singing to you, and when you’re up close, you can see she’s not faking her passion for performing.

The crowd’s median age seemed to be greater than her 34, and one section on the right seemed to be more connected to her than the left side, which she noticed and played to.  The first 2/3rds of the concert rocked very hard, with an incredibly tight and excellent band.  The acoustic part in the last 3rd proved that no-one does it better than Alanis.  Her different arrangements of the songs kept me on edge and interested, like seeing an old friend with a new look.  While she may have preferred to play more of her new stuff, she knows that most people go to a concert to celebrate the hits as heard on the radio, so she did not disappoint there.

Although I’ve heard criticism of her harmonica playing, the crowd went wild whenever she started playing.  It’s

OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 04:  Singer Alanis Morissette celebrates after the Ottawa Senators scored a goal against the Anaheim Ducks in Game Four of the 2007 Stanley Cup finals on June 4, 2007 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Canada.

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

an unusual instrument, but she makes it come alive.  During her ballads, her prayer-like stance in front of the microphone shows how intimate and heartfelt her songs are, creating an instant connection to the audience.  When she rocked out to her anthems, her pacing back and forth, her spinning and hair twirling, combined with the great lighting, created a fever-like crescendo.

Her using The Couch as a theme to the show, breaking it into three parts, was a neat touch.  The beautiful stage back drop, with her angel-like image with a flower on it, was projected onto with typewritten words relevant to the thought or theme of the played song.  The corralled drummer, with the high energy guitarists, created great electricity that didn’t let up in between songs.  You could tell the show was tightly orchestrated – some even say rushed with hardly any chance to catch your breath.  That’s probably only true because she really doesn’t have any bad songs, so you’re always waiting for the next note from the next song.

All in all, it was the fastest 90 minutes I’ve sat through in a long time.  I could have gone through 90 more without even noticing.

You know I’m giving her 5/5 stars.  She is a goddess!

Toronto Sun Review

Globe and Mail Review

Toronto Star Review

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