Saturday, December 29, 2012

Heart Covers Led Zeppelin

Recently, the duo of Nancy and Ann Wilson, collectively known as Heart, played a Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."  They covered the song in tribute to Led Zeppelin as they were honoured at the Kennedy Center Honors.  They were absolutely amazing on the song.  What was done with the song adding strings and a choir made the song even better than the original.  I know some people will get their panties in a bunch over this because nobody can outdo Led Zeppelin.  But Heart killed it.  They were phenomenal on the song.  They can actually get me to stomach listening to the song.  So take a listen and see for yourself how good it is.

"Stairway to Heaven" by Heart
YouTube link

Song of the Day #44

Here is a song I showed my friend Mark.  He loved it.  He loved Chris Cornell's vocals on the song.  I must admit, they are pretty sweet!  So here it is.  It is by a grunge band that lasted a couple of years and only released one album.

"Hunger Strike" by Temple of the Dog
YouTube link

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Del Barber Show Review

On October 28, I got to see Del Barber at the Bassment with friend and one of the pastors at College Park Covenant Church, Colin Bruins.  This show was a part of the Bassment's "Roots Series."  This is the second time that I seen Del this year.  Now I've never been to the Bassment and it is chill little venue tucked away in the basement of a building on 4th Ave. in downtown Saskatoon.  This time, Del was the headlining act.  He had a band opening for him.

The opening band is called Gunner & Smith.  Never of them before that show.  They have a blues sound with some slight folk to it.  I dug their sound.  Their lead guitarist laid down some great blues solos.  The one song I actually remember the name of, "Needle in Haystack," was great song.  I liked the one song towards the end of their set that showcased the bassist more.  They had a fill-in drummer.  I've never seen this band before, even with the fill-in drummer they were good.

Del Barber is a storyteller and you can tell by his songs and his banter/storytelling.  He has crafted this through his travels and whatnot.  I'd like to be better at it, but you know, I'm not.  I guess it's something I have to work at.  But not everybody can write a story in their songs.  Del is one of the fortunate ones that can.  I'm not saying you have to be a story songwriter, but the odd song would nice if I could.

Before I seen Del the first time this year, I thought to myself, "I've never seen him before."  That is in fact false.  I seen him at the CBC barbecue before school started.  But that was before he got as big as he is.  That time he was doing a lot of shows within the Covenant Church.  Now he has distanced himself a lot from that.  Sure they've supported him lots, but you need to move on from that to make it where you want.  Del has been making it places.  Seeing him doing shows not associated with that, it's different seeing him. Basically, he doesn't have to do events associated with the Covenant Church.  He was always relied on by the Covenant.  Not so much in years.

But I digress, Del is a great talent who has put his unique stamp on the music business.  With the success he has had so far, he will only have much more.  I recommend you go see him perform.  He is very good and will only get better.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Russell Peters Show Review

On September 30, 2012, I got to see someone in concert that I've been a fan of since I was in elementary school.  The man I'm talking about is Canadian comedian of Indian descent.  I've always missed him when he has come through town before. So I had to go see him.  He didn't disappoint at all.  But I knew wouldn't.

Russell Peters delivered his brand of comedy.  He does the ethnic jokes.  That's what he has built his career on.  Sure he does some sexual jokes and whatnot.  But ethnic jokes are his foray.  I know it's not everybody's thing.  But he is good at these style of jokes.  I personally like them.

Peters did his a lot of stuff I've never heard which is refreshing.  I've heard him do a lot of the same stuff whether it is on some TV specials or just other clips I've seen.  He did a routine on his dad.  What would be a Russell Peters show without a bit on his dad.  The one routine he did, he slightly changed from his "Green Card Tour" DVD.  Instead of duck, he did an alarm clock.

His opening act  was Felipe Esparza.  He won Last Comic Standing 2010.  I didn't find him that funny at all.  He had the odd funny bits, but nothing that I would go out and really recommend to people.  A lot of people there liked him and that's fine.  But he didn't do anything for me at all.  He was just filler until Russel Peters did his set.

Overall, the show was great.  It was mainly because of Russell Peters.   He was so good.  I would go see him again the next time he comes through.  Well, at least I hope I can.

After the show, I got to meet Russell Peters.  I walked up to a black dude in his entourage and asked where I can get the book signed.  So he told  me where to stand and I went with the rest of the people to the room where we were meeting him,  He signed the book of his I bought which I have yet to read.  He wrote "stay brown."  I got a picture with him.  So awesome and a dream fulfilled to have met him.  I also said to him that the difference the last joke he did at the show and on the "Green Card Tour" DVD.  He had to think for a moment and said "oh yeah."  I also said I was holding up the book and Russell said he noticed.  I was in a state of "I can't believe that happened" after meeting him.  I was nervous before meeting him.  But this couple from Edmonton said to calm down and I did.  My friend Mark didn't believe me that I was going to meet him.  But I did!

This put a cap on an awesome weekend.  Something I'll never forget.  I know this took a while, but here it is!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

RUSH Concert Review

September 28, 2012 is a date that I will remember forever.  This is the date I got to see RUSH.  It was an experience that makes you not believe you are in the presence of musicians of such caliber and talent.  Everything I've ever heard about them in concert is so damn true.  They are so amazing that you are just in awe when you watch the magic that happens on stage.  Their brilliant musicianship is great on video and their albums, but you have to experience it live and in person. 

RUSH opened the concert with some classic tunes as expected.  How could you not hear some classic tunes at a RUSH concert?  That would be like going an action movie and not seeing anything blown up, people beaten up, and so on.  Okay, maybe not the best analogy, but you get the point.  Hearing a number of their classics is what most people go to their concert for.  But they also played songs off their new as well.  After all, it is a tour in support of their new album "Clockwork Angels."  So it's expected they'd play a few offerings from that album.  Those songs from that album were pretty good.  But it's the classics everybody want to hear.

Their presence on stage is something that has been crafted through decades of hard work.  They may not do something another band or artist does, but each to their own.  One thing I noticed is that they don't engage in a lot of banter like say Tegan and Sara do.  That's part of what made their show amazing!  But RUSH was amazing in a different way.  Their musicianship is so phenomenal that you have to see it live to be able to appreciate it.  Their mere presence will leave you in awe.

This concert rates very highly among all the concerts I've seen and the genres these concerts fall into.  If I ever get to see them again, I'll be very lucky.  They were amazing in concert and it won't be too soon.  They are just that good.  I'll probably never see another concert like that!  I highly recommend checking them out if you can!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012 Series

Nickelodeon is putting out a new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series.  When I first heard about this, I didn't know what to expect.  I grew up with the original series that started in 1987.  I loved it and had a lot of the action figures.  When they brought back the series in the early 2000s, I wasn't into it.  It didn't feel the same as the series did when I was a kid.

Watch the trailer for the new series and leave your thoughts on what you think about it.

When I saw a trailer on TV, I didn't like it because of the animation and the voices.  It just isn't the same like the original.  Maybe I'm spoiled because the original series was way better.  Maybe I might be proven wrong and it is pretty decent.  But we'll see.

In this day in age a lot of things don't measure up like back in the day.  This new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series might fall victim to that.  With the trailers, I am projecting that same stereotype.  It's not that I'm going out of my way to do that.  It's just that I'm getting this feeling that this series won't be the same.  But maybe I'll be proven wrong because sometimes that happens.  Maybe I should keep an open mind. Sometimes that can be hard.

What are your thoughts and feelings on this series before it airs?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Concert Bucket List

I have a bucket list for concerts.  Some have a general bucket list for everything.  Not me.  I have one for concerts.  I will not be able to cross all of them off.  But, earlier this month, I was able to cross one off of it.  No, I haven't been to the concert yet.  I was able to cross it off because I bought the ticket to the concert on September 28.  I have been waiting to see this band for such a long time.  It is the one and only RUSH!

This concert is going to be so bad ass.   I got a floor seat. It is in the 11th row.  Rush has been a favourite band of mine for years.  I'd never think in my lifetime would I ever seen them.  But thankfully that is no longer the case.  This something I'll never forget.

How often do you get the chance to remove a band of this caliber off your bucket list or in my case, my concert bucket list?  For myself, I don't get the chance that often. So when I do, I take the opportunity too.  This will be a once in a lifetime event for me.  It will be awesome.

I don't know what to expect considering they are touring in support of their current album.  But I hope they also play their classics and one of my all-time favourites by them which is "One Little Victory."  It will be so awesome if they did.

This concert can't come soon enough!  I'm so pumped!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

John Mayer Trio and John Mayer Live Albums

I've never been into live albums as a rule generally.  I've never been into them for some reason.  But that's not to say that there are not any good live albums.  I just have yet to discover them I guess.  Three that I like are Eagle's "Hell Freezes Over," Coldplay's "LeftRightLeftRightLeft," and "Score" by Dream Theater.

Now there is an album by the John Mayer Trio that I first heard while attending Covenant Bible College (CBC).  "Try" is a spectacular live album.  This album features hits by John Mayer.  I recently downloaded it and it's still a great album.  The musicianship is phenomenal.  John Mayer and his sweet his guitar playing is why he is in my top ten guitarists.  The way he makes sweet love to his guitar (inside joke with my friend Mark) is just so awesome to listen to.

As I said, they some of John Mayer's hits.  They played "Daughters," "Gravity," and cover a Ray Charles song entitled "I Got a Woman" to name a few.  If you are a John Mayer you'll dig the tunes that are played on this album.  It's a good selection of songs.  You can't go wrong with the songs picks for this album.

My friend Mark and I have this inside joke about this album about a couple of things on the album.  These things are part of what makes the album so good.  I can't describe it good enough it to do it justice.  You'll have to listen to the album and see if you can figure out these things are that I'm referring to.

Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles is another great album that features John Mayer hits and covers.  This is a two CD set and DVD.  The two CDs are broken up into acoustic set, John Mayer Trio set, and John Mayer Band set.  It features a lot of hits and songs like "Daughters," "Gravity," "Waiting on the World to Change," "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room," "Why Georgia," "Who Do You Think I Was," and many others.  It also features covers like "Free Falling" by Tom Petty, "I've Got Dreams to Remember" by Otis Redding, a blues standard entitled "Everyday I Hate the Blues," and a few Jimi Hendrix covers.

The acoustic set is a great change from his electric guitar work.  His cover of "Free Falling" was met with critical acclaim.  It is just that good.  I get you might not like the song "Free Falling," but this version I do.  His acoustic renditions of some of his songs are great.  Done in this way is a great change from the way he normally does them.  I knew the John Mayer Trio set would be good because of their live album "Try."  You can start with "Try" if you want.  I personally recommend starting with that album because it's a great starting point.  The album is capped off with the John Mayer Band set which is also very good.  You can't go wrong  with some John Mayer hits and a few covers.  The style Mayer he has weaved for himself is amazing.  The blues his does is just phenomenal.  It ends the two disc set very well.

I definitely recommend giving both albums a listen.  They are well worth it if you do.  They are just that good.  Blues, blues rock, rock, and a bit pop rock is a great way to go.  Even if you don't like live albums that much, these two you might!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our Lady Peace Concert Review

On Thursday, I went to another concert at the Saskatoon EX.  This time it was the Canadian alternative rock band, Our Lady Peace.  A lot of non-Our Lady Peace fans or non-Canadians don't know who they are for the most part.  But they did a theme song for the late professional wrestler Chris Benoit and their 1997 album "Clumsy" is the one of the quintessential alternative rock albums of the 90s and of all-time.

I already knew beforehand that the crowd for this concert would be vastly different than Foreigner.  A lot more younger people in the crowd.  I felt old...  But nevertheless it was an awesome concert!

They played their classic songs like "Naveed," "4am," Superman's Dead," "One Man Army" (my all-tine favourite song by them), "Is Anybody Home," "Somewhere Out There," "Innocent, and many others.  I was wanting them to play "One Man Army" and of course they did.  It's such an awesome song.  Steve Mazur broke a string when they played "Clumsy."  He kept going till the end of the song which is the professional thing to do.

Rain Maida, the leader singer, has such a unique presence on stage.  He is like an enigma.  He has this presence on stage which makes him hard to figure out.  He isn't like a lot of other rock singers that run around the stage expending a lot of energy.  It's just incredible to watch him on stage.

They had images on this panels.  Which was pretty cool.  Some of images went along with the songs they played.  The sunset during "Paper Moon" was pretty cool.

We chanted drum solo and we got one.  I expected more from this drum solo.  It was decent at best.  I've seen better drum solos live and on DVD and whatnot.  Brian Tichy of Foreigner, his drum solo was made Jeremy Taggart's drum solo look like he just started playing drums.  Don't get me wrong, Taggart is a good drummer, but he needs to do better drum solos.

There was a lot of crowd surfing going on.  I don't crowd surf because on major rule of rock concerts is that fat bastards should not crowd surf.  But some did anyways.  A few of the crowd surfers almost made a splat on the ground.  The bassist, Duncan Coutts pointed in my direction.  I didn't know why he was.  Than a bunch of us got plowed into by a crowd surfer.  There was also mosh pits.  The first mosh pit was behind, but to the side of where I was.  Than later another mosh pit formed behind me.  Some chick got mad at me because I bumped into her.  But, she obviously didn't get that there was a mosh pit behind us.  I pushed a couple of people into the pit.  There was a mom at the barricade with her kid.  She got mad because she got bumped into.  So she threatens to punch people.  But she was at an Our Lady Peace concert at the very front.  What did she expect?  Dumbass...

I told my aunt at the wedding about the concert and she said she hoped there is no bad stories,. So I said no, there isn't.  But if you've heard my stories, you know this isn't true.

Overall, the show was awesome.  The only thing that wasn't good was the drum solo.  But I can overlook that because of how good the rest of the show was.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Foreigner Concert Review

This past Tuesday was the start of the Saskatoon Ex.  You may call it the fair, but we call it the Ex (short for exhibition) in Saskatoon.  The Ex always has concerts at the grandstands.  Over the years there have been some great ones pass through which I've missed.  But this year three great bands are coming through.  Well, ones that I would see.  On Tuesday, the legendary rock band Foreigner was the first band this week.  They did not disappoint.

Considering their age, they still got their chops.  They moved around the stage like they are in their 30s.  They had these little raised up platforms and the lead singer tripped and fell over one of them.  He even joked about it later in the show.  After he tripped he kept going which is the professional thing to do.  The lead singer also ran through the crowd while a solo was being played during one of the songs.  That was pretty awesome that he did that.

Speaking of solos, their were a lot of bad ass solos.  Guitar, saxophone, keyboard, and drum solos.  The drum solo blew my mind.  He even played the drums with his hands.  That was crazy good.  I've seen, not live, a number of drum solos, but this one ranks up there.  That's how good it was.  It's always good to show your chops on an instrument that isn't always a focal point like a guitar.  The keyboard/synthesizer solo was good too.

The songs choices were their classics obviously.  But there was one or two I didn't recognize.  But the rest I did.  "Jukebox Hero, "Hot Blooded," "Dirty White Boy," "Head Games," "Waiting for a Girl Like You," "Urgent," "Double Vision," "Feels Like the First Time," "I Wanna Know What Love Is," and a few others were played.  Classic, classic songs.  During "I Wanna Know What Love Is," they had the Tommy Douglas Collegiate senior choir perform with them which was cool.  Also before they got into the song, the lead singer said to put your arm around the person beside you.  I was just standing there and he looked at me and said "you have chops, but you have to put your arm around someone."  I thought him talking directly to me was awesome.  Also during "I Wanna Know What Love Is," there was a couple making out in the crowd behind me.  This lady behind me broke it up, but they want back to it.  Mick Jones, the leader singer, made a comment about that.

Overall, the concert was so bad ass.  They were just so good.  If you ever have the chance to see, I recommend you do.  You will not be disappointed.  I guarantee it!

Oh and yes, Mick Jones wailed!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Meeting Tito Santana

WWE Hall of Famer and legend, Tito Santana
If you are a fan of something or someone, you only dream of meeting the person behind that something or that someone.  Most of who read my blog know that I am a huge professional wrestling fan.  This past Wednesday I got meet someone who I watched growing up.  This man is a legend, a WWE Hall of Famer, and has won many championships.  The I am referring to is Tito Santana.  But I am sure you already figured that out by the title of this post.

When I found out last month that he was the special guest on this months tour I was so pumped!  A part of my childhood is going to be in town and I will get to meet him!  I was so pumped and it was one of these moments I would never forget.

As soon as I walked into the German Concordia Club where High Impact Wrestling holds it's shows, I was marking out.  I was just in shock and awe that it was him that I had to immediately go and shake his hand!  Mr. Santana knew right away what I got a picture he was selling and got him to sign it.  I also got a picture with him.  He was such a class act.  He was so easy going and so easy to talk to.  I told him that he was a big part of my childhood.  I also said that my niece didn't understand the awesomeness of this.  He understood because she is only 13.

He won his match via disqualification during to being attacked by HIW star Wavell Starr.  Starr said in his match that he should have been the one to face Tito Santana.  But King Kash was booked to face Santana.  Kash and Starr were attacking him, than Cannonball made the save.  Cannonball issued a challenge for a tag team match against King Kash and Wavell Starr, but the challenge wasn't accepted.  I wish his match against King Kash would have went longer, but still awesome to see him live!

During intermission, he was taking pictures by the ring.  He had the AWF Championship with him.  That was very cool.  I told him I randomly found the AWF "Warriors of Wrestling" show on DVD, but it might not have been all the episodes.

Overall, this is an experience I'll never forget.  Meeting someone as legendary as him is just mind blowing.  Even though it's three days later, I still can't believe I got to meet him.  As Tito would say, "Arriba!"

Friday, July 13, 2012

Having a Heatwave, A Tropical Heatwave

If you get reference in the title of this post, you'll be get bonus points.  If not, search it and it will make sense.

This week has been a hot one.  We've had a lot of rain this summer and now it's been this week.  The thunderstorm the other night at 2 am didn't do anything.  In fact it made it worse.  The rain made it so much more humid and muggy.  In fact I felt like I was going to have heat stroke near the end of the day at work.  But putting my head in water to cool down helped.

At the time of this post, it is still +22 Celsius.  If you want to convert that than go ahead.  This current temperature should tell you how hot it is at this moment.  I like it being nice and hot and all, but there comes a point when the heat can be too much.  You know this too be true when you start feeling the symptoms of heat stroke.  I had heat stroke one time and it was brutal.  I've never had it since mind you.  But the fact remains is that it's not fun.

Even in a basement it is HOT at the time of this post.  Even if we did a get this possible thunderstorm as it shows on the Weather Network, I doubt it will do anything.  Even though Saturday is going to be +25 Celsius according to the Weather Network, I bet the humidity will make it feel much hotter.  On Tuesday, it was +29, but the humidity made it feel like +36.

In the midst of all this heat, you need to keep hydrated.  A swim in a pool or lake would be great right about now.  If only I know someone with a pool at this time of night.  If only...

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Song of the Day #43

I've always liked this song, but my friend Mark brought it to my attention again and I've rediscovered my love for it.  I've learned to play it and it's just so fun to play.  I can't wait to record our cover of it.  Mark will work out a new take on it.  It will be awesome!  We just  need to find a female to do the female vocals!

"You Feel the Same Way Too" by Rankin Family
YouTube link

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Song of the Day #42

Here a song from Elliott Brood.  I saw them this past Saturday and they were awesome!

"Northern Air" by Elliott Brood

Elliott Brood w/Kacy and Clayton Concert Review

This past Saturday night as a part of the Jazz Fest, I saw Elliott Brood.  They are trio from Toronto.  No, they are not jazz.  Not everything at the Sasktel Saskatchewan Jazz Fest is jazz.  Let's get that straight.  The opening act was a young duo from Saskatchewan, Kacy and Clayton.

Now, I had nothing to go off of for the opening act, Kacy and Clayton.  Looking them up on YouTube, they've played in Saskatoon before.  With that being said, Kacy has a voice like a lot of indie artists like Feist and Nataly Dawn to name a couple.  Being that I am a big Nataly Dawn fan, I like Kacy's voice.  Even though her voice cracked during one of the songs, she still did a great job.  Clayton on the other had wasn't perfect, but he has some serious chops on the guitar for being that young.  He was doing blues fingerstyle.  If he is that good now, he will be so amazing later in his career.  You can tell they need to work on their stage presence because they don't do any bantering between songs or tell stories.  All that was really said is Kacy said to pick up their CD at the back and that they played a bull sales while nobody paid attention.  Sure they will get audiences attention with their music, but they need to engage the audience with stories or banter.  Overall, they were good, but it's just this one thing they need to work on.

The headlining act was Elliott Brood obviously.  Ha!  I've only heard a couple songs from them.  "Northern Air" is a great song.  I kept yelling that and they said they would get to it.  Just before they performed it, they dedicated the song to The Deep Dark Woods, which is a great Canadian folk rock band.  They also played "When I Get Old" which is the other song I know from them.  All the songs they did were awesome.  They one song they did which part of the song is "hey, hey, hey."  The crowd chanted that.  That song had awesome energy.  All the songs they did had great energy.  The uptempo songs, especially, had great energy.  The crowd was on their feet for all the uptempo, high energy songs.  It got hot and humid with everybody dancing in the Broadway Theatre.  But it was awesome!  They are another act that didn't fail to disappoint.  That's mainly because I had no expectations of Elliott Brood because I had no idea what to expect.  That's what happened last year when I saw Tegan and Sara.  I had no idea what to expect from them and they blow my mind with how good they were.  So, with that being said, it's to good to not know what to expect from some artists at times because you could be disappointed.  But I've never been disappointed with a headliner of a concert.  I'd go see Elliott Brood again without question because they are that good.  Fun, high energy show.  Just awesome!

Before the show I was talking to these two people and the older woman was wearing a Che Guevara shirt.  I thought that was awesome.

Just a bit of random facts, the Sasktel Saskatchewan Jazz Fest is the fourth largest Jazz Fest in the country behind Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.  Elliott Brood said we are the most friendly because they've never been invited to the Toronto Jazz Fest and they are from Toronto which I mentioned above.

I think I have to make it a yearly goal to go to at least one paid show at the Jazz Fest!  I hope they bring some great acts next year!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Headwaters" by Del Barber Review

Here is the long awaited review of Del Barber's latest album entitled "Headwaters."  This album dropped on May 1, 2012 on Six Shooter Records.

It seems as though Del wants to stray away from what he has been comfortable with during his, as my friend Mark put it, Jack Johnson days to his current country/alt-country days.   From wah pedals and distorted guitars to clapping and cello to name a few instruments, Del experiments with delving in deeper into the alt-country side of music.  This is prevalent on the first track entitled "Love and Wine."  Busting  out some triablesque drum beats, it makes you feel like you are in the wild west and some outlaw is about to come rolling through town.  I don't know if Del was going for that, but that's what I got from the beat.

The second track entitled "Everything Is Not Enough" and it continues on in the same vain of being different as you immediately hear a wah pedal.  A wah pedal you ask?  That's right.  This is another departure for Del.  It's not something he has used on his past albums.  But as you weave through the rest of the album, that's not all that is a departure for him as there is reverb on the song "Can't Turn Around."

Continuing on his kick of country music, "Believe Me" has that classic country feel.  It's no surprise considering he is trying to be totally country with how he sounds when he talks, dresses (somewhat), and what have you.  This seems to be a comfortable transition for Del.  I'm not saying he is going to dress like they do in mainstream country music because that's not Del.  That's too cowboy for him.  But he will do more of an alt-country look.  But what does that look like?

I've heard people say that "Soul of the Land That's Mine" is not a good fit for the album.  I would have to agree.  It seems out of place.  It's good that he didn't start the album off with this song.  It seems slow compared to the rest of the album.  Sure a lot of songs are slow, but this is slow in a way that you have to listen to to get.

Even though this album is different from what Del has done in the past, it is still recommended that you give it a listen.  Being that it is different, you might find this album harder to get into.  It may take a number of listens to truly appreciate what he was intending to do when he made it different.  Either way this one is not a miss.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Del Barber and Old Man Luedecke Concert Review

This past Thursday, I went to see Del Barber.  He was opening for Old Man Luedecke.  I never heard of Old Man Luedecke at that point.  I've heard pretty much everything he has recorded except for a few tracks on his new album "Headwaters" (I'll review "Headwaters in another post) which I purchased at the show.  The concert was at Christ Church Anglican which is located on 28th St. W. in Saskatoon.  I love going in churches like these.  I felt like whipping out the Book of Common Prayer and praying.

Even the Del was the opener of the concert, he put on great show.  I haven't seen him in nearly six years when he played at the CBC barbecue.  He has developed his presence with his story telling and performing.  He doesn't just banter to banter like Tegan and Sara for instance.  But he has style all his own.  His facial expressions and body language when he performs are different than others I've seen.  Different can be good.  After all, you don't want to be the same as everybody else.  He also got the crowd going with some jokes.

Del played a number of songs of his new album "Headwaters."  He performed "Right Side of the Wrong," "Running on a Wire" (which can be considered his current single), "The Waitress," and "Everything is Not Enough."  He also performed a few of his older songs like "62 Richmond," "Party Song," and "Home to Manitoba."  He performed another song in which I can't remember the name.  I was hoping he would have played "God Damn Desire" off his 2009 album "Where the City Ends."  I recommend that album.  All in all Del Barber is someone you should go see if you are into folk, folk rock, alt-country, country, roots, and Americana styles of music.  Just take a chance on him and you may find out you like his music.

During the intermission I talked briefly to Del.  I'm surprised he knew who I was.  We know a number of the same people.  We also talk about a couple of other things.  So it was great to talk to him albeit briefly.

Old Man Luedecke was the headliner.  He plays banjo and guitar.  He was accompanied by his friend who played mandolin.  He ripped some mandolin solos which were awesome!  His songs are not serious with the exception of the odd one.  Two songs that I remember the names of were "Monsanto Jones" and "I Quit My Job."  He likes to tell stories as well.  He did some bantering with the crowd.  I always like to see a performer banter with the crowd.  Over all his music is pretty good with a playful feel to it.

All in all this concert was great and I know I'll be seeing Del Barber again. If Old Man Luedecke comes back, I'd go see him again.  I recommend checking out both of these guy's music.  You might find out you like it!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Mentality of People

Recently, College Park Covenant Church in Saskatoon was broken into and stole a few items.  They stole the projector, two djembes (one being the church's and the other being Kelly's), the drum kit, a laptop, a garbage canister, a guitar (Kathleen's guitar from her office), and headphones from the sound booth.  They were going to steal the keyboard and soundboard, but must have gotten scared off.  They also scattered some keys around.  So locks are going to be possibly changed.  The people even went downstairs and ate food from the kitchen.  They had their own little meal.  Jokingly, someone said they should have stolen the TV.

There was speculation as to how they got in.  One is they could have gotten through the window they broke in Colin and Kelly's office.  Or they could have hid in a dark place in the church while people were downstairs Thursday for Coffee Club.  Apparently there is an eclectic mix of people who go to the Coffee Club.  Maybe one of them could of done it.  Another person who may have done it might have been someone who goes to the Clothing Depot or who uses our food bank services.  But we might never know.

Yesterday at the congregational meeting, we discussed this.  We discussed getting an alarm system and possibly locking the doors while you are downstairs when stuff is going on like the Coffee Club.  Other things that were discussed is that the front door has a hook up for it to ding when someone goes in and out.  But I doubt people want to keep going up and down to check who it is.  Someone said that if we have security cameras that we might have been able to identify the person.  So we might get security cameras.

I just don't get why someone would steal stuff from a church.  Generally a church is their for people and College Park Covenant Church has done a lot of the surrounding community of College Park.  It's just mind boggling as to why this happened.  What would make someone do this?  But until everything with the insurance is straightened out and we can get some new drums, I don't know what capacity I'll in worship.

May God have mercy on this wicked souls.  It's just stupid on their part.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Victoria Day Long Weekend - Wiener Roast at the Farm and Wakesiu

I got to get away from Saskatoon this Victoria Day long weekend.  It was my niece Allie's birthday on Saturday.  She became a teenager!  She turned 13.  So on Sunday we had a small gathering at the farm with some family and friends to celebrate her turning 13.  We had a wiener roast at the farm.  Even though we had a few people, it still was a great time to sit outside in the very nice weather and roast wieners and fellowship with the ones that were there.  Great afternoon and early evening!

On Monday my mom asked me if I wanted to go up to Waskesiu with her and my step dad.  Of course I said yes.  We took a small picnic to eat up at one of picnic spots just past the town site.  The first spot we went to was windy, so we went to another spot which was much better in terms of no wind.  My step dad and I went for a bit of walk through the wood at the one spot.  I skipped stones at both spots, but I was bit rusty at doing that.  I didn't always skip them as some of them just hit the water with a plunk.  I got a couple of rocks to skip six times.  But my average was two or three and sometimes four skips.  I got the odd ones to skip five times.  But still not the greatest at it.  There were a lot of rocks that lined the shore.  My mom wanted to take a bunch of the rocks home.  So we picked a box full or so.

On the way back to go home, we stopped at Waskesiu River.  I've never been there.  My mom and step dad said they never usually see fish, but this time we saw a lot.  We walk the trail on the boardwalk and woods.  On the boardwalk we seen two geese and six goslings.  On of the goslings got up on a rock and one of parent geese got up on the rock too.  The goslings were cute.  Than we saw three fish later on the boardwalk.  While in the woods part of the trail, we saw two deer.  It was so awesome to see them up that close.  My step dad heard something and was looking to see what it was and saw a deer.  The deer stopped and seen us, than kept going.  As we kept going we saw the other deer.  The whole Waskesiu River trail was 2kms. It was great exercise!

Overall a great day at Waskesiu.  It's been a number of years since I've been there.  Proof of that is there is a Traxx Footwear where Subway used to be.  We seen lots of wildlife on the way to and from Waskeisu lots of deer, elk, fish, and a heron.  Next time I want to take my mom and step dad on the Boundary Bog!  The Boundary Bog is a great walk in the woods.  Being one with nature is great because it lets you forget about your life for a fleeting moment or two.

While getting stuff ready to take Waskesiu, I told my step dad that I wrote a song with my good friend Mark entitled "A Day Like Any Other Day" and some of the stuff in the song was happening.  I told Mark about it and he thought it was awesome.  For instance lyrics such as "P.A.'s looking to gray, I'd rather spend my day in Waskesiu."  All that happened.  The first three lines of the song, "Sitting on the back porch, drinking Arizona Iced Tea, watching the world pass by" almost happened.  I had an Arizona Iced Tea in my car, but I didn't sit on the back porch drinking it watching the world pass by.  But it would have been awesome if the whole song happened.  Oh well, the parts that did happen was still awesome!

Friday, May 18, 2012

This Weekend - The Next Step of Life

This weekend I'll be going up to the farm.  Even though my niece Allie's birthday is tomorrow (Saturday).  We are celebrating her becoming a teen at the farm with family and friends of the family.  It will be a blessed day to share in this next step of her life.  Plus it will be good to get away for the weekend!  It's also a long weekend which is awesome too!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Violence in Entertainment vs. Christianity

I was on Facebook Tuesday morning and Marc Vandersuly posted a status about the "Avengers."  The comments took a turn to someone saying that they can handle swearing and sex, but not violence.  I found that to be ironic.  Marc replied by saying that they only don't like violence if it's "gory" or "extreme."  Basically, domestic violence in entertainment such as movies or television don't bother them because it's not "gory" or "extreme."  I dually noted by saying that was backwards.

In movies and television, violence doesn't bother me because a lot of it is fiction.  With that, I am disconnecting myself from reality.  Now I do understand that it's the individual beliefs of that have them feel the way they do.  But why they would feel this way about violence in entertainment verses sex and swearing baffles me.  Some people I've talked to feel the same way about three things.  That makes more sense.

Why do a portion of Christians have to shy away from this issue like it's taboo is baffling and beyond me.  There is violence all throughout the Bible.  The Old Testament is riddled with violence.  God is wrathful against the people who do wrong and disobey.  There is also violence against Jesus in the New Testament.  Jesus is beaten and crucified.  With that being said, these same Christians don't shy away from the violence in the Bible, but in movies.  What happened to Jesus can be looked upon as "gory" yet they'd never think that.  I find that to be very odd.  But we understand Jesus had this violence bestowed upon him to forgive our sins.

Maybe I am wrong for comparing two opposite things.  Movies for the most part are fiction while the Bible is real as it did happen.  But maybe I'm not wrong for comparing the two.  I just find it puzzling that a person would feel like this about this?  Am I missing something?  It seems pretty black and white.  Why is there this gray area?  Maybe it's one of those things I'll never fully understand.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Writing Music

Recently I've wrote or finished three songs.  I was on Skype with my good friend Mark and was able to bounce ideas off him.  I even get lyric ideas from him.  I find that conversing and working with someone is good way to get me motivated in finishing music.  Sure I have written songs without working with someone.  But it's just a tool I find useful in music writing.

I feel accomplished when I get songs written or finished.  I feel like the album I am going to record will take shape.  It's always good to have these feelings and senses.  It makes a person feel more motivated.  Since these creative juices are follow, I hope I can keep going to finish and write a few more songs for my album.

Whenever I get my album recorded, I'll let you know!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Uptown Magazine Del Barber Interview Review

First off, let me start by saying that I am a Del Barber fan.  But I am not one of those people that believes everything he touches turns to gold.  He is a great talent, but I don't overpraise him as the end-all to be-all of singer-songwriters in Canada.  Has he earned such praise and hype?  Sure he has logged a ton of mile all across North America, writes some good story songs, and can play guitar pretty good.  Sure some of the praise and hype is warranted.  But do some people take it too far?

Uptown Mag has an interview with Del on their website. I understand that articles will be written on him and he will give interviews.  But the chick who wrote the article and conducted the interview sounds way to pretentious with the following. 
Del Barber’s masterful Headwaters examines the complex relationships we have with where we’re from — and how history dictates our future.
The pretension is unbelievable.  She is trying to make Del out to be some prophet that knows how life works and where it will go.  What he writes is only his take on things.  It's not like his lyrics are scripture telling people this is the way things will go.  She says his 2010 album "Love Songs For the Last Twenty" is a "career making record."  In some ways, that is not a far off statement.  She wrongfully thinks that "Love Song For the Last Twenty" was his introduction to the Canadian roots scene.  That is totally false.  Del's 2009 album, "Where the City Ends" is his introduction.  Seeing as "Loves Songs For the Last Twenty" was acclaimed in a bunch of circles and nominated for two awards, of course she'd leave that out.  But she blows smoke up his saying "Headwaters" is "mightier than the predecessor."  I've not listened to "Headwaters."  So I can't say for certain if that's a truthful statement or if it's convoluted and inflated.  I've heard a few songs from the album.  But I do know this album is vastly different in terms of what he does with the music compared to his past albums.  Yet this isn't mentioned in this interview/article.  Instead she'd rather give him the proverbial "blowjob" by not asking him why he decided to do things with the music that are un-Del Barber and just praise the ever loving shit out of him for "Love Songs For the Last Twenty" and "Headwaters."

This chick likes to state the obvious.  She states that he has a love for community and loves Winnipeg.  What late night session of genius deadline article writing did she come up with this nugget of unknown trivia?  If you've followed Del's career, than this would be painfully obvious.  We don't need some lame online magazine writer to tell, at least me, any of this.  He always puts Manitoba references in his songs.  He likes to talk about home.  Unless you're a simpleton, you shouldn't need it pointed out to you.  As well, she felt the need to point out that Del has kept his "prairie roots."  No shit Sherlock.  What, did you expect your readers to think he moved to some remote village in the Northern China?  I understand that she is stating the obvious for people who don't know who Del Barber is.  But for most people, they know who Del Barber is and know all the stuff she states.

As I sit her writing this review, I chuckle at the atrociousness of this interview/article.  This chick tries too hard to sound like an artsy and intelligent writer, but fails at that only to come off as pretentious.  I could write that someone's album is "evocative and soul stirring."  But that's not who I am and I would come of as fake which she did.  She didn't have to write this article in this way to appease their wannabe artsy/hipster audience of readers just because Winnipeg is known for that.  Is being real and not giving him the proverbial "blowjob" too much ask?  I think not!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Song of the Day #41

This song got stuck in my head yesterday at work thanks to Landon!  This song was featured on an episode of "The Simpsons."

"Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
YouTube link

Sunday, April 29, 2012

WWE Extreme Rules Review

This is the first WWE offering in 2012 post WrestleMania XXVIII.  This was their chance to redeem themselves.  So did they?  I was feeling hopeful that they would redeem themselves before viewing this latest offering.  With how terrible WrestleMania XXVIII was, they needed to redeem themselves.

The WWE thought they would be clever and have a big feud and big match kick off the event.  Randy Orton and Kane have been embroiled in a feud with has taken the all too overused "personal" angle by involving family or "kayfabe" family.  Although this use of family wasn't well played out.  Paul Bearer has been over used as "bait" when it comes to Kane.  They did this when Kane was feuding with Edge.  You might not have realized that if you don't pay attention to storylines.  The match itself was a Falls Count Anywhere match meaning falls didn't have to take place in the ring even though it did.  I'm a stickler when it comes to Falls Count Anywhere matches as I'd like to see the pin or submission happen not in the ring but somewhere in the arena.  Zach Ryder attacking was oddly placed regardless of their past history.  It was just ill timed.  But that didn't detract from this being the third best match of the event.

Brodus Clay vs. Dolph Ziggler seemed like it wasn't even announced for the card.  The match was what it was.  Just something used for filler purposes.  With Ziggler being as talented as he is, he shouldn't be used for filler purposes.  Jack Swagger on the other hand should be.  But that wasn't the case on this evening.  It's unfortunate that Ziggler had to job to the likes of Clay.  I just find Brodus Clay terrible and he will go nowhere.  They should have left him as a heel instead of this annoying face being stuck wherever the WWE needs him.  This wasn't the right place for him.  Ziggler is much better than this.

Tables matches have found their place in annals of gimmick matches.  Tables matches have been around for years and years, but the Dudley Boys/Team 3D were known for it.  But not so much Big Show and Cody Rhodes.  This is return match from WrestleMania and a Rhodes's rematch.  Going into this match, I thought Big Show had this in the bag.  He dominated Rhodes from the outset of the bell and returning the WWE Intercontinental Championship seemed elementary.  Than the match ended abruptly.  The finish was good and bad.  How is that possible you ask?  It was good because of how clever the Big Show was put through a table.  Big Show climbs over the top rope to get in the ring.  So Rhodes kicked the foot of Big Show causing him to lose balance and put one foot in the table below crushing it.  It was bad because it cut the match short.  More could have been done with the match, but it was what was with Cody Rhodes becoming the two time WWE Intercontinental Championship.

The infamous 18 second lose to Sheamus at WrestleMania XXVIII has been a focal point of the feud between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan.  Bryan issued a great challenge for 2 out of 3 Falls match.  This match type isn't used as much as it used to be.  But this match didn't disappoint.  Great grappling and chain wrestling early on.  Sheamus showed that he is not just a brawler.  Bryan has always been known for his technical ability and he showcased it through out the match.  With him picking apart a part of Sheamus's body.  Playing the part of a heel very well by getting himself disqualified in the first fall.  But he was quick to make Sheamus pass out to the Yes Lock getting the second fall.  Sheamus being the touch Irishman wouldn't go down without a fight which is something we have seen throughout his time in the WWE.  He was able to pull out third fall and retain the World Heavyweight Championship.  I don't get why people hate on Sheamus.  He has proven to me he can wrestle not just brawl.  Up to this point, this match was the best, but by the end of the night it was the second best match.  Very good match!

Whose big idea was it to give jobber time on a pay-per-view and mic time on the pay-per-view?  I get that it was used as filler, but they could have had a vastly better filler match.  They didn't have to have two scrawny bastards lose to Ryback on pay-per-view.  It served no purpose!   There is nothing else to say about this shit break of a match.  So moving on...

Another feud the encompasses a personal element.  Chris Jericho played the heel perfectly during the feud.  Some of his best work in sometime as a heel.  CM Punk played his real-life wrestling adapted personality great like he always does.  Jericho tried at every turn to show CM Punk as falling into the same life as his family their substance abuse problems.  Sure there were points in this feud where I thought it was stupid, but overall, a great feud. Being as the event was held in Chicago, it made sense to have a them battle for the WWE Championship in a Chicago Street Fight.  Great back and forth action with them just kicking each others ass.  Great use of CM Punk's sister as a plant to slap Jericho.  Yes there was a botch by CM Punk, but it happens.  So move on.  The move of the match which got the crowd going was CM Punk landing an elbow drop on Jericho while prone on the Spanish announce table.  Poor Spanish announce table.  Always getting crushed!  Although CM Punk almost botched this.  This hands down was the best match of the night with CM Punk retaining the WWE Championship!

Why do we get a Diva's Championship match as the semi-main event?  For whatever reason, there was one thing I was thinking.  With Beth Phoenix not being medically cleared to wrestle, they had the perfect setup to have Bella Twins face each other because of the whole "mystery" opponent.  But having Layla return was a nice surprise too.  Even though she won the WWE Diva's Championship this quick, at least we don't have to have one of the terrible Bella Twins hold the title.

The final match was an Extreme Rules match between the returning Brock Lesnar and John Cena.  The build up was very well done.  They had Brock Lesnar look so unbeatable and so tough.  This is something we've never seen from Brock Lesnar before in the WWE.  It was great to see him look this way.  It was great to see Cena the way he was being that he was scared.  Blood was shed by both men especially Cena.  Lesnar was dominate throughout the whole match.  What was Lesnar thinking with that leap off part of the ring steps thus crashing into Cena?  That was crazy!  It looked like he tweaked his knee, but just played it off which was great.  Having Cena win seemed to take away from the build up Lesnar was getting during this feud.  I would have liked to have seen Lesnar get the win and see how Cena would react on Raw.  That will never happen.   The ending bit Cena said made me wonder if he was losing his smile or just needs time off.  I'm not a Cena fan by any means, but it is time for him to take time off and not just for an injury.

Even though Extreme Rules was passable, it wasn't a redemption by any means.  Maybe Over the Limit will be the redemption the WWE is looking for.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tax Time

I got my taxes done this week.  I always procrastinate in getting it done.  I got my T4s and student loan stuff at a good enough time that I said I would get it done.  But I am infamous for procrastinating which is why I got it done this week.  I got a nice size return.  It's expected with what I made last year. 

Now that that is done, what is next?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Song of the Day #40

I love this version of the song because of the incredible harmonies.  This version shows that great harmonies do still exist.  I caught the end of the song on CBC Deep Roots.

"Wondrous Love" by Blue Highway
YouTube link

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pets - The Loss of a Friend

Losing a pet whether it be through it dying or having to be get rid of the pet for whatever reason is hard on a child.  This time it has to do with getting rid of a pet because of the things it was doing.  My niece knew it was coming.  But she still was emotional over it on the day it happened.  She had a great attachment to Carpathia ( a black pug).  She loved her even when my cousin owned her.  It's hard to get rid of a pet.  It's hard to see them leave.  It's hard to say goodbye.

This is what had to be done and no matter what the feelings are from the child.  The parent had to make the decision regardless.  My niece knew why we had to get rid of the dog, but it didn't make it any less painful.  She has come to terms with the decision, but it doesn't mean she doesn't miss the dog.  Carpathia was a friend and she misses a friend.  I get it.  But it's the way things have to be.

My sister is getting a cocker spaniel for the kids.  Before Carpathia was picked up and taken to her new home, my niece was real keen on the idea at first.  But I feel she is coming around.  Once the puppy is picked up, she will love the dog like she loved Carpathia.  I know she will still miss Carpathia, but it won't be so hard knowing she has another dog to love and care for.

The old adage is that a dog is a man's best friend.  This is a prime example.  I know this first hand as well.  I've lost pets through death and through having them being given to someone else.  It's hard, but you learn to deal with it.  I know that she is dealing with it and the new dog will help with that.

A Sign of the Times

Netflix, iTunes, Redbox, Gamefly, the Internet, etc. has made video stores that rent movies and video games increasingly irrelevant and slowly making major chains obsolete.  Blockbuster has shut down locations in Canada and Rogers is shutting down locations across Canada as well.  A lot of movie rental companies are turning to mail or online rental services if they haven't done so.  Plus with the services you can get on your cable or satellite to watch movies, why would you need to go to a video store to rent a movie?  Or with mail or online services, why would you need to go to a video store to rent a video game?

The change in the way we do things has made the need for an actual location nil.  I remember growing, that renting movies or video games was a time I looked forward too.  Picking out a new release or classic movie or game wanting to experience it for the first time or experience it again.  Just something about doing that was a great part of my childhood.  Nowadays, we have the convenience of these services at our fingertips that the whole wanting to go to rent something is not the same as it used to be.

The days of renting at an actual location is quickly becoming a thing of the past.  For nostalgia reasons, it's sad.  There are only a handful of businesses that rent movies as it's not the big business it used to be.  I admit that I rarely rent movies unlike I used to.  There is no need to with all these other services.  I guess this is just a sign of the times.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Long Blessed Weekend

This past weekend was a long one as I went back home to Prince Albert.  I went back because on Saturday, it was my Grandma Sheldon's 80th come and go tea.  Even though her birthday is in March, this is the only time we could get a hall booked, but it was a great day nonetheless.  The sheer amount of people that blessed my Grandma's day with unbelievable.  Family, friends, neighbours from when she lived on the farm, and people from the church were all there.  There were a lot of people who I haven't seen in a long time.  It was great to see them again.  In total, nearly 200 people were there to celebrate her special day.  I thank everyone who came from near and far to join us.

If you know my family, than you'll know that we won't leave you feeling hungry as there was lots of food.  2 pm was a little program where my Auntie Merle was the MC of it.  Also, we modeled various items my Grandma knitted and sewed over the years.  I showed off my afghan blanket.  In fact, I was the only one who wasn't modeling something that couldn't be worn like mitts or a dress.  I ate supper at the hall with family.  Even though it was a great day, it was long.  But it was a blessed day.

On Sunday, my cousin Jeff and his wife Tania got his two week old daughter Johanna baptized at St. Anglican Church.  It was great to worship Anglican style.  That is something I don't get to do very often.  I give Norbert credit for playing off my nephew walking up the aisle and making noise during the sermon.  More food was had after the service.  More fellowship and a blessed time was had.

The weekend was a long and blessed one.  But it was worth it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Caine's Arcade

This is something I seen on Facebook.  It is pretty bad ass.  Here is the synopsis of the short film.

"A 9 year-old boy who built an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad's used auto parts store is about to have the best day of his life."

YouTube link

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jumping On This Particular Bandwagon

John Cena and Justin Bieber, what do they have in common?  Just that it's popular to jump on the bandwagon that hates them.  Here is the thing, I hated on John Cena about seven years.  Now I'm just indifferent to the point that I don't care.  I hated on Justin Bieber about two years ago.  As with Bieber, I'm just indifferent to the point that I don't care.

I've noticed it's a trend that people jump on said bandwagon long after I've gotten off and moved on to not liking or hating something else.  I'm not saying that I'm some prophet or someone who foresees future trends of this manner or any manner.   I've just been ahead of the masses when it comes to some things.  I'm not trying to blow smoke up my own ass or anything, but it's just how I see it.

When I tell people that I've hated on these two said people years before they did, I get the usual reaction.  It's not my fault I was ahead of the curve in this respect.  It just sometimes happens.  I wonder what the next big thing people will hate on next?  It seems like since the advent of the Internet, hating on something is the cool thing to do.  At least I do it before the masses do.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Lent 2012: This Is The End

Even though Lent officially ended on April 5, I decided to extend it to April 9 which was Easter Monday.  What's four extra days?  Four extra days abstain from what I gave up.  Four extra days on a journey that I value each and every year.

Lent 2012 started off with me breaking it.  I drank some pop and ate some candy on the first day.  The first bit of candy was meant for the evening before, but due to falling asleep, that never happened.  The rest on that day was due to not thinking or wanting something and getting that by mistake.  With the first bit of candy, I thought I would be clever and not officially start Lent till later in the day, but I didn't bother.  I felt bad in a round about way for breaking Lent.  I've never broken Lent before.  I didn't beat myself up about or dwell on it.  I just "dusted myself off" and moved on from it.  Dwelling on it would be quite pointless, wouldn't you think?

The rest of Lent was smooth sailing.  It was quite uneventful for the most part except for week six when I politely refused a can of pop I was offered.  Doing the weekly updates of Lent is good and all, but it seems like something big is supposed to happen.  Something worth reading is supposed to happen.  Something to effect that I had a major meltdown and cheated on Lent big time.  But if you've kept up with my postings, than you'd know that I didn't even come close to something like that.  For the most part, Lent went off without a hitch.

The journey is something I appreciate because it is a walk with Jesus during the time he was making his way towards Jerusalem where he ultimately died.  Just as he was making a sacrifice, you were making a sacrifice during Lent by abstaining and fasting from something.  The journey that Jesus did was hard for him and it was probably hard for you.  But Jesus knew this is something he had to do.  With what I abstained and fasted from, I knew I had to do it even though I've done it before.  Even though I cheated on Lent, Jesus died so the mistakes I've made in my journey can be forgiven.  For that, I'm truly blessed and thankful for his sacrifice.  Not a lot of people, even though are believers, realize how truly blessed and thankful they are because of such a sacrifice.

That's the end of Lent for me.  Thank you for keeping up with my Lenten posts for 2012 and I hope it was blessed one for you as it was for me during my journey.  See you for Lent 2013.  God bless!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Ascrbing The Term "Godly" or "Godlike"

Reading comments on various websites like YouTube, Facebook, and whatnot, you come across people ascribing people, musicians especially, with the term of "godly" or "godlike."  They put on this pedestal because of this level of talent they find "godly."  Here is the problem, nobody is "godly" in terms of their talent.  As good as they may be, they are certainly not "godly."  Sure their are people out there that are egotistical enough to think they are "godly" because they think they are just that good.  But the fact still remains that ascribing such a label is so unrealistic.

There are people out there that can't handle such a label.  It's too much pressure for them.  They may feel like they have to be at a certain level because of the fear of being a failure.  Is it really worth to have someone possibly feel this way just because you think they are at such a level?  It's pretty high praise considering you are just a mere fan.  Instead of ascribing a label of "godly" or "godlike," you can just bask in their talent and be n complete awe of what they are able to do.  It's all about being humble.

The term "godly" or "godlike" does not lend itself to humility or humbleness.  There is an adage that is, "be humble in all you do."  You need to be humble and have humility in all you do regardless of how good you are at whatever you do. Myself, if I get a compliment of any kind, I feel humbled that someone would think enough of what I do musically to render a compliment towards me.  I understand that not everyone will think what I do is good and that's their right to do so, but I take great humility in such compliments.

People need to stop ascribing this label because as I said, it's unrealistic.  Nobody is "godly" or "godlike."  They need to realize that they are just very talented humans who developed their natural talent or got that talent by practicing.  They didn't just pick up an instrument and automatically play some intricate piece.  Even the naturally talented musicians, artists, and whatnot have perfect their craft over years of work.  Sure their are prodigies, but even they need grooming to harness their potential.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Travis Barker Gets A Bad Rap

Everybody likes to shit on Travis Barker.  They call him overrated.  They slam him saying, "he plays too hard," "playing hard and fast doesn't make you good," and other such things.  But let me ask you this, can you play as good he can?  In the age of the Internet, you have these people who bitch and bitch like they are some elitest and can do better.  Yet, when called out, they continue to hide behind their computer screens and continue to talk out of their ass.

There are absolutely no problems with Travis Barker.  Sure he hits his drums hard and shreds the kit.  That is his style which he is good at.  He is noted as one of the best punk rock drummers. Not only that, but he has transitioned into other genres like rap rock, rap metal, hip hop, country, among others.  You might think that it's nothing special to cross into other genres, but his style of drumming has transitioned well in those genres especially the rap and hip hop based ones.  People don't give him enough credit for this.  All they like to do is bitch about his technique and yet it's baseless.  If they bothered to study his style, than they'd know that he is as overrated as they like to say.  Barker can phenomenal things on a pretty small kit setup.  He doesn't a huge kit setup like Neal Peart, Mike Portnoy, or Mike Mangini for instance.  He does what he does and does it amazingly well with a small kit setup.

I find his rolls, rudiments, and high hat work to be insanely good.  His fills are sick and I only wish I could be able to do my fills half as good him.  The same goes for my rolls, rudiments, and high hat work.  He brings something different to drumming and people are too ignorant to see that.

It's easy to bag on someone you don't like.  They'd rather bitch about everything about him and everybody who ascribes the label of him being a "god."  They'd rather point out stuff about him and just say he sucks because of that.  People need to learn how to critique him properly and not come off as ass clowns that think they are better than him.

I find nothing wrong him and think he is a very good drummer.  Yes, he barely missed making my top ten and after watching the following solos/warm ups, he will be in my top ten without a doubt.  I don't ascribe him as "godly."  I don't ascribe anyone as "godly" or "godlike."  I just marvel at their talent and ability.  That is what I do with Travis Barker as well.  Enjoy this video!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Lent 2012: The Six Sense

Once again I forgot to post an update for Lent. But there is nothing much to report.  When I took a co-worker home last Friday, he invited me up to see his place.  He is from Bangladesh and is new to Canada.  He offered me a can pop, but I explained that I was on Lent and was giving up something.  So I politely said thank you for you the offer.  Other than that nothing happened.

Lent is quickly coming to a close.  I will be giving my overall thoughts on this year's Lent.

Top Ten Favourite Drummers Currently

Here is a list I've never sat down and took time to actually figure out. I took time to figure out this list.  It was a challenging list to make, but it was great to go through the drum solos and view them.  Awe inspiring.

10. Dave Grohl

9.  Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree

8. Sheila E. - Female drummers don't get enough recognition!  This particular solo is awesome as she is in heels.  How many guys could do that?

7. Stewart Copeland of The Police

6. Mike Mangini of Dream Theater

5. Phil Collins - It's unfortunate that he can't play anymore due to an injury he sustained.

4. Alex Van Halen of Van Halen

3. Buddy Rich

2. Mike Portnoy of Adrenaline Mob and formerly of Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold, Liquid Tension Experiment,Transatlantic

1. Neil Peart of Rush

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

WrestleMania 28 Review

WrestleMania is touted as the "showcase of the immortals," "where legends are born," "the Super Bowl of professional wrestling," etc..  Ever since WrestleMania was first started, wrestlers ever since have wanted their chance to perform on the "grandest stage of them all."  But only a few ever get that chance each year to perform and showcase their abilities for the millions and millions around the world and the tens of thousands in attendance.

I watched WrestleMania at my neighbour's place.  Thanks Earl!  He orders the pay-per-views each month.  It would be an experience to be at a WrestleMania live.  To experience it once would be awesome.

This particular WrestleMania had potential to be a great one.  Although it didn't start out that way.  With the Irish "albino" Sheamus taking on the amazingly gifted and talented World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan.  It's no wonder they put this match first because they made Bryan do the job in 18 secs which is a WrestleMania record.  Both Sheamus and Bryan have ability and talent, yet they'd rather have some mockery of a match cloud what could have been a great start to WrestleMania.  But that would be the right thing to do on the part of the WWE and actually give the fans their monies worth.

Kane vs. Randy Orton would have been much better, but the lack of time they were given left more to be desired.  Just like Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes.  It left more to be desired.  Although Rhodes getting crotched with a spear that was effectively botched in a round about way was totally hilarious.  They gave Big Show the win because they wanted to give him his WrestleMania moment.  Yeah, we get it, have a feel good ending to that match.  The divas tag team match which saw Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos taking on the WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and Eve didn't have a feel good ending. The only thing good about it was the fact that the match ended.  Beth Phoenix being the only one worth watching in the match still didn't make the rest of match worth anything.  How sad.

The Hell in a Cell match was touted as the "End of an Era."  Undertaker vs. Triple H with Shawn Michaels as the guest ref.  Michaels was conflicted to call the match down the middle remaining impartial or help his long time friend Triple H.  The match was back and forth with Triple H beating down the Undertaker in the early going of the match.  With multiple chair shots, a sledgehammer shot, and even some Sweet Chin Music courtesy of "Heartbreak Kid," it still wasn't enough to put away the legendary "Deadman" or "Phenom."  Undertaker battled back like his always does to give Triple H his own beat down. Shawn Michaels throughout the match showed emotion wanting to stop the match, but neither Triple H nor Undertaker wanted to stop the match.  Michaels reluctantly counted the three which gave the Undertaker the win and kept his WrestleMania streak at 20-0.  Shawn and Undertaker helping Triple H to the back is something that will never be seen again.  It was just an amazing sight.  That much respect between them to do that is awe inspiring.

Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy was a 12 man tag team match.  If John Laurinaitis or Teddy Long's team won, they would be the general manager of both Raw and SmackDown.  Nothing I could say would make this match sound interesting or good.  Not even mentioning midgets being thrown around and tall freaks landing heaps chops would do this match justice.  Team Cancer Voice (inside joke with my friend Mark) won thus becoming the general manager of the Raw and SmackDown.  The whole thing with Eve was lame.  She is a terrible heel and added to this shit that was this match.

The semi main event seen the straightedged superstar CM Punk defending the WWE Championship against the Winnipeg-raised Chris Jericho.  A match I was looking forward to.  This matched rooted in being personal thanks to Jericho taking shots at CM Punk's family and their addictions.  This lead to John Laurinaitis making the stipulation that if CM Punk lost his temper and get disqualified that the WWE Championship would change hands.  In a type championship match, that wouldn't happen.  In the early going, it looked CM Punk may have gotten disqualified, but he used the ref's five count to his advantage.  But as the battle raged on, the two combatants went back and forth.  But CM Punk was able to pull out the victory and retain the WWE Championship in the second best match of the night.

Finally it was time for the main event.  "The Once in a Lifetime" match.  An overhyped piece of shit.  The Rock vs. John Cena.  The fans were up The Rock's ass way to much and it was bad.  They booed John Cena because he was facing The Rock.  Anybody else and they'd most likely cheer him... Than again maybe not.  This was a match I didn't care about and as the match progressed, it proved why.  Both didn't put their full effort into this match.  They probably thought they'd get by on the hype alone.  The match didn't live up to the hype.  It was a long and drawn out.  Too long for the lack of quality it was.  The Rock showed he still can't do the Sharpshooter right and he's been doing that move for years.  This match was so lackluster and terrible that nothing they'd do would help it be remotely good.  The ending of the match was so bad that they had the Rock get up, hit the Rock Bottom, and win.  Most people loved the fact that The Rock won, but they thought John Cena was going to win.  Regardless of who won, it was a terrible match.  The Rock winning means nothing because he is going to be gone back to Hollywood to make another movie which will flop and bomb big time.

Overall, WrestleMania was terrible.  Nothing you could say will convince me otherwise.  This WrestleMania had potential, but it was a huge let down.  Thanks WWE, you need to build upon that potential and actually make it good.  Can you do that?  I'm not asking for much.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Getting Rid of the Penny Part 2

In 2008 I posted about the Canadian federal government wanting to get rid of the penny which you can read here.  Well, in the budget handed down by the Canadian federal government recently, one of the things they said they want to do is that they are getting rid of the penny.  By the end of the year, the penny will be taken out of circulation.  Back in 2008, it was rumored that was happening.  It looks like it finally happening.  Also back in 2008, it was said that the penny is losing value.  Is that still the case?

It take 1.5 cents to produce a penny.  But for some odd reason, the higher the coin amount, the cheaper it is to produce it.  You would think it's the other way around, but it's not.  In terms of saving money for the government, it makes sense to take the penny out of circulation.  In a 2010 article by CBC Business, it talks about various countries pennies and they get by without it.  Then senator Irvin Gerstein said it costs to keep the penny, but it would also costs to eliminate it.
“By some estimates, the production and use of the penny represents hundreds of millions of dollars every year in direct costs to taxpayers and lost productivity," Senator Irving Gerstein said in a statement, adding "there would be costs associated with eliminating the penny, as well.”
Back in 2007, 62 percent of businesses were in favour of getting rid of the penny.  That means they will have to round to the nearest nickel.  Australia and New Zealand have had no issues in doing so and they haven't had a penny since the 90s.  But will this work for Canada?  Apparently it will.

The Senate has recommended to get rid of the penny. Which is what they will do at the end of the year.  According a 2010 article by Maclean's, the penny has been called outdated and since it's inception, it's been seen as worthless and flimsy compared to the sterling that was issued for years prior to the penny's 1858 debut.

I'm on the fence about the penny.  I don't neither like it or hate it.  I heard a person say one time that it's useful.  But like it's been said, it's no longer useful.  If the penny was never useful, than why couldn't they have killed it and continued using the previous currency?  That would seem like the most logical thing to do.  But for the people who hate the penny, I guess they can rejoice in some roundabout way.  The penny is on it's way out and I guess we will use it while we can.  How do you feel about it.  Like I said, I'm on the fence ala I'm indifferent.

Lent 2012: Five Time, Five Time, Five Time, Five Time, Five Time

Due to absent mindedness, I totally forgot about a Lent update.  Not that anything eventful happened.  I feel these Lent updates are lackluster.  Maybe I'm putting to much stalk in something big and eventful happening.  Maybe I'm also putting to much stalk in the fact that readers of my blog want something interesting to read and not just a boring 'ole update.

Perhaps the fact these updates are uneventful means that I'm doing something right.  Maybe my next update will be more eventful... Or not...

Until next time... Peace, love, and bacon grease!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Song of the Day #39

I am posting this song in memory of the legendary banjo player who died yesterday.  R.I.P. Earl Scruggs!  You were the master of the banjo!

"Foggy Mountain Breakdown" by Earl Scruggs and Friends (Steve Martin, Marty Stuart, Paul Shaffer, Vince Gill, Randy Scruggs, Garry Scruggs, Glen Duncan, Albert Lee, Jerry Douglas, and Leon Russell)
YouTube link

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Song Obessions

I like to credit myself as coming up with the "term song obsession."  A song obsession is a song that I can listen to for a period of time and not get sick of it.  The term never really came about until a few years ago.  But song obsessions go back to my childhood.  Here are my song obsessions that I can remember.

"Ordinary World" by Duran Duran
YouTube link

"T-R-O-U-B-L-E" by Travis Tritt
YouTube link

"Take Away My Pain" by Dream Theater
YouTube link

"These Days" by Foo Fighters
YouTube link

"It's Gonna Be a Lovely Day" by The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M
YouTube link

"Count On Me" by Default
YouTube link

"All At Sea" by Jamie Cullum
YouTube link

"Take a Picture" by Filter
YouTube link

"American Psycho" by Treble Charger
YouTube link

"Light Up the Sky" by The Afters
YouTube link

"Here With Me" by MercyMe
YouTube link

"Word of God Speak" by MercyMe
YouTube link

"Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars
YouTube link

"Who I Am" by Nick Jonas & The Administration
YouTube link

"Santa Monica" by Savage Garden
YouTube link

"Still Alive" by Jonathan Coulton featuring Sara Quin
YouTube link

"Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" by C+C Music Factory
YouTube link

Monday, March 26, 2012

Random Fact #9

On season 3 episode 48 of "Corner Gas" entitled "Telescope Trouble," you see Officer Quinton Davis played by Lorne Cardinal playing a guitar upside down while singing "Kumbaya."  You can view the episode below where it happens.

YouTube link

Moderate, Moderation, Moderating

While on Skype this evening, I asked my friend Mark what I should blog about.  He suggested to rant on coffee, but there is nothing to really rant on.  So our conversation ended up at moderation.  Basically the moderation aspect of it stemmed from him trying to quit coffee and how his body reacted.  He doesn't see anything wrong with drinking it, but it's just learning to not drink a lot of it.  It's all about moderation and that is a good principle to live by.  Also that this would be a challenging and interesting issue to wrestle with.

Looking up moderation in the dictionary, I've found the definition of moderation which is spot on:

1. The state or an instance of being moderate; mildness; balance.
2. The act of moderating.
3. In moderation within moderate or reasonable limits.

Even though that definition of moderation is true, but what it actually looks like is different to all of us.  Some see moderation as what it is defined in the dictionary while others don't have or don't care to have a sense of moderation.  Sometimes having a sense of moderation is hard for people in various things they do.

There are two quotes that come to mind: 

The ancient Roman playwright Terrance says:
"Moderation in all things."
One of the United States founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin says:
"Do everything in moderation, including moderation."
It's easy for Terrance and Benjamin Franklin to say to do things in moderation.  But if you are an addict, it's not always easy to moderate the thing you are addicted too.  To some addicts, getting it under control and moderating it might seem like an illusion.  A drug addict or an alcoholic will do what they can to get their next fix or their next drink.  It's easy for people who don't have an addiction to moderate such things, but if you've ever been an addict, you will know how hard it is.  Once you are an addict, you have that mindset to always be an addict.  With a lot of alcoholics, they can't control it because once they fall off the bandwagon, they'd have to start on the road to sobriety again.  Plus with a lot of people the issue of relapse is always there.  As I said, the idea of moderation is an illusion to people with addictions.

I am think of the following Ernest Hemingway said:
"Live life to the fullest."
This is an interesting concept and words to live by.  Living life to the fullest can mean many different things to people.  But does that mean having to moderate the way you live your life?  You can live life to the fullest with moderation.  You just have to know what areas to moderate yourself in.  Some people may moderate themselves in one area that you wouldn't and vice versa.  It's all in a persons perception.  What sort of things should we moderate verses what sort of things we don't need to moderate?

In my life as a Christian, I've come to learn over the years that shouldn't be a moderate Christian.  Basically, you shouldn't be just a Christian that believes something and that is it.  You should strive to learn more and have the want to know more.  Christianity is something you shouldn't have to moderate because of how society looks upon it.  Don't let society be the moderation tool you use to in how much you want to know or be willing to learn about Christianity.  If you believe in it, why let society or what people think stop you?  If various people throughout history of Christianity were moderate about their faith, than we wouldn't have the great and notable figures like William Wilberforce, Martin Luther, etc..  They didn't sit around and just be moderate about it.  So why should we be?

I've seen in the western world that we have a lack of moderation when it comes to what we eat.  More specifically, junk food.  We have become a slave a to junk food.  I know this to be true because I've at various times have had a lack of moderation when it comes to junk food.  This lack of moderation is of epidemic proportions and it shows.  North America is the fattest continent in the world while the United States of America is the fattest country in the world.  The companies that manufacture and produce junk food know that we don't know how to moderate our consumption of it.  They use this to spend tens of billions of dollars in various forms of advertising, contests, and whatnot.  We need to learn to moderate with junk food or it will just get worse.  I know I need to put it into action after Lent, but it's something we all need to do for whatever reasons.  Moderation is not such a bad thing.

I've heard that moderation is key and in life that is true.  But what you choose to moderate is up to you.  You are not some mindless robot that can't think for itself.  So here is to moderation!  Good luck!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Song of the Day #38

This cover of a Smashing Pumpkins song I heard on CBC Radio 2 on Friday on my way to work.  It's a unique sound on a classic Smashing Pumpkins song.

"1979" by Jacksoul
YouTube link

Russell Peters - My Favourite Comedian Of All-Time

Today I was texting my friend Mark and we got to talking about Russell Peters.  That name is familiar to a good lot of people, but to others, that name means nothing.  He is an Indian (not Native American) Canadian comedian.  I've been a fan of his for years.  But we talked about his style of comedy mainly.

 I call Russell Peters are a cultural observationalist.  What I mean by that is Peters makes observations on the cultures of the world.  At times during his routine, he does exaggerate at times.  But at other times, some of the observations he does are close especially about Indians.

My friend Mark said he is a one trick pony.  But a lot of comedians are "one trick ponies."  He also said that he does one style of joke.  A lot of comedians do one style of joke.  For instance, Jerry Seinfeld only does the "have you ever noticed" type joke.  It's not like Peters is the only one who does one style of joke.  Plus he does the style of joke he does well.  Every time I see something I've never seen form him before, I laugh so hard.  He gets me going.

There are a number of comedians out there that get me laughing.  But Russell Peters is tops for me because it's not just the style of joke he does, but he can do different accent too.  He is incredibly good at it.  That's another part of what makes him so good.  So give him a listen and see for yourself.

No matter what your stance is on Russell Peters, he will always bee my number comedian of all-time and number one Canadian comedian of all-time.  He is vastly better than a lot of other comedians out there like Dane Cook. I've only heard one joke Cook has done that was good.  Otherwise he is vastly overrated.  You may think Peters is overrated and that is fine because you are entitled to think what you want.  But as long as you give him a chance, than that is all I can ask.

Here is a clip of a hilarious Russell Peters joke!