Friday, July 31, 2009

LAB Mixtapes: Episode 18

Covering Radiohead songs is nothing new but the song, "Creep" is special and has been covered by so many other artists, it's hard to keep track (people such as Beck, Moby, and Korn, have all performed it live). Even Radiohead has recorded a pared-down sparse acoustic version. It's a remarkably versatile number and lends itself to instrumental arrangements. While the song remains the same it's curious how it seems to speak to so many different song writers. Listen for yourself and see if it speaks to you.

Note: This song drops the F-bomb at least once so you're likely to hear it three or four times in this podcast. If you're offended by such language I recommend firing a shot gun near your ears so as to cause deafness, because that's really the only way you'll be able to avoid hearing this particular word in the 21st century, media-drenched world.

Episode 18
Runs 15:16 mins

Links below open the iTunes Music Store:
1. Creep - Edmund Welles
2. Creep - Pretenders
3. Creep - Anni Rossi
4. Creep (acoustic) - Radiohead

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009


This opening scene from Woody Allen's "Manhattan" is why we should never ever try to make a movie about Manhattan in a 5-minute travel video. It is also one of the many films that creates the mythical New York we all have come to love and why so many people feel New York has that strange familiarity.

PS. Originally I wanted to post the scene from the Hayden Planetarium but I could only find it in Italian. Not that it matters, but I settled for the opening instead. By the way, this film with its creepy prescient love story of Woody Allen playing a man in love with a teen-ager is also the reason we might want to over look the fact that Woody Allen became a creepy older man in love with a teen-ager. Confused? Don't worry about it. Everyone is confused sometimes. Even Woody Allen.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From The New York Times:

MUSIC REVIEW | DIRTY PROJECTORS: Vocals That Deliver a Jolt, as ‘Ooh’ Morphs Into ‘Eh’

The Manhattan skyline made a terrific backdrop for Dirty Projectors at East River State Park on Sunday: imposing, unmistakable, slightly jagged, a bit inscrutable....

Get The New York Times on your iPhone for free by visiting

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from peterrogers's posterous

Sunday, July 19, 2009

4 Days & 3 Nights in 5 Minutes

One nice thing about holidays is you can capture them in pictures then force your friends to watch an excruciatingly dull slide show that lasts for 2 hours. Well, let me save you at least an hour and 55 minutes. This movie is just some clips I put together to capture some of the highlight reel stuff of my short visit to New York recently.

The one thing I omitted was my trip to the Highline park, because there were just too many photos and recordings to add, so I'll make a separate clip for that. If you'd rather not sit through the 5 minute movie, I'll be posting more photos which you can find here:

See my NYC photos on Flickr.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Front Steps, originally uploaded by rowdyman.

I added these really simple LED deck lights to the front steps this week. It was probably the simplest addition to the house I've done. I have to say they look surprisingly good considering how cheap they were (and the transformer can support 24 of these little lights so maybe I can find a way to add 18 more).


LAB Mixtapes: Episode 17

I dreamt a dream of walking along a thunderstorm soaked1 New York City street. I found a CBGB's way bill. Tonight's show would highlight only ass-kicking New York City Rocker Chicks. including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with Karen O, Blondie with Debbie Harry and the inimitable Patti Smith headlining. Alas, CBGB's is no more, though the music remains and as always, – dreaming is free.

Episode 17
Runs 11:27 mins

Links below open the iTunes Music Store:
1. Maps - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
2. Dreaming - Blondie
3. Gimme Shelter - Patti Smith

FN1. As I write this Toronto is being sparked by shocks of lightning brighter than any paparazzi's flare so I can say this mix fits well with a rainy night.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Show Time

via kristiecat's Flickr stream

For someone like me, who is anything but musical, watching people making music is a little like magic. Last night we saw Neko Case and friends make a little more magic. We're not the types that see a lot of live shows, but I think what we lose in quantity, we make up for in quality. This was only the third show I've seen at Massey Hall yet those three shows have been great and memorable (Elvis Costello in '99, Herbie Hancock in '06). Neko Case is really just one of a handful of artists that I have multiple albums of and can recognize most of her songs. Songs that, in many ways, are perfect three or four minute gems.

You might not get to see her in concert but here are a couple of ersatz substitutions (not really the same as being there but close as you can get).

NPR's All Songs Considered posted a Neko Case show from April 9th, 2009 (1hr 32mins).

Neko Case also recorded a live session with the CBC (NOTE: the link opens in iTunes) earlier this year (36 mins).



Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Where All the Cool Kids Go

So tonight I found out where all the cool kids go...The Bowery Ballroom is where I heard (CDN) indie darling The Handsome Furs play. It was a great though short set. Then again it was a Tuesday night. When I left around 11 more cool kids were arriving. I cordially bid goodnight to the door man who asked increduosly, "You leavin'?" to which I answered "Yes, because someone spiked my beer - which made me 40-years-old" He replied, "I hear you" though I seriously doubt he did.

It's been a long day and a rare one when I left my glasses on all day because there was just too much to see.

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Friday, July 03, 2009

LAB Mixtapes: Episode 16

I'll always associate Elvis Costello with a group of artists, many from the UK, that broke through the grip of top forty play lists in the 80s. Perhaps mis-labelled "New Wave", bands like Elvis Costello & the Attractions, The Jam, The Squeeze, Talking Heads, Blondie and Joe Jackson crackled and spat through mainstream radio and made college stations worth listening to. What powered these acts wasn't just a newfound intensity but great songwriting. The Jam's Paul Weller and Elvis Costello have few successors today but one band that reminds me of those earlier acts is the New Pornographers and their main songsmith A.C. Newman. Newman might be one of Canada's best songwriters at the moment and no other band can match the New Pornographers output of consistent quality pop songs. Viewers of CBC's The Hour may be too familiar with this Newman tune, "Use It" but it reminds me so much of the Costello Classic "What's so funny" it was hard not to include in this mix.1

Episode 16
Runs 11:27 mins

Links below open the iTunes Music Store
1. That's Entertainment - The Jam
2. What's So Funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
3. Use It - The New Pornographers

FN 1. I had originally planned A.C. Newman's newest single "Ten or Twelve Things" in this mix but there was no denying the drum break being so similar to the "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding" so I gave in. Plus Twin Cinema is an album that, if it were an ultimate fighter were slay any and all comers.

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