Saturday, June 9, 2007

Streisand/Mathis - I Have A Love/One Hand, One Heart

Try to sing along with this! I have it in my car and I am often attempting this impossibility. Thank your lucky stars you're not around at the time...

The Changing Face (& Ear & Nose) of Music

Much has been made about the closing of Sam, the Record Man, on Yonge Street.

As it should, as this is clearly a sign of the times and the signalling of a passing era. Beset by iPod, the net, YouTube, Myspace, iTunes, Facebook and, even more importantly, Wal-Mart's unbeatable purchasing and discount selling power, hardly a record store known to humankind can survive. When McCartney launches his latest CD at Starbucks, you know something is afoot.

(Completely aside, have you ever seen a music man less joyful? What is this fellow's problem? He if doesn't have life by the knackers, which of us does? If you watch the PBS documentary, "The Making of Duets: Tony Bennett & Guests," you will see a laughing, smiling, joyful Jim Taylor, Elton John, Michael Buble, Diana Krall et al, and this dour, serious, CORPORATE Paul McCartney. It is passing strange, my friends.)

But I believe there is something even deeper at play here than the onslaught on new technologies and the dominance of an overpowering marketer. Even specialty record shops - classical, jazz, Latin - are having trouble surviving.

I'll tell you why.

Last year I went into the now disappeared "Magic Flute" on West 4th Avenue. This is a store I tended to avoid because it was always, in my experience, way less than magical. Often rude and snooty and unhelpful and self-involved would be closer to the truth. But last year, I went in and, unable to find what I wanted, I asked the young lady to point me to Jascha Heifetz. If you Google Heifetz, you will see him referred to at once as "The Violinist of the Century."

Of course, the young lady had no idea who of what I was talking about. Is he a composer? And so on. Can you expect to run a classical music store with employees who have never heard of Heifetz?

Beyond all of those other factors (which are very much at play), I think the deeper reason for the end of the record store as we may have known it is an abiding ignorance and self-absorption. It is yet another reflection of our adolescent culture.

Goo-goo, ga-ga.

Charter Rights vs. Politic$

The Supreme Court of Canada has reversed an earlier decision and declared that collective bargaining rights are enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

But Gordon Campbell, who tore up agreements with hospital workers in 2002 - after swearing he'd never be the SOB to do such a thing - has since hired 5000 non-union sweepers and cleaners and cooks and bedpan emptiers.

What's a fellow to do?

Let us all watch closely now as the government and the unions are both being called upon to revert to what used to be known as "sweet reasonableness."

Leave us not hold our breath, lest we float to the ceiling and be asked to paint it while we're up there.

Blind Justice Poked in the Eye

Explosives, landmines, machine guns and a Nazi flag.

Those were just some of the fun toys found yesterday in a 21st floor apartment at Citygate.

The "suspect" has been released on $50,000 bail.

This is managing public safety?


Please explain to me why CNN spent the entire night on Paris Hilton.

Our interest in Ms. Hilton is less than zero.

Millions are starving, the ice is melting, lunatics abound, science is making astonishing new discoveries, music and art are being composed as we speak.

PH is news?

CNN is "the most trusted name in news?" Don't they have any respect for their own franchise?

Company - Donmar - Being Alive

You'll have to click on the thingy to see and hear this - but it's worth of sondhem's best.