Thursday, April 15, 2010

Matthew Good For Prime Minister!

It's a well-known fact that I am a huge fan of Mr. Good's body of musical work but I am also a huge fan of his humanitarian work as well. While I would much rather get along with a cat or a dog as they seem capable of unconditional love, I respect those that advocate for human rights. Matthew Good is one of those people. I love the fact that he uses his voice through music and through his website to bring forth awareness to people who otherwise would not search out this kind of information and enlightenment as to what goes on in a world that seems to be overrun by a "me me" generation and run by large corporations. He also expounds awareness for mental illness and mental health and is very vocal about his views on politics. I have seen him perform live five times thus far, making him the most seen musician in my concert-going career.

His latest body of work titled "Vancouver" is a wondrous collection of songs written by himself and has a focus on the decline of his hometown of Vancouver, Canada. Actually, Mr. Good grew up in Coquitlam which is a suburb of Vancouver and also where the Matthew Good Band was formed in 1993. Due to differences of opinion, the band split in 2002. He now works with another band but he is the brains and brawn behind all that you hear now.

Matthew Good is a big supporter of Amnesty International which is a non-profit organisation for human rights.

He is also involved with The Canadian Mental Health Association and was diagnosed after a lengthy battle with unwell-being as being bipolar. I suppose this factor makes him that much more human to me and I am able to relate to a lot of what he sings about in his songs.

His music sends shivers down my spine, especially when he incorporates orchestral elements into his songs. I find myself relating to songs about mental illness and loss, the decline of humanity and the sad state of affairs our world is currently in. All in all, Matthew Good was born to make music. For if he did anything else, there would be one hell of a loss in the Canadian music scene, scratch that.. in the WORLD music scene and for that, I am grateful.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now to write out all that I would like about him as it would take hours, so this is a short version of certain tidbits I find pertinent to himself and his career as I relate to it.

One last thing that I should say, I would vote for him as Prime Minister of Canada in a heartbeat! I think he would do a fantastic job of turning this upside-down country into something I could be proud of. As of right now, I have no political party to vote for as they all seem to have one agenda and that is to serve major corporations and NOT the general populace of Canada.

I will leave you with a few of my favourite tunes off of his latest album.

First track off the album titled: Last Parade

And three tracks I absolutely love:

Monday, March 22, 2010

When I Was A Little Girl...

I thought gangsters and hos were cool.
I was listening to a lot of hip hop back then and I stumbled upon some really nasty stuff, the stuff you giggle about in secrecy because if your parents knew you were listening to this, you'd get grounded for like, life, man.

I lived in a cushy suburban hellhole at the time and some of the older boys were into this stuff. Being a tomboy and only really hanging out with boys, I picked up some of their musical tastes which included gangster rap.

I was already into hip hop so the progression was natural. It was all about bitches and hos, ak-47s and sawed offs. Doing drive-bys and getting beat down by cops. Drinking 40s and smokin' blunts. You know, those fundamental things that I could relate to..oh wait. I had no effing idea about what half of the shit they were spewing. But the beats were good and there were some talented lyricists doing this stuff at the time. I can appreciate but not fully understand it.

Oh and did I mention it was funny? What pre-teen doesn't giggle when they hear words like tits, ass, dick and blow job? lol

Some of the stuff they were rapping about wasn't so funny however. Like beating women, killing for fun, being killed for fun, oppression, extreme poverty, and racism. These are some of the things I couldn't relate to. A lot of them I did not condone either.

Around the age of 13 I started getting out of the gangster rap and I stopped listening to anything new. I had found positive and upbeat stuff that appealed to me better.

I'm still into some of the old stuff and I listen to it for nostalgia's sake.

I figured I would post some vids of some of my favourite tunes from way back and a new one that I found from one of the old groups I used to listen to. Apparently they are making a comeback.

Cypress Hill - Armada Latina **NEW**

Cypress Hill - Real Estate

NWA - Straight Outta Compton

NWA - Automobile

Schoolly D - Signifying Rapper

Boogie Down Productions - 9mm Goes Bang

Ice-T - New Jack Hustler

Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Inbreds and a Blurb on Mike O'Neill

Mike O'Neill is a Canadian musician based out of Halifax Nova Scotia. I was about 15 when I discovered his fabulous talent. As a young girl starting out playing bass guitar, I fell in love with his former band The Inbreds which featured Mike O'Neill on bass and Dave Ullrich on drums. There were some other instruments used in the making of their music but the main two remained bass and drums.

I was shocked when I first found out it was only a two-man band. Mike O'Neill plays the bass superbly and makes use of multiple effect pedals to create different sounds for the bass. I went out in search of the album Hilario, their first album which was released in 1993. I found a copy at the music store in the mall and I loved all of it instantly after listening to it. I was studying bass at the time and so I would try to play like Mike played. It was rather futile although I managed to learn a couple of songs through sheer determination. I loved the album art that was on the CD cover. I still own the same one today. It was one of my older CDs that didn't get stolen from me most likely and thankfully, due to the fact that most people have not heard of the Inbreds.

Oh noes! Kitty is scared!

They had a rather big hit off of their second album Kombinator, here in Canada. It got radio play and Much Music play as far as I know. I was not a fan of radio and so therefore didn't listen to it for many years. The song is called "Any Sense of Time". I quite enjoyed this album as well. I pretty much like to try and figure out what effects he's using and I will fully admit, his song writing skills are great and the tunes are catchy.

The band broke up in '98 after releasing the 4rd album titled Winning Hearts, but not before I got a chance to see them play live at Fenn Lounge in Carleton University. I went with my boyfriend at the time but I don't remember him being there with me as I was too entranced with the bass playing skills. It was great to finally see the magic!

Dave Ullrich has apparently formed another band called the Eggers. I haven't heard of them but I am going to have a listen-hear at some point. He also owns a digital label which houses a tonne of independent Canadian artists called Zunior Records.

Mike O'Neill has been up to making more music and songwriting since the days of the Inbreds. His solo career consists of two albums. On the first album which is titled What Happens Now? he has a the backing of some rather well-known Canadian names like Ron Sexsmith and Matt Murphy of Superfriendz. The second is titled The Owl and Mike plays and sings everything on the album. This album is only available on Zunior Records. You can check out his solo work on the CBC Radio3 site here. I personally really like "Camera Shy" off this link.

That's my first entry..I hope you enjoy.