Sunday, March 20, 2016

Mixed Tape Memories #2 - Jane Siberry

*Each weekend I will be sorting through my cassette tapes and justifying my reasons for keeping them, or letting them go. Please join me in my journey....

I had no idea that cassette tapes were making a comeback. I don't really think that they are. But there have been numerous articles lately about their re popularity. Really? Read about it here. Even Justin Bieber has released a recent album on cassette. Whaaaat?
I'm ignoring this new trend -- because as soon as I heard about it, I though "Maybe I should save these tapes that I'm culling?" NO NO NO NO NO!
Some companies are still making cassette players. Sony just stopped making the cassette walkman in 2010. I get that. I use them in my classroom. But let's not bring them back, ok? They deserve a natural death.

On the chopping block this week is Jane Siberry. (She was briefly known as Issa around 2006-2009). Let's see how she fares :)

I was introduced to the music of Jane Siberry in 1985 by my friend Miss Kitty Cara. We went to see her play in London (Ontario) at Althouse College. Her voice was like angels singing. It was a kind of  new music genre for me. At that time, I preferred (and still prefer), guitar driven music -- and less "produced" music. But something about Jane struck a chord in me :)

Here she is around the time I first heard her:

Here she is singing Calling all Angels with KD Lang in 2014

So, back to the tapes:

 We have The Speckless Sky and The Walking (commercial tapes). and Bound by the Beauty and No Borders Here are recorded onto a tape. It's my writing -- so I copied them from someone!
The Speckless Sky is my favourite of the bunch -- It's a keeper -- although one of the songs is all wonky and stretched out. I actually would replace it on cd, but it's not available - well, it is available used... from England.  Also not available on itunes  but it IS available on bandcamp :) via Jane's website. I think that I'd rather get a digital version and have the money go to Jane than buy a used copy.
The verdict:
I think that I'd play The Walking again, so Speckless Sky and The Walking will go into the keeper box. I like Bound by the Beauty too -- but I could live without No Borders Here, I think. Too bad that those two are "attached".  (I'm not actually throwing them away -- I just put them in my neighbourhood "Little Library" and someone takes them all.....). So I guess that I'll be keeping them all!
Not doing too well on this sorting, am I?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mixed Tape Memories

It's March Break! and it feels like spring! It's raining and miserable out :)

Lately, I have been puttering around my basement (cleaning, tidying, sorting, jettisoning, sewing). I listen to music on my basement stereo. When my cd player broke a few years ago (Denon! But it changes 3 discs, and that mechanism quit), I pulled a handful of tapes out of a carton and I have been playing the same few tapes since. Yes, my tape player (Nakamichi) still works. Beautifully. Does anyone else still have a tape player? Anyone? Bueller?

This week I have decided to sort my tapes. I have an unopened carton. I'll open pandora's box, and hopeuflly there will be some happy surprises. Get rid of the ones that I will never play again. While doing so, I have been reminiscing about the music, the mixed tapes, my youth.... I also have some blank tapes..... so maybe someday soon I will make a mixed tape. That only I can play :) I'm going to work from the top of the carton down in no particular order.

So, I guess that I've decided on a new blog feature. Weeklyish.

Mixed Tape Memories. 

I will sort the good, the bad and the truly awful. I might not show the truly awful.

First out the door are the 3 on the right. Fine Young Cannibals, The Pop /will Eat Itself and Andy Prieboy. I think that I got them all from "The Columbia House Record Club" You know, when they send you a whole whackload of tapes for free, and then they send you one every month that you have to pay for? Don't judge. That was the teenage me. 
Anyway, those 3 just had one song that I kind of liked back in the 80s... early 90s?
I thought that the Matthew Sweet tape would go with them, but after a play (because I am playing all of these tapes first- it seems wrong to just toss them) I thought that I might listen to it again :)

 The mixed tape is a bit of a mystery. It looks like my brother's writing -- but it is not his style of music at all.

 On one side is David Bowie's Let's Dance (I have the CD :)  The hilarious thing is that it seems to have been recorded over some classical music, because in between songs, you hear some faint music underneath the slight hiss of the recording.

The flip side is a true mix. The Smiths (I wasn't a big Smith's fan, and still am not). But I like most of the rest of the songs, however unrelated they are --Joy to the World by Three Dog Night; Should I stay or Should I Go by The Clash; There is some Ramones, Public Image Limited, then Wild Thing by Tone Loc (yikes!) (not by The Troggs which would have been much, much , much preferred),  REM, and then, oddly, Helter Skelter. Which gets cut off abruptly when the tape ends mid-song. 
So, despite The whiny Smiths, this mixed tape is a keeper -- because I will listen to it again.