Pete Yorn’s American Blues Vol 1

Posted in Pete Yorn on January 30th 2009 by Randy Reichardt

.: I am a big fan of Pete Yorn, and think he’s one of the best songwriters and performers working today. Here’s a new video for a song he wrote called American Blues Vol 1. From Pete’s MySpace site:

I wrote American Blues Vol. 1. on the 4th of July after reading the morning paper. It’s unlike any song I’ve ever written. I was moved by how much negativity I was reading about and how even groups were boycotting Independence Day because they were so disgusted with the state of our Nation. I was hoping things would improve…they obviously haven’t yet…but I know they will in time. I sent the song to some friends and one of them (a really old friend of mine who is actually a huge reason I didn’t give up on a musical career back in 1998) was really affected by the message. He always has had an unwavering faith in America and has always been able to laugh when times got tough. The video for American Blues Vol. 1 was made by this friend of mine. He is not a video-director…just a guy from New Jersey who wanted to put images to a song that hit home for him. He wanted me to share it… here is American Blues Vol. 1.

Bill Janovitz and the Cover(s) of the Week

Posted in Bill Janovitz, Bll Janovitz and Crown Victoria, Buffalo Tom, Chris Toppin, Cover of the Week, Show People on January 20th 2009 by Randy Reichardt

.: Those who have known me for years and who are aware of my musical tastes (like my brother Chris and friends Derryl and Taras) also know that one of my favorite bands at any time is Buffalo Tom of Boston.  I first heard Buff Tom when I bought the No Alternative album in the early 90s.  The song “For All To See” is on that record, and when I heard it for the first time, I was hooked on BT for life.  I had to hear more, and have been a loyal fan ever since that first listening.

Bill Janovitz is the guitarist and “El Capitan” of BT.  In addition to the BT catalogue, he has also released two solo albums, an album called Fireworks on TV with his group, Bill Janovitz and Crown Victoria, and an album with Chris Toppin under the name Show People.  The entire body of his work to date is a creative and unique mix of sounds and styles and always feels like the real thing – raw, honest music from the heart, tunes that get stuck in your head for days.

I mention all of this because I want to direct your attention to Bill’s blog, The Life and Times of Bill Janovitz, Part Time Man of Rock, and his new and ongoing project, Cover of the Week, in which Bill has been recording some of his favorite cover tunes and posting them to his site for his fans to enjoy and download.  In the first CotW, posted on 29 November 2008, Bill writes:

“I am undertaking an ambitious task, that is to record a cover song every week and offer it up here for your enjoyment, criticism, suggestions, tears, or laughter. I just feel like covering some of my favorite songs. The idea is an informal little pastime. I will not be fussing around with these. I just want to post some songs that I sit around the house playing.”

Whether or not you are aware of Bill and his many musical projects, please take the time to check out his Cover(s) of the Week.  Each tune is downloadable from his site, and as he adds more, he is creating a new and unique set of songs for those his of fans fortunate enough to have found his blog!  This is a rare treat from a creative bandleader and songwriter whose musical talents and work ethic I respect and admire greatly and try to emulate in my own musical life.  What he is doing is also inspring.  As an added bonus, each song is usually accompanied by an articulate and very interesting back story.

So thanks Bill, and to my friends who read this blog, please check Bill’s site and listen to his readings from a very interesting and expanding set of great cover tunes.  Oh, and my favorite CotW so far is #5, Bill’s version of In A Misty Morning, from Gene Clark‘s second solo album, Roadmaster.  Clark was one of the founding members of The Byrds.

Heather’s Eyeflashes, Chester’s Archives

Posted in Miscellaneous on January 9th 2009 by Randy Reichardt

.: Heather Gallay and I “met” a couple years ago when she responded to a post I had written about Lost.  I recently reconnected with her via FaceBook, and discovered she is quite an amazing photographer.  Please check out her site, eyeFlashes, and click on “Open Gallery” to see a wide selection of her work.  Spend time with “Cream of the Crop” to see what Heather considers to be her best photos.  Some breathtaking stuff there.

.: I’ve been back at work for a week, and have spent most of the time plowing through the personal archives and papers of Chester D Cuthbert, the legendary Winnipeg book collector.  His archives (letters, notes, booklists, etc) were obtained along with his book, fanzine and pulp magazine collection last October by MPOW, the University of Alberta Libraries.  Chester’s personal archives (and the books, zines, etc.) will be added to the University of Alberta’s collection, and I am creating the Finding Aid for them, to help future researchers who wish to access his papers.  It has been fascinating and a rare privilege to sift through the many letters Chester exchanged with his many contacts over the decades, stretching back to the 1930s.  Among his correspondents were many important names in the sf publishing field, including William F Nolan, August Derleth, Donald A Wollheim, and Forrest J Ackerman.

Does Winnipeg REALLY Exist?

Posted in Winnipeg on January 5th 2009 by Randy Reichardt

.: As seen and noted in the movies and television, a number of mentions of my beloved home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba:

And don’t forget Winnipeg director Guy Maddin’s movie about Winnipeg, My Winnipeg.

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