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Anita Athavale, and Welcome to 2008

Posted in Anita Athavale on January 1st 2008 by Randy Reichardt

.: Welcome to 2008. First, a Happy Birthday to my Mom, who celebrated 75 years on Dec 31 – Happy Birthday, Mom! 🙂

On December 29th, I drove to Calgary in the afternoon to attend a showcase performance by Anita Athavale. It was a memorable show, and reinforced my thinking that she is one of the most original and inventive talents to emerge from Alberta in years. We are discussing performing together when she is able to land a gig in Edmonton. My brother Chris and his g/f attended with me, and we all thoroughly enjoyed Anita’s performance.

Randy and Anita Athavale I have previously waxed eloquent about Anita Athavale. I discovered her first album some years ago while wandering through CJSR, the University of Alberta student radio station. Her first album is a sparse, stripped down offering with minimal instrumentation, and plays like a well constructed demo recording. In 2007, I found the video for her song, South Pacific, and was blown away by the song itself – great opening riff, a chorus with a hook that draws you in and ends with a searing vocal each time – and I knew I had to have her new album, In The Noise, as soon as possible. So I bought two copies, and have been playing it in the car for six months. We began chatting on MySpace and Facebook, and this led to my offering to be a second guitar for her when she came to Edmonton, if she needed an extra musician. When I heard she had a showcase performance in Calgary on Dec 29 (not really a concert per se, but a performance to “showcase” her talents for industry professionals), I decided that I had to go. Needless to say it was the right decision. Again I’ll say, if you are looking for original music from a great local Alberta artist, try Anita Athavale’s In The Noise.

I want to wish all who read and visit my site a very Happy New Year – all the best to all of you in 2008. I hope you have a year that is rewarding, joyous, and peaceful.

Three Easy Pieces in the South Pacific

Posted in Anita Athavale, Buffalo Tom, MacBook, Miscellaneous, Moody Blues, Three Easy Pieces on July 14th 2007 by Randy Reichardt

.: As Dieter used to say on SNL in the early 90’s, I’m as happy as a little girl. My favorite band of the 90s, Boston-based Buffalo Tom, released its first studio album in 9 years this week, Three Easy Pieces. I’ve ordered it from Amazon and it’s on it’s way as we speak. The first tune I heard is the title track, Three Easy Pieces, a rocking, killer tune, sung not by the usual lead singer, Bill Janovitz, but by bass player Chris Colbourn. Janovitz has a much more powerful and growly voice, and I prefer his lead singing over Colbourn (who tends to sing one or two songs per album). But this tune really grabs me, and I’m looking forward to the hearing the whole album in a few days.

I want to be Bill Janovitz when I grow up. I want to play in Buffalo Tom. Guys, do you need another guitarist for the road?

.: It was 34C here today, or just above 93F, and the sun was angry today, my friends. Being outside was like having hot air sucked out of your lungs. We are in the midst of a heat wave in this part of western Canada, with similar temperatures forecast into next week.

.: A couple weeks ago I purchased one of these, the black model with a 160GB drive. It came with a 4G iPod Nano, which I upgraded to an 80G iPod, figuring if I was going to get one (at last), why not get the big one. A few days later, the Blackberry I use via work was upgraded to an 8830 model, which I’m still learning how to use. One thing I did learn quickly was that RIM/Blackberry and Mac don’t play together in the sandbox too well, if at all. RIM, the Canadian company that invented the BB, hasn’t done much to make Blackberries compatible with Apple products. I’ve scanned a few message boards and such, and come to that conclusion rather quickly, having read many messages from Mac-savvy users.

The Mac is Bluetooth enabled, and I was able to synch it with the Blackberry, which is also Bluetooth-friendly. But I cannot send files from the Mac to the BB via Bluetooth, at least not yet. The Mac recognizes that the BB is close by, but an attempt to send a file results in the error message, “The device does not have the necessary services.” This could mean that the BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server), to which it is connected, doesn’t have that service enabled. I’ll explore this further sometime soon. Trying to send a file (like an .mp3, for example) via a USB port doesn’t work because the Mac equivalent of the Blackberry Desktop Manager, called PocketMac SyncManager, doesn’t have that option. If your brain hurts now, I understand.

I’m learning to use the Mac equivalents to Windows commands, and there are a few more to learn (ha!). I have guidance and encouragement from Geoff and Kenton, both MacBook users, who forced encouraged me to try a MacBook, advising that I would never go back to Windows afterwards. Easier said than done in that I still have two Windows machines at home and a Windows desktop at work, but I’m enjoying learning All Things MacBook for the time being. I suspect Keith knows a few things about Macs as well – call it a hunch.

.: I’m off work for two weeks, going nowhere, staying in town. I hope to do some house cleaning, but it may be difficult in this heat. My parents are coming here next Friday. I treated them to two tickets to see the Moody Blues in Winnipeg last night, and they quite enjoyed the show, especially Mom, who has wanted to see them live ever since she heard their albums when I bought them in the early 70s. I also saw their show here in Edmonton on Wednesday, and really enjoyed it a lot. Sure, most of us there were well over 40, but the Moodies play music that meant a lot to me all those years ago, and they play a polished and professional show, with four great backing musicians. The three remaining members of the band, Justin Hayward, John Lodge, and Graeme Edge, clearly enjoy performing and touring, and I’m glad to have been able to see them a second time in a more intimate setting, the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. I saw the previously when they played at Rexall Place, where the Edmonton Oilers play. It’s much better seeing bands I like in smaller, more personal venues. Such was the case when I saw Steely Dan twice in NYC in June, and also Lily Allen there as well.

.: I finally finished reading The World is Flat (expanded edition) today. A great read, really got me thinking about global issues in ways I hadn’t before. Highly recommended. Only took me about a year to finish it. I’m now reading Quantico by Greg Bear, and Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson.

.: I’m still playing with Hardy Drew & The Nancy Boys, with no updates to report. We’re working on recording some demo tracks in David’s basement, and hope to gig again sometime soon.

There is a special joy when you hear a song for the first time, and the opening bars immediately dig into you and won’t let go. There is an emerging artist in Calgary, Anita Athavale, who has released a new album called In the Noise. She is “friends” with us on MySpace. There is a song on her new album called South Pacific, and it’s one of those songs. Watch the video, listen to it in stereo on her site (choose the little music player in the top right hand corner), and tell me you didn’t like it from the start! Even the lyrics hooked me straightaway:

I was half way through the book
When he took it and tossed it
Garage sale trip to boot
To the South Pacific
I don’t know how it ends and
These characters still wait here
In my head
What will become of them?

I never believed in ghosts till I became one to you
I make you feel uneasy I’m sorry (© 2007 Anita Athavale)

I’m so looking forward to seeing her play this song live, hopefully later this fall.  You can buy two copies of her new album on CD Baby, and even with shipping charges, it’s under $20.00. Buy her album and support a highly talented local Alberta artist.

.: That’s all for now.