Helpful Signs – An Educational Series

I wonder why this sign doesn’t mention pulling the fire alarm.  Most disturbing.  Still, I guess yelling is a pretty good option.  A helpful tip, use your diaphragm.


Song Of The Day – Jake Bugg – “Lightning Bolt”

Jake Bugg
Jake Bugg (Photo credit: wfuv)

This is Jake Bugg’s second appearance on the Song Of The Day, as I highlighted Two Fingers last year.  Today’s featured tune is Lightning Bolt and it continues his string of bluesy rock success.  This young Englishman was all of 18 when he recorded this song.  Amazing raw talent as both a songwriter and player.  The video is Jake performing live on Late Night.   Not as good as the recorded version, possibly a bit nervous.

Canada’s Best Music – 5 Songs At A Time – Part 32

We move up to number 345 in this edition of Canada’s Best Music.  We have another entry from the Spoons, some classic rock, some new rock from Billy talent and a song from a Canadian staple known as The Tragically Hip, who are, well, hip.  Nice set if you like rock.

345. Spoons

“Those Old Emotions”

Romantic Traffic
Romantic Traffic (Photo credit: stevec77)

The Spoons were in my last post, Part 31.  An 80’s hairband, they had several hits back in the day, including this one in 1983.  Not a great video, but, hey, pretty lucky to find it at all, I’d say.

344. The Watchmen

“Boneyard Tree”

In the Trees
In the Trees (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winnipeg band, The Watchmen had a string of hits in the mid 90’s, including this song off their 1994 album “In the Trees”.  Very good band in their time.

343. Billy Talent

“Turn Your Back”

Billy Talent
Billy Talent (Photo credit: NRK P3)

Billy Talent has been around since the early 90’s (known as the Pezz until 1999), but struck it big over the last couple of years, earning a deserved world-wide following.  Turn Your Back is from Billy Talent III, released in 2009.  They have been nominated for Junos every year since 2004, winning 7 times.  The video is a live version.  Great rocker voice.

342. 5440

“Baby Have Some Faith”

The Canadian band 54-40; from left to right: D...
The Canadian band 54-40; from left to right: Dave Genn, Neil Osborne & Brad Merritt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5440 has been rocking Canadians since the 1980’s, releasing albums as recently as 2011.  One of my favourite bands at one point.  Still enjoy hearing them.

341. The Tragically Hip

“Three Pistols”

English: The Tragically Hip performing in Aspe...
English: The Tragically Hip performing in Aspen, United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A legend to many Canadians, The Hip consistently release quality material, time after time.  This tune was released in 1991 on their Road Apples album.  Great song.

Song Of The Day – The Milk Carton Kids – “Heaven”

Milk Carton Kids (4/28/11)
Milk Carton Kids (4/28/11) (Photo credit:


A bit of a switch from our regular programming.  Today we go heavy Folk (Bluegrass??) with California indie-folk duo, The Milk Carton Kids.  A very interesting group on today’s media stage.  They have released 3 albums since forming in 2011.  Heaven is off their most recent release, “The Ash and Clay”.   Good song, a bit different, and i hope you enjoy it.


The Milk Carton Kids Home


The Milk Carton Kids on Amazon


The Milk Carton Kids on iTunes





Interesting Covers – “Hound Dog”

Big Mama Thornton circa 1955-1960
Big Mama Thornton circa 1955-1960 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Interesting covers goes old-time.  Today we look at a milestone song “Hound Dog“.  It was written by the legendary team of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller in 1952 after meeting and hearing Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton.  The meeting had been arranged by Johnny Otis.  They were 19 at the time, unbelievable.  Big Mama Thornton was the first to record it (August 1952) and released it in February 1953.  It was her only hit, but the song, well that’s a different story altogether.  It has been covered over 85 times and charted on several of those incarnations, although none had the success of either Big mama’s or Elvis Presley’s versions.  The Elvis version is obviously the best known and placed at 19 on Rolling Stones Top 500 of all time, not to mention being in the Grammy’s Hall of Fame.  Who has covered it you ask?  A veritable who’s who of music and reflecting a wide diversity of style.  Jerry Lee Lewis, Pat Boone, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Conway Twitty, Eric Clapton, James Taylor and Frank Zappa.  Crazy!  We will dispense with the poll on this, seems the work involved is not worth the 1 vote each time hahaha.  We’ll start with Big Mama, move through a couple of others and finish up with Elvis.  Enjoy!


The Big Mama version is very much R&B and a lot less frenetic than the more familiar Elvis effort.  I like the voice and her control of the song.  The instrumentation is subtly performed by some very good musicians.  A great song done like this.



This version is by one of my favourites, John Lennon.  Unfortunately, the song is not up to his standards, ruined by some “singing?” by Yoko doing her best imitations of a dog.  Kind of funny to listen to and watch.  Some good playing though.



Here is the Jimi Hendrix version, unmistakably his.



And of course, Elvis.



Random Songs From My Phone – Duffy – “Serious”

Aimee Anne Duffy (*1984), known professionally...
Aimee Anne Duffy (*1984), known professionally as Duffy, is a Welsh singer-songwriter of soul music (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a serious infatuation with Duffy’s voice back about 4 or 5 years ago.  Her debut album “Rockferry” is one of those stunning debut records that show incredible potential.  She came on the scene with an entire bevy of English female singer songwriters that quickly took over the airwaves.  Think Amy Winehouse and Adele.  In many ways, Duffy was the Animals to the others Beatles and Stones.  Very good, but not at the top of the heap.  Unfortunately, she lost me with the release of her second album in 2010 called “Endlessly”.  Still, Rockferry will be an enduring classic and should be in your collection.  songs such as this “Serious” will likely be timeless and enduring.

Canada’s Best Music – 5 Songs At A Time – Part 16

The Canadian Music Blog

Another interesting set, from movie music to classic rock, some surprisingly good stuff.

1. Pukka Orchestra

“Listen to the Radio”

An interesting new wavish rock song from 1984 by the band with the sick name.  They released 3 albums in the 80’s and the early 90’s and broke up in 1992.

2. David Foster

“St. Elmo’s Fire Theme”

One of Canada’s major exports, David Foster, composed this song as the theme song from St Elmo’s Fire in 1985.  The song was originally written for Rick Hansen‘s “Man in Motion” tour of the world for spinal research.

3. Three Days Grace

“I Hate Everything About You”

Three Days Grace make another appearance in the list with their classic song “I Hate Everything About You”.  They definitely let loose their angst in this one.

4. Corey Hart

“In Your Soul”

A classic from Corey Hart.  He doesn’t wear…

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I Missed Seeing The Barbers In Seville

We last left off in Toledo in our Iberian adventure.  Hard to believe this trip was a year ago.  We left Toledo via train, heading back to Madrid to make another train to Seville.  Arriving in Seville, we caught a cab to our home for the next few nights, the Hotel Amadeus.  Situated right in the heart of the old city, it is quite stunning.  We spent 3 wonderful days and nights here, with a few side trips.  We tend to do B&B’s when we travel, but they seemed to be in short supply here, ergo a hotel.  No regrets on this one.

The Carpet Leads to the Amadeus
The Carpet Leads to the Amadeus
Hotel Amadeus
Hotel Amadeus (Photo credit: amycgx)

Not surprisingly, Seville has both a major cathedral and a Moorish Alcazar.  First the cathedral, an awe-inspiring structure that is known for the tomb of Christopher Columbus.  The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, constructed in the years between 1402 and 1506, is a recommended spot.  Not the oldest cathedral we’ve been in, but one of the most impressive. It is the 3rd largest cathedral in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site (stroke this one off the list).    Let’s let the pictures do the talking from here.

Spain 002
Seville Cathedral
The Tomb of Christopher Columbus
The Tomb of Christopher Columbus

The size and majesty of this building can be understood just a bit by this perspective shot.  This is only a small section of the cathedral.

The Interior
The Interior

We climbed to the top of the tower, which gives some spectacular views of a great city.

The View From The Tower
The View From The Tower

Close by, and making up part of a magnificent monument centred old part of the city is the Alcazar.  Of Moorish construction dating back to the 10th century, it consists of a former residence and some beautiful gardens and grounds.

The Residence Area of The Alcazar
The Residence Area of The Alcazar
The Grounds at the Alcazar
The Grounds at the Alcazar

The city is filled with excellent restaurants and Tapas places.  A few recommendations?  Really just one, La Taberna Poncio is our favourite.  If we had discovered this place on the first night, we never would have tried anywhere else.  The food was great, the service spectacular.  A thoroughly enjoyable experience.  After this, every else was just good and kind of touristy.  Poncio was basically locals and very Spanish.  There was a bit of a language issue, which again spoke to the atmosphere.  Highly recommended by Lori and I.  A few photos from places we sat down at.  Hard to find a place without a great setting.

The View From the Rooftop Bar at Hotel Amadeus
The View From the Rooftop Bar at Hotel Amadeus
Ambience in Seville
Ambience in Seville
Dining With A View
Dining With A View

We decided to stay an extra day here, but could not stay at the Amadeus, meaning we had to find alternative lodging.  This leads to a bit of advice.  DO NOT STAY at the Hotel Alcazar.  Supposedly a 3 star, more like a 2 star.  Not as advertised, but any port in a storm.

We leave you with a video that I posted once before.  I call it the Skaters of Seville.  Canadians have an interest in skating, a genetic thing, and love to do and watch it, on wheels or blades.  We had some fun watching these people.  Maybe there is hope for Spanish Ice Hockey??

Song Of The Day – Dido – No Freedom

Dido en live
Dido en live (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Dido has carved out a very nice career since breaking into the scene in the mid 90’s.  Since 1999, she has released 4 albums, 19 singles and an EP.  The one song that I always remember is “Thank You”.  The song here, No Freedom,  released off her March 4, 2103 album, “Girl Who Got Away” is reminiscent in places of Thank You.  Personally, I was surprised that 4 albums is all she has given us, seems like more.  Her style is soothing and eclectic all at once, veering from pop to electronica.  Good singer and a pretty good song.

Dido Home Page

Dido on iTunes

Dido on Amazon



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