Tag Archive | Music

Introducing When We Was Young

by Ben

Slightly off topic for TRR, but I wanted to engage in a little shameless self-promotion.  For the past few months my friend Chris and I have been making like overgrown adolescents by forming a band, appropriately named When We Was Young.  It’s been incredible fun and I’ve surprised myself with some limited ability to play bass, thanks to Chris’ efforts.

In any case, we’ve recently started doing some songwriting and recording, with result being the release of our first single, “Out of Place”.  The song writing process is terrific fun, and we’ve had great help from our partners/band managers.

Anyway, check the single on our MySpace Music page here and let me know what you think.  Input is always welcome, and we’ll be working to get a slightly more polished version up (I just couldn’t wait).


Spoon on Tour!

by Jimsey

Just a heads up to those who care. My favorite band and my aforementioned band of the decade, announced a US tour yesterday. This coincides with their new album Transference, which hits stores January 18th. Find your city and go! go! go! Tickets for me, go to sale on January 23rd. Adding Deerhunter to the lineup doesn’t hurt either. As for the other band, Micachu & the Shapes, I can’t say I’m familiar, but I guess I’ll find out. Find your date below!

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Final Top 10 Albums of the Decade

by Ben
Now I know we technically missed the deadline here, but I got a couple of more top 10 albums of the decade from friends that I really wanted to share.  They serve as cool comparisons to the previous two lists, one from Chris and one from Jimmy.  Take a look at all four and pick which one you like best in the comments.

The first top 10 is from my good buddy Sara, in no particular order (Canadian content is in bold – way to surpass the CRTCs 30% threshold!):

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Jimsey’s Best Albums of the Decade

In response, or rather in the spirit of Ben’s Post/Chris’ List, I’m going to rattle off my top 10 albums of the last decade. Not because I think my list is any better. We are all adults here (mostly) and we all recognize people have different tastes in music. Its unlikely I would criticize anyone’s top ten list, unless it included Lady Gaga or something. I feel like I should also add, that if you ask me a week from today, or a three days ago, this list would probably be different. I tried to do this as quickly as possible. I’m sure there will be a few that forget, but its not like anyone will really be judging me for this…I hope.

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Best Albums of the Decade

by Ben

My good friend Chris just passed on his top ten list of best albums from 2000-2009.  In his words,

As the first decade of the century is coming to a close and because I’m music obsessive, I decided to put together a Best Albums of the Decade List.  It was supposed to be a top ten but, I couldn’t cut the final two so, I have some ties.  Honourable mentions are listed below as well.  Please let me know if you agree/disagree or, even better, please come up with a list of your own so I can discover other great albums of the last decade.

As I’ve told Chris, I’m a late bloomer in terms of music.  For most of my life I was lost in a musical wasteland that involved at some point thinking I kind of liked that Nelly/Tim McGraw duet song.  Feel free to judge, I deserve it.  In any case, it’s only in the past couple of years that I realized there is a lot of great music out there, and it doesn’t necessarily get played on any mainstream top 40 schlock.

So, without further ado, here is Chris’ Top Ten (plus 2) Albums of the Decade, as well as the almost winners.

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A Weekend of Canadian Music

I had a full plate of Canadian music this weekend in Toronto.  Friday night I was lucky enough to check out my second Rural Alberta Advantage show, and Saturday I was able to see Gordon Lightfoot in concert for the first time.

It was nice seeing both bands within 24 hours of each other.  Despite over 50 years of seperation between RAA and Gordie, the common themes of Canadian place and identity were present in both concerts:  “Alberta Bound” and  “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” for Gordie and “The Ballad of the RAA” and “Frank, AB” for RAA.

I’m no music critic, but I can tell you that I enjoyed both shows.  The RAA show Friday was at Lee’s Palace and was jammed.  The band seemed a little surprised at the crowd and people were lining up out the door to listen.  It was a hot, sweaty mess and I enjoyed it all.  But the best part of the evening came after the show.  As you can see below, I totally scored a photo op with Amy Cole (vocals, keys, percussion).  However, if it was up to me I would have just stared wistfully as she walked by.  Luckily, my good friend RB chased her down and forced her to stand next to a overly geeked and sweaty me.

Amy Cole

The single greatest moment in my life (next to meeting my wife)


Sorry for the crappy crop, there was a cowboy hat in every freakin' shot

Saturday night brought me, my wife and family to Massey Hall.  This was the first time I’d been there.  Knee breaking small seats notwithstanding, it’s a beautiful venue and a perfect space to check a Canadian music legend.  I’d been warned that his voice was really starting to show its age, and in a couple spots I could tell, especially during “If You Could Read My Mind.”  That said, it IS Gordon Lightfoot, after all, so he still brought it.  “Sundown” was especially strong and my personal favourite from the night.  Well, that and his kick-ass red velvet jacket he wore for the first set.  I would totally rock that if I could.


I need that jacket.

2nd act and still going strong.

So a terrific weekend for music, and just one more reason I love living where I do.  Now if I could just get Amy Cole and my wife onto polygamy…

Arctic Monkeys Video

I’ve heard rumblings that some people think Ben Co. is too random. Too all over the place, too whimsical, with no central theme. Well with that in mind, I’m going to keep appearances up.

I’ve got a handful of favorite bands. I would consider none of them mainstream. I really enjoy sharing and exposing people to music (and myself) that they probably would have never encountered.

So, while youtube-ing, I came across a video for the Arctic Monkeys Leave Before the Lights Come On. I like the music, I like the lyrics and now I really like the video. Make sure you watch all of it, there’s a great twist at the end.


…Eleven, Twelve!


Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to present to you what I believe to be the feel good video clip of your lifetime (at least for the Sesame Street generation).

I vividly remember watching the various Pinball Number Countdown animations as a child. There was something profoundly satisfying about these shorts. I’m not sure if it was music (sang by the Pointer Sisters), the trippy psychedelic animation, or the fact that, with my basic feel  for kinetics,  I couldn’t figure out how the pinball stayed on that spiral down ramp.

Having not seen this in years, I obviously have a different perspective on it. I tend to pay more attention the music now – which, as it turns out, is quite good (you gotta love a jazz steel drum solo). Aside from the Pointer’s performance, it was arranged by Ed Bogas who as scored music for hundreds of shows including Charlie Brown, Garfield, and Betty Boop.

Ok. Without further ado, the Pinball Number Countdown:

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