Archive for March, 2008

Danko Jones: Never Too Loud

March 19, 2008

One of my great joys is finding new musical treasures. Today, I stopped in at the local HMV on my way back from lunch. I was already running late, and I was certain they wouldn’t have anything I wanted, but HMV keeps doing this bastardly thing of finding one new release that I really want, and dropping the price to $9.99 so I can’t say no. It’s just so… reasonable! And lo and behold, I found a new Danko Jones album! I love Danko Jones! What a surprise treat for me! I had heard rumblings that a new album was being worked on, but I had no idea when it was coming out. A happy day! My ignorance paid off!

So I took the album back to work with me, tossed it into the ol’ corporate laptop, plugged in my earphones, and prepared for the full-on aural assault that I have come to expect and love from Danko Jones. And I’m still waiting.

I don’t review a lot of albums on here because I am no good at actually describing music. I can post concert reviews because I focus on all the extracurricular activities that surround the show itself, but I don’t really know from music. I don’t know when someone is or is not in tune. I don’t really understand what “pitch” is. I know only a limited number of adjectives and I beat them all into the ground. I can’t play an instrument at all and I don’t know when someone is or is not playing theirs well. As such, I will defer at this time to Chart’s review of Never Too Loud, where it claims that:

Never Too Loud sounds like an album, rather than a close approximation of the real thing. The songs feel more finished here, unlike some found on previous discs where emotion, rather than articulation, was key.

Interesting. So the album is more polished than his previous albums (and the live shows), but that polish has come at the expense of emotion. This is much more explanatory and articulate than my email to Mika, which summed up the entire album like so:

When did Danko Jones get so pussified?

I bought a new car, and just yesterday, I was thinking that a Danko CD would be great driving music. I still think that – just not THIS Danko CD. Indeed, this album has done a great job of making me want to listen to his other albums.

There were actually two sentences in that email to Mika. The other was:

This album is barely about fucking or touring at all!

I see now that this is not entirely accurate. I can’t really find fault in the lyrics on this new record, since Danko’s songs have always been… single-minded? I guess that’s a good way to put it. A bunch of songs about girls and another bunch about the power of rock. And these themes are still explored on this album. Girls = hot, rocking = awesome. Fair enough – a good scientist always repeats his experiments to ensure consistent conclusions. It’s just that the passion isn’t there. The fury isn’t there. Ravenous is almost sweet. And the song Never Too Loud just kind of made me feel sad for the old man who’s losing his hearing.

Given all the songs on this album, though, Never Too Loud was the best choice for the album title. Not once did I have to turn it down. Danko had already done that.

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Blue Rodeo: Hasn’t Hit Me Yet

March 14, 2008

Last summer, Mika and I attended the Regina Folk Festival. Blue Rodeo was one of the headliners, and I was lucky enough to capture some of their set on video, which I subsequently uploaded to YouTube.

Tonight, my recording of Hasn’t Hit Me Yet received the following comment:

I am Canadian, my birthday is in December and I am a Officer in the Navy. During the 911 crisis my ship was in lake Ontario on a patrol. The actual night of 911 a friend and myself, both of whom play guitar, sat in the Wardroom (officers lounge) and played & sang this song over and over again as some strange, spontanious way of dealing with our feelings. I will never forget this song nor will I never forget that night.

I often say that I love the internet. Usually, I’m being facetious because I’ve just seen something hilarious that has to do with wieners or butts.

(I get lots of links from my friends – I’ve said many times when I shudder whenever I hear “I saw this and I thought of you” because it reveals some very sad truths about myself and how people perceive me. Not that they’re incorrect, and not that wieners and butts aren’t hilarious. But I digress.)

This time, though, I love the internet for real. I have no idea who this person is. From what little I know about him, I could narrow him down to  one of hundreds of people who are in the Canadian Navy and who have birthdays in December. This assumes I could get a list of Navy personnel with birthdays in December, which I’m guessing isn’t likely. For that matter, I’m making an assumption when I say “him.” I really don’t know. I’ll keep saying “him” because it’s easy and I’m lazy.

We’ve probably never been in the same city at the same time. Maybe not even the same province. I didn’t have him in mind when I saw the concert, recorded the video, or uploaded the video. By all rights, our paths should never have crossed. But here we are. I shared a slice of my life in the video. I got a story in return. And maybe I’m tired and overthinking things, but it just seems so cool that this is possible.

I guess the moral of the story is that I should bootleg more concert videos for YouTube.