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Reelin’ in the Years – 2004

It’s 2004 and I’m 42 years old. Not much on the charts or album releases that I can relate to.

I’m exploring the Toronto Public Library which has a great network of branches. You can order a book, magazine, CD or DVD online from any branch and a van delivers it to the branch of your choice. Add up all the branches in our geographically large city and that comes to quite a selection.

Daniel Ek addressing Spotify staff.

Daniel Ek addressing Spotify staff. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These days Spotify is rendering that a bit redundant for music, and the library should probably put its funds towards obtaining a free Spotify account for all Torontonians. But we’re not there yet. We do have Naxos, though, which is awesome for classical.

So this year I’ve settled on a song rather than a particular version of it. I like this tune a lot. Cat Stevens wrote and performed it in 1967. P.P. Arnold sang another version in ’67. It was a hit in Canada in ’73 with a take by Keith Hampshire. Rod Steward also did a cover in ’77.

Here’s the 2004 incarnation by Cheryl Crow:

And the version that spoke to me as a kid:

Reelin’ in ALL the Years


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Reelin’ in the Years – 2003

It’s 2003 and I’m 41 years old. My father would pass away this year so it wasn’t exactly a stellar year. However, my faith saw me through. I remember driving down to St. Michael’s Cathedral and hearing this song by the Canadian duo Appleton come on the radio.

The radio program was called Lovers and Other Strangers, hosted by Don Jackson. It was always nice to listen to this show while driving down to Mass. It dealt with love and spirituality from different perspectives so was a good precursor to receiving the Eucharist.

Sadly, one year CHFI decided to change its format a bit, and the show was canceled. Nevertheless, Mr. Jackson has reinvented his program online.

We can’t always control the Powers That Be but we can choose how to respond to them.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

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Reelin’ in the Years – 2002

Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 2002 and I’m 40 years old. I’m adjusting to Toronto life nicely, after spending almost a decade away.

The city has changed a lot since I was a kid. Not only bigger but a much better cultural and religious mix. Toronto is emerging as a multicultural powerhouse. Traffic is getting more congested, not just at rush hour but earlier and earlier in the day.

One of my favorite pastimes is to browse Dollarama, a Canadian biz success story for the new millennium. As prices soar everywhere else, more and more people are shopping at the dollar store and having a great time doing so. Back in those days, everything was just one dollar. And it was amazing what you could find.

I remember shopping at one of the earliest Dollaramas and hearing this song come over the store speakers. It was perfect. Looking around me, it seemed the shop was full of people from just about every nation and religion on Earth. I was full of goodwill and love for all mankind. A great time to be Canadian. A great song.

Carlos Santana has been around for many years. Our family owned his classic vinyl albums from the late 60s and 70s. He’s always had a tasty playing style but in this tune, the licks are not just tasty but happy.

I think he is one of the great guitarists. Not because he plays a million notes a minute but because he chooses his notes so carefully. And his instrument has such a delicious tone.

English: Carlos Santana Live in Hamburg, Novem...

Carlos Santana Live in Hamburg, November 1973 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Michelle Branch – Wikipedia

In this song, I’d say the vocal performance and lead guitar are about 50/50 in importance. Just like the game of love should be.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Daughtry brings cadre of hits to Palace Theatre (triblive.com)

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Reelin’ in the Years – 2001

Image – Wikipedia

It’s 2001 and I’m 39 years old. This was an eventful year. I formally converted to Catholicism at Easter in 2001. I remember feeling graces pouring down on me after leaving the church that sunny day.

The other main event, of course, was 9/11. I was with my parents that morning. We had CNN on and saw it happen. I recall thinking, Oh, they’ll just put the fire out and it will be okay. Little did I know I was watching a turning point in history.

In Toronto, the FM of 2001 had nothing to do with the FM I loved in the 70s. FM in 2001 had become what AM was in the 70s but with better, stereo sound. This programming trend actually began in the late 70s/80s but who’s counting…

So here’s a hit I remember liking by the Canadian singer Nelly Furtado. Things are getting better in the pop world; for me, anyhow.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

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Reelin’ in the Years – 2000

It’s 2000 and I’m 38 years old. I remember sitting in the basement playing around with some fonts on our Windows 98 PC, trying to make a catchy banner for Earthpages for the year 2000.

Everything felt pretty new and 2001 was just around the corner—a special year for me because my favorite movie was 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I saw as a kid.

Chuck Berry releases an Anthology in 2000 and since he’s one of the originators of Rock and Roll, I think it appropriate to list one of his best tunes (there are many) for the year 2000.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Fats Domino: The quiet rock ‘n’ roll rebel who defied US segregation (scroll.in)

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Reelin’ in the Years – 1999

Sonny & Cher during a rehearsal break at ABC T...

Sonny & Cher during a rehearsal break at ABC Television’s Wembley studios on 26 May 1966. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 1999 and I’m having the same problem I had with 1998. I don’t connect with most of the pop charts this year. But I respect Cher for coming back with “I believe.”

She was big in the 70s TV show Sonny and Cher. To resurface with the foresight of where pop would be going… dance, dance, dance… is impressive. But I’m not inspired by the song.

With David Bowie, I respect the artist and happen to like the song “Somebody Up There Likes Me” on the album Young Americans.

Young Americans? Isn’t that another 70s relic?

Well, yes but it was r-e-m-a-s-t-e-r-e-d-i-n-1-9-9-9. Sorry folks, I have to do this remastered trick because maybe I am getting old and just not digging the charts like I used to. 37 years old, moving back to Toronto this year. I bought Bowie’s 1999 CD Hours and was mildly disappointed. But this old hit remains a fav.

Come to think of it, I don’t think my not liking tunes released in ’99 was an age thing as much as an out-of-sync thing. I’ve enjoyed a lot of pop since the EDM explosion. So either I’ve changed, the times have changed or maybe both.

1970s UK Sci-Fi TV show depicting an imaginary 1999 where an explosion breaks the moon free of its orbit – Image http://projectswordtoys.blogspot.ca/2013/08/

Technology is marching forward in ’99. People are burning CD-R/RWs and checking out digital photography. I was a bit slow to shell out for these tech advances so was still pretty old skool in ’99. Film camera. Tapes, CDs and Vinyl.

Earthpages is getting search engine recognition and I’m learning what I’m still learning today. How to get out there and be noticed on the web. Transitioning from an academic to a popular writing style has not been easy. In ’99 I’m either coming off too serious or too glib.

Striking that balance when you’re primarily a religious person who goes to Mass several times a week is not as straightforward as one might think. Ironically, I find that going to Mass enhances rather than squashes my creativity.

I still receive the Eucharist several times a week, something I’ll probably talk about more in years not yet reeled in.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Billy Bragg’s Bratty Brother (ask.metafilter.com)

 Cher Concert Tickets for Lubbock, Austin, Corpus Christi, Bossier City… (prweb.com)

 Technology shaping the future of music but its soul remains the same (triblive.com)

 Dressing David Bowie As ‘Ziggy Stardust’ (thecut.com)

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Reelin’ in the Years – 1998

Time Magazine – Fair Use / Fair Dealing rationale

So it’s 1998 and I’m 36 years old. I’m still living in Ottawa, in a slightly rundown apartment beside the Union Mission. I’m getting pretty used to hearing street people making noise because, well, I live right beside them.

One night I had to call the cops because a big guy was pounding on my door screaming “Mother… Mother!” He was pounding so hard I felt it was only a matter of time before he’d break in.

After calling 911 I scrambled out the window onto the roof of the first-floor extension below me. I was pretty scared but kept cool.

When the cops arrived I had a choice… press charges or let it drop. I let it drop but told the guy – now subdued – to his face that he really scared me. He looked like a nice guy. Just drunk and upset. Or maybe stoned.

Whatever. I don’t think he understood too much at that moment.

People did practically everything near the Mission. The basement of our house was broken into with needles left behind. My bike was stolen from that basement. Another inglorious moment.

This place (cars in front) redefined the meaning of “student digs!”

I was sad and upset about my bike because I worked hard to buy it and a friend’s brother, who owned a bike shop, had customized it. Many summers of getting up early and working hard as a city gardener probably went toward a case of beer.

But I figured the theft was a form of global welfare so let it go.

Having graduated, I no longer had access to the university computer room, so migrated over to the Ottawa Public Library. The library had computers, internet, and email through National Capital Freenet. NCF also had free web space. This is where Earthpages began. I talk about that here, so won’t elaborate.

The library has changed a bit since I was there in ’98

In my last entry, 4FUN HITS, I mentioned having a hard time finding anything I liked in 1998.  Since then I realized that Frank Sinatra’s work was remastered in ’98.

Ha! This was the year I first discovered Frank—oddly enough, the same year he died.

I recall making a post-student dinner of noodles and stuff, stirring away and listening to a Sinatra album I’d picked up from the Ottawa Public Library.

Hey, this guy is really good, I thought to myself. What incredible timing.

It would be almost another two decades before I’d go full bore into Sinatra. But I’ll get to that. For now, I’ll just share some of my favorite Sinatra tunes.

Now this is music. I wonder how many pop tunes churned out in ’98 will be remastered 40 years after their release?

“I’ve Got the World on a String” was released in ’56, Come Fly With Me in ’58. And yes they reflect the times. But are we immune to reflecting our own cultural landscape?

It’s now 2018… 60 plus years after the release of these tunes. 60 to 70 years from now I imagine our cultural biases will be just as awkward. Maybe we’ll be scandalized. Maybe we’ll just look back and smile.

I tend to smile with Frank Sinatra.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Breaking: Conductor is suspended in Canada (slippedisc.com)

 Graceland marks Elvis’ Army stint with free day for military vets, active duty (triblive.com)

 Who Is Eva Marie Saint? Reintroducing the 1955 Oscar Winner (time.com)

 Drake’s Degrassi-era notebook is being auctioned for $54k (thefader.com)

 THE SMASHING PUMPKINS Officially Announce Reunion Tour (Without D’arcy Wretzky) (metalinjection.net)