Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


Leave a comment

Reelin’ in the Years – 2005

Image – Wikipedia

It’s 2005 and I’m 43 years old. Pope John-Paul II and Johnny Carson die this year while North Korea announces it has nuclear weapons.

I remember driving downtown and hearing if not this song another one by Mariah Carey and thinking how pop music, in Toronto anyhow, had become the era of the diva.

This isn’t a bad song but I don’t think it’s great either. More about vocal gymnastics than memorable melody. But I could be wrong. Music is a very personal thing. And for all I know folks younger than myself might like this just as much as I enjoy some 70s fluff—e.g. “Reunited” by Peaches and Herb.

So here’s Mariah, looking sexy as if you’re just about to jump into bed with her. Sex sells. We all know that. In this case, sensuality, vocal acrobatics, and an okay tune made for the #1 single in 2005.

Luckily, things will get better in the pop world.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Poo Bear announces album featuring Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Jennifer Lopez, and more(thefader.com)

 Man charged with felony theft of Frances McDormand’s Oscar(bostonherald.com)

Advertisements


Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

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)


Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

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)


Leave a comment

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)