Tag Archives: music

Musicians Scoring Famous Talks and Speeches (MSFTS)

Holy geez.
This night was more than special.
Tuesday, January 20th Phog Lounge held a group of musicians willing to put themselves on the line.
They knew they’d be playing to some famous speeches, but they didn’t know which ones.

I thought I knew what I was doing.
I had twelve speeches ready, loaded, prepared to go.
I wish I had done more research into the length of the speeches. I was telling the musicians that the speeches were 8 minutes long, unless they were longer, like, 18 minutes.
Well, the first speech was 25 minutes or longer, and the second was almost 40 minutes long!
The bands were expecting one thing, and then being forced to persevere and give it all they had to last the length of an entire set on one song!

The musicians were:
Martin Schiller and Kyle Marchand of What Seas, What Shores.
Adam Rideout of Yellow Wood
Stephen Hargreaves of Not_Digital
Stefan C. formerly of Oh Vanya
Chad Howson of Another Saturday Knight

The speeches aren’t perfectly represented here…recorded from the bar, there are some interruptions…technical and otherwise, but minor at worst. These speeches are MORE than worth listening to, and I am extremely grateful for the musicians who volunteered themselves to come out an perform in this way…exposed…brutally exposed.

Speaking with some of the people in attendance, it was the icing on the cake for their day, as it was held on the same day as Barack Obama’s inauguration as President of the United States. Others said that, at first listen, Obama’s speech was ordinary and uninspiring. But on the second listen, with a military drum beat and an emotional synthesized landscape of transitions, the speech came to life and was worthy of the praise being given it on the news.

It will happen again. It must.
I just hope the talented musicians (veterans now) come and participate in the next one.

Here’s the first speech of the night:
Ronald Reagan- Tear Down This Wall – June 12, 1987 in West Berlin, Germany
performed by Stephen Hargreaves, Chad Howson, and Stefan C.

VIDEO FROM SAMANTHA COOPER!!! JUST ADDED! Thanks Samantha! Jump to 3:00 to get past my mumbo-jumbo…

Phog Speech – Ronald Reagan in Berlin from samantha maryann on Vimeo.

Second speech:
Richard Nixon – Resignation Speech – August 8, 1974 in Washington, DC
performed by Martin Schiller and Kyle Marchand

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

Save File: nixons__resignation_speech.m4a

Third speech:
This one has a little gap, where my batteries died, without warning. I stitched it together as best I could.
Martin Luther King Jr. – I’ve Been To The Mountaintop – April 3, 1968 (the day before his assassination) in Memphis, Tennessee
performed by Adam Rideout and Stefan (electronic)

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

Save File: ive_been_to_the_mountaintop.m4a

Fourth and final speech:

2009 Inaugural Celebration. Washington D.C. National Mall thanks to Geoeye.com

2009 Inaugural Celebration. Washington D.C. National Mall thanks to Geoeye.com

Again, there was an issue with this speech that the performers played through. The streaming video of the speech was slow, and choppy.
So, there was some overlapping, and I again, did my best to stitch it together.
Barack Obama – Presidential Inauguration Speech – January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC
performed by Stephen Hargreaves and Stefan C.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

Save File: obamas_inaugural_presidential_speech.m4a


Team Love Record Label doing something very cool

Current selection of music available for download on Team Love's Library site as of December 10, 2008

Current selection of music available for download on Team Love's Library site as of December 10, 2008

The debate and drone of the download vs. purchasing of music is endlessly ongoing. Some people are prosecuted. Some people are fined. Some people are threatened to stop sharing files over the internet.

Then there are bands like Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and Tim Fite who are giving their music away for free online. This, to me, is revolutionary and brilliant. These bands and musicians rise to the top of the heap in a world so convoluted with options, and then they can sell their merchandise, special releases, live concerts, and more.

Blah, blah, blah…of course it’s not that easy…but I’m still amazed by the willingness of artists to give away “some” of their art.
This is all lead-up to a website I was recently invited to…by the company, who I had never heard of or registered with before. Team Love.
Team Love Records is a New York City based label that was founded in the Fall of 2003 and is host to bands such as Bright Eyes, Jenny Lewis, and The Watson Twins.

They have started something called Team Love Library, where they are posting their entire library’s worth of music digitally for free download! They will not post everything all at once. It will be rotated roughly every month, thus, keeping you aware of their artists, tour dates, and other items.
Smart, smart people at Team Love.

Here’s how they put it:
“When Team Love started we had the simple and possibly self-defeating notion that posting all our albums on the website as free downloads would be a good detour around the wreckage of the music industry and a way to avoid getting bogged down in the number one topic of discussion and distraction: piracy, illegal downloads, P2P networks and so on.

Five years later and the debate still drones in the background, and while some bands have adopted a mutated version of the “free download” (pay what you wish, etc), we’ve decided to reshape out policy in a different direction and introduce the Team Love Library. Each month (or so) we’ll be rotating the Library’s selections, featuring different Team Love albums as well as exclusive content such as unreleased songs, live or remixed versions of TL favorites.

The library will be open to the public 24/7, and as we have an endless abundance of MP3’s (we fucked up and made too many of them), anything you take from the library is yours to keep. You will not be notified if you fail to return something on time, and you will not lose your library privileges if you share selections with friends.

Enjoy the TLL.”

So join up, and download some awesome, legal, free music.

Another Saturday Knight on NIMBY

picture-4Adam and I finally got back into the swing of recording Not In My Backyard for CJAM.

Again, we are live to air every Tuesday at noon on 91.5FM in Windsor/Detroit, or you can stream it to your computer, OR go to the archives and check it out.

I interviewed Chad Howson of Another Saturday Knight. His band released a new CD (their first) and I felt it was worth asking what it was like to do such a thing…being a non-musician. I strayed away from the “What does your music sound like?” kind of questioning, because you an go to his website and listen for yourself (I’ll post the link). I wanted to delve into the excitement, worry, and thoughts of someone releasing something new.

For your benefit, I recorded video of the interview, in two parts. The batteries in the recorder died, so I had to kill the video until I located some new batteries.

Here’s the radio interview link, and the videos are below.

I love how, as soon as the audio recorder is off, we get relaxed. We start speaking less formally. I think I like that feeling more than the feeling of the interview. I will begin trying to speak loosely DURING interviews instead of only on EXTRA FOOTAGE which is not on the interview.

By the way, there’s about 4 minutes of relaxed (extra content) that would not fit on the CJAM interview. Well worth seeing.

Also, you should listen to the CJAM version because Adam’s interview with Dianne Clinton (participant at the upcoming Made in Windsor Craft show). It’s a great connection to someone who conveys the importance of spending money with local artisans.

Click this link to hear the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) version on CJAM.

Turn up your computer volume to hear the audio from the video. It’s a little quiet.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1548753&dest=-1]

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1548987&dest=-1]


Khari Has Been FOUND!

Yes, it’s crazy exciting!

Khari McClelland is no longer M.I.A.

My old pal is alive and very well, living in Vancouver, performing music and working three jobs!

I love this!

If this post makes no sense to you yet, read my past posts –



I was at Phog, working, and the phone rang. I answered as I usually do, “Phog…”


“What can I do for ya?”

“It’s Khari!!”

Which I followed by looking wide-eyed at my patrons, cursing and fidgeting, confused and thrilled.

Khari laughed on the other end of the line, which reminded me of how his laugh used to light up a building.

I asked him immediately if he finally Googled his name. I knew he would come across my blog posts one day or another.

“No, my friend Melissa, from work, asked me if I’ve ever Googled myself, and I was like, nah.”

Melissa decided to do it immedietely, right then and there. At work.

Melissa, I owe you a gargantuan debt of gratitude! Jesus Christ! How can I thank you for offering this tech-denying buddy of mine a glimpse into the web, and how people are looking for him!?

He read the post, and told me on the phone that he was touched by what I wrote, and expressed reciprocal appreciation for my friendship. We chatted for about 20 minutes, rushing, with me cutting him off several times with more questions.

It was a whirlwind, and will continue to be when I chat with him next, as I now have his phone numbers, e-mail, etc.

I feel like a missing piece of my life was put back today. Something far-gone was achieved. The unlikely was realized tonight, and I feel like there’s a reverberating magic on me, like when you get slapped on the arm and the ringing skin stays there for a long while afterward.

I’m thrilled. It took almost five months for the web-ring to reach him. I feel like I got a MAJOR Christmas present today, and THANK YOU KHARI for reacting to the post and getting in touch.

If you feel like reading his reactions…comments can be found on the past Khari McClelland posts.

Now to catch up.

Oh-Bama. The best version of the speeches possible…


Listen up.

Last night at work (Phog Lounge), I had some musicians scheduled to play. They weren’t being paid. The money  made from donations was going to go to a cultural project needing extra funds.

Stupid me forgot, when booking this music, that the elections were on the same night.

Elections = People stay home

So, as quiet as it was during the election, Chad Howson, and another piece of his band, Another Saturday Night, decided that they would play anyway. I thought it was a good idea.

They took the stage for a second set moments before John McCain began giving his concession speech. A surprise to us all. So, as we listened, we watched all of the election coverage on a crackling black and white TV perched on the end of the bar.

Chad had an idea.

He placed a microphone on the speaker of the TV and cranked it.

He then got on the stage, two guys, guitar and drums, and started playing softly over the concession speech of McCain. It was incredible. Why? Well, McCain’s speech was gracious, and it allowed the Obama supporters to see and remember the man who existed BEFORE McCain was instructed to attack. He was his old (pun) self. He was real. And I liked him again.

So, after hearing this live music over the candidate speaking, I decided to be prepared for Obama’s victory speech.

I had the recorder ready, and I got the entire speech with live music (a musical score, if you will) playing in the background. The result is pretty damn AMAZING! I KNOW you will most likely to agree.

There are moments that the musicians feed from the speech and give a sense being felt by myself and others who were excited to see what was happening. Take a moment, listen, and allow yourself to be impassioned by this speech again, but this time, with some indie/instrumental music in the background. It’s so wicked, I am thrilled that I was able to capture this.

Share, share, share!

I think when musicians hear this, they will see the opportunity to make their own Victory Speech Remixes, much like musicians get together en masse to remix, say, Radiohead.

Check it out!

Download it. Share it.


The moment of 16:30 in this file is perfect timing which leads to a triumphant end that I have listened and re-listened to over and over again tonight. I am ecstatic for The United States of America…finally.

If you’re interested in hearing the chunk of McCain’s speech in the same style, here it is:

I cannot wait to challenge instrumental bands/musicians to come to Phog and freestyle over famous speeches from unknown speakers. Meaning, I will line up a famous speech, and not tell anyone which is being played. The band must react to the voice, like Another Saturday Knight did tonight, and try to make magic. It may be Ghandi. It may be JFK. It may be Martin Luther King Jr. Hell, it may even be a famous, lengthy movie speech!

Look for this event in the near future.

CBC Radio 3…wow.

Do you know what it’s like to be a radio-hopeful like me when you get an e-mail, unsolicited, from a CBC radio producer?

It’s pretty much the best thing that can happen, professionally. Period.

That’s what happened to me the other day when Chris Kelly sent me a message asking me if I’d like to be a guest (interviewed) on Grant Lawrence’s internet Radio 3 show. I nearly imploded.

Grant Lawrence has been the host of Canada’s most downloaded music podcast. So, you may understand that his internet radio show gets a nice collection of live listeners. I can’t blame people for tuning into web radio with the options slimming more and more on commercial radio. Not everyone is as lucky as Windsor/Detroit to have a community station like CJAM to bring good music to your life.

Chris told me that the show was focusing on beer. And, I kind of deal with the stuff, a lot. So I was totally geeked for this interview, ran a hundred errands the day of the interview, and when I got home there was a message from Chris, wondering if I was ready for the interview!

“Did I screw this whole thing up or what?”

I was panicking. I called back, left a message, and waited.

Minutes later the call came, and I was slotted into the show to discuss beer with Grant during a music break.

You see, I’ve been a huge fan of Radio 3 because of what they do for Canadian music. I’ve sent several messages (audio and e-mail) to Grant and Craig Norris (the host of CBC Radio 3’s R3-30 podcast). These guys, along with their team of producers, are the exact people I wish to be working with, in that medium I love…radio.

The interview was fun, fast-paced, and concise. These are the kinds of things I could do every day until I cease to be. So when this interview was done, I was short of breath, gasping (I guess) on the inside, for more opportunities like this.

I have decided to give you the recording I made (a crude one) of the audio I collected with my Zoom H4, laying it next to my computer speaker. It’s a little noisy in the background, but if you focus, it’s fun.


Albrecht Durer

Adam and Eve (etching) by Albreacht Durer

Seeing the most recent opening at The Art Gallery of Windsor, displaying approximately 55 woodcuts and etchings by Albrecht Durer, was an honour. Jhoan had tickets from work to attend the pre-opening event closed to the public. The opening was started with a discussion about the 15th Century, the time period that Durer did some of his work, and the time period in which he was inspired by the surroundings.

The Early Music Ensemble of Windsor performed Northern Renaissance tunes in the gallery before we actually saw the works. Using very strange looking instruments, a far cry from the indie musicians’ gear I am used to seeing and hearing, the Ensemble was extraordinary.

On to the artwork.

When I went to high school, I remember fondly the days we took Art history. I, you see, could not draw worth a snot. But I was fascinated with the works that were hammered into our memory by discussion, review, quizzes, and general appreciation (or bragging rights for remembering). One of the artists whose work was most memorable was Durer, whose woodcuts and etchings were phenomenal. In particular, Adam and Eve, an etching, was one of those pieces you see at the front of the room and think, “That thing must be in a gallery in Germany somewhere.” One never really thinks they’re going to see the thing at the end of their nose in a local gallery.

And there it hung, Adam and Eve. Right there. Beyond the surreal sense that I was so close to a wildy well-preserved classic work from the 1500s, it was unnerving to have something from my past being in my lap. It would be like meeting Cecil Fielder (ex Detroit Tiger) in person, after having collected his image on baseball cards as a tot.

Another time I had that feeling was when I was with Jhoan, at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. We were walking out of the gallery, having had our fill of an amazing collection, and I saw something familiar. It was a woodcut called The Prophet, by Emil Nolde. It was a piece, once again, I remembered clearly from Art History in Grade 11 with Mr. Roy James.

The Prophet (woodcut) by Emil Nolde

Other instances of great works appearing out of nowhere have been regular occurrances, and I have no plans to simply list them, but I will say that The Art Institute of Chicago had more single instances of this than anywhere else I’ve been. Seeing Grant Wood’s American Gothic in a room full of previously unknown works was bewildering. We just stood there, jaws agape, wondering how this painting was actually in front of us.

To finish this post, I want you to see a “version” of American Gothic that trumps the original, in my eyes.

My friends Dan and Jenna are getting married. Soon. They have impeccable taste, and an imaginative spirit that is contagious and inspiring. They have created an indelible image for their wedding invitation, and I love showing it to strangers. Every time I see this, I wish I were more creative.