#105 – Spring Mix

Originally posted on Alternative Airwaves

A short episode today, and the first in a couple of months Due To Life.  But there are some great tracks here - including some new songs featured on blocSonic!  Check out the playlist below and enjoy!




  1. VITNE - Make Believe
  2. Nicolas Falcon - Reliable Source
  3. Michael Ellis - Summer
  4. RogerThat - Beautiful Wonderful Life
  5. Timezone LaFontaine - Foolsgold
  6. Lorenzo's Music - Bags of Color
  7. BIT - Indian Head Test Pattern
  8. Dofhei Project - Kind of Light
  9. The Moose - With You
  10. Brain Purist - Curse the Day (Radio Edit)
  11. Square A Saw - Games (2nd Edit)
  12. Plastic Light Factory - Jakiteko

Gord Downie’s Secret Path

Originally posted on Alternative Airwaves

This review originally appeared on my personal blog.  You can read it there: http://noformatblog.ca/2017/04/13/gord-downies-secret-path/ 


Gord Downie's Secret Path
Secret Path is an adult alternative album from Gord Downie (lead singer of The Tragically Hip), released in October 2016.  It was released with an accompanying graphic novel, as well as an animated made-for-TV film that aired on CBC in the same month.  You can read more about the production background of the album on Wikipedia.
Secret Path tells the story of an Anishnaabe boy named Chanie Wenjack, from Marten Falls First Nation, who died in 1966 while trying to return home.  He was escaping from an Indian Residential School.  All of the proceeds from this album and book are being donated to the University of Manitoba's National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation project.
* - Note - the above paragraph was paraphrased slightly and partially copied verbatim from the Wikipedia article I linked to.
As a preface to this review, I want to say that I'm not a "strong" music reviewer.  When it comes to music, I don't dive deep.  I know what sounds I like, and occasionally lyrics stand out to me.  Usually when I listen to an album, I don't really look into the details about it beforehand.
However going into Secret Path, I was at least peripherally aware of the subject matter.  I knew that it dealt with an aboriginal boy who died in the 1960s, but didn't really explore it much further than that.  It was always one of those "Oh I'd like to listen / read that, but maybe later" kind of things.
That really influenced my listening to this album.  I tried to focus on the lyrics when I listened to the album, but personally I have a hard time doing that.  For me, music is more about the overall sound and like I said, I don't normally pinpoint on what's being said (with a few exceptions here and there).
Knowing the subject matter, the album gave me a distinct atmospheric feeling.  Overall, the album gave me a feeling of being alone.  The first couple of tracks start out on a bit of a positive note - Chanie sets out to escape the residential school, and looking forward to going home.  But the rest of the album gradually descends into a gloomy tone, as Chanie faces increasing hardships.
Most of the instruments on the album are guitar and piano.  I think what really helps create this mental image is Downie's voice, which is best described on this album as strained at times and haunting.  Everything fits together so well to tell this story.
In a way though, I think I should have listened to this album while reading the accompanying graphic novel.  I definitely will still pick it up and read it, but I think it would have helped me even more in understanding what was going on in the music.
Still, the album is technically very well done.  And I think that it does exactly what it sets out to do: tell the story of Chanie Wenjack and his ill-fated journey home.  You're not going to hear these songs on the radio, and that's OK.  That's not what this is meant to be.  In one sense, it's a bit of a disappointment that it might not get widespread mainstream attention (though I contend that since its release, it's received a LOT of mainstream reviews, so it has received attention); but on the other hand, I appreciate that this project wasn't undertaken with commercial success as the first thought.
I read a Pitchfork review of the album that Downie was approached by Broken Social Scene member Kevin Drew to record an album, and that Downie didn't have any material - but he was writing about Chanie.  I don't know why, but I get the idea of this tragedy nagging away at Gord Downie until he could get it out to the world.
I definitely recommend listening to the album, and I hope you follow my example by picking up the graphic novel and read that, too.

Episode 21: Meanwhile

Originally posted on Futurama Pedia

Finally, after three years, a new episode!  Thanks for sticking with us during the unplanned hiatus.  During the recording we forgot about our "lost" episode 20 that we totally did record, so that's where the Episode 20 references are coming from.

In this episode we watch the (as of yet) series finale "Meanwhile", and also cook up some Slurm!  Plus we talk about the upcoming Futurama mobile game (which since recording is now available for pre-registration on Google Play!), and other fun stuff.  The Slurm video is coming soon - listen for a brief clip at the end of the show!

Download the podcast from Archive.org or your favourite podcatcher!  Available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.

Some links we mentioned:
- A Trip to the Moon
- Fan-O-Rama - Futurama fan film

Episode 20: Attack Of The Killer Podcast

Originally posted on Futurama Pedia

Editor's Note: This episode was posted on our old webspace, which due to "reasons" died earlier this year.  We thought we were only at episode 20 - but it turns out we recorded this two years ago!  Episode 21 is coming later this week, but for now - enjoy this gem from August 2015.
Mike and Steve are back from an unintended hiatus with a new episode!  In this episode, they watched Attack of the Killer App, which is definitely the third episode of season 5, 6, or 7, depending on how you look at it.  Topics of discussion include the upcoming Futurama Mobile Game, data mining, and apparently they're building some sort of tube system.  iTunes | Stitcher | RSS | Twitter

#104 – Wingin’ It 2017 Edition

Originally posted on Alternative Airwaves

Every now and then I like to just throw a podcast together without putting a ton of work into it.  I already had the playlist, but I decided I didn't want to do the research today.  So here you go!  A very eclectic mix of tracks, grouped in no particular order.  Hope you enjoy it!  If you like the podcast, consider supporting it by joining the Patreon campaign!



Track List

  1. Derwald - Berlino
  2. Nuns of the Tundra - Robot Love (Single Verison)
  3. Mickey Blue - Give Yourself Away (Produced by Benstar)
  4. Strangezero - Burnin Star
  5. Brady Harris - Welcome Me Back
  6. The Madpix Project - When the Sun Goes Down
  7. Matt Confusion - Pride
  8. The Artisans Beats - Finally Find
  9. Jekk - Survive
  10. Nicolas Falcon - My Island
  11. The Green Duck - On the Rise
  12. Doc Aquatic - All Timer
  13. Alexander Mack - Sharp Dressed (Prod. Alex Mack)

A Beautiful Weekend

When last I wrote, the Jays were heading into what was looked at as a pivotal series.  It was May 2nd, and the Jays were starting fresh after taking a series against Tampa Bay.  The Jays were 12-14, which was at the very least reverse of what was expected going into April.  It wouldn't surprise me if most fans were expecting to be 24-2 at the start of May.

The Jays ended up winning that series, but that's where the fun stopped.  After a fantastic opening game against LA, the Jays went on to lose 8 of their next 11 games - including a 5-game losing streak (oh, and there was a bench-clearing brawl in Texas, too).  The sky was falling, and fans were pushing the panic button as if they were waiting for an elevator car that just won't come.  That was a terrible simile, but you didn't pay to read this, did you?

But a trip to Minnesota brought a change to the lineup - Bautista leading off?  What sorcery is this?  But it seemed to work - since May 18th, the Jays have gone 7-3.  At the time of publication (Top of the 9th, vs the Yankees), this brings their record for May to 15-11, two outs away from making it 16-11.

The offense is starting to heat up - there's no questioning that.  The starting pitching faltered a little in the middle of the month, and the bullpen is still terrible.  I even heard talk today of moving Sanchez to the bullpen (please don't do that if we're not bringing a better starter).

But what I wanted to highlight was a fantastic series vs the Red Sox, May 27 - 29.  I was lucky enough to be able to witness the game on May 28th, which was a walk-off 10-9 win.  Why was I lucky?  I didn't get the game Ortiz sat out.  Bautista served his suspension the night before.  I got to see Big Papi hit one over the fence mere feet away, and the Blue Jays still won the game.  I saw a rare (this season anyway) Russel Martin home run.  I saw an absolutely fantastic walk-off single and celebration by Devon Travis.

But I think the best thing I saw?  Bautista's reaction to the fans in front of me who were trying to get his attention.  I was setting in 113 DR so had a great view of both Jose and Mookie Betts.  While the fans in front of me were unsuccessful in getting Mookie's attention, Jose delivered some excellent fan service.  Oh sure, he waved a few times - I'm sure that's not the first time he's done that.  But what I'll remember from Saturday was this one moment in the late stages of the game.

Our section was filled mostly with Jays fans - a few Red Sox fans peppered here and there.  But it was the row of (presumably) drunk fans that were the most vocal; this one fan in particular was calling out Jose to hit a grand slam, constantly and boisterously.  Then, with perfect timing - as per usual Jose Bautista - he turned to our section, and made the most fantastic Jose hand motion I've ever seen and likely not caught on any camera: the drinky drinky motion.

Thank you for a memorable afternoon, Jose.

The Bat, Flipped

I don't think there was a single bigger moment in 2015 than the infamous Bat Flip.  The biggest proof of that is that I can say "bat flip" and you probably know what I'm referring to.  For that reason, I think the series starting tonight vs the Texas Rangers is likely the most anticipated meeting of the year so far - the return of 2015's ALDS opponent to the Rogers Centre.

But the team hosting the series is very different from the one that won the ALDS last year.  Or is it?

While it's only been one month, the 2016 Jays are playing sub-.500 baseball.  For April they went 11-14, scoring 95 runs while allowing 102.  In the 2015 ALDS & ALCS, the Jays had a record of 5-6, scoring 52 runs and allowing 57 runs.  Doing some very rough extrapolating, the 2015 playoff Jays over 25 games would have a record of about 11-14, with 118 Runs For and 130 Runs against.

For those of you doing the math, their actual RF/RA differential this year is -7, and the theoretical 25 game record above is -12.  Pretty similar!

I'm not suggesting that it's time to panic, or pack it in.  At only 26 games into the season, with a 12-14 record, it's far from over.  I have to wonder though...at what point do we accept the team's real record?  Last year, the Jays had a poor first two months - both below .500, and didn't turn it around until June when they went on their first 11-game winning streak of the year.  Even then, July was a losing month.  It wasn't until August when they really took off.

I guess what I'm suggesting here is that you can't assume the Blue Jays are going to continue to be as bad as they are this year, but you also can't assume they're going to be as good as they were at the end of last year.  However, their 2015 playoff record pretty well matches what they put together in April of this year.

I think the Jays need to look at their bullpen options, as that's been the real issue, but it's hard to not want to wait it out a bit longer to see if some of the struggling players (read: the entire team outside of the starting pitching staff) pick up their play and start playing to their potential.

Episode 19: Podcastin’ In The Wind

Originally posted on Futurama Pedia

Steve's Version of Beck's The Information
Episode 19 is upon us!  And relatively near the actual recording date!  In this episode we watched season three's episode 13, Bendin' In The Wind.  This led to natural discussions about Beck, the VW Bus, measuring various scents, and the merits of Bend-Aid.  Hope you enjoy!

Download from Archive.org | Listen on iTunes | Listen on Stitcher

Links:

Music featured in the Podcast:
  • Beck's songs as featured in "Bendin' In The Wind", Bender's broken robot song

Episode 18 – Where’s My Hairy Buggalo?

Originally posted on Futurama Pedia

The Face of Mars?
After an unplanned 4 month hiatus, Mike & Steve are back with more Futurama commentary!  Once you've heard it, you can't un-hear it!  In episode 18, we take a look at the Episode 10 of Season 3, "Where the Buggalo Roam".  Topics of discussion include the tallest volcano in the solar system, the Face of Mars, and the Crying Indian.  Confused?  Well listening to the episode might not help in that matter.  But listen anyway!



Download from Archive.org | Listen on iTunes | Listen on Stitcher
* - It seems that downloading in iTunes might be working again. Please let us know (Twitter or Email) if you have any problems downloading!

Featured Music:
A Tribe Called Red - Braves (Remix) (via Soundcloud)

Videos we mentioned:
Futurama in a Minute (via YouTube)
Crying Indian PSA - Keep America Beautiful (via YouTube)

Episode 17 – Make It So

Originally posted on Futurama Pedia

After a lengthy hiatus, Mike & Steve are back with Futurama Pedia!  Actually, this episode was recorded wayyy back in July, we just have been too busy to get it released until now.  The good news is that Episode 18 is also recorded and around the corner!  In this episode, Mike & Steve discuss 31st Century Fox, and try out Bachelor Chow (Now With Flavour!).  PS - our episode wasn't really sponsored by Beau's...but it was influenced by it!

Due to a problem on iTunes' side, the podcast does not download properly in iTunes.  You can download it just fine with any iDevice (iPod, iPad, iPhone), or you can stream it on the great podcast service Stitcher.  OR you can just download it directly from Archive.org.

Music Featured in Today's Episode:
Ylvis - The Fox
Yello - Oh Yeah