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Failed the full Advent calendar experience, but hey, there's still 2 weeks to Christmas! Here are a couple of songs to get you in a wintry mood, even if it hasn't been cold where you are.

A little Simon & Garfunkel:

And a gender-switched take on a problematic classic:

electricland: (don't panic)
Admittedly, I don't know exactly how it works. But still. I can see it putting together the Halloween mix and The Crow and even Roadkill. But Loreena McKennit and Ashley MacIsaac and the Cowboy Junkies? Roman Gardens? HOW DOES IT KNOW?
Read more... )

New music

Jan. 24th, 2012 11:06 pm
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With many thanks to Cover Lay Down, please listen to this amazing rendition of Warren Zevon's "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" by Naomi Bedford. Phenomenal. I will be checking out the rest of the album; if you liked Nick Cave's Murder Ballads, I suspect you should do likewise.

Listen here.

In unrelated news, Mary Robinette Kowal has issued what I consider to be a brilliant challenge: a month of letters. I love writing letters, and I don't do it often enough, and I have a gajillion cards hanging around. So I believe I will do it. (There's a badge too, which I will grab... later.)
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My dad called this morning to say M is doing better. Boyfriend has heard the awful news and was great, likewise her parents. So that's good.

I forgot to mention in my previous post, but the last time I saw Sam he also peed on my living room rug (brat). After they'd left Jen said "He's very sweet, but he kind of looks like a Fraggle." Which is true - his ears were tufty and stuck out sideways. Apparently you sometimes have to tape terriers' ears down for a while so they'll fall right? SO BIZARRE.

(Not sure if that was done to Himself or not, but his ears are lovely.)

Only a little bit goofy


Jan. 16th, 2012 08:33 pm
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I only met Sam 3 or 4 times. The last time I saw him, M had brought him over for a play date. We took the dogs to the off-leash area on the beach, where they garnered many admiring looks as a fine handsome pair of Airedales should. He'd grown taller than Blue by then, much to M's surprise. He was bouncy and friendly and full of energy - a typical Airedale puppy, in fact. He was a struggle to bring up because of all that energy, but M and J were doing a great job and he was learning.

He should have had much longer.

M was walking him by the Humber River yesterday afternoon when they met some other dogs. She decided to let him off the leash - something she never normally does, except in a fenced area to put on a flexi instead. She doesn't understand why she did it. He ran away from the other dogs and to the river, and wouldn't come back, and slipped in. I'm not completely clear what happened next. I know M went in after him at one point; and some people brought a boathook or something but wouldn't, or didn't know to, try hooking it to his harness; and some people wanted to call 911 but someone else said they wouldn't come for just a dog, so they didn't. Realistically, it probably wouldn't have made much difference, but...

Someone brought M home and sat with her, and at some point she called my parents who called me, and also the police. We met her at the door, hoping for a miracle, and went down to the river to search. The police searched too -- at least 2 cars and the Marine Unit. I am so impressed by the police response. But nobody found anything.

The Humber moves fast, and it's wide, and right now it's almost covered with rotten-looking ice. I climbed down the bank in a few places and kept well away from the edge, hanging onto trees. If you fell in you wouldn't come out. I was shocked when I saw it. There's no ice out here in the Beaches, nor in the Don apparently. My new rule: no rivers. Lakes are OK. Rivers are treacherous.

There's no better feeling than walking into your home and getting a joyous greeting from your dog. It was so hard to go back to the apartment and see all the dog toys and blankets and dishes and crate. M said "He should be here."

I hope it was quick enough that he didn't have time to be too scared. I am so sad, and there's nothing anyone can do. M was distraught. She blames herself: for letting him off the leash, for not looking after him, for not calling 911 sooner, for not doing something different that would change the outcome. She keeps seeing his face as he went in. To make it even worse, her boyfriend's in Korea on business.

We all make stupid decisions and mistakes sometimes. It's just luck that most of the time, nothing bad comes of them. This time Sam wasn't lucky.

I came home and hugged the dogs and wished things were different.
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My uncle writes:

Your doggies are sweet...

When Robin brought them over this morning, she warned me that they were (surprise!) wet, so I cleverly closed the bedroom doors to protect the beds, and went to the computer.

A few minutes later, Tilde came upstairs, started scratching industriously at my bedroom door, and waited for me to open it when I came out of the study. When instead I took a towel out of the cupboard, she rolled over onto her back, waved her paws in the air, and cooperated completely in my efforts to dry her off.

Next thing I knew, there was Blue, nuzzling my shoulder, and wanting the same treatment. Of course, a little tug-of-war with the towel was part of that experience...

Now they're both sacked out on the floor, snoozing.

Sadly, no picture (yet).
electricland: (Default)
I just caught up on the Flashpoint season finale. Jen and I reckon Nicholas Campbell, Paul Gross (to whom Jen refers to as "Men With Brooms Guy" for reasons that are obscure to me) and Dylan Neal have a future as patriarch and warring brothers on some all-Canadian family drama one day. Too lazy to embed, but click those links and tell me we're wrong!


Dec. 27th, 2011 05:37 pm
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We left the dogs at home for a couple of hours, which in most households is perfectly fine, but came back to find Tilde had made her way upstairs and expressed her disapproval in rather biological terms. Sigh.

Blue didn't eat anything he shouldn't though!
electricland: (sunrise)
I ate way too much yesterday but had a fine time with both sides of the family. (Eggs Benedict/Florentine/Benjamin and fruit salad with mum's side, then turkey dinner with million trimmings with dad's side. Champagne and hilarity throughout.) Thoroughly spoiled. Parents are coming over later for Boxing Day tea, which means I should probably make a bit of an effort to tidy up.

As always I left wrapping to the very last minute, and I have to sing the praises of Japanese decorative tape because it SAVED MY LIFE Christmas Eve. My packages are now about as minimalist as it gets - giant roll of Kraft paper, decorative tape, occasionally some fabric ribbon, sticker or tag. Everyone seemed pleased by what they got, hurray!

I also went to "Babe in the Barn" at Riverdale Farm Christmas Eve, and was part of a hastily improvised choir (my mum and I were the only female members) intended to encourage the audience to sing. You start off in the drive shed, follow the shepherds down to the outside of the barn, pick up the three wise men, quick stop at the Simpson House steps for a scene with the innkeeper and his wife, then into the barn for the full Nativity scene. (Baby Jesus had a pacifier and behaved very well.) You couldn't hear A THING people were saying, but the singing came off well (I did a descant on O Come All Ye Faithful, which I would never have been able to do if we had sopranos, so that was fun). And there were sheep in the barn and it was actually really lovely, though cold. They don't advertise it at all, apparently - it's a deep dark neighbourhood secret - because if they did it would be even more packed than it was.

Now I am off work for a week! I would like to think I'll get lots done but let's face it, I'll probably mostly lie about reading and eating.

As it is the Feast of St. Stephen, have a rerun from Day 19 of the Advent calendar.
electricland: (Christmas tree)
No link today.

However, we do have this live version on YouTube:

Canada is peculiarly rich in girl folk groups: Dala, the Be Good Tanyas, the Wailin' Jennys, and of course the Good Lovelies spring to mind. Here the Good Lovelies perform what amounts to two versions of the classic New Year's Eve song.

There are in fact many many versions of Auld Lang Syne. The Beach Boys did one. Mariah Carey did a whole EP of remixes, which is a little terrifying.

Here's a little history of the song:

Auld Lang Syne is one of Scotland's gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, but in the communion of taking our neighbours' hands, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future.

It is one of the many folk songs from the great Lowland Scots tradition collected and fashioned by the pen of one of the world's greatest songwriters. Burns devoted the last years of his life to the song tradition, and often a mere fragment from some old ballad was transformed by his alchemy into a memorable love song or Scots poem. With Auld Lang Syne, though, the brilliance was already there; this is the Bard's first mention of it in a letter to Mrs Dunlop in 1788:

"... Light be the turf on the breast of the heaven inspired Poet who composed this glorious fragment."

Get the full musical Advent calendar here. | What is this?

I caved

Dec. 23rd, 2011 09:00 am
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I've set up a Dreamwidth account under electricland, so if you're over there, please let me know!


Dec. 23rd, 2011 07:58 am
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So... here I am. I'll be hanging onto my LJ account, but I hear a lot of my friends have headed over here.
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Listen here.

Another confession: in general I am not all that fond of Rufus Wainwright. He's very talented but I have a particular horror of whiny tenors. And yet... I quite like this. Go figure. Apparently this song played a fairly major part in his rise to fame thanks to this Gap commercial:

We sang this for choir last year, which was fun; harmonies crunchy enough to be interesting.

Obviously we are sort of out of sync again. When I made up this mix it was a general holiday-season mix and New Year's seemed an important part of that.

Took the day off. Today I have some last-minute shopping to do, and I MUST set up my poor tree! How about you?

Get the full musical Advent calendar here. | What is this?
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Listen here.

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong are never wrong, and they're particularly right together. Ella's solo version is also lovely.

The other seasonal jazz classic is of course "Baby, It's Cold Outside." It's acquired unfortunate overtones but I'm still fond of it. Here's a great version by Meaghan Smith and Buck 65.

Get the full musical Advent calendar here. | What is this?

Fat litter

Dec. 21st, 2011 09:45 pm
electricland: (Captain Jack)
Cousin Jen and I are watching Coupling and have hit the sofa parasites rant, which remains the best thing ever.
electricland: (Christmas tree ohi)
Yet another Christmas collection for your listening pleasure!
electricland: (Default)
Listen here.

This is another song that needs no introduction. Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders also put in a well-deserved appearance in the Women Who Rock documentary mentioned on Day 16; she truly is a phenomenal talent, and even if this song has only the most tenuous connection to Christmas, it's still a classic.

This has more covers than I expected: KT Tunstall, Coldplay. I see nobody messes too much with the arrangement. (Maybe the Mighty Mighty Bosstones - I haven't listened to any of them all the way through, I have to admit.) Not to be confused with (I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles by the Proclaimers.

Get the full musical Advent calendar here. | What is this?


Dec. 20th, 2011 10:28 pm
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electricland: (Christmas tree ohi)
Listen here.

So remember back in the introduction to this Advent calendar I mentioned that former Beatles suck at Christmas songs? It doesn't seem to apply to their wives: this is a Yoko Ono song, and it's amazing, although I admit I like this cover better than the original.

From this interview, in which Thea Gilmore also has trenchant things to say about depression:

Yoko Ono's "Listen, The Snow Is Falling" evokes an idyllic Christmas card of the mind, a kind of universal Yule, and Gilmore's minimal arrangement lends it an air of weightless meditation.

"I didn't even know the song," Gilmore admits. "I was on tour with the Waterboys and I was talking to Mike Scott about covering his song 'December', and he said 'yes you can, that's great, but go and listen to this Yoko Ono song because it will really suit your voice'. So I listened to it and I loved it and I thought it was just beautiful. Everyone said 'you can't do a Yoko Ono song! What's the matter with you!' but it's gorgeous, and it comes at a point on the album where it really needed to draw breath and just stop. I think it really works as that."

Cuddle up in a blanket, close your eyes, and let her sing you to sleep.

Get the full musical Advent calendar here. | What is this?


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December 2012

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