Bob’s Garage

Picture them in their bell bottomed pants and desert boots … their mop-topped hair surrounding their baby faces.  Usually four of them, sporting matching jackets and ties, and bobbing up and down to their simple beats, simple bass lines, simple chord progressions and mostly simple lyrics.  The second wave saw them sporting their paisley Nehru jackets, their ruffled shirts and their little square granny glasses, but their music  shared the same raw simplicity.  Ah … The Garage Bands.

You wanted to rebel against your parents?  Then join a garage band.  My older brother did.  Shadows on the Wall they were known as, unfortunately the shadows faded quickly as they were lacking in some form of .. well .. talent.  Raw simple chords fed through a fuzzbox, garage rock is now considered the forerunner of punk music.

Bob introduced a few of the more popular garage rock bands of the 60s, including the Beau Brummels and the Hombres.  Other tunes of note of the era include Louie Louie (the Kingsmen),  Wooly Bully (Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs). I have listed for you some of my favourite garage rock tunes for your listening pleasure.

Though this song was not made famous by the Sonics, their cover is well worth a listen.

Though the garage band is still a part of growing up, the days of the early garage rock bands are gone. Their influence on the many bands that followed, however, cannot be denied. So sit back, turn it up .. and enjoy.


My Blood Runs Cold

Okay Mr Terfry – you win. You were right. Your choice for scariest Hallowe’en song chilled me to the bone. Was it the pulsing drum beat? The ear-piercing shrieks? The unspeakable acts committed by Frankie Teardrop? The sinister character who weaves in and out of the darkness (in the video that like a bad car crash I had to go watch!)? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I am scarred for life.
You can watch Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop” here.

There are only a handful of songs that have managed to do this to me. “Careful with that Axe Eugene”, an early Pink Floyd masterpiece, also manages to make your heart race. The song title is the only words spoken out loud, another small handful being whispered during the 9 minute song. This tune uses its tempo to build to an exploding crescendo which is accompanied with an ear piercing shriek. We can only imagine what happens to poor Eugene. If you aren’t familiar with this classic, someone has dared to set it to a scene in the movie “The Shining”. This film doesn’t need any help.

I would also like to add another two songs to this list. It is not so much the music that frightens, but the fact that both songs are based on two of history most horrifying killers, Armin Meiwes and Ed Gein.

Rammstein’s Mein Teil is based on the story of Germany’s Armin Meiwes. Armin posted a classified ad on the internet looking for a willing victim to be killed and eaten. Even more shocking, his ad was responded to by Bernd Jürgen Brandes. I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but Armin was convicted of manslaughter, for which he received a sentence of a mere 8 years.

Mudvayne’s “Nothing to Gein”  is based on the story of Ed Gein, the American serial killer notorious for transforming body parts of his victims into a variety of household items. Officers who were dispatched to Gein’s house were forever changed.   A scene in the video portrays Ed sewing with what  is supposedly human skin.  Enough said.

There are certainly more songs out there that will make one’s blood run cold.  What are yours?

Don’t Forget the Lyrics!

It’s been a long and rainy Sunday so listening to tonight’s episode of the Strombo Show curled up in my big chair seems even more cozy than usual.  The weekend’s gone by too fast as always and the work week lurks around the corner – UGH!   At least we have Battle of the Blades and the Strombo Show to look forward to on Sunday nights!

Songwriters write songs to convey a message to their listeners, the melody tagging along to set the mood and the tone.  The true masters  are those that can marry the two.  How many times have we listened mindlessly to a song without really listening to the lyrics?  Yet when we finally take the time to listen to the lyrics, we are blown away. Try it sometime – you might be amazed at what you hear.

Bob Mackowycz and George put forward a list of their favourite songwriters.  Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Gil Scott Heron and of course Bob Dylan.  I have a few names that I would like to add to this list however.  Here they are in random order:

1.  Neil Young

2.  Eddie Vedder

3.  Eminem

4.  John Lennon

5.  Lauryn Hill

6.  Morrissey

7.  Gord Downie

8.  Roger Watters

9.  Patti Smyth

10.  Chrissy Hynde

Agree?  Disagree?  What are your thoughts?  I’m sure you can add to this list.


If you missed the show tonight, here is a list of the G12 as well as links to the artists’ MySpace pages if you would like to hear the songs.

12.  Duck Sauce – Barbara Streisand

11. Chromeo – Don’t Turn the Lights On

10. Chk Chk Chk (!!!) – AM FM

9.  Local Natives – White Eyes

8.  Deerhunter –Revival

7.  Tired Pony – Dead American Writers

6.  Fistful of Mercy – Father’s Son

5.  War Paint – Undertow

4.  Small Sins – Déjà Vu

3.  Unkle – The Answer

2.  Black Mountain – The Space in Your Mind

1.  Arcade Fire – Modern Man

Well .. off to have a listen to the album side and the Big Lie-Down.  This week – Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant”. Ninites!  🙂



George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

***I have to admit to a bit of a faux pas here as I wrote this after episode one and unfortunately forgot to hit publish.  Apologies to you and to my editor.  चुम्बन Cordie ***

A quick note on my impression of the new season, and as usual I think it’s a mixed bag of great, and we’ll just have to get used to its! 

I found the opening to the new version of the show a little weak; too little Sloan to rev it up and get us going.  I also miss George chatting more to get the conversational feel to the show in tune.  Even the audience seemed low key!  I am hoping that George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight does not lose that conversational let’s slide out of this day and into comfort with an edge feel that we are all so used to.

The desk idea at this point is only okay in my books, but we’ll eventually get used to seeing him stand again as he did on Much and seeing less of the laid back George draped over the chair chatting.  Speaking of the red chairs, they are still there 🙂 They add an accent of energy to the new cosy set that is warm and den like with its blue hues and dimmer lighting.  Gone is the black, white and red set that emitted movement and energy and in its place is the warmth of the blue and wood tones.  Congratulations to ex Strombo Show sidekick and Gemini nominated Moneen Producer Alex Liu on the design of the new set.

Act one of the show still held a good balance of cynical, humorous look at the world in politics, sports, global events, and the environment.  I must admit to being a little curious as to what George was going to do with my favourite bit of the show; Mile-A-Minute.  I like the new title ‘de-briefing’, although I cringe at what the stalker like 40-ish going on pre-pubescent troll-women will do with that term 😦

He has left himself open to more than a few jokes when it comes to titles though already.  The title of the show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (GST) is both an homage to his ego/pride and part of a smart new marketing package.  Strombo is the brand, George Stroumboulopoulos is the man that IS that brand.  Now with a new 30 minute show named after him and a radio show named after the brand, the name is out there even more than before.  The decreased air time also means people that want more George/Strombo content will be forced to go online to find it and with any spare moment that might be freed up producing 5 1/2 hour shows as compared to 4 full hour ones, can now be put into his writing, producing and racing; a nice way to pave the new path in his career.  🙂

I found little changed in the rest of the show.  The interviews had the usual bio, once again being voiced over by George himself (thankfully) and the usual bits of the guests past, motivations to do what you do, extra curricular causes and what’s happening now and ahead; a well rounded interview style that George is well known for.



Dear Atticus and fellow Redchair enthusiasts …

Dear Atticus and readers:

We have been naughty posters haven’t we? Let’s get back into the habit of voicing our opinion on our fave red chair interests, extending that to the basement studio now too I see.  I would like to second my hurrah at the return of our beloved Bob to the air waves, and not just to the newest incarnation of The Strombo Show, but to his own morning show as well.  (hope the link works folks!!!)

There is nothing better than Bob’s soothing voice in the nasty early morning hours especially on a cold, windy, winter’s morn. Now we can all fall asleep to George and Bob on a Sunday evening and keep that musical manwich going during the week; crawling into bed with The Hour and waking up with CBC’s Radio 2 morning drive; not a bad deal in my book.

The one thing I must admit I am missing is the banter between Alex Liu and George. Although I am not sure those antics would translate to this seemingly more mature version of The Strombo Show I do still miss Alex. He made me laugh and raised George’s blood pressure (and octave level of his voice on occasion) just enough to keep things fun.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing how this new show evolves, and I am hoping that The Strombo Show has found a more permanent home.

The 24th Annual Gemini Awards

Congratulations to The Hour and OMAoG!!!

The nominations for the 24th Annual Gemini Awards came out today and once again our friends over at The Hour were recognized for their hard work and dedication.  In total the show, and it’s host, received four nominations including one for it’s interactive project last season with One Million Acts of Green.  Much congratulations to all those nominated, as well as those that put in the effort every day to make The Hour what it is, from all of us here at The Red Chair Lounge.

Of course the show itself was nominated in the ‘Best Talk Series’ category.  Jennifer Dettman, David Freeman and George Stroumboulopoulos are up against ‘The After Show’ on MTV as well as fellow CBCers, ‘The Steven and Chris Show’.  Note to Ms. Dettman: congratulations on your double nomination in this category and here’s hoping there are new episodes of The Steven and Chris Show at some point in the near future.

Mr. Stroumboulopoulos has also been nominated as ‘Best Host or Interviewer in a General/Human Interest or Talk Program or Series’ along with George Kourounis from Angry Planet(Island Caving), Austin Stevens of Austin Stevens Adventures (In the Shadow of Armoured Giants), Les Stroud of Survivorman Third Season and Matt Wells for Where You At Baby? (Huey Lewis). Although I have complained of George’s lack of edge this last season in his interviews I must admit I hope he makes a clean sweep and takes home this trinket as well.

The third nom for The Hour comes as no surprise at all, it is in the ‘Best Writing in an Information Program or Series’ category.  Although I do admit I am surprised which episode it was for, as I thought George went a little easy on Ms. Palin during their New Years Eve interview, however congratulations go out, from us, to David Freeman, Paul Bates, Diana Frances, Ken Hegan, Nick McCabe-Lokos, Carman Melville, Scott Montgomery, Adam Nicholls, Randy Potash as well as the man himself.

I must confess though if they were to win only one award, I desperately hope they take home the ‘Best Cross Platform Project’ Gemini. One Million Acts of Green, the interactive project that was on CBC, and the internet, campaigning for such a simple and important part of all of our lives simply must win at the Geminis this year!  Not because it means that Jennifer Dettman, Julie List, Alex Liu, Paul McGrath and George Stroumboulopoulos get to take home another dust collector but because the campaign’s importance hasn’t diminished, indeed the need for us to make a change grows each day.

Once again congratulations and the best of luck to all of our friends at The Hour!


More thoughts on HESEG

Since watching the interview with Heather Reisman and reading the article/comments here at The Red Chair, my curiosity regarding HESEG has been peaked. I had never heard of the organisation before reading about it here. This had me wondering a few things. Why my favourite host/program would not touch upon what seemed to be a hot political issue? Why not take the opportunity to have this conversation? It was my fear that The Hour was getting soft and avoiding controversial issues in favour of appeasing A-list guests to garner higher ratings. The old adage every one sells out eventually popped into my head and I could feel my heart breaking. The idea that one of my altars of worship might be avoiding the topic propelled me to do a little reading, to satisfy my own curiosity.

The first thing I noticed was that it is difficult to find main stream press on this subject. If you, dear readers, are aware of a reporter out there that has written an unbiased report on this organisation please comment so I can read more on HESEG. I mention unbiased because other than wiki I was unable to find one strictly fact based article regarding HESEG. The articles against outnumbered the articles in favour of, by far. The more I read, the more I came to realise that this foundation was not being looked at as a scholarship opportunity, but being tied in with political, social and religious issues that should be kept separate and apart from education. Then again I am an idealist and great at compartmentalising things.

The Anti-HESEG articles all focused on the biased view point that HESEG is supporting Israeli Apartheid. This is only one political view of a very complicated war, and is not what the scholarship program was established to do. The people receiving the scholarships are former soldiers, receiving an education to move on in a career and a life separate from the military. A former soldier is just that; no longer in the military, hence the term former. So, these arguments that HESEG supports the military are invalid in my book. The argument that only Jews can apply for the scholarship is valid, but doesn’t perturb me. HESEG appears to be a charitable organisation run by Jews for Jews. I hardly find this shocking. There are many scholarships around the world that come from business owners, social clubs, etc., that support a certain ethnicity, gender, age, area of study or club membership as a requirement for application.

There were a few other articles by religious leaders with the opposite bias in supporting both HESEG and the state of Israel; as well as an article in the Jerusalem Post.  In my opinion they supported HESEG for the same reasons that others opposed it; social, political and religious beliefs. This again leaves us with a biased report on a foundation that seemed to have had a simple idea that then became mired in the trappings of other issues.

I came to the conclusion that thus far in my education on the foundation, I have more questions than answers. I’ve also come to think that this may not be a public political issue. Perhaps this is a personal choice based on Ms. Reisman’s experience and views on society, politics and faith. Which leads me to the question of whether the funding for HESEG comes from the Indigo coffers or the CEO’s salary? I was not able to establish this searching the various sites that came up through Google. There is a difference in my opinion.

The salary that Heather Reisman earns as a CEO should be viewed as any other person’s. The charities that I choose to support are personal and private. I choose to support those charities based on my life experience and my social, political and faith based views. Most people do base their charitable contributions on similar criteria. If Reisman has set up this charity with her own salary, then she has every right to do so as long as no laws are broken. She is entitled to that choice whether or not other individuals agree. Just as the charities you volunteer for, donate money to, organise etc., are your private affair.

If the money is coming directly from that company, like the Chapter’s-Indigo love of reading foundation, then the board of directors and shareholders have a right to investigate. They can then discuss and vote on whether or not that charity fits with the image of their company. If they choose to then support that charity, then it is up to us as consumers to decide whether or not we want to support that business. Just as we decide whether or not to shop green, or made in Canada, or Fair Trade. We base our consumer choices on all sorts of ideologies every day. In the end it’s up to Ms. Reisman to decide if she wants to educate the public on her personal, or possibly public-business, charities; just as it is up to us to decide if we wish to support that business with our hard earned dollars.

I remember hearing George and other staff at The Hour claim that they respect people’s right to differing views and opinions. It is my hope that that is why they decided, at this time, to not delve into a topic that would require an in-depth conversation all of its own and not just a few seconds during that particular interview. I am suggesting that they offer Ms. Reisman an opportunity to sit with George and answer some questions regarding her charitable organisations, including HESEG. I’m sure the ratings could take it and the viewers would learn something as the set-up could include information from ‘both sides’. If Ms. Reisman does not have time for an on-air interview in her busy schedule perhaps issuing a statement linked to The Hour’s forum page would allow viewer’s to discuss the subject in a moderated environment where facts and mutual respect for opposing opinions are part of the rules.

All-in-all, I think I’d like to keep learning more about Ms. Reisman’s charity. As I said in my comment on LaBeauvoir’s article, I am a Chapter’s fan, so if my money is part of her companies charitable works, and if HESEG is one of those charities, I’d like to know. Taking all of the information into account I would then be able to make a decision on whether or not to keep including her company on my approved list. Big thanks to LaBeauvoir, once again, for bringing this to my attention in the first place.





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