October 30th, 2013
Those of you who know me these days might be shocked to learn that years ago I was an angst ridden cyber punk who wore all black and even had a Mohawk. Back in the day I played guitar in 4 such bands both here in Vancouver and back in Toronto. It was in the heyday of the industrial music movement, it was loud, crunchy and machine like and it was great! In a subdued angst ridden way of course.
Nowadays, I can hardly stand to listen to industrial music. It’s not that I’m getting older, which I am, but I’m just not angst ridden anymore. There’s a time for that when you are younger but hopefully you grow out of it and experience this wonderful emotion called happiness. Lol For the life of me I can’t fathom why groups from the 80’s are still touring and releasing cd’s. Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails! – would you guys just snap out of it! Geez! Leave the angst to the young and sell insurance or something!
I thought I would showcase some of my favorite tunes from that era – blows dust off record player. I already mentioned Skinny Puppy, which was my all time favorite industrial band. I got to see them a few times and it was more than just a concert – it was a spectacle of visual and sonic art.
Another great band that was almost as good as Puppy but had a more rhythmic feel and way more guitars was Ministry. The bands I played in were in the Ministry vein and I just loved their wall of sound.
Incidentally, the industrial scene was so tight that many bands were made up of some or all the members of other bands such as Revolting Cocks, Lard, 1000 Homo DJ’s. PIgface etc. Oh what fun!
So you are probably waiting for the Nine Inch Nails video? Well you are going to wait for a long time, as Nine Inch Nails is way down my list. The last video is from a band you may not of even heard of but who are by far the most technically and musically proficient.
It’s The Young Gods from Switzerland! A Swiss industrial band you say? Why I only thought they made watches, chocolate and guarded the Pope! The clever thing about this band is that their musical writing and knowledge of samplers is miles above everyone else. Don’t believe me?
Kissing the Sun!
You probably guessed that that wasn’t an official video and the reason for that is simply that they never released one. Nice video from afx2000.
A lovely walk down memory lane.
C’mon, c’mon, c’mon get happy….
October 23rd, 2013
Yes that’s a picture of folk music legend Woody Guthrie
I was standing on the roof of the wall centre, very close to the edge, swaying back and forth in the wind and thinking to myself, “ what’s it all about? “ I couldn’t come up with an answer and as I was handcuffed and ushered into the police car I said to the arresting officer, “ so how would you define “ Folk “ music?
The Oxford dictionary explains folk music thusly,
“music that originates in traditional popular culture or that is written in such a style. Folk music is typically of unknown authorship and is transmitted orally from generation to generation. “
In North America, we have been blessed with a plethora of folk artists over the years. Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell and many more. Not quite sure you know any traditional folk songs? Try these on for size:
This land is your land
There but for fortune
Blowing in the Wind
City of New Orleans
And what about today, does folk music still exist?
The answer is yes and in many different forms.
I don’t have time to offer you samples of all the sub genres but I will look at three more closely.
First up is Filk Folk.
“ Filk has been defined as folk music, usually with a science fiction or fantasy theme, but this definition is not exact. Filkers have been known to write filk songs about a variety of topics, including but not limited to tangentially related topics such as computers and cats. In addition, while the majority of filk songs are in the folk style, other styles such as blues, calypso, and even rock periodically appear. “
Next a wee sample of some Freak Folk.
“Freak folk is a genre of folk music which uses mainly acoustic instrumentation, but introduces elements of avant-garde music, baroque pop, and psychedelic folk, often featuring uncommon sounds, lyrical themes, and vocal styles. “
And last but certainly not least, NeoFolk.
“Neofolk is a form of folk music-inspired experimental music that emerged from post-industrial music circles. Neofolk can either be solely acoustic folk music or a blend of acoustic folk instrumentation aided by varieties of accompanying sounds such as pianos, strings and elements of industrial music and experimental music. The genre encompasses a wide assortment of themes. Neofolk musicians often have ties to other genres such as neoclassical and martial industrial. “
Fun stuff and see you again next week.
October 21st, 2013
CHRIS HIND CURRENT PROJECTS
CHRIS HIND CURRENT PROJECTS
Chris is currently gearing up to shoot some interviews for his documentary ” The Encounter “.
Chris has just finished the first draft of his feature film script ” Death’s Sweet Call ” and he is creating ancient ethnic sounding music that the lead actress will sing in the film.
October 18th, 2013
This week’s Odd Audio Blog by Chris Hind
Did you know that Neil Armstrong flubbed his line whilst stepping onto the lunar surface? True!
He was supposed to say, “”That’s one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.”
He ended up saying, “ That’s one small step for man; on giant leap for mankind. “ I’m not picking on the guy but that one little word makes a huge difference.
Anyway, whether he said that on the moon or a Hollywood film set is not the focus of today’s audio blog. Zing!
It’s our fascination with the moon.
How many songs have the word “ moon “ in the title? I didn’t count but I would guess hundreds and that’s just English songs.
Fly me to the Moon
Bad Moon on the Rise
And the list goes on and on.
So what about this moon and where did it come from?
“ Five serious theories have been proposed for the formation of the Moon (not counting the one involving green cheese):
The Fission Theory: The Moon was once part of the Earth and somehow separated from the Earth early in the history of the Solar System. The present Pacific Ocean basin is the most popular site for the part of the Earth from which the Moon came.
The Capture Theory: The Moon was formed somewhere else, and was later captured by the gravitational field of the Earth.
The Condensation Theory: The Moon and the Earth condensed together from the original nebula that formed the Solar System.
The Colliding Planetesimals Theory: The interaction of earth-orbiting and Sun-orbiting planetesimals (very large chunks of rocks like asteroids) early in the history of the Solar System led to their breakup. The Moon condensed from this debris.
The Ejected Ring Theory: A planetesimal the size of Mars struck the earth, ejecting large volumes of matter. A disk of orbiting material was formed, and this matter eventually condensed to form the Moon in orbit around the
Did you know that the moon doesn’t have a solid core like the earth? True! I’ve read reports that when the first lunar Lander touched down that the moon reverberated like a bell. Kind of cool but I couldn’t find any information to back it up although if it was made of Swiss cheese…
Until the advent of telescopes, little was known about the moon and perhaps some of our fascination comes from the mystery surrounding it and some deep ancestral memory. That and the fact that a full moon turns infected people into werewolves! And of course there is the tidal connection.
But what else do we know about the moon and how it affects us?
Perhaps popular music can help out today’s audio blog?
Here’s a happy little tune from Echo and the Bunnymen…
“ Under blue moon I saw you
So soon you’ll take me
Up in your arms
Too late to beg you or cancel it
Though I know it must be the killing time
Unwillingly mine “
Moon Lesson #1 – Don’t venture out to sea on a blue Moon if you are sailing on a Titanic like ship and no one else is aboard but a mysterious cloaked figure. You will likely die!
And here’s an oldie but goodie that withstands the test of time.
“ I was grounded while you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truth, you cut through lies
I saw the rain dirty valley, you saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon “
By the way, Brigadoon is a mythical Scottish village that appears for only one day every 100 years.
Moon Lesson #2 – Enlightenment comes from within and easily.
Do we have time for one more? My producer has just whispered, “ yes “ into my headset.
Here’s one from Van the Man…
Moon Lesson #3 – Being bathed in moonlight is a good time to plead for more sex.
That’s it for this week. Perhaps next week I’ll get out my lab coat, pocket protector and pipe and talk in a very serious tone about serious audio things. Or maybe I’ll just point out all the occult symbolism in the Miley Cyrus “ Wrecking Ball “ video? Wow!!
“ There’s a bad moon on the rise…”
October 10th, 2013
The really cool thing about having a blog is that you can go any direction that turns your crank. Originally this blog entry was going to feature the wonderful world of guitar midi controllers and that one will come, but today I’m changing course and celebrating and featuring some great Canadian song writers. I was thinking about this picture of Justin Bieber being carried up the steps of the Great Wall of China by his bodyguards.
From “ Die in your arms “ by Justin Bieber
“ Mhmm, uh-huh, yeah, yeah, alright,
Mhmm, uh-huh, yeah, yeah, alright, “
…I wondered what my international contacts and friends must be saying about Canadian music. Can’t you hear Queen Elizabeth saying, “ Baaaaad Doggy! “
So which songs to choose? Too many to choose from in a general sense so I decided to narrow it down to songs that support the First Nations struggle and not just the struggle in Kanata but all over the world.
The first artist is Buffy Ste, Marie who sings about First Nations struggles, famous political events and battles and she is from the Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Originally more of a folk singer, she really kicked ass in 1992 with ” Coincidence and Likely Stories ” and the song I’d like to play for you is “ Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee “
“The Wounded Knee Massacre occurred on December 29, 1890, near Wounded Knee Creek (Lakota: Čhaŋkpé Ópi Wakpála) on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, USA. It was the last battle of the American Indian Wars. On the day before, a detachment of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment commanded by Major Samuel M. Whitside intercepted Spotted Elk’s band of Miniconjou Lakota and 38 Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butte and escorted them five miles westward (8 km) to Wounded Knee Creek, where they made camp.
The remainder of the 7th Cavalry Regiment arrived, led by Colonel James W. Forsyth and surrounded the encampment supported by four Hotchkiss guns.
On the morning of December 29, the troops went into the camp to disarm the Lakota. One version of events claims that during the process of disarming the Lakota, a deaf tribesman named Black Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle, claiming he had paid a lot for it. A scuffle over Black Coyote’s rifle escalated and a shot was fired which resulted in the 7th Cavalry’s opening fire indiscriminately from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of their own fellow soldiers. Those few Lakota warriors who still had weapons began shooting back at the attacking soldiers, who quickly suppressed the Lakota fire. The surviving Lakota fled, but U.S. cavalrymen pursued and killed many who were unarmed.
By the time it was over, at least 150 men, women, and children of the Lakota had been killed and 51 wounded (4 men, 47 women and children, some of whom died later); some estimates placed the number of dead at 300. Twenty-five soldiers also died, and 39 were wounded (6 of the wounded would later die). It is believed that many were the victims of friendly fire, as the shooting took place at close range in chaotic conditions. At least twenty soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor. “
Next up is another First Nations performer, Robbie Robertson who was born in Toronto and his blood line is predominantly Mohawk. A brilliant career with The Band and as a solo artist and the next track comes from the 1994 album “ Music for the Native Americans “ which was a soundtrack album for the film “ The Native Americans “. This is my all time favorite track of his and it’s called “ Ghost Dance “.
I couldn’t find a decent live version but this studio album comes with some great visuals.
“ The Ghost Dance (Caddo: Nanissáanah, also called the Ghost Dance of 1890) was a new religious movement which was incorporated into numerous Native American belief systems. According to the prophet Jack Wilson (Wovoka)’s teachings, proper practice of the dance would reunite the living with the spirits of the dead and bring peace, prosperity, and unity to native peoples throughout the region. The basis for the Ghost Dance, the circle dance, is a traditional ritual which has been used by many Native Americans since prehistoric times, but this new form was first practiced among the Nevada Paiute in 1889. The practice swept throughout much of the Western United States, quickly reaching areas of California and Oklahoma. As the Ghost Dance spread from its original source, Native American tribes synthesized selective aspects of the ritual with their own beliefs. This process often created change in both the society that integrated it, and in the ritual itself.
The chief figure in the movement was the prophet of peace, Jack Wilson, known as Wovoka among the Paiute. He prophesied a peaceful end to white expansion while preaching goals of clean living, an honest life, and cross-cultural cooperation by Native Americans. Practice of the Ghost Dance movement was believed to have contributed to Lakota resistance. In the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890, U.S. Army forces killed at least 153 Lakota Sioux. The Sioux variation on the Ghost Dance tended towards millenarianism, an innovation that distinguished the Sioux interpretation from Jack Wilson’s original teachings. The Caddo Nation still practices the Ghost Dance today. “.
Coincidentally, the popularity of the Ghost Dance dwindled after the Wounded Knee Massacre as many First Nations people feared similar bloodshed instigated by the U.S. Military.
And last but certainly not least, Bruce Cockburn who also started out as a barefoot hippy folk singer who has shown his versatility and skill as a song writer and musician more times than I can count. I saw him solo many years ago and it was quite delightful. This is a song from the 1994 “ Stealing Fire “ album and caused quite a stir in some Canadian circles and no one as famous and well respected as Bruce had ever been so aggressive in their lyrics and politics. Many a politician were heard to “ tut, tut “!
“The song was inspired by Cockburn’s visit, sponsored by OXFAM, to Guatemalan refugee camps in Mexico following the counterinsurgency campaign of dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. Although Cockburn had occasionally touched on political themes in his earlier songs, “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” was his first explicitly political song to be released as a single, and earned him a new reputation as an outspoken musical activist.
In the song, Cockburn despairs of waiting for a political solution to the crisis, and expresses the desire to take matters into his own hands. Each verse ends with a line stating what Cockburn would do if he had a rocket launcher: in the first verse, I’d make somebody pay. In the second, I would retaliate. In the third, I would not hesitate.
The fourth and final verse ends with the song’s most famous and controversial lyric: If I had a rocket launcher, some son-of-a-bitch would die.
In a later interview, Cockburn stated that the song “is not a call to arms; this is a cry.”
In 2009, Cockburn performed the song for Canadian troops in Afghanistan; he was subsequently presented (temporarily) with a rocket launcher “
Well done Kanata!!!!