Rickys Random Articles

2014 Polaris Music Prize Preview: The Drinking Game

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The prestigious Polaris Music Prize is tonight. With previous winners such as Arcade Fire, GSYBE and Feist, you can guarantee that it’ll be a star studded event featuring the greatest Canadian celebrities known only to listeners of CBC Radio and indie 88. The event takes place at the Carlu, a venue known to not host concerts to smaller independent acts, but is gorgeous nevertheless and also, within walking distance of several strip clubs on Yonge for the eventual winner to blow all their money in a desperate attempt to recreate the most marginal of rap videos.

It’s still fun, and what is even funner is sitting at home in your pajamas, beer in hand, watching the event unfold online and making snarky comments on twitter. Inspired by this already happening, I have decided to post the 2014 Polaris Music Prize Drinking game.

Do a shot whenever

  • Someone mentions how pretty the Carlu is
  • Mac Demarco Grin shots (via @JillKrajewski)
  • If Jay Baruchel Mumbles (via @beets)
  • Rob Ford joke
  • Doug Ford joke
  • Streaming problems on Aux.TV
  • Someone mentions lack of diversity in the short list
  • Random shots of music industry people acting awkward
  • Artist presenter clumsily fumbling through their notes
  • Jian Gomeshi sighting
  • Camera pans to the chair where Drake would be
  • They mention the after party

Feel free to add this somewhat lazy post.

Here is a stream of one of the songs I have enjoyed from a Polaris nominated artist/

Karaoke Song Reviews (Part 2): Lana Del Rey, Nick Cave, Spice Girls, Sam Smith

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Once again we went to karaoke and once again here my elaborate reports on songs we tried to conquer. (Part 1 is here). We adopted a different format this time because we have no idea what consistency actually means.

Lana Del Rey – Summertime Sadness

While it’s easy to mock a Lana Del Rey selection at karaoke (or anything Lana Del Rey-ish), it’s hard to deny her strength as a karaoke artist. I think any Lana Del Rey song is good for karaoke, let’s look at the facts:

  • Slow. Lana del Rey songs are paced at a leisurely pace, perfect for reading the song and then figuring out how you want to sing it
  • Simple. No tricky words here. Lana sticks to the basics for her song writing. one to three syllables at best.
  • Gender Neutral: Ldr has a surprisingly deep voice for a lady and so the song kinda lends itself to both Guys and gals

Conclusion: This is a great karaoke song to start with. it’s easy and the. “sa sa summertime summertime sadness” part is fun to both sing and say. Say it right now. “sa sa summertime”. So fun.

Nick Cave/Kylie Minogue – Where the Wild Roses Grow

If you are going to pick a duet you better assess your crowd and make sure that someone else in the crowd knows this track. For future reference, don’t pick a semi obscure Nick Cave song from the 90s, no matter how much you like it. Singing both the nick and Kylie part doesn’t really make sense to your friends and I guess it’s also awkward to sing a song where basically the murders the women he’s dueting with. Still a great song though.

REM – The One I Love

Simple lyrics and a great chorus to scream out with your fellow friends.. why not?

Nicky Minaj – Anaconda

This is a song du jour that will sound dated in about a month but when you pick this song, all you really wanna do is yell out “OH my god. look at her butt” without feeling weird. You don’t even know how the rest of the “song” goes.

Sam Smith – Money on My Mind

Another one of the songs where you have no idea what the verse is but gives you an opportunity to yell out “I got money in my mind, money on my mind” in a falsetto over and over again. It’s pretty fun to yell out shit in your highest voice.

Spice girls – 2 become 1

Nostalgia’s a bitch. Probably everyone’s favorite song of the night and really, quite the dirty lyrics for supposed teeny bopper music. It’s funny because we picked this karaoke place cos they had a healthy dose of indie music and I swear every other song we sang was either 90s pop, Beyonc√© or Drake

Placebo – Pure morning

15 years later and I still don’t know what the hell this song is about. that’s the weird thing about karaoke, it forces you to really look at the song writing and Brian molkos songwriting is well, confusing:

A friend in needs a friend indeed,
A friend with weed is better,
A friend with breasts and all the rest,
A friend who’s dressed in leather,

A friend in needs a friend indeed,
A friend who’ll tease is better ,
Our thoughts compressed,
Which makes us blessed,
And makes for stormy weather,

A friend in needs a friend indeed,
My Japanese is better,
And when she’s pressed she will undress,
And then she’s boxing clever


Pulp – Babies

Speaking of lyrics, Babies is a great tune but my fiend who had never heard of Pulp was like “these lyrics are messed up yo”. I guess a song about an adolescent teen hiding in the closet of his crushes house watching her sister get it on can elicit such response. Still this song has some good yea yea yea yea parts and after singing some songs with outrageously weird lyrics, it’s nice to sing something that tells a narrative.

Lessons Learned

Just like we do at my workplace, we have come up with some lessons learned from this recent karaoke session They are

- Be aware of songs that repeat chorus over and over again (it’ll get boring)
– RAP is always, always more difficult then expected
– Make sure people know the song if you intend on duos
– 90’s songs = popular
– Don’t pocket dial your friend at midnight and leave a ten minute message consisting of you singing Whitney Houston and RHCP

Polaris Prize 2014 Short List Nominees: Some Quick Thoughts

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Now that the World Cup is over, and Lebron James has chosen his new team, the internet can get back to all those other things. One of those things just happens to be the short list for the greatest prize for the Canadian music industry today – The Polaris Music Prize. Since it’s inception in 2006, the prize has been seen as the Canadian equivalent of the Mercury Prize and has given it’s winners a significant boost in both popularity and respect. Studies have shown that 1 in 8 Polaris Prize winners go on to eventually headline Glastonbury and have David Bowie do guest vocals on their songs.

The short list comes after an extensive voting process by the members of the Polaris jury, which currently include a diverse group of currently employed, soon to be unemployed and perpetually unemployed writers, bloggers and broadcasters. With such a grand announcement today, I thought it would only be fair that I write the first thing that comes to my mind when I look at each of the short list members. Any more thinking and it would become unpure.

Arcade Fire – Reflektor
This album seems like it came out five years ago. Yet here it is.

Basia Bulat – Tall Tall Shadow
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Another year, another pleasant album. Probably not enough to win.

Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
I’m not nearly young enough or high enough to get him. His nomination is great for all those people looking to mimic 90’s American alt rock though.

Drake – Nothing Was the Same
Why didn’t Raptors go after Paul Pierce? Savvy vet, can defend bigger guards, good at crunch time.

Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back
Why didn’t her show at the Garrison start half an hour later, that way I could of saw both Morcheeba and her.

Owen Pallett – In Conflict
Is this album about the middle east? Why can’t those guys just get along. I am supposed to go to Israel in September.

Shad – Flying Colours
Token rap entry that won’t win

Tanya Tagaq
It’ll cost her $20,000 to get here from Nunavut

Timer Timbre – Hot Dreams
A good album that I associate with winter, might not be good for summer time voting

Yamantanka/Sonic Titan
2/2 is pretty good way to start off your career. Probably won’t win. The Mike Trout of Canadian music. Minus 300 million dollars.

What were your thoughts?

Types of People at Concerts

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This post needs no introduction. We’ve probably been these types at some point in our lives.

Normal People
These are the people I like the best. They come to the show, find a spot, maybe have a drink and general enjoy the show from the initial spot they found without talking much or bothering anyone. The unsung heroes of a concert.

Woooo Girls/Boys
These people probably hate their jobs and don’t go out too much as they have concerts as primary “outings”. In the end, they try to make up for all the unhappiness in the other aspects of their lives by Wooing extra hard (and often) to try and create an unforgettable experience.

Yelling at the Band
Perhaps these people are the alpha’s in their work or social groups, but they seem to think that they can dictate the flow of a show just by yelling out songs they want to hear. It rarely works, the bands write down set lists for a reason. These people are usually heavy drinker and get progressively worse as the show goes along.

Maybe the worse people at concerts. They go to concerts to talk to their friends while casually checking out the concert. WHY DID YOU PAY FOR THE SHOW? I have no idea. Perhaps they want to seem cool. Either way, they are very distracting and annoying.

Can I? Should I?
These indecisive motherfuckers really like the band but are constantly unhappy with their spot at the show. Their passive aggressiveness forces them to spend most of the time deliberating whether or not they should move closer before finally making it to the front of the stage with two songs remaining. Then they’ll look at each other and be all like “omg! we are so close” and high five each other for their ambitious move while everyone around them hates them for disrupting their personal spacing.

Uses their SLR’s as an excuse to be push themselves to the front of the stage, then spend all the concert trying to enjoy it through the LCD screens on their cameras. They have a look of determination on them at all time as they try to capture that one magical moment of the show that will surely be sold to a photo gallery or national publication. They always do this little dance with other photographers where they trade spots. It’s sorta amusing, I guess.

Amateur Photographers
Spend half their time using their POS cameras trying to get the perfect shot not realizing their technical limitations. May use flash to an annoying degree.

These people hold their phones up to record the entire show because all their friends will watch a shitty recording of a live show. Just kidding, no one watches that junk. Why do it?

People who are having too good a time
No matter how much fun you are having, there’s always those people who are just losing it and having some sort of internal revelation. It’s specially amazing if it’s some random new band with only an EP to their name. How did they build such an emotional connection so quickly? I’ll never know.

There’s probably more, feel free to comment!