Three Great Books Chronicling Canadian Rock n’ Roll

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The late Scott Young, Neil’s dad, was a distinguished Canadian journalist and prolific author, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, for his years of columns on the sport. He died in 2005 at age 87, having published more than 35 books—novels and nonfiction, some for young readers. His NEIL AND ME (1984) is illuminating on the family’s break-up, when he left his wife Rassy, and Neil, and brother Bob. The chapters about Neil’s music and performing are very enlightening. The elder Young was a very good writer, no less writing about his famous son. An essential book for understanding Neil, it bespeaks all that is heartfelt and sincere about Neil’s songs and career. Especially valuable when read alongside Jimmy McDonough’s Shaky (2002). For other coverage of mine about Neil Young, you may read a post I wrote when Patti Smith interviewed Neil at BEA in 2012.

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Like a big pot of soup you can feed on for days and days, HAVE NOT BEEN THE SAME: The CanRock Renaissance, 1985-1995 (2001) is a rich broth of a book, with great stories and characters spanning four decades of Canadian rock n’ roll. The 10th Anniversary Edition, published in 2011, was released simultaneously with a CD release that had younger artists covering songs by their musical forbears, bands that had been in the first edition of the book, it was a cool project that I bought and enjoy from the Canadian indie music seller zunior.com. So good you can open it at the start of any new chapter, and just begin reading and enjoying. Kudos to Michael Barclay and his co-authors Ian A.D. Jack and Jason Schneider.

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Like the memorable book about the 1960s art scene that swirled around Andy Warhol, EDIE: American Girl by Jean Stein, with a Foreword by George Plimpton, Dave Bidini’s ON A COLD ROAD: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock n’ Roll (1998), is a multi-voiced oral history of verbatim recollections by dozens of Canadian musicians, shaped by Bidini who toured for years as part of the Rheostatics. There are many colons (e.g., : ) in this book followed by paragraphs of rich memories. Bidini’s arranged it kinetically, so you feel like you’re bouncing around on the bus, too, as you read funny, outrageous evocations of epic touring traversing the continent-wide country. Full of humor and pathos, it made me laugh, and nearly cry, for the sincere efforts of so many hard-working, hard-partying, hard-striving artists. Bidini is also prodigiously prolific, with twelve books published, including 2011’s WRITING GORDON LIGHTFOOT: The Man, the Music, the World, in 1972. And then there’s his musical career, which now has him fronting Bidiniband. I also enjoy reading him on Twitter @hockeyesque.

 

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Del Barber, Finding His Songwriting Inspiration from the Land


Del Barber, the Living Room, 2011The few songs I’ve heard from Del Barber’s new album Prairieography–which on the video below he describes as a conscious homage to Ian Tyson’s 1987 album, Cowboyography–all sound great. I heard Barber live in 2011, at the much-missed Living Room venue, when he was included in a showcase put on by ManitobaMusic.com. He’s a tall lefthanded guitar player, and he held the room as a solo artist. The new album has a fuller sound, but still lean and acoustic. As he said on CBC Radio’s “Q” yesterday, he sought out old grain silos and abandoned farm buildings to record in. The songs sounded great live on the radio, but I’m equally eager to hear what they sound like on the album. In Shakey, Jimmy McDonough’s obsessively readable biography of Neil Young, I learned of Neil’s great interest in finding unusual places to record. Barber has the same passion for out of the way sound environments.

Ian TysonIan TysonOf course, Tyson began his career as half of Ian & Sylvia, but after they went their separate ways his career continued to grow. I don’t have “Cowboyography,” but I do own, and treasure his prodigious 19-song collection from 1994, “Old Corrals and Sagebrush & Other Cowboy Culture Classics.” Tyson’s so prolific that none of the songs from “Cowboyography,” two of which were co-written with the legendary Tom Russell, were included in the later anthology. Here’s a 5-minute video of Del Barber talking about the making of “Prairieography”–don’t miss his discussion of the grain silos and their reverb qualities at around the 2:11 mark.

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#elexn42 #ToPoli 60 MInutes 1993 2015 elections 2015 Federal Election 2016 presidential election @CBCRadio3 Abraham Lincoln Acadia Adolf Hitler Agent Orange Alice Munro Amanda Lang Amelia Curran Amity Beach Amtrak Anderson Varajao Antonine Maillet architecture Arctic Ocean Arkells AUX TV Ben Caplan Beverley Slopen book-to-film adaptations Born Ruffians Boyhood Brain Cloud branding exercises Brandon Downing bullying Cabot Trail Calvin Reid Canada Canadiana Canadian authors Canadian bands in NYC Canadian Blast Canadian elections Canadian indie music canadian indie rock Canadian indie rock n' roll canadian politics Canadian rock n' roll Canadians abroad Canadian vacations cancer CANlit Cape Breton CBC CBC Books CBC Music CBC Radio CBC Radio 3 CBC Sunday Edition CBS Chicago Cleveland CMJ CMJ Music Marathon CN Tower coffee Cold War Colm Toibin comedy Communion Music Corb Lund corruption covert agents cowboy culture Crime Writers of Canada cross-cultural writing Daniel Canty Dave Bidini Dave Van Ronk David Margolick Del Barber depression dialect Doug Ford drunk driving editorial services Edward Keenan Edward Robb Ellis Elizabeth May Elliott Brood Ethan Hawke Ewan Turner fair housing Farley Mowat Fence Books flickr folk music Franconia College Frazey Ford French FridayReads Gaspé Peninsula George Elliott Clarke George Washington Bridge Gill Deacon global climate change Grant Lawrence Greenwich Village Harlan Pepper Henry Tandey Hidden Pony HIGHS hockey Hollerado Honourary Canadian Howard Engel humor Ian Tyson indie music In Flight Safety Ireland Irish music Israel Jan Wong Jian Ghomeshi Jill Barber Joe's Pub journalism Justin Trudeau Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer Kevin Donovan Keystone XL Lee's Palace Lee Harvey Osmond Lee Lorch Leonard Cohen life after corporate publishing Linda Ronstadt Lisa LeBlanc Little Red Lighthouse Little Rock Nine live music Lo-Fantasy lower east side Lt. General Roméo Dallaire Marc Maron marijuana laws Matt Andersen Mayor Bill de Blasio Mayor Rob Ford McGarrigle Sisters Megan Bonnell Mellow Pages Memoirs mental health treatment Mercury Lounge methane M for Montreal Michael Barclay Michael Enright Michael Ruby Miles O'Brien Mo Kenney Monomyth music festivals music marketing National Film Board of Canada Neil Young Neil Young. Third Man Records Nevado Records Newfoundland New York City New York music venues Noah Nobel Prize NXNE Olympics Ontario Ottawa Jazz Festival Paperbag Records Parks Canada Percé Rock Peter Warner photojournalism podcasting poetry political mindsets President Obama prosthetics PS I Love You PTSD PublishersMarketplace.com Publishers Weekly Pumpkin Pie Q Quebec racial bias Rah Rah Random House Canada road trips Robert Henry Adams Rob Ford Rockwood Music Hall Rolling Stone Rural Alberta Advantage Ruth Gruber Sadies Said the Whale Sam Roberts Band SaskMusic SaskMusic.org satire Scott Young sex education Shawn William Clark Shore Fire Media short stories Siberia sister cities spy novels Stephen Harper Stephen Marche St Louis Stompin' Tom Connors Strombo Show Strumbellas suicide prevention summer vacation 2014 Swiss Water Syrian refugees Talonbooks Thanksgiving The Ballad of Crowfoot The Deep Dark Woods TheGreatGrayBridge.com The Orchard The Revenant The Strumbellas This is That Toronto Toronto Book Awards Toronto mayoral election Toronto Star Torquil Campbell traditional music Turnip King Ugly Duckling Presse upper Manhattan Vancouver Vietnam W.B. Belcher war memorials Wigrum Wilderness of Manitoba WWI

Three Cheers for Torquil Campbell of Stars

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#elexn42 #ToPoli 60 MInutes 1993 2015 elections 2015 Federal Election 2016 presidential election @CBCRadio3 Abraham Lincoln Acadia Adolf Hitler Agent Orange Alice Munro Amanda Lang Amelia Curran Amity Beach Amtrak Anderson Varajao Antonine Maillet architecture Arctic Ocean Arkells AUX TV Ben Caplan Beverley Slopen book-to-film adaptations Born Ruffians Boyhood Brain Cloud branding exercises Brandon Downing bullying Cabot Trail Calvin Reid Canada Canadiana Canadian authors Canadian bands in NYC Canadian Blast Canadian elections Canadian indie music canadian indie rock Canadian indie rock n' roll canadian politics Canadian rock n' roll Canadians abroad Canadian vacations cancer CANlit Cape Breton CBC CBC Books CBC Music CBC Radio CBC Radio 3 CBC Sunday Edition CBS Chicago Cleveland CMJ CMJ Music Marathon CN Tower coffee Cold War Colm Toibin comedy Communion Music Corb Lund corruption covert agents cowboy culture Crime Writers of Canada cross-cultural writing Daniel Canty Dave Bidini Dave Van Ronk David Margolick Del Barber depression dialect Doug Ford drunk driving editorial services Edward Keenan Edward Robb Ellis Elizabeth May Elliott Brood Ethan Hawke Ewan Turner fair housing Farley Mowat Fence Books flickr folk music Franconia College Frazey Ford French FridayReads Gaspé Peninsula George Elliott Clarke George Washington Bridge Gill Deacon global climate change Grant Lawrence Greenwich Village Harlan Pepper Henry Tandey Hidden Pony HIGHS hockey Hollerado Honourary Canadian Howard Engel humor Ian Tyson indie music In Flight Safety Ireland Irish music Israel Jan Wong Jian Ghomeshi Jill Barber Joe's Pub journalism Justin Trudeau Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer Kevin Donovan Keystone XL Lee's Palace Lee Harvey Osmond Lee Lorch Leonard Cohen life after corporate publishing Linda Ronstadt Lisa LeBlanc Little Red Lighthouse Little Rock Nine live music Lo-Fantasy lower east side Lt. General Roméo Dallaire Marc Maron marijuana laws Matt Andersen Mayor Bill de Blasio Mayor Rob Ford McGarrigle Sisters Megan Bonnell Mellow Pages Memoirs mental health treatment Mercury Lounge methane M for Montreal Michael Barclay Michael Enright Michael Ruby Miles O'Brien Mo Kenney Monomyth music festivals music marketing National Film Board of Canada Neil Young Neil Young. Third Man Records Nevado Records Newfoundland New York City New York music venues Noah Nobel Prize NXNE Olympics Ontario Ottawa Jazz Festival Paperbag Records Parks Canada Percé Rock Peter Warner photojournalism podcasting poetry political mindsets President Obama prosthetics PS I Love You PTSD PublishersMarketplace.com Publishers Weekly Pumpkin Pie Q Quebec racial bias Rah Rah Random House Canada road trips Robert Henry Adams Rob Ford Rockwood Music Hall Rolling Stone Rural Alberta Advantage Ruth Gruber Sadies Said the Whale Sam Roberts Band SaskMusic SaskMusic.org satire Scott Young sex education Shawn William Clark Shore Fire Media short stories Siberia sister cities spy novels Stephen Harper Stephen Marche St Louis Stompin' Tom Connors Strombo Show Strumbellas suicide prevention summer vacation 2014 Swiss Water Syrian refugees Talonbooks Thanksgiving The Ballad of Crowfoot The Deep Dark Woods TheGreatGrayBridge.com The Orchard The Revenant The Strumbellas This is That Toronto Toronto Book Awards Toronto mayoral election Toronto Star Torquil Campbell traditional music Turnip King Ugly Duckling Presse upper Manhattan Vancouver Vietnam W.B. Belcher war memorials Wigrum Wilderness of Manitoba WWI