Posts tagged ‘music’

Random Thoughts today…

lobster_brkfJust waiting for a conference call to start so I thought I’d put a few thoughts on paper.

BREAKFAST – This morning I had fresh maritime lobster with a fat-free cheese slice, egg white omelet (6 points on Weightwatchers).  Check out the photo.  The lobster kinda looks like when my Dad used to deep-fry bacon for his famous, moose-bacon cheese burger on fry bread (21 points).

TODAY’S BLESSING – “Gzhemnidoo (Great kind spirit – the Creator).  I look to you, in a humble way, for your help in my quest to lose weight and make healthier choices in life.  I’m having some difficult times in staying positive and following-through.  Today, I ask the Spirit World, the Grandmothers and Grandfathers all around me, to help me in this important personal goal.  Please look after me in dealing with my diabetes, that I stay focussed, take my medicine everyday and live healthy.  I think about all those, like me, living with diabetes and I ask that you look after them and their daily struggles.  Today, I give thanks for all your great works, for Creation around us, for this good and beautiful life, mno-bimaadiziwin.  I thank you for this wonderful Mide life, mice bimaadiziwin.  I give thanks for all your gifts, for my family and the health of others during this holiday season.  I broke my fast today with a tall, glass of clear, fresh water, nibi/mide-waaboo.  That sacred water that flows to us, with great kindness, from that third level above us.  I give thanks for the water and for the food that grows on Shkawkamig-Kwe (Mother Earth).  Miigwetch (thank you), Grandfathers and Grandmothers.  Take pity on us, Gzhemnidoo.”

FOOTBALL – It was a very interesting night in NFL football.  The Bears won.  The Packers came back after I had all but given up on them.  The Vikings upset the high-flying Eagles.  My Midewiwin family must be really happy today.  Quite a few upsets this week as well.  My Broncos and miracle quarterback Payton Manning losing to the Chargers was a bit of a shocker.  Pats lose.  Saints lose.  One social media comment I seen summed the whole weekend:  “Mediocrity prevails yet again.”

CHEYENNE SAUCIER – I had a great time at the Assembly of First Nation’s annual Christmas Party last Thursday.  It’s been a long while since I attended as it usually isn’t my kind of thing.  The dinner was amazing, the company was fun and interesting and the entertainment was top-notch.  Had a chance to listen to and meet young Cheyenne Saucier from Wikwemikong.  I bought her latest CD of country covers called The Nashville Sessions Vol. 1 to play in my car.  The level of talent among Anishinaabek youth is astounding.  She’s going to go far and I wish her luck in her career.

HOLIDAY PLANS – Holiday Dinner will be at Junior and Laurie’s place this coming Saturday.  We’re looking forward to a great feast, albeit, a feast of small portions for me.  Deborah and I are bringing a fresh, roasted, bone-in ham with a honey mustard glaze.  Griffin and Miigwans are Florida bound with their mom and Val for their holidays.  They depart this Friday so I won’t see them until next year.  Fortunately, they will be staying with us this Thursday night so we can exchange gifts.  Katherine Faith will be home on Christmas Eve.  Although she will be visiting her boyfriend Jake’s family over Christmas.  Deb and I will be on our own for Christmas night.  No fancy dinner planned.  We might go to a movie like we’ve done in the past.  In all likelihood, Deborah, myself, Katherine Faith, Jake, Jasmine and Fiona will head someplace warm for the holidays.  We will celebrate New Years in the warm climate of a five-star resort.

My Dad & George Jones

If I try hard enough, I can vaguely remember the very first time I got tickets for My Fair Lady. As a musician and avid music fan, I wish I could say it was KISS, the Rolling Stones, Rush or Fleetwood Mac.  This was long before the days of my own music appreciation.

On this occasion, my Dad, the Late Dennis Goulais and I went to see George Jones.

I really don’t remember much.  I must have been pretty young.  I do remember my dad driving in iceland for the concert in our blue and white Chevy Sierra pick-up truck.  I remember the drive because going to North Bay in the evening was a big deal in those days.  I don’t remember who was with us, maybe Junior.  I remember coming from the very busy parking lot, my Dad buying the tickets at the door and strolling over to our mid-level seats.

I can’t tell you the date, what George was wearing or what songs he sang that night.

But what I can tell you is that was one of the only times that I’ve seen my Dad so excited about something.  This wasn’t just a good time for us kids.  This was something for him.

He really Loved country music.  George Jones was one of his favorite artists.  He also liked Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Conway Twitty.  He liked to watch the Grand Ole Opry on satellite.

My Dad was also a musician.  He liked to listen to bluegrass and play the guitar.  He taught my brother Dennis Jr. and I our first chords on the guitar.  He Loved to play, especially in our younger years.  He also liked to entertain, sing and strum along with others.  I recall those rare evenings in Paul and Jeanette Goulais’ basement, or around the kitchen table at home.  My Dad had a very music spirit.

Late in life, his favorite thing to do was to listen to country music CDs in his SUV.  If he was still around today, I’d bet he’d really enjoy satellite radio with the 24-hour country music and bluegrass channels.  He also liked his cell phone.  While he was driving around and listening to his tunes, he would regularly make calls to talk to my Mom for no reason whatsoever.  I always thought that was sweet.

I am not be a big country music or George Jones fan.  In fact, with George Jone’s passing this week, I didn’t remember him much.

But I did take some time to remember my Dad and how much he Loved his country music.  I’m sure my Dad is up in the Spirit World with ole’ George sharing a few songs together.

The Dirty Bit and A Little Bit More

Superbowl – It’s been a couple of years since I’ve watched football in earnest. I still may, or may not watch the Superbowl on Sunday. However, my team has always been the Green Bay Packers. But I reckon I was more of a Brett Favre fan. I lost my allegiance and interest in the NFL when he moved on to other teams. Nevertheless, I’ll be wearing my cheese-head on Sunday. Prediction Pittsburgh 24, Green Bay 17.

How about those Leafs?!? – Just kidding.

Weight Watchers and Workouts – I’m still on track and everything is looking good. I’ve lost about ten pounds so far. I hope to do better at my weekend weigh-in now that I’ve included regular exercise into my routine. Using the elliptical is still tough, but I hope it will get easier as I get used to it. I’m still doing 20 minutes at a time. I watched a great documentary refuting the Bering Straight theory on my Palm while I exercised. It’s better to have a good distraction rather than listening to that annoying voice inside me saying “you can’t possible finish this.”

My new job– I’m looking forward to working with Ljuba Irwin and Roger Obonsawin at the OI Group. In my role as Director, of Governmental Relations and Business Development I will represent the interests of the OI Group in dealing with all levels of government and with First Nations across Canada. I will be developing new and existing business opportunities as well as enhancing the profile of the OI Group and marketing of their innovative human resource products and services. A notice was sent out to all OI employees, past and present, and I will begin working on negotiating a possible political resolution to the outstanding tax cases.

Tourism and Culture – It’s bittersweet to be moving on from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The Culture and Strategic Policy Branch has a lot of great, professional people. Certainly, all the folks that work in my Unit are top notch. On the other hand, I felt the Ministry was not able to use my skills, experience and networks to their best advantage. And although the Ontario Public Services would like to attract top, diverse talent from the Aboriginal community – they have a lot of work to do in order to retain that talent in their organization. All in all, it was a great experience and good orientation to policy within the provincial government.

The Commute – Only five more days of commuting downtown for me. The combination of driving, parking, walking, taking the subway and walking again is taxing. The average 24 km trip takes about an hour the morning and over an hour-and-a-half in the evening. Although I may complain about the commute downtown, I’m actually going to miss it a lot. It represents most of my alone time with my sweetheart. Nothing is better when she looks at me with those beautiful brown eyes and reaches over to hold my hand. The commute will now be to Brantford, but only a couple of days per week. It’s a lot further but I’m used to travelling in my car long distances. I think I’ll cope well. Now, what’s the best route through traffic?

Birdwatchers, a film by Marco Bechis

Movie Weekend – Deb and I are going to see The Rite starring Anthony Hopkins. We’re horror, suspense movie freaks. Although, I’m intrigued by a film called Birdwatchers. It’s about a small band of Guarani people in Brazil who begin to occupy a rich farm-owners land. The film shows their struggle for land, loss of their environment, poverty, suicide and how they must pose in stereotypical garb on the riverbank for boatloads of tourists. The reviews are sad but favourable. The film is cast with first-time actors and a largely, improvised script. I know it’s playing at the Bell Lightbox but I wonder if it will play closer to home?

Dirty Bit and a Little Bit More – If you can name the artists of these two song titles (without Googling) you are truly an inter-generational music-lover.  Check out the answers here.  Other tunes with “bit” in their title:  Just a Lil Bit by 50 Cent, Give a Little Bit by Supertramp, and Little Bit by Drake.

Top 100 Canadian Singles

(Playing:  New Orleans Is Sinking — The Tragically Hip. Wild in the Streets — Helix.  Wendy Under the Stars — Odds)

I’m sitting at the computer writing some risk assessments for work.  Bringing a file or two up-to-date.  I’m also writing a new Blog entry and listening to some tunes.  I’m multi-tasking.

(Playing: Somewhere Down The Crazy River — Robbie Robertson)

I’m back at home and listening to Canadian music.  For all you non-Canadians, there isn’t really a whole lot to choose from, but certainly, there is some great music.  We all know the greatest exports from Canada are Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Guess Who, Rush and The Band.  But we also have Odds, Tragically Hip, Alanis Morrisette, Colin James, Arcade Fire, Sloan, Red Rider… and so many more.  Lots of great music, history and memories.

(Playing:  This Flight Tonight — Nazareth.   So She’s Leaving – The Trews.  Song Instead of a Kiss — Alannah Myles)

For the past few weeks, I’ve been anticipating the release of the definitive list of the Top 100 Canadian Songs, that will be published in a book by author and music nerd Bob Mersereau.  Bob polled about 800 musicians, music executives, managers, promoters, retailers, music fans (and of course, journalists) to compile his book, The Top 100 Canadian Singles.

Here is Bob Mersereau’s Top 10:

1. The Guess Who — American Woman (y)
2. Neil Young — Heart Of Gold (y)
3. The Band — The Weight (y)
4. Bryan Adams — Summer of ’69 (y)
5. Leonard Cohen — Hallelujah (y)
6. Steppenwolf — Born to Be Wild (y)
7. Gordon Lightfoot — If You Could Read My Mind (n)
8. Bachman Turner Overdrive — Takin’ Care Of Business (y)
9. Ian and Sylvia — Four Strong Winds (y)
10. Anne Murray — Snowbird (n)

(Playing:  Subdivisions — Rush)

Here is my Top 10 list (and where they fit in Bob M’s list)

1.  Needle & The Damage Done — Neil Young (73… far, far too low.  Shame.)
2.  Up Where We Belong — Buffy Ste. Marie (didn’t make his list)
3.  The Weight — The Band  (3… perfect assessment, Bob)
4.  You Learn — Alanis Morrisette  (didn’t make his list)
5.  New Orleans is Sinking  —  The Tragically Hip  (14…  not bad, should be higher)

(Playing:  Turn Me Loose — Loverboy.  White Hot — Red Rider.  Roller — April Wine.  Rock Star — Nickelback.  Black Black Heart — David Usher.  What Does It Take? — Honeymoon Suite.  Suzanne — Leonard Cohen.  Sunny Days — Lighthouse. Into the Mystic — Colin James.  One Thing — Finger Eleven.  Mama, Let Him Play — Doucette

6.  Limelight — Rush (didn’t make his list)
7.  Underwhelmed — Sloan  (20… once again, kinda low)
8.  No Time — The Guess Who  (91…  way too low)
9.  Wheat Kings — The Tragically Hip (87…  way too low)
10.  The Kings —This Beat Goes on/Switchin’ To Glide  (72… at least it made his list)

Here is the rest of Bob M’s list of the Top 100 Canadian Singles (and whether or not it is in my I-Tunes/I-pod):

11. Joni Mitchell — Big Yellow Taxi/Woodstock (y)
12. Rush — Tom Sawyer (y)
13. Blue Rodeo — Try (y)
14. Tragically Hip — New Orleans Is Sinking (y)
15. Gordon Lightfoot — The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald (n)
16. Leonard Cohen — Suzanne (y)
17. Tom Cochrane — Life Is A Highway  (y)
18. Guess Who — These Eyes (y)
19. Gordon Lightfoot — Sundown (n)
20. Sloan — Underwhelmed (y)
21. The Band — Up On Cripple Creek/The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (y)
22. Maestro Fresh Wes — Let Your Backbone Slide (y)
23. The Diodes — Tired of Waking Up Tired (n)
25. Rush — The Spirit of Radio (y)
25. Crowbar — Oh What A Feeling (n)
26. Rough Trade — High School Confidential (n)
27. Martha and the Muffins — Echo Beach (n)
28. Stampeders — Sweet City Woman (y)
29. Arcade Fire — Wake Up (y)
30. Barenaked Ladies — If I Had $1,000,000 (y)
31. Robert Charlebois — Lindberg (n)
32. The Pursuit Of Happiness — I’m an Adult Now (y)
33. Ugly Ducklings — Nothin’ (n)
34. Sloan — Coax Me (y)
35. Rush — Closer To The Heart (y)
36. Teenage Head — Picture My Face (n)
37. Guess Who — Shakin’ All Over (n)
38. Five Man Electrical Band — Signs (y)
39. Blue Rodeo — Lost Together (y)
40. Ron Hynes — Sonny’s Dream (n)
41. Men Without Hats — The Safety Dance (n)
42. Rheostatics — Claire (n)
43. Lighthouse — One Fine Morning (n)
44. A Foot In Coldwater — (Make Me Do) Anything You Want (y)
45. Corey Hart — Sunglasses At Night (y)
46. Loverboy — Working For The Weekend (y)
47. Trooper — Raise A Little Hell (y)
48. Parachute Club — Rise Up (n)
49. Alannah Myles — Black Velvet (y)
50. Terry Jacks — Seasons In The Sun (n)
51. Malajube — Montreal —40C (n)
52. Neil Young — Cinnamon Girl (y)
53. Alanis Morissette — You Oughta Know (y)
54. Feist — 1234 (n)
55. Arcade Fire — Rebellion (Lies) (y)
56. k.d. lang — Constant Craving (n)
57. Neil Young — Rockin’ In The Free World (y)
58. Michel Pagliaro — Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy (n)
59. Bruce Cockburn — Lovers In A Dangerous Time (n)
60. Tragically Hip — Bobcaygeon (y)
61. Joni Mitchell — A Case of You/California (n)
62. The Demics — New York City (n)
63. Bryan Adams — (Everything I Do) I Do It For You (y)
64. Tragically Hip — Ahead By A Century (y)
65. Blue Rodeo — Five Days In May (y)
66. Hank Snow — I’m Moving On (n)
67. Harmonium — Pour un instant (n)
68. Steppenwolf — Magic Carpet Ride (n)
69. Sloan — Money City Maniacs (y)
70. Celine Dion — My Heart Will Go On (y)
71. k—os — Crabbuckit (n)
72. The Kings —This Beat Goes on/Switchin’ To Glide (y)
73. Neil Young — Old Man/Needle and the Damage Done (y)
74. Jean Leloup — 1990 (n)
75. Payola$ — Eyes Of A Stranger (n)
76. Blue Rodeo — Hasn’t Hit Me Yet (y)
77. Bachman Turner Overdrive — You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet (y)
78. Bruce Cockburn — Wondering Where The Lions Are (n)
79. April Wine — You Could Have Been A Lady (y)
80. Teenage Head — Let’s Shake/Somethin’ On My Mind (y)
81. Joni Mitchell — Help Me (n)
82. Trooper — We’re Here For A Good Time (y)
83. Lighthouse — Sunny Days (n)
84. Jean—Pierre Ferland — Le petit roi (n)
85. Bryan Adams — Cuts Like A Knife (y)
86. Stompin’ Tom Connors — The Hockey Song (n)
87. Tragically Hip — Wheat Kings (y)
88. Gilles Vigneault — Mon pays (n)
89. Spirit of The West — Home For A Rest (n)
90. New Pornographers — Letter From An Occupant (n)
91. Guess Who — No Time (y)
92. Mashmakhan — As The Years Go By (n)
93. Neil Young — Hey Hey My My (y)
94. Paul Anka — Diana (n)
95. Daniel Lanois — The Maker (n)
96. The Spoons — Nova Heart (n)
97. Beau Dommage — La complainte du phoque en Alaska (n)
98. Ron Sexsmith — Secret Heart (n)
99. Bryan Adams — Run To You (y)
100. Wintersleep — Weighty Ghost (n)