Show #58 (I think) Playlist, etc. + LONG-PLAY TUESDAY!

What’s that? Special end-of-the-year two-hour vinyl show, you say?

Tune in tonight at 7:00 PM all the way to 9:00 PM for some of the best music you’ll hear all winter season, including some long-time favourites, some great new finds, some funky numbers, some chilled-out selections, some weird electro stuff and selections from my top 5 albums of 2010!

Pour yourself some tea, put on those headphones and let me ease you on into the new year.

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Oscar Peterson, gone three years.

It’s already been three years since music lost this amazing man. Oscar Peterson (August 15, 1925 – December 23, 2007) was one of the most important figures in his idiom and played an invaluable part in putting Canada on the world map of jazz. One of the few regrets of my life is never having been able to see him in performance.

Here he is with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen in a 1964 performance of Hymn To Freedom:

Show #57 (I think) Playlist, etc.

Well, it’s that ridiculous time of year again. The herds are shuffling through the gift-wrapped troughs at Mach speed, throwing elbows around like wrapping paper and drooling in single-file towards the registers.

Christmas just brings out the best in people, doesn’t it?

Anyway, despite my best attempts to avoid the annual winter commercial season, it finds ways to haunt me, every year. So: I’d better make the best of it.

I’ve invited a very special guest host to help me close up 2010 and I’m giving free reign to run an hour-long Christmas special. That’s right: Christmas special. All I can say is you won’t hear the traditional tunes you’re thinking of. Well, probably. Maybe. Just pour yourself some tea, put on your favourite ugly sweater, your best pair of slippers and your headphones and let us take you on a cinnamon-scented journey! 🙂

Update (please be sure to check back later for full details – this is just a quick list of what went down):

1. James Brown – I Can’t Stand It “76”
2. Kyrie From Mass For Christmas Day
3. Oratorio Society of New York – Alleluia Chorus
4. The Robert Shaw Festival Singers – Bogoroditsye Devo
5. Chinese Dance
6. Joni Mitchell – River
7. Hoja – Oh Holy Night
8. Jack Semple – Silent Night
9. Kokopelli – Christmas Angel
10. Straight No Chaser – Twelve Days of Christmas
11. Reba McEntire – The Christmas Guest
12. Bing Crosby – White Christmas

Thanks, as always for listening, and super-awesome-fantastico thanks to my special holiday guest Mandy McArthur for providing everything except James Brown tonight! It was a hoot!

Captain Beefheart Dead at 69

Captain Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet, died Friday. According to Entertainment Weekly, the avant garde rocker passed away at a California hospital due to complications from multiple sclerosis. He was 69.

The Captain, mostly remembered today as an icon from a certain time and place in American history, had command over an impressive four-and-a-half octave range. And while he had a vast working knowledge of a seemingly incongruous mix of genres — from acid jazz to modern classical — which he employed in his own blend of rock ‘n’ roll, truth be told, his unique fusion is best remembered as being, simply, true psychedelia.