Attention Rush-Hour, TTC Subway Riders

Here’s a novel idea for rush-hour, TTC subway riders.

Put down your phone, Kindle or Dostoyevski novel. Look around. Take off your bulging backpack. Don’t bunch by the doors. If you see free space, scooch over and make room. We need to do better because who knows when the relief line will arrive.

Continue reading “Attention Rush-Hour, TTC Subway Riders”

Call them CREW-ANG-BIN

One band I cannot get enough of right now is Khruangbin.

Here’s my phonetic spelling: CREW-ANG-BIN.

My former boss told me to check out their appearance on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert. I got hooked. I added both of their albums to my Spotify queue. I went to June Records and requested a copy of their latest album, Con Todo El Mundo. While I paid, the clerk told the store owner the album was selling. And it was actually good he said, implying that most of the records people bought were not. “OK,” said the owner. “Order ten more copies.”

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33 Bottles of Beer in My Notebook

Seven years ago I bought a notebook called 33 Bottles of Beer.

On the front cover, where it said “Date Started,” I wrote: Nov. 7, 2011. Brutal IPA is the first entry. I sampled it at the Rogue Brewery outside Portland, Oregon. I gave it 3.5 stars and it cost USD$2.00. My notes were basic. “Easy on the throat. Not that hoppy.” I didn’t even finish the flavour wheel.

It’s the fourth entry — dated Nov. 8, 2011 — that marks the point that I fell for craft beer.

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Cable TV Is The New Radio

Cable TV is where I discover great music.

It wasn’t always that way. I used to scrape the internet for new music in the wee hours before sunrise and play it on my podcast. I volunteered to write music reviews in exchange for access to free CDs. I  would slide sweaty headphones over my ears at a music store called Soundscapes in search of something to stroke my soul.

But then I stopped writing about music. Continue reading “Cable TV Is The New Radio”

Why I Listen to Gimlet Media’s The Nod

I’ve loved radio and podcasting for a long time. But I was always irked that stories reflecting my upbringing and culture were scarce.

Every week I’d devour episodes of This American Life, Freakonomics or NPR’s Planet Money. These shows, their hosts and the characters they paraded across the airwaves fascinated me. But it was rare for me to hear a story and go, “Wow, that hits close to home.”

I’ve loved radio and podcasting for a long time. But I was always irked that stories reflecting my upbringing and culture were scarce.

Every week I’d devour episodes of This American LifeFreakonomics or NPR’s Planet Money. These shows, their hosts and the characters they paraded across the airwaves fascinated me. But it was rare for me to hear a story and go, “Wow, that hits close to home.” Continue reading “Why I Listen to Gimlet Media’s The Nod”