Where the Hell Are We?

If I say “the 'Seventies”, whether you were alive or not during that decade, you'll probably get a fairly specific set of images in your mind: disco and its fashion, long, shaggy hair, big, bloated cars, Trudeau (Sr.), Nixon and…


To Cover Or Not To Cover

It's no secret that people respond better to music they've heard than to music they've never heard. Even if it's a piece of music for which one doesn't have a ton of affection, the familiarity gives the music an edge…


Song Idea. Some Assembly Required.

The problem with the best songs is that they sound as though they took no effort to write.The kicker is that it's occasionally true.

Certainly, if a melody sounds belaboured, too cleverly crafted or too complex, it's automatically disqualified from…


Returning to the Scene of the Perfect Crime

Sometimes I'm nostalgic for the days when pop culture was a lot less nostalgic.This is not to say I don't enjoy a fond whiff of yesterday myself occasionally, 'though a lot less so now than when I was in my…

Guest Vocalist: C3PO

As I've mentioned in earlier blogs, for seventeen years and counting, I've had the pleasure of working with drummer Curtis Leippi, a musician of great technical skill, musicality and curiosity. Despite all his musical capabilities, however, there is one skill…


Calling All Dukes and Earls

By modern media standards, failure is dull...unless you fail spectacularly. Then you might have a chance at redemption. Just ask William Hung or Rob Ford.

Sift through the titles in the Music section in any bookstore (online or in the…


Be the First One to Have a New Idea

For the legions of you out there who are paying attention, you might have noticed I'm not blogging at quite the same rate I used to. This isn't due to significant decline in interest or available time on my part…

Who's Seducing Whom?

A quick recap of the Cyrus Circus of the last few weeks:
August 26, 2013: Miley Cyrus performs at the MTV Music Video Awards – to generally negative reviews. Critics complain that her presentation is more lewd than sexy; that…


Back to School?

I have a weird relationship with music education.


On the one hand, my experience as a music student is pretty checkered, at best. Though I might have had music in my mind most of the time from an…


Last of the Summer Reading


Enjoy a good book while you're lazing on the beach? Maybe you seek something to motivate your creative streak; or perhaps you'd just like an engaging distraction. Here's my prescription for your year. While this is mostly music-related, it's…



As a companion to last blog's litany of woe, I've compiled a few helpful conclusions I've reached while observing the art and craft of music. Some might seem more obvious than others, but they've all proven very helpful to keep…


 While no job is perfect, and most occupations have their fair share of frustrations, I'm struck nearly every day by the nature of the obstacles confronting a typical working musician. Joseph Heller coined the phrase and titled his first novel…