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Artist of the Week – Quiz #46

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Artists of the week (so far): Brian Eno, U2, Stevie Wonder, Everything But The Girl, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, CSNY, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Pavement, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, Marianne Faithfull, Cream, James Taylor, The Eagles, The B-52s, LL Cool J, The Dictators, Judas Priest, Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Christina Aguilera, Jane’s Addiction, The Doors, The Beta Band, Talking Heads, Bee Gees, Megadeth, The Ramones, Guns n’ Roses, The Libertines, B.B. King, Beck, Coldplay, Madonna, Willie Nelson, The Beach Boys, The Beastie Boys, Neil Young, Ice Cube, Joni Mitchell

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My thanks to all who have participated in the “Artist of the Week” quizzes so far.

Congrats to all those who correctly identified Joni Mitchell last week.

The results after 45 weeks:

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after 45

*Plus 10,000,000 bonus points for giving birth to our third daughter 😀

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Ready for Quiz #46?

Then let’s begin!

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Quiz Rules/Format
(feel free to skip to the quiz if you know the rules already)

Your Task: Name the mystery Artist, ideally with as few clues as possible.

Correctly guess the artist on the first clue? 500 points.

After scrolling down to the second clue? 400 points.

Still don’t know after the fifth clue? 0 points, but a crisp high-five for participating.

I’ll use google translate to put the correct answer at the bottom in Arabic (if you read Arabic, that’s fantastic, but no cheating by reading ahead!) and you can translate it back to the language of your choice to confirm your answer.

In the comments, please enter your POINTS earned (not the artist name) and I’ll keep track of the running totals in a spreadsheet.

In addition to eternal bragging rights, the winner at the end of the year may even get something as prestigious as a digital certificate.

Here goes!

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Artist of the Week #46
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points………………..Though the current lineup of this British band includes only 4 official members, past band members include both Dick Taylor and Mick Taylor (no relation)

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400 points……………….The lead guitarist released his memoirs, Life, in 2010

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300 points…………………As referenced in a Maroon 5 song, the lead singer literally has the moves like himself

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200 points…………………In ‘The’ Rock Debate, this band is the other option (if you don’t choose the band with John/Paul/George/Ringo)

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100 points………………..The artist is The R__________ S_________

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Answer: أحجار متدحرجة

(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

As for my contribution to the rock debate, I’d say replace OR with AND, problem solved!

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Joni Mitchell – Court & Spark (1974)

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

[Album 583/1001]

Over the years, I’ve struggled with 3 things when it comes to Joni Mitchell.

1. Separating the influence-er from the influence-ees

More specifically, I remember reading a Top Canadian Albums list where the record write-ups were contributed by fellow Canadian musicians.

The musicians advocating for Joni Mitchell’s Blue? At least one member of Sloan (I believe it was Chris Murphy, talking about how Jay Ferguson had raved about the album).

Sloan digs Blue? Obviously I do too!

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Untitled presentation

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2. Separating the Artist from the Art

I recognize it’s inevitably not always the case, but I like to believe that the true greats are humble & grateful.

If you’re the best, you need not advertise; everyone knows, let them tell you how great you are.

So I remember being disappointed by a Joni Mitchell interview where ‘humble’ and ‘grateful’ were not exactly the first two adjectives that jumped to mind.

As a result of such a (or at least, my perception of a fellow Canadian’s relative) lack of modesty, I struggled to appreciate The Hissing of Summer Lawns.

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Untitled presentation (1)

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3. Separating the Listening Context from the Actual Listening

Take Your Kid To Work Day is simply a glorious tradition.

Every November, Grade 9 students across the province tag along with parents/relatives/guardians for a day, to see what the ‘real world’ is like.

In November 2015, I was teaching entirely grade 9 classes.

Which meant that on Take Your Kid to Work Day 2015, I had a full day of uninterrupted productivity: marking/cleaning/planning/report card comments/all those tasks that there’s never quite enough time to accomplish.

And on that day, I listened to Joni Mitchell’s Hejira on repeat.

It’s possible the album is atrocious; however, given the listening context, I thought it was a magnificent recording!

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Untitled presentation (2)

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So when I approached Court & Spark, I tried to address all my previous struggles.

a) I tried to ignore any Joni praise from people whom I admire.Courtandspark.jpeg

b) I tried not to read anything Joni said herself about the quality of this album.

c) I tried to listen to the album in the most average of listening contexts.

And what did I think?

What’s that Joni line? Help me, I think I’ve fallen…

I was woo-ed quite quickly and this time, at least with this album, I reckon it’s gonna last.

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Untitled presentation (4)

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Verbalize the Positive

When I make my annual list later this year, this will be a contender for the top new-to-me album of the 70s!

Artist of the Week – Quiz #45

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Artists of the week (so far): Brian Eno, U2, Stevie Wonder, Everything But The Girl, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, CSNY, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Pavement, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, Marianne Faithfull, Cream, James Taylor, The Eagles, The B-52s, LL Cool J, The Dictators, Judas Priest, Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Christina Aguilera, Jane’s Addiction, The Doors, The Beta Band, Talking Heads, Bee Gees, Megadeth, The Ramones, Guns n’ Roses, The Libertines, B.B. King, Beck, Coldplay, Madonna, Willie Nelson, The Beach Boys, The Beastie Boys, Neil Young, Ice Cube

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My thanks to all who have participated in the “Artist of the Week” quizzes so far.

Congrats to all those who correctly identified Ice Cube last week.

The results after 45 weeks:

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after 44

*Plus 10,000,000 bonus points for giving birth to our third daughter 😀

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Ready for Quiz #45?

Proceed!

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Quiz Rules/Format
(feel free to skip to the quiz if you know the rules already)

Your Task: Name the mystery Artist, ideally with as few clues as possible.

Correctly guess the artist on the first clue? 500 points.

After scrolling down to the second clue? 400 points.

Still don’t know after the fifth clue? 0 points, but a crisp high-five for participating.

I’ll use google translate to put the correct answer at the bottom in Arabic (if you read Arabic, that’s fantastic, but no cheating by reading ahead!) and you can translate it back to the language of your choice to confirm your answer.

In the comments, please enter your POINTS earned (not the artist name) and I’ll keep track of the running totals in a spreadsheet.

In addition to eternal bragging rights, the winner at the end of the year may even get something as prestigious as a digital certificate.

Here goes!

.

Artist of the Week #45
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points………………..Born in Fort Macleod, Alberta on November 7, 1943, this artist’s birth name is Roberta Anderson

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400 points……………….She has 4 albums on the 1001 list, all from the 1970s

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300 points…………………Is name-checked (and has a song featured prominently) in the film Love Actually, where Alan Rickman’s character exclaims to Emma Thompson’s, “I can’t believe you still listen to _____ _________.”

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200 points…………………The song featured prominently in Love Actually is named Both Sides Now (the 2000s reworking of her hit from the 60s)

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100 points………………..The artist is J______ M___________

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Answer: جوان ميتشل

(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

Happy belated birthday to this artist!

The Psychedelic Furs – Talk, Talk, Talk (1981) & Simple Minds – New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84) (1982)

[Albums 581 & 582 / 1001]

To be or not to be…affiliated with a John Hughes mid-80s hit movie?

That is the question.

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Advantages, Disadvantages

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In the case of the Psychedelic Furs, Pretty in Pink was the opening track on their 1981 sophomore album, Talk Talk Talk.

There are moments on the record that remind me of mid-90s Social Distortion.Talk_Talk_Talk_(The_Psychedelic_Furs_album_-_cover_art)

Richard Butler’s gravel-ly vocals paired with melodic yet sufficiently edgy tunes? I’m in.

In 1986, when Pretty in Pink (the song) was re-recorded for the John-Hughes-penned-film, some fans might have balked at the extra layer of gloss and slightly slower tempo.

But as I wasn’t emotionally invested in the band prior to the film, and I quite like the film’s soundtrack, I did no such balking.

And it was nice to see they’re more than just that band who did that song.

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With Simple Minds, their fifth album, New Gold Dream, also arrived a few years before the band’s John Hughes moment.

However in their case, the film wasn’t named after one of the band’s previous tracks.

In fact, they didn’t even write what would become their biggest North American hit.220px-Newgolddreamsimpleminds

Instead, they were the fourth choice to record Don’t You (Forget About Me).

And ironically, the band name, and even the song name, may end up being forgotten by many over time, with the lasting memory instead being, ‘that song that’s playing when Judd Nelson raises his fist at the end of The Breakfast Club.’

Which would be a shame, as based on the accessibility of the music on New Gold Dream, the band likely deserves a better fate.

I plan on remembering spending $5 on this LP and being quite pleased with my return on investment.

That much I won’t forget.

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So, overall, is it advantageous or disadvantageous to be affiliated with a John Hughes, mid-80s film?

I’d imagine that, paradoxically, both of the above are true.

But I’d also imagine that there are much worse affiliations to have.

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Verbalize the Positive

I love watching older movies/shows and seeing the band posters on the walls, like at the record store in Pretty in Pink!

Ice Cube – The Predator (1992)

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

[Album 580/1001]

As I like to start my classes with a ‘song of the day’ (semi-related to the lesson), I’m always on the lookout for class-starting tunes.

Oh, the opening track on The Predator is called The First Day of School?

Hey, that might work for the first day of classes.

(listens to track)

And………..since I enjoy my job, I will be sticking with Aretha Franklin’s R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

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That being said, I also really enjoy this era of hip hop.

Whether it’s Public Enemy, Ice T, or Ice Cube, these early 90s albums are compelling records.220px-Ice_Cube_-_The_Predator_-_Album_Cover

Though I’m relatively sure that the “E” beside each of this album’s tracks in Apple Music stands for “Explicit,” ‘E’ngaging would also be an appropriate description.

His anger is palpable on early tracks like When Will They Shoot? and his more laid-back delivery is equally effective on mid-album cuts like It Was a Good Day.

Most importantly, when the tracks ‘feature’ another artist, it’s still unmistakably Ice Cube’s show.

Just perhaps not a show that I can share with my students.

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Verbalize the Positive

There seems to have been a mutual respect between Public Enemy, Ice T, and Ice Cube at the time.

I remember Ice Cube guesting on a Public Enemy track saying, “Ice Cube is down with the PE,” Ice T ended O.G. by acknowledging his peers, and both T & PE get either positive name-checks and/or lyric references here!

The Beach Boys – Surf’s Up (1971)

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

[Album 579/1001]

I’m learning that I’m all over the map when it comes to the Beach Boys.

When they sing about surfing? I used to cringe, but now I’m much less offended.

When the song name would indicate surfing but ends up being completely misleading? As in the closing, song suite, title track on Surf’s Up? Yes please!SurfsUpCover

Songs about Cars & Girls? Again, they’re growing on me, but I prefer hearing The Dictators sing about ’em.

Songs about current events? Maybe, like my change of heart with cars/girls/surfing tracks, I’ll eventually change my tune about a song like Student Demonstration Time.

Songs that band members once likened to animal noises? I can’t see myself ever changing my tune about the majesty of Pet Sounds!

On this particular album?

Overall, as the surfing phrase ‘Surf’s Up’ would indicate, the conditions here are generally favourable.

And occasionally brilliant.

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beach boys

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Verbalize the Positive

I enjoy a good misdirect (like the build up to the ‘act of true love’ in the movie Frozen) & the Surf’s Up title here would definitely qualify as a good one!

Leftfield – Leftism (1995)

[Album 578/1001]

“so nice I gotta play it twice”
-Leftfield, Release the Pressure

One of my favourite Tragically Hip songs is a track named, It’s a Good Life if You Don’t Weaken.

I particularly like the song’s structure: a verse/bridge/chorus over a subdued background, followed by a reprise of the exact same lyrics & melody, but with more urgency the second time around.

Essentially, so nice, they had to play it twice.

The opening track on this Leftfield album, Release the Pressure, features that same, unconventional song structure.

And I enjoy that the lyric “so nice I gotta play it twice” actually announces the eventual repeat of the lyrics.

So credit where it’s due – if Release the Pressure helped inspire It’s a Good Life if You Don’t Weaken in any slight way, my thanks!

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“-Isms, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself.”
– Ferris Bueller

Perhaps electronica’s always felt a bit like an ideology to me.
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An -ism, if you will.

And like Ferris, generally speaking, I’m not too jazzed about -isms.

More specifically speaking, with Leftfield, I found it tough to get too invested in the almost 70 minutes of Leftism.

As with some other -isms, I see the elements of this particular system that would be appealing to listeners.

I’d like to think that I didn’t buy in (beyond my $3 CD investment) because of a Ferris Bueller-ian-approved belief in myself, rather than belief in any -ism.

But chances are, it’s just not the -ism for me.

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Verbalize the Positive

I enjoy reading the ‘Thank Yous’ in the CD sleeve – among others, Leftfield thanked fellow 1001-listed artists, Sabres of Paradise and Underworld.

I’ll be interested to see if either of those groups will make an electronica convert out of me!