1. “This Crowded Room” by Freedom or Death (Self / The Greater Good, 2011) ::: New Discovery Pick
This isn’t a brand-new discovery because I discover shit every day, most of it is just that but there are gems and this one is was so fucking shiny when I found it that I had to mine it and get it out to everyone right away. We brought the band to our showcase this year (http://vimeo.com/22303971) and you can catch their music placed on Rookie Blue this season on ABC/Global and other worldwide networks. I’m in love with this band, these guys (Sway & Fernandez) and I admire their focus, perspective and motives.
Their bio nails their vibe so I thought I’d share… In the 1820’s during the Greek War of Independence “Freedom or Death” became the war cry for the people of Greece. Their passion, belief and desires were so strong, that they accepted no substitute. The Toronto based duo adopted that name, as it’s their mantra when it comes to their music. “We want to have the freedom to make the music and the artistic choices that we want. If we can’t have that freedom, we’d rather not put anything out, which is the death of our art” says Fernandez, one half of the production and song writing unit. Freedom Or Death’s sound is based in everything, acoustic folk, electronica, traditional rock, hip-hop rhythms yet always rooted in lyrics with substance.
2. “Little Red Dot” by Eef Barzelay (from Bitter Honey. Spin Art, 2001) ::: Personal Song Pick
Ok, this one’s easy. My daughter is 17 months old. Her name is Ruby and this is her song – Ruby baby I ❤ U. I also love this washed-out video that seems to be found-footage of some cute California-girl twirling around a Ruby-Red scarf. Strangely nostalgic. All that and and have always been a fan of Eef’s band Clem Snide (www.clemsnide.com). This little ditty is just so perfectly twee and sweet that I couldn’t resist making it my personal song choice for this post. Someone’s also gotta scoop this for a commercial.
3. “Spanish Stroll” Mink De Ville (August 1977, Top Of The Pops) ::: Under-Appreciated Song Pick
The forgotten band. Well I guess you gotta know about a band in order to forget them and no one I knows have ever heard of these guys (except Elder Mozz of course http://letstalkaboutclassicmusic.blogspot.com/). The band was part of the CBGB scene and was the brain-child of front-man Willy DeVille. This is a great quote about them from Doc Pomus ““Mink DeVille knows the truth of a city street and the courage in a ghetto love song. And the harsh reality in his voice and phrasing is yesterday, today, and tomorrow — timeless in the same way that loneliness, no money, and troubles find each other and never quit for a minute.”. Get to know what you might have missed in rock-history class because you were high.
4. “Toronto Subway Song” by Ozzie Williams and Your Favorite Music (Vocals by Betty Carr and Charles Balfour 1950) ::: Rarity/Oddity Pick
Well this is optimistic. This was also made in 1950 when there were only 650,000 people in the City known as Hog-Town or The Big Smoke after the meat processing plants bellowing smoke out of their downtown stacks (http://bit.ly/q7o7yu). Today the population is over 3 million in Toronto and we basically have the same fucking subway line we did when it opened in ’54. I ride the “red Rocket” everyday so I know how bad it sucks and other than getting uninterrupted time listen to new music for an hour-and-a-half each day, there’s nothing good to say about TO-undeground. This song is a sham! Since the G20, Toronto seems to have a new darker vibe (removing bike lanes, G20 backlash, no pride for the mayor, the Leafs suck, gas is $900/litre and there’s a shooting every other weekend). I no longer have faith in the system. I can’t believe I ever did. Toronto I love you but WTF.
5. “Sugar” by Lullaby Baxter (from Garden Cities of To-morrow, Bompa, 2006) ::: Music Placement Song
I’m going to go with an inspired song for a commercial this time around with “Sugar” by Lullaby Baxter (http://www.lullabybaxter.com/ … check her out. All of her music is so placement-worthy and she’s a sweetheart too). Anyhow, this is ‘the one that got away’ for me. This spot died and so did the placement but I was in love with it so much that I got permission from the artist/client to post it on my personal YouTube/Vimeo-reel page anyway. Something I have never done before and never will again because it’s kind-of a faux-pas. I hate when composers send me demos locked to rough-cut quick-times with time-code. Clearly you didn’t land the spot. Like we didn’t with this one; but it’s out there now so… enjoy.