World Tour – Canada & Opinions on Alejandro Escovedo.

Many Americans are thinking a lot about Canada these days. So Jim and Greg take the Sound Opinions World Tour to Canada explore the music of our neighbor to the north. And we play our favorite performances by Canadian artists from the Sound Opinions archives. Plus, a review of the latest from Texan singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo.

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world tour


Justin Bieber

Every once in a while, Jim and Greg embark on the Sound Opinions World Tour and explore the music of another country. This week felt like a fine time to turn to our neighbor to the north and look at the music coming out of Canada today. As their guide, they're joined by music critic Ben Rayner of the the Toronto Star. Ben takes them from Montreal's experimental/electronic scene to the noise-pop of Halifax to the country's growing hip-hop culture. He also explains how the government supports pop music via grants and the "Cancon" regulations requiring broadcasters to air a certain amount of Canadian music. Ben also recommends two up-and-coming Canadian artists: Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq and Acadian folk-rocker Lisa LeBlanc.

Jim and Greg also dig through the Sound Opinions archives and share their favorite performances and interviews from Canadian artists, including a stripped down song from Montreal's Arcade Fire, a conversation with Toronto's Feist from early in her career, and a performance from the Vancouver supergroup The New Pornographers. Plus, they revisit their conversation with the most Canadian of all bands: Rush.

reviewBurn Something BeautifulBurn Something Beautiful available on iTunes

Alejandro Escovedo Burn Something Beautiful

Overcoming Hepatits C and narrowly escaping a brush with a hurricane was the backdrop for the new record, Burn Something Beautiful, from Texas-based musician Alejandro Escovedo. With a decades-spanning career starting in punk bands in the 1970s, the 65-year old guitarist is no stranger to the stage (or Sound Opinions). Gregsays this“feedback drenched”album is the audio catharsis of Escovedo's recent struggles. He played this summer's Pitchfork festival and Greg said it sounded like a“19-year old kid with something to prove.”Jim says it can be easy giving an aging artists a pass based on a long-storied career, but Burn Something Beautiful stands on its own.“Vital, vibrant and essential”are all words Jim uses to describe this double Buy It record.



“Hyper Faster”Sheavy

What better way to end a show about the music of Canada than bringing a track by a Canadian band to the desert island? This week, Jim chose the song "Hyper Faster" by the stoner metal band Sheavy. Sheavey was a band that came out of Newfoundland in the early '90s. They are recognized most for blending hard rock in the tradition of '70s bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, with '90s flavored psychedelia. While the group sort of lost their way when their leader Ren Squires left in 2004, this 2000 song is peak Sheavy and a perfectly Canadian choice to bring to the desert island.

Featured Songs

  1. Leonard Cohen, Suzanne, Songs of Leonard Cohen, Columbia, 1967
  2. Loverboy, Working for the Weekend, Get Lucky, Columbia, 1981
  3. Honeymoon Suite, Lethal Weapon, Racing After Midnight, Warner Bros., 1988
  4. Drake, One Dance, Views, Young Money, 2016
  5. Kaytranada, Got It Good, 99.9%, XL, 2016
  6. Project Pablo, Warm Priority, Priorities, Magicwire, 2016
  7. Lillian Allen, I Fight Back, Revolutionary Tea Party, Verse To Vinyl, 1986
  8. Alexisonfire, This Could Be Anywhere in the World, Crisis, Distort Entertainment, 2006
  9. Great Big Sea, The Night Pat Murphy Died, Play, Warner Music Canada, 1997
  10. Kestrels, Wide Eyes, Kestrels, Sonic Unyon, 2016
  11. Tanya Tagaq, Retribution, Retribution, Six Shooter, 2016
  12. Lisa LeBlanc, Could You Wait ‘Til I’ve Had My Coffee?, Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?, Bonsound, 2016
  13. The Oscar Peterson Trio, Hymn to Freedom, Night Train, Verve, 1963
  14. Arcade Fire, Wake Up, Funeral, Merge, 2004
  15. Arcade Fire, Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) (Live on Sound Opinions), The Suburbs, Merge, 2010
  16. Feist, 1234, The Reminder, Cherrytree, 2007
  17. Feist, Gatekeeper (Live on Sound Opinions), Let It Die, Polydor, 2004
  18. The New Pornographers, The Bleeding Heart Show, Twin Cinema, Mint, 2005
  19. Johnny Rivers, Rosecrans Boulevard, Rewind, Imperial, 1967
  20. The New Pornographers, Adventures in Solitude (Live on Sound Opinions), Challengers, Matador, 2007
  21. Rush, Tom Sawyer, Moving Pictures, Anthem, 1981
  22. Rush, Entre Nous, Permanent Waves, Anthem, 1980
  23. Alejandro Escovedo, Horizontal, Burn Something Beautiful, Concord Bicycle Music, 2016
  24. Alejandro Escovedo, Johnny Volume, Burn Something Beautiful, Concord Bicycle Music, 2016
  25. Alejandro Escovedo, I Don't Want to Play Guitar Anymore, Burn Something Beautiful, Concord Bicycle Music, 2016
  26. Sheavy, Hyper Faster, Celestial Hi-Fi, Rise Above, 2000
  27. Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah, Various Positions, Columbia, 1984
  28. Young Thug & Travis Scott ft. Quavo, pick up the phone, pick up the phone (Single), Grand Hustle, 2016
  29. Marvin Gaye, Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), What's Going On, Tamla, 1971
  30. Marvin Gaye, What's Going On - Rhythm ‘N’ Strings Mix/The Foundation, What's Going On (Deluxe Edition), Tamla, 2001
  31. Stevie Wonder, Do Yourself a Favor, Where I'm Coming From, Tamla, 1971
  32. John Prine, Angel From Montgomery, The Singing Mailman Delivers, Oh Boy, 1970