True to form for Song Talk Radio, the day before Valentine’s Day seemed a good day to talk about break-up songs. So Phil brought “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” by Jim Croce, Neel chose “One More Minute” by “Weird Al” Yankovic, Bruce performed a new original tune “I Don’t Love You Anymore”, and Vanessa selected “White Blank Page” by the band Mumford & Sons. We talked about:
conflict in break up songs
break up song experts – The Smiths, Jann Arden, Morrissey
Avery Florence stopped by the studio on the cusp of her first tour. She was excited! “Road trip!” Her songs were a treasure trove of musical delight, and her tips about managing her own career were helpful to anyone trying to make a living as a singer/songwriter.
Bruce, Neel, Phil and Vanessa each shared a song that meant something to them for the holidays. Bruce featured a song from a series of The Beatles releases from 1964 to 1969 that he and his brothers bought each other for Christmas. Vanessa brought in a ballet number from her childhood as a dancer. Phil showcased a feel-good (well, except for the drunk tank) song from the Pogues. And Neel featured a song from his childhood that may have played a role in his wanting to be a musician.
Multi-talented Toronto poet, novelist, and singer/songwriter Robert Priest brought two great songs to the show. He also brought two talented musicians to back him up – guitarist and vocalist David Hines and guitarist Bob Cohen. We talked about a wide range of things including:
We featured songs on this episode that use the unique “talk singing” technique. For the most part, we agreed that talk-singing meant that the singers were using short notes without too much melodic range, but still consciously in the key of the song.
We talked about:
how the ends of talk-singing musical lines work
the differences between rap and talk-singing
how talk-sung songs have interesting music beds
how you have a melody even when you’re speaking
how the late 70s and 80s saw a lot of talk-singing songs
Popular guest co-host and guest on Song Talk Radio, Patrick Ballantyne dropped by the studio to share two of his favourite Canadian songs. “Help Me” by Joni Mitchell is a great example of her unique combination of melody, structure, and lyrics to evoke a casual conversational tone. Includes a great instrumental hook. Patrick’s other pick was a song by Ian and Sylvia, “The French Girl”, in a very unusual version recorded by Gene Clark. As we discussed the tunes, we talked about:
Andy De Rego, also known as Black Suit Devil, is a seductive blend of acoustic soul with thought provoking lyrics and heartfelt, soulful melodies. Andy has been a regular in Toronto’s rock, blues and metal music scenes for over twenty years, writing and performing across North America. Andy joined us to talk about:
stealing borrowing from Black Sabbath if you’re going to start a metal band
how Andy’s lyrics pull from the political, “fight the man” attitude of metal
Ed Roman is an award-winning singer/songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist from Shelburne, Ontario, Canada.Blurring the lines between pop, rock, folk, and country music genres, Ed’s uniquely crafted songs have received regular rotation on more than 100 terrestrial radio stations across North America and more than 400 stations, worldwide. On this program we had some lively discussions about:
What is “Canadiana”?
Being human and the influence of family on songwriting
Music as a way to deal with dyslexia
Forming a band at the age of 14 and writing original tunes
Lyrics have many meanings for the listeners (good!)
Emotions in the performance
Protest songs – what happens behind the scenes?
Holding onto unresolved chords versus fulfilling expectations