Genus Canadianna: The Canuck Playlist

I love my music and even more important is how much I love not having to spend too much time organising it. You see I currently have 7000 songs in the iTunes library of my MacBook Pro, eating up a whopping 50GB of the 500GB drive, and although that may seem like a lot, there is another 80Gb hard drive at home with stuff I have ripped from CD’s that rarely gets listened. What can I say, my music tastes in the 90’s seemed to change faster than Moore’s Law[1. Moore’s law describes a long-term trend in the history of computing hardware. The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years. Wiki]. It sure seems like a lot music but the reality is that I only listen to about 10% of it on regular basis preferring to let smart playlists and the iTunes Genius function bring a song back into rotation rather than sitting down and scrubbing through my library looking for something to catch my eye. Even hot album art brought forth in Coverflow isn’t enough to get you to slow down and evoke that musical heart string you are looking for at that moment.

So after nearly 5 years of tweaking my iTunes library and only allowing albums in once they have been properly tagged and rated all I have to do is find ONE song I’m in the mood for, it doesn’t even have to be the perfect song as long as the mood is right. I then play it out a bit to make sure it’s in fact the right mood or chord and then hit Genius. Yes, I said Genius, and YES I am admitting to actually liking it. Here’s the sad reality of why Genius is so good most of the time: “It’s YOUR Fr@cking music, you should actually LIKE it!” You see the problem is that so many of us where in such a hurry to fill our hard drives with something to listen to that we just downloaded anything even whole albums where all you wanted was that ONE song. If you don’t like certain songs but feel that you need to have them with you, then down rate them. If there is that one song that can never be played except when you specifically want to, like say… Smack my Bitch Up by the Prodigy, then Uncheck it so it will never get selected by Genius.

However, Genius isn’t perfect either. Lately, I’ve been thinking that it’s a little Xenophobic. For example, my current saved playlist: GENUS CANADIANNA is based on The Tragically Hip’s awesome “38 years old[2. I am currently 38 years old, however my 4 awesome kids would be proof that I have in fact kissed a girl.]” from the Up to Here album. Of Course, I expected a few other Canuck Rock bands thrown in there for good measure, but honestly I am a little taken a back from:
A) How much great Canadian music there actually is out there.
B) How much of it I own.
C) How few female artist I listen to.
D) How glad I am that I don’t own more Alanis Morissette and ANY Saline Die-On[3. I refuse to give her any more link-love or credit than she already has, hate me in the comments.]!
E) Where the Seattle grunge is.
And it does this with the Brit Pop scene, never really leaving the late nineties and exploring some newer equally awesome stuff like Snow Patrol, Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys. And don’t get me started on how disjointed french music selection is… but this is partially my fault, as I seem a little more particular and eclectic about the kind of music I will listen to in French, that’s more of Ouatte De Phoque post really.

All that said, don’t be afraid to use Genius, it’s actually pretty damn good provided you actually care about your music and don’t mind hitting refresh a few times. I’m hardly listening to any Last.FM or Pandora anymore since I’ve been having so much fun seeing how new stuff get’s mixed into the playlists. Who would have though that Metric’s Front Row would play so well off the back of David Usher’s Black Black Heart or that Sam Robert’s heavy base laden Canadian Dream would flow so well into the Barenaked Ladies Grade 9. Still there is no explanation as to why the Foo Fighters or Inxs were chosen to represent but there they are and the choice of songs is pretty good… Of course it is, it’s my music after-all.

GENUS CANADIANNA: A Canuck’s Playlist.

Song Title Band/Artist Album
38 Years Old The Tragically Hip Up To Here
Hard Road Sam Roberts We Were Born In A Flame
Enid Barenaked Ladies Gordon
Weighty Ghost Wintersleep Welcome To The Night Sky
Ocean Pearl 54-40 Millenium
Gel Collective Soul Collective Soul
She Ain’t Pretty The Northern Pikes Snow In June
Love Removal Machine The Cult Pure Cult: The Best Of The Cult
(For Rockers, Ravers, Lovers & Sinners)
Drinking In L.A. Bran Van 3000 Glee
Little Bones The Tragically Hip Road Apples
Gimme Sympathy Metric Fantasies
Alone in the Universe David Usher Morning Orbit
Thanks That Was Fun Barenaked Ladies
With A Bullet Sam Roberts
Change Blind Melon Blind Melon
Boots Or Hearts The Tragically Hip Up To Here
Afterglow INXS Switch
Soft Revolution Stars
Mary Sarah McLachlan Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
Wild Flower The Cult Pure Cult: The Best Of The Cult
(For Rockers, Ravers, Lovers & Sinners)
Where Have All The Good People Gone? Sam Roberts We Were Born In A Flame
What A Good Boy Barenaked Ladies Gordon
The Music David Usher Strange Birds
Sick Muse Metric Fantasies
Ahead By A Century The Tragically Hip Trouble at the Henhouse
Heart Of Gold Neil Young
Where the River Flows Collective Soul Collective Soul
Vox Sarah McLachlan Touch
Call And Answer Barenaked Ladies Stunt
Girl With A Problem The Northern Pikes Snow In June
Sweet Soul Sister The Cult Pure Cult: The Best Of The Cult
(For Rockers, Ravers, Lovers & Sinners)
Devil Inside Inxs Kick
Trickle Down The Tragically Hip Up To Here
The Canadian Dream Sam Roberts We Were Born In A Flame
Grade 9 Barenaked Ladies Gordon
Stadium Love Metric Fantasies
Love Will Save The Day David Usher If God Had Curves
Marigold Foo Fighters Skin And Bones
Wait Sarah McLachlan Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
Love Is A First The Tragically Hip We Are The Same
She’s Only Happy in the Sun Ben Harper Diamonds on the Inside
December Collective Soul Collective Soul
Tessellate Tokyo Police Club
Don’t Walk Away Eileen Sam Roberts We Were Born In A Flame
Edie (Ciao Baby) The Cult Pure Cult: The Best Of The Cult
(For Rockers, Ravers, Lovers & Sinners)
Blow At High Dough The Tragically Hip Up To Here
Brian Wilson Barenaked Ladies Gordon
Black Black Heart David Usher Morning Orbit
Front Row Metric Fantasies
Skin And Bones Foo Fighters Skin And Bones

Sorry ‘Bout The RSSPam

It would appear that Feedburner thinks all these post are new, could have something to do with the WordPress move. So I would like to apologize for not thinking of that and disabling the feed during the move. But at least it will give you all one more chance of seeing some pretty funny pics and videos.

And We’re Back!

So I’ve moved the site away from Tumblr and on to my WordPress multisite install. I simply could understand why I was using Tumblr so much trying to act the way I wanted when I already had good hosting and rich environment in WordPress.

It’s still not quite what I want it to be but at least it’s up and the only person I have to blame about it going down again is myself. I do feel bad that I am leaving the Tumblr community, however the last few months stats have been so poor I not sure how much it will miss us. It’s now up to me to start putting some good stuff up here.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Trains

What I Talk About When I Talk About Trains « in over your head:

“Most people’s careers are like railroads. Choosing a track is the hard part, but from then on, the next step forward is a very easy thing to do. All of this remains true until you have to change tracks. Then, suddenly, we have no clue what we’re supposed to be doing or how we’d start.”

I never pegged @Julien as a trainspotter with an anorak but his analogy is almost mind blowing. From a personal point of view the idea of changing tracks with the cargo I’m carrying: 4 kids, mortgage, social commitments and geek/tech addiction can seem like an impossible logistic nightmare reminiscent of those super long cargo trains I would see from the overpass on my way to the pool as a kid and try to count all the wagons without being too late for my lessons. Changing tracks back then seemed like a much easier thing even if life was moving at Via rail speeds. Sure the Cargo Train lifestyle most of us are living is a little harder to steer onto a new course, but like the train itself, the caboose will follow the engine and fall inline. It’s when you try to let the caboose steer your path that it get’s all complicated. Just remember to be the engine, be aware of your cargo and changing tracks could be really exciting. The worst that could happen is that you have to push the engine along for a bit while you back track and get to that junction. Or stay the course through the tough patches eventually another junction box will pop up.

A big thanks to Julien for getting my brain to engage on a Monday morning.

Travel Gear: Somewhat Obscure Travel Essentials

Someone’s been looking through my bag!

Travel Gear: Somewhat Obscure Travel Essentials | MEC blog:

“As most travel aficionados know, fall is always a good time to take a trip. Flights are cheap, crowds are thin, and the weather is still nice and balmy.

If you’ve already planned a trip or hope to take advantage of last minute deals, here are my somewhat obscure travel essentials I recommend you take with:


It’s my saving grace for nights when I can’t sleep, but everyone else can. It’s my partner in crime for late night rendezvous and top secret foreign missions. Other than my journal and my camera, this little head lantern is my favourite travel companion. Don’t leave home without it.

Wine Bottle Opener

I tragically forget to throw one in my pack on a recent surf/sightseeing getaway to Hawaii. On more than one occasion throughout my trip, a situation came up where an opener was needed and I cursed the stars for my packing ineptitude. Bring a good wine bottle opener along for the ride – it can make/break your night (or mid-afternoon, depending on how you like to spend your vacation).

Duct Tape

Duct tape is a hero. For every problem – ripped pack, holey shoes, sketchy South American hostel bed with bits falling off – duct tape shows up and saves the day.

Boy Scouts have nothing on me.”

(Via The MEC Blog.)

Headphones Required: Just Download It Already!


So Laurent Lasalle: Web Designer, Podcaster, PodCamp Montreal and overall “grognon” has resurrected his Headphones Required new music podcast. This time it’s English only and is very heavily focussed on music. Why should you listen? Apart from the fact that I said it’s good stuff and that should be enough in itself. John in the studio.jpegWell imagine a young John Peel with a french canadian accent reminiscent of Claude Rajotte in the early CHOM hey days but without all the heavy musical diatribes and superiority complex. Like Peel, Laurent uses a laid back presentation style letting the music speak for itself, letting you decide whether or not its good stuff or complete tosh with 80 to 112 beats per minute. Like Claude Rajotte, Laurent is a Montrealer who talks about Montreal stuff and some tech stuff too even though the music he plays is pretty much from anywhere he’s recently travelled to what he heard at Café Laïka that week. A nice eclectic mix of rock/indie/electro/pop (not electro-pop! Electro and Pop).

It’s worth a listen and you might even find something new to add to you weekly download list. One thing I should mention though is that you should not listen to Mes Paroles s’Envolent and Headphones Required back to back since some to the music is in both, it’s all good stuff but you get this wierd “Déjà Voodoo” Feeling