Author Archives: Shannon Watkins

Now Hear This: For The Love of the Rolling Stones

Sometimes I love the Rolling Stones so much, that when I listen to them, I feel like I might explode.

They’re one of those enigmatic artists, whose songs transcend decades, movements and generations. I mean, Beggars Banquet came out when my mother was 5, and yet, it’s one of my favourite albums. It’s probably one of yours too, you just may not realize it yet.

Despite this love, I don’t go running to my local record store when I hear that the Stones have a new album coming out. I know that this is not exclusive to me or to the Rolling Stones. When I saw Paul McCartney in concert back in 2002, just about everyone took Sir Paul’s set of new material as the perfect opportunity to hit the washrooms and get a snack. Also, the Rolling Stones haven’t had a proper hit in 20 years.
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Now Hear This: Handsome Furs Call It A Day

Following the cancellation of their European tour in March due to an “urgent health issue,” husband-and-wife duo Handsome Furs delivered a blow to indie-pop fans late Thursday night; the band is no more. Dan Boeckner and wife Alexi Perry posted the following message (titled “The End.”) on their website:

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Now Hear This: Tom Gabel is the Punkest Punk Rocker.

Tom GabelIt’s been about 36 hours since Rolling Stone broke the news on their website. After a lifetime of struggling with gender dysphoria, Tom Gabel, singer of Against Me! came out as transgender. She will begin the process of becoming a woman and will soon change her name to Laura Jane Grace.

As a massive fan of Against Me!, this announcement was shocking to me. I didn’t realize “The Ocean” was a first person account of Tom’s life. I’m far too ignorant to imagine that a confident straight guy who fronts a bad-ass punk-rock band could be battling with such a deep sense of disconnection from himself. I am an open-minded (and open-hearted) person, but I just didn’t see that announcement coming in a million years.

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RIP Adam Yauch – Dead at 47 After Battle With Cancer

Beastie Boys, Adam YauchIt’s a sad day, friends. Beastie Boy Adam Yauch has died after a 3-year battle with cancer. He was only 47.

Yauch was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his salivary gland in July 2009, which resulted in the band’s decision to delay tours and the release of Beastie Boys’ most recent album Hot Sauce Committee Part II.

The Beastie Boys are one of the most influential music groups of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month – though he wasn’t able to attend the event, I’m glad MCA lived long enough to know the band had received that honour.

What is on your Beasties playlist this afternoon? Personally, I’m listing to Ill Communication right now….

Now Hear This: R.I.P. Or, You Know…Don’t.

It’s the second weekend of Coachella 2012. Since the Pixies reunion in 2004, Coachella’s big press opportunity each year has been a high profile band reunion. In 2012, I’m most disgustingly jealous of everyone who heads over to see Refused and At The Drive In.

Last weekend however, the spotlight was stolen by Tupac Shakur’s guest spot during Snoop Dogg’s set. I can’t even count the number of times the video showed up in my Facebook and Twitter feed with some sort of “AWESOME BRO!” comment.

The animation was incredible. Appearing perfectly three-dimensional, perfectly to scale and performing a perfect montage of his greatest hits, Tupac’s performance was the creepiest, most disrespectful musical performances I’ve ever seen.

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Now Hear This: Beatlemania and How to Organize Your Digital Music

I know, there is nothing new to be said about The Beatles. They are the most influential, recognizable, and adored rock band of all time. I’m not here to break down their song structure or to try and find a new angle at which to explore their music. I’m here to use The Beatles vast catalogue as a means with which to discuss organizing digital music collections.

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Now Hear This: The Soundtrack to the Biggest Movie of the Year

Even if you haven’t seen it, you know that The Hunger Games is amazing. It’s the only flick anyone has been talking about for weeks! Today, however, I think we should talk about the soundtrack to this massive film.

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Now Hear This: Music of the Beach Party

I went to Mexico last week, which was awesome. The music they played on the beach, however, was not. They insisted on blasting Creed, or Puddle of Mudd, or some other kind of butt rock. I had a [largely alcohol induced] fit. “I should DJ beach parties in Mexico! I could do a way better job than this Ding Dong! Where is my tequila!” My fiancé, on the other hand, insisted that I am too much of a music snob to be qualified for any sort of music playing for public consumption.

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