Across the Universe

People I know either love this movie or don’t get it for reasons I’m unable to comprehend. Across the Universe is one of those films that makes you leave the theatre with a grin from ear to ear. Released in 2007 after delays and controversy, director Julie Taymor’s masterpiece faded into obscurity; dead end Golden Globe and Oscar nominations did little to bolster appreciation for what I can honestly say is one of the best musicals in modern history.

A link to Across the Universe…

A Musical Theory


Despite the fact I couldn’t carry a tune to save my life, I secretly dreamed of being a “do-wap” girl. To be honest I thought life should be a musical. Certain there was a tune for any situation – I would imagine city streets erupting into song and dance. Maybe I was having a bad day or bored out of my mind; I can’t say for sure, it was a long time ago. The point is – music made everything right – even if it was only in my head.

Watch the little girl in the video; not a care in the world, allowing herself to taken away by music. Music is primal, powerful, and liberating. The world would be a better place if we all just let our hair down and gave into it. Playing For Change is trying to spread that message – go ahead, let down your guard and dance, The world might  seem a bit easier to take –  and for anyone with 13 minutes to spare, click on the link below  – Clarence Bekker kicks ass.

Lester Chambers Attacked

I’m going to let this video do most of the talking. Taken at the Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival in Hayward California shortly before the Trayvon Martin verdict. Seventy three year old blues legend Lester Chambers dedicated Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” to Trayvon Martin. Without warning, 43 year old Dinalynn Andrews Potter climbed on stage, knocking Chambers down while beating him. It’s hard to make out in the clip but witnesses reported her shouting “it’s all your fault”. Potter has been charged with assault – Chambers was treated in hospital.

While completely understanding American perspectives – not wanting to stir up trouble; I find it fascinating the incident received little or no coverage in the U.S. Most news coverage comes from the UK or foreign press. I ponder how many Americans were even aware of this racial out burst.


My carefree little dance party took on a mind of its own when I started pondering Gordon Lightfoot. Lightfoot – a Canadian singer-songwriter successful in the 60’s and 70s for his folk rock ballads -If You Could Read My Mind, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and Sundown to name a few – became radio standards.

I’m not sure what triggered my nostalgia button, in truth I only began to appreciate him much later in my life; long after the glory years, AM radio hits, and wobbly albums turning on my parents hi-fi. Instrumental versions of his tunes played to elevators and shopping malls without the slightest twinge of “oh to be young again”. Without question I changed the radio station when If You Could Read My Mind assaulted me.

Without warning I stumbled upon a dub version of Sundown. I was smitten, as in holy crap, this is amazing. Research led me to a 2011 show by CBC television. How did I miss this! Cover Me Canada gave participants the choice of covering iconic Canadian songs. Black Velvet by Allannah Myles, Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane, Run to You by Brian Adams, and Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot. Audition tapes were submitted based on those four songs, ultimately 9 bands were chosen to compete in 9 episodes for the $100,000 grand prize.

It really doesn’t matter who won, the point is I discovered scores of audition tapes for the show. Band after high school band interpreting Sundown. I’m still smiling, a big Cheshire cat grin from ear to ear. Who knew Gordon Lightfoot kicked ass, and that everything old is new again. It’s times like these that make me proud to be Canadian.

Below is a link to one of my favourite auditions, followed by the link to “dub” Sundown that started this ponder in the first place,

Cover Songs #2

The flip side to stumbling upon a great cover of a song you love is the amazing version of a lame, stinky song that made the bile rise into your mouth. John Travolta and Olivia Newton John singing You’re The One That I Want from Grease is enough to make me chuck. Angus and Julia Stone performing the same thing spreads a grin from ear to ear – go figure.