The Bee Side

"If the world is so wrong, then you can take it on with one song."

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In my backyard: Elliott BROOD


Elliott BROOD is louder than this photo suggests (Lady Bee photo)

You could say Santa has made an early visit to Fredericton, because there is no shortage of live music presents for the indie music fan. I’ve already secured my tickets for Jenn Grant and Joel Plaskett at the Wilmot United Church for Shivering Songs, as well as a pair of tickets for the February Frank Turner gig that sold out fairly quickly (phew!) I have friends catching Ben Caplan and Great Lake Swimmers in a few weeks. Seeing Elliott BROOD was not quite a last minute decision, but given how much I’ve spent on this winter’s entertainment it took a little convincing. I knew they were a fun live band, so NoonanMan and I decided to join our tribe for a fun night out at The Capital. Continue reading

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Sound Investment: Rose Cousins and her 2016 project



Confession: I don’t know enough about Kickstarter. I used to think it was a website where inventors could raise funds to develop fascinating things like a bagel toaster that doubles as a mini-snowblower. I didn’t realize it was also used to generate funds for arts projects. That’s cool.

What’s cooler? Musicians I dig turn to Kickstarter for support on their projects. When I came across Rose Cousins’ post on Facebook last week, I was intrigued. And it got me thinking: we are living in amazing times. Following an international artist on Apple Music and receiving their “exclusive content” is great and all, but I don’t feel any closer to Coldplay today than I did yesterday. Supporting an independent artist, on the other hand, by pledging to support the recording of an album? The only way you can top that kind of connection to a musician is by placing a $50 bill in Rose’s hand. And I think she’d find that a bit uncomfortable. Continue reading

Saint Cecilia

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St. Dave delivers

The last several months have been a blur of summer trips, birthdays, returns to the curling rink and BARFING FLU and have all conspired to keep me from writing (thankfully, I’m still listening).

And then this morning, a little note on Facebook from the Foo Fighters, a gift from the rock gods, some musical salvation as I reeled from cleaning up after my stomach flu-stricken teenager and dealing with a tween lunch-and-outfit-related meltdown before she stormed off to her school bus, while our first snow fell miserably to the ground.

A free EP for download!

Saint Cecilia is not just the song that kicks off this five-song treat from the Foos, or the name of the hotel in Austin where it was recorded: the gal was a legit saint, the patroness of musicians, at that. The official release date of November 22nd is also no coincidence: the feast of Saint Cecilia is traditionally celebrated on November 22nd. Continue reading

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Yes, Wilco is giving their new album away*

*for a limited time

kittyIf you don’t mind submitting your email address to subscribe to Wilco World, and a creepy blinking white cat, you can enjoy a free download of Wilco’s new studio album Star Wars. 

I’ve only sampled the first few tracks so far, but they seem delightfully messed-up in true Wilco style. “Random Name Generator” feels like it’s going to be an early favourite.

Free music by good bands doesn’t bounce into your lap every day, demanding attention and leaving hair all over your black slacks. So head on over to Wilco World as soon as you can.

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Four live Foo songs: Better Than Nothing?

Recently I started feeling like I was the only person I knew who wasn’t going to see the Foo Fighters on their “Sonic Highways/Dave’s Broken Leg” tour. Quebec City would have been the most accessible for me, and I did consider planning my vacation around it. But other activities cut into the entertainment budget. So hopefully…hopefully…I will catch them the next time they tour Canada. You can’t see everything, right?

The Festival d’été stop in Quebec, as it turned out, was cut disappointingly short by severe weather: heavy rain, strong winds, reports of thunder and lightning. Bless the boys for their determination to play through, but after four songs it was evident they couldn’t continue safely. And even after they called it, Grohl had to be pulled offstage.

I felt bad for my friends who attended and drove for the better part of a day to be there. But after seeing their social media posts, I’m certain they wouldn’t tell you they felt ripped off. They’d tell you it was the greatest 20 minutes of live music they’ve ever witnessed. Here’s two minutes of what it looked like:

Yep, still envious.

Even if you’re not a fan, you have to admire the tenacity of a band that won’t let a show be halted by broken legs or severe weather conditions…at least, not without a fight.

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Searching for my next summer soundtrack

We all have them: songs and albums that invoke warm breezes, patio drinks under white lights, flip flops and drives with the moonroof open.

Summer music.

No other season moves me to curate my very own playlist of fun, sing-able, carefree tunes for patio beers and drives to the beach (and let’s be honest. When was the last time anyone talked about autumn music?) 

What qualifies as summer music is purely subjective. The Beach Boys, while beachy, is a band I can dig any time of the year. But Bob Marley is strictly summer for me. Years before I became a mom, I could not escape Marley on my Friday and Saturday patio beer adventures. I can’t separate him from summer.

There are albums in my life that remind me of summer because they consistently found their way into my boom box or car during July and August. Metric’s Fantasies immediately comes to mind as one – I had picked it up one spring and it didn’t leave my ears for months. The first Foo Fighters album brings me back to summer mornings in a basement apartment in Saint John, when I’d blare it while I was still living alone. So every year around this time, these records make their way back to my rotation.

But this isn’t a post about the past. Vacation time and lazier, schedule-free days are fast approaching and only here for a limited time. I have a stack of books I plan to read, as many of us do this time of year. Likewise, I’m looking for something light and breezy for those roadies to the beach and that long drive to Montreal in July. Here’s a few albums i plan to pick up:

Joel Plaskett The Park Avenue Sobriety Test

This one has been out for a few months, but I haven’t managed to pick it up yet. I have heard a number of tracks already, partly due to Radio 2. Plaskett and his beloved Emergency performed the title track at their magnificent Harvest gig last September and I knew then this album would be a treat.

I like that I know what I am getting into with Plaskett. The songs can either rock like this is his last stand, or they cut deep like your heart is being ripped in two at the realization that your crush just isn’t into you. He’s fun, he’s clever, he cares. And he’s walking down that same path of nostalgia that many of us at our age do.

Jenn Grant Compostela

This one has been out even longer, so I don’t know what the hell I have been waiting for. Jenn performed on The Strombo Show a few weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to catch her acoustic performance on a drive home from Halifax. Jesus, that voice. Description doesn’t do it justice, so i won’t even bother. It really is incomparable. And she is just a lovely person. Please watch this performance of “Bring Me a Rose” and if you don’t like it, ask yourself if you have a soul.

Dawes All Your Favorite Bands

I know very little about Dawes, except that the few songs I have heard I have liked immensely. So I am willing to give this one a try. They remind me a bit of the Wallflowers, if “Bringing Down The Horse” was sung in its entirety by Jackson Browne.

Metric “The Shade”

Yes, here’s Metric sneaking its way back into my summer soundtrack again! And yes, that’s a single. I was bummed to hear their new album isn’t out until September. But in the meantime “we got the sunshine, we got the shade, we got temptation, we got it made.” Emily Haines and Co. doesn’t disappoint.

So what about you? What will be making your summer playlist?