Category Archives: Thoughts
Remember the days of Kids In The Hall? The days when MuchMusic was your favourite thing on TV because they actually played music? And for my parents generation, maybe you even remember SCTV and the original Degrassi?
There was a time when Canadian TV was all about innovation, despite the tiny budget. No – because of the tiny budget. But that tiny budget also meant we could never compete with American broadcasters in primetime.
If you’ve been following the CRTC rulings lately, you’ll know some great things have been put into action – for example, them forcing the big name providers to offer a basic TV package for $25, and then allowing you to pick and choose the extra channels you want.
As a self professed TV nerd, I am all for this. Rogers and Bell have been ripping off cable users for a damn long time, and this kind of ruling was absolutely necessary.
But the ruling Ed the Sock is talking about is different. CRTC also passed a rule to loosen the daytime CanCon requirements for TV producers, and there will no longer be genre protection for specialty channels – meaning MuchMusic doesn’t have to play any music (though that stopped happening ages ago), and History Channel doesn’t have to show any history – as Ed puts it.
For the most part, I agree with what Ed is saying – equating money with innovation is always wrong. That’s exactly why I think the best art is always the first thing the artist releases, when they are poor and struggling and full of innovation and passion and desire. The first album, the first novel, the first film or TV show, that’s the stuff that sticks in the cannon throughout an artists life for a reason.
Having no budget means you have no choice but to be your most creative self.
On the other hand, I don’t think it’s wrong for the CRTC to want Canadian productions to be able to increase production values so that our industry can at least try to compete with what the American networks produce.
There’s a reason we watch more American television than Canadian, and it’s not because we don’t have the talent and skill to make shows as great as our Southern friends – it’s because the budgets up here are nothing compared to what they are down there.
Tons of American shows are shot and produced up here (Hannibal being my absolute favourite) – the difference between that show and the Canadian made shows we ignore on CBC is the budget – which trickles into the actors they can hire, the ability to have one consistent showrunner onboard from the pilot to the finale, the directors they can afford, the writers, the production design, the shooting locations, and so on and so on.
Maybe Canadians like keeping our TV in a specialized “Canadiana” stereotype world of Trailer Park Boys and Corner Gas, but if that were true, Canadians wouldn’t spend the majority of their TV time watching American and British produced shows.
That said, more money does not equal more innovation, but it does allow the innovators to translate the vision they have in their head into the one we see on the screen – rather than shooting a version they end up ashamed of because the budget didn’t leave any room for that vision to be realistically created.
Hear his thoughts below, and let me know what you think about the new changes.
The future is here yet again, thanks to Intel.
We all know technology is at a groundbreaking point. We’ve come so far so fast, but while advancements have happened at a steady incline over the past decade, the number of ways we use technology in our life is about to skyrocket like never before.
We’ve seen this in wearable tech and robot bartenders, but the most important way it affects our lives is in how it helps us work and create.
If you’re a creative professional (which I know most of you are), Intel’s RealSense technology is going to blow your mind.
Take a look at the RealSense website to flip through all the advancements that are coming because of it.
I’m particularly excited about the 3D camera capability. I had the chance to work with some 3D makers this summer, and it was so enjoyable that I’m in the middle of learning how to create my own 3D designs for printing (more on that in the coming weeks). This kind of camera will simplify the 3D scanning process and make it affordable for the rest of us.
It also has the ability to take a photo of something and have it instantly measured (as seen above). Measuring tape is about to become a thing of the past, and that is going to be a true blessing for anyone in construction and interior design.
It also features gesture control – which means that you can literally doodle in the air and your art will appear on the screen. I have no idea how this is even possible but I can’t wait to use it!
We’ve been watching the Jim Parsons commercials for this with curiosity over the past few months, but the time has finally come to see what it’s all about.
I’m testing the super thin new Dell Venue 8 Series tablet next week (which has RealSense built in), and will let you know how much I love it after I’ve had some time to explore the features.
I’m required to disclose the relationship between my site and Intel Canada, but all opinions are my own!
The website Music Machinery performed this study on how location can affect music taste. The map above shows the interesting results (click to make it larger).
Someone should do this for Canada. Our provinces are so huge it’s hard to imagine any one artist that could define the taste of the entire population, except for maybe Alberta in the same way that it was no surprise George Strait took Texas (though I was rooting for Willie Nelson) and Bruce took New Jersey.
I’ve watched Diner at least a few times in my life, and to this day I can still say without hesitation that it’s easily one of the best films the 80s ever produced. The “don’t touch my records” scene gets me every time. The first time I saw Diner I was still in high school and my only access to vinyl was my dads small collection in the basement that he no longer used because his decades old record player needed repair and he had more important financial obligations, so it all went to waste. It wasn’t until I moved to Toronto for university that I started my own collection, taking what my dad would give me from his and searching through flea markets for old Beatles, Doors and Led Zeppelin records.
My collection now certainly isn’t massive, and I’m nowhere near as anal as Shrevie with my organization (old ie. pre 1980s records alphabetized together, new ie. post 1980s records alphabetized together), but I relate completely to him in this scene, as do music geeks around the word. It expresses perfectly that obsessive love people like us have for this all important art form. When she says “It’s just music, not that big a deal” my heart aches for him. Imagine dating someone and hearing them say this? Ultimate deal breaker.
Music has always acted as a marker for moments in my life, and just as he remembers what song was playing when he first met her, I remember songs in relation to people and moments, almost exclusively. Who introduced me to this artist? Where did I first hear that song? It all takes on a heavy meaning that stays filed somewhere in the back of my brain, and comes flooding back the second I think of a particular song.
I will never forget the song “One Day At A Time” because I associate it with my Grandma’s funeral, where it was played and I learned the French version was her favorite song. I had no idea she liked music, and even if it was an overtly religious song that would normally make me cringe, the fact that that was her favorite song opened up my eyes to her in a way I never grasped when she was still alive, and made me let go of any anger I had toward her. Suddenly she wasn’t just a bitter resentful old lady, she was completely humanized through that song. I understood that she struggled too, each and every day, and her judgement was just deflection.
I associate the Smog song “Teenage Spaceship” with my bus ride back home to attend my childhood best friend’s funeral, because it was a sad trip so of course I was listening to Smog, but that song in particular reminded me of growing up with her and how she saved me from myself. Once it came up on my iPod I just listened to it on repeat for the rest of the trip.
Tom Waits’ Real Gone, Arcade Fire’s Funeral and The Walkmen’s Bows + Arrows will forever be connected to my second year of university, when I moved out of the dorms and in with my friends, who were more aware of indie music than me at the time and who I am forever thankful to for exposing me to music outside the classic rock world I was so obsessed with back then.
I will always associate Elliott Smith’s “Miss Misery” with the year I was completely tortured in middle school, and how that song made me feel so much less alone.
Serge Gainsbourg will always remind me of one of the most fun dates I ever went on, in which I broke into Casa Loma in the middle of the night with one of the cutest guys I’d ever dated at that point in time.
Weakerthan’s “The Reasons” will always remind me of the first time I got to know someone who has become very special to me.
I made a whole mixtape of songs that I strongly associate with growing up, and my parents.
I could go on and on and on. Music is memories for me. Many good, some bad, all very important. And I think that’s the case for all of us who get obsessive about our records. It’s not “just music.” It’s our whole lives summed up in many different notes and words that the records have given us.
Messing with someone’s records is messing with their history, don’t do it without expecting some wrath.
This awesome project comes from the brilliant mind of Adly Syairi Ramly – go follow him on Twitter!
He’s created these for many, many bands, but find below a collection of the bands I love most from this project, made via little lego pieces. It’s always inspiring to see people find new creative ways to show their love for music (and nostalgic toys).
I’m hoping he will make versions of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Fleetwood Mac, Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene.
If these were for sale in stores, I’d buy them.