Monday, September 24, 2012


back in 2007, i had the somewhat surreal pleasure of hosting three red bull music academy information sessions in toronto, vancouver, and montreal. live on stage, i conducted a series of hour-long interviews w/ jurassic 5 DJ/producer cut chemist, soul-jazz drum icon bernard purdie, and electronic music producer/DJ tiga. while i still have conflicted feelings about corporate sponsorship of music and culture, the RBMA has endured as an incredibly loving and informative project for all involved, bringing together generations of musicians, artists, creators, journalists, students, fans (and documented as an invaluable resource). here is a recent link to a red bull lecture w/ UK reggae champion/DJ david rodigan. listen to the veteran broadcaster and sound clash supremo as he infectiously shares his lifelong passion w/ host benji B and an engaged studio audience. inspirational material (free of charge courtesy of red bull)... PEACE

RIP sam (the record man)

cloud 9




Sunday, September 9, 2012

kelowna kapers (part I)

Hello old-timers,
James Jingles here again. I’m sitting on a couch 390.5 km ('Thanks Google!') northeast of Vancouver. Kelowna, British Columbia. The couch??? It’s a comfy one, but that’s totally beside the point.  The weather outside is a little grey. Inside??? That’s also beside the point. Oh, wait a second; the sun is starting to break through!!! Ah, I can finally breathe again (gotta… stop… holding… my… breath!@#$%!!!). Anyways, why am I writing everyone today? I’m not exactly sure. It’s just one of those mornings in places far away from home when one feels like spilling his/her guts on a MacBook Pro. Don’t worry; there are plenty of wet wipes nearby. Guts are quite messy. Especially when they get between the keys…

Yesterday, um, oops, there goes that sun again!@#$%??? Composure. Check. Ok, well, yes, we are smack dab in the middle of yet another interior mission. Another hopeful attempt to lay eyes upon the elusive “Ogopogo.” For any uninitiated folk out there, Ogopogo (named N’ha-a-itk” by the local First Nations) is a lake creature (akin to the Scottish Highland’s notorious Loch Ness Monster) that roams the deepest depths of Lake Okanagan (which I’ve also heard mentioned as “OK Lake,” please correct me if I’m wrong, ok???), as deep as 232 meters in some places (once again, 'Thanks Google!!'). Each visit to Kelowna offers potential sightings and plenty of like-minded vibrations. For one, the large connector bridge between Westbank and downtown Kelowna is eerily reminiscent of a giant serpent with its rolling curves. In City Park lies an actual Ogopogo statue (the “monster” has been used as an iconic tourism and marketing ploy in the region for year, portrayed by artists as anything from a playful water pal to a dastardly demon, its evolving image emblazoned across t-shirts, mugs, towels, hot sauce bottles, and the like). Even a trip to the worthwhile Pandosy Books yields feet, if not yards, of tasty literature on the subject.

Any which way, it was a quick afternoon dip on Friday, September 7, that offered another twist in our journey. Well, you could call it that if you wanted. My partner Smashley Smash and I found a nice lakeside respite to enjoy the scenic Okanagan view, take in some sun (ah, that sun!!!), go for a swim, and skip a flat rock or two. After overcoming a touch of nerves (the long drive??? Slurpee for lunch???), we decided to test the water. On went the bathing suits and aqua socks and we were finally ready to take the plunge. Unfortunately, the lake felt a little cooler than usual and I had a hard time getting in. Smashley wasn’t so timid and performed a world-class shallow dive. As I inched my way into the lake (still a little cold for my liking, yes, I am a BIG old wimp), I spotted an unusual snake-like stick to my left, yes, my left, and sticking right out of the water 10 feet or so away. An omen??? Nevertheless, its crooked shape and black, water logged form, sent a chilly chill up my spineless spine despite the blistering heat of the bold sun. Also visible in the water were countless little minnows who surrounded me with intimidating presence for such small critters. Something wasn’t right. As I illogically progressed into the lake, the rocks beneath my feet began to get very slippery with a slimy green substance. Finally gaining some much needed gusto (and wanting to catch up with Smash who appeared to be having a blast amidst my freaky freak out), I took a headfirst plunge into the cool blue. While it was refreshing for a second, after a few breast strokes, the ground below disappeared completely and an overriding fear kicked in. We both became panicked and nearly paralyzed in the water. Something was there…

Tune in next week for the following installment of Kelowna Kapers (presented by Voluntary In Nature)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

words (pet shop boys)

 "We got a letter from Al Stewart, actually from Al Stewart's manager, saying, I've heard the boys are big fans of Al's and would they like to write with him? So obviously we said no. But I'll say it for the millionth time, I've never really heard Al Stewart apart from The Year Of The Cat and I can't remember a single lyric out of that tune. I don't think I do sound like him but I know exactly what the similarity is, it's pronouncing the lyrics and having a slightly fey-sounding voice and not singing in a strong American accent. But there's not a lot I can do about it, really. That's what I sound like, I'm afraid. I can't sing any better than that. It's unfortunate but there we are. When we recorded Always On My Mind, I thought I put loads of feeling into the vocal and the first thing someone said about it was, Oh, Neil, I love the dead-pan voice, and at that point I realized I may as well give up, really. So if I sound like Al Stewart on Behaviour, it's not a tribute, it's unintentional I'm afraid."

- Q magazine (December, 1990

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

wind of change

sasamat lake

morning friends... witnessed a horrific car crash yesterday en-route to sasamat lake for an evening swim. a car ripped through a red light at high speed and smashed into an oncoming truck less than 10 feet away!!! gulp!@#$%!!! slow down peoples. anyways, back to the lake. w/ summer having morphed into fall right before our very eyes, ash/i have been hitting sasamat for quick dips while we still can. it's a relatively small lake (approx. 35 minutes from van), but w/ cement dock and (family) beach access (not to mention lots of little nooks and crannies one can set up shop at during the day), there's plenty of places to chill. in prime summer time, the docks are quite the scene. suburban yahoos dominate w/ testosterone/attitude to match. come september, it's a mellow, peaceful affair (phew!!!). mostly tourists, the odd couple, wet-suited long distance swimmers in training, and a few fisher folk hoping for a catch (trout i think???). the water here is warm (esp for a canadian lake) and clean. imagine the temp will be good for another few weeks. don't hesitate to shout if ya wanna roll out one evening...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

the tragedy of macbeth

*went to bard on the beach last night for shakespeare's macbeth and drifted off into some great flashbacks of a grade 9 trip to stratford, ontario, to catch a production of the merchant of venice. i recalled sitting near the back of a long yellow school bus, w/ a full seat to myself, deeply immersed in a cassette copy of the english beat's what is beat? as the sounds pumped somewhat plaintively from my first walkman, i reveled in the freedom and break from daily classes. stratford was at least a two-hour drive from our high school in markham, so there was plenty of time to loose myself in the music and roadside views, ski hills w/ no snow and flat rural settings once we'd jetted past city limits. upon arrival, i spotted a record store and the local 7-11 convenience store, hoping to stop by both during some brief spare time we had in the town before the play began. we'd been studying shakespeare in english class, but i must admit, it was a touch over my head at the time (and likely still is). during the intermission segment, a few mischievous schoolmates and i broke out of the theater and headed for a treat at the "sev." i still have no idea how our teachers (or theater staff for that matter) didn't spot us leaving. maybe they simply figured it was our loss... tieffing a small handful of penny candy, i remember our crew laughing w/ some school girls who clearly had the same intermission idea as we had. i quickly popped round the record store (there was a gothic/UK vibe to the wall selections and overall atmosphere), but was in way over my head at the time as my tastes were just starting to take shape. the vinyl looked fantastic though and i can only image what i would have found today if i could travel back in time... anyways, back to shakespeare. some 23 years later and i finally made it through a complete shakespeare play!@#$%!!! i really enjoyed macbeth, and eager to view the roman polanski film version... remember, it's never too late to enjoy some live theater. you never know where it will take you!!!