Saw The Jimmy Swift Band last night. It was the smallest venue I have ever seen them in. Usually I've seen them at the Chestnut or the Social Club in Fredericton, and last year they were on the stage at shoreline in front of a couple of thousand people. So having them on the little stage at Hunter's was quite a nice little treat. They've also improved, in my opinion, since their hard-charging maritime touring days in the heyday of the enigmaticjam band days of 2002. They no longer feel the need to stretch out every song, people have gotten over the "OMG that bit of soloing had notes from STAR WARS in it!!" imaturity, and they've play their songs as a more typical rock band would, edging closer to a Pearl Jam type aesthetic, where jamming it up in the middle of one or two songs is a treat rather than the core of the live show. The jamming is just as good, it just doesn't get tedious. I also still adore Craig Mercer's voice. Also, hippie dancing, a.k.a. swaying, is still fun even when you're all grown up and you had to change out of your suit and tie to go to a show.
My new friend, Jon, boyfriend of a co-worker, played a few songs at open mic night at Baba's on wednesday. I have to say I quite liked them. They were all light-hearted and humourous, one song called "Skirts in the Summer" that gave off a pretty resonant Pixies vibe, a song about his dog Ralph that was very bouncy and wouldn't be out of place in a good childrens' singer's act, and a love song that musically actually sounded a lot like Tenacious D, which is not a jab in any way, since aside from their lyrics, "the D" are very adept at making music.
The new radio stations that just launched on the island don't do much for me at all. The rock station is basically hoping people will stop listening to Big Dog if they do the exact same thing as them but have island commercials. And Ocean is so innocuously targeted at people who only want to hear songs they already know that I don't imagine they'll know how to introduce new artists to their playlist. I would be a little less ticked at the new stations if I still had my CHTN to fall back on, but they took that away from me in the bargain, so I'm left with CBC and my iPod. If only CBC Radio 3 was a broadcast station.
last.fm had a site relaunch today. My morning was music-less because their homepage only showed a teaser message, "get ready for operation depth charge". Around noon the site relaunched, the big improvement seems to be more instantly-updated information about what you and your contacts have been listening to. There's a nifty widget that throws together the last bunch of songs anyone on your contact list has listened to all in one list. It also looks like it will generate new recommendations more often than just once a week. Of course, just as I was telling people about the new site it promptly crashed and wouldn't load for most of the afternoon. Load testing - learn to love it, kids.
Thinking about buying a new guitar. I'd like something with a little warmer tone than my old Fender Squire which I basically decided to keep until I got serious about playing music in a band or somesuch and then I'd get something better. But since that never really happened, I now have more disposable income so I can just go ahead and do it only because I want to and for no other reason.
Still debating on going to Shoreline this year or not. A lot of what made last year so great, having a tight-knit crew to camp with, the elation of escaping a shitty job, becoming one with the cosmos and humanity, won't be a part of it this year if I did go. If someone is going and has an extra spot in their car, though, let me know and I could be pretty easily swayed. Also, Sabrina, can I borrow your tent if I do decide to go? I'd take Pants' but a 5 man tent is a bit much for probably just me. The lineup this year includes De La Soul and Xavier Rudd, and you can have tons of fun at a music festival if you decide to look for it.