Wednesday, April 26, 2006

the perfect painting soundtrack

...has always remained elusive for e-L...until now. Yes, there is painting going on in the 'ouse right now - we're redoing (actually "doing" is a better term, since we've not "done" anything to it before) the back bedroom, affectionately known as "The Library" since it houses a futon/couch and bookshelf. We also call it Carly's room cos she's about the only one who makes use of it as a bedroom anymore, and just wait 'til you see it girlfriend - it rocks. So yeah, some serious paint action, and I actually took the day off work to get the job done. The morning was spent attending Charles' core English class "Poetry Cafe" - a very, very cool event organized by the English teacher. Coffee and goodies, two dads playing acoustic guitar when we came in, and then the kids at the front of the class in spotlight, sitting on a stool with a mic, reciting the poems they'd written. SO cool, and I jokingly called it a poetry slam while talking with some of the other parents, a comment that sadly fell way flat. Sigh...my pop and sub culture references are completely wasted in this neighbourhood, I swear. So anyway, Charles was awesome, and man I felt sorry for their homeroom teacher who had them for the rest of they day as they were all hopped up on muffins and brownies.

So. Back to the soundtrack. Now I've done my share of painting and decorating over the years, and always, always am I looking for something to listen to. I've tried the radio on several occasions - both commercial and non-commercial - and that works for a time, but then I need something else. So I've experimented with various musical styles and none have really worked exactly as I wanted them to, so while they're albums I love and can listen to a lot, they just don't do it for me as the backdrop to the task at hand. But...this past weekend, when we really got started with the majority of the work I browsed the CD collection, and was drawn to Outskirts by Blue Rodeo - and I will never go back to anything else. It's been a long time since I've really listened to this album, and I'd honestly forgotten how brilliant it is. From the opening lines of Heart Like Mine to the intensely emotional keyboard solo at the end of Floating, I was completely taken in and transported. (do I sound like a crappy Hollywood reviewer yet? "I laughed, I cried!") I have this album on vinyl too, they've been a part of my life for that long. And checking the dates on the CD, it was originally released in 1987. Wow. Nearly 20 years ago, and yet I felt it was just as fresh and exciting as the day I first put it on the turntable. The lyrics are timeless (there I go sounding all gushy again) and are some of the best out there, evoking despair and hope simultaneously. And, of course nobody shares lead vocal responsibilities better than Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor (big sigh that Viv will understand lol). So there you have it, my review of the best music to paint by. If you still need some convincing, I leave you with the opening lines from Floating:

These late night conversations
Leave a strange taste
Like French cigarettes
And these coloured drinks
That you keep on throwin' at me
Just keep on reminding me
That I came to forget
So now every night
You insist on reminding me
Of my lost possibilities
And the stains on the wall
Well, I don't mean to complain
Still, it hurts just the same
And both of us know
The leaves will fall on their own

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