Hunters and Collectors of Olympic medals: run run run

Heading into Whistler Village to watch the Canada vs. US hockey game with a couple thousand friends. There are almost as many Americans in town as Canadians, so this should be fun. Time to get tribal, and I can’t think of a more tribal song. From a good little Aussie outfit, Hunters & Collectors this is Run Run Run.
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Black and white, darkness without light: a spiritual journey begins on a Three Dog Night

The joyful melody and playful rhythm will be all too familiar to my mother, and the eldest of my sisters. I was about 12 when this song came into my life, the first 45 rpm record I recall owning. I spun the disc hundreds of times…maybe thousands…playing it again and again until I’m sure everyone else’s ears bled with it. My mother and sisters continue to bring those days up from time to time, a cherished family twitter.
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A selection of music from the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

Sarah McLachlan, I’ve been told, has perfect pitch. Her performance at the opening ceremony was also pitch-perfect. She had me the very first time she flashed that smile of hers — bright as the sun, and open like a flower in full bloom. That may seem a superficial reason to for loving her as a conga player, but whatever it is that makes that smile so engrossingly attractive suffuses the music she writes as well. Soulful, a little impish, exuding the kind of soulful peace that makes you want to be in her presence. This stood out as the live performance of the ceremony, until another Canadian chanteuse arrived at the very end.
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Peter Gabriel & Ken Follet: Fear, the mother of violence

A while ago I was reading Ken Follet’s The Pillars of the Earth. Set amidst the brutality of the English middle ages, it’s interesting to see how all Follet’s characters experience fear, and more interesting how they respond to it and how, oftentimes, they are controlled by it, particularly the most violent of them, and how weak it ultimately makes those who wish to appear strong. The strongest of his characters? Fear — overcoming their fear — makes them stronger.
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The party has already begun: 2010 in Vancouver and I Believe

They’re here. Turquoise jacketed volunteers and orange vested police converge on the city. They’re here. They’re everywhere.

Tomorrow, the world’s biggest winter party and carnival begins in this grey, wet city. Is this the first winter Olympics ever held in a place where the grass is green? Where the vines are sprouting with new growth?

No matter. They’re here. The flame arrived this evening. They’re here and more are arriving every minute. It will be a party even if we all have to dance in the cool, cool rain beside the eternal Olympic flame.
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Deva Premal: the tranquility of Gayatri Mantra

A day of stress and frustrations and, in the end, a recognition that I’m not ready to move forward on a course of action requiring a one-year commitment…not just yet…not without a more careful consideration of the options and possibilities. So, a little something to calm the soul….

This is perhaps my favourite of Deva Premal’s mantras. The live performance is a bit down-tempo from the studio album, and the addition of an audience singing along adds…something…making it all the more soothing.
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Missy Higgins: You have opened up a new door; you can steer

This song featured in a beautiful and moving story told in the comments of of a now defunct post, Kate Miller-Heidke doesn’t like to be ‘poked’. I’ve been looking at the lyrics…I can see why it would have touched so deeply on that night.

It’s fascinating to me how the lyrics, or passages in a novel or poem, or even the scene of a film, can have so many meanings for the listeners, the readers, the viewers…the audience. There are so many more meanings than the author or writer or director or actor could ever have intended. Those meanings become part of the song or poem or film for us. In the telling of the stories associated with these we illuminate not only new ways to look at the created thing, but also we illuminate our selves for others. Since none of our experiences is entirely unique, telling these stories often evokes something universal, something shared by everyone.
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Roberta Flack & Johnny Cash: The first time ever I heard your voice

I love covers. Have I said that before? It’s always a bit of a thrill when I find some beloved song masterfully covered by another artist. (See my post regarding Feist’s transcendant cover of Secret Heart.) What I also love are the emotional inflections each cover artist brings to a song. For example, eighteen renditions of Wild Horses reside on my iPod. Only 2 of them are by the Rolling Stones, while my favourite  is soaringly sung the effervescently voiced The Sundays followed, perhaps, by the most intriguing Tori Amos, and Dave Matthews’ gravelly sweet presence comes in a close third. So, when I logged into crackbook this morning to discover one of my friends had posted Johnny Cash covering If Ever I Saw Your Face I thought, hmmmmmm…
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