I was walking to an appointment on Tuesday when I came upon a striking mural that honors the music group The Guess Who. I had never noticed the mural before so I stopped to take some photos. According to an interview with artist Michael Bridgford Read on Murals of Winnipeg his Main Street artwork has images from a number of The Guess Who’s records.
This is exactly how The Guess Who appear on the cover of their album It’s Time.
This blue -faced woman pays tribute to the face on the album American Woman.
And the car in the centre of the mural
Is the one featured on the album So Long Bannatyne.
The cans of wheat allude to the cover of the album Canned Wheat.
There are other interesting images on the mural and if you want to check them out in person you will find The Guess Who mural at 1400 Main Street.
Connecting with Burton Cummings
The Street Where I Live
Photographed Just in Time
Filed under Art, Music, Winnipeg
We went to see the Second City comedy troupe perform with the Winnipeg Symphony last weekend. One of the pieces they presented was called Life’s A Symphony. I liked the idea of comparing life to a symphony but after the concert I couldn’t remember the specific lyrics of the Second City rendition. So I decided to write my own thoughts about why life could be compared to a symphony.
A symphony is divided into four movements or sections. Our lives are divided into sections or stages as we journey through childhood, the teens, adulthood and old age.
The music of a symphony can be loud and bright and/or soft and melancholy. There are times in life that are exciting and happy and other times that are solitary and sad.
The music of a symphony can move at different speeds adagio (slowly) andante (at a walking pace) allegro (fast) presto (very, very fast). Parts of our life can just whiz by but in some seasons of life we think things are moving very slowly.
To perform a symphony many different musicians playing many different instruments need to work together. To get through life we all need the help of many different people.
There are sections during a symphony when some of the instruments take a rest. Sometimes we have to do that too in life. We need to take a rest and let others carry on while we rejuvenate and get ready to participate again.
Symphonies have a beginning and an ending and so do our lives.
A Little Shameless Family Promotion
Music to Soothe the Soul
Dolly Patron or Parton?
A man who has taken to drinking and smoking since his girlfriend left him, a fellow who murdered a two timing partner and someone bidding their lover good-bye. Sounds pretty sad and it was. Those were themes of songs we heard at a concert at the Higley Performance Centre here in Arizona. We listened to three different folk groups. Each sang at least one blues song that talked about just how sad love can be.
Linda Bilque and the musicians who accompained her sang The No Account Blues.
You left me oh my darling
And now I have to live with me
So I’m smoking and drinking darling
I’ve got a case of those no account blues
I toss and I turn in my teardrops
Like a fool whose got nothing to lose.
J.C. and Laney a talented duo performed Don’t Need a Good Reason.
Don’t need a good reason for things to change
When you’re not looking time steals what you arrange
We’re on borrowed time and our love was over
Long before you said the word good-bye.
Three Legged Dog a group of three amazing musicians who each played so many different instruments it left you dizzy did a number called Three Quarter Time.
One verse talks about how a man catches his girlfriend cheating on him and says she “trod upon my heart in three quarter time.”
The following verse describes how he killed that girlfriend and threw her in the pond where “the bullfrogs sang in three quarter time.”
The song ends with the man being hung for his crime and “doing the gallows dance in three quarter time.”
On Valentine’s Day we celebrate the beauty of love but the folk concert we attended reminded us that sometimes love can have a pretty dark side too.
The most interesting performer of the evening was James Sallis, referred to as the “irascible banjo player” who we discovered is an American crime writer best known for his novel Drive which was adapted into a movie in 2011 starring Ryan Gosling.
The Arizona Opry
Burton Cummings in Arizona
Organ Music With Your Pizza Anyone?
Filed under Arizona, Music
Would you like to eat too much mediocre pizza at picnic style tables while an organ with 6000 pipes serenades you? Then Organ Stop Pizza is for you! Yesterday we had another one of those unique kitchy experiences that comes with the territory when you are an Arizona snowbird. The Organ Stop Pizza Place in Mesa has two massive rooms upstairs and down squished full of long tables and benches, a salad bar, icecream bar, and a walk up counter where you can order pizza. It also features the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre organ built in 1927 in Denver Colorado and rebuilt in the 1970s to provide entertainment for pizza patrons in Arizona. The organ rises up above the audience on a rotating hyrdraulic elevator and all kinds of added instruments spread around the venue are manipulated from the organ console including dozens of different drums, bird whistles, cymbals, tambourines, wood blocks, bells, chimes and even an accordian. The music on our visit was mostly show tunes from movies like Star Wars, Frozen and Sound of Music but also included stirring renditions of the American anthem and God Bless America during which most of the patrons jumped to their feet with mouths full of pizza and beer and put their hands over their hearts. They even played the Canadian anthem in acknowledgment of the many snowbirds in the audience. No one stood. Shows how patriotic we Canuks are. Check out the Canadian flag in the photo. There is a light show of sorts as you are entertained and the organist Charlie Balogh, who was very talented, took a break from the music to announce birthdays and other special occasions being celebrated by patrons. We were at Organ Stop with some of Dave’s slow pitch teammates from Manitoba and it was very hard to talk to each other with that organ music exploding all around you. So we skipped the ice-cream bar and retired to Eric and Joyce’s home in Gold Canyon for Schwann’s ice-cream, chocolate chip cookies and chance to really visit. There was lots of laughter and interesting conversation. When we left the Organ Stop there was a very long line of people waiting at the walk up pizza counter. Our early arrival meant we’d avoided that. It was an experience to visit the Organ Stop, but one I’m glad I didn’t have to wait in line for and something I only need to do once. I had a sore throat the next morning from trying to talk over the music. I should have just closed my mouth and listened.
Hi Ho Tonto!
Filed under Arizona, Food, Music
What a great show! We went to hear Burton Cummings, star of Winnipeg’s own Guess Who last night. He was playing at the Mesa Regal Resort and thanks to our friends Ric and Helen we were able to get tickets. For two hours Burton played hit after hit. I thought I would know a few of the songs he performed but I recognized every one and could sing along with many. He did American Woman, Break It To Them Gently, These Eyes, Share the Land, Stand Tall, Running Back to Saskatoon, Hand Me Down World, No Sugar, Clap for the Wolfman and Laughing to name a few. Burton played the keyboard, flute, harmonica and guitar. And he can still sing pretty darn well for someone who is 69. My brother who was at the concert with me and is a little more music savvy than I am said Burton’s accomplished band was able to recreate many of the songs so they sounded exactly as they were originally recorded.
Burton was surprised to discover just how many of his hometown fans were in attendance when he asked for a show of hands of Canadians and then Winnipegers who were in the crowd. He began talking about his childhood in Winnipeg’s northend and mentioned that he went to Luxton School which was built in 1907.
Luxton School- photo Winnipeg School Division
In my work as a university faculty advisor I often visit Luxton School and when I was in university myself Luxton was where I did my student teaching placement for the Early Childhood Education program which involved a classmate and I setting up and running a nursery school in the basement of Luxton School. My brother said his 98-year-old mother-in-law was a former Luxton student.
I was reminded too during the concert of this fall’s new CD debut for my son’s band Royal Canoe which took place in none other than the Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg.
Talk about connections!
Showing Off Our City
A Little Shameless Family Promotion
Filed under Arizona, Music
“I’d like to find out who was responsible for the music,” said my friend Caroline. She wanted to stay and watch the credits roll after we had seen the movie Manchester by the Sea. I could understand why she was interested in discovering who had compiled the pitch perfect score for this beautifully acted film.
As I watched Manchester by the Sea I was impressed by the variety of music from a haunting a capella chorale written expressly for the movie by Lesley Barber to jazz tunes like I’m Beginning to See the Light by the Ink Spots to sacred music like Handel’s He Shall Feed His Flock from the Messiah to rhythm and blues pieces like Let The Good Times Roll to Bob Dylan’s folky rock tune Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts. I was so taken with the music that the first thing I did when I got home from the theatre was to look for a list of song credits for Manchester by the Sea. I’ve already downloaded the soundtrack into my I-Tunes library.
There’s a complex variety of music in the film and sometimes you wonder for a moment why a certain piece might accompany a particular scene, but as the scene rolls out you come to understand why the music was chosen. The music in Manchester by the Sea definitely makes it even more profoundly moving and that’s saying a lot because there are scenes in this movie so deeply sad and poignant you can hardly bear to keep your eyes on the screen.
In some of the reviews of Manchester by the Sea there is already Oscar buzz around the performance of star Casey Affleck. There’s no doubt that his portrayal of Lee Chandler is stellar. Affleck draws in the audience ever so slowly and surprisingly as Lee reveals his story. But I hope the soundtrack for this movie gets nominated for an Academy Award too. It’s truly something special.
What’s the Best Way to Raise Children
Filed under Movies, Music
If you are looking for some great entertainment in the next few days you need look no further than our family.
Tomorrow night the male choir my husband Dave sings in will be presenting an evening of wonderful music at Bethel Mennonite Church. Dave will be playing his harmonica for one of the numbers and I’ve been invited to be the narrator sharing personal family stories and readings from the Biblical narrative. It is the last performance by the choir with their current director the amazing Shirley Bestvater. She is retiring after tomorrow night and so the choir will be pulling out all the stops in her honor. You don’t want to miss it.
Then on Sunday afternoon our talented daughter-in-law Alisa will be performing with the Winnipeg Singers at Westminster Church. They will be reviving the music from their very popular CD Swingle Bells. The choir along with our daughter-in-law traveled to Europe this summer where they were the first place winners in a prestigious international choir competition in Florence, Italy. We will be at their Sunday Christmas concert with bells on. Why don’t you join us?
Last night we attended the Winnipeg performance of Shakespeare’s Richard II called Am I Not King? at the West End Cultural Centre. What a moving piece of musical theatre that was! You can read more about it here. And yes here is another shameless bit of family promotion…. our son Bucky and his band Royal Canoe are performing all the original music in this production. They are just terrific. The show runs till Sunday and you want to be sure to take in this unique production.
So there it is. The Driedger family is providing plenty of options for your entertainment pleasure this coming weekend. Hope to see you!
Music to Soothe the Soul
Fun Evening in Toronto
The Daily Bonnet Just Made Us Famous
A Handel Meat Pie
Filed under Family, Music