Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Canadian Indie bands!

Indie music.

I have to admit when I was a teenager indie music just didn’t do it for me. Sure there were a few exceptions, but back in the 90’s I felt the best bands were signed to a major label. They scouted the best and for the most part, they found the best!

Fans then who were into Indie bands… well…. no I won’t go that far… let me re-phrase.. People back then who were ONLY into indie bands drove me nuts! They are like diehard Radiohead fans today. They feel that there is something about music that normal folks just don’t understand.. (Hell I like Radiohead.. it’s the diehard crazy Radiohead fans that get to me.. you know who you are!). Again there were some great indie bands and they got/get my respect.. I’m talking about the majority that I was exposed to in the 90’s… Maybe this article caters more to my personal taste.

But lately I have to really give it to some of the Indie bands. Indie music is where it’s at for Canadian Rock, Folk, etc…!

Mainstream music just does not do it for me anymore. Mainstream used to be Aerosmith, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, hell.. The Beatles!… Now mainstream is Rhianna and Lady Gaga.. booo

But this is what people want to hear and see! Nobody cares about Rock and Roll or Alternative music anymore. It’s not what is cool anymore. Back to what Billy Corgan was bitching about at SXSW.. band’s have to basically light themselves on fire and post it on YouTube to get noticed.. People are interested in what’s wild and crazy more than what is good music..

But indie music is keeping the good tunes coming! I sit in my office all week long with CBC radio 3 blaring creating my personal best indie set lists. For a while I couldn’t figure out where all the good bands went.. they were hiding! You have to really want them to find them!

CBC radio 3 makes it easy to discover some great bands as well. This is where I do most of my vinyl shopping! Not the actual purchase but I find the new bands I like… example… say I hear the new Japandroid tune.. I click their name on the screen.. I read a quick bio.. I try a few more of their tunes to make sure I like it (most songs are available for streaming here).. I decide if I like the band.. I click on the link that brings me to their website.. Go to their shop and pick up their vinyl! Best part is that since I can stream almost any Canadian indie album on CBC.. I know I like the vinyl before I get it.. or I get to choose which of the bands albums I want.. I give them all a listen and choose my favorite!

No I don’t work for CBC or get anything for saying this but I highly recommend everyone giving these indie bands a try and CBC radio 3 is the best place to do so!

So keep this great Indie music coming everyone! I for one will be listening!

Ps.. I have some fairly significant Indie artists that have agreed to do some interviews.. So stay tuned for these!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Third Man Records' order!

I placed my first order with Jack White’s Third Man Records last week!

Now I being a fan of Jack White I have purchased his vinyl before. A few months ago I picked up a copy of “Blunderbuss” and a 45 of “Hello Operator”.

Blunderbuss is by far one of my favorite new releases this year. I really love the dynamics in the recording. He definitely does not participate in the “loudness wars”! (See Kelties post on the loudness wars here). This album was recorded fully analogue and it really is a great sounding album. Oh yeah, the songs kick ass too!

This “Hello Operator” 45 is great! And I love the B-side of Dolly Parton’s Jolene! Very cool cover!

Last week however I ordered from Third Man Records directly! I will surely be placing more orders there in the future. Great prices and low shipping! (Only like $6 an lp and a dollar or so to add another).

I ordered this Jerry Lee Lewis lp. This is him playing live at Third Man. I love the Killer! His age is getting noticeable in his voice, but he still rocks! Now this album was recorded live so there was no studio mixing done. You can hear the rattle of the snare drum when the bass player hits a note and the piano volume tends to go up and down, however this edge is what makes me love this album. A great performance by one of the best! These live albums from Third Man are priced great too. Only $16!

I also ordered this 45 by Jack White of “Fly Farm Blues”. Great song. What can I say; I haven’t heard anything from Jack White that I haven’t liked yet!

No B-Side on this 45 which is kind of strange but the Third Man logo is etched in the B-side which is really cool!

Everything Third Man Records puts out is very attractive! They always have nice heavy vinyl great sleeves. They really cater to vinyl fanatics.

I’ll be ordering again very soon!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bargain Book Review - Scott Weiland - Not Dead and Not For Sale

The newest book I picked up at Chapters in their bargain bin was “Scott Weiland – Not Dead and Not For Sale”.

Now back in high school I was a huge Stone Temple Pilots fan. Something about their music just kept me interested. Every album sounded like a brand new style compared to the last. I loved it!

And then there was Velvet Revolver. Now Velvet Revolver was not a band I hated, but it was a band that I found boring as hell. I couldn’t put my finger on it for quite some time but Scott put it in great perspective in this book. He described it as the following “There was a certain commercial calculation behind it” (page 194 of this book). That sums it up. The band was created to sell records. He went on to say “We came together out of necessity, not artistic purposes” (page 216). Basically they are/were all drug addicts who put all their money in their arms and needed some quick cash to get back on their feet. When I heard the songs it was cool to have Slash, Duff and Matt jamming again, and it was great to hear Scott singing…. but once I heard it once I had enough…

I thought this book was great. Easy read (finished it in two nights easily) and he didn’t bore you with details.

He went briskly through his childhood and teenage years, just hitting the major events. Like his lack of a relationship with his father, or the fact that he was raped by a senior in high school when he was twelve.

He jumped into the beginning of his musical career. STP just played a few greatly timed gigs with the right people in the crowd and got noticed. It sounds as simple as that.


He has been through a lot of parties and drama over the years. He was trapped in some really crazy relationships with his ex-wives. Has a rollercoaster relationship with his father, and suffered a tragic loss of his brother from his own drug addiction.

I have to admit in the past years it was hard to see Scott’s headlines on the news. Just like watching a train wreck in slow motion. And it always seemed like he just didn’t care. Partially true, he was a train wreck (and may not be done yet) but he sure does seem to care in this book. He is constantly battling with his demons and sounds like he seriously wants to get a hold of his life. He has been in and out of rehab so many times throughout this book that it gets discouraging. But it is promising that he at least wants to go back to rehab. He wants to be clean.

At the conclusion of this book he again was off drugs but only two months sober from alcohol. I really hope he can finally stay clean and come out with some more great albums!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Miss O'Dell update! - Email from Chris O'Dell herself!!

A while back I did a review on Miss O'Dell written by Chris O'Dell. You can see this review here. This is by far the best book I read in quite some time. I checked my email and I received an email from Chris O'Dell herself!! Check it out!!

"HI Brad,

What a lovely review!  Thank you so much for doing this.  I'm so glad you enjoyed the book - I enjoyed writing it.  It was a journey that had to be shared. 

Again, thanks for the praise and good luck,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tim Sarty!

Next up we have Tim Sarty. I have known Tim for a long time. He was my source for music growing up! I would always go to Tim's every week and he would always have the newest cd's. This is how I was introduced to basically all of my music in the 90's. Showing up at Tim's and seeing what cool new CD he has in his stereo!

We have lost touch over the years but luckily I managed to track him down over facebook. Tim always had a great collection and it only got better since the last time I saw him!

Here we go!

Introduce yourself!

Name: Tim Sarty

City/Town: Fredericton

Job: Librarian

Maritime Vinyl (MV) - What do you collect? Vinyl; CD’s; Cassettes; 8 tracks; bootlegs; music memorabilia; magazine; etc..

Tim Sarty (TS) - Right now I collect CD’s, digital and vinyl probably in that order. Of course before CD’s it was cassettes and if things keep moving the way they are CD’s will probably disappear  and the only physical item left will be vinyl.

MV - Do you prefer one audio format more than others? (example: vinyl more than cd’s)

TS - I’m not really picky on the audio front between the formats. I look more for good speakers and that helps a lot no matter what format you are listening to. As far as convenience you can’t beat digital. I bought my ipod 4 years ago so I could take my CD collection with me and not drag boxes and boxes of CD’s all over the country. I ended up loving it. I also love the experience of listening to a record as well.  Just sitting around by yourself or with a group of people and listening to something from beginning to end without shuffling or playlists is great.

MV - How big is your collection?

TS - My overall music collection has grown out of control. At my parents’ house I have boxes upon boxes of CD’s which I haven’t brought to my place yet because I just don’t have the room for them. I am also starting to gather a secondary CD collection at my own place as I pick up new things. I am slowly starting to buy more and more digital music after years of holding back.  This being said I am approaching my vinyl collection as something that I am not going to go crazy with. I have 40 or so records most of which are from my Father’s collection.


MV - Do you concentrate your collection on one or more artists in particular?

TS - For my vinyl collection I am trying to concentrate on things I really like. Right now I just go and look around to see if something interests me. I try to keep an eye out for Van Morrison, Springsteen, Neil Young, U2, Willie Nelson, Led Zeppelin and other things that excite me at the moment.


MV - What is the first album you remember purchasing? Do you still have it?

TS - I don’t remember the first thing I ever bought sadly. It would have been a cassette so it is probably long gone. I do remember getting a Beach Boys tape when I was real young and I loved that thing. I think it was just a compilation album but it was great. I also remember getting Def Leppard’s Hysteria for Christmas one year and that was just when I really started to get into music.

MV - What is your preferred way of adding to your collection? Shopping online? Flea Markets? Independent music stores? Etc… Any favourite store or websites?

TS - I love record stores! The bigger and more unique the better. I was recently in a great store in St. John’s called Fred’s. It’s an institution there and I could have spent hours looking around. Lots of vinyl, CD’s and a nice atmosphere.  I also like to looking through flea markets and hopefully finding something cool in people old collections. Sadly I get a lot of my music from itunes lately. It is awesome to be able to get almost anything at any time but it is not nearly as satisfying.


MV - How do you store your collection? Shelves? Boxes? Your attic?

TS - The majority of my CD’s are in boxes in a closet at my parents’ house. Hopefully I will get space to put them out someday but until then the ipod will be the storage for that collection. I have my vinyl on a shelf and have told myself that it will get no bigger than that shelf! I have only been collecting since Christmas but so far so good.

MV - Does your significant other support your collection? Did you have to convince him/her?

TS - No I didn’t need to do any convincing she actually bought me my record player as a Christmas gift.

MV - What is on your “wish list” at the moment?

TS - Since I have not been collecting vinyl that long I have a pretty big wish list at the moment a few of them would be:
- Van Morrison - His Band and the Street Choir
- U2 - any albums but their first
- Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town and Nebraska
- Guns n Roses - Appetite for Destruction
- Heart - Little Queen
- Led Zeppelin - any
- Willie Nelson - Red Headed Stranger

MV - You were always the guy with the coolest stereo when I was younger! What is your current setup?

TS - I pretty much have the exact same set up as I have always had. I am getting very antsy to get a new one but I am getting married in the spring so I couldn’t justify spending the money. I just want to start with a decent receiver and get some good speakers later.  

MV - Do you still have all of the cool vhs concerts you used to have?

TS - I just got rid of the VHS concerts I had. Mostly because I don’t own a VCR anymore and they take up a lot of room.

MV - I found myself re-buying a lot of my vhs concerts on DVD. Now blu-ray is the new medium and I just can’t bring myself to buy them the third time. Do you have the same issue?

TS - That’s another reason I got rid of my VHS because I have the same problem as you. Anything that I really liked I ended up getting in DVD over the years so I didn’t need the VHS copy anymore. I haven’t dipped into Blu-ray either although I have been tempted many times. I can’t justify buying something for a third time. Also a lot of that stuff you can watch bits and pieces of on Youtube so it’s not like it will be gone forever.

MV - Do you ever miss the days when it was a challenge to buy some albums? Now you can find virtually anything online! Is it getting too easy?

TS - I do and I don’t. I love being able to buy something when the feeling strikes but like you say there isn’t much challenge or anticipation anymore. I used to love Tuesdays when new albums are released wondering what the album will be like. Now most of the time you can hear it before it’s released, see the artwork and read reviews. It is different now for sure.

MV - Do you think digital downloads will eventually win the battle and there will be no more cd’s?

TS - I do. It will still be awhile yet I think but I do believe they will go like the cassette eventually. Although I feel that vinyl will be the main physical way to listen to music. It will be a small percentage of sales but people like me still want to have something physical to look at and listen to.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Jon Green!

Jon was directed to my site from Andy "Bug" Campbell (See Bug's interview here) and he was kind enough to do an interview. He has a great collection and some interesting pieces including homemade concert posters.

Jon writes his own blog at http://www.shortwavemediaredux.blogspot.ca/ Check it out!

Here we go!

Introduce yourself!
Name: Jon Green
City/Town: Fredericton

Maritime Vinyl (MV) - What do you collect? Vinyl; CD’s; Cassettes; 8 tracks; bootlegs; music memorabilia; magazine; etc..

Jon Green (JG) - I’ve collected a lot of different things related to music in the past including vinyl, CDs, cassettes, box sets, music DVDs, and a lot of magazines. I have a pretty substantial digital collection as well.

MV - Do you prefer one audio format more than others? (example: vinyl more than cd’s)

JG - I prefer vinyl for a lot of reasons. It does have a great sound (although I’m not totally convinced it sounds better than CDs) but more importantly every album is a real artifact. If you want to display your interest in a piece of music, there is no better way than sharing an album cover with your friends as you listen to the music. 

MV - What is your favourite genre of music? Some of your favourite artists?

JG - I’m pretty eclectic in my tastes. I’m probably considered an indie fan but I like a lot of different music. At the moment I’m playing some French trip hop and I played the new Beach House album on the way in to work. If you thumb through my collection you’ll see multiple albums from The Pogues, The Clash, Lou Reed/Velvet Underground, Beach House, Nirvana, Iggy Pop, Pulp, Supergrass, Beck, The Shins, Tom Waits, Janes’s Addiction, Tricky, The Flaming Lips, Billy Bragg, Pavement, Inbreds, Sonic Youth, Portishead, New Order, Joy Division, Sloan, Folk Implosion, REM, Beastie Boys, The Pixies, Frank Black, The Dears, Belle & Sebastian, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, The Smiths, The Specials, Hayden, Replacements, Luna, Radiohead, Mercury Rev, Jon Spencer Blue Explosion,Wilco, Neil Young, Broken Social Scene, Nick Cave, Dandy Warhols…I’m running out of space here.

MV - How big is your collection?

JG - I have about 600 CDs, about 120 LPs, 500 cassettes, and a lot of digital tracks. I also have 15 or so music DVDs.
Other things that I’ve accumulated over the years includes a large collection of Rolling Stone magazines from the mid to late 80’s and a large collection of British music mags including Q (my favourite), Word, and NME. I hope that some day my kids will enjoy thumbing through them.

MV - Do you concentrate your collection on one or more artists in particular?

JG - Not really. I will go through periods where I want to collect certain albums by an artist. But typically there are no artists worthy of having every album collected with few exceptions.

MV - What is the first album you remember purchasing? Do you still have it?

JG - I had a few K-Tel compilations early on (LP & 8 Track) which I still have but I believe the first proper album that I bought was Synchronicity by The Police. It was on cassette and wore out many years ago thanks to a very poor quality Walkman knockoff. I’ve hung on to almost everything I’ve bought since then however.

MV - What is your favourite item in your collection?

MV - I don’t get too sentimental about things I picked up a long time ago. Most of my favourite items are albums that I’ve picked up in the past year or so. One of my favourites is an original 12” pressing of “Blue Monday” by New Order that I picked up on eBay. I’ve always loved the song but I’ve also loved the artwork and the story behind it (the floppy disk-like packaging was so expensive to produce that it cost the label 5 cents every time they sold one. And it became the biggest selling 12” single of all time).
Other favourite items are box sets by Lou Reed and The Pogues.
I created some posters for various concerts that I attended as well including The Police, Radiohead, The Flaming Lips, and Pulp. I’m pretty happy with those even though they were a DIY project.

MV - Do you still actively collect or was this something you concentrated on in the past?

JG - It comes and goes but I’ve been pretty active for the past year and a half.

MV - What is your preferred way of adding to your collection? Shopping online? Flea Markets? Independent music stores? Etc… Any favourite store or websites?

JG - I split my time between stores and online. Online I typically hit Amazon (which has a huge vinyl section) and eBay. In terms of stores, I frequent Backstreet Records in Fredericton (nice selection of vinyl). I also seek out record stores when I’m travelling. There’s a really cool store in Greenwich Village (NYC) called Rebel Rebel that I hit a couple of times in the past year. It’s crammed with teetering towers of boxes full of new and used LPs and CDs.

MV - How do you store your collection? Shelves? Boxes? Your attic?

JG - I’m lucky enough to have a man cave on the main floor of my house where I store about half of my collection on shelves. The rest is in boxes in my basement.
I also have a lot of memorabilia from past concerts and my days as editor of my former website, Shortwave Media. I had a chance to interview a number of cool acts back then so I have some of that stuff on display around my office.

MV - Does your significant other support your collection? Did you have to convince him/her?

JG - I don’t get much commentary either way as long as I keep it in my office. My kids love it when I play records for them though and were really the ones that got me back into vinyl. They were so curious about the boxes of records in our basement that I decided to break them out and start playing them again. And the rest is history.

MV - What is on your “wish list” at the moment?

JG - Nothing long term. I just got the new Beach House LP and Oberhofer LP recently so my cravings are satisfied for a  while. I probably want to get more Luna albums on vinyl in the long term.

MV - Do you know any other collectors?

JG - Not really anymore aside from Andy. Most of my friends are music fans however so everything is good.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Yard Sale finds! - DUAL CS 515 turntable!

Had a nice score a few weekends ago! I decided to try and find a few yard sales even though it was raining. So the first yard sale I came to was held in a family’s garage. I took a quick look and decided to turn around and make my way back to the car when I caught a glimpse of something underneath a bunch of other trinkets.

I found this:

A nice score! Especially since I was only out of the house for maybe 5 minutes and a few miles down the road!

So I got this DUAL CS 515 nice and cheap and even got a box of 25 LP’s to go with it. Nothing spectacular for albums but they were all absolutely mint (as was the turntable). So I got to add a ‘Steve Earle’ lp to my collection (which I previously had but gave to my cousin a while back since I knew he was a huge fan) as well as I got to upgrade my copy of ‘Paul McCartney – give my regards to broadstreet’ and a few other albums.

But the prize was not in the vinyl (even though the price was worth just them) it was in this nice DUAL turntable! I love finding old turntables to fix up and enjoy.

Fortunately there was not much to fix up on this turntable. You can usually tell how much work the table needs by the cosmetics and the albums that the owner has. The albums were absolutely mint and all in plastics, and the turntable still had the 45 adapter and the plastic over the needle. She cared for her stuff and it shows!

So my usual steps when I get a new old turntable like this are to take off the platter and check out the belt (if applicable) and electronics.

The belt on this table was still in great shape, and the electronics were very clean. Just like new!

Regardless, I like to spray the electronics with some deoxit to give it a fresh cleaning. I would usually spray out any dust with an air duster as well, but there was virtually no dust on the inside. So if it is not required, I don’t mess with it!

Besides that I just reinstalled the platter and gave it a good cleaning with soap and water. Plugged it in and hoped for the best.

This table sounds awesome! I really like the ortofon cartridge installed on these old duals. This needle sounds like it has been used very minimal. I know for a fact that it has years of heavy playing left in that needle! I bet she only played each of her 25 albums once each on this table if that!

So it is good to see some of these older tables still around! These were built to last! It would be hard to find a new turntable of this quality these days for less than $250.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bob Mersereau's Top 100 Canadian Blog: LOOK AT ME! I'M ON THE INTERWEBS!

Bob Mersereau's Top 100 Canadian Blog: LOOK AT ME! I'M ON THE INTERWEBS!: Well, as you can read, I already have my own blog.  But now, another blog has done me the honour of featuring me in its latest post.  It's a...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bob Mersereau!

 Next up we have Bob Mersereau! I have never actually met Bob but I feel as I have known him for quite some time! Whether it  be me reading his daily blogs on CBC or flipping through some of his great books on Canadian Music at Chapters.

Bob has a great collection and his Beach Boy's stuff alone has to be one of the greatest Beach Boys collections in Canada!


Here we go!

Name: : Bob Mersereau

City/Town: Fredericton, NB

Job: Producer at CBC, music writer, blogger and columnist, Author of Top 100 Canadian Singles, Top 100 Canadian Albums

Maritime Vinyl (MV) - What do you collect? Vinyl; CD’s; Cassettes; 8 tracks; bootlegs; music memorabilia; magazine; etc..

Bob Mersereau (BM) - I collect CD's for the most part, as they are still the main format for labels to send out to reviewers.  When I'm actually buying for myself however, I tend towards vinyl, particularly 45's.

MV - Do you prefer one audio format more than others? (example: vinyl more than cd’s)

BM - My favourite format is the 45, especially 45's with picture sleeves. I love the small artistic statement each one makes, and I enjoy collecting the variations from country to country.  Next would be LP's, and then CD's.

MV- What is your favourite genre of music? Some of your favourite artists?

BM - I collect a few artists, but far and away the biggest love is The Beach Boys.  Since 1975, I've been adding to this collection, and will pick up anything I don't have, if the price is reasonable.  I have about 300 45's, including 100 European picture sleeves, all different.  I'm closing in on completing the North American collection, at least to my satisfaction.  You can never have all the variations.  My LP collection for them is nearly complete as well, again, to my satisfaction.  I'm not sure where this puts me in Canadian terms, but I don't know of a bigger Canadian collector than myself.  I don't go for much non-music memorabilia, although I have quite a big collection of books, magazines, articles, even some clothing associated with the band.  I have a somewhat extensive Elvis Costello collection as well, with lots of 45's, albums and CD's, including many promos issued over the years.  My Springsteen collection is large as well, with 45's, 12-inch singles, and a great many bootlegs, including a huge number of hours of live material on cassette from 1970 to 1988, many of them original masters that were passed on to me by a taper who was getting out of the scene.  Because of my job as a reviewer and writer, since the early 80's, I've been lucky enough to amass several thousand (probably around 6000, although I haven't counted in years)  CD's, plus I have hundreds of 45's and LP's.

My favourite genre would best be described as 60's and 70's rock and pop, as well as soul.

MV - What is the first album you remember purchasing? Do you still have it?

BM - The first album I bought with my own money was by Humble Pie, Smokin'.  Not a great choice.  It was due to peer pressure.  I finally had enough of my money to buy something, and the guys I was trying to impress at the time were into the band.  I liked 30 Days In The Hole okay, but the rest was not really my taste, being more a fan of Elton John, etc., at the time.  I eventually traded that album to a friend, for Long John Baldry's It Ain't Easy, an album I still love to this day!

MV - What is your favourite item in your collection?

BM - I think my favourite item in my collection would be my copy of the Beach Boys' first single, Surfin', on the Canadian London label.  It was issued in the U.S. on the tiny Candix label, a local L.A. indie, and hit #75 in Billboard, strong enough for Capitol Records to sign them.  In Canada, the London label often  picked up U.S. indie singles for distribution here, as they did with Surfin'.  It was not a hit in Canada, and few copies are known.  I've never seen an accurate value placed on the single, nor have I ever seen it for sale, on eBay or elsewhere, and I've heard wild claims for it.  It would be one of those unknowns that could generate lots of interest at auction.  I have heard of two other copies, and I've seen photos of it in discographies, so it does exist out there, perhaps more commonly than people believe.  It doesn't matter though, mine isn't going anywhere. I also recently purchased a 1962 copy of Surfin' Safari autographed at the time by four of the Beach Boys, and I quite like that.


MV - Do you still actively collect or was this something you concentrated on in the past?

BM - I am very involved in collecting again, although I had let the Beach Boys collection slide for several years, other than the latest and newest items.  But about a year ago, I got back into collecting 45's in a big way, via eBay.  It's really easy, you can find lots and not overpay.  My usual buys are $20 or less.  Once I find that good deals like that are becoming rare, as my collection grows larger, I'll simply buy fewer items, and save up for the more expensive, at $30-plus.

MV - What is your preferred way of adding to your collection? Shopping online? Flea Markets? Independent music stores? Etc… Any favourite store or websites?

BM - My preferred shopping would be in used record stores and flea markets, but I live in a town with only a couple of used stores, and they don't get a lot of traffic of course.  I have found some interesting things at a large flea market here, but only because the stall is run by a long-time collector who is cashing out his collection slowly.  I picked up a Beach Boys album I'd been searching for since the 70's, plus some other nice vinyl, and he usually has something I'd like. When I go out of town, its great to get into the used stores, that's been my hobby all my life.  But because of where I live, eBay has become the easiest way for me to collect.

MV - How do you store your collection? Shelves? Boxes? Your attic?

BM - I store my collection in several different types of shelves, added on as it grows.  I had a series of shelves built for me a few years back that I love, a wall of CD's, but the guy who built them retired, so as the collection grew, I picked up some other kinds of shelves.  But to my shame, yes, there are boxes in the closet of stuff I haven't the space for.

MV - What is on your “wish list” at the moment?

BM - I have a working wish list for the Beach Boys of 45's I need to complete the North American section.  I try to check eBay each day to see if any show up.  Unfortunately, they are mostly quite pricey, but I've managed to find some great surprises and deals, when the other collectors aren't watching.

MV - Do you know any other collectors?

BM - I know lots of music collectors, but no other Beach Boys collectors personally.  I've talked via mail and email with them.  Most of the collectors I know are friends who simply like to own lots and lots of music, and don't specialize.  Although I do have a good friend with a fondness for The Who.

MV - You have been reviewing music since the mid 80’s. Where have people been finding your reviews?

BM - I first started reviewing at my university radio station, CHSR at UNB in Fredericton.  Then I started working as a casual at CBC Fredericton.  Having done some on-air work, I asked if they would be interested in music reviews on one of the programs.  That was in 1984. I have, with some breaks, been doing that ever since, and I can be heard each Wednesday on CBC Radio 1 in N.B. at 4;45 on Shift.  Also, I have written review columns for publications, including Halifax's The Coast for several years, then the Telegraph-Journal in N.B. for several more years.  These days, my reviews appear at cbc.ca/nb, where I review East Coast music, and on my own blog, http://top100canadianblog.blogspot.ca/

MV - Since you have been reviewing music, has it been noticeable when the music styles started changing? Example, I can take practically any 80’s album and identify it as an 80’s album from the style, recording, packaging, etc... No need to look for a date on the album.. Has it been a gradual change from the 80’s to the 90’s to the 2000’s, etc? Or was it just like you woke up one morning and BOOM there was Alternative bands and no more hair metal?

BM - I think changes in music have, for the most part, been subtle, with a few exceptions, usually major breakthroughs such as Nirvana's huge success with Nevermind.  But I'm afraid I'm stuck in the past most of the time!  I'm so busy enjoying what's come before, I usually don't get caught up with some new trend for two or three years later.  I don't mind this, I never claim to be a reviewer in tune with the latest trends, I'm more in line with roots and rock material.

MV - Do you have a favourite decade for Canadian music?

BM - My favourite decade for Canadian music would be the 70's.  In the 60's, we simply were behind the pop music being created in the U.S and England.  We didn't have the studios, nor the industry.  We certainly had the musicians, but they had to leave to get heard, and only a few were able to break through in the U.S.  By the 70's, our industry had developed enough to support a Canadian scene, and that's when I was growing up and in love with the radio.  I love those hits, as they were the soundtrack of my youth, from Lighthouse to A Foot In Coldwater to April Wine and so many more.

MV - People are always critics of music critics (if that makes any sense). Somebody always has a problem with a review they read. I am a big fan of Rolling Stone magazine for example, and I know so many people that hate the reviews in it because they find them inaccurate. Well to me a review has a lot to do with taste, and my music taste relates to some of the journalists at RS so I like it.  How do you take people criticizing your album reviews?

BM - I have no problem with people disagreeing with my opinions on music. What bothers me is when they insult me, which happens often on the internet, it's the anonymity of the medium, and people seem to believe they have the right to say things they never would in person.  Usually they focus on one thing in a review that they don't agree with, and can't see past that.  Recently I had somebody furious with my review when I quite plainly said I liked the album.  They also seem to feel I have to structure my reviews under some sort of guidelines they want; but I'm doing the writing, it's my blog, I get to choose how I review or write about something.  If you don't like the format I use, they are another 40,000 people writing music reviews on the internet.  But my main annoyance is that many people who complain simply have no idea how to disagree or even argue with an opinion they do not share. Their only recourse is to insult, rather then debate.

MV - Do you share the same hatred towards Nickelback as many Canadians have started to?

BM - Nickelback.  I do not like them, but I do not hate them either.  I think Rockstar was a pretty good song.  But yes, they do seem to repeat themselves and it is generic rock.  They are like Bon Jovi, it's very limited music with basic lyrics and dull melodies.  Why people feel the need to hate a band they don't like is what frustrates me.  So what if they have lots of fans and gets lots of airplay? People have so many choices now, it's not like it was in the 70's when there was only a couple of radio stations to listen to.  You can easily avoid Nickelback, Lady Gaga, Beiber, whoever you want.  I never hear these acts, unless I purposefully play them.  So let the fans have their fun, they don't complain about your music.

MV - You have written two pretty well known books; “The top 100 Canadian Albums” and “The Top 100 Canadian Singles”. I am a big fan of these books. What has been the general response?

BM - The overall response to the Top 100 Canadian books was very strong. Yes, there was lots of debate, some of it quite vehement, but it was always over the lists.  Once people saw the actual books, the wonderful visuals and layout that Goose Lane Editions designed, and understood that this was a celebration of Canadian music, the bickering would usually end, and they would enjoy the reading experience.  The stories and interviews are a big part of the fun; even if you don't like Seasons In The Sun, Terry Jacks had some good stories about the song.  Yes, there was a lot of debate over what did and didn't make the lists, but that was for the most part a good experience as well, because it proved people were interested in Canadian music, and held strong opinions and feelings for it.  I never doubted it; but even booksellers were shocked at how well they did in their stores.  We had been told by some that list books and music books don't do well.  These became national best-sellers. And of course, the lists themselves were generated by big national polls, hundreds of people involved in Canadian music voted for their favourites, and all I did was do the math.  So I wasn't really responsible for who showed up and who didn't.  Now, it will never be a perfect system, and I went into it realizing fully that there is no accurate way to rate art.  You can only come up with a consensus at best.  My goal was to have an all-Canadian celebration, as hard-cover coffee table books.  That is something that had never existed before these books came out.  For the first time, Canadian popular music was treated with the same respect as other Canadian art, and the public responded very well to it.

MV - You also run your own blog, http://top100canadianblog.blogspot.ca/ .. Do you ever have a hard time finding enough new albums to review?

BM - I never have a problem finding music to review, I always have a huge surplus, which drives me crazy.  I wish I could review everything sent to me, but I simply don't have that much time.  I am staring at roughly 50 CD's that have been sent over the last two weeks, plus there are links sent via email as well.  I try to review two a day, but usually I'm happy with about 10 in a week, and that is an awful lot of listening, since I usually listen at least twice to a disc before writing.