Euphonious Fridays – New Orleans Is Sinking


It’s Canada Day!  That really leaves no choice in the matter regarding who to feature for this week’s Euphonious Friday (especially since I missed last week – boo me!).  There can be only one band…the quintessentially Kingston, Ontario-based Canadian rockers, The Tragically Hip.  Despite the fact that the band is wildly popular within Canada, many around the world may not have heard of them, or know much about them.

Unfortunately, since I’m between volunteering at the Alianait Festival here in Iqaluit, and attending the second of four shows for the festival tonight, I won’t have much time to give you a refresher course on the band’s long history.  They’ve been around since 1983!  Just know that when it comes to summertime on the patio…you’ll probably hear Kim Mitchell’s “Patio Lanterns” and then you’ll hear the Hip.  They are mainstays at summer festivals and so many of their songs feature our home and native land in the lyrics.

It’s hard to pin down one of my favourite songs by the band, but I am definitely a fan of their earlier work.  Somewhere around high school, I sort of lost interest…after the album Fully Completely which I love.  The song I’m featuring today is off of Up To Here which was released in 1989.  ‘New Orleans Is Sinking’ is arguably one of the band’s most recognizable and “signature” songs.


Bourbon blues on the street, loose and complete
Under skies all smokey blue-green
I can’t forsake a dixie dead-shake
So we danced the sidewalk clean
My memory is muddy, what’s this river that I’m in?
New Orleans is sinking man and I don’t wanna swim

Colonel Tom, What’s wrong? What’s going on?
You can’t tie yourself up for a deal
He said, “Hey north you’re south shut your big mouth,
You gotta do what you feel is real”
Ain’t got no picture postcards, ain’t got no souvenirs
My baby, she don’t know me when I’m thinking bout those years

Pale as a light bulb hanging on a wire
Sucking up to someone just to stoke the fire
Picking out the highlights of the scenery
Saw a little cloud that looked a little like me

I had my hands in the river
My feet back up on the banks
Looked up to the lord above
And said, “Hey man thanks”
Sometimes I feel so good, I gotta scream
She said “Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean”
She said, she said, I swear to god she said…

My memory is muddy what’s this river that I’m in?
New Orleans is sinking man and I don’t wanna swim

This is the official video for the song.  I highly recommend seeking out the song as it’s performed live on YouTube somewhere.  Gord Downie has been known to go off on a bit of a tangent in the bridge before the “I had my hands in the river” line.  My favourite version (and that of many) is known as the “killerwhaletank”.  Try to find it…


Euphonious Fridays – All The Things I Wasn’t


The 80s were renowned for music’s transition from the disco era.  There were lots of synths…lots of fluorescents…and lots of big hair.  In the early part of the decade, a little known band was formed that bucked the trends of the day, and put out some good Canadian folk rock.  Emerging from Kelowna, British Columbia, two brothers and their friend choose the name of a very well-known book and movie that none of them had read or seen:  The Grapes of Wrath.  They signed with Nettwerk Records, arguably one of Canada’s most successful indie labels, released a series of albums throughout the 80s until 1989 when their most successful Now and Again was recorded.  They toured in support of the album with an opening act that you may have heard of:  a little known singer-songwriter named Sarah McLachlan.

On that album was one of the band’s most popular singles, “All The Things I Wasn’t”.  It is a song that has stuck in my mind since I first heard it, but I recently rediscovered it, and have fallen in love with it all over again.  Its simple acoustic melodies and emotional lyrics suggest the story of an unsuccessful relationship between a parent and a child; a mentor and a protégé.  It’s quite lovely.  The piano interlude always gives me shivers…

Due to litigations over the name of the band, they re-formed with minor lineup changes in the 90s as Ginger, again signing with Nettwerk.  After an EP, two albums and several years together, they disbanded in 1997, partially reuniting as The Grapes of Wrath in 2000 to release another album, before calling it quits for good in 2001.

However, music is often a stronger force than those with a gift for it can admit, and they reunited once again in 2009/10 to do perhaps a final round of touring.  It would seem that only time will tell if the band is truly finished gracing us with their presence.


Hours of hiding, spent apart
The wall was all we’d share
About the closest you could get
About all I would bear

Don’t tell me all the things I wasn’t
Could have made this big a difference
To all the things you are

Years of listening, taking in
To one day take away
From all the guilt and pity I could
Barely keep at bay

Don’t tell me all the things I wasn’t
Could have made this big a difference
To all the things you are

The time apart, I’ve realized
The name’s the most we’ve shared
Unlike you there’s no way I could
Spend forever there

Don’t tell me all the things I wasn’t
Could have made this big a difference
To all the things you are

And a successful find of the video!  Hooray!

Euphonious Fridays – Detachable Penis

John S. Hall of King Missile (Source:

Okay.  So I know that most of you are wondering just why I’ve decided to choose a song called “Detachable Penis” as my song this Friday.  Well, I’m glad you asked.

I almost decided to let you all know about my discovery today with another post – I checked the listing of the ways that people found my blog today, and the only search term listed was the following:

“MS paint penises”

That’s right.  It would appear that someone wanted to find some very well done illustrations of penises using Microsoft Paint.  So I’ve talked about MS Paint before, but I didn’t really think that my blog had the word penis anywhere in it, but hey.  I can’t remember everything I’ve ever written.  I may have used the word when I was discussing American Psycho.  But aside from that, I can’t even think of when I would have needed to use the word.  In any case, I’m now rectifying the apparent lack of ‘penis’ on my blog.

So, to the seeker of MS paint penises today…I salute you!  You have inspired my featuring of the King Missile hit…”Detachable Penis”.  I can’t say I know a whole lot about the band.  Perhaps I should have checked out their other music, but this was just a fun song.  They’ve been described as “anti-folk”.  They do a bit of spoken word work.  And they’ve been kicking around making music (experimental rock, avant-garde jazz, dark ambient, surreal humour, neo-psychedelia) since 1986 in various incarnations with an ever-changing band line-up.  This song debuted in 1992 and became an immediate hit for the band.  I recall hearing the song quite a bit during high school and cracking up whenever it was on.

So really, I don’t know what the song is about.  Sure it’s about a penis…and it’s detachable.  But there are rumours that it goes much deeper than that…emasculation?  A metaphor?  Or is it really just a song about a man and the search for his detachable penis?  The lyrics are right below here.  You can decide for yourself!   Don’t be offended…it’s all in good fun!


I woke up this morning with a bad hangover
And my penis was missing again
This happens all the time
It’s detachable

This comes in handy a lot of the time
I can leave it home when I think it’s going to get me in trouble
Or I can rent it out when I don’t need it

But now and then I go to a party
Get drunk
And the next morning, I can’t for the life of me
Remember what I did with it

First I looked around my apartment
And I couldn’t find it
So I called up the place where the party was
They hadn’t seen it either

I asked them to check the medicine cabinet
‘Cause for some reason I leave it there sometimes
But not this time
So I told them if it pops up to let me know

I called a few people who were at the party
But they were no help either
I was starting to get desperate
I really don’t like being without my penis for too long

It makes me feel like less of a man
And I really hate having to sit down
Every time I take a leak

After a few hours of searching the house
And calling everyone I could think of
I was starting to get very depressed
So I went to the Kiev and ate breakfast

Then as I walked down Second Avenue towards St. Mark’s Place
Where all those people sell used books and other junk on the street
I saw my penis lying on a blanket next to a broken toaster oven
Some guy was selling it

I had to buy it off him
He wanted 22 bucks but I talked him down to 17
I took it home, washed it off
And put it back on

I was happy again, complete
People sometimes tell me
I should get it permanently attached but I don’t know
Even though sometimes it’s a pain in the ass
I like having a detachable penis

Detachable penis
Detachable penis
Detachable penis

Yup, so if you haven’t yet been offended, here’s the video for the song.  Apparently recorded off of VH1.  Is VH1 even still around?  Does it still play music videos?  Cuz MTV and MuchMusic sure don’t.  Awesome.

Euphonious Fridays – Spiritual Pollution


It’s that time of the week again – another Euphonious Friday to spread some music.  But I’m completely brain dead at the moment, and I’d like to just be able to get the post written and done BEFORE midnight tonight.

So, I’ve decided to make this Euphonious Fridays – The Readers’ Digest Version.  Okay…here goes.

In high school, I liked this band called Pure.

Pure came out of Vancouver in the early 90s.

Their first full length album was called Pureafunalia.  Kitschy, right?

They released some singles called “Pure”, “Wow”, “Blast”, “Denial”, “Blissful Kiss”, “Anna is a Speed Freak” and the song I’m presenting in this post, “Spiritual Pollution”.

The tune is catchy…there’s keyboards that sound kind of like trumpets…and the percussion is reminiscent of the beat that underlies Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll”.

While I can’t confirm, I’m quite certain the song is about religious zealots and their force-feeding of their beliefs on street corners and doorsteps.


The band is no longer together.


But the former members are doing their own things now.


The end.  Almost.


You come walking up to me with a present for me
A special little book full of ideas to help me see my way clear
I look into your smile, make you feel important
Yeah I listen for awhile, but I don’t want to know
Anything about your mixed up tales that you’re shouting about

Sunday afternoon sidewalk revolution
I don’t need your
Spiritual pollution
You stand on the corner and preach down solutions
I don’t need your
Spiritual pollution

Tell me that I can be saved if I just walk along with you
And clear out my mind of all those ideas that you just can’t find

Now I’m spiritual
You filled my body full of all I need

A fearful soul
A God to know
And if I’m told
I’ll just keep screaming

Sunday afternoon sidewalk revolution
I don’t need your
Spiritual pollution
You stand on the corner and preach down solutions
I don’t need your
Spiritual pollution

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find any videos for this.  There’s a big issue apparently between the band and their record label – the label has removed the video from the band’s MySpace page.  Sucks.

So here’s the MP3 for “Spiritual Pollution”.  Screw you Warner Music Group.  So yeah, if you want to hear this, you’ll have to download the song.

And just cuz I don’t want to not provide a video…here’s the video for Pure’s “Blast”.  Another great song!  Course Warner Music Group wants you to go to YouTube to watch it.  Wow.  This post is a fail.  Sorry guys!