A Streetcar Named Desire holds the distinction of garnering Academy Award wins for actors in three out of the four acting categories. Oscars were won by Vivien Leigh, Best Actress, Karl Malden, Best Supporting Actor, and Kim Hunter, Best Supporting Actress. Marlon Brando was nominated for his performance as Stanley Kowalski but, although lauded for his powerful portrayal, did not win the Oscar for Best Actor. Brando’s performance has since been cited as the most influential performance in the history of American cinema and has been widely credited for being one of the first performances to introduce Method acting to Hollywood moviegoers.
“The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” written by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. (a.k.a. David Seville) in 1958. That’s actually Bagdasarian on all the voices in the form of a high-pitched chipmunks, even though the singing credits are given to The Chipmunks, a fictitious singing group consisting of three chipmunks by the names of Alvin, Simon and Theodore. The song won three Grammy Awards in 1958: Best Comedy Performance, Best Children’s Recording, and Best Engineered Record (non-classical).
…and when it’s slowed down 2000x times, you can clearly hear Satan on the vocals.
As the year draws to a close, the levers and pulleys of the Songkick database set in motion (in time-honoured tradition) to draw up the list that renders all other achievements worthless, inconsequential and basically counterproductive, as they say themselves.
Ah yes, bow down to the Hardest Working Bands of 2014!
All hail The 1975. The Manchester quartet aren’t just the hardest working band of 2014. Their phenomenal efforts over the last 365 days have shot them to the top of the Songkick leaderboard, having played more shows and covered more ground within a calendar year than any other artist since 2010 (when we started crunching numbers).
The 249724km travelled by the band, venue to venue, would take them two-thirds of the way to the moon. Which is little surprise, given they averaged a gig every 1.8 days.
The guys had this to say: “Touring this past year has been a really humbling experience. Our album was pretty much the story of the last decade of our lives, to see so many people around the world connecting with it has been incredible. We are very proud of our fans, they really understand what we are doing and the shows are an extension of that feeling.”
So without further ado, cue the Cool Runnings applause as we unveil the breathtaking efforts of the Hardest Working Bands of the year!
Andy Wallace has likely done more to advance the sound of modern rock than anyone else. He’s worked on Slayer’s Reign In Blood, Jeff Buckley’s Grace, and albums by Nirvana, Sepultura, the Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, Guns N’ Roses, System Of A Down, Foo Fighters, Garbage, and many others. His work is marked by the quality and bredith of artists looking for something bigger, cleaner, and defining their sounds. As of October 2005, over 80 million album units had been sold worldwide that contained a credit to Andy Wallace. Check out this short video for some of his mixing tips:
Jann Arden is a much celebrated multi-platinum, award winning artist catapulted onto the Canadian music scene in 1993 with the release of her debut album “Time For Mercy” featuring the hit single, I Would Die For You. A year later with “Living Under June”, she would have her career break out hit Insensitive that would solidify her position in the music world.
Arden has released 12 albums with 19 top ten singles. Her most recent recording, “Everything Almost” was released in 2014. With Grammy Award winning producer Bob Rock behind the console, the 11-track disc is considered to be amongst Jann’s finest work – progressive, yet retaining the magic that is distinctly Jann. In her career to date she has received 8 Juno Awards including Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year and in 1997 she hosted the Awards ceremony. Arden is also the recipient of 10 SOCAN Awards, 4 Western Canadian Music Awards, a Much Music Video Award, 3 Prairie Music Awards and an Alberta Recording Industry Association Award.
And now, she can add inventor to her many list of accomplishments. She is the co-creator of The Arden Collar and Smartband, a new voice of your loved one in a world filled with noise. Their product isn’t just about technology or the future, it’s about one of the most important family members in your life- your pet, your child, your elderly parent, or your child with autism. Imagine for a moment your loved one is lost, wandering, and alone without the ability to find their way home or able to speak. They are scared, hungry, and exposed to the harsh elements. You would give anything to help your family find their way home. That path home will be the Arden Collar and the Arden Smartband.
Eric: The Arden Collar is a device that contains a GPS tracking system that shares data with your smartphone? Correct?
Jann: Yeah, I mean, in very simple terms, the dog is your destination, your dog or your cat, or your parent with dementia, or your 16-year-old child that you want to keep track of. But basically we’re really thinking about losing our animals, which 32,000 people in Calgary alone lose every year.
Eric: Why do you think that number is so high?
Jann: You know, even a fireworks show can send hundreds of dogs running to the hills. Camping trips, people working, leaving their gates open and things like that. But your dog is the destination and your smartphone is your GPS device that you have in your car, your satellite navigation. With the collar, though, we realize that obviously it needs to be in water resistant, silicon casing. It can’t just be GPS which is why we have cellular technology as well. Even when you’re thinking of Sirius satellite, you drive your car into a shopping mall, big concrete shopping mall, and all of a sudden the signal drops out. Well, the reason that we’ve done the cellular part of this, is that people have this secondary chance to find their dog if it’s in a cul-de-sac or in a building, or hiding underneath a house, things like that. So, anyway, that’s the basic gist of this: It’s nothing that we have invented ourselves, we were just sitting there going, ‘Why hasn’t anyone done this?’
Eric: How did you come up with this? Did something happen in your life?
Jann: That’s a great question, Eric, and you know, I was doing exactly that. I was sitting with my friend and because I do travel with music – I still travel between 200 and 250 days a year, in fact I’ll be traveling more than that this upcoming 2015 – I was saying to my friend Derek Sheldon, who really is the software genius behind all of this stuff, I was saying to him, ‘Oh my gosh, I need a damn travel app!’ and he goes, ‘Isn’t there a travel app?’ I said ‘No!’ I mean, you know, I don’t know if anyone remembers the debacle I had on Via Rail – Believe it or not, I was very naive, my work colleague booked me on the train just to give me a little change of scenery, and I really didn’t know I couldn’t take the dog on there. So, in hindsight, the travel app – we’re talking back and forth, wouldn’t it be great to get an app, know where you’re taking your dog, what hotels are friendly, what cafes, what restaurants, what planes, how to book them on, what weight they’re supposed to be, how to find a vet in any city that you’re in..Like, a one stop app, and then my friend Derek said to me, ‘Have you ever lost your dog?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I’ve actually lost her in the venue, where she gets out of my dressing room and she’s literally 400 yards down a hallway, but I don’t know that.” And he goes, “You should just put a GPS on her.”
Eric: And you probably laughed when you said that.
Jann: I’m like, you’re really hilarious. He goes “Jann, I could make you one.” And then I’m like, “How!?” He said “Well, all the chips and everything out there, what do you think people use?” He says it’s already invented. He said, “It’s not like I’m gonna sit there and weld it in my basement, it’s just putting it in a collar.” So then a couple weeks later, I wrote him back and I said, “Derek, you know what, I’m really interested in this.” And I kind of gave him some stats on lost pets, people that even in the last couple of weeks – a lot of us read about a dog that got out of the kennel underneath of an American flight, and he chewed his way out of his career, obviously took off across the tarmac, was traumatized, and the guy couldn’t find his dog. And I’m just thinking, with an Arden collar, it doesn’t matter if the guy’s in a different city, he could activate this app, and literally see, ‘My dog is in Boston, he’s on 5th street and 7th avenue. And there’s really good battery life available now, because our collars, they’re not a constant signal, because we didn’t feel like that would really give people the time that they needed to find their dogs, especially if something like that does happen. Every 5 minutes, it sends up to the satellite, so you just buy yourself this 6 or 7 day period, where if you really lost your dog on a camping trip, you have a fighting chance, it’s not just a few hours.
Another thing, the vet we’re working with her name is Judith Sampson French and she’s just amazing. She does so much philanthropic work and so much work with disenfranchised and marginalized animals on reservations. God, she’s doing the work. But she said most of the pets, the dogs especially, that come into her clinic that have been injured are lost. They’ve been hit by cars, in a fight with another animal and they’ve got – she said the sooner you can find your animal the better it’s going to be for your pet. So, with our collar one of the things Derek said we have to do is there should be light on this thing. You basically hit the strobe function on the collar when you realize the dog is lost or even if you don’t realize it. You’re in an off leash park and you want to be able to see your dog. LED lights, these things are so bright and they don’t bother the dog because he can’t see them but you can really see the from a mile away. They flash in a circular motion and it draws attention. There’s not a car in the world that wouldn’t see these lights. I’d wear one of these on both my wrists if I was running at night, I really would.
Eric: Are you going to sell it at shows?
Jann: You know, I’ve never thought of that. Cross-collateralization is always a good thing, isn’t it?
Eric: Absolutely, you have developed such a fan base where they love you and they trust you and it’s like bringing a charitable organization with you on the road or a food bank that people would be more apt to donate to something if they know that the artist gets behind it. I think this is one of those situations where for the good of the people and for the good of their pets, that they trust you on this.
Jann: I really appreciate that. This really is something that’s about people having happy endings just otherwise to otherwise really traumatic issues. These are our family members, these aren’t dogs are cats, these are people’s families. Whatever I can do – I’m very selfish about this area. This is a very selfish endeavor for me because I don’t want to lose my dog, she’s only 5 lbs and I want to have a fighting chance to find her, even if she’s just gone a block down, even if it’s 200 yards. For people who fly with their animals for people that are avid campers. Anyone that’s ever lost their dog bolting after a fireworks show, which I did as a kid. We lost our dog for three days and of course they didn’t have anything, we didn’t have smart phones in the 70s but yeah, we found our dog three days later just looking so bedraggled and how cool would it have been to pick up a phone, hit an app and know that his light is flashing and somebody could see him and that we can literally get in the car and go pick him up in ten minutes.
This is part 32 of an ongoing series where the kind folk of the music business reveal their favourite album of all time.
Ask people in the music industry the seemingly simple and straightforward question, “What is your favourite album of all time?” and you’ll find that it’s not always easy. After all, my industry peers listen to hundreds of albums a month – thousands of songs during that time. Because the question isn’t the best album of all time – the one that’s made them the most money in sales – but the one release they personally can’t live without, that one title they have two copies of in several formats, in case one breaks. It’s also about that album that for them has the best back stories and the one that has the most meaning in their lives.
Jessi Sanfilippo, Earworm Wizard at SHUGGILIPPO
Monsters of Folk, Monsters of Folk
There’s something about the round-robin vocals of each track that makes it one of those front to back listens. You’d be hard-pressed and pretty nuts to skip a track on the thing. Then I went and sealed the certainty on it being one of my favorites when I saw them perform live a good number of years ago now. It was a very soul-moving experience and I’ve not yet spoken to anyone who saw them on that tour that experienced themselves anything otherwise. Infinite favorite points for when you listen to the thing on vinyl. Hot damn.
Stephen Carlick, Senior Editor, Exclaim!
Transatlanticism, Death Cab for Cutie
Teenagers are limited by distance in a lot of ways — physical distance keeps you from the places and people you dream about, a lack of experience keeps you from the jobs and callings you feel are yours and independence, though finally in view, is still just outside your grasp. Distance was the thematic through-line that cohered Death Cab for Cutie’s epic Transatlanticism, and being a 16-year-old — and a bit of a hopeless romantic, to boot — it was a lifesaver. Ben Gibbard’s plaintive lyrics, which yearned to traverse distances of all types and lengths, felt at once meditative and urgent, hopeless yet seemingly within arm’s reach. I still can’t “travel just by folding a map,” but when I hear “The New Year,” “Tiny Vessels” and “We Looked Like Giants,” it’s a journey nonetheless.
Cal Koat, worldbeatcanada Radio
Revolver, The Beatles
I discovered the songs on Revolver by The Beatles while camping with my family at Okanagan Lake. Good Day Sunshine played out on a portable 45 turntable as I lounged on an air mattress in a canvas pup tent, reading Green Lantern comic books. The album continues to take me back to an exact space and time and started me on a lifelong professional and personal relationship with music. Revolver, like Rubber Soul before it, captures the most influential band in modern history at the point where they have shed their skiffle innocence, but not yet made the giant leap toward concept albums and lush productions. George Martin’s studio wizardry; making magic with dated recording technology, razor blades and edit tape is most evident on these tracks. The cover art stands as one of the all time great rock portraits. I wear my Revolver t-shirt to this day, which always elicits smiles, appreciative nods and many compliments. Got To Get You Into My Life peaks with a 5 second guitar solo by George Harrison with the classic Ricky/Vox chime that laid the foundation for the Byrds, Big Star, REM, Petty and a world of great artists to follow. Sgt. Pepper may be the overwhelming number 1 for many, but Revolver has defined who I have become. I can’t live without it.
Breanne L. Heldman, New York Bureau Chief | Yahoo Entertainment
Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Red Hot Chili Peppers
I was in 7th grade when this came out, and I’ll never forget dancing to “Give It Away” at an end-of-the-school-year party. I bought the cassette shortly thereafter. I played it to the point of kissing, squeaky noises and then repurchased it on CD, appreciating that I often found a different track that jumped out at me as my “favorite,” depending on my mood. It remains an undeniable favorite and desert island must-have.
Nadia Elkharadly, Senior Editor, Addicted Magazine
It was the 2nd soundgarden album I discovered. I listened to it over and over and over, feeling every note, taking in every word, and realizing that this was MUSIC, and i was in love with it. It’s an album I know inside and out, I’ve seen pieces of it played live and the experience is unparalleled, and topped each and every time. It’s my desert island album, and I can’t live without it.
In a somewhat brilliant but not media-focused quote from his much-shared interview with Frank Rich, Chris Rock gets it right on an increasing problem:
I stopped playing colleges, and the reason is because they’re way too conservative…. Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody. Kids raised on a culture of “We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.” Or just ignoring race to a fault. You can’t say “the black kid over there.” No, it’s “the guy with the red shoes.” You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.
It is scary, because the thing about comedians is that you’re the only ones who practice in front of a crowd. Prince doesn’t run a demo on the radio. But in stand-up, the demo gets out. There are a few guys good enough to write a perfect act and get onstage, but everybody else workshops it and workshops it, and it can get real messy. It can get downright offensive. Before everyone had a recording device… you’d say something that went too far, and you’d go, “Oh, I went too far,” and you would just brush it off. But if you think you don’t have room to make mistakes, it’s going to lead to safer, gooier stand-up. You can’t think the thoughts you want to think if you think you’re being watched.