I just spent $150 for a ticket to see Harry Styles at Rogers Arena next July. That’s July 2018, more than a year away. Back when he first announced his solo album, I said, “Harry better not make me pay another $100+ to see him or we’re gonna be in a fight.”
So we’re in a fight now.
One Direction played BC Place in 2015. We didn’t know then that it would be their last tour before the hiatus, and I spent a long time thinking about whether I wanted to go. I ended up finding floor seats for $100 in the last few weeks before the show, Elisabeth decided to fly out to come with me, and I’m so glad we went.
But BC Place is where our football and soccer teams play, and Rogers Arena is where our hockey team plays. I love Harry Styles because he’s a weirdo aesthete, and I was really hoping I could see his solo tour in one of our interwar music halls, instead of a hollow arena.
But I love his music, his sparkly boots, and his commitment to trying something new, so that’s where I’ll be July 2018. Five years of being fascinated by Harry Styles, and he hasn’t disappointed me yet.
The time is ripe for a cover of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush’s Don’t Give Up. All I could think about on the way home tonight was Harry Styles and Stevie Nicks doing it.
So, I’ve been watching a lot of music videos lately. Mostly the Retro channel, but Loud had some good new stuff that I wouldn’t have heard elsewhere. (I listen to a lot less new music than I did a decade ago. It’s weird.) Because Loud is a 24 hour cable channel, with no commercial breaks, the videos repeated, like they were on shuffle rather than a loop. Over the last two weeks, I saw Sixx: A.M.’s “We will not go quietly” a lot, and it grew on me.
Sixx: A.M. is one of Nikki Sixx’s bands. He was also the bass player in Mötley Crüe (and primary songwriter, which I didn’t know). He makes the kind of music that I think I don’t like. I don’t hate heavy metal, but it’s never been my thing. Still, there are songs by heavy metal bands I enjoy.
I enjoy this song by Sixx: A.M. It’s super simple and catchy, it’s not at all my “thing,” but I never changed the channel when it came on. It’s a protest song for our new world. It’s a reminder that you can find your “thing” anywhere.
It started to rain late yesterday. The kind of coming from all sides rain. Coming up from the ground rain. I can hear it pounding the roof kind of rain. Still, when I woke up at 3:30AM just now, Jack ran to the back door, scratching to go out. Cats are so weird. He won’t drink water that isn’t fresh or running out of the tap, so of course he wants to go out and play in the puddles.
Today I learned Sade is actually a band, not a solo artist. Yes, the singer’s (stage) name is Sade, but she has always released albums as the lead singer of a band of male musicians.
I grew up in the MTV era (in fact, we were born the same year), but I didn’t grow up with MTV. We had a TV with a rabbit ears antenna and five channels (six with good weather). Even now, after a decade of YouTube and a concerted effort on my part, I’m still seeing music videos from the ’80s for the very first time. This is Sade’s Smooth Operator, which sent me to Wikipedia this morning, wherein I learned this new fact.
Two years ago, I decided to read only female authors. This year, I doubled down on that resolution and deleted (most) male voices from my iTunes collection. (I kept a few duets and songs by male artists with featured women.) During the last week at my parents’s house, I discovered two cable music channels new to me: Stingray Loud and Stingray Retro. It’s a nice change from MuchMusic to watch a music channel with just videos and no ads.
There have been a lot of dudes singing on Loud, and not even as many silent female bodies as you might expect in music videos. But Retro has been the permanent “last channel” on the remote all week, a regular source of memories, new and old. While I’m watching Team Canada play (undefeated!) at the women’s curling world championship this morning, I just flipped back now to catch Nena singing “99 Red Balloons”.
I didn’t grow up with cable, so I didn’t grow up with music videos. Being able to search and watch anything I want on YouTube is so amazing to me, ten years on. I have cable now, but the videos on Much Music aren’t the videos I want to see. Except for two hours in the middle of the day called Retro Lunch. It’s a playlist from the past, but my favourite part is that there’s always a theme. Yesterday was alternative rock from the mid ’90s. Last week, I caught a collection of soundtrack songs. Today, it’s ’70s soft rock. There’s just one glaring thing all these video have in common: men. They’re all male artists. That ’90s playlist was everything I loved (and owned) in high school, but in two hours of songs, only two sung by women: You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette and Violet by Hole. Today, Stevie Nicks is saving another retro dude lunch. At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution to read only women. Now I think I have to extend that to listening and watching, too.
“Aren’t we lucky to be from Canada?”
“What’s up, Canada? Throw your lighters up. Or your coffee up.”