Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Q’s Shockline Scream Thursday With Count Scottula 102716 (Eeek)

Shockline Scream Thursday [BKNPK]

Ooooo, scary kids.  Hallowe’en is now only four shopping days away; The Q transmogrifies into The Boo on Saturday, as we launch another frightening Hallowe’ekend — and today we’re going to take a practice run with a Shockline Scream Thursday.  In other words, it’s all scaaaaaary songs, all the time between noon and 1pm today.

If there’s a particular song you’d like me to play for you, send me an e-mail request, or join me at noon oh five and call or text me at 250 475 100.3 as we get creeped out, on The Q’s Shockline Scream Thursday.

Fire up the audio player below to hear some musical selections which would get thumbs up from the the Shockline Scream Thursday judging panel (who are all undead) today.

Love, Dr. Scott “Count Scottula” James
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Distracted Walking Is Now A Thing, And Might Become Illegal

Distracted Walking Warning [Wall Street Journal]

Walking across the street with your eyes riveted to a cellphone screen might soon become illegal — and it appears that the majority of Canadians are in favor of legislation which would prohibit it.

Insights West polled just over a thousand people to see if they would support or oppose banning the use of handheld cellphones while walking in roadways such as intersections.  Findings indicate that 35 percent of those over 18 would strongly support such legislation, with another 31 percent saying they’d be somewhat in favor.  The margin of error for a sample of this size is plus or minus 3.1 percent.

According to Insight’s Vice President of Public Affairs Mario Conseco, the age  breakdowns in the survey are revealing.  He says both men and women gave thumbs up to legislation in similar numbers, but there were sharp differences across the three demographics, with older adults showing the strongest support for new rules.  “Baby boomers who probably haven’t been texting that much … who look at this as a distraction, who look at this as something that could cause insurance problems down the road,” he says.

Distracted Walking Injuries Estimate [US National Safety Council]

An unexpected result was agreement by the majority of the 18 to 34 group, at 51 percent.   “It’s a little more of a close split than what we see with generation X or boomers, but even they, who grew up texting, are actually aware of the dangers they could be walking into without this type of legislation.”

He notes, though, that the majority of those who are strongly against legislation are millennials.

The across-the-board strong support has Canseco suggesting that municipal governments should seriously consider the survey’s outcome.  “It took us a couple of decades to figure out the dangers of driving while you held a cellphone in your hand.  Maybe this is a good starting point to try to figure out whether we have mandatory regulation that makes you stop texting or using your phone before you cross the street.”

Officials in some Canadian cities are eyeing up new legislation, and others have already tried to put it in place.  Toronto city council passed a motion in July asking the province’s transportation minister to effect a ban, but were told later that the city actually has the power to adopt its own municipal bylaw.  Following that, a Vancouver councillor came out in support of a ban — and a couple of years ago, a Calgary councillor asked the city and police to consider fines for distracted walkers.

A provincial ban is probably not in the cards for British Columbia.  The Minister Of Public Safety says it will most likely be up to individual local governments, which have the authority to regulate pedestrian traffic, to proceed if they want to.

Love, Dr. Scott James
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The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine Is Now Available In Lego Form Because Why Not

Beatles' Lego Submarine [Lego]

If you have a Beatles fan on a list which you may be scribbling in preparation for the imminent (60 shopping days) arrival of a certain religious holiday which has come to involve the exchange of gifts, perhaps you might want to add this to it.

A new fan-designed Lego Ideas set has been created, featuring the Fab Four and their iconic saffron submersible.  It should be in stores by Tuesday November 01, and retails for $US60.  550 pieces comprise the set, which is a particularly well done design from Lego Ideas contributor Kevin Szeto, who amassed the 10,000 fan votes necessary for Lego to give the project the go-ahead.

The detailed replica of the Yellow Submarine opens up to accommodate period-authentic  Lego versions of John, Paul, George and Ringo, and there’s also a Blue Meanie.

Beatles' Lego Submarine [Lego]

The official description reads:  “Take a surreal trip under the seas in the LEGO® version of the Yellow Submarine from the iconic 1968 animated musical fantasy film inspired by The Beatles.  Ideal for display or role-play fun, the Yellow Submarine features loads of cool, authentic details including a cockpit for the included minifigures of John, Paul, George and Ringo.”  The sub is even starring in a video, which may suggest to sharp-eyed viewers that The Beatles have gills.

More pictures ‘n things are right over this way.

Love, Dr. Scott James
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The iPod Turns 15

Fifteen years ago, Apple head-honcho Steve Jobs stood on a stage and introduced the device that would set in motion the digital music age: the iPod.

It took a couple of years to catch on. Original cost as $399 and compatible with Mac-only. There’s been imitators (Zune) but the iPod eventually became The MP3 Player for music lovers. Consider Oct. 23, 2001 the birth date of iPod.

“In this whole new digital music revolution, there is no market leader,” Steve Jobs told the audience. “There are small companies, like Creative and SONICblue, and then there’s some large companies like Sony that haven’t had a hit yet. They haven’t found the recipe. No one has really found the recipe yet for digital music. And we think not only can we find the recipe, but the Apple brand is going to be fantastic, because people trust the Apple brand to get their great digital electronics from.”

Initially many of us weren’t in any rush to throw down $400 for a 5GB music player, especially if you had to have a Mac. And what about the crystal clear sound of compact discs that you spent a bundle buying over the years updating your music collection from vinyl and cassette?

ipod_family_by_zerocustom19891The possibilities opened up when Apple added Windows compatibility. In 2003, Apple launched the all-important iTunes Music Store; instead of users having to rip all their discs, now you could just buy a single song or album and synch to your iPod.

Two years after the iPod debut, Apple’s launched it’s colorful “silhouettes” advertising. Over the next several years, the sillhouette billboards and TV ads would become some of the decade’s most iconic pieces of marketing.

d5edd7c145f1d939ffe043c1083193ef2004 also saw the introduction of the iPod mini, a much smaller version to the regular iPod.  Then came the iPod Shuffle and the iPod Nano, which was billed as being the same width of a pencil. Ads for the Nano featured Feist’s “1234.”

Next, the iPod Touch, which had the look of the just-released iPhone (2007) but without the phone.

The original iPod Classic design was killed off in 2014. The Touch is currently in its fifth-generation.



Leonardo DiCaprio Is Your Sun Guy

Paramount Pictures has snapped up the rights to turn Peter Guralnick‘s book Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘N’ Roll into a film — and Leonardo DiCaprio will be front and center in the title role as Sam Phillips.

Phillips was the visionary music producer who originated the tiny Memphis record label Sun Records, which was home to Elvis Presley, Ike Turner, Howlin’ Wolf, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and others.

Sun Records [Pinterest]

Along with Phil Chess of Chess Records (who passed away just a few days ago at age 95), Phillips is credited as one of the towering and influential figures in early rock and roll.  He was also a noted equality advocate and was instrumental in breaking down color barriers within the music industry.

Sam Phillips [Mefford]

Hmm.  He may also have actually been Charlie Sheen.

DiCaprio will also get a production credit on the film along with Mick Jagger (who will hopefully see more positive results than he did from HBO‘s Vinyl), Victoria Pearman, Steve Bing, Ian Montone, Rick Yorn and Guralnick.  A director and writer for the project have yet to be announced.

Love, Dr. Scott James
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Phil Collins Talks Touring, Rocks Out On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Phil Collins [Adrew Lipovsky/NBC]

Recently, Phil Collins advised us that he’s “no longer officially retired” by setting up a nine-show European tour for next year, which will launch Sunday June 04 with a five night run at London’s Royal Albert Hall — all of which are sold out already — followed by gigs in Cologne and Paris — most of which are also sold out.  Collins was in New York not too long ago to promote his new memoir Not Dead Yet, and while he was there, he said he’d like to do more shows.  “I would like to play some shows in South America,” he said.  “If we do that, I’m sure we [would] do some shows in the States too.  The horse is out of the stable, and I’m raring to go.”

Phil Collins -- Not Dead Yet [Indigo]

Collins’ backing band for this trek will include some of his longtime associates, including guitarist Daryl Stuermer, keyboardist Brad Cole, bassist Leland Sklar and percussionist Luis Conte, with the addition of backup singers and a horn section.  But what about the drums?  No problem:  Phil’s 15 year old son Nicholas will be subbing for his dad on the kit, and in case you’re wondering whether the lad is up to it, there’s no doubt after Nicholas absolutely nailed the famous drum fill on In The Air Tonight during his appearance this past summer at the US Open.

Luckly, the European tour meshes nicely with Nicholas’ summer vacation.  However, if the tour continues into the rest of the year, it shouldn’t cause any trouble.  Says Phil, “I’ve already met with the headmaster and he’s very enthusiastic for Nic.  That’s not the problem.  It’s just a question of him being able to continue with homework and things.”

Rehearsals are scheduled for May, and plans are afoot to bring something new to the table.  “It would be dangerous to give too much away,” he says.  “We’re working out a way to make a show special.  At the moment, there won’t be any new material, but we can bring out some songs that we haven’t done so they’ll appear new.”  His solo catalog will feature heavily, although he’ll also be doing some Genesis material.  “On the last tour we did Invisible Touch and Misunderstanding,” he says.  “We’ll put a couple of [Genesis songs] in, two or three.”

The 2002 Testify album was Collins’ last album of original material, and he’s making noises about getting back into a studio — he has one in his Miami Beach house.  “For a while, my excuse has been that I was busy with the book,” he says.  “Now the book is out and I can’t be busy with it anymore.  There’s a triple CD of singles out in Europe, which kind of completes the reissue thing.  I think now, apart from getting a little fitter, I’ll have time to turn the studio on and see what happens.”

For the past nine years or so, playing drums has been pretty much out of the question for Collins, thanks to nerve damage he suffered during the Genesis reunion tour in 2007.  As well, he’s had surgery on his hands and feet which have led to additional weakness; he now walks with a cane.  However, he put a drumkit together in his garage, and he’s hoping to get some of his capabilities back.  “I’ve gotta get into a routine of practicing,” he says.  “When I hold a pair of sticks now, it doesn’t seem natural.  Most of my playing now is done from fingers, not grip.  That’s what I’ve lost.”

Of course, now that he’s touring again, his former cohorts come up in conversation.  Is another tour with Genesis in the cards?  “Writing the book reminded me how close we were,” he says. “We’re still great pals. Tony [Banks], Mike [Rutherford] and I went out on my birthday in London.  Anything can happen, really.  I just don’t want to suddenly take the break off and start flying off and doing things.  I just want to do things carefully and think about the consequences.”

If a Genesis tour did happen, it would probably not include Peter Gabriel, who hasn’t appeared with the group since their one-off 1982 reunion show.  “If I was an able drummer I’d gladly get behind the kit and drum for Pete,” Collins says.  “But the fans need to know what they’d get.  I told that to a German journalist once and he said, ‘It would be fun to see Peter sing I Can’t Dance and to see me sing Supper’s Ready.  I was thinking, ‘I can’t argue with this…'”

Meanwhile, despite his ongoing challenges, Collins turned in quite the performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night, getting help from The Roots on one of his biggest hits, In The Air Tonight.  Fallon let it slip that Questlove had been freaking out for months about getting that iconic drum fill right, but as it turned out, QL needn’t have worried about it.

Phil also put paid to the urban legend which says the song is about an actual drowning.

Love, Dr. Scott James
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QMS audio-October24-016

Oct 26 – Jack Knox, funny guy on his new book “Hard Knox”.

Oct 24 – The Golden Beer Can.

Oct 20 – Wait…. Who Invented The Nacho?

Oct 13 – Ed Goes For A Walk One Fine Fall Day.

October 12 – Old Timer Forecasting.


Gord: On The COVER Of The Rolling Phoooooooooone (Book)

Tragically Hip Kingston Ticket [Twitter]

If there’s one thing of which the people of Kingston Ontario are proud, it’s the band which put their home city on the musical map.  The final show on the Man Machine Poem tour happened there, and it’s being commemorated with a stone monument in Springer Market Square, engraved with The Tragically Hip, A National Celebration, August 20, 2016 and  either People came from miles around or We danced the sidewalk clean, depending on the outcome of a survey which ended a couple of weeks ago.

But hold the phone — that’s not all.  The latest Easier To Read version of the phone book for Kingston, Gananoque, Napanee and the surrounding area features Gord Downie on the cover, sporting one of his shiny suits from the tour.  The second page of the directory carries information about the Gord Downie Fund For Brain Cancer Research, for which fans have so far raised more than $1 million.

Kingston Phone Book [Action Pages]

This particular tribute may have been predicted way back in 2012 by Jay Baruchel, who tweeted that “Gord Downie could sing the bloody phone book and it would be more meaningful and heartfelt than anything out there right now.”

Love, Dr. Scott James
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So Long, Pete Burns

Pete Burns [Pictorial Press/Alamy]

And yet another one leaves us far too early.  Pete Burns, lead singer for 80s goth new wavers Dead Or Alive, passed away yesterday after suffering cardiac arrest, according to his management.  He was 57.

“It is with the greatest sadness that we have to break the tragic news that our beloved Pete Burns of (Dead Or Alive), died suddenly yesterday of a massive cardiac arrest” was the message which appeared on Burns’ Facebook page.  “All of his family and friends are devastated by the loss of our special star,” the message read. “He was a true visionary, a beautiful talented soul, and he will be missed by all who loved and appreciated everything he was and all of the wonderful memories the has left is with.”

Burns gained notice in the late 70s as a member of the goth outfit Nightmares In Wax.  They released their only EP Birth Of A Nation in 1979, featuring the single Black Leather, before changing their name to Dead Or Alive.  After a series of singles, Dead Or Alive released their debut album Sophisticated Boom Boom in 1984, and one of the tracks, KC And The Sunshine Band‘s That’s The Way (I Like It) became a surprise hit.

That was followed by the Youthquake album, containing their biggest hit.  You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) went to number one on the UK charts and number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100.  It also returned to the UK charts at number five in 2006, after Burns’ infamous appearance on Celebrity Big Brother.

In later years, Burns was primarily known for his reality television work and his ever-changing appearance, rather than for his music.  He underwent numerous cosmetic surgeries, sometimes with less than optimal results.  “People redecorate their homes every few years and I see this as no different.  Changing my face is like buying a new sofa,” he said, after a series of surgeries left him almost unrecognizable.

Burns was the only constant member of Dead Or Alive, and had been touring under the band name right up until his death.

Love, Dr. Scott James
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Girl Scout Cookie Cereal

General Mills has announced plans for a Girl Scout cookie cereal.

It will come in two flavors, Thin Mints and Caramel Crunch. Thin Mints are one of the 12 Girl Scout cookie flavors. Caramel Crunch is not, but both cereals will carry the Girl Scouts brand.

General Mills said the cereal will go on sale in U.S. stores nationwide in January. No word yet if Canadian grocery stores will carry stock, or if you’ll have to do some cross-border shopping for the limited-edition cereal.