Category Archives: Music

Barbershop Metal?

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad

After posting a picture of my brothers and I for National Siblings Day, one of my younger brother’s friends posed the question, “So what does barbershop metal sound like?

barbershop metal

Who could resist a challenge like that. I found a great track on youtube by a fellow named Toby Ireland and his friends that would work for the vocals and built the rest around it. Enjoy!

The original youtube video can be found here

Ned’s Summer Ride

Ned’s Summer Ride

This summer, my friend and Four Season’s Vancouver Chef Ned Bell set out to cycle across the country to raise awareness about sustainable seafood. As he makes his way across the country, I thought he deserved a little tune of his own!

Here’s how it goes:

Let me tell you a story about a young fella named Ned

From St. John’s to Vancouver, he set to cross the land
His summer spent to spread the word, and take the task to hand
To raise awareness ’bout the seafood sitting on our plate
And start us thinking how to change before it’s far too late

The journey’s not all pedalling, there’s lots of dinners, too
As chefs across our country show what we can do
With what we catch and grow, there’s such a story to be told
That shows the bounty that our rivers, lakes and oceans hold

So wish him well and cheer him on, and share a young man’s wish
For clean and healthy waters, full of lots of tasty fish
Although he loves to ride his bike and keep his body lean,
Ned’s riding cross the country just to keep our waters clean

I’m tired just thinking about it

As Ned rides through your city, you’ll see he’s not alone,
Dad’s driving, Fin’s directing, with Kate and Max at home
The daily feed from twitter lets us all know where he’s at
And every night his facebook page has new pins on the map

And if you see him on TV, take the time to pause
and ponder your own food supply, a very worthy cause
And when you buy your seafood, think of how it’s caught,
Your dollar speaks in volumes each and every time you shop

So wish him well and cheer him on, and share a young man’s wish
For clean and healthy waters, full of lots of tasty fish
Although he loves to ride his bike and keep his body lean,
Ned’s riding cross the country just to keep our waters clean

What are you doing about it?

So as I play and tell the tale, I think of Ned’s long ride
But words are cheap, it’s actions that will keep his dream alive
It’s only going to happen if we think of how we fish
And spread the word to everyone about this fella’s wish

So do your part and make the point to ask before you buy
And do a bit to help to keep a healthy food supply
Cause everyone who knows just how important it can be
Will think of chefs for oceans from sea to sea to sea

So wish him well and cheer him on, and share a young man’s wish
For clean and healthy waters, full of lots of tasty fish
Although he loves to ride his bike and keep his body lean,
Ned’s riding cross the country to keep our waters clean

We’ll all be here to cheer him on, and share a young man’s wish
For clean and healthy waters, full of lots of tasty fish
Although he loves to ride his bike and keep his body lean,
Ned’s riding cross the country just to keep our waters clean

What did you have for dinner tonight?

Without a Hockey Game

Without a Hockey Game

Last fall, CBC had another contest for the “next great hockey song”. Always up for a bit of fun and a challenge, I wrote this song and got a few friends together at the studio to record  it one evening, and ended up as a collaboration between some good friends to bring life to an original song celebrating growing up in Canada and our national pastime! Thanks to all for contributing to the arrangement, and to Mo for providing the studio space to make it happen!

Even though we didn’t win the contest, we are happy to contribute to the energy that has come out of it in support of  The Hockey Project, an initiative started by fellow musician and contest entrant Larry Pegg, who is trying to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention issues through music and hockey, after losing his teenage daughter to suicide.

Here’s the lyric sheet so you can sing along!

Without a hockey game

From all the mornings tying laces before the crack of dawn
To sleepless nights before a game, anticipation going strong
The sound of the Zamboni doing laps around the rink
Clouds of breath in frozen air, the puck’s resounding clink

For every Stanley Cup won on asphalt with a ball
Where everyone’s a hero, one goal will win it all
Whoever puts it in the net will be a superstar
Only interrupted by the goalie calling “car”

No matter how old I become, it always stays the same
It wouldn’t be a Saturday without a hockey game

Hurry up and don’t be late, ‘cause I’ve been waiting all week long
Got the boys all coming over, going to cheer the home team on
Hurry up and drop the puck, we’ve got our favourite sweaters on
Cold ones in the cooler, yelling all night long

For every generation knows, the names we yell may change
It wouldn’t be a Saturday without a hockey game

To every kid that’s ever grown up north of 49
The sound of blades on ice is music that we all can recognize
From games of shinny on a pond to arenas under lights
Once the puck drops it’s the same sweet ballet every time

So now that I’ve got my own kids, the cycle starts again
To early mornings, strong hot coffee warming parents’ hands
Another generation’s turn to love the game we share
That brings us all together, no matter when or where

Whenever there’s a game on, no matter who may play
It wouldn’t be a Saturday without a hockey game

No matter if you’re young or old, it’s always been the same
We couldn’t call it Canada without a hockey game

What would we do on Saturday without a hockey game?
We couldn’t call it Canada without a hockey game

We couldn’t call it Canada without a hockey game

Playing on the track:

Dennis Green – Guitars, keyboards

Lyle Longridge – Vocals

Annabelle Addems – Vocals

Bruce Baker – Bass

Steve Piana – Drums

Waiting for the 25

Waiting for the 25

I was coming home later than normal from a speaking engagement, and was incensed when the #25 bus I needed to catch to make my connection home stopped, let a few passengers off, and then didn’t open the front door to let me on. Logic says that if a few people get off your bus, one more should be able to get on and still be at the same capacity or less. This was about the third time in two weeks that I had some sort of hiccup in transit service coming home late, when my bus only goes every hour. After a couple of angry tweets to TransLink customer service they sent me the link to their online complaint form. I took one look at it and decided it would be much more cathartic to write a song while I waited, finally making it home 2 1/2 hrs later. By the time I arrived I had the the backing tracks recorded on the iPad and the lyrics written:

I stand. I wait. The bus. Is late
So tell. Me why. He drove. On by.
I see. It’s kind. Of full. In there.
But in. The back. There’s lots. Of air.

Now I’m going to wait because of the 25!

Would it. Be hard. To take. A sec.
And ask. That folks. Step back. To let.
One tired. Old guy. Get home. On time.
And not. Be stuck. An hour. In line.

Waiting for another bus because of the 25!

So TransLink please, help me understand
Why every time it’s late I have to change my plans

I think it makes sense to commute
And try to help not to pollute
But every time that I’m delayed
I ask myself “why”, then I say

I’m waiting one more time because of the 25!

I see. A bus. It stops. This time.
As full. As one. At half. Past nine.
This guy. He asks. The crowd. To make.
Some room. For us. Cause “Folks, it’s late”.

Finally on my way in spite of the 25!

So see. It was. Not all. That hard.
To think. Of those. Who buy. A card.
To ride. The bus. And pay. Your wage.
And not. Just shrug. And drive. Away.

To leave me standing staring at the rear of the 25!

So TransLink please, help me understand
Why every time it’s late I have to change my plans

So as I stand and wait I’ll fill
Out a complaint, or better still
I’ll take the time to write this song
To help me vent bout all that’s wrong

Waiting late at night because of the 25!
Next time, though, I think I have to drive

Punk Chocolate

Punk Chocolate

This is a funny little tune. After a great afternoon of conversation and an event with the regional sales manager for Barry-Callebaut, I was riding the bus home and this song idea popped in my head. An homage to chocolate from the chef`s perspective. For most of us, we try everything new that comes out, but often return to the favourites we have used over the years. Mark is a fan of 70`s and 80`s punk and rock, so I thought a Ramones – Sex Pistols vibe would be a good choice, and I wanted to give a shout out to three of Vancouver’s finest chocolate and pastry wizards who are his local brand ambassadors/promoters!

Here are the lyrics:

Feeling like you need a little fire in the soul?
Take some beans, ferment them, roast them nice and slow
Press them to extract the liquor, conching takes some time
Building up those flavours as complex as vintage wine

Some sugar, some flavour get you almost all the way
For purists there’s no lecithin, to each his own I say
White or milk is creamy, but the darker you can get
Bittersweet sensations fill the craving good as sex

Some swear by Valrhona, Lindt or Cluizel
Others want a fairly traded boutique taste or smell
For me, I’ve tried them all, but always seem to go
Back to what I’ve used forever, Greg and Peter know

Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut
Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut
Ask Chocolate Mark, he’s always in the know
Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut

Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut
Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut
Chocolate Mark will tell you all you need to know
Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut

When chocolate hits your fancy, don’t eat that compound crap
Full of oil and garbage, without all that classic snap
Chocolate’s more than powder, and should be delicate
Needing careful handling to make it exquisite

Properly in temper, like a woman it can be
All that you can handle, but impossible to leave
An open canvas waiting for creativity
From those who treat it well and with some dignity

Some swear by Valrhona, Lindt or Cluizel
Others want a small plantation’s special taste or smell
For me I’ve tried them all, but always seem to stay
With what I’ve used forever, just ask Christophe and he’ll say

Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut
Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut
Ask Chocolate Mark, he’s always in the know
Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut

Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut
Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut
Chocolate Mark will tell you all you need to know
Callebaut or Cacao Barry, Cacao Barry, Callebaut

Now that’s chocolate
Real chocolate
Good chocolate
Punk chocolate!