June 2021


Yeeesh! I fell behind here a bit this month and am a few days late on my post! I had planned on writing everything last weekend but the weather was so nice in Saskatoon and I just couldn’t find the time to stay in and get my list made up. Euro 2020 has also been consuming my life now that I have an allegiance to a team (Auf geht’s Deutschland!). Better late than never!


SHARON VAN ETTEN & ANGEL OLSEN – “LIKE I USED TO”

I feel like every month I am telling you about another “song of the summer”, but right now this is my jam. Two heavy hitters in the indie/alternative music scene join forces to bring us a gem. I admittedly have never been a huge fan of their solo work, but if you jump onto any other music blog you will hear people going bananas over these two. I remember Jay Onrait writing about Angel Olsen’s song “Woman” from her 2016 album MY WOMAN saying it was this slow burning song that really starts rocking around the midway point before falling off again. I circled back on that album too and it’s definitely growing on me. “Like I Used To” is another one to turn up loud when the sun is shining. Each voice is distinct but both fit perfectly as they weave back and forth from lead to backup . This makes me feel like I’m stuck in a summer montage on MTV. These women rock, plain and simple.



WILD PINK – A BILLION LITTLE LIGHTS

I saw this band a while back on KEXP’s Youtube channel. I don’t know much about the band, but these are good background summer tunes. I put this on often lately when I just need some music that I can let run and not think about. “The Shining But Tropical” has a Death Cab for Cutie vibe at times. Also, I just noticed that Annie Murphy from Schitt’s Creek is in this video. If you haven’t watched that show you should do so immediately. 



WHITEHORSE – MODERN LOVE 

I’ve missed a few opportunities over the years to see this Canadian duo and then I instantly regret it when I hear people talking about the shows. I’ve listened to this album a lot recently and I keep finding something new in it each time I listen. There will be something for everyone in at least one of these songs. Do you like drinking ice cold drinks on the beach? Put on “Relic In The New Age”. You want to relax at the end of a long day? “Radio Silence” will calm the evening jitters. My favourite right now is “Liar Liar”. I like the eclectic little guitar and the chorus is catchy as hell. 



THE VACCINES – WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM THE VACCINES

In September 2017 I took a solo trip to Croatia. In many ways that little trip altered my life. I learned some things about myself, I met my now girlfriend, and I got out of a low point emotionally. I had written a journal while I was there and I dug that out this week to give it a little read through. One of the things I wrote about in my first couple days was having lunch in this little place in Zagreb called “Goodfood”. I was sitting at a bar seat against a window that faced the pedestrian, cobblestone street. I remember feeling proud of myself for making a plan to go solo somewhere and then making it happen. I also remember being embarrassed that I could only speak English when I went up to order my food. Luckily most Croatians speak English too. As I sat at my seat and watched the well dressed people walk by outside, I keyed in on the song that was playing in the shop. It was “Post Break-Up Sex” by The Vaccines. I vividly remember the smile that put on my face. Since then I have always tried to focus on music being played in restaurants, clothing stores, etc. This album still holds up for me and is perfect for summertime. It’s upbeat and has that British pop-rock feel to it. “All In White” was the first song I fell in love with but you can easily put the album on front to back.  



EDOARDO VIANELLO – “GUARDA COME DONDOLO”

Have you guys watched Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” on Netflix? In the second season somewhere, his Italian love interest puts this song on in the kitchen for them to dance to. WARNING: this is an Italian pop song from 1962. I understand that this is likely not everyone’s cup of tea, but there is no way you can look me dead in the eyes and tell me that this doesn’t make you smile/laugh/feel something happy. There are some mornings where I put this song on the second I know Jessi is fully awake. Not her favourite alarm clock. I don’t even know what he is saying but I love it. Edoardo, I hope you are sitting on some lovely balcony in Tuscany drinking $1000 bottles of wine. You deserve it.. 



Rhett



JUNE 2021

  • SHARON VAN ETTEN & ANGEL OLSEN – “LIKE I USED TO”
  • WILD PINK – A BILLION LITTLE LIGHTS
  • WHITEHORSE – MODERN LOVE
  • THE VACCINES – WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM THE VACCINES
  • EDOARDO VIANELLO – “GUARDA COME DONDOLO”

Nick Coburn


Rhett: Another month has gone by in the blink of an eye. Now that it’s getting nice out I’m finding the days are flying by!

This month my guest is another member of the Coburn clan. I don’t know if anyone consumes more music than Kelby and Nick combined. Always looking for something new, but also well versed in the old. Nick was always a musical influence on Kelby and I growing up. Whether it was throwing on one of Boyd’s Megadeth albums, letting us pound away on the drum kit set up in the basement, or introducing us to Motion City Soundtrack (“The Future Freaks Me Out” and “Capital H” were maybe my favourite songs of 2003). Name a music genre and I bet Nick enjoys it. We have continued to bond over the years in that love of music and our appreciation for the little details in songs not just the track as a whole. I’ve always admired Nick’s ear for things.

Nick has also dove into the world of photography and I’m super excited for you to see what he has paired up for us here! His attention to detail in music comes through in his pictures as well. I’ll stop writing. Move on to the good stuff!


Nick: When Rhett asked me to contribute to his blog a few months ago now, I thought, “how hard can it be?” I love music, I love finding new songs and artists and with now with Spotify, I especially love the fact that I can experience a band’s entire discography and discover old music that I never knew existed.  From the complexity of my blog below, you would never guess that I’ve been working on this for a month now but alas, I most certainly have. 

It’s not easy to nail down significant albums on a whole that have really impacted my life. And it’s also not easy to write about the ones that have hit you the right way. The last 18 months haven’t been overly heavy for new, groundbreaking releases, but there have been quite a few gems come out of the pandemic. 

Childish Gambino’s “3.15.20” was one of the first I remember hearing when Covid hit last year and that album was, and still is, on high rotation for me. I won’t talk about it at all as it speaks for itself so take that in if you haven’t already.

The following are not necessarily brand new by any means but have found a special place in my audio arsenal over the last year. 

Along with my selections, I have chosen some photos to accompany the music. I have taken photography more seriously over the past 12 months and have some work that I am very proud of that I’ll share along with my musical choices for you. My hope is that you may listen to these songs and albums, watch the videos attached and view my photos and enjoy them all for as long or as little as you wish. 

Thank you Rhett for asking me to participate in your project. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog posts over the past few months along with your selected guest bloggers. I hope to make a valuable contribution to your snapshot in time. 


SYLVAN ESSO – “WITH”

I have been a big fan of Sylvan Esso since their debut release in 2014 – The electronic pop duo has a very powerful sound, catchy chorus’ and unique beats.

“With” is a live album and youtube video/doc project released in April of 2020 and is simply fantastic. They gathered with a collection of close friends (musicians) and recreated previous songs with their newly formed 10 piece band. They gave each song a unique spin and delivered a live performance for the ages. It is truly an auditory and visual experience that will engage you from start to finish. It is essential to listen to loud and when you have the free time, please take in the visual performance on youtube for an additionally cathartic experience. 


THE STAVES – “GOOD WOMAN”

Another group I have been following for many years since they first started making music back in 2012, The Staves are an Indie Folk trio of sisters from England. Jessica, Emily and Camilla have the ability to harmonize with each other in a way that will simply send chills down your spine. An erie, gorgeous, powerful sound comes through that will absolutely bring pleasure to your ears. 

Along with this newest album, please check out their singles “Dead & Born & Grown”, “Winter Trees”, “Eagle Song” and especially if you take nothing else from my selections, “BLOOD I BLED”. It could be one of the most chilling songs I have ever heard. So delicate, beautiful and powerful at the same time. Harmonies, horns, strings and beats that will certainly give you chills. 

They also have a cover of a Springsteen classic “I”M ON FIRE” that will blow the doors of the original. 

“GOOD WOMAN” is their latest release and third studio album and it is wonderful front to back. Every song is unique and has a different feel from their previous records. The title track “Good Woman” is catchy and great in its own way. The second track “Best Friend” has a unique beat, beautiful harmonies and excellent lyrics. The third track of the album “Careful, Kid” is my favourite. Another completely different beat and overall sound, they just make it work really well. 


LUCY DACUS – “HISTORIAN”

I have only recently stumbled upon Lucy and she is right up my alley. A completely different sound with a deeper monotone voice. Her songs are usually long and have multiple layers. Take for example “NIGHT SHIFT”, a 6:31 long tune that basically has 4 different songs all melded together. It starts off slow and steady, evolves throughout and features some epically grungy guitar that you would never expect from the way the song begins. I have to listen to that one start to finish every time it comes on. 

With another Springsteen Cover, Lucy recreates the classic “DANCING IN THE DARK” in her own way and brings a nice, new sound to this pop classic. Big fan of this one too! “Timefighter” is another great tune from her Historian album that starts off slow and builds to a strong rock ballad. 

Lucy has a brand new single just released May 20th, “VBS” which is a typical Lucy slow jam with a really cool sound and then after the bridge busts into a hard grungy guitar riff before going back in a slow, gentle finish. “Hot & Heavy” is another nostalgic tune if you’re digging Lucy Dacus.

While looking into Lucy a little further and checking out all of her music, I found a 6 song EP called “boygenius” that is a combo record by Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker. Looking forward to going through that one front to back a few times over. 


PAUL CAUTHEN – “MY GOSPEL” & “ROOM 41”

Paul has 2 studio album releases so far and I can’t pick a favourite. Both are fantastic. Paul fits into the new age, old style country genre if that’s a thing. He aligns with the likes of Colter Wall, Willie Watson, Lillie Mae, Margo Price, Orville Peck, etc. 

Paul is a Texas boy who started out playing with the group Sons of Fathers from 2009-2014 before they split up and Paul decided to go out on his own. With a highly religious upbringing, Paul mixed his gospel roots with his love for country. His songs are unique, catchy and his baritone voice echos through with great conviction. 

His first solo record “MY GOSPEL” was an 11 song LP released in 2016 and is wonderful from front to back with a great mix of slow and two steppin country tunes. 

“SADDLE”, “LET IT BURN” and “AS YOUNG AS YOU’LL EVER BE” are my top three from this album. 

*nice little cameo from Shakey Graves*

After a couple years of playing bars and touring, Cauthen slipped into a dark place and began a heavy period of alcohol and drug use. His 2019 album, “ROOM 41” is a reflection of this dark time.  This album is another great mix of slow ballads and catchy dancing tunes. 

The title track and Cauthen’s most popular to date is “COCAINE COUNTRY DANCING” which is a cool, catchy new age pop country song. “PRAYED FOR RAIN” is great song that hits close to home coming from a farming family and community. “LAY ME DOWN” is a powerful song that can hit home depending on where you are in your life. 

I’m a big fan of Paul’s sound and look forward to him putting out another record soon. I have had tickets for the Under the Big Sky festival in Whitefish for two years now. Paul Cauthen was one of the acts scheduled for last year and due to Covid, like everything else, the 2020 festival was cancelled. Paul has been secured for this years festival in July and my only hope is that the restrictions will loosen, the border will open up and we can head down south to see Paul and many other wonderful acts perform in the beautiful White Fish area. 


RIVAL BOYS – “ANIMAL INSTINCTS”

I wanted to bring up an old album that still resonates today. An album that I feel was lost in time. 

“Animal Instincts” was released back in June of 2014 – a 10 song debut album from the indie rock trio from Toronto. 10 unique songs all with a wonderful sound. 

7 months later, after a brief stint touring their debut album, Rival Boys made a collective decision to go their separate ways and pursue other interests. 

I remember playing this album on high rotation when it first came out. It was a fantastic selection that was just a lot of fun to put on and listen from start to finish. Quality musicianship, great vocals and catchy riffs made it one of my favourites. 

Their cover of Wolf Parade’s “I’ll Believe in Anything” is so awesome and unique from the original. I didn’t realise it was a cover until a few years later so it was even more of a surprise later on down the road to piece that together. 

I have found myself reaching back and throwing this album on lately. Brings back some great memories and still holds its own today. I can only dream about what other great music they would have made had they stayed together. Go check it out if you haven’t heard of them already. 


SON LUX – “Lost it to trying” and “A different kind of love”

One last group that I would like to share with you if you haven’t heard of them already is SON LUX.  They are an extremely experimental band who are completely unique from anything else I’ve heard. Several albums, tons of singles & remixes and now migrating into the movie soundtrack world, SON LUX are a group of incredibly talented individuals who will make you appreciate every sound they make electronic or otherwise. If you’re into this type of music of course! 

Please check out these two songs and peruse the rest of their catalog if you dig it!

“Lost it to Trying”
A release from back in 2013. So good!
“A Different Kind of Love”
A beautiful visual from their latest release 2021

Thank you for taking the time to read, listen and look at my piece of Peanut Butter & Jams. 

I’m looking forward to the evolution of this blog from a one of kind, heart of gold, voice of an angel, stunningly handsome SOB, Rhett Kirk. Love, Love. 



Like PB & J – Nick Coburn

  • SYLVAN ESSO – “WITH”
  • THE STAVES – “GOOD WOMAN”
  • LUCY DACUS – “HISTORIAN”
  • PAUL CAUTHEN – “MY GOSPEL” & “ROOM 41”
  • RIVAL BOYS – “ANIMAL INSTINCTS”
  • SON LUX – “LOST IT TO TRYING” & “A DIFFERENT KIND OF LOVE”

May 2021


Happy warm weather days! It’s the perfect day to sit outside, go for a bike ride, lounge in the park, and listen to some music. I’m pretty happy with the new music that is coming out lately, but it’s been hard for me to hold back on albums that aren’t fully released yet. Hope you like what I’ve got for you this month. Can’t wait until everyone gets vaccinated (please go get vaccinated!) and we can all meet up and listen to these together! Life’s a garden, dig it!


BELLA WHITE – JUST LIKE LEAVING

If you do anything today, please go listen to the track “Just Like Leaving”. I’ve basically had it on repeat for the last month. Even if you aren’t a fan of bluegrass/folky music I think this will appeal to you. This 20 year old, Calgary, AB born and raised gal is just a pleasure to listen to. Her voice is soothing with just the right amount of twang to it. I’m a sucker for harmonizing and she does this perfectly in the chorus with her bandmate. Jacey Fossum, if you’re reading, this one is right in your wheelhouse! With the likes of Colter Wall, Belle Plaine, Kacey & Clayton, Bella White, and many more, I would argue that Western Canadian artists are leading the world in this americana/folk/bluegrass genre. And if you missed it the first time, she’s only 20 years young! There will be much more where this came from in the coming years!



PUNCH BROTHERS – THE PHOSPHORESCENT BLUES

Listening to Bella White also spun me back into some other bluegrassy things I used to listen to. One of the main ones was the Punch Brothers. Anyone ever watched the movie “Inside Llewyn Davis”? It’s a movie starring Oscar Isaac based around a folk singer trying to make his way in the world and navigate the changing popular music scene. The sound track is a mix of old folk songs and new stuff written for the film. It features Oscar Isaac himself, but also Marcus Mumford, the Avett Brothers, and the Punch Brothers. This is where I became familiar with this band. There are Youtube videos of a soundtrack concert where they sing an a cappella version of an old Irish folk song called “The Auld Triangle”, which I love (linked below). If Hoja or Streetnix would have performed this in the Climax School Gym in elementary school my head might have exploded (It’s hilarious how often I connect with people over having had Hoja and Streetnix perform at my school growing up! haha). My other two favourite songs are linked below as well. If nothing else, stick around to hear Chris Thile play the mandolin. Again, even if you don’t like bluegrass music, this is simply amazing musicianship. 



BRISTON MARONEY – SUNFLOWER 

Switching gears now and getting right into some upbeat alt-pop in my list this month. I stumbled across this album in my regular iTunes browsing and I’m happy I did. Supposedly this guy was on American Idol in 2013, which surprised me a little based on how indie this sounds to me. Now you can all pretend to be Randy Jackson and give it a “that’s gonna be a yes/no from me, dawg!” This is good weather music. “Sinkin’” is my current song for leaving work.



THE BLACK KEYS – DELTA KREAM

I was going to put girl in red – “if I could make you go quietin this spot, but the more I listened to her lyrics I felt like I couldn’t relate to the sexual problems of a 22 year old Norweigan gal. So instead, I settled on something right back in my wheelhouse. This one is hot off the press so I haven’t had a tonne of time to digest it yet, but I can assure you this will be heavy in the rotation over the next while. I had the pleasure of seeing these guys at Lollapalloza in 2012 with my friends Fossum and Shaun. It was one of the most memorable concert experiences I’ve had thus far. I thought it was cool how Patrick Carney, the drummer, was positioned right at the front of the stage beside Dan Auerbach, not at the back where the drummer normally sits. I loved how this gave me a better view and appreciation of what he was doing (The Rural Alberta Advantage does this set up as well and their drummer, Paul Banwatt, is incredible to watch). This will be a great summer time bluesy soundtrack for everyone. Turn it up! 



BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN – BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN

Let’s keep rolling with our regularly scheduled programming. A suggestion to me from the music guru, Eric Anderson. After casually forming this “supergroup” at a music festival run by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National), Bonny Light Horseman decided to formally join forces and record a full album together this past year. Anybody else wondering what the hell a bonny light horseman is? After a quick search I found that it formally refers to the nimblest, most handsome rider in the cavalry (put that one in the Jeopardy memory bank!). It is also the name of an age-old folk song from the 1800’s, which is track #1 on the album. I’m a sucker for beautiful vocals, simple acoustic guitar, and some piano. I think this one is a slam dunk for most people. 


MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA – THE MILLION MASKS OF GOD

I mentioned this album in my last post, but it is now released in its entirety. Please go back to it and listen to the rest of the songs! Also, watch the music video for “Telepath” below. How beautiful/sad is that? It has a similar theme to Jason Isbell’s “If We Were Vampires”. I love how the characters dance from start to finish and that it is filmed as one continuous shot. Creativity at its finest.  


Rhett



APRIL 2021

  • BELLA WHITE – JUST LIKE LEAVING
  • PUNCH BROTHERS – THE PHOSPHORESCENT BLUES
  • BRISTON MARONEY – SUNFLOWER
  • THE BLACK KEYS – DELTA KREAM
  • BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN – BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN

Dillon Currie


Rhett: I’ve got a real one this month, folks! I am very excited to get Dillon to write a piece for me this month. He is a guy who most certainly has his finger on the pulse of the music world. A front man in a rock band, a singer/songwriter, a family man, and the owner of one BEAUTIFUL head of hair. He’s a creator of great songs himself but also just a lover of music at the core. 

I’ve known Dillon for many years now, both being from small town, southwest Sask. We were even dorm mates at a hockey school in our younger years. While we don’t see each other often anymore, I always admire that when we do he takes the time to say hello, have a chat, and often remembers some little details about what I’ve been up to. For a guy who could easily have his head in the sky, he’s as grounded and kind as they come. Salt of the earth. 

I wanted him to lead us through the current changing of the seasons and I’m thrilled with what he came up with! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!


Dillon: This last winter lingered longer than most. I don’t know or particularly care if that’s true in terms of seasonal norms in the region, but I do know that, to me, it felt DAMN long. I’ve grown up having busy winters—travelling and competing in years and years worth of frigid prairie hockey games; touring and performing across the mountains and through the Canadian shield regardless of the road conditions; skipping from one family Christmas in the southwest to the next in the southeast. Traditionally speaking, winter is a busy time of year for someone like myself. Of course, this last year was (and I know this is a colossal understatement) different—in so very many ways. In many ways, it felt like we had less—less time with friends and family, less opportunity to travel, and certainly less toilet paper in the aisles of our local grocery stores; however, one thing I do know that I had MORE of was free time, and a lot more time with myself. So Rhett, go ahead and play Time by Hootie!—just kidding. Hang with me here.

So, you know that feeling near the end of a scheduled pause, maybe it’s a holiday or a school break or a destination vacation (remember those?!…swoon), where you’ve overindulged in almost EVERYTHING that’s bad for you, you’ve had little to no responsibilities for the majority of that time, you’ve devolved into a whisper of the parent you were at the start of the break (effectively rendering your children feral), and you’ve just had enough of doing ‘nothing’? 

OK…maybe that got a touch specific for most, but I think you likely know what I’m TRYING to say here: WINTER WAS LONG AND SOUL SUCKING. So much so that, after a considerable spell spent deliberating with myself on whether spring was even real anymore and yearning for sunshine, I realized that due to the circumstances we find ourselves in, it may just be the first time I’ve really had the down time to see Spring clearly—in its entirety and for what it really is. 

I was born in April and so, as a kid, I always connected with spring simply because of that—I liked that it was the pretty and hopeful season, but now I see it’s a lot more complex than that, and it’s really more like me than I thought it was. What I mean is, despite the convincing pitch, spring does not always come as advertised (and if you live in Canada, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s actually pretty filthy at first until the street sweepers get out). 

Like myself, and if you humour me and we imagine spring as a person for a moment, I think it’s fair to say that Spring is not always a morning ‘person’. It can be a groggy, miserable wreck of a thing—one that hits snooze a few too many times before it finally rolls out of bed. One that does so knowing full well that it’s off to a late start and may need to skip the shower, but gets up and out the door anyways, and (eventually) gets back to work—extra-large coffee in hand.  If that’s not admirable, I don’t know what is. 

Spring is really just like all of us. It’s ugly and it’s beautiful. It’s tired and it’s hopeful. It’s…well…before I start reciting Alanis Morissette lyrics, let’s just agree to celebrate that inherent dichotomy, and enjoy a few dandy tunes while we’re at it.



Half Moon Run – How Come My Body

Half Moon Run was one of the last live ticketed events I was fortunate enough to attend before the live music business, and the rest of the world, effectively shut down—and what a show it was. I had regrettably missed them a few times throughout previous tours due to bad excuses, but the last time was an unexpected cancellation on their behalf. They had played Regina the night prior, and then proceeded to cancel the remaining dates of the tour, leaving the Saskatoon show to be rescheduled (thanks a lot, Regina). Sorry, I just had to get that jab in there. Anyways, when they returned the following year to Saskatoon, I was finally able to catch them live, and the show was unbelievable—the energy, the musicianship, the sound was all basically perfect. I would seriously not recommend missing them if you ever have a chance to attend a show. Since that show, they have been busy and have released several EPs, as well as one to be released later this year. The first single is ‘How Come My Body’—a succinct, vulnerable, gorgeous teaser of what’s to come. I chose to share it not only because its been on repeat for me the last few weeks, but also because it highlights those awkward, uncomfortable stages of growing up, much like the turmoil we see from spring so often. In a recent interview with Exclaim!, Half Moon Run’s frontman Devon Portielje described that difficult metamorphosis we as people endure as we transition from adolescence to adulthood to be at the heart of this beautiful little song, and that’s a sentiment I imagine Spring could empathize with if, you know, it had a body.



My Morning Jacket – Spinning My Wheels

MMJ is an all-time favourite of mine. I love EVERYTHING they do, and so I was thrilled when they released The Waterfall II last Summer and I had some fantastic music to help me cope with the limitations of our newly-adapted lifestyle. A year later, this heart-wrenching song certainly resonates with me now more than ever. Back in late November of 2020, much to my surprise, I wrote a Christmas song (see ‘Staying Home This Christmas’) and like a lunatic, I decided to write, record, and release it in a matter of a few weeks—so December WAS busy. After Christmas, however, with the ensuing lockdowns and the heightened risks of travelling, it became clear that I wouldn’t be finishing the full album, which I’d been working on writing since last spring, anytime soon. Making an album always takes more time than one would expect, but in a world where so many things are currently at a stand still, I must admit that I had hoped to be able to put more time into recording these songs at this point. Alas, it just hasn’t been in the cards, and reaching that one-year point since I began writing has certainly been a wake-up call. These lyrics really do speak to my feelings, and perhaps the feelings many of us are having as our plans and goals continue to reside in limbo for the time being:

“I held white snow in the palm of my hand
And watched it turn back into water again.

Just spinning my wheels, just spinning my wheels, just spinning my wheels

Gotta find a way out—A way out of here.”

Perhaps the most impactful part of this song, however, is its idyllic resolution. In the end, the narrator chooses a path of hope rather than defeat by vowing to look towards a new day instead of dwelling on his troubled past. May we all go forward with such grace this spring! Have a listen:



Plants and Animals – Flowers

I like to think I’ve chosen to share this little gem not only because it’s called ‘Flowers’ (although, I must admit that’s probably what brought it to mind), but primarily for the undeniable spring feel the song has. Again, this song is equal parts lovely and melancholy. Somehow, the constant refrain “Oh, we’ll all be together, or we’ll never be together again” has the power to provide hope and despair in the same breathe, and it seems to me to be a mantra that is all too real for today and the world we presently find ourselves in. 



Foxwarren – Sunset Canyon

It’s no secret: I am a massive Andy Shauf fan. I think he’s one of the best songwriters in music—period. The fact that he is also a small-town Saskatchewan boy is really just icing on the cake. Much like his solo catalogue, his work with the band Foxwarren is brilliant. Their self-titled 2018 record is a staple in my personal record collection, and one I strongly encourage you to have a full listen through if you haven’t yet. Paired with a serene, nature-themed music video featuring Busy Philipps, ‘Sunset Canyon’ is a laid-back, introspective tune which pairs nicely with a nice spring walk or jog.  



Hannah Cohen – This Is Your Life

Speaking of Andy Shauf, I had the pleasure of seeing Hannah Cohen support him at Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon a few years back, and I became an instant fan. Accompanied by her band and the exceptional Sam Evian, who also produced her wonderful album ‘Welcome Home’, she has an absolutely pure voice and is not only an entrancing performer, but a gifted songwriter as well. Her song “This Is Your Life” is the first track on the aforementioned record and was an easy choice for this list. In keeping with the theme of waking up and going for it, this track is about taking action, taking risks, and creating your own destiny in the face of adversity—an apt message for those who are looking for some extra motivation this spring! 



Said The Whale – Wake Up 

This song is about—you guessed it—waking up!  With chants of ‘Wake Up’ and the persistent refrain, ‘Time makes all things fall together. Time brings all things together’, it’s a perfect anthem for springtime and for waking up my boy every morning for school (I don’t do this, but I may start). There is a slow-growing energy and drive to this one which takes you on an interesting sonic adventure, to which I say, what a way to start the day! Check out the video below to see Said The Whale’s very own Ben Worcester making what looks to be a delicious pot of coffee in a French press, not unlike the one I use most mornings…when I wake up early enough, that is. 


My Morning Jacket – Spring (Among The Living)

These guys clearly were meant for this blog, and I clearly couldn’t help but include another atmospheric banger like this from them. This one is a slow burn but worth the ride and an obvious choice. Check out these tailor-made lyrics:

“Boy, I was ready. Boy, I was ready for spring. Its beauty changes—changes everything. Done hibernating. We animals roam out of our holes. Then we spend all spring looking for the next one to go down.”

“Among the living. Among the living again. Out in the light of day’s warm embrace. What a gift!”

What a gift, indeed! With all the figurative examples I’ve used today to exemplify spring and what it means to me, I think this is a nice tone to end on: literal AND positive. Despite all the work I’ve put into making the case that spring is not all rainbows and flowers, when it comes down to it, it’s undeniable: spring really IS beautiful, growing pains and all. It just is–and I wish you all the very best one yet!



Dillon



Dillon Currie

  • HALF MOON RUN – HOW COME MY BODY
  • MY MORNING JACKET – SPINNING MY WHEELS
  • PLANTS AND ANIMALS – FLOWERS
  • FOXWARREN – SUNSET CANYON
  • HANNAH COHEN – THIS IS YOUR LIFE
  • SAID THE WHALE – WAKE UP
  • MY MORNING JACKET – SPRING (AMONG THE LIVING)

April 2021


How’s everybody doing? It took me a little time to get my list compiled this month but hopefully you can still find something you like here! I’ve had a few crazy weeks at work so it was nice to sit down and try and put another post together! Throw on some headphones, brew your favourite coffee, and take a stroll!


CHET FAKER – “GET HIGH”

Last month I said I wanted to join a horn section. Scratch that. I think I will now dedicate my life to learning piano so I can play this intro. I’ve already put in some serious work on the air piano version and am close to mastery. My early candidate for anthem of the spring/summer this is just pure catchy goodness. Put it on early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or well into the evening. It plays well no matter the mood. 



CHET FAKER – “LET GO”

Another top play right now from Nick Murphy, AKA “Chet Faker”. I love the simple bass line that leads the way from the start. This is an earworm that occupies my mind long after I turn it off. “Just because I feel low right now / It doesn’t mean all that I’ve got has run out” seems like advice we could all use these days. A little daily affirmation for your week ahead. 



SLOW LEAVES – “FEEL IT TOO” 

I mentioned my emotional tie to Slow Leaves in my yearly review, but bias aside, I think his two new singles are just great tunes. Grant Davidson is a great songwriter. I’m someone who listens to full albums rather than playlists of handpicked songs from various artists. The uniqueness of each song keeps me interested when I listen to his. I like “Feel It Too” because it is a little moody (there is a baseline moodiness to his music) and more set up for a full band, which strays a bit from his more acoustic work. The guitar chords have a somewhat Spanish sound to them which I like and that little reverb thing in the intro makes me happy too. 



SLOW LEAVES – “STICK AROUND”

And just like that we are back to a softer acoustic track from Mr. Davidson. If you like dad humour you should also check out his instagram. It is filled with self-deprecation and awkward selfies. The video for “Feel It Too” will give you a good sample of what to expect. It makes me laugh quite often. Just that alone makes me want to support this guy. 



PARKER MILLSAP – BE HERE INSTEAD

I’ve got a story for this one. When I was living in Swift Current in 2017 I got invited by some friends from home to go out to Shann and Ray Gowan’s farm for a BYOB concert. They have a beautiful little spot right on the creek and set up a big fair tent, which they also used at the Long Day’s Night Music Festival in town. Parker Millsap was the entertainment. It was a wonderful, warm, summer evening and the whole thing had an amazing intimacy to it. There might have been 60 people there total, which made it feel like a private concert. We had our cooler and chairs set up at the back so if you needed a refill it was only a quick reach away. The picture above is from that night looking at the back of the tent. I will always remember Fossum and I stepping outside the tent at the midpoint break for a leak and we see the violin player violently puking at the other end of the canvas. For a guy that was either extremely drunk or quite ill I wouldn’t have guessed based on his on stage performance. 

His newest offering was just released this week and I am already a big fan. It’s a good mix of all the things I like. “Rolling” is a perfect song to get you into it but my current favourite is “Vulnerable”, which makes me think of old orange carpet and people smoking inside. I love the line, “Sometimes your meekness / isn’t a weakness / sometimes a whisper says it all”. Go listen to his album The Very Last Day as well. I always play “Hands Up” when I’m hitting the road on a trip somewhere. Makes me feel like I’m a man on the run. START THE CAR!



Rhett



APRIL 2021

  • CHET FAKER – “GET HIGH”
  • CHET FAKER – “LET GO”
  • SLOW LEAVES – “FEEL IT TOO”
  • SLOW LEAVES – “STICK AROUND”
  • PARKER MILLSAP – BE HERE INSTEAD

Nathan Jones


Rhett:  He’s back folks. I’ve mentioned before what a talented, creative guy Nathan is and it would be a disservice to you all to not have him contribute on here regularly. His art, which I wanted to showcase here, is the main reason I came up with this idea of pairing a song and a picture in the first place.

I don’t know anything about photography, but there is something about the style of picture that he takes that I love. It is the type of photography that I want to put on the walls of my home and in the book on my coffee table. Pair this talent with his witty comments and you have one hell of an instagram follow. Just copying his pictures into this post got me excited for you all. My favourite thing is his ability to turn the simple and mundane into something beautiful. There is a real knack to that.

In another edition of Like PB & J, I’ve asked Jones to pair a picture he’s taken with a song he likes. The rest was open to interpretation. Enjoy.

PS. – there are links throughout the post, so don’t forget to click on those if you want to explore some more!


Rain dogs by Tom waits

Nathan: A while back I was listening to Rain Dogs by Tom Waits, which I usually do when I feel the need to connect emotionally to a deranged sewer rat who is crawling out of the gutter with his boxing gloves on, ready to take on the world and win (which also brings up Ready to Win by Tokyo Police Club vibes). Waits’ music to me inspires a gritty confidence, not tied up in an effortless and perfect delivery, but a tenacity and willingness to endure. I’ve pondered whether one can capture that same kind of emotion in photography and what it might look like.

With modern cameras it is easy to shoot a photograph that is technically on point, but I find emotion often to be wrapped up in the mistakes, out of focus, double exposures, pan focus, gritty subjects. It’s an ongoing practice to eschew easy beauty in search for gritty truth, but I would argue that Bruce Gilden’s photography embodies this ethos to an extreme degree, as do Danny Clinch and Mary Ellen Mark. This photo often reminds me of that energy.


American wedding by gogol bordello

This photo may just be an excuse to push Golgol Bordello on people, because I think they are a blast and high on my list of bands to see. I shot this portrait in Georgia, as this guys offered us vodka out of his cut off bottle cap after a ski run. He didn’t speak any English, but he seems like the kind of guy who would be annoyed at the lack of vodka at an American Wedding. Dig more into GB’s catalogue if their phrase “gypsy punk” gets you going.  


Buckaroo Man by dave stamey / The Yellow Stud by Chris LeDoux

The Wood Mountain Stampede was the first rodeo I shot (thanks to my buddy Ashton Lehman), and has a significant impact on what I’ve been interested in shooting the following years. The speakers crackled the same rotation of songs over the weekend, with Buckaroo Man and The Yellow Stud sticking out, distilling the essence of the rodeo into song. Dave Stamey has a catalogue of really fun cowboy songs if that happens to be your flavour, and worth kicking your boots up to. Through both song and poetry, cowboy culture has a long history of storytelling. Its seeming suspension in time also lends itself to photography in many ways. Check out Kurt Markus or Joseph Haberle for some great western lifestyle photography.


What keeps me up now by benjamin tod / Somedays (I don’t feel like trying) by the raconteurs

I shot this photo during a pretty low period of my life and to me it sums up how I felt at the time. The ability to recognize that there was a world out there, but the inability to see it or process it correctly.

A couple of tunes that remind me of that period are What Keeps Me Up Now and Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying). I think both touch on processing and trying to deal with your demons and the days where you don’t really feel like keeping on. On the plus side, science says that listening to sad music makes you happier. 


bald butte by colter wall

A large chunk of my inspiration for shooting photos comes from rural landscapes and finding ways to look at the prairie landscape with a new lens. A little known Saskatchewan singer, Colter Wall, has a few tunes that pay homage to the prairie landscape in a way that makes me nostalgic for the place I still live. Bald Butte specifically paints a beautiful picture of the south, with its rolling grass hills and expansive skies. 


This is my prairie by corb lund / Edna by ellen froese

There are few songs that sum up growing up on a farm to me as much as This is my Prairie and Edna. My introduction to photography was getting a little Olympus point and shoot and wandering around the farm and snapping shots of everything that seemed interesting. That upbringing has continued to influence my work, as shooting my grandparents while they are still on the farm has been an ongoing project. “This is My Prairie” touches on stewardship to the land and reminds me of the frustration that my Grandpa had watching trees that had been across the road since he was a kid get brushed. Edna is the heartbreaking tale of a couple that move off the farm and wrestle with the end of certain family farms. 


Adrianne lenker

Everything Adriene Lenker does seems to have an ephemeral and ineffable quality about them, seeming to wisp around your eardrums and tease emotion out of you. I have too many photos of clouds, flowers and grass collecting digital dust somewhere, shot because the moment seemed right and never revisited. Here are a few. Would recommend listening to the song while lying in the tall grass, letting it dance around your head as the clouds slowly march past. Photography, I think, in its simplest form is the act of noticing. Adriene makes me want to slow down and breathe in what’s around me. 



Like PB & J – Nathan jones

  • RAIN DOGS – TOM WAITS
  • AMERICAN WEDDING – GOGOL BORDELLO
  • BUCKAROO MAN – DAVE STAMEY
  • THE YELLOW STUD – CHRIS LEDOUX
  • WHAT KEEPS ME UP NOW – BENJAMIN TOD
  • SOMEDAYS (I DON”T FEEL LIKE TRYING) – THE RACONTEURS
  • BALD BUTTE – COLTER WALL
  • THIS IS MY PRAIRIE – CORB LUND
  • EDNA – ELLEN FROESE
  • ADRIANNE LENKER

March 2021


While it seems awfully premature to say this out loud, I think we may have made it to the early days of warmer weather and BBQ’d steaks. Longer days and the sight of sidewalks emerging from the snow has been a real mood booster for me. The changing of the seasons also has me thinking of brighter music. Get outside and feel that fresh air in your lungs people!


WAXAHATCHEE – SAINT CLOUD

My current “sunny days ahead” soundtrack. Waxahatchee, named after a creek in Alabama, lays down some light and catchy tunes perfect for this time of year. I like that it is upbeat and bright but still a little restrained. Like a volcano waiting to erupt, you can feel it building but not to the point of explosion. It mimics my cautious optimism towards spring weather. I can hear Katie Crutchfield pushing her voice to the edge of her range in songs like “Fire”, but she always keeps it just within her limit. This constant testing of her boundary is entertaining for me. I have cycled through the songs “Oxbow”, “Can’t Do Much”, “Fire” and “Lilacs” a lot this last week. Does anything scream spring like the smell of lilacs? This is also another beautiful album cover for leaning up against your record player. 



MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA – THE MILLION MASKS OF GOD

When I first started learning guitar I loved the song “Colly Strings” by Manchester Orchestra. I used to play the intro over and over again because it was simple, which let me sing over top without focusing on the guitar. From there I was always interested in their albums. Simple Math in 2011, Cope in 2013, and A Black Mile To The Surface in 2017 were all top plays for me. I never really know what basket to throw them in genre-wise. Each album sounds so different to me. Some have heavier rock, some have haunting vocal tunes, and the first song released on this upcoming album has an electronic rock feel to it. I’m excited for more of these songs to be released.



MIDDLE KIDS – TODAY WE’RE THE GREATEST

It’s 9am, I’m having my first coffee of the day and am looking out towards the river watching the ice slowly melt. I throw on Middle Kids’ “Cellophane (Brain)” to give me a little spark and get me moving for the rest of the day. It’s feel good music that goes down easy. I also really love the little horn parts in the song “Questions” (Note to self: learn a horn instrument and join a horn section). It’s gonna be a good day folks!



WALLOWS – REMOTE EP

Is anyone still listening to the band Matt and Kim? When I first heard this band it instantly reminded me of them. Pretty eclectic and lots of pop. It reminds me of my early high school days. It’s music that I don’t spend too much time thinking about, I just put it on for something happy, energetic and different. You know the Netflix show, “13 Reasons Why” that sparked some suicide awareness talk? Dylan Minnette, the male lead, is one of the founding members of this band. 



MARCUS KING – EL DORADO

When I heard the first song on this album,”Young Man’s Dream”, I couldn’t stop thinking about how similar his voice was to James Vincent McMorrow’s (Go listen to “We Don’t Eat” and let me know if you agree!). Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys produced this album and you can certainly hear that influence in songs like “The Well”. If I had one word to describe this collection of songs, it would be: soul. I just love the sound he has found here. “Wildflowers & Wine” makes me want to join a gospel choir, throw my hands up in the air, and do that back and forth choir shuffle that you see in the movies. Also, this cat can really play the guitar! If nothing else, just focus in on his guitar for a while and get mesmerized. Eat your heart out, this guy can do it all. 



Rhett



MARCH 2021

  • WAXAHATCHEE – SAINT CLOUD
  • MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA – THE MILLION MASKS OF GOD
  • MIDDLE KIDS – TODAY WE’RE THE GREATEST
  • WALLOWS – REMOTE EP
  • MARCUS KING – EL DORADO

Winter Songs – Eric Anderson


Rhett: My friendship with Eric started out different than most. He moved to the southwest in my grade 10 year and became my high school English teacher. While I likely can’t give you a full synopsis of The Chrysalids or Julius Caesar (Beware the Ides of March, am I right?), I did learn some things with Eric at the helm. Most importantly, I learned that listening to music could be a hobby all on its own. Up to that point, music was either something you learned to make yourself (ie. learn an instrument or take singing lessons) or a background soundtrack to other things I was doing. But Eric treated it as something more than that. He was going to live shows, travelling to watch bands he liked and to check out different venues. He had a sound system set up in the classroom and he always had an “Album of the Week” written on the board that we were able to put on while we did work. Band posters from the likes of Wilco, Broken Social Scene, and Neko Case covered the classroom walls.  He knew about the bands, he had their vinyl at home, and he likely had a beer stained t-shirt in his closet from their most recent concert. 

Since moving on from teaching a year later Eric and I became good friends. From Mr. Anderson to Andy. He is one of the first people I text when a band I like is coming to town and we often (before COVID) meet up at the record store to do some perusing before heading to a pub for a beer. Almost every time we go Eric buys an extra record and then gives it to me once we get outside. He is a wonderful, cheerful, generous person and I can’t wait for you to give his piece a read! I’ve asked him to focus on the theme of “Winter Music” as we start to wind down on another season. (PS. Check out Eric’s podcast “YXE Underground” wherever you listen to podcasts!)


Eric: I think winter lends itself to getting to know an album better because we are in our homes for weeks and months on end. What else are you going to do when it’s minus 40 outside? I mean, you could watch Netflix or read a book or assemble a puzzle I suppose, but isn’t taking a record out of its sleeve, dropping the needle on your turntable and getting cozy with the liner notes sound way more enjoyable? Awkward silence…

Ok, maybe it’s just me, but I have been listening to a lot more albums this winter and so I feel adequately prepared to suggest a few songs that I think lend themselves to Saskatchewan winters. 

Just a quick note before we dive in. I’m a big believer/dork when it comes to the sequence of songs so I hope you’re able to enjoy these songs in this order!



The Weakerthans – “Sun in an Empty Room” from the album, ‘Reunion Tour.’

Winnipeg bands understand the importance of a cold winter. It’s a time to write, rehearse and record music and The Weakerthans are one of that city’s best exports. This is one of my wife’s favourite songs and she especially loves the line, “Know the things we need to say – Been said already anyway – By parallelograms of light – On walls that we repainted white.” At our old house, we would open the front door on chilly days to let in streams of light through the screen door that would instantly warm up the kitchen and provide perfect napping spots for our dog, Fred. John K. Samson sure knows how to write a memorable line. 



The Constantines – “Soon Enough” from the album, ‘Tournament of Hearts.’

When the NHL season was cancelled in 2004/2005, curling was thrust into the Canadian sporting spotlight and served as the inspiration for The Constantines’ third album. Tournament of Hearts is a fantastic album by one of our country’s most amazing live bands, and this song makes me think of winter as Bry Webb sings about a gentleman hoping his future daughter will one day win Canada’s national women’s curling championship. It’s a great song about a great sport performed by an incredible band.



Gord Downie – “Retrace” from the album, ‘The Grand Bounce.’

There’s a great line in this song from Gord Downie’s third solo album where he mentions a snowy basketball court and it always reminds me of the basketball court behind my childhood house in Swift Current. It was full of snow and yet the rims were just waiting for kids to come and shoot layups. You could also see the footprints of every neighbourhood kid walking across the court on their way to school. Downie sings about retracing his steps, which I think lends itself to winter as it offers us time to reflect. This song is gorgeous and comes near the end of a really adventurous album from a gifted artist. 



Leif Vollebekk – “Big Sky Country” from the album, ‘Twin Solitude.’

One of the last concerts I saw before the pandemic was Vollebekk at Saskatoon’s Broadway Theatre as part of the Winterruption Festival and he put on an amazing show. This song from his 2017 album paints a stunning photo of wide-open prairie skies wrapped in the warm, mellow sound of keys and drums. It begs to be enjoyed with a glass of brandy beside a fireplace. 



Radiohead – “Give Up The Ghost” from the album, ‘The King of Limbs.’

Since you’re already by the fireplace, enjoy this stunner by Radiohead. Full disclosure, Rhett could have asked me for a list of songs relating to pretty much everything and I would find a way to incorporate a Radiohead song. Songs about cats? Myxomatosis. Songs about existential dread? Climbing Up the Walls. 

In this case, Give Up The Ghost sees lead singer Thom Yorke tapping into his love of Neil Young for an acoustic slow burner that shows off his incredible voice. Bonus marks for the birds singing at the beginning and end of the song. I may have become a backyard birder this winter. My wife is thrilled. 

Also, this song comes from an album that I think is criminally underrated within Radiohead’s discography. I love The King of Limbs and after four or five listens I think you will too.



Interpol – “Hands Away” from the album ‘Turn On The Bright Lights.’ 

This song sounds cold in the best possible way. The way the band’s guitars sound so steely and distant makes me think of a vast winter landscape and when the synthesizers fade in…it’s just perfect. It’s frigid, desolate and over in just under three minutes. If only our winters were that short. 

Also, this is one of my Desert Island Albums. Please listen to it on headphones. 


Sarah Harmer – “Washington” from the album, ‘Oh Little Fire.’

This is one of my favourite songs from Sarah Harmer (who I had the pleasure of interviewing once when I worked for CBC Radio and she is delightful. I also once took a bus from Prague to Amsterdam to see her live and still have the photo of the two of us in my office. Yeah…I love Sarah Harmer).

The back story is a group of Harmer’s friends drove from Ontario to Washington for President Obama’s inauguration in 2008 but she decided to stay behind. Harmer has this gift of placing listeners right in the middle of a story and this is no exception. She lists the reasons why she chooses to stay home while her friend braves the winter weather on his way to America’s capitol.

“Cause the fire needed tending and the windows are so wide. Sometimes I feel I’m in the world when I’m looking from inside. I will pack down the snow, make a path to the road and thing of the long ride. I hope you don’t need snow tires through the Pennsylvania night.”

Sarah Harmer…A national treasure.


The Deep Dark Woods – “The Winter Has Passed” from the album, ‘Yarrow.’

This song may be a little on point but it’s really gorgeous. Ryan Boldt’s deep baritone makes you grateful for making it through another winter and the hope that comes with spring. There’s something hypnotic about The Winter Has Passed, which is found at the end of a fantastic album. The chorus has great harmonies and listening to it now reminds me that it has been four years since this Saskatoon band has released new music. I hope that changes soon. 


Thanks again to Rhett for asking me to choose some of my favourite winter songs! 

Eric



Winter Songs

  • THE WEAKERTHANS – “SUN IN AN EMPTY ROOM” FROM THE ALBUM, ‘REUNION TOUR.’
  • THE CONSTANTINES – “SOON ENOUGH” FROM THE ALBUM, ‘TOURNAMENT OF HEARTS.’
  • GORD DOWNIE – “RETRACE” FROM THE ALBUM, ‘THE GRAND BOUNCE.’
  • LEIF VOLLEBEKK – “BIG SKY COUNTRY” FROM THE ALBUM, ‘TWIN SOLITUDE.’
  • RADIOHEAD – “GIVE UP THE GHOST” FROM THE ALBUM, ‘THE KING OF LIMBS.’
  • INTERPOL – “HANDS AWAY” FROM THE ALBUM ‘TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS.’ 
  • SARAH HARMER – “WASHINGTON” FROM THE ALBUM, ‘OH LITTLE FIRE.’
  • THE DEEP DARK WOODS – “THE WINTER HAS PASSED” FROM THE ALBUM, ‘YARROW.’

Kelby Coburn


Rhett: When I started planning this blog in the beginning I didn’t think I would be able to sustain the writing for very long on my own. I also recognize that I have a bias toward certain genres and styles. I hoped that people would be able to read this and not just hear my voice and opinion, but get some different points of view. I didn’t want to exclude the people that don’t exactly like my taste either. Music is such a subjective thing and that’s what makes it great. So I devised a plan to task some friends with a job that I could supplement my posts with. I liked the idea of making the posts more visual than the ones I contribute as well. So this lead to the idea of pairing songs with pictures. I have a few gifted photography friends and I thought it would be interesting to showcase their photos but also let them think of their own work in a different way as well. Like PB & J will be a collection of photos taken by the writer and paired with a song that they think of when they see it, or vice versa. 

My first thought for a friend to start this was Kelby. One of my oldest friends and right at the top in terms of creative minds in my circle. Always willing to step outside the box and never afraid to like something that makes him happy even if others don’t. His musical tastes are as wide as the Sahara and it is something we have always bonded over. In recent years, his passion for photography has also become evident. I’m excited for you all to see these two passions meld together – like PB & J.


Kelby: When Rhett first approached me with his idea I thought it was a brilliant one! When he asked me to write my own section of the blog, I panicked and said yes. I had no fucking clue what to write about or how to start. After several weeks of procrastination, here I am writing.

As some of the readers might know, this past year I have jumped deep into photography. I remember sitting at my computer desk last year around December. I looked over at my shelf and saw my dusty camera sitting there lonely. It is the same camera I used in the past for my lifting vlogs. I just looked at it for a bit, staring at it, waiting for an answer. I thought to myself, “I could attempt to start vlogging again, but no, that shit is too much work for something that doesn’t fill a gap in my life.” Vlogging is fun and all but it never really filled the creative hole I’ve been yearning to fill since I finished high school. So I picked up my camera, snapped a photo of myself and uploaded it to my computer. Once the photo was on my computer, I remember thinking, “I wonder how to edit this the proper way?” You know, like actually edit each component of a photo and not just click a couple buttons on my phone. So what do I do whenever I want to learn something? YOUTUBE UNIVERSITY!

Since that day, I have continued trying to improve my photography and taking it one day at a time.

So! Now that you have the cliff notes on my photography, I figured it’s time to get to the point. Why you’re all here, reading this blog (ps, first time writing a blog, so any feedback is great feedback!). MUSIC! Rhett challenged me to write about the photos I have taken and how they correlate with songs that I love. I spent a fair amount of time on this and tried to figure out how to best pair songs and photos together. But to be honest, I couldn’t figure anything out because I don’t really have any songs that inspire my photos or any photos that remind me of a song up to this point. 

What I am going to do for you guys is a little different and yet, the same. For about the last 18 months, I have tasked myself to make a new Spotify playlist for each month. I add any new song that tingles my ears and along side that, I’m also pushing myself to do something similar with photography. I make new folders for each month and keep all of my favourite photos in them which I think is the same way my brain folders are organized!

I am going to choose a song from each of these playlists and folders of 2020 and take a little trip down memory lane! Join me if you’d like!

Side note: If you would like to listen along to the songs as you read through this, it will enhance your blog reading experience!


JANUARY 2020

Butterscotch by Robotaki ft. Jamie Fine and Falcxne

THE START

Ok, to start, my musical tastes are all over the fucking place. I love everything from rap to metal, folk to EDM, Golden 50s to Hollywood scores. I heard a quote from Donald Glover that resinated with me, “The weirder the song, the more I like it”. TOO TRUE! 

I remember snapping this shot of an old school that is still in great condition. I had just spent New Years in Saskatoon with a bunch of my good friends and on my trek back home, I wanted to get some cool pictures around Saskatchewan Landing.

I hadn’t ever spotted this school before while driving on highway #4. I immediately pulled over, whipped down the back road and got the shot. 

I know photography seems as simple as pointing the camera at a subject and pulling the trigger but there is so much more to it. Emotion is a huge factor that plays into a good photo. What you are feeling and how to project that feeling through your work only comes with time. Which is where music comes into play as well. 

Great Tune = Great Mood = Great Photo.

I think that math works out? I only failed math every year in high school. Where is Ms. Calcutt when you need her?


February 2020

Circles by Mac Miller

The month I went on one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on, followed by the world shutting down a week after we got home. My Father, Grandfather and I decided to trek from Sask all the way to Arizona. Along the way, we attempted to see as much scenery as we possibly could. We saw what Montana, Idaho, Utah and Arizona had to offer. I will never forget this trip. Not only did I get to spend all of that quality time with my Father and Grandfather, but the experience to see all of those new scenic areas was amazing. Experiencing different cultures and seeing how people live in completely different circumstances as myself peaks my interests. 

SK 2 AZ

By far the best place out of the whole trip was Page, Arizona. We spent about 2 days there and we got to see Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Marble Canyon, Etc. Page has more than enough scenery to offer, which means I am definitely heading back there one day.

I think being able to see all of this and experience all the different cultures really opened my eyes and mind. Which is something I feel like I have been lacking ever since Covid-19 has taken over the world. But more on that to come….


MARCH 2020

Sunny’s Time by Caribou

THE MONTH THE WORLD WENT TO SHIT!

My birthday month! AKA the best month out of them all! Until 2020 showed up.

All while the rest of the world was going crazy over Covid, my little world really didn’t change much. Where I live, I keep to myself a lot of the time anyway and I spend my “spare” time learning more about photography and shooting photos. I watch hours of youtube videos trying to learn as much as I possibly can. That is how I operate. When I become interested in something, I am obsessed with it. I put 100% of my focus into it and surround myself with what I am interested in. 

With all the knowledge I had recently gained, I ended up printing my first photo and it was such a satisfying feeling I might add. Seeing a printed photo that I worked towards capturing will always be one of my favourite feelings. It’s just funny that my first print was a complete fluke; right place, right time!

It was sunset and I decided to head out to get some photos. I drove north to the Frenchmen valley, hopped out by the river, walked down to the water and set up my tripod. After I got everything set up, I looked up and saw a flock of geese flying overhead. “Oh cool, geese”, I remember thinking. I reached down and snapped the shot not thinking it was going to be much but when I got home and looked at it on my computer, I completely fell in love!


APRIL 2020

Marijuana by Chrome Sparks

In April I must have learned about how to utilize reflections in my photography because I captured A LOT of reflection shots. I’m certainly not mad about it either because a reflection can up the ‘banger’ factor by a boat load!

In conjunction with my song choice, one thing I wanted to touch on with this write up is Marijuana. I have never really come out about my cannabis use in a public forum before and this blog seems to be a good place to do so! Prior to the Covid pandemic, I smoked a lot of weed.

MORE REFLECTIONS

I love weed for a million different reasons but most of all, it sparks creativity. Marijuana paired with with a lot of alone time can be the perfect storm for a wasted day. If you know going in that you are using it to help spark some creative work, it can be wonderful.

To be completely honest, I’m high as I write this. I find my brain trying to find different avenues to navigate on how to express things. I feel like living where I live and how I was brought up, my brain was set to “default” if that makes any sense. Weed helps me clear my default settings and create my own settings.

Just wanted to get that off of my chest!


MAY 2020

Lattice by Minnesota

Not really at all but did I get your attention?

May of 2020 was a special month for me because it was the first time I ever tried Mushrooms. Now I know what some of you are probably thinking. “All this fucking guys wants to talk about is his drug use???”. I wouldn’t talk about it if it wasn’t beneficial to me in some way. 

I AM A DRUG ADDICT NOW!!!

I have always been intrigued by mushrooms and what the experience is really like. I have asked people I know who have tried them before, “So, explain to me what its like?” Most of the answers I got were that its hard to explain or that its something you need to experience for yourself. I never understood why someone couldn’t explain it to me, until I tried for myself….

HOLY DINA!!!

I have never experienced anything like it in my life. I ate some with a few friends of mine that I really trust (which is very important if you’re thinking about trying them). Long story short, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. While we were high, we were all sitting together listening to music and I remember feeling pure bliss. I was so happy with the sounds that were coming into my head and how I felt at the time, but most importantly, I felt so happy that I got to experience it with my friends that I love dearly. I ended up crying because I felt such pure bliss and didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world except right in that moment.

Now I feel like that experience was important to me because I have never felt like that way before. I have never felt so happy to just BE. To be in the moment and enjoy what is happening exactly right now.

Ok, I’m done with the hippy mushroom talk now. The last thing I will say is don’t be scared to experience new things in your life. Be open to everything and do your research before you form a strong opinion. At the end of the day, memories and experiences are all we have and this, by far, is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had.


JUNE 2020

Goodie Bag by Still Woozy

June 17th, 2020 will go down in Climax history as one of the craziest lightning shows ever witnessed. 

I have absolutely no experience with lightning photography and still pulled this banger out of my ass! I remember this night like it was yesterday. I was sitting out in the rain with my camera on a tripod. I had a blanket draped over my head and camera while I was googling how to properly get lightning shots. Probably research that could have been completed before heading out into the rain but I digress. After spending 2 hours screwing around trying to get a good shot, I finally got this gem.

WHAT A LIGHTSHOW!

When we were kids, we used to go outside during thunderstorms and just watch the light show. Just sitting, not saying anything to each other and enjoying the weather and the company. Another one of those, ‘enjoy the moment’ moments. Every time I look at this photo, I feel a sense of those moments in time. Nostalgia. My favourite feeling!


JULY 2020

Retrace by Lusine

The year without baseball…

With Covid-19, our hometown baseball league had to be put on hold. Which sucks big time because that was my main source of exercise. 

In 2015, I decided it was time for the Cardinals to come back to Climax! With an absence from league play since 2004, we gathered a group of local boys from Climax and neighbouring towns. When I first started talking to people  around town about trying to get a baseball team back together and enter the league again, most people told me it was a waste of time. “Nobody wants to play. Nobody will take care of the field. Nobody will come watch. Nobody will support the team”. These are all things I heard through out those years and guess what? IT DID FUCKING WORK! THE FIELD LOOKS BETTER THEN IT EVER HAS! WE HAVE RAISED MORE MONEY FROM FANS THAN THE CLUB EVER HAS! AND IT HAS COMPLETELY REVIVED THE LOVE FOR BASEBALL IN OUR COMMUNITY!!

Sorry about that, I just like shoving it back in the haters faces sometimes.

With the lack of baseball this past year, our community has taken a hit. Our community takes pride in our togetherness. The Cardinals are a hub for everyone to come together, have a good time and participate in their community. These things are important to our small towns and we haven’t been able to experience this for quite some time now.

By the way, this photo is one of my favourite photos I have ever taken.

 


AUGUST 2020

Life by Cherub

A sense of pride I’ve never felt before

In August 2020, I got to stand beside my brother as his best man. We spent the weekend in Cypress Park with as many family members as were allowed at the time. I think in total there might have been 30 people there, which was absolutely perfect! The entire weekend had such a strong intimate vibe that carried smiles day in and day out. I have never been so happy for my brother. I see how happy Des makes him and how she pushes him to be a better person. She challenges him, all while being right by his side throughout the whole process. 

Nick and I have been through a lot of rough “relationships” in our life. Witnessing our parents split up at a young age put a lot of questions into a young boy’s head.

On top of that, we have helped each other navigate our own troubled relationships as well. Watching your own family member go through hard times is a big weight on your shoulders because all you want to do is fix it but sometimes time is the only cure. 

So why do I say “A sense of pride I’ve never felt before”?

Watching Nick stand up there and marry the love of his life made me feel the most pride I’ve ever felt. I have been there to see him through all the hard times and to now see him on such a high note, makes me feel very happy for him.

This song had a fun little tie in to this section. The song is all about trying to stay positive and not sweating the small things. Shit may get hard but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.


SEPTEMBER 2020

Bon Voyage by DROELOE

DARK DAYS

September was the start of some fairly dark days for me. Things in my life were kinda getting scrambled and the whole “pandemic effect” was starting to kick in hard. Having to stay home and not interact other people always seemed like a breeze before the pandemic, but being forced to do it starts to twist your brain up. Sitting at home alone with nothing but your thoughts for days on end can be rough for someone dealing with life issues. My relationship was in the dumps and work had been weighing on my shoulders for multiple months. It was almost the perfect storm.

I have dealt with depression in the past but this was the first time I could really see it coming. This may sound very strange to someone who hasn’t dealt with it before. Why don’t you just try to avoid it? Easier said then done. It is so hard to explain how depression develops in a person’s head and it can definitely vary from person to person. You start thinking negative thoughts and it just grows and evolves day after day and then you start to think it’s all because of you. It is a very toxic mindset to be in and talking to someone about it has been the only thing to help me.

I took a bit of a break from photography around this period. I don’t think I touched my camera for 3-4 weeks, which was very unlike me. I remember one random day I picked up my camera and took this picture of myself in the mirror. It was almost like a cry for help in a way as I wanted to show myself but still so scared that I hid behind my camera. 

All I can say is that I am very happy to not be in those dark days any more. Things still aren’t quite 100% yet but really, what is 100%?


OCTOBER 2020

Entropy by Ark Patrol

While still being in the depths of my depression and covid isolation, I finally got back into grabbing my camera more. I found myself trying to take more artistic photos in the moments of my life. I don’t know if it correlates with the state of mind I was in or not but I like to think that expressing myself in an artistic way while I’m feeling down helps. I feel like turning my murky thoughts into photos helps me understand myself more, if that makes any sense!

I think being able to relate a feeling to a photo or a song is definitely how my brain is wired. 

FOREVER FALLING

Take this photo for instance. I remember wanting to get photos of the new yellow leaves that were developing in fall. I wanted to get them falling in action to stop that moment in time. Catch a moment of falling, just like how I was feeling. I felt like I was always falling. 

Expressing myself like this makes me feel really good and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.


NOVEMBER 2020

Wait a Minute by WILLOW

HUNTING SEASON!

Every year when hunting season comes around, my father, brother and I get to spend a lot of bonding time together. We all love getting together around this time, scouting deer in hopes of harvesting a trophy buck each year. I value these days more than most because I love driving around with them, saying the dumbest shit I can think of trying to get them both to laugh. It’s times like these I will always look back on and cherish. The hunting is fun, but the company is forever.

One morning we headed out to scout and as we drove further west a thick fog dropped in on us and created this eerie look everywhere. We were driving down a dirt road when we popped over a hill and saw this beast standing up top. I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped this photo but after much deliberation, we decided to leave him for next year as he has a lot of potential for more growth.

I love how cool this photo looks. I named it “The Monster in the Mist”! And I’m so glad I will always have this picture to look at and remember this day.


DECEMBER 2020

Star by Machinedrum ft A$AP FERG 

Well it’s December! Christmas is here and 2020 is almost over. Something we have all been waiting for during the longest year ever. 

2020 was a huge year of reflection for me. I spent a lot of time with my thoughts and I found things out about myself I never knew before. I dealt with a lot of hard times and a few good. The year was filled with negativity wherever I went; work was negative, my relationship was negative and the world was negative. I found very little joy as the year went on but sometimes the bad can be a good thing to go through. 

2020 IS ALMOST OVER

Throughout 2020, I felt like I was waiting for things to get better. Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for my life to improve. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that I’m sick of waiting. I am sick of waiting for things to get better, so I’m going to fucking make them better. I am going to focus on what I am in control of and attempt to improve my own life any way that I can. 

Well, I hope you all enjoy my little trip down memory lane. It was very enjoyable for me to go through all these memories and reflect on how they have made me today. Before I go, I’m going to leave you with a little Kelby Coburn knowledge:

Life is a giant mystery. Everyone is trying to figure their own things out and navigate the best way they know how. Our society has built a strong ‘this against that’ mentality with everything now a days. It seems like you’re only allowed to be on on side of an argument or the other. But understanding the other side of the argument might be the secret to success.

Life is too short for us to be against one another. Working together will never harm progress. Ever.


Like PB & J – Kelby Coburn

  1. JANUARY 2020: Butterscotch by Robotaki ft. Jamie Fine and Falcxne
  2. FEBRUARY 2020: Circles by Mac Miller
  3. MARCH 2020: Sunny’s Time by Caribou
  4. APRIL 2020: Marijuana by Chrome Sparks
  5. MAY 2020: Lattice by Minnesota
  6. JUNE 2020: Goodie Bag by Still Woozy
  7. JULY 2020: Retrace by Lusine
  8. AUGUST 2020: Life by Cherub
  9. SEPTEMBER 2020: Bon Voyage by DROELOE
  10. OCTOBER 2020: Entropy by Ark Patrol
  11. NOVEMBER 2020: Wait a Minute by WILLOW
  12. DECEMBER 2020: Star by Machinedrum ft A$AP FERG 

February 2021


Hello from the icebox that is Saskatoon! Hope everyone is staying warm wherever you are. I’ve got another monthly piece for you to enjoy while you are keeping the fire place full of logs!


Mandolin Orange – My Brother, My Keeper

I’ve always got something a little folky in my repertoire. The North Carolina duo blends their voices perfectly and are so easy to listen to. This single pairs a deep bass line with bright mandolin notes and it works so well. The song kind of bobs along and reminds me of something that would be playing in the background of a whisky bootleg movie. If you want another good/sad song from them check out “Golden Embers”. It’s a song written about the loss of Andrew Marlin’s mother when he was 18. Again, just amazing blending of voices and harmonizing here.



Half Moon Run – The Covideo Sessions

This is a cool take on music during COVID. This whole album is a collection of their songs recorded all from separate locations where each band member is isolating. All of it is recorded in video too, so you can watch them all on Youtube as well. It’s funny to watch them relaxing in their homes but still finding a way to make music with their friends. It also gives you some of that live feeling of watching them play their respective instruments. They are actually one of the last bands I saw in concert pre-pandemic so listening to these songs makes me remember that time fondly. 



Slow Pulp – Moveys

This one might be a little too indie for some people. I will admit that it has a bit of that “hipster music” feel to it. But if you give it a chance there might be a couple songs that you like. There is something very 90’s about this but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. The song “Idaho” makes me think of The Cranberries a little bit, maybe? I would start with this song and then branch out from there if you are hesitant based on the start of my description. 



Kings Of Leon – When You See Yourself

Kings of Leon is a pretty safe pick every time. Before even hearing a song off of the new album you can pretty much count on it being enjoyable. The first songs that have been released are terrific. I love Kings of Leon, you love Kings of Leon, your dog loves Kings of Leon. It’s pretty simple. 



The War on Drugs – Live Drugs

I am admittedly not a huge fan of live albums. Do I think seeing a band live has something more than listening at home? Absolutely. Live music is something I am really passionate about. You get the imperfections and changes that you can only hear in the moment and I love the collective experience you get with others. But I’ve always found it odd when I fall in love with a song’s studio version and then hear it played slightly different on a live recording and think, “This just isn’t the EXACT same song!” or “They didn’t play that one part EXACTLY how I like it!”. I’ve said it before, I think The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding is one of my favourite albums of all time. It just seems like it is going to stand up to the test of time. Whenever I go back to it I realize how much I love it again and it continues to sound current. This clouded my view on the live album even more. So when I saw The War on Drugs – Live Drugs come up on my phone I didn’t even think to tune in. 

A couple weeks ago, I was talking to someone about missing concerts and live music. I suddenly found myself thinking about live albums as a fix. Remember Metallica – S&M, where they play with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra? My oldest brother, Jori, had that on DVD and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing since Stretch Armstrong. Seriously, go check that out if you haven’t or if its been a while. So back to Live Drugs I go. Boy, am I happy I gave it a second thought! It has all the things I like about my old favourite songs but it adds that element of something extra. The onstage improvisation has added value this time for me. I love listening to the crowd and I feel like you can really hear the way the instruments are being played individually not just as a sum of parts. Put on the song “Pain” and enjoy those guitar solos towards the end. They friggan slap. The War on Drugs is #1 on my list of bands to see in concert post COVID. Fitting for a pharmacist.



Rhett



FeBRUARY 2021

  • MANDOLIN ORANGE – MY BROTHER, MY KEEPER
  • HALF MOON RUN – THE COVIDEO SESSIONS
  • SLOW PULP – MOVEYS
  • KINGS OF LEON – WHEN YOU SEE YOURSELF
  • THE WAR ON DRUGS – LIVE DRUGS