The Era Of Canadian Bacon Is Upon Me

October 2, 2011

It’s an exciting time to be alive and I’m not referring to the jetpacks, hovercrafts, teleporters and such.

No, it’s bacon.

Canadian bacon.

It’s not really Canadian Canadian bacon (which is, actually, back bacon) but American Canadian bacon (which was invented by McDonald’s).

I brought up the subject once with a Canadian friend and he dropped his head, shaking it slowly back and forth. Like the stereotypical Canadian, this fellow was polite and generally good-natured.

“That’s not bacon,” he sighed.

I’d seldom seen him so peeved as he was over this perceived sullying of the good name of Canadian cured meats.

I was moved by the fact that the rarely witnessed state of agitation had not been brought about by politics or religion, finance or romance, but bacon.

I doubt I had ever respected him more.

But, several weeks ago on the weekly trip for foodstuff, a yellow sale tag in the meat section of the store lured me like a siren’s song to Canadian bacon.

I’d never purchased Canadian bacon though I had enjoyed it on Egg McMuffins.

Now, I’m hooked.

No, it’s not bacon, but it is meat, enchanting stuff blurring the line between ham and strip bacon.

It isn’t the greasy chore to make like strip bacon is and it is the perfect size for an English muffin.

It’s pretty damned wonderous stuff.

(even Paloma, often a reluctant carnivore, is smitten)

Here four slightly random songs from Canadian acts…

Rush – The Body Electric
from Grace Under Pressure (1984)

By 1984, I’d begun to spend most of my radio time listening to album rock stations, of which I had a pick of perhaps half a dozen in our swath of the Midwest depending on the reception.

(if conditions were favorable – usually at night – I’d try to pull in the modern rock of 97X, instead)

So, I was hearing a lot of Rush, particularly their more-accessible, synthesizer-laden albums of the time like Moving Pictures, Signals and Grace Under Pressure. Sure, the stoners in band were most passionate about the band, but Rush was held in high regard by most of my high school classmates.

Though not essential Rush, the galloping The Body Electric had an android on the lam, binary code for a chorus, and a reference to a work by Ray Bradbury, making for a pretty groovy mix.

I Mother Earth – So Gently We Go (acoustic)
from So Gently We Go single (1994)

The Toronto-based foursome I Mother Earth will forever be, to me, one of the great lost bands of the ’90s and one that served as an introduction to me on the harsh realties of the music industry.

With a sound that fused elements of then-current bands like Jane’s Addiction and Sound Garden with Pink Floyd and Santana, I Mother Earth was also one of the most ferocious live acts I’ve ever seen.

(I think I tested Paloma’s patience when I obssessed over the band for a few weeks recently)

So Gently We Go appeared on the band’s 1993 debut Dig and here in a stripped-down version here that highlights a trippy stoner vibe that was often present in their music.

Kim Mitchell – Go For Soda
from Akimbo Alogo (1984)

Guitarist Kim Mitchell has apparently had a long and successful career in his native Canada, but the only thing I’ve ever heard is Go For Soda, a minor hit here in the States.

My friends and and I dug the song and it inspired a game we played often our senior year of high school. If we decided to “Go for soda,” the object was to leave school grounds, get to the Kroger supermarket (it was the closest food), and return in time to attend our next class with a bag full of snacks.

We had ten minutes

The Pursuit Of Happiness – I’m An Adult Now
from Love Junk (1990)

I was still in college when I first heard I’m An Adult Now and was greatly amused by the humorous take on growing up. It’s still a pile-driving, power-pop tour de force (produced by Todd Rundgren) that I adore, but the humour is a bit more gallows in nature now.

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Eating Bacon With Paul McCartney*

August 11, 2011

I’m not sure what I meant with this title. It’s simply something written on a Post-It note where I’ve scribbled ideas.

I do like bacon, though.

I sometimes believe that if the possible consequences of climate change included a threat to the supply of bacon – as opposed to less exciting possibilities like famine, strife, war, and environmental destruction – there would be a great public outcry here in the West.

There would be such an effort put forth to protecting our pork, it would make the Marshall Plan seem like putting together a model railroad countryside.

But eating bacon with Paul McCartney seems like a unlikely event as I believe that Sir Paul is a devout vegetarian. Would I be willing to eat tofu or some other non-bacon bacon to dine with a Beatle?

I do know that the titular phrase came from a comment during conversation between Paloma and me. I asked her if she recalled what I now refer to as The Paul McCartney/Bacon Conversation, but she claims no recollection.

I suppose it was a rather unusual conversation and it now appears to be lost forever.

(I saw something similar on an episode of Seinfeld)

This babble leads me to some songs by Paul McCartney, but I had to do a search to see if I had any bacon music. I have none.

(which is unfortunate)

As for Sir Paul, I must confess that I am most familiar with his post-Beatles’ hits and I should become more acquainted with the full albums.

Also, as my late dog’s vet is a friend of Sir Paul (as well as an old co-worker), the possibility of eating bacon with McCartney might not be so far-fetched.

Here are four songs by Paul McCartney…

Paul McCartney & Wings – Band On The Run
from Wingspan

Still one of my favorite songs of McCartney’s post-Beatle output. Band On The Run is a bit darker and less frothy than a lot of his stuff and it’s made darker still as I very much associate it with its use in the movie The Killing Fields.

Paul McCartney & Wings – Listen To What The Man Said
from Wingspan

I know McCartney got a lot of flack in the ’70s for putting out fluff. Do people toss Listen To What The Man Said into that bin?

Maybe it is fluff, but so is cotton candy. And who doesn’t love cotton candy?

Actually, I don’t. But, I do love this song. It’s charming, sweet, sunny, and utterly delightful. It’s hard to be bummed out if it’s playing.

It also makes me think of the summer of ’75 when Listen To What The Man Said is one song which I do remember hearing and hearing often at the pool.

Paul McCartney & Wings – Listen To What The Man Said
from All The Best

Let ‘Em In appeared on Wings At The Speed Of Sound and the All-Music Guide review refers to the song – as well as Silly Love Songs – as “so lightweight that their lack of substance seems nearly defiant.”

Substanceless defiance aside, Let ‘Em In reminds me of a childhood friend who had the 45. The only other 45 which I remember him having was The Pretenders’ Brass In Pocket which he mistakenly bought for the b-side, Space Invader, thinking it was a similarly titled novelty song about the video game which was popular at the time.

Paul McCartney – Take It Away
from Tug Of War

By 1982, music had become a major part of my life and Paul McCartney had reunited with the legendary Sir George Martin for his album Tug Of War. I was fairly ambivalent about the much-maligned Ebony And Ivory which was inescapable on radio during that spring.

I was equally ambivalent about Tug Of War‘s second single, Take It Away, when it proved inescapable during that summer. Looking back, the song was likely a bit too sophisticated for my undeveloped ears but now I can appreciate it as a delightful pop gem.


Eating Bacon With Paul McCartney

August 30, 2008

I’m not sure what I meant with this title. It’s simply something written on a Post-It note where I’ve scribbled ideas.

I do like bacon. I sometimes believe that if the possible consequences of global warming included a threat to the supply of bacon – as opposed to less exciting possibilities like famine, strife, war, and environmental destruction – there would be a great public outcry here in the West. (Hell, maybe it would even convince Sarah Palin that global warming is a threat).

There would be such a effort put forth to, literally, saving our bacon, it would make the Marshall Plan seem like putting together a model railroad countryside. It would have to be called The Homer Simpson Plan.

But eating bacon with Paul McCartney seems like a sketchy proposal. Isn’t Sir Paul a vegetarian? And quite committed to that venture? Because I don’t think I’d be willing to eat tofu or any other non-bacon bacon even with a Beatle. I would consider meeting him part of the way if we could agree on turkey bacon.

I do know that the title phrase came from a conversation between Paloma and me. I asked her if she recalled what I now refer to as The Paul McCartney/Bacon Conversation, but it didn’t seem to have made the same impact on her as me.

I suppose it was a rather unusual conversation. I’d just love to know why I was prompted to file the idea (there was a Seinfeld episode where Jerry had a similar mental lapse leading to a fateful trip to see Tor Eckman – “He’s an herbalist, a healer.”).

Obviously, this babble leads me to some songs of Paul McCartney, but I had to do a search to see if I had any bacon music. I have none (which is a bit unfortunate).

As for Sir Paul, I must confess that I am most familiar with his post-Beatles’ hits and I should become more acquainted the full albums. Also, as my late dog’s vet is a friend of Sir Paul (as well as my friend Michael), the possibility of eating bacon with McCartney might not be so far-fetched (so I’m glad I’ve given it some thought).

Paul McCartney – Silly Love Songs
Silly Love Songs is really the first McCartney song (aside from, of course, The Beatles) that I recall hearing. During the summer in which it was a hit (’75? ’76?), it seemed to always be playing over the loudspeakers at our local, public pool. Sure, it’s a bit flimsy, but it’s breezy and catchy and it makes me think of summer.

Paul McCartney – Let ‘Em In
Silly Love Songs and Let ‘Em In both appeared on Wings At The Speed Of Sound and the All-Music Guide review refers to the two songs as “so lightweight that their lack of substance seems nearly defiant.”

Substanceless defiance aside, Let ‘Em In reminds me of a childhood friend who had the 45. The only other 45 which I remember them having was The Pretenders’ Brass In Pocket which they mistakenly bought for the b-side, Space Invader, thinking it was a similarly titled novelty song about the video game which was popular at the time.

Paul McCartney – Take It Away
By 1982, music had become an increasingly important part of my life and Paul McCartney had reunited with the legendary Sir George Martin for his album Tug Of War. I was fairly ambivalent about the much-maligned Ebony And Ivory which was inescapable on radio during that spring.

I was equally ambivalent about Tug Of War‘s second single, Take It Away, when it proved inescapable during that summer. Looking back, the song was likely a bit too sophisticated for my undeveloped ears but now I can appreciate it as a delightful pop gem.

Paul McCartney – Band On The Run
Still one of my favorite songs of McCartney’s post-Beatle output (it is necessary to make that distinction, isn’t it?) A bit darker than much of his material, Band On The Run is darker still to me as I very much associate it with its use in the movie The Killing Fields