Tuesday Tunes – Ari Hest

I first heard Ari Hest‘s sweet voice on a Paste Magazine compilation a few years back – the song was “They’re On To Me”:

In 2007, after getting out of a record deal, Ari came up with an interesting project: Every week for a year, he wrote, recorded and released one new, original song. I have to admire him for committing so fearlessly to such a huge, creative endeavour – I’m not sure I would’ve had the guts to announce my intentions so publicly! I’ve listened to many songs from the 52 project, and they’re impressive. You’d think pumping out so many songs in a short period of time would make for pretty mediocre results – but not so…

Ari does an awesome cover of my favourite song ever – Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah:

And finally, I’ve Got You:

Wanna hear more? Visit his website and click on the “See/Hear” button on the bottom right corner. Enjoy!

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Film Friday – Here’s Hockey!

What better way to celebrate the start of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics – Here’s Hockey, a 1953 short film directed by Leslie McFarlane, showcases Canada’s national pastime:

Taken from the NFB website:

Featuring Jean Beliveau, this short film focuses on hockey from the inside out. Known as Canada’s national pastime, this film demonstrates why hockey is such an exciting spectator sport. From east to west, the connection between fans and players is evident in the excited cries of “we’ve won!” From Pee-Wee to Bantam, from the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association to the big league pros, Here’s Hockey! shows what it takes to make a great hockey player.

My, how things have changed –

1952: The highest salary was paid to Jean Belliveau ($25,000)

2010: The highest salary is paid to Vincent Lecavalier ($10 million – only because no player can earn more than $11.36 million)

Tuesday Tunes – William Fitzsimmons

In the same spirit as Film Fridays, I’d like to share some of my favourite musical discoveries. Music has always been such an important part of my life. Thanks to my older cousins (who I greatly admired), at a young age I discovered the Bee Gees, Rick Springfield, CCR, Adam Ant, and so many others. To this day, I love finding new (or new to me) artists – if you read this blog at all, you’ve definitely noticed this!

My latest obsession is William Fitzsimmons, a most charming singer-songwriter living in Illinois. I only discovered his music a few weeks ago, but after downloading his latest album, “The Sparrow and the Crow“, I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. If I had followed TV shows like Scrubs and Grey’s Anatomy, I would have discovered him much earlier.

His regular posts on his Facebook fan page show a quirky, witty sense of humour (I actually look forward to his status updates). His bio is also quite fascinating.

He also has the soothing, haunting voice of an angel – not exactly what you’d expect from a guy with a Grizzly Adams-size beard.

He also does a fantastic cover of Go West’s “King of Wishful Thinking”:

Beautiful.

Film Friday – King of Blades

In honour of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics set to begin in a week, I’d like to present a short film from 1965 on figure-skating champion Don Jackson – King of Blades, directed by Stanley Clish:

Taken from the NFB website:

This short film presents Canadian world figure-skating champion Don Jackson as he makes skating history at Prague’s World Championships, and in Canada appearing as a star in the Ice Follies.