Bob Jonkman talks to Matt Burdett of Lost Faculty about his new single, Muddy My Mind, the sound he’s trying to achieve, the songwriting process, the ins and outs of music publishing, and his upcoming gigs.
This is the debut release of Muddy My Mind! Matt comes from Hamilton, Ontario, playing at the Corktown Tavern, Casbah, the Doors Pub, Mills Hardware, and Bridgeworks. Matt just completed his Master’s degree in Sustainability Management at the University of Waterloo. Tonight he’s off to play at the release party for Muddy My Mind at the Coach & Lantern Pub in Ancaster. Matt brought his guitar to play some other tunes that he’s releasing over the next few months, starting with Pieces.
Admiring Matt’s guitar, a graphite body with a maple neck. Matt’s a heavy-handed guitar player, that gets lots of volume out of the guitar. Pieces was the first song he wrote as a single piece. Matt cites Bob Dylan as an influence for this song. He didn’t have a title, until a woman in the bar called out “Call it Pieces!” Most songs come to Matt in pieces, not all in one shot. Matt likes writing both the music and the lyrics, being both McCartney and Lennon. Matt’s been performing as a solo act for only about five years. Matt’s going for the full band sound, working with Michael Keire at the Threshold Recording Studio in Hamilton, who has worked with big, guitar-driven bands, and gave Matt some pointers. Matt’s band on the recording of Muddy My Mind wasn’t his regular band, but a bunch of friends that played in The Bandicoots; three of them played on the track. Matt wants to play some venues in Toronto, and is looking to put together a show in Waterloo. Contact Matt if you can make it happen! Matt draws his songwriting influence from walking around downtown of the place he’s living. Matt introduces the next song, a preview of the next song he’s releasing.
Any Other Name was recorded at the same time as Muddy My Mind, Bob is looking forward to hearing the band version as well. Matt writes chord charts, tabs out some guitar licks, passes this to the other musicians: Andrew Parkinson on drums, Nikolai Kozel on guitar, Justin Ross on bass and vocals. Matt says it’s nice to play with people who are better than you, it brings you up. In February 2021 Matt drove to BC, tells stories of winter driving. It took five days to get there, but took his time to get back. He was working in Gibsons, BC, working on his degree remotely. Made lots of friends there, got good ideas for poems and music. But it might take three years for him to turn his ideas into music. Matt uses phone memos to record his ideas, playing into the phone. Matt is concerned about digital material being unavailable in the future, the pervasiveness of phones and technology. Matt will play a sad song to take our minds off it. Matt introduces A Man Escapes, based on French film he studied in University.
Matt’s songwriting includes combining two different narratives into one song, something he lifted from Phoebe Bridgers’s song Kyoto. One of the story lines in A Man Escapes came from Matt’s walk around the Hamilton Escarpment when he wasn’t having a particularly good day. The other came from driving along Highway 101, windows down, music blasting. Talking about developing finger picking skills. Matt’s been pushing his “band” sound, sometimes at the expense of songs like this, but there’s space for both kinds of sounds in the same project. Matt inventories his music room, it’s busy, it also has guitars from his parents. No drums, Matt prefers to leave that to the professionals. Does Matt have writer’s block? It comes and goes. Matt does most of his writing in the winter, and living life in the summer.
Bucket List has its chord progressions from doo-wop chords from the 1950s. Matt has been getting pigeonholed as an acoustic singer-songwriter, now he’s playing with a pedal board for a full sound, and even brought in a drummer once. He took Lost Faculty as the project name. It’s even the name of the band, even though there’s not a set lineup for the band. The switch from “Matt Burdett” to “Lost Faculty” should be complete soon. Matt uses TuneCore to distribute his music. Matt has been trying to learn the ins and outs of royalties, streaming rights, publishing, licensing. It’s hard to understand, and not get taken advantage of. New CRTC regulations should make CanCon qualifications easier for Canadian songwriters. Matt has been getting gigs more frequently since the name change to Lost Faculty. He e-mails, networks with bands, meets people, sharing a bill with friends. Matt’s playing at the historic Horseshoe Tavern on Monday, 6 February 2023, got by a cold e-mail and a link to the music; he regularly plays at the Coach & Lantern Pub, a pub gig so he plays lots of covers and mixes a few originals in. That’s where he started playing the Open Mics, now he hosts the Open Mics! Other gigs at The Casbah and Doors Pub, and the release party tonight at 9:00pm at The Coach and Lantern. If you want Matt Burdett of Lost Faculty to play at your venue contact him at email@example.com.
Matt Burdett plays us out while Bob gives the end credits.
CKMS Community Connections Hour One airs on CKMS-FM 102.7 on Monday from 11:00am to Noon, and Hour Two airs on Friday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.
Sadly we bid farewell this week to the genius singer, songwriter, and guitarist Tom Verlaine. He was the founder and driving force behind the groundbreaking band Television who reshaped music as part of the late 70’s NYC scene. This week’s show features some of Verlaine’s music. Hope you’ll enjoy and look up more of his stuff if it wasn’t already on your radar.
Learning more about Peter, and his 25 years with Kiwanis and giving back to the community. His involvement with service clubs has enabled him to travel. Recently Peter has rekindled his interest in music.
Different service clubs have their own objectives and origins. Kiwanis has existed for 108 years, started in Detroit, Hamilton had the first Canadian Kiwanis club. Peter has just moved to Ayr, wants to start a Kiwanis club in North Dumfries.
The Kiwanis slogan is “Kids need Kiwanis”, its purpose is to improve the lives of children around the world, starting in their own communities. The ideas come from the communities where the clubs are. There is still a Moose Lodge in Kitchener. “Kiwanis” is a First Nations name, meaning “We trade”.
It’s not just about providing services, but there’s also the social aspects of the club. Even today there are gaps in services that Kiwanis fills.
Peter tells us about the “Fallen Sparrows” foundation, raising money for families with disabled children. Peter calls these experiences “Kiwanis moments”.
There are 17 countries in the Eastern Canada and Caribbean district, including the tip of South America.
Peter tells of the world-famous Kiwanis music festival. Elvis Presley was a Kiwanis “Key Clubber”, the student-led organization of Kiwanis.
Peter is setting up a new Kiwanis club in Ayr. The community is expanding. This would be for North Dumfries, including Clyde, Roseville, even Glen Morris. Peter tells us about the Information Meeting about the new club location. Peter tells of the other members involved in doing the work.
Peter repeats the invitation to the Information Meeting. A new club needs a minimum of 15 members, there will be an organizational meeting in February, and then they’ll apply to Kiwanis International to get their charter.
Peter tells us what he’s doing in the next 2 hours, 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, and 2 years.
CKMS Community Connections Hour One airs on CKMS-FM 102.7 on Monday from 11:00am to Noon, and Hour Two airs on Friday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.
Tim tells us about Basketball Rock, more of a novelty song for him, but now the music he writes is labelled “neo-classical”. All his songs are recorded at River Music Studios in London, Ontario, the better for the quality of the music. Tim Schwindt, propietor of River Music did the guitar, bass, and drums; Tim (McInnes) played the piano and sang the vocals, and, of course, wrote the song . Tim’s first album was almost all ragtime music, with seven Jellyroll Morton covers, and seven of his own compositions in the ragtime vein. His second album, Shadowlife is almost all his own music. Tim says you can hear his style get more serious, for example he says Repetitive Stress is being picked up on dark, lugubrious playlists on Spotify. Tim wrote It’s A Sad Song and An Even Sadder Song in an attempt to create the saddest song ever written. Certainly it’s the saddest song Tim could write.
Tim is mostly self-taught. He took piano as a kid and teenager, but what he doesn’t know about music theory would fit into a good-sized warehouse. He finds YouTube useful for picking up music theory. Introducing An Even Sadder Song (but Bob plays Music For Money instead).
The viola and violin parts were played by Tim’s neighbour, Kelvin Enns, the principal viola player for the London Symphonia. Kelvin and Tim have collaborated on several pieces, including For Ukraine and Almost Home. Tim has also collaborated with Jessie Grandmont on the song Ghost Dance. Jesse is currently touring with Fiddler on the Loose (plug plug!) playing in Drayton, Petrolia, and even in the United States. He’s an excellent violin player, and Tim says he just plays some triads on the piano…
Bob comments on Tim’s varied repertoire; Tim says he’s narrowing down to writing only neo-classical music. But every now and then a funny song occurs to him, like Better Days, about vaccination, in which he also plays ukelele. Current events sometimes get Tim going, like writing a pro-vax song to counter the anti-vax songs.
Tim just had a birthday (the Big Seven-Oh); he started his “music business” after he retired from being a forklift driver. He started seriously playing music in 2015 playing at the McCormick Home for Alzheimers patients, every now and then sneaking in his own compositions. Once Tim started getting ready to record the songs just kept coming. All of Tim’s musical connections (collaborators, studio, playing venue) are within walking distance of his home. Tim stays out of the spotlight, preferring to do studio work and writing songs rather than performing. He’d love to find other people to perform his music. Some of Tim’s music is getting thousands of streams on Spotify.
Tim is working on a new song. It was something Tim had heard before — something he had written himself. But Tim says it’s not wrong to steal from yourself. Sometimes Tim thought he was in a rut, but then a brand-new melody occurs to him. There are hundreds of songs that have gone through the transom of his mind; there are parts of songs, ones for which there’s no ending, and some he’s just plain forgotten. Tim can’t keep two different songs in his head. A new song will knock out the one that was there. Tim set up a video camera to film himself playing, so if he forgets something he can go back to remind himself of the melody. Tim introduces Ghost Dance with Jesse Grantmont on violin.
Talking about the instrumentation on Music Box Waltz — it’s a celeste, also used in Mozart’s Magic Flute and Tchaikovsy’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, then Music Box Waltz switches to a Fazioli-sound piano. Tim is a connoisseur, he can tell the difference between a Bösendorfer, Yamaha, or Steinway piano. For some songs he uses the effect of an upright or broken-down piano, for example in Silent Movie Heroics.
Silent Movie Heroics is meant to emulate movies of Douglas Fairbanks Sr., swashbuckling, swordfights, and chases. It’s a change of pace from the serious neo-classical stuff. The slightly out-of-tune piano sound is an effect added digitally to a midi keyboard. Done professionally, the effects sound like the real thing.
On Music For Money that’s Tim’s brother Brad McInnes playing the Irish flute. Tim told him what the melody was, then Brad was on his own. Tim hasn’t collaborated on composing, but he has “borrowed” from other composers, for example Almost Home sounds a lot like Beethoven’s Pathétique.
Does Tim deliberately try to emulate other composers? He did in this case, although he says his composition is not as sophisticated, and doesn’t have as much “meat on the bone” as Chopin’s real music, but it’s a suggestion of his music. Tim suggests playing Backwards Boogie.
What’s backwards about Backwards Boogie? Tim says it’s the left hand — if you play it backwards you’ll get some subliminal messages. Tim went into the studio and improvised. It’s not a three-chord boogie but a six-chord boogie. Tim prefers people use Spotify to get his music, wants to get Ghost Dance over 1,000 streams.
Bob Jonkman talks with Tamara Lorincz, who’s involved with a number of Peace and Social Justice organizations, and Stuart Ross from World Beyond War.
On last week’s CKMS Community Connections I spoke with Tamara and Stuart briefly at the “No F35 Fighter Jets” rally, but there was so much else to talk about that Tamara and Stuart came to the studio for a longer conversation.
Sign the Parliamentary petition to: Study the financial, climate, environmental, and social costs of the F35 fighter jets; Make public the results of that study; and Cancel the planned purchase of F35 fighter jets and invest in climate action and the well-being of Canadians: e-4217 : Petition to the House of Commons
Stuart Ross tells us how he became involved with World Beyond War. Tamara Lorincz tells us of several other organizations that promote peace and non-violence.
Talking about the F35 fighter jet purchase by the Canadian government. Discussing the expense, the carbon emissions, other pollutants in the fuel, stolen Indigenous lands for airforce bases, and the trauma and chronic disease brought to these communities from the effects of fighter jet emissions. Militaries are responsible for a 5% of the total carbon emissions across the world, and the United States military is the largest consumer of fossil fuels on the planet. In Canada, the Department of National Defense accounts for 61% of all federal government emissions. There is no plan to offset the emissions from military vehicles and operations. We need to talk about demilitarization for decarbonization. The F35s are not defense armament, but attack fighters. And they are seriously flawed: They only have a range of 2,200km, they can’t fly across the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, or even across Canada, without flying alongside a tanker. And so Canada will not just be purchasing fighter jets, they will also be purchasing a fleet of strategic tankers to supply these fighter jets. And also runways, hangars, and fuel tanks in the Arctic. Instead of this, Canadians need affordable housing, and health care, and education, and public transit. And yet, these F35s are well known to have many technical flaws, but Canada will not own any of the software or repair manuals.
Tamara gives some context for No To NATO, including the clips from speeches by veterans from the war in Afghanistan. Tamara encourages us to view the video on YouTube: “No NATO, No War”: U.S. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Return War Medals at NATO Summit. Stuart recommends a film Soldiers Without Guns. Tamara provides background information on NATO, a U.S. let military alliance that has launched illegal wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Libya; its role in provoking the war in Ukraine, and its attempts at globalizing conflict in Asia. NATO is the greatest threat to peace in the world. Tamara explains the situation of Sweden, and especially Finland experiencing pressure to join NATO, even though Finnish citizens are opposed. Tamara says that if we want to succeed on peace, to succeed on the climate crisis and the Sustainable Development Goals then we need to work collaboratively and co-operatively with Russia and with China. Tamara urges people to read Stephen Cohen’s book War with Russia? The south-east region of Ukraine is the Donbas, a dominant Russian-speaking minority, who held a referendum to say they want to be part of Russia. NATO-backed forces have been shelling and killing Donbas civilians, yet this is something people don’t hear in the mainstream media. If NATO countries had respected the Minsk agreements, giving autonomy within Ukraine for the Donbas region to end the violence against the Russian speaking minority, then this Russia-Ukraine war would never have happened. Tamara wants to see political parties and elected officials to call for an inquiry, and to stop sending weapons, and to support peace and a political resolution.
What can be done? People can find out what the peace movement is doing in Canada at https://peaceandjusticenetwork.ca/. They are planning an international weekend of action from 24-26 February 2023 to rally in the streets and public squares, to contact their elected representatives, and they will be holding webinars on true nature of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the F35 fighter jet purchase. Also check the World Beyond War website.
We need peace for a livable planet, and we need peace for a positive happy future for out children and future generations. Stuart hopes that the millions of peace and environmental organizations can get together and have a solid, large voice in stopping this war in Ukraine.
This week’s show features music not heard previously on this show, selected from the #PunkandNewWaveClassics tournament on Twitter that can be found on the “Everything 80’s” feed curated by @Oliver_Shergold. Check it out by clicking here!
Public Service Announcements: Doug Ford is forcing unsustainable urban sprawl on municipalities.
Thanks to listeners at CFRU-FM in Guelph! The concerns of youth with climate change. Henriette tells how she got involved in social and economic justice. The organizations in Waterloo Region involved in climate justice: Faith groups, a group to write letters to the editor, there’s an e-newsletter that goes to over 100 members, TransformWR workshops and webinars, and Bill-23 rallies. And Henriette still has time for other interests like music! Introducing the next song, in recognition of climate anxiety affecting all ages.
Public Service Announcement: Doug Ford is threatening to override our sustainable Regional official plan.
Kevin gives his background, how he got involved in environmental justice. How Waterloo Region set up its own environmental protections. Kevin helped set up a greenbelt area in Europe, from Finland to Bulgaria. Now the provincial goverment is coming to take away Waterloo Region’s protections. Kevin still has time to raise his children in the outdoors. Kevin introduces the next song.
Kevin has seen Sarah Harmer in concert, Henriette hasn’t, but loves her music. Jeff introduces the next PSA.
Public Service Announcement: Despite our unique global success…
Henriette explains how these PSAs address the issues in fighting Bill 23 in three ways: 1) There are real-world effects of political decisions, eg. housing shortages. 2) These real-world effects are not just affecting people, but creatures and whole ecosystems. Bill 23 is undoing the work that has been done to see how interconnected we really are. 3) Bill 23 is undermining trust in government and politicians. Without trust the fabric of society comes apart. Kevin says over 41 individuals and community groups provided funding for producing the PSAs. Fighting Bill 23 has brought together groups that have never worked together before, that were at odds with each other over other issues. The previous PSA was specific to Waterloo Region like our Regional Plan, a bold document which has set the tone for the entire region. It has done things that were rarely done before, eg. the Blue Box program, the LRT, the Countryside Line. Other areas like Hamilton are now emulating our success, eg. the LRT and stopping urban sprawl. Our plans were unanimously supported by the Region’s municipalities, but the province just overrode that by requiring growth on farmland and the Greenbelt. Henriette acknowledges the support of the Small Change Fund, how it has enabled their group to communicate broadly and deeply about important matters. Kevin says we’re lucky to live in this community with groups to bring their resources together: Kevin’s environmental contacts, Henriette’s faith-based groups, Jeff’s agricultural people. The entire community needs to be involved, there are opportunities for everyone, eg. submitting comments on the Environmental Registry of Ontario to give suggestions indicate concerns. Some consultations are getting tens of thousands of comments from people across the province, almost unanimously opposing these plans. Henriette says Indigenous leaders are saying that the provice has not exercised its duty to consult with First Nations. She finds it inconceivable that governments can trample over people’s rights. Kevin is disturbed by the lack of response — protests are held in front of empty offices, where the politicians and staff have been told to not come in to work to avoid the protests. Henriette introduces the next song, which provides hope that another world is possible.
Public Service Announcement: Doug Ford has just used his majority to force Bill 23 into law.
Kevin brings a positive message, other countries are making good environmental decisions. Henriette gives tribute to the young environmental leaders, Indigenous leaders, and land defenders from East Africa, and partners from Kairos who spoke at COP27 and the biodiversity event in Montréal. Henriette stongly encourages everyone who has been hesitating to get involved to do it now: Write your MPP, write a letter to the editor, submit a comment to the Ontario Environmental Registry. Do it now. Contact, reach out, learn, and get involved. Don’t delay.
Talking with Brian Chris about the Christmas album, the book that goes with it, and the origins of the song. Introducing Chris Collins, Brian’s producer. Talking about Brian’s trip to Nashville, and the song he performed there, Now Or Never.
Talking about live performances, needing an agent, connections in the music industry. Chris Collins has written music too, but hasn’t recorded any. Working with other artists, like rapper Li’l White Lie. Shoutout to Street Hop for local Hip Hop music. Talking about some of Brian’s older music. Introducing Something About Christmas.
Talking about Brian and Chris’s musical background. Brian’s musical instrument collection and album and CD collection. Learning music from the Internet. “Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect.” Chris has been collecting instruments in his studio, and keeps stuff like lava lamps around for inspiration. Brian gets inspiration from everywhere.
Talking about Brian’s books. They’re inspirational books for kids. Brian reads an excerpt from Play Your Way, illustrated by Brian’s wife, Brittany Barr. The Broken String is the first book Brian wrote. Brian gives a synopsis of the story, and his aspirations as an author.
Chris’s son heard the lyrics “It’s the worst time of the year” and didn’t realize that it was a joke. But Brian says Christmas is tough, and hopes this song resonates with that feeling. Introducing Special Stuff, and Bob gives the end credits.
Andrew explains the setup of the installation Music For Trees on Roos Island in Willow River Part for the Open Ears festival this past spring. The origins of Music For Trees originated in an idea to emulate the sun and the moon. Synthesizer isn’t Andrew’s main instrument, that’s the harp. There’s 47 strings on a harp! And some have 50 strings! And seven foot pedals! The harp isn’t a chromatic instrument, so you use your feet to access the black notes. Other harps use levers. Andrew has four harps, the pedal-operated 47 string harp, a 26 string wearable harp, and two harps he built from a kit. Those are good to have for kids when Andrew is teaching. The strings on a harp are colour-coded, Cs are red and Fs are blue.
This Garden is Andrew’s album of music primarily written for harp that sets four poems to music, poetry by Eli Sokoloff Harris. This was the capstone project for Andrew’s degree. It’s available on Bandcamp! Andrew likes quiet, prefers hearing the sounds around him (but not cars). Does Andrew listen to his own music? He writes music out of necessity, when nothing else scratches the itch. He looks for music that doesn’t pollute with its soundwaves. Music that slows things down. As an example, You Always Loved The Water.
Bob thought it was Andrew doing the narration, but it is Andrew’s friend Eli. When Andrew was looking for material for his grad concert, he asked Eli to send him some poems. It reminded Bob of a Vangelis piece called The Little Fete. Andrew’s thoughts on the piece today are not the same as when he wrote it, or heard the poem for the first time. It talks not so much about the garden itself, but what happens between people.
Bob and Andrew met at the Rural Rainbow Ride in response to a Woolwich councillor making some “disgraceful remarks”. The ride was so the city community could show that they support the rural Queer community even if they don’t live there. As with all activists, Andrew thinks he should be doing more; while he attends events, the Rural Rainbow Ride was the first thing he organized.
Andrew is no longer on social media. It didn’t feel authentic, like he was trying to create a gobal audience. Andrew is trying to care about everything, but he can only act on so much. Geting off the Internet gives him more control over where he’s acting. Bob says the Internet is not Real Life, but Andrew says digital things are real, but which ones? The Internet is still new, and the odds that we got it right on the first go are not very high. Perhaps we need some public control over the Internet, because when we leave it up to profit it doesn’t serve the public. We need access to the Internet the same way we need access to electricity. Things that happen on the Internet are real. Meeting online friends in real life is also real, but in a different way. Being off social media hasn’t affected Andrew’s ability to market himself, he tries to be present in the community and talk to people, tries to stay hyperlocal. The pressure is trying to keep up with social media, to post daily, but Andrew is trying to make art, he can’t keep up with that or it becomes just “content”. Andrew had a concert at the Conrad Centre For The Performing Arts with support from the City of Kitchener as part of the NUMUS 2022-2023 season. Not so much a concert as a collection of installations all in one space. Andrew will try to make this project available digitally, on his web site “this fall”…
Bob gives the closing credits, and we go to the end of the podcast with Postlude (I love the way it flows)
I had a one-way ticket and a little radio
I turned it on, heard the sound from twenty years ago
Somebody smiled and said, that’s the only way to go
He died at twenty-one, now nobody’s innocent in
Memphis! So where the hell is Memphis?