Archive for Justin Smallbridge

A Message from DBAWIS

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2016 by segarini

DBAWIS is on Hiatus until September 5th. In the meantime, don’t forget to visit our site and catch up on the over 1500 articles by entering the name of your favourite DBAWIS scribe in the “Archive” window, and have at it. Great reading for the Dog Days of Summer. See you with Fresh Fun on September 5th!

DBAWIS Writers 2

The Writers – Roxanne Tellier, Pat Blythe, Frank Gutch Jr., Cam Carpenter, Jaimie Vernon, Gary Pig Gold, Doug Thompson, and past contributors, Nadia Elkharadly, Justin Smallbridge, Geoff Pevere, and the Sometimes Darrell Vickers. Not pictured are Guest Writers Ira Robbins, Bobby Singh, and Jade Dunlop, plus friends who have contributed a column or two over the years


Justin Smallbridge: Drake Speaks! (Kind of….)

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , on February 21, 2014 by segarini

Justin LargeEditor’s Note: We encourage creativity here at DBAWIS, and the crew who write for you always step up to the plate.

Today’s column is a departure from our usual modus operandi, and I was thrilled to receive it from once-a-month contributor Justin Smallbridge, he of no small talent and a cutting wit. What else can I say about a man I met because of the review he wrote of my first Segarini album, “Gotta Have Pop”, which included the line, “This album sucks like a Hoover”. I liked the review so much I had it blown up to a 6ft. by 7ft. sign which hung in the offices of Bomb Records until the label folded.

Here’s Justin’s column.

Now I’m waiting to hear from Drake’s lawyers….

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Justin Smallbridge: New York City Noise

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2013 by segarini

justin_Smallbridge_headshot_01All the sins blamed on “disco” (such as it was at the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s) — cocaine, amyl nitrate, sexually transmitted disease, The Ritchie Family, Andy Gibb — are nothing compared to the ugliness of “Disco Sucks.” The stigma’s so powerful that even now, nobody would dare call it disco. It was “house” for a while, and these days people call it “EDM,” a clumsy catch-all acronym that stands for “electronic dance music,” although it sounds more like another disco-era sexually transmitted disease. (“I’m sorry, but the only remedy for EDM is a series of painful injections, taking this foul-smelling tincture six times a day and applying this stinky salve to the affected area…”)

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Justin Smallbridge: Deconstructing Random Access Memories

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2013 by segarini

justin_Smallbridge_headshot_01I’ve played Daft Punk’s new record, Random Access Memories, a few times now, and I am still trying to figure out what it’s trying to be, or what Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo are trying to achieve or what they’re hoping I should feel about it. That’s not to say it’s difficult to figure out. On the contrary, it couldn’t be easier or more apparent. It’s mostly what we used to call “disco” — the good parts, anyway.  Much has been made about the fact that the whole thing was recorded with actual musicians using analogue methods and equipment. Much less care seems to have gone into the composition of the material so carefully recorded by all those seasoned session pros.

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Justin Smallbridge: Radio, Records, and England

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by segarini

justin_Smallbridge_headshot_01In 1975, my radio listening was shifting from CHLO and the AM stations. I was being influenced by the pronouncements Bowie with Saxof my peers. It never occurred to me at the time that they didn’t know anything more than I did. They seemed so sure . . . like a grammar school friend who, in 9th grade, dismissed David Bowie and everything he’d done because his older sisters had told him Bowie was gay. Because this friend of mine was to play the saxophone, and — as was a lot more common in southwestern Ontario and other places in 1975 — he was proudly homophobic, he was outraged that Bowie was depicted with a sax on the cover of Pin-Ups. I still liked Bowie. I just didn’t mention that to the guy who hated him.

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Justin Smallbridge: Radio Redux

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2013 by segarini

justin_Smallbridge_headshot_01Mad Men is back, which is great. In addition to the multilayered work of Matthew Weiner and his cohorts on the series, the accompanying history and popular culture are concomitant joys of that show; it’s fun to work out when a particular episode is set and run down the attendant details. Season 6’s opener, “The Doorway,” happens at the end of December, 1967. “Hey,” some folks said, “What about the Summer Of Love”? Having Season 5 end before it started and Season 6 starting after it was over was a deliberate choice Matthew Weiner made, and it’s not tough to see why. The Summer Of Love happened in San Francisco — miles away, both geographically and psychically, from Manhattan, Rye NY and Madison Avenue specifically. Weiner said his specific reasoning for that choice was that the come-down and “hangover” offered a richer range of dramatic possibilities than the groovalicious summer months of 1967.

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Justin Smallbridge: Radio Radio

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2013 by segarini

justin_Smallbridge_headshot_01Who listens to radio?

And how?

Stan Freberg

(assisted by Sarah Vaughan and Quincy Jones) asked that question musically and comedically in 1965 for the Radio Advertising Bureau.

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Justin Smallbridge: Your Grammy – Elderly, sweet, well-meaning, frequently confused and utterly clueless

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by segarini

justin_Smallbridge_headshot_01The Grammys are over for another year. The record business has been putting on this self-congratulatory wingding for 55 years now, and as much as things change, it’s good to know there are some traditions that last, like the tradition of having an annual televised music awards show. It’s even more poignant now, with both the music and television businesses collapsing. In just a couple more years, The Grammys will seem as much of a relic of a forgotten, bygone past as whatever it is Mumford & Sons thinks they’re doing.

And what is that, exactly? I’ve tried to figure it out, but I haven’t had much success.

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Justin Smallbridge: Happy Birthday, Bowie. And welcome back.

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , on January 18, 2013 by segarini

justin_Smallbridge_headshot_01On January 8, David Robert Jones of Brixton turned 66 and released another record. It’s Bowie’s first in a decade. Still the oddball contrarian he’s always been, gearing back up right at the point when it’s conventionally expected people might retire, quit or slow down.

The new song is “Where Are We Now?” It’s an elegiac reverie that walks a beat of Bowie’s haunts in Berlin — presumably from his time there from 1976 through 1979, which yielded Heroes, The Lodger and Low as well as Iggy Pop’s The Idiot and Lust For Life, (Bowie produced and played keyboards).

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Justin Smallbridge: Hed – Deck us all with Boston Charlie

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2012 by segarini

justin_Smallbridge_headshot_01You’re probably pretty sick of the burnt holiday chestnuts that get played at you relentlessly at this time of year. They seemed to start earlier than usual this year — like, a couple days after Halloween. And prolonged exposure to the severely narrow range of seasonal favorites doesn’t make them any easier to take; it’s sharp proof that familiarity breeds contempt.

Still, music’s a large part of this time of year: carols, traditional secular numbers, and the Christmas album is something just about every singer or player is expected to produce at some point in his or her career, as well as the mandatory club residency through the end of December. But there are some less obvious or at least less burnt chestnuts you can play while you’re decorating your tree, nogging eggs, mulling wine, re-opening old psychological scars, seething with barely-contained fury or bitterly resenting family and friends.

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