Neil Peart 1952-2020

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New Year – New Decade

If I were to use one word to describe the decade’s music it would probably be “underwhelming”.

I am quite disappointed in regards to the lack of artistry and innovation, having expected a new rock subgenre to emerge from the political and economic turmoil that occurred during this decade as it had in previous decades.

Where was this decade’s heavy metal, new wave or grunge?

Couldn’t someone have come up with something palatable to the pop music consumer, to give us a break from the interminable, inane, repetitive, juvenile saccharine?

Yes, we did get Rammstein’s self-titled studio album last May and a few promising rock acts released albums and singles in the decade, like Ghost, Muse, Disturbed and Arcade Fire. But the 2000s had much more when it came to rock.

Perhaps the genre has stalled and is collapsing due to a lack of investment by the major record labels, who now appear to only be interested in packageable media assets and not recording artists that compose their own material, like those that I grew up on in the ’70s and ’80s.

The record labels of my youth have merged into media conglomerates so I’ve got to wonder if someone will ever decide to invest in anything that swims against the current.

I guess all we can’t do is wait and hope.

It’s Boxing Day Time

Boxing Day deals have already begun at Canadian retailers like 123ink.ca, Amazon Canada, Best Buy Canada, Canada Computers, chapters.indigo.ca, Living.ca, Microsoft Canadaicon, Newegg Canadaicon, Prime Cables Canada, Sonos Canada, Staples Canada and thesource.ca. But you’ll need to wait until Boxing Day itself for deep discounts at Amazon U.k and Sheet Music Plus if you were planning on importing music, sheet music, DVDs and Blu-rays from “across the pond”, although you could still browse those shops to see if they have discounts on certain products today.

Year-end deals can also be found in the United States at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble, the later primarily in their CD & Vinyl and Movies & TV departments. And if you’re looking for collectibles, like figurines and other memorabilia, Entertainment Earth is having an After Christmas Sale.

Happy shopping.

Warning From Canada Post

If you’re shipping parcel from their postal outlets, they are recommending sending these off today if you want them to be received before the 25th.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales were quite popular this year in Canada so you’ll notice that they’re renting vans in some areas to handle the extra shipments generated by those sales.

Click here for this year’s suggested shipping dates from Canada Post

By the way, you should consider installing the Honey app to your tablet and smartphone this year for the latest coupon codes and free gift card offers. A browser add-on is also available, which keeps track of price reductions on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

You add the products you want to a “droplist” and when the price of a particular product drops by the percentage you’ve chosen, you get notified via your browser and by email.

I’ve taken advantage of the Honey browser extension this Black Friday and Cyber Monday and saved a few bucks. I also got a few Gold points from my eBay and Bed Bath & Beyond purchases, which can be redeemed for gift cards.

I hope this helps you save some time and cash. Enjoy.

Marie Fredriksson 1958-2019

When it comes to Swedish pop and rock, three names come to my mind; Abba, Europe and Roxette.

Through-out the ’80s and ’90s, I’ve enjoyed all three, particularly Roxette, with their ballads, which were heavily featured on Canadian music video networks Much Music and Musique Plus during this period and into the new century.

The above playlist features my very favourite music videos from Roxette, starting with the video that got me hooked, “Listen To Your Heart”, and ending with their music video debut, “Never Ending Love”.

Enjoy.

It’s Black Friday

The day has come and I thought I’d discuss my go-to places for certain goods in this entry, beyond the miscellaneous, general goods sites like Amazon.ca, Bestbuy.ca and Newegg Canadaicon.

There’s always an opportunity to do some comparison shopping when it comes to certain goods today and through the weekend into Cyber Monday, so I tend to visit multiple stores to find the best deals, including some American and European retailers, although you need to account for the exchange rates and possible shipping and customs fees for the later if it’s valued at over $20 Canadian.

I’ve personally saved on Vinyl Records, Blu-rays, DVDs, compact discs, sheet music and books ordered from American retailers Amazon.com, Alibrisicon, ArkivMusic, Barnes & Noble and Sheet Music Plus and European retailers Amazon U.k, Amazon France and Alibris U.k.icon so you might want to shop around; Sheet Music Plus is currently offering 15% off orders over US$50 and 20% off orders over $100 whilst Barnes & Noble is offering 10% Off Your Online Order until December 1st with the BLKFRI coupon code.

If you’re looking for musical instruments and accessories you might want to browse the Long & Mcquade site or pop on by one of their local Canadian stores. And you can also do some comparison shopping on American sites like GuitarCenter.com, Musician’s Friend and Woodwind and Brasswind, who also ship to Canada.

All three of these American retailers are offering discounts; Guitar Center is offering a 15% discount on orders over US$199 today using code FRIDAY15 and on Cyber Monday using discount code CYBER15. Musician’s Friend is offering 10% off orders US$49+ and 15% off orders US$99+ with coupon code BLACKFRI19 until November 20th. And Woodwind and Brasswind is offering a 20% discount on purchases over US$99 with coupon code BF2019.

If you’re looking for miscellaneous cables, television mounts, adapters and audio accessories, you might want to browse primecables.ca for both deals on these products and a 20% discount using coupon code BF2019, which will be valid until 11:59 pm tonight (11/29) on this site and the other Shoppers+ sites (123ink.ca and living.ca). And Sonos Canada is currently discounting their home theatre speakers by 20% so you might want to check them out.

In regards to memorabilia, you could drop by at your local Indigo store for some in-store discounts on Lego, DC and Marvel merchandise and possibly visit them online for discounts on some toys. But U.S based EntertainmentEarth.com is having major discounts this weekend and Diecast Model Warehouse is offering a 10% discount on their models with coupon code CYBERMONDAY. And deals can also be had at Toys-R-Us Canada (from 15% to 60% off) and samkoandmikotoywarehouse.com (25% with coupon code: thebigsave25).

You might also consider visiting your local record stores, some of which will also open early today to offer rare, exclusive and discounted compacts discs, vinyl records, DVDs, Blu-rays and music memorabilia in celebration of the Black Friday edition of Record Store Day.

Details on what is being made available and what stores are participating can be found on the official Record Store Day Canada web site, by clicking here.

Hope this information helps you find some good deals today. And if I think of anything else today, I’ll update this entry.

Enjoy.

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