January 19th @ Free Times Café

If you had the power to ban one song to ensure that you never heard it again, what song would you choose? Think about it for a minute if you need to.

I don’t know what song you chose, but I do know this, it’s a popular song – it is a song that you picked to banish because you have heard it a lot, it drives you crazy and keeps intruding upon your life turning an otherwise nice moment into an auditory hell. I’m pretty sure none of you picked Circle of Tyrants by Celtic Frost (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41PxFzoqULU) or to move to the extreme other end of the musical spectrum Butterfly for Bucky by Bobby Goldsboro (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2y1nBPg4jA). The reason you didn’t pick these songs is not because they are wonderful songs, in fact I’m pretty sure that most people will hate at least one if not both of them. The reason you didn’t pick them is because, before my mention of them, you either had never heard the songs or it had been so long since they had entered your musical consciousness that it didn’t occur to you to put them on your hate list.

For me, the song I would choose to banish is Piano Man by Billy Joel. I hate that song with a passion. I’m sure some of you are already crying out “Not Piano Man! I love that song, what could be wrong with it.” And that brings me to my earlier point, songs that we hate are popular and therefore songs that other people love. There’s no point entering into a discussion of why I hate Piano Man if you love Piano Man, we’ll just have to agree to disagree (but I’ll be right).

Given my antipathy to that song then, you will likely understand why I was so upset to hear that the aforementioned Billy Joel is copying our monthly show concept. That’s right, he is stealing our idea. The only difference between what he’s doing and what we are doing is location. Rather than doing monthly shows in Toronto, he is doing monthly shows in New York. OK, I suppose another difference is that our shows are free and his certainly aren’t. And then there’s the fact that rather than doing his monthly show in a lovely intimate little room like the Free Times Café (at College and Major just west of Spadina) like we do, he is doing his monthly shows at Madison Square Gardens. But really, that’s just an issue of scale. It’s the concept that matters and he’s stealing it.

But forget Billy Joel (I certainly try to) we are continuing with our monthly third Sunday of month shows at the Free Times Café and so we’ll be there at 8 pm on January 19. And as a special bonus engagement our annual Robbie Burns show will be at the same venue on Saturday, January 25. That show will start at 9.30, but you’ll want to get there early because the place fills up fast, the promise of free haggis just pulls people in off the street.

So I hope to see you once or twice this month; and if I hear that Billy Joel has started to do Uptown Girl with bagpipes then I’m going to take him to court so fast his head will spin.

– Jonathan


January 19th Set List
Set #1 Set #2
Lonely Loch
Song For A Winter Night
Five Days In May
You Can’t Do That
Istanbul
New Speedway Boogie
Too Young
Pale Blue Eyes
Lady Down Sally
Still A Part Of Me
Volcanic Jig
My Love Is A Red Rose
(I Would Walk) 500 Miles
Lost On The Bayou
Hasn’t Hit Me Yet
Wild About My Loving
Little Black Pearl
There Stands The Glass
Setting Course For Lewis
Don’t Let The Stars…
Ashokan Farewell
A Father’s Love
Bang Bang
Everytime You Walk
Mull Of Kintyre
Glenora Ferry