December 17th @ Free Times Café

Like many people (not everyone, but many) I have a smartphone. To be precise I have a Blackberry, and one that is more than a few years old. So, while I may technically have a smartphone, how smart I am to have that particular smartphone is a discussion for another time (but I do love that physical keyboard).

As you know from watching TV commercials and ads running whenever you try to search anything on the Internet, the smartphones we have today (even my Blackberry) can do lots of amazing things. But when I’m on a bus or subway or train or plane you know what I see most people do with their smartphones – they use it to play solitaire. Now I admit this is not the most scientific survey ever because when I am on a bus or subway or train or plane I am often playing solitaire on my smartphone so it’s not like I’m spending all my time checking out what other folks are doing – but whenever I do look up that’s what I see – people using their incredibly sophisticated smartphones to play solitaire.

I think we do have to admit this is a big technological advance. I mean you can’t spread out all those cards when you’re standing in a crowded subway so the only way to play solitaire is on your phone. Of course pretty soon no one will even know that solitaire was ever played with real cards, they will just assume it was game invented for smartphones. In fact that’s probably what most folks think now.

When I win at solitaire (and I do that quite often because I’m really good at it – not bragging it’s just a fact) a little box pops up and says “Congratulations” (and I say a silent “thank you” to the pop up box) and then I am invited to share my success at solitaire on Facebook, Twitter and/or by email. I have never used that particular feature. Successfully winning at solitaire is generally not something I want the world to know. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but on the list of accomplishments that I care to share with the world (or at least the folks in my world), winning at solitaire ranks probably 195,364,745th on the list – and that’s pretty much at the bottom.

And I’m guessing that none of you who get these emails ever want to hear from me that I won at solitaire. And for the one person who might charitably think, “Well, I could be interested,’ I have three things to say. First, “Thank you.” Second, “You’re lying.” And third, even if you’re not lying this is only something you would ever want to hear from me about once in your life but I win at solitaire quite often.

It’s not that there is anything wrong with using email or other forms of social media to let folks know about things that happen on a regular basis. If the only messages we ever received were for exceptional matters we wouldn’t be able to spend hours every day on email or Facebook or whatever. It’s just that some things are more appropriate to share than other things.

Like what, you might wonder? Well, for example, this December, not only is Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room having its monthly show at the Free Times Café (on College just west of Spadina) on Sunday the 17th – but like all our December shows, this is our famous and beloved all-request show.

How does it work? Just click on this link – – and you will be magically transported to the Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room All Request Night Song Selection page. Here you will find, set out by singer, over 350 songs to choose from. You can spend lots of time browsing the song list and choosing the tunes you would like us to play at the show. And even if you can’t make the show, feel free to contribute. That’s what democracy is all about – using the Internet to influence what other people will experience even if you’re not there to experience it yourself (this is perhaps the closest you will ever come to knowing what it feels like to be Vladimir Putin).

The show starts at 8 and there is, incredibly, no cover.

Hope to see you there.

– Jonathan

P.S. You will note that there are no bagpipe tunes listed on the Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room All Request Night Song Selection page. This is because, for most discerning listeners, all bagpipe songs sound the same. Nevertheless, for better or for worse, bagpipes will be played at the show. Govern yourself accordingly.

December 17th Set List:
Set #1: Set #2:
Bagpipe Christmas Carols
I Believe In Father
Saskatchewan Sky
Almost Persuaded
Wichita Lineman
Rocket Man
Ashokan Farewell
A Prayer
Breathe In, Breathe Out
Roses At The Pow Wow
Every Time You Walk Into The Room
Glenora Ferry
Christmas Island
Log Driver’s Waltz
Night Driver’s Lament
Across The Border
Famous Blue Raincoat
Unchained Melody
Neil Gow’s Lament
New Speedway Boogie
Hasn’t Hit Me Yet
People Are Crazy
Phone Company Rag
Save The Last Dance For Me
Long Way To The Top