Lunar Ray

Between work, school, and miscellaneous additional responsibilities, I haven’t had as much time to write lately as I’d like to. But I did manage to finish up a song that I’ve been working on oh-so-gradually over the past months/years.

“Lunar Ray” is about being in a dark place, but finding even the faintest glimmer of a reflection of a reflection of light, and taking comfort in that. It’s parts fantasy, parts reality, and entirely full of hope. It’s also quite different from the rest of the music I make, stylistically as well as in the manner it was composed. Therefore I’ve opted to release it as a standalone track. I hope someone out there finds it pleasing!

Available now for free streaming/download: https://fissilent.bandcamp.com/track/lunar-ray

– Cory Stumpf

To the Person:

To the person who said “We need to allow ourselves to be proud of Canada as we fight racism” partly in defense of Rex Murphy’s National Post article “Canada is not a racist country, despite what the Liberals say”:

I believe if you were to ask every person in Canada whether they believe in equality across all races, the majority would say yes, and would mean it. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the systems that govern our country operate in ways that put certain groups at a disadvantage. So I would argue that as a nation, Canada is in fact racist. People who go out of their way to downplay that because we’ve progressed somewhat since the past or because we’re less racist than other countries, though those people are not necessarily racist themselves (at least consciously), are distracting from the many inroads we still have left to make in ensuring that Black, Indigenous, and other marginalized groups are not disproportionately targeted by RCMP, or when they are victims, ignored by them. And that is just one example of systemic racism that exists here. I think we can absolutely be proud to be Canadian, so long as we are actively striving to make our country and the world a fairer and safer place for people of all backgrounds. But back-patting opinion pieces like the one [by Rex Murphy] feel to me like an excuse to avoid doing that.

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McArthur Castle Features

At our home-based venue of McArthur Castle in Kamloops, BC, we’ve lately had to come to terms with the fact that it may be quite some time before we can start hosting concerts again. While the small size of our space has formerly been its strength, facilitating a uniquely intimate dynamic between performers and their audience, it is a hindrance in the current pandemic climate in which we cannot possibly enforce proper social distancing measures. So until those are no longer a necessity, our operations are on hold.

In the meantime, I’m proud of what we have made happen in the past couple years: 10 events featuring some of the best of Canadian music talent, from the West to East Coast, from local favourites to national mainstream artists. The videos below are mere glimpses of their incredible performances, which I post here in fond reflection and with the hope that, when things fully return to relative normalcy, we will be in a position to once more start inviting musicians to play in our living room. (Honourable mention goes out to the following acts, whose phenomenal deliveries at McArthur Castle we didn’t manage to document in video: Mary Matheson, ursidae, and Alan Cross.)


Desirée Dawson and Jody Okabe – Stand By Me (live at McArthur Castle, Kamloops, May 10 2018)

 

 

 

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Hate Speech and Facebook’s Flawed Reporting System

I recently came across a Facebook post that bothered me—for various reasons, but what compelled me to report it was what I saw as blatant hate speech based on gender identity. I have included a screenshot of the post below (I highlighted the particular content that I’m referring to):

Hate and Facebook's Flawed Reporting Process (1)

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A Mild Harangue Against Cassettes

As a child born in the late 80s, cassettes were still very much a thing for me growing up (8-tracks not so much, so for the purposes of this spiel I will leave those in the more distant past). Some of my oldest and fondest musical memories are of listening to bands like Fleetwood Mac and Meatloaf on the tape deck of my dad’s truck, because despite the prominence and superior quality of CDs at the time, cassettes still had the advantage of being more portable. Having a vehicle with a built-in CD player was not necessarily the norm, and you could hardly walk 5 feet without a Discman skipping so Walkmans (Walkmen?) were still relevant for listening on the go. And of course, there were mix tapes! These gave power to the consumer, allowing individuals to get creative with compiling their very own playlists. They were glorious, and they had a great run.
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Cool Noise for Inside and Outside, All the Time Forever

If you’re like me when it comes to seeking out music, then you’re perpetually scouring the internet for new things to listen to. For me, a great source of some of my favourite song finds has been other people’s playlists. So, in case someone else might benefit, I decided I would share my own:

Cool Noise for Inside and Outside, All the Time Forever

Unlike the handful of themed playlists I’ve created and shared on this blog before, the tracks in this list have no unifying thread, other than that each has in some way had an impact on me during the last couple years. Some you will surely have heard before, while others I guarantee you will have never even heard of. Hardly a genre isn’t represented, and I am updating it constantly.

So listen, if you like. There’s a good chance you might just make a happy discovery of your own!

– Cory Stumpf

Where Did Casey Baker Go?

Seriously, what did happen to him? I wish this were one of those articles in which I present a question rhetorically and proceed to answer it myself, but unfortunately I really have no idea what became of Casey Baker.

First of all, who even is he? This one is rhetorical and I will go ahead and provide that information, since his name is likely unfamiliar except to those who were deeply attuned to the Canadian music scene just past the turn of the millennium. But there’s a good chance you will recognize at least some of the work with which he was associated.

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Unresolved

So we’re a quarter into 2020 now, and am I keeping with my New Year’s resolutions? Fuck no; I didn’t make any. COVID-19-induced restrictions aside, my goals these days tend to be ongoing, sometimes spanning years or even decades. But let me revisit some of the formerly unresolved intentions I’ve touched upon in blog posts past.
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Classy on Toast: A Rawring 20s Playlist

This one’s a bit last minute, but if you’re still looking for music to ring in 2020 then last minute is exactly what you need. I present a slew of songs almost all of which have a 1920s connection, whether they cover, remix, sample, or entirely reinvent hits from the era:

Classy on Toast

Put on those fedoras and flapper dresses, dance the Charleston, and toast oldstyle to a whole new modern decade. Happy new year!

– Cory Stumpf

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