Posts Tagged ‘Hawksley Workman

02
Mar
21

Hawkley’s 2021 Night in Canada…

We’ve pressed pause on live entertainment. The once escape from reality is on hiatus. You’re having a shitty day, perhaps week, but your calendar states that live gig is in a few days. You can put your head down and power through the muck to arrive at the needed escape. But today, what is driving you when enough is enough? And artists, for many, this has been a bleak period with minimal light peeking through the end of the tunnel.

This pandemic caused many people to lose their jobs, for some, that’s their purpose. Without a purpose, many fall flat. If a musician can’t perform, their inspiration for creating new art dissipates. Luckily after some dark and reflective periods, some chose to continue to create. Others chose to create and share. Either I know how to pick innovative, fearless artists, or I got damn lucky in 2020 and 2021 on who I still support.

I received an introspective email recently from Hawksley Workman, the Canadian glue that began the binding process between my wife and I. He thanked us listeners for helping him reach deep from within to tackle this trying period. His Night In Canada pulled him out of the doldrums, sparked motivation to continue doing what he does best: musically entertain. Without his experimental “Tommy Hunter meets Pee Wee’s Playhouse type variety show with music and chat” he might have burrowed himself into a deep and dark hole. Workman expressed his gratitude that we fans were receptive to this experiment and helped him to rediscover what drives him: music.

His variety show returns for its first episode of 2021. Hawksley Night in Canada has become a legitimate excuse to place an engaging device in our children’s hands, go out of our way to order take-out from a special restaurant, and pretend we’ve stepped away from reality. This special edition sees our host celebrating his birthday and transparently stating, “It’s my birthday and I’ll sing what I want to.” If this is what live music looks like today, I have accepted it. But now I know that these shows aren’t only for us, they’re for Hawksley, too. Without them, our match-maker extraordinaire might share an ominous trait with the live music industry: dormant.

Hawk’s Promotional video

23
Dec
20

Hawk’s Christmas Cuties…

All great variety shows keep you guessing. The more smiles they generate, the more successful of a run they will have. Hawksley Workman is six episodes deep into his monthly Hawksley Night in Canada extravaganza. One of his specialities is writing a “pet song” for a lucky creature and its owner.

A lucky fan submits a picture and endearing story of how their pet impacts their life; Hawk uses the narrative and photos to craft an original pop song. “Christmas Cutie” is his 2020 culminating project: an Xmas-themed pet song. Workman is an animal aficionado and one who appreciates the holiday season. These two interests independently are common, though together, the combination effortlessly creates this joyous, over the top silly holiday sing-along.

“Christmas cutie/going wild in the snow/You may have eaten tinsel/But how would we know?/The proof is in your poop/That your bum won’t let go/Christmas cutie/Only Santa will know

An upbeat jam wrapped full of cheer. This is Hawksley flexing his holiday creativity over a hard to sit still Christmas-centric arrangement.

07
Dec
20

2020’s Top Artists…

This period brings me joy. Best Of lists are popping up and my unique data is unearthed: Spotify Year End stats. Before I dive headfirst, I visualize what the results are. Did a favorite artist release a new record? Was a certain theme running through my life that a specific artist tackles masterly? Or am I as predictable in my middle age as I was a decade ago?

I consider myself strategic with my musical choices. You have to be. I continue to be a front to back album listener. I am true to artists of my past. I have a regular rotation. Spotify is my daily soundtrack.

I updated my account to a Family Plan this year. My wife and I had our own separate accounts. A switch to the Family Plan was common fiscal sense. But I continued to deflect because in my simple mind this would impact my listening stats. Spotify’s Year End Stats are always one of December’s highlights. They must be pure and accurate. If I had a Family Plan, would it display my Top 100 songs; if my daughter plays Taylor Swift, is this skewing my Top Artists? After some doctorate level research and next-level verifying via my Spotify squad, all wonderings led me to my stats staying true.

This plan enabled us to have five logins that would generate five unique year end stats. A peer using Spotify’s freemium option got wind of my upgrade and requested a handout. He wanted to wheel and deal. A Spotify Premium login for HBO GO access. Wait, you want to me to potentially jeopardize my Spotify account so I can view Curb Your Enthusiasm? What if I became blacklisted from my digital record collection? If anything was essential this year, music was it and nothing you can offer me is worth considering.

What’s indicative of this year’s Top Artists are how safe four of the five acts are for all ears. Our family was home a lot. Cooped up together. I opted for headphones when possible. But with kids around, I had to be semi-present. There wasn’t a fear of endlessly blasting these artists with little ears around; sensitive ears were safe around four of the five, too.

All five of these artists released new material. One maybe their greatest output over the course of three decades. Prince’s cavernous vault continues to be explored and excavated for our funky listening pleasure. Sault released a pair of truth telling wake up calls in the form of let’s set aside all the bullshit for a minute while we dance societies’ problems away records. Hawksley Workman is a staple in this home. He’s a game changer, an artist who towed us through 2020’s mucky trenches. Roisin has been whetting our appetite for years with one off singles of laser-heavy disco bliss and 2020 saw the unleashing of the dance floor ready Roisin Machine.

Predictability feels safe, routine makes my days easier than when shit is chaotic. My wife accurately listed four of the five Top Artists when I asked her for my top spots. If at middle age I’m predictable and becoming stuck in my stale ways, I will own that. At least my taste in music continues to be fresh.

20
Nov
20

Hawksley Night in Canada at Christmastime…

A Night in Canada sounds enticing right now. Shit, stepping anywhere that’s not my home would break the status quo. In the meantime, let’s accept our reality and invite our favorites over to celebrate the holiday season.

Hawksley Workman has been a regular guest on our virtual stage. He’s bringing his yuletide bangers over for our listening pleasure in December with his Hawksley Night in Canada at Christmastime. Usually a monthly event, Workman is gifting us two shows. An engaging variety show consisting of career spanning set lists. Perhaps he pulls from his two holiday themed records, or shares unique renditions off his latest Less Rage More Tears.

These shows have been Hawksley showcasing his quirks, putting his theatrical and formidable voice at the forefront, and engaging us with his unpredictable imagination. We yearn for a live experience inside of a venue, where a full band is backing this Canadian Treasure, Hawksley Workman knows this. In the meantime, let’s rage holiday style with Hawksley’s sweet cacophony from the comfort and safety of our couch.

Stadium rock, 80s nostalgia, flair for days, and definitely something to dance to, “Tahiti Treat” is given the video treatment it deserves…

30
Oct
20

Hawksley Workman’s Swag

There was a period where your favorite artists seemed unapproachable. Bands who manned their merch tables presented opportunity for interaction. The table is now digital, the shows are now virtual, and a response to your Tweet makes you feel noticed. A Retweet forms an instant bond between you and the recipient.

Artists need and deserve our support during this period. Hawksley Workman unveiled his latest record Less Rage More Tears and presented us with a chance to update our wardrobe. His Hawksley Night in Canada shows have been an excellent form of entertainment and an excuse to still use my calendar.

My package from the North arrived recently, and my genuine excitement to adorn my new T-shirt was palpable. Like the priceless animations during a Night in Canada with Workman, the T-shirt is just as quirky and awesome. Each letter is raised, in its own color, and appears super D.I.Y. The complements were a plenty, the questions came from a good place, and others must have confused it with something similar?

“My Mom has that same shirt” was spoken to me while sporting this treasure. I knew at some point I was going to selfie while wearing Workman’s latest fashion piece. This seemed like the ideal time to ping the Canadian virtuoso via Twitter and thank him for all he’s done:

23
Oct
20

Rage and Rebellion

It’s nearing the end of this shit storm year. Great and inventive artists are still contributing to 2020’s musical canon with full-length records. They’ve been whetting our appetite for months with teaser singles; stringing us effortlessly along their artistic journey. 10/23 has been on my radar for months. The Canadian treasure Hawksley Workman debuts his latest album Less Rage More Tears and Brooklyn’s rabble rouser Ela Minus influences us with her self-described “club punk” anthems on her debut full-length Acts of Rebellion.

Pulling back your new record for a later date due to a world-wide pandemic initially seemed smart. As time went on, there didn’t appear to be an end in sight. Artists with creative output knew they had something to share, musically unique work their audience could appreciate during these times. Both artists have written records for these times: one to contemplate how we respond to these trying times we are all experiencing, the other head noddingly addictive and empowering us to not accept the status quo.

Hawksley’s 17th record, Less Rage More Tears, a nine track album showcasing his ability to be diverse in his genres of choice while always exercising his formidable vocal range.

Ela Minus, the Brooklyn by way of Colombia beat maker lets us hear all 11 tracks off her Acts of Rebellion record. A let’s formidably resist against all injustice record that’s interspersed with soothing and restful electronic soundscapes.

Full-lengths still excite me. They give me a reason to slow down and decipher a theme and potential message for the listener. Release dates are calendar worthy. Something to count down the days until you can experience every track in their intended order. Music exists for so many reasons. Today I’m choosing to lose myself in 20 new tracks.

02
Oct
20

Hawksley Gots Merch!

The merch table is a given stop at all shows. But now that all I have are virtual shows, online browsing is the digital equivalent. Thankfully, Hawksley Workman’s table at the back of the (online) venue is packed full of goodness.

Workman is debuting his latest full-length, Less Rage More Tears, this month. His 17th record – which contains the dark rocker “Dwindling Beauty (Let’s Fake Our Deaths Together)”, an excellent artistic exercise in how to handle despair and our anxiety-inducing times.

Hawksley teased via his Twitter that his theatrically unique Hawksley Night in Canada shows would soon have their own T-shirts. Today this is a reality.

If anything this period has done to my conscious as a music fan, it’s the desire to support artists. They’ve given us so much. Now more than ever, we owe it to them. Here, take my money, it’s well deserved.

Stock up and support the cause.

12
Sep
20

Hawksley’s Dwindling Beauty of 2020…

2020 might be shit but musical artists of mine are giving me hope. Through new records, captivating virtual gigs, and excavated treasure from the vault, this year is not a wash. There’s been great art and forward thinking practices we would not have imagined seven months ago.

Multi-instrumentalist, full-time virtuoso of theatrics Hawksley Workman has unveiled “Dwindling Beauty (Let’s Fake Our Deaths Together)” off his forthcoming Less Rage More Tears record out 10/23. A dark single, full of meditative contemplations on what-ifs during these times: “I don’t feel anything but fear; I think the universe is trying to tell me nothing/like it’s run out of good things to say”. His emotional vocal energy is fully intact as his sonic signature evokes calming lows and raging highs on this five minute wild ride.

On his Bandcamp, Isadora Records has released three independent albums never commercially available; My Toothless Beauties, Puppy (a boy’s truly rough), Before We Were Security Guards.

On Friday, September 25 at 8PM EST Hawksley will showcase Round IV of his LIVE musical showcase: Hawksley Night in Canada. September’s performance will unveil a new stage. He’s left his father-in-law Don’s basement. Workman’s virtual show has become a staple for my wife and I. It’s been the best purchase under $15 during this pandemic. For $12 Canadian, my wife and I can place an event on our calendar. That action is priceless enough, add Hawksley’s special renditions, ferocious energy and unique arrangements for an absolute steal.

25
Jul
20

Workman’s Sound Check!

Hawksley Workman is doing a sound check of sorts for tomorrow’s 3rd installment of Hawksley Night in Canada EP 3. The local Victoria radio station, Zone 91-3, understands we miss live music. Thanks to their Micro Virtual Zone Show, a unique live performance of Hawksley’s latest single, “Just a Dream” has been shared.

Thanks to video wizardy, Workman showcases this song’s multi-layered ingredients that create this whimsical, throwback four on the floor single:

Hawksley Workman :: Just a Dream (Micro Virtual Zone Show)

On Sunday, 7/26, at 3 PM ET, the one-man jam is bringing his theatrical-like pop exuberance to us. It’s a basement show, one where deep cuts and fan favorites will be performed. He’s so confident in his chosen set-list that he’s already shared it:

Purchase your entrance into this intimate basement extravaganza here.

08
Jun
20

Hawks’ Night in Canada EP2

The virtual show lives on as we trudge through the muck that is 2020. My favorite Ontarion returns with Hawksley Night in Canada from his father-in-law’s basement on June 18 at 8PM EST for Episode 2: 75 minutes of Hawksley performing our favourite songs alongside special segments such as “Hawk Talk” and “Pet Songs”.

His creative “Hawk Talk” segment gives his fans the opportunity to dial him directly. This time, I’m ready to break into the man’s basement to blabber sweet nothings about what his music has meant to me and now us. And if the call fails multiple times, we can hypothesize and improvise how the conversation would have looked.

Workman’s initial Night in Canada was an experience that brought a smile to my face, had me bobbin’ my head and movin’ with his powerful voice and accomplished instrumentation. The combination of songs pulled from various albums, including his Greek tragedy The God That Comes, his creative segments we didn’t expect, and a sincere sense of excitement and gratitude from Hawksley, helped us to temporarily forget we were even in any sort of quarantine. To all artists stepping up for our entertainment, thinking differently than before, and giving their all for art’s sake, we applaud you from afar.

Snag a ticket here.




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May 2021
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