Ongoing History Daily: Pearl Jam bootleg overload

Back when Pearl Jam was at their height, they had the clout to do anything they wanted. Anything.

On September 26, 2000, the band released 25 double CD live albums—what they referred to as “official bootlegs”—featuring performances from virtually every show they played on European tour in support of their Binaural album. Of those 25, five immediately made the top 200 album chart. This was the first time any act ever saw more than two new albums show up on the chart in the same week.

Two other sets just missed the cut. Had they made the charts that week, Pearl Jam would have joined The Beatles, The Monkees, and U2 as the only acts to that point with seven albums on the charts at the same time.

This was decades before Taylor Swift came along.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: Babies and live music

A question from new parents: “Should I expose my baby to live music?” The answer is “yes.”

A recent study at the University of Toronto revealed that infants have longer attention spans when experiencing live music. Sure, you might want to give them an iPad to stare at, but that apparently doesn’t work as well as live music. Videos don’t captivate them a whole lot but live music elicits physiological changes like a synchronization of heart rate to the music.

The final conclusion? “Findings suggest that performer–audience interactions and social context play an important role in facilitating attention and coordinating emotional responses to musical performances early in life.”

The big caveat? Volume. The live music cannot be too loud for those delicate little ears.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The weirdness of the Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips are certainly unconventional and experimental. One of their weird projects was a very, very long song called “7 skies H3” which, in its original form, ran for 24 hours.

It consisted of several separate pieces, each running anywhere from 25 minutes to seven hours. If that wasn’t enough, just 13 copies were released on flash drives that were encased in actual human skulls. They went on the market (appropriately) on Halloween 2011 and cost $5,000. And yes, they sold them all. If you can’t find your own copy—imagine that—they also set up a website with the song on a continuous loop.

And if you would rather have a physical copy, there is an edited version that runs 50 minutes and was released for Record Store Day 2014.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The cruelty of dance marathons

Back in the 1930s during the Great Depression, there was a phenomenon known as the dance marathon. Basically, couples would take up a challenge to see who could remain dancing longer than anyone else. They were held in ballrooms and auditoriums and could continue for not just hours, but days and even weeks.

Spectators paid to watch, too. The longer the marathon went on, the higher the admission price. Couples had to stay in motion continuously resulting in blisters, injuries, and collapse from exhaustion.

Why would anyone subject themselves to such a thing? Like I said, it was during the Depression. Many people signed up for these marathons because it meant food, shelter, and a place to sleep, even if it was just a few minutes an hour. Those who won were given a cash prize. Hey, the Depression was rough. People were willing to do anything to survive.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The Ramones vs. cancer

All the original Ramones are no longer with us. While Dee Dee died of a heroin overdose, his three bandmates suffered from different forms of cancer. Joey died of lymphoma. Johnny? Prostate cancer. Tommy suffered from bile duct cancer. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Some suspect these cancers are the result of the conditions of a loft on East 2nd Street where the Ramones rehearsed and printed t-shirts. It was the former home of a plastic flower factory and some believe that the toxic residue left over from the chemicals used in their manufacture. They permeated the entire building.

Oh, and one more thing: Arturo Vega, the Ramones’ art director and the guy who designed and pressed up all those t-shirts in that loft? He also died of cancer.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Picket line grows at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health as CUPE members join strike

The sounds of honking, chanting and cheering can be heard along North Park Street in Belleville, Ont., which is par for the course these past few weeks as public health nurses have been picketing outside the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health office for over a month.

But today, they received some backup. CUPE-represented health unit employees joined them on the picket lines after rejecting the health unit’s latest contract offer.

“We really thought that going into this negotiation that we would be in a position, that the employer would show us some respect, show our value for everything that we did during the pandemic for the community. and no, we’re not at that point,” Dhannon Del Grosso, vice-president of  CUPE Local 3314, said.

Wages and benefits are the sticking point for both the Ontario Nurses Association and CUPE-represented employees. The CUPE members include dieticians and health inspectors.

They say that so far they’ve been offered a two-per cent wage increase and not much more. But the health unit says even bringing that much to the table has proven difficult.

“With ONA, they’re looking for something that we’re struggling a little bit with our funding mechanism. so that’s their number one item,” David Johnston, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Unit director of corporate services, said.

“With CUPE we have some wage-related items and some non-wage-related items.”

Both sides continue to meet regularly. With CUPE representatives sitting down at the bargaining table this morning. the health unit is hopeful these latest rounds of talks can lead to a resolution sooner rather than later.

“It feels like we’re close, like there’s a very close, razor-thin margin from where we are and where we want to be,” Johnston said.

“But this is often I think where the holding ground is for some people so we’ll just have to wait and see if we can come to something.”

“If it was that razor-thin, then they should be able to find what we’re looking for to help get us back in the building to provide the services. They’ve had over six months to do that and they’ve refused to do so,” ONA Local 31 bargaining president Josh Davidson-Marcon said.

So with no end in sight, striking employees hope the sound of honking and cheering will continue to send a message to the health unit and put an end to the weeks-long strike.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Man charged with assault during Take Back the Night March in Hamilton

A man has been charged following an alleged assault at the Take Back the Night march in downtown Hamilton. Ont.

Police say the 29-year-old assaulted a participant after making an attempt to grab a person’s sign.

Officers were on site when the march began, and that’s when they say they were approached by multiple women describing the alleged assault.

The incident is also being reviewed by the Hate Crime Unit, according to police.

The march, which started at city hall, brought several hundred people to the streets in solidarity against street harassment as well as sexual and gender-based violence.

In 2019, the march was cancelled due to concerns about police interacting with survivors.

The pandemic forced the march to go virtual in 2020 and 2021, before returning in 2022.

Police are seeking witnesses as well as camera footage from the event.

Anyone with information can reach out to Hamilton police or Crime Stoppers.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Blue Jays slugger Guerrero back in starting lineup

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. returned to the starting lineup Friday for Toronto’s series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Guerrero, who missed most of the last two games with right knee discomfort, was slated to bat third as the designated hitter.

Cavan Biggio was set to bat cleanup and play Guerrero’s usual position of first base.

Guerrero was replaced by a pinch-runner late in Tuesday’s game in New York after he appeared to be bothered by his leg while running to first base.

He sat out Wednesday’s game against the Yankees and came on as a pinch-hitter on Thursday. An MRI exam showed inflammation but no structural damage.

A three-time all-star, Guerrero is hitting .264 with 24 homers and 91 RBIs in 148 games this season.

The Blue Jays are in the thick of a tight playoff race in the American League.

Toronto started the day with a half-game lead on the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners for the second wild-card spot. Texas and Seattle both have a game in hand on Toronto and hold the tiebreaker advantage on the Blue Jays.

The hometown Rays, meanwhile, entered play 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Baltimore Orioles in the East Division standings.

The division winner will get a bye to the AL Division Series while the second-place finisher will get the first of three wild-card spots.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2023.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Smith says despite difficulty with Liberals, Alberta has allies in Trudeau cabinet

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith told a business conference on Friday that despite her concerns with the federal Liberal government, there are some cabinet ministers she can work with.

Smith has been at odds with federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson amid concerns over Ottawa’s climate-change policies and transition plan for a net-zero emissions economy.

Guilbeault intends to publish draft regulations this fall to cap emissions from oil and gas, then force them downward overtime. Ottawa has also set a target to have the electricity grid be net-zero by 2035, but Alberta says it’s unrealistic.

Smith says Alberta won’t implement the emissions cap, nor will it follow the 2035 target.

The premier told delegates at the Global Business Forum in Banff, Alta., that Wilkinson needs to answer for comments he made earlier this week at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary.

Wilkinson’s call for the industry to work aggressively to get to net-zero was basically telling them to “pack it up, because the oil and gas industry is winding down,” said Smith.

“You could just feel the energy leave the room and you could just feel the investment dollars leave the room.”

Smith said energy producing provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, can’t trust the Trudeau government to look out for their interests at international conferences.

“After hearing how the natural resources minister talks about our industry, after hearing how the federal environment minister talks about our industry, we can’t afford to let them carry our message,” Smith said.

“We can’t afford not to be there.”

Smith said she has been in discussions with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and intends to talk to Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey about joint presentations at conferences in the future.

Despite her disappointment with Wilkinson and Guilbeault, Smith said it’s not all bad.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland among the top allies, she said.

“Let’s give her credit for shepherding through all of the constant need to give more debt financing to Trans Mountain pipeline to get that to the finish line. That has not been easy,” Smith said.

She also praised Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan and Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault.

“I would say it’s not uniformly negative in the Liberal caucus. But for some reason they’re allowing Stephen Guilbeault to be a maverick and a renegade and quite offensive to those of who are trying to be reasonable and adult about this,” Smith said.

Smith said it’s time for the federal government to back away from setting “aggressive targets” in dealing with the provinces.

“Aggressive targets are not helpful. They’re not helpful to us. They’re not helpful to investors.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2023.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Canadians not delaying major life events despite rising inflation: poll

WATCH: Food inflation and how it’s impacting the groceries people buy

As Canadians are battling inflation, a recent CIBC poll found that up to 61 per cent have done some form of cost-cutting but few will postpone major life events.

The poll found that only two per cent of those surveyed plan to delay getting married, six per cent to hold off buying a first home and two per cent to delay having a child.

Some plans are being delayed due to inflation, though. About 15 per cent said they will delay home renovations and 20 per cent say they will postpone taking a vacation next year.

The bank surveyed 1,510 randomly selected Canadian adults in early August.

A large majority (86 per cent) say they are concerned about inflation, while more than half (54 per cent) say they are concerned about their ability to pay for daily expenses such as gas and groceries.

Nearly half of respondents (46 per cent) say they are cutting back on non-essential spending such as eating out at restaurants and entertainment, while 43 per cent are reducing their spending by purchasing cheaper items and couponing.

As inflation continues to hurt Canadians’ wallets, 30 per cent believe Canada is heading into a recession, while nearly a quarter of respondents (23 per cent) believe we are currently in one.

Inflation and the cost of living have become key concerns for voters as its annual rate rose to four per cent in August despite multiple interest rate hikes. Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre have taken notice of the concern.

Poilievre has been critical of government spending and says it is a factor in inflation, while Trudeau has recently announced a number of measures to address the cost of living. Those include threatening extra taxes on grocers unless there’s a plan to lower prices by Thanksgiving and the removal of GST on rental builds in an attempt to increase supply and lower prices.

CEOs of major grocery companies in Canada met with Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne on Monday, while the bill to remove the building GST was tabled Thursday.

Ipsos polling for Global News on Thursday found that 40 per cent of Canadians say Poilievre is the best choice to be prime minister, with 31 per cent saying the same for Trudeau.

Ipsos CEO Darrell Bricker told Global News the Conservatives could form a majority government if an election were held today.

“When you take a look at why Canadians are feeling the way they are right now, (there’s) real dissatisfaction with the direction of the country, particularly when it concerns the big issues that are on their personal agendas,” Bricker said, citing cost of living, access to housing and inflation.

“So a real economic set of concerns.”

— with files from Global News’ David Baxter.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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