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I drive around in my car a lot these days and the car has a cassette recorder and I’m bored of all the tapes I have so I’m listening to the radio a lot. At first I was caught on Y108 out of Hamilton (“all the classics and just enough of the new stuff”) until it seemed the Tragically Hip contributed every second song. Then I tried Flow 94.5, the hip hop station but I couldn’t handle all the talking and the cheeseball songs that outnumber the innovative ones. Right now, I’m down with CBC 2 and all the classical shit because I think it makes my daughter smarter as I cart her from daycare to home and it calms my troubled soul. While this CD by Runcible Spoon isn’t symphonic, it’s certainly got a classical edge and I wouldn’t flip channels if it came on the radio. In fact, I’d turn it up just so’s I could enjoy the interplay (how’s that for music critic lingo?) between piano, clarinet, violin, cello and voice (the kind of voice that cuts glass – in a good way – because it’s so precise). It’s period music from a time before rock, blues or North America (the colonial version), cinematic when it’s not being music hall and oh so exciting and totally not cool. It makes my Sunday brunch that much more cultured and reminds me that it’s good to hear different styles, different timbres, different songs. It makes me smarter! (Terence Dick)


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