The Shreddies Song

YC_Shreddies

Melodically, I remember exactly how it went down. It was “any old rehearsal” when Steve hammered out the fuelling refrain; followed by a verse component and an arrangement from me; then, over to Peter for that decidedly punk power. Lyrically, I can’t recall a thing. It sounds like a response to reading the news. Apparently, over breakfast. But, don’t mind the ingredients. Just make “Shreddies” part of your daily musical diet.

Photo by Craig Konyu

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CREDITS:

Words by Craig Konyu / Music by Craig Konyu, Steve Denyszyn & Peter Buck
Recorded & produced by Peter Buck & Craig Konyu
Released August 1, 2015

The vocals: Craig Konyu
The backing: Craig Konyu & Peter Buck
The electric: Peter Buck
The bass: Peter Buck
The keys: Steve Denyszyn & Peter Buck
The drums: Johann Burkhardt
The tambourine: Craig Konyu

LYRICS:

Dust off your mind. Pull up a chair.
Throw all of the thickness of thought in the air.
The whole world is down. Now you may stand.
Hold all of the thickness of thought in your hand.

Diamond eyes cut. Never may heal.
Bleed all of the thickness of thought that you feel.
When night is cold. Freeze up the dream.
Live all of the thickness of thought that’s ever been.

Will chaos end? Clean up this mess?
Write all of the thickness of thought in poems of sense?
The simple chirp. Of calling birds.
Join all of the thickness of thought of distant worlds.

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Six-Pack: July 1, 2015

Six-Pack_July 1, 2015 [Photo]

True patriot love: To mark this favourite (not favorite) day of the year, we picked a few of our favourite homegrown hits. Enjoy this six-pack—two guys, two acoustics, two microphones, recorded mostly live off the floor. Just in time for Canada Day 2015! (A decade ago, it absolutely would’ve been a two-four.)

Photo by Craig Konyu

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CREDITS:

Comes A Time [Neil Young]
Words & music by Neil Young

Up On Cripple Creek [The Band]
Words & music by J.R. Robertson

Long Time Running [The Tragically Hip]
Words & music by The Tragically Hip

Why Be So Curious [The Sadies]
Words & music by The Sadies/Rick White

Hasn’t Hit Me Yet [Blue Rodeo]
Words & music by Jim Cuddy & Greg Keelor

Four Strong Winds [Neil Young]
Words & music by Ian Tyson

All songs recorded & produced by Peter Buck & Craig Konyu
Released July 1, 2015

The vocals: Craig Konyu
The backing: Peter Buck
The acoustic (rhythm): Craig Konyu
The acoustic (lead): Peter Buck

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I Can Hear Flowers Bloom

I Can Hear Flowers Bloom [Photo]

Inspiration lives in unlikely places. In the 1970s, visionary surf-shop owners in Southern California established a competitive skateboard team, made up of teens from broken homes. To hone their skills, these “troublemakers” rolled straight into backyard swimming pools—emptied due to extreme drought. Skateboarding, as we know it, was born. About 10 years ago, I sat down to watch the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. Well, the idea for this song bloomed.

Photo by Craig Konyu

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CREDITS:

Words & music by Craig Konyu
Recorded & produced by Peter Buck & Craig Konyu
Released June 1, 2015

The vocals: Craig Konyu
The acoustic: Craig Konyu
The electric: Peter Buck
The bass: Peter Buck
The drums: Johann Burkhardt

LYRICS:

I’d like to change the day for you.
I wanna make believe that we find something better.
Feel live. Swan dive. Empty pool.
Don’t take chances. Place your bet here.

Board the aircraft.
Let the outside in.
Doing anything
Is better than my nothing.
Pretty please, make my heart croon.
I can hear the flowers bloom.

I’d like to save the day for you.
I will hypothesize that we find something better.
Stay long. Swan song. Brighter blue.
Up the ante. Place your bet here.

Leave the aircraft.
Let the inside out.
Do it first and, second,
See if it’s allowed.
Pretty please, make my heart croon.
I can hear the flowers bloom.

Abandon aircraft.
Walk in fresh air home.
Do the math,
But spell the answers that are born.
Pretty please, make my heart croon.
I can hear the flowers bloom.

I’d like to make the day for you.
I wanna guarantee that we find something better.

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Pact

Pact [May 2015]

Pact? Fortunately, Peter and I aren’t righting a conflict, and we hardly need a formal agreement. Ours was of a friendly variety: could we, the two of us, record and release a new song every month for three years? Life. Work. Hangovers. Taxes. Lots gets in the way. But, a deal’s a deal.

Photo by Chris Matteis

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CREDITS:

Words & music by Craig Konyu
Recorded & produced by Peter Buck & Craig Konyu
Released May 1, 2015

The vocals: Craig Konyu
The backing: Craig Konyu & Peter Buck
The acoustic: Craig Konyu & Peter Buck
The electric: Peter Buck
The bass: Peter Buck
The shaker: Craig Konyu
The handclaps: Craig Konyu
The tambo: Craig Konyu

LYRICS:

It won’t happen again.
She said with a grin.
As I held up her chin.

She just wasn’t herself.
When the last hand was dealt.
And she went for the win.

But, I saw the look in her eyes.
Reflecting the lies.
And the sweat on her skin.

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Dear Mr. Fantasy

Dear Mr. Fantasy [Apr 2015]

My brother Rick passed away March 24, 2015, in Calgary, at the age of 60, after a long struggle with cancer. He met this struggle with courage and humour, and through it all, he never lost his love for music.

If you know me, you likely know that I enjoy playing guitar. But, you may not know, that does not make me unique in my family. My older brothers, Dave and Rick, both learned to play guitar many years before I did. They were my first guitar heroes. Among my earliest memories is watching and hearing their bands practice in the garage or basement, and even perform once or twice on local television. The line-ups of those bands, with fitting names such as The System and Fields of Illusion, also included their friend Greg Kinzel on drums.

With their inspiration and encouragement, I eventually took up guitar as well, though I was too young to join their band. I probably became a lead guitarist because Rick’s Les Paul Jr.—through his Ampeg amp—was the easiest to hear.

This version of Traffic’s 1967 classic, “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” was created expressly as a tribute to Rick. Not only was it a favourite song by one of his favourite bands, it is also one of the last songs he and I ever jammed together. I will think of him whenever I play it.

Aside from Craig’s and my contributions, this song features my brother Dave on acoustic guitar and Greg Kinzel on drums (recorded by Greg’s son Roger). Thanks to them for bringing the genuine Spirit of ’67.

As you listen to the song, consider donating to a charity that means something to you in Rick’s memory.

With deepest condolences to Rick’s wife, Kathy Fedori, and their two sons, Spencer and Julian.

Photo from the Buck family collection (The System playing the opening of the Willow Park-Maple Ridge Community Centre, summer 1967. Left to right: Dave Buck, Greg Kinzel, Jim Rodgers, John Willett, Rick Buck.)

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CREDITS:

Dedicated to Rick Buck (1954–2015)

Words & music by Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood & Chris Wood
Recorded by Peter Buck, Craig Konyu, Dave Buck & Roger Kinzel
Produced by Peter Buck
Released April 2015

The vocals: Craig Konyu
The backing: Peter Buck & Craig Konyu
The electric: Peter Buck
The acoustic: Dave Buck
The bass: Peter Buck
The keys: Peter Buck
The shaker: Peter Buck
The drums: Greg Kinzel

Special thanks to Dave Buck, Greg Kinzel & Roger Kinzel for contributing to this project.

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At Loggerheads

Yukon Cigar [Humidor - At Loggerheads]

It takes loads of oil and water to raise cattle. Every few minutes, a mammoth-sized piece of rainforest is destroyed for soy cultivation. So, who’s right, the carnivores or the herbivores? (This is just one off-hand example.) Point is, you can argue till you’re blue in the face. Until your point of view trumps the other. But, often, a sweeter villain lay in walking away with a tightened grip on what you believe.

Photo by Craig Konyu

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CREDITS:

Words & music by Craig Konyu
Recorded & produced by Peter Buck & Craig Konyu
Released March 1, 2015

The vocals: Craig Konyu
The backing: Craig Konyu & Peter Buck
The acoustic: Craig Konyu & Peter Buck
The electric: Peter Buck
The bass: Peter Buck
The accordion: Steve Denyszyn
The drums: Johann Burkhardt

LYRICS:

Writ not in the spirit
Of changing one’s views
But for the lack of power to do so
While heads and arms
Of mutton heroes shovel
Spoonfuls into proudest bellies.

More wood upon the fire.

Across the forest
Lumberjacks go snubbing
All boundary lines of bliss
No I were you
Or you were me
And something else was this.

It’s steak at dinnertime.

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A Black Dot On White

1st Listen - A Black Dot On White [Feb 2015]

Kofi Annan recalls a lesson from his student days at Mfantsipim (from The New Yorker, March 3, 2003): “Once, I remember, Reverend Brandful took out a large white sheet with a black dot in the middle, draped it over the blackboard and asked us: ‘What do you see?’ We all answered: ‘The black dot.’ ‘Why only the black dot?’ he responded. ‘Why only the negative? What about the vast white spaces around?’ He was reminding us to always look beyond the obvious and beneath the surface, to bear in mind the larger picture, not to focus just on the blemishes. He was teaching us also to remember that there is more than one side to a story, and more than one answer to a question.”

Photo by Craig Konyu

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CREDITS:

Words & music by Craig Konyu
Recorded & produced by Craig Konyu & Peter Buck
Released February 1, 2015

The vocals: Craig Konyu
The backing: Craig Konyu
The acoustic: Craig Konyu & Peter Buck
The electric: Peter Buck
The bass: Peter Buck
The drums: Johann Burkhardt
The shakers: Craig Konyu
The bells: Craig Konyu

LYRICS:

You feel like closing your eyes.
UFOs circle the skies.
Lay down that begotten myth.
What you see lacks what it is.

Brain works by proxy and guess.
Imperial checkers and chess.
Interstate and civil roads are paved.
Earth is a peaceable place.

Now that the webs have been spun.
Spider can build another one.
Suck silt and harbinger night.
Paranoid apple turns ripe.

Cold war becomes comfortable.
Firepower spent and all is well.
Conflict is chewing resolve fat.
Earth spirals down, off the map.

To teardrops are sewn jealous hearts.
A black dot on white equals art.

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