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.

Throwback Thursday: It's Immaterial and Driving Away from Home (1986)

Looking for a driving song? This one from Liverpool’s It’s Immaterial (especially in this 12-inch iteration) fits the bill. It began with a full-on country-and-western vibe recorded with the Talking Heads’ Jerry Harrison, but the band didn’t like it. They returned to England to re-record it while Harrison took his name off the project.

The song’s full title is Driving Away from Home (Jim’s Tune). The “Jim” is Jim Lieber, a harmonica player in a blues band the group saw while in Milwaukee. He’s the guy we hear on the recording.


© 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.

Undiscovered Gem: Bring on the Storm and Decompose

Here’s some very fresh melodic punk from Calgary. Bring the Storm has spent the last while gigging throughout Canada and should have a debut full-length record in early 2024. If you’re into anything from Sum 41 to Billy Talent to Three Days Grace, here’s something here for you.


© 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.

London Calling: Sorry and Screaming in the Rain Again

North London four-piece Sorry released an album entitled Anywhere But Here about a year ago to considerable acclaim. The second-last track on that record was entitled Screaming in the Rain. This fall, they’ve re-recorded that song under the title Screaming in the Rain Again which is harder, faster, and stronger than the original. There’s a new video, too.

© 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.

House of Commons Speaker apologizes, urged to resign for Ukrainian Nazi unit tribute

WATCH - House Speaker Rota apologizes for recognizing Ukrainian veteran who fought for Nazi unit

House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota apologized again Monday for inviting and paying tribute to a Ukrainian Second World War veteran who fought for Nazi Germany and was present during Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit last week.

Rota, who said he regretted his decision and was “deeply sorry” for any hurt he caused, faced calls to resign from the role by the NDP.

“My intention was to show that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is not a new one; that Ukrainians have unfortunately been subject to foreign aggression for far too long and that this must end. I have subsequently become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision to recognize this individual. I wish to apologize to the House. I am deeply sorry that I have offended many with my gesture and remarks,” he said.

“I would also like to add that this initiative was entirely my own, the individual in question being from my riding and having been brought to my attention. No one—not even anyone among you, fellow parliamentarians, or from the Ukrainian delegation—was privy to my intention or my remarks prior to their delivery.”

Zelenskyy was in Ottawa last Friday for his first trip to the country since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24, 2022.

During his visit to the House of Commons, MPs as well as Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian delegation gave a standing ovation when 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka was introduced by Rota.

“We have here in the chamber today Ukrainian Canadians (and) a Ukrainian-Canadian war veteran from the Second World War who fought (for) Ukrainian independence against the Russians, and continues to support the troops today, even at his age of 98,” Rota said last Friday.

“I am very proud to say that he is from North Bay and from my riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming. He is a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero, and we thank him for all his service.”

MPs cheered, and Zelenskyy raised his fist in acknowledgement as Hunka saluted from the gallery during two separate standing ovations. What seemed like a moment of gratitude turned sour on Sunday when reports emerged that Hunka fought for the Nazis during the Second World War.

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies said in a statement that Hunka served in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, also known as the First Ukrainian Division, and demanded an apology.

“An apology is owed to every Holocaust survivor and veteran of the Second World War who fought the Nazis, and an explanation must be provided as to how this individual entered the hallowed halls of Canadian Parliament and received recognition from the Speaker of the House and a standing ovation,” it said.

B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said on X, formerly known as Twitter, Sunday the recognition was beyond outrageous, and that “we cannot allow the whitewashing of history.”

Rota said in a statement on Sunday that he recognized an individual in the gallery on Friday, and that he has “subsequently become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so.”

“I wish to make clear that no one, including fellow parliamentarians and the Ukraine delegation, was aware of my intention or of my remarks before I delivered them,” he wrote.

“I particularly want to extend my deepest apologies to Jewish communities in Canada and around the world.”

Karina Gould, the government leader in the House of Commons, said she would urge all members of the House to agree to strike the tribute from the formal records.

But questions quickly emerged about how Hunka’s past was not identified by the government and security officials during vetting of who should be in the chamber during Zelenskyy’s visit.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office repeated Rota’s assertion that he alone invited Hunka.

“Parliament and the Speaker’s office is independent from the prime minister and the Prime Minister’s Office,” Mohammad Hussain told The Canadian Press Sunday.

“The Speaker had his own allotment of guest seating at Friday’s address, which were determined by the Speaker and his office alone.”

— with files from The Canadian Press

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

Toddler missing for hours found sleeping in woods using her dog as pillow

A two-year-old girl who wandered away from her home in a remote and heavily wooded area of Michigan was found safe and sound hours later, guarded by her family’s two dogs: an English Springer named Hartley and a Rottweiler named Buddy.

The toddler, Thea Chase, was reported missing by her mother Brooke Chase after she disappeared around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday from their home in Faithorn, a small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, close to the Canadian border near Sault Ste. Marie.

Brooke told local outlet WLUC that Thea had been playing in the yard barefoot when the toddler’s uncle told her to go inside and put some shoes on.

“She said ‘OK!’ and he thought she went inside. My gut told me to go check on Thea and make sure she wasn’t getting into any trouble,” Brooke said. “That is when we noticed that she was not here, and the dogs were not here.”

For about half an hour, Brooke and her brother-in-law searched the surrounding areas for the missing toddler to no avail.

“I was just panicking, thinking the worst,” she said, noting that neither the dogs nor Thea were answering their yells.

Police were called around 8 p.m., after the sun had set, and Michigan State Police and local sheriff’s deputies coordinated to search for the two-year-old using drones, search-and-rescue crews and sniffer dogs.

“When we get a call like that, everything else stops,” Michigan State Police Lt. Mark Giannunzio told CNN.

Members of the local community also formed volunteer search parties to help look for Thea in the dense forest around Faithorn.

At around midnight, more than four hours after the two-year-old was first noticed missing, a family friend searching for Thea on an ATV came across the family’s Rottweiler, Buddy.

Buddy barked at him as he approached and that’s when he found Thea a short ways off the trail. She was asleep on the ground with her head resting on Hartley, the family’s English Springer.

“She laid down and used one of the dogs as a pillow, and the other dog laid right next to her and kept her safe,” Giannunzio told the Associated Press. “It’s a really remarkable story.”

When the family friend tried to approach the sleeping Thea to wake her up, Hartley growled at him to back off, Brooke told CNN.

“She has those dogs wrapped around her finger,” she said.

Thea was driven back home on the back of the ATV and reunited with her family.

“I ran outside when I heard she was up here. The minute she sees me she says, ‘Hi Mommy,’ like nothing happened. She was giggling. I was trying to compose myself,” Brooke told WLUC.

Police say that Thea was evaluated by medical personnel and found to be unharmed during the hours she was missing.

She was located about five kilometres from her home.

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

Parole board warned employees about threats following Saskatchewan stabbings: emails

Parole Board of Canada employees were fearful of threats after it was revealed a mass killer in Saskatchewan was on statutory release at the time of last year’s rampage, emails show.

The emails in partially redacted documents, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, show staff at the Parole Board of Canada were cautioned about their safety and told to remain vigilant following threats made to a Saskatchewan office after the stabbings.

Eleven people were killed and 17 were injured in the attacks on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby village of Weldon on Sept. 4, 2022.

Myles Sanderson, 32, was arrested four days later and died in police custody.

It was widely reported during the manhunt that Sanderson, who had a record of violent assaults, had received statutory release, which kicks in when an offender has served two-thirds of a prison sentence.

The killings raised questions over why Sanderson was released and how he managed to remain free in the months leading up to the attacks. Emails show that along with increased public attention and criticism, the parole board received “a few concerning phone calls” about Sanderson’s release, which were reported to Saskatoon police.

Emails to Jennifer Oades, the chairperson of the parole board, on Sept. 8 note a phone call to the Saskatchewan parole board office. The contents of the four-minute call are largely redacted, but it prompted swift action inside the parole board.

“This is quite worrisome,” Oades wrote in an email about the call.

Staff were notified in an email later that day to take action to ensure their safety.

They were advised to use alternate routes to work or change the times they would leave. The email said staff should leave the building in groups or consider working from home.

“Please remember to be vigilant and keep an eye out for any suspicious activities or individuals in your surroundings,” the email to staff said.

It also cautioned people to make their employee identification cards or lanyards less visible and to avoid using branded items like coffee mugs. It said they should revisit having social media accounts that might identify them as a parole board employee.

“Given recent events, it is recommended that you reduce your visibility as a PBC employee while outside of secure work zones,” the email said.

One email sent to Oades two days after the stabbings expressed shock at the fact Sanderson had been released, saying the parole board needed to answer to the public.

“How many more of these (Parole Board of Canada) mistakes are out there?'”

The parole board said in a statement that it sometimes receives feedback that contains “abusive” language over its decisions.

In the case of the worrying phone call, the board said local police contacted the individual and “determined that there had been no intent to threaten the board.”

Parole board employees were also closely watching news reports about Sanderson’s release, emails show. They noted the backlash and shared concerns about the public’s understanding of statutory release, which imposes conditions on offenders to help with their reintegration into society.

Sanderson’s parole documents show he had a lengthy criminal history, including 59 convictions as an adult. He received statutory release in August 2021 from his first federal prison sentence of more than four years.

Four months into his freedom, Sanderson was found to have been lying about his living arrangements and his release was suspended.

In February 2022, the parole board cancelled that suspension and Sanderson again received statutory release with a reprimand. Three months later, however, the Correctional Service of Canada deemed him to be unlawfully at large, and a parole officer issued a warrant for his apprehension.

After the deadly stabbings, then-public safety minister Marco Mendicino weighed in on Sanderson’s release from prison, saying “there were a number of significant flaws in the system here that have to be addressed.”

The Correctional Service of Canada and the Parole Board of Canada launched a joint investigation into Sanderson’s release. One briefing note shows a written report was due no later than March, but in separate statements both the parole board and prison service say they expect to share the results this fall.

“The length of time to complete an investigation varies according to the complexities of the case and whether there is an ongoing police investigation or criminal proceeding,” wrote parole board spokeswoman Iulia Pescarus Popa.

The joint investigation is intended to look into why and how Sanderson was released from prison and whether the proper processes were followed.

Betty Pottruff, the parole board member who signed off on the Sanderson decision, voiced concern about the heightened interest and her own safety as the joint investigation progressed.

In an email in January, she requested to have the assistance of a department of justice lawyer for the joint investigation.

“There was already a threat toward board members that caused concern in the fall and as emotions resurface, the risks continue or increase,” Pottruff said.

“I expect that this focus on me as an individual board member will continue and increase as the reviews go forward.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2023.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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