Hayden’s Everything I Long For debut turned 20 this year, and as part of a lengthy anniversary celebration, he’s released a video that’s coupled with a live rendition of “Almost Everything,” from his 2013 record, Us Alone.
Most of the nostalgic clips in this one—says the YouTube description—are taken from a 1995 documentary called “Hayden’s Days.” Hayden hangs out in his room. Hayden walks around town. It’s basically a black and white version of his “Bad As They Seem” video.
The moustacheless beard (a.k.a. the Shenandoah) is an acceptable style choice for many cultures and communities, but when a white, non-Amish man with one is approaching you in a deserted parking lot, there’s nothing but trouble coming your way.
Don’t take his number, don’t go to his apartment for dance parties, don’t let his wife seduce you, and above all else, do not smoke his funny cigarettes.
“Troubled Times” comes from Hayden’s recent Hey Love album.
Hayden really turned into a softy, in his middle age. Here, we get him lounging in a whirlpool tub, dreaming up syrupy scenes of happy couples frolicking on the beach and smooching underwater.
What happened to “Bad As They Seem” Hayden? “The Closer I Get” Hayden? I suppose we can’t fault the man for being content. Perhaps the shark at the end of the vid was included for those seeking a little turmoil… does the shark eat the beachgoers? Were they so blinded by their infatuation that they didn’t see the No Swimming signs?
“Nowhere We Cannot Go” comes from the similarly syrupy sounding Hey Love, out in March.
The Singularity draws nearer. If we’re to believe what we’re being told (no reason not to, at this time), folklorist Henry Adam Svec (previously responsible for Folk Songs Of Canada Now) and programmer Mirek Plíhal have built a computer program that writes original folk music.
How does it work? Svec plugged “the totality of the history of Canadian folk music” into LIVINGSTON (how did he do that, we should probably ask); it ran that raw data through “algorithmic agents and compression formats,” and outputted transcriptions of original music (which then needed to be interpreted and performed by humans).
The hominids playing Volume 1 (there are more to come) include: Svec, Misha Bower (Bruce Peninsula), Marshall Bureau (Octoberman, The Pinecones), J.J. Ipsen (Hayden, Jim Guthrie), Andrew Penner (Sunparlour Players) and others.
You can read more about the project and pick up Artificially Intelligent Folk Songs of Canada Vol. 1 for free, *here* (you can also choose to make a donation). Check out a live performance of “Takin’ Off My Glasses Tonight,” down below.
Watch Hayden and Lou Canon stand around in their prom outfits and sing while Taylor Knox plays three instruments at once. One hopes Knox is well paid for these backbreaking efforts.
“Blurry Nights” (this vid definitely reminiscent of Islands’ “This Is Not A Song”) comes from Hayden’s Us Alone, released earlier this year.
Our musician-idols mature and we stubbornly refuse to grow with them—it’s easier that way. We can persist with the delusion because our heroes typically indulge us, but Hayden’s having none of it. ‘Grow up,’ he’s telling us, and there are no excuses this time. We all daydreamed he was signing about us, before; on Us Alone, he’s actually singing at us (see: “Almost Everything”). And here we thought Everything I Long For would lead to self-realization.
Us Alone isn’t all rants on old age, marriage and kids, of course, but there’s enough of it to label this a departure in tone (granted, the album’s best track—a duet with Lou Canon in the vein of the Fembots’ “The City”—is about an awkward hookup). These stories are “not about young lovers,” Hayden tells us right away; they’re about sacrifice—struggling to find time to do what you want, while driving your baby around the city to put it to sleep.
Time to decide, then: do you spurn or embrace this new Hayden? Love the whole Hayden or live in the good old days? Grow up or cling to the past? Hayden made his choice.
Check out Us Alone’s “Rainy Saturday” down below.