The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
Music Picks

Real Guitars and Songwriting

Richard Hawley's 'Hotel Room.'

By Adrian Mack 26 Jul 2007 | TheTyee.ca

Adrian Mack is a Vancouver-based musician and writer. When he's not busy practicing, writing, editing, raising his kid and being a devoted husband, he's wondering how anybody could find the time to blog.

image atom
'Conspiracy theory-free.'

Any new material from Richard Hawley is cause for celebration, and not only if you're still hung up on the simple virtues of songwriting, guitars and a rich, commanding baritone. (My condolences if you're not.)

Let me also recommend Hawley to any new parents out there. When I first stumbled on his Cole's Corner album in the summer of 2005, my own daughter was freshly born, her parents were freshly alarmed by the fact, and Hawley was the guy I turned to whenever the baby woke up screaming at night. I'd cue up "Hotel Room" from Cole's Corner, which Hawley has very graciously left sitting on his MySpace page.

At the time, I wrote that "Hotel Room" is up there with Santo and Johnny's "Sleepwalk" (which it quotes) for its evocation of midnight. And midnight or thereabouts was when the kid and I would generally dance around the kitchen listening to it together, until she'd finally nod off again, here in my arms, as the song says.

These days, she likes a lot of children's music -- Disney stuff, songs about banana phones, early Megadeth -- which is fine, I suppose. But her viewing habits are freaking me out, something that hit me hard when I caught an episode of something called 4 Square -- one of her favourite shows, actually -- that featured four mimes who pretended to be the moving parts of an engine, while a French guy in a leotard stared into the camera and said, "You are all good little machines!"

I think not, Xavier. Kids' media is clearly fertile ground for my specific type of paranoia, honed through decades of science fiction and conspiracy literature; it compels me to search for evidence of the soft forms of control. Social engineering dressed up as entertainment, low-intensity mind control in shiny disc form, perception management with an Oprah's Book Club endorsement -- you get the picture. It's what I like to do while other people are enjoying themselves. (I'm determined to prove that The Exorcist, for instance, was a covertly sponsored government PsyOp designed to encourage a resurgence in fundamentalism. Wish me luck!)

I've got a big problem with Teletubbies, too, ever since I caught Dipsy, or Tinky-bloody-Winky, or one of those candy-coloured freaks getting romantic with his hat while that somnambulant BBC voice intoned, "Teletubbies love their things." I've been railing for weeks about that one, although my two-year old just isn't interested in the debate.

What does this have to do with Richard Hawley? Nothing probably, although I sensed a certain beautiful symmetry when I checked in with his latest video, "Tonight the Streets Are Ours," and found my daughter's first-ever favourite singer lampooning supercilious talk show hosts, shopping-channel hucksters, and laughably grave TV newsreaders while crooning in that chocolaty voice of his, "those people they got nothing in their souls / and they make our TVs blind us / from our vision and our goals."

Beyond that, I'd say Hawley is a soft-control and conspiracy theory-free zone, even for an ardent watchdog like me. Not including the big, obvious conspiracy that keeps him off most people's radar and a zero like James Blunt on it, of course.

Related Tyee stories:

 [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: What Coverage Would You Like to See More of This Year?

Take this week's poll