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The Year That Was (Musically Speaking)   
10:59am 16/12/2008
  If there's one thing I can say about my listening tastes in 2008, it's that it was dominated by energetic and/or happy music. I still appreciated my share of quieter music (Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes), but they just couldn't hold my attention for as long as those albums which had some life and spark to them. Maybe next year things will change.

Top 5 Albums of 2008

1. Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping

A cacophony of sexual indie-rock-disco songs for the ADD generation was, apparently, just what I needed to survive the bulk of my first term. I often lose track of where songs start and end, but it doesn't matter. There are an incredible number of hooks and memorable lines, most notably the "pleasure-puss" chorus in "Plastis Wafers." It's almost an hour long and I can still listen to it straight through. Really wish I could have seen them in Toronto.

2. Born Ruffians - Red, Yellow and Blue

This album decimated my iTunes playlist (probably because the song files would not go onto my phone). "Badonka Donkey" was the most played song of the year at 64 times (The next closest was at 39 - "Barnacle Goose"). It's in no way a perfect album, but was great for whenever I needed a pick me up and showed a creativity that wasn't fully evident before. It also has a beautiful love song ("Little Garcon, Little Fille") stuck right in the middle to break up the franticness of the rest of the album. I never thought I would like them, but they've won me over.

3. Los Campesinos! - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

When I first heard Los Campesinos!, I was surprised they were signed to Arts & Crafts. They were so emo and juvenile, trying to be some artsy band when they really weren't. My thoughts have obviously changed (though I think it's still weird they're on A&C). They are still very close to being emo, but the lyrics... well, they can make my cringe at times. Maybe it's that the songs are just much better arranged on We Are Beautiful and they're doing interesting things musically. I don't know what's changed, I just know I loved this album.

4. Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns

The fact that I haven't had this album for very long makes me wary of putting it at #4, but I'm going to anyways because this album is THAT FREAKING GOOD! It's a beautiful elegy to a province, but I'm not sure if it's a theme they will continually be able to revisit. "Edmonton" is steadily creeping up in play count, so much that I'll probably never be able to hear it a year from now. I don't understand how they're still unknown. It should have been the year of the RAA, not Crystal Castles.

5. Lightspeed Champion - Falling Off The Lavender Bridge

How does an ex-member of Test Icicles write a fantastic album that's part acoustic-pop and part alt-country? And one that is so self-deprecating and honest?

The Rest
Jason Collett
The Hold Steady
Plants and Animals
TV On The Radio - this one's becoming a grower that I might love in a month
Vampire Weekend

Sorry I Didn't Have Time For (Please Get Your CDs To The TPL)
$100
The Bicycles
D'Urbervilles
Katie Stelmanis
Two Hours Traffic
Vancougar
Woodhands


The Disappointments
Hayden
My Morning Jacket
Tokyo Police Club

Overrated
She & Him
Vivian Girls
(There are probably lots more, but they've already been banished from my memory)

Added To The Canon
Boxer and Alligator by The National

Great Songs From Mediocre Albums

Bon Iver - "For Emma"
Death Cab For Cutie - "Cath..."
Fleet Foxes - "White Winter Hymnal"
Frightened Rabbit - "Poke"
Glasvegas - "Geraldine"
Kate Nash - "Foundations"
Kathleen Edwards - "I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory"
Land of Talk - "Some Are Lakes", "Death By Fire"
Lykke Li - "Little Bit", "Dance Dance Dance", "Time Flies"
Okkervil River - "Calling and Not Calling My Ex"
Shearwater - "Rooks"
Thao Nguyen - "Beat (Health, Life and Fire)"
Times New Viking - "(My Head)"
The Walkmen - "In The New Year"

The Old Stuff
This year I spent of lot of time falling in love with soul music, the Shangri-Las and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, not to mention fully completing my lover affair with My Morning Jacket. I don't remember life before any of these things, now. Needless to say, they were the Dark Ages. I'm also starting to see what's great about Belle and Sebastian, thanks to The BBC Sessions.

2009 (Looking Ahead)
Emmy The Great
M. Ward
Ohbijou

These three records might switch the tide next year and I'll be loving all things quiet and understated. Hopefully they don't disappoint like Hayden and MMJ.

Best Book
Paul Goes Fishing by Michel Rabagliati. His drawings are perfectly suited for a story that yearns to go back to simpler times. Things take a surprising turn near the end, one that almost had my crying in Chapters. Yup, it's that good.

Reading Franny & Zooey in February with a blizzard raging outside was also wonderful. That experience now has me reading novels more often and I'm happy because of it.
 
     

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Wicked Little Town   
09:11pm 07/09/2008
  This is London. And grad school. It's often hard to distinguish between the two. Living outside of Toronto for the first time, and in what I can only describe as a university town, I suppose that continually equating the two isn't so strange. It's the only way to rationalize things. If taken separately, the concept of moving to a new city and starting grad school would probably incapacitate me with fear. So the two are combined, regardless of whether it's fair or not.

Also helping the transition is that this week has felt more like a vacation than anything else. Without internet or TV, school or a job, life is pretty mundane. Evenings are spent reading or playing board games. Due to the weather, shorts, flip flops and tank tops in abundance, giving the feeling that a beach is somewhere near by. (Is this actually a result of the weather? Or a Western/London/Southern Ontario phenomenon?) The only thing missing is bingo, but I'm sure that could be found if one tried hard enough. Not being used to renting a house, it feels more like I'm at someones cottage, albeit one that is furnished with everything that I own.

The campus itself wasn't as beautiful as I was led to believe, though that was partially the fact that the common way of walking into campus is by a large four-lane road that has a constant stream of noisy traffic. To accommodate all this traffic, Western is home to multiple massive parking lots, which is obviously much different from UofT where parking is scarce and the number of traffic lights and stop signs make it impossible for cars to go at any decent speed. The oppressive heat, combined with the fact that there isn't much to look at on my way to the North Campus Building (home of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies and, ironically, not on the northern edge of campus) has not helped. (Luckily I found a lovely path that goes along the river and actually cuts down on my walk to classes, obviously a win-win situation. The highlight of the week so far has to be the fact that I came across a deer while walking on the path one morning.) Also not helping my initial dislike of the campus was that it was covered with frosh (who are annoying no matter what campus they are on). The campus changes, but the atmosphere stays the same.

One reason that cars are so prevalent in London is that the city hasn't done much to make it safe for biking, either on campus or elsewhere (though there is a bit of the chicken-and-the-egg question here: which came first, the cyclist or the bike lane?). I've yet to see a bike lane on a major road, just small ones in the heart of campus. As a result, it is commonplace that cyclists ride on the sidewalk, at a large annoyance to, well, me. The other oddity about getting around London is that traffic lights take forever to change. Good luck if you're trying to cross a major artery, you'll be waiting a while. One week down, fifty-one to go.

Next time: the problems of getting internet service in a backwater town...
 
     

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Little Things   
04:24pm 15/04/2008
  Eugh, what a week.

Ups

Slightly over one week from European Vacation! Have found a place in Brussels (which I believe is near out hostel) that sells Westvleteren. I'm hoping they've got some when I'm there. They produce such a small quantity of their beer that it can be hard to get... virtually impossible outside of Belgium. That's also why it's going to cost in the neighbourhood of twelve Euros. The same store also has some vintage Chimay for around the same price. I'm going to allow myself one (or maybe two) big beer expenditures, because I'm not going all the way to Belgium to say, "Ummm, maybe I should just go for the cheap stuff... ?"

Beer is not the only thing I'm looking forward to. Other things: being romantic as hell all around France (hopefully this will be possible with gigantic MEC backpacks), eating lots of fresh French bread products, castles (sorry, chateaus), getting Sophie to translate everything for me (which doubles as being "romantic as hell" for two reasons: 1) because it's French, duh, and 2) I just think there's something romantic about having to rely on her to survive), bandes desinees (there's no way I can come back without a BD or Tintin related purchase), visiting Huda and possibly going out to a French club (or at least a bar where we become popular because everyone wants to practice their English on us), going up the Eiffel Tower at night, and so much more (like raw milk... don't ask). There's also the fact that I desperately need to not work for two weeks, recharge the batteries and (hopefully) regain some sanity.

My Morning Jacket is coming to Toronto in June! Yes, they're playing the Kool Haus, but I've been waiting quite some time to see them. I was hoping they'd play Bluesfest in Ottawa, but it looks like they'll be in Europe in July. Hopefully Evil Urges is wonderful. Is there anyway it can't be?

I've purchased lots of Jeffrey Brown in the past two weeks. He was at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival last year and I can only hope he'll come again this year. I recommend Clumsy and Cat Getting Out Of A Bag as starting points for everyone.

Not to brag, but my tax refund was four figures this year. It's allowed me to purchase a couple of extra things for the Europe trip that I might not have otherwise (like a quick drying towel).

And finally, I get to try out DJing again this weekend. It's kind of at the back of my mind because of everything else that's going on, but I'm sure it'll be fun.

Downs

I was offered a temporary, full time position from the TPL (35hrs/week, with a raise of over $7/hr). It would've been for six weeks and started this past Monday. The problem, of course, was that I would've been away for two of those weeks so they're leaving the spot empty for three weeks until I get back, then deciding if it's still worth it to have me work full time. Dealing with work during my year off has been pretty emotionally draining at times. Thanks to the city's budget problems, positions have been hard to find. It was not my plan to be a page for this whole year off. So to know that I finally was getting rewarded for my seven years of hard work, then to have it all taken away because I finally took a vacation... it was difficult to swallow. Really makes me need that vacation even more.

Soph and I were checking train schedules yesterday for our trip, only to discover that prices had gone up. I can guess why (booking further in advance gets you a greater discount), it just sucked that a ticket I thought was $29 is now $66. It sucked the life out of me last night (combined with my work ordeal). I'm feeling a little better about it now, it was just one of those unexpected things.

It's not really important, but I find Canada's import laws annoying (at least the ones related to beer). If I lived in the States or Europe, as an example, I'd be able to buy Belgian beer from an exporter (like the shop I'm going to in Brussels) and have wonderful trappist beers sent to me. Instead, I'm at the whims of the LCBO. Hell, there's lots of Quebec beer that I can't get in Ontario! (Yet another reason to go to Montreal. The other big reason: Drawn and Quarterly store!)

I thought there were more things bugging me, but I've either forgotten them or feel better after writing out my other grievances. Also, pretend "Living with Soph" is in the listed in the "Ups".
 
     

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A Taste   
11:56pm 06/03/2008
  Okay, so I've been playing too much NHL 2K6 lately and not enough guitar. As things usually go for me, I was trying to work on finishing a song when I came up with something completely different. I turned on Garageband for the first time in weeks and quickly had this chorus down. It features me trying to learn how to harmonize by ear. Fun times! I think it needs some boy-girl vocals for balance. My plan for tomorrow morning is to try and get a verse or something, cause I'm really liking this one so far (and feeling motivated).

Lies
 
     

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Paris Be Mine   
10:59pm 19/03/2007
  I really should be editing an essay right now, but I've been meaning to post for a week or so now. The past couple of days have been filled with thoughts of travelling, either in the summer or when I'm finally done school in August. So far, my wish list is this:
-New York City. Hopefully this will happen sometime between May and August, which will let me go to a game at Yankee Stadium before it goes defunct in 2008. Other than that, going to the Museum of Modern Art is a top priority, as well as the Humanities and Social Sciences Library of the NYPL [aka. the library at the beginning of Ghostbusters]. Oh, I'd also love to catch a show at the Bowery Ballroom. Hopefully room and board will be close to free *fingers crossed* so this is more likely to happen.
-Taking the train out to Vancouver. See most of the country, digest loads of Canadian books and music, then spend time checking out what Vancouver has to offer.
-London, England. There's probably only one way this will happen and that is an extended trip... but that will mean seeing a lot of Europe at the same time. Oh, how I dream about a Belgium beer weekend!
-Austin, Texas. This idea only started yesterday when I realized that, by this time next year, there would be nothing stopping me from checking out SXSW, though hopefully staying longer than the run of the fest. From all I hear of the fest, it's extremely chaotic and maddening, but it's something I'd like to experience once.

Speaking of fests, CMW has long come and gone, but I have to share some pics because it's rare that I get decent concert photos. Nothing sucks more than standing in a sea of digital SLR cameras with a much crappier camera. Oh well, the Mod Club lighting [and the crazy strobe lights of Under Byen] were there to save the day for me.

Read more...Collapse )
 
     

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My God....   
08:59am 28/02/2007
  Within the span of one week, my two most anticipated albums of the year will be coming out. And by "most anticipated," i mean "when these albums leak, I will jump up and down, scream and celebrate like the Leafs just won the Cup." On May 15th, Wilco's Sky Blue Sky comes out, followed by The National's Boxer on the 22nd. Of course, these will leak before the release dates, so I can really expect them some time in April, most likely, and could get them one day apart or three weeks apart. Either way, it'll be my favourite band of all time vs. the band who created, hands down, the best album of 2005 [and probably the last three or four years]. Not only will they come under intense scrutiny from me, they're also up against the other one. Thinking about it, it would be pretty awesome if Wilco and The National had an actual fight. Wilco have an extra member, but they're older.

I am already a little sad at the Wilco album for not including "Is That The Thanks I Get?" I'm hoping it'll show up as a b-side or on the inevitable bonus EP, but I don't want to wait. That song is soulful bliss. But I'm sure I won't be disappointed when I get to hear the full album. I can't be disappointed...
 
     

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A Thousand Different Versions of Yourself   
10:39pm 17/01/2007
  What comes to mind when you think of a class action lawsuit? For me, it conjures up stupid Americans, smokers suing tobacco companies, fat people suing McDonalds, and commercials from law firms in Buffalo or Rochester trying to get people in on the fun. I was surprised when my mom forwarded me this article about a class action lawsuit against Dell that effected me! In short, certain Dell laptops, like mine, are prone to overheating and a premature failure of the motherboard. The argument is that Dell knew about this problem.

My compy, Eli, might be the king of overheating. I thought this was pretty hilarious and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens. Two things I found hilarious: 1) The article is titled "Dell Inspirons inspire litigation". I can't resist a good pun. 2) The use of "premature" in the article. That word is blessed with hilarity...

On a complete different note, I love the idea of the OhMiBod. Unfortunately, I'm not a women and I don't own an iPod [though apparently this isn't a requirement]. In fact, I often wish I was a women, cause they have way awesome sex toys.

I'm also excited, nay titillated, for the various events Come As You Are has planned for this year. Sadly, I'm working on the night of their 10th Anniversary, but will be hitting up the Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair. One day I will also work up enough courage to go to one of their workshops.

Changing subjects yet again, I'm getting excited thinking about possibly research topics for my Studio Era essay. I'm thinking on doing a star study, either on Claudette Colbert, Errol Flynn, or Joan Fontaine (currently in my Facebook profile picture, with Laurence Olivier, from Hitchcock's Rebecca, a film you all should see). She is an absolute cutie, not to mention the sister of Olivia de Havilland.
 
     

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Blogia Bulat?   
06:38pm 08/01/2007
  This may be getting a bit too weird [me blogging about a blog that blogged about my Torontoist post], but it think it's too interesting to let it pass.

From For The Records:
"Torontoist ponders if 2007 might be the year of Basia Bulat. Such a polite Canadian stance if I've ever seen one. I mean, if it were the NME they'd be declaring it(of course moving on to the next big thing the week after.) And that's why Canada rules."

It's nice to know that someone thinks I embody Canadian politeness. My parents will be proud.
 
     

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Penguins. Why'd it have to be penguins?   
10:34pm 10/12/2006
  I saw this done on a music website a year or two ago and thought I'd give it a try this year. The Best Musical Moments in 2006.

10. Lily Allen - "LDN" 0:00-0:09. A great sample, perfectly setting the tone for the song.
9. Magneta Lane - "Daggers Out!" 0:06-0:18. Ninth spot for great use of distorted guitar.
8. Band of Horses - "The Funeral" 1:21-2:01. It's hard to pick one section of this song, as they all work so well, but this is the first big dynamic shift so that's why I've chosen it.
7. Belle & Sebastian - "Act of the Apostle II" 2:45-3:07. Just when I'm getting bored and claiming this song as a late-album filler, they give this wonderful sound bridge that oozes the feel of "A Day in the Life". I always forget about it when I'm listening to the song, so I always wind up saying "Holy shit" when it happens.
6. Loose Fur - "Thou Shalt Wilt" 0:55-1:13. A whole mix-mash of things going on, combined with the line "Still look at number eight/What better way to procreate?" gives a great absurdity to this part of the song.
5. Emily Haines - "The Maid Needs A Maid" 2:02-2:33. If a woman was singing, "You won't need a real job/You won't need a real job/Cause I would love to pay for you," to me, I would love her forever. I'll admit to wanting to be able to stay home, cook and raise the kids when I'm older and that gender reversal is what I get out of this song. And I love it.
4. Ohbijou - "Steep" 2:46-3:03 You think the song's over, but then they start it up again with strings, horns, a xylophone and one final hook.
3. Wilco - "Is That The Thanks I Get? (Live)" 0:35-0:39. Is there any type of song Wilco can't do? This is great soul-rock, with the excellent slides by Nels Cline, capped off with a great Tweedy falsetto. Try to find their performance of this song on Conan as it's excellent.
2. The Hold Steady - "Chillout Tent" 1:56-2:27. Unforgettable lyrics that work well in a low-key bridge.
1. The Dears - "Ballad of Humankindness" 2:00-2:36. A pretty mediocre album, and this song is about the same until the guitar starts, they bring in tambourines and Murray does his thing. When he really cares about his lyrics, he has a fierce passion that is unparalleled.

I figure that most people won't have these songs, so go here to get them.

Things to do during Xmas break
-read books I haven't had the time for in over a year [including the Chuck Klosterman book with the Wilco article, and Paul Has A Summer Job/Paul Moves Out by Michel Rabagliati, maybe re-read Confederacy of Dunces or some J.D. Salinger]
-watch movies and catch up on tv shows [including Freaks & Geeks, Gilda, His Girl Friday and maybe Scrubs season one]
-cook using fresh food
-buy and drink booze [especially Belgian beer that can only be found at Christmas time]
-make lists [like this one]
-go to Ottawa? [which will require buying ISIC card]
-clean up room
-donate clothes to Goodwill or other charity
-find a course for next semester, then not think of school till January 2nd
-work and make money to pay for Christmas spending
-see as many friends as possible for Christmas
-write more posts
-ponder about pop-culture and the commercial nature of society

Can anyone recommend good Christmas specials/episodes besides the usual ones like Rudolph, Frosty and Garfield? I've got the "Festivus" episode. I wonder if I can find the Nick and Jessica specials...

Things Pissing Me Off Right Now
-Penguins. They're everywhere! Happy Feet looks the same as the Coke ads that get played before the movie. Thanks a lot March of the Penguins. You were a sucky rental and now you're starting a fad.
-Conservatives. For all the reasons to hate Happy Feet, they're complaining that it is global warming propaganda with a bit of homosexuality thrown in. Do they not hear all the propaganda they spew out?! I really don't understand how people can defend global warming. Oh yeah, because they get rich of it and the Exxon stocks they own.
-How dry my skin is. I love winter, but my hands are like sandpaper. I don't care what my dish soap says, it's tough on hands, soft on grease.
-Seventeen magazine and all the ones like it. This months issue features this Beyonce quote: "I Was Like, Enough Of This - I'm Eating!" I've seen a couple of covers at work that feature quotes like this and, on the surface, it's great that they encourage normal eating habits but that doesn't change the fact that all the celebrities they put on their covers look like they have eating problems. Their words may say one thing, but the images of Kate Beckinsale and Nicole Richie still carry the message to be thin. I saw the pilot of Ugly Betty and I got the same idea from it. And no matter how many people say they love Kate Winslet because she has a normal body shape [or, rather, has a body shape], nothing changes. And I don't think it will.

And yes, I prefer my women with curves and a little junk in the trunk. It gives me something to grab on to.
 
     

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Hallowe'en Mix!   
12:19am 31/10/2006
  I haven't made out the exact track list yet, but some of these will definitely be on:

Michael Jackson - Thriller
Outkast - Dracula's Wedding
North American Hallowe'en Prevention, Inc - Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?
Sufjan Stevens - They Are Zombies!! They Are Neighbours!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!!
Rocky Horror Picture Show - The Time Warp
TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me
Final Fantasy - The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead
Danny Elfman - This Is Hallowe'en [Nightmare Before Christmas]
The Organ - No One Has Ever Looked So Dead
Rolling Stones - Sympathy For The Devil
Bobby Picket and the Crypt Kickers - Monster Mash
Themes from The Addams Family, Jaws, Psycho, X-Files, Beetlejuice
Ray Parker Jr. - Ghostbusters
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You

I've also got some Hallowe'en songs from Aqua and DJ Jazzy Jeff/Fresh Prince that I could put on. Do I need more KISS, Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne? Any obvious songs that I'm forgetting? Suggestions? Is "Bad Moon Rising" a Hallowe'en song?
 
     

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Live the Life You're Dreaming Of   
12:53pm 15/10/2006
  Much like the transition from high school to university, the period after finishing university has a big "THIS WILL DETERMINE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!" sign hanging over it. Except this time the decision process seems even harder. Do I spend the money to go to Grad School and not really know what I want to do [Film, Journalism, Archival/Library Science?]? Do I work? Travel? Whatever choice is made, it feels that one should be a little more self-reliant when they get that undergrad diploma.

So yeah, I'm freaking about a bit about finishing fourth year. And if I'm this scared now, I can only imagine what will happen next August when I'm finishing up my last course. Right now it's looking like I'll take a year off and work at the TPL, for different reasons. One being that I don't know if I want to do more schooling, and in what area. That and I don't have the cash [I don't do debts]. Working a year in the library system at a higher level job will give me a better idea if I want to stay there for a while. Or it won't. How much more can I figure out about the place? If nothing else, it will be a nice, steady paycheck that will let me do some travelling throughout the year. Can you believe I've never been to New York City? And I've still got to take the train from here to Vancouver. And there's always the possibility I may go on a visit to Japan...

In many ways my plan is just putting off making a bigger decision for a year, and I wouldn't be surprised if I was stuck in this plan for quite some time. But we'll see. We'll see what it's like being in Toronto when almost everyone is gone. There will definitely be some hard times trying to adjust next September and October, if not sooner.

Cuff The Duke - The Future Hangs

In a sudden change of topic, the TPL just got a little cooler. Not only are they [we?] putting on free concerts with Final Fantasy, Great Lake Swimmers and more, we're carrying their cds as well as a whole whack of other Toronto bands! So far I've also found Magneta Lane, Diableros, Gentleman Reg, Creeping Nobodies, old Jon-Rae and The River cds, Raising the Fawn, Caribou, Tangiers, Republic of Safety and Cuff the Duke! Libraries are cool, I tells ya.

And I can't wait till Questionable Content starts selling "She Blinded Me With Library Science!" shirts. I will be the first to buy.
 
     

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Carry On Bellwoods   
12:08pm 16/09/2006
  I an overwhelming sense of desire to start using this more for little bits and snippets...

It's nice to know that fellow Sloan fans enjoyed my interview with Andrew.

My interview with the Golden Dogs also recently went up. I should get to work on the Tokyo Police Club and Rogue Wave ones. I have to give Matthew credit for finding a great Golden Dogs photo I'd never seen before.

I band that I forgot to mention yesterday is Ohbijou. "Steep" is a great song and the vocals for "Misty Eyes" are incredibly similar to Eisley. But way less emo.

I always run into random people during the first week of school. Does this happen to anyone else? I ran into a friend from a first year class, Shoe from the Daybreak and Iulia's younger brother, which was just awful. The weirdest part of my week was finding out that the person who hired me at the TPL and my first ever boss is in my Contemporary American Fiction class. She's probably about twice my age. Luckily we've always gotten along.

Possible upcoming posts: comments on anecdotes from the film fest or thoughts on the chestnut tree outside my house.
 
     

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Poison Cup   
10:01pm 15/09/2006
  I feel foolish for taking so long to listen to the new M. Ward album. All it took was a watching of his video for "Chinese Translation". That voice, those lyrics... magic. If only the video didn't have such awful stereotypes on how Chinese people look. But that's another story... This song seems like a great follow up from "I'll Be Yr Bird" off the last album.

Speaking on, why do people use "yr" for "your"? Wikipedia tells me, "An abbreviation for your, common in Beat and indie rock culture" but I was hoping someone could expand more.

It's been quite the week and a half. Lots of film festival and class [possibly my last time September will mean going back to school]. I don't think I can take volunteering at Varsity anymore, mainly because Yorkville has such an ugly feel during the fest, with the streets filled with people either wanting to see celebrities or wanting to be seen wearing fancy, and most likely ugly, clothing. I know TIFF is the people's festival, but I sometimes forget that I hate people en masse. And after you've seen publicists and various members of someone's entourage scramble around for one person, you realize how ridiculous it all is, the very business we call show.
 
     

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We're safer, but we're not safe   
10:18pm 12/09/2006
  Stereogum posted Okkervil River's "The President's Dead" a couple of days ago. The chord progression is nothing new from Okkervil, but it's still an interesting song.

And from TIFF, D.O.A.P., or, Death of a President. The most interesting line from the description to me is that, "The film is never a personal attack on Bush; Range simply seeks to explore the potential consequences that might follow from the President’s policies and actions". Of course, it still caused a minor controversy, but not as much as it would have if it included auto-fellatio.

All I want to know is: isn't Bush bashing so 2005?
 
     

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Cheer It On   
11:05pm 06/09/2006
  I just came from a pretty freaking awesome interview with Tokyo Police Club (myspace). It was in their waiting room before playing Ryerson tonight and was well stocked with beer. And then lots of food.

All of which made for a very relaxed atmosphere and a very fun interview. After two phone interviews, it was nice to get back to the face-to-face kind. Plus, interviews are always easier when it's with people your age who are a little more carefree and not as serious all the time. I wish I was signed to Paper Bag.

Highlights included answers being stopped by people burping (see: beer comment) and slurping pineapple, as well as the constant arrival of more and more food (cheese, fruit, veggie and cold cut plates, as well as dips, pita and a loaf of Texas toast). The phrase "off the record" was also finally used in one of my interviews.

As unruly as it will be to type out (due to participation of all four band members and a less defined structure than the usual interviews), I'm hoping the final product will be emblematic of the spirit of the interview.

(I should also add that the band was absolutely floored by all the food and kept asking the Ryerson staff if they wanted any, and to bring up anyone who was hungry. They were more like poor university students than anything else)
 
     

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My Phone's On Vibrate For You   
03:30pm 30/08/2006
  The Beatles - You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

I spent a good part of today running around, trying to buy a home phone with speakerphone so I could do my Golden Dogs interview today. I first went to The Bay [because I had a giftcard], only to come home and realize that I bought an accessory cordless handset that is useless on its own. Of course, the thousands of computer stores on College sell absolutely no other electronics, so I finally found a Bell World in a Chinatown mall. Then Dave from the Golden Dogs never called...

The next time a phone book gets printed, I'll be in it. That's kind of scary. The Man knows where I am...

On another annoying note, I expected to get a volunteer swag bag with my Film Festival volunteer shirt, but only got a shirt. So, all in all, I'm feeling pretty ripped off today. This calls for a relaxtion evening of homemade dinner, Quebec beer and National Treasure...
 
     

(2 attempts | jump the fire)

 
Flaming Star   
06:20pm 13/08/2006
  Bah! Has anyone else tried using Yousendit lately? They're making people login to download files! This sucks! I had songs for people, but that will have to be delayed...

Finally went to the Warhol exhibit at the AGO today. The construction sure has taken out most of the normal art, except the sculpture gallery with the weird stripper walls. Those walls were just the beginning of the erotic elements. In The Future Now they examined spirituality, food, community and, of course, gender. Many female nudes. There were also two people doing live art that looked like a bad acting class. It was a man and woman [fully clothed], and they were getting all physical with each other with slowed down motions. It was made weird because, a) you just walked into a room and they were in the middle kissing, touching, what-not, b) it took a second or two to register that it was art and not two people getting it on in the AGO, c) they would make eye contact with you sometimes, which is very unnerving.

In the Warhol exhibit there were two videos in particular. One was called "The Coach" and was various people doing various things on a couch in The Factory. It was a lot of different clips, some not dirty and some down right pornographic. The second was called "Blow Job" and was a video of a man's face as he received a blow job. It looked more awkward at times than anything else, and I'm not sure if the video showed his face climaxing [it's 41 minutes so I only saw a small part]. Very interesting as Warhol is described in the exhibit as a gay but asexual.

On the whole, the exhibit was interesting, but I'm not sure if the theme wound together too nicely. Cronenberg's narration [with Dennis Hopper and others] was a long at points, and his points often were overanalyzing the art or redundant. Or so I found.

Summer school is over, so I'm finally getting reading time. I'm currently working my way through Men Of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book. After that it's The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgman [from The Daily show and the PC from these ads]. And then I'll probably start reading Lolita again to get ahead for September.

Yes folks, it's Jenna Fischer [Pam on the US version of The Office] like you've never seen her before.
 
     

(4 attempts | jump the fire)

 
More Adventurous   
03:05pm 31/07/2006
  "...So far I have met weirdos or people who want me to send pictures before they will consider letting me even look at the place..."

"...I dont smell and I'm hella friendly..."

"... [I'm] not gay (I guess when that's an important thing to note when you're sharing a place in Toronto)..."

"...The story with me is I moved in with my boyfriend and obviously things didnt work out so i had to move out..."

"...I'm married..."
 
     

(1 attempt | jump the fire)

 
I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends   
10:20pm 30/07/2006
  I think for a lot of my life, I've always been a little behind the curve in understanding how the world works, but it would seem I'm pretty caught up right now. Well, as far as I can tell. I still don't get friendships though. There's been so much analysis going on lately, with friends and occurrences acting as little puzzle pieces that can't seem to come to a coherent picture.

It feels like I've lived a life since high school, so how do I reconnect with people who've lived completely separate lives? Do I want to? The easiest answer seems to be that I have [be it on purpose or not] kept in touch with those I wanted to, and those friendships that haven't lasted probably weren't to strong to begin with. But how do reconcile rational thought with emotion, when you realize you still care for these people even if you haven't kept in touch?

I hoped Saturday would provide an answer. Sometimes it was great, sometimes I wanted to slip out the door and get as far away as possible. But then again, I'm a fickle person and not always a people person. In the end, maybe it's just me.

Drive-By Truckers - Goodbye

Okkervil River - Song of our So-Called Friend



In other news, my messy roommate is moving out Sept 1st [if not earlier], so the search for a roommate begins tomorrow on craigs list. Hopefully this will be a fun and successful journey.
 
     

(4 attempts | jump the fire)

 
   
12:33pm 11/07/2006
  My interview with Glenn Kotche of Wilco

Glenn Kotche's Myspace
 
     

(jump the fire)