Friday, December 16, 2005

What's The Gorilla For?

Newton's Law #9 (previously unknown): the frequency of posting on one's blog is directly linked to the frequency of shifts one works, which is to say, more work equals less blog. Who knew? Also, unrelated, last year's best commercial pop song, Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone", is also this year's best commercial pop song. New Year's will probably be at The Starlite for Shout Out Out Out Out and similar song-stylings. Plus a black-and-white party back in St. Albert (Capote would be delighted). ION, this house is getting CROWDED, the family coming in for Xmas. I've been banished to the basement (insert DFA79 lyrics). Finals are still not done and I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. Ping-pong at work will clear my head. What do you guys think about t-shirts decorated with the sickle-and-hammer—ultimate capitalist triumph or post-USSR equivalent of wearing blackface? Have a good week-end. Lucky bugs win prizes.

"Grim Fandango" + Cadence Weapon This is your Friday eye on the local guy. Today's topic will be all about Cadence Weapon. Regular readers of This Old Blog know I'm a fan of the young Weapon, which reminds me, I've got a favourite un-episode to tell. These dudes I know from this band are at this party I went to after a Cadence Weapon show. They saw the so-called "mixtape" that Rollie Pemberton aka CW flings bolo-style at the unsuspecting audience from that backpack of his (I grabbed a copy) and they laid their reverent hands on it, saying, "This is the freshest indie." Something about that description started me laughing and I haven't really stopped since. Anyways, you shouldn't check out Cadence Weapon because he's "the freshest indie", or the Fresh Prince, or just plain refreshing in a dull sea of blathering earnest gangsta hip-hop. You should check out CW because he's GOOD! How many times did I burn the bleeding-perfect "Oliver Square" onto a cd? "He's arrogant," you say (I say) and he nods. "He's cocky," you say (I say) and he nods. You know what? He's not that cocky, not that arrogant. But you know why he's nodding? Because he has every damn right to be as stuck-up and high on himself as anybody outside of a hat trick in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup has a right to be. Because listen to the music. It's that good. And you know what? If Arrested Development doesn't make it to Showtime, it's still going to live on in this mix-master's music (both versions). What's the gorilla for? Anyways, The Weapon's cd came out December 6th, it's called Breaking Kayfabe, be thinking words like solid solid solid. Listen, repetition means This Is Important. Every song is its own piece, and the style is blazing. The cd release here in E-town is the 17th. That's this Saturday. Dance the grim fandango.

Circus + Alistair MacLean The first MacLean novel I ever read was Where Eagles Dare. There was a reason that book was made into a movie (although you'd be hard put to find that same book in that same movie). The way MacLean kept spinning the reader around with double-cross after double-cross was amazing, a brilliant game well-played. MacLean is a hack writer, of course. So was Charles Dickens. I'm not saying MacLean is anywhere near the author of Great Expectations, I'm just saying, is all. Circus is filled with the usual tricks—MacLean is like s strange cross between Dashiel Hammet and Dick Francis and even Dorothy L. Sayers, which sounds terrible on paper (on screen) but works really well on the page. His heroes are always these cardboard cut-outs who could probably out-hunt James Bond, but have way too much heart to do so. They always act fiercely and coldly, but only for sentimental and humanitarian reasons. They're dads, for godsake, every one of them. The hero of Circus is no different. Bruno Wildermann is an American acrobat with a photographic memory who works in an Eastern European circus. A setting, I think, which was once used by the old Mission: Impossible television show. The plot is improbable: keep the anti-matter out of the hands of the bad guys. The world's fate rests in Bruno's hands. This book is ridiculous with death. Everybody dies in amazing ways. Quentin Tarantino should not be refilming Casino Royale, he should be scripting this book and ratcheting out a cast right now. There are so many gotchas! in this book, well, it's not for the ticklish. Even the very last freaking line of this book contains a surprise that cast the whole novel in new light. That's just MacLean's way of writing. The men are all strong here, except the dastardly men. The women are beautiful Amazons, delicate shepherdesses, horrible old brutes. It's good vs evil, and good is so darn clever at getting up from evil's beating that we all laugh and root for more. This is a good book. I'm not saying it's a great novel, I'm saying I wish more great novels were like this, that they gave one a reason to turn the flipping page. I'll flip the page for MacLean any day. Pulp fiction at its best.

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