Thursday, March 30, 2006

This Is The Cow With The Crumpled Horn

Moo! I am having problems uploading pix and links to this blog. Just as frustrating, Error 403 (Forbidden) shows up about half the time I try to access this page. Other stuff, server-related, is happening, too. Perhaps the net is about to implode? I'll keep trying if you keep checking back.

Dammit, maybe I'll just go listen to some Ghostface and read Treasure Island.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Apparently, I Am The Bell Jar

I ran two photos of myself through the works, doing that Find The Celebrity In You thing over at MyHeritage and these are the names, in order, of the great ones I am supposed to resemble: Oscar Wilde, Alexandre Dumas, Henry Mancini, George Harrison, Brigham Young, Felix Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Guillermo Coria, Maurice Maeterlinck, Paul Klee, J. M. Coetzee, Andie MacDowell, Gabriel Byrne, Mel Gibson, Mira Sorvino, Michael Douglas, and Sylvia Plath.

Never mind MacDowell and Sorvino—or, godsake, Annette Bening! I'm talking about Sylvia Effing Plath here. Are you people absolutely kidding me? Right, so, if I'm a guy, I'm the fattest-faced furbie to ever ponderously grace the earth, while, if I'm a girl, one out of four chances means I miss my bee-loving dad so much I'm going to kill myself. This internet, my desperadoes, is oh-so-cruel.

More words later. Books, today; music, manana.

Why Read The Classics? + Italo Calvino These are not your father's classics. Well, no—actually, a great deal of these thiry-six essays focus on your father's classics, and rightly so, but still, even when the accent is on traditional, it's not all traditional. Essays like "Nezzami's Seven Princesses", or, "The Structure Of The Orlando Furioso" (an obvious easy favourite for me), or "The Book Of Nature In Galileo", or, "The World Is An Artichoke" focus on the more baroque aspects of second-thought classics, and are absolute delights. And these essays are just the right size, too, back to something more Montaigne-intentioned; not neccessarily long, but complete thoughts upon carefully considered pleasures, and not obscure dissertations and erudite showmanship. Calvino does not venture far into modern waters, here—his subject, of course, somewhat hinders him—but does travel downstream as far as Hemingway, Pavese, Francis Ponge, and Raymond Queneau. Listen, academic essays are mostly boring—anything by C.S. Lewis proving the exception—but these are not academic essays, and these are not academic subjects. This book has for its subject the same theme as Casanova writing on women, Jane Grigson on food, Charles Mackay on gullibility, Twain on hypocrisy, or Jane Jacobs on suburbia: the author of the text is concerned, invested, interested, consumed—pick your own damn adjective!—by his or her subject. Laughter is catching, and sad people are not popular; strong emotion is like influenza, travelling from subject to subject, and the only way to avoid it is to bundle up and leave the room. If the author is interested, the reader will probably be interested, too. The subject of Calvino's essay's, like the subject of all good essays, is enjoyment. Calvino enjoys certain books and poems, and tells us why he enjoys them and why we should enjoy them. I don't know how much pleasure I would derive from a close reading of Pliny's Natural History, but I know that I certainly enjoyed Calvino reading it! A good essay, I believe, should fully express the particular state of the heart of its writer toward this or that object. These essays read like reports of appreciative discovery fom some explorer in exotic lands, each essay an expanded "Ozymandias" written for both the author's pleasure and his eagerness to hook others on his enjoyment, a mixtape of essays, if you will. And, as a mixtape, this book certainly succeeds.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Break The Neck Of A Wild Cimmerian Bull Before You Call Yourself Strong

What is best in life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women? Right, maybe not. But it would be something, at least. There are no shows coming up that I want to see. Movies? Please. Listen, my one shoe just finished tearing down the instep. That pair of black trousers has gone missing. My second job wants me to increase my availability from one shift a week to, like, five. I just remembered that my damn library fines are at about a hundred dollars. I am very tired and I am in a black mood. I have been trying to fight with a lot of the kids. I wish the people would insult me so I could have an excuse to attack them. I wished we lived in a world of mud and battle-axes and thunder-smash giants and if I wanted to run into a brick wall over and over again, who would stop me? No one would. To hell with Thulsa Doom and everyone else, I say. I don't want to live forever.

I still like the good-looking girls, though. I can't hate them.

"For Real" + Okkervil River A little farther off than last week, Solomon was sitting through one of those dreary officially-designated court days when any man-jack—or woman, for that matter—can walk up to the king and ask for a decision. And there was a fight in the doorway, women yelling and the calm voice of the porter, until Solomon raised his head and said, "Let them in, already, porter, get them in here, then." So the women came in, a brunette and another brunette, good women, non-smokers both, and the one woman claimed that the other had stolen her child—but there was no way to prove anything either way. Solomon shrugged and said "Whatever. Cut the baby in half and give them each a piece." But the actual for-sure real mother shrieked around a bit and then said, "No, let this woman here have my baby, then. Anything so long as my baby gets to live." And Solomon knew that only the real mother would have spoken like that and he gave the baby back to the real mother and made the other woman pay very heavily for her selfishness. Then he said, "I'm taking a break here," and he walked out the back door to where Okkervil River was playing a set in the garden and he smashed his fist against a wall, just once.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Stupid Foodle, Deadly Cheers

We're in her car—these things are ALWAYS in her car—and my girlfriend abruptly chants, with enthusiasm, "ZOO-dle DOO-dle COO-dle!"

"It's probably Tourettes'," I say. "Let's look into that."


That one made me laugh.

Sometimes you've just got to go with it and enjoy. Blazing—blazing?—noodling away at my next soon-to-be-unfinished novel, I'm going to write in a character called Brigadier James Macrobius Foodle. He will be evil and silly. Somebody, surely, will mutter "Stupid Foodle" over the course of the plot. Because sometimes, you've really got to go with it.

************************************************ ************************************************ ************************************************

"There Is A Light" + Arif Sitting in the oak-panelled diner in the quieter part of the city, soft lights streaming here and there as businessmen and their wives sip dark expensive wine, you hear the opening chords of the guitar: solid but not heavy, comfortingly plain. Arif starts singing, nothing fancy, but you can hear the training behind his voice. It's a workmanlike Morrissey cover, and Morrissey would be proud of it, or should be. The waitresses and waiters in their crisp white shirts and black ties accept discreetly large tips, people put their coats on—it's snowing outside—and other diners arrive.

In other news, other music. Yes, it's tripe, junk, derivative, who cares? WRM is climbing my list for favourite pop of the year—their new single, "Girls In The Back", with deadly cheers, is up on their website. Less "Alsation", more "Love Is A Number". Listen, WHITE ROSE MOVEMENT IS SEX. Condoms on your ears, please.

"Morte d'Arthur" + Alfred Tennyson When I was around fourteen years old, I opened a large book crammed with densely-printed columns and read these lines: "So all day long a noise of battle roll'd / Among the mountains by the winter sea." They finished me, those lines; I was hooked on Tennyson from that moment forward. And while I love The Idylls Of The King, especially "Balin And Balan" and "The Holy Grail", and while I think that the redacted version of "Morte d'Arthur" was wonderfully expanded in the last idyll, "The Passing Of Arthur", my first thought, when I think of Arthur fighting with his knights, is not of Malory's story, or Steinbeck's parables, or Tennyson's later Idylls: I think of "Morte d'Arthur" and its slow sad decline, of men fighting without hope in a world of winter, mountains around and a cold cold shore. Why do these men fight, if they fight without hope? Because they fight for their hearts and an image of perfection. Why else should anyone fight?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Requiem For M.M.2

I know it's the same subject twice, now, but I can't help it, people, not posting this pic would have been daggers in my heart.

Listen, V For Vendetta, the film, erases the ONLY complaint I had about V For Vendetta, the (thank-you, AK) trade paperback. Which was the garbage drawing in most of the panels. Which I am entirely willing to blame on the printers. Judging from some of the art-work detailed in the back of the trade paperback, David Lloyd is an amazing artist with a great eye for perspective. But where were the clean lines, the first foundation of a story told through pictures? The print-job, at the least, was poor. V For Vendetta, however, the film, was full of the harsh clean neo-noir the Wachowski Brothers brought to The Matrix. I loved that mask on Hugo Weaving, btw. Talk about creepy, like when the mannequins came alive in that random show on Canadian television—God help me, I CANNOT remember what it was called. Nevermind, then. Anyways, Vendetta is basically Equilibrium without the guns, and a backstory stitched together from a rough copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Phantom Of The Opera instead of Fahrenheit 451. Which means it's like a Talking Heads' song, really, catchy and comfortably numb, pulp fiction for people who like The Shadow better than Quentin Tarantino.

Zugzwang! Muzak, that gentlier on the spirit lies, than tired eyelids on tired eyes, will be posted this evening. And, then, I Am Legend, some notes not so musical.


The usual difference between my words and actions, right? I didn't get home until eleven-thirty last night, and I didn't feel like writing. Apologies. But imagine a raw cold night, and your hands on the rear bumper of a Volkswagon. Imagine straining the weight of a car up a very slight—and for that reason, very frustrating—incline; knees plowing the snow, hands caked with snow, legs soaked with snow, your whole world the dark night and the shining snow and the stubborn shifting weight of a half-ton automobile. I don't have imagine this, because I've already experienced it. Hm. Carry on.

I Am Legend + Richard Matheson There is the vague horror, the unseen, the Gothic imagination popularized by Ann Radcliffe. And then there is the precisely detailed banalities of life which lend a story that air of reality and legitimacy which make the horrific subject all too plausible; Dickens, to my mind, was a sometime master of this mode; Stevenson, certainly. Bram Stoker tried his hand, successfully, at lending legitimacy to eastern European folklore by presenting his novel as if it was a series of reported facts. Richard Matheson has got realism nailed down. I did not know, when I read this book, that it was first published in 1954. Neville, Matheson's protagonist, is a timeless character: what would you or I or anyone do if we were constantly under the threat of death? Everyday routines consume us, and since death would be part of every day, it, too, would become routine. Death would become banal. Neville is a man of routine, tortured not by the vampiric horde which surrounds him every night, but by his memories of the people he has lost to the deadly disease which created the vampires. The protagonist's fear is not of becoming a vampire; it is of becoming an animal, a mindless creature of the night. Matheson's vampires have more in common with Stoker's child-minded Dracula than any of the more modern incarnations of the undead. In order to avoid such a benighted end, Neville constantly draws a line between the vampires and himself, every day driving around the suburbs and putting stakes through the bodies of the sleeping undead. What he does not know, however, and what the reader does not know, is that many of the vampires are not truly vampiric: the bacteria which has created the undead has mutated enough to allow certain virus-afflicted humans the ability to think and act and reason, even to walk in the daylight. And their appetites have turned from blood to vengeance. Neville has been killing both the undead AND the reasoning not-really-vampire. Neville is a murderer. He has become as bad as the mindless killers he killed and carted away from his front yard. He will die and he will become a legend.

The prose in this book is ragged, certain actions are repetitive, I cannot say that such flaws are not actually intentional authorial practice. Certainly, Neville, getting drunk yet again, throwing himself around in anger yet again, becomes very predictable: all the more shocking, then, when the climax breaks the seeming stalemate between man and vampires. The book is a classic, it seems, and I never heard of it until about two weeks ago. Wonderful vision, strongly depicted scenes. Looks like they're going to do another movie from it: the man who scripted The Cell, Mark Protosevich, has written a script for I Am Legend and it looks to be a lot more faithful to the driving ideas behind the book than the first two previous adaptations. Did I mention that I watched Omega Man years ago, and not once while reading I Am Legend did I connect the film to the book?

Friday, March 17, 2006

I'm Looking Over A Four-leaf Clover / That I Overlooked Before

This no-posting is out of control. But I've been surfing the cold green sea on the back of a trusty dolphin and—no, there's no imaginary excuse good enough for a week without posting. My apologies. Happy St. Patrick's Day, by the way. And, also, this is the day that C and I have been together for two years, I can hardly believe it! There aren't words.

Back to business on Monday, okay? I watched V For Vendetta last night, so some lines on that, and I'm reading I Am Legend, which is fantastic, and I came up with a new idea for a novel—that's a whole post on its own—and what about Shout Out Out Out Out? Yeah, what about them, dammit? Also, Kudu released its shark-bait yesterday, and it's awesome, so mp3s later. Have a good week-end, then. Lucky bugs win prizes.

Wait, seriously, istoicaEVERYDAY is killing right now, yesterday's post especially, and today's post, too, so check it out, check it out. Beautiful shots, beautiful people.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Your Trusty Five-shooter

No content need apply. Lately—like, the past six months, my desperadoes—I have been really interested in les photoblogs. We've all got favourites, of course, and I'm going to list a few of mine. 1) daily dose of imagery has been huge ever since getting a picture printed in the National Post (but even before). I love the combination of absolute professionalism and candid imagery in Toronto-based Sam Javanrouh's shots. Maybe the best photoblog on the net, right now. 2) istoicaEVERYDAY is run by Jessica and Chris, students and couple from the University of Toronto. The site's emphasis, lately, is on portrait photography, of which they are masters. Every shot is wonderful. 3) Absenter, out of Chicago, was the first photoblog I ever paid serious attention to, and everyone else should, too. His shots are mostly landscapes with an often eerie touch. Chicago can be pretty grim. Love that one shot of the projects at night. 4) Matt O'Sullivan, at the narrative, shoots portraits almost exclusively. They can be formal but are more often not. After ddoi, his site is the one I probably visit the most. 5) Locally and lastly, but surely not least, Iraleigh Anderson at iralee focus his lens on bands, scenery, and college projects with his Edmonton-accented website. His photography is often a little grittier than most, deliberately so, I believe, and he's got some wonderful shots of the human eye on his site which have to be seen to be believed. Best of all, I think, or most enjoyable, are his shots of the audience at various shows around town. His shot of a dancing couple is a treasure.

So, if anyone one wants to start a site des photos with me, let's do it! You bring the hi-tech camera, the tripod, the photo-finding car, okay? And I'll bring some Camera Obscura, my untiring legs and some photo-busting attitude. Done!

In other news, sorry about the erratic posting-ness, and the lack of demonstrable interest in books or music. I'm still interested in those things, but I'm also very busy. Over the week-end, I might publish a little something, but maybe not, unforch. Oh, well. Have a good week-end. Lucky bugs win prizes.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


"Je Suis Saves", the name, is over, just words on a t-shirt, now. The name was never mine, I can't take credit for it. I read the name on a Singaporean blog a little more than a year ago. A certain commenter had wanted to start a band and call it, I believe, Je Suis Rock Band. The band's first album would be titled Je Suis Saves. I read that pun and instantly fell in love with it. I still love it. But I'm tired of using it as a name. If you see some skinny guy with long lanky hair wearing a t-shirt that says "Je Suis Saves", give him a punch in the shoulder or something, and I'll say hello, but that's as far as the name is going these days. Or why not make your own t-shirt? Threadless should get all over this, I swear. If they can print shirts showing two cars crashing into each other and letters spelling out "ctrl-z", there is no way a multi-layered pun like "JSS" could escape favourable attention. Future millionaires take note: I'm throwing down ideas here, get your pencils out and start jotting. Cut me in on the gross and we'll all make money.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Sexy, This Hardware

I've got my own trophies, I don't need any Jon Stewart-based ceremonies to get me through the night. He was great, though—the man was good, too good. I rate his chances of being invited back to the Oscars about on par with Arrested Development actually making it on air again. You keep hoping, but you don't talk about it a lot, that might jinx things. And, speaking of last night, Three 6 Mafia? Jerseys in front of the mike, I don't know, but it's still good to see. "It might be new to you, but it's been like this for years".

In other news, Paddy Day is coming up fast, and normally I don't go for it—not wanting to appear like just another greenshirt storming Cobra-La—but I still plan on using the day as an excuse to buy something green. "Mushaboom" (click through the link) kills for Lacoste, btw, so does that mean I'm on board with a cool-by-association ticket? "It may be years until the day / My dreams will match up with my pay."

For Godsake, real-life Simpsons (via Edward Champion)!

[Editing and sedition, early morning, March 7th—some stuff about books and Burroughs will follow, much later.]

"Locked Inside A Liquor Store" + Dash Rip Rock Oh, man, I almost posted a Lesbians On Ecstasy track here, but then I remembered that I wasn't a total moron. Sometimes, I forget. No, no, it's not the band name (although, yes, it is also the band's name), it's the junk-ass music that blows. BUT, speaking about band names, this here band's name renders any thumbs-up-or-down-nonsense pretty much superfluous. Obviously, this twenty-something-year-old band has good times. But what about le music? I wrote a poem five minutes ago, check it—

You don't suck
As much as you think you do.
Rose are red, by the way,
Unless they're blue.
But I'm not talking about roses,
I'm talking about you.

That poem almost doesn't suck, does it? There's a kind of I-don't know-what about the attitude that's agreeable, I think. If I let the robe drop, you might see the word INSOUCIANT shining brightly, like the sword Excalibur if Excalibur lost the "s" and became a mere word. The poem doesn't make sense, but that's another story. Now, Dash Rip Rock is putting out music that should suck, but it doesn't, because it's good. It's like some indie kid's version of mainstream rock, and it's all killer while being all filler, and that's okay. Good AM radio for the guy who likes good AM radio. I've got nothing more to say.

[Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday]

Pellucidar + Edgar Rice Burroughs There is no change or knowledge of time in this place, where the forested moon revolves with the earth and keeps eternally the same high spot above the same dark plot of land that is called the Land Of Awful Shadow—this in a world where the horizon curves up at the edges like a grim reptilian smile. The inner earth is full of faerie evolution, five-pound whales which nibble on scarlet lichen, gorilla-shaped men with the head of sheep, giant tigers and bears (oh, my!), and sea-serpents large than Ouroboros. Anyone could get lost in a world like this one. Anyone could get lost in a book about this world.

The Munsey pulp-fiction All-Story Cavalier Weekly first published Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar across five issues back in early 1915. Each issue cost ten cents and would cost, today, about a dollar eighty-four. That's a good price for fifteen-plus stories and some excellent cover-art. Burroughs had proved he was a saleable author with the phenomenal success of Tarzan and A Princess Of Mars, so when its time came, Pellucidar was republished in book form with the requisite J. Allen St. John cover and plates. Pellucidar has never really been out of print since, the last English-language publication of which I know being sometime in 2002/2003 under the imprint of the The University Of Nebraska Press. That's a solid pedigree for the first sequel in a third-string series by a pulp-fiction author from pre-WWI!

Now, there's little enough about the plot that is selling this novel. David Innes returns to the inner world of Pellucidar, hoping to find again the woman with whom he had fallen in love, Dian the Beautiful. He begins to map the country as he travels and runs, fortuitously, into his old friend Abner Perry. Together, they set out to track down Dian, not knowing she has been traded to the evil race of lizards which dominate the inner world. Adventures ensue by land and sea, the latter filled with even more terrible monsters than the shores and mountains of the land. Eventually, Dian is discovered, the man who had betrayed her is dispatched, and David Innes, Abner Perry and Dian the Beautiful live happily ever after in a wild kingdom by the sea. The end. But this story deserves to be read if only because it is still in print, and this without, mostly, the academic curriculum which keeps afloat hundreds of texts like Clarissa or To The Lighthouse or Martin Chuzzlewit. This story deserves to be read because it is suffused with a sense of the marvelous, because it raises expectations and meets them, because it is a treasure of justified spectacle. Such a treasure, such a wonderful parade, is, in the Burroughs universe, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing special. But for the receptive reader peering into this universe, what a pleasure it is, what a fine house of wonder, what a many-mansioned heaven can be had in the words of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Friday, March 03, 2006

We Are All Vlad, Now

I saw the prettiest girl in the world today and I wanted to hit her. She's not anyone I know or have ever seen before, just a person I saw on the bus, dark hair, red lips, good style. As the driver lurched away from the curb, another girl, stumbling down the bus, fell gratefully into the empty seat beside the girl I now loathe. If you could have seen the look which the first girl gave to the second! I understand not wanting to sit beside a stranger, no one wants to do that. The bus, sometimes, is like a public version of picking teams—you hope, at the very least, you don't have to sit with the losing side, the unattractive people, the people who smell bad, the people who sing softly along to Michael Bolton—actually, that last might be kind of interesting. You want to sit with the people you know, at the very least, right? But, come on, there's a lot of rides left in the bus. Anyways, the grateful girl opened up her free daily, VUE Weekly, I think it was, and spread it across her lap. There was a lot of rustling, flipping of pages, puzzled expressions and so forth. The girl was really into her newspaper. And then the first girl turned to the second and said, "If you can't be quieter, could you put that away? I'm trying to concentrate." Understand, N and I are yakking loudly two or three seats down, the noise of the bus itself is killer, and I can hear some tinny Jay-Z coming out of someone's iPod. The second girl put her paper away. She opens her bookbag. She brings out a granola-bar, one of those yogourt-covered candy-style things. She begins to unwrap it. "Excuse me," the first girl says. You know, I thought it had been our collective breathing which had fogged-up the windows of the bus, but I now realize that the windows were covered with the cold white frost of her near-sociopathic and very bitter personality—"I'm fasting for Lent right now and I've given up all processed food. Would you mind putting that away while you're beside me?" EXCUSE ME! At that point, the bus drew to a stop and the pretty girl gathered up her bags and left. Okay, you know what? You know what I'm fasting from this Lent? I'm fasting from ever trying to like people like that, and I mean, ever. And I'm not even Catholic!

I'm happy to say that as the pretty girl walked away from the bus, the second girl recovered from the shock with which she had been frozen to her chair, ran to the door of the bus, tossed her granola bar at the girl and yelled, "Process this, bitch!"

"Who Dares, Wins" + Kim Newman This is the kind of guy who writes Doctor Who books and Warhammer novels. This is not the kind of writer I like. But I like this writer. Yes, that's innacurate, I don't know the man personally, leave it be, let it go, okay? The only stuff of his I've read is the online stuff. Some of it is not so good. Some of it is pretty stellar. He's a concept man, is Kim. His stories are not about character—though, in the better stories, strong characters are not lacking—his stories are about What If, the grand question of all good science fiction slash fantasy. I so want to read Newman's Anno Dracula—and Bloody Red Baron sounds even better. A squadron of vampire pilots led by the literally immortal Manfred von Richthofen? Let me tell you a few details I've discovered about that last book. At one point, the flying Baron shoots and kills a small white dog. LOVE IT! At another point, the main protagonist of the novel (there are several) comes across Doctor Moreau and his assistant, Doctor Herbert West, operating on wounded vampires in an underground chamber behind enemy lines. Alan Moore, eat your heart out!

"He wants Transylvania, Home Secretary."
"Not in our gift, more's the pity. Would he take, say, Wales?"

Oh, lines like that, it's hard to get better! "Who Dares, Wins" is set in on Embassy Row in 1980's Kensington. A certain vampire is leading the "Back To Transylvania" movement and has taken an embassy hostage in order to draw attention to his and other vampires' desires. The parallels with the real-life Middle East and Ireland are explicitly drawn with mentions of Teheran and Belfast. The interesting point of this story, however, is that everybody is a vampire. Not only the individuals taking over the embassy or the individuals trying to defuse the siege (hello, Lord Ruthven!), but even the media reporting the story (the journalist-protagonist of the story is an adapted creation of Bram Stoker, one vampiric Kate Reed) are vampires—even the humans:

Kate saw Anne Diamond, collar turned up and microphone thrust out, sorting through anxious faces at the barrier, thirsty for someone with a husband or girlfriend trapped inside the Embassy or, better yet, among the terrorists.

Lovely, Mr. Newman, just lovely.

Tomorrow, I'll write about Wednesday night and controller.controller. LATERZ!


Doodle doodle doo. Laterz has arrived! Wednesday night, then, and the lead singer for Something For Rockets looks like Stephen Wright making fun of himself. Smooth music, all the notes were there, only the heart was missing. Kudos to the man playing the plastic keys, though, for dancing like he was every member of Nickelback at once. I've never seen such macho keyboard. Next band at the plate was You Say Party! We Say Die! and they need to be better. Cacophonous Metric, with singing duties split between the two female singers, they weren't helped by a some not-so-keen mixing on the sound, I think. But they were good. Because they had fun. Because then the audience was having fun. The lead singer of locals Frosted Tipz and the lead vocoder of SO4 got on the stage with YSP!WSD! to shout what I'm going to call the vodka-version of "The Gap", and that was good, too. End of performance. It took next to no-time for controller.controller to get their business set up on stage, and then the real show was on. You know, I thought the first two bands were decent, until the difference between them and the headliners made SFR and YSP!WSD! look amateur, let's face it, amateur. I first saw the lowercase c's about a year ago in the same venue and I want to make two observations, here: 1) the sound is a lot tighter (last time Nirmala actually dropped her mike), a lot sexier live than it is on that disc—don't ever listen to this band on cd or mp3, unless you're talking their first EP, buy a ticket, instead, you'll not regret the price BUT you will get sweaty; 2) the appearance of the band is much better, by which I mean, they've solved the whole "Don't focus on the singer just cause she's a girl" problem by putting the bass right at the front of the stage and Nirmala behind him and, Nirmala herself, who was unexpectedly chunky last year, and has obviously toured off just about every excess ounce, and she's svelte, godsake, and makes you look. Anyways, the band did a killer rip of "Silent Seven"—I love it when N sings, "I always feel like somebody's watching me". The sheer energy put forth by the guitar players in this band is approaching self-destruction and as for the drummer, I LOVE HIM. Long hair under that Guy Fawkes balaclava, rearing his head around like he's a blind lion, beasting away at the drums like your demented calculus prof, genuis showmanship, I'm sold. This band is sex. A good night, Wednesday, good loud sound, lots of crashing disco, a warm night of dark music. Wednesdays should always be so fine.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

"It's The ICA," He Said, And Disappeared

Hipsters are going to be saying that The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have lost their edge, thus demonstrating classic hipster-ignorance of good music in favour of classic hipster-insecurity. "Image compromise alert!" their tiny cortexes will bleat, as they fear losing their piecemeal identities to newly-popular culture. There will be only one response when someone sneers that Karen O has bailed out on her new tunes. You must pull your left shoulder toward them, let your right shoulder quickly drop, ball your right hand into a fist and punch them hard in the middle of their faces. Plus, if they're attractive, maybe Jiffy-marker your digits on their forehead while they're out. Okay?

In other news, I saw a bunch of the Disney Channel yesterday, and it blew chunks. Even the cat was bored. However, like everything bad, there was some don't-mess-with-me good mixed into the mess. Kim Possible is a seriously hot line-drawing. Just my observations, here, folks, nothing else to see. Move along if you wish to, the tour guide has lots of other stuff lined up and his microphone is slim and silver.

"Magnetic Strip" + controller.controller In honour of the ticket in my pocket for their show tonight, here's a little number off the new cd by the awkwardly-named collective from Toronto. I love the band's name, actually, but, MAN! is that sucker hard to get busy with. Everyone is so inconsistent on the spelling, I've seen all kinds. I'm giving you the writing on the packaging here, though, so rest easy, acronym-collectors, I'm not even going to try to break you with anything original on this band's punctuation.

Old stuff versus new stuff. I liked the old stuff better, it seemed punchier to me, but I've got nothing against the new. Just like the old, it needs more voice, but whatevs.The music doesn't need to be talked about here, we've all heard it before, low dirty basements and some pretty sweet rave moments here and there (man, I can't believe the crap I write sometimes—""sweet rave moments"?). I hope I get there in time to see You Say Party! We Say Die! because the mp3s in the old pc seem like nice hard-edged pop, like Metric dressed up rock-style. But, whatevs, it'll be a good show, I'm certain.

Maybe it would be better if I brought along some glowsticks.