Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pigs Now Officially Fly

Gaaaackkk! My mom's got an email account!
She's going to be one of those annoying hipsters at the seniors' home. Actually it's going to be great because now she can email the pope (benedict_xiii@vatican.va). I'm pretty sure he still speaks German. They can exchange racy jokes.
I'm not sure if Mom is going to start reading this here blog, but it's waaay too late for me to stop swearing now. Fuck, I should have tried harder. It's not all that likely that she'll hang out online too much, as she still questions my brother as to why he doesn't just put a stamp on an email and be done with it.
Suddenly, though, I no longer feel like telling you about the great new tampons I discovered and how they are going to help save the world.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What the phunk is going on?

Two signs that I am turning into a crotchety old fart:

1. I’m becoming fearful of icy sidewalks. I tore my hamstrung some good last winter and now I dread the thought of doing that again. I even have a waffle-mark on my knee still – a permanent reminder of the pair of pants I was wearing.


2. I find myself wondering what IS the point of the Black Eyed Peas? I had the dubious pleasure of watching them perform the half-time show at Grey Cup and fuck do they ever reek! And it pisses me off no end to hear people appropriating other people’s voices. Fergie, you are not black. Quit trying to talk black. You look like an idiot.

Monday, November 28, 2005

So they say you're trouble boy
just because you like to destroy
all the things that bring the idiots joy
well, what's wrong with a little destruction?
(The Fallen - Franz Ferdinand)
Okay, okay, I know I said I was going to talk about Canadian politics tonight, but my head is so fucked from work that I can't put together a coherent sentence, let alone a political analysis. Besides with the government falling today, EVERYBODY is going to be talking politics, so instead I'm going to tell you why I am so happy that You Could Have It So Much Better With Franz Ferdinand is so fucking great!
I really like Franz Ferdinand. I thought their first cd was brilliant. So I was really nervous about their follow up. You know, the sophomore slump and all. So when I heard earlier this year that they had ditched an entire album worth of material and were starting fresh with a new producer, I really started to have doubts. But it turned out brilliantly. Indeed, sometimes you really do have to ask "what's wrong with a little destruction?"
Some people gripe about FF being too clever, too cool, not sweaty enough, not passionate enough. Well, that's dog shit! I'm as big as sucker for the anguished rock 'n roll howl as the next person, but sometimes there's an argument to be made for keeping your passion under wraps, for telling the world "I'm fucking sassy and I don't need you, so fuck off".
We have more than enough Pete Dohertys in rock, burning themselves out spectacularly. Sometimes we need a little cerebral and sassy Alex Kapranos to balance out the world. I personally love that posh little art school accent. And they do rock out.
Nothing twee about these lads.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Ho Ho Ho (I am NOT!)

First of the company Christmas parties last night. Jer and I slapped on our once a year clothes and drove 678,765,988 kms to attend. If you know Calgary, you'll know what I mean: we live in Lake Bonavista and the party was at the Valley Ridge Golf Course (for the third year in a row!) Sheesh! Very nice place, but you practically have to pack a lunch for the trip. And of course since it doesn't kill me to not drink (boy have things changed since university), I generally get to be designated driver. Add to that the fact that I'm developing cataracts, and it makes for an interesting trip. Caution: blind girl driving!
I'm glad Jerry strongly hinted that I not wear the same outfit I've been wearing for the last five years, even if I had to go shopping. So Wednesday saw me at South Centre mall, using my usual shopping strategy: one hour and I'm out of there, dress or not. Haha - it worked and now I don't have to shop for another five years at least.
Jerry won the centre-piece at our table and it was really lovely arrangement this year, with real cedar, spruce, and pine, so it smells like Christmas at our house already. Good thing I got rid of that last pumpkin yesterday.
Had lovely chats with folks I normally only see once a year. My friend Shannon was one of them this year. We only live a 15 minute drive from each other and we haven't gotten together in far too long. How do we allow this to happen? But we got all caught up on news and gossip last night and made plans for a games night at our place in January when they get back from their Winnipeg Christmas visit.
Today of course, there's a big cauldron of chili cooking on the stove in honour of Grey Cup, so I'll pretend to be a football fan. I'll have to go with the Eskimos of course, but I liked the political cartoon in the Herald today:
- picture of Ralph Klein (premier of Alberta for those not following Canadian politics), with the caption "endearing himself even further to western conservatives" and a speech bubble that reads "I figure the Alouettes by six points"
(more on Ralph Klein and the comedy of errors that is Canadian politics in my next post, cause it's way too funny to let it pass)


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Sleeping with the NME
The week's NME is the best in well over a month! (It's actually not the one pictured here because of course the magazines are all antiques by the time they make it over the big pond via carrier pigeon). But November 19 edition is full of zinger gems that those sassy NME hacks are so famous for, but have been slacking on a bit lately.
Examples:
on reviewing the New Pornographers show at Borderline November 1: "With a name like theirs we were expecting a bevy of big-boobed beauties, some gruntin' and thrustin' - heck - at least the briefest peek-a-boo of flesh. At no point, were we expecting the trout-faced, cardigan-clad supply teacher chic we find before us..." (They did end up loving the show ultimately)
- or this one:
on a photo of a grizzly-bearded Thom Yorke singing with an anguished facial expression:
"Thom broke down when he realised that the strange ginger fuzz would eventually cover his whole body".
- and I applaud this observation:
"Fred Durst's ability to high-five is almost as shit as his music."
- On Clap Your Hands Say Yeah:
"maybe they should change their name to Fold Your Arms Say Mmmmmm."
- of course no NME would be complete without a Noel Gallagher quote:
"I fucking love the Strokes; I love the way they look, I love what they stand for, I love the fucking drummer. But that second album is absolute dogshit."
Well that's just a sample. Go read the rest for yourself!

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Amazing Capacity for Compassion
I really struggled with whether I should write about this or not. It is, after all, not my story to tell, and it deals with one person's personal struggles and terrible pain and I don't want to in any way trivialize that. On the other hand, the drama that unfolded truly moved me as it demonstrated how compassionate complete strangers can be to another human's plight and desperate cries for help.
If you have been reading Matthew Good's blog the last few days you will know that a soldier posted a comment in which he stated that he intended to kill himself while listening to MGB, as he was suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder after returning from Iraq and also finding his wife had cheated on him. He was contacting Matt to let him know how much his music had meant to him.
It would have been easy to cynically dismiss this post as a hoax, but instead Matt and fellow bloggers chose to take this at face value, offering support and sympathy to this faceless soldier. Even more importantly, a massive search was launched to find this man, to dissuade him from his planned suicide, and to get him the help he needed to make it through this.
Matt even had the compassion at one point to make a plea that even if this was a prank for the writer to come forward without any consequences, just so that people could put their minds at ease. People started offering suggestions as to where to find this person, based on clues left behind in his post and user name/ip address.
I don't know how they managed to do it, but through the selfless efforts of bloggers (and soldiers) Ben Allbright and Patrick Pitt and computer god Theron Parlin (sorry I have no link for Theron), the soldier was found. In time.
To me this illustrates all the finest aspects of humanity. It humbles me beyond words to know that people are capable of such compassion and are ready to act quickly and without questioning to save a life. This could have turned out to be a hoax, but these people couldn't risk it being a real cry for help. And they were so very right.
And I think this is why I love blogging so much. It's the sense of a very real community composed of very real people with struggles and joys in their lives. Most of us will never meet each other, but many of you have made a real difference in many lives.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

1, 2, 3, 4 ... Do you like American music? I like American music.
Don't you like American music, baaaa-beee-yyy?
(with apologies to the Violent Femmes)

In recognition of the great American holiday of Thanksgiving (and so smart having it on a Thursday!) and to honour our American sisters and brothers, tomorrow I will only play American music. I mean the genre, not just the Violent Femmes song.

I really quite excited about it - the Pixies, the Violent Femmes, Neko Case, Wilco, the B-52's, the Dead Kennedys, Jane's Addiction, the Replacements, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, the Ramones, Death Cab for Cutie, Nirvana, Neutral Milk Hotel, REM - whew, I don't think the day is going to be long enough.

So, HAPPY THANKSGIVING, all!

As you may have heard, The Hour will be in Vancouver next Tuesday and Wednesday. Matt Good is going to be on the show! And I am going to shamelessly take credit for this (my lips to George's ear, you know). Here's the letter I sent The Hour when they were in Vancouver in the spring (I'm not sure why I still have this):

I would love to see Canada's most under-rated musician, Matthew Good, on the show when you are in Vancouver. Musical genius aside, I can think of few people who are more passionate, articulate, and outspoken about geopolitics, human rights, poverty, democracy, etc etc. And he writes an astounding blog! There is nothing more entertaining than Matt Good in an all-out full-blown indignant rant. I'd give my first-born to see him on The Hour (sorry Eva).

Please send all tokens of appreciation to this blog. Cash accepted.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Well, Shut My Mouth

There's a fellow at work who comes around every Tuesday to pick up the recyclables. He's mentally challenged and he's the coolest guy. We have the same conversation every week:
Tuesday Guy: 'Morning!
Me: "Morning!
Tuesday Guy: It's Tuesday today.
Me: It sure is!

Well, a while ago I started thinking, we've been having this same conversation for about six years now, maybe I should make an effort to expand it a little. Oh God, he didn't like that. My responses of "yes, and it looks like a nice day, too" and "and tomorrow's Wednesday" met with suspicious glances.
And today I responded "Yup. That's sure a big load you've got today".
Such a look he gave me!
It was obviously pretty distressing to him. I don't want to add to his stress levels at work. I think I'll stick to the script from now on.

Monday, November 21, 2005

NUMBERS IN THE NEWS

40.3 million = people living with AIDS worldwide
67,000 = birds to be culled in BC
36 = life expectancy in Malawi
30,000 = job cuts announced by General Motors (3,600 in Canada)
21 = weeks on waiting list for MRI at Foothills Hospital
167/129 = support for an NDP motion calling for dissolution of parliament in January with a February 13 election date
1 = number of Alberta Alliance MLAs sitting in the Alberta legislative (well at least that number sounds about right)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

More adventures in Idiotville
How the hell did I forget to tell you about this lyrical interpretation: It's another Matthew Good song (poor Matt) Alabama Motel Room, and for the longest time when he sings "my gun it lies next to me, whispering", I was sure he was saying "Kenneth lies next to me, whispering".
I'm not sure what it is about Matt Good lyrics that inspires these homo-erotic interpretations in our family. Must be that he mumbles.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

We've got to fool Phil, to boot

For a while now I've been thinking about misheard lyrics. If you get a kick out of them too, you've probably visited Kissthisguy.com, named of course for the famously misheard Hendrix lyrics "excuse me while I kiss this guy".
Well today, I thought I was going to have to start wearing Depends when Jerry admitted that he just this morning realised that Bob Marley was singing "we've got to fulfill the book" in Redemption Song, not "we've got to fool Phil, to boot".
But of course I was laughing with him, not at him, because ... well, I can't point fingers at anybody after my spectacularly dorky rendition of Matt Good's Giant with the lyrics "J-A-C-K-A-S-S, that's the way we spell success", rather than "K-I-C-K-A-S-S", on this very blog, no less.
I also still maintain that Bush X sing "I waffle my machine" on Machinehead, not "I walk to my machine", because we all know that machines require regular waffling for proper maintenance. And my niece Beth backs me up on this.
And who knew that the Bloc Party song Blue Light actually went "you told me you wanted to eat up my sadness", instead of the version I had been singing "you told me you wanted to eat up my sandwich"?
And our resident music nerd, Eva, has a whopper of her own. Another Matt Good song - Suburbia - in which she hears "baby, if I was into men, you would be mine", instead of "maybe if I was in demand, you would be mine".
So don't leave me standing here with my pants around my knees. Please tell me some of your favourite misheard lyrics - your own or someone else's.
I can't tell you how much I would love to hear someone else's mistakes to make me feel less dorky.
I'm also going to use this topic as a springboard to make a change to the daily sidebar. Out of here is "insult of the day" because ... well, believe it or not, I am starting to run out of interesting insults. And I just don't have the interest or inclination to look for more.
So I'll be replacing it with "lyrics that get me through the night", because the world will never run out of lyrics that grab me. And I'll try to get them right.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I was pointing at the rafters, ready to call out "can I get a witness?"
I had a message from the store that the Constantine's debut cd I ordered a month ago had arrived, and I was feeling the love already.
But when I got there, hands all sweaty, heart pounding, buddy pulled out an lp.
He had marked the wrong format on the order form.
My turntable is kaput.
But it had been buddy's first day on the job the day I ordered, so I went easy on him.
Now I wait.
Hurry hard.
-----------
To keep us grounded, check out the Cons' concert list from their website:
Nov 02 - Toronto, ON OPERA HOUSE
Nov 03 - Montreal, QC LA SALLA ROSA
Nov 04 - Bennington, VT DOWNSTAIRS CAFE
Nov 05 - Cambridge, MA MIDDLE EAST
Nov 06 - New York, NY BOWERY BALLROOM
Nov 9 - Liverpool, UK Korova
Nov 10 - Nottingham, UK Rescue Rooms
Nov 11 - Glasgow, UK Barfly (upstairs)
Nov 12 - Newport, UK Meze Lounge
Nov 13 - London, UK Barfly
Nov 14 - Liege, BEL L'ESCALIER
Nov 15 - Paris, FRA BATOFAR
Nov 16 - Munich, GER ORANGEHOUSE w/ Black Mountain & Dead Meadow
Nov 18 - Brescia, ITA FREEMUZIK
Nov 19 - Pontedera, ITA RIOT CLUB
Nov 22 - Roma, ITA CIRCOLO DEGLI ARTISTI
Nov 23 - Bologna, ITA COVO
Nov 24 - Vienna, AUS CHELSEA
Nov 25 - Linz, AUS KAPU
Nov 26 - Stuttgart, GER SCHOCKEN
Nov 27 - Leipzig, GER FRUH AUF
Nov 29 - Berlin, GER KNAACK KLUB
Nov 30 - Hamburg, GER MOLOTOW
Dec 01 - Lund, SWE MEJERIET
Dec 03 - Stockholm, SWE DEBASER
Dec 05 - Amsterdam, NL PARADISO
Dec 06 - Cologne, GER BLUE SHELL
Dec 07 - Munster, GER GLEIS 22
Dec 08 - Rotterdam, NL ROTOWN
Dec 09 - Brussels, BEL BOTANIQUE
Dec 10 - Diksmuide, BEL 4AD
Now look me in the eye and tell me they are not Canada's hardest working band.
You gotta believe, you brothers and sisters of mercy.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?
I HATE parent/teacher interview day, but probably not for the reasons you think. I hate it because it means all the fucking maniacs are on the road at the same time on the way home from work.
Here's what I think happens:
Some oil baron, who's never shown any interest in his or her kids' edumacation before, all of a sudden remembers at 4:15 that they have a parent/teacher meeting at 5:00. So they hop into their Lexus SUV and race like hell down the Deerfoot trying to make the meeting. Naturally all of us peons are also on the road, trying to do the same. This calls for random and frequent aggressive lane changes at 130 km/hour because the rules don't apply to oil baron, and what the hell are the others cars doing in the way anyway? Their kids don't matter.
I live 30 kms from work so I get ample opportunity to see asshole driving, but today was the finest I think I've ever seen.
Fucking arrogant assholes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Will Love Tear Us Apart?

On National Playlist yesterday, Ben Rayner brought in the Joy Division song Love Will Tear Us Apart, which was a brilliant move, as every playlist must have some Joy Division on it, although personally I would have gone for Transmission, or Warsaw, or Digital.

But then he said something rather disquieting about a new movie which is currently being cast. Control is the story of Ian Curtis, frontman for Joy Division, who became famous for hanging himself at the age of 24. Apparently Jude Law is to play the lead role.

Is it just me, or is Jude Law in everything anymore? I am getting mightily tired of him. Although in some ways, he is a fitting choice, as Ian Curtis was involved in an extramarital affair at the time of his suicide, and Jude Law always seems to be in some kind of extramarital affair, presumably contributing to his career suicide.

There has already been a movie about Joy Division - 24 Hour Party People. Okay, it wasn't strictly about Joy Division, rather about Tony Wilson, the founder of Factory Records, and it told the slightly fictionalised story of his signing of such acts as Joy Division/New Order and The Happy Mondays, and how he missed signing The Smiths. If you are at all interested in the Manchester scene of the 80's and how it ushered in the birth of rave culture, then you could do far worse than to watch 24 Hour Party People.

I know some people who are going to be pissed if the music of Joy Division suddenly becomes uber-popular with the release of Control. Certain people in this house who shall remain nameless are very protective of their music. They pride themselves on their esoteric sensibilities and don't want their tastes to become overly-popular. And in a lot of ways I can understand that. There's nothing worse to a worldly 14-year old than to have the mall goths commandeer your music (mall goths being defined as poseurs who hang around malls and listen to My Chemical Romance). There is definitely a matter of credibility being at stake here.

Ian Curtis has been dead for 25 years now. Will 2006 be the year that he blasts back onto the public scene?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Dirty Rotten Lunch-Thieving Bastard
"Do you want me to peel you a carrot, too?" I asked, as I was putting together my lunch.
"No," he said. "There's plenty of veggies in this samosa I'm going to pack in mine."
... so this morning, I grab my lunch out of the fridge on the way out the door, and the bastard's taken my carrot. I had to chop off a hunk of questionable-looking cucumber instead.
And that's not the first time either. Last week he stole Eva's biscuit to go with his turkey soup. But, haha, it had peanut butter on it. Which is great with turkey soup.
*********
Speaking of cute couples ... Oh we weren't?
Well if we had been, you could check out this poster which I shamelessly stole from Christine Fellows' website. Some folks at Broken City in Calgary made it for the show which she and her husband, the lovely John K Samson of the Weakerthans, played there.
Doesn't it look just like them?
I've always maintained that they are the most adorable couple in Canadian music.
Ooo, here they are in real life at a workshop they did at the folk fest.
Photo courtesy of resident photo hack, the fabulous Eva.

Monday, November 14, 2005

chomp chomp

Eva was a kick-ass zombie for Hallowe'en
Why would I want to smell like Jennifer Lopez?
(or Brittney Spears, or Celine Dion, or Cher, for that matter?)
I don't understand the phenomenon of celebufumes.
Eva says she can't wait for Gene Simmons perfume.
(Personally I'd vote for Richard Simmons perfume instead)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Beyond Twitch City

Movie night last night and what a great choice we made, if I do say so myself. I was getting mighty tired of the formulaic dreck we've been seeing lately (*cough* Amityville Horror *cough*), so managed to grab one that we've been wanting to see for a while.
Childstar tells the story of a film being shot in Toronto that is the vehicle for an increasingly troublesome 12-year old megastar, who disappears shortly after his arrival in the company of a model/actress/sometime prostitute.
The wunderkind of Canadian cinema, Don McKellar, wrote, directed and stars in this film. He plays the part of an experimental film-maker who takes the job as driver for this childstar and his mother. I've been somewhat of a fan of Don McKellar since the days of Twitch City, the quirky and surprisingly compelling tv series about a recluse who spends his days and nights watching television in his apartment.
With Childstar, McKellar cements his claim as one of Canada's more interesting film-makers. He is like Atom Egoyan, but with a sense of humour. Because Childstar is very funny. It's a subtle humour, but we're all grown-ups, right? We don't need laugh tracks to tell us when something is funny.
Perhaps one of the most brilliant moves was casting Alan Thicke (Alan Thicke!) as the dad in the sitcom for which this kid is famous. Thicke is amazing as he channels William Shatner in this role. I don't know what it is about bad Canadian actors being so good at parodying themselves, but I applaud it and personally will never tire of it.
Another pleasant surprise was the subltety which Jennifer Jason Lee brings to the role of the manipulative, opportunistic, but oddly detached Hollywood mother. She could so easily have chewed up the scenery in this role, but she plays it very low-key, to great effect.
And Sloan even makes a cameo appearance! They were hilarious, even if Chris Murphy didn't do any scissor kicks.
Canada's film industry is miniscule compared to the bohemoths of Hollywood and Bollywood. We'll never compete when it comes to blockbusters or extravagansas, and I don't think that's where our strengths will ever lie. Let's stick with the little gems like Childstar that aren't being made anywhere else.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny


Bry Webb, the voice of the Constantines


George Stroumboupoloulos, insanely nice person

John K Samson of the Weakerthans

*********
Now that I've lulled you with beautiful pictures, here are some of my favourites
sites to spice up your life:
Have fun!


Friday, November 11, 2005

Music nerd stuff
First, a correction to the National Playlist post. Since yesterday, they have updated the week's list to include those brought in by the panellists yesterday (and subsequently dumped a couple of songs). Oh it's a heartless game!
Yay (!!!) that Aside has moved up to #3 (from 7)!!!!! Thanks to anyone who voted for them. Can't believe that Bob Dylan and MIA are behind Nickhellback (as Michelle calls them), but there's no accounting for taste. (And so much for my pledge not to slag Nickleback)
Also dropped is Hope There's Someone by Antony and the Johnsons, sadly. I have to admit I haven't actually heard their music, but I love Antony Hegerty. How could you not love a 6'4" transvestite gentle giant, I ask you?
Here's the current list:
Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out), Arcade Fire, Funeral

When a man loves a woman, Percy Sledge, The Hit Songs of Percy Sledge
Aside, The Weakerthans, Left and Leaving

Life on Mars, David Bowie,Hunky Dory

Photograph, Nickelback, All the Right Reasons

Mornings Eleven,The Magic Numbers, The Magic Numbers

Louisiana 1927 , Randy Newman, Good Old Boys

Galang, M.I.A., Arular

Like a rolling stone, Bob Dylan, Highway 61 revisited

House of Gold, Andy Stochansky, 100
-------
I bought my first Belle and Sebastian cd today (Dear Catastrophe Waitress). For a while now, Belle and Sebastian have been my guilty pleasure, but I refuse to feel guilty any longer. Call me an emo kid if you want; I don't care.

to remember the ones who did not grow old, to honour the ones who did
to you from failing hands we throw the torch;
be yours to hold it high
if ye break faith with us who die,
we shall not sleep
though poppies grow in Flanders Fields
----
Canadian soldiers who died:
First World War - 66,573
Second World War - 44,927
Korean War - 515
Peacekeeping Missions - 130

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Oh Play That List!
So, been listening to National Playlist yet? You know the premise, right? Here's the description from the website:
What if your ipod only held 10 songs and you could only change them once a week?
THE NATIONAL PLAYLIST will bring you the songs you need, sorted, sifted, debated and defended by musicians critics producers celebrities and you, the listening audience. Every week host Jian Ghomeshi will bring together 3 people who know their music. They’ll each be armed with 2 songs and their arguments as to why their tracks should make the ever-evolving list. Eight songs are on the table; only four will make it onto THE NATIONAL PLAYLIST. It will be your responsibility every week to make room for the new songs by picking the one song you think most deserves the download, the four songs with the least votes are banished from the list. On Friday the new playlist will be revealed and on Saturday night THE NATIONAL PLAYLIST – Countdown will spin the songs that made the cut.
Here's the list so far:
Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out), Arcade Fire, Funeral, pitched by Jian Ghomeshi

Urge for Going, Joni Mitchell, Songs of a Prairie Girl, pitched by Larry LeBlanc

Mornings Eleven,The Magic Numbers, The Magic Numbers, pitched by James Keast

Heard ‘em Say, Kanye West, Late Registration, pitched by Jemeni

Life on Mars, David Bowie,Hunky Dory, pitched by Jian Ghomeshi

Photograph, Nickelback, All the Right Reasons, pitched by Larry LeBlanc

Aside, The Weakerthans, Left and Leaving, pitched by James Keast

Hope There’s Someone, Antony and the Johnsons, I am a Bird Now, pitched by Robert E-Green

Body’s in Trouble, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Miss America, pitched by Robert E-Green

When a man loves a woman, Percy Sledge, The Hit Songs of Percy Sledge, pitched by Jemeni


I just started listening to National Playlist yesterday and today only caught half of it, so I feel like I'm waaaaay behind. But I have started my voting campaign for the Weakerthans, as some things in life take priority. Here's the letter I sent Jian today:
Dear Jian:
Of course, the fabulous Weakerthans’ song Aside must stay on the National Playlist, but not just for the week, forever!
The song bursts into life with riotous joy. From the opening cymbal strikes to the final line, “sing my imperfect offering”, the driving rhythm is infectious and irresistible. If you have ever seen the Weakerthans perform this song live (and I’m sure you must have) then you’ll have seen the entire audience dancing and singing maniacally during this song.
As with every Weakerthans song, Aside is rich with evocative imagery. Where else would you hear lyrics such as “circumnavigate this body of wonder and uncertainty, armed with every precious failure and amateur cartography”?
The only problem that I can see with keeping Aside on your ipod is how to keep those little earplugs intact while dancing crazily around the room during the playing of this great song.
------ You'll notice I didn't even slag Nickleback - that would have been too easy ------

So vote early, vote often
GO WEAKERTHANS!!!!!!


I love these guys!!!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Stop this Killer
There's a small town in northern Alberta called Slave Lake, which is very close to the cottage we've been renting for a few days in the summer for the past couple of years. Nice little town, a fairly vibrant business area to service the cottage and logging industries which are the mainstays in that area. Slave Lake is fairly isolated from other centres.
Last year we noticed a lot of construction just outside of town. When we asked about it, we were told that Wal*Mart was coming to town. And then we were asked if we wanted to buy some prime downtown property, really cheap. That's when we noticed that a few of the businesses had closed.
God damn it! The killer has come to slay another town.
As certain as death and taxes, when Wal*Mart muscles into a small town, the business area dies. I wouldn't have so much of a problem with that if they competed fairly. But they are famous for their shady business dealings, their shody human resources records, and now I read of the unsealing of a US federal immigration affidavit, which claims that senior Wal*Mart officials were aware of the company's practice of hiring illegal immigrants, many of whom were housed in the backs of stores or warehoused in overcrowded conditions. Wal*Mart has aready agreed to pay $11,000,000.00 to settle the matter, but oddly enough, denies that top executives knew of or encouraged the practice.
Give me a break.
You can't build a corporation on the backs of poorly paid workers, and based on the principle of unfair business practices without knowing exactly what is going on in the human resources department.
Now, I try to live by my principles. I recycle, I try to buy locally, I shun excessive packaging, I collect rainwater for my garden, I compost, I buy music, I turn my thermostat down, but I know I could do so much more. And I'm no fucking angel, believe me.
But one thing I have refused to do for years is shop at Wal*Mart. How do you think they can afford to sell that crap so cheaply? I would rather pay more elsewhere and support a (until we find out otherwise, anyway) reputable business. And I can live with that.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Universe Is Unfolding As It Should
After a painful separation, the CBC folks are starting to trickle back to their rightful places in the cosmos. Here are some of my favourites who are returning after a far too lengthy absence:

Sook-Yin Lee is back hosting
Definitely Not the Opera on CBC Radio Saturday afternoons (1:00 pm). I love her to bits. She is sweet, sassy, and wicked funny, and Saturdays were not the same without her.
Saturday, she played the Would You Rather game with Hawksley Workman. Here's an excerpt:
S-YL: "Would you rather work at the drive-through at Tim Horton's or the customer service at Canadian Tire?"
HW: "Canadian Tire! I love Canadian Tire! I love the smell of it. I love the plumbing section with all the little brass bits in the big bins. I want to work in the sporting goods section so I can get a key to that glass cabinet where the binoculars and bullets are."
Who knew Hawksley was such a Canadian Tire fan? I love him even more now. I know he's not really a CBCer, but I first heard him on CBC, so.



Jian Ghomeshi is getting his own show on CBC radio. It's called National Playlist and it will list essential songs to put on your ipod each week. What a wet dream for a list junkie like Jian!
Jian will always hold a special place in my heart ever since he read my email on air during 50 Tracks (Canadian) in which I championed the Weakerthans' song Left and Leaving. Jian can even outsass Sook-Yin! Radio One Monday -Friday 11:30 am.




At long last, tonight heralds the return of everybody's boyfriend, the lovely George Stroumboulopoulos, host of the best show on tv - The Hour. If you like your current events delivered to you in a mixture of in-depth analysis and irreverent sassiness, then The Hour is your show and George is your man.I know you are all going "Oh God no, she's going to tell us again about the time she met George!" Relax children, I'll save that for torturing my grandchildren with eventually. I'll just reiterate that George is the most gracious, most engaging and most genuinely friendly person you could ever hope to meet. Did I mention he's really really cute? CBC Newsworld Monday - Thursday, 6:00, 9:00, and 12:00 pm MT

Finally what can you say about Rick Mercer? That he's the sharpest wit around, that he draws a bead on anything that moves in Canadian politics, that he goes for the jugular every time? Rick Mercer's Monday Report will be starting again this week and they've moved it to Tuesday nights. Subsequently, they've dropped the Monday part out of the title, which makes sense. CBC Tuesdays, 8:00 pm

HAPPY GEORGE DAY!!!!!!!!
The Hour starts again tonight!
So don't even think about phoning me
between 9 and 10 pm MT!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Why is it that stupid son of a bitch Blogger only eats the long posts that I spent a lot of time on?
Stupid fucking free service!!!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Matthew Good Concert Pics
Eva bought the Ladies and Gentlemen CD and they all graciously autographed it for her
This was the best shot of the lot, sadly
Only one 8-foot person in front of the camera here
More 8-foot people starting to move in

The Matthew Good Merch Shop

So, in lieu of concert photos, here are some pics we took at home showcasing some Matt Good loot:
Okay, this is my autographed copy of In a Coma. I think Matt wrote either "fuck off" or "moo" on mine. What do you think?

This is Eva wearing her shirt from last year's concert. It's the Content: head, heart, lungs shirt. I always regretted not buying one for myself - I really like the design, the colour, and the message. (I like Eva's hair that colour, too.)

Jerry couldn't go to the concert as he was called away on business and gave away his ticket, so being the loving wife that I am, I bought him this shirt.

He looks like he could kick some ass.

I got the tank shirt, because I wanted a tank and I wanted a green one. Unbeknownst to each other, Ruhee and I bought the same shirts. Girl's got good taste.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Pictureless in Calgary
The Matt Good concert photos are pretty rough. My resident photo hack did her best with the little Olympus, but alas, they kinda look like something I would take (don't tell her I said that).
I'll sort through them and post the best of the lot, but check out the great shots Stephanie took at the Edmonton concert. And of course you may have already seen the fabulous photos that Teddy took at the Calgary show. If not, go take a gander.
And go easy on Kellee the next few days. She had the absolute worst trip from hell while travelling to and from the Calgary concert and deserves a break. But I'll let her fill you in on the details...
Me, I'm still lolling over what I dork I am with the lyrics to Giant post a couple of days ago. I am my own best jackass sometimes.
Sing it loud and sing it proud "J-A-C-K-A-S-S. That's the way we spell success"
Lessons Learned
Caffeine enhances athletic performance. But today I learned, as with everything, that old adage about moderation in all things holds true here as well.
I learned DO NOT drink 7 cups of coffee before a big workout. You will get diminishing returns.
I was all wobbly by the time I was done.
I learned that mall gangstas driving their mom's SUV's with fake bullet holes in the back look incredibly stupid when they are driving around suburbia. Especially if they wear their ball caps sideways (does anyone even do that anymore?).
I'm hoping that we don't learn a tough lesson if the proposed legislation scheduled to be introduced by the Alberta government comes to fruition. Essentially, the legislation will allow for children to sue their mothers for car crash injuries they suffered while in utero.
We are all being assured that this type of legislation already exists in the UK without there being any subsequent reduction in women's rights.
That may be, but I can see this legislation providing an inpetus for further action toward decreasing the rights of women. We all know that certain groups with certain agendas will seize every opportunity available to them to curtail reproductive choice.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Thank you Dr. Gustavo Roman

It's incredible what a talented speaker can accomplish. I sit through far too many academic presentations that hold my interest for about 15 minutes before I start composing grocery lists (or blog posts) in my head, because I cannot look at yet another slide of an MRI brain scan. I'm not a neuroradiologist. All those brain scans look exactly the same to me.

Dr. Roman's talk on vascular dementia today not only had me hanging onto every word for 45 minutes, but his synopsis of the history of neurobiology was astounding. Did you know that the first neurobiology textbook dates back to 1549? And that the concept of dementia was documented in it? I now have a much better understanding of lacunar stroke as well, thanks to that lecture.

And there were only 2 radiology slides.

^^^^*******^^^^

If you are looking for Matt Good pictures, ummm, sorry, still haven't dumped the camera yet. I've been crazy busy. But don't be sad, peeps, because Teddy has totally amazing pictures of the very same concert for your astonishment and delight.

Prepare to be amazed here.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Post-High Holy Day of Music
Haven't dumped the photos out of the camera yet, but here's a synposis of the Matt Good concert last night:
Opening band: Jen, they didn't suck actually. They were quite rhythmically driven and I didn't mind them. However the commenter on MBLOG who said they were Weakerthans meet Death Cab for Cutie were waaay off. Ruhee figured them more to be Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat) inserted into The Strokes, except the frontman looks more like Ben Kwbdwincfjnachuck (Billy Talent).
Worst facial hair: The insane clapping guy/keyboardist from the Ladies and Gentlemen with the porn-star stache and mutton-chop sideburns.
Opening song: The Rat Who Would be King. Odd but bold choice to open.
Fist-raising moment: the rant during Blue Skies Over Badlands. Reference to the undrinkable water situation in a number of First Nations towns: "What do you think would happen if you had to boil water at this university? The fucking sky would fall, that's what would happen."
Surreal moment: Crowd chanting J-A-C-K-A-S-S until Matt et al came back for the first encore of ... Giant, of course.
Biggest sing-along participation: Apparitions
How's Matty aging?: This was the colour of the really nice shirt Matt wore (and was selling copies of at Merch) - that colour suits him. This was the colour of his pretty new guitar. Matty's shed a couple of pounds and looks fit, Neil. Even you and your girlfriend would find him hot.
UPDATE:
Hahahaha!!! Bill just informed me that I've been singing Giant wrong all this time! Apparently it's K-I-C-K-A-S-S, not J-A-C-K-A-S-S. Hmmm, mine's better.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Crappity crap crap crap!
One of the high holy days of music today, and I have a sore soft palate and feel kind of icky (and I'm never sick). With any luck it'll just be a sinus thing (the weather is turning) and too many Hallowe'en candies.
Because I have a lot of singing along with Matt to do.