Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sled Island Music Festival really is all that

... but I am far too pooped to do it (or you) any justice by telling you about it today. I'll fill you in on two nights of amazing music after I get a few more hours of sleep, but I will say this, if the atmosphere and the enthusiasm was the same at the other venues as it was at the ones I attended, then Sled Island is headed for great things. Going sledding will take on a whole new meaning.

But please come back tomorrow and I will tell you all about:
  • how Chad Van Gaalen is Calgary's musical ambassador
  • how Dan Bejar is as odd as he looks
  • free cds from Winnipeg bands
  • how the Grand Theatre is now officially my favourite Calgary venue
  • how Woodpigeon brought their parents and they all stayed to rock out to the Constantines
  • how the Constantines just keep getting better each time
  • and much more, including plaid-clad rock gods, Presbyterian bums, and accordion players with Turkey t-shirts who show up everywhere
I'm pretty sure I could not have done all four nights, though.
Good night.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'm like the wind

I'm off to the Sled Island Music Festival tonight!


Darren Frank, Destroyer, and Chad Van Gaalen.


Details to follow. And more concerts tomorrow.


In the meantime, because I know you will miss me so much, here's footage of one of the big-assed tornadoes that ripped through Manitoba last weekend - this one about 15 minutes from my niece's house.
Yoiks.



Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bands who deserve to be stinking rich (an occasional series): David and the Citizens

Every so often I find myself grooving to a band that I really enjoy whom hardly anyone seems to have heard of (and whose music is damned near impossible to find) and I find myself wondering why is this band not better known, why are they not stinking rich?

So occasionally I will be talking about some of those bands, trying to spread some of the love around, and I shall start off the series with a Swedish band who was first introduced to me by the lovely and talented Allison.

I listened to David and the Citizens quite a lot when I first heard them. Then, as more new music came into the house, the only cd of theirs which I was able to find got moved further back on the shelf, although I did put them onto some mixes. Last week, though, the cd pictured above found permanent rotation in my car, in my kitchen, and pretty much wherever else I could spin a disk.

These guys are actually pretty big in Sweden and they are just so good. Their music is criminally infectious - upbeat and highly melodic, while at the same time being highly personal and often in the acoustic vein. On their website they offer lots of music from their vast back catalogue, including mp3s and streaming of the songs on their upcoming 3rd full-length release "Stop the Tape! Stop the Tape!", which has a somewhat darker, less organic sound, the acoustic guitars have been liberally replaced with electric.

Frontman David Fridlund, pretty much the only unchanged citizen since the band's 1999 inception, has a wonderfully emotional voice, passionate and pleading, with just the slightest hint of a very endearing lisp. I admit I'm not sure which roles the other band members fill, but somebody sure does some great handclaps, and horns! And those are always welcome around the Zombie house.

If you are looking for some music you may not know, do yourself a favour and head over to David and the Citizens' website, where you'll find lots of great music, tonnes of photos adorably labeled in Swenglish, and loads of other goodies, including a shout-out to another great band that not enough people have heard of - Neutral Milk Hotel.

In the meanwhile, you can take a listen to these:
.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Canadian cat tales: how one cat maintained sovereignty against the American invasion

One of the first times we ever let Sputnik, then a wee kitten, out of the house, she farted around the backyard for a bit and then promptly galloped up a tree, and onto our neighbour's roof, where she paraded around the chimney stack. Naturally we panicked, thinking she was never going to be able to get down in one piece. So we hauled the biggest ladder out of the garage, leaned it up against the fence to the neighbour's house, and then watched as she casually hopped off the roof, onto the tree branch, and scampered safely to the ground.

That was nine years ago. She is considerably more sedate and less daring now, but even so, last summer she somehow found herself on our garage roof, and we could tell that she was second-guessing the wisdom of that move. She kept coming to the edge of the roof and meowing rather pointedly at us. We kept trying to reach her to grab her, but she would have none of that, and then, just as we were heading to the garage to find the now-firmly buried ladder, she wobbled her way along the spruce tree branch that touches the roof, shot headfirst down the trunk and made a beeline for the house, where she bolted in the back door, eyes the size of dinner plates. I have never seen her move so fast (and she's got lightning fast reflexes). Her little womanly belly was no longer swaying from side to side, rather it was snapping back and forth. Musta hurt. We thought we had seen the last of those adventures.

However on Friday last, we had a visitor over for dinner - an American visitor. Sputnik was being her usual amiable self, noodling around the perimeter as we sat outside at the patio table, showing off by chasing her tail, and coming in for the occasional finger rub. But she must have heard us discussing the relative differences between Canada and the US, and heard our guest talking about her (American) cat who looks very much like our Sputty.

Obviously Sputty had a few points to make about her superiority to any American imitator, because the next thing we knew, there she was looking down at us from the garage roof. Only this time, she was being as cool as a mountain stream, as she surveyed her domain and took stock of her subjects (us, and the dog barking down the lane). And she didn't seem at all concerned about how she was going to come down, so we didn't get worked up about it either - continued our drinks and our conversation. I guess eventually the novelty of the rooftop started to wear thin on Sputnik, or she realized she was losing attention and admiration, because the next thing we knew, this nine-year-old cat, still bearing her winter paunch, launched herself in perfect Rocky the Flying Squirrel formation onto the trunk of the tree, a good two and a half feet from the garage roof.

And she nailed that landing perfectly too.

And then being far too cool to admit to any fear or trepidation, she coolly descended the tree and strutted her bad ass around the back yard for a while before going for that much needed drink of water. You could almost hear her little kitty thoughts: "oh yeah, that's how we get off the roof in Canada, yo! I'd like to see that American cat try that."

Show off.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

and there we were without our camera

The other day Johnny Yen mentioned that he never leaves the house without his digital camera anymore, and with very good reason, as it turns out. The craziness must be spreading northward because lately our war cry seems to be "I wish I had the camera with me!" Today was no exception.

I would have loved to have shown you the sign outside the travel agency that read "Europe for sale". Price was not mentioned, but naturally Eva had to know whether or not the United Kingdom was included and how far into Russia that extended. Any ideas on what the asking price for a rather nice landmass would be?

I also really wanted to show you the spy car that we were stopped beside at the lights, which had "SPY SHOP" written in large bold font all along the side. And the phone number, 668-1007 (oooh 007 - clever), scrawled across the back windshield. I'm hoping this is not the car that they use for surveillance, as I would certainly suspect I was being tailed if I saw that parked in front of my house, but maybe not everyone shares my keen powers of observation.

We did not see any New Balance Joy Division running shoes in our journeys today, but I can sure show you a picture.

Did I just hear Ian Curtis rolling around in his urn?



The judges agreed to work this weekend, so we are happy to present this week's winner of the highly coveted Labia Awards is:

Beckeye - "Nothing says 'I'm sorry for being a pantiless alcoholic' like a new mini-Escalade"

Nicely done, Beckeye. This is why we depend on you to keep us abreast of all the news that's fit to cringe at.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Yer Friday Random Playlist - a day late, but oh so playful

This week's Friday random playlist started out surprisingly low-key. I'm not sure why, when it knew I wanted to rock. Fortunately my homeboy Matt Good (Hospital Music to be released July 31!) and those crazy dudes, the Damned, perked things up a bit.

Why do I want to rock? Well, the Sled Island Music Festival is almost upon us, innit, baby?

On Thursday night we're going to hear Darren Frank, Destroyer, and everybody's homeboy, Chad VanGaalen. On Friday, it's going to be a wonderfully mixed bag with the Details, Geronimo (I might head to the bar during their set), Woodpigeon, whom I have been wanting to see for forever, and my favourite band to see live, the mighty might Constantines!

Woo! and also Hoo! I just wish I could make it to the other 9 gagillion great acts that are going to be playing.

I got my working schedule for the Calgary Folk Festival, and it is pretty sweet, my friends, pretty sweet. On Thursday, I'll be putting in 6 hours prior to the start of the festival, putting out cds in the record tent. That'll be an excellent learning opportunity and will free up 6 hours of actual festival time. I don't work at all on Friday, on Saturday I work 2-7, and on Sunday 5-10, which means I'll miss the mainstage that night, but that's okay.

I've been checking out some of the artists so that I can more knowledgably assist people in their cd buying, and besides the obvious ones like Neko Case, Rufus Wainwright, Final Fantasy, Hawksley Workman, the Sadies, Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, Geoff Berner, Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, Chumbawamba, etc etc whom I am panting to see, I am really excited about a few bands that I hadn't previously heard. Musicians like the hummers, Jon-Rae and the River, Mary Flower, Jeremy Fisher, and I've only made it to the J's in the list.

So I'm a little excited.

And in about ten minutes, I'm going to attempt to score tickets to Wilco. They are moving up from the sweaty indie pit of Mac Hall, where I last saw them, to the luxe cushioned seats of the Jubilee Auditorium. Interesting choice for a venue; it's got great acoustics, but we'll all be sitting down.

I have to admit I am not wild about Wilco's new cd, Sky Blue Sky, but then again Yankee Hotel Foxtrot makes my list of favourite cds of all time, so I think it will all even out.

Northwest Passage - Stan Rogers
Act of the Apostle II - Belle and Sebastian
A Sad Country Ballad for a Tired Superhero - Woodpigeon
Oh Be Joyful - Matthew Good
Shakin' All Over - the Damned cover
One Blood (Jiggy Homocide) - K-Os
Ambergris March - Bjork
In Limbo - Radiohead
Handshake Drugs (live) - Wilco
I'm Just a Killer for Your Love - Blur
*
Have a fabulous summer weekend, my sweetnesses. Stay up a little later and have another drink, maybe dance around the fire pit. It's not dark enough to sleep anyway.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I'm sitting on the roof of my house with a shotgun and a six-pack of beer

Not really, that's only Bloc Party singing about hunting for witches. But hey, we are having a Block Party this Saturday.

For the past three years, we've closed our street down for a few hours on a Saturday at the end of June, collected five bucks per family and had a barbecue, with the north side of the street bringing salads and the south side bringing desserts. It's pretty fun, I get to see people I haven't talked to since hitting them up for Kidney Foundation donations in March, and aside from baking something fattening to offer, I don't need to cook supper.

I don't really know my neighbours as well as I should. Back in London, we were really tight with our neighbours; we were all around the same age, started having kids at the same time, and we lived in houses with big front porches from where you could see everyone coming and going. It's different here. We arrived in December and didn't really meet anyone until spring. And the houses all had rinky-dink little front stoops. We were one of the first families on the street to add a big front porch, and since then a lot more people have done so, so there is more interaction.

But by now, we are part of the invisible generation on our street. There are the old-timers who have been here since they wrastled this community out of the bald-assed prairie, there are the young families who amongst them have a total of about 75 pre-school kids who all play together, and there are us. I'm not complaining; I love seeing all those kids and moms gathered together in one of the front yards when I get home from work, and love to hear the dads calling to each other as they arrive home; it's the sense of community that I left behind me in London, Ontario. But I am only on the periphery.

Still though, it will be nice come Saturday to yack with the others and to solidify the community spirit a bit more.

But I haven't told you about the best part of the annual block party! It's the Garbage Exchange!

A few hours before the start of the barbeque, we all put stuff we don't want anymore on our front lawns, and people wander up and down the street and help themselves to whatever catches their fancy. Gratis. And whatever is left over, gets picked up by a charity.


It's great, and this year I vow that I am actually going to open those boxes that we never did unpack after our move here nine years ago. I have a feeling we don't need whatever is in them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

RTFQ: Read the Question

That's what the resident offspring's junior high math teacher used to tell them at the start of an exam. Some bright light would inevitably have to ask "what does the F stand for?"

The RO finished her science exam today, with only social left to write on Thursday. Pffft, social! She invented social! If you were to look in a picture dictionary for the definition of IB Social, you would see a picture of the resident offspring, true story. Don't ever get her started on the Russian revolution, is all I'm saying.

Sometimes I miss being in school. Even exams.

Except for that terrible year when my friend was killed a month before her wedding and two days before our Physiology final. I would only do that one over again if I could change things so that she never stepped out into that crosswalk.

And maybe not the time I wrote my Zoology final with a broken finger. Although I am pretty sure that's the only reason I passed the course. I think the prof figured I must have known way more than I did but was in too much pain to write more. And I wasn't about to deprive him of that illusion.

Although my buddy Darryll is probably ultimately responsible for me passing that course, as he was the one who started singing My Shalonia once while we were studying, to help him remember that the green sea turtle was Shalonia Midas. And wouldn't you know that green sea turtle was on the exam?

Scored!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I zigged when I should have zagged

It's a cold, windy, rainy Father's Day here, perfect for nursing a tiny hint of a headache from all that fine wine that Shannon and Rick brought over last night.

<-- Isn't this a great name for a wine that a Zombie would drink? This Zombie certainly thought so, so drink it she did. I'm also getting a bit of a sore throat, so I've blown off the workout for the day, and am catching up on the neglected newspapers, whilst quaffing gallons upon gallons of tea, as all the cool kids seem to be doing these days.

The resident father is happily parked in front of the tube, watching a series of car races, the cat is curled up on the rocking chair, and the offspring is pretending to study for her science exam. There's laundry being laundered in the basement, the house is clean from having company over for dinner last night, and we are ordering in curry for supper. Altogether it is a portrait of domestic bliss around here.

I was rather perturbed by all the men I saw in the grocery store earlier today. I'm no man, but I'm pretty certain that grocery shopping is not an activity that I would choose for a fun-filled Father's Day. All I know is that it's possibly that last thing I would want to do for Mother's Day, although maybe I am missing a crucial piece of the puzzle here.

The fabulous Beth reminded me about Great Lake Swimmers the other day when she posted her concert review. Great Lake Swimmers have always been Sunday morning music for me, and especially so on a dark and sweetly melancholy Sunday.

Do you have particular musicians or songs that you gravitate toward on a Sunday morning or a rainy day? Do you choose songs to lift you out of that melancholy or do you prefer to wallow in it?

I'd like to offer you a couple of lovely Great Lake Swimmers songs as a Father's Day gift. Non-fathers are welcome to enjoy as well; we are all-inclusive here at Casa de la Zombie.

Your Rocky Spine
There is a Light
--
I am very pleased to announce that, after weeks of neglect, the Labia Awards have been hauled out of the front hall closet, dusted off, given some of that brass polish that we use on our bowling trophies, and are once again ready to honour someone who put their heart and soul into those little gems we like to call labels.

This week's winner of the newly resurrected Labia Award is:

Friday, June 15, 2007

the shower stall edition

Well, I've got Father's Day taken care of. I cleaned the man's shower stall today.

You may not think this is a big deal, but actually it's a huge fucking deal. I'm pretty certain it's been a year since that disgusting thing was last cleaned. I'm not really sure, as I stay away from that area, but judging from the black and red mold that I found on the walls and floor, I'd say that was a pretty reasonable guess.

You should have seen me, I was a thing of beauty. Looked like I walked straight out of a wet dream I did, in my hazmat gear - safety goggles, mask, rubber gloves and rubber boots. I think I saw the same outfit in a porn flick once.

Anyhoo, the hubby was altogether surprised and quite pleased with his early Father's Day gift and this should free me up from having to perform any Father's Day sexual favours.

Here's the Friday Random Playlist that kept me company for part of the three hours that it took me to decontaminate that place.

Long time running - the Tragically Hip
Company you keep - Great Aunt Ida
Little bear - Guillemots
Pickin' it up - Hot Hot Heat
Gravitate to me - The The
Drunk target - Kid Koala
A lover sings - Billy Bragg
Salt of the earth - Rolling Stones
Hello time bomb - Matthew Good
Reel around the fountain - the Smiths

I hope all you beautiful crazy kids have a great weekend. Maybe somebody who loves you will sneak into your room and wash all your dirty underwear.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Anyone can play guitar

Today I thought of some more lyrics I am always mishearing

In the song Anyone Can Play Guitar, I always thought Thom was singing "I want a better band when I get to heaven". Imagine how relieved I was to discover it was actually "I want to be in a band when I get to heaven", as I always wondered how the rest of the band felt about him slagging them like that.

For a while now, I've been looking at the offspring's largely ignored guitar thinking that I'd like to start tinkering with it. I did take a few weeks of guitar lessons in grade 6 but lost interest after realizing that I wasn't going to be Gordon Lightfoot without a bit of work.

But I think I am ready to give it another go. I'm all grown up now and no longer have that silly notion about wanting to be Gordon Lightfoot. Now I want to be Jonny Greenwood.

I absolutely love the violent blasts of guitar that precede the chorus on Creep. And that was long before Jonny learned to play like this (you need to watch the end - seriously, can't you just picture me shredding and making those other-worldly sounds like that?)

I think I've got a wee bit of catching up to do.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

If you find yourself Courtney Love

Are these amazing photos or what? Berni sent them to me to calm my traffic-frazzled nerves. Thanks, sis, you're da bomb (also da balm).

Chart magazine seems to print every letter that I send them. Either I am the world's finest letter writer or nobody writes to the poor bastards. Mind you they are also fond of printing the wild rants, you know the type - ALLL CPS AND FULL FO SPELLINF MSTAKES!!! NAD ANGRY!!!

They also seem to favour those letters coming in from soccer moms in support of "musicians" like Kalin Porter and that other Idol guy whose name I forget. Oh and Whitney Houston. They love those ones.

Mis-heard lyrics are something at which I excel apparently. I will blissfully sing along using the wrong words. Hell, I've been known to sing the wrong lyrics to the entire blogosphere.

Some personal favourites, without resorting to sites like Kiss this Guy, are as follows. These are all lyrics either misheard personally by yours truly or by folks I know. No musicians were harmed in the singing of these lyrics.
*
"baby if I was into men, you would be mine"
(maybe if I was in demand, you would be mine)
*
"you told me you wanted to eat up my sandwich"
(you told me you wanted to eat up my sadness)
*
"we've got to fool Phil to boot"
(we've got to fulfill the book)
*
"if you find yourself Courtney Love"
(if you find yourself caught in love)
*
"Kenneth lies next to me, whispering"
(my gun it lies next to me, whispering)
*
"I waffle my machine"
(I walk to my machine)
*
Care to share any of your finest misheard moments?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

it's okay, because someday we'll be millionaires and go dumper truck racing and go dumper truck racing

I don't want to spend my life in six lanes of traffic going nowhere.

I'm pretty privileged now and have no cause to complain, but I do remember sleeping on other people's floors in my youth when I had nowhere else to go, or choosing cat food over bread because the cat did not understand having no money for food.

How is that ambulance going to get through anyway?

I hear another siren. I can't even tell which direction it's coming from. I sure would hate to die in a traffic jam because the ambulance couldn't get through.

I need to check how many vacation days I have left. I need to plan my exit strategy. I think by fall, this place can function without me.

Hey fuckhead! This is a playground zone! How about slowing down? Asshole.
.
.

I love our house.
I love my family.
I love the cat who is a big armful of warm vibrating love into which I can bury my head.
I can pick the cat hairs off my face later.

Monday, June 11, 2007

this one's for the freaks

I am beginning to understand why the resident offspring is so enamoured of Magazine. On the weekend we received our long-awaited shipment from our Amazon binge, and I’m pretty sure that the inclusion of a Magazine cd was the reason it took so long to arrive. Those suckers are hard to find.

I previously thought that Magazine were okay and of course I was partial to them because of Howard Devoto’s history with the Buzzcocks and his
relationship with Pete Shelley, but god damn Secondhand Daylight is a fine cd. Currently my favourite track is Rhythm of Cruelty.

I’m also excited that my copy of Blindness arrived in the same parcel (thanks again, Karen!) as this is a crucial component of my summer reading list. I might also add Richard Hell’s Godlike (also in that big box of fun and goodness) to the list as that elusive sixth book, but at this point it seems more likely that the honour will go to Please Kill Me: the Uncensored Oral History of Punk, as the offspring is currently enjoying it far too much for me to ignore.

It's not as if I'm going to start wearing leopard prints to any concerts any time soon, but I do have to admit I am slightly chagrined about how much I am actually enjoying the new Manic Street Preachers’ album, Send Away the Tigers. There is no foreplay on any of these songs - they just gallop right for the big stadium anthemic chorus 20 seconds into the song. The lyrics are throw-away and the melodies are shallow and easy, and I feel slightly cheap and dirty for being sucked into them so easily, but damn they are catchy in a big-haired arena sing-along sort of way. Take a listen to Imperial Bodybags and tell me what you think.

And you can't tell me you don't have any musical guilty pleasures. Come on, just between you and me, who do you secretly sing along with?

ABBA doesn't count.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I've gotta get my groove back

Let me show you some of my garden. Maybe you can tell me what I have to do to get some enthusiasm back for working in it.

For years, I built retaining walls and stone walkways and slate patios and I poured over gardening manuals and selected the best perennials for the degree of sunlight and moisture level of the soil. And then I tried again with different plants when those ones would die.


Sputnik would often help me out with the yardwork.


Finally the garden is looking half decent.


And now I don't want to have anything to do with it.


Mother nature has triumphed, the garden has beaten me; even the composter has stopped working - nothing but twigs and roots in there where there should be rich compost.

I think I'm burned out. I really should fill in some empty spots in the perennial beds and fill the front porch and the back patio up with potted plants like I used to.


But I really just want to reclaim the lounge chair from the cat.

Help!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Lucious Bev Playlist

This Friday Random Playlist is dedicated to the fabulous Bev who is celebrating her birthday today. Bev is the blonde Martha pictured here when the Marthas were going all out fringe festivaling last summer. Right now we are trying to figure out what to do, where to go for this year's Womanly Weekend which, due to the insane social demands upon the Marthas, will be held in October this year.

October in Alberta ... any suggestions for destinations/activities?

To all a good night - Arab Strap
Buggin' - the Flaming Lips
Prickly thorn, but sweetly worn - the White Stripes
Beast for thee - Bonny Prince Billy
So sleep (A) - Junior Boys
Just like honey - the Jesus and Mary Chain
Waking the witch - Kate Bush
Bang and blame - R.E.M.
Eternal life - Jeff Buckley
Upside down - the Jesus and Mary Chain

Have a sweet summer weekend, my preciouses.
Dance a little more, have another drink, and for christ's sake plant that tomato you bought two weeks ago.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

birthday girls and superheroes

Oh hai!

Everybody join me in singing Happy Birthday to Mel.

Happy birthday to you
you belong in a zoo
you look like a monkey
and you smell like one too.

We mean this in the nicest possible way, of course.
*~*

Obviously somebody forgot to tell me that it was Dress Like a Superhero Day at work today, because a suspiciously large number of people at the meeting today were wearing scarves, nattily draped scarves arranged in a variety of complicated poses on their persons, which I would never be able to pull off in a million years without breaking into snickers everytime I caught a glimpse of myself.

They looked very heroic, like they had powers of flight.

What superhero powers would you like to have?

I think I would like the power of infinite do-overs. Then I could travel down all those roads not chosen and see where they would have led me. Plus I could try all those urges that I could never act upon but which hold a evil spell over me, without any permanent consequences. Like the urge to stick my arm into the running garburator, or to drive off the side of a bridge, or to ram into the back of the police cruiser stopped in front of me at the red light, like I had the urge to do today. You know, just to see what would happen.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Are we newshounds or publicity whores or just masochists?

It's the anniversary of some pretty important events in history this month.

Forty years ago, the Six Day War changed the geopolitical outline of the middle east, with Israel gaining control of vital strategic areas of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, and parts of Jerusalem.
Eighteen years ago, Chinese student were instrumental in a sparking a series of demonstrations in support of democracy in Beijing's Tienemen Square. The military crackdown left hundreds dead (although the exact number may never be known) and led to widespread arrests. Many of those arrested are still being detained.

And what are the newspapers plastered with day after day after day this month?
Coverage of the incarceration of a certain empty-headed spoiled hotel empire heiress.
Give me a fucking break.

Mama's got a squeezebox statcounter

How on earth did I survive without a statcounter? I can't believe how much fun this new toy is. There go yet more hours of my life that I'll never get back from that giant black hole we like to call the internetz. Why, the keyword analysis function alone provides hours of merriment.

A lot of you have in the past shared some of the keyword searches from your statcounter. Seen any good ones lately?

These are a few of my favourites that people have used to find their way to Bad Tempered Zombie:


Gotta love google.

Also gotta love those fine folks putting together the inaugural Sled Island Music Festival (June 27-30). They just added one of my favourite bands of all time to see live to the lineup - the magnificent Constantines! The Cons are sharing the stage with a band that I have been wanting to see perform for a long time, Calgary's Wood Pigeon.

I think we are going to stop at two nights of concert-going, as some of these shows go pretty late. Hylozoists aren't even scheduled to start playing until 1:00am. I can't keep up to this rock star life.

You sure can't beat the price though. I'll be seeing 7 bands for $47. And you can see about a gagillion bands for I think around $150, which gets you the four-day pass.

Okay, enough pimping.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I've noticed that ...

Suddenly all the boys are wearing puka shell necklaces again. A week ago, no necklaces, this week, every third teenage boy is wearing shells around his neck. What's going on? The boys wore these when I was in high school. Are they now passing them onto their sons? Are these a summer-time rite of passage into manhood?
+
My cat is smarter than I am. She hopped up on the computer desk this morning and sat looking at the screen, and I noticed her eyes following the cursor, so I started
playing with it, running it up and down and across the screen, and got a chuckle out of her reaction. Then she started looking from the cursor to my hand directing the mouse and back to the cursor again. Finally I could see a light bulb go off in that little kitty head as she ignored the cursor entirely and watched my hand instead.
++
Death of a President is a riveting film. I had not expected to be as transfixed by this fictional documentary as I was. It deals with the 2007 assassination of George W Bush at a Chicago hotel, and through the seamless blending of real footage and filmed segments, largely of talking heads, reveals the racial profiling, the erosion of civil liberties, and the increased civil disobedience preceding, surrounding and following the event. The scenarios of rampant xenophobia, in particular the implementation of Patriot Act III, are frighteningly believable, and I think Eva summed it up best when she said that the only reason there have been no serious assassination threats on Bush thus far is because that would automatically make Cheney president.
+++
The perfume abuser at work no longer stinks. It's true! I ran into her several times in the past couple of weeks, and not a whiff out of her. I believe she must have learned a lesson from the news story of the passenger who was kicked off the bus for perfume abuse. Either that, or she reads this blog.
++++
I have become a lazy arse about awarding the Labia Awards. Shamefully, I didn't even award one last week. And I have to
admit that with the arrival of summer, the Labias will be a trifle hit and miss. That said, I must give an Award this week to:
.
Dale
for his eloquent label
"Barbara Bruederlin"

Oh come now, surely you didn't believe that I was above the odd bribe?
+++++
Some music sounds so perfect in the summer.

Home as a Romanticized Concept Where Everyone Loves You Always and Forever by Wood Pigeon sounds so divine on a lazy summer day, where nobody is moving too fast and the most effort you want to make is to lift that icy drink to your lips.

So Sleep by Junior Boys is perfect for those sultry summer nights, when it's too hot to go to bed, so you keep dancing..

May these help you make it through the work week.

Why did you use THAT font?

I've been noticing that Comic Sans seems to be a universally despised font. Personally I have nothing against it, except for the fact that a secretary we had used nothing but. She also used purple ink and purple sticky notes and saved a paper copy of every email her boss ever received. But that is another tale entirely.

Wichita State University has completed a study (too much free time, Wichita State?) which found that the font a person chooses sends a strong message about someone's personality.

Courier (and other mono-spaced fonts)implies dullness and lack of imagination.

Georgia and Times New Roman are associated with stability, maturity and formality.

People who chose Arial or Verdana (or other sans-Serif typefaces) were seen as professionals who wanted their readers to concentrate on content rather than personality.

When I first started blogging, I used Arial a lot,and then I got tired of it and now I alternate among Trebuchet, Times and sometimes Verdana, but only the small font size. Do not ask me why.

What font do you use most? Why did you chose that one?

And perhaps more tellingly, what font are you? Apparently I am Arial, and the quiz accused me of being normal. Who are you going to believe? Me or some quiz you've never even met?

Friday, June 01, 2007

the case of the chirping power cord - le fin

I thought it was a step in the right direction when Blogger implemented a draft autosave about a month ago. I thought so all the way up until today. Today, after spending a goodly amount of time writing my post, which I was going to tell you was the most insightful piece of literature you would have ever read except that wouldn't be true, it was actually pretty lame, but anyway, weird things started to happen when I tried to publish five minutes before I had to leave the house, and Blogger tried to tell me I wasn't logged in and my account didn't exist. No problem I thought, thank God for the autosave. Except it only saved the title and first sentence.

So you are going to get the 30-second bunnies' version of my original post.

I am now the happy owner of a brand-spanking new fully functional and chirpless, laptop power cord. And the best part is, I reused the $17.50 parking pass which I had previously only used for 10 minutes. I figured that if Impark was able to ticket and tow my car in the 8 minutes that I was parked in their lot this time, I would gladly fork over the money.

But I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's exhausting being a lady who lunches. I have a whole new respect for those poor creatures trying to survive the mean streets of Hyanisport.

Eva was dismissed before noon on her birthday and we drove to Mission, had lunch at the Purple Perk (Thai beef wrap, yum), bought used book at Books on 4th, whipped over to 17 Ave and scored cds at Megatunes, walked past and did not enter the new cupcake shop, Craves, bought art supplies at Mona Lisa, had gelato (my grapefruit one even came with an authentic grapefruit seed), darted over to 11th Ave and picked up aforementioned replacement power cord whilst sticking it to the man for parking fees, and gorged on take out curry and DQ Chococherry Love Blizzard ice cream cake that night.

The Friday Random Playlist reflects the weather today, what with the mention of beaches and waterfalls and roses and sleeping on roofs and tents.


Waterfall - the Stone Roses
Government Walls - James
Lying on a Beach - Joel Plaskett
Tent in Your Pants - Peaches
Sleeping on the Roof - the Flaming Lips
One Red Rose - John Prine
She's Dead - Pulp
A Good Year for the Roses - Elvis Costello
Hurdles Even Here - the Decemberists
Some Velvet Morning - Primal Scream
.
As is usual around here, we have skipped spring altogether and gone straight into midsummer. It's going to be flirting around the 30 degree mark all weekend, clear and bright, and I plan to reclaim the lounge chair that has been commandeered by the cat and maybe finish off that leftover ice cream cake. And I've already bought the limes for the spritzers.

May your weekend be as fabulous as you are and may your only concern be deciding between beer and wine and who's going to barbeque that shrimp anyway.