Sunday, May 31, 2009

don't be hatin

After a few days of convocating and enabling birthday parties and post sleep-over laundry and being struck by seasonal non-sleeping disorder, I surprised the hell out of myself by doing actual work this afternoon. If today's efforts come to fruition, it could very well result in my most high profile interview to date.

So rather than tackling the stack of unread newspapers (begging the question how long is it still news) or figuring out for the umpteenth spring how to hook up the rain barrel, I thought I would indulge in a meme shamelessly swiped from the fabulous Bloody Awful Poetry.

It's all about HATE and I loves me some righteous HATE.

1. Most Hated Food
I like food, and there is very little that I will not eat, with two exceptions: creamed corn and sea cucumber, the first a little too reminiscent of baby poop, the second, of snot.


2. Most Hated Person
In the whole world? That's tough. Even Kim Jong Il has his humourous moments.

That said, I still cannot look that toady assistant Safeway manager in the eye after he told me that "once you leave the store, it's not our responsibility" when all I asked him was where do I find the mall manager to tell her about the hole in the parking lot in which I sprained my ankle.

Come to think of it, that hole is still there, two years after I went up to her office on crutches to tell the mall manager about it, so she's on my shit list too.

3. Most Hated Job

My first job after grad school - selling animal feed north of Toronto. It was bad enough that I left my hometown (although I did leave for love), but I was assigned a sales territory far from my amour, plus during my training session, I had to catch chickens for two days. I learned that chickens have the scaliest legs imaginable, which will rip the shit out of your hands. I learned this because I was not given any gloves to use and had to wear the little woolen mittens that my mom had knitted for me.

Maple Leaf Foods are miserable fuckers.


4. Most Hated City
Kelowna. It doesn't need to be that freaking hot or that tacky.

5. Most Hated Band
Wings. Or Van Halen. Take your pick.

6 - Most hated website.
They're just websites. Zeros and ones.

7 - Most hated TV program.
Extreme Home Makeover. That host who looks like an alcoholic isn't happy until everybody cries.

9 - Most hated British politician.
Since somebody forgot about a #8, I will instead tell you about the thing I hate most about the renovations in my neighbourhood Safeway. The new carts with the cup holder that gets in the way of loading and unloading. My life is so hard.

Oh, Margaret Thatcher.

10 - Most hated artist
Who hates artists?

Hitler, I suppose.

11 - Most hated book.
Multivariable Calculus.

12 - Most hated shop.
I have a disdain/hate affair going on with my neighbourhood Safeway. I like all the cashiers and the produce guy, though.

13 - Most hated organisation.
Take your pick from any number of far right Neocon with religious leanings organizations.

14 - Most hated historical event.
The day I hurt my back just before Christmas and ended up a cripple for 6 weeks.

Oh. You mean worldwide historical events? How do you chose? A good 65% of them are bad.

15 - Most hated sport.
I don't really hate any sports, although I have a hard time not laughing at the soft core gay porn Ultimate Fighter that the Spousal Unit watches.

16 - Most hated piece of technology.
Leaf blowers. Or those keys that honk when you lock the car door from a distance.

17 - Most hated annual event.
Even though we keep at least one snow shovel outside the back door throughout the year (just in case), the day that all the snow shovels come back out of the garage and get placed beside the front and back doors for the next 8 months, that day I die a little inside.

18 - Most hated daily task.
Cleaning up after supper. Every. Single. Day.

19 - Most hated comedian.
I can't decide among Carrot Top, Tom Green, or Pauly Shore. Kill them all.

This was more fun than it should have been. Consider yourself tagged, if people still do that sort of thing.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

loosing a force upon the world

You always had a mind of your own.

When my body said it's time for you to be born, you said I don't think so, maybe in another 2 or 3 days. And when they finally dragged you out, I wondered if I knew what the hell I had gotten myself into.

It turns out it was the crowning achievement of my life.

I can't begin to count all the times you have amazed me or made me laugh or fed me all my best lines. Who's going to keep me relevant when you move on to tackle all the adventures that life is going to offer you?

But this is not about me, except in the way that you astound me and in the way that I sometimes wonder who I would be, if not for you. Now that you are officially an adult, maybe it's no longer weird and kinda creepy that you are my best friend.

Remember always that you are fierce as hell, that you have a stunningly brilliant mind, that you own this life. Put your stamp on it, and stamp hard.

Every May 30th, I will look out at the cherry tree blooming profusely outside your window, and I will remember how you blossomed and showed the world your beauty. And I will feel so blessed.

Stay fierce, always.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I did not do these things during the convocation ceremony today

1. stand up, raise my arms to the heavens, shake my booty for the lord, and exclaim "that's my baby!" (even though Mika's mom set precedence for this at the junior high grad)

2. stay unmisted when the vice principal referred to the graduating class as "my babies".

3. control my eyeball rolling when one of the valedictorians gushed about how "the prime minister lives in our very own community".

5.
remain uncharmed by one of the kids, from the class in which the RO works as a teaching assistant, waving and giving thumbs up and grooving to the marching band.

6. refrain from speculating that those kids who received the loudest cheers from their parents were those who likely peaked in high school.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

evidently there are dire consequences if one hangs the tassle on the wrong side

I just took approximately 765,760,943 candid photos of the Resident Offspring in her grad gown and cap, in anticipation of the big ceremony tomorrow morning.

What I would like to know is, what happens if she fails her diploma exams? Is someone going to reimburse me for the time it took to snap all those pictures?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

the city loves you, the city loves a boyfriend

I've been a regular fixture at the bottle depot this week, turning the vestiges of our winter's boozy indulgences into solid gold. This in turn, will be handed over to a junk removal company (who claims to recycle and dispose responsibly) to haul away the piles that I have created whilst decrapping the basement and garage. With junk, sometimes it makes you money, but more often it costs you.

The junk removal company does state unequivocally that they will not take "paint cans containing kitty litter", so I guess I will just have to find another home for the kitty litter-filled paint cans that I have been so lovingly collecting over the years. Just as long as they take the dozen opened tubes of caulking that moved with us from London 11 years ago, I will be
satisfied.

The junk removal guys are coming next week, giving us one final opportunity this weekend to force someone to sleep on the basement couch with the hole in the seat through which the springs protrude. There will be an 18th birthday party overtaking the house, you see, and coming hot on the heels of graduation the day before, the craziness factor could very well be pushed into hyperdrive.

Saturday night could find me holed up in the bedroom, clinging onto my wireless connection like it's a rope thrown from a search helicopter into the cold north Atlantic which threatens to swamp my little leaky dingy. On the other hand, I may just he
ad downstairs, crash the party, and embarrass the newly minted adult with tales of my misspent teenage years.

I'm thinking I should probably take her out to a bar before she actually turns legal age, or she will forever regret not having done so. Kids today, you've got to do everything for them. I was 15 when I first went to a bar. How old were you?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

when I was cruel

My two greatest accomplishments this weekend were:
(1) finding a new way to torture my cat
(2) watching The Fall.

It wasn't exactly water-boarding, but my latest Gitmo technique was even more satisfying than the previous gold standard yogurt container method.

It started when I was rummaging through the cupboard and made the
thrilling discovery of one of those little Cheezies mini-packs, evidently left over from Hallowe'en or some road trip. The cat has been highly aggressive about anything remotely resembling food lately, and I guess Cheezies sort of fall into that category. Since she wasn't satisfied with the morsels of bright orange compressed cheese-like matter that I fed her, I gave her the empty bag when I was done.

I have no idea how she managed to fit her snout into the 28 gram bag, but once she did, it was wedged right onto to her face. Let me tell you, cats get really pissed off when you start screaming with laughter as they back their way across the room, trying to shake a Cheezies bag off their face. Especially when you stop rolling around on the chesterfield in order to rescue them, and then they DO IT AGAIN. Don't ever let anyone tell you that cats are a quick study.

-#-


After I got over my initial disappointment that The Fall was not, after all, an expose into the misadventures of Mark E Smith, I enjoyed it far far more than I expected to.

You must see this film.

For starters, it has some of the most stunningly gorgeous and imaginative cinematography I have ever seen. I was gobsmacked to discover that no CGI was used, because the fantasy scenes are absolutely surreal. The Fall was filmed in 26 locations throughout 18 countries over a period of 4 years.

The film is set in a hospital outside of LA in the 1920's. Roy is a movie stuntman, paralysed during filming, who befriends Alexandria, a curious little Romanian girl, who has been hospitalised with a badly broken arm. To pass the time (and in exchange for the morphine which he convinces her to steal for him), Roy entertains Alexandria with a series of fantastical tales of heroes and bandits.


It's during these action tales that the cinematography is at its most stunning. Every detail is impeccably and vibrantly wrought. Even the headgear worn is fierce as hell.

But eclipsing even the action and the colours and the fierce beauty is the character of Alexandria. She is utterly charming and one of the most mesmerizing personalities I have ever seen depicted in film. Played flawlessly and completely naturally by the Catinca Untaru, Alexandria is so freaking adorable with her broken English and mannerisms that are completely in character with that of a six year old child.

Do you know how some little kids always have to be touching you
when they are listening to you, running their fingers along your arm or about your face? That's what Alexandria does. Do you know how some kids never walk anywhere, they always go at a full run? Again, that's Alexandria. I couldn't get enough of her.

Please rent this film, or at the very least watch this trailer. Just don't make me come over there and stick an empty Cheezies bag on your face.


Friday, May 22, 2009

evoked potential

I'm not saying I miss my old job or anything crazy like that. And those hard-core neuroscience seminars that made my eyes bleed, I could live quite happily without ever sitting through one of those again. But I do miss the language sometimes.

I miss the way some of those phrases rolled off the tongue - medial temporal lobe, dentate gyrus, caudate nucleus, CA1 pyramidal neurons.

Pure poetry, as long as no one asks you to explain them.


I think it's rather fitting that sensory-motor behaviour in the absence of conscious sensation has a nam
e: Zombie Agent (A stereotyped, rapid, and effortless sensory-motor behavior that does not give rise to a conscious sensation. Consciousness for this behavior may come later or not at all.)

This being Friday and all, I feel the need coming on for a list. Here's mine:

bad tempered zombie's top five favourite neuroscience phrases
corpus callosum
penumbra
synaptic plasticity
hemiplegia
basal ganglia


How do you feel about jargon?
Did you ever miss it after leaving it behind?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

a whole bunch of Canadian bands you should know - Open House Arts Collective

It's been almost a month since I received the Open House Arts Collective compilation cd in the mail - a lovely little surprise from everybody's favourite music blogger, Sean. Sean was understandably excited about this release, and as a passionate supporter of his local music scene, could not wait to spread the word about this local effort.

My only excuse for not reviewing this cd sooner is that my impressions of it keep evolving. I finally figure out just what it is that draws me into this collection of twelve songs from a diverse but united group of musicians from London, ON, and then I have another listen and yet another layer peels away, and I realise I have only scratched the surface. The dozen songs on offer are a compilation of rich musical texture, layer upon lucious layer of sound in which you hear something fresh with each listen.

The Open House Arts Collective seems more like a family than a loose collective of musicians who have banded together to support each other. For one thing, they all seem to either play in each others' bands, tour together, or produce each others' music, and you can sense the camaraderie and mutual respect among the artists. And Open House does also function as a recording company for its members. Yet, despite the free mingling of musicianship, at no point does the mix get stirred too much that the sound becomes generic. Instead, each song on this cd retains a beautifully unique and eclectic sound.

The OH! Compilation cd does have somewhat of a distinctive Canadian sound to it. Don't ask me to define that precisely because I don't think that anybody really can, but suffice it to say that at times I hear snippets that put me in mind of Great Lake Swimmers, or John K Samson, or Laura Barrett. But then I think I catch a glimpse of Louis Prima amongst that, and all assumptions are out the window.

That's not to say that there is anything remotely derivative about any of these songs. Quite the contrary. Each track is solidly unique, impeccably produced, and while the musicians may arrive at their sound through a variety of influences, each artist contributing to this cd owns their music, utterly and without apology.

The musicians contributing to the OH! Compilation cd are:

Davita G
The Lava Lamps Band

A Horse and His Boy

The State Bird of Idaho

For Love or Money

Aaron Lozynsky

Bryan Pole

The Late Miss Mary Kingsley

The Whipping Wind

Handsome Dan and His Gallimaufry

The Samuel Musical

Olenka & the Autumn Lovers


Keep an eye and an ear out for these names. I suspect you'll be hearing a lot more from them in the future.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

what's the deal with airline food skateboarder music?

Just so we're clear, if you say you are coming over at 4, please don't show up at 2 unless you are prepared to help clean a few bathrooms. This PSA brought to you by Frazzled Zombies of Canada.

rant done, back to business -

It's been suggested by one of the fine publications for whom I scribble, that I write about skateboard culture (no, not an oxymoron) for next month. Naturally I thought I'd tackle the music aspect. I think there's a perception that all skateboarders listen to the same "really bad mall punk" as the Resident Offspring calls it. What do you think? Got a second for a poll?

Thanks for keeping this scientific and accurate 19 times out of 15, 199% of the time, margins of error aside.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

and flowering cherries rain on kids like you

Am I the only person in Canada who was not aware that this is a long weekend? That's what happens when you don't have a real job, I guess.

I assumed it was next weekend, which is after all when May 24th falls. And we all know Queen Victoria enjoyed her case of two-fours. Which is how we came to celebrate the May Two-Fer weekend in the first place.

But you folks don't need a history lesson from me, surely you know all this already.

What you may not know is that I have a couple of new magazine articles published and linked on my sidebar. When you have finished admiring my smooth segue, you can check them out, if you like. Surely you have nothing better to do on a beautiful warm long weekend
(for some of us) than read my blatherings. Surely not.

Our Heads in the Sands appears in Gonzo magazine and is a look at oil sands development in northern Alberta. I won't exactly say that the oil industry is going to come gunning for me. I'm not delusional enough to believe that they read Gonzo or care about what I have to say, but I suspect I am not going to be asked to deliver the keynote address at the Petroleum Club any time soon.

You can download Our Heads in the Sands right here. And if you would like to download the entire issue, so that you can also read Jen's snarky observations, you can do so over here.

Beyond the Alpenhorn appears in BC Musician magazine, and features an interview with someone that many of you know well. In fact, some of you are going to be visiting with her this weekend, you lucky ducks! Bonus points to the first person to identify the subject of my interview.

I was in a used bookstore yesterday, and was surprised and delighted to see a pile of free BC Musician magazines, right next to the usual FFWD and Exclaim. Naturally I loudly proclaimed my delight and talked about what a great magazine it was to my shopping companion. A bit of guerrilla marketing never hurt anybody.

You can download Beyond the Alpenhorn right here.

Enjoy your weekend, long or regular. Whether you are garage-saleing or roto-tilling or visiting port cities or cracking open a two-fer with your peeps, do so with gusto. Queen Victoria would insist upon it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

before you're lost between the notes

If you haven't booked your ticket to Calgary yet this summer, what the hell are you waiting for?

The full line-up for the Calgary Folk Festival has just been announced, and my belief in karma has been restored.

The Decemberists!

I am going to make sure that everybody who comes into the record tent on my shift, leaves with at least one Decemberists cd.

I am also uber-excited about the Acorn, Bell Orchestre, Deep Dark Woods, Michael Franti, Gomez, Iron and Wine, Kid Koala, Carolyn Mark, Mekons, Justin Rutledge, Mavis Staples, Tom Fun Orchestra, Nancy White, and of course everybody's favourite no matter how many millions of times you have seen him - Chad VanGaalen.

See who I have missed here and check out the mainstage schedule here. The mainstage looks like it could even rival the workshops this year. And you know that workshops are where it all happens.

See you on the island!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

poached eggs with a side of genius

I'm going out for breakfast tomorrow. I love going out for breakfast, and yet that's something I almost never do.

But even better, I'm breakfasting with the Old Emperor.

He's just arrived from Oxford to give the convocation speech to this year's class of Medicine grads and to be honoured by the U of C with an honourary Doctorate of Law degree. I knew he was only going to be here for the day and of course all the big wheels of cheese in academia are going to be demanding his time, so I was particularly touched that he arranged this meal.

That's the thing about the Old Emperor. Besides being
possibly the most brilliant person that I will ever be privileged to know, he truly cares for his people and once you are one of his tribe, you are always one of his tribe. He is my greatest mentor and I will be forever grateful to have been taken under his wing.

I wanted to give him a little gift, a goofy card and something small and silly, but not too stupid. I quickly came to the realization that one does not give a gift bag of cheap Chapter's tea to someone who pays more for their tea than most people do for their dope. I think the Worst Case Scenario Handbook (mini version) will be just the ticket. I would never forgive myself if I didn't give him this book and then something awful happened and I discovered later that he would have survived if only he had known how to fend off an alligator.

Monday, May 11, 2009

it does move down a hill, but so do dominoes

What started as a plan to replace a leaky washer in the bathroom sink ended with me sitting at the kitchen table across from a Romanian plumber, debating the costs/benefits of minimalist vs art deco design for the replacement sink. The 60 cent replacement washer has just gone up in price by a thousand-fold.

And I thought after my recent triumph of replacing the broken toilet handle with one trip to the hardware store, a four dollar part and two minutes of work that I was some kind of plumbing genius. I guess I really do need to know a little more than just shit flows downhill.

But why do I always end up with the plumber who used to be a designer?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

a day to celibrate zombie behaviour in mom

I tip my hat to every last glorious mom today. I hope your families treated you with the deference, respect and love to which you are entitled. I hope you were able to call the shots today, without having to make any pesky decisions. That is always the greatest gift.

I was well pleased with some lovely flowers from the Spousal Unit, and the Resident Offspring not only baked me a lemon loaf, but went above and beyond by giving me Jonathan Goldstein's new book Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bible, which is funny because I was going to buy that for her birthday. I tell you, that girl has unerring taste.

It was a glorious day here today. We did the first bit of yard work for the season, raking up the myriad of spruce cones that fell over the winter. Seriously, I have never seen so many spruce cones in my life. Normally I leave them to decompose, but every square inch of the yard was covered this spring. My next-door-neighbour, who seems to have a rampant hatred of all things spruce cone, has been out there scooping them up five times already.

The Spousal Unit then sensibly settled into a sunny spot with a fishing magazine, but of course my anal retentive German genes kicked in and I had to clean all the patio furniture, sweep the hell out of the deck and patio, and aerate the composter for good measure before I was comfortable in sitting down with a glass of wine and the newspaper.

But possibly my favourite part of Mother's Day is that I now have the family trained not to ask me what I want for supper. They understand that the best thing is not having to think about supper. I don't care what I eat, frankly, as long it miraculously appears. And if that means microwaved popcorn or leftover salad, I am good with that. I also know that given his druthers, the Spousal Unit will always order KFC. Again, I am good with whatever they want to give me.

Today's Mother's Day meal came with the added bonus of listening to the Spousal Unit answer a call from a telemarketer shortly after he had phoned in his KFC order. "Hello! Hello!" I heard him bellow into the phone. "Are you calling from Kentucky Fried Chicken or not?"

It pretty much made my day.

But I do miss my mom a lot, today especially.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

when worlds collide

The (not so little anymore) blogger card is moving on.

Congrats to Nicktionary for his winning pitch, not only identifying the post's title, now she's a little boy in Spain, as being shamelessly stolen from the lyrics for the
Neutral Milk Hotel song Holland, 1945, but for making that great leap over from BLIP.FM. It's always great to have acquaintances in multiple places.

Well played, Nick! Shortly a suitable memento of the true north strong and free will be winging its way over the big puddle to you.

~*~
In other news, Teddy is interested in starting a mix cd exchange circle and it looking for some music aficionados, keen for some musical discoveries, to join up . Check out the details here.

~*~
The Resident Offspring is dragging me to see Watchmen tonight. I understand it's close to three hours long. That blue penis better be worth it.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

saving money by birthing smart kids

I knew it was going to be a good day because it was raining. If it's raining, it's not snowing, and I am fond of rain anyway. Okay, so we got that freak hailstorm later, but one does not shovel hail.

And then, the news that we had been waiting for - the Resident Offspring has been accepted at UBC. Plus she was offered an entrance scholarship. Don't you love it when hybrid vigour kicks in and the offspring are superior to their genetic material? Much joy at Zombie central today.

Looks like a trip to Vancouver in late August. Who wants to meet up?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

now she's a little boy in Spain

It's been all over the USA and to Australia, and even to Toronto. And now the (not so little anymore) blogger card has come to my hood via that hotbed of cool kids and hot fashion, Akron OH. Many props to Flannery and Doc, who went above and beyond - indulging Dale's little hissy fit or however he pulled it off - and sending the card to me despite there being far more worthy recipients from which they could choose.

Oh the drama, you should have been there.

But you are here now, and you can see how lovely the front page of the card is. Although the cover has nothing, let me tell you, on the amazing contents. It's a veritable tour of the lives of the people who have touched this card. There are photos and postcards and drawings. There are stickers and postage stamps, Schrute bucks and Canadian Tire money. And although the additional card which Flannery and Doc included states "he was not as fascinating as he had once appeared", to me the fascination remains. You will notice that even Thom appears to like it, and that's saying a mouthful.

So here's the deal, friendo. If you would like me to send this card to you next, for you to peruse and admire and add your own little touch to it, just leave me a comment telling me why you deserve it over those other cretins. No bribery is needed, nor will one eliminate you from my wise considerations.

Here are the officious rules to show you that there is nothing tricky nor sketchy about this endeavour. Just good clean fun:

Official rules & regulations:
• When You Get "The Card"post a photograph/scan of it's arrival & contents
AND post these official rules available here
• Ask readers to leave a comment if they want the card next
• Pick the blogger who is worthy
THEN add your name / url plus a
nice message or creative addition to the card

• Include a copy of the official rules with the card
• Send it on it's way to the next worthy recipient
• Send it out fast..
- no putting it on the mantle an admiring it for 3 weeks...
• Can a blogger who has already received the card - be sent the card again? - Yes!
• What if there is no room left on the card? -
ADD A NEW PAGE - IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!

*
Who would like this awesome card from Awesometown?

Monday, May 04, 2009

fear of geography

I never thought I would say this, but I am beginning to understand what my mother-in-law was talking about.

It was on her first trip to visit us and we were taking her on that obligatory drive to Banff. She had never been to the Rockies before, in fact, had never been to any mountains, period.

The hour long drive had been quite foggy, and it wasn't until we were right in the mountains proper that the fog lifted and suddenly all the rocky peaks were towering over us and all around us. My mother-in-law gasped, ripped open her purse in a fit of panic, and declared, "I need a Tylenol!"

Naturally we have been laughing at her about this ever since.

But on Sunday, we drove out to the country, to the Longview area, to visit friends. Longview is in the foothills, and it's really pretty country, those gently rolling hills from which you can see for miles and miles. But what started out as a low skyline of snow-covered Rockies in the distance, grew relentlessly larger as we kept moving westward. And while I admit that I have never liked the mountains, always felt slightly trapped when I was in them, they have never before bothered me from a distance. I just viewed them as wallpaper on the windshield.

On Sunday, though, that mountain ridge felt absolutely ominous. It was like that South Park episode about the murderous goldfish, where Stanley was trying to get to sleep, freaked out by the creepy goldfish that his great aunt Flo had given him, and every time he opened his eyes, the fish was closer to his bed. The drive toward the mountains was just like that, except nobody actually died.

Those mountains encroaching on my sight-line like a cold-eyed army of automatons, silently moving ever closer, growing ever larger until they threatened to smother me in their deadly grasp were malevolent, I swear to you. I can't imagine why people are so keen to vacation in them all the time. Personally, I can't think of a more inhospitable terrain.

Is there any geography that freaks you out? Or am I the only one who's being weird around here?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

another Canadian band you should know - Tin Star Orphans

I'm not sure what I was expecting to hear when I first dropped yonder by Tin Star Orphans into the cd player and pressed play. But it certainly wasn't this.

The first track, Juvenile Haul, begins with an intriguing, but not quite identifiable, found sound, merges into some light strumming which starts to build, then kicks in with some authoritative drums, and just as you think you have it figured out, in come the sweetest sounding strings. The song builds and recedes in waves, with each instrument alternately clamouring for dominance and then shying away from confrontation. This instrumental piece is a dance of lovers/fighters circling each other gingerly and sounding so
fine together.

Oh, but then, frontman Zachary Bennett's iconic voice rips into the next track Slack-Jaw, and suddenly we are blown into cow-punk territory with a slightly crazed preacher-man leading us by the shirt collar, telling us to listen up. And with another 13 tracks to go after that, you know you are in for a hell of a ride.

This is an album that does not take itself too seriously. In amongst the
shit-kicking singalongs fueled by rootsy insanity, there are love songs made bittersweet by Bennett's heart-wrenching voice, a later breezy instrumental piece, and odd little fillers featuring a selection of Plastic Jesus covers.

yonder is an incredible album which takes its name from the band's previous incarnation, and it features a rock solid pedigree of talent, including Dean Marino (whose EX~PO album, Central Meaner Street I reviewed last year) on lead guitar.

yonder will be released
nation-wide on Tuesday, and you should definitely pick it up. In the meanwhile, Tin Star Orphans is offering up their single, Let You Down, to whet your appetite. And if you like what you hear, I urge you to check out the rest of the album on Tin Star Orphans' myspace.

You can thank me later.

Let You Down.mp3
http://www.myspace.com/tinstarorphans