Saturday, December 03, 2005

so we meet again.....

I think I remember how to do this. Some things you never forget--like how to ride a bike. Or where you were when you heard Marquee Moon for the first time. Or is that just me?

So, I'm not good with sentimental reunion bullshit, so lets just skip that part altogether. Why the long hiatus? Well, the only thing that could keep me from blogging for so long of course--not having a computer. Yes, it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my young adulthood, and I'd rather not dwell. Needless to say, I am now in joyful posession of my very own lappy. And after careful deliberation, I decided against the iBook. Yes, thats right! I'm a rebel, okay? And I'm quite happy with my decision. And was even happier when I saw those monsterous, bright red iPod "murals" in the Atwater metro towering over me like Lucifur himself. I had a little self-rightious moment there, with a dollop of smugness. Oh, and lest we forget the horendous new Eminem iPod ads? All of this just furthers the theory that Apple is far on it's way to beating out Microsoft for the "most fucking omnipresent, greedy high-tech corporation in the universe" contest. And I want no part in it, I say! ....except of course, if I decide to get one of those iPod nanos. They're so pretty!

In other news, I've discovered that working 21 hours a week, and taking a full course load does not so much encourage good sleeping habits. Especially if you are as determined as I am to still go out on the weekend and have a good time (and by "good time" I mean "stay out untill 4 am"). Nor does having a new kitten, whose sleeping patterns seem diametrically opposed to my own, and has a yin for batting at my face at 5 in the morning, when I'm trying to squeeze in 3 precious hours of sleep. Oh, Cecily... please get old, fat and lazy soon.

I'm off to see Telefauna tonight, who I got to see at the Pop Montreal Fest in October, at Preloved, a recycled clothing store. This time, they get a real stage, which is a plus. But unfortunately, we won't be able to try on over-priced patchwork sweater-vests while listening to the band. What a pity.

I'll be back soon. Promise.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

In Jolliette We Trust

Due to circumstances beyond my control, such as, like, having a life and stuff, I have been utterly neglecting my blogging responsibilities. Yes, resposibilities. I feel that being the inspiration for so many other blogs, I have a duty to set a good example. It was going okay for a while there… Meh…

I’m now faced with the problem that I’ve waited so long to recount my various engaging anecdotes to my adoring public that there’s too much crap to put in one blog entry. Now I could solve this by transporting myself back to those various days I should have actually posted, and pretend to post for each event separately (I could even doctor the dates at the top, if I was really fukin’ evil) in order to create the illusion of a duteous blogger. But, honestly, the effort involved vastly outweighs the possible satisfaction of 3 comments. If I’m lucky.

So I’m going get in touch with my inner Montreal slacker arts student (part-time). It’s not lazy, it’s avant-garde, and disgustingly pretentious!

The title of this piece is:

THE last 2wo wEEks of may/conflagration/corn flakes

1.I remember nothing. Where was I?

2. Excitement. A breath of summer. Ottawa/old friends. What is avant-garde? A Russian Communist Bar. No Smoking? WTF? That is most definitely not avant-garde.

3. Rain. Rain. Rain. FUCK IT. I’m going back to Mtl.

4. Oh, Cavan, you were so pretty in the dark… and also, before you spoke. The Contemporary art museum is boring, and so are you. One day I’ll tell you.

5. Theatre students with loft apartments in the Plateau are annoying and insipid. The only way to tolerate their “underwear parties” is to drink lots of goldschlagger, and force them to listen to LCD soundsystem.

6. Hello Henry. Welcome to Montreal. Do you like bagels? Do you know who Karla Homolka is? Oh, you will.

7. Peanut butter + butterscotch chips + chocolate chips = sweet sweet perfection.

If that was frustratingly vague, esoteric and alienating then my work here is done!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

self-motivation techniques

Just when I think the suburbs have really secured themselves into last position on the list of "Places I want to spend my precious time," I spend last night loitering around the Pointe-Claire village, in a basement, in a Honda civic, and in a FUCKING McDonald's parking lot, and am suprisingly not suicidal come the end of the night. Still, I attribute this to two things: A: I so rarely hang out in the burbs anymore(despite the fact that I live there) that it has become novel to me. B: Nostalgia factor. Yes, gentle readers, it's been quite a long time since I was a wild, spry high school student. And despite the generally miserable time I had at Hudson High, I have come to cherish the odd memory of a house party, a night of loitering, a trip to the roof of the school gym, etc...

What I'm trying to lead up to here, in a very inefficient manner, is that it is on the whole ridiculous that I am living out here in this capitalist wasteland. There is just no reason for it. I go to school downtown. I work downtown. I spend most of my weekends downtown. Not only that, but I also spend just as much on food and rent out here as I would downtown. So why, for the love of God, am I still in the suburbs?

Oh, I need "savings," or a "toaster" or a "place to live", or some such BS. Well, that is quite enough Miss Aurora! It's time to get off your fanny, and blow this two-bit concrete excuse for a town, and go to where all the action be. Mui ondolay.

Besides, I qualify for a student loan. Yay instant gratification!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Glowing reviews... (groan)

The most original, reliable and creative music reviews I've found online are not at Pitchfork, but at a small Canadian-based, ads-free site called cokemachineglow. Many of their reviews go off on wild tangents. This is usually a good thing. Getting to the point here, a recent posting caught my fancy, with its indie-rocker self-reflections/analyses. While trying to explain why the Russian Futurists album is so fantastique the author delves into the drawbacks of being an avid, relentless chaser of the next greatest band you've never heard of. Here is his point (mind the excessive use of quotes) :

My point: if we are indeed supporters of "honest" and "meaningful" music, we do an awful lot of trading-card-level torch-bearer-disposal. Especially when our torch-bearers are adamantly exalted by "Us" as the penultimate purveyors of honest music by artists who sincerely "pour their souls into their art." How did we get to a point where, instead of latching on to our dear bands for dear life forever truelovealways, we play virtual-knockdowns, or shred the albums in our spokes until they no longer make any noise? Do we realize that our trading cards are, at their very bases, actually made up of (if we believe ourselves and the artists, which we do) months of hard work, soul-searching, epic pursuits of the perfect rhyme, various forms of in-band bickering over musical minutiae, perseverance through stolen gear and, in the very best cases ( Funeral, Sunset Tree, Either/Or, Personal Journals) blood/guts/boogers diary exposure? No we don't. We binge/purge/repeat, soulseeking an assembly line of recorded, digitized catharses. If music was food we'd all be morbidly obese from a gluttonous intake of empty calories. Q: "Was it good?" A: "Yeah it was great" Q: "What did it taste like?" A: "...."

There is something so romantic and innocent about those days when owning their records was an essential element to being a fan of a certain artist (I recall here my Futureheads obsession, and how not owning their one album seems to be merely a mild oversight). In the 60's and 70's, kids listened to their Joni Mitchell or Clash or Led Zepplin albums over and over, clutching the sleeves and fawning over the liner notes and artwork so much they would never get theirs mixed up with their friend's since it had that smudge of grape jelly in the top left corner, and a little "I heart John Bonham" next to the listing for the Wanton Song. There is something so tangible in that. Something that goes far beyond the satisfaction of downloading a bunch of MP3's. It's the fact that music has become too accessible that has taken away from the basic appreciation of its goodness. Don't get me wrong, as a starving student, I am extremely grateful I have the ability to discover all this wonderful music without having to spend, like, a trillion dollars. It's all very hippie-commune . But sometimes, the pressure gets to me. Just when I'm starting to really get into a couple new bands, and remember the words to their songs, I think, "oh, shit--I have like twenty new albums I've been meaning to check out!"

Yeah, so that thing about less being more.....

Monday, May 02, 2005

if you go into the woods today......

Indie-rock grrrls Sleater-Kinney are in Montreal June 19th, on tour for the new album, The Woods. I've only heard one song from it so far, but it's sounding mighty fine. Check out the link above to see the vid. It's not too exciting, but that is no reflection of the music.

At the Pony Up! show on Tuesday, Ingela commented on how indie girl bands have a tendency to have little to no stage presence. It seems as though the Entertain video goes in evidence baggie number 3, minus Carrie's random arm spasms. That right arm of hers is a lean mean twitching machine.

And I thought there couldn't possibly be any more shows that I would want to see this summer. Ha ha ha! E-gad. My cash flow is in serious danger of being clogged with a huge hairy ball of concert tickets and empty beer bottles. I'm thinking job number two is maybe a must be. Blech.

In other news: here is a random, not very recent, esoteric, but really well written article about punk flyers and the DIY counterculture aesthetic:
THE SECRET HISTORY OF PUNK ROCK: VISUAL VITRIOL

I've posted a couple of nice flyers that I got from the now defunct website, cosmicwaste.com to accompany it(no, there is no link- I said defunct!) .

Sunday, April 24, 2005

common people like me

Is concert burnout even possible? I'm out to test that theory, as tonight I make my way to the Of Montreal show, which will make 4 shows in 9 days. By Tuesday we're looking at a 5/11 ratio. But it has been worth every screwed up night of (no) sleep.

Friday's Stars show was amazing. Montag, some Montreal man made of pure cheese stole mine and Becky's hearts with his awkwardly delicious dairy, despite the fact that he had a song called "Scrabble Heart" in which he sings: "We'll double the word score.......we'll triple the word score...." in an awful French accent.

And of course, The Wooden Stars were adored by all, regardless of(or perhaps due to) their washed up, settled down ex-punk rocker appearance. We're talkin' wool sweaters, old white tennis shoes and receding hairlines. It was a little endearing, really. And the lead sing has this amazing voice, so full of urgency, guts and teeth.

The Organ, on the other hand was a bit disappointing. They didn't seem to like being in Montreal. Or being on stage. Or playing instruments. The only thing that was keeping them going was the fact that they were robot zombies, being controlled with funny little joysticks by the members of the Stars backstage. That has to be it. We were very happy to see the Stars. And they were fantastic.

The Brunettes opened for the Shins. I liked them. They were a big 7 piece band from New Zealand, and their lead singer's name is pronounced Hitha, because in crazy backwards New Zealand world, they pronounce ea as i, and er as a.


Blah ditty blah blah.... Lets get to the jumpy jumpy fun fun fun.....


FRIDAY NIGHT: The Futureheads show! We got there late apparently, thanks to tons of high school kids and their lack of any sense of fashionably-lateness. Thank god I knew they were there for Hot Hot Heat, and I could completely disassociate myself from them, and you know, mock them and stuff. But the scoundrels were packing the joint up so tight that we were unable to squeeze our way to the front. We weren't really that far back at all, just enough so that lead singer Barry couldn't spot us dancing. I tried to wave at him a few times, all friendly-like, as if we were great pals. He didn't see me. I think Ross the guitarist might have, but we didn't speak to him when they were here last time, so he had no idea that we were Barry's Montreal Girls. I told Ingela to yell out "Ingela Travers plus one!" but it didn't really fly. Nor did any of my other conniving schemes to get backstage, or somehow signal to Barry to go to Korova's instead of crappy Pistol.

We almost left when Hot Hot Heat came on, but thank god we endured them for about 40 minutes, because they ended up saving our butts. Mr. Stupid hair announced that the after-party was at the Green Room. We made our way there shortly after. We got there at about 11:30, and waited such a long time. Just when we were beginning to feel particularly dejected and disappointed, Barry and Bassist Jaff walked in, and we ended up having a wild night of dancing with Barry. He was pretty wasted by the end of the night, and that totally worked in our favour. He was completely ours. It was unbelievable. The second best part of the night was when he moved my hand onto his ass, and I'm just thinking "holy FUCK, I am groping Barry Futureheads butt!" while trying to remain perfectly cool and not step on his feet. What was the first best part of the night, you ask? Good question.....



I really think he would have stayed with us until 6 am, had his tour manager not dragged him away from us. I gave him my favorite pin, the pink Robot one, in honour of their song of the same name. It better be put to use. I love that pin.

Even still, I would trade robot pin for that night again in a heartbeat.

Oh, Barry. You really can't dance very well to hip hop. But we still love you.




But he dances so well when he's holding a guitar...


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

rap your way home

It's been a fun couple of weeks, studying and working my tuckus (is that how you spell it? I'm so not Jewish) off. I am awash in conventional metaphors, free morphemes, De Saussure, and idiolects, among other things. And my brain is pretty much throbbing at this point. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised to find a little song hiding in my head as I commuted my way home from a study session at Con U. Here he is:

she read the news about shakespeare today
she opens her mouth but has nothing to say
the world is not as it appears
she drinks some more to quell her fears
she acts the part of juliet
in her bedroom for her tabby cat

he stabs the dragon in the toe
and for a while it's touch and go
he prevails though in the end
so his ego's well defended
she licks its blood from off his hand
they fuck right there in dragonland

don't you wanna be regaled
with a fractured fairy tale
don't you wanna close your eyes
we control our own demise

we flew paper airplanes in parc jean-drapeau
I'm having trouble letting go
yours flies steadier than mine
I guess I've always been behind
the things that move the things that grow
I'm having trouble letting go


now I just need a tune!

***

other things that made me happy today:

-a yummy spinach and cheese pastry from Altaib for 1.75
-2 Marlboro lites from korea
-being able to explain Romanticism and how it relates to Nationalism, tying it all in a pretty bow with Wagner (I wowed 'em, let me tell you)
-a creepy homeless guy complimenting my blue shoes
-a guy rapping (quite eloquently) for spare change to take the bus home to Candiac- which I believe he rhymed with heart attack.
-a ticket to Of Montreal
-a ticket to the Stars/the Organ
-a ticket to Pony Up!/the Lovely feathers
- the guy at esoteric recognizing me (I've only been to this record store 5 times in the past two weeks)
-my bangs