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:

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