Karma, adventure + zine

May 31, 2008

» I dunno. I think Sharon Stone shouldn’t have apologized for her comments. The amount she briefly rose in my estimation, fell sharply.

» Plan is to see Indy IV tonight. First theatre visit in months for me. 

» PLOG 005 should be finished / assembled this weekend. Need to burn and stamp the discs yet.


Spritualized Songs in A&E reviewed based on 30 second iTunes previews.

May 27, 2008

» Been waiting a while for this one to come out. My plans to pick it up at lunch might be changed based on this preview.

 

Harmony 1: typical shimmery ambient intro.
Sweet Talk: Wow. J. Spaceman’s voice has matured a lot. Kind of like Peter Gabriel doing Van Morrison. Hmmm.
Death Take Your Fiddle: A hill-billy folksong with creepy weezy/whispered background vocal.
I Gotta Fire: Stonesy. Wah-wah pedal. Acoustic guitar. Strained vocals. 1-4-5 chord progression. Hrrm.
Soul on Fire: Sounds like The Verve. Specifically that big hit of theirs from ten years ago. Getting a bad feeling about this.
Harmony 2: Pointless piano noodling interlude.
Sitting on Fire: Folky song with chimey sounds. Kind of nice. Cheasy lyrics.
Yeah Yeah: Garagey. Fuzz and tremolo. A bit more reassuring. This one sounds more like Spiritualized due to the fact it sounds a bit like BMRC.
You Lie You Cheat: More washed out and distorted but still not in the bombastic way songs like “Electricty” were. More like the fuzz was put on top to obscure the song is mediocre. Sounds like digital fuzz too.
Harmony 3: 18 seconds of choir boys.
Baby I’m Just a Fool: Velvet Undergroundy two chord vamp with kalimba.
Don’t Hold Me Close: Now this is more like it. Not spectacular but has that opiated Spiritualized sound at least. Might be rehashing old ideas, but one of J. Spaceman’s best ideas at least.
Harmony 4: Bad squeaky violin / piano interlude.
The Waves Crash In: Baroque folk. Strings and chimes. Again a little more a return to form.
Harmony 5: Accordion and chimes. Why bother with these interludes?
Borrowed Your Gun: More strings. Lastf ew songs have been like Spiritualized unplugged. Too bad more of the album isn’t like this.
Harmony 6: Reverb, glockenspiel.
Goodnight goodnight: Acoustic ballad closer. Morose and slow. Pretty good. But too little too late.


Commute 2

May 21, 2008

» Today was one of those days where someone jumps (or gets pushed) in front of a train at High Park and they stop service at Keele station. They provide a shuttle bus-service but no one can get to the buses because there’s literally over a thousand people on the platform unable to move, much less get down the stairs. Then those that got down the stairs are told go back up because service is about resume. But there is no one up at track level to tell the people trying to get down the stairs that service is about to resume so there was a moment of chaos where two opposing forces clashed and I was pretty sure a riot was about to erupt. But, due to a train arriving just in time, it didn’t. Instead we got on he next train.


Commute

May 21, 2008

» It was one of those days where they kick everyone off the train and then when you get on the next one it’s extra packed for the rest of your trip. I had one hideous gnome of a woman push on board when we were beyond capacity and have the audacity giggle at me as if to say, “Isn’t this fun?” A few stops later I had to physically thrust her out the door in order to let people off to which she gave me the same look kittens give you when you throw them in the bath.


Long lone weekend

May 19, 2008

» Had the apartment to myself this weekend as Nicole was on a road trip with her work friends. I didn’t do much of interest. Watched some movies I knew Nicole would refuse to watch, took a few walks, drank some ale, made a pizza, worked on PLOG. I had plans to get out more but the inclement weather kept me indoors most of yesterday. Everything’s closed today which is annoying. I guess I’ll take an aimless walk. In the nearly raining.

 


Playback + chart

May 14, 2008

» We spent a tense evening listening to the playback of Nicole’s in-progress album. We got through the approval/disapproval process of the guitar/piano elements I added last week. Now more overdubs and then a final mixing session.

» Dreambeat is finally charting this week (#4 on CKXU). Which is a relief since I thought I’d misjudged what people originally liked about The Urbane Decay.


Empire + Chocolate

May 8, 2008

» I had to abandon the Orson Scott Card novel I was reading. I’d actually wanted to check out Ender’s Game as I’d heard yet another conversation about how great it is, but it was snagged off the shelf by this other guy seconds before me so I got Empire instead. Which is horribly written, horribly plotted and entirely right-wing reactionary patriotism to cap it off (it’s about a near future red state vs. blue state American civil war). I kept thinking, it must just be just this character and eventually he’ll introduce other characters with opposing points of view later and there’ll be interesting dialogue about American politics. Not so. The worst part is he characterizes the main character as moderate and not a head-up-his-ass conservative soldier. And his supposedly Democrat wife is actually very much a conservative. It’s like Card had never talked enough to liberals or a moderates to even be able write the character. Anyway, that was clearly the “trashy novel” the Dove Chocolate Fascists wanted me to read. Sorry DCFs, I couldn’t do it.


Contrivances

May 7, 2008
» Another overrated but potentially good movie, come to think of it, done-in by contrived coincidental character interconnections was Babel. Though a case could be made three of the story lines did have relevant connections. Obviously the shepherd family and the Brad Pitt family are actually part of the same story. You could even make a case for story of the deaf girl in Tokyo (whose father gifted the gun to the shepherd) to be legitimately tied-in to the middle eastern story. But other than showing there can be connections between unrelated people, in environments as radically different for each other as possible, the two stories do nothing to illuminate each other by their interconnection. The problem is in the coincidence of the Mexican nanny / Brad Pitt’s kids story being as equally as violent and dramatic as the story taking place in the middle east. It just feels contrived and takes away from both stories and further makes you wonder what the Tokyo story has to do with anything anyway. Also, the Mexico story is arguably more interesting than the rest of the movie and perhaps could have been expanded into its own film more successfully.

» Speaking of contrivance, I am of the opinion that Amy Winehouse’s crackheadedness is a media spectacle masterminded either by herself or by her handlers or both. I’m not even convinced she actually abuses substances but instead has a make-up connection at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. It’s all just too public, too many photo-ops timed too perfectly apart. Of course, the truth is probably that she really is a crackhead and is just savvy enough to exploit it the whereas junkie musicians traditionally have tried to hide their addictions. There’s just something insincere about it.

Fridge, Cra[p]sh + No Surprises

May 6, 2008

» Apparently the fridge in our kitchen on the 19th floor was unplugged over the weekend so people had to throw their yogurts and whatnot out yesterday. Later in the afternoon it occurred to me that on friday, when I unplugged the coffee-maker in order to plug in the kettle, I probably unplugged the fridge by mistake. I have not come forward with this theory. People get pretty passionate about their spoiled yogurt in offices.

» Finally watched Crash (the racism one, not the auto-erotica one) several years after the fact. Was a little surprised how cornball it was what with all the heinously contrived coincidental character overlaps. The movie would have been worth the praise if the characters simply were not interconnected in such a ham-fisted manner. If it took place in a smaller city or a town you could perhaps forgive the coincidences,  but LA has a population of almost 4 million people. It seemed a little rich all the characters would be interwoven with each other in such a neat tidy way. Really, the storylines didn’t need to be tied-in at all. Ryan Phillippe could have killed some random guy, Matt Dillon could have saved some random woman from a fiery wreck and neither of them should have been Don Cheadle’s brother. That was the coup de grace of insults to my intelligence. They basically made a cheeseburger out of a veal cutlet.

RULES:
1. Put Your iTunes, WMP, etc on shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS
 
IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
So What
 
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
A kiss in a Lowlands Meadow
 
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Left to my own devices
 
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Paranoid Android
 
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Life on Mars?
 
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Dreams Never End
 
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Ft. Worth, Texas
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Millions&Billions&Trillions
 
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OFTEN?
All I Need
 
 
WHAT IS 2+2?
A Girl Doesn’t Get Killed By a Make Believe Lover
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Videotape
 
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Ziggy Stardust
 
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Too Late
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
The Light
 
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Hercules Theme
 
WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
This Charming Man
 
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Like a Stranger
 
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
In Limbo
 
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
The Eraser
 
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Boys Keep Swinging
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Ugly
 
WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
No Surprises

Shhhh… don’t talk in the library

May 1, 2008

PLOG: P[ape b]LOG call out
Originally uploaded by
Ampersand Photography.

» Went to the Spring Open House at the Toronto Zine Library last night. I don’t know what it is about Toronto, but people don’t know how to throw socials and mixers. Though, to be honest, if I didn’t know key people at Blackball and &Loan events, would it have been any different? It’s probably a mild xenophobia that afflicts art-nerds everywhere. 

Anyway, I arrived and the organizers and one of their friends were watching TV. Granted it was a DVD of a TV show about a girl who makes a zine (Our Hero), but I felt like I was intruding in their rec-room. I wasn’t exactly “greeted” at this meet’n’greet. This carried on, as people trickled in, ungreeted for the most part, for two episodes. Finally, they shut that down and I actually had a conversation with someone (a girl who made a documentary about the Halifax zine library they were going to show later). It was actually a very awkward conversation in which I made the quip, “I expected this to be a collection of very shy, painfully awkward people… and I was right.” This was after a lull in our own conversation where I noticed there were about 20 people in the room, not talking. Which would have been fine if more than a third were actually reading the zines and not just looking at the floor or fiddling with their shoelaces. 

Things got more animated when the girl with the guitar (the “mystery musical guest”) started playing her set and broke a string in the first song. This really brought things together for the group as they went into problem-solving mode. Unfortunately, they found a string before I could make my exit and couldn’t get away until in the middle of her really quite awkward set when everyone suddenly raided the snacks table like ravenous sharks. Quite an evening.
 


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