Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bestiary

I hate music reviews. I love music reviews. I hate them when they miss the point, drown in their own verbosity and are more about the reviewer than the artist. I also hate it when they burst my bubble. I love music reviews that make me think, challenge my expectations and lead me to other artists and genres. I've heard people disparage websites like www.pitchforkmedia.com, citing the oh-so-hip writing, the archness, the insularity. Sure there's a fair bit of it, but as a reference point for the acceptable face of indie/alternative/underground music it's not bad. As someone approaching 50 (the new 40 by the way) I appreciate reviewers who love the music they write about, who have extensive knowledge and insight of 20th century artists and throw in a laugh now and again. Every musical era has it's keepers. People who actually transcend the scenes they may or may not have been a part of. 15 years from now when the Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade do a reunion tour, there we'll be, snatching back pieces of our youth, and loving the sound again for what it is. Heaven.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Year of the Dog

Woof. That's me, the dog. Loyal and friendly....until you step on my tail....that's when I rip your throat out. Here's a year-end list of my favorites past, present and future. Indulge.
Art Brut/Arcade Fire/Bloc Party/Broken Social Scene/M.I.A./Black Mountain/Stars/Love and Rockets/Cowboys International/The Passage/Boards of Canada/Isolee/DJ Dangermouse/Kraftwerk/Talk Talk/System of a Down/Jem/Missy/The Streets/Nappy Roots/Bright Eyes/Gang of Four/The Modernettes/X/LCD Soundsystem/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Go Team/Metric/Young Marble Giants/Wedding Present/Public Enemy/Meat Beat Manifesto/Death from Above 1979/Massive Attack/King Crimson/Secret Machines/Amon Duul/Public Image Ltd. and so on and so forth. Amen.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pins and Needles

Wake up. Wake up. Has the back of your head ever fallen asleep? When it slowly starts to wake up the creepiest feeling ensues.
D.O.A. are re-releasing their 'War on 45' album with a few new tracks. Sweet. The songs are still pertinent today, what with the load of bollocks spewing from a certain American administration. If things go in cycles as they seem to we should be rid of the slimy war-loving bunch in about 3 years. Unless the boot comes down a little harder between then and now. 25 years ago we had Reagan and his fucked up policies, now we've got the Bush cabal raping and pillaging. Cycles. I've lost my desire to be eloquent. Fuck them all, every last one of them. They are the scourge of the earth, the real 'Axis of Evil'. In Jesus name we will cleanse the temple. Ah well, time to go back to sleep. Night.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Meh

Meh I say. What a lacklustre month this has been. All the music in the world at my shredded bloody fingertips and boredom is the only thing that registers. Then the other night I was schlepping home in the slush and an LCD Soundsystem remix started to pound into my cranium and now all is well. "Kick out the chairs...motherfuckers"
Echo and the Bunnymen are in town this weekend but whatever...I think it would depress me a wee bit to show up and try to transport myself back in time 25 years or so. Even though they probably still light a fire.....but it's just a signpost, a buried memory. I still love "Heaven up Here", in part because of the cool cover. Cool blue, ocean blue, ocean rain, lips like sugar on the back of love. Sigh....time for a solid full-on Smiths revival. Hit the North!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Problems

Technology. The bane of our day to day lives. I'm going back to a pen and notebook. Amen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Jim is dead

Let me tell you about Jim. I met Jim in 1979 because he was dating a friend of mine from work. Jim played bass in the Young Canadians with Art Bergman and Barry Taylor. I saw them for the first time at the Commodore Ballroom opening for Black Flag. Pre Henry Rollins. They rocked. Jim was very mellow, a bit of an introvert, except when onstage. He was a study in dynamics, a whirl of sparks. New Years Eve 1980; we got very drunk and went to see a show at The Laundromat. The Subhumans were playing. Jim was refused entrance because of his advanced state of intoxication. Toxicity. We had to take him to the hospital. He survived. He was very apologetic the next time I saw him, but it was one of my most memorable New Years. Thanks Jim.
I lost track of him over the years, but one day I saw him in Vancouver's Kitslano area with his Mom. Jim had mental health issues that required a fair bit of medication and he didn't look too well at the time. I felt bad about not making the effort to talk to him. Luckily I did bump into him a few months before his death, at my favorite Broadway eatery. He seemed to remember me (it had been at least 23 years since we'd last hung out). We talked about music and the state of the World and promised to talk again....over a bagel and coffee. That was 11 months ago. I picked up the paper last week and read that Jim had be killed in an accident at a Kitslano supermarket. This was a few weeks after his home had been destroyed in a fire. Some people might say that it's a tragic tale, but I don't think Jim would have seen it that way. He would have taken it in stride, dignified, and Jim, we have been enriched by your time here with us. Rock on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Everything Squared

Damn I'm glad to be alive. Healthy and reasonably happy. Good friends. An endless supply of coffee. I hope to see quantum computers in my lifetime. Although not when I'm 95 and drooling into a cup. What could they do you ask. Well I'm not exactly sure but you could probably use one to slow down time, or compress all the music ever made onto a speck of nano-dust or re-sequence the human genome on your laptop and grow gills. Maybe. Perhaps you could develop a drug so powerful that taking it would put you in a state of infinite bliss. A third alternative to life and death. No pain. You wouldn't be addicted, you'd just be. Be-ism. As we increase the amount of sensory input in our lives it becomes harder to filter out the stuff we really don't need. But couple your cortex with a quantum computer and you could experience trillions of bits of quanta all at once and enjoy it as a complete harmonic cascade and keep at it for years. We're building God. Hyper reality. We'll be able to manipulate the foundation of objective realit.......information. Maybe we'll work out how to hack the cosmos in our lifetime. Or maybe Gaia will slough us off. Do we have a chance?