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October 31, 2003

Wonderwoman On The Beach


I got up at 10:30AM in the post daylight-savings-world and my first day off in 3 weeks. There was something great going on outside with kids all looking wound-up over Halloween and Fall and bored on their parent's errands hanging upside-down and throwing tantrums. There's a fresh Harper's in the magazine store and I sit down with eggs and coffee and bacon thinking how gross it is that I eat bacon and how gross bacon looks and tastes but enjoying it the same. I'm a consumer this week so I buy clothes and rent George Clooney-action, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which the Australian in Blockbuster tells me is 'great for the direction', and which I refuse to believe still, four days after having seen it.

I'm in the record store and there's Wonderwoman On The Beach just outside Couverton-- Young and Sexy's Life Through One Speaker-- parts of which Pauly played me over my crappy low low low-fi antenna must-hit-a-small-pin-point-on-a-moving-satellite motorolla cell-phone that I used to have a while back, that I have since abandoned in favour of a must-stand-outside-in-the-freezing-rain-in-order-to-get-reception Samsung that turns my ear red and gives me headaches, which I-use-hourly to communicate.

I was to write something about Life Through One Speaker after that barely audible listening, to update whatever it was I vomited out in time for the their first album. Yet I could think of nothing to say as I hadn't heard them recently playing drunk at The Sugar Refinery, hadn't heard songs emanating through my bedroom walls in well over five years, and most significantly, hadn't heard Life Through One Speaker, the album they labored over for months, through any one speaker that actually worked.

Listening to "Oh My Love," track 1 on this breathtakingly beautiful album, about having "lost the thread," "obsessing over undertones" "stumbling through the shadows", "phantoms from your mantle" about, as I see it, Vancouver, with a chorus so simple and affirmative and unsappy, shit, I know it immediately though I've never heard it before. And very quickly I'm at the point I've been afraid of since I left Couverville, where I feel.... nostalgia... for Couver... Couverton... for good old, economiless, glazed over, half-asleep, drop dead-bored Vancouver-town. Man, let me say it: How I fucking hate that place!@!!

But not the people in it. Not all of them anyway.

Local arteest Dan Bejar has said he wanted to make the Couv-town into a romantic place, simply because it seemed so impossible to him. I think somehow his dream's coming true. "Weekend Warriors", "Herculean Bellboy", "Lose Control", "In This Atmosphere", "One False Move", "Ella", "Life Through One Speaker", all these songs that leap out - the restless 'I could be doing something' frustration in the air out there, in the water out there, the muffled restlessness that is Vanc-city, that has to manifest somehow-- I'll be fucked if it doesn't do so in Paul's songs.

It's been this way for as long as I've known the guy: he articulates things in song I don't know to articulate in life. And he's upped the ante. I'd like to go on record saying how sad it is that this band is so much better than what Canadian music thinks of itself and that Canada will most likely not even know about it. It's sad that a line like "Make way for the new class war" which in its ghostly context is so very unlike Bare Naked Ladies and Tragically Hip and Nelly Fertata and Greenday, (if in fact Greenday are Canadian-- and I do believe they are), which will most likely not recieve any airplay, will not get time on the Nation's Music Station, even after MeeSoo Lee produces more shit-kickingly awesrageous idea-driven vehicles made with his eyes closed and his hands tied gently behind his back. It's sad that Gordon Lightfoot is dead yet he claims more attention than our covert new breed.

My favourite moments: from "Weekend Warriors": "You say you're on a crusade for the good life" with drums kicking in. "In This Atmosphere", as in, "How quickly we can lose ourselves...", is about being systematically deprived of what you hold yourself together with-- 'Burnaby'-- I'm most moved by the line "let this sailor in". It's simply everything to me that Paul is writing about sailors, finally! "Ella" - 'there's so many questions but you're the queen of deflections' - "Ella"-- gorgeous from start to finish; always the song I wanted to hear in our kitchen, and Paul thankfully recorded it in such a way that it sounds like that's where it was sung. (Do I feel special for having made reference to 'our' kitchen?-- yes, I do.) Oh, and the title track, where Paul addresses his humble indie-roots, has meandering keyboards that kill me.

'More than I can say' is the one I drool over the most. It's a song as beautiful as they come-- the embodiment of a moment also, that moment everyone's trying to define, in this, the post can-we-talk-frankly-about-what-reptiles-you-people-are? era. It's made me fall head-long in love with the recently married Lucy Legace, and got me wondering why I was so stupid not chasing after her hitting on her everywhere she went buying her flowers and chocolates and jewelry and trips to Europe or the Carribean or even just standing outside her window at night wimpering like a wounded puppy who'd lost his mum but oh well too late for me. Legace's voice on this song and in general kills me like only the meanest of tour-de-force would, with a boldness that's simply outstanding! Paul's, for whatever reason, tended to not write things like: 'America wraps me in her bloody armor/and do I feel safe inside I don't think so/it's the party line that's being towed,' which is so eloquently countered with 'you make me love/and that's more than I can say'-- phrases as unsentimental in their inflection as they are sincere - Jesus, Lucy, the vocals.

Young and Sexy are like Radar Brothers, Devendra Banhart, The Shins, and a couple two three other acts around the world at the moment who've mastered the art of making music that's true. I haven't arrived at this point concisely or coherently - I'd have to spend another two hours making it appear as though I had, but unfortunately I just don't have two hours. We have to dress the house tonight for Halloween. We want to get chainsaws, and children with shovels in their backs. We want severed limbs! So, it's going to take a little time.

Young & Sexy will be in Toronto in early December and if you live here and miss them it's too bad. If you do make it out, say hello. I'll be the one dressed as their ass-headed mascot in row three, and I'll look fucking awesome.

Posted by at 01:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Fitty Cents

In other news, I read in the paper that Fitty Cents (I wish I could take credit for calling Fitty Cent Fitty Cents, but alas, this was t.v.'s sister's inadvertent joke) bought Mike Tyson's house. I bet he'll do well enough with his money that he'll hold onto it. I bet Fitty has staying power. The way he sings about that stuff: You say you're a gangster, but you never shot one, you say you're a gangster but you never got one or whatever-- I apologize, Fitty, if I'm misquoting you. I have great respect for what you do. No one has ever parlayed getting shot in the face into such high quality orgies! I feel bad that Mike Tyson lost his mansion because I think a guy who has been hit as hard as he also deserves a nice big place to grow old and screw bitches in, but fuck, Mike - it's what happens.

Posted by at 01:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Crapping All Over Leah


I find out about all the good shit too late. One of the roommates used to have a thing with Leah McLaren back in highschool, so every time she has her picture in the Globe, which is generally once or twice a week, we like to cut the pictures out and put them on our fridge.

For those not yet tipped off to the McLaren phenom, she's this woman who writes articles about how hard it is being ill-equipped and gorgeous writing for Canada's national newspaper. I've spent a fair amount of time eating my granola and staring blankly at her face, but I never would have guessed how fruitful it would be sitting down to write about what an annoyance she is.

So I'm sad this site which I only just found yesterday, is already no more. It seems blogs must struggle to stay alive but it's way easier to think only the bad ones die.

Then again, when the reasons for extinction are this sound, and they extend so effortlessly into an out-and-out condemnation of what it is to be Canadian, it seems worth it. Worth losing the site to read why the site was lost.

Posted by at 01:46 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 27, 2003


You gotta click on the guy in red.

(Thanks Mutante.)

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October 09, 2003


Ah yee.

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October 06, 2003


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October 02, 2003

HBO and shit

We don't get HBO in Canada and I don't get why. Does HBO get sadistic pleasure knowing that up here we're a year behind on Sopranos/Curb Your 'Tude/Six Feet Under episodes? Who does this benefit, I ask, aside from the manufacturers of illegal satellite systems, and, I guess, Showcase? Do we really love Showcase enough to live our lives a year behind our hot-shit neighbours? What about when something dramatic happens, as it's bound to, and we all end up hearing about it in magazines and talk shows before enjoying the twist in proper context? I'm telling you people!@ Is HBO happy about this? Am I on the brink of uncovering a major conspiracy? Will people drive by and fire guns at me from unmarked black Saabs already, please?

I'd get satellite tv but I have no illusions about what it would be like. Aside from HBO, there'd still be nothing to watch. Friends would come over to answer the three-year-old question, 'was Perfect Strangers ever any good?', and we'd get our answer. I've also grown curious about McGuyver lately. Was that shit funny or what? Working from the barely-there-recall to which I have access, I'd have to say it was quality. It might be like A-Team, Three's Company, Chips, and all the others still aired in Canada-- it be might be curiously identicle to the way the eleven-year-old in me recalls it, making it sad, boring and unwatchable.

My friends say Alf is good. Last week, I watched it for the first time since season 2 and it's not very funny.

I bet Balki's a little bit funny again though, even if Cousin Larry never cut it.

Posted by at 08:59 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack