Monday, December 29, 2008
"I had my first LaBruce when I was about sixteen or so. Being an out-of-town girl made the big city rags seem more exciting than perhaps they should ever be given credit. Eye Weekly, at the time, was just such a rag. The writers were inspirationally bitchy, the back page adverts were shocking, and the contents nothing short of remarkable to this impressionable then-country dweller..."
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
"It’s always a nice surprise when a show with a strong following is successful year after year. Equally so, it’s a disappointment when crap television remains inexplicably in the mainstream for seasons on end.
Currently, there is no Canadian (hell, no North American) counterpart to Nevermind the Buzzcocks, about to enter its 22nd season on BBC this fall. And considering the abysmal pace at which our country’s programming drones along, I can’t imagine there ever being anything close to its equal on this side of the pond..."
Friday, August 22, 2008
Joe Strummer (John Graham Mellor, 1952-2002) would have celebrated his 56th birthday today. It seemed prudent to mark the occasion, so I decided to unearth some of my personal Clash memorabilia from years past.
Initially, I wasn't entirely sure what to do in terms of remarks, however. There's nothing I could possibly say about the man that hasn't been scribed on a hundred other blogs, journals, and music publications over the past three decades. However, as impressive as his legacy was, there was always something even the gawky, wide-eyed (teenaged) me never failed to appreciate: He looked you right in the eye and took his sweet time chatting and signing records.
Al Kapranos is the only other musician/rock star type I can call to mind who has rivaled Strummer's consistently polite candour, but you know, he was younger and more fresh when we last crossed paths. We'll do another post in 10 years and see if he's still that cheerful, eh?
Album scan - London Calling, The Clash (cd) signed, "To Carolyn, Joe Strummer" 1999
Friday, August 8, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
In the spirit of the article I wrote for artist Kristen Roos' (BC) sound installation of yesteryear, I've written an essay for Eastern Edge Gallery's portion of this year's Sound Symposium (NFLD).
From "Brand New Ghosts" 2008:
"The basic human need to feel sound as opposed to be treated to a passive, treble-inflicted listen can be observed most often at the afternoon rush hour. Regardless of the tune, the almost unbearable levels of bass and vibration leave the passengers of these tiny mobile discos lost amidst a common yet indispensable catharsis..."
Friday, June 20, 2008
This one includes Lebanese car bombs, educational error, 1812, and a conversation I had with a girl from Buffalo when I was about 15-years-old. I almost devoted an entire paragraph to Amy Winehouse, but you know, I can't pull these things out of my ass. It kind of seemed apropo of nothing.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
The Pineapple Review is the newest endeavour into artish writing. But why pineapple? Cos when you Google the bugger, it's the first hit, that's why.*
"Every week, we highlight the best in art-ish printed matter. Pretty much anything on book or in paper is fine and juicy by us. And difficult to eat. But oh, so tasty."
There were a couple of reviews preceding this, but the first official installment is the Book of Shrigley. Enjoy!
*Well, it used to be until I found out that there was some Pineapple Ballroom in Port Stanley..... Bastards....
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
He played a bartender who made sexy cocktails, but his character was annoying as hell. Basically, he has trumped Ronald MacDonald in my archive of irritating childhood memories.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
The occasion was a rather solemn and teary funeral for a thrill-seeking son of a wealthy family. He apparently passed away whilst on vacation somewhere, but I never got the full story. Everybody was being too proper about it. The pews were absolutely packed for the service with a line-up past the staircase to get into the reception hall.
Mercifully I was on the other side of the room when the actual expongeance took place, but quite suddenly a gentleman vomited in a rather abrupt and violent fashion all over the floor. He made a hasty exit through the door behind him.
I worked a double and passed out on my friend's couch, only to feel dreadful the following morning. After a few minutes of tossing and turning - WAM - I turned my head in time to completely cover their living room floor in my partially digested dinner. Only you know this time, there was no janitorial staff. Just a very flustered, sleep-deprived me with a mop and a decades-old bottle of Pine Sol.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
With jaws dropping at the decor that met our eyes on the way to the kitchen area, all staff were immediately instructed to wear basketball jersies of little Avi's favourite teams. Agreements were begrudging at best. A server is a mascot anyway, any way you slice it. It seems however, that there are more tasteful ways of treating the staff (my costume for the AGOs Massive Party notwithstanding).
As the guests arrived and we circulated with our various duties, I was placed on hors d'oeuvres and others took their places behind the bar. There was way too much food, and on my third pass nobody wanted anything any more. I repeatedly came back to the kitchen with full trays. We were over staffed, but it had been made clear to us that everybody was to "look like they were working". My wrists were beginning to regret taking the shift.
Then I began to stand more, waiting for people to come to me. And that's when I noticed them. Large men were standing alone in the corners of the main bar room, their eyes surveying the crowd of tipsy adults and their little sugar fiends. These men didn't speak to anyone. They were clearly hired help, made all the more apparent by their referee uniforms. "What are they here for?" I asked a passing waiter. "They're the baby-sitters." He said, barely glancing at them before slipping behind the service curtain with his tray of empty glasses.
I stared at one of them. And then my eyes went to the next, and then the next. They were all black. My initial reaction was to place shame on whomever had done the hiring. But then again, hired help is hired help, and who cares? I thought to myself that my thoughts were largely symptomatic of the white guilt I've heard about in subsequent years, made hilarious by 30 Rock and The Chappelle Show.
Dinner began without much change. After the ridiculous amount of candied booze and appetizers, barely anybody wanted the three course meal planned for them. As half of the crowd was children, I've got to wonder who needed a three courser, anyway. I remember being ecstatic when one of my friend's dad's bought us Happy Meals at McDonald's. I guess I grew up in the wrong income bracket. But seriously, kids don't know the real value of things are are pretty easily pleased. "Why go to all this trouble? This is a waste." I thought. And then it happened.
Somehow the boy of the hour had slipped away from the head table. After dessert was cleared the spot lights on the dance floor were illuminated and trumpets from the ample sound system erupted in a chorus befitting a Rocky Balboa tribute. Everybody cheered and my coworkers and I watched from the side lines as little Avi, the little prince, emerged from the curtains at the back of the stage.
He wasn't alone. With a huge grin on his face, he was sitting on top of a basketball shaped plush chair. A kid who loved his desserts, Avi couldn't be very light either, so he had to be supported. By four of the men carrying his chair like slaves would a litter in the streets of Cairo. I could sense the jaws of the staff who "got it" dropping across the room, but the guests found it most spectacular.
The trumpets faded away and the DJ put on the every popular "Havah Negilah," for the traditional birthday chair bounce. While extremely comical (and I'm sad my family doesn't have this kind of thing at special occasions) it was a pretty gross site to behold. There were the "baby-sitters" bouncing little Avi, who was surely that night the most oblivious and spoiled boy in town.
Perhaps it was coincidence that all the gentlemen were of (one) colour, and perhaps the boy just happened to have a smug look of satisfaction on his face, but the whole scene just wasn't right. I stood there with a pitcher of water, mouth agap. The age of political correctness seemed to be long-passed in that dining hall, as if it had come full circle to where racial stereotypes and lack of sensitvity were again, back into the realm of acceptability. Whatever the case may be, I still wish I had a camera on me. I still shed tears for the missed opportunity.
We ran from the event as soon as they began to cut staff. Nobody seemed to want to stay in the creep fest that was sure to be the world's worse sugar hangover for those involved. I did manage to steal some candy before I left, however. The kids can't have all the fun...
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
The merciful thing about the odd catering job is that sometimes things so out of the ordinary occur that they entirely make up for all the hours you thought you lost to ennui.
One day a couple of Januaries ago, I had the dullard task of greeting people by the main entrance of the Design Xchange on Bay Street. It was some weird little diplomat/business function, mostly attended by men in terrible expensive suits who don't look anybody serving them in the eye.
I was standing for a good half hour with (practically) no entertainment (save the occaisional older man with a heavy french accent trying to flirt with me*) when something quite head fucky happened to cross my path.
Quite suddenly I heard the padding of feet behind me. You know, kind of like in a shower. It seemed strangely out of place, and not something you tend to hear in a hallway of any sort, much less the one of a public establishment. The footfalls echoed curiously for a couple of seconds before I realized that they were approaching me at a rather alarming rate.
I turned around to see a wet, sweaty man running past the main desk (at the time, just around the corner behind me) and making a break for the door. He was fat and terribly ill equiped to do whatever he had set out to accomplish. Apparently whatever he was trying to get at was by pretty dubious means, and plus, he had no shirt on. That's right. He almost looked more wet that way, cos his backhair was all slicked to his skin like some feline combed after a bath. He was also quite short. Almost mediterranean in appearance, but I never really got a good look at his face. No shoes, no shirt, and heading for the door.
Next I heard, "Stop that man!!!" Though you know, I really don't think anybody was prepared to take that one on. Besides, I think they were just as stunned as I was.
The shouting voice came from a man with, wait for it, a long flailing trenchcoat and an immaculate three-piece dark suit underneath. His coat tails gave quite the show whilst he pursued his topless quarry, now out of sight and assumedly running southbound down the street. I should mention here that he also had patent leather shoes. Magnificent.
I'm quite ashamed to say I was a little too good an employee and didn't leave my post to see what would become of these two individuals. I waited to see if one of the smokers would come in with news. Indeed, a lovely younger man with tailored attire that cost more than my parents country house told me he saw the topless man being caught by the trenchcoat. To my disapointment, the topless offender wasn't brought in the way he had exited, and I never saw him again.
After futher enquiries, I gathered that said man had apparently climbed in through a window. Where he had lost half his clothes remains a mystery, but still, what a poorly planned execution. Perhaps I'm just trying to convince myself that it really didn't matter what his plans were... Fat. Wet. Caught. I wonder if he ever reported back to the big boss.
*But you know, that's so balls. I'm used to that.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
"Toronto doesn't know how to say yes."
And Toronto isn't alone. "Fear of change is palpable everywhere in New York," reports Hilary Ballon, who co-edited the recently published, Robert Moses and the Modern City, a revisionist history of the controversial builder..."
Friday, February 8, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Here's a small video of Mr. Pallett at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom for the launch of our Carl's (above right and out of focus) new book, "Let's Talk About Love, A Journey to the End of Taste". It's bumpy and it's just the chorus, but it moved me, dammit. I couldn't keep my hand still.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
This is the actress Mo Collins, playing the "business model" that's brought in to represent the "Bluth Homes, Solid as a Rock"campaign. Are those bruises on her arm? It looks like somebody tried to give her a solid hickey (what we call 13-year-old bonafied lovin') and missed. Either that, or she got pinched for like, 30 minutes. Take your pick.
...And say what you will about the tiresome onslaught of political correctness, but I'm actually kind of surprised the show got away with this one. I suppose it would be an official racial "you all suck" slur if it was pluralized. Still though, it's pretty fucking strange, and not even as close to funny as White Power Bill.