Monday, March 30, 2009

bat-lightning heart

just not even dealing with you, monday. just...not even.

chartattack liveblogs the juno awards, because we (they?) are the only ones who care enough to do so. truthfully, i didn't even watch the spectacle of horror, preferring to spend my evening watching the ever-present csi: miami reruns. yet there were enough groans of shame and pity across the internetz, many of us mourning the lows to which the canadian music industry has sunk. we give awards to musicians who sell records, never mind if they're good or not. great.

sorry, nickelback fans. but that band totally blows.

in the meantime, here is an article aptly titled "the great nickelback debate". even though it's coming from a sun media writer - and here i thought if anyone, sun media writers would love nickelback - it actually takes the side of the critics. or, you know, any rational music fan in general. (best quote: "Some people like haute cuisine. But they are vastly outnumbered by people who like McDonald’s." yes)

nominations now open for, er, canada's walk of fame. yet another reason for me to hang my head and scuff my feet against the floor in embarrassment for my country's weak attempts to measure up to the united states. look, i love it here and everything, but sometimes i think i'd feel better if i had dual citizenship. does that make me weird? oh well.

need to rent a scottish mansion for your wedding? no worries - bob dylan's got you covered. let's just hope there's better, uh, plumbing in the mansion's facilities than the ones at dylan's home. ewww.

idolator gathers quotes from across the web about the death of blender magazine. i'm definitely in agreement with pretty much everything pitchfork said on the topic -- it wasn't the best writing sometimes and its format was laughable, but it had the right idea and the burgeoning music fan's interests at heart. i'll miss it, and feel a sense of dread to consider which music mag will go under the axe next. the times, they are a-changin'.

stereophonics have no faith in razorlight. oh, come on now -- the 'light will rise again. and i totally didn't mean for that to sound hackneyed and cheesy. (and i like johnny's haircut, thnx)

in the disheartening local news file, my favourite sushi resto, sushi on bloor, got closed down for health violations! actually a major bummer, and i can admit that my first thought upon reading that was "...but will they reopen??" i mean, i've been eating there for years and have never once gotten sick, although i've overstuffed myself a few times (and have heard a few horror stories from acquaintances). still, as i said on twitter last night, between that and another popular sushi place down the street getting slapped with a "conditional" pass, i think it's good timing that i'm learning to roll my own maki and make my own sushi. it may not be as cheap or convenient, but 1) it's fun and 2) i know what's going into it. which is sort of why i enjoy eating in as opposed to dining out in general.

now, as for yesterday (flooding aside), my mother and stepfather stopped in en route to their flight to the mayan riviera (insert envy here), finally bringing me the christmas gifts that i hadn't been able to take home with me back in december -- namely, a very nice but very heavy dinnerware/cutlery set, steel mixing bowls, cutting boards, pyrex dishes, baking sheets, and a whole buttload of candy (which promptly got taken to work for a monday-morning coworker boost). yet what i wasn't expecting was that my mother would also drop a giant bagful of my old teenage handwritten diaries on my lap as well -- especially after i'd set them aside in the "to be thrown out" pile at home. (mother protested that she "felt weird" about throwing them out)

and boy howdy, were they hilariously bad in the way only teenage-girl diaries can be. "angst" doesn't even begin to sum it up. the funny part is that a lot of them were just intermediaries (no pun intended) between my head and my online diary at the time; i'd write blog entries in a notebook as i thought of things, then type them up in my blog later. so there really was no use to keep the notebooks -- mostly everything i'd written had eventually ended up online, and i still have all those entries saved on my hard drive. so much for nostalgia.

[ music | pj harvey & john parish, "black hearted love" ]

Friday, March 27, 2009

parklife

...haha, i sort of love how i'm still getting a bazillion visitors a day (no seriously, it's through the roof) looking for that one angelina jolie pic that i posted a link to the other day. sorry! removed. i like getting visitors for my ramblings and pop culture links, not for celebrity jpegs. feels a little more intimate that way.

also, i totally sold out and signed up for blog advertising. i'll understand if you feel like we can't be friends anymore. (if it makes you feel better, i'm only expecting to make like $0.07 off of this, so it's more of an experiment than anything)

welcome to the "dirty tourney" -- only sluts allowed. i could go into all kinds of feminist diatribes about how disgusting and morally wrong this is, but then i keep laughing at editor aaron's comment to this article at the bottom. sums a lot of it up, really. 'scuse me while i scrub myself down with a wire brush.

something to take the bad taste out of your mouth: more deets on the new placebo album! ahhh, refreshing pretty-boy angst-rock goodness. i, like so many of my gender, have a huge raging soft spot for placebo, and i'm pretty damn psyched to hear what they come up with. they only get better with age, really. (and please please please play some dates in canada! i had the good fortune to see them twice in 2007 and both times were phenomenal)

idolator eulogizes blender magazine, which i just found out about yesterday and was both saddened and not surprised. sad because it used to be a pretty decent mag - not to mention the very magazine that inspired me to become a music journalist in the first place (they ran an investigative piece about the libertines - notably the volatile relationship between pete & carl - years ago that absolutely fucking blew my young mind) - yet not surprised because of 1) the declining quality over the years and 2) the fact that big media is a sinking ship right now. combine that with the already-imploding music industry and you have a recipe for disaster. anyone want to take bets on when spin bites it (or at least takes chart's route and goes online-content only)?

quick refresher piece on the juno cup, which pits musicians against retired nhl players. probably the only good thing about the juno awards. (of course, it is very much eclipsed by its indie cousin, the hockey summit of the arts, happening easter weekend and featuring many local indie musicians you know and love, including my foxy boyfriend in goal, but please don't try to love him too much. i might break your fingers.)

oh, matblog. so much bizarre entertainment value. so much happiness at news of recording a retro-style kill hannah album. i hate to be one of those fans who bitches about how "their old sound" was way better, but i kinda do feel that way and i can't really apologize for it.

you know mass entertainment media is a little off-kilter when rihanna getting a gun tattoo is super big all-encompassing news that needs to make headlines everywhere. really, people? really? maybe she just likes guns. stop looking so deep into these things. (and i'm one to talk about looking too deeply for meanings that might not be there. story of my paranoid-obsessive life.)

oh, and i finally saw watchmen on tuesday (i feel it is my duty to spread the gospel of the rainbow cinemas on front street -- they show current movies for $4 on tuesday nights and it's the only way i get to see movies in a theatre anymore), and i think i enjoyed it enough to see it for a second time -- if only to pick up on any of the little things i missed. pity i wasn't a fan of the comic first; i like to be on the bandwagon, damn it.

but then i saw this thread on ontd! and got all disturbed. while laughing so hard i cried.

weekender: hockey, homemade nachos and a night out at the el mocambo with the boy tonight; more of the same on saturday, except i get to go all out and make a spicy cheddar-corn chowder i've been dying to try (with blackberry cobbler for dessert -- because dessert is a necessity); sunday is sunday, day of rest (and possibly cardio). yes, another one of those blasted not-much-to-do weekends, but that's mostly because it's supposed to rain both days and because i'm still pretty poverty-stricken over here. the solution to that: cooking, baking, walking, gym-going and homestaying. it keeps me out of trouble, for the most part.

[ music | the long blondes, "nostalgia" ]

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

prime ambitions

once upon a time - and some of you longtime readers may remember this - i had a really cool, weird little story of a life: i was young and crazy and stupid and reckless. i went from following rock bands around the country to interviewing them as a music journalist to touring with them as their merch girl. i drank excessively every weekend, chain-smoked like a fiend because i thought it made me more sexy and interesting, did drugs when they were available to me, and i often wore collars, fishnets, and microscopic miniskirts together (oh, and with black stiletto heels, of course). lots of black, lots of heavy eyeliner, lots of post-teen dramatic angst. there was lots of all that -- lots of extremes. lots of making my life into a story that others would be interested in and envious of. that was my m.o., damn it.

of course, this path of extremes eventually led to me literally going crazy, burning out on a combination of a brutal winter, a bad relationship, a traumatic sickness, and 13-hour work days. so, as most of you know, i turned to selling everything i owned and moving across the country with only two bags and a one-way plane ticket. and then i stubbornly stayed on the other side of the country, solitary and contemplative yet mostly miserable, until i fell for a boy in my former city and moved all the way back again. then - and only then - i got somewhat stabilized and normal, because i was in love and happy with myself and coming to terms with the fact that i had to smarten up (to use one of my father's favourite phrases) and finally start getting my life together. and here we are.

of course, though, it's hard having an exemplary life - a life that's a story worth telling, as it were - when you're being a responsible adult with a steady job and steady relationship and steady routines. it's especially hard when you've already known the wilder, crazier side of things to make life interesting -- because it's hard finding a tamer, stay-at-home substitute that compares. there's always gonna be a part of you that remembers what spontaneous life on the open road was like, and there'll always be a part of you that's struggling against regular-life conformity in order to get back to that world. because in some ways - some big, important, yet ultimately impossible-to-maintain ways - there is nothing that compares.

also, getting into a relationship...sidelines you a bit from things. i'm saying this because it's the hard, embarrassing truth for 98.5% of females (at least the ones i've known) when they're right at the infatuation point of the early relationship: because when you're falling for somebody, you want to spend pretty much every hour of every day with them. you don't want to have anything else to take up your time besides your significant other. so, having outside interests goes out the window, because in your love-saturated little mind, nothing is more important to you than being available to spend time with your lovey-darling 24/7. (not that this happened to me in any way. no sir.)

yet here i am, having been back in the "real" world for over a year now, with job, relationship and sanity all intact -- and all flourishing, i might add. but i'd be lying if i said there wasn't that little rebellious part of me inside screaming to get back out, because all of a sudden, i feel like my life isn't that special anymore. like it's no longer a story worth reading. i mean, i used to have regular readers of my old blog who were regulars precisely because it was, as a friend of mine gushed, "like reading a really awesome book". harsh truth, blog writers: people don't want to read about somebody who's life is ordinary and boring; they want to read about somebody who's life is totally off the wall, so they can live vicariously. (or maybe they just really enjoyed reading about the angst of a young goth-punk girl who kept getting her heart broken by asshole rock stars and commonly had to do the walk of shame through lobbies of various hotels in downtown toronto.)

so, the solution i've come up with over the last month: get some damn hobbies already, so i can have both something interesting in my life and something cool to talk about.

the idea is at least making my parents happy, since i'm sure they remember my youth and teenage years, in which i was one of those kids who'd make big ambitious plans...and then get lazy or self-defeated and completely give up on them without trying. i'm not like that anymore, mostly because i am ambitious these days. i want to have lots of life skills under my belt, and lots of cool experiences i can take along with me -- ones that don't necessarily involve routinely tossing my regular life and priorities and responsibilities out the window. i'm sort of an adult now, and i sort of have those things. y'know, a regular life and priorities and responsibilities and such.

so, within the boundaries of my current life schedule - in other words, doing what i can with what i have - here's what i've managed to come up with to keep myself and my life entertaining and interesting:

1. i cook a lot more. i've rediscovered a long-dormant passion for cooking and baking - when i was a kid, i wanted to go to george brown college and learn to be a chef - which i'm sure my mother suspects was brought about by my apparent "nesting stage". (thanks, long-term relationship.) as such, i've made a happy habit of coming up with a new dish to make every saturday - dinner plus dessert, of course, because you have to have dessert - for the boy and i to consume while watching the regular saturday-night hockey games, to be followed by a lot of cuddling, drinking, and sex. that way, there are usually leftovers for sunday-night dinner, as well as leftovers of whatever dessert or random baked good i make on the weekend for lunches that week. (or, if you're my boyfriend, half a cake for dessert and/or breakfast the next day.) i am also very thankful that i've got a man with a healthy appetite for both food and gratitude for free meals. and also, sex.
1. i) this also includes teaching myself how to roll sushi, something that's been on my life ambition list for years now. it might be hard at first, but i will learn, goddammit.
1. ii) it's sort of disturbing to me how excited i get over buying new kitchen appliances/bakeware.
1. iii) fun fact: if i ever came up with a food blog, it would be called either "midnight kitchen" or "punk rock betty crocker".

2. i'm volunteering at the humane society for four hours per week, starting next month (i have to get my tetanus shot first) -- either tuesdays or wednesdays after work, possibly 6-10 p.m. if it can be scheduled. i have to go in after i get my shot at the doctor's next month - fortunately, they're on the same side of town - and fill out the forms, have a volunteer's interview et cetera, but i can't foresee there being any problems. aside from my total softheartedness when it comes to animals, that is. as i've said before, i've wanted to volunteer at the humane society for years now, but i've always been convinced that i'd come home heartbroken all the time. i'm still convinced of that, but now i'm old enough to know that whatever i can do for the poor abandoned kitties is enough -- more than most people would do. and that's what's important.

3. i plan on finally - finally - going to bartending school, most likely this summer after dean and i have gotten settled. see, i've wanted to get my bartending certificate ever since i graduated university - i actually really wanted to be a bartender as a post-uni job - and i think my father even offered to pay for it as a grad present, but then i got a job at a certain ubiquitous coffee shop chain a month after graduation, and so it went. yet even though i'm steadily employed at the moment, the ambition to gain mad bartending skillz has stuck with me, and it's something i want to check off my list of life skills (especially since it's a marketable skill, the most valuable type -- they're also known as "backup"). also, the bartending school here in toronto has a half-price sale on classes right now, and hopefully they'll hang onto that through the summer. i want my cheap weekend marketable-skill classes, damn it.

4. i want to start growing my own herbs and vegetables. hopefully, our apartment will have a good source of light (though we pretty much require a deck of some form because we both smoke) so i can totally indulge my old green thumb. that's another past hobby resurrected: i've had my own houseplants and small gardens my entire life, including a giant fishtank terrarium that i put together when i was a kid, so it's second nature for me to have plants around. i'd like to start seedlings indoors as soon as remotely possible, which means i have to wait until my windows stop leaking cold drafts, which means probably mid-to-late april. as if i won't have enough to do next month. oh well.

5. three additional ambitions i'd like to see to before the year is through: pottery classes, jewellery-making classes, or massage lessons. one or the other or both, i'm not picky. whatever i have the money/time for.

so! it's not exactly going out and getting hammered every saturday night, or spending money i don't have on fetish clothing, or throwing everything aside so i can jump in a touring van with a band, or losing my virginity to a musician in new york city (though, uh, that can only be done once), but you know what?

it's good enough for me, right here and right now.

[ music | great northern, "mountain" ]

Monday, March 23, 2009

time lapse

i think i've found my own perfect formula to a successful, happy weekend: spend saturday on a long walk around town to run errands, buy groceries and sightsee (in last weekend's case, it was another return to the old familiar east side), and then go home to cook a great meal (in last weekend's case, red pepper risotto and lime marinated shrimp, with guinness chocolate cake for dessert); then spend the other day relaxing, gym-going, and just hanging out, possibly fitting some more baking in there (yesterday: sour-cream banana oatmeal crunch bread). fun things. things that make me feel productive and satisfied with the use of my time -- unlike weekends where i just lie around and sleep and waste time. that's a big fail in my book.

see, i know most people think of weekends as time to just shut down and do nothing; not me, obviously. i think it's due to the fact that for seven years of my life, i didn't have weekends off, so i naturally associate saturday & sunday with being busy. and ever since i've had jobs that afford me free weekends - and thank god for those glorious monday-to-friday jobs - i've been in the habit of filling them up as much as possible. no sleep for the manic.

fear the emo! i actually think this story has been going around in the british media for ages now. but now, apparently as a "worry word", "emo" is something dangerous and to be feared in your children. oh noes, not poorly-applied guyliner! for christ's sake.

idolator's maura accurately sums up the inanity of "extreme social media". i mean, um, what? this whole social media phenomenon is coming dangerously close to exploding off the rails. i'm pretty happy with my constant triumvulate of facebook/twitter/myspace, thanks.

pete doherty allergic to cats?! this is tragic news! the man is obviously "distraught" because he totally friggin' loves his kittehs. therefore, by proxy, i love me some pete doherty. but at a distance, please, he looks like he might probably smell funny.

geddy lee's parents met at auschwitz. now there's a headline and a half (as well as a good story to tell the grandkids).

the a.v. club takes a comparative look at let the right one in, book versus movie. since the film was one of my favourites of the last few years - i've seen it twice now - it was pretty neat to read about how in-depth the book goes with the characters, plus a particular revelation about eli that makes one scene in the movie make so much sense. also, it makes it way more fucked up. but the multiple layers are what i loved about that movie.

something for the boy: winnipeg's getting its own music festival! any way c'mon could swing out to manitoba in late june, babe? ;)

and now for the best discovery of the last week (although i don't know how i've missed it up until now): confessions of a pioneer woman. for anybody who grew up on the little house on the prairie books, who used to live on a farm in the country, or who likes a good life story in general (i fit all three), this is where you want to be. plus: gorgeous photos, recipes, and all kinds of zaniness from the life you wish you had. pretty damn amazing. (and now i totally want to reread the little house books again.)

also, over the weekend i was reminded - the hard way - of why you should never hyperlink to someone else's jpeg -- because then you'll get a bazillion random visitors via image google who are all looking for that pic. sorry, random people hunting down pics of angelina jolie -- link's been removed. har.

p.s. on the to-do list for the near future: see about merging this blog with all my portfolio/bio stuff at revidescent.ca and actually putting that domain of mine to use -- by making one big site/portfolio/blog thing. and there will be a new blog layout. be happy.

[ music | the clash, "police and thieves" ]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ricochet

et voila - the newest, completed addition to my body mod family:



in case you missed it earlier, that's tattoo #5, mid/lower back region. in total, it was about three hours' worth of work; two hours for the outlining and one hour for the shading. fortunately, i'm finally in the lucky position of having an acquaintance (in this case, a coworker) who's a tattoo artist willing to ink me for cheap, and so i jumped right on that opportunity, oh yes i did. it wasn't a pleasant experience - i have a very low pain threshold, and getting tattooed is never fun for me - but i think the end result speaks for itself. it's fantastic. and no, it's not intentionally trying to ape angelina jolie's lower-back tiger tattoo, kthnx.

chartattack has the results of their cmw 2009 report cards, of which there were significantly less this year. not saying that my absence had anything to do with the low review count, but it looks like more than a few of us chose to sit this one out. oh well, only a couple months until nxne... (cue the requisite fist-shaking at those who are at sxsw right now)

speaking of the omnipresent music fest, apparently it's all sunshine, rainbows and kittens there. trouble in the economy? not in the music industry! ha ha...ha...ha.

apparently there's a stone roses reunion afoot. i don't really believe it any more than i can believe how goddamn young ian brown looks in that pic (though he pretty much looks the exact same these days, but aged), but hey, money talks. and in the meantime, we can at least giggle at the link titled "reliable fan site".

...oh wait, debunked! that was quick.

oh man, amazing: the decemberists' colin meloy holds a song contest on twitter -- and you won't guess who wins. you really just have to check that shit out. (hint to canadians: one of 'em should be very familiar to us, and it ain't a member of the tragically hip)

more of trent reznor raging against the man, and generally being awesome. anybody else think he's indirectly targeting billy corgan with the jabs at people who defend ticketbastard's practices? good show.

a primer on sushi-eating etiquette. my procedure for eating japanese food is pretty much summed up by cramming it into my mouth and then "om nom nom," but it's actually supposed to be a little more refined that my grotesque american-style eating. good to remember when i

now, this time of year reminds me of this time last year, when spring was already in full swing in vancouver - cherry blossom season begins in march - i was able to cut down to only one layer of clothing underneath my coat, there was more sun than i'd expected, and my life was all about the rose-coloured shades of romance and long-distance angst. really, there's so much more of a vivid impact on your memories when you're going through something that affects you that deeply. at this point last year, i'd just gotten back from my spontaneous weekend trip to toronto, which had decided for me that yes, my crazy sudden instinct that toronto was my home (and that this guy was something special) was correct, and that i definitely should go ahead with my crazy sudden impulse to move back to toronto on may 1st. after that, there would be days of intense organizing - giving my notice at work, sorting out the subletting process, selling/donating my belongings for the second time in less than a year - followed by a brief time period where i could step back, breathe, and take in everything i was going to leave behind.

actually, i had a lot of those moments during the whole leavetaking process, which i think was a good thing. it's not often that we have the chance to step back and live in the moment, knowing that it'll be our last time doing it, and i think it was that intensity and urgency that really left an impact on me. that's what i remember the most at this time of year.

goals for the rest of 2009 in the pursuit of becoming a well-rounded, interesting person:
- obtain sushi-making kit; teach self how to make sushi
- go to bartending school and finally get my certificate
- volunteer four hours a week at the toronto humane society
- take an art class (preferably pottery or jewelry-making -- something that has a tangible, purty result)

[ music | bat for lashes, "daniel" ]

Monday, March 16, 2009

wonderland

and now, what we were all waiting for: chris cornell's rebuttal to trent reznor's twitter diss. that doctored jpeg at the top of the first article there is pretty much amazing.

stereogum's got the new franz ferdinand video for you. i'm actually sort of surprised "no you girls" is the first single from the new album to get a video -- am i missing something? oh wait, just noticed that "ulysses" did get a video after all. maybe i should fully read the damn posts before i reference them, yeah? :P (also, wondering if the new franz is worth the purchase -- i loved their debut but was meh on their sophomore)

there are new placebo album details, which basically makes my entire month. unlike the band mentioned above, placebo can pretty much do no wrong - and has done no wrong, ever - in my book. but damn it, they recorded it in toronto?? where was i, not stalking brian molko? fangirl fail.

holy shit, gymbo from dayglo abortions joins maximum rnr! this will probably mean nothing to you if you aren't familiar with oldskool canadian punk/metal, but that's pretty monumental. i fear for audiences and eardrums everywhere. (but it's a good fear.)

the cops warn lady gaga about her skimpy outfits. not sure if that article is completely true or not, but man, if only it were the fashion police -- that girl is an assault on eyeballs everywhere. (not to mention her music makes me want to hurt babies)

vanilla ice apologizes. for everything. appropriate given the office was sending around the video for "ninja rap" last week...go ninja, go ninja, go!

we're also back to that glorious time of year when every music blogger and their mom heads down to sxsw in austin and blogs/twitters/facebooks about it ad nauseum, or at least just to the point that those of us who aren't going (due to low funds, having regular paying jobs, etc.) are made ragingly jealous. case in point, the last four years.

however! there is still travel impending in my life, thank god. for the grace of my boyfriend who booked the flights for me (cue the hearts and gross mushy love), my may vacation itinerary has been set:

saturday may 16th: leave toronto @ 5 pm; arrive in vancouver at 7 pm
sunday may 17th - thursday may 21st: vancouver
thursday may 21st: leave vancouver @ 9:30 am; arrive in toronto @ 5 pm / leave toronto @ 8 pm; arrive in kingston at 9 pm
friday may 22nd - sunday may 24th: kingston

...and then, home again to toronto that sunday night. by bus, though, no more flying after that week. at least, not for a long, long while. (boy and i joked that i'd be flying "air beer" on this one, given that my flights are being paid for with aeroplan miles collected from many visits to the beer store)

but! it should be a solid, rock-awesome trip. i get to spend almost a week with my west-coast friends and the old familiar scenery and, if i'm lucky, dean might be out there at the same time recording the next c'mon album. then, it'll be off to my hometown to spend time with family, including taking my mom to see the legendary and totally fucking awesome leonard cohen in concert. all in all, if i don't die in a fiery plane crash, it should be a great time. spring break! wooooooo!

also, serious thought being put into this summer, and how i want to get out of my personal life rut. i want to wait until dean and i get a place and move in together before i sign up for any classes and such - location is important - but, in the pursuit of keeping myself busy as well as making myself a more interesting person (life skills for the win), i think i want to do the following: 1) take pottery classes (this was my mother's suggestion; i asked her if i had any artistic talents as a child, and she said i used to make little sculptures and such, and so i'd probably get a lot out of pottery) and 2) volunteer with animals at the humane society.

the second thing there is pretty much decided -- i need to get a tetanus shot though, but fortunately i have a doctor's appointment in early april, so once that's done, i can go sign up. four hours a week, probably tuesdays or wednesdays after work. i'm thinking it'll be rewarding (though i'm so softhearted when it comes to cats, i've always been afraid of volunteering at the humane society because i know i'll come home in tears often).

oh, and last weekend? much better and more productive: saturday, travelled by foot to the east end, hit up st. john's bakery, the cheap smokes store, doll factory, sushi marche, the bulk barn at my old loblaws, walked back downtown along the old gardiner highway and through some creepy/cool backwoods trails, to kensington market, and then home to cook indian food and watch the hockey game. sunday, baked banana bread, walked all over town to run errands, hit the gym, and chilled out at home in the evening. that's how weekend should be done.

bring on the spring/summertime!

[ music | art brut, "alcoholics unanimous" ]

Thursday, March 12, 2009

change of pace

so here in the t-dot, we're just starting into the first of our two "music festival" phenomenons that occur yearly: this one being canadian music week. (it's actually more of a short weekend stretch, and it typically tends to pale in comparison to south by southwest, which always occurs down in austin the following week) for the past five years or so, i've done festival coverage - enjoying the freedom and privilege of a press pass; attending some of the conference but really just trying to grab free shit; attempting to top my personal best of 17 bands reviewed in three nights - but this year, i just said no. don't wanna. i'm tired of pretending that there's actually more than two bands in the entire festival lineup that i actually want to see, and they're never the ones i get assigned to review anyway. it's balls, it doesn't pay me enough and it's too much effort and anxiety to go through again.

sure, last night's opening gig at the bovine was a good refresher of how it feels - standing in a crowded bar, elbow to elbow with media, photogs, managers, and wide-eyed band dudes from out of town - but i've been there, done that too many times. i want something new. don't have any idea where i'll find it, but i guess i can always drink in the meantime.

mandy moore and ryan adams done got hitched! this made me warm and fuzzy inside until a friend of mine pointed out that while mandy is adorable and all, ryan could possibly be certifiably insane. either way, i bet they have an awesome bedroom life.

apparently weird random supergroups are the new thing again. i think i might like this one a bit more than the hanson/smashing pumpkins/cheap trick one, though. (even if i've never been a fan of the kills, i'm sort of bummed to miss their show with the faint next month because i have to save money for lollapalooza in august. ohhhhh yeahhhhh)

devo's got a new album coming, their first in 19 years. i'm sure i would be more impressed if i liked devo, but i really kind of totally don't. i only mention this here because i brought up my devo dislike to my boyfriend and a mutual friend a couple weeks ago, and they both tried to argue passionately for devo's inherent, ahead-of-their-time brilliance, but i just couldn't see it. still can't. bah.

the a.v. club didn't like repo! the genetic opera too much. it's a interesting analytic point of view, though, and there are video clips in abundance, but eh. i really, really liked that movie, but then again, i am completely its target audience. (amanda and i saw it together at the bloor and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly)

pete doherty: 'i sold the strokes drugs.' oh fantastic.

also, my netz time is being taken up lately by nhlol and lol jocks. yes, they are exactly what they sound like. yes, they are as hilarious as you think.

now, coming up fast: the chance to not blow this weekend like the last one by doing nothing. friday night's got a good kickoff - one of the boy's side-project bands is playing a nearby pub - and saturday morning i'm baking banana-walnut bread (after conducting the highly scientific experiment of ripening bananas by putting them in a paper bag with an apple), but after that? wanderin's! i want to go to sanko, the japanese culture store down on queen west, to peruse the sushi-making kits (and possibly buy one); i need to go shopping for mailable birthday gifts for both my stepdad and stepbro, whose birthdays are next week; i want to make a trip on foot back to the east end - where i haven't been since i moved back from vancouver - to hit up places like dark horse, st. john's bakery (must. get. english muffins.), doll factory, the bulk barn, and maybe even my old loblaws to see who's still hanging on there. not sure when and which days this will all get done on the weekend, but it will get done this time. i need to get out more.

speaking of getting out more, because i am not quite an amateur foodie, a list of restos i'm aiming to hit up in vancouver once i'm back: the templeton, the eatery, sushi sushi, the naam, that bakery on macdonald that has the awesome eccles, ouisi bistro (dean and i went on a date there while c'mon was in vancouver), handi indian cuisine, that sushi place (honjin?) in north van that has the awesome salmon skin maki, and so on. damn the fact i'll only have four days (and won't particularly have the patience - for a third time - to wait 45-60 minutes for a table at toshi's).

alright, i think that's enough for today. be good to each other.

[ music | depeche mode, "hole to feed" ]

Monday, March 9, 2009

pretty persuasion

bit of a waste of a weekend, now that i think about it; didn't have anything specific to do, so time mostly got blown doing mundane solitary shit like grocery-shopping, errands, going to the gym, watching tv and reading. sure, that might sound relaxing and awesome to some, and normally i like the downtime, but...thinking on it, there was so much more i could've done with my time. i could have done more roaming about town and less sitting around at home; i could have taken more opportunities to see people and have fun rather than moping around alone. to be fair though, 1) the weather was gloomy rainy shite and 2) i have $20.48 to last me for the week, so both those factors had definite impact on my lacking weekend and lack of motivation. bah.

(also, waking up today - a monday - to dark, rainy coldness and having lost an hour of sleep does not a very happy girl make. bah, part 2.)

but! things will inevitably be better soon. got a full week ahead thanks to canadian musicfest (neƩ canadian music week) -- a white cowbell oklahoma secret show on wednesday, left spine down on thursday (after which i will be down to $0.48 in my bank account, but i pleaded extreme poverty last time they were here, so...), dean's side-project band mamabolo, and who knows what else. maybe next weekend i'll be thankful for relaxation.

speaking of things going well with gloomy gray days, new interpol album news! it's just a snippet to prove they're still alive at best - although there are solo projects afoot and all that - but any evidence of more interpol godliness on the scene is a good sign.

also from the rumour mill, there is loud, persistent talk floating around that points to depeche mode as one of the headliners for this year's lollapalooza, and if so? my attendance is cemented, motherfuckers. :D if i have to choose between dm in toronto and dm in chicago as part of the summer's most amazing rocktastic festival weekend, then i'm taking the latter, kthnx.

is the new-look pitchfork definitely a "new" thing, or has it been that way for weeks now and i just haven't noticed? i'm not too observant. either way, i'm finding it more cluttered and difficult to navigate, but i try to only rely on pitchfork for music news anyway. just never got the whole decimal-system thing for album reviews.

iron maiden concert in columbia = riots! i hate to say it, but would you expect any less? the biggest pity is the fact that there might not be any metal concerts in columbia after this. sad.

get ready, this is a complicated one: brian eno vs. alan mcgee vs. exclaim! magazine, all via twitter, except eno and mcgee(?) don't even have twitter accounts. way to bung things up, social media!

i never liked barbie dolls very much, but here's a fun "interview" with barbie for her 50th anniversary year. trust me, it's more clever than it sounds.

to close out here, i have to mention that i feel like my life is stuck in one giant rut right now. need to break out and do something to get away from the ordinary routines for a while. suggestions/recommendations/kicks to my ass appreciated. merci!

[ music | bjork, "human behavior" ]

Friday, March 6, 2009

renegade behaviour

good morning -- there is tragedy afoot! andy burrows quits razorlight :( :( :( this doesn't surprise me much - i actually think it's happened a few times in the last couple years - but still, such a bummer. he was a really sweet guy when i interviewed him and bassist carl. we ain't in 2004 anymore, i guess.

it may not be 1989 either, but apparently guns n' roses might be doing a summer stadium tour! i'm not sure if i cringe more thinking about ticket prices, or how bad the band itself will be. oh, and speaking of ticket prices, check out blogto's expose on the absurd evils of ticketsnow, using the upcoming depeche mode tour as an example. as i said before, i would totally pay up to $100 for a ticket, but uh, not $3777. sweet jesus.

dakota fanning tapped to play cherie currie in the runaways movie. this could either be a success or a massive trainwreck, but the casting looks solid so far, plus: floria sigismondi behind the camera! (don't like kristen stewart, though. girl looks eternally pissy at the world for no reason other than that being a celebrity is sooooo haaaard.)

daily lol: miley cyrus vows to "ruin" radiohead. it's more joking in context, but the headline itself is pretty excellent and makes me think of some fist-shaking villainness. but, er, it's miley cyrus. don't break her heart?

our friend idolator brings us this clip of pete wentz and ashlee simpson on csi: new york. i'm still sort of immensely confused by any sort of guest spots on the csi shows; then again, i suppose it makes sense since the general acting itself is so shitty that guest actors wouldn't need to try all that hard to fit in. (to be fair, i love david caruso for his awful campiness but have to admit that gary sinise is badass maximus)

the a.v. club's headline here says it best: wayne coyne vs win butler in verbal battle of who could care less. i'm not sure if the "who could care less" part is referring to wayne & win or us - i definitely fall into that category myself - but either way, it actually has sent shockwaves through the indie quirk-rock community. personally, i think wayne's story sounds more plausible. not naming names but i know of many "big name" canadian indies who are total asshats.

glamour introduces us to the couch dress. yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. god help us all.

the usual weekender: low-key, as the boy is out of town spending time with family and i shall be left to my own devices, with only $40 to last me for the week. this probably means i will spend an inordinate amount of time in the gym, walking all over the city to run errands, and reading books with the occasional intermission to watch endless csi marathons. i think it'll be a good relaxation process.

[ music | ladytron, "destroy everything u touch" ]

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

walls too thin

first things first: our dear chrissy has made the top 50 for the best job in the world!! considering she beat out some 3,000 other contestants to even get this far, that's pretty monumental. go to the official site, click on "short-listed applicants", find "christine, canada" and give her your votes/love/good karma to get the big win! (yes, of course i want to go visit)

less celebratory news: ontd! and commenters weigh in on the remake of let the right one in. as one of my favourite movies of the last five years or so - seriously, i saw it twice in theatres, and it is not a short movie - i'm sort of appalled and disheartened by this news. i can't really figure out any way they could make it better than the original, but i can think of far too many ways they could make it worse. sigh.

virgin megastores continue to collapse across the us of a. bums me out especially to note that it looks like the chicago store isn't around anymore; it was one of my favourite destinations when i visited chitown. i swear the first time i walked into it, i had heart palpatations. r.i.p. megastores, sorry you had to die virgins.

someone who's revelling in the world's current bad news: noel gallagher, who hopes the credit crunch worsens because it means there'll be better music. uh...that's one way of looking at it, i guess. keep on reaching for the stars, noel.

ticketbastard's getting buuuuusted. makes me glad that i procured my cohen tickets through the venue itself, not any sketchy resell website. stupid ticketbastard and its fees are money-sucking vampires anyway.

one for my man: the flaming lips are behind the official oklahoma rock song! never got into the lips myself - i saw them at lollapalooza a few years back and was unimpressed - but it's nice when the real world acknowledges quirky indie rock.

new obsession/dinner inspiration: photograzing! food pr0n at its finest. mmmm delicious pictures.

completely non-music related: nhl trade deadline day is tomorrow! this is, indeed, a big deal, given a number of factors -- my hockey-loving boyfriend, my own newly-renewed hockey love, et cetera. sweet deal.

now, good stuff!: plans for my mini-vacation in may are more or less settled. first, i have to make a mention of news going under the "best boyfriend in the world" file: he's offered to use his aeroplan miles to pay for my flight to vancouver (and back), effectively saving me $500-600. again, reiterated: best boyfriend in the world. :) so much love.

so that means the plan changes very slightly: i'm still flying out on saturday the 16th, but now i'm coming to kingston on wednesday the 20th (the only flight aeroplan could book me for the 21st got into ottawa at like midnight, and i didn't exactly want to ask my dad to pick me up then). reason for the early return: i did manage to score a pair of leonard cohen tickets for his kingston gig on the friday the 22nd, so i can take my mom as a late mother's day gift. (she and i both love the cohen, but neither of us have seen him live and i'm thinking this might be the old man's last tour.) even the cheapest tickets were over $100, but i managed to get an upper row that's straight ahead of the stage, so we won't need to crane our necks or anything. good plan.

the final high point: i got my sixth tattoo done yesterday. it was a spur-of-the-moment appointment, given that i work with the tattoo artist (he's one of our graphic designers) and he said he'd fit me in when he had the chance -- so when the chance came up after work yesterday, i jumped on it, oh yes i did. not to say i hadn't already had my design planned out well in advance - i mentioned it in my last entry - but at least the suddenness of tattoo time gave me less time to be rattled about it. (six tattoos on and i still get nervous...i blame my longstanding fear of needles, albeit the conventional ones)

in total? wasn't pleasant. no tattooing experiences are, really - they all hurt to some degree - and this one, because of its size and complexity, took about two hours just to get the outlines done. i have to let that much heal up for about a week or so, then go back next week to get the stripes shaded in. yet even at this stage, i'm thrilled with it, and everybody i've shown it to has been mighty impressed at how good it looks -- even only being half-finished! despite lingering close to my tramp-stamp area - it's mid/lower back range, kind of right in the small of my back - it definitely looks more badass than skanky.

here's a link to a camera-phone pic of the semi-final product (i'll resize it and paste it in here later today or tomorrow -- and yes, there will be a shot of the finished tat once it's done): http://www.twitpic.com/1tha1

new ink is love. the end.

[ music | death cab for cutie, "soul meets body" ]