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Archive for March, 2005

14 Mar 05

a nice shot in the arm for my self esteem

a true conversation that took place today at lunch in the jduc cafeteria:

jduc cafeteria cashier: wow, you sure are going grey.
me: …thank you for saying so.
jcc: your dad or mom must’ve been grey young too huh?
me: yep. my dad.
jcc: well, i feel sorry for you. you shouldn’t be going so grey. you’re too young.
me: …it doesn’t really bother me…
jcc: well, i feel sorry for you.

quality customer care, sodhexo-style.

14 Mar 05

interview hell: day 1

interview tip #1:
if you’re being interviewed for a computer help desk position, don’t relay experiences from your past involving your “annoyance” with people who require step-by-step computer help, thus “wasting your time”.

interview tip #2:
do not attempt to read the interviewers’ question/notes sheet, especially at the expense of your concentration. taking greater than one minute to answer a question about which email client you prefer is not preferable.

interview tip #3:
if your interviewers send you material to review beforehand, review it beforehand.

13 Mar 05

my return to the 90s continued…with the inbreds!

the culmination of my 1990s revival happened on friday night when the inbreds played their first show since 1998 at lee’s palace. their breakup was shocking at the time – they were fresh off an edgefest tour during which dave grohl seemed intent on educating everyone about their awesomeness, and seemed poised for greatness (greater than their juno and their short-lived major label deal). as dave ullrich put it on friday night, they never really had a chance to say goodbye, so the reunion was definitely sweet.

it was a santa cruz event, so there was an interesting mix of mind readers and dating games, alongside the hardcore canrock fans. santa cruz shows don’t generally have advanced tickets, nor is there usually THAT much of a demand, so there was a crazy lineup going down the block from lee’s and around the corner, with only a few people let in at a time so as not to overwhelm the ticket takers. it was an odd system – everyone lined up together, whether you bought an advanced ticket, you were a hopeful, or you were guestlisted (which explains why sarah harmer was quite a way behind us in line). anyway, we arrived at 10, and finally got in around 10:45ish, and enjoyed watching the art on the wall depicting people engaged in various activities (e.g. braiding hair, chewing gum, eating an apple, etc.) while they gradually developed nosebleeds.

the openers, fox the boombox, were balls of energy that seemed as though they came straight out of japanese anime. their first song was quite good – le tigre-ish maybe – but i lost interest pretty quickly. maybe with some work, fewer “skits” between songs, some better vocal mixing and some ritalin i’d enjoy them more.

the inbreds went on at around midnight and were pretty fantastic – so fun. mike o’neill left most of the speaking to dave, who humbly thanked everyone for their enthusiasm. they played a set encompassing material from all 4 of their albums, including (and if i’ve forgotten any let me know): matterhorn, prince, you will know, any sense of time, amelia earhart, never be, white caps, north window, attitude and reasons why i’m shy. they showed very little rust, and the few missed cues there were resulted in laughs between mike and dave. it was a much different feel than mike’s solo show at christmas – both seemed relaxed and genuinely had a lot of fun. so much so that dave posted the following on his zunior records site:

>>Sat:3-12-05 – Inbreds Reunion Show was officially the best Inbreds show of all time
Mike and I both agree on that. Thanks so much to everyone that came down to Lee’s last night. I would have never imagined such a reaction, and the set went so well. Mike and I would like to say a special thanks to Dave Bookman for doing such an awesome job spreading the word. For those that couldn’t get in, I will be posting some footage of the show soon. It was simply the best Inbreds show ever.

good stuff.

oh, and i think we set a record for canrock celeb spottings at one show. here’s a short list of some of the people we rubbed elbows with, and i’m sure there were more: rob benvie (thrush hermit, dears, camouflage nights, presse), ian mcgettigan (thrush hermit, joel plaskett emergency, camouflage nights), wayne petti (cuff the duke), sarah harmer (duh), steve lambke (constantines), bry webb (constantines), reg vermue (gentleman reg), pete elkas (local rabbits, pete elkas) stu berman (eye magazine) and i think shawn hewitt too. (thanks to anne for helping with the list – there were too many to remember on my own). i guess we weren’t the only ones dying to see the inbreds play.

now, if we can just convince thrush hermit to play a reunion show, preferably outside of halifax, all will be right with the world.

08 Mar 05

a surge in popularity

i’ve had my gmail email address posted on my little site here for about 4 months now, and in all this time i’d only ever received 2 actual emails. for some reason, though, i’ve received 3 in the past 3 days.

my favourite among the 3 was a request for an interview about lottery culture, based solely on the existence of this post from may 2002 (which i’d obviously long since forgotten about – i don’t even REMEMBER the lottery pool). i won’t say which network made the request, but i will say that their lawyers seem particularly fond of cease and desists… regardless, that’s some top-notch reporting.

07 Mar 05

check these out

if you know of a cooler photo (or mosaic of photos) than this one:

please let me know.

and i’m not counting this one, which is also quite cool (thanks robin):

note that my head is made up of album covers. click for a huge version.

07 Mar 05

cmw, from the perspective of a chump

if it’s canadian music week, and i’m in toronto, the chances are pretty good that i’ve taken in at least one show…and that was the case this past weekend.

there were so many pretty good sets that i wouldn’t have minded checking out on friday night (limblifter, c’mon, tricky woo, holy fuck, sixtoo, magneta lane and ben lee, to name just a few), but our tiredness and the prospect of having to wait in line to see most of them changed our minds. interestingly, though, we discovered we didn’t have to go to a bar to see bands – our restaurant for the evening, la hacienda, was also the restaurant of choice for both limblifter and c’mon. as a bonus, joel (aka the hot drummer) of andy stochansky and matt barber’s band was seen walking down queen west past the restaurant. not bad for an hour span.

ok, so pseudo-celeb sightings are one thing, but we decided that we should probably actually SEE a show on saturday night. our original plan was to hit up the drake to check out the peter parkers’ set (along with a bunch of people i’ve never heard of), but we eventually decided on the comfort zone, with the zoobombs, gentleman reg, two koreas and the boy ballz. i think we made the right choice. here’s a quick rundown:

  • the two koreas, a band made up of a surprisingly high music critic to non-music critic ratio, were the first band we caught. they played a reasonably enjoyable set of derivative guitar-based rock (think the fall or the clash) featuring stu berman on vocals. it was an interesting juxtaposition of stu’s wanna-be-a-rock-star posturing in front of the rest of the band’s complete stoicness. their music wasn’t bad, but i’m pretty sure i could play bass for them (or pretty much any other instrument) with about two minutes of training – and i’m musically inept. and it’s hard to get past the posing.
  • gentleman reg’s set was the highlight for me. his band this time around featured owen pallett (aka final fantasy) on violin, which definitely caught my attention. i hadn’t heard the band perform with violin accompaniment, and i thought it was a fantastic addition to the live show. in spite of the fact that reg really was an odd choice for that show, he made the best of it by playing mostly upbeat numbers, and i think most of the crowd was into it.
  • boy ballz, possibly the worst name ever, lived up to their name. i can’t really describe how little i liked them – picture a reasonably tight band, all dressed inexplicably in costumes (e.g. the nerd, the wanna be jock, the prep, etc.) fronted by a john belushi/horatio sanz wanna be singing about domination and oral sex. oh, and spelling b-o-y-b-a-l-l-z over and over and over. utter shit. especially when he took off jacket to reveal a boy ballz tank top. ew. and i will stop there.
  • finally, the zoobombs came on at around 1:10 and launched into a fluid set whose songs barely seemed to begin and end – they just morphed into each other. the vocals were pretty much incomprehensible, which was okay since they were likely all in japanese anyway, but the music was fantastic. they were definitely enjoyable (although i wasn’t as intensely blown away as some seemed to be) and we left midway through their set so i could sleep. yep, i’m so old.

so there you have it. another canadian music week has come and gone, and i got to enjoy it for the first time in a couple years. that show didn’t quite live up to the joel plaskett + mike o’neill + the weekend + maestro fresh wes + the dears + tuuli show from a few years ago, but it was a good time.

01 Mar 05

twice removed voted best, twice

there was something quite familiar about the cover of this month’s chart magazine:

obviously it’s the sloan boys, faces i knew quite well, but i flipped past before i gave it too much thought.

this issue, you see, is devoted to the 20 greatest canadian albums of all time. i remember the first time chart conducted such a poll of music biz-types back in 1996 – sloan’s twice removed took top honours, which led andrew scott to proclaim it (with tongue firmly placed in cheek) the best canadian album of all time…of 1996. apropos, considering the 2nd poll, in 2000, had twice removed falling to 3rd (with joni mitchell’s blue in top spot).

anyway, i’m going to go right ahead and ruin the surprise for you and tell you that, in this year’s iteration, twice removed once again took top honours – a choice i completely agree with. i was beginning to think that i was the only one who thought TR was SLOAN’S best output (one chord to another seems an oft-cited alternative in the last couple years), let alone one of my favourite all-time albums. so yes, i feel somewhat vindicated.

and this brings me back to the cover photo pose – very clever. compare and contrast with the cover of twice removed itself:

thankfully, patrick didn’t revert back to THAT haircut again.

in case you’re interested, here are some other notables among the top 50 albums:

  • broken social scene – you forgot it in people (4)
  • weakerthans – left and leaving (6)
  • lowest of the low – shakespeare my butt (7)
  • k-os – joyful rebellion (11)
  • the new pornographers – mass romantic (12)
  • sloan – one chord to another (13)
  • arcade fire – funeral (17)
  • hayden – everything i long for (23)
  • metric – old world underground, where are you now? (25)

for the rest, you’ll have to pick up the magazine. i’m quite disappointed that thrush hermit’s sweet homewrecker is nowhere to be found this time around, although inexplicably clayton park did make the cut (not that it’s BAD, but it’s no sweet homewrecker…) oh, and where were the dears in the mix? the joel plaskett emergency? flashing lights? i guess they can’t be right about everything. at least steal my sunshine didn’t make the cut.

Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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