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Archive for January, 2006

31 Jan 06

cons + deadly snakes: as good as expected

a show with two headliners and no openers that actually started on time? how perfect is that?

the constantines and deadly snakes played sold out shows at the horseshoe on friday and saturday night, alternating headlining sets. we elected for the cons as headliners on saturday, although i would’ve been happy either way.

the snakes played a fun set to an appreciative crowd, heavy with songs from both porcella and ode to joy, but with a surprising number of oldies thrown in for good measure. i couldn’t hear the horns as well as i would’ve liked, and their rendition of gore veil (aka andre ethier and my favourite deadly snakes song) wasn’t quite up to par, but otherwise it was a solid set.

and then things went downhill a little, as dan burke (see disturbing photo) took the stage in an unsurprisingly less-than-sober attempt to teach toronto to dance. he arrived on stage in a parka, but soon ended up shirtless with his jeans unbuttoned as he barked orders to the sound guy to choose just the right rolling stones song. his appearance was convenient in one way: i was trying to describe him to scotto earlier in the evening, and dan made the picture clear for me. how exactly was he voted toronto’s best concert promoter in eye’s reader’s poll again? sorry, craig laskey. sorry, eric warner. anyway, good luck getting that photo out of your brain.

thankfully, the cons took the stage before things got too far out of hand and launched into a predictably fantastic set hitting all of the high points – i couldn’t think of a single song they left out that i would’ve liked to have heard. for added fun, they even added horns to a couple songs. what struck both anne and me yet again is how well trained cons fans are. with little or no prompting, much of the crowd raised their hands in the air at the appropriate times, shouted “turn it up!” at the correct points of nighttime/anytime, and answered with the right responses to other assorted calls throughout the evening. to me, this is different from sloan’s incessant “slo-oan” chant – sure, sloan fans are well trained, but only to feed sloan’s ego. cons fans just seem to provide more energy for the band to feed off of. my only complaint about their set, aside from the enormous bouncerish guy who stood about 6 inches in front of me for the first half of the set, was that i couldn’t see much of whil at all from where i was standing. i can’t get enough of that guy.

and need i say it? suckingalemon needs to keep going to all the shows i do so i can keep using her pics.

31 Jan 06

songs of the moment

in the spirit of my long since abandoned song obsessions of the moment, i’d like to present 3 songs that everyone in the world should be forced to listen to:

meligrove band – planets conspire
clearlake – neon
ok cobra – child in rhyme

i can’t get enough, especially of that meligrove track. so what are you waiting for? listen to them already!

27 Jan 06

on the move again

i’ve now been in toronto for about 9 months, and as of yesterday, i’ve accepted my 3rd job in that time. without going into details, the one i’ve had for the past 6 months hasn’t exactly been what i’d expected, but my new job (in the school of rehab at u of t) looks very promising – they are actually excited to have me. i start february 13th, and i’ll be counting down the hours until then.


24 Jan 06

late fees

this photo comes to us courtesy of cindy:

(click here to see the close up).

a convenience store owner in tottenham’s solution to when someone doesn’t pay up. i think the best part is the added writing (written on the glass in permanent marker): “Ya dad, when are you going to pay?”

23 Jan 06

broken social scene finally puts it all together

i cashed in on my final christmas present on friday night when i went to see broken social scene at the kool haus (thanks anne!) BSS has been (and remains) one of my favourite bands on my ipod (which accounts for their #1 position on my charts), but when i’ve seen them live in the past, i’ve always left feeling a bit disappointed. when i saw them at the merchant in kingston a couple years ago, i felt like they spent more time setting up between songs than they did actually playing, and we left early as a result. their olympic island show was fun but watered down somehow – perhaps it’s because they were upstaged by the arcade fire, or perhaps it was just the nature of the massive venue. their show at bluesfest in ottawa was ok but self indulgent – i felt like the songs could’ve been distilled into something amazing, but instead just went on and on. so, in truth, i didn’t go into friday’s show with the highest of expectations.

and i was wowed.

as kevin drew pointed out, they spent a couple months touring on their new album before christmas, and they managed to get most of the kinks out during that time. gone were most of the self-indulgiant jams that at times were mainly a wall of indistinguishable noise. they were replaced by a cohesive set with excellent sound quality (although my earplugs helped – it got loud), and for once i felt like the layers upon layers of sound actually worked in a live setting. as expected, there were countless people on stage at any given time – horns, a violin, keys, multiple guitars, even two drumkits for some songs (crossingham appropriately filled the role of drummer #2) and, of course, multiple vocalists. feist was there, as was amy millan, but sadly, emily haines was off with her real band becoming even more of a super star. k-os was there too, but as far as i could tell, his only role was to leap into the crowd during the encore, along with feist.

one quibble: it would’ve been a perfect set if they’d cut their set off after almost crimes – a high energy fantastic performance – but instead, they dragged things out for a few more mostly mid-tempo songs. they didn’t particularly end on a high, especially with the 5 minute drone that segued the set into the encore. it’s hard to complain about a 2 hour set, especially when there was no opener, but apparently the same point was made about the saturday show as well. but hey, if the only complaint i have is that they played a bit too long, i’d consider that a success.

i’m happy they finally got it right.

ps. thanks as always to suckingalemon for taking such good photos of the shows i go to.

19 Jan 06

the joy of other people’s mistakes

2 more old cameraphone pics that i’d previously neglected to post, both of which allow me to revel in other people’s mistakes, as i am wont to do:

courtesy of my building. i can’t get enough of misplaced apostrophes.

i might have to pass on gas for this much. har har.

18 Jan 06

a vietnamese delicacy

mmmmm. i don’t get enough pigeon in my diet.

18 Jan 06


do you have any idea how distracting it is to sit at a 2 hour meeting beside a guy who spends the entire time tugging on the hairs of his icky grey beard, and eating any that come loose? isn’t that how monkeys groom each other? i won’t even mention the nose picking…

anyone have a name for this disorder? ew.

17 Jan 06

comments are back

as a handful of faithful chumptastic readers have noticed, the ability to leave comments was disabled several months ago because i got tired of deleting hundreds of spam comments every day. this wasn’t an ideal solution, and the lack of comments made me forget that people actually do still read this blog for some reason.

my solution was to turn comments back on in moderated mode, with movable type’s built-in junk filter turned on in aggressive mode to see how that works out. so please, comment away. make me happy. and yes, i’ll make the comment page look prettier soon…it’s pretty ugly right now.

ps. less than 5 minutes after i turned comments back on, party poker spammed me, but the junk filter caught it. take that.

14 Jan 06

photo roundup

here’s a quick roundup of some pics i’ve taken with my camera phone over the past few weeks:

these signs struck me as funny for two reasons. a) to me, thai food and fish and chips don’t exactly go hand in hand. “i’d like some pad thai with a side of halibut please”. yeah, no. b) sue’s sign is sitting out in front of vicky’s restaurant. while i was taking this picture, either vicky or sue was glaring at me.

i wasn’t brave enough to see what would happen if i disobeyed this sign’s instruction.

aw, isn’t that logo cute? no idea what this can actually contains…

it’s difficult to make out, but the parents of this kid decided that the kid could only behave in a restaurant if they brought a portable dvd player along for him. i guess we know who is raising this kid.

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

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