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Archive for May, 2006

26 May 06

the joel plaskett emergency got it on

joel plaskett and his newly revamped emergency band swung by the phoenix concert theatre last night for a rock and roll spectacle, and i was lucky enough to be in attendance. by my count, that was the 10th time i’ve seen joel since thrush hermit split up (not including the 8 times i saw the hermit), and it was by far the biggest and rock-n-rollest of the bunch. picture a packed house at the phoenix, presumably the largest joel has ever played before as the headliner (which probably explains why he took pictures of the crowd ahead of time) with a pretty elaborate light show and a LOT of screaming/singing along fans. all that was missing was the old thrush hermit flashing rock and roll sign (which, incidentally, makes a return appearance in the camouflage nights video for it could be love if you pay attention).

anyway, the show itself was pretty solid, with the exception of the crazy birthday party celebrants beside us who insisted on singing along (with the few words they knew), screaming randomly, and talking over joel’s solo numbers. we were on the balcony which offered a fantastic viewpoint (and definitely beat trying to see over the mob on the main floor) so i guess it evened out. joel and company tore through a 90 minute set including songs from truthfully, truthfully, la di da and the new make a little noise ep, mixing a few acoustic songs (including by the light of the moon, a stripped down version of true patriot love, and the old thrush hermit classic before you leave) with lots of up tempo rock numbers. i had two minor complaints: the long and bizarre extended jam in the middle of maybe we should just go home, and the fact that i had a lot of trouble hearing his stage banter at various times throughout the show. stupid acoustics/yelly people around me. it wasn’t as good as his set at hugh’s room last year, but really, what is?

a couple more notes: joel introduced a rug that he bought on the west coast a couple weeks ago known as sweet leaf (pictured, courtesy of captiveight’s flickr set from the edmonton show). this was a bit of a surreal but amusing inclusion, claiming that she was to blame for his forgetting a few lyrics to extraordinary. additionally, i thought i was going to go home mcgettiganless (since a new bassist has been added to the emergency band), but ian surprised us by joining the band on stage for a couple of songs during the encore (wearing a shirt that appeared to be shockingly hole-less), which was especially appropriate given the number of references joel made to their old pre-hermit band, nabisco fonzie. pete elkas also joined in the fun and played a few songs on keys and guitar, as an added bonus.

one more thing: i sadly missed two hours traffic, ’cause i’m old and rarely make it to shows for openers anymore, but what i’ve heard from them has been enjoyable. perhaps next time.

24 May 06

week of favourites

what’s the deal with this week? thursday night at the phoenix is the joel plaskett emergency, aka my favourite live performer in the world ever since his thrush hermit days. and last night? douglas coupland, aka my favourite author ever since i first read microserfs, gave a reading at u of t. too much goodness!

coupland’s reading suited his latest novel, jpod. it was amusing and made me laugh, and it was really just a bit of fun. it’s true that jpod was no microserfs, shampoo planet or even hey nostradamous – the character development just wasn’t there – but the book is funny and clever and an enjoyable read. i got the feeling that he had been reading some vonnegut lately, what with the writing of himself into the book as a character. i thought the premise was kind of annoying at first, but it grew on me.

as for the reading itself, i’m happy to have finally caught coupland live. he’s at his best when he’s on unscripted rants and ramblings about about pop culture (case in point: his straw poll of the audience about who would win american idol, his appearance yesterday on mtv live, mcdonalds, etc.), so i would’ve welcomed more of that, but his readings were fun as well. i sadly forgot to bring a copy of ANY of my countless coupland novels to be signed, but on the bright side, i didn’t have to brave the chaos of the lineup. oh, and as an additional bonus, the souvenirs of canada documentary is set to be released on friday, featuring coupland himself. i’ve added that to my list.

next up: plaskett et al.

21 May 06

thrift store treasures

there’s a thrift store in downtown trenton with indescribable treasures on display in the window. here are two examples:

an empty plastic peanut butter jar:

a steal for just $2.50! and there are 3 more, if you can imagine. note that one doesn’t have a lid, so it’s been reduced to $1.50.

a showercap from continental hotels:

sadly, there is no price tag affixed to this item.

just one question: why?

it’s becoming clear to me that any trip to trenton has the potential to yield completely bizarre photos.

19 May 06

it’s that time of year again…

after a lunchtime trip to the eaton centre today, i can confirm that prostitot season is in full bloom. sigh.

15 May 06

listen. now.

some songs you need:
tokyo police club – nature of the experiment
tapes ‘n tapes – cowbell
they shoot horses don’t they? – lowlife

14 May 06

random photo roundup

as i tend to do every so often, here are some photos of randomness i’ve come across around toronto.

first, a store on dovercourt that only sells recorders and recorder-related products:

talk about limiting your clientele… even better is that the guy sitting out front of the apartment next door yelled at me for taking this photo. i pretended not to hear him and quickly crossed the road, which unfortunately meant that i didn’t get a chance to take a pic of the 2nd sign elaborating on just how specialized their products are…

the tiny street that i should clearly buy a house on:

i didn’t even know this street existed until we were walking up clinton last week. anyway, how can i pass up a house on this street?

i’m a bit confused about the choice of grammar on this sign:

why exactly would canadian tire have chosen “opened” over “open”? one of life’s mysteries i guess.

finally, i spotted this little sign on the bus shelter at queen and dovercourt a couple weeks ago:

finally, an explanation for all those green x’s through all of the ads along queen west. in summary, queen west kids are cool.

12 May 06

murderecords nostalgia

this might be my favourite video i’ve ever come across on youtube:

talk about nostalgia…i totally remember when that was first aired. highlights: plaskett’s infamous “joel” belt buckle, benvie’s infamous green guitar, mcgettigan’s infamous yellow tanktop (that i’m pretty sure he still wears), joel’s (not so) shocking illness, rick the temp’s awful questions about chris murphy’s house, and joel’s oft-repeated (at least in our house) line about not wanting the dirt from their video shoot to rub off on their pillows. i’m still waiting for a thrush hermit reunion…

other fun nostalgia-inducing videos:
the super friendz on much (watch for rick the temp’s mullet)
local rabbits on much (wow, elkas was young).
hardship post’s watching you video (i still enjoy listening to colourblind and silver suit)

08 May 06

chad van gaalen @ music gallery

i was pretty happy to hear that chad van gaalen was coming back to town as part of over the top fest. i missed most of the fest’s shows (which was a shame ’cause there were a number that sounded pretty good), but i am always happen to catch a show at the music gallery.

i didn’t arrive until the dirty projectors’ last song (which made me kind of glad that i missed the rest of the set, although the crowd seemed to love it) so i can’t really comment on them. chad and band went on at about 10:15 and played a fantastic set that was surprisingly (to me anyway) true to his album infiniheart. i didn’t really think he’d be able to capture a lot of the sounds and vocals in a live setting, but with the help of holy fuck and their collection of toys (as well as julie fader, i believe), they did an admirable job. at one point, chad even commented that it was really great to be touring with brian borcherdt because it was nice to finally hear the songs live as they were meant to sound. i kept thinking that his vocals sounded like a cross between neil young, steve malkmus and badly drawn boy…in a good way. and hey, he played clinicly dead, much to the delight of me and the rest of the crowd, and i went home happy.

oh, and one more thing: any set that starts out with a hip hop number accompanied by beatboxing on a flute is a-ok by me.

04 May 06

want to learn windows 95?

second in my state of the art in 1995 series, here is a video i found stored in my storage cabinet:

if you’re lagging a bit behind in technology, this could be the video for you.

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

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