Thursday, November 27, 2003

Just came back from bowling. I haven't bowled for ages let alone 5 pin bowling and damn did I suck! [well not as bad as others but I don't think I broke 150 points in 10 frames]. I couldn't buy a spare, let alone a strike! At least the shoes were clean. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2003

  • It's been a terribly uneventful week[how boring when you have nothing to write about in your blog!]. I was however informed by my manager at work, that due to staff changes and because I am only in a contract position[client service rep], it is likely that I will be 'demoted' to my base position[clerical]. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there is some last minute reprieve. Well, enough about that.

  • So lately the Toronto Raptors have been stinking up the joint, save for the last gave in which they barely squeezed out a 81-80 win over Milwaukee. And surprisingly the win was by a free throw from Mo' Pete, who's name[along with Jerome Williams, Alvin Williams, and Antonio Davis] been the subject of trade talks. But considering who Toronto could get[Jalen Rose, Antawn Jamison], maybe a trade would benefit Toronto. Only time will tell... [Along with the basketball pool I'm in and the friday night basketball games I'm playing this is the most I've ever felt like a sports junkie; I like playing sports but I've never been a fanatic about watching it on tv or keeping up with the stats; let's hope I don't become a face painter a la 'Puddy' on Seinfeld :)]

  • Over the past week I've discovered how utterly wonderful The Shins 'Oh, Inverted World" CD is. I hear some Brian Wilson influences, maybe a little Robin Hitchcock, and the vocals sometimes remind me a lot of Carl Newman's[of the New Pornographers] voice. It's funny but I had the CD for over a year and I never gave it a good listen until this week.

  • Music find of the week: The Smiths "Louder than Bombs" on vinyl !!!!!!; $3 at my local flea market.

  • I happened to transcribe the lyrics[to the best of my ability] for the Pernice Brothers' song "Weakest Shade of Blue"; surprisingly I could not find any Pernice Brothers' lyrics on the 'Net; I figured out the guitar chords for the song recently; this is such a damn catchy song!; Joe Pernice is such a good song writer!; please support him and catch his show the next time he rolls into your town. The lyrics I transcribed are below:

    Pernice Brothers "Weakest Shade of Blue"

    Won't you come away with me
    and begin something we can understand
    I'm lonely as the Irish Sea
    and as livid as the sand

    Could it be so wrong, so wrong

    Won't you come and bury me
    Would you light me up like a lemon grove
    Save me from this dreamy life
    To the hardest love you can ever know

    Could it be so wrong, so wrong
    Could it be so wrong, so wrong

    Well don't cry baby
    Please don't cry baby
    I'll be tender till the day I die

    This love I have for you
    Is terrible and true
    How the sheltered, loveless life
    Fades into the weakest shade of blue

    It's ruined us, I'm true
    How the sheltered, loveless life
    Fades into the weakest shade of blue

    the weakest shade of blue
    the weakest shade of blue
    the weakest shade of blue
    the weakest shade of blue

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Everyone must go see Elf! It is really a hilarious movie and Will Ferrell can make me laugh just by looking at him in those stupid tights. HAHAHA!!!The story is about an orphan human baby who was accidentally brought to the North Pole in Santa Claus' toy sack, was later adopted and raised by one of the elder elves who had 'never got around to settling down', and this child grew up and lived his life as a elf, making toys. The comedy grows out of 'Buddy'[Ferrell's character] who never realizes he is human(as opposed to elf) and takes his height difference for granted.[for example: a photograph shows Buddy playing basketball with other elves and obviously dominating the game :)]. One day Buddy finds out he is human and he confronts his adopted father[played by Bob Newhart] who eventually tells him that his biological father lives in New York City. Buddy makes the journey to New York City to meet his biological father. Most of the comedy during this part of the movie has to do with Buddy 'being a fish out of water' or his enthusiasm for Christmas and being an elf being misunderstood by people as a delusion. Elf is a charming movie for the whole family and the ending was certainly sappy(much to the chagrin of my friends and I) but there are enough hilarious moments in the film to satisfy even the most critical viewer. This is destined to become a Holiday classic!

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Waddya know! My friend Dino and I actually made it to the Opera House in Toronto yesterday, just before The Constantines started their set. I'm still in the process of becoming more familiar with them, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Constantines set. I know they played selections from their debut CD and their newest CD "Shine A Light". The band is firmly rooted in rhythm a la the thugging bass and the solid beat of the drummer. The scratchy Gang-of-Four-ish guitars, the Springteen-ish rumble of the vocalist, the punky shouting background vocals and the spacey keyboards(at times) filled out the music which made me realize that this is music which is dependent on these sounds coming together. There are bits and pieces of melody floating amongst the sounds, but I tried imagining whether they could pull off any of their songs acoustically, and I realized it just would not be the same. The Constantines have constructed a 'rock' sound that is at once challenging and accessible. These guys have been getting alot of press too! They were featured in a recent issue of Magnet Magazine. Way to go guys!

Guided by Voices came on stage after what seemed like an eternity and the fans, myself included, were ready for a another entertaining marathon set by the band. And when I say 'marathon' I mean it; I believe that, including the encore, the guys played about 2 and a half hours. Woah were my legs tired! But it was worth it. Surprisingly their set seemed to stay away from the 'hits' at least for the first hour or so and concentrated on either rare tracks[eg. from their newest box set], EP tracks or tracks from their newest CD Earthquake Glue which I have not purchased yet. Then the guys played "Things I Will Keep" and "Teenage FBI" from Do the Collapse. The guys played tracks from Isolation Drills such as "Skills Like This" and "Brides Have Hit Glass". They played "As We Go Up, We Go Down" and "Game Of Pricks" from Alien Lanes. As the night wore on, Robert Pollard went through more beer bottles and more cigarettes and I swear I don't know how he was even standing at the end of it all. The surprising thing is that the guys came on for an encore and went through a bunch of their 'hits' such as "Glad Girls" from Isolation Drills and "Tractor Rape Chain", "Echos Myron", and "I am a Scientist" from Bee thousand. The band bid adieu, thanked the fans and left the stage. My buddy and I took off because by that time I just wanted to sit down. Not everyone took off right away and some were still chanting for another encore although I'm not sure if the band came back. Great show from a great band! [and on behalf of all Canadians, I would like to apologize to GBV for the shitty treatment they received at the Canadian Border; apparently the guys drove 16 hours from New York City, ran in to problems at the border crossing and just barely made it into Toronto on time for their show]

PS. Liz Phair had an in-store performance at Sunrise Records today in downtown Toronto but I didn't have enough time to get downtown so I decided not to go. I hope her performance went well. I heard part of an interview she did with EDGE 102.1 FM yesterday and she seemed to be a genuinely nice person. I've been listening to her CD Whip-Smart all today and I forgot how much I like it, especially the song "May Queen"!

Friday, November 14, 2003

Woohoo! I got tickets for my friend Dino and I for Guided By Voices yesterday. The Constantines are suppose to open but unfortunately we might miss part of their set because Dino works till 9pm. But then The Constantines are suppose to play in my hometown(Mississauga, ON) on November 16, 2003, so maybe I'll catch them then. If you know Mississauga, you'll know that much happens here. We are a big city but it is mostly a suburban center with malls, movie theaters, and parks but not much else in terms of a night life(ie live music[and I'm not counting crappy cover bands]). It's a nice play to live but we're right next door to Toronto, and Toronto is a much more interesting city. Mississauga has recently started to attract some great bands to play the Hershey Centre, such as The Strokes, and The White Stripes who played yesterday. God, I wish I could have gone to that show, but it was sold out on the same day tickets went on sale. But then the Guided by Voices show should be pretty good today.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

As I do most days, I usually grab a bunch of CD's to take along for the commute to work and listen to at work while I attack the endless piles of paperwork on my desk [it is great wonder that I haven't gone mad! :) ]. For unbeknownst reasons, I chose The 6ths "Wasps Nests" and my Talulah Gosh CD, two CD's I have not listened to in a while. I was never an indiepop scenester but I would say that the indiepop[as well as indie rock] scene had a great influence on my music tastes over the last 10 years. Although I have been a music fan since I was a kid, the indiepop/indierock scene was the first genre that, dare-I-say, I was passionate about. The mid nineties were musically such an exciting time for me because I discovered bands like Heavenly, Honeybunch, Jale, Tsunami, Superchunk, Eric's Trip, Plumtree, Sloan and so on and so on. I was a member of several e-mail lists including the "indiepop" list and "SloanNet"[back when SloanNet was an umbrella group to discuss Canadian east-coast alternative indie groups in general]. I loved to purchase CD's, vinyl singles, zines, or what-have-you, through mailorder. .... And then at one point, I got bored of the scene. The indiepop/indierock scene seemed stagnant. The end of the 90's approached and I was approaching 30 years old and my music tastes changed. I was getting older and I needed to listen to more 'sophisticated music': electronica[Goldfrapp, Massive Attack], soundtracks, orch-pop [Heavy Blinkers, Flaming Lips], etc...I also went through a nostalgic phase when I felt I had to purchase the vinyl records of all the 70's and 80's punk/new-wave/post-punk classics that I never got to buy : such artists as Elvis Costello, Depeche Mode, OMD, The Cure, The Fall, Joy Division [luckily I have a flea market near me where I find most of my records at $2 a pop!]....Which leads me back to the present. My music collection, including vinyl, tapes and CD's spans numerous genres including indiepop, indierock, electronica, hip hop, alternative[whatever that means], etc... The indie scene made me realize that there alot of lesser known talents waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. Discovering a a good indie band felt like belonging to an exclusive club. I am by no means an indie snob(I'm always hoping that Sloan will hit the big time!) and part of the enjoyment was sharing my discoveries with other people, whether that be with friends or people on the Internet. .....So where was I going with this? Well I revisited my indiepop/indierock past when I listened to my 6ths and Talulah Gosh CD's today. It was like visiting an old friend and whom I had fond memories of; scary thought that I'm already feeling nostalgic for the mid-90's; what's next? Grieving the end of Seinfeld?! :)

Monday, November 10, 2003

Monday. It's usually a drag. Monday means coming in to work and being confronted by work that wasn't resolved the week before. Monday means coming into work and being confronted by newer and ever more complicated problems. (By the way, I am a client service representative with the [employer's name withheld], ...alot of paperwork, phonecalls, in person interviews, etc....when does the madness end?....although considering who I'm helping, there is a certain amount of fulfillment in my job.) Monday means four more days till the weekend. Thankfully, tomorrow is a day off for government employees because of Remembrance Day, and Friday I've attempted to book off as a vacation day.

By the way, I saw Matrix Revolutions on the weekend and I was thoroughly entertained by the spectacular special effects. I'm slightly disappointed in myself that I was confused with parts of the movie but I've realized that I'm not alone. I think most people with take the Matrix Trilogy at face value as a special effects exercise, a story about the overtaking of Earth by artificially intelligent machines and humankind's struggle to break free of their enslavement under the Machines. However, considering the theories and discussions I've come across on the 'Net, it is very possible that most of us [myself included] have gotten it all wrong. For one such arguement, click here. Thoroughly interesting.

The band played in Toronto[Canada] over the weekend, the night that I went to see Matrix Revolutions instead. It's not that I didn't want to go, but I couldn't convince anyone to go with me. I'll state for the record that I'm disappointed but at least I saw the band live when they played Toronto a couple of years ago. The band is touring in support of their newest disc "Dear Catastrophe Waitress". I've been listening to a burned copy lately[only if to decide whether to buy the CD]. It is classic B & S but I do hear a slight 80's new wave influence in some of the songs.

Good ol' GBV are playing in Toronto this Friday. Now I can't miss that! I've seen them play twice in the past and they put on amazing shows both times. Their sets play out like a 'greatest hits' because their songs are so damn catchy. They're one of the only bands that actually gets me singing(or at least trying to sing) along. :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Apparently, MATRIX REVOLUTIONS is premiering at this very time, all around the world regardless of time zone. I think there expecting it to gross about $200 million in the first 4-5 days. I've seen the first MATRIX about 4-5 times. After seeing bits and pieces of the first MATRIX on TBS over the last 3 days, I am totally psyched about the third instalment! I was somewhat disappointed with MATRIX RELOADED, but within the context of the trilogy I think I appreciate it more. ...... Carrie Ann Moss in a tight leather outfit ....drool :)

Monday, November 03, 2003

It's been a perfectly miserable rainy day. Other than going to work, it's one of those days that if I had a choice, I'd be chilling at home listening to good music and having a hot cup of coffee.

While at work I listened to The Cardigans "Gran Turismo" and Yo La Tengo's "Summer Sun", the latter in particular a perfect soundtrack to watching the rain falling outside. ....Aw man, the weather man says it's going to rain for the whole week.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon and I just came back from the mall where I purchased a used copy of the DVD "About A Boy". I bought the DVD more for the Badly Drawn Boy material than anything else but hopefully the movie is good as well.

I'm such a procrastinator but I should really catch up on the several DVD's I purchased over the last little while before buying anything else! (Don't even get me started with my CD collection; addiction is to put it mildly, but then there are worse things to be addicted to.)
Just came back from Scary Movie 3 and my honest opinion is that it had a lot of good laughs. A good time waster but not nearly as raunchy as Scary Movie 2, except for the images of Pamela Anderson and Jenny Mccarthy running around in school girl uniforms. :)

Saturday, November 01, 2003

One of my pet peeves....I'm looking through the bargain bin at the local music store and I overhear someone picking up an awesome CD (at a bargain bin price mind you) and you're hoping they'll put it down, your heart starts to race, and then the bastard (who you overhear mentions to his friend that he has never heard of the band) decides to buy the CD. Fucking asshole....The CD in question was the Wedding Present's double CD singles collection and it was only a $1.

Well I'm off to meet my buddy Dino to go see Scary Movie 3(I hope Mr Ebert is wrong). Later!