Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Good Times Are Killing Me.

You never know who is going to show up to a Broken Social Scene show.

It has been six years since the so-called "indie supergroup" released You Forgot It In People, five years since I first heard Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl in a car ride on a lonely road off Lake Huron and four years since I saw them play for the first time, at LeRendezvous, a club in Winnipeg's French quarters that I'm told has long since been plowed down and redeveloped.

Since then I have skipped numerous BSS tours, all but wrote off the slew of solo albums and tucked the old BSS disc next to Feist's Let It Die in the section of my music collection labeled "mostly for when I'm hanging out with mum".

Then last night I found myself in an over-crowded over-sized music hall with large screens lining the walls, playing the concert in real-time (admittedly more high tech than my beloved LeRendezvous), at yet another Broken Social Scene show. But even stuffed into a crowd of people who were all easily one-head taller than me, Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning and their pack of superstar, indie darling friends, reminded why I loved Broken Social Scene so much.

Mr. Isaac Brock took to the stage , even squeezing some Modest Mouse tracks into the set. Former Winnipeger Julie Penner lent her violin skills and Emily Haines looked surprisingly happy as she provided the vocals for several tracks, including Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl.

I felt like my wide-eyed summer of 2004 all over again.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recent politics have suggested that everything we thought we knew was wrong. But against an economic meltdown and a major shift in global power, and in a time of complete uncertainty, one thing remains completely unchanged: the relevancy of the lyrics to Bob Dylan's the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tonight over ribs, mashed potatoes, nachos, macaroni, chicken wings, cake and pie we had what is possibly the most offensive, insensitive and un-politically correct argument.

I know you've all had it.

Which is worse: Breast Cancer or Prostate cancer.

In this type of argument, everyone looses. But you have to participate. Everything you say makes you look like a jerk, even when you're right.

Here is the description of prostate cancer:
Prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland, which is part of the male reproductive system. It is the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra just below the bladder.

This is a terrible argument, so I won't say which side I was on. But if you're in seven guys with a painful extra walnut down under, I salute you.
There are some places cell phones should not go.

I'm at the library and I've just finished an iced tea. I'm trying to convince myself that if I give Microsoft Word the evil eye for long enough, the end of my essay will suddenly appear and I will be able to go home.

My cursor blinks twice. Nothing. It's time for a break.

I head to the washroom to unload the iced tea. As I push the door open I can hear a loud conversation. When I turn around the corner I realize the guy talking on his cell phone. It's the middle of the day, at the library, not the Beaconsfield where the washrooms are clearly designated for sex and drug-use.

I head into the stall, so that I can flush, sending a message across the phone line that yes, this asshole is in a public washroom. When I leave, I press the hand dryer, twice.

I hope whoever he's talking to is questioning their friendship.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

At just under three million inhabitants, Toronto is a tiny city.

At 5PM every day the skyscrapers leaks commuters towards Union station, banishing them back to the "GTA", and forcing those of us who actually sleep in the downtown bubble to bump into strangers with familiar faces. Even in a city of three million, we all know the same people.

This hit me today as I was downing sesame chicken with a friend on a "business" lunch date and swapping horror stories of our most recent social mishaps. 

Once we got past our mutual friends not-so-secret sex lives and the layoffs hitting our workplaces, the talk turned to a certain socialite's slimy side-kick. 

The line tried on me: "Do you work in retail?", which translates roughly to "I used to eat New York Fries in the mall and watch you from afar"

My comrade wasn't so lucky, receiving a swift hand towards a private body part in a very public place. 

After enduring awkward come-ons in isolation, we came to the realization we'd both been macked on by the same downtown dweller. ("The one with the really long face?", "Yes! Exactly!!")

I think it's time to move, or get a new dating pool. At this point, I'm considering lesbians an option.

Any takers ladies?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The second phase of Hope.

Here's the new Shepard Fairey poster, a statement on Prop 8. It's no iconic Obama, but I'm a fan. It's the last thing I'll post on American politics this week, I promise.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear John McCain:

I'm writing to let you know I think we can still be friends. It's not that people don't like you, it's that they don't want you to be president. You were funny on Letterman and your concession speech was earnest, tactful and humble.

Hat's off Mr. McCain, you're a likable man.

And I'm sorry to hear about you're wife. If you're feeling lonely, give me a shout.

I'll buy the drinks.
Dear 5:30 am: please stop tempting me.

There's a difference between not being able to sleep, and not wanting to sleep. I've spent the past few nights staring at my ceiling, pressing my eyelids together as hard as possible and praying for sleep to hit.

Tonight, no more.

I'm staying up. I conned friends into one drink at the bar and turned it into an all nighter, complete with take-out chinese, fresh coffee and the odd grunt across a kitchen table to complain about our abstract essay topics.

7 pages letter, my eyes are wandering off the computer and onto the couch. I'm ready for the best two hours of sleep I'll have all week.

Happy Thursday,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Working Girl.

Her hair is stiff from too many dye jobs and is tucked under a floppy, oversized hat.
Caked on make-up circles her eyes, which are too large and full of wonder to be set on an adult face.
Her breasts are big enough to raise eyebrows, but too perky to be fake.

After all these years, I secretly wish she ended up a whore.

Oh, and go see Filth & Wisdom.

Monday, November 10, 2008

When winter inevitably sets in, we'll listen to the Beach Boys and wear floral indoors.

Friday, November 07, 2008

An open letter to someone who may or may not be Owen Pallett.

Dear Owen,

I know that when I showed up to see your band play last week with your haircut, it seemed like I was copying you. I promise it was an honest coincidence. When I saw you last summer and had the same haircut as you then... that was also a coincidence.

Anyways, I just wanted to say that I think that your music is, you know, pretty good. My roommate went to see you speak and said you sound a bit like a pretentious jerk. Don't worry, people say that about me, too. And I like that you made up a universe in your head. I do things like that too.

The point I'm trying to make here is that when winter hits and people stop going to the park, we can go there together and drink wine from the bottle and shiver. I mean, if your into that kind of thing, that is.

If you're reading this, consider it an invitation. And if you are weired out, and want to hate me from a distance, that's cool too.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Last night people were screaming from their balconies. Drivers were honking their horns. Pedestrians were smiling as they passed strangers on the sidewalk. And people were dancing in Dundas Square, two large flags waving in unison above the crowd. There were painted faces, baked cakes, empty glasses, and an unmistakable sound of silent excitement as people perhaps too young to understand the full importance of what was happening gathered around a television set to hear the three words their generation had few reasons to believe in.

A thick baritone voice brought the same silent excitement to a crowd of people in Chicago. People who had reason enough to be cynical, but chose to believe.

In places like California, hope was overshadowed by hate. There is, after all, danger in investing all of your hope into a single idea. But as one man crossed one stage there was reason for millions of people, in millions of places, to be believe that anything can happen.

yes, we can.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A good old who-dun-it

We dressed up as great moments in rock and roll history. The sleep in. The day the music died. The first official band-aid. We insisted on staying in character. And instead of heading for our usual haunts, we traded in our dancing shoes for a dark-lit dive bar, and seats close to the stage.

But at a certain point we realized our beds were more comfortable than bar stools, our own washrooms are the safest place to pee and as far as this Halloween thing goes, sex is better than chocolate.

Though some of us fell asleep at an hour we counted early, the morning cab ride home felt better with a head freshly rested and full of coffee.

I'll leave you with a (very) short film featuring my favourite Charlie. Happy Halloween.