Saturday, March 17, 2007

Remember this guy?

So this fellah here is venerated in several Christian sects for driving the snakes (read: Druids and Pelagianists) out of Ireland. Born in England, St. Patrick was captured by raiders as a teenager and brought to Ireland in chains. He escaped, but later returned in robes and ministered in Northern Ireland from about 433 onward.

St. Patrick's day is a national holiday in Ireland and an official holiday in Newfoundland (only one in Canada). You don't have to be Irish or Christian to enjoy Irish culture; it'll be pouring out of taps, open windows, and the lips of philosophers all day.

Love booze but hate people? Hakuna matata, here's some insight from the scholars at Modern Drunkard Magazine:

The Zen of Drinking Alone:

"Whiskey is the key that sets the monkey free, goes the old saw, and that monkey is your Id, your subconscious mind, the inner you. Instead of letting that monkey out in public, where he tends to go berserk (or so they tell you the next morning), set him loose in a calm room. A quiet place bare of predators and prey."

Here's a chioce quote from their Wino Wisdom:

“I thought I was dancing ‘til somebody stepped on my hand.”

-J.D. after nine J.D.s in Club AK, Fairbanks, AK.

So don't be afraid to whip out your Id and have a close look at it today, just make sure you know who's boss if you go out.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Married to the Sea

They crack me up, over there:

ECMA, what's that you say?

OK, there was a great party going, and then an awards show broke out. The East Coast Music Association (not this one) is like the Egg Board for promoting music from eastern Canada. The awards portion started in 1989, in a bar (familiar ground for gigging musicians). In 1994 some brainiac realised a good way to make local talent famous was to put them on TV. These days the host city swarms with music industry Blackberrians and folks in parkas carrying guitars, from Thursday to Sunday. There are many official and unofficial performances in every venue from the swank to the dank.

My favourite thing about the ECMA's is the people there. You make a lot of friends in this business who, due to our nomadic natures, you only see once in a while. During ECMA week, you see Everybody.

Here's a few pics from the awards show setup:

Halifax Metro Centre 8am, six days to showtime. We see the lights for the Mooseheads games, to be taken down today. The second pic was taken at lunchtime:

Thursdsay rehearsal:

And here's a couple of shots of the designer's maquette:

Next year, the whole circus moves to Fredericton, NB. I'll be there, for sure.

And now for something completely different

Beowulf on Ice ...seriously.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

When the Angels Play Ottawa

Matt Mays and the Angelic Orchestra are on the road to Winnipeg, where they'll play the West End Cultural Centre. Here's a couple of pics from Barrymore's in Ottawa:

This is The Pile; nine players need a lot of stuff. That's Tim Jim (drums) and Doug (Barrymore's audio staff) in the pic.

Mission Control at Barrymore's. I see Ian (lights), Lowell (more drums), and Phil (foh).

This is Molly, in her Dino the Dinosaur outfit. She's in charge of water bottles and tape balls, post show.

Thanks to all the folks at Barrymore's for making us feel welcome. It's a grand old hall, and a great spot for music.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Angels on line two, sir.

I'm off to Ottawa, on a divine delivery mission. Matt Mays has released a unique album: When the Angels Make Contact. It's the soundtrack to a film that doesn't exist (yet). Matt is fielding a large ensemble, nine players, and will tour coast-to-coast. Check out the tour dates, album stream, and videos at the Angels site.

The tour starts in Ottawa, at Barrymore's Music Hall. I'm running his gear up the road today.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Wait...I have a job?

Here we are at Tour Tech East, in lovely, chilly, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Once a year TTE sets up a pile of their shiniest concert gear in the wharehouse, and throws a big to-do with lots of bands. I'll try to grab some photos along the way.

Here are the preshow looks for Studios A and B:

Sorry for the crappy cameraphone pics, but you get the picture. More to come.

9:36pm Bruce Guthro, and some Gear Porn at FOH:

Apologies to Squid, no pics. They're a hoot, and play the hell out of their shit.

11:00 Class act Kenny Shields and Streetheart:

12:00 Introducing, in their first Canadian appearance, The Charms. Wicked.

2:14 Whee-oo! Signing off. Tomorrow there'll be Haywire Pics.

Married To The Sea

As a Public Service, I present todays comic:

Now I ain't gonna post these every day; go to Married To The Sea for daily (they promise) new comics.

War is over!

That's right, everyone; the next-generation-optical-media war has been decided. Blu-Ray: too complicated; HD DVD: embraced by the adult film industry. (This link is NETB : Non-Explainable-To-Boss)

"The Trash Heap has spoken... nyeah!"

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Do The Hustle!

It's 4:57 AST. CBC Radio One is playing "The Hustle" as a run-up to The World This Hour. You're welcome.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Star Wars as a silent picture

I don't want to turn this into a YouTube dumping ground, but this is too sweet. Merry Xmas, long suffering Star Wars fans.

George Lucas had a great idea, but his inability to write dialogue or direct actors really showed as the franchise marched on. I do recommend the series of animated shorts, Clone Wars, directed by Genndy Tartakovsky of Samurai Jack fame.

Update: Bonus trailer for Mary Poppins as a horror movie.

Updated update: Groundhog Day. This is actually my favorite "holiday" movie, mostly because it's set in February. Oh yeah, Bill Murray too.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The truth about bloggers

Courtesy of Married to the Sea, a delightful daily comic.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Festivus To All!

It's December 23, and across the English-speaking hipster world people are celebrating the older-than-you-think tradition of Festivus. From the Wikipedia entry:

Festivus was first invented in 1966 when the father of Daniel O’Keefe, future Seinfeld writer, crafted a unique family holiday with untraditional practices such as the wrestling of the household head to the ground. O'Keefe introduced the holiday into Seinfeld lore on December 18, 1997 in the episode "The Strike", and a cult phenomenon was born.
Some jolly souls in Texas have been reported singing what is probably the first Festivus Carol which it set, incredibly, to the tune of O Canada:

Oh Festivus!

Our humble holiday.

Serenity Now is our only goal today.

With glowing hearts we see thy shining pole,

No tinsel there to distract our souls!

From far and wide,

Oh Festivus, to air grievances we’re free.

Thy feats of strength are glorious to me.

Frank Costanza, we tip our hats to thee.

Oh Festivus, we’ll pin you first, you’ll see.

Vidlit has a charming animated excerpt from Allan Salken's book Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us. It features a nice song by Adam Park, Gather 'Round the Pole; here's the sheet music. So put up your unadorned, lusterless aluminium pole, prepare your Grievances, and get ready for the Feats of Strength. I'm off to pin a host to the ground; have a good one.

Update: I would be remiss to ignore Jerry Stiller's undeniable contribution to the charm of Festivus. His emphatic portrayal of Frank Costanza's dedication to the holiday was the real Festivus Miracle. Feel free to post your Grievances here, so long as Comments doesn't turn into a lake of fire. Pin ya later.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Just in case you thought I was American

I admit, I find American politics more compelling than the show at home. Perhaps because they have the ability to fuck up our lives faster than Parliment (try flying with pudding sometime) and I just plain miss Trudeau (whos sons could so kick Ben Mulroney's ass into television purgatory, oh wait...). Keith Olbermann is the kind of American Patriot hotness my imaginary womb yearns for. Here's his response to the latest Newt Gingrich totalianamericism.

Here's a joke I first read in Doonesbury a while back:

Q: What is the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenburg?

A: One is a flaming Nazi gasbag, while the other is just a dirigible.

From Columbia Journalism Review January/February 1994, p. 46, quoting
"Flush Rush Quarterly."

Thanks to Crooks and Liars for keeping the lamp lit.

Requiem for indoor smoking

It is with a heavy heart (and completely without irony, considering the last post) that I must report Halifax, haven to tobbaccophilles since 1749, is now Smoke Free. I personally conducted research on the last night of indoor smoking at a few of the last ashtray-enabled public houses. Let's just say it was less of a fin de siecle vibe than a government-paying-lip-service-to-the righteous-as-long-as-we-still-get-our cut kind of vibe. I know Smoking shortens your life, and those exposed to your Foul Vapours. The Government, hopelessly addicted to the revenue from tobacco, wants us to stop smoking, but needs us to buy cigarettes. It's a tough position, for sure, and if nobody smoked we'd see less of a hit on the health care system. I just wish I could opt out of the system (you see what addiction can make you do), and say "oh no, I'm sick because of smoking, you'd better cancel that lung transplant; I'm not entitled to it". I know this shit'll kill me, but it can't be that bad 'cause the Government still sells it to me. We all know what will happen if tobacco is outlawed: the same thing that happened with booze, pot, cocane, LSD, and hockey pools; the users will be pushed to the non-taxable fringes of society. We still pay the cost, without the benefit of the Cut for the House.

Health care, now with charts!

Sorry for the exclamation point; I do want to save them for really emphatic statements. That being said, I want to travel back in time, when Bill Clinton came to Halifax (26 July 2006). There was some hullabaloo in the press about it, and the address itself was well attended. Former Ambassador to the USA Frank MaKenna was the MC, and had a sitdown with President Clinton after his keynote address. President Clinton quoted some numbers about health care, his point being that our system of 100% coverage actually cost less, in terms of Gross Domestic Product, than the American system, which pays more to insure fewer people. I've wanted to comment on this for a while, but I didn't have the data to back it up. Here's a link to a .pdf of some juicy data that compares health care systems for several nations. Canada is not the best, but we're good and, by God, we're better than Them, which is what Canada is all about, dammit. (The link will download the 18 page pdf; sorry it's the best I can do. Enjoy the charts).
I do enjoy a good chart.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Commenting now easier

I've rejigged the comments, allowing you to post more easily, and anonymously if you're shy. Let's see some Three Word Stories now. Thanks to Sherry for breaking the ice with this little jewel:

Harper? Fuck. Harper.
Please keep the contents friendly. There shall be no horseplay, catfights, bullshit, pig-headedness, rabbit punches, dogfucking, or crocodile tears. Well, some bullshit would be OK, I guess.

Rock the Uke!

Hawaiian Jake Shimabukuro is a serious badass with a ukulele. I first saw him in this YouTubed clip from the Midnight Ukulele Disco site, ripping it up with George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps:

The MUD has more, higher quality, clips from Jake, and there's lots more on his own site. You can preview his albums on iTunes.

So long, and thanks for all the flesh...

Created by Brian Topping, posted at BoingBoing

Application not responding, indeed.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Superlions discovered

From The Daily Mail's website:

"Marooned on an island, this group of lions should have died out. Instead, in an evolutionary twist, they've learned to swim and become strong enough to tackle their only prey... giant buffalo"

If they run out of giant buffalo, they could change to a diet of creationists who, not believing in an evolved creature, would make perfect, oblivious prey.

Check out the Doonesbury take on the creation/evolution thing here

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Down with subtlety!

I, for one, welcome our new retail overlords.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sorry, everyone; moving.

"Sorry, everyone; moving." Is my excuse for not posting lately, and the first entry in a contest I just made up: the Three Word Story. I am shamelessly ripping this off from the Wired feature of six-word stories, inspired by Hemmingway's poignant "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." There are some real jewels there, written by Joss Whedon, Stan Lee, Margaret Atwood, and a schwack of other writers.

Here's one from Eileen Gunn:

Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?

Post your Three Word Story in the comments. In a couple of weeks I'll randomly select one of the ones I really like, and devise a cheapskate-yet-charming prize.

Thanks, you Solid Friends for your assistance in moving and cat care.

And now, some music. Back in September I got to hear Jill Barber's CD release concert, at St. Matthew's church in Halifax. Her music sounds rootsy and sophisticated simultaneously, say if you landed Cole Porter in Nashville, or George Gershwin in a saloon. Jill has tracks up on her MySpace page (tunes roll right away, check your volume before you jump).

Here's one for you big lapdog owners:

See ya.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Will GooTube become TV 2.0?

In this post from the BBC, Google executives are asked about how they'll deal with copyrighted material being uploaded to YouTube. According to the BBC, a revenue sharing deal has already been struck with a number of the usual suspects:

The companies will allow YouTube to distribute approved copyrighted material in exchange for a share of advertising revenue.

I see this as an potential for a way for all content creators to get a porportionate piece of the ad pie. The new episode of The Colbert Report may earn millions in passive ad revenue for a day or two, but the video of you singing Kharma Chameleon with a banjo will earn pennies a week, forever.

I marvel at friends' DVR setups, and would happily sit through a couple of ads to get me some of that new Deadwood online, in HD, whenever I wanted. I'd watch it with breakfast, to put a poetical swing in my speech, but I'd end up using "cocksucker" as a comma all day.

I've seen a few very engaging shows lately; Heroes and Studio 60 stand out for me. I have renewed hope for the medium. Now if we could figure out how to make more good movies.... Don't get me started.

A Death Star of your very own

I'm not in the habit of endorsing airship manufacturers, but this The Shit, brothers and sisters:

21st Century Airships

I read somewhere that Microsoft was going to deploy one of these babies over cities as a floating billboard for their new operating system. Comedy gold.

Friday, October 20, 2006

So,'s the yard?

It's gone, including the ancient apple trees. You can see their shadows in moss on the roof of the nieghbour's shed.

Ahh, parking. Fuck trees and grass and WHERE'S THE PICNIC TABLE? DAMMIT!

Update: the picnic table, trash bin, and sundry construction debris have been moved to the nieghbors' yard. I'm sure they're thrilled.

Welcome to Heaven, here's your harper.

Canada's favourite red-haired-harper-from-Hamilton, Ruth Sutherland, has a new album, "Bones and Runes". Her first album "Rantin' and Rovin'" was chock-a-block full of snazzy trad tunes, both solo and accompanied. Her voice is light, but not airy; it has a presence and richness, with good low-RPM torque. She performs reqularly with Scantily Plaid, and you can hear samples of their music by clicking this brown thing.

Here's the poster she sent me (click to embiggen).

Wish I could be there, but I'll buy a record or three, that's fer sure.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Full Metal Gardening

Our idylls at Happy Rock are near an end. The new owner has decided to pave the back yard, install balconies, replace the front entry, and generally mess up the yard. Fine, it's his yard, and he's endeavouring to improve the place for the new tennants, but note this: the backyard parking lot will fit two cars; the existing driveway fits two cars. I believe the phrase is "WTF?".

Oh, by the way, I'm sure the new furnace is lovely, but how about some heat, please?

OK, enough vinegar; here's some honey: I like cover songs and Mr. Brian Ibbott has 'em. Thrice weekly he assembles a great podcast called Coverville. Check out episode 244 to hear Brian talk like a pirate. Like Pink Floyd? Listen to the Covered Side Of The Moon and wait for instructions....

Cold Start

I've never written in a diary, for fear someone would read it. Now I write in a blog for all to see; what does that say about me? You're an idiot, you closet exhibitionist. Hush, Inside Voice. Great, now I'm writing as two entities. Get Phil Dick's robotic head on the phone!

Anyway, our intention is to stop telling friends to go here and there to see interesting content, and assemble an aggregate of the things we (we?) like here. We'll keep it lean on the porn and emo, and fatten ourselves with music links and crappy photographs from my cameraphone.

The current bid for this blog is $1,250,000.00 and let me warn you, Google, I drive a hard, giggly bargain. much for the porn and emo promise...