Friday, March 30, 2007

It's Tool Time!





HAVE A SLAMMIN' GOOD WEEKEND! Here's to hittin' every nail on the head!

currently listening to: The Hammer Film Music Collection, Volume 2...hey, it inspired this post!

Let's Get This Over With, Shall We?

Here it is (collective intake of breath, I'm sure). The book art for the upcoming and final installment of the Harry Potter series. For the next 6 months at least, this is what we all will be hearing about. Get used to it, this is what will be staring you in the face during your morning and evening subway/train/bus commute. Make peace with it now.

I've skim read the whole damn series. It's really the best way. I know enough to ascertain that Hogwart's has a revolving door of Dark Arts professors. They should just get Jimmy Page in there. He's upper-snot British, and could teach the brats a thing or two about the evil; he could start off with a nice seminar about Aleister Crowley, then move onto a lesson in how to sell one's soul for limos, learjets and lines. He could introduce them to his Black Dog and his weird friend the Hermit, who in my opinion, has always looked suspect. And, with a simple, yet commanding flourish of his enchanted violin bow, Jimmy would cast a seductive spell over all his young charges (especially the young, female ones, 'cause let's face it, that's where Page has always been at)leaving them breathless in the wake of his Kashmir assault.

But with all due respect to Mr. Page, his production is MAGIC and continues to thrill and enchant me on a daily basis.

As for Harry, I'll bet he's a Smiths fan. Boy reeks of Morrissey style angst.

currently listening to: Devo, Q: Are We Not Men?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Help Me if you Can...

I found this album at the Annual Mothers Against Meth Face(MAMF) Bazaar and Rummage Sale. Paid nothing, just gave a solemn promise never to tweak. Does anybody know if it's worth anything? Thanks in advance.

currently listening to: John Vanderslice, Cellar Door

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Answered Prayers

In lieu of a "proper" post, I am submitting for your consideration one quite incredible mini-documentary. My 9to5'er is keeping me crazy busy today...please forgive the "blogcheat". But I assure you it is 18 minutes of radness that I could never, ever even hope to equal entertainment wise. Enjoy!

Amen, Brother
! Pass that collection plate! That sermon definitely delivered!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

From Russia with Low Bottom Love

Today is officially "Russian Appreciation Day" here at HIWATT Central. Join me in celebrating Baryshnikov, Olga Korbut(that one's for you, Weiss!), Dostyevski, Marc Chagall, and Boney M. What? Boney M? Hey, they did that righteous tune "Rasputin", okay? That qualifies. Did you know that dude who created Boney M went on to commit an even more heinous act when he chose to orchestrate the whole Milli Vanilli debacle? Well, because of my love of useless information, now you do know. I would say "No thanks necessary", but I'm pretty sure based on the content of the given information, no thanks will be forthcoming.

My favorite Russian shoutout will go to Sovtek. The Brand 'o Tubes that Marlon would love. Marlon was fat. These tubes give amps fat, warm tone. 12AX7 is to me what THX1138 is to sci-fi geeks. The company that manufactures Sovtek product is owned by Mike Matthews who just happened to create the monster of distortion pedals, the famed Big Muff. The earliest issues of the Big Muff were manufactured in Russia. Different versions of the pedal are still Russian made, but manufacturing chores for other Muff models are also being shouldered by Matthew's other company, Electro-Harmonix.

I love this pedal. The day I found out it works marvelously and maliciously with a bass was a banner day. I have often wondered what crazy sonic brew would have erupted had Jaco Pastorius added a Big Muff to his arsenal. I have the army green Pi. Such a fitting chassis colour for such a swampy, sludgy, gooey beast.

The Big Muff wiki link gives a great list of songs where the pedal was used. Check it out. A great read, indeed.

I better not get any pervert traffic due to my first label...

currently listening to: Smog, The Doctor Came at Dawn

Monday, March 26, 2007

Teeth Clenching Goodness

Thanks once again to Todd for inspiring a post. Have you ever just been so emotionally overwhelmed when hearing a song that your face goes all crazy? Call it "Pulling a Hopper." I do. It's way more sophisticated than just doing the predictable "bite your lower lip and nod in time at a tasty guitar solo".

I Pull a Hopper whenever I listen to "The Concept" by Teenage Fanclub.
I Pull a Hopper at the whirling dervish that is "Tomorrow Never Knows" by them Beatles.
I Pull a Hopper whenever I watch and listen to this clip of "Money City Maniacs" by Canadian legends and heroes, SLOAN:

Check it! The opening pan across the logoplate of my beloved HIWATT inspires a Hopper moment onto itself. I think the siren going off increases the drama. Now everytime I hear a fire engine I find myself listening for powerchords that never seem to come.

currently listening to: Grandaddy, Under the Western Freeway, (Happy Birthday J-Ly! Miss ya, brother!)

April, Come She Will

Is it really almost April? I love the Spring. I love the Fall. I particularly love the month of September. Earth, Wind and Fire asks, "do you remember the 21st night of September?" in one of their fab-tastic groovefests. I would much rather remember the 19th night of September, 1981, if that's okay with all concerned.

Art did have Earth, Wind and Fire member-approved hair. The 'fro worked...for a time. But neither earth, wind or fire could have stopped the afro erosion. The "Afrosion". A receding hairline can be devasting, but a retreating afro is the worst kind of horrible as one cannot even do a combover to camouflage.

currently listening to: The Secret Machines, Now Here is Nowhere (sweet, sweet production! Glorious!)

Friday, March 23, 2007

It's Good to be Canadian!

Open my wallet and after the moths fly out of the paper money compartment one can see that's its contents are fairly standard. Credit cards, debit card, social insurance card, KISS Army membership card, library card, semi-naked snapshots of Patrick Swayze circa "Roadhouse"...wait how'd they get in there? Not mine, I assure you. I'm more a "Point Break" kinda gal.
One of the most important things in my wallet has got to be my OHIP card. "Ontario Health Insurance Plan" that is. OHIP. And Oh, it is indeed hip. So hip that if I somehow manage to break a hip, all necessary medical attention to remedy it is free of charge. F.O.C. 'Cause in Canada we have free medical coverage. Not everything is covered, but let's just say that most Canadians rushed into emergency rooms will be exempt from shouldering the financial burden of such an unfortunate visit.
The guy who did much to put this whole wonderful health care system in effect was a legendary politician and gentleman named Tommy Douglas, who was recently voted our "Greatest Canadian" by a nation wide poll, a vox populi, if you will, spoken out all Canadian-style, eh?
Tommy passed away in 1986. His daughter Shirley, is quite the grande dame of Canadian theatre. Shirley's son, and Tommy's grandson, has been known to save the world in a 24hr time period on a regular basis. Fictiously of course, but nonetheless, hella convincingly.
C'mon you know I'm talkin' about Bauer. But really I'm not. Talkin' about Kiefer.
He just doesn't register as actor/Jack/star for me. He's all about the gear. Major guitar fanatic. That's how I enjoy him most.
Check out Kiefer's and partner Jude Cole's studio and independent record label collective known as Ironworks. Impressive!
Equally impressive is Kiefer's X-mas tree surfing. X-tacy to watch! What a rock star thing to do. He shouldn't be embarrassed of this. He should OWN it! AND, make it a yuletide tradition.

The catchy tune, "How Fast" is by one of Ironworks' artists, Rocco Deluca and The Burden. Most of the clips are culled from the documentary "I Trust You to Kill Me" which chronicles life on the road with Rocco and Co., and Kiefer working it as road manager (before the band fired him!) OOOooo the intrigue! But apparently Kiefer was cool about it.
Apparently, Kiefer is just that in general, cool. Classy and gracious.
Grandpa Tommy would be proud.

currently listening to: The Replacements, Pleased to Meet Me

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Reasonable Request




...can we just pretend that this didn't happen either? thanks.

currently listening to: Beatallica, A Garage Dayz Nite

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Spoils of Rotten

Some people are horrified at the concept of nepotism. In theory, like any half-way decent person, I should be appalled at blatant favoritism that gives unfair advantage. In practice, I actually deee-lite in witnessing nepotism in action, especially in the field of entertainment. High rollers and playahs, who gift their untalented offspring with movie roles and record contracts should be given the highest of high fives, 'cause the rotten fruits of their kids' rotten labours can be a joy to behold. An Ironic-Hipster's Wet Dream. Spoiled rotten never looked so good!

The King Kid of Nepotism has to be Arch Hall Jr.. His dad, Arch Hall Sr. was a B-movie producer, who owned a fabulous company called Fairway Productions. Senior put Junior in a few of his films. He had high hopes for his son, hoping to turn him into the next big teen dream. Unfortunately, Junior looked like Elvis crossed with a cabbage patch doll.
Actually, Wild Guitar is a pretty great flick. Dude who eventually went on to do the cinematography for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (and win an Oscar for it) cut his teeth on this shit, as "Gee-tar's" director of photography. He also worked on Hall Jr.'s and Sr.'s crowning achievement in cinema, a tight little thriller called "The Sadist". Check out this flick. Junior actually shows sparks of true talent. It's about a psycho and his trashy skag terrorizing innocents, predating Brad Jolie's rip-off "Kalifornia" by exactly 30 years.
So whatever happened to Arch Jr.?
Went on to become a pilot. And a writer. And a cult hero to some. Personally, the guy fascinates me. He is also still rawkin' with his band The Archers. And...apparently there is a documentary in the works all about Fairway Productions and its place within the indie cinema scene at the time (think Ed Wood without all the cross dressing and cardboard cut out tombstones). Can't wait! Here's Arch in Action serenading his lucky, lucky gal. I won't hold it against ya if ya just can't make it through the entire clip. That's a perfectly normal reaction.

currently listening to: Built to Spill, Keep it Like a Secret

Monday, March 19, 2007

Talk to Me!

For yesterday's post I shyly (or slyly) laid down a gauntlet that I was hoping to get challenged on. I stated that Judas Priest's "Unleashed in the East" was the definitive Live Album. Not one "No way man, Frampton Comes Alive! is, what, are you on drugs?" Maybe that's why all fourteen frickin' minutes of "Feel Like WE Do (It's "WE" not "I")doesn't quite rock my house as hard as it does my neighbours' joints, who like to spend many an idyllic hour in their great garden of green. Catch the pun in there? No? Jesus, you're more stoned than I thought.

The coolness of "Frampton Comes Alive!" comes from the Heil Talk Box. Pure and simple. Listen to the crowd on that album and hear them go batshit crazy everytime he uses the Heil. There should be some graph drawn where on the side you write "Audience Reaction" and on the bottom write all the songs on the album. You can be sure that whenever and wherever the Heil appears the graph line shoots up like Nico or like Google's stock charts.

Many a crude joke could be inserted here due to the appearance of the Heil's tubing mechanism and in the way ("Show me the Way!") that it is used to generate its effect.
I will resist the urge to go there as gear is way to sacred to be mocked in such a fashion! The only time smut and gear go together is porn and the wah wah, Okay?

Anyways...back to Live albums! Come forth, show yourselves and let me know your favourite live albums of all time! Budokan me!

currently listening to: my own weeping. Laptop bit the dust. Posts and return comments may be scarce due to technical difficulties!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Always a Crowd Pleaser...

The following clip needs no introduction except to say that it needs no introduction.

To the saucy red head who is probably now receptionist at her local mall's GlamourShots--it wasn't gonna happen with Mr.Rob Halford that night darling, and it sure ain't gonna happen now. Unless you've changed your name to Bernard and your sex to male AND your acid wash jeans to buttless chaps. Then, maybe.

Before I saw the Priest reunion in 2005, I had high hopes that the Heavy Metal Parking Lot "je ne sais quoi" would experience a sort of reunion tour of it's own. People would just naturally do the hang out in tribute to the spirit of the crazy "little documentary that could". Didn't happen. At least not in Toronto. Nowadays, the minute you exit the car you are herded by some inexplicable force towards the $5.00 bottles of water and the $100.00 T-shirts, and the immediate need to capture every key moment on the $500.00 cell phone that takes kick ass photos.

One tip though, if Priest comes back (they are currently in the studio), and you have a desire to go see them, don't buy regular venue seating. Slum it in the general admission/lawn area at the back. It's the closest thing to a Heavy Metal Parking Lot that you're gonna get. Then you can say you were the cooler half of the classic mullet configuration-"Party in the Back". Who wants to join "Business Class Upfront"? Not me.

currently listening to: Judas Priest, Unleashed in the East (the definitive Live Album)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Dark Stuff and Brando

Darn it. I can't find my Nick Kent. I feel so lost. I've looked everywhere in my studio space and he just won't surface...I thought he was sandwiched somewhere in with my Fear and Loathing, my disintegrating Nancy Drews and my Go Ask Alice.

Me: Alice, have you seen my Nick Kent?
Alice: What the fuck are you talking about, don't bother me, the rabbit is waiting.
Me: Nick Kent, my favourite rock journalist, you know, he published a collection of his greatest interviews in a book called "The Dark Stuff". He also has huge history with NME and Melody Maker.
Alice: Fuck the dark shit, look at all that bright light and the pretty colours...

Aw, Fuck you Alice, everyone now knows you are a fake. That's right. The famous 1971 drug "diary" was actually authored by a Mormon youth counselor. I guess we should be thankful that the Mormons contributed something besides the Osmonds to popular culture.

I found "The Dark Stuff" at a Virgin Megastore whilst day shopping in Milan. I was living and somewhat stranded in a fairly out of the way part of northern Italy at the time and books in English were hard to come by. So once acquired and devoured, I hung onto that book for dear life. He's been with me ever since.

Or so I thought. Time for a new copy. I believe it's recently been revised to include new interviews, one of which is with Eminem. Ah...makes me want my first edition all that much more.
The best part of the book is the lengthy Brian Wilson interview. In it Brian is enjoying a salad and smoking a cig at the same time. Nick relates how Wilson absent-mindedly kept ashing the cig in the salad while he ate it. No matter, it wasn't like he was ingesting anything else harmful at the time, was he?

Perhaps Wilson's most harmful plate of bullshit was that served by Dr. Eugene Landy, his psychologist and "spiritual guide". Scammer. Ripoff artist. Right up there with the Memphis Mafia for the crime of doing close to nothing in return for a hefty payday. Or the costume designer for The Breakfast Club. How frickin' hard could that have been? One movie, no costume changes (except for the small one when weirdo/basketcase gets a makeover)and the characters were all stereotypes, meaning not a lot of imagination and brainstorming was required to convey physical character traits that we are all too familiar with simply by living day to day. And Marlon Brando...just how much did he end up making for a 5 minute part in Superman? Just how do you think he bought a whole island?

No man is an island. But some can afford to buy one. Let's just hope the next one we hear about who does actually deserves it.

currently listening to: Can, Tago Mago (go Krautrock!)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Now's A Good Time To Let'R Rip...

I suppose this would qualify as a 'blind item". It's not terribly juicy, shave head shocking, or hard to figure out, but it is what it is... I'm telling it because it's music related and provides insight into the nature of one particular beast who has become a target of bloggers of late. For many justifiable reasons, not least of all his hatred of blogs and bloggers. You should have figured it out already. Anyway, said "rocker" has hung around quite a bit in "My" town (who am I, Frank Sinatra?) and was a frequent visitor to my place of employment/enjoyment...I actually quite liked where I worked, it was only jerk customers like him that made any actual stress. Working in a music instrument store can be a crazy cacophony of "sights, sounds, and smells" (and constant annoying Spinal Tap references, obviously) but it was, in it's way, Music 101. An education "Mr. Poseur" could definitely benefit from. Perhaps if this "DB" (his nickname, but another massive hint) actually saw the merit in how hard people work in this area of the music industry to make sure that poseur pricks like him are supplied with a steady flow of high end instruments (none of which he shows any talent in playing), he'd be more courteous.
Anyway, this one time...(no, not at Band Camp), I was hanging out in our acoustic room, an enclosed space used solely for acoustics with even a humidifier to keep them in good shape. Nice little set up. In he comes. He reached for a very high end instrument. Usually the salespeople do the grabbing down of the expensive ones, but fine. Whatever. We always, very respectfully asked customers who wish to demo to remove jackets with scratchy accents (prominent zippers, etc.) in order to preserve the integrity of the guitars' finish. He was wearing such a jacket. Well...mutha, it was like if I had asked some diva to remove her feather boa. You know, the sort of huff Richard Simmons gets when Letterman insults him or refuses his advances. Thinking back, I'll bet he just thought I just wanted to get a look at him in the tacky wifebeater he was wearing underneath. Quite the contrary. EWWW. My request was purely on reflex having asked it numerous times, with customers always complying nicely and cooperatively. Not him. He just walked out all annoyed and inconvenienced. Leaving me to think "damn, and I won't get to hear him fumble out some Dinosaur Jr./Lemonheads cover he's been working on for weeks." This was just before he went all wacky. The kind of wacky that was done before him and done better thousand fold to boot. Just because you wrote out your band manifesto in eyeliner doesn't mean you're breaking any new musical ground, DB.
Anyway, he came in a bunch of other times and was rude to our security person, he kept trying to pick up our cashier by sending his minions over with messages and just giving her letchy stares, and he hijacked temporarily one of our staff to work on whatever music project he had going on...and completely wasted our collegue's time as apparently the sessions were more "hang out with skanks parties".

One day I was working in the keyboard department and saw he and friend?/brother? walk through towards guitars. I gave him a smile as I do all customers, even the jerky ones and jerky as he was, he was giving us repeat business. Clients basically paid our bills, like it or not, like them or not. Anyway, he gave me a disturbingly dirty look and he and his companion just laughed. Nice.

So I haven't cared for him since. There was one flick he was in where he got his face completely smashed in and I was happy. Okay, I'm sure you have the answer now.

Anyway, saw him a couple of times more in and around the location of the store. Basically the street is like a mall without a roof due to the high volume of trendoids and Hot Topic Loiterers(well, our country's version of Hot Topic). No doubt he was researching his targeted audience.

My first attempt (and probably last) at a Blind Item. Not particularly exciting compared to most blinds, but people who love and value music and have toiled hard in the rock trenches can certainly be amused by this little anecdote. Hope it did just that. Comments/Guesses would be appreciated. In this case polite comments would be okay. Nasty comments? Even better.

UPDATE: okay, okay... the DB stands for Douche Bag, a dis that seems to stick to this guy like glue.

currently listening to: Genesis, Abacab

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'll Bet He Still Has His Boba Fett Action Figure

Brent Simon likes space. Brent Simon likes gear and gadgets. Brent Simon wrote a song in tribute to BitTorrent. Brent Simon is part Star Wars Kid, part Chris Farley, part Roger Ebert, and part guy who played keyboards for the band Europe. People like him are the reason why "Flux Capacitor" entered into the zeitgeist. Many people have compared him to Wesley Willis. Don't go there. No one can touch my Wesley. He was the real deal. There is something that just strikes me as "franchise" with Mr. Simon, and now that he's carved out his "nerdpunk" niche he's ready to package it and bring the heady stew to middle America. Then take it all the way to the bank and onto the pages of Blender or Rolling Stone.
Then again, carpe diem, Brent! I can't fault the super nerd for making the most of the 15 minutes that we are all apparently entitled to. I guess I just miss Wesley. There will never be another like him. Maybe I just don't want anybody else to even try. He had that special magic "IT" factor of someone just driven to create. Daniel Johnston is the same way, and thank god he is still with us! Yay Daniel!

Here's Brent performing "The Space Camp Song".

There's a 25 minute documentary over on YouTube. "The Brentumentary" (longish but funny-ish)if you are interested.

"Rock over London, Rock on Chicago!" Rock on Wesley!

Set on Speed dial(especially if you are underage and female)

312 278 3965...R. Kelly's new hotline. You can hear him talk up his new album, Double Up, due May 29. And you can sample a few snippets. Ah, I think I'll just wait for the 18 hour long promo vid. At least I can count on that being engaging. The music will be, to use a Vanilla Sky and A&R rep/leech term, "vivid". It's a great way to get out of saying it's crap.

currently listening to: Jeremy Enigk, World Waits

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Band Geeks, this coolness could be yours....

Ah, playing in the high school band. No need to go much into it here, it's been mocked, riffed upon, parodied and played out like the Stevie Nicks cocaine-up-the-butt story. But while Stevie appears to have left her cocaine days "behind"(small joke) her, the stories of band geekdom will persist as long as there exists a fresh crop of brass and woodwind nerds collectively rockin' "Sir Duke" somewhere.

To any guy out there right now that may be takin' the shit for playing flute, stand proud brother, stand proud. Great chops are good, but it's the delivery that seals it. Take note, and witness "A Song for Jeffrey" (lucky guy, even if Jeff may now be dead).

The mighty Ian Anderson hi-falutin' with the way mighty Jethro Tull (featuring the one and only Tommy Iommi on guitar-his only gig with them, I believe). I was way too young to be into them first generation, but of course I know "Aqualung" (even the Sherpas in Tibet do), but any band that also has a track called "Locomotive Breath" is worth checkin out further. I also remember that the guy next door my Mom warned me to stay away from always wore this ratty Jethro Tull T-shirt. I would kill for that now. The T-shirt. Not the guy. Mom's instincts are never wrong.

currently listening to: Herbie Hancock, Headhunters

PS... this post is dedicated to Allan, because he is wonderful and he was the first to befriend me in the blogsphere.

Cinema, Music, and Polyandry

Is there anything sweeter than the perfect marriage between film and soundtrack? And speaking of marriage, what do they call it if a woman has two (or more) husbands? Apparently not polygamy, but rather polyandry. Maybe it's just me, but when I see the word "polyandry", I just see the word "laundry", and 'lots of it...endless loads of multiple wash loads from multiple husbands. Yeehaw! Sign me up for this buy one get one or five husband free deal.
But there is one three way marriage I'm all for. The union of Harold, Maude and Cat...oops, sorry, Yusuf. Where would Harold and Maude be without the Cat, and I'd like to believe that everyday, someone in the world is turned on to the magic that is Mr. Stevens/Islam when they see "Harold and Maude" for the first time. Hal Ashby(RIP), the director, was one hell of a matchmaker. The Chuck Woolery of cult film, if you will.
I still cry when I see this (don't watch darn it, if ya haven't seen the flick...I ain't no supah-spoilah-sistah!)

An official "Harold and Maude" soundtrack is not available (BOO!). Apparently it was released once on vinyl on Japanese import. But due to the wonders of the internet you can surely assemble and customize your own. Think of it like musical LEGO.

currently listening to: Sufjan Stevens, Seven Swans

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Copeland and Jools...a Jem of a Clip

In my last post I didn't mention that I saw the Doors perform live, did I? Well, I did. Kind of. Sort of. It was just Ray and Robby representin' the old guard. And Ian Ass-bury (from the Cult)guesting on vocals. Ian may have been more dynamic and convincing had he not be consulting the lyrics off a music stand as he performed. No big whoop, I wasn't really paying attention to him anyway. In fact my attention was trained upon the drummer for the evening. Hello! Stewart Copeland in the haus! He was brilliant. My idea for this much bally-hooed Police reunion is to stick Sting, and his Hollywood nose job,at the back of the stage, put Andy on a riser either stage left or right, but have Copeland and his Tamas front and center where they belong. Okay, that's not gonna happen but I know I'm not alone in this dream...

Everyone has favourite movies. I tend to have favourite interviews. The one where the Bee Gees huffily walk off some British chat show is classic. Anything with Lou Reed is always pretty good. And I think I could watch, and probably favour, a Pete Doherty interview just for the "will he nod off in mid sentence or not" factor. Rollins? That goes without saying...every sentence is a soundbite.

So now here is perhaps my favourite all time interview. It is with my favourite musician, interviewed by one of my favourite interviewers, Jools Holland, he himself played music with Squeeze. I also love it for the technical/gear aspect, naturally. I first saw it when I was a little girl and it made such an impression that I nearly crapped myself in 4/4 time (sorry to be crass) when I just now saw it posted on Youtube. I had it originally recorded on VHS, back in the day when video machines were massive top-loader monsters, complete with a"remote" on a long cable. Lost the tape somewhere as I moved throughout the world. But right now at this moment I feel reunited with an old friend. Thanks for sharing this moment with me. So now onto the show!

"Paradigm for the Cosmos?" Only Stewart could pull off a sentence like that and sound cool. When Sting says something similar(you know big words and all)in evaluating all those big books he pretends to read you're ready for the MUTE button. In fact that's the way I've watched his movies (save Brimstone and Treacle) with the MUTE full force. Now that's kind of Police force I live to enforce.

If you're interested, here's that infamous BeeGees Vid...enjoy the clip! Love the tension!

Currently listening to: The Rumblefish Soundtrack, music composed, performed, and produced by Stewart Copeland

Can I Have Your Job?

Try as I might, I cannot find an image anywhere on the net depicting this person(s) doing, what I'd like to think, is a pretty sweet 9to5er. Standing around all day in a beautiful, serene environment full of the kind of history that people go to post secondary school to learn about. Maybe the standing around part ain't so keen, but when one's attention is diverted in a pleasurable and engaging way, one soon forgets the little inconveniences. Do you think Lloyd Dobbler had a problem standing around and hoisting that heavy boombox way high over his way, a man or a woman on a mission has gotz to stand still occasionally to help them eventually go forward.

So just what is this profession I'm talking about here? The Gatekeeper to the Doors. Well... one Door in particular. You know, the one who took LA by storm, then showed his wang in Miami, and then tub-surfed for all eternity in Paris. As many of you well know, when you visit Jim at the gorgeous Pere Lachaise Cemetary you will find that they have now installed a full time guard to make sure no one uses a Sharpie to write, "Jim Lives" or "You Rule, Jimbo, I have a jeans jacket with cut-off sleeves with a massive Doors logo on the back, sewn on by my Mom." I want to be this guard. Not because I'm a huge Doors fan. I like em, and I like 'em a lot when my friends and I sit around a table and recite Doors lyrics using various different accents. Try reciting,
"Peppermint miniskirts,
Chocolate Candy.
Champion sax,
and a girl named Sandy"
...from the Soft Parade...recite in an pretentious Masterpiece Theatre accent and then see how much you enjoy the Doors.
Anyway, I think it would be a blast to witness full blown what happens on a daily basis at Jim's grave. All the different people from all walks of life, from every corner of the earth. The crazies, the ones with a more sane, bonafide agenda, the lone hippy kid that dances even when there is no music. I love the crazy hippy kid. The Phish out of water kid that is the first to dance at every concert. And I'm talking every concert, despite the genre/artist. I was at a fuckin' Kraftwerk concert and there it was, the token hippy kid dancin' all by himself.
I visited Jim in 2000. The guard was there looking all serious, but you just know that when he got off work and sat down with his friends he would be saying "Shit man, you should have seen the freaks today!" Except he would have said it in French.

currently listening to: Archer Prewitt, White Sky

PS...I mean no disrespect to any Doors fans. I'm fronting for comedic value only. Doors fans are the best around; loyal beyond comparison and always keeping the torch lit. My props to you all.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Quick One While She's Still Awake...

Reason #34757 Why I Love Keith Moon:

Brother rocked it so hard they had to gaffe tape his headphones to keep'em on!

Now sleep, and the sheep I will be counting will bleat "BAAAH BAAAH O'Riley!" Nite all.

RIP Brad Delp

Sad news. Thanks to Todd for the heads up on something that upon hearing made my head drop down. Brad Delp, the voice behind Boston's iconic "More Than A Feeling", passed away Friday at age 55. School dances in the gym. The parking lot behind the gym. Drive-in speakers before the main feature. This song was everywhere. Still is. 8-track, LP, 45, cassette, CD, mp3; this classic has moved with powerful grace through all formats with no signs of ever slowing down. Great guitar riffs are hell-yeah badass, but a great vocal on top is always the keeper. RIP, Brad.

currently listening to: the sound of my brain shutting down, short post today, I'm pulling a "Lennon White Album" ("I'm So Tired, I Haven't Slept a Wink")

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Hey, I couldn't be happier for the astounding and much deserved success of Canada's own Arcade Fire! Hey, I'm Canadian, and every sweet day that passes in which the Arcade collective is doing their thang, the less everyone remembers that Canada gave the world the not so heavy headbanders known as Loverboy. Remember "Hot Girls In Love"? Well, before you so wisely choose to leave these cheesy Canucks behind forever, say your farewell by watching this video.

You'll love the part in the wacky garage station stage set up where drummer Matt Frenette is playing his drums with gas pumps instead of stix. He was so obviously the first to do it, unless some tripped out avant-garde, N.Y.C.performance/Velvetslike band
somehow stumbled across the move first in their Found Objects Concert Series. "Music Fuel-a musical odyssey in 16 Parts Now Playing in the MePa district". So said the tatty, silkscreened flyers. Wow, my imagination scares me sometimes...

Okay, Done, over. Go do something smart and intellectual for 5 minutes like Haiku writing. Clear the cerebral palate as it were. I'll wait for you here.

Back so soon? Yeah, Haiku writing can be such a frickin' bitch to do (Although right there in that sentence, I managed to fit the poetry form's 17 syllable requirement).

To close this post I will now suggest a bit of music to break up your Arcade Fire listening party just for a very short time. We won't band name deviate too much lest you break into some separation anxiety from Neon Bible. Let us now groove to ARCADIA's Election Day. The song is great and I can hear it going over really well if remixed and played through an amazing sound system with 'lots of tasty bass a pumpin'! Bring back this classic, Steve Aoki!

Seriously, all this song needs is a revamp or be part of a mashup and it would kill.
And then Fat Simon would be rollin' heavy in the Le Bon Bons again.

currently listening to: my own deviant musical ideas in my own head

The Peddle of THE Pedal

At a music instrument store, working the accessories counter doesn't pay much. It's like if you worked in a sewing machine department you'd be the one attempting to whore-off all the notions like spools of thread and peach-coloured strips of zippers for homemade prom dresses. So in the music gear world you gotta do all you can to make even a fraction of what the guitar floor staff rake in on a daily basis. The only consolation seems to be that while these commission rich guys are hustling to push the high end Taylor acoustics towards the ca$h register, and to see them Gibson "V's" fly out the door, they still got a whole day of punishment-having to listen to "Eruption" played badly over and over again ("Stairway" banned, of course, silly!)by every high school air band champion who is now ready for the Reality Big Time... "I conquered the cardboard cut-out, how hard can a real Fender be?" Jesus.

So back to the front counter. Away from the guitar floor and away from another eff-ed up version of "Little Wing" played by "It's chicken wing nite at Hooters Guy". Peering into the glass showcase one can see the shining beacon of "Pay my Rent on Time" hope, the "Sure-sell", the "Close Everytime", the "Never Even Have to Demo it to Sell it", the "I'll Pick Up Two In Case I Lose One on Tour" item. THE item that is to distortion pedals what tissues are to Kleenex. Yep, I'm talking about the DS-1.

I know, I know, there are far better distortion pedals out there on the market, ones more current,ones chock full of great gizmo that sound good, fat, and organic to the ears. We also are living in a time where adding effects means more "check the box" in a computer program rather than "stomp the box" at your shoetip. But this little orange wonder has an ace in the hole that trumps all that, including the fickle passages of both time and of trend. It goes like this:

15 year old kid ambles up to the effects counter-
"I'm thinkin' of maybe, like, buying a distortion pedal."

"Well...(pause, purely for effect, pun intended), we have the DS-1. Kurt Cobain used it on Nevermind."


Done. Give the kid a dozen free picks...NEXT?

I would lose count of how many I would sell each day during Xmas.

So I just gotta thank you Kurt, wherever you are. I think he'd be okay with me using this piece of his musical history to inform and to sell a shitload of pedals. He helped me pay my rent. He helped me understand that playing guitar wasn't all about regimented and precise technique, and that realization has been to me, a currency valued beyond price.

currently listening to: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls Soundtrack

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Original Beer/Lifestyle Commercial

I remember seeing this awe-inspiring video for the first time at a smoke saturated hesher-haunt/grotto full of what appeared to be two types of guys a)-horny metalheads on the make looking to spend their one night off from carny-life and midway madness with a stonefox babe, and b)-horned rimmed glasses wearing asexual indie record store employees who would get their next boner courtesy of the next new Mogwai album. Anyway, it was playing on the TV and caught my eye right away, and I wanted to go in for closer inspection. It wasn't hard to disengage myself from my current conversation, indeed when I got up, "Mr. Holes Placed Strategically in my Second Hand Sweater" scarcely noticed my exodus; he was content to continue on with his compelling Fugazi soliloquy, audience or not.

Hot damn that's a great vid. Everytime I see the bit where drummer Bill Ward is drinking that beer I lose my shit. Everytime. This is the kind of clip that I would like to see selling beer and the beer lifestyle. It's way more honest and way more fun. And really, the music of Sabbath has done so much to "Bring people together", a main marketing point these beer companies strive to shove down the world's throats. If a band like Sabbath can bring both dirty metal and precious indie-rawk denizen together in the same room and have them co-exist peacefully, then shit, I'm buying this round!

currently listening to: Mogwai, Mr. Beast

Friday, March 9, 2007

RocknRoll Pilgrimages+mullets+beer=AWESOME

Any fan of the rawk worth his/her saltshaker has taken his/her moneymaker on a RocknRoll pilgrimage. It's like a concert, somewhere along the line you have to buy a ticket, but good thing is you're pretty much guaranteed front row if you wait in line long enough. I've done the Graceland thang twice now, waited patiently in line for my one minute audience in front of the King; I would have stayed longer but some weepy beehive farmer from Boise, Idaho, using the hem of her muumuu as a snotrag, not so subtly pushed me along. Jesus. They should just install those people-movin' airport terminal conveyor belts all along the Presley gravesite so that time allotment though brief, would be a little more democratic. Mizz Pricillia could also maximize her profits through this improved time/people ratio and continue her long tradition of sucking the Presley Estate tit (he did afterall, have one hell of a set of man boobs when he kicked it). Anyway, now that I have left you with a bad taste of sour milk in your mouth, let's move along.

This post is dedicated to Todd, Tom and Paul. They have a most righteous, albeit somewhat morbid website chronicling their pursuits of deadness. Three Horsemen of the Mullet Apocalypse belching and burping their short pants and tube soxed way through most of America's tragedy hotspotz. I love these guys, I UNDERSTAND them. But dudes...burp on the way to or from the gravesite, not in front of.

Here's a clip of the three amigos paying a visit to Stevie Ray Vaughn's helicopter crash site...ooooh and the plot thickens when there is mention of a SRV ghost...

Enjoy the burps? I sure did. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse I found this one:

Someone needs to call Aretha and have her slap some R-E-S-P-E-C-T into these professional Bar-B-Q'ers. It's Lead Belly, fer gosh darn sake! Ship' em off to some Ghoul Charm School, like in Switzerland or wherever people learn to be fancy.

Then again, there are too many fancy people in this world as it is. Belch away, brothers! Meet us halfway and at least say "Excuse me".

currently listening to: Jesu, S/T

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Mr. O. Black's Backstage Rider

For the few of you who don't recognize this sexy beast, let me introduce you..."Cool Blog Reader, this is Old Black. Old Black, excuse me, Mr. Black,.. what?... you're taking a nap? Understand, brother. If anybody deserves it it's you. Afterall, you've been rawkin' hard since you were born in 1953. Many would argue that you weren't truly born until 1969, when this force of nature attached itself to you--"

So this is my Ode to Old Black, the beautifully ramshackle Les Paul Gold Top that rocks my free world. Or helps my world feel a wee bit freer. The man that Black owns, Mr. Shakey, he's A- okay too. Black could probably mount a world wide solo tour. He could just lay around and get looked at and he could easily generate as much $$$ as would a mid level indie band playing their hearts out. He wouldn't be a diva with a "Take Out the Brown M&Ms" rider. Black would just need:

one Swiffer handheld for dust removal
twelve Bodyguards

Seems do-able.
Escort me to the merch table for this one!

currently listening to: Son Volt, Trace

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Dennis? Yeah, a menace, but was gifted too...

This pic of old Denny-Boy of the Beach is such a visual cautionary tale. Lookin' way to old and spent for someone in their late 30's. Dude's life was rock and roll urban legend (doing the slo-hang with Charles Manson and fathering the kid of band mate Mike Love's daughter...whew!) In between all that action, Dennis managed to put out an incredible solo album. Called Pacific Ocean Blue, and released in 1977, it has become one of my faves of all time. The CD is hard to get, but if ya find Dennis' myspace tribute you can stream some trax. So Hang Ten and surf on over there.
I love this endorsement pic. I'm always tempted to do exactly what these old, out of date ads ask, and write away for a free catalogue. My letter would probably end up at a Walmart, Starbucks or at the neighbourhood crack house. Anyway, Camco has web-presence, and it's worth checking out just for the Endorsers page alone; Elvin Jones(the MAN!)is in there, and the CCR pix are fuckin' A!

Note to Evan Dando: We all know your career is on a big roll, but just in case you need the extra bux, Casino Rama is looking for their Dennis Wilson for the Beach Boys Tribute Band for Baby-Boomer Weekend 2007.

currently listening to: Richard Ashcroft, Alone With Everybody

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Finally...the Jandek on Corwood Trailer!!

enjoy. BTW, the song used for the latter part of the trailer is called "Only Lover" from the "Blue Corpse" album.

I Think I've Found My Tribe

Okay, a transgendered named "Cynthia" who says, and I quote, "Circuit bending is empowering..." You go girl,,

Here's some more data if yer interested:

currently listening to: Various Wesley Willis tracks to dig on that righteous Casio magic!

Jandek, Part Deux

So where wuz I? Oh yes, Jandek seen at Pizza Hut. Oh come if! It was actually at Baskin Robbins. He was seen sampling their latest crazee flavee...Primo Emo! Yowzaa, the achy-breaky kiddies will flip for this one, if only they could tear themselves away long enough from their Pitchforks and cutting knives to grab a scoop (ouch, that was harsh, sorry).

Basically in a shell-of-a-nut, Jandek has been making DIY records since 1978. Consistently. He just ain't all about the press and media and has done virtually no interviews save for a couple in the early days of his career. And his album! Done in that style of late '80's, early '90's arbitrary subject matter photo style copped by Sonic Youth and Sebadoh. He was doing this way before Thurston and co. came along.

Groundbreaker. Recluse. Did every facet of his production. Genre onto himself. The music? I'll leave that to you to discover and decide, afterall, that's the way he would want it.

In closing here, just gotta brag that I did see the elusive Jandek in concert. He exists! He's real! And the show that I attended here in Toronto was recorded for the documentary "Duality of Self" that will make it's premier at SXSW. Rite on! I always wanted to be part of an audience for a concert film. If I could go back in time I would choose to be part of the "Gimme Shelter/The Altamont Fiasco", but under the priviso that I could hide inside Keef's amp.

currently listening to: Nick Drake, Five Leaves Left

Jandek the Halls with Bow Downs for Brilliance, FA LA FUCKIN LA!

Ahhh, Jandek. Where does one begin? Big fan, Sam I am. Rather than go deep myself into the mystique, and tell you in my own, sure to be hipster pretentious way, Jandek's dealio, I encourage you yourself to see "Jandek on Corwood", a fantastic documentary indeed...I would put up a link to the trailer but blogger is giving me grief in doing this...just not workin! So until tomorrow, I will cloud the reason for this post in mystery. Quite fitting as the life and music of Jandek is exactly that, a mystery...OR IS IT??????? This reclusive man was recently spotted at a Pizza Hut! Stay tuned!!!!

currently listening to: mixed tape of stoner rock, Kyuss, anyone? Kyessss! ...and man, you got any snacks brah...huh...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. nighty night all.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Bring back the King Koils

Okay, this photo epitomizes everything that is perfect about rock and roll. First off, it's Lemmy. Second, it's Lemmy PRE-Motorhead, jammin' with the stellar outfit Hawkwind so it has that him before he was HIM sorta vibe. Nice. You got all the rawk cliches in there- the menacing devil horned bass, sunglasses indoors, and a groupie waiting in the wings. Don't even get me started on Mr. Kilmister's outfit...lemme just say lemmy was, in that era, hittin' all the style high notes while lifting that head high into the mike. Those little scamps from Wolfmother cribbed him large, that's crystal clear. But la piece de la resistance is the coil bass cable, folks. Bring 'em back, that's all I got to say. Just for the aesthetic value alone, never mind if sonically they bite the big one.

currently listening to: Wolfmother (okay, okay, I'll admit it, they are pretty catchy!)
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Love the look of this analogue and old skool it deserved a post of its own. Can't wait 'till it hits 666, probably sometime in 2066.

currently listening to: The Police, "Murder by Numbers"

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Voices Carry

On paper, on pretty, glossy paper, David Beckham has got it all. In addition to possessing that famed and highly rewarded athletic prowess, brother sure hit the genetic lottery. Pretty damn flawless turnout despite the faux-hawk and skirt fetishes, and that weird, thin, leathery cane he insists on walking everywhere with (oh, sorry that's his wife). And yet, that winning ticket seemed to lose its lustre (at least for me, my lust instantly vanished) when dude opened his mouth. The nasal whine of a voice did not fit. He should just pull a "Singing In The Rain" and hire some gent with a nice deep, manly voice to hide behind a curtain during interviews to speak while he just moves his lips. Posh is hip to the lip sync, she could give him some pointers. Anyway, it got me to thinking how underrated great speaking voices are. So in tribute to these unsung heroes, that don't need to sing to be rad, here are some shout outs:

**the guy who narrates PBS's FRONTLINE--his name is Will Lyman. He could give you directions to Disneyland but with that voice, you would just rather stay put and hang out with him. Check out his website

**the movie trailer guy--his name is Don Lafontaine and brother could even make a Pauly Shore flick sound interesting. He's at

**the woman who narrates the Canadian documentary "The Corporation"--her name is Mikela J. Mikael. Her gorgeous voice softens the blow of realization that the modern corporate world is akin to a dangerous psychopath.

Heroes all.

Just one more thing, if I could find out the name of the lady who does the "SAY WHAT?" in Rick James' "Give It To Me Baby", I would definitely add her name to the list.

currently listening to: Pajo, 1968

My Pick of Pick

Damn, I love da Dava picks, the da Vinci's of plectums...quality, quality, quality. Super good feel, super good grip. I'm sure some guitargeek site will tell you in ten paragraphs why these picks are so saaaah-weet, but simply put, they are like a well worn pair of Chuck Taylors, these picks just...feel...right.

currently listening to: Guided By Voices, Isolation Drills (listened to "Pivotal Film" three times in succession...)

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Eyes Have It

I am not a high fashionista. I'm more of a Judas high Priestah. But...I sure do love me some high camp fashion world extravanganzahhhh like "Eyes of Laura Mars". A 1970's gem where Missy Thang Faye Dun-away-with-wrinkles-thru-Botox rocks both a Nikon and a serial killer, nary a pulled thread emerging from her glimmering Halston. The plot is far too spectacular to go into here (google google google), but I will sum up its key points of brilliance.

*uses "Let's All Chant" by the Michael Zager Band in one of the photo session scenes.
*features crimped hair, mach one (afterall, the crimping iron was invented in 1972 by Geri Cusensa, who used it specifically for Babs Streisand)
*Babs herself sang the film's theme song
*tonz of scenes chock full of the kind of shag haircuts that Liam Gally-Scallywag can only now dream of now that he is losing his hair.
*Tommy Lee Jones. 'nuff said.

Go and get yerself some...see it before Tyra ruins it all and references it on her lame mallrat/model competition.

currently listening to: Spoon, Gimme Fiction

Friday, March 2, 2007

Haute Couture size 9 Volt

Place feet on two crybabies.
Secure feet tightly to the wah wahs with satin ribbons of the deepest scarlett. Large bows for extra flourish.
Wind a few heavy gauge Slinkys around the whole she-bang for extra flash.
The only high heels I would ever dare wear.

currently listening to: Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland



miss you, Dad.

currently listening to: Richard Buckner, Since