Monday, July 16, 2007



I hear Klark Kent turns 55 today too! (hardcore Police fans laugh now)

currently listening to: The Police, Regatta de Blanc

Let Me Level (42) With Ya

I've taken a wee bit of a hiatus...Hi! Don't-hate-us 'cuz we've been gone so long...I suppose it's time to level with ya all. Saying that I suddenly hear Mark King's monster bass lines when Level 42 were king and that brother slapped and whacked that instrument sumthun silly. Dude played his axe at too high a level for my liking...armpit playahs just do not look cool; if they are gonna slap and whack at underarm level they should at least give us something lowbrow amongst all that sophisticated technique, and rip off a few hand in the underarm fart noises. And just for the record, I don't think mighty Jaco ever, ever held his bass that high (surely dangerously close), yet ironically enough, it was the waistband of Jaco's pants that was cause for worry.

Jaco pulled down some killer chops, but felt no need to pull down his pants to normal level.

Level. Right. I was gonna level with ya. The reason I have been away for a bit stems from needing time to get well. On Xmas Eve of last year I was hit by a car and landed very badly on my head. My head swelled to Elephant Man proportions and quite frankly, I was messed. Messed up badly. Black eyes, stitches, fractured leg...a full artist's palate of bruisey-bad colours. Purples, reds and greens and yellows and you get the picture. Nasty bit of bizness. Part of my therapy was to start this blog to get my brain kick started again, and happily, it has worked. Unhappily, I get tired really easy, and my week is chock full of trips to the old physiotherapist's office. I call it the physiothera-I'm-pist-I-have-to-be-here office. My leg is still effed-up royally and although I am off the cane, I still walk with a limp that makes me feel like some method actor in search of a stage. I just wish I could be at the end of my own personal "Triumph Against Adversity" movie of the week montage with the Rocky theme music playing. Strike that, I'd prefer my treadmill chronicles to be soundtracked by fuckin' Faltermeyer. Fuckin' Faltermeyer. Catchy name that. An indie rawk band coming to an itune nearest you. One good thing is massage therapy. Except the music is crap, and I can't do a damn thing to change it...what can I do? Bring my Uriah Heep Cds and say, "Hey Sister Knead and Rub, slap this shit in, and let yer magic fingers gliiiiiiiiiiide..."

Thank god she doesn't play Enya and that gawdawful "Orinoco Flow". I call that track "Orinoco Menstrual Flow" cuz it is the theme song of women, sorry, womyn, who go to New Age discussion groups and discuss how their cycles make them feel dizzy with the powers of the Goddess. Actually, ladies, that's called PMS.

Actually, a good massage song would be "Stranglehold", despite the title. And definitely "Because" by The Beatles. Massage therapists really need to broaden their musical arsenal. I, and my traumatized muscles would be super appreciative.

So there, I'm on the level. Thanks for reading. Thanks also to the wonderful, wonderful group of peeps who continue to inspire, amuse, delight, educate, and encourage me...Allan, Miss Viz, GW, Todd, Aaron, Erik, AC, Dave, Scott, Harbinger, and Pajo. If I have missed anyone, I just gotta blame it on the memory loss that I have incurred as a result of kissin' the pavement.

I did the kissin', and now I'm doing the tellin'. Again, thanks for readin'.

currently listening to: Pavement, Slanted and Enchanted

Friday, July 6, 2007

Mem'ries, Misty Water-Coloured Fashion Friday

For this week's installment of Fashion Friday, I would like to pay tribute to Dwight Turner. The man! The myth! The Broadway musical! That's right, Dwight. Dwight Turner.

By now you are no doubt confused and are searching your brain filing cabinet for your file on this very person, and your inner dialogue is goin' "Who the eff is Dwight Turner?"

Well, I'll tell ya. Dwight is very much a real person, but to me he will always be that archetype, that concept, that Big Man on Campus who ruled da skool. The one who peaked in high school. The one who stood golden on top of the pyramid of social hierarchy, the one for which it was considered to have his locker and favourite cafeteria table bronzed after he graduated.

Yep, he graduated all right. But it took him a few extra years to do it. When I was in grade nine he was two years ahead of me, and yet there he was collecting his high school diploma the same year that I did.

I think he failed on purpose, and that he was trying desperately hard to stave off the inevitability of entering a world where he could not be David Lee Roth anymore. Or King of the Airband Competition. Dwight and his entourage took the Airband thang mega seriously; the year they won with Twisted Sister, they even had roadies with homemade laminates, wearing their mothers' old wigs; minions who were on constant standby in the wings to assist in case those cardboard guitars broke a fishing wire string, or needed a scotch tape repair.

Here's Dwight's yearbook picture, which is a true testament to his teenage power. No one else got to wear sunglasses or get a cool pseudonym.

Dwight, as A. Ferrari

In addition to being King of the Airband, Dwight was King Rock N Roll. He would often come to school wearing most excellent concert T-shirts, garments that made it pretty damn clear that he was rockin' it large on a school nite at all the best shows in the big city. I looked on with envy, looked on from my safe little world full of safe little decisions, like deciding "is it gonna be the Beatles Red or Blue album tonight?"

Here's Dwight's prom ensemble, that today would make a great Halloween costume. I call it a "Fuxedo", cuz it's a super formal tux on top and a Fuckin' A party all the way on the bottom.

*snakeskin spandex pants? CHECK.
*fedora? CHECK.
*white hightop sneakers? CHECK.
*Dwight's dignity 20 years later, looking back at this photo? That seems to suddenly have gone missing.

Incidently the blonde haired pretty boy in the photo to the right of righteous Dwight is Andy Stronach. Now the name Stronach may not resonate strongly beyond Canadian borders, but that name holds good or bad significance, depending on the average Canadian's political affliliation.

Andy is Belinda Stronach's little bro'; both she and Andy went to my high school. My public high school. Props to the Stronach parents for sending their kids to a free-for-all educational institution even when they could have carted them off to some elitist, super rich private academy catering to the schooling of the Roman Numeral Kids. Tyson Bennington-Howard IV. Spencer Cavendish-Huntley III. These names are made up. It's fun to make up Roman Numeral Kids names. My fave name-maker-upper is director/writer Wes Anderson. Raleigh St. Clair, Eli Cash, Pagoda, Steve Zissou, Royal Tenebaum...amazing.

Anyway, in high school Belinda gave no indication of an interest in politics. Hell, I don't even think she was on our student council. I do remember that she drove a pretty hot silver Z-28 and had perfectly feathered hair. She, like Dwight, wore cool rock t-shirts and was a couple of years ahead of me. But unlike Dwight, she graduated successfully on schedule. Many would say her failings would come years later.

Whatevs. She certainly knew her way around a curling iron.

currently listening to: Archer Prewitt, White Sky ( a top five, desert island disc...go find it NOW!)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Hello, It is the Clay Bust I'm Looking For

Like most music freaks I tend to wonder what has happened to certain items or artifacts that contributed to iconic musical moments and movements. I'm a freak that way. If someone held out King Tut's jeweled sceptre in their right hand and THE unused Kotex maxi pad that a blitzed Lennon apparently stuck to his head during his "Lost Weekend" in their left hand, I would be grabbing for that feminine product. Yeah, I know. I'm a freak.

Actually by now, like most peeps I am super tired of "LOST". They should do a series called "LOST WEEKEND" and have a bunch of rock gods stranded on a desert island, rock gods that curiously resemble Lennon, Nilsson, Moon, Ringo, Phil Spector and all of the smacked out session musicians that were hanging around during that crazy period of John's life. Oh, and have a May Pang-ish character too. Now that would be a show worth watchin'.

But back to the artifacts...if you are still with me, I ask you...

**the bitchin' SG Townshend threw out in the audience at Woodstock?
**Moon's "Pictures of Lily" drum kit?
**Morrison's stinky rank leather trousers that he supposedly never got cleaned but got creamed aplenty?
**Dylan's lyric cue cards from the "Subterranean Homesick Blues" clip? (I want the ones that say "Fleet Foot" and "The Vandals Took All the Handles")
**the crazy ass mic stand Julian Cope was ridin', and climbin' over like it wuz a set of monkey bars in the "World Shut Your Mouth" clip. That boom stand was a work of art, a marvel of ergonomics and I am shocked that there ain't more like 'em out there today...
**the clay bust of the teacher/stalker of blind chick character Lionel Richie played in the "Hello" video. Man, that thing is boss, applesauce. I would place it in a Radio Flyer and pull it all around town so that everyone could have a chance to see and enjoy its brilliance. Then I would have smaller replicas made and put on key chains and hand 'em out for free. That's what I would do. But obviously that ain't gonna happen. Surely the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Smithsonian are in a bidding war for the fuckin' thing. Aw, hell put it the Louvre, right across from the Mona Lisa. Give the old broad a real reason to smile.

"Hello, it is me you're looking for?" --"HELL YEAH it is!"

currently listening to: Nancy Sinatra, Greatest Hits

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

American Beauty, Mad Beauty

Hendrix's version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" was the best thing at Woodstock, natch. The fringe was good; you could drive yer vehicle under his arm and get a good quality carwash.

Hendrix was one of the best guests Dick Cavett ever had and certainly one of the most lively, unlike a certain Jerome Irving Rodale, who just sat there and did nothing. Okay, if you click the link you will see that old Jerome had a good reason for being somewhat less than entertaining.

I love the way Jimi defended his "unorthodox" interpretation of the anthem by stating simply, "I thought it was beautiful." Equally stellar was Hendrix's mad freak out all over Dickie, givin' the oh so perfectly coiffed talk show host a much needed dose of "mad beauty".

Happy 4th of July!

currently listening to: American Beauty Soundtrack

Monday, July 2, 2007

Caught By the Fuzz

I finally called the cops on the assholes down the hall who play godawful, repetitive, tailor-made-for meth heads, "music" at heavy high volume at all hours of the night and day. I had had enough. Telling them politely to turn it down wasn't so effective. I had considered knocking one more time to ask them:

"Hey you fuckin' E-tards, do ya take requests? If ya do, have you heard that supah-dope deep house cut called "If ya don't turn that souless shit down I'll have ya kicked out of the building?"

Imagine, for just a moment, the shittiest dance music you have ever heard and then multiply the shitty factor by a thousand. That would get you right there, right at the sort of aural punishment I have been subjected to for months. At high volume. Manufactured bass and drum pulse and pound like continuous boots to the head at 180 BPM.

What kind of fucking drugs to you have to be on that makes that music sound good? Oh right, chemical kinds that fuck up your perceptions so much that some woman's shrieking vocals streamed through a vocoder suddenly sounds as gorgeous as Maria Callas doing Madame Butterfly. Riiiiight.

The Vocoder, astounding effect either used brilliantly, or abused horribly depending on the genre

The police did a good job. It's silent now.

But for how long?

currently listening to: SILENCE

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Happy Canada Day, Happy Memories of America

Last week I was slipped a copy of SiCKO. I waited until Canada Day to watch it, knowing full well that it shone a light quite favorably upon the Great White North, and upon the universal health care that our government provides. I waited until Canada Day to watch it so I could feel doubleplus proud of my home and native land.

It's somewhat tough to digest when your patriotism flows from a place of comparative analysis; when you are moved to think and then conclude, "God, I am so glad to live here and not there." It's a natural reaction, but an altogether unfair one, if you just leave it at that and don't explore the issue further. It would be unrealistic to suppose that there isn't a least one Canadian out there who derives their pleasure from being Canadian on the basis that they aren't American.

This is the Canadian who delights in telling the stories of Americans who sew Canadian flags on their backpacks while travelling abroad, in order to have an easier, more welcoming journey. This is the Canadian who somehow blames the whole of the U.S for seductively luring the brightest lights of Canada south of the border into permanent American residency and citizenship, like anybody could force Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, or that whole whack of brilliant Canuck comedians to do anything against their free will. It's called a career move, idiot, not a political statement.

Frankly, what I gotta say about that sort of issue is, thanks America for taking "Now lives in L.A.vril L.A.Vigne" off of hands, we owe ya one large! In exchange, we'll be happy to take "The Nuge" off your hands and throw him up to the Yukon Territory, under the proviso that he doesn't hunt and kill any of our wildlife.

But seriously, Canada would be worthy of all the accolades that we receive for being the kindest nation, if a certain percentage of our citizens would wise the fuck up and not buy into the effed-up notion that feeling pro-Canadian comes solely from feeling anti-American.

I think for this Canada day, I wish to celebrate Americans. Because they are us and we are them. Yes, our money here in Canada is colourful and apparently worth a little less than the boring, not-colourful-at-all U.S. dollar, but at the end of a hard day we all just want to feel like we have lived and that we have loved and have been loved.

I can remember going to down to Memphis back in '97 a couple of weeks after Jeff Buckley died to pay my respects. I didn't have much of a plan, I just needed to get there to "deal" with his death and grieve in my own way. I just threw some clothes in a bag, and went.

To make a long story short, once I got off the train in Memphis, I met an American who took me into his family home, where I was warmly received by his wonderful wife and daughter. They fed me, let me take a bath, drove me everywhere I needed to go, and because the gentleman knew the history of this glorious city so well, I received a first rate guided tour, complete with a stop at Graceland. Talk about grace. This American family personified the word.


Thank you America.

currently listening to: Jeff Buckley, Grace