Thursday, February 27, 2003 

I wouldn't play the games, but I love those reviews.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 

Yes! Admittedly, I wish there was more new stuff, but I'll take what I can get.


This film was unjustly maligned when it came out (it's as perfect an adaption as could be imagined), so it's nice to see it getting special treatment.


I wouldn't keep linking to the Onion every week if they didn't have many articles on things I'm interested in.


I want to see this.




The scary thing is, his room in the picture looks just like mine did in first year. Minus the Reagan poster.


Just got a free copy of this new album. Haven't listened to it yet, but I'm hoping it's more like the former review and less like the latter.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003 

This is really neat, and something I'd love to do myself.


I'm going to continue to shamelessly steal links from TMFTML as long as they keep being this good. I just have to remember to credit them every time. This one is about Julian Cope and Krautrock.


Spinoza is one of the greatest, and least valued, thinkers in Western history. This isn't only interesting because it mentions him, but that doesn't hurt, either.


I'm very much an extrovert, but my girlfriend is very much an introvert. I wonder how she copes, sometimes.


In case I didn't make it clear before, I won't be able to update regularly until I reformat my computer, except at work (i.e. now) and I'm going to be careful not to abuse that. I'll put some stuff up tonight, but don't know when I'll be able to resume. I don't flatter myself with the delusion that I have a large audience, though, so I'm sure it doesn't matter.

Monday, February 24, 2003 

My girlfriend bought me a really cool book while she was away. I hope it's as good as it looks.


So we went to see Daredevil at Yorkdale this weekend. The only good thing it did was make me dig out my copy of this and remember how good it was. I hate Colin Farrell.


It's not just that Blogger was down; it's that my computer has entered that phase of its existence when it's time to reformat. Have to wait until I have enough time to back everything up first, though.

Friday, February 21, 2003 

Edith Stein was not just a Catholic Saint: She was Husserl's assistant who that asshole managed to usurp, not to mention steal ideas from. Glad to hear she's still remembered. Heidegger, meanwhile, has done more damage to Western Philosophy than we may realise for decades.


This is just beautiful. A little heartbreaking, too. Thanks to TMFTML for linking it.


I'll just refer to this from now on when I want to explain why I liked that show.


I love this record. Not a bad review, either.


Give me a break. I have the bad feeling this will keep happening until he does get it.


I've never liked Lieber and Stoller, and now I have a concrete reason not to. The horse has been dead for a while guys, could we please stop hitting it now?


Try to remember, it's just a game (last photo in the second link).


Sure, this is a horrible tragedy and all that. And yes, I feel bad for all those that were injured and killed. But part of me is thinking, 'at least it wasn't a good bad'.


Academics agree, mostly. Sure, Eldred is less scary than Patriots I and II, but it's still another reason I'm glad I'm north of the border.


Around about 5 am, I turn down the difficulty of whatever game I'm playing and switch to softer music. I probably should have gone to bed instead.

Thursday, February 20, 2003 

Just got back from watching the restored Metropolis. It was great. I was able to enjoy it on two levels. On the one hand, taking into account differences in tone, acting, and so on, it's a classic piece of superb artistry with moments of beauty. On the other hand, I laughed so hard I cried.


This, of course, is much worse. Why is it all we're doing is 'pressing' the US to 'probe' the matter?


There's really no justification for this sort of thing. This is dumber, and much more offensive, than 'humyn' and the whole 'capitals are fascist' thing.


Just helped (slightly) a friend paint a room. I'd never used a roller for the second coat before, and I was surprised at how much it sprayed. My left hand was coated in tiny droplets of blue paint. It looked surprisingly interesting, and also sort of natural. Most interestingly, it was tactile as well - my hand was slightly bumpy. The shade of blue didn't go with me, though, so I washed it off.


Something of quality on Something Awful? I didn't think it would ever happen either, folks.


Time marches on. I wish it wouldn't.


I hate soy sauce.


This kills the life-long dreams of about half of my friends from highschool.


I'd be happier about this, but 66 and change still isn't very good, and our reliance on the US dollar is depressing in the first place.


'Marquee Moon' is still an amazing piece of work.


I feel like someone hit me, hard, on the back of my head this morning.


Shockingly enough, it seems that animals will adapt to living in cities with us. Even hamsters.


As long as this continues, I will still have some faith in mankind. I'm going to sleep. It's too cold to be awake.


It's too early for me to be feeling like it's this late.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003 

Was just relistening to Hatful Of Hollow. I realise there was a point in time when even Boy George wasn't definitively regarded as gay by the public, but I don't see how people ever mistook Morrisey for straight. 'William, It Was Really Nothing', 'Handsome Devil', 'Accept Yourself', 'Still Ill', 'You've Got Everything Now' - to me, it seems obvious that Morrisey was very palpably wrestling with his desire for other men and the repression of such (if not by himself, at least on a societal level) at the time. The fact that he made some of the best pop songs of the 80s while doing so is merely astonishing.


The internet will eventually destroy any good memories you have of anything from your childhood. See?


I'm not sure I like BBC News' new layout. But I'll get used to it.


The ancient Greeks were more sophisticated than we are when it comes to emotions. Well, duh.


Newton's laws say that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, proving he knew nothing about women.


It's funny 'cuz it's true.


My brother's new tatoo (without the surrounding math).


Woke up this afternoon with a gulch for a throat. I poured water into it but it seemed to just seep into the fissures. It makes you constantly thirsty, because that dry feeling tells you that you haven't drank anything yet, and you keep pouring it down there. It never fills up. I've been talking oddly the last few days as a result. My voice skips when I sing.


It's getting warm. It's brown outside; I've always hated the tail-end of winter for the way it stains the whole landscape shit brown. No white snow anywhere. I like white, and I can't wait for the green, but brown is just ugly all over lawns and roads. The sky is colorless.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003 

"The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything."


I feel curiously amped up today. Interpol's spastic 'Roland' has been thundering through my head; I nearly forgot to stop to bus at my building. Apartment is empty except for damned cat, sitting on my chair. Overflowing with ideas. I want science fiction now, I want them to put a small device in my head which will let me update this thing by thought alone. Terminals are quickly becoming outmoded. In the time it takes to walk up the stairs and unlock the door I forgot what I was thinking.


The building is empty and, furthermore, half-renovated. I'm supposed to be working. But nobody picks up the phone.


International Mix Tapes

October 2005

Got everything out much earlier this month, and I had even more stuff to send, so I'm relatively pleased with myself. No over-arching themes or anything, just two streams of songs that came up late at night that still sounded good in the morning.

Shanon Henry down in Virginia Beach got the actual IMTP CD, which was:

01. Jon Brion - “Theme” (2:24)
02. The Prayers & Tears Of Arthur Digby Sellers - “Lisa” (4:00)
03. Mogwai - “Close Encounters” (3:58)

These three came up randomly and fit together so perfectly I couldn't not start with them. Brion's work for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind was kind of hit and miss but the good bits are really good, and "Theme" leads nicely into "Lisa". I hadn't seen tP&ToADS live when I made this, and having done so I was a little disappointed that all of their stuff isn't as fragilely beautiful as "Lisa", although they put on a good show. It's written from the perspective of someone's childhood imaginary friend, and it's pretty touching. "Close Encounters" is some old rarity I got from Mogwai's site, and it confirms my prejudice that quiet Mogwai are if anything even better than loud Mogwai. And loud Mogwai are pretty fucking awesome.

04. Oneida - “The Eiger” (2:33)
When I made this I had listened to The Wedding three or four times in quick succession to decide for good whether I was going to keep it. It was close, but the boring bits eventually weighed too heavily against it. The good bits are incredibly great, though, whether they're the weird string-based mountaineering drama "The Eiger" or the heavier psych excursions of most of the other good stuff ("Did I Die", "Lavender", "The Beginning Is Nigh"). I didn't intend the whole disc to be as restful as the first three tracks, and this picks up the pace a little.

05. Royskopp - “Dead To The World” (5:20)
For an album I didn't like that much, I sure am getting some mileage out of the tracks I did enjoy from The Understanding. Not as blissfully propulsive as "Beautiful Day Without You" or "Only This Moment", "Dead To The World" compensates with an equally beautiful sense of drift, suggesting a plusher alternative to the better moments of Brian Eno's Another Day On Earth.

06. Radiohead - “Like Spinning Plates (Live)” (3:47)
Much more of a "song" in the conventional sense than the studio version, what this lacks in the cold rumble of the original (which, yes, I do like) it more than gains in piano. Which leads excellently into the next track.

07. Michael Nyman - “The Sacrifice” (2:50)
I love Nyman's soundtrack to The Piano (and should track down some of his other stuff, some day), but I especially love the mp3 of "The Promise" I have, which doesn't quite appear on that soundtrack. I think I got some sort of "single version" as this song is shorter than "The Promise" on the soundtrack disc and skips straight to the good bits. The main motif from that track is used all over the soundtrack, and I was looking for one particular moment I remembered, when at the end of another song the piano starts slowly picking out that melody. I never found it, and think I was misremembering it, but "The Sacrifice" comes the closest.

08. Low - “Days Of...” (5:57)
Okay, so this whole disc wound up being fairly low key. Even more so than their more famous songs, "Days Of..." is a song where nothing really happens, especially considering how long it is. And it's utterly captivating.

09. Spoon - “Chloroform” (1:09)
Interlude. Back from when Spoon didn't mostly bore me.

10. Underworld - “Jumbo” (6:57)
Say what you will about Beaucoup Fish (and I have, I'm pretty sure), but the best moments on it are phenomenal. "Jumbo" is just dreamy, powerful and textured like all of Underworld's best songs. A little movement to get us going again.

11. Dirty Three - “I Offered It Up To The Stars And The Night Sky” (13:41)
The reason I ordered their Whatever You Love, You Are album, this is pretty much my favourite thirteen minute long song ever. That multi-tracked violin introduction is incredible, and the rest has a lonely, keening strength that is perfect night music. Fittingly enough.

12. Straylight Run - “Existentialism On Prom Night” (4:01)
Emo in the good sense. I guess pianos are kind of a theme this time? But unintentional. After the epic abstraction of the Dirty Three track I wanted something a little punchier, poppier, more singalongable.

13. The Strokes - “What Ever Happened?” (2:47)
One of my favourite moment from the great (and underrated, compared to their debut) Room On Fire album, I wanted something loud-ish before the last two songs I had picked. I often work on mixes from the front and back simultaneously, crafting beginnings and endings and working towards wherever they meet.

14. Corrina Repp - “No One's Telling” (4:41)
It's Only The Future is pretty devastating as a whole, but this is easily the best song, and after the brief spasm of the Strokes track it works extremely well.

15 . The Sycamores - “Biology” (3:08)
My favourite Sycamores song? Possibly. They're coming out with an album soon, I think. Still unsigned. Still one of the best Canadian bands of the past decade.

Total: 66:50

And then one of our winners over at the Stylus Album Art Challenge, a Julie Lipson, asked for a mix as well. This is what she got:

01. Elbow - “The Stops” (4:24)
I made both of these pretty late at night, hence the low-keyness. The quiet chime of the "just keep staring" parts here are almost painfully pretty.

02. Eluvium - “Calm Of The Cast-Light Cloud” (5:30)
Calm is the operative word; I've been listening to this a lot recently, and it always slows my pulse without putting me to sleep.

03. Jens Lekman - "If You Ever Need A Stranger (To Sing At Your Wedding)” (3:18)
My man Jens is playing in Toronto soon, and I will see him. The "Oh, it's just like a whirlwind" part tugs at my heart every time, and although there are a few over-quoted bits here, it's as good as everything off of this album.

04. Paavoharju - “Aamuauringon Tuntuinen” (3:57)
At this point I was worried I was just going to be quiet for a whole CD again, so I threw in something from this fucking amazing CD Bryan Berge and Mike Powell (I think) turned me on to. Finland must be awesome to produce music like this - this particular song is pretty poppy by the standards of the album, but the whole thing sounds like ghosts. Reggae ghosts, at times.

05. Pan.American featuring Low - “Code” (6:37)
I can so make a mix without Alan and Mimi on it. Shut up. A highlight from Pan.American great second album of cold electronic dub (I mean that in the best sense possible) 360 Business / 360 Bypass. And a bit easier to excerpt, because it's relatively short (under seven minutes!) and, well, vocals.

06. Asian Dub Foundation - “Naxalite” (4:43)
On the one hand, this is kind of odd man out; on the other, it flows beautifully from "Code" and I tend to honor the whims of the random skip function. Skittery, political non-dub from their first album.

07. The Mountain Goats - “Up The Wolves” (3:27)
The Sunset Tree should be part of your life. Especially after I saw these guys live. The "I'm going to bribe the officials" part always gives me a chill, and this is poppy as fuck. I love who he writes about what he writes about without lapsing into the maudlin.

08. Jackson C. Frank - “Blues Run The Game” (3:34)
A random find through the Stypod, this is pretty desolate folk(?) about life sucking. Fits nicely between its neighbours.

09. Superpitcher - “Happiness” (6:44)
Still the only Superpitcher song I've ever heard, but it's killer, eh? Thought it was schlocky at first; it's not, at least not in that way. Stretches out like a higway.

10. Local H - “No Problem” (4:14)
Downer time! The flipside to "Nothing Special", the part of As Good As Dead where Scott Lucas admits that, yes, he is the small town fuckup you and he always worried he was. He's wrong, but it's compelling music. There he's angry and self-deprecating, here he's sad and wondering why you bother coming back.

11. Readymade - “Rememberforget” (5:34)
Can I just call it a tie between Darnielle and this record for end of the year lists? I listen to this one more but its high isn't as intense as the Mountain Goats (although still more potent than pretty much anyone else). I can't write about these guys - just trust me, this is great.

12. Red House Painters - “Katy Song” (8:22)
Discovered via Anthony Miccio's Valentine's Day broadcast. The first half isn't bad, but it's the wordless end that kills. So fraught!

13. Oneida - “Lavender” (3:58)
I told you I'd been listening to them a lot recently. The ahhs have it.

14. Constantines - “On To You” (4:36)
In the wake of their new album, a reminder of what they do best.

Total: 67:56


100 things about me

1. My full name is Ian Sutherland Mathers.
2. Technically I'm part of Clan Sutherland, but only very mildly.
3. I'm okay with contradictions in a surprising number of contexts.
4. I like to qualify my statements.
5. I was raised left-wing, and I can't see that changing any time soon.
6. I've never been formally taught grammar, which is a shame.
7. I'm a writer.
8. I'm a big believer in disorganized religion. Seriously.
9. I believe in people rather than ideologies, even the ones I subscribe to.
10. I believe in things "as a rule".
11. I do not believe in dogmatism.
12. Depending on how you mean it, I believe in magic.
13. I definitely believe in art.
14. I listen to more music, and from more bands, than most people do.
15. What obscure music I do like, I don't like because it's obscure.
16. What popular music I don't like, I don't dislike because it's popular.
17. I believe in the ineffable.
18. I'm a philosophy major.
19. I'm torn between philosophy and writing as careers. Writing about philosophy counts as the former, incidentially.
20. I believe in the existence of universals. Just not their physical existence.
21. I don't believe language limits consciousness.
22. I don't think anything happens after we die.
23. This belief doesn't bother me.
24. I believe art exists in part to help us accept and celebrate our mortality.
25. I think our culture is pain phobic and overly concerned with an easy life versus a good one.
26. I believe that attempting to avoid pain past a certain point is impossible, ridiculous and, since it eventually leads to pain, counterproductive.
27. I was born August 11th, 1981.
28. That makes me, right now, 23 years old.
29. I've never bothered with astrology.
30. Given that mysticism is a belief in that which is "Remote from or beyond human comprehension; baffling human understanding; unknowable; obscure; mysterious" (, I am a mystic, however.
31. I think atheists are just as dumb as any other religious dogmatists. Especially the evangelical ones (on either side).
32. I'm usually fairly loud, but rarely deliberately so.
33. Either everyone I know is faking it, or I'm pretty funny.
34. My parents divorced when I was young.
35. That didn't really bother me either.
36. I'm a big fan of Marcus Aurelius.
37. And a bigger one of Spinoza.
38. Philosophy as a career appeals to me because I find the stuff fascinating and absolutely vital.
39. But I'm not sure I'm that good at it.
40. Other writing appeals because I am good at it, and it's fun.
41. But I worry about being able to support myself.
42. I strive to stay on the right side of the line between self-confidence and arrogance.
43. I believe that self confident people are just faking it. Including me.
44. But I also believe that doesn't matter.
45. I believe some things are matters of opinion, but not everything. I'm hedging my bets on what fits into each category, though.
46. I'm a big, hairy yet balding guy with a slow metabolism and in excellent health.
47. I like how I look.
48. I think everyone should like how they look.
49. I'm sick and tired of extremists.
50. In fact, I'm with John Ralston Saul - "balance and doubt" should be our watchwords.
51. I would love to learn languages, but I'm not very good at it.
52. I would love to learn how to play some instruments, but I haven't had the time.
53. I would love to be in a band. Maybe someday.
54. Despite how much our society has devalued it, I believe in love.
55. No, not just romantic love, although that too.
56. St. Anselm's ontological proof of the existence of God, once it was properly explained to me, caused me sleepless nights for a week.
57. Sometimes I like to stay up all night by myself, listening to music and reading or playing card games, for no reason.
58. I love to read, and did so much of it as a kid my parents were worried. In fact, my mom was worried I'd turn out to be an extremely lonely introvert.
59. Instead I turned into an extrovert, which surprised the hell out of her. In the right conditions I'm quite the social butterfly.
60. I love lots of different types of food: Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Japanese (not just sushi, but that too), Thai (the one time I had it), "normal" student stuff like pizza and Kraft Dinner, etc, etc.
61. I'm a romantic, but according to my girlfriend it's not terribly obvious.
62. It mostly doesn't bother me when people don't like me.
63. And when it does, it doesn't for long.
64. I could be described at high strung. But despite appearances I'm not very tense.
65. One of the ways I make sure I'm not tense is by expressing it when I'm annoyed, worried, etc. This often makes me appear more negative than I am, as does my sense of humour.
66. I am certainly capable of being a very negative person, but I've got that under control now. I think.
67. I like my beer. I don't have the liver to be an alcoholic, though.
68. I do like a few drugs, but I don't do anything regularly and don't plan to start.
69. I have a dirty mouth - I don't think of those words as bad, so it just slips out.
70. With things I care about, I'm quite the perfectionist.
71. I don't quite trust people who claim not to understand addiction.
72. I absolutely love certain brands of BBQ chips.
73. I think the idea that you have one true love, in whatever formulation, is utter crap.
74. I think no one is out of anyone's league.
75. I think humanity is hideously flawed.
76. But I love it anyway.
77. I would like to have a kid someday. Not anytime soon, mind you.
78. I'd like to travel more.
79. Except for one trip each to Alaska, Cleveland and Florida I've never been outside Canada.
80. I'm a bit of an Anglophile.
81. I actually no-fooling like Thomas Pynchon.
82. I love making lists.
83. I recognized parts of myself in High Fidelity
84. I try not to be elitist in any respect.
85. I sometimes fail.
86. I hated static electricity so much as a kid, I'd touch the non-metal parts of doors first. Didn't do anything, but made me feel better.
87. I once touched an electric fence.
88. I used to have a really bad temper.
89. It's still not great, but I haven't fought anyone since grade 9.
90. I love my family.
91. Lots.
92. Same goes for my friends.
93. I have been in serious, no-fooling love three times so far (I think).
94. Only once has it been requited.
95. I don't believe loving somebody has to automatically lead to marriage, kids, etc.
96. I'm not sure whether I believe in marriage.
97. For me, anyway - I certainly believe in marriage for everyone else, gay or straight, if they want it.
98. I'm not that weird, once you get to know me.
99. I don't believe this comes close to giving you an idea of who I am, but it's a start.
100. I care about the dumbest things.

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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imathers at gmail dot com

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