Monday, July 31, 2006 

The great indoors

I have only two words to say: Fuck mosquitos.


Unit bias

This kind of falls into the "well, duh" field of science, but it's still nice to have it confirmed: Bigger portions, more gets eaten.

Sunday, July 30, 2006 

If you don't take my hand, I lose my mind

Feel good hits of the 30th of July, 2006, special home for a rest edition:

Jens Lekman - "Maple Leaves"
Ok Go - "The House Wins"
Mountains - "Sunday 07.25.04 Live At Tonic"
Editors - "Camera"
David Gray - "Slow Motion"
Hot Chip - "No Fit State"
Constantines - "Working Full-Time"
Pilot Speed - "Ambulance"
Leonard Cohen - "Famous Blue Raincoat"
Blur - "Ambulance"

Saturday, July 29, 2006 

I've got a million things to say

So, back in the ol' hometown for the weekend. Just unwinding, relaxing, not doing much. I did realise once I got here that although I stayed up quite late last night putting albums on my iPod, I forgot to being the goddamned fucking cable that both recharges it and also lets me listen to things from it on the computers here. So it's all headphones for me, I suppose, which should be interesting if nothing else.


Finally reading Gaiman and Vess' Stardust, which is pretty (expectedly) amazing so far.

The videos for Editors' "Munich" and I Love You Be I've Chosen Darkness' "According To Plan" are both kind of pretty, and in a similar way. The same way, actually, that the video for Interpol's great "NYC" (I don't care how much some people hate the lyrics, the song is a stunner) should be, although what they actually made is still pretty neat.

All three videos are on my mind because I actually watched the Wedge this week for the first time in roughly forever; it's a show I used to watch quasi-obsessively as a teenager, but have totally lost touch with. The playlist (found at the link) was actually pretty good, although (a) I didn't think much of Panurge, the Sounds or Midlake (b) hey, remember when they actually used to play really weird/bizarre/experimental/unpleasent stuff? I used to love that.

The Skeleton Key was actually pretty cool - I watched it with Aaron and Christa last night. Much less "scary" jump cuts and special effects, much more relatively subtle creepiness. Far better than the preview suggested, I'm glad I watched it.

And I have to download Firefox for my Dad's PC, as this one-window-at-a-time thing is driving me nuts.

Friday, July 28, 2006 

Bad day

I am in a really spectacularly foul mood, I have to get up far too soon to still be awake, and I have too much work to do. Still, at least being up this late lets me note that today marks my return to Stylus after a short, unofficial sabbatical to recharge some batteries; not only is my newest top ten present, but so is my review of the new Pan.American disc.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 

Great success

So the Borat film will be screened in Toronto at the Film Festival's Midnight Madness program. Which is awesome. More awesome? The film's full name is Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.



It seems painfully obvious to me that the answer to this sort of thing is not, as some parts of the Alberta government would tell you, to privatise our healthcare, but to stop drastically underfunding it (as all of Canada does; we may be better than most other countries, but that doesn't mean we're where we should be).


A mob is not justice

The only thing more disgusting that what this article recounts is the majority of the comments that follow, although thankfully not all of them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 

Ho ho ho

Darkseid vs. Santa

Trust me, if you recognize that first name you're going to enjoy it.


Kind of a meh week

The singles are up; my blurbs for them didn't make it in, but at least my two favourite songs were rated the highest.

Monday, July 24, 2006 

"Oh God yes."

I think it speaks volumes about me that I find this kind of thing incredibly funny. Don't forget to read the alt text, it's pretty gold as well.


Like a signal flare

Another A Touching Display; If nothing else you need to hear this one just for the Mountain Goats track.

Friday, July 21, 2006 

The Real is the impossible, but the impossible which happens

I hate writing what I think is good stuff and then posting a bunch of other things after it; so let me say, since the dearth of commenters means (I hope) that people haven't come 'round recently, that the past day or two have been good, unusually productive ones here at Fractionals HQ.

However, I do feel the need to get this link down before I forget; apropos of a conversation I'm currently having, here's k-punk's explanation from June 2005 of Capitalist Realism. Great stuff.


This will never get old, sadly

Even though Tucker Carlson isn't on Crossfire any more (does it even exist now?), Jon Stewart's demolition of him remains absolutely relevant. I saw it when it came out, but for some reason watched it again now, and it's still pretty bracing.


Everyone you know goes away in the end

The last installment of our, frankly, fantastic music video countdown goes up today. I've got some more blurbs in it, including our #1 video, Unkle's "Rabbit In Your Headlights". I've got a couple more scattered in the other parts (links at the bottom of the article page), but that's not what I want to talk about here.

I ranked the Unkle video above Johnny Cash's "Hurt", but I wonder now whether that was just a failure of nerve. It'd be wrong to downplay any ounce of the a/effectiveness of "Rabbit In Your Headlights" but whenever I pop in the "Hurt"/"Personal Jesus" single to watch the video my vision starts going fuzzy from the sheer emotion of it all circa the first real clips of a younger Johnny. By the end of the song some part of me wants to collapse sobbing to the ground, but I know why I don't, or can't.

We can all only hope we live as long, or as well, as Johnny Cash did; but if we do, or if we don't, ultimately all we are left with is memories. I've said before that one of the bravest, finest, most beautiful things art can do is help us deal with that fact, not by hiding it but by confronting us with it, and the "Hurt" video (not yet made when I was writing about "Nightswimming") is maybe the perfect example. I don't really get the sense that Cash regrets much, or even feels that bad about the fact that his life and the life of his beloved wife are coming to an end. It happens. There's nothing you can do. Occasionally the blunt fact of that reaches out to all of us, no matter how young, and leaves your mind reeling and a pain so deep in your chest you'd think it would never end. The essential cry of the human, presented with the facts of the world, is "this is unfair!"

And then you wake up the next morning and things continue to happen, as they always will, and you move on. And maybe, hopefully, a little of that ache stays with you. You can let it crush you and waste your life, or you can let it render the sheer miracle of existence so sweet that you want to dance everywhere and hug everyone you meet. Johnny Cash, and Mark Romanek, understand that.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 

Inter-species erotica

[Spoilers for a couple of funny bits, no plot spoilage.]

So I just got back from a preview screening of Clerks II, thanks to a friend who works for a local weekly and got passes. I expected to hate it. I'd recently rewatched the original and it had aged horribly, the non-acting of Dante and Randal being more hard to take with every passing second. And early on in this new one there's a hideous scene with Dante and his fiance (played, as you will hear in every review of the movie, by Kevin Smith's real life wife) that had me staring at the ceiling and assuming everything after that was going to be a wash.

But, before that, we'd had some lovely comedy, mostly bits of business involving Dante and Randal just talking about, you know, stuff, and having a supporting cast (especially Rosario Dawson, naturally) that they could actually bounce off of. And after that cringe inducing scene the fiance mostly stays off camera and the movie takes off. It's both the crudest and the sweetest film Smith's done to date; there's an extended scene featuring Randal using "porch monkey" (which he doesn't think of as racist) in front of an African-American couple that is howlingly funny if, like me, you like your comedy to make you feel uncomfortable, and there's an extended dance scene set to the Jackson 5's "ABC" that Smith threw in clearly just for the sheer joy of it.

My one reservation, aside from the fact that it's not a perfect movie, is that I felt a bit uncomfortable for the wrong reason during some bits that struck me as maybe a bit homophobic. But mostly, in addition to just bringing back tons of the dialogue that made Clerks so good, hitting a warm rhythm like old friends always do, there's also a decent little movie about futility, love and friendship in there, and the best gross-out comedy I've seen in years (when one of your highlights is a guy masturbating to another guy fucking a donkey while the first guy is crying and begging Jesus for forgiveness, you've crossed ground You, Me and Dupree fears to tread on).

Bottom line: If you're a Smith fan or a fan of the original, this is pretty much a must-see. And no-one is more surprised I feel that way than me.


The beautiful game

And so, the Zidane/Materazzi furore seems set to end in a painstakingly civilized manner.


"D'you have to use so many cusswords?"

I adore the full version of The Big Lebowski beyond all measure, but this gives you the gist. And if the title of this post doesn't make it obvious, not work safe.


Re: OutKast

"The Mighty O" might be (okay, is) a shitty song and a horrible idea for a single, but "Morris Brown" is indeed fantastic. And yet, Andre is nowhere to be heard. Coincidence? I don't even like rap that much and even I could tell Speakerboxxx was roughly 400% as good as The Love Below. Why an awful lot of critics couldn't, I have no clue.


Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust

Slight misquoting of the lyrics aside, how awesome is it that Batman likes the Clash? In continuity, no less. The 12-year-old me for whom London Calling and Batman made up two pillars of World Culture is too busy making "squee!" noises to comment on this, really.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 

Omens and witches

Shakespeare's Hamlet, as understood by the Tiv people in West Africa.


"Why are you even asking me this?"

Joss Whedon's Equality Now speech. Via Slacktivist. Wonderful stuff.


"If by 'candy' you mean 'ancient forbidden evil', then yes, I told you not to put it in your mouth"

Go here, watch the pilot. It is hilarious. Paul Giametti versus David Hyde Pierce! Plus zombies, monkeys, robots and demons. And poor Mr. Dog. Great stuff.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 

I don't remember why I had to give you back

Feel good hits of the 18th of July, 2006, special back to the gym/still single edition:

The Killers - "Mr. Brightside"
The Von Bondies - "C'mon C'mon"
Idlewild - "A Modern Way Of Letting Go"
Maximo Park - "Once, A Glimpse"
Super Furry Animals - "The Teacher"
Alien Ant Farm - "Movies"
Ben Folds - "Landed"
Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"
Andrew WK - "Got To Do It"
Six By Seven - "Bad Man"


I feel so extraordinary

This week's singles are up, after a one week hiatus so Swygart could move. Plus there's another 20 videos up in our increasingly huge article, including me on New Order's "True Faith" today.

Monday, July 17, 2006 

Billions of bilious blustering blue barnacles

I grew up on, among other things, translated Tintin books, and still love them; so this sounds kind of marvelous. Even if I'd probably roll my eyes at some parts in much the same way the reviewer does.


First day of my life

Not only does today find us with access to a new A Touching Display (wherein Rachel Stevens and Burial are juxtaposed not just out of sheer perversity I swear), but Stylus' top 100 music videos of all time. The first 20 are up today, including Bright Eyes' "First Day Of My Life", with a blurb by yours truly. I did a number of blurbs, and I'm more than a little pleased that only one of them falls into the bottom 20.

Sunday, July 16, 2006 


There's a sound in the background of some of the choruses on the Pet Shop Boys' "I'm With Stupid" that sounds to my ears just like the rattling beat from the Fall's "The Birmingham School Of Business School" (possibly my most beloved Fall song). I'm sure it's not, but it adds a whole new level of enjoyment to the song.

Friday, July 14, 2006 

What's so great about happiness?

K-Punk has his normal, wryly terrifying take on Zidane, the World Cup's choice of "let the memories begin" as a slogan, Icons, fear, memory and happiness here; fantastic stuff, and he links to a lengthy, interesting article doing a brief survey of the field of the psychology of happiness. And just as glenn mcdonald said a few years ago that "all advice is ways of saying 'let it go'," it turns out we're all trying too hard:

Economists have a term for those who seek out the best options in life. They call them maximizers. And maximizers, in practically every study one can find, are far more miserable than people who are willing to make do (economists call these people satisficers).

So naturally enough, some of the advice accompanying the article is wonderfully counter-intuitive. So much of our angst (or whatever you want to call it) in modern, affluent Western culture stems from having too much choice and agonizing over that choice. Most people researching these issues can tell you that it's best to just go ahead and decide, within reasonable limits, because "If you make a mistake, you have the capacity to rationalize the worst decisions. And if all of that doesn’t work, well, we’re able to find happiness in even the most hopeless situations."



This story is actually pretty neat, but it would be worth it even if not just for the title: "Meerkat pups go to eating school"

Thursday, July 13, 2006 


Valerie Plame is suing Cheney, Rove and Libby. May this be our generation's Watergate.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 

Technical difficulties

....and my blog template appears to have gone arse over tit.

This is what happens when you don't hand code everything yourself, I suppose - I'm at work, so I can't fix it now, and I'm going to the bar straight from work. So please excuse the mess until (much) later tonight, or possibly tomorrow. Everything still seems to be functional, at least.


Harder than gestures

My brother Ben and I have been talking a fair bit about the whole Zidane thing, and we both pretty much side with him. So I'm pleased to say I agree wholeheartedly with what he says in the interview he gave today, especially this:

Zinedine Zidane: I can't regret it because if I do it would be like admitting that he was right to say all that. And above all, it was not right.

We always talk about the reaction, and inevitably it must be punished. But if there is no provocation, there is no reaction.

First of all you have to say there is provocation, and the guilty one is the one who does the provoking. The response is to always punish the reaction, but if I react, something has happened.

Do you imagine that in a World Cup final like that, with just 10 minutes to go to the end of my career, I am going to do something like that because it gives me pleasure?

Interviewer: No of course not. But at the moment you exploded...

Zinedine Zidane: There was provocation, and it was very serious, that is all. My action was inexcusable but you have to punish the real culprit, and the real culprit is the one who provoked it.

If they want to strip Zidane of the Golden Ball, that makes perfect sense - assuming they penalize Materazzi as well. Most accounts via lipreaders and so on include some element of racism on his part, and I had heard FIFA takes that very seriously indeed.


I gave two tries

Have you seen the Wrens' new website? The old one was decent, this one is fantastic. Now if only they'd play Toronto again...


"demon duck of doom"

Too funny.


I can't remember

My piece on Chumbawamba's "Amnesia" and Canadian elections is up today.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 

Town full of family

So Kiernan, over in Paris for the summer on some sort of international law thingy, has finally (after much prodding from me) thrown up an account of her trip to the town in Switzerland where he family comes from. Between that, some of the pictures she took (there's this church in there that's just incredibly beautiful, and new too!) and a little Art Brut (the actual stuff, not the yappy British band) it's pretty cool.


You looked at me for half a second

Anyone who can listen to the entirety of Crowded House's best of and not find anything to like... Well, I'm not sure what sweeping generalization I'd make about those people, but I'm pretty sure we wouldn't understand each other. Pretty much the only decision I have to make now is whether to still keep Temple of Low Men, since four of the best five tracks are on Recurring Dream. "Love This Life" all by itself may be enough to earn it a place on my shelf.

(also, if I never hear the horrible, Muzak-y versions of "Fall At Your Feet" and "Don't Dream It's Over" that have haunted the local grocery stores ever again, it will be too soon - that's my childhood they're fucking with!)


That distance in the tune

I first read it a while back, but after hearing Burial's album repeatedly (there are very few things I have heard more this year - I am entranced by his beats) it was extremely interesting to revisit this interview:

M: Explain about the production set up you use…

B: I’m not a ‘musician,’ no training, nothing. So I was always scared of people who had studios. Heroes of mine like Photek suddenly became Rupert Parkes in his studio, telling everyone how he did it. The magic got a bit lost.

So I thought to myself fuckit I’m going to stick to this shitty little computer program, Soundforge. I don’t know any other programs. Once I change something, I can never un-change it. I can only see the waves. So I know when I’m happy with my drums because they look like a nice fishbone. When they look just skeletal as fuck in front of me, and so I know they’ll sound good.


B: There are certain tunes that haunt me when I wake up. I don’t find melodies catchy, I find drums catchy. When you have a bassline in your head for a day, you’re fucked. You can’t think. Big sub slugs. I get them a lot. Because I work with waves I can write them down.

M: you’ve developed your own kind of shorthand?

B: Yeah. I can draw a fishbone and remember it later. I also used to get thrown out of class for drumming on tables, so sometimes I have to record myself drumming in case I forget a beat.

M: How many sources of crackle do you use?

B: Pirate radio crackle, vinyl crackle – I like. But most of all I like rain. Fire. I’ve got recordings of rain and fire crackle that would put most electronica producers to shame they’re so fucking heavy. That crackle sits over my drums, hides the space between them. When I started making music I could see through it and I was disappointed because it destroyed the mystery for a bit. But when I chuck crackle over it, it hides it under layers, it’s no longer mine. And you get a feel of a real environment.

There’s one tune on the album, ‘Prayer’ that has a recording of one dude walking down the street and the walking into a church. You can’t analyse what the change is, there’s just some change in the air, the air in the tune.

Monday, July 10, 2006 

Ten bands

Via Ben, I happened to make my way to the blog of one Mandy, and found my favourite music-related timewaster in quite some, err, time. You list ten bands you love, in no particular order, then answer questions based on them. It works better if you list the bands before reading the questions.

01. Low
02. Elbow
03. Massive Attack
04. Clinic
05. Tindersticks
06. Wire
07. New Order
08. Talking Heads
09. Readymade
10. Spiritualized

What was the first song you ever heard by 6?
Technically it was "Ex-Lion Tamer", but the first Wire song I ever knowingly heard was the first track on 154, "I Should Have Known Better".

What is your favorite album of 8?
Fear Of Music. But just barely over Remain In Light, and it may have flipped by tomorrow.

What is your favorite lyric of 5?
I’ve got memories
I keep them away from me
They won’t behave
Won’t be what I want them to be

I’ve seen it all and it’s all done
I’ve been with everyone and no one

So many squandered moments
So much wasted time
So busy chasing dreams
I left myself behind

I’ve seen it all and it’s all done
I’ve been with everyone and no one

So this dying slowly
It seemed better than shooting myself

(from, naturally, "Dying Slowly")

How many times have you seen 4 live?
Once, with Pete - I've got the ticket stocked away somewhere. I was supposed to see them and the Apples In Stereo a few years back with Kiernan, but we wound up being unable to go. I had already bought tickets and everything. The show I saw with Pete was incredible though - great opening act (Midnight Movies), I got to interview Ade beforehand, and the show was kind of awe-inspiring. Especially "Porno" and "2/4".

What is your favorite song by 7?
This is one of those cases where #1 is blindingly obvious, but #2 would be a killer to pick. "Temptation", especially the Substance version.

Is there a song of 3 that makes you sad?
Less than I would have expected, when I actually try and think of them. New single "Live With Me" is a tearjerker for sure, though.

What is your favorite lyric of 9?
Let’s plan a robbery
Even if just to plan
That might change our lives

We’re the rut of suburban housewives
Rain on the outside, quiet inside
Even if just to plan
We’re always the last table to leave

(from "The Futility Steps")

What is your favorite song by 1?
The closest I can come to picking just one is to say "(That's How You Sing) Amazing Grace" for the voices, "Violence" for the purity, "Pissing" for the catharsis.

How did you get into 8?
Grew up with them - although the only songs I knew by were by them were "Once in a Lifetime" and "Burning Down the House", when my dad got the two-disc Popular Favourites anthology I was surprised to recognize a good half of the songs. Never looked back from there.

What is your favorite song by 4?
Either "Distortions" or "Porno".

How many times have you seen 1 live?
Once, in Cleveland, just before they cancelled the rest of the tour. Kiernan and I were very glad we hadn't waited for Toronto.

What is a good memory concerning 2?
Coming home on the Greyhound after a sleepless night in Toronto, listening to Leaders of the Free World on headphones, nearly weeping from beauty. One of those listens, where at the time you can't imagine ever listening to any other music again.

Is there a song by 2 that makes you sad?
You know, I don't think there is.

What is your favorite song of 6?
Probably either "Too Late" or "A Touching Display".

How did you become a fan of 10?
Read a review of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space on, bought it sound unheard, and that was that.


We may never know, but...

The first comment at Youtube: Materazzi spoke in Italian - a language understood by Zidane due to his time spent with Juventus F.C. - and first told him: "Hold on, wait, that one's not for a nigger like you." As the players walked forward, Materazzi allegedly said: "We all know you are the son of a terrorist whore." Then, just before the headbutt, he was seen saying: "So just fuck off." According to Brazilian TV Rede Globo, a lip-reader claimed that Materazzi twice called Zidane's sister a prostitute.

You know what? If the above is true, Zidane should have aimed for Materazzi's nose instead of his chest.


From the vaults

This classic, an Onion article that still makes me laugh far too much, is entitled "Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My Cock?" - if you haven't read it before, you are in for a treat.


Film scrubbing

Is it really surprising that an American judge would decide that unauthorized editing of movies is illegal? I mean, I agree with him - but wasn't this a no brainer?


I could turn on you so fast

Another Monday, another A Touching Display - this one takes an idea I'd been trying to fit in somehow since the very first editions of the show and just goes with it. I think it holds together pretty well, musically.


Red mist

All "lol headbutt" type stuff aside, here's an excellent account of why I feel pretty bad for Zidane.

Sunday, July 09, 2006 

The gold watch

What a way to end a career.

Saturday, July 08, 2006 

Remember me, I used to live for music

I think what makes Death of a Ladies' Man my favourite Leonard Cohen album I've heard so far is the way it firmly disproves the notion that Cohen is a bad singer, or not a singer at all, in a way I'm Your Man*, The Future and the career-spanning (but Ladies' Man-omitting) The Essential Leonard Cohen all fail to do.

I love, adore, lionize Cohen's "mature" voice, that dry croak that gives his later albums a disproportionate amount of their weight. And the first fifteen tracks of the Essential collection - "Suzanne" to "Night Comes On" - exposed me a voice I was only intermittantly familiar with but quite like, but it's often too thin, too separated out from the songs. This is part of Cohen's appeal, part of what sets him apart, and it's not as if he's unable to be visceral, it's just a different kind of viscerality. But on Death of a Ladies' Man, possibly due to writing all of the songs with Phil Spector, he's actually singing there with the songs (I have no idea how to actually describe this) - his performance on "Memories" alone should absolve him of the need for any defence of his ability to sing (to say nothing of the glassily exuberent "Don't Go Home With Your Hard-On" or the shattering, final title track). I mean, he may have lost it since, but he did have it at one point, and he was great at it. It's just an aspect to his talent that has been overlooked.

And that's not even the best thing(s) about Ladies' Man, but I did know I was going to buy it when I found myself humming along to the rowdy hoedown of "Fingerprints" while walking to get the bus after work one day.

*(Which used to be my favourite Cohen album, but honestly that essential collection is quite good, and has a whopping 6 of 8 tracks from I'm Your Man - I like "I Can't Forget" and "Jazz Police", but I'm not sure I like them enough to keep duplicates. At this point the only Cohen I really want to investigate further is Dear Heather, which came after the comp, Songs of Love and Hate, which has one song on it, and maybe Recent Songs)


"No more."

So tonight was a little exciting - after getting the new cable and internet set up (except the pigshit dogfucking internet stopped working properly by the time I got home - mine didn't work, and when I rebooted the modem as directed, Ben's stopped working) we went out to Waterloo to see The Proposition. But first we went to Orange Monkey Music, which is about as good as Encore Records, and where I got Leonard Cohen's Death of a Ladies' Man (serendipity!) and Big Black's Songs About Fucking, and Ben scored a sweet vinyl copy of Goblin's score to Dawn of the Dead. We then ate a hearty meal at a local pub with some excellent beer brewed on the premises and watched the movie, which was much better than I expected (and I expected to like it).

As lean, as brutal, as tense, as tough as all the best Westerns. An outstanding cast (special mention to the always amazing Ray Winstone), good script, excellent direction - and fine music, by Nick Cave (who wrote the damn movie in three weeks!) and Warren Ellis of the Dirty Three. I highly recommend this one, and if it wasn't late and I didn't feel lazy I'd probably go on at length about it.

Friday, July 07, 2006 


So CBGB's is moving to Las Vegas, urinal and all.


Save the frogs

Apparently a bacteria is doing major harm to amphibian populations in much of the world. They're currently raising money to try to save species from extinction - always a worthy cause - and there are some amazing pictures here with some information.


I just got a fucking tattoo

Still a little woozy from the endorphins, and my wrist aches like a bitch. Picture to follow once the shop emails it to me and/or Ben gets home.


Imagine the future

Art from a vending machine. Kind of an interesting idea.

(big music geek bonus points if anyone recognizes why I titled this post what I did...)


Waking up in a tub of ice - or not

So what do you think the government of China is doing with members of Falun Gong they jail? If you're not guessing killing them and selling their organs, you may be wrong.

Thursday, July 06, 2006 

The finality principle

So Ken Lay dies; fair enough, it happens. But now that means that "Lay was never convicted, tried or even indicted for Enron misdeeds"? I'm going to have to ask my father if Canadian laws work the same way, and I sure as hell hope they don't. Because the idea that the massive amount of money Lay was due to return somehow just vanishes now is pretty messed up, notwithstanding the fact that civil suits can still be brought. The paranoid part of me wonders if the fucker didn't just fake his death.

(story here)


Ends that cannot be realized through means that can never be justified

A rather ringing repudiation of the idea of small government governments over at Washington Monthly. Nice to see someone put it so bluntly.


Death to all things real

My review of Steve Adey's debut album is up today; the album is quite good.


Kind of a dick move

I'm not sure what I think of this Darren Brown guy, but his victim had one of the more thrilling video game experiences imaginable.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 

"even the Pope is considering suggesting that we all start worshipping it instead of this whole ‘God’ lark"

This week's singles are up; the six I heard were uniformly pretty strong this week (the 5 I give Regina Spektor is the lowest mark I gave), but most importantly, the Pipettes' "Pull Shapes" won. After Scritti Politti last week, my faith in humanity is slightly renewed.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 

"Oh, Doctor, you and me is gonna have such an awful lot of sex."

Because I am a huge geek and love(d) Firefly inordinately, I was ecstatic to run across word of an earlier, longer script, although like the blogger I'm linking to I am ultimately glad Joss Whedon went with what he went with.

(thanks, Jer)


Some people should not own animals

So every so often CBC brings me this kind of story; someone with way too many animals, the authorities find out, they remove the animals, many of them are usually injured/ill enough they must be put down. Depressing enough already, right?

Hud described killing some of the cats by putting plastic bags over them and putting them in holes in the ground. "They meow for a while, but after that, no. It's pretty fast," he said.

Hud said he had no choice but to do what he did.

"If I didn't, I'd a had a hundred," he said.

Okay, so that's worse than normal. But you know what really gets me? The article ends by noting that Hud still has cats. Does this not seem like a mistake to anyone else?


"Did I ask too much? More than a lot?"

Anthony Miccio just gave me a reason to listen to U2. I've loved his whole project and will be sad to see it go, but this post alone justifies the whole thing. Not that, at this point, it needs justification.


$5 to fuel up your car?

I think I'd better see this.

Monday, July 03, 2006 

Desk tops

I admit, I'm half linking this just so I can watch it at home with the sound on, but damn if it's intriguing even without commentary. It's also nice to be reminded every so often that the designs we live with are arbitrary and changeable, not inevitable.


Monday roundup

Still tired, mostly from staying up too late last night. It's sad, but when Ben is out of town I start thinking "I have the apartment all to myself... I can blast the Goslings real loud after 11! I can wash the dishes to the strains of Rachel Stevens! I don't have to put on a shirt to go watch Grey's Anatomy, because we don't have company!" Not that I mind company, at all, but it's a wonderful thing to be able to wander around your apartment in as little as possible when it's as warm and humid as last night was.

Anyways, today brings us:

A gallery of the last punk night at the Shadow; includes such wonders as Ben looking pretty awesomely drunk in the last couple of pictures, Casey and Ben Decay (not my brother) grabbing their crotches because they'd just hit each other, and me in a suit. With Orbax. Who is giving the shocker. Because we are all about class.

A special all-70s edition of A Touching Display. 's good. Go download it.

Belatedly, a link to my Mogwai article on the New Pollution. I completely forgot to post when it went up. I'm not 100% happy with how it turned out, but this is my first time working with those guys and my first time writing this kind of article. I think it's still worth a read, although your mileage may (as always) vary. Stuart Braithwaite was a lot of fun to interview, in any case.


Transcendental Defeatist

Mark k-punk is his customary entertaining/enlightening self vis a vis England's World Cup ejection. To be honest, you could see this in action at the end of the Brazil/France game - Brazil visibly became more and more resigned to their defeat until they basically stopped moving.

Sunday, July 02, 2006 

Get a real tattoo

I don't, but I do have the tattered remnants of a temporary "Canada" one from yesterday clinging to my right forearm. I keep seeing it and getting distracted, wondering what it is; I think that might be a good spot for a real one, actually.

So, the weekend went like this: Buy beer. Drive to Kincardine. Drive to Dad's. Go get more beer for the household with my cousin Ian. Drink too much with relatives. Eat (salmon from Alaska, cheese from Clifford). Hit the beer tent at the Scottish Festival. Drink way too much with family. Hitch a ride to Mom's. Sit around campfire. Make sandwich. Try to sleep.

Wake up too early. Drive to Dad's. Eat too much (french toast). Drive to Mom's. Drink way too much, play cups once, lose quickly. Eat too much (delicious, delicious spaghetti with, basically, pulled pork in the sauce, plus salad, garlic bread and so on). Spend next few hours slumped on the couch/lawn chair in a daze (so was everyone else, in my defence). Cousins come over. Make it to beer tent. Drink a little. Run into a couple of people from high school. Say goodbye to relatives. Hitch a ride to Mom's (see cute girls walking down street at midnight in bikinis, think briefly you recognize one of them). Sit around on front lawn (no fire, it's been raining since late afternoon off and on). Make sandwich. Watch fantastically exciting end of World Cup game, France knocking Brazil out. Sleep.

Wake up too early, to fantastic breakfast (eggs with peppers, mushrooms and green onions; bacon; toast; fruit salad). Get early ride back to Guelph. Stop for ice cream 3/4 of the way there. Get to apartment, wave goodbye to ride. Enter apartment (1:45). Collapse. Do nothing productive until at least, say, 5:30 pm.

Saturday, July 01, 2006 

Happy Canada Day

I'm celebrating it in traditional family fashion - eating French Toast while hungover. The ride down yesterday was a little weird; we had a hailstorm(!) in the morning that knocked out my power for ten minutes, in the middle of a random small town (we had to take a big detour, so I don't know which one) there was a half barn with the word "ELVES" painted on it like a warning, and in another small town there was a railway car, just one, in some guy's backyard.

It's good to be home.

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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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