Saturday, March 31, 2007 

Busy week

As noted by my brother on the previous post, my Smoke or Fire review went up yesterday.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 

Sunlight hits like a hammer

so last night my team managed to win first place in both rounds of music trivia, after I'd already had a six pack of Lucky Lager (not that I did all the heavy lifting, just most of it). Sadly, as I'd been drinking since 6 pm, hadn't eaten since 3 and it was now 11, I was not able to partake of any of our ill-gotten gains. That's two pitchers and four additional pints I had to pass up.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 


My review of Samamidon's fine But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted is up at Stylus today.


Any more than watching NASCAR makes you a good driver

Us Achewood fans don't get to say this very often, but Ray is 100% right.

(Now featured in Time! It couldn't have happened to a nicer comic strip.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 

Since 1892

Ladies and gentlemen... the Onion News Network.

Monday, March 26, 2007 

One hit

Our Top 50 One Hit Wonders is up this week at Stylus; only 50-41 are visible today, so check back all week for the rest of them.


And I will not remember that I even felt the pain

My dad will be delighted to hear this, but after an adolescence in denial, I fully accept how much I love Van Morrison. This might be my favourite song in the world tonight.

Friday, March 23, 2007 

Eternally up in the air

Feel good hits of the 23rd of March, 2007:

The Whitest Boy Alive - "Figures"
Grandaddy - "Jed's Other Poem (Beautiful Ground)"
Monster Movie - "Vanishing Act"
The Nerves - "Hanging On the Telephone"
Guided By Voices - "The Best of Jill Hives"
The Cure - "Hot Hot Hot!!! (Extended Mix)"
Low - "Words"
Songs: Ohia - "Being in Love"
The Buzzcocks - "A Different Kind of Tension"
The Dears - "Pinned Together, Falling Apart" (Live)

Thursday, March 22, 2007 

On the other side of almost everything

Just finished at long last revising my paper for the MA Seminar/Conference, "The Being of the Musical Work of Art." I'm really greatful for the commentary I received on it from a fellow MA student, which was greatly insightful and improved the paper maybe 400%. I'm really proud of it right now, and am thinking that these 20 pages will take relatively little work to make into one of the chapters of my thesis. So as a result, I think I'd better go out tonight and relax a little.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 

And here we sit, debating math

My review of the astoundingly good new Low album is up at Stylus today.

Monday, March 19, 2007 

We all falter

Also, I don't suppose anyone with a car wants to randomly go see Jesu in Toronto tomorrow night, huh? This is making me want to go.



Thanks to a certain Mr. O'Donnell, the Hackett edition of the Complete Works of Spinoza landed in my apartment today - it's gorgeous, even if I have to get used to this translation of the Ethic (and the lack of notes!). Now I just have to find a way to see my copy of The Letters (already included in the Hackett) off without losing too much money on the deal...


Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain

So I had my interview at the Beat Goes On, and I think it went well. Really well, actually, although I won't hear until next week and of course as soon as you leave you begin doubting - it's not for nothing that in Bloc Party's "Luno" "I can say the right things" comes after "I can heal the blind / I can cure the sick" on the list of boasts/hopes.

Sunday, March 18, 2007 

Take your shoes and go outside

Feel good hits of the 18th of March, 2007:

Go-Betweens - "Bye Bye Pride"
Joy Division - "These Days"
TV on the Radio - "Wolf Like Me"
Bloc Party - "The Prayer"
Tamas Wells - "Open the Blinds"
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - "Silent Running"
The Organ - "Brother"
Elbow - "None One"
My Morning Jacket - "Masterplan"
The Fall - "I Wake Up In City (Live)"

("These Days" through "The Prayer" marks one of the best run of songs to dance to I've heard at a while down at the Albion - hearing "Wolf Like Me" under those circumstances may actually bring me around to the album eventually, after months of me not caring much)

Saturday, March 17, 2007 


T-Rex is absolutely correct. At least about the scenes involving smooches.

Friday, March 16, 2007 

Poor Tom's a-cold

I've been reading the online version of Pepys' Diary since it started; yesterday his brother Thomas died and although Samuel is neither flowery nor particularly emotional about it (he was writing in a diary, not a euology), it's still pretty heartbreaking:

I left my wife to see him laid out, and I by coach home carrying my brother’s papers, all I could find, with me, and having wrote a letter to, my father telling him what hath been said I returned by coach, it being very late, and dark, to my brother’s, but all being gone, the corpse laid out, and my wife at Mrs. Turner’s, I thither, and there after an hour’s talk, we up to bed, my wife and I in the little blue chamber, and I lay close to my wife, being full of disorder and grief for my brother that I could not sleep nor wake with satisfaction, at last I slept till 5 or 6 o’clock.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 

Oddly terrifying

So I have a paper to write - it's not one that I'm worried about, it should actually be fun. It's on something I know inside or out, and although it'll take some time to actually get it down and polish it, I'm not exactly nervous about the quality of it once I do.

And yet, the last few nights it has taken me a few hours to fall asleep each night after I lay down, and last night was the worst - I turned off the lights at 2 am, and didn't actually sleep until 7 (although I think those five hours weren't a total wash as far as rest goes). I wound up re-setting my alarm for 11 because the prospect of doing anything when it went off at 9 made me want to weep. What the hell is wrong with me?


Maybe I should say hi

This is why I love xkcd.

Monday, March 12, 2007 


This article, on new technology used to "reverse engineer" not just a song or piece but a particular performance of that song or piece, hits directly at some of the stuff I'm working on right now. Fascinating, somewhat disturbing stuff.


"I'm fired. I'm getting fired."


Ludicrously sober

My review of the really good Manicured Noise compilation (I'd never heard of them before either) is up today at Stylus.

Sunday, March 11, 2007 

"If we don't debate this, we are not worthy of our country."

Saturday, March 10, 2007 

The prophet of our desert

Unsurprisingly, my favourite take on Baudrillard's death comes from k-punk:

He was certainly melancholic, but what he mourned was not a lost reality but what he variously termed the illusory, symbolic exchange, the seductive. Reality disappeared at the same moment that art and artifice were eliminated. Deprived of its heightened reflection, extension and hyperbolization in myth, art and ritual, reality cannot sustain itself. It is the very quest to access reality in itself, without illusion, that generates the hyperreal implosion. Here, as Baudrillard long ago realised, reality TV is exemplary. Film an unscripted scene and you might not have art, but you do not have reality either. You have reality's uncanny double, its excrescence: simulation, precisely.


I feel safe all the time

Feel good hits of the 10th of March, 2007:

Manicured Noise - "Faith"
Malcolm McLaren - "Love Will..."
The Blow Monkeys - "Digging Your Scene"
Modest Mouse - "Dashboard"
Galaxie 500 - "Ceremony"
Nelly Furtado - "Say It Right"
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions - "Lose Me On the Way"
Tamas Wells - "Broken by the Rise"
Spoon - "1020 AM"
Aarktica - "Happy Anyway"

Thursday, March 08, 2007 

A high note

In January and February of 2006, the first two months of my now-ending position, the tracing department had 227 completes. In January and February of 2007, essentially the last two months of my job, we had 783. That's 41% of the total number of completes for all of 2006.

Not a bad way to leave, I think.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007 

Counter productive

I probably should have been a little more active since getting home tonight, but I spent all day cleaning out my desk and setting things up for once I'm gone (tomorrow!), and sometimes you get so tired you just want to put up your feet, order some pizza, crank The Velvet Underground & Nico and play Palantir. I don't feel up to anything more than a little marking before turning in.


Miles away, miles above / The vampire only wants a little love

Feel good hits of the 6th of March, 2007:

The Afghan Whigs - "The Slide Song"
Okkervil River - "Black"
Deftones - "Cherry Waves"
Tarwater - "All of the Ants Left Paris"
The Kinks - "Waterloo Sunset"
Neko Case - "That Teenage Feeling"
Crowded House - "Distant Sun"
Au Revoir Simone - "Stay Golden"
Wilco - "Jesus, Etc."
Mercury Rev - "Frittering"

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 

Better than nothing

So Libby's been convicted over the Plame case , which is nice, but the juror they had talking to the press on CNN as Aaron and I were shooting pool said it best:

"I will say there was a tremendous amount of sympathy for Mr. Libby on the jury. It was said a number of times, 'What are we doing with this guy here? Where’s Rove? Where are these other guys?'" Collins said. "I’m not saying we didn’t think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of. It seemed like he was — as Mr. Wells put it, he was the fall guy."

And let me remind you that this means that the Vice President's Chief of Staff was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, and that since this is national security stuff, it's a felony to just ignore this sort of thing. Which the Bush administration did. This is seriously Watergate level malfeasance, and although I don't say this lightly, there is only one option (though it won't be taken): Impeach impeach impeach.


And cross it out

I've got a Seconds piece up today on Spiritualized's "Rated X" and memory.

Monday, March 05, 2007 

"And you cannot shape it / Cos it's reality, yeah"

I'm not Oprah's biggest fan to begin with, but this is really depressing. Using her incredible cultural influence to peddle this kind of tripe - not just stupidity, but dangerous stupidity - should be beneath her.

(title courtesy of Mark E. Smith)



For today and possibly a little while in the future too, I've got some blurbs up on the Singles Jukebox. I sent Will 14 blurbs last night in a fit of boredom/responsibility/procrastination.

Saturday, March 03, 2007 

I can feel it in my bones

Ben's got an excellent post up about the documentary Young@Heart, which I kind of desperately want to see.


Dream about me

I can't believe I'd never seen this before.

Friday, March 02, 2007 

R and R

Just found out that, although my brother went to work, the university is closed today too. Nice.



So when Ben and his buddy Paul from work got here at 2:30 yesterday, shortly after the school actually closed, we all decided that on balance the best thing to do would be to go to the bar. We were at Frugal's from 3 until about 9:30, and the tab for the five of us (Ben and Paul's girlfriends both showed up) came to just over two hundred. It was a very enjoyable day.

(and it was St. David's day, so they were serving Guinness-and-cheese Welsh Rarebit!)

Thursday, March 01, 2007 

Motherfucking snow day!

I didn't notice how bad the weather is as I was sitting facing away from the window marking papers (and down to the last one too), but my work is closed tonight (and we still get paid). I ain't leaving the house. This is awesome!

Edit: This made me so happy that I cranked "No Bulbs" by the Fall and danced around my empty apartment for the full seven-and-a-half minutes. Pretty damn fun!


Now, how to turn this particular mother out?

I hate to do it twice in a row, but today's Achewood is just as awesome as yesterday's.

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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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