Monday, April 30, 2007 

Radio star

If you go to CFRU's Archives for the next little while (they go 30 days back), you can catch me on The Anarco-Feminist Kool Aid Acid Test talking to Ken Cheesy. It was a lot of fun, and some good stuff got played - Earth, Low, Damien Jurado and a few others were my picks. It's grouped by hours, and my entire appearance (I basically hang out and talk between songs for the duration) is the 15:00:00 slot of the show. You can download it! People who've been missing my podcast should check it out. I might show up in future, as Ken has told me I'm welcome to.


To be of some hard, simple, undeniable use

Feel good hits of the 30th of April, 2007:

Smog - "To Be of Use"
8mm - "Liar"
Jackson C. Frank - "Here Comes the Blues"
The Fire Theft - "It's Over"
Burial - "Distant Lights"
Red House Painters - "Another Song for a Blue Guitar"
Leonard Cohen - "Avalanche"
Damien Jurado - "Hoquiam"
Jason Molina - "Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go"
Hot Chip - "Crap Kraft Dinner"


Morbidly funny

Via k-punk, I come to this rather massive compiled entry at the Beasthouse; it's quite entertaining for the most part, in a kind of misanthropic way, but the closing list ("Nine Symptoms of Depression Which I’m Not Going to Be Able to Talk About in Any Other Venue, So I Might As Well Talk About Them Here") makes clear just why there's a tinge to the whole thing that doesn't make me laugh. Of course, that only makes it a more crucial read.

Saturday, April 28, 2007 

"There goes a siren. Oh how can I stand being left. I need to go to a Dr. but I am afraid. I'm so cold."

I'm kind of at loose ends today, so I'm checking out some old links before I go to the gym, and I stumbled onto this. I don't remember where I got it from. I've never so much as thought about suicide for an instant, and I doubt I ever will (barring, with any luck, any sort of chronic medical condition that makes life intolerable), but this is still an incredibly depressing thing to read. So many of these are so angry. It makes you wish you'd had a chance to talk to them before they did something irreversible.

Maybe if I ever find myself with more free time I'll try to volunteer at this sort of place.


You've been sad for a while

Feel good hits of the 28th of April, 2007:

R.E.M. - "Why Not Smile"
Red House Painters - "Have You Forgotten"
Readymade - "Hamburg"
Nada Surf - "Inside of Love"
Paul Simon - "Gumboots"
The Lemonheads - "If I Could Talk I'd Tell You"
The Failed Alliance - "Before It Starts"
Pilate - "The Travel Song"
Doves - "The Cedar Room"
Phosphorescent - "I Am A Full Grown Man (I Will Lay In The Grass All Day)"

Thursday, April 26, 2007 

Hassan-i Sabbah

Ben sent me something from BME's Modblog and I've been browsing the text tattoos, looking for inspiration... I think this one is pretty goddamn awesome.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 

For the day I’m not here, when I’m gone and I’m sorry

I've already posted on the Agenda today, so I'll say this very insignificant thing here instead: If I could find say, an hour's worth of songs that make me feel the way Monkey Swallows the Universe's "22" makes me feel, I could probably die happy.


Everybody always tells her how much they care

Feel good hits of the 25th of April, 2007:

Sloan - "500 Up"
My Morning Jacket - "Mageetah"
The Velvet Underground - "Waiting for the Man"
Red House Painters - "San Geronimo"
Hot Chip - "(Just Like We) Breakdown"
Low - "Dragonfly"
Interpol - "NYC"
Daft Punk - "Emotion"
Van Morrison - "Cyprus Avenue"
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - "Me and Mia"

(selections 2-8 played during the extremely successful/fun Philosophy Grad Student potluck held at my apartment on Tuesday)


People get crushed like biscuit crumbs

I'm more than a little intrigued by this review of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Both Taleb and Ferguson (in the course of the review) make some good points.

Monday, April 23, 2007 

See the sky about to rain

So I almost didn't stop at the record store on the way home as it looked pretty badly overcast (although it's been gorgeous - hot with a nice stiff cool breeze), and while I'm glad I did (cheap copies of the Cure's remastered Seventeen Seconds and Red House Painters' Ocean Beach!) I'm also glad I didn't stay long. I got in my door literally minutes before the current torrential downpour started. We're talking 45 degree rain, sheets of water coming off of the roof of the building across the street from us stuff.


The unexamined life

A little while ago the esteemable J. Edward Keyes wrote a guardedly positive review of a Taylor Hicks show. There were then hundreds of comments ripping him apart for the mortal sin of... I'm not quite sure, actually. Not being enthusiastic enough? Whitney Pastorek over at PopWatch has written an excellent commentary on the whole mess that asks some pretty fucking crucial questions, and she's got links to the original article and more. Essential reading if you're at all interested in any form of cultural criticism (and if you're not, why aren't you?).


I've never felt so out of control

Feel good hits of the 22nd of April, 2007:

The Afghan Whigs - "66"
Colossal - "Table Settings"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Sealings"
Tinstar - "Sunshine"
The New Pornographers - "Bones of an Idol"
Aphex Twin - "4"
Guillemots - "Sao Paolo"
Super Furry Animals - "Northern Lites"
Dirty Three - "I Offered It Up to the Stars & the Night Sky"
Sigur Ros - "Avalon"

Sunday, April 22, 2007 

"Something got out from inside the story"

Mike Powell already had me pretty convinced I need to see Inland Empire if it ever comes to the Bookshelf, but now k-punk is further whetting my appetite...

Each corridor - and there are many of Lynch's signature corridors in INLAND EMPIRE - is potentially the threshold to another world. Yet no character - the word seems absurdly inappopriate when applied to INLAND EMPIRE's fleeting figures, figments and fragments - can cross into these other worlds without themselves changing their nature. In INLAND EMPIRE, you are whatever world you find yourself in.


The temptation to ascribe depth, to resolve the film's ontological conundra epistemologically and psychologically (i.e. to attribute the film's to phantasms issuing from the deranged mind of one of the characters) is no doubt great, but must be resisted if we are to remain true to what is singular about the film. It is the film that is mad, not the characters in it.

Friday, April 20, 2007 

We've been past the point of help since early April

And with that, one last paper done and submitted, I am done the coursework for my MA. You have no idea how happy and free I feel right now.

(plus, it was 20 more pages towards my thesis)


Free to go insane

Thursday, April 19, 2007 

I just know that something good is gonna happen

So this week on Stylus we induct the mighty Kate Bush into our Hall of Fame (and my admiration for Marcello's article knows no bounds); today my contribution goes up, an On Second Thought on The Whole Story, the only best-of currently available of her work. Also today the Jukebox goes into Kate Bush overload, with yours truly participating. It should surprise few that we apparently break the all-time high-score record for the Jukebox a few times in the process.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 

I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders

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

The National - "Mr. November"
Superchunk - "100,000 Fireflies"
Spoon - "June's Foreign Spell"
My Morning Jacket - "Knot Comes Loose"
Guillemots - "We're Here"
Kate Bush - "Cloudbusting"
Jackson C. Frank - "Yellow Walls"
The Radio Dept. - "Why Won't You Talk About It?"
Jarvis Cocker - "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time"
The Style Council - "My Ever Changing Moods"


"it really means nothing outside that context"

There's a fantastic interview with Simon Reynolds by k-punk here; he goes a bit further than I would in a few places, but his answer to the question that starts "Let’s turn now to your rehabilitation of 'rockism'" is pretty fantastic.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 

20+ people are not a value transaction

The Virginia Tech shootings are terrifying and tragic, to be sure; oddly enough, today's Dinosaur Comics both makes me feel better and reminds me of a reaction to this sort of thing I really dislike.

Monday, April 16, 2007 

Yee + haw

I've mostly been busy trying to right on the problem of the musical work of art's identity over time, but today I applied for another part time job and got my tax return. The tax return is twice as big as I expected it to be.

So even if I don't get that job, I should be okay for a little while.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 


This is more entertaining than the movie.

Friday, April 13, 2007 

Wizard needs food badly

And I need to go to these shows, if I can manage it at all:

14-JUL-07 MAXIMO PARK MOD CLUB 19+ $15.00

Goddamnit. Between money and time, this is going to be hard... especially for the National, which I want to see more.


Fear of human constructs

Friday the 13th can suck a big one; I'm going to spend the night watching taped TV and eating curry, unless something more exciting comes along. That's not a complaint; I'm looking forward to it.



No sooner do I post about how much I like the philosophy faculty at the University of Guelph than I go out to the Albion for a night of dancing and have two of them show up. Extremely good times (helped by an excellent night from the DJ - "Wolf Like Me," "Temptation," "Da Funk," a mashup of "Get Ur Freak On" and "Deceptacon," "Listen Up," "The Prayer," "Should I Stay or Should I Go," "Fame," "Into the Groove," "You Gonna Want Me," "Girls on Film," and both "Over and Over" and "Boy From School"!), and we were very glad they came out and stayed.

Thursday, April 12, 2007 

World class faculty

I'm copying and pasting someone else's transcription, but I had already read and did love the fact that one of our professors was in a story in the Guelph Mercury on the newly-available-in-town donair:

"I like the donair because it is half way between being and nothingness," said Lampert, a smear of yogurt sauce on the corner of his mouth. Lampert was grading a paper on existentialism in the works of philosopher Martin Heidegger and was being careful not to dribble sauce on it. Lampert polished off his donair in a few brief minutes. His hunger satisfied, he dived with renewed focus into more philosophical questions. Guelph, he said, is not an existentialist city. "It's an essentialist city - practical, straight-forward and things mean what they appear to mean. And there's not nearly enough absurdity."

The title of this post is not intended as sarcasm; Jay, like most/all of our faculty, is pretty awesome (as you can tell).


"That is, I think, even more disrespectful."

Dinosaur Comics has been on a roll recently.


B.C. was shit anyways

In the midst of a sort-of eulogy for Johnny Hart, Frankie Thomas drops some real insight:

Side note: I loved Calvin and Hobbes. For the lonely, precocious children of the Calvin and Hobbes generation -- and I suspect we are legion -- it's impossible to convey how profoundly we were affected by Bill Watterson's genius. Like my mother with the Beatles, I can't even talk about it without a dangerous amount of tears and introspection. So I won't try here, except to say that Watterson was to newspaper comics what Stephen Sondheim was to musical theatre. Show me someone around my age with a huge vocabulary, and I'll show you a childhood Calvin and Hobbes fan.

This is true. And it's about all that's valuable I'm getting from his passing, as opposed to Kurt Vonnegut's, which makes me very sad.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 

Oh Hugh, it'll never happen

This guy is some sort of sick genius.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 

A sequence of events

(all times subjectively true)

~5:00 am: Finish revising paper, at long last. Set alarm for 8 am. Go to bed.

6:17 am: Hear my brother's voice in the front room, realise I have nearly two hours left to sleep. Praise God.

8:00 am (estimated): Turn off alarm without waking up.

9:30 am: MA Philosophy Conference 2007 begins.

10:22 am: Get phone call from Brynna, wondering if I'm okay. Panic. Shave, shower, dress, get bus.

11:00 am: Get to conference. Note that no-one else seems to mind; continue to stress out anyway.

1:00 pm: Run to Ontarion office, print out papers, run back to conference room.

2:30 pm: Give paper. It goes well. Questions are plentiful and intelligent. Friends and people from Philosophy of Art class I TA show up.

3:00 pm: Slump in chair, enormous weight lifted.

4:00-7:30 pm: Beer.


Almost physical pain

There is no experience in the world like realising, at 5 am, that even though you thought you were done revising (and revising and revising) your MA Seminar paper both for final submission and for presentation at a conference the next day (I have to be up at 8, and that's sleeping in), the wrong date is at the top of every page in the file. So you have to turn on the computer and wait for everything to boot up again just to fix that one piddling thing.

I'm going to die tomorrow.

Monday, April 09, 2007 

Oh my God, it doesn't mean a lot to you

Feel good hits of the 9th of April, 2007:

The National - "Racing Like a Pro"
LCD Soundsystem - "Too Much Love"
Stars of the Lid - "A Meaningful Moment Through A Meaning(less) Process"
The Wrens - "Boys, You Won't"
Mercury Rev - "Frittering"
The Delgados - "Pull the Wires From the Wall"
Dominic Harlan - "Musica Ricercata II"
Rachel Kiel - "Saturday Morning Cartoons"
Readymade - "Saturday Passage"
The Orb - "Before Because"

Sunday, April 08, 2007 

Cheer up, emo kid

Grad school is not going to beat me. I simply won't let it. I don't care how many extensions I need, or what forms I have to fill out; I will get this done.

(This semester has involved more sleeping than last semester, which may fall under the heading of "more procrastinating," I'm no longer sure)


We're half-awake

The National's Boxer (out at the end of May) isn't going to upset Low's Drums and Guns from the top of my 2007 best-of list. But everyone else needs to watch out. I listened to it basically on repeat on the way back from the Russian Futurists/Junior Boys concert in Toronto Friday night and it's a fantastic record; their last didn't really get to me, but Boxer has the same kind of emotional resonance for me that Spoon's Girls Can Tell and A Hundred Miles Off by the Walkmen did. Which means it feels half-painfully accurate in terms of what my life is like right now, and Matt Berninger's voice splits the difference between Mark Kozelek and Stuart Staples beautifully to boot.

I don't normally bother posting about music I'm really into here (partly because I'm often reviewing it on Stylus, Maxïmo Park and Low for example), but these guys just vaulted over a bunch of higher profile contestants to be the indie rock record in 2007 that reminds me why I love/d the genre so. I like it so much I even finally changed the tagline at the top of the blog to something new, a line from "Ada" that's my favourite lyric in quite a while.

Friday, April 06, 2007 

My words are just punches

To answer Ben's question in my last 'feel good hits' post, I do quite like the new Maxïmo Park record. Better than A Certain Trigger? I'm not sure, but I get the feeling I'll be listening to this one more.

Thursday, April 05, 2007 

A cardboard cut-out of a plane on fire

Girls are Pretty is especially striking today.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007 

Unknown pleasures

As both my brother and Erik have pointed out, I kind of need these shoes. However, given the likely exorbitant price and the fact that I don't like white sneakers, I'll probably never be so blessed.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007 


It has been pointed out to me that the fact that I'm having recurring mild headaches and the fact that I haven't been to an optometrist to have my prescription altered since high school may not be unrelated. Another thing to use that tax windfall on, I guess.


Wait behind, wait behind

Feel good hits of the 3rd of April, 2007:

Jason Molina - "Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go"
The Beta Band - "Assessment"
Six By Seven - "Slab Square"
Chris Whitley - "Assassin Song"
The Good, the Bad & the Queen - "History Song"
Radiohead - "Palo Alto"
Maximo Park - "Girls That Play Guitars"
The Get Up Kids - "Ten Minutes"
Underworld - "Winjer"
Local H - "Nothing Special"

Monday, April 02, 2007 

Sing, goddess, the rage of Achilles

I was so happy that I did my taxes today (and that I'm apparently getting a nice wad of cash back) that I picked up a copy of the gorgeous Deluxe Edition of Robert Fagles' translation of The Iliad; I won't be able to really start reading it for a while, but I've loved The Iliad since high school and a while back I read a review of this translation that makes me eager to get to it. And since the copy was slightly banged up and on sale in the UC, it was only $7.



Now that's a blast from the past.

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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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