Sunday, September 30, 2007 


It has been a loooooong (but mostly thrilling) few days of serious drinking, culminating in Friday night's Clown Juice-fueled archery session, which is the most fun I've had in a long time. My form was shit at the beginning (it's been years since Ben and I were in archery), but once Ben pointed a few things out I managed to hit our clay head in the trachea, left eye and then side of the head. The night got weirder from there. Then I had to wake up and go to some teacher training stuff (valuable, thankfully) at the school, work seven hours at the store and finally get a chance to catch up with the much-missed Aaron last night; it's the first time I've seen him since he moved to Seaforth. Things are finally returning to normal, and god do I need to get some work done.

Thursday, September 27, 2007 

Feeling accomplished

It's a beautiful fall day out there; I paid off some more of my TD debt, voted in the election and mailed my September mix for the IMP. I've got about 3 different social things to hit tonight, but I'm actually wall-to-wall busy until about Sunday night. Whee.



Actually, this image sums up last night fairly well.


Someone was changing from the inside out

So the Mountain Goats were pretty fucking special, as always... but unlike last time I saw them where they played almost all of Get Lonely and half of The Sunset Tree (which left me longing for more old stuff), this Tuesday they played maybe 4-5 songs that my brother (familiar with all the studio albums) recognized. But they played "Jenny," they played "Nine Black Poppies," they played "Tollund Man," they played a bunch of other old ones I half-recognize but couldn't tell you the title of. They also played two new ones, "In the Craters of the Moon" and "How to Embrace a Swamp Creature" that suggest I'm going to really like the new record when it comes out. And they ended the first encore with the now traditional singalong to "No Children" (the second encore contained "Tulsa Imperative," a song they'd played half of during the main set until John forgot the lyrics... he looked them up on the internet before the first encore, and then a cover of Franklin Bruno's "Houseguest," always a highlight). I'd pay to see these guys do pretty much any show, though.


Fucking Hell

So the first time in ages that I close out the bar (with coworkers, it was a pretty good night) miraculously corresponds with the first morning since they stopped Gordon that I'm woken by the sounds of construction. Only this time it's from the apartment below, so in addition to the banging and dropping things I hear very loud radio. My head wants to kill everyone in my building.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 

Prepare to get confused

So, exercise makes you thinner, right? Not really. Taubes' article is an eye-opener, both for some previously relatively obscure facts and for the way his claims jibe with "both the scientific evidence and a nation’s worth of sorely disappointing anecdotal experience," as he puts it.


Memories from gradeschool kicking in my brain

So tonight Ben and Julia and I are off to Toronto to see the Mountain Goats. Should be pretty awesome; I just wish I could find my copy of Get Lonely.

Friday, September 21, 2007 

Beer for supper

Last night I saw the Rural Alberta Advantage (trio, sort of Mates of State-y at times, pretty great) and then Picastro, who were even better than Whore Luck suggested they would be. I managed to pick up both of their old albums (Red Your Blues and Metal Cares) from Liz for $10, which was pretty awesome of her. I was already feeling after seeing them that this was a band I need to start following, so it's just as well I have the background material to delve into now. And she brought me a CD-R of their show in Toronto, with Owen Pallett - pretty cool of her to do. I highly recommend you check them out (especially "Hortur," from Whore Luck).

Thursday, September 20, 2007 

But what does that prove, it proves nothing

Like everyone else, I go through bands in fits and starts; this week I'll crave Red House Painters, the next maybe I'll be listening to Isn't Anything every day. You can tell the albums that have really hit you by the way you keep coming back to them even when you haven't heard them in months; you wake up one day feeling a certain way and one of the songs is there in your head. And the next thing you know you're listening to Hefner's We Love the City again, thinking, "I've always loved this, and it's always been a source of comfort, but I don't think I really got it before." One of the joys of getting older, I suppose.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 

Eyes like lotus leaves

It's a busy week; my review of the new Life Without Buildings live album is up today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 

I once joined a priest class, plastic, inert

So with my new-ish alarm clock that plays CDs, I've had a hell of a time finding songs that are enjoyable as opposed to nerve-shattering ("Repetition" by the Fall), grotesquely ironic ("Again and Again" by the Bird and the Bee) or just plain annoying ("Loser" by Beck) to wake up to. It doesn't help that the alarm will only ever play the first track of a given CD. If today is any indication, and usually I hate my picks after the first morning, then "I Was a Lover" by TV on the Radio may be my choice for the foreseeable future.


29 Forever

My review of Basteroid's debut is up today at Stylus.

Monday, September 17, 2007 

End of the line

(via Warren Ellis)

This photo essay, about the supertanker "shipbreaking" industry in Bangladesh, is heartbreaking, kind of scary and yet if only approached in an abstract way kind of cool. It'd be a horrible life to have, no question, and the fact that people are forced to have it is inhuman. There's not really a 'but' to that, and facts like the one that 80 of Bangladesh's steel comes from these scrap ships are just disheartening, but the essay is worth checking out for visual appeal alone.


Woodsmoke and peach salsa

Algonquin Park was mostly good, although the intense cold of the nights (I was told to prepare for 2 degrees or so, and I thought I did - but even when sleeping in three pairs of socks, two pants, three shirts (including a hoodie with the hood up), two sleeping bags and a duvet my feet were still cold) and even some of the days was a bit much, and my arms are pretty tired from paddling across the lake six times (a good canoeist I am not). At least one of those made the whole trip out worthwhile though; returning with firewood, Julia and I paused in the middle of the utterly still, misty, early dusk lake and I heard silence for the first time in years. Mostly, though, I'm just thinking of how much good food I still have left in my freezer (including an entire cheesecake with caramelized pears my dad made that we didn't get around to eating) and how much stuff I have to get done now that I'm back.

Friday, September 14, 2007 

Exciting times

So I met with a debt counsellor yesterday, because in addition to my massive OSAP loan (on hold while I'm in school, thank goodness), I have the remnants from a line of credit and credit card I had to get in second year to pay part of my rent and all that. It looks like things are much better than It thought they were, though - I already paid off the past-due bit, and I should be able to get back on my feet fairly quickly. Yay for fiscal responsibility, I guess; my natural tendancy is not to budget but to just go by instinct, which even I can tell you is a bad idea. I think this will help.

Meanwhile, Julia and I are off to drive for four hours until we get to Algonquin Park, where my dad, sister, and various other relatives are camping. We're on the far side of Canisbay Lake, so some paddling will be involved. I'm a little nervous because we'll be getting there when it's getting dark, but I'm sure we'll find them. Should be a pretty good weekend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 

Fuck you, Pringles

So today Julia had a bag of these new Pringles Select things, in Parmesan Garlic (and if there are two flavours that together make me lose all sense of proportion, those are certainly in the running), and we just ate half the bag. There was a pause when we went into Marketfresh to get some buns and I spent the entire time in the store craving another potato-thing (they don't taste like regular chips, they're lighter, but they don't taste like regular Pringles either - less processed, or less obviously so). I think I have to swear to never buy a bag now and not later - those things are dangerous.


Sort of classy but also sort of insane

Dinosaur Comics has maintained a just ridiculous level of quality, but every so often North just hits one right out of the park.


It's going to be so quiet in here tonight

Two things up at Stylus today; my review of the really great Picastro album (in my top 10 for the year), and my Seconds on New Order's "Leave Me Alone," a song that means an awful lot to me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 

Even busier than normal

Somehow I managed to stab myself in the forearm with a knife in the drying rack yesterday, capping a day of running around and getting a lot of work done. Now I get to run around all day today, too - scheduling a big camping trip for the end of the first week of school wasn't necessarily the smartest timing, but it'll be worth it. Somehow it'll all work out, I'm sure.

Monday, September 10, 2007 

Meat is murder carbon dioxide

It's not surprising to learn that we should probably cut back on meat consumption if we're actually interested in not fouling our own nest; but I am inclined to agree with commenter "bringiton," who suggests that we severely limit our consumption of meat than to stop it, cold turkey. So to speak.

Saturday, September 08, 2007 

It's September, isn't it?

I just walked home through autumn leaves. I'm wearing shorts and sandals. The novelty was kind of neat, but still.

Friday, September 07, 2007 

We're afraid of the dark

My review of Fake Problems' How Far Our Bodies Go is up today.


Blow your mongrel mind, or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love TV on the Radio

I was pretty underwhelmed by Return to Cookie Mountain when it came out and for a long time afterwards; then the DJ at the Albion started playing "Wolf Like Me" on Thursday nights and I decided that even if the album was boring that song was awesome. He played it last night, too; rarely does anything make me dance harder.

When we got a copy of the album at the store, my love for "Wolf Like Me" had me grab it long enough to play. This time all of the songs - ones I hadn't heard for months and didn't like last time I did - sounded great. "Wolf Like Me" is a powerful song, but not that powerful, and it's not as if I remembered what the others sounded like during the interim months when I wasn't listening. It's kind of an odd thing to have happen.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 

The Sand Witch

Ryan Gattis' Kung Fu High School is a hell of a lot darker, deeper and powerful than the ready-to-be-mocked title might suggest. I powered through it in two days as a break from Gravity's Rainbow, and I feel a little uneasy now. I recommend it highly if you don't mind graphic violence (not just physical); I think I might try and track down his other novel now.

Saturday, September 01, 2007 

Me me me

Maybe I'd care about Tarantino if he'd pull his head out of his ass, shut up, and just stuck to making films.

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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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