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Thursday, June 17, 2010 

Because I have been sleeping badly lately

I feel like being at work before 8 am is kind of a sign that you've made some pretty horrible life choices. Ah well.

- This might be old news to you at this point, but I don't care: The reformed Godspeed You! Black Emperor (oh guys, why did you move the exclamation point?) are curating the All Tomorrow's Parties festival (well, the Nightmare Before Christmas branch of it) and they've invited Weird Al to play. It's his first European date ever. The rest of the festival sounds equally incredible if a bit more predictable, but the Weird Al thing just makes me feel good about the world. If I could afford to make it over there...

- I'm a heterosexual male, and so have never been through a lot of the stuff that this article describes. In fact, I have no idea how universal the writer's experience is. But I do know that I felt the queasy ring of truth reading it, and that it puts its finger on something that's been bugging me about Weezer (and Pinkerton) since... well, since I stopped being a teenager, basically. I'll still argue for a certain segment of their work (yeah, really just the green album and Maladroit at this point), but what a difficult band to love.

- I've never read J.D. Salinger. With this essay, Kevin Stephens manages to make me think I should get around to it for the first time.

- I'm not an American and I've never been in the armed forces, but if I ever met Philip Spooner you bet your ass I would stand and salute. That's the kind of video that makes you wonder if you've been doing enough with your life.

- Wondering how the US managed to tie England? The real answer is a split between the increasing failure of the traditional narrative of "soccer powers" and the fact that England's national football team is the World Cup equivalent of the Maple Leafs, but I prefer to believe this.

- My friend Mark is getting more attention for his upside-down tomatoes (although the article also has some interesting stuff on the Ward, where Mark lives and which I used to live on the edge of). I think he's ready for it to die down now (the attention, not his garden).

- Fred Smith, aka Slacktivist, is one of my favourite writers on religion and politics right now. He also happens to be an evangelical Christian, which surprises enough people I know that it surprises me. He's just done a series of posts that sum up perfectly why he's so good, and worth reading whatever your own personal religious convictions are.

- I love the Wedding Present and respect the hell out of David Gedge, but I adore the now-departed Hefner and their still-active frontman Darren Hayman (if he ever makes it to Ontario, I will be there with bells on). So it's nice to hear that the former likes the latter too.

I don't know if I would call it universal, but I definitely related to Sady Doyle's experience with Rivers Cuomo/Weezer, and especially the songs on Pinkerton, though to be honest, at the time I assumed he was writing in a satirical fashion? And not serious? Listening to the newer songs I'm not so sure anymore.

At the time I assumed he must have been either being satirical or at least playing an obviously odious character (although, since I was in high school, I have to admit to kiiiiiind of identifying with a song like "Why Bother?" as well), but yeah; recent events suggest otherwise.

These days the only Pinkerton track I can get fully behind is "The Good Life," mainly because it's one where he admits that it's entirely his fault, that there's something wrong with him; and also because there's something painfully truthful about "And I don't even know how I got off the track."

How are you doing? I've been working and shamefully behind on my internet reading as a result.

Ahh I've been OK. Kind of a busy summer so far. Lots of moving and shaking.

I related to "Why Bother?" too. But I've always found "Across the Sea" to be kind of upsetting, especially hearing that it was written in response to a real fan-letter. Uncomfortable.

Whenever I hear Los Campesinos!'s "My Year in Lists," which I love, I think of that song ("You said 'send me stationary to make me horny'/So I always write you letters in multicolours/Decorating envelopes for foreplay"; I am sure you can see the crucial difference between that and "Across the Sea").

I used to like "Across the Sea" a lot before I a. actually listened to the lyrics b. found out about the backstory. It's a little creepy. These days I prefer the green album and Maladroit to everything else.

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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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