Well I Wonder ...

All men have secrets and here is mine so let it be known...

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Fresh Wind...?

Listening to: The Verve - Urban Hymns

Sorry that last one was laced with impending gloom. On another front I may have found another creative outlet.

A few years ago we created this band called Nebula Seven. It was designed as a totally free flowing, mellow, spacey, and spontanious, worship band. Totally dripping in layers of guitars and swirling effects and a feel the flow type of groove to it. Our idea was "Sing to the Lord a new song..." and we did. Every time. We played a couple of shows before we dissipated into other projects and parenthood. I found out later that there were quite a few kids who saw those shows that were blown away by them. They had never heard or seen anything like it before, and never have again sadly.

Recently I got to chatting with an acquaintance from St.Catharines about an upcoming show and he said that Jez - my former bassist and good buddy who now lives there, was really wanting to get something like that together again in the near future. He wanted Cath to play bass and me to play guitar and sing while he and Ry filled out the rest with whatever drummer we could dig up. I'm excited about the prospect of it - it's been ages since I played anything relatively relevant. Even just thinking about it breathes a little life back into me. For some reason I want to call the project Abacus...we'll see. Seldom do these things ever come to fruition anyways. I'll have to keep you posted.

When the Sun Hits...

Listening to : "When the Sun Hits" by Slowdive

I realized I haven't said anything here in a while.
Feeling quite mellow right now.
Tired. Of everything.
Resurgingly dull days.
Eating. Sleeping - barely.
My daughter is lovely.
Music is lovely - but bittersweet.
Not much else...
That can be said anyways.
I'll smile when the sun hits again.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

...And Into Lee's Palace

Listening to : Weeping Willow by the Verve

So I know you're all dying to find out how the Trashcan's concert went. And if you're not, well too bad...

First, thanks to those who expressed concern about the mention of my little traffic accident last week. It was only one of those "granny on scooter pulls out in front of car ahead of you and you have no time to react and hit aforementioned car ahead of you leaving us drivers to deal with police while granny putts along obliviously on her merry way " type of accidents. No injuries to my knowledge but its always nice to know you all care...

So back to the Trash...

To say the whole night went perfect would sound like too much of a cliche but to say anything else would be inaccurate.

We got there early. I know some of you will be astounded to hear that, but we aren't late for everything. We walked right up to the doors - they were unlocked, unguarded and the sound coming out was unmistakeable. We walked right in and stood at the back of Lee's listening to them play thier soundcheck. We were both smiling. No one kicked us out - no one else was even there. The band even stopped and asked if we were the opener. I just kept grinning and said "I wish". They proceded to play "Funny" like it was a special treat for just us. I say that because it wasn't part of the set later on - we were the only ones to hear it that night. It was instrumental and I was so awestruck my tongue got twisted and bent and I couldn't remember the words. After a couple of newer songs, the opener finally arrived, they cleared off, and we exited excited with one of the promo posters from the wall and even more anticipation for the show.

They finally came on again shortly after eleven. We had already bought some shwag and had wandered just feet from the stage, camped out in front of the lead guitarist and the bassist with no one in between us and the stage. To my surprise none of them played a Rickenbacker. Even more surprising was that the lead guitarist was playing a Tokai which is what I play currently. But really, it's never all that important what you play - it's what it sounds like that matters. What was to follow simply amazed. Sweetness. Blissed out. Aural pleasure. Swirly. Jangly. Stellar. There are so many words to describe the sound they bring. Each song seemed to be a sun-soaked masterpiece. At one point toward the end of "January's Little Joke" I almost started to cry at the gorgeous sound swells; I literally had tears in my eyes -I've never done that at a concert before. The harmonies by the drummer and rhythm guitarist were so lush as well. They wowed the crowd for nearly two whole hours.

The place was a little more than half-full but it was one of the loudest most appreciative crowds I've ever heard. Crowds in Toronto tend to have an "I've seen everything so you better be extra good" type attitude with regards to cheering for encores. Like they're too cool to clap otherwise. But this crowd wouldn't give up even when it became evident that they had no intention of playing a second encore. We were loud, we were persistant and, well... we still really wanted to hear "Obscurity Knocks". They re-emerged noticably tired and touched. They did not disappoint. We got the song we wanted and an extra tune to boot and everyone trickled out elated and abuzz.

We snuck around behind the club shortly afterward. The car park was back there but so was the back door so we hung around looking over the set list we had pulled off the stage for a few minutes, waiting to see whether anyone showed . The guitarist came out after a few minutes much to the dismay of his pissy American manager. Really nice fellow - the guitarist, not the manager. He remembered us from the soundcheck and was more than happy to get our copy of the new album signed for us. He came back out and handed the cd back all covered in fresh ink. He stayed a bit and chatted with us about Tokai's, overreacting managers and whether we could notice how wrecked he was on stage. We had. But it never showed up in his guitar work so we told him we forgave him.

We slowly walked back to the car park, treasures in hand and just enjoying what had unfolded that night. We were about to leave when we realized we were hungry and wanted some food. We took off again in search of sausage vendors and ended up finding a little Greek shop that served gourmet pizza, Pepsi and baklava - at 1:AM in the morning no less!! We should have got way more baklava - it was soooo good. Little layers of fine pastry dripping with honey and walnuts. Yumm.

Perfect ending. Perfect concert. Perfect time to go to bed....

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Out of the Trashcan...

Listening to: The Trash Can Sinatras - To Sir With Love

Tonight we go see The Trash Can Sinatras. Never thought it would happen. Goes along with a bunch of other "never-thought-it-would-happen" shows like The Bunnymen, Bauhaus, and Primal Scream; the list goes on... Of course these boys from Scotland aren't on the same scale popularity-wise but that doesn't make them any less meaningful to a junkie like me. Thier debut album "Cake" is truly a forgotton sonic gem. With sweet Rickenbacker laced melodies galore; text laden with Scot wit and charm; and helped along by the genius and lush production of John Leckie (who also produced the Stone Roses first album) they began to cause a stir. However, these guys were starting to get popular just before the big grunge explosion. Most of the sweeter sounding bands that were beginning to blossom at that time were being swallowed up and spit out and virtually ignored in the wake of the mammoth waves Nirvana had helped create; namely a thirst for anything thick, rough and angsty.
At the time I was still finishing up my "I don't listen to anything but the Cure or bands that sound like the Cure" phase, but I always remembered them. I didn't even buy the album 'till a few years later (I think during my "Wow how could I have missed out on a band as good as the StoneRoses" phase). My wife had a couple of tracks on a sampler and loved them and begged me for ages to get the cd. I finally broke down at Christmas one year and bought it for her. It grew on me. It grew some more. It eventually became one of my desert island disks along with the Smiths, Verve, Roses....

I am currently making a mix featuring most of these bands, to listen to on the trek to Toronto. There's not a lot of variety of sound here, but that's not the point either. This mix tries to capture a "Trash Can"ish feel throughout.

1. The Trash Can Sinatras - Obscurity Knocks
2. The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
3. The Boo Radley's - Barney (and Me)
4. The Trash Can Sinatras - Thrupenny Tears
5. Coldplay - Sparks
6.The Trash Can Sinatras - Best Mans Fall
7.Echo and the Bunnymen - What Are You Gonna Do With Your Life?
8.The Blue Aeroplanes - World View Blue
9.The Trash Can Sinatras - Funny
10.Travis - Driftwood
11.The Trash Can Sinatras - Bloodrush
12.The La's - Timeless Melody
13.The Sundays - My Finest Hour
14.The Smiths - William, It Was Really Nothing
15.The Trash Can Sinatras - Snow
16.The Ocean Blue - I've Sung One Too Many Songs For A Crowd That Did Not Want To Hear
17.The Smiths - The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
18.The Stone Roses - Where Angels Play
19.The Sundays - Goodbye
20.The Trash Can Sinatras - To Sir With Love

Monday, September 20, 2004

Larger than LIFE

Listening to: High Speed by Coldplay

It's been four days since I've seen a computer screen. Sorry, you've all seemed to have slipped off my radar. The usual excuses though; work, friends, band practises, too many movies to watch, car accident, golf tournament (I got closest to the pin), and the standard not enough sleep. I just finished eating a bowl of cereal that I poured for myself 3 days ago. However due to the fact that we had been too busy to get any groceries in a while, I couldn't pour the milk 'till just now. I'm impressed - Cinnamon Life cereal doesn't lose its crunchiness even after being left out on the counter for a couple of days.

This short bit is about one of the kids in my foursome.

Nathan stood at the final tee off. He'd had a really poor game so far up to his own standards but was still on top and had managed to pile up a few bragging rights along the way. He was able to barely squeak the ball past the previous leader for the Clunker award (swinging the opposite way with only one hand ) on the last hole, but decided to bow out since he had already won the longest drive on hole four. If he did well on this final hole he would be able to claim the lowest score as well. He needed a par to tie and a birdie to win the tournament. The previous team had just finished playing out and were watching from the edge of the grass on the cart path.

The sign read 170 yards, no problem for a good eight iron. He lined himself up, took a mighty swing and shook his head in disgust. He saw the ball jump off his club and knew it was heading long and to the right. With his head down he grimmaced and envisioned throwing the faulty club down the hill from the terrace but simply took a swat at the royal blue tee blocks and walked toward his chuckling caddie. As he looked up he heard wild shouting and whistling coming from the distant four-man gallery. They were waving and pointing franticly at the green. The ball had smacked the big old pine to the far right of the hole, took a wicked bounce and landed 15 feet from the pin on the green. He grinned all the way over to finish off with par and his share in the win.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hockey Night In Canada

Listening to: Every day Should Be A Holiday - The Dandy Warhols

Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep!
Been a long time, Been a long time, Been a....
Been a few weeks since anyways.
I woke up groaning and was about roll over and sleep some more when I realized that I was just in time to see the final two periods of Canadian national hockey team knocking off the Finnish. Probably the last bit of hockey we'll see in a long time.

While at work last night, there was a girl wearing a Canadian hockey team logo shirt.
Well this girl was known to be a bit clueless and so I began to wonder whether she was actually wearing the shirt in celebration of our victorious global hockey dominance or whether it was just one big coincidence.
Now I would say that a good portion of the workers in just about every Canadian factory would know that Canada was at least involved in the World Cup tourney and many would also probably know that tonight they were in the final - especially ones actually wearing a Team Canada shirt.
I asked her if she had watched the game...
She replied, "Who was playing".

Monday, September 13, 2004

From Just the Other Side of the Middle of Nowhere

Listening to: Playgirl by Ladytron

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I've had about 8 hrs sleep since Thursday afternoon to go along with a very busy, busy weekend.

Friday night:

Had 1 hr of sleep.
Dropped off C.E. at work.
Bought new Killers album. Killer album.
Took daughter to Wendy's
See June's Blog.
Had to go to work till 3 due to strange, yet annoying scheduling conflict.
2hrs of sleep.

Drove to Burnt River with the family and honorary family member for the day - Ginny, to see recently moved friends and thier family. Strangely enough, I had never been in thier house while they lived here just blocks away, but now that they've moved 3 and a half hours away thought I would give it a try...
They describe finding this place as being "just the other side of the middle of nowhere".
When we finally get off the main roads closer to thier area, which they call Canada's version of redneck country, there is a makeshift roadsign made up of a broken off piece of plywood and the words "SLOW DOWN - TONY" painted haphazardly on it.
The trees were growing wild on both sides of the roads in thier "neighborhood", forming a canopy over most of them. It was quite lovely.
Got there. Ate food. Hung out on back deck.
I was sitting on this newer rather comfy lawnchair which they informed me was adjustable. For a few seconds I jokingly moved it to the most upright position and then gently lifted the arms to lean back. POP! Thwack! My upper body went missing as I had popped the arms out of the slot and went all the way down to the ground. I was still so tired, not to mentioned shocked, I just sat/lay there for a while just stunned and unable to move. Glad I'm a little more flexible these days. I slowly pulled myself up from my hyperextended position. Everyone was laughing at me - very hard. Jodi snorted quite loudly a few times after not breathing for like a minute in the build-up.
We went in shortly after. It was quite hot out surprisingly.
Went out for french fries and ice cream.
Played rousing game of Scrabble. The wives were a team - and somehow managed to giggle thier way into using every triple word score that came available. I think they cheated somehow but then again C.E. does have an English degree. In my defence I did manage to use my "Z" on a triple letter score while making the rather lacklustre but still efficient word "zoo".
Ate. Watched hockey and read GQ.
Got home at 3 AM.
Had to get up for 8:00 band practice. 4hrs sleep.

Had six croissants with jam for breakfast. Yummm....
Explained to kids the facts about pulling bread apart being much tastier, as well as aestheticly pleasing, over just plain biting into a croissant.
Typical lazy Sunday schedule sans-Wendy's.
Played worship.
It rocked.
I love my new guitar...

Sorry if this post sucked - I'm so freakin tired. I hope you can still love me in the morning/evening.


Friday, September 10, 2004

A Slice of Life

Listening to: Toast - Streetband

Well I suppose since I added a few people to the links I should probably adda few words to the plodding literary world of, well... me.

Last night my friend John called. I knew something was up. He sounded a little quiet but just as happy as always to talk to me. He's a teacher. I believe he's a very good teacher - you can just tell he has the gift for communicating with kids. He's also just gone through a heavy dose of chemo treatments within the last year. With the new school year under way, he's really tired and needs his rest and called to let me know our meetings would have to be postponed for a little while. Needless to say, I'm a little disappointed, but I understand totally and wish him peace.

On a different note, I'm going to start another sideBlog called "Confessions of a Music Junkie" . Naturally it brings to light how I ended up with such an obsurdly huge music collection as well as the dark and the dorky highlights of my listening habits. ( I know I mentioned some of this as a response to Varinbird's suggestion but this is for those who didn't read the comments that far back.)Oh yeah,in case you're itching to know, girl, its a Pet Shop Boys 12" single - West End Girls. You'll have to wait for the post to hear the rest of the story.

My wife just handed me eggs ... eggs and cheese resembling some sort of omelette. No 'toast' though. Oh well....Gotta go.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Food for Thought

The car was hot. It was getting late. Cath wasn't there yet.

I was kinda hungry so I checked out the fish place acrosss the road from the parking lot. She said they closed at ten but that I could use the phone to call for a pizza.

- Sure what's the number?

She winked and told me the number and I punched them in.

- Can I help you?

- Yeah, um... I want some pizza...

- Pick-up or delivery?

- Hee hee, delivery.... to the parking lot in front of Battersea Fish House.... the one by the river. What place is this anyway?

- Chicago Pizza .... What would you like on it?

- Oh yeah, um.... well pepperoni and ....hmmm .... what kind of mushrooms do you have?

- I'm sorry??

- Like do they come out of a can or do you buy them from the fresh food section at the supermarket every day....

- Oh, no, I guess they're fresh sir...

- Good, those too and ... mmmmm..... that'll be good.

- That'll be 17 something..... ( I don't remember the rest)

I asked the waitress if I could use the facilities. She smiled sweetly and nodded. She turned out the lights as we left the kitchen.

For some reason it took forever in the men's room. I knew by the time I got out that Cath would be there looking annoyed and wondering where I'd taken off to again. Sure enough, she was standing there by the car in her pretty blue sundress, locked out, looking annoyed and wondering where I'd taken off to .... again.

- I ordered pizza?


As I was about to cross the road, this stocky young bald guy with large gold earrings in both ears and a white apron that had Chicago pizza written across the front, pushes a shopping cart up to me and asked if I ordered pizza. He looked more like a bouncer than a delivery kid.

- How'd you get here so fast?

- Subway ....

He was walking backward as he spoke and then turned around almost jogging as if he had to get back to do his next shopping cart/subway delivery. He just left the shopping cart there with these two huge armslength wedges of pizza in it and I was thinking like man I just paid 17 bucks for two big slices of pizza. I wonder how big the freakin pan was....

Monday, September 06, 2004

I'm Back ... Sort Of ...

Listening to: Suede - The Asphalt World

It's still gnawing at me to no end that I'm finding it difficult to fill in the blanks here. The story is getting a bit repetitive isn't it. I promise it won't be forever. I'll find my groove baby - Yeah!!

I suppose this is kinda similar to the whole "purple monkeys" scenario where someone tells you not to think of purple monkeys eating socks while swinging from the chandelier for the next ten minutes and all you can think about for most of the next ten minutes is purple monkeys... you know. Except this is kinda like in reverse. I say to myself I'm gonna write a Blog post for the next ten minutes and for the next however long nothing shows up of any interest. I try to remember stuff that happened during the day that was in any way interesting. Nothing I would want to read about. I even try to remember that thing I was supposed to remember because it would be a good thing to write about in my Blog. Gone... Maybe I just have to start keeping a notepad on me always to remind myself to remember things. I'm sure interesting things happen around me all the time. Maybe I'm just too self absorbed to notice. Hmmmm....

How about you all just asking me a question or something in my comments as a means to generating some sort of starting point. Means to a beginning. Sounds like the opposite of some old Joy Division song...

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Easy Rider

Listening to: Motorcycle - Love and Rockets

I don't think I'll put many of these test results on my Blog but I kinda liked this one. Of course I had to tailor make my immediate listening habits to coincide with such a cool flick for Blogger purposes but hey, it's just my way of maintaining a calm, cool environment.

Speaking of calm, cool and in this case clean environments; thanks to Juner our basement is somewhat liveable now. After hours of moving boxes around, sorting toys and puzzle pieces, sifting through videos and vinyl and moving yet more boxes around,I might be able to work out again. I had to dismantle the Soloflex since our new student arrived. She is currently occupying the bedroom where it once resided. Now that I've set it up in the middle of our cold, hard basement floor, starting Monday I may be able to pump rubber again.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Listening to: Spiritualized - Things'll Never Be The Same

Can't sleep again. Can't say why.
I mean, I know why, just can't say. Too many eyes.

Had stuff to tell you all yesterday but time wouldn't allow. It's sort of dated now. The moment's gone.

Tonight I meet with John. We try to meet every week on Thursday. Sometimes on Wednesday. He's over 50 and bald and listens to Rancid and Thievery Corperation. We really relate well to eachother. We just talk about whatever most of the time - cars, tunes, you know, the usual stuff that "whatever" implies for guys but I know if I really need to "talk" he's there. I've never really had someone like him to just hang out and talk with like that 'till we started a few months ago.
I was never really close to my dad growing up - he was quite different than me in my eyes back then and, to be truthful, I didn't really like him. He died when I was 17 and I really didn't know how to feel. I really miss him now though. I think I would like him. He liked the Beatles and the Doors and the Zombies and Bob Dylan. I love them all now but to a kid growing up on Depeche Mode and the Cure, I wasn't interested. Sometimes I wish I could just sit down with him chat about "whatever".
Obviously, John can never be my dad but I love him like one and really appreciate where he fits in my life.
I'm sure I'll talk more about him later.