Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bubble & Scrape

The other day I was listening to Sebadoh's Bubble & Scrape for the first time in many years. This was an album that was very close to my heart as a teen. However, it hit me that only now do I really 'get' Eric Gaffney. Moreover, I think that I now prefer much of his output on that album to that of Lou Barlow. Lou Barlow, who along with Thurston Moore and Bob Pollard, was part of my musical holy trinity in high school. While 'Think (Let Tomorrow Bee)' is still hits me as a most heart-wrenching song and 'Homemade' is a great though creepy tribute to the act of masturbation (Key lyric: "Here I am on my knees, praying to the beast that stole the sex from me"), much of Barlow's materiel on Bubble & Scrape now seems to me to be a cheesy attempt to make himself out to be a tortured, broken-hearted martyr. Gaffney on the other hand, comes in recklessly mish-mashing his skewed ideas with each other. His guitar sounds out of tune, his voice warbles, but he plays with something resembling inspiration. Perhaps, it just that I'm not the sentimentalist that I was was a teen, but these days I find much more intrigue from a song titled 'Elixir is Zog' than from 'Soul & Fire'. I suppose that growing older has bittered me a bit on songs about love coming to an end and things of that sort. As a side note, I should mention that Jason Lowenstein's songs on the album are among his best, taking elements both from Gaffney's and Barlow's musical style, thus creating the sense that this is in fact a band and not just three dudes playing solo.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

More information than you require about my beard

I'm growing a winter beard. I can't remember when this beard began and I can't say for certain when it will end, but the goal here is to grow my longest beard yet. One that will keep my face warm over these winter months.

As my beard grows, I become increasingly obsessed with its intricacies. I think about my chin, hidden within that mass of hair. It might sound silly, but it's easy to forget that the chin is even there sometimes. I know from previous experience that when this beard finally says so long to this world and finds its resting place in the bathroom wastebasket, I will look in the mirror and think to myself, 'Is this tiny thing really my chin? So small it is.' But for now the chin remains concealed underneath my winter beard.

Occasionally I will pluck a hair or two from my face to gain a better perspective of the beard's true length (roughly two centimetres as of this writing). I'm intrigued by the different types of hair that the beard is made up of. Most are simply long, straight, and brown. Some are so blonde that they are nearly white. These mostly hug the lips around the moustache and soul patch regions. There are others that actually are white. These are easy to spot, within the crowd of straight brown hairs. They give away that I am not as young of a man as I once was.

However, my favourite of the types of hair found on my face is also the rarest. These hairs can only be described as being pubic-like in appearance, only miniature. Jet black, curly, thick, and stubby, they rarely grow longer than a centimetre and thus lie hidden within the greater beard. When I discover one on my face, I will obsessively comb through the beard searching for it, feeling it with my fingers, making sure that it is still there. Eventually, I'll be overcome by the urge to actually see this freakish hair. So, it is plucked for viewing. I examine this strange hair. I roll it around between my index finger and thumb, noticing how it feels not like a hair, but like a thin piece of wire and I wonder why it grew on my face. Then, I slightly regret the fact that I have forcibly removed it from its home. However, there is little that can be done now, but to dispose of this hair and wait for the next of its kind to appear.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

dance dance institutions

Overall, I'd say that dance bars tend to have the worst names of all commercial establishments. There are two dance bars in Edmonton that are among two of the terribly named that I have ever seen; Rehab and Prohibition. Get it!? They're named after things that they aren't!!!! I was thinking today that I should open a bar that also takes its name from the same concept. Would you drink and/or dance at a place called Dignity?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Winter? Winter! Winter.

As I have recently returned to the Prairieland, I am beginning my first winter truly deserving of the name since the winter that spanned 2004-2005. That quite a few winterless years.

Part of me believes that the cold won't actually come. The West Coast and it's soppy winters have seeped deeply into my bones and blood and prairie winters almost seem like a tall-tale meant to scare off the ignorant. But no. If I search back into my memory, I remember that all that ice, snow, and wind is coming fast on my heels. This little sprinkle that we've had today is just the knocking at the door of a long term guest.

Once I've affirmed the reality of the winter I begin to romanticize it, which I feel must be a defence mechanism of most who live where it's great, white, and north. Really, there is something beautiful about a world blanketed in the purest of colours. And those calm snowy night walks when your own footprints seem to be the only blemish in the perfect streetlight-lit pale orange world. As well, to make it through the season has the effect of making a person feel slightly above those who have not endured the cold. But is it these things that I like or just the idea and memory of these thing? Time will answer that question, I suppose.

Now as I find the cold to be fast approaching I must accept it. Perhaps, I will find myself revelling in it. Maybe, I will buy a toboggan or relearn to skate. Definitely, I will find myself fully appreciating the mild, wet winters that I have 'endured' the past few years and shed the wussy skin that I have grown. All of this, courtesy of winter.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

a bottle and a high-five: both thrown

One of my first days in Edmonton, as we walked to our local alehouse, a bottle was thrown at us from a passing truck and narrowly missed. When something like that happens it's hard not to think to yourself, 'we are not wanted here.' Happily, things have gone on quite well and without a hitch since. Just yesterday a homeless fellow insisted that we slap a high-five and later an odd man randomly struck up conversation with me about the Magpie that was eating crumbs at the hotdog stand and I felt like such a part of the community.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Winner Takes It All

I am packing up the apartment. Among my things I came across this list:

I believe that I had been compiling a list of the greatest bands ever. Don't be fooled by it's short length; the list is completed.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

new home, etc.

I have found a new home in the city of Edmonton. Through some familial connexions I have lucked into a basement suite in a prime locale with ridiculously low rent. This bodes well for my new hope that Edmonton will be the unexpected place where dreams come true and everything tastes like candy or t-bone steak.

Speaking of unexpected, today I saw the movie Ice Age: 3D with a three year old. After the movie he hit me in the crotch. I doubt that he comprehends the full power of even a little fist to the crotch just yet.

Tomorrow there will be a plane ride to Victoria for a last island visit for a while. Back to work at my terrible job on Monday and then three more weeks until moving time. Other than the tag-team tasks of packing and cleaning I am quite eager to get moving.