Archive for January, 2003

Friday, January 31st, 2003

Where You Been

Surprise surprise. Cruising JAM! Music’s release dates, and what do I see but Liz PhairHappy Tragic Thing, May 20. First response? Trepidation. Speculation has been rampant for years now about what on earth has held up Liz’s fourth record. A revolving door of producers, constantly pushed back release dates, collaborations with pre-fab pop co-writers? It could all be a recipe for disaster. To say nothing of the cynically-minded indie kids subconsciously (or maybe consciously) anxious to chalk their one-time poster girl up as another casualty of the major-label grinder. Well if this information is reliable, we’ll all know what the dilly-o is in just under four months time. Unless it gets pushed back again because Liz is going back into the studio with Bob Rock or something.

Went out to the pub with the folks from work this evening, as today was Ian’s last day at the agency. A shame that our happy little unit is being fractured, but that’s how it goes I suppose. At least he’s found something else – no mean feat in this job market. Good luck to him, either way. We are having a new person starting on Monday, in an account co-ordinator role. Most of today was spent moving furniture around and wishing that it was, in fact, Saturday.

Some live mp3s available at Superchunk’s site, including some from their Opera House show in Toronto, Fall 2001. Which I didn’t go to. But wish I did. But! Portastatic is opening for Yo La Tengo on the upcoming tour, so I will get to see Mac in some live capacity. And that’s something.

np – Superchunk / Come Pick Me Up

Friday, January 31st, 2003

The Sun Shines From You

Yo La Tengo’s new album, Summer Sun, is out April 8. Full tracklist and tour info availble at Pitchfork.

No hockey this weekend, it’s the All-Star break. And there’s no Leafs in the game, so what’s the point I ask you? What?

When I woke up this morning, I tried to convince myself that Friday had been so dull and uneventful, that it had already escaped from memory and despite the fact that I had no recollection of the day before, today was, in fact, Saturday and I could keep sleeping.

It didn’t work. And the irony of it all is, today will still be dull and uneventful but I will have to go through it all anyway.

np – Teenage Fanclub / Howdy!

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

By The Time It Gets Dark

Tonight was our first full band practice in, oh, three months? The last time I even saw Laura was in October sometime. To say we’ve been on a bit of a ‘break’ is an understatement. No matter – tonight was the whole crew. Laura’s work and school schedule should allow her to make most practices, which means we can actually properly arrange the songs for the people and instruments that’ll be playing them. How novel! Playing with her keys and backing vocals really fills things out, and allows me to hand off parts that would sound better not played by guitar. That’s right, it allows me to play less, and that suits me fine.

I have officially lost my slide, it wasn’t at the rehearsal space and it’s not at home. I tried to compensate at practice by using the edge of a 9-volt battery. It actually worked better than I expected, but I’m still going to have to buy a proper slide at the earliest opportunity. Leaving me around 9-volt batteries is dangerous, I always have the urge to lick the terminals. Other radical new techniques I tried tonight was playing one tune completely pick-less. All fingers! Not any fancy Travis picking or anything, just thumb and forefinger plucking. Sounded surprisingly good and definitely suits the song.

Funniest moment of the evening – the band next door was going to town on Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” just as we were trying to run through our quietest number. It was impossible to start, they were so loud. Naturally, the only thing to do was to break through the wall between us, charge into their room and strike illing poses. It would have been classic, if only the microphone stand had been tough enough to smash through the wall. Alas.

Got my copy of Yo La Tengo’s Little Honda mini-album in the mail. I could spend the rest of my life listening to Yo La Tengo do covers. I can’t wait for the show in April.

np – Yo La Tengo / Painful

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

Little Discourage

A little disappointed that the Idlewild North American tour dates still have no Toronto show listed, and there don’t seem to be many/any free days on the calender when they’re in the northeast. Are they giving Hogtown the ol’ smell you later? They’re not even opening for Pearl Jam on their Toronto date this summer. Phooo.

But The Remote Part is finally getting a North American release on March 25. That’s something.

Brett Ratner has apparently left the nascent Superman film. There are rumblings that Michael Bay’s name is being tossed around as a replacement. Wow – Superman from the guy who gave us Pearl Harbour? That’s almost as good as being repeatedly kicked in the groin.

Slightly more encouraging is Christopher Nolan being attached to a new Batman film. Which is interesting, since Darren Aranofsky is still helming Batman: Year One although there’s been no news on that project in a dog’s age. And those rumblings about Halle Berry replacing Ashley Judd in Catwoman are… well, I’m sure either one would look good in the suit…

np – Mojave 3 / Excuses For Travellers

Wednesday, January 29th, 2003

Carry The Zero

I have found the guitar of my dreams, but it is in Japan. I can have it for 64,000 yen, which at today’s exchange is around $875 CAN. If that was the sticker price in a store here, then I’d be all over it like stink on a monkey. But factoring in shipping from halfway around the globe, duty and taxes, I would wager I’d be well over the $1K mark. That’s just too much considering I also need to be buying RRSPs. a bike, paying income tax for last year, new computer… to say nothing of that whole getting-a-place-of-my-own thing. I have some leeway but I am on a budget. But if I were doing a roll-my-own Tele, it’d look a helluva lot like this one. But with a Bigsby.

I do think I should be able to get close to or maybe even more than what I originally paid for the Squier last year, though. Capsule has almost the same guitar, in as good shape, going for $399. Factor in the fact that mine’s limited edition with a painted headstock and maple board, and I should be able to get the $300 I paid last year. Selling stuff is such a pain in the ass, though.

np – Chris Bell / I Am The Cosmos