Archive for November, 2003

Sunday, November 30th, 2003

Sunday Under Glass

I had been looking forward to seeing Intolerable Cruelty for a while, but I was still surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It is and isn’t a Coen Brothers film – Joel directed and Ethan produced, and both worked on the screenplay, but it was a script that had sat on a shelf for over seven years before being made, and wasn’t originally intended to be made by the Coens themselves. That said, it’s hardly a black mark on their resume. There’s fewer of their trademark quirks and ticks, and the direction itself is more conventional than you might normally find, but it’s still off-kilter enough to satisfy. George Clooney, who I like more and more every time I see one of his films (and I used to really dislike the guy), seems to take a real manic pleasure in portraying characters of the Coens’ creating. It’s a delight to watch him as Miles Massey, legendary divorce lawyer, lock horns with professional golddigger Catherine Zeta Jones, and Billy Bob Thornton gets to do his best Boomhauer impersonation in his limited role.

The Wavelength zine has hit the streets, and it’s good to have it back. The contents are still approximately the same as in the original incarnation, but the presentation is more professional and the cover is in colour. Points off, however, for the lousy new logo – I hope it’s not a permanent fixture. One feature of the new issue is a summer wrap-up – brief capsule reviews of all Wavelength going-ons during the zine’s hiatus. Of course, I headed straight for the August 3rd entry, to see what they had to say about our set:

“..Lake Holiday were good as well but I cannot comment on them as well as I might due to the overwhelming crowd and the anticipation for Les Mouches…”

That’s it. Not only did we not get to do a little interview for the zine as bands usually do, the only mention we DO get after the fact amounts to little more than a patronizing, “There, there, you’re all special”. Pfft.

Fox News conducts a “fair and balanced” interview with Steve Earle, speaking of whom – have they rescheduled his appearance on The O’Reilly Factor? Not that I get the channel, but I would so dearly love to see that. Or maybe I wouldn’t, on second thought. Bill O’Reilly makes me want to go Elvis on my television as is, him vs Steve might be too much for me to take.

Will, concerned about my dearth of things to write about, sent me this link to New Zealand Herald wherein they try to write a review for Return Of The King, mindful of the fact that they’re not actually allowed to do so yet. They sound impressed.

Today – cleaning, rearranging the furniture in my bedroom (a grand total of two pieces, sure, but it still required more consideration than you might think), groceries (I had no food. Nothing. At all.) and now some sitting around and reading time. My Sundays all seem awful similar, but you know what? I don’t mind. It’s relaxing.

np – Bright Eyes / Lifted… Or The Story Is In The Soil Keep Your Ear To The Ground

Saturday, November 29th, 2003

These Are Things

Watched Miller’s Crossing last night. Great flick. Prohibition-era. Irish gangsters. Italian gangsters. Jewish gangsters. Guys. Dolls. Molls. Double crosses. Triple crosses. Coen Brothers. Boo-ya.

Spent today running all over town doing this and that. Spent the first portion of the afternoon holed up in the rehearsal space cleaning and rebuilding my pedalboard – this time, it’s smaller. Well, not phyiscially smaller, but there’s less shit on there to be sure. I basically got tired of having all this stuff on there that I never used, so I went in and rebuilt my signal chain one box at a time, figuring out what sort of sounds I needed and what I could get out of what I had. It was interesting and pretty successful. And it was also fun to be able to crank the guitar as loud as I wanted and fuck around however I liked.

The rest of the afternoon was doing some shopping, getting some groceries, etc etc. Nothing exciting, but still exhausting. I think I am going to make this a Coen Brothers weekend – Intolerable Cruelty is playing at the Bloor.

But first I NEED some dinner. I am running on an English muffin, two scrambled eggs and a banana. An organic banana, sure, but it’s still just a banana.

np – Wilco / Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Demos

Friday, November 28th, 2003

It's Oh So Quiet

McMaster student newspaper The Silhouette scored a nice little interview with Rachel Goswell of Mojave 3. She mentions that the tenative title of her solo album is Waves Are Universal and it should be available in March of next year.

Amy Millan of Stars and Broken Social Scene has been added to the bill for the Emm Gryner/Sarah Slean show at the Rivoli December 17th. She will be performing solo under the name of Lady Lustre.

Chart chats with Wheat about their ‘new sound’, how they got there and where they think it will take them.

Everyone is still on holidays, meaning I have no one to sponge links or news off of. Sigh.

np – Luna / Live

Thursday, November 27th, 2003

Bells On

They will be testing the fire alarms in my office for the next six hours. They’re loud. It sounds like the stock market is opening and closing every 10 minutes or so. Actually, make that every five minutes.

I went to see Once Upon A Time In Mexico last night… Plot-wise, it’s an unmitigated mess, with an enormous cast of good guys and bad guys and double-crosses, triple-crosses and maybe – just maybe – a quadruple cross. I’m not sure. But the whole thing is played up like a hyper-kinetic, over-the-top cartoon so it can’t really collapse under the weight of its own pretentions (Matrix, I’m looking in your direction). There’s a lot of humour (Clash Of The Titans lunchbox!) and the action sequences are the right combination of exciting and absurd. I can’t imagine that everyone involved in the film didn’t have a great time making it, particularly Johnny Depp. Not great cinema, but goes well with popcorn.

Speaking of which… Hellboy trailer!

Emm Gryner and Sarah Slean are playing Umbrella Music Night at the Rivoli on December 17 in support of the Toronto Disaster Relief Fund. This should be good. Tickets $12 in advance on the Umbrella Music website, $10 at the door if you want to wait until the day of.

Canadian on-line shoppers – bookmark Red Flag Deals for coupon codes and sales and whatnot. Goldfish Legs, too.

Two Preacher trade paperbacks I bought off eBay almost a month ago have finally arrived and are waiting for me at the post office. Damn my small mailbox and its inability to hold packages of comic books! Damn it all to heck!

The thing about American Thanksgiving is that it means that all my online playmates – bloggers and message board-ers – are off having turkey/tofurkey/turducken and watching football with family, leaving my regular internet haunts looking like deserted schoolyards. Sniff. Happy Thanksgiving, South-Of-49th-ers.

np – Fountains Of Wayne / Welcome Interstate Managers

Wednesday, November 26th, 2003

Durst Hit In The Face At Show

There’s no way I could come up with a better headline than this. Story here.

24 – You know, I was sure that when Jack and Salazar took those security guys’ uniforms, they were going to go rescue Princess Leia from cell block AA-24, maybe with Chase and Warden Whatshisname offering comical guidance across the commlinks. Alas, they stumbled out of Star Wars and into The Deer Hunter. That was pretty intense. So now I’m very curious where things will go from here – assuming the bioterror thread is nullified, are we going to be treated to 19 hours of chasing down Jack? Maybe they’ll hide out in a haunted house or Disneyland. The plot thicks.

And oh yeah, Kim is still hella stupid.

Final tally on the Pitchfork Nineties Nostalgia countdown? 44 of 100 in my collection – that’s actually one more than from the original list. Interesting. More interesting is the jump of Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea from number 85 to number 4. Now that’s a re-evaluation! Maybe they took note of Magnet naming it the best album of the last ten years. Or maybe they just realized it’s a brilliant piece of work.

A little bird has told me that New Jersey’s new favorite sons The Wrens are tenatively scheduled to play the Horseshoe on February 6th. The same weekend I was supposed to be in Seattle. Note the use of the past tense – I am doing everything in my power to be back by Friday night. How’s that for devotion? Pretty good, I think.

Finding Nemo – best animated film about fish in a LONG time. What fun, what fun.

Another story from The Onion that’s just too true. But someone correct me if I’m wrong – didn’t they run this story, or one really similar to it – a couple years ago? I think the picture was different (the girl I remember in the article was cuter, IMO), but the headline and article were the same. I remember discussing the article with a guy at school. Surely The Onion isn’t out of ideas? That’s like a pillar of society crumbling, right there. Flee, flee for the hills.

Neat home science projects for your edification. If only we had the internet when I was in grade school and had to do science fair projects. If only.

It would seem I’m coming down with my third cold of the season. That’s right, THE THIRD. I swear to god, I used to have an immune system. May as well put me in a plastic bubble now and be done with it.

np – Luna / Romantica