Sunday, July 27, 2008

lagging tales: too many to count

so i've gone slack. but i'm back.

in this entry, you will be updated on tim fite, no age, the rogers picnic, and she & him. it's been an eventful past few weeks. and i'm just keeping up with my theme of life being slow and beyond the radar, of course. so, here we go!

Tim Fite -- July 15 @ Lee's Palace
Arriving to Lee's Palace thinking we were late (as always) realizing we were so not because nobody was even there took me by surprise. Tim has been gaining a lot of press lately, as have the Watson Twins. Eventually people crawled in, and they were lucky. Tim put on an even better show than when he played with Adam Green, and to a crowd of probably twenty, five of them being my group. But he didn't hold back, if anything there was even more personality because both him and his brother Greg aka Dr. Leisure could single out people in the crowd (yes, it happened to us, and you can see it here.) I cannot gush enough about his performance, so great. Afterwards, my group and I crowded his merch table asking too many questions and buying the lot. Tim and I chatted for a while, which was great. He's pretty different from when he's on stage, especially if he's as tired as he was that day. We ended up taking him and Greg to Futures for cheesecake. Greg was, to say the least, rambunctious to a woman in a big hat and also our waitress, but it was pretty funny at the time. Tim told stories of Brooklyn and New Jersey. But they had to depart to their hotel so sadly the night was over. However, I have talked to him since then, and we'll hopefully meet in New York next month when I'm there. If you don't know much about him then you'll be surprised. He had a hit on MTV in 2001 as part of his hip-hop duo Little T and One Track Mike titled "Shaniqua Don't Live Here No More." They also had a song on the Scooby Doo movie! Since then, as Tim Fite, he released blues, hip-hop, and now his folk record. He really is a chameleon. Anyways, watch "Shaniqua..." because it is the greatest thing you will see all week, and you probably have seen it already but haven't realized...

Tim is one of my favourite people ever, how can he not be?

No Age/High Places/Abe Vigoda -- July 16 @ The Horseshoe Tavern
I covered this show for ChartAttack, which you can read here. (Note: also my photographic debut for them!) So, for a short recap, it was a pretty good show. A good mix of punk and off-kilter pop. Some of it was either a hit or miss, but overall it was a fun time (minus the ridiculous people that were standing next to me. I swear, every show I go to, I end up next to the crazies.) My favourite of the night was Abe Vigoda, who were the punk equivilant to a band I dearly love, Foals.

The Rogers Picnic -- July 19 @ Old Fort York
Rain, rain, rain it did. The raining was actually fun, but being unable to sit and being wet and muddy was not so much. Let's see... so The Carps started out. I keep thinking maybe one day they'll take me by surprise, They're really not all that groovy. Born Ruffians, however, who were next up, ruled. Crazy personality, hooks, and sound. We had a little unashamed fun giggling at the drummer's unflattering man-boobs as he drummed enthusiastically and also laughed at his own back-up vocals. Dizzie Rascal was fun for a while, but so terribly out of place. "Everybody say oy!" he yelled. I responded "my people!" Vampire Weekend was delightful but didn't put on much of a memorable show. I still enjoyed it at the time; it sounds a lot like their record (not always such a compliment for a live show, but take it for now.) By that time, my friend and I had realized we were able to go into the press pit for photos, so that was my highlight of the day (until my camera died and I pretended to still take pictures.) Animal Collective was a joy to finally see, but as only Avey Tare and Panda Bear were there to perform, they were more focused on their duties that were shared than on the crowd, making me ponder their effectiveness as a festival band, but fuck it. They were solid and eventually got the crowd moving, and just so good anyway. Chromeo was the most fun and danceable time, but I wouldn't go out of my way to listen to them. "Fancy Footwork," maybe. Tokyo Police Club bored me after a while and I've found after seeing them a couple times now that their short songs usually just blend into one long one of ups and downs. Fun for a while, but not an attention grabber. Then came Cat Power, the diva. She kept going off the stage to talk to someone and then also spent the entire time fretting over the volume of her microphone. While her band looked old, bored, and exhausted, she walked around looking that just not old. She's very pretty, but boy that attitude can overlook. People were walking around saying "cat power be fucking done already!" Sigh. She'd be so much better in a smaller club, I'm sure. Then we stayed for three songs from City and Colour and all I remember was that he had a band, which was a plus, but just not enough for me.

Here's a video of Vampire Weekend:
And a video of Animal Collective:

She & Him -- July 23 @ The Opera House
So this is pretty much the cutest band EVER. I really wish I was either Zooey Deschanel or just gay for her. She's beautiful! So shy and timid, she seemed so shocked that the crowd loved her. It's odd because she's an actress and obviously fine in front of the camera, but she warmed up as she got through a few songs. But one of the greatest parts was the way M. Ward was looking at her, with such admiration, it was adorable. Together they have created such a nice sound and it's definitely been what I've been looking for lately. I've always loved both of their voices. Ward put together a fantastic band for them as well, with a angelic looking back-up singer who looked like she hailed from the 70's, an old-but-frazzled guitarist/pianist man with hair everywhere, a lazy looking drummer, and a pregnant but amazing bassist. But the show was purely Ward and Deschanel, especially when they took a few songs to just them and his guitar. Other songs I really enjoyed seeing were "Sweet Darlin'," "You Really Got A Hold On Me," and "Sentimental Heart." Aw hell, it was all amazing. I can't wait to see them again.

Up soon: tales of a short travel to Buffalo to see Sam Roberts, tales of a week's worth of Long Island (and maybe New York City to see Tim), hopefully still being able to meet Darren, and Radiohead will soon be after that. But I assure you, there will be much more going on in between. Ta! oh and sorry for such a long entry.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

if you ain't got the cash, use credit!

I interviewed Tim Fite on tuesday, and it went sooo well. At first it was like pulling teeth from a reluctant kid, but he slowly dropped his odd act and showed off his smart and funny side. One thing he said I thought to be really interesting was this:

"There’s a difference between a show and a party and music is a fucking lame ass excuse for a party. It’s a great excuse for a show. Parties don’t generally get a lot done but shows kinda do because you can expose things. If I show something to you, that’s an exposure, if you show something to me, that’s an exposure, and that’s an exchange. Parties are consumptive and I like shows better than parties and I feel like a lot of the shows I go to have been misnamed because they’re more like parties. And that doesn’t always work out."

He's playing here on Tuesday with the Watson Twins. You can be sure to find me there doing the head-shoulders-knees-and-toes dance. You can read my story about Fite here.

As for other concerts, I'll also be reviewing No Age on Wednesday. I'm stoked because for once I'm going to a concert with a big group, I'm getting back into taking pictures of shows, and the band's just really sweet too, you know.

I also went to go see a band called Recovery Child today, too. I wrote about them in first year for the Eyeopener, and that was a great experience. The singer Ryan recently got in touch with me after he saw my name on Chart's North by Northeast report cards, haha. It was a little bummer because not many people showed tonight, and also it's newer material therefore they weren't as comfortable on stage as when I last saw them, but I see good things in their future. (P.S. as I just looked at the link I've posted above, I realized he wore the same shirt today as back then. Ha.)

I tried reading This Is Your Brain On Music, but it's a little too textbooky for me right now. Hm, what else is on my shelf ....

Sunday, July 6, 2008

we can dance if we want to!

hehehehe. i love this. blasted it getting ready for work today, the roomates thought i was a little nuts. but, i'll show them... with crazy white girl dance moves!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

i thought i saw your face today.

i said i would tell you more about Your Secrets Sleep With Me, and boy, will i tell you.

After updating last night, I googled Darren O'Donnell to find out more about his work. But instead I found his old blog that had his email address on it. I decided to email him to a) tell him that his book was really great and b) that it reminded me of a short story i wrote in 2005. I then attached the story for him.

He wrote back just two hours later.

"That's so nice to hear that. I'm really happy that you enjoyed the book, especially because you happened upon it. I have some reservations about the cover art, so i'm glad it's not scaring people away. And thanks for your story. I'm currently checking my email in a tiny school in a slum in Bombay with a 56/kps connection, so i've only got a second here; i'll read it when i have a bit more time and where other people need the computer less than me.

I'll drop you a line once I've read it and once I'm back in Toronto maybe we can grab a tea or something. "

Pretty neat. I can't wait to hear what he thinks about my story.

The story I wrote is titled "The Untold". i wrote it in eleventh grade but i don't remember why. It could have possibly been for my creative writing class, but all i remember is how much it consumed me at the time. every time i went to keep writing i felt taken over by something else. i had this image in my head but nobody ever got it completely.

If you want to read it, go here.

I'll leave you with another exerpt.

Pages 120-21:
"The sound of the helicopter fades.
After a short silence, Kaliope turns to Ruth. 'What makes you think everybody is going to want to dance to a universal groove?'
'Would you want to attend a party attended by the whole world? Doesn't a successful party require some people to not be invited? Isn't that half the fun?'
'You didn't tell me you had family here.'
'What did this aunt of yours do that was so worthy of arrest?'
'You know, you've got to know who you're not to understand who you are,' says Kaliope, backing Ruth up toward the futon.
Ruth sits on the futon. 'But you know who you're not only by virtue of who you want to be.'
Kaliope moves in. 'Which is just another aspect of who you're not.'
Ruth stands. 'It's who you're going to be!'
'You wish.'
There's a pause, then Ruth slaps Kaliope hard. They are both surprised.
'I can be anything I want to be,' Ruth offers as an excuse.

Oh, P.S. I will soon be interviewing a crazy man named Tim Fite. Excited!

Friday, July 4, 2008

a lullaby of sorts

there's definitely more to come in future blog posts a la moi about a book i just finished reading titled Your Secrets Sleep With Me by Darren O'Donnell, a performance artist. A genuine find from the bottom shelf in the back of an Indigo because i judged it by its cover. This book made my summer. It not only takes place in Toronto, but has to deal with a world that is destroying itself with the CN Tower collapsing into the lake, massacres on the Gardiner, and most of all a strange sense of perversion that would always catch me off guard and proceed to make me slightly uncomfortable (which also always seemed to happen whenever I was reading it on the subway) yet it is above all, a contemplative piece of mastery.

For now, I'm just going to write out an exerpt. But later I will tell you so much more.

Page 112:

The City Holds
the sense that everybody could be doing significantly better.
There is talent, determination, lots of good ideas, but, for some reason, something is interfering with the city's ability to make a leap forward. Some say it's simply a lack of cold hard cash.
However, while there may not be the monetary resources to move the thing forward, there is enough dough to keep the population intertwined with circuits of energy that has been there for years and years.
The City is like a teenager who can't have access to the car until it does its chores. And there is always another chore.
Is the future as much of what is as the past?

P.S.: back to me now.
Here's a review of the book. Shoutout to the writer's connection to Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, because that was also a book that made my summer, but first. I don't know why, but I've been on a weird train of reading books with strange pre-pubescent protagonists. First EL&IC, then Running With Scissors, and now this. What's next? I was hoping to read This Is Your Brain On Music, but I don't think that has many kids in it. Too bad.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

lagging tales: Spiral Beach and a band called Cute

Wow, I am the world's greatest updater! This edition includes a quick recap of two shows: Spiral Beach at the Whippersnapper Gallery on June 20th and Cute Is What We Aim For at the Mod Club on June 24.

Part One: I went to go see Spiral Beach again a week after their NxNE performance, and that was an even better show with lights! pylons! sixteen year olds! okay, that last part sounded creepy, but the audience provided as much of an interestingly entertaining show as the band did. That sounded creepy too... but what I really mean is.. check out those dance moves!

But really. They put on a fantastic show. Most of my time was spent laughing about the kids with a friend and gushing over the bass player, but I still cannot get over their talent (as I'm wearing the traffic cone t-shirt I bought at that show). Check this out.

Part Two: Then came Tuesday, when I had to not only go review the Cute Is What We Aim For concert with Powerspace and Ace Enders, but I had to do an interview with vocalist Shaant Hacikyan and bassist Dave Melillo. I thought it would be awkward because I know the guys (minus Dave) from old Buffalo days when they were Cherrybing and Forget Last Year as well as the early days of Cute (omgz I was their first MySpace comment, and people actually find this out and message me because of it. Eesh.) The CBing and FLY days were such a huge part of my life and when Cute grew, it was strange, to say the least. I also don't take time out to listen to them..ever. I hadn't talked to the guys in years, so I was a little anxious about the interview. I took a little satisfastion in passing through the line of MORE sixteen year olds (seriously, it was my week!) to go into the Mod Club, feeling all cool, but I had to wait an hour for the band to be ready for their interview after their soundcheck. I get on the bus, Shaant is about to shake my hand, looks at me, takes a few seconds and goes "woah". Tom turns around, does the same. "Oh my god!" they both say. Later, the same happened with Jeff. Shaant was all "Jeff, are you kidding?" and Jeff was all "Oh my god! Hi!" And I was all "how did you guys not recognize me? I look the same." and Shaant, curled up in a ball on his seat, looked out the window of his bus to the fans lined up on the street and said "It's been a few years, dear." "Yeah," I replied. "It's not like you see hundreds of faces every day." Jeff groaned.

Anyways, the show was interesting. I didn't enjoy Powerspace as they were just too confused (but did enjoy watching Tom from Cute walk around the back of the venue putting green tape on many fans backs saying "Tom Wass Here") and Ace Enders put on a show I enjoyed more than I expected (I was nostalgic for The Early November, and he played "Ever So Sweet", which made me melt a little), and Cute's show wasn't exactly dissapointing but it was not good. It didn't seem together, rehearsed, or very enthusiastic. For more, just read this.
Also, after I became Facebook friends with Shaant, I've been getting weird messages on my old MySpace all "omgz are you dating Shaant" from creepy teenagers. What the hell.