This is a musicblog. Every weekday we post a couple of mp3s and write about them. Songs are only kept online for a short time. This is a page from our archives and thus the mp3s linked to may not longer be available. Visit our front page for new songs and words.

March 31, 2015



Neo Boys - "Cheap Labor"
Neo Boys - "Nothing to Fear"

It was the twenty-first day of the blackout and George was sick of it.

The grocery store where he worked had been closed during the first few days while the city revelled together. Every night there was a party in front of one of the apartment buildings near George's parents' house and he'd skateboard over and hang out.

A week in, a sub-manager in the canned goods section came up with the solution - headlamps - he managed to get in hundreds of them. They were distributed to workers on the first day back. "Business as usual," the manager announced and everyone switched on their headlamps and got to work. Outside the store, a small table was set up and headlamps were loaned to customers who left their drivers licences as collateral.

Didn't anyone find it weird to be shopping for vegetables in the dark George wondered as he misted the lettuce with a spray bottle. Only a few weeks ago electricity was a given, a constant source of light and fun. But now it was talked about as unreliable, even untrustworthy. The cause of the blackout was still a mystery and some people speculated that it might be a year before it was turned on again.

A big part of why George took this job was so he could save up for a DoubleFun console and now what was the point? It had been twenty-one days since he had played a video game and he was starting to lose it. He thought about KillerRealm 3: The Revenge of Pradesh. Today was the release date, but instead of going to the store after work to pick it up he would most likely sit in his dark room reading his dad's old sci-fi paperbacks with his headlamp. Was the game even coming out now? George had followed its development online. He watched the teaser of the teaser and then the teaser trailer, followed by the making of the teaser. Then the actual trailer, which was just wow.

Mitch, the produce manager, noticed him sulking. "You alright buddy?"

"I'm FINE." George didn't mean to snap, but he heard the tone in his voice. "It's just DARK in here."

"I hear you. But we're up here in produce, one of the brightest sections of the store. Think of those poor guys back in the stock room. There's no windows in there. It's like a cave."

"I know."

"Look George, This is hard on everyone."

"I knooow," he whined. "I just really don't understand why there's no power anymore."

"Well, maybe that's a good thing."

"What do you mean?"

Mitch glanced around. The closest customer headlamp was all the way over in the bakery section. "Do you really want to know why there's no power?"

George thought "Of course" but what he said was "I . . . think so."


(image source)

Posted by Jeff at 2:50 AM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2015


departure of the amerigo vespucci

Jim Sullivan - "Plain As Your Eyes Can See". The question of this song is whether Sullivan is faking his rollickingness. Yes, the music has some melancholy, but mostly it bounces, rollicks, romps. This is a little odd: he's singing brokenhearted lyrics; he's "doubtful that I'll ever be someone that you love". And yet: bounce, rollick, romp. Drums from the first summer's day.

Here is the question: Is Jim Sullivan sincere, gamely grappling with unrequited love? Or is he a passive-aggressive faker, the worst kind of valentine? Is this healthy emotional dealing or a bullshit, guilt-seeking woe-is-me?

Let's hope it's the former. Let's hope Sullivan's OK, processing, using this song to mark the mileage of his heart. And though there's still sorrow in him, in the ends of lines and the drift of that guitar solo, that he knows the right place to keep it; that he's kind to the person who refused him, that he understands the way all this sometimes goes.


(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 6:29 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2015

Make Yourself At Home

Galaxie 500 - "When Will You Come Home"
Ought - "Habit"

Last week, at karaoke, Mark described a guitar thing more perfectly than I've ever heard anything described in my life. We were talking about "The Final Countdown" because he had just done a perfect version of "The Final Countdown," and I said I've never really thought about the guitar solo in that song before but it's actually pretty nuts, and Mark said: it's like there's a grate, and you open the grate and a whole bunch of crazy flames just leap right out of it, blazing. And then you close the grate and the flames just instantly disappear.

Objectively speaking, there is really nothing more useless or unfun than a guitar or the sounds it makes - but at the same time that's how it is with people, and we still manage to fall in love with those all the time. I don't know what it is. Sometimes the sound of a guitar will come speeding along out of nowhere and just fucking concuss you; a stray twinge will brush against your earlobe and suddenly you're nothing but a cloud of bright dust and glitter floating around the city, shooting lightning at the sidewalk from your clumsy mouth. Sometimes it's like flames coming out of a grate.

But other times it's just familiar. Past uncanny. You will hear some song for the first time and not know which of you is the one in the mirror; you will hear some song and feel its rising line stitched right into your DNA. We learn from childhood on that familiar is a necessary positive, that if something "feels like home" we're supposed to be in love with it - but your own terrible body's like home too, and what does that feel like? Sometimes you hear a song like this and you can't stop listening to it. Sometimes you hear it once and then you never, ever need to again. Some guitar-sounds aren't good or bad; they're just a map of your true nature spooling out in front of you, coiling back into your contours. True sympathy doesn't always feel good, it just feels like being known. Like someone reading the whole story of you to you out loud and backwards, in right time.

[Buy On Fire / More Than Any Other Day]

Posted by Emma at 12:33 AM | Comments (1)

March 26, 2015



Follies - "Drag". This dusty concerto is made of guitars and drums, weary voices, ponging sounds like an elevator that's just come in. I say concerto because there is a stateliness to its ramshackling, a precision to the timbres. Musical notes arranged in a certain order, like colours on a spectrum. ROYGBIV. Never BOYGRIV, never VOYBRIG. Except maybe not never VOYBRIG. Maybe there is a principle by which VOYBRIG is the order of the spectrum. VOYBRIG, BOYGRIV or even the greatest anagram, BY VIGOR. One day, perhaps, we will look at a rainbow and see it ordered BY VIGOR, blue to red. And so this song: musical notes arranged in a certain order, according to Follies' one particular logic, that autumn day they made "Drag" a solid, fading thing that can never be undone. [bandcamp]

Posted by Sean at 1:22 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2015

It's never too late.

Guy Boyer & Jean-Yves - "Speedy Slalom" [buy]

"You are never too late to do anything in your life!" this motivational speaker said confidently to us, dumb, high school students. I'm sure 78% of the guys there (including me) were wearing Point Zero or some other super stylish brand name underwear. Now that I think back, the speaker looked like a bit of a fishy guy. Like one of those guys who would sell broken, stolen iPhones, or bikes on Craigslist and meet you at metro stops or other public places dressed nice with high waisted two tuck khaki pants, and an oversized polo shirt. It was a norm-core look, but with a fishy edge. I would call that style, Albi-core. Anyway, this Albicore fashion leader, aka motivational speaker, insisted that "you can do anything, anytime in your life!". He said this with so much passion that I thought the vain in his forehead was going to pop. I forgot to mention earlier that part of his look was that his neck was really thick like Henry Rollins. You couldn't even tell where his neck ended and his face started--that thick.

I remembered his message years later, one night, after a long day of work. I had no clean underwear to wear the next day (I had grown out of Point Zero and was wearing Haines or some other cheap briefs brand by this point). I looked at the time and it was around 11:30PM. I thought, "it is too late to do laundry" but then I remembered Albicore motivational speaker's voice, "you are never too late to do anything in your life!" (I added reverb and echo onto his voice, like in a soap opera, in my mind) So, I washed all my underwear and my neighbour got mad.
The End

(photo source)

Posted by Mitz at 10:23 AM | Comments (2)

March 24, 2015


Eye miniatures

Σtella - "Picking Words". The young librarian overestimates her own importance. It is a regal profession, a crucial human achievement - but all the same, Jennifer, you are not yet a pillar of learnéd society. Watch her as she dances through the stacks, putting books away. Watch her as she spins in the reference-desk office-chair, giddy on indexing. Listen to the click of her flats on the library's old tile. Listen to the flick of eyelashes over owlish eyes. The young librarian imagines herself as the treasured heart of a John Hughes film. She imagines herself as the object of your affection. She is named Jennifer, it says so on her nametag, never forget. [Σtella is Greek. / buy]

Posted by Sean at 10:58 AM | Comments (1)

March 23, 2015


the painting country cabins at sunset by frederick judd waugh

Gillian Welch - "Revelator" [buy]

The Wipers - "Doom Town" [buy]

John Coltrane Quartet - "Alabama" [buy]

O crushing defeat, O years gone by, fruitless, O long complicated break-ups. Give me these feelings and I'll exchange them for a song. Something you can hold close to your ear, hold close your heart. It will have words that you can mull over or none at all. Either a perfect consolation or an affirmation of just how fucked we all really are.

Do sad songs have a colour? They've been assigned blue, but there are more shades than that. Gillian Welch's songs are bluegrass, something I've never seen in the wild, but I which I imagine as a blue green leaf, fed by tears and shimmering in the breeze. Welch's song "Revelator" is about time and doubt, the things that eat away at us. She sings about running away with resignation, suspecting that it might not make anything better in the end.

The Wipers' sad songs are the steely shade of the perpetually-overcast skies that hang over their "Doom Town" of Portland, Oregon. In their perfect punk rock songs the Wipers sing about being on the right side of history and the wrong side of everyone else. Being at odds with the world is the lifetime struggle of the bona fide punk, one that gets harder with age. They sing the grey blue of isolation, loneliness, and everyday life impinging on dreams of making something better.

And then on the colour wheel of sad songs there's a darker shade. The darkest blue of deep night, of weariness, of exhaustion. It's here in this John Coltrane Quartet song, their quiet hymn to the victims of the bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church. So muted and tired sounding. The master of blowing infinite air through a horn is winded here, offering a simple refrain for the departed.

(image: "Country Cabins at Sunset" by Frederick Judd Waugh)

Posted by Jeff at 6:14 AM | Comments (3)

March 20, 2015

A Few City Ghosts

Arthur Russell - "The Deer In The Forest, Pt. 1"

Wifi. Warm wind in winter air. Wise dogs, night houses. Empty streetcars lit from the inside (like, silver hush, "SHORT TURN"). Civil twilight. The memory of someone else's hands in your hair. This one spam email I keep getting every 72 hours, like clockwork, from something called the "universal semiconductor association" that just says "CHANGE PASSWORD," in all caps like that, nothing else. Semantic satiation. Wrong numbers. More bikes than you'd think. Most other people's text messages*. About half of the young professionals in peacoats you see on the subway. About a quarter of the used records in every pile of used records you pass by but don't flip through. Not as many cabs as you'd expect, but definitely synthesizers. Each unread email. Your awful, unfinished novel - all its corners and edges. A couple stray winter boyfriends lingering in the alleys, picking at their cigarettes and awaiting directions that won't come. Some beards, most haircuts, most plumbing, refrigerators. All the terrible, tangled old wire in the walls of your perfect apartment. About half of the girls on bikes that swerve to miss you. Every single raccoon.

*You know when you have thoughts that disappear before you get the chance to finish thinking them? That's what those are; just someone else's hey what are you doing tonight, someone else's hey can I come over swifting their way across town, moving through you like an impulse. Sometimes you're a universal semiconductor and sometimes you're a shortcut, but either way it's never up to you, not really.

[buy Calling Out of Context]

Posted by Emma at 6:36 PM | Comments (1)

March 19, 2015


Garbage men on swings

Astral Swans - "Park Street". There is a herd of lean animals. Lean and clever, given to acts of virtuousness and virtuosity, to sudden darting runs. Their owner has given up on trying to keep them in their pen. The fences are for show, the gate is unlocked. The lean herd will exit whenever they wish to. Later, the herd moves to Park Street. They've found a small house, a cottage, with two rickety floors and a tall porch. There are two birches in the front yard, a mulberry bush, a feral cat. The herd remains lean, clever, virtuous and virtuosic. They remain untamed, relentless, free. But they do begin to fight. Someone sleeps with someone, then an argument, light switches flicked on in the middle of the night. Two messy conversations on the porch. The herd has freedom and limitless power. The herd is lean and clever. But eventually the gang will splinter, half of them trotting away between the birch and the mulberry bush, half of them not even saying goodbye. [buy]

(image source)

Posted by Sean at 10:35 AM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2015

Blog like no one is reading.

Karen Dalton - "Something on your mind"

Dance like no one is watching.
Sing like no one is listening.
Blog like no one is reading.


(photo source)

Posted by Mitz at 7:09 AM | Comments (3)

March 17, 2015


Make Up live in London

Make-Up - "Pow! to the People" [buy]

Make-Up - "How Pretty Can U Get?" [buy]

It's utterly preposterous - listen to it - a faked live record in the invented genre of "Gospel Yeah Yeah," complete with rapturous applause, cryptic banter ("This song's called 'Don't Mind the Mind' - it's made by destroying all four dimensions or maybe five"), and a short interlude between songs to introduce the players ("The soldiers of sound"). On the sleeve, in a group shot taken by photographer Glen E. Friedman, the band are shown from the waist up wearing matching silk shirts, wide belt buckles, tight pants, and giant greasy hairdos.

I bought Destination: Love - LIVE at Cold Rice!, the first LP by DC's the Make-Up with my allowance at Birdman Sound in Ottawa. I had never heard them. It was 1996, pre mp3 blogs. All I knew was it was the new Nation of Ulysses band and that the record was released by Dischord and produced by Guy Picciotto. An obvious purchase for a young Fugazi fan.

I brought it home and put it on my turntable. The music was nothing I could have expected. Under the smokescreen of mystery the band was weirdo soul garage, jangly guitars, groovy basslines, and a drummer kicking out James Brown's The One with all the passion of the Minor Threat polka beat. Then there were the shrieking vocals and wacked out lyrics of Ian Svenonius. It was a stirring message from an alternate dimension where hardcore bands mutated into pre-Summer of Love soul combos; a parallel reality where funk bands played basement shows.

For a sixteen year old it was like Woah, is this real? Do they believe this stuff? How does this exist? I tried to decrypt the liner notes but mostly I just played it again and again and again. As I hardened into a humourless hardcore kid I had to pretend for a while that I didn't, but god I loved this record.

Plastic, invented, counterfeit, these songs and performances are 3-D, more real than reality, like how reading a novelization of heartbreak feels far truer than reading about it in someone's diary. In these songs the singer goes to jail, runs away heartbroken, comes back pleading, references the Russian Revolution in a slow jam, and goes to hell to high five Orpheus. The emotions laid out in these grooves are wild, funky, and true

Listening to Cold Rice and the Make-Up's other records now, twenty years later, I still love them and I can't stop cracking up at their absurdity. It's not unlike the experience of watching Kids in the Hall sketches on Youtube in recent years and realizing 1) this is waaay weirder than I realized it was at the time, and 2) this actually changed my life.

(image source unknown)

Posted by Jeff at 4:21 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2015



La Baracande - "Tout en me promenant". Twice this week I have found myself using the word obliterate, and before then I don't know that I had ever used it. Where did obliterate come from? Why has it stumbled into my random-access memory? I have tried to work out if I heard it in a movie, read it in a book. But honestly I don't know. Sometimes a word is like a forgotten bird that appears in the sky after a long winter. There you are, yes of course, I didn't realize you were away. Obliterate like a Canada goose sitting black and white on my lawn.

Since I have been obliterating things lately I have been thinking about the idea of it: obliteration, wipeout, blinding annihilation. Sometimes obliteration is a razing from the earth, sometimes a mere forgetting. But obliteration is also a soldiering on. There is an obliteration of doubt, of hesitation: the straight line that does not deviate, the faith that never wavers. I obliterated a day, the other day, plunging into the city amid the city's March blizzard - marching, head down, into everything. I obliterated dessert. I obliterated my taxes.

The act of obliteration is a source of infinite power. For a moment you are feeble, doubting; then you decide you will not doubt, you will not hone or temper - you will simply do, charging forward. Roaring, victorious obliteration. If your spirit is a song then your spirit is no longer a woman's asking voice, a searching acoustic guitar, a fragile violin. It is the thunder of electric guitar. No, better still: the obliterating din of bagpipe, hurdy gurdy, fiddle and bumblebee box. "Tout en me promenant" obliterates utterly. It is a siege weapon, a steam-train, a man snapping your heart in half. It is a new age, undoing and remaking the old. You cannot win, you cannot stand in its way, you lose, you lose, you lose. You are undone.

Or else you are a part of it.

Those are the two choices: obliterated or obliterator. Victim or destroyer. When the drone is in the air you must make your choice, quickly, before the roles get set. If you hear La Baracande beginning, rouse yourself, decide, form or put away your fists.

[from a free compilation of music from France's La Nòvia collective]

(photo via The Art Counsel)

Posted by Sean at 10:44 AM | Comments (2)

March 13, 2015

Spring Math


Cousins - "What's Your Name?"

pinball : surface :: you : city
new daylight : sidewalk :: your body : all bodies
go : go :: go : go


[buy The Halls of Wickwire // image from this perfect video]

Posted by Emma at 8:15 PM | Comments (1)

March 12, 2015


By Okamoto Kiichi

Wishbone - "Over and Over". Would that we had spells. Would that we did. One of the great sorrows of my life, maybe the sorrow that ushered me out of childhood, was the comprehension that we do not. There are no spells, there never have been. Just deliberate syllables, thrown bones, without effect. Just empty hocus pocus. Would that we had spells. On a morning like this I could slide up to someone and ask for a spell; ask for magic just as I'd ask for the time, for a tissue, spare some change. Every person's spell would be different. Some spells rough as ripped concrete, others slick and rainbow as oilspots. Some float, some sink. Plunge your heartsick life into a perfect spell, dip your calloused hands. Bare your heart, unclenched. Take a deep breath, or five breaths; maybe five breaths make a spell. Would that we had spells. Then, any action might be a ritual. Every move could be a rite. The bar could be an altar, each of your friends high priests. Your home could be a cauldron.

This song - this one here - hear it as a hex. A kind hex with effect.


(image by Okamoto Kiichi, via A London Salmagundi and 50 Watts.)

Posted by Sean at 11:05 AM | Comments (1)

March 11, 2015

Totally Tired

Self Control - "Elastic"

I was exhausted after 20 hrs of work. Good thing I live close to my studio. I can just walk and be home in about 6 minutes to sleep in my bed. If I was an iphone, my bed would be a charger and sleeping would be docking. It was around 5am on a Friday night, my battery was at about 6% to walk home. I was barely standing. If someone asked me "what is this song?", like the Shazam app, I would use too much energy(battery) and pass out. If someone asked me directions, like Google Map app, I would throw up on his/her face and stop moving. In my head, I turned off all my apps and now all I could do was just walk straight home.

I got to the corner of St-Laurent and Bernard which is about 3 mins away from my apartment. At this point, my battery was at 3%. Why is it that when your battery is super low you always want to check how much % is left which uses more battery power? It's a vicious cycle. I often worry really hard about not getting enough sleep when i try to sleep which causes a lack of sleep. I end up getting up only 65% charged in the morning.

Even though it was 5 am, there were some cars going by fast and furious. Some drunken guys walk by and yelled something that wasn't French or English, it was assholish, the language of assholes. I often catch myself saying "hi" to cats in the alley at night, but not to drunken humans. Drunks annoy me. Another thing that annoys me is aggressive cab drivers. I was just waiting for the light turned green, but a cab driver stopped in front of me and stared at me. I didn't have my hand up and wasn't even looking at him, but the cab driver shook his head, as if i had wasted his time and drove away. Next time a cab driver does that I will get into the cab and tell them, "I am just crossing the street", and get out the door on the other side.


(photo source)

Posted by Mitz at 10:12 AM | Comments (2)

March 10, 2015


Barn owl

Dick Diver - "Year in Pictures"

Dick Diver - "Leftovers"

After getting off work Jo biked to the edge of town and sat in the field by the river. She lay out her blanket on a flat spot, then pulled a can of beer from her bag and drank it until it was gone. She watched the mid-summer sky turned from pink to purple to deep blue.

A lot of things had gone wrong since the year began and they were still going bad and she didn't know how to turn them around. But she was trying not to think about that.

She was about to leave when she noticed something in a tree at the edge of the field, a spot of white amongst the dark branches.

It was an owl. She watched it dive from a branch and swoop down to a point in the middle of the field. Its head went down and a second later popped up holding something wriggling and brown. It bobbed back and forth as it swallowed the field mouse.

"Oh. My. God."

On her lunch break the next day Jo bought a guidebook to birds at the bookstore in the mall. It meant that she would be absolutely broke until she got paid on Thursday, but when she flipped to the pages with pictures of owls--some grey, others tawny, all looking amazing on the shiny pages of the field guide--she had to have it. She carried it back to work and spent the rest of lunch looking at pictures of birds in the break room.

That night she biked back out to the field and after a long impatient wait it came again. The white owl. A Barn Owl she saw in her guidebook. Tyto alba. It stretched its wings then flew silently, low over the field and dropped down. Just liked the night before.

She put the field guide in her bag and watched the owl until it flew back to its home hidden behind the edge of the forest.

"Thank you," she said to the absent owl. She picked up her bike and rolled it back out to the road.

[Dick Diver's new album Melbourne, Florida is a treasure horde of incredible songs and complex emotions. It feels like a harbinger of warmer times. / buy]

(image source)

Posted by Jeff at 3:19 AM | Comments (3)

March 9, 2015


Fainting by the Rembrandt

Hello Blue Roses - "Errant Sophia". A song the colour of design. Of fine stationery, letterhead sold in packets of 8 (huit). When I was last in Paris I went to a shop that consisted of just one room - a tall, narrow room in wood and brass, with drawers and drawers and cabinets, heavy paper cut with real blades, every print an individual. Is there anything more civilized than letterhead? A name, an address, tabs and rulers, just so. An investment in future correspondence. While I was inside this regal room a Rolls-Royce purred outside. Smaller cars burbled past, businessmen strolling with umbrellas, a sun arcing over the silver skyline. Inside the shop we had all the time in the world. We listened to the tick of the handcrafted clock, the tick like a man's foot keeping time, like a drumstick on the skin of a snare drum. I thought, I wonder how many colours of ink they have? The question was interesting because the answer seemed like it would be so small. Not limitless inks, ten thousand shades: nine, or twelve, or twenty. Nine or twelve or twenty pigments, brought back from Aegean woods or Amazon rainforest, Ethiopian desert, Thai jungle. Journeymen wore pith helmets, carried knives, plucked colours from the undergrowth; and now, miles later, centuries gone, here we are in a little shop. Here we are with "Errant Sophia", quietly aging, aspiring, decomposing, tempests in each of our teacups.

I came away with a single calling card, imprinted the silhouette of a bear.

[Hello Blue Roses is a Vancouver project led by Sydney Hermant, featuring Daniel Bejar (Destroyer), Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes), and others / buy]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

March 7, 2015

In Favor Of One's Time

St. Vincent - "Bring Me Your Loves"
St. Vincent - "Prince Johnny"

This week, I got my feelings hurt. Then I saw St. Vincent play a show. Can we talk about desire for a second?

I've been thinking about how sometimes there's this thing that happens. If you are a certain kind of person - maybe a decent observer of others, maybe a little too sensitive, a little in love with the unfolding of being in love - you can sometimes lose track of your own wanting. It's not your fault or anything, it just goes on. I have this one notebook that says SOURCES OF INFINITE POWER across the cover in my scrawling childish ballpoint, and once you're done laughing at me you can maybe understand why that might be a good thing to have: Sometimes, as a human, you have days (weeks, whatever) when you mesh with the machine and it's beautiful. You get up to the corner and the bus pulls up just like that, every dog you see is a bulldog that loves you, the last coffee wins you the next one, some benevolent invisible technician has removed the thick pane of tempered glass that is usually wedged between you and the rest of the world and each hour glides into the next, like they're supposed to. When you're lucky enough to hit a stretch like this, it's important to write down what you see so that future generations of you can look back on it and be like: huh. Okay.

So in the notebook, which is I guess more like a makeshift encyclopedia, there are some entries that make immediate sense - Dogs, Night, Smoking Out Of Your Bedroom Window - and then others that are still kinda up for debate. For example, other people as Sources of Infinite Power are a tricky proposition. Friends are on the list, absolutely - but anything past that's a tough call. On the one hand, other people are so nice; they have haircuts and aspirations and you can make them laugh, you can get high and go to the movies and when they touch you you'll feel like you're neon. Plus there's the gift of renewed perspective. If you give them room and reign to do so, other people will look at you and what they see - what seems, to them, worthy of attention - will rise to meet and hold against your own sense of self. Just like that, you get a way to see yourself you've never heard before. New, wavering, imperfect, a little sharp. It's cool.

But Other People giveth and Other People taketh away, right? For a certain type of person, at a certain type of time, this is the danger. If you give over too much room, the ideas that other people have about where you fit (into their lives, into the world) can start to rewire your own. I have, in the past, watched as men I thought I loved spoke to other women, ones who were beautiful and brilliant and interesting, and felt paralyzed by a panic that moved through me like poison but whose origins I would've at the time been hard-pressed to name. I've watched women on stages playing guitars and ached so hard to be them that my wanting could short out the room; I have watched women bend light and stop time with their bare hands and still somehow wasted myself wondering what the dude I was with was thinking about them, or what he thought I lacked in comparison. The mystery of your own enormous, incomplete desire can be as endless and crucial as dogs or smoking or night, but if you're not ready to face it head-on, sometimes you put other people in its path. Does he want her? and Does he want me? are much simpler questions than What do I want?

There is a lot of good that other people can do for you, and there are a lot of good things you can do for other people, too, if you want. But this week I saw St. Vincent and the sound of her guitar was like power lines in an ice storm and when she spoke everything in the room rushed toward her like she was where gravity began and ended. She conducted everything - light, air, crowd - but what she was doing was entirely for herself. Singular, unbroken current. I do not know what it's like to be Annie Clark on a stage, playing guitar, but I do know what it's like to find yourself out in a crowd on a freezing weekday night, newly freed from someone else's ideas about you and watching Annie Clark sound out the boundless, weird depths of her own desire. Loud. No apologies, no checking, no other someones. Just infinite power.

[buy St. Vincent // title comes from here]

Posted by Emma at 12:26 AM | Comments (10)

March 5, 2015


Super Mario high tops

D.R.A.M. - "Cha Cha". Let us consider the possibility that "to cha-cha" is to peform a particularly tricky move on Nintendo's Super Mario 3. I present this song as evidence. Should the premise be borne out, we may soon discover that "swag" is a Minecraft building material and the "International Players Anthem" is a theme-song for UGK's Counter Strike clan. Admittedly, D.R.A.M. explicitly submits that the act of cha cha has something to do with nice folks in a Latin bar. In fact, "to cha cha" may mean to, uh, actually cha cha. Neither Mario nor Luigi appear in the video for the song. I'd posit that the plumbers are all implied. They are subtext. They are passing back and forth under the surface of this track, in bright green pipes. [buy]

(image source)

Posted by Sean at 8:26 PM | Comments (0)

March 4, 2015

Bad news travels fast

Chrisma - "C-Rock"

Whenever I take an airplane, it's always a passive aggressive battle with a stranger to win an armrest. There is this secret battle. If I go to the bathroom, I lose my armrest. If he gets up, I win it back. Back and forth until we arrive at the destination. Maybe I should have opened up to the gentleman beside me on the plane this time, who looked like Edward Snowden, and discussed how we could take turns every hour for the armrest to make it fair, or maybe introduce a different system. One where you can bank time. For example, when I watch a movie I don't really need an armrest, so Edward Snowden can use the armrest then, but I can bank that time. But what if Edward wants to watch the new Denzel Washington movie, "The Equalizer" at same time as me? Easy, he can use my shoulder to lean on and we can watch the movie together. I think Edward would like Denzel Washington, his favorite movie genre seemed to be Thriller/Action, but it was hard to tell. Maybe he was just showing off in order to psyche me out, and win back the armrest. His favorite movie genre could be Rom-Com or Comedy/Drama, something heartyfelt like Stepmom(1998) featuring Julia Roberts. We would have to hack into his Netflix recommendations to know for sure.

After several flights, I arrived in my motherland of Japan, slept one night and took off to Thailand. Right now, as I am writing this, I am close to the ocean wearing only underwear which happens to be my older brother's underwear. I accidentally took it back to Canada last time I came to visit. I told this to some of my friends and I was really surprised to hear they have never worn any other persons underwear. I mean it would be weird to go to a thrift store and buy second hand underwear, but I thought everyone had worn a friends or a siblings underwear at least once. It's my brother's washed underwear which i have been wearing on and off for around a year since my last trip, so it didn't feel like a big deal to me. Though, I understand it might be weird to some people because everyone has ticks and things that weird them out. Personally, I hate when a waiter uses the word, "foodgasm" when he describes menu items. For example, "the flavors explodes in your mouth! it's an absolute foodgasm!". It may sound unbelievable, but happened to me once. I just stared at him totally speechless but Maybe he misunderstood I was having a premature foodgasm.

In Thailand the food is amazing, though apparently, it is common to get sick from eating street food or drinking tap water etc. I have been careful, but street food is where it's at. Cheap and delicious. I can't resist. So, after a week of being here, it happened, I got sick. The last two days i've been on the toilet pretty much constantly. More time there than I usually spend checking twitter, instagram, and facebook combined. Now, I bring my ipad to the toilet so I can double-task. I might be grossing you out so I'd better go. (cheap and delicious pun intended)


(photo source)

Posted by Mitz at 11:16 AM | Comments (2)

March 3, 2015


Describe the image

Sloan - "Snowsuit Sound" [buy]

Elevator to Hell - "Forward to Snow" [buy]

When I was a kid I loved getting bundled the heck up. Snowpants and boots, two pairs of socks, scarf, mittens, plus a balaclava or a toque with a gigantic pompom. I walked around feeling like an astronaut, impervious to the elements of space. Staring down at my clunky boots, listening to the nylon swish of my snowpants rubbing against each other.

One winter on the news there was a story about a guy, they showed him - long hair and a moustache - who'd lost a toe to frostbite when he played street hockey wearing jeans and tennis shoes in minus 40. Not cool, my ten-year old self decreed. Not cool at all!

At recess, I used to walk out to the far corner of the schoolyard and just plunk myself down in the snow. I'd stare up at the clouds and ponder the mysteries of the universe. I was a weird kid. But I was normal, too, and was happy to chuck snowballs or do that trick where you ask another kid "Did you hear what happened in Montreal last night?" and when they didn't you said "The lights went out!" and pulled their toque down over their face.

So I was a little philosopher and had my cruelty, as every child must.

What did I think about while lying alone in the back field, staring up at the grey midwinter sky? Who knows. Did I do it because I had no friends? No, I had friends, I just liked lying in the snow - I didn't make snow angels or anything.

It was quiet, peaceful. It was cold out, but I was warm.

image source

Posted by Jeff at 3:35 AM | Comments (0)

March 2, 2015


Rozi Plain - "Actually". Contrary to Emma's assertion, summer may never arrive. Winter may cozy up, decide to see what May and June are up to. August! Been a long time! These months will greet winter with feigned delight, clumsy fancy handshakes, this pit-of-stomach uh-oh at the newcomer. Everyone except the kids can see that winter is trouble. Everyone who has been around the block knows not to lend winter money for his meter. It's only the kids who are delighted by the season with ice in its eyes, snowflakes in its lashes. I'm having a picnic - you should come! someone tells winter. Winter says OK, winter says it'll be there. September and November exchange knowing glances. But already winter's canoodling with someone in the corner, blowing breezes in their ear, holding a glass of white wine in each chilled hand, making smalltalk about blizzards and curling, the best places to go cross-country skiing. Sometimes, when change is in the air, people get the wrong idea. The maybes they begin to imagine are the maybes that should never be permitted to occur. They listen to the high pipes of possibility, its young harmonies and new rhythms, they think: Worth a try! No, not worth a try. Don't renew winter's visa; don't offer to let it crash on your couch. If there's a perfect new song on the turntable, a song by a London musician called Rozi Plain, let it be a goodbye song not a hello anthem. Don't let winter get any ideas, allured as you may be. Listen to the sunbeams, the postcards from warmer places: they are sending you a message. They are frightened of the forecast. They don't want February friends. [video/more]

Posted by Sean at 10:48 AM | Comments (1)