i was tired of waiting
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


So here we are then - one week, twenty needles and a whole lot of antibiotics later. Thank you all so very very much for the good vibes, kind words and well wishes - in the comments, by email, and elsewhere on the blogosphere (I'm looking at you, Keith). I can't tell you how my heart swelled when someone brought me a comment print-out last Wednesday, or when my acheing bones finally returned to the computer and I glanced at my email today. Your kindness and love is overwhelming; I'll do my best to return it if you ever need it. :)

Last Sunday I fell out of a canoe as I was getting into it. This is where I make excuses and try to defend my canoeing ability - it was round-bottomed! it was full of stuff! it was tied to the dock in a peculiar place! - but really what it comes down to is that there was an uh accident, I tumbled into the water, and as I scrambled to right the canoe and save my friend Lindsay from wet, the edge of the boat swung back and gashed me in the leg. It was a small but deep wound in the shin. We drove to the nearest hospital where I was x-rayed, tetanused and stitched up. The rest of the day was fine - I played Solar Quest and ate roast vegetables and experienced very little pain.

On Monday we drove back to Ottawa. And within a couple hours of being home, I fell into a fever. We drove to the hospital ("4 and a half hour wait, sir") but after hearing my symptoms was admitted immediately. What followed was an exhausting whirlwind day of swabs, injections, blood-pulls, an MRI, and at least five doctors. Until Wednesday, they feared that I was suffering from necrotizing fasciitis. Yes, uh, the "flesh-eating disease." And no, that's not a good way to start one's week.

But in the end my infection turned out to merely be a rare and frustratingly uppity breed of lake bacteria, easily squashed with the help of tons and tons of IV antibiotics. Fear of contagion, misdiagnosis or unexpected developments resulted in a seven day hospital stay: I got home this afternoon. Furthermore, I'm on this weird IV pump thing, which will be dosing me with antibiotics for another ten days.

Overall though, I'm totally fine. I've got a bunch of needle-pricks in my arms, I'm missing some hair where the nurses tore away tape, and my leg aches and lacks mobility; but frankly, those are petty worries. I have my health, my sanity; I'm alert, happy, and good-to-go. The hospital food wasn't much, but the Ontario health system treated me remarkably well. The nurses at the Ottawa Civic were all kind souls, and the doctors knew their shit. And better yet - twas all for free! Thankyou tax-payers! :)

Now then; what did I miss? The Beta Band broke up! Dizzee Rascal leaked! But what else? Let me know! Comment, email or dropload. Thank-you!


Can - "Mighty Girl". If I'm going to burst back out of the ether, what better way to do it than with this trundling, bleating, yearning, unstoppable tune. I won't claim that I would have known it, if Aurelien hadn't sent it my way. But now I do, and it's been noodling around my brain for well over a month. This is an epic jam, a pressing blue flame, electric guitar and drums that wind and weave, cresting and dissolving, all in the service of that piano line - all so that the 7:30 return is rich as a band of silver. Listen to it go! Listen to it climb! It's Rocky coming over the hill, the kids and their wagons, a sun that sets and rises and sets again, it's me bursting out of the hospital, a white gown fluttering round my bare bum. [from a Peel Session]

The Trews - "Tired of Waiting". I watched a lot of TV in the hospital. Much more TV than usual, and I got more channels. Noteworthy among these was MuchMusic - the Canadian MTV, long absent from my own abode. Since I was a little worried about theft, I didn't have my iPod or CDs with me - MuchMusic was my only source of song. So I caught up on all the new pop ("Dip It Low"'s first five seconds are fantastic, and then I'm bored; dig the Jadakiss; like the first half of the K-Os single). I gotta say, though, I'm pretty disappointed with all the second-rate pop-punk on the Canadian charts. Billy Talent oughta sit down.

And yet all was redeemed with this song by Niagara's The Trews (#20). In a lot of ways, it's a run of the mill midtempo rock single: guitars poking at each other, an over-and-over chorus that rises into a rousing group chant. But for me the song rises into the sublime with Colin MacDonald's outstanding vocals. At first he sounds like a ruffled Ontario Michael Stipe, or maybe Adam Duritz with his belt loosened. But the way MacDonald plays with his vocals, approaching the silly chorus from different sides, twisting the lyrics round in his hands - it's wonderful. He pulls real golden soul out of those five words, stretches the yearning like taffy. It's almost disappointing when the crowd sidesteps on board, when the backup vocals rise up and cloudcover his sky. Sure, there's some majesty in those rolling white clouds, but I liked it when his voice was stabbing down in clear bands of yellow light, crying and asking and pushing on like Van Morrison on the Liffey. [buy]

Posted by Sean at August 10, 2004 12:30 AM

Woah! He's back!
Great to see you're o.k. now!

Posted by Glading the Wanderer at August 10, 2004 2:19 AM

Hey Sean,
good to see that you are alive and well and have made it back to the blogosphere in one piece. Those canoes can be dangerous wee beggars.

Thought that you might like to know, if your spies have not told you already, that here in the UK your site was featured in Q magazine. This is a pretty big deal, as the magazine has a huge readership, so well done.

God speed you to a full recovery,


Posted by Ross at August 10, 2004 4:31 AM

sean- you rock. -cody

Posted by cody at August 10, 2004 7:18 AM

It's good to have you back Sean,
Glad your'e better.
And what a great Can track to treat us to on your return.


Posted by Simon at August 10, 2004 7:48 AM

Welcome back. Glad to see your alive and well.

Feel better, lemme know if you need a hand getting that Dizzee.

Posted by Keith at August 10, 2004 8:12 AM

at least you didn't miss any work!! haha.
so glad to see you back & healthy.

Posted by anne at August 10, 2004 10:00 AM

welcome back, sean! just came across your statements at the mp3-blog roundtable and this is - woohoo - great. have to read this massive text when i'm back home.

Posted by waldar at August 10, 2004 11:21 AM

Glad to have you back, with or without mp3s. :-)

Posted by tuwa at August 10, 2004 11:47 AM

i'm really glad to hear that you don't have a flesh eating virus! sheesh!

Posted by dana at August 10, 2004 12:46 PM

I'm glad everything's all right! Ahh, Canadians and their free health care~ I'm jealous!

And, I love the Trews song o_o

Posted by elchan at August 10, 2004 12:56 PM

Glad you're feeling better! At least you can say you fell out of a canoe, which has a semblance of manliness to it b/c you were doing an outdoorsy activity. My mom got bit by our cat and almost had to go to the hospital. It's great b/c people ask why he hand is all swollen and she says
"I got bit by a cat"
and they're like "Oh my God, a stray cat?"
"No, our cat"
"Oh he caught some kind of infection outside and gave it to you?"
"No, he doesn't leave the house."
"Then, what exactly is the problem?"

Posted by caley at August 10, 2004 1:36 PM

Better get back to the hospital, you're obviously delirious. The Trews? (har har).

Welcome back.

Posted by frank at August 10, 2004 2:06 PM

Great to see you back, healthy, and flesh eating disease free! I am jealous of you fine Canadian folk and your universal healthcare.

Posted by Jason at August 10, 2004 2:16 PM

welcome back, sean. we missed you lots.

(oh, and the new ted leo has also leaked.)

Posted by kathryn at August 10, 2004 3:05 PM

Glad to see you back in one piece!!...and here I was just going through a bit of a Can phase and you post a track I don't have!Cheers!!

Posted by The Cap'n at August 10, 2004 4:19 PM

First time poster, long time reader.

Glad to see that your are on the up! keep up the good work. I love that Trews song. Very catchy. I tried to buy it but the Maple site says it's unavailable. What gives? Can I not but it because I'm American? But Canada is the new hotbed of music I think...Broken Social Scene, Hot Hot Heat, Alanis!!!!? I need more! (Except for the Alanis stuff.)

Posted by Kurt at August 10, 2004 5:21 PM

DUDE! I've read enough about necrotizing fasciitus that that would scare the living shit out of me. I'm sorry you've had to go through so much crap lately. Email me your addy again and I'll send you some comedy albums; I just got the richard pryor box set and some good coz and a buncha other stuff.
You're a better man than I am gunga din.

Posted by forksclovetofu at August 10, 2004 5:41 PM

hello there. I'm sorry to read of your illness. something in your review of the trews caught my attention. Colin (the singer for the trews ) sounds not like a ruffled ontario michael stipe, but rather an antigonish, nova scotian one. they made their debut as One I'd Trouser (you can see why they changed their name) playing Who covers in pubs in and around that sleepy college town. Encouraged by their friends and - notably - a particular member's father, they gradually added more original songs and adopted a more radio-friendly sound than their previous renditions of guns n'roses tunes. The relocation to Niagara followed a few years later. They are a very hard-working group who have hardly altered their line-up in years they have played together.

You might check out a band called City Field. The members' impending geographical dispersal may make performances by this new Halifax band rare; however, they are soon to release something on the Just Friends label (http://www.justfriends.ca/). If this talented and whimsical group of art-rockers continues to collaborate, you ought to be hearing a lot about them in the future.

Posted by samantha at August 10, 2004 6:53 PM

Nice to have you back Sean, hope you don't have any more canoe incidents!

Was interesting to read your thoughts in the mp3blog roundtable; I was surprised at your forcefulness defending the literary scene (and in Rushdie's favour, I don't think the U2 track is actually that bad at all - it shits all over anything off "All That You Can't Leave Behind" at least), if only because your posts here tend to be poetic and gentle.

Posted by tim at August 10, 2004 7:49 PM

Thankyou thankyou thankyou all.

Ross - Really?! Hoo-ee. Is it possible for you to doublecheck the issue that mentions Gramophone? I'll try to pick up a copy.

Caley - The problem with the 'manliness' of falling out of a canoe is that, well, 'men' don't fall out of canoes! It's like I was playing at being a outdoorsy lumberjack, but failed hopelessly. At least your mum SUCCEEDED at something (namely, being a clumsy cat-loving woman!).

Kurt - Eek! That was simply the "buy" link that the Trews website pointed to...

Samantha - Many thanks for the info. I read things about the Trews being from out east, but their website bio and some other press allayed my fears and convinced me they were Niagara boys. It's always good to hear about hardworking musicians who finally break out.

Tim - I take reading and writing very seriously; too seriously, probably. I try to carry myself with a certain level of gentleness, but you do have to stand up for the things you think are important. And he inadvertently riled me up. :) I hope I didn't make too much of a fool of myself.

Posted by Sean at August 10, 2004 8:21 PM

flesh eating disease!!!!


glad you still have your leg for your big trip

Posted by bw at August 10, 2004 8:23 PM

Ack; hit "Post" too early.

Kurt, you should be able to buy the Trews album at Amazon.ca:


Posted by Sean at August 10, 2004 8:32 PM

Glad to have you back! I've missed this site a lot in the week or so that you were absent from it. I'm a Niagaran, and before the release of their current LP, the Trews were the house band at a roadside bar a friend and I used to frequent. Their album is unfortunately not very good, but their live set is oh so much fun. At their best they play like Led Zeppelin in their prime, as if their very dinner were dependent on the quality of their performance, and at their worst they play like Sloan, back when Sloan was still reasonably entertaining.

Posted by Paul at August 11, 2004 3:59 AM

Good to see you back, I hope the canoe incident won't put you off punting when you get to Cambridge ;-)

Posted by Adrian at August 11, 2004 5:27 AM

It's great that you didn't get necrotizing fasciitis.

What's awesome is that they considered it.

It's very rare, but uber-uber-uber-uber serious.


Posted by Ron at August 11, 2004 2:18 PM

Wow - scary experience...at least, the necrotizing fasciitis bit! Please thank your government - if you lived here in the US, you'd be broke by now...

Posted by 2fs at August 11, 2004 11:39 PM

It's really really lovely to be able to read your posts again :). Really.

Posted by adele at August 12, 2004 3:31 AM

That Can track is pure Radiohead. Great!
Great that you're better and with no flesh-eating virus!

Posted by Matthew at August 13, 2004 7:05 AM

yay for recovery!

Posted by amy at August 15, 2004 4:02 PM

Hey! Missed all the action, but I'm glad to hear that things are better. *hugs* Yay!


Posted by katrielle at August 18, 2004 3:36 AM

Sean- I was wondering if you could give me some more information on 'Can'. I dig the song 'Mighty Girl' that you have posted. Is there anyway to listen to their other songs/albums?
Please let me know via email!

Posted by Cat at August 18, 2004 12:47 PM

Post a comment

(Please be patient, it can be slow.)
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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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