Beginning in 2003, I kept a little blog called Idle Thoughts From an Idler on The Main which was initially supposed to be about life in this great neighbourhood I live in here in Montreal, but with the daily insanity of the Bush administration it became more of a way for me to vent and write about the insanity of the Bush Administration. There’s other stuff there, but it definitely leaned more on the politics.
I haven’t written in that blog since December 5, 2004. Eight days later, my longtime friend Alex Soria tragically died in front of a train on the tracks in Montreal’s St. Henri. It came as a terrible shock not only to his family and friends, but to all those who knew him through the music he wrote and played with The Nils and Chino. He was a huge unsung talent. The headline for his obituary in one Ottawa paper was Best Canadian Band…. Never. Those of us who have seen Alex play in various incarnations of The Nils and the late-great Chino know that he was one of the greats in Canadian rock, never mind Canadian Punk. Just listen to World’s Apart or When You’re Not Around from Mala Leche to get a taste of how great. It’s sad to think that Wilco’s The Late Greats comes to mind when I think of Alex, the Nils, and Chino.
The best song will never get sung
The best life never leaves your lungs
So good, you won’t ever know
I never hear it on the radio
Can’t hear it on the radio
– Jeff Tweedy from The Late Greats in a A Ghost is Born
Alex Soria playing with the Nils, trademark mic to the nose. Date currently unknown. Photo by Eric Kearns.
To read more on Alex, check out the archived Alex Soria RIP thread .
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to write something like my own obituary for Alex, but I just can’t do it. Not in a single entry, anyway. And not even in a finite number of entries. I keep saying that I’ll probably never got over his death, but I’ll get on with it. I am getting on with it, but my life will never be the same without him. So I have to write, but writing in my old blog feels like writing on another life. So here I am, writing in livejournal, brought here by xquerenciax’s blog entry on Alex’s death and seing Chino at Barfly. I don’t know what I’ll write about, though I know there will be quite a few entries on Alex over the next few months as I try to assemble a history of the Nils and write about my many years with Alex. I also want to write regularly about the live music I see, because I actually see a lot of live music, mainly at Barfly and through a working arranangement I have with a local promoter.