Idle…

Just saw Shattered Glass last night and loved it. That this “journalist”, working for one of the most prestigious American political magazines, could have written completely fabricated stories and subverted the ‘fact-checking’ process is astounding. It’s a huge inditement of the state of American journalism that this could happen at all and for that long.

An interesting aspect of the story is how some of Glass’ colleagues, even when faced with the facts, refused to believe that he could do such a thing. Talk about denial.

It’s pet theme of mine these days – how easy it is dupe people into believing things even when they are faced with the facts of a given situation. Since 9/11/2001, it’s been happening on a huge scale.

In Ottawa Tomorrow?

I might be in Ottawa tomorrow to see Tricky Woo and Starvin’ Hungry at the Dominion Tavern, depending on whether or not I can meet up with someone to kill a few hours with during the day. If I go, I’ll be rolling in for about 1:30-2:00.

Still can’t believe I’ve yet to see Tricky Woo. Ever.

Idle…

Two days in a row of the Sun, after what seems like a couple of weeks of dull, cold, rainy days. It’s not like I’m taking advantage of it, but it’s nice to wake up and see a clear blue sky out of my windows.

Listening to the New Pornographers’ Twin Cinema yet again, remembering how much I enjoyed their show a couple of weeks ago. Never wrote about it, but I loved it and would place it at #3 in my fave shows of the year, right after Brian Wilson and Wilco. In the alternate AM radio universe, the New Pornographers would have at least 5 top ten hits by now. In my universe, almost every song on Twin Cinema is a gem, my kind of perfect pop.

I seem to be lacking focus these days and somehow that has to change. I have ideas for things I can do, besides looking for a job, but focus has been a severe problem. I can get focussed on doing physical things, but my mind these days is everywhere. But I can at least write about Fritjof¬† Capra’s “The Tao of Physics”.

Maybe later…

Good times

Last night was one of those nights when the gods and goddesses were not going to allow me to simply stay at home and watch TV or or aimlessly browse the Internet. No. I had to be out, it seems, and I was getting it from all quarters.

First, it’s starts with a call from DT on Sunday, asking me if I was interested in seeing Ashtray Heart at Barfly on Tuesday. Well, I said, as much as I’d like to I don’t see how I can. Then yesterday morning I get an email from my pal Allan reminding me that the Bellrays were playing at La Sala Rosa and he’s got my ticket. Great! Can’t say no to that, can I? So I figure I’ll just meet up with him at La Sala and skip the usual pre-show Barfly meetup, even though the Habs are playing Boston and Habs games at Barfly are a hoot. Then KB calls me while I’m out in the afternoon and leaves me a message….she’s back in town and will be at the Barfly around 8:00 and would like to see me there. This was a no-brainer and settled the matter. I’d have to go to Barfly after all, broke or not. As if that weren’t enough, at about 7:45 I get a call from….BARFLY. Geoff calling to telling me to get my ass over there and catch the game!

I get to Barfly at the beginning of the second period and there’s the usual Habs hockey night atmosphere. Every seat is practically taken and there’s this constant buzz about the place. After saying my hellos to regulars I haven’t seen in what seems like ages, I spot KB at the bar and get the mandatory hugs and pecks on each cheek and the usual warm greetings, and then inquire about the score. 2-0 Boston. No problem, I say, we’re going to win this anyway. I managed to get a seat by the bar and have a good chat with KB while watching a pretty good hockey game. The atmosphere at Barfly while watching the Habs is second to none. The place is usually full but not packed, and there’s always Barkley, a dog who barks every time the Habs score, matching the exuberance of the patrons. It felt good to be there last night. There were friends everywhere and everyone was in a good mood.

At about 11:00 we made our way up the Main to the Sala in a taxi, thinking we might be missing part of the show. We turned out to be early, just catching the end of the opening act’s set. The Bellrays came on a little after 11:30 and started rather slowly, seemingly taking a little while to warm up. Once they got going it was clear that most of us would be in for a treat. I read somewhere that the Bellrays are like Aretha Franklin singing for the MC5 or the Ramones. I’d say it’s unfair to make comparisons with Aretha Franklin, but will say they are true to the slogan on their T-Shirts: “Soul is the teacher, punk is the preacher”. While you can definitely hear the influences of the MC5, the Ramones, and even Black Flag, they’re also pretty funky. I found the sound a little off at times, and found myself wanting everything to be a little louder, especially Lisa Kekaula’s voice. It was a fantastic show, and while I think they’ve probably been better (judging by what others have said), I look forward to seeing them again with better sound.

A great night!

Idle

It’s Sunday morning, “almost my favourite time of the week”, having a coffee and smoking too much. Yet another dull day in what seems like a week of dull days. It’s been a fairly quiet weekend…my roomate’s on a weekend tour of Ontario with Starvin’ Hungry, I’ve got the place to myself, and I’ve hardly been out. It’s kind of nice. Watched the Habs lose a close one to the Leafs last night. It’s never a good feeling losing to the Leafs, especially when Eric Lindros scores the winning goal. Like most Quebec hockey fans, I don’t think very much of this pea-brained former hockey prodigy, though I’ll admit that he’s a good player who was steered in the wrong direction by his parents.

I’ve had high-speed Internet for the last couple of weeks and I”m loving it. I’ve got my internal network setup and running both Linux and Windows XP hosts. Best of all, even when the DSL is down, as it is now, I’ve got access to another wireless link from downstairs. Wonderful.

I’ve just recieved a couple of calls, one from the new tenant in my old place. She needs a copy of my previous lease because her and her roomate are taking the bastard landlords to the Regie for over charging the rent. After I left, they did two months worth of renovations and then got a couple of McGill students who aren’t from Quebec. They figured they didn’t know the law, but they enough to know that what they’re paying is too much for what they have. When I left that place, my rent was 350$. The new tenants are paying 1150$! Apparently the Regie have stated that even if they did 50,000$ worth of renovations, the rent would only be in the 5-600$ region. So I’ll gladly oblige. Go get’em, Dominica!

The other call was from my good friend Geoff, suggesting I join he and his wife and a couple of others at the World Press exhibition and then a trip to the fabulous DOLLAR CINEMA to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I never thought I’d being seeing that kind of movie, but I hear it’s funny and at any rate the dollar cinema (used to be the Decarie Square Cinema) is simply one of the best deals anywhere. EVERYTHING is a dollar. Adminission, popcorn, drinks, candy. Now that’s a deal!

Idle

Got a surprise call from DT this morning, considering it’s a weekday and she normally works. She has the day off and was in the neighbourhood so she came by with some chocolatines. We chatted while listening to the New Pornographers, then went out to grab a delicious cafe au lait at Olympico and sat on the steps at the church and found ourselves talking a lot about Alex. We don’t always do this, but for some reason this morning I found myself missing him a lot and wishing he were around more than usual. You get over the shock, you get on with your life or try to, but the fact is Alex is gone forever. Yet I’ll miss him my whole life, and I’ll allow myself that. In the past, Alex and I might go months without being in touch but one of us would eventually call the other. Speaking for myself, if I’d been out of touch with for more than a couple of months I could feel myself needing to touch base with him. I still get that feeling now, only I can never touch base with him, I can only imagine what he might say.

At the Divan Orange on Friday, filled with old faces from the Bad Old Days of the Montreal music scene and photos of now famous Montreal bands , I couldn’t help but think Alex would have got a kick out of the currently “hot” Montreal scene. I think even he would agree that it’s never been better, though he’d probably be one of the sceptics and not as enthusiastic about it as I am. He would have definitely enjoyed the bill on Friday night. Perhaps he would have been on the bill with either the Nils or Chino had things not turned out so badly. That night I found myself reminiscing with Rick Trembles, Chris Burns, Francis D, and even Mark Lepage about what it used to be like in 80s. All of us seemed to agree that there can be no talk of the good old days. Some of us could talk about feeling nervous prior to going to a show, never sure if violence would break out or something crazy happening. It’s not like that now. There are more bands, more fans, and more venues than there ever was. Violence is an exception. Today, those of us who still attend shows on a somewhat regular basis see ourselves more as artifacts of a lost era. You just can’t compare the way things were then and the way they are now. It’s like another world. That a festival celebrating independent music can successfully put on 300 hundred shows over 5 or 6 nights in Montreal would have been laughable to most of us 10 years ago. To those responsible for making the Montreal scene as dynamic and diverse as it is today, I say hats off, congratulations, and THANK YOU. You’ve accomplished what many of us would not have thought possible.