Memories

I’ve just tagged all my entries concerning Alex and the Nils as memorable entries so that they can all be found easily for anyone who is interested. The archive I had of all the posts on the Montrealshows board has been unavailable for some time now but will be up again soon. Same with some of the photos. The server I archived them to has been down and I don’t know if it’s ever going to be up again.

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First Anniversary – Alex Soria Dec 8, 1965 – Dec 13, 2004

Just after I posted I got some great news from Caroline Evans of the McGill Daily – Jack Rabid has posted Scratches and Needles (an article she originally wrote for a magazine that will remain nameless) on the The Big Takeover website.

Really nice to see this up and on the Internet. Thanks to Jack for putting it up there with his comments, and to Caroline for having the inspiration to do it.

Later…..

First Anniversary – Alex Soria Dec 8, 1965 – Dec 13, 2004

I just don’t know what to write about this……it’s been a year since Alex took his own life and I’m at a loss for words. We all miss him and all of us wish we could have done something to prevent what happened, but that’s a fool’s game. There’s nothing any of us could have done short of being there to stop it when it was about to happen.

I guess a few of us will be at Barfly this evening.

Really, I just don’t know what to write. For once, I’m at a loss.

Bad Religion last night

I was settling in to a good night of telly – watching “Invasion” (which is really quite good) and then getting set for “Lost” – when I got a call from my good pal Rick. He was at the Barfly and was supposed to be going to the Bad Religion show with Carlos, but Carlos bailed so he asked me to come along. “Get down here! I’ll get the cab and buy you some beers”. How could I refuse? Quality time with Rick and a chance to see a band I loved when I was an 17 year old suburban kid. I hardly know what Bad Religion have been up to since, but I figured what the hell. Jack Rabid still likes them, and if they’re still good enough for him they should be good enough for me.

The Metropolis was completely sold out, filled with 2200 francophone teenagers and CEGEP aged kids who were very pumped for Bad Religion. If someone had told me 20 years ago that Bad Religion would be this big in Montreal I would never have believed them. But big they are.

I didn’t know any of the material, but it was a blast anyway. This crowd knew all the words to all the songs and belted out the choruses so well that singer Greg Graffin was moved enough to say “You guys have the best voices we’ve ever heard from an audience yet!” I wouldn’t doubt it. Rick and I were blown away by this passionate crowd. I’d say when it comes to passion, it’s hard to beat the young fans of Bad Religion, Social Distortion, and Megadeth. All of these bands bring young francophones out in droves, singing the songs en masse and on key. Bad Religion let it be known how much they appreciated this audience throughout the set and there’s no doubt in my mind their Montreal fans will be tough to top. It was love-in between the band and the crowd.

Glad I got the call and got off my ass for this show!

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.

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…

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.