So it seems like it’s been forever since I’ve actually written a decent post on here. I feel like now is as good of a time as ever. So let’s get started jah?
Getting the nitty gritty stuff out of the way first…
- I have 3 more days of classes
- I have passed enough assignments in all of my classes such that if I pass the finals I will pass the course
- I wrote a paper on the “Evolution of Greek Architecture in Relation to the Developments in Mathematics” or something like that
- I recorded/produced my first track (see Never Know [post below])
- I went to for the first Vancouver for reading break (see pictures on Flickr [on right])
- Worked 30+ hours in the last month doing recordings
- Learnt to play most of Chopin‘s Prelude in E Minor (see Ben Zander video [below]
- Got knocked out in the first round of the floor hockey playoffs. Scored one goal all season.
Anyways, that’s really all I can think of for the moment. The biggest one on that list is probably the trip to Vancouver. Girlfriend and I went for reading break, which was in the beginning of November (10th – 14th). We stayed in a cheap little hotel which was actually really nice. The trip wasn’t the greatest, and didn’t really compare to when we had gone to Seattle a year previous. I was sick going over there, and had to truck around a fistful of kleenexes everywhere we went. In the two days we had there, we walked close to 15+km around the city, from Gastown to Yaletown to Granville Island to etc etc etc. We got to see Robson street and the malls and such, which was nice. It would have been a lot better if we had an entire week to spend there and take everything at a more leisurely pace. There’s much more of that city I would like to see.
Girlfriend really wanted to go see Bodyworlds which was on at the Science World, so we did that on the night of the 11th, and to be honest it wasn’t that great. I’d seen it before in Edmonton a few years back, and this one was pretty lackluster by comparison. The exhibit was smaller and had less interesting pieces and it was pretty enclosed versus the large open space in Edmonton. So that was a downer but we carried on. Girlfriend wanted to go to the art gallery too, but we just didn’t have the time or the energy. Maybe another day. We were in bed by 10pm each day and up by 8. We definitely don’t know how to vacation.
Oh! I forgot something very important that I did in the last week! I met Alexisonfire! As you may or may not know, they are one of my favourite bands of all time and a group that I really enjoy in all aspects of manner
and music. So it was pretty cool to meet them finally. If you don’t know their names tough, because I’m going to refer to them as such. This is only my personal opinion and experience so it may not be a true representation of character, but Dallas and Wade didn’t give the best impression to me. Dallas was very “Hi, Autograph? Photo? Next?” or at least that’s how it was to me. There were quite a few other people there and that was a disappointment but to be fair I wasn’t the most outgoing individual there. I had a nice chat with Steele and he seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say. Same with George and Ratbeard, and I enjoyed my conversation with them. So it was kind of a interesting experience. It was kind of like “Okay-go-ahead-make-awkward-conversation-with-people-you-really-admire-who-don’t-care-who-you-are-for-a-half-hour.” But it was cool to do. I don’t think I’d do it again, especially for that price tag ($100).
All that being said, the show was pretty ridiculous. With people climbing up on stage and crowd surfing, combined with the terrible sound and the show having to be done by 9:30 (to accommodate all the clubbers on a Friday night) I think it was a mediocre experience. It had it’s highlights and it’s lowlights, but that’s to be expected.
I’m not sure what else to write tonight…exams are coming up, and I will be done by the 18th. So hopefully I’ll write some more posts coming into the holiday season. (I actually was going to type Christmas there, but then changed it to holiday. Isn’t that so politically correct of me?)
And for something completely different! A Hipster Hitler comic!
- Alexisonfire wants to cool down a bit (theglobeandmail.com)
- Music Review: Putting Some Muscle in Chopin Along With the Poetry (nytimes.com)
- Sunday Stories…Last Minute Homework and an Evening with Chopin! (crazygoangirl.wordpress.com)
So I guess it’s been a long time since I’ve actually written anything about my life on here. A lot has gone on since I last posted.
I ended up having my best semester in school, with 2 A-’s, a B+, a C+ (which is being appealed), and a C. Hurray for me.
I moved out of my place in residence at school. I have definitely accumulated way too much stuff over my two years living there. I had two medium sized tupperware containers and one large (maybe 6 foot x 2 foot x 2 foot) tupperware container – just filled with books and stuff and crap and all this stupid random stuff. I had 2 x 3 ft ziploc bags full of clothes, 1 5 ft ziploc bag full of clothes. Then one re-usuable bag for my picture frames, two gym bags, one box for my keyboard. And that’s just stuff I left there. I brought home another box and another tupperwear, my guitar and two suitcases of clothes. And then some shoes and other crap.
So I was fortunate enough that my two roommates had gotten a storage locker and had enough room for my stuff too. On my last day I got my stuff into the locker and headed downtown with girlfriend for dinner at our favourite little Chinese place. Which was nice. I really miss her lots. She won’t be coming home at all this summer. She’s finishing up her degree and staying behind without me. Makes me sad.
I flew out here last Wednesday and got home late-ish. And every time I come home from the airport I hope and dream that my mom will let me sit in the front seat on the car ride home. And every time, without fail, my hopes and dreams are shattered. So I finally got home and relaxed.
And that’s what I’ve been doing basically for the past week. Nothing. I went to see the KGB on Thursday. They were pretty good, luckily we came early enough that we didn’t have to pay the $15 cover. I was impressed that they’re playing so many shows and have a bit of a fan base going. It was really awkward, I saw my old band teacher at the show that night. He came and sat with us and talked for their entire set. Unfortunately he conned us into buy tickets to his jazz show on the weekend. We got suckered and bought tickets. (http://www.myspace.com/kronicgrooveband)
This show was at the Beat Niq and featured a bunch of people I had never heard of. It was okay – probably not worth the money we paid but whatever. It was what I like to call free jazz – which follows a very loose form of chorus – solo – solo – solo – chorus. Where each player (there was 3 and a drummer) would take solos. This is fine and all, but the choruses sound so off and random. The band doesn’t really sound like a band. Each player does their own thing and the sound is very incoherent. I’m not sure if this is the sonic goal of this style, but it’s definitely not something for everyone.
So basically the only point for me coming home was to work all summer and make lots of money. So far that’s a flop. My brother has deemed me a ‘jobless shithead’. But that’s okay. Maybe I’ll just free-load of my parents all summer. Sounds like a good plan to me. I had an interview today with the City, as an event crew member. I’m probably going to get this job, but it’s only on call, so that probably won’t yield very many hours. I was going to have an interview at the Gap – but the guy hasn’t returned 3 of my calls. I also had an interview @ CJSW – the local university radio station. Doing a job that I would really love. Unfortunately I got a phone call from them this afternoon saying that although I had a great interview and a great portfolio – there was just someone out there that’s better than me. The shitty thing for me is that my resume is so specific that it doesn’t apply to anything else. I really have no skills in the service industry. Or any other industry other than my own. Sigh.
Umm. I hate being home. I hate living with my parents. They drive me insane daily. Every time I sit down for dinner, I feel like it’s the “15-minutes-of-interrogation” where they try and ask me as many questions as possible in a little time span. Since my brother took our other car to Edmonton with him for the summer, our 3-piece family is left with one vehicle. My dad takes the bus to work (how green of him) and that means my mom and I have to share our other car. This is a pain in the ass. Being at home is a pain in the ass. I spend most of my time in my studio – where I lose most sense of time with no windows.
Most of my friends here have been either too busy or just don’t care. When talking to them about coming back they all seemed excited about seeing me and wanting to hang out. So far I’ve seen four people since I’ve come back. I don’t expect that number to get much higher in the coming months. I’m starting to learn that people are generally really excited about the idea of seeing you when you come home from university – but in practice it doesn’t really happen.
I’ve been having a terrible time being away from Girlfriend. It’s terrible trying to do a long distance relationship again. We said we were going to break up for the summer – but it’s just stupid and too hard for both of us to not want to be together. I hate being away from home, from her, and Geoffery. We’ve been watching lots of new Robert De Niro movies, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver. Both weird fucked up movies. De Niro was good though. I’ve been watching the second season of Parks and Recreation – it’s pretty good. Definitely better than the first, but not as good as the Office. Hopefully it keeps going. Next is Breaking Bad.
Sigh. Here’s a few pictures of my new set-up at home.
So basically I hate being home and I hate living here! How are you doing? Probably better than me. Can’t wait for this summer to be over.
Get ready for a long one.
Alrighty. So I spent most of my day today at Sonic 102.9′s “Sonic Boom” festival at the Northlands parking lot. My brother had shelled out $100+ for VIP tickets for the both of us and we were expecting some pretty exceptional stuff. We boarded the train at around 2 o’clock and head towards the parking lot. Upon arrival, we followed the masses and the music to the entrance. Us VIP’s had our own separate entrance and we were then searched (very briefly albeit, I could have snuck a handful of coke, about 100 hits of E and any other drug you wanted in our backpack) and then we were given our nifty VIP lanyards and wristbands. So far so good right? Wrong.
As soon as we got through the entrance, we saw the VIP ‘area’. It was basically the area roughly the size of a professional basketball court with some concessions for drinks and food. There was a nice grassy area with some benches. We also had a building with actual toilets! And…that was it.
That was all we got for being VIP’s and spending an extra $40 for tickets got us pretty much nothing. Lame. This Sonic Boom festival was definitely lacking in just about every category. I’ve been to the veteraned Vans Warped Tour, and the newly started Virgin Festival, and both of these were miles ahead of Sonic Boom.
At venues like Virgin or Vans, there is a lot of people to do in the downtime between bands. Between each band the crews take between 20 – 40 minutes to set up for the next one. There is usually booths selling random merchandise, vendors, stalls, lots of people just giving away free stuff and getting their company out there. At Sonic Boom, I didn’t even see a single Sonic Boom tent with Sonic 102.9 stuff on it. I didn’t get to meet the DJ’s if I had chosen to do so, and there was NOTHING to do. You just had to sit around and watch people re-arrange the stage. Yee-ha.
The one thing Sonic Boom did have going for it was the bands. Metric, GirlTalk, Billy Talent, Franz Ferdinand and Alexisonfire amongst others were all at this event. But unfortunately not all of them performed that well. We’ll start chronologically.
Girltalk – A single guy with a computer who samples other songs and basically plays them non-stop. I was very weary about this guy, although my brother was quite stoked on him. I have a thing about not liking this new generation of guys with their computers. I feel that anybody can bring a computer on a stage, open up iTunes, and hit play. Big woop. It takes the whole performing out of a performance. But I was pleasantly surprised by Girltalk. He sampled from just about every genre, some of them included: Black Sabbath’s War Pigs, The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Under The Bridge, Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot and Jackson Five’s ABC. This had all the emo kids, the metal heads, the hip hoppers, and the punks happy which was pretty cool. The guy who is the main member of Girltalk was pretty entertaining to watch, as he jumped around stage on one foot and proceeded to strip throughout his set. His entourage provided the crowd with toilet paper, confetti and balloons to add to the party atmosphere. I definitely enjoy Girltalk’s performance which felt like a big rave/party. I would recommend putting on Girltalk at any of your parties where you need some kinda music that everyone will like.
Next up was Metric. Now I have heard great things about Metric and I have listened to their newest album and enjoyed what I heard. I had very high expectations for this band, and none of those expectations were met. Emily Haines (the lead singer) was the only person who looked like she was having a moderately good time on stage while the other three members kinda stood there morbidly. The guitar player looks like a cross between Elvis Costello and Matthew Good, but had his sunglasses on the entire time, how rude. They played their hits “Give Me Sympathy” and “Monster Hospital” but by that time I had lost interest and gone to look around. When a band is on stage and they’re look like they’re not enjoying themselves, then the crowd won’t either. Which is what my opinion of their set was.
After Metric came the Franz Ferdinand. The Scottish quartet provided a funky and unique set list to the Sonic Boom experience. They had their flare and interacted well with the crowd. I was impressed how the two guitarists could switch between guitar and keyboards so easily. It was pretty cool. Another of my favourite parts of their set was when all four members started playing a piece of the drum kit. It would have been better if the kit was further towards the front of the stage so everyone could see (Another thing needed by Sonic Boom, big TV screens for the people in the back) but all in all it was fun. One thing that Franz Ferdinand did that no other band of the night did was introduce it’s members. It may be cheesy and over done, but I think it’s something that should just be standard. It gives the audience a little bit more of a personal connection with the band, and allows the members to show off a little. I also thought it was interesting how the band left the stage. As individuals. I have seen bands, like Alexisonfire, enter in this fashion, one at a time, but never leave. The lead singer left first, then the keyboardist left a loop on, and then the bassist, leaving the drummer last.
Now, the main event. For me at least, and probably half of the crowd there, we were all there to see Alexisonfire. I pushed and shoved my way to about 4 rows from the front. And when I say rows, I more or less mean people, squished up against the railing. So it’s more like 4 people crammed into two feet. And then they started. I will post what I recall of a set list after this. As usual, Alexisonfire put on a show that surpassed any by any other band that night. Their energy, musicality, and connection with the crowd are three of the factors that make AOF the great band that they are. Chris Steele, the bassist, is known for his ‘crazy eyes’ as he comes to the edge of the stage and opens his eyes wide and looks at members of the audience. Each member of Alexisonfire is great at such a simple thing. Looking at the audience. I’ve noticed a lot of bands seem to hide behind their microphones and don’t interact. That’s something, as a fan, that makes you love a band, is if they are personal with you. It’s all about connections and the members of Alexis did that tonight. There was one moment when George (the screamer) was speaking to the crowd, about how amazing he is and you shouldn’t mess with him, and out of nowhere a shoe flies on stage, and with Jedi-like reflexes, George sticks out his arm and catches said shoe, furthering his point. At one point during a song, there was a fight in the most pit, with two guys throwing punches, and again George takes it upon himself to make it personal. He takes a step down off the stage and starts yelling at the guys, “What the fuck are you doing?!” After the song was over, he called out the tough guys and moved on. It’s actions like this that make Alexis stand out for me. It’s interesting to see that they’ve become the seniors on the tour scene as newer bands that are coming up look to them for guidance. And they are, in my opinion, the mould that every band should try to replicate. Each member moves around on stage, they use all 50 feet of their cables and travel to each part of the stage to visit each section of the crowd. They are a band that loves the music, and is passionate about playing, and you can see it in their live show. Another classic Alexisonfire performance, I really hope they continue to make music for a long time to come.
By this time, I was all worn out from being at the front of the pit. Sweaty, sore and tired, I was ready to go home. My brother and his friend, Marie, wanted to stay to watch Billy Talent. I wasn’t expecting much, which was good! Cause Billy Talent was bland. With only 3 albums under their belt, I was wondering what they were going to draw on for material. I had seen them in Calgary when they toured for their II album with Rise Against. And it was very similar to that. They opened with Devil in a Midnight Mass, and it was not til their 4th song that they played something new. Which, could be confused with something old. Billy Talent has found their niche in punk today and they’re staying there. The twangy guitars with that distinct distorted tone and the whiny vocals are expected by the Billy Talent fans. So that’s what they got. Personally, I’m always looking for something new and different with music and a new CD from an old artist, and Billy Talent didn’t deliver. Another band that doesn’t move and hides behind their microphones. The lead singer could be interacting with all sides of the stage when he’s not singing but prefers to hang out close to the drums or the amps. The guitarist and bassist are stuck to 10 feet of guitar cable, so they won’t move remotely close to each other. The band is barely interacting with itself let alone the audience. They like to talk about hockey and how the city in which they are playing in, is so much better than their rival, ie the Oilers are better than the Flames. Whatever. This was the same when I saw them play at the Saddledome and the drummer dawned a Flames jersey. With so few songs to choose from, it was easy to predict which would be next. This was proven when I told my brother that it was either going to be “River Below” or “Try Honesty”, and the next song was the former. Lame. I have to compare Alexisonfire and Billy Talent to Aerosmith and Motley Crue whom I saw a few years ago. Billy Talent and Motley Crue used gimics and fancy lights and such to wow their audience, while the music lacks. However Alexisonfire and Aerosmith only need themselves on stage with their instruments. Their charisma, and passion for music are what make them put on a good show, not lights, fireworks and gimics.
So Sonic-Boom on a whole was a bust, Alexisonfire however was not. And that one performance made up for the whole day. Hope you enjoyed my essay on a concert. Also stay tuned for the Fashion of Sonic Boom on JuST B in the coming days!
Here’s the real set list for Alexisonfire’s show today (Not sure if the order is correct, it’s close though).
- Drunks, Lovers, Sinners, and Saints
- No Transitory
- Boiled Frogs
- Born and Raised
- This Could Be Anywhere In The World
- Young Cardinals
- We Are The Sound
- Water Wings (And Other Poolside Faux Pas)
- Heading For The Sun
- Happiness By The Kilowatt
Or maybe the new slogan should be:
Everything’s bigger in Texas Calgary
It’s weird to say, but I think it’s true. Calgary has become like it’s oil counterpart of the south and has monster-sized everything. Being here is quite weird. Upon arriving into YYC, my mother and brother and I went to the new CrossIron Mills http://www.crossironmills.com/. The new supersized mall in Balzac (which is just outside of Calgary), it’s the same size as West Edmonton Mall, but all on one floor. It is quite the spectacle. And I think that it’s more or less just than than an actual mall. People are not going to go there to shop, you’re going there to gawk and stare at the ridiculous of the scale of this mall.
And it’s patrons. We ate lunch at a burger joint, South St. Burgers, which is basically like a Subway for burgers, but not as good. The burgers were nothing spectacular and I was expecting more. But I was not suprised to see a 12 year old who probably weighed as much as I do chowing down on a few burgers.
After burgers, my mother insisted we go to the Bass Store. Which is basically a hunter/hick/redneck’s wetdream. The first you have to do to enter this store is pass through a turnstile. A turnstile. Sorry, is this a theme park? Apparently it is. There was one of those electronic shooting ranges for kids, and all your Buck Hunter arcade games. Upon every wall, surface and floor of this store there was some kind of dead, stuffed animal. I swear that the wildlife population of Alberta has decreased by 30% to just fill this store with stuff. There’s moose, elk, a herd of reindeer, duck, geese, packs of wolves, bears. If it loves in the Canadian Wilderness, it’s in this store. It’s ridiculous, but apparently Calgary lives through the phrase – “bigger is better.” As clearly evident by this mall.
Anywho, after this mall, we came home. To a workzone. Our house is currently being renovated, we are getting our main floor repainted, hardwood floors, new kitchen, the words. And by we, I mean my parents. They are doing all said renovations. We are all currently cooking on a barbeque, microwave and toaster oven. We have our fridge in our garage and the kitchen table is down by our TV. Secluded to basically one floor as the basement is being used for storing all of the stuff from upstairs. Not exactly what I was looking forward to when I came home, but it will have to do.
Amongst all this chaos, my brother is moving up to Edmonton shortly, so this adds to the stress and a few fights have been caused by arguing over whats going where and who’s doing what. I, being probably the most laid-back member of the family, just get to sit back and stay out of everything here.
So this is day 2/3 away from my girlfriend in Victoria, and I can definitely tell it’s more wearing on her than me. Here I have a lot of my friends and I am going to be busy just about everyday I am here. And she’s feeling pretty lonely at home in Victoria. I’m not really sure what to do in my situation. It’s hard for me to just be like, “Yes Dear I won’t do this” and “Okay I miss you too” a lot of the time. And I really do miss her and care for her and love her, I just worry about her and whether I am the biggest thing in her life and if she can survive without me. I was in a situation before in my life where I felt like my girlfriend was dependant on me and NEEDED me to survive. I don’t feel that my girlfriend is this way, but I’m trying to be cautious that it doesn’t become like that. I know that she’s mature and can handle being by herself and that’s one of the things I like so much about her. I’m hoping she meets me at the airport and we can drive home together and pick up right where we left off.
Speaking of picking up where I left off. I think that’s a sign of a real and true friend. I feel that there are people here that I can hang out with, for the first time in four months, and it’s like I never left. We’re cracking jokes and being dicks to each other and all that, and it’s great. That’s one of the greatest things about coming back is bein able to hang out with these people just like you did before you left. But that’s not the case with everyone here. Apparently a lot of my friends don’t even talk to each other and they live here together, I’ve kept in better touch with some of them while I’ve been away. Maybe that’s because of force of being away and you HAVE to make an effort to talk to find out everything. At the bar on Thursday night, we were talking about our one friend in England right now, and how many postcards we had gotten from her. Everyone there had gotten about four or five. And I’ve gotten something like 10+. Maybe that’s just because of the bond I have with this person, or maybe it’s bad posting, or maybe it’s because I’ve made the effort to talk to her while she’s gone and I think I’ve tried to maintain the relationship we had before we left. She’s said that our bond has even gotten stronger, and I don’t think that’s a false statement. Which is good.
So after some much needed catching up time, it was party night! I got prepared by dressing up as a WWII Jew. Which is horribly offensive and such I understand, but it was a good costume and I don’t think I did anything to disgraceful, which was good. The party was great, combining my friends and my brothers friends in a few games of socialbles. Which is quite a feat considering I have never actually finished an entire game of socialbles ever. I was impressed that everyone got dressed up and glad that quite a few people came! I had a really good time and hope to catch up with a lot more people later.
So, here we are again. That glorious time of night that seems to reek havoc on my soul, oh 3:30 am, woe is me. My mother blames it on the coffee. I don’t know what it is that makes this time of night so odd to my system, but here I am again. I was up @ 3:30 my first night here and moments after I woke up, my girlfriend sent me a text asking if I was up, maybe subconciously we both wake up at that time to be with each other?
Anywho it is most definitely time for bed, I hope this entry suffices those who check this often. I may not get another chance to post until I’m up til 3:30 again. I don’t really like blogging around my family, in fear that they might see it and want to read it, and then find other blogs I have…
Well now that my brother has gone home, I get a little bit of time to relax before I come home to Calgary. This weekend was a blur, and I am defintely exhausted from it. I slept for about 10 hours today, which is a lot for me, considering. I got a few things done today which needed to be done, and I’m just about ready to leave here now. Hurray.
Also, good news! My computer is in the process of being fixed! We got the okay from MasterCard and so I took it in yesterday! Hopefully it’ll be ready by tomorrow so I can take it home with me! So this is positive.
In other news, my brother has started a blog. He’s moving to Edmonton soon and will probably be talking about his life there and such. The link is in the blogroll. He’s just getting it started, so hopefully this will spur him to write more.
Remember that ground squirrel that was in that picture not to long ago? Well, here are a few of the photoshops that people have made incorporating said squirrel.
Also, in the news today, a fashion blogger sued Google for giving away her information to a woman she wrote about on her blog. Big uproar, read the article here
Hopefully JuST B won’t get into this kind of trouble!