Blog Archives

Serious problems voting in South Silverlake

My neighborhood is very diverse. Racially, socially and economically. The lack of proper voting machines and voter’s lists, even privacy stations… That’s a serious problem. When the process of voting isn’t private and isn’t easy… And takes a long time for each person… That’s gonna be a massive bottleneck juggernaut by the afternoon. That’s not ok.

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Sick Like Me

Part of me is maybe a bit sad they’re no longer on my favorite label Century Media but just like when REM signed with Warner and Sonic Youth signed with Geffen, you can’t stop bands from wanting to be in front of larger audiences with larger production budgets and more money for their life’s work.

I love the new song, although this is a band that has changed a LOT since their first record. Hard to believe this is the same band.

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Cleaning Your Records with Wood Glue? That’s a thing?

I’m going to have to try this.

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Nothing. Just my usual Friday shopping.

image“I dunno what you’re planning, Jasun, but leave me out of it.”

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Finally got my Matt Alber vinyl

Months ago when Matt Alber was raising funds to record and release his new record Wind Sand Stars, one of the options for funding was a vinyl copy of the album. It would come also with a bamboo USB Flash Drive (which I honestly didn’t really care about) but hearing the record on vinyl was what I really wanted.

Here’s his video for Handsome Man..

(BTW, I have offered to direct a video for Matt, even submitting a treatment for his cover of Everything But The Girl’s ‘Missing’ but so far no bites… I’ll keep trying, I’d love to do more music videos).

Well the album came out quite a while ago but the vinyl had numerous delays, one of which was faulty USB Flash Drives. So I cared about those even less than before.

Well, today when I got back from my Key West vacation, I had the record waiting for me. LOVE it… the live instruments and Matt’s voice sound wonderful coming out of my speakers and it’s the perfect record for post-vacation recovery morning.

And then I popped in that (admittedly cool) Flash Drive. OK so… it doesn’t just have the new record on it, it’s got the ENTIRE Matt Alber catalogue on it. All the albums, the Live EP, the unreleased B-sides, the dance remixes and alternate versions… PLUS it’s got all three of his fantastic videos, lyrics for all the albums, lots of photos AND a free PDF copy of his semi-nude Meat Magazine appearance. So I will begrudgingly admit that waiting for the Flash Drive was worth it.

The vinyl is still available at his Website.

Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Cheerios tells the story of a gay couple adopting their daughter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvHGKSqBVjs#t=83
While the connection to the breakfast cereal is tenuous at best, the story is rather sweet. Two very handsome French Canadian men tell the story of meeting on a blind date and knowing it was “the one” and then adopting their daughter. The “Cheerios Effect” is a phenomenon where cheerios floating in milk will attract each other due to surface tension. So the idea, I guess, is that they were all brought together by a relatively simple scientific… thing.

Meh, I’m sure that some group of Christians will lose their shit soon enough.

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Fart Metal

I’m ashamed to admit I actually watched this whole video.

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Who wore it better?

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I’m going to Hell. Meh… It’ll be fun.

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Gay Characters in otherwise Straight Movies Checklist.

Gay Characters in otherwise Straight Movies Checklist:

  1. Gay character is clinically depressed but still manages to entertain everyone by bursting out in song and dance. Extra points for using a song that gay people generally don’t like but straight people are embarrassed to admit they do. A good example of this would be the closeted gay brother in The Breakup making everyone at a dinner table sing “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” or the open gay best friend making everyone sing “Say A Little Prayer” in My Best Friend’s Wedding. Even if the character is alone, audience can be the defacto straight people laughing at the faggot like in “In and Out.”
  2. Gay character must appear in drag at least once. Failing this, must snap their fingers or give a really prissy laugh at something that isn’t really that funny.
  3. Gay character must let straight acquaintance pressure him into some manly sporting activity so we can laugh at what a wuss and how non-athletic he is. (In this case, mountain climbing)
  4. Gay character preferably lives in Los Angeles or other gay Mecca but has a failed love life and career.
  5. Should contain scene where Gay character bursts into tears. He appears weak for doing so.
  6. Must contain scene where straight person burst into tears and is supported by gay character who cheers them up with very wise, insightful comments and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Still somehow manages to be the weak one in this interaction.
  7. Gay character can’t be too good looking or in very good shape. Preferably juxtaposed by much more fit and attractive straight guy.
  8. We must spend most of our time laughing at or feeling sorry for gay character.
  9. If movie was shot before 2001, movie must end with gay character either being diagnosed with or dying of HIV.
  10. Folk Rock song over end credits.
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My September 11th Ritual: God Hates Us All

Morbid as it may be, my first impulse when people mention “September 11th” is to grab my copy of God Hates Us All by Slayer. It’s how I spend the day every year. Playing it over and over. It really is a good album.

That morning was pretty normal. I was working in purchasing for HMV, a huge international record chain that never really broke into the US market before music retail chains became a thing of the past. I worked at the flagship store in downtown Toronto and we had just gotten out of our Tuesday new release meeting and were trying to guess which of the two major new releases that day would sell more.

One was the new Mariah Carey offering “Glitter” which, if you didn’t know what it said, kind of looked like it was titled “Gutter.” We all agreed that it was a downright noxious album of horrible songs that would accompany her equally horrible movie of the same name (“Glitter,” not “Gutter”).

The other was the new album by venerable metal band Slayer. The album was called “God Hates Us All” and featured two different album covers since the first one that featured a bible, nailed shut and bleeding, was deemed a bit too “offensive” for some markets. I predicted Slayer’s album would sell more. I bought three copies of it myself. The Japanese import, the Canadian release with the censored cover and the blood-red vinyl.

When we got out of the meeting, staff on the main floor were all a bit worked up over a movie playing on the screens throughout the store. It looked like a bad Michael Bay movie. Before long, the chatter filtered up to us that this was NOT, in fact, a movie but live footage of the World Trade Center in New York where “someone” had “flown a plane into one of the towers.”

We all just assumed “some drunk billionaire in his Cessna” or something along those lines.

We crowded around the VJ booth at the back of the store where the music and video were played so we could watch it on the screen live. We had started to become a bit flippant about it and said “Hope the money wasn’t seriously hurt.”

We then all watched while the second plane hit and in one moment realized exactly how far off we were from that first assumption that this was a minor, random accident.

Without much news or information available… speculation started. Then panic. Confusion. Complete bewilderment at what was going on. A few minutes later I sat on the floor of my office listening to the radio and trying to absorb it all. Before long, reports of a third plane in Washington DC and possibly a fourth “near Pittsburgh” came in. Reports of “taking out radio communication in New York” and “gunfire in the streets” and “terrorist groups attacking in Chicago” had started. Of course most of that was bullshit but by that point it was hard to not believe anything.

Not unlike the movies you see of people crowding around the TVs in store windows to watch news about the Kennedy Assassination, people stood around in the front area of the store watching the video on the screens. Some would blankly say “my son is in New York right now” and I remember taking a mother in my arms telling her not to panic. One man told us that most of the tall buildings in downtown Toronto had been evacuated just in case…

Of course we were only in shock and disbelief for so long. Canadians were just separated and isolated enough from it all that we still remember it like a movie. We may have known people there but it all still seemed unreal. Of course Canadian conservatives and anyone desperate enough to paint Canada as “important” on the world’s stage would warn us about the “terrorists coming for us in Toronto” and tell us to “imagine the CN Tower smoking like that.”

Most of us rolled our eyes at the absurdity of a spindly concrete tower “smoking” and the catty answers we’d throw back were “the terrorists won’t attack Toronto, their mothers all live here” or “let’s hang a target on the east side of the tower and see if we can get them to knock it into the Skydome and take out TWO eyesores at once!”

Canadians have always had belligerent senses of humor and even something as horrific as the September 11th attacks wasn’t going to take that away.

One of my most chilling souvenirs was the poster advertising the new Slayer album. It featured the bloody bible, nailed shut with “Slayer: God Hates Us All – September 11th, 2001.” How’s that for a bit fucked up?

So… that’s my ritual. I don’t even realize I’m doing it. I don’t believe in “god” so it’s not like I take much from that message. But when the news hits every year… I go right to my vinyl wall and haul out my copy. It’s spinning on my turntable right now.

Kinda freaky, really.

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