Saturday, September 29, 2007

Notice of Temporary Interruption of Service

Well, obviously. I'm moving, as I'd mentioned in previous posts.

Since this computer is minutes away from being disconnected and popped into a box, no blog updates will be forthcoming until everything is set up again.

I'll be back soon, though! Fear not!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mark Your Calenders for (Journée) Louis Riel Day

Huh? What? Oh! Sorry. As per my previous entry, I'm just now starting to emerge from within the pile of music I'm working through; I'm still (!) not done, but the recent joyous call from all about the town caught my attention.

The declaration has now been made! Monday, February 18th, 2008 -- and the third Monday of every February hence -- will be known in Manitoba as Journée Louis Riel Day.

Well, okay, no it won't, not entirely. The first word is an entirely optional nod to bilinguilism; the full name is completely redundant, I have to rack my brain for the right alt-number code whenever I need the acute over that first E, and I can only type "Journée" so many times before I start itching to make Steve Perry jokes.

Louis Riel's message for the future generations of Metis people was "Don't Stop Believing"

Manitobans have embraced the new holiday with Open Arms

John A. Macdonald may have placed higher on CBC's Greatest Canadian list, but Who's Cryin' Now

I won't, though. I have far too much willpower for that.

Tony Soprano shall hang though every dog in New Jersey bark in his favour

So setting Journée aside for now, our new February holiday shall be recognized as Louis Riel Day. It's a good name, and I for one am quite pleased with it; I challenge you to name me one figure more uniquely significant to Manitoba's historical heritage than Louis Riel. (And if you tell me "Burton Cummings" I will smack you upside the head, in an attempt to knock some excess facetiousness out of your brain.) The general consensus seems to be that nobody really cares too much about what it's called so long as we actually get to have it; hell, I think this might even be the happiest that we've ever seen Tom Brodbeck. (Off day, or oncoming apocalypse? Place your bets now!)

Mind you, when the reports say that this was the best name suggested by the schoolchildren of our province, I believe it -- especially after seeing the other suggestions. Despite my own better judgement, my curiosity led me to look at the provincial government's list of names that each school suggested (a 16KB PDF file) -- and, well, we should all be dearly thankful that Louis Riel Day was the name we ended up with.

For example -- as you may have already read elsewhere -- the kids at Earl Oxford School suggested... they put forward the suggestion that... they tried to...

"Chil-Lax Day"? Are you kidding me? Oh my god you are serious. You seriously--Chil-Lax Day? Are you all out of your minds?



Some other suggestions made by schools from around the province:

The Alhijra Islamic School suggested "Manisnowba Day", which is admittedly a little demeaning but still kind of cute. Emerson Elementary suggested "Hudson Bay Holiday", which rolls off the tongue quite nicely and would probably be a great name for a third-wave ska band. And Anola School (in Anola, naturally) suggested Manitoba Outdoor Family Fitness (or O.F.F.) Day, which would be a really keen idea if the holiday weren't in February. We live in Manitoba; we can never rule out the possibility that any given February here is cold enough to kill somebody outright.

Some schools were on the right track, but went a little long with their ideas. Elkhorn School (in Elkhorn, naturally) offered "Family Winter Wellness and Fun Day"; similarly, St. Maurice School came up with "February Family Fitness & Fun Day". I'm as big a fan of alliteration as the next overindulgent writer, but can you imagine dropping that one in conversation?

"Hey, Kyle, wanna chip in for beer? We're going to watch the game and then get good and drunk on February Family Fitness and Fun Day."

Alas, I think the novelty would wear off on that one after a while.

Ditto for the suggestion from St. Paul's Collegiate in Saint-Francois-Xavier, which was "Celebration of Lord Selkirk and the Settlers"; I'd definitely be down for that one as a longer event, though. It's a long title for a single day, but if you stretched it into a whole weekend's worth of renaissance fairs and feasting I think it'd fly pretty well.

Arthur A. Leach School suggested "Bison Break", which I am totally stealing as the name of my finishing move if I ever become a professional wrestler. (It'll be a Fire Thunder Driver. If you were wondering.) Oakenwald School suggested "The Polar Pause", which sounds less like a holiday and more like something you'd die of if you had an Outdoor Family Fitness Day in February. And Grant Park High School suggested "Bring on the Bison", which is a couple DNA substitutions away from being an awesome Echo & the Bunnymen reference.

The Henderson Elementary School in Dauphin, for reasons I don't really want to think about for too long, suggested "Purification Day"; the New Hope Christian School in Kleefeld suggested "Prime Rose Day". I don't even know what these mean. I'm sure they're well-intentioned, though.

The Wanipigow School, up in Wanipigow, suggested "Family First Friday"; I think what must have happened is that everybody liked the name but nobody had the heart to tell them that the holiday is a Monday. Sorry, guys. Keep that one handy for next time, though.

The Crystal City Early Years School, down in Crystal City, suggested "Crocus Day"; admittedly the Crocus is still our provincial flower, but they really have to have known that this was a doomed suggestion right from the beginning. Nice try, Crystal City Early Years School! Good luck getting our governing NDP to blurt that holiday name out! You'd have had just as much luck suggesting they name it "Gage Guimond Day", "Hallway Medicine Monday", or "Lake Winnipeg is Rapidly Dissolving into a Toxic Cesspool and Our Elected Leaders Remain Frighteningly Inactive But Never Mind All That Because Here is a Brief Respite From Work Day".

(Okay, so that last one might be a bit long too. "Hey, Kyle, wanna chip in for beer? We're having a party on...")

I may poke fun, a bit, but I appreciate the effort that went into all of these ideas; it's nice to get students active in, or at least thinking about, the kind of decisions that will be remembered and relevent decades from now.

But then, there are some things -- like, say, "Chil-Lax" -- that will never cease to irk me. And when I say that I am thinking specifically of Balmoral Hall School and of Gray Academy, because both Balmoral Hall School and Gray Academy put forward the idea that our newly-minted and much-anticipated February holiday should be called -- wait for it, this one is going to hurt -- "Spirited Energy Day".







oh god these children are our leaders of tomorrow noooooooooooo

Ah, well. I'll get over it. Thanks for your input, schools!

Regardless of what we're now calling it, we all finally have something to look forward to in February -- besides the commercialisation-induced anxiety or the crippling loneliness of each Valentine's Day, I mean -- and we're making at least the minimum effort to maintain the legacy of one of our own homegrown legends.

(Which one of you just blurted out "Burton Cummings"? Don't make me come back there!)

So to commemorate the establishment of a new day off, and since I'm digging through my catalogs anyway, here are a couple of fittingly titled ska songs from years past:

The Planet Smashers - Holiday (Life of the Party, 1999)
[buy | site | myspace]

Fighting Gravity - All I Need is a Holiday (Shishskabob, 1992)
[buy | site | myspace]

And if you're concerned that the two songs above sound kind of same-y, or that all ska bands basically sound alike, then the Cheapskates have you covered:

The Cheapskates - All Our Songs Sound the Same (Nobody's Prefect EP, 2001)
[buy | holy crap it is hard to find anything about these guys online]

Well, I think that covers that topic pretty thoroughly. And if any fine readers out there harbour any misgivings about the new holiday's name, don't fret; take a breath, think about how happy you'll be to have that statutory off, and remember -- it's not the destination, it's the Journée!

Yeah, I know. I caved. I'm sorry.

Here it is. God, I'm so weak.

Of Montreal with Jason NeSmith - Don't Stop Believing (Journey Cover) (Live at the 40 Watt, 2007)
[video | site | myspace]

Back into my pile of CDs I go! If nobody hears from me in the next few days, send a rescue team!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Think I Need a New Hobby

Today I threw a van's worth of stuff together, loaded it up and drove it across to my next place of residence. So I've already started the moving process and I'm already getting into the moving mindset, and with this moving mindset comes the impulse to turn things upside down and make sure you have everything.

Also: when I'm not steadily employed (and suddenly I'm not, as I mentioned last post), I tend to gravitate towards nocturnal patterns. I get myself good and turned around, stay up all night and then sleep through anything of importance when the sun is actually out.

So, since I'm going to be moving everything eventually, and since I'm going to be up all night tonight anyway, I decided that -- hey, why not? -- this will finally be the night I set up a spreadsheet on my computer to find out once and for all how many CDs I actually own.

Granted, I'm under the impression that I own quite a few, so this could be a bit of an undertaking. Also granted, I actually had a few different collections scattered about the house. But I dutifully compiled every music CD I own into one place, threw it onto my bed for now, and--

--oh. Huh.

Am I sure there are no computer CDs in there, nothing burnt, noth--no? No. Those are all actual legal music CDs. In fact, this picture is only my CDs -- I have significant collections of cassettes and records that I'm not piling in.

My. Well.

Then I guess I do own a lot of CDs. In retrospect, I shouldn't act like I'm surprised when I try to photograph the pile and the pile actually reflects the flash up along the wall and right to the ceiling.

Nor should I act surprised that the pile is actually seven or eight CDs deep at its thickest, and that's even after spreading it across an entire double bed.

Nothing out of the ordinary!

And I definitely shouldn't act surprised that my cat is thoroughly unimpressed with the whole affair because the CDs have the gall to cover right where he would normally nap.

It can be said, at the very least, that I don't halfass it when I decide something needs to be done. It's a good thing I have nothing pressing to attend to tonight, or tomorrow... or...

Why did I put all of these on my bed?

Lest you assume the whole thing will leave you out in the cold, reading public, fear not; since I'm going through every CD I own anyway, I'll see fit to grab a track here and there to throw up onto this fine site.

And don't feel bad about downloading whatever songs I put up; considering the pictures above, you should never let anybody tell you that music sharing stops people from purchasing CDs. If it did, my bed would currently hold ten CDs and a sleeping cat. Which would be a lot easier to move from one house to another, now that I think about it -- but alas. I am what I am.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Turbulent Week

Good evening. It's been a while, hasn't it? Mine has been a life of turmoil and chicanery, of late, so let's get caught up.


I had a brief flash of curiosity about the fallout of that Quebec byelection; imagine my surprise to read the followup news reports and see Stephane Dion accepting full responsibility for the Liberals' ill fates that previous night.

Now, keep in mind that I'm twenty-three years old; I don't think I've ever seen a Liberal leader take responsibility for anything in my lifetime. Granted that this is probably because Jean Chretien headed the Liberals for over thirteen of those years, and Jean Chretien never met a problem he couldn't either purchase or punch his way out of.

Good on Dion for doing such a thing, of course, but the shock of the whole affair understandably left me incapacitated for the rest of the night. I mean, the very idea.


As you'll recall, Wednesday was the NHL exhibition game between the Coyotes and the Leafs at the MTS Centre.

I wasn't actually inside the arena for the game; by the time I remembered it was happening most everything was sold out, and besides, between the two teams' rosters there are maybe six players I care about.

(Georges Laraque, Alex Steen, Kyle Wellwood... who else... Shane Doan, although that was mostly for his accidental political hilarity last year... I like Mats Sundin, I guess... and, uh... okay, there are five. Hey, I tried!)

But on the way home from work that day, just all of a sudden and out of the blue, I thought to myself -- "hey, wait a minute! That exhibition game is tonight! And I own a guitar!"

Yes, this is genuinely what I did. As soon as I got off that bus and got home (which takes a while, mind you -- my god but our transit system is abhorrent), I set to work; I printed off a few tabs to quickly study en route, tuned my acoustic guitar, and set out downtown.

It went pretty well; it was a nice night, the game was being shown on the building's external bigscreen (!!), and in between periods I caught a few bucks from passersby.

I was pretty rusty, actually; I hadn't played anything on the acoustic in a good long time, and it took me a while to get back into form. Fortunately -- or distressingly, I'm not sure which -- nobody seemed able to tell the difference, and the scratch I made playing an initially shaky rendition of Stompin' Tom's "The Hockey Song" at the end of the night effectively doubled what I'd made to that point.


$24.26 garnered over the span of three hours -- which means about fourty-five minutes of actual playing time, and the rest of the time spent sitting and watching a hockey game I would have sat and watched anyway. I also got a complimentary hot dog, valued at $2.75, and a pack of smokes with one smoke still in it. (Mind you, I don't smoke -- but thanks anyway, random guy!) Not bad for a guy who started the night actually whiffing some of his chords.

If you're wondering -- I took some of my spoils and bought cat food, which is why there's a receipt in that picture. Nothing screams 'damn right I am a rock star' like paying for a bag of cat food with seven dollars in small change. I'm big time, baby! Whoo!


I spent all Thursday holed up at home working on a different writing project entirely. I can tell you about that one later. Be patient with me.


Remember back in the summer when my temp job kept getting extended and I ended up working through the entire summer, a notion I wasn't all too pleased with? Well -- ha ha -- at the end my shift on Friday I was abruptly informed that my position had now expired, five months and three weeks into what should have been a seven-week stay.

Ha. Ha ha ha. Ha. I figure there must be some sort of actual employee benefits that kick in after six months at the same place, and that said hypothetical benefits were why they had to jettison me after all of that. Lucky me! Boy, I can't wait to get out and enjoy that October sunshine! Ha ha! Kill me!

Saturday and Sunday.

As a bit of background, I had decided months ago that the end of September would be when I would move back to my Mom's house and start the long haul of saving up money for another run at postsecondary education. (My initial degree has been quite thoroughly useless, and any skeptic who doubts this claim would be quickly convinced by one look at my resume to date.) I don't know where I'm going to go yet -- there are a lot of options, and currently I can't afford a damn one of them -- but I know for certain I have to start scrounging some scratch if I'm going to make it to one of them.

Well, the end of September is now almost upon us; quite serendipitous that my current job dried up a week before the intended move time. I know full well that I've accomplished a great deal with my life since graduating, and I know full well that everything that I'm doing I'm doing for right and justifiable reasons, but nothing makes a man feel small and pitiful quite like the knowledge that he's about to be unemployed and living with his parents.

And I guess I'll be missing both the Loreena McKennitt and Chris Cornell concerts; I mean, I was going to automatically miss one of the two anyway, but fifty bucks is a lot of money to throw at a concert ticket when you don't know how you're going to recoup the cost later.

So the hell with it all, I said, and I spent the weekend asleep. You would have, too. It was for the best.


Ha ha. Ha. Ha.

So today I got a call from the temp agency. Starting next Monday they're sending me right back to the same company, at the same building, for the same payrate -- in a slightly different department.

Ha, ha, ha. Boy, are you guys ever lucky that I desperately need money to escape the lightless pit of my current employment prospects! Semper fidelis, I guess!

So anyway!

To answer your question, gentle reader, yes, I have been very busy. And next Monday I start all over again from day one, working at a not-exactly-new job and living at a not-exactly-new place.

In the meantime, I'll have a lot of moving to do before then -- but I'll also do my best to get plenty of blogging done too, during this downtime, and I may have a couple of choice declarations to make by this coming Thursday or Friday.

Ah, life.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Those Quebec Byelections Were Tonight

And as far as Liberal fortunes were concerned, the results were -- well -- messy. (You can't spell 'OUTREMONT BYELECTION' without 'TROUBLE'.)

Granted, with three seats up for grabs and four parties grabbing for them, obviously somebody was going to go home emptyhanded. And, also granted, the actual numbers barely register as change in the grand seating plan of federal politics -- the dust has cleared to show the NDP at plus one, the Tories at plus one, the Bloc at plus one (although it was a minus two for them to begin with) and the Grits at minus one.

But a lot -- let me accent that with italics, a lot -- has been made lately of the potential message that this byelection would send to the Liberals, facing their first big test with Stephane Dion at the helm. Well, a message has definitely been sent to the federal Liberal Party tonight by the voters of the three Quebec ridings, and the message is loud and clear: "ha ha, whoops, go figure, we actually liked you guys better back when you were corrupt".

This was almost unavoidable, really; the Liberals were the only party with much of anything to actually lose in this byelection.

The federal Conservatives have been no great shakes in grabbing Quebec seats -- and they won the Roberval riding tonight partially because its previous MP, a longtime Bloc mainstay, retired from politics entirely -- so they had nothing but potential gains to make going into this one.

Likewise for the NDP, who had only won one seat in Quebec ever before tonight. Their victory tonight in Outremont was huge for them; we can only imagine the Dipper celebrations that must be going on right now. I would expect Layton's moustache to smell like beer for at least the next week, and now that I have that mental image in my head I would actually be sort of disappointed if it didn't. (It's a mood moustache! It changes colours and scents to express its owner's feelings! Nobody patent this before I can get around to it!)

And the Bloc essentially had nothing left to lose tonight, the two vacant seats having formerly been theirs before a couple of high-profile departures; the seat they regained tonight in Hyacinthe has quite literally halved their previous losses, and they'll be more than happy to have that one back.

The Liberals, though? For them to lose a riding they've held since the 1930s, with their leader campaigning all over his home turf, and with a star candidate running for the seat -- well, er, that's a bit of a setback, isn't it? I don't think this could have actually gone any worse for the Liberals tonight unless Dion had got himself killed in a knife fight or something. (Remember the good ol' days when Liberal leaders built their grassroots popularity by choking nearby dissenters? God, those were fun times.)

You can expect various sources to pipe suggestions and predictions that Harper will be almost crazed in his sudden fervor to call an election; I don't think he will be -- at least, not immediately. I'd suspect that anybody in this situation would be well advised to let their impending opposition continue imploding; if an election isn't announced within the next six months, do you think Michael Ignatieff will have grown more impatient or less impatient for his turn at the wheel? Is a party more vulnerable when it's quietly raging against itself with a potentially weaker leader in place, or when it's openly raging against itself with no leader in place at all?

And for that matter -- are you, gentle reader, convinced that people are clamoring for Ignatieff? Is anybody clamoring for Ignatieff? And would a politically untested ex-academic candidate really be that good an idea, especially considering the extended academia accomplishments of tonight's fallen star candidate in Outremont?

A lot of people will be looking to this byelection and its results as a sign of Liberal distress, but I think tonight has raised more questions federally than it has actually answered. Stay tuned, folks, because it's only going to get messier and weirder from here! Canadian politics! Whoo!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

There is No Guidance in Your Kingdom

So get this. This is cute.

There are shenanigans and goings-on over in our easternmost province; perhaps you have heard about it. Over the course of the last eighteen years, Newfoundland and Labrador elected officials – former and current – have squandered over two million dollars of public money on pretty much everything an elected official should not be buying with the taxpayer dollar.

The beer and underwear are the headline acts to grab the reader’s attention, but the article notes that these items are in the vast minority; the vast majority of the money was spent on an ol’-fashioned time-honoured political tradition –- giving money from the wrong account to the wrong people.

Now, of course, this is all very terrible and everybody involved should be ashamed of themselves. Two point two million dollars up and vanishing through distinctly wasteful spending? That's a lot of money, especially for one of our poorer provinces!

The kicker, though? (There’s always a kicker.) Manitoba has actually wasted more than that on the repulsive Spirited Energy campaign –- and Spirited Energy has been active one year. It's run up a tab of anywhere from $2.4 to $2.8 million dollars thus far, that we know about, and what with our NDP's dogged refusal to humour public access requests the actual cost is probably higher than that.

One year’s worth of Spirited Energy could have financed eighteen years’ worth of illegal contributions, alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, hockey tickets, nice clothes, home renovations –- things that people want! Things that people can appreciate! If you're going to blow over two million dollars of public purse, you can at least make it last!

It took fifty-seven Newfoundland and Labrador politicians, present and past from all parties, eighteen years of inappropriate spending –- guaranteed to torpedo the careers of everybody involved –- to hit the magic number of $2,200,000.00. Here in Manitoba? We blew more than that in a single year, we have absolutely nothing tangible to show for it, and nobody’s so much as been reprimanded over the whole thing! So don’t tell me Manitoba is a have-not province! Just look at all the cash we have to throw away without fear -- clearly we must be made of money!

I'm disappointed in everybody involved, from both provinces, and -- you know what? This is all disappointing enough that it warrants a Milt. Get Milt out here!

Hunter S. Thompson once described my generation as the "short-changed children of the '80s", predicting that ours would be the first group "flogged every day of their lives with the knowledge that sex is death and rain kills fish and any politician they see on TV is a liar and a fool". One day somebody's going to find a way to argue against this -- but it won't be any time soon!

Thievery Corporation - The Richest Man in Babylon (The Richest Man in Babylon, 2002)
[buy | site]

The Network - Money Money 2020 (Money Money 2020, 2003)
[buy | about]

Rasserfrackin' Spirited Energy mumble mumble why I oughtta. Sigh.

Keep an eye on me, gentle readers! I'm sure I'm up to something!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm Just a Boy With a New Haircut

I rarely ever photograph very well at all but I am happy with this picture nonetheless!

Casey Dienel - Cut Your Hair (Limited Edition Track) (Daytrotter Sessions, 2006)
[daytrotter session | site | myspace | blog]

Sorry, what? What's that? You... oh. You want actual content. I'll, uh... yeah. Sorry. I'll see what I can get for you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Concession is Made

My hairbrush set up a blockade out of protest and threatened further escalation if not addressed.

Okay, fine. You win, brush. I'll go in for a haircut.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Because This is Clearly Labeled as News


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Miss You, Miss You, Can't Feel Whole (or: Conspicuous Pauses in Convenient Text Form)

Big weekend for music! Here's what's up.

Local funk-fusion heroes Moses Mayes, a band I love dearly, are playing the Pyramid Cabaret this Saturday night. Tickets are $10, a steal of a deal, and the show starts at 9:00 PM.

Can-rock legends 54-40, a band I love dearly, are coming to town as part of the newly-established Banjo Bowl Festival; they'll be playing at Canad Inns Stadium this Saturday night. Tickets for the afternoon-and-evening-long one-day music festival are $20, a steal of a deal, and the band in question is scheduled to start at 9:00 PM.

Conspicuous pause while I glare angrily at my monitor.

I hate it when this happens. Pesky concert schedules, why I oughtta.

The kicker? I don't even intend on being in the city this weekend. It's the cottage life for me, this weekend; I spend all year almost fetishising the time I'll get to spend out along Lake Winnipeg, and now that the good weather is fast fading I have to squeeze in all the time I can up there before everything freezes over and dies a miserable death.

This'll mean missing two concerts that I would have enjoyed greatly, but hey -- I was going to automatically miss at least one of them, so I'm sure missing both will be like nothing. Right? Right! Har har. Besides, there are plenty of concerts to look forward to in the coming months when trips up to the quite non-winterized cottage would be, to put it mildly, a bit of an ordeal. So I'll look to the future! That'll cheer me up!

Why, alt-rock and grunge legend Chris Cornell will be playing the Walker Thea the 'Burt' on September 25th! I've never liked Audioslave all that much, truthfully; I wouldn't even acknowledge Audioslave if it weren't for Chris Cornell, and unless you were a gigantic Rage Against the Machine fan you probably wouldn't have acknowledged them either. I loved Soundgarden, however -- and I'm really digging his recent solo stuff (especially the Unplugged in Sweden concert, which I'll bring up in another post sometime soon), so this concert is going to be aces. If I could scream like Chris Cornell, I would never use an indoor voice again. You think I'm being facetious, but I'm serious about that! And I'm serious about seeing this concert, because I have no doubt in my mind that it is going to be excellent. September 25th! 8:00 PM! It'll be awesome!

Not only that, but local-based world music icon Loreena McKennitt will be playing the Centennial Concert Hall on September 25th! You'll recall that McKennitt had all but disappeared from music after the death of her fiance in 1998; it was another eight years before she put out another album, and as I recall the only performance she did across those eight years was for the combined unveiling of the Golden Boy and visit by the Queen as part of her Golden Jubilee. (The Queen missed Loreena McKennitt's portion of the show because we accidentally stranded her on the river -- remember that? And after all of that Tom Jackson, the host for the evening of concerts, threw in a gag about 'Indian Time' when she finally did arrive at the Legislature? Oh man that was funny stuff. Good times.) I was at that concert, of course, and Loreena McKennitt was the main reason why; I can't tell you how happy I am that she's back on the scene, and likewise I can't tell you how eagerly I anticipate this show. September 25th! 8:00 PM! It'll be awesome!

Man, I'm really looking forward to those! I can't wait to see both of those conc... to see... hey wait a minute you can't honestly mean to tell me th--


There's that conspicuous pause again.

54-40 - Miss You (Fight For Love, 1989)
[buy | site | myspace]

Moses Mayes - Cause I Just Hav'ta (Second Ring, 2006)
[buy | site | myspace]

[A Note: My usual storage provider is being finicky, so I'm testing another right now. With any luck these downloads should be working fine.]

I left half a case of Guinness in the fridge up at the cottage. It will not live long.

Nice Night, Lovely Weather, Wait What

You know, the title of my last post really wasn't intended to be foreshadowing. 'Something in the air', indeed.

No, when I laid that last message down, I distinctly remember being able to see farther than half a block away.

And yet:

Now where did that come from? Really, now. If you guys are going to throw me into Silent Hill, you can at least give me a warning siren first.

Strangest thing -- it looks like fog, and it behaves like fog, but I could swear this smells more like... like...

Oh. Huh. Okay.

Winnipeg, you know I love you, but you're kind of bizarre sometimes.

Michael Franti & Spearhead - Yell Fire! (Yell Fire!, 2006)
[buy | site | myspace]

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I Think Something's In the Air

Weeks that begin with a long weekend mess with my brain. It can't already be Wednesday, I just wrote a post on--that was how long ago? OH CRAP QUICK GOTTA WRITE SOMETHING CRAAAAAAAAP

Ahem. Beg pardon.

You'll forgive my brief absense, I hope. Once I got back from the previously mentioned long weekend, everything sort of snowballed at once around here; I've made no progress on the one thing that I haven't unveiled yet, I've made major progress on the other thing that I haven't unveiled yet, and just today I received lots of pertinent information about something from before that I may or may not be able to unveil in the near future.

(I'm being furtive. Let me have my fun.)

Possibly unnecessary secrecy aside, I certainly owe it to you guys to talk about something. And if there is to be one thing that I find time to post about, one topic of such premium importance that it takes precedence over all else, let it be this:

Junior Senior - Take My Time (Hey Hey My My Yo Yo, JP 2005 / NA 2007)
[buy | site | myspace]

This song is awesome.

If you have heard of the Danish dance-pop act Junior Senior at all, you have probably heard of them because of their pixel-happy video for "Move Your Feet". It had some reasonable playtime on MuchMusic, and it has (I'm told) recently popped up in a Dance Dance Revolution game. That was the single from their first album, released in 2003; their second album just came out a couple of weeks ago.

I should qualify that previous statement; their second album just came out here. The album hit Japanese stores back in 2005, and the Japanese went crazy over it. (Act surprised.) So when I present this song, "Take My Time", off that album, you can rest assured that it's big in Japan -- and if there's a better worldwide indicator of quality to go by, I haven't found it!

As regards the song itself (I spend too much time talking about the artist when I could instead be talking about the music; I need to work on that), this is what you need to know. I am confident that the following hypothetical scenario is precisely what happened to bring "Take My Time" about.

Junior Senior is comprised, appropriately enough, of Junior and Senior. One day Junior turned to Senior and said "hey, I know -- let's be the Jackson 5!"; Senior, pleased with the idea, turned to Junior and said "great idea! You be the 'Jackson' part and I'll be the '5' part!"

This is exactly what happened. Exactly.

I have no doubt in my mind that they set out specifically to replicate the good old days of Jacksons lore, back before we found out that each and every one of them are crazy. And have they succeeded? My friend, they have succeeded to such a degree that there is no more possible success left. All attempts by other likeminded artists will surely end in failure, because there is nowhere to go but down after this. That is how good this song is.

Like "Move Your Feet", "Take Your Time" also has a music video; it isn't as striking an artistic success as its predecessor, but it scores big marks with me for being both charmingly handdrawn and astoundingly literal in its interpretation of the song.

Dig the fly dance moves their animated selves are busting out! I can't possibly be the only one who picks up major Beavis & Butthead vibes from those, can I? No, no, surely that's impossible.

(And, if you were wondering about the women with beehives and the conspicuously-labeled plane in the video: Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson, the two female voices of the B-52's, sang the backup vocals for this song. So there's that.)

Now, If I had my own video for the song, one personally crafted around my initial reaction to its merriment, I can assure you that neither the choreography nor the cinematography would be very complex. The first thirty-seven seconds would be me staring directly at the screen, sitting perfectly still but smiling increasingly wider; at the thirty-eight second mark, right when those perfectly crafted guitar chords hit the prechorus, giant cartoon hearts would begin floating from the top of my head. The remaining three minutes and ten seconds would be me bouncing around in my chair, making a vain but earnest attempt to sing along even though I don't actually know the words yet.

And the key change at 2:47? That blessed, wonderful key change is when I would spontaneously develop the power of flight, like Christopher Walken in "Weapon of Choice", and take off through my window and into the night sky. Because this is my imaginary video and I'll frame it the way I like, thank you kindly.

Anyway! To recap. It is an excellent song, they are an excellent duo, and you should totally check their other music out. I'll do my best to come around with more content tomorrow; we'll see what pops up.