Friday, December 29, 2006


That's right folks. NO ONE has asked me to do a top ten/year's best list at all this year, but I'm doing one anyway. I might even do two! I'm not making any promises, but what the heck, maybe we can even squeeze a third list out these old steam-powered branez before the sun comes up.

Okay, let's start with something easy. Let's start with my favourite 10 comics of the year.

10. Green Lantern Corps (DC) - While I'm pretty much at the breaking point as far as the main Green Lantern series goes, the spin-off has been loads of fun. Lots of aliens, lots of crazy ideas, great art from Patrick Gleason and Dave Gibbons and even new (fill-in?) writer Keith Champagne (best known as the former inker for JSA, and writer of one of the dullest JSA stories ever, and that's saying something!) has managed to keep this series worth reading. Also of note in the DC sci-fi team books category is the new Omega Men series, where Flint Henry is doings some boffo Bisley/Sienkiewicz-esque art.
9. Marvel Tales Spider-Man (Marvel) - Despite the awesomeness Adam Beechen (2007's Dan Slott???) and covers by Ty Templeton, DC's line of superhero comics for kids are too dependent on being Saturday morning tie-ins, and thus being a little too overtly FOR KIDS. Marvel's Marvel Tales line of books don't tie in to anything. They're just fun comics. Kids (hopefully) know when they're being pandered to. (I know, this entry is more of a dis on something else than accolades for MASM, but just go get the Fing Fang Foom issue, okay!)
8. 52 (DC) - It's not actually 52 itself that endears DC's weekly comic to me. It's the weekly format, which has more or less been my only reason to visit the comic shop most weeks, and Douglas Wolk's fantastic companion blog 52-Pickup that makes 52 fun.
7. Superman Archives (DC) - I'm not even sure if this came out in 2006, but I'm including it anyway. This full-color reprint of the first year or so of Superman and Action Comics was nothing less than a revelation to me. The raw energy of the early Man of Steel is exhilerating and almost foreign to someone who grew up with the tail-end of the Curt Swan Era Superman.
6. Tales Designed to Thrizzle #3 (Fantagraphics) - Michael Kupperman's humor mag flops as often as it soars, but that's part of the fun of comedy. He's willing to flop, he's trying out ideas. It's never boring and it's usually savagely hilarious.
5. Absolute DC: The New Frontier (DC) - I spoiled myself with this de luxe edition of Darwyn Cooke's masterpiece. I couldn't help myself. It's oversized and has annotations and sketchs and NEW PAGES OF STORY!
4. "Up, Up and Away" in Superman and Action Comics (DC) - As you've already seen and as you're about to further witness, I got WAY into Superman this year. I daresay that with this storyline, and Kurt Busiek's subsequent stuff in the Superman mag, this is the best the mainline Superman comics have been in my lifetime.
3. Showcase Presents Superman Family (DC) - All of the wackiness unearthed in 2005's Showcase Presents Superman pales (okay, not quite) when Jimmy Olsen takes centre stage in these reprints. After reading this 500+ page tome, I finally understood why Lex Luthor sees Superman as nothing more than an extraterrestrial interloper hindering humanity's maturation from cosmic adolescents and keeping them (us) from being captains of their (our) own destiny.
2. All Star Superman (DC) - OH YEAH! I LOVES ME SOME SUPERMAN! Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely infrequently present some of the most glorious ideas about Superman. Issue #5, where Clark Kent visits Lex Luthor in prison and goes to SUPER lengths to conceal his dual identity just might be the most beautiful Superman comic ever.
1. Action Philosophers! (Evil Twin) - THE GREATEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD. Sassy & irreverent, but also concise and informative. It's like Mad Magazine meets Classics Illustrated. Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunleavy are awesome. GET YR COPY NOW!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Christmas is here, and so am I! A totally useless post on my otherwise uruseful blog. Enjoy the season, whatever season it might be.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Things To Do In Vancouver When You're Wet

Early this morning, as I mopped the hallways in one of the West Coast's most exclusive hotels, I felt the urge to blog. But after sleeping all day, and then getting soaked in the perpetual downpour, I can't remember what it was that I wanted to say. So I'm going to write anyway, because I'm out of practice, and because I might eventually say what I was thinking I wanted to say.

Anyway, it's been, like, 3 months in Vancouver, and what do I think? First of all, don't ever move to Vancouver at the end of August. It's absolutely gorgeous here in the late summer/early fall, and that serves nothing but to set you up for a torrential disappointment come the second week of October, which is when the rain starts.

All the things I liked about the city when I first got here seem kinda moot now. All the places I wanted to go to, all the things I wanted to do...meh, maybe in the spring. For now, all I really feel like doing is going to work and hanging around home, which is pretty much all I did in Regina, only I paid A LOT less for the honour of having a roof over my head.


well, maybe just a little bit.

I recently spoiled myself with a very chi-chi comic book called Absolute DC: The New Frontier.
It's Canadian artist Darwyn Cooke's reimagining of DC Comics' Silver Age of Superheroes in their proper historical context. In a lot of ways, this is like an antidote to Alan Moore's Watchmen, which, of course, was the SENSES-SHATTERING 86/87 miniseries that (brilliantly) deconstructed the tropes of superhero comics. Watchmen framed costumed crimefighters against the cold war paranoia of the 80s, tugging on their capes to reveal the flawed humans who wore them (or didn't wear them, as only Ozymandias even occasionally wore a cape). Cynically ambivalent, Watchmen, along with Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns of the same years, began an era of DIMINISHING FUN.
In a recent issue of Wizard Magazine, Grant Morrison (discussing his late-80s run on Animal Man) described Watchmen and other "realistic" takes on superheroes of that era as a "dead end". To a degree, those works cast a long shadow over superhero comics that remains imposing to this day, in terms of a paradigm (or perceived paradigm) that superhero comics that aren't filled
with flawed antiheroes and existential angst CAN ONLY BE mindless pap for emotionally-stunted mouthbreathers. All too often, the stock revamp of a pre-existing superhero comic concent is to darken it up. To insert previously incongruous elements of sex and violence. To prove that, indeed, comics aren't only not just for kids, but not for kids at
all. NOT EVEN REMOTELY. And not just because they deal with mature subject matter, but because they deal with it in an UNIMAGINATIVE AND CREATIVELY BANKRUPT MANNER. Identity Crisis, for example.

What the hell is the point of frothing milk? I just made some chai latte things, and frothed milk for them, and now I've gulped down the chai part, but there's this frothed milk at the bottom of my mug, and, like, I don't know what to do with it. I kind of thought the milk would unfroth into the chai solution, but it hasn't. It remains. Like snow on the prairies. Like Ensure on your shoes. Like something you thought was going to be something different, but instead it's just something different again.

This is a song I really like right now: "Thieves of Memory" by the Parlour Steps - It's sort of got elements of Arcade Fire (which I'm indifferent about, but maybe appreciate more, considering this song, which isn't them, but is like them, in a fashion, and thus allows me to like "that kind of thing" with out liking "that thing" whatever that's worth) and Morphine (which I love), which makes for an interesting sound. The Parlour Steps have another song, that I've only ever heard once, but it's an amazing song, and they should put it on their next album and it will be a hit.

Speaking of hit records, my man Andrew Vincent (who isn't in any way or fashion "my man", except that I bought his t-shirt--a t-shirt with his name on it, not the t-shirt he was wearing--like four years ago when he played in Regina) has a new song that's featured in ad for the place I got my spiffy new winter coat. Check it out here (the song, not the coat).

I bought a new winter coat last week, when it was winter. It's kind of a badass coat, only I don't really look that badass in it. See, for some reason, whenever my hair gets to be a little too long, and unpleasant, I start buying new clothes. Because I'm unhappy with the way I look, but I find going to the barbershop something of an ordeal. Maybe I'll get into that sometime. Anyway, I start buying a bunch of new clothes, because I know that I'm not looking the way I want to look. So I buy some clothes, and I like them, but then I own up to the fact that what I really need is a haircut, so I go get a haircut. Then I realize that all the clothes I bought, that make me look so badass and awesome, only suit a shaggy-haired Emmet. Neat and trim Emmet is incongruous with these badass threads.

And that's why I always look goofy.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Baby, How'd We Ever Get This Way?

I can't believe it's been 2 months since I've posted. That probably tells you something, huh?
Saw Bonnie "Prince" Billy the other night (thanks Skye!). It was pretty cool. I was kinda tired and grumpy and not really that into going to a show, but Will Oldham, I mean, come on!
And opening act the Human Bell, or possibly Helium Bell?, from Baltimore, was really awesome. Just two guitars (and a trumpet on one song), no voice, no hijinks. Really, really resonant, especially in the hall, which is also a church. They sort of reminded me of Slayer, but they weren't heavy metal.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Walking the dog with Rufus

So there I was, outside the Continental Cafe, enjoying a fine cup of drip and opening up the paper to gingerly peruse the apartment ads (anybody with any hot tips, PLEASE let me know). Just as I open the paper, I hear a crash, and sure enough, there's a cute little dog tipping over a garbage can and eating from inside. Smart dog. Hungry dog.
A minute later, the dog is panting at my feet. I reach down to scratch behind its ears. It looks unwashed, unbrushed, lost and confused. Or maybe I was just projecting.
I look around, there's no one in sight who seems to belong to the dog. So I check his tags, there's a phone number and an address. And his name: Rufus.
So I pull out my phone and call the number. Answering machine. I leave a message, including my name and number, and explain that I've found Rufus wandering along Commercial Drive eating garbage.
I think about going over the apartment listings and enjoying my coffee, but I don't want to chance Rufus wandering off, especially not in the often frenzied Commercial Drive traffic. So after a few minutes of deliberation, I finally tuck the paper under my arm and call Rufus to follow me. The address on his tag is only a few blocks away, so I'm really not going too far out of my way.
Rufus lollygags behind me, walking pretty slow. Oh, he must be famished and weak, I think. Poor thing.
When we reach the street that Rufus lives on, the dog picks up the pace, and bounds up the front steps to his gate. I open the gate, let him, and then securely lock the gate and leave, waving so long.
Feeling mighty proud of the good deed I'd just done, I head back up Commercial to Broadway, pick up another coffee and a muffee at J.J. Bean, and get on the bus. Most of the places I want to look at today are around B'way and Main, so I might as well situate myself there.
Just as the bus is pulling away from the SkyTrain station, there's a buzzing in my pocket. I didn't recognize the number on the phone, so I hoped one of the places I'd looked at in the last week was calling to tell me I could move in. Ha, fat chance.
"Are you the fellow who found Rufus?"
"Yes, did he stay in the yard where I left him."
"Oh, yes, but you see, I was at Continental with him. He's sort of a regular there. I like to let him off his leash and go romp around in the back alley."
"Oh no! I'm so sorry. I saw him eating out of the garbage..."
"Well, I appreciate your concern, but if you should see him there again-"
"I'll let him be. I'm awfully sorry."

So, I don't know. My intentions were true. My concern was well-founded. Nothing disastrous happened. What's the lesson here?

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Highway Divides: Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows VII

so, there we go, the end of an era. The final Spo-Dee O'Dee (not counting Friday's fill-in on the drive). It's been a blast, and I can honestly say that I never played a song I didn't love. See you 'round the bend.
Here's what I played on August 18, 2006, on 91.3 FM, CJTR:

Hour One

Gotta Travel On - Jerry Lee Lewis
Pirate Cowboy - Deadly Snakes
Bring It On - Rodney DeCroo
Little Jerk - Kyp Harness - holy crap! Kyp Harness wrote a book about Laurel & Hardy! That's cool!
Often Is A Word I Seldom Use - John Prine
Wasn't Born to Follow - The Sadies
Our Love Will Change the World - Outrageous Cherry
The Blood in My Body - JF Robitaille
Faceless - Red Shag Carpet
Bentley Hilss - the Neins Circa
Jonquiere Tonight - Rah Rah
The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Heart - Sufjan Stevens
The Master Has Come Back - Damien JR. GONG Marley


Try Love - Cocoa Tea & Freddie McGregor
Ghazal - Niyaz
Beware of the Boys - Panjabi MC
Sunny Gal - John Millard & Happy Day
Old Backyard - Tyler Banadyga - Tyler doesn't seem to have a website, but it seems like he has more important things going on his life right now any way. All the best, T.B.!
Helpless - Buffy Sainte-Marie - Dear Buffy: We love you. Make more records and update your website, please!
Run Myself Right Out of Town - Holmes Brothers
Bellbottoms - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Work Out Fine - Joel Plaskett Emergency
Lazy Susan - White Hassle
Don't Blame Me - Snailhouse
Degrassi Theme - Andrew Vincent
Baby Let Your Heart Out - Royal City
The Highway Divides - the Parkas

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What's the Word?

Well, folks, sad but true. Ye olde Emmet is packing up his good times, and heading out to the West Coast. Who knows what mysteries and frivolities await him there? This is much is certain, he's sure going to miss 91.3 FM CJTR. The final edition of Spo-Dee O'Dee will be tomorrow night, Aug. 17, 2006 from 8 to 10 p.m. CST/MDT. Hear a grown man cry.

And, hey, in case I forget, CJTR's annual fundraising event, Radiothon, is coming up in September. So don't forget to do your part and support one of the best things going in Regina.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Let Them Brush Your Rock & Roll Hair: Any Way the Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows #6

Again, I'm going to be doing the Spo-Dee O'Dee Files again, today from 4 to 6 p.m. on 91.3 FM, CJTR. So if you want more of the same, you know where to go.

Here what I played on August 10, 2006:
Hour One
Meet Me In The Bathroom - The Stars Here
Let the Good Times Roll - The Cars
It's Alright - Wayne Omaha
Fancy Claps - Wolf Parade
Cold Criminals - Pink Mountaintops
Bad Man - T-Model Ford
Contact High - Ike & Tina Turner
Headache - Frank Black
My Brother Is the Meatman - Royal City
Love Letter - Marcellus Hall
Laissez-Faire - AA Sound System
Drama Inside - Acid House Kings
Come My Way - St. Thomas
Don't Get Down - Hayden

Hour Two
Miss You - Rolling Stones
You're No Good - Dennis Brown
So Nice - Paper Moon
When the Sun Returns - More Plastic
Slow Stroke - Greg MacPherson Band
Golden Age of Radio - Josh Ritter
Wildlife Reservations - the Parkas
Halifax - Fight the Monster
The Hardest Walk - the Jesus and Mary Chain
What Goes On (live) - Velvet Underground
I'm Waiting for My Man - Zoobombs
Sink In Your Teeth - Kids These Days
Slide - Roger Dean Young & the Tin Cup
Comment Te Dire Adieu? - Françoise Hardy & Serge Gainsbourg

Friday, August 04, 2006

Let's Wrestle This City To The Ground: Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows Vol. V

Here's what I played on CJTR on Aug. 3, 2006:

Hour One
It's Catchin' On - Joel Plaskett Emergency
The Walking Sponge - Fight the Monster
Saskatchewan - Big Buildings
Boston - The Minor Thirds
Wind Driving Dogs - Chad VanGaalen
3rd of December - The Book of Daniel
I Break Hearts - Leeroy Stagger
Second Son - Elliott Brood
God's Gonna Cut You Down - Johnny Cash
Die By The Sword - the Volebeats
Lucky - Chuck Prophet
Nothing To Lose - Isabelle Antena
Le Responsable - Jacques Dutronc
Retour A Vega - the Stills
Ave Corinne - the Neins Circa
On Sunday - New Buffalo

Hour Two
Paris Be Mine - the Bicycles
Je Ne Te Connais Pas - Prototypes
Is She Weird? - Frank Black Francis
Paul Cries - Think About Life
Raised By Wolves - the Cansecos
All Fires - Swan Lake when I played this song, I mentioned that it was a supergroup with members of Wolf Parade and Frog Eyes, and some other band I couldn't remember at the moment...which would be DAN BEJAR OF DESTROYER!!! I can't believe I remembered the other stuff, but forgot Dan Bejar! You know, I saw him in a comic shop last time I was in Vancouver.
The Looks - MSTRKRFT
Dream - Alice Smith OMG, SO GOOD!
Thank Goodness for the Rain - Peanut
Love Has Got Me Crying Again - Denise James
Cry Like A Baby - Hacienda Brothers
Buying A Book - Joe Tex
Intoxicated - Kids These Days
La Fin Du Monde - the Hylozoists

A very special shoutout this week goes to the Mp3 blog, from whom I took much inspiration.

Reminder! I'll be doing the 4 to 6 p.m. drive show this afternoon, Friday, Aug. 4, on CJTR. Be there or be square.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I feel good! I feel bad! I feel strange every day! SUMMER READING

People have been asking me, "hey, Emmet, whatcha reading this summer?"
Okay, nobody's really asked me that, but, guess what? I'm gonna tell you anyway.

Adverbs, by Daniel Handler

No kidding, this is the same dude who writes those Lemony Snickett books for kids. This is a book for not-kids, howev, and it's sorta heartbreaking and wonderful. Great, terrific writing that's enjoyable for its own sake, but also fantastic stories that all sort of weave together in a pretty non-linear fashion.

Essential Avengers, Vol. 1, by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (and others)

While it's not as wild and woolly and Stan & Jack's Fantastic Four or as pathos-ridden as theirIncredible Hulk, both of the same era, this is pretty fun 60s superhero team-up action. Some curiously meta stuff, like when the Wasp comments that Thor sounds like "a burlesque of a comic book superhero in Mad Magazine" (or words to that effect). And, of course, dynamite early 60s Kirby art.

The Lincoln Lawyer, by Michael Connelly

Wait a minute? Does Michael Connelly, he of the excellent, but stoic, Harry Bosch detective novels, have a sense of humour? This isn't exactly a "burlesque", as Janet Van Dyne might say, and it's certainly harrowing and two-fisted and all that you'd expect from a Connelly book, but it's also kinda funny.

Showcase Presents: Superman, Vol. 2, by Jerry Siegel, Otto Binder, Wayne Boring, Al Plastino etc.

Not nearly as brilliantly thrill-powered as the first volume, or as off-the-wall as Showcase Presents: Superman Family, Vol. 1, which features the late-50s/early-60s adventures of Jimmy Olsen, but I've fallen back in love with Superman lately, and this is still prime stuff. See Superman's soul-crushing return to Krypton! Krypto the Superdog's attempt to get Superman to propose to Lois Lane! THE OLD MAN OF METROPOLIS! Fun, fun, fun. P.S. There's a really good overview of the entire Showcase Presents series at FreakyTrigger.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


What up, peeps.
Just wanted to let you know, that this Friday, Aug. 4, 2006, I'll be spinning them Spo-Dee O'Dee goodies for yr afternoon listening pleasure from 4 to 6 p.m. on 91.3 FM, CJTR!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Any Way the Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows, Vol. IV: Where's the Party At? Peaches and Cream

I know, I should have had this playlist posted Friday morning AT THE LATEST, but y'know what? I had a cold. So there.
Here's what I played on Thursday, July 27, 2006 on CJTR.

Hour One
I Love Hot Nights - Jonathan Richman
Truth Be Told - Joel Plaskett
Summertime Thing - Chuck Prophet
Arrival - Radiogram
Wing Finger - Chad VanGaalen
This Heart's On Fire - Wolf Parade
Fatter Than Anything - Howling Hex
Clockwork Crows - Run Chico Run
Do the Robot - Bo Diddley
What Lies Beyond - King Kong
Your Eyes Are A Door - the High Dials
Who's Who - Weird War

Hour Two
Be First - Joel RL Phelps Downer Trio
The Difference Between Us (Live In Regina) - Cuff the Duke
Intruder (Demo) - Goldenmile
This Is The Way I Used To Be - The Neins Circa
All Because You Told Me - Shivaree
Mr. Golden Happiness - Lullaby Baxter
Other Girls - Eux Autres
Oh Oh Cherie - Francoise Hardy
Standing At the Bus Stop - Andrew Vincent
Blood Orange - Howe Gelb
Bentley to Clive - Roger Dean Young & the Tin Cup
Lucky Dime - Calexico
End of Love - Clem Snide
What Else Is New? - Dinosaur Jr
Sleeping Through Everything - the Minders

Friday, July 21, 2006

I've come seeking pathos 'neath the halogen lights: Any Way the Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows #3

What I played on July 20, 2006 on CJTR

Hour One
Streets of Baltimore - Bobby Bare
I Really Want to Help You - Cuff the Duke
Surrender - OX
Midnight Dream - Hacienda Brothers
Dream Feedback - Elephant Micah
Plastic Man, You're the Devil - Pink Mountaintops
Cisza, Ja I Czas - Hey
Snow Lion - Feist
I Love You - Asie Payton
Louder Than A Bomb - Tiga
Tokyo Drift - Teriyaki Boyz
Paris - mstrkrft
Le Laboureur - Masanka Sankayi feat. Kabongo Tshisensa

Hour Two
Senegal Fastfood - Amadou et Miriam
Out On the Rolling Sea - Olu Dara
Mambo Sinuendo - Ry Cooder & Manuel Galban
La Fin Du Monde - Hylozoists
Message Personnel - Francoise Hardy
No Sense - Paper Moon
Canadian Dreamz - Andrew Vincent
Somewhere Else - Jim Bryson w/ Jim Cuddy
I Just Walked Away - Tony Joe White
Dreams to Remember - Oh Susanna
Angel of the Morning - Charlemagne
Things to Remember - Willie Nelson
Country Song - The Idaho Falls
Honey Drips, Butter Runs - Andre Ethier

Friday, July 14, 2006

Any Way the Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows, Episode II: Attack of the Scones

Here's what I played on July 13, 2006 on Any Way the Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows on CJTR.

Hour One
Parties in the USA - Jonathan Richman
One, Two, Three - Andrew Vincent & the Pirates
Nora, Nora - The Neins Circa
Didn't It Rain - Jim Byrnes
Freedom Blues - Little Richard
You've Come A Long Way - Joe Tex
Bucket of Blood - Little Freddie King
Trouble's Gonna Stay Awhile - the Deadly Snakes
Rat's Revenge, Part 2 - the Rats
Street Justice - MSTRKRFT
Wa Muluendu - Masanka Sankayi & Kasai Allstars

Hour Two
Teenage Doors - Howling Hex
Ticket to Immortality - the Dears
The Blood In My Body - JF Robitaille
The Heart Is A Stone - Acid House Kings
Ant & the Pea - Precious Fathers
Drift Away - Ike & Tina Turner
My Mexican Home - John Prine
Carry On Heather/Rhapsody - Roger Dean Young & the Tin Cup possibly my favourite band in the known universe, btw. they make me want to be a better writer so that i can write something good enough that everybody who reads it will fall in love with them the same way i have
Lying There - Howe Gelb
Four Strong Winds - Johnny Cash
Lasso the Moon - the Fake Fictions
Oh, My Friends - Blood Meridian
Recipe for Sick - Parkas

Friday, July 07, 2006

Parkas, Matthew Sweet, Susanna Hoffs, Gnarls Barkley

a bunch of stuff I've written lately for the El-P:


A Life of Crime & The Scars to Prove It DVD & CD
Little Records of Concrete
4 stars

In the spring of 2004, Ontario’s Parkas embarked on a fateful cross-Canada toured punctuated on either end by triumphs. They launched the tour to a packed house at Toronto’s storied Horseshoe Tavern, and their penultimate show saw them, again in Toronto, deservedly win “Most Promising Band” at the North-By-Northeast Music Festival. What happened in between, and immediately afterward, however, was anything but triumphant. That’s what makes A Life of Crime, the documentary of the tour and its effects on the band by filmmakers Jon Eagan and James Loftus so compelling.
The film begins at the end, with the four Parkas, guitarist Michael Brown, drummer Greg Rhyno, bass player Mark Rhyno and guitarist Grady Kelneck driving home after the final show of the tour. They’re starting to plan the recording of the follow-up to their fantastic debut album, Now This Is Fighting. That’s when Kelnick drops the bombshell: he doesn’t want to be in the band anymore. As the other three Parkas absorb this news, the audience is taken back to the start of the tour.
Heading out to the East Coast after the Horseshoe gig, the Parkas face night after demoralizing night of playing to empty saloons, pizza parlours and even a Peanut Bar. They have to press venues to live up to the most basic parts of their agreements, namely to pay the band, feed the band, and sometimes, provide lodgings. Why do they put up with us? “There's too many bands,” Greg Rhyno tells the camera. “We're pretty expendable.”
The audiences generally improve as the band makes its way to the West Coast, though the gorgeously-shot Regina gig at the Easy Alibi (which shut down just days after the Parkas gig) had a pathetically abysmal turnout. Among those who did show up for brilliant set was a certain local music writer whose head looks freakishly huge from behind.
By the time the action returns to the long drive home and the band’s reaction to Kelneck’s announcement, we’ve certainly been convinced that he has good reasons to not want to go through that again. But at the same time, we share in the remaining three Parkas sense of betrayal. After all, they survived the ordeal of the tour, paid their dues, as it were, and most importantly, they made it through together.
Counter-balancing the depressing reality of touring as a band still making its name is the postively joyful music of the Parkas (even at their most melancholy, the Parkas’ songs are refreshingly life-affirming). Even when the audience is made up of little more than the self-described “baddest mother#&*$er east of Sussex” or people who would rather hear Jack Johnson covers, the Parkas still manage to thoroughly kick out their jams.
In many ways a coda to the documentary, the accompanying six-song EP The Scars to Prove It was recorded mere months after Kelneck’s departure. Where Now This Is Fighting presented the Parkas as cheeky adherents to the kind of catchy, fun, and distinctly Canadian rock promulgated by folks like Joel Plaskett or Cuff the Duke, The Scars to Prove It finds the former pranksters battle-worn and contemplative. And rivetingly so.
“Darling, the Wolves” and “Recipe For Sick” show off a new aggressive edge, while “Start Your Own Country” showcases the Parkas’ knack for bringing out the emotional oomph in geography. “Sweet Amputations” is melodically a follow-up to “My Life of Crime” from the first album (and also featured here as a live cut), but gets deeper and slower and more sophisticated. But the real masterpiece of the EP is “The Highway Divides”, a direct response to Kelneck’s departure from the group. It’s a slow-burn with an enormously rewarding pay-off that deliciously revels in bitter resentment. If only all break-ups sounded this good. (Emmet Matheson)

Under the Covers, Vol. 1
Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs
Shout Factory
4 stars

Under the Covers, Vol. 1 cheats. It’s just one more example of how the music industry has lost sight of traditional values like hard work, new ideas and challenging itself. Worst of all, it’s wonderful.
For starters, 90s alterna-popster Matthew Sweet and 80s Egyptian-like-walker Susanna Hoffs (of the Bangles) both have perfect pop voices. Throw those voices together in harmony? Hey, no fair! If Sweet was paired with someone less ideal, someone more ill-suited to his voice, someone like, oh, Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas or one of those anonymous Pussycat Dolls, we could get behind that. That would be a challenge. And why should Hoffs have the benefit of commingling her dulcet tones with someone so vocally well-equipped and pop-savvy as Sweet? It’s just too easy and too obvious. A far more curious and daring vocal partner would Karl Marlden. Doesn’t anybody take any risks anymore?
Speaking of risk-taking and the lack thereof, can we really let Hoffs and Sweet get away with their selection of 15 of the 60s’ finest pop songs? Talk about performance-enhancing substances! Who couldn’t sound great singing songs written by the likes of Lennon/McCartney, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Brian Wilson and Lou Reed? Not to mention Michael Nesmith, Rod Argent and the Gibb brothers. How’s that for gutlessness?
The terrific arrangements and instrumental performances--like Richard Lloyd’s ringing guitar on “Cinnamon Girl”--only add insult to injury.
Appallingly, Sweet and Hoffs aren’t content with merely creating glorious new versions of one decade’s songbook. Under the Covers, Vol. 2 is already in the works, set to feature Hoffs and Sweet knocking out what are sure to be fantastic renditions of 70s pop songs. Rest assured, dear reader, that we’ll remain vigilant, ready to register our disgust. (Emmet Matheson)

Hell Is Eux Autres
Eux Autres
Grenadine Records
3.5 stars

Let’s get it Sartre in here!
References to French existentialism aside, Hell Is Eux Autres is a breezy indie-pop confection. Eux Autres winningly combines lo-fi jangles borrowed from the Raveonettes and Sleater-Kinney (whose Janet Weiss produced parts of the album) with the “ye-ye” sounds of 60s French pop singers like Serge Gainesbourg and Francoise Hardy into something almost original and wholly fun.
The brother-and-sister guitar-and-drums duo from Portland, Ore. charm their way through nine songs with an irresistible élan lined with laissez-faire. Sometimes they sing in the sort of French you might learn in the back pages of travel guides (“Pamplemousse, petit chien, ça ne fait rien,” on “Écoutez Bien”, sometimes in English that makes as little as sense (“Ten thousand lemons don’t make a renegade,” on “Le Projet Citron”). The refrain of “Carolina!”, which evokes Brian Wilson with its sophisticated, melancholy arrangement (and nominal reference to Pet Sounds’ “Caroline, No”) repeats, “I wanna, wanna, want to waste your time,” which, come to think of it, is sort of Ramones-y, too.
Hell Is Eux Autres, itself, is hardly a waste of time. It’s catchy, fun pop that even Albert Camus would approve of. (Emmet Matheson)

St. Elsewhere
Gnarls Barkley
4 stars

Though it’s got some stiff competition--Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater”, Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick Push”, Kardinal Offishall & Bedouin Soundclash’s remix of “Last Standing Soldier”, and even Paris Hilton’s surprisingly pleasant “Stars Are Blind” are all early contenders--Gnarls Barkley’s first single, “Crazy” is heavily favoured to be the song of Summer ‘06. With its indelible bassline, quirky lyrics, and vocals that sound like Al Green trying to be Nina Simone, “Crazy” is nigh unbeatable. Luckily, the rest of the album lives up to the single.
Fresh from his collaboration with MF Doom on the Saturday morning cartoon-themed The Mouse & the Mask, producer Dangermouse lays down 14 tracks of irreproachable hip hop soul. Cee-Lo, previously best known as a rapper with Atlanta’s Goodie Mob and solo hits like “Closet Freak” and “I’ll Be Around” or as the composer of the Pussycat Dolls hit “Don’t Cha”, emerges here as the full-fledged soul star his fans have always known he was.
While St. Elsewhere is as great as “Crazy” would lead you to expect, it’s by no means predictable. “The Boogie Monster” is a futuristic throwback to Boris Pickett’s “Monster Mash” that sounds like a mash-up between the Neptunes and Spike Jones & His City Slickers. “Transformer” owes as much to the Hasbro toys as it does to the Lou Reed album of the same name. And the Casio-toned cover of the Violent Femmes’ “Gone Daddy Gone”--well, some things just defy explanation.
Individually, Cee-Lo and Dangermouse are two of the most exciting musicians on the scene. Together, they draw out the weirdo best in each other. With 14 potential hit singles, count on St. Elsewhere to keep the summer pumping well into 2007. (Emmet Matheson)

Any Way the Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows #1

The News Is Out: For the duration of the summer (July & August), I'm the new Dave. While Monsieur Kuzenko enjoys his new BBQ, I'll be sweating it out to the oldies and newies in his Anyway the Wind Blows timeslot, 8 to 10 p.m., Thursday on 91.3 FM CJTR.
What I played on July 6, 2006:

Hour One
Citizens of Tomorrow - Tokyo Police Club - Kick ass Toronto band, with kick-ass handclaps on this track!
Summer Song Summer - Radiogram - One of those songs you've just gotta play once a summer from Ken Beattie & co. New Radiogram alb coming this year! I've already heard two songs and I really, really like "Arrival" and will probably play it soon.
That Summer Feeling - Jonathan Richman - Another SUMMER SONG that you can't not play
Everyday I Have to Cry - Arthur Alexander - killer country soul from Alexander's last album, produced by Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham
It Tears Me Up - Hacienda Brothers - more country soul, also guided into existence by Penn & Oldham
Dead Dogs Still Love Us - Carbon Dating Service - would you believe that I first heard of this Saskatoon band from Matthew Perpetua's Hit Refresh blog/column originating in NYC? go figure
Crash Hard - Dustin Bentall - Features a reference to my favourite book ever.
Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me - the Pipettes - sweet girl group pop, with plenty o' handclaps
La Poinçonneur Des Lilas - Serge Gainsbourg - I'm 98% sure this song is lewd
La Maison Ou J'ai Grandi - Françoise Hardy - heartbreaking yeh-yeh
7 heures du matin - Jacqueline Taieb - Stone cold classic for the Who shout out, and the brosse-a-dents mystery
Girls Fight! - Vailhalen - This band kicks ass, and they've got a really, really terrif new song post on their website
New York - JF Robitaille - sorta Donavon-y indie folk from Mtl
All I Want - Kenny Brown - though it's probably supposed to evoke Bonnie & Clyde, this song reminds more of the Al Pacino/Gene Hackman buddy-tragedy Scarecrow
Lumpy, Beanpole & Dirt - Bad Livers - What can I say about the Bad Livers that I haven't said a million times before? I love 'em.

Hour Two
Fruit Pickers (in Dubious Battle) - Ridley Bent - Based exactingly on Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. I haven't really come to terms with Ridley Bent--sometimes I think he's great, sometimes I think he's grating. Regardless, Chin Injeti's production is flawless
Cosmetics - Fight the Monster - You can't not admire these dudes
As A Ghost - The Cape May - brilliant
Helpless - Buffy Sainte-Marie - It really doesn't get more Canadian than this
Solid Gold - Chuck Prophet
Panic Open String - Calexico
Warning Against Judging a Christian Brother - Hylozoists
Energy - King Kong
Work on You - MSTRKRFT
Transformer - Gnarls Barkley
(Far from) Home The Speed Of Sexor Reprise - Tiga
Tighten Rap - Zoobombs

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Tales of Spo-Dee O'Dee Past

Am cleaning up my office today - what a wild long weekend!- and came across several playlists from Spo-Dee O'Dee episodes of yore. In the interests of HISTORY, here they are. Or at least, here they are as best as I can read my own handwriting.

Jan. 14/04

"You Don't Know" - the Chains
"Village Green Preservation Society" - Kinks
"All the Pretty Faces" - Joel Plaskett Emergency
"If You Know What I Mean" - Martin Zellar
"Spam" - Crunt
"I Don't Need My Friends To Tell Me Who My Friends Are" - The Evaporators
"Gratitude" - Neil Michael Hagerty
"Jacques + Madeine" - Run Chico Run
"Love Has Got Me Crying Again" - Denise James
"Fist City" - Loretta Lynn
"Sore" - Buck 65
"More Noise Please" - Steven Jesse Bernstein
"King Kong" - King Kong

Jan. 21/04

"When Will Happiness Find Me Again" - Frank Black & the Catholics
"Saddle Bum" - Wylie & the Wild West
"The Down Beat" - Sugarhill Gang
"Chloe" - Ry Cooder
"No Competition" - Eric B. & Rakim
"I Love the Unknown" - Clem Snide
"No Children" - Mountain Goats
"Sunken Waltz" - Calexico
"Sittin' On Top of The World" - Willie Nelson
"Potty Mouth" - Ugly Duckling
"The Snow" - Audio Bullys
"50 Gallon Drum" - Buck 65
"Put the Hurtin' Back in the Bottle" - Linda McRae & the Cheerful Lonesome
"Muhammed Ali" - Greg Trooper
"Monday Motion Shuffle" - the Goods (I have no idea if that's really the name of the song)
"60 Cycle Hum" - Bionic
"Stompin' at Le Savoi" - Kid Koala

Feb. 18/04

"On Green Dolphin St." - Eric Dolphy Quintet
"Lily's Veranda" - Almost Transparent Blue
"Duff" - Dirty Dozen Brass Band
"Yes" - Morphine
"Ballistics" - Junior Pantherz
"Futura Trance" - White Hassle
"Dreaming Man" - Neko Case
"Modern World" - Myracle Brah
"Banff Springs Hotel" - John Southworth
"Kalupa" - Tau Moe Family
"Greyhound" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"MTM Theme" - the Sin-Tones
"Fresh Horses" - Jim Byrnes
"I Just Had to Ask" - Rick Fines Trio
"Bucket of Blood" - Little Freddie King
"Bass Hump" - Dub Narcotic Sound System
"Go Junior, Go Senior" - Junior Senior
"One Shot" - Rascalz
"Hey Baby" - Holmes Brothers
"Tout Mais Pas Ca" - Lyne Tremblay
"I Was Born" - Unicorns
"Hula Blues" - Jon Rauhouse's Steel Guitar Air Show
"Viper" - Wayne Hancock

(obviously, I was only doing an hour-long show during this period, with the above week being an extra hour long)

Feb. 25/04

"All the Pretty Faces" - Joel Plaskett Emergency (hey! didn't just play that 6 weeks earlier? wtf, Emmet?)
"Sweet Cherry Wine" - Tommy James & the Shondells
"Ei Ya" - Biz Markie
"Waiting for the DJ" - Talib Kweli
"Gentle Strength" - Heavy Blinkers
"Nothing Left Behind" - the Chains
"Wrong Idea" - Aaron Booth
"Come Home to Me" - Denise James
"Huckle-Buck" - Otis Redding
"Martha" - Andrew Vincent & the Pirates
"No Dancing" - Smog
"The News" - Raising the Fawn

Here the record ends. Maybe I moved to a different notebook, or, more likely, abandoned the process altogether. However, in my excavation, I almost came across three other playlists, dated merely, "Oct 20", "Nov 10" and "Nov 17". Possibly, the year will become obvious as I list the tunes.

Oct. 20/?? (the data suggests 2004)

"The Night" - Andre Ethier
"Speedball, Baby" - Speedball Baby
"Bite Down Hard" - Ron Hawkins & Rusty Nails
"The Way It's Meant to Be" - the Features (which seems to suggest 2004?)
"Stoked" - RTX (yep, 2004)
"Know That" - Neil Michael Hagerty
"When the Sun Returns" - More Plastic
"Hollywood Ending" - Hayden
"Grown Folks" - Raphael Saadiq
"Ice Cold Daydream" - Shuggie Otis
"Misty Water" - Kinks
"Same Thing Twice" - Flashing Lights
"Mean Streak" - Jim Bryson
"No Antenna in Ravenna" - Jason Trachtenburg
"Is She Weird" - Frank Black Francis
"Wishing Well" - Lorrie Matheson (no relation)
"Rock Me Gently" - White Hassle
"Powerdrive" - Andy Kim
"From Blown Speakers" - New Pornographers
"Had" - Portastatic, feat. Ken Vandermark & Tim Mulvenna
"Sex, Love & Money" - Mos Def
"They Live By Night" - Make-Up
"Lies, Ties & Battlefields" - Young & Sexy
"Girl, Inform Me" - the Shins
"Old World" - Modern Lovers
"Smile" - Wayne Omaha
"Oh, You Should Go to Canada" - Al Franken
"Giants in My Field" - Parkas
"Bring the Noise" - Public Enemy
"Beware the Boys" - Panjabi MC

Nov 10/?? (again, probably 2004)

"Bring the Noise" - Public Enemy (what, was I going through a phase?)
"Hot Gossip" - Blues Explosion (okay, I see what I was doing)
"Crucial" - k-os
"Translucent Sparrow" - the Sadies
"Medicine Ball" - the Sadies
"West Texas Sound" - Deadly Snakes (featuring Dallas Good of the Sadies on guitar--I bet the Sadies were in town that week)
"La Bastrinque" - Jughead (feat. Travis Good on fiddle, so, yep, Sadies were in town that week)
"The Tigers Have Spoken" - Neko Case (featuring...all the Sadies)
"Flash - the Sadies
"Oak Ridges" - the Sadies
"The Unseen Guest" - Jale (featuring Mike Belitsky, later of the Sadies, on drums)
"With A Splash" - the Sadies
"The Collapse" - the Unintended (Sadies + Rick White + Greg Keelor)
"UFO/IFO" - Jad Fair & Phono-Comb (more Dallas Good guitar)
"Bliss/Spokes" - Calexico
"The Feeling of Love" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"2 Kindsa Love" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"Blues Explosion Attack" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"All Shook Up" - Jon Spencer
"Pant Leg" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"Dissect" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"East St. Louis" - 20 Miles
"Do You Wanna Get Heavy" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"Soul Trance" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"She Said" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
"Burn It Off" - Blues Explosion (the Damage album must have just come out, and probably I was lazy)
"Fed Up & Low Down" Blues Explosion
"She's A Clone" - Glowing Embers
"You Don't Know" - the Chains
"Let Me Drive Your Car" - White Hassle

Nov. 17/?? (most definitely 2004)

"My Heart is Black" - High Dials
"Knowing Me, Knowing You" - Volebeats
"Don't Get Around Much Anymore" - Willie Nelson
"The Little Things" - Northey/Valenzuela
"Don't Get Down" - Hayden
"You Are the Light (by which I travel...)" - Jens Lekman
"There's a Higher Power" - Louvin Bros
"A Good Flying Day" - the Sadies
"Yesterday is Here" - Tom Waits
"Mess of Love" - Bocephus King (remember what I said a few blogs ago?)
"Doing My Time" - Bad Livers
"Ac-cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" - Jon Rauhouse's Steel Guitar Air Show
"Tracks Tonight" - the Buttless Chaps
"Things" - Jerry Lee Lewis
"I Love the Summer 'Cause I Love the Women" - Mayor McCa
"Jump Back" - Rufus Thomas
"Addicted to Cheese" - Evaporators
"Cold Blooded" - Ol' Dirty Bastard
"Shimmy Shimmy Ya" - Ol' Dirty Bastard
"The Finger" - the Leather Uppers
"Come On Now" - Kinks
"My Kung Fu" - UTD
"Ei Ya" - Biz Markie
"Warehouse Prayer" - Bruce McCulloch
"Ribbon of Red Taillights" - Lorrie Matheson (still no relation)
"Adios" - the Swiftys
"2 Fingers Cross'd" - White Hassle
"Blue Umbrella" - John Prine
"Cool Again" - Aaron Booth
"the MTM theme" - Sin-Tones
"Selling My Pork Chops" - Memphis Minnie McCoy


Note: Spo-Dee Returns this Thursday, 8 p.m. MDT, on 91.3 FM CJTR,

Monday, June 26, 2006

Spo-Dee O'Dee Vibes, Part Four

What I played on Saturday, June 24, 2006

Hour One

You're No Good - Dennis Brown
Neva New - Kardinal Offishall
Try Love - Coco Tea & Freddie MacGregor
Soul Shakedown Party - By Divine Right
Happy Hour - Jazze Pha & Cee-Lo
Crucial - K-os
It's A Pity - Tonya Stephens
Ooh Child/Redemption Song - Molly Johnson
Old School - Danger Doom feat. Talib Kweli
You Are Never Too Old - Jimmy Cliff
Everybody Works - Peter Elkas
Mr. Dino Koosh Rock - Lee "Scratch" Perry
Freedom - Jurassic 5
There For You - Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley

Hour Two

Bang Bang - Kardinal Offishall
B-Boys - Pocket Dwellers
Everyday (Rudebwoy) - Kardinal Offishall
Or Way - Capleton
The Boogie Monster - Gnarls Barkley
Gorilla - Lupe Fiasco
Old Skool Love - Divine Brown
Come On Home Baby Lee - Eddie Hinton
Hot Stepper - Gregory Isaacs
One Shot - Rascalz
She's Hot - T.O.K.
5x Love - Jully Black
2 Cent - Kobayashi
Who Stole the Show - Brassy
Ecoutez Bien - Eux Autres

And that concludes my Saturday afternoons in June. O.G. the Godfather will be back behind the mic next Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. on 91.3 FM CJTR, Regina's Community Radio.
As for me?
Beginning Thursday, July 6, I'm taking over Any Way the Wind Blows for two months while Dave Kuzenko takes a much-deserved rest over the summer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What I Played, Saturday, June 17, 2006

Spo-Dee O'Dee Vibes #3 Hour 1

Jiin Ma Jiin Ma - Orchestra Baobab
Murder On the Midnight Wire - Bedouin Soundclash
Where It's At - Beck
About A Girl - Cibo Matto
Elementary Particles - Hylozoists
Pepita - Calexico
Black History Month - Death From Above 1979
Human Shield - Anti Pop Consortium
Gold Lion - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Living in a Danger Zone - Tricky Woo
Jeepster - T.Rex
Fake Headlines - New Pornographers
Everybody Knows this is Nowhere - Matthew Sweet/Susanna Hoffs

Hour Two
Million Dollars - Joel Plaskett Emergency
Part of the Queue - Oasis
Darling, The Wolves - Parkas
Rodeo Town - the Kills
Salut Les Copains - Eux Autres
Laissez-Faire System - Novillero
Steady, As She Goes - Raconteurs
Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie
Try A Little Longer - Falconhawk
Brother Down - Sam Roberts
Glorious - A. Graham & the Moment Band
Bankrobber - Greg MacPherson
Shakey Dog - Ghostface Killah
Feel Alright - Kardinal Offishall
Who's Who - Weird War

In other news, during July and August, Spo-Dee O'Dee Vibes will transmogrify into Any Way The Spo-Dee O'Dee Blows, and be heard Thursday nights from 8 to 10 p.m. on 91.3 FM CJTR

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Man Cannot Live On 70s Rock Alone

Seriously. It's in the bible. Look it up.

I don't know how to define my relationship with Regina. Love/hate? Hate/hate? Love/hate/hate/hate/love/hate? CONFLICTED at best.
Last Saturday, during Spo-Dee O'Dee Vibes, while I was playing that awesome and gnarly live cover of Beyonce's "Crazy In Love" by the Magic Numbers, some dude called in and told me that I was playing "weird music". Um, okay. He wanted to know if I was going to play any 70s rock.
This would be where I might totally make fun of 70s rock, but I'm not going to. I like a lot of 70s rock. I like a lot of current rock that SOUNDS like 70s rock (possibly even more than I like ACTUAL 70s rock). And, throughout my 4.5-year broadcasting career I have played a lot of 70s and 70s-sounding rock. So there. I'm not a hater.
But what is going through a dude's mind when he calls a radio station to complain that there's not enough 70s rock on the Regina airwaves? Last I checked, the major difference between Regina's two or three commercial rock stations is that one of them plays "Freebird" three times a day, and the others only play it twice.

Lucky for Caller #9, the Rolling Stones are coming to town. Maybe. I don't care, really. I don't think I could justify shelling out the kind of bux it would take to put my butt in their vicinity, and let's be realistic, I won't be covering it. But for dudes everywhere, it will be a very special day.

What sorta bothers me about it is the timing. The Stones show is supposed to be taking place over the Thanksgiving weekend, and I'm 85% sure that's right before the civic election. Hizzoner has already stepped up his photo-ops (photo-ops = campaign platform in this town), and nobody else has even entered the mayoral contest yet. So we can expect a flurry of Stones-y photo-ops from Fiacco in the months to come. Perhaps even an "I (Stones Tongue) Regina" t-shirt. Basically, it'll end up being an implicit endorsement of Fiacco by Mick Jagger.

So instead of an actual debate over the merits of city services and the future of Regina as a city vs. Regina as a strip mall, expect little more than fist-pumping Fiacco to the tune of "Start Me Up" or possibly "Angie".

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Spo-Dee O'Dee Vibes, Part Two

What I played on Saturday, June 10, 2006:

Hour One
"The Art of Noise" - Cee-Lo
"Jeb Rand" - Bedouin Soundclash
"Same Ol' Thang" - Melanie Durrant
"Twist & Shout" - David Lindley
"And Your Bird Can Sing" - Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs
"Putting It Off" - Bottleneck
"Are You Ready?" - Delta 72
"Sunflight" - Soft Canyon
"My White Bicycle" - Tomorrow
"Apache Energy Plan" - Howling Hex
"Dance 4" - Kiss Me Deadly
"Crazy In Love" - Magic Numbers
"So Cynical" - Immaculate Machine
"Ecoutez Bien" - Eux Autres

Hour Two
"Return of the Mack" - Mark Morrison
"One Time" - Moka Only
"Move!" - Damien Jr. Gong Marley
"Kill the Dance" - Kardinal Offishall
"U Shook Me (All Night Long)" - Divine Brown
"Keep The One You Got" - Joe Tex
"An Orange Grove in California" - Steve Dawson
"Anabis" - Chucho Valdez
"Man Who Almost Was" - Hylozoists
"Jumbo" - Zoobombs
"Cutting Razor" - Junior Byles & the Versatiles
"Bad Reputation" - Joan Jett

Monday, June 05, 2006

I've Been Putting It Off/I'd rather be golfing

"Twenty-nine, all I've learned
is how to fall when the tables turn"

When did my life turn into Bottleneck's Late Nights, Early Mornings album? I love that album, but if I was going to pick an album for my life to mirror, I'd rather it be, I dunno, Prince's Batman soundtrack or the Andrew Vincent & the Pirates' I Love the Modern Way or something. Something a little more PARTY-FRIENDLY, something a little more, I don't know--something a little less LIKE MY LIFE RIGHT NOW.
I hate June. I used to love June, because, y'know, SUMMER, Mayfair Pool all day everyday, long evenings on my bike going deeper and longer into the city and the riverbank. Now, it's just another month that goes by too fast. Though, last June, there was the High Dials show, followed by Batman Begins like the very next night. So that was cool. But in general, June is just a reminder that I've let another May slip by.
So, I was walking home the other night, and I saw a car with a bumper sticker that said, "I'd rather be golfing." And that got me thinking.
That's kind of a shitty bumper sticker to have, because, y'know, what if, like, you're at the hospital watching your child be born (I should maybe note here that I imagine only a man would have a bumper sticker that says "I'd rather be golfing"--not that women don't love the golf, but y'know, ahhhh, men: we're shitty), and like, here's your child being born, meanwhile, your car is telling the whole world that you'd rather be golfing. Poor kid.
Or what about when you ARE in fact golfing?
As I walked past this car, which was parked near the YMCA on 13th Ave, I thought about what I would do in the unlikely situation that I would find myself at a golf course parking lot, surrounded by cars bearing such a bumper sticker. I imagined myself losing my branez, screaming at the top of my lungs, "You ARE golfing, you whiny brat!"

Sunday, June 04, 2006

What I Played, June 3, 2006

I know you're all dying to find out what I played Saturday on the first installment of "Spo-Dee O'Dee Vibes" on 91.3 FM, CJTR. So, for those of you who missed out, or those of you who didn't miss out, but really want to know exactly what it was you heard, VOILA.

Hour One:
"Salam" - Gigi - Some groovy Ethiopian triphoppy stuff, produced by Bill Laswell
"Sweat of Your Brow" - Jully Black - Jully Black is a great singer with a fun personality, plus, this song has a call back to "I Like To Move It, Move It"
"Sunshine & Grease" - Royal Trux - Nearly reggae from the Trux
"Keep It To Yourself" - the Flashing Lights - I don't think the FLs are around anymore, I think they've gone back to being the Superfriendz, and the frontguy stars as Guy Terrifico in the movie of the same name, which just came out on DVD, but I haven't seen it yet.
"Soul-Limbo" - Booker T & the MGs - I heard this song playing in antique shop a few months ago, and I wanted to buy everything in the store. But I didn't.
"No More" - Julie Doiron - Discofolk, YEAH!
"Burning Down the House" - Tiga - The kids like it.
"Midnight Ambulances" - Kobayashi - see previous blog entry
"Archie Wah Wah" - Desmond Dekker - RIP
"Dirty Harry" - Gorillaz - ALL WE DO IS DANCE!
"Fifty Minute Hour" - Hylozoists - see previous blog entry
"The Food (Live)" - Common - I like the rough mix on this, "Live" from the Dave Chappelle show

Hour Two:
"The Master Has Come Back" - Damien "Jr. Gong" Marley - I'll probably play some Jr. Gong every week this month. That okay with you?
"Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley - The last time I'll play this song, promise.
"The Anthem" - k-os - the sickest, squelchiest Canadian hip hop track. "Getting mad props, like on a movie set"
"No Sense" - Paper Moon - Here's where the show took a distinctly POP detour. This song is sort of hopeful and not hopeful at the same time.
"Nowhere With You" - Joel Plaskett Emergency - OH JOEL, MAKE A NEW RECORD SOON, THANKS.
"The Kids Are All Right" - Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs - Maybe the LEAST obvious of all the songs on that album, and also one of the best.
"Sweet Amputations" - Parkas - God, I love the Parkas. Did you see what I did there, from Matthew Sweet to "Sweet Amputations"? I'm dead clever, amn't I?
"Sure Is Good" - Joe Tex - If you'd asked me two weeks ago to choose between Joe Tex and Don Covay, it woulda been Don Covay, no prob. This week, it's a more interesting question to ponder.
"Mess of Love" - Bocephus King - "How like a prison is this town" I've basically held on to this CD for as long as I have (5 yrs?) for that line, and I play it every now and then to remind myself of something.
"Better Days Are Coming" - Jimmy Cliff - You've gotta follow up pessism with hope or else y're SUNK.
"Wicked Bad" - Dub Narcotic Sound System - I used to L-U-V Dub Narcotic, but then again, I used L-U-V mayonnaise.
"Jonathan Livington Seagull" - the Neins Circa - This is one of my favourite songs off a really, really good album by a really interesting songwriter. TRUE STORY: Cam Dilworth, the singer/songwriter from the Neins Circa, sounds like he's six-foot-three on the album, but in REALITY he's shorter than me. That has no bearing on his worth as a musician or a human being, but just, y'know, something I noticed.
"Yes" - Morphine - YES

And that was the show. Tune in next week to find out what else I'm gonna play. 2 p.m. MDT on 91.3 FM CJTR

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Another brother gone...

My latest brother is going to Vancouver, to join my other brother and my only sister, who are already there. I'm pretty bummed out about it, since I don't really hang out with anyone else.
Who am I going to call when I want to go see a show or go for a Sunday brunch? Who else will discuss the Socratic exchanges between Flava Flav and Chuck D with me over sausages? Who will listen to me go on about how I would write Batman between mouthfuls of potato salad? Woe is moi.
The good news is, he's only going for the summer. The plan is to come back to Regina to finish his degree in the fall. Whatever. A lot can happen over a summer in B.C. I should know. I've read a lot of books. I don't begrudge him going, honest I don't, but it sure is getting lonely out here on the prairie.

Monday, May 01, 2006

My First Post

I don't know why I'm starting a blog at this point in my life, or at this point in human history, but I really feel like I need one more venue of writing to neglect. I guess I'm just wacky like that. Actually, I just wanted to have a place where I could, y'know, post stuff so that I don't have to, y'know, email everybody stuff. I just wanted someplace online where I could be as lazy as I am offline.