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.