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hiphop Weakerthans
06/11/10 at 11:02 PM by Spiffysthebest
Local producer Mike Petkau likes to make Winnipeg musicians do excercises. Last year he started the Record of the Week Club project. Once a week for 16 weeks he paired together local musicians from different musical backgrounds who have never worked together before, and commissioned them to write & record a song together in 24 hours - to be made available to stream the next day.
My favourite songs were Walkman & Keewatin Arctic. Walkman features the guitarist from funk band Moses Mayes and rapper Ismalia Alfa. It was the feel-good hit of the year last year. So smooth. Keewatin Arctic is magical. Featuring John K Samson from the Weakerthans, an Inuit throat singer, & an experimental DJ. The chorus sings "I am happy with who I am today" in an Inuit language.

But I digress...

Thursday night Mike rounded up Paper Moon (local sugar-pop) and Magnum KI (hiphop) to cover local albums. Paper Moon did a Red Fischer album, that turned out very good. However, Magnum KI did The Weakerthans' Reconstruction Site, one of my alltime favourite albums. And that was something else.

All my "civilian" friends are astonished at how many shows I go to, but I have stopped surprising myself at how much great music our fair city produces. Last weekend I saw Kids On Fire for the first time & they fucking rocked for real! My friends & I are torn between seeing them next Thursday, or 8-man-chorus-power-metal band Legion of Liquor. While it will be KOF's 5th show ever, we have been to every LOL show so far. They are hilarious & actually really awesome all in a tight bindle.

Tomorrow night I am going to finally see the Perpetrators & we'll see if they live up to their hype. Tonight I saw Radian, a prog-noise-rock band from Vienna, and Wednesday I saw Strike Anywhere who are always a smelly mess of a good time.
It never ends.
I never want it to.
This is normal irregularity.
Back to writing report cards.
Tags: weakerthans, hiphop covers, winnipeg, kids on fire, legion of liquor
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Crooked Bros, Mason Rack, Sacrifice/Ghandis
11/09/09 at 01:23 PM by Spiffysthebest

Stopped by the Explore Store & met with Jess. We played Smackwich with her co-worker. Stop, Thief! No winner. Cat Empire is amazing! Thursday night was also the Crooked Brothers cd release party. I can't stop listening to it. If it were vinyl it would surely be worn by now. Surely. Not long enough at all. (43 minutes?) Thursday night they played it front to back. Then they played a song with only Dar on the mouthharp, stompin & clappin along. Darryl climbed on stage & egged them back out & they played something else. Good bunch of guys. I bused back to Ty's & prob didn't do my homework before bed. This week has been all self-indulgence.

I must have had this idea sometime Thursday to ask Mason Rack, an Aussie Eugene likes, to come on my show Sunday. What a strange whim.

I came back to Ty's in the morn & sat around on the computer for a while longer. Coached awhile. Found out some parents might have it out for me. Then we went on a date. Ty made me supper at his place, & we went to the movies - The Men Who Stare At Goats. It was good, Ty thought it was bad. It was good. Then I went off to King's Head to see what the buzz was all about. Got there just as they finished their first set, and hung around awhile. Met two guys, Richard & Cody from Tony Roma's on St James. Found that my sweater was missing, along with everything in it. Didn't get to talk to Mason, had to run for the last bus that just left. Hanging my head, I walked back to King's Head.

Found my sweater, confirmed Mason for my show, had another drink & got a ride home from the awesome Cody from Tony Roma's. Went from bad to great in under 20 minutes. Came home late. Poor Ty. I need a building key quite badly.

Teaching/guarding & the like. Stayed late to work free swim. Left for an hour to find food, but instead found that Black Sheep Diner closes at 2 on Saturdays. I also found 3 used cd's for like 26 bucks & a ticket to the Sacrifice concert that evening, so I thought that was a productive hour. Went out to Stella's with Keeley & Kim after work. Eggplant parmesana! yummy! Walked over to the Garrick & saw Kat & Blue on the way! Confirmed for Ty's party! Excellent. Got to the show as Evil Survives let out. Talked with the Jacques', and Adam from the station. Propagandhi rules! Fist pumping fuck yeahs. Short & sweet. They played mostly songs off the new album, but Sacrifice were just good. I wasn't really into it. It was tiring. Razor was way better I thought. It's different at the Garrick too. I'm thinking Don has a reason not to like it. It doesn't grab my attention. Back to Ty's! No...wait. I went home last night. Ty was at his friends'. So tired, but still stayed up & watched some SNL with Al. The Jacques' were there when I got there. What?! They could have at least given me a ride! I think they left after Ghandis though.

Got up just in time to watch the Bombers Sunday. They didn't play very well. They didn't play like their lives depended on this game. Better luck next season. Downer. Chat with Kent & Dustin at the busstop. They're giggling cause they're so trashed. It's 3:30pm. Practically evening afterall. The temp drops 10 degrees in the shade.

Got to the station jumpy-nervous. Needed to chill out a bit. It was exciting to let the control out a little bit. Mason said he was there a couple months back. For an interview or something. Pass The Mic means you give someone else the reins for your show. To get more people involved, to get new ideas on the airwaves. He was a bit nervous when he figured out the plan, but then stoked. I felt really good about it. I'm not sure how it translated on air, cause we did most of the talking with the mics off. I made a new friend, talked about life, home & being sober. I need to remember 2 answers to Kev's questions. One was "Yeah...sharks...." the other I think was Snapper's Rock. Nice guy though. Good to talk to. Open. And looks right through you. Makes me wish I could. He gave me a ride home & a cd. I hope I make it to the show Tuesday.

Amazing Race & studying caps my night. I just had to catch up before I'm back at it. I've never had a guest on my show before that I didn't know. I thought it turned out great. Felt really good actually. Slow exhale.

, Stop Joy.
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Shout Out Out Out Out Oct 13th
10/14/09 at 11:34 AM by Spiffysthebest
It wasn't as bad I thought it might be. At work I had an itching feeling. I told Kara "You'd better not stand me up tonight." She was going out with Jesse beforehand. She wouldn't say where they were going. She seemed excited about it. She'd told me earlier she will "most likely go, but she'll let me know if she was going to stand me up." What! I knew she would, I'm not terribly disappointed, cause at least I went out. I sat at a booth, my bag is too thick to hide under the bench. A guy comes & sits nearby waiting for the show alone. He tells me he's reviewing this show for Stylus. I don't know if he was aiming to impress but I guess I was the worst person to talk to. I'd been flipping through the Stylus that had been sitting on the table, & am wearing my CKUW hoodie & Fundrive tshirt. He says "I'm going to refill my water", and leaves.

Not Animals were uninteresting at best. I'd give them a second chance though. Lebeato were awesome. They made me wish I'd gone to see Moses Mayes. Nathan, DJ Grant Paley & Mark. I think I've figured out something about digital DJing. It's not natural to see Mark hovering over the keyboard or with the gleam of the monitor in his eye. Without his fingers pressed to the strings anyway. He's kind of a guitar genious. It's normal to see Grant whip the crowd into a frenzy bobbing his head & licking his fingers.

Shout Out Out Out Out were quite good. Not the best show I've seen them play but still enjoyable. I was disappointed Eugene wasn't there, wondering what else was going on tonight. They came on & the crowd started moving. I understand the need for an opener to warm the crowd up. Why weren't they dancing for Lebeato? The second song featured 4 basses on stage & two drumkits - one beginner & one advanced. Crazy! But it works. Kara had told me she was at the Windsor watching the blues. Are you lost or what? I don't think she was ever there, she had no intention of coming. I had told her she won't come if I let her. Bad Choices! I make so many Bad bad choices. I'm realizing all their songs are big buildups to the final breakdown. Guilt Trips Sink Ships - "We never said Let's do this or Let's go, we just did it." One day I will tell her she is one of those people I strive not to be. I continue to dance. She should know which song is dedicated to her. In The End It's Your Friends That'll Fuck You Over. No hard feelings though. Big buildups. Noise noise Noize, till they rip into a tasty funky riff. Still leading up to the breakdown, that makes your worries slip away. Feet off the ground, fists in the air. There's something to be said for unpredictability though. Except on rare occasions.

I'm sitting against the wall in the library of the university. I might be on the 5th or 6th floor. I am in the Sociology section, surrounded by books about Social Deviance & Cultural Studies & Durkheim & things of this nature. Hundreds of them, towaring over me. Woke up practically on top of Ty today. I tried so hard to warm up before wrapping myself in him in bed. At least I was awake long enough to remind him to go to work when he was sleeping in. I like the soft sleeping. It's so much better for my life(style). Woke up & had about 7 little butterfingers Ty had bought. I only recently have been able to recognize the flavour of peanut butter, which makes them that much tastier! I did make it to class today! First time in a long time. It's easier to learn Arabic while coming to class. It's true, cause then you discuss things & ask questions & the like. I am working on downloading some bonus tracks from Thrice. I had a delicious lunch/breakfast from Pangea's, & am about to study. Seriously. I had some Seals work to do. Also, I have an exam tomorrow. Multiple Choice, but I've got some reading to do. Right now there's a winter cycling workshop in the Quad, which is awesome, but right now doesn't work for me. So I look up warm cycling tips online. I probably have most of the layering clothing I need if I just check.

I'd like to stay at Ty's tonight, since we don't get many evenings together, but my mom's coming in this weekend. That plus my exam tomorrow means I should stay at home tonight.

I should call my pa & see how he's doing.

It had better not be fucking raining. I am so unprepared. I do not want to freeze. I need to become a fucking meteorologist. Today tomorrow & Friday could be the worst days of my life if I'm riding my bike without a rain jacket.

, remind me in dark times.
Tags: shout out
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Gaslight Anthem, A Wilhelm Scream Oct 1st
10/02/09 at 09:39 AM by Spiffysthebest
I never felt so strange standing in the Jersey rain, thinking about what an old man said
"maybe I should call me an ambulance."
I never felt so strange standng in the pounding rain, thinking bout what my mother once said
"maybe I should call me an ambulance."

The Gaslight Anthem were great last night. They were spot on. MIJ was right, all different walks of life came out for this one: the fanboys, the old punks, the kids, an me. The show was a late one, TGA playing till past mdnight. The Loved Ones were fairly good, but nothing special, so I opted out for food. So hungry! Like I hadn't eaten for days! Only ice cream that morning. I am constantly surprised my heart hasn't expoded yet. Murder By Death were awesome as always. Something different, and they do it just right. I'm surprised more people weren't going off for them. No doubt they've made a name for themselves by now. Whiskey, the devil & death. Mmmmmm Mmmmmm. The Gaslight Anthem. Backed by a huge banner of a ship in the waves. They were spot on, like I said. Exactly like the cd. I'm stupid though. Sad songs make me sad. They pull me along & make me sing along.

I've never had a good time, and I've always had the blues.

I should learn the 59 Sound on the drums. Can't be too hard. The lead singer isn't as hot as everyone says he is. But he loves being on stage. He loves the feeling. I know the feeling. He plays his heart out. And he is adorable, in that way that he's funny because he's not trying to be funny. The first thing he said to the crowd was to Please don't come up on stage cause there's alot of stuff to trip on & if you hurt yourself he will worry about it till the end of his days, cause he's a nervous guy, y'see? He made these weird little comments as banter. Someone in the crowd had driven 15 hours to see them, & it turned out to be one o fthe few shows they cancelled, cause he had a gold tooth put in. So he asked the guy which song he wanted to hear, but gave him some space to think about it. Cause y'see, they got to play with Springsteen in England one time, & Bruce asked him what song he wanted to play & drew a complete blank. So he says "Alright, No Surrender!"

Anyway, these are boring stories to you. They were very good. They played every single song I would have wanted to hear, even opening with High & Lonesome, which was the first song that really convinced me of how good they are. They also said "This song goes out to another great Canadian band, Comeback Kid."

Then, hopped on over to the Pyramid. I had seen Jay, Melissa, Ethan & Ian/Alf at the show, as well as Stephen Carroll, but still did it on my own. I'd been looking for Deb, but couldn't find her around. I think I passed her in the car going down Garry. On to A Wilhelm Scream! They had hit the stage just before I got there. They were nice enough not to check my bag, cause they're great there. A Wilhelm Scream were awesome as always. I enjoyed this show better than any other time I've seen them though (erm, of the 3 times) cause I recognized almost every song they played. Far better than Protest The Hero, in my opinion. The joke now is that any band that plays the Pyramid is compared with Bob Dylan. "They were way better than Bob Dylan." Maybe better than Gaslight, better performers anyway. Saw Lindsay, Tyler & met up with Kara at the show. They acknowledged the peeps that came straight over from TGA, saying That's pretty much unheard of. Totally punk rock. Oh please! Quit singing my praises!

Man I'm hungry. I've earned today. I biked all through the rain, being wet & miserable yesterday. Today is nice. I was pretty sure my shoes had dried off at the end of the second show last night, but today we wil tell. The Pyramid is much warmer that the Garrick. Not as open, I guess. Cozier, if you will. Biking down Portage to Uni in the rain, Frances was biking along beside me! After the show, I met a girl named Leesha? Leena? I will see her at the pie fight tonight. Pie fight!

, soul my soul for management.
Tags: a wilhelm scream, gaslight anthem
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Elliott Brood, Bouncing Souls Sept 30th
10/02/09 at 09:36 AM by Spiffysthebest
Elliott Brood cut off my tongue tonight.

They were spectacular. Don't try comparing them to Hold Steady, it's too tough. This is one band I can't believe don't come from Winnipeg. Their sound feels exactly what it's like to live here. Such a big sound for three guys. Missed about the first 10 minutes, about 2 songs, because of milk & cookies. Too bad I didn't see the lights go down.

Listen to Mountain Meadows, and if you are lucky you will understand. We have the Polaris Prize in Canada for best album of the year based on artistic merit. I thought they would win it hands down. It was given away to Fucked Up last week. I had been telling people "I get to see them the week after they win Polaris." It is still the best album of the year in my opinion. They didn't use a suitcase as a kick drum on stage, but they pounded out the songs. They opened a sack full of wooden spoons, aluminium pans & tamborines & gave them out to the crowd. Everyone play along. I'm lucky I got to play along. Write It All Down For You. I get chills from this album still. I don't know anything else, but I evidently should.

Made it to the Bouncing Souls while they were on stage. Missed the 3 openers - Youth Brigade, Off With Their Heads & St Alvia Cartel. But that's cool, I knew I would. Security at the door recognized me & told me & another guy we could get in without paying if we got him a double rye & coke. I ran off into the crowd. I guess I owe him. I'll be there the next couple nights anyway. Bouncing Souls have a great vibe. I apperently missed the song I wanted to see most. The lead singer wasn't totally in it, but it's the bassist Brian you go to see. He was on & off it. Awesome. 20th anniversary. It wears on you. Hung with Lindsay from St James the majority of the show. She'll be there for A Wilhelm Scream tomorrow. Maybe even for Gaslight, but probably not..

Estatic on the bike ride home. Exhilerated. To tears even! Listening to Mountain Meadows again. Biking at night is one of my favorite things. Maybe biking after shows is one of my favorite things. Hmm.. I love how I can get right into the music, & I learn alot. Music makes me smarter.

I just got an email from mermaid in jeans about how much she loved the Gaslight Anthem show when it came through Edmonton. Tomorrow will be a good night.

I am smelly.

, sing along forever.
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The Hold Steady - Sept 24th
09/25/09 at 11:33 AM by Spiffysthebest
It's almost October & I'm chilling in my sandals with The Hold Steady easing my muscles & brain.

The show was magnificent last night. As the night wore on, I cropped out every piece of the picture I didn't agree with, until everyone around me erupted with every cue. In hindsight, I was self-deceiving with Brand New. I told myself, here is one band I would drive 8 hours to see play 3 songs, which could be true. Maybe I'm wrong, it was the crowd that killed it for me afterall. Anyway, every song the Hold Steady played from their newest album gave me goosebumps. With every song the guitars soar, the keyboard makes it sound like hymns. Honest. This is gospel to me. I don't know any songs off any other album. I danced. I hollered. During the main set they simply played the second untitled track, Navy Sheets & Magazines (I know you're pretty pissed, but I hope you'll still let me kiss you). For the encore, they ripped into Constructive Summer, how I thought they'd start the set.

Let this be my annual reminder that we can all be something bigger.
I went to school, I did my detention, but the walls were so grey I couldn't pay attention
We are our only saviours - we're gonna build something this summer.

It's exciting again, because I've become really bad at anticipating anything. Stay Positive:

There's gonna come a time when the scene will seem less sunny.
It'll probably get druggie & the kids will seem too skinny.
There's gonna come a time when she's gonna have to go with whoever's gonna get her the highest.
There's gonna come a time when the true scene leaders will forget where they differ & get the big picture
Cause the kids at the shows, they'll have kids of their own
Our singalong songs will be their scriptures.

Everyone's singing along. Whoa-ho-ho Whoa-ho-ho Whoa-ho-ho - We've gotta stay positive. Fists in the air. I thought this would be the best finale song. I was wrong.

Sometimes actresses get slapped. Sometimes fake fights turn out bad.
We're dust in the spotlights, we're just sort of floating.

If only you could hear the chorus in the outro. I don't know how many people sang along, but where I was standing everyone was singing along. Eruptions in the West End. Praise. Foolhardedness. ?. In the papers they wrote "America's greatest bar band - SOLD OUT", but didn't really give a taste of what was to come. All the weekend editions were printed for yesterday. How could they?

No horns. I get chills thinking about the choruses. I wish Al could see past the vocals. I could see how they would be irritating. Some of the lines are so timeless. So timeless. I will wake up with a start in the night thinking someone spoke them to me.
Tags: hold steady
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Weekend concert update!
09/22/09 at 11:11 PM by Spiffysthebest
I wanted to update this thing about the concerts I've been hitting, but it didn't work on my laptop for a long while. Here we are.

Classified/Hilltop Hoods - Pyramid Cabaret - Sept 16th

Holy shit. I've never been to quite a show.

I've got hiphop tastebuds, I wanna hear that bass when I make love. Wanna hear songlyrics when I wake up...

Hiphop shows never start on time. They go on whenever they want. At least, this is what I hear. I am still kind of new at this thing. J Brew went on first. He's from the East Coast, with sweet licks. He's got some awesome rhymes. I love the song Ain't Black Enough. Maybe underground hiphop is different cause the ego is reflected to self-deprcation, which turns into great lyrics.

Between shows I was fine sitting a lonely puppy on the side of the room. A guy walked towards me & totally fell sideways into a wall, unconscious. He woke up & somebody helped him up to get air. Near the door he went down again. The bouncers were on it & helped him outside. Pretty crazy. I caught the eye of someone. "Is that really Alexa Freeman?" Shit. Hardly recognize them, except I matched their gaze. With Kristin Cormier & Chloe Ouimet as backup. I ran off quickly. Came back in time to get caught up.

Hilltop Hoods were really great. They were so tight, & they've got such a great flow. You can tell they've been at this a long time. I've been waiting to see these guys for a pretty long time. I know a total of one of their songs, and they played it! Totally cool. Lots of people sang along. The energy was amazing! It was so great. It was so so good. I am totally glad I went. They were fucking on it. They broke up a fight during their set. There are some things I'm thinking about how it might be so rehearsed they can do it without the crowd - well, different crowd every night, but the show is the same. Hilltop Hoods. They might be gods of the hiphop world. Immense. Something I've been looking for. Bouncing!

Walked around to check out all my favorite venues, relishing in how great it is we have such a close knit downtown. 6 great venues within 3 blocks with bands almost every night - Pyramid, Times Changed, The Windsor, Garrick, Burt, & Albert. Add a couple blocks in there & you can add the MTS Centre & Lo Pub. Anyway...

Classified was rad too. His band was 2 backing MC's (one being J Brew), bongos, a DJ, drums & guitar. He's got some flows. The songs Welcome to the Maritimes & Oh Canada. Yes yes yes!! What a cool dude. When I came back the club was packed - easy to disappear. The crowd was hopping. So, hiphop shows never have encores. They just decide when they're done, then they're done. It was strange to me to see people giving up their spots in the pit. Yes, there is a pit, despite being a hiphop show. Really sweet.

The Angry Dragons - Lo Pub - Sept 18th
Skate for the Cure - The Forks - Sept 19th
White Cowbell Oklahoma - Royal Albert Arms - Sept 19th

Friday I went to see Kara & saw Mark at The Angry Dragons. (teehee.) I said "The Angry Dragons" far too much this night. It was fun to talk to Mark. Microdot sucked. Two of the guys from the Faktory were in the opening band Microdot, who sucked bigtime. I asked one of the guys Sunday if their drummer was their regular drummer, cause he was terrible. He said he was just playing on Bill's kit & wasn't used to it. I wanted to go see Mark's studio which is apparently nearby to the Lo Pub. The Angry Dragons were quite excellent, actually. Kara bought me a couple drinks as celebration for getting keys to the cataloguing drawers! Then we danced. We had lots of room on the dancefloor & shimmied with our shoes off. I prematurely put my shoes back on, then danced again. Then they played a Cramps cover. \m/

Came back kinda drunk in the middle of the night. Jess had had a play date with Ty (grumblegrumble) & Zach to play Tales of Arabian Nights! She was still awake at 3 in the morning. I played with Molson awhile, then slept soundly. In the morning Ty was gone to work.

Saturday we slept in. I dropped Kara's cd off at CKRC, then met Jess back at Frankie's for raspberry bannock pancakes. Late for the MTC costume sale, the line's around the block. We go to a couple secondhand stores before I realized that what we're doing is shopping & I hate shopping. Smoothies at the Forks, check out the lineup for Skate for the Cure (we've already missed 4-5 bands), then back to Frankie's. Jess & I kind of piggybacked to the Forks, which turned out quite nicely & was fun too. She thought she was getting heatstroke, but we spent time in the shade & she didn't afterall. What a great day. We hung around the Forks for a long while while checking out bands. The Afterbeat were pretty good, but I wasn't into dancing. Luckily Jess found a buddy (Shannon) to skank with. The Ripperz were a typical bar band. The Lytics we just caught a glimpse of. Hiphop! Totally stood out to me in the lineup. We didn't stick around, but I'll have to check them out. It didn't phase me when I heard they had their cd release party at the Albert, but I thought they were a punk band! High Five Drive was "too metal-y" for Shannon, but were really good. I didn't think their new album was that good, but they were really great live.

Didn't stay for Comeback Kid. Jess's friend Todd convinced her to come see White Cowbell Oklahoma with me! Tickets were cheaper than I thought (19$ in advance, 15$ at the door?) & the show was awesome! They took a grinder to the cowbell. They brought the rock n roll fucking rights. Had my first shot of Jager. The band in sponsored by them so they were passing around a bottle. They "have enough of this stuff to kill the British army." Hahaha! I leaned against "the pole", toes tucked in tight cause I broke a rule - no sandals in the pit. They did take a chainsaw to toilet papers, which is tame from normal for them I hear. Usually they kick up shit with watermelons & pumpkins. I was in no way disappointed however. Their live show made up for lack of the shtick I was expecting. I biked back home more drunk on this night. Washed the Jager off myself. Then quickly to bed. I was pretty excited about not getting up when I was supposed to to help Ty's parents move. When I woke up, Ty was gone. A pattern is forming.


Al asked me Sunday night "What bands would have to play for me to go to Lollapalooza?" Any bands. I just never thought I would be invited. In May next year when tickets go on sale, how can I be assured I would be invited?
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All Answers Pending
06/18/09 at 09:56 PM by Spiffysthebest
"Dragged beneath the midnight rain, cursed to spend a thousand nights alone..."

An anticipated night. Mike Petkau got a grant from the Manitoba Arts Council last summer to do a program he called "The Record of the Week Club". He paired together 3 or 4 local musicians every Wednesday, locked them in his studio together, and by the morning they had to have written, recorded & mixed a song together to be available online the next day. Songs were available online for 1$ each, or all for 10$; proceeds go to the rebuilding of the WECC. Later he thought, "I wonder if or how I could pull it off live...."

The first set, as explained by Mike, would be 8 songs from the project - not being able to do them all of course cause many of those involved were away on tour or what have you. The second set was 5 brand new songs created that day. They played Steamed Chilis, Don't Wanna Cross, Keewatin Arctic, Falling, All Answers Pending, Walkman, Wails On & possibly Waiting for Debates. Walkman & Keewatin Arctic being my favorites, but they couldn't quite pull off the latter since John K is away & Mike has a much lower voice.

The themes for the second set had been emailed in - science fiction, for David Lynch, listening, garage sales & public transit. Garage Sales was a combination of people who couldn't sing conventionally. They made up for it with DJ Grant Pakey bartering with the throat singer on items commonly found at garage sales, between musical interludes. Ismaila Alfa could be my new favorite artist. His lyrics & voice made Walkman stand out for me. The same happened with Public Transit. DJ Co-op was scratching some of his traffic tips from CBC Radio. The chorus was incredibly catchy, and dear to my heart:
We rock and roll just like the wheels on the bus (round & round)
We ride above it all, city smog, city sound
My favorite line - and I'll kick myself for never remembering it, it is only to be remembered on the pad he was reading from and possibly if someone taped this event - said that There are no more streetcars, but the streets are filled with cars, you got a beef but who you going to complain to, even the cops are driving home drunk from the bar.

Standing on stage at the end was like the farewell of an episode of SNL.

, presence of greatness.
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Rancid, DOA, SNFU
06/15/09 at 12:07 AM by Spiffysthebest
I've seen three of the most influential punk bands still touring in the past week.

Rancid was Monday in Saskatoon. We drove out anticipating the assault. Met some likeminded people pleasantly buzzed in the parking lot. It's possible that the cops don't exist & the punks are the law there, since there was so much drinking out front. Kara tries to convince everyone she's destined to be with Tim Armstrong, but her love is failing since she thinks he has no teeth. We learned about the three R's that night. Riverboat Gamblers were great as always. The crowd wasn't terribly into it, but they did their job of warming us up. Rancid was second, which seems insane to the three of us. They're one of our favorite bands, and it's been building up for years. I think their last Warped was the year before I started going. I had always said if I ever finally saw them I would buy all their albums, cause they would be that much better if you could go off for every song. I fell behind for this one, but it didn't even matter. I didn't recognize only one song, which turned out to be Highway from their newest. East Bay Night, Radio, Nihilism, Time Bomb, Olympia, Salvation, Last One To Die, Journey to the End of East Bay, Roots Radicals, St Mary, Fall Back Down, Maxwell Murder, finishing off with Ruby Soho. They were so tight - Branden was just an extension of what they had been. The chemistry was flawless. I was kind of nervous about the guy in the pit with a cigarette. I do not want to get that in the face. Rise Against puts on a good show too, but I'm seen them at least 8 times. There is no comparison. After the show we boiled up drunken coversation about bike pedalling gangs, how scary Winnipeg women are & SNFU. It's Chi Pig, not TriPig.

Friday was DOA at the Zoo. The first night of two on their 30th anniversary tour. Last week Kent at the station asked me if I wanted to interview Joey Shithead. I'd said Maybe even though I am only an aspiring DOA fan & can't help thinking I would be the worst person for the job. This was the night Route 66 was out to get me through tattoos, street signs, folk songs & final jeopardy answers. I came to the show on my own, as usual. Not being too early to have to wait around alone. Trousermouth were really good. Joey says they're spawn of The Mentors, but I have yet to check what that means. Between bands, a kid I went to high school with and haven't seen since asked me:
"Are you here for the music?"
He was a nerd (but still a guy, so that's acceptable for them), I was simply an outcast. We had never been friends before, but we're friends now. (At least as far as I can throw Facebook.) We talked about the different local music communities - especially hiphop, that he just got into & I've been looking for someone to hook me up with. He even apologized for making fun of me & Erika in high school. They roared through their set. I have very little idea which songs they played, cause I am pretty unfamiliar with them. I can't think of a single show I've been to at the Zoo where I was very familiar with the headliner at all (Korpiklaani, Primordial, Reverend Horton Heat, Razor). They rocked though. Really fun, singalong punk. It seems obvious, but I had never realized how many issues they talk about. They were pretty solid between the three of them, despite being two younger guys and an old punk. Joey commands the stage. Fuck that; try being Mrs Shithead instead. He plays small shows and does interviews with local rags after all these years, unlike Rancid. He is even graceful. As an afterthought, I would have loved to have chatted with him. He seems less intimidating than his name.
We don't care what you say - Fuck you!

SNFU played the Albert for the first time Saturday night. These guys bring out the worst in me, somehow. The Snowball Effect. I only started learning about them a couple months back, when I heard they were an influence for Propagandhi. They were here early May playing Ozzies. They had the same shifty promotor that was doing DOA this time around - 10$ admission, or 25$ for VIP tickets & a steak dinner with the band. I hadn't been to Ozzie's before. I was so anxious I sat outside the venue, till eventually deciding to go home. This time around I could feel it again. I weighed my options before stepping up. The Albert may as well be home to me, and there is no one month buffer zone. The City Champs were okay, but unimpressive. I was dozing off between bands. It was a long day. There was a homeless guy wandering around with long hair & a weird fur hat on. Turns out that's Chi Pig. I usually do research before I miss these things. SNFU ripped it up. I only knew a couple songs, but I have to dig deeper after that show. Great gang vocals. Got decked in the face, just to the side of the pit cowarding behind an obtrusive pillar. Awesome show.

Three totally different styles of punk. Nobody does it better.

, sonic imbalance.

Setlist June 14th
Bright Eyes - At the Bottom of Everything
Grand Analog - Her Daddy (Don't Like Me)
Shout Out Out Out Out - Bad Choices
BA Johnston - Beamsville Fair
Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
Land of Talk - Yuppie Flu
Vieux Farka Toure - Fafa
SNFU - Painful Reminders
Rancid - Nihilism
The Dead Milkmen - Air Crash Museum
The Eat - Shoes Shoes Shoes
Crimpshrine - Summertime
DOA - Devil's Speedway
Wab Kinew - The Last Word
Record of the Week Club - Walkman
Record of the Week Club - Don't Wanna Cross
Pink Mountaintops - The Gayest of Sunbeams
Strangely Dandelion - Circus
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05/24/09 at 10:47 PM by Spiffysthebest
So so good. No Use For A Name are instinctual, to a flame as a moth for me. At the Albert, there is no other place in the world. Ihave so many stories about these guys, they could be a big local band. Or a band from my high school era. They creamed. Akin seeing Bad Religion or Rancid in a small club. I've seen them at the Garrick before, and it was good but unremarkable. This was awesome. They tore it up. Way more energy, especially for the crowd. Or maybe their new album just rules.

Emma says if Eminem came to town she would have seen all the bands she's ever wanted to see in concert (assuming she gets to see Blink this summer). It must be a short list. I don't even know where to start. What an idea! To have seen all the bands I've ever wanted! Wow. It's not even fathomable.

I had so many ideas to choose from last night. They all got caught in the summer heat. Maybe they're still hiding behind my eyes waiting to burst through, or traded for the day I had today.

Woke up with Ty. Breakfast with Vanessa. Conversations with: Tie, V, V's dad, Daylan, Rob, Christine, Eric, Hannelore, Ti's mom, Karli. Biked about for hours, all over. Figuring out some bus routes. It's tough biking home after the show. Not just because it's uphill, but cruise night drivers are intense. Not even collapsing, I feel pretty good.

All my ideas came through for my show. It worked out so perfectly. Almost all my material was from the on air room. It was well paced & spaced & worked out generously. I'm already working on something for next week. 5 weeks left.

*Setlist May 24th*
Jawbreaker - Boxcar
Record of the Week Club - Week 10 - Walkman
(Mark Penner - Moses Mayes, Ismaila Alfa - solo)
Nick Lowe - Nutted By Reality
Monotnonix - Body Language
Los Campesinos! - Heat Swells/Pacific Daylight Time
Andrew Neville & The Poor Choices - Brand New Song
Binary Lust - Bionic Sun
King Kahn & the Shrines - Took My Lady to Dinner
Yunasi - Usilewe Ndi Ndi Ndi
Romi Mayes - Givin Is Gone
Ndidi Onukwulu - The Lady & E
Vieux Farka Toure - Souba Souba
Dear Landlord - I Live In Hell
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros
Dear Landlord - I Live In Hell
Japandroids - The Boys Are Leaving Town
Record Of The Week Club - Week 13 - Keewatin Arctic
(John K Samson - The Weakerthans, Nikki Komakslutiksak - Inuit throat singer, Blunderspublik - electronic artist)
Blue King Brown - Samoas' Song
Chris Carmichael - Pop Song

NUFAN was the first in a string of concerts being seen in venues too small for their bodies. A string of two. Hawksley is tomorrow at the WECC. I'm excited to see the new digs.

My month looks like this so far:
May 2 - Moses Mayes
May 6 - K-os, Grand Analog
May 9 - Paganfest: Korpiklaani, Primordial
May 14 - Romi Mayes & The Weber Bros
May 15 - Subcity Dwellers
May 21 - Monotonix
May 23 - NUFAN, Only Crime

Ps. Best hoodie ever alert, as seen at Monotonix - Battle Royale: Survival Program.

, body language.
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Whoa, Monotonix!
05/22/09 at 07:59 AM by Spiffysthebest
We'll take the whole fucking world down. Down with us in flames!

Guess who's listening to Propagandhi again! All because of...

Monotonix is simply infallible. (NOTE: Mono.Tonix, not monoton-ix.) They performed last night one of the absolutely best shows I've ever seen. It was crazy! It was amazing! Japanther x Gogol Bordello. Crazy insanity is the only way I can see fit to describe it. I have to find pictures. I can see how they would get kicked out of venues.

Monotonix have become known for setting themselves and their equipment on fire, stealing drinks from audience members to pour on themselves, and turning their shows into unabashed, frenzied dance parties.
- Wikipedia

"You hit my girlfriend in the head with a trash can, and as much as i love her, you were still the best fucking band i've seen in ages. don't stay away from raleigh long, ok?" - "Siobhan", Raliegh NC

"During the trio's riotous encore, the mob carried Shalev out into the freezing night air atop a bass drum. He is probably still out there, on the wilds of Exmoor, howling at the Moon like some blood-drenched Viking warrior." London Times

The first song was entirely interpretive dance. 'Creative use of space' is about as far as I can go right now.

I think they've cured me. Maybe it was all the laughing & climbing & thrashing & playing the drums.

More on this later. Later in the weekend maybe. So much to do today! Ty continues his streak of not going to concerts, but is too sickly to go to work for the second day. Is it because I made him come with me to get pizza from the corner?

Also, Chuck Klosterman makes me laugh out loud (lol). He thinks Rush is a Christian rock band.

"The unspoken statement made by 90's alternative music was 'We're all the same, man. I play this guitar and you know who I am, and I will never know who you are, but I am still a normal person. I am not a rock star. In fact, I am going to make records for a label called Kill Rock Stars. If you recognize me in public, I will hate you. That will prove that I love you, because we are all the same'" - Chuck.

, citizen of the Niger Delta.
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04/28/09 at 06:57 AM by Spiffysthebest
Did anyone else get their free pin from the Rolling Tundra Review?
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B.A. Jonhston?!?!
04/14/09 at 07:55 PM by Spiffysthebest
*If you clicked on this because of the title, you are totally awesome!*

This made my fucking day:

I want a woman to put corn starch between my rolls of fat. Otherwise it chaffs and I don't like that. Having trouble breathing. Labour fom when I got up on this couch but I can't pry myself of off it. The decadent cookies lie too close to me. They're going to have to get a crane to get my corpse off this sofa. Bury me in a piano box. Man, I'm so sweaty now. And I'm sweating out chunks of things and I cannot feel my legs. But that is okay with me. I'm not going anywhere.

In heaven you never have to hear your mom complain about the smell of your room. I fell asleep two hours ago. Why at 8am does she need to vaccuum? What smell was she expecting when she burst in through that door? Did she think I'd smell like bacon? Perhaps cinammon. Perhaps cinammon toast crunch.

Is this how Terry Fox felt as he ran to Thunder Bay? But I'm not running and I'm not going to Thunder Bay. We all get to heaven in different ways. And then I'm running towards the light. Jesus said, Run run son. I say, I ain't running towards no light. Who do you think you're talking to? Maybe if you tempted me with submarines and an 8 pack of Schooner I could be in paradise tonight. Punching an angel. Instead I'm lying on my couch endlessly watching stolen cable. Thank Jesus for SCTV. Say Hi to John Candy for me.


BA Johnston is so fucking hilarious. I put down my book on the bus & laughed all the way down Portage. Way to cheer me up!

, Death rides a fat horse.
Tags: hilaious, BA Johnston
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Silver Lining**
03/04/09 at 12:11 PM by Spiffysthebest
Being at home and at the station saved my weekend. For some reason Friday & Saturday I was sinking with my friends, even though ZOMBIES!!! is always a good time & we generally have a grand time when we do get together. Neither night was making it for me. I felt totally isolated from them.

Sometimes I have more in common with strangers than with my closest friends.

Sunday was a pick-me-up though. Went home early. Finished watching an overdue movie with my dad (The Greatest Show on Earth) and lounged around to recharge my batteries. Played a fun game of Cat Bird or Dog with Al - when nothing's on you channel surf & see which one comes up first. If you stop to watch something, it's TO. I thought there would be alot more cats than there were. The only cat we came across had a human mouth & was from Colbert.

My show was good though. In high spirits from the family, I went to the station to get this show on the road. Saturday I listened to Blood of a Young Wolf by Buck 65 on repeat anytime I had a decent break at work. Killer. Amazes me what some people can do. I did half an 'inspired' show - artists drawing inspiration from older lost genres; gospel, blues, klezmer - and half balls to the wall punk & metal. Around 6 Todd the Rod from Propagandhi comes in, introduces himself & says he's here for an interview. Cool. I was hoping to pirate him for the next break in my show while he was just hanging out, but then the posse came by & swept him away. Along with the new cd I was gonna play.

"Is this what you're looking for?" *holds up cd*
"Yeah! How did you know?"
"Todd Kowalski from Propagandhi is sitting outside."

Then the Amazing Race went to Transylvania. They got to stake things & got covered in blood. Too cool.

Good day I think.
http://ckuw.ca/cgi-bin/ckuw-gridnew....su nday,17:00


Last night my class was cancelled, so I got to see the Yes Men presentation at the Art Gallery. I was hoping I would see my professor there. These guys are pretty much shit disturbing activists. They make fake websites for companies they hate (Halliburton, Exxon, DOW, World Trade Organization, HUD) then get invited to speak at conferences. They went on the BBC to tell 300 million people that DOW was going to pay 12 billion dollars to compensate the victims of Bhopar (a chemical factory exploded & killed 18,000 people, & has continuously contaminated the area and population since then - 40% of women in the area under 40 have menopause for example). Their stock went down 2 billion dollars that day.

They printed ideal New York Times dated 6 months in the future. It got people talking about how these things we want are within our reach.

See the movie: The Yes Men Fix The World. Very good, very funny. They've never been arrested or beaten up or detained. We are not aware of what we are capable of. What is stopping us?

I don't want to go another day without playing music. I play the drums for hours at a time now.

, Particle.
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Community Radio Holla!
02/12/09 at 10:06 PM by Spiffysthebest
You love Winnipeg.
...but probably don't know it yet.

The Weakerthans, The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Propagandhi, Comeback Kid, Sick City, The Waking Eyes, Subcity Dwellers, The Liptonians, Blue Sky Addicts, Novillero, Nathan, The Perpetrators, Madrigaia, Chic Gamine, Big Dave McLean, Burnthe8track, Old Folks Home, Christine Fellows, Greg MacPherson, Personality Crisis, Voit, Grand Analog, Mood Ruff, The Barrymores, Crash Test Dummys, The Duhks, The Magnificent 7's, Greg Milka Crowe, The Farrell Bos, Electro Quarterstaff, The Ex-Grilfriends, Port Amoral, Jet Set Satellite, KENmode, JP Hoe, Venetian Snares, Luke Doucet, Flying Fox & The Hunter/Gatherers....among many.

We have two campus/community radio stations in the 'Peg - UMFM & CKUW. I am a piece of CKUW.
This week is our Fundrive, which I'm sure many stations have, but I am only involved in this one. It's a way to give back as a listener or volunteer. Basically soliciting for money to oversee the costs of the station.

Our great music community has obliged us by putting together a compilation cd of local bands covering inspirational local bands.

Novillero does Nathan - Trans AM
Charm Collective does Transistor Sound & Lighting Co - Sasparilla
Grand Analog does Vav Jungle - Let's Make Love
Vav Jungle does Neil Pinto - Diapason
Pip Skid does Johnny Sizzle - Motley Crue Love Child
Propagandhi does Global Genocide - FRFP (Fucking Rich Fuck the Poor)
The Gorgon does Personality Crisis - Creatures For Awhile
John K Samson & Rod Slaughter do Voit - Trouble TV
Greg MacPherson does Jared Ozuk - Houses
Nathan does Righteous Ike - Cigarette Song

You can download them free online at ckuw.ca, or call 204-774-6877 to get the cd with a minimum donation of 120$. You can do a payment plan too. The cd has limited copies, so when it's gone it's gone. Fundrive ends tomorrow.

Outrageous?! Maybe. I don't make the rules. I love this station & I'll do my part to keep it running.
At the very least maybe you'll get some good tunes out of it.

Also, if you have a campus station in your area - go say hello. It's the best experience & the people are amazing.

, cowards.
Tags: weakerthans, propagandhi, winnipeg
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