Thursday, October 07, 2010

The CL

In response to the trees being taken down and my first reaction to their defenders. The defenders who I support wholeheartedly but can never take seriously.

I feel it's unfortunate that so many good causes are turned to jokes. These folks mean well, I wish their causes worked out. Those causes are my causes. But I've learned that most of my dreams for a better world will be turned into a joke living in a dusty and possibly expensive house with ugly clothes and a vague grasp of eastern religions and native american phrases who clutter public meetings with monologues that parallel how long they've stayed in the house talking to themselves or the similarly afflicted. It makes the world seem like a sick joke. These are the decent folk. But they make heartless and/or incompetent bureaucrats look capable. They make vicious, life-hating conservatives look pragmatic.

Sitting in circles.

Friday, March 05, 2010


[If you are not a sports or hockey fan, forget this post]

Just to close up that last post, I just wanted to say that it's ok.

At least it was okay when I saw USA goalie Ryan Miller smiling giddily (in the middle of the picture) with his silver medal and iPhone at the closing ceremonies later in the evening.

In general, I can't really get angry at the Canadians. They put on a great show with an immensely talented team. Something about Canada appeals to the good-natured and humble side of me. (And the part that understands that universal healthcare works more than a handful of filtered stories about how it doesn't. that's the great thing about the free market mentality here, they get guaranteed quality health care, we get fear and overpriced anecdotes).

Perhaps it's because I wasn't around for the heyday of the heated Boston Bruins - Montreal Canadiens rivalry. All the anti-Canadian sentiment I've seen in my life always seemed dumb, contrived, and radically misinformed. Canadians are basically like us, just more calm and polite, right? Ah stereotypes.

Besides, if you play by the fan rules, I'm technically not supposed to be supporting players like Ryan Miller. He plays for Buffalo, a division rival to the Bruins! Oh my god. So it (like all sports super-fandom) is all silly.

Anyway. Watching Team USA was incredibly exciting and a rewarding watch. In spite of the games driving away everyone else in the house, I was glued to the TV. When the US played Canada in the preliminary game, I was shocked and incredibly thrilled by the USA victory with Ryan Miller in goal. USA earned that victory. Earned by the mostly non-superstars (at least non- Sidney Crosby) of Parise (Devils), Kane (Chicago), Malone (Lightning), and wow Rafalski (Red Wings).

Still, in the gold medal game, as much as I wanted the USA to win I knew I wouldn't be crushed by a Canadian win. As long as the US put in a good fight and they certainly did. When one of my favorites Zach Parise scored the tying goal at the end of regulation, I jumped out of my seat.

Then in overtime came the Canadian victory. However, it contained the one thing I hated. Sidney Crosby scoring the winning goal. The Canadians had stood out to me more for the play of folks like Getzlaf (Ducks) , Iginla (Flames), Toews (Blackhawks), Heatley (Sharks). Crosby had a high point total, but he didn't really stick out like those guys. But the poster boy scored the poster goal....

but who cares. It's good for hockey. It was a great game. I'm very proud of Team USA's performance and USA vs Canada parts 1 and 2 will always be remembered for their intensity.

Now I go back to my sorry state of being a conflicted fan of both the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils.

One more thing, I couldn't understand the whole thing of deriding Canada on their medals performance in the overall Winter Olympics. They took the most gold medals, which means they won the most events. Going with the USA! USA! mentality, I find it really un-American that we are excited about not winning first place more times than Canada.

Unfortunately, now I'm stuck in Olympic withdrawal.

I was humming "O Canada" for days after.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


The climax of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. me excited.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Elevato 2009 pt. 2

I forgot to add some more faves to the previous post. I figure a whole new post would be easier than constantly adding stuff to an already posted thing. I'll either keep adding things to the end here or make a new post.

Part 1 is HERE

Fever Ray: "When I Grow Up"

When I Grow Up from Fever Ray on Vimeo.
One-half of The Knife, Karin Dreijer Andersson, broke out to be Fever Ray. The beautiful and pretty weird and synthy sounds with processed vocals are still there, but becoming more creepy and intense. Awesome! It was hard to pick out a Fever Ray track for this, but i let the line "When I grow up, I want to be a forester / Run through the moss on high heels" guide me. This track is relatively playful with lyrics indicating a mind growing restless with being in a house alone that's taken a life of its own in her mind. I highly recommend checking out her other videos from the Vimeo link above. The videos run from weird to creepy to scary. So good!

Neko Case: "This Tornado Loves You"

Neko has an amazing voice, which is never in doubt. The lyrics with their metaphor is spot-on. It makes me okay to end this brief description by saying: Neko Case is a force of nature. duh.

The xx: "You Got the Love" (Florence + The Machine cover/remix)

The song has a long history, sung originally by Candi Staton and THE SOURCE, winding its way through different versions and remixes since the 1970s. Wikipedia and Pitchfork can shed some light on it. I was introduced to the Now Voyager version of the song through the finale of the Sex and the City HBO series (yeah, i admit it, and it kinda made me tear up. dammit). It is an effective dancefloor filler because while the lyrics have religious overtones, they are easily transferable to reflections on strained relationships leading to dancefloor catharsis. Florence + The Machine covered this last year, staying pretty faithful to the sentiment and drama of the original. The video portraying her as a diva in Studio 54 testifying to her flock. The xx remix and cover this using their "sexy, smooth, understated" vocal style and minimal 2-step garage beats. I'm also a bit amused at what could be conceived as their lampooning of Florence's rather self-important vocals and music video.

Memory Tapes: "Bicycle"

(You can go to their MySpace page and listen to it straight up. There is no official video for the song, the only thing that comes close is this dance routine I found).
The guy behind Memory Tapes definitely knows which buttons to push to make joyful dance music. You can hear everything from David Byrne to New Order as the track builds up and coasts into a mesmerizing sunset.

Fuck Buttons: "Surf Solar"

(this is a 3:45 minute edit of the full 10+ minute experience).
What a great title. The slow burn of the synths pushing the samples along makes you feel like you're surfing the electromagnetic field of the sun which you are able to feel while buffeted with distorted radio signals from Earth. Which your translate into sound. A great marriage of noise with house rhythms.

jj: "Ecstasy"

Swedish act jj's A great reworking of Lil Wayne's "Lollipop" as a tribute to taking ecstasy. Bienvenido a Miamiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.............

Joy Orbison: "Hyph Mngo"

Was one of my favorite dance tracks (apparently it's dubstep. i would not have been able to pick that out). Just like "Surf Solar" above, this track was amazing how you can feel like the whole of the track through its splintered and stuttering parts. The beats and a Janet Jackson(?) sample keep the heart of the track beating.

While the video for their track "BRKLN CLLN" (DOLDRUMS)" was one of my favorite videos. I have memories of these parades from when I was 4-5 years old. Freak the hell out of me. I might as well have been tripping.

Basement Jaxx: "Raindrops" (possibly NSFW)

Yay! Welcome back, guys.

Smith Westerns: "Be My Girl"

Lo-Fi, but not putting their levels in the red. You have to turn up the volume. It kind of annoyed me. Still, they take advantage of the fidelity by making the song sound like a 50's rock orchestral masterpiece covered by T.Rex. that you have to pick through the fuzz.

and for some pop trash that I can't really justify but was an effective earworm:
Cascada: "Evacuate the Dancefloor"

It's really the chorus that ingrains itself. The Germanic insistence of the slightly nonsensical lyrics. Featuring MC Carlprit (get it? Carlprit). Europop continuing its never ending insistence on inserting a German rapper who sounds funny rapping in English, whether by accent or lyric. "Yo lady! yo baby!"