Tag Archives: music

>What the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here.

>Guilt.

I’m partially writing this post out of guilt. Even though, I must confess, that I’ve drank enough beer tonight that I can’t promise that this won’t be full of spelling mistakes and mis-directed ramblings.

Back to the guilt.

I spoke with my moms yesterday. Those who know me, know that my moms is the most important person in my life. Now, this is very uncool, but I don’t have a landline so my moms can’t call me. It is like Korea all over again, yo. But I’ve been cool about calling her. This week when I spoke with her she reminded me about something… I’ve not been blogging.

Apparently my mother, who used to be the coolest mother in the universe, has taken it upon herself to quit Facebook. I KNOW! Who does that? Only my moms. So she’s not privy to all the exciting stuff that has been working its way into my status updates (like my fight with the wardrobe, not to be missed on my Twitter posts).

So, I was talking to my moms last night and she said, “You’ve been neglecting the new blog lately, eh?”

I fear she is right. She’s a mother. The chances are… she is always right. Damn it!

I have been neglecting the blog. I want to update, but I don’t know how to. Life seems to be in limbo at the moment and that doesn’t lead to very exciting stories.

Tonight I went to a gig. Fairly middle of the road. I would have to say what made it most interesting was this: I went to see MONO… a Japanese ambient rock quartet in London as a Canadian with a South African friend. Strangeness.

Stranger still, we had a fairly important conversation (in my opinion) between sets. He mentioned that I have not been home, and that I should go home at some point because I would, at that point, see how things are different because of where I have gone. I may be paraphrasing.

I admitted to something that I don’t think I’ve told anyone else… but now that I’ve let it slip to one person I might as well tell (potentially) the entire world. You know why I haven’t been home? I’m afraid to go home.

Part of the reason for that is entirely shallow, the other is hard to pinpoint. Let’s start with the shallow bit before we tread deeper waters, shall we?

One reason why I’m not in a hurry to head home is this fear that no one will care that I *am* home. If I came home for a couple of weeks (say, for Pam’s wedding next winter), I worry that I’ll send out the word and no one will be able to shift appointments/work/whatever to see me for the limited time that I would be there. “Were you ever gone?” they’d yawn, even though I’d been missing for more than four years at that point.

I know. I KNOW. I know how shallow that is. I shouldn’t have to define who I am by how much I am/would be missed. But part of me can’t help it. I need to be missed. I need to know that I matter to people and that they would be sad if they found out that they could never see me again they would be absolutely devastated. And I’m scared that if I went home I would find out that wasn’t the case. So, yah. That’s the first bit.

The other part is… well. This part is different. Tyran mentioned (he would be my partner in crime during this school night out-and-about and the one who got me thinking about such things) that when you go home you notice that everyone just has continued in their lives, along the paths that you saw them on the last time you saw them. And that now you are someone different. (Or something along those lines…. a. I’m drunk b. I feel that I can take literary liberties when necessary to make my point.)

So, there lies my second fear. Yup. I stepped outside the path I was on. I fucked off to Korea on a whim and didn’t tell too many people. Ended up there for two years. After that, I decided that I needed to move on and instead of moving back to Canader (still the best country in the world, by far) I decide to live in London, England. Why? Because I could.

And am I better off? Am I really doing something else?

I don’t know.

I’m still just going to work in an office every day. I work anonymously in a big city where what I do doesn’t really make a difference. I may have changed here and there but not so much that I’ve rendered myself unrecognisable.

I work. I eat. I… whatever. Wherever you are… whoever you are reading this (if anyone is still reading this drivel), I’m sure your life isn’t all that much different than mine. In fact, you may be more fulfilled and whatever than I am. More… something. I dunno.

And I don’t know why, but this made me think of two very different people. Two girls that I have a lot of respect for. Because they kick ass. Because they helped me form who I am. Because they have both walked a different path than me even though at one point we were close enough that I even lived with each of them (although not at the same time). One, like me, moved far away from home. The other stayed in Canada. And… and I dunno. Again. I dunno. But tonight this train of thought let me to each of them and I want them to know it.

So, tonight I thought about two girls that have meant an awful lot to me (even though I may be shite about showing it). They meant a lot in the day, and whether they know it or not, they mean a lot now.

When I mentioned on Facebook that I was going to see Girl Talk, both of them commented. Obviously, both of them listen to this particular DJ. And I was thinking of them tonight… thinking about paths… and thinking about how it doesn’t matter where you are… because wherever you are… there you are.

My life in London is not more glamorous and exciting than anyone else’s life. Tonight I was once again surprised at how comfortable I was getting on the train from King’s Cross to Old Street, and then walking (music pumping on my iPhone “mug me” earphones) from Old Street to Hoxton Street (through N1, not London’s nicest borough). This is life. I live in London and it isn’t any better or worse than living anywhere else. It just is.

And because I want to give props to the girls I thought of tonight… Andrea…. I’m so freaking happy for you. I love your blog – it shows the extent of your wit and intelligence and I miss you more than I could ever say. And Heather… you were the only one who got the Radiohead lyric that I was feeling right, and you got it right way. I miss you too, and I can’t wait to see you in May.

Sometimes I feel very lonely here, even though I’ve made some absolutely kick-ass friends. Because it isn’t home. And although I miss home, I’m afraid to go there because I worry (hopefully unnecessarily) about how I may not be missed as much as I miss it sometimes. I think about Korea, and the amazing people I met there.

Where’s this entry going? Absolutely fucking nowhere. I just… I just don’t know. I’m so uncertain right now about where I am and where I might be going that I just… don’t know. But in the meantime, I hope to make the most of it and kick some ass. Because I have a funny feeling that in the end that is all we really have in life at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter where you are… all that matters is that you made the most out of what life handed to you.

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>The hardest thing I’ve ever done (and I probably did it wrong)

>One of my new coworkers (I’ll post soon about my yummy new job) asked if everyone would send their top 10 tracks of all time.

Clearly, he’s a madman.

Who could pick only ten songs? I can hardly settle on ten bands. Ten genres… maybe. This ended up being a difficult exercise. I realised that I couldn’t pick my ten favourites, because some of the stuff I like is a bit inaccessible. The list would also only have four bands and I would probably cry apologetically as I made cuts to the list like a cruel beauty pageant judge when all the contestants are amazing.

After doing some hyperventilative breathing into a paperbag, I decided I would just have to go ahead and choose ten songs; never mind that it was causing me pain akin to sawing off limbs with a rusty ol’ saw. I mean, this guy was looking to expand his musical horizons and I support that.

With sincere apologies to every other amazing song in the universe for the whole of history… these were my top ten recommended tracks:

01. Radiohead – Pyramid Song*
02. Pearl Jam – Given to Fly
03. Sigur Ros – Staralfur
04. The National – Secret Meeting
05. The Tragically Hip – Bobcaygeon**
06. Fleet Foxes – Sun It Rises
07. The Beatles – Blackbird
08. Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into the Dark
09. Andrew Bird – Imitosis
10. Reindeer Section – You are my Joy***

That’s the list. And you know what? I did that last Sunday and I wouldn’t send the same list next weekend. There is just too much good music out there… I may have to provide the next ten if he says he likes any of these ones. Mmmmmm…. musiclious.

*I would have chosen “Talk Show Host”… but I wanted to avoid B-sides
**There HAD to be a Canadian track on the list, eh?
***When someone limits you to just ten picks, always include one that secretly hides at least a good dozen artists within the one Scottish super-band name.

>I’m either not cool at all… or too cool for words

>
I still have a Hotmail account, although I haven’t sent mail from it in ages and I’m trying to encourage people to use my Gmail account instead. However, because not everyone is aware of my Gmail account, I still check Hotmail daily to see if there are any interesting goodies in there. Usually, there is nothing.

My Hotmail welcome page is usually full of “news” that I couldn’t care less about – stuff about Paris Hilton’s new BFF (who she’s already ditching, apparently) or which celebs have had surgery on their faces (even the Hoff has had work done… what sort of world are we raising our children in?!?). But today the main article actually caught my attention: “Most Anticipated Albums of 2009”.

I like music! I like anticipation! This article should have been the greatest thing ever. It wasn’t.

First of all, it reminded me about how dumbed-down everything has to be for the general populous. There were no general band reviews here, no speculation of what sort of new directions the bands might be headed on, nothing. Nothing but a photo, a name, a date and an album name. At best… because some of them don’t even have dates or names. Ace. It is a list of music for dumb people who can’t actually read.

Secondly, are they serious?? These are the most anticipated albums of 2009? If this is true, then we are in for a shit year of music, friends and neighbours. Now, I realise that I can be a bit of a… well, snob seems like the right word… snob about music. Elitist. I think… no… no, I know my tastes are far superior to the average person (that doesn’t sound snobby, does it?). But STILL. I mean, look at this list:

10. Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You

Clever. I’m sure I’ve already seen that on a t-shirt somewhere so Lily doesn’t even have to have her own concert tees printed. She can just order them from OneHorseShy.

09. K-Os – Yes!

That “Yes!” is not me commenting on K-Os’ new album. Apparently that’s the name of it.

08. Keith Urban

Who?

07. Chris Cornell – Scream

Some people should stop making music. I would nominate Chris Cornell for the list, but then what would all the little douchebags out there listen to when they are feeling all “moody”? Poor things.

06. K’Naan – Troubadour

Again: who?

05. U2 – No Line on The Horizon

Now, I won’t diss U2 even though I do feel like Bono would be painfully uncool to hang out with. But these guys are legend in their own right. I just haven’t listened to any of their music since Achtung Baby because…well, because it hasn’t been any good since then. Having said that though, I would go see them live. I’ve heard tell those lads put on a great show.

04. Depeche Mode – Sounds of the Universe

I’m sure it’s ironic-cool to like Depeche Mode but I’m going to go out on a limb here and just say no. No to Depeche Mode and their playability on soft rock stations around the world. (Confession: I thought that I liked a few of their songs when I was like, 12, so I looked up their singles on Wikipedia. I didn’t know any of them. Turns out I was thinking about Duran Duran. I’m actually a loser. Now I’m not sure at all what they sound like… is that snarky remark about soft rock stations applicable to Depeche Mode? Whatevs… I’m leaving it.)

03. Kelly Clarkson – All I Ever Wanted

No.

02. The Fray – The Fray

Don’t make me say “who?” again. Do any of you guys listen to The Fray? Are they any good? I’m afraid to go to last.fm and give them a listen just in case they suck so badly I lose my will to live. Can someone else risk losing a few minutes of their life and let me know how they sound?

01. Franz Ferdinand – Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

I know. I know that a lot of people like Franz Ferdinand. But I don’t. I never have. The only time any of their music has been listened to on purpose in my home was in Korea when Brendan found it necessary to pollute my iTunes with his music. I just don’t get why they are so popular. I don’t get it.

Now, I do understand that some of you may like these particular bands (although I’m hoping not enough to be “anticipating” with bated breath their next release)… some of them you will sincerely enjoy (perhaps U2 or Franz Ferdinand) others with a bit of guilt because you know how painfully uncool it is to listen to their music (Kelly Clarkson) and I’m sorry if I’ve insulted you. Lord knows my taste in music ranges the gambit from completely-awesome to are-you-serious? so I really shouldn’t get all superior about it.

But as I sit here listening to my first three albums of 2009 (Bon Iver – Blood Bank EP, Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Antony & The Johnsons – The Crying Light) I can’t help but feel rather detached from the average Hotmail user. And I think that even if some of you like a few of the bands listed above, there has to be other bands that are releasing albums this year that are more deserving of being on a “most anticipated album” list. So… what do you guys think? What albums are supposed to be out this year that you can’t wait to get your grubby little hands on?

>Without music, life would be a mistake

>I’ve complained about Nietzsche before. I didn’t like the book I read of his and really I think he is too smart for his own good. Besides, there is something really… snooty about quoting Nietzsche, is there not? But still, when the man has something great to say (like the title of this post) I can’t help but steal it and repeat it.

But this is not another post about my issues with Mr. Nietzsche (do you think he ever invited anyone to call him just “Fred” or “Rick”? I bet not.) and how inferior intellectually (side note and a true story… I just spelled both “inferior” AND “intellectually” incorrectly and Blogger had to fix it for me – I rule!) he makes me feel.

No, no. This is a post about music.

Now, those who know me well know I have… well, a thing for music. If music was a boy, I would marry it. And before I left home for uncharted waters (they aren’t really uncharted, it is just that Korea and Japan can’t agree what to call it) I used to go to live shows. A lot.

I only saw one concert in Korea and my soul died a little (even thought that show was Muse and they are an amazing live act). Now that I’m in London you would think I’d be rocking all the live shows, but the truth is that I haven’t been focusing enough on my extracurricular activities (read: other than drinking). But that’s going to change in the near future, I tells ya.

Last week I applied for a job with a company called Songkick. And here’s the cool thing… even if I don’t get hired (I’m hoping like mad to get hired… if you know any voodoo or have any other cool powers, see what you can do about influencing the fates for me on this one…) I’m still hyper-glad I found their website. Because it kicks ass.

Normally I wouldn’t encourage people to navigate away from my blog… this is the one spot on all the interwebs that I have any power. Or something. But in this case, I’ll make an exception. If you like live music at all, check out www.songkick.com. These guys are trying to make going to shows as easy as going to the movies. How could you not support that?

So, go check it out, bookmark it and maybe even set up a profile. That way these guys will even email your ass about your favourite bands’ tour dates as well as recommend other shows you might appreciate. And that’s a whole bowl of awesome.

>Music I like (Animal Collective edition)

>I’ve been listening to the new Animal Collective album for the last week and I’m really digging it. That doesn’t mean that I’m not too lazy (or that I am smart enough) to write a real review of it like the good folks at Pitchfork would do.

Jodi’s review of
Animal Collective’s
Merriweather Post Pavilion
I like it. Check it out.
End of review.

>Sigur Ros in London

>My one word review would have to be: wow.

The concert was stunning. Sigur Ros played at Alexandra Palace (a 135 year old palace with lovely views) last night and it was a great show. Their sound was perfect and they did a great job of staging it.

At one point they used a curtain of water in front of the band. I’m sure you’ve seen this sort of effect used somewhere – I hesitate to call it a waterfall – it looks like rain. But heavy rain. A curtain of heavy rain. But what was so cool is that they lit the band from behind so that their shadows were cast onto the curtain of rain. So lovely.

If you aren’t familiar with how Sigur Ros’ music sounds, you should check it out. They could have played in a a black room and it still would have been one of the best concerts I have ever attended. Their music is haunting and uplifting at the same time, like hearing people sing in church with their hands open to the sky.

Or like hearing a child sing at a funeral, but instead of making you sad the sound of it gives you hope.

>I Songs

>I recently mentioned on Facebook that I was busy listening to all the I songs on my iPhone. I’m sure I have more in my iTunes than on my phone, but there was still more than I really thought there would be. Stefanie asked if any of them were good. They are alllll good, babies! Here’s the list of them… I have nothing better to blog about.

I – Andrew Bird
I’ll Be Gone – Tom Waits
I’ll Shoot The Moon – Tom Waits
I’ll Take New York – Tom Waits
I’m The Ocean – Neil Young
I’m Your Late Night Evening Prostitute – Tom Waits
I’ve Seen It All – Bjork & Thom Yorke
I & # 8217 (Subtle Mix) – Ms. John Soda
I Am a Wicked Child – Radiohead
I Am Citizen Insane – Radiohead
I Can’t – Radiohead
I Do Dig a Certain Girl – Devendra Banhart
I don’t Know What I Can Save You From – Kings of Convenience
I Don’t Wanna Grow Up – Tom Waits
I Feel Like a Child – Devendra Banhart
I Go To The Barn Because I Like The – Band of Horses
I Guess I’ll Take Care – Midlake
I Just Had To Die – The Knife
I Lost My Bodyweight in the Forest – Midlake
I Love That Man – Devendra Banhart
I Might Be Wrong – Radiohead
I Might Be Wrong (acoustic) – Radiohead
I Need All The Friends I Can Get – Camera Obscura
I Shot The Sheriff – Bob Marley & The Wailers
I Summon You – Spoon
I Think It Could Work, Marylin – Ms. John Soda
I Turn My Camera On – Spoon
I Want None of This – Radiohead
I Want You – Kings of Leon
I Want You – Tom Waits
I Was A Lover – TV on the Radio
I Was Meant For The Stage – The Decemberists
I Will – Radiohead
I Will Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie
I Will Possess Your Heart – Death Cab for Cutie
Ice Cream Man – Tom Waits
Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
The Ice is Getting Thinner – Death Cab for Cutie
Ides of Swing – Andrew Bird
Idioteque – Radiohead
If Looks Could Kill – Camera Obscura
If Someone Would Know – Ms. John Soda
Imitosis – Andrew Bird
In a Cave – Tokyo Police Club
In a Radio Song – Okkervil River
In Between Love – Tom Waits
In Limbo – Radiohead
In Niel – Devendra Banhart
In the Annexe – Boards of Canada
In the Back Seat – The Arcade Fire
In the Clouds – Tex la Homa
In the Colosseum – Tom Waits
In the Deep Shade – The Frames
In the Devil’s Territory – Sufjan Stevens
In the Lord’s Arms – Ben Harper
In the Morning of the Magicians – The Flaming Lips
In This Camp – Midlake
Index Moon – Grand Archives
India Rubber – Radiohead
The Infanta – The Decemberists
The Infinite Pet – Spoon
Infrared – Arab Strap
Inni Mer Syngur Vitleysingur – Sigur Ros
Innocent When You Dream – Tom Waits
Inside My Head – Radiohead
The Insider – Gustavo Santaolalla
Insistor – Tapes ‘n Tapes
Interlude – Tom Waits
Intimate Secretary – The Raconteurs
Into the Sea – The Album Leaf
Into the Void – Nine Inch Nails
Into the Woods – My Morning Jacket
Intro – Sigur Ros
IOU – Metric
Is This Love – Bob Marley & The Wailers
The Island: Come & See/The Landlord’s Daughter/You’ll Not Feel the Drowning – The Decemberists
Isn’t It Appropriate That Way – Ghost Stories
Israel – Miles Davis
It’s OK – Pearl Jam
It’s Summertime – The Flaming Lips
It Beats For You – My Morning Jacket
It Covers the Hillsides – Midlake
It Covers the Hillsides (acoustic) – Midlake

Phew! So much music-y goodness in just one letter of the alphabet!