Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Digging for yukon gold.

If you think your kitchen cupboards are a cool, dry, and most importanly, safe place to toss your tubers... think again.

Small growths I can understand, but when my spuds are swimming in a cesspool of toxic sludge, it's time to do away with my dinner-turned-science experiment in the only civil method possible―hurling them off the balcony.

Bon appetit, neighbours!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

If you like BJs,

then you should read this.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oh-bama (the obligatory inaugural post)

Today was a good day―and that doesn't just mean I got to eat free samosas.

I walked into class today with plans to drivel at the feet of my Critical Issues prof, begging him to end class early on account of a historical event which all journalists should be required to witness. To my delight, the prof had the same plan.

So I and a herd of journalists-to-be headed over to the Student Centre where we were greeted with pins, refreshements and big, big screens. The president-elect's face was plastered around the room, always portrayed staring into the sky as if god was personally dictating his each and every action. There was the clich├ęd thick air of excitement in the room―but that may have been because volunteers were laying out trays and trays of wings and deep-fried plantains on a nearby table. 

When Obama first walked onto the widescreen, the students paid their collective respects through whooping and cheering, myself included. Aretha Franklin came in and sang her song, but no one really heard anything due to her deafeningly loud headwear. No, seriously, did she pick that off the top of the last year's Macy's Christmas Tree? That girl's got balls.

Wardrobe cuts aside, while Obama's (somewhat shaky) inauguration made me happy and hopeful, full of glee and giddyness, it sparked another distinct emotion.  

Obama's inauguration and subsequent speech today turned me emerald with envy. Why? Because Canucks like me have to live vicariously through our big brother, the U.S. (Although I'm half-American, I can't only consider myself "one of them" when they do something good*. I've lived in Canada since I was born and can't justify calling myself anything else―yet.) And if any of you are the youngest child, or simply have the over-achieving older sib with a barrage of accomplishments you can never live up to, you know that it plain and simple sucks. We have a leader whose economic policy disagrees with that of every other forward-thinking nation in the world, who prorogues parliament (which I see as a hold on anything democratic), and possesses a head-tilt-and-smile routine that only a child molester in-the-making could have (politically incorrect, yes, but who ever said I couldn't be?). The one time in recent memory where Canadian politics got interesting, the good guys ruined it with a cell-phone quality piece of youtube crap which had more people focused on the leader's library and less-than-desirable accent. I'm not saying I want George W. to pack his parka and move north to stir up some shit and maple syrup in Ottawa, but can't we have some change to believe in too? We're far happier to cheer for an American man that we are any Canadian leader―'cause well, our head honchos just don't change much at all. No one's making a killing selling iconic Harper pins and t-shirts.

In the same year that whites, blacks, potentially-terrorist Muslims and everything in between chanted, "Yes, we can," under Obama's charismatic leadership, more Canadians shuttered their doors and stayed inside than taking a few steps out to vote in some national election. We ended up with a minority Conservative government. Ho-hum. 

Do people even care enough about Canadian government to make a noteworthy response if that kind of a powerful leader were to step up to the podium? 

If I were a politician, I'd do something about it, seriously.

But since I'm a bored, aspiring Canadian journalist, maybe it's high time I make like a bird and migrate south, 'cause in Candian politics, well―maybe we can't. 

*That is, unless Jeopardy closes admission to Canadians. If so, I will toss my Canadian passport and wave hello to the stripes and stars in a second.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Their music has always been manna for critics, and milk and honey for weird indie kids (the kind who actually like the wacked-out experimental sounds they're supposed to listen to). And to the average listener, it sounds like sugar-happy toddlers unleashed on a keyboard loaded with trippy samples, animal sounds, and wobbly vocal mods. 

Last year I winced and pulled my hood over my ears at their music sound "experimentation" onstage at Rogers picnic.

But this time around, everyone's getting merry about their new collection. Two weeks in and its already the best album of the year―and don't be surprised if it holds its ground for another eleven and a half months.

This time around the post, the crazed combines with the conventional to create a masterpiece accessible enough for the open-minded radio listener, clear and sunny enough for the well-weathered ear, and still innovative enough to make dryest critics drip with excitement.

As for the album, I grant you three guesses. (Clue: the hint's in the puns. You know me, you know my lust for the lowliest form of literary musing.)

1, 2,... 3.

I've always liked Animal Collective (their studio work at the least), but sometimes their sounds are too, er, animalistic for me to corral. I'd file them away in the "experimental" section of my iTunes and hope one day my music tastes matured enough to appreciate the layers and the levels. 

Now, I don't have to. Finally, the collective has reached the perfect balancing point, the place where experiment and audible melody work harmoniously together, where inventions come from actual intentions, and where their "music" (which I might have just named "noise" pre-M.P.P.) is truly good music. And that is why this album is, and probably still will be, to the critics and the common folk, the best album of 2008. Shit. 2009.*

*That is, unless any of the following bands reunite and/or release an album on or before December 31, 2009: TV on the Radio, Radiohead, Wilco, or the Beach Boys**.