Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots

It's kind of weird having people you don't keep in contact with at all or know well at all on Facebook. It can be awesome; like a person who you were never really friends with but knew well-enough as an acquaintance that it would've made you seem like a dick if you didn't accept their friend request. Generally, there is a reason you never became good friends with them: They suck. That is where "awesome" comes in, when they pop up every now and then on your newsfeed it's pretty hilarious to see their profile and remind yourself how much they suck.

That makes me sound like a tremendous dick, doesn't it? You know you all fucking do it too.

Sometimes it sucks, like when a person you barely know posts so much shit that your entire newsfeed is made up of them posting pictures of themselves in the mirror before they leave for school. Then again, this is usually easily remedied as they quickly get blocked.

Anyways Tim, why are you mentioning all of this glorious shinfo? It's because recently a girl who I worked with a few summers ago posted a link to her tumblr on Facebook. Being the lazy and procrastinating person that I am, I clicked on it. She was also a total dumb-valley girl type (Wow, I really am a tremendous dick.) who I wouldn't think to have any cool interests. I am a masochist so I clicked on it to put myself through the intense emotional pain of seeing her blog. Unsurprisingly, it was mostly pictures she took of herself. Often in shirts to show off her boobs, or turning around to adequately show off the junk residing in her trunk.

The first thing I thought was "Jesus Christ, that is the most ridiculously vain thing I have ever seen in my life!" And let's get real, it is pretty fucking vain. I don't even find her attractive, but I guess she drives the bros wild and it seems like she just posts the pictures in order to receive compliments on them about how pretty everyone thinks she is. That's a high level of self-interest.

But then I thought "How is my blog any different?" I mean obviously mine isn't all pictures of myself, but mine is all me writing about what I think, things that I like, music I like, stories from MY life. How is that any less self-interested than her blog? The reason I started it is definitely to have a place to throw all the shit that races through my head (That lack of pre-meditation results in incredibly well thought-out and syntax-rich posts like this one.), but am I going to act like I don't like receiving unsuspecting positive comments about this blog from people. Nah man.

I guess what I'm getting at is that it's really easy to jump all over people when at the same time we're usually guilty of many of the same things. And nobody like a hypocrite. Obviously there are people who are just that terrible and deserve to be ripped on, but it also seems like you can make the case that someone doesn't suck too hard for everyone.

I guess it boils down to what is better: Boobs and asses or writing and music?

Tough call, you guys.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gnawsome (adj):
Something that is both gnarly and awesome.

Re: Pop Music that Doesn't Suck

One of the best bands in Southern Ontario right now:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Frozen Over, First In Line

Does anyone else have a favourite T-shirt? I do.

Mine is my Descendents "All" shirt. I've had it for a few years now and it's pretty worn in. There a few pretty bad bleach stains and the logo is peeling pretty bad in some places, but I still wear it all the time anyways. I (obviously) associate it with how much I love the band and putting it on always gives me a nice "homey" feeling. People always ask me if All is my favourite Descendents album when I wear and it's definitely not (Everything Sucks, c'mon people). The main reason I bought it is because it was the only brightly coloured shirt they had in their store at the time (I don't wear black very much, I like to stick out). I also like it because All was the first LP I ever bought and have since become a "record collector" (In that I buy records when I have money, but still have a pretty modest collection).

Anyways, I figured it wouldn't be completely uncommon for people to have a favourite article of clothing. I'm going to throw up some of my favourite memories I've in this shirt because this is the most self-interested blog on the face of the earth. Also, maybe people can relate to it a little bit if they have favourite shit as well.

I'm pretty sure this was the first time I ever wore the shirt, but it was around 3 years ago so my memory is a little hazy. The girl I was seeing at the time came to visit me for a night in Guelph. She had friends in town who were having a party that night so we figured we would swing by quickly. We showed up and were immediately out of place. The theme for the party was "dress classy" so everybody was in suits and pretty fancy dresses. We, in contrast, were in a Descendents t-shirt and a tank top. It was pretty adorable.

I wore the shirt to the second of blink-182's two shows in Toronto during their reunion tour. I knew everyone in the band were huge Descendents fans (you can't listen to Dude Ranch and not think "Side 2 of I Don't Want To Grow Up") so I figured I might get a few compliments from old blink fans. Man, I'm a idiot. I did have a dream that Mark saw me in the crowd and complimented me on it after the show though.

I also wore the shirt when I went to go see The Bouncing Souls and Off With Their Heads in Guelph two years ago. That was a really fun show and the start to a really fun and extremely drunk weekend. Cool beans man.

Two summers ago The Suicide Machines played a reunion show in Detroit. Though they've played a bunch since then, at the time we weren't sure if it was ever going to happen again. My friend Party Pat and I got our tickets and drive down, just the two of us. At the time it was the most lengthy road trip we had taken for a show. Now, to understand why this is important this is to me, you need to understand how much I love road trips. They are among my favourite things on earth. This is probably because I don't know how to drive, so I'm usually sitting shot-gun. This one was absolutely great. I also happened to be wearing my good ol' Descendents T-shirt to the show, so I had it on for the entire road trip.

I was wearing it at a Polar Bear Club show earlier this year. I was wearing it under a green plaid shirt and the singer of one of the bands on the bill wearing an All shirt under a green shirt. He came up, made note of the situation and then we geeked out about how cool it was that Chad Price is doing guest vocals on his record.

So I guess all my memories of the shirt were just times I wore it to shows? Whatever, that's pretty much my life in a nutshell anyways.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Have A New Mustache

Just like last year, I'm going to be doing "Movember" this year for charity.

Now, "No-Shave November" and "Movember" have been around for awhile as something that's fun to do with your buddies, but recently a Movember charity was started in Australia as a way to raise money for prostate cancer research. It's easy: Start growing a 'stache on November 1st and accept donations along the way.

I, like most, have been personally affected by cancer a bunch. It's one thing to say "Yea, cancer sucks." but it's another thing when your Mom is going in to get a tumor removed and you're worried if she's going to survive or not. No matter how serious each particular case is, they should not exist. Cancer is way too easy to get and way too hard to get rid. Losing people you care about is the worst thing in the world and cancer is pretty good at making that happen.

So, my Movember page is here. Any donations would be greatly appreciated and it's for a great cause.

Even better! If you would like to join in on Movember please, by all means, join my team! You can do that here. Together we can hopefully kick prostate square in the dick so hard that it won't get back up again.

So it's win/win. On one hand you get an absolutely beautiful 'stache covering your upper lip. On the other hand, you get to help put an end to one of the worst fucking things that exists on earth.

Please donate or join!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fest, Fest, Fest

Leaving for The Fest tomorrow. Holy moly am I ever stoked:

I could actually go on forever. Holy Fuck.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Once again, I'm entering into this with pretty much no idea of what I'm going to write. This is clearly a recipe for success and by success I mean posts that don't really have any sort of central theme and I essentially only write for the purpose of putting something on this blog to make me feel better about neglecting it.

Cool, I've already been at the library for 7 hours today and I'm probably going to stay for about 3-4 more. It's not that I have a huge load of things due in school at the moment, but I'm going to The Fest next week which puts a hole in my schedule that I have to work around. As a result I'm doing a huge 180 in character development and doing assignments before they're due. What the hell?

Well, Fest is clearly something to talk about. It's a giant punk festival in Gainesville, Florida that takes place on Halloween weekend every year. By giant, I mean fucking giant. There are actually so many bands that I'm not going to go count them now because it would actually take forever and be a huge pain in the ass. Maybe 200? Over three days all in venues all around Gainesville. This isn't 300 bands over three days on a ton of outdoor stages. This is punk rock dudes from all over the world getting together to see awesome bands and drink shitty beer and have an awesome time for three days.

This thing is a pretty big deal in the punk world (Like to the extent that almost every band organizes their touring schedule around it every year) and it's my first time going.

Colour me stoked!

I'm going to get to see some American friends I haven't seen for way too long and see almost every one of my favourite bands. Literally. Less Than Jake, Bomb The Music Industry!, Against Me!, We Are The Union, A Wilhelm Scream, Teenage Bottlerocket, etc. The list actually does go on so long that it would be stupid for me to type it all out because nobody would actually read the entire thing. It's really awesome that this thing has gotten as big as it has, because every band that matters plays it every year.

Like I said, it does put a pretty huge hole in my school schedule, but in the best way. Leave at 10 on Wednesday on an overnight bus to Buffalo, fly out of Buffalo at 7 am to get into Orlando at 9:30 am. Then a bus to Gainesville at 11:30. The way back is even worse. So bad that I haven't memorized it and don't want to think about how much it is going to suck doing it hungover and probably running on Mexican food and about 4 hours of sleep for the weekend.

But like I said, I am really, REALLY STOKED.

I'll definitely do a write-up about it when I get back.

Hmm, oh yes!

My friends Tanner, Ken and I started a new blog, On My Scraper Bike! It's going to be a variety of things, but I think my main purpose on it is going to be posting mixtapes I make! I'm super stoked about this for a variety of reasons. One, I really like to make playlists, as I'm sure most music-lovers do. Two, I like to show people those playlists. Three, I get to design the covers and make them really stupid! I think it's going to be a really rad blog though and really excited about it.

I guess as a result I'll probably post less about music on here, seeing as I'm putting music up there pretty much all the time. So less youtube videos with me explaining why I like the song, more playlist downloads with me explaining why I like the songs! Friends who don't like the same music as me, ARE YOU STOKED YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ THAT SHIT ANYMORE?

Cool beans no? I've even already made some posts on it, so checking it out (and maybe even downloading my mixes? Eh? Hint? EH?) would make me a pretty stoked dude.

I guess that's all for now, back to reading about some old Venetian fuck who painted boobs and shit.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Whenever somebody ever asks me to tell them a story or event, this is always the first thing I think. It is hands down my favourite anecdote and think some parts of it are pretty funny. Definitely never going to forget it and not just because of the scars I still have from it.

So here it goes:

Like I mentioned in my story about my high school band, The Pragmatics, my friends and I used to party in Warden Woods ravine ALL THE TIME in high school. Nobody's house would ever be open and this was kind of the most convenient places considering where everyone lived. So at this party (Now that I think about it, it was the first one I ever went to.) my friend Paul and I were (obviously) pretty drunk and talking about going skating. He mentioned that the other day he had been out with his girlfriend and found a giant hill that he rode down a few times on his bike. We both concluded that we should go skate the hill with our friend Damien as soon as possible. I even said (hilariously now, in hindsight) "I hope I bail".

So a few days later we met up to go find a place to skate and then try to find the hill. It took us a little bit of searching through residential side streets, but eventually we found what we were looking for. I jokingly pushed hard and hauled as right into (the entrance was curved) but pulled up as soon as I saw it.

This thing is fucking massive. I haven't been to it in a few years, but I would estimate that the incline/whatever/you know what the fuck I'm talking about is roughly 400m long. The top quarter is very steep and it gets progressively less steep as you go. The bottom curves left, easing into a very long and straight residential street. Minus the possibility of a car hauling ass up the hill to hit you, the hill is pretty much the ideal for hitting and just bombing.

Sidenote: This is seriously my favourite part of skating. It could be because I am about as far as you can get from being a technically gifted skater, but hitting a hill and just going really fast on my skateboard is one of my favourite things on earth.

Our strategy was to start at a relatively low part of the hill and work our way up on each successive run. This worked great. Even going from 2/3 of the way down the hill, you still went REALLY FAST. This was happening around the end of June. Being high school students, we were done for the year but elementary schools were still in session, which meant our neighborhood was still pretty empty. Also, it being the end of June meant that it was really hot out, so we opted to take our shirts off because we were sweating so much.

SO, I took off my shirt and tucked it into the back of my checkerboard shorts, with most of it hanging out. This is definitely up there as one of the dumbest things I've done in my life. Paul and Damien went first (We would stagger ourselves so we wouldn't be all be beside each while going down, because that is super fucking dangerous.) with me going last.

Also adding this in here because I don't really know where else to put it, but sometime during the course of this we named the hill "The Poo Hill".

By this point we had gotten about 2/3-3/4 of the way up the hill. This meant that we really getting up there in speed. I'd guess about 20kph? This could be skewed for obvious reason though. So pretty early in this run I thought I felt my shirt fall out of my shorts and for some completely asinine reason turned my head back to check if it had. As soon as I did I realized how bad of a decision that was.

My board went into what skaters call "death-wobbles", which is when your board starts to rapidly wobble back and forth while you're going very fast. When this happen it's borderline impossible to keep control and usually means a bail is imminent. This is all something I realized right away. I knew it was only a matter of time before I was going to fall off. I guess this is the closest thing I've had to a near-death experience. It might sound ridiculous to some saying that about falling off a skateboard, but seriously what If I landed headfirst? Landed awkwardly and broken my neck? Bad shit could have happened and I was pretty lucky. But anyways, I remember thinking when the wobbles started to get really bad that I was going to die. It wasn't even that I was scared, it was like I knew it was going to happen and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I remember thinking "Fuck, well I guess this is it then."I jumped off my board to see if I could maybe just run it out, but knew I was going way too fucking fast for that.

SO, I fell into the cement gutter on the right side of the road on my left side and slid for about ten meters. My left arm and leg scraping along rough pavement is what stopped me. Think about that. So I was lying in the gutter just thinking "Fuck!" mostly because I was supposed to go to Wonderland the next day with a girl I liked (I think if there was anything in my life that proved how fucking emo I am it is this (and there are a fuckton of examples), but I just absolutely massacred my body and the first thing I thought of was that I wouldn't be able to make my date the next day. LADIES????). A little after the bail, my skateboard came roaring down the hill and hit my head. That was what kind of got me to stand up.

I got up and took a look at my self and cleaned my self up (re: Brushed a minimal amount of dirt off of my cuts.). To give you an idea what happened to me I made an incredibly in-depth diagram in MS paint. The orange represents "road rash", pretty shallow cuts from skin getting scraped off by, you guessed it, the road. The red represents deeper cuts that bled a whole ton.

Obviously my first idea was go and find Paul and Damien. I figured they would come back to see what happened to me, since I obviously didn't finish the run. Since I am constantly trying to be funny (operative word: "trying"), I turned so they would only see the right side of my body (This near-death experience really shows what I'm all about: love and trying to be funny). They pulled up looking a little relieved that I had apparently only scratched my right elbow and then I laughed pretty hard at their horrified expressions as I turned around and they saw the real carnage that was the left side of my body.

The thing about this is that I was extremely high on adrenaline for about half an hour after the fall happened. Rather than limping around, I was jumping around really stoked that I had just taken the gnarliest bail I had ever seen in real life. After documenting all of injuries on Damien's state-of-the-art Motorolla Razr (If these pictures still existed somewhere, I would obviously post them because believe me, they are great. But they're gone forever.), we began to make our way uphill figuring that we should get me home and start to take care of my absurd amount of injuries.

Like I mentioned earlier, elementary and middle schools were still in session at this time. So when we passed by Bliss Carmen Public School on the way home it happened to be their time to go home and the area was swarmed with little kids. You could actually hear the crowd of kids go silent as we walked by. The girls all yelled "Gross!" and the boys all yelled "Cool!".

We got home and started looking for first-aid stuff right away but came up short, getting only a few band-aids and some "steri-strips". Around this time my adrenaline was starting to wear off and I was feeling it pretty hard. For some reason (re: Us being young and stupid.) we thought it would be a good idea for me to get in the shower to clean the dirt off of my cuts. So I dragged myself into the bathroom and got in. That was probably the most pain I've felt in my life. I passed out from the pain almost immediately, but only for a second. I managed to get myself out and then laid down on bathroom floor for like ten minutes. I eventually got back to my room and laid down on my bed while we tried to figure what exactly we were going to do with me.

During this time the phone rang and I got Damien to pick it up. Now, all this happened just after I had applied for my first job to the City of Toronto as a lifeguard. I hadn't heard back in awhile and assumed that the job was a no-go and I would be unemployed for the summer. Instead, this was the time they chose to call back with an offer, while I was semi-conscious and covered in blood laying on my bed. I did end up getting that job though. I used the money I made that summer to buy my Hoppus bass.

After this we decided that I could go over to Damien's where his sister, who at the the time was in school for nursing, would patch me up. We figured I wasn't bad enough for the emergency room, so it would be better to save waiting extensively at the hospital for another time. It took what seemed like an hour or so to get all my cuts completely cleaned and dressed and looking back now, it was actually a really good time hanging out in Damien's kitchen. Recess was on.

It took a pretty long time for some of the deeper scars to heal and I had a staph infection in my foot, but I got back to normal with tons of time left in the summer. Still do have some of the scars from it.

Coincidence was that about a month or so after I fell on the hill Damien and Paul went back to it and Paul fell and got pretty messed up on it. Though his was a lot more serious, as he got a minor concussion. His was more of the "Holy shit! Man you could've gotten really hurt!" as opposed to "Fuck yeah! Cuts and blood!"

So yea. That's my poo hill/skate bail story.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Catch You Later

Here is the problem: I want to write a blog, man. I want to write one because I haven't written one in a while. I don't really have a subject or idea for one though. So this is probably going to be long-winded and probably about everything I can think of off the top of my head.

I said the same thing about three weeks ago at the start of this semester and my friend Tanner replied with "Write one about couch-hopping." since I was crashing on his couch for a week at the time. At first I thought this was an awesome idea. "I'm gonna get all On The Road up in this motherfucker! I'm a fucking drifter man! I don't have a fucking house! I fucking sleep on a couch and live out of a fucking hockey bag!" Then I realized that I wasn't crossing the United States on a crazy road trip, drifting around and meeting wild people. I was sleeping on my friend's couch and going to Art History classes. That sounds boring.

But at same time, maybe I'm just oversimplifying? Because that week was pretty fun. So I guess I could write out some long-winded story about getting high and going to get milkshakes? You know what? I think I will, but not at the moment. That's on my to-do list. Along with many other things.

So what else? I guess I talk about music on here all the time right? Actually shitty short sidebar: Recently I was having a few drinks with some friends and the topic of old bands came up. Obviously, I jumped at the opportunity to mention my magnum opus, the Comedie Humaine of local ska band histories, Timmy Chandler's personal Chinese Democracy: my history of the Pragmatics, which somehow took me like three months to finish writing (or I should say took me three months to overcome my intense laziness and spend the two hours it took to finish). I've never really mentioned the band to them and said they should check out that entry. She replied with "I hate reading your blog" (much less malicious than the way it looks here), mainly because it's usually me writing about bands and things that she (and most people, I'd assume) don't care about. And I'm down with that. I mean why the fuck would I read things that I don't care about?

Buuuuuut, the main reason I started this blog was to write things that I have on mind down. Doing so makes me feel accomplished because I've written something and no matter what it is and how stupid/not needed it is, that is more productive than hanging around in my room doing nothing on the internet all day (though this considered that as well no?). So I'm going to be honest, I'm really not a complicated dude. If I throw a song up here it's because I've been to that song/band a bunch and feel like writing something about it. It's what is on my mind, so I put it on here. It's not me saying "I know more about music than you" or anything like, because I probably don't. I'd leave that to my much musically inclined friends, who are way more on-top of what is coming out when/on what/touring with who.

But I like jams and I like to write about them. Y'know?

So yea, music then.

Since I was playing The Stereo so much this summer I decided that I should get another album of theirs. My friend John Flynn pointed me in the direction of Three Hundred and as soon as the first song started I knew I was going to adore the album. While listening to it it's pretty fucking obvious that every big "emo" band from like 5-6 years ago was trying to be this band. Not to say that The Stereo sounds like those bands, but Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco made a pretty decent living out of trying to sound like Rory and Jamie.

If you show this song to a girl and she doesn't immediately swoon, it's pretty obvious that she is a love-mongering succubus:

What else? Man, I don't fucking know. I really don't have anything left to say. Though I didn't really have anything coming into this either.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nowhere To Run, Nowhere To Hide

This past weekend I watched a documentary on The Funk Brothers, who were the house band for Motown records while they were based in Detroit during the 50's and 60's. The amazing thing about them is that they were one (albeit very large) band and they wrote the music and played on EVERY SINGLE SONG MOTOWN PUT OUT DURING THIS TIME. THAT IS A FUCKLOAD OF SONGS. And not just a lot of songs, but a lot of really, really awesome songs. I was already a huge Motown soul junkie, but this documentary really made me realize that The Funk Brothers and Motown really had their style down pat and pretty much created the perfect pop music.

Everyone in the band was pretty exceptional at what they did (I'm obviously biased because I play bass, but ESPECIALLY James Jamerson. He was their only bass player for a long time and when you stop to consider the amount of "classic" songs he not only played on, but gave extremely memorable and also technically difficult basslines, it's kind of impossible to not give him the "best bass player of all-time tag.) and managed to make each song absurdly catchy and poppy, give it an absolutely fabulous groove so everyone can dance to it and also make them not that easy to play (you can't just pick up an instrument and play any of the hits from Motown. They are fucking tough.).

What makes it even more crazy is that the documentary makes it seem like on person would come in with an idea and then they just throw around ideas say "Yea, that sounds good" and just jam out a #1 single. And that is fucking ridiculous.

The singers did the same thing and I guess that's why essentially all of Motown's output from this time is so revered; everyone from the lead vocalists to the pianist to the third guitar player to the tambourine player was the best at what he did. This was especially obvious when the remaining members of the band did a version of "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" with Ben Harper.

Now, Ben Harper is definitely someone who the average person today would say has a "great voice". People definitely say "I wish I could sing like Ben Harper". As soon as he started singing it was obvious that he isn't half the singer that David Ruffin (who sang lead on the song for The Temptations) is. If you compare the two versions, Harper looks like a fucking hack. Not even that he can't hit the notes that Ruffin can, but completely ignores the inflection and timing that make Ruffin's performance so incredible.

To compare:


If you play music (or if you don't and just love soul music) this is also awesome.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that everyone involved with Motown was the best and that is what makes the music so special.

Naw'm sayin'?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I'm Sort Of Fun At Parties

The more I think about it, the more I'm pretty sure that this was the best summer I've ever had. This is because of a variety of reasons, which, if you couldn't guess, I am about to go into below.

The first and easiest thing to talk about was all the shows I got to see. I got the chance to catch almost literally every single one of my absolute favourite bands this summer. The only thing that would have taken away that "almost" would have been an Ergs! reunion. But still, seeing the Descendents on my birthday after an extended hiatus from them, Lifetime back in Canada for the first time in four years, my habitual bi-yearly Less Than Jake experience, seeing Anthrax for the first time, an incredible set by Against Me! near the end of August, Title Fight and The Menzingers ripping up Sneaky Dee's, Hot Water Music and A Wilhelm Scream two days after The Descendents was easily the best summer music-wise I've had.

Most of all though, I managed to catch Bomb The Music Industry! at the end of July. The band played an absolutely killer set and the crowd was going crazy. They came out for the encore and let a kid play "Stuff That I Like" with them on guitar. The last song they played was "Syke, Life Is Awesome!" which is my personal favourite from them and definitely one of my all-time favourites in general. It was a big deal because I hadn't seen the song live before and it is really, really special to me personally. I had a pretty shitty time in high school and wasn't a huge fan of life. One of the things that made things seem not so shitty was To Leave Or Die In Long Island by this band. I would time it on my walks home from school so that "Syke" would be the last song (I've posted all the lyrics to this song on this blog before). So naturally I went bananas and somehow screamed louder than I already was when they played it.

The last part of the song is a giant climax with Jeff screaming a bunch of lyrics that really hit home for me. Now, I know I spew a lot of bullshit all of the time but I am being 100% real and serious when I say this: There are two people who I look up to and try to be like in my life. One is my Dad, he works his ass off for essentially nothing in return and never says anything about it or complains. He encompasses everything the word "father" could possibly mean. The other is Jeff Rosenstock, the singer of Bomb The Music Industry! and the former singer of the Arrogant Sons of Bitches. He's a phenomenal lyricist, a songwriting genius and extremely down to earth and friendly and is pretty much everything right with punk rock and music in general. He is "my guy" when it comes to the music I like. Less Than Jake may be my favourite band and stuff, but nobody's music really hits home and helps me out like his does.

That being said, during this last part I figured it would be a good time to stage-dive. I did and ended up being in the position of on my stomach at the front of the crowd so that my head was more or less level with Jeff's. During this climax he grabbed the back of my head and pulled it down to scream all the words along with him.

And seriously, that was the coolest thing that has ever happened to me.

Here's the song if you want to check out what I'm talking about:

So yea, it was a really awesome summer for music.

I also worked a whole bunch this summer. At my job I can essentially work as much as I would like to, so that is more or less what I do. At first it sucked because I would wake up at 7, get to work at 9, leave work at 9 and get home at about 9:45, then go to sleep around 11 to do it again the next day. As a result of this, I didn't really get to do anything except work. Then I realized that not seeing my friends all summer is no fun, so I just didn't get very much sleep for the next two months. I ended up having a ton of awesome times with my friends and more than a few hungover Wednesdays at work because of "My Friends Over You".

The upside of working so much was that there was a completely awesome crew of people at the waterpark this year. Not only did they make work bearable, but they made it fun. I've worked there a long fucking time and everyone I got to know this summer were hands down my favourite staff we've had there.

I listen to a ton of music on the way to and from work because my commute on the gotrain takes more or less an hour, so more so than any other time, in the summer I really have a "soundtrack" to that short phase of my life. I figured I'd close this up by posting a "greatest hits" of what I rocking out to for the last 3-4 months.

First I started listening to Saves The Day because their first album is basically a 14-song Lifetime cover. Then I got into Through Being Cool because it's an awesome pop-punk record. I wanted to hate the band for so long because "THEY'RE EMO AND SHIT BRO", but goddamn Stay What You Are is a phenomenal combination of punk, rock and pop. Pretty much every day I would leave the house, look at my ipod and think "Am I going to listen to Stay What You Are or something else?"

Probably my other most listened to album this summer was Good For Me by The Swellers. I loved My Everest because it was a poppy skate-punk shredfest. They slowed it down a tad for Ups And Downsizing and I wasn't as much of a fan. I had pretty much written the band off, but checked out their newest after a friend recommended it and I heard it described as "alt-pop-punk". It is so fucking good. I know I already described it on here earlier, but the way they combine good 90's alternative and pop-punk is just divine. I had seen the band talk about those influences on twitter and I'm pretty stoked that they evolved their sound in that way, as opposed to pumping out skate punk record upon skate punk record, which they totally could have done.

For awhile this summer I really wanted a solid rock/pop album to listen to that I hadn't heard before. The one I used to scratch that itch was No Traffic by The Stereo. The band actually just recently reunited to play Fueled By Ramen's 15th anniversary show, which is how I got turned on to them. I'm paraphrasing, but someone on said that The Stereo were the band that all the huge bands that the label is known for were trying to sound like. Poppy rock songs about girls? I'm down.

Like I already mentioned, The Sidekicks were also a go-to this summer. I also apparently only listened to bands that start with S. What I like about The Sidekicks is that they are (maybe) the best example of having a wide range of influences (punk, rock, folk, soul), but not just mishmashing a bunch of genres together. For example, the song "Looking" which I put up a few posts ago. It starts with some nice chimey open chords and then rips into a great guitar lead. They pause before the verse for some absolutely Phil Spectoresque "bum babum"s and then start a folky (more open chords!) poppy punk love song. THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT.

This song really rules too though:

And House Boat just totally ruled the second half of the summer for me. Holy fuck, what a pop-punk record they put out. Perfect mix of fast poppy punk, nasally vocals and awesome love-lorn somewhat depressing lyrics. They do it fucking right and this record is definitely going to be up there as album of the year for me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Found It Hard To Believe

I realized when I woke up this morning that thinking of something to write a big long write up about never even crossed my mind this past weekend (In order to understand this go back and read the post titled "Since It's About Old Entries, I Should Probably Post Bayside Lyrics Because I Loved Jamming That Shit Back Then", it's probably a page behind this one). So naturally I tried to come up with one on the spot. The first thing I thought of was my daphne blue Fender Mark Hoppus precision bass because I could still feel the blisters on my fingers from practicing the day before. Then I realized that there isn't much to that. I bought it and play it a lot. Then I thought of the first band I played that bass in, which was The Pragmatics, and figured that that might make for an interesting story.

So here we go.

We used to have "bush parties" in the ravine beside Warden Station all the time because we could never find houses to party in and it was somewhat convenient to get to for everyone. At one of these a few of my friends (for ease later, Erik and Parks) came later and told me that they had been jamming ska/reggae songs at Erik's house with some people and needed a bass player. I obviously jumped at the opportunity. They told me to learn "Having An Average Weekend" by Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet (which is well-known in Canada as the theme song to the absolutely amazing and famous sketch comedy show Kids In The Hall) as well as The Aggrolites cover of "Don't Bring Me Down" by The Beatles and "Have The Time" by The Slackers.

I bought my new bass that week and went about getting all of the songs down as well as I could. I showed up to Erik's and met Sherman (guitar), Alex (trumpet) and Lauren (keyboard) for the first time (Erik played drums and Parks played alto saxophone). We ran through the Slackers song once or twice, but started focusing on doing a ska/reggae cover of the SMOASP for the rest of the practice. It started to sound pretty good and we ended up recording it that practice. And you can even hear that recording (and a few others) right here.

Sidebar: Holy fuck, these fucking recordings. They are probably the worst fucking quality that you can imagine. To record songs at band practice we used the hands-free microphone from the cordless V-Tech phone in Erik's basement. We plugged that microphone into Erik's family's desktop computer and used the "Sound Recorder" application to record. In order to "balance" the levels we would put the mic in the middle of the basement. However, drums, guitars and basses are much louder than horns, so we would have the horns lean down to play near the microphone, with the soloists moving even closer when they needed to. This made for INCREDIBLY out of tune hornlines. We played a whole better live. I swear.

Man, we did actually record a ton of songs for how long we were together though. Most aren't up there.

Anyways, that recording ended up getting the best levels I think and we were all really fucking stoked considering we had been a full band for about three hours.

We met again to practice the next week and added another member, Graeme on tenor saxophone, who we all knew from local Toronto ska shows. We ran through the songs we knew and also wrote and recorded the song "Stormfront" that is on the myspace player I linked to up there. We started to meet every Friday to record and produced a new song at pretty much every practice. We got a lot tighter and started to put together a setlist.

We figured that we should play a show since we had been practicing so much and the logical choice for us was Cardinal Newman High School's Talent Night. Cardinal Newman was where Erik and Parks went to high school, along with essentially all of my friends. Every year they put on Talent Night and every year every one of our group of friends' bands would play (The year before being host to the only Chinese Fingertraps show ever. That's a way less interesting story though. Or maybe not. We'll see.). So yea we played our first show at Talent Night in 2006. We were playing in a highschool auditorium with absolutely no soundcheck or balancing of levels. We were so fucking bad. Like really, really bad. It bummed me out. Bad shows are never fun.

After that we kept on practicing and kept on writing songs. Alex also played in another band called Say Ah!, so we got our first real show as an opening band for their CD release. This show went so, so, so much better. I thought we played pretty well and there were even a few kids that started dancing during our set. I still have our set-list from this show and put it up on the wall of whatever room I'm living in at the time.

After that show we began to get offered shows very frequently thanks to lots of help from Yvonne, who played baritone sax in the absolute incredible Toronto ska band The Makeshift Heroes (I know I recommend music on here all the time and it probably falls on deaf ears, but this band was seriously the best thing that happened to ska in Toronto. There will probably never be a download that I will recommend as much as that link right there. DOWNLOAD IT. DOWNLOAD IT. DOWNLOAD IT. IT IS FREE. THERE'S AN INCREDIBLE COVER OF "MAD WORLD" IF THAT WORKS FOR YOU. DOWNLOAD IT. IT WILL IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE.), as well as another local band Frankie Foo And The Yo-Yo Smuglers. I realize that might be a little confusing. I meant that both Yvonne and Frankie Foo both helped us get shows.

So the next show we had was the opening band at Nut'n Butt Ska Fest at The Dungeon in Oshawa. This was a big deal for us (I guess me, I don't know about the rest of the band, but i'd assume they were stoked too) for a variety of reasons. One was that it was the first all-ages show we would play (with a whopping one show under our belt before that!). Now, if you are at all familiar with ska music, you know that it is usually something more associated with a younger teenaged crowd, rather than what you would get at a 19+ show. That being said, they were a decent group of older people who would come and see us somewhat regularly because we played something closer to "1st Wave" or "Trad" ska as opposed to being a Reel Big Fish clone, and that was radical. Still though, I was excited because we would be playing to kids closer to our age, rather than a bar of adults. And that way kids could "skank" and stuff and the thought of people doing that to music I was playing made me feel REALLY FUCKING GOOD.

It was also an out-of-town show for us, which was also a new experience. Even though Oshawa is the dirty shit-laden sphincter of Ontario, it meant that there would be kids from another town, or possibly towns, that would hear us and know us. And that also got me REALLY FUCKING STOKED. We got to load up our van, which I named the "Pragwagon", and then drive out to Oshawa in order to load in and soundcheck. And that made it seem like we were a for-real band doing for-real, serious band-type things and that made me REALLY FUCKING STOKED.

The final big-deal about this show was that it was allish-day festival-type of thing, which meant that we were going to be playing with bands that were way bigger than us and already established in the Southern Ontario ska scene, like Keepin' 6 (who were great and I still listen to on occasion) and The Cheap Suits (who had been around the longest of all the bands and were always really, really nice to me because they knew my brother) and The Johnstones (who are a really, really bad band). Which meant that they would bring out a lot more kids and that this was a pretty fucking sweet deal for us.

We met up pretty early and got all of our stuff loaded up and ready to go. We drove out really fast because we thought we were going to be late and thought we were the biggest badasses on earth when Erik and I flipped off a woman on the highway. We didn't bring a drum set or bass amp because the promoter told us that both of those things would be there for us. We arrived on time to find that pretty much nobody else was there yet. We set up and realized that Erik would be playing on the shittiest-in-house-beat to shit drum set that I had ever seen in my life. I felt really bad for him. We also found out that there was in fact no bass amp for me to use there. From that point on we brought our own drums and bass amp to every show, no matter what.

But the show went really well! a pretty decent amount of kids got there at doors, which meant in time to see us, and they seemed to like us a lot! There's even a full set of pictures from this show! I'm pretty sure that my hair is like that because I'm a dude who dances and jumps around and goes crazy when he plays! But I also used to just have the worst fucking hair ever! The rest of the show was also really fun because there were a ton of other bands that we were friends with on the bill. I felt a pretty strong sense of scene unity.

The town of Oshawa really fucking sucks though. Don't go there.

We played a show the next night (HOLY FUCK! TWO SHOWS IN TWO DAYS? WHY AREN'T WE SIGNED?!?!?) at the Tiger Bar in Toronto, continuing our tradition of playing every venue possible at the intersection of College and Bathurst. Not many people came to that show, probably because it was a Sunday night and it was full of shitty ska bands that nobody had heard of. I think I still have the flyer for this show packed away. The highlight of the night was finding a box of fluorescent tube lights and then smashing them, which would also become a tradition for the band.

We had another show the next weekend (WE WORK HARD FOR OUR MONEY) (But seriously, we played way more shows in a month and a half than all of the bands my friends were in. We really weren't a big band at all, but it made me feel like I was doing it right, because playing shows is what real bands do) at Sneaky Dee's. That was super rad because Sneak's is a very well-know bar and concert venue and saying "We have a show at Sneaky Dee's" is a fuckload cooler than saying "We have a show at The Tiger Bar". There's also pictures from this show, but I can't seem to find them anywhere. If you look at my facebook profile though, I'm pretty one of my really old dp's is from this show.

I was really, really stoked for the next show because it was going to be our first all-ages show in Toronto. We were playing with a lot of the same bands from Nut 'N Butt Fest and I was stoked to create a sort of network of local ska bands. Some of our friends came and all of them said "Man, you guys are pretty good live!" which made me feel REALLY FUCKING GOOD. The show also turned out to be pretty packed and there were tons of kids dancing and stuff for our set. And that is a PRETTY AWESOME EGO STOKE. We got a positive review on a pretty prominent ska zine and that made me PRETTY FUCKING STOKED. There's a full set of pictures for this show too! They make me look cooler than I am! If you didn't believe me that kids got mad stoked about dancing to us, there's a picture of them in there! Hot damn!

We had a ton more shows lined up after this and it seemed like everything was coming up Pragmatics, but unfortunately Sherman was being an asshole. I still don't know the entire situation, but he and another member had a bit of a checkered history (C wut I did tharr?), which lead to a bunch of conflict at practice. Eventually it got pretty heated and he decided he was going to quit. We still had one show booked for sure and decided that it would be the last one, which sucked.

What ruled was that this show was opening for Chris Murray! I realize that name probably means nothing to you if you aren't big into Canadian ska, but in that realm he is a pretty fucking big deal, which meant that it was a pretty fucking big deal for us. This is still my one claim to fame regarding this band: "One time, we opened for Chris Murray". Anyways, we were up to our usual business live when the two aforementioned members started to go at it. We had one song left and one of them kicked the other one and walked off stage. This was unfortunate because that member was really needed for the last song. We tried to drum up some sort of jam to kill time but ended up just unplugging. At the time, I was super pissed off because my band had just broken up onstage. Now, I find it to be one of my funnier anecdotes, especially if you know/are somewhat familiar with the people involved, because my high school ska band broke up onstage. The rest of the show was really awesome, because Chris Murray is pretty much the man (he does every show all request).

There's a full set of pictures from that show too! Brutal ill Scarlett shirt! Ugly board shorts comboed with high socks! Seriously though, if anyone could go back in time and bring me back that Lakeside softball, I'd be the happiest clam in the sea! (Like I'm not already, MIRITE?)

So that was pretty much the end of the band. We were pretty serious about keeping on, but that never materialized for, I'm pretty sure, no reason whatsoever. We actually got together once I had come back from my first year at Guelph and jammed out all of our old songs and seemed like we were somewhat serious about getting it going again, but that also never materialized.

It was a really fun time though. The Pragmatics were the closest thing to a real band that I was ever in. I realize that this isn't really anything other than a way to kill time reading for everyone else, but it was a super-duper-crazy nostalgia trip for me and I remembered a ton of shit I hadn't thought about in years (this actually took me the entire summer to finish, I started it June 29th, mostly because of laziness) and I'll probably add some more to this later.

There's probably nothing I miss more than being in a band and playing shows and having an awesome time playing music with my friends. Maybe having a girlfriend. But I think I would take being in a band still.

Because that shit rules.

Happy Anniversary

This summer i just completely neglected this blog. Not just that I put up posts, but also in general upkeep. Usually I check my dashboard at least once a day and try to stay on top of things. This summer though, it just went free. That being said, I was pretty stoked when I checked my "stats" tab and found that the two highest referring sources for it over the last week (what up, 24 views!) were "I musical genius tabs" (makes sense, the blog is named after an Arrogant Sons of Bitches song) and "rash on my dog's privates" (just plain awesome).

I think I'm going to bring it back full time? I say that a lot don't I?

I'll do some sort of summer recap shit I think. Science knows I have nothing else to do right now.

Scorpios are a new alt-country/folk band. Before writing them off because alt-country/folk bands seem to be the flavour of the week these days, you should take note that it comprised of Joey Cape (Lagwagon's singer, Bad Astronaut mastermind, The Playing Favourites, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, two fucking awesome solo records and that Joey Cape's Bad Loud Thing I wrote about briefly at the start of the summer), Tony Sly (No Use For A Name's singer, also a pretty solid solo career), Jon Snodgrass (Drag The River, all-around awesome dude and involved with roughly a million rad folky-acoustic-alt-country-I've-used-that-term-way-too-many-times things) and some other dude who I am not familiar with.

Four good singer-songwriters and acoustic guitars that made a full length record and THEN PUT IT OUT FOR FREE.

That's all folks.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Head Is A Corkscrew

I was going to write a post out that said "words cannot describe how good this song is". Then I got to thinking about how dumb that statement is. Doesn't saying that then imply that the song is some untouchable level of awesome. So the statement totally would actually be describing how good the song is.

I went to go see the New York Abstract Expressionist show at the AGO today, can you tell I'm back in modern art mode?

Anyways, this is the song I was talking about. This band's been rocking my world since I saw them like two weeks ago:

House Boat put out a new album. First listen I thought "Meh, just sounds like House Boat". Then I had another listen today and realized that I love it lots. And that every other band will have to try pretty hard to top this song for the rest of the year:

"Some fifteen feet away from the child, her dog - a young dachshund, wearing a green leather collar and leash - was sniffing to find her, scurrying in frantic circles, his leash dragging behind him. The anguish of separation was scarcely bearable for him, and when at last he picked up his mistress's scent, it wasn't a second too soon. The joy of reunion, for both, was immense. The dachshund gave a little yelp, then cringed forward, shimmying with ecstasy, till his mistress, shouting something at him, stepped hurriedly over the wire guard surrounding the tree and picked him up. She said a number of words of praise to him, in the private argot of the game, then put him down and picked up his leash, and the two walked gaily west, toward Fifth Avenue and the Park and out of Zooey's sight. Zooey reflexively put his hand on a crosspiece between panes of glass, as if he had a mind to raise the window and watch the two disappear. It was his cigar hand, however, and he hesitated a second too long. He dragged on his cigar. 'God damn it,' he said, 'there are nice things in the world - and I mean nice things. We're all such morons to get so sidetracked. Always, always, always referring every goddamn thing that happens right back to our lousy little egos.' "

Thursday, August 4, 2011

There's Nothing More To Me Than What You See In Me

I realize that it has to have gotten pretty old, but work keeps me busy and shit, so I'm piecing this entry together from a note on my blackberry (holy shit!) titled "blog ideas".

The first part said "story about "chicago"", referencing this song:

I still love the album "How It Goes", but used to listen to it pretty much non-stop. The story I was thinking of was about 5 years ago. I was coming home from my first day at my first job as a swimming instructor at West Hill Pool. I was sent home early because a week or so before that I took an absolutely horrendous bail skating (a story for another time, probably my favourite anecdote) and was completely covered in road rash and scars and bloody bandages. It was pouring rain on the way home and this song started almost as soon as I got off of the bus. I was kind of pissed off that I had gotten screwed for work, but for some reason being absolutely drenched in rain and listening to this song made things seem pretty rad. I still think of that walk every time I hear this song. Also, it's up there as the best track on the record.

The second thing was "the impossibles" because I was really into The Impossibles for a bit at the start of the summer. The band's style of power-pop and ska is fucking great and they've been described as "ska-weezer", which is really an over-generalization, but also pretty apt. They're catchy and almost all the songs are about girls/love. Cool beans yo.

This was followed by "free dls" because there have been a ton of fucking awesome music put out for free recently.

Hold Tight! is an awesome band on Death To False Hope Records and have been described as "Lifetime/Latterman". Works for me. They are a really good band and I would seriously recommend getting their full-length Can't Take This Away. They put out a new EP called Call The Zoo! which is a Billy Madison reference. This makes me happy.

Direct Hit! is another DTFH alum who have put out a ton of awesome music. They recently took all of their best songs of off their five EPs, re-recorded them and put out a barnburner of a ramones-core/rowdy/pop-punk album. It's fucking sweet and fucking free.

Junior Battles are an awesome pop-punk band from Toronto. They are the nicest people on the planet. They signed to Paper and Plastick Records and are going to become huge rock stars. Their first full-length album came out at the start of this summer and they decided to put it out for free. You should download it because it's free and catchy and if you don't learn all the words, you are an idiot.

Lastly, The Swellers put out a new album at the start of the summer. I figured I wouldn't like too too much because I didn't like the direction they took with their last record so much. I was wrong! It's their best material they've put out! It takes everything good about alt-rock in the 90's and mixes it with everything good about poppy skate-punk. So so so good.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Every Thing Is Always Falling Apart, But I Can't

If you went through the entire internet and ranked every single thing on there, these two videos would be tied for places 1-69. I say it all the time, but seriously Jeff, <3. <3.

I had one of those days where I thought I was losing my mind for a little bit. But this guy always sets me straight.

On a completely different note, my dog is very smart. He first realized while younger that if he sat down in front of any member of our family, his cuteness would overwhelm us and we would be forced to come and pat his head, which he finds very enjoyable. Soon we grew tired of the sit-down and needed something more. After that he began to sit near us and poke at our hands with his nose, so that they move onto his head, already in prime patting position (PPP). This new move lead to many "Awwwww Jack"s. Eventually we even got used to an act that cute. But now he has outsmarted all of us and come up with an act so cute that it is impossible to ignore it. He has now invented the "gently paw at the pant of your leg" that he puts into use while seated beside you.

My dog is a genius. Among dogs at least. He also figured out that he had to knock over a giant basket to get his ball out one time.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Did You Cast A Ballot Or A Stone?

I think that more so than any other summer, work is just devouring my life this summer.

This can be attributed to one of two things I guess. One, I'm working more? Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. Definitely way more than last summer. It's fucking tough to do anything let alone stay up past 11pm when you wake up at 7 and get home at 10 (Many people at work have it much worse than myself, I shouldn't complain, but I'm just trying to give a frame of reference on what my work schedule is like.). I usually work at least 5 days a week and usually more (I put together an 132 hour pay period once this year). I do most of this voluntarily, because I try to make as much money as I can. Borrowing money from my parents is fucking stupid and makes me feel like a piece of shit. But yea, generally any days off are spent doing things that absolutely must be done, so free time is scarce.

Two, I'm just way softer than I used to be and don't want to deal with hangovers and tiredness like I used to be able to.

But I'm pretty sure it's the first one.

Anyways, it feels like this summer is just flying by and I haven't done much of anything besides pulling drowning kids out of water. I haven't seen much of my home friends who I don't get to see while I'm away at school. I haven't seen much of my school friends who I miss during the summer. It seems that all I do is drink coffee and lifeguard. Case in point this blog. I started that post about getting back to that old feeling about writing in this thing about three weeks ago. It's half done. It's also about my old ska band.

It's just that when I get home I am exhausted from being out all day and having the sun beating down on me for 11 hours. I even have a "to-do list" in my bag because if I didn't keep that I would get home and pass out right away, forgetting anything I would need to do.

I guess listening to me bitch about work is pretty lame though right? Let's get real, I stand around and go swimming for my job. Shit could be a hell of a lot worse.


Sorry I haven't been around friends. Fuck sleep, let's party.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Since It's About Old Entries, I Should Probably Put Bayside Lyrics As The Title To This Post Because I Loved Jamming That Shit Back Then

Man, I just read through a bunch posts that I put up more or less at the start of this blog, during summer 2009. The first thing I noticed is that I really used to like writing in this thing A LOT. Not to say that I don't enjoy it now (pfft, like I even write in this thing now. AMIRITE?), but I used to really look forward to writing stuff and put a lot of thought into pretty long entries for this thing. This seems to be something that is really not happening now. It's usually either putting up links to a free album that I like or some long winded spontaneous rant that is hurtin' for some syntax.

I think a big part of those long entries (like the one about ska, Jeff Rosenstock/ASOB/BTMI! or the skateboarding one) were just me trying to convey who I am and the things I like.

Sidebar: I almost wrote "who I was" until I realized that I still absolutely adore all of the things in brackets up there.

Because I can be really shy. I think I've gotten better about it now, but I used to be a really reserved person and you had to either be one of my absolute best friends or really pry at me to get any info at about my personal life/feelings/etc. So I guess writing out these long entries were a way for me to explain things about myself and it really felt good.

So reading through those entries now, I totally want to get back to that feeling. And get better at proof-reading. And try and think of one possible reason for why I thought putting a quote from a song at the end of every post was cool. But mainly get back to that feeling. So I'm going to try and think of some topic that is important to me and go on a long-winded rant about how much it means to me and how I discovered one day after work this weekend.

Alright, cool beans.

Man, how many posts have been based on me reading through my own blog and then giving my reaction. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I have the "Most Vain Motherfucker In Scarborough" award on lock this year. Go me!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sitting There With Your Mouth Full Of Beer

I'm seeing this tonight. That is all that matters.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Zack Attack

I have no idea how, but yesterday I remembered that the site Saved By The Bell Quote Of The Day exists and ended up reading through a pretty decent chunk of the entries.

Essentially the dude watches an episode of Saved By The Bell and then dissects it and makes fun of how completely ridiculous the show was and how absolutely terrible the writing/jokes were. I guess it only works if you are familiar with the show or grew up in the 90's, but it is really, really funny.

This is one of my personal favourites, but I would totally recommend reading through all of them at some point because they really are hilarious.

Man, Saved By The Bell was such a dumb fucking show. I'm so happy that something that terrible managed to stick around for so long, because it's impossible not to laugh at how stupid it is.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Always Sunny Up There

Remember that Joey Cape's Bad Loud song a post a while ago? And how awesome it was?

Now you can get an entire album. And choose the price! So it can be free if you want!

I think it's really good. It's basically just full-band versions of songs off of his last two acoustic albums, but the songs are still really great. I think that how good his lyrics are always get lost in the music he writes, but they're at the forefront here. Just solid song-writer.

And try and tell me that you wouldn't want a significant other to say that this songs reminds them of you:

People Must Have Seen The Sparks

I think this blog might be dying.

Now I could just be saying that because it's been around ten days since my last post, but I feel kind of burnt out on it at the moment as well. Maybe I'm just burnt out on writing in general right now? Who knows! I mean I've had this thing for a decently long time and it has definitely outlasted most blogs. If you're wondering, I am basing that fact off absolutely nothing, but it seems like most blogs are pretty short-lived. I've kept this thing going for a pretty long time though. I obviously post more often sometimes, but it has been trucking for about three and a half years now.

Theoretically, I should writing tons right now. I've been home from Guelph for more almost two months, so I have no school related writing to do and haven't had any to do for a while. I only work weekends and still have pretty much no money. This means that I have pretty much nothing to do. So I guess it's just laziness that I don't update this? I guess so.

I started using tumblr more too, but I've always like blogger more. It seems like tumblr is mostly just people recycling pictures they think are funny and taking pictures of themselves. I'm totally down with that, but I like that blogger requires you to write something out and put at least some amount of thought into what you are posting.

But tumblr has been occupying a decent amount of my time. So I guess maybe that's why I haven't been writing here as much.

So it seems that is turning into another one of my posts about pretty much nothing that I have to crank out in order to get back in the hang of writing. Sorry, I'm sure these can be pretty annoying.

'Sup with you guys? I'm seeing the motherfucking Descendents in four days. It's really cool for me because it's my birthday, but it should be cool for everyone because it's the Descendents. I know I'm a pretty huge fan which makes my opinion pretty biased, but they are one of the most important punk bands ever. It's also free and has OFF! and Fucked Up opening. Me saying this has probably gotten pretty old, but it's going to be really, really, REALLY fun and awesome. It's huge for me to finally get to see them.

The rest of North by Northeast is going to be a blast too!

Life's pretty rad right now, even if I've already got pretty gnarly sunglasses and vans tanlines going from work. But who cares right?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Soon We'll Have Nothing Left To Show

I find that traveling really is the best time for listening to music. If I'm going anywhere in Toronto I always have my headphones in because I don't want to deal with the people that are on our public transit and I'm generally leaving the east end alone to meet people downtown. Obviously if I'm going somewhere outside of the city I also listen to music because it is a somewhat lengthy trip no matter where you're going.

But yea, traveling is totally the best time to listen to music because listening to music is pretty much the only thing you are doing other than remembering to get off at the right subway stop. It isn't putting on an album while you surf Facebook, or half-listening to something while you watch Shawn Camp give up six earned runs in the third inning. At least in my experience, it's listening to music and that's it. You give an album you full attention and pick up on every little part of the recording and take the entire thing in. I like music a lot, so traveling also becomes one of my favourite times.

A good example of this recently was on my way to Pouzza Fest. We listened to Fucked Up's David Comes To Life on the drive up. The scenario was ideal because Fucked Up is a band that puts a crazy amount of effort into their songs and also just a crazy amount of different parts to each song. Like fucking 4 different vocal tracks, I can't even count how many guitar tracks on each song. But when you're driving up the 401 to Quebec, you're able to notice these things and fully appreciate them.

That rules.

Also, go buy that Fucked Up record. It's fucking crazy and genius. I can't imagine how they actually put these incredibly complex songs together.

But I was kind of thinking this today because I took the TTC (Toronto public transit, for the 1 random person that doesn't know me personally reading this who may not know what I'm talking about.) to and from a game of pick-up baseball and really fucking liked the albums I was listening to. It was also really hot today, which also added to that enjoyment.




I put Hostage Calm on because I like playing the intro track to Lens "In So Many Words..." on acoustic guitar. Now I really, really like the direction that Hostage Calm has taken recently (I won't really go into it now, I sort of touched on it here.), but I realized after I got to about the 3rd track today that Lens is probably one of my top 5 favourite hardcore records ever. It was one that I listened to a ton when I was really big into the genre and I hadn't given it a good listen in a while. Turn up your speakers as loud as they can go and try to tell me that you don't want to be in a pile on yelling "TUNED OUT!". The album is really just front to back bangers and never lets up in its intensity.

I knew at some point today I was going to have to listen to African Elephants by Dead To Me because of how nice the weather was. I got that album right at the start of last summer and immediately thought that it was the perfect music for the season. Not even just the island-influenced songs like "X" or "California Sun" but also every song on it (Save for the atrocious closer "Blue" which I skip every listen.) is perfect for warm weather and sunshine. I'm seriously starting to think that it might be the best summer music around.

I was also wearing my Set Your Goals shirt today and was reminded by it that Mutiny! is also a great summer record. I've gotten really turned off by the band recently and pretty much couldn't care less about their future output, but their debut EP and first full-length are fucking incredible and hit the bullseye in terms of mixing hardcore and pop-punk. So many terrible bands have formed trying to do what this record does, but it doesn't change that it fucking rules. This will always be my favourite Set Your Goals song. MAWSH.

I'm also still hopelessly addicted to listening to Teenage Bottlerocket. Another band that is coincidentally, perfect for the summer.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Feels So Good, But You Don't Dare Believe It

Today is an awesome day.

I started the day by sleeping in to around noon. I'm a dude that needs a lot of sleep. I know some people can be functional on 4 or 5 hours, but I am the polar opposite. So I'm able to get a solid 9-10 hours in even though I was up pretty late, it rules.

Then I was greeted with the new Frank Turner album. If you didn't know, Frank Turner fucking rules. He used to play in the hardcore band Million Dead, but turned towards the folkier/acousticier side of punk when that band broke up. He is a fucking awesome song-writer and has a way of writing songs that pretty much any young person who's a little confused about life can heavily relate to. He's also a super down to earth dude who you'd really have to try hard to not like. His live shows are always very fun; everyone has a smile and everyone sings along. His new album England Keep My Bones is going to be out soon. Learn about that here.

This is also going to be the first really hot week in Toronto, with the temperature being above 20 degrees every day and even going up to 30 tomorrow! I fucking hate the cold and always look forward to summer. It's always my favourite time of year and I can't wait to break out my jorts, fake wayfarers and tank tops. Seeing how nice out it is today, I seized the opportunity and went to go read Franny and Zooey outside. It was really nice.

I also just came off of a weekend in Guelph, where I got to get pretty drunk for a whole weekend with a bunch of friends that I don't get to hang with when I'm out of school. I wish I could see them more. Day drunk on Genny, Donkey Kong Country and the Jackson 5? Can't really ask for more, in my opinion.

Next order of business: If you don't think that the Rush episode of Trailer Park Boys is absolutely hilarious, you probably aren't Canadian, but also don't know good comedy.

Now I get to watch Jo-Jo Reyes go for the most consecutive starts without a win record for the Blue Jays.

I'm completely broke, but life still rules. Everything is coming up Milhouse!

And this still makes me laugh a lot, years later. I can't believe how much time I used to spend on Newgrounds.

(That video also lead me to tons of Super Mario glitch videos. Awesome.)

I know this post was more or less me just talking about what I've done the last four days, but I felt like I had to put it somewhere, y'know?

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's Not Hard, Not Hard To Reach

If you don't like The Ramones, you really need to figure your life out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thinking 'Bout You Is The Way I Like To Waste My Time

Since I got home from Pouzza Fest I've been listening to non-stop "Ramones-Core" pop-punk. By Ramones-Core I mean that the band really worship the altar of The Ramones their songs never really get too complicated. 3 or 4 chords max and songs about holding hands and all that nice stuff.

These are some of my favourites right now:

I really want to form a band like this.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Maybe Tomorrow

Well, Pouzza Fest was a fucking blast. Non-stop awesome bands, beer, parties and junk food. Everyone we met there fucking ruled and it was more or less the best time ever.

My highlights:
  • First and foremost: Lifetime's set. Everyone there seemed to love the band as much as I do and it showed. You know a band matters when the other bands playing the fest are going crazy and stage-diving for them. They opened with "Turnpike Gates" and it took about 3 seconds for the first person to jump of the stage.
  • Dig It Up's set was the perfect way to end the whole thing. Everybody was going to begin with but by the end half the crowd had no shirts on, there were people hanging off the roof and pretty much the entire drumset was circulating on top of the crowd. It was the last set of the last night and everyone just went off.
  • Puking outside Underworld and running upstairs and directly onto the stage to stage-dive during Living With Lions' set.
  • Drinking all day, every day. Especially at Fouf's during Saturday.
  • Only consuming meat, cheese, gravy and pizza all weekend.
  • Every band that I saw was great.
  • The Holy Mess being probably the drunkest band I've ever seen and still putting on a fucking awesome set.
  • Bad Astronaut somehow pulling off what they do on record live and sounding absolutely phenomenal. They also closed with my favourite song "The F-Word" even though it's 8 minutes long!
It was really, really fun. I hope it comes back bigger and better next year.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Please Tell Me Everything That You Think That I Should Know

I'm leaving for Pouzza Fest in Montreal in a few hours.

Things I packed:
Pokemon Red
Gameboy Advanced
Other shit

Will probably just play this song on repeat the entire way up:

Fuckin' Stokedcity U.S.A.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

As Crazy As It Sounds I Think It Helps

Wow, two Joey Cape postings in two days. Anyways, I've posted this song before because I instantly loved it when I saw him play it live and it's become maybe my favourite song of his. Today he posted a full-band electric version of it! It translated so fucking well! I probably like it more than the original version!

To make matters even better he announced a North By NorthEast show with Chuck Ragan playing as Joey Cape's Bad Loud which is a live band I'm assuming. Day before my birthday/Descendents throwdown. Holy moly I'm lucky!

Listen to this. I've been jamming to it all day and clearly think it's pretty radical.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Man, The Guilt Must Be Huge

Today is apparently unofficial "LagWagon Day" because probably their most well known song is called "May 16th". Even though tons of my friends already posted this, I'm doing it too. I really love the song and every time I hear it reminds of when I first got into punk rock and started listening to bands like LagWagon and No Use For A Name.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Coax Me


First things first. Living With Lions is an awesome Canadian punk rock band. They have a new album, Holy Shit, coming out on Tuesday. Fortunately you can listen to the entire thing (albeit with a few ads thrown in as well) right here for free! I've only listened to it all the way through one time, but I thought it was a good fucking album!

Alrighty, I'm not exactly sure where this is going to go as I'm starting this right now. I've been home from school for a little under a month. My sister just came home from school so I've been forced to move from her room to the basement. This fucking sucks. The basement is cold. I also had to move all my stuff down and that ranks pretty high on my least favourite activities list.

However, I'm going to Pouzza Fest in Montreal. I'm really, really stoked for a variety of reasons. Number 1 is that I finally have a chance to see the band Lifetime. They are one of my absolute favourites ever (I'd say 3rd behind Less Than Jake and The Descendents). The band reunited in 2005 and I got into the band just after the Toronto date of that tour. As a result of this I figured it would be a long time until I got to see them, but was pleasantly surprised after they were added to a festival I was already planning to attend.

Long story short I get to see a ton of fantastic punk bands, hang out with a few of my best friends all weekend, get day drunk every day and then eat a massive poutine from La Banquise after doing something along the lines of this. Honestly, that's pretty much all I want in life. I'm a simple dude.

I should take it easy on the links though, eh?

Speaking of music festivals, I just watched a documentary on the South By Southwest music festival on the TV channel AUX. Then entire thing isn't up yet, but you can watch the first part right here for free! It's hosted by Sam Sutherland who is an awesome/nice dude and also sings in a totally radical pop-punk band! Sidebar: They recently signed to Paper and Plastick and have a full-length coming out soon! Anyways, the doc was really great and very interesting. They do a really good job of covering every part of the festival and interviewing a wide variety of artists, from Moby to Odd Future to Matt and Kim to Keith fuckin' Morris. Definitely look for it on TV, AUX is channel 107 in Southern Ontario.

I just started another summer at Ontario Place. It'll be ok I guess. I used to really love that job. Then I hated it. Now I'm okay with it. At work (and in life in general) I think it's important to take everything with a grain of salt. Don't take anything too seriously, it usually becomes less fun (re: shittier) after that. I also watched Adventureland recently and it gave me two things: 1, a boner for Kristen Stewart in a Husker Du (don't know the short cut for umlauts) shirt and 2, a feeling of super nostalgia towards working in an amusement park.

I guess that's all I got. I'm tired from cleaning and moving shit all day and Role Models is on. That movie makes me laugh very hard.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Guess That's Why We're Awesome

!ATTENTION! is really radical pop-punk band from Toronto. They're poppy but rough, put on a very fun live show and are definitely up there as my favourite band based out of the GTA right now. They added a bunch of new merch to their facebook page and then posted a new song today! Two awesome things! One, there is a release titled Another Year by them coming out on August 8 2011. Ep or full-length? I don't know, but either way I'm fucking stoked. Two, the new song is called "Shirts Off, Party On". I love the fuck out of this band and really wish that my stupid broken dryer in Guelph didn't burn and permanently stain the design on the front of my !ATTENTION! shirt.

You should really, really think about pressing play below right now. Glenn and the guys are awesome and very nice dudes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

You've Got Your Skeletons And You're Scared To The Bone

Moments like these are why I like punk music so much. It doesn't matter if you don't know anybody there, when the bands playing everybody is there for the same reason and everybody there knows it. Generally speaking, the bands are pretty down to earth and don't have huge egos because at one time, they were those kids at the shows.

The first concert I went to was Warped Tour 2004. I saw Bad Religion, Rise Against, Deville, Flogging Molly, Allister, The Planet Smashers and The Casualties. It was okay. More importantly the next show I went to was The Planet Smashers, The Toasters, The Pietasters and The Pylons at Lee's Palace about a month later. That show was exactly like the one shown above. During the last two sets every kid was dancing and going completely crazy in the crowd. Tons of people were onstage singing into the mics, stage-diving and dancing all over the stage. The important part is that the bands were loving it and getting into it too, which (I think at least) probably wouldn't be as common with other genres of music.

That really sold me on the music I like. Nothing makes me feel like being a part of a unique live experience with bands that I love.

P. S. Norm MacDonald's new show rules a whole lot. He's a very funny dude.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

That's The Way I Like It Baby, I Don't Wanna Live Forever

I'm currently in the interim between the school year ending and work starting. I like it because I just hang out, but I'm too poor to do anything.

So my life has just become a daily cycle of these things:

And a whole whack of corny movies.