Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Eight Cop Cars, No Ambulance 2: The Song It Inspired In Me

8 cop cars, no ambulance
To deal with man-made decadence
She lies on the sidewalk in a pool of blood
Washed away by the rain...

Lining up the belligerents
Rather than attend to the victim
They act just like the system taught them
Efficiency over wisdom

8 cop cars, no ambulance
No action-takers just observants
She lies on the sidewalk in a pool of blood
Washed away by the rain...

Why the violence?
Animals of direct descendence...
Reflects on our society
Infects my own City...
8 cop cars, no ambulance
But the situation is urgent
She lies on the sidewalk in a pool of blood
Washed away by the rain...

Crescent Street is Douchebag Street (and the women who love them)
Skeleton-clad shirts by Ed Hardy (what did I think would happen?)

8 cop cars, no ambulance
No action-takers just observants
She lies on the sidewalk in a pool of blood
Washed away by the rain...

Eight Cop Cars, No Ambulance

Another late night working in a cozy downtown office... then the bars close and shit happens, in this case, violence outside a club on Crescent Street. Beer bottles thrown at people, at cars, one girl's head slit open, fights start - it's not a pretty scene.

It takes a couple of minutes before a cop car shows up, but when it does, reinforcements are called in. Quickly enough there's five of them, then six, then seven, then eight. But they never think to call the girl an ambulance, and she lays there in a pool of her own blood, shaking, convulsing, while onlookers take pictures with their phones rather than call for help.

And even amidst this chaos, despite there being 14 cops for less than 10 people, new fights erupt.

Some time passes, and the commotion reaches a cold silence - from my distance at least. But the girl still lays on the cold, wet rainy Montréal cement.

Fuck you, you stupid assholes - I'll call her one myself.

Now I'll shut my window, because they forced me into their shit - and I enter and leave shit on my own terms.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Breast Cancer Month

Cancer. The organism that grows in more than half of us, eating away at our organs, stealing our energy. We're not sure how it appears, how to prevent and/or properly cure it, but we're fighting it.

A co-worker of mine has breast cancer. The doctors are satisfied with their progress, they're winning. Good, 'cause she's a terrific human being.

To raise awareness for Breast Cancer Month, SHOP Breast Cancer released this NSFW video.

Me? I choose to celebrate the breasts themselves, not the disease, and that's why, as an alternative, I offer you a relatively-safe for work page ''art & design'' blog (yeah, right!) Clement & Co's post about Jacques Magazine's films celebrating voluptuous boobs - not that it hasn't been done before by Russ Meyer, but Great Art is great art!

Let's combat cancer by raising awareness about breasts. Please. Do your part.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Video Of The Week: Black Moon

In the early-to-mid-90s, it seems most of the hip-hop that got any kind of attention came from California, what with Dr. Dre's G-Funk and his circle of friends and influence including anyone from Snoop Doggy Dogg to Warren G with 2Pac and the entire Death Row label behind him.

But East Coast rap was strong - and by that I don't mean Puff Daddy's brand of pop-ified Police rehashes, but underground acts such as Black Moon. They brought rhyming back to the streets, the masses, made wanting to learn new words as hip to Brooklyn teens as selling drugs for easy rent money - with far less dire consequences.

Granted, the video I wanted to feature was I Got Cha Open (it being hockey season and all), but they didn't allow for it to be embedded, so I went for the next best thing: their first single, Who's Got The Props.

Black Moon was a trio, with members Buckshot (later a member of Boot Camp Click), 5ft and DJ Evil Dee (of beat team Da Beatminerz) sharing equal billing. While their first record came out in 1993, it took until 1999 for them to release their sophomore album - partly due to every member being busy elsewhere, but also because it was tangled in a legal mess with their first label, Nervous Records, which owned the group's name and released a compilation record of b-sides and remixes in 1998 called Diggin' In Dah Vaults. It then took them until 2003 to release Total Eclipse - and that's what it seems like the group has been ever since.

Here's what you've been missing:

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibilities Not To Invade Peoples' Privacies

 Apple. Yahoo. Microsoft. Computer services-based companies that have branched elsewhere trying to make more and more money all the time.

Then came Google who, by selling tiny ads and adspace, could provide all their content for free. And everything they invented was open-sourced, so others could come in and improve or tweak them as they saw fit.

It could have been the one, true, Ultimate Company, the good guys with a conscience.

But it seems like every day they abuse their monopoly - and our privacy. From storing our searches via our ISPs to scanning our emails to target ads, they've time and time again collected data on us for ulterior use. Now we're learning the cars they sent out for Google Street View were also collecting WiFi information while it was taking pictures of our homes - for future commercial use, yes, but also complete emails, URLs and passwords. Everything it could record in the nanoseconds it was outside homes an businesses.

C'mon, man. The reason we like you is you're more ethical than the rest. Now that you're on top, you're not supposed to become worse than they are, for fuck's sake. And don't just tell people to ''move''.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Re-Re-Loaded: Tributing The Velvet Underground For The Third Time

It was a one-off, a tribute to The Velvet Underground just in time for the Jazz Festival while Lou Reed was in town. I wrote about it here, it was amazing.

So amazing, as a matter of fact, that the venue asked us for a repeat performance two months later. And that went even better. And, in the course of hanging together, we all became friends.

And word has gotten around that this is an amazingly talented band, and offers are coming left and right for more performances. It's scary.

Which is why we accepted this Halloween gig: for the fun of playing together, for the fun of doing it at Barfly, and to scare the living shit out of your principles.

So be there, Saturday, October 30th, 2010, at 10 PM (or as soon as the Habs' game ends), and let the team that Allan Lento (guitar, vocals) assembled take you on a wild ride, under the supervision of Dave Lines (keyboards, vocals), the aural charms of Jordi Rosen (vocals), the wisdom of Patrick Hutchinson (guitar, vocals), the influence of Sébastian Hell (vocals, bass, guitar), the hospitality of Triangles Stuart (bass, vocals), the enchanting eye of Ingrid Wissink (violin), the sober steadiness of Jackie Gallant (drums, vocals), the experimental medecines of Will Austin (guitar, vocals), the inhumane sexiness of Luca Fantigrossi (vocals, bass), and the sheer brutality of Cassie Doubleday (percussion).

Can you imagine? Three important band members won't be there - and it'll still be a supergroup, the best band playing on the continent on that night. Devil's Night.

Saturday, October 30th. 10 PM.

Barfly, 4062 St-Laurent, near Duluth. Just five bucks - a steal. Actually, like stealing candy from a dandy.

Was Your Mom Hot?

I don't know what would prompt someone to claim their mom was hot, and even less to put up pictures of her on the interwebs.

But it's there. I mean: here.

And Now, Sports...

The New York Yankees are trailing their series 3-1. I never thought that would happen. Of course, of late, it happens more and more, but each time I fail to believe it. They're awesome, they always make the playoffs, year in and year out. Their ''making the post-season'' record for the past 20 years is the best in baseball, it's incredible. But we mostly remember when they fail now, which is unfair.

Speaking of unfair, Louis Jean, of Sportsnet, is using Scott Gomez' salary to put him down and call him ''disappointing so far'', 5 games into the season. 5 games into an 82-game season, plus playoffs. But we all know Gomez isn't likely to put more than 60 points up on the board: it's his usual number, one he's reached or flirted with 8 times in his 9-season NHL career. To expect more is unfair. Sure, he has the statistics of a 4.5-million dollar man and is paid 7.3 - take the $3M difference as the price to pay for a two-time Stanley Cup winner, a Calder trophy winner, a responsible 2-way center, someone who stands up when the stakes are risen (say, the playoffs), and a bonus paid to have him on your team rather than the team you're competing against every night.

To expect more, statistically, than his usual 60 points amounts to, as I wrote in this post about Jason Spezza:
You can't get milk out of a stallion, and chances are you'll be disappointed if you try. And you'll end up with something else altogether.
Funny how in Ottawa, they have a 90-point guy and want him to play better defensively, like Scott Gomez, yet in Montréal, we have Gomez, and some people expect Spezza-like statistics from him. These guys have made it to be among the best at what they do in the best league in the world for their sport - and it's never enough.

Then again, that column was written by Louis Jean - the most over-rated, under-qualified reporter at Sportsnet. He's only on the Habs beat because he can speak and understand Québec French.

Friday, October 15, 2010

One Of Those Days

It's one of those fucking days, right?

When I came in to work, yesterday, 24 hours ago, it was sunny and warm, a beautiful Thursday mid-day. I've been in the same office for 25 hours straight, working on the same report - but now it's raining outside and I'm almost done.

Yesterday was also Pay Day. But because my company still functions in the 12th Century - I like to say they're Ye Olde School - we still get paid via cheque rather than direct deposit. And guess what happened to my bank this morning, the one place where I can bring my cheque in and they'll put the money in my account without freezing it? Wait for it...

A. Fucking. Car. Smashed. Through. It. A fucking car. Smashed through it. Someone put a motherfucking car through the window of my motherfucking bank, ripping away both ATMs, then smashing its way through more glass right into the fucking lobby, injuring a poor woman who was at the ATM. And, of course, closing the teller-part of it for the day.

Which means public transit will also be slowed down in the area where I reside.

And that's fine, because despite having been working for over 24 hours and up for 30 - I'm in no hurry to get home, because I'm not even sleepy yet. I'm probably tired, exhausted - I just don't feel it because I'm on 3 liters of Pepsi and a can of Rockstar - probably enough caffeine to kill a child or a couple of elderly people.

All hyped up and nothing to do.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Video Of The Week: Plajia

After much pondering about which video to feature this week, I decided to stay faithful to friends and opted to feature Plajia for the second time.

The reason I hesitated wasn't that I don't like the song - it's a pretty faithful cover of John Lennon's Jealous Guy - a terrific song. It's more that the video is from their studio sessions during the recording of the song and, as such, is pretty similar to their first video I featured on here.

And while everybody's trying to cash in on Lennon's ''70th birthday'' celebrations (really? aren't we going to also remember a month from now for the anniversary of his death?), Plajia just wanted to honour the guy's memory and will not release the song on any album.

As a matter of fact, they're offering it here for free.

As such, they crossed the line between ''fans of Lennon'' and became kindred spirits more on his level. And let's not forget the man himself wrote some of his most influential solo songs in a hotel room in Montréal. That's got to account for something.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Great Right North

They built the suburbs as a means to have all the advantages of working in the city without the disadvantages of living there... and they raised the cost of rent in the City to ensure the suburbs would be populated, and they sprawled onwards to great lengths, taking over farmland and replacing it with Super Marts and highways and gas stations.

It's the North American way of life: don't grow taller, grow wider. And do so by making it financially more affordable to expand sideways than stay a healthy stand-up society. Hot dogs at two for a dollar at a junk food 'restaurant', but a steak costs 5 bucks at the grocery store. So you get fat and expand, like your parents did when they moved out of town. Three kids and two cars later, no one's happy and we're running out of fucking land. In the second biggest country in the world.

Where does the sprawl have left to go? North-bound. Of course, directly North is another suburb; more North is Lake Territory, with high-priced country houses. But farther North, in the tundra, lies a New Virgin Territory. Quick, hire the cops, appoint a corrupt mayor, ask the government to give contracts to their friends in the construction racket business to build little towns. Make sure there are a few high-rise buildings this time around, though. For the City Kids like us, so we feel at home. And make sure that by the time we get there, it's already a bummer to live there, full of rules and laws that make no sense. Make the bars close at a ridiculous time, like before the hockey games end. Make swimming pools illegal. Make the tolerated level of noise - before receiving a ticket - lower than a baby's scream.

The politics of truth will never change, as long as the guilty have someone to blame.

Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away.

George Michael Released From Jail

Ok. So George Michael was released from prison. There are so many things that rule about that piece of news.

First off, he was jailed on September 14th. My birthday. It's like a birthday present to me, specifically.

Also, he was jailed for driving impaired... under the influence of marijuana. Not drunk driving, stoned driving. Most of my friends who drive (and smoke) say it's easier to drive stoned, because you focus better. Then again, he was slumped over his steering wheel, so maybe he was way too wasted.

But he was caught with two marijuana cigarettes. He pre-rolls! Or, presumably, has an assistant roll his joints!

And not just that - it was the second time he'd been caught driving stoned, so the judge said there was ''no option but jail''... so, basically, he asked for it.

Did he beg?

Friday, October 8, 2010

What A Fucking Waste Of Time

(this text was originally slated to be published on a National news site who had commissioned it; they have since turned it down because of my tone - not the words themselves, I'm allowed to curse, it's in my contract, they just disapproved of my take on the subject -  but I post it here instead)

The only thing worse than Karen Owen's ''thesis'' is douchebags who pretend it's the coolest thing ever, just because they couldn't get laid in high school or College.

What the fuck - the internet has pretty much been mainstream for 15 years now. 8-year olds have Facebook pages. There are TV shows airing shit directly off YouTube.

I can understand a dumb criminal whose name will live on  forever because it appeared in the news, but to willingly, selflessly ruin your own name by yourself - that's quite something.

She's been called a slut. In this days and age, doing 13 guys - all athletes - in 4 years of College when the subject isn't in a steady relationship isn't slutty. At all. It's groupie behavior, because they're athletes. It's retarded behavior because she did most of it after getting drunk at the worst bar ever - or with the worst name ever, anyway. It's stupid because she's proud to admit that without alcohol, she wouldn't have had the courage to get up to 13 conquests. It's weak-willed because she freely admits rating the guys and making a document wasn't actually her idea.

But it isn't ''slutty''.

However, it will remain on the web forever.

I debated taking part in this. With myself. And, realistically - it's the subject du jour. The mainstream media has been on it all day, both in Canada and the U.S. It's already too late. The only thing left for her is to change her name. And that last sentence is the only reason why I agreed to tackle this subject - to hand that tiny little piece of advice.

But, please, people. Be careful with your name online. Your future employers are watching, reading, sniffing around. So are cops. So are predators. And in 5 years, so will your fucking children.

This Can't Possibly Be Good

The NHL. The National Hockey League. The least serious of the ''four major sports leagues in North America''.

And Stan Lee. The out-dated comic book creator who came up with a bunch of superheroes in the 60s (Spider-man, Iron Man, The X-Men), all of whom learned that ''with great power comes great responsabilities'', give or take a thesaurus to slightly change the gimmick for each new character.

Have teamed up. To create a new series. Of 30 superheroes. One for each NHL city. Inspired by the teams' and cities' ''identities''. More Not that much info here.

Oh boy. I can smell it already...

Duck-man in Anaheim. Bird-man in Atlanta. Evil Loser-Leaf-man in Toronto. The Knight Ranger in New York. French Man in Montréal. Storm's brother Bolt in Tampa. Panther-man in Miami. Red Wheels in Detroit.

This is going to suck so bad.

Video Of The Week: Melissa Auf Der Maur

Of all the acts calling Montréal their home town these days, the one with perhaps the most name-drop-able resume has got to be Melissa Auf Der Maur.

After spending the early 90s in local band Tinker, she later joined Hole on Billy Corgan's insistance. She spent 5 years with Hole (apparently on a contract more than as an actual band member), touring (for two albums) and recording Celebrity Skin with them before leaving when her contract was due. She was a key part of making Stevie Nicks' Gold Dust Woman a listenable song on the Crow 2: City Of Angels soundtrack - the backing vocals are among the best I've ever heard - they overshadow the leads, even if they don't appear often.

Her plan was to pursue photography, her other passion - and her major - but Life got in the way, in the form of another Corgan indecent proposal / offer she couldn't refuse: D'Arcy Wretzky had left the Smashing Pumpkins after the recording of 2000's Machina: The Machines Of God, and Corgan needed a trustworthy stand-in for her. She only agreed after it was made clear this would be a one-off and that it would mark the Pumpkins' farewell tour.

She then went on to photography - until 2004's Auf Der Maur, which featured Queens Of The Stone Age members Josh Homme, Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri, Marilyn Manson guitarist Jeordie White, former Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson, former Pumpkin James Iha, Paz Lenchantin (of Zwan and A Perfect Circle fame), Helmet drummer John Stanier, and Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan, among others. For those who like their rock heavy and smart.

But this...

Her new record - Out Of Our Minds - is conceptual. It's a record, a graphic novel and a short film, and the videos are to be added to the film for the whole thing to work. There's obviously a ton of work and thought that's gone behind all of this; we're a far cry from the fun, skinny chick who used to hang out at Bifteck's and play pool until 3:30AM - she's a full-fledged, multi-talented artist of epic proportions.

This song is called Meet Me On The Dark Side. And you should.