Sunday, July 31, 2011

My City Of Ruins, Part 25

One piece at a time, we're going to crumble into the river that surrounds us.

This time, part of a tunnel structure - designed to block the sun out of drivers' eyes - just fucking fell on the highway.

Add that to overpasses crumbling, two bridges in need of immediate replacement - including the one that receives the most vehicles in all of Canada on a daily basis - and slowly wonder where all the payola money has been going. We've paid for these structures a million times over and yet they fall before our eyes, at half their life expectancy.

So many people have to account for this, from the shady construction companies who built them to the blind government officials who paid for them to the governing parties who were supposed to invest in their maintenance.

Remember when we used to chop the heads off our leaders, or carried pitchforks and lanterns to their houses, or feathered-and-tarred criminals? Good times.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Video Of The Week: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Why not two straight posts on the Red Hot Chili Peppers?

They have made one of the best records of all time, Blood Sugar Sex Magik. But they've also gone to great lengths to try to reproduce its hit songs over and over again (Scar Tissue, Universally Speaking, Desecration Smile, most of the By The Way record, all of Stadium Arcadium...), something that really gets on my nerves.

But in 1995, when they'd lost track of guitarist John Frusciante, they recruited Jane's Addiction axeman Dave Navarro for their One Hot Minute album, a departure from their earlier sounds, more experimental, and a bit heavier.

If I were to grade it, it wouldn't come close to BSSM or Mother's Milk, but their quest for a new sound has to be applauded and respected - and it gave us this little ditty - Aeroplane, and its fun video:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Back On Track?

After a decade of releasing albums with only two types of songs - Under The Bridge-like ballads or Give It Away-style semi-funkers - and the most boring double-album of all time, Stadium Arcadium, it seems the Red Hot Chili Peppers are back to doing what they do best: original, actually funky tracks reminiscent more of 70s-funk made today than L.A.-pop and stupid lyrics.

Listen to the first track here:

Then again, in an interview on Gibson Guitars' website, Flea mentioned they recorded 70 songs for their next release, and didn't necessarily put the ''best'' ones on it. And no other song sounds like The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie, so I wouldn't go out and recommend it quite yet.

Mexican-ish Guadalupe

The other night, my friend Mark, who I hadn't seen in months, took me to eat at local Mexican-ish (more inspired by than actual typical cuisine) restaurant La Guadeloupe Mexicaine, pictured above (except it wasn't winter).

By no means am I a food critic, but I've eaten a meal or two in my time, and I've forged an opinion on what I like and dislike and I must say... this fell smack-dab in the middle.

At around $15-20 a plate, it was decently priced (especially when you keep in mind a trio at McDonald's now costs over ten bucks...), but the meals themselves weren't anything to write home about. As a matter of fact, I could probably make myself a meal at home that would be better...

But as an evening to experience in good company with great conversation, I'd do it again. The restaurant was a solid 3/5, maybe 3.5.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Foot In Mouth Disease: Mila Kunis


In this month's GQ, Mila Kunis talks low-level feminism, saying women in Hollywood aren't considered decent comedic actors and are instead relied upon to just stand pretty. Of course, she does so in her underwear:

And that's not the only thing she should have thought more about, she is also quoted as saying, about having ''friends with benefits'':
It's like communism -- good in theory, in execution it fails.
Except that, time and time again, that comparison has been proven wrong. Communism in its purest form, unlike capitalism, has never been given a chance. And in the instances where it was watered down and tried, it was said to be because of human greed - which capitalism also suffers from.

And don't tell me about China and Cuba's emprisonment of dissenters - the good old U.S. of A. has also done so repeatedly, from the 1950s to the George W. Bush years, in which the Department of Homeland Security was even given the right to lock up people without a warrant nor a trial.

Maybe Mila isn't as smart as she thinks she is. Nor *gasp* as pretty as she thinks she is.

Fountains Of Cool

With the humidity factored in, it's over 45 degrees celsius (113 farenheit) outside today, for the second time in three days.

The Russian website English Russia brings us pictures of girls cooling themselves in fountains, and it kind of almost works in real life.

It's a lot more interesting to me than their pictorials of Russian girls in (or on) foreign cars...

Amy Winehouse Is Dead

Well, you can stop the jokes, now, because it has finally happened for real: British soul singer Amy Winehouse has died, at the ripe old age of 27.

They will probably polish off her unreleased demos and release them as a posthumous third record to send her off in style. When your breakout single is called Rehab and you're in and out of them all the time, the end is inevitable. Only Courtney Love and Scott Weiland seem to constantly defy the odds, but for how long?

Hopefully this other useless death will knock some sense into them.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Video Of The Week: Soundgarden

Sure, they're the worst live show I've ever seen, but on record, they rocked as hard as dry shit.

I don't know about their comeback, but in their heyday, Soundgarden were a force to be reckoned with from Fopp to Louder Than Love (featuring a track even Guns N' Roses covered, Big Dumb Sex), to the ear-shattering Badmotorfinger.

And even the hit-packed sellout Pearl Jam-wanna be record, Superunknown - from which this was the first single back in 1994 - has its moments.

I didn't think much of this track, especially lyrics-wise, back in the day, but the riff has survived and now finds its place among (The White Stripes') Seven Nation Army and (Led Zeppelin's) Heartbreaker and Whole Lotta Love as songs I warm up with by playing in rehearsal before my own shows.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Present Is Bleak

Processed cheese. Melted cheese product. De-mineralized water. Sodium-free salt. Flavored water.

We live in a world that sells us shit that used to be good for us, but mechanized and industrialized and boosted with additives that will kill most of us.

And the masses buy and buy, more than ever before, despite our being smack-dab in the middle of the longest and most costly recession mankind has ever known. Then again, recessions didn't exist before capitalism, so either it will get worse, or that will kill us, too.

But the U.S. have announced their economy has progressed by 1.9% in the first half of 2011 - technically not a recession, which means ''step backwards'', but it has progressed so little - and with 20 million people receiving unemployment cheques (which will expire soon) counting in that number, once those people run out, it'll get even worse.

And yet there was more money spent in the first half of the year than in any 6-month period ever, with the notable exception of that time-frame between 1998 and 2000.

And through the magic of Ebay, I feel I'm contributing more to the American economy than most Americans... although the amount I put in doesn't even equate one person ''sending'' their savings to Mexican drug lords. Now those people have Purchasing Power - and that's why I've always preached that a sales tax-based system will always be better than an income tax-based one, because even the dirty money gets taxed and put back in the system right away.

But I digress, as usual. Call me Digressy High.

World Cup Endeth

Remember the Women's World Cup (soccer) I was telling you about?

It ended, with Japan defeating the Americans. And many Americans calling the ladies ''chokers''. Hy, silver may be the first loser, but it's also the second winner. Or something.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Let Your Sick Mind Play

I've come across this fun website that shows 15 pictures that look dirty upon a first glance but self-explain themselves when you look again.

A fun way to pass a minute.

Dirty People

Ok, so Fox News has a thing for scaring people and aren't the most reliable news provider out there.

Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that they'd publish a piece about the human bellybutton and how it's home to hundreds of new species of bacteria. And that they'd slap it with a ''sexy and ethnic'' picture.

''Foreign is bad'', seems to be their motto, and anything concerning the human body is icky, particularly near the mid-section.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Teaching Pitbull

Allow me to rant for a minute here...

Whoever - or whatever retarded school system - taught Pitbull that the only word that rhymes with ''tonight'' is... ''tonight'' should come over to my place and receive the beating they so rightfully deserve.

Ditto for the asshole who decided the Cuban-American ''star'' should be all over the airwaves without any talent to show for it.

Thanks for your time.

Between Me And U2...

You know what?

Fuck ''classic U2''. Fuck The Joshua Tree and Sunday Bloody Sunday. Not that Bloody Sunday isn't a good song, but it's played every Spring at every sugar shack, at every graduation, at every party - it's lost its meaning a thousand times over. And Joshua Tree might be the most over-rated record of all time (apart from all the records made by that Beatles act from Liverpool).

But yearning for ''old U2'' as many critics are doing now that the band is in town for its biggest concert in history (both for U2 and Montréal) is like saying Led Zeppelin was better than Robert Plant solo, like the thief-band is better than the inspired master...

That's forgetting the ground-breaking-ness of Achtung Baby, of Zooropa and - to a lesser extent - Pop, an amazing record if you forget the inclusion of its first single, Discothèque.

Instead of being complacent, wallowing in their past success, U2 made the gamble to keep evolving and push themselves, and it paid, until Vertigo and the free-fall that comes with a lack of inspiration mixed with a load of self-importance. When U2's message of world peace and Bono's attempt to purchase a Nobel Peace Prize became more important than the music, only then did U2, in my eyes, start to make terrible music. Because, honestly, between Where The Streets Have No Name and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, there isn't that much of a change in styles, sound, tempo, or anything else. Achtung is what saves U2 from becoming one of those faceless, nameless ''classic-rock'' bands like Kansas or Boston, and in the process makes the band an important part of rock history.

Just sayin'.