Friday, October 28, 2011

Yet Another Hazing Story

The more kids change, the more they stay stupid.

Hazing rituals have been a staple of team sports since, well, pretty much the dawn of time. Through human history, rites of passage and initiations often paved the way as a celebration or challenge as someone changed levels at something, be it age, social rank or whatever.

But get guys together, get them drunk, and their inner rapist comes out full throttle - which kind of explains why most of these end up with cocks and balls and assholes getting defiled in one manner or another - and even the third most prestigious university in the world isn't immune to it.

This time, a minor hockey team in butt-fuck Manitoba (pardon the pun) decided it would be funny to attach water bottles to kids' scrotums. 16 players were suspended - you need 20 to play a game, and most teams have rosters of up to 23 players, with healthy scratches.

But what happens when the suspended players return? No one thought they'd be pissed off for missing games which will lead to more shit going on inside the locker room?

I was never hazed in sports because as my team's starting goalie in hockey, they couldn't afford to have me undress between two periods, submit to the ordeal and perhaps miss a few minutes of playing time - as most hazing occured during tournaments in other cities, when most parents didn't make the trip. I did witness a few, and did intervene a couple of times (a six-foot, 200-pound teen can have that kind of clout), including when guys tried to have a girl on our team (Sophie, how I wonder what you're up to these days!) be subjected to something outrageous.

In football, making the team at season's end as a 9th grader, it was assumed I would also be on the team the following season, so they just held off for later, but because my coaches implicitly told me I needed to gain weight through steroid use during the off-season - which was not only contrary to my beliefs but a no-no for my hockey career, in which I represented my country and/or province on many occasions and therefore had to get tested regularly - I just quit and never showed up for training camp in Grade 10.

So while I personally avoided it, I have always been aware it existed - and always thought it was stupid, immature and at times dangerous.

What usually happened was the older guys hazed the younger kids for revenge, making their plight worse than what had happened the year before.

And each year it snowballs, to the point where broom sticks get shoved up peoples' asses and high-priced coaches lose their jobs. And NO ONE is the better for it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

No Limits

There's an ice cream shop a block from my place. And I was walking past it, on the other side of the street, but I was blinded by its flickering lights.

And I was surprised they made it to the other side, and caught myself thinking ''is this legal?''

And I was shocked that I thought it, then told myself ''it damn well better be''.

Dirty Old Dive Bar

One step in the poorly-lit bar and it already reeks of their sex. The walls are icky, slimy as snot but a translucent grey, like dying fish had been glued to it and never quite died but the stench intensified.

And I wouldn't mind it at all if it weren't for the vein in my left hand begging for the chance to rip my skin open and explode - I couldn't bear contracting the infection of dead cum without having at least fucked a 6 or a 7. Or a trashy 19-year old.

I keep wondering about the shit that goes on in there when I'm not around, seeing as they usually devolve pretty quickly even in my presence. And the shitty music never helps, either, fucking cock-rock classics of the 80s, country-rock classics of the 70s, nothing modern, nothing new - a fit representation of its patrons, who never would have seen the past 20 years if it weren't for the invention of penicillin.

Drunk fucking zombies on their automated poker machines, barely pausing for cigarette breaks, drinking 3% beer 'cause it's a dollar cheaper than the regular-strength stuff that, oddly enough, also tastes like stale piss.

This is the minor leagues of daytime drinking, populated with a few youngsters, sure, but mostly should-be-retired-by-suicide dreamers holding on to the last parcel of their youth, with memories of that one day in their life where it didn't rain shit on their heads, where maybe the right whore was a decent enough actress to make them believe in Love for even a second, their first used car, the first time seeing a plane in the sky, playing with a dog, or that first welfare check that seemed like so much money.

These dreams aren't broken, they're rusted, mouldy, holding on for their fucking life with fucking duct tape - but they're still there, alive. Working. Well enough to get from point A to point D in a haze, barely flipping over a few tables, perhaps with a black eye or two, but fucking standing.

And that's why the dried-up beer, the vomit, the blood - some of it clearly menstrual - and the cum add layer upon layer of goo on the tables, floors and walls, and why we all keep coming back. Hope.

Video Of The Week: Queens Of The Stone Age

Ah, Queens Of The Stone Age. They're the band I've been listening to the most lately, and I'm probably going to be playing this song at my next show, November 3rd, at Piranha Bar (pardon the plug).

Sure, I've made them Video Of The Week before, but who cares? Good music is good music, and theirs is great. Plus this song features Dave Grohl on drums - not just in the video, but also on the original recording. And lest we forget, Grohl, like bandleader Josh Homme, is also a drummer who is a singer-guitarist in another band (Homme plays drums for the Eagles Of Death Metal, and I'm sure you've heard of Grohl's Foo Fighters).

Speaking Of The ''Occupy'' Movement...

Either someone at Fox is going to lose their job for making ''those lefties'' look legitimate, or they'll find a way to make this about how the Republicans aren't out to screw people and will listen to their grievances.

Diddley Squat

Seems a little messed up that Elias McDaniel - Bo Diddley's son - was arrested in the Gainesville, Florida plaza that bears his father's name, just for supporting his local Occupy Movement ''chapter''.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tattooed Barbie 2011

Some moms have so little to do, they keep complaining about futile things, like Tattooed Barbie 2011 - there was a similar case in 2009.

I always wonder about those parents - with so many Letters To The Editor to write, Tea Party protests to attend, TV shows to scutinize and rap and rock musicians to try to ban from the airwaves and arenas, it's a wonder how they have time to even look at their children a few times a day, let alone look after them.

It's why this blog post touched my heart. Key quote:

Secondly, let's get real for a minute: Barbie has always dressed like a $5 hooker. (...)
I'm sorry, but when did tattoos become a symbol of immorality?
And when did we start taking toys so damn seriously?

NHL Goalies' Looks For 2011-12

If you check my collectibles blog once in a while, you'll notice I have a thing for (hockey) goalies. Sure, I used to be one, but I also think many of them look like the modern version of a Middle Ages warrior - and some, like Chris Mason of the Winnipeg Jets - pictured above - make their shitty team's jerseys look really cool with the right gear - and Brian's is always the right gear.

ESPN and Uni Watch have compiled a list of all the NHL's current goalies' gear a couple of weeks into the season.

Moammar Qaddafi Is Dead

I particularly like this analysis of blogger Andrew Sullivan:
To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he'd be on Mount Rushmore by now.

Video Of The Week: Chix N' Dix

Chix N' Dix is a terrific Montréal punk band who recently released their first full-length, Zebras In Reverse.

From Kryztera Oi!'s smart lyrics and energetic delivery to Jessica Kaye's reserved guitar virtuosity (the Chix) and a rhythm section comprised of bass player Kyle O'Shea and drummer Tomass Durdon (the Dix) who are smart enough to play frenetically while giving their charismatic female counterparts center stage, the band has often won over crowds of better-established bands by their sheer passion and delivery.

Each year, their hundreds of internet-savvy friends vote them near the top of the Montreal Mirror's list of best bands, giving them an added visibility I hope they will enjoy soon.

In this video, CND are seen traveling (and playing) amidst Montréal's subway system (''metro''), spending perhaps more time at the Crémazie and Lionel-Groulx stations than is advisable for health reasons, but rocking out all the same. I particularly enjoyed the scene where they are filmed in the up-and-down escalators and the time where the train stops at a station and the people there decide to walk into another wagon rather than be subjected to the band - feels real.

And finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Kaye being an important solo singer-songwriter in her own right. And now for the video...

Shatner's Choice

After a post about Apple, why not a look back at a Commodore ad featuring none other than Montrealer William Shatner?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Real Or Fake: Steve Jobs' Last Meeting With Apple

I own an iPod, but the death of Steve Jobs didn't affect me at all. I didn't blog about it, didn't even change my Facebook status to acknowledge him.

If the CEO of Halliburton, or Sears, or JC Penney dies, I'll probably feel the same: huge loss for friends and families, doesn't change a thing for me. At all.

What I'm interested in, however, are videos like this one:

Shocking Video From Steve Jobs' Last Business Meeting from The Final Edition on Vimeo.

If it were real, it would show a man incapable of making the huge decisions he is mandated - and paid - to make, and since Apple is listed in the stock market, the stockholders should be aware of this fact, and they most probably weren't.

Instead, he spews gibberish before fainting and falling off his chair, prompting others in the boardroom meeting to panic and call for help.

But there is at least one website who claims this was a hoax.

Monday, October 17, 2011

R.I.P. Dan Wheldon

You've probably seen the the footage all over the news: a 15-car crash in a Las Vegas race killed Dan Wheldon, a British athlete going for a $5M payday.

None, in the media, were more affected than Fox's Holly Cain, who knew him (and his family) well, having followed him from his beginnings to the very end, and ending up living just a few miles away from them.

Not My Day

Your boss tells you on Friday : ''no need to show up in the morning on Monday, 1 PM will suffice. Sleep in.'' Sounds like a great thing, right?

But of course Murphy will take exception to this and fuck it right up, evil scheming invisible bastard that He is.

So I go to bed at 10 PM-ish, I think, which is early as fuck for me. My roommate/little brother Yan got home at 3:30 AM and woke me up – and I couldn’t fall back asleep. At least I got some reading done – Pearl Jam Twenty (the book – while I await the arrival of the Blu-ray in the mail, possibly Friday). I’m at the year 2000 – Binaural.

But the worst part was the subway ride to fucking work: squeezed up, like fucking mushrooms in a can, and getting pushed by all those sweaty animals as they take the longest possible fucking route to the train’s exit, by bumping into 20 people rather than 5. For that kind of fucking swine, the fastest way from Point A to Point B is by Texas via the fucking moon, with a pit stop for coffee.

Murder might have been the case they gave Snoop Dogg, but I was tempted to follow that path as well. As a matter of fact, I was abnormally over-aggressive on the mid-day hour, considering.

The evening’s looming and my energy level’s dropping, my vision is blurring, and I know I’ll have to share another ride with those fucking worker bees in just a hundred minutes or so. I recently saw a phrase online, possibly on Facebook, that read ''You are not stuck in traffic; you ARE traffic''. Well, I’m not. Not at all. The 9-to-5 crowd is not my crowd, unless you mean the people who start drinking at 9 PM and only stop at 5AM to shower and start their day. In which case, that literally is my crowd, the one that comes to my fucking shows, the ones I owe a lot to.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm Deprived (Lyrics I Just Made Up)

Ain’t got a shudder, don’t need to blink
Got a million reasons to not want to think
I’m on the brink of self-elimination
My government wants to keep building fucking prisons

They laugh out loud, they have no shame
Their banker buddies tell them it’s just a game
In their downtown towers with the a/c on
We’re about to tear down, stone by stone

Weary in my sleep and worries in my soul
I’m probably going to die before I get old
Champion of lost causes since 1995
I’m deprived…

Forever In Blue Jeans

On the subway today, I was surrounded by people wearing blue jeans. Everyone, all wearing blue fucking jeans. 40 out of 45 people in my train.

In this time where people are getting more conservative, they’re reverting to fucking cowboys, to ''working man’s clothes'', as Bruce Springsteen would put it. Except in the 70s, it was the Left who was doing it, now it seems it’s the Right.

There’s something inherently wrong in conformism, in homogenizing Society, in becoming all the same, in the lack of bright colours and the lack of black.

The Right keep ''warning'' us about Socialism, the Great Evil that would mean a totalitarian state, but it’s them who want to increase security at all costs, and send everyone to fucking jail to keep an even better eye on them, most of whom would be inside for petty crimes like smoking weed while the politicians and priests stay on the outside, passing law after law to put more people in prisons while they, themselves, commit the most important, grave crimes: raping kids, razing the lands of their resources, creating bankruptcies and starving the poor, starting wars for no reason, and helping their banker buddies and Big Company friends get richer beyond what’s reasonable for no fucking reason.

After all, what good is having a million billion dollars once you’ve purchased everything? There’s nothing left to buy, and you still have leftover money; it just doesn’t work. It means nothing.

Just like blue fucking jeans.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Body Is A Cage

My fucking body's trying to kill me.

I have itchy hives on my elbows that stop me from sleeping, my turtleneck choking my captain, farts that smell like they can melt metal and shit that comes out like mud - and I'm sure it can burn through most things like lava.

My diabetes and asthma aren't even acting up yet, and the fact that I'm balding doesn't even matter to me anymore.

Ever since I've been an adult, living on my own, I've lived like a King. Now, at 33, I feel like I'm about to die at the age kings used to die at, having indulged in most things they'd indulged in - except taxing the poor, of course.

Occupying Wall Street sounds like a good idea, but for now, I'm still trying to just occupy my own body, my own cage.

I'll let you know how that turns out.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Video Of The Week: Canned Hamm (Again!)

When I was doing research for last week's Video Of The Week, I came across this video of Canned Hamm that I just could not overlook...

So, yes, for the second week in a row, they are the featured artist. O-way-O!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dora Bleu, Wiwichu & Will Austin @ Piranha Bar, September 15th, 2011

                                                           (picture by .Cut)

UnPop Montréal 2011 has come to an end, shorter than in past years, but just as awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping. This day-after-my-birthday night was no exception.

Here is the write-up I came up with, in its original bilingual form:

                                                         (poster by Triangles Stuart)

(scroll down for English)

Pour la 7e année consécutive, Sébastian Hell vous présente UnPop Montréal, le festival des shows gratuits du mois de septembre, qui commence le 31 par un lancement de disque et se termine le 22 par un show extérieur d'Arcade Fire. Entrecoupé de shows intérieurs comme celui-ci, de partys ravageurs, et de la fête de votre Messie favori le 14.

Mais revenons aux shows, et plus spécifiquement celui-ci...

DORA BLEU est une artiste multidisciplinaire qui transforme les sons ambiants en musique contemporaine, plus souvent qu'autrement accompagnée de nos musiciens expérimentaux les plus connus (Sam Shalabi, Alex St-Onge, Cloudscapes pour ne nommer que ceux-là).

WILL AUSTIN et son ESCAPE, c'est de la pure folie rock qui nous ramène aux années 60 et 70 dans son délire presque toujours improvisé basé sur de réelles compositions, mais jouées ''sur le moment''. Il est aussi le leader du groupe Shyny Diemyndz, qui abondent dans le même sens.

WIWICHU, eux, tirent la couverte dans un tout autre sens. Parfois ''free jazz'', parfois plus ''rock moderne'', ils tendent à vouloir ensevelir vos références musicales dans un maëlstrom olfactif et sonore qui en déroutera plus d'un.

Et le tout, comme d'habitude, animé de sang-froid par SÉBASTIAN HELL, le légendaire trentenaire qui fait courir les foules full bien.

Et c'est encore et toujours GRATUIT, et ce sera au PIRANHA BAR (680 Ste-Catherine Ouest) pour la toute première fois. On vous y voit?
UnPop 2011. Year 7. Free shows each September, each sillier and bigger and more entertaining than the last, all gifts to you from Sébastian Hell, Grand Whizzer of this nearly-month-long event.

As a palate cleanser, this first show of the 2011 edition has garnered past performers back for an encore presentation:

DORA BLEU, who made grown men weep and normal music evolve last year is back in a smaller, more intimate setting to mesmerize your senses even more.

The one and only WILL AUSTIN ESCAPE, UnPop veterans since 2007, will show you just how high-energy and spontaneous a rock performance can get, as the modern Huddy Bolly of our times makes his guitar screech as much as his voice in re-interpreted versions of his already-classic epic songwriting.

And first but not least, WIWICHU, a collective of nü-improvisers (all ex-members of bands that have played UnPop before, here in an All-Star setting of sorts) guaranteed to expand your mind in ways even Jim Morrison had never dreamed about.

All that and SÉBASTIAN HELL at the helm, hosting with the boasting, funnier than a barrel of fun keys, in all his intrepid ''I-lost-so-much-weight-but-I'm-still-big'' glory. Oh, and a glory hole out back.

Back where? At PIRANHA BAR, for the very first time. 680 Ste-Catherine West. Formerly an arcade, now a place for awesome music. On the 15th, anyway. And, as usual, FREE.

 Here is a review my friend Albérick wrote about Dora's set; he disliked the setting but seemed to enjoy the performance...

For my part, I was again shocked at the sheer power of Dora's voice, how it takes command over the barrage of sounds her collaborators make. Sure, the experimentations were really nice, the songwriting from whence these tweaks occur is stellar, but the magnitude of her glass-shattering voice keeps hitting me hard. She could fill an arena without a microphone.

And what can I say about Wiwichu? I was expecting well-groomed musicians (which they are, each playing in at least one other band) getting silly, but instead got a direct dose of heavy instrumental funk, which I didn't realize I absolutely needed until I heard it. It grooved like I had no idea it could. I was shocked - and pleasantly surprised.

As for the ever-lasting Will Austin, he's always had the talent to write good songs and make covers (by anybody, from Daniel Johnston to Bob Dylan) his own, and could always come up with an impressive performance, but in the past year or so, he has really achieved a level of consistency I would/could/should not have expected on his part, maybe because of his oh-so-natural delivery, or because he doesn't take himself all that seriously - or at least is very level-headed about his ability to rock a mic with just a guitar. Slowly but surely, he is becoming someone you'll regret not having seen live.

Shut Up And Sing

Oh, Hank Williams Jr.!

Drunk-dialing Fox News the morning of a drunken bender, hitting on Gretchen Carlson and calling Barack Obama ''Hitler''... signs of a good day coming. Or maybe not.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Notes To Adam Levine Of Maroon 5

The only way you move anything remotely close to ''like Jagger'' is in admitting you dance like a 70-year old.

Or if the 17-year old model you had sex with last night was riding on top of you after you took Viagra and compared the two of you. And you lost.

Or because you walk like you just got rammed by David Bowie.

Or because you get rusty after a 5-year hiatus.

Or because of the speed you run away at after you've ripped off most black singers of the early 60s.

You are to Jagger what Creed is to Pearl Jam. Or what Nickelback is to music.

Sarah Palin Knows Polls

It seems she may have experienced poles while, uh, cross-country skiing. Yeah, that's it.

You see, there isn't much to do in Wasilla, except, you know, take to the poles. 'Cause it's right next to the North one, too.

Video Of The Week: Canned Hamm

Canned Hamm are not a joke. Sure, they're funny, they don't take themselves seriously and love hitting their listeners with oddball lyrics, music and songs - and records... like Erotic Thriller, that Gay Disco album.

It's like singer-songwriter-karaoke gone awry., but done extremely well.

Here they offer a song called Father And Son - but not the Cat Stevens song; something deeper, perhaps, if you can believe it.