Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weird Pepsi Flavours

I don't always drink cola, but when I do, I try to drink Pepsi. Because it's the least disgusting, and Pepsi Max has ginseng. And triple the caffeine of the regular brand. Zero fucking calories.

Yet Pepsi Max isn't in this list of 19 (actually 23) of weird Pepsis.

I'd try most of them.

Then again, I really, really liked Crystal Pepsi. As a teen, when my corner store stopped buying it, I emptied their remaining stock by myself, one at a time, for a month. Then I hit withdrawal.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Video Of The Week: Astral Gunk

A few years ago, young musician Joe Chamandy applied to have his band - oddly named The Beatles - play my annual UnPop Montreal festival, despite not knowing a thing about it. It didn't pan out in the end, and his Beatles are on hiatus these days.

But he's in another band called Astral Gunk, which he sometimes plugs on his blog, which consists mostly of artwork he's drawing, as independent pieces as much as show posters.

In any event, Astral Gunk - based not in Montréal but in Sackville, New Brunswick - made a video for their song Modern Life, and it's fun to watch:

Fallon Does Vedder In Tribute To Jeremy Lin

Jimmy Fallon can't remember the lines he writes for himself, can't really read, is awful at telling jokes and not really excellent at interviewing people either.

But he can sure do music impressions.

Last night, in a tribute to both Jeremy Lin and Pearl Jam, he did an impression of Eddie Vedder circa 1992 that was spot-on, to say the least...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How Music Is Made

Legendary guitarist Johnny Marr (of The Smiths and Gorillaz fame) has specific ideas on what makes music innovative, which he shared in an op-ed piece for, which was culled from a lecture he gave.

He makes quite a few valid points, but his conclusion seems to have hit many things on the head:
That's the first rule of thumb for any artist. If your friends like it, then you're on the right track. The second rule of thumb is that if you're going to follow the first rule, then you'd better make sure that your friends have got pretty good taste, or else you're scuppered. And I suppose the third rule of thumb is to make sure that none of your friends work for insider record companies. I know you can be mavericks within the music industry. I don't want to say you have to do this, you must do that, the gospel according to me is... What I mean is that all the greats did it from the outside. And that's a very, very inspiring thing. We live in an age of such conformity and uniformity and stifling conservatism. I don't know how that happened, but we do. This idea of the outsider has to be identified and celebrated, cherished, encouraged and theorised over. I want to see more people, and I know there are people, waiting to be like those I have described: the McLarens, the Oldhams and the Lydons.

To finish, the title, (Lou Reed's) "Walk on the Wild Side", came from the 1956 novel by Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side. Algren said of his book, "[it] asks why lost people develop into greater human beings than those who have never been lost in their whole lives." That song explains it all, that title explains it all – it might as well have been called "Walk on the Wild Outside".
 My friends have impeccable taste: they keep inviting me to play at their shows and fundraisers, they start bands with me - both of original material and covers... and I honestly love what they do as well. It seems we keep raising the bar for ourselves, amongst ourselves. And some people take notice, which is also cool.

Bad Parenting

Top-Ten list of bad parents.

Some are fakes, though, such as this one:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

San Fran-hips-Co Beer Week

Because I had fallen behind on my Maxim, Summum, and Playboy reading, I had no idea February 10th-19th was San Francisco Beer Week!

How thoughtful of them to tack on 3 extra days to factor in hangovers.

Lucky for me, I've been on a steady diet of 10-ish beers per day since early December when my Life turned to shit. Although I've mostly been drinking Tremblays, so my shit has turned into pudding.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Video Of The Week: Kittie

Kittie is a metal band that formed in 1996 in London, Ontario (Canada) by sisters Morgan Lander (singer) and Mercedes Lander and two friends - while they were still in high school. They were surprisingly heavy for kids - let alone ''girls'' (to some macho metalheads) - and just got heavier with time.

To this day, the sisters (who play guitar and drums, respectively) are the only constant band members, the bass and lead guitar slots being pretty much a revolving door. Guitarist Tara McLeod has been on board for three of the band's 6 records, with Suicide City's Jennifer Arroyo on board for one before her. Bassist Trish Doan is back after a 5-year hiatus due to a serious battle with anorexia, during which time Ivana 'Ivy' Vujic held her place. The band was even a trio for a while, in 2001 and 2002.

This song is from their 2009 release In The Black, which came out the day after my birthday. It's fairly typical and generic (which you kind of expect from a semi-independent band) and doesn't showcase mad skills, but it shows you these chicks can rock hard and well, their versatility, and ability to construct well-written pieces.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

R.I.P. Gary Carter

As a kid and teenager, my favourite baseball player was Tim Raines (still my all-time favourite), but Gary Carter was the one that got me interested in the sport itself.

Heck, when I was growing up - and even after he was traded to the New York Mets in 1984 - all of us kids in Montréal wore our caps backwards to be ''just like The Kid, as he was known, despite the fact that all catchers wore their caps backwards when behind the plate. To us, it was a way to identify with him even more than we already did, and we did a lot.

He loved the cameras, loved to smile for them, talk in front of them, pose for pictures - and all the cameras - and the people behind them - loved him back.

In a city all about hockey, he was as big a star as Guy Lafleur, the Montréal Canadiens' last star forward; he was the playoff hero in the failed 1981 NL run, one of four starting Montréal Expos at the 1982 All-Star Game (a fifth starter, Pete Rose, then of the Philadelphia Phillies, was a former Expo), the most charismatic figure in the history of the team.

I still remember when he was traded in 1984 (December 10th!) and against whom (Hubie Brooks, Floyd Youmans, Herman Winningham and the guy who replaced him behind the plate for half a decade, Mike Fitzgerald), and the World Series he won with the Mets in his second season in New York still stings.

He was treated like the living legend he was when the Expos brought him back to finish his career here in 1992, a year removed from Dennis Martinez' perfect game, two years before the kids (Delino DeShields, Marquis Grisson, Moises Alou, Larry Walker, Mel Rojas and John Wetteland) unexpectedly became the best team in the NL two years too early under the watchful eye of Felipe Alou.

When he was inducted in the Hall Of Fame in 2003, he said he'd want to be inducted as a member of both the Mets and Expos, but since Cooperstown decrees players can only represent one team, he favoured NYC because of his championship, but felt like a Montrealer despite this. The Hall decided to make him an Expo, and he was always bittersweet about it. He is now joined in the Hall by Andre Dawson, who was his enemy in the clubhouse. I hope Raines joins them soon, he is also very worthy of the Hall.

Today, Carter died from the multiple tumours in his head. Today, baseball died again in Montréal.

Truth: You Tell Me

Fucking politicians. Especially those who don't just lean to but are far into the right: fucking liars when it suits them, and predators the rest of the fucking time.

And assholes all the time.

We have cameras, motherfucker, and they're hooked to shit that stores whatever they fucking record. We have hard fucking proof of how much of a hypocrite you are in front of TV news crews compared to how bad a dick you are with your friends in your majority fucking government when taunting your opponents and trying to scare the voting public. Or the elderly among them, anyway.

There are probably more child molesters in your fucking Cabinet than there are roaming the streets of Canada. Sometimes I'm glad you're building more prisons, because we'll need the place to store all of you elected officials when we decide we've had enough. And if you bring the death penalty back, well... karma's a bitch, man.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Dog Looks Like A Cock

From my friend Yan's blog. From two other peoples'. 's. 's.

Ok, fine, so the blogosphere is fucking nuts. 'Cause he looks like a furry pair of them.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What If... What If...

The answer to most of these questions, Rage Against The Machine told us so. In 1992.

But it's good to be reminded, on Fox News no less.

The Internets Respond To Chris Brown Getting A Grammy

Last year, people were upset that Arcade Fire beat Eminem and other big names (such as Justin Bieber!) for the Best Album award.

This year, the interwebs are aflame because Chris Brown won. ''How can an institution like the Grammys award a woman-beater?'', ''What message are we sending kids?'', etc.

First off, the Grammys are supposed to reward talent, and, in any given year, an outstanding achievement in music. Not social graces, not political stance, not eco-friendly. Not even ''good person''. Axl Rose (also a wife beater) has Grammys, so do Mötley Crüe, and not only are they assholes, they are also the worst example you could give to kids not just in regards to how they treat women, but also drug use.

Also, this year, the Grammys awarded the Foo Fighters a prize, yet they have recently been outed as HIV deniers.

But no one is asking the real question: ''how could a song so bad win a fucking prize?''

On the other hand, there are thousands of brainless teenagers who took to Twitter this morning to show the whole world how utterly stupid they are by saying they'd like to get the shit beat out of them by Chris Brown.

I mean: hey, I know there are a bunch of star-fuckers out there, but this shit is insane:

Some of these fucking bitches look like they're in relationships... one could be a man... a few claim to LOVE him (Happy Valentine's!)... one has said it many times... and one wishes it would happen...

I say there should be a contest with a couple of judges and Brown - his vote counts for 2 - and the winner gets punched in the face repeatedly by him, live, on stage, in front of all the others. We'll see to what extent they're actually willing to go for it when the blood starts pouring. maybe he can find a wife there, should hooking back up with Rihanna not pan out.

A Denial, A Denial, A Denial, A Denial, A Deniaaallllllllll

Through the handy work of their bass player Nate Mendel, who has read one too many of the wrong books, Dave Grohl's legacy as a genuine rock icon has taken a dive of late, amid reports of the band fully supporting the claims of an organization called Alive And Well, which denies a link between HIV and AIDS, says HIV cannot be transmitted through sex (and that AIDS is all about anal). They also encourage people to NOT practice safe sex.

The Foos have played benefit shows for A&W already and are saying they will play more, attracting hordes of teens and young adults when, in the U.S., 25% of HIV cases concern people aged 13-25.

Foo Fighters being Grohl's baby - with him writing most of the material - this could possibly have a huge negative impact on his credibility in other areas where he might be tempted to use his fame and recognition to advance causes.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tim Thomas Strikes Again

So you're a high-profile athlete in your sport...

And I mean high-fucking-profile: playoff MVP, two-time best-at-your-position, Olympian silver medalist. You are Tim Thomas, star goalie of the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.

You stack your Facebook profile page with highly political statuts updates, refuse to meet the President of the United States and... won't answer questions about it to the media?

You're dumber than I thought, and that's knowing you fully support the Tea Party assholes.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

R.I.P. Whitney Houston

Black History Month is being tough on the American music community. First Don Cornelius, now Whitney Houston... Prince, Hammer and Will Smith had better keep a low profile.

There's a fitting tribute on HelloGiggles.

See her last performance here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Facebook Parenting For The Troubled Teen

He may have gone a tad too far, but it's damn funny.

And I'm sure he'll end up buying her a new laptop eventually.

Role Reversals

It's been done before, but once in a while I like to see someone's vision of the guy/girl thing as they reverse the stereotypes to show how stupid (or absurd) some actions/pick-up lines are.

Oh, No, Canada! (Part Deux!)

So two weeks have passed since Bill C-11 was the hot debate and, well... Stephen Harper's Conservatives want to control the internet even more: by threatening to cut off anyone for no good reason, and by restricting access to some websites - even those one might be the owner of.

More and more, it looks like the Ideal World for those fuckers would be one in which companies are completely deregulated and people - humans - are enslaved to both companies and the government, with laws restricting everything from the food we eat, the way we think, the shit we're allowed to do in our own homes, the stuff we read, the entertainment we watch.

6 fucking months into power and they have turned this once-proud, once-a-world-example-of-freedom into the worst police state George Orwell couldn't even have thought about imagining.

Sign it, please.

Video Of The Week: The Cramps

I've been sitting on this one for 10 days or so, changing the featured song - not the band, though - twice a day.

It's been three years since the passing of The Cramps' lead singer Lux Interior, and the void for a charismatic rebellious frontman of an important band has yet to be filled by a nubile rocker.

To neophytes, it's easy to dismiss the band as little more than ''Elvis-rockabilly-with-a-punk-twist'', but they are in fact so much more than that: they capture Americana at its finest, with lyrics about stock cars, drag races, and bountiful women (ranging from the femme fatale to the pure evil), but also the excesses of drugs and partying - all delivered with a larger-than-life persona mixing  the New York City night life, drag queen culture and a healthy dose of underground decadence.

I decided to go with Ultra Twist as my featured song because the video adds an S&M twist to their already sexed-up image, what with everyone in the band dressed in black leather (or vinyl), including guitarist Poison Ivy. And black and white boobs on the screen in the background helps, too.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

So I've Always Liked Strong Women To Match My Own Character

As a kid, I watched a lot of TV: G.I. Joe, Transformers, He-Man, Thundercats, M.A.S.K., Go-Bots (a cheap Transformers knock-off), Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, Goldorak, Astro Boy, Albator, Mazinger Z (the poor man's Goldorak), Voltron... lots of guys with big muscles and cars that turned into shit, and things that turned into giant communist (all the heroes in the same character) robots. And an anarchist pirate.

And, for a short while... She-Ra. I'd add ''in my defense, I was only watching it in case He-Man made one of his many cameos'', but even I'm not sure if that would make me admit I'm more or less manly. But the truth hurts, that idiom stays real.

In any event, I always like when pop culture catches up to She-Ra, proving I wasn't the only one who liked watching re-hashed stories involving He-Man's cuter little cousin - with smaller boobs.

As a matter of fact, someone on HelloGiggles - Zooey Deschanel's own blogosphere that she shares with her friends - made a list of 5 things they learned from She-Ra...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

R.I.P. Don Cornelius

February starts off on a sad note, s the creator of TV's Soul Train, Don Cornelius, shot himself to death this morning.

He was 75.