I Saw the Rabbit and He Frightened Me

Just returned from the Frightened Rabbit show at the Media Club. Amazing band! I’m so glad I got to see them. The crowd was really into them too and the band was quite impressed with the response they got. This was their first trip to Vancouver and hopefully they’ll be here a few more times. 

The drummer was an unshaven monster who pounded the heck out of his kit. I’m surprised he didn’t break a bunch of sticks. I got a couple of good ideas from his style although I’ll have to learn to play much better so I can duplicate them. 

Their guitarist looked like John A. Macdonald as a young hipster. I didn’t see him drink any gin though so I suspect they aren’t related.  

Otherwise today’s been a good, busy day. I got my vote on for the provincial by-election in our riding. We also had a fun jam tonight with the band. My drumming was a little shaky for the first hour but I managed to kinda pull it together for the latter half. 

Tired now. Going to bed. G’night all.

Steeped in History

Bob Dylan was amazing! Not only was it a great performance by a crack band but there was an sense of witnessing a part of music history. Bob’s voice was as gravelly as ever and it’s hard to understand much of what he says but that’s part of his charm.

His band was stellar. The drummer nailed everything and made me feel like I haven’t scratched the surface of that talent yet. The guitarists were all decked out in grey suits and hats reminiscent of the Blues Brothers. They were top-notch talent too.

What I enjoyed most was how most of the songs were done with a bluesy shuffle beat behind them. Completely different than his recorded versions.

After Dylan we met up with Reilly and the gang for a bite at Denny’s where I discovered they have a “rockstar” menu featuring dishes marketed by different bands. The marketing worked because I ordered the “Heart on a Plate” meal that had been tied to the Eagles of Death Metal’s new album, Heart On. We’re seeing the EODM next weekend so it seemed appropriate. Heart on a Plate was a bit ridiculous though. A mountain of heart shaped pancakes slathered in whipped cream and strawberry sauce showed up and I only managed to plow through half the stack.

Yesterday we wandered down to Kits Beach for the Thrill the World event that a couple of our friends were participating in. Thrill the World is an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most people simultaneously doing Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance. At the beach there were several dozen people decked out in zombie makeup doing the choreographed Thriller dance. Kinda crazy!

Reilly and the crew were out with all their fancy cameras and you can see Reilly’s pictures here:

http://flickr.com/photos/reillyphoto/sets/72157608358065882/

It was kinda funny to see us doing the paparazzi thing for our friends in their zombie outfits.

Last night we got together at R&M’s to do some dinner and drink some Granville Island Winter Ale. The Winter is one of the finest beers ever brewed! It’s got a vanilla flavor that makes it taste unlike any beer I’ve ever had. I should start having them for breakfast. They’re that good.

What is Your Life!?!

Sunday night Josh and I attended the Henry Rollins spoken word performance. Rollins is the singer from the 80’s punk act Black Flag as well as his Rollins Band which was started after Black Flag broke up. Now he’s more about political action, travelling, and doing his spoken word thing.

There were many funny things about his performance but I found his travelling stories to be the most interesting. Henry’s made a point of going to all those places that have been getting news headlines lately such as Syria and Pakistan so he can see what’s going on for himself. The whole thing made me want to get up an travel again and I’m sure it’s going to be a bigger part of my life in the years ahead.

The weekend was laid back. I went out on Saturday for Toy Camera Day where a pack of us took our cheap plastic cameras and shot all kinds of cool things. Afterward we rendezvoused at the Black Frog for some beers and food.

Last Wednesday we got together for a band practice at the newly-renovated Crying Sky. It’s the cheapest jam space in town and just changed ownership. Instead of a grungy, cluttered, front room that reeks of pot smoke and stale beer, there’s an open layout with hardwood floor and shelves to organize rental gear. They cleaned out the hallways which used to be a maze of broken down amplifiers and beat up drum parts. The rooms, which had the filthiest floors imaginable, have been carpeted although the walls still feature the holes that were punched in them over the past few years. So it’s come up a ways since the spring when we last rented a room.

Tomorrow we’re jamming again it looks like. There’s a couple of new songs to try out and we’re starting to get the older songs back into shape too. Hopefully we’ll be able to do some shows in the new year.

I’ve been picking up tickets to all sorts of cool shows coming up. Here’s a list if anyone’s interested in joining:

Wed, Oct 29 – Frightened Rabbit / Spinto Band @ The Media Club
Sun, Nov 2 – Eagles of Death Metal @ The Commodore
Sat, Dec 6 – Blitzen Trapper @ The Media Club

Our friends have been getting heavily into the Frightened Rabbit so we’ll head to the Media Club early to catch their opening for The Spinto Band, who I know nothing about.

You and Me ‘Till the Wheels Fall Off (L7)

Great, relaxed weekend in Vernon. The only snag was yesterday as I was driving around in the courtesy car from the autobody shop (yes, my car got crashed again — not serious though) and I heard a “whup whup whup” coming from the rear. Turns out the back tire got a nail in it and went flat. So I limped the car back to my Mom’s place and put on the crappy donut spare tire in the hopes that it would hold for the journey back over the Coquihalla. Incredulously, it held! The drive back was pretty slow anyway since there was a pile of fog and traffic lineups once we hit the old tollbooths.

I did try and hit Canadian Tire this morning to get the nail removed and patched but discovered that the tire was worn down too much to be repaired by a legitimate shop. So my only option was to run the donut spare. I’m pretty impressed that it made it.

So now I have to eat the remainder of a whole pumpkin pie that we made yesterday. Wish me luck!

Have You Ever Been to Canadian Wedding? Where’s the Vodka? Where’s the Marinated Herring?

Before Gogol Bordello launched into their brilliant song American Wedding they said they had a guy who had something to say. This indie hipster sauntered onstage and immediately went to the front and tried to drag someone up. Finally this girl pops up on stage, the guy gets on one knee and proposes to her! The sold-out crowd, which was already going crazy, went bananas when this happened. Eugene Hutz (the singer) and the rest of the band sat back and when the tearful girl accepted the proposal, Eugene busted open a bottle of champagne for everyone to knock back. Then they scampered offstage as the band kicked off with American Wedding.

I love shows with energetic bands that can whip up a crowd like Gogol can. Being in a pile of people jumping around is one of the most fun things ever. Especially when everyone starts jumping in unison to a thick beat that the band lays down.

It is Not a Crime!

I’ve just returned from one of the most outrageous shows I’ve seen, courtesy of the Gogol Bordello! Billed as a “gypsy punk” band, this is one of the most energetic and wild bands I’ve seen on stage. Imagine a troupe of Eastern Europeans from New York blasting out gypsy music infused with punk, dub, and rock. Now speed it up and get the sold-out crowd at the Commodore jumping along and you’ll have some idea of what that show was like.

This was definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen. I think they were even crazier than when I saw them last year.

Tomorrow I pack up and head to Vernon for the long weekend. It’ll be a great time to rest and chill out. I’m looking forward to taking a zillion more photos of the dog and getting out for some walks.

See you all next week!

No Dessert for You!

This afternoon I was on Granville finishing up supper with Reilly and Miranda before we were going to head over to see The Equation of Love and Death at the film festival. Just as we figured out what delicious treats we were going to have for dessert, Miranda got a call on her cell phone and we heard her say, “no problem, I can be there in 20 minutes!” It turns out that there was a last-minute opening on the MRI at the hospital and she could go in right now instead of waiting for her appointment in May.

Miranda had broken her leg in Cuba and although it’s somewhat healed, there needs to be a surgery to properly repair all the things that came apart in her knee. I’m hoping that the speedy MRI expidites things and she can get back on her feet sooner rather than later.

So I wound up getting ahold of Aaron on short notice to come down and check out the film with me. Neat film! It’s a Chinese film that follows this girl who’s trying to find her boyfriend who had disappeared four years ago. It’s a Usual Suspects kind of thing will all manner of twists and turns in the plot. It was a little unconventional and I thought it started a bit slow, but I enjoyed it overall.

I also picked up my Cypress pass this year so I’m officially starting snowboarding this winter. They’ve got a deal where you get 5 day passes including lessons and rentals plus a seasons night pass which is good for a particular night of the week. I chose Wednesday so you can expect I’ll be tumbling down the hill on Wednesdays nights starting in December. I even saved some cash by buying the pass early this year. As of midnight tonight the prices go up to full prices.

Mah Sis is Gittin’ Herself All Married Up!

A few weeks back my sister phoned and announced she was getting married to a guy in Dubai. It was unexpected, but very cool to see she’d met someone out there. He’s from India but works in Dubai and the plan is to do the wedding through paperwork. Next year there will be ceremonies in India which means I get to go to India! I’m pretty excited about that. 

Right now I’ve got copies of Friday’s Province newspaper because my sister had to take out an ad to announce the marriage and allow for any objections to be raised. It’s a strange, antiquated custom from India and she’s finding herself buried in red tape to get this wedding sorted out. Sounds like she’s got it all worked out now and will be married before too long.

Closer to home, a heap of us went out to a pub in North Van last night for some beer and good times. A few of us continued on to the Black Frog afterwards and the good times continued. The Black Frog is hands down the best place in town. 

Hmm… what else has happened? Fairly quiet week actually. Got my place all cleaned up and unpacked. We’re going to have our first jam after summer on Thursday. Probably at my place since I’m all set up for recording and such. 

Now it’s time for breakfast. We’re on our way out the door…