Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Current attire: Black long sleave shirt, sweat pants, underwear.

Current DVD loaded: 30 Days of Night. Still one scary vampire flick, definitely one of the best in the genre. Also better than the graphic novel - whic was pretty good to start with.

Current CD in the discman: Miles Davis, On the Corner after having played The Pixies, Surfa Rosa three days in a row.

Current song on iTunes: Acid Mother's Temple, "Crystal Rainbow Pyramid".

Current Reading: A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin. Had the hardest time getting through this one and have forgotten most of it. Also reading 100 Bullets in the collected format, great comic series. Puts Sin City to shame in many respects. Oh, and I am going over Vikings by Jonathan Clements again.

Current thought: Time to kick some sort of sense of social responsibility into Canada's Olympic athletes. Boycott the games in Beijing. Their training is not worth the ruined and lost lives, the pollution and all the many other problems faced and caused by China. Where are the Tommy Smiths, John Carlos' and Peter Norman's when you need them? All we seem to have are a bunch George Foremans. Shame on anyone who supports the Beijing Olympics. 1968 to 2008 and look how far we haven't come.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Nochnoy Dozor, A Slight Return

Show in Progress: Rome

My friend Gavin and I were going to watch the Tarkovsky film, Stalker this weekend. However, it was out so I picked up Nochnoy Dozor (Night Watch) instead. Gavin was learning Russian so I figured it would give him a chance to practice his listening skills at least. Unfortunately the film was dubbed in English and that was the only option available. I will say that at least they got people with the right accents to overdub the film. The dubbing was actually less irritating that way. So many foreign films are overdubbed by North Americans (Run Lola Run for example) and it sounds like crap - completely inauthentic.
Gavin liked the film for the most part, finding some of the themes interesting and impressed that the Russians produced such a modern film. He also translated some of the Cyrillic writing for me, which lets you into a joke inside the film. I still liked the film, it holds up since seeing it in the theatre. Compared to the English language film, Underworld, (which runs along similar lines) Night Watch is far more mature. It was adapted from the first book of a tetralogy so maybe it is no surprise that the character, plot and themes were so much stronger.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


CD in Play: Soundtrack, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I spent a portion of my day packing up the books of mine that I didn't have in storage. I have eight boxes of varying sizes filled with books, also of various sizes. I have a few very large books still unpacked that might make half a large box with a few medium sized ones to boot. Looking over my books all packed away into boxes it struck me how small my personal library seems.
It always seemed to me that I such a large library. Compared to some people I guess I do, but for me? But then it's a good thing for me that I don't have more books than a I thought I did, given that I am moving just shy of halfway across the country. I have no idea what I will do with them if I actually end up teaching in the UK after I am done at the University of Saskatchewan.
Some books I have given away, donated, etc - at least one large box full. I am giving my collection of Lone Wolf and Cub to my friends Elijah and Iain, but I intend to keep Samurai Executioner. Hopefully, LW&C come out in a larger omnibus editions. But I just cannot part with the majority of my books.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Song in Play: "Crystal Rainbow Pyramid" by Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

Holy #@*%!!! Where the hell have I been? I am listening to the Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. track and it is blowing my mind inside out. (See the Wikipedia entry here) I completely had this band all wrong - a case of severely mistaken identity. The band I thought was AMT was just a lame wanna be psych-rock outfit. I had the real AMT confused with some loser, poser band from the bad end of the `90's. The things I have missed out on. The track clocks in at just over 18 minutes. Completely up my alley.
If you like psychedelic music, check them out if have the chance.
BTW, I am looking for live recordings of the track "Riding to Work in the Year 2025 (Your Invisible Now)" by the Flaming Lips. They did it at their Vancouver show and it was really good. I think the FLips need to do shows with AMT.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

RIP Michael Campbell

CD in Play: Tortoise, It's All Around You

While many bloggers will be posting about the demise of Arthur C. Clarke, ( See Pete Chattaway's blog, for instance) I figured I would pay brief homage to a man many people won't have heard of: Michael Campbell, aka Mikey Dread. I only became aware of Campbell about three years ago courtesy of Mojo. I like what I heard and began hearing more of his work as time went by. I'm not a big fan of reggae, per se, but I do like dub and Campbell's was highly original and stood out on its own.
Best known to some for his work producing and performing with The Clash, Campbell is the man who managed to get reggae played on the JBC, (Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation) who preferred to stack its play lists with safer foreign acts. Campbell agitated and got his own show, Dread at the Controls, which was a hit across Jamaica. What I have heard of his work was pretty innovative and I his drive and success to get domestic music played on domestic radio deserves to be recognised.
RIP, Mikey Dread.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weird Food

CD in Play: PJ Harvey, White Chalk

If you haven't seen Alton Brown's show Good Eats on the Food Channel, do so - it is a surreal experience. One part food show mixed with 1/2 a cup of history and healthy dash of surreality. I justsaw one of his shows on pickles. He talked about how to make kosher dills primarily, but then shows the viewer a way to cheat your local Ice Cream Man out of a few bob by selling "Koolickles", or Kool-Aid pickles.
According to a New York Times article (courtesty of Rebecca at the Potlikker Blog) they are hit down in the American South and there has been a race to patent them. To rip the quote used in Potlikker:

"“They’re easy to make a gallon,” Ms. Williams said. “You pull the pickles from the jar, cut them in halves, make double-strength Kool-Aid, add a pound of sugar, shake and let it sit — best in the refrigerator — for about a week. The taste takes to anything. A while back I made a mistake and bought a jar of pickle chips instead of halves or wholes. Came out fine. This whole Kool-Aid pickle thing is going so good, you wonder why somebody hasn’t put a patent on them.”"

Bizarre, no? Might be worth a try in your area. I would also recommend trying this little happy accident that happened to me recently. I was putting almond butter on a piece of french bread while I was making a dish for dinner later that evening. (cold udon noodles with pesto, cherry tomato, basil leaves and grated asiago) I was using pesto and sizable dollop dropped onto the bread. I contemplated scraping it off, but then just spread it around. It was pretty good. Wonder if the Koolickle was a serendipitous event as well?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Hello Dad I'm In Jail

My Dad was getting panicky about my well-being. I was still at home and in my early 20's and resented his request that I call him up - no matter the time - to let him know I was okay. So I called and quoted from this song directly in the exact same voice. Bad idea.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

RIP Larry Norman

CD in Play: The Pixies, Surfa Rosa and Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead" from The Hunger.

I was never a huge fan of the music of Larry Norman, (Pitchfork's obituary is here, blogger Andy Whitman's is here) but I always had an appreciation for him. Norman was frequently dubbed the "father of Christian Rock", but I always felt he didn't deserve to be hung with that miserable responsibility. Unlike much of what came after him, Norman had his own voice and his own style. He was an individual in a Faith that all too often steps on people for being individual. And Larry Norman was certainly shunned by many of his fellow believers in the 1960's and 1970's. (I would also dare to say that he would have been shunned by many up until the 1990's)
I met him once in the mid `90's and he certainly was unique. He deserves the accolades he receives and I hope that his death spurs an interest in young Christians to listen to their own voice in creative matters, rather than conform to the standards of a moribund industry hellbent on bland uniformity. Norman died at the age of 60 on the 24th of February of this year.