Some things never get old

While others do all too quickly!

So just listening to one of my favourite songs of all-time. Yes that’s redundant, but the point bears emphasizing.

Anyway this is the only song that I both must dance to and must almost cry too too. The perfect man is the one who doesn’t hold either of those things against me and dances along and comforts me instead of scolds me or walks away from the tears. There is such a creature. Believe it or not. Such a stirring, beautifully sad song. It really wraps the wonder of NewOrder up with a perfect bow like no other song too.

And no, it may not be the wisest thing to listen to the real thing when I’m about to see a modern day rip-off in some ways tomorrow. But it’s subtle. We aren’t talking early Muse’s blatant rip-off of Radiohead. For good measure, the post that turned me off contributing to my beloved YouTube comments. I’ve rarely used the word retro since! post-punk, post-punk, post-punk – are you happy now YouTube commenting nazis?

This brings me to my last post, I’m seeing Cold Cave tomorrow and can’t wait to see what stylish frock he’s chosen to wear. I have half of my own chosen, but have to find something to go with my sweet mid-90s style Diesel mini skirt that looks grey and denim but is actually a bit metallic and has a built in white pleather dual-buckle belt. Very britpop. The store was playing Republica among other things to boot.

I also saw the Hot Snakes and it was such a magical, special evening it warrants its own post. So hopefully I’ll get a chance to do that sometime soon. I had to send them a love letter of thanks after. I think I rendered them speechless, or maybe I seemed too softee for them. If so, I totally don’t hold it against them. While there is g(oth) and e(mo) in me, the Hot Snakes fall under neither and are a beast of their own. They really don’t fall into any of the other more easily categorized categories that comprise my tastes. I’d say their ability to release the rock-of-the-ages effect in me is a bit akin to my early love of DFA, but Hot Snakes are unencumbered by the sexiness that went along with it, and as such free of any associated negative memories that went along with that soundtrack for me.

Hells yeah they played that song. I had actually quoted this song when I asked my accompaniment to go with me to the show. So when they sang it I turned around and sang that line to him. “Don’t go to Harvard, don’t go to Yale. Your disposition will only make you fail.” He didn’t like when I said it. I said of course he’s smart enough to go to such schools… but he wouldn’t be happy there. Who would want to anyway? He’s way too cool and belongs here with me so he can go with me to Hot Snakes shows and the like!

Hot Snakes are just straight-up, hardcore cool. There is something so very simple (yet complex) about them and it warms my heart so! Yes. I almost wept after. But just like the last time I saw them, the show itself was too immersive and fun for me to weep on the spot. Thankfully! I’d look like such a wuss. Though in some ways, I am. I’m some kind of hardass, badass wuss hybrid. Battery powered? I don’t know where I’m going with this anymore. I am clearly in no position to start talking about Cars. Though I was just talking about how Gary Numan is more stylish than ever (vs. Robert Smith wearing that nasty Maple Leafs jersey when I saw The Cure!) Gary Numan has such a monopoly on the goth crowd too.

Gary Numan is really owning that Grandfather of Goth title. Who is the father in that equation? I’m not sure. But god, I hope it’s not someone like Trent Reznor. Yet again. Someone once revered who I don’t like thinking about anymore. I try to get behind every new Gary Numan album but never give it enough of a chance. I would love to see him live again though. Such dramatics and theatrics. And sweet outfits.

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I missed a few free shows, including DFA which I had to jump through hoops to get tickets to, but it’s no loss. I think my days of live DFA are behind me now, said sadly. Jack White also came to town and I have yet to check out his new album, but I don’t think it’s for me. What about this? No going back, I suppose. His first wife was much cuter/cooler too. You’d be hard-pressed to find a White Stripes fan who disagrees with that statement. I may be even a bit more biased as she looks a lot like my sister-in-law, the biggest Jack White fan I know. It is a shame I missed the White Stripes.

The next thing I have tickets to isn’t until Johnny Marr in October. I heard the show I wanted to go to and also jumped through hoops to try to get tickets to (to no avail) was not great. I haven’t followed his solo career either, but will have to check out the new album when it’s out in five days time.

It’s almost more of an obligatory thing for me it seems. I know Marr and Morrissey are meant to be together and never will be ever again, but if I have to go see one of them, Marr would be the way to go, I suppose.

This is not a post about Radiohead, damnit. I don’t even listen to them anymore.

I am wishing for some new music that does it for me. It really makes a difference having such things. The new DFA was nothing to write home about, nor the new APTBS, or Odonis Odonis. Those were three of my fave bands ‘of the now’ gone right there. Greys is a more complicated story, but no longer on my list or playlists anymore either. Not even the old stuff. Same with Dirty Nil. New Meat Wave was meh as well. Mama nooooo! Not the meats too!

True, I’m lucky I had the new Hot Snakes album. I have to give some time to the new Get Up Kids EP. I am utterly disappointed in Iceage. So upsetting I can’t even go there. It worries me that once a band goes one way there really is no going back. I get that, as in life as a person the same is often the case. But argh! It means the same ill fate for Title Fight, which I found out about too late.

Regardless, only one album too late and thus they still played a lot of his near-perfect album when I saw them live. This (and their other two early ones, especially Shed which my dearest Walter Schriefels produced!) got me through one of the hardest years and losses in my life when my dad was sick. This is the kind of song you have to just keep turning up, and up, and up. This guy has the perfect hardcore mouth too. Freakin massive to let all that angry emo-tional angst rip. That’s what I like to see/hear!

Apparently there’s this too. But let me ask this: what is Interpol without Carlos? They recently played this song on the Colbert show. Clearly they are no longer worth seeing live, that’s for sure.

I’m glad I got my fill back in the day. I probably saw them four or five times. That’s about as many albums they put out after I stopped following them because they all sounded like lack luster versions of what they’d already produced. Anyway, I will say that I don’t blame bands as it’s not easy to strike that oh-so-delicate balance of their early energy without repeating themselves. But oh-too-often they choose to repeat the lower-energy stuff that follows their early masterpieces. *cough* Radiohead.

It’s a shame in a way I don’t have time to review stuff anymore. It forced me to check out new bands, give them a chance, try to see them in a positive light, and often resulted in some new interests and cheap shows to get out to. That said, I wasn’t actually ever crazy about writing the reviews.

True enough, I invest heavily in bands much like I do people. Thus the lesson to NEVER get a band tattoo, as much like getting the name of someone you love ink-needled into your skin, one day you will need to cover that shit up and it won’t be cheap or painless. I actually put off my tumbleweed this spring, but all in due time. Once the big bucks start rolling in again, the tumbleweed will be rolling onto my arm!

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Anyway, with the deep attachment I have to music I love and associated deep reverence and respect for the bands that create it, being disappointed and wounded and being left with nothing to look forward to does seem to strike me particularly hard. Especially since music is so very near and dear to me and is one of the few things in life that is capable of making me my happiest. It makes sense though. Much like relationships, you want excitement, passion, familiarity, trust, security. You want it all and it’s about as rare to find as a band that reliably delivers album after album.

When there is a shortage of exciting new music, one fears that thing called age is finally messing up more than one’s body. One’s ability to keep up with the kids, stay up late, do crazy things. It still happens, but the recovery time takes much, much longer. It isn’t all bad though. As the body ages the frustrating fieriness calms a bit. And if you’re someone that had too much to begin with, that really isn’t the worst thing that could happen.

(Such a bitter irony. As it’s just that that happens and changes a band’s sound from one I love to one I can no longer get behind. I guess I’m happy for the guys as people, but as musicians, it still saddens me so).

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Cold Cave and Hot Snakes warming my black heart

It takes a special kind of one-handed man to rip off one of my nearest and dearest artists, NewOrder, and get away with it, in my books.

Thanks to you Wesley Eisold, for putting out a new release from one of my favourite artists that I can get behind this year.

Thanks to the Hot Snakes for the same! Can’t wait to see both of them live in June.

Cold Cave gets bonus points for his stellar style. Looking forward to his outfit! That says a lot, it’s rare for me to start a sentence with those three words.

Transitions are always tricky. Goodbyes are too. As I stand at the precipice (lame expression somehow to me) of this next chapter of my life, I’m optimistic and having a soundtrack to go along with it always helps.

The only thing standing in my way is freaking Adobe and my PC ways. Damnit. Typical that the thing I stand behind and am most comfortable with has to infinitely complicate things. So typical there should be another word for it (and I’m fairly certain there is).

As for the Hot Snakes, thanks for coming to Toronto again. Not thrilled about the Phoenix (one of my least favourite venues thanks to my stature and the layout of the place) but I don’t blame you for not wanting stick around these here parts for two nights to do the Horseshoe again. My therapist would not like that my favourite song on your new album has to do with drinking too much either. Not my fault. I guess that’s on you. Booze fuelling the best track.

Thankfully I have someone to accompany me to this show, so that I can get there all early ass to claim a decent spot and still get to go get drinks and go to the washroom when I have to.

Hot Snakes get bonus points for how much their music ‘slays’ live and how Rick Froberg is the perfect embodiment of looking like he’s been to Hell and back (and probably has). Legit mofo, that one.

While we’re on the topic of summer releases, thanks to the Get Up Kids for probably not disappointing me with their first EP in seven years. The lead single may sound a bit more like it’s for kids than I’d like, but I remain optimistic there too. There Are Rules was a surprising success for me.

No thank you to WordPress for whatever the heck is going on with my good ole blog. Making me work for it! It refuses to put in the line breaks I beg it to and it won’t embed my videos like it’s supposed to. Manually making me put in the HTML code, come on. Thankfully I have a coding class, so I knew to look into it. The videos… I have to now copy all the code from YouTube too.

I refuse to pay for this site that no one reads when I don’t even use it much and I’m already paying for my ‘professional’ one. This is even more vexing now that I’m a technical writer and know the value of white space and line breaks etc. Thank goodness I’m not being evaluated on this and I’m likely the only one reading it!

Define reality

Reality: A thing that is harsh and cold. Destined to hit. Mostly unwavering. The rare and brief wavering only makes its ferocity all the worse once it sets back in.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it is this. More so in the past two years than ever before in my life. I hope it doesn’t continue this way, but fear it is destined to.

New albums from most of my current favourite bands (APTBS, Odonis Odonis, Soft Moon, Hot Snakes, Preoccupations) may all disappoint. The albums that have come out or the preceding singles have not done it for me. What to do when all your favourite things cease to impress? When all the people who once did, on the same niche page as you, are long gone too?

Pervasive disappointment and a wish to resign (not an option, of course). Your aging body aching all over. And time-consuming, frustrating work. That only reveals itself to take the time and effort it does once you get in there and poke around. And no one understands the complexity of it. You’d like to see them do it quicker. Is this the future? Well, you need to make a living, somehow.

You’re born into this life. You don’t choose it. Then you’re forced to trudge away. Until one day it trudges over you one final time.

Some may think the turmoil of their 20s could be the worst of things. But as you age, try to face facts, try to get out of ruts, things get increasingly difficult. Sometimes with no chosen family of friends. You have no time and choose the isolation eventually, even when options come about. Can’t be bothered. Prefer your freedom.

Negative connotation all over positive feeling. Maybe it’s good if they’ve worn you down over time though. Shaking your head at your younger self. Invested too much too often. Given years of one’s young life to things that didn’t give back. At least coming out eventually with standards, even if you know most men, scratch that, boys, can’t meet them. Or even come close. At least you know the respect you deserve. Unfettered and free to be who you choose. Listen to what you choose. Not be pressured into anything for fear some immature brat (who only gives half of himself and doesn’t value the 1.5 selves you give) will get cranky.

But then years can go by with a shortage of people you care immensely about to share experiences, excitement, opinions or laughs with. Few can live up to what you once had, at any rate. No one with time and then one day it’s you that thinks it’s no longer worth the time. As your own family ages and you fear the loss of them.

Interlude. This is actually the only long I seem to really like on this album, maybe because I’ve played it a bunch of times on YouTube when it comes up. I really like this video. Though this band sits weird with me with this chick’s recent allegations against that nasty man though. Men. Are they finally going to get some come upens for how poorly they’ve treated women? The accepted norm a whole gender was powerless against. I don’t even look like one of these chicks and I’ve been misused and abused for years. It’s part of why I’ve lost interest.

That’s some bleak stuff. This is what happens on a long weekend yearned for litrally (intentional spelling error, I want it said like some British people say it) ages that was meant for collapsing and socializing, turned instead into another complicated, time-consuming tech writing project. With a week of double work and dread ahead.

Change is supposed to be difficult. Change is supposed to be good. You can’t avoid anxiety, risk, progress, challenge. But it certainly would be nice if you could!

Wrists protesting all the while. Wishing they were on a beach or in some woods instead. Writing, lazing, sunbathing (in the shade preferably).

It would be better with some fantastic new music to get by on. But instead, no awesome new music to help ease the pain or pass time. It actually needs no help passing, but slowing it down would be magic I would pay many moneys for.

Damn bands these days and their only putting out 1-2 albums (if you’re lucky) before they no longer do the thing you loved them for doing. Devastating. Thinking back to my next tattoo being covered up this spring, I realize that love for a band is like any other relationship. You’ll likely no longer be a devoted follower, though you gave it all your heart and valued them so. And you’ll have to walk away, like you always do (at least it tends to be you, not them). Sure you’ll check out the new single, but eventually you won’t even download the whole album. Let alone drag your butt out to their shows. One day there will be no more shows I want to be in Toronto for, and then I can move out to the country.

At least there is this. The subject of what may very well be the last album review I trouble myself with trying to write. And can’t figure out how to phrase the essence of Interpol as there’s a lot more going on than that. Though I suppose I’ve already tackled the rest.

My Toronto theme song

Comes to mind, all the time. Then I listen to it like five times in a row. I love the clever irony in the la-da-da-da-‘s too. Swooning for that which kills your soul. Even as you declare how hard it is to forgive. Like it’s a walk in the park. An ice cream cone at the fair!

Here’s to wishing for the days when uncertainty and angst are behind me (if there is such a thing for those of us not engineered to be engineers). Days when I do the work I bring home. Or don’t bring work home (period). Either way, days on which I don’t have to feel guilty for seeming silly to infinitely cool boys (strike that, MEN, a concept I’m entirely unfamiliar with) lightyears beyond my years, galaxies beyond my leagues. In a way I absolutely deny entirely. And a way in which I haven’t in ages (and would prefer not to, thank you very much. So I admit to nothing. I admit.). Or squandering the evening way on drinks on an empty stomach and the building dread and anxiety of the day (and days, and weeks, and months) ahead. Even as things may be coming together. Looking up. What do these terms mean? Foreign as Greek. Italian. Not German (I know a smidgen of that still). Nazis aside, maybe that’s the best one.

 

My industrial age

Between walking through the tunnels between subway tracks and what is shaping up to be a year of (new) post-punk, I declare 2018 my industrial age. Lovin ma life for a moment, WTF.

My newfound affection for my super cool (yet comfy and cute) steel-toed work boots coupled with my contract at the TTC is reviving (or at least reminding me of) my (long dormant, like so many things within me) love of industrial things. So many doors I want to go through! So many mucky things I want to check out. So many rusty things I’d love to take pictures of. I referred to it recently as getting my first industrial-photography hard-on in a very long time.

I didn’t want to leave the tunnels, coated in soot, the dearly departed squirrel (from who knows how many years ago) was no deterrence. After two days of being traumatized by stories of injury and death due to subway unsafety, either from not following rules, or due to those yet to be developed, had put me off some. But once I was down there, it was a blast.

I don’t mind how dirty my hood got. I struggled for a moment with not clearing off my nifty new clean boots after they were intentionally stepped on by a coworker. A rite of passage, another told me! He looks like Bowie’s long-lost cousin, so I actually couldn’t possibly be more touched. The name of his retro-punk band is fantastic too. Suicide pact survivors. I bow to him with respect. My respect isn’t the easiest thing to earn (or maybe it’s too easy, I’m not exactly sure, though I do know I’m picky and particular when it comes to deciding if someone is seriously cool).

Having a train go by less than a foot in front of your face is pretty invigorating. Only slightly terrifying, though if it was going faster I could see it being far moreso. Even at the 15 km/hr it got my heart rate up.

From other technical writers, to trainers, to the super green co-op students in my class, I have  enjoyed the many people I’ve already met. I like hearing their stories, how they got to where they are, their hopes and dreams (or what they once were) in addition to getting a sense of them personally. They all have unique personalities and it’s nothing like starting at a typical new office so far. The real work has yet to begin, and my real team yet to be met in the context of work (I’ve met a few of them already, me and my groundwork, anxiety’s best friend), but I’m hoping things keep rolling the way they are. Slick and smooth, or grimy and clunky, as they should be in a train-in-a-tunnel context, I suppose.

The Soft Moon has a new album out in February and a show in March.

Preoccupations have a new album in March and a show in April.

Cold Cave and Trust may also have new releases too.

And I’m doing my first review in well over half a year for these newcomers to the art-of-old-made-new game. They may not look the part at all, bunch of super-young super-hipsters, but they’ve got the sound down pat. Smack dab.

So there is no shortage of new atmopsheric, dark and gothy post-punk! Let’s just hope it doesn’t suck. A lot of these artists are on their third or fourth album, and they’ve managed to continue to hold a place in this difficult listener’s black heart thus far. All this coupled with my industrial looking wedge rubber boots is making this really feel like my industrial year.

Who says you need people to have fun? (Me, usually, actually).

Thankfully I’m well equipped for this industrial age, drenched in perpetual lonliness and cloaked in black and grey. And it’s a true Canadian winter, so painful cold and all-around dreary days abound. Dark tends to be my light, so I’m hoping for a bright (figuratively!) year ahead. Of course, this may not last, so I thought I should commemorate the sentiment while the surge of joy and optimism coarse through me, like that poor squirrel before the 600 V power traction rail got to him. Yeah I know what it’s called. It’s not always the third rail, so that term is inaccurate apparently. It’s cool knowing such things. I really look forward to learning more and hope I manage to crush my job and win my boss’s heart over with my wit, charm, and stellar work ethic. Just need to find my way around that nastiest of nasty softwares.

In a lot of ways, I’m more alone than I’ve ever been, and longer than I’ve ever been as such. Yet things seem to be turning around. Ramping up. Dare I say, soaring?

Here’s to hope (and dread and gloom too). The higher the heights, the harder the crash, bang, (ka)boom. But for now, I’ll coast along up here, trying to battle my usual theme song. Doing a decent job, but I’m old (and wise enough?) to recognize that it’s early. Yet.

 

some days, you feel like you must have been some kind of Hitler in your past life

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I don’t know why these videos won’t embed today. It may be specific to Pet Shop Boys videos, I now realize. As it’s weeks later, I was able to post videos in my latest post, but these ones still won’t work. Even when I retried them. Kinda funny too, as today I feel more like I was some kind of a something-not-so-bad in a past life instead. Or like all my pain and suffering may be earning me something. Finally, but I digress…
What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?
My song today. My face looks as severe as Neil Tennant’s too. Our hair looks a bit similar today! The frizz is on over here. He pulls it off much better tho.
And then YouTube put on the song I was a one-time karaoke star to! “West End Girls”.
Annnnd “It’s a Sin”. My dad’s fave! Especially the part where he speeds up. “EverythingI’veeverdone,EverythingI’lleverdo”. Which is kinda funny, as later in life, that was something I got a kick out in 80s music too. I have realized or remembered so many things we have in common now that he’s no longer with us. I guess this song is fitting today too, for me to wonder what I have done to deserve this, everything I long to do, no matter when, or where, or who, must be a sin. So I look back upon my life, forever with a sense of shame. I’ve always been the one to blame.

New baby

Comes into the world and all this g-emo (cursed combo of goth+emo) can think to say is,”Tell it to cherish the years free of exams and before life brings out its crushing cynicism.”

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For me, those days probably ended shortly before (or after) R.E.M’s fantastic album Monster came out. In the golden year in music that was 1994. At the ripe old age of 11 for me. So long ago, I’d totally forgotten about it. Until the fated day I was distracted from studying from my first wretched mid-term exam in a decade, drenched in emo, and YouTube thought it was appropriate to mess with me further by taking me back.

Both a blessing and a curse, like so many things as of late. And maybe like the baby too. I digress. People don’t like it when you’re down on babies. But no one reads this, so I shall speak my mind. Those poor babies, good luck to them down the line. Trying to learn the things they aren’t, tho they paid so much to, then trying to find jobs (through shameless self promotion, faking it, and people they ‘know’ vs. skills). Form meaningful, lasting connections with people they can trust, who aren’t looking to just gain something superficial or cruel from them. I imagine it will be infinitely worse than it already is. It’s gotten so much worse than it was several years ago. There’s that cynic tho. Maybe the baby will be JUST FINE (and who knows, maybe even dandy too).

And even if not. For now, baby has nothin to do… ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh!