Sunday, February 28, 2010

Let's Go Busking!


It's Week #9.....(Sun Feb 28th, 2010) our 'Year of Busking (notso)Dangerously'....

And we've decided to head back down to play a hometown gig - The Trout Lake East End Dog Park, from about 2-4pm.

We were going to ride our bikes down to the WestEnd, but we chickened out because of the threatening looking weather....apologies....

Photocredit: Our good friend Bob! ....(and yes, that is 'the sweater')....
Faces we'd like to see in the crowd.....
Well, all the usual suspects on the sidebar (you know who you are!) and, this is a weird one.....How about Godzilla Salmi....He, and the readers of Terminal City, print edition, circa 1994, know why...Ha!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Swell Season At Amoeba....


What real record stores are for (and yes, Track 6 is, most definitely, a "Booskin' Song")....

Buy The Swell Season's stuff here.
And by stuff from Amoeba, including Astral Weeks, here.


For Em.


Just because.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Uke Cover Wars!......Round 2


A young musician who goes by the name of 'Sebi' is the head of the Swiss division of the New Ukerists of the Purple Age.

And he does both originals and fantastic highly collaborative 'covers' of all kinds.

Which I'd been digging for sometime until, suddenly, his stuff disappeared.

Here, in Sebi's own words is why:

About Me:
Warner Music had Youtube suspend my old account because of copyright infringement. According to YouTube, Warner Music doesn't want me to cover their songs on my ukulele. Say what?! I still cannot believe it. I had more than 500,000 views on my videos, almost 1,000 subscribers, and was enjoying making collabs with great Youtubers from anywhere in the world, until one day one email by Youtube told me that two videos of mine where deleted because of third-party notification from Warner Music claiming that my material was infringing. 24 hours later my account was suspended without notification. Oh well. But I'm back now with a message for Warner Music. Please spread the word and many, many thank you's for all your support. Peace, sebi.


The man who is currently doing his best to run Warner's Music Group into the ground is Canada's most famous bootlegger's grandson, Edgar Bronfman Jr.

Given all that, the ever resourceful Sebi has written an original ode to the good 'Mr. B', which is flat-out outstanding in it's own right.....


Does anybody find it ironic that a guy whose Grandfather built the family fortune, a fortune he has, for all intents and purposes done his best to squander (see Seagrams, DuPont, Polygram, MCA, Universal, Vivendi, etc......), on bootlegging is coming down hard on creative bootleggers who are actually helping push his product.

Come to think of it....

Maybe Sebi et al., should cover this.

After all, the codswallop linked to directly above was actually written by the good Mr. B., and if he suddenly saw digital downloads of that junk rise dramatically because a few creative kids actually helped make it cool, well, maybe Edgar Jr. would come to realize what covers from cool kids can do for a real musician.

Then again, Mr. Bronfman the younger would probably just come to the conclusion that it was all due to Steve Jobs' fiddling with the numbers in an attempt to get him to sell off all of Neil Young's back catalogue for a song and/or the future rights to all the junk that Pixar has decided to never produce and was instead intending to sell to David Geffen for a haiku or two.

Which, of course, based on past performance Mr. B. would probably jump at faster than his big brother Sammy could whisper 'Conoco' in his ear.


In Round 1 of the UkeCoverWar series, we mentioned the difficulties another New Ukerist, seeso, has been having with, we assume, the good Mr. B. and his ilk.....Can't wait to see what happens if they hit somebody like the unbelievably talented, and popular, Julia Nunes who has both her 150,000 subscribers and the entire GreenBros-Inspired Nerdfighter Army behind her....
Where did all of this come from?...Well, for quite sometime now the Two E's and I have been literally crazy for Uke Covers, which all started with this little series.....


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is 'School Reach' The Real GLEE?


My kid the singer is smart.

And proud of it.

Way moreso than I was back in my own highschool days when I went out of my way to hide any and all signs of such a ridiculous thing from most of my friends.

Anyway, it turns out that when you're proud of being a smart kid it gives you the gumption to do crazy stuff like join your school's 'Reach For The Top' Team.


Yesterday evening I was in the lab late working on another stupid grant when I got a call from Bigger E. (the singer).

She wanted to tell me all about her Reach practice that day.

And she especially wanted to tell me about a question she didn't quite answer because she could only bring herself to mutter it under her breath instead of hitting her buzzer and shouting it out.

The answer to the question was 'The Babinski Reflex'

What is the Babinski Reflex?

Well, it's this weird thing that happens to babies where their toes splay out after you rub the bottom of their feet.

It's gone by the time a kid is about 18 months old when the corticospinal tracts descending from the brain more fully myelinate and exert inhibitory control of the reflex interneurons within the spinal cord. Thus, if it reappears later in life it is cause for considerable concern.


Why did my kid almost know that?

Was it her intensive studying of neuroantomy texts*?


Was it caused by her compulsive desire to learn everything humanly possible about the lives and times of obscure Polish neurologists?


Was it due to an I-Pad hidden under the table on her lap?

Of course not - that would be cheating!

And School-Reachers never cheat, or use performance enhancing agents of any kind whatsoever.

Not even 55,000 hour 'energy' drinks.

I think.


So here's the real thing.....

Ever since they were tiny, Bigger E. and littler e. have both been coming to the last lecture of the big class I teach every year which is filled to bursting with students that want to make a career out of taking care of sick folks.

And when they were babies I would hold one of the two E.'s up for the whole class to see and and then I would run my index finger along the soles of their feet so the students could watch their toes move and see one of their midterm questions in action.

Imagine that!

*While she was not forced, at least not by me (ha!) to memorize textbooks as a young child, by the time she was eight Bigger E. did know most, if not all, of the cranial nerves......
And now that both E's are no longer so tiny, what, you may be asking yourself, do we do during those last lectures?....Well, for now at least, you'll just have to guess.....(but the answer isn't too hard to figure out)


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hey Mr. Palmer, I Thought 'Bloggers' Just Made Stuff Up...


Update, Feb 25th, 2010: Today, Vaughn Palmer did the bare minimum to correct his previous failure to cite the work of Blogger and 'Freelancer' Laila Yuile when he tagged the following passage to the end of his follow-up column:

"....The full judgment in Tercon Contractors vs. B.C. ministry of transportation and highways is available through the website of the Supreme Court of Canada. I also thank freelance writer Laila Yuile for drawing this case to my attention....”

I'll have more to say about this later, mainly by juxtaposing it to a very different acknowledgement of another local Blogger's work by one of Mr. Palmer's VSun stablemates....



Well, whadd'ya know....

Vaughn Palmer just woke up and smelled the bid-rigging coffee in British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell's Ministry of Pavement.

The following is Mr. Palmer's latest lede, and only his lede, because we wouldn't want to be accused of stealing his stuff:

"The provincial transportation ministry lost a big case recently when the Supreme Court of Canada condemned its "egregious conduct" in steering a major highways contract to an ineligible bidder, then trying to cover up what it had done.

The high court upheld an earlier, no-less-damning finding from the B.C. Supreme Court regarding the $25-million contract to build a new road through Nisga'a territory in the Nass Valley in northwestern B.C.

The court record documented a series of decisions by officials that together undermined the integrity of the ministry's own bidding process as well as its broader obligations, as a public institution, to fairness and transparency....."

It's a detailed, well-researched column that is important and well worth reading.

But here's the thing.

If you, like I, have been paying attention, you've read it all, and more, before.

Over at our good friend Laila Yuile's place.


Given that, how come we don't see Laila's name anywhere in Mr. Palmer's column?



The Circus Outside My Front Window, Day 13....The Riefenstahl Effect


The following is for all those who, like me, are growing just a wee bit tired of the constant cutting of the Klieg Lights across the darkened Lotuslandian Sky, the nightly 11 o'clock Shaking Of The Walls, and the constant whoomp, whoomp, whoomp of the Apocalyptic Blades.......(be sure to listen for the 'pay-off pitch' at the end of the first verse)........

How do you like them apples?

Want to know a little more about poor Leni's 'Fast Times at Axis High'?.....You could do worse than read from a real master, Janet Maslin.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Our Busking Year, Week 8....California Stars

This was shot by our good friend West End Bob (and his dog Jo-Jo) who came down to see us play at Sunset Beach in Vancouver's WestEnd Yesterday.

A great, absolutely fantastic day was had by absolutely everyone.

Especially, I think, Bigger E. when the elderly lady with the hand-knit red wool cap and the high, waivering voice came over to sing the last chorus of 'Hallelujah' with her at the end of the day.


And this is where I've just got to say....

It's a really fantastic thing when your own kid can really knock you out.


Thanks so much Bob!


Snow? In Vancouver?!


I swear, I saw them this morning.

The puffy white flakes....

Swirling as they floated down onto the heads of the throngs squinting into the blazing sun as they hiked east (ya, East!!!) along King Edward from the Lavalin-Line on their way to the shuffleboard match.



I just realized there was tinge of pink in 'em.

Cherry blossoms!




If you are not reading Mr. Beer 'N Hockey, you are not getting the real story about all that is happening down at the Circus-Circus.

Here's just a taste of his reportage from yesterday:

"......Every bar in town was like this: like a punk rock bar in 1979. A table of Finlanders were taking turns spewing beneath their table as they shot back beer and Taboo absinthe. The Swiss crowd looked about to pass out en masse until one of their bobsledders began speeding down the Death Track on the big screens when they would suddenly spring to life like a Vampire Olympic Organizing Committee fed with more money......"


Where the heckfire is Warren Hinckle when we need him.

(watch the embedded video)

Oh, and for anybody looking for footage of yesterday's ThreeBuskateers session (Week 8), our good friend Bob has the goods here....A full report to follow....


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Let's Go Busking!


It's Week #8.....(Sun Feb 22nd, 2010).

And we're returning to the site where we had a great time during Week 4 - The Sunset Beach Dog Park in the Near West End, from about 1-3pm

(it's directly behind the Aquatic Center, right next to the seawall/walk/bike/skate path just to the West of the Burrard Bridge).


A little different this time out though - last time in late January it was grey and it's sunny and beautiful.



There's also that little matter of the Circus being on.....

(film at 11! - see the update below)

Faces we'd love to see in the crowd?.....Well, there are all the usual suspects on the sidebar (you know who you are, ha!), but we'd really love to see WestEndBob and jo-jo (and maybe even drf?) and, wait for it......Macadavy!!!!?)
Image at top of the post courtesy our good friend Laila, and the 4th Buskateer Cameron)!
Update: Our good friend Bob actually had the film up before 11, but we missed it due to Sunday night Glee watching (Bigger E got the entire first season on DVD for Christmas).... You can see it here....More to come.....

(sorry for being so late with this...gotta set up one of those Twitter things)


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Is This The End Of Youtube As We Know It?


Well, well, well.....

It looks like the Media Monopolists and their allies, the Conspiratorial Consolidationists, have decided to really go after the little guy now.

Especially the creative little guy.


First, they went after anyone who posted-up stuff that had been previously released by the chattle in their stables.

Which, on the face of it, was fair enough, I guess, considering that it was the chattel that made the stuff - even if it wasn't always of their own volition.

But now?


The fact that the Media Monopolists are going after Ukulele players for posting-up their own creative cover versions of songs once recorded by said chattle is just too much.

Below, one of the finest of all new Ukerists, 'seeso' explains:

I suggested the following, over at seeso's Youtube Channel:

Re: The Copyright Thing....

What if, say, 50,000 seeso fans/Uke fanatics all posted the same cover(s) and then dared the powers that be to shut us all down...

And then, if they did....Well, we could respond with a 'fine, go ahead'...and then we could all take a walk to another venue.

Wonder how they'd like them apples?


Here's the real thing....There are so many bands that I knew absolutely nothing about until I stumbled across a New Ukerist (or even just some kid with a guitar) covering them....Then, if intrigued, I went searching for that band (most often by clicking on one of the 'related' uploads on the same frickin' page)....Then, if I liked the band, I often went and bought something of theirs, either physical product , or, a download from Mr. Jobs' place....Example: The band 'Say Anything' which I only discovered after I stumbled upon a then still relatively (ie. only a few thousand subscribers at the time - ha!) unknown Julia Nunes, doing this ...I mean, honestly, are the Media Monopolists crazy?....Do they not want free Word-O-Web advertising?....Again, are they completely crazy!?....Or are they just, well.....Perhaps....Maybe....Stoopid?


The Circus Outside My Window...Day 9


Decided to walk in to the lab this morning.....

This is the view that awaited me, just a stone's throw from the Circus' far western edge.

And I didn't even have to line up for it, or peer through slit in a chain-link fence to capture it with the digicam.


While this is not the exact trail that will be soon be decimated by Mr. Gordon Campbell's very fine friends who allegedly love private golf courses so much that they are willing to carve up public parks instead, it's pretty damned close - OK?


Friday, February 19, 2010

The Best Musical Gift Ever!


The gift comes our way from Donal Scannell and friends who have unearthed a whole bunch of new Mic Christopher stuff from their archives.

It's Magic!

Especially a new version of this song, which as Mic says off the top, is about 'Every day being your best day ever...."

Oh my.

If you have any interest at all in the movie 'Once', or the musicians that were in it/ made it, like the Swell Seasonistas Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, or even the Frames (including former member John Carney)'ve just got to go watch Donal's videos.....honestly, you've just got to..... OK?


The Circus Outside My Window...Day 8


I find it ironic, not to mention laughable, in the extreme that the Local-Lickspittles in the proMedia Brigade (sports-division, and otherwise), are blaming 'The Media' for raining on VANOC's parade.

Actually, it is all the fault of the dirty rotten stinkin' no-good commie Media 'Internationale' to be more precise.

Especially those awful British.


But here's the thing.....

If the L-L Brigade had done their jobs and actually seriously asked, a long time ago, why anyone would ever plan to.... Hold a major Alpine event at Cyprus Bowl in late February....Hire bus drivers from Florida to drive through the mountains without training them..... Use hay bales to support spectators that were sure to fall apart like shredded wheat in milk when they got wet....Stick steel poles next to sliding tracks.... Or, build a speed-skating oval below sea level in North America's warmest, most highly-hydrated winter climate zone.....Well?

Maybe VANOC wouldn't be in the real (ie. sports-venue, not beer-tent) mess that it's in right now.


And if the LL Brigade had done their job on other more important non-VANOC related stories?..... Well, who knows....


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Circus Outside My Window...Day 7



Whadd'ya know.

Turns out it actually costs 'Infinity' if you want to park in the empty lot outside my window tucked away out here on the far, far western edge of the Circus.....


Yesterday, I mentioned that the empty parking lot actually has one frequent visitor - a tour bus from Scranton PA.

Which got the good Reverend, he of the country that loves the site of its 1972 Circus so much that it is now affectionately referred to by its cup-o-noodles monicker, to thinking not about Michael Scott, but instead about the late, great Harry Chapin......

Wasn't that just FanFrickin'Tastical?

Oh, and yesterday, we were also talking about both reel and real-life musical love stories...Turns out that the story of Harry and the love of his life Sandy was musical also - and Mr. Chapin sang of that love too.....
Finally, because I have really been remiss in keeping up with the real world lately... thought I should mention that our good friend Laila Yule has been on fire lately with true Citizen Journalism at its finest.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Circus Outside My Window...Day 6


It's crazy out here on Circus' far western edge today.

Becaause it's Canada v. Sweden in Women's Hockey.

All set to start in about 45 minutes.

And for the first time since they closed the roads 13 days ago there is actually action, excitement and adventure afoot.

Not that there is much for the 7 blue coats manning the empty parking lot outside my window to do.

OK, OK, OK.....the parking lot is not entirely empty.....there are two tiny shuttle-buses and one tour bus, contracted from.....wait for it..... Scranton Pennsylvania.

So, while we will never get Stephen Cobert out here, we are, at the very least, only 37 degrees separated from Michael Scott.



I actually have to go out into the throngs to pick up littler e. from school now

Will report back on the mayhem later.....


Update, 5:30pm.....Absolutely no mayhem whatsoever.....Not even the faintest whiff of it....There was, however, a very well-behaved and entertaining (they sang songs!) group of young anti-poverty protestors, about 70-80 of them, whom the crowd streaming by on their way into the game had no problem with...Meanwhile, afterwards there were only 7 squad cars with lights-a-blazing (vs. 10 yesterday) piled-up along the 500 meters of boulevard between the Arena and main gate to campus, although there was more police/security presence today as I counted 21 of them (more bikes, a motorcycle, a sinister-looking black SUV that sat idling directly in front of a fire-hydrant for much of the duration, and even a few campus cowboys)....Having said all that, and taking all snarkolepsy out of the equation in its entirety, here's the real thing....Again, nothing I have seen at the Circus gets even a tenth-of-the-way to being as rambunctious as it gets on a typical mid-summer night 'round here when a big concert sucks in every surburban rowdy for miles and miles....So, given all that, let's be extremely conservative for a moment and pretend that the 'security' budget for this division of the Circus is 0.1% (ie. 1/1,000th) of the total.....That would be $1 million.....Now, there used to be a social services group out here that helped literally hundreds of families deal with all kinds of things, including sports and recreation for the kids (ie. many of the families where one or more of the parents is going to school out on this, the Greyest of Lotusland's Western Points, are NOT rich and they do NOT live in the local mansions, or even manse-like townhouses)....The annual cost of this social service agency to the provincial government was about $30K per year....That social service group is no more because the government of Mr. Gordon Campbell, as he has done for so many other de-centralized, community-driven groups around the province of British Columbia, cut the funding....So.....How many times does $30,000 go into $1,000,000 again?


Who'd You Write This Song For?


I figure that the most powerful scene in the best musical of all time, 'Once', occurs very near the beginning.

For all kinds of reasons, not least of which is because, to my mind at least, it seems to be the most Framesian.

The 'guy', Glen Hansard, is busking late at night, standing in the mouth of an alley that looks like it is a portal that will swallow him up at any moment, tesseract-like, and deliver him from Dublin's genteel Grafton St. straight back across the River Liffey to the City's hardscrabble Northside.

Except that there is some sort of magical power that stops that from happening.

And that power is a song, 'Say It To Me Now', that the guy belts out at the top of his lungs for an audience of one that is not there.

As the guy finishes the song, a song that Hansard now belts out at every tour stop, sometimes literally, the camera pulls back, away from the portal, to reveal the girl, Marketa Irglova, who is not the girl that the guy was singing to.

And she asks a very simple question with even more power than the song itself, which is:

"Who'd you write this song for?"

The answer to which, in the end, leads them to write songs together.

For each other.

Just like they do now, in real life.


I had no idea that Douglas Fieger, the front man of a power-pop band that many people later came to revile for no really good reason at all, and a guy who wrote an almost Pixie-like little ditty of sweetness and lust called 'My Sharona' actually had one.

A Sharona, I mean.

But he did:

"It was like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat; I fell in love with her (17 year-old Sharona Alperin) instantly. And when that happened, it sparked something and I started writing a lot of songs feverishly in a short amount of time."

Which, given that Fieger was 27 at the time, can be viewed either a little scandalously or a little tragically, or both, again, in a Pixieish kind of way.

Except for one thing - which is that Ms. Alperin was then, and still is now, moved, by both Mr. Fieger and his creation:

"Doug changed my life forever. He left on Valentine's Day, a day of heart and love and that was Doug - all heart and love."

All of which begs the following question.....If you manage to make art, even if it is schlock-art, that truly touches just one person's heart, does that mean that you will never be truly alone?

I'd like to think the answer is yes.


Doug Fieger died on Sunday of lung cancer. He was 58.

Original link source - Dr. Dawg.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Circus Outside My Window...Day 5


The excitement out here on the tip of the Circus' far western pincer is palpable this morning.


Because there are actually three, count'em three!, empty Samsung-ad-festooned buses tucked into the corner of the expansive (but otherwise empty/closed-to-the-public) parking lot right outside my window.

Does this mean that the Korean Women's hockey team is about to get creamed by those lovable gals coached by that crotchety, but even more lovable in the end, old monarch named J. Andrews?


What's that, you say?

Korea doesn't even have a women's hockey team?


Does that mean that Genovia is actually playing those crazy kids from Salzburg coached by C. Plummer today?

Hang on a second.

Gotta go see if there any rabid crowds from Wein with images of the 'e' tatooed on their foreheads* out there buying tickets from the ubiquitous scalpers.

I'll get back to you.....


*That's edelweiss, not that other thing that so many of the swingin' kids from Wein who wig out to the A are into these days..... of course.
Update: It's 5:00pm, and.....It is now officially Slurpee-Time! for the 16 RCMP officers who came out 'ahem', in-force, with their 10 squad cars (all with lights flashing in the middle of the boulevard), 2 bikes, and 1 ATV to 'secure' the 400 meters around the corner from me where a couple of thousand well-heeled folks (ie. about 12 thousand fewer people and approximately 11,950 fewer young, drunk rowdy kids that stream out of your average VansTour-type stadium rock show that occur by the score out here by the score every summer and which are secured by 4 or 5 old guys in yellow jackets who, if they are lucky, are equipped with a Ford Fiesta or two in case of emergency) strolled on by on their way out of that massive victory by the US American women over those poor young lasses from the Russian Federation who are soon to feel the wrath of one V.Putin and/or receive a one way ticket to work for Yukos Oil in Vladivostok until the next Winter(?) Games....Speaking of which, where are the next winter games?...I mean, are they going to be held somewhere where it is actually winter in late February?
Double-Secret Probation Update: Latenight, with helicopters....The reverend paperboy reminds us that the next Winter Circus-Circus will be located in a still frosty place where the whole hep world would be going on a Saturday night if the KGB had won the war


Monday, February 15, 2010

The Circus Outside My Window...Day 4


My office is located a stone's throw from the Circus' most Westerly (ie. not-so-important hockey) Pincer.

So, here's the thing.....

The nearby streets have been closed /diverted for 10 days now.

And the parking lot where I would park if I didn't ride in most days has been closed since last Wednesday.

And thank the goddess for that today at noon on Day 4 that parking lot, which is directly outside my window, was a beehive of activity with, exactly:

-2 white passenger vans

-1 McDonaldsAd-festooned pick-up truck

-4 loitering blue coats gobbling off-site food from the nearby house of the evil green g'girl (although to be fair, extra excitement and activity was provided by the fact that one of the fine folks in blue was spinning her lanyard like a yo-yo doing 'Around-The-World' and talking animatedly about something or other)....

And that's it.

That's what all the fuss is about so far today.

There was one bit of excitement on the weepy Saturday afternoon just passed (ie. Day 2) that occurred when I had the temerity to cut across the empty parking lot on my way home, which led to the sudden swooping in of a stormtrooper-laden (well, ok, a couple of corpulent horsemen-in- body-armour-laden), camouflaged ATV out of nowhere to make sure I wasn't a protester with a message, a bike helmut made of compressed plastic shards of Esa Tikkanen's old Jofas, and MEC raingear....Or some such thing...(of course, they waved me on when they saw the whites of my eyes, the white of my hair, and, presumably, the white of my.....oh nevermind...)


Saturday, February 13, 2010

This Is Our Heyday, Baby.



Update: Week 7 of our Busking Year on Sun Feb 14th will be @ Spanish Banks at the far west, Dogpark, end....probably about noon to 2pm....Presuming, of course, we can find some room amongst all those RVs from Lichtenstein....Ha!

No flame*.

No cauldron.

No nothing.

Just my oldest kid and me.


*That fire-eaterish looking thing across the way is actually the fountain atop Queen Elizabeth Park which is, literally, only about 800 meters away from Circus-Circus Central.
The above is just a snippet
from 'Our Busking Year', Week 6.....The real, much more fulsome, accounting is still to come.
And if you'd like to see where the inspiration for this came from (assuming, of course, that you are not Irish and/or you don't drink Guinness), by all means please go here.
Finally, if you wanna see where the inspiration ended up, in all its glory, get a load of this.


Friday, February 12, 2010

All The Spectacle That Fits


For all those going, either to watch or participate....

Have Fun at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies!


And, while you stuff yourself with corporate-logoized Bread at the Circus ('cause you will be dragged away like a rabid dog if you have the temerity to try and bring in a baguette from home), try not to think too much about what we could have done with the $40 million that tonight's spectacle is costing us.

Like, say, oh I dunno....

How about continuing to fund ALL of the Biomedical Research in British Columbia for one year?

Why did I say 'continuing', above?

Well, it turns out that the British Columbia government of Mr. Gordon Campbell decided, for all intents and purposes, to choke the agency that oversees that funding to death earlier this year.

To the Rings!


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Our Busking Yr, Week 5: Death Metal!


Yup, that's right..... During Week 5 we covered 'The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out Of Denton' by The Mountain Goats.

Oh, and did I mention that John Darnielle is a freaking genius, short horns and all?

O.Y.O.B.D, Week Three:
Venues: The North end of Trout Lake Park with nary a white Circus-Buick in sight by day; Queen Elizabeth Park, under the TaiChi arbours, briefly, by night and fountain light....
Set List: Really messy .....We got muddy dog prints all over the tab-book, but newish additions included Carl Perkins' Cadillac, Reason To Believe, and The Sign...

Number of Not-So Bad, Non-Evil Green Empire Coffees: Just one each for Bigger E and me, and some kinda weird grape sodaish thing for littler e from one of the Kewl Kids' and Ol' Italian Guys' favorites on Commercial...
Number of strings broken: One....the still kinda fat D string - I've got to learn to stop squeezing the pick as hard as Steve Bernier squeezes his stick when he's trying to make sawdust....
Working on: Star-Star by the Frames and the Mic Christopher version of the ol' Kelly Marie disco classic 'Feels Like I'm in Love' for me....littler e. is working on her non-daft surf punk uke instrumentals...And Bigger E. is gobbling up so much, so fast, that I just can't keep up.....
And thanks to...... Beer for coming by with The Hammer.......The Reverend Paper Boy for noticing.......and Poetry Jon for going the distance and generating one of the best comment threads I've ever been involved in.....ever.
Faces We'd Like To See In The Passing Parade One Day: Well, in addition to the usual suspects on the sidebar (you most definitely know who you are), how about Declan.....?


Updating!!!!!.....We will kick off Week 6 on Sunday Feb 7th by returning to Trout Lake (north end nearest 12thAve/Grandview - very dog-, kid- and buskalero-friendly) from ~1-3pm....


Friday, February 05, 2010

Songs The Circus Sold Me: The Cops Finally Busted...

...Madam Marie For Tellin' Fortunes Better Then They Know

I wrote the post below quite awhile ago now and only stumbled across it again because I've been getting G-Bombed, a lot, by this string lately....

Anyway - after re-reading it, I figure the post was pretty prescient, even if nobody at the time could have possibly known (ha!) that Fortress' walls were actually made of undercooked ponzi-pudding.....


Friday, August 12, 2005

Fat City



Here's a thought.

Instead of the taxpayers, why don't the greedheads, those who are going to make a fortune a gazillion times bigger than Ross Rebagliati's appetite after a monster dube-in-half-pipe session, cough up the dough for the capital costs of building everything from highways, to sewers, to the onsite venues required for the upcoming Olympics?

And we could start with the biggest, of the biggest snout-in-troughers.... Intrawest:

"In a move one senior official called the most significant change in the company in 10 years, Intrawest this week announced a corporate shuffle aimed at “growing” the company’s resort business.

Today’s move by Intrawest, the parent company for Whistler Blackcomb, brings together a number of disparate elements within the company to form something called the Leisure and Travel Group.....

The group, which is to be headed by Dan Jarvis and Hugh Smythe, brings all company operations except for real estate development under one umbrella.

The move, Smythe said, is meant to “create a more systematized approach” to the resort business in an effort to increase the number of visitors coming to Whistler and other Intrawest resorts..........

Dave Brownlie, formerly executive vice-president of Whistler Blackcomb, is now executive vice president and chief operating officer of Whistler Blackcomb and Panorama resorts.

Doug Forseth retains the title of senior VP of operations for Whistler Blackcomb. He will report to Brownlie and will take on the added responsibility of guiding the company’s preparation for the 2010 Olympics.

Smythe said Brownlie’s focus will change to one that looks at coordinating company-wide efforts and finding “synergies” within the company....."

'Reporter', Squamish Chief, May 21st 2004.

Of course, making the land-rapers pay their fair share to have us rocket their profit margins into the stratosphere will never be easy as long as the Man from Marathon is running the Province and a chap named Hugh O'Reilly is running the township of Whistler.

What's that you say?

O'Reilly is leaving?

By gum, you're right.

And surprise, surprise here's why:

"The current mayor of Whistler, Hugh O'Reilly announced last Wednesday he would not be seeking re-election, instead taking a job in Hawaii to sell real estate for a division of Intrawest Corp."
Sean Holman, Public Eye Online, Aug 05th 2005

So, what do you do to counter a little piggy-in-a-blanket politico like that?

Well, you could go throw the bum out and go looking for a very different candidate with a different set of principles and a very different election platform.

Like, maybe the following, which was the manifesto of a certain someone who ran for Sheriff in the mountain resort town of Aspen Colorado not so, so long ago:
  1. Sod the streets at once. Rip up all the streets with jack hammers and use the junk asphalt (after melting) to create a huge parking lot and auto-storage lot on the outskirts of town.
  2. Change the name "Aspen" by public referendum to "Fat City." This would prevent greedheads, land-rapers and other human jackals from capitalizing on the name "Aspen."
  3. Drug sales must be controlled. My first act as Sheriff will be to install, on the courthouse lawn, a bastinado platform and a set of stocks—in order to punish dishonest dope dealers in a proper public fashion.
  4. Hunting and fishing should be forbidden to all non-residents, with the exception of those who can obtain the signed endorsement of a resident—who will then be legally responsible for any violation or abuse committed by the non-resident he has "signed for."
  5. The Sheriff and his Deputies should never be armed in public. Every urban riot, shoot-out and blood-bath (involving guns) in recent memory has been set off by some trigger-happy cop in a fear frenzy.
  6. It will be the policy of the Sheriff's office savagely to harass all those engaged in any form of land-rape. This will be done by acting, with utmost dispatch, on any and all righteous complaints.
Hunter S. Thompson, "The Battle of Aspen"
Rolling Stone, October 1, 1970. Republished in RS 970, March 25, 2005.

Yup, that's right, Thompson ran for sheriff on the 'Freak Power' ticket at the tail end of the '60's. He felt that his country was doomed to hell by Nixon. He was in a rut. He was unable to come up with the follow-up to Hell's Angels and he owed Random House a fortune on advances from a book he had been promising them for almost two years whose theme was 'The Death of The American Dream'. He never did write 'that' book, but he only lost the election by a handful of votes, then Warren Hinckle published the Kentucky Derby piece in the soon-to-be-extinct Scanlan's Monthly, and the rest is Gonzo history.

2005Update: Turns out that soon to be former Whistler mayor O'Reilly actually lived in Aspen, as a ski-bum of sorts, in the early 1970's. Wonder if he ever ran into, or was run out of town by, the good Docktor or his buddy, lawyer, touch football partner, and soon to by Vegas fellow traveller, Oscar Zeta Acosta?
Sure hope this slakes Thursday's thirst after an extended HST hiatus; now I've just got to finish that darned thing I promised Mr. Barnes.


2010 Double-Secret Probationary Update: Image at the top is from a fantastic bit of photojournoblogging by Shelby Skumanich on Asbury Park/Ocean Grove New Jersey, which is the setting of Springsteen's 'Sandy' that has recently been covered, to fine, fine effect by Jason Heath And The Greedy Souls....
By the way, for those interested, Bigger E can be seen wearing 'the sweater' here.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Songs The Circus Sold Me......For The Turnstiles

Ain't SingingForCokeVille

No matter what the Carnival Barkers say....

'Ten Thousand White SUV's Comin' Down The Mountain (and/or Granville St.)'

Will never, ever be green....


Our good friend and carnival bark antidotalist extraordinare, Mr. Berner, has a less allegorical and much more intimate account of a confrontation with one of the Circus' Dune Buggies here.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Songs The Circus Sold Me.....


When Mr. Beer Talks...
Gregor et al., should listen.....

Mr. Beer 'N Hockey
and his faithful companion 'The Hammer' came to visit us while we were busking in Trout Lake Park last weekend.

And a good time was had by all.

But, writing as only he can, Beer did have a few words of wisdom for the good folks at Vancouver City Hall.

"Dope City is struggling with its park budget I hear. I have a suggestion. Sell beer in your parks. Over the long term you will sell more beer than those motherf*cking Olympic mittens."

I think he just might be right.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010