Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dinner with a stranger...

An email from a stranger saying they'd donate $200 to charity if you'd have them over for dinner?.. sure, why not.

Conan O'Brien - Old Time Baseball

Hilarious, and definitely worth a watch! This may have been his last show at 12:30...


Very Sopranos-esque shot eh?.. It's not really like that.. except EMOTIONALLY.

So I've been catching up on Mad Men, before the eventual watching of The Wire, which I've never watched (save the first 2 episodes, falling asleep to... the horror(!).) and man, it's pretty much sucked, until S02E04-5ish. Yeah, I've been watching it that long, sleeping aid than anything else. But since then, wow. Fucking amazing. Definitely not worth the initial investment, but starting at season 2 would be a good choice. Also, Gilmore girls, S01E01.

Now I'm gonna look up shit to back up that claim. The season 2 thing, not the Gilmore Girls.

"The second season finale [...] posted a significantly higher numbers than the series' first season finale and was up 20% over the season two average. 1.75 million viewers watched Sunday night's season finale, according to fast national data from Nielsen Media Research. The cumulative audience for the three airings of the episode Sunday night (at 9pm, 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.) was 2.9 million viewers."[16]

An aside: On June 20, 2007, a consumer activist group called Commercial Alert filed a complaint with the United States Distilled Spirits Council alleging that Mad Men sponsor Jack Daniel's whiskey was violating liquor advertising standards since the show features "depictions of overt sexual activity" as well as irresponsible intoxication.[27] Jack Daniel's was mentioned by name in the fifth episode.

Maybe an inspirational thing?.. Yeah, i doubt it.

Again in '09?

ok, so they won a (the?) Guild for their first and second seasons... still, second season is actually worth watching. How many shows repeat?.. I don't really actually care.

Two Golden Globes for best drama and best actor (Jon Hamm as Draper - of 30 Rock fame) — and the Peabody Award.

Mad Men has improved ratings this season, averaging 1.5 million viewers per episode, compared with about 1 million the first season. Ratings have been rising in recent weeks, hitting 1.9 million on Sunday. -

Ok, maybe no writer change, and maybe just more 'popular'; and I also liked Sex and the City.

Anyway, so tonight is the last night of an improve show at Bad Dog theatre re: Mad Men. I'll be there with my suit and jack.


Good show! Hilarious at times, and they kept very close to the Madmen storyline, so although you probably didn't need to know the show, it certainly enhanced the comedy.

Escaped to watch the Sadies play a set or two last night...

‘JON-BOY LANGFORD & His SADIES’ 2 Sets @11:00 n 12:30 & ‘Jon & The Burlington Welsh Male Choir’ (25/30 piece) @10:00. $12.50 Adv @Tm-Hs-Rt-Ss. $14.00 @Door.

As for Jon Langford:

He was good, great!.. but, seemed tired and drunk by the end of the show. The Sadies were the Sadies and rocked.

Saturday morning roundup.

Internet book trading clubs... I'm still not 100% sold on reading books/magazines on a computer screen, but more than 50% sold. Not sure if I would do this, but for those who love paperback.


Brooklyn indie scene. Makes sense. I do like a few of the bands they mention (No Age, TV on the Radio, Animal Collective) but the ties that bind to Brooklyn are very thin, at least as suggested in this article.


My mom has always told me it's bad luck, money and love-life wise, to keep these types of flat-leaved plants in the house, especially in the bedroom. NASA apparently think otherwise.

For the record (with the better record), I may have to go with my mom on this one.


Neko Case speaks to Chicago Public Radio. Listen here.


Chicago's next big bands
, exactly one year later!



Beirut interview.


Going to go make some pancakes. Not sure if they will turn out like this.

Can't wait to try tilt-shift photos.

Friday, February 27, 2009

TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour

TD bank what??

I'm going to register.. $48 USD... See what there is!


Above is an actual picture, not a drawing, of Macropinna microstoma, who's eyes, seen here as the largish green balls, are inside its transparent head!

The things that look like eyes upfront are actual olfactory openings (umm... nose holes). Apparently this transparent head 'design' is to protect the eyes from stinging attacks as the Macropinna steals food from others! Here is a great video!:

More here:

Katyn - Just watched... worth watching.

New Yorker: On September 1, 1939, Hitler’s forces invaded Poland; on September 17th, the Red Army did too, and the country was split into two occupied zones. The Soviets then captured around ten thousand Polish Army officers. What to do with them? Stalin was murderously prescient; he may have anticipated the future of the war—the coming German invasion of the Soviet Union, and the Soviet recovery and counterattack, which, in the event, rolled through Eastern Europe—and in that future he had his own plans for Poland. During April and May of 1940, the Soviet secret police, the N.K.V.D., shot nearly all the captured officers—many of them reservists who had built careers as engineers, doctors, and teachers—and dumped their bodies in mass graves in the KatyƄ forest and at other N.K.V.D. execution sites. At the same time, many other Poles held in Soviet custody were also shot. In all, more than twenty thousand people were killed. Then came the second betrayal: during the long Soviet domination of Poland after the war, the crime was officially blamed on the Nazis. It’s as if Poland’s grasp of the truth had been taken away along with its sovereignty.

IMDB: The film follows the story of four Polish families whose lives are torn apart when, at the outset of WWII, a great number of Polish soldiers (who are also fathers, husbands and brothers) fall into the hands of Soviet troops and later brutally become victims of Stalinism. The film also underlines the complicated circumstances of Poland's position both in the war and after.

New Yorker:

torrent download (1.4 Gigs):

Self adjusting eye-glass lenses, for $19.

"Joshua Silver models a pair of the self-adjusting glasses he developed for the poor. The glasses work on the principle that the more liquid pumped into a thin sac in the plastic lenses, the stronger the correction."

Science tattoos!

Newer Beirut album

This one is better than the last; still too heavily produced for this type of music. For this type of music, I feel you need three mics tops with no compression. The second half, to me, doesn't compare, is barely listenable. But I can see people enjoying it.




Dark was the night

Album compilation.

Be stern.



Thursday, February 26, 2009

Song of the day: Andrew Bird - Measuring Cups - and part of the story why this site was named for brothers Grimm and Gorey.



(didn't realize he was so sickly skinny!)

Not necessarily my favourite song on the album, as it's so good, but yeah, obviously up there...


Over-analysis here!: Section 1

get out your measuring cups and we'll play a new game
come to the front of the class and we'll measure your brain
we'll give you a complex, and we'll give it a name

get out your measuring cups and we'll play a new game

can't have the cream when the crop and the cream are the same
liquid or gas no more than the glass will contain

Watching a Dutch interview with him (which I'll post here as soon as I figure out how to rip the streaming video - I'll post instructions for that as well... ) in which he describes a hierarchy and constant "labeling" while at school and away... an institutionalizing. Quantifying aptitudes in society within distinct parameters... a rationalization, characterization, numeration (?) of what people see before them.

when you talk about the hand of glory

a tale that's rather grim and gory
is it just another children's story that's been de-clawed?
when the tales of brothers Grimm and Gorey have been outlawed

Hand of Glory: Very brothers Grimm and Gorey-esque...

The Grimm and Gorey is further detailed in the following section...

I think they're gonna make you start over
You don't want to start over
Put your backpack on your shoulder
Be the good little soldier
Take your places now
'Cause we're all predisposed

Literal sense, starting over a grade. No one wants to start over. I'm reminded of a saying my friend often uses... "Step up". Sometimes you have to put your backpack on your shoulder and march on. Now, I think he most likely means this in the opposite sense, again attacking convention... being soldier like, listening and following orders, status quo measuring cups.

Put your backpack on your shoulder
Be the good little soldier
It's no different when your older
You're predisposed
That's all for questions now
The case is closed!



I was discussing with someone recently that the world is bound by rationality, even at the sake of feeling. This is how you're supposed to do this, this is how you get over that, shutdown, 'de-clawed', 'outlawed', 'case is closed!', etc... A strategy for being able to organize, and theoretically to try to feel better with organized thoughts...

Why not just feel; what's wrong with that? Discuss, talk, listen to feelings, I think, and that will bring on other feelings, and ultimately, when feelings are involved it's not a rational decision most of the time, so why approach it like that?! Lists of positives and negatives.. hate them. Ultimately, some pros or cons have higher weighting than others, so then what? A weighted matrix? How does one stay objective giving something a higher weighting? Ultimately, it comes down to feeling(s)! One can't categorize everything.


Now, brothers Grimm and Gorey: Section 2


The Gashlycrumb Tinies:

Grimm's Law:
"Grimm's law was the first non-trivial systematic sound change to be discovered in linguistics; its formulation was a turning point in the development of linguistics, enabling the introduction of a rigorous methodology to historical linguistic research."

- which I think is appropriate given how Andrew Bird writes his albums.

Further interest in Grimm and Gorey? I now have an answer to when a loved one will roll on their side, try to fall asleep or just take a nap, and ask me to tell them a bedtime story - a theme for me to this blog.

K'naan last night at the Mod Club review

Coen brothers make "clean coal" ad!

How to download: torrents!

Wanna download? Don't know how? Here's a quick tutorial for any version of Windows.

1. Go here and download this:

Windows will ask you if you want to save the file. Click 'yes' and save the file to your desktop.

2. Double-click the file you just downloaded (utorrent.exe). The program will install on your computer. It's safe... just follow the default settings.

Once installed, you may not actually see the program, but it's on your task bar near the clock on the right, showing up as a green "U".

3. Now you're ready to actually download shit. Go to this site: There are other download sites that I use occasionally (, when I can't find something on the piratebay, but for now let's stick with that.

Once at the download site, search for what you want. Let's look for 'Neutral Milk Hotel'. No quotes needed.

Something like this will pop up:

(click on image above to make bigger)

So, as you see there is a lot of shit here... Along the top bar near the right side of the page, you'll see "SE" and "LE". What this stands for is "SEEDS" and "LEECHERS". Seeds are the number of people sharing the file that have the entire file, while leechers are people still sharing the file, but also still downloading parts that they are missing at the same time.

Take the mouse and click on the "SE". What this does is sort the list from lowest to highest number of seeds. Basically, the more seeds and leechers present for a file, the faster it will download. If there are no seeds, you will not be able to download this file... no one is sharing currently.

ok, so you clicked on "SE".. this is about what you should see...

So now the list is organized from most shared files to least shared files. So, our desired file is the top one here... Click on the double green arrow, as indicated below.

Now, if everything goes right, you'll see a dialog box pop up, as below.

Click on "OK" to open the file up with utorrent. (Aside: if downloading other files from my site here, the dialog box will open up immediately after clicking on a torrent link... just follow from here.. )

ok, so you've click "OK", and the utorrent program should open up. It will ask you if you want to download the program. Be sure to check exactly where the file(s) are being downloaded; the default is "My Documents".

Once you've said okay to the download, it will start downloading. You can watch the progress bar..

...once it's at 100%, you have the file(s).

Once it is at 100%, you can play the file(s) from "My Documents". Also, remember to remove the torrent from the utorrent program. Go to the program, right click on the file that is at 100%, and select "Remove". And confirm. This will not delete the files you have downloaded, just stop you from sharing them. If you want to continue to share for a while after downloading, by all means do!

If all this doesn't make sense to you, look you "How to download a torrent" in google, and find something like this:

That's it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Cohen tours...

Chinese Bluegrass!

Speaking of which, anyone up for Dakota brunch this weekend?

Song of the day: Sarah Jaffe - Even Born Again

Listen to it here:

or on her myspace page. (Better quality)



Jaffe conflates the personal and the spiritual throughout "Even Born Again," singing, "And I would gladly die for you / selfishly but willingly." It's a powerful statement of devotion, but it's also a clever bit of self-analysis: She understands that memory, like salvation through death, often works only to serve oneself. One of the two parties involved has gone missing for all future events, so in essence the relationship has achieved the permanence that eluded it in life.

She's what, 22 years old? Good song. Love the 'chorus' chord progression. Yes, Sarah Harmer vocal sounds but with a clearer, clouded edge, if that makes sense.

Ribfest 2008

The ugly, the bad, and the good.

So, get home in the evening last night and guess what, another black out in Parkdale. I really love this area... makes you feel. I was turning up my street and it was obvious, all lights were out.

Was supposed to watch and record the Jane Jacobs special on TVO finally... was all set up, except again plans change, maybe a sign, of, well, changed plans.

On the good side, finally, purchased the cart before the horse, once again. Got a lens for my eventual camera!! Got it used off RFD in mint condition. Now looking for that D90. So far, I'm ecstatic about this!:

...with another 3 years left on the warranty! Perhaps the only lens I'll need before moving up to full frame in a few years...

Song of the Day: John Prine - Crazy as a loon

Dakota tavern cover song. Can't find the original music yet btu working on it, so check back.



Covers: (Conor Oberst)

Official website:

Chord pro:

{t:Crazy as a Loon }
{st:(John Prine/Pat McLaughin)}
[A] [D] [A]
[E] [A]
[D] [A] [E] [A]

Back before I was a [D]movie star
Straight off of the [A]farm
I had a picture of [E]another man's wife
Tattooed on my [A]arm
With a pack of Camel [D]cigarettes
In the sleeve of my tee [A]shirt
I headin' out to [E]Hollywood
Just to have my feelings [A]hurt

[A]That town will make you [D]crazy
Just give it a little [A]time
You'll be walking 'round in [E]circles
Down at Hollywood and [A]Vine
You'll be waitin' on a [D]phone call
At the wrong end of a [A]broom
Yes, that town'll make you [E]crazy
Crazy as a [A]loon

[A]So, I headed down to [D]Nashville
To become a country [A]star
Every night you'd find me [E]hangin'
At every honky-tonk and [A]bar
Pretty soon I met a [D]woman
Pretty soon she done me [A]wrong
Pretty soon my life got [E]sadder
Than any country [A]song

[A]That town will make you [D]crazy
Just give it a little [A]time
You'll be walking 'round in [E]circles
Lookin' for that country [A]rhyme
You'll be waitin' on a [D]phone call
At the wrong end of a [A]broom
Yeah, that town'll make you [E]crazy
Crazy as a [A]loon

[A] [D] [A] [E] [A]
[A] [D] [A] [E] [A]

[A]So, I gathered up my [D]savvy
Bought myself a business [A]suit
I headed up to New York [E]City
Where a man can make some [A]loot
I got hired Monday [D]morning
Downsized that [A]afternoon
Overcome with grief that [E]evening
Now I'm crazy as a [A]loon

[A]So I'm up here in the [D]north woods
Just staring at a [A]lake
Wondering just exactly how [E]much
They think a man can [A]take
I eat fish to pass the [D]time away
'Neath this blue Canadian [A]moon
This old world has made me [E]crazy
Crazy as a [A]loon
Lord, this world will make you [E]crazy
Crazy as a [A]loon

[A] [D] [A] [E] [A]
[D] [A] [E]
[A] [D] [A]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Neko Case Album - Middle Cyclone


"Legal" free listen here:

Ultimately, Case says, the songs on Middle Cyclone are more about the universal need for love, regardless of what form it may take.

Neko talks about her new album here:

Why I have no problems uploading/downloading/sharing music

Beyond that, sharing gets the music out. If I like it, I think others may too. From there, simple exposure will lead to indirect sales of the album, band paraphernalia, and perhaps most importantly, attendance at live shows, which will increase. These kinds of sales are what ultimately support the artist, not the album sales.

I don't know, maybe I'm wrong here... any differing opinions?

Poem: Leonard Cohen in New Yorker

I used to be your favorite drunk

Good for one more laugh

Then we both ran out of luck

And luck was all we had

You put on a uniform

To fight the Civil War

I tried to join but no one liked

The side I’m fighting for

So let’s drink to when it’s over

And let’s drink to when we meet

I’ll be standing on this corner

Where there used to be a street... (con't)

Good idea. Too bad it looks like crap.

Expanding / contracting bookcase.

Re: Elvis Costello's and Bill Shatner's talk shows

see clips here:

New M. Ward - Hold Time

It's as majestic and lonely as his previous albums (the ones I've listened to), so it's gonna be great, just giving limited listenings now cuz the sound isn't as original as it once was. If you're a first timer to M. Ward, you're gonna love it. I'd love to hear him do an old country album, or something along the lines of The Burrito Brothers, he'd kill it.

Torrent download:

Metacritic review:

The New Yorker:

NY: ... When Ward sings “So draw back your bows, you hunters,” it’s impossible not to think of Leonard Cohen, just as when he sings “absolute beginners” it’s impossible not to think of David Bowie....

Artist asked for payments countersues.

In a pre-emptive strike, the street artist Shepard Fairey filed a lawsuit on Monday against The Associated Press, asking a federal judge to declare that he is protected from copyright infringement claims in his use of a news photograph as the basis for a now ubiquitous campaign poster image of President Obama...

..According to the suit, A.P. officials contacted Mr. Fairey’s studio late last month demanding payment for the use of the photo and a portion of any money he makes from it.

The suit asks the judge to declare that Mr. Fairey’s work is protected under fair-use exceptions to copyright law, which allow limited use of copyrighted materials for purposes like criticism or comment.

A better look:

-- Bob Clarida, an expert in copyright and intellectual property laws, has stated that, “This would be a tough fair use argument (for Shepard Fairey) to win because the 'transformation' is purely in the look of the work, not the purpose. There's no commentary going on.

_ I disagree. I think it's quite clear that a purposeful transformation has taken place. The message of the work has changed with significant value added.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The White Stripes play Conan's final night in NYC

Article and video:

Icycle 2009 - Racing on ice.

A fun, annual event organized by Derek (The Bike Joint).

More photos to see here!


Leonard Cohen North American tour dates

With no Toronto show, looks like it's a trek out to Hamilton on a Tuesday night. Who's in?

Stuff I want to do: Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto tours

The first Thursday of every month the Dept. of astronomy and astrophysics at UofT hold a free public tour where you get to explore with their telescopes. The upcoming tour includes an additional discussion by PhD student Mubdi Rahman.

Song of the day: George Jones - Cup of Loneliness

Song: Cup of Loneliness right click to download.


ugh.. so beautiful. Makes you love all of life.


Song of the day doesn't do this dude right.. more on him later...