November 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
Cancer Bats‘ new video makes my heart happy. These hilarious headbangers proudly show off their favourite Toronto restaurants, venues, and shops like Town Moto, Lee’s Palace, The Horseshoe, Bikes On Wheels, Sneaky Dees, Honest Ed’s, Suspect Video, and Sonic Boom. Consider this your guide to Toronto, courtesy of Cancer Bats.
There couldn’t have been a more perfect video for a song called “Bricks and Mortar”!
October 22, 2012 § 3 Comments
If you know me at all, you know that Smashing Pumpkins have been my favourite band since I first saw them live in 1996; my first concert ever. Since then, I have seen them in many incarnations: Billy, James & D’arcy; Billy, James, Jimmy & Melissa; Billy solo; Jimmy’s jazz band; Zwan; Billy reading poetry in a church; and Billy with a band full of hired musicians who called themselves Smashing Pumpkins. This however, was the first time I was able to see them in Chicago, their music-rich hometown that I’ve always had a soft spot for.
Nick’s band Anberlin was opening for them this leg of the tour, so we flew out on Friday afternoon for the show that night. Arriving on a windy and rainy day (miraculously) without any problems, we checked into our hotel and did a bit of work and ate some dinner before heading over to the Allstate Arena.
Now, I’m a 31 year old former-music industry professional and have been around many rockstars in my time, including Billy Corgan, but I still get a little silly from time to time. If you’re also a fan, you’ll appreciate that my flight number was 3-33 and that there were porcelain pumpkins sitting on the counter at our hotel’s check in desk. IT WAS MEANT TO BE, YOU GUYS.
When we arrived, Anberlin’s lovely tour manager Andy had these waiting for us.
Then I found out there would be a VIP pre-concert mini show in the room right across from Anberlin’s dressing room. YES! I was so happy they left the door open for the first song, so I could watch Billy’s entrance. Even after the door was closed, I listened to all of the short set, including a rendition of Plume from Pisces Iscariot. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that one live before!
Anberlin were great! I don’t think I’ve seen them in years and years. Nicest guys ever. They were the only opener since SP played for almost 3 hours.
Their stage show included an enormous orb, used as a film screen but as a complete sphere.
They played Oceania in its entirety.
Then they rolled out the hits including XYU, Cherub Rock, Mayonnaise, Stand Inside Your Love, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Tonight Tonight, a cover of Space Oddity, and more.
The performance of Tonight Tonight was almost out shined by the projection of the video on the sphere. It was so cool to watch all warped!
Friday night was one of those amazing moments in life where I had to sit back and remind myself just how great what I was experiencing was. One of those times where you feel like you must have done something right to be in the situation you’re in now. In short, thank you Nick and Anberlin for crossing another “must do” off my list of life goals – watching Smashing Pumpkins live in their hometown.
(P.S. Click on the photos to see them larger on Flickr – they look much better that way!)
October 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
Listening to one of my favourite Beatles’ records, Revolver, this morning made me realize that whenever “Tomorrow Never Knows” comes on, I think of that great scene in last season’s Mad Men. It was used so perfectly, it was worth the $250,000 it cost to license it for the show. Then I found this fantastic round up of season five.
Warning: serious spoiler alert!
Mad Men season 5 is released on DVD two weeks from today. I can’t wait to rewatch it!
June 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
This weekend’s weather was perfect! I was lucky enough to spend Saturday at the beach in Long Island and Sunday at the Governor’s Ball music festival.
The festival was held on Randall’s Island, a skinny piece of land between Queens and Manhattan, very full of grass and trees and everything nice. I felt almost like I could have been at a Toronto Island summer concert.
I arrived at 2:00, just in time to see Phantogram. I came alone, but found some old TAG coworkers pretty quickly.
I also found my former Deja Vu Discs coworker/old friend Travis and his girlfriend Lisa there! I was just in time to join them for a game of beer pong.
What’s better than sitting on a grassy hill, drinking beer with Canadians?
Some other favourites from the day included Built To Spill…
…and of course Modest Mouse!
Summer has officially started! Here’s looking forward to the next ten weekends.
June 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
I am on a bit of a Wes Anderson kick (when am I not?) and finally gave The Darjeeling Limited a second chance this weekend. Of course, I loved the movie and especially its soundtrack. This Kinks song stood out to me in particular. A perfect tune to accompany Anderson’s directing opinion that everything is better in slow motion.