Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Guns N' Roses (with Danko Jones & Sebastian Bach) at the John Labatt Centre, Jan. 25 2010

I got a wonderful last-minute surprise yesterday when I suddenly found myself with tickets to a Guns N' Roses show (thanks to @London_Events on Twitter; yes, I somehow won again).

The lineup at the John Labatt Centre was longer than Slash's top hat (LOL SEMI-APPROPRIATE METAPHOR) so we missed most of Danko Jones. I have a vague memory of seeing him once before and getting the impression that he's a huge douchetard, so no big loss I guess.

Sebastian Bach took the stage next. He is best known for his work in Gilmore Girls Trailer Park Boys Skid Row. Bach rocked songs old and new, all the while flailing that silky mane of hair.

He chided the anti-camera security staff, encouraging us to take videos. Then he did this about five more times. As if Youtube views are the only thing that's keeping him going. Well, here you go Sebastian:



There was an hour wait between Bach and GnFnR. Luckily some upstanding citizens took it upon themselves to entertain the crowd with their assets. By assets I mean boobs. And also asses.

When Axl hit the stage, the only explanation for the delay was some mumbled speech about accepting responsibility and the risk of mixing alcohols. But whether he knew where he was or not, he could hope across that stage and belt out those songs like it was 1987.

They played a near-perfect blend of songs; just enough new songs to make me want to finally buy Chinese Democracy, and all the old expected favourites. The band may not be the original lineup, but they were incredible; Axl frequently sprinted off the stage to give solo band members their time in the spotlight. Still, it's a little telling that Slash's job had to be split up between several guitarists.



After two and a half hours of non-stop rock, the lights came up and the audience stumbled through a haze of pot smoke and trickling rivers of spilled beer, while Axl toasted to his cock and handed out a round of shots. Rock and roll doesn't get much better than that.


See also:


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Best Comments Ever, Volume 1

This blog is all about me. Even if nobody read it, it would still exist due to my pathological need to turn thoughts into words. However, the fact that you are reading this is a gravy-like bonus, and when you take the additional time to comment, well, that sort of interaction one of the best parts about this whole internet thing.
A lot of people don't pay attention to comments, but they should, because at least around here, the comments often upstage the crap I post. So I'm thrusting some of you into the spotlight. Here are some comments that made me laugh/cry/cringe recently.

In response to yesterday's Miley-centric post, Hey Lady! said...

I think the song is just infectious... like a disease, no one WANTS to catch the flu, but you know, you're at a party, a bunch of other people have it, next thing you know you're laying on the bathroom floor wishing for death. This song, same thing.

My Chia Pet is now dying, I am sad to report, but at least he elicited these responses. Katrina said...

That Homer Chia is really freaking me out. I can't handle what's going on on his face. Seriously, I couldn't stop staring at it -- it's like a train wreck. The image is seared into my brain.

And Jay Ferris said...

At least we now know what the serial rapist offspring of Homer Simpson and Swamp Thing would look like.

In the informative and well-recieved post Sixty Nine Reasons to Avoid Tall, Dark and Handsome, Evilflu said...

Oh man! My new work monitor now has diet coke spit all over it and people are staring at me like I'm caveman lady or something. Those are the bestest pictures ever...sort of :/ oh yeah, guess I should say something about tall guys now...tall guys are easy to tip over...and sometimes they are scary.

Finally, responding to the Body Worlds post, Rick "The Hat" Bman related this related story...

So, I have never been to a Body Worlds exhibit but I do have a good Body Worlds story. A few years back I worked for a manufacturing plant and one day a delivery truck making his normal delivery also unloaded a bit coffin size metal box onto our loading dock and then just left with no explanation as to what it was. The address label had been torn off so we had no idea what it was so we had to open it (pic of box).

Imagine our surprise to open the box and find body parts. Now we didn't know that it was part of the Body Worlds exhibit yet, we just knew it was a box of body parts. Now my boss decided that we have to keep it secure until we can find the rightful owner. Now, where do you think the most secure room in the building is? Why that would be the computer room, where I work.

So for two days I got to work with a giant box of body parts in my office. Keep in mind we had no idea what they were just that they were body parts. Luckily my boss was able to figure out that they were part of that exhibit and then find out which museum it was supposed to go to. I had never heard of the exhibit at that time so it just kind of freaked me out.

The best part though. One of the girls that worked there hadn't heard about it and came into my office and sees the box and asks what was in it. I told her she didn't want to know. She says "What is it, a body?" and I said "Well, it is parts of a body any way." She got kind of freaked and ran out of the office very quickly.

Wow.

If you have commented and were not featured here, don't fret; it is solely because there is limited space, and because you are not very interesting. Try again, because there will be a volume 2. I love you all.




Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nodding My Hips Like Yeah

My favourite song of all time you ask? Yeah, I'd say it's still Party in the USA.

I've had Miley's sweet voice stuck in my head for days at a time. I'd almost managed to shake it when Miss.Tint sent me this impressive live performance:



Er. If I were butterflies, I'd fly away too.

And here is a creepy-ass "remix" created by old friend Cailen:



Is it just me, or when a song has been rattling around in your head all day, do you start adding in new words to spice it up a bit?

Motherfuckin HAAANDS UP



;lkdsjf

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tweeting With the Stars, Volume 4 - Deepak Chopra



If you don't do Twitter, here is the conversation expanded and translated into IRL-speak:

Deepak Chopra: "Before particles and waves are observed they exist as transcendent potentia in the field. The field interacting with its own self creates particles waves and the physical world. The field is non physical transcendent. It is a field of possibilities. Your core consciousness is the field."

Me: "One thing I've learned from Twitter is that Deepak Chopra doesn't understand physics."

Deepak Chopra: "Yes I do. Come to my $2000.00 conference."


A word of explanation: I have nothing against Deepak Chopra personally, and I appreciate him taking the time to reply to my remark. I am convinced that he is genuine in his beliefs and truly wants to help people.

The problem is that many of his beliefs simply don't correspond to reality. It's like he gained a basic understanding of quantum physics, then made up a bunch of stuff out of thin air to connect it with his own (also made-up) ideas about consciousness. When fantasy is allowed to slip into beliefs, you end up washing your eyes with the spit off your toothbrush.

If you read Chopra's Twitter stream, a lot of it ends up sounding like The Sphinx from Mystery Men; deep-sounding but ultimately shallower than a puddle of toothbrush spit.

Spirituality is important. I love that Chopra endorses exploring the intersection between spirituality and science, because the two need not be mutually exclusive and the world would be better if we tore down that wall. But presenting tentative spiritual guesses as scientific facts does measurable harm. I'm glad he was at least open to my speaking out against it.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Unrelated Captions

One of my favourite blogs as of late is Unrelated Captions. Like the name implies, it consists of pictures affixed with unrelated captions. For some reason this is hilarious.



I think part of the appeal is that our brains can't help but try to search for meaning in everything. Is the above picture a comment on the declining popularity of the Furby? Should we have done more to save the Furby before it became a deteriorating plastic skeleton? Will our children grow up in a world without Furbies?





Put people in the picture and it seems obvious that they are saying the caption.



And when our brain can't find any meaning, then it's still just delightfully WTFLOL.

There's something to be said about art here. Maybe the splotches of colour on a canvas alongside a thought-provoking title actually mean something in the artist's mind. They'll certainly mean something in the viewer's mind. When a surrealist poet writes unknowing cowflower, throw hither this monstrous fish world (or something), maybe the poet had something in mind, but even if she didn't, anyone reading it is going to react in some way.

That's not a bad thing. I think all great art strikes a balance between the expected and the non-sequitur. Even if the latter is generated by a random number machine, if put in the right context by a skilled creator, it's still going to tickle those pattern-searching centers of our minds.

It can go too far. In everyday life, it can be detrimental to find meaning where there is none. Maybe that twitch of her lower lip when you said you loved her means it's over. Or maybe her lip just twitched. It's possible that your stupid dance caused it to rain, but you're probably better off planting more crops than cutting a rug all day long.

Huh, well, that went to a weird place from starting with glorified LOLcats. Oh well, PUBLISH POST.



Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Christmas Unwrapping Wrap-Up

I had a great Christmas (THANKS FOR ASKING), which included getting a lot of great gifts. Case in point: I have been asking for a Chia Pet for Christmas for as long as I could write lists. Every year I was spoiled with the latest electronics and more socks than I could count (srsly anyone need socks?), but never a Chia Pet.

That finally changed this year, when I unwrapped not one, but two Chia products. The first was a Homer Simpson Chia Pet. It is supposed to look like this:



Look at that full globe of Chia hair! It's funny because he's usually bald!

Here is what it actually looks like:



Yeah, that's a funnel coming out of his sparsely-covered head. Chia Homer is not as easy to care for as they would have you believe. Water constantly collects in that drip tray, and you have to recycle it into the top of his head once a day or more.

Let's get a closer look.



Ahh god! He looks more like a coked-out Dracula, or this guy. You should watch your children around this Chia Pet.1

And obviously I couldn't resist giving him a ... moustache. Or whatever that is.

The second Chia product was a Chia herb garden. A label on the box insists "Chef's favorite!" And you know, it's been growing nicely for me, but if I walked into the back of a restaurant and saw the chef plucking herbs from a Chia Pet, I don't think I'd return. We are talking about herbs that grow on a sponge instead of real soil.

Another unexpected gift was my Ninja Turtles Snuggie.



Oh, sorry, "throw blanket with sleeves."

The fleece really is soft, and feeling it reminds me of last year's ShamWow incident. It keeps me so warm, and makes me feel just like Leonardo, except without the swords or douchiness. Anyone would be happy to own a TMNT Snuggie.

Wait...what's this?



What's with the attitude, anime Snuggie box guy? Your girlfriend appreciates her throw blanket with sleeves; what do you have to be so pissed off about? Is it your screwed up fetus fingers? Get over it.

Oh, and yet more cartoon clothing goodness came from my sister, who imported these beauties all the way from Korea.



No, you can't see out of them when they are zipped up. I think the impracticality makes them all the more awesome.

So yeah, best Christmas ever.


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Footnotes:

1 Shut up Nancy and Dan.

#ldnfavs09 ?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Best Most Listened To Albums of 2009 (#LdnFavs09)

10. Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke


Synthy pop rock goodness out of New Zealand. She named herself after the 80s movie, and the 80s influence shines through hardcore and brings me back to my childhood. Plus look at that album cover. Playing NES in her underwear? Dream woman.

9. Tegan and Sara - Sainthood



I love everything Tegan and Sara have ever put out, and Sainthood is no exception. Apparently this is the first album that they've actually written together. The result is a more mature-sounding, sometimes mainstream-sounding album, but it still holds some surprises.


8. Muse - The Resistance 



I was late jumping on the Muse bandwagon. I first heard them described as "the next Radiohead," but they sound nothing like Radiohead, so maybe they just confused me. But anyway, I've come around, and The Resistance is another over-the-top blasting of dramatic rock goodness. It brings to mind Queen but sounds nothing like Queen.

Plus you gotta love them because, when told to lip sync, they do this:



7. The BPA - I Think We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat 



It seems like few people know that Fatboy Slim morphed into The BPA, then put out this insane mess of an album. Full of random guest stars babbling over Fatboy's bouncy beats, it's one of the most fun albums of the year.

Oh and this is one of the best videos of all time. OF ALL TIME.



Now I'ma let you finish.

6. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns



Bat for Lashes has this haunting, melancholy sound that I can't stop listening to. This album is ... like ... if PJ Harvey and Tori Amos got it on, then popped out a baby, and that baby was a hobbit that went to visit elves and explore their musical secrets. You know what I mean?

5. Little Boots - Hands



This is just pure pop goodness. Little Boots is from England, where you can be a pop star even if you have weird teeth. I think her, Lights, and Lady GaGa should do a multinational concert together that will make teen girls and myself scream with glee.

I love this video too:



4. Marilyn Manson - High End of the Low 




I love Marilyn Manson like a son, but even I was slightly disappointed by his last album, Eat Me Drink Me. Luckily, Manson and his band are back with High End of the Low. This albums sees them less angsty, more playful. The way he casually growls "it's arma-goddam-motherfuckin'-geddon" is irresistable.

Oh and listen to him singing with Lady GaGa!



Let's see if I can work Lady GaGa into every entry here!

3. Joel Plaskett - Three



Plaskett, you cheater! This album is only in the top ten because it has 27 tracks on it. I'd have to listen to any other album 3 times to equal listening to this one once. But I'll let it slide, because with no duds among all 27 songs, it's a damn solid album. Plus he puts on an amazing live show.

I'll just point out that Lady GaGa almost made this list with an 8-song album though.

2. Metric - Fantasies




When I first heard Fantasies, I remember thinking to myself that it would probably top this list. It's one of those albums that you put on and go "oh, I love this song!", then the next track comes on and you're like "oh I love this one too!", repeat x 10. Metric seems to have finally made the transition to big-ass popular band, and I'd love to see them play Stadium Love in a stadium. It's a song about spiders fighting bats fighting eels, or something, which might be a metaphor? Whatever, it's definitely awesome.


1. La Roux - La Roux



Well, this is embarrassing. See, I wouldn't classify La Roux's debut as a good album. Their 80s-inspired synthpop isn't anything that hasn't been done before, and probably done better. But obviously something here pleasured my eardrums enough to listen to it more than any other album of the year. Elly's voice is just heartbreaking, and along with the nostalgia-soaked music, it tickles something deep in the drafty chambers of my blackened heart.

Here is the song/video that hooked me:



(again, from England where you can be both famous and awkward-looking)

So there's my list. Perhaps you will find something here that you didn't know existed until now. What were your favourite albums of the year?


See also: