Wednesday, October 24, 2007
proposed album cover art.
so, is there a new ladyhawk album coming out ever?
well my friend, i believe there is...
here's the story:
way back in february we set out to record our new record. we wanted to do it with colin stewart, who we worked with for our first album and then our little e.p., but his studio (the hive, the best place to make a record in vancouver) was booked up for the brief window of time we had to do it in. we didn't want to record in our practice space (which we did for our first album), so we looked around the city for alternate spaces. nothing really promising turned up, so we had the idea to try and do it in our old hometown of kelowna, about 4 hours east of vancouver. some friends of ours were operating an art space/venue in an abandoned farm house there and offered it to us for the last 2 weeks of february. boo ya. we packed up the old van and headed out.
those 2 weeks were spent drinking ghetto sangria (see post) and basically getting fucked out of our minds all day and all night. oh, and recording.
we then hurried back to the city to mix the bastard and flipped our van in the snow. the old white whale was totalled, but thankfully we were not and neither was our gear. darcy, ryan and i rode the greyhound back to vancouver while sean stayed behind in kelowna to work out the insurance details and try to find a new van.
did i mention that this is 3 days before we are supposed to leave for a 6 week tour? stress-zone.com! anyway, we made it back in time to mix the album in a day and a half. somewhat miraculously, sean found a new van and we busted out for tour, missing only our first show in seattle which ain't bad.
in the meantime, we released the afformentioned little e.p. which probably nobody heard about and have just sort of chilled while we wait for the album to be put out hopefully sometime in the middle of next march. why so long? that's just when the beautiful folks at jagjaguwar were able to do it. and they do a good job, so we just have to be patient.
but, it IS coming out one of these days.
everybody's had to wait forever for mike jones' the american dream to come out, but it looks like that wait is finally over WHAT WHAT!
"Anyway, we're in this hotel room (harmonica), we're trying some honey-slides, you know....You know what a honey-slide is? (voice from audience: Yes!) Honey-slide, mmmmmmn!
You know, poor grade marijuana (he's playing soft guitar all through this... Motion Pictures intro), worse than you get on the street, and you take it and you get your old lady, you know, if you got one, to cook it up on the stove, you know, put that stuff in the grinder, get it real fine, in a frying pan, put it on the stove, turn the heat up a little, wait till the grass just starts to smoke, just a little bit, take it off the heat, don't want to burn it too much (laughter and a few guitar bars), then you take the honey, you know, get a half a glass of honey about this big - I hope you ladies are listening to the recipies tonight - (audience laughter and a few words missing) just heat that honey up until it's slippery, you know, and mix that grass with it, you know the fine grass that you've cooked up just until it started to smoke and you took it off, mix those together and you get a spoon you know (voices from the audience and laughter).
I think you should eat it after that. Just eat a little of it, you know, maybe a spoonful or two, you'll be surprised, it just makes you feel fine... (laughter) That cheap grass is great. You know, in these times, you have to think about prices and things like that (laughter). "
that was neil young onstage at a show in new york back in 1974. i stole it off the internet. apparently neil recorded on the beach and tonight's the night under the influence of those legendary and mysterious honey slides, which is pretty fucking amazing because after a little kitchen experimentation about half an hour ago i can barely move.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
so i sat down earlier today with my shitty ass cold, put on the grateful dead europe 72 and tried to write a post about the status of our new record. instead, i wrote a long and super depressing rant about paula cole.
for some reason, i got the melody from her song "where have all the cowboys gone?" stuck in my head, maybe it was playing in a store or something, and i felt compelled to do some research on her career. according to the all music guide, in 1998 she won the grammy for best new artist even though her album was actually recorded in 1994 and she was therefore technically ineligable. weird. i'm not really a fan.
anyway, from there i went further into a "is it better to burn out than to fade away?" kind of thing- is the surving idea of you more important than survival itself?- and at the end of several paragraphs felt so depressed about life in general that i had to delete the whole thing and go outside.
when i got back i went to her website and read a "paula update" that i found oddly touching.
anyway, what the fuck?
i've had a weird day.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
that shit is so goood.
if you want to get drunk, are tired of all the usual boring old booze and don't mind the prospect of a mild to serious hangover, why not try ghetto sangria? it's delicious, (somewhat deceptively) refreshing, cheap and easy to make, AND it gets you completely shittered! we recorded the entirety of our upcoming album under the influence of this sweet devil nectar and let me tell you: it sucks! just kidding, right?
here's what you do:
1 bottle of cheap red wine (cheapness is key, don't try to get fancy)
1 liter/quart of fruit juice of your choice, orange blends are usually best
1 can of 7 up-style soda or ginger ale.
if you want to get fancy, you can serve it over ice or garnish it with fruit or some shit, but you know you'll just drink it straight out of the bucket as the lord intended.
this shit is REALLY popular around here.
east vancouver is a fucked up place. the gutters in my neighborhood are littered with a charming combination of used needles, used condoms and chicken parts, but don't get me wrong, i LOVE my neighborhood. even though the streets are (sometimes literally) crawling with fucked up people, i never really feel unsafe here and i think a lot of people genuinely feel that the area belongs as much to the users and homeless as it does to anyone else.
vancouver is the warmest spot in canada year round which means that people who live on the street won't freeze to death in the winter, so naturally it is the only place to be this time of year if you don't have a home. add to that a relatively relaxed and progressive attitude towards drug use and prostitution and you get this sort of mad max beyond the thunderdome post-apocalyptic zombie town vibe on the downtown eastside. as you can imagine, it's easy to become desensitized to it from seeing truly fucked up shit all the time. i don't even blink anymore when i see somebody smoking crack in broad daylight on the sidewalk in front of an elementary school, or a woman writhing on the pavement and tearing her clothes off with a needle hanging out of her arm. i realize this sounds hellish.
i work right across the street from one of the busiest pick-up corners in the city and the busiest time of day is between 7 and 9 a.m. it's like a starbucks drive-thru. who are these fucking dudes? anyway, a lot of the women are obvious users and interestingly, most of them seem to operate without pimps. and i think they work cheap, these are not julia roberts in pretty woman type prostitutes. there is this one woman who i see almost every day who has a kind of extreme working style. as people drive up to the stop sign at the corner, she walks out into the street and tries to get into their cars whether they like it or not. today she got into one of my co-workers cars as he was returning from his lunch break and refused to get out. he tried explaining to her that he didn't want a date and that he needed to get back to work and finally persuaded her to get out of the car by giving her a pair of sunglasses. he came back inside laughing with a sort of c'est la vie attitude towards the encounter. this kind of thing happens all the time, what a place!
Monday, October 15, 2007
here are some photos taken by our good friend braden barclay way back in august 2004 at a show in kelowna, b.c. we played with jon-rae fletcher. notice a moustache-less ryan peters and a pre "wizard look" sean hawryluk. weird. also, we all appear less bloated and haggard in general. my guitar is still shiny and not crusted in blood, sweat and semen...
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
so, last night ryan and i went to see the new scott walker documentary that was part of the vancouver international film festival. even though i am a devout scott walker fan, i gotta say it kinda sucked. not that he sucks in any way or that the new and archival footage wasn't amazing, but the film in itself was just kind of shitty. it was so fucking british it hurt. i mean, i just really don't care about a bunch of random british pop stars (goldfrapp?!) raving about how genius he is and listening to his albums track by track. and don't even get me started about the fucking computer animation screen saver-like music video interludes.
the movie only really worked when it focused on the man himself and on his art. and his art is fucking scary these days. his latest album, the drift, which came out last year is maybe one of the scariest sounding albums EVER. right up there with nico's the marble index or gorgoroth's under the sign of hell. and his voice is kind of high and frail and creepy now, too. it sure gives me the willys!
it's pretty amazing to see the progression from easy listening pop crooner all the way through literate jacques brel-obsessed artiste to total reclusive maniac trying to get the perfect percussion sound by repeatedly punching a side of beef in the studio. that's right, meat. and there's plenty of footage of it.
thing is, the meat punching does sound pretty decent in the end. i guess it's just the sound of an artist who takes full advantage of the freedom to be as self-indulgent and goth and over the top as possible. i wanna punch meat.
i like sade, ok. a lot. in fact i just recently got her first 3 albums on vinyl AND cd (actually, i got all 5 of her albums on cd). what the fuck you ask? shit's smooth. i recommend her third album stronger than pride, or love deluxe which came out a few years later. both are full of that fake jazz fretless bass and synth pan flute vibe that completely rules it for me. i realize this shit may be a bit deep for the average asshole, so i'll include the disclaimer that this is strictly for the heads (and my mom).
Thursday, October 11, 2007
1. VAMPIRE WEEKEND
i should hate this. it's a kind of upbeat poppy strokes-go-calypso paul simon graceland kinda vibe that totally reeks of college. in fact, in one song he even mentions something about "seeing you on campus..." or something. barf.
BUT, i kind of think the whole white dudes playing african music thing works out sometimes, take the afformentioned graceland or talking heads circa fear of music and remain in light for example. and this shit IS pretty catchy. this reminds me of that french band phoenix, ever checked them out? things stray a bit close to ska territory in a couple places, but overall "i'm feelin' it" as blink 182 says. also, they sound cute. girls will love this.
2. NECROSCOPE by brian lumley
this is the first in a huge series of novels about a guy who can talk to the dead and fights communist vampires across the space-time continuum.
3. NOSFERATU MAN by slint
when i was in grade 8 somebody lent me a tape that had slint spiderland on one side and something else i can't remember on the other. to say that it blew my mind is an understatement. i basically became completely obsessed with this band and everything connected to them, which led me to bands like tortoise and the palace brothers among others. i can remember listening to that tape and just really feeling it, you know? i listened to it so much back then that i can't really do it anymore, it makes me feel like i'm 14 again, which is to say horribly awkward and crippled by self loathing. i tried listening to it again recently and all i could think was: dude, what the fuck is up with your epic goth math rock spoken word album?
this song is pretty goth and vampire-y and gets kinda heavy and has a fucking killer two guitar part that i still involuntarily air guitar along to.
4. FUN VAMPIRES (aka FUNPIRES)
you know those people who always have to get serious about things? you'll be hanging out with a few people, talking, having a good time and then so-and-so pipes in with something heavy or inappropriate that just kills the vibe instantly. or they'll be more subtle, bringing attention to themselves, complaining about how cold or hungry they are, trying to make their problems everyone else's, making sure everyone is aware of how shitty the music is and so on. total energy suckers.
oh wait, i'm a fun vampire.
5. KINSKI AS NOSFERATU DIRECTED BY HERZOG
Saturday, October 6, 2007
So, we played our first show in vancouver in a while last wednesday...
It was at a great venue called the sweatshop which features an indoor skatepark as well as a stage, so if you feel overcome by the music and feel like you need to express yourself physically, you can hop on your board and rip extreme shit on the quarter-pipe.
Being a weeknight, i was feeling a bit sluggish, so ryan and i agreed to share an energy drink to try to pep things up. This is not something i usually do. I tried to counter the jarring effects of the caffeine by smoking some of the "devil's lettuce", which, if anything, heightened the sensations of doom and anxiety i was already beginning to feel. My hands began to sweat. In any case, by the time we played I was feeling, let's just say "funky" (if your definition of funky is a state of extreme paranoia and panic coupled with heart palpitations and nausea). Good times.
I think we played really fast and it seemed stupid loud, but other than that it i guess it was alright, in a car crash kind of way...
The voice of Karen Carpenter haunts my mind.
We played with a local band called CARPENTER who rocked out hard and the singer had a great raspy voice. They kind of reminded me of some old Samiam or Sunny Day Real Estate which i think is a good thing. Nothing wrong with that. They started their set by saying something about supporting farmers and spreading the gospel of MELLENCAMP. They had a copy of american fool by their merch, a hoosier-core classic.
The main event of the evening was ATTACK IN BLACK. I saw them for the first time last weekend opening for Built To Spill in Edmonton. They are a great band and I'm not gonna lie to you, they're not hard on the eyes either (if you know what I mean). They may just be tied with The Constantines for dreamiest band in Canada. If you haven't checked them out yet, you should. These dudes are young and they're killing it, and not unlike The Constantines, they play a kind of honest, driving indie rock that you know had it's roots as much in punk and hardcore as it did in Bruce Springsteen.
We are going to be playing a bunch of shows with these total dream-pies in mid november, smearing ourselves all over southern Ontario and "la belle provence", so look out!