Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sufjan Stevens - The Mistress Witch From McClure AKA Did someone say Banjo? - Episode 5

From La Blogotheque:
"I never thought I would be able to film Sufjan. I tried my chance one time before but the good man needs his time, a kind of slow accession into a calm moment of rare revelation. And so it was no surprise that 10 minutes before filming him, he kind a freaked out, saying, with fleeing and frightened eyes like an animal being hunted « No, no, I don't want to be filmed anymore, leave me be. » Ok, so we'll do it calmly, letting the camera roll as discretely as possible, one take, with no time or patience for errors. Sufjan finishes by descending the staircase, whistling (phew !) with the kind air of appreciation."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Nice job, Dude..." aka The wonder?? that is YouTube

Busy concert week this week - Oasis/Ryan Adams last Wednesday, Beck/Band of Horses Thursday. There is a lot in my brain and I am not sure how to organize it so I will just start and see where it goes.

Ryan Adams/Oasis - Now, to start with let me say that I am much more a Ryan Adams fan than and Oasis fan. When tickets to this came on sale, the concert going crew and I fussed for a few minutes about whether to bother going at all. Obviously we did in the end.

My interest in Oasis is much more a fascination with the Gallagher brothers' eyebrows than anything...OK, I admit I also find their absurdly over-the-top arrogance entertaining, not irritating (though their attitude seems to have calmed down these days...and I guess you can't really sustain it when you have been virtually off the map for 3 years). And I do think Wonderwall is a remarkably perfect pop song. All that being said, I stopped paying any attention to Oasis after their first two albums. I suspect I'm not alone. Oh hang on, I AM alone, according to YouTube, but more on that later.

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals were great, and the sound at GM place was remarkably good. The only problem with seeing Ryan Adams is he has such a huge catalogue of work now that he'd have to play all night for me to hear all I want to hear. He sounded great, and the impared unreliability he is known for was nowhere to be seen. I was wondering (hoping) if he would do his cover of Wonderwall - there would be something so perfectly cheeky about it. No such luck.

And as for Oasis, they put on a really good show. Nice staging, they sounded great - no complaints. Really. Except for the 7 foot tall guy in the row ahead of us, but he can't help his height I guess. And I did manage to sneak a few videos - I am now a bit paranoid about the video police, so I waited until towards the end of the show. Oh, who am I kidding - I waited to video songs I actually have some interest in. Songs from the first two albums. Which, judging by the glow of camera screens in the audience, were the same songs most others were interested in.

SO - on to YouTube. I posted this video
36 hours later, it had been viewed over 4000 times. Suddenly, my YouTube site is #32 Most Viewed in Canada, right behind the sites of semi-naked teenage girls dancing in their bedrooms. And I'm getting comments something like "Nice job Dude." And many more like "Liam's voice is BACK" which tells me that there have been points recently where his voice hasn't been...back. Someone in eastern Europe wants to add these videos to a bootleg DVD they are putting together (sorry, no.)

So - my thoughts?

1) I love masquerading as a Dude. Actually, I had no intention of masquerading as a Dude, but obviously musical obsessiveness is limited to the realm of the Dude in the minds of the general public. Now, if I had been posting videos of Steely Dan or Rush, it would have been a reasonable assumption...rawk on, fellow Dudes.

2) Someone (or 4000+ someones) still really, really love Oasis. And apparently it is important to let other Oasis lovers know "OMG I was there!!" even though no one else reading knows you OR really cares.

3) The use of things like "OMG!" tells me something about the demographic watching the videos. So maybe it isn't that the band videos that receive less hits are less loved, they are just loved by those who wouldn't be caught dead revealing themselves through pithy comments like "OMG!" or "Liam's vocals are mega!!!"

4) I have to admit I like the fact that the anxiety I feel sneaking videos results in something that is appreciated...I guess?

And as for Beck & Band of Horses the next night - another really really good show. But back to the show... I'd go see Band of Horses again in a smaller venue in a heartbeat. I don't have any videos of them because of the militia circling the venue ... I mean, the security staff (I guess that is what they are?), who were being wankers of the first order, and there were not enough people in their seats to really conceal what I was up to at that point of the night. That being said, with my brother's help I had covered anything that glowed on my camera (even the screen) with black plastic - I could still see enough to frame a shot, without the tell-tale "look at me I'M GLOWING!!" bounceback light. So HA to you, little security man, HA HA HA. And here is a chunk of Where Its At

Not my best effort, but not the ideal location to video from.
And this clip doesn't really get across how fantastic Beck is live. Really. But I'm bored with typing, so you'll have to imagine it. If you are interested in getting a broader view, someone posted a video of the fantastic final song, e-pro, that maybe gives a better sense of it.

Tomorrow: Neko Case, Andrew Bird, Deerhoof and friends at Malkin Bowl. ...


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Things that start with R....


I could have done without the first, but the second made it bearable.
And I didn't bring my camera this time (I was too pessimistic about the rain/security/my ability to get close enough to film anything worthwhile), but luckily someone did and I have borrowed their video of Karma Police (thank you, whoever you are).

I have wanted to see Radiohead for a long time. Thom Yorke fascinates me for reasons that might reveal a bit too much about me (and it's not just because his name is Thom like my cat's...and that there are at times - not good times if you are the cat Thom - some similarities between their eyes...and it's not just his laugh), and the music is layered and complex and unique and moving and and get the idea. Despite the bizarre crowd handling (gather everyone into a big holding pen like cattle for an hour or so, let them through slowly into another holding pen...) and my reticence about really big outdoor venues, particularly on really rainy Vancouver nights, it was all worthwhile. My wet legs, cramping ass, and general coldness - all worth it. If I enjoyed it this much when I wasn't in love with the weather or the venue, would my head have exploded if it was in a smaller, dry indoor venue? Likely. Would I have paid three times as much for that experience? At least.

But for now, I'll just be glad I had my Northface raincoat, and that I was lucky enough to be there.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What could excite me more ....

...about the upcoming Radiohead gig? On the eastern Canadian part of the tour, Grizzly Bear was opening for them. Vancouver - no Grizzly Bear. Sigh. And after playing the Plaza club here last time (an inappropriately noisy venue) who knows GB will bother coming back again. So I will watch this and pretend....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Watching this somehow makes it better

There has been too much on my brain of late. Killing wasps. Whether it is better to quit or be fired. My Dad's diaper rash. What the ideal assistant would be like, as I now have to find one. How great my friends are. How life could be easier. Why cats are so scared of vacuums. How life could be a lot more difficult. And how I loath self pity, particularly in myself.

Somehow, watching this shines a little light amongst the chaos.

Later all.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Thomas is hungry

Thom has been circling me and making the grating "gak" sound that is cat-speak for "get off your ass slave-human, I need food" (unless he says it at 4:30 in the morning, when it means "get out of bed slave-human, I need food"). If you are trying to concentrate, which I am, there is nothing so perfectly pitched to be annoying/distracting. My passive-aggressive revenge is to stand up so he thinks I'll feed him, making him gallop to the kitchen in anticipation while I sit down again. For those that think I'm cruel, remember he starts this routine at least 45 minutes before he is due to get fed.

I have to wage the battle for who controls whom somehow (I know. He's winning so far, but it's only a matter of time before I start using his sorry KittenWar stats against him. And YES I HAVE lost my mind, but 45,000 "gaks" later is it really a surprise?...)