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Friday, October 15th, 2004

Friday's Dust

The tank is empty. I have nothing. Now most bloggers would simply not post on days on which they have nothing to say. Not me, though – my weird obsessive compulsive streak simply won’t allow it. So instead, I’ll just take a little wander through the media that’s keeping me occupied right now.

Reading: For periodicals, I’m about halfway through new Magnet, which is always an enjoyable if brief read. After that I’ll take on the new Filter, which I got as part of my complimentary subscription for putting up that little banner dealie up in the corner. I’m once again an issue behind on TapeOp – rather sad that I can’t stay on top of a slim bi-monthly magazine.

When I get back to the books, there’s Milk It!, a collection of essays and articles by Jim DeRogatis on the alternative music explosion of the early to mid ’90s – it’ll be interesting to read about the decade of music I grew up in with the benefit of hindsight. I’ve also got Ways Of Seeing from the library – it’s a slim book of essays about art and the perception of art. It’s based on a BBC television series from the early 70s so it’s a little dated, but still interesting.

Finally, the only comics purchase this week was issue 5 of Ex Machina, by Brian K Vaughan and Tony Harris. This one wrapped up the inaugural story arc and I have to say I was a little let down with the resolution. However, the series still has an excellent premise (ex-superhero becomes mayor of New York City) and the creators have a proven track record for great stories, so I’m sticking around for the long haul. The series also has a neat-looking website which would be even neater if it actually worked. I also finished the massive one-volume edition of Jeff Smith’s Bone. Soooo good. I got burned out on fantasy as a genre some time ago, but even though Bone didn’t necessarily offer any groundbreaking twists to the formula, it was so well-executed and epic in scope that I had to love it. And the single-volume 1200+ page edition is a total bargain – I paid $36 from Amazon.

Listening – getting back into a shoegaze mode right now. Lots of Ride on the (figurative) turntable at the moment, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine — you know, the staples. Looking to draw some inspiration for future musical endeavours… Right now, I’m thinking LOUD.

I’ve also been spinning the new Saturday Looks Good To Me, which I had originally pegged as a disappointment but which has been growing on me. They’re at the Silver Dollar on Monday and I hope they bring a slightly larger band than they did last time when there were just three of them. They were entertaining but the songs really deserve to have a fuller presentation.

Also been listening to a lot of American Music Club/Mark Eitzel and Mojave 3. Threw The House Of Love’s BBC Sessions disc in the player last night. Terry Bickers = God. On a related note, the House of Love’s new album – their first in about a decade – has been recorded and is being mixed, they’re looking at an early Spring release. And the Alejandro Escovedo tribute album Por Vida is also quite good.

I got the Doves DVD Where We’re Calling From the other day – used, so it was nice and cheap. Only taken a quick skim through it but there seems to be a lot of decent material on the disc. They’re one of the few new British bands who genuinely excite me these days – I’m looking forward to their new one, which should be out in February of next year. I’ve been trying to find a used copy of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, but have only turned up the fullscreen editions so far. Why on earth do they still make fullscreen DVDs? Surely no one actually wants these things?

I’m not really much of a video gamer, but I got Deus Ex: Invisible War a couple weeks ago and am very slowly working my way through it. It’s not especially addictive, but it’s a good time killer. I really enjoyed the first one, but can’t say the sequel is really grabbing me yet. For some reason, my copy only came with French instructions, so I don’t really know all the controls yet. Interestingly, eye ran an article on the game in this week’s issue, even though the game is over a year old.

And there you go – a post completed simply by looking around my living room. That was easier than I thought it’d be. Maybe next time I’ll blog about the contents of my kitchen cupboards.

…And as it turns out, there is some news to report. Bits and pieces, like.

In an exclusive interview, Pitchfork finds out why Dean Wareham is disbanding Luna.

“We’ve been around a long time, and I think it’s different in your twenties than when you hit forty. In your twenties you don’t have a care in the world, and you’re out there sleeping on someone’s floor, but you’re like, ‘Hey, isn’t this great!’ And after awhile…”

Sniff. For the record, Dean, I’d have let you guys have the bed and couch and *I* would have taken the floor.

Gary sent me this item about iTunes coming to Canada very soon. I don’t know, man. Downloading music makes baby Jesus cry.

np – Sugar / Copper Blue

By : Frank Yang at 9:24 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. fink-nottle says:

    you’re right, doves are brilliant, but they’re not exactly new; lost souls was released in 99..

  2. Frank says:

    nope, not really new. Maybe I should have phrased that as ‘current’. Pretty much all the other UK bands I like are either defunct or have been around a long time in one form or another. That’s actually more in reference to English acts – Scotland continues to churn out a stream of quality stuff. Hmm, maybe I should do a post on my Britpop burnout.

  3. fink-nottle says:

    yeah, them scots are out in force…that said, embrace just released a new record that supposedly ushers in the rebirth of britpop…haven’t heard it though since hmv wants thirty five bucks for the import.

  4. graig says:

    I’m quite liking Ex Machina as well and I’m about 100 pages into the Bone tomb and that shit is genius. STUPID STUPID RAT CREATURES! I finally get it.

    I’m looking forward to downloading albums instead of buying them… I’m progressing towards going all digital… ipod and such, and having hard drive storage for all my current cds.

    Here’s some interesting stuff:

    On cbcradio3.com this week there’s an odd and somewhat sombre retrospective on the Super Friendz (she writes "I liked the last album. I didn’t buy it".. uh okay) with some live tracks from the band

    The Dears’ "No Cities Left" finally appeared in the US this week (a year and a half after the Canadian release, and a week after the new Protest ep was released here).

    Why am I blogging in your comments section?

  5. mishie says:

    itunes better come to canada soon. i think it’s a nifty thing – i frequently browse the store for fun, and the instant satisfaction sure would feel great!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Calling John Berger "dated" is like calling Shakespeare dated (not quite). The book is pretty much considered canonical (which is perhaps why I never got through it). Let me know what you think of it.

    "Downloading music makes baby Jesus cry." I’m tactile. Even when I do download songs (mostly out of print, naturally) I tend to burn the ones I like to CD. I need to hold it in my hands.

  7. cormorant says:

    dave hickey’s Air Guitar is a great book of essays on art and music.

    as for comics, a buddy just lent me issues 1-11 of black hole. that shit is dope!

  8. Agnes says:

    I have a subscription to Magnet–it’s a fantastic magazine. Did you read the Tom Waits article? It’s purty good. I especially enjoyed the 17 pages devoted to free speech, esp. Henry Rollins’ essay on war in the Middle East.

    Wow, I totally sound like a sales rep. for the magazine. But it’s really very good and worth your time (unlike most music mags these days).

  9. Frank says:

    I’m a big fan of Magnet. I used to have a subscription but it ended up not being cheaper per issue than buying it off the newsstand and the newsstand was getting their copies before I was. The sampler CDs were okay but since they’re just paid advertising by labels, there’s not editorial input into the choices, I rarely found anything interesting. I also wasn’t impressed that the free CD I got with the subscription was just a promo without all the artwork and whatnot, so I ended up having to go out and buy the album anyway.

    But yeah, Magnet good. Under The Radar, Filter and Harp are also excellent magazines along the same lines.