Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
Now We Are Six
Illustrations by E.H. Shepard
I’ve been waiting approximately a year to use this title and this image for a post, so consider me happy.
The occasion is today marking the sixth anniversary of this blog. If it were a small child, it would be in first grade. I’m so proud. And looking back at my “blogiversary” posts from the last couple years I realize that I still have nothing in particular to say on the matter. Whereas once I’d prognosticate about the future of the site, now I’m just whatever. It’s what I do, and at the pace that I do it. A pace that’s slowed a bit recently, I know, but much to the benefit of my state of mind so let’s hope that quality is compensating for quantity.
And I’ll take the opportunity to thank all of you for visiting and continuing to visit and making this whole endeavour worthwhile. Without you readers there’s really no point, though I confess that I do sometimes secretly yearn for the day when my traffic drops to zero and I can close up shop with a completely clear conscience. But don’t think you’d be doing me a favour by leaving – if I suddenly found myself with that much free time on my hands I’d probably take up a far less wholesome hobby like arson or bingo.
So cheers to you, cheers to me. Cheers all around. Yay.
Also in a retrospective mood is Portastatic, the side project of Mac McCaughan which has obviously been too long-lived and too fruitful to really call a side project anymore. With nine proper albums released under the banner – that’s actually more than Superchunk has released – Portastatic has encompassed everything from instrumental film scores to full-band rock outs to Tropicalia to bedroom recording experiments and the new double-disc compilation Some Small History, out September 9, covers all those bases in the form of b-sides, rarities, outtakes and a whack of covers. A lot of the stuff is kinda sketchbook-y, but there’s a lot of worthwhile material contained therein for fans and a pretty blistering take on Ryan Adams’ “Oh My Sweet Carolina”. Check out the title track from the collection below:
And speaking of the ‘Chunk, they’re not dead – they just played Bumbershoot in Seattle this weekend – but they’re far from an ongoing proposition. Spin lists four reasons why the band still matters after all these years, even seven years on from their last album, and The Stranger has a chat with drummer/comedian Jon Wurster.
Thanks to For The Records for digging up the lineup for the free, Toronto International Film Festival closing gala at Yonge-Dundas Square on the eve of the 13th, which will feature performances from Esthero, The Midway State and Cadence Weapon.
Speaking of TIFF, I had a lovely Labour Day standing in line to claim my tickets for this year and then to find a substitution for the single film that I wasn’t able to get – a total of five hours standing out in the sun, good times all around. But I eventually came away with tickets for It Might Get Loud, the doc on the history of the electric guitar, Gigantic, with Zooey Deschanel, Good, with Viggo Mortensen, RockNRolla, the new Guy Ritchie film, and The Other Man, with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney. A more mainstream batch of films than I usually end up with at the festival but should still be a good lot. I had expected to end up selling off at least a couple pairs of tickets but I may very well be able to make all of these screenings. How novel.