Author Archives: Adam M. Anklewicz

$100

I just got home from The Horseshoe, where I saw $100, for the fourth time. I’ve seen them in many modes. When I first saw them at the Music Gallery, opening for Rick White, they were a two-piece of Ian Russell (Guitar) and Simone Schmidt (vocals). Since then, they’ve rounded out their numbers and now perform as a seven-piece. Apparently Rick White was so impressed by the band, that he asked to record their album. I was so impressed that after their set, I went to the back of the church and purchased their EP.

I then later saw them opening for Eric’s Trip at the Mod Club, it seems Rick White really liked them, and figured fans of his band, the lo-fi heroes known as Eric’s Trip, would also dig them. I certainly did. I again saw them when Julie Doiron came to Toronto promoting her record I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day. So it seems that I couldn’t see $100 without also seeing Eric’s Trip or a former member of Eric’s Trip.

The country band has evolved considerably since I first saw them, and I’ve always been more and more impressed every time I saw them. Their album is pure gold.

Click here to hear Simone sing about lesbian love, and those who keep them down (or watch above if you’re not on FB).

Today was a celebration of the release of their new 7″ My Father’s House, volume two in their series of regional 7″ records. The first release Fourteenth Floor was released on Toronto-based Arts and Crafts. This second 7″ is released by British Columbia’s Deranged Records.

Opening up the night was Stripmall Ballads, a resident of Washington, DC, USA. Stripmall Ballads is Phillips Saylor with a guitar or banjo. Listening to his MySpace page, you’d think that his shows would be rather mellow, but the man has so much stage presence, and power in his playing, that is seems like a full band is on the stage. Definitely worth catching if you, and he’s apparently spending the week in Toronto recording with Simone.

Following Saylor was followed by The Lonesome Ace Stringband, an old-time country trio, of double bass, fiddle and banjo. If you like good old-fashioned country music, this is perfection for you. Max Heineman sounds like he was born to sing country music. The three men were all playing acoustic instruments surrounding a handful of microphones taking up a tiny portion of The Horseshoe’s generous stage (it is if you compare it to Rancho or Sneak’s). The audience were dancing and having an amazing time.

Finally $100 played their set, emerging in a cloud of smoke, they tore up the stage with “Paris Is Burning,” not the soft, depressing song of the record, instead lively, loud and amazing start to the set. The played a lot of songs I didn’t recognize, they played both sides of the new 7″, and both sides of the previous one. Included in the set were long-loved songs like “Careless Love” and “Hell’s A Place.”

Paul Mortimer’s guitar playing was top-notch as he featured heavily in the mix, often overpowering even Schmidt. The only thing that was perhaps off was the inclusion of “Fourteen Hour Day” in the set. It’s perhaps the best song of $100’s, but the tale of a woman married to a miner, and completely lost without him is so beautifully depressing. It didn’t really seem like it fit in the heavier set.

Vistek Part II

First off, I should say the tripod arrived the next day. I also got a call from “Paul” making sure it arrived, again thanking and apologizing to me. I also just received this email.

Hi Adam,  I’m the Project Manager at Vistek and I also head up Customer Relations.  I have been working here for over 15 years and most of my years here were as Ron’s Executive Assistant.  I have handled many transactions for Ron’s customers including Leo Baeck Day School.  I was informed about your experience at Vistek and as I’m still shocked about the entire incident, I’m writing to apologize to you.  I am truly sorry that you were not treated with the high standard of customer service that we expect from our sales and management team.  There are no excuses.  I know you originally called Ron to get started with your purchase and I’m sorry that he was out of the country at the time and I was away on vacation as well. There are few words I can offer in explanation however, I can ensure you that your experience has been addressed with all staff involved.   I understand that we sent you a tripod this week and I hope you are pleased with the product.  On behalf of Vistek, I wholeheartedly apologize to you and hope you will forgive us.

Well, that’s at least something. Don’t know if I’ll ever buy there again, but it’s better than ignoring the issue.

Nice, Nice, Very Nice

I’ve been listening to Nice, Nice, Very Nice quite often over the past couple of weeks, and I cannot sing its praises enough. It’s absolutely fabulous. If you don’t own this record yet, I don’t want to know you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5RIHff3oas

Lyrics volume 2

For volume one, visit here.

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Years and years and years ago I made a friend online. A really pretty older woman, who sent me cassettes in the mail, and eventually would go record shopping with me. She showed me the wonder that is Rotate This (I later fell out of love with that place. <3 Criminal), and I showed her the wonders of The Vinyl Museum.

One of those cassettes she sent this young boy had a live Velvet Underground record on one side which was enjoyed, but the other side was a masterpiece; If You’re Feeling Sinister. Those ten songs were incredible, and I couldn’t get enough. I bought every EP they released, I bought every record I could get my hands on (there were only three, and Tigermilk hadn’t yet been widely released). I even bought a sleeve for £1 from Jeepster’s website to slide over my copy of Dog On Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane and 3…6…9 Seconds of Light. I bought every Looper record, every Gentle Waves record. I even have a 7″ Gentle Waves record with a “Evensong” en français. I got a bit obsessed. I bought all the records, EPs, and singles I could get my hands on by every artist on Jeepster. Which wasn’t much, just Belle & Sebastian, their satellite bands, Snow Patrol, and Salako.

Why was I so obsessed? I have no idea. Maybe it was strange Stuart Murdoch’s voice, maybe it was their happy-go-lucky music, matched to depressing lyrics. Maybe it was the characters he wrote about; the strong women, completely in their element, always sure of themselves; the shy and awkward men with no understanding of their place in the world. I guess that leads us into the lyric that I chose:

Sebastian you’re in a mess.
You had a dream they called you king of all the hipsters,
Is it true or are you still the queen?

I like this for a number of reasons. It’s funny, in three quick lines, Murdoch sets up the major player in the story, and it’s the perfect embodiment of 1990s Belle & Sebastian.


I’m going to shatter your world here… Gentleman Reg is gay. Yes, you heard it here first, the man responsible for “The Boyfriend Song” is into blokes, the man who sang “All that I thought about for the longest time, but he’s untouchable” is gay. I know… SHOCKING.

(I apologize in advance to any family members who might be reading this, you probably don’t need to know this.)

I’m going to shatter your world, once again… I like sex. Yes, sex is fun, and I enjoy it. Odd though, I say this, and yet my current Facebook profile picture might lead you to believe I never want sex again. We do all after all know that Star Trek is the antithesis to sex.

For some reason it seems that gay musicians seem to write about sex and their sexuality more than straight musicians. Sure there’s “I Like Big Butts” or “Poker Face,” but those don’t get into the reality of love and sex. Gentleman Reg is deep gaze between two lovers, Lady Gaga is the cheesy moaning of a bad ’80s porno.

The way Gentleman Reg describes this brief moment between two lovers is perfection.

I receive the nicest gift
It’s for my eyes to scan
I respond with my hand
Giving you shivers

P.S. Elton John’s also a gay.
P.P.S. Nothing is less sexy than Leonard Nimoy.

Vistek

As I’ve said before, I work for a private day school. Recently we had some budget to purchase a couple of SLR cameras, and the school has a relationship with a Toronto store called Vistek. I called the owner, who didn’t answer his phone, instead a secretary told me they’d get the details we want, and have a sales rep write me a quote. The owner would then modify pricing.

I was cool with that. I used to work for Carbon Computing, and everyone who called and asked for Ron usually wouldn’t get to Ron, it seemed I was always the guy who was told to quote on those products.

I gave one of their sales reps my information, and the package we wanted to buy. We’ll call this sales rep “Brian.” Brian then sends me a quote on December 16. I say it’s great, and tell him I’ll be there to pick it up Monday morning if that works for him. I confirm with him that a purchase order is okay. It is, I send him one.

I didn’t want the school to pay for shipping, I live in Playter Estates, and Riverdale isn’t too far from me. It was Winter break that following week, sure I could show up a bit late if I was out picking up products for the school, right?

Monday morning, 8:30 am, they open, I walk in at 8:35. The sales floor is dead, I ask for Brian, he’s not there, I get directed to Michael. That’s fine. He’ll do. I tell him who I am and what I’m there to pick up. He goes to get the product. They’re not put aside.

Fine, Michael goes and gathers the products. He begins ringing it up. I ask him why some things are missing. He tells me that they’re out of stock of the bag and tripod. I give him a funny look, walk over to the wall of bags, and grab the bag. He says they’re out of stock of the tripod. Fine.

He then needs a copy of the PO. He should have a copy, but fine, I go to one of the demo computers, and email it to him. He needs it again, I go back and email it to him. Then he needs a copy of the quote. I email that to him. Then he needs a supervisor to unlock something. Then he spends 20 minutes trying to make the order go, then he needs a supervisor to unlock something. This happens over and over again. I spend 90 minutes on the sales floor, wonderful what the hell is going on.

Finally it’s all done, I go back to work. Camera works great. Woot!

I notice that he threw in a little case to hold spare batteries and memory cards. It’s an SLR with a rechargable battery. Why would I want a pouch designed to hold AA batteries? Whatever, who cares.

Weeks go by and I realize that I haven’t heard from Vistek about that tripod I’m waiting for.

January 5, I send Brian the following email:

Brian,
Any word on the tripod?
Adam

Silence.

January 8:

Brian,
I’m still waiting to hear about the tripod.
Adam

Silence.

A few days later, I call, I get Brian’s voicemail. I press zero and get directed to Michael. Sounds familiar. I tell Michael what’s happening. He check… oh, it’s due to arrive in March. I give him the death-stare over the phone. “March? Why would I wait until March for this tripod? It’s just a tripod, you must have something comparable.” He tells me that they can definitely do that, he’ll get Brian to call me. I tell him, that I doubt that Brian will call back. Michael assures me that Brian will get back to me and they’ll get this all straightened out. I reluctantly agree.

Yesterday it was January 19th, and I hadn’t heard from Brian. I had forgotten about it, until I was in class last night for a photo course I’m taking and among the discussions was some bashing of Vistek. That reminded me.

Today, I called Vistek, asked for a manager. “Our manager’s not in today.” I ask for a supervisor. He transfers me to “Ryan’s” voicemail. I call back and again get Ryan’s voicemail. I’m tired of this. Wait a couple hours. I call and AGAIN get Ryan’s voicemail. Press zero ask for some kind of manager. I got routed to a gentleman who we’ll call “Paul,” he’s the “customer experience manager” or something like that. Paul listened to my story, and was extremely apologetic. Told me he’d call back in ten minutes with a solution for me.

He did, and they’re shipping out the tripod tomorrow. Here’s hoping it shows up tomorrow.

Rock a meme

Kate posted this meme and tagged me on The Facebook. I figured, I’d post it to my blog, as that’ll just aggregate to Facebook any way. Downside, no tagging, upside, the entire world sees how awesome my taste in music is.

Shuffle your songs + share

Once you’ve been tagged…
(1) Turn on your MP3 player (no, seriously)
(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.
(3) Write down the first 15 songs that come up–song title and artist–NO editing/cheating, please.
(4) Choose 25 (or so) people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you. Tag them first.

If I tagged you, it’s because I’m betting that your musical selection is entertaining, or at least amusing.

(To do this, go to “NOTES” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, enter your 15 Shuffle Songs, Click ‘Preview’ below to tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click Publish, the little blue box at the bottom of your screen).

1) “Look For Me (I’ll Be Around)” by Neko Case from the album Blacklisted
2) “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield from their album Buffalo Springfield
3) “Oh My Love” by John Lennon from his album Imagine
4) “Cupid’s Trick” by Elliott Smith from his album Either/Or (man, this list is fuckin’ awesome!)

Lit me up! It’s my lie!

5)  “Scare Easy” by Mudcrutch from their only album, the self-titled one.
6) “Astral Plane” by The Modern Lovers from their self-titled debut
7) “I’m Not Angry” by Elvis Costello from his album My Aim Is True
8) “Andy Warhol” by David Bowie from his best album Hunky Dory
9) “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by The Beatles from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
10) “I Know What I Know” by Paul Simon from Graceland
11) “Sitting By The Riverside” by The Kinks from The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
12) “Warm In The Shadows” by Music Go Music from Expressions
13) “At Madam Plum’s” by Stephin Merritt from his opera Peach Blossom Fan
14) “Thrice All American” by Neko Case & Her Boyfriends from their album Neko Case & Her Boyfriends
15) “Down In Flames” by The Super Friendz from their album Mock Up-Scale Down

Golden Globes

The Golden Globes are tonight? I didn’t even know that nominees were announced.

I find this, and the results that are followed really odd, because I thought I saw a lot of films this year.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Avatar
Lightstorm Entertainment; Twentieth Century Fox
The Hurt Locker
Voltage Pictures; Summit Entertainment
Inglourious Basterds
The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures/A Band Apart/Zehnte Babelsberg GmbH Production; The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures
Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
A Lee Daniels Entertainment / Smokewood Entertainment Group Production; Lionsgate
Up In The Air
Paramount Pictures; Paramount Pictures

I’ve only seen Up In The Air, and it wasn’t very good.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Emily Blunt – The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Helen Mirren – The Last Station
Carey Mulligan – An Education
Gabourey Sidibe – Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire

Haven’t seen any of these films, I don’t care who wins.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
George Clooney – Up In The Air
Colin Firth – A Single Man
Morgan Freeman – Invictus
Tobey Maguire – Brothers

The Millers, Emily and I are seeing Crazy Heart in three hours, so I can’t speak of that film yet, but I’ve seen two of the films, and of those films, George Clooney’s performance was nothing to write home about (why he’s nominated, I don’t know) but Colin Firth was wonderful. I pick him!

Best Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
(500) Days Of Summer
Watermark Pictures; Fox Searchlight Pictures
The Hangover
Warner Bros. Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures
It’s Complicated
Relativity Media, Scott Rudin Productions; Universal Pictures
Julie & Julia
Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing
Nine
The Weinstein Company/Relativity Media/Lucamar Productions/Marc Platt Productions; The Weinstein Company

I’ve seen all of these except for Nine. They’re all good, but the only one I think is worthy of an award is (500) Days of Summer, which was good, but cliché. We’ve seen these characters many times before, it’s the standard characters who are focused at the twenty-something pseudo-hipster audience (ie. me).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
Sandra Bullock – The Proposal
Marion Cotillard – Nine
Julia Roberts – Duplicity
Meryl Streep – It’s Complicated
Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia

Only seen the two Meryl Streep films, and I pick her role in Julie & Julia.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
Matt Damon – The Informant!
Daniel Day-Lewis – Nine
Robert Downey Jr. – Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – (500) Days Of Summer
Michael Stuhlbarg – A Serious Man

I’ve only seen one of these films, how can I judge… actually I’ve seen two. I’ll go with Michael Stuhlbarg.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Penélope Cruz – Nine
Vera Farmiga – Up In The Air
Anna Kendrick – Up In The Air
Mo’nique – Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Julianne Moore – A Single Man

Really?!?! Who liked Up In The Air THIS much? It was an okay film. It wasn’t anything spectacular. It was also just a giant ad for American Airlines.

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Matt Damon – Invictus
Woody Harrelson – The Messenger
Christopher Plummer – The Last Station
Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds

I wanna see Invictus, who’s in?

Best Animated Feature Film
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation; Sony Pictures Releasing
Coraline
Laika, Inc.; Focus Features
Fantastic Mr. Fox
American Empirical Picture; Twentieth Century Fox
The Princess And The Frog
Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Up
Walt Disney Pictures/PIXAR Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

OMG! This is near impossible. Cloudy was like watching a 90 minute version of Clone High and had me giddy. Fantastic Mr. Fox was really good, and a decent addition to the Wes Anderson canon. Coraline was breathtaking! But, Up, Up, fuck, Up! The emotional weight of Up is incredible and fantastic and beyond compare.

Best Foreign Language Film
Baaria (Italy)
The Country of Italy
Medusa Film; Summit Entertainment
Broken Embraces (Spain)
The Country of Spain
El Deseo SA; Sony Pictures Classics
The Maid (La Nana) (Chile)
The Country of Chile
Forastero; Elephant Eye Films
A Prophet (Un Prophete) (France)
The Country of France
Chic Films/Page 114/Why Not Productions; Sony Pictures Classics
The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band – Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte) (Germany)
The Country of Germany
X Filme Creative Pool/Les Films Du Losange/Lucky Red/Wega Film; Sony Pictures Classics

Not seen a single film.

Best Director – Motion Picture
Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
James Cameron – Avatar
Clint Eastwood – Invictus
Jason Reitman – Up In The Air
Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds

Really? Best director nomination for Jason Reitman? I think James is gonna win this one, and I haven’t seen the film.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell – District 9
Mark Boal – The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds
Nancy Meyers – It’s Complicated
Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner – Up In The Air

The only film in the list which I’ve seen who’s screenplay is anything award worthy is District 9. It’s good science fiction where the meat of the story take precedence over action and special effects. Though often heavy-handed, it does what sci-fi is supposed to do, present modern-day issues and place them in a foreign atmosphere.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Michael Giacchino – Up
Marvin Hamlisch – The Informant!
James Horner – Avatar
Abel Korzeniowski – A Single Man
Karen O and Carter Burwell – Where The Wild Things Are

Fuck yeah! Karen O for the win! The music was a perfect fit for the film, which is beautiful.

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Cinema Italiano” – Nine
Music & Lyrics By: Maury Yeston
“I See You” – Avatar
Music By: James Horner and Simon Franglen
Lyrics By: James Horner, Simon Franglen and Kuk Harrell
“I Want To Come Home” – Everybody’s Fine
Music & Lyrics By: Paul McCartney
“The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart)” – Crazy Heart
Music & Lyrics By: Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
“Winter” – Brothers
Music By: U2
Lyrics By: Bono

What the hell is Everybody’s Fine and when the hell did Paul McCartney release a new song and not tell me? I thought you loved me, Sir Paul!

Best Television Series – Drama
Big Love (HBO)
Anima Sola Productions and Playtone in association with HBO Entertainment
Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Showtime Presents, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Clyde Phillips Productions
House (FOX)
Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions
Mad Men (AMC)
Lionsgate
True Blood (HBO)
Your Face Goes Here Productions in association with HBO Entertainment

Really? This is your list of best Drama TV Series? WTF? I choose Mad Men, Dollhouse, Ashes to Ashes, Hustle and Stargate: Universe.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Glenn Close – Damages (FX NETWORK)
January Jones – Mad Men (AMC)
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife (CBS)
Anna Paquin – True Blood (HBO)
Kyra Sedgwick – The Closer (TNT)

I don’t really care, I watched two shows, one sucks (True Blood), the other is good, but I don’t know who January Jones is.

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Simon Baker – The Mentalist (CBS)
Michael C. Hall – Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Jon Hamm – Mad Men (AMC)
Hugh Laurie – House (FOX)
Bill Paxton – Big Love (HBO)

Which one is Jon Hamm?

Best Television Series – Comedy Or Musical
30 Rock (NBC)
Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video and Little Stranger Inc.
Entourage (HBO)
Leverage and Closest to the Hole Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Glee (FOX)
Twentieth Century Fox Television
Modern Family (ABC)
Twentieth Century Fox Television
The Office (NBC)
Universal Television Studios, Deedle Dee Productions, Reveille LLC

30 Rock should win, but they’ll be dumb and pick Glee. *PUKE* Is this getting slightly snarky?

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical
Toni Collette – United States Of Tara (SHOWTIME)
Courteney Cox – Cougar Town (ABC)
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie (SHOWTIME)
Tina Fey – 30 Rock (NBC)
Lea Michele – Glee (FOX)

I’ve never heard of the first three shows? Are they any good? I pick Allegra.

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock (NBC)
Steve Carell – The Office (NBC)
David Duchovny – Californication (SHOWTIME)
Thomas Jane – Hung (HBO)
Matthew Morrison – Glee (FOX)

Alec for the win!

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Georgia O’Keeffe (LIFETIME)
Sony Pictures Television
Grey Gardens (HBO)
Specialty Films and Locomotive in association with HBO Films
Into The Storm (HBO)
Scott Free and Rainmark Films Production in association with the BBC and HBO Films
Little Dorrit (PBS)
Masterpiece/BBC Co-production
Taking Chance (HBO)
Motion Picture Corporation of America and Civil Dawn Pictures in association with HBO Films

Haven’t seen one of these.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Joan Allen – Georgia O’Keeffe (LIFETIME)
Drew Barrymore – Grey Gardens (HBO)
Jessica Lange – Grey Gardens (HBO)
Anna Paquin – The Courageous Heart Of Irena (CBS)
Sigourney Weaver – Prayers For Bobby (LIFETIME)

No thanks.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kevin Bacon – Taking Chance (HBO)
Kenneth Branagh – Wallander: One Step Behind (PBS)
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Endgame (PBS)
Brendan Gleeson – Into The Storm (HBO)
Jeremy Irons – Georgia O’Keeffe (LIFETIME)

Endgame is not Beckett, I’m sad now.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jane Adams – Hung (HBO)
Rose Byrne – Damages (FX NETWORK)
Jane Lynch – Glee (FOX)
Janet McTeer – Into The Storm (HBO)
Chloë Sevigny – Big Love (HBO)

Glee will win.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Michael Emerson – Lost (ABC)
Neil Patrick Harris – How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
William Hurt – Damages (FX NETWORK)
John Lithgow – Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Jeremy Piven – Entourage (HBO)

My vote is for Barney Stinson!

Lyrics volume 1

So, I thought I’d start an ongoing journey into why I like lyrics, and lyricists.

We’re going to start with a gentleman named Stephin Merritt who fronts the band The Magnetic Fields. If you’ve known me for more than 15 minutes, you’ve surely heard me espouse the merits of Stephin Merritt. (har!) The Magnetic Fields are pretty fantastic, their music is smart, and funny. They gained much notoriety in 1999 when they released their triple album 69 Love Songs, which lives up perfectly to the name. Since then they’ve released i, an album in which every song starts with the letter ‘i’ and Distortion, a record covered from head to toe in… distortion. The lyric is simple, from the song “I Don’t Believe You” from their album i.

So you’re brilliant, gorgeous, and ampersand after ampersand

I have before been given funny looks when I’ve claimed that this lyric alone proves Merritt’s poetic ability, so I’ll go further into it. In those eight simple words we have so much context to the story. The venom drips off the words (figuratively), there’s so much spite and hatred in those lyrics, and the You who is being sung to is a pompous, self-righteous, vein douche.


We all remember Sloan, they were pretty great. They released an absolutely brilliant album called Between The Bridges in 1999, which is among my favourite records of all time. They also released a record called  Smeared, back in the day when they thought they were a grunge band. That didn’t work out for them, or their record label, but that’s another story for another day.

They’ve been a mainstay for Canadian music for 15+ years now, and introduced the rest of Canada to a shitload of brilliant music, including Thrush Hermit, The Super Friendz, Local Rabbits and many more.

Smeared featured a song called “Median Strip,” it’s not a great song, but it has one of their best lyrics ever.

Point came for you to be Glenn Close to me

There’s really not much to say about this lyric, other than, YES! Perhaps also, “remember when Glenn Close came onto the board? Good times.”


Coming up in volume 2, more music.

The Life of a Working Girl

I hate report cards. For those not in the know, I work in a school. I’m the IT Manager. I’m a professional geek, in other words.

We’re now onto the first full report. Today is the day that reports are due to be printed, for self-review (so they can be passed onto the administration for proofing on Monday). Obviously the entire faculty has been entering marks and writing comment this week, and this week alone. My phone has not stopped ringing, my email has not stopped chiming, the school uses Google Apps for its email service, and with a IM widget right in the sidebar (unlike FirstClass’ IM function, no one knew about), they all take advantage of that immediate connection. Shoot me.

I knew this was coming, I always know this is coming, but it’s a lot of work, a lot of stressful work. What I can never handle is the reason I hate teachers. Sorry Mom, nothing personal, and I don”t even really hate teachers, but it’s easy to say I do. What I hate is a sense of entitlement, and being talked down to. There seems to be a feeling amongst some staff that IT is their whipping boy (which might be fun, but not in a school). What bothers me is when I receive emails that state for a fact that I am going to do something over and beyond what is expected, because they can’t read, made assumptions and/or didn’t ask. I most likely will do it, but I’ll do it a lot quicker and nicer, if you’re polite about it. IT works in a different way than most departments of any business. Rather than “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” it should be “the squeaky wheel gets told ‘we’ll be with you shortly’ as they attend to someone who was polite.”

This is something that I think was very well illustrated by the school interim Director last year. His laptop died, it needed a part replaced, I can’t remember what it was, but the computer was under warranty, and so Toshiba wouldn’t let me just buy the part and install it. I went to a service centre I had never used before, I was told by the Director to tell him that my job was on the line and he needed it by the end of the day. He did make it clear my job wasn’t on the line. I said “sure,” while thinking to myself, “self-righteous Americans” (sorry Cari). Instead, I went into the shop, said very nicely, “This is kind of an important job to us, I was wondering if you could put this at the front of the queue, we need it in the next three hours.” He said, “I can’t promise anything, but I’ll try.” I thanked him, left, gave him a call two hours later, and he told me that it would be ready in fifteen minutes. I brought him coffee and thanked him. Being nice is better.

Generally, I love my job, I love the respect that I get there, the autonomy, the people, but when it comes to reports, manners seem to fly out the window.

In conclusion, love your IT staff, buy them treats.

Names

I’ve determined that the best way to judge romantic compatibility is how ridiculous a name combination can be.

Just look at my best friends, the Misbies. They’re perfect for each other and the hilarious combination of Miller and Crosby works so well.

Then there’s my ex, we had an ~8 year relationship, and when you combined Hood and Anklewicz, you got Hoodlewicz. You cannot deny that amazing power of such a ridiculous name combination. Obviously only powerful enough to last eight years, but that’s much better than my usual 30 minutes.

It also works with other couples, I can look at my coworker and her husband to be, and we get… Dalby + Flotner = Flotby | WIN!

There’s Neuman and Mendez which can equal either Meuman or Neudez, and either WIN!

I’ve gone and continued this trend to figure out where possible relationships might take me within my group of friends, and it’s surprisingly very simple:

Note: I’m leaving first names out, as this is not just published to Facebook (where 99% of the readers read it) but it’s also on my blog.

Also note: If you’re included in this list, please feel free to take this to mean that I’m madly in love with you. This may or may not be true, but you can assume.

Shepherd & Anklewicz = Shephewicz | FAIL
Muchmaker & Anklewicz = Anklemaker | FAIL
Licht & Anklewicz = Lichtewicz | Sounds like the name of a city in Germany
Vail & Anklewicz = Anklevail | FAIL
Emme & Anklewicz = Adam Emme Anklewicz | That could work, too bad she’s married.
McDowell & Anklewicz = McAnklewicz | Though it was funny for a week, nope.
Polk & Anklewicz = Polkewicz | Sounds like polka!
Hamill & Anklewicz = Hamillwicz (this can work for either B or K… sadly, I don’t know B’s maiden name… I’ll assume it’s Awesomepants, because that would be the most apt description of her)
Awesomepants & Anklewicz = Anklepants | Damn near perfect.
Langer & Anklewicz = Anklang | Nope.
Miller & Anklewicz = Ankler | Maybe that’s why we’ve always been such good friends.

So, I take this to the logical conclusion (much like The Boosh took retro to its logical conclusion)  and I’m forced to resign myself that the perfect woman for me is Neko Case.

Case & Anklewicz = Anklecase. Yes, the greatest thing ever!

So, Neko, this is a public proposal, sure, you’ve never met me, but should that matter? Remember when you were recording Fox Confessor here in Toronto? You were borrowing/renting a lot of equipment from a computer shop. I was one of the geeky guys who worked there. We never talked. It was the other Adam you talked to… but that made sense, he’s an audio guy. I’m not. We know a lot of the same people. I once interviewed Mike Belitsky, he’s a really nice guy. I know a couple of the former Local Rabbits, and they were once your Boyfriends; Peter always seems to be nice to me. I’ve shared many a nice chat with Ron Sexsmith, who again, was once among your Boyfriends, and though he probably doesn’t remember (he always seems to be drunk), I can tell you he was always cordial and polite, so obviously I never overly offended him.

Also, while we’re on the topic of the Boosh… clicky.