Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Resolutions!

Today is the first official day of spring, whatever that means.

To me, this is around the time I realize that I have broken every New Year's resolution I have made. This year I decided to do things differently and swore I wouldn't make resolutions, but I am realizing the problem isn't the resolutions, it's the season. Nothing changes in weather from December to March. So what is different about Dec. 31st to Jan.1st that will make you want to consciously choose to drop "bad" habits and stick to that? The days are all the same, long and cold. Nothing changes, so why should you?

I am breaking that tradition. Today felt like a new day. It may not look nice outside, I still can't see any green, but spring is in the air.

So I am making resolutions. Nothing too die hard. But nothing I am going to feel bad about in a few months time when I realize I haven't kept half of them anyways.

1. Stop being busy.

I say I am busy all the time. I am turning into the busy girl. I HATE the busy girl. So that is not happening anymore. If you ask me how I am, and I respond with, "busy" you have full permission to kick me repeatedly in the shins until they bleed. That is the only way to learn a lesson.

2. Becoming independent of text messaging and facebooking like a fiend.

I am sick of being a Facebook slave. I was doing so well. Some people are ok with it.I am soooo not. I feel like a stalker. I don't want to be extreme and get rid of it but if it doesn't stop it may go that far.

Text messaging in front of other's is just rude. I just need to stop. That's all.

3. I need to play more guitar.

For obvious reasons. Its fun. I was good at it.

4. Be artsy. Draw/Paint more

See above reasons.

5. Pitch more ideas to different publications.

One day this is shit I will get paid for. Why not start now?

6. Get out more, i.e Exercise. (NOT join a gym)

Who doesn't like fresh air? Walking is cheaper. Nothing wrong with saving money for beer? Nothing.

7. Buy your bus pass at the beginning of the month.

Seems easy right? You would be surprised how difficult this can be and how often I forget.

8. Blog more.

9. Go home to TO more. And stay longer.

Short visits are a bummer. Go home less for longer would be more appropriate

10. Hang out with the extended fam.

They are actually wicked. I don't see them enough.

I figure I will keep half of these. There are other little things that would be good to do. But I feel like the weather is changing, I changed my room around, I can sleep with the windows open and things are a changin'. Why not roll with it?

Pirates and Vikings and fashion? Oh my!

What is wrong with the trends if Vikings and pirates are in style? Nothing! It's like it is Halloween everyday of the year. All of fall 2007 and winter 2008, ads have been lined with the new skinny jean and high, pointy boots.

Sound familiar? Add a parrot and an eye patch and you practically have a nifty, modern pirate costume. There are subtle trends that are gracing the pages of fashion magazines; looks that are "inspired" by pirates or Vikings.

Those looks have cute, anorexic looking "pirates" (models) on planks with mist and stuffed parrots on their shoulders. The Viking models are similarity posed with furry boots and clothes that have been ripped on purpose to look like an accident*.

Let’s be real, pirates were dudes that pillaged and had scurvy and Vikings were barbaric to say the least. Yet did the chicken come first or the egg? Were pirates and Vikings introduced through the music scene first or was it a fashion statement before it was anything else?

(Sidebar* There is something that my parents have instilled in me and that is the fact that paying for ripped jeans is completely idiotic. Same thing goes for jackets, t-shirts, long get the picture)

In fact, I am not the only person that thinks this way. It is known in the fashion world that the punk trends have stemmed from a 66-year-old designer named Viviane Westwood.

She has recently been quoted saying that she would not even pay for clothes with holes in them. Despite the fact that she is a slave to fashion, she does not succumb to poor quality, although some of her designs have had intentional fades and rips, she has to cater to her audiences.

There has to be a certain element of the sell out factor that occurs when you start to see everyday people dressing as pirates and Vikings. But what's even worse than the unsuspecting, suburban teen that is getting their fashion ideas from places like MySpace, are the bands that are using this fashion "statement" if one would even call it that, to sell themselves.

Fashion prostitution to sell music. Some musicians do it as a joke. But how far are they taking the joke? Are men dressing up in drag a joke to someone? The boys in Death Boat seem to think so.

You will need a mental picture/disclaimer of the live show that accompanies this band, to go with this interview They’ve got silly names, "special” costumes, two drummers, and baroque metal tracks with titles like “Dungeons and Drag Queens and Lesbian Tsunami” that tell the tale of how the Death Boat came to be.

Okay, so it sounds kinda gay, but the music is so epic that it actually made me want to run through the streets defiantly punching the air for the whole afternoon. They are one of the best things to come out of the Montreal “punk” (pirate rock) scene in the last three years. Though they still claim they are not pirates.

"Who said we are pirates? We didn't say that."

"We'll there are seven dudes in a band, one of which is dressed up as an ugly woman. Are you gay?" I asked them outright.

"What? No. It's like this. There’s like two different boats. We got some friends on our boat. There’s Slappy and me, there’s Balls McGee and The Admiral, Skullfucker, and he’s on our boat now. And the Old School Lady, she’s a little clingy. The other boat has like BoneFace, he’s a jerk, and like, Skippy, he’s kinda weird."

Moppy and Slappy went on to talk about how there is a person in the band that is a sexual predator. There is no doubt in my mind that none of these insane guys are sexual predators.

Alcoholics perhaps but not sexual predators. And they are definitely not fashionistas by any means. Which brings me to the conclusion that they weren’t the ones to make pirate rock cool. But if it wasn’t them, who was it?

Even if you are lame and hate metal, watching these guys trip all over themselves while laying down flaming guitar licks and singing “Double team, it's the punch line/Cut me in, my bone's ready for sex-time/I dock the boat right on the beach/The Captain's first we get one time each.” is pretty spectacular.

So where does this influence from pirates come from? It makes sense to me, men wanting to be even manlier and what’s more manly than Pirate? Or a Capitan that runs the open sea? This whole trend seems to be a macho, chest banging extravaganza to some extent.

And what about the Vikings? That would be a question for a Swedish band called Amon Amarth, who call themselves Viking Metal.

The members Amon Amarth are from Tumba, a suburb outside of Stockholm. They write about Viking things and look like scary Viking men that you would never want to end up on a ship with. In their press photo their faces wear scowls that match the angry glare of the weapons they have in their hands.

If you took a picture of one of the guys in AA and compared it to a runways model from the 2007 fall collections, the similarities in attire would be slightly uncanny.

They don’t make trips to Montreal very often and were unable for an interview, so I am hesitant to make an educated judgment on whether their stage show is as up to par as any metal band out there.

The only thing barbaric about AA is their look and their lyrics. There is nothing written about their stage performance including biting heads off chickens, or something that may fall into that category.

They take themselves a little more seriously than Death Boat does, as far as bands with rockin themes goes. Who knows if this is a good thing or a bad thing? I can tell you one thing, they show commitment. Commitment to the history or the Viking culture, the fashion, the names and even an element of history is included in the music.

Though it is doubtful that Viking metal counts as a category of music or fashion for that matter, there is something seemingly authentic about these Swedes. Perhaps it is the commitment, or maybe the professionalism that they use pull off this look.

Their website is done up to the nines with bizarre, metal-esque looking graphics that scream “Viking Lore” to anyone that visits the site.

If bands need to tap into fashion and history to sell their music to a new audience, by all means go ahead. Marketing has sky rocketed to another level of creativeness when it comes to packaging. Stage performances and fashion were bound to follow.

AA has over seven albums out with a record deal that has three more releases in the future. Death Boat claims to have started as a joke and now they are playing local awards shows and traveling to Quebec City.

Other bands are popping up all over the map, in places like Philadelphia, Norway and beyond. Pirate Rock and Viking Metal are officially categories of music and they are as die hard as anything else I have heard as a sub genre since I could walk.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Scene Shtuff

This week Justice played on Sunday. I saw them a little while ago in NYC with some people from CJLO for CMJ.

Enough acronyms for you?

It was tons of fun, every kid that knows anything about having some rad, unique style showed up, and then some. American Apparel wear was seen left right and centre on the least expected people.

We were leaving and caught sight of some young adolescent boys wearing head bands and lame leggings. They were moderatly coordinated with high tops and neon t's.

SO much for "banging in the white tee."

Those are collecting dust on a shelf, along with the black leggings from the 80's. Not that the aren't back with a vengence but they mean something else when worn by teenaged boys.

Up on FaceBook were pics of some girls I know that work for Vogue or do something with Vogue. Or maybe they are just groupies, who knows? But they put up their pics with the photoshopped finishing touches.

I had to ask myself, "What is the world coming to when 14-16 year old boys wear it better than skinny, 20 something girls?"

I think the world is becoming a much, much more interesting place, especially the world of fashion.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

On Monday night I had to book a quick train ticket home to Toronto. My best friend Kelly's dad has been sick for awhile now. On and off, a whole bunch of different things. He passed away, cancer free, on Saturday morning around three. He died of kidney failure.

When I got home I did what seems to be my new habit. I called my cousin to go get a pint of Strongbow at the "Winchester". (the Bearded Chip, pub by my house in Scarbs.)

On the way home, I twisted my ankle. Its funny colors now.

Trying to deal with Kelly's dad dying has brought up a whole bunch of weird feelings about my own Pa. The thought process of trying to console her has been along the lines of, "How would I feel? What would I want to hear" which then led to wanting to see my own dad to tell him how much i love him.

That didn't really happen when I was home and that is a bummer. He is busy with work stuff and I understand but it was just a tough visit home.

I don't know what is worst, going home for a funeral or going home and seeing how much everyone has moved on. Is it worse seeing that someone that you love isn't there anymore or realizing that the people that you love that ARE there are finally used to me being gone.

And there is always the one that got away.

Moving on is something that should happen naturally. But then I start to worry when it doesn't and I think I am fucking with the natural order of making things happen "naturally".

nor·mal [nawr-muhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –adjective
1.conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.
2.serving to establish a standard.
a.approximately average in any psychological trait, as intelligence, personality, or emotional adjustment. from any mental disorder; sane.
4.Biology, Medicine/Medical. from any infection or other form of disease or malformation, or from experimental therapy or manipulation.
b.of natural occurrence.

This week on my radio show there is going to be some super fun dance music. This indie electro thing that seems to be taking off is a good way to start off a Monday morning. Last week was angry metal/hardcore that seemed to match my mood. i think I am going make my own mood this week and pump up the jams.