Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

I am lame

A few things:

1. I've been insanely busy this week, between moving home, spending too much money, and packing for France, so I apologize for lack of posts. 

2. I went and saw Canadian electro duo Thunderheist on Thursday and had the time of my life. They are so energetic live and amazing at working the crowd. Isis, the vocalist, is also incredibly sweet and friendly and did a huge favour for me that made me the best friend in the world. Check them out!

3. I AM LEAVING FOR FRANCE ON WEDNESDAY. I'll try and update this thing every now and again while I'm over there, so don't expect any hard-hitting writing for the next couple weeks. 

Talk soon, friends!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Foot-in-Mouth Disease

So I realize that in the "Experiential Epistemologies" post, I went on this whole ultra-vain bender about how I don't need presents for my birthday cause I learned how to be a better person this year. That remains true. But my growth as a person probably wouldn't suffer if someone were so compelled to purchase this guitar for me:

Just sit on that thought for a while. Let it digest. Do with it what you will. I'm just putting it out there. 

PS: This whole Miss California flap about gay marriage has me righteously pissed off. Just give me time. There will be narcissistic, incoherent rambling about it soon enough.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


My life is in boxes.

My back and arms are tired.

Will update more when I don't have a pavlovian-type response where I want to die every time I see the U-Haul logo

For the record, though, Cruise Control+Open Road+Sunny Skies+Metric's new album Fantasies, "Statium Love" in particular=the best of all possible worlds.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

LuckLucky: Experiential Epistemologies

I got older today, and I now find myself reflecting on a chaotic and memorable year, attempting to locate, somewhere amid the emotional breakdowns and nerve-wracking buildups, between home and away, between here and gone, the things that I've learned, the maps that I've forged, the bits I remember. 

I started this blog as a kind of thought-experiment at an extremely important moment in my life; at a point where I thought I'd left behind, once and for all, the universe of things I'd grown up with, and attempted to jump into an entirely new community of faces, signs, meanings and stories. I began writing this little dog-and-pony show as a way of cataloguing, and maybe coming to grips with, the fears, thrills and uncertainties of flirting with the new. I envisioned myself on thin ice overtop of something bottomless, dark, full of hidden caverns and buried chambers, falling as deep into the earth as I cared to imagine. I was on thin ice, waiting to jump. And a little under a year ago, I did. I fell headlong into a dark, but thrilling world of new experiences, new spaces to understand, new stories to spin. 

Hence the name of this project, "Man Descending," a phrase drawn from Canadian author Guy Vanderhaege's collection of short stories of the same name. Vanderhaege wrote that "A man descending is propelled by inertia; the only initiative left him is whether or not he decides to enjoy the passing scene." I can't think of a better way to describe my life over the past year. Once I broke the ice, my fall was unstoppable- I became propelled by the inertia of a frenetic mass, and my only option was to attempt to learn, to see and to experience what flashed by me as I spiraled downward into uncharted territory. 

A wise mentor once told me that wonder is the emotional response to the experience of ignorance, a moment in time where truth, in its most basic essence, ceases to exist, and reality is structured purely by words, by experience, by your own creation of every passing second. When I fell into this new space and time, I looked up with wonder at the steel and glass jungle in which I found myself, I looked at the forgotten corners, the polished pedestals, and all the highs, lows, mediocres and unmentionables in-between, and felt profoundly new, as if my slate had been genuinely wiped clean. It was in this moment of wonder that I set about constructing new visions of reality, putting together piece by piece, line by line and name by name, the brushstrokes and shadings of a new experiential map; drawing out of ignorance new versions of personal truth, and establishing new traditions of knowledge. As a result, my personal "project," so to speak, over the last year-and-a-bit has been to forge new experiential epistemologies- new theories and visions of understanding and truth grounded in the steps I've taken and the mistakes I've made. 

Days like this give me a chance to reflect on the relative success of this rather vain and narcissistic project of mine- one graciously indulged by my many wonderful friends and anonymous readers who somehow find pleasure in what are often mundane and go-nowhere late-night ramblings. Having taken this opportunity for reflection and reconsideration, it is with a great sense of pride and accomplishment that this year, I can look back and say that I've learned. 

I've learned to give myself over to chance, to open myself up to every opportunity for change, to creating memories, to discovering of new friendships and re-invigoration of old ones. I've learned to let my feet, not my brain, chart my course. I've learned to find solace in the simple things and finally figured out how to define myself beyond quantification, measurement and comparison. As a result, I've found myself in suspect pubs, run-down theaters, front-row and backstage. I've dropped way-points on new continents, drifted on new currents, and shoved off of new docks. I have found location in dislocation, experience in irrelevance and meaning in the mundane. 

I don't particularly care about ceremonies like birthdays, graduations, weddings, funerals, etc. I seek out experiences, regardless of what day those experiences happen to fall upon. Nonetheless, being able to say that I've learned, grown, tried and discovered, and truly mean it for the first time, is one of the best gifts I could ever hope to receive. I owe it to the strangers who've given me their time, to the professors who've told me I could do better, and to the old friends who don't give a damn what I do, so long as it makes me happy. Gifts are not in order this year. You've done your part- many, many thanks. 

Veda Hille released a wonderful album in 2008 called This Riot Life, and my favorite track from that collection is called "Lucklucky," an anthematic reflection on what it means to know, on what it means to find, and what it means to chart out new paths on blank maps and bar napkins. Among the things I've gained this year is a deep love for the words of others, and an ability to speak through them in ways that reflect my new versions of truth. In kind, I'll let Veda's words sum up the nonsense you've now read a good deal of, and close by saying, rather cheesily, that this year, I have been immensely "lucklucky-" bemused groans welcome and encouraged.

There is the place you know,
There is the place you don't know.
Curtain number 1, curtain number 1,
You are blind, blind, blind

There's where I did this,
This is where I did that.
It took thirty years to draw this map
And now what do you see?
The city, or your map of the city?
You are blind, blind, blind.
The city, or your life in the city?
You need the air!
You need the freedom!
You need to pit yourself against the hardship of the world
This is where we are,
Are you ready?
What was, what is, and what shall be?
City of destiny

Grab your coat and your popular music,
We're taking it to the streets.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Accidents, vol. 2 (and some more stuff)

Because I am a lazy bastard, and it is 2 in the morning, and I have to wake up tomorrow and write a take-home final, I am taking the easy way out of this, and simply posting videos of all the musicians I saw/met/fell in love with over the past two weeks (both at JunoFest and at random shows around town). 

 The Dudes: Great guys, fun music, solid catch-phrases.

Dan Mangan: Personal hero, massively talented

Said the Whale: Heaps of fun, very good people

Hey Rosetta!: Also massively talented, air-tight live show

Maurice: Friendly guys, super danceable power pop, huge potential
(I couldn't find a decent video of them- remember, lazy bastard, 2 am, etc.- so I'm just going to link to their MySpace)

Adaline: Beautiful girl with a beautiful voice and serious composition skills

Hey Ocean: Also some of the nicest folk you're likely to meet, and some of the most talented, too

Jill Barber: Another personal hero. Also, my wife (you can't prove it isn't true)

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. In the absence of full reviews of each show, just know that not a single one was bad, and more than one was exceptionally memorable. Thank you to all my new friends (and all my old friends who put up with my merciless bragging), all the wonderful musicians for making wonderful music, and to coffee for making the mornings-after easier. 

Until next time!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Take that, Murphy's Law!



There should be a "Happy Accidents, vol. 2" by now, seeing as how more than a week has gone by since it happened. BUT. Since night 2 of JunoFest, more insane things have happened, and continue to happen, and I am thus struggling to find where to start and how to categorize. But more is coming. I swear.