Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Horoscopes for 2011

Aquarius (The Water Bearer) - Jack Nicklaus, Linda Blair, Oral Roberts, Paul Newman, Wayne Gretzky, Tom Selleck, Oprah Winfrey, Farrah Fawcett, Dan Quayle, Eva Braun, Alice Cooper, Garth Brooks, Burt Reynolds, Charles Darwin, John Travolta
Honour your partner with lavish gifts and sexual favours. The eventual (far, far from timely) rewards will be worth the extra effort. Vegetables could be problematic this year. Best to stick with meat and breads.

Pisces (The Fish) - Spike Lee, Bruce Willis, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Albert Einstein, Rupert Murdoch, Ralph Nader, Elizabeth Taylor, Chelsea Clinton
After a few months of desperate effort, you will finally hit the jackpot with your funniest Internet comment ever. However, basking in the glow of the awe and laughter will be short-lived as a commenter with superior intellect will quickly put you in your place. Other than that, it's a fairly quiet year ahead. Stay away from fire.

Aries (The Ram) Matthew Broderick, Aretha Franklin, Leonard Nimoy, Diana Ross, Elton John, Eugene McCarthy, Hammer, Christopher Walken, Rheah Pearlman, Wayne Newton, Harry Houdini, Betty Ford, Pete Rose, Adolf Hitler
Additional iron in your diet will help with correcting your unlikeable personality. Regardless, a rumour at work will prevent you from participating in most social activities. Trust no one and pull the trigger on buying those new pants you've been thinking about (finally!).

Taurus (The Bull) Queen Elizabeth II, Robert Oppenheimer, Jack Nicholson, Barbara Streisand, Rudolph Hess, Orson Wells, Karl Marx
Your grandson will finally get married. However, the wedding will be spoiled by an embarassing faux pas...an unfortunate result of your boorish behaviour. On a positive note, the recreational vehicle you have been trying to get rid of will finally sell for a decent price. Use the money to smooth over ruffled feathers. Low cut tops and short skirts will serve you well this year.

Gemini (The Twins) Bob Dylan, Bob Hope, JFK, Clint Eastwood, Brigham Young, Liam Neeson, Gene Wilder, Johnny Depp, Donald Trump, Steffi Graff, Barry Manilow
Two words - cosmetic surgery. New boobs, pecs, lips, nose, etc. Nothing is too crazy or expensive. However, setting trends is never easy. All that backlash is due to jealousy. By November you'll have the last laugh. Avoid the sun and running shoes.

Cancer (The Crab) Meryl Streep, H. Ross Perot, Geraldo Rivera, Huey Lewis, Sylvester Stallone, OJ Simpson, Don Knots, Cat Stevens
This is the year for a comeback. Clear up past misunderstandings and try again with all your heart. People can be very forgiving. Worry more about how you look than about what people think. It will all come down to your new image.

Leo (The Lion) Mick Jagger, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Andy Warhol, Neil Armstrong, Whitney Houston, Fidel Castro, Napoleon, Roman Polanski, Tipper Gore, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Clinton
Expanding your mind requires new experiences. Water-skiing, polo and racquetball all seem like really good ideas. Ride the bus more. You're not as good of a driver as you think you are.

Virgo (The Virgin) - Sean Connery, Mother Teresa, Michael Jackson, Bob Newhart, Peter Sellers, Refrigerator Perry
Good fortune may come in the unlikely form of an angry dog. Avoid latex-based paint, take out food and cooking lessons. Experimentation with drugs could lead to fun times and new job opportunities. Be careful though. One of your close relatives is not who they claim to be.

Libra (The Scales) Olivia Newton John, Truman Capote, Randy Quaid, Gandhi, Sting, Charlton Heston, Oliver North, David Lee Roth, Evel Knievel
Holy shit! People are trying to murder you! There's probably some sort of microchip in your clothing and/or food. Stop eating and wearing things. Things will calm down in late April, but for now, you're pretty much screwed.

Scorpio (The Scorpion) Picasso, Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, Larry Flint, Simon & Garfunkel, Leon Trotsky, Kurt Vonnegut, Neil Young, Erwin Rommel, Rodney Dangerfield, Billie Jean King
It's all comin' up Scorpio! Don't dismiss the power of the frequent customer card (Sub club, Ice Cream Shop, Etc) as a world of riches hides just below the surface. Free sandwiches can easily become so much more.

Sagittarius (The Archer) Tina Turner, Bruce Lee, Winston Churchill, David Carradine, Sinead O'Connor, Steven Spielberg
Penny stocks hold the answer to your financial independence. Regular "risks" don't apply to you. It's all pretty much free money. Don't let others participate in your good fortune. Nobody is on your side.

Capricorn (The Sea-Goat) Conrad Hilton, Mao, Denzel Washington, Jon Voight, Val Kilmer, Joseph Stalin, Mel Gibson, Elvis Presley, Rod Stewart, Howard Stern, Martin Luther King, Andy Kauffman
While rants, prejudicial behaviour and iron fisted rule may have caused you problems in the past, don't give up on your convictions. The world might finally be ready to hear what you have to say. In blog form.

Monday, December 6, 2010

2010 Best Of

This has been a really strange year for music. I don't know what to think about it. I'm not sure if it's just me getting old, or what. Anyhow, my list for 2010.

Songs that I liked

Ariel Pink - Fright Night (Nevermore)
This album is fairly eclectic. It didn't make it in to heavy rotation, but this song is quite amazing.

Wolf Parade - Yulia & Oh You, Old Thing
The more I think about it the more I'm disappointed in this album. The last four songs should have been released as an EP. These two in particular are amazing.

Liars - Scissor & The Overachievers
These songs take me back to their wonderful self titled album. The rest doesn't stack up.

Dr. Dog - Shadow People
I don't know why I like this band or this song. Really catchy though, in a classic rock sort of way.

The Arcade Fire - Wasted Hours
This is a hauntingly lovely song. There's other moments on the album but I really do like this song.

Stuff that really bored me and I didn't think it would

Superchunk - Majesty Shredding
Superchunk was never great as a super-poppy punkish band type entity. They got great when they mellowed out over the last few albums. I don't like this trip back in time. I struggle to listen all the way through. This actually makes me a bit sad. I actually bought tickets to see them and forgot about the show. Totally missed it. That's not a ringing endorsement.

Les Savy Fav - Root For Ruin
I can't recall any song on this album.

LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening
This is the swan song?

The Thermals - Personal Life
I listened to this album 5 times. What the hell?

David Cross - Bigger and Blacker
Oh my god. This is so unfunny.

There's actually just a really huge list of things that slot in to this category. Caribou. Belle & Sebastian. Department of Eagles (yes. I know. Stuff written and recorded years ago. Still...) Figurines.

Stuff that was almost there

The Walkmen - Lisbon
There's no Walkmen bangers here, but I liked it.

She & Him - Volume 2
Volume 1 wasn't even all that great, as an album. It just had 4-5 really fantastic songs. I've listened to this a bit. Once again, there are some great moments here. Just less so than the first one.

Really good stuff

The Morning Benders - Big Echo
The first few times I listened to this, I really liked it. Saw them live at the Media Club and they blew me away. These kids are good.

Girl Talk - All Day
Man, what a guy. He does several things here, but the biggest thing he does is that he elevates almost every song. I wish that he would be a bit more subtle at times (for example, at the end, it would have been way better if he hadn't used any of the vocals from Imagine and just left it with the melody). This guy blows me away. Even though you can probably only listen to it a few times.

Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Bradford has had his moments over the last few years. But when you couple this with the last Atlas Sound, it really shows that he owns this moment in time. Their live show is pretty damn great. He's putting out an amazing album every year. It's all very impressive.

Beach House - Teen Dreams
True story. I had no idea that it was a woman singing until I saw them live. And, from the same show...

Bachelorette - My Electric Family
Ya, this didn't come out this year. So what?

Aziz Asnari - Intimate Moments...
Yes. I know. Not music. The encore sucks, but this is an amazingly funny piece of stand-up. I only listened to it once, of course, but it was memorable.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Infinite Jest

I finished Infinite Jest last night. It took me a long time to read. I'm embarrassed that it took me so long to read this book, but it was such an experience. Like I've really worked over the last few months.

I'm still searching for meaning and a bit baffled at what I read. There are just so many great things about this book. I feel like this is the Ulysses (not that I've read that) of our generation. Without spoiling anything:

1) I started this book twice. I didn't notice it at first, but the first chapter is absolutely hilarious and I was surprised that I missed that the first time through.

2) If you decide to read this book, keep a notebook beside you and write down notes about each character. I wish I had done this.

3) This was published in 1996. His ability to forecast the future of information dissemination and network television is eerie.

4) Probably 3/4's of the way through the book there is an exchange between the Mom's and Mario. Not much is said in this exchange but it left me with a really profound feeling. Like I had been standing there. Like I had an incredible fondness for Mario and an idea of who he was. I feel sad that I don't actually know him.

5) The way that David Foster Wallace gives out information is very interesting. He hints and suggests and then finally tells you what is going on almost like it's already obvious or like he's accidentally let something slip. I don't think I have such subtlety within me.

Update - Coincidentally, Slate just posted an old interview with David Foster Wallace. It was done in 1998 and DFW says "I've never been on the Internet". He barley knew how to use a computer at this point. He used a typewriter. Somehow, this makes his sci-fi predictions in Infinite Jest even more impressive. Not that he's predicted the rise of the Internet or anything. Just some of the consequences.