Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sarah Daniels is the Worst

Sarah Daniels makes me so angry.  I realize that she's really a symptom of the problem and a physical object on which I can transfer my frustration...but she's just the worst.

If anybody doesn't know who Sarah Daniels is...well, she's a former Radio/TV traffic girl who went and got her real estate license and is now the Global BC real estate "Expert".  I don't know about you, but when I'm looking for expert advice on the real estate market I tend to turn to economists, accountants and the like.  But no, Global BC turns to a former traffic girl.  A former traffic girl who makes a living off the myth of an infallible Vancouver real estate.  Very impartial.

So, week after week I hear about how it's a "great time to buy".  Indeed, today her segment (Dunbar and White Rock - So hot!) followed a story about the potential collapse of the Euro zone.  Because the collapse of the (arguably) most powerful currency in the world couldn't have any impact on Vancouver Real Estate Prices*.  Because we have an ocean and a border and mountains!  Nowhere but up!

To make things even worse, her stupid, perky, ever-smiling face has a show on HGTV.  One of those terrible shows where they talk people who can't buy a television without financing into purchasing a condo somewhere.

I don't even know what to do about this.  I wish things like this didn't bother me.  I don't think an angry letter to Global BC will result in much.  I think I've already written one and they never seem to respond to my angry letters.  A Facebook anti-fan page?  Please.  Ideas.  This woman must be stopped.  Perhaps City TV will split the cost on an anti-Sarah Daniels billboard?  Oh...I really want to mock that up.

*Note - I thought about this for a while after I posted this.  I actually think that she might believe that a collapsing world economy will have a positive effect on Vancouver real estate. i.e. "There's no other good investments left in the world so everybody is going to come to Vancouver and buy a condo from me."

Monday, November 28, 2011


1. All ruling politicians are frustrated by their critics and opponents.

2. All ruling politicians secretly wish for the kind of mindless devotion only pop stars get.

3. Most politicians are stuck working under democracy, a system that generates disagreement.

:. Any politician who sings in public is admitting that he—always he, somehow—wishes he were a dictator.

Exhibit A: Berlusconi just released an album.

Exhibit B: Robert Mugabe is a hit with the kids.

Exhibit C: Abdala Bucaram, Ecuador's most catastrophic president in recent memory, thinks he's Elvis.
And lest we forget,

Exhibit D: Majority government. Seriously.

Exhibit E: The fact that this man is possible is the reason I study American culture.

*** heard about all this on The Bugle. Thanks guys for sorting out my xmas shopping.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

what's on repeat.

It's been a while since I've put up any music. Just single tracks this time, since I imagine we'll be talking at length about full albums when the best of 2011 arguments start. So here's a bit of a preview in five songs.

Johnny Guitar Watson, “Those Lonely Lonely Nights.” I don't get why people kept writing love songs after this.

My Head Explodes by nogoodnik
Ty Segall, “My Head Explodes.” So what if he stole the chords from Marcy Playground. Listen to what he does with them. Rockiest rock song of the year. Also listen to Segall's awesome explanation of it: "When you play music and you're a person on a stage, sometimes people can put you on a pedestal, and that can do a lot of things to your head. And... what if it actually exploded all over the walls during a show?"

Handsome Furs, “Memories of the Future.”
Dave, I can feel your frown. But I don't care if Alexei is super annoying onstage. She's written terrific lyrics here. Nothing better than hearing Dan “Springsteen + Ocasek =” Boeckner, a guy who hates every song written after 1978 with equal and unrelenting intensity,* croon “Nostalgia never meant much to me.” Over 80s synth pop. That might sound dismissive, but I think the tension between lyrics and music here is actually really interesting. This band likes to write concept albums about the aftermath of totalitarianism; Sound Kapital is apparently inspired by a tour through Burma, and Face Control was about postcommunist Russia and Eastern Europe. So that terrible twentieth century tendency of regimes demolishing history and starting a nation and a culture over at year zero lays in the background here. But back to Dan singing Alexei's words: “I threw my hands to the sky, I let my memories go.” Nietzsche said forgetting isn't a mental lapse, but an active, deliberate thing societies must do to reinvent themselves. Freud said that willful forgetting is repression, where everything you tried to forget turns out to frame your existence in sneaky and unpredictable ways. I listen to this and remember a few of the many things I've forgotten--things that, like the anxious, glitchy backbone of this song, shape everything, and aren't too hard to spot or source.

Antlers, "Corsicana." This is not exactly what I thought their new album would sound like. It's just so... pretty. And the lyrics are filled with spite and broken bodies. I'd call that a winning combination.

Wild Flag - Future Crimes by Music Meds
Wild Flag, “Future Crimes.” One day I'll get past my Carrie Brownstein fanboy crush. Just probably not anytime soon.

And since one of the five is obviously not from 2011, a bonus cut from my daughter's playlist, which is what I'm listening to most of the time anyway:

10 Heigh-Ho Whistle While You Work (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) by PantsDanced
Brian Wilson, “Heigh Ho/Whistle While You Work/Yo Ho.” I know right, did you hear the one about the lobotomized pop god who called his record company and said I want to make an album of Disney covers? But seriously listen to this. Brian Wilson's whole career was building up to these three and a half minutes. It's perfect. Somewhere between Walt Disney and Brian Wilson, California convinced the world to accept its hokey grotesquerie as mass culture. This song makes it all sound grotesque again. So thanks for that, Brian.

*I doubt Boeckner's ever said as much in an interview, but I have it on pretty good authority that he's said it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ball so hard

As a footnote to my earlier post. Why, Jay? Why is it that you can be so crass, and all I can do is nod and say "nice play"?

Here's the story about Rocawear shilling occupation-ist t-shirts. Here's the follow up, in which he apparently pulled the shirts from Rocawear's site due to public outcry that he was keeping the profits instead of donating them to the occupation. Here's the correction: apparently the shirts just sold out. Of course they did.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wu Lyf

Wu Lyf is here this week.  After watching this video...

I'm feeling like a Wu Lyf/Liars comparison is apt.  Perhaps not so much on their musical stylings...more in a weird, arty kind of way.  Hopefully they do a better job of translating things into a live act.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I'll start this post off by saying that I eat fairly well.  I make 90% of the food that I eat from ingredients bought in a grocery store.  I eat lots of vegetables and less meat than I used to.  I don't get super stressed out about reducing fat or avoiding carbs, but I think that largely avoiding pre-packaged food gives me that right.

That being love me some fast food sometimes.  I watched Supersize Me.  I honestly think that I walked up to McDonald's and bought some french fries right afterwards.  It was like a 2-hour McDonald's commercial for me.

We watched a couple of episodes of the Jamie Oliver show where he attempts to explain to Americans that they're too fat.  At one point, he took a bunch of chicken fat, bone trimmings, gristle and bones and showed it to a bunch of school kids.  They were disgusted.  Then he ground it up in a food processor.  They were disgusted.  Then he formed it into a patty, cooked it and explained to them that was how McNuggets were made.  They wanted to eat them.  I kind of get that.

Anyhow, here's a story that McDonald's is nothing more than a commodities trader, bringing out the McRib when pork prices are unnaturally low.  I didn't eat my first McRib until about a year ago.  I didn't enjoy it.  It wasn't good.  I read about what goes into it.  It sounds terrible.  But the more I read about how gross it is, the more I want one.  I see that photo at the top of the article and I'm thinking about how badly I want some french fries.

What the hell?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

I don't know, guys...

First watch this.

So we're in a weird spot now, Black Keys. It took me a little while, but I got over the fact that you're two white guys from Ohio channeling Muddy Waters. The history of pop music is the history of racial appropriation, and by the time you guys got to the blues it couldn't have been about the money. So fine. Fine, too, that your version of appropriation has none of the ironic distance of, say, Jon Spencer. You're a straight up tribute act. Fine. And you want to take on the blues, the musical form most overtly about racial dispossession, slavery, and suffering. Okay. I'll look past it. Because you're a pretty good straight up tribute act.

But this video: I'm sorry, flag on the play. First appropriation, now ventriloquy. First, you gave us the incongruity of white hipsters playing pretty good blues; now you give us white hipster blues being lip-synched by a black guy for a mostly white viewership. It's all a little... minstrel-like, isn't it?

I'm beginning to think you guys are the most insidious band in America. You are the liberal, post-racial utopia that NPR listeners think they live in.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Well, this isn't very good."

Maybe I'm overcompensating for that highbrow crack, but I just wanted to point out that these guys came back, and I couldn't be happier.

NHL Hockey Teams as Bands

Wow.  This is pretty amazing.  The Canucks one hurts a bit though.