This video couldn’t have come at a better time. Over the past couple of weeks, Cara and I have been talking about the concept of luck. When you think about it, it’s really fascinating. Here’s a Fora.tv video about the science of luck. Personally, I consider myself the former not the latter (Sloan fans read : foamer not the lather. Too easy, had to do it).
New one. Have to. Pogo’s new tribute to childhood favourite Hook.
It’s excellent as always, but isn’t it interesting that after only 4 exposures, the style is getting a bit something something ? I should be more excited about this after I listen to it, I almost feel guilty for not. But it’s still worth posting, because the idea is just as cool.
One of the nicest first verses I’ve heard in a longk time. Rock-based songs are always best and most successful when the verses are catchier than the choruses. Always. I have a soft spot for songs that inherently demand a large venue with bigness and a proportionate amount of verb, especially in downtempo parts. Beautiful video, Jamie.
Sorry, had to clarify for the Waterlooians. For the non-KWs, Phil’s is the main university bar – $2 drinks, retro nights, sprayfoamed ceiling rafters, and sticky soles from the remnants of spilled sugary drinks and foreign fluids.
Went to Phil’s Original BBQ yesterday for a delicious (and dirt cheap) meal on College and Ossington. Full disclosure: I saw this place on Restaurant Makeover awhile ago and wanted to try it. Me es sheep. Buuuut me es satisfied sheep with a full belly of low and slow smoked tender bbq meat for $6.95.
Here’s a picture of their signature ribs. I didn’t have them, but they just looked so good online that I had to post it. My appetite didn’t warrant a rib plate, so I had a bbq brisket sandwich and it was just as tasty looking and tasty tasting. They’ve been rated the best BBQ in the city, so I hadta. Overall, it was excellent – really tender flavourful brisket on a perfect Portugese roll with a truly great homemade BBQ sauce. Just would’ve appreciated one or two more ingredients – it was begging for some caramelized onion, maybe even some cheese? You remember me and cheese. Compared to Black Camel’s pulled pork, Black Camel wins. But Phil’s still rocked.
Me and some other lovelies are going to Lee’s Palace for a brilliant show tonight. Friends in Bellwoods 2 is a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks from a variety of Toronto’s best/emerging bands and musicians. All proceeds from the sale of the compilation go to the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto. Don’t you find it inspiring that musicians that can barely pay the rent still pour their art into supporting a good cause? Posty sticky: we all have few to no excuses.
I’m sure many have thought/declared/sermonized this, but I find this newish group of Toronto bands to be a new Arts & Crafts ish family. The Bellwoods family. Ohbijou, Bruce Peninsula, The Acorn (although from Ottawa), etc. And what a great family it is. Authenticity, warmth, uniqueness, and beautiful melodies return to Toronto. Not to belittle Kevin Drew, he’s just an easy target. I love Broken Social Scene, but it’s just nice to see a beautiful and original group of bands start up again. The only interesting impact of this is the apparent musical nepotism. It seems to be the only way bands can be successful in Canada anymore. Nothing wrong with friends, and birds of a feather. Maybe it’s a great thing. Better 5 bands than 1 band breaking through. But there are also great bands that may not have clear associations with other bands that deserve much more attention. Maybe we should just follow the advice of our dear friend Beck.
Here are some songs that I hope to hear tonight.
Ohbijou – Wildfires
Bocce – Again Again Again
After hearing such great things about Xococava (shocko cava or choco cava depending on how pretentious one wants to be), Cara and I had no excuse but to go post dins last night. It’s a 3 minute walk from our apartment located in an awkward arcade (architecture not video game) just north of St. Clair on Yonge. It also won 2nd best ice cream in all of Toronto in last week’s NOW Magazine to boot.
Along with some more traditional Spanish inspired desserts, they also offer some crazy savoury/sweet combinations that are all the food trend rage in the culinary world. Something about pork and chocolate is really throwing chefs sweaty hair back these days. It seems like they specialize in individual gourmet chocolates (such as Spanish cherry/fennel/lemon and chorizo/olive/orange flavoured) to at least a dozen varieties of homemade ice cream – Cara got an amazing Italian gianduja (hazelnut+chocolat) one. Flavour was amazing, but texture was iffy. A bit grainy, but I’m guessing it’s hard to make hazelnuts into superfine texture for ice cream. Switch to chunks.
I saw churros and real Spanish hot chocolate. It had been a while since I had real churros con chocolate, so I had to go for it. The chocolate was spiced really interestingly as well, guessing cloves.
After finishing my churros and guzzling the remainder of the thick melty chocolate awesome, one realizes why girls and chocolate have a special relationship. No semis, but a subtle wave of biochemically driven lightheaded euphoria. If you come to visit me, we are going here for dessert. Cigarettes after are optional, cuddling mandatory.
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. Tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and endangering the country. It works the same in every country.”
Herman Goering – Reichsmarschall, during the Nuremburg Trials.
Multi-talented artist Justin Broadbent was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to temporarily transform the unused lower portion of Bay Station into a massive installation. I didn’t even know there was an unused subway platform period, although I do remember seeing an awful Midway State video that exploited this very place. See more pictures and an article here.
I don’t have major opposition to commercial sponsored art projects, but it definitely depends on the amount of control demanded by the payer. No one else is supporting independent art in this country (especially visual art), so if it has to be private interest that supports struggling artists, fine by me. Fortunately in this instance, Absolut gave Broadbent free reign except they wanted him to use the Absolut font (which he liked). Not a bad compromise for a hopefully large (and unmatched) paycheque for the artist. Yes it’s a slippery slope, but supporting freely developed art matters more. Jes?
The city of Toronto is deliberating on a subterranean homesick alien pedestrian walkway from the mainland to Toronto Island Airport. Dalton McGuinty and Transport Minister (and likely Prime Ministerial candidate) John Baird are hesitant supporters, while David Miller has to keep a campaign promise and reject the idea. Really it doesn’t matter either way. Either you have a hilarious 90 second ferry ride to the island for a Porter flight, or they spend tens of millions on the walkway. They’ll keep the ferry for emergency vehicles, equipment, etc. anyway. Seems like an unnecessary expense perhaps?
What I find most interesting is the militant opposition from the slow lifers of Toronto Island. These people are an interesting bunch. Maybe it’s just envy on the part of the 5 million Torontonians, but it’s quite a setup when you have an idyllic country home literally steps (well for now it’s Jesus water steps) from the biggest city in Canada. I think most air travellers really appreciate Porter Airlines, being able to fly to many desirable locations and simply take a 5 minute shuttle and a 90 second ferry from Union to the airport. No Gardiner, no 427, no 401, no $20 ripoff shuttle. With no real transit access to YYZ, Porter hit the easy nails. I hope they continue to flourish at the island regardless of the unknown future of transporting passengers. What will remain is the NIMBY chagrin of the crunchy retirees that grimace at the sound of propellers and 60Hz hums.
n.b. Want to be the envy of your commuting friends? Learn how to buy a house on Toronto Island. Patience and outboard motors not included.
Prollllly going tonight to celebrate the one year anniversary of Showcho, a regular comedy show at College St. standard Rancho Relaxo. Long lost high school mate Ben McLean has become one of the central beacons of the Toronto comedy scene, and that just plain ol makes sense. Lots of funny people will be there, and it it’s pay-what-you-can. Kudos to liberalized pay structures for poor shmucks comme moi.
Spotted Lake in Osoyoos, British Columbia. Click for more neato lake photos here.
Buildings account for thirty-eight percent of the CO2 emissions in the U.S., according to the U.S. Green Building Council, and demand for carbon neutral and/or zero footprint buildings is at an all-time high. Now there is a new building material that is not just carbon neutral, but is actually carbon negative. Developed by U.K.-based Lhoist Group, Tradical® Hemcrete® is a concrete substitute made from hemp, lime and water. What makes it carbon negative? There is more CO2 locked-up in the process of growing and harvesting of the hemp than is released in the production of the lime binder.
Click for the article here. Using hemp for building materials is definitely not new news, but it’s nice that we can use renewable materials for building design. We have lots of aggregate, but it’s not an infinite supply and has its own impacts (big water users, definitely carbon positive process). Too bad the US isn’t allowed to grow it, but the good news is is that it imports all of their needs from us.