Category Archives: TGIF
Happy Friday, and Happy Spring everyone!!!! Hope you are as excited as I am that it’s FINALLY HERE (even though we might be in for more snow this weekend… …… ugh).
As for fun weekend plans, I will be attending the Prism Prize Music Video Awards on Sunday, so I am saving most of my energy this weekend for that (especially if it snows, as I can’t be outside in that shit for much longer without going completely batshit insane). What fun are you getting into? I have some suggestions as per usual over at Dose! I also heard Foster The People (remember that song about uncool poor kids shooting up cool rich kids at school… ughhh) are playing the Horseshoe tonight, so if you’re into that kinda one hit wonder-y mainstream posing as indie band, it’s a chance to see one of those “big” bands in a tiny venue – but it’s sold out so good luck with that. You’re much better off seeing The Dirty Nil at Silver Dollar or The Big Sound at Adelaide Hall tonight.
Now, for the links:
- Tracks Of Our Tears: 50 Songs That Make Quietus Writers & Artists Cry Not sure I agree with many of these – if you’re gonna list an Elliott Smith song that makes you cry, choosing “A Distorted Reality Is A Necessity To Be Free” is such a weird choice. Like, really, the one song about his general disillusion with the political world (though he definitely never wrote a political song, that song is much more than that – which makes the write up even worse)? Not the one about wanting to die? Or you know, being ready to die? Or feeling like a fucking freak in every social situation? Or forgiving his mother for staying with his abusive stepfather, or the shame and anger that stem from getting blackout drunk, or loving the white lady aka heroin more than love, or you know, almost any other song he wrote? WEAK. Sorry, I did name the blog after one of his (not so sad) songs, so I still get very worked up when I read about him and it feels forced, like, “Oh that Elliott guy made sad songs right?” Googles his albums, randomly chooses a song, plucks it into the list. Fuck that. Have some respect.
- Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, New Order Storm Carnegie Hall for Tibet See the photo above and video at the end of this post for how fucking awesome this must have been. Jesus, what I would have done to have been there.
- 10 Essential Canadian Record Reissues Because we really do need to pay more attention to Canada’s rich music history.
- Music Criticism Has Degenerated Into Lifestyle Reporting Interesting article. Obviously, I combine music and lifestyle in a very overt way with this blog, so I am sitting on the other side of his argument, because I was never trained in music so I can’t write about it in these theoretical terms he longs for. I am definitely of the Lester Bangs school in that way, and I don’t see it as such a terrible thing. I agree with him that there is a lack of that kind of reporting, but it is because most people are not trained in technical terms, and if you have to use a dictionary to understand an album review you’re gonna give up on it fast. But I also agree with him that the musicians deserve to have their music reviewed rather than their failed relationships and publicity stunts.
- More Details Revealed in SXSW Tragedy Well this was just awful news.
- SXSW Crash Victim Treated to Private Concert in Her Hospital Room This is kinda cute, even if just a huge publicity stunt for the band (I know, I’m so jaded).
- Six deaths force Future Music Asia to cancel final day More awful music festival news.
- Why Your First Concert Is The Greatest Moment Of Your Adolescence My first concert was a Backstreet Boys concert at the Skydome when I was a tween, so I can’t say that was the greatest moment. BUT, my second concert was SARStock which probably was the greatest moment of my teen years.
- Neil Young on Pono Raising $1.6 Million in 24 Hrs on Kickstarter: ‘There Seems To Be a Market There’ Looks like he really was onto something.
- The complete guide to listening to music at work Love this. I actually have a very hard time writing while listening to any music with lyrics – unless I’m writing about that particular song – in which case it’s required.
- How mishearing song lyrics reveals our subconscious thoughts Makes sense, really.
- Chordify Automatically Extracts Chords from Your Favorite Songs Pretty cool app for musicians.
- How To Accomplish More By Doing Less This is great advice.
- The El Mocambo is up for sale at almost $4 million Booourns. Someone save this place before it’s turned into another condo. Toronto will always be an amazing place despite the constant gentrification, but haven’t we lost enough of our cultural landmarks?
- 20-something’s swap clothes with their grandparents This is my favourite photography project in a very long time. I wish I had a photo like this with my grandma, though she never would have agreed to such a shoot.
- What If Google Was a Guy Heh.
- Finally, as noted above, here is the video of Patti and Iggy covering my dearly departed Lou Reed! I can’t take it! So great:
Hello Friday. And hello March. While you’ve been disappointingly snowy so far, I’m still holding out hope that the rest of the month will finally bring us the long awaited spring weather this city is in desperate need of. Even more exciting – DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME returns on Sunday. I know this kinda sucks because we lose an hour of sleep, BUT it means we get daylight and sunshine and evenings back. It means the good times are truly almost here. There’s nothing more depressing to me than it getting dark at 5pm, since, when given the option, I don’t wake up before noon. #nightowllife.
Anyhow, do you have any fun plans for the weekend? My weekly column over at dose has a few suggestions for those of you in Toronto. Personally, I’m heading to the ballet for the first time ever for the opening night of Swan Lake. Very excited! I’ve been to the Opera and the Symphony a few times, so this is my last step in fully embracing grown up art. And the movie Black Swan will finally make perfect sense to me.
Also – FYI, I have a couple vinyl giveaways coming up for both Broken Bells and my favourite, Bruce Springsteen! Stay tuned.
Now, for the link love:
- Olivia Chow all set to enter Toronto mayoral race YESSSS. YESSSSS!!@!@@! I was actually starting to get a little worried that she might not run because she’s waited so long (and she still hasn’t made it official by any means), but as they detail in the article, it’s a smart strategy. I love her almost as much as I love my own mother. Part of the reason Jack was so incredible was because she was by his side. Living in her ward is truly a privilege, and I am more than willing to volunteer for her campaign. There is NO ONE ELSE in this world I’d rather have running Toronto, and she is by far the person most capable of repairing all the damage Ford has done.
- Which ’90s Indie Band Are You? I got Sonic Youth, which is cool with me.
- Big Star’s Alex Chilton Wrote the Script for Every Indie-Rock Recluse He sure did. That’s why The Replacements wrote a song about him.
- The Hipster Music Index Heh. Arcade Fire was definitely thrown off the ‘hip’ bandwagon after winning a Grammy, no one can contest that.
- 10 Great Cover Songs from the Paste Vault I love a good cover.
- The Secret to Creativity: Being Able to Make Connections This concept makes perfect sense. It’s why Evernote is my saviour.
- 10 Ways To Share Your Creativity & Get Discovered A really great read if you ever feel awkward about self promoting/pimping your work. Useful tips.
- How to Make It as a Freelance Entrepreneur Very very good advice for you freelancers.
- 16 Things Every Leader Should Know
- YouTube’s Parity Problem, or Why a Billion Isn’t That Impressive So it goes. This is the new music industry.
- The 11 Smartest Girls In Comedy This list is true greatness. Get to know and love every single one of them. Speaking of funny ladies – Lena Dunham is hosting SNL this weekend! My PVR is set.
- Passenger’s sexist note left on WestJet flight stirs pilot’s heated response And while I just got you pumped up with that awesome ‘yes. women are funny’ article – here is something to help you know there are still sad little men like this in the world that need to be castrated.
- Travoltify Your Name! Hahahhah. Travolta’s butchering of Idina Menzel’s name at the Oscars has now spawned its own widget. For the record, my Travoltified name is Leona Leeee. Not bad actually. I might use it as a pen name one day.
- Finally, if you were one of those kids who, like me, always wanted a hoverboard – your dream is (not) coming true. But this is a very smart (if misleading) viral marketing campaign:
All right, so – as the Putin link below explains – I’ve been trying not to give too much attention to the Olympics this year because I’m incredibly disgusted with the politics of Russia, and I think it’s a travesty that the IOC allowed such a brutal place to host these games. But, with that said, even I can’t deny my Canadian pride after that incredible nail biter of a game the Canadian women’s hockey team won yesterday. I only tuned in for the last 5 minutes of overtime, but damn – it was worth it. That has to be one of the greatest comebacks in hockey history.
There is a point where you have to separate the athletes from the politics, and acknowledge that it’s not fair to rob them of their one moment after 4 years of hard work because of the IOC’s massive mistake.
With that said, here are this week’s links:
- Q&A: Broken Social Scene Frontman Kevin Drew On His New Solo Album Definitely worth a read.
- IKEA’s Expedit line is biting the dust, and vinyl nuts aren’t happy about it This is sad, but I won’t complain until I see what the new replacements actually look like in real life. They just might be prettier.
- 5 Ways to Get Up to Speed on Anything, Fast Good advice.
- ARCHISET: An Illustrated Tribute to the Interiors of Classic Cinema If you dig film as much as I do, you’ll love this.
- CONTACT Turns Any Table Into A Musical Instrument This is pretty cool.
- Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ performed with eggplant, grapes, and MaKey MaKey As is this. I love it when artists get creative with their instruments.
- 7 Habits of Incredibly Happy People The point about spending money on experiences rather than things is something I’ve found to be incredibly true. The more I’m out experiencing life and new things/people/places, the happier I am.
- Victim gets revenge on rapist by setting him on fire This has to be the best response to victim blaming and that horrific thing coined as ‘rape culture’ that I’ve ever seen.
- Putin Plays the World for Suckers, and Wins UGH. This guy is one twisted dictator. We think RoFo is bad, but at least he’s no Putin.
- Finally, watch Pussy Riot’s video for “Putin Will Teach You How To Love” aka the thing they were making when they were publicly WHIPPED by a bunch of Putin’s men for making music in the street. If you’ve ever wanted to see women whipped by men in a very non consensual, horrific way – check it out below. This is the country that is currently hosting the world. Shameful. Why didn’t the IOC let Iraq host the games in 2004? Not much difference.
TGIF is coming to you on Saturday instead of Friday because some big news landed in my inbox Friday and I had to reconfigure the post to include it!
The first being the AMAZING announcement of the first wave of artists for Toronto Urban Roots Festival – aka how I spend my birthday every year. Neutral Milk Hotel at a festival is basically the best.thing.ever. I just saw them at Kool Haus a few weeks ago and, while it wasn’t quite as perfect as the first time I saw Jeff Mangum sing these songs in a church, it was still my musical crack. Them + summer music festival = two of my favourite things together.
PLUS, Violent Femmes! Andrew Bird! JENNY LEWIS! Sam Roberts. Steve Earle. Born Ruffians. Hollerado. Gogol Bordello. Local Natives. The Strumbellas. Devin Cuddy. And it’s only gonna get even better with the next announcement. I am pumped.
Oh also, I answered some Q’s for FS Local this week, read this to find out more about my favourite Toronto places.
Now, for the links:
- The Constantines – aka the favourite band of almost every Canadian male in the music industry around my age – have decided to reunite. I’m hoping I will finally understand their raving obsession by getting this chance to see them live!
- Macklemore’s useless apology: Grammys and the myth of meritocracy Love this.
- Pete Seeger, Legendary Folk Musician, Activist, Dies at 94 This was sad news but 94 is definitely a life well lived. And he left behind a world of amazing music, not just his own – but all the music from the musicians his work so profoundly influenced.
- Seven Questions for Bob Dylan A great article on my favourite man.
- See Jack White Unlock His Paramount Records ‘Cabinet-of-Wonder’ on ‘Charlie Rose’
- Daft Punk minus their robot gear Finally, we can confirm they are 40ish French white dudes.
- Why Women Should Hate the Patriarchy Instead of Each Other YES! The way women are still positioned against each other is so depressing, it’s inspiring to read an article like this. We need to stop allowing this competition against each other to continue. We shouldn’t be keeping each other down when we still have so much progress that needs to happen.
- An Open Letter from Dylan Farrow
- Choosing Comfort Over Truth: What It Means to Defend Woody Allen But seriously. Let’s not let someone’s fame cloud our judgement. Rape culture needs to end already.
- Finally, a Bachelor Contestant Exposes the Show’s Weird Sex Issues I watched this episode of this terrible show and was so disgusted by this guys incredible hypocrisy. How anyone can stand him is beyond me.
- What Career Should You Actually Have? Yes, I fell into the Buzzfeed quiz trap. For me they were actually fairly accurate, though. This test said I should be a writer – shocking!
- Which ’90s Alt-Rock Grrrl Are You? Alanis Morissette was my answer. Well I am a brunette Canadian.
- Which ’90s Alt-Rock Dude Are You? Beck. Well I’m no Scientologist but I’m still happy to get Beck.
- 20 Signs You Really, Really Hate People I don’t really hate people, but I definitely relate to many of these, and you probably will too.
- 8 Record Stores Every Music Lover Needs To Visit At Least Once One day I will take a globetrotting vacation and visit all of these! Surprised Rotate This! is the Toronto store that made the cut though… we have better.
- Elliott Smith Albums From Worst To Best I love seeing his name pop up in articles – don’t agree with this list because Roman Candle should always be #1 but really they’re all incredible, so there is no wrong answer.
- 10 Ways Companies Drive Away Talent A must read. There is a lot of truth to all of these, sadly. “A culture that rewards brown-nosing and punishes honest dissent. Most of us have seen organizations like this, where Yes Men and Women are exalted and passionate people asking tough questions are silenced. Life is too short to work in a place like that. The world is too big, there are too many meaty problems to solve, and too many brilliant people for you to collaborate with in trust-based, forward-looking organizations for you to waste another femtosecond among Godzilla’s handlers.”
- How Toronto got the CN Tower Now you know!
- Will Ferrell Launches Female-Focused Film and TV Production Company Um – YES!
- Little boy tells his mom he doesn’t want a birthday party because he has no friends to invite This sounds sad, but it will actually remind you of all the good in the world.
- Creationist Questions Translated. Hahahahhahahah.
- Finally, continuing on the creationist point, this is awesome:
Hey! Okay, I know TGIF hasn’t seen the light of day in a very long time – I was spending all my time building someone else’s dream which meant ignoring mine – but the universe was like – no girl, stop that shit right now – forcing me to smarten up, so I am excited to say that, yes, we’re back!
That means this post is gigantic because even though I didn’t have time to blog it – I was still keeping up with the times. So here is many weeks worth of TGIF rolled into one epic post.
- Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ Gets Star-Studded Interactive Video This has to be my favourite video from 2013.
- Listen: The Velvet Underground’s unreleased song “I’m Not a Young Man Anymore” What a gift to hear this after Lou left us.
- Sleater-Kinney Reunite Onstage With Pearl Jam In Portland Um, how awesome was this? Super jealous of everyone who witnessed it.
- Toronto voted “most youthful city” in the world Not surprising, this is definitely a young person’s city. Very cool that we beat out every other awesome city in the world.
- 5 Small Toronto Venues with Big Reputations I have massive love for all 5 of these venues.
- The Americas: Uncool Canada Because I can’t only share happy news – here’s a dose of economic reality.
- The rise, fall and rise again of Rough Trade Records
- Stop Trying To be Happy Aka why do humans over-complicate things so much?
- 10 Rules for Brilliant Women “Filter advice. Most brilliant women are humble and open to guidance. We want to gather feedback and advice. Fine, but recognize that some people won’t understand what you are up to (often because you are saying something new and ahead of your time). Some people will find you to be not their cup of tea. Some will feel threatened. Some people will want to do with your idea only what is interesting or helpful to them. So interpret feedback carefully. Test advice and evaluate the results, rather than following it wholesale.” I’ve recently come to understand this truth in a big way.
- Deformed Freak Born Without Penis Oh the Onion, I can always count on you to make me laugh.
- 5 Steps To Getting Rid Of Stress And Anxiety Very solid advice.
- Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet This article is so scary, yet not at all surprising. Read YouTube comments on almost any video and you’ll understand.
- Here’s Why You Should be Upset about Mindy Kaling’s Elle Cover, even if She Isn’t Love this. Love that she wasn’t upset by it – she’s living the dream and she loves herself and nothing like this could rob that from her – but for the rest of the world, we need to start seeing bodies of women that don’t have a personal trainer on the covers of magazines – not just their pretty faces. And this is why we all love Lena Dunham so much.
- ‘Too Much Estrogen’: The Golden Globes, Chris Christie and Men Who Don’t Want to Share Culture Continuing on the horribly sexist trend that seems to be in full bloom now that women are starting to rule TV, this article is a MUST read. If you only read one link this week, make it this.
- The History of Tina and Amy’s Best Friendship The best.
- Christine McVie to Rejoin Fleetwood Mac YES! Dreams, coming true. Did you guys see Stevie Nicks on American Horror Story the other week? Also awesome.
- Rock’s Silent Majority Rules Again: Bastille will play SNL and Everywhere Else They say indie rock is dead – and it’s certainly not the big thing anymore, but this article proves that yet again, no form of music ever really dies.
- Shut Your Dumb, Stupid Mouth about the Beatles Being Overrated But really. It has to be THEE most annoying thing ‘controversial’ people ever say.
- Ticketmaster, Your Awful Tickets Should Look Like This PLEASE. If only they would take notice. Such awful design should not have made it past the 90s.
- Materialism: a system that eats us from the inside out A great read on why we all really need to stop buying more stuff. Sometimes people come to my house for the first time and wonder why I don’t have 1000 records. In my opinion I have plenty – I own every album I truly love (any many I just kinda love/like). I’m always looking to get rid of anything I haven’t used in 6 months. I hate having too much stuff. Like the article says, it drags us down, depresses us, holds us in one place. We’ve all seen the destructive minds of the people on the show Hoarders. Even if I don’t get to travel as much as I want, I like the idea that if I wanted to just pick up and leave, I wouldn’t have 500000 things to sell/store. Living light is in my opinion the definition of freedom. I am not defined by my possessions, but by my achievements and experiences.
- I Know Who Can Start Rebuilding Toronto I couldn’t agree more. PLEASE RUN FOR MAYOR, OLIVIA CHOW! You are the one who could easily beat the fool.
- 20 Sneaky Rules About Being in a Band That No One Ever Told You Great advice from the lovely Sari Delmar!
- Genetics I kinda want to see what a split-screen of me and my dad/mom would look like so I could compare – very cool.
- The people STILL living in 1951: Inside America’s Rockabilly community Okay, this is a little bit overboard, but I’ve always dreamed that I would one day own a house with a rockabilly 1950’s style kitchen, so this community is kind of awesome.
- 8 Quotes That Prove Adam Is The Best Character On HBO’s Girls If you needed some concrete reasons as to why he is my dream man, read this. “You should never be anyone’s slave.” #bestline
- FaceSubstitute Is The Coolest (And Creepiest) Thing You’ll See This Week This is strange, but awesome.
- Finally, this new iPad commercial is another mark of truly great advertising. Using one of the best scenes from Dead Poet’s Society is a mark of sheer brilliance we’ve come to expect from their ads: