Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Double Bill.

Rarely do the Hogtown planets align in such a fashion as to combine the talents of the legendary Peterboroughian Washboard Hank and the renowned tones of the D.Rangers into one gargantuan blowout übershow. I dropped by on a tip to the tucked away intimate main hall of the Tranzac Club, where Washboard - in rock star true fashion - proceeded to open the show by going ape shit on his symbol-laden head and washboard/license plate/horn chest apparatus before bringing down the house with the sweet, sweet notes of his patented 'fallopian tuba'. Arousing a chorus of whoops and cheers from his obviously ecclectic fanbase, Hank stayed away from his Children's album and delivered a varied set of old standards - including "Too Much Country Music Made Me Cut Off My Cock" - before handing over the stage to Winnipeg's D.Rangers. Providing what remains perhaps the best cover of Townes Van Zandt's celebrated 'Poncho and Lefty' ever devised, they proceeded to sauce it up and lay on a heavy set of what can only be described as 'punk-bluegrass'.

Anyways, it was good music and a good time. Good enough to advise anyone to keep their eyes peeled and drop by on a moments notice at the local fair, festival, elementary school or old age home whenever either passes through.

Thanks T for the link.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Them Bells

In the twilight of this busiest of perennial seasons of marriage, I reflect. Rigidly premeditated through the coldest of winter months, countless couples fuss over the most negligible of details in hopes of the perfect display. Imagined as the singular day when one can look back with yearning as a time with somewhat magical properties – the truth is often more realistic. Any day with so much riding on it is prone to the delights of inevitability. In the end, the factors working against are just too powerful. Over the past year, I’ve come to know the significant role of feuding families and drunken friends in shattering the illusions of rosy pretense and enchanting order. I’ve seen well-oiled meticulously devised plans fray and collapse under the weight of veracity. In fact this seems to be the rule and not the exception… and frankly, it’s for the best.

This year has taken me across the Province. From rural fire halls to posh suburban golf courses to school dorms, I’ve survived the wedding circuit and all its delicious offerings. In the span of four months, I’ve been sauced with a bona fide carnie, overdosed on Newfoundland Screech, lost a pair of pants and attended the finest of Montreal’s cultural establishments.

…and all of this in the name of the good lord’s sacrosanct institution no less.

Imbibing a wedding with a bit of the drink is a prerequisite with rum and coke being the recommended choice. Sophisticated yet utilitarian, this clash of Jamaican ingenuity and Deep South creativity not only helps to liven up the proceedings, but serves well in keeping your wits about you in beating off suspiciously underage bridesmaids and dealing with the incessant drivel of the smugly educated and frantically single. It also aids in converting the often obligatory bland Muzac into something more palatable.

All this chaos has taught me one thing. A wedding is a celebration of who you are, not who you wish you could be. The best weddings are the ones that accept and include the realities of families and friends… and the pair themselves. Despite what the execs at any good marketing firm or the proprietors of those innumerable rags would tell you, weddings aren’t just about magical bliss. They’re about coming to terms with what you’re in for – an initiation of sorts. In many ways, weddings are humanity at its natural, most exemplary peak. It’s not about duty and good conduct, it's about surviving. For the rest of us, our role is simply to rise to the occasion and partake in the festivities with the vigor of Gordie Tapp's 'Main Street Jamboree'. Now that's a fête... and a wedding I will fondly remember.

This year I’ve been lucky.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Thought of the day.

From Masteraid... the best in medical care.

Monday, July 04, 2005

I guess someone had to say it.

Like the grandmother you remember so fondly until the excrement stories at family christmas, our ordained first lady of Albany Street had a few words of wisdom for the good folks over at 100 Queen last month.

"When am I ever going to have this kind of opportunity again to tell you how terrible the planning department is in Toronto," Jacobs said. "It is terrible, very terrible. It caters to developers, even meeting with them privately ahead of time to find out what they want and smooth the waters for them. The community is always at a disadvantage and accused of NIMBYism if they speak out against development. It might as well be called the North York planning department because nothing really has changed."

Ah Jane, you had me at Hello.

... in related news...