Saturday, September 06, 2008
Jonny from Crystal Antlers shows us a toy in St.Louis.
Amie from Monotonix, bus wildman.
Totally Michael hangs out while Hannibal Buress surfs a porno website while listening to a motivational tape.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Working at a warehouse in a lower-income part of town for two days last week made me feel lower-class. Not because of the nature of the work, as filing things away and pretending to do stuff while in a dull, semi-supervised environment is something that happens in all range of classes, but because I was treated like a criminal. This did not happen at work. No, at work everybody liked me and gave a lot of leeway and let me work a couple of shifts when there was really no call for an extra guy. The work gang delighted in my lunchtime trips for three dollar barbecue pork, my subtle pooh-poohing of their musical tastes, and my pathetic tales of poor bicycling skills. I was treated like a criminal by none other than the police. Not the band.
It all began when I decided to sneak off and get some juice at the corner store. I clumsily hopped on my bicycle, arriving at my destination within forty seconds. While spending roughtly attempting to affix my miniature bike lock (designed for children) to a nearby fence, I heard a commanding “Hey, you!”. I turned around to see that two police officers, a man and a woman, were beckoning me towards the squad car they sat within. Feeling guiltless and inquisitive, I approached the car. They asked me some dumb questions. “Do you know why we’re talking to you?” and “What are you doing?” being the two I remember. I half expected them to ask “Are we the cops?” I looked at them, and they looked at me.
“We had report of a ‘B&E’ up the street, and the suspect matches your description,” said the male. I told him I had literally just left work and hadn’t done any breaking and entering. Apparently my word wasn’t good enough, and they asked me for my ID. Dumbly, like a robot, a peon, a serf, an automaton, a servant, a humble subject of the land, I handed them my ID, which I explained was expired. They ran it through some kind of system, and then I was told “OK thanks pal” as they went on their way, for sure not solving the crime. But if I ever wind up in Guantanamo Bay, I’ll know how they found me.
Friday, August 29, 2008
In honor of this weekend's F Yeah Fest, here are some pictorial memories of this summer's touring...
Mike from Videothing.
Massage chair in Cornwall.
Fourth of July in Columbus.
The two most dreadlocked white guys of 2008, talking together.
Jim from Team Robespierre relaxes at The Tower in Cleveland, OH.
I was tired.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Privacy: everybody wants it, especially those who have forsaken it in exchange for iconic status. The most recent case of this is the venerable Paul Newman, of whom it is hard to say a bad word, unless you are one of his salad dressing competitors, an anti-Semite, or both. Suddenly a friend of his accidentally infers that Paul is ailing, and the first world falls into a panic. I say we ought to panic. There should be a rule that when a certain pinnacle of fame is reached, that person should become immortal. Perhaps this is true-Newman’s publicist wound up denying these reports of illness. Let’s just leave this formerly attractive man alone and see what happens. Stop pestering him. Papparazi are apparently parking outside of his lungs, hoping for a good shot. Somebody should pour a high-end vinaigrette on them. What’s next: a Michael J. Fox 24-Hour Shakewatch? All we can hope is that money is taken out of disease research, and moved to celebrity eternal life exploration.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Fred Armisen used to have band called Trenchmouth. Carrie Brownstein used to have bands called Sleater-Kinney and Excuse 17. Now they make hilarious videos under the semi-meaningless name Thunderant about feminist bookstores, answering machine-based songwriting, and emotive dating. They have a new one too. They make Portland’s gloomy inclusiveness funnier than it has any right to be. I got them on the horn, and we all got horny.
When I was talking to Fred, I was basically treating him like he was my psychiatrist. I was venting, and he told me “Don’t ever worry, everything’s going to work out. It always does.” It was encouraging.
Carrie Brownstein: He’s really positive. He’s way more of an optimist than I am. He’s just a nice guy who always looks on the bright side of things. He’s just one of those generous, earnest people that are good to have around.
Fred Armisen: I’m definitely an optimist. I’ve always been an optimist, because I’ve had some decent luck in my life.
CB: Fred’s really easy to work with. We already had a loose, comfortable dynamic and we made each other laugh all the time. The videos were just a way of formalizing things we were doing for fun anyway. That’s the essence of Thunderant: giving parameters to the way we interact.
FA: We want it to feel very Portland. It’s a microcosm.
Have you noticed these feral clowns in Portland? They have face tattoos and they ride tall bikes. They’re sort of these punk clown people.
FA:You’re making it up.
They apparently used to have a house where they did puppet shows.
FA: I want to be one! Shit!
They stand around outside of cafes and harangue people.
FA: I’m going to research this.
Carrie, do you know about the clowns?
CB: They’re on Alberta Street, although I think they got kicked out of their house. The thing is that for Fred and I Portland has such a great pool for us to cull from. There are so many great characters here. There’s people whose beliefs and endeavors I respect, but I cannot believe sometimes that the city nurtures these peoples who build bicycles the shape of an asterisk, or a square, and they’re like twenty feet tall. How is that less annoying than driving a hummer? If I’m following you and you’re on a bike that is a giraffe, that’s more annoying to me than following some gas-guzzling S350 truck. People take good intentions so far that it backfires. You can’t take everything seriously. I also was in the kind of band who I think everybody assumed the band members were these really strident people, but we weren’t and we’re not, so in some ways I think a lot of my friends that have responded to Thunderant are happy to see me doing something that is more reflective of the way I am in real life, which is a lot looser and a lot sillier.
How did you meet?
FA: I remember I was a huge fan of Sleater Kinney, and in my band days I may have met with Carrie, but it was really brief. We did have a gig with Heavens To Betsy once, but they opted out of the show because the venue wasn’t all ages. Totally ‘90s. After awhile Carrie and I emailed each other-she wanted to get into a show, and we just became friends. We spoke the same language. Originally I would go to Portland to visit Carrie and Corin [Tucker] just to hang out. It was purely social. When the band broke up that’s when we started doing the video pieces. Before it was a lot more loose. The first one, Boink, we did at a benefit for the Democratic Party in New York. I had and have this obsession with the later version of the late Saddam Hussein. To me, he just looked like an aging rock star. He was a villain, and he was angry, and he dressed well.
Saddam looks like he could play flamenco guitar.
FA: Yeah, I could see that.
But the British accent your Saddam has might contradict that.
FA: British people know Flamenco. They’re right by Spain. They go there on holiday.
As a musician who switched careers, do you enjoy encouraging musicians to “learn to play the funnybone”?
FA: Yeah. It helps everybody and it makes me look good. I feel most musicians have a good sense of humour. On tour everybody in bands talks about comedy shows they like.
Who are some of the funniest musicians you know?
FA: Jeff Tweedy is hilarious. He could do a standup show. Cat Power has charm. Carrie Brownstein, obviously. Steve Albini, he’s fucking hilarious. He’s fucking so funny, he could write books, or go on the Daily Show. He’s brilliant and he doesn’t take himself seriously. Goddamn, that guy is funny.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Nobody came to the show. We got lost at 6AM looking for our cars.
American Cheeseburger rule, but we got there late. Jason made late vegan dinner. Pizza!
Stayed at punk house. Slept by a lizard. Snoring, sex and racist CDs. Grossness.
Tony Bitch nicely made sure we all had Pabst. One of the best shows.
No cheesesteak, but we had late night pretzels. Yum. I slept on a party.
Last show with White Load. Sadness,Whole Foods. Played a house, someone's glasses broke.
Williamsburg on a Saturday feels like outdoor day care. Shemps 4 Ever. Met Bleachy.
Acid Reflux are good dudes. Enthusiastic garage show. Ended tour watching Howard The Duck.
I can't believe it took me three weeks to do such lightly detailed encapsulating. The moral lesson I learned from this tour was: doing the things you love is easier to do than doing the things you like.
Monday, April 14, 2008
More 14 word recaps.
Jon shopped for hitches. Twenty people stayed with Timmy. Saw Spits. Austin is warm.
(Katie makes a run for the border)
Austin Day 2
Vegan brunch. Blue Cheer. Stood around for an hour after bridge show, doing nothing.
(Katie layeth the snack down)
(Dickie Peterson+doobie girl)
(hard advice to take)
Austin Day 3
Did comedy. Got sunstroked and drunk. Wandered to Beerland and grossly did good show.
(bitch suck my dick I'm a rock star)
Saturday, April 05, 2008
So we went away for just under three weeks, to the midwest and the south and the east coast. I'll be back again sooner than later, in another form. A gaseous form. Let's talk about what happened on tour, in 14 words per city. I started taking pictures on the way to Kansas City. No, we didn't make any money on tour, dad.
We were "in diana". College town. Gay bar. Low vocals. Slept in baby room.
Ronny's.Good lineup. After-after hours after-after show. Ate $2 cheeseburger/fries combo. Hitler-themed flyer.
Holy Shit! rule. Basement show, obviously. Relaxed instead of going to other show.
Watched a senior(Cornbread Harris) tickle ivories, then stayed with great people from Faggot.
Anti-cop flyer. Enthusiastic crowd, great support for a monday night show. Yay midwest!
Played the reopening of local venue The Anchor. Sweet bands, sweet people! Felt good.
South. Played with da waste, da lung and boatchill gang.
Crowd no like us.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
There was a terrible fire downtown here in Toronto yesterday. It was on Queen Street West, between Bathurst and Portland. Right now they're sorting out why it happened, and late yesterday they were still dousing potential 'hot spots'. A block of people were displaced from their apartments, and the businesses that lined the street have been brutally affected, with Duke's, a long-standing bicycle shop dramatically collapsing, and the Queen Street wing of Suspect Video(my favourite video store and a cultural institution in my own life) seems like it was gutted, as well as National Sound, another well-regarded longtime source of electronics. Preloved next door must have been harshly affected as well. It seems inevitable that the six-alarm blaze had an awful impact on every business in the block.
For me, this is so sad because that little block has always been a pleasant, inspiring walk along a street that is often a depressing mix of the overly sunglassed and the overly needy, peppered with the irritating, enthusiastic and threatening presence of teens. The independent and fun stores that line that portion of Queen are reason I used to place that strip in a rareified place and treasured my irritating and enthusiastic teenage walks down there. When a group of them have their presence suddenly nullified, it's a frightening and quick change. I just hope that the storeowners and residents there are able to rebuild with a relative amount of ease.
Daniel, the manager of that Suspect, has posted a pretty admirable response to the situation. Read it and help if you can. They want to replace their library of insane titles.
In happier news, I actually got kind of turned on by that new Lohan photoshoot. Move over Gosling,I have a new virtual paramour.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Montreal this weekend past was fun, if trying. We left late in the day because our guitarist had to operate a crane. This led to us driving through bad snow at night, and so we arrived at the venue at roughly midnight. It's never fun to walk in and have to play, but that was close to the reality for us. Then we played and I appeared in my customary underwear/boots look, which led to Steve Bennett and maybe others tearing my underwear off of me, forcing a song or two to be performed naked. Not cool at all. A man in underwear looks fine, but a nude man is just a less strong ape. Freed testicles are the opposite of freed mammaries. Between the nudity and my unfamiliarity with our set list, it wasn't my most comfortable Montreal appearance, but it went over better than my hyper-depressing attempts to do comedy at French Canadian rock bars have. At one point I used a beer pitcher as a fig leaf. Allegedly it wound up magnifiying the gross ball situation. Tonight we open for Andrew WK.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Last night I came home from Catch-23, after band practice. I turned on the Howard Stern show, lay on my bed, and fell asleep. It caught me by surprise. I had no time to brush my teeth. I didn't even realise I fell asleep, as my dream was so pedestrian that I could have easily not dreamed it at all. In the dream, I went to my friend Graham's house and began trying to brainstorm with him, but it didn't really go anywhere, and I left to catch the bus home. Instead of doing that, I went to a bar in a high school and purchased a beer. I walked around the halls holding a beer in that weird 'holding a beer' POV from the movies, and came upon a lady taking portraits. I started taking a picture with her, but as she was doing so(and taking her time), I realised I was going to miss my bus. It was at this point that I woke myself up and brushed my teeth. Interpret.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Saturday, February 02, 2008
When Brutal Knights played Adrift the other week, a kid somehow clambered onto the pipe above the crowd. What a little Spiderman! Lindsay, who owns the place, promptly shouted at me to get him down from there. As I'm not Mr.Fantastic, there was nothing I could do except say 'dude, get down from there...' while the band kept playing. That's probably been my major contribution to society for the month.
After four days of craziness last week, I got a cold. My dad bought me some eggs and some Cold-FX. I used the eggs correctly(put them in fridge), but I'm not sure I used the cold medicine correctly. It told me to take 9 pills the first day, 6 pills the second day, and 3 pills the third day. What I did was I put 14 pills in my DVD player. I should have just gotten the flu shot years ago, and none of this shit would've gone down.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
- Leave milk in the sun for 3 days. Then crouch near it.
- Every time I want to go to a convenience store to purchase jerky, go to a buddhist temple instead.
- If I masturbate about Gosling, stretch first, then do the dirty thing as a reward for stretching.
- Pour a bunch of chop suey on the floor and lie on the chop suey.
- Buy a Japanese car?
I'll keep a yoga diary and let you know how my yogic progress is going on the yoga front.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Before the show, I was worried. After the show, I was happy.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I'm really scared, everybody, because I made a promise that a comedy show I'm performing at this sunday at The Rivoli will have no death jokes. The problem: I only know death jokes! So this means I have to come up with all new jokes. I hate coming up with all new jokes. It invariably leads to me looking at a notebook unblinkingly for about ten minutes, writing the word 'Hello', and then closing the notebook. At some point after that I lean my head against the wall. Then I watch that movie "The Notebook" for inspiration. Unfortunately, all that it inspires me to do is get a sex change operation so I can enjoy it more than I already do. My favourite scene is the one where Gosling dances with the babe.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Did some interviews for Brutal Knights-related concerns lately? Yes. I picked my "top ten punk albums" for the punk rock radio show "Rocket To Russia".
Also, I did an interview for Arthur, the Peterborough, Ontario student magazine.
Here's an excerpt:
Arthur: With all the controversy surrounding the training and fighting of animals, would you approve of filmed and commentated warfare between bugs (i.e. the ones seen at japanesebugfights.com)? Taking it a step further, would you accept a sponsorship/endorsement from the creators of such bug fighting leagues?
NF: I hate to speak for the vegans in the band, but I’ll put it this way: if I were vegan I would hate that movie Microcosmos and the insectoid Transformers. So no bug fights. But as a non-vegan I would definitely support. Bugs are totally bred to fight by God.Tantalizing!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Living alone, staying home a lot, and sometimes being stressed, it feels like I'm in my T.Bickle years. It's a pretty interesting experience. You pace your apartment a lot and wear a lot of things that are olive-coloured. Which reminds me-I haven't seen Taxi Driver in years!
Friday, January 11, 2008
What are you all doing today? I'm going to write a "to-do" list. I can't wait "to do" that, which is kind of an ironic thing, considering I'm avoiding writing it as I write this. By the way, so far this reinvigorated web journal has been recycling old shorts I've made, but I plan on making some new ones soon. Stay tuned.
I have some comedy shows in the ol' hometown(Toronto) this week. Wish me luck(the good kind).
Juno was bad. Walk Hard was bad(which made me sad). Death Proof was kinda bad. Superbad was kinda good. Brothers Solomon was funny(I wrote that earlier).
Speaking of reviews, I write for a weekly paper called Eye Weekly, and I wrote some stuff recently. Here's a piece on Jim Gaffigan. Here is a review of Lupe Fiasco's new album "The Cool". Finally, I wrote something about Cunninlyinguists fine new album Dirty Acres. It deserves four stars, not three.
We'll talk again someday!
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
It was my mom's birthday yesterday. New housecoat alert! Cake alert! Card alert!
I'm going to South By Southwest this year. The 13th and 14th are the days I will be there. I want to do comedy while I'm there. Isn't that an awesome, incredible dream?
This is probably the oddest video I've made, again with Rebecca Addelman and Graham Wagner.
Larry King jr.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
and The Apprentices
I really like Rebecca's smarts, comic timing, and willingness to sometimes act out my terrible, terrible idears*.
*ideas spelled UK style in honour of my British reader.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
I just got ahold of the Deranged version of our Living By Yourself EP. It looks rad! My unit is weird.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Brutal Knights was pretty fun in 2007. We went to both Memphis and Oslo. The chicken is better in Memphis. We have some records coming out soon, I guess. We are recording some songs next week. One of them is called "Be My Babysitter".
We played in Guildford and it was gross
We probably deserve a money present