good day

Aug. 6th, 2017 06:36 pm
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
 Ernst Zündel is dead and Godspeed You Black Emperor has a new album coming out.

Today is a good day.
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
So the performance sucked so hard we walked out. Like, possibly the worst thing either of us have ever seen, which is saying an awful lot. The tickets were suspiciously cheap, but tbh most things in the Ukraine are suspiciously cheap. But in this case I think it was because they knew it was terrible. We'd actually gone in to see if we could get a tour or just wander around the opera house, but the lady said that there was a show that night, so we decided to give it a shot.

She described the show as a sequel to The Nutcracker but also a crossover with War and Peace, and a musical. A "wonderful spectacle," in fact. I have to admit that we were basically morbidly curious, and it would get us inside those gorgeously ornate doors.

Anyway, we made it two songs in. The thing was in Ukrainian so we don't know what it was about but I don't think it would have made a lot of sense even if we did understand the language. It was kind of embarrassing to listen to.

But! It meant that we got to sneak out and take unobstructed photos of the glory that is the Odessa Opera House, and that was worth the ticket price alone. I hope you appreciate how hard it was to narrow these down. They don't half capture the actual, real spectacle that is this building, but I've given it my best.

pretty! )
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
We went to the Odessa Opera House, one of the most famous and beautiful opera houses in the world.

behold! )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (gother than fuck)
This is much harder than the telly one. While I typically seek out new telly with enthusiasm—we live in the best possible time in history for TV—I am way less stoked about seeking out new music. Most of what I like was written 30+ years ago, and half the time when I hear a new group, it turns out they broke up in the 90s and aren't new at all. I also have a hard time writing about music and putting into words why I like one thing versus another thing.

In 2016, the big releases were Lemonade and Blackstar; the former I still haven't listened to in its entirety but I spent a lot of time defending its musical value on Facebook; the latter's musical genius is self-explanatory. Eh. In reality, only four albums really mattered to me in terms of emotional bonding, which is four more than usually happens these days:

Retribution, Tanya Tagaq. This has my vote for Album of the Year. It is flawless, searing, musically innovative, politically challenging, just mindblowing. I can listen to it over and over again and pick out something new happening. She gets played on CBC a lot but she should be played at goth clubs. Tanya Tagaq is the one artist that I can point to in order to prove that I can still become obsessive about a new artist and I don't just listen to stuff that sounds like the music I liked in my teens. (Though my comparison with Einstürzende Neubauten still stands—hearing Tagaq for the first time evoked similar feelings of "I can't believe music can sound like this.")

We Are the Halluci Nation, A Tribe Called Red. This would be my choice for Album of the Year if Tanya Tagaq had not also released an album this year. It's much more in-your-face and talky than their older stuff, to great effect, controversy about Joseph Boyden aside. It's also really layered and danceable. At the party I was at on the 25th we just listened to it on repeat, as if we couldn't believe just how cool it was.

You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen. One of my all-time favourite artists releases a perfect album about how he's ready to die, then dies like two weeks later, and I can just now listen to the whole thing through without crying a lot. This is some of Cohen's best work and a fitting way to exit the world.

The Skeleton Tree, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I mean obviously this was going to be here. A heartwrenching, soul-tearing meditation of loss in the wake of his son's death. I still can't listen to the whole thing without crying.

Like every year since I started hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] 50_ft_queenie, this has been a great year for concerts. Some of the shows I've seen this year: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Savages, Tanya Tagaq (twice!), Legendary Pink Dots, Levellers, Billy Bragg, and Peter Hook & the Light. Managed to take in quite a bit of opera, though sadly not as much in previous years.

I also made an effort to start going to dance nights again, though this is hard because I am always battling the forces of inertia. But I managed to make it to a few goth nights and country nights, because I contain multitudes.

BONUS! A few days ago I found out about the existence of the Mapuche (indigenous Chilean) heavy metal scene. So that's what I'm checking out as I'm baking a cake:

sabotabby: tulip pointing a gun (preacher)
Taking a break from updating my job application package to write about some more fun things, like the TV, movies, books, and music I have appreciated this year. Let's see how far I get.

Telly is the easiest to talk about because I'm a lazy bastard and I enjoy long-form narratives. In addition to things I've enjoyed in the past, like Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, and Peaky Blinders, here are some of the things that I got obsessive over this year.

Cleverman: The best show you've probably never heard of, unless you're Australian. Erroneously billed as an Aboriginal superhero show starring the whiny Nice Guy from Game of Thrones, it is actually a brilliant, subversive fantasy about racism, allyship, and indigenous identity. God, I made it sound boring and political, didn't I? It's very political, but it's also jam-packed with intriguing anti-heroes, redemption arcs, dystopian worldbuilding, and surprisingly decent special effects.

Black Sails: I just started watching it this year, although it's been going since 2014. I started watching it because it was apparently a decent pirate show with Anne Bonny as a major character, and I guess it's sort of marketed as a prequel to Treasure Island, but neither of those are things that I fell in love with. It's jaw-droppingly good. Michael Bay is the executive producer and this show singlehandedly makes everything he's done, including all the Transformers movies, okay, because it balances them out. It is as good as Transformers is bad; that's how good it is. Think of all the things we don't get to see often on television: intelligent, complex political maneuvering, well-written, complicated female antiheroes, queer characters, poly characters, lesbians who don't die horribly, anti-imperialism. I almost want to stop there because there are a whole bunch of reasons I like it that would give away critical plot points. Non-spoilery reason to watch it: Jack Rackham as a pirate Nick Cave—once you see it, you won't be able to un-see it. Season four airs soon and I'm a wee bit scared because the fates of most of my favourite characters are a foregone conclusion.

Class: I started watching this because, as a result of this being the Darkest Possible Timeline, there was no Doctor Who in 2016 other than the Christmas special. The trailers made it look like utter crap and no one was talking about it, but Peter Capaldi was in the first episode, so I gave it a whirl. It is 1000x better than the trailers would lead you to believe—hidden in the Monster of the Week premise is a surprisingly intelligent take on trauma, abuse, war, and genocide. The teacher character has to be one of my favourite fictional teachers and she is basically my Id that I shall carry around in my heart for particularly rough days at work. Also, joy of joys, there are no straight white guys in the main cast.

The Get Down: I'm not even sure why I started watching this. I'm not super into Baz Luhrmann but multiple people told me it was good, so I checked it out and then binge-watched it in like two days. It's a semi-fictional semi-musical about the birth of hip hop in New York, and the story and characters are so compelling that I ended up caring about disco. Disco. It's a story about how new art forms get made, and challenged, and co-opted. I take some issue with Luhrmann's editing choices; he needs a lighter hand, since the acting, music, and writing all really speak for themselves, but overall amazing.

Better Call Saul: The second season aired, and I'm pretty sure that it's ultimately going to be better than Breaking Bad. It's a smaller, quieter story, and again with a forgone conclusion, taking the comedic side character from Breaking Bad and giving him a backstory and inner life that is as wrenchingly tragic as it is darkly comedic.

Ash Vs. Evil Dead: I'm really shocked that like two people I know watch this. Didn't we all love Evil Dead? It's like that, only a little more heartwarming. Ash Williams is overweight, aging, and has done nothing meaningful with his life—except saving the world. Which he has done a lot. The second season sees much, much more Lucy Lawless, and also one of the grossest and funniest scenes I've ever witnessed on telly, which I watched with my hands over my eyes.

Black Mirror: I was into this show before it was cool. Thanks to #piggate, Netflix realized that Charlie Brooker was right about everything and revived the show for a third season. Aren't you glad David Cameron fucked a pig so that you could get quality TV? The best episode, of course, is San Junipero, which manages to do what Black Mirror does best—examine the societal impact of technology—while also making me cry like a wee girl.

Westworld: Yeah, everyone watched it. I also watched it. It was wonderful and gripping and upsetting and I can't believe we have to wait two years for another season, WTF?

The Magicians, Preacher, and Luke Cage: I can probably go on and on about why I loved these shows...or you can just read my reviews of each episode at [livejournal.com profile] terror_scifi.

What am I leaving out? What did you love this year?

Eeeee

Nov. 25th, 2016 11:24 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (manic pixie nightmare girl)
I just returned from seeing Tanya Tagaq live. She is so brilliant. Holy shit, is she brilliant. I can't think of anyone right now who is making more innovative music, or anyone who sounds anything like her.

It was at Trinity St. Paul's, and if you've been there, you'll know it's not a very big place and it has quite excellent acoustics, all the better to showcase her sound. She is this tiny, almost unbearably cute person with a vocal range that seems to belong to multiple larger people. And she's just so intense. Her sound is sculptural; unlike the first time I saw her, I was close enough to see that her dancing isn't just dancing to the music but manipulating the air around her to change the quality of the sound. Which makes sense, as her education was in art, not music.

Here's "Centre (feat. Shad)":


And here's the title track from her new album, "Retribution":



At the beginning of the show, she announced that she's moved to Toronto. I'm totally squeeing although let's be honest, I would dissolve into fangirl gibberish if ever I encountered her on the street. But hopefully this means she'll play here more now.

Anyway. Eeee!
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (bones by arianadii)
Nearly immediately after I learned of Leonard Cohen's death—while it was an inevitability for which I'd been steeling myself for months—I was whisked off to a weekend-long union thing, and haven't been able to so much as crack open my laptop in the past 72 hours or so. I've had access to Facebook and such, but I've been in passive reception mode, squinting at news, and poems, and song lyrics, and links to videos through the tiny screen of my cell phone in between sitting still and watching PowerPoint after PowerPoint. I was, to be fair, surrounded by a good number of people also mourning Leonard Cohen, but unlike the deaths of most famous people, this is an intensely personal grief that needs to be written, not spoken. Tributes to Leonard Cohen are really best written with a cigarette dangling out of one's mouth in the Chelsea Hotel while a kohl-eyed girl drowsily calls your name from the unmade bed, and anyway, I don't even smoke.

Which is to say that I haven't been in an environment that's been particularly conducive to collecting all of my thoughts, let alone writing them down.

When an artist dies at 82, having accrued international fame and reknown, amassed a body of work near-universally acknowledged as genius, it's a cause for celebration rather than mourning, but fuck it, I'm sad. Leonard Cohen is one of my earliest musical memories— maybe my earliest one. Unlike so many kids, I didn't rebel against the music my parents listened to, because it was "Suzanne" and "So Long Marianne" and "That's No Way To Say Goodbye" and "Chelsea Hotel" and "Famous Blue Raincoat" that my mother played, on the tape deck, to the point where we had to routinely rewind the exhausted plastic with a pen. It was his songs that I painstakingly tried to pluck out on piano or strum on guitar, his poems and novels in tattered books that I brought into my English classes, and later, when I was a teenager, his songs that inspired the rest of the music I'd grow to love.

There's a transcendence to Cohen's poetry, and that's why so much of the world is grieving just like me. He tapped into something dark and primal and sultry and seductive, these bleak and rich songs of sex and death and God and longing. But there's also an intense specificity. It's the words and music of a particular milieu, the cultural fabric of 60s and 70s Jewish Montreal that is in my DNA, even though I wasn't born yet, or born there. It's not just that Cohen was brilliant, but he was ours, by far the greatest poet and songwriter to come out of this country, from the same strange, haunted corner of it as my own family.

The world is hell right now, and threatening to descend into an even deeper, unimaginable hell, and there are so many things to mourn. But thank you, Mr. Cohen. I'll have your music to help me survive it.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
This is a somewhat belated post, but not really, because it's about history. Awhile back—centuries in internet time, meaning a few weeks ago—I came upon one of the many articles on the gig economy/sharing economy/on-demand employment on BoingBoing. It's a link to a small study profiling people who pick up casual jobs here and there through the internet without steady wages or benefits.

The comments were what I found most interesting. Despite BB skewing white, male, and techie, most commenters were sympathetic. This was horrible, they realized, because hardly any of them were working casual jobs by choice. Most people would prefer steady jobs with predictable hours and benefits. But the technology had outpaced the socio-economic structures we put in place to deal with them. Cue throwing up of hands—capitalists, you win this round.

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What got me, though, is that nearly everyone was focused on the technology—as if the technology somehow sprang into being spontaneously without human invention or ideology, as if we were merely automatons ourselves, conforming to the technology's wishes. As if, without technology, this situation could never have occurred, and in fact is historically unprecedented.

Which brings me to the concert I went to last week: Billy Bragg and Joe Henry's Shine a Light tour. If you haven't heard about it, they did an album about train songs. It's quite good. I suspect I'll prefer the live show, though, because the songs were interspersed with Billy and Joe talking about the context of all the songs, where they come from, why they chose them, where on their train travels they were when they recorded them. Towards the end, Billy talked about the romanticization of the historical/mythic hobo character, and related him to the presently reviled figure of the refugee. Old railroad songs still resonate because it's still the same story. The skin colour and circumstances may have changed, but the social attitudes and struggle have not.

(As you might imagine, I had a really excellent night, though Billy Bragg's solo set remained the highlight.)

Whenever I read people throwing up their hands, helpless, in the face of the Uberization of labour, I cringe. Because it's not like this hasn't happened before. Read your Marx, people! lIt's not like this isn't capital's ideal, natural state; the stable economy and high living conditions is largely a mid-20th century aberration.

Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 5.46.55 PM Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 5.47.59 PM
The gig economy, circa 1930. Source/more pictures.

Anyway, two things tend to reverse a trend like this, and neither are whining about it on the internet. One is a really big war, preferably one that kills off a large segment of the working population, but mainly because that stimulates the economy if you do it right. We seem to be headed down that road, so hey, maybe things will improve. The other, far better way to do it, is unionization. That's right, back in the day people didn't just stand for having no job security, steady wages, or benefits—they actually got their shit together and collectively fought.

Maybe that time capsule unearthed in Haymarket will hold some clues as to how we can remember our history, and thus, improve our lot.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (luke cage)
• I'm going to be reviewing Luke Cage over at [livejournal.com profile] terror_scifi. I just posted the first review, and I'll try to keep it to a weekly schedule if school permits. Incidentally I'm only two and a half episodes in and trying to avoid spoilers, so if you binge-watched it this weekend, try to keep schtum, okay?

• It's been an epic time of concerts. There are more concerts than I can reasonably attend given that I have this annoying need to work for money and such, but I am still managing to hit a lot of concerts. Legendary Pink Dots last Tuesday, the Levellers on Friday, Billy Bragg next Tuesday, and Stiff Little Fingers, Tanya Tagaq, Peter Hook, and Dido and Aeneas all in the near future.

I can't stress enough how completely brilliant the Levellers were. I've never seen them live before, and they were just incredible. I ended up right at the front and danced for like two hours straight.

• Went to the big $15 and Fairness demo on Saturday. It was worth attending.

• I think the pedometer on my phone is fucked. It's seriously undercounting my steps compared to what I'm used to, except for at the Levellers show, where it thought I somehow walked 7000 steps during the time I was inside the Opera House. I checked all the things that it could possibly be and they were all functioning normally, which lead me to the conclusion that Apple wants me to buy a new phone but since I don't want to do that, Apple's going to end up with me buying a Fitbit instead.

• L'shana tova to everyone celebrating it.
sabotabby: (magicians)
My latest review, in which there is a threesome and a magic missile spell, is up! Gosh, I'm almost at the end of this thing: two more episodes to go.

In IRL news, talk about food/diet )

Tonight I'm hopefully going to see the Cure for free. They're playing not far from my house, at an expensive music festival that I have no desire to see, but apparently if you're outside the park, you can hear everything just fine. If we can't, or we get chase off, there's also the option of going for a pint. So, regardless, a win.

!!!!!

May. 26th, 2016 07:54 am
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (yay)
I saw Tanya Tagaq perform with the Kronos Quartet last night. Apparently the whole show was livestreamed somewhere, but I can't find it and I have to work a 12-hour day today so I can't go looking, but take my word for it that it was incredible. One of the best performances I've ever seen, and I go to a lot of shows.

Here's a link to their collaboration, "Nunavut," which they did last night.

I've been slightly obsessed with Tagaq for a while—I truly believe she's the most innovative musician in the country right now—but it's one thing to hear recordings, where my brain kind of assumes that there is some production going on, effects, maybe backup singers, and another thing to see her live wherein it is very obvious that all of those sounds are coming just from her.

Just mindblowing.

(Also, can someone tell me why I never hear her played at goth nights? She is more industrial than industrial.)
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (doomsday)
Want some pictures (mostly blurry) from the past few days? Of course not. But you're gonna see some anyway!

Friday: Went to see Primal Scream. I was vaguely aware of them in the 90s but only really started listening to them recently. They were pretty great and we ran into the singer at the pub afterwards. I have no pictures as we were really far back, and then we were too close to take pictures in a way that wasn't awkward.

Saturday: Gardened with my mum in the afternoon. Planted ALL THE THINGS. Here is my garden at the moment:

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Currently in the ground: cherry and grape tomatoes, snap peas, snow peas, pickling cucumbers, kale, collard greens, and ghost peppers. It got scorchingly hot over the weekend and I have no idea what will live and what will die, but I'm pretty psyched. I also got a rose bush, which is already starting to bloom.

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Admittedly, I am most psyched about the potential for ghost peppers. Gotta love planting instructions that come with a warning to "use extreme caution."

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And here is my apple tree in full bloom!

Saturday night, well, you already know what happened. But here is a picture of most of the Kitten Bloc:

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Anyway, the show was really phenomenal. It was exactly as balls-out insane as I would expect a Laibach show to be (I've been into them for ages but have never seen them live). As much performance art as music, with amazing visuals/propaganda videos. I am utterly in love with the new album.

And yes, apparently Milan Fras noticed and kinda did a double-take.

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At the pub afterwards, L. showed everyone a trick to light up your beer with your cellphone:

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Sunday: If Kitten Bloc was not enough to convince you that I am a massive nerd, a bunch of us drove down to Buffalo to go see the Welcome to Night Vale live show.

I don't want to say too much about it because apparently it is a thing to not say much about the live shows until the tours finish, but ZOMG SQUEE. Like the other live shows, much more on the hilarious side than the grinding existential horror that's been the podcast lately, and so worth a 2+ hour road trip to another country to see.

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Here, have a very blurry cell photo of Cecil making a claw hand, for reasons.

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The cast at the end, taking adorable to a whole new level.

Now I'm home and my body hates me but yay, weekend of awesome.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (AK Hello Kitty/springheel_jack)
Thanks for all the birthday wishes. You guys know how to make a girl feel loved.

I bet you're curious as to what I did on my birthday. In fact, I bet you're wondering if I went to see Laibach and got a gang of friends together to reenact Rathergood's 2009 classic viral animation, "Fear the Kittens," dressed in cat masks and Soviet hats.

I bet you're wondering if I have video evidence that I did this.

sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (squee!)
Okay, I basically have the best birthday plans ever. (Note: My birthday is in May.)

Saturday, May 16th: Laibach are playing! I have never seen Laibach, and they are going to be down the street from me. I am contemplating going dressed as a communist kitten; at any rate, friends are encouraging me to do so. And possibly attend in a COMMUNIST KITTEN BLOC.

Sunday, May 17th: Driving down in a carload of wonderful people to see the live Welcome to Night Vale show in Buffalo, NY. I got hugely into it this year as a result of the podcasts being roughly the length of my walk to work—and also because it's amazeballs and people have been telling me to listen to it for years—and was kicking myself for missing the Toronto show when they toured in August, only a month or so before I finally got around to listening to it. But Buffalo is close. Ish. And it's a long weekend, so I don't need to be at work the next morning. Hence I get to see this thing, in what looks like a pretty theatre in a city where I'm told there is an excellent vegetarian restaurant.

Posting here because I think I have already irritated most of FB with my floating-cat-herding and communist-cat-herding organizing of contingents. But if you would care to join either the floating cats or the communist cats, tickets to both are apparently general admission (so I didn't have to do any herding after all—sorry, FB) and the more the merrier.

Basically, I am a very happy Miss Tabby right now, despite having the third most exciting thing that happened today being the biannual Sacrifice of the Trees, a.k.a., photocopying course outlines that no one will read.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (creepy hell-cat thing)
Feels like I never post publicly anymore. I've been busy, though.

Went to see Falstaff at the COC with [livejournal.com profile] chickenfeet2003. Really amazing production; Findley was just spectacular and everyone else managed to keep up, which is no mean feat given how huge his voice is. Carsen set the piece in 1950s England, which made for some brilliant sets and costumes. And social commentary. I'd never heard the opera before—it's odd as far as Verdi goes, musically and thematically quite dark for a comedy. [livejournal.com profile] chickenfeet2003 saw it twice and posted more knowledgable reviews here and here.

Apropos of nothing, we were up in the 5th ring, the domain of the younger, hipper crowd, and I saw a teenage girl who looked like me. Not how I looked when I was a teenager, but like a literal younger version of me, minus the glasses. I was tempted to deliver some cryptic warning to her but I couldn't think of one.

I haven't been to burlesque in ages, but when PeepshowTO announced that their last show ever (sob) was called "Garters of the Galaxy" and Marvel-themed, I pretty much had to, so [livejournal.com profile] the_axel and I saw that last night. It was at the Great Hall, upstairs from the Bristol (which currently ranks as my favourite drinking establishment in Toronto, as it has a TARDIS, a Dalek ATM, and the best curry I know of, including a curry that is so hot I'm afraid to try it).

So I'd never been to the Great Hall before! I'm sure it's expensive but I'm still shocked that I've never been and that it's not more widely used for awesome events. It's this Art Deco concert hall that's absolutely gorgeous. It needs better beer, though Rickards Dark is surprisingly not shit. There's a Game Of Thrones burlesque there soon, which I clearly need to attend. (Called, and I love this, "For the Night Is Dark and Full of Tassels.")

Anyway, it was awesome burlesque, and having spent a lot of time in Seattle, where there is some mindblowing burlesque every day it seems, I was still impressed by both the quality of the performances and the hilarity of the costumes. There was a contortionist turning himself inside out, Captain America doing naughty things to an American flag, Quill and Gamora (the former starting out in a leather coat and gas mask), a lulzy Wolverine, and, yes, Groot burlesque. Involving a flower pot and Jackson 5. I have now seen Groot burlesque; my life is complete.

My upcoming schedule looks no less exciting: Eluveitie with [livejournal.com profile] misslynx on Thursday, then Madame Butterfly and Alcina, then Nivek Ogre DJing on Halloween (!!!), and Skinny Puppy, VNV Nation, and Haujobb (same show) in November. October/November is the worst time for me at work, but also the best time for music and going out and having a life, so I guess I'll sleep in December.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (how much hello kitty weighs)


I went to see VNV Nation last night. I danced for two hours straight like it was 1999, then slept for 11 hours straight because it's not 1999 and I'm ancient.

But physically, I feel really good, and this despite a fair bit of drinking! Apparently the correct amount of sleep for me to not feel like a zombie is 11 hours, because I am secretly a sloth.

Anyway, my love for VNV Nation is vast and only slightly embarrassing. Like, they are the happiest of all industrial music, I guess except for all of the songs about mental illness and death, which I obviously relate to a great deal. But with all I've been going through, there is something about listening to their particular brand of happy that works for my depression/anxiety issues, like it transplants me back to being 16 and sneaking into goth clubs and having a whole lifetime in front of me.

Also, if you have not had the pleasure of checking out the Wren, I highly recommend it. It's hipster as fuck—you can walk in and just feel the gentrification—but they have Exciting Beer and the food. I am just putting it out there that they have a) red mole with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and b) grilled tofu polenta, and probably things that meat-eaters like as well, though the carnivores seemed slightly envious of what the vegetarians were eating. They actually have harvest tables, like in that episode of Portlandia—this is a thing in Toronto now—but it's worth it on account of how good the place is.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (day of the dead)
 photo 1511598_10152016273016720_1295264103_n_zps80140377.jpg
The above image is the only rational explanation for the otherwise premature death of Dave Brockie, a.k.a. Oderus Urungus. I'm sure another cause of death will emerge, but this is the correct one. And also sums up why the world is a lesser place in his absence.

Here are some videos to remember him by.


Back when it was metal causing juvenile delinquency and not gangsta rap and Tipper Gore wanted to put warning labels on everything fun, here is GWAR on Joan Rivers talking about censorship.


GWAR covering "Carry On My Wayward Son."


Oderus reading "Goodnight Moon." NSFW.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] jvmatucha has an awesome GWAR story plus more videos, so hop on over there too.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (iCom by starrypop)
Have I mentioned lately that I love Skinny Puppy?

I mean, they are one of my favourite bands and have been since I was a wee thing of 13. Very psyched to see them play here on the 18th.

But it's always nice when one's musical tastes and political sensibilities dovetail. You might have heard that after the U.S. government used Puppy's music for torture at Guantanamo Bay, the band sent the Department of Defence an invoice of $666,000 for the use of its music.

Here's an interview with cEvin Key about it.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (gother than fuck)
[livejournal.com profile] jvmatucha asked a tough one:

In regards to Assimilate, the book you've read and that I'm very much enjoying, can you give me examples of your criticism of Reed's work and of industrial culture in regards to unadmitted mainstream western influences, gender, and ethnicity?

(I'm already working on my own rant! One theme: Industrial, the whitest music on the planet!)

Or just give me a rant about sexism in counter culture music!


So, first up, if I hadn't also read a book about Communist mysticism in Central Europe, S. Alexander Reed's Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music would rate as the best non-fiction book I've read this year, and, indeed, in quite awhile. It's fantastic and I highly recommend it.

Secondly, no post about sexism and racism in industrial music would be complete without a link to Ad•ver•sary's We Demand Better, which is both a great introduction to and critique of some of the issues we're dealing with here. He's also interviewed in the book, by the way.

Thirdly, a disclaimer of my own: I'm white, I'm female, and I haven't personally encountered any more overt sexism or racism within the industrial music community than I have in any other circle I travel in, and possibly a bit less, though that's largely a factor of preferring music identified with radical left politics. (Though not exclusively. I like a lot of really problematic, vaguely right-wing music as well. But there are some bands where I wouldn't go to their shows because they/their audience scare me.) I have encountered individual people who have shitty gender/race/class analyses and are also into industrial, but correlation isn't causation, etc.

Much rambling. You've been warned. )

So that's it for Blogcember, unless anyone would like to suggest more topics.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (gunfight at carnegie hall)
This one was suggested by [livejournal.com profile] ironed_orchid and seconded by [livejournal.com profile] princealberic, and, I have to admit, is the one thus far I’m most excited to write about. I kind of feel like I have blogged about Phil Ochs before, but maybe not enough. Also I have new readers.

So, I don’t always agree with Christopher Hitchens (in fact I devoted a fairly large number of posts to trash-talking him over the years), but I love what he has to say in this interview, which is part of the excellent Phil Ochs documentary “There But For Fortune.” (Which you should all totally watch, by the way.)

“There was a difference between people who liked Bob Dylan—anyone could like Bob Dylan, everybody did—and those who even knew about Phil Ochs.”


That’s the most hipster diss ever, but it’s true. Both Dylan and Ochs were played extensively in my house when I was growing up, but for some reason it was Dylan who remained in the cultural zeitgeist, whereas I went years without remembering who Ochs was until I was collecting songs for a mixed CD about the Spanish Civil War and found, appropriately enough, the chilling and gorgeous Spanish Civil War Song. While I knew that the singers on all of the other songs were dead, this one sounded fairly modern, so I figured I’d contact him to see if it was okay to use it on the CD. To the internet! Wherein I discovered that, no, he was also dead, at a tragically young age no less, and also he was the same guy who wrote that Draft Dodger Rag song that my mum used to play when I was a kid.

Hence, at age 20 or so, I re-discovered the awesomeness that is Phil Ochs.

This is long. )

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