Friday, August 20, 2010

This Love's a Prison

So, guys, about a month ago I posted a review of my buddy Dave Vertesi's debut album, Cardiography, which, at that point, didn't have a release date.


I am very excited about this, for many reasons: 1) I get to see Dave soon! Tour! 2) I can buy a copy and fondle the cover art, which rumour has it has some extreme sexiness on it (that is, if he went with the design he was looking at back in the spring.) 3) YOU can buy his album, too! Support your Canadian artists! Especially the nice ones! and, my last big reason: 4) I like seeing awesome people succeed, and signing with File Under: Music is a killer step for him.

So, what you need to know is this:

On October 26th, David's album will be officially released- OFFICIALLY. Which means that on October 26th I fully expect at least 3 of you to buy it.

Also: Check out his "Website" which has some of his songs on it. Or follow him on the TwitterMagic, which he'll update with gems like this:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Really Need to Stop Using Similes.

So, I have this horrible habit of having really ill-conceived conversations late at night. You know the kind. The ones you lay awake thinking about, the ones you can't get past. Tonight we talked about love, and here's what I think I've decided:

Falling in love is like falling down a flight of stairs.
99 times out of 100 you're going to get your ass kicked. The whole way down you're so caught up in it you think maybe, just maybe, I'll come out of this alright. That is, if you really think anything at all. All you know is you're falling.
And then there you are, flat on your ass at the bottom, nursing a bruise or two, wondering what the hell happened, where you went wrong, which step exactly was the one you missed.
But then there's that one time, if you ever get there, where you somehow nail that perfect landing.
And everything feels like it's gunna be okay.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Swear, Bubbly Was There

Okay, so, it's been two days since I saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and I'm still riding my high a little bit.

I remember where I was the first time I read Scotty P: My cousin's couch in her Toronto apartment. I'm also that person who went to a midnight release for the final instalment of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series. I may have come home and read it before falling asleep, too.

Basically, I love Scott Pilgrim. And when I found out Michael Cera was going to be playing him in the movie, I died a little on the inside.

I really enjoyed Cera as George-Michael Bluth on Arrested Development. And that one episode of Veronica Mars he was in? Totally awesome. But he's one of those hollywood actors who has been pigeon-holed into one set role. Paulie Bleeker, Nick, Nick Twist/ Francois Dillinger all sort of left me with a severe case of the blah's. We get it, Michael. You're an awkward, geeky kid who somehow manages to get the girl. And right now it is super cool to like you.

You're basically the Hollywood Indie Kid. You're there to make people like me, and the kind of guys I like (awkward, nerdy, etc) seem totally real and accessible. You're supposed to make me feel like I belong.

But, hey, guess what, as of late you haven't really had to act much. Or if you have, you basically took your Arrested Development training and just applied it to each of your other roles. Which, hey, can't blame you. You're getting paid millions to be these characters, and you're good at it. Why not, right? Only problem being that I really don't see a point in seeing your movies anymore. Because, well, I've seen Juno. I pretty much know how it ends.

Anyway, getting back to SP. When you were cast as Scotty, I was nervous. Hell, I was nervous right up until I sat down in the theatre on Sunday, even though I was assured that you did a pretty stellar job in the role.

And y'know what? You killed it. (Seriously guys, Michael Cera did a great job)

Somehow he managed to combine every fun little aspect of Scott P that I love, while making me forget that he was Michael Cera about 90% of the time. I have to admit, him singing his Ramona song was a little bit too Cera-ish for my taste, but overall it was well portrayed. I mean, Scott is a character who is obliviously self confident. Or crazy. Maybe both. Either way, he's not awkward. He merely unabashedly creates awkwardness for everyone around him. My kinda guy, that Pilgrim.

Overall assessment of the film, though? Easily one of the best movies I've seen in a while. Incredibly entertaining, captured the style pretty much perfectly, and kept the vast majority of the timeline intact. I kind of loved it. Like a lot. And may have required my friend Angi to remind me to breathe on more than one occasion.

Also, this douche might have been there, too.

"I am a wee man!"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

On Leaving It All Behind

I'm not alone in saying that the last year has been a hard one. We've all had our things.

People have left, people have been lost. Relationships have been strained, and at the end of the day, I've felt alone in a lot of it. So it goes, eh?

But here's where I need to make a change. I need to leave it behind. I need to do something, anything, to deal with what I haven't been dealing with.

I remember quite distinctly finding out when both of my grandparents had passed away. Each time I was somewhere different, on my way to some event, and both times I followed with an utter breakdown. I can logic my way through loss as much as I want, but at the end of the day, no matter how much sense it makes on paper, I still can't wrap my head around it, not really.

I'm still not sure I believe that there are people I will never see again, never hear laugh again, never make smile again.

I'm still not sure.

So, as both a favour to my family, and perhaps even moreso - a favour to myself- I'm going to be going through and cataloguing all of my grandparent's old photographs. There are about a dozen photo albums crammed full of memories, of things I'd forgotten, things that happened before me, things that I never knew happened at all.

I know it's not going to be the most fun experience, but I'm just hoping that with it will come some sense of closure, understanding, or... I don't know. Something. Anything?

I'm still not sure.

"I know people say life goes on... and it does. But no one tells you that's not a good thing."

Monday, August 9, 2010

In Which I Celebrate A Birthday, and My Own Poor Life Choices

So, about a year and a half ago, roughly 1 month after seeing the first movie installment of Stephenie Meyer's ill-advised Twilight "Saga" I decided it would be a totally awesome idea to read Twilight. Because, hey, the books can't possibly be as bad as the movie, right?

Oh god. Why.

Let's keep in mind that, at the time, I was taking an intensive block-week course in school, which meant that for 5 days I spent 9 hours sitting in a classroom, condensing a semester worth of work into, well, a week. And in that week, outside of my school hours, which, okay, I probably should have spent on doing readings or preparing for my tests, I decided to read Twilight. And then New Moon. And then Eclipse. And then Breaking Dawn. And the moral of this story is that I wasted a whole lot of hours that week reading an utterly horrible series of books, and swore to myself that they would sit on one of my bookshelves as a testament to my shame over having wasted such precious time and money on something so unworthy of even a few moments fo my time or pennies of my money. Giftcards poorly spent.

And then I was talking to this guy, we'll call him @SoupyToasterson. And he mentioned that, although he has a sick love for literature designed for teen girls (one of his faves is Alice, I Think, which I have to admit is totally ballin') he had never moved past the first few pages of Twilight, because it just hurt so much.

So, he tells me he's never read it. And so I decide, well, he needs to know what it's about. He Needs To Understand. If he hasn't seen the movies or read the books, he doesn't understand. He cannot comprehend just how horrible it is.

So I made a really bad life choice and re-read Twilight. I'd intended to follow it up by rereading the rest of the series, but given that it took me a month to finish one book, I couldn't force myself to read the rest. At least not yet. Because it hurt me, and I could actually feel my brain melting out of my ears.

But I mean, that's a total waste, right? Just reading it? I needed to do something, I needed to share my information.

Enter TwiShite.

Basically, I took the time after reading each chapter of Twilight to sum it up in a neat little package. Between 8 and 45(ish) words per chapter, to be exact. My mission was to show that you could sum it up, chapter by chapter, hitting all the major plot points, and come out of a 24 chapter book using under 1000 words. And, for the record, it came in at 753.  For those that are less mathematically inclined, that's a little over 30 words per chapter.

And then I divided it up, printed and folded and bound it, and now I have this perfect little book that basically ate my soul to make. Fun times.

Anyway, this book was included as the second part in @SoupyToasterson's birthday gifteroo, and is also doubling as a gift for everyone I know who has ever read Twilight, and everyone I know who has seen the movies and wants to get a refund for their time.

(Please keep in mind that I own none of the characters, "plot points," or, well, anything to do with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Gladly.)

My personal favourite excerpts include:

Chapter 1:
Bella Swan moves to the miserable town of Forks, Washington, to live with her dad, Charlie. She meets Edward Cullen, who can't stand to be in the same room as her. Already, two boys, Mike and Eric, are crushing on her. She cries herself to sleep.

Chapter 10:
Edward gives Bella a ride to school. Bella and Edward decide they are dating, even though they don't even hold hands. They sit together at lunch and are in love. They decide not to go to Seattle.

Chapter 11:
Edward asks Bella a lot of pointless questions.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

In Which I Celebrate a Birthday or Some Such Thing

So, I have this friend. Let's call him @SoupyToasterson. He is my not-so-local comic book guy, the guru of graphic novels, the dude who can convince me to read pretty much anything.

It's true. Thankfully, Guy has good taste, so I'm very rarely disappointed.

This is the guy who is celebrating his birthaversary with a pretty splendid Boy-Girl party RIGHT NOW, which is where I am. And ideally by the time he gets even close to seeing this post or the tweet that goes along with it (I'll figure out how I'll work THAT magic later), he will have opened his totally radtacular and quasi mystical gift. Which you all (Hi, Mom!) can see RIGHT NOW. Thanks to the magic of webcams and internets and this whole technology thing.


So, I guess I should explain this a bit. A while ago, we had this conversation on the twittermachine. If you really wanted to track it down you could, but basically we have weird ideas and decided that an illustrated children's book about how unicorns are just stealthy horses should be made. Except unicorns are so stealthy they can't even be captured on a page. Hence why the Horse is there, and the unicorn is outlined with little stars. (We are awesome)

Basically, this is first "issue" as it were (the backstory to the issues to come, really) and it covers the story of a deep, resentful rivalry between, you guessed it, horses and unicorns. Or, one particular horse, and one particular unicorn, presumably fighting on behalf of all horses and unicorns. But you get the drift.

Anyway, Because it is his totally awesome birthday gift, and I wouldn't want to cheapen it by posting the entire thing online, you can take a look at the fancy cover (above) and maybe one day when I have my lapper at hand, I'll post another page. As a TEASER. But really, I'm probably never going to make another copy of this, and @SoupyToasterson will have a one of a kind comic book (which doubles as a COLOURING book and comes with crayons!) to call his own. Which involves gems such as a horse dressed up in spandex. And my very poor attempt to draw said spandex-clad horse.

Anyway, if you want to check out some party shenanigans, check out the soups and I on that tweetmadness, because I'm guessing that between us and the other party guests, we will be tweetin away about the ridiculous things that happen.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Songs for the Lovelorn

I should start by admitting my overwhelming bias in this matter – I am a bit in love with David Vertesi. Not so much in the “I want to have his babies” or “I sit outside his window and watch him sleep”  kind of way, but more in the “head-over-heels with his voice and heart and talent” kind of way.

I first met David in 2007 (I think) when his band Hey Ocean! performed a free show at a local bar. Since then, I’ve been to see him more than 20 times- ranging from his role as bassist for HeyO! and TopLess Gay Love Tekno Party, as well as two solo performances opening up for Hannah Georgas. Suffice to say, when Dave told me he was getting ready to record his album earlier this year, I was stoked. And as the months have passed, my anticipation (and, let’s be honest, desperation) to hear his first solo project has exploded. So, when he sent me a digital copy of the yet-to-be-released album a month ago, I lost my mind a bit.

Let’s just say that I’ve been amazed by this kid’s voice since I first heard him sing his as-yet-still-a-demo song “It Always Goes.” There is nothing like a sweet set of bass vox to make me go all wibbly.

What I’m getting at is that I’m far from unbiased. At the same time, I’m going to try to differentiate between Dave the Dude and Dave the Musician. Here I go.

Vertesi’s debut solo album takes a leap away from the party tunes of TopLess Gay Love and the carefree pop of Hey Ocean!; Focused on more emotional ground, Cardiography (2010) details (and I’m guessing on the timeline here) a year of Vertesi’s life- namely, falling in and out of love.

Navigating the listener through the eyes of a hopeful romantic to those of a lovelorn man, Cardiography is, in some ways, a typical debut album. Raw and passionate, Vertesi’s creation may lack the subject matter diversity of the average sophomore release, however he more than makes up for it with a raw honesty that confirms his dedication to his work.

Although not likely to resonate with everyone, Cardiography most certainly has an audience. Reflecting on love and heartbreak, he leaves the album with a surprisingly positive outlook – an “it’s better to have loved and lost, even though the loss feels like your heart’s been carved out with a dull, rusty spoon” feeling.  Lovelorn and hopeful, the album highlights Vertesi’s talent – as a writer, vocalist, and versatile musician - having performed all but the horns and strings himself.

All-in-all, Cardiography does exactly what any good debut release should- showcases the raw talent of an artist while providing a foundation upon which to grow and develop as a musician. Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, Cardiography is evidence that David Vertesi is a man to be watched; great things are surely to come.

Album: Cardiography
Artist: David Vertesi
Release Date: Not Soon Enough (TBA)
Overall Rating: Top 25 Most Played
Track Listing: (1) Mountainside; (2) Gentlemen Say; (3) All Night, All Night, All Night; (4) Learn to Run; (5) Cardiography; (6) Broadcasting; (7) Caroline! A Ghost!; (8) Rossland; (9) Soft Skin; (10) Hearts Don’t Break, People Do; (11) Epilogue
Personal Fave: Soft Skin
Top Lyrics: And if I am a ship lost at sea, then you are a beacon; burning a hole in the night, a path to safety.