Wednesday, 24 August 2016

S. Ayton@Holy Oak Aug 26


> S. Ayton is possessed of a powerful voice, hearty and achingly emotional as Jolie Holland's, but with more edge and dramatic flair. As though with an old stage-weary surety, Aytons's fingers and tongue spin out songs and stories, draw, tell, compare, and bear their own brilliant angle, personal fragment of the life we all live together. I met Ayton in Sault Ste Marie June 21st, when they hosted the GSC open mic, followed by a solo set. So impressed. It was a bad day for domestic strife and suffering, but we did our best to host our guests and I think we all had the chance to connect.
>
> Tonight was redemptive, and I fly across downtown like some loon chaser, I sing the jazz-hall version of PHX walking two blocks home after work and one beer, I wonder when my memory ceases to remind me, whether the world really will resemble the cold faces of nations' tales and fairy killers, whether it is senility and not schizophrenia we are observing in the public at large.
>
> WWW is 666, reads white chalk on a bank wall downtown.
>
> Based in Montreal, Ayton's music, handmade tapes and zines, through my lenses and senses, my cobbled (hi)story and memes, seem to suggest an irrepressible urge to express many things, but to impress most of all a feeling or sense with which Ayton has had to live through adulthood, one which doubtless separates and negates so many connections and social supports that we can all take for granted. I don't know if this gets across to those not battling with depression and anxiety, but it bears essaying. Isolation and paranoia are common tropes of literature, yet hardly ways in which one can be expected to function for weeks or months at a time. Do you know what depth of confusion between thought and reality can come of a simple dopamine imbalance, making it impossible to feel joy without also feeling a sense of impending doom. Too soon? Let's try it a few other ways. >
>
> I got the best possible review this am of my pseudo-realist narrative blog, from recent business partner who seemed convinced that the posts have been an accurate record of my life these days. Such flattery. But I could only Wish to write on such a pure level. I'm sure Nora knows how it's done. These are (only) stories, I can "only" demonstrate forms and metaphors to describe the shapes an (his/her)story of plurality will take, to suggest the sore spots and the aura of transformation that we might expect whilst chasing truth and understanding in our collections of myths and memories.
>
> Ayton says: So I guess this zine is about trying to be honest and trying to get it out...trying to navigate my way through it towards wanting to exist again and learning to have feelings...
>
> > Tonight was my third shift, third date with a couple of hard-working, food loving dinerntrepeneurs, and the staff beer tasted good. One Peter is in a place where he can be challenged by the work rather than the workplace. The room is clearly a time machine, oldies and booths, the clientele is varied and feedback is good. I linger a little long at Queen and Yonge and the locals hustle snokes, convo, d'yekno wherikan getta liddle piff? Yo, DT is dry, man! Quiet night, though, lovely, really. But how can I explain? I tell the kids to zip up their backpacks. Don't lose nothin'. I have been singing all night, there are so many songs I know and enjoy singing. I like to  imagine Ayton knows how I feel. Oh, I think Lex is coming out tonight! Golly, I've seen David Bowie in my dreams, and met Johnny De Courcey, but I ain't never seen a Warhol close up. What bone structure, dazzling eyes, deathly pallor and hush! Crush, feast yourselves upon the springs of youth, their strokes and looping shapes. Lilts, laments, the sound of suffering and pride. Human survival through diversity. In which case those who are cornered and denied, disconnected and discredited do gain the upper hand, to the extent that their stories are still told in the face of enormous pressures, despite the disorienting display of narrow norms and psychotic denial. Big talk, ubering back to Bathurst, trying to hear top 40 and I want my window up. It's coming, again. Scarf season. Put some time into something new and see how it feels.
> >
> > S. Ayton is playing at the Holy Oak this Friday, August 26th with Badlands, James Irwin and Apeyo. My tales of the Holy Oak include seeing the Sea Hags for the first time, and when I tried to match dirty rhymes with Uggy in the cypher.


Early show!!! 8-10pm
>
>

Glass Hand Aug 26@ the Silver Dollar

SAM

College from Bathurst to Spadina is soaked in memories, mine and yours. We worked here, we drank and played. Walked north from Kensington to discover Charlie's gallery. But that's Harbord. Let's start with the Bistro 422. It's last call and you realize you've internalised several pitchers of fishbowls of sangria, beer, G n T, double V and soda. What a bonus. Its morning and that guy's still on the couch, she's obsessed. Hooked? Way back in '07 or '08, catching my first Gusto Basketcase show at Sneaky Dee's, building a cargo-cult merch table out of found books and keyboards from the backlanes.

Now, at the Cloak and Dagger, I am networking with Art's youth, towards the rejection of binary, mono and patriarchal problems. White kids get served when they drop the n bomb. Why? Shock. Uber transport and canvas artists, poets, podcast potential and the unerring urgency of College life.
Next door is El Rancho, and the discoteca El Borinquen, where we worked with Isaac, Maggie, Jess.
There's three Alexes now, can you tell which Nicole I'm referring to? Back to Charlie's. Soundwave had a workout there I can tell you, no waffling any more. The Cloak and Dagger, until tonight, was only the memory of a terrible lapse of anger and aggression, too ridiculous to be taken as a sign. 

Then there's Rancho Relaxo, site of our second date, and of the last Retro Radio show some six or seven years back. South side highlight would be the Ratio space, where the emerging avant garde secures their position and offers spellbinding music. Which brings us to Spadina and the Silver Dollar, where I personally have played guitar till I bled, bent over backwards to sip like a stripper, and danced as a slave to the Papermakers. Swoon. The prodigious pathos of Anna Mernieks. The poise and power of Katie Plant. Good times. Let's make new friends, more memories. 

This Friday, GLASS HAND performs at 10:20, Burke standard Time, rocking the Silver Dollar in support of LITTLE KID's LP release, also featuring TEARJERKER and THE INANIMATES. Will I bounce the pogo? Will I drink until incapacitation? There are all manner of meetings and greetings to be made on College. 8$

Nic Lefebvre offers some background on his current project:




NIC

Glass hand officially formed in the winter of 2015. Ryan Patterson, Nathan Gara and David Jenkins had been getting together for some time before I joined the picture. They had a written a number of songs, some of which became Glass Hand tunes, when they asked me if I'd be interested in playing with them.
I had met Ryan and Nate many moons ago, 2008, when our bands toured together. Ryan and Nate were in an amazing Ottawa banded called Videotape with the always talented Adam Saikley. They had come to see my band in Toronto called Hunt Chant and asked if we'd (Mike O'Brien, Geordie Kingsbury and myself) like to do an Ontario tour with Videotape. At this time Mike and I had been playing as Hunt Chant for over a year and just moved to Montreal from London, Ontario. It was a pretty eventful time, musically, for everyone.

Years passed, bands came and died and I was bumming around Toronto playing the occasional solo loop set under the moniker birdsacrosswater when Ryan, Nate and Dave contacted me about playing with them. I was happy to play with real humans again and get away from the loop pedal. Initially I had no desire to sing in the band, after years of fronting birdsacrosswater, but the songs where there and I heard the melodies in my head so I stepped up to the plate.
Everything started to come together pretty organically after that. We began writing together as a band and by June of 2015 we had a few songs that we felt we should record. We recorded at South River Sounds with my friend Shawn Delnick and his studio partner Mez Dilauro.


After the EP was recorded we kind of got lost in the summer and drifted for a bit. It wasn't until the winter when we started playing regularly again, and it wasn't until months later that we finally released our EP. Once the EP was out we started getting show offers which definitely lit a fire under our asses . We were lucky enough to recruit Shawn Delnick to play synth for us live. At first it was for one show but he enjoyed playing with us and committed to playing with us live. We have a few shows under our belts, the most fulfilling shows of my musical career, and are excited to play many more.


See you at the show!



Sunday, 21 August 2016

Green Girl/Gordie


>
> My friend Mike liked to read on the line, couldn't honestly understand why if he was set up for service which hadn't yet started, it wasn't kosher for him to read a book in the kitchen of the brewery pub. Back then I had a 70s pioneer boomboxes that played at 97% speed. My music at work: Not enough bass to sound like hip hop to the kids from George Brown, the blackout dancers at yonge and st Clair, at Yonge and Bloor, or the kids for whom I read fortunes on the night bus, tribe  and the prince and the jazzy summertime helped me feel safer in downtown late night weekend transit. Downie's on the radio, holding nothing back. On TV, he winks and calls out mike in an interview. CBC describe his hats, his shoes, unravel the mystery, feed the phenomena. Intoxicated by your overbite. I'd be your intern. When they passed the mike, everyone found out he didn't know the words to the song. Scene, history. One day, a night, and 6000 people at a time. One last time. I called  50mission cap right off the top. Capacity and convalescence. Poetry and power politics. Wars for words to right the wrongs, pretzel shaped cats mewling in private codes, children with blonde hair, on the waterfront, shucking spadina, deeper into colonial zones, looking and listening for the old modes. Feeling cold in the collective waters, feeling naked on the beach. Five years ago, one boat and a hundred people. Now look. Stare. My blue hat and her hair. Fistfights, free mirrors. Waves echoing the voices all around in a whirling rush across the sand. Storytelling in the diner, the garage, the kitchen, the basement. A lot of walking wear, but the Hips in fine form. Fire and water. Sonnetry, klaxons and clarion-calls. What's her story? I don't know these songs. Back to the Greeks again. Captain's looking for a constitutional, and third time's the charm as far as free coffee. Let's do it again next Friday. Glass Hand is playing at the Silver Dollar on August 26th, with Hot Kid, tearjerker, and the inanimates. Back to the streets, post-hip:


> That's your Wes Anderson face?

> That's my sandwich face.

 Wtf am I writing about?

> There's a thing we're all going thru right now. There's a place that's comfortable and terrifying. Not Lorraine's. There's no place you should be less worried, waxes the sandwich philosopher beside me at the bar. I've got a solid half hour in the can with Jason Farrar. I've got both the Shabbat and the Fridays off now playa piano style. I've got a cut on my tongue and a bad case of you. I've got to get rolling on this Green Girl EP release promotion. It's moody and smart, or rather they are. Here's a short taste of the interview  we did on the topic of their upcoming musical offering.


> Sam: How did the band form?
>
> Bryn: Ben and I knew each other when we were teenagers.
>
> Ben: We played in a bad punk rock band
>
> Bryn: So I tracked him down, about 15 years after we had played together the first time, and he said yes! That’s how the band started . . .
>
> Bryn: Jan was a fan first!
>
> Jan: Yes, I was a fan... I ended up temporarily filling in for the drummer and then it just became permanent.
>
> Ben: Yes, our whole rhythm section spontaneously combusted.
>
> Sam: Tell me about the forthcoming EP.
>
> Bryn: It’s called Wilde.
>
> Jan: History is made!
>
> Ben: With an “e.”
>
> Bryn: With an “e.”
>
> Ben: And an “i.”
>
> Bryn: And an “i” also. There are two vowels... it feels like a really cool time for us to be recording and putting some songs together.
>
> Ben: We’re capturing some fresh energy with some of the songs.
>
> Bryn: Yeah, it’s this great moment where it’s like we are “a band” and yet everything is still really fresh and new.
>
> Ben: And we’re still unpracticed enough.
>
> Suzanne: Yeah, we’re trying to keep it raw and real and not too polished.
>
> Ben: I’m nodding.
>
> Bryn: Yes, we are all nodding enthusiastically.
>
> Suzanne: And it’s going to be awesome!
>
> Bryn: It is going to be awesome.
>
> Ben: I think Bryn should talk about how the songs connect to moments in her past, ‘cuz there’s a thematic element to what the recording represents.
>
> Bryn: Oh man...
> I guess it was a very dark time. I think it’s a lot of things... it’s weird, because now like ten years later I’m writing all these songs about this shit and I think it just took me all that time to be able to process it in this way
>
> Suzanne: I definitely think that usually there is about a ten-year lag time in terms of writing.
>
> Bryn: Totally, right! I feel funny because people are like “oh, this crazy shit happened to me, I’m going to write a song about it!” And I’m like “there’s no way.” I needed that distance.
>
> Suzanne: you can look at it more objectively, like in a different light with more life experience behind you to actually understand it better...
>
> Sam: does Green Girl music come out of trauma and loss?
>
> Bryn: ... I think we answered that. Yeah, I’m talking about loss and trauma that happened a long time ago and that’s about as much as I want to say about that.
>
> Ben: It’s not just Green Girl, but... I find myself, through that time, continuing into now, realizing how seriously I take this... and I don’t take for granted that I get to play music with people and in front of people and all that stuff.... the right time for this project to come about because . . . I’m ready for it! I want it. I want to make music with good people.
>
> Jan: Coming back into the experience of playing in a band, there is definitely a new appreciation for playing with other people and making something together that I didn’t have playing in bands when I was sixteen or seventeen. Seems like we’re in the process of growing and creating all the time, so it’s a great experience right now.
>
> Ben: So, when this is transcribed, you want it to say “Spice Girls and others.” That’s what you’re saying, right?
>
> Bryn: I dunno, who else was big back then? Aqua? Does anyone remember Aqua?
>
> Ben: Vaguely.
>
> Bryn: I dunno, we were in junior high. It was a bleak time.
>
> Ben: I’ve always had a dream of owning a bar that no one comes to. It’s kinda dingy... It’s where you go when you’re heartbroken. You don’t go there to have a good time, you go there to listen to Tom Waits.
>
> Suzanne: I would go there.
>
> Ben: I’d go there a lot. I’d get my heart broken every week just so I could go to this bar.
>
> Jan: Reminds me of a Twin Peaks bar from Firewalk With Me. The sad one.
>
> Bryn: It’s tough because the scene is so big and diffuse right now you could never know all the amazing bands that are happening.
>
> Jan: Someone should create a website tracking Toronto bands.
>
> Suzanne: See, this is why I wish I were independently wealthy, because I would totally do that.
>
> Ben: I guess you can’t start a record label anymore because no one buys records but doing something like that: some kind of promotion company where you hype bands online...
>
> Suzanne: I would be doing so many cool things if I didn’t have to do paying work. I’d just play all the time.



 Weaving worlds together is a small matter of habitual scheduling. I sit in the spot where you first came into my consciousness. I weigh my habits and healthy decisions. I cough. Obvi I couldn't touch you today, honestly my glands are swoll and my passage raw. Tanya had a twin at the Timmie's today. She tried to get another free maple iced mocha whatevs, had to keep trying and dropping bday boms till  solidarity prevailed. Ok so your coffee wasn't free, but I had a cheese croissant and what's the change of that out a five? Please. You're welcome. Thank you. Y'know. So good that slowdown, a couple nights of oh boy and a few hours at Hanlon's and a decent laundry window and cousins getting older who will never catch up, chasing their own blackouts and body switches, smoking out the sadists and weeding out the warlords. Sarah, I'll just take the bill when you have the chance. He's the Captain, not my dog. The shuddering gap left in the national consciousness' live music fix with the Hip replacements, handsome pants and pretty shots. Gosh, it is too much. Can you burn smokes on happy thoughts, is the juice worth the squeeze? Do you work with Conviction? Is Nicole ok? A young bleached blonde in a pizza party, facing the wall. Friends whisk her away. Intersections and intersexuality. Six million times seven days times three working shifts equals thirty six million chambers of possible encounters, spottings, introductions, affiliations, like hundred sided dice shook up in a sack marked aleatoric romance by John Cage or James Tenney, source material or statistical data supporting an extant theory, extending a bourgeoning, blossoming bitonal expression. Patriarchal musical theory. Homeroom, home row. Home key.
> Homophobia and hatred. Of what?
> Where and when does gender binary even seem like a full view of sexual or social potential spectrum. Deeper than a coastal shelf. Raise kids, have em if it happens. Teach kids, grow em if the tide is right. Load up on the late empirical poetry, take a Larkin the pool of propaganda. A shell of silver skein. Mariachi bar hopping. It's also a trap, says Quinn. There has to be another place. RIP uncle Diliza.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Father'$ money is better spent



On Aug 17, 2016 12:31 PM, "Sam Decter" <samdecter@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> > On Aug 15, 2016 9:43 PM, "Mdwara Decter" <dmzmgmt@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > > > I was in fine form once I gave notice at the café. I waved at the cute Irish server, beckoned her into the kitchen to tell her she's a stunner.
> > What do you want, a coffee or something? She asked coyly, and a bit suspicious.
>
> > I shook my head and grinned.
> > You just wanted to tell me that I'm a stunner?
> > I nodded.
> > By the end of the night, the ladies out front had invited me out for drinks on Tuesday.  Quite a summer so far:-) a whirlwind of city heat and flashes of sweet romance. Most people I know have been pretty steadily freaked out. One had an accidental electric shock. Then a surprise pickup set. With all chasing dreams and unicorns. What was the title? Toss em all in a sack and let them sort out who's God. Who is this band? Terrible and the Horribles, great two-piece. Coming soon to the Tinderbox: Glass Hand (prev sic) Green Girl, Sarah Ayton, Marlon Chaplin, Kody Penno. Lots of local visual artists. Obvi you're invited. Be there for brunch. And what do you do? Drop us a line at the dmz, where conversations become publications, let's become a friendly network of promotion, sans unnecessary stress or mess, fuss or muss. Where's capitalism getting you so far? What did you do with your days off? Hire some beautiful, underpaid folks to serve you food and liquor? Where's the satisfaction? I got mine this week, and it helps me smile sweet, walk cool. Respect. The point is to be nice while thinking bad. Surface and ground. Gallant, Glad. There's shots all over. Enjoy the scenery, do not harass the animals. Productive, invitational. Not all public scenes are social situations. Again, obvi: in the divisive crush we're encouraged to follow all threads, all treads, all weather. But that line's ajar.
>
> Ramsey can't get out the kitchen. He's in the yearbook, now: chef, timpanist, drummer. With creative sidebar and shucking set. Celebrate your grandmothers name, listen: All aboard for evolution, the more impressionable the better. We need people/she is strong as fuck the system. Who was it even?  like one of those dudes who like finds not my dog and then like stays. The unicorn cancelled tonight, called in to work. I have my plans, and am learning to enjoy the spaces and void in between, line up laundry, groceries, though father's money is better spent. So I ended up talking to kids fad today. And Dave, Sabrina. Ten years later. DB Boston (sic) Tokyo breakfast. Holllllllllaaaaaaaa
> >
> > > > > Fuck the insecure playas, they're games. I have no time. I know the names: intimidation, contradiction, manipulation, condescension. I know where I'm safe, watching meteors on the all stars patio with Dee, Nicole, AJ, Nadia and Peter. In a swift slumber, through a dark realm, I see them all divided by stress and work. In another universe, another timeline, another lifetime. (Daniel, let me draw you the graph sometime) In another work place, set against one other through our precise points of understanding. I am satisfied and I respond to the sexual overload of downtown in as gentlemanly a manner as I can while wearing a ball cap. Les femmes, vous etes belles. Bonsoir (tips hat)
>
> > > > > I pack a truck full of food and laugh away. I have spent all evening avoiding my coworkers and scrubbing walls, singing Elvis Costello songs. You heard. I knew. They were going to give me a medal for this. And I wasn't even in their fucking army anymore. Which is to say that it was a busy weekend, in the world of work, and a hot one two. These are the days, half a block from the local. I wake up wearing a 'god loves parkdale' t-shirt, with a pillow under my head. I'm late! Grab bacon. Family gathers for brunch. A day off in my new home becomes a jam at the dog, Magic Mike XL and Burlesque. My circle is made up of singers and dancers, those who are unable to ignore music's call, those who see pocket hands and mugs of soda water and quote assholes to document their abuse. This is the time of no bullshit. Simply because it is unnecessary. Life and work are hard enough without the noise. Music is noises, beat, really going. Let's keep an eye on the captain. I will absolve this self reflexion. We are all here now. Here we are now. So.....? Will you waste opportunities for growth trying to connect with a real fantasy, or are you willing, able, and open enough to tackle the moments, consequences of your own responsibility, those chaotic waves you have surfed since birth; urges, purges, words and worth? Well good so far, and thank you so much. Let's start with a picnic, an ice cream, eau de livingroom dance party, late night cheeseburgers. On the roof in the rain,  real beauty keeps opening up, to stay connected. We are naked,  three of us, we are all gorgeous and damp, cooled by the descending dew and grandious view.  Revolution is in our hands, on our terms. A week is a start and the sparks still burn. Making space for this and other modes of healing expression. Meetings, greetings, feelings, confessions, life and love and learning. Lessons.


Friday, 12 August 2016

Shelly sen bei want want crackers




> It's not yet midnight and I mostly wish it would rain. Everything else is more than ok as it is, but the physical oppression of centigrade peaks all night is taking a toll, pushing me to giddy highs I'd prefer to keep under wraps if at all possible, drenching me daily in the sweat of my labour and love. B dubs I am hurtling by train-tube westwards away from you for some reason. I'm so smitten, so much interpersonal information shared at hi-speed, marathon exchange rates, such a manic bixie panic, like dixieland cornet runs slipping ahead of the beat, hearts spinning around a new central gravitas that is mutual admiration. The locale is, as de rigeur maintenant, Parkdale, patios, etc, and other secret downtownR spots. From my new perch, in the picnic spot treetop with no CN view, just you and the mom (there's always a mom) she invited Ryan and Christina to the house she has torn to pieces and rebuilt anew, in the image of power and self determination, in search of her fifth love, her unicorn, her golden one. There is little sleep to be had in this heat, and she takes the first cold bath she can remember, dunks and chills, doesn't stop. Rnb tunes pump and still her gardening lust takes her on a blind date. This has nothing to do with Not My Dog, my friend. This has to do with sleeping on rooftops and beaches, this has to do with a touch of Kanye, with a stuffed monkey left behind in the weeping wake of an arrest on Charles St, where the sorceror scrubs, where (wo)men walk, galleries display various incantations while power is pieced out, where the wires and streetcar lines spin out running, out looking for you, a dream, for you the memories, you, a place, home, a security that no mere wall, wifi or never-without could ever resettle or secure. Still you wonder, why? How you holler, help. Sacraments and crackers, Chinatown and Yorkville. The peace is of the puzzles all there. Let it go, grab hold. Squeeze. Glass hands played at the Central tonight. I had time to catch up, the sorceror spun five years for me and Greg, the storefronts fell away to reveal perfect glass condominiums and corporate watering holes, speculative cultural institutions and specialised herbal dispensaries, wandering lovers and lost souls, all taking to the air in a ridiculous humidity, limpid and languid, though pierced with a clear, sharp progressive trance, all the while washing dishes, selling jewellery, cooking food, doing presentations, setting interviews, micro managing, freak-outs and oversights, new chances at happiness, constant anxiety, self medication, dismay, nostalgia, and self evident success in four day's manifestation, the final frustration of the captain, who swallows stones, and this third and youngest bird, burning so bright and letting love's light shine, house warmed by little red corvette. Seems like thirty years now. But we sang as if it was now. What was? Here's my mammafesto, maybe, last stand in secondhand land. Up on the roof and living free. Safety. Dada detector, stress-wrecker, bad mime. All I wanna do is have a little fun before I die. Haters. Shake em off. Trouble. Correlated to which, trust those who are willing to be open and honest with you and with themselves. Dream dreams and make honest, hopeful plans. Beach it. Live and then die. I am nearer to a new apprenticeship, living here. I never showed you what I did to your stone. I put the rose quartz into my mouth and I walked downstairs into the dark. Captain sleeps, climbs to the top deck. On the water. The wafer is all they have. What does magic look like without sparks? What does my face look like without hair? Look into the future, now, dream, darling one, sweet cheeked summer, sleep in an ice box and dream the future into being, all of the answers and the reasons are there in the witching hours. xo


Sunday, 7 August 2016

Isabelle Michaud: l'art c'est vachement amusant

thoughts and cows by
Isabelle Michaud





This is the village in China I told you about where replicas of famous artist's works are being hand painted, replicated for cheap. This does not bother me as much as the fake "Canadian artist canvas" bin I saw at Rome's a few months ago. For 39.99$ you could buy a 36" X 36" photograph of daisies printed on vinyl and stretched over a plastic frame.  Two weeks later, hey, it was on clearance for 50% off. The box was almost empty. I guess it doesn't really matter, people can like whatever the heck they want...




Plus, when you don't have much money, to begin with, this 20$ big vinyl canvas will make a nice decoration. I get it, it's still pretty. But what if you took a piece of paper and drew flowers yourself or asked a friend to draw them for you instead? For free! Wouldn't (that) be better? What if you bought painted flowers at a craft show? It might be a bit more money, like 40$ or 50$ and it might be smaller but...
someone you know who lives in your neighbourhood might have made it,
but nooooo... Not good enough. People want that crisp, perfectly manufactured, photoshopped stuff. Not uneven weird stuff that an actual human being made!!! Those pesky humans. I get it, art is all relative and subjective. What's good for me is not necessarily good for the next guy/gal/person/blob with eyes.




 My profs always say that whatever will make people think about art or engage with art is probably a good thing. So ok, if people want to buy that cheap stuff, let them and mind *your own business*... Sure, fine. However, I would say, one gains way more by either engaging in art oneself or in buying artwork made by an actual person and not a machine. It's good to see a person's hand in the work, to see their engagement with the media. You get an emotional response from it. It warms your living place by filling it with the expression of an actual autonomously thinking human being.




Of course, it you want to have a picture of the Queen on your wall, cut out from a magazine and placed inside a frame you bought at Dollorama....  that's your thing and it's fine. At least you took the time to cut the photo and place it inside a frame and put it on your wall. That beats the clearance "Canadian artist canvas" box at Rome's, in my view. Now... Artwork might be a luxury, maybe you live in a very small place and you don't have a dime to yourself. Still... Even when I was the poorest in my life, I drew on cardboard, I painted/drew with whatever I found, markers, chalk. The important part for me is the engagement with artmaking. Making it yourself rather than thinking "commercial."




Recently, the Machine Shop hosted a Paint Nite. What the hell is wrong with people that they think it's fun to sit in a row, all making the same painting of a flat hot air balloon or an outline of a bird on a branch, with cheap paint? But people do! They like it! They're out with friends, enjoying painting, having a drink and someone tells them what to do. No stress and they are still enjoying paint... "What's wrong with that", I hear people say to me... So much is wrong with that!!! Why not make your own thing? See what you can do? Ok, maybe the first thing you make might not be anything wonderful but what if you tried again? Wouldn't you get so much more from having independent thought and expression? Creating something that exists only once? That is one of a kind? And that you made for someone else maybe? As a present? A little bit of time and effort goes a long way.




Art is a way to unwind, to produce, to help you heal. By sharing your artwork, you are helping people make sense of life, you are sharing a friendship with them. People think," I can't draw anything", so I prefer "paint by number." Ok, I say, that's still a step better than the box at Rome's. Because at least you are actually figuring out about different colours, about viscosity, about paintbrushes, and the application of paint.




What's the difference between paint by number and Paint Nite? Not much, true. Is that art? If you ask me, it is whatever you want it to be, for yourself. For me, no, it's not really art... Because it's more about mindlessly filling the pattern than making artwork. But art is in the eye of the beholder, so, it's all subjective and it is whatever one wishes to call it, truly.  But it bugs me how people prefer buying manufactured paintings rather than buying from an actual painter/artist.



Saturday, 6 August 2016

Another Felliniesque weekend morning

 Peter starts listening to dreary documentary podcasts at about 330 am. I leave him to it and stop by the pizza joint, armed with a gingered ale, mutton roll, and the heartening sense that I may at least recognise half of the people in attendance. Creature comforts in the city core. At the door, while talking to a local urchin, doppelganger Volet I'm greeted by none other than Russel Fernandes, party man and rock n roll animal, one of my first interviewees for the Tinderbox in fact. Russ is in a gravely expansive mood and explains the situation both concisely and amicably. There's no beer for us here! We have to leave! Always to the point, that guy...

> > Inside is too much, and even the back alley smoker's scene is a little tense for my liking. After making nice with some big boys, I have to walk away as they engage the owner in an exchange of nasty names and physical intimidation. But just up the lane, in view of the Triller tower, I am saved, decisively and wholly, from my own dwindling exchange of animosity and frustration with my poor lost lady. Into the morning and through the night, it's time to be surrounded by new friends and to flex the new muscles of my no-bullshit policy. A wish I wish....
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> > > > > > Max has just been watching videos of free climbers. His hands are sweating. Do you want a bite of my pickle? somebody says. Trip hop music and the omnipresent friday buzz,  echoes of your words, the fading presence of your voice, face, curves and shadows.... Island party? Island party tomorrow? I have to work, I have to work... Me, Catt, Pete and Emma form a line across the floor of the patio, hours after the after was supposed to have let out. Peter has been reawakened and pumped for info: I listened to a documentary about a music festival in Lebanon. It's been going  on for thirty years.

 There's chatter and laughter, you're reading it backwards. They've been calling for flurries of cigarettes. I thought they were calling for rain? I was almost praying for it. Why didn't you dance? I tried to start the dancefloor at the dog. Limited edition, end of an era, a time for ritual actions. Call me anytime, I said. Ain't no place built for dreamers quite like Parkdale, said her back. Construct of fear, says Max. He told us that the van blasting radio broadcasts was more than a little accusational and preachy. And peep the fallout! A couple divided, he urging homeward bondage, she split, distraught, gave me a smoke for a five. It was payday, five for Nav, too. But Nicole deserves more, like a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Almonds are fucking delicious. This is the point of the night for becoming clear on your level of commitment. Avoid the sauce, save your stomach. Fatigue is doable, worth the rogues gallery.  Dan has written all of the songs on the radio, paranoia is an idiot: why don't you smell it out? I sense it everytime  you lose account. Where and when I bought it up. I'm just a worrier. I understand. This reminds me of the flight of the navigator. I'm about to be rushed by the Hudson's Bay company. We spell it Canadian Tyre.  I have a Canadian fishing license. I'd like to show everyone my fishing license. Basically, I'm a stubborn fuck. I've got a licence and a whip. Did you meet Cornell? I'm not just saying this, I am: A badman Fisher. Hands down. How I do it? I imagine what the fish like to eat.
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> > Max is in fine form and freestyles content effortlessly. I retreat to the quiet side and recline for the fading night, rolled tightly in waves of caring and comfort, growing certainty and precious intimacy.

> > > > > The important thing to remember when folding your host's laundry is to ask what the going rate is, to await her reappearance before rounds of shots, to be aware of enabling forces in all of our lives, to hold still enough to pet cats, mind grey-clad nappers on the kitchen floor. Who's paying the rent? That's a community concern. Who's being divisive? Well, there's two sides to that story.

Learning to play the angles is like riding a bike. Nadia returns unexpectedly. Four people on an air mattress is like a den of otters. Opportunities abound, in my privilege and blessings. The positive charges of chaos swirl like tendrils as I leverage myself, prioritize and escape from fatal situations. Used to wanna be so tough, I played up some dated bad attitude as much as I could, mustered bluster, mister. Talk turkey: Have I been anywhere near as terrible as I could if I were trying? And I have been terrible. Abusive, violent,  suicidal. Threatening and manipulative. Losing my hat, I guess I smoked all my cigarettes, save the one she gave. Not till Sunday, under an otherworldly moon and sunset. Remember which topics are taboo, how real you can be, how to blame it on the boogie. Purpose, party, and privilege. No secret to that recipe for success. And room for all. No mandate, board, privileged email threads, growing sense of self-importance or social status, no need neuroses, nevermind what? Oh, that is: here in the Felliniesque morning of an urban village, time binders swill and steal, push back reality until it begins to serve us, learn to push where we had sat so softly listening, a profitable stance, one ear askance, at least until the way becomes clear. And that's why I keep coming here. Lost, I am surrounded; socialised, I find myself. In those hours we and the boys would have spent hashing out the big screen features or the tap selection,  the DJ's hairdo and the french connection, the hours between work and work, between life and live, between one home and another, between letting go and being freed, between crying yourself to sleep and grinning foolishly, shaking your head at the blindingly self-evident beauty of a hu(man) being, at the childish masks of talented (wo)men, at the chatter of the brilliant, clear clarion laughter of the pure hearted, all set soon to become earthly exiles, rock gardens, train-flattened coins and spoons, rooms for rent and to spare. Time spent living with eyes open. Looking at, after, and taking care of one self. A fantastic symphony. A saga. A daily wage. Rehearsals. For what? So what? Only healing and healthy networks, the magickal trick words wend about is the simple, stunted connection of people; potent and plain. Make good things happen. Meet, greet, embrace. If you can. Stop for drinks and karaoke, pick up every artist's business card.
> Make Shit.
> > Make. Shit. Happen.
> > What else? All I have now is my friends and family, some scattered skills to market, an iron gut, and the ability to keep standing when all hope dims, as it does from time to time. Write rhymes. Study the ever-studded passage of time. Live a lovely life and learn hard lessons from big mistakes. Know your faults and limits, limit their reoccurrence. Let feeling flow, hardest one this. Feel and also know, stumble through parties, jams  and shows like one devoid of all sense save smell and hearing. Scan the room, make portraits without pen or paper. Let dawn in. Brace...

> > By late morning, grey-clad ghosts are shifting, and all the couches are stacked with tired little teddy bears. Who's paying rent here?  This house is full and it's time to go see another one. Family can make it possible to be in two places at once. (Thanks cuz) Here and there is always a friend trying to contact, to connect for a few moments over coffee or breakfast, sashimi or day beers, fun and fantasy, real talk and cuddles. The grey shroud was once a tent. It protected us from the sun and made the hum of the air into a massaging force. Maybe my back won't hold out all day, maybe the tent will fold. Worse things have happened to us both, I'm sure.