A Funny Video!

I’m still here. It’s been a while since video post, so here you go:

Update: this nike skateboarding ad is also pretty awesome.

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Winter Mix

I’m stuck in the Denver Airport. It’s cold and wintery outside here so it seems appropriate to post a link to dmoefunk’s winter jam collection.

Enjoy! (I know I am.)

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This will waste a lot of your time if you let it

In addition to making awesome music, Cosmos sometimes posts really cool links: Twistori. Don’t blame me if you stare at it for half an hour, or all day.

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Metal Music

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I can’t believe I never saw this before

Because it is awesome: Daft Hands – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

And on another topic entirely, I finally, after a few half-assed attempts and months of not trying, managed to really memorize the ASL alphabet. And I’ve learned the question words, and the days of the week, and a few other things. I’m slowly getting it, yay!

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HOIFL: Two In One Day

That’s right, two pieces of music in one day. You’re lucky!

Sage Francis – Good Fashion

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Ottawa: My Full Saturday and Less Full Other Days

I went to Ottawa for this weekend plus Monday. Why? Because I’m a Canadian who is out of touch with his country and it seemed like a good place to get acquainted with. I did end up learning a lot about the city and country while I was there. I have some pictures that Ryan gave me, too, but I’ll post them later.

Saturday was a very busy and decadent day. Let me tell you about it.

It started out around 8:30 in the morning when Jazz, Ryan, and I went for a short run around their neighborhood. I have been starting to get into better shape recently, and this one felt pretty good. I’ve included the route here and you can zoom out to see where they actually live.

Before I get into what happened next, let me deal with an example of strange differences in the way Americans and Canadians talk. Americans take showers, where Canadians have them. I don’t know why this is different, but it is. So we all had showers, and then we headed for the bus station to go downtown. Turns out Ottawa has a great bus system, and I made full use of it all weekend.

Our first stop was the Canadian National Gallery, which besides looking cool has a neat exhibit of Renoir landscapes going on right now. I didn’t even look at the permanent collection, something I regret, but I guess it just means I’ll have to come back sometime.

After the museum we walked a couple blocks to a restaurant that we had a coupon for, and I bought lunch for all of us. Jazz and I had New Orleans-style pasta, which was good, and Ryan had a wrap, which was not so good. Meh, I liked mine. Jazz had a craving for dessert, and I wanted coffee, but the restaurant’s dessert menu didn’t quite cut it, so we took off. Fortunately, we were in the middle of the Byward Market, a busy market district right near Jazz’s work, so she quickly led us to a cheese shop that happened to have imported chocolate. As she was buying a fancy chocolate bar I noticed a stack of little bars next to the register with a sign saying “Lebanese Baklava.” I always like trying new things, so I asked “what’s the green stuff?” because the bars had green stuff all over them. The answer, “crushed pistachios,” sounded good, so I got one and it was delicious. Then, as if we needed more, we stopped at a busy outdoor cafe to get coffee and while we were waiting some crazy triple chocolate dessert bar caught Ryan’s eye so we ended up with coffees and our (my) third dessert of fifteen minutes. I only had one bite of the bar and it was very rich. I couldn’t believe that they ate the whole rest of it between them.

After lunch, we decided to walk down to the Ottawa Bluesfest, which we had purchased tickets for earlier. We could have stayed on the Ontario side of the river, but the walk is quite nice on the Quebec side and I wanted to at least walk in the province so I could say I’d been there. So off we went, across a couple bridges and along the Ottawa River for a nice walk. Lots of bugs, though. I remember hearing stories and jokes about Ontario Mosquitoes when I was a kid, and they were definitely based in reality. Lots of bugs.

I had noticed on Friday that Manu Chao was Saturday’s headliner at the Bluesfest, so I suggested that we go to that. Turns out it was a big festival and there was nonstop music at 4 stages all day Saturday. It was a very cool scene. Here are a few of the highlights:

We stopped at the Black Sheep stage to see a band whose blurb in the brochure made them sound cool, Jetplanes of Abraham. They’re a six-member Ottawa band made up of musicians from several other local bands. A neat sound, for sure. I like Canadian indie bands.

After that we wandered over to another stage and saw a band I’d heard of before, Mute Math. They were very crazy, lots of percussion, and really fun to watch. Highly recommended if they come through your area.

For dinner I ate a Jamaican patty, which I’d never heard of before, and a samosa, making it almost the cheapest meal of the weekend, and a good one at that. They had a bunch of local restaurants running food booths and the prices were actually pretty reasonable.

Finally, Manu Chao played. The place had really filled up by 9:00 and we pretty much resigned ourselves to seeing it from far away. Ryan and I attempted to get closer, however, and managed to get within 200 feet of the stage for a little while. I’ve never been to such a big show before, and the amount of energy in the show was quite amazing. Everybody within a couple hundred feet of the stage was dancing. Not that many Canadians understand Spanish, either — the energy was coming from the music and the crowd itself, not necessarily from the lyrics and showmanship. I really liked being part of the show. Also, the amount of weed smoked all over the crowd at the beginning of the set was impressive.

Like I said, I’ll post pictures soon, and maybe write something about some more general impressions I got from the trip. It had been a while since I’d been to Canada and I’d forgotten some things about it.

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Everybody Likes Music

How about some music? Everybody likes music, right? Maybe not quite everybody, but lots of people do, so here you go. I keep seeing really cool openers by accident at the 9:30 club. The latest was Santogold. They played with Architecture in Helsinki, and they are super. Here, have a taste:

Santogold – Creator

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New Zealand

I haven’t been here in a while. I’d apologize, but there are like 2 of you out there, so I’m not worried about it. Anyways, here are a few things…

I just watched the first episode of Flight of the Conchords. I’m really glad that my roommate Sara has HBO. It’s OMG-hilarious, and I don’t use three letter internet acronyms lightly. In fact, I never use them, so this is serious business. It’s a really strange show about two guys, in a band, from New Zealand, who live in New York City and are trying to make it, sort of. But mostly just about strange interactions between them and the world and between the two of them. It also has musical sequences that are actually funny. It made me laugh out loud a lot, which TV rarely does. Right, enough about that. Watch it if you get a chance.

One of the two guys in the show also made a movie recently, Eagle vs. Shark, that I managed to catch a sneak preview of. It’s pretty funny, but very strange. I recommend the show over the movie, but it’s worth seeing.

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Cantopop: Sam Hui

Once upon a time there was a genre of music called Cantopop. Really, it’s still around, but it sounds better to say once upon a time. My friends Stu and Becca combined their forces to re-discover this song. I guess as a kid Stu listened to it a lot. It’s by Sam Hui, called 半斤八兩 (I’m told this translates as some obscure measure of weight). I’ve never heard it before today, but it is very funny, very catchy, and the music video is great. Enjoy!

Sam Hui’s Working Class Song:

We, the working class,
Roaming the street everywhere, ruining our digestive system,
Earning so little, of course we don’t have enough to spend at the end of the month (thin like a stick),
This really sucks.

The worst is the boss who gets pissed constantly (crazier than a chicken),
Doesn’t matter what the reason, he/she just barks and barks (inserts barking noise),
Makes a mean face at the sound of a salary raise (nag and nag),
That surely increases your appetite.

You work hard like a Jack, *as in Jack in playing cards*
How can a wet firecracker make a sound,
If you have the guts, grab a gun and go rob,
Giving my all, thinking that I’ll receive plenty,
But with the shitty working environment, of course this is only a fantasy. (I’m defeated)

We, the working class,
Become slaves for money all our lives,
That arduous work can be used as a ghost story (dare me to die),
Don’t say that it doesn’t matter.

Even if there’s profit, it’s not yours,
More horrible than hot water boiling pig intestines,
Meager as bits of chicken feed, you still want to peck,
Giving my all, thinking that I’ll receive plenty,
But with the shitty working environment, of course this is only a fantasy. (I’m defeated)

We, the working class,
Become slaves for money all our lives,
That arduous work can be used as a ghost story (dare me to die),
Don’t say that it doesn’t matter.

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