Wednesday 23 December 2009

Gravenomics 2.0

Last night I found myself bending a few taps and telling a few tales. A couple of bands put on a great show: Oceans dished out some odes to Radiohead spiced with some new alt poppy rockish songs. Ty West mounted the stage like some reborn sage from days of lore. He worked his guitar and mellowed the vibe. Then TBL slung on their flat tops and let loose with some solid acoustic rock.


They just snuck up on stage like the Grinch stealing your Christmas. Ben and Matt strummed and plucked out some folky tunes...but this was just the start. Matt was soon joined on stage with Landon (Freebird) and Owen (Blitzen) and in a few seconds the plugged in part of the night began. Sonic booms, bangs and vibrations shook the room. Windows cracked and the drunk club kids looked up from Murray street texting each other wtfs. They were dazed and sad that they had not heard these sounds sooner. Matt built up into a fury; his hands were whirling tight then he swung into some wild windmills. Landon and Ben kept the beat moving. Matt strutted the stage and tried to get Owen to wail - he did. This created a new bigger sonic surge. The crowd pulsed forward - some hot chicks at the bar slammed back a few more shooters, just to keep up with the madness.

Then the lights went on - closing time - back to the real world, a world with too little Rock n' Roll.

Thanks Graven for bringing the thunder.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Poems and Punches 2.0

No person I ever met was more of a paradox than French. I've seen him tell a teacher that they are a "fucking asshole", punch his locker, throw a computer out a window along with a tray of test tubes, and later that day he'd be sitting in his shed writing down a list of songs that make him cry.
Paradox seems to be a powerful force in the universe; no one embraced that more than French. The only thing that ever made him laugh was irony. Irony is birthed through paradox. Often French would be laughing and no one would be real clear as to why he was laughing. He saw the irony in almost everything. This characteristic made him kinda of an awkward person to be around. A lot of people took him as weird, or they worried that he was laughing at them; a typical self-centred, ego driven response. I learned a long time ago to be aware and just laugh with him.
This Christmas I'll honor that with French's favourite drink: Irish Cream (the whole bottle), and a whole pot of coffee. As French would say: "I like to be hyper and drunk". I'll have the coffee brewing and the Bailey's at hand this Christmas; he often comes by my place so we can go to midnight mass.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Poems and Punches

Back in the early nineties I saw a classic school yard fight. A skinhead had moved into my town. He had a different look: shaved bald, tattooed, knee high Doc Martens, and a safety pin through his ear. This dick had been pissing everyone off with some bully bullshit. We only had one black kid in the school (James); so we couldn't figure the point of being a racist s.o.b. in our little town.

We all went down to the caf and asked French if he would be willing to fight the skinhead boy and teach him a lesson. He was like "sure...when I'm done my fries".

Soon after, Skinny the Skinhead and French squared off and the punches started to fly. This was totally one on one - the ethic of that time was no one could step in. Today most teenager fights tend to be at least 3 on 1...or worse.

French and Skinny went into a long punching match. French kept jumping to dodge the big black boots and massive long arm haymakers. Skinny clipped French a good one on the ear; then French landed three quick ones in his the face with beautiful boxing style. Skinny's teeth started to loosen, wiggle, bleed, then fall to the ground. It was eerie seeing a couple of white teeth lying on the pavement. French laughed and laughed; like always - even when he got hit.

As Skinny looked down and held his busted mouth, French grabbed him by his bloody neck and yelled: "knock off this skinhead bullshit".

Skinny walked off alone and everyone gathered around French...but we all had to scatter. Stackhouse the V.P. back then was running out with a couple of gym teachers to break up the crowd.

French bolted, but I caught up with later in his shed. He was sitting alone writing poems with a pen in his still bloody hands.