Someone help me; I’m getting nostalgic. Waiting for the bus, I want the 90s back. Granted I was listening to The Crow soundtrack, right before switching over to Joy Division because NIN’s version of “Dead Souls” doesn’t quite measure up. Maybe I’d be in a better mood if I wasn’t listening to Joy Division (or waiting for a bus for that matter), but there is part of me that wants to grow my hair out again, put my earrings back in, and not shave when I don’t want to. That’s unlikely to happen, especially as I am waiting for the bus as part of two hour journey to get a cup of coffee. But it is good coffee. I didn’t care much for coffee in the 90s. If I had, I wouldn’t be waiting for a bus.
I snag a copy of The Georgia Straight at the bus stop. An article about Justin Bieber being “the Devil in disguise” has caught my attention. I hate that little shit. The article doesn’t make me feel any better about it, of course. Mike Usinger’s article woefully points out, “at a time when nothing is selling, our little Beelzebub has managed to go platinum.” This does not bode well. Usinger puts into words what we are all thinking: the record companies have found money in the machine again and any attempts to create something new will end right now. Of course, reading about things not being as good as they once were in The Georgia Straight is a delicious bit of irony in itself.
I often go to shows where some in attendance are younger than the band shirt I’m wearing. At least it isn’t a Bieber show or a reunion gig for New Kids on the Block. Some people still get it. But I suppose it has always been this way. The mainstream is the main stream for a reason. But the best fishing remains in the tributaries. As if to seal the deal, passing Capilano Mall on the bus, I am sure I see the guitar player from Drag the River, the band I fronted in the early 90s. Last I heard he was a librarian back east but still playing his guitar like a maniac. His hair is still down past his shoulder blades and his Aviators sit on an unshaven face. God bless him; If was it him. It would be even more surprising for him to be out and about so soon after Dio’s death. I figured he’d be down for at least a month after hearing about that.
Damn this coffee is good. I’ve been looking for new hangouts. My local just got busted by the Smoking Cops and is now plastered with hastily made “No Smoking” announcements, which we all vandalized pdq. So, after two hours, here I am at the Cafe for Contemporary Art (140 East Esplanade, NV) drinking a damn good coffee. My friend, Robyn *(The Stiletto Cafe, Walk Through Puddles), works here and is a self-professed “coffee snob.” Ours is a tenuous relationship, given that I spend a good part of my time searching out shitty cups of coffee as they are becoming harder and harder to find.
CAFCA is a neat little place. Perhaps a wee bit too far off the drag (a half block east of Lonsdale Ave in North Vancouver), it has a lot of potential. For starters, the coffee is great (made by a weird little robot called a Clover) and they have a nice gallery space right in the cafe. I guestimate it to be about 600 square feet of floor with 16ft of wall space, floor to ceiling. The current exhibit leaves a bit to be desired but it looks as though the gallery space was given up in this instance more out of civic duty than commercial sense. High school kids are capable of taking great pictures, but having the write-ups of what each picture is “meant to symbolize” is just a little too Grade 12 for me. It is a start nonetheless. In a city starving for places for artists to starve a little less, it is a welcome arrival. Did I mention the coffee was good? Haven’t tried the food yet but that’s only because I rarely eat while drinking. Old habits, y’know? Can’t have too much new stuff in my life or I might just start enjoying it again.