Friends, Enemies, and Internet Losers: I have returned.

Posts tagged “writer

Skaught Free Live at BSC Studios


RadioBSC / BSCTV Episode #4: Angel At The Crossroad

This week our intrepid host sits down with Vancouver indie songstress, Valerie Graham, to discuss suffering for art, local music, arts & crafts, and tattoos.

Features music by local musicians Cadaver Dogs, Swank, Shiloh Lindsay, The Stumblers Inn, The Pack A.D., Neko Case, and two live, in-studio performances by Valerie Graham.

Listen to or download the full audio podcast from below:

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Watch the videotaped interview here:

RadioBSC / BSCTV Episode #3: Behind the Curtain

This week, our overeager host overbooks the studio and sits down with Basil Ketchen, a self-declared, urban explorer AND Kara Bean and Dirty Swagger (aka Free Cigarettes for Drunk Minors). All four chat about the hidden Vancouver and the local music scene.
Features music by local artists The Likely Rads, Vancouver Killing Spree, Murder She Wrote, Dirty and the Derelicts, Jaded Jinas, The Subhumans (Vancouver), The Jolts, and Free Cigarettes for Drunk Minors.

Listen to or download the full audio podcast from below:

Listen to this episode

Download this episode (right click and save)

Watch the videotaped interview here:

Six of one and half a dozen of the other

Photo copyright Adam P. W. Smith


In less than one week, I have had a major circulation newspaper quote a music review of mine AND I have had my picture taken by Adam P. W. Smith, one of Vancouver’s foremost event photographers. But…

None of this would have happened the way that it has if it were not for the terrible accident suffered by the The Hotel Lobbyists. My picture was taken at a fundraiser held for James Wood (The Hotel Lobbyists’ lead vocalist seriously injured in the crash) and my review of the band was quoted in a Province article about Mike Gurr’s (The Hotel Lobbyists’ drummer killed in the accident) wonderful, albeit short, life.

Very bittersweet though it is, I know Mike would be happy for me that my stuff is starting to catch on. In fact, were it not for James, Mike, Jordie, and Jordan (The Hotel Lobbyists), none of this insanity I called “The Aging Rockstar” would have even happened: the videos, the reviews, the new friends and great music- nothing.

All of us must take the bitter with the sweet. That’s just the way it is.

Legend has it that poet, John Milton, wrote with a human skull on his desk. This skull was to remind him that one day he would shed his mortal coil and ascend to heaven. Images of death are known as memento mori, reminders of death. I never thought of death as something that I needed to be reminded of. Life on the other hand…

What we need more of are memento vita, reminders of life: people and things that give us the strength to move onward in the face of sadness or adversity. I have several memento mori cluttering up my office, but being a perennial pack rat, I have several memento vita as well. And my new favourite is a simple piece of wood, machined with precision, and deftly commanded by a good friend.

WARNING: The following entry was written after the ingestion of massive dosses of tryptophan

Just how smart do you figure we need to be? There are some truly ignorant/backward people out there that I would like to dwindle their numbers through civilized (if possible) means but there is also a large crowd of dumb “smart” people kicking around as well.

I once listened to a discussion about tolerance on CBC Radio. A professor lamented that one of his students had become so liberal minded that he’d refuse to stop the “evacuation” of the Jewish ghettoes because it “would not be his place” to interfere in the internal politics of a sovereign nation. “Only a university student could think that way” was the professor’s final comment on the matter.

The post-graduate world is designed to specialize knowledge so that it is entirely possible for an individual to suffer more and more from tunnel vision as they get “smarter.”

I once heard a college professor tell an Asian student that Chinese emperors never commanded the same power or influence as the European monarchs. I walked out. Not only was her comment wrong, ignorant, and racist, but it was also dutifully copied down in the notes of those students who didn’t know better.

The question then becomes how many European History professors are certifiably expert on matters of dynastical China? If you spent half a lifetime becoming an expert on Luther, where do the Ming fit in?

I read a lot. But I rarely read more than three or four books on the same subject and Hunter S. Thompson is the only author in my collection boasting more than 10 titles. My iPod has over 8000 titles on it and nearly half of those are university lectures on a multitude of subjects. But this, itself, leads to problems.

1984’s The Razor’s Edge, Bill Murray’s much-maligned adaptation of W. Sommerset Maugham’s book, features a scene which involves the lead character (Murray) deciding whether he will keep reading his books and freeze to death on a Himalayan peak, or survive by burning his books for warmth. He can literally live (and die) in his books or live a real life without them.

There is only so much that book learning and university classes can do for us. By the time the average person finishes Remembrance of Things Past, they are 50 years older and Proust’s is the only life they know. Experience without knowledge (context and meaning) is a time consuming waste. The reverse, however, is equally true: knowing the career statistics of every NHL player won’t help you tie your skates, especially if you can’t skate.

For myself, I will continue to walk the wavy line: spend my days packing my brain cells with as much information as I can cram in there and then spend my nights committing genocidal atrocities against those same cells. Something’s got to stick before I start having problems with my short term memory.

In conclusion, something’s got to stick before I start having problems with my short term memory.

Dear World,

You suck!

Now that we have that out of the way, allow me a moment or two of your time to explain why.

Though many a learned person has dismissed the theories of Dr. Freud as nasally obsessed sexual tomfoolery, the notion of the Id remains an alluring one. Imagine your inner being, driven by the pleasure principle, met at every turn by the arbitrary and domineering Super Ego, ruining all its fun. Whether we can ever silence this subconscious, primal scream remains unseen to all but the individual. More likely, it is either modified (in which case, we grow up to be alien to ourselves) or, it is repressed (in which case, we grow up to be grow up to be Civilization’s Discontents, to use Freud’s terminology).

In the end, I think people end up being disappointed when they realize that life is its own reward. I would cautiously suggest that Bill Gates lives the same life of any man who benefits from his own merits; only the tax bracket is different. If the “poorer” man concentrated more on the life he has, compared to nothing, he would be less likely to hate his life because of what he doesn’t have and more likely to love it through appreciation of what he does.

No man can be happy when his family is starving but not buying into every stupid fad that crosses your line of sight buys a lot of food. Also, the ridiculous fortunes of those he envies are built upon his buying their useless products to service his lifestyle, not his life.

I still defend the Id because the Id is about thought, desire, and action, not “stuff”; primal desire shouldn’t have anything to do with a PSP or the jewelled sneakers some crack whore socialite wears in her latest softcore porn music video.

“More! More! More!” is the new life mantra. Want becomes need and anything with intrinsic value falls by the weigh-side and chokes on its own last breaths in a roadside ditch, sitting shiva with the other animals that couldn’t navigate the new super highway.

My Id screams for freedom from all of this. It desires the simplicity it once knew. The Super Ego grows exponentially. The middle man, my Ego, is content that life is its own reward. I only wish, dream of a time when it is again the life not found in a crack whore socialite’s latest softcore porn music video. I’d like to live in that world.


Every morning I play a game: Whack-a-Snooze.

I set my alarm an hour earlier than the time I need to get up and then for one hour, I play Whack-a-Snooze.

:00 – beep buzz beep buzz WHACK

:09 – beep buzz beep buzz WHACK

Every nine minutes, my awesome reflexes sweep my arm across the bed and bring my hand crashing down on the snooze button- if it’s a good day. Foreshadowing a crappy day are the mornings when listening to the alarm ring just doesn’t seem so bad.

I like to think my morning game of Whack-a-Snooze prepares me for the glorious day when I’ll need my reflexes to kick some ass on Family Feud:

WHACK! Dogs!

Survey says: X

Well, Family Feud aside, I still find it is a much better way to wake up in the morning. I am willing to sacrifice an hour of real sleep for a game of Whack-a-Snooze in order to wake up gradually. Unlike those who try to steal an extra hour of sleep and burst out of bed, still half asleep, and end up brushing their teeth with Prep H or whatever happens to be in the closest tube their squinty eyes can’t read.  I get up after a game of Whack-a-Snooze feeling awake and slightly annoyed which is, to my estimation, the best way to greet the day. Plus, it is a great deal more practical than some of the other “Whack-a” games my brethren are wont to play first thing in the morning.

On a completely unrelated note, I have decided on a new “Best Thing Ever”:

Discovery Channel’s new TV spot. It makes me smile everytime.

Boom De Ah Dah Boom De Ah Dah…