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The Brah Degree in Engineering - Professor Lee March 8, 2010
Please refrain from throwing chalk at the doctor.
The Constantines Win the Olympics - Round 2 March 5, 2010
The Duge is back with Part II of his observational tale of Olympic outrageousness. How's that for some alliteration? Oh, and the Sightings cds and vinyl have arrived, and they look AMAZING!! I mean, I haven't actually seen them, but my sources are trustworthy, I promise. Yeah, I am def not in top blog form right now, I kind of like red wine but it is sort of unkind to me at times soooo I am going to step aside and let The Duge take it away!! (And as with Round 1: photos by Dallas Wehrle)
Monday, February 22
We get up at 8:00 am to catch a Greyhound Bus to Whistler. We have an afternoon set with openers Hey Rosetta and the Wasabi Collective. Anyone performing anything in Whistler that day is on that bus. We find ourselves surrounded by jugglers, unicyclists, and the guys from Hey Rosetta, a good band group of brahs from Newfoundland. We arrive to our green room in the hotel behind the town square and chill out to watch Kevin Martin take on USA. All is well until the Wasabi Collective loudly arrive and start blowing up dozens of beachballs on which they had markered their myspace address and website URL. Beachballs and URLs do not mix. It's too early for this shit. It's also too early to hear them give hired dancers instructions like "Wait until after my bongo solo at the end of the reggae medley". Not too early to early to see them perform a Can-Con medley consisting of Men Without Hat's "Safety Dance", Snow's "Informer", Barenaked Ladies' "Brian Wilson", with a touch of Rush's "Spirit Of Radio". Epic.
While this mix is going on, Bry and Chris make a mix of their own backstage: the "Fuck You Old Man". How to make a Fuck You Old Man:
1 part white wine
1 part ginger ale
1 mashed pear
1 wedge of lemon
Sprinkle with hot chocolate powder mix.
[Editor's Note: I would drink this.]
Meanwhile, Dallas took to a relaxing gondola ride up the Rocky Mountains of Whistler.
The coffee-shop and ski-shop owners surrounding the square are not liking the volume of our set, but Paul Manley is having none of it. It was a smaller but no less appreciative crowd. Lots of curious onlookers with strollers towards the back of the crowd. After our set, we jet off to the Jamaica House to try to meet the Jamaican Bob-sled team of "Cool Runnings" fame. No dice. Meanwhile, Bry gives an interview live on-air for Muchmusic from a hot-tub, and Chris Slorach scams us six tickets to go see Devo before a crowd of 6,000 after some skiing medals are handed out.
Dallas and I visit the Russia house beforehand. Revelation one: while the Team Russia Merchandise is made in Canada, the Team Canada merchandise is lamely made in Vietnam. Revelation two: while it was no secret that Russian men love techno, the fact that they also dig Ugg's was illluminating.
Devo crushes it and are perfect for the occasion. Thousands of navy-blue power domes are handed out, but only Paul manages to get one. We are annoyed at the people hoarding three or four to themselves, especially when they leave immediately after "Whip It" about five songs in. They end the set with an appearance by Booji Boy, and we jet back to catch our Greyhound back to Vancouver.
Tuesday, February 23
Last day of my Olympic experience. Vancouver weather finally catches up with us, and it is cold, grey, and raining. We have downtown to Van City Live, a massive stage which shows hockey games when not showing rock music. We meet up with our good friends Wintersleep who are headlining the show. The production team lets us use their trailer so we can watch the Canadian men take on Germany in the quarter-final of the hockey tournament. The Canadian men defeat them 8-2, that sees Eric Staal paired with Jarome Iginla and Sid the Kid for the first time. The line works.
We take the stage after the mayor of Vancouver jams with the forgettable opening act convinced all is right in the world. An excessively noisy crowd (again buoyed by a victory) meets our excessive need for more smoke-machines and I take full advantage of the gong VANOC has provided us (the only time anyone took our stage input list seriously). Wintersleep kills it, and thousands sing along to their hit Weighty Ghost", before we gun it to Gastown and meet up with them in a bar there for our last night in town. Thanks, brahs. And thanks Brah!
Despite the statement that accompanied these photos, ("they seemed fitting for team usa after the gold medal game"), I dig the scarf and wanted to give Vancouver arts collective Norma a shoutout. Nice work! Also deserving of a shoutout, my wicked photoshop skills, only took me about an hour to put those 2 photos together. Big thanks again to The Duge for taking Brah with him to the Olympics!!!
The Constantines Win the Olympics - Round 1 March 3, 2010
Brah! Records is everywhere. Whether you are touring around South America, hanging at a train station in Prague, digging in the bins for the new Sightings record City of Straw (you're not finding it cause it's not out til April 13th!), or lying on your couch in your city on your continent, we will find you (if we feel like it). Our resources run deep and our army is many, so it should be no surprise that we had some of our own reporting from the 2010 Winter Games. Big thanks to The Duge and his A+ reporting skillz, take it away, Brah! (Photos by Dallas Wehrle)
First of all, I would like to thank all the Brah's and Sah's from Brah Records for allowing me to be their Official Olympic Correspondent at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. Who says record royalties are a thing of the past? And who says they can't be spent on excess in these days of iTunes frugality? Never let it be said that Rated O can't get you some wicked champagne. It was a hell of a trip.
Thursday, February 18
Dallas Wehrle, Chris Slorach, and I land at Vancouver Airport and are met by a proud lady holding an "Infinite Sound Design". Sweet our ride is here: straight to Vancouver's new Sky Train. Hmmmm, not the excess I was expecting, Brah Records. After two stops we get off and get into our ride to our hotel in North Vancouver: A Hummer Limo. This is more like it, Brah. We kick back in our glorified Motel 6 with pizza, trees blossoming outdoors, and watch the Canadian men's hockey team scrounge out a 3-2 win over the Swiss in a shoot-out. Not bad, but not impressive.
We head to the main strip, Granville Street, to hit up Commodore Bowling. Last time I was in Vancouver (May), Granville was ripped up to be repaved for the Olympics. Now it is closed off for pedestrians only. Fat, drunk, goateed guys in Team Canada jerseys have never stumbled on smoother asphalt.
Already each pavillion is garnering a specific reputation. The Quebec house for its extravagantly priced $10 beers, the Russia house for blasting techno, the Saskatchewan house for hiring guitar shredders, the Irish house for rampant drunkeness and fighting (no lie!), and the German house for rampant drunkeness and Maxim girls.
In the Ontario pavillion, a group called Interaxon has set-up a live shot of the CN tower behind the stage. Then, users sit in a chair wearing a head-set. The head-set converts brainwaves into digitial signals which are then beamed to the CN tower and affect the light display on the CN tower. Pretty cool!
Rock bands and stage-hands are less technically adept. We still have technical difficulties. Already irate at having to take the stage before seeing the end of the women's game, I relax when I see there is no power to the front of the stage. I relax behind my kit and watch Cheryl Bernard land a perfect draw to defeat the Danish 5-4 in the 11th end while stage-hands desperately try to restore power. A victorious roar erupts from the crowd just as power is restored and I count the four to start the set. The crowd is loud and enthusiastic, no doubt bouyed by Bernard's extra-end victory.
Our set is projected on a 50-foot outdoor screen as a sort of pay-per-view for thos who could not get in. Pretty cool. Pretty excessive.
Saturday, February 20
Day off. Loaf around.
Get a ride back to the Ontario Pavillion with Broken Social Scene and watch Kevin Martin defeat Great Britain 7-6 in a thrilling curling match. Broken Social Scene plays a tight and fun set. Old friend Julie Doiron plays a song with them, and they cover one of hers. While I question ending the set with a spontaneous accapella version of "I Still Haven't Found What I am Looking For", the crowd seems to love it. I round up Julie and we are off to the 30th birthday celebrations of our good brah, Ladyhawk's Darcy Hancock. Surrounded by good friends from Ladyhawk, Black Mountain, cake, and home-brew, all is right with the world.
Sunday, February 21
Today starts hurting (see previous entry) and ends hurting.
My good friend Adrian picks myself, Chris, Steve Lambke, and ruling American soundman Paul Manley. We head to the Pemberton Pub, on a reservation in North Vancouver. My good buddy Adrian plays on the Senior A Men's Lacrosse team, and I am thrilled at the prospect of watching the USA-Canada men's hockey game with my friend Adrian, and naively thrilled at the Authenticity of watching the game on a reservation with Native American Lacrosse players. I am not prepared for what happens next.
[Editor's Note: I can't believe this is real]
During Second intermission, with Canada down one, the TV flips to Ice Dancing, just as the Russian couple hits the ice in Australian Aboriginal garb so garish and cartoon-like that Disney would not even dare. There is a moment of tense silence, but when my new Native American friends Karl and Lisa erupt with table-slapping howls of laughter, the mirth is more infectious than H1N1.
Canada outshoots USA by an almost 2-1 margin, but Miller shines in net and Brodeur, the greatest goalie of his generation, has an unbelievably shaky game. USA gets a bye into the second round. Trying to find the silver-lining in this fiasco, I comment that this will just give Canada another game to fine-tune their lines and get their chemistry right. (update: it worked!)
Stay tuned for Round 2 tomorrow!!
USA WINS GOLD MEDAL in MEN'S HOCKEY!! March 1, 2010
uuummmm, no they didn't. I don't know much about hockey, I realize this lack of knowledge of "the rules" doesn't really stop me when I'm going ballistic about football but I don't really have a problem with that. All I can say is that I am so proud of the effort, of the team, and especially of USA goalie Ryan Miller. This may be totally out of line but dude, I hope you got or will soon get "superlaid". From what I saw you absolutely deserve it.
This will likely get me a few angry emails but you know what, I'm mad too so send away, dummies. In addition to completely losing his boyish good looks Sid was playing for CANADA. If you are a Penguins/Crosby fan and live in Pittsburgh, PA (or any other state in the union), you also live in AMERICA. In Olympic-speak that translates to USA. I have no beef with Canada, in fact I think I love it, and I'm a psychotic Pgh sports fan too, but this is just preposterous. Have Yinz no sense of national pride? Pittsburgh, you amaze me!
While I wade through my hate mail check back soon for an update from what I expect was a very-celebratory Vancouver. WE ARE WAITING!.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? February 22, 2010
The Duge says, "There is no team I hate losing to more than Team USA."
I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS.
I'M NOT SURE YOU UNDERSTAND HOW EXCITED I AM RIGHT NOW.
I spoke on the phone with The Duge after the 1st period. I was amazed that we had the lead. The Cons are in Vancouver to play some shows. . .amazing! Anyway - he felt like once Team Canada settled down the game was in the bag. I actually agreed with him. It was so clear that Team Canada was more talented. Watching them play was mind blowing.
But something happened. . .team Canada got a bunch of dumb penalties, Ryan Miller (goaltender from the Buffalo Sabres) played the game of his life and we never gave up.
I'm waiting for comments from our brothers and sisters in the great white north. . .I will post them when I get them.
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Hey everyone – so this piece has been brewing almost as long as the follow up to The Enchanter Persuaded. . .this is Kid talking. I read this review by the great Rick Moody and realized he was as addicted to rock biographies as I. So I decided, what the f’ – I would write to him and take his pulse on music bios. What follows is our reconstituted email exchange with our recommendations sprinkled in... Read on!