Thursday, October 19, 2017

Poet, R.I.P.

I'm so glad we went to Kingston last summer to hang out and party with The Tragically Hip and other fans outside in the street. We knew it was epic and we had to be there. There's no fucking crying in rock and roll....so we didn't even though we knew Good Downie was fighting cancer. He was there ehe was signing. There are no tears in rock and roll bitches. Dance! So we cheered and danced and the crowd was incredible and so much love was felt and shared. The Tragically Hip is really one of the greatest bands I've seen live...and I've seen some doozies (Bowie, Prince, The Clash, Soundgarden.) I'm not sure which is the best concert experience I've had with The Tragically Hip but it is probably the night before the Olympic Gold hockey games in Utah. They played a last minute show at Lee's Palace announced word-of-mouth and on the radio. Four of us raced to Lee's Palace...taking time off work...trying to grab warm clothes. And we stood outside of Lee's Palace in freezing rain for hours to get a coveted wrist band. I was wearing a fun-fur coat. Bad choice. I may have looked amazing but that thing soaked up all the rain. Frezing rain. We got our wrist bands and literally had an hour to kill before going into the venue so of course we found a bar and got drinks...and tried to lay our soaking clothes out to dry. After pounding back a couple of beer we put our wet clothes back on and got into Lee's Palace. Wow. They totally killed it. And right after the show the band as flying to Utah to play the closing ceremony after the hockey game for gold. That fed the audiences fervor, for real. An incredible concert. I seem to remember that I had to throw my fun-fur coat out the next day it was just mincemeat.

I drove my car down to NYC to crash at a friends place in 2000 because The Hip were playing Central Park on Canada Day. I couldn't even sleep unless I knew I would be at that show. I had just bought a little Suzuki Swift....like, a day before driving south and I was pretty nervous. I left late in the day and had to sleep in fast food place parking lot. I woke up next to a motorhome with a bunch of guys going home after Gay Pride day in Toronto. It was so funny just crawling out of our vehicles exhausted. I actually had bartended Gay Pride and I was so tired as that might be the toughest job I've ever done. But awesome! I got to NYC and my friends said "I'm going to London for two weeks. Heres the keys to my place you can stay the whole 2 weeks if you want." I wanted. I borrowed his bike to ride from his apartment on Avenue A to Central Park. That in itself was an experience and a half. When I got to the park....it was crazy and I did manage to be one of the first dozen people lining up. We had a blast. We had beer garden and flats of cardboard which the guys in the front row kept bringing us loads of beer. The opening acts were Jeff Healey and Great Big Sea. The audience was truly insane and crazy. I have no idea why these bands were playing Central Park on Canada Day.....but cops were asking me why? Are you guys having a revolution? The NYPD was a hoot. I was sitting with these guys I met in line who had been in college when the Hip played their school and they were lifers. I can not believe I not only locked my borrowed bike in Central Park but that I drove through Manhattan loaded. This was the first couple of days I spent in NYC alone in the lower east side and this was the groundwork for an amazing time there.

Somehow The Tragically Hp never really made it as bigg in the United States as some other Canadian bands. It's a bit of a mystery but I have two theories. One, is that they were sort of similar to REM. And the market can't really sustain two bands who are similar. And two, they didn't tour as much as their peers Blue Rodeo and Barenaked Ladies. Barenaked Ladies played most of the year on the road to every college. They showed up on Regis and Kathie Lee. The Hip didn't. Blue Rodeo played in Hollywood movies. The Hip didn't.

Maybe it's because Good Downie and the boys were too busy being amazing with community building, playing hockey, writing poetry and making family life while serving as activists and trying to convey the importance of indigenous peoples. I don't know.

Concerts are one thing but I have so many specific memories of listening to the Hip. One really good memory is being on a road trip with my friend Mister Anchovy. We ldrove from Alberta south to Yellowstone Park and through the "Top-of-the World highway. We listened to a lot of blues, Dylan and the Hip. I remember flying through mountains in Montana blaring "At Hundreth Meridian."

What a fantastic band who wrote such emotional and fun songs...some of the best albums for road trips ever. Here is the set list from Canada Day in Central Park:

Grace Too
My Music At Work
Gift Shop
Putting Down
Escape Is At Hand for the Traveling Man
Tiger the Lion
Fully Completely
Lake Fever
Poets
Flamenco
Courage
Fireworks
At The Hundredth Meridian
Nautical Disaster

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Ruin Porn

 You know the major art form of the zero's? Ruin porn. Online viewing. Abandoned cities, abandoned kitchey hotels abandoned movie theaters. Empty haunting dead. THE CANYONS is a movie about ruin porn of the human condition and it is a movie I am obsessed with. It's the orphaned child of TWIN PEAKS. It stars the most elegant ruined actress alive Lindsay Lohan who is stunning and perfect in this movie. I can not wholeheartedly say "you must see this movie" because I'm pretty sure it is one of the "worst movies" made. I've never let bad taste or bad art stand in the way of emotional or spiritual deliverance. Sometimes it is the sheer decadence of an object that provides us with deliverance. I love this movie. It is written by the same mind that wrote AMERICAN PSYCHO and therefore does not not try to make us feel good about our life. Have you ever heard of a cult religion based on the source of the New Age Movement "the course on miracles"? (A Course on Miracles has sold over 2.5 million copies and was once featured on Oprah) The premise of the entire first chapter is that everything has never actually existed..it is something we completely made up. There are no banks, no cities, no bicycles, no cupcakes, no wars, no forests, no earth, no space it is all a social construct. It claims that eternity is outside time and space and that this dream never occurred in reality and is "already over", though not the (illusory) perception. THE CANYONS is the New Age Satanist version of truth. Only it's not actually evil. It's just having fun with our self-serious belief that we even exist. Brilliant counter-culture decadence and art. 10/10.





Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Saturday, September 09, 2017

A Sort Of Goodbye

Dear Old Friend,


Thank you.

I feel like nothing I say here will come close to describing what I want to say to you...but try I must. And try to write this even at the risk of looking like a fool. Bravery in the face of absurdity is something I learned from you and your sister so why not give it a try now. What is more absurd than writing a goodbye to someone you have not talked to in decades? I'm not too proud to be a fool.

You and your sister were like surrogate parents to me when I was young. There hasn't been a time in my life when I didn't use you and her as a yardstick to measure and weigh any decision I have made. I have never felt apart from either of you. I have tried to live my life according to the ethics and common sense I learned  from both of you in each of your individual and unique approaches to living and making decisions. Even how I have voted over the years has come from discussions and perspectives from you. Next to my sister and Oma you are the two single most influential people in my life. You showed me how to live and how to think.

I consider that influence to go beyond time and space. I experience it to go beyond even physical proximity. I did not plan to accept your influence but that influence has infused itself on my life whether I wanted it or not. Your influence has endured.

It is the knowledge that you are going on a voyage that has inspired me to write this note  that if possible by some freak click of the keyboard you might find this post...I want to thank you. I also write knowing you will likely not see this and knowing that thats okay too. I did say these things the last time I saw you and for that I am also grateful. However, saying thank you does not have a limit does it?

I want to thank you for being one of the funniest people I have known. I'm funnier for it. Thank you for being so intelligent and curious about the world with intense arguments and ideas. I'm smarter for it. You have influenced my art work, my family life and my dedication to living in freedom. My life might have become very different than yours or your sisters but that is because I had different work to do. Mainly my life took a different path because I was terribly immature back then. I had a lot of learning, therapy and experiments to do to even begin to be as wise as you and your sister. But the struggle of learning made deliverance all the sweeter.

I am grateful to both of you because I was able to live a good well-adjusted adult life and practice film and art and writing free of any burden of the material world. I had the confidence to make art and live without answering to censorship, fear or social constructs. I got that from you. You are one of the most special and talented storytellers I have ever known. You made me a better storyteller. And, perhaps oddly,  I have never ever felt separate from either of you as your individual personas...helped build me. Love is bigger and more powerful than rules, laws, transgressions or distance. It really is eternal and goes beyond even consent or participation. You and your sister are in the structure of my thinking right into my life, work, meaning and emotions.

Thank you for being part spiritual and part ethical parents. You both made me a better parent and that is probably the most important lesson you gave me.

Love can not be legislated. Love really is everywhere. Love really does not answer to society's norms,  politics or intolerance. Love really is stronger than any other sensation and it is transcendental and transformative. You changed me. Thank you for teaching me this. Love, Candy.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017