Friday, August 31, 2007

The Best of Summer List

Summer's all but over. Like any good summer, you can only judge it by what you wish you still had time to do, not by what you actually did.
Stuff I didn't do this summer, but wish I had:
1. Go kayaking
2. Jog more
3. Get out of the city
4. Get out of the province
5. Get off the planet
6. Write my novel
7. you name it

That's kinda depressing. Let's focus now the positives about the summer.

Number one song to listen to while coming home from work circa 4 a.m.:
"Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith" by The Roland Kirk Quartet.
From the album of the same name (combined on CD with the just-as-classic Rip, Rig & Panic), this has got to be my favourite non-Inflated Tear Roland Kirk track. Featuring absolutely boffo piano by Lonnie Liston Smith, this is actually pretty unweird by Kirk standards. There's some great ambient vocals, especially towards the end, and one fantastic, colossal sustained note from Kirk on what I think is a tenor sax, but might be a manzello, that impresses me everytime I hear it.

Number one song to listen on the train to work:
"Theme from Rockford Files" by Mike Post.
This is just an amazing piece of music from an amazing show.

Originally uploaded by emmetmatheson
Number one beach to be mellow and read books about stage magicians at and reminds me of my favourite Laurence Fishburne movie:
Deep Cove

Number one butter chicken:
Gassy Jack's

Number one Taxi Driver remake starring Christian Bale:
Harsh Times

Number one metafictional appearance by the writer of the story in Showcase Presents Batman Vol. 2:
Gardner Fox

Number one place to put your garbage during the civic strike:
I don't know, but how about NOT all over my backyard.

Number one movie starring Coffin Joe:

This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Call Me, I Won't Call You and other random stuff

After a full year of having a cell phone, I finally put a ringtone on it. I'm not going to tell you what it is, though. You'll have to hang out with me until I get a call to find out.

I don't get many calls, but I do enjoy the security of having when I'm coming home late at night/early in the morning. I make even fewer calls. In fact, I hardly call anyone at all.

Working the nightshift, I feel out of step with the rest of the world. I'm pretty guarded about my free time, and so I figure that everybody else is too. Like, people probably have better things to do at two in the afternoon--namely, work--when I'm ready to hang out? Maybe I don't give my friends enough credit. Maybe I don't see or talk to them enough to even have a sense of what their daily schedules are like.

Before this turns into a pity party: The point is, if I haven't called you, don't take it personally. In fact, if you have a number to call me at, I'd probably like to hear from you, and I am available to hang out weekday afternoons!

On the way to work, I usually pick up a coffee at that place named after the guy from Battlestar Galactica who was named after Moby Dick. I'm not particularly proud of myself, but what can I say, they've got all the most convenient locations. And now that I've been hitting them up four days a week for four months, I'm kinda hooked on their blends. When I'm ahead of schedule (never) I like to grab my coffee from Blake's, but they're like, three whole blocks out of the way. So I'm at the Bucks of Star, and I see a little sign (really little!) that reads "Like many of you, we've changed to 2% milk". Say what? What is this, 1991? 1987? I don't remember the last time homogenized milk (now more sensitively referred to as "whole" milk) passed my lips. In my parents' house, 2% became de rigeur about the time I grew my first sideburns, and skim took over by the time my shaving syncked up with the lunar cycle. For a company that has a reputation (among rubes, at least) for being near the vanguard of consumer culture, it sure loves its milk fat!

Saskploitation link of the day: Recent UFO activity in the motherland.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Suspicious Midwest

About a month ago, I registered this blog with one of those tracking devices that SPIES on YOU, dear reader, and lets me know WHERE you are, WHAT you've read, and WHAT brought you here. Mostly, the results have been pretty uninteresting. I look at this blog the most, and most random visitors are only here for the MP3's. Howling Hex fans, in particular, but also a fair amount of Parkas enthusiasts and Lightning Dust supporters.

Sadly, there haven't been any especially wacky search terms. For a brief moment, I was excited to see that someone had found my blog by Googling "Rock & Roll Hair Superman", but then I remembered that was probably me.

What's most disappointing, though, is that it seems that I've been thoroughly abandoned by the Prairies. It's only fair, I guess, since I left them first. But I'm going to make a point, from now on, of shamelessly pandering to the Saskatchewan taste.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tribute to Lee Part 2: Fellas I Know, Ladies I Don't

Ladies & Gentleman, this week's Tribute to the late Lee Hazlewood continues with a couple of entries to the Elegant Lady/Not-Elegant Dude tradition that are both based out of Vancouver.
The first track, "We Don't Have To" is EXCLUSIVE to A Bulldozer With A Wrecking Ball Attached, since it comes from my brother, one Jesse Matheson. Jesse, you may recall, recently scored Track of the Day at CBC Radio 3 (and you can hear R3's Craig Norris's reasons right here). Well, this track features the same lady-voice as that chart-topper "Son of a Gun" does, Allison Russell of Po' Girl. How my brother manages to swim in such esteemed waters remains a mystery to me.

Song number two is from another Vancouver sensation, albeit one we have to share with the world. Lightning Dust is Amber Webber and Joshua Wells of Black Mountain fame, and aside from the fact that some of their press photos recall the Nancy:Lee dynamic (it just struck me, why aren't musical duos expressed as a ratio more often?), their music pretty much features Amber's voice exclusively and bears little resemblance to Lee Hazlewood's (which is not to say it isn't haunting and terrific, because it's both of those things). This track, howev, has some Josh:Amber back and forth and, at the very least, reminds me of Lee because Josh isn't the most, um, naturally gifted vocalist, but he works what he's got to pleasing results.

MP3: We Don't Have To by Jesse Matheson feat. Allison Russell
MP3: Jump In by Lightning Dust

As a postscript, it's worth mentioning (as I may have already) that Josh Wells shares my enthusiasm for Royal Trux, from whom we might hear in the next installment of Tribute to Lee!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Poet, Fool or Bum: Lee Hazlewood & the Ladies

Lee Hazlewood passed away earlier this month. One of my all time favourite dudes for a variety of reasons, Hazlewood's biggest contribution was to the pop idiom of boy-girl duets. His work with Nancy Sinatra and Ann-Margret was fun and subversive. It set a standard for roguish bad boys singing with pretty (or at least pretty-sounding) girls that remains effective. In tribute to this giant, over the next indeterminate period of time I'll be posting songs that somehow relate to Mr. Hazlewood, whether merely in spirit, or through more concrete ties.
Today's Lee-inspired tune is, in fact, a cover of a tune the Hazlehoff did with Ann-Margret way back when, done by Dean & Britta, group who inevitably invite comparisons to Lee anyway. I've talked about them before, so I got not much else to say.

EDIT: I can't figure out what I did wrong on the Lee & Nancy track, so howzabout something else completely? Here's Lee solo track from the album he did with Ann-Margret that exemplifies the way he managed to somehow come across as having something to do with Nashville, something to do with San Francisco and something to do with Paris all the same time.

EDIT #2: Okay, that didn't work either. I don't know what the problem is.

EDIT #3: All right, I've figured it out. So here's all three songs.

MP3: No Regrets - Lee Hazlewood
MP3: I've Been Down So Long - Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra
MP3: You Turned My Head Around - Dean & Britta

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New Howling Hex track!

hey hey hey
there's a new album coming out sometime this year (but if Drag City's got a song up, chances are it'll be S-O-O-N) called Howling Hex XI.

MP3: Everybody's Doing It by Howling Hex (courtesy Drag City, get it while it's hottt)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Summer Reading 2K7: The Handcuff King meets the Manhunter from Mars!

All this time at the beach (not as much I'd like) lends itself to the perusal of printed matters, which I will mystifyingly document below!

My big read, still underway, is Houdini!!! The Career of Erich Weiss by Kenneth Silverman. An exceedingly researched and detailed biog, Houdini!!! presents a fairly entertaining study of the Handcuff King and his many trials and triumphs. In its thoroughness, however, it lacks dynamism, and I'm quite eager to get back into some rollicking fiction once I'm done.

For all his dare-deviling and death-defying, Houdini's success seems to have come quite easily to him, and it's not until later in life, as his youthful vigour and elasticity begins to fade (not to mention the heartbreaking loss of his mother) that he really starts seem challenged.

Silverman presents Houdini as a marvellously vain showman whose own contradictions seem as tricky as his escapes.

What's really twigged my imagination/interest, though is Howard Thurston, an also-ran with a much more colourful past that Houdini. Says Silverman:

[Thurston] had put in time in hobo jungles, racetrack stables, and two-fisted western mining towns with names like Diamondville--picking pockets, burgling, operating a cheap-jewelry scam, hustling as a cane-waving check-coat barker with the DeKreko Brothers Congress of Eastern Nations, a traveling hootchy-kootchy show.

All of which sort of paints Thurston as a Jerry Lee Lewis of Prestidigitation to Houdini's Elvis.

I'm also reading and MY-T-LY enjoying Showcase Presents: Martian Manhunter. Presenting in black & white glory, the first 500 pages of the Martian Manhunter's earthly adventures, it's as good as Silver Age back-up strips got, if the Showcase Presents: Green Arrow is anything to go by.