Since we’re coming to the end I thought I’d just drop this out there, incomplete though it is…
1 Modest Mouse X
2 The National X
3 TV on the Radio X
4 Futureheads X
5 De La Soul X
7 Menomena X
8 Golden Dogs X
9 Parkas X
10 Matt Murphy X
11 Interpol X
12 Femme Generation
13 New Poronographers (?)
14 Novillero/Rod Slaughter X
18 Ratatat X
19 Q-tip X
20 The Orb
21 !!! X
22 Danger Mouse X
23 Damon Albarn X
24 Godspeed, You Black Emperor X
26 Amon Tobin (?)
27 Stephin Merritt
I have a horrendous time remembering lyrics to songs, even songs I’ve heard hundreds of times or made pains to learn the lyrics to I can’t remember. Then again I also have a hard time remembering how songs progress musically, making singing or humming tunes challenging. As much as I love music, my brain, I think, isn’t wired for it.
I do want to learn some songs to sing to LL though, so I’ll need to find a repertoire. I don’t think rapping “Bitties in the BK Lounge” is something she’ll want to hear when she’s 2 or 3 and trying to fall asleep.
In conversation at dinner last night my mother-in-law noted that my wife and her brother both bypassed the crawling stage and started walking. Aden noted that JJ did the same. I didn’t actually know about myself, so later that evening I called my mother and asked her and she stated that both my sister and I had “strong legs” and started walking at around 7 to 8 months.
Crawling at 8 - 12 months is normal, with walking to follow at around the year-old mark, but it’s obviously not uncommon for babies just to go for it first thing. In other words, I have some time to babyproof the house.
I hate shopping malls, and have for a long long time. It makes me feel all squidgy to be amongst the consumerist sheep, amidst the blur of “latest trends” and the assault of whatever crappy popular music nearly every store seems intent on regurgitating as if all mallrats are also club rats.
Add to the equation a baby and a stroller and it’s a nightmare on wheels.
The unfortunate thing is you can’t always avoid them.
Even more unfortunate is there are a few stores which can only be found in malls which I actually like going to… *grumble*
When Aden and I were initially discussing having a baby she asked whether I wanted it to be a boy or a girl. “Boys are for mommies, little girls are for daddies”, I responded. Well, that and “plus, we already got a boy.”
It’s been said that the man can will the sex of the baby, and I was hoping pretty hard that it’d be a girl but, apparently, other factors aside from sheer willpower decide the sex of the baby. Huh. Burst my bubble.
The main thing I don’t care for about little girls, however, is the proliferation of pink… if you go to any children’s wear department it’s quite readily apparent which is the section for girls, and the boys clothes tend to be anything without pink in them. Aden’s with me on this, thankfully, and we’ve bought some clothes with only a little pink accenting on them, but nothing that’s overtly pink. Most of our pink items have come from gifts people have given us. Joany loaned us a mammoth bag full of old W clothes which contains some pink, but I’m pleased the bulk of it’s pretty neutral.
As you can tell by the photos, we’ve been dressing LL in blues, yellows and greens primarily… I think we’re just pink averse for now. But there will be no pink bedsheets or pink furniture or pink Big Wheels in my little girl’s future. I’m not going butch Hot Wheels or anything, but will strive for gender neutrality or non-pink girly in the first order every time.
Given my rather hirsute features I was honestly worried that my little LL would wind up looking like Chippy from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
Thankfully she turned out like this:
I tend to think all newborns look like Winston Churchill, but dang my baby is a cute cute kid. Of course I am her papa so I have to think that.
A friend said that, given Aden and my not altogether unappealing appearance that we’d either have a damn cute baby or a very ugly one. I also use to think that really cute children tend not to look as attractive as adults (swatted with the ugger stick) while ugly babies tend to swan out at adulthood… I hope for my girl’s sake that I’m wrong
One of the worst things about being a new parent is not knowing…
It’s nothing in particular, just everything… all the things you don’t know about your child, about baby development, about their wants and needs, about how to love them and not spoil them, about preventing ailment, understanding skin problems and treatments… so many things I don’t know, it’s overwhelming sometimes, scary even. When LL cries frantically, my heart races, am I doing something wrong? Illogical thoughts like “does my baby hate me?” can’t help but run through your mind. It’s an intense job, this parenthood and I’m certainly up for the challenge, frazzled nerves and all.
Unlike the name for my little girl, I never had a name for a little boy. Clark seems obvious, and I’ve vied for it more than once, half joking, half serious, half cruelly considered. When Aden and I found out “we” were pregnant, we started talking about names, and she was quite fine with Laurel, but doing boy names was a bit more of a challenge.
I came up with a host of wacky, geeky names, my favourite being Hoth, which Aden vetoed strongly, unless we got a malamute or husky or something, at which point she’d be more than okay with it. In the end we’d settled on “Oliver”, although, it really was settling, kinda. I don’t think either of us were super thrilled but we liked it enough. I’ve since learned it’s a bit of a trendy name out there in the world, so I’m glad we had a girl… (though that’s not the only reason)
I had my little girl’s name picked out long before I’d ever even contemplated having a kid. In an issue of “Who’s Who” (the DC Universe “encyclopedia”) I bought back in ‘86 or ‘87, you know, when I wasn’t even a teenager yet, I spied a character named Laurel Kent in the Legion Academy profile and I’ve been pretty much committed to the name ever since. (As a teen I flirted with Jade and Cerise as baby name but Laurel pretty much stuck… obviously).
I’m totally making a Superman poncho for this baby.
I’m also going to have to teach this girl the modesty her namesake doesn’t have when she gets older.
The anesthetist as he was performing Aden’s epidural, was very concerned about me, stating that I might want to sit down as many dads-to-be tend to pass out or get weak in the knees during the whole painkilling/birthing process. But not me. If I was shaky it was due to being tired and a little hungry (I ate while Aden had her nap after the epidural kicked in). But I found the whole process quite interesting, and was dutifully watching the doctors and nurses in all that they did.
When the shadow doctor discovered Aden was fully dilated, she left the room to fetch to on-call doctor, and we were left alone with our nurse, who started coaching Aden through labor. At one point she said “Oh, I can see the head… Dad do you want to see”, well I did and I didn’t want to, but I looked and there was a visible white patch with a mess of black hair. Watching the monitor for contractions, the nurse coached Aden to push with each contraction (force down into her bladder, like having a really, really difficult poop), to which Aden would clamp down, her hands behind her knees, pulling them to her chest and clenching her jaw like a weightlifter hauling up 450lbs. I was helping by holding onto Aden’s foot, giving her something to push up against (why they don’t have stirrups, I have no idea). With each contraction she got about four solid pushes. The baby’s head had crowned within minutes, and the nurse said to hold there, to allow for stretching instead of tearing, and likely for the doctor to return. It was the shadow doctor that finally returned, with an entourage of six other people with her. At that point the baby was coming out slowly through the force of the contractions alone, without Aden pushing. With one more push, the baby’s head emerged fully and I watched as the shadow doctor pulled the umbilical cord from around her neck. One push later and, *SPLOOSH* she pretty much launched out with a gushing tide of white fluid, landing sideways onto the receiving mat.
She was grey and a mess, and both Aden and I stared down at her, I’m sure both of us holding our breaths, a flood of worried, nervous emotions overcoming us as our little girl laid there, motionless for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably, at most, two seconds before her mouth started moving and a beautiful wail emerged, limbs flailing. With that tiny cry, I experienced not just the birth of my daughter but of unconditional love. Every feeling you can ever have as a parent comes to you in that moment, like fireworks, they just explode inside you. I looked at my wife, who stared back at me, and we both let loose tears. We kissed, and touched heads, a full sense of relief overcoming us. All around was a mess of blood and fluids and solids and such, and it’s not a pretty thing, but the moment, the moment is absolutely beautiful.
The doctor asked if I’d like to cut the cord, but I wanted to embrace my wife more than handle scissors, and literally (not symbolically) disconnect my daughter from my wife. The nurse said “Dad if you’ll come with me, we’ll get the baby cleaned up” while Aden passed the afterbirth, a not altogether pretty scene I caught out the corner of my eye. I grabbed the camcorder and started filming (at Aden’s request, I spared her the filming of the birth) the nurse wiping her down, and bundling her up. After putting some drops around her eyes, she passed her to me and I held my daughter for the first time. Was I proud? In the immortal words of Robert Evans, “you bet your ass I was.”
I’ve decided that my favourite animal is a Squirrel. I love watching squirrels as they precariously yet effortlessly bound across telephone wires and fence tops and through trees… they have such a liberated sense of movement, the parkour of the animal kingdom, you ever seen two of these things go after each other? It’s more thrilling then the opening chase in Casino Royale . Of course, they are incredibly skittish creatures, but even that amuses me, when they bound up behind a tree as you pass, peering their head around the corner to watch you. Oh, but they can be vicious… the little rats, but still… And in the spring, when they begin to shed their winter coat, and it looks like they’re wearing skirts… adorable. Yes, I love me some squirrels.
Artist: Q-Tip/A Tribe Called Quest Albums owned: Tribe - Peoples Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990); The Low End Theory (1991); Revised Quest for the Seasoned Traveler (1992); Midnight Marauders (1993); Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996); The Love Movement (1998)
Q-Tip - Amplified Eps owned: sadly, none Album(s) missing: Tribe - Hits, Rarities & Remixes (2003); The Lost Tribes (2006)
Q-Tip - The Renaissance (2008)
Status: Q-Tip’s “lost album”, Kamaal/The Abstract, originally slated for 2002 release, then scrapped by the record co., will finally be released by Battery Records on September 15, 2009
A sixth Tribe record was discussed around 2006-2007 when the group reunited for touring but nothing since has been mentioned.
Personal history: Tribe was always my second hip-hop love to De La Soul, but upon relistening to the albums (see anew #134-140) the once-perennial seed has once again blossomed. I’d been anxiously awaiting Q-Tip’s second album for years, then kind of gave up hope, and completely missed it when it came out last year. It’s on the list of things to be corrected. I also forgot that I had the opportunity to see Tribe about a year and a half ago in Toronto, and didn’t take it. Dang.
Artist: Godspeed, You Black Emperor Albums owned: Yanqui U.X.O. Eps owned: none Album(s) missing: lift yr. skinny fists like antennas to heaven! (2000); slow riot for new zero kanada (1999); f# a# oo (1998) Status: on hiatus
Personal history: GAK introduced me to GSYBE on a mixedtape back in 1999 I believe, or perhaps it was a mixed cd in 2000. Either way, i was fascinated and a live show at a remodeled and restored Palais Royale way way back still resonates in my mind, as does their powerful contribution to the opening moments of 28 Days Later (remember when Danny Boyle was cool, not famous…? bah). GSYBE, I miss you.
Artist: Parkas Albums owned: Now This Is Fighting (2003), Put Your Head In The Lion’s Mouth (2007) Eps owned:A Life of Crime (2006) Album(s) missing: none Status: Currently recording their third album with Dale Morningstar… and then…?
Personal history: Even though I’ve known drummer Greg Rhyno, and bassist/vocalist Mark Rhyno since high school, do I put them on the list because I know them? Hell no. The Parkas are an amazing band, full stop. Having emerged from a tumultuous career path (see the near-brilliant “Life of Crime” DVD) stronger than ever a few years back, they make fun, exciting rock and-or roll, with clever and catchy lyrics and deliver one of the best working man live shows around. New material is most definitely welcome, and anticipated.
Artist: Golden Dogs Albums owned: Everything In Three Parts (2004); Big Eye, Little Eye (2006) Eps owned: none Album(s) missing: none Status: Currently recording
Personal history: Even though married leads Dave Azzolini and Jessica Grassia are originally from Thunder Bay, I didn’t actually come across the Golden Dogs until 2006, and even that was by happenstance (of which I can’t remember). Impetuously infectious and a killer energetic live show, with a wildly varied and grandiose sound, they could be from Duluth or Bruges and I’d still be just as enthusiastic. I also have a yellow t-shirt with the “target” emblem from their last album which I just love love lurve. Their video for “Never Meant Any Harm” still ranks as one of my favourite all-time videos:
Artist: Matt Murphy Albums owned: The Super Friendz - Mock Up, Scale Down (1995); Slide Show (1996); Love Energy (2003)
The Flashing Lights - Where the Change Is (1999); Sweet Release (2001)
Guy Terrifico - The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico (2005) Eps owned: The Flashing Lights - Elevature EP (2000)
City Field - Authentic City ep (2004) Album(s) missing: none Status: Supposedly recording a new Super Friendz album…
Personal history: I was introduced to Matt Murphy and his Super Friendz by the aforementioned Parkas, Greg and Mark Rhyno, way back in 2005, when their pre-Parkas endeavour, Phasers on Stun, opened for the Halifax based band at a tiny little place with a foot-high stage and low ceilings whose name escapes me (I saw Hayden there too). Chris Murphy of Sloan was filling in on drums for their tour, I recall, and I remember him saying that Mark had the best hair in Rock and Roll. Anywho, I bought Mock Up, Scale Down then and there, and it’s been probably my favorite Canadian rock album ever since. Their track “Karate Man” was at one time adapted into chapter 3 of my novel Quarter City but was later excised.
Their second album, Slide Show wasn’t well received, which I couldn’t ever figure out, since I’ve enjoyed it immensely from the get go. It’s not as poppy as their debut, but it does show growth and maturity. I knew the Super Friendz had sadly disbanded but I was over the moon to discover the Flashing Lights in 2000, and to see them live a bunch of times in 2001. The track “Do It To Yourself” on Sweet Release is one of my all-time favourite songs. It was bittersweet to hear that the Flashing Lights disbanded so that the Super Friendz could reunite, creating Love Energy, followed by Matt Murphy’s unexpected performance as the titular legendary 70’s country music sensation in the mocumentary film The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico. The album which resulted from the film was incredible, and the celebratory live/farewell show for the DVD release was a great time, full of nudie suits and pedal steel guitars. Taking a back-seat in his girlfriend’s band, the B-52’s inspired City Field, Murphy’s contribution is still quite tangible. He’s been rather absent since Guy Terrifico disappeared, but whatever he does next, I’m there. The man can cross genres and styles with ease, and is a damn fine entertainer.
Artist: Rod Slaughter/Novillero Albums owned: Duotang - Smash the Ships and Raise the Beams (1996); The Cons & The Pros (1998); The Bright Side (2001)
Novillero - The Brindleford Follies (2002); Aim Right for the Holes in Their Lives (2005) Eps owned: n/a Album(s) missing: Novillero - A Little Tradition (2008) Status: Active, just coming off touring.
Personal history: I don’t actually recall how I came across Duotang. Was it a live show in Thunder Bay? Late-night CBC Radio of Brave New Waves? MuchMusic back when they actually played music videos? Honestly don’t recall. But I remember making a choice between two a bass ‘n’ drums duos, them and The Inbreds. While I like both, I threw my hat in with the Winnepeg-based band and followed them for years, across three albums and at least four live shows. Duotang’s frontman, the brilliantly named Rod Slaughter, had dabbled with the Winnepeg mega-band Novillero between albums back in 1999, but it seemed to be a bit of a passing phase, only when Duotang split up, he threw himself right back into it, and while the first album was decent, the sophomore release was incredible. They’ve been active ever since, achieving some modest success. I missed out on their 2008 release, which will have to be corrected.
Artist: Interpol Albums owned: Our Love to Admire (2007) Eps owned: none Album(s) missing: Turn on the Bright Lights (2002); Antics (2004) Status: Working on a 4th album, expected in 2010.
Personal history: GAK introduced me to Interpol back in 2000/2001 on a mixed cd, and lent me an early EP, and I didn’t really get it. They didn’t strike me as interesting and I found their sound rather monotonous. Somehow, though, they found their way onto my iPod (probably when I had GAK’s entire CD collection for about 2 years) and one day, with Paul Bank’s dulcet tones ringing in my ear, I became enraptured. There’s a rock-steady consistency to Interpol’s sound which, the more their catalog builds, the more comforting it becomes, and the more they become the heirs to post-punk royal crown. I find their sound to have great momentum, perfect driving music (more daytime than nighttime though).
Personal history: Ratatat makes stadium rock for your headphones. It was the video for “Cherry” that drew me in and while I don’t have much in the way of personal attachment, it’s really just that their instrumental merger of hip hop, guitar rock, and laptop electronica just pleases me. Their two volumes of Remixes, made available for free on their website at one time or another, (likely making rounds on the torrent sites), made some very mediocre rap palatable.
33 bands (in no particular order):
1. The National
2. Modest Mouse
3. De La Soul
4. TV on the Radio
5. The Futureheads
8. Danger Mouse
9. Damon Albarn
10. Q-Tip/A Tribe Called Quest
11. Godspeed, You Black Emperor
13. The Golden Dogs
14. Matt Murphy
15. Rod Slaughter/Novillero
When presented the opportunity, I will stray from my normal diet and consume foods I’d normally avoid at almost every other occasion. This happens most often at my parents house, where my father’s snacking habits wind up overtaking my own impulses, and my in-laws house, where food choices can be limited or what’s for dinner isn’t up to me. And, you know, I don’t want to be an ungrateful guest, so I just shut up and eat what’s served… heh.
I do not like confrontation, to the point that I stayed overlong in two relationships and three jobs because I didn’t want to deal with confrontation in attempting to make them better or ending them sooner. Part and parcel of this is it used to take me a long time to come to terms with something before I would confront it. I used to see this as a positive trait of patience, but now, I look back upon it as a form of cowardice. I’ve learned over the past four years to be honest when necessary, diplomatic when appropriate, and confrontational when there’s no other option. I’m a more confident, self-assured person, and I’m also not as nice as I used to be, turkey, which doesn’t mean I’m not kind or compassionate, just I’m not as willing to bend over and take it.
Physically, I’ve only ever been in one fight (well, I was in a half dozen scraps with my sister but I never had much of the gumption to actually try and hurt her) with a kid at school in grade 8 whom I didn’t like very much, for no particular reason. He wasn’t a popular kid (then again, neither was I) but he took to poking fun of me (and everyone else I recall) and we got into a rather lame fight. I kicked him a few times and he took a couple jabs at me. He eventually grabbed my leg and I dropped to the ground, just before a teacher showed up and we acted like we were just playing around. I sprained my finger but I didn’t let on at first. When I got home, I told my folks a soccer ball hit it (avoiding confrontation through lies), they took me to the doctor and I got a splint.
I don’t think I could get into a physical fight these days, which bothers me sometimes. I’d like to have confidence if I ever needed to defend myself or my family. I’ve thought of boxing lessons previously and one day may actually do. I so not disciplined enough for martial arts.
We all have that one photo from our childhood, you know, the one where you’re dressed up as the opposite gender and your parents have taken a picture and it’s something that just hangs around forever?
Mine’s called “PK’s Little Sister”, I was, I believe, 8 when it was taken. My sister (PK) and I had a dress-up trunk when we were younger full of mom’s old clothes, purses, jewelry, shoes, and, for some reason, a curly brown-haired wig. Though I’ve not seen the picture in a while I can remember the dress was white, heavy twill, with a dangly necklace (at least one), a brown purse with (I think) gold lame platform shoes, and possibly a belt… of course the curly brown wig and I think even a hat. I’ll see if dad can scan in the photo.
There’s a similar photo of my uncle Al in drag, which was for either my grandpa’s birthday or my grandparent’s anniversary about a decade or so back, and Al was introduced as one of grandma’s cousins. The legend has it that grandpa called him a “looker” and was quite fond of his legs. It’s all sorts of wrong, but also pretty damn hilarious.
I have this bad habit of inferring things and then taking my inference as fact, often bestowing my new, misguided knowledge upon others and perhaps looking a fool. It’s not lying, it’s just ignorance. This used to happen more often than it does now, as I try to research things on (the internet, like that’s trustworthy) before I relay my information onto others.
Often my embarrassment, upon learning the true meaning or details of a situation, doesn’t come for days, months or even years later, and yet embarrassment still creeps in. I’m just sort of like that.
I’m not sure I ever “got” the point of Gorillaz. I mean, I liked the concept of a virtual band that visually only existed as cartoon characters, I liked the fact that a cartoonist teamed up with a pop star and made a band, and that the cartoonist contribution to the band was considered equal to that of the musician, even if it’s the music itself which is selling records and earning awards. The problem is, as much as I get the idea that the cartoons ARE the band, I know when I listen to it that the band is Damon Albarn, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Dan the Automator, Miho Hatori, De La Soul, Danger Mouse, MF Doom, etc. So, as much as I appreciate the concept, I don’t necessarily buy it.
I don’t remember the last time I listened to the self-titled release, but the opening guitar hook, the opening lyrics of “Re-Hash”, it all sucks me right back in. I think GAK found Gorillaz before I did, but regardless of whomever found out about them first back in 2000, we were both rather jazzed upon hearing about the new work from Dan The Automator, and his bizarre collaboration with Blur’s Damon Albarn and that Tank Girl guy. I’m almost certain (though my memory is indeed faulty) that we had some exposure to Gorillaz (it was the Napster era, afterall) before the album even hit these shores. But once it did, it was a staple of consumption. The great thing about Gorillaz is under a fusion of hip hop, samples, turntables, live and programmed instrumentation, international musicians and brit pop structure is a sound that’s unique and nearly a decade later still sounds very little like what else is out there. Aside from Gorillaz, I can’t think of another band that’s attempted a fusion of pop, dj, and hip-hop that even bordered on the success Gorillaz has had. The Hewlett factor might come into play, with some really cool iconography and a decidedly different take on the whole live performance/band thing, it didn’t take long before they became legendary.
Gorillaz sound can go anywhere, and it does. 90-second song like “Punk”, which is, well, 3-chord punk, turns tale into the ominous dj-led “Sound Check (Gravity)” which has lyrics - wholly infectious lyrics, naturally - but it revels in the turntable scratches and programmed beats but filling it up with subtle strings and guitars. The more popular tracks like “Clint Eastwood” or “19-2000″ are far more radio friendly and yet still present an undeniable draw for even the most jaded of indie purists.
The closing tracks consist of “M1A1″, which features a 100 second lead-in sample extracted from Dawn of the Dead (the original). It as close to Blur as the Gorillaz ever got toe Albarn’s Blur style… but even after it’s rollicking guitars silence, it’s not over as the track blanks out for two and a half minutes before cuing into a hyper-paced dub-influence remix of “Clint Eastwood”.
Gorillaz weren’t immediately popular, but as advertisers (surprisingly ahead of the curve) caught on, so too did the public and radio, and Gorillaz were everywhere in the summer of 2001. A year later, you would still hear tracks playing in the ether and I was bordering on saturation point. With G-Sides my cup officially runneth over. This was a compilation of eps and b-side tracks, and while today I’m enjoying quite a bit, I recall back in 2002 I wasn’t so generous. Two remixes of “19-2000″ and another iteration of “Clint Eastwood”, tracks I’d heard everywhere far too often, inhabit the disc as well as another presentation of “Latin Simone” which was featured on Gorillaz. The less frequently heard tracks, the haunting electronics of “Faust”, the fuzzed out “Ghost Train”, the spacey “Hip Albatross” and the melodic outro of “12d3″ are all lesser tracks than most of the main album, though they do stand up equally with some of the less catchier ones (particularly “Faust” and “12d3″).
Later in 2002, two more Gorillaz releases came out, a full Gorillaz remix by Spacemonkeyz call Laika Come Home was released alongside Phase 1: Celebrity Takedown, a DVD of videos and behind the scenes, but G-Sides tapped me out and even the completest in me couldn’t find the enthusiasm to acquire them. I think I needed me a Gorilla break.
Though the whole spelling words with “Z” thing had long since past, and I was a little wary of hopping on a new populist wave of Gorillaz madness, I was sucked in despite myself. I had heard that the Automator was gone, and he was my initial draw to begin with. Did I really want to hear new tracks from Albarn and the Grey Album sensation Danger Mouse? But, there was “Feel Good Inc.”, the first single, on the tele, featuring De La Soul, and I just couldn’t resist finding out what other treasures awaited. A quick sample at the listening booth and I knew remarkably that Albarn and Hewlett had topped themselves.
The minimalist orchestral techno of “Last Living Souls” is followed by the wry, Neneh Cherry backed “Kids With Guns”, which is as evocative a song as Albarn has ever constructed (”They’re turning us into monsters, turning us into fire” he sings through a clenched jaw). “Dirty Harry” is a sister song to “Clint Eastwood”, but it moves in strange and unusual ways. We find MF Doom in “November Has Come”, Roots Manuva on “All Alone”, and Shaun Ryder on the incredible party track “DARE”. “Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head” is a spoken word track (by Dennis Hopper) which is utterly fascinating, in a “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” kind of way. The closing tracks “Don’t Get Lost In Heaven” and “Demon Days” are two sides of the same coin, really comprising one grand song, the latter half sung by the London Community Gospel Choir.
Though fully brilliant, Gorillaz once again made their impact on the populace at large and I couldn’t keep up, nor did I try. The D-sides companion album I passed up, as well as a pair of DVDs released in 2006, one a live video, the other Phase Two: Slowboat to Hades, a companion to phase one.
Albarn and Hewlett collaborated on Monkey: Journey to the West, a live musical stage show (”circus opera”), which they release a soundtrack adaptation in late 2008.
Artist: Damon Albarn Albums owned: Ravenous OST (w/Michael Nyman) (1999); Gorillaz - Gorillaz (2001); Gorillaz - G-Sides (2002); Gorillaz - Demon Days (2005) Eps owned: n/a Album(s) missing: Blur -all albums (1991 - 2002); 101 Reykjavik OST (w/Einar Örn Benediktsson)(2002); Democrazy (2003); The Good, the Bad & the Queen (producer w Tony Allen, Paul Simonon and Simon Tong)(2007); Gorillaz - D-Sides (2007); Monkey - Journey To The West (2008) Status: Working on a new Gorillaz album for 2010 with Hewlett, De La Soul and others, with, presumably, Danger Mouse producing. A Gorillaz documentary, Bananaz was just released June 1.
Personal history: To be honest, I’m not much of a Blur fan. My favourite song of theirs was the only new track on their best-of, “Music Is My Radar”, and the rest of their songs never truly grabbed me, but then I was participating in a Britpop war of wills siding with Radiohead rather than Blur, so I’m not certain I gave them much of a chance. I don’t really need to hear “Song 2″ ever again though.
My fascination with Albarn actually came a few years before Gorillaz though… Back in 1998 while working at my university student newspaper I received a promo pack for the film Ravenous which looked absolutely brilliant from the pictures alone. I came to love that film something fierce, and a large part of its brilliant experience is the awesome Albarn/Michael Nyman soundtrack which has been an enduring staple of my collection. Despite my lack of Blur enthusiasm, I knew this Albarn kid had something. The Gorillaz solidified it. But outside of those two endeavours I’ve not paid enough attention to his other work, and even though I might not like it all, nor do I need it all, he’s certainly an artist I want to keep paying attention to.
33 bands (in no particular order):
1. The National
2. Modest Mouse
3. De La Soul
4. TV on the Radio
5. The Futureheads
8. Danger Mouse
9. Damon Albarn