Warning: geeky review and commentary of old comics within.
Warning: geeky review and commentary of old comics within.
Artist: De La Soul
Albums owned: Three Feet High And Rising (1989)
De La Soul Is Dead (1991)
Buhloone Mindstate (1993)
Stakes Is High (1996)
Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (2000)
AOI: Bionix (2001)
De La Mix Tape: Remixes, Rarities and Classics (2004)
The Grind Date (2004)
The Impossible: Mission TV Series - Pt. 1 (2006)
Eps/Singles owned: Buddy; Say No Go; Me, Myself and I; A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays”; Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey); Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa/Keepin’ The Faith; Breakadawn; Oooh;
Album(s) missing: Are You In?: Nike+ Original Run (2009)
Status: “Are You In” is a collaboration with Nike for thier “Original Run” series, an original album designed to be listened to on a run. It was released on iTunes on April 28, 2009. They’re working currently on Art Official Intelligence III (which isn’t exactly good news as the previous two AOI albums are their weakest efforts, imo).
Personal history: In 1989 (or perhaps 1990), the family was visiting Peterborough where my grandmother lives. Whilst at a weekend market, my sister and I came across a table selling new cassettes for marginally less than regular price. My sister bought Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet and pointed out to me the vibrant yellow and pink daisy age cover to 3 Feet High And Rising saying “I heard that’s pretty good.” I popped it into my walkman in the car and my mind threatened to blow up (but not go pop) as I listened to the opening game show sketch. Was this a hip hop album or a comedy record. My sister asked to see the cassette sleeve, and she asked, “Why’d you buy this?”
“You told me to,” I replied. “You said it’s good.”
“I’ve never even heard of it,” she said, dismissively.
The trip to Grandma’s house was short, but the wild, sampledelic nature of the album, with good humour and all around positive vibes made me an instant fan. I didn’t know at the time that De La was groundbreaking, but they certainly defined for me what rap music is all about, and it isn’t money or women, cars or ego.
Their second album, De La Soul Is Dead, took their style to the next level, and it quickly became (and has remained for 18 years) my favourite album. I wore out the tape I bought of it from listening to it so much, and I bought the cd (featuring four additional songs) long before I even had a cd player to play it. I searched out their singles and eps, exposing me to the pleasures of remixes (something that De La may not have invented, but certainly popularized).
Though there were a few missteps in their recording career (the AOI series and Buhloon Mindstate primarily), they’ve proved they can still release progressive records with catchy samples and insightful lyrics, and unlike most hip-hop artists, they’ve also shown they’re not going anywhere.
33 bands (in no particular order):
1. The National
2. Modest Mouse
3. De La Soul
[...about me #114/consumed all new #122] my history with The Tragically Hip (and live at Massey Hall)
I am not, in any way, what you’d call a Hip fan. I’m not a hater either, but to me, the Hip was my sister’s music when we were at our most contentious in the early 1990’s. She would blast her stereo, which was a magnificent beast I must admit, and it would easily overpower my meager all-in-one jam box as I tried to listen to my hip hop at a volume so that my mother wouldn’t hear the occasional swearing. The Hip drowned out A Tribe Called Quest, “At The Hundredth Meridian” would overtake my remix of “A Rollerskating Jam Called Saturday”, “Fully Completely” would make inaudible “Tru Fushnick” and it riled me so.
My tastes veered away (not fully, mind) from hip hop into other realms, including Canadian indie rock, which I’m sure our neighbours to the south would consider the Hip, but the notorious/ravenous frat-boy fanbase made it not just an unwelcoming band to approach, but ripe for derision. In the middle of the 1990s, the first Hip song to find me enthused was “Ahead By A Century”, a melancholy song of beautiful memories of youth, and it was a song I could (and did) listen to over and over and over again. Still, little else the Hip has done has penetrated my barricade.
In a whole new century I wound up marrying a Hip fan. At that point I was just getting past the point of *really* caring about music (something had to give with my many pop culture habits, music was it), and I was already getting to the point where I wasn’t judging people based on their music tastes. Aden was never one to blast music (at least not since I’ve been around) and I’ve kind of followed suit. Our musical tastes don’t exactly gel so I think we kind of avoid it for the most part. I do seem to recall her asking at one point though if there was a Tragically Hip concert would I go with her. Of course I would. Hey, if there was a Modest Mouse concert, I’d want her to come with me, cause I like her company. So, essentially, I knew this day would come.
I honestly don’t have anything against the Hip, and I’d often heard about what a fantastic frontman Gord Downy is, so there was the chance that I could be surprised or unexpectedly engaged by the concert. Well, the fans culling into Massey Hall were about 50% the expected screaming frat kids from University and the other 50% a mix of former frat kids now grown up, some matured and with family in tow, others, well, reliving their former glory days through music. I was feeling a fish out of water long before the show started. Aden regaled me with tales of Hip concerts past.
The show started at a surprisingly prompt 8:05 pm, Downy promising to take us on a journey through songs old and new (they are, afterall, supporting a new album). The first four songs were a blur, a trait of the Hips’ earlier music where their instrumentation was uncomplicated and Downy’s warbling was incessant. Despite my apathy towards the music, Downy did his best to entertain otherwise, with rants during the long wind downs at the ends of songs and a barrage of strange “dancing” and on-stage maneuvers (not to mention his predilection towards doing tricks with his white handkerchiefs which he’d use to wipe the sweat from his brow, then dispense into the audience… tragically unsanitary). There’s something to be said for the man’s style though, he’s part Michael Stipe, part Mick Jagger, part Andy Kaufmann, and he emerges on stage as the best dressed guy in the room (the band were befitting more the tragic side of style, rather than hip)
An intermission came after the first hour, when they returned a more “intimate” stage setup was presented with stools and a softer drum kit. A trio of “mother’s day tribute” songs were presented before the band kicked back out into their unintended jock rock. Of their two sets plus encore, I recognized about 80% of the songs (of those about 20% I outright loathe, but I digress). Of the entire show, the most alluring tracks turned out to be the newer ones like Morning Moon, which showcased diversity and complex rhythms and harmonies. I’m not a lyrics guy so I listen not to what’s being sung but how it is sung, and when Downy wasn’t warbling I found a strong admiration for his vocal capabilities.
Though Downy put in a punch-out performance, the rest of the band was non-existent wallpaper, lacking much in the way of energy or enthusiasm, leaving any showmanship to Downy. I’m sure this set-up has been honed over the past two decades but it makes for a strange dichotomy on stage. Downy’s frequent interaction with the audience is great but some sense of camaraderie with his bandmates would further extend the warmth, and perhaps energize their performance.
A solid show for sure, but music just not to my taste. I haven’t asked her yet, but I’m wondering if Aden was hoping to make me a convert after seeing the live show? (Answer in the comments, sweetheart :P). Not so much, but I am intrigued to hear those songs from the new album which really stood out in the live show… so you never know.
Whilst spending two concentrated weeks with my Mom and Dad, working on the house, making frequent trips to Rona/Home Depot/Canadian Tire, watching hockey, eating meals, and just being a family that I have inherited a lot of traits from my parents, in particular a snacking obsession which it would seem stems from my dad (probably my mom too, but she’s found willpower).
In the time they were here I ate:
121 - Peak Freans Lifestyle Selection Blueberry and Brown Sugar Cookies (with Flax!)
122 - Humpty Dumpty ChedACorn
123 - Doritos - Nacho Cheese flavour (I was originally trying to make a point about the fakeness of dialogue in food commercials and wound up getting suckered into snacktime)
124 - Munchos
125 - President’s Choice Blue Menu Fig Cookies
126 - one dollar Swiss fruit and nut chocolate
127 - Bounty coconunt chocolate bar
128 - peanut M&Ms (Aden’s favourite)
129 - cherry & creame cheese danish
130 - apple & creame cheese danish
131 - Tim Hortons donuts (maple glaze, double chocolate)
132 - day old Tim Hortons donuts (honey glaze)
But the snacking didn’t stop there, carrying into the weekend
133 - meh cherry pie (from the local fruit stand)
134 - more Tim Hortons donuts (their sucky walnut crunch, which I always forget is nothing like the awesome Robin’s Donuts walnut crunch)
135 - apple pie (as made by Aden’s aunt, and about the best apple pie I’ve had in 2 or 3 years)
Thankfully I’d been working my ass off the past two weeks, climbing ladders, pulling cables, sweating it out in monkeysuits insulating the attic, so I didn’t really gain much weight, but that kind of snackiness can’t continue. I’m a snacky guy in general and I try to reserve it for one or two nights a week, but my folks, well, let’s just say they’re enablers. Heh. Love them lots though, and I wouldn’t have gotten much done without them.
- when you’re working in dusty places like attics or with plaster dust and sawdust falling in your face, goggles and a mask are a necessity. Still doesn’t stop your boogers from turning black though
- when plastering the holes you make, waffle tape is essential to give the plaster some traction. You really want to fill in any gaps in the wall or ceiling with as much plaster as possible so that everything is solid, but when working with large, open holes, you will need to have something in place (drywall, wood, etc) to fill in the space first, as plaster will either just fall in or out of the wall or bubble down from the ceiling without something to cling onto. Also, it reduces any drafts in the walls which also causes bubbling. My dad has a way of fixing the stopper in place by screwing it into a thin, flat board.. easy to show, hard to describe.
- you should really dropcloth the floors when working on ceilings over hardwood, since the plaster that drops down can be crunched up and scratch the floors up
- when finished with your bucket of ready-mix plaster, clean off the insides of the bucket walls and the lid completely, as any plaster that hardens and falls into your mix will make it gritty and almost impossible to get a smooth application
- sometimes the easiest way makes the biggest mess but also often the quickest way will wind up taking more time in the long run. So really, its up to you… punch more holes and fix them later or figure out how to work with the holes you already have