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Steverino ex machina.

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Location: PEI, Canada

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Steve's Computer Idol

To rival the (overall) blah performances of last night's American Idol top ten, I submit to you these ten tunes from my computer. Seek 'em out, listen to 'em, forget about those other "idols", vote for 'em if you want to. Or not. Either way, these tunes are all winners, in no certain order.

1. Neko Case - Star Witness
2. Josh Ritter - Girl In The War
3. The Tom Fun Orchestra - The Watchmaker
4. Gorillaz - Dirty Harry
5. Deadstring Brothers - Sacred heart
6. Sarah Harmer - Escarpment Blues
7. Bubbles - Liquor & Whores
8. Shaun Verreault - entire "the daggerlip sketches" CD
9. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Wishing Well
10.Byron Lee & The Dragonnaires - My Sweet Lord

Several of these are easy-to-find downloads from music blogs. I may update this later with more download links if I get the chance.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

As I procrastinate getting back into the swing of schoolwork tonight, I'm listening to Johhny Cash's "My Mother's Hymn Book". It's a beautiful and simple record. It's one of his best, was his personal favourite, and is a favourite of mine, too. As I listen to it, though, I'm reminded of something odd and just plain wrong (in my opinion) that I heard this weekend.

In the show that Cash recorded at Folsom Prison in '68, he opened with "Folsom Prison Blues". In it, when Cash sings, "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die," there's a loud cheer from the prisoners, one in particular. The odd and wrong thing about this live recording is that the cheer didn't actually happen. The cheer was added to the mix after the show was recorded. So, when you may get that chill of listening to that prisoner cheer as Cash sings of killing a man for no good reason, take solace in the fact that it didn't actually happen.

I think a live album should be live and virtually untouched, with nothing added afterwards or polished up too much. I like hearing nuggets of info like this, but I hate it when it's about something so cool and legendary as this album.

If you want to hear something really cool from a live album, listen for a particular fan during a very quiet part of "Lenny" from Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Live at Carnegie Hall".

The view I see
isn't always the same,
'though it's always seen through
the same cornered frame.
It's usually static,
and lately been plain,
but today was dynamic
the winter-soiled pane.

Monday, March 20, 2006

"St. Patrick"

Back in 1995, I think it was, Montreal had one bad game against Detroit. Mario Tremblay, the energetic (but ultimately sucky) coach left my (probably) one active hockey idol, Patrick Roy, in the game too long, even though Patrick was having a bad game. Several goals in, when Roy would even just come out of his net to slow a puck down, the crowd would cheer, like he'd made some save. Those arseholes so quickly forgot all the success Roy brought to that city. He won two Stanley Cups with them, and with Roy, they were always a threat. One bad game against Detroit changed that. The fans acted like they hated him, and made fun of him. I always hated Montreal's fans for being so critical, and this was their worst hour. I was as fuming as an easy-goin' guy can be. Once Patrick finally made it to the bench, he went right past Tremblay, and told Ronald Corey he'd played his last game in Montreal. It was sad, and maddening, but I didn't blame him one bit. Not long after, Rejean "Raging Fool" Houle traded Roy for basically nothing; Andrei Kovalenko (who scored the last ever goal in the Montreal Forum, against Dallas) and Jocelyn Thibault. Houle almost destroyed the team.

Over ten years later, something similar's come about.

Jose Theodore was, for a time, a very dominant star goalie for Montreal. I liked him and his play. When he's on, he's awesome. Unfortunately, though, he was pretty consistently inconsistent. Therefore, despite his past success (Vezina and Hart trophies, for example), the fans were gettin' to him a bit, and so was his own life and mind, I assume. Because of whatever factors were at work, he was pretty rotten this year. His stats (and his career stats, oddly enough) were worse than Montreal's backup, Cristobal Huet, and their rookie, Yann Danis. Rather surprisingly, Bob Gainey traded Theodore to the same team Roy was dealt to, Colorado (where Roy won two more Cups). It may end up as a bad deal in the long run, or it may end up being a move of pure genius. Theodore may never be as good as he once was, and Montreal will now save millions of dollars in salary that they would have had to pay Theodore. In return for Theodore, Montreal got a pretty good goalie in David Aebischer. However, he allowed 10 goals in his first two games for Montreal. Not good.

Here, we see Carolina's one-legged forward, Josef Stumpy, score a goal on Theo. Yeah, he was that bad in that game.

Cue who could be Montreal's next (unlikely) saviour, Cristobal Huet. He's French, so he meets the criteria, even though he's not from Quebec. It's still too early to tell, but Huet has been more than impressive since he started to outperform Theo for the #1 position, before Theo was even traded. Huet has been quietly dominant, and more importantly, consistent. He's had a few shutouts lately, and in just his last 3 games has a 2-1-0 record, with a 0.67 GAA, and a .974 save %. Right now, he's the anchor for Montreal, as they try to hold a playoff position. If they don't make it, it's not because of him. In the weeks to come, I'll be quietly and respectfully chanting (just as the fans were, when Aebischer was bombing on the weekend), "Hu-et, Hu-et, Hu-et". I hope we have a quiet new hero between the pipes; One that will last, and maybe even be respected.

Cristobal Huet

Maybe since I have an autographed puck and rookie card for both Theodore and Roy,
I should not get one for Huet. It just may keep him (successful) in Montreal! Oh, and aside from my current Montreal happiness, the Leafs are sucking as always. It's double joy!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

So... as for the weird part of that show last month...
Usually, whenever I have ever gone to a bar or a concert, I'm generally left alone by people I don't know. I'm not reviled or looked upon with disgust, but I'm not ogled or hit on a lot either. I bet I've been Googled more than ogled in my life, really.

This show must have been an excellent example of the law of averages or some sort of per capita statistical rule. During the run of the evening, I had, like, at least three gals try to put the moves on me. There weren't many people there, and many dudes that were there were old or drunk or freaks... I guess that made me a target? It was weeeird. And now that I'm married, totally pointless! It might've been nice, had I been single, but since I'm not, the uncomfort of it all outweighed any enjoyment.

During the show, I was front and centre, just how I like to be for any show, especially Wide Mouth Mason ones. Nothing gets between me and me mates... unless they force their way in! One gal was just dancing next to me as I just grooved on the spot and sang along to all the songs. My focus was on the stage, but hers was on trying to get me to dance with her. I mean... I felt like Rick Astley or something! She'd make contact as she danced, and then even got so bold as to try and pull my arm and then my hand out of my pocket. No dice, dear. I am the Steverino Nazi. NO STEVERINO FOR YOU! Another gal, on the other side, tried the same sort of thing, but with a different approach. She pretended I was a scratch and sniff sticker and her butt was a finger. It's hard to ignore that kind of thing! However, I did. When that attempted grindin' didn't snap me out of my musical trance, she tried some more... eventually squeezing between me and the stage, where there was NO ROOM. She squeezed in, facing me. She danced and wriggled, half-straddling one of my legs. I just stared over her head and kept-a-singin', in hopes she'd go away. She kept on writhin', though, right in my face, so I had to look down at her. She was just smilin' and gazin' as she was gettin' her own groove on. It was pretty funny to me, the married fella, so when I finally broke my gaze at the stage, I just looked at her and kind of smiled / laughed, and in about 2 seconds, just looked back up, and kept-a-singin', like she wasn't even there. She got the picture not long after. Phew!

After the show, I had to go upstairs to talk to Earl. As he was getting off the stage during the encore, he had asked me to stick around for a drink, which was my plan anyway. After I had a good chat with Shaun and Simon, though, Earl was nowhere to be found. I knew where he was, and there was a sporadic stream of gals going in that general direction... knowing Earl, I knew I'd have to go to him in this kind of situation. I went into the private lounge upstairs, the same place I'd first met him about seven years ago, and sure enough, the mini-horde of succubi were trying their best to lure him with their "charms". As always, he was his... uh... welcoming, friendly self. Nothing too bad. When I came in with a friend of mine, he was all like, "Heeeey, Steve! How are ya man? Good to see ya!" We had a shake and a bit of a hug, and all was good. One of the too-young horde turned around to me, both eyes with so much dark mascara that she looked like a raccoon that'd gazed through two gag telescopes. She was blonde, and her eyes were pale blue. She looked through her black circles like she was stunned and I was the Wizard of Oz, waiting to give her a brain. She said, "Are YOU a PRODUCER?" Like she was in awe or something. I thought that was really funny. She was just young and clueless. I momentarily thought of going along with it, but told her that I was not, though I thought I should be one. The gals were dispersed for being caught on camera stealing beer from the fridge. Earl and I chatted some more, we said our good-byes, and I went downstairs.

When I got down there, I had another wee chat with Simon. There were a couple of gals near him, and they were saying how much they liked his hair. One told him she thought it was fake and tried to pull it. He stopped her, then she drunkenly pushed him on the shoulder, to show she was just "jokin' around", but she really heaved into him, knocking him almost off balance, and forcing him to take a few wobbly steps back and comment in amazement at her level of drunkenness. She really was hammered. She tried to play high-five / you're too slow with me, but she missed a step, so I disqualified her and turned my side to her while I was talking to Simon. It was right about that time she sorta jumped up out of surprise and kissed me on the neck. Like, bloody Hell! What had Myron's turned into? That castle of nuns from Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail? I was surprised nobody asked me to give them all a good spanking! I flung myself to the side (but not off my feet) in my own amazement. I, too, was then like, "What the Hell!" She asked me if she could kiss the other side, but I said no. She tried anyway, so I had to use one or two subtly evasive Tai-Chi-like maneuvers to get away from her before she sucked my blood and turned me into one of the succubus horde. I finished my chat with Simon, and was on my way.

The best let-down of the night went to Shaun, though. A big tattooed chick (who works as a cashier at a low-end store in town) was waiting with her friend to try and lure Shaun into their or his lair for the evening. They were asking him if he wanted to go for some drinks, or hang out or whatever (code for sexually maul poor Shaun like a bear with her beastly tattooed flubber arms). The gist of Shaun's too-polite and too-funny reply was that they should go off on their own, have a drink without him, and pour one out on the ground or floor for him, like rappers do for their dead homies. I thought that was pretty classic.

I left for the eve, high from the great show and catching up with the guys for the first time in a long time, and stunned by the amount of shooting down I had to do. I wondered if it would be the same for the ECMA weekend, which can usually be pretty wild. I was only out for a few hours on one night (unfortunately), and thankfully, the chicks'd either all calmed down or, since there were a ton of people around, found other people to focus their attacks on. Phew! Now I don't have to have a T-Shirt made up that has a stop sign on it or something.