Saturday, August 27, 2005

If it's not Cash, it's in the trash

Peep this, homeslice. Below is the tracklist for the mix CD I've made for the drive out to Vancouver. I'll be travelling with my father, so I've had to take out some of the "indier" items I might normally have chosen, but I still feel this is pretty awesome:

"Don't Even Know Her Name" - Ryan Adams
"Mushaboom" - Feist
"Breakdown" - Jack Johnson
"A Job Worth Doing" - The Joel Plaskett Emergency
"The Trapeze Swinger" - Iron & Wine
"I Want You" - Bob Dylan
"Golden" - My Morning Jacket
"Ah, Life" - Ryan Adams
"Wheat Kings" - The Tragically Hip
"The Mariner's Revenge Song" - The Decemberists
"We Will Become Silhouettes" - The Shins
"Why Would You Wanna Live?" - Wilco
"Good Things" - Kathleen Edwards
"Blame it on Me" - Barenaked Ladies
"Well Whiskey" - Bright Eyes
"Fool's Gold" - Ryan Adams
"Louisiana Bayou" - Dave Matthews Band
"'Til Kingdom Come" - Coldplay

Sure, it's a tad heavy on the Adams, but these are rare b-sides my friend, and I'm trying to wean the old man off some of the dusty music of his, and on to some new tunes that only sound dusty.

As for some of the other strange choices: Decemberists get an invite to the party because my father used to listen to a lot of John McDermott, and this is the chantee-est song I've heard since then. Coldplay's tune is pretty much a Johnny Cash rip-off, which a nod to the trip my dad made with his dad cross country, where the 8-track was non-negotiably for Cash and Cash ONLY. The Barenaked Ladies keep the mix from becoming an indie-music love-in, and Kathleen Edwards brings up the female representation, if only slightly.

Rock on, and see you in Vancouver.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Canuck Hotel Foxtrot

I'm not sure how second year law school will compare to first in terms of workload. Last year, with 100% exams, evenings were a relatively stress free affair, where you could squeeze all your fears about failing into a few weeks in April. Now, who knows, but let's hope there's still room for some of the fall's television shows:

I'm in an office pool for a team on the Amazing Race's family edition. Root for the three sons-in-law along with the father who bears an uncanny resemblance to Dennis Hopper!

Thankfully, Hopper can't reprise his role on 24, where he gave Keanu Reeves a run for worst accent on screen ever. Who will join Jack though? The headline says it all: "Fat hobbit joins counter-terrorism unit." They haven't given many hints on what the new season will look like, although in the last season Tony Almeida did ominously gave Jack a golden ring and mumbled something about a mountain...

I've mentioned how good it is, and now you can listen to the whole Dandy Warhols album on their site, remarkably with a whole DVD's worth of footage. Apparently, it was going to be included with the CD, but scrapped because of "someone in a department called Legal." I don't know what it is, but sometimes, I get this feeling that people have some, I'm not sure, negative attitude towards lawyers.

Another CD you positively must look out for is the self-titled Broken Social Scene album. If you liked how weird Wilco got in their sound, this seems like the natural progression. Only I gather Bro' So' Scene (as nobody calls them) has been doing it longer.

Hmm, this post sorta devolved into just more random links. So in that spirit:

"Shakespeare was, like, the ultimate rapper"

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Could you dumb it down an iota?

Pardon my fascination with the aforeblogged F. Winkerbean, but I just can't understand how this comic strip is in the "funnies." I did some research, or rather just read through the comic starting a few weeks back, and found this storyline:

In the August 4th comic, poor Wally steps on a "bouncing betty" land mine while walking through Iraq. (Don't ask me why.) Anyway, if you've ever seen Blown Away with Jeff Bridges (who, I believe, is contractually obligated to run in slow motion in all of his movies) and Forest Whitaker, the comic strip plays out like that tense scene where Forest has a bomb in his headphones. So finally, by August 20, more than two weeks of panels later, the bomb is defused by an Iraqi companion of Wally's.

And how does Wally repay this supreme display of bravery?

This reminds me of when the caption for a Far Side cartoon was accidentally used for a Dennis the Menace comic to hilariously macabre results. Is Funky Winkerbean printed next to Al Franken?

Speaking of knowing your audience, the passing of Brock Peters reminded me of a lesson we got last year in a seminar on litigation. Peters is, of course, the actor who played the falsely accused Tom Robinson in the film To Kill a Mockingbird.

We were told, the reason why Atticus Finch lost that case, despite giving a heartwrenching, observant and landmark speech: he used the word "iota" in his opening.

Simply, a courtroom audience in that region of the country in that period of time wouldn't have a clue what it meant, and would be lost from that point on.

"We find the defendant guilty of say whaa?"

One of the best albums of the year came out today. Did you buy it?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Insert clever title

Killing time before the drive. Thus I present, random links:

Klingon fairy tales.

A benefit song to end every kid's favorite holiday, "Do They Know It's Halloween?" Possibly the only time you'll hear Beck, Arcade Fire and David Cross on the same recording.

Anyone ever read the comic Funky Winkerbean? Well neither have I. And maybe that lack of context is what makes this comic - which, with a title like Funky Winkerbean, one might expect to be lighthearted - so very funny, when it's so obviously and utterly not.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

As a matter of fact, I can't hear you

I've now joined that class of citizen who are permanently communicado, those who have yet another bulge in the pocket filled with wallets, keys and things often confused with happy greetings. I have a cell phone.

This might have been the last thing from making me a true Vancouverite - that and any rightful claim to residency. I notice that everyone, no matter what age, has the device. I'm apt to think that along with the breath-inducing slap, newborns are also handed a mobile phone when they enter the world. Perhaps it's just as well, I didn't think I was making myself obnoxious enough at movie theatres, well now that's easy.

I'm still reminded of David Fricke's quote about cell phones from the Wilco film:

"The gist of any cell phone conversation is, 'I'll be there in five mintues.' Hang up the damn phone and just be there in five minutes!"

One week till Vancouver!

Monday, August 15, 2005

No shoot-outs here

This is the first blog on the new comp. I won't start renouncing all things PC or anything, but I will say these new widget functions are pretty awesome. My favorite so far is this Tabit! widget, which instantly displays any guitar tab you're looking for. It's a much needed time saver, as man was not meant to hold a guitar and wield a mouse simultaneously.

Anyone else been watching CBC just to see what bizarro news anchors they throw at us? I notice they've replaced the National broadcast with BBC news. I say we strike from the Commonwealth for a while and show other countries' newscasts just for kicks. Chilean news hasn't been shown any love for a while.

I guess I'm not so mad that I missed the Ryan Adams show in Vancouver, because it sounds like dude had a meltdown, causing him to cancel the rest of the tour. RS has a transcript of some of his tirades, which are actually pretty funny.

The good news is that Adams is contributing a song to the new Cameron Crowe film (always a guarantee for a good soundtrack). But what was supposed to be a recording session for one song turned into 18, meaning there should be a fourth Adams album coming within the span of a year. (For those of you who still don't understand why I write about Adams so much, go buy Cold Roses.)

Another band that's actually appearing in the Crowe film (apparently as a Skynyrd tribute band) is My Morning Jacket, who have revealed the awesome news that they'll be playing in Vancouver. That makes the running score of amazing concerts between my post-secondary residences: Vancouver 7, Kingston, negligible. Unless you count the Pirates of Penzance. And I don't expect that you should.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

"He's thinking about bees again"

I'm officially excited for second year law school. It's only two weeks until I make the tune-filled drive back to the "left" coast (as everyone in Alberta insists on calling it - har har). I've got a very decent spate of classes, and an accomodating enough schedule.

Fellow director K___ and I have come up with a marketing campaign for this year's Law Revue, which we intend to roll out early in the fall and create some buzz. Bzzz! Again, for anyone interested in submitting scripts or acting, fire off an email to ubclawrevue at gmail dot com. We'll take anything, but historical studies have shown that when audiences purchase tickets for a comedy show, there is some expectation of laughter - just a guideline.

Being part of last year's production was amongst the highlights of my first year, and my plan is to take last year's videotaping of the event one step further and create a DVD. Maybe this is just to satisfy my late-born desire to one day preside over a director's commentary, but maybe not, and maybe students will enjoy it. Anyway, a lot of planning will be going into this year's show, so here's hoping it's a good one.

Hmmm, a bit light on the links this time round - I guess that's what happens when you blog about arcane legal minutiae.

Well I found this floating around - check out the latest music video from Bright Eyes, "Easy/Lucky/Free."

It's sort of an update of Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," only without the luxury of pre-written signs. I suppose the two artists have been mentioned together so many times it was only inevitable before it was done in music video form.

Is it just me, or are the most memorable music videos the ones with noticeably thin budgets?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Find the minority report

W__ alerted me to this great website, which catalogues the worst movie pitches made to someone in the movie business. Knowing my predilection for the undead, I was shown this hilarious entry:

"1968. Vietnam. Navy SEAL Gabriel Hemloche leads his team deep into enemy territory. Gabriel and his unit are torn apart... by vampires. Bitten, Gabriel starts to change..."

Something tells me Ron Livingston's agent character from Adaptation would love this.

I haven't read Everything is Illuminated, the first novel by Johnathan Safran-Foer (but I did enjoy his second) because I heard it was cloyingly autobiographical, much in the same way Dave Eggers' H.W.O.S.G. is. But the new trailer, starring a Sam-less Elijah Wood, looks pretty good.

I don't know if news of the oil spill south of Edmonton has travelled cross-country, but it's a nasty mess, and CBC featured a "legal analyst" to discuss the inevitable smorgastort. He described it as textbook "nuisance" and "quite possibly negligence" and it was then I saw the glimmer in his eye, where I knew he wished to invoke - yes, my legal chums, say it with me - Rylands v. Fletcher!

Naturally he held back, not wishing to confuse CBC's viewers, much like I have confused the majority of this site's readers. (That's the two out of three of you.)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Suck on that, Albany!

I had been biding my time until Canadian songwriter extraordinaire Joel Plaskett mentioned my fair Albertan town in a song, already having written tunes about Halifax, Regina, Edmonton, and a vicious little ditty about Kelowna ("There's a reason that I hate that town.")

But then comes along O.C. favorites Death Cab for Cutie with the song "I Will Follow You into the Dark" off their new album and this lyric:

"You and me / have seen everything to see / from Bangkok to Calgary"

I know there aren't many cities that would complete Gibbard's rhyme, but it's nice to know he finds Cowtown exotic enough to put in a song. I was lucky to see this band last November, but they just happen to be playing Vancouver the night before I go to Franz Ferdinand at the Orpheum in October. How's that for a damn good concert run?

I found some website that collects headlines about various law schools around the United States, but what's funny is that almost all of the headlines are rather negative, or entirely scandalous. Here's a few:

"Law school sued by its students"
"Law school founder pleads guilty"
"Bar exam answers stolen"
"Cyclist, attacked by law prof, testifies"

And my favorite:
"Law school grad who failed California bar exam sues ABA, California Bar, seeking $43 million."

I'm not sure if that latter sum is the aggregate earnings of an American lawyer or an example of exaggerated punitive damages. C'mon aggregate sum! (And damn! How fast can that Law professor run?)

Friday, August 05, 2005


The new Mac is on its way, arriving soon by stork or whatever superior way Apple chooses to have things delivered. In the meantime, I have to figure the best way to transfer this cache of tunes I've got on the current laptop over to the new one. I suspect this cooperation between Microsoft and Apple is going to be a bit like bitter exes returning personal possessions to each other after a nasty breakup. "No, this word document stays with me! But that virus is yours."

This new Dracula book is actually quite creepy. I haven't felt legitimately uneasy reading a book since Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue, but something about Kostova's pacing and the visual quality of the writing - that and the ghastly vampiric killings - just quickens the pulse a little.

Assuming the book's research was honestly done, (for a novel called The Historian, I'd damn well hope so) apparently Vlad the Impaler was not your garden-variety impaler. Some passages offer graphic descriptions of the Prince's (not Count) techniques that would make the Marquis de Sade blush.

Planting a garden? Ever considered a "forest of the impaled?"

Stereogum put up the first Broken Social Scene song from the new album, which is now unfortunately self-titled. I'm not a fan of the self-titles. At least when Sigur Ros did it they went the whole nine yards and didn't give any songs titles. (Incidentally, Torr has brand new Victory Rose songs up.)

Of course, there's no guarantee that I'll like any album title. To wit, the latest quandary is the new offering from the Tragically Hip. The first strike against it is that it's a best-of collection. Typically these are contractually obligated offerings meant to give the band a break from recording and some quick cash for the record company. But thankfully these 35 (!) tracks have been chosen by fans.

But back to the title: it's called Hipeponymous. Clever or cheesy? To settle the dispute, I'll point out that it must be a subtle nod to R.E.M.'s first best-of album, and any nod to that band can't be all bad.

I haven't seen the tracklist, but here's hoping it includes "Flamenco," which is nipping close at the heels of Miles Davis for one of the best things I've ever heard. But a tracklist I do like is from the new Ryan Adams album, or album number six of the last five years.

Hmmm, more links.... oh, some funny, random McSweeney's post.

And an interesting discovery by a fellow lawblogger, about bloggers: apparently I'm American, and my new Mac is only the beginning of a "unhealthy" fascination with computers.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

There is no prize

I think we may have a winner.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I vant to pimp your blood!

Love the engraving submissions people, keep 'em coming below. (Although W, you're ahead in the races, for you understand my Tap weakness.) Any Arrested Development quote would be welcome too, and you'll be able to transcribe them that much easier now that the second season DVD is on its way.

It's only a matter of weeks now till Law School Year 2: the Quickening. I fear the days of enjoyable reading might be over. No more witty judgments or stories about accidental amputations. I just can't imagine that the reading list for Corporations or Secured Transactions can be that exciting. It's like when Michael Moore asked a television producer why there wasn't a show about corporate criminals and heard in response, "Because no one would watch that show. But if that businessman took his shirt off and threw his cell phone at the camera... then we might have something."

Since once September rolls around and reading becomes a daily chore (but a character-builder, no doubt), I've decided to read one last ripping yarn, and I hear this Historian is good. Dracula not pathetically updated (also see here) for the MTV generation? I'm there.

Entertainment Weekly's review is a funny read for a couple reasons. First, they describe the book as "The Da Vinci Code for smart people" - I haven't read the Brown book, but thank you! Second, they love the book but decry the novel for its "slow parts." Excuse me? It's a book - it's all slow parts! I can imagine this reviewer thinking, "I love how this book has chapter stops just like a DVD, so I can fast forward to the action scenes."

The book's subject matter coincides nicely with preliminary writing I'm doing for this year's Law Revue. Without giving anything away regarding a certain (hilarious!) sketch, let's just say I'm exploring the interplay between history's most reviled bloodsuckers and... vampires. Har.

So after the Drac book, I'll return to the book I purchased immediately before starting law school, Dickens' Bleak House, because I saw that it was about lawyers. (I also saw its interminable length, explaining why I'm still reading it.) Speaking of Chuck, the new English version of the Oliver Twist trailer is up.

As for iPod epitaphs, I know if it were a tombstone, things would be easy:

"Here lies David St. Hubbins, and why not?"
"You feel that sums up your life?"
"No, it's the first thing I could think of. It doesn't sum up anything really."