Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Record Store Day!

Spring has sprung.

The fiscal year is finished. Finally.

The Highlanders hoisted the Dominion Cup. I see new headphones in my future.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have begun. Great traditional rivalries renewed.

Habs v. Bruins (remember Kenny Dryden v. Gilles Gilbert and Patrick Roy v. Andy Moog?)

Canucks vs. Blackhawks (remember King Richard Brodeur v. Murray Bannerman?)

Predators vs. Ducks (remember ......... Pekka Rinne v. Dan Ellis?)

The downtown patios are opening.

And come morning, its Record Store Day.

New releases and re-releases from hundreds of bands. From Husker Du to Pearl Jam. ZZ Top to John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.

Ozzy Osbourne is this year's ambassador.

And while I haven't owned a turntable in years, I hope vinyl lovers turn out in droves on Saturday to buy records.

As for me, I'll be scorched earthing my apartment. All superfluous shit must go. Maybe I'll have a garage sale. That seems to be the thing to do this time of the year. Or, since I don't have a garage, and have to park my car halfway across the downtown, I'll dump everything behind the building next to the trash and recycling bins.

One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Did I mention that Ozzy is the ambassador of Record Store Day this year?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Country Home

A minivan drove into an apartment in my building this morning.

My "art deco" building, as the newspaper reported.

Thankfully, the pregnant driver nor her baby in the backseat appeared to be injured. But she will have to pay the bill, I suppose.

It just makes me all the more thankful for my Country Home.

Yeah, this city life has lots of style, but it wears me out. Its nice to jump in the car (i.e. walk the 7 city blocks to the parking lot) and skin out to the ancestral Glen.

Springtime in the Glen offers me the opportunity to experience the sublimity of Nature and its restorative powers. So seemingly peaceful and placid, yet underneath the surface teeming with microscopic agons of life and death. The signs of these struggles are scattered about, particularly when I walk among the ancient trees of the primeval forest. At least I used to pretend it was primeval, even if it was just a farmer's bush.

Nature red in tooth and claw, indeed.

In passing from the City to my Country Home, I always experience the ataraxia that comes along with that escape. The cessation of the incessant noise of my street during the spring: the jackhammers, the fire trucks. Or minivans plowing into the apartments below.

When in the Glen, I realize that another part of me rouses from its hibernation. Something comes alive. A different part of my brain is activated, and a special part of my soul begins to soar.

Et in Arcadia ego

Neil Young - Country Home 1976 by Yedi

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The ur-Session

Everybody remembers the first time they got drunk.

No, not the first sips out of the old man's Labatt 50 stubby. No, not the wedding where your sister's deadbeat date brought you back a drink every third time he went to the bar.

No, the first time you got really, really intoxicated. How good it felt to relinquish control and revel in the ecstasy of the out of body experience that ensued.

Cousine and I had his mother's house to ourselves for a weekend. He had a case of Labatt Blue that a farmer he worked for had paid him with. (Labatt Blue was not only the coin of the realm, but the Pilsener of choice back in the day. Yeah, I know).

Once the Blue was obliterated, we were well on the way to same. Then Cousine pulled out the Smirnoff, and my younger cousin, whom Cousine was 'watching', dug a few cans of frozen orange juice out of the fridge. And then the Event really took off. While we snuffed out the Screwdrivers, we soaked in the sonic swell of Sabbath's "Paranoid" and Judas Priest's "Sad Wings of Destiny". Still at the tender age when we could approach his octaves, we sang along with Rob Halford as he piped out 'Victim of Changes' and 'Dreamer Deceiver'.

Inevitably we went outside. I can remember spinning around in the front yard, vowing that I will never again not feel this way. The sky was blue, and stretched endlessly into the country horizon. Ecstatic in the Dionysian deluge, we saw more than one figure floating 'neath the willow tree. And you gotta believe me, fairies do wear boots. We went Space Truckin' into the ether, and left ourselves behind.

Everyone's got their story.

And while Cousine and I were far too young to sport facial hair, and I don't remember manifesting my inner dork by dressing up as a "Star Wars" character and dueling with a toy light sabre, this video from the mighty Mogwai captures the febrile nature of the first drunk.