Weekend in Toronto, ON (The ‘Ront)

1) We listened to DNTO on the drive down to Toronto. It was timed perfectly: Neptune fell asleep and Sook-Yin took us all the way to Kingston. At any rate, the CBC loves to play it’s Canadian indie-folk-rock, and I realised just how much musicians from Ontario love their banjo. Its a staple, part of Ontario’s identity, I suppose. Listen for it…

2) Because we are obsessed, we did a mini Restaurant Makeover tour. Basically anytime I saw a place in Toronto that’s been on the show I would point it out to Murray and we would get all excited, as if we’d just seen some big celebrity. It was pretty pathetic, really. We only saw two (Grappa and Saigon Flower), and the designers kind of homogonise/sterilise the look of the restaurants anyway. But it is 100% entertaining, so I call that a success.

3) It is confirmed, the world is crumbling and its not just us. I was reading a Toronto Star review of the Monterey Pop 40 year anniversary CD (which I can’t find online…sorry!). While the review of the tracks was moderately favourable, the writer touched on an interesting idea. He drew parallels between the socio-cultural climate then (1967) and now (2007): a war nobody cares about (Vietnam/Iraq), general malaise about the human condition, the crumbling environment, uncertainy about the future, and a shift in the recording industry (vinyls replaced by tapes or 8-tracks & our digital downloading era). Also the writer touched on the calibre of music created in uncertain times: is this a human reflex, to connect with better music when our society is fractured? How does a society reconcile these things that are bigger than us, things that are overwhelming for any individual to take on? Sometimes my heart is so heavy with the terrible and idiotic state of the world. Canadians, North Americans are all confused, lost and misguided in their own way. But we are slowly realising that it is time to take control of our lives, to walk the fine line between a money-driven life and one driven by Love. But its not just us: friends in different cities and of varying ages, are feeling the same and sensing the pressure it puts on their daily lives, on getting their shit together, on realising who they are. It was strange to randomly have similar conversations with different people: Maggie, Amanda, Kevin B., all saying the same thing about their lives. Amanda described the crossover as “rhizomal.” She also had the idea totally conceptualised, which would be a whole other thing to get into.

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