You Can’t Get Born Again

While I shouldn’t get into too much detail here, I’d like to share this teaser, narrated by me, for the upcoming album by The Dears. Enjoy, and share!

Flash Fiction (2) – A Poetry Book & Podcast

As 2013 draws to a close, I’m pleased to announce my participation in the Yellow Bird Project’s “Selected Poems by Indie Rock Stars.”

While I’d hardly call myself a “star,” much less self-identify as an “indie rocker,” the inclusion of a mysterious piece I wrote called “Flash Fiction (2)” is tons of fun. You can sign up to receive a poem a week leading up to the release of the poetry book in January. And if you scroll down and look through the “A Taster” section, you can both read AND listen to my reading of the piece. Anyhow, I’ll keep this short and sweet. It’s an honour to be included.

Here’s a very weird illustrated portrait of moi taken from the book:

Screen shot 2013-12-21 at 12.34.20 PM

I hope everyone out there has a great holidays and happy new year. All my love to you, Natalia.

I Fell Deep

Got this in my head today. So I pulled out a vinyl copy of GOL and listened. Sounds effing incredible on rekkid. Personally would love to play this one live with Luciani.

I was gonna make a lame joke about how some idiot critic out there might call us Morrissey meets Arcade Fire, but listening now, to this track, I can’t even fathom what enormous amount of laziness and/or non-effort that would require. And yet, it happens with astonishing regularity

Fuck those guys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHYpTm5YjQk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Why?

This month I started an online course in Artificial Intelligence. I also recently met, quite randomly at a bar, a gentleman much more technically minded than myself, who is also taking the course. He asked me recently:

I’m curious, what’s gotten you interested in following this class? Is it your apparent love of scifi, or something else?


To which I replied:

Hmmm….what’s gotten me interested? You realise my answer to this question is going to become a blog post…

Last night I went to see Daniel Clowes and Seth, two comic book illustrators, speak at their joint book launch. My daughter asked me: “Why are you going?” and I had to actually think for a moment: why, indeed? I had one of Daniel Clowes earlier books, and knew little of Seth, yet I was still making an effort to go to this reading. I’m a casual illustrated book reader, hardly hardcore, and then I realised, simply, that I enjoy immersing myself in things I know nothing about.

The most often asked question to me is: “Who is your favourite band/musician?” or “What are you listening to?” And my answer is invariably: “I don’t listen to music.” I don’t. And I don’t mean to sound presumptuous or pretentious or holier-than-thou, but being immersed in the music industry for the past decade has made me a non-believer in music. Only a tiny margin of music is real anymore, the rest are just feeble attempts at fame, fortune, or worse, relevancy. I rarely listen to new music because all I hear is…dishonesty.

But it *would* be pretentious so live a life without culture, so I’ve turned my focus elsewhere. I’ve started reading books again, and writing fiction. And I enjoy these two tasks immensely. As I write, especially, I learn: my choice to write “genre” fiction is no accident. In speculative and science fictions I see open space, pure freedom, a world without restraint. I fold in to my work things I read about technology, computing, medical advances, space exploration and robotics. I feel that in researching this stuff and reading about it, a new frame of mind is being revealed. A fresh perspective of the world spurts forth, a new community of people working and thinking… not to be “cool” but to be, essentially, creative.

I miss that about music, which is why I’ve taken this step in the opposite direction. It doesn’t mean I’m done with being in a band or making records at all. If anything I will only return with resolve and a fervent dedication that should be feared by the entire hipster set.

So….does this answer the question? Kind of. I’m really digging the way my brain is being pulled by being in the ai-class, forced to think pragmatically and logically. Embracing new terminology and honing mathematical and deductive skills. My past will reveal that I was a big nerd. My dad is an electrical engineer. I was in “Gifted” in grade school. I took Computer Science class in grade 11. I took enriched math and wrote nation-wide math competitions. I was never the “cool” kid, and I never felt threatened by the “in” crowd. I made friends from strangers through BBS‘ and the first computer I bought was the first generation clamshell iBook…dare I say…before it was cool. If I hadn’t decided to move to Montreal at the age of 18, I would have been in “New Media” at Ryerson. A technical school. One of my favourite movies OF ALL TIME is Terminator 2.

I guess with this free, online course from a reputable university came up I just said to myself: “Why not?”

Backstage at Funny or Die

I found this pic, snapped by the mother of child actor Zachary Alexander Rice, as we waited backstage at the Funny or Die studio. This was my first experience meeting a real live Hollywood Child Actor. He was about the same age as my daughter, yet he acted like a 40-year-old. He was a super nice kid; and that was a fun day. Later, the cast (including The Dears) and crew had lunch in the very same conference room where Will Ferrell holds meetings about jokes.

Slowsville

At the moment, I am procrastinating. I do not want to do the big pile of grant paperwork I must do. Alas, as a Canadian musician, this is my burden. I AM NOT COMPLAINING.

In the meanwhile, I’ve posted a few short notes at our fancy new “Dears Blog.” Admittedly, I’m trying to figure out how to only post here, and also make it appear on thedears.org. It seems like it should be so simple … I use WordPress, the new site is written in WordPress 3-point-something. I digress. I remain a terrible nerd.

Ok well, for now I will “co-blog” or “bi-blog” or “double-blog” or whatever that term should be. But if there are any WordPress pros out there, leave a comment and let me know if there’s some magical plug-in I should know about.

Meanwhile, YOU should know about this:

Bad Nerd

Aaaaaah…haven’t written since I listened to Vauxhall and I a few weeks ago while rolling in the back of a van down North America’s West Coast. There’s not much to add. I intend to write a thing on my awesome SXSW Accelerator experience, but we all know the road to Hell is paved with good intentions*. Also, we have tour dates. We have interviews (I especially promote this one I did recently with PopMatters – it got kind of intimate). Here are said tour dates. Please join us so we can sweat on you and/or shred in your face. 2gether-ness.

Mon March 28, 2011 – Pawtucket, RI @ The Met
Tue March 29, 2011 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg Tickets
Wed March 30, 2011 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall Tickets
Thu March 31, 2011 – Philadelphia, PA @ North Star Tickets
Sat April 2, 2011 – Laval, QC @ Salle Antonine Labelle Tickets

Wed April 13, 2011 – Berlin, Germany @ Frannz Club Tickets
Thu April 14, 2011 – Brussels, Belgium @ AB Club Tickets
Fri April 15, 2011 – Paris, France @ Le Fleche D’or Tickets
Sat April 16, 2011 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melkweg Tickets
Mon April 18, 2011 – London, UK @ Borderline (SOLD OUT)
Tue April 19, 2011 – London, UK @ Borderline Tickets
Wed April 20, 2011 – Manchester, UK @ Ruby Lounge Tickets
Thu April 21, 2011 – Glasgow, UK @ King Tuts Tickets

Unrelated, I was thinking of trying to claim the term ‘Bad Nerd’ because that is what I am.

I Am Hated for Loving

Song of the day, of the week, of my life. Could be the theme song for The Dears. If a band could have a theme song that was not one of their own songs.

Here’s to having too many feelings, and wanting to share them with you. Heaven forbid.