ltmurnau: (Default)
Yep, this weekend Lianne and I went over to Couverville to see The Residents, among other things. It was lots of fun mostly, and rather underlined that I ought to get out more, but perhaps I ought not.

We went over on Saturday morning, saw [ profile] red_thread and other Gothvic people on the ferry - they were headed over for the Goth Prom that night, so had duffel bags full of costumery with them. We stayed at the Holiday Inn at Howe and Nelson, which is Lianne's favourite. It's convenient, I'll say that.

We walked around for a few hours; she went to seek out a pair of shoes and I went to seek other things, and to scout out where the show was that night - the Rickshaw Theatre, just a block and a half away from the infamous Hastings and Main. That whole area of Hastings reeks of weed and used booze and anger and barely contained violence and mental illness.

Spartacus Books has moved about ten blocks away from where it was, and I had no time to trudge that far - but fortunately McLeod's Books on West Pender is still open, though every time I go there there is less room for the customers. It's almost impossible to move in there without knocking something over, the heaps of books are themselves heaped on other heaps and everything is only barely organized according to subject. But the prices are OK on a lot of things and they had a sale on hardcover books. I went back the next day and got some Edward Gorey books I had missed the day before, and went to Criterion Books across the street - smaller than Mcleod's but even messier, with a creaky floor that seemed bound to buckle under the weight of the books - and then to Albion Books just up the street, much nicer and better organized. I mean, I love old bookstores full of junk but after a while it's just a task trying to find anything at all. Anyway, I am amazed these three stores are still hanging on, as independent booksellers are closing up everywhere.

Back to the hotel, quick shower, rest the feet and then we walked to the Rickshaw. Lots of seats in a gently sloping floor, perhaps it was a movie theatre once upon a time. Anyway, the place was sold out and as soon as the show started everyone got up and stood next to the raised stage, so we had to go too. This was only the second time I had seen The Residents, there were three of them this time. The sound system was turned up way too loud and I could not tell what "Randy" (the Resident who I think has been the main singer for most of their 40 year career) was singing half the time. Got an eyeball tee-shirt and a CD of Not Available. Lianne had never seen them before and pronounced it the weirdest thing she'd ever seen.

Kind of an expensive weekend (ferry fare for a car and two adults is almost $75 one-way, and is going up soon), and I still don't think I could ever live in or near Vancouver, but it was a fun time. Found myself gawking up at the skyscrapers like some rube.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Friday night, quite to my surprise, I got to see Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar!

Quite by accident, I was looking through Monday magazine and wondering if Dick Dale would ever return to Victoria, and there he was - Friday night at Logan's! I called up [ profile] shadesofwinter, who has been wanting to see him since he was 13, and he started gibbering like a confused Fred Flintstone...
"Dick Dale, man!"
"Haaah hahwhha hahumina, haw..."

So off we went - show was a little late starting, and not quite what was expected, though none of us knew what to expect, precisely. The tour was called "Acoustic/Electric" and was just Dale and his son Jimmy, playing acoustic/electric hybrid Fender guitars Dale had designed. It was touching how much praise and regard Dick Dale had for Jimmy (who looks -and is - about 18 years old!), letting him play and take the lead on many pieces.

What an incredible guitarist! The man is 73 and has lost little of his power, compared to the original recordings I've heard (or even from watching his performance in Back to the Beach 23 years ago now...). It was a great show and of course he kept "Misirlou" for the last. Certainly one of the best shows of 2010 I attended.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Last night we went to see Billy Bragg at the Alix Goolden Hall.
The place was packed, and it was a great show that went until after 2300.

He did not sing all "softie" stuff as I thought he might; he played a lot of his political songs and showed his background as a busker through his commentary and patter with the audience between songs.

The evening was marred only by some youngster in the pew behind me who absolutely stank of stale alcohol - it was like sitting next to a box of rotten fruit. Guaranteed instant headache: some are sensitive to aftershave or perfume, for me it's the aroma of used booze.
ltmurnau: (Default)
I took a couple of days off to go to Seattle and see DEVO. It was Reading Break, so Lianne was happy to go too! This time we went on the Victoria Clipper - usually this is far too expensive but in the off-season they have some deals. We got transport there and back and two nights in the Ramada downtown (not great, but close to everything we needed) for about $320. Saved going on the Coho ferry, driving almost three hours to get to Seattle, and then parking at a hotel. The only problem is that the Clipper's schedule is very inconvenient if you are going to Seattle - it only leaves Victoria at 1700, and only leaves Seattle at 0800, so a day trip is impossible, and an overnighter just silly.

Anyway, we left on Sunday, and came back on Tuesday. Monday we shopped around for a bit - we went to the surplus place on 1st Avenue where I got Aki a birthday present (Russian gas mask in its original container, filter still in its wrapping paper) and Lianne bought me a black M-65 field jacket (Chinese Alpha Industries copy fo the real article, but well enough made). Then we looked around in the Pike Place Market and went to Left Bank Books, my favourite lefty bookstore down there ( and got a few things (wishing I had gotten that Dori Seda biography after all), then lunch and out to Wallingford to Archie McPhee (, where we always go but seems to disappoint just a bit each visit because there are so few weird old items left - the first time I went, in the late 80s, the store was full of bizarre old ephemera and surplus weird stuff, which I liked. But I did get an East German M43-feldmutze style cap and a Lenin all-day sucker. Then Lianne wanted to look for some clothes at Nordstrom's etc. so I went down to the Barnes and Noble and got a copy of US Army FM 3-07, Field Manual for Stability Operations, and looked around for some other things. Every second book in their "Current Affairs" shelf was something by some foaming right-wing moonbat, including four different titles by Glenn Beck.

Then it was time to go back and change for the concert - DEVO at the Moore Theatre, which I think is where we saw Kraftwerk in 2005 [check - no, it was the Paramount, in 2004]. They were playing two nights in each city: the first night they would play the entirety of their first album (Are we Not Men?) and the second night the third (Freedom of Choice). I like that album better, so this was the night we went. First we met our friends Lissa, Angie and Susan and had a drink and some izakaya snacks beforehand.

We were up in the gallery but not too nosebleedy, not a bad view. I had made two molds for casting Devo energy-dome style pins, like this

but 2-D, an inch wide and in tin. I made two models, one plain and one with "DEVO" marked on it. I made about 20 of these, painted them up with spray paint or nail polish, and gave them all away, to our friends and to people I saw wearing energy dome hats at the concert.

The show was great. I have been listening to Devo continuously for almost thirty years, was even in the Official Fan Club and this was the first time I had ever seen them live. For a bunch of pudgy nerds pushing sixty, they have still definitely got it! They had some character wearing only underwear and the Goofy Face rubber mask they called "Spudsie Pud" who came out with show cards to announce each track. Mark Mothersbaugh flung a few Energy Domes into the crowd, and after the album was done vanished from the stage for a few minutes and then came back as Booji Boy. They played a few more pieces but nothing from the new album, the last piece was a long version of "Beautiful World" and at the end of it Mark started digging out handfuls of little Superballs and beaming them into the crowd. One made it all the way up to the balcony, where it bopped Lianne above her left eye, then vanished!

As we were saying goodbye outside the theatre, someone with a digital camera and microphone setup came up to me and asked my opinion about the show and what I thought about Devo. Apparently they were making some kind of documentary or tour film, as I signed a model release later. But I bet I end up on the cutting room floor, AGAIN (, Why, oh why did I tell them I liked "Mr. B's Ballroom"?

Going home was uneventful - we had left Akito on his own for two days and the house was in fine shape when we got back, just some dirty cooking pots and TV dinner shells. He got himself to school and all. He seems to be growing up well - yesterday, after we got home from the Remembrance Day parade, I went out with him on his first day of doing his paper route, which is also his first paid job!

So, not a bad time.
ltmurnau: (Default)
This weekend I went with [ profile] shadesofwinter to one of the best punk shows I've ever been to - The Dayglow Abortions and none other than D.O.A. at Lucky Bar! I even went into the mosh pit while the Dayglows were playing - showers of beer everywhere - and got some kind of weird puncture or bruise on my hand that still hurts. It was crappy weather outside - mixed rain and snow all night - and now I've caught cold. Wah.

But it was a great show - I especially liked it when DOA played "General Strike", made me think about 1983 when the Solidarity movement was on, protests were all over the place, and the Big Strike almost happened. I don't think any such thing could happen now, 25 years later, no matter how the government cut up rough....
ltmurnau: (Default)
Ok, so, I haven't posted about my little trip that I took two weekends ago. Here goes before it's three.

Read more... )
ltmurnau: (Default)
This Sunday, May 15, 8 pm at Lucky Bar:

The Vibrators (yes, the original Vibrators!)

The Gutter Demons (psychobilly from Montreal)

Alcoholic White Trash (locals)

Ten bucks.

[EDIT: well, that was a great show! Had a fine time and my ears are still ringing. Gutter Demons were lots of fun. Great slam-dancing on display when the Vibrators played, and they played a lot of good old stuff including a great "Disco in Moscow". I gave away a few of my little metal castings. Also, met Mike Walker, an old Army buddy I last saw about 20 years ago and who now plays with the McGillicuddys, and Rick Long, who I also hadn't seen in about five years.]
ltmurnau: (Default)
A nice weekend marred only by weird weather. After work on Friday I went to pick up Aki [oh yeah, I've been too busy having things happen to write about them - most of you know about this already but a quick recap: I moved out two weeks ago, living with Betty now. Papers aren't signed yet but a matter of time. I have no regrets except where Aki is concerned. Alea iacta est. Your mileage may vary. Screw you if it does beyond one standard deviation. No, not you, you over there.] and it was raining so hard I couldn't see the other side of the street clearly. Then it cleared up and got as cold as February. We had supper in Chinatown with Marc, who I have not seen in many years and who hadn't seen Aki since he was a little baby. Then we took the 70 out to Sayward and Gary picked us up, we hacked around building a little model of a Japanese destroyer and watching "Invasion Iowa", which was a pretty good joke. Aki loved petting the cats and dog, he isn't around animals much but really likes them, but later he got really itchy hands. Does this necessarily mean an allergy? He showed no other symptoms and never has, as far as I can recall.

In the morning we cast a few pieces in the workshop from some German aluminum molds I'd found and went into town for lunch. After won ton soup and an ice cream cone we went to the library to work on his project on comparative anatomy (humans vs. sting rays) for a bit. I took him home and went back to lay down for a bit before the big event Saturday night -


It was great fun. I've been waiting to see them for about ten years, and every time they've been to Victoria I have missed them. I know it's only the beginning of April, but this was the best event I've seen all year. It was their last show of the North American tour - 29 shows in five weeks, and they were loud and fast and genki-ippai!

It was so crowded there wasn't room to do much more than bounce up and down, they played some new stuff but a lot of older favourites too - here is the setlist I can remember, in no particular order:

Konnichi Wa
Twist Barbie
Summertime Boogie
Map Master
Blue Oyster Cult
Bear up Bison
Tortoise Brand Pot Cleaner song (two versions, fast and faster)
Tomato Head
Cobra vs. Mongoose
Riding on the Rocket (my favourite)
I Wanna Be Sedated
Rubber Band

... that's all I can remember for now.

Good Times.
ltmurnau: (Default)
All right. But it was funnier the first time I typed this out.

Laibach was good, the high point of a weekend of constant movement. We took the Coho ferry to Port Angeles and got waved through Customs. We made the Bainbridge Island ferry with 40 seconds to spare, so there was no time to call friends Stephen and Lissa who live on Bainbridge.

We stayed in a place I won't name, except to say that Betty chose it and it was opulent. We taxied off to Neumo's Crystal Ballroom, a gungy-looking place on the 900 block of East Pike, and had a quick thing to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant across the street. The lineup was long and full of black, some impressive outfits. The opening act was "Bonfire Madigan", a woman who played avant-garde cello, not badly and with some nice effects pedals and loops. I was put in mind of Charlotte Moorman, particularly as she played a piece by John Cage, except that Bonfire kept her top on, her cello was made of a cello and not three TVs, she had short blonde hair, and red vinyl boots that made her feet look like horse's hooves.

Now, Laibach, the main attraction. First a man came out and read what I suppose was their manifesto for the tour - I could not hear it very well over the audio, crowd noise and his thick Slavic accent. But the name of the the tour was "Divided States of America", and the theme was that all empires fall. A Slovenian journalist who I guess was travelling with the band asked me some questions, since I had secured a great place to watch in the front row (unfortunately I left my camera behind) - how long had I been following Laibach (17 years), why did I listen to them (I like their sense of humour and subversion), is there any American group that is on their wavelength (hell no), why did I come all the way from Canada for the show (it was Aki's birthday the night they were playing in Vancouver).

Their lineup was two guitarists and a drummer, joined later by Milan the singer and two women, one blonde and one brunette, who worked in perfect synchronicity to play snare drums and provide backing vocals and handclaps. Everyone was wearing clothes of a dark purple, a nice touch I thought for the shade was once known as "Imperial purple". They played a lot of newer stuff I did not immediately recognize, but at the end of the evening they played great versions of "Sympathy for the Devil", "Leben Heißt Leben", and "Geburt Einer Nation". I handed out those little metal Laibach pins left and right, and people really liked them. Handed out a few other pieces too. All in all, a great show.

The next day we cleaned up, cleared out and went to Archie Mcphee, where we dropped entirely too much money - but some of my purchases were Xmas presents. We drove up I-5 to Vancouver, were delayed only somewhat at the border - they closed our lane as we were six cars away from the booth, and for some reason the Customs Prick™© wanted to see our hotel receipt, I guess to prove we didn't sleep in a parking lot or something. We made the 6:00 ferry and got home in time for bath and bed.

And now I'm back, and it's a nasty raining boring day. Almost over though.
ltmurnau: (deutsche)
Wow, the Kraftwerk concert in Seattle was GREAT. I have been listening to them for 22 years, ever since high school, and this is the first chance I have had to see them in concert.

The concert was at the Paramount Theatre, a huge old palace that must have been one of the great movie theatres of Seattle back when people made movies part of their lives. It was all made up like a Vienniese opera house inside, all gilt and gingerbread. I had a seat on the second mezzanine, almost in the nosebleed section but we still had a pretty good view of the stage.

The show itself was not much to look at - just the four of them behind their keyboards and laptops, barely moving, with a video screen playing simple films or displays of the lyrics behind them. I can't remember the set list in order but here is what I remember them playing:

The Man-Machine
We Are The Robots
The Model
Neon Lights
The Man-Machine

Computer World
Computer World
It's More Fun to Compute

Electric Cafe
Boing Boom Tschak
Music Non Stop

The Mix
Trans Europe Express

Tour de France
Tour de France
Aero Dynamik

After playing for almost an hour they stopped and the curtain fell. Many people thought that was the end, so they clapped and cheered for more. Instead of lighting lighters and waving them around, everyone waved the lit panels of their cellphones and PDAs, which I thought was quite appropriate for Kraftwerk! After a short wait the curtain went up and the four members had been replaced by the robots you see pictured on the cover of The Mix. They played a few songs and after another break, the four humans came back onto a dark stage wearing suits made of electroluminescent (EL) wire.

It was one of the best concerts I had ever seen, and Betty loved it. Kraftwerk fans are very serious - there was lots of applause between songs, but as soon as they started playing everyone became very quiet and intent. There were truly people of all ages in the audience, from 18 year olds to 50 plus. But Kraftwerk has been around for almost 30 years, so no surprise there.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Well, this was actually a pretty good weekend! Friday night was the Huun-Huur-Tu concert, held in an old United Church. Great acoustics and a performance at least as good as the last (and first) time I saw them in Vancouver in the summer of 2003. Throat-singing as good as it gets, played to a packed house.

Saturday I took Aki to the monthly Artist Trading Card session at Xchanges Gallery. He had made lots and lots of little ATCs and traded quite a few of them. I hope he will keep this up. I took him back to downtown, popped him on the bus with Mxo, and then went to see the last two films of the Festival (that I was interested in): Robot Stories and Breakfast with Hunter.

tedious descriptions follow )

Sunday I went looking for a floor lamp at Canadian Tire and ended up with a lot of paper products instead. In the afternoon Aki and I played the Settlers of Catan card game, which we are really enjoying.

Obligatory survey )


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