Monthly Archives: December 2009

Magneta Lane and my Cousin Darren

There’s been a smat­ter­ing of good music late­ly, but this is the song that haunts me; Love and Greed by Magneta Lane. I added it to my col­lec­tion on the 12th of October, and it’s already in my Top 20 Most Played. By no means is it the best song on the album; it’s just the one that hit me the hard­est.

To hear it as a track by itself is a lit­tle out of con­text. It comes as 7 of 10 off Gambling With God, their lat­est album, and the songs lead­ing up to it charge at a much faster pace. The dra­mat­ic change of tone between the vers­es and the cho­rus are effec­tive in sub­tly draw­ing you in, against lyrics that should be screamed more than any­thing else.

My favourite part is when Lexi says, “I don’t want recy­cled love / if I did I’d pour wine in a cup / and get all liquored up / and fuck­ing crawl in front of you” when the gui­tar and bass stop, and it’s just Nadia doing the bum-ba-da-bum-ba-da-bum-ba-da-bum under­neath on her toms.

With the way she says fuck­ing with such sac­cha­rine soft­ness, one can’t help but won­der what intense sor­row could have caused this sullen, hon­eyed voice to spit such pro­fan­i­ty.

It’s stuff like this that makes rather plain look­ing Lexi Valentine so god­dam attrac­tive, very much in a Karen O kind of way. I guess you could say I have a fas­ci­na­tion with Lexi swear­ing, because she does it so infre­quent­ly.


I gave this song to Darren, and he sent me back this reply:

shit this song is on auto-repeat right now.… ahh­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­hh

Darren’s the only per­son in the world who sees love the way I do. ____ knows me in every oth­er way — log­ic, mind­set, emo­tion, per­son­al­i­ty, habits, taste — but he does­n’t under­stand my love, which is a big part of me. The only one who under­stands is Darren1 because we share the same quixot­ic ideas about it. It’s as if we devel­oped this roman­tic atti­tude as a back­lash to how our fathers (broth­ers, who also look the same) raised us with such aloof­ness. This ide­al is how we bond.

One time he told me he can’t wait for the day when we’re at his house with our girl­friends, and we’re play­ing Cranium, and we’re just…happy.

This is how I know he’s the only per­son who hears this song the same way too.

  1. Not even my girl­friends have come close to under­stand­ing, aside from Bronwen. []

29 1/12: The Adolescent

A lit­tle while ago, I stopped shav­ing. I had the flu for about five days, and already had a five-day shad­ow devel­oped when that began. Then with a lack of social engage­ments, I decid­ed to let it keep grow­ing, lest I lose such a gen­er­ous head start that only began because I was too lazy when I was sick.

I took this pic­ture, and it was more than three weeks with­out touch­ing a razor at that point.

Self portrait at 29 1/12


Aaron always keeps a neat­ly trimmed beard, so I asked him how he takes care of it; which direc­tion to shave, what length to start trim­ming, etc. It was strange to be seek­ing shav­ing advice from some­one at this point in my life. Most of the hair is around the mouth and on chin, with only an embar­rass­ing half-dozen wires sprout­ing ran­dom­ly from my cheeks, so it required a touch of main­te­nance.

For a long time, I did­n’t know what to think of it, whether I liked it or not. Aaron said to me, “Sometimes, you don’t need to know”, and I went with that for a while. Maybe time would give me an answer.

Soon after, I start­ed shav­ing again. It was­n’t get­ting any thick­er, and I did­n’t think I could pull it off.

I turn 30 in 11 months, and I still can’t grow a beard.

The Turning 30 Series

House Show 2009

The house show (announced ear­li­er this year) was a huge suc­cess. I moved a bunch of fur­ni­ture around in the liv­ing room and trans­formed it from this:

Venue before

To this:

Venue after

There were almost 30 peo­ple crammed into my liv­ing room for a night of inti­mate music and an ice cream bar1 (on which I spent near­ly $100, includ­ing all the fix­ins). Admittedly, I got a lit­tle over­stim­u­lat­ed and pan­icky some­where in the mid­dle, due to all peo­ple, but Pat and Jen came and talked to me, and they calmed me down. It also got real­ly hot with all the peo­ple in there, so I cranked up the A/C a few hours ahead of time.

Arne, who goes by the stage name Duryea Hawkins and was Shane’s sur­prise guest musi­cian, com­plete­ly blew every­one away with his open­ing num­ber, named Snowman. At the end of the song, you can hear Dan say, “Wow”. It’s so good, I have it on con­stant repeat at the moment.

Once again, Shane ded­i­cat­ed a song to me (woo!), my favourite of course, It’s A Drag. He also did a few new songs I had nev­er heard before; one of the best parts of con­certs is being able to hear new mate­r­i­al that a musi­cian is work­ing on.

And for the first time, I got to see Jesse rap in per­son. He was going to do an all acoustic show, with sev­er­al exot­ic instru­ments, but then Nick (who does the back­ing vocals/beats and goes by the stage name Rockefort F. Loopfrog) bought a loop machine, so they decid­ed to use that instead. Quite dif­fer­ent from the stu­dio pro­duced sounds that I’m used to hear­ing from Jesse, but just as good.

The artists all went home hap­py with the mon­ey that was donat­ed2 and made from the swag they sold.

Since it was my first house show, I real­ly want­ed to enjoy it instead of fuss­ing with get­ting the prop­er shot, so I set up my cam­era and left it on in the cor­ner. Next time, I’m going to do a bit more cam­era work.

  1. This must have been a fair­ly mem­o­rable part, because peo­ple like Jess called it the Ice Cream Party instead of the House Show. []
  2. Legally, as the venue, I’m not allowed to make mon­ey, so I have accept “dona­tions” as a cov­er charge. []

Relationship Drama

Whenever I’m catch­ing up with my mar­ried friends, it feels like I’m the only one talk­ing. I felt real­ly self-cen­tered, until I real­ized I’m the only one with any updates. Aside from some con­struc­tion or new fur­ni­ture, they don’t have any news, much less, dra­ma.

I won­der if I’ll ever be set­tled like them. If my life will ever be dra­ma-free, with­out all the insta­bil­i­ty in my rela­tion­ships, both good and bad.