From the monthly archives:

October 2007

Reactions to my first music video have certainly run the gamut: “”The gong at the end? Comedy genius”. or my personal favorite “There’s Citizen Kane, there’s Battleship Potemkin and then there’s this”. Regardless, Lucy in the Car with David is a special moment in time. The sort of moment you may spend a lot of time trying to block from your memory for a few days after having watched it. So for goodness sake – make sure your volume is up.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbh8PY3F7GI[/youtube]

Recorded in Newport Rhode Island roughly two weeks ago while left to my own devices in the parking lot of a liquor store, I think it’s fitting that unadulterated genius was hatched thusly. It’s not the Cavern Club, it’s not Big Pink, it’s the back seat of an Audi Quattro. But it’s undoubtedly a little slice of musical heaven. As it’s Halloween, I dedicate this to Joplin, Cobain, Lennon, Orbison, Hoon, Curtis, Harrison, Dimebag Darryl and anyone else who’d likely spin in their grave given the opportunity to hear LITCWD. No need to thank me for the exercise.

No animals were harmed in the making of this film. Unless you count Kingman and Henry who were inside buying enough liquor to sicken the crew of a pirate ship.

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Streppin’ to the A.M.

by Dave on October 31, 2007

in Health

If you’re over the age of oh, 15, and you had your tonsils removed as part of some childhood procedure or fishing accident – please take a moment to rejoice right now. Although I managed to see the inside of an emergency room more than the average adolescent, tonsil yanking was never on the menu. As a result, this whacking great hanging heap of useless flesh, which I have named “Kevin Federline”, becomes an autumn haven to streptococcus bacteria about once every three years and I am right in the middle of such a party.

The difference between strep throat and a more run of the mill sore throat are symptoms including: red and white patches in the throat, tender or swollen glands (lymph nodes) in the neck, lower stomach pain, fever, general discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling, loss of appetite and nausea, rash. All a big affirmative in this current situation. Unless I’m mistaken, and this is just a bad case of the garden variety, I’ll have to go to the ER in Smiths Falls until some kind doctory soul gives me penicillin. But I’m actually pleased to have a mission, even if the ride is going to be uncomfortable (did I mention the full body buzz?) because I have been bedridden for 2 days and the novelty has definitely worn off at this point as Heather Hunter isn’t in here with me.

I get out for one little Halloween party and now I’m bloody quarantined with strep. It’s tough to have fun in the sticks I guess. I’ve gone from worrying about the stray bullets, crazy cabbies and Sox parade mob tramplings of the inner city to things like dysentery and deer ticks and making out with the skinny chick in front of the Smiths Falls methadone clinic. Oh Mr. strep, will you please stop haunting me so!

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My folks just took off to Florida for the winter and I am officially Ted Kaczinsky. Alone, in the woods, growing a beard, writing a manifesto and sending C4 through the mail to people I don’t like whilst dressed up like Weird Al Yankovich. Not really. If it’s any less disturbing, and let’s face it – it probably isn’t – the Indiana Jones costume I have prepared for a Halloween party tonight in Kingston is tres, tres dope. If I do say so Myself. Let me break it down for you.

  • An authentic Indiana Jones hat which I bought online from the company who makes them for the movies.
  • An $8 bullwhip replica I found on eBay. The real thing goes for $700.
  • One of my father’s replica revolvers, complete with holster, which looks frighteningly authentic. If I am shot to death tonight by the OPP there need be little question as to why.
  • An over the shoulder belt and WWII satchel that my Mom sewed out of an old canvas beach bag prior to  her departure.
  • Khaki pants which are fairly faithful to those worn by Harrison.
  •  An off-white collared shirt with a few pockets and things that I found in my Dad’s golf closet.

I tried it on for the first time a couple hours ago and I’m quite happy with it. After I put it on at my party location, I will proceed to smear a little dirt on myself and bloody up my knuckles like I’ve been battering Nazis and/or Thuggees for two hours. The hat is perfect and really makes the whole costume. I will post photos of the Indy getup next week and I invite you to send in your own 2007 Halloween costume photos which I’ll post and review, should I get any. Email them to me and then brace yourselves.

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Sponsor Me in the Brain Games

by Dave on October 22, 2007

in Heartwarming

Those of you who know Janet and I are aware that brain health is a subject very close to my family’s heart right now and your gestures will be most appreciated by us all. On October 24th, I will be putting my brain to work in support of the Firefly Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to advancing brain health. The Brain Games will test how quickly I think, how well I remember, and how responsive I am to the world around me. This quick and fun online event will provide an assessment of my brain fitness. Donate to me today and help me reach my fundraising goal. Thank you in advance for your support. You can learn more and make a donation to sponsor me here.

Update: Many thanks to Jaime, Suzanne, Chris, Heather and everyone else who sponsored me.

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The Last Rat in the Pack, Baby

by Dave on October 18, 2007

in Heartwarming

Joey Bishop, the last living member of the infamous Rat Pack, died today at age 89. Bishop was the least well known of the final incarnation of the pack that would be made famous by Frank, Dean and Sammy – but he had a long and eclectic career in show biz none the less. Here he is with Orson Welles and Dino from the Dean Martin Show in the late 70’s. The straight man to Dean’s straight man.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuXi6oHTOrs[/youtube]

“Charlie Calucci likes the way I catch rivets…” Thanks for the memories, Joey and company. You’ll all be entertaining this cat for many, many years to come. Ring-a-ding-ding, St. Peter, babe. The martinis will be flowing in Heaven tonight.

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Boston Bruins Home Opener Tonight!

by Dave on October 18, 2007

in Sporty

And yes, the GoonSquad will be in attendance. I have done an outstanding job of not getting pissed during this most recent visit to Beantown, but I’m afraid my batting average is going to decline sharply this very evening. Anyone else going? Greg are you out there? Johnny Mac? Nick? Get at me, dawgs. Apparently Detroit Velvet smooth has scored us some excellent seats and I am supremely happy at my good citizenship test timing.

There are a lot of things that go into inspecting new homes such as Radon tests and mold inspection. Testing is very important with new homes and knowing different tests that their are which could effect the value of a new home.

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I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy. No, Really I am

by Dave on October 16, 2007

in

I took and passed my United States Citizenship test and interview this morning at the JFK Building in Boston’s Government Center. I waited about half an hour before my name was called at which time an official named Dan took me back into his office. I swore that I would tell the truth, then sat down and answered his administrative questions to assure my application was in order. Then the test began, which I got 100% on. The questions included:

  • Who are the current Senators from Massachusetts? “Ted Kennedy and John Kerry”.
  • Would you take up arms in defense of the United States? “Absolutely”.
  • Are you, or have you ever been a Communist? “No”.
  • What is the legislative branch of the American Government? “Congress”.
  • What was the Emancipation Proclamation? “It freed the slaves”.

Then he asked me to write “I love America” on a sheet of paper, sign a couple of passport photos I enclosed during my first application nearly a year ago. He said “Congratulations you passed, and you’ll be sworn in at Faneuil Hall on November 8th.” I sat there with a “Really? That’s it?” look on my face and then headed out into the sunshine quite relieved. Of course the real test I took was when I had my fingerprints digitally scanned and sent to the FBI back in May. Since I went to high school here and speak English the rest was a bit of a formality.

So the deed is almost done. I am happy that I will remain able to work and even live in the USA for the rest of my life if I so decide. I put in a lot of years here and did not want to risk being shut out because some pencil pusher realized I’d spent too much time in Canada. It was the best thing to do given the circumstances, and I’m proud to be an American. And, a Canadian too! Forget you read that, nosy pencil pushers.

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Eric Bana is currently just a stone’s throw from the Hollywood A-List, but the movie that gave the former bartender his start was 2000’s Chopper. The movie tells the intense story of Mark “Chopper” Read, a legendary Australian criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, “From the Inside”, upon which the film is based, was a best-seller in that country and Mark Read who once robbed and murdered only drug dealers (the man has his morals) is now out of jail and a bona fide celebrity. You can see him making appearances at clubs, sitting in the background of rap videos and he’s written several additional books all of which shot to the top of the Aussie charts. Not bad for a guy who once chopped off his own ears with a razor blade to get moved into a prison’s psych ward and avoid being killed by rivals – hence the name.

Bana’s performance is thoroughly entertaining and original. To prepare for the role he spent a week with Mark Read on his farm in Tasmania where he’s moved for his own safety from the Melbourne underworld he once terrified. They never forget. Bana’s transformation into the character of Chopper involved a significant weight gain, temporary prison tattoos all over his body which took 5 hours a day to apply, fake teeth, a handlebar mustache and a large prosthetic penis. It’s the personality, speech patterns and vernacular, however, that truly make Bana’s take on Read unforgettable:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeXy8BnhhxQ[/youtube]

Australian comedian Heath Franklin of the Ronnie Johns Show has made a nice living sending up Chopper. It’s become the most popular character on the show and several of the clips have gone viral online. When asked in an interview I saw on YouTube what he thought of Ronnie John’s portrayal of him, Read replied “He’s only imitating Eric Bana imitating me – and he’s clearly got ears.”:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5cPoQxE408[/youtube]

Regardless, Franklin’s version is hilarious and there are multiple skits (art dealer, job interview, Chopperware Party, horoscopes, weatherman) from the show available to watch. My personal favorite is the Chopper Heimlich Maneuver. Even if you’ve never heard of Read or seen Bana in the movie – I promise up and down you’ll laugh at this.

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Four years and a thousand entries ago, I started this blog – knowing full well I probably wouldn’t maintain it but that it would be a learning experience relevant to my line of work. Who knew? I recently added a “On this date three years ago” feature in the sidebar in the hopes of getting a few eyeballs on some of the Pye in the Face canon. But I don’t think that’s really enough – especially where search engines are concerned. So I’m going to take time out now and then to draw attention to past posts I think are pretty cool and that you very likely missed.

Three years ago the thoroughly unique and enjoyable Tough Crowd was canceled by Comedy Central – much to my chagrin. I wrote a bunch of posts on the subject that I know were passed around and read by people involved with the show – including Jim Norton, Laurie Kilmartin, Patrick from Cringe Humor and probably even Colin Quinn himself. If you want to learn why I liked the show so very much, follow some of the Tough Crowd related links you see in this paragraph. That’s the whole point. This is how we play the reminiscelets game. My good friend Brukakke and I drove to New York to see the last Tough Crowd episode taping and even made it onto the show via an audience shot that you can see below. We met a lot of the guys and it was good closure for us. We were probably the equivalent of Tough Crowd superfans.

Tough Crowd Last Episode

Another article I read over recently and got a chuckle out of was in response to a blog entry by Moby right after the 2004 election. Moby was so distraught that George Bush had been re-elected that he was asking Canadians if it was alright if he moved up there. I was only too happy to give him an answer. You won’t often see me talk about politics on PITF, or draw attention to when I’ve done it in the past, so enjoy it while you can.

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Appetizer: When was the last time you were surprised?
I don’t really remember anything majorly surprisingly important. The last six months have been a bit of a trail. How about a couple of baby ones from yesterday? I am surprised at how good the new Radiohead album is. I have been listening to it non-stop for the last 24 waking hours. I was also very pleasantly surprised to learn that Simon Pegg has been cast as Scotty in the upcoming re-imagined Star Trek movies due to be released in late 2008. Scotty of the Dead, if you like. Kirk: “Scotty! I need more power. If you can’t charge the dilithium crystals and get us away from the Romulan fleet – we’re all doomed!” Scotty: “Yeaaaaaah… It’s not looking good, mate. Winchester?”

Soup: Fill in the blanks: My eyes are ____, but I wish they were ____.
My eyes are brown, but I wish they were x-ray capable and that I was standing outside Cate Blanchett’s house watching her take a shower on the 3rd floor whilst smearing Cheez Whiz on my naked chest and crying. You see why I hate these fill in the blanks questions? Because everyone always says the exact same thing.

Salad: If you were a Beanie Baby, what would you look like and what would your name be?
I don’t know much about Beanie Babies, so I had to do a little research prior to answering this question. OK – I am struggling a bit with this one. How about a dirty looking bird with plague spots all over it named “Poxy the Pidgeon? Or a new spin on the tie-dyed “Garcia the Bear” called “Pigpen the Dead from a Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage… Bear”? I am in the wrong line of work.

Main Course: Name two things you consistently do that you consider to be healthy habits.
I drink a ton of water everyday. At least 3 liters on average. I also make sure I eat a salad every night at dinner. The exercising is definitely not “consistent” per se, unfortunately. Other than those, it’s all liquor, beef jerky and unprotected sodomy over here.

Dessert: What brand of toothpaste are you using these days? Do you like it? Why or why not?
I don’t think we’re especially supposed to like the taste of toothpaste, are we? Brushing your teeth is a critical component of a reasonable personal hygiene regimen – not a fucking Pop Rocks and Coke party. It helps a little if you think of the process as self-flagellation… like the fat bald monk in The Name of the Rose. It kinda friggin’ sucks, but you have to keep it up daily or you’re going to hell, the dentist or both. How about some new flavors to make brushing a true act of churchy self-sacrifice? Body of Christ Blue Stripe – now with extra fluoride and glass.

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In a word, wow. I was so, so ready for a new Radiohead album. It’s been at least 3 years since the last one which I could never really get into. Upon first listen of In Rainbows at 2 o’clock this morning, however, I knew I was in the room with something very special. If you haven’t already heard, read this article about how the band has made the album available only as a download, and that they ask fans to pay them what they think it is worth. You can enter in $20, $10 – I know one cheeky bastard who entered $0 – and then you’re taken to the download page. Nobody knew they were even recording a new album, let alone releasing it in such an innovative and original way until just a few days ago. Amazing story.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbXrdOwDlGc[/youtube]

“Nude” was the first song I heard off the new album a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve included a live version of incredible quality in this post. I use the word “spooky” quite a bit in my Wadio posts, and this one is going to be no exception. Maybe I just dig spooky music. It begins with a spooky baseline and rimshot combination as Thom Yorke’s eerie, distant vocals creep in and a guitar starts to pick away in time. It grabbed me from the first 10 seconds I heard it and has so many subtle and sophisticated chord changes that it’s not going to get old anytime soon. By the time the second guitar comes in and starts playing chords the volume has increased significantly and I’ll be goddamned if you’re not seriously digging it. Have a look and a listen:

After a day of spins, we can say this is the record we wanted them to make – or at least, it’s the middle-of-the-record we wanted them to make; everything from “Nude” through “Reckoner” is warm, organic, and instant classic. Less paranoid – or focused on paranoia – than recent past. – StereoGum

Friend and PITF denizen, Taz, sent me an excited email from Munich after I wrote to him last night to find out what he thought. Always one for a creative and thoughtful response, he did not disappoint:

“Loving ‘In Rainbows’… basically a masterpiece… simply not one bum note… 3 years in the making… and the perfection shows… to be honest on first listen to the splintery fractured guitar-fueled plaintive Yorke vocal hysteria at the end of ‘Bodysnatchers’ I knew I was in for something special… Hail to the Download Thieves! A magnificent addition to the rock pantheon.”

If you’d like the MP3 for the song, Nude, if my remote woodland satellite internet connection ever stabilizes I am going to offer it here for download for a few days as I want to get the word out and spread a little love. And because the album version gets me so excited that I want to stuff a large, slimy piece of salted pork down the front of my camoflage shorts. Hey, whatever floats your boat, right? Soak it all in and if you want the entire record you can pay for it – whatever amount you want – and then download it from the In Rainbows website. Music website StereoGum has a very active thread where fans are sounding off in large about what they think of the album. Yes, I was so ready for this.

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Notes from the North

by Dave on October 9, 2007

in Canadiana

I’m feeling terse today. Succinct. Extremely bullety. It’s a good morning for a brain dump. A blog blathering. Should I just give ‘er? I’ll give ‘er…

– The GPS system, called TeleNav, that I have on my new BlackBerry 8800 is astoundingly accurate and full-featured. I did not expect it nor realize that the phone came with it – but I use it all the time and it kicks touchas. $10 a month.
– My baby mamma still is not pregnant with wee Shepherd. This puts my puppy acquisition date back until at least March. I don’t want to – but I may look elsewhere for a pooch. I was so looking forward to having the wee ‘un with me while I’m alone during the winter.
– I found a treadmill of all things in the garage and I wheelbarrowed it over to the main house and plugged ‘er in. It works, and I’ve set up a spare TV and DVD player in front of it so I’ll have a nice winter hamster wheel.
– My client roster is growing by leaps and bounds – 5 new contracts last month alone – and I have been interviewing local people to help me. I found a great writer and a sharp marketing whiz via the Canadian version of CraigsList and we’re having a meeting in Kingston Thursday.
– I updated Cornett’s wedding gallery with about 40 more pictures so be sure to check it out. If only to see the adorable wee flower girl, Olivia.
– I have ordered several books on Canadian History to read over the snowy months, as I moved to Massachusetts when I was 12 and never learned any at the high school level. The fact that I moved to Concord didn’t help matter much – we kinda had our hands full in the old history department.
– My keyboard popped it’s V and B keys the other day for no apparent reason whatsoever. I’m starting to think Poltergeist – tis the season. Luckily there are no pubescent girls in the house or we’d really see the crockery flying off the walls. As I am an enormous fan of the CTRL+V paste shortcut, this is driving me batty. They won’t re-attach and I am gonna have to shell out for a new keyboard. Frig.

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Monday’s Quotelet: Isiah My Good Man

by Dave on October 8, 2007

in



“Oh really, LeBron? You’re gonna ask the new receptionist out to dinner? Smell my fingers, motherfucker.”

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Appetizer: On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you look forward to your birthday?
As you get older, you really stop caring. You start to look forward to not having anyone mark the occasion as much as you used to tearing the paper off a Han Solo figure. Click that link, by the way. I found that in my Grandmother’s closet while cleaning out her house this summer and it’s in pristine condition and worth about $500 on eBay because of the bilingual packaging and the fact that it’s the original 1977 model with the big head before they redid it to look like Harrison Ford. So yeah, birthdays. Don’t really care that much anymore.

Soup: What is one word you don’t like the sound, spelling, or meaning of?
There are three words that have recently made it on to my peeve list, and this is as good a time as any to mention them. The first word isn’t really a word. It’s “Hmmmm…” after you answer a question someone has asked you. As in “Yes, that is how I feel about this political issue, thank you for asking” followed by a “Hmmmm…” from the inquisitor. It’s patronizing, regardless of what the topic of conversation is – and it drives me around the bend. The second word is used in the exact same way and circumstance. “Interesting”. Both are cop outs used by people that think they don’t like what you’ve just told them, and want you to know it, but have no mental ammo to back anything they take issue with up. Fuck off, all of you. The third word that I hate is “passionate”. “What are you passionate about?” What kills me is that people think this is such a cerebral, first date sort of a question. “What are you passionate about?” “Paying the check and getting the hell away from you, you hideous witch.”

Salad: Do you wear sunglasses when you’re outside? If so, what does your current pair look like?
I have a nice pair which I keep in my car, and about 4 other passable, gas-station P.O.S. pairs that I take with me as I’m very prone to losing them. As I’m not currently… Elton John… my sunglasses look like sunglasses.

Main Course: If you were to write a book, to whom would you dedicate it?
Probably my Mother, who has been telling me I was born to be a children’s author for years. I took a stab at developing an idea online a few years ago, and I’m still not sure it’s a bad one. For now it sits neglected on the web amongst the bones of 30 other half-baked ideas. It tends to get a lot of traffic at Halloween, though. Probably by parents trying to scare their kids straight because they think I’m on hard drugs for basing a kids’ character on Frank Sinatra.

Dessert: Name a beverage that you enjoy.
I’m drinking a lot more milk these days. In Canada, they sell milk in bags that you then bring home and plop into a plastic holder with a handle. Then you snip one of the top corners off using a little magnet knife kept stuck to the fridge. Every Canadian household has one, and mine is yellow. It’s cheaper, you get more and I love it. Look at the big bones on Dave, everyone.

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69 Love Songs

“It makes you blind, it does you in
It makes you think you’re pretty tough
It makes you prone to crime and sin
It makes you say things off the cuff”

The Magnetic Fields are definitely in my top 10 list of all time favorite bands, and considering my fanatical obsession with music – that’s no small feat. I’m sure Stephen Merritt is reading this right now and crossing himself in relief. It’s hard to encapsulate the Fields, or any of Merritt’s many incarnations for that matter, in one song – so I decided not to try. Love is Like a Bottle of Gin is a favorite of mine, but due to it’s slow tempo and short length a record company executive would definitely never choose it as the first track to play the uninitiated. Luckily I don’t think the Magnetic Fields have ever made a proper music video, so I was happy to settle for this fan-made clip that sets the gloomy and brilliant tune to scenes from the Britcom Black Books. I’m not entirely sure why, but beggars…

“It’s very small and made of glass
and grossly over-advertised
It turns a genius into an ass
and makes a fool think he is wise”

The man behind the Fields and several other bands (the Gothic Archies, the 6ths, etc.) is an absolute musical genius. In addition to his prolific output under multiple band names, he has also scored all of the massively popular Lemony Snicket audio books and movies, released the astounding 69 Love Songs (from which this song is taken) a 3 CD collection of tunes he and the Fields-of-the-moment wrote and recorded in one studio session back in 1999 and is as revered in the deep alternative scene as you can get. I’ll provide some links towards the end of the post where you can branch out and learn more for yourselves, and I sincerely hope you do. You may remember the incredibly catchy song from the Southern Comfort ads of a few years ago. The old folks dance around to it, assumably while getting cocked on the only adult libation which still makes me gag due to one particular night of early-teens indiscretion. Strange Powers is as good a place to start as any and I might have featured it had it been up on YouTube.

“It could make you regret your birth
or turn cartwheels in your best suit
It costs a lot more than it’s worth
and yet there is no substitute”

LILABOG, however, is an incredible song in its own right. From the unique time signature, to the distorted and spooky guitar sound to the lyrics’ uncanny ability to draw parallels between how love can make you act just as stupid as downing too much strong, cheap liquor. I think learning these words should be part of gym class or sex ed in high school as it covers a lot of important bases simultaneously. Namely – stay away from both entities until you are much, much more cynical and jaded.

69 Love Songs

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