Where you can read the relatively rational ramblings of a silly half-monkey, half-boy. This freak of nature is named Joel. He also responds to the name 'Bart Wang'.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The music is much too loud to hear this alarm sound

Hi boys and girls. It's Saturday morning just before 9AM. The Leafs smoked the Atlanta Thrashers on last night 9-1. I slept in this morning (to some degree, anyhow). Things seem to be opening up on a good weekend.

Let me recount for you what took place on Thursday night, however. Mae. Finally! I missed them when they opened for Something Corporate in their first trip to southern Ontario (I didn't miss Something Corporate though - meaning 'I'm glad I didn't see Something Corporate'). Then there's the infamous Warped Tour fiasco from this year. So after Darryl and I worked on Taxman enough to convince him that Mae is awesome, the three of us travelled to Toronto to redeem our previously poor luck.

First, I was disappointed that Mute Math wasn't playing as they were with the rest of the tour. I don't know why (aside from assuming it was the common border-crossing complaints or they are a band of wanted criminals). I've not heard a single Mute Math song but I have read many good things about them, particularly in Relevant Magazine.

To open, we got to see The Working Title. They were okay. Their bass player was good. Their singer looks like one of the Lawrence brothers (yes, I'm talking about Joey 'Whoa!' Lawrence). I couldn't tell if he was actually singing because I swear I heard backing vocals when the drummer (who was supposed to be singing) wasn't singing. But, as Darryl pointed out, they had a crazy amount of reverb and effects on the singer's voice. They were okay but they need to find their own sound. I suspect they listened to a lot of The Cure.

Next up was Circa Survive. Let me start with the positive (notice it is singular). The individaul band members who play instruments are talented. What they need to do is kick this guy out of the band. He's their "vocalist," except he is not a very good singer or leader. I'll give it to him that he can sing/scream like Chris Carrabba on the first Further Seems Forever album. But when he has to sing in the same key as the band was playing, bad things happen. What made things worse was that he has a horribly annoying stage presence. Half the set was spent looking at his back. We wondered if he had a crush on the drummer. The other half involved him demonstrating his best tortured, epileptic rock star poses. It's been done, little dude. He could stand to take some lessons from Brett Detar or Stephen Christian on how to perform. The band, as well, didn't differentiate well between songs. They just seemed to go on and on and it wasn't until the last song that we noticed a signature change. Somehow, though, the kids seemed to like them. In fact, we're pretty sure more people were there to see Circa Survive than Mae. If that is true, there is no hope for the youth of today.

Mae rules. They kicked ass and had me singing along constantly. They played most of the songs from 'The Everglow' as well as a few from 'Destination:Beautiful'.
The only song noticeably missing from the set was 'Embers And Envelopes', which I missed. Rob, the keyboard player, was doing some weird punching/karate thing during one song. He seems like an intense dude. "You're playing the keyboard! You don't have to use much force!" Dave's vocals were spot-on throughout the night. Zach was grooving along and rocked the lead guitar. Mark plays a mean bass and doesn't really move at all. Jacob Marshall is my new favourite drummer. For one thing, the dude plays some killer rhythms that could easily be used in trance/techno stuff that requires a drum machine. Second of all, he's a ton of fun to watch. His movements are very fluid and entertaining. I also realized that I love seeing the other band members sing along to the song they are playing. It shows me that they are into the tune and find some meaning in it beyond just playing the chords. Zach and Jacob were frequently singing, which I enjoyed. Taxman and Darryl all agreed they ruled the roost that was the Reverb.

Go here to listen to some Mae songs. You can also hear a demo of 'Suspensions' (our favourite song) featuring Kenny from The Starting Line. Taxman will rejoice! Make sure you listen to 'Anything' as well - that song is so good.

Ok, it's now Monday evening. Time can fly when you read slowly. Pick up the pace, backpack.

Going back a couple days, on Friday night, Melanie, Katie, Darren Salmond and I went to the fourth annual Comedyfest, organized by Chad & Cheri-lynn as a fundraiser for McMaster Children's Hospital. Only Chad go to see it though because Cheri-lynn went to the hospital with a terrible bout of appendicitis. Feel better soon!
The night was great, on the whole. There were a couple acts that just weren't funny and one group of boys (known as the Kaytor Brothers) who were total dillholes. They weren't funny, they were just obnoxious and, apparently, intoxicated. Sadly, people will be talking about them at all (even if it is negative) instead of focusing on the other great acts such as Glenn Ottaway, Bernie (this fine gentleman is awesome - he's the one in the picture), Adam Cole and the Silly People. Great work, Chad & Cheri-lynn! Everyone had a good night!

Melanie and I looked at three houses on Sunday. Are we going to buy one soon? Probably not. But we've both been talking to Len and he's chatting us up on the issue. Here's some oddities to the day... The first house we saw was owned by the church on Manor Place, the original Stoney Creek Alliance, where I went for the first eighteen years of my life. The house that is owned by the church? Where I had Sunday school. Crazy eh? Crazier still was that after that, we saw the house owned by my maternal great-uncle (my mom's uncle and grandfather's brother). I never knew my grandmother as he died shortly before my parents were married in 1972. I did know my great-uncle as an acquaintance though. Families are weird and, in spite of the fact that he lived around the corner from us, we only went to his home once as a kid. For those of you that know Dan Pergentile, this is how I'm related to Dan and his sisters. My great-uncle is his grandfather. Anyhow, his daughter-in-law brought over the key and we started chatting a bit. When we went into the basement, she said she had something for me to see. It was a big picture (over 8x10) of my grandfather that they found while cleaning the house. I don't know that I've ever seen a picture of him before. Wacky. I took the picture to get to his family through my sister.

I finished our wedding 'thank you' cards yesterday. Yes, that's right, our first anniversary is next month. According to etiquette rules, you have until then to finish your 'thank you' cards. I've got time to spare! I actually only had eight cards to go but I never made the time to do them. Sorry to Booj, Belly, Michele, Mr. & Mrs. Timko, Sarah King, Mary Jo & Father Covino (a.k.a. Matt).

Did you know that I am known as "Pope Joel" by people at the Catholic Children's Aid Society? I made up the name a while back but it's spread. Here's the deal... When we investigate families, the law specifies that a Catholic family has to be serviced (when available) by the Catholic Children's Aid Society. Only Hamilton and Toronto have such agencies. As a result, when we find out the family is Catholic, we get excited because we can send the file to the CCAS to finish up. I have a particular gift for finding them so I gave myself the title of "Pope Joel I" (i.e., the First). Another colleague, Matt, is also adept at finding Catholic families so he was given the title of "Father Covino" by the CCAS screeners (who answer the phones). That's actually how they refer to us when we call, believe it or not. It's hilarious.

We might have a couple more people on our trip to Cuba with us! Katie is seriously looking at joining us and then I mentioned it to Darren Salmond this morning by e-mail and he was interested. That would be great.

If you're interested in being challenged, listen to two sermons from our church. The first is called "Can Queers Follow Christ?" and the other is called "When Is Violence The Right Response To Conflict?" The first was really good and I liked everything that was said. The second left me more unsettled and with plenty of questions. Oh, and if that's not enough, the first sermon in the series is called "Should A Church Spend Millions Of Dollars On A Building?" Appropriate, since we're spending about $6 million on a building. It's always good to know the leaders are asking difficult questions. Chantal wasn't at church because she was busy with school and not feeling very good. I hope you're doing better soon, Chantal!

We watched 'The Longest Yard' yesterday. Meh. Didn't think it was anything great. I probably wouldn't recommend it. There's many better movies. Did you hear they are FINALLY making 'Rocky 6'? HELL YEAH!!! I can't wait for that. But I will wait. Eagerly anticipating the glory of Rocky Balboa.

My new favourite NHL team, the Nashville Predators, remain undefeated. They beat the Blues 4-1. Steve Sullivan, a former Leaf, was named the NHL's offensive player of the week. That makes it sound like he's a jerk. He's not. He's good at scoring or setting people up to score. Oh, wait, that makes him sound like he's a jerk with the ladies. Hahaha. Go Preds! Bill tells me that tickets are cheap. I hope we can one day go to a game together.

I'm going to leave you now. You have a lot to read and listen to so get to it. As a final note, congratulations are extended to Darryl Timko and Julie Woods as they got engaged. Darryl's a good and sexy dude and Julie's a smart and foxy lady. Good luck as you prepare to enter the wacky and exciting world of wedded bliss. In December. Yes, that's right, in a little over two months. Enjoy and don't stress. PEACE!


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