Sunday, March 22, 2009

what's wrong with the world when 17 people crash and die in a cemetary and another 3 die on their way to a funeral.


Friday, March 13, 2009

the birth and death of the day (then remixed)

Tonight I saw an Asian Man in war paint walk up to a mic stand and start hollering Anarchy In the Uk by the Pistols. It really confused me but made me really happy in a way. Perhaps because I love people who do the unexpected (or in this case sing the unexpected) but that's what real punk is about I guess, breaking down stereotypes and trying not to conform to the non-conformist manifesto.
Tonight I feel like I'm sitting here directing a symphony with my heart as the conductor and my headphones as the gateways to a better world! It's amazing what goes on when people let down their guard and just experience life at it's most raw and authentic.
I like artists. I like the Fine Arts department with all their people who are comfortable with expression, who THRIVE off expression and aren't afraid to push boundaries. Maybe, I even envy them. I like Hilary because normally I am intimidated by people with such talent but she is one of the warmest people I've ever met. She also always remembers my name and I feel bad because sometimes I have to get Chris to remind me of hers, although she is VERY memorable.
I'm a big fan of smiles and hugs too for that matter.
Especially at SPRUNG and especially when I'm sipping wine (which may appear to be classy, but it is in fact very ordinary, unlike everything else.) Happy coincidence running into David and a beautiful experience in the visual media room with a boy who I recognize and his guitar. I wish Andy Warhol could have been there; actually, I felt like he was there with everything so modern, edgy and inspiring. Also a big fan of the guy from church dinner, he had a nice backpack.
One day I think I have to bring my pen and paper to the visual arts building and just start writing writing writing everything that I feel about all the brilliant things I see, whether I understand them or not.
I should have picked up that bass in that room, I don't know why I didn't. . .
Hello Jens and Chris and Hilary and Rachel and Rachel and David and many more people I would like to meet....
Ode to Chris:
today you got beat up by pavement,
but thank you for inviting me to the event.
i had a wonderful time with you and your friends,
and liked it when you fell and got laughed at by us and jens.
your sincerity and good attitude is contagious
i like picking up what you put down, you're outrageous.
i'm glad i met you that day on the grass,
who would of guessed we'd be in the same class?!?!

Graham sang the finale song from "School of Rock" at UVic Idol (which I keep wanting to say SKS Idol fyi haha) and it was pretty epic. I love that part of the movie and he brought the house down with his song. Sitting and drinking and laughing was also a lot of fun, everyone was so chill and about having a good time, I love people who are like that. That's definitely more my scene, but what makes a scene anyway....
That's all we've talked about today, you can make a scene with emotion! but why does the expression of emotion always have to be so apart from our regular daily routine, why is it classified as a "scene."

I asked Josh for an interview today, and was super shocked that I just blurted out the question because I really didn't mean to be that forward, but that's the first thing that came to mind when he said "hi." Haha, I'm really smooth, NAWT. Luckily he agreed and now I have to come up with some great questions, he seems really down to earth and cool but FIRST I want to interview aragon, if she doesn't mind. She is probably one of the most memorable profs I'll ever have, and I'm only on my first year. :)
It's 12:34 a.m. and I still always think of theset and the first time I ever saw them at the Miracle Centre ( wonder it's called that, they were a miracle.) I remember them playing September 4th, 2005 and then again on the 7th or so for extra gas money. I remember standing there with no one really moving around and not being sure if they were cool b/c I was still relatively new to the scene just to find out that no one else really knew who they were either. I remember telling Jenelle that they were really good (and privately determining they were my favourite from that night, even more so than The Murderous, Stutterfly and The Bleeding Alarm.) Then from there on out...I was hooked.
I so DEEPLY miss those days when music was the most important thing in my life and I spent countless hours learning about "my" bands as if they were something to be possessed, even though they are to be shared with the world and I'd prefer it that way. I miss that passion I had. It's still there but I guess it grew up like I did. Fuck kids who said that the whole post-hardcore/emo genre is garbage, it was that medium that adolescents could relate to more so than anything else in their lives at that time probably. I remember sitting on the Heater Room stairs with Katie Hodgeson and her showing me "The Tide" by Spill Canvas in grade 9, and us both almost crying. I remember lending Amanda my walkman to listen to "Blue and Yellow" by the Used around the corner, upstairs in the heater room probably in grade 8, because it spoke louder than anyone else, including ourselves. It understood what was happening and made us not feel alone.
That's what great music SHOULD do. It should move you to a place where you can be relatively objective from yourself but totally the subject of the melody.
I was a child addicted to catastrophe and upset now that I reflect. My favourite books were by Lurlene McDaniel: (Lurlene McDaniel is an author who has written over 60 young adult books. She is well known for writing about characters struggling with mortality and chronic illness. Her characters have grappled with cancer, diabetes, organ failure, and the deaths of loved ones through disease or suicide.) HELLO! But see, that was healthy for me because I was always feeling monotonous as a child, despite what ever exciting or psychotic event was happening around me and I THRIVED off the emotional roller coaster of characters who were feeling things that were REAL (real, in the imaginary sense of course.) I wouldn't go so far as diagnose this as a need for my ego to feed off drama (as "us" adults now would) it was just a way of understanding other people and feeling compassion toward the human condition.
So here I sit, wondering if I've really come that far. I have beautiful roses at my right in a vase. Satiny pinks and yellows with stems stretching toward the fountain of life. Baby's breath put there by fragile hands with well-manicured nails and wrinkly fingers perhaps? Delivered to me from far away but then again, not so far away at the same time. I don't want to become all pastoral and Canadian in that sense, but truly the beauty of a blooming flower petals is miraculous (I almost stop thinking about the exploitative Dole flower companies that probably produced them and engineered them to last this long.) If I could, I would give EVERY grrrl and woman roses for their private admiration. There's something about their beauty that transcends all societal symbolism and context, it's that velvety caress across your lips and skin, it's pranayama deep breathing, it's the unwavering strength of such fine petals that don't crush under you handling, it's the different stages of development and how they're always opening opening opening opening opening. Giving giving giving. Until...
It's now approaching 1:00am but time is a mere relation point assisting our need for "order" in our lives.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Trying to Rock in the Free World

My best friend and I are sitting in Riverside Park after driving aimlessly looking for fun. Sweltering and disgruntled, we groan about how badly we wished we were 19. Our favourite punk band, the Rebel Spell, is in town and we can’t do what we love most and go see a live show. We’ve gone to a few Rebel Spell shows before, but this time they couldn’t find anywhere to accommodate an all-ages audience—consisting of some of their biggest fans—and they’re not the first to have this problem.

The Kamloops scene is alive and well if you are over 19 (over 21 in The Blue Grotto’s case) or if you’ve snagged a fake ID. But what about those kids who love music more than anything and the only place their favourite bands play is where they are denied? A show-goer since she was 14, 18-year-old Jenelle Molyneux said, “[the all-ages scene] is slowly getting better. The kids are there, it’s just a matter of finding a venue, promoting, and then not trashing the venue when lots of people show up.”

Having teetered on the edge of becoming a necessary stop for touring indie bands between Vancouver and Calgary, fans and musicians alike have experienced the frustration of reviving a scene many times over because of venue inconsistency. Some migrate to other music hubs, such as Kelowna or Vancouver; however, that is not an option for the majority, most of which would rather work on improving their home scene before abandoning such a big part of their lives.

“I think it's important to have a good all-ages music scene in Kamloops because no matter what age you are, being exposed and experiencing live music is something we should all have the privilege of doing,” said musician and fan, Olivia Campbell.

Growing up in a town that fears alternative sub-cultures, there has been resistance to breaking the status quo and turning up amps to unite music fans. For many of those kids—at one point myself included—their lives have turned into mere moments between the euphoria of live music and that sense of community that emerges at these shows . “Kids are the future of music,” said Dan Hum, guitarist from Kamloops-based band Tickets to Tokyo. Not only are kids the future of music, many kids seek music as their future.

Currently in Kamloops there are two active all-ages venues: The Leisure Loft or “The Loft” and The Pavilion Theatre. After tearing through a variety of restaurants, halls, coffee shops, The Old Courthouse, the Panic City store and even private basements, these two venues are the only arteries pumping independent live music into the city for all-ages to enjoy.

“I think that The Loft is the perfect venue in Kamloops for the more laid-back genres because it has such an amazing atmosphere and such a good scene of people,” said Campbell. The intimate nature of this softly lit venue with its padded seats and classic piano is great for local singer-songwriters, but its 60 person capacity is limiting.

Founded by local musician and recording studio owner, Mike Turner, the scene is thankful to have such a venue but as Molyneux states, “It’s been good to Kamloops, but The Loft is definitely not enough.”

Bands and show promoters receive no funding apart from what they make at shows, so many of them end up spending their own money to cover expenses. When enough money can be scraped together to book The Pavilion Theatre, its accommodating size draws a bigger show, and because it’s less delicate than The Loft, heavier bands and rowdier fans can have more fun.

Is The Loft and Pavilion enough for Kamloopsians to reclaim a foothold in the B.C. scene? No. With The Loft rightfully tightening their restrictions due to vandalism and The Pavilion still out of price range for many, Kamloops is in desperate need of a niche.

“Kamloops is full of golden gem venues that aren’t being used due to owners being afraid of vandalism,” said Hum. Others interviewees agreed, suggesting The Courthouse, the IOOF Hall (attached to Lee’s Music) and the TRU Independent Centre as possible venues, if they were permitted to use them.

“It’s so important because there are kids out there that care a lot about music, so it’s really not fair when all the shows are at bars. All ages shows are a good way for kids to go out and have fun without getting in trouble,” said Molyneux.

Now on the verge of my 19th birthday, in Victoria, B.C. where they have made the all-ages scene thrive, I constantly think about my music roots at home and my friends in bands who are still struggling to bring music to the people.

When Hum was asked what the scene meant to him he said, “Life. It’s what I live for. And I am not the only one. [It’s about] culture and a family.”

This isn’t a rant about lowering the drinking age or letting kids into bars, this is a plea and a rally call to those who care about preserving an important facet of Kamloops’ culture. The all-ages scene in Kamloops, B.C. is more than entertainment, for many, it’s a way of life.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

bringing it in, but not forgetting...

Passed out on the overpass Sunday best and broken glass Broken down from the bikes and bars Suspended like spirits over speeding cars You and me were kings over the parkway tonight And tonight will go on forever while we walk around this town like we own the streets and stay awake through summer like we own the heat Singing "everybody wake up (wake up) it's time to get down" (everybody, everybody wake up its time to get down) And when I pass the bottle back to Pete on the overpass tonight, I bet we laugh I'm gonna stay eighteen forever (cut me open) So we can stay like this forever (sun poisoned) And we'll never miss a party (this offer...)cause we keep them going constantly (...stands forever)And we'll never have to listen (new haircut) to anyone about anything (new bracelet) cause it's all been done and it's all been said (eyeliner) we're the coolest kids and we take what we can getThe hell out of this town Find some conversation The low fuel lights been on for days It doesn't mean anything I've got another 500, 'nother 500 miles before we shut this engine down, we shut it down I'm gonna stay eighteen forever (cut me open) So we can stay like this forever (sun poisoned) And we'll never miss a party (this offer...)cause we keep them going constantly (...stands forever)And we'll never have to listen (new haircut) to anyone about anything (new bracelet) cause it's all been done and it's all been said (eyeliner) we're the coolest kids and we take what we can get (wait forever) (you're just jealous cause I'm young and in love) Eighteen forever (first kisses)(your stomach's filled up but you're starved for conversation) So we can stay like this forever (new stitches)(you're spending all your nights growing old in your bed) And we'll never miss a party (collar weekend)(and your tearin up your photos cause you wanna forget... it's over) cause we keep them going constantly (appearance ticket)(you're just jealous cause I'm young and in love) And we'll never have to listen (November to...)(your stomach's filled up but you're starved for conversation) to anyone about anything cause it's all been done (...remember)(you're spending all your nights growing old in your bed) and it's all been said (nightswimmers)(and your tearin up your photos cause you wanna forget... it's over) we're the coolest kids and we take what we can get Just jealous cause we're young and in love You're just jealous cause we're young and in love You're just jealous cause we're young and in love You're just jealous cause we're young and in love You're just jealous cause we're young and in love You're just jealous...
(To the kids who pounded the street with me. To the kids who spent hours in coffee shops, at the beach or in parking lots. To the kids with whom we shared our insecurities and passions. To the "coolest kids who have taken what they could get" and to the ones who refuse to settle. To those nights with acoustic guitars...and to those nights with mindblowing bands. To not feeling comfortable but sticking around anyway. To camping and the universe. To my best friends, yeah that probably means you too. To adventures and that fortress we have yet to claim. To theset, haha, theset. To my parents who raised me and to the lyrics that brought me up. To the guys and girls. To drunkenly "swinging life away" and "winging it" sober. Love. Empowerment. Hope. Strength. Health. How things have evolved from tasting ink to floating on, this isn't just time to pretend to pass out on the overpass, this is the first day of your life.....Hello next year, hello the beautiful ppl i have met and the ones who still stick by me. Hello more changes and more knowledge! I welcome the new song that will shape this, my 19th year. Hello opportunities and love....)

Friday, March 06, 2009

on the eve of the eve of my nineteenth birthday

Explosions in the Sky puts you in an existential place. (*note, i'm not writing from that place, or am i?)
19. The first thing that comes to mind is my favourite song off of Tegan and Sara's latest album, not the fact that this is the age that I'm to turn this weekend. Hell, I'm hardly used to the fact that I'm eighteen and well, that's essentially over. Hmm...this time last year I was at Rucker's with my grad class. Oh, Grad 2008, what a special crew that is all too close to my heart even though we've drifted in sooooo many different directions. That's ok, just like how TV networks cancel their sitcoms before they become too unpopular, high school ends after five years so it's fondly remembered by some; for others, some shows run way past their expiry date.
In the past year I guess it's fair to say I've accomplished some pretty bodacious things: valedictorian, putting on a backpack with my BFF and heading across the continent, moving, university, the 30 day challenge at bikram and decent marks. But does what I do determine who I am, has it really made me feel any different?
I've grown to appreciate things more: poetry, laughter, smiles, generosity, innocence, activism, health.
I've also fell in love with this campus. This microcosm of personal expression and politics...and the bunnies.
Today I sat on a floor at my first Shabbat, sharing a plate of potluck assortment with my friend Rachel who blessed the candles when we were all standing in circle (there wasn't enough room around the kitchen table.) In Chris' the living room witnessing Jewish tradition, I looked from face to face as Colbie tossed everyone halla. Although there are many names I didn't know, names were irrelevent because there was commonality between us. A name isn't who you are, it is a title you identify with. Who you are is that undercurrent of humanity that unites all of us in a way that still allows everyone to celebrate their diversity, heritage and other factions that are important to themeselves. I think here, in Victoria, the value of personal expression and acceptence is deemed as more important than more reserved, traditional, conservative communities.
I've noticed that no matter where you go, no matter the occasion, indepth conversations on the nature of foreign policy, politics, the environment or even dark matter ends up being discussed and politely debated. We're university undergrads aiming to be scholars in our field of preference but ideally hoping to take more than just our course material away from all of this.
Hunter S Thompson said, "Politics is the art of controlling your environment." From a globalization perspective to an intimate conversation, everything is political. While yes, I do love engaging in the politcal world and conversations, sometimes I wish that you could have opinions without being filed into this giant filing cabinet of ideologies as either: a socialist, an anarchist, a fascist, a conservative, a communist, a religious fundementalist, a liberal, a feminist. I'm not naive in that there will ever be utopia, but if the interests of humanity at its basic definition of "the quality or condition of being collectively human" was at the centre (or even in the minds) of political theorists and policy makers, then the world would be a lot more balanced. Don't get me wrong, I strongly believe that people need to organize and form coalitions in order to accomplish change in the world, I just would like to see the majority act as humanists.
It's scary to think of how few hands power is consolidated in. How few heads need to nod to initiate new policies and how private many government activities are. I'm not overly suspcious, I generally lead a pretty easy-going, laid back lifestyle, but when you think about it, who really has all your information and what are they doing with it? With technology, it's a wonder if anything can remain secret, or if that very though of "Big Brother" watching is merely fear installed by the state...
With such rapid advancement in technology (I mean, did anyone really use facebook two years ago?) who knows where we will be by the time that I write even a year from now.
Globalization. That is the present and the future. We (citizens of the world) are all so intimately bound up with each other. Economic ties, political associations, pop culture, fashion, the arts, trade and communications are all becoming closely related regardless of geographical and sociological differences. Why? Two words: Western Homogeny.
Admittingly, I haven't travelled intercontinentally, but I do talk to people, listen, read and learn about other places and by studying the past. it's all too obvious whose moods and whims the world is most closely tied with. (It's all hard to overlook that adolescent girls in South Africa have started eating disorders in order to not look like their mothers as set in their own genetic makeup!!) It's weird to think that if someone from the 18th century read a full week of The New York Times that they would have acquired more information that they would have in their lifetime! The (yeah, I'm a prime example of technology's impact) short "Did You Know?" states that the unique information that will be generated this year is 4 exabytes which is more than the last 5000 years combined? It's IMPOSSIBLE to wrap your head around everything that is happening; however, at this time more than ever, we have the means of digging deeper and learning about the unknown from the comfort of personal computers and the good 'ol world wide web. It also means that government and secret security forces have to work harder to cover up internal plans for "national security" because of the abundance of documenting and communication devices.

Well, I believe that is it for this night's edition of "lotus diaries." More to follow tomorrow beginning with a service piece for kids who can't complete a single blog entry without being distracted by facebook and other sites for most of her time.

give peace a chance.