Brian Eno once said of the Velvet Underground that very few people bought their records, but that everyone who did started a band. Unfortunately, there is an imperfect union between white-hot talent and commercial success.
Last night was proof positive. The Wooden Stars' 1997 album Mardi Gras enjoys a comfortable spot among our top ten albums ever produced, and they have influenced legions of hot-shit Canadian artists (including blogiverse darlings the Arcade Fire.) But when their reunion tour stopped at Kingston's Grad Club, maybe 30 people turned out, tops.
Okay, sure: It's reading week for Queen's students. And Kid Koala was rocking the decks at the Elixir the same night. But still, thirty people?
The Wooden Stars took it all in stride, pitching their setlist and steering their set by way of inter-song band meetings. While the show logistics were ad-hoc and sloppy, their set was absurdly tight. Their sound is influenced by alt-folk, but their stop-start dynamics and careening polyrhythms take their cue from the math-rock bands that defined the Ottawa scene (see: Okara, Shotmaker) in the mid-nineties.
Their show (more ably reviewed here) included a mix of older material and some (gasp!) new tracks. And, to our great delight, a cover of 'Cut Your Hair' by Pavement. There's nothing any of you can do to make up for the fact that you slept on this show (shame! shame!), but you can start your penance by adding their utterly perfect 'Mardi Gras' LP to your collection. For under nine bucks Canadian, you can get a copy (in MP3 format) on Zunior, a new music service started by Dave Ullrich of the Inbreds.
In unrelated news: The Kingston Optimuscrime syndicate has now moved into our new digs on Bagot. But the house needs a name! After living at the Illustrious Circle Road Manor and Lime Green Palace, using a standard mailing address would be six kinds of dull. So, a contest! The best suggestion made in the comments or sent by will win a sexy Optimuscrime t-shirt.
Typographica's got the rundown on their favourite fonts of 2004. We're so down with the Bickham Script Pro. We've only had it for a few hours, and already we're planning to host fancy soirées, cotillions and black-tie balls in order to use it on the invitations. You know the kind: "Optimuscrime requests your company..."; "Optimuscrime cordially invites you..."
But on the typeface front, we're just insatiable, pretties: One new font leads to an evening wasted trawling the internets for others. Here are the fruits of our labour:
Ginger Mint (via Fontleech) makes us think of Dan Clowes
comics graphic novels.
Misprinted Type makes busted up, broken down typefaces. Their 'Diesel' font recognizes that it is far sexier to look rough from an excess of effort than from laziness.
Letterhead's Ambrosia typeface would look best if you were designing the packaging for a Miracle Cure-All And Restorative Tonic (Works For Man Or Beast!) But we're sure you can use it for other things, too.
Double Dagger are reportedly the first band of the 'designercore' genre. They play pretty standard discopunk, but their songs are about typefaces and colour separation. Sold. (Via Catchdubs)
We're a little weirded out by the list of contacts from Paris Hilton's hacked Blackberry. Of course, the expected cabal of B-list celeb trash (Fred Durst, Lindsay Lohan) is there, but BlackberryCool.com swears that Big Pun, dearly departed for half a decade, has a Blackberry email address in Paris' address book. We're skeptical, but on the hopes that Thug Heaven gets good cell reception, we've fired off an email to say hi.
Conservative MP and master of social graces Jason Kenney tactfully handled the gay marriage question yesterday, arguing that gay relationships are not 'socially beneficial':
". . . It's nice that people will love for each other, care for each other and live together, but frankly I'm not quite sure where the social benefit is in that as clearly as it is in a procreative, potentially procreative relationship which creates a model in society for continuing society into future generations."
Hear that? If you're going to burden society with your marriage, you'd damn well better push out a few screamers. Get breeding, people!
We thought we were all The Hot Shit when we got our good pal Matt a Foof sleeve for his iPod. But we hadn't yet seen Mule Design's insane squid-shaped handmade iPod sleeve. That's some serious next-level shit.