Tags: montréal


good morning to you

quick life update:

done two days on the new job so far. i think i will enjoy the challenge. i also thing it will involve a lot of analysing, reading, and writing. brain work, yay.

apartment hunt is going good. seamonkey_mags and i have looked at three apartments so far. put in an application for one in westboro that was nice and big and bright. waiting to hear back; going to check out another one near lees tomorrow evening.

we are heading to montréal on saturday morning for a mini-vacation to go shopping and visit the biodome! little did we know when we planned it that it was F1 weekend! who cares about car-racing anyway?! that's not a sport! so it was a bit of a scramble to find a hotel that wasn't $500 - $1000 for one night, but we did it! awesome B&B in great location for only $140 for the night. montreal fun, here we come!

also, i'm likely to cave and buy a fancy new p&s camera today. it's been too long since my last camera purchase. it will likely be the lumix ZS7.

what's new with y'all? xo.

thanksgiving okkervil weekend

Okkervil River @ les Saints
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
will sheff wants you all to know how much he loves you all. at least, those were his sentiments for montréal this canadian thanksgiving weekend.

despite having been sick all week, i summoned up the crazy immense energy to attend okkervil river at les saints in montréal on saturday night. and i am so happy that i did! this was not a show to be missed.

last year, i saw okkervil river at the salla rosa, and they did not go on 'til after 11:15p.m., so i only got to watch about 25 minutes of the show before i had to boot it to the bus station to catch the last bus back to ottawa. thankfully, this year it was a saturday night; no work in the morning...

and okkervil river were in top form, full of enthusiasm and energy, and a crazy setlist of brilliant new tunes and old gems; a perfect mesh, really. i even managed to snag one of the setlists from the stage after the show was over. i couldn't reach it, but a complete stranger decided to help me by crawling up on the stage and grabbing it for me. he could have kept if for himself, but apparently fellow okkervil river fans are generous folks.

the okkervil boys (and one girl now too) put on the perfect show! they opened with a girl in port, which was a great way to set the mood, and followed it up with rousing renditions of singer-songwriter and a hand to take hold of the scene. i forget what they played next because i think that on a whim, will sheff decided to deviate from the setlist, and i didn't recognize the song. but that's ok, 'cause then they played four of my favs all in a row; starry stairs, plus ones, john allyn smith sails, and pop lie.

most of the band then left the stage for a mostly-solo quiet tune by sheff, which i think was brand new was a stone (the setlist says maine island lovers, but i don't think they played that). a stone was stunningly beautiful. then came a tear-jerking version of so come back, i'm waiting, followed by black, and the beautiful new single lost coastlines (i could not stop dancing to that great bass beat! i really love the stand ins and this is probably my favourite tune at the moment; and the bassist sang meiburg's part while playing that crazy bass line at the same time!). then came the crowd-pleaser black sheep boy.

they finished the set with for real, a crazy performance of our life is not a movie or maybe (with a lot of crowd participation), and and equally explosive rendition of unless it kicks, where sheff was demanding that he see the whole crowd clapping their hands along to the tune; and we all happily complied!

the encore was perfect; blue tulip, okkervil river song, and westfall. what a night.

"keep the faithful entertained..."

James live @ Club Soda
Originally uploaded by jacob earl
so, how was my trip to montréal last weekend, you ask?

i'll get to that in a minute. first off, let me say: i just beat my muthafucking running record, muthafuckas! 2 km in 11:52.59 minutes! that shaves 26 seconds off my previous best time, and that is my second night in a row, gunning full on. and my legs feel great! well, maybe a tiny bit achey right now, but i definitely could keep going if i had to. i beat the 12 minute goal!!! praise me, fellow runners!

ok, enough of that. montréal is what this post is about. see that picture to the right? THAT is what this post is REALLY about. i'll save the best for last though...

first off, shaun and i set off from my place around 1p.m. on saturday, to go pick up the rental car. they had no car for us, the asshats. they had overbooked. so we hauled it by bus all the way back to gatineau to pick up shaun's car, and that's how we finally got on the road, over two hours later than expected.

once in montréal, we checked into the marriott near the docks, and we were off to the sigur ros show. it was super good! of course, their music was really pretty, and shaun commented how this was the first time since the first album that he saw them play without a strings ensemble. they had a neat stage setup (it was outdoors); you can see the pics i took on flickr. i bought a really cool sigur ros t-shirt with a hand-drawn screaming person on the front.

on sunday, we hiked around on foot, taking pictures of graffiti and murals, and checking out the park at the foot of mount royal. there was some sort of 'artists for peace' speech going on, and the tam-tam people seemed restless because they just wanted to bang their drums.

we cut back downtown, had some lunch, and did some afternoon clothes and cd shopping. at simon's, i got a pair of pants, and three longsleeve technical shirts. shaun got some clothes at H&M, then we went to hmv and i got black sheep boy and sleep and wake-up songs by okkervil river, and roman polanski's knife in the water on dvd. shaun bought the new stills album and some old metallica cds.

in the evening we hooked up with wil at a house social gathering where the hostess was recording our conversations about english beefcakes and foreign gay conversation, as part of an art project for school. then shaun, wil and i went to dunn's for a late dinner, and argued about music. haha.

on monday, we shopped some more. i bought a where the wild things are t-shirt at urban outfitters (i loved that book as a kid).

also, i bought a brand new 4gb black creative zen mozaic mp3 player. it's really nifty. it has a built-in speaker, a high quality screen, fm radio, recorder, great custom equalizer and bass boost, and all sorts of features i haven't even explored yet. i already jammed 350 high quality mp3s on there and it's not even full yet! best of all, it was really well-priced and has an extended warranty. yay for music in my head!

we met up with wil again for a late lunch at a great asian place (littlegirltoast, you would have loved the pork!), then wil had a class, then we hooked up again after to go to... THE JAMES CONCERT!

quite possibly the best concert i have ever been to in my entire life. maybe even better than the james shows in scotland. you see, they played some great tunes at club soda that they did not play in scotland! tunes like p.s., dream thrum, just like fred astaire, and sit down! the crowd was insane! there were two encores! i think saul davies and tim booth were particularly on top of their game, really playing off the energy of the crowd. i got a lot of decent pics, so check them out on flickr, ok?! i pay good money for that pro account. :P

anyway, suffice to say that it was a great weekend, and i am really looking forward to heading back to montréal for okkervil river on october 11th! fun times!

i offer you this in the meantime

hello all, how goes? i will post later about my weekend trip to montréal, and all the fun i had seeing sigur ros and james, once i have the opportunity to upload all the pics to flickr, and organize my post-bliss excited thoughts into a cohesive entry.

meanwhile, i will bore or excite you (depending on your tastes) with more music reviews of recent 2008 releases that i have been enjoying:

  • tapes 'n tapes - walk it off - this one took a bit of time to grow on me, but i like it even better than the loon. groovy tracks like george michael and anvil are toe-tappingly pleasurable as much after the 50th listen as the first, and fist-pounding, ground-shaking numbers like headshock make me nostalgic for my moshing youth. the appeal of tapes 'n tapes lies in their ability to be both soft and hard, both moody and exuberant, both understated and overbearing, all at once.

  • kings of leon - only by the night - as i understand it, these boys have been gaining in popularity for sometime now, as this is their forth album. however, i only got into them with their 2007 release, because of the times. even then, it was with some trepidation (but hey, if ed o'brien of radiohead likes them, they can't be all that bad, right?). i was not disappointed. they play catchy music in a unique-yet-nostalgic way, and they do it very well. i'd say they border on prodigious, and only by night is the finest example of that yet. songs like closer and sex on fire rise appropriately to the mood and energy suggested by their titles. this album is sure to get some regular circulation on my new mp3 player (more on that in my forthcoming entry about my weekend in montréal).

  • mogwai - the hawk is howling - like all mogwai, this is wall-of-noise blissrock at its best. what can i say? from what i've heard so far, mogwai have shucked the quiet vocals of mr. beast to go back to their blaring instrumental roots. personally, i kinda liked the vocals, but either way, mogwai is awesome. the hawk is howling proves it once again (as if we really needed proof).

  • of montreal - skeletal lamping - i am so impressed! i mean, i really liked hissing fauna, are you the destroyer?, but to me it seemed a bit derivative of - and not as catchy and exciting as - the sunlandic twins. skeletal lamping does not suffer such an overshadowing! it is pure gold kevin barnes through and through. dripping even more with funk and sexual innuendo than previous releases, this is of montreal possibly at their absolute best. all the tracks are crazy awesome, but so far my favourites are and i've seen a bloody shadow and beware our nubile miscreants. true to their form, of montreal continue on with their long, obscure, and ludicrous song titles. i love it!

so, i've got to go out for my run soon. i haven't been running in a week. i was going to go last night, but i needed sleep, since i only got 3 hours the night before, after returning from montréal in the wee hours of the morning. nonetheless, i'm determined to get a good time tonight, and stay on track for my training for the cibc run for the cure on oct. 05th.

road trip, you know?

in a few hours, i will be off to montréal to see sigur ros and james. i also plan to get some good shopping in. clothes for sure. maybe some vinyl or cds or dvds. maybe some concert merch. i'm gonna do some much needed quality commodity-acquiring therapy. yeah. also, i'm looking forward to getting out of the city and relaxing for a few days. we're taking a rented car and staying at the marriott, very schwank. mind you, it might be a lot more romantic if it were a nice young lady accompanying me instead of shaun, but hey, can't win 'em all.

hopefully the weather holds up, because the sigur ros show tonight is outdoors.

i have nothing else new to report. except that aesop rock's bazooka tooth sounds way better on vinyl. i <3 vinyl.

"automatic, systematic..."

today i ran my regular route, but with shaun running with me. we took it easy, and talked a lot. consequently, my time wasn't as good as it has been recently (14:18.97 minutes). still, not bad for running two nights in a row. and now i can relax for the rest of the week, and have a chill time in montréal.

i think that running is a good way to keep depression at bay. often, i can feel it creeping in on me, and the only way to chase it away is to go for a mind-numbing, painful run. when i cannot think of anything but my pulse and the pavement, i don't have the mental energy to wallow in self-loathing. but it's also good that i'm starting to feel more comfortable running with someone else, instead of just running alone. either way, it keeps physically occupied and mentally empty.

i eat shin splints for breakfast

what's that you say? you thought that today would be the day that running finally got the best of me?

FAT CHANCE! i pwned running so bad today, the asphalt was begging for mercy. saying "please, jacob, no more! you win! you are the best runner! i submit my unyieldly cement to your glorious feet!", and other such nonsense.

humbly, i accepted the truth; a new personal record! granted, the slightly cooler weather helped egg me on without heating me up, but i had to really push my legs to go further for longer periods of time to achieve this new personal best; 12:18.35 minutes. i think that beats my previous record by more than 20 seconds.

tomorrow, i will go running with shaun, and then saturday we're off to montreal to see sigur ros and james! it will be a nice long weekend of awesome concert-ness.

coming to get you

today's run time; 13:06.28 minutes. i am a running madman! it was just after noon. it was 24 degrees out. i can still feel the awesome pain.

it's been a good long weekend. some resting, some socializing, some tv and movie watching. been sleeping in every morning since saturday. all around very restful.

i am stoked for sigur ros and james in montreal in a few weeks, and i'm going to buy the tickets to okkervil river this week (that will make for a fun thanksgiving weekend in montreal).

i'm off to a bbq now...

"just 'cause you feel it..."

Originally uploaded by jacob earl
radiohead was so AWESOME. the stage was like 5 stories high at least, with a huge video setup with multiple cameras trained on the band, so even though we were halfway back, we had a good view and I got tonnes of good pics. the light show was awesome, they had fireworks too; it was great. they played lots of great tunes spanning most of their career (though I don’t think they played anything from pablo honey). they opened with 15 step, and they played a few other songs off in rainbows, like videotape, House of Cards, and a wicked mellow version of all i need. they played classics like fake plastic trees, karma police, paranoid android, and lucky. they played a good deal of mid-career material (kid A and amnesiac), like optimistic, national anthem, and they closed with everything in its right place. they also played a couple of tracks off hail to the thief, there there and the gloaming. noticeably absent from the set list were popular tracks like just, high and dry, airbag, and 2+2=5. and i really would have liked to have seen them do punchup at a wedding, but I was not distressed; it was an awesome show all around. good times, i'm super glad i went.

"it wasn't like that..."

i figured that it was a foolproof plan. i assumed that it was a relatively safe bet that almost anyone would - if not fully or moderately enjoy - at least tolerate my limited (platonic) company, if it involved, say, a free trip to see radiohead in concert in montréal. obviously, i need to revise my logic. zero for two so far.

so yeah. i guess if you want to be my date for radiohead in montréal on wednesday evening, let me know soon. :P