Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Love Like A Sunset
(*Please play this video while reading*)

Love is like a sunset.

On sunday night, I slept with a restlessness. I was flummoxed. That
night, I was tossing, turning and gasping after a violent dream.
That same night, I awoke at 2 am after falling asleep at midnight
with a ringing in my ears and a pressure throughout my being. I
couldn't get back to sleep.

The dream entailed horrible things - like seeing my own father gunned
down by a machine-gun helicopter in the dead of night and being
helpless to do anything. Later, when I found the culprit of the
shooting in the dream, I drove a rusty camping knife into the back
of his neck. I don't remember seeing any blood. I just remember
that the knife would not penetrate the skin and that I had to drive
it into the back of his neck with furious, consecutive jabs.

A few moments later in the dream, I was with the culprit and a
few other people in a dark room with a moonlit window...and we
were all in different beds.

I'll explain.

To give some pretext, what I understood from the synopsis of the
dream was that we (the culprit, my dad, myself and few other
faceless, nameless people) were all playing a 'game' and that the
point of said 'game' was to get from one point of a dark field to
another without using any weapons. Myself and my dad were on
one team (with a few other people I don't remember) and Locke
(the character from Lost) was with a bunch of other people on
another team. My dad and I started in the field together and
started moving towards the end goal - when in an instant, we
could hear the roar of the chopper in the sky. As soon as we saw
it, high up on the sky almost looking like a pixel in an Atari game
it was so far away, it mowed down a bunch of people - including
my dad. I kept running.

In my frantic run, I remember thinking 'I wish I had a knife' and
BANG - there in a dark field, a knife appeared on the wet grass.
This was also no ordinary knife - this was a wood-handled
camping knife from the basement of my parents house. I
picked it up and felt familiar. After getting the knife and
concealing it, I met up with the opposing team on the way to
downward-leading staircase to the side of the field. The
staircase was concrete and dimly lit and Locke from the other
team passed me, explaining to his teammates that 'they won
fair and square' and that 'the helicopter was approved by the
higher power'. Apparently, the authority of some higher
power commissioned the use of the helicopter. I didn't care.
I saw Locke's neck in front of me on the stairs and I knew
what I had to do. I lunged at him with a series of jabs and
drove the knife in deep. As he fell, he mumbled the words

The next thing I knew, Locke, myself and the rest of his
team were in the aforementioned dark room, all in our own
beds, as if we had all awoken from the same dream. There
were whispers of confusion and people saying 'What the hell
is going on?'. Locke seemed to know and looked out the
moonlit window beside his bed saying the words 'This is it.
The harvest at the helm'.

That was last night. Which led to yesterday morning.
(*skip ahead to 5:40 on the video and read the next part

But not this morning. This morning, I awoke with the sleet and
grey skies...and I felt renewed. I felt like a coil had been shucked
from the detritus of my exoskeleton - like I had slept while
floating on my back in a Lanark County lake. I could breathe
again. I felt normal - soothed. Appeased. At peace.

I showered in water that seemed like it was from the ocean -
drying and rejeuvenating me at the same time. I combed
back my thinning hair, put on a freshly starched dress
shirt and tie, and made my way to work.

In the highs and lows and ebbs and flows, we are here.

And here I am.

Love is like a sunset.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Oh Billy Boy - When Will You Find
What You're Looking For?

Though I wouldn't consider myself to be a 'gearhead' by any
means, you are looking dead into the centre of a guitar amp
and stack sound that inspired a universal audience in a
completely groundbreaking way. Above is the amp/stack that
Billy so lovingly refers to as 'old soul' - the dirty, grindy &
smegmatic guitar sound that infused the creations of the
earliest Pumpkins albums 'Gish' and 'Siamese Dream'. Billy
commented, in a recent interview, that when he bought the
amp off some stoner dude in '89, he was just excited to be
playing through a Marshall system. Once he took it home,
though, he was unsatisfied with the sound and took it to a
friend to get it modified. The old tubes were switched out and
and some ever-sonorous VT88's were tagged in.
Billy and his buddy made a sound creation that would
alter the spacey, warbly face of rock music. They had
designed a sound landscape - a garden of sonic ambivalence.
I can only hope that 'old soul' is resurrected for the new
albums - but if it isn't, it has done its work.
Old Billy is still sorting through applications for a new
bassist and keyboardist (after recently recruiting a 19 year
old drummer named Mike Byrne to try and fill Jimmy
Chamberlin's shoes.)
Keep your fingers crossed for their new bassist - I hear he
might be a Canadian, born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Self Proclaimed Geniuses

At sir John a right now on Elgin street with three smart folks. Fisheye lens, square corner and human paradox. If you've ever read any of their blogs, you know these guys are serious mind warriors.

The scene is bustling. Montreal is handing it to Washington. Loving that.

Loud. Fries. Vinegar. Apple hill. Dark wood tables.

These are the times.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 19, 2010

Back In The Blogosphere
(The Blog S.S.R)

It's been a while, I know. I've been lacking. Longing.
Weighed and wanting. But I've decided to take a new tack
with the winds of this blog. I'm just gonna go for it, word-wise,
and see what comes out. A diarrhea of verbiage. You name it,
I'll claim it. Halifax was amazing. A tried, tested and true city
from the heart of the Canadian music vibe. It reminds me
lot of Kingston in that all roads lead to water - but the water
is bigger and thedowntown is on much more of a slope.
Winter driving in the downtown core must be dreadful.
The carleton was a great spot and really welcomed myself,
Brendan and Ben into its warm atmosphere like young
children from the cold. They gave us free food every night
(our choice of prime menu item), many free beverages and
lots of other perks (amazing acoustic sound with a state of
the art system). Graven played 3 back to back to BACK
nights there and truly left with larger hearts and empowered
souls. The above picture is a decent time capsule of the events
as on the friday night (march 12th), my good friend Charles
Austin showed up (of Super Friendz, The Lodge and producer
of Joel Plaskett, Matt Mays, Buck 65, etc.) as did Drew
Yamada (also of The Super Friendz), Kirk Comstock
(Madhat, Air Traffic Control), and Dave Marsh (drummer
for Joel Plaskett and singer/songwriter from his own band
The True Love Rules). 3 out of 4 came up on stage and played
a few songs with us during the evening (including Charles
and Dave at the same time during my cover of Ocean Death
Song - thus showing the picture above). It is a pretty surreal
and humbling experience to play with some of your musical

Anyways, I thought I'd pen out some of the flashpoint
experiences of the trip in a not-so-linear fashion. Here goes:

We left Kingston after a night of Zombies
with Shane. I spent the day with him and killed time at a few
different Tim Hortons trying to get lucky with rim rolls. Ate
a hearty harveys lunch on the weirdest Harvey's ever up on
Princess. Ben had class til 4 and Brendan had to work til 5:30
EST. Our plan was to rock through the night and floor the
crap out of the old Cavalier. We did. Brendan said he had a
cold. I'm not sure I believed him. Ben did. Ben's loyal. Made
it to Montreal but got lost looking for a subway. Hwy 20 is
a nightmare in the city. Found a subway a little further down
the road. Guy working behind the counter had a very thick
french accent and played and sang along with Pink Floyd
loudly. I ordered a southwest steak. Can't recall what Ben
and Bren had. Bombs away to Quebec city. Really hard to
see from the highway. I remembered being able to see it
more clearly on past trips. Time flew. I drove this stretch
from the Montreal subway all the way to Edmundston. Got
to Edmundston at about 1:30 am. The 1 hour stretch between
Riviere du Loup and Edmundston is absolute hell a. in the dark
and b. behind a slow truck. We had both. 100 k took about an
hour and a half.

Switched drivers. Ben took over. I randomly remember
waking up in weird spots of NB seeing Ben looking up at the
road and down at his ipod, feeling the wheel jerk at times so
he could straighten out. Brendan was out but not sleeping well.
Woke up for the sunrise but missed the actual apex of it. 5:30-
6 am. Stopped for gas near Freddy. Brendan tried getting
money out but the atm told him 'you only have 9,999,998.00
available for this transaction'. Hard to believe considering he
couldn't even get 20 bucks out. System glitch. Got tim's. Kept
a-rollin. Switched so Ben could sleep a bit. Listened to tunes
with Bren in shotgun. He mostly played Nintendo DS. We were
all cooked so not much convo was flowing. Hit the NS border.
Nice in the sunlight. Had a few mishaps in the downtown core.
Don't try and GPS in there. Signals are screwed. Bridge guard
told us he would break our camera if we snapped his pic.
Finally found Kings campus after a few parking guards told us
not to park in an unmarked area. Owen greeted us from his
class at around 1130 in the back lot. Gravely. We made good
time. He let us in to his res room. Nothing special but not tiny.
Decent space. Enough for 3 bodies. I grabbed a mid-aft nap
with Bren on Owen's single bed. 2 hours of bliss + 2 in the car
made for 4. Yeah. It is now 4 pm. We trucked our stuff
downtown. Met Jon Cornwall/ Cornball. Great guy. Awesome
sound dude. Unloaded. Took a look @ the digs. Figured we'd
do a line check later that night. Now had 5 hours with nothing
to do. Grabbed drums from Chuck's studio. He seemed hyped
about comin' out. Great to see him again. Went back to Owen's
to rest. Went online for a bit. Ben tried to grab z's unsuccessfully.
Back @ the carleton for 8. Leah served us and treated us like
fam. Thought originally we'd have to pay 50% for our meals
(which is still a steal) but we got them for free. So nice. I had
fish and chips. Maybe the best fish and chips of all time. Line
checked. Sounded smooth like butter. Cornwall made it sound
more buttery. Little nervous. Not many people. Owen brought
his friends Dave and Rachel. Acoustic stuff - sweet. Drum
stuff - not so sweet. Drank a few stella to cap off the night. Bren
and Ben walked back on their own. I stuck around and thought
about things. Kinda glad Plaskett didn't show up. Our worst
set of all 3 nights. Headed back. Took a shot of the harb with
my phone. Crashed on O dog's floor after sharing a sleeman
with him.

Slept so hard and snored very loud. Owen apparently physically
had to roll me over in the night. I also apparently gave him a
death stare. Woke up. Ben had disappeared in the night. Said
he was getting a hotel and left at 3 am. Mostly because of my
snoring. Bren saw that he tweeted so we knew he was alive.
The sun was high. Grabbed some breakfast at the ardmore
tea room. Filling. Too many home fries. Drove around the fax.
Tried to go to Perks by the harbour to do some work. No
wireless. Shyat. Went to a starbucks to get some work done.
Ben called to say he was on the way to pick me up at around
330. Bren checked his account and it worked fine. I left the
starbucks to look for Ben. He had driven to a different one
further up Spring Garden. Started walkin' up Spring Garden.
Who was on the street? Bren. How random. Good thing we
bumped into each other. The man has no cell. He bought me
pears soap. Gross. Ben nabbed us on the street. Went back to
Owen's to chill pre-show. Did some online stuff. The cd's came.
Got showered and ready by 7. Walked over with Ben and
Bren. Leah wasn't there. Had another server who did a great
job. Ordered steak and frites. Kirk Comstock showed up. We
met and jammed 'To Decide' together. Kinda surreal for me
considering I burnt that disc out. Super cool guy. Great
sounding classical guitar with unique headstalk design. Took
to the stage with a free stella - one of 4 free drinks. Amazing.
Totally flipped from 2-domestic-bottle-Ontario. A few songs
in, Dave Marsh shows with Charles and sits offstage right.
Cheering loud. Very cool. Burned thru first set and into second
where I covered 'Backstreets Thread' written by Marsh. In
one quick motion, he leaves the table and is on stage singing
with me. Then Chuck comes up, quite reluctantly, for Ocean
Death Song and Marsh joins for the ending harmonies. Chuck
tells me after 'I wouldn't do that for anyone else.' Marsh tells
me 'Great voice, Matt. Great voice'. Kirk left too and hugged
and sent me a nice message. Spent some time talking music
with Paul Boudreau and Marsh man. It was like a comedy
duo. Met Troy Macculloch. Crazy brain on that guy. He's all
about mic placement. When the carleton wrapped up and he
obsessed over Bren's supro amp and he helped us load all
our gear offstage, he took me to the tribeca. The Tribe. Had
a few heiny's. Marsh was there too sitting on the bar like a
sage. We sat around and got real. Talked music and life. 4
am. I left for the long walk home. Grabbed a slice at pizza
corner. Mediocre pizza. Kept me warm for the long walk
up spring garden. Got halfway and couldn't take the length
of walk. Flagged a cab. A disheveled Owen let me in.
Crashed on the cold stone floor.

A day of reflection. Woke at 10 with Ben. Went to Tim Ho's
to grab some coffee and grub. Feeling jazzed from only 6 hours
sleep on a concrete slab. Told Ben about all of the goings on
of last night. We sat and ate breakfast together and talked
about the scene. Left Tim's and started to feel tired. Went to
rouse Bren and Owen. Decided to spend some time down by
the harbour. Scooted downtown to grab a nap in the harbour
parking lot while Bren found a payphone to call his lady. Ben
and I caught some z's. I listened to The Traveling Wilburys
and couldn't fall asleep. Super sunny blue sky day. Ben
wanted to run a few errands so I walked with Bren up the
hill to Rev Records. Bought 'Songs From Big Pink' by The
Band and left it in Ben's napsack. Bren and I stopped by the
Folklore centre. Not much goin' on. Feelin' more tired. Bren
and I chatted about The Band. Hit the pavement and went
back to Owen's dorm. Grabbed a 1 hour snooze. Awoke
around 6. Felt like a knight in shining armour. Looked
around Owen's dorm room for the last time. Sucked in the
stale air. Headed down to the Carleton for the last time. Met
up with best friend Brian in the parking lot by the harb. He
honked. We found him. Good to see him again. Hit the joint.
Cold night. Spoke of Plaskett and all things East. Leah served
us. We dined like kings. Steak and frites and garlic aoli. Had
a few Keiths. Bren had 9 drink tickets compiled from previous
nights. Owen, Rachel and Dave took full advantage. Played
our hearts out. Announced us as Graven from Kingston Ontario.
People to the right were from the Sault and cheered us on.
Sold a few cd's. Kept rollin. Sat around and drank for a bit
with the crew. Ben demanded a round of shots. That didn't
happen. Bren wanted to leave and started hightailing stuff
to the car. Long cold walk. I met him partway. We hustled
and bustled. I slept on O dog's lovely bed from 2 am to 7. We
left the Kings parking lot for the last time. God bless it. Hit
the road. Realized I forgot my pillow. Turned back. Woke
Owen up who slept at a friend's place. He ran across the quad
and reefed on the door. It opened. Said our final goodbyes.
Ride home was a blur. Texted Chartrand a bit from NB.
Talked of the trip and all things good. The sun went down
in North Quebec. Grabbed some A&W slime food for a last
spew of highway energy. Listened to Wilco The Album.
Highly underrated. Thought about the trip and the shows.

The 20 spun out like pavement ribbon - stretching on into
the rugged beauty of North Montreal. We felt like Kings
but knew we were only peasants. Serfs of a greater force
that will only be revealed through much wrestling and
discernment. The sky cracked a grapefruit pink. We were
all too tired. The embers of Ontario's arms burned with
darkness, emitting the final cracks of skylight, coasting
into an ebony blue. Cargo trucks whizzed by our fragile
shell as freight trains, unaware of our adventures with
tunnel vision for only their next monetary destination.
The 401 is a black bear - boring and normal from the
outlook but respected and feared once in sight. Finally,
the town of Kings was reached - to disperse of the Kings
in theroyal carriage. We filled up at a Sunoco in the
townships. Brendan yawned and shivered in the
unforgiving winds of the Lakeside city. Ben pumped the
final tank of gas with a quivering hand. I looked around
at the sombre scene of the Townships and felt alright with
everything. The royal carriage had one more stop for the
night at a cocoon of apartments where I was planning to
sleep at my friend Shane's subterranean dwelling for the
lure of his comfortable futon. Ben and Bren said our
timid goodbyes and it was nice to have space but
underneath, I think we were all little melancholic at the
core. The shell of the Cavalier scuttled away as I threw
my gunny sack over and held my guitars at my side.
I exhaled in Shane's parking lot only to watch my breath
dissipate in the frisk dense night.

'These are the times.'

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hi there. My name is matt. How are you? I don't know how to feel sometimes. Often, I lie and fake my way through things.

I'm back in Ottawa - working for my dads accounting company. My desk is a slew of donation receipts and RL1 revenu Quebec forms. Empty

Right now, the office ceiling is lulling me to sleep as I count the holes in the particle board tiles. The vents seem to be hidden but there is slumbery, white noise air coming out of them. A din.

I wonder how close we are in deep sleep to being dead or unconscious.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

website statistics