Saturday, April 30, 2011


This is it.

The final day of tax season is upon us.

The season of the witch has ended for another year.

Personal income tax clients hope for a tiny speck of hope in a glossy
yellow cheque from the government. Corporate tax clients hope they
can hide the nickels under the mattress for another year.

Photocopier floor rooms are covered in hole punch paper tidbits.

Staplers click and papers flip.

We'll all get through it.

We always do.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I Never Want To Die

The themes, melodies and Butch Vig-produced guitar infusions on this
record keep looping in my mind and have been for the whole month of

Funny story about the Foos - I'm a big fan but I haven't been so
convinced by their last few offerings. In Your Honour was incredible
but I found I listened to it incessantly and then its lustre faded. Echoes,
Silence, Patience and Grace was similar but I didn't even listen to it
for as long as IYH.

Wasting Light, however, is a journey of the mind, the soul, the guitar,
the drum and the ever-present question; when will it all end? It's
very interesting how this album has become ingrained into my
being this month as I did, in fact, have a moment where I thought
my time was up (the car accident). This album is monolithic in its
scope and its accomplished sound and structure. In fact, while
driving from Port Hope to Ottawa a few weeks ago, I literally drove
off the 401 to get it. It reeled me in. It lured me. It enveloped me.

Grohl's raspy refrain in the final track (that repeats 'I never want to
die' over and over again) seems like a meagre attempt - but there
is truth in there in a phrase that makes most people shrug and say
'what an absurd thought' -

...but don't we all think that every moment of every day?

I'd like to stick around.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Breakfast With Steve

That's my friend Steve getting his Costco membership last year. He
doesn't like getting his picture taken.

This morning, after a semi-glorious slumber, I awoke in the middle of
a dream where a really pretentious musician was showing me a chord
on the guitar I'd never seen before. The fretboard on this guitar was
also about a foot wider than a regular fretboard, and the chord
required serious spider-hand stretching. As I was pressing my fingers
down in frustration, I had that moment of realization where I knew it
was a dream - and I knew I had slept too long. I woke up and saw that
it was, in fact, 6:59 am (my alarm was set for 6 am but I must have
dismantled it in my dream).

After a quick shower and dress, I got a text at 7:30 am (a rare
occurrence if you knew the sleeping habits of my friends). It was
Steve saying 'Guy. Breakfast at that little place near your dad's office.
I'm buying.' The thought seemed to fit perfectly into my day and my
desire to eat a greasy load of eggs, hash and tubular meat. The Prince
of Wales Restaurant is a haunt I've frequented over many a tax season.
It is the penultimate 'old school' diner. Paper 'welcome' placemats.
Crusty salt and pepper shakers. Wood veneer tables. A cathode-ray
TV ceiling mounted. Servers all over the age of 50.

Steve is one of my oldest friends and it was nice to get a chance to
spend some one on one time with him, over the shoveling of a cheap
and tasty breakfast at the POW. Sometimes, a meeting with an old
friend, in a way that you don't expect, can give you a new perspective
on a rainy spring morn.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stop Gap

Hey brothers. And sisters.

I'm catchin' up. Have you heard the word? Be sure to check back
into the posts of mid March and beyond. I've been blogging like
four times a day. I'm like Rex - playing all the positions and gettin'
no glory, baby.*I've got a psychiatric condition, hyeaaaahhhh*.

This exercise has been good for me, mentally. To set goals and to
stick to them is important in all facets of life.

Check the new Matt Show (1 post back) if ya get a chance. It's
a gooder.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Monday, April 25, 2011

The Ever Present Moment

I had a conversation with my brother, after a massive bowl of spicy chili,
about the current moment, Paul Tillich, a prof of his who didn't wear a
watch because he claimed 'time is now' and other things of that nature.

There really is no past or future. You can only be exactly where you
are, in the moment, in a current juncture of space and time. End of

Kinda relaxing.

Staying within that mantra, please go back and read some updated
posts I've made about Nicaragua and tax season as hole-filling is
helping me to get my life organized. The blog that was a messy,
floor-covered room is now a little cleaner.

I'm getting there. I am here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


It was a real treat to see the fam this weekend. Wife. Brother. Parents.
Cousins. Lamb. Salad. Roast root veg. Choco cake. Nummers.

Over the years, I've spent a great deal of time in Kanata at 10 Nanook.
Whether it has been breakout 3 on 3 games in the driveway (which
also meant basketballs on the roof of the garage) or backyard cookouts
with Uncle John at the meat helm. It is always good.

I actually got to visit the ethereal basement in a little ping pong match
with cousin Em. It was a heated battle but she took it easy on.

Whatever happened to ping pong?

Such a great game.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Where Is My Mind?
One of the oddest things happened to me on thursday night.

I was driving to Kingston with my friend Taylor (on the toes of an
upcoming Graven show) and the sun was setting on the 401. About an
hour into the car ride, I felt like I was on a massive high. My brain and
body actually felt disconnected and for most of the evening, I had this
same sensation. It's as if I was functioning fine and interacting with
people in a pleasant and normal manner, but I was analyzing why I
said and did everything in a bit of a paranoid episode.

After a decent night of sleep (and almost nodding off on the dark and
dismal 401 a few times on the way home), I felt like I had gone through
a bit of a wormhole in the universe. My head felt heavy and even for a
part of the next morning, I felt detached from myself. On a tether
from the ship - watching it all happen powerlessly.

I think it may be a connection to anxiety and a few other factors
but whatever it was, it's nice to be on the other side.

Easter feaster. Strap on the bibs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

No Fly Zone

Sometimes, you do something for a while, as it makes sense to you and
whoever is involved - and then other times, you just stop doing it.
Graven (my musical machine) is at a turning point. Ben - our faithful
banjo player, guitarist and tambourinist for over 2 years now - has
decided that he needs to move on to do different things. I've appreciated
having Ben around. He is a dedicated and loyal player and he will be

On the other hand, though, it will be nice to move on to some new
musical pastures. I have had some more rockin' songs in my mind for
a few moons and it will be good to get those a-knockin' with some
sound folks.

Time to hit the practice pads for a while. The drum kit will get a bit
dusty - but you can only hit the skins with thunderous abandon when
you are fully ready to make some noise.

This life is a maze of people and faint memories.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I'm convinced that autopilot is the absolute premier mental state to be
enraptured within. It's the notion of being so busy and having so much
on your plate that you're actually flying through the motions of life -
in a technicolour blur - and it seems as if you are watching a move of
yourself and not actually living. In those times, when the endorphins
are flowing and the adrenaline is super-charging our CNS, we learn
to flow - We learn to move and react.

I got hit by a car last week - a CAR! A motor vehicle smacked me
upside the right leg and thigh and put me up in the air (for what
seemed like a full second) and down on my ass on the street. I got
up right away and luckily and thankfully walked away (after collecting
the borrowed car's driver's info and the info of a witness). My doctor
(who I visited yesterday) could not believe that I didn't come away
with a bruise or even a scrape. 'Jeez', he said while writing info into
my file. 'You're lucky or blessed, Matt - one or the other'.

That could have been it - curtains. Lights out for life. Bedtime for
Bonzo. But it wasn't. I am still here - and so busy and enthralled into
my schedule that I haven't had time to really process anything.

God is in the details - and if I'm not flying the plane - who is?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Old Is New

Blog village. I write this to you from the wheels of Mechania. Thanks for
always stopping by my virtual brain stem. But please remember -

CHECK THE OLD BLOGS! I'm constantly adding ones from March that
talk about Nicaragua and other such digital meanderings.

Thank you for your hypertext footprint.

Bloggington Mack.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Month Long Mandate

Whenever I am in Ottawa, I crave beer like a demon fiend. I don't
know what it is about these old streets and buildings - but I love
finding different haunts in which I can bend taps for an eve and let
the lagery spirits flow.

I'm sure my waistline and health are not optimum when I'm in this
city - but a part of me doesn't care. We are here for the living - not
the preventative living. I know I'm a big guy and probably on a bit
of a destructive track in some aspects of my life but I'd like to think
that it bleeds into my writing in a salty, earthy way. I don't if I can
do the health nut lifestyle - I like beer. A lot. I like all kinds of
beer. I love sampling new Godly nectar.

And I don't care who knows it, damnit!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bucket List

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Sometimes, I don't feel like I'm here. I feel gone - tethered and
watching from afar. Spaced. The scenes flash by and I feel a bit
of an electrical impulse being fired through - but I feel deadened.
Emotions are becoming calcified and hidden down deep where
no one can access them. A drink with a friend - a golden lager.
A sunset. A spring eve.

It all goes away.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

La Peche, Quebec

Friday, April 15, 2011

Days Blend Together

Hey. You. The one behind the curtain.

What's the deal here?

Do I dance? Or do I cry?

Get off your high horse and come down to my level.

I need to know.

The machine is crumbling, rusting and malfunctioning.

I need a sign.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

When It All Comes Down

When the bright lights flash and the spotlight comes,
I want to find a corner with a guitar to strum
When the trumpets blare and the red carpet rolls,
I want to light a smoke and take an evening stroll.

Recognition is a strange beast. I don't know if I like it or secretly
try to avoid it. I've had moments in my life, especially in Christian
circles, where I've been raised up many and somehow elevated to
a luminous plateau. I've never been comfortable with that.

I mean don't get me wrong - recognition is nice if you are truly
helping people and doing the work and getting your hands dirty.
A lot of the time, though, I long for the woods. I yearn for the
country over the city.

I will always be the one who wants to leave.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Matt Show! AGAIN!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I'm at a point now where many things are in the slow cooker.

School. Future. Career.

Now, all I have to do is just wait. This task is much easier said than
done. The character building of waiting is something that our culture
is starting to exterminate. With the internet and hyper-speed
bandwidths, who needs to wait for anything?

I will continue to wait with vigor and vehemence.

Wait on.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Backdating Blogs

Hey friends. In case you haven't noticed, I've been doing some backwards
work on this blog to get things back up and running and up to date. I'll
aim to post one each new day, but then please scroll back, as I'll be posting
snippets about the tour with Joel Plaskett and a glorious trip to Nicaragua
in mid-March. I'll aim to do one new one, per day, and then a few back
issues to catch up to the present day.

No day can go unmarked. Each one has its bumps and smooth lines.

Thanks, as always, for reading, commenting and saying hi.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

World Sick

Sometimes, like the big band from Toronto says, I do indeed get a
bit sick of this world. I get sick of the fact that most of our enjoyment
in life comes from escapism. Whether its having drinks or smoking
substances or going on a vacation far away from home, a large portion
of our human enjoyment comes from not being where are 'supposed'
to be.

There has to be a life, or some form of existence, that is based on
enjoyment in the here and now - in the stinging centre of the frontal
lobe. Making a decision. Accepting it. Being alright with it. Sitting with
it. None of this cloudy uncertainty, worry, nervous tension or stress.

Drinking always reminds that, as fun as the escape is from the spinning
ball of mud we live upon, we must always come crashing back down.
Gravity keeps us rooted in the things we dislike. Failed relationships.
Shitty jobs. Paying bills. Cold coffee.

I'm convinced that there is another world. In fact, I think that there has
to be one. Going through what we go through doesn't seem to make
any sense if there isn't a different world. A world we don't get sick of.
A world we don't resent. A world we don't try to rocket away from
at any given moment.

A world that heals.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Do You See Beauty?

When I bought James Iha's solo cd while attending the University of
Guelph and living in a dank, basement apartment on Cedar Street,
I don't think I'd ever been as shocked and enthralled with a specific
sound. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this one little album, released
almost secretly that I stumbled upon in a record store, has influenced
my own songwriting in a significant way.

Iha was the sound destroyer. His guitar solos and sound manipulation
while with the Pumpkins were nothing short of ethereal. He was
always the quiet but very smart one in interviews. I think he and
Billy were probably polar opposites at times, but somehow, and
for many years, they made it work for as long as they could.

But this little record, from James Iha, that is peppered with an
almost folk, country and soft-pop feel is a work of genius.One of
the songs on Iha's record is titled 'Beauty'; it's a gentle and
flowing song. This album had a way of making songs stick in your
guts and make you dream of a simpler age. More than that, though,
was the notion that Iha was a man who believed in things far
beyond himself - to maybe even the concept of a deity, and how
beauty, for him, was the knowledge that everything is working
out the way it was meant to work out.

'...theres a love that never comes back down
it feels like something is gonna happen now

the world is changing but my love will remain
do you see beauty, do you see love, do you see anything at all?'

Friday, April 08, 2011

April Showers

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

I think I'm getting this life thing down to a T.
-Enjoy friends and family
-Be Merry
-Repeat (with possible lather and rinse).

Is that about it?

I feel a little lost in the shuffle of the April months. Working the tax
season like a frothing dog of Essex County. Jimmy Lane would be
proud. His cousin supplied shoe spray and lane oil to bowling alleys.
Pizza clogs things in many ways. Coffee is generally a bad thing
and when I give in, I notice my stress shoots way up.

But it tastes good.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

April 6th, 2011

What is there to say about a day?
You rise and you act or you sit and you pray
Morning arrives without warning
A quiet thief with no bells adorning
The night is the distant past
What food was eaten? What stones were cast?
The clock is a timebomb for all
We heed the ticking of the season of fall
This day shall be made mine
By hook or by crook - I'll not read the sign
I'll proceed with reckless afloat
With a body in a building and a mind in a boat.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Lying On The Grass

So here we are. So much has happened and yet so much is still the same.
In Joel Plaskett's song 'You Let Me Down', a time is spoken of where Joel
is 'lying on the grass - staring at the sun'. It's a pastoral image that sticks
with you because it is universal. Joel has an ability to write songs that
stick in the subconscious because, although they are personal experiences
to him, they are galactic in their scope and relational ability.

The above picture was taken, by me, last tax season. I don't feel much
different but the experiences I have accrued since last April have in some
way shaped me - changed me. I experienced a pretty rough summer last
year and I felt cooped up quite a bit in the town of Port Hope. I will be
spending summer there again but I'm hoping that this summer will be
different and full of activities, sports, songwriting and leisure.

The way you go into something (i.e. a season) is often the way you come
out of it. Life is attitude-esque most of the time; we make our own
destiny. This tax season has been tiring so far and my energy has been
sapped - but I'm still here. Making it happen.

I need to lie on the grass for a while.

Monday, April 04, 2011

The Wind

I have a symbiotic relationship with the wind. It is something of
of a mystical connection and I can't quite fully explain it, but
basically, I've always sensed that a force much greater than
myself or even nature resides within its invisible essence.

I'll probably never lose that childlike wonder and amazement of
the wind. Even if it's not true, the sense of hope and joy that I've
already gained from its presence is enough to last me a lifetime.

Even if it's all a sham - the hope and endurance that I have
experienced in its flow is something that can't be weighed - for
like the wind, its worth is weightless and definitive only through
that of the alchemical.

Blow on, Wind.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


All over the world, people are catching up. Losing sleep. Bowing
to their schedules. This blog has been a bit popcorn-esque in the
sense that I've been backdating and updating - and there is a good
chance that a lot of these posts will get lost in the shuffle.

It is, however, important to me to tidy it up. I feel like it's similar
to my bedroom at my brother's condo right now - messy and
spread all over. I need to organize shit.

Dan Aykroyd is a genius.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Matt Show Is BACK!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Catch 22

No pictures. No time for pictures. I need to catch up. How does
4 blogs a day sound? I'll work backwards. So each day, I will
blog about that exact day and then do 3 more in the archives until
I'm caught up. Sound good? I thought so.

I think, for me, there is a direct connection between blogging and
mental sharpness. If I don't do it and stick to the militant regime of
making myself write, I feel sloppy in my head. Impotent. Spaced.

If I do take the time to blog and write down how I'm doing, thinking,
or feeling, I expend energy on a much more cogent level. I feel
focused and in command of my surroundings (even though I'm
mostly out of command but the illusion is nice).

Here I am - back in Ottawa for another round of taxes. The tax
man cometh - and he cometh with vigor and discipline. The looming
dark figure of Revenue Canada towers over all midgets and moves
them around like pawns.

Tonight, the Square Corn, The Dox and The Fisheye are meeting.
It will be a celebrated moment. It will be a moment of sanctity.
It will be.

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