Hot Docs, part the third

A double feature (hot docs) last night: the short The Zone followed by the hour-long War Feels Like War. The Zone was actually just a series of still black & white photos with voiceover, about a Jewish photographer who took shots of suburban French neo-nazi gangs years ago. It was disturbing merely for the reason that these gangs actually existed.

War Feels Like War was more current, a look at independant journalists in Iraq. Or, more to the point, in Kuwait City trying to get into Iraq. You could tell it was made by an inexperienced hand, but no less passionate. You felt their frustration, first at being shut out by the US military as punishment for not being “embeds”, then at the Kuwaiti police for not letting them across the border, and finally — when they did get into Iraq — at not being able to help the Iraqi civilians who were losing their homes and lives.

Q&A afterward was interesting, with one very dumb (and yet, persistent) question-asker, one Republican, one rambler and a few intelligent folks thrown in for good measure.

Say it with me now: "RIAAssholes!"

from ZDNet

RIAA files new round of file-swapping suits
By John Borland
April 28, 2004, 10:52 AM PT

The Recording Industry Association of America filed a new round of copyright lawsuits against 477 anonymous music file swappers Wednesday, bringing the total number of people sued to nearly 2,500 in eight months.

As with March’s wave of suits, the organization highlighted its litigation against university students, this time at 14 separate schools. Record labels have been particularly concerned about high levels of music trading on campuses, where students often have access to fast Internet connections and little money for music purchases.

“Along with offering students legitimate music services, campuswide educational and technological initiatives are playing a critical role” in diminishing file trading, RIAA President Cary Sherman said in a statement. “But there is also a complementary need for enforcement by copyright owners against the serious offenders–to remind people that this activity is illegal.”

The new wave of lawsuits, coming on the anniversary of the release of Apple Computer’s iTunes Music Store, serves as a stark reminder of how much the digital music landscape has changed in the past year.

Apple announced Wednesday that it has sold more than 70 million songs over the course of its year of digital download sales, providing clear evidence that a genuine market for online music sales is beginning to develop. Meanwhile, iTunes rivals Napster and MusicNet have reached out to college campuses, offering students cut-rate digital plans bundled with their ordinary student fees in hopes of weaning them away from unauthorized file-trading services like Kazaa.

At the same time, the near-monthly announcement of lawsuits against individual computer users has had an undeniably chilling effect on the file-trading networks, even if the size of the impact has been open to debate.

A study released Monday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project showed that 14 percent of Americans who use the Internet no longer download music online from unauthorized services. A third of those–or about 6 million people–attributed their decision in part to the RIAA’s actions.

However, the study also said that the number of people who actively download music from peer-to-peer networks has increased to 23 million from 18 million in November and December of last year.

As with the previous few waves of lawsuits, the RIAA actions Wednesday were filed against anonymous individuals, whose identities will come out as part of the court proceedings.

Hot Docs, part the second

Last night was No. 17 (imdb | rotten tomatoes | hot docs), the recorded account of a film crew who tries to discover the identity of an anonymous victim of a bus bombing in Israel. It played out like a real-life episode of Law & Order or CSI, but with a much more jarring backdrop: over the course of the movie’s filming, several other bombings occur. Alongside the tremendous tension of the hunt for victim No. 17, there’s a palpable sense of anxiety that I, being raised in peaceful, boring Nova Scotia, simply can’t appreciate or even understand.

But that’s reality. And for 76 minutes, that’s what we felt.

mood mixes

they’re a few years old, but they still get the job done.


  1. sigur ros – svefn-g-englar
  2. varnaline – gulf of mexico
  3. cranberries – empty
  4. natalie merchant – san andreas fault
  5. jude – i know
  6. pink floyd – wish you were here
  7. grapes of wrath – all the things i wasn’t
  8. matthew good band – suburbia
  9. smashing pumpkins – soma
  10. jeff buckley – hallelujah
  11. led zeppelin – what is and what should never be
  12. lamb – gabriel
  13. mogwai – helicon 1
  14. chantal kreviazuk – wayne
  15. grant lee buffalo – last days of tecumseh
  16. jane’s addiction – summertime rolls


  1. black rebel motorcycle club – love burns
  2. sleater-kinney – heart factory
  3. bare jr. – you blew me off
  4. sebadoh – not too amused
  5. john lee hooker – serves you right to suffer
  6. juliana hatfield – swan song
  7. husker du – hardly getting over it
  8. kitty – brackish
  9. staind – it’s been a while
  10. beth orton – she cries your name
  11. stevie ray vaughan – cold shot
  12. nine inch nails – gave up
  13. fiona apple – fast as you can
  14. folk implosion – someone you love
  15. ben folds five – song for the dumped
  16. massive attack – better things
  17. ani difranco – untouchable face
  18. nirvana – lounge act
  19. yo la tengo – i was the fool beside you for too long


  1. ben folds five – selfless cold and composes
  2. sara craig – liar
  3. bob mould – sacrifice; let there be peace
  4. sleater-kinney – turn it on
  5. soundgarden – heads down
  6. love and rockets – haunted when the minutes drag
  7. radiohead – how to disappear completely
  8. ben harper – pleasure and pain
  9. matthew good band – fearless
  10. smashing pumpkins – drown
  11. nine inch nails – in a warm place
  12. vast – free
  13. lo fidelity allstars – battle flag (long mix)
  14. moby – my weakness


  1. pink floyd – pigs on the wing i
  2. gomez – hangover
  3. gandharvas – the first day of spring
  4. dire straits – on every street
  5. richard ashcroft – money to burn
  6. bad religion – stranger than fiction
  7. led zeppelin – black country woman
  8. chemical brothers – the sunshine underground
  9. dandy warhols – big indian
  10. beta band – dry the rain
  11. coldplay – yellow
  12. pearl jam – aye davanita
  13. matthew sweet – girlfriend
  14. varnaline – underneath the mountain
  15. verve – bittersweet symphony
  16. weakerthans – aside
  17. wheatus – teenage dirtbag
  18. blind melon – drive
  19. pink floyd – pigs on the wing ii


  1. matthew good band – alabama motel room
  2. stone temple pilots – sex type thing
  3. johnny cash – delia’s gone
  4. filter – hey man nice shot
  5. fun lovin’ criminals – southside
  6. juliana hatfield – dame with a rod
  7. kingston trio – tom dooley
  8. pj harvey – down by the water
  9. porno for pyros – packin’ .25
  10. rage against the machine – bullet in the head
  11. jane’s addiction – ted, just admit it
  12. dead kennedys – i fought the law
  13. stevie ray vaughan – boot hill
  14. soundgarden – full on kevin’s mom
  15. tricky – black steel
  16. jesus and mary chain – reverence
  17. tool – jerk off
  18. nine inch nails – big man with a gun


  1. soundgarden – ty cobb
  2. nine inch nails – last
  3. tool – hooker with a penis
  4. gomez – 78 stone wobble
  5. skunk anasie – selling jesus
  6. bad religion – better off dead
  7. marilyn manson – the fight song
  8. rage against the machine – bulls on parade
  9. reef – yer old
  10. temple of the dog – wooden jesus
  11. limp bizkit – break stuff
  12. cracker – i hate my generation
  13. mark lanegan – borracho
  14. garbage – stupid girl
  15. social distortion – i was wrong
  16. pj harvey – 50 ft queenie
  17. toadies – possum kingdom
  18. hole – violet
  19. radiohead – packd like sardines in a tin can
  20. bob mould – whichever way the wind blows


  1. roger waters – the ballad of bill hubbard
  2. mogwai – like herod
  3. massive attack – angel
  4. tea party – babylon
  5. alice in chains – angry chair
  6. atlanta symphony orchestra – carmina burana
  7. tool – prison sex
  8. nine inch nails – pilgrimage
  9. bob mould – hanging tree
  10. black sabbath – n.i.b.
  11. rush – witch hunt
  12. monster magnet – goliath and the vampires
  13. lo fidelity allstars – battle flag (pigeonhed mix)
  14. and you will know us by the trail of dead – a perfect teenhood


  1. dandy warhols – be-in
  2. crystal method – cherry twist
  3. tricky woo – fly the orient
  4. pluto – paste
  5. house of pain – jump around
  6. change of heart – contraddiction(s)
  7. sugar – and you tell me (tv mix)
  8. ashley macisaac – the devil in the kitchen
  9. chemical brothers – hey boy hey girl
  10. harvey danger – flagpole sitta
  11. live – the dam at otter creek
  12. pj harvey – kamikaze
  13. sleater-kinney – god is a number
  14. rage against the machine – killing in the name
  15. underworld – cowgirl (bedrock mix)
  16. soundgarden – superunknown
  17. screaming trees – julie paradise

Hot Docs, part the first

We braved the cold & rain today to see Super Size Me (official site | rotten tomatoes | eye weekly cover story), the first of five documentaries we’re seeing as part of this year’s Hot Docs festival. The house was packed — Hot Docs is getting more and more popular, and this film has been getting big press ever since it won at Sundance — and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock showed up to much applause. The movie was funny, disturbing, at times gross (stomach surgery, vomiting, a rectal exam, many fat asses in sweatpants, etc.) and certainly interesting. The premise, if you haven’t read those websites I linked to, is that Spurlock, dubious about McDonald’s claims that their meals are perfectly healthy, eats nothing but McD’s for 30 days…morning, noon, night. Soon he’s 25 pounds heavier, lethargic, in danger of liver failure, and (according to his girlfriend) shite in bed. Ba ba ba ba baaa.

If you’ve read the latest issue of Esquire, you’ll know Chuck Klosterman doubts that Spurlock could get so sick so fast. I don’t think he does; he vomits very early on, but I think it’s less to do with the quality of the food than with the sheer volume of what he’s trying to force down. By day nine, it’s the nasty-ass content of the food that’s getting to him and he goes downhill fast. I do agree with Klosterman that ultimately it’s our own fault that we gorge on this shit every day, but I think McDonald’s should be prevented from ever suggesting that their food is healthy.

I have no doubt that Spurlock was biased, but all filmmakers are. To his credit, he got three different doctors and a health clinic to test the effects on his body, rather than just step on a scale and infer. And, as he said during Q&A after the movie, he didn’t have to say much. The results spoke for themselves.

Super Size Me opens in Toronto & Vancouver May 7th.

Scraps 56-59 (bringing us up to date)

Scraps 56

  1. Muffs – Red Eyed Troll
  2. Bardo Pond – Every Man
  3. Cooper Temple Clause – A.I.M.
  4. Cyann & Ben – Buick to the Moon
  5. Darkness – Black Shuck
  6. Guided By Voices – My Kind Of Soldier
  7. Holly Golightly – Truly She Is None Other – Walk A Mile
  8. Martin Tielli – Ship of Fire
  9. Modest Mouse – Alone Down There
  10. Neil Young – Cinnamon Girl
  11. Pretty Girls Make Graves – Chemical, Chemical
  12. Seekonk – Tiny Lustre
  13. Snapcase – A Synthesis Of Classic Forms
  14. SPRCSS – Spring Garden Drive-By
  15. Starsailor – Music Was Saved
  16. Straylight Run – Existentialism On Prom Night
  17. Slint – Good Morning Captain

Scraps 57

  1. White Stripes – St Ides Of March
  2. Cooper Temple Clause – The Same Mistakes
  3. Cyann & Ben – I Can’t Pretend Anymore
  4. Denali – Hold Your Breath
  5. Mogwai – Now You’re Taken
  6. Guided By Voices – The Best Of Jill Hives
  7. Hawksley Workman – Bank Robber
  8. Johnny Cash – I See A Darkness
  9. Holly Golightly – Without You Here
  10. Martin Tielli – Waterstriders
  11. Jolie Holland – All the Morning Birds
  12. Bardo Pond – Test
  13. Outkast – Hey Ya
  14. REM – Bad Day
  15. Sinead O’Connor – Love Is Ours
  16. Starsailor – Silence Is Easy
  17. Modest Mouse – Dark Center of the Universe

Scraps 58

  1. Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl
  2. Belle & Sebastian – Step Into My Office Baby
  3. Blanche – Superstition
  4. Blue Rodeo – What Am I Doing Here
  5. Clearlake – Winterlight
  6. Courtney Love – Mono
  7. Cyndi Lauper & The Minus 5 – Midnight Radio
  8. Deerhoof – Blue Cash
  9. Diverse – Certified
  10. Elbow – Teardrop
  11. Frank Black – Sugar Daddy
  12. Guided By Voices – A Salty Salute
  13. M83 – Run Into Flowers
  14. Oceansize – Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs
  15. Offspring – Hit That
  16. Oneida – $50 Tea
  17. Outrageous Cherry – Young And Miserable
  18. Polyphonic Spree – Wig In A Box
  19. Pearl Jam – Wash

Scraps 59

  1. Danger Mouse – 99 Problems
  2. Belle & Sebastian – If She Wants Me
  3. Broken Social Scene – Cause =’s Time
  4. Charlemagne – August Evenings
  5. Descendents – Cool To Be You
  6. Fischerspooner vs Billy Squier – Everybody Wants You To Emerge
  7. Kingdom Flying Club – My Astrologer
  8. Laurie Styvers – Beat The Reaper
  9. Mountain Goats – Home Again Garden Grove
  10. Neil Finn – She Will Have Her Way
  11. Oneida – Treasure Plane
  12. Outrageous Cherry – Girl You Have Magic Inside You
  13. Pearl Jam – All Night
  14. Raising the Fawn – Gwendolyn
  15. Shearwater – Whipping Boy
  16. Shins – Girl On The Wing
  17. Spoon – Tear Me Down
  18. Strokes – You Talk Way Too Much
  19. Trews – Not Ready To Go
  20. White Stripes – Red Death At 614
  21. Angels Of Light – Palisades

It's just that when you touch me, I can not stand up

I can’t tell if Sleater-Kinney’s “Turn It On” is the greatest love song ever written, or the biggest fuck-you song ever written.

Either way, it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. If I had to pick one band to be the saviour for all of rock and roll, the colonel leading the troops up the hill to battle, the christ on the way to Golgotha, the Britney to all Christinas and Jessicas…SK might be it.

Disc biz's big lie

From Now Magazine: Disc biz’s big lie. Hardly an unbiased look — Now is a free paper that is heavily read by the indie, the left and the student in Toronto — but they’re hardly alone in saying it.

“The industry has been opposing new technology since the day of the player piano. Every new technology, from the phonograph to the radio and the tape recorder, is the end of the world, and they oppose it, litigate against it and try to get legislation against it. Eventually, they will get it and realize there’s money to made here, and when they finally do wrap their minds around it and stop being Luddites, they’ll probably get quite rich.”