Upon further reflection

I have edited my ‘50 best songs ever‘ list as follows.


  • Beastie Boys . “Sabotage”
  • Bob Dylan . “House Carpenter”
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor . “Storm”
  • Spiritualized . “Lord Can You Hear Me?”


  • Constantines . “Hyacinth”
  • Bob Dylan . “Desolation Row”
  • Fiery Furnaces . “We Got Back the Plague”
  • Radiohead . “The National Anthem”

I should also point out that a few songs are hanging on by their fingernails and Danger Mouse‘s mashup of “99 Problems” and “Helter Skelter” is waiting impatiently in the wings.

Somebody's got to lose

All week Maclean’s has been issuing ‘best-of-decade’ lists, focusing only on Canadian content. Best Canadian TV shows, best Canadian movies, and so on. Today was the one I was really waiting for: the best Canadian music of the decade. In true Canadian spirit, it is both indie-focused and very safe.

  1. Arcade Fire Funeral (2004)
  2. Broken Social Scene You Forgot It In People (2002)
  3. Black Mountain Black Mountain (2005)
  4. New Pornographers Mass Romantic (2000)
  5. Wolf Parade Apologies To The Queen Mary (2005)
  6. Sarah Harmer You Were Here (2000)
  7. Tangiers Hot New Spirits (2003)
  8. Sam Roberts The Inhuman Condition (2002)
  9. The Constantines Shine A Light (2003)
  10. Feist The Reminder (2007)

I don’t see how anyone could argue with #1, and while #2 is probably a widely accepted choice, I am just unable to love BSS the way everyone else seems to. I’m pleased to see the likes of Black Mountain, The New Pornographers, Wolf Parade beat out Sarah Harmer, Sam Roberts and Feist. I do think The Constantines deserved to be higher (and, in truth, it should have been Tournament of Hearts) but all in all that’s a pretty respectable list.

The full article contains the Maclean’s writer collective’s opinions on each album, as well as this piece of begrudging awesomeness:

HONOURABLE MENTION: NickelbackSilver Side Up (2001)
Yes, it’s stupid arena rock, but they own that stuff. So make fun of them if you want, but they’re way more famous than Arcade Fire will ever be. And they accomplished it with a lead singer sporting a woman’s haircut and a goatee.

Fair point.

The 33 best songs of 2008

As my brother did (we were both supposed to do it the same day…or so he thought…it’s a long story) back in December, I’ve narrowed my list of favourite songs from 2008 down to 33. The number’s part of the long story, don’t ask.

I actually took a rough stab at ranking them too, though I’ll no doubt change my mind next week.

  1. Constantines . “Million Star Hotel”
  2. Frightened Rabbit . “Keep Yourself Warm”
  3. MGMT . “Time To Pretend”
  4. TV On The Radio . “Halfway Home”
  5. Santogold . “LES Artistes”
  6. Frightened Rabbit . “Floating in the Forth”
  7. Ladyhawk . “Ghost Blues”
  8. Walkmen . “In The New Year”
  9. Mates Of State . “Now”
  10. We Are Scientists . “After Hours”
  11. Death Cab For Cutie . “I Will Possess Your Heart”
  12. Rogue Wave . “Electro-Socket Blues”
  13. And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead . “Festival Thyme”
  14. Rural Alberta Advantage . “Frank, AB”
  15. Cold War Kids . “Something Is Not Right WIth Me”
  16. Wolf Parade . “Soldier’s Grin”
  17. Fembots . “My Hands Are a City”
  18. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds . “We Call Upon The Author”
  19. This Will Destroy You . “The Mighty Rio Grande”
  20. Devotchka . “Along The Way”
  21. Vampire Weekend . “Ottoman”
  22. Wye Oak . “Warning”
  23. Lightspeed Champion . “Devil Tricks For A Bitch”
  24. Tricky . “Council Estate”
  25. Duke Spirit . “Send A Little Love Token”
  26. Fucked Up . “Son The Father”
  27. Ladytron . “I’m Not Scared”
  28. Kings Of Leon . “Notion”
  29. Marnie Stern . “Ruler”
  30. Bowerbirds . “Hooves”
  31. Raveonettes . “The Thief”
  32. Deus . “Oh Your God”
  33. Black Keys . “All You Ever Wanted”

The first time I heard that Constantines song I pulled it out of the playlist and listened to it on repeat. I couldn’t stop listening. It was never not my favourite song of the year.

My favourite albums of 2008

OK, I think I’ve now listened to all the music I need to make the call. Here are my ten favourite albums from 2008, in alphabetical order:

  • the constantines . kensington heights
  • dodos . visiter
  • frightened rabbit . the midnight organ fight
  • fucked up . the chemistry of common life
  • the kills . midnight boom
  • kings of leon . only by the night
  • mates of state . re-arrange us
  • marnie stern . this is it and i am it and you are it and so is that and he is it and she is it and it is it and that is that
  • this will destroy you . this will destroy you
  • the walkmen . you and me

If I had to pick a favourite from that pile I’d probably say either Mates of State or The Constantines, but nothing really stood out.

By the way, even though Vampire Weekend‘s album technically dropped in 2008, I heard all their stuff in 2007 so I didn’t include it here.

No, not that CSI

There are some things I know about myself. One of them is that I simply cannot survive in a club. The music, the translucent people…all hideous.

Why was I even in a club? Well, let me back up: after finishing the exam today we had a ceremony at our corporate headquarters this evening, the first graduation ceremony of two, and most of us went out to celebrate afterwards. I’d never heard of the Brant House; having seen it I wouldn’t have picked it, but I’m not most people, and most people seemed to like it. Put it this way: any place that offers bottle service, and attracts people who would want bottle service, is outside of my wheelhouse.

I stayed long enough to be respectable (i.e., not a pussy) and then fled to safety of my home where I could guarantee the percentage of real people (my wife = 1/1) and control the music that was played. In this case, “Million Star Hotel” by The Constantines: low enough not to wake my wife, but loud enough to expunge all the disco blather and Def Leppard remixes from my head. I scarfed down some food as soon as I got home (dinner was disappointing; at least my friend Russ gave me half his fries) and now I’m typing this, reveling in the knowledge that I don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

Oh, and I’m now officially a Fellow of the ICB (or CSI, or whatever it’s called now) as well as a silver medalist. Imagine my excitement.

[tags]mba, brant house, icb, constantines[/tags]

Stuff I like. 'Cause I'm a white people.

  • My new mouse
  • The Montreal Canadiens clinching their division for the first time since 1991-92 after pounding the Sens 3-0
  • BSG returning this Friday
  • Tomorrow’s forecast: 10° and sunny
  • The new, not-quite-released-yet Constantines album Kensington Heights
  • Income tax returns

[tags]logitech wireless mouse, montreal canadiens, ottawa senators, battlestar galactica, spring, constantines, kensington heights, income tax return[/tags]

I Will Not Sing A Hateful Song

Spring has a downside, one that sometimes makes me want to vom. Smokers, on the whole, are disgusting assholes.


Dinner last night at Tutti Matti was pretty good. I had a caprese salad* and the grilled swordfish and a dessert called the Gino, a semifreddo covered in chocolate sauce. Damn.

Nice atmosphere, good service, and we all enjoyed our meals. Fieramosca is the undoubted comfort zone for us in terms of Italian food, but Tutti Matti may now be a good alternative, a more “downtown” option if needed.

* It’s hard to believe, sometimes, how much my tastes have changed over the past few years. Not long ago the idea of eating a giant pile of buffalo mozzarella and tomato covered in olive oil would have turned my stomach.


Last night Montreal beat Boston for the eighth straight time this season, and eleventh straight overall going back into last season. They won in the shootout, which was the best possible scenario: Montreal stays where they are (tops in the east!) and Boston earns a point to stay ahead of the chasing teams like Toronto. There’re two reasons why this is good for the Habs; if Boston holds on to the 8th (or even 7th) spot, there’s a good chance Montreal will play them in the first round and…well, eight in a row. The Canadiens have owned the Bruins this year.

The other reason why a Boston point last night was beneficial: it makes it harder for the Leafs fans to hold on to their mass delusion of making the playoffs. With eight games left they’re four points out of the final playoff spot, and they’d have to leapfrog four teams to get there, but the delusion lives on. Rather than shutting down their veterans, letting their young players get some much-needed development and securing a spot in the lottery, they’re playing themselves into a lower draft pick.

But hey, if they want to keep it up, that’s cool. I kind of hope they win both games against the Bruins (the team they’re chasing) this week and get their hopes up even higher, so that when Montreal plays them next Saturday, I can watch live as the Canadiens crush their playoff dreams once and for all.

Wait a second…goddammit, I won’t be able to watch that live after all. Stupid climate change…must you ruin everything?


My buddy Joe sent me the new Constantines album yesterday. I’m only a few songs in but I already love it.  “Million Star Hotel” in particular is brilliant. The last two ‘tines albums were amazing and under-appreciated; if you like the rock and roll, do yourself a favour and check them out.

[tags]smokers, tutti matti, fieramosca, montreal canadiens, boston bruins, toronto maple leafs, nhl playoffs, earth hour, constantines[/tags]