Photo by terren in Virginia, used under Creative Commons license

Best albums of 2012

In alphabetical order only:

  • Allo Darlin’ . Europe
  • Cloud Nothings . Attack On Memory
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor . Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
  • Japandroids . Celebration Rock
  • Low . C’mon
  • Perfume Genius . Put Your Back N 2 It TEEN . In Limbo
  • Shearwater . Animal Joy
  • Van Etten, Sharon . Tramp
  • Walkmen, The . Heaven
  • White, Jack . Blunderbuss

Note that I still have to listen to this year’s releases by Lightships (update: meh), A.C. Newman, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Band Of Horses (update: rubbish), Bat For Lashes (update: rubbish), Beach House, Calexico (update: meh), Chromatics (update: meh), The Happy Jawbone Family Band (update: rubbish), Metz (update: meh), Passion Pit (update: rubbish), Grizzly Bear (update: meh),Tallest Man On Earth (update: quite good), Tame Impala (update: meh), TEEN (update: excellent!), Titus Andronicus (update: meh), and Ty Segall, and that I’m still working on Divine Fits (update: meh), Sigur Ros (update: good), and Swans (update: meh).


Photo by terren in Virginia, used under Creative Commons license

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.

"Attention…Mon Ami…Fa-Lala-Lala-La-La"

Last night, following Montreal’s disappointing game 5 overtime loss to Boston — which I got to experience in Kilgour’s, probably the only Montreal Canadiens fan bar in Toronto — my buddy Joe and I strolled down the block to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Lee’s Palace. GY!BE had been on hiatus since 2003, so when these tickets went on sale last fall we snapped them up.

We weren’t worried about staying through the entire hockey game, including one and a half overtime periods, because we knew very well they wouldn’t hit the stage until 11:30 or so. As it turns out they began taking the stage around 11:45 and began playing at about 11:50. By the way: it takes them five minutes to take the stage because there are nine of them, and they came on a few at a time and began playing their instruments. That tuning and tweaking turned into “Hope Drones” before drifting, some fifteen minutes later, into “Gathering Storm”, the best part of their best song from their best album and one of my favourite songs of all time (honorable mention). I could have left right after that and felt like I got my money’s worth.

But they kept going, obviously, playing seven more songs over the next couple of hours (their songs tend to be in the 15-20 minute range, and all instrumental, with black and white film footage looped behind them) from F#A#∞ and Slow Riot For New Zer0 Canada and more from Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven and one more song (“Albanian”) that apparently is only ever played live. Nothing from their last album Yanqui U.X.O. though, which was disappointing…they’d played “Rockets Fall on Rocket Falls”, their second-best song, the night before.

Just after 2AM they wrapped up, and I walked out feeling a little underwhelmed. I’m glad I saw it — this may be my last chance as they’re obviously pretty mercurial — but it just didn’t feel like as big an experience as I’d hoped for. Maybe it was being at the back, kind of blocked (distracted?) by the film projectors. Maybe it was being too near the bar and all the assholes who feel entitled to yell inanities to each other that could surely wait until they’re outside. Maybe it was that my mind kept making the obvious comparison to Mogwai, who thumps me mercilessly every time I see them, unlike last night’s show.

Like I said, I’m glad I went. I guess I was just hoping for more of a storm.

The playlist, according to the internets:

  • “Hope Drone”
  • “Gathering Storm”
  • “Monheim”
  • “Albanian”
  • “Chart #3”
  • “World Police and Friendly Fire”
  • “Dead Metheny”
  • “Moya”
  • “Blaise Bailey Finnegan III”

This title should have been "a lassi for my lassie," but she drank beer instead

Last night seven of us went to Indus Junction to celebrate Nellie’s birthday. It was very, very tasty…I think we tried five different appetizers and five mains. The vindaloo shrimp appetizer was excellent, as were the vegetable dumplings and the paneer & cauliflower dish. The vindaloo salmon was good too, and the soft garlic naan and dhal mahkni. A few of us had dessert; the rice pudding was apparently quite good but my double-fudge tart was just too much chocolate (!) for me.

All in all, good food, good spot, good service. We’ll be going back, I think.


The Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators early last week, but that was when Heatley and Alfredsson were injured. Last night the Senators, with their top line intact, hung a 6-1 loss on the Habs. Glad I didn’t stay home to watch that one.


It sounds more and more like Godspeed You! Black Emperor is over, finished, kaput. Granted, A Silver Mt. Zion is still active, but I’ll miss the bombast.

[tags]indus junction, montreal canadiens, ottawa senators, godspeed you! black emperor[/tags]