Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008


Looks like this is just gonna be my mix tape space for a while.

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes
Yes, it really works.  Press play and enjoy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Wall of Shame

Jess had a friend over today. I was playing with records like I usually do when we have company and he mentioned to me that he was thinking of picking one up for his dad for Father's Day. I figured I have plenty so why not just donate one to a worthy cause, right?

This brings us to a collector's dilemma. Which one to part with? I managed to find one I didn't really ever listen to and thought his dad might find interesting, but it got me thinking about why I buy the music I do.

Sometimes you get stuff because it's already established that it can stand the test of time. That accounts for most of the stuff I own that was recorded before I was born.

Sometimes you get stuff because it speaks to you somehow and it also stands up to the test of time. This accounts for much of my back catalogue recorded when I was old enough to hear it new.

Sometimes you get stuff because it sounds promising, and then promptly goes to hell! Just admit it. Sometimes you hitch your car to the wrong train. It happens to the best of us. This is the crap you leave stuffed in dusty boxes or trade in at second-hand music stores and hope nobody is looking.

Which brings us to the wall of shame.

I am going to look in my music collection right now and list the 5 most shameful things I own. I won't make apologies and I'm not bashing anyone's taste. I'm just being honest. This is stuff I wish I could un-buy.

*drum roll*

#5: Erasure - The Innocents
I fell for the 80's synth-pop thing like a lot of others but let's face it, this just wasn't a wise investment. Two tracks got a decent amount of club and radio play and the rest is nearly intolerable.

#4: Lords of Acid - Voodoo You
Yeah, it voodooed me alright. That's really all the explanation I can offer.

#3: Sisters of Mercy - A Slight Case of Overbombing
When Peter Jackson was trying to describe to New Line exactly what kind of "epic" he was referring to while pitching Lord of the Rings, I'm pretty sure he used a couple of tracks from this as examples. Temple of Love especially, is a marathon I'd rather not endure again. You'd think the title would have given me a clue.

#2: A homemade mix of Rush songs I threw together to annoy the hell out of a friend.
I really did make this just to play in the car at unbearable volumes sometimes when he was in it. He hated Rush with a passion that would make Moby Dick read like an Archie comic.

And the top spot goes to...

#1: The Go-Go's - God Bless the Go-Go's
Kinda speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

On Set Baby!

Last week I had a gig doing production stills for one day on the set of a short film for the CFC. It was an outdoor scene being shot at Kariya Park in Mississauga. Needless to say (March being the bipolar bitch of a month that it is) the weather was less than accommodating. I was out there for roughly 12 hours, freezing my tiny little ass off. It was well worth it though. I had a great time and got some quality shots that the production crew will hopefully get some use out of for promotional material.

I figured I'd share a few with you. Since I'm not sure what I can and can't post here (even for editorial purposes), I decided to play it safe and stay away from pictures featuring the actors or anything related to the story. Here's a couple shots of the park itself and the crew hard at work.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Canada's Biggest Douche

I'm sitting in a Second Cup on Queen St in Toronto as I type this. Seated at the table directly to my left are 2 people. A woman who is apparently the manager of a branch of a financial institution that shall remain nameless, and a man who could easily qualify as the biggest douche in Canada.

To support this claim, I present to you the following statistics of the conversation I've had no choice but to overhear due to proximity and the douche in question's unnecessary volume.

Number of times a question has been proceeded by the word "Question:" - 12
Number of uses of the phrase "Think outside the box" - 9
(statistics based on roughly 15-20 minutes of yammering)

I add to the pool of evidence one "forehead wedge" style haircut, one button-down shirt which is painfully tight at the neck and one peach-fuzz goatee. Listening to this ass shoot his mouth off makes me feel remarkably justified in my decision to abandon working in office environments.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Photo Update

Got a few to share with you this time, so this might end up being a long post.

I've been trying my best despite the crappy winter weather and long hours at my day job to keep getting photos whenever possible. I just upgraded to a Nikon D80, so I definitely need to keep active just to get familiar with my new toy. It's rough though. I've only been in Toronto for 2 months so my contacts are few at best. I'd really like to start earning money this way soon, but I guess I'll just have to be patient.

Jess has been keeping me fairly busy though. She's been picking up the odd volunteer makeup job for student films and such, and of course her school has never had a problem with me hanging around catching snapshots for their student's portfolios.

Which brings us to some recent pics:

I accompanied Jess to a boxing club by the name of Sully's for a job she picked up on a student film. All she had to do was bloody and bruise a few actors so it turned out to be fairly simple and short. This one is a wide angle of the club's interior. I know it sounds cliche, but it really did remind me of something out of Rocky.

This is one of Jess at work. She started at the makeup station and added some light bruising and a couple of small cuts, then moved into the ring to gradually intensify the injuries between takes as the scene progressed.

This is one of the actors "warming up" on a heavy bag while the lighting and cameras were being assembled and positioned. He was playing the part of a boxer with a nasty habit of killing his opponents in the ring. He was a great guy. I caught him on camera once or twice hamming it up by standing on the ropes in the corner of the ring striking victory poses and calling for applause. It was totally Hulk Hogan.

The next three are from another visit to the School of Makeup Art. Tagging along with Jess to school is always fun, even if it smells nasty on occasion. I've learned not to volunteer as her guinea pig anymore though. I always seem to end up spending days nursing minor injuries or picking gunk out of my beard.

This is a set of fangs Jess is making for herself. I don't think I'll ever understand her fascination with vampires. I'm more of a zombie guy myself. I guess I just find the loss of free will scarier than the loss of my soul. I sold it years ago anyway. I'll let you guess what I got in return. (hint: it rhymes with "mock and bowl")

Jess showing off a tray of pre-fabricated bullet wounds. This will eventually become a template for mass producing gelatin applications. If you ask me, they totally looked like meteor craters. This board could double as a miniature moon set piece. Houston, the Eagle has landed.

This one is of a creepy looking fetal alien in what looks like a jar of piss. I assume it's supposed to be formaldehyde, but let's face facts. It looks like piss. It's amazing what one can discover when one gets to snooping in a special effects makeup school.

Well that's it for now. I've been gradually working my way into some interesting projects, so I'll be sure to keep updating as often as I can.


Thursday, February 8, 2007

An Apple A Day

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm in the process of switching from a PC to a Mac. I'm currently composing this on my brand-spankin-new MacBook and all that's left to do is transfer my useable data from my old machine to this one. Right now is my homepage, and will likely continue to be for some time as I'm just too lazy to change it. Although after reading this column from Steve Jobs yesterday, I think I might just leave it there indefinitely.

In light of the obvious success of the iPod and iTunes music store, Mr. Jobs took time to talk about what possible directions online music distributing could take in the near future, paying special attention to the issue of music piracy and it's current "nemesis", DRM (digital rights management). Mr. Jobs presented 3 possible scenarios:

Option 1: Steady as she goes.
Each manufacturer continues with the current setup of individual methods of copy-protection ensuring that the music they sell only works with their products. I don't know about you, but I can't see this working as a permanent solution. Without interoperability, consumer interest will either die out or revert right back to illegal sources.

Option 2: Share and share alike
Apple and other manufacturers license their DRM technology to each other in an attempt to achieve the aforementioned interoperability. Sounds good, but Mr. Jobs is quick to point out that the details of the DRM methods would leak faster than Valerie Plame's secret identity, hence making it incredibly difficult to maintain their respective agreements with the big four record labels in regards to said copy protection. Again, this sounds less than ideal.

Which brings us to option 3:
Do away with DRM altogether. This seems to be Mr. Jobs' ideal solution (as well as the ideal solution for consumers), and I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with him. His argument is that DRM systems have thus far been completely ineffective in stemming the tide of online music piracy. Why even worry about protected songs purchased from iTunes when you can buy a completely unprotected CD which you can then rip to MP3 and distribute as you see fit? A strong argument indeed, however I'd take it a step further.

The so called "problem" of online music piracy (in my eyes at least) seems to be a drastically overstated one. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, I'm just saying that it isn't even remotely as damaging as the RIAA would have us believe. Remember the introduction of the cassette tape? They insisted that it was being used to breach copyright laws and that it could lead to the downfall of the recording industry. That never happened. Remember when the first VCRs hit the market? The MPAA made the same argument and again the foretold apocalypse never materialized.

If anything, both industries greatly benefitted from both innovations when they stopped fighting progress and found a way to exploit these new technologies. Sooner or later they will have to wake up to the fact that trading music online is tantamount to the kids in the 80s and 90s that swapped mix tapes with their friends on a regular basis. And if online piracy is truly as destructive as they claim, where are the dismal sales figures to back up such a bold statement? Last I checked the local HMV outlets in my town were in no danger of having to close their doors.

But I digress.

The reason I'm twice as giddy about becoming a Mac user now can be found by checking out these Google search results for opinions on the new Windows Vista DRM features. Steve Jobs has the balls to point out how useless DRM is, while Bill Gates suckles at the teet of entertainment bureaucracy.

I've never been happier about being a turncoat.