Saturday, September 26, 2009

Effing Eff

For about six months, I've been claiming to like Holy Fuck, the electronica band from Toronto. As it turns out, the band I actually like is Fucked Up, the hardcore band from Toronto. Guys? Seriously. I can only handle so many obscenity-laced band names from Toronto. One of you couldn't be the Sweet Little Kittens or something? I'm not saying it has to be totally random, but it'd be nice if I could keep my musical tastes straight and tell my parents which one I like. ("I like Holy Eff. Wait, do I? No, I like Effed Up. I think. Probably. Mom, I gotta go.")

Anyway, the ones I like - Fucked Up, probably, I think - just won the Polaris prize. I love the Polaris, mostly because my high school buddy Graham has been nominated twice, but also because Canadian music is pretty awesome. I know there was some controversy over how blah the short list for the Polaris was this year - I mean, Metric's okay, but Emily Haines isn't saving the world or anything. It was nice to see the screaming fat guy with the outrageously-named band take home the twenty grand.

Awesomely, Fucked Up are apparently going to use their winning cash monies to produce a benefit album for all the native women who have disappeared out West. Brav-o, guys. I crush out when a band takes their indie cred and critical earnings and channels that into do-gooding all over the place. Unless that band happens to be U2, in which case, I just want to make that smug bastard Bono eat The Edge's mustache. I love complications, and Fucked Up, with their nudity, obesity, animosity, and generosity, are damned complicated.

Despite the fact MTV banned them, and they rarely get along well enough to be in the same room together, and their name makes it impossible for them to get commercial radio play (although the Ceeb is pretty keen on them), they're somehow living large. It's like the happy-ending version of Death. You're heard of Death, right? No? Quelle surprise. A trio of brothers from Detroit, black kids who were R&B until they stumbled onto Alice Cooper, make awesome proto-punk that nets them label support until they refuse to change their name to something that won't make housewives faint when they hear it on the radio. Thirty years later, the few pressings that did make it out into the world are selling for megabucks on eBay, and their careers are relaunched. Ta da! What a drag.

Luckily, we don't have to wait until 2042 to hear Fucked Up, because they are awesome. (And seriously, what kind of wimp is afraid of a band called Death? Pfft.) Even if the name is off the beaten path - an honor shared with hip-hop heads CunninLynguists and the aforementioned Holy Fuck - the music speaks louder than curse words.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thank Halifax for Mid-Twenties Guys

Since I am clearly some fancy-pants jet setter, I spent the weekend in Halifax with my mom. Here's a hot tip for any girls out there who might be interested in knowing where all the single under-30 dudes in Canada live: they live in Hali. The place was infested with those sumbitches. Seriously! It was like, walk downtown? Gaggles in mid-20s young men. Hang out at the mall? Throngs of dudes. Even the shoe stores were stuffed with guys, all of whom seemed to be glumly watching their mothers try on outrageous shoes.

My favourite moment was when we were walking in the shopping district downtown. High noon, streets packed with people, and roaring through the crowd comes a crappy little four-door, with about eight guys sardined inside, all singing "I Don't Want to Miss A Thing" from Armageddon. Even the untrained ear can discern overblown schmaltziness in that little ditty. It was most excellent to hear a half-dozen polo-shirt- and flip-flop-wearing dude bros get hilarious.

I've written before about Dude Energy and how it truly is the most potent form of energy, save really sugary black-tar coffee (wowza! I had some yesterday and it made me shake for an hour. In. Tense. That's coffee, not dudes, you pervs), but can you imagine a city powered by Dude Energy? I just got chills. With four post-secondary schools, you have your pick of regular-issue dudes at Dal, skinny-jean-wearing artists at NSCAD, and a plethora of other young men who are populating the area.

I'm not saying there are no young women in Halifax. There are lots. Plenty! If there was some sort of tragic zombie outbreak (for instance), the young ladies of Halifax are numerous enough to provide lots of post-apocalyptic world-repopulation-type activities. Very few of them seem to be nuns, complete uggos, or obvious emotional train wrecks (which, for those of you keeping score at home, I totally defined on Urban Dictionary!) it's odd that there's this overflow of young, eligible men. I'm not really complaining - although it would be nice if some of these guys took the Pet Shop Boy's advice and went West to Toronto, but it's nice to know they're out there.

Anyway, aside from the passels of attractive guys, Halifax had other standout features. We ate at Chives, walked into the Atlantic Ocean in Peggy's Cove, snuck into the coolest high school ever in Lunenberg, bought Camper shoes for way cheap, got into a fight with Customer Service at the mall, walked to the top of the Citadel, ate a lot of bacon, biked, drove a lot, wore the same outfit for basically five days in a row, drank really strong beer, and unsuccessfully shopped for bathing suits. It was your basic Canadian-issue long weekend getaway. It was lovely. I love the ocean, and Halifax is nice (although it does seem to be on a 45 degree angle, making cycling unappealing), and it was great to get away and, for at least the weekend, take in the views.