Rickys Random Articles

A Panic Manual: Stuck in an Elevator, May 7th, Toronto

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It only takes a second to materialize, but that second in time seems to take forever.

It’s the moment upon which you realize that the elevator you have entered, is malfunctioning. You are stuck.

If you are claustrophobic, it’s probably your worst nightmare.

If you have diarrhea, it is probably a picky dilemma.

Luckily for me, I suffered from neither of those conditions. I was however, stuck in the elevator for twenty six minutes yesterday and as you would expect, ran through a gamut of emotions and thoughts.

For those who have never experienced such an event, this will prepare you for the inevitable. For those of you who have been stuck in an elevator before.. well, we can hold hands and face the past together. I’ll bring donuts to the next survivors meeting.

Let me take you through the steps.

Step 1: Denial
As with all problems, denial is the first emotion you have to get past. I tried pressing all the floors, tried using my security card. Tried different combinations. Tried to pry the door open. All failed. It always fails. You have to accept the fact that of all the people the elevator has properly transported today, it has chosen you to be it’s passing victim. It’s a breach of trust, and you’ll never fully recover.

Step 2: Reaching Out for Help
I’m one of those stubborn people who hate asking for directions when on vacation and hate to ask for help from strangers. It might take awhile to realize that this is an issue you cannot solve on your own, and you just have to suck it up and press the little red alarm on the elevator door. From that point forth, your only contact with the outside world will be this anonymous voice. He’s your only hope. For me, I started thinking about the movie SAW. I also realized Dennis Hopper was dead. So I was safe from any Speed like shenanigans. I probably watch too many movies.

Step 3: Survival
While some might think it’s over preparing, you never know how long you will be stuck in such a situation. The anonymous voice on the other end might not have been your saviour, rather some random passerby having their kicks speaking to you. What if something were to happen to this man before he called the elevator technicans? What if he had a heart attack? Then you would be stuck a lot longer then you think. Preparing for the worse, I checked my man purse for any sort of provisions. Much to be my dismay, I was ill prepared for this sort of scenario. As record shows, this was all I had:

Which led to this

Desperate times calls for desperate measures, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to resort to this:

Lesson learned: Always keep food on you.

Step 4: All Hope is Lost?
Once all the logistical items are figured out (what you have to eat, which corner of the elevator to shit/piss in, etc), you will then have some time to reflect. You start to wonder..what if a nuclear war erupted when you were stuck? What about an alien invasion? I distinctly thought of the scene from the end of Terminator 3 when John Connor was stuck in some random place and the world ended.

In this time along, you may have many dark thoughts. Embrace it, you might learn something about yourself.

Step 5: Rescue/Salvation
Just when all hope is lost and you have just about given up, the technicians arrive and free you from your metallic prison. A wise man once told me “The night is darkest before the dawn”. I’m not sure if that’s true, but when those doors get pried open and you see the wide eyed faces of the technicians, you finally realize what freedom truly is. You are no longer bounded by those four walls. The sweet air will never smell so good. Food will never taste fresher. Cherish this moment forever.

I was one of the lucky ones. I was only stuck for twenty six minutes, but in that time, I learned a lot about life, myself and how I would handle future crisis. I also played a few games of Draw Something. Either way, I hope this article will help you deal the next time something unimaginable happens.

Great Music Moments in Movies: Kavinsky, Drive

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While its been a good few years since the French Valerie electro disco scene threatened (and failed) to take over the indie music world, the memories of that moment has remained in the minds of many. It’s certainly remained in Nicolas Winding Refn’s mind as the director chose to soundtrack his movie Drive with a strong sampling of this genre of music.

One of the tracks from that movie was the opening of the movie, where the Kavinsky track Nightcall is featured prominently as Ryan Gosling drives his car around night time LA. Given French electros tendency to sound like it should be played after midnight, the combination of this track, the neon retro style lettering of the opening credits and the stunning night time cinematography (LA at night is really dramatic for some reason) makes this a memorable movie moment in a rather memorable movie.

Friday Top 10: Top 10 Reasons to Make a Top 10 List About Random Music Stuff

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It’s Friday, it’s the end of the week. Can’t think, can’t analyze, can’t absorb new music. Am I getting old? Hell Yes. So I’ve decided that I’m doing a Top 10 list every Friday. How long will this last? Probably until February. Regardless, what matters right now is this: I’m about to start my first top 10 list, and you might be wondering why do this, Ricky? Well, here is why.


It’s easy – no story required, no in depth research and no need to think about how to frame something. Just 10 things – BAM!


It allows me to go through my music playlist, and then listen to songs I haven’t listen to in a while. Let’s say I want to make a “Top 10 Songs that have a Gospel singer” list. How am I going to find this out? I’ll have to navigate my albums folder and pick them out. along the way, you realize things like “holy crap, I haven’t listened to Shed Seven in a while” and then you queue it up.


Makes you think about music differently. I must not be the only one who listens to a track like Suede’s We Are The Pigs and think “I wonder what other songs have a child choir singing in it”. Then you compile a list of these songs, then you have a top 10 list!


Despite what real journalists think, People like top 10 lists. It’s moderately entertaining, light-hearted and finished by the time you are done taking a crap. Much like a sandwich.


It’s really the only way an indie blog can write about mainstream artists like Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Black Eye Peas and other mainstream bands without losing indie cred. This doesn’t really work for the Panic Manual, since we have any indie cred to begin with. I just wrote that so Google spiders will index this article with those artists as keywords anyway.


Maybe one day the Letterman writers will stumble upon one of our lists and invite us to go read it on their show. Then Wade can fulfill his life long dream and go on Letterman.


All the other music sites do it, so it must be kind of cool. We want to be cool.


If I put each part of the top 10 on a different page, then you have to go through 10 pages to go see what’s number 1. That’s 10 page views AND 10 (or more) ad views. More money to us! (0.0001 cents instead of 0.00099)


Backlinks, baby!


Because sometimes, just sometimes, trying to come up with a new way to describe another chillwave or singer-songwriter song is just boring.

So next time you stumble upon a top 10 list of ____ and wonder why, those are the reasons.

Speaking of Top 10 lists, here is my friend’s website http://top10r.com/ it allows you to democratically decide a top 10 amongst your friends. It’s great.

Nostalgia 2012: Concert Photos of 2011 Explained

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Can’t believe 2011 was 4 days ago. Missing it already.

In 2011, Winters were warm. In 2012, winters are cold. That’s enough for me to want to go back.

I fancy myself to be a concert photographer. More specifically, I fancy myself to be an Iphone concert photographer. It’s a rare breed. Sure, a lot of people take snapshots of concerts with their phones during a show, but how many of them use them for their music blog? Not many. Those other people just look through their albums one day, wonder ‘what is this?’ and then delete the picture. I however, put it on this site for the world/12 people who visit this blog to see.

Here are some of my favorite iphone concert photos from last year, in the interest of nostalgia. As an artist, I have given each picture an appropriate title.

“What Did You Expect From My Iphone?”
It’s a play on the title of the debut Vaccines album. I had carefully framed this picture to only expose half of lead singer Justin Young’s body, because it represented the half-hearted effort they put in their debut. They would later redeem themselves at SXSW and prove to be one of my favorite new acts of the year.

“Dye It Small”
I intentionally went thirty feet back from the front of the stage at this Smith Western gig to carefully frame this shot. The smallness of the band within the picture represented my tiny expectations of this Chicago trio upon entering the Horseshoe Tavern. I only went to this show because my friend Josh was going by himself and I didn’t want the rock and rock hipsters to eat him up. The band did exceed my low expectations with a solid set of guitar riffs lifted from various 70s rock bands.

Foals is a band that, underneath their massively kick ass tunes, are quite nerdy. They sing about singularity, for god’s sake. Given their penchant for writing about singularity, I tried to capture lead singer Yannis Philippakis descending onto the darkness. In this shot, half of him is human, and the other half – darkness. This image is a reflection on our increasing dependence on technology and how we are becoming less human because of it.

“Keep Shining”
The bright light featured in this picture (taken at a Shad concert) represents a rising sun. For a long time, the Canadian hip hop scene has been in the dark, but now, thanks to the popularity of artists such as Shad, Drake, The Weeknd and K’naan, Canadian Hip Hop has never been hotter. This picture shows the light/sun penetrating the darkness, much like how this hip hop scene has penetrated our world.

“The Beat but no Pulse”
It looks like I am really far away from the stage at this Austra show but really, it’s just a solid depiction of how far away I felt emotionally from the show. Despite really liking their debut record, I felt strangely disconnected from the band at their recent homecoming at the Phoenix. I needed to take this picture to convey my feelings.

There you have it, some secrets of the trade. Look for more deep Iphone concert photos this year.