Song of the Day: Lucy Dacus – Night Shift

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It’s hard to recommend break-up songs. Search one’s Best-Of lists over the years, and I would argue that it’s a specific and endangered species of accolade like the albatross. In this age of hyper-connectivity and over-social carnage, spending the time to compose and write a song is more of a redundant anachronistic mechanism, like the mix-tapes from the 1980s. Where is the catharsis if you invest it into a creative work, only to prolong the hurt like an albatross around your neck every time you play it? One is supposed to vent the anger and disappointment immediately, and move on to better and brighter things one can Instagram. Plus, wouldn’t you question the recommender’s frame of mind? Who would heartily and vicariously share pain?

We covered Lucy Dacus’ excellent debut at SXSW two years ago. This new single is broken up into two parts (no pun intended). Thanks in no small part to Dacus’ evenly narrative voice, as on the first album, we are able to follow the story in the lead portion. But if you lack patience, skip to 3:25 for the beautifully written refrain: a feat all by itself that fits any shoe. It feels ever so slightly wrong to be excited in the anticipation of being depressed, but I’m sure you’ll get over that feeling very quickly, too. This is now my favorite night-shift song next to The Commodores. No, they don’t mix well.

Dacus’ new album, Historian, is coming out on March 2nd.

Hot Docs Review: Mountain [2018, Jennifer Peedom]

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Mountain is basically the subreddit Earthporn but in film form. For 80 minutes or so, you witness mountains in glorious HD film and the film shows ranges from all around the world, from Anarctica to Scotland. Featuring a very dramatic score and narrated in poetic prose by Willem Dafoe, we admire the mountains from afar and very personally, as the film also captures our relationship with mountains and the dangers that are associated with it.

You don’t learn a whole lot about mountains, but it’s quite a glorious film from an aesthetic point of view.

It’s playing this weekend at Hot Docs. Click here for more information


Song Of The Day: Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil Went Down To Georgia

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Last night something pretty amazing happened. In the midst of a bunch of boring tweets about a football game, country fiddling sensation and one time Murder She Wrote guest star Charlie Daniels tweeted out his distaste for a new Taco Bell ad that blatantly reveals the fast food giant’s true face:

Illuninati confirmed? Should we all be making a “run for the border?” Have all of those double triple crunch wraps and chalupas been part of some sinister plot to place us all under their thrall? I mean a more sinister plot than just stuffing us full of Doritos Locos tacos.

Really, when you think about it though, it should have been obvious to anyone with (all seeing) eyes all along. I mean, who can forget when Taco Bell appointed Jay Z as their CEO? Or that time a few years back when the ghost of Adam Weishaupt himself, founder of the Bavarian Illuminati, appeared at a major music festival’s giant taco shrine stage and vomited 2000 pounds of spiced ground beef onto the crowd, who had conveniently been carefully arranged into a pyramid configuration while the devil himself played not one fiddle, but 666 of them at the same time? The most shocking revelation in that commercial though, is that Taco Bell serves breakfast. Surely a sign of the end times if ever there was one.

Yes, truly, the Illuminati is not a frivolous subject.

Now watch this video taken from an ’80s John Travolta movie:

2017 in Review: Ricky’s Favourite Eats (Part 2)

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A post shared by Ricky Lam (@panicmanual) on

Part 2 of this somewhat narcissistic post about my culinary adventures this year, but you know what, this is my blog so whatevs.

I basically spent all of June in Europe, so the food here will be Euro-centric.

I already talked about all the things I ate in Ireland here. Loam still stands out to this day and changed my mind on how carrots should taste. And also flowers. They taste surprisingly good.


What can you say about Spain? The food there is magnificent. It’s a beautiful country with very kind people and I just love love Spain. I’ve been there five times in seven years, and I can’t even see myself not at least trying to visit Spain every year.

What do I eat in Spain?

Well, most of the time I’ve been in Spain, I’ve been in Santander where we have a work office. Luckily, northern Spain is famous for their pintxos, which are essentially bread with something on top. It looks like these:

Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 11.16.47 PM

The pintxo on the top left is an egg on top of morcilla, which is blood sausage. Super flavorful. The one on the bottom right is sushito peppers (the best) on top of some sort of meat. Not sure I remember what it was, but anyways, when you go to a bar in Northern Spain, these are everywhere and they are super delicious.

You know what else is delicious? Pulpo aka octopus. It is sad that, you know, octopus are so intelligent, but so are pigs and both are delicious. Should we be eating more intelligent creatures? I don’t know. Anyways, octopus are very popular in Europe and they are super cheap there, unlike in North America. This dish cost me 3 euros!

Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 11.20.43 PM

Also, as always in Spain, I eat a lot of anchovies and sardines. Super tasty.

I was in Portugal for a few days in July, so naturally I ate a few memorable things that I didn’t take pictures of, including

- cod (bacalau)
– more octopus
– squid ink rice

Lisbon has an amazing food market called Time Out Lisbon, I could honestly just live there it’s got so much good food.

On top of that, I had a pretty good burger in Toronto courtesy of Bar Buca

We had a very decadent mac & cheese at my bbq, from this recipe

Her Father’s Cider had a surprisingly good Fried Chicken

A somewhat disappointing meal at Skippa was rectified by an amazing sardine dish at 86’d.

Not much happened in October. Here are some of my favorite places to eat in Scarborough/Marham

Papa Changs – A great little shop that sells amazing Taiwanese food for a helluva price.

Gourmet Malaysia – Such good Malaysian food – Laksa, roti, noodles, it’s all there. There’s also a great food stall in First Markham Place

Oriental Gourmet (Highway 7 and McGowan) - Their pork stomach soup is maybe my favorite soup in the city. Also the smoked duck and sweet and sour pork are great.

Congee Queen – So good. I would eat there every week if it was downtown.

Shanghai Dim Sum – Great for shanghai style eats.

November was ballin month, as there was great eats to be had at two critically acclaimed Toronto restaurants – Alo and Doma

Both were fantastic. The pan au lait with the cultured butter was so good at Alo I actually started laughing. Doma’s seafood plate was delightfully large and filling which earned it bonus points. Alo was great, but the portions were..not that high. French people I guess.

I went to Costa Rica, so a lot of beans and rice. It’s not the most highly regarded culinary place, but I did enjoy the food I had there.