Concert Review: Say Hi To Your Mom, Sneaky Dees, April 4

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Toronto – Before I ventured out into the night to see the band “Say Hi To Your Mom”, I definitely had some reservations about going to this show. Basically there were 3 factors that really had me not wanting to go.

1. Guitar Hero II
2. Rain
3. 15 Minute walk, including a trip to the cash machine (cash machinnnnnnnnnnne)

However, I decided that if I was just to sit at home, then the terrorists win. I couldn’t have that, so off I went to the show, which took place at Sneaky Dees. As I walked to the place, I cursed myself for not wearing proper footwear. By the time I had reached my bank, the inner sole of my right foot felt like a sponge. Damn you torrential rain. Anyways, my anger at my footwear was somewhat alleviated when my roommate Wade also swore about his shoes. I don’t know why I felt better, but I did.

Sneaky Dees was about 1/4 full when I got there, and all these assholes took all the seats in the place, leaving me to be leaning against the bar. Unfortunately, we arrived way too early, and caught the end of the opening act called “Your Band Sucks”. They were not good. 3.75 Steamwhistles were good, but I think I would have needed about two dozen bottles of beer to enjoy the next act, whose name escapes me (or I had it erased from my mind). They just sounded like feedback. The guy did have a flute on stage, but I don’t think it was used properly.

Say Hi To Your Mom came on about 11:15. To my surprise, it was the lead singer was the same guy who sold me some swag earlier. I guess it makes sense, as when I bought the shirt the dude looked me directly in the eye and said “Thanks man, I Really appreciate it.” He said it slowly and deliberately, trying to hammer the point home that he appreciate me buying the swag. I guess they aren’t doing that well financially. Its a good thing I didn’t tell him I downloaded all their cds on mp3s, so I didn’t have to buy it, allowed all my friends access to download this music so they don’t have to buy it either. I dunno how he woulda reacted.

By the time SHTYM came on, the place was about 1/3 full. Most of the people there were probably OCAD students or people with art degrees (or as I like to call them, people in the service industry..hahaha). Wade made a comment he was surprise that the goth contingent did not make its presence felt, as the most recent album by SHTYM was about vampires. That kinda thinks makes me wonder… do Goths eat Mexican food? Like, when goths gather around at some eatery, do they go ‘so…raven, you want nachos?’. Interesting.

Anyways, the show was pretty good. It was a really short set, like 45 minutes or something. I was disappointed to see that same lead singer dude drink Coors beer. I guess that is what you have come to expect from Americans. You can take an American out of America, but you can’t take their crappy drinking preferences out of them.

Show 3/5 (pleasant while it lasted, but waaaaaaay too short)
Ticket cost: 5$

Movie Review: 300

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spoilers ahead.

Toronto – Needing something to do on nice spring Wednesday night, me and some friends decided to venture indoors and watch this movie called ‘300’ thats all the rage right now. In case you have been in North Korea or a cave, you will know this is the latest adaption of Frank Miller’s story and is loosely based on Battle of Thermopylae , where 300 Spartans fought off about thousands of Persians (or as they are now known..Terrorists) in an effort to slow down their advances. I will leave the rest of the battle details for you to wiki up, just like i did.

obviously the movie was very stylized. lots of slow mo scenes, saturated colors, cgi stuff. it was a more colorful version of sin city in that regard, i thought it was all a pretty nice touch. there were a lot of titties in this movie, and my friend pointed out the people who made the movies put in a bunch of female titties to counter the fact that we will be spending a better part of 90 minutes watching a bunch of men fighting while wearing speedos. anyways, yeah story starts out with an introduction to our hero, king leonsis or something. we learn that spartans are bred to fight and it shows a bit of his training, which involves killing a wolf and wearing it as a fur coat. that actually made him the king. i feel pity for the crappy spartans who could only kill a squirrel or a fish, they’d probably be made fun of a lot.

we fast forward a bit to see that the persians were offering some kind of plea bargain to the spartans, only for the king to utter what is probably the best movie line of the year “THIS IS SPARTA!!!” , and then he kicked the Persians into the well, which as a friend pointed out..would only contaminate their water system, so they were doomed from the beginning. the king then climbs a mountain to go see the oracles, who ask some drugged up naked chick (NOT played by lindsay lohan, surprisingly) for advice. some stuff happens, and the they go to fight. about an hour later, they all die, the movie ends.

this was a pretty enjoyable movie, its probably not one you can watch more then once. most of the movie was quite predictable, but chances are you only went to see it to see fighting in slow mo, and special effects. if u went to see it for that, you are probably satisfied. the dialog isn’t that strong, and all the best lines were already shown in the trailers. the persian king wasn’t really that intimidating an enemy either, as he looked like a cross between kareem abdul jabbar, goro from mortal kombat, and mr. t with piercings.

3.5 / 5

Movie Review: Rocky Balboa

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Finally watched Rocky Balboa on Friday. This was the first Stallone movie I have seen since Demolition Man, so it has been awhile since I have seen Stallone in action. Man this dude old. but he built. I always thought boxing was a big money making business, but obviously I was wrong, as Rocky seems to be just doing okay, living in what appears to be a ghetto and running some not so nice restaurant. He must of spent all his earnings on coke. I am guessing he really misses Adrian, and thus he picks up some chick working at bar who has tupac for a kid. Don’t really understand that subplot. He also has a not so good relationship with his son, who doesn’t want to live in his dad’s shadow. Obviously this son doesn’t know he can absorb other peoples super powers and will blow up new york in a matter of months.

so rockys watching some simulated fight on ESPN and decides he wants to box again. first of all, i don’t think boxing is relevant enough so that a simulated fight would actually appear on the news, second of all, if i was to poll 1000 senior citizens, i think fighting a bad ass black man would be the last thing on their mind. bingo ..yes. boxing..no. unbelievability aside, rocky starts training, and we hit a classic montage. montages are awesome, so points for this section. somehow, because he is about to box, his son decides to quit his job as a corporate lackey and become a cheerleader for his dad. no real reasoning behind this action.

after what appeared to be about four hours of buildup, we get to the fight, which was a fairly well done. and then after the fight ends, that was pretty much the ending. i guess this movie was okay. i almost fell asleep a few times during the buildup about how miserable rocky’s life has become. but really, what kind of message is this? rocky is sending a message that fighting will solve all your problems, and that isn’t a message we want to send to the youth of america.

so..

+1 for montage and constantly playing the rocky theme
-1 for long buildup
+1 for well shot fight scene
-1 for unbelievable fight (seriously..ten rounds?)
-1 for weird subplots that go nowhere
+1 for unintentional comedy
so

2.5/5 i guess

Concert Review: The Good, The Bad, and The Queen, Kool Haus, March 11

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Well, I can’t really say anticipation was high for this supposed super group, but I was looking forward to seeing this band on Sunday. Right on the heels of the great and fresh Pipettes show not even 24 hours ago, I wondered how these aged men would perform in what now must be a fairly routine show. I mean, when I first started coding, I would code stuff up on the spot and think ‘thats kinda cool’, now I just copy and paste anything I could find from what I’ve previously coded. I imagine it’d somewhat similar.

First of all, this place was packed. I had expected it to be half empty since I haven’t really read or heard much about the GB&Q in the public eye. I guess that fact that there were members of Blur, The Clash and The Verve in this band really helps. Also, there is a black guy in the band, and black people are all the hype in indie music now (bloc party, noisettes, tv on the radio). Haha just kidding. When some veteran Brits play anywhere in Toronto, you can never underestimate the amount of ex-pats that will attend the show.

The band came on about 10:30. They started off with some song from the album. I must say, I have only heard the album 3 times since it was released online, and considering I might go thru four or five albums a day, asking me to recall song titles from albums is like asking Shawn Kemp what his 8th kid was named. They were really crisp live, obviously, I guess. The music was a lot more rock-ish live then it was on the album, and Damon and the Clash dude came out in suits with Top Hats, which was very anglo of them. They started off with some songs off their album, then Damon went on the piano and they did some more songs off the album, and then he got up and they finished the set with some more songs off their album. It was alright, although I did check my phone clock more then once during the show, which is not the greatest sign on Earth.

Some random dude standing about five feet to the left of me kept on yelling out ‘Scotland’ during the act. I mean what the fuck is that? this ALWAYS happens during some UK act, someone will yell out “WALES!” or “MANCHESTER!” or some random UK city. I don’t yell out “HONG KONG” during the set, I don’t think you should either. Also, there was also some older white male standing in front of me to the left that was pretty much the WORSE DANCER EVER. i was not sure if he was having a seizure, drink out of his mind or just whatever, but he was the most uncoordinated person I have ever seen. I was not alone in this observation, as most people in the vicinity witness this atrocity to human movement for most of the night. It was really distracting. Think Seinfeld Elaine dancing, times that by ten and you have this guy.

Concert Rating 2.5 / 5

- might have enjoyed it more if
a) it wasn’t after the best show I have seen this year
b) if I knew the source material better
c) Damon sang blur songs
d) dancing dude was shot
e) scotland dude was mute