Asia Travel Report: Hong Kong

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | 3 Comments

Hong Kong – Everyone who knows me knows that I am HK born and raise, my love for this city is endless and I am completely bias towards this place. Every time I visit, I contemplate moving here. Despite my love affair with Toronto, I think I could pretty easily pick up and leave if the right opportunity (money) came up. I could even start up an indie night and a poutinte street stand to bring a little bit of Canada to HK. Anyways, here are some notes from the best city on Earth.

  • HK is so fricken clean. There is no eating or drinking allowed on any public transportation system. You can’t even eat or drink in paid areas. So good.
  • No one pushes or shoves to get onto the subway, not even during rush hour. Far cry from Beijing or even Toronto, where you pretty much have to lower your shoulder to bowl someone over sometimes. Well, that’s what I do anyways
  • The Octopus card is amazing
  • Public transit system works on a variable pricing system where you pay for how far you travel. So if you go from say, Queen to Union, it’d cost about 50 cents, but if it’s Finch to Union..4 bucks. Makes perfect sense.
  • Clothes here are so cheap. so so cheap. I picked up like three sweaters, a hoodie, seven pairs of socks, 3 ties and some underwear for like 120 bucks cad. I don’t even know why I bought 3 ties. Thanks, Uniqlo!
  • The food here is exceptional..sushi that melts in your mouth. mmmm.
  • Gotta love the view, and the weather
  • You can buy alcohol at 7-11. I don’t even think there’s a last call here.

That’s it for now I guess.

Asia Travel Blog, Part 1

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Comments Off

Beijing Trip

Hong Kong – Happy New Years to you! I figure someone woulda posted it by now. Anyways, as some of you may know, I went to Beijing on December 28 for a wedding and then went to Hong Kong on Jan 2 for the rest of my vacation (til the 17th), so, since I have no music to write about, here is some random notes from my trip to Beijing.

The Flight Over
It just so happens I left about two days after that dude tried to blow up a plane going to Detroit. Why bother even blowing up a plane in Detroit? No one even cares about that city, you can’t possibly do more damage to it. Idiot. Anyways, as a result, the security was boosted even higher.

Luck
I’m so lucky. Originally my flight was a 10 AM flight to Chicago. My parents, before they moved here to Canada, both worked in China Airlines for awhile, as a result, they know airline people. One of their friends works on United. He told them to tell me to go to the 8am flight due to possible delays, and he was working that day so all I had to do was find him.

I leave my house around 4 am to get to the airport, halfway to the airport, I realize I forgot my suit. FML. When I get there, the lineup is insane. Everyone realized they need to go early apparently. Luckily for me, I didn’t need lineup, I just walked up to my parents friend, and he hooked me up with the flight. Haha, I was probably hated by the people in line. Don’t care. I later find out that my original flight was canceled.

The security check blows. It took forever, I’m sure you read news reports about it. This is one of those times when I wish they did racial profiling. I know that sounds so wrong, but really, we all know a majority of the attacks (successful or not) have been done by certain types of people. Put them through a harder test. Obviously, in this scenario, I would be more then willing to have someone put me through tough security measures should I board a bus, for fear I decapitate someone. Just a thought. Took about 3 hours for the security. Everyone was super miserable. I think the terrorist have won.

- read the Skymall shopping catalog if you are ever on United. It’s hilarious

Notes about Beijing
– It is a lot cleaner here then it used to be, still kinda ghetto in some areas, but overall, a hella lot cleaner

- clubbing here is insane. they have no fire regulations I think, so they just let everyone in. I went on NYE so it was probably why it was so packed. They played Dizzee Rascal – Holiday!!! The Dj’s were black. Clubbing here is kinda cool because theres so many people from so many countries at the same time, and lemme tell you, repressed Asians know how to party.

- the food here is so cheap for foreigners. you could eat like gods and still it will come down to less then 20 bucks CAD a person. Peking duck twice in three days is a bit excessive though.

- I’ll never get used to pissing into a hole in the ground.

- It’s way too cold in Beijing.

- rush hour is always an interesting experience when a city has 18 million people.

- I could get used to 1 hour full body massages for around 22$ Canadian. So good.

- I love how all the domestic flights are in another airport..hides all the other mainlanders from more ghetto places from the foreigners.

That’s about it for now. I’m pretty lucky in that I escaped the snow storm and am now in sunny Hong Kong, where it is suppose to be 20 degrees today.

The 00’s – A to Z Guide, Part 3

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Comments Off

Toronto – Okay here is part 3.

O

oasis
Oasis – I don’t even know if they made an album worth talking about this decade, but the constant bickering and controversy has somehow made them relevant this decade. I don’t know how. They just have staying power but now I guess they are no longer together.

Other notable O’sThe Organ made one album and then decided to open a bar. Of Montreal continue to be weird and Outkast made people ‘shake it like a polaroid’

P

album_big
Postal ServiceSuch Great Heights. That’s all you need to know to realize this “make one album and leave everyone on Earth wanting more” collaboration is one of the top albums of the decade.

Other notable P’sPeter, Bjorn and John made whistling in songs cool. Primal Scream survive the end of Britpop to stay relevant and the Pipettes for a brief period of time, revived 60s girl pop.

Q

?, moving on

R

radiohead-in-rainbows
Radiohead – Ever the consistently productive band, Radiohead’s “pay what you can” scheme with In Rainbow may have paved the way for bands in the future to find a way to make money in the future.

Other notable R’sThe Rapture might have just started this whole indie rock dance craze, Radio Dept made the Labrador label relevant and Ryan Adams made about 200 albums.

S

the strokes_0

The Strokes – Kicked off the decade with a bang. Just when rock n roll was getting lame, the Strokes came in and rescued it with a single 30 minute swoop. This is It is a brilliant album that just sounds too cool for school. Not only did they opened the doors for a bunch of bands to walk through, they probably influenced quite a bit fashion choices, for better or for worse.

Other Notable E’s Mike Skinner proves that Eminem is not the only white rapper out there with The Streets, Natalie Portman and Zach Braff make the Shins a household name and Sufjan Stevens started his journey to make a record about every state.

T

tegan-and-sara-the-con

Tegan and Sarah – After the disastrous T.A.T.U pairing of the late 90s, Tegan and Sarah had a long way to go to lose the stigma attached to lesbian duo groups. With the release of The Con in the latter part of the decade, the two sisters definitely have shed the label of a gimmicky act. I don’t really know any other huge T’s.

Other notable T’sThe Thrills proved that Irish bands can also sound like California bands, Tokyo Police Club did something, TV On the Radio also did something and Thunderheist made one of the better wtf? videos of all time with Jerk It.

I wrote most of these before I left for vacation, and obviously did not finish.

So..here in short form, is the rest.

U

– Unicorns? Underworld? Usher? Not sure..

V

– Undoubtedly, Vampire Weekend rocked our world with their worldly Caribbean indie pop sounds. Voxtrot also brought back the Smiths fan in all of us.

W

White Stripes! Awesome awesome video and one of a kind music, Jack White seems to do no wrong, even if I’m rarely excited about Raconteurs and the Dead Weather.

X

The XX..late to the game, but theres no bands with this letter

Y

Yeah Yeah Yeahs!

Z

The Zutons brought us the song Valerie, which Mark Ronson remade with Amy Winehouse and that song turned into solid gold.

Well there you have it, an A to Z guide to the 00’s. Sorry for the short ending, but I’m on vacation now.

Most Sexeriffic Songs of the 00’s

Posted on by Allison in Everything, Year End Reviews | Leave a comment

At first I thought I might tackle a Top 100 of the 00’s list, but I realised a few crucial things about 5 minutes into compiling my list:

  1. My memory is hazy at best
  2. What can I say that Pitchfork hasn’t already said?

Instead, I’m compiling the most sexeriffic songs of of the 00’s.

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Sebastien Tellier – Roche, 2008
Those stink lines you see coming off Sebastien Tellier isn’t……..OK. It probably is a mix of day-old Chardonnay and expired, unpasteurized cheese. But it’s also ripe sex appeal. There’s nothing subdued about Roche’s sexerifficness. It’s basically a French-Orgy of summer and smoke.

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Dandy Warhols – Wonderful You, 2003
I completely forgot about this tune. I had actually completely forgotten about the Dandy Warhols + Welcome to the Monkey House, period…in the same way that I had forgotten about the Folk Implosion back in the 90’s. Wonderful You is the 21st century Natural One. It’s slick, surprisingly seductive, and the perfect soundtrack for creepily checking someone out.

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Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, 2006
Whoa man! Juggernaut of a song that has a raw, barely-contained energy to it. Very grope-in-the-pit type feel. Aggressive and illegal feeling without being inappropriate. It helps that vocalist Alex Turner has that raspy smoker’s voice–the epitome of vocal sultriness, and that the entire Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not album is stellar.

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Madonna – Hung Up, 2005
Who knew an ABBA sample could be this sexy? It’s well known that the PM loves to bust this one out in desperation to fill an empty dancefloor, but why does it get everyone to shake their ass? The answer is simple. It’s dripping with an eerie magnetism that is so pervasive, it makes you forget this terrible video featuring Madonna doing the spread eagle  in a leotard. I’m sure one of the samples contains the sound of her hips creaking, but none of that matters. Bootylicious.

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Snoop Dogg with Robyn – Sexual Eruption, 2008
I know I’m going to catch some flack for this one, but Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don’t Care! Even with that horrible “robot voice” effect, I have a soft spot for Sexual Eruption and Snoop in general. Sure, the word “sexual” appears a whopping 14 times, but it’s got that tongue-in-cheek thing I can’t resist.

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