School’s Out for 68Comeback

Welcome to the list of the songs that was the June 30, 2011, First Day of Summer Holidays/Day Before Canada Day 68 Comeback Special Extravaganza! And tune in to the very end of the list where we’ve posted an Alice Cooper video just because.

New Radiant Storm King  –  Happy For the First Time In Weeks

BJ Snowden  –  In Canada

Fine Canadian Forces  –  Higher Love

Werner Frey  –  Come to Edmonton

Battles – Sundome

Jolly Boys – The Passenger

Doug Hoyer  –  Little Things

Tom Verlaine  –  The Deep Dark Clouds

The Blue Seeds  –  A World Left Behind

Neko Case/Nick Cave  –  She’s Not There

Booker T. Jones  –  Progress

the Fearless Freep  –  The Day Barely Starts

Bill Callahan  –  Baby’s Breath

Old Sins – My Own Hypocrite

El Rego – Vimado Wingman

Rebirth Brass Band – Shrimp & Gumbo

Anti-Social Music – Accordion Fold

Gang Green – Alcohol

Dub Vulture – Dubble Track

Panda Bear – Slow Motion

Black Oak Arkansas – Hot ‘n’ Nasty

The Bachelorette: Closure!

Poor Hong Kong. Let’s just say that, and leave it up to Hong Kong to get whatever closure it needs following this episode.

"Did I ever tell you about the time I got closure with Bentley?"

The episode opens with Chris Harrison at Ashley’s hotel room door, asking if she remembers that time when she told him she’d like to have the opportunity to get proper closure with Bentley. Yes, she remembers. She remembers that she and Bentley left off with a ‘dot dot dot’ which has made it all too difficult to properly focus on the suitcase fulla bachelors she’s brought with her halfway around the world. It cannot stand. The ‘dot dot dot’ must be exchanged for a full stop. Or a semicolon*, maybe, but probably a period would be for the best.

Well, never let it said that the producers of The Bachelorette will not move heaven and earth if doing so could result in more drama, or dramatic clips, at the least. Bentley is here, in the hotel, Ashley is informed. “Are you serious?” she asks.

“Yes! I’m not going to mess with you,” is his answer (insert Spockish eyebrow raise here). He gives her Bentley’s room number, some excellently obvious advice about closure, and takes his leave in that way that makes you say to yourself, “Oh GOD, I’m glad he’s not a bigger part of these episodes!”

So then it’s down to Bentley’s room, where Ashley stands around outside for a minute, then knocks.

“Who is it?” Bentley asks from inside the room**. He lets her in and they sit down on the most strikingly yellow couch anyone has ever seen, whereupon the two of them proceed to have an astoundingly inane conversation about NOTHING. He’s angling to try and get her to ask him to come back on the show while she’s angling to try and get him to say something, anything, that she could use to justify asking him to come back on the show. No luck. They just don’t communicate the way they once did. The feeling is gone, therefore, so is Bentley.

Phew! And not a moment too soon, either, because Ashley’s got a one-on-one date with Texan oilgoob Lucas, with whom she shares absolutely no chemistry whatsoever. They walk around some outdoor markets, staring at the lights of the city, which do include some pretty fancy lasers and whatnot. Lucas reveals that he’s never been to a big city like that before. Ashley feels good that she’s finally got closure with Bentley, but she doesn’t say anything then, or during dinner. Winding up on a boat, they finally get in that first kiss that nobody but Lucas has been looking forward to, and she gives him a rose. Am I selling this date short? Nope. Let’s move on.

The group dates on The Bachelorette seem to be evolving into what we’ve come to refer to them as in our house as Amazing Race Dates. That’s not really a compliment so much as a simple observation that The Amazing Race is a superior show to The Bachelorette. Last week, a spirited group date involving punching sent Ames to the hospital, but this week it’s safe. It’s dragon boat racing, at which Ames no doubt excels, having been on the rowing team at his Ivy League school for his entire undergraduate career***. The fellows are paired up – Ames and Mickey, Ryan and the Dentist, Ben and Constantine**** – and then sent out into the streets of Hong Kong to pull together their teams, which they all manage to do except for Ben and Constantine, who come back wearing silk robes instead, in the belief/hope that their robes will draw a team to them in the nick of time. It works, but their team is bad and they come in third, albeit with no Amazing Race-like consequences. After the race, everyone watches from a distance as two people get engaged down the beach a bit (sigh!), before moving the party along to someplace with an elevator (their hotel? I missed it!) for the last portion of the date. Ashley: kisses Ames in the elevator, kisses Ben on a balcony, feels relieved that she got closure with Bentley, but doesn’t say anything about it to anyone. Ryan gets the rose, which bugs the Dentist, whose entire reason for being on the show at this point is to hate on Ryan. Fair enough, I suppose, but has he ever seen this show before? Such behaviour gets old.

Last one-on-one date is with J.P., during which they do very little but have dinner in Zodiac Park. Ashley, feeling so relieved to have gotten closure with Bentley, finally does tell someone – J.P. – whose response is every bit as gentle and understanding as you’d want it to be from a potential mate when you reveal to them the idiotic secret you’ve been carrying around with you for weeks. Lotsa smooching to be had after that. Doesn’t J.P. have to be a bit of a frontrunner now?

But there’s an inadvertent hitch that comes as a result of this. After J.P.’s entirely reasonable reaction to her news, you almost couldn’t blame Ashley for being emboldened enough to tell all her other suitors the great news about her getting some closure with Bentley. That is, YOU almost couldn’t blame her. ALMOST. As for others, well, Constantine’s a little pissed. Clearly, he’s shocked to discover that, on a show devoted to finding and exploiting interpersonal attractions, Ashley found someone besides him who she’s attracted to. Lucas is also somewhat pissed. It seems that he too is shocked to discover that, on a show devoted to finding and exploiting interpersonal attractions, Ashley found someone besides him who she’s attracted to. That he’s standing there with a rose on his lapel, beaking off about his time getting wasted and getting the others riled up does not reflect well on Lucas. Did anyone notice that he didn’t show up in any of the ‘Coming Soon’ highlights from beyond next week? I digress…

Not to be outdone by either of them, the Dentist is quite pissed***** to discover that, on a show devoted to finding and exploiting interpersonal attractions, Ashley found someone besides him who she’s attracted to. “I don’t wanna play second-fiddle to anyone,” is what he says to the other guys (Oh yeah? well how do you feel about eighth fiddle?). To Ashley he just comes across like a guy who’s a  bit of a mean shit when he’s drunk. Recognizing and avoiding people like this is an important lesson for everyone to learn.

And Mickey, oh Mickey, he’s really pissed by the revelation that, on a show devoted to finding and exploiting interpersonal attractions, Ashley found someone besides him who she’s attracted to. Now, Mickey actually manages to feel put out enough to abandon the game outright, which is just as well from a sparing yourself the walk of shame point of view, because hey, especially now that he’s gone, we might as well be honest about Mickey and what his chances really were.

And speaking of finally being honest about a fella’s chances, the Dentist gets sent packing at the end of the rose ceremony. This news is good enough all on its own, but of course, the really great news is, Ashley finally got some closure with Bentley!

*But don’t even think about an em dash

**Don’t ever change, buddy.

***Just guessing

****Team Ryan Smyth

*****also, ‘pissed’ as in, really drunk

It’s Alright To Lose Your Heart, But Never Lose Your 68Comeback

This is the list of songs that was the June 23, 2011 68 Comeback Special show, made especially special by the return of Chad. We did it all for Chad.

Scud Mountain Boys  –  Cigarette Sandwich

Cigarettes  –  The Wrong Parts

Fucked Up  –  Serve Me Right

Firewater  –  When I Burn This Place Down

Islands  –  Kids Don’t Know Shit

Hüsker Dü  –  These Important Years

Ramones  –  I’m Against It

Hole  –  Pretty On the Inside

Battles  –  Inchworm

Thurston Moore  –  In Silver Rain With A Paper Key

Harris Eisenstadt  –  Judo With Tokyo Joe

Black Lips  –  Raw Meat

Dub Vulture Meets The Scientist – Rocket Snarl

Warped 45s – Widow’s Well

Falklands – Blackout Cloud

The Oxygen Ponies – Hope & Pray

Burrows – Hygenocide

Thin Lizzy – Johnny

Bebop Cortez – Man of the Year

Fist City – Demon Birds

Data Romance – The Deep

Radical Dads – New Age Dinosaur

Bill Callahan – Drover

The Bachelorette: “I Am The World’s Biggest Fucking Jackass”

From this day forward, NOT a rip-off.

Today, I am here for one reason and one reason only, and that is to say I’m sorry and from this day forward, I pledge to straighten up and fly right*. My attitude has been all wrong and it must change. And it will change. I promise. You’ll see.

See here: with eleven dudes – the most manageable number so far! – remaining committed to the prospect of falling in love with Ashley by the end of the season, why should it matter to me that she, and not someone better, is this season’s Bachelorette? The answer is, it shouldn’t. Ashley’s comparative undesirability to Emily, for instance, or second-placer Chantal, doesn’t appear to matter one tiny little bit to winemaker Ben F. As they wander through a Chiang Mai marketplace, eating street food, poking through tables of knick knacks and painting umbrellas, he does a perfectly admirable job of keeping his discontent to himself and coming across as a guy who could really and truly go through the motions of falling in love with her.

And it’s not just in the daytime, either. Even as he’s forced to spend more time with her into the night, trapped in a flower petal mandala with nothing to talk about but how his dad died but he’s totally ready to open himself up to love now**, Ben’s desire to hang around a little longer seems convincing enough to get him a rose and cue the musicians, dancers and fire breathers, so who am I to say anything about anything, right? So I’m sorry.

You might ask, as we ramp up to a kickboxing group date that’s been promised via the previews to deliver someone to the hospital, do I regret my anti-Ashley behaviour up to this point? Well, it’s a little acknowledged fact of The Bachelorette franchise that in their language, there is no actual word for ‘regret’. So even if you feel that under circumstances where, for example, the dudes are given a crash course in Muay Thai and then hustled into a ring in a public square in order to spar with one another, and there are enough black eyes and bruised joints to go around, but Ames actually winds up going to the hospital with a concussion, which is made worse by the fact that the show did not have so much as one first-aid type around to identify the symptoms of that concussion so that it falls to the rest of them to say, ‘Huh, there’s something really not right with Ames ever since he took those punches to the head’ and then finally do something about it, that the first half of this date was pretty regrettable, there’s no word for that in the language they speak on The Bachelorette. So if they don’t bother, then neither will I.

Poor Ames. They take him to the hospital and then everybody fucks off on him because they’ve still got a date to be on, and while there’s a bit of a cloud hanging over the little cocktail party and the occasional muttering of ‘Poor Ames’, he’s mostly regarded as having made a conscious decision not to attend this portion of it, which is made out to be his problem and nobody else’s. Ames manages to show up all the same, dressed all dapper with his brain still half-scrambled, but by then The Dentist has already not so subtly whined that he needs a little encouragement, a little positive reinforcement in this game, which Ashley has already correctly identified as a close approximation of herself last season*** and rewarded with the date rose for that reason. I got no love for that guy. This date was entirely unsatisfying.

Last date’s a two-on-one featuring William and Ben C. on a raft with Ashley, heading in the direction of a picnic. As we’re to understand it, William’s been a sullen prick since he made so stupid at the Ashley roast a couple of episodes back. He’s looking to redeem himself somehow, which he does by behaving like a sullen prick until they get to their picnic site and then jumping at the chance to take her aside and lie, saying that Ben’s been talking about how he can’t wait to get out of there and go home and clean up on the dating sites. This being high school and all, Ashley immediately sends Ben home after he fails to adequately defend or explain himself – this guy’s a lawyer? This is an unwise decision rooted entirely in the insecurity Ashley feels during every waking moment on this show****, but seeing as there’s so very little at stake here, we mostly just shrug and wait to see what happens when she and William get some alone time.

And what happens? In what should go down in The Bachelorette history as one of the all-time setups, Ashley reminds William about the time he told her he was basically a 30 year old boy. He takes the bait, acts all pleased that she remembered and then says all of the stupid things that a 30 year old boy, that is, a supposedly grown man with the intellectual and emotional capacity of a 13 year old, would say if he wanted to (or didn’t know he didn’t want to) own the line, “I am the world’s biggest fucking jackass.” And so he does, and alone he shall be for the rest of his life.

Needless to say, as enjoyable as we all find a date where both fellows get sent packing, Ashley finds a way to let it cast a pall over the evening’s closing party/rose ceremony. She just can’t get Bentley out of her head, she tells Chris Harrison. “Is that normal?” she asks Chris Harrison.

“No,” he answers with a bemused half-smile before half-lecturing her, half-narrating to us that she can’t fully move forward with any of the remaining guys while she’s living half-in the past with her only half-accurate memories***** of Bentley. He promises to see what he can do, but in the meantime, she’s got business to attend to. So Ashley goes out and doesn’t give Nick, the personal trainer, a rose. While he makes claims of personal devastation, now that I am fully on Ashley’s side, if she has given Nick no rose and he is no longer in the mix, then I cannot care about this. Nick will simply have to find love somewhere else.

*Dubbed reasons 1a and 1b respectively, so as not to wreck the whole ‘one reason only’ thing

**Even if it’s only with Ashley

***Yes, and this one, too.

****Gillian, my wife, made that call.

*****He doesn’t quite manage to reveal this, due to the fact that he and the people he works with are lying pricks. I’m not saying it would totally set her straight if he did, but fucking hell! How can he know what he knows and not reveal it at this moment?

There’s A 68Comeback Goin’ On

To put things in a positive light, the June 16, 2011 show, as well as this list of songs played on it, goes out to the city of Boston MA. Congratulations on your hockey team winning the Stanley Cup, and on your hockey fans’ non-demolishment of your city.

Scholastic  –  Making Mistakes

Nick Lowe  –  (I Love the Sound of) Breaking Glass

Sonic Youth  –  Teenage Riot

Avec Pas D’Casque  –  Faire L’Étoile et Caler Quand Même

First Nations  –  There Is Smoke All Around the Sides of Your Bed

David Buchbinder  –  Prayer

Fugazi  –  By You

Jesse Dangerously  –  Professional Widowmaker

Seun Anikulapo Kuti & Egypt 80  –  You Can Run

Enon  –  Leave It to Rust

Right On Yukon  –  Bought and Sold

the Mae Shi  –  Born For a Short Time

De La Soul  –  A Rollerskating Jam Called “Saturdays”

Booker T. Jones  –  The Vamp

Menahan Street Band – The Crossing

Duke Ellington – Second Line

Brazilian Money – Give Up That Dog

Shuyler Jansen – Kill January

Bebop Cortez – Slow Steady Ballin’

La Bete – Machines That Dream

Flipper – Life Is Cheap

Slates – Dirty Water

This Week In Lou Reed…III

The latest news from Rockstarville has it that Lou Reed and Metallica have almost completed an album together. It was agreed that this would be a good idea after the band backed the man at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony a coupla years back, on a version of Sweet Jane that makes me, to this day, 1- marvel at how much more hair my dad has than Hetfield or Ulrich, and 2- cry out, “Sister Ray! Why, Dear God in Heaven, not Sister Ray?”

Was it a good idea? There is a wrong way to find out and there is a right way, though you’re probably too scared to face the truth. The 68 Comeback Special hereby dares and begs you to click here and find out.

The Bachelorette: “Are You Getting Wet?”

On the night that the guys and gal from The Bachelorette pack up their tents and move to Thailand, and in the interests of a frank and open cultural exchange, I’d like to share the following little tidbit with any out-of-towners who happen to tune into this blog. Here in Alberta, where I watch the show, thanks to a little problem we appear to have, we’re treated to government warnings about syphilis every third bank of commercials. Just thought I’d mention. So – what’s going on where you watch TV?

Aaaahh, Phu Ket. Who doesn’t prefer, when confronted with the heartbreak of rejection like that which Ashley currently faces, to get the hell outta Dodge and find a place about as far from Dodge as you can get in order to go on dates with the twelve guys you’ve got trailing along behind you? Now, we do need to remember that neither Bentley nor the producers of the show were especially honest with Ashley about why he was leaving, so while on the one hand we shouldn’t be too hard on her for being all mopey about his departure, on the other hand we couldn’t possibly be hard enough on her, because FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, LADY!

Anyway, if anyone should be mopey about Bentley being gone, it’s those of us left watching Ashley go on dates with all these guys like Constantine who are happy to forego sea kayak trips out to sea caves with private beaches due to a little bad weather, opting instead to stay in town for shopping and awkward exchanges with locals. Enlisting the help of some girl who happens to be happening by, they ask some oldish dude how long he’s been married – 36 years – and “Any advice for us?”*

Later, they eat dinner on a giant bed thing, Constantine confesses that he knows he likes Ashley because their date was really boring and that was okay. He gets a rose, but no smooching. Fuuuuuck. It’s a giant bed! You gotta know Bentley woulda got smooching.

On the group date, they refurbish an orphanage. They paint the walls, plant some plants, put in some new furniture and barely tolerate Ryan P’s too much smilin’ foreman/not enough smilin’ workerman schtick. Seriously, that dude smiles a LOT, so much that the dentist and Mickey and J.P. have to have a little sausage party to complain about him while he’s upstairs with his hand on Ashley’s leg. J.P. eventually gets a little action of his own, after he takes her out in the rain for a little smoochy smoochy and then carries her back in (in front of EVERYONE!) but anyone who figured that would get him the date rose** was mistaken. The dentist bitches a little more both to and about Ryan P, but here’s the thing about dentists*** – who gives a shit what they say? Certainly not anyone in charge of doling out roses, that’s for sure. Can you tell I’m not very enthusiastic about describing this date? Yeah well, no Bentley. Can we move on?

As much as Ashley and I are having trouble getting over Bentley, on the plus side, there’s Ames. She admits later to Chris Harrison that he was in serious danger of getting sent home****, but he wound up getting the sea kayak date that Constantine didn’t, and he wound up being engaging and clever with the WHITEST TEETH YOU EVER SAW.  He may still wind up being a white collar criminal, but as of now, it’ll only add to his mystique.

So then – Bentley may be gone and Ashley may have had a dark week as a result, but at least there was a cocktail party this time. Ashley uses it as an excuse to set West up for the big letdown, taking the opportunity to wonder if he’s ready for marriage***** again, not so long after his wife died. He says this is a different situation, blah blah blah. Apparently it wasn’t the answer she was looking for, because on an episode where only two would have been sent home anyhow, she asks Chris Harrison for the favour of one extra rose to give out so she only has to ship out one person, and so it can be made as clear as possible to that one guy HOW COMPLETELY UNWELCOME HE IS. Aaaand it’s West. Poor West. He almost seems like the kind of guy who could get signed up to be the next Bachelor, but for the fact that he wouldn’t even be third place, and hasn’t he had enough sorrow in his life already? Haven’t we all?

*Yeah. Don’t marry anyone you meet on a game show.

**That goes to Ben F. for how crappy he is at painting elephants.

***It just struck me that this is another problem with Ashley.

****Like maybe at the start of the date when Mr. Been There Done That says he’s already been to Thailand – TWICE.

*****What does it matter if he’s ready for marriage? This is The Bachelorette.

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