Home Alone: The Reckoning Of Chad

Last week our good friend and occasional walk on guest Chad (of Makin’ Whoopee fame, Tuesday 7 – 9 a.m.) took over the reigns while Craig and I were away on separate chores, because he felt, and rightly so, that nobody else was good enough to do the job. Here, therefore, is what he played on Thursday, July 14.

Rod Stewart – Young Turks

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – Tigers

Bardo Pond – Home [Pavement cover]

Neil Young & the International Harvesters – Flying On the Ground Is Wrong

One Hundred Dollars – Work

Elevated – All My Friends Are Made of Paper

Noah23 – Bright Green Laces

Father’s Children – Everybody’s Got a Problem

Mourning Sun – Where’s Love Gone Today

The Homosexuals – Charlie Watts (vocal)

Brimstone Howl – Heart Attack

Owls – Apocalypse

Bayonets!!! – Phoney Leper

B-Lines – It Rains

Ceremony – It’s Too Late

Vinyldogtoy – Terror From the Year 5000

Cat’s Eyes – The Best Person I Know

Spoon – You Got Yr Cherry Bomb

Mono In VCF – Spider Rotation

Josef K – It’s Kind of Funny

Shag – Gypsies In the Forest

Satan & the D-Men – She’ll Lie

Thee Deuces – Hung Up On You

Doug Hoyer – Northern Lights

Mitchmatic – D-Bags (feat. The Joe & Mikey Maybe)

the 6th – Movies In My Head

the Teenagers – Streets of Paris

Werner Frey – Come To Edmonton

Pavement – And Then (The Hexx)

 

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The Bachelorette: Hometown Assley

Hey, stop what you’re doing for a second and just…waaait for iit…okay, now! – feel that? Yep, that’s a momentous occasion, right there. They come fast and furious at this time of the Summer TV season, especially on The Bachelorette at hometown dates time.

Hey, don't we all look like goobs in our bar mitzvah photos?

"Don't go breakin' my heart."

I’m afraid I don’t have much experience with the flavour of the Meeting the Family Experience that The Bachelorette offers here. I mean, I’ve dealt with aspects of it – I’ve traveled to a city far away, and I’ve sat down for a heart to heart discussion with the mother or sister or designated chief protector of a cherished someone. I’m not sure I’ve ever done it all in one go, however, with every word uttered a sort of negotiation, and I’ve certainly not done it with a TV crew in tow and three other so-arranged visits scheduled for the same week.

I’ll bet it’s stressful. There’s no doubt that on such visits, you’re going to get an inkling from meeting a significant other candidate’s loved ones about what makes you a good pair and whether there’s a future worth having for the two of you, but isn’t it just about as likely that a red flag or two will get raised, or someone will point out something really obvious about the relationship that up until now you’ve been ignoring? Or maybe you’ll just out-and-out hate their family, or their family will hate you?

Well, that last one doesn’t exactly happen. Not here, and not now when it might actually be best for it to happen. Take Ashley’s trip to Cumming GA to meet Constantine’s (Ryan Smith Twin Number One/RSTNO) family. She heads straight for the family restaurant to provide the viewing audience with the rare opportunity to see the Bachelorette and a beau interacting in an establishment that is actually open for business*. While he shows her how to make pizza and salad, the staff hovers, not doing any work except for preventing any impromptu visits to the walk-in refrigerator.

It’s so far so good as they pull up to RSTNO’s parents’ house, with the banner and blue and white balloons outside, bidding them welcome. The love is strong in this house, enough that (something funny – RSTNO’s dad can’t say ‘ASH-ley’; it comes out as ‘ASS-ley,’ which I find too hilarious to mention just one time and then leave alone) Assley says it inspires her.

But here’s the thing about the hate not coming out soon enough. Elleni, RSTNO’s mom, having established that she worries that dating, as presented on The Bachelorette, is bullshit, asks Assley if she would be prepared to move to Georgia. With this being a theoretical interaction with theoretical in-laws where everyone has theoretical conversations about what might happen in theory, Assley basically states that in theory, she is not opposed to the idea, which we should all shrug our shoulders and suppose is fair enough at this point. Except THEN they cut to the conversation between RSTNO and his dad, who is exactly right when he says, “It takes time to know somebody.” He might have his son and Assley in mind when he says it, but it applies at least as well to his wife and Assley, who seem quite likely to hate each other one day, given the opportunity.

But hey, who am I to say, especially after Assley rejoins everyone on the couch in the living room, declaring, “I love your family. I’m moving in,”** and RSTNO’s whole extended family suddenly streams through the front door for a surprise party with booze, dancing and old ladies clapping their hands?

OK, wow, that was a lot about the visit with Constantine’s family, which means that it’s all too likely that whosever date is next is totally going to get short shrift. Sorry, Ames. Chadd’s Ford PA does seem really nice, and for how obscenely wealthy your family appears to be, they (and you) still seem very nice and thoughtful and interesting and totally worth getting to know in one sense and going on and on about in another. And the way you hop right to it when your sister tells you it’s time to pick up the pace a little, arranging a romantic picnic under your favourite magnolia tree that also involves a ride in a horse-drawn carriage and topical conversational references to Italian theories of romance, dude, I have no doubt that you are all class. But, when Ashley tells you she likes how the two of you think alike***, I also have no doubt that I can stop writing about your hometown date right anytime.

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Dear Tom,

I’m sorry I can’t be at the radio show today, but I’m participating in a sweating competition far away from Edmonton. I have the utmost faith that you will do a fantastic job of hosting the show today (is Zenko coming in with you?), but I just wanted to remind you to play Werner Frey. Have a nice show.

Love,

Craig

The Bachelorette: Who’s Got Questions?

As we get underway with an extremely important episode of The Bachelorette – this being the last stop on Ashley’s Asian Quest for Love Tour* before everybody heads home to the good ol’ U-S of A – two contenders for her affection must be eliminated from from the game before next week’s round of good ol’ fashioned hometown meet the family-type dates. Ashley’s got some key questions she’s got to answer this week, like can she see herself waking up with this man**, are they compatible emotionally as well as physically, was she really the best choice to be the Bachelorette this season and, last but not least, “Really?”***

Do you love me yet?Of course, we the viewers of/readers of blogs about The Bachelorette have questions, too, like why have the one-on-one dates gotten so boring while the group dates have become so stupid and obnoxious and has anyone else noticed a distinct lack of helicopters on this show lately and how can anyone be quite so stupid and still get elevated to the lead position on a show like this and how on earth can I tell Constantine and Ben, the Ryan Smith Twins, apart? So maybe we should just get underway then.

First, either Constantine or Ben rides a steam train with Ashley to a village where they have a lantern festival like that one in Tangled. They make a lantern, have a forced conversation about love and their wishes for love, then eat dinner, then release the lantern and go home. I should point out quickly, for anyone who needs things to be this clear, that there are no roses on offer on the one-on-ones tonight, only on the group date. Then, either Ben or Constantine rides a scooter with Ashley through Taroko National Park. They share flirtatious talk, make out on a suspension bridge, have dinner and stay out all night, pissing off J.P.**** back at the hotel, causing him to have questions too, we are told.

Would a group date that J.P. goes on be a good time for asking those questions? It seems it would not, which is mostly okay with me as we’ve already got a bit of a backlog going that way. So then – about the group date? Lucas, Ames and J.P. heading down to a neighbourhood in Taipei that specializes in wedding photos. Each gets an uncomfortable-making monkey suit and a stupid backdrop they’ll be photographed in front of with their “bride”  – Lucas in a traditional Taiwanese wedding smock-thing, Ames in a bizarro powder blue suit with what appears to be a sheer, orange, ruffled blouse and J.P. gets your standard tuxedo – it’s up to each to do his best to not look like an asshole in the process. Ashley says this will make this whole experience of seeking a mate via process of elimination in a televised contest “so much more real.”*****

Should this really be so difficult? Good question. We get treated to some memories of last season’s equivalent small group date (on which Ashley acquired the rose via pout and freakout), which also involved a photo shoot wherein each woman was expected to be a good sport about 1) the wardrobe selections (Hey! How about topless?) and 2) standing around and watching the guy she liked make out with other women. So, as far as answering the question goes, on the one hand, nobody should go into this contest thinking they’re never going to be asked to look stupid and put up with some obvious emotional manipulation, but on the other hand, just because you go into a situation knowing what you should expect doesn’t mean it won’t be hard to deal with, but on the OTHER other hand, stop being such a goddamn bunch of sucky babies and get back to entertaining us! And anyway, the only consistently good sport in the whole batch of guys – Ames – didn’t get the date rose, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he gets sent packing in the next couple of weeks. Instead, J.P. gets the rose for griping about his week. Go figure, and don’t imagine that getting rewarded for pouting about shit doesn’t encourage them to pout about shit.

Finally Ryan gets the one-on-one date with Ashley he’s been waiting for, even if everyone else is a little ambivalent about the prospect. They start things off by reflecting on people praying in a temple – “Isn’t this crazy? Praying to all the different gods.”****** – and then spend some time reflecting on people doing Tai Chi before Ryan starts giving her a sales pitch for his business over dim sum, which is finally as much as Ashley wants to hear. Though he may, in theory, be the perfect guy for her, she explains, he is not, in practice, the perfect guy for her.

“You don’t want to come home with me and meet my family?” he asks. Well, NO, apparently not. Next thing we know, Ashley’s walking away from him, leaving behind no limo to whisk him away to the airport or wherever it is that once potential spouses who have since been discarded go. Poor Tigger, er, Ryan is left with nothing but a camera crew to zoom in and out at random on his hurt and dejected face as he wanders the streets of Taipei before eventually hailing a cab.

And that is just about that, though not quite because after all, there’s still one last cocktail party and rose ceremony to be had, right? Weeeelll…as Ashley explains to Chris Harrison, the process of ditching Ryan got her unblocked as far as who else she wants to ditch is concerned, and so she already knows what she wants to do. No need for a party, Ashley tells him, but, even though there are only three roses to give out tonight, as the class act and all-around emotional trainwreck that she is, she still wants to proceed with the ceremony. And yet, even after she sends Lucas packing, somehow it’s Ashley who winds up in tears (yet again), crying, “I never knew there would be this pressure!” Sigh. Really?

*Nowhere near as pornographic as it may sound, but you already knew that.

**Surely you understand by now: this man, that she’s on a date with right now, as opposed to that man, who she was already on a date with/will be on a date with later.

***Just a question I happened to notice her asking a lot of times this evening.

****Who is not anybody’s dad.

*****Which is surely another way of asking, “Aren’t you glad the producers didn’t choose a not-idiot to be the Bachelorette this season?”

******Well, not as crazy as praying to just one, but sure, a little crazy.

Come And Share The 68Comeback Times While We Can

This was the July 7, 2011, pre-Craig, Gabe and Sadie headingout to Ottawa for a coupla weeks, Summer Scorcher edition of the 68 Comeback Special. Enjoy it while you try (most likely in vain) to stay cool.

The Kiss-Offs  –  Let Me Find the Good in You

Jr. Gone Wild  –  Cosmos

k.d. lang and the reclines  –  Rose Garden

Idyl Tea  –  Awfully Nice Eyes (8 Track Version)

Amon Tobin  –  Surge

Dan Deacon  –  Wham City

Jim White  –  Combing My Hair in a Brand New Style

Avec Pas D’Casque  –  Spirographe

Ty Segall  –  The Slider

Black Mountain  –  No Satisfaction (Campfire Version)

Seun Anikulapo Kuti & Egypt 80  –  For Dem Eye

Doug Hoyer  –  Lakes of Mars

Yuck – Holing Out

Young Rival – The Ocean

Neil Young – Nothing is Perfect

Charles Bradley feat. Menahan Street Band – Heart of Gold

Neil Young – Opera Star

Bradley Boy Mac Arthur – Old 59

Kite Flying Robot – Airplane Nosebleed

Spoons – Numb

Iron Maiden – El Dorado

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

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