Nov. 23rd, 2008 12:37 am
hells_half_acre: (l'interpide)
I just got back from the Hawksley Workman (featuring Hey Rosetta!) concert, and MAN, it was AWESOME. I don't think I've ever seen anyone put on a show like Hawksley does, and he doesn't need fancy light shows or flames shooting out of the stage like some bands do...he just needs to stand up there and be Hawksley Workman.

It's mostly awesome rock show, with Hawksley doing little spontaneous comedy bit between songs. None of the "This is a song about an ex-girlfriend of mine, and how sometimes things just don't work out..." no, with Hawksley it's "So I came back from Australia and there were pidgeons living in my apartment. There was bird poop over everything...and I got a parking ticket, and there were other parking tickets from history, and I kept trying to say "try to understand, I've got a bunch of birds in my apartment, I don't have anywhere to live. I pay the rent, but the birds live there. They only let me in sometimes to brush my teeth. I pay the rent, but I can only brush my teeth on Wednesdays." And I guess what they were trying to tell me was that while I was sunning my ass in Australia, everyone in Toronto had to suffer through the winter...this song is called The City is a Drag."

I mean, who else do you know that can open a rock concert with a song about soup?! (It's an amazing love song - that made me very hungry).

Hey Rosetta did an awesome opening set. And I think if I didn't already love them, I would have been inspired to find out more about them...which is really I think the goal of an opening act. Then at the end of Hawksley's show, the audience demanded an encore, and both Hawksley Workman AND Hey Rosetta came out to do a mass performance of "Your Beauty Must Be Rubbing Off" It was awesome, because both Hawksley and Tim Baker have these amazing vocal chords...so it was great to see them do a song together, and you could tell they were having fun too.

Hawksley's band was awesome too. Of course there was Mr. Lonely, but he also had an drummer from Newfoundland and a violin player from Vancouver...and MAN, that violin player was CRAZY. The sounds he could get out of that thing were unbelievable. I can't even describe it, but Hawksley would give him these solos and then just stare at him in absolute wonder.

At one point in the show, Hawksley started complaining about his amp. "There's this sound amps make when they are about to die, well, anyway, what I'm saying is that after the show we'll make a canoe out of it. After the show, me and the boys like to get together and make something buoyant."

As Sonya and I walked to the car, we laughed again over that line, and Sonya said "After the show? I think they've already made something buoyant!"

And that pretty much summed up the night!

hells_half_acre: (night)

Since I haven't been able to think of anything cool to write in here for a bit, how about a movie review? I'll start it up as a regular thing. Canadian Movie Review, because I like Canadian movies.

Let's start things off with a bang, and review the first large-scale Canadian war movie ever made. It came out on Friday, and I went to see it (at full price) this afternoon, because it took Paul Gross ten years to make it, and I thought he deserved $12.50 for that.

I just saw Passchendaele. Paul Gross wrote, directed, starred in, and produced it, and he also wrote the song at the end. He's like a one-man artistic machine. The only thing I haven't seen him do is paint.

It was very good. I liked it, and I don't often like war movies. It was patriotic without denying that the war was a useless slaughter. And most importantly to me:  the enemies were portrayed as humans, even though they never had dialog longer than a word. The fighting scenes were really well done. They were gory, without dwelling on or glorifying the carnage, and every once in a while there would be a well placed still shot that emphasized the main theme, which from what I understood was "this is complete madness."

I also liked how he contrasted the beauty of the Alberta foothills with the absolutely destroyed landscape of the Western Front...and the fact that anyone living in such a pretty place would probably find it very hard to imagine the horror of the front.

He hits you over the head a little bit with the imagery and symbolism at the end, but war movies often do, so I don't hold it against him.

It's nice because it is all Canadian, and you get to see how many cool people we have in our country, even though, all things considered, the main cast isn't really that big. The only two well-known actors are Paul Gross and Gil Bellows (who most may know from the Shawshank Redemption or Ally McBeal). Michael Greyeyes plays a small role in the film too. He is not that well known, but a really cool guy.

There were some great lines in the film. I think it really suited, because, even in the most horrible of circumstances, there were these really funny lines and hilarious moments. Since one of Canada's main exports is comedians, I found it very fitting. The comedy never detracted, it just reaffirmed that yes - these guys are Canadian. It was also nice that even given the small main cast, Gross made sure to include representatives of all three of the founding nations of Canada.

A couple note-worthy things:

There is a guy at the beginning of the film with the most amazing blue-eyes. I am not sure if they were contacts or not, but they were simply amazing. Paul Gross did a really good job in making that guy's eyes one of the most beautiful things you will ever see.

The song at the end, which is written by Paul Gross and David Keeley (his long-time songwriting partner) is sung by Sarah Slean, and it is very very pretty. I think it is called "After the War" but I could be wrong.

Don Ross was thanked as a contributer. Man, Don Ross is awesome.

At the end of the film as the credits roll, there are all these really old restored movies from the war that play at the side. I thought that was a really really good way to end off the film. So, you don't forget that although the main characters were fictional, the soldiers in the old restored war films were real people who died senseless deaths for no real reason whatsoever - mostly, just because they were considered unpatriotic (at the time, to the British Empire) if they didn't.

So, there's my movie review. It's a war movie, so it's not a barrel of laughs, but it's a Canadian war movie, so you'll chuckle, cry, and then walk away thinking.

hells_half_acre: (blurry)

Here are some reviews of things in my life:

Blue Skies: Awesome as ever. I'm not sure there was as much kick-ass variety in this years line up, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless. It really felt like a vacation this year (despite the rain of the first two days). It was free from my normal stresses in life, and a nice relaxing place to get some breathing room in amongst my thoughts.

Hawksley Workman's CD "Between the Beautifuls": Man, I've fallen in love with this CD. It's a lot more emotional than some of his previous work, but it is full of some awesomely poetic and non-poetic lines. The sort of lines where you think "It cannot be possible that no one has thought of stringing those words together in that order before...", and it's like he's writing lines that you were carrying around in your chest without even knowing it.

Supernatural: Susan introduced me to this show basically as soon as she showed up at home this summer. I downloaded the first season, and she borrowed the second season from a friend, and we have watched both now. It is a really awesome show. I love it because athought it's kick-assery and demon fighting, it is all character driven...the characters (even some of the ghosts and demons) are fully-rounded and genuine. The two main actors are really phenominal. I must admit, although I have developed a crush on Jensen Ackles, I have absolutely fallen in love with the character he plays (Dean). And no, Gabe, there is no possible way they can kill him off.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: OOooooo....I can't wait. I love the Harry Potter movies.


Naruto: Rise of a Ninja - I went out the other day and bought this, and I'm really glad I did, because they have stopped making them! It's SUCH a fun game! I don't even have an xbox 360, and yet I still bought an xbox 360 game, THAT is how fun it is. I suppose they stopped making it because everyone wants post-time-skip stuff now, but man - great graphics, great interface, good story, AWESOME DOUBLE JUMP ABILITIES, and a full mapped out interactive city of Konoha...what more could a girl ask for?

I guess that's about it. Sherrie is currently motorcycling around Eastern Europe. I am stricken with envy and feeling a little stir-crazy as a result. I'm trying to focus on my upcoming trip to China. This week, it is Operation Renew Passport. Next week will something like Operation Figure Out How Much This Will Actually Cost Me. I have already found a kick ass backpack though...oh....


Deuter - Futura: Man, SO COMFORTABLE. It bends AWAY from your back, allowing for a breezing and eliminating sweaty-gross-backpack-back, without sacrificing support. It is especially designed to fit both a woman and a man's body comfortably. It's true, I have not yet field-tested it, but I only expect good things!

Alright, I'm off to watch the Olympics or something
hells_half_acre: (cape spear)

Last night was the Hey Rosetta! show at Mavericks. I first discovered Hey Rosetta when I was in Newfoundland. Unlike every other Newfoundland band I heard that year, I didn't discover them while half drunk at a bar. I discovered them at Fred's Records. I had gone in to find Susan a Christmas present. I wanted to get her some music that she wouldn't otherwise be exposed to, and since she was going to be taking off the next year for Vancouver, I figured an East Coast band would do the trick.

Usually, I would have wondered over to the "Listening" section of the store and stood around listening to various CDs until I found one I liked; but as soon as I walked in the store, they had a rack of hot new releases, and in the top right corner of the rack was an enthusiastic "Hey Rosetta!" but what really caught my eye was that they were the only band on the whole rack (which was mostly mainstream stuff) to have only one little CD left. The CD was only $10 because it only had six or seven songs. I bought it and figured I'd give it a listen. If I didn't like it, then it was only $10 and I could come back and find something better for Susan.

I was back a week later to buy a copy for myself.

I missed them the one time they played in St. John's while I was still there. But they released a longer album right before I left, so I purchased it and counted myself lucky.

Naturally, I was thrilled the other week to discover they were going to be in Ottawa on March 1st. So, I convinced Sonya that it was in her best interests to join me for the concert, and off we went!

It was an awesome show. I'm not sure how else I can put it into words, so here is what I wrote to my beloved Newfoundlander, Sherrie, when I got home:

The Hey Rosetta concert was AWESOMELY EXCELLENT! I missed you. I fell in love with Tim. I missed Newfoundland.

I talked to Tim after the concert, just briefly, while I was waiting for Sonya to come back from the bathroom. I told him it was an excellent show. I told him that I had been in Newfoundland in 2006 and had discovered them then, and I was so happy they had come to Ottawa, I told him I had been checking their site, hoping that his bronchitis wouldn't interfere with this evenings show, then I said goodbye (he said "It was nice meeting you, Alix" and I was impressed he had bothered to remember my name for a full minute.) Sonya and I left and went out to grab a sobering pizza, and I went on the whole time about how I should have declared my undying love, how I should have proposed...but that he would inevitably leave me for another girl who threw themselves at him after a concert, so it was for he best that I hadn't...but that if he had proposed I would have said yes.

I want to live my life in a Hey Rosetta song.

I bought a T-shirt and a CD.


hells_half_acre: (Default)

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