Thursday, December 24, 2009


Waitaminit, that St Nick looks vaguely familiar...

Dearest Friends, here's wishing you a very Happy Christmas and Season's Greetings (as appropriate). I can think of no better way to tell you how wonderful I think you all are than to share with you five of my all-time favourite Chrimbo choonz. If you were here in past years you'll know they're reposts, but enjoy them anyway.

May you get exactly what you want in your stocking. See you after the hols.

The Vandals -
Oi To The World (buy here or e-here)
Peter & The Test Tube Babies -
I'm Getting Pissed For Christmas (buy here or e-here)
Jacob Miller -
All I Want For Ismas (buy here or e-here)
Holly Golightly -
Christmas Tree On Fire (buy e-here)
Heat Miser -
The Heat Miser Song (buy here)

P.S. There is no Slade here. Apologies to those who were deceived by the title.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Christmas Invasion

A Roswell reindeer. I barely escaped with my life.

Whoa, so, like, what is it about Chrimbo that makes folks do alien things? Like, drink appalling concoctions such as Baileys, eggnog, and gingerbread lattes. Or spend mind-numbing hours packed into sickening malls along with thousands of others? Or think that a Chia Obama makes the perfect gift??

It must be them space reindeer. Once they lull us into a holiday stupor, they'll laser us with their shiny noses and use us as fodder for their young.

But it doesn't have to be that way; the resistance can start right here:

Just say "No" to eggnog...

Shonen Knife - Space Christmas (buy here)
The Bellrays - Rocket Ship Santa (buy e-here)
Alien Sex Fiend - Stuff The Turkey (buy here or e-here)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Don't Need No Spirit

So this is Christmas. No no, please don't scurry away, I promise you: no more John Lennon!! OK? Are we friends again? Have you stopped screaming?? Good.

I was looking back at my Chrimbo posts from last year and I was struck by how Grinchian and grumpy they were! My goodness, pre-visitation Scrooge had NOTHING on FiL circa December 2008. Much of that was due to circumstances; I shan't go into details, but it was one of those burdensome Yuletides where I knew no matter what happened it was likely to end in stress and tears. Paint that over my inherent dislike of the frenetic consumerism of the season and the overpowering imperative to get into the CHRISTMAS SPIRIT, and I think that just about explains my attitude.

This year it ain't so bad. Our plans are very simple and revolve around our nuclear family. Moreover, I've decided that if the spirit moves me, great. If not, that's fine too. What I'm trying to focus on instead is finding opportunities amongst the Xmas hubbub to share time and enjoy being with thems that matter to me. And so far it's been so good; last weekend I went shopping with Darling Daughter on one of my favourite drags, Main Street. We shopped here and here and here, then we went to the Rhizome Cafe where we had an excellent brunch and I told her about community activism and the power of art. Right on. Then tomorrow morning the whole family is ascending Grouse Mountain for a party thrown by my workplace. There will be lashings of pancakes and eggs and sausages and bacon, and Santa will appear and give out presents. And tomorrow evening Dearest Wife & I are off to a kids-free Chrimbo knees-up. Shit, this year is looking OK...

Since I'm of such good humour at the moment, Dearest Friends, may I invite you to share some noisy good cheer in the garage? I always like to venture in there at least once during the season.

The Dollyrots - (buy here)
Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians of the British Empire - Dear Santa Claus (buy here or e-here)
New Bomb Turks - Christmas [Baby, Please Come Home] (buy here)
The Chesterfield Kings - Hey Santa Claus (buy here or e-here)
The Fleshtones - Run, Rudolph, Run (buy here or e-here)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Toystore

Pieces of childhood

Little Man has been having a few issues at school as of late. An incompetent teacher with the organizational skills of a headless chicken. Work that's frankly waaay too advanced for 75% of the class. And classmates who've taken to taunting him so as to provoke a reaction that usually gets him into trouble.

Sigh. It's tough being seven.

At a meeting between Dearest Wife, myself, Mrs Headless Chicken and The School Principal (who is an awesome steel fist in a velvet glove), it came out that Little Man really enjoys playing with the class supply of Lego. So that got me thinking...

Back at home, I stood on my tippy-tip-toes and pulled down a large, dusty plastic bag from our bedroom closet. I called out to Little Man that he should shut his eyes tight, then I went to the playroom where he was desperately trying not to peek. I gave him the bag, and let him look. His eyes grew wide...

Inside was my entire childhood collection of Lego, a multicoloured jumble of plastic bricks 'n' bits with which I used to construct entire universes. I had brought the whole lot over to Vancouver from New York after years of nagging from Mother to "deal with my stuff in the basement." I had been long intending to pass it on to Little Man, but the right moment had never presented itself. Until now.

We immediately embarked on building a police station, complete with windows, swingy doors, and Lego homunculi. As I rummaged through the bag, looking for THAT precise piece, I began to find bits of unexpected flotsam from my childhood.

A quiver from a Playmobil Indian.

A wooden Tinkertoy connector.

A skipole from a GI Joe arctic warfare set.

A rocket from a James Bond "The Spy Who Loved Me" Lotus Esprit Sportscar Submarine.

Tokens from a London Underground boardgame.

Each unexpected artefact brought with it a concentrated shot of memories, nostalgia, and vivid feelings. It was all actually a bit disconcerting. Thank goodness I had Little Man and a half-built police station to keep me anchored.

Pianosaurus - A Funny Thing Happened On The way To The Toystore (buy here or e-here)
The Maccabees - Lego (buy here)