t August 2009 | sh C. K. Kelly Martin o

Someone's posted a very cool medley of clips from the August 27th Toronto show on YouTube: Trust Yourself / This Town / Heart Like Mine / Head Over Heels / Lost Together / Hasn't Hit Me Yet / Til I Am Myself Again / Bad Timing.

You can catch a bit of Weakerthan's John K. Samson singing Lost Together with the band starting at the 3:36 mark and check out how hard the crowd's singing Hasn't Hit Me Yet at 5:14! The Hasn't Hit Me Yet singalong is always one of the coolest moments in a Blue Rodeo show.


I also wanted to include a tune from great opening band Weakerthans—I'll definitely be checking out more of their stuff. As you'll be able to tell if you watch this clip of the song One Great City (performed live in the Mean Fiddler in London) they're a Winnipeg band.


And below's the official video for their song Aside. Lead singer Samson has such a cool voice.

I'm currently reading performance artist/filmmaker Miranda July's collection of short stories “No One Belongs Here More Than You.” I was a big fan of her movie Me and You and Everyone We Know and was thrilled when I found out she had a book. Her fantastic titles alone would sell me on her work but dive in and you'll find this collection completely lives up to the unsual, refreshing quality of its title. One story, for instance, is about a character who teaches swimming to a group of people from her apartment without using a pool.

Here are a couple snippets from some of the other stories so you can get a better idea of what I mean.

It Was Romance:
I walked down the hall and saw that Theresa was sitting on the floor next to a chair. This is always a bad sign. It's a slippery slope, and it's best to just sit in chairs, to eat when hungry, to sleep and rise and work. But we have all been there. Chairs are for people, and you're not sure if you are one.
The Boy from Lam Kien:
He seemed to be waiting for me to move forward. Weren't we all. When it became clear that this was never going to happen, he yelled out to me.I have a dog!I nodded. What's his name?The boy looked sad for a moment, and I realized he did not actually have a dog. I felt honored to be chose as the person who believed he had a dog. I was the right woman for this job; he had chosen well to choose me. Finally, he yelled out, Paul!, and I dutifully imagined Paul: running with the boy, loving the boy, the boy feeding Paul.
Miranda July discusses her book of short stories:


And here's my absolutely favourite scene from Me and You and Everyone We Know featuring Miranda July and John Hawkes who are charming (in a wonderfully down to earth, uncontrived way) here as two people who had just met earlier in the day and now bump into each other in the street.


I'm very pleased to hear that Miranda's writing &directing another, as yet untitled, movie. Once this makes its way into theatres, I'm there, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that somewhere down the line there'll be another short story collection too!
The first time I went to a Blue Rodeo gig was nineteen years ago at the ancient Ontario Place venue with the bleacher seats and revolving stage. I remember Greg Keelor reciting When You Are Old by William Butler Yeats. And I remember wishing the song Rose Coloured Glasses would never end.

I've lost track of how many Blue Rodeo concerts I've been to since that night (I try not to let more than a year go by without catching one) but Rose Coloured Glasses remains one of my BR favourites and I was very happy to see them perform it again last night at the Molson Amphitheatre show in Toronto. Even the stoic security guard standing near us sang along to this one!

There's a new double album from Blue Rodeo on the way at the end of October and the band performed six tracks from this upcoming work, which will likely be titled "All The Things We Left Behind." In the consistently fantastic concerts Blue Rodeo are known for there are always more highlights than I can name but one of my favourite moments last night was listening to opening band Weakerthan's John K. Samson sing a verse of BR classic Lost Together and then watching Jim Cuddy take John's camera and snap an onstage photo of him with Greg Keelor.

No YouTube footage from the show up at present but here's Rose Coloured Glasses performed live in 2007:



And Rose Coloured Glasses again, closer to when I first saw Blue Rodeo—this is live in Molson Park in Barrie back in 91:



Here's Blue Rodeo's U.S. television network debut on Late Night With David Letterman back in 1991:


And, finally, the official video for Lost Together. There's not a more romantic song on the planet.


August 27, Molson Amphitheatre Setlist
1. What am I Doing Here
2. Rain Down on Me
3. Blue House
4. 5 Days in May
5. C'mon
6. Don't Let the Darkness In Your Head (from the upcoming album)
7. Candice (from the upcoming album)
8. Rose Coloured Glasses
9. Gossip (from the upcoming album)
10. Photograph
11. Never Look Back (from the upcoming album)
12. Fools Like You
13. Trust Yourself
14. One Light Left In Heaven (from the upcoming album)
15. This Town
16. Heart Like Mine
17. One More Night (from the upcoming album)
18. Head Over Heels
19. Diamond Mine
20. Lost Together

Encore 1:
21. Hasn't Hit Me Yet
22. Try
23. Til I Am Myself Again

Encore 2:

24. Bad Timing

If you want to read me rave about Blue Rodeo some more you can find that here—my post-concert thoughts on the March 08 Massey Hall show (complete with pics).
Probably the most popular question you get when folks hear you've just been to the Canadian National Exhibition is whether you got your Tiny Tom Donuts. And I'm happy to report that yes indeed we did—the icing sugar kind. Mmmmm.

For those of you who aren't in the area and don't know what I'm talking about, this is an eighteen day fair which opens at the end of August every year and closes on Labour Day. It has a 130 year history and boasts 1.3 million vistors every year. Rides, games, shows, shopping, special exhibits, international performers, the EX has something for everyone but my personal favourite in recent years has been the SuperDogs Show. Go SuperDogs!
CNE August 25, 2009

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

A couple of exhibits from the sand sculpture competition:

San d sculpture exhibit. CNE, August 25, 2009

San d sculpture exhibit. CNE, August 25, 200

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

Somebody please win Kenny and take him home! He looks so sad.

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

It's $20 to ride the Flowrider Mobile Wave for a half hour group session. Tony Hawk is making a special appearance on the 28th & 29th.

Flowrider Mobile Wave, CNE, August 25, 2009

Flowrider Mobile Wave, CNE, August 25, 2009

Flowrider Mobile Wave, CNE, August 25, 2009

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

CNE Midway August 25, 2009

What's this creepy, cavernous dimly lit building? It's the Horse Palace, one of the stops on the CNE ghost walk. You can catch the walk next Tuesday too. It's free with admission and starts at eight.

Horse Palace, Ghost Walk, CNE, August 25, 2009

CNE Midway by Night, August 25, 2009

CNE Midway by Night, August 25, 2009

Late Night Snacking, CNE, August 25, 2009

Raiders of The Lost Arc was the movie showing at the EX last night. We caught about thirty minutes after the ghost walk was done. Next Tuesday they're showing Jaws.

Raiders of the Lost Arc, CNE, August 25, 2009

*If you're a skating fan don't miss the Movie Magic: Aerial Acrobatics and Ice Skating Show featuring Canadian figure skating world champion Elvis Stojko.

And, of course, don't forget the donuts!
It's been twenty-five years since Reckless was released on the big screen but my inner teenager (because you know that never really disappears) still has a crush on main character Johnny Rourke.

When I first watched Reckless years and years ago I was still in high school myself and wondered (as I'm sure lots of other teenage girls were wondering at the time) why my high school had no Johnny Rourke—a gorgeous guy with eyes as blue as a swimming pool who, though he's on the football team, sees through the utter fakeness of his high school stratosphere and the stifling constraints of the dead-end industrial northeastern town he lives in. Johnny Rourke doesn't seem to give a shit what anyone else thinks of him, wants more out of life than he knows he'll ever get by playing by the rules and is therefore ultimately willing to break them all to get it.

Reckless, 1984, Aidan Quinn & Daryl HannahI should also mention that Johnny (played by the ever-talented Aidan Quinn in his first film role) has a motorcycle, a leather motorcycle jacket (which he looks hold-your-breath good in), fantastic taste in music and a self-destructive bent which is obviously a result of being stuck where he is, with precious few options.

Johnny's low income family is headed by an alcoholic father and his mother's no longer in the picture. Johnny's future, if he can't get out of town, is a job at a steel mill like his father before him. If you're Johnny Rourke the way these facts close in on you turn you what others might term “reckless.”

Then there's rich, popular and pretty cheerleader Tracy (Daryl Hannah) who mostly plays by the rules but is curious about Johnny, who seems so different from everyone she knows. Johnny is curious back, which soon makes them “reckless” together. The tagline for this movie, as you can see on the poster, is “Girls like Tracy never tell their parents about guys like Rourke.”

Anyway, if like me you watched Reckless thinking about how pointless your own high school seemed and how mundane your small town (or in my case, suburban existence) but believed Bruce Springsteen when he sang, “There's something happening somewhere, baby I just know that there is” in Dancing in the Dark, you automatically had a lot of natural empathy for Johnny Rourke and—given his aforementioned motorcycle, cool jacket, taste in music and beautiful blue eyes—probably thought you should be his girlfriend...if he existed, that is.

I mean, just watch Johnny and Tracy dance to Never Say Never in this clip (dance sequence itself starts at about 2:10). At this point in the film Tracy and Johnny aren't together yet. She has a boyfriend who happens to be on the football team with Johnny and Johnny himself seems generally less than thrilled to be at the dance, but once the music starts he's instantly so intense that he belongs to this song. My teenage crush on him can be forever sustained by this dance scene alone.



But of course there's more! If I was trashing my school I would've stopped to turn up Kim Wilde's Kids in America too (awesome song)—Johnny Rourke rules!


Some of my favourite lines from Reckless might sound self-conscious to me if I were to hear them for the first time as an adult, but my Johnny Rourke crush is so firmly entrenched that I can also still hear them the way I did when I was a teenager—as intriguingly troubled.

Johnny: I like being scared. It keeps me awake.

Randy: Hey, whatever happened to you, Rourke? You used to be normal.
Johnny: I grew out of it.

In reality, my teenage self would probably have been too freaked out to skip town with Johnny Rourke—worried about what would become of us without high school diplomas etc. and not sure enough about him to risk removing myself from my safe but boring suburban existence. It would've been tremendously cool to dance to Romeo Void together, free rabbits from the science lab and sneak into the darkened school pool, but beyond that, I think I would've slammed on the breaks. So maybe I was never meant to be Johnny Rourke's girlfriend (if he existed) after all. There are people you're better off yearning for rather than having and so it is with me and Johnny.

But my teenage Johnny Rourke crush will likely stick with me for another twenty-five years and I still think it would've been cool to go to school with him, even if that meant just being the girl who empathized with him from a desk over while he talked about wanting to leave town and his fascination with a certain rich, pretty and popular cheerleader. And, well, if he'd wanted to save me a dance every now and then that would've been pretty damn cool too.

Reckless Trailer



* If you want to know more about the movie you can read the Reckless entry on The 80s Movies Rewind.

* The only existing DVD copies of this movie that I'm aware of can be ordered from the Warner Bros Shop. The notation on the site says, "This film has been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available and has not been remastered or restored specifically for this DVD and On Demand release."


Summer in the City

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto


August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto

August 15, 2009, Centre Island, Toronto
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis

I'm going to take an Internet break for the next little while (both to get some writing done and enjoy summertime) but before I go into Internet blackout mode I wanted to talk a bit about two YA novels that I really enjoyed reading recently. One of them is about a young woman who lives in a fenced village that's surrounded by the walking undead in a time long after civilization has been ravaged by a zombie plague. In the other a road trip story about two teenage girls driving across America with their grandmother frames the telling of Mare's (the grandmother) own youthful experiences running away from home to join the army and ultimately, World War II.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie RyanYou wouldn't guess, from looking at the jackets or reading my brief descriptions, that Mare's War (by Tanita S. Davis) and The Forest of Hands and Teeth (by Carrie Ryan) have much in common. Naturally there are vast differences, but there are also some interesting common elements starting with the fact that the main characters basically share the same name—Marey Lee (also known as Mare) in Mare's War and Mary in The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

Both characters endure separations from their siblings and are orphans of a sort (although not all four parents are actually dead—one appears to be more of the indifferent variety and two others could be classified as undead). Mare and Mary both want different things for themselves than what their families and societies dictate, and forge paths their own mothers could scarcely have imagined travelling. Both rail, in their own ways, against the restraints of their societies—in Mare's War the biggest is racism, in The Forest of Hands and Teeth it's a strict social order upheld by the Sisterhood. However, Mare and Mary also battle against dangerous enemies of their societies—zombies known as the Unconsecrated (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) and the Axis powers (Mare's War).

Mare and Mary prove themselves as tough and resourceful as any male hero during the course of their stories. There's a well-known saying that goes, “Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it.” This is an adage that we see in action in The Forest of Hands and Teeth and Mare's War, not the building of Mare and Mary's courage, but its revelation.

I believe that while both novels would appeal strongly to a teen readership, older readers would find the novels equally engaging. These are two stories that make me wish books could be shelved in multiple areas of bookstores and libraries so they could score the breadth of readership they deserve. I highly recommend them both and can't help but think—while I'm drawing comparisons—about how Mare's military experiences and personal fortitude would undoubtedly help her battle the Unconsecrated of Mary's world, and about how Mare's boat journey across a vast ocean, while on her way to war, could well have been one of the stories about the sea Mary grew up hearing at her mother's knee.

***
While I'm on the subject of reading, here's a breakdown of what I'm looking forward to tackling next:

* After The Moment (by Garret Freymann-Weyr)
* The Purity Myth (Jessica Valenti)
* This Is What I Want to Tell You (Heather Duffy Stone)

AND

A bunch of YAs from the U.K. and Ireland

* Nought & Crosses (Malorie Blackman)
* Ostrich Boys (Keith Gray)
* Every Summer (Claire Hennessy)
* Swimming Against The Tide (Helen Bailey)
* Finding Violet Park (Jenny Valentine)
* My Desperate Love Diary (Liz Rettig)

I think these should keep me busy for awhile! Back online later in August...
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