Tuesday, July 25, 2006



For the record, I've been back from overseas since the end of June although I've yet to actually make it back home to dear ol' Edmonton. I extended my trip in Toronto for an extra 3 weeks until August 8th, which has afforded me the opportunity to catch the Dresden Dolls (go me!) and next week The Living End thereby clearing off two upper-level entries in the Must-See-Before-I-Kick-the-Proverbial-Bucket list.

I paid close to 45 bucks (crazy service charges!) for the Dresden Dolls/Panic at the Disco! concert. I had never actually heard of the so-called headliners and left after the D-Dolls finished their 45-minute set to catch a bus and rush north to Bloor Cinema where The Dresden Dolls were presenting a sort-of film festival "thing". In their own words: "FUCK THE BACK ROW! A Night of Short Films and Dadaist Vaudeville with The Dresden Dolls & Co". Now I paid $10 for this show and take a wild guess which show was unbelievably great, unique, bizarre, and shocking and makes anything else pale in comparison?? I thought I'd be checking out a couple short films for an hour, then Amanda Palmer would play some solo stuff and I'd be in/out in 2 hours. Wrong, wrong, wrong. By the time the night was out, I'd spent nearly 5 hours at this "show". The show included some wonderful little films and music videos, a thoroughly engaging performance by The Lollipop People, a ragtag orchestra that evoked the sounds of The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo (that's a plus, if you're not sure), and a man lighting his penis on fire. I can only imagine the collective jaw dropping of the crowd as the delirious guy on stage with scenes from The Devil's Reject on the screen, ripped off his dress and, I repeat, lit his penis on fire. Two hours later as Amanda Palmer (1/2 of the Dresden Dolls) hit the stage, people were still talking about "it" in embarrassed guffaws and it was universally declared that that was the pinnacle moment of the evening and could not be topped. Then the entire audience went into a hushed trance as Amanda played through solo piano songs and soundtrack covers. As someone obsessed with both films and cover songs, this was Pure Ultimation (is that a word?). Later in the set, her hitherto unidentified "Special Guest," which was quite possibly the worst kept secret since The Crying Game, joined her on stage. Lo and behold, it's Brian Viglione, 2nd half of the Dresden Dolls playing guitar and a snare drum. Highlights included covers of Rainbow Connection, Science Fiction Double Feature, Pink Floyd's Mother, Favourite Things... actually there were no highlights because the whole thing was PURE ULTIMATION (that's my new phrase of the post). At the earlier show, they had also played covers of Black Sabbath's War Pigs and Hit Me Baby One More Time with Panic at the Disco's lead singer sharing vocals. They were joking around, talking to the audience, taking requests, and messing around-- imagine having a private performance of the Dresden Dolls in your living room. I mean, who really listens to the random yellings of fans? The Dresden Dolls, that's who. Afterwards, they came to the lobby to chat with fans, take photos, and sign stuff. I doubt there were too many people who didn't come away from the experience thinking that they quite possibly are the greatest band in the world. Damn, what a show.

In conclusion, go here, read details, go aah, and put forth great effort to attend the aforementioned show. Note that penis-burning is not guaranteed because that some kind of crazy may be a local Torontonian thing.

I also got to check out New York City for the first time ever and met David Cronenberg at a lecture he did for the Andy Warhol exhibit he's curating in town (got this hilarious photo of him doing zombie dead eyes and me looking like a delirious psycho next to him, sigh). Back in E-Town, I'll hopefully be going to see Ben Lee at a local club, I have tix for The Who (almost 30 years to the day my mum saw them live in the same arena), and I'll be going to the 4-day Edmonton Folk Fest where my new group o' the moment Rodrigo y Gabriela are unexpectedly making a pit stop. I don't know what happened lately, but all of a sudden bands I want to see are actually playing shows in Edmonton and I'll be back just in time for the rush. Now if only Harvey Danger, Andrew Bird, Jamie Cullum, and the Ditty Bops swung by... If you haven't already bought the new Ditty Bops' Moon Over the Freeway, then do so, I command you to.

No mp3 posts until I get back. There's much to tell and discuss about the rest of my trip (mp3/photo tour?), though I realize I've been away for 3 months and any audience I may have had has likely dwindled down to me, 4 other people, and a computer savvy cat. In fact, my heart stopped for a brief second as I logged in thinking that maybe my blogger account was deleted for prolonged inactivity. Alas, 'tis the curse of the unwritten blog. Toodle-oo.