31 March 2010

dj kali @ burning monday - last time forever


ok, so here it is, the final dj kali playlist at the final burning monday at katacombes show bar. very sad to see it go, but hopefully a phoenix can rise from burning mondays' ashes.

i want to extend a big, big, BIG thanks to everyone who turned out and i hope that you all enjoyed yourselves. for those of you out-of-towners, i hope to be able to entertain you at some point in the future. and for those of you in montreal who didn't show up, i never liked you very much anyway. (kidding, kidding...)

buzzcocks - orgasm addict
black flag - t.v. party
big black - passing complexion
devo - fresh
chrome - meet you in the subway
killing joke - war dance
crash course in science - cardboard lamb
human league - almost medieval
die form - analogic
selentie vox - sans titre 2
perverse teens - la baboute
cabaret voltaire - nag nag nag
xeno & oaklander - blue flowers
visage - fade to grey [r]
jon foxx - underpass
depeche mode - ice machine
tuxedomoon - no tears [it just had to be here, during my "theme", that i made a tech goof]
wall of voodoo - factory
coil - the anal staircase
death in june - heaven street
foetus - butterfly potion
asche - kiss the whip
komm intern - no name!
synapscape - constraints
subliminal - so young with me
novy svet - sogni di piombo
ait! - donna
siouxsie & the banshees - night shift
the cure - a strange day
joy division - insight [r]
holger hiller - jonny
dead kennedys - moon over marin
nocturnal emissions - don't believe it's over
clock dva - axiomatic & heuristic
silent signals - exit out
devo - beautiful world
novy svet - en possession de te

28 March 2010

dj kali @ kamikaze dive 2010.03.27

punk rawk!!! ok, didn't plan it this way, but the set and the audience got all punk, so i just went with it. i will also say that this night brought the dumbest audience member statement in my dj'ing life:

"i'm not into this, can you play some old punk?"

i was playing the damned at the time. thankfully most of the crowd had brain cells and a modicum of taste.

sort of wish i'd realised i had a sprained ankle before i danced for an hour after my set...

wire - i am the fly
the cramps - garbageman
devo - satisfaction
x - we're desperate
the runaways - cherry bomb
gun club - sex beat
pailhead - don't stand in line
alien sex fiend - r.i.p.
oto - blue arrow
human hands - i got mad
chrome - in a dream
john foxx - underpass
spk - metal field
clock dva - the act
sleep chamber - dominatrix
ait! - i wanna be your mann
killing joke - follow the leaders
perverse teens - la divine
devo - freedom of choice
joy division - digital
screamin' jay hawkins - i put a spell on you
synapscape - spill
haus arafna - satanas and friends
severed heads - now an explosive new movie
blank dogs - night night
the cure - one hundred years
the damned - lively arts
stiff little fingers - roots, radicals, rockers and reggae
the ramones - sheena is a punk rocker
iggy and the stooges - search & destroy
dead kennedys - moon over marin
siouxsie & the banshees - hong kong garden
x ray specs - oh bondage! up yours
misfits - hatebreeders
magazine - the light pours out of me
novy svet - en possession de te

so if you were there and enjoyed it, or weren't there and think you might have enjoyed it, remember that tomorrow, march 29th, is officially the last burning monday (following the last blue monday comedy show... it's all so sad...) and i'll be there to help send it out in style.

21 March 2010

wild girls


film review :: the runaways

it's amazing how your perception of things changes when the words "free pass" are dangled in front of you. i admire the band the runaways, even if their music isn't a hundred percent my thing. i'm always interested in movies set in the early moments of the birth of punk. and floria sigismondi, who chose this film as her feature directorial debut, produces breathtaking visual art, as well as some of the only remaining interesting music videos being made.

that said, my interest in seeing the runaways was mild at best. i hate biopics as a rule. the story being told is one that's been on the big screen dozens of times. (band forms, ban succeeds against odds doing what they want, cue problems with drugs and booze, cue acrimony and break-up, finish with someone acknowledging the importance of the experience and gazing reflectively upward.) and, most hideous of all, the lead role of joan jett is being played by kristen stewart, the chick from twilight.

however, those magic words "free pass" just get me. i figured, at worst, i'd get a few laughs. at best, i figured it would be fun and visually arresting.

visually arresting, it turns out, is an understatement. from the very first image of a few drops of blood on a los angeles road, sigismondi grabbed my attention. she has lovingly recreated the glammy, seedy look of the seventies, from the fashions (and including what seems to be a visual hallmark for her- multiple close-ups of shoes), to the decor, to the cars on the streets. at times, the look is so perfectly copied, it runs the risk of looking a little too costumed, but most of the time, it simply serves as beautiful adornment for the action.

as far as the action is concerned, the plot doesn't really have any surprises. the runaways were a girl band formed largely under the direction of punk impresario kim fowley. they were raunchy, played their own instruments and rocked as hard as the boys. they did drugs, fought and finally imploded in the way bands will. sigismondi, who also wrote the screenplay, wisely chooses to accord little importance to the typical moments of this tale and focuses more on the emotions and bonds of the characters, especially sex kitten lead singer cheree currie and jett. the script never wallows in the drama, it lets you see the humanity of the moment and moves on.

to emphasize the focus on the characters imbued by sigismondi the screenwriter, sigismondi the director constantly shows them in stark close-up, everything around them gyrating and blurry. at times she seems pushed up so close to their faces that it's uncomfortable to watch- you feel like an intruder. in fact, the camera becomes almost expressionist in function, communicating what is inside the minds of the characters, letting the viewer see what these women see.

the danger of using such restraint in the story and of thrusting the actors front and centre is pretty clear: you'd better have some damn fine actors, or your film is going to redefine the word boring. and that's where things get a little surprising.

for dakota fanning, playing cheree currie is her coming out party. no longer the spooky-looking kid, she gives currie a perfect balance of worldliness and naivete. cheree takes on the role of jail-bait tease with the joy of a little girl allowed to play dress-up in her mom's best clothes. she has the elements of girl and woman, but falls into neither category. fanning is all wide-eyed curiosity and confused teen sexuality put simultaneously under a spotlight and a microscope.

fanning is great, but kristen stewart is a knock-out. everything in her performance radiates passion, determination and intensity. when we see her approach fowley for the first time, basically having nothing to offer except the idea of an all-girl rock band (that doesn't yet exist), she is as subdued as she gets, but there is still something compelling, something that makes the audience believe that the flamboyant, grandiose punk scenester can see something in her. when stewart is on the screen, it is virtually impossible to look at anything else. even in the film's few weak points (for instance, the scene where she goes to try a guitar lesson and is faced with the predictable "girls don't play electric guitar" from the teacher), she is magnetic. on the strength of the two lead performances, the film crosses from being a solid entry from a first-time director to a truly excellent piece of work.

it's been many, many moons since i was as impressed with a film as this one. it manages to overcome all of the things that typically make me sneer at biopics. it's also been eons since i saw two such plum roles for women. it seems that women are increasingly relegated to the roles of waif and mom, with no dimension at all, at least in any pictures coming out of the united states movie machine. this is a very different sort of vehicle.

i'm glad that the gift of a free pass convinced me to give this one a try. i'm considering paying for a second viewing.

12 March 2010

what's your point?

i was reading this article earlier this evening. perhaps it's a little bit of hypersensitivity since i've worked day jobs in marketing for a number of years, but the whole thing left me with the following thought:

you're right. so what?

i'm all in favour of calling people to task for false or misleading advertising,but the criticism leveled at dove or at nike doesn't deal with that. the criticism in this article deals specifically with the fact that these companies are trying to create a "lack", a void that can be filled by their products. and somehow, to the people writing the article (and countless articles like it), this is objectionable, underhanded, dishonest. well excuse me, but what the hell were you expecting?

there's a great passage in umberto eco's "foucault's pendulum" ("the davinci code" for the thinking set) where one of the central characters confronts his father in the hopes of convincing him to order a series of magazines. in response to the son's eloquent (and verbatim quote from the magazine's advertisement) explanation of the magazine's purpose, the father looks his child straight in the eye and says that the magazine's purpose is the same as that of all other magazines- to sell as many copies as it can. and that, really, is our economic system in a nutshell.

is dove using its "redefine beautiful" campaign as an advertising tool in order to call attention to women's bodies and make them feel as if they need a product to complete their journey to self-esteem? of course they are. and what the hell else would you expect from an advertisement? dove aren't a philanthropic organisation. they are part of a corporation that seeks to make money, increasing amounts of money every year. and, yes, they do that by creating a sense of lacking, by creating a perceived need for a new product in order to achieve a sense of well-being.

advertisements don't work by saying what their product does, or how great people think it is, or how much work has been put into developing it. they work by making you, the consumer, feel as if your life would be better if you were in possession of their product. the sooner we accept that as the basic premise of all advertising, the better off we'll be. we may like to pretend that advertisers are doing something nefarious, something sleazy, by trying to create and sell us our own unspoken desires, but, looked at from a realistic perspective, that's exactly what they're there to do.

rather than pointing fingers, exposing something that should be seen as a basic truism, we should admit that this is what advertising is and that rather than expecting advertisers to strip away the layers that disguise their central purpose, we should make ourselves responsible for understanding what that purpose is. after all, as long as we choose to operate under a capitalist system, that is how our society and our economy grows. chastising the advertisers for presenting their message in a subtle way is like punishing a kid who gets good at a sport by developing a comprehensive understanding of the rules. yes, these guys are masking their ultimate purpose. but it's we, the consumers, who need to be aware of what that ultimate purpose is. we should not be depending on advertisers to spell it out for us.

more than the fact that my job involves spinning the sort of fairy tale that this article derides, i think what i object to here is the implication that we should expect leadership from corporations. i'd argue that instead, we should expect it from ourselves. understand what advertisers do, yes. but also understand that it's their purpose and that the system in which we operate mandates this sort of behaviour. instead of whining that their messages are not obvious, we should be scolding ourselves for not being more critical to begin with.

08 March 2010

the game of life

i felt compelled to share this little vignette from my home life... being neither well-coordinated nor generally calm, i have never been much into video games. i do, however, get quite fascinated watching other people play video games (there's probably some weird voyeur complex at work there, but i'd really prefer not to go there). so i was watching dom playing tetris earlier and it occurred to me: what's the end game here? what are you ultimately pursuing? so i decided to ask the resident expert, meaning the person in the room who knows more about tetris than i do. here's how it went:

kate : so how do you win at this, anyway?

dom : you can't.

kate : so what's the point of it?

dom : you just keep going for as long as you can.

05 March 2010

and i hope you burn in hell

no, not you, not the one who's actually reading this post and wondering why i'm suddenly so angry. you're fine. probably. maybe you eat babies or something, which most people would look down on, but i'm not here to judge what goes on in your house and that isn't what i meant to talk about anyway.

one of the nice things about having this kind of forum is that you get feedback from people who read it. some of you leave comments here. some of you leave comments on facebook, where this is "simulcast". and i like that.

what i don't like is when i log in here, see comments and find out that they come from strange asian addresses and link to little start-up porn sites. if that's the kind of thing that you want, fine. personally, i think that if you have to trawl through comments on a blog to find porn on the internet, you're probably too brain dead to know what's going on when you find it.

i never get spam. does anyone seriously respond to any of these ads? "yes, i would like to order the cut-rate rolexes and viagra you emailed me about, please take my money. and please, if you know where i can find porn, let me know, there doesn't seem to be any of it where i look on the web".

i'm not saying that spam doesn't have its purpose. when i clear out my spam filter, i always get a great chortle out of observing the absurdities that have accumulated. (see previous post here.)

i personally think it's almost inexcusable that people have the kind of time it takes to set these spam programs up, when there are so many actually useful things that can be done. but i update my spam filters often and shrug off that which i cannot control.

i really take umbrage, however, when these little shits start putting their stupid links on my damn page. you've got a blogger account- use it. i don't allow anonymous comments. i make people pass a captcha test in order to post. and they still find a way through. get a life. leave me alone. there are lots of people who want your services- go find them and stay the f**k away from me. i have better things to do than find new ways to block your ass from posting here, but i will make an exception to keep weeding you out of my life.

i should probably just take a pill and relax a bit. i found this cool site in my spam filter that will apparently sell me brand name drugs at 80% off.

01 March 2010

kali + shiva @ burning monday 2010.02.22

ah yes, it was a dark and stormy night. [ed.- there were some flakes and raindrops, don't get dramatic] the goddess kali and her consort shiva did descend into the katacombes [ed.- katacombes is at street level.] and so did they both offer up sounds to the heavens. and thus did it unfold...

shiva

lcd soundsystem – someone great
wall of voodoo – the passenger
cabaret voltaire – yashar
the units – go
the screamers – vertigo
athletico spizz ‘80 – where’s captain kirk?
sonic youth – ca plane pour moi
theoretical girls – theoretical girls (studio)
wire – another lhe letter
james chance & the contortions – contort yourself
the jesus lizard – chrome
polysics – kaja kaja goo
big black – racer x
shellac – wingwalker
girls against boys – crash 17 (x-rated car)
the fall – jerusalem
killing joke – eighties
trans am – futureworld
the damned – twisted nerve

kali

devo :: uncontrollable urge
siouxsie & the banshees :: hong kong garden
pere ubu :: final solution
christian death :: romeo's distress
sisters of mercy :: black planet
sleep museum :: mask 8
staccato du mal :: su ultimo secreto
depeche mode :: ice machine [r]
martial canterel :: arctic invention
von magnet :: capricious horses
muslimgauze ::
beefcake :: a1
various productions :: soho
clock dva :: velvet realm
human league :: the path of least resistance
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