Monday, April 30, 2012

Bad Fridays/two cases of Coca-cola

Friday got off to a roaring start when my whole body ached from allergies. As well as the brain fog of congestion. Tis the season. I did not want to leave my bed. Day job said, "Yes, you gotta."

Go East on the bike amidst clanging construction and closed off sections and other calamities of the morning.
Note to cyclists: please be careful, you are meat.

Red and white are so striking, such bold colours. Especially striking when they force one into another lane lest ye be killed or maimed. This was a very large Coca-cola truck. At the red light I pulled up to it on my beaten white bike and made obscene gestures. The driver mocked being scared. A little man at the wheel of a very imposing and dangerous vehicle. I biked around and pulled up to his side and yelled how he could have killed me if I hadn't driven defensively. He ignored me and pulled away on the green light. In the heat of the moment my body was so filled with rage and fear that I'd forgotten to take his information down. If only, if only.

Arriving at my work place, I Googled 'Coca Cola' and 'Toronto' and called the most appropriate phone number that popped up anyways. Why? Because I obsess on such matters, I can't just let it go. Oh no! Setting this call in motion, I was given the run-around. Each phone number that I dialed gave me a new phone number to call like the heads of Hydra.This happened six times. I was not going to give up, even though this run-around now equaled the frustration of the incident itself, even though I was now nowhere near any physical peril. It truly showed me that this corporation is faceless and nasty. This time it was personal. By the way, my co-workers are wonderful and were concerned for my well being.

When I reached the right person she told me to call the number on the pop can next time. I rarely drink their 'health tonic' to have these cans laying about within reach. It offers no benefit, except for when I need caffeine and there is no coffee around to be had. I have a peculiar admiration for this company, that they have become such a  behemoth with such a useless and harmful product. As an apology she told me that she was going to send me two cases of their 'health tonic.' What to do with it? How many nails, coins, and baby teeth can I watch dissolve with that much Coca Cola?

Listen to this man's soothing accent:

The day continued. Checked out a  few nasty Youtube comments aimed at my person. Politely replied with my tongue politely planted in  cheek. Continued the tasks at hand at my job. Then five o' clock hit. All I wanted was slumber. And once home I got my slumber.Perhaps I could start over when refreshed?

Upon awakening from my nap I thought that it may be best to leave the house and be social. Everywhere, at each new place that I approached,  were grim reminders. I saw a woman who would have dated me if I wasn't too old for her: hey, at least she was honest. A sweet gal. (age disparity is another topic for another time) A few 'fine, don't say hi' kind of women speckled here and there and if they did ask how I was after my "Hi, how are you?", they didn't wait for a response. They don't matter. A woman who had invited me to a gallery opening last week but wouldn't send another message telling me where it was- did she avoid my eye contact on the street? Two maybe three women who I had been on dates with and nothing had happened then dissipation. Why? I don't know. Including a woman who felt terrible about not returning my phone call or calls, it was either one or two before I gave up.

I had to get out of the final destination even though I was amongst wonderful friends. Perhaps if all of these reminders hadn't come at me I could have enjoyed the company of wonderful friends and not gotten all hung up. One wonderful friend told me how he has confidence in some areas and lacks confidence in others. I relate. Must simultaneously balance and up the humility and confidence levels.

I wandered to another place where a gorgeous woman who did not want to trade contact info approached me. We coyly sparred while a female friend looked on and rolled her eyes at some of the things I'd say like it was self-sabotage. Hell, maybe it was. I started taking the eye rolls a tad too personally. Home to bed.

This eve was a grim reminder, it said too much about what my romantic life feels like in Toronto. One fraught with rejection (natch, I utterly and conveniently forget some of the good experiences I've had with interesting women, the self-pity machine starts its' hum). I felt- I feel- like there is something wrong with me. I'd love to know what. Or is it the  city? Perhaps I wouldn't have felt this way if I hadn't had such bad allergies, almost collided with a  truck, experienced such a tidy progression of these women (just one might not have set me off so much). The day before I was all, "Fuggit, my basic needs are met" and then this day, this Friday, set me off and I became trapped within myself. How much of this is ego? Because I've lived a good life, been spoiled, and am an endowed sexual being (oh yes, I have to freely state that), I take umbrage and get in a bit of a huff. Part of it may be loneliness.Yet Thursday I was all "Fuggit, I have a cat." I can't wait to get back to that feeling again. I will soon. Yet I don't want to turn into a monk.

Everyone is so insanely flighty. And I really should not pursue these wretched flighty things. I will no longer pursue (not that I did all that much, I don't get obsessed anymore and have more self-respect than I used to). I will not offer up unless requested. (This didn't stop me from getting all eager and giving my e mail to someone on Sunday though, did it?) I've paid my dues, lived a good life, fallen in love a few times, dated other cities than this one: this one where it feels like a sort of curse. Maybe I should be more thankful of the life that I have lived. (it sounds like my romantic life is over, hell, maybe it is...who knows? Last time I felt like that I stepped into a three year committed relationship a mere three months after the last one....more will be revealed...who knows what will happen and who has the atomic bomb?) I have learned a lot about myself these past few months, had to face painful things and do the personal work. And have plenty more to learn: maybe I'm still not ready and maybe that's obvious. If I was a sociopath that wouldn't matter (see: confidence).

On Saturday I go off to a wedding of a friend, an immigrant who once asked me how one can meet people in Toronto. I told him that you don't. He did. He told me that I can bring a  date. I go alone.

I recently gave a female friend advice. That men are too scared of approaching women in Toronto for fear of being shut down and that is because women shut men down here. (I coach in generalizations) I told her that if she approaches men she'll do just fine. And also note: if men are shocked by this approach, it might not be rejection, they just need time to absorb the shock, many are oblivious (case in point: I am so oblivious). She'll do fine.

What is my place? I know I must help others where needed, to give people a sense of wonder, to smile at strangers.
But maybe after that I am simply supposed to completely, utterly fuck with people for fun and pleasure. I think I will. I can't take any of these people seriously. There are a lot of people trying to be taken seriously in Toronto (and elsewhere...and anywhere) and it's very hard to take that seriously.
This is better than being guarded, there's enough of that out there.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


"God talked to me." How? Did you have a magic seashell that you hold up to your ear? What kind of voice does God even have? Squeaky? A squeaky ass voice?

I used to hear that a lot when I was REALLLLLY into Jesus as a teen. "God talked to me." It was usually from speakers at youth conference. It confused me. The doubt eventually set in. Today I talk in tongues in a different way.

If you have all the answers, you will try to fuck me over.

I believe in something undefined by me because if it was defined I'd be a Grade A asshole.

I believe that the clouds parted and that the universe did give me signs when it was time to move to Toronto three years ago. No, TO is not the be-all end-all, it's...okay,  but I do not regret the decision. I've learned a LOT!

One year later, after the move,  I was in a deep mire. Oh woe, my baby left me! Ha ha! Where's the magickal career I was 'promised'? Ha ha! So I took every little thing as a sign to give up. My ego had entered the picture. I was forcing my will. And ignoring all the voices of all the real, actual living people surrounding me telling me not to give up.

Now when I ask myself, "Should I give up?" I say, "Fuck it." I don't care enough to give up. I care enough to keep going, to convey a sense of wonder in an age where one has to dig for it. And so much else is bullshit anyways. Cat is fed. Rent is paid. I don't matter all that much and that's fine. Fuck it. Thanks universe!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Indie-go-go results

Yeah, I’m crazy. Crrrrazy.

So the indie-go-go campaign for Points Gray ended. Dun. (see previous posts) It was an interesting experiment.

This was an album that all three of us wanted out. I wanted vinyl. I don’t buy CDs. CDs are file carriers. One can just put an MP3 Download code with the record and everybody’s happy! I’ve bought records since I was nineteen years old and before that, had strong connections with vinyl as a boy. I love the warm sound. I like the process of flipping each side, yin/yang. I am an artist. I like that vinyl is the best (biggest) way to showcase the art. I wanted to make an art object with lyrics and drawings and self-important liner notes written by someone else so that they read less self-important.

This Points Gray album did come out in a CDR edition of 100 but, thankful as I was for them to be putting it out, it wasn’t what I envisioned. And one pivotal track was missing.

I had pitched this album to numerous labels over the years but no takers, came close a couple of times. Why no takers? We were never going to tour it. It’s a one-off. Labels want you to tour. It also has a stark vanity loner damage quality. It’s not glossy. At. All. And some labels had said, “It’s good …but it’s…so…weird.”

So how was I going to get this thing out? I was obsessed. It had been years by now! It stuck in my craw.

Hence Indie-go-go. I admittedly felt weird about that platform. I had to really think about it. I didn’t want to beg. I wanted it be more like a pre-order but with a deadline and some really enticing perks. When it comes to begging, let me say that there are some very important charities out there and, even though I get artistically frustrated, I have lived a pretty damned great life. People had to actually want the album. No pity.

Indie-go-go has more flexibility than Kickstarter. You don’t need a U.S. bank account. And you can choose not to give the money all back if you don’t reach the goal (though PayPal will charge you).

Initially there was a tonne of press –lots!- but not that much in terms of donations. I started to get fatalistic. If I didn’t raise the money maybe I’d stop making music. This method of making the album got me to go direct to the audience without any barriers. That’s why I chose it. Labels don’t take many risks and they have told me time and time again that I don’t fit even with tonnes of press and accolades (exterior validation). So let the people speak! And what if they don’t speak? Give up? Hmmmm.

We live in an odd time. My pal Shayne got his animated movie funded this way, but he said that people don’t expect to pay for music anymore when they can get it for free. Point taken.

 Another person told me that because I am very active with my numerous projects people may be less inclined to pre-order thinking it’s just yet another project of mine… Point taken.

 Also this kind of music really might not be up everyone’s alley. Melodramatic downer psych folk damage? Not necessarily everyone's cuppa. I'm all over the map musically.

Also the album isn't new. It's thirteen years old.  Time for the turn of the century nostalgia wave? Not yet? naw. It's funny linking the 'too distinctive' with my efforts of striving to create albums that'd be worthy of the reissue market when they haven't even been properly issued the first time!

And some people like to see the thing realized before they pay for it.

Others had questions about the funding platform wondering if I’d just take the money and run if I didn’t reach my goal (though I have a pretty good track record, 6 or 7 albums released with my acts).

And, a month into this, a neat label (inyrdisk) was going to put out a limited run of CDRs for the early WET DIRT album entitled "Self-Sabotage."

All of these factors caused me to not be so fatalistic. Plus people like Tonetta keep telling me not to give up all the time (though making music is VERY expensive and I am resigned to being poor cuz, well, fuggit, my needs are met anyways so why get caught up in money).

The other factor is that my pal Becky Johnson told me that most of the funds come in the final week.

So I relaxed. I stopped being tense. I gave less of a flying fuck about lots of things because things really aren’t bad. I got a cat. I started feeling less self-important. I don't matter that much. And Becky was right. Everyone was right.

The final week did exhaust me. Endless self-promotion. I was doing most of this hustling and I was getting sick of me. And I fell short. 3100 was raised. 300 (tops) of that was probably stemming from all the press. I wasn’t depressed though. That was a good chunk to get this damned thing made. It was nothing to be ashamed of.

I just took a two week Facebook siesta due to burn-out from this and from Facebook narcissism (yet here I am blogging, hello!). I received a few texts and e mails from people thinking I was depressed from not hitting my goal and wondering if I was spiraling. Naw, everything’s alright! I complain less these days! It was nice that they were concerned. Others thought that we did well with the campaign. It’s all a matter of perspective. Lots of really great people threw some dough in!

Will I do such a fundraiser again? Doubtful. It was exhausting. One can’t pester people repeatedly. These fundraisers have a slight stigma. I wonder what the shelf-life will be on bands using such platforms? I may not want to put out another vinyl LP, maybe streaming is the way to go, but if someone else wanted to put out one of my records I’d leap for it! DIY can sometimes have a tinge of invalidity and desperation. I’m tired of self-promotion. Oh look, I’m blogging!


I look at some of my early posts and realise how utterly nuts and uncertain I dunno. I give less of a fuck.


I talk to Tony on the phone while walking down Queen Street and ask him to hold on as I have to whizz in the alley and a couple days later this video happens!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


40 hours left, if you care about your future and the future of your children, make this happen, order this album (along with other willlld perks including the upcoming WET DIRT Cd and my book of The Canadian Romantic) :

Friday, April 13, 2012

Final week for Points Gray

We are currently undergoing a campaign to get the Points Gray album by Robert Dayton, Dan Bejar, and Julian Lawrence released. There's just one week left to see if it will/will not happen. And we've added new perks! Twenty dollars gets you the album (vinyl with MP3 downlaod code) for pick up (in Toronto and Vancouver)! Consider it as being like a pre-sale. There's even a foot massage!
If interested, please click on the link below for more info and to pledge and if you could share it with and pass it on to any potentially interested parties that would be truly appreciated.:
You can hear a couple of tracks here as well:
This is a moody distinctive album from around the turn of the century that has never gained full, proper release before. It's an album that the three of us are quite proud of and want to find its' audience. With this LP Robert, who is also a visual artist,has designed a brand new cover, it will come with a lyric and art booklet, and it will finally receive quality mastering done by Josh Stevenson who had previously mastered such things as a Destroyer reissue and the second July Fourth Toilet album as well as recording such acts as Sex Church. With liner notes by music writer and archivist Kevin "Sipreano" Howes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

POINTS GRAY: just ten days left.

The Points Gray campaign has just ten days left and we still got a long way to go to see if it even happens, another song has been uploaded and a new perk has been added where you can get both the album and The Canadian Romantic art book for 50 dollars, limited to five people, feel free to share the informative link to any interested peoples: