Friday, May 17, 2013

Points Gray Vancouver Release May 31st

Points Gray "Offshore" album release listening party at THEY LIVE VIDEO (4340 MAIN STREET) on FRIDAY, May 31th, 9 pm, album to be listened to at 10 pm and sold as well as art displayed, dj set by Sipreano (who wrote the liners) and a midnight candlelight recitation by The Canadian Romantic !
Come celebrate this down beat record (with MP3 download code)!

In Vancouver, BC during the late 90s Robert Dayton, Dan Bejar and Julian Lawrence recorded an album called "Offshore" under the name Points Gray. This is an album that the three of them are proud of even these years later. It has never been released on vinyl. In fact it has never been released in its' entirety!
But now it has!

The late 90s in Vancouver were an interesting and artistically exciting time.
Julian and Robert were going full steam with their act July Fourth Toilet, Canada's wildest and most unpredictable band ever with a mandate of no two shows the same and were in the midsts of recording their first album, an album where they wanted people to feel loved. And Robert had not yet started work in the comedic song and dance duo Canned Hamm.
Dan had released the second album "City Of Daughters" by his act Destroyer and he had just begun playing in the band The New Pornographers.
Robert approached Dan saying that acid folk music is long forgotten -oh, if only they knew what was to come a few years later, if only, though they were too unique to ever fit in anyways- and it would be good to give it a melodramatic downer damage vibe to suit all the intense lyrics that he had. Work was begun in earnest and it all seemed to flow easily and freely from the two of them. Julian joined them to provide important atmosphere with electric guitar, banjo, keys and samples and such.
It certainly has a distinctive quality and is rather unlike most albums.
They played only one show under the unfortunate monicker of AIDS- hey, it was the end of the 90s! No one had thought to put that unpleasant word in a bandname back then! They changed the name to Points Gray as they wanted something honest and direct that would not overshadow the music.
The album was recorded by Mark Gabriel at Method Studios engineered by July Fourth Toilet member Mark Gabriel.
It really informed their later work, certainly for Robert with the acts Canned Hamm, Hallmark, and Wet Dirt and for Dan with his This Night album.
With this LP Robert, who is also a visual artist, has designed a brand new cover using pen and ink and washes, it comes with a lyric and art booklet, quality mastering done by Josh Stevenson who always does an incredible job, he 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 Kevin "Sipreano" Howes who is neck-deep in a wide range of multimedia projects designed to preserve criminally undocumented Canadian music history. His reissue work w/ Seattle-based Light In The Attic on the Jamaica To Toronto series, Doug Randle, Sixto Rodriguez, Monks, and Motown's Mowest label has been featured in MOJO, Rolling Stone, Pitchforkmedia, The New York Times, The Globe & Mail, CBC, BBC, and NPR.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

karaoke hosting sunday

...this sunday...may the Beaver! 1192 queen west  in Toronto! long weekend! 11pm...gonna be nuts!

KARAZMA! on bandcamp!

 Check it out! Just put the first Canned Hamm album up on Bandcamp! Listening to it made me feel so much, including pride, it's been years and I enjoyed it! We will be posting more soon....:

Gearing up for the Vancouver excitement....Points Gray LP launch at they Live Sat May 25th and the Canned Hamm show June 1st!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Yelp Stinks

After having a horrid experience at a bike repair place called Mike The Bike I decided to write as unbiased a  review as I could and put it on Yelp. I then couldn't find the review! Yelp has a filter feature where they decide to filter certain reviews that don't make it into the overall ratings. If anyone wants to read them they have to press a tiny button at the very bottom of the page then use a screen captcha. For Mike The Bike he had high ratings based on six reviews. After pressing the filter (or, more appropriately, unfilter, button) 12 very negative reviews show up (and one okay one)! Those reviews don't make it into the ratings system. This is rather unfortunate as I have now heard of two very negative dealings with Mike the Bike since my situation. If the reviews were posted honestly perhaps these situations could be avoided. I was only aware of this filter once I couldn't find my review. Two business owners have told me that Yelp approached them to buy ads and that would increase their ratings.
Feeling weird about posting a  negative review I thought I'd even things out by then writing  a positive review for Hot-n-Dog as I love the place, I know the owner, but just love what he's doing anyways, and no one has written about the changes that have happened to the place on Yelp. It's had very few reviews and, wouldn't you know it? It got filtered.
Further nastiness: I just got an automated e mail from Yelp highlighting such great  bike places as that 'cool guy' Mike The Bike.
My reviews are below.

Mike The Bike, Kensington Market, Toronto
This shop is known for inexpensively using recycled materials and it can be slipshod. Granted my old bike was a beater. I once brought it in there for gear repair, but the gears still never worked quite right. A year or so later, when my old bike went kablooey while shifting gears, I brought it back in again. The friendly employees (not Mike) looked at the bike and texted me a couple of days later  saying that it'd be better to just get 15 dollars trade-in as it was toast. I came in and accepted that agreement, but they couldn't find my bike as I needed the clip for my bike lock that was screwed on it, so they said they'd get it and get back to me. They never did. So I called and they said they'd find it and call me back. They never did.

I then came in with my new bike (Craigslist purchase, at the time Mike The Bike only had stuff like fixies for trade but they told me these fixies don't have brakes, knowing how nasty Toronto cabs are on the streets,  I prefer safety). The back tire had blown out and I wanted to ask about that lock clip. It was just Mike The Bike in the shop. I reasonably mentioned (ie. I wasn't a prick about it)  how I had been in and then called about the lock clip and he lost it on me. He threw a cardboard box full of lock clips down and told me to find it and get out. My jaw dropped in shock, so he told me to not be a baby and pout. I tried explaining to him what happened but he didn't want to hear it and told me to be quiet each time. When he started yammering I told him that maybe he should be quiet (but not in an angry way, I didn't lash out at him once). "This is my shop!" he said.  He told me that I was all hung up on an 80 cent part. I told him that I don't know which part it was in the box. "It's your bike!" I basically said that, yes, but this is one of many things in a box, I am not a bike expert, I am naive, I just wanted the part. When other customers came in he talked about me to them and tried to make me look like some sort of goof/idiot and laid on a smarmy niceness extra thick to them. He was really mind-fucking me, I'd been going there for two years and it was always a reasonable interaction before that. I wound up just grabbing some random lockclip from the box because I didn't know what was what. He told me that they aren't responsible for parts left behind on trades, yet it was only near the end of this-uh-altercation that I was finally allowed to finish my sentences and explain that it wasn't yet a trade when I originally asked for my lockclip.

However I still had 15 dollars trade. He agreed to fix my bike. I was shaking by this point. He also said, "I'm doing you a favour" in regards to the 15 dollar trade-in. I haven't heard someone pull that phrase on me since I washed dishes for the guy who's now head chef at The Atlantic. I asked him how much extra would it cost and how long it would take. He shook my hand and told me not to worry, "You've had a bad day." I don't know if he was being sarcastic or what. He sent me on my way without even so much as an invoice so I was freaked that I might not see my bike again. I told some people about what happened and it turns out that I am definitely  not the only one to have had troubled interactions with Mike The Bike.

I came back a few days later with a friend (as my casual muscle) and the nice employee told me that it wasn't ready yet. The next day it was. They said that they did a tune up and replaced the back wheel. Mike The Bike proudly extorted how I came in for a lock piece and got all that for no charge!!!- not mentioning my 15 dollars in store credit, of course. Riding my bike an hour later I found that the replaced back tire was too big for my fender and was scraping it, the pedals made a funny noise and the chain kept repeatedly falling off. I did have a two week warranty but I finally knew now to take it to someone else. Why didn't I do that before? Why did I keep going back to Mike The Bike? Naivete? Stupidity? Masochism? The fact that my bike kept breaking down near Mike The Bike's shop? I don't know. But I have a nice bike now and I want it treated well.

The new bike repair man that I  took my bike to was shocked at Mike The Bike's fix-it job , walked me through how Mike screwed up and how it could deteriorate my bike. He got it riding smoothly (with a new, proper replacement  back tire) and safely for a price.
I hope that this learning experience has given me the maturity of knowing when to walk away from a situation.
Avoid Mike The Bike. That is, unless you enjoy mind-games and shoddy workmanship from a  real piece of work.

Hot N Dog, 216 Close Ave., Toronto
There's been big changes at Hot N Dog these past few months since cartoonist Keith Jones took over. Most immediately apparent is how unique this teeny spot looks! It's like entering a full colour comic book! Wildly bright signs and slogans and benches and crazy characters with word balloons, a big wooden airplane hanging from the ceiling. It ain't just a shop, it's a part of a magic land plunked down into Parkdale. Or maybe, unlike those pizza places that are so insecure they want to be Brooklyn (I want to give them a hug and tell them to be themselves), it is a natural part of Parkdale as it integrates itself into the hood feeding all those high school students down the block (weekday lunch time is the high traffic time). This is a mystical centre that needs to be cherished, Tee Oh can be disparate with its' wonderful places, we got to really nurture them. The dogs are dirt cheap, not teeny tiny, with full veg option, including the chili dog, a personal favourite. He has been experimenting with a mac n cheese dog as well. Not grilled or boiled but steamed. Tonnes of toppings, the rainbow sprinkles topping has been discontinued but he still has hickory sticks and much much more...he just got a juicer as a refreshing healthy option (try the beet/apple/carrot), perhaps it will counter-act the unhealthy options! Oh, there's nachos, as well! Keith sells his own comics here and plans to do a special Hot n Dog newspaper and has other wild plans as well. I really hope that this review doesn't get filtered like my Mike The Bike review did so that all can be in the know.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Nomination/Marty Topps/recording/love

Nominated for Best Video at National Magazine Awards: Pagelicker 01: Irvine Welsh! I don't know what that means but people are excited and so it is, therefore, exciting!
Pagelicker 01: Irvine Welsh from Hazlitt on Vimeo.

Performing as  a Pastor at this final Marty Topps House party show Saturday night! I will be sermonizing and i will be singing:
The Canadian Romantic (with Marker Starling, produced by Nyles and Justin) and New Horizzzons recordings (produced by Alaska B from Yamantaka // Sonic Titan) are coming along reallllly well! NEW HORIZZZONS hasn't even played live yet but we will soon!
I have been tweeting a LOT! Feel free to follow me:
@TheRobertDayton on Twitter
I will be moving to Kitchener-Waterloo in September for the M.F.A. program. Anyone have leads on best way to move and places to live, pllllleeeease let me know! I have a cat. No potential beer bong style room mate situations please.