Recent twitter entries...

Toronto Zombie Walk 2007


Toronto Zombie Walk 2007 057
Originally uploaded by FluffyEvil
The zombie walk was huge this year - with over 1000 zombies. A lot of the zombies turned out for the The Toronto After Dark film premiere of AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION. That was a lot of fun because they would cheer every time someone was eaten. Funny stuff.

Check back here in the next day or two for reviews of that and many other After Dark films, as well as a review of Control a film by Anton Corjbin. I think I just might be getting movied out - who knew viewing movies would be so tiring.

Toronto After Dark Film Festival

The Toronto After Dark Festival starts today with its opening film Mulberry Street as well as the opening party at the Gladstone Hotel at 9:30pm. Other highlights of the festival which runs from today till the Thursday 25th are:


Saturday, Oct. 20
11:30pm - Bloor Cinema

What happens when gas costs $32/gallon? Someone figures out it would be cheaper to use blood and you can just imagine the hijinx that ensue.


Monday, Oct. 22
9:45pm - Bloor Cinema

Good old-fashioned horror by director David Arquette, and starring Paul Reubens (that's enough reason to see it right there - those two are nuts). A hippie music festival in the middle of nowhere gets interrupted by a mysterious hatchet-wielding mass murderer. Somehow I feel like I've seen this one before so here's hoping Arquette, Reubens and company don't let us down.


Tuesday, Oct. 23
10:15pm - Bloor Cinema

Judging by the trailer this Thai horror film looks really really creepy. Remember the twins in The Shining, well imagine they were conjoined and one of the twins was dead. This film looks stylish and disturbing and I can't wait to see it.


Wednesday, Oct. 24
7:00pm - Bloor Cinema

Another classic horror film premise: a group of students go camping and encounter some back-woods creepiness. We have already established that twins can be scary as hell - well how about Crispin Glover playing psycho killer twins. A must see, trust Crispin Glover to bring the creepiness.

Toronto After Dark Film Festival schedule

Contests: Control, Short Story

A couple of interesting contests to tell you about from Eye Weekly:

EYE WEEKLY short story contest (1000 words or less)
Enter by November 30, 2007 for your chance to win. The winning author will receive $500, publication in EYE WEEKLY, a prize package and will appear at a This Is Not A Readings Series event. Send an email with your name, story title and full contact information to Visit for more info.

Passes to see CONTROL, a film by Anton Corbijn
Enter by October 22, 2007 for your chance to win. Click here to enter.

John Bergin's From Inside

Huge fan of John Bergin's work. So it was a pleasant surprise to find out from that a short version of his film, From Inside, will be shown at Toronto After Dark. It is being screened under the Cutting Edge Shorts program - I just checked their website and no word yet on when it will be shown.

John Bergin is a graphic novelist and musician (click here to check out his work.) He is currently in the process of turning his graphic novel into a movie. If you are at all interested in animation or motion design check out where you can find out what techniques he is using to turn his 2D drawings into a full length movie. I really don't know too many people that have the talent to create graphic novels and single handedly create their own films using computer animation. Highlights of his blog include being influenced by Lars Von Trier's movie Element of Crime and early shorts he created.

Radiohead Asks: What Would You Pay For An Album?

Radiohead wants fans to decide how much they pay for a digital download of their new album In Rainbows. The album, which will be released on October 10, will have no copy protection which means fans can transfer the files onto as many devices as they wish. Judging by the hits they've been getting on their website this could become a viable alternative. Check out to preorder.

Wanna Dance? Check out Versus

Awesome dance night featuring these DJs Friday, October 5, at Revival (783 College Street ):
  • Blueprint (Garage 416)
  • Moreno (Garage 416 / Hot Stepper)
  • Felix & Gani (milk.)
  • Jason Palma (Footprints)
  • General Eclectic (Footprints)
  • Stuart (Footprints)
  • Paul E Lopes (Bump N' Hustle)
  • Mike Tull (Bump N' Hustle)

Upcoming Concerts for October:
  • Oct 2 Pere Ubu @ Lee's Palace
  • Oct 6 Patrick Wolf @ Lee's Palace
  • Oct 8 The National @ Phoenix
  • Oct 11 weewerk Showcase @ Sneaky Dee's
  • Oct 17 Sandro Perri @ Tranzac
  • Oct 20 M.I.A. @ Kool Haus
  • Oct 20 Do Make Say Think @ Phoenix
  • Oct 21 The New Pornographers @ Phoenix

Nuit Blanch 2007

Had a great time at Nuit Blanche this year. I only wish I could have been more places at once. That shot was taken inside the tent beside the alien crash at U of T.

Louis Feuillade's Les Vampires

Cinematheque Ontario (AGO’s Jackman Hall) is showing the silent film serial Les Vampires by Louis Feuillade during Nuit Blanche. At 400 minutes total you might not want to watch the whole thing - because there will be so much to see at Nuit Blanche - but you might want to stop in and have a look at this on the big screen.

Notable Books Being Turned into Movies

Hollywood often mines the literary world for its stories. Here are some books you might want to read before they hit the big screen:

Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer

This one looks really good. Krakauer is a good story teller so it will be interesting to see what Sean Penn does with this. See for more info. Stars: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, Hal Holbrook and is directed by Sean Penn.

Love in the Time of Cholera
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A lush epic love story set in early 20th century South America. Another must read by this Nobel Prize winning author. For movie info click here.

The Jane Austen Book Club: A Novel
by Karen Joy Fowler

Five women and one man meet periodically to discuss the work of Jane Austen and realize their lives mirror the stories they read. Stars: Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, Maggie Grace, Jimmy Smits.

I am Legend
by Richard Matheson

Awesome book which I hear the film veers away from. No surprises there, so I am not expecting this adaptation to be good. Stars: Will Smith.

by Alessandro Baricco

A steamy historical romance starring Keira Knightley, Alfred Molina, Michael Pitt and Koji Yakusho.

The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger

An unconventional love story between a man who has a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel and his artist wife who must deal with this. The book is a must read, by the way. The film will be directed by Robert Schwentke and stars Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams.

Other good books being turned into movies include:
  • The Republic of Love by Carol Shields
  • the Coen brothers direct No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - about an Afghan boy and his friendship with a servant's son
  • Iron Man - the highly-anticipated comic book adaptation, starring Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, and Samuel L. Jackson. Not out till May 08 - watch the trailer
  • The epic anglo-saxon poem, Beowulf, movie screenplay by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary (out Nov 16)- watch the trailer

Grizzly Bears at The Mod Club


Went to see Grizzly Bear play last night at the Mod Club. The band was OK, but unfortunately it was an early show and they had to clear out of there so no encore. Thanks a lot Mod Club. The show was short but the crowd loved every minute of it. Personally felt like it would have been nice to see them let loose a little more, but perhaps they felt rushed.

They have such a lush, orchestrated sound now that is quite different than the soft intimate tone on Horn of Plenty. Very much looking forward to hearing more from this band. They seem like they would feel equally at home in being lost in the woods or at a cheesy burlesque lounge with aging dancers.

Sorry for the blurry cell phone photo. Someone at the Mod Club takes their lighting seriously, and it would have been a good chance for some great photos but my camera is busted so that all I could muster.

Grizzly Bears play the awesome LOLA Festival next and you can check out for more info on upcoming shows.

Tidbits: Swimmers, Bears, and Sex Pistols

(click on the image to view vid of bears)

Great Lake Swimmers
Great Lake Swimmers are on tour and will be playing Toronto on Sept 29. They are offering a free download of an their EP, Great Lake Swimmers: Live From the Church of the Redeemer - you gotta love that. Click here to download EP.

Grizzly Bears
The Grizzly Bears - a band I am very much into right now - play an early show at the Mod Club tomorrow. Should be good. I like this discription by Matt Murphy of Pitchfork: "The gentlemen of Grizzly Bear paw around in wholly distinct regions of gentle, nocturnal psych-folk, conjuring visions of an imagined bedroom collaboration between the Doug Yule-era Velvet Underground, Nick Drake, and a pajama-clad Pooh with his head jammed in a honey jar."

Sex Pistols Reunite?
Yes it's true. A one time deal to mark the 30th anniversary of their only album, "Never Mind the Bollocks" at London's Brixton Academy on Nov 8. Read the full story here.

Who's playing at Nuit Blanche?
This is from stillepost: 7pm to Sunrise - Beginning with a dj set by John Caffery and projections by Roxanne Luchak at 7pm and followed by a full show by KIDS ON TV. The night also features HOLY FUCK, WYRD VISIONS, POLMO POLPO, & NADJA. @ 1116 King St W. Solid Waste Management Warehouse. Read it on stillepost.

Toronto's Newest Cinema


Just wanted to let you all know about the Brunswick Theatre which is located at 296 Brunswick Avenue (2nd Floor). They are screening some hot topic documentaries and a lot of the films even include guest speakers. Here are some of the titles they have for September:

THE GOD DELUSION, Jesus Camp, Black Gold: A Look at Fair Trade Coffee, Scientology vs. BBC, End of Suburbia, Shake Hands with the Devil, Escape from Suburbia, OCCUPATION 101, 9/11 Mysteries, Uganda Rising, Mad Cowboy, Manufacturing Dissent, Trading Women.

Being socially minded, some of the films are free but as it says on their website:

Admission to our programming is by donation, of which we suggest $10 towards our overhead costs. Nobody will be refused for lack of funds. We want people to see these films, reflect on them, and take action within their own lives. All points of view are welcomed and encouraged. After each film we host a facilitated discussion where our patrons can carry out a dialogue on the subject of the film, and respond to the thoughts and ideas of others.

Their goal is to provide free films through membership support. If you're interested in supporting them memberships cost $25 for a single month, or $20 per month for long-term support (6 months or more). Memberships give you a free pass to screenings and reserved seating for events that are likely to sell out.

Check for schedules and more info.

William Gibson at TINAR

Earlier this month I went to Ray Robertson's book launch for his new book What Happened Later. It was part of TINAR (This Is Not A Reading) Series and they have a pretty good line up for the rest of the month - notably William Gibson on Friday:

JONATHAN GARFINKEL—Ambivalence: Crossing The Israel/Palestine Divide
Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St. W., Toronto

Tues, Sept 18; 7:30 pm (doors 7pm), free

JEFF WARREN—Head Trip: Adventures In Human Consciousness 
Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St. W., Toronto
Thurs, Sept 20; 9pm (doors 8pm), free

Bloor St. United Church, 300 Bloor St. W., Toronto
Fri, Sept 21; 7:30PM (doors 7pm) - Tickets $5

Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St. W., Toronto
Tues, Sept 25; 7:30PM (Doors 7pm), free


Virgin Festival Photos by David Waldman


Some really great photos of Bjork, Interpol, M.I.A, and Princess Superstar:

I've been looking for photos of v-fest since I did not attend and most of the ones I found were far away blurry shots. These really capture the stage presence of the performers. I'm always impressed by good photography so thanks to David Waldman for putting these up.

Bruce La Bruce is Making a Zombie Movie


Canada's favorite pornographer is in the process of completing a zombie film titled "Otto; or, Up with Dead People." Knowing Bruce la Bruce we can expect tons of blood, but will it be pornographic? I guess we'll have to wait to find out. This is what he had to say about it on

Hey Kids: if this blog seems a little dead, it's probably because I've been working on a new dead movie - er, undead - called "Otto; or, Up with Dead People." It's in the can, mostly, and I'm just about to go back to Berlin to edit and do post-production. If you want to keep track of the progress of the project, just go to Be sure to check out the blog for lots of production stills and behind-the-scenes photos. You can also keep track of everything by going to my myspace page,, or Otto's myspace page, which is And remember, zombies are people to. Dead people, okay, but still people. Sort of.

Launches: QWAC and XAVANT


X AVANT new music festival

SECOND EDITION: Sept. 13-16, 2007
This year it features Wooden Stars, Akufen, Pauline Oliveros, and Picastro. Picastro is having their CD release for Whore Luck on Sunday @ 9 and will be joined by Owen Pallet. Click here for full schedule

Queen West Art Crawl

A Launch Party for the Queen West Art Crawl(QWAC) is happening at The Gladstone Hotel on Friday, September 14, 7pm until closing. QWAC runs from the 14th to the 16th. I find its best to go and just wander around because you never know what's going to happen at these things. Highlights of QWAC are:
  • the Outdoor Art Show & Sale in TRINITY BELLWOODS PARK (Queen/Strachan), September 15 - 16, 11am - 6pm
  • ART THAT BINDS performance art series: choral group of lesbian troubadours, all ages games (including zombie tag), Miss Canadiana and much more
  • Afro-Caribbean drummers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) 1001 Queen St. W Saturday, September 15, 10am-4pm
  • Salvation Army Thrift Store (1447 Queen Street West) illuminated by black lights Saturday Only between 9-6pm
  • Tailgatecrasher Party in the Parking Lot Beside Rhino (1249 Queen Street West) Saturday, Sept. 15 only 9-11pm Bands, beer, pickup trucks, and performance mayhem
Also on Saturday:
Good Catch Dear Diary Craft Fair (1556 Queen Street West) 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Erics Trip play Lees Palace and there is a TiFF Afterparty at Gallery 636 2am.

The Weird List by Stevie Nixx

Here it is folks, the second post in our weirdest albums series - where each month I ask someone (they usually work in a record store) to compile a list of the strangest albums they have ever come across. This months list is brought to you by Stevie Nixx:

Everyone has strange albums which for one reason or another have fond feelings for or are just too stupid to forget. So, here are a few that I can remember.

Billy Idol - Cyberpunk

Originally Released: 1995
Label: Chyrisalis

This album is the audio equivalent of being on cheap drugs while reading William Gibson in a smalltown S&M bar. All of the songs are forgettable except, the beyond horrible cover of Heroin by the Velvet underground. What makes this memorable, is the in between song banter which are bad snipits of riots, explosions, Billy pleading for someone to hold him including his father then in utter desperation God. Before the Herion cover is a sample of someone saying "inject" and what sounds like some kind of machine injects Billy, where after he groans, and so do you for having to hear this album.

AC - 40 More Reasons to Hate Us

Originally Released: 1996
Label: Earache

A friend of mine found this for two dollars at a Cash Converters. The full name of the band is Anal Cunt. How could one refuse? The real highlight on this is the cover of the Three's Company theme. For some reason the Grindcore scene has a real love for Alan Thicke, who co-worte the song. Napalm Death also features a drawing of Alan Thicke on one of there early album covers. I guess, they were all watching a lot of television while living in Mom's basement. Well, basically they growl, scream, and vomit vocals over songs which barely clock over a minute, with titles such as Big Pants, Bigger Loser. and one maned simply "Tom Arnold".

Deep, profound and moving.

Snagga Puss - Reggae Funky

Originally Released: 1995
Label: VP

Awww, yeah. Ever wanted to hear that pink cartoon character Snaggle Puss lisp his way though some really awful casio driven riddims? Well, you can't, but the next best thing is Snagga Puss. Snagga urges you to be "healty" and not wear extensions, as sung in "No False Hair" every song sounds the same, and he keeps talking about health. I think perhaps,, this was a vanity project for Snagga, who is likly a Personal Fitness instructor for Shabba Ranks and a nutritionist for Red Rat.

Black Oak Arkansas- X-Rated

Originally Released: 1975
Label: MCA

Getting away from the 90's for a second, we have Black Oak Arkansas. I found this cassette on a picnic table outside an Allman Brothers concert, no shit. Not ever having heard this I had to wait until after the concert to hear this album. Real Dirty South. Titles like "Fightin' Cock" and "Too rough to be Gentle" The back cover of the album shows the slut on the cover lying in hay while the singer,, who sounds like a cross of Capt. Beefheart and Axl Rose doing up his pants as his band mates wait for their turn. Dirty.

Allman and Woman - Two the hard Way

Originally Released: 1986,
Label: Warner Bros.

Brother Gregg Allman and Cher, his new and soon to ex-wife sing some classic blues. I wonder what Cher's currennt audience thinks of Brother Gregg? probably secrectly lust after him or want to be him, back in the early seventies, of course.

Nasty Joe - Hit 'Em with your Thing

Originally Released: 1990
Label: Les Disques Star Records

Hit 'em with what? this looked so Quebec. I had to buy it, a dude in a leather vest, white t-shirt tucked into skintight baby blue jeans with no belt. Awesome. the music sounds like he's doing kareoke over old Paula Abdul songs. So closeted it's great.

Biscuit - Biscuit's Back

Originally Released: ??
Label: AVC

The music is not a big deal here, it sound like some demo's Sir-Mix-a-Lot left in his rubbish. Biscuit's claim to fame is he was the New Kids on the Block's bodyguard. I don't even know if this is true or not. This fascinating tidbit of info was provided by a stoned teenager wearing excessive blue eyeshadow.

The Great Kat - William Tell Overture

Originally Released: 2000
Label: TPR

Clocking in at a total time of just over six minutes, this thrash queen rips through tasteful classics such as "Sodomize' and " Castration" she loves men, loves them, that and shredding... on the guitar of course. (check this for more on her:

Bobby Mcferrin - Simple Pleasures

Originally Released: 1988
Label: EMI

Everyone knows "Don't Worry Be Happy" from this. But have you heard Bobby throat Drive My Car or Sunshine of your Love? Well, I had a friend who worked in a record shop in a shopping mall who I convinced should play this album at full volume. Very quicky, the security came and warned us to turn it down. "No excuse for that shit bein' played that loud." Amazing.

Artist Unknown - Iron Maiden Covers

Originally Released: ??
Label: none

This is one of the best things I have ever found. Someone had a box of tapes sitting at the curb. This one had a bunch of guys playing Iron Maiden songs badly, arguing with each other and boating that "anyone who doesn't think this is hard, well, fuck you" Brilliant, gritty, real.

The Weird List #1 by Bartley

Film Festivals Galore


Toronto International Film Festival Kicks Off

Lots of Film Fest news for you. TIFF is in full swing and the city has come alive with parties, celebrity sightings and films. As Colin Geddes says in his blog about the premiere of Dario Argento's Mother of Tears:

The night kicked off with a launch party for the film where basically everyone you'd ever want to meet showed up. Naturally, Dario and Asia Argento stole the night away, but that only scratches the surface. Also on hand to revel in the rapturous gore that was Mother of Tears were Land of the Dead director George A. Romero and a surprise appearance by Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright.

Damn, wish I was there. But I won't be missing Romero on Saturday so check back here for reviews of that and other films. Head over to for schedules and info.

Toronto After Dark Film Festival

Now, if you like horror films, then you won't want to miss the Toronto After Dark Film Festival , which descends upon us Oct19-25. Zombie fans take note: if you show up at zombie movie premieres dressed as a zombie you get a $2 discount. Here's the latest news from the fest:

Toronto After Dark Film Festival is delighted to announce half its lineup of electrifying new horror and fantasy feature films which premiere this October 19-25 at the Bloor Cinema, in Toronto, Canada. The first 7 of 14 Toronto and Canadian feature premieres unveiled are: David Arquette’s star-studded horror film debut as writer-director (THE TRIPPER), the highly anticipated new zombie musical from Troma Films’ Lloyd Kaufman (POULTRYGEIST: NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD), the most expensive Russian fantasy film ever made (THE WOLFHOUND), a groundbreaking new sci-fi animation from Korea (AACHI & SSIPAK), two critically acclaimed new zombie outbreak films (MULBERRY STREET and AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION) and a hilarious and award-winning documentary about one priest’s disastrous attempt to shoot a Christian version of Star Wars (AUDIENCE OF ONE). Fans can now watch all the trailers to the announced films, and pre-order their Festival Passes at a special early bird rate at the official Toronto After Dark Film Festival website here:

There's lots to check out over at the website, including trailers. The movies look top-notch and there are three zombie film premieres at the fest. Can't wait. Like I said before, Toronto is becoming the unofficial zombie mecca.

Book Launch for What Happened Later by Ray Robertson


Went to the book launch for Ray Robertson's new book What Happened Later. It was a part of This Is Not A Reading Series and it was a double book launch with Ray Robertson and David Creighton, commemorating the 50th anniversary of On the Road. Ray's new book is about the impact of On The Road, on himself and Kerouac. This is from

Taking its title from Kerouac himself—"What Happened Later" was the title of his proposed sequel to On The Road—this novel tells the story of what happened after the fame generated by Kerouac's famous book and what happened next in the life of a young man infatuated with the legendary author. Interweaving the story of one author's slow decline with one boy's literary coming of age, "What Happened Later" explores the ever-shifting dualities of myth and reality, loss and hope, innocence and experience, endings and beginnings.

I haven't read it yet but look forward to it. It has been getting a lot of good reviews and Ray's other book Moody Food has received the Gold Award for Best Regional Fiction in Canada.

While at the launch I noticed some flyers with interesting authors coming soon in This Is Not A Reading Series - such as William Gibson on Sept 21 - but am unable to find any info online. Will keep you posted.

This Is Not A Reading Series
My thoughts on the anniversary of On The Road

LOLA Festival in London

I just found out about this free festival in London, Ontario. This is from their myspace blurb:

We're transforming our city's downtown area into an outdoor Public Art Gallery and indie concert space for you to Love. LOLA is a free festival to all those who attend, it happens from September 20-22 2007 in London, Ontario Canada.

Sounds awesome. Here are some of the bands they have lined up:

The Acorn, Akron/Family, Barmitzvah Brothers, Laura Barrett, Beach House, Geoff Berner, Basia Bulat, Constantines, DD/MM/YYYY, Brian Eno, Feuermusik, Figure & Ground, Final Fantasy, Great Aunt Ida, Grizzly Bear, Holy Fuck, Hylozoists, Jenny Omnichord, Mantler, Carolyn Mark, Meligrove Band, Ohbijou, Old Man Luedecke, OK Cobra, Patrick the Bunny, Sandro Perri, Prefuse 73, Raised By Swans, Shadrach Kabango Snailhouse, Stop Die Resuscitate, Thesis Sahib, Toolshed, Torngat, Tusks, Two Minute Miracles, Video Hippos, Wooden Stars.

And if thats not enough for you, Brian Eno will be premiering his latest generative art installation titled “77 Million Paintings”. There's plenty more to check out so see the website for more information. The festival is free but I suspect you may have to pay to see the bands.

LOLA Festval Website
LOLA Festval myspace page

Disk of the Week


Drums And Guns

by Low

Released : March 2007
Label : Sub Pop
myspace :

Well, I generally always like a new Low album, but to put to words what's wrong with this one. Something's lacking, there are no stand out tracks that you can o.d. on (track 7 is kinda close). Maybe its Zak Sally's absence (Matt Livingston is in his place). Maybe its the synthetic drums and keyboard prominence where guitar-drums-bass always worked before. The whole album seems to lack something i can't quite pinpoint...

Thats not to say I don't like it, it's good and I do - I just don't like it as much as other stuff they have, and probably the last thing I need is yet another Low album - but i'll take it anyway.

The Hipster Olympics


"An epic battle of apathetic grandeur."

Speaking of hipsters, this is pretty funny. I love how they don't realize the race has started until they get a text message telling them the race has started. Ladies pull your socks up!

Go to youtube.

When Kerouac Pointed Out The Road


It took Jack Kerouac 3 weeks to write On the Road, and 6 years to get it published. The original manuscript was written on a 120 foot-long scroll as one long paragraph with no breaks. At the time Kerouac was stuck on how to write his road book. Inspired by the letters of Neal Cassady, Kerouac developed a style of writing he called Spontaneous Prose. With SP, you don't stop to think about what you write you just write everything that comes into your head. Kerouac said "by not revising what you've already written you simply give the reader the actual workings of your thoughts about events in your own unchangeable way."

Why did it take it so long to be published? The original was too difficult to read, because of its format. Kerouac wanted to give us a paragraph that we could experience with him. One long breath of everything that was in him at the time. He wanted us to feel like the road after reading it. While this sounds like an amazing idea, its no wonder it was rejected. Imagine reading this (click to see an image of the scroll).

In addition its content was considered racy at the time. Publishers were conservative and unconvinced. Kerouac had no choice but to revise it. By the time 1957 rolled around the Beat movement could no longer be ignored. The ideas that were unpublishable in '51 became fashionable in '57. As Burroughs said:

"After 1957, On the Road sold a trillion levis, a million espresso machines and also sent countless kids on the road. This was of course due in part to the media, the arch-opportunists. They know a story when they see one, and the Beat movement was a big one... the Beat literary movement came at exactly the right time and said something that millions of people of all nationalities all over the world were waiting to hear. You can't tell anybody anything he doesn't know already. The alienation, the dissatisfaction were already there when Kerouac pointed out the road."

Now in 2007, to coincide with the 50 year anniversary of On The Road, the text from the original scroll has been published. Everything coalesces. In a world where reality tv passes for culture, publishers can finally feel its safe to publish the original manuscript. To the iPod-and-messenger-bag toting hipsters of today, the beat generation is a historical fact, and On The Road is good tame fun. Not to mention attention spans have plummeted. Whether the scroll finds its audience remains to be seen, but somehow I suspect its too little too late.

Tidbits: Shameless, Vice, and Penguin

Help Stacy May Choose a Book Cover
Stacey May of Shameless magazine has written a book and is inviting readers to choose between two book covers. Congrats, Stacey. If you want to cast a vote go here.

Vice wants to save you from your TV
If you haven't done so already, you might want to head on over to VBS.TV. Vice launched their online channel back in February and if you've ever read Vice you know you can count on it to be irreverent and unique. Everything from robotic and sexual active girlfriends in Japan to what's going on in Darfur. The series "Spike Spends Saturday With..." launched yesterday and has Spike talking with MIA.

Penguin Music is Closing its Doors
According to Eye Magazine, Penguin Music (on McCaul - will be shutting it down due to a dispute with their landlord. Not sure how long they have been in business but its a shame when that happens. Landlords can raise the rent as much as they want, and only give a store 30 days notice. There are no restraints whatsoever when it comes to commercial leases - so even a successful store is vulnerable to this. It just ends up killing retail diversity on the street. I guess they can always move, thats what Zoinks! did last year. Funny this was just going to be a one sentence news link but it turned into a rant. Guess I just had to get that off my chest.

Anyways, if anyone knows if there is anything that can be done about this I would really like to hear about it.

Here is a link to the news story in Eye Magazine.

Review: Buddha, Volume 1: Kapilavastu


Buddha, Volume 1: Kapilavastu

by Osamu Tezuka

Just finished reading the first book in Osamu Tezuka series called Buddha. The Buddha series of graphic novels retells the origins of Buddha and his life. I highly recommend this book - I almost read the entire thing in one sitting and I can't wait to get into the second book. The book follows the intermingling storylines of Chapra a slave who goes against the caste system, Tatta a pariah with special gifts, and Naradata a monk searching for answers. Each character is distinct, complex and likable. Tezuki captivates by switching from one character's adventures to another, leaving us hanging on to find out more. The language is modern, which seems strange, but works since the focus is on action. Tezuki also takes the time to explain historical concepts - like deadly locust swarms - that might be foreign to some readers. He leaves no one behind and it is clear to see why he is renowned for his storytelling. I have always been meaning to read about Buddha so this is an excellent introduction. I highly recommend it even if you are not a fan of graphic novels.

Christopher Hitchens Talk

Here is video of author Christopher Hitchens discussing his book "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" as a part of the Authors@Google series. It is over an hour lond but includes a lively question and answer period a towards the end.

Is Toronto the Unofficial Zombie Mecca?


Diary of the Dead , the independent film by George Romero, will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 8, 2007. I don't usually get excited about movie premieres but as a long time Romero fan this is definitely get-there-early line-up and brave-the-crowds exciting. As far as I know this movie doesn't even have a distribution deal yet, so zombie-lovers here in Toronto are pretty lucky to be able to see it first.

The idea of zombies first originated in Haitian folklore. Witch doctors were said to have the power to create zombies using a special powder. They would then have complete control over the zombie and use them as slaves. Since then the idea of zombies has morphed - partly due to Romero's classic1968 film Night of the Living Dead. Romero's zombies are created by an infection that has spread quickly leaving only a few survivors who must fend for themselves. (This is very much like the situation in Richard Matheson's I am Legend, to the extent that some people consider that book part of the zombie genre even though it is about vampires. Go figure.) Today's zombies are cannibals who prefer brain but will eat any part of you. They are only dangerous in large numbers - and can be easily outwitted. They used to always be slow and unable to think but there is a disturbing new trend towards quicker smarter zombies. Its interesting that they have been around long enough to evolve.

Zombies seem to be very popular right now. From Filipino prisoners recreating Thriller to organized walks - zombies are turning up everywhere. Zombie walks are much like flash mobs where groups of people dress up like zombies and stumble through streets and malls. The idea originated in Toronto in October 2003 and has since spread to many major cities across Canada and the U.S. Some walks are tied in with causes like blood donations or anti-shopping days but most are just for fun and coincide with screenings of zombie films. According to Sarah at the blog unknowntoronto the last Toronto sighting of zombies was at the premiere of Fido back in March 2007.

Another indication zombies are hot stuff right now, is the number of zombie movies that have been made recently. This year alone we have had:
  1. 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to 28 Days Later (which was written by Alex Garland) where all the zombies move like they are on speed.

  2. Fido - a dark comedy where thanks to a special collar zombies help out around the house. This movie goes back to the idea of zombies as slave.

  3. Resident Evil: Extinction

  4. Day of the Dead - the remake. Made as an homage to the original.

  5. Diamond Dead

  6. Planet Terror, Robert Rodriguez's contribution to the double feature, Grindhouse, is a straight up zombie movie.

  7. Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane (awaiting wide release) - think Snakes on a Plane crossed with Day of the Dead. Beware, these zombies also move quickly.

As I write this I wonder why I like zombies so much. Maybe its because they bring about a complete breakdown of society or maybe they create the perfect anti-hero or maybe it has to do with their brain eating cannibalism. There are many reasons but mostly I'd like to think that in the event of an all out zombie outbreak, I would be well prepared. I can't be the only one who feels this, there is actually a book titled The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks that has been on the best-seller list. All this begs the question: Is it just me, or is it just Toronto or is the whole world infected with zombie fever?

Disc of the Week


The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn

by CocoRosie

Released : April 2007
Label : Touch and Go
myspace :

This is the third album from Brooklyn-based CocoRosie. Their unique blend folk, indie and lo-fi electronica is quirky yet accessible. The two sisters have contrasting styles, Bianca being a classically trained opera singer and Sierra with her free spirited child-like warbling. Together they create a fairy tale world of dreamy fuzzed out beats, with ethereal melodies punctuated by the tinkling of bike bells and music boxes. Imagine two grown elves getting drunk in a rich kids romper room. There are some hip-hop elements - especially in the first two songs - but overall the album is too minimal and down tempo to be called that. If you like Joanna Newsom or Sparklehorse than I think you'll like CocoRosie.

The Weird List

The weirdest albums series. Each month I will ask an audiophile to compile a list some of the strangest albums they have ever come across. Here is this months list (in no particular order) brought to you by Bart.

Skip Spence - Oar

Oar by Skip Spence

Originally Released: 1969
Category: Acid-drenched

This is from :

The only solo album by the former member of Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Moby Grape, "Oar" has achieved legendary status not only for it's stark, quiet ramblings, but also for the story surrounding its acid-drenched creation. After a six-month incarceration in Bellevue Hospital, Spence cut Oar's wispy folk in a mere two weeks. The results flopped commercially, but over time have garnered admirers the likes of Tom Waits, Robert Plant and Beck. An utterly unique and compelling record.

Brent Spiner - Ol Blue Eyes is Back

Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back by Brent Spiner

Originally Released: 1988
Category: Celebrity

Everyone knows that William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy have put out some campy albums - but Data? Apparently its all 40's style crooning and Data can barely hold a note. It even has back up vocals by some of his co-stars including Patrick Stewart.

Hermann Nitsch's Orgies Mysteries Theater

Hermann Nitsch's Orgies Mysteries Theater - (Musik Der 80. Aktion)

Category: Avant-Art

According to B: It goes from being Ooom-pah-pah to drone. This is "noise ecstasy" music involving bull sacrifice, crucifixions and is not for the faint of heart. We're talking 6 day orgiastic ritual that takes place in the composer's castle in Prinzendorf, Austria. The events are recorded and put out on Cortical Foundation - which also puts out stuff by Terry Riley, The Poetics, Nihilist Spasm Band, John Cage, Derek Bailey. Nitsch is well respected as an artist and composer so if you are serious about your orgy music this is your man.

More pics.
Offizielle Homepage (in german).

Jim Jones

Jim Jones - Audio Recordings

Category: Cult

This is one of those sad moments in history that happens to be well documented. There are thousands of audio tapes in addition to some recordings of the reverend himself. This blog does a nice job of summarizing and providing mp3s.

The Shaggs' - Philosophy of the World

The Shaggs' - Philosophy of the World

Originally Released: 1969
Category: Outsider Music

The original all girl group. The girls were put together by their father, Austin Wiggin, Jr. In the mid-1960s he withdrew his daughters from school, bought them instruments, and arranged for them to receive music lessons. The next year, the girls went into the studio and recorded their album, Philosophy of the World. The album was lost ignored at the time. In 1999 it was released on CD and became a cult classic especially among those who love outsider music (Daniel Johnston, Caroliner).
Source: Wikipedia

YaHoWa 13

Ya Ho Wa 13 - The Lovers and the Chariot

Originally Released: 1974
Category: Cult

Founded in 1969 in the Los Angeles area, Ya Ho Wa 13, otherwise known Yahowha 13, is now regarded as one of the best American psychedelic bands. Fronted by Father Yod, spiritual leader of the religious cult/commune, The Source Family, the band recorded 9 LPs and demonstrated their extreme psychedelic sound with tribal drums and distorted guitars, all completely unrehearsed and unedited.
Source: Wikipedia

More trippy album covers and details.
Visit Father Yod at

Uri Geller Album

Uri Geller (Self-titled)

Originally Released: 2000
Category: Kitsch

Uri Geller is best known for using his mind to bend spoons. He even has a Cadillac adorned with bent cutlery given to him by various celebrities. Released on the label Forkbender(UK) this album is so bad its good.


Tidbits: Keith, Hunter and Harry Potter


Keith Richards Signs Book Deal Keith Richards, of the Rolling Stones, is getting $7 million to write his memoirs. It should come as no surprise since he has had a very interesting life, lets just hope he doesn't leave out the good bits. Click here for more

Charles Simic named as 15th U.S. poet laureate
Click here for more

The Rum Diary Hunter S. Thompson's autobiographical novel "The Rum Diary" is being made into a movie with Johnny Depp.
Click here for more

Commuter writes novel on the Way to Work Robert Bernocco has wriiten a science fiction novel on his cell phone. Bernocco used his time commuting to work to write the book by saving paragraphs on his phone and editing them later at home. The book can be found at for $17.95. (I don't know whether to be inspired by this.)
Click here for more

In case you hadn't heard by now...
Sales of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" reached 11.5 million copies in the U.S. in its first 10 days and "The Simpsons Movie" is leading the pack at the box office.

Review: I am Legend by Richard Matheson

I am Legend What makes a Legend?

I just read the book I am Legend and was pleasantly surprised that it went way beyond my expectations. What was I expecting? I guess I was expecting a book about vampires with a lot of blood drinking, stakes driving through hearts, and lusty metaphors about what happens when one partakes in sinful behaviors. That wouldn't have been all that bad but by staying away from stereotypes this book goes beyond all that and dares to ask some pretty big questions. Today, Matheson's book continues to gain a wider audience, inspire writers and film makers and its the universal questions it asks that make it a classic.

Richard Matheson is considered a master of suspense and has had a long and varied career writing novels and television episodes (The Twilight Zone, Star Trek). Many of his books have been turned into films including I am Legend which has had three films made so far. The latest film is due out soon and is sparking a renewed interest in the novel. I remember watching Omega Man a long time ago so I was eager to read the original story.

First, here's a little synopsis, which hopefully does not give away too much. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has been all but wiped out by vampires. Robert Neville appears to be the only survivor. He has lost his wife - and is in constant danger. He spends all his time drinking, killing and trying not to be killed. To keep himself sane, Neville decides to research the science behind his hellish new reality in the hopes of finding a solution. The futility of his situation makes him question whether it is worth all the effort it takes to survive in this world.

Genre-wise this novel is difficult to pinpoint. It is at times horror, science fiction and psychological thriller. It is to Matheson's credit that he can cross genres and I think this is in part why the story has such mass appeal. Another reason is that despite being written in the 50's it is still relevant today and doesn't feel dated. I found it easy to read because of this.

Surprisingly this is a dark novel with very little action. My one complaint with the novel is Matheson's sparse style made it feel like I was reading a laundry list at times. Despite this, Matheson's skill for plot twists and building suspense makes for an unpredictable story. It definitely saves the book and kept me reading. While it is not be a literary masterpiece, it does ask the fundamental question: is life worth living? And any book that does that is worth reading.

List of Record Stores in Toronto

While, the closing of Sam the Record Man signals the beginning of the end for CD sales, vinyl seems to be making a comeback. Not one to miss out on a trend I began looking for local record stores in Toronto and noticed that there doesn't seem to be a definitive directory anywhere. So here it is. I am currently in the process of verifying so let me know if I missed something. Given the fickle nature of the business I'm sure things will continue to change. (Note: vinyl/lps/records only)

Babel Books (123 Ossington Avenue)
Backbeat Records (2071 Yonge Street)
Circus Books (253 Gerrard East)
Cool Boutique (329 Queen Street West)
Criminal Records (493 Queen Street West)
Discovery Records (1140 Queen St E)
Hits and Misses (860 Bloor St W) **NEW**
In The Groove (1174 Queen Street East )
Kops Records(229 Queen St W)
Monster Records (664 Yonge St)
Neurotica (642 Queen W)
Pandemonium Books and Discs, (2862 Dundas St W)
Penguin Music (on McCaul just north of Queen)
Play De Record(357A Yonge St)
Release Records (527 Yonge St)
Rotate This (620 Queen Street West)
She Said Boom (372 College St/393 Roncesvalles Ave)
The Record Shoppe (458 Parliament St) **NEW**
Sonic Temple (5165 Yonge St., North York)
Sonic Boom (512 Bloor St W at Bathurst)
Vortex (2309 Yonge Street - second floor)
Zoinks Music and Books (1019 Bloor St W)


A film based on the novel Choke by Chuck Palahniuk has started filming.
Click here...
William Gibson talks about his new novel Spook Country in Wired.
Click here...
Watch Palahniuk interview Stephen King.
Click here...

Thriller - Filipino style

Wow! From a jail in the Philippines!

Voices: Plastic bag ban

I have been wondering how the general public feels about banning plastic. In my view plastic is a necessary evil but we should try to reduce and reuse as much as possible. This interesting article from lists comments from various people about how they feel about banning plastic.

I'm not sure if I support a plastic bag ban. I use all the bags I get my groceries for garbage or other such uses, saving me from having to buy plastic kitchen waste bags or lunch bags (which would defeat the purpose). I usually do my shopping after coming off the TTC on my way home. I'm not going to want to carry around a heavier vinyl bag just in case I think of picking a few groceries up. There has to be a more creative way to solve this problem.
Sean Marshall, Toronto

I think eliminating plastic bags and replacing them with reusable bags is a great idea. However, I was not impressed when one grocery retailer was offering ridiculously small reusable bags that rendered them useless. On top of that they were charging 99 cents. Why charge for these bags and not the plastic bags? It should be the other way around. Why is it so difficult for those in charge to make the logical choice?
Paul Pannozzo, Etobicoke

Next we'll be forced to reduce the amount of organic waste we create on account of not having any plastic bags to put in the green bin.
Jay Borvin, Toronto

Proposing a ban is just silly. Pet owners rely on plastic bags to clean up animal waste. Homeowners use the plastic bags in their green bins, not to mention the re-uses these bags get for carrying lunches to work or school! Leave plastic bags out of it and focus on something significant like car emissions.
Stephanie Geosits, Toronto

I'm interested in knowing what all the dog owners are going to use. They use tons of plastic bags to scoop the poop. They should definitely be targeted. They use a huge bag for a teeny bit of refuse.
Christine Szymanski, Toronto

I like my plastic bags and they save me buying additional bags to pick up my dog's mess. Hey, this just means that there will be additional bags at the checkout for me. Thanks.
Mark Boyce, Toronto

In the Netherlands, you have to purchase plastic bags from grocery stores. When Dutch people do their grocery shopping at supermarkets and smaller shops, they bring their own large shopping bags made of cloth or plastic, which you can purchase at supermarkets or kitchen and appliance stores. Bringing your own shopping bags also reduces the number of plastic bags you accumulate at home and eventually end up throwing out.
Susan Redelaar, Amsterdam

Yes, but not until publishers stop cutting our forests for newsprint.
Phillip Adler, Thornhill

Not only should supermarkets be encouraged to give up their plastic, but companies like Sears (who do waste a lot of plastic), The Bay, Home Outfitters, etc., need to be encouraged to asked customers if they want a bag or not, and have some kind of rewards program set up.
Nora McClure, North York

Ban plastic shopping bags and two things will happen: 1. Our city will instantly smell like a toilet due to the number of people not picking up after their dogs; 2. The Green bin program will falter. People will not be putting food directly in the bin because there is no way people will be keeping a bin around their properties that has leftover garbage fermenting in it because garbage collectors failed to completely empty the bins. I for one will not be washing out the bin.
Dan Flanagan, Toronto

I remain dumb founded at the fact that people do not want to ban plastic bags and refuse to pay for them in the stores. Having lived in Europe for two years it is standard practice that you pay for your plastic shopping bags at all grocery stores. All other stores tended to use paper shopping bags of some sort. We just don't get it here in Canada.
Sabrina Sartori, Toronto

Wow! The first Post

Its summertime! That means going to the farmer's market in Dufferin Park and catching up on my reading. Oddly enough there seems to be post-apocalyptic theme emerging from the books I've chosen. Is it just me or is there a general feeling of doom in air among writers. Here's what I am going to read:
  1. Strange Matters by Tom Siegfried
  2. A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller, Jr
  3. Night Train by Martin Amis
  4. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  5. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  6. What We All long For by Dionne Brand
  7. I'll let you know what I think as I finish each one.