Archive for August, 2010

Weekend Gig

For anyone who might be interested, I’ll be playing in a duo with guitarist Ian Jarvis Saturday night at The Interstice.  Also playing will be Toronto prepared guitar/guzheng duo Lamb Chops.  Ian and I will be playing a mix of non-idiomatic improvisation and compositions for two guitars.

If you like this:

And this:

Then you’re in for a treat.


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by Matt

I was looking through old pictures and came across this one taken in Queens in May.  Anyone know anything about it?  If it smells how I think it smells (that unholy combo of Labbatt 50, cheap pizza, cheap smokes, sweat, stagnant river water and carnal desperation) then…  well…  it’s not good.

By the way what is that girl doing in that ad?  Is she just dumping it off the side of a building or what?  If it smells how I think it smells…  I don’t blame her.

*product is not actually by Lise Watier.

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Montreal gets a nice write-up in this Yahoo News article.  About half of the article itself is about Montreal with some quotes from Luc Ferrandez.  Take-away Ferrandez quote:  “Parking is very sensitive.”

Canadian Cities Slowly Going Green

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By Matt

According to Foreign Policy:

31. Montreal

“A horse carriage is shown going through the streets in old downtown Montreal on March 8, 2005. Before Vegas stole the nickname “Sin City,” that title went to Montreal, once the destination for Americans journeying north to enjoy the vices outlawed in the Prohibition-era United States. Montreal now has another claim to fame: The city has become headquarters for many of the world’s leading video-game developers.”

Toronto placed:

14. Toronto

“About half of Toronto’s citizens are foreign-born. As the city ages — about one-fifth of locals are 60 or older — Toronto is likely to become more dependent on its immigrant community to revitalize its workforce. Above, the sun sets over the Toronto skyline.”

Personally, I like being between Mexico City and Geneva in the 31st spot.  Not too high and not too low, just a comfy middling.  I have to admit that I envy that description of Toronto, though where immigrants are allowed to fully bring their culture into the public sphere.  I think that Montreal could benefit from a less heavy-handed government-imposed mono-culturalism.  And, sometimes a situation calls for that many hyphens.

The list.

The slideshow.

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Matt:  Wow, these are some frrrreeeeeeshhhh curds.

Julia: Mmm-hmm. Yum. They might be the best cheese curds I’ve ever had. Adorable packaging, too.

Matt:  I didn’t think to ask where they were from but as good as they are they aren’t quite as good as fresh St. Albert’s curds, my formative curd.  But they don’t sell them around here.  You have to go to eastern Ontario.  These are fantastic, though.  You’d better put them away before things get out of hand.

Julia: (turns away, stuffing curds into her mouth) What? No. Go away.

Matt:  Give me those you little doormouse.  This is like crack to you.

Julia's crack pipe.

Julia: (stuffs the curds into her purse) Fine. We’ll have them later. The samples at La Maison du Cheddar were also delicious. There was an aged cheddar, a creamy thing, and an old goat thing. I like the creamy thing best but they were all great. I also liked how the girl serving us couldn’t help eating some too while she was slicing it.

Matt:  Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff here that we need to get.  They also apparently make a mean grilled cheese sandwich.  They of course come with a side of curd.

Julia: That sounds intense. I give La Maison du Cheddar 5 hand to mouths.

Matt:  Yup, it’s like a Hoover Dam for your colon.  I also give it 5 Hands to Mouths.

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First up is Pakola Ice Cream Soda.

Matt:  Wow, before we even taste this I have to comment on the unnatural colouring of this stuff.  It’s bizarre looking.

Julia: I don’t want any.

Matt:  I mean, I know the can’s green but I didn’t realize that it was representative of the colour of the drink itself.  Coke isn’t red and Pepsi isn’t blue.  Pakola is GREEN.

Julia: Wow, that is vile.

Matt:  Yeah, that’s one of the worst things I’ve ever tasted. It tastes like industrial strength floor cleaner.

Julia: It would be medicinal, but it doesn’t have enough bite. It’s more just SWEET. And gross.

Matt:  I can’t drink any more.

Julia: *postscript* We left the Pakola on the counter for two days, in an open glass. Not a single insect expressed interest.

Finally, Camlica, a Turkish clear cola.

Matt:  This is pretty good, actually.  Like Pepsi but not so heavy and syrupy.

Julia: At first it tasted like Sprite, but I think it was the color playing with my mind. It’s more like Coke or Pepsi, but with a refreshing citrusy note.

Matt:  I’d get this again.

Julia: It gets points for neat packaging.

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Matt:  We`ve walked past this place a million times and have always meant to stop in.  I`m glad we did, this is delicious.

Julia:  The pastilla was great. I was starving, but I almost couldn’t finish it. The chicken, almond, raisin, and egg mixture was so rich and flavourful. That guy outside who said, “Get the pastilla,” did not steer us wrong.

Matt:  Indeed he didn’t.  I’d come back here anytime to get another one of these.  The flaky crust is fantastic and while it may be a little dry the mint tea we ordered was a perfect washer-downer.

Julia:  Mmm-hmm. And I know it’s traditionally taken with lots and lots of sugar, I appreciate that they ask. I think the strong unsweetened mint tea we opted for was a perfect foil for the rich pastilla. Sweetened it would have been way over the top.

Matt:  It was a short visit but a good one.  I give Al Iman 5 Hand to Mouths.

Julia: Yay! I’d like to add that the service was really friendly and the woman who helped us was very happy to explain what everything was. Plus they have an ice cream cooler and sell rocket-pops.

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