Thursday, January 26, 2017

Still sidelined, plus Paul Leahy, wendythirteen, and the Van-Cover cassette

It's funny, views of my articles here are at an all time high - ranging from hundreds to thousands of views, depending on the piece, according to blogger's stats - and I find myself barely able to write: with warehouse work, carpal tunnel syndrome, some tentative forays back into ESL, plus wedding plans, I'm about as removed from this as I've been, and may remain so for awhile.

Plus I have a cold.

But I do have some articles out there at the moment: for instance, in the Straight this week, on Friday's tribute to Paul Leahy, whom I knew best for years as David M's cohort in NO FUN. Fact is, I was always more of a David M. fan, when it came to the songwriting in that band, drawn in my David's sardonic wit more than Paul's odd tunes or his guitarcraft (tho' David M. has said the two were equal collaborators in everything, and I like Tim Chan's observation that, "with NO FUN, people laughed at David M's humour and smiled from ear to ear at Paul's lead guitar playing"). Turns out that Paul's songs stand up quite well, though, like "Uptight and Anxious" or "When She Has Her Coffee," which you can buy through CDBaby, if you like, with proceeds going to the Paul Leahy GoFundMe... You can also get a nice bit of recompense, if you donate, direct from David M. (as I mention in the Straight article) as he'll send a download of a digitized version of the 1986 "Generic Drivel" rarity, the Van-Cover cassette. (I haven't actually ever heard this, though I'm very curious who "the Wallflowers" might be - no relation to Bob Dylan's progeny, I assume - or what their cover of that Dream Syndicate song might be like). Poster by David M:

Anyhow, back in the day, I kinda treated Paul as the "straight man of NO FUN," for the most part. Then when Polly's first CD came out, I was mostly listening to the occult electronica of Sistrenatus, plus a bit of death metal and black metal, about as far from joyous glam as can be. I recognized the skill of his songcraft and the richness of his guitar in my Straight review - and one song, "Put a Little English On It," managed to get through to me - but mostly I really wasn't in the mood.

Sad, then: I'm actually in a space to enjoy Polly now, listening to a lot more upbeat music than I was a few years ago, and the band is done, Paul in hospice in Surrey. I'm glad I got to see him play in Polly once (with the Pointed Sticks, last year, also at the Rickshaw). I'm glad I got to meet him - we chatted a bit after that show - and that I put the article out there while he was still around, though I doubt he'll be able to take it in. In fact, part of me wonders if Paul may have already passed, and there's a quiet conspiracy to keep the news public until after Friday's show, to not put a cloud over it... or if, on the other hand, Paul is just hanging in there so the show can go off before he turns to the light, y'know?

I didn't go into detail in the Straight article, which had to be lean and mean, but Tim Chan of China Syndrome points out how to pre-order copies of the Polly Package, in order to be guaranteed to get a copy (featuring Paul's otherwise unreleased Pleasure Suit project, and signed copies of All Messed Up, among other things).

For PayPal, use this link: log into your PayPal account and click “Pay or send money.”

Click “Pay for goods and services.” 
When prompted for an e-mail, input: Click “Next.” Enter $35.00 as the amount.

In the “add a note” box mention that it is for the Polly Package Box Set. 
For E-transfer, send electronic transfer through online banking to

The Polly Package will be available for pick-up at the Super Duper Show on January 27th with ID. E-mail if other arrangements need to be made.

You can also read Kimiko's thoughts on the passing of her partner on the Scattered Sacred blog.

Writing on all this, I can't but think of my father, dying in hospice in Maple Ridge in 2009 - how he seemed mostly to be sleeping that last day, wasn't really able to respond to what was going on, but how in his last minute he seemed to wake up and open his eyes, seeming to look far into the distance as his breathing slowed and his body fell away from him... I hope he could hear me, and Mom, that he knew we were there with him, but I don't know that he could; his attention, if that's what it was, seemed focused on something far beyond (and I have inwardly called bullshit on any movie I've seen since that has people closing their eyes to die; based on that one experience, I have it in my head that you open them).

Anyhow, I'll be at the Rickshaw on Friday, though I may duck out to check out Crackwhore down the street at Pat's Pub - because I have written about wendythirteen for BC Musician magazine (copies at the Rickshaw and with Wendy, at present, though I'll be distributing more of them around town at present... maybe I will guerrilla-distro a few at the Cobalt?). It's a pretty interesting issue, actually: it has a venue guide for touring musicians, so if you're tackling a tour of BC that takes you out of the cozy confines of Vancouver, you can find out places that might welcome you.

That's it for now, though. The only gig I have planned for the forseeable future will be in June, and it will be one I'm deeply involved in, since it will celebrate my wedding (which is actually happening in May). Before then, I might put some of the "outtakes" from that wendythirteen piece up, but they might be a bit on the contentious side (there were various things that got removed from the article, like Clay Holmes' calling the lease Wendy was offered in the last days at the Cobalt "the slumlord version of the Necronomicon" - people just don't wanna get sued, I guess!)

Meantime, if I'm not at work, I'm probably watching Outlander on the couch with my girl. (She was sport enough to survive six and a half seasons of The Walking Dead, plus the one and a half of the spinoff, so she deserves the break - but I'm actually enjoying the series, and come to think of it, we might take in the Real McKenzies come March, with all this Scottish stuff around, especially since she is gearing up to take my name).

See you Friday?

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