Al Mader was a fantastic Edgar Allen Poe last year

Annual Dead Poet’s Slam tonight!

Come dressed as your favorite dead poet, author or literary figure.
(Or even come dressed as a favorite dead character from a poem or story.)
Reading in charactor is encouraged as it gets you a better chance at prizes!

“For what seems like the 343rd year the Vancouver Poetry Slam will be raising the dead and perhaps raising hell at the annual Dead Poets Slam. Your host will be the ghoulish Svelte Ms. Spelt. Bring a couple of poems and dress up in your pumpkin high heels to try and win the scary prizes. Cover is $5, doors at 8, show at 9. We’ll be going until the witching hour.”

(I’m going as a warmly dressed Sappho)

This will also be your last chance to purchase advance tickets to the Solomon Sparrow show (Mike McGee, Anis Mojgani, Buddy Wakefield, Dan Leaman and Derrick Brown) happening tomorrow night at the Cottage Bistro. $15 in advance. 7pm or 10pm. I don’t know which one Duncan and I are going to, but I’ll try to remember to ask.

should have skipped on sin and gone to the jackson house party instead

A million seconds is 13 days.
A billion seconds is 31 years.
A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

dum spiro, spero (while I breathe, I hope)

Everywhere I go looks aged from the dust still falling from my powdered hair. I had a shower this morning before I went to bed, but my pillow still looked like a movie prop when I woke, post apocalyptic, like something that hasn’t been touched in a decade. I will use all the hot water tonight after work, I think, sluicing the talc out, laughing to myself as I sit in the tub, brushing conditioner through and trying to melt the braids, curls, and Marie Antoinette styled back-combed pouffe.

The Parade of Lost Souls was tremendous fun. A lot of the usual was missing this year, even more so than last year, (it’s a long list), but the event is such a fierce creature that slip-shod planning has yet to destroy it. Instead, I think of it as dented, and as such, fixable.

People were found, collected, stripped from us by the crowd, collated with strangers dressed as a thousand fantastic things. Paintings, muppets, robots, dead TV shows, dead royalty, unexpected objects, and other assorted imaginary creatures. After losing Alastair, Devon, Lung, James, Kyle, Merlyn, etcetera, etcetera.. Nicole and I became part of the parade, dancing at the very front with the annual White Band Sweepers, a man dressed as an iPhone, and a silent-film version of Crispen Glover complete with rat. (And very dapper he was). Everyone was smiling, joyful, singing, dancing. Hundreds upon hundreds.

Delighted, feeling blessed, loving the rogue pyrotechnics, the howling enthusiasm, Nicole and I bravely watched the surging crowds and fire dancing finale from the dark slippery roof of the Grandview Park Community building in spite of my climbing-inapropriate costume, (my corset, my trailing wedding dress, my suicidal six inch heels). The police eventually discovered our intrepid group and coaxed us down, but we felt proud of our little dangerous adventure and continued exploring the madness undaunted. Well, until we came upon the pastel furry fight pile – that was a little much. That’s when we turned back and went to SinCity instead.


  • Amazon creates a gigantic DRM free music store.
  • Radiohead lets fans pick price for new album.

    Chasing shadows across the streets, neon signs beginning to look too timeless to be real, my paragraphs are walking barefoot next to the side of a highway, lost in the sound of a voice it doesn’t quite remember. To compensate, I stay up excruciatingly late learning a contemporary calligraphy designed for my favourite of the things my last boyfriend worked on – an L.A. based Alice in Wonderland music video, its director born in Vienna, that features English couture, shot-for-shot rips-off Czechoslovakian stop-motion art direction and starring a woman appropriating Japanese Harajuku culture, (a reassembling of American/English fashion) – just so I can write a four word letter and mail it to next month. It’s a toss-up, either I need new hobbies or I’m just continuing my life out of habit, going through the motions because they’re so deeply ingrained, doing things because they seem like the sort of thing I would do. Neither option particularly comforts me at three a.m., when I keep myself busy with these preposterous things.

  • Ministry, Killing joke bassist Paul Raven died Oct 21st from a heart attack.
  • Pychic TV’s Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge died Oct 11th from a previously undiagnosed heart condition.
  • socalled music

    I have a new musical obsession.


    Brainchild of musician, photographer, magician and writer, Josh Dolgin, they’re a Jewish-culture Montreal Jazz-Klezmer Hip-Hop group with shimmering 1920’s piano and Romanian/Latin-American percussion.


    Their latest single, You are Never Alone, begins with a soft clip, reminiscent of The Avalanches, and drops down into a catchy riff which positively throbs with promise, clearing the way for a theatrical bout of MC story-telling. It all works exceptionally well with the video, a fantastical transformation of Mr. Dolgin into a complicated, high-tech re-imagining of an antique theatre. (You might remember their rough video with (these are the) good old days too).

    “Truly these are the good old days where man, woman, and child can all log on the internet and text message each other across their own house, where there is any form of contraceptive from solid, liquid, to gas, we have reached the point of civilization like the Incans reached when they had gold roads and the Egyptians reached when they had, like, magical buildings and secret things, so what you do is you kiss whoever you kiss, grab whoever you grab, because these are truly the good old days and it does not get any better than this. When it does you wake up and then you’re dead.”

    I’ve had their latest album, Ghettoblaster, on infinite repeat since I found a copy. I can’t not. From the clever intro, the sound of someone slotting a cassette into a car tape-deck, to the bonus hidden remix track, it’s eclectic, relevant, wickedly smart, funny, and perishingly sexy. It groans and grins, powerfully melodic, full of cultural anthropology, swinging horn solos, splashes of Yiddish rap, layers of juicy, highly literate rhythms, and a willowy, elegantly stretched sense of timing. Even unexpected clips of musicians talking in the studio are beautiful, adding a charming depth of personality and character to moments that might have been weak without them. As a hint, their wikipedia entry states some of their almost inexplicable, modern style as “…drums & bass and other types of folk music.”

    It’s only when you start to really listen do you realize how gracefully strange their punchy melding of cultures really is, how tightly they wove what should have been a vocal sprawl. Every song is really its own mysterious and wonderfully imaginative mood, an entire exploration into genre. Each time I pay attention, another thread of creativity manifests. Banjo, for example, it has banjo? I missed that it’s practically glittering with banjo? Yes, apparently, I think, rewinding and playing again. How rare.

    BUY THE ALBUM: it’s not even $10.
    (find them on MySpace)
    (the socalled video blog)

    What’s Happening This Hallowe’en.

    Dear world, I would like to be able to sleep properly. Kthxbye.

    Alastair‘s stunned me silly with a cream white linen medical corset for Hallowe’en. It’s just the tiniest too big for me, but easy enough to adjust. To go with it, I found a gigantic wedding skirt at Value Village that they knocked down from $65 to $19.99 for me. It’s more fabric than my bedspread and it’s even got a train. I’m absolutely tickled. Fantastically inspired by Lolly Jane Blue*, with a bit of white facepaint, flour in my hair, and some carefully applied cross-hatching lines of black eye-pencil, I’m going to be a walking illustration.

    A squeeing illustration. Heh.

    Tonight I’m missing out on the 48 Hour Bloodshots Horror Festival** because James, Sumi, and I are going to DJ Krush at the Commodore, Thursday I’ve got a photoshoot, and Friday and Saturday are insanely overbooked. Vancouver has a pleasant over-abundance of Hallowe’en parties this year.


    Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long. Playing at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre on Oct. 26th or 27th at 8pm, tickets are 25 well spent dollars. They’re playing with C.R. Avery on Friday and Dan Mangan on Saturday. I’m planning on attending the Friday. Duncan has two free tickets to whoever wants them for the Saturday.

    Sing-Along Carmina Burana! Hosted by City Opera Vancouver, my friend Adam Abrams is producing this event, 8:00 pm at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church. This has got to be one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard of happening here. I’m pained to be missing it. Tickets are $20.

    Plastic Acid Quartet. Mishka, her brother Bryan, Brad Pyke, and ___? will be playing pop and rock songs on classical instruments at Cafe Du Soliex, one night only. Cover is $5.

    Hallowe’en Skytrain Party Vancouver Public Space, our most organized flash-mob group, is hosting another Skytrain Dance Party! Hurrah. Meet at 8:45pm at VCC Clark Station and don’t be late. If you are, this time, thankfully, the party’s going to continue at a secret venue, so make sure you have a friend with a cell phone attending to let you in on the know if you miss the crazy train.

    Something Wicked This Way Comes VIII Now that Sanctuary’s moved to Friday’s, Vancouver’s longest-running goth/alternative night is holding its massive Hallowe’en party on a weekend for the first time. Aaron Mr. Dark goes utterly over the top with decorations ever year and this year’s theme is gore, so expect to walk into a club transformed into part Hellraiser, part Night of the Living Dead, part classic horror and all awesome. Tickets are $10, this year’s prize for best costume is $400.

    Wings turns 22 at Organix. AKA Goaween, the Organix annual Hallowe’en Party, where all the ravers come out to play. Cover is $6 or free with a costume. Expect trance music, fairy-wings, glowsticks, glitter, GHB, and ecstacy.

    VeloFusion VeloWeen. The bikers of Critical Mass and the party people of Vancouver meet in the Anza the last Friday of every month. Crazyness ensues. (A previous theme was “get naked for free beer”) This time with hallowe’en costumes. “Bands, Djs and burlesque. The unstoppable DJ Timothy Wisdom, the Dub and Rock of the Down Low, the dance madness of the Carnival Band, sexy burlesque from Your Little Pony and the foot stomping dance intensity of DJ Corrior. If you love to dance, this is definitely the event for you.” Doors at 8, tickets are $10 without costume, $5 with.

    Tickle Trunk Karaoke Costumes & Candy Pre-Hallowe’en Party Apparently there is a monthly mad costumed karaoke at Hoko’s Karaoke Palace, (362 Powell Street). I’ve never been and know nothing about it past what it said in the invte, “year as well as having spookily delicious candy and better-than-usual prizes there will also be some musical interludes by the bloodthirsty karaoke inspired band Werewolves of Creston. … This is your chance to test drive this year’s Hallowe’en kit, mix and match, or dress up from the ever changing On-the-Spot Tickle Trunk.” Cover is $5.

    Shakti’s Grand Opening Commercial Drive’s Tea and ‘Elixir’ House is finally having their grand opening. Expect tea, ‘aphrodisiacs, smoke-ables, raw food, massages, Dj’s, visual art, and people who spell magic with an extra “k”. There’s a “special elixir toast” at 7 pm and a dance performance at 9:30.


    Bouffons for Public Displays of Affection. 5:00pm – 7:00pm at Victory Square Park, thier blurb says, “On the streets of the city – out in public – a group of emerging artist will delve into a world of affection. They set out to explore issues ranging from physicality, sexuality, and intimacy. The performances will trigger questions of when is it noticeable, what is acceptable and how we evaluate levels of tolerance to public displays of affection.” As far as I can figure, it’s clown not-sex in the park at the edge of the wrong side of town.

    PARADE OF LOST SOULS!!! Commercial Drive is closed down from 1st to Venebles for this event as thousands of people in wild and spectacular costumes come celebrate the Day of the Dead with a festival of performance, fire, music, dancing, and wonderful delight. (Our very own Chris Murdoch will be performing.)It seems they’re keeping last year’s reversal of events, having the processions move from the shrines and performances of the gravel field through the streets to the park, but here’s hoping they’ve learned from last year and figured out how to make that not suck. Every year, this is quite truly one of the very few Vancouver events that is seriously Not To Be Missed. 6 pm – 10 pm at Grandview Park.

    (Jill Binder is having a pre-parade get together at her place. There won’t be one at mine this year because I’ll be over at Alastair’s.)

    The Vancouver Clubhouse Hallowe’en. This is less a public event and more of a reminder for those who already know about it. This is the Culbhouse’s final event. Because of that, their’s going to be collecting everyone’s Clubhouse memories of the past eight years to put on a DVD to hand out for later. (I won their costume contest last year, but I’m committed elsewhere already, boo.)

    Mike and Alannah’s Spacy Hallowe’en Another Just-A-Reminder mention. 50 years ago this month, Sputnik 1 became the first artificial satellite of earth. We still don’t have colonies on the moon, but nevertheless, Space is the theme for this year’s Halloween party. Come in costume if you can, extra points for space-related ones. BYOB; they will provides snacks (sugary & otherwise).

    Odd Ball From The Crypt. “For Queers, Breeders, Zombies and Freaks.” A wonderful burlesque circus and DJ event, the OddBall is an annual dance party held at the WISE Hall, a great compliment to The Parade of Lost Souls. This year’s theme is Tales From The Crypt. Tickets are $10.

    Deadbeats 666. “OFMAS once again proudly hosts this annual Halloween event focused on design, creativity and decor.” Funky all-night tech-house is a 100% legal venus, so no worries on getting shut down. (Finally). Open Studios #200-252 East 1st Ave. $20 before midnight.

    Cave of Whores Burning Man Camp Lemuria is hosting a Hallowe’en party at Cyber Club at the Plaza of Nations with a costume theme of Horror Whores. Expect raver-toys, poi, things that glow in the dark, dirty thumping techno, pogressive house, and not a lot of clothing. Tickets are $15 and $20 after midnight.

    Grand Slam Night of Performance Art & Hip Hop. Gallery Gachet presents an interdisciplinary party at the cross-roads of four festivals with an evening of Filipino Performance Art, First Nations’ Hip Hop, African Spoken Word, and Chinese electronic remixes of Canada’s migration history. Bonus, my lovely co-worker, Charlene, has a piece on display. 8:00pm -1:00am at 88 East Cordova. Tickets are $10.

    Dollhouse of Horros The Starlet Harlots are taking over Dollhouse Studios until dawn. Burlesque, straight up. Tix $25 at the door.

    SinCity Fetish Hallowe’en Apocalypse. Vancouver’s best fetish night, full of retro & 80’s, industrial, rock, electro & dance, hosts one of Vancouver’s best Hallowe’en parties. Aaron, again, is responsible for decorating and it’s guaranteed to be insane. As to costumes, any fetish outfit will do, but there are major bonus points for matching the post-apocalypse theme. Think S&M, leather, straps & buckles, Mad Max, Sci-fi, futuristic or tribal warriors, military, mutants and zombies. (Again with the zombies, will it never end?) There’s a $300 grand prize, with another $750 in free tattoos and piercings for the best and sexiest costumes. Tickets are $15 and all but sold out. Hope to see you there!

    *seriously, click on that.

    **which includes: THE VESSEL, directed & edited by Mike Jackson, written & produced by Sam Dulmage & Mike Jackson, cinematography by Michael Sider & Sam Dulmage, music by Jeff Tymoschuk, starring Leanne Jijian Hume, Sam Dulmage, Mickey Brazeau, Corina Akeson & Duncan Shields. 8 min, Lovecraftian Horror.

    I wonder if it will be a surprise

    My apartment is getting a lift. The kitchen has been painted two mellow shades of pumpkin and highlighted with a russet metal gold, the bathroom is going classic with a coffee & cigarettes black and white, and Nicole and I are going to french stripe my living-room in something warm as soon as we find appropriate paint. (Got any?) A scour of Craigslist provided a nice pewter light fixture to replace the brassy nicotine-coloured hanging lamp that’s currently haunting the main room, (Brett will be over to install it tomorrow), and the silk sari that hangs above my bed is getting yanked out and put up in the hallway with white LEDs running behind it, with the blue ones moving to frame Gavin’s self-Portrait of The Artist that hangs across from the couch. I’m really looking forward to the change. And by ‘really’, I mean ‘it’s beyond about damned time’.

    Which reminds me: Does anyone want to come along with Nick Eddy and me to Calgary for the first week of December?

    It would be nice if he had someone to drive back with. We’re planning on leaving November 30th and arriving December 2st with a stop-over visit at his grandparent’s orchard in Osoyoos. He would be returning Dec 7th while I, (hopefully), continue down to dreaded Edmonton to visit with Ian and Christy.

    “all the sad boys come home to you”

    I walked in, haunted by ghosts, trying to look for what was left of Duncan‘s birthday party among echoes of years ago.

    Again, the Railway Club.

    The first time I’d ever been in, the golden drummer from WOW invited me to their next gig. Underage, but he didn’t know. His one little hello became a fulcrum for a turning point. I spent an entire weekend with the band, afterward, in a strange little house on the North Shore. Silk plastic flowers lining the driveway, stairs that circled around a defunct water fountain twisted with white lights and topped with a cherub. Meals were hedonistic; rare cheeses, lobsters, artichoke hearts, clever lessons for the tongue and teeth. We danced like pure transmissions from a desert radio tower late at night, stabbing the air with clever inspiration, and kept the hot tub perpetually thick with sweet, foaming bubbles. I was young, Moby’s breakthrough album, Play, had just come out that week, (we played it on permanent repeat), but less so the next day, and even less the day after that. We sang whale songs, described how to frame their next music video with our hands, picnicked on cliffs edging the ocean. They introduced me to wonder, to love between friends. I still carry a man’s ring on my key-chain from that weekend, given to me by the woman who’s house it was – her father had given it to her before he died, but it had never fit, and now it is mine. A fitting memento for a band that passed on, for beautiful days strung like proverbial pearls on a string of kindness I never again matched in Vancouver. I still don’t remember how I ever got home.

    I wonder that I’ve come a long way since then, when it feels like I’ve lost so much.