!! oh my holy yes Yes YES !!

Direct from Montreal
Vancouver Premiere

The Chutzpah Festival says:

“It’s funny that rap brought Jewish kid Josh Dolgin (Socalled) to Jewish music. Searching for records to sample while studying at McGill, he stumbled across some old Jewish folk music. The result is his hybrid style of Jewish hip-hop and album titles like The Socalled Seder. Montreal-based Dolgin was born in Ottawa and raised in Chelsea, Quebec. He played the piano as a kid and the accordion in high school and was in all sorts of bands: salsa, gospel, rock, funk. Then he discovered hip-hop and MIDI, and the rest is history. He’s appeared on many albums as pianist, singer, arranger, rapper, writer, and producer. He also rocks with fellow klezmerhybrid musician David Krakauer in Klezmer Madness!, sings with Toronto’s Beyond the Pale, performs with Shtreiml in Montreal, and with LA-based the Aleph Project. Socalled performs and records with “a crew of mixed-up freaks and geniuses” from around the world, including Killah Priest, Susan Hoffman-Watts, Frank London and Irving Fields.

When: Sunday, February 24 at 9:00 pm
Where: Norman Rothstein Theatre, JCCGV

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased from Tickets Tonight.

working with the best

Because Ben Peek wanted to see my ankles bad enough that he wrote a naughty story about it:

When she was thirteen, she decided to hide her ankles beneath thick stockings.

The decision was reached two days after her birthday, a quiet day that was marked only by the twenty dollars her mother, in a new relationship of divorce and unemployment, gave her. Being quite indescribable (and by this, I mean the author refuses to divulge, and shall keep a secret just for himself) she caught the bus into a cold, grey sprawling shopping complex to buy a Joy Division album that she would not like much, later. It was on the return cold bus ride where, sitting at the back, that she met a man who offered her forty dollars to show him her ankles. He, unlike her, was describable, but only by his one defining characteristic which was that he had legs made from hollow, but polished wood, and which stuck awkwardly into the isle as he turned to face her. He was young, also, though older than her by her life at least; the rest a reader will have to decide, based on tone, sympathy, and their own imagination, just how much older, and how attractive or not that he was. Still, back in our bus, and our girl, the heroine, reasoned in a pragmatic way that if she didn’t like the black covered album in her bag, that she would come out no worse for wear—and in fact would come out better—if she agreed to his proposition.

So she took off her shoes, which were sneakers, and then her socks, and then pulled up her jeans, and let him look.

"Beautiful," he murmured, once. Then he stared without touching, and with a hint of sexual desire, but mostly with a longing that left her with the impression that he saw her in a way that she had never been seen before, until his stop emerged from the grey skyline fifteen minutes later.

Then, having paid her, he walked awkwardly, stiffly, and with apologies to the driver for being so slow to do so, to the front door, and into the cold, uncomfortable air.

She did not like the Joy Division album, as I have previously stated (though again, there are no details as to which one she bought; perhaps you bought one you did not like, once) but on the following day, she did not buy new music. Instead, she bought three pairs of stockings. Red and black, purple, and rainbow: a mix of clashing colours that her mother viewed with the distaste of a very proper adult who saw her child’s dress sense leaving her own and could only view it as another loss through the losses she had already occurred. But even she, later, would admit that she never suspected this change in her daughter would result in the purchase of so many stockings over the years (which was more than five hundred, but less than seven hundred and twenty eight) and that she would leave them covered for what, now, was a strangely lingering period of time.

Of course, there was never another man who offered her forty dollars to see her ankles, and certainly no man with wooden legs, and that perhaps that is the most important of the absent details in the end.

Eclipse reminder: break out your really nice cameras

Total Eclipse of the Moon

There’s going to be a total lunar eclipse Wednesday evening, (February 20th), which should turn the moon deep red as Earth’s shadow passes over it. Maximum eclipse will be at 10:26 PM EST and 7:26 PST. Besides North and South America, the eclipse will be from South America and most of North America (on Feb. 20) as well as Western Europe, Africa, and western Asia (on Feb. 21). Don’t miss this one, there won’t be another full eclipse until December 2010.

Anyone got a really good rooftop away from light?

the great vancouver escape

I think today contained my Most Awkward Moment of the Year. Not that we’re all that far in, but I don’t recall having one since April of last year, so I’m just going to run with it. It was very simple from an outside perspective. I stood on a doorstep brandishing a cake studded with sparklers and gold candles, lighting them one by one, preparing myself to sing when the door opened. Then, well, the wrong person answered the door, (the wind of which blew out all the candles but for one). Simple – “Happy Birthday to- Not you.” – but not, given all the things a stranger couldn’t know. Eyes anywhere else, my hopeless sentience briefly dropped away long enough to get me up the stairs, then came rushing back. Throat clogged, standing at heart attack and vine, I grasped for mundane things – removing shoes, trying to remember sterile conversation topics – and failed. Eventually I gave up, blew out the remaining candle, put the cake in the kitchen, and wandered the familiar flat like a missing cat, ending up sniffling alone in the den where I used to curl on the couch and pretend I felt safe.

All that and I still feel glad I went. I came home feeling warm with conversation, a canvas bag full of interesting books and a promise of new house-plants. This time, reminded, I will keep in touch.

Of course, that wasn’t the original plan at all. I was meant to work on the North Shore this evening. The idea was to go over, write copy, play web-dev, then simply spend the night, so I could get up and get at it again, but little events kept colliding until they created a sort of time-suck anti-matter, and then I was reminded I’m going to Afrika Bambaataa. Whoops. Guess I’ll just have to get up early.

Time to run off and dance.


A friend has just died from a congenital heart failure. He was going to be twenty seven in three weeks. There’s been another school shooting, a new Valentines massacre, murder suicide, not even the first one of the year. I was fired from the Dance Center today, the job I’ve held the longest in my life, while the grandmother of one of my friends has just been put in the hospital, they don’t think she’ll survive the week. It all feels a lot like the good guys aren’t winning the war, like the future doesn’t want to be better.

And yet..

I dream I hold you tightly while we sleep, your limbs tied to mine with fingers, our hips a perfect hiccough, the contraction of a verb, ankles crossed as if even our feet hold hands against the melting darkness, the gathering tomorrow that poses, threatens, over the bed like a crashing wave paused. Like jazz, we make it up as we go along, kissing at the speed of disaster, pushing our moaning mistakes until they became what we meant to do in the first place, all style, wet substance, and tangled, dramatic coherence.