Saturday, 6 December 2014

Stupid Party Playlist (because making playlists is easier than writing)

In November I curated an art show called SUPERPOWER for La Petite Mort Gallery in Ottawa. (You can find out more about the show and the beautiful ladies that made it here:

Because I sometimes hate the music at art openings (sorry, Guy Bérubé), at the last minute I started putting together a playlist of songs that I wished people would play at parties. But I wasn't at home so I was limited to what I had on my iPod. And after a few minutes I got distracted and just started putting anything on there that appealed to me in the moment. It is alphabetical by song title until it isn't. This playlist does not care if one song sounds good right after another song and it is shameless in its love for Wilco and Lou Reed.

The result is a beautiful mess that I keep playing over and over again. I thought I would share it here.


Stupid Party Playlist

Airline to Heaven - Billy Bragg/Wilco
Anarchy in the U.K. - The Sex Pistols
Art Of Almost - Wilco
Ashes to Ashes - David Bowie
Atom Tan - The Clash
Attics of My Life - Grateful Dead
Baby Boomerang - T.Rex
Baby I Love You - Aretha Franklin
Baby's Got a Brand New Hairdo [Live] - Elvis Costello & the Attractions
The Bad In Each Other - Feist
Bad Reputation - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Battleship Chains - Hindu Love Gods
Beautiful World  - Devo
1,000,000 - R.E.M.
The Bed's Too Big Without You - The Police
The Big Light - Elvis Costello
Big Mess - Devo
Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
Break It Up - Patti Smith
Bring It All Back - The Tragically Hip
Busload of Faith - Lou Reed
Caught In The Briars - Iron & Wine
A Certain Girl - Warren Zevon
Changes - David Bowie
Charley's Girl - Lou Reed
Cold Blooded Old Times- Martin Tielli
Crazy Feeling - Lou Reed
Crimson and Clover - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Crosscut Saw - Hindu Love Gods
Cyprus Avenue -Van Morrison
Danny's All-Star Joint- Rickie Lee Jones
Dawned On Me - Wilco
Death or Glory -The Clash
Diamond Light Pt. 1 - Tweedy
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Budokan version) - Bob Dylan
Dreamer in My Dreams - Wilco
Fashion - David Bowie
The Faster I Breathe the Further I Go - PJ Harvey
Fly Like an Eagle - Steve Miller Band
Four Sticks - Led Zeppelin
Get Back - The Beatles
Get up Offa That Thing - James Brown
Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
God Only Knows -The Beach Boys
Gone Again - Patti Smith
Goodnight Ladies - Lou Reed
Got To Get You Into My Life - Earth, Wind & Fire
Hard Life - Bonnie "Prince" Billy
Hate It Here - Wilco
Have to Explode - The Mountain Goats
He Ain't Give You None - Van Morrison
Head Held High - The Velvet Underground
Helen Wheels - Paul McCartney & Wings
Her Majesty - The Beatles
Hey Jude - Super Eagles
High As Hello - Tweedy
Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder
Hot Pants, Pt. 1 - James Brown
I Got You  (Live at the Majestic Theatre version) - Wilco
I Love Rock 'N Roll - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
I See a Darkness - Bonnie "Prince" Billy
I Will Be There - Van Morrison
I'm a One Woman Man - Hindu Love Gods
I'm An Animal - Neko Case
I'm the Man Who Loves You - Wilco
Islands In the Stream  - Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers
It's Alright for You -  The Police
Jericho Road - Steve Earle
King of the Road - R.E.M.
Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye
The Letter - Joe Cocker
Limelight - Rush
Loser - Beck
Love Of My Life - Queen
Love Is Love -  Bonnie "Prince" Billy/Tortoise
Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile) - Van Morrison
Jimmy Jazz - The Clash
The Joker  - Steve Miller Band
Love's a Real Thing - Super Eagles
Main Man  - T.Rex
Mannish Boy - Hindu Love Gods
Mercury Blues - David Lindley
Middle of the Road - The Pretenders
Misty Mountain - Led Zeppelin
My Generation - Patti Smith
No Children - The Mountain Goats
Nobody's Business - Lou Reed
Northern Sky - Nick Drake
Not Be Alright - Mary Margaret O'Hara
The Open Halls of the Soul - Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter
Pump it Up - Elvis Costello
Push It - Salt-n-Pepa
Queen Bitch - David Bowie
Rabbit Fighter - T.Rex
Raspberry Beret - Hindu Love Gods
Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You Ever Want to Meet) - Jackie Wilson
Rock On - T.Rex
Rocket Man - Elton John
Satellite Radio - Steve Earle
September - Earth, Wind & Fire
Shining Star - Earth, Wind & Fire
Sick of You - Lou Reed
So What'cha Want - Beastie Boys
Somebody to Love - Jefferson Airplane
Sparkle and Shine - Steve Earle
Spinning Wheel - Blood, Sweat & Tears
Spin It On - Wings
Station Grey - Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter
Take Me to the Mardi Gras - Paul Simon
Take Me, I'm Yours - Squeeze
Tom Sawyer - Rush
Train Round the Bend - The Velvet Underground
Train n Vain - The Clash
Tempted - Squeeze
Thunder Road - Bonnie "Prince" Billy
Through Being Cool - Devo
Tightrope - Janelle Monae
Up the Hill Backwards - David Bowie
Wagon Wheel - Lou Reed
Walken - Wilco
Walkin' Boss - Jerry Garcia & David Grisman
War on War - Wilco
Was a Sunny Day - Paul Simon
Watch Your Step - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Watching the Detectives - Elvis Costello
We're Hardcore - Gordon Downie
What Difference Does It Make? - The Smiths
When The Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin
White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
Wilco (The Song) - Wilco
Wicked Messenger - Patti Smith
Wild Billy's Circus Story - Bruce Springsteen
The Wind - PJ Harvey
With a Little Help from My Friends - Joe Cocker
Wrap It Up - Eurythmics
Wrong 'Em Boyo - The Clash
You Got the Silver - The Rolling Stones
You're My Best Friend - Queen
You've Made Me So Very Happy - Blood, Sweat & Tears
More Than a Feeling - Boston
Peace of Mind - Boston
Simple Twist of Fate (Budokan version) - Bob Dylan
Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Budokan version) - Bob Dylan
Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya - Dr. John
I Walk on Guilded Splinters - Dr. John
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters - Elton John
First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes
Language is a Virus - Laurie Anderson
You're a Wonderful One - Marvin Gaye

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Something weird happened when I tried to write in the first person

Things got all creepy.

Absolutely thrilled to see my story, Let's go backwards, featured in the 10th anniversary issue of Ottawa's beautiful Guerilla magazine alongside a painting by the best looking artist in town, Peter Shmelzer.

Thanks, Guerilla!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Love Monster Playlist

Like most human creatures, I love music. I love listening to music, I love thinking about music and I love (god help those around me) talking about music. I don't talk about it in an informed, critical way. I just go on and on about songs I love and bands I love and concerts I would like to go to and so on and so forth. Pure, heartfelt blathering. I won't do that here.

I hope. Stay with me.

When I was writing The Love Monster, I was also working full time. Each day, I would walk to work -- it is about a forty-minute walk -- and listen to music and e-mail myself writing ideas. (It is a wonder I wasn't struck down.) Many bits and pieces of songs found their way into the text or became themes for specific passages. Before I knew it, the alien was a Lou Reed fan. James Taylor was singing. Prince, the Sex Pistols, Warren Zevon appeared. They are all in there. And David Bowie. And The Kings. And Shaun Cassidy. And on and on.

So, for my own amusement, I started putting together a Love Monster Playlist. I have worked and worked on it. I love this thing. It's got it all: joy, pain, sunshine and rain. And I think it follows the arc of the book in a satisfying way.

I could work on it forever. But it is time to stop and set it free. I hope you enjoy it.


The Love Monster Playlist

Figment, Gordon Downie
Margaret Atwood, Rheostatics
Kicking Television, Wilco
The Faster I Breathe the Further I Go, P.J. Harvey
Set Out Running, Neko Case
Do You Believe in Magic, Shaun Cassidy
I Just Want to Be Your Everything by Andy Gibb
I Only Wanna Be With You, Bay City Rollers
Pretty Vacant, Sex Pistols
(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea, Elvis Costello
What’s the World Got In Store, Wilco
No Children, The Mountain Goats
This Jesus Must Die, Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar Soundtrack)
I Wanna Be Sedated, Ramones
Moonage Daydream, David Bowie
Werewolves of London, Warren Zevon
Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner, Warren Zevon
Working in the Coal Mine, Devo
Mother, The Police
There Stands the Glass, Van Morrison
Just Like Honey, The Jesus and Mary Chain
It’s Not My Place (In the 9 to 5 World), The Ramones
Guitar, Prince
El Amor de Mi Vida, Warren Zevon
I’m In Love With My Car, Queen
Mr. Personality, Gillette
Ro Ro Rosey, Van Morrison
Lets Get It On, Marvin Gaye
Pecan Pie, Golden Smog
Property of Jesus, Bob Dylan
Blood of the Lamb, Billy Bragg/Wilco
Miner’s Refrain, Gillian Welch
Switchin’ to Glide, The Kings
Bluebird, Paul McCartney & Wings
Aliens (Christmas 1988), Rheostatics
Kicks, Lou Reed
This Flight Tonight, Nazareth
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), David Bowie
Walking Blues, Hindu Love Gods
Stir It Up, Bob Marley
Mother and Child Reunion, Paul Simon
The Lobby, Jane Siberry
Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd
Everything is Broken, Bob Dylan
Bad Reputation, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
The Delivery Man, Elvis Costello and the Imposters
Sugar, Sugar, The Archies
Pharoahs, Neko Case
Chain of Fools, Aretha Franklin
I Shall be Released, The Band
Stepping Razor, Peter Tosh
Main Man, T.Rex
Changed the Locks, Lucinda Williams
Busload of Faith, Lou Reed
Its No Game (Part 1), David Bowie
Ooohhh Baby, Lou Reed
Get up offa that thing, James Brown
Sexy MF, Prince
Goodnight Ladies, Lou Reed
You Might Walk Away, Jesse Sykes
Thunder Road, Bonny “Prince” Billy / Tortoise
Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen
Blossom, James Taylor
Ramble On, Led Zeppelin
Tom Sawyer, Rush
Closing Time, Leonard Cohen
Northern Sky, Nick Drake
Listen to the Lion, Van Morrison
God Only Knows, The Beach Boys
I got you (at the end of the century), Wilco
More Than A Feeling, Boston
Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In HeavenWhen You Smile), Van Morrison