Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Due to the inevitable (and demoralizing) traffic congestion that nearly pushed me to the brink of suicide – sounds dramatic I know – I unfortunately missed out on a few acts. I did manage to catch all of the heavy hitters which are, after all, the reason I and 39,999 others spent 3 days intoxicated and covered in dirt…just to catch a glimpse of some rock legends lighting it up in our very own backyard.
Serj Tankian, lead singer of political metal band System of a Down and now a soloist, was my first taste of the events that would continue to rock my world throughout the weekend. What a set of pipes on this man! Sporting a linen suit and top hat to match, one might not have expected Tankian to get the crowd chanting ‘Praise the lord, pass the ammunition’…but he surely did. This fella is clever and a far cry from your status quo artists shouting ‘Bush sucks’ just to get the crowd going. Nothing makes me hotter than a rock star who can authentically and accurately speak about politics.
Interpol…shall we call them Inter-snore? What a bunch of suit-clad zombies. I quite like their music, but as far as stage presence goes, they should enroll in Jack Black’s school of rock ‘cuz these boys just don’t have it in them. Or they absolutely despise one another? Either way, you have one member resembling Lyle Lovett, another who could pass for a Boy George look-a-like. And when they finally spoke, I was shocked to discover that these lads are actually American? I got a Brit vibe for sure, given their outfits. Perfect time for a trip to the beer garden I suppose.
Nine Inch Nails did not disappoint, which was no surprise - Trent Reznor is a force to be reckoned with. The man is intense…and hot. I was perhaps guilty of a few groupie-esque ‘woo-hoos’ during his set, but rightly so. The multi-talented/multi-instrumentalist closed the first day of the festival with a bang, sporting a massive light board behind him and his band, creating quite the spectacle. Now that’s a rock show.
The Tragically Hip brought out the biggest, and definitely the rowdiest, crowd of all the acts during the festival. I guess you have to be Canadian to truly get it (as an aussie friend of mine put it) but no matter where these boys play, the crowds will follow. Gord Downie threw down his usual bizarre stage antics pretending his mic stand was a car at one point whilst he thrust himself upon it. Right. Whatever floats your boat Gordie. At one point, Downie glimpsed over to the lead guitarist (you know, the one that looks like Alanis with a beard?), and flashed this smile that quite obviously meant ‘woe man, we’re still pulling this off after all these years…life is good’. This completed the patriotic portion of the show.
Bring on Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers- all American boys and rock legends. This was perhaps one of the most diverse sing-a-long sessions I’ve seen in terms of ages, which ranged from 18 to a brave 60+ year old man surfing the crowd. Petty played all the hits while swaggering about the stage having most certainly enjoyed a dance with Mary Jane moments before the show. Atta boy. He couldn’t have played in BC without sampling some of our…ahem, local produce. I called my dad and sang when Petty belted out Free Fallin’. It was a fine moment.
Day 3 = still standing and stoked to see N.E.R.D. No sooner did my crew and I situate our selves for the show, when I was whisked away with a media pass in my hot little hand, to ogle the band from backstage. Yes! This is the stuff of dreams for an Urban Cowgirl such as moi. I’ve been a fan for years and couldn’t help but bust a move and scream like a teenager to hits such as ‘Lap dance’ and Everyone Nose’ until someone gave me the heads up to ‘tone it down’ as I was media…not a super fan. Right. I’ll have to work on that.
Next up are Bellingham boys Death Cab for Cutie, which was just what I needed to mellow myself after my star struck encounter with Pharrell Williams. The perfect band to snuggle up on a blanket to, whilst sipping some vino from your ultra-classy wine tetra pack which you smuggled in hours earlier. When lead singer Ben Gibbard belted out his romantical gem ‘Soul Meets Body’ my heart melted…a little.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get better, Jigga man himself hopped on stage, smokin’ a stogie, and brought down the house. I knew Jay Z was talented, but his street cred has been somewhat buried underneath the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna so I nearly fell to my knees when he started free styling. I was blown away and continued to shake my cracker ass (excuse the expression) throughout his entire set. Nigga what? Nigga please.
At this point I’ve reached a level of musical stimulation unmatched by any other concert I’ve attended, when Chris Martin and the boys hit the stage to close the festival. Having seen Coldplay live twice before, I knew what to expect but am always pleasantly surprised by the bands sense of humor, energy and downright talent. At one point, the 4 English lads jumped off the stage and booked it through the crowd, perching themselves on a platform approximately 20 feet away from my crew and I. Magic. The entire crowd joined in for ‘Yellow’ and ‘Fix You’…and then just like that, the festival was over. It’s like the feeling you get after Christmas. I wonder what bands Santa will bring for Pemberton Festival next year?
Photo credits - Urban Cowgirl
Monday, July 21, 2008
I get the environmental impact of simply tossing these treasures into the trash and I’m all for the re-use, reduce, recycle principle. However, a few items…well…crossed the line shall we say. Allow me to share…
The Urban Cowgirl’s Top 5 Inappropriate Items to Post on Craigslist:
5) A leather wine skin, resembling that of a bladder. Really, it’s a much spankier version of a water cantina. Throw this little bad boy into your handbag ladies – a perfect fit!
4) How ‘bout some dirt people? Yes, you heard that right ladies and gentlemen, soil is up for grabs. I did not know that we must otherwise pay for this? Hmph.
3) Just hear those sleigh bells jing-a-ling, ring ting ting-a-ling too. Christmas tree anyone? It’s miniature. ’Give it to your pet’ it reads…here ya go pooch, happy holidays.
2) Here’s a gem – ‘Garage emptied and in alley’. In other words, come pick up my bag of garbage please. Doesn’t the city take care of this?
1) Unused condoms. Yes possums, you heard that right. This, amongst a variety of toiletries left on ones doorstep for ‘pick up anytime before 10pm’ is simply not acceptable. And perhaps a little deranged.
And there you have it folks – the best things in life really are free! I’m thinking of posting an FYI notice in this section of craigslist that reads a little something like this…ahem…
Dear craigslist posters,
Although I commend your environmental efforts and offer you an ‘A’ for effort in terms of sharing your wealth with the world, might I remind you that there are some fabulous folks out there willing to help…and they are called homeless people. That’s right, leave your goodies by the closest dumpster and voila – they’re snatched up in a jiffy. No digital photos or catchy commentary required.
Monday, July 14, 2008
There is no better way to blow off steam than a run on our fabulous seawall at sun set as the blue herons take flight and silhouettes of inukshuks appear along the waters edge. It’s almost an infomercial people. However, just as your pace gains momentum, you are stopped abruptly as lookie-loos stroll slowly, weaving about with no regard to who’s running up behind them. You can try shouting an assertive ‘pardon me’, or, ‘behind you’ but this doesn’t always help as not all turistas speak-a ingrish. I completely appreciate the allure to stroll in this area, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult for us runners. We have a lane for cyclists and rollerbladers - why can we not have a lane dedicated to lookie-loos that is separate from the runners? A fast lane if you will.
Thus, I have decided to submit a patent application for what I’m calling the Runner Ringer. When runners are approaching the unsuspecting lookie-loo turistas, they simply ring the bell – loudly and vigorously – until the turistas kindly move to the side. This may take time to catch on, therefore I will include an instruction manual with helpful phrases to use whilst using the Runner Ringer, i.e. ‘MOVE’, ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY’, ‘REMOVE YOUR SMALL CHILDREN OR CONSIDER THEM ROADKILL’, and similar phrases of that nature. That way, the turistas have a clear sense of what the Runner Ringer is for until it has caught on as commonly as a police siren. Gesturing to the turistas to ‘pull over’ in a sense.
I think this will alleviate my frustrations and the frustrations of my fellow runners and moreover put an end to the Ludacris song ‘Move Bitch, Get Out the Way’ that rings perpetually in my head.
Happy strolling possums. xx
Monday, July 7, 2008
I have come across, only but a hand full of men who have proudly professed their longing for matrimony and a baby mama. And when they do, the reaction (particularly from the female contingent) is quite positive for the most part. ‘He’s so open and honest and knows what he wants – how refreshing!” many a gal pal has noted. True true. However, if us gals dare to make similar statements we are immediately looked down upon as needy and codependent. The grasshopper who sang all summer. The cougar who couldn’t land a mate. Double standard you say? You bet your bottom dollar Daddy Warbucks.
Consequently, what happens next only makes matters worse as the communicational gap between men and women widens. Us gals begin to get our backs up as we feel the need to demonstrate just how independent we are, thus pretending like we don’t need boys…we just choose to have them around for shits and giggles. I’ll be the first to admit this is simply note true, but the stereotype can certainly back us into a corner. Ah!
When is it OK for gals to admit what they want in a relationship? At what point do we show our male opponents our cards? I’d say it rarely crosses my mind…but I’d be bluffing.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
With my BFF and BF in tow, we strolled to the beach to take in the sunset over some take-out sushi. While soaking in the scenery, the people seemed to be the more interesting subjects. Let’s start with the token drunk guy, shall we? That guy who’s been boozing on the beach all day to staggering proportions. Our said boozer - with an open bottle of wine in hand - took it upon himself to entertain a crowd of Spanish speaking exchange students on the art of break dancing in the sand. Yes kids, this is what all Vancouverites look like after a little vino tinto. He then continued to irritate the crowd after confiscating some poor mans guitar to perform his rendition of…um…slur lady slur by the late, great Bob Dylan? Not sure.
I then predicted that our beach boozer was about to drop his drawers and bare it all…and I was right. What is it with men and male nudity – they think it’s hilarious! They get this possessed look in their eye and you just know someone is going to flash their fig newtons. Our subject then sprinted into the ocean, amongst a cheering crowd only to be interrupted by some of Vancouver’s finest who hoisted him away in handcuffs. At least they allowed him to put his shorts back on.
Drunken nudists aside, there was a plethora of G rated entertainment to enjoy. Everything from fire throwers and bongo playin’ hippie types, to this couple engaged in a cirque du soleil-esque performance of acrobatics. I kid you not. Just another night a la plage.
Until next week possums and remember…wear your sunscreen.
Photo credit – Sunset at English Bay, Urban Cowgirl