Friday, May 29, 2009

Anvil: The Story of Anvil

This looks like one of the funniest, yet most touching documentaries in a long time. I have only seen the trailer, and yet I will still go ahead and recommend going to see Anvil: The Story of Anvil (best title for a movie - ever?) this weekend. It opens at the Mayfair Theatre here in Ottawa tonight. In case you missed the trailer when I had it up before, here it is again:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My hair is purple. Ish.

I got to meet a lovely young woman from Osgoode Township High School yesterday. Jess Breton is 15 years old, in Grade 10, and she is obviously a take-the-world-by-the-horns kind of kid. Her school (population 700 or so) is doing a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society on Friday with the Relay For Life, and today they are dyeing some kids' hair purple. (This is, believe it or not, a reward for having raised a certain amount of money - if you meet the target, you get to dye your hair purple.) Last year, this small high school raised $35,000 through this event, and over the past four years they have managed to get about $90,000. Which is remarkable for such a small place.

So Jess came in and dyed my hair purple. Since I'm getting married in about six weeks, I am hoping the purple comes out before then. Not because I care about having purple hair during the thirty-second ceremony, but rather because my girlfriend cares about me having purple hair during the ceremony. We rinsed the dye out fairly quickly, and didn't let it set for the full half hour. So it's not so bad right now. But I was worried about it all day. I was desperate for a nap, after getting about an hour's worth of sleep following Fogerty Monday night. But I was terrified of leaking purple dye onto the couch or the bed while I slept. So I didn't nap. Instead I tried to find ways to stay awake. So I worked out.

I put on Cannon Season Two and started working out. I was at the end of the first episode, about an hour in, when I realized that the towel wrapped around my barbell was purple. Totally purple. I paused the DVD just as William Conrad was throwing a couch cushion at a bad guy with a gun (he was too fat to fight anyone) and ran upstairs. The hair dye, mingled with my sweat, was pouring down my face. It was everywhere. My face, my back, my shoulders were all streaked with purple sweat trails. Remember that scene in Carrie where she gets covered in pig's blood? That was me. Except it was purple. And it wasn't blood. So it wasn't nearly as gross.

So I quickly showered. And scrubbed. And rinsed. And repeated. Six times. By the time I was done, the towel I used to dry my hair didn't turn purple, so I figured I was OK. Now my hair just has a purple tinge, while my scalp and skin remain bright purple.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Once again, John Fogerty put on one of the best shows in Ottawa last night at Scotiabank Place. Just like the last time he was here, he ran through a ton of hits, barely talked, and looked like a gleeful schoolboy as he rocked the place. Kicking things off with "Travellin' Band" and firing off a series of huge singles, the crowd was singing along and rocking out to every single tune.

Until about eleven songs in, when he switched things up to play several songs I didn't recognize. I wasn't the only one who was impatient. A guy behind me kept yelling "play Cotton Fields!" during the five-or-six song downtime. And it really is downtime. I hate to say it, because I'm not normally a Greatest-Hits concert guy. I don't want to go see Springsteen play "Glory Days" and "Dancing In The Dark" and all his big ones. I like to hear some obscure album tracks in there, and even some stuff I don't know. It adds to the show.

But it doesn't really work with Fogerty. Here's a guy who might be the greatest singles writer in music history, and that means he has about sixty truly classic tunes he can turn to when he wants to get the crowd up and going. And I can't fault the guy for wanting to play something different every now and then. But you get so keyed up when you're hearing "Bad Moon Rising" and then "Looking Out My Back Door" and then "Suzie Q" and one hit after another that not recognizing the songs, and not being able to sing along really takes the wind out of the sails of the crowd.

Then, of course, Fogerty brought them back roaring when he pulled out the baseball-bat guitar to do "Centerfield", followed that up with "Old Man Down The Road" and tore through several more giant hits before closing the show with "Fortunate Son". By that point the entire crowd seemed to be on their feet, singing along and swaying to the classic tune, and when Fogerty left the stage immediately following that song, it almost seemed like the perfect end to the show, leaving on an incredibly high note. But of course, he had yet to do "Proud Mary" and a couple of other songs, so he came back for the obilgatory encore.

Still a fantastic show, Fogerty leaps around the stage with an incredibly intense energy and infectious enthusiasm that can't help but drag people into the show with him. Many times, he stopped to thank the crowd for singing along. He also, in a rather strange moment, pulled out a picture of Scooby-Doo that his seven-year-old daughter had drawn. He was very proud that she had been able to do such a good job drawing a cartoon dog free-hand. I'm sure it was exciting, for the eleven people close enough to the stage to actually see the 8 1/2" by 11" piece of paper. Bu for me, in the first row of the 100 level, it was kind of useless. No big screens, either, to show us ALL the Scooby-Doo drawing. But even that was presented with such infectious energy that I thought to myself "I bet that is an excellent drawing for a 7-year-old". No big screens, no explosions or crazy light show. Just boundless energy, great musicians, classic tunes and a great show. Come back soon, John Fogerty!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Today's Breaking Rock News.

Comfortably Numb to play Ottawa on Saturday. Acoustically!

Great Scott, Ottawa's AC/DC tribute show, will be at Tail Gators June 6th.

John Fogerty at Scotiabank tonight, Creedence CDs in stores tomorrow.

Paul McCartney to play the Tall Ships Festival in Halifax.

Lynyrd Skynyrd have a title for their new album. Gods And Guns. How...usual.

Bob Dylan may have plagiarized that poem of his.

Bruce Springsteen is scheduled to close Giants Stadium.

Queen, American Idol and Gene Simmons. And some silliness.

Queen again. This time rare photos thereof.

Eddie Van Halen and a heartwarming, schmatlzy story about kids and cancer.

Chuck Panozzo speaks about AIDS. He was in Styx or something.

Elton John speaks about AIDS. He was not in Styx.

Grace Slick hosts art exhibit. Creepy, Alice In Wonderland themed art exhibit.

Ian Hunter has a new album on the way. He was in Mott the Hoople.

Guitar Hero 5 announces more tracks. Just come out with the game already.

David Bowie, and a really silly Twitter rumour.

And that's today's Breaking Rock News. Which is why I haven't had time to write in my blog today. But check out that Comfortably Numb show, I bet it's going to be awesome!

New Cynical Cinema today - tomorrow's DVD releases

Outlander - Spaceman, shiny monsters, and vikings. And Jesus.

Killshot - Mickey Rourke's rotten follow-up to The Wrestler.

Babine - Village idiot makes good. And the people rejoice.

Dora the Explorer Super Babies Dream Adventure - I'm not sure that Spanish is right...

Le 7e Round - Quebec boxing miniseries.

Degrassi: The Next Generation, Season Seven - Date rape and podcasts.

Gunsmoke, Season Three Volume Two - Black and white filming, black and white justice.

The Mod Squad, Season Two Volume Two - I can dig it. So can Clarence Williams III.

TV sets: Forever Funny - Premieres of I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, etc.

TV sets: Action Packed - Premieres of MacGyver, NCIS, Mission: Impossible and...Walker.

Children of Men (Blu-Ray) - A classic, amazing movie.

Inside Man (Blu-Ray) - One of Spike Lee's best.

Predator - Just because I love Predator.