A rock block of bach

Strictly for interest’s (whose I don’t know) sake, here’s a scale of music styles, and my feelings toward them.

The Passionometer!


Of course there are no absolutes, and of course these classifications can be further divided. For example, Punk Rock – Soft Rock. I like some of both. I love Nomeansno but Janice Joplin rubs me the wrong way. I’m not even sure how Blues and Soul are defined, so I left them off the list. Special notes on jazz: the “experimental” jazz that is all over the board and has no rhythm I’m not fond of, but bouncy jazz, such as that of Glenn Miller, I love. Tom Waits – wherever he falls – equals good.

I find the music industry to be offensive, even though my experience with it is limited, but I more or less know how it works “behind the scenes” and I know that what we are presented with on the radio and tv as “the hits” have less to do with musical talent and more to do with marketing, style, and sex. As such, I have programmed MuchMusic out of the tv/vcr, so that when I’m channel surfing it gets skipped over. The cons outweigh the pros as I find myself offended or at least appalled even by glimpses of most music videos. This usually leaves me feeling a little embarrassed when I’m at another person’s house and Avril Lavigne comes on and everyone seems to know who it is and when I ask “who’s that” I get laughed at and I have to ask again. But it’s all monkeys in the pudding, and I’m fine with that. I don’t mind taking a percuss to the ego occasionally as a tradeoff for living in a world isolated from that brand of crappiness. I figure listening to the radio in Shoppers Drug Mart and other public places is enough exposure for my needs. I’ll just have to rely on my friends to tell me if anything good comes out of any given “scene” while my back is turned to the media that ostensibly introduces music its fans.

Amusing Email of the week…

This was to Bob, our bassist. Note the misspelling of ‘Cthulhu.’

Dear Mr. Fugger,
let me quickly introduce myself: My name is Constantin Gillies and I’m a
German journalist/author. I’m currently working on a book about Star
Wars-fans called “Die Macht mit uns” (The Force with us).
I’d like to use one of your photos in the book: The backside of the album
“Chthulu Strikes Back” by a band called “The Darkest of the Hillside
Thickets” (a painting by Chris Woods). According to my information you took
the picture. Is it possible to license it?
I am looking forward to your answer.
Best regards
Constantin Gillies

NecroWombicon / Robin Williams Plays Spaceship Zero?

Our rock show last night went off like a natural 20. That’s nerd-speak for ‘quite good’, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you blog readers. Despite the fact that we haven’t played (including practice) since March, we hardly screwed up at all. I did forget the words during “Shoggoths Away” but only for a second, and I covered by making up new lyrics as I went, which is always popular.  We played at about quarter after nine so by the time we finished the sun was setting. Yes, we played in a parking lot. Merrick stood right over a manhole cover. The sound system was da bomb – my worries were completely unfounded. Fatrick really came through for us, my thanks to him and to all the fans who formed the “mosh” “pit”. At a bar gig, we never (well I shouldn’t say never but very rarely) are asked to give autographs, but at these nerd-cons, we’re small ‘c’ celebs, and yes I must admit that’s a nice feeling. Someone brought their copy of SSZ for the band to sign, another person just had a piece of cardstock, and another one grabbed our set list and we signed that for him. If I had been able to bring CDs I would have made a killing. But sadly they’re still not done. I did have the foresight to bring the last dregs of the t-shirts that have been quietly sobbing of loneliness in my closet at night, and I sold all but one. Someone shouted out from the crowd that we should play some Clash, so the boys started playing some Clash song. Since I have no idea how any Clash songs go, I stood quietly and entertained myself by thinking about different kinds of wallpaper. For our one and only encore song, there was another little surprise, Jordan got off the drum kit and Mario took over. Oh the fun we have!

All the toil about figuring out the buses turned out to be time wasted – one of Chris’ friends gave us a ride there. I got to play Bubble Bobble too so I was happy. Lester’s Arcade, for those of you who don’t know, is quite a large arcade in Burnaby, open 24 hours, with pool tables and air hockey and LAN games. And it’s got its own pizza joint. After all the nerding was done, Stuey, Slater, Kathryn and I were given a ride back to civilization by Darcey, who ranted (as is his wont) about the many things he was born to rant about, to the edification of us all. A late dinner of salad, an episode of Black Adder, and it was to bed for me.

In the morning Rob called offering me a ride to the gamey-game part of NecroWombicon. Naturally I accepted and gave him his birthday present. I played a game of Carcasonne (I think it’s spelled) which was mildly dull but not without its charm, then I just kind of wandered about while everyone played video games. Finally 6pm rolled around which was when I scheduled to play Spaceship Zero. At first I thought nobody was going to show, but I ended up playing with 9 people playing (though not all at the same time). Everyone seemed to love it and a few asked how to get a copy.

Jeff told me the other day that Robin Williams has a copy of Spaceship Zero the RPG. Apparently he plays D&D with his daughter on the set of the movie he’s shooting now in town with Jeff’s girlfriend’s young daughter, so Jeff gave him his extra copy of SSZ. Will he play it? I hope so. Rob and I were hoping that he and Vin Deisel would get together and start a celebrity RPG advocacy group of some kind. Then maybe it would be cool to play RPGs…

…or they’d just be stigmatized. Either way, I approve.