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March 31, 2006


Watching 'Brick' is like the visual equivalent of floating in water, to keep yourself up you've got to keep your ears submerged. The result is a strange feeling of being completely alone in your own head while still being able to see as clear as if you were on ground. It is thought-provoking in the sense that you can't stop thinking about it. I went to bed last night mulling the plot details over in my head. 'Brick' is a fully rounded experience in a good old fashioned way. Direction, cinematrography, music, and dialogue all work together to form a film that at once feels both extremely familiar and completely unique. Not too shabby at all for a film that was made for less than $500, 000 and used a high school and its neighboring areas as a set.

I'll just quickly summarize the plot to tantilize the sleuth in you...no spoilers. A detective story with classic "hard-boiled gumshoe" dialogue superimposed on current-day California high schoolers. The fast-talking snoop is played extremely well by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, my new favourite actor. A wild card with a clean slate and the school's assistant VP's ear, he becomes heavily involved in the high school underworld after his sweetheart goes AWOL. This results in the introduction of some very memorable characters, plot twists, and fist fights galore. I was gripping my seat one minute and giggling madly the next...not just because of the hormones, damn you, it's the movie, it's that good.

Allow me to dork out for a bit...I don't know if it was intentional but there were some striking similarities with Twin Peaks (the series). Namely...

1. The shots from below of the ceiling fan with accentuated wooshs, just like the fan in Coop's hotel room before he'd get a vision.

2. The two female leads: one with blonde hair who is confused and led astray and her brunette friend who might not be as good of friend as she makes out.

3. The settings are all real, San Clemente High School is an actual school (the director went there), the "Coffee & Pie" place is real, the tunnel is really behind the school. San Clemente could have its very own pilgrims, just like the Snoqualmie area near Seattle!

For ignorant film noir fans like myself, the best-in-genre only extends to such popular classics as 'Mullholland Drive', 'Blue Velvet', 'Usual Suspects' and even the sci-fi/noir combo 'Blade Runner'. Now I'm adding 'Brick' to that list. There are plans of publishing the script with the original little novella that the flick was based on...I can just hear the 'cult' rumbling with excitement.

Excerpt from the novella, stolen from the excellent website:
"Pin... the Pin?"
"The pin, yeah."
"The pin's kind of a local spook story. You know the Kingpin?" "I've heard it."
"Same thing. Supposed to be old, like 26, lives in town."
"Jake runner, right?"
"Big time...maybe. Ask any dope rat where their junk sprang they'll say they scraped it from that who scored it from this who bought it off so, and after four or five connections the list'll always end with the Pin. But I'll becha you got every rat in town together and said 'show your hands' if any of them've actually seen the Pin, you'd get a crowd of full pockets."
My attendance at last night's showing was courtesy of Ceepee's hard work, thanks fella! Lucas Haas was there, wearing a green suit and white sneaks and looking down right manorexic. He said a few words, sounded like a nice dude. Our eyes met and we both smiled, yessssssss! Made me want to take him home and feed him.

posted by Neha
4:57 PM


Making It Right (Updated)

March 30, 2006

Our knowledge-based economy is facing an uphill battle with regard to workforce. A declining birth rate coupled with an aging work force reveals a gaping hole in the availability of skilled and educated workers. Basically, we need people with knowledge and experience. We need more employers willing to take on apprentices. Most of all, we need suitable employment for the thousands of immigrants who are forced into underemployment by the big conspiracy that is "The Man".

Here in Ontario we are in prime position to motion change. We invest more than any other province in training and settlement programs for newcomers but alas we're stuck with many meters of red tape, certifications, and bull-headed employers before an experienced individual can put their goods to use. Bet you didn't know that in Ontario you can't wipe your own ass unless you are Ontario Certified. Really. I had to get a professional asswipe to wipe ass till I got my certification. I'm serious. As angry as I was for having to go through that it was nothing compared to my outrage when I read about a Chinese engineer who had designed the servos used on China's first manned spacecraft. She was working at the Yonge & Sheppard Cinnabon when the article came out in 2003. Makes you want to rock to yourself in a dark corner while murmuring about the unfairness of it all.

Other than the Ontario language training ads that started playing on the telly a few weeks ago I haven't seen much awareness about the issue. While searching for those ads I managed to stumble upon the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council's new set of ads for their 'Make It Right' public awareness campaign. Haven't seen them out in public as yet but they are superb so I hope that it will only be a matter of time...




Should've finished going over all my unread feeds in Bloglines before posting this...Secret Dubai has a great post on these very ads. Dhavaak, I think it provides some food for your thoughts on TRIEC's true focus, advertising and publicity. SD happened upon the ads at an International Advertising Association exhibition in Dubai. I don't know how many months old these ads really are but shouldn't they be plastered around Toronto's public spaces by now if they are already making the rounds at international ad shows?

posted by Neha
2:50 PM


It's All Gravy

March 24, 2006


I got a haircut last week. I have a fringe, bangs, fuff, a stylish shorty longback.

Last weekend it was Ceepee's birfday. Three ladies were stuffed in a trunk.


And driven away.


To the Press Pause headquarters where they were forced to drink Dial-A-Bottle JD. "What can you do, eh?"


This guy kept showing off his crack. It's a nice crack guy...no...but I don't want to touch it. No!


Some albums that deserve an ear or two, then repeat:

Prince - 3121

That purplicious gummy bear of sessy love is completely back in action with this one. He brought his synth with him this time. Top tracks are 'Lolita', 'Black Sweat', 'Incense and Candles' *swoooon* ("baby oooh" sounds really good through a vocoder), 'Fury', and 'Love'. If you're listening to 'Love' and you hear the break halfway through you may recognize the beat as being very similar to that DJ Assault tune, can't remember the title, goes "hoes get on the floor, hoes get nekkid"...but real slowed down. Very nice.

Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere

This record is now a frontrunner for best of '06 and the year isn't even half past yet. Cee-Lo Green is still a mean soul machine, it's good to have him back in bidness. Danger Mouse is, as always, pulling some inspired wizardry outta his tips. I really can't pick favourites with this one, I've tried, it's all amazing stuff. A couple that really struck me because of their dark lyrics were 'Just a Thought' and 'Necromancer'. Yes, 'Necromancer'. You love that tune already, right? Listen to some full tracks on the My Space page. Ten bucks says you won't get 'Crazy' out of your head for at least the next week.

Karsh Kale - Broken English

Sepia Mutiny had a good review of the album, it pretty much covers everything. This is good because my review would have been full of "mmm", "mrrr", "sniff", "aaah". Ah, KK, how I've missed you all these years. I wanted to like 'Liberation', I really did but the spark between us had fizzled ya know? It wasn't you. It was me. But now you've shown me again what it was like all those years ago, listening to 'Realize' and being stunned by the face of love. I see that you have grown, begun to explore new methods in your ingenious madness but that tablatronic, organic you I once knew is still killing me with every *dhoom tak*.

Obtain this album desis, ethnoheads, KK fanatics, indie-lovers, beat freaks, mom & dad. The best tunes are 'Manifest' w/ MC Napolean, 'Dancing At Sunset', the gorgeous 'Some Things Are OK', and 'Rise Up'. Some tunes are up on My Space.

posted by Neha
3:46 PM


Heart Chip

March 20, 2006

Really glad I skipped that hour and a half of sleep last Wednesday to check out Hot Chip. They were excellent, very very good, I mean just fantastic, live. If you have had the pleasure of listening to their stuff then you know how mellow most of it is but they amped their shit up on stage and people were going cray-zay on the floor. My camerawork is terrible but you'll have to stick it through because the end is the best part. This is what four dudes, six synths, two guitars, three maracas, two bongos, one tambourine, and ONE M'FING COWBELL sound like:

Ok, so they weren't exactly using the cowbell for this specific tune but it was there, trust me. Why yes, that IS a naked man on stage! I lied, this isn't Hot Chip, it's Take That! From left to right: hot one, smart one, one who can sing, and bad boy. One member (random one) had to return home due to some illness. If these dudes are ever in your hood then you best be making a line towards some tickets, fatafat.

Cadence Weapon from Edmonton was the opening act. Never having heard any of his stuff it was nice to be met with a fistful of talent. The man is 20 years old. 20! And by talent I mean not only does he rap and produce his own synth-heavy/brilliant beats but he also SCISSOR KICKS while he raps. Hi, yes, and I swear I saw some air guitar too and I don't think he was being ironic. I found the best quote on his site, for which I happen to have the perfect picture:

"Dose magazine said I was a 'musical renaissance man' on Tuesday. How can I disagree with an amalgated youth demo targeting newscorp wannabe with 10 pages and confusing horoscopes? HOW CAN I?"

Hot Chip Flickr set.

posted by Neha
4:10 PM


Funny Ha Ha

March 17, 2006

Hot Chip blew my mind, mang! Not going to say any more, the commentary will follow once I get the pictures and viddy up. I've been wrastling with Linux at home, it is a strange OS, I can't find a thing. Tried to upload to Flickr this morning but couldn't find my pictures folder anywheres in the Ubuntu jungle. Feeling quite ignorant about that. Rajbo needs to school my ass before I start acting out the "2001: A Space Odyssey" scene in Zoolander. Ooo oo OO AAA AHAH.

+ Chewy has a blog which is completely silly and a barrel of hairy fun. Sorry, Cee Pee, the address isn't 'Chewblogga', ha. It's "rrrrrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnhhhh". Ahahaha, rrrr, that's funny see. Anyway, the last post had me bawling, "HAMUrhRRRRRRRRRRn Tarrrrrrrrgh"!

+ Remember Chuck Norris Facts, well here are some facts after my own heart...Jack Bauer Facts! Aaaaamazing!

- "Killing Jack Bauer doesn't make him dead. It just makes him angry."

- "Jack and Jill went up the hill. Only Jack came down. Jill was a fucking terrorist."

- "Jack Bauer can eat just one Lay's Potato Chip. Don't tell Jack what he can't fucking do."

+ Did anyone watch American Inventor last night? Here's a live blog recap if you didn't. The one desi that showed up was adorable, sweet, polite, and completely out of his damn mind. Invention #10 in the recap. His "invention" was clothing for cars. His presentation consisted of a tiny toy car and some pieces of cardboard with different patterns (Tropical print for the beach! Baseball print for taking in a baseball game!) that he folded over said toy car and...Voila! A "Versace suit" for your car so you can "arrive in style". GROAN. He kept smiling sweetly even when the judges turned him down with completely dumbfounded looks on their faces. Awww, I wanted to give him a big hug.

+ Saving the best for last, here is a video of a graduation drill for an Iranian Women Police training course. These ladies look hella tough! Scaling heights, chasing bad guys, dismantling bombs, beating criminals, and doing crazy sword routines...all in hijab. Much respect.

posted by Neha
4:26 PM


The need stop is the Eastside Motel

March 14, 2006

If walls could talk then the lovely Stephanie Crabe might have chosen a different subject for her superb photographs. Motels are the some of the creepiest and most exciting indoor spaces on this planet. Strange yet ordinary. Sex, drama, murder, drugs, and deceit in smelly rooms with heartshaped tubs and free pr0n if you're lucky. I feel like hitching a ride to Tijuana just thinking it. Crabe's photography project is titled Motel and it perfectly captures the gloom and doom side of your local den of debauchery.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Wicked stuff. Can't wait for the book. Link thanks to Cityrag.

posted by Neha
2:58 PM


Don't ever do that again

March 10, 2006

My blog disappeared yesterday afternoon and I was beside myself with frustration. It was the blog version of a bad dream where you feel yourself screaming but no sound escapes. Yes, it was that dramatic. Seems to be back in action. Thanks for replying to my emails Blogger. Not.

posted by Neha
10:23 AM


I don't know what you heard about me

March 08, 2006

To me this article reps everything that is wrong wrong wrong with the way issues of race and appropriation are dealt with by cultural critics. I hope that the following is not an average representation of the kind of dialogue that goes on down South about these issues.
Witness the explosion of a new hip-hop meme into "white culture." Yes, it was a memorable Oscar moment when Three 6 Mafia won the best song for their musical contribution to "Hustle & Flow." And yes, the song has a catchy tag melody. But this is a cultural brush fire ...A vast new audience got hip to the song ...And sent it down the long road of appropriation and misreading that almost inevitably accompanies cultural objects when they cross over into the world of Whiteness.
If you ever wanted to know anything about "white culture" Kennicott is the man to read. Listen up white "white" people, you can't be Big Pimping if you got no hoes m'kay? K-Dawg says so. Pimps apparently are in no way shape or form a part of The Whiteness in Kennicott's world and Kenny is NOT a pimp, he knows his "church music". Shit, the whole bit about the "baroque" and detached nature of an attractive female vocal above the "noise" makes me think this is K's first attempt at listening to anything even remotely resembling hip hop. Oh, the best paragraph in this entire work of fart:
And so "It's hard out here for a pimp" enters white culture, as so many black memes do, with a wink and a nod. Of course your great aunt sitting down the table complaining in an impeccably white way that it's not easy for a pimp isn't thinking about real pimps. She may not even know what real pimps do. But that doesn't matter. Black memes in "white culture" are vaguely scandalous, used with a wink and nod that say, "I know this is transgressive, but I'm not going to learn anything more about it."
MY great aunt? MINE? MY great aunt ain't white. And your aunt sounds like a big ol' racist with all her winking and nodding. Also, what about the "brown memes"? I want some meaningful looking quotes around my badass "brown" culture too. It's hard out here for a DIMP (Desi in Moral Peril).

P.S. The best way to get 50 Cent out of your head is by gargling tequila while doing a head stand. Desperate times and desperate measures. Trust me, it also works for Three 6 Mafia and "Laffy Taffy".

posted by Neha
2:19 PM


This post will be censored by Etisalat

March 05, 2006

I. Am. Overcome. With. Rage. This is SHIT. And I'm getting claustrophobic. When realization strikes that there is no getting out, a previously comfortable situation begins to turn sour with a vengeance. It is Saturday night. Thirty minutes ago I was getting primped to go meet Ceepee and Homesick in the 3PB (Press Pause Party Basement) and now I'm SITTING IN FRONT OF A FUCKING COMPUTER AND BANGING ON THE KEYS REAL HARD LIKE. There is something in me that just cannot deal with such situations, which is why I have been extra careful to not get into them. I made the stupid mistake of placing my keys on the coffee table (which I almost never do just becuase of my fear of cases like this one) in a house where there are always keys on the coffee table. And then everyone left...WITH MY KEYS I BET, FUCK FUCK FUCK. So now I am sitting at home in all my finery and cursing loudly. The best part is, I'm trying to fucking call the suspect to see if perhaps they only have that one set on them thereby giving me hope that one set of keys is still kicking around in the house and waiting for me to locate it but no one is answering my messages. No no no, that's not the best part...the BESTEST part is that when I call the culprit the rings get cut off abruptly (first) then keep ringing (second) then cut off quick again...it may be my rage but I bet Dakoo's right eye that I am being ignored. What kind of heartless bullshit is that?! And I just got a call from the PPPB and it was Ben The Fighter-not-lover who I like to keep a little distance from becuase he like to wrastle but right now I would just love to throw some weakass punches in the name of fun...

OK, one last try on the phone and then I resign myself to watching "Hitchhiker's Guide"...dangit..."freaking goober". Fine, in an attempt to reach my place of Zen I will think about last night's happy times and show you some pictures. But first, should I write a nasty sms? Ooooo, it's so tempting!!!! I'm not trying to offend I just want to know what happened to my keys...hmmm...bad idea, I will completely regret it tomorrow when I wake up knowing how obsessive 6 calls and a nasty sms really is when I can't even know for sure if the keys were mistakenly picked up or what. Ugh. Wouldn't mind a bit of scotch with two rocks right about now...oh ya, in case you were wondering, I'm perfectly sober. About those pictures...

I moonlight as a fake wrestler's fake wife.

Meet Your Lovin' Uncle.

I like to call this series "Amos Descends into Hell".

Showcase itBlack IceDrink itChekkit

That's all I got. Would've had more if I was elsewhere tonight. One day, my collection of party pics is going to be the biggest this planet has ever seen. Could someone not have invented a cheap way to scan bodyparts into computer controlled locking mechanisms already? I'm going to find a way to embed my keys into my body so I never have to leave them alone ever again. Wish me luck comrades!

posted by Neha
12:36 AM


Movies & Mayhem

March 02, 2006

Aww yeah yeah he was fresh
Like summer peaches
sweet on my mind like block parties
and penny candy oh oh

I'm only going to say this again and again, please go see "Block Party". LOVED IT. It is somewhat hard to describe and you know how I like to draw things out and round and spiral before getting to any point. Basically, this feature falls under the 'concert film' category but it has that extra kick of stories hidden beneath the surface. Director Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", Bjork - "Human Behavior", Chemical Brothers - "Star Guitar") is a genius for putting shit together in the way that he does. I loved seeing Chappelle's dealings with his Ohio townfolk, with the crowd, and with the performers. There were stories, I tell you, stories of relationships between a neighborhood and a concert, between concert-goers and performers, and amongst the performers themselves. The comedy was brilliant because it was unrehearsed and also because Dave Chappelle is pretty much the funniest man alive.

The performances were wicked and how could they not be with ?uestlove doing all the drumming and the production. I had the goosebumps going for a majority of the time and was just about ready to faint when Lauren Hill started singing "Killing Me Softly". Electricity. I know this flick is a must-see for all the Chappelle buffs out there but to those who aren't you really should give it a shot because there's a mighty fine chance you'll love it.

From now on I want to watch all my movies with "tasters" tickets, which is a post-press screening pre-public premiere screening type of screening. We saw some Cancon personalities in the audience. Seera was sitting right behind Kardinal Offishal who I love like you wouldn't believe, ESPECIALLY since he rocked cricket whites in his last video. And he (also his wardrobe) is the only reason I end up watching that whack Much VJ Search...Kardi bwoy you gotta speak up more I'm watching that shit for you! Ceepee said he saw Nelly Furtado and that she was teeny tiny but I couldn't spot her, pretty tiny that one. It was a good crowd because everyone was excited and loving every moment, hands raised, heads nodding, bellies aching.

When the Dead Prez started on "Bigger than Hip Hop" and the crowd started ROARING I was taken back to a time...last friday when the exact same thing happened at Get Juiced. That tune drops and people's arms go rabid with a desire to be raised, see:

folks gone wild

As you can see that place is really small and it was completely packed and the cops showed up and I almost asked one to pay but saw his taser or whatever that was just in time. Why would you need NINE cops to check on one tiny party in a small pub where nothing terrible has ever happened? Damn guns got nothing better to do than harass the skater kids...who, I admit, were a) creating a massive lineup outside, b) looking really really young, c) congregating in shady areas:

i heart young boysboothlife

So I'm glad Seera came out and helped me man the fort with her ruff n tuff pistons of steel. 'Twas a fun party but it tired me out becuase it felt like I was working after working all day, which really blows. Also, I missed Iahdon's show at the Press Pause gallery and I wanted to buy some shit because it is my mission in life to own at least one piece of art from each member of the PP crew before their following grows to NRA size. There was an impomptu afterparty at the gallery, which is also their house, and I caught a drunken glimpse of the work, very cool:

seven eats cookies and beer

That's Seven settling into his beer and cookies, mmm. The afterparty was the best part of the night. First class relaxing:


And fun people, in reading order, Ceepee, Jessica, Lola, Iah:

lean backmore toys

And then I went to bed, which is what I'm going to do now...after seeing who gets kicked off American Idol...hoo yea, the crooner just got the boot. Good riddance.

+ Flickr set.

+ Hotness:

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posted by Neha
9:47 PM