pphaneuf: (Default)
Ok, so I've got this bunch of shows I want to go to, but going all by myself is kind of sad (although I've done that a few times in Toulouse, and it was the source of just about an equal number of crazy adventures!)... Anyone care to join me (or is already going) to any of those? The links are to the Last.fm event page, with samples of the music and further details:


I'm sure there's already people intending to do the Nuit Blanche, I'm just hoping to slip in a visit to the Metropolis in there. I'm also rather keen on the Trail of Dead show, since it's at La Sala Rossa, and I've been missing that venue something fierce.

Finally, if there are other suggestions or things I've missed, do recommend!

Edit: Added Peter Bjorn and John, as well as Animal Collective, as per [livejournal.com profile] cpirate's suggestion. The full list is the authoritative source for this, feel free to check it out (and I welcome the use of Last.fm's "suggest this event", as well).
pphaneuf: (Enlightened)
Damn! I wanted to see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, coming to the Metropolis in October, but it's sold out! Oh well, I'll be trying to go to more small shows, I think. It's been too long I have been to La Sala Rossa, for example, and places like Zoobizarre merit being visited again. Oh, and going to see Miss Kittin & The Hacker on the 27th at SAT! Awesome!

All those shows, I'd like to bike to them, but I've been finding my quest for fenders to put on my bike rather frustrating. It's a weird bike, rather easy to ride with its straight handlebars, but the rest is done in a racing style. Which means that there's basically no clearance anywhere between the tires, the frame, the fork, and the brakes, not a lug in sight for anything (well, except water bottles), and so on...

I'm also pondering a winter bike, as I'd like to try (to some degree, I always have my CAM in my bag!) to ride for at least part of the winter. I'm pondering what to do, as there are many parameters...

I'd like to have a city bike, that would fill in the role a car does for most people. It would have to be practical, something I'd be able to ride day in and day out. It shouldn't be a hassle to ride all the time. I do not want to be hardcore. I'd like to just dress normally, as if I had a car, and arrive maybe a bit rained on at best, as if I was parked a bit far, but not drenched, and no wet line along my back! It could be aluminium, to keep the weight (and the rust) down, but it wouldn't try to be super-light. I think an internal hub might be good, to minimize maintenance as much as possible. Chain cover, to protect my pants. Everything bolted on, so that locking it is easy and quick. Lights, possibly with a generator (but it shouldn't be awful like those against-the-wheel generators).

One of the problems I'm having in this quest is that most bikes fulfilling these criteria (that I can find here) tend to go for a vintage look and have some of the features I listed only because most bikes in the fifties had them, not because they're sensible bikes. One bike having all those items also had things like a seat with big springs (heavy if it useful, sure, but those are heavy and useless!), and a back wheel cover (so that my longcoat doesn't get stuck in the spokes). Stylish, yes, but practical? I live just at the foot of the hill between René-Levesque and St-Antoine, if my first experience when I take out the bike is consistently having this feeling that I'm going to die, well, uh, I don't think that'll be encouraging!

Batavus seems to have some interesting models, and while I haven't seen much of them in Montreal, they have a Canadian site, and there are some resellers in Montreal (I've been there before, but I don't remember seeing them, I guess they can order them, in the worst case). Some details are a bit off still, like the integrated horseshoe locks, which are pretty nice, but require replacing all the inhabitants of Montreal with Danish people first, so it's a bit impractical.

Another thing that's causing me some grief is the parking space. I don't think I want to give up my fast FCR for this hypothetical new bike, you see? On nice days, I don't see why I would deprive myself from the fun of zipping down Ste-Catherine at almost 40 kph! But at the moment, my spot in the basement is just big enough for one bike, maybe two if I could hang then (but it's a temporary setup, and I can't). And maybe I'll be wanting a crappier bike for the winter. And after trying out phython's fixie, I'm still longing for one myself (soooo smooooth!). Where am I going to put all of this bikery? I have my eyes on the mezzanine at home, but it's not very practical, so it might be good to put the winter bike in the summer and vice-versa, but getting stuff up and down there is rather annoying.

Ah, what to do, what to do...


I think I'll deal with the winter first, and get myself one of those cheap-ish Marin hybrid/commuter bikes...
pphaneuf: (Enlightened)
So I went for a weekend in San Francisco... I was planning on that already, so I had packed a light raincoat and a few long-sleeved shirts, so I wouldn't look like a tourist, but as it turned out, I forgot them in Mountain View and looked like a tourist anyway! After obtaining a lender bike for the weekend (thanks Noé!) and deciding to leave my laptop at the office so I could travel light, I hopped on the Google shuttle and managed to get the wireless Internet they have onboard working on my iPod touch. This was already kind of cool, but I was totally amazed when I thought I would consult the map and I pressed the "go to my location" button, just for the heck of it, and it actually got it! I was then further amazed at how it seemed to do a kind of pseudo-tracking, updating my position every ten seconds or so... So I didn't feel quite as lost as I did the last time.

After getting together with [livejournal.com profile] morethanreal, dropping off my stuff at her place and inflating the bike's tires (I quickly found out that the brakes were not working well at all either, which was a bit worrying, considering how hilly San Francisco is!), we headed to some show she had heard was recommended that night. It was in a small but pretty cool art gallery, where they had a good number (maybe a hundred or so?) of speakers embedded in wooden sculptures, hanging by wires from the ceiling. The curator later told us that this is an art installation and that they are actually operational, seemed like this could be pretty cool in itself, but as it turns out, the main attraction of the night was a DJ. He was pretty competent, I have to say, and enjoyed his set, despite the fact that we had just missed a part of his performance where he donned a dinosaur suit and hugged everyone in the audience, I was a bit disappointed having missed that! It's funny how people recognize my accent, including in particular the bartender, whom I was asking for a beer. He pointed me at the menu with just two beers available (this was a temporary setup), and I told him that, well, I had no idea what either of those were. So he apologized quickly, asked me if I knew about Unibroue, to which I responded in the affirmative, and he then told me that I would find the first one horrible, and that the other one, well, wasn't nearly as good as Unibroue, but would probably not offend me too much. Heh!

After getting back to [livejournal.com profile] morethanreal's place, there was some inevitable discussion about music, of course, and I introduced her to the new Apple Remote application for her iPhone. She fell in love at first sight, it would seem, she even moved her iPhone dock to put it beside her bed! We were pretty tired, but she had put on Black Eyes's eponymous album, and it is quite good, we just had to finish it before going to sleep.


Tour de Fat
Originally uploaded by Pierre Phaneuf.
The next day, I wasn't feeling too sore from sleeping her couch, which was good, because we were heading out to Tour de Fat! There was a brief stop for chocolatines and cappuccinos, of course, it wouldn't have been civilized otherwise. There were crazy bikes, crazy bands, and crazy beer! Much fun was had, including bouncing around with (very) limited success on a pogo-stick. I then accompanied [livejournal.com profile] morethanreal to a tattooing session (hers, not mine!), which was pretty cool, including a pretty classic Californian laid back surfer artist. I then headed back with her to pick up my stuff, had some (spicy!) burrito on 16th, then headed to [livejournal.com profile] jbdeboer's place, where I elected to stay that night (thanks, by the way!). That place is up. Very, very up. Like, on top. Yowzer. I had some idea of taking a cab from there to the DNA Lounge, but I was too wiped and gave up (fail!).

On the upside of being at the top is the good view (hmm, there's the view to Lafayette Park, which can be interesting according to the "near here" feature of some random iPod Flickr app!), although it was a bit cloudy. Biking down Gough was mental, though! I realized at some point that with the intersections being flat, that I couldn't see past them! All of that while going upward of 40 kph, of course. That led me eventually to a nice breakfast at Cafe Petra, since there was too many people at Ritual (and I don't think they have food either). I biked around the Mission, dropped by Good Vibrations (got myself a book), then back up around Market and Stockton, where I resisted the siren call of the Apple Store. I managed to get some excellent coffee at Bluebottle Coffee, once more, and then eventually got lost in the Tenderloin without realizing it, while I was taking photos. It was very sketchy, especially with my big SLR camera hanging from my neck.

Monday, the excitement level was much lower as I went to Barefoot Coffee Roasters with a team-mate who is a fan of good coffee. It is also very good, although I preferred Bluebottle's. As it is customary in Mountain View, we were back home before 10pm.

The next day, we went for dinner on Castro (in Mountain View) at an Italian restaurant with a very colourful owner, who seems to be a big George Michael fan. Excellent service, though, setting up a table just for us (my other team-mates are known there, it would seem), and of course, singing at the table by the owner. There was some ice cream after, and some of us were rebellious and went home past 11pm!

Now, I'm about to be taken out to In-N-Out, which I'm told I just have to go to. Sounds questionable, but hey, I've done worse.
pphaneuf: (I Like Beer)
So I went for a ride last Sunday with [livejournal.com profile] cpirate and [livejournal.com profile] dfcarney. I'm not sure fate didn't really want me too, with a series of bad lucks that culminating with the aluminium sole of one of my biking shoes to let go. But it was fun, ice cream was had, and it all ended up on the roof terrasse with a beer. :-)

Monday, as it was my birthday, the lady [livejournal.com profile] azrhey took me out to PortusCalle, which was quite nice! There was some white Port, some rosé, fine food, lovely fondant au chocolat, and, of course, a nice espresso. We then headed down to the Katacombes for a few drinks with [livejournal.com profile] liberation_now and [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe.

Wednesday, [livejournal.com profile] azrhey, [livejournal.com profile] slajoie and I went to play some pools at iStori, followed by a demonstration of my awfulness at Rock Band. At least, I didn't sing, or else we'd have been in trouble with the police, I think.

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] slajoie and [livejournal.com profile] fuzzyila joined me to attend Nista and The Human Kind, at Zoobizarre, which is a pretty cool venue (it's kind of weird, a stone cellar on a second floor?!?). The bands were pretty good, I think, worth getting the CDs for, although Nista doesn't have a CD at the moment. There were a few of my co-workers (and their friends) there, as Nista's guitarist is also a Montreal Googler. There was a song about angst at the supermarket, allegedly inspired by the Super-C near my place, heh!

Tonight, the grand celebration for my birthday! There's a number of people who have been making special efforts in order to be there, so I'm quite flattered! It should be awesome. :-)
pphaneuf: (I Like Beer)
Uh, there was a traffic jam on my small street today when I left for work?!? Complete with no less than two city buses, trying to work around the cranes and other construction equipment currently cluttering the street... Weird.

Oh, man, I've been meaning to post for exactly two weeks, yet didn't. I did this thing where I thought about hypothetical posts that I'd be writing while on the metro and biking, then forgot to actually post it.

It helps that there has been a fair deal of biking going on, beginning with what I called the Weekend of Doomed Awesomeness for a bit (if only in my head). This started by going to Mutek's Nocturne 3 with [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe on the Friday. Then, went to the Mondial de la bière with [livejournal.com profile] azrhey in the afternoon, after which [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe joined us to go to Mutek's Nocturne 4. How to follow this best? Sunday, I showed up at [livejournal.com profile] cpirate's place almost in time (9am-ish, after going to bed at 5am!) for, you know, a little Tour de l'Île (with [livejournal.com profile] scjody as well), after which we stopped for well-deserved poutine at La Banquise (and a coffee, so I could stay conscious). Then (the same day!), [livejournal.com profile] azrhey and I met with [livejournal.com profile] rezendi for a quick pint before catching Le Salaire de la peur at Cinéma du Parc. In case I might have survived, [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe invited me to see She Wants Revenge for my birthday (got me brownies too, woot!), on the Monday evening (we were joined by [livejournal.com profile] fuzzyilla too, ahoy!).

While I thought Nocturne 3 was quite excellent (Millimetrik and Modeselektor were awesome, Kid Koala very good, although I've seen better sets from him, and the other bands were quite fun too), Nocturne 4 let me a little bit down. Most of the bands didn't "click" with me much, and the whole programme was running late, which combined with the act I wanted to see most (Deadbeat, was excellent!) played last, made for leaving the place extremely late. Still, it was nice too, I just wish I could have slept in the next day!

I'll have to agree with [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe, She Wants Revenge was good, but they'd have to put out a killer album for me to go to their next show. Some of their opening bands were really wacky and not all that good either, including a "punk" band that sounded like Avril Lavigne on speed.

So after that, I, uh, didn't do much for the two last weeks, as you might have guessed. I did bike to work a lot (for which there was tremendously good weather!), played with my own early birthday gift to myself (a new top-end 24" iMac, Core 2 Duo 3.06 GHz and GeForce 8800 GS, smokin'!) and coded (mostly on Quadra, more than 20 commits just this weekend!). There was a visit from [livejournal.com profile] musicdieu and [livejournal.com profile] cpirate, watching of Euro Cup games, and Munchkins.

[livejournal.com profile] azrhey and I went out on the city last Saturday, was quite nice, and I got myself a nice watch (Danish design and titanium? sign me up!). We ended up going to the cinema and watching You Don't Mess with the Zohan. Yes, I know, I know, but it's actually pretty funny, mostly due to the weird cultural references (fizzy bubbles and hummus, baby!), and was saved because I have a small idea of what's going on in that culture, and would probably have been even funnier if I was actually part of it. I don't really expect it to do well, although there's a fair share of stuff that a lot of North American would find funny (silly fight scenes, sexual jokes), but I laughed really hard at the hacky sack, fish and hummus jokes, myself.

On a closing note, I've had a weird email recently from OkCupid (which I do find entertaining, for various reasons). I often get the "come back to our site so you can see and click ads" emails, but this one was different, telling me that there was one particular user I should message where there was some sort of category 5 crazy outlier match. Apparently, the love of my life is in New York state, which is too bad, because I'm not, ha! It then showed the usual "you might be interested in those people" bunch of people, but as opposed to the usual, this morning it was a bunch of my friends, so, well, I guess it sorts of works? I do like my friends, they're nice and everything. :-P

Packed!

May. 26th, 2008 05:05 pm
pphaneuf: (Default)
Ok, so after going to Festival Kinetik last week (where I nearly snapped my neck ogling!), I booked up this weekend pretty solid: going to Mutek Nocturne 3 and 4 (Friday and Saturday), the Beer Fest on Saturday, the Tour de l'île on Sunday and She Wants Revenge on Monday. It will be both intense and awesome, I think!

Gifted myself with an iMac 24" this weekend (the big one with the GeForce!), ostensibly for my birthday, and managed to play some Battlefield 2142, for, uh, "testing". The testing is pretty conclusive, and it's quite awesome. And, oh, so silent, yet so powerful! I will also be looking forward faster compiling on my old laptop through Xgrid.

I've also come up with a design in my head for doing zero-overdraw overlapping windows with support for alpha transparency. I'm dreaming of a "Quadra HD", and while I don't really know what it'd look like, I know that according to historical figures for development speed, we should release that around 2012 or so! I also got a "pre-opened" gamepad last week, which will allow for adding support for it in Quadra, which has been requested since more or less forever. That could be here as soon as 2009! ;-)
pphaneuf: (Default)
Saturday, while shopping around for a better piece of furniture to hold our nice new television, [livejournal.com profile] azrhey and I drove in front of the Club Soda, I saw that there was Autechre on the headline there... For the next day! A bit later that evening, [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe poked me about it too, but I was still unsure.

Finally decided to go, accompanied by [livejournal.com profile] azrhey and joining with [livejournal.com profile] crybetty, [livejournal.com profile] m3lang3 and [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe (also saw [livejournal.com profile] phreedum there), and it was very good! I didn't like Massonix too much, and Autechre's set was a bit short (an acceptable hour, but could have used more). Rob Hall was pretty good as well, but while it was something I'd find mind-blowing in a club, for a show it was merely okay, IMHO. All in all, quite enjoyable.

I was surprised to learn today that iLike thinks that Joy Division, somehow, is related to Aphex Twin?!? Uh, ok...
pphaneuf: (Enlightened)
A little while ago (okay, okay, that was in November!), I went to see Me, Mom & Morgentaler at the Club Soda with [livejournal.com profile] gregorama and [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe. Oh my goodness, the energy! They did pretty well, for a bunch of fat people in their fourties. ;-)

On top of the sheer awesomeness of it, this was a rather significant event for me on so many fronts. To this day, I still remember parts of an evening I spent in St-Hyacinthe's downtown, on the sidewalk in front of one of the venues there, where I watched this band of insane people jumping around on the stage, being so completely and madly happy. That was sixteen years ago, and since then, lots happened, of course, and I didn't really expect to see them.

In fact, I didn't really even expect as much as to be able to pick up their CD, until that evening where [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe and I wandered from one used records store to the next (and to the next, and to the next, etc!), and we found it! Actually, she had found it, and managed to snatch it away in front of my eyes, but it turned out all right, as she gave it to me as a farewell gift, before I left for France. That was eighteen months ago, and since then, well, lots happened (ok, well, not nearly as much as in the sixteen years before, but still!)...

Among other things, we broke up, and frankly, while I try to see the nuances and not think in terms of black and white, a pretty ridiculously significant share of this disaster was on my shoulders. People weren't around to see it, but it was a massive breakdown, including talks of breaking up with [livejournal.com profile] azhrey as well, for a bit. I've come out of this rather scarred and traumatized, and I'm surprised I didn't just lose it (or maybe I did?). After this, I was still thinking that non-exclusive relationships could work, but I was seriously questioning my ability to do it myself, and considering how much happier my life has been since I accepted this aspect of myself, this was some hard core introspection. Let's just say that the daily ride on the commuter train was sometimes very thoughtful. I have been, and still am, to a degree, ashamed of the all pain I've caused to the people who I wanted to hurt the least.

I finally figured that maybe I wasn't doomed to failure, if only I could manage to learn from my mistakes.

Can't Wait

Oct. 13th, 2007 06:11 pm
pphaneuf: (Default)
I just can't wait to get to the new place, for a number of reasons (and no, the hawtness of both our male and female future neighbours isn't the main reason, but it sure helps!).

I want my own base of operations, and I want to be able to launch all-weather, night and day adventures. Being stuck in 9-to-5 in France wasn't cool, but the fact that I didn't do much outside of work made it easier. Now, it's just plain horrible.

On the upside, I now have in my possession a ticket for Me Mom and Morgentaler (as well as [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe's ticket, which I intend to use as a bargain chip for various nefarious purposes, most of which I have yet to come up with!) and I had an awesome time yesterday recovering from my week using two pints of Guinness at [livejournal.com profile] gregorama's birthday and dancing off at Saphir for [livejournal.com profile] liberation_now and [livejournal.com profile] nevergirl's combined birthdays!
pphaneuf: (Default)
I've been lagging behind in a lot of things (sorry if you've sent me mail and are still waiting for a reply!), but I think it's been good for me.

The day after we arrived, I managed to catch [livejournal.com profile] serendipity_wpg's last show on the Fringe, where I met [livejournal.com profile] wlach, [livejournal.com profile] cpirate and [livejournal.com profile] scjody, without anything being scheduled. After a choriço poutine at Mondo Fritz, I even crossed pzion on the way home. This was pretty cool, for a first day out, having such nice random encounters even in a city of three million people!

After getting all my money turned into Canadian currency, I tried to pick myself a nice Linksys WRTSL54GS, to hook ourselves up with some wireless Internet (with some hackability in mind!), to no avail. I ran into the WRT350N the next day, which seems to be the replacement model (had some issues with it at first, but it works perfectly for me once I restricted it to "b" and "g" wireless).

I also went for a drink with [livejournal.com profile] azrhey, [livejournal.com profile] cpirate, [livejournal.com profile] liberation_now and [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe, which had me somewhat fiddly, but (of course!) proved to be quite enjoyable.

There was a visit by [livejournal.com profile] sps, [livejournal.com profile] swestrup and [livejournal.com profile] taxlady, where Settlers of Catan was played and I was soundly beaten to a pulp. I had cheese curds to console myself, which I was missing terribly!

I saw some of my old gang from cégep, where Mare Nostrum was played and I almost won, but Brain won finally. The usual...

I got myself some new shoes, which I find pretty nifty, but I then had the very silly idea of going for a walk before going to lab-synthèse-01. Going for a walk with new shoes, gah. I had soft ice cream to console myself. I had to leave before [livejournal.com profile] lautreamax got on, due to logistical constraints (also known as "living way the hell over there"), but I did catch (and enjoy!) his co-conspirator's set. More electronic music, more!

And today, we went downtown where I chatted with people for a bit while sipping coffee, walked around lazily and managed to randomly catch a 60% off deal on memory for my laptop at Compusmart's closing sale. Now writing this sitting on the lawn of the Place-des-Arts, from a spot in the shade, taking it easy with the Jazz Fest in the background... Nice!
pphaneuf: (Default)
Much happened. There was (and still is, to some degree) blahness, so in my usual not so good way, I didn't write. But now, that was just too much of an action-packed week-end (relatively speaking, for my sorry little expat ass, as this is merely "the usual" for those of you still reading this in Montreal, I'm sure!).

I decided Friday that I'd go out. Not content with that, I also decided that I'd do it in my own particular fashion of completely disorganized randomness, going with the spur of the moment.

Read more... )

Here are some of the things I learned that weekend:

  • Vodka-tonics are nice.
  • Leffe, while good, doesn't really do it when you're in the mood for Guinness.
  • When following random people, sometimes they're just going home.
  • I should get a lighter.

Also, on another note, it's off to Pamplona, Spain by train with [livejournal.com profile] azrhey tomorrow morning, to meet with apenwarr. And at the end of April, it'll be off to Copenhagen, Denmark to visit [livejournal.com profile] skjalm, and have even more adventures!
pphaneuf: (Default)
Ah, catching up! On the 5th, I went to a show, Razorlight (with The Tatianas). There was a strange event, where a girl from Toulouse found out I was going to that show through last.fm, and asked me to go with her, but she ended up sick and unable to go anyway. This would have been the closest to an Internet date I would have been, which is pretty weird, particularly as it was completely out of the blue for me.

The show itself was fun, but left me unconvinced of buying their album. There's a bit between Franz Ferdinand and The Hives, and they had some pretty good songs, but others were rather weak. But they were still entertaining (with the singer climbing to the mezzanine via the stacks of speakers at one point, for example), though, and I had a good time. I only caught the last part of The Tatianas, and in a way, they were better, catchier songs, but they were not really my style.

Going there and back was an adventure in itself, actually. I was initially hesitating to go, because it's about 7-8 kilometres away, and I had to bike there in the dark, on the bike path along the Canal du Midi. It went okay on the way there, despite missing a small bridge that would have kept me on pavement rather than hard-pack (which isn't too bad, but remember I'm on a road bike, for all intents and purpose!). When I came out of the show, though, it was raining. Not too hard, but 7-8 kilometres later, I was pretty completely drenched. Biking in the dark on a narrow bike bike right next to water (no handrails there!) when it's raining and slightly slippery, it's good for your heart. ;-)

On the 9th, [livejournal.com profile] azrhey and I went to the Toulouse Carnets, a gathering of Toulouse bloggers, and had much fun. There was pondering of going to a bar downtown after, but we decided on going to the Dubliner, the other Irish pub close by our place. The place turns out to be super-friendly, reminding me a bit of the Mad Hatter back in Montreal. There was a bunch of people, probably students, where the guys were cross-dressing, in that "ha-ha, I'm dressed like a girl" way, and seemed to be enjoying themselves a great deal (I got several offers for sex!). At some point, two girls arrived, seemingly the only ones also cross-dressing, but they didn't go at it the "ha-ha" way. They had quite nice suits, one of them especially tack-sharp (in that cross-dressing 1920's pimp kind of way). I'd say something about how I like butch girls (not that this generally works out, ha!), but [livejournal.com profile] azrhey would quickly correct me and say that I like girls with a pulse. Heh.

On the 14th, I took [livejournal.com profile] azrhey out for BURGER. Except it was crappy Quick burger, which is a kind of Belgian McDonald. I kept seeing them and wondering about them, maybe they were something that could be like a Arby's to me, but no, turns out it's just awful. Seems like it's really hard to get decent, tasty burgers around here, say, like we had at the Old Dublin or something...

Last Wednesday, we went to see Taxi 4, along with [livejournal.com profile] muadda. That was pretty funny, as far as the Taxi movies go. It featured the marina of Monaco, where I expressed the idea of, one day, going in a rowboat. That would be awesome. :-)

And finally, last Sunday we had two co-workers over to introduce them to the spirit of Montréal, through watching Bon Cop, Bad Cop, followed by a dinner laid out by [livejournal.com profile] azrhey. There was salmon with olives on it and stuff, so you can guess that I didn't have much to do with the food!
pphaneuf: (Default)
Yesterday afternoon, I found out about something called English in Toulouse, and made a little evening on the town with [livejournal.com profile] azrhey, going to the Crêperie du Taur downtown (yeah, I had the "Montréal" crêpe once more, but hey, it's tasty!), and then headed over to their meet-up. Was a nice and decently diverse crowd, except for the trend of couples where one of the two works at Airbus, which isn't really surprising.

Oh my goodness, Mononc' Serge is on tour in France (with his "Sarge Jazz Band"), and is making a stop at a bar near my place! I am so going!

There's also LCD Soundsystem coming nearby, which I'd really love to go see, but is at the same location I went to for Nouvelle Vague and Mansfield Tya, in Tournefeuille, which makes it a bit sketchy. It was a nice venue, but the whole bumming out a ride from strangers is quite random. I don't know, I might do it anyway, but I'll skip the bike, since I managed to somewhat figure out the bus from work to there.
pphaneuf: (Default)
I went to see Nouvelle Vague (with Mansfield Tya as the opening act) last Wednesday, in Tournefeuille.

In traditional [livejournal.com profile] pphaneuf style, I had barely any plan on how I'd get there or back. I biked from work to there, and figured I'd have dinner there. Turns out Tournefeuille is confusingly small village, with nary a café or small restaurant. I managed to get a sandwich from a bakery. After this happened for the second time in two shows, I'm now getting the message: the hour listed on tickets here is not the time the show starts, but the time doors open. They, of course, start the show whenever they feel like it, in classic French style.

The show was pretty damned good, including the opening act, which kicked some vigourous dike ass (seriously, when one of the three girls in front of me turned around to the other two and made a "OMG, she's so hot!", I literally laughed out loud, it was so cute!). They did a duo "chanson française" type of show, with one of them singing, playing guitars, piano, portable organ (!!!) and drums, and the other playing violin, piano and the portable organ. They had some wonderful stage presence, with the singer coming right at the front of the stage and singing without the microphone, still managing to be heard well. I'd certainly look forward to picking up a CD from them.

Since I'm silly like that, I own Nouvelle Vague's newest album, "Bande à part", but still haven't opened it. So I had surprises at the show, which is nice, when they're good surprises. And they were! For example, their take of Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead", with appropriate scene theatrical, of course. But I'm afraid Nouvelle Vague might be a once, and maybe twice kind of thing, not an ongoing thing. In that sense, the opening act did a better job of seducing me, getting me to think about what else they have done, having a future. Oh well. I had a good time, that's what counts.

I returned home thanks to bumming a ride with a guy I chatted with at the show, leaving my bike in Tournefeuille. I was a bit worried for a while, but was relieved to find my bike still there and in one piece on Friday, when I returned to pick it up (I attempted on Thursday, but failed due to the lateness and darkness).

In other news, we received the visit of Pat this week (our first guest!), as he was in Toulouse for some business. We went to the Qjelt, chatted, drank szarlotka (was the first time I tried that, it's quite nice!), walked around Toulouse, visited a museum (where there were pieces from the Romans living in Toulouse two thousand years ago), took nice photos, and other such things.

I hear the couch is decently comfortable. I might just try it tonight.
pphaneuf: (Default)
Last Tuesday, I went to see iLiKETRAiNS (took some photos as well), which my source tell me is a "post-rock" band, whatever that is. It reminded me a bit of Interpol, and they had pretty interesting stage projections, where one of the band members would manipulate old-school slides and 16mm film projector, slowing them down, projecting one on top of the other and other manipulations like that. The venue itself was pretty interesting, being a barge moored on the Canal going through the city. It was, um, small, but turned out to be pretty well-suited to the kind of crowd. Acoustics weren't the greatest, and the volume was limited, but it was nice. The barman was extremely friendly, where he decided he'd speak in faux-english, since they had an English band coming that night, hehe! I picked up a CD, didn't listen to it yet (I need to sort out my insane music library issues first!), which was a bit funny, since I was asking for it in English, with the guy making an effort to reply in broken French. For some reason, my English just crashed to bits when I got to talk with the singer of the band (who was talking with a guy I met), but hey, I'm shy.

Thursday, the replacement battery for my laptop finally arrived, letting me write this on the train. Once more, the UPS delivery man, who's job, if it's not clear enough, is to deliver things to places, which often involves finding and ringing on doorbells, couldn't find my doorbell, much less ring on it. Getting stuff delivered to our place is kind of annoying. If there's going to be people visiting us, there's going to be pick-ups at other places, because we'll lose friends in Toulouse otherwise! Oh well, at least the pizza dude knows the place...

But finally, the "boring ride to work" in the train is turning into "too short ride to work, I was doing something cool", which is nice. :-)
pphaneuf: (Default)
Yesterday, there was a shirt-less guy just outside my apartment playing the accordion, and another guy wearing one of those black and white striped shirts dancing. For a moment, I thought I was on drugs or something, but apparently, I'm just in France. Move along, nothing to see here... ;-)

More feeling odd about the fall here. I wake up in the dark, leaves are yellow and falling, but I've barely had to put on a sweater on some colder days. Even when I have to, it's often just cool mornings, it warms up during the day. I had a long-sleeve shirt on the other day, and as I was walking back from the train station, thinking about how that was a poor choice, and how I should have put on a t-shirt or something, I saw a guy walking in the other direction with a jacket and scarf. Heh.

Waking up early really isn't my thing. Feels like I fell asleep for half a second in the kitchen, just as I was grabbing the Nutella container from the shelves, I dropped it right at my feet, where it shattered. It was rather odd, as I had adrenalin kicking in, and it was barely enough for me to make it back to the bedroom and sit, it didn't even wake me up good.

There's a bunch of interesting concerts coming up in the area, such as iLiKETRAiNS (which I never heard of, but has inspirations of Ian Curtis and Nick Cave, should be right up my alley), Amon Tobin and Nouvelle Vague. Man, I still don't have any New Order, this is nuts!

If people have recommendations of a particular album, or other music I should get, go right ahead, they're welcome!
pphaneuf: (Default)
So, last sunday, I was thinking to myself that I wanted to see more shows, and that specifically, some kick-arse ska like the Planet Smashers would be awesome. I think to myself that [livejournal.com profile] musicdieu probably knows all there is to know about these things. Monday, I forgot to ask him. Tuesday, I went to Old Dublin with [livejournal.com profile] blacksquiggles, [livejournal.com profile] taxlady and [livejournal.com profile] swestrup (mindlessly almost forgetting to pay, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cpirate for covering!). Back to the office, I stop by [livejournal.com profile] musicdieu's office of pantslessness, and he informs me that he's going to see the Planet Smashers the next day.

Ain't that grand?

The show rocked (or actually, ska'd), as expected. If they hadn't played a few of their slower and more reggae newer tracks (which are somewhat less awesome, I have to agree), I would have indeed needed a new colon after all that arse kicking they put out. As it is, I'm only left with blue arsecheeks.

It also did much good to my soul to see that there were still people in this world with the will to live, after going to that Autechre gig in Toronto. Montreal girls are quite fine, and I could have swore that a few were looking at me. People who know me will understand the implications of me even noticing anything. But I already had fine company for the evening, so I was quite content to enjoy my time there and leave it at that.

On another note, I found this thing about why having two girlfriends is a really bad idea to be rather hilarious. Some choice quotes:
  • Your only option under these conditions is to burn things, or become gay.
  • Your best course of action is to give up, go to bed on your own, and buy some unbreakable plastic glasses in the morning.
  • You can expect to be up to an hour and a half late for any appointment.
  • [...] and that's a huge Falklands Islands guano mountain of batshit - all for you to deal with.
  • If you can afford the only three-seater mid-engined sportscar, you can fuck right off.
  • Does having two girlfriends sound sensible to you? Of course not, it's utterly fucking insane.
There's also an attempt at the same about having two boyfriends, although notably less funny (but then, what would I know about that?). ;-)

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