theleaveswant: illustration: woman in puffy dress & antique diving helmet holds hoop for sharks (one in clown hat &ruff)to swim through (shark ballet)
( May. 27th, 2015 01:42 pm)
1. Feminist Mad Max memery. Thanks, internet.

1a. If anybody knows of a clean camrip or other viddable source, please tell me? I have Ideas.

2. Happy Birthday Bruce Cockburn! You are great.


3. JUST FREAKING RAIN ALREADY.
Fury Road is AMAZING and loud and ridiculous and real and clever and ugly and beautiful and scary and inspiring and violent and sweet and I want to see it again but not in 3D because that's just too much flinching (there's a lot of shrapnel to dodge).

Homework is blaaaaaaaaaaaah and the coming thunderstorms just banged on my head like a gong, so we're not getting any more of that done tonight. Yesterday was a total write-off, brainwise; I slept for 12 hours and woke up in the afternoon with a headache that only got worse. All in all a very productive weekend :P



I am nowhere near as good at this game as [personal profile] thatyourefuse is, but anyway.

Give me a character and I'll tell you three things that I believe about their sexuality/sex life/experience.
Convince me to do my homework now so it's done and I can go see Fury Road and then squee for as many hours as necessary without stupid homework getting in the way (if movie is half as good as people I trust say it is I will be happy).

Twelve more weeks of school. Applying for part-time jobs in the meantime, so far with no luck. Trying to figure out how to successfully specialize in accounting for nonprofits (meeting with one of my instructors next week to get some advice). Would like some money and feelings of usefulness now, please.

What else is going on in my life? Hm. I had a health thing, discussion not detailed but still kinda gross ).

The garden is looking promising. Have I mentioned here that I've finally taken the plunge of putting effort into the front garden beyond minimal weed and overgrowth control? I've been meaning to since the summer after I moved in here but kept missing the spring planting window, until this year I happened to be in a No Frills in early April when there was a huge pile of seed packets in one of the square things at the edge of the produce section and I lightbulbed.
what I have done to the yard )

Knitting-wise, I have finally picked up needles again and finished one new design (hat using and inspired by a Nerd Girl Yarns Random Fandom club exclusive colourway from 2014, have to remember to write up pattern and get photos before new Jurassic Park movie) and I'm trying to get another one done in time for the next Knitty submission deadline (June 1).

This time resuming knitting has not stopped me writing, so far (knock on wood); still picking away at many projects, mostly Mass Effect though I'm currently experiencing a resurgence of Flashpoint feels and a weird do-wanna-don't-wanna pull with MCU (have not seen AoU but have heard many extremely displeasing spoilers; will pirate eventually but choosing not to get thrown out of a theatre for yelling at Joss Whedon).

Hoping to attempt Festivids again this year, making list of media to request. Fantasizing about making a Mass Effect vid requiring material from multiple playthroughs of all three games; could splice some of it together from stuff on YouTube like [personal profile] beccatoria did for With Blood (which is an hfjksahlvvvkueb amazing vid, wow) but my idea is more "TEAM BADASS!" with gimmicks than mindbogglingly beautiful play with deep stuff like agency and individuality and fate and branching realities and so on, and I want my Shepard.
The internet is back. It's end of term. I want to write but my brain is squiggly. These jelly beans are actually super gross and yet I keep eating them. Give me fic prompts so my hands have something better to do than convey gross jelly beans to my face (there are actually many things my hands could be doing that don't involve gross jelly beans or fic, such as dishes or homework, but here we are).
Internet at my apartment has been down since Monday and will not be back up (technically reinstalled) until sometime late next week (but that's possibly sooner than the windstick TekSavyy is mailing to tide us over until that happens will arrive--this is not a knock against TekSavvy, I'm very pleased with them as service providers and would be even if they weren't waiving half the installation fee for the new connection).

Have been rewatching Game of Thrones episode commentaries on dvd in interim and am now clawing at my monitor in anticipation of season 5.

There are half-scale german shepherd weathervane things that I assume are goose repellants all over campus. I have seriously considered nicking one.

I came here to mooch internet so I could do homework and job applications but my head is killing me so nope.

Three weeks left in the second of three terms. When I graduate I want to work for the Iron Bank of Braavos, send debt collectors after Lannisters and slap Mark Gatiss.
My main sources for discovering new music are 1. folk festivals, 2. fandom (mostly vids and mixes/playlists but also other fannish interaction), 3. film & tv soundtracks, and 4. other. Other is usually conversations outside of fandom or being near a radio, but the otherest other happened yesterday when I went to Value Village to drop off three bags of clothes I don't wear and shop for one bag of clothes I will. I found a me-sized black t-shirt with some feathers and the words "The Balconies" on it and deduced, correctly, that this was a band I'd never heard of (also there were actually two of the same shirt in the same size, apparently unworn, so plausibly leftover merch). I decided I'd look them up when I got home and I did and they're great. Remind me some of Die Mannequin (who I know because of Hard Core Logo 2/the Bruce McDonald creative cluster) and Halestorm (who I know because of--I had to wrack my brain to remember this--author notes on an unfortunately apparently deleted Game of Thrones rock band AU that cited a Halestorm song as basis for one played by Brienne and Sansa and Arya and Margaery's band), insofar as all are woman-fronted alternative/hard rock bands with punk and metal influences.


As part of Operation: Be Less Anaemic, I've been looking for more ways to get iron-rich foods into my face. Tahini, in particular, has already yielded two successful experiments: toasted raisin bagel with tahini and honey (delicious but sooooo messy) and vegan macaroni thing (cooked macaroni, miso paste, tahini, mustard powder, some non-dairy milk if it's not cheese-saucey enough, splash of lemon juice, nutritional yeast, lentils; green peas optional).
Tomorrow is, to quote my father, "one of those millstone birthdays". I might wear a pretty dress because I can.

I am more than halfway through this school program. The actual accounting courses (and other math-based stuff like stats) continue to be alarmingly easy. Business Communications is mostly group work so I kinda hate it even though all the actual people I have grouped with seem adequately lovely.

A couple of weeks ago I interviewed for a bookkeeper position at The Public (an activist design studio). Didn't get it, but they're a neat little company so I link them.

Texts from Mass Effect characters. The ones I find funny are side-splitting. Also still hilarious and hilariously relevant to current fandom pursuits, Erotica Written by an Alien Pretending Not to Be Horrified by the Human Body (I'm a nerd: this alien is more familiar with Terran vertebrates other than humans than I would expect).

I want more tattoos. And to not feel so clumsy walking in heels.

Erika Lust should be president of the world.

P.S. Everything was just a mess.
This week has been a week of agony. Going through painkillers and tiger balm at alarming rates. Stupid connective tissue.

I've watched a bunch of this year's Festivids and enjoyed them but the two that have made me go "SHUT UP THIS VID IS IMPORTANT" are "White Telephone" (Halloween series, non-remakes), because it highlights why, despite its truly ridiculous title, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later is a really fascinating and I think important contribution to the horror genre because [insert dissertation-length ramble about slasher/stalker/serial killer movies as a site of entanglement of violence and sex and Georges Bataille and final girls and the madonna-whore problem and non-fictional trauma survivors and what happens after the credits roll and Jamie Lee Curtis' career and the epistemological and ontological differences between the Halloween films of the 1970s-90s and Rob Zombie's 00s reboots and the phenomenon of horror remakes and franchise reboots more generally and the place and influence of Halloween in the phylogeny of horror cinema and and and], and "I'll Be There for You" (Pit Bulls and Parolees), because PUPPIES.
Pro of writing fic for a video game: Can take as much time as you like studying (many) locations, outfits, characters' faces etc., rather than trying to extrapolate a whole room from a 0.3 second peek over somebody's shoulder.

Con of writing fic for a video game: Very difficult to go back and check specific lines of dialogue, gestures etc., since you pretty much have to play through to a given point to see the scene again (or save really really frequently so you have set points to play from to check but you can't name your saves and it's easy to overwrite things by accident). Or there's youtube clips but Shepard always has the wrong face and sometimes the wrong voice and I can't choose the conversation forks/interrupts.

This is a long-winded way of saying that my creative brain has swung back around to words-making and I have several nearly complete fics waiting for me to reach certain scenes before I can share them (downside is I am writing on my iPod on transit and between/in classes rather than knitting so nothing gets knit). Seriously, one is completely done except for the first two lines of dialogue.

dumping place for assorted ME opinions and headcanon, contains ranting and spoilers for all three games )
theleaveswant: text "make something beautiful" on battered cardboard sign in red, black, and white (Bruce glasses)
( Jan. 10th, 2015 10:30 pm)
1. School is happening again. I had grand plans for getting so much knitting and pleasure reading and voluntary socializing done over the winter break, and instead I mostly played Mass Effects 1-3. For a month. Because "obsessively" is the only way I know how to play computer/video games. I'm kind of in love with the world-building and want to hug many of the major characters, and I can say lots of more specific things if anybody wants to hear (read) them.

2. I did read Slow Seduction and Slow Satisfaction, the middle and end of Cecilia Tan's BDSM erotic romance trilogy, because they are snack food. The plot gets kinda ridiculous over the course of the series, IMHO, though nothing on the level of Mr. Benson. The prose is engaging and there are enough interesting/sympathetic characters to merit actually reading rather than just skimming for the saucy bits.

CTan is one of the coolest people I've ever met (definitely the most famous person who has let me stay at their house) and one of the few good things to come out of the Fifty Shades craze is that publishers will finally print the kind of stories she's been trying to sell for years. If I still worked in a bookstore I would do everything I could to steer people interested in this kind of book towards the ones written by capable kink activist/educators and experienced authors.

3. At the end of November I lost the nearly half-finished Bat'leth scarf I was making for a looooong-time friend on the subway and honestly I am still grieving.

4. Creative brain has swung back around to wanting (really badly) to write. I have lots of medium to huge (mostly MCU, some GoT and small fandoms, now Mass Effect) things stewing in my brain/gdocs/the notepad app on my iPod but I'm very open to prompts as a goad to write and share short stuff, so let's reopen this >7 month-old prompt post, shall we?

5. Skimming back over old posts looking for the prompts one, realize I never gave an important update on the rotten pot-smoking downstairs neighbour (whom I might have only mentioned under access lock?): he's gone! Long gone actually, left in early November. Ejected by his roommates. Apparently recalcitrant about leaving; Phil(l)ip the Good Neighbour asked if I'd be willing to help if they needed to present a case to the landlord or LTB to get him out. Didn't end up being necessary but yes, I was willing.
Almost immediately after the last smells post I ordered two more envelopes of stuff from people on the BPAL Madness forum, because I obviously don't already have more blends than I'm realistically able to wear.

This first batch are all from collections outside the BPAL general catalogue: two Halloweenies, three Yules (special seasonal offerings--this year's Yule collection just went up and I'm eyeing a couple of bottles, if anybody wants to do a group order?) and one from the Lab's Neil Gaiman partnership series (scents based on his work, proceeds to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund).

In the usual order of blech to yum: )
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theleaveswant: photo of a knit toy tarsier peeking out from behind a pipe (bzah! knit tarsier)
( Nov. 28th, 2014 07:44 pm)
Two weeks of school left but I am ready for the term to be over now. Can't I just skip straight to the exams? Blech.

Mostly in the interests of closing tabs . . .
1. A couple of weeks ago I got pulled in to helping with the final stage of a huge corporate-funded yarnbombing project: earlier in the fall Tim Hortons contacted my former workplace and engaged two of my former coworkers to coordinate knitters to cover a mobile coffee truck with a "sweater" patterned after their holiday cups.

More than 35 people produced dozens of carefully charted panels, and I joined in the final four-day blitz of last-minute do-overs and seaming them together (the yarn, if anybody's wondering, is Cascade Eco Wool held triple, and everyone who worked on the truck commented on how amazingly squishy and sturdy the fabric was and now wants to make a blanket or a pillow or something). The truck sweater is a promotion for their #warmwishes charitable campaign, where if you tweet or instagram at them with that hashtag and mention a "good deed" you've done they'll donate a toque to a kid in need, and the sweater itself is going to be broken down, felted, and sent to Covenant House as blankets.

2. I highly, highly recommend Métis in Space (and other podcasts on Indian & Cowboy, but this is the only one I've listened to all of and definitely my favourite). The show is two very smart Métis women tearing SFF representations of First Nations people to shreds (deservedly, as these representations are pretty universally horrible). Their critique is right on the money and the podcasts are hilarious (IMHO, anyway, because their senses of injustice and of humour happen to line up really well with mine).

I have some new BPALs to review but need to give a couple of them another try before passing judgment (short version: Krampus yessssss, Gunpowder noooooooo). Also promised way back when that I'd talk about horror movies and how Stephen King really oughta know better but then I watched a LOT of movies and I have too many thoughts and don't know what to say, so are there any particular movies or franchises or themes or issues or whatever you'd like me to talk about?
Why I Don't Like Remembrance Day )

Not an especially subtle or nuanced playlist but neither is all that Canada Remembers propaganda.

row on row )
I've had these oils since mmmmmmmMay? and never got around to reviewing them. Haven't really played much with scent-things since then, or definitely not since before summer travelling--the combination of summer heat and my sweet-amping skin was pretty gross, and there are signs in all the (women's) washrooms at school reminding people about the no-scent policy (which I think is mostly meant to mean "do not saturate this enclosed space with atomized chemicals" but I've been respecting it, and it seems like most other people on campus have too and that's awesome), and on non-school days I'm either doing something with my hands that doesn't pair well with smelly wrists or I just don't think of it. Going to make some effort to change that last thing.

Anyway, reviews. Kinda hard to rank this batch, they've all got pros and cons, so this isn't a firm order.

BPAL x 4 )
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I've been meaning to share some of this summer's musical pleasures since August, and I actually had a post half written and all linked around the end of September-beginning of October but then my computer died and I had to replace it, and school, and October was a really bad month for my mental health, and here we are. Enjoy this sample platter of songs mostly by artists I had not heard before this summer.

onward to the downloads of questionable legality )

PS Do any of you knitterfolk like working with bamboo needles? I have a Chiaogoo Twist complete interchangeable set that I basically never use because I much prefer metal, and I'd like it to go to a good home. $80 or trade for metal needles?
After one lovely day in Victoria with my mum visiting some of her favourite places and another having breakfast with [personal profile] staranise before wandering downtown by myself--with a not quite as lovely day in between where Dad and I went to see the UTTERLY ENRAGING Monty Python reunion show and I stomped out at intermission then cooled down by taking a long solo walk along the ocean and hanging out with a deer--I caught the ferry back to Vancouver, slept on high school friend's couch (wearing borrowed clothes, with all my own stuff out on the balcony, because friend's roommate's MCS is scary severe), left very early in the morning and nearly missed my Greyhound because Translink confuses me, rode bus through mountains! all day long, and was collected by Aunt in Canmore and whisked back to her place.

While in Victoria I'd talked Aunt into accompanying me to the Calgary Folk Music Festival for a day ("talked into" is maybe the wrong expression; she was on board even before I got to the magic words "Bruce Cockburn"). The festival had already sold out of Saturday day passes, of course, but I managed to scoop a pair for face value on Kijiji, woot.

We didn't hurry into Calgary Saturday morning, took our time waking up and didn't rush the drive, so we didn't get through the gates until a little after noon (also I hadn't yet noticed that my iPod's clock didn't switch to Mountain! Standard Time when we crossed into Alberta, so I spent chunks of the weekend believing that it was an hour earlier than it was supposed to be, depending on which timekeeping device I happened to check, but this would not become a problem until Monday). Wristbanded and be-programmed, we plonked down at the nearest source of interesting noises, which happened to be Jaron Freeman-Fox, who is a much weirder person than his program blurb suggests. We planned to stroll around sampling sounds after that but ended up sticking the first place we landed because that place was in front of (well, off to the side of) Nick Sherman, with his charm and his face and his ink-covered arms and his beautiful husky-soft voice.

Next stop was "Letter to a Young Songwriter", because Aunt wanted to get as much Bruce as possible, and I stayed there for a bit before wandering off to check out some stuff towards the western end of the park, including more Roger Knox & pals (no, I had not had enough of them yet, thank you for asking). What Knox is doing, with the help of Langford and his multifarious musical connections (see below), is introducing the world to the rich and tragically underknown tradition of Aboriginal country music in Australia via an album of songs, some previously recorded and hard to find, others never recorded at all, all by Aborigine writers, performed by himself and a mob of talented and established artists in northern hemisphere alt-country and adjacent genres. The story, in a nutshell, is that classic country & western music snuck into Australia via white American servicemen after WWII and, like rabbits and cane toads, made itself at home. Unlike rabbits and cane toads, this introduction was embraced, especially by Aboriginal people, because it's music evolved for big skies, dust storms, camp fires, cattle drives, and telling sad, sad stories--of which the Aboriginal songwriters had plenty to tell. Knox, "the Koori King of Country", was a big deal in this tiny vibrant scene in the 80s, and AFAIC deserves to be a big deal all over the place.

Aunt and I were supposed to meet up again at "Hard Truths and Summer Breezes" but by the time I got there the set was over and the crowd dispersing, so I tried "The People's Mic" (full of folks I'd heard in Vancouver and praised in talking up the festival) and found Aunt there only once the audience started thinning towards the end of the session. The reason it took so long to reach Stage 3, and to get from there to Stage 2, is that the site layout was TERRIBLE. maps and complaints )

I understand that the organizers are limited by the island's size and permanent features, there are only so many configurations they can actually use, but come on. I cannot be the only person to get bounced from volunteer crew to volunteer crew looking for somebody to complain to. (Also, this isn't the organizers' fault but it really pissed me off: somebody hotboxed one of the portaloos that I tried to use right before I tried to use it and, like, what the fuck?!?!? First of all, I hate you. Second, WHY??? Third, I hope you catch many gruesome parasites, you gross, rude jerk. Yech.)

I'm not entirely certain what happened during the first part of the evening? I know Aunt and I were on our blanket in the wee triangular space we claimed at mainstage for part of The Lone Bellow, and then we must have gone to Stage 4 because I remember eating curry there and moving closer to the stage during the changeover before Waco Brothers, but I don't remember listening to Typhoon? I must have been absorbed in my knitting--oh! It was during this block that I went back to Stage 2 to look for the cable needle I'd lost that afternoon. I found it, and a bonus quarter.

Waco Brothers (here joined by or now including Jean Cook and her violin), ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh so good. I danced my legs off and yelled my lungs out and it was awesome. I am amazed and embarrassed that I didn't know about Jon Langford before this summer--like, I was distantly aware of Waco Brothers but couldn't have told you anything about them, and Langford himself I'd never heard of, and it's amazing because the guy is everywhere. He's in I'm-not-even-sure-how-many active bands (Mekons, who've been going since he helped found them in 1977, Waco Brothers, kids' band Wee Hairy Beasties, The Pine Valley Cosmonauts if you consider them a band rather than an event . . .) and plays solo with and without Skull Orchard, is one of the major moving parts in the engine of the alt-country label, Bloodshot Records, and a hero in the Chicago music scene, hosts a radio program, has both inspired and been involved in multiple theatre projects, collaborates with anybody who'll hold still enough long enough, and on top of all that he's a visual artist with a stack of exhibitions, books, a comic strip, and a line of beer labels to his name. It's terrifying how productive he is, especially when you see him in person: this shortish, balding, white-haired Welsh guy three months older than my mother leaping around on stage with more fierce energy than I have ever had or will have. I'm not entirely sure he's human. As a band Waco Brothers are a forceful reminder that the thing we now call alt-country didn't come out of popular country at all--it mostly came out of punk. The bands that kicked it all off in the 80s--Mekons, The Blasters, The Knitters, Rank & File, and everybody else in this rabbit hole I am happily falling down--did it by mixing classic country sounds into punk spirit and punk politics (which might have something to do with how people like Langford, Sally Timms, Dave Alvin, and Alejandro Escovedo are still doing the amazing stuff they do, and why they seem like such genuinely good people); at the time people even called it cowpunk. I expected them to bring out Roger Knox for a song at some point, like Langford had done during what was supposed to be his solo show in Vancouver, but they didn't; they brought Frank Yamma, who led the crowd through this down-in-it call-and-answer blues number, screaming "hey crazy mama" until our throats were raw. This show just did not let up--there were protest songs and union songs and love songs and hate songs and covers pulled from half a dozen genres, and at the end of the set Langford jumped off the stage and ran around in the audience and it was fucking glorious.

After that came the hotboxed portaloo incident, and rage, and looking for somebody to complain about the layout to, and after that came Bruce Cockburn, and that made everything so much better. It was magic. I don't even know what else to say about it, really. I knew the words to almost every song he played, all the singles and a couple of the obscure ones, and they're really good words. That's his biggest strength, from my perspective: good singer, amazing guitarist, bloody devastating poet. Cockburn's another of these folks who doesn't look like a life-changing music god, too--he can turn on that power presence, you see it in some of the photos and hear it sometimes in his voice and then you (I) get the spine-shivers, but most of the time he's just another white-haired white guy, bespectacled subtype. Even on stage, alone, in a leather duster coat with an emerald green guitar, he seems so mild, until you listen. Aunt suggests that the innocuous is a survival tactic, on a career level if not an actual mortality one, like the opposite of a scarlet kingsnake, to persuade TPTB to let him keep performing, which, when you record songs declaring your desire to convert Guatemalan dictators into pulpy splatter . . .

We didn't stay long into Seun Kuti's set, had to get going before things got too sleepy for safe driving on mountain! roads, but yeah. That was my day at the Calgary Folk Festival: excellent musical programming, excellent company (which the festival cannot take credit for), abysmal site layout, and another imaginary stamp on my folk festival passport.
So, Vancouver Folk Music Festival.

Dad (who had the physical tickets) got lost trying to find the site Friday afternoon, so we missed the (apparently traditional) Musqueam opening and greetings, which this year were expanded to include a performance by a group of First Nations women including Ferron welcoming the festival community to the place that used to be Ee'yullmough, now Jericho Beach Park. Missed a chunk of the first mainstage act (Mokoomba) too, but got to see (total cutiepies!) Geomungo Factory perform "Freebird" on traditional Korean instruments at one of the evening side stages, so that was pretty cool. Other than that, Friday wasn't too eventful (the festival, anyway; earlier in the day I'd gone walking up West 4th with the intention of wandering the Endowment Lands all afternoon but found somebody's UBC staff ID on the sidewalk so kept going most of the way to the university to return it--ended up giving it to someone in the Endowment Lands office who said she'd call the university lost'n'found and get it back to the owner, before taking EL trails down to the beach to get back to the hostel).

Saturday was an excellent day for social conscience music, from drizzly morning Leonard Sumner solo concert, to "Rabble Rousers" workshop (Grievous Angels, Frank Yamma, David Rovics--who did this fantastic song "I'm a Better Anarchist Than You"--and ex-Saw Doctors Leo Moran and Anthony Thistlethwaite), to Pete Seeger tribute workshop (fun fact: it's VFMF tradition that a bunch of BC unions sponsor a Saturday afternoon workshop on the Utah Phillips Memorial Stage--aka Stage 2--and this was 2014's; huge audience for this one, both for theme and for the fact Joan Baez was supposed to be there--she had to cancel for medical reasons, alas, but we still got Eliza Gilkyson, Alejandro Escovedo, ought-to-be-legendary Josh White Jr, and Scottish singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, who I'll return to in a bit), to "CountryFolk" workshop (Sumner, Amanda Anne Platt of The Honeycutters, Suzie Vinnick, who told an adorable story about her dad turning a sweet cowboy ballad into a rousing shoutalong--"leather!", and Roger Knox with Jon Langford and Jean Cook, who I'll also return to; I got there just in time to hear Langford explain his and Knox's country-folk credentials: "Roger's from New South Wales, I'm from old south Wales, we're both from the south, we play country music"), to "Power in Song" (Polwart, Rovics, Yamma, and Ashleigh Flynn, though I'm obliged to admit that I napped through most of this one), to Knox-with-Langford-and-Cook solo, and right on into mainstage.

Baez's cancellation meant they had to do some shuffling: Noura Mint Seymali got moved to closer, Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys stayed where scheduled, and Karine Polwart got to take the sunset slot. She ended up one of the first artists at the festival to run out of stock at the merch tent, and frankly I'm not surprised: she's a beautiful, wistful voice and a captivating storyteller. One story she told a few times over the weekend to introduce her song "King of Birds" starts with a dedication to the Occupy movement, who had their London basecamp at St. Paul's Cathedral. the story of the king of birds, paraphrased from Polwart's stage banter )

Saturday's also the day I won the argument with my dad that started the night before when he expected me to agree with him that Leonard Sumner's mainstage tweener (which I didn't hear because I was off exploring the site or something) was terrible and that he had no talent, with the specific accusation that Sumner was "all message, no music". I did not agree, and asserted that Dad not liking rap or First Nations music had no bearing on the talent of people who make that. He backed down, grumblingly, and turned to his program, telling me where he planned to be at what time the next day and how much he was looking forward to Grievous Angels. Early Saturday evening we small-talked where we'd been all day; I'd gone to Sumner's concert and we'd both been at "Rabble Rousers", and I was able to press him on the false non-equivalency he'd constructed between Sumner and the Angels regarding their respective message:music ratios until he admitted that the issue was in his subjective taste rather than their objective talent (nothing against the Angels, I liked them a lot, but you can hardly accuse Charlie Angus of being mellifluous). Dad now claims he was referring to the old lineup, with a female vocalist, when he praised the Angels, but he didn't say that and he bought a bunch of David Rovics CDs, so.

The first session I really attended on Sunday (flitted around a bit during the first time block, a song here and two there) continued and condensed Saturday's themes in a really interesting way. Titled "The People, United . . .", it drew together a crew of familiar faces--Grievous Angels, Roger Knox with Jon Langford and Jean Cook, Frank Yamma with David Bridie, and Leonard Sumner--plus Iskwew Singers, who I knew slightly from last year's Edmonton Folk Festival. Every person on that stage was either indigenous (Australian Aborigine or Canadian First Nations) or working as an advocate for indigenous people (or an indigenous person): Bridie and Langford were at this festival mostly as supporting players for Yamma and Knox, respectively, and had only one concert block each for their own material (and how weird-cool is it that are two Aboriginal men, from different parts of Australia, performing different styles of music, but each accompanied by a whitefella using his higher music industry profile to draw attention to their work, playing the Canadian folk festival circuit at the same time?), Angels' frontman Charlie Angus took a break from music to help his neighbours organize roadblocks and is now the NDP MP for the enormous northern Ontario riding of Timmins-James Bay). It was . . . kind of intense, actually. Tense excited energy swirling through patches of (rather large) audience, nurtured by the perfect kind of cloudy sky; collisions of well-meaning white Canadian awkwardness around racial Others and activated activist potential surging. There were jokes (Sumner: "I never really get to play with a full band behind me. Thanks, Grievous Angels." Angus: "Yeah, we're gonna have to charge you for that." Sumner: "Great! Then I'll charge you rent for that land you're living on!") and the laughter was enthusiastic and sour--but hey, good things aren't necessarily comfortable.

Not many other standout events on Sunday--met up with a high school friend, finished the cardigan I'd been re-knitting, heard Jon Langford play some of his own stuff--up until the Mary Lambert thing. Read more... )
That sucked and it made me go sit under a tree in a place with no people for an hour.

As an event the fest was pretty relaxed, overall. Chock full of lesbians, as previously mentioned--queer women and folk festivals go together like ginger and lemon anyway but this one was really owned. Silver-haired Birkenstock womyn who pioneered the Left Coast tofu cabin lifestyle, glitter-covered babydykes fused together in sickening teenage love, two-mama partnerships doting on cross-racially adopted babies, matched sets of waistcoated butch people . . . It was kinda nice, actually, apart from the "do I look gay enough?" stress I always get around capital-L-esbians when my head's not shaved. Mostly white people but by less of a margin, I think, than other festivals, which makes sense for Vancouver--though it's also, fortunately, a trend across the board, that the population of "folk" attending these festivals is opening up the same way "folk" music is, albeit laggingly. At least that's my hopeful perception, comparing festivals I've been to recently with those of my childhood, where the only people of colour I can remember seeing were either on stage or behind a concession counter. I could make other observations comparing particular aspects of this festival to particular aspects of others but I think this post is long enough already.

(to be followed by a hopefully shorter thing about my one-day jaunt to the Calgary Folk Music Festival and a playlist of new-to-me, and some rediscovered-by-me, musics)
Hello from the southern tip of Vancouver Island!

I'm at Dad's house, which is a great little house but emotionally weird because it's full of things, sometimes really peculiar things, from our old house in Winnipeg (knick-knacks, art, books, furniture, the microwave). I was surprised that there was no wifi at the VFMF and the access I've had from other places (the hostel then the ferry, basically) has been slow or crashy or abruptly required me to reconnect to the network at irregular intervals, so I've been able to receive email and tweet and check weather and download offline transit map apps and not a whole lot else. I think I've skimmed back through all the new stuff on dreamwidth, not even gonna attempt to do the same with tumblr.

The festival was mostly really good but ended on a sour note because Mary Lambert's set and specifically the two spoken word pieces she did were really triggering for me (and also, somewhat relatedly, really frustrating) and I haven't yet entirely stabilised from that. It also differed from other festivals I've been to in a number of ways, some positive (real prominent emphasis on making the event more accessible for people with physical disabilities, NO MOSQUITOES, beer tent less of a priority/holy shrine for both guests and organizers), most neutral (in addition to a small artisan village inside the festival site they have a slew of vendors in a crowded narrow strip along the edge of the site that is open to the public, crowd totally saturated with lesbians) or negative (they do not even pretend to check bags for weapons, intoxicants, or breakable glass--though I guess that's actually less annoying than festivals like Winnipeg or Edmonton where the bag check is very obviously only a pretense? and might somewhat account for the more relaxed reverence for the drinking cathedral?--and the site is just ridiculously easy to sneak into, about a sixth of the vendors in the public bazaar are selling cannabis-related merchandise, geese). Will try to say more about the good stuff especially (music, frex) later tonight or tomorrow after I get my allowed visit with Mum.

PS I fixed the bad html in the last post, let me know if I missed something.
So, apart from the need-a-roommate problem (which . . . might actually be solved now? I don't want to say anything that sounds certain until it is, but there's a measuring tape involved now and I think that's a good sign), things are mostly pretty sweet here. I mean there's an overwhelming amount of stuff going on this month, but on the whole it's positive stuff, and this is a lot of words about some of it:

I'm going to accounting school! )

a wedding (not mine) and a cheesecake )

a folk festival )

another folk festival and geographically related adventures )
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roses, bruises, 'bout your shoulders

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