Thursday, June 18, 2009

We Stole The Friendship That Kept Us Together

Our sincerest thanks you all, but really, it's time for us to go.

We are pleased to announce that our dedicated writer, Sean Marchetto, has started a new writing project, What Sister Ray Said, and has agreed to rely any news we might have in the future.

Thanks again, you really have been too kind.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Arcade Fire v. Sergio Leone

As luck would have it, yesterday a few of us gathered to watch Sergio Leone's Fistful of Dollars Trilogy. Something about the weather and the close-cropped inner city living had us hankering for his sunny, open panoramas.

Today, absent-mindedly trolling through YouTube, we came across this Once Upon A Time In The West/Arcade Fire "My Body Is A Cage" Mash-up created by jthelms.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Calgary City Transit Parking Fees

We've talked about parking fees in other posts, and the fact remains that increasing (or in this case implementing) parking fees is one of the easiest ways for civic leaders to reduce the number of cars in a given area. Easiest, not necessarily the best, and easy because essentially parking fees can be equated to a tax on the poor. Since the poor always outnumber the rich, they tend to lose out when the laws of supply and demand are put on objects of universal desire.

What makes the city's plan less than altruistic is the fact that the parking fees were started in the suburban LRT Stations, farthest from the city's core. Despite attempts to redirect city traffic through the city's 1990s GoPlan, the vast majority of traffic goes from the periphery to the core. The suburbs already force Calgarians to sacrifice distance and time for affordable housing, now they are being asked to endure their monthly transit fees doubled. Of course, the rationale is that those who would need to park daily, would be encouraged to take the bus to the station - provided transit ran effective services to their neighbourhood.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hail and Farewell!

We'd like to announce that ourfriend and colleague, Bassano del Grappa, is moving on. The global economy might be tanking, but it seems our staffers have never been in more demand. del Grappa recently announced that he would be leaving to work for a major human rights organization in Montreal after Easter. Alice Beceval and Lionel Harpsted will also be leaving to go work for NGOs in Northern Alberta and we wish them the best of luck. Beceval and Harpsted routinely offered us insight into the workings of television media, and del Grappa was frequently one of our go-to-folks for avante-garde art and music, and in depth social analysis. He promises that this "cosa nostra", as he lovingly referred to The Daily Wenzel, will not be the last of his literary endeavours, so we eagerly await whatever he has in mind.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What We've Been Listening Too

Music is constantly playing, even in these last days of the Daily Wenzel offices. While we focus mostly on pop music, we've been known to play everything from classical composers, to experimental works by the likes of Conrad, Stephen Reich, and Philip Glass. Heck, even Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music has put in a few appearances and it was in this context that we gave Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez Lopez's Old Money a chance.  Mainly guitar noodling over drum beats, samples and keyboards, it's highly abstract take on twentieth century robber barons is still leaving us scratching our heads.

More easily accessible is Asobi Seksu's Hush, a wonderful and ethereal pop gem, that complements the wierdness of CocoRosie's  The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn, another album that's been on fairly constant play. Joining the rotation this week was Beirut's latest offering, The March of the Zapotec/Holland a dual EP masquerading as an album. We're huge fans of Zach Condon, and Zapotec is consistent with the other Beirut releases, given an extra bit of flair by the 19 piece Jimenez Band, but the interesting feature here is the Holland side of the project which features Condon making keyboard music under the moniker Real People

Monday, February 09, 2009

Are You On The Bus

Edmonton Transit recently announced a whole new kind of bus would be joining their fleet. It's impressive, click here for more information.

Any chance it shows up in Calgary?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

20-second movie review, or we like whimsy

The Jack Black film Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny was on television last night and it made us realize that sometimes watching a particular film is all about waiting for the payoff, the moment in the film that makes us laugh, cry, or experience some form of emotion far-out of the range of normal movie going experiences. The odd thing about "the payoff" as it were, is that the films that contian them do not necessarily need to be of superior quality. Hence, while Tenacious D And The Pick of Destiny, on balance, is nowhere near as funny as one would hope, the final scenes of Jack Black and Kyle Gass facing down the Devil (as played by Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters) is something we find unbelievabley funny, in no so part because of the enjoyment that Grohl finds in poking fun of hard-rock stereotypes.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Photo of the Day

There's so much about this photo that we want to say, about how much is being signified, of capturing a moment in time - we promise one day we'll write it all down.

Right now however, we just want to highlight one of our favourite photographers, Glen E. Friedman, billed by dailyDuJour as "the most significant photographer of his generation", and frankly, once you look at the breadth of his work, it's hard to argue. Friedman is currently the subject of a retrospective entitled, "Idealist Propaganda" and organized in part by Shepard Fairey, of Obey Giant fame.

We would love to go, or at least decorate our halls with some of Friedman's pics.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's On Like Donkey Kong!

No we're not talking about the Super Bowl.

In a few hours Federer and Nadal will square off against each other in Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena, initiating ActI of what could be the most fascinating sporting contests in recent history. Federer's sublime skill versus Nadal's strength and dogged determination. The idea of these two tennis giants matching up in the finals of tennis' four Grand Slams, each one equally capable of winning all four, a feat not seen in tennis in over forty years, makes the heart beat. Whoever wins the Australian Open will be in the driving seat headed into the spring and Roland Garros.

Sit down, and strap yourselves in, this one's going to be a real ride.

2008 Song Of The Year

There were a lot of great songs last year - a quick look at the back of any of our top ten albums reveals at least a dozen. Asking your friends will bring on dozens more. Despite all these options, Cadence Weapon kept us coming back time and again to "Do I Miss My Friends?", the lead off song from Afterparty Babies.

Last fall it was announced that the American economy was officially in a recession, but the news had been all over the financial press for well over a year. As the housing market bubble looked ready to burst throughout the summer of 2007, the question was on everyone's lips, even as prices and the stock indices climbed higher. As Ozymandius from The Watchmen informed us, a recession turns people's thoughts to nostalgia.

So in a way, it is fitting that a song about "Back In The Day" is on the top of our lists. But Cadence Weapon goes beyond simple nostalgia. For us, a significant part of "Do I Miss My Friends?"'s allure is the tension that exists within individuals who have forced to choose between a stable and boring future and the wilder promises of their youth. Having cut our teeth in Calgary's Northeast and later Victoria Park, we have had many friends who've "skipped the rent" and thrown notorius damage deposit forfeiting last day of occupancy house parties. As careers and mortgages have come our way, those friends have fallen down to that particular circle of Facebook where we keep old acquaintances to be seen and heard, but not touched, where their behaviour continues unabated.

When Rollie Pemberton, a.k.a. Cadence Weapon asks, "Do I miss my friends?" for us the question is whether we miss those specific persons from our past and the relationships we had with them, or do we miss the freedom from responsibility that they represent? Is a kind of question that really has no answer, but the search is always deep.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Safin v. Federer, Australian Open 2009

Safin v. Federer, we've seen this before and it has always been a match filled with the promise of excellence, as Safin is usually considered the only player to possess more tennis skill then Roger Federer. While Friday's match showcased their talents, it also served to highlight that Safin's time has past him by. In the past we have always been excited to see Safin play, in part because his volatile nature meant that one was never certain which Safin would show up, often at any given moment. Certainly, watching Safin has given us much to think about regarding the relationship between unnatural talent, maturing, and in Safin's case, coaching. On Friday, it became evident that Safin has finally come to terms with all of his ghosts. He has awoken to find himself calmer - and older. There were no dramatic meltdowns on Friday, but Safin never really seemed to be able to challenge Federer, always seemingly three or four steps behind the younger Swiss maestro. In some ways, it is fitting that Safin has chosen this year to be his last in tennis, since we will also be shuttering our own (albeit limited and spotty) tennis coverage at some point this year.

Top Ten Albums of 2008

Better Late Than Never - Our Faves From Last Year

1. Beck - Modern Guilt
2. Hayden - In Field and Country
3. Cadence Weapon - Afterparty Babies
4. Herbaliser - Same As It Never Was
5. Tokyo Police Clib - Elephant Shell 
6. Portishead - Third
7. The Breeders - Mountain Battles
8. The Bug - The Bug
9.  Fort Knox Five - Radio Free D.C.
10.  The Street - Everything is Borrowed

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Open Invitation to Our Readers

We want to encourage everyone who ever read any of our postings, or shared an impromptu conversation with us, to send us stories, good riddances, farewells - maybe one of you will even send us a logo that we never got around to designing ourselves (lazy bastards!). Send email to

Welcome to the Afterparty

The writing was literally on the wall. Our office space is being sold. Our lease let out. It will be interesting and unpredictable to suggest what will happen to our little group after we no longer have this space. To say that we had a lease might be something of an exageration as it was never clear how we might have afforded such a thing, since all we ever seemed to do was hang out and talk, as people dropped by to sit on couches and write stuff down. During lazy summer afternoons we'd watch movies (wow, to think this might be the end of Afternoon Kino!), and likewise but less frequently on cold winter nights. The postings that you read here, are really just the tip of an iceberg. To be honest, people have been dragged in more directions lately, and economc downturns tend to bring about geographic dislocations, so perhaps things would have wound down eventually.

But this is not a good-bye - more like a forewarning or last call. We now know that what we're doing is not sustainable and will somehow come to an end, but that doesn't mean we're going to stop. We have at least another few months before we have to leave or space, and things might even linger own a little while after that.

So, what to expect? We'd like to suggest that there'll be a flurry of postings, punctuated with pictures of us having a good time, but maybe we'll just be too busy enjoying our last days.