Hate me if you need to

blog-17July2012-photoReally. I won’t be offended. (Just please don’t leave!)

I’ve been away. I mean, not literally – well, actually, a bit literally, but we’ll get to that. I’ve been doing stuff that will soon come to the light. It will come to the light in a big way, with a big swelling bass line, and maybe even a kick drum. Who knows. . . .

But since I have been away, let’s play catch up. What has been going on in the world?


Higgs Boson

Some (and by some, I mean hundreds of) scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) say they think they’ve discovered the Higgs boson, which is the particle that gives mass to objects, which is kind of a big deal. The problem is that no one (except those hundreds of scientists) really understands what this particle does.

So scientists started trying to dumb-it-down for the rest of us. You know, put it on a level that the general public could relate to. Now, I don’t know if I should laugh or be insulted, but one of those scientists explained it like this:

“The idea is that the Higgs boson forms this Higgs field. So you have these particles popping in and out of existence everywhere through the universe.

To explain the actual mechanism that gives mass, it’s best to use an analogy. So, if we say that these particles are actually teenage girls, and mass is something to do with fame, so . . . Justin Bieber.

If we were to just take an average person, if he moves through this field, the teenage girls aren’t going to care. He’s going to go through completely unimpeded. Justin Bieber is a completely different case, though. He goes along and all these teenage girls flock around him, and obviously if you’ve got all those people around you, you can’t move as fast as you could otherwise. So he gets slowed down by the teenage girls, and therefore, he has this sense of mass, this  drag, this inertia.

And that’s basically how the Higgs boson works. And today, we think we have found these teenage girls, the Higgs boson.”

– Matin Archer, Imperial College

(You can watch Archer explain it to a CNN anchor here.)

If you still don’t get it, maybe this will help:

On an aside, is it weird that the first time I heard of the Large Hadron Collider was from The Big Bang Theory?


Moving on. . . .


Def Leppard to cover Def Leppard

Yeah, you read that right. The band is going back into the studio to re-record some of their best hits. And it all boils down to a fight with a record label (doesn’t it always?). Joe Elliot explained to Billboard Magazine:

“When you’re at loggerheads with an ex-record label who . . . is not prepared to pay you a fair amount of money and we have the right to say, ‘Well, you’re not doing it,’ that’s the way it’s going to be. Our contract is such that they can’t do anything with our music without our permission, not a thing. So we just sent them a letter saying, ‘No matter what you want, you are going to get “no” as an answer, so don’t ask.’ That’s the way we’ve left it. We’ll just replace our back catalog with brand new, exact same versions of what we did.”

‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ and ‘Rock of Ages’ are already available for digital download, and more should be released soon.


LCD Soundsystem to maybe record a soundtrack

Remember them? Of course you do. The defunct New York indie dance group may not be defunct for long. Ringleader James Murphy told the New York Times that the band was asked by a mystery director to cover a song for a soundtrack. While Murphy didn’t say anything else, he did mention that the band “seems to want to do it.”

Last year, LCD Soundsystem performed a final show at Madison Square Gardens. The show was captured in a documentary call Shut Up And Play The Hits, which will hit American theatres on July 18. You can see the trailer for the doc down below.


Chumbawumba officially disband

How about them? Do you remember Chumbawumba? If you grew up in the ’90s, you probably do. They had a super hit with the best drinking song ever recorded, ‘Tubthumping’ —

Anyway, they’re disbanding! In a surprising move (mostly because we weren’t aware that they’re still together), Chumbawumba posted a long explaination to their website, explaining why, after 30 years, they’re ending things. You can read that here.


Run DMC to reunite

For the first time since 2002, Joseph ‘Run’ Simmons and Darryl ‘D.M.C.’ McDaniels – together, Run D.M.C. – will perform! In November, they’ll be in Austin, Texas, for the Fun Fun Fun Fest. A portion of the proceeds from their set will go toward the JMJ Foundation, which provides funding for youth arts programs. Festival goers will also witness a solo set from McDaniels’ upcoming album.

The group had retired after third member, Jason ‘Jam Master Jay’ Mizell, was murdered. Since then, they’ve been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


As I’ve said, I’ve been away. . . .

I went to New York City (my beloved home away from home). And a few things struck me, and so I’ve made some lists.


Five Reasons Why NYC is Better than Toronto

City Planning

The streets are numbered, so you pretty much can’t get lost unless you try (or unless you’re downtown, which is a whole different story).


The Subway

The subway system is phenomenal. You have SO many options to get around the city that it’s disgusting to even think anyone would want to drive. Not to mention how far the subway reaches – Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey . . . . It would be like a massive public subway connecting Toronto to Mississauga to Oakville to Markham . . . . Or, just the TTC connecting Toronto to the rest of itself.


The Bars

Sheer volume – there are so many! And each one of them seems to have a thing. The Back Room (although filled with pretentious yuppies who look like they’re only there ironically) serves beer in paper bags and whiskey sours in tea cups. Schiller’s literally has 99 bottles of beer on the wall.


The Parks

Yes, I know, we have parks too. But do our parks cover a substantial part of our city? Central Park alone takes up a wide portion of Manhattan, and offers a slew of attractions – outdoor chess tables, the zoo, the amusement park . . . . Plus, I think it’s the only place in the world where public sun bathing is okay.


The Taxis

Yes, they’re nuts. They barrel down side streets, speed through tunnels, and manage to squeeze anywhere there is space. But they’re convenient and conveniently priced. The meter runs on a by-time/per-block system. You won’t get over-charged if you’re stuck in traffic, but you won’t get a free ride if you’re travelling through no-man’s land. Oh, how we do like fair!


Five Reasons Why Toronto is (WAAAAY) Better than NYC


Aside from the obvious reasons, this needs to be first and foremost because this is what struck me most. I had plans to bar-hop and take in as much music as humanly possible. But hardly a live-band beat could be heard from the street. In our wonderful city, you’re treated to a modge-podge of live music just strolling down Queen St. W (or Bathurst St., or Dundas St., or College St., or Spadina Ave. – the list goes on). Anyway, I didn’t take in any music and I’m not happy about it.


The People

I’ve been bumped, shoved, and nearly run over in Toronto, so I can’t really say I believe that Canadians are that much nicer than Americans. But New Yorkians? Yes. Definitely. I don’t expect you to mean it, but if you bump me, please say sorry. You can even say it with sass and attitude, but an acknowledgement of my presence would be nice.


The Pretention (or lack thereof)

I know many of you are thinking – uh, have you been down Queen recently? – but bear with me. New York City prides itself on being a fashion mecca. If you’re not waif-like, you stand out. And for us hippy girls (hippy as in, have hips, have hit puberty), it’s a bit awkward. They judge you on it, too – and proudly! There’s an ad that says: ‘NYC: Tolerant of your Beliefs; Judgemental of your Shoes’. I’ve found that Torontonians are far more accepting. We’re pretty chill like that.


The Crowds

Yes, we’re a crowded city. And construction season doesn’t make it any better. But, compared to NYC, we’re a quaint town. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love me a big city (I love me a cottage, too, but that’s another story). But NYC is just too big. There’s too much there. It’s a sensory overload. Toronto, meanwhile, is big enough, crowded enough, and, well, perfect.



The Subway Station Music Map

Have you ever wondered what people are listening to on the train? I have. But, I’ve always been too shy to ask. But you know who’s not too shy to ask? Meagan Perry. She asked people at every station what they were listening to, and came up with this Subway Station Music Map.

After analyzing the results, I’ve decided that we as a city have great taste in music. I’m also rather pleased that Savage Garden is making the rounds again!


(On another aside, I know a lot of other news has come ’round in the last few days – namely a new No Doubt single and the Polaris short list – but in the interest of maintaining some semblance of continuity, I’ll be blogging about those things in the days to come. Check back for my (sort of) timely opinions!)


Until next time, my loves!

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