Tag: Night

Book Sountracking: Fever Chart

A few months ago, I sent an e-mail to a friend of mine with a request for new literature. I tend to lean more towards the ‘classics’ (for me, that means early 20th century American novels and late 19th century Russian novels), and I wanted something fresh and exciting; something that I could really chew on culturally. My friend sent me back a list of about 25 books to read from the 21st century. The first one I came across was Fever Chart.

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Triple Threat: Three Distincly Different Memories Connected To Arthur Russell

The first time I heard Arthur Rusell was in 2008 when Rough Trade issued the posthumous compilation Love Is Overtaking Me. B, my close friend and musical confidant of many years, was listening to the rather soft folk-rock found on the first half of the record. I teased him (as is my way) and mistook it for something akin to James Taylor. Little did I realize, Russell’s diverse musical output and humble persona would have a profound affect on the way I understand artistic identity in the coming years. Here are three distinct instances to which Arthur Russell’s songs have served as the perfect accompaniment:

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The Year As It Was #3

April brought my empty wallet and I back to the North End of Halifax. I moved into a dreamy home of lovely ladies. I worked my first contract job for the Halifax Jazz Festival, writing program blurbs and eating sweets from the cafe downstairs. It gave me enough money to coast through the summer unemployed (I did work a few odd jobs, including unloading a massive transport truck full of dusty, gawdy, ‘sexy’, Halloween gear into one of those heinous pop-up shops).

I spent most of my early afternoons alone, cooking myself elaborate breakfasts, listening to a lot of reggae. I took up smoking again, and would spend afternoons on my back deck drinking black tea with a cigarette , or, if I felt ambitious enough, I’d bike to the lake.

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Haircut at 10:43pm

I’d gone without a haircut for at least two months. I’d been cutting it myself for a few years until I met L. She’s the queen of the mushroom cut and, when I asked her if she could cut my hair, she became enthused about the prospect of learning how to fade. She’s been cutting my hair for almost a year now. Over the last few weeks, we’d been playing phone tag and running into each other; making vague plans for an appointment, but they kept slipping away unrealized. Yesterday, I received a photo with a note scrawled on the back of it in my mailbox.

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The Midway Fair

G and I had just ditched a Thanksgiving dinner to watch the sun set over Shad Bay. We were driving back into town, trying to decide how to extend our little runaway. As we deliberated, to our right we saw bright lights flashing in Exhibition Park (one of those bizarre catch-all stadiums/conference centers, built just beyond an industrial park at the edge of the city). Towering over the tree line was a Ferris Wheel.

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The Drum Pick-Up

A Sunday evening, I had dinner at my parent’s house. I drove their pick-up truck back into town at around 10pm. When I got home I realized that, along with this truck, came an opportunity. I’d lent my drum kit to a friend to do a month long tour and now they were sitting in his friend’s living room. I had to get them from his friend’s house to my bandmate’s flat. This meant contacting G, my pal with the drums, him contacting his friend who was temporarily housing them, him calling me back, me contacting my bandmate to see if he’d be home, and finally, both G and I trying to track down a vehicle. A clusterfuck of inconvenience. We’d done this song and dance a few times over the last two weeks to no avail.

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