Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shine a Light

The debatable issue of The Rolling Stones' current relevance aside, the upcoming Scorsese documentary, "Shine a Light" has got my attention. The concert footage seen in the trailer (taken from two 2006 shows at New York's Beacon Theater) looks downright spectacular.

Twenty-six years ago today, I saw them at Rich Stadium in Buffalo. Opening acts, George Thorogood and Journey.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


The goal was a cleaner, more efficient experience for my website's visitors. I wanted them to quickly get my message and see examples of my work, within a marketing context, as opposed to strictly web design.

Here's the new streamlined Dave Bush Media Design site.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Braindead Megaphone

This excerpt from George Saunder's book, The Braindead Megaphone (via Kottke), really hit home with me. It's the very idea that's been rolling around my head for quite a while:

Last night on the local news I watched a young reporter standing in front of our mall, obviously freezing his ass off. The essence of his report was: Malls Tend to Get Busier at Christmas! Then he reported the local implications of his investigation: (1) This Also True At Our Mall! (2) When Our Mall More Busy, More Cars Present (3) The More Cars, the Longer it Takes Shoppers to Park! and (shockingly): (4) Yet People Still Are Shopping, Due to, it is Christmas!

It sounded like information, basically. He signed off crisply, nobody back at NewsCenter8 or wherever laughed at him. And across our fair city, people sat there and took it, and I believe that, generally, they weren't laughing at him either. They, like us in our house, were used to it, and consented to the idea that Informing had just occurred. Although what we had been told, we already knew, although it had been told in banal language, revved up with that strange TV news emphasis ("cold WEATHer leads SOME motorISTS to drive less, CARrie!"), we took it and, I would say, it did something to us: made us dumber and more accepting of slop.

Furthermore, I suspect, it subtly degraded our ability to make bold, meaningful sentences, or laugh at stupid, ill-considered ones. The next time we feel tempted to say something like, "Wow, at Christmas the malls sure do get busier due to more people shop at Christmas because at Christmas so many people go out to buy things at malls due to Christmas being a holiday on which gifts are given by some to others" -- we might actually say it, this sentiment having been elevated by our having seen it all dressed-up on television, in its fancy faux-informational clothing.

Punk Comes to St. Catharines

Found this at Punk History Canada - a funny 1979 article from our local paper, scornfully detailing the local punk scene.

St. Catharines Standard
Thursday December 27, 1979
By: Craig MacInnis

Every Thursday night for the past few weeks, a couple hundred of St. Catharines teenagers (and a smattering of older types in their early 20's), have been gathering to celebrate the most recent trend in commercial music.

New wave, or punk rock (purists will argue over the distinction in terminology) has finally arrived on the St. Catharines nightclub scene.

Thursday night has become new wave night at the Inn On The Lake Hotel. Aging rock afficionados will remember the Inn On The Lake as the old Waterfront, where many a bar band cut its musical teeth back at the beginning of this quickly-dwindling decade.

Punk rock, as most of us already know, is not a new development. Its musical genesis can be traced to such ill-fated precursors as the New York Dolls, an American band which flourished briefly during the mid-Seventies before inevitably succumbing to creative bankruptcy.

The punk idiom, however, didn't begin drawing widespread attention until 1977, a year when punk practitioners in Britian, and to a lesser extent, in North America, began turning heads.

Probably the first punk group to achieve international notoriety was the Sex Pistols, a motley assortment of Cockney street urchins who rose to infamy with recording of a seditious, mock anthem entitled God Save The Queen.

The song's lyrics took scathing pot shots at Britian's royal family, ungraciously referring to Queen Elizabeth as a "moron."

While the song was ultimately banned from airplay on most commercial radio stations, the Sex Pistols had garnered enough negatvie press from their musical diatribe to make them the hottest cause celebre in popular music since John, Paul, Ringo and George.

Quick to plug into the success of the Sex Pistols, new punk groups began emerging onto the scene in rapid succession.

Punk was supposed to represent the anxieties and frustrations of Britian's lower-class youth. Predicated on nihilistic lyrics and beginner's-level guitar chords, punk was hailed as the "new music of the street."

Sycophantic music critics waxed poetic about punk's "vicious honesty" and "satirical relevance."

But what started out as a rebellious expression of Britian's disaffected youth has, in 1979, become merely another mindless fad.

It has become fashionable for young, middle-class Canadians to jump on the punk bandwagon.

But why? One is hard pressed to explain why a youngster who lives off the fortunes of his parents $40,000.00 a year income, should join willingly in a musical movement which has its roots in the British lower-class.

One suspects the real reason for punk's popularity here is connected with the irresponsibility the music invites. Punk's inherent violence offers its followers the opportunity to indulge in all sorts of pranks and misdemeanors without fear of reprisal.

For instance, the table at which a friend and I sat at the Inn On The Lake last Thursday was strewn with shards of broken glass from what once had been an ashtray. Cigarette butts littered the floor. More broken glass was discernible in the area in front of the band.

This sort of gay abandon, in ordinary circumstances considered anti-social and reprehensible, is somehow regarded pardonable in the hectic milieu of a punk bar.

In effect, punk's penetration into the North American middle-class, has created a new generation of rebels without a cause.

You can bet most of the Thursday night regulars at Inn On The Lake will be back again next week - provided Dad comes through with a few bucks to pay for the drinks.

The end of 1979 seems a bit late for an expose on "the most recent trend in commercial music."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bad Vuggum

Frank Florio, who ran the greatest record shop Niagara's ever seen (the sadly missed Poptones), is now operating Bad Vuggum Cafe on Main St. in Niagara Falls.

I haven't had a chance to visit yet, but it looks like the old Poptones vibe is still alive and well.

Step Right Up

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Swindle Redux

Even though I have great fondness for the Sex Pistols (circa 1977), I'm having trouble with the idea of them reuniting again to promote their debut record's 30th anniversary reissue. The less said about the irony here, the better.

No doubt, the press conference will be more entertaining than the show. I could listen to Lydon's lovely sneering sarcasm all damn day.

David Sylvian Images

A new set of photographs from David Sylvian, who's currently on tour (sadly, no North American dates). His photos always convey a profound sense of wonder and curiosity, which has also kept his music interesting after all these years.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Listen to a Movie

For those of us who spend hour after hour in front of a computer, here's a nice alternative to a steady diet of music - why not listen to a movie?

I'll recommend Do the Right Thing, Waiting for Guffman and Ghost Dog.

Tor Lundvall

A 2006 interview with Tor Lundvall, whose music and paintings inspire me equally. His "Last Light" disc is one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Biosphere Tour

Biosphere (Norway's Geir Jenssen), one of my favourite ambient artists, is on a fall tour. He's part of some very interesting events in San Francisco, Seattle, Tromso, Portugal, Italy, Mexico City, London and Bristol.

Incidentally, his "Cirque" album was inspired by "Into the Wild" - the sad, haunting story of Christopher McCandless that also inspired Sean Penn. His film adaptation comes out soon. I read the book a couple years ago and my first thought was that it could be a great movie. Looking forward to it. Here's the trailer.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Shadow Monsters

A projector that adds animation effects to good old-fashioned hand shadow puppets. A brilliant idea. This could entertain kids for hours on end.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Summer, Summarized

Hours and hours at my desk.
Tons of Steve Roach and Robert Rich.
An odd obsession with 70's pop and soft rock.
Afternoon walks to Montebello Park (via Strega).
Coffee on the pier at Port Dalhousie.
Lunch on the porch.
Friday nights on the porch, listening to old episodes of This American Life.
The Daily Show and Letterman.
Falling asleep listening to George Noory.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

Here Is What Is

Daniel Lanois' new film, "Here Is What Is" is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival. Here's an early Globe and Mail review.

Live at Vila Nova de Foz Coa, May 29th 1999

From Touch Radio - "Performed in a garden at the top of a hill in Foz Côa, at the remote northeast of Portugal. Overlooking the valley and the far slope of the opposite hill, at dusk, Peter Rehberg, Christian Fennesz (computers) and Rafael Toral (modular synth) played as João Paulo Feliciano mixed live into a sound-modulated light generating cube. The scale of the cube, the throbbing, rich colors emanating from it and the electronics setting gave the event an otherwordly feel, pretty much as if an alien spaceship had landed there."

I realize it won't be everyone's cup o' tea, but for me, this is a beautiful piece of audio art.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Private Islands

Ever dreamed of living on a private island of your own? The Private Islands Blog, written by a guy who sells 'em, - for all your island-related cravings.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Here Again

The sun shines high above
The sounds of laughter
The birds swoop down upon
The crosses of old grey churches

We say that we're in love
While secretly wishing for rain
Sipping Coke and playing games

September's here again
September's here again

- David Sylvian