Archive for March, 2009

Spirit of ’96

March 30, 2009

I’ve still been going through old photos and thinking about all the things I was working on at certain periods of time, and collected all these from the spring, summer and fall of 1996 when I was 17. 13 years ago, while I still had an after-school paper route, a treehouse, and a year before I got my first email address, 2 years before I put out the Man Who Was Thursday 7″. (Carlos, I’ll send you your copy this week)

The first photo is the grand finale of the Riverside Secondary School fashion show. I was one of the models, and I was sort of “known” for my crazy dancing so at the very end of the show I came out and danced around like an idiot and everyone thought it was funny. What can I say, I’ll do anything for a laugh. It was around that time I was elected Prime Minister of Student Council for the following year.

The second photo is a collage wall I had in my room from stuff I cut out of magazines like Spin, Rolling Stone and Request.

Wonkavision played our first out of town show, 2.5 hours away from Windsor in Woodstock ON.

My dad drove us up there and we stayed overnight with some family friends. This is the kind of sober fun we used to have.

A week after that I went down to Lookout Mountain, Georgia for my 21-year-old sisters wedding. I went to the Coke Museum in Atlanta with my parents the day after the wedding.

I drove with my parents up to Illinois where they dropped me off at a “boot-camp” for me to get ready for a missions trip to London UK to tell people about Jesus. I was there for 10 days before we flew to London.

I spent 5 weeks living in a church in Brixton with 20 other people. We couldn’t go anywhere on our own and had to wash ourselves from a sink. They made us perform humiliating singing and dance routines in the street and then forced us to go up and talk to people about Jesus. See how unhealthy my face looks?

I came back completely brainwashed and spent the next couple of weeks at my parents cottage, and convinced Ian and Nick they needed to live their lives for Jesus.

I designed the poster above, which happened to be Sewing With Nancie’s first show. Bianca Oran and Nick Bechard’s cousin Kelly were in Stepasides.

The score card is for a Battle of the Bands in Dec 96 at McKenzie Hall. One of the last Wonkavision shows.

We started playing more shows again (none of our songs were about Jesus), put out a tape featuring covers of Minor Threat, and Elvis Presley – All Shook Up. We made out only radio appearance on Laura Dal Fara’s “Hold Your Ground” on CJAM 91.5.


These pictures are from early October 1996. As Prime Minister of the school I was obliged to spend a week at Point Pelee’s Camp Henry, helping to run a leadership seminar for 8th graders. I don’t have any pictures, but I also attended a weekend leadership retreat in Michigan due to my involvement with student council. And I interned at 89X Radio for some youth show that year.

Here’s a video of Wonkavision practicing in my room in Spring 1996. The song is called Biology Bore and is about shooting everyone in the school. Pre-Columbine!!

Songs For A New Industrial State

March 30, 2009


I stayed in last night to watch movies and make this illustration to accompany my story for the next issue of the WA.

This evening Adrienne and I went over to Kevin Howe’s (left) place to sit in on an interview with Doug Randle (in the middle) conducted by Robert Dayton. Doug was 41 when he recorded his album Songs For A New Industrial State in 1970, and now he’s 80. It was awesome to hear him tell stories about his life, remembering so many details and the emotions he was going through at different times. He still swims a couple of miles a week in his apartment buildings pool, and said being 80 is easier than being 40.

Songs For A New Industrial State was recently re-released on Seattle’s Light In The Attic Records.

All Ages at the Gino Marcus Community Center

March 27, 2009

I still haven’t done my Aux.tv post from SXSW. FUCK! There’s so much to tell but I keep putting it off because it’s a complicated story to explain. It’ll still be worth it when I post tonight after work.

I had Kristin scan all my old b&w negatives last week from 2002 – 2003. These are from fall 2002, at one of the many all ages hardcore shows at the Gino Marcus Community Center on Drouillard Road in Windsor. I’d just come back from spending the summer in Seattle doing an unpaid internship at the Compound Recording Studio, was halfway through cramming my 4 year degree into 5 semesters, running the photo darkroom at the University of Windsor and crossing the border to go to Detroit and Ann Arbor on a regular basis to check out art shows and concerts or the Magic Stick on Thursday nights to see what I could see. I’m not rehashing all this to brag or say “look how much I’ve done! look how awesome I am!”, but to humbly point out I’ve been pushing in the same direction a long time, and I’m still pushing. Then again, maybe everyone’s been pushing all the time and it’s no big deal, just life.

Erin Dunmore is in the first picture beside Brandon Springer. Josh Olsen is the guy playing bass. Brandon, Josh Olsen and his brothers Matt and Aaron are 4 of the 15 musician-soldiers who’ve played in Brayden and Dustins band at some point over the past 12 years I’ve known them.

Left: Windsor kids who liked to preach about straight edge until they turned 19. In the middle with the hat is Mike Balvert, another Brayden and Dustin recruit, beside Adam White from Sewing With Nancie / the Reason.

I forget who the mohawk kid is. Jesse Balkwell (sp?) is the guy wearing the Hatebreed sweater. He lived with Brayden and Dustin for a year or two and was always a real stand-up dude towards me. Some of his friends (not pictured) were uptight assholes over nothing, but he was never like that. Always cool and up for good times. Respect!

On the left is Tiff, Jaime and Brayden before he could grow a beard. On the right is Balvert unloading gear from the Jones van.

Tiff and Matt Beneteau. One of 10 pictures I have of him from the first 20 years of our friendship.

Employee Of The Month / Glorious / Scotch Talk Pilot

March 26, 2009

I got employee of the month in the Canadian edition of VICE this month. Twice! The last time I was awarded Employee of the month was 10 years ago at Staples (Store #30). If I can dig up the Staples certificate tonight I’m scanning and posting it.

In other news, Nihad Ademi, my friend and publisher of Winnipeg’s G.Love Magazine is coming to Toronto next Thursday, April 2nd for the premier of his acting debut in Guy Maddin’s GLORIOUS, part of the Images Festival at the Isabel Bader Theatre. I saw a preview, and it’s crazyyyyy.


Friday April 3rd I’ll be at Welcome to the Terrordome at the MOCCA, featuring video installations by Wafaa Bilal, Jubal Brown and Mark Essen.

Finally here’s the pilot for Scotch Talk that Alex, Adrienne and I made at the beginning of February. I would’ve preferred to perfect it before posting, but since I edited together this pilot over a month ago I say forget perfection!

That’s what’s great about the internet, the show must go on!! New episodes, shot in HD coming soon! My bio in ION Magazine saying Scotch Talk would be online Monday Mornings at 10am hit the street a month ago, so no more putting it off.

Hardcore Band Backdrops

March 25, 2009


Cheeseman made a new backdrop for DCT. I kind of want Ted and I to design one for the Bang Bangs since we’re both drawers.

This is me playing drums for Moral Outrage in 1997 in front of the backdrop Shawn Duguay made.

Ding Donnnggg

March 24, 2009

I swear I’ll stop just posting photos of me soon.

Woodstock ON – Summer 1983

Woodstock ON – September 1996

My room in my parents basement – Windsor ON – February 2002

SXSW – Austin TX – March 2009


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