Sound and Vision

1. I’ve been listening to Dave Bidini’s new album The Land is Wild, from his new band called, er, Bidiniband.  The songs revolve around familiar themes — rock music, hockey, wild animals, Canada — and the musicians he’s put together are great. I remember hearing some of these tunes the last few times I saw the Rheostatics in 2004/05 (We Like to Rock, The Land is Wild, Pornography), and they’re the best songs on the album. The chorus on The Land is Wild, in particular, is gorgeous.  If you like Dave’s Rheostatics songs, then you’ll like these ones, although I find it a bit hard to listen to Dave’s reedy singing voice for a whole album (BTW, how’s that Tielli subscription series coming, Six Shooter?). What strikes me most is how much more it sounds like a Rheostatics album than either Tim or Martin’s solo albums do, which indicates how much the Rheostatics was Dave’s band in the end.

2. I’m halfway through The King of Madison Avenue Kenneth Roman’s awesome biography of the original Mad Man, David Ogilvy. He was totally over the top:

He cultivated and flaunted his eccentricities, not all of which were attractive. The worst was his appalling behavior in restaurants, where he often seemed to go out of his way to cause a scene. He’d listen to a recitation of the house specialties and then order grape-nuts cereal, or a plate of ketchup, or a jar of jelly as his entire meal. At a pre-Christmas dinner with British clients, he rejected the menu and asked for two small mince pies as a starter; for the entree, again two small mince pies; instead of dessert — two more mince pies.

3. I loved the Hangover, but there are two mis-steps in the film…

Spoilers below:

First: The Mr. Chow character is too over-the top. The gay chinese gangster is totally unoriginal, and is a bit of lazy writing in a movie that’s otherwise far cleverer than the subject matter suggests.

Second, I wish the reason for their collective blackout had not been explained, and had been simply chalked up to one heck of a night in Vegas. I think it would have added to the mystique of the whole episode: Why are they so fucked up? That’s Vegas! Making it about roofies is a bit of a cheat and an unwelcome descent into realism.

Otherwise, it’s a great movie. I assume someone is working on a cultural studies thesis on the rise of the bromance in an age when men are becoming increasingly obsolete?

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