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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Stand on a bridge before the cavern of night / Darkness alive with possibility / Nose to this wind full of twinkling lights / Trying to catch the scent of what's coming to be (in this...)
— Bruce Cockburn, World of Wonders
December 31, 2010

Does Vancouver Need Its Own Nuit Blanche?

I’ve never been fortunate enough to be in Toronto when Nuit Blanche was happening. For the last few years I’ve jealously followed along as sites like BlogTO and Torontoist have covered Toronto’s annual twenty-four hour festival of arts and culture.

According to the Globe and Mail a group in Vancouver has formed hoping to bring the all night festival to Vancouver. I’m happy about this—I’ve repeatedly said that I wanted a Vancouver edition of the festival—but I also can’t help but wonder if the focus on creating a new festival is the best strategy. Vancouver has a thriving arts community with a number of outdoor festivals already. Cuts to arts and culture funding have been hard on these festivals in recent years and it’s possible that adding a new festival to the mix has the potential to do as much harm as good.

Continue reading "Does Vancouver Need Its Own Nuit Blanche?"

December 25, 2010

Today Marks 10 Years of Living in Vancouver

It’s Christmas today. For most people the day is one spent with family and loved ones reminiscing about the year that’s past. For me Christmas always marks an extra anniversary: the end of a long drive from Toronto when I crossed the border at the Peace Arch and moved here.

It was ten years ago today that I did that. I’m starting to write this at 7 p.m., and probably by the time it’s done it will be about 9:30 which is about the time I arrive…home…that day. I’d actually flown out for a weekend earlier in the month so I’d already been there, but there was something different about this arrival. This time when the border guard asked “Where do you live, sir?” (for they are unflaggingly polite, unless given a reason) I answered “Vancouver.” It felt right.

It’s been a long and interesting ten years. Looking back it’s hard to remember the person I was when I moved here, in that existential way that we become different people as we move through life. I often joke that I moved out here for a girl and it’s true, in its way. I was living with a woman I loved and she had a career opportunity that was worth pursuing. My work at the time was done remotely by phone and online anyway, so the move wasn’t too disruptive. I followed the girl, and even pushed her a little to make the move because she wouldn’t have done it without encouragement.

Ten years later, five or six addresses, a marriage, a divorce and many girls later I’m still here. Sometimes I wonder how it happened. No too often, but sometimes.

Continue reading "Today Marks 10 Years of Living in Vancouver"

Posted by skooter at 2:54 AM This entry is filed under Narcicism, Vancouver.
Tags: Friends, Narcicism, Vancouver

December 20, 2010

New Pornographers: Adventures in Solitude (acoustic)


Recorded in support of The New Gay’s contribution to Dan Savage’s It Gets Better initiative. Adventures in Solitude is a Canadian classic.

Posted by skooter at 8:59 PM This entry is filed under Music, Politics.
Tags: Dan Savage, New Pornographers

December 17, 2010

Vancouver’s Best Concerts: 2010 Edition

Writing about music is an inherently subjective thing. One person’s best album of the year could leave another scratching their head. It simply can’t be helped.

I see a lot of concerts: there are certainly people who see more than I do, but the vast majority see less. My personal taste and my distaste for stadium venues means that most of the shows I see tend to be small to mid-sized shows in venues that hold between 300 and 1,500 people (though I spend a fair amount of time in places that hold fewer than 50 people as well.) As a result, any list I make isn’t likely to include the biggest shows of the year. Amongst those I missed that I’m sure would make this were Arcade Fire at the Pacific Coliseum and Rogers Waters’ performance of The Wall.

Having said that, I couldn’t let December roll past without a summary of the best concerts I’ve seen this year. Without further ado, I’m going to dive right in. The shows that made this list are the ones that stood out as something special and unique through the year.

Yes, the concert you were at that blew your mind should probably be on this list but alas I may not have been there. You can always let me know about it, and I promise to try to make it next time.

Wilco at LiveCity Yaletown

Wilco - LiveCity Yaletown

It’s no secret that I’m a Wilco fan, but I’m not the only one. Wilco kicked off Vancouver’s two week long Olympic party at the outdoor LiveCity Yaltetown. Lineups were epic and it poured rain but a crowd of over 8,000 stalwarts braved the weather for this one. With Wilco (The Album) almost six months old America’s best touring band played a mix of new and old material. Watching Nels Cline and Jeff Tweedy jam out to perennial crowd favourite Spiders should have been enough to convince anyone they were watching something special.

Calexico at the Vancouver International Folk Fesival

Continue reading "Vancouver’s Best Concerts: 2010 Edition"