“It’s only New Year’s Eve once a year.”

Yes, but it’s also only every other day once a year. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Time, like any other colour or language or feeling, is incredibly elastic*. And so we divise standard units (or, in America, nonsense units) in an effort to universalize expressions of it.

PS. Sorry I've fallen away from this page again.


*not in the economic sense, in which time is incredibly inelastic, a fact we were reminded of too often this year

Above, find yet another CN tower cameo. Below, find 75 of the things we celebrated — as a matter of retroactive perspective — in the interval hereby sealed as 2017:

  • A surprise first-class back to SFO post-holidays.
  • The Women’s March and the reason for it.
  • Shooting part of a Fusion documentary in Weed, CA — about water rights, not marijuana!
  • Working with some environmental heroes and seeing a firsthand mess of the US DOJ.
  • A third hike up to Wildcat Peak.
  • The CCSF pool heater getting fixed after two months of cold morning swims.
  • Being reminded of childhood with good company in Tahoe winter.
  • Getting rejected from three of four law schools I applied to.
  • Going to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Rollerskating for the first time.
  • Attending more baseball games in one week than in my lifetime.
  • Connecting with Max Cooper.
  • Unicorn frappuccinos.
  • The March for Science and the reason for it.
  • Passing down all my cake decorating skills from a former occupation.
  • The beginning of a beautifully fucked up month.
  • Going to trial for the first time.
  • Confrontation.
  • Taking graduation photos with the best people.
  • A twelfth mimosa.
  • Walking in a graduation ceremony.
  • Walking off an old me.
  • Turning 22.
  • A promise to see you soon.
  • Winning trial.
  • Losing a dear friend.
  • Going even further west.
  • The Garden of Memory.
  • The Double Standard.
  • The end of a beautifully fucked up month.
  • Flying home.
  • Closure.
  • A promise to see you soon.
  • Feeling 22.
  • Being denied a US work visa at the Peace Bridge.
  • Catching a rainbow at Niagara Falls after being turned back at the Peace Bridge.
  • Flying [to my other] home.
  • Skydiving for the first time.
  • Watching a golden lab retriever puppy double, then triple in size.
  • Getting stuck on the summer waitlist at the only law school I cared to attend in 2017.
  • Getting stuck on the Coast Starlight for three extra hours in the Salinas Valley.
  • Not getting a new job or work visa in July.
  • Paxton Gate’s Balloon Bar.
  • Making it onto the Boiler Room guest list, then sleeping through it on accident.
  • Lyfting up to Twin Peaks for sunrise my last morning in SF, but royally Karl’ed.
  • Moving home.
  • Flying back to SFO ten days after moving home.
  • Hearing “Alaska” and “Green Light” at Outside Lands.
  • Bombing Albatross trivia later that evening.
  • Flying back to YYZ two days later, indefinitely.
  • Reconnecting with dear friends.
  • Getting a new passport and aiming to fill it with stamps in the next decade.
  • Getting the green light.
  • Not getting off the summer waitlist at the only law school I cared to attend in 2017.
  • A thirty-sixth truffle-fried french fry.
  • Shooting a music video.
  • Not flying back to SFO and instead driving the Northeast Corridor in October.
  • Moving to Amsterdam for a new job.
  • Being in mainland Europe for the first time.
  • Learning how to ride a bike with coaster brakes.
  • Taking more baths in one month than in my lifetime.
  • Moving into my own apartment.
  • Flying back to SFO two days later, this time for business training, in November.
  • Feeling like I’d never left.
  • A promise to see you again soon.
  • Flying back to AMS a week later and living without roommates for the first time.
  • Learning how to ride a bike through snow and ice.
  • Flying back to YYZ for the holidays and feeling like I’d never left.
  • A White Christmas.
  • Learning how to skate again at negative twenty degrees.
  • Flying back to AMS a week later and shovelling twice my day of departure.
  • Getting way ahead of my 10-year passport goal with a stamp on page 6 of 29.
  • Closing out the year with familiar faces in new places.
  • Ringing in the year with new faces in familiar places.
  • A surprise first-class flight forward to JNB post-holidays.

Considering how little I care for flying, I've certainly exceeded my emissions quota by some garish multiplier I'm terrified to calculate. I don't think I've gotten better at planes or overcoming a longtime fear of abandonment, but I do think I've gotten better at embracing uncertainty. That, or this was truly a year of learning how to give fewer fucks. (Have I few enough to be an adult yet?)

Conversely, I've surprised myself with the distance I'm willing to go to be with people I care about, and with the personal compromises I'm able to make to do so. I'm sleeping more hours, which is weird, and I blame the shift to colder weather after being in California for so long. In many ways, I'm not healing as fast as I used to, and I blame my body's submission to time for that one, though everyone keeps telling me I have years left. But after this year, I'm even less certain of anything but seeing you soon.

My main takeaway? Celebrate every once a year; they really come only once a collective lifetime.

Aparde debuts with acoustic "Glass"

From Berlin producer Aparde (real name Paul Camillo Rachel) comes a stunning debut in ten stains. On Glass, Aparde roots his sound in textured percussion (including literal sampled glass), thoughtful piano themes, and deliberate use of negative space. He provides his own warm vocals on many of the tracks and harmonizes with ANËKIN on lead single "Mouth" (download available via XLR8R).

The video, produced by Aparde himself (he's also a visual artist) and cinematographer Sandra Puchner, follows in the theme of shielded vulnerability, with its human subjects obscured by what appears to be fogged, increasingly dirt-covered, and/or otherwise-rendered translucent glass. And it, much like the rest of the album, is emotionally shattering: "Forget all that I've told you / I have nothing more to give" is the haunt this song ends on after a sparse, repeated verse.

From start to finish, the front-loaded Glass stays instrumentally adhesive, but certain elements like the entrance of a breakbeat leading to polyrhythms on "Sober" and the title track's confession that Aparde "sees [his] life through milky glass" offer the listener an object of focus and clarity in an airy landscape reminiscent of past works by atmospheric contemporaries Jon Hopkins and Max Cooper.

Glass is out today, October 13 via Ki Records, a label founded by producer Christian Löffler, whose Mare Reworks first introduced me to Aparde. From this year's heavy rotation list, here's "Youth":

17/10/07 weekend roundup: RΞZZ, k?d, ttwwrrss

First, a PSA courtesy of my Starbucks app: free pumpkin spice whip on any PSL this weekend but any intention of #basically commemorating Canadian Thanksgiving was probably coincidental given this promo ends Sunday, a day short of our entire long weekend.

More importantly (although this is subjective), rising Canadian DJ RΞZZ is in Toronto tonight at The Danforth with LA's No Mana, on a tour supporting RΞZZ's recent debut, Mass Manipulation. Up-and-coming producer k?d, who's been on the bill for other shows in the tour, is missing but scheduled at The Velvet later in the evening, leading some to believe that the two might appear at both venues.

Both work within the rather limitless bounds of the "future electronic" genre, a generation after the likes of Porter Robinson and Madeon. RΞZZ was picked up by OWSLA and subsequently mau5trap, fellow Niagara native deadmau5's label, in 2015. Here's k?d's latest cut, a joint track with Dallas youngster Medasin:

Meanwhile, a personal long-running favourite, ttwwrrss is due at Doors in Hamilton, ON tomorrow night, October 8th, on a bill featuring headliner CURTA. Ironically, I'm writing from Hamilton at the moment, but also from a brief coffee stop en route to Niagara Falls -- it figures I won't personally be sticking around north of the border for this packed weekend.

The following twwrrss pitch is from about a year ago, but in light of NHL opening weekend:

sort as: ritual / no escape out of time

English quartet R I T U A L -- Adam Midgley, Gerard O'Connell, Tommy Baxter, plus Mononoke -- released No Escape Out of Time last Friday and I cannot stop hearing it in the back of my head.

It's not unlike when I was first introduced to their music by Aaron Axelsen in San Francisco, before Club cheval's set at MEZZANINE last summer. I rarely give a second thought to songs I don't recognize when spun by a DJ or between sets, unless I'm triggered by a memory of the same song heard previously in another set or set change playlist (and then my first thought is, "oh I guess this song/beat is popular"), but I found "Josephine" and From the City to the Wilderness online three days later, by looking up its beat but melodically uplifting title lyric: "Josephine / I'll never be good enough."

The September 29 release is just as hauntingly relatable with a sort of noir sophistication meant for a slow motion capture. (Short film director Jackson Ducasse capitalizes on this viscousness.) It also introduces "Hotel Bars", the youngest and only track not released prior to the full collection, alongside a version of "Drown the Lovers" that features a verse and chorus vocals from Atlanta rapper 6LACK.

The English quartet ring in strong on lyrics and form, giving the PBR&B style popularized six years ago by The Weeknd and his contemporaries a welcome revamp. If you're all about sad songs in the club, vocal harmonies, and sombrely reflecting on the state of everything right now, there's no escaping this.

the 100th song and predictive truth

Remember that interview I was cramming for that other weekend? Well, I signed onto the team this morning. I knew I was going to write this post the day I signed for it. Despite no guarantee of success in the ensuing four interview rounds, I knew that it would set forth both a new routine and a new city.

I won't let you in on every past double intent, because then I'd be too easy, but by the third "day" (or 2017.09.14 in Gregorian, per this 22nd "day" summary), a pattern had emerged in entry frequency. It was also on that third "day," that I heard James Maloney's Gaslight for the first time and finished my very last job interview (for the time being, at least). The unfolding pattern was too strong to resist, and so I followed it, con brio, until the 21st "day" -- the last of yesterday's five hasty 23-line entries.

Which brings us to today's revelation, that a Gaslight track would be track no. 100 on the 22nd "day."

But I don't think things are meta enough yet. Later on that third "day," I also knew "Blink" would be the 100th song. Apparently, it didn't take me long since the first "day" (or 2017.09.05 in Gregorian) to determine that. But humans, we're just sophisticated machines. Three Gregorian days before the third "day," I had been inspired by a commercial event and the rapidly deteriorating glass camera of my trusty Android camera lens to finally convert to a dusty iPhone I'd received as a holiday gift in 2016.

And as goes tradition, any change of device would compel a new custom, subtly-selected ringtone.

If you've guessed correctly, there's very little force in #voodooisms. I don't try to predict the future, nor do I really "summarize" the past. There are songs on the list that have been in heavy rotation and songs that stuck after a single play. But every title, lyric, or musical motif triggers a vivid memory...

My ringtones, the conditioned triggers that they are, always make it into #voodooisms. (Sometimes lyrics distract.) Overall, I'm pretty happy with the overhead metaphor "Blink" provides and the piano melodies foreshadowed by my very personal track no. 25 / "day" 20 yet also reminiscent of Dario Marianelli's string-based "Attraversiamo" (sorry, James). And overall, I'm pretty happy with how this month and my documentation of #voodooisms turned out, if the writing was a tad rushed and sloppy.

With every double intent, it's the most brutally honest I've been on a page. I trust you to understand, no matter how hurt or accusatory a passage feels, it's strictly a documentation of the past without any present intent of blame. If it still doesn't make much sense, thank god, because then I'd be too easy.

Here's easy: September was fun. I wrote 21 poems (if you will). I acted on camera for a professional filmmaker for the first time (music video to come). I landed four jobs (in four hilariously different fields). I chose one (direction to grow in now). And I reconnected with friends (whom I hadn't seen in years).

If you ever wonder why your days become increasingly short as you age, it's because they are relative.

... and if everyone is looking west at wildcat peak, but you already know what that looks like, look east.