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Friday, December 31, 2010


HI here are the top ten videos that when I was 15 I would have killed for youtube to have existed because back then the only way to see music videos was on TV, and these hardly ever came on. This is also basically a "top ten songs that created Fucked Up" list.

1 BEOWULF "2 Cents"
This is far from the best Beowulf song, who are far from the best Venice-Area-Skate-Trash band, which is far from the best subgenre of hardcore-punk which is far from the number 1 top kind of music of all time, but seeing this video when I was 15 made me crazy and I'm pretty sure I only actually saw it once. Watching it now gives me weird feelings, because it's pretty bad, and I never even saw the movie Tank Girl (or Beowulf, if you are wondering)

2 THE SUPERSUCKERS "Creepy Jackalope Eye"
The opening song to what is still one of my favourite albums ever. Again, another video that I only saw once, something that drove me crazy in a very subtle way all through high-school, as I paced the halls not knowing I was suffering from video-withdrawal. I had 90 minute tape that had this album on it four times, because it was so short it could fit on a side twice. I would spend my lunch hours listening to "La Mano Cornuda" on my walkman 3 times non-stop, not talking to anyone. The Supersuckers are still around, I know because we saw them on a flier in Germany a few months ago (they were opening up for Thin Lizzy), and I'm not sure how good they are now, but this record still stands up and 15 years later still goes on my ipod sometimes. So legit that when I first heard them, I a) actually thought "cowpunk" was a real genre and b) got pissed a bit at Americas Funniest Home Videos, because they used to do a skit involving a Jackalope, and I thought they were ripping off the Supersuckers.

3 THE BUTTHOLE SURFERS "Hurdy Gurdy Man/Who Was in my Bed Last Night"
One time I stayed home from school sick in grade 6 or 7 (whatever year it was that Beck got famous) with a cold or whatever, and it was one of the most important days of my life, in one of the lamest/cliched ways possible. I spend almost the entire day watching music videos on my parents bed because even back then a lot of the late-afternoon and primetime scheduling on Much Music wasn't videos, or if it was, it was top 30 countdowns, or video specials or whatever, stuff I wasn't really interested in. During the day, I would realize, would be "videoflow" where they would just play hours and hours of videos non-stop, and if you watched it long enough you could start seeing genre-patterns, in that they would play 3 French Canadian bands in a row, or like two rap videos back to back. If there is ever a documentary made about Fucked Up ("if" ie "when") you can be this will be the opening scene - there I was laying under the sheets getting very warm after being there watching shit videos and Jerry Springer (the upstairs tv had a quick-view button that made it easier to watch 2 things at once, the downstairs tv didn't, plus it was colder) and Hurdy-Gurdy Man comes on and blows my mind. There was a scene in it with a belly button close up. It was gross and amazing and I mostly just couldn't believe I was watching it on TV, something that I knew to be programmed by real and respectable adults who had real jobs and probably wore suits and basically made careers making sure the world "butthole" didn't get aimed at a 15 year old at 3 in the afternoon on a weekday. The song isn't really even that good (I didn't realize it was a cover until it was too late) so that's why I added the 2nd song, which actually is great, to which I displayed withdrawal symptoms to similar to the ones described above. Anyhow, I guess my learning brain felt it was on the cusp of a very important discovery at the moment, like the fact I was able to see the video at all was making me the holder of some rarefied priviledged information, while my compatriots were at school just learning math or like how to "play by the rules", and here I was getting a clear view through the butthole of the world.

4 SONIC YOUTH "Kool Thing"
So here is the next part of the story. The next video they played was this song. And I'll be honest - I don't even like Sonic Youth, and not because they kind of made fun of us one time, this is not some revisionist trip. When I was a kid I liked things way more straight forward and standard in terms of music but also haircuts and fashion, and even in 1994 they seemed too old to be playing in a punk band, but whatever - this video came on and knocked me out, literally, because after watching these two videos in a row, I got out of bed to get a drink and actually fainted and almost fell down an entire flight of stairs. When I came to (what turned out to be) 30 seconds later, I felt like I was living in a new world of endless possibilities and I immediately broke up my band "The Beavers" and stared the band "Discord".

5 MINISTRY "Jesus Built my Hot Rod"
Sorry about the ad at the start of this video (if you are watching it - if you aren't, sorry I'm wasting your time with this pretentious blog and that you got kicked out of the Brooklyn Vegan comments section and got stuck here). Anyhow, I think this is the fastest song of all time? After I saw this I tried really hard to get into industrial music, but because I lived closer to a shitty mall than a good one, most of the music I had access to came from Sunrise Records (where i bought Insteds "Bonds of Friendship on cassette when I was 14 and passed on a Dangerhouse comp) and a flea market that only opened on weekends in the bottom of the shitty mall (although I did somehow find both the Butthole Surfers and Sonic Youth records I was looking for there, in another precious moment of formative alchemy) it was hard finding anything of substance. I managed to get a Skinny Puppy tape, which very quickly ended my fascination. But this song is great. I dug the entire album this came off, very influenced by the ambiguous artwork and everything. In fact you can probably start putting the pieces together now, since 2 other videos from this list are very similar to this one.
No Embedding Allowed

I swear to god I saw a video for this song once on TV, but now I can't find an actually video of it on youtube, just this live version. I got really into the dirtier-grungier end of grunge (the part that they showed videos for anyways), and a lot of female bands - Lunachicks, L7, Babes in Toyland, which probably explains why now out band got girl in it. The 2nd show I ever went to was the first warped tour, and I remember skipping Civ to get food so that we wouldn't miss L7 (who were great). This song is crazy and reminds me a lot of one of those early NOFX videos that is hilarious where they just ham infront of a green-screen for 3 minutes.

7 FAITH NO MORE "Another Body Murdered"
I guess this song probably got played a lot, but I don't remember seeing it very much. I think I had this record, but now I can't remember. Our engineer for our new record this time told me he's basing our guitar sound now on Faith No More, so I guess David Comes to Life is gonna sound pretty funky.

8 SOPHIE B HAWKINS "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover"
I'm pretty sure this song invented emo, along with Fast Cars by Tracy Chapman. This song got played like every 25 minutes on tv, but it still wasn't enough back then.

9 L7 "Pretend We're Dead"
Another song that basically never came on, but maybe that's because when it was released I was still listening to Tears for Fears and Bananarama. I had a neighbor once that was a real Mountie, but he had porn in his apartment, and wore a "Smell the Magic" shirt on the reg, which blew my mind all over the back yard. L7 - cop rock.

10 SOUNDGARDEN "Rusty Cage"
Basically this is the best grunge song. We actually tried to include this in the set when we did all grunge covers a few months ago, but it was just too hard to learn. The guitar intro for this is like learning Stravinsky or something. It's hard to write seriously about Soundgarten now after so many years of Chris Cornell with a soulpatch and doing Bond songs and all that, but then you watch live videos of this song where their stage set up is just huge amps and barbed wire, and there's CC playing this song with one hand on the guitar and singing at the same time - you gotta respect what they're doing. This song made me mental when it came on.

Right, so there is the 2010 top ten list. Might not be that current, but it's a lot better than last years.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Hey, about a year ago I did an interview about some of our artwork for something called Fluxion Magazine. Not sure if it ever came out, but here is some rationalization:

Baiting the Public 7"
Probably my favourite sleeve that we've done. This was only our third 7" release, and we hadn't yet settled on the 7" layout template we use for all our singles now, with the titles on the top margin. Representing that, there are two different covers - one following the aforementioned template, and one with a bigger "Fucked Up" at the top in microgramma font (as opposed to Clarendon, which we use for everything now), and "Baiting the Public" on the bottom, representing maybe a last ditch attempt to go in a different direction. The front image is meant to be a metaphor for what we thought we were in punk, and what punk was in the world (we were really into punk at that point) - a pack of rats running over a proper looking young woman in bed. The inside was more to the heart of what this record was about, which was more or less a tribute to the Actionists, a radical art group in 1960s Austria. The inner picture depicts one of their "events" which is basically a naked man aiming a naked woman at a roomful of people. The Actionists, along with the Situationists, who were another big "influence" of ours at the time, were admired because of their blatant attempts to challenge and shock rather than pander to their audience. That's what Baiting the Public was meant to be - our small symbolic challenge to our listeners. The theme for the record went beyond just the art - we split the song into two so you had to flip the record over to hear the whole thing, and the lyrics were jumbled so you couldn't follow along. We were really into the idea of confrontation back then, and after the Police 7" was pretty well recieved, we sort of arrogantly already wanted to hit back with something a bit harder to digest.

Year of the Dog 12"
We had never really done many 12" singles when Year of the Dog came out, so we didn't really have a set template down yet, like we had for our 7" singles. The label was willing to go along with a more involved design, because it was a co-operative and had a lot of people down to glue stuff. I was listening to a lot of European revisionist martial music like Der Blutharsch and Les Joyaux de la Princesse, and I wanted to do a design that went along with that - sharp lines, block colours, etc. We picked a dark blue for the jacket, glued white bands around the jackets, and then foil stamped the title in silver print on the bands. Each one had a postcard sized image glued onto the cover - it was an Alfred Kubin (who we also used for the Dance of Death 7") of a giant demon ejaculating as he walks across the countryside, except his ejaculate is made up of humans, implying that humans are satans seed, who impregnated the earth with us. It was a cool layout, but it took forever to put them together, what with all the glueing. When it came time to repress the 12", we had just released Year of the Pig, and had a more standard design template for the Zodiac 12" series, so the repress of Dog follows that and has some intense biblical imagery for the artwork.

The Chemistry of Common Life LP
This was the first time we commisioned a photograph for an album cover that wasn't a picture of the band. Our friend Mimi Cabell ( took about
600 different shots over a few weeks in mid town Manhattan in July of 2008. What we realized later (by reading the wikipedia of our own album) that what she'd inadvertently captured was Manhattanhenge, where the sunset lines up perfectly with the street grid of New York, something that only happens twice a year, and allows a perfect view of the sunset looking west on the major streets of midtown. The shot is somewhere between 30th and 40th if I remember correctly. If you look closely you can tell that its not just one image, but a composite of about 35 different shots line up ontop of each other, which is why you have some people and cars overlapping, and explains the relative brightness of the sun and the lense flare everywhere. The shot is supposed to represent the main idea behind the record, which is the unity between culture and nature, and the idea that the literal source for all human culture and life is the sun. Even though the title is taken from a 19th century book on wild mushroom identification, what it means for the album is how everything thats cultural about our lives has its source in nature and science, and that there really isn't a divide between the two spheres. The song ChemCom describes the theory of the origin of life on our planet that states that tidepools containing abiotic proteins were zapped by lightning bolts continually for millions of years until finally the electricity (the sun) and chemicals (chemistry) fused to create the first living matter (common life), which describes the title and also the album cover.

Looking for Gold 12"
We used to get all the art for our records from either art books from my university library, or the image bank at the big central municipal library. Around the time we did this record and Dance of Death, I was getting into the fantastic realism artists from Vienna like Alfred Kubin and Max Klinger. I think this picture came from a book called "The Fantastic Art of Vienna". I don't remember who did the piece because I think it's a really minor work, but it again describes the lyrics perfectly. What struck me about the piece is how it inverts the classic white-black dualism you see everywhere. The black guy on the horse looks like the good guy, and the white angels kind of look like demons. Its got some heavy alchemy symbolism going on, which was something else we were really feeling at the time. Looking for Gold is kind of the most important Fucked Up record and describes the age old quest for the idealized humanity. Alchemy was really heavy on dualism (which we stopped digging on Hidden World) and is therefor really useful as symbolism for punk bands, who exist almost entirely to be placed in opposition to some other prevailing force. The last verse of the song is "On horses black we plunder through, The white with serpents eggs strapped to, Our backs are turned against the silver moon". The illumination was done by a friend who I used to work with.

Royal Swan 7"
All the artwork associated with the ChemCom album shared the sunlight theme. All of the 7"'s (No Epiphany, Royal Swan, Crooked Head) had the sun very prominently displayed on the covers, as did obvious the album itself. This picture was therefor a no brainer - a bunch of swans, the sun. I just found it in the library's image bank in the "Swans" folder when I was looking for LP artwork. This 7" only really exists because this picture is so perfect - if we'd have found a picture that perfectly represented the lyrics to "Days of Last" or whatever, that would have been the 7" instead of this, but I couldn't find this picture and not make it the cover of a record. The song title refers to a G I Gurdjieff anecdote about these ancient swans used by royalty who had the ability to separate milk from a mixture with water. This goes back to the alchemy theme, wanting the ability to seperate the wheat from the chaff, in the parlance of our times.

Year of the Pig 12"
The art on both sides of this 12" is by Ferdinand Hodler, a 19th century Swiss painter. This was a tricky record to choose cover art for, because it deals with an issue that doesn't really lend itself to subtle representation (prostitution) and we also didn't really want to go the literally route by putting some slaughtered pig on the cover of the album (although we did that for one of the 7" versions of this song because it was a sick photo). We spend a few days in the library until we came across this Hodler piece which fits really well because it kind of alludes to prostitution through public sex (because there are a bunch of men and women sleeping in a public place) but also the central guy seems to be about to get whats coming to him. The central black figure is obviously meant to connote Death and this fits the theme of the album, which is that the problem with our conception of sex work is that the responsibility for carrying with social taboo is with the worker and not the consumer. The cover is meant to allude to a get-back wherein the consumer is meant to pay the ultimate price, not the prostitute. We thought the art and the lyrics on this album were pretty cohesive, but lots of reviewers just thought the song was about animal rights :(.

Triumph of Life 7"
Here is another cover with a subtle but powerful message. It's pretty much just a picture of a bird (The extinct Black Mamo) but then when you look closer you see that what makes the picture and the bird significant is the flower it's standing on, who's petals are perfectly formed to fit this birds beak, and no other. This holds with the syncretic message that most FU songs are about, our "anti-dualism" vibes. In 2006 I was mostly finished being interested in university and was taking biology and botany classes for fun and was learning about symbiosis in nature as it relates the evolution of species. It turns out that competition between two species, be it an antelope and a cheetah, or a bird and a flower is what drives evolution, since the constant battle between opposing forces makes each better and stronger and challenging the opponent. But since it's happening on both sides, its a positive feedback loop and allows new traits in each species to develop and strengthen the species as a whole. It's kind of like Marx/Hegels theory of the dialectic in society except that in nature it makes cheetahs that can run 100 mph, and in society it just makes Walmarts and Russian billionaires. I got the image from a huge picture book of extinct animals, and this was I believe the first time we ever used a colour photo on a 7" cover. I kind of tried to make this record like the part in The Wizard of Oz where all of a sudden everything was in colour. This 7" was kind of like a departure in style for us, and seemed appropriate for things to start being in colour.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

XMAS part 2

Hey remember a few years ago when I made a post about how I wanted someone to make FU jewelry? Well apparently Rachel Roy does:

Ben was out at Sears holiday shopping for his missus or his mum and saw these hanging there on the shelf. Sure, they flipped them backwards to look different, but the images is pretty familiar if I say so myself.

I had LITERALLY just finished reading a school paper written by scholar Evan Blanco of Chicago about how our logo connotes meaning through temporal relationships to various historical art movements and political ideologies when Ben sent me these earings, a tribute to Evans paper (hope u get an A bro) because obviously now all we care about as a band is fancy restaurants and mid-priced gold plated copper ear dangles.

Rachel Ray if you are out there, please send us a box so our fans and moms can look suburban-hip for the holiday season.

ALSO the blog comments are hilarious please keep being as crazy and pugnacious as possible.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


If you live in Toronto, you can come to the CBC building on Friday and watch us play some festive music. We will be joined by some friends and are doing our own version of a cool christmas song. If you want to come, you don't even have to ask my parents for their extra tickets, you can just send an email to and ask for tickets to Fucked Up. I have no idea what time we are playing, but it's probably around 5 or 6.

Also we just got back from England (more on that in a bit) and we all kind of turned English. You may think that Ben is mostly just watching movies and thinking about Tevez all day at the front of the van, but he's actually usually just taking notes about what he hears in the back so that he can make facebook status updates, or in this case, an actual note about what lame English things we all got caught saying:

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Hello everyone - greetings from balmy London, where the only thing colder than the temperatures are the sandwiches, and the only thing cloudier than the skies are the mango chutneys. We've always had a thing about bringing great climate scenarios over to the motherland when we come - every summer the clouds part as our plane lands and don't conspire to rain or cover the entire time we're over. Well this time we got our pay back in spades. But more on that later. For now just sit back and let me regale you with tales from the harsh European circuit.

My journey started in and Jonah like to go over there early whenever possible, because of our metrosexual cosmopolitan dispositions, plus I guess his wife lives over here? Anyhow I flew over on my own so I could take sips of wine on the plane without anyone from the band knowing and because it's a bit less stressful. I reserved my seat in advance and bingo'd the bulkhead. Unfortunately, as I learned when I got on, great minds think a like and slotted down between 2 septegenarians who were already trying to rustle themselves to sleep. My speaker input jack was broken so I had to watch Cyrus while keeping the cable slightly in and slightly out of the jack while trying not to spill my vegetarian dinner (curry with rice and a side of cold rice salad...genius) all over my lap while under the influence of 3 1mg ativan tablets.

A few days of lounging in London and we flew over to Lisbon. As you may recall, our original show there with The Arcade Fire got cancelled because of a NATO convention happening there the next day, so that was annoying. Luckily like 5 dudes name Joah were able to throw together a replacement show for us on short notice, which was great. We love Portugal and hope to come back very soon. The next day in Porto was also great, although honestly the only thing I can remember is standing in the middle of a giant street party happening right outside of our hotel at 2am and trying two kinds of Port at the same time. Both were gross.

We got up at a leisurely hour because we are an indie/punk/hardcore band, to make our like 8 hour drive from Porto to Madrid. Tonight was the first night opening for AF and we were all pumped/terrified. Not because we get stage fright or anything or have these legit musican aspirations that would make us nervous for our important performance, but we all have this 6th sense for incoming stress levels and nothing increases our stress levels than having deadlines, appointments, having to work together as a team to solve problems, or having to be on time for things. We were supposed to get to the venue at around 4pm to soundcheck for an 8pm set. When we finally got to the jammed outskirts of Madrid it was pushing 7pm and we had like an entire towns worth of traffic to push through. Plus the venue was a stadium so it wasn't like we could just pull up to the one entrance and drive in. We drove by the place like 5 times trying to get through various police check points and intersections and ended up driving all the way to the other side of town just trying to turn around. Somehow at like 730 we gave up and managed to park the van beside a subway stop so that handlers from the venue could come pick us up for an escort. 15 minutes later two guys saunter towards the van and point to this tiny Euro style van that we immediately follow through some highway catacombs of Madrid that lead us right behind the stage. Our mouths all got a little dry as we tried to maintain our composure while we quickly loaded our gear directly onto the stage in front of a rapidly filling 15,000 capacity arena with the lights still on and no music playing. Feeling thousands of pairs of eyes bore into our backs as we tried to set up as inconspicuously as possible, we realized maybe we'd bit of a bit more than we could chew. Things were ok once we started playing..the lights went off and even though no one had ever heard of us, when we were playing people kind of politely went along with it. If you opened and closed your eyes fast enough to let in the light and smoke in the proper quantities you could kind of trick yourself into believing you were somewhere you belonged.

After the set we made our way to somewhere we definitely all belong - catering. We assumed the food would be pretty good on the tour, but it was flat out great. They hired this company to cook a full men of fresh meals every day. We got there late so they could have told us too bad - instead there was 8 meals put aside for us, as well as 3 desserts and this huge cheese plate on the fancy big board and everything.

Arcade Fire went on and basically the entire place stood up for the next hour and a half and had a giant Spanish flip-out in unisons for the entire set, it was bananas. It's a weird sensation to feel apathy from 15k people - it's just as weird in the other way to observe complete devotion from the same crowd.

After the show we peaced out so hard so that we wouldn't make the same mistake with lateness two days in a row. We drove out of town and stayed at a hotel as far into the Spanish brush as possible. When we got there at 3am the hotel bar was showing a repeat of that days Barcelona-Getaria match, that Barca won 8 to nothing. A lot of pissed of drunk dudes wearing Real Madrid scarves were pacing the bar in a serious way watching the TV. We avoided the mangy cats in the hallways and bunked down for the first of many cold-as-fuck sleeps. We got up 15 minutes later, ate comically large bocadillos for breakfast and bounced.

We were so early for the Barcelona show it wasn't funny. At least no one at the venue when we got there laughed. We immediately understood the advantages of being early - an extra meal at catering. At 4pm we sat down for our second lunch of the day and felt like Victorian era Kings as we grazed on 4 types of salad, copious bread baskets, more cheese, delicious soups and pastries. We actally did a soundcheck and spent the rest of the afternoon feeling very professional. In the afternoons the venues are full of activity. AF has like a 35 person crew, 4 lorries (tracktor trailers) and 4 buses. They get there early in the morning after driving through the night to set up the stage and lights and PA, which they assemble and disassemble like a giant lego set every day. Ironically enough, we have never had a smaller van than the one we did on this tour. So small that we had to put most of our luggage in the carriage where we all sit rather than in the back with the gear. Very cramped, plus there was a table welded into the middle part for card games or some other outdated European time-passer.

That night was a big party. A lot of friends came to the show and we spent the night in the dressing room getting festive and eating way more food than we all should have. We had a day off so the party spilled into the next day. We all hung out late whereever we stayed and got the first good nights sleep of the tour..I got up at 3pm and spent the day walking around Gracia, I think. And we also wound up at the market were we spend too much money on chocolate truffles, got our picture taken with real truffles and bought rare but mediocre fruit (mangosteens, gold kiwi and lots of dates)

Instead of cleansing or exercising (actually Jonah and Ben went to the gym) we binged on our day off and ate dinner at a tapas place where even though there was like 25 of us, we got too much food. Zach had never been to Barcelona so we took him to see Sagrada Familia after dinner. At midnight on whatever day it was there was almost no one outside, and the few families we did see on the streets didn't even look up as they walked by. We were tourists so we galked even though we'd all seen it tons of times, and sat in the park across the street to have deep thoughts for 2 minutes before we raced back home because we had to pee.

We rose early the next morning to make our show in Bordeaux the next day. We got there late as usual after stopping 10 times for baguettes and McDonalds. The show was grim but fun and we didn't get to see any of the town. Still getting colder. We tried to buy fancy wine but couldn't find the stores that were open after midnight so we just said fuck it and bounced.

We were all very excited for the Marseille show because we were told it was a cool town. We were almost late again and didn't have time to see anything but planned some shit for the next day, which was another off day. The show was in "Le Dome", which is exactly how you'd imagine a French interpretation of a US-style arena - this weird dome that looks like its half buried underground, and inside its like the basement of a library except it holds 5000 people. The show was more of the same - we were ok but weird, AF was amazing, end of story. We drove around town after wards looking for a hotel and honestly went to 10 places that were all full before heading north and away from our nice day off in Marseille. After literally 3 hours of driving around looking for a hotel that had beds we found one outside of Avignon, which we visited for a minute the next day (it was pretty).

We finally got our 2nd day off (split over one night and the next morning/afternoon) in 4 days in Lyon France, a place we all knew nothing about. In ended up just looking like a mini version of Paris with less desperation. We booked a hotel somewhere just north of downtown and spent the evening dining at the hotels very weird buffet restaurant and chilling (Literally) in our submarine-sized hotel rooms watching movies alone on our laptops. Some got up early the next day to catch a ride into the city with Bram who had to fix the first of many problems with our "van". We got dropped off for breakfast at the Paul Bocuse Market ("Les Halles" of Lyon). I watched Ben and Jonah eat tons of stink vegetables (ie seafood) and got some pears and more pastries. Zach bought all sorts of weird pasta and wine and snacks and stuff that I think all got lost? At least I never saw him eating anything. We wandered north and wound up randomly in front of Mere Brazier, a fancy old restaurant. We tried to eat there after being basically whisked up from the curb into the lobby by a very pro-active doorman. A bunch of suits got dropped off behind us and walked past us and into the kitchen. The Maitre D asked if we were with them, humouring us because we all had on gross hoodies and boots. We actually did try to get lunch but he told us they were booked up until next year because at that point he was probably so annoyed in a French way that he was this close to flicking us onto the curb or pulling us away with a giant cane. We cursed him as we walked away in search of more democratic food and ended up in a gross teashop trying to read the French news.

We made our way to the venue, stopping every 10 minutes for more pastries. Then it was time for lunch at this place Ben found. Theirs looked great, mine not so much. Hard to eat in France if you don't eat ham or snails or frogs legs of pot au feu or whatever. I think to make fun of me, I got the oiliest cous cous ever made. We were close to the venue so we stumbled towards it with basically 3 or 4 full meals in our bodies before 5pm. On the way there we passed the prostitution section of Lyon, which consists of a bunch of white vans (bigger than ours) with candles on the dash so you know they are open for business. Then we ate dinner and almost died from food exhaustion for the like the 7th day in a row.

The venue was Halle Tony Garnier, one of the biggest buildings I've ever been in. A "small" section of it was carved out of it to make the set up, but it seemed like the hall went of into the distance in either direction for miles. It was like how you would imagine underground secret government buildings to be (I guess the ones where they have rock concerts) or keep indie rock aliens - massive long shadowy corridor building. Shakira is gonna play there soon.

Luckily, we had another impossible drive to look forward to, so we started towards Italy overnight (I think). The show was in Vicenza, impossibly close to Venice but still not there. Plus it was outside Vicenza, so we can't even really check it off the list. The women doing the show took us for a great dinner...the show was ok.

It started snowing in Italy and hasn't really stopped yet, more than a week later. Our trip the next day wasn't meant to be long, but was in a storm. After Bram got back from an early morning tire-change (we drove over a nail the night before) we drove halway up some mountain and had to turn back because it was too steep and snowy for our vehicle. We arrived too late for lunch but not late enough to miss sound-check. The Germans tolerated us and we tolerated them right back. Arcade Fire was great again. All night we watched the snow pile up on the ground at an alarming rate.

Oh boy were we late for the show the next day in Dusseldorf. We thought Madrid was bad..this time we loaded right onstage from the van, plugged in and played. No one was into us. Every show we played on this tour I would just watch girls make mortified faces at us all night. Damian waded into the crowd and this middle aged woman just recoiled. It was intense and hilarious. This was our last night on the tour and because of the ridiculous storms we almost had to leave early, but we traded sleep for goodbyes and got on the road to Utrecht at like 1am. We got to the hotel at 330am in time to get up at 630am to make our ferry at Calais. Which of course we missed because we went to the wrong entrance. We hung out in the parking lot waiting for the next one and finally got back to England at 4pm at Dover, thinking this was more than enough time to make it across the (small) country to Bristol. Unfortunately for us we got to England at the same time as the biggest weather crisis in the history of the world - some light snow in the south. This managed to jam up traffic basically in the entire country and it took us 9 hours to drive 100 miles and we missed the show. Plus our UK driver was too stuck to even make it to Dover so the guy who rented us the van who was just planning on driving it back from wherever he got it alone (plus he brought his dog) had to drive us to a gas station somewhere so we could rendezvous. So he got in the van, his dog got in the back and we continued our struggle.

The new van was Shangri-La - it was like a movie theater inside compared to the old one. Even though we got to bristol like 6 hours late we were all very content as we checked into the B and B.

The rest of the shows were all great in the UK. Liverpool was at The Kazimier, which is an old school Jazz style club, whatever that means (what they thought it meant was that the club was in the shape of a heptagon [more like HIPSTERagon amirite] and painted black and white like an american apparel shirt). Plus it was rightnext to Cream which is "La Hacienda of the North" - if La Hacienda nights were all 17 year old girls wearing sexy-Statue of Liberty costumes with no coats in minus 20 weather and packs of guys dressed up like football players (the American kind) than either the person who told me that (Russ) is lying or I've been subjected to some serious historical revisionism about what Madchester was like.

ANYHOW NOW WE'RE BACK. We're doing a CBC thing that I just told you about on Friday AND A SECRET SPECIAL SHOW ON SATURDAY ON QUEEN STREET THAT THERE IS NO WAY YOU WILL EVER FIND OUT ABOUT. I'm not even kidding, unless Damian tweets about it by accident or somehow Joe Cornilisse finds out.