Category Archives: Music


This is not–as the text and palette might suggest–a photo of me on Mars.

Rather, I am in a science lab, standing in front of a poster summarizing Kerry Cupit‘s experience at the Mars Desert Research Station in February of 2008, having attended an insightful talk on the same subject that he today presented at SFU.

What’s more? I am listening to Viper Pilot‘s hoopy new release Spacelab Invaders while wearing a Space Invaders shirt, itself a product of Viper Pilot Industries, Inc.

(Basically, the jpg is so densely meta that it runs the risk of collapsing in on itself, menacing all life on Earth. [In turn, a reference to the very threat implied on the shirt {DIE, EARTHLING}.])



Filed under Music, Philosophy (Natural or otherwise)

Stand aside, Viper Pilot. I got this one.

My senior officer in the fleet, Viper Pilot, does a stand out job of covering the intersection of (Music) and (Science Fiction), sometimes even branching out to (Music) (Science), but he is relatively far from American news media, as well as welcoming–with Atomique, of course–a new addition to his family.  In the interest of giving all three more bonding time, I’m stepping in to share your song for today.

MC Hawking – Why Won’t Jesse Helms Hurry Up and Die | download

1 Comment

Filed under Friends, Music

An admission a decade in the making

On 25/02/2008, Michel Haggman <> wrote:

Fine, Ce Matin La by Air is a kickass track.
Fuck you.

This made my 29.53 days. The confession would have been enough, but such touching phrasing, too?

The question remains, however: must I quietly bide another 10 years for him to admit that basically the whole of Moon Safari is a pop-triumph of the Homo sapien synth-spirit?1

1. In all honesty, Mitch’s musical pedigree far outstrips mine, but you need not take my word for it.

1 Comment

Filed under Music

Awesome shows (I have not seen)

I don’t mean to sound like a rock snob, but as someone who has lived in several major metropolitan areas in the last few years, I have failed at going to a startling number of important musical performances. Now, I know what you are thinking: “Chad, I’ve missed a fair number of good shows in my time, as well.” Forget it. I can assure you that my list of “Shows That I Would Have Bragged About at a Later Date, Had I Only Managed to Show Up” exceeds yours is both depth and breadth.

Let’s look back to 2000. The new millennium was almost upon us, and our post-modern tastes were taking solace in the innovative turntablism of a young DJ from Quebec. He was touring Canada in support of his new album, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and critics and fans alike were going mad at his sold-out shows.

I, however, was not.

In fact, bad travel planning allowed me to miss not just one, but two performances from Ninja Tune’s own Kid Koala. He kicked off this particular tour in his hometown of Montréal in late Spring, just as I was preparing to leave Regina for a language study program at the Université de Montréal. One week later would see him rocking Louie’s Pub, one of my favourite Saskatchewan venues, but I was 3236km away, touring le vieux port. It’s possible that we could have been in the air at them same time, just traveling in opposite directions. How’s that for profound, music fans?

Oh, I would be also remiss if I did not also mention a “rave” just a few weeks later, still in Montréal. I actually managed to make it to this one, along with several thousand other people. Hopes high, I happily obliged as security searched my afro in all seriousness for “drogues et armes.” Shortly thereafter, however, I noticed a note sign tacked to the wall letting attendees know that the headliner–Paul Oakenfold–would be a no-show. Close one.

I have international almost-but-not-quite experiences, as well. There was that tiny Ani Difranco show back in ’99. So intimate! I think that was in York. Or was it Leeds? I have no idea; I didn’t take in a single song. I can’t forget DJ Shadow, either. He brought mad beats to Seoul while I was there teaching English, but I backed out of attending at the last minute, simply because I couldn’t find anyone with which to go.

My current home of Vancouver has also been good to this growing list. Just a few weeks after I moved here, the Beastie Boys kicked it root down. Reports from friends in Ottawa and family in Australia confirmed that this was not a performance to miss. But these second-hand accounts were as close as I would get to experiencing a show from that tour. I was too concerned about returning to uni and my potential course loads to even attempt to buy a ticket.

Certainly, my most loyal string of unattendance definitely lies with The Decemberists. That’s at least three, or maybe even four, performances. The weird part is that the first time around, I actually really did plan on attending. Unfortunately, shortly after their tour van arrived in Vancouver, it was broken into. All their gear was stolen, and the remainder of the tour was canceled. A few months later, my heart buoyed when it was announced there would be replacement shows for the dates they missed. Wouldn’t you know it: Vancouver’s make-up performance fell on Michelle’s birthday, and I’d already made supper reservations. Let’s see, I know that I’m forgetting the reason I didn’t make their show in December of last year, but it can’t really be helped. When you’ve not seen as many shows as me, they all sort to run together.

What else? Well, just last month was TV on the Radio. A gorgeous Saturday night and the Commodore Ballroom, no less. With the rising popularity of Return to Cookie Mountain, it’s likely they’ll play something larger the next time there are in town. Truly a show for the ages, with an encore that lasted nearly as long as the initial performance? Don’t ask me; I was visiting in-laws in Victoria.

It’s not like all the great shows that I’ve missed are behind me, though. For example, this entry is set to post April 16, 2007. I’ll be on the second leg of flights to New Zealand, but Modest Mouse will be rocking Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum. They will be rocking so hard (and maybe even to the max).

I guess I should wrap it up, but not before mentioning that future prospects look pretty promising, as well. Perhaps my all-time favourite band, Air, will be playing Richards on Richards in just a few days–April 21st. Shortly after that (on May 5th) Explosions in the Sky will be here. Mind you, there’s exactly zero chance I will make either gig, as I won’t be returning to Canada before May 20th. Rest assured, though, I would have explained ad nauseum how radical these shows were. I would have made it imminently clear just how much you missed out on. Had I only attended.

[Chad and Michelle are currently traveling New Zealand and Fiji. They will return in late May with the promise that this is the first and last post in which Chad will pretend he is a writer at The Onion. Until then, chadsblog will update weekly with pre-written content.]


Filed under Music

The Truth About Viper Pilot

Not only am I ashamed for leaving Viper Pilot off the of list of my current favourite 100 music acts, I am also incredibly humbled that Viper Pilot chose my blog as the staging ground for his upcoming aural assault upon an otherwise unsuspecting planet Earth.

While I would urge everyone to visit Viper Pilot’s page and download his smoove Busta Rhymes/Fatback Band/Daft Punk mashup, I feel I must also come to Viper Pilot’s defense, especially in light of recent criticisms from certain outlets of mass media (particularly the neo-con, capitalist agenda of Fox News).

You’ve come here for the truth, so let’s get our facts perfectly straight here:

  • While his previous articles have called into question the cultural value of America’s real heroes in light of the moral uncertainties of the 21st century, Viper Pilot has not once publicly stated that he is anti-American.
  • The purported photographs “demonstrating” that Viper Pilot’s Attack Glider was seen in the vicinity of the White House on September 11, 2001 have been conclusively debunked as hoaxes, fabricated by individuals with known ties to the NSA.
  • There was and is absolutely no romantic association to be made between Viper Pilot and the Baroness Anastasia DeCobray. Nothing could be further from the truth, as in actuality, Viper Pilot is happily married to a wonderful woman from the opposite side of the world as Europe and the Baroness.
  • Viper Pilot’s connections to COBRA are tenuous, as best. Aside from this, most educated individuals remain to this day unconvinced regarding President Bush’s baseless dismissal of this international non-governmental lobbying group as a “ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.”
  • Yes, Viper Pilot’s first album is going to be financed by James McCullen Destro XXIV. So what? Much like the late John Peel, Mr. Destro (a known philanthropist) has demonstrated a keen interest in promoting fresh talent and bringing their artistic works to a wider public audience.

I genuinely hope that this has cleared up any misconceptions you might have had regarding Viper Pilot and his growing body of work. Please visit his website today, download his first song, and take a stand for freedom.


Filed under Music

Cool Tapes

I challenged Roadbirns to put together a list of her 100 favourite musical artists. I haven’t seen her list yet, but you’ll find mine below. Keep in mind they’re not necessarily what I would argue as for as objective “bests.” They’re just music makers whose work I have personally–and recently–enjoyed. (Selections in bold denote particular favourites. Italicized genres are courtesy of Wikipedia.)






















Whom did I miss? Who shouldn’t have made the cut? If I enjoy all of the above, whom else should I check out?


Filed under Music

Pocket Symphony

I wasn’t sure if I’d ever say it, but from what tracks I’ve heard so far, it would seem that Air has finally released a worthy successor of Moon Safari.

You might also enjoy PALE BLUE DOT, an A/V exploration of some text that I quoted as part of my contribution to the Carl Sagan Blog-a-thon last December.

Apologies that this week’s message is even more slight on content than usual, but I’m in the midst of preparing/leaving for Weathertop, which I’m told is “Vancouver’s premiere gaming convention devoted to games and the people who play them.” I’m sure it’s no GenCon, but it could shape up to be The Best Three Days of Gaming That Are Closer To My House Than The Classrooms In Which I Teach. I’m registered in games of Perfect, and The Shadow of Yesterday, and good ol’ D&D, but I’m also hoping to bump into some indie designers and discover some systems I’ve not explored before.

In the meantime (and possibly for no reason other than padding), I share with you my five favourite narrative television programs of the last five (or so) years:

Anything thing I’ve overlooked, in your opinion?


Filed under Gaming (Video or otherwise), Music