Don’t get too excited. I’m not back. In fact, I might even be less back than before, depending on who you ask. Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night I’m not me. I’m Swedish sleuth Martin Beck and my crying babies are a mystery I just can’t solve. I suppose this makes my wife Lennart Kollberg and my older daughter Gunvald Larsson. The twins are a puzzle we’re all trying to figure out. It’s inscrutable at first, but as weeks go by patterns emerge. We do the legwork that an important investigation demands: routine feedings, forensic diaper changes, regular measurements. Bit by excructiating bit, the picture comes into focus, but the most important details remain obscured. There’s no smoking gun. There are no parlour confessions. There is the just honest work and thoughtful vigilance with no promise of a satisfying resolution. This is what it is to raise kids within a Swedish crime novel.
15. Teenland (Northern Pikes) performed by Andrew Vincent by havenotbeenthesame
I was wearing my Andrew Vincent t-shirt when Lillian was born. For the twins, I wore my Giant Sand t-shirt. We went down to Seattle to see Giant Sand about two months before Lill was born and when I saw that Giant Sand was coming to Vancouver a month before the twins’ due date, I took this as a good omen. Nicole was too pregnant to come to the show this time, but she told me to get a new Giant Sand shirt. They didn’t bring any shirts with them on this tour, though. I don’t know why I put so much stock in Rock Shirts, it’s just how I’ve always been. As I write this, I’m wearing a spit-up soaked Tricky Woo shirt. I know. Andrew Vincent, Tricky Woo…what else have I got? The Parkas, the Sadies, um, Cuff the Duke…oh wow, another Tricky Woo shirt. A lot of those shirts are wearing pretty thin, coming up on 10 years old, which is old for a t-shirt, I guess. They mostly reflect the great rock shirt time of my life, when I was covering music for a mid-sized metropolitan newspaper in a pre-Arcade Fire era when it seemed like no one but me cared about Canadian indie rock and I basically had no responsibility to anyone but myself. Is that why I hold on to them? Do they represent the wild freedom of my ill-spent youth? Or am I just too lazy to get new shirts?
Giant Sand – Shiver by FIRE RECORDS
Ten years is a long time. Ten years ago I was starting my love affair with community radio. Ten years ago I powered through Have Not Been The Same, an Infinite Jest-sized chronicle of what happened to CanRock before I was legal age. Almost everything I wrote (about music) for the next five years was directly informed by that book. To celebrate the book’s anniversary one of the book’s three authors, Michael Barclay, has curated a tribute album to the era of CanRock the HNBTS covers. I was beside myself with delight when I saw that Snailhouse was covering Al Tuck on the album. I love Snailhouse and I love Al Tuck. Mike “Snailhouse” Feuerstack was one of the very few guests I had on my show during my nearly five years on CJTR. I gave him a Tommy James & the Shondells CD and he gave me A New Tradition, 2001. Al Tuck, well, here’s an appreciation of Al Tuck I wrote last year.
13. Buddah (Al Tuck) performed by Snailhouse by havenotbeenthesame
I like that these things keep popping up. My friend Jamie doesn’t believe in coincidences. He arches his eyebrow and says, “Well, Emmet, I don’t have to tell you that there’s no such thing.” But sometimes that’s all I believe in. If the universe is random, if Bill Maher is right, and whatever meaning we’ve found in it is just the work of our imaginations, doesn’t that say something wonderful about us? We looked up at the night stars and drew pictures in the firmament! We beat back nihilism and boredom with stories and art and songs. Isn’t that worth preserving? Isn’t that worth perpetuating? ”
mp3: “Hollow Man” by John Millard & Happy Day
Emmet Matheson is a freelance writer who blogs at A Bulldozer With a Wrecking Ball Attached. You can e-mail him at: bulldozerDOTwreckingballATgmailDOTcom