Join a collective!

Because work, school and life aren’t busy enough, as evident by a complete lack of activity on your blog, you should join a collective. No seriously, trust me – I joined one and it has been great!

Continental Shelf is a writers’ collective formed by some feisty University of Victoria undergraduate writing students.  Why that name? Because we’re on the edge; the edge of our writing careers, the edge of academia, the edge of western Canada, and also because of books!

Last night at Solstice Cafe, Continental Shelf orchestrated its first public event, and it was a fabulous time.

Sean Michaels from Said The Gramophone read two excerpts from his debut novel Us Conductors. Jo, from the collective, led a fantastic interview, touching on what drives one to write and the phase shift form writer to novelist. Munro’s was there selling copies of the beautiful book, and Sean got busy writing inscriptions. Lastly theremin art-pop band Cleopatra & the Nile finished off the night with a performance encompassing a backdrop of black and white films, projected off a reel, while the duo channelled haunting theremin and synth sounds.

Also don’t be fooled by Solstice Cafe’s website – they’re licensed for more than just beer!

For me the highlight of the night, other than camaraderie of course, was Sean’s commentary, and yes I’m paraphrasing, on the cacophony of thematic interrelationships that drove the creation of Us Conductors. For me it was a glimpse into the magic actions, and interactions, that engenders something greater than the whole, pulsing electricity, that overcomes the many barriers and ultimately creates art.


Auditory Journeys – Back to Back Standout Albums

I love music, and I know what I like. I am free with both my positive and critical opinions, which unfortunately results in many people thinking I’m a snob. In particular when a band has a breakout album and then their next ones in my opinion aren’t as good, I come under fire for being either too committed to the earlier sound, an un-loyal fan or too sub-pop, or just plain elitist.

Currently I have two artists on the stereo regularly each of whom has two stand out albums. Queue up the listed Iron & Wine albums chronologically and the Parov Stelar albums in reverse chronological order, as depicted below, and be prepared for an auditory journey worth the trip.

Iron & Wine

Our Endless Numbered Days

Kiss Each Other Clean

Parlov Stelar

Seven and Storm


This isn’t to say that either artist’s in between albums aren’t good; they are good. However these two albums, in each case, stand out as particularly brilliant. Queue them up in iTunes and let us know what you think!