January 1998

1] Henryk Gorecki - Symphony No. 3. I got turned on to this symphony by Colin Cripps and man was he right. Performed by the London Symphony and conducted by David Zinman, listening to this symphony will probably end up being your final request on your death bed.

2] The Afghan Whigs - Black Love. I have yet to find a rock musician worth their salt that doesn't find this record mind blowing. Greg Dulli is one of the best vocalists I've ever heard. The fact that he doesn't sing in key most of the time is precisely the reason why. Honky's Ladder and Faded are standouts.

3] Radiohead - OK Computer. Someone had to replace Pink Floyd. This record is the pop anti-christ. The mere fact that it did so well proves that there are still people out there that haven't been wholly consumed by the Spice Girls - Backstreet Boys reign of terror. Hopefully, they'll win that Grammy for record of the year.

4] Jeff Buckley - Grace. Unfortunately we lost one of the best singers to come along in two decades. Like a lot of excellent records that should have done better than they did, Grace is a perfect example of excellent song writing and honest performances.

5] Weezer - Pinkerton. I was a luke warm fan of this band until I heard Pinkerton and was hooked. The production and sticky honesty of the songs transcended the need for this band to duplicate their super singles. Songs like Tired of Sex and El Scorcho are brilliant. Like most second or third efforts by current bands, the public just didn't take the time to get it. What a shame.

6] Talk Talk - Laughing Stock. This is one of the best records ever made in my opinion. Though I've been listening to it for a number of years, I thought it only proper to mention it here. A lot of it's ideas were well ahead of their time, like most of the latter Talk Talk albums were.

7] Slye - 3 Song Demo Tape. You can't find this tape anywhere yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you'll be hearing a lot about this band in the future. Unfortunately the song Adobe isn't on it. Sources close to the band swear that it'll be on their first release though.

8] Nik Kershaw - The Best of. What can you say, it's Nik friken Kershaw. Have you been frozen for the last 30 friken years or something?

9] Tricky - Pre Millennia Tension. Tricky is just a flat out genius, whether you're a fan of trip or not. This is the kind of record kids will actively seek out with feverish delight twenty years from now.

10] Keith Jarrett - Changeless. Recorded live in Denver, Dallas, Lexington, and Houston in October of 1987, this record is one of the best jazz records I've ever heard. Accompanied by the legendary Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnnette, this four song album is a must have if you're in to roaming sounds and getting lost for an hour. Endless is by far my favorite track.

Are You Ready to Rumble?

I come from the town of the fish. If you've got the guts you can have the glory. You can buy the glory if you want it bad enough. They'll sell it to you. They'll sell it to you for your guts. Remember that always. There's Chicago down there, all lit up. I'm on a plane. Moving.

Everybody gets a shit kicking. That's the rules. Everyone gets an overnight bag full of tiny bathroom products as a consolation. Those tiny little toothpaste tubes are extremely effective at capturing your curiosity. One has to wonder why anyone would put such a small amount of toothpaste in a tube. Probably because the brush that comes with it can only hold so much. Maybe someone just thought it would take your mind off things during your trip. Everyone is going somewhere. And along the way everyone gets a shit kicking. That's the rules. Look it up if you don't believe me. It's in the handbook.

The earth is 93,003,000 miles from the sun. One more mile either way and history never happened. One less comet smashing into the earth 63,000,000 years ago and Godzilla is the Mayor of Tokyo. One more mile, one less comet. The handbook doesn't say how far the earth is away from the sun. Some guys figured that out for themselves. I like to think of the world as a giant, spherical Chia Pet. There's already a Chia Guy, a Chia Girl, Chia dogs and cats, and a variety of other Chia animals. So why not a Chia World? Just add water and wham: LIFE. If you think about it, maybe that's why it took so long for things to happen. The first fifteen minutes of 2001 are going through my head. All fifteen grueling minutes. And, yep, there's God watering the world. Oh my.

Before I continue I should clarify something. Someone recently wrote in and asked me if I was religious due to the fact that I use the word GOD in some of the things I write. It should be known that my interpretation of the All-Mighty in this Manifesto includes all versions of God, whether he/she is called Buddha, Vishnu, Ram-Ram, Jesus, Allah, The Great Bear Spirit, Nick Drake, or just plain old God. This is by no means a politically correctness cop-out though. There are various aspects of many religions that I find interesting. The most interesting aspect is that they all have several fundamental principles that are universal. Such as: try your best not to kill other people, and love is a good thing so try using it in a sentence today, and there's hope after all, and my personal favorite hey! You're forgiven! It's the other garbage that causes all the problems. Such as: our way's right and your way's wrong so you'd better believe what we believe or we'll come back here with heavy artillery, or you're god's a seven headed elephant how's that possible, or you go to heaven when you die you don't come back as a goat, etc. etc. I won't even attempt to breach the various conflicting ‘creationism' topics. Highly controversial indeed! It almost seems too good to leave alone, but I will, for everyone's sake.

I'm up in my beautiful, beautiful balloon. I'm currently watching a Japanese movie about dancing. Actually, the balloon isn't mine, it belongs to Canadian Airlines. I'm just borrowing a seat for five hours. We're over North Dakota I think. I can't really tell. I'm having fun with the FLIGHT ATTENDANTS. I can't talk very well at the moment, so trying to respond to their dinner questions is amusing. They get quite pissed off if you don't speak up. You're not allowed to call them Stewardess's anymore. There's a law. I had the chicken. I dropped my cheese. Jack Daniels isn't good for throat ailments. Turbulence.

Everybody still gets a shit kicking though. Don't think because we're getting friendly that you're exempt. It's the rules. I didn't make them up. I'm just saying. One day I will open my mouth and nothing will come out. You will have forgotten this by then. You will have forgotten a good many things. I'll open my mouth and the gears won't work. Just one more night I'll say to myself, just one more night. Through the smoke and the sweat there's this mass, this beautiful monster. There is no place I would rather be. One day I will open my mouth and nothing will come out. I will remember every word before that. Forever. Like a tattoo, like incurable cancer, like a dream. There are so many holes and not enough silly putty to plug them all. So many, many holes.

I hope you've enjoyed the flight. We look forward to serving you again in the future. The future. Tomorrow. The earth is a long way from the sun. Numbers are unimportant in the end. But there's a reason why this crazy Chia Pet is floating around with a bunch of colourful frozen gasses and huge, inter-dimensional wormholes. There just has to be. Maybe there was a bang. It must have been a hell of a party. Maybe god's watering can's got some good stuff left. Maybe he should just get off his ass and buy a sprinkler. The handbook says that everyone gets a shit kicking. The handbook also says that this is all just some kind of crazy airport lounge. Who knows. I want to come back as a space leggo guy with a cool ship. What kind of karma do you think you'd have to have to make that happen?

There's Vancouver down there. All lit up. I come from the town of the fish. And if you've got the guts, well, you don't really need the glory do you?

Questions Answered: Dial 1 900 Idiot Savant

1] Guitar tabs. What are guitar tabs?

2] Vincent. What we think doesn't matter. What you think does.

3] Yes, we're doing our best to put on an all ages show in the new year. It will most likely take place somewhere in the lower main land, but it'll be advertised on the island as well. Keep a look out.

4] It looks like the next time I go to Winnipeg and Thunder Bay I'll have to wear a bullet proof vest. Aim high, I'll catch it in my teeth. Ta-da.

5] What do you mean "are we currently working on a new record!", we just put one out! (Damn, man).

6] Thanks to everyone from Ottawa that sent us mail. We had fun playing that show. Your appreciation has not gone unnoticed.

7] This is a personal "hello" to everyone who wanted to be mentioned in the manifesto. There are a lot of you, so I've decided to combine my efforts and put them all into one giant answer. Yes, we do read your e-mails and letters ourselves. Sometimes we rub them all over our naked bodies too. Did I say that out loud?

8] Is so great.

9] Is so divine.

10] We'd like to thank everyone who sent us mail this year. Your support for the band has been outstanding and we thank you. A special thanks goes out to everyone who came to Medicine Ball this year. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Hanukah Jon.

PS: Everyone should check out Leonard's unofficial page. He's put a lot of work into it. Cheers Lenny.