The Joker – The Latest Installment of CMAL

My latest installment for CMAL (hosted by is about subversion in music. Here’s an excerpt:

There’s something freaky about the Joker. Not necessarily the character from the Batman franchise, but the actual playing card. You know that image has been in our collective consciousness for a very long time. He’s in Shakespeare (King Lear), countless songs, poems and countless creepy medieval woodcut prints.

It’s unsettling – the way he smirks at us, knowingly.

Carl Jung declared the Trickster (or the Fox, Jester, Clown, Fool, Joker or whatever you want to call him) an archetype found throughout human culture. He is both stupid and observant, foolish but wise – a rebel.

Frank Zappa (1940-1993) believed that stupidity is so prevalent in society that it ought to be examined, in his autobiography, The Real Frank Zappa Book (1989) he proclaimed:

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it’s so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe…I say there’s more stupidity than hydrogen and that that is the basic building block of the universe.”

[Click here to read the rest of this installment]


Can’t Make a Living

Well, I’m now a columnist.
Toronto’s the iNDiEMACHiNE.COM have decided to add regular columns to their already excellent website and they’ve asked me  (along with some other local characters) to contribute! My soon-to-be-weekly column, CAN’T  MAKE A LIVING starts today.  As a special introduction CMAL is scheduled to run for the next 5 weekdays and will appear weekly thereafter.

CMAL is about surviving the world of indie music.  I plan to make it mostly anecdotal and opinion driven, but I will use real world examples and quotes to back me up from time to time. My first topic of discussion is what I call The Big Why, of making music – you know, that sinking feeling you get every once and a while when you wonder if you should quit and start leading a “normal” life.  For me, this is a very complex, perplexing, quixotic issue – so why not tackle it first? Good thing they are running the first 5 installments daily, because it’s going to take me 8 or 9 segments just to touch on this topic (and without using words like quixotic).   WARNING: If you are one of those people (and I know there’s a lot of you out there) that make music “for the pure love of it,”  and don’t see yourself as an artist – you might not dig the first 6 installments or so, but I implore you to stick with it.  I will (eventually) champion your point of view but not before getting some of the header stuff out of the way first.  You’ll know what I”m talking about if you keep reading.

Anyway, I’m really excited about this! Here’s an excerpt from my first installment: Perseverance Part 1: The Big Why:

There’s a great lyric from the Walkmen song, We’ve Been Had:
Well I’m a modern guy I don’t care much for the go-go
or the retro image I see so often telling me to
keep trying maybe you’ll get here someday
keep up the work, kid. ok
I close the book on them right there
Sometimes this verse epitomizes how I feel about music. Every so often I’m hit with what I call The Big Why – basically, that moment of existential crisis when you ask yourself, “why am I still doing this?” If it hasn’t happened to you yet (oh fellow indie musician), I guarantee it will at some point. It might be on some sore and hung-over morning after a tour or during a family function when your cousin (twice removed) asks why you’re over 25, not in school, and still working at Starbucks. Let’s face it – being an indie musician these days can seem like a lot of hard, thankless work…
Here’s links to the rest:

[click here to read the rest of PART 1]
[click here to read the rest of PART 2]
[click here to read the rest of PART 3]
[click here to read the rest of PART 4]
[click here to read the rest of PART 5]



Wendy Versus


Wendy and I have another musical project (yes, you read that right).  The project is called Wendy Versus and as you can probably guess, Wendy writes and sings the songs  (and I play guitar and press record).  Anyway,  I’m blogging this here on PAPERMAPS DOT NET because we are currently streaming 2 new tracks from the forthcoming Wendy Versus album (entitled Crayon Wars).   Check it out on our other website, WENDY VERSUS DOT COM:



Tuesday Happenings #3


It’s getting closer to our release date!  Here’s what’s happening with PAPERMAPS this week:

Item 1: Shows Shows Shows!
Here are the posters/ FB Events for our Waterloo and St. Catharines appearances.

FB Event:

FB Event:

A new show has been added to our spring tour: Saturday April 30, APK Live, London.

Item 2: The  latest papermaps review was written by  excellent writer Barbara Bruederlin.  The review appeared both on her awesome blog, Bad Tempered Zombie as well as the very esteemed  No Depression website.  Although No Depression focuses on Traditional, Country, Roots and Blues-based music (which we have some elements of, but would not neatly fit into) the good people there, nevertheless, featured the review on their landing page for at least 24 hours (which was very, very cool of them).  This may be a historical first for usage of the  term shoegaze on No Depression. Read Barbara’s fine review here:

Item 3: The latest radio station to spin papermaps is  CFOU 89.1 MHz – Trois-Rivieres. Merci beaucoup!

Item 4: Last (but not least) the first official single from papermaps, our song entitled, reunion is available on itunes TODAY!  Here’s the proof:

Tuesday Happenings #1


We have a bunch of Tuesdays left before our album drops on Tuesday April 19, so I thought I would report weekly buzz-worth activity up to that special date and give the reports a nifty name like, Tuesday Happenings.  So here is my first instalment . . . I guess there will be 6 of these (brought to you by the good ol’ Google Past Week  search tool).

Item 1:  There’s a nifty Facebook event for our next live appearance, which will be in Ottawa on April 15.
Here’s the link:
We are second of 3 bands.  7″ vinyls and advance copies of the album will be for sale!

Here’s the nifty poster (brought to you by the fine folks at TwoWayMonologues).

Item 2: The latest Radio station to spin Papermaps is CKUW 95.9 FM (University of Winnipeg) on their morning show Monday Monday (  Thank you, David Trouble and friends!

Item 3: Latest MP3 Blog to post some Papermaps music is Insomnia Radio (

Item 4: The latest music blog to write about Papermaps is Canada’s own Panic Manual ( talking up our non-CMF CMF show this past Saturday at the Tranzac.  Thanks to all who attended this show — we had a blast!

Item 5: Papermaps have entered the information age by posting a profile (and some stream-able music) to the ever growing Soundcloud ( .  Another social network!

Well that about does it for Tuesday Happenings Week 1.