The new VdS EP, Lowpass, is ready. Click on the image below to download it from the VdS bandcamp site. It’s super easy, trust us. You can name your price or download for free; it’s up to you. All downloads come with PDF liner notes.
Thanks for listening. If you like Lowpass, pass it along to your friends.
The winter’s over, so they say. You wouldn’t know it here in Toronto, though. This week’s damp, windy shittiness would break the spirit of even the staunchest optimists. It feels like winter’s ripping a lingering fart right in our face as it leaves to go fuck with Chile. It’s a big fart, too: powerful, like the kind you hold in for hours on a first date. Whatever analogy you choose, winter, like the worst of farts, is fucking lingering.
But nuts to that, VdS has something to show for the last six months spent indoors. The new EP, Lowpass, is almost ready. You might say, -Ha! I’ve heard that before! And you’d be right. But fuck you, this time there’s evidence: four of the EP’s five songs are done, minus vocals, with the fifth tune only in need of some minor massaging (aren’t we all?).
Fine, none of the preceding is real evidence, but it should give you an “it’s around the corner” feeling, as opposed to a “no” feeling, which is rarely a feeling you want to have.
The songs on Lowpass sit together incredibly well and capture rather nicely the mood of the last four or five months. They move VdS in a direction that’s different from Red Circle (exciting) while reasserting some of its hallmarks (comforting).
You should also know that this site is on the move again, this time to the much more permanent-sounding vandersaar.com. It’s hoped that the new site will more convincingly impart VdS-ness than the current, albeit remarkably serviceable, WordPress template. Say yes if you agree. Regardless, vandersaar.com is coming down the pipe like oil in Ukraine, so stay focused.
Here’s the track list for Lowpass:
2. About the Sun
3. Surf Song
4. Battle James
5. St. George
Baseball’s a silly game. On the surface, nothing really happens. It’s just a bunch of large-ish men standing around: occasionally they run, and sometimes they do steroids.
What makes baseball so good? I was listening to a spring training game a few weeks back and I realized that baseball captures, like little else, the atmosphere of my youth. Listening to the game being called I was shuttled back in time to grade four: on my front lawn, shirtless with an oversized mitt, firing pitches at an imaginary strike zone on my garage wall.
For years, baseball has represented a fantasy world full of memories and youthful excitement- the kind of excitement that as an adult I don’t feel very often anymore. And that’s not a complaint; it’s a fact of life. But I suppose that’s a discussion for another time.
This past Friday was Opening Night at the SkyDome in Toronto: Blue Jays vs. Twins. (It was my second opening night in a row. I mentioned to my pal Rubes that I’m trying to put together a bit of a run on home openers. He pointed out that two home openers in a row was nothing to be proud of and called me a tourist. Nice.) I paid $50 for a $14 ticket and spent another $60 on four cans of Bud Light and a slice of pizza.
Instead of a ballgame, I watched a stadium of 45,000 people lurch towards a clumsy, collective inebriation that verged on the embarrassing (Toronto the good? Like fuck). I watched as the allure of the ballpark (generous for the SkyDome) was relegated to a sideshow in a Vegas-style free for all: boobies, cheating, fighting- whatever you like.
And I’m no prude: fight and fuck all you like- I’m a voyeur like everyone else. But when the atmosphere I’d hoped for was trod upon by the giant neon hi-top that has become Friday night in Toronto, it felt, well, sad. It felt sad when I sat down; sad when I stood up to cheer and sad when I left before the game was over. There was none of the energy or wonder I’d hoped for, just the shitty, jealous feeling of getting older and knowing that the night’s experience was never going to belong to me.
When you called, I was standing among the ruins of a castle, looking up at the wind. My jacket was zipped to the top, and I struggled to fish my phone from my inside pocket. When I got on the line you were screaming through a drunken, lonely fug. -How much fuel have you had? I asked. How much more would you need? I wondered. There was nothing I could do for you. You were too far away.
I passed the phone to my friend, who knew you too. –I don’t want to talk to that kid, he said. I hung up and went behind the shelter of a wall to roll a cigarette. The wind and rain made the paper hard to light. Hunched over, I caught sight of my shoes. The toes were wet and covered with flecks of mud and stray blades of grass. Just then my whole weekend passed in front of me: the mountains, the wine, the driving in the dark, the ice on the shore. Why am I worrying about you?
We didn’t speak again for a few weeks. I dialed your number on a Saturday night and again heard that lonely roar. I put the phone down and stared through my window at the trees. It was daytime where you were. It was always daytime where you were.
Later on I went for a drink. Walking home, my shoulders got soaked with the rain. And once more, huddled and head down, I noticed my shoes: cleaner than before, but still stained brown from the castle’s muddy grounds. There’s no way out of this for you, I thought. And I’m not able to help. A strange smile came over my face. I turned the key to my door. Home at last. My whole body was wet. I made some tea and fell asleep.
Looking back on those days, I could barely help myself. How was I to help you? In such a simple place, there was so much confusion, so much to deal with. I’m glad I left there and made it back to safety. Maybe you should do the same. Alone is not an easy thing to be. Particularly when you’re tired of trying to stop yourself.