Virgin Festival Calgary

The lineup is up…

Stone Temple Pilots
The Tragically Hip
The Flaming Lips
City and Colour
Mathew good
Three Days Grace
The New Pornographers
Corb Lund
Fact to Face
Attack in Black
Pride Tiger
Crash Parallel
The Dudes
The Whitsundays
Ten Second Epic
The Spades
Said the Whale

Weekend pass: $125

I almost had to eat my words about this festival. Last week, Morrissey made a statement that read

I am also pleased to be asked to join the bill at the V Festival at the Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, and also at Fort Calgary in Calgary.

I kind of lost my mind when I read that. I have been obsessed with The Smiths and Morrissey since I was a lad, and have yet to see him live (when that day comes, I am stalking his tour bus, getting him to sign my arm and then getting it tattooed there). Then that statement continues:

However, as we all know, the psychologically and constitutionally sickening Canadian seal-kill has started and is once again in full-cry.

Oh christ, here we go. Look Morrissey, you are awesome and everything, but punishing your Canadian fan base (most of whom likely agree with you that the barbaric seal hunting practices should stop) is really stupid. YOU PLAY SHOWS IN THE US, A COUNTRY THAT KILLS MORE IRAQI HUMAN BEINGS IN A YEAR THAN CANADA DOES SEALS!!! Ugh. I get really worked up about this all the time. Shit, I would have sat through Three Days Grace, Mathew Good AND City and Colour to see Morrissey, but alas, that is not to be. Just as well, as that is the musical equivalent to being bludgeoned to death by a sealing club (which, might I add, I am morally opposed to).

What happened to the lip service to having “local music” on the bill? I see the Dudes, The Whitsundays (from Edmonton, which should count I guess, but they are also playing the superior Sled Island, so fuck that), but that is it (and in order to say that for sure, I looked into some of the bands I hadn’t heard like Crash Parallel from Ontario, and who are apparently “drawing comparisons to artists such as Coldplay, The Fray, David Gray and Counting Crows” (which, aside from their music are four reasons why they must be avoided at all costs). Oh shit – Ten Second Epic (which is subsequently the length of time I could listen to their myspace) are from Edmonton too.

Sure there are a few Annotated Everything favourites on the bill (Flaming Lips, The New Pornographers, Constantines), but most of this festival just reeks of the dying (not soon enough) corporate music industry. A lot of the bands (and the structure behind the bands) are still desperately pushing music as a “product,” and talking (in a very 1990’s way) about “content” (“Get the digital release for bonus CONTENT!”). For those bands that avoid that way of doing business in the music industry, the stink kind of wafts over to them as well (whether they like it or not).

Secondly, who is this lineup going for? Are Stars fans going to want to sit through Attack in Black? Will Attack in Black fans sit through Said the Whale? Will anyone want to sit through Three Days Grace? To paraphrase Pierre Bourdieu, “taste is nothing more than the distaste of the taste of others” – something that I will admit fuels a post like this. Yet, it is one thing for me to think that this lineup is full of shit, and it is another for me to react against this form of blatant “focus grouped” lineup that appears to these eyes to be nothing more than a vehicle to move “units” (as opposed to a way for music fans to come together and enjoy a nice day in the sun without the taint that is a Branson-sponsored shill-fest).

Calgary Police brutality on Stephen Ave.

Last night, the Square Waves played to a small crowd of Calgarians (30 in total?) who happened to be at the Broken City on a Thursday night, right between two major concerts (Bright Eyes the day before and Modest Mouse the day after). Far be it to be a judge of my own performance, but it felt right while I was playing, and I was told that we sounded good. I am happy with it.

Still sitting with me is a horrifying event that took place before the show. Ryan and Patrick and myself were going to eat after we checked into the hotel. While walking down Stephen Ave. downtown Calgary, we walk right past two police officers talking to this man. I am not sure exactly what went on, the reason why they were talking to him (etc.), so lets make that clear.

As we were walking past, one of the cops THROWS A PUNCH at the guys head, and then grabs him in a headlock, after which the other cop KICKS the guy in the NECK! It is kind of hard to describe, but essentially, these two cops started beating this guy up while yelling “STOP RESISTING” and the guy is crying in pain, and they have him on the ground, and it looks as if the one cop is going to break the guys arm trying to cuff him, while the other cop is resting his full body weight on his knee, which is holding the guys head down on the pavement. The guy did not appear to be resisting, yet the police were clearly not saying it for his benefit, this instructive directed towards the gathering crowd. “STOP RESISTING” code for “hey, we’re just doing our jobs here because this guy is resisting arrest.” From what I saw, and what Ryan and Patrick saw, there was no resisting going on at all.

Yet, what to do? I actually felt around for my cell phone to take video, but I left it at the hotel. Which makes me feel like shit, because if I was looking to intervene, I should have confronted the cops, consequences be damned. Yet, with the severity that they kicked this guys ass, I was worried that this was going to happen to me as well. A video would have shown two Calgary police officers assaulting an unarmed, non-hostile man, and it would have been really bad for these cops.

Afterwards, there was kind of a collective effervescence on the streets, strangers talking to one another about the incident. From the different perspectives of people we talked to afterwards, it was clear that others saw the same thing we did. Three men talking, and one man getting beat up. Except the assailants were wearing Calgary Police uniforms. And the victim is the one sitting in jail.

Virgin Music Festival v. Sled Island

I just saw this note from Sled Island organizer Zak Pashak on Facebook:

Yes, Virgin Fest falls during the last two days of Sled Island. If the goal of starting a festival in Calgary was to bring great bands and musical interest here- then it looks like things are moving that way pretty quickly and we think it’s great. We will do our best to program a festival that is interesting enough to stay relevant regardless of other programming in the city.

If you didn’t hear, grade-A d-bag Richard Branson announced yesterday that he is bringing the Virgin Music festival to Calgary on June 21 and 22, 2008, which happens to fall on the same time slot at next year’s Sled Island.

Sled Island, if you don’t remember, was the music festival held in Calgary for the first time this past summer. It featured an amazing lineup that included The Boredoms, Cat Power, Spoon, Destroyer, The Walkmen, Miracle Fortress, Montag, Chad VanGaalen, Mates of State, Les Savy Fav, The Constantines. It also featured a host of amazing local bands like Woodpigeon, Azeda Booth, The Dudes, Neighborhood Council. I was lucky enough to experience both sides of the event, (my band The Square Waves played the Bunnyhill showcase with 9 other bands), and Pashak and company just did an outstanding job without getting major sponsorship from a beer or cigarette manufacturer.

Though it looks bad, I think these these festivals can co-exist; from the lineups of past V-fest, it seems as if they will be catering to a mutually exclusive group of music lovers. For example, the summer the V-fest that was held in Vancouver featured (ugh): My Chemical Romance, The Killers, AFI, Hot Hot Heat, Rise Against, Billy Talent, Mute Math, Metric, and a ton of shitty bands that no one has ever heard of, (but who are “signed” and have “120 000” “friends” on Myspace, who are using Virgin music fest to “launch” their “brand.” I hate those bands).

Toronto V-fest this year was almost as bad, with the headliners being The Killers and The Smashing Pumpkins. The only point of concern was that Toronto scored a few decent acts that might appeal to people who might otherwise go to Sled Island, like Bjork, Interpol, Explosions in the Sky, or even Voxtrot.

The V-fest is going for those people who listen to X-92 or CJAY, whereas Sled will attract those who don’t bother with the radio at all (or, in a bind, will listen to CJSW).

Its hard to say what will happen – it will depend on the lineup of both festivals (the Calgary V-fest lineup is being announced in January). Here’s hoping that Calgarian music fans vote their conscience, attending the locally run and organized festival over sitting in the shade of a 15-story inflatable Molson Canadian beer can, getting wet in Coke sponsored cool-off tents and drinking a $5 bottle of water.

Picking up myself

I had to come to Calgary today for “incoming student orientation,” which means that I get free lunch, and I would drive twice the distance for that! I pass Claresholm and see this Gerry Garcia look-a-like standing there with a sign that read “CALGARY.” I would have kept going otherwise (dear reader, you must know by now that thou shalt never give a ride to a stranger, especially a stranger with a long gray beard!), but the guy saw me checking him out and gave me a friendly wave. Dear reader, if you knowest anything about your dear author, you know that I am incapable of NOT stopping if a friendly wave is involved.

So I stop, and this guy gets in. 55-ish, long gray beard, shoulder length gray hair; he got in and I caught just the slightest hint of pachouli oil. You get the image. Right away, this guy goes to town in one of the longest monologues I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Here is what I learned.

– He is a musician who makes most of his money busking at the Calgary zoo. He ONLY does originals.

– He has toured ALL OVER THE WORLD, with a band that had the same name as a gun and isn’t .38 special.

– While touring, you are apt to get involved in 1. Drugs 2. Orgies 3. Hell’s Angels bikers.

– This guy has over 500 songs, but not one is recorded. That is going to happen some time. He has written songs specifically for the likes of Paul Brant, Shania Twain, and (I shit you not) DAR MCBOUL (aka the old A Channel Weatherguy. If you catch this reference, you understand the severity of this). However, they haven’t heard these songs and they haven’t been recorded yet.

– He did the biker-bar circuit, with a lead singer who won the crowd over by flashing her breasts.

– He has written 10 novels, none of which are published and are sitting in a box in his apartment. Included: a fantasy novel, a childrens book about vowels (which will have an accompanying CD of his songs), a 12 step addictions recovery guide and some others that “you can’t know about yet.”

– He is a recovering crack addict, and has a concept album “ready to go” about said recovery, and also… Jesus. He is planning to tour the prison systems with his concept album: first Canada, and then the entire US.

– He is writing a jingle for Pepsi that incorporate all of their own jingles into one meta-jingle.  Once they buy his idea, “it’s all going to happen, man.”

– He has fathered children all over the world.

– After he divorced his wife, she immediately got cancer and died, but this wasn’t from him “wishing it on her,” though he has carried around that guilt ever since.

– He HATES Edmonton, and “all the bullshit that it stands for… man, you know?”

Anyways, there is more, and I will try and think of more (I had to write this all down as fast as possible, lest I forget some of the details).

Sled Island

A follow up to my post below on Sled Island.

Buy a pass.  Take a couple days off work, and get your fill of live music. There are bands for everyone, and even if you haven’t heard of many of them, you can hear almost all of them via Myspace.

I won’t take any excuses.

On: Calgary

As I drove to the University from the group-home I sleep at, I was confronted with a city at its very worst. The big snow dump has brought this city to its knees. What is normally a half hour / fourty five minute commute took me almost two hours. I saw accidents, stranded motorists, and an overall unwillingness to help due to everyone (and I do not exclude myself from this, and am partially making this critique on myself) being too fucking busy and caught up in getting from one corner of this city to another.I see in Calgary a city at its worst right now. Perhaps it is going to get better, but I think that if it does, it is only getting better for the upper and middle segment of this city. When you have a situation where, as the paper said this morning, rent is going up (link), that is going to effect a very real segment of this city. People who work in oil and gas and in big business downtown, who own their own homes (and perhaps a few rental properties on the side) are not being effected by this increase.

In the group home I work in, I work entirely with immigrants – largely from Africa, who moved to Calgary with the hope that life would be better here in Calgary. There were jobs here! Life is great! Stampede! Guess what they find? They find that they can only get work in places like group-homes, Tim Hortons or other kinds of service jobs (that everyone says pay really great money – “hey did you know that you can make $14 an hour working at Tim Horton’s?” is something you hear often. Have you ever tried to raise four kids on $14 an hour?).

Guess what else they find? That they have to work (at least) 2 jobs in order to pay what it costs to live in this City. One man I work with, from Sri Lanka – works, on average, 20 hours a day. Some of those hours, like the ones I work, are sleep shift at another group-home.

Guess what else they find? They find that this “cowboy” culture isn’t very receptive to Black people. They often tell stories of the shit they deal with on a DAY to DAY basis, because some people are concerned about losing the “Calgary way of life” and visible minorities are the obvious culprits in that.

So, yeah, I guess we still have Ranchman’s, maybe Stampede is a lot of fun, and don’t the Flames kick ass?

Chad Vangaalen Videos

In response to Zaph’s rant about the unculturedness of Calgary. I am not going to outright disagree with him (though, to be honest, I am too poor/busy to get “cultured” anyway).

Yet one thing that I think I am qualified to respond to is the music scene. Calgary has a thriving underground that is decidedly non-country. In fact, I have been to hundreds of gigs in Calgary (large venue sized ones, mostly smaller club shows), and I know for a fact that Calgary has bands that can compete with anything in the world.

For example, one of my favourite records released last year was by Chad Vangaalen, a Calgarian who writes, records and the ANIMATES his own music. These songs and video’s are distrubuted by Sub Pop, a smaller indie label based out of Seattle. You may have heard of it? I think Nirvana were on that label before they sold out (hey, I would have committed suicide too if I had sold out so hard!).

Here is a sampling:

Clinically Dead

Flower Garden

Reb Hot Drops

New Day Rising

New Years Eve was kind of a wash for me. This is unsurprising, though I feel that I may have encountered what one might call a “self fulfilling prophecy,” in fhat I was expecting to maybe not have the greatest time (but hoping to have one), and I didn’t.

Here is the thing: we went to this place called “Victoria’s” on 17th avenue in Calgary; it was billed as a “masquerade” and from all reports, the promoters who put it on generally do amazing things. This is not in question, as the idea of this event seemed to be a winner.

Yet, when I got there, it was just Calgary to the Nth degree; Way too many people (it was oversold by at least 300 tickets), and the place was way way understaffed (it would have been understaffed if half of the people were there). Thus, you couldn’t get a drink (after waiting through tedious lines, you were lucky to be acknowledged unless you were showing cleavage), you couldn’t move around. The atmosphere was gross, people were not (to my eyes) really enjoying themselves…

Over the last four months, this has generally been my experiance with Calgary as a whole. The strain from everyone and their dog moving here from all over the country is getting to its breaking point, and it is events like these that throw it in everyones face.

Who wants to live like this?

Extreme Cold Edition

This is from the Weather Network’s warning for Calgary and Southern Alberta. Note the apocalyptic ALL CAPS that they use, SO YOU KNOW THAT THEY ARE NOT MESSING AROUND:


My drive up was a little disconcerting, playing out like a scene from Mad Max (exchanging the extreme heat with extreme cold, of course) with all these frozen cars along the side of the road. After Friday’s events, I was feeling ultra paranoid that this could be me, and I drove with the wheel tightly gripped the whole way. Because, you see, this is the biggest problem with all those other poor bastards – they were not gripping their steering wheels tight enough! It makes a huge difference.

The nightmare of blown tires, donut wheels and driving 80 all the way home on fresh snow

I decided to test the hypothesis that going to a concert the night before a stats exam would improve my performance, seeing as how, being tuckered out from being rocked so hard, I would sleep like a baby through even the most unpleasant schizophrenic episode (not my own, of course).

Methodology: Going to see The Dears and The Blood Lines the night before stats exam #2 and rocking owwwt.

(as my friend Gillian put it on her blog: “They were SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOD. I got 12 boners and lined them up and the dears knocked them over like dominos. That good.”

Findings: I did fine on my exam. I probably didn’t hit it all the way out of the park, but I do know that I felt confident up until I handed it in (only one blown question to my knowledge, though knowing that I was blowing it (quit blowing it!), I executed my master-plan with precision by adding “doubt” to the validity of the question in question).

After the exam there was much nervous energy, and it is always interesting to see how this plays out. The stakes are so high, and things can get somewhat volatile – the nervous uncontrolled laughter, the chain smoking and effie popping, hate-ons and other magical happening that occur when a group of people get together and are forced to perform well on things they only barely understand.

Though I have always been uncomfortable with Durkheim to one degree or another, I think he was on to something with the whole collective effervescence theory (that is, the energy formed by a gathering of people that can cause people to act differently than in their everyday life).

To make a long post longer, after leaving the University, I went over to Dr. Frank’s house for some tea, wonderful conversation, and six boxes of LP’s. I always say you can tell a lot about people by the condition their records are in (i.e. mine get played so often as to be unlistenable before long), these records are in AMAZING condition. It is also an interesting insight into someone’s taste and history. To be expected, I am now the proud owner of a tonne of good Classical and Jazz rec0rds, there was a lot of other oddities that I didn’t expect, including Richard Thomson (this is good), Grateful Dead, David Byrne solo albums, a Bob Dylan LP box set (!!!), all of the early Peter Gabriel records, Neil Young and lots more (almost 500 records in total!). What I got most excited about was the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed albums! My respect for the man just increased ten fold.

On my way home (around 2-230?), I blew a tire right by the Brentwood C-Train station.

To make a long post longer, I tried to change it, but the lug nuts would not budge due to the inept little thing they included (this was the most ridiculous little lug-nut loosen-er thingy I have ever seen – it was TINY) Luckily, it was my mom’s car (mine is STILL at the shop (#$#%@#), and she had roadside assistance so I waited forever for someone to come help. They did, and I was off to find a new tire to drive home in!

However, at this time it was HIGH rush hour traffic and Calgary was a parking lot, and so getting from one place to the next was impossible, and EVERY single tire/automotive place in between the University of Calgary and the edge of the city was unable to even look at putting a new tire on the rim until “sometime in March,” or the two places that could fit me in didn’t have any tires that would match the ones on this car.

This is where the emotional breakdown happened. From the stress of the test, the blown tire, the EXTREME traffic and the fact that every store in Calgary has a total of one staff working at any given time and forty people waiting in front of you. I lost the plot there for a few minutes, sobbing uncontrollably like the day that my dog Steak got hit by a car when I was ten.

I don’t mind admitting to this, because I feel that it captures perfectly my state at the time, and that I don’t think that emotions should be kept a “secret” to the degree that we all keep them.

Finally I gave up on this godforsaken place and drove home, on a donut wheel. The manual said that I could go 80 max, so thats what I did. Needless to say, it started snowing, which added a surreal element to the day. On my way home, I listened to Foucault lecturing about “The Care of the Self” (it is so strange listening to the man after having read him for so long and having my own “Foucault” voice in my head), and Noam Chomsky lecturing about class war.

I made it, barely.

A comment on the first six hours of my day

6:00 – Wake up to a noise that sounded, to my tired body, like the Apocalypse arrived overnight. Look out the window, and everything is still there. Disappointment sets in a little.

6:30 – Tired of lying in bed (i.e. the “hide-a-bed” at the group-home), and feeling a little guilty about being dissapointed that the apocalypse did not come (come armageddon come).

7:00-8:00 – Ultra heavy traffic is so awesome, and I spend the hour being creepy and looking at other drivers as we all sit in one giant clusterfuck of the roads being at 300% capacity. Note to self: this makes people very uncomfortable and or irate. I got “the bird” three times that I am aware of. During this time, I am listening to the “Calgary Eyeopener” on CBC Radio 1010. A lecture I attended yesterday (on Guy Debord, The DaDa movement and “Society of the Specticle”) confirmed my long held suspicion that listening to CBC Radio is where where Sociologists tune their radio’s. Around 8, I am tired of listening to the news update I have heard four times now, and put in Fugazi’s “On the Kill Taker” to clense my pallet.

8:00-8:15 – “Where the hell is the Starbucks?”

8:15-10:30 – I sit in a big “comfy” chair in Starbucks and watch last night’s episode of Lost (I won’t spoil it for Jane, but @$#(#$()#$#)(!@_)#(!_($#%@($_*_$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I feel embarrassed a little that it made me cry in public, and so I hide my head in the Dorothy Smith book (I got a copy loaned to me by the prof!).

10:30-11:00 – After reading 75 pages of heavy theorizing (the only way to do it!), my brain feels “melty.” I decide to head to Chapters at Crowfoot “It’s not a mall if everything is outside!” and see if I can arrange ordering the book in (see yesterday). I have a copy on its way by Tuesday! After, I wander over to my new favourite store, a used cd store nestled within suburban hell = all the good records aren’t already picked clean, and find way too many good cd’s than I can afford, and plus they put out a bin of Christmas CD’s! I leave with a Eugene Mirman comedy CD (I am going to post about this later, because it is really good), the Wilco double live album, and two Christmas CD’s – Reverent Horton Heat’s Christmas CD and “The Edge of Christmas,” a weirdo collection of “edgy” Christmas music from the late 80’s.

1 1:00-11:30 Finding parking this late in the day is no fun, and it means I had to walk an extra block or so in the freezing cold.

11:30-12:00 – Sit in my offic,e, think about doing some more work, and then decide my time would be better spent typing this totally self indulgent, rambling blog post (which was originally going to be on pronouncing the name “Guy”).

What did you do this morning?
Note to Bannanatree: Commenting in this blog keeps the wind in my sails. You sir, are the wind beneath my wings.

Note to Gillian: That Herald link is a tad depressing, and makes me feel like “giving up.” Other things that make me want to “give up” – ABC Used Bookstore in Lethbridge (it could be sooooo good), The Tongue and Groove, Deal or No Deal, Hinder, The Gilmore Girls, Statistics, rude people, ageism, and the colour “dunn.”

Note to Jane: my beard is growing, but it is in the “shitty stage” still.


Update: The Hater’s Tolerability Index. So awesome.

On: Urban Alienation

See, the thing is that I have been to Calgary a billion times. Living in Lethbridge, it was the closest city with good shows and half decent record stores.

Hell, I even lived here 1996-1997. I was trying to make something out of myself (i.e. I wanted to be a rock star. Don’t laugh.) and I ended up scurrying back to Lethbridge when I felt insecure about things.

Here I am, and I am basically alone the entire week, sitting in my shitty (shitty) office, with no windows and with nobody around. Ultra-depressing. Perhaps it is the Statistics exam I just cannot convince myself to care about? Or maybe the fact that I am not here on the weekends, so I have missed all the important bonding that goes on between grad cohorts? Or perhaps it is because everything I care about is two hours (light years) away?

Either way, I am out of sorts today.


I went to check some books out of the UofC library, I managed to severely annoy no less than three librarians:

Q: “Can I get course reserves here, Mr. Bearded Librarian man?”

A: “No, they are through those doors” (severely annoyed at me).

Move to the course reserves area:

Q: “Hi ‘classic’ Librarian lady, I need to take a book out of course reserves.”

A: (severely annoyed) “Book or article?”


(even more annoyed) “They are on. the. shelves. behind. you.” (walks away)

Find the book I was looking for (plus another I wasn’t, bonus)

Q: “Excuse me again, sorry to bother you mam, how long can I take these out for?”

“They were on the shelf behind you. What does the sign say? The sign says “Three. Day. Course. Reserves. (walks away).”

I go to the checkout area again (same bearded guy, severe need of a bath and a trim), who checks my books out, and says to me”This one has a CD in it. You need to pass the CD through to the guy sitting in the cubicle by the exit”

I go over to the exit, and this guy, whose job it is to a) pass books through to the other side of the sensors and b) act passive aggressively towards students. I start taking the CD out, as per instruction, and this guy looks at me like I just pulled my wang out in church. He says to me:

“What do you think you are doing? Just pass the whole book to me” (and I swear, I heard under his breath “Gaaawwwd”).

Welcome to Calgary. Bitches.

Justin Case

If you were me, sitting alone (as in entire floor of this building alone), would you, my dear friends, sit with headphones on, music blaring, or would you sit and listen to the expansive nothingness, the sound that is an empty concrete building.

The reason I ask is because I was sitting here, rocking out to some Pointer Sisters, and I didn’t even notice the cleaning guy (this diminutive Asian man who always says “Hello Professor.” I don’t correct him). So, there I am, bopping, and I feel someone reach beside me, and I fucking lose it, like this:

Except more high pitched and “grrrl-y” like.


So, new Lost last night? I watched it this evening, and much to my chagrin, it is a Sun/Gin episode, which are always Lost low-lights. The reason for this is simple: we don’t care about Sun/Jin. They are the two least interesting characters. Even when Sun had her big “turn” tonight, I just wanted to saw my arm off so I could remember what it is to be aive again.


Other than that, I got a lot of vvork done today, so this is good. Next week, I have to write a paper for that Narrative class that we (royal) are always going on about. It should be fun, and for once in my life, this is said without sarcasm.


This guy is totally what is going to happen to me in a few years. Except fat.

He who shits out magic may shine!

For the good of customs and callings!


How is your morning going lovelies? Your dear author is sitting in a Starbucks in Signal Hill, absolutely surrounded by mouth breathing yuppies, suits, dinks and soccer moms (fresh from dropping the kids off at the pool). I read the Globe and Mail (hmm… North Korea is fucking with the world again. Nice!). I have the paper, sitting on the chair beside me, and I am waiting for someone to ask me if I am done with it. I can see them eyeing it (the ones who aren’t getting their $15 dollar coffee-drinks to go, that is), and then sitting down in defeat. It sounds like they are playing the worst music you could imagine – think Antony singing for a world-beat Brazilian combo.

I sit in quiet judgement, Bourdieu echoing in my head, and I think to myself: I never want to end up like this.