When I was in high school and still trying to figure out what to do with my life, I began reading a number of music blogs, but most importantly, Chromewaves. Frank Yang’s thoughts on music influenced what I listened to and his organized news roundups opened me up to even more blogs. I would sit in front of my sister’s computer — I didn’t own one at the time — and just scroll through pages and pages of his posts, look at his countless photo galleries and take a peek at the lists of albums, books and movies he was enjoying. I began to idolize him the way that I would reading magazines about my favourite celebrities, which is common now, but back in 2005/2006 was still fairly new to me. After all, Frank was roaming around the streets of Toronto and chances were I would see him one day at a show.
Though not the sole reason I decided to go into journalism and pursue music writing, Chromewaves was definitely one of the reasons. I wanted to do what he did. I wanted to share information about music, share my personal opinions on artists and help promote my favourite bands to other people. In my last year of high school, I began a small blog of my own where I practically stole Frank’s layout of one giant blurb on something plus a number of links to posts I liked. I wanted to create my own Chromewaves.
In 2009, I finally met Frank for the first time. I had seen him around at the front of many shows before, but was too shy to approach him. Finally, though, I was covering my first NXNE as a member of the media (reviewing for my own blog, The Singing Lamb) and I found myself next to him at the tiny basement venue, The Dakota Tavern. We were both there to see Coeur de Pirate and shortly after her set, I decided to finally say hello. He recognized my blog and I almost burst into tears, thinking I had “made it,” or something. “I’ve seen you at a bunch of shows,” I told him. “Why didn’t you say hi?” he asked. “Oh, I was too scared.” Some odd minutes later, he left to get a falafel and I got too drunk and lost my badge for the festival. Rookie mistakes.
Many blogs have bid adieu this past year, but the one I care about the most is Chromewaves. In the past four years, Frank has become a close friend and a mentor of sorts. He’s been blogging for 10 years now and I trust his advice even though Chromewaves is by no means a full-time gig. He has talked me through freelance problems, life struggles and the occasional personal crisis. I don’t remember how it happened, but I’m glad that our friendship has transitioned from screaming at each other over loud music at shows to being able to actually sit and have meals together.
I had known for a while now that Chromewaves was coming to an end and I will completely admit that I have stopped reading his blog on a regular basis. Blame it on Twitter, blame it on the Internet, blame it on the fact that I see the guy IRL and don’t need to stalk his blog to know what’s been listening to lately. Frank knows that I don’t read his blog much nowadays, but he knows that I still respect everything he says and does. Or at least I hope he does. Frank, you hear that?
Anyway, I’m really not trying to steal the guy’s thunder on the day of his last post. If anything, I just wanted to let everyone know how much Chromewaves meant to me. Frank Yang is a great writer, photographer and all around great person and I will always be grateful that his blog brought us together as friends. I write this like he’s not with us anymore, but he is! Just not in the blogosphere is all!
I know he will go on to do many great things in his life. I’m hoping that starts with a new puppy. Thank you, Frank, for 10 years of great blogging and may you never have to deal with another CMW again.
I always figured I would revisit Northlanders in a new form, do another series on Vikings, make use of the unused stories. I had made it something of a priority, actually, and have been telling people about it.
Now, I don’t know. Maybe that’s lazy of me. Also, perhaps dangerous to try and capture…
Here’s hoping he’s hinting at a Revolutionary War series…
Bent Shapes performs “86’d in ‘03” at Cakeshop, NYC
I really enjoyed this song the other night. The trouble is I have no idea if it is a very old or very new Bent Shapes track. Anyone with more intel please give me a shout. But I find I can’t get it out of my mind. I think it’s that bass line executed beautifully with the cutest green guitar strings and pink nailed fingers. You’ve been warned.
This is the best thing you’ll see today because this is singer/songwriter Mary Lou Lord and her 14 year old daughter, Annabelle, singing two Elliott Smith songs and a Big Star song that Elliott always covered (“Thirteen”) last Saturday at the Bowery Ballroom as part of the Elliott tribute concerts that his sister, Ashley, organized this year to mark the ten year anniversary of his passing.
Mary Lou hasn’t performed in awhile, by her own admission, and was feeling phobic, so her daughter (“the biggest Elliott Smith fan”) got to sing lead on the first song, St. Ides Heaven. Mary Lou/Mom joins in on harmonies a little way through. The pair then tackle “I Figured You Out”, the song that Elliott wrote, threw away because “it sounds too much like the fucking Eagles”, and was eventually talked into giving to Mary Lou to record on her own record.
It’s heartbreaking to watch people play Elliott’s songs and realize he’s been gone for TEN YEARS, but it’s heartwarming to read about how wonderful the concerts felt, to see so many people gathered together to remember him and keep his music life, and to have all the money raised go to charities or causes that meant something to Elliott.
I’ve been trying to gather up enough internal fortitude to write a gigantic essay on Elliott in honor of the upcoming 10th anniversary (again: HOW IS IT BEEN TEN YEARS ALREADY?), but I’m not entirely sure I can wade in those waters all over again. The sadness of late October 2003 will likely never, ever go away for me.
The weather was less than ideal, with a constant mist of rain throughout the day. But that didn’t stop people from coming out, and more importantly, having a good time.
From what I saw, everything seemed to go pretty smoothly. The lines for beer, food, and bathrooms were fairly reasonable, and I…
for a short time we’ll be streaming nearly everything jason released on cd or vinyl over the past twenty years on our bandcamp site.
Hi Austin. Fuck SXSW. There… I said it.
Here, the music comes last. 5 minute set-up, no sound check, 15 minute set. The “music” element is all a front, it’s the first thing to be compromised. Corporate money everywhere but in the hands of the artists, at what is really just a glorified corporate networking party. Drunk corporate goons and other industry vampires and cocaine. Everyone is drunk, being cool. “Official” bureaucracy and all their mindless rules. Branding, branding, branding. It’s bullshit… sorry.