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Sneaky Dee’s Kicks Out Reporter Mid-Stream in the Bathroom Stalls.

In the“Story” of the Toronto bar Sneaky Dee’s, profess to cater to an alternative crowd. They mention starting in the 1980’s with an “authentic punk” atmosphere. Well the 1980’s are over and after being to just about every bar, club and venue from big to small throughout Toronto, I have to say that this establishment is the worst I have ever seen and that there are street performers that provide a higher quality of service and entertainment than we found here. They like to dress things up, especially on their web page, talking about people having sex in the bathroom. That doesn’t happen at Sneaky Dee’s. They don’t even want you to piss in their washrooms. This place is about as “authentically punk” as Avril Lavigne playing Neil Diamond covers in a Starbucks. Turns out they’re just another money hungry bar, leeching off of drunk people and poor kids.

 Staff creeping about in the bathroom found it necessary to remove one of our correspondents from the bar, despite his sobriety, evidently because he was facing the toilet and using the stall to urinate. Since they can’t see through walls there is no proof of any wrongdoing on the part of our correspondent. If the staff is peeking into the stalls then that is sexual harassment. I must either trust that they have no proof, which is the most likely, or are perverts, in which case the cops should get involved. This is a problem because he suffers from both an anxiety disorder and renal difficulties, That means it takes him a while to start pissing and he doesn’t like to be watched. The fact that you actively discriminate against people with mental disorders and legitimate medical problems is unacceptable for a professional business. I’m no lawyer but I believe that is prohibited under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

I heard this same story from several other attendees we interviewed outside. First, there is nothing punk about taking people’s money and then kicking them out without any actual evidence of wrongdoing. Its a low way to conduct business. One or two people, maybe believable, but more than five and it seems a little bit strange. Please re-think your policies and end the discrimination at your bar.

The portly bouncer on duty the night of April 3, 2015, on top of being rude, was also smoking cigarettes and a vaporizer while standing in the doorway of your business. This is a complete violation of the Smoke Free Ontario Act, and is liable to get your business fined. He also allowed, and participated in smoking directly beside a gas line a few feet from your entrance. I seriously hope that it is not active for the safety of innocent people.

At any rate, since they tossed out our reporter while his pirates were out we can’t do a review of the band, nor could we get any pictures of the show aside from your bouncer smoking beside a gas meter. For a venue that claims to be alternative and open minded, denying access to the independent press is pretty damn conservative and stifles the music scene. If you are going to discriminate against people, they aren’t going to come back, if you are going to enforce rules make sure your employees follow them. We do appreciate the new story though. Its a shame it can’t be about the music.

Sincerely, the REAL Underground.

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Crisis Centre

Life is a  Catatonic, anxiolytic, Carbon filtered cocktail. Mad dash curtains, cum stains, Cocaine names. Bad dream.Wine spilled out blood redAcross the patchy and burnt tapestry Of the etherized, anaesthetized, lives I see  Disintegrating under scrutiny, unfeeling gaze of terminal TV. I have begun To become the dead man, boiling in ego, fearlessly terrified. Piece too jagged and skinny to fit discordant societal puzzles. Brain pulverized to fine powder in a mortar and pestle, Mortal worries flushed down porcelain cisterns along with hard and bloody shit.  Feeling Deep gut pleasure and euphoric hatred, Diving head first down a slippery opiate slope Rock bottom rushing up to meet me, When I thought I was in a bottomless pit. Awake. Why call it life if everybody dies? Sings my best friend the Ghost with the pinned out eyes.His infant’s razor slits reality’s seams, As he’s raped in an alley by the American dream.

-Jack Blare

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The Faculty of Hunger

Returns with sunset pangs of deep blue drowning.

The infinite City spirals out around our moist, milky eyes.

Galactic arms of grey bricks and housing projects

Take us dancing in an infinite pirouette

To dance the dripping drool dance of the drugged and indecent.

My leaf shaking kidney pain ventilator shoes waltz the same old route,

Tired sunken and dead.

Dead like my best friend’s eyes,

Stretching and sketching out, pinholes in the captive horizon.

I drive dusty descents down deserted highways of well-intentioned lies

That stand out like the veins,

The spider web thin glass scars

That skate like skinny ghosts

Across the crust of my arms.

Echo Ship is sinking fast with safe shores left far behind.

One hell of a flash, but total silence.

Not a whimper, bang, or shot.

(Oh please just give me a shot!)

Skeleton slim youth crew, we jabber and jeer

Of mother’s day dialysis donations, golf club psych patients, content and application,

Aborted condom, broken ankle, pharmaceutical blues manifestations.

We’re trailing off in smoke so thick you can’t see how big the fire has grown.

Psychedelic slurs and haldol heckles pour like cheap malt liquor

From the yellow mouths of neuroleptic dungeon drunks.

Sour notes and dark red regrets drip down the worn and rusted strings of their youthful instruments.

An isopropyl alcohol sick stench rises up with waterfalls of yellow bile,

A personal great deluge pouring into stranger’s downstairs toilets.

Graffiti clothes the naked walls,

Fluorescent green footnotes to the fall of an Empire.

Billboard ads devour the skyline,

Flickering commercials for execution reruns

Of History herself crucified to pacify the masses,

Her drooping erection a shriveled testament to the godly powers of media,

And to the lasting victory of the heavenly armies of psychiatry.

Presidents and Popes drink toasts and consent

To the bloody rape of these holy lands,

Televised and broadcast at primetime

For the wide, starving eyes,

Of seven billion apathetic children.

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A Common Man

By Pijush Kanti Deb
Keeping the pot boiling
compels a common man
to keep a good table
for both an angel and an imp
who arrange the fire-woods
for his rainy-day,
smokes from the burning of sandal-wood
or of banyan may fill his kitchen up
yet he sings and dances
with no suffocation
but with all satisfaction
carrying the God and the Devil
on his shoulder by turn,
blessing, cursing,
kissing, spitting,
fame and stain-
all stand in a queue
and knock his closed door
to give vent to their active feelings
but he remains indifferent to all
looking at his favorite boiling pot.

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Unspun by Bliss Blood & Al Street

I rarely do reviews on music, I don’t think I’m qualified to critique musicians that are in many cases much better than myself, but when I heard Unspun, the new album by New York based duo Bliss Blood (Moonlighters, Pain Teens) and Al Street, I felt a duty to share my impression of this ethereal album.

Unspun begins with the hypnotic, acoustic and almost psychedelic, Entropy. The language play and dreamy rhythm guitar in the song recalls some of Syd Barrett’s solo work, but with virtuoso Spanish guitar work by Al Street quietly complementing the song, adding a bit of edge, flare and flavour. Above at all of course is the clear voice of Bliss Blood. Alternating between different singing styles, such as in nuyaim, where the vocals recall an almost Middle Eastern sound, to an old time style give me lots of sugar, which could be right out of the 1920’s. No One Gets It All is a catchy, emotional, modern song driven by Bliss Blood’s ukulele and honeyed voice, which has taken on a mournful, regretful mood, supported by intense bursts of flamenco guitar from Street and haunting lyrics from Blood.

Unlike too many performers these days, Bliss doesn’t try and over-sing, but restrains her powerful singing voice, complimenting, but not overwhelming the songs. Mixing her trademark old time Jazz/Blues/Hawaiian sound with some more sad, atmospheric and personal lyrics than her work with The Moonlighters.

Despite the fact that many of the songs have a dream-like, mellow psychedelic folk sound, the album never becomes boring; each song is exactly as long as it should be. In snowmelt, Bliss’s voice washed over me like sonic honey and morphine.

I can’t pick a favourite track on this album, but the title track of Unspun is a strong contender, with its driving rhythm and intense and emotional solos by Street playing back and forth with Bliss’s singing. My friend and drummer said that vixen reminded him of an Elliott Smith song with a female singer, and I can’t say I disagree. This is the only song on the album that employs electric guitar, and it is employed to the best effect, coming out of nowhere like a bluesy, rockabilly dust storm. In Pitfall, Bliss sounds like a seductive and untouchable 1930’s Jazz singer.

Unspun is a beautiful, emotional, and intense album that fuses together old Jazz, the Blues, Hawaiian music, acoustic music and intense lyrics all woven together by Bliss Blood’s dreamy, seductive, opium smoke vocals and Al Street’s perfectly timed and executed Spanish guitar parts. Its far too easy to miss great independent performers these days, and if you want my opinion Bliss Blood and Al Street are two that you don’t want to overlook.

This is by no means Bliss Blood’s first album, and you can check out her Bandcamp profile for more albums by her and Al Street, the Moonlighters, and Pain Teens. We’ll be taking a look at some of those other albums in the near future so stay posted. Until then, do yourself and independent music a favour and get yourself a copy of Unspun.

-Jack Blare

Download Unspun Here: https://blissblood.bandcamp.com/album/bliss-blood-al-street-unspun

Bliss Blood’s Bandcamp profile: https://blissblood.bandcamp.com

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