“The Solimar Quest” by Bill Jackson and Bill Armintrout, set in the Haven of the Godhead – a D&D adventure that made an impression on 12-year-old Jason Charles Miller.  (Fantasy Gamer 4, Feb/Mar 1984, Kim Strombo header art)


Strombo: There’s one thing that’s interesting about your books. I noticed that you write women really well and really different. Where does that come from?

George RR Martin: You know… I’ve always considered women to be people.


rhcp on yonge st, toronto, july 22nd 1999


LIGHTS: The Conversation | House Of Strombo


Arcade Fire’s Win Butler: Full Interview | House Of Strombo 

Arcade Fire’s Win Butler visits the House Of Strombo for an in-depth exploration of their latest album and tour for Everything Now, bad shows, theology, the story behind Wake Up, being the biggest “rock band” in the world, the modern political landscape of America, Tom Petty, the teacher that changed his life, the value of New Orleans, his boarding school upbringing, fatherhood, DJ Windows 98, deconstructing the role of a rock star, his son’s obsession with Michael Jackson, sexism and assault in the entertainment world, violence at concerts and more.

The Tragically Hip, a reflection

They shot a movie once, in my hometown
Everybody was in it, from miles around
Out at the speedway, some kind of Elvis thing
Well I ain’t no movie star
But I can get behind anything
Yeah I can get behind anything

We don’t go anywhere
Just on trips
We haven’t seen a thing
We still don’t know where it is
It’s a safe mistake

In November of 1984, Gord Downie, Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair, and Johnny Fay got a band together in Kingston Ontario, with Paul Langlois joining them a little after.

Also in November of 1984, I was born.


Don’t tell me what the poets are doing
On the street and the epitome of vague
Don’t tell me how the universe is altered
When you find out how he gets paid, all right

If you can make me scared, if that’s what you do
If I’m unclear, can I get out of this thing with me and you
If you feel scared, and a bit confused
I got to say, this sounds a little beyond anything I’m used to

I’ll be turning thirty-three next month.  One of the odd things I’ve noticed about growing older in this world has been the realization of a strange sort of parameter for measuring life and age and growth: when you measure your life in new constants, in things you have always known and experienced, you’re young… and when the constants you’ve always known suddenly stop, or expire, or die, then you’re old.  For example – I’ve never lived in a world without the Apple MacIntosh computer.  I’ve never lived in a world that didn’t have CD players.  I’ve never lived in a world without the AIDS virus.  I’ve never lived in a world that didn’t know Ghostbusters, or The Terminator, or Indiana Jones.

I’ve never lived in a time that didn’t have the Tragically Hip.

I had my hands in the river
My feet back up on the banks
Looked up to the Lord above
And said “hey man thanks”
Sometimes I feel so good I gotta scream
She said Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean
She said, she said, I swear to God she said…

We’re forced to bed
But we’re free to dream
All us human extras,
All us herded beings
And after a glimpse
Over the top
The rest of the world
Becomes a gift shop

Fifty-three.  Younger than my parents.  Jesus.

A relative of mine died of the same cancer years back.  Jesus.

Just give me the news
It can all be lies
Exciting over fair or the right thing at the right time
Everything is clear
Just how you described
The way it appears, a world possessed by the human mind

I come from downtown
Born ready for you
Armed with skill and it’s frustration
And grace, too

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Tragically Hip.  I don’t own a single album.  I’ve never been to a concert, even though they played one in my slightly-out-of-the-circuit Canadian city a little over two years ago.  Put me on the spot and I would probably struggle to identify one of their typically poetic lyrics by the correct song name.

But I still knew them.  It was next to impossible not to.  The moment Gord’s twangy wail of a voice started up, wavering like the guitar riffs that adapted to whichever poem they were communicating this time… no one else sounded like the Hip.

I liked their music.  I liked the way lyrical veins of bitter history and sad truths braided themselves with nostalgia and anger, with the sound of tires on gravel and the scent of a city in winter.

And I knew them because they were always there.  I heard them in theme songs of Canadian TV shows, on soundtracks.  I saw them cameo in our movies, our sitcoms.  They released 15 albums, 58 singles, and Downie made 6 albums of his own.  Whether watching MuchMusic and seeing their videos when I was in high school, or catching Downie’s interviews on the Strombo Show when I was in college, or hearing a song on the radio as I drove from home to university to work and back – the Tragically Hip were there, in that sort of way that you never really notice or quantify.

So there’s no simple explanation
For anything important any of us do
And yeah the human tragedy
Consists in the necessity
Of living with the consequences
Under pressure, under pressure.

They don’t know how old I am,
They found armor in my belly
Passion out of machine revving tension
Lashing out at machine revving tension
Rushing by the machine revving tension

You take it for granted.

It’s like walking up the stairs without paying close attention to your feet, until suddenly you take that step and the stair isn’t rising up with you anymore.  It’s stopped.  There won’t be more.

When I left your house this morning,
It was a little after nine
It was in Bobcaygeon, I saw the constellations
Reveal themselves, one star at time

Tired as fuck
I want to stop so much I almost don’t want to stop
See now then
Can’t and won’t
Will and can

I wasn’t surprised when I read the headline, when I turned the keys in the ignition and fired the car engine and the radio to life together to hear song after song on every radio station, all variations on that poetic twang that spanned thirty goddamn years.  We all knew this was coming.  1/3 of Canada tuned in to listen to Gord Downie commandeer his own goddamn wake.

I didn’t go to any of the concerts on that last tour.  When the last one, the finale in Kingston, was broadcast live across the country (no, you don’t understand, no one else has ever done that), I was driving my wife and a friend down a prairie highway, windows cracked just enough to alleviate the August heat without interfering with the music.

“Little Bones” was the song.

It was just as it had always been, the Hip stepping into the soundtrack of my life, and then out again.

Two-fifty for a decade
And a buck and half for a year happy hour
Happy hour, happy hour is here

I can cry, beg and whine
To every rebel I find
Just to give me a line I could use to describe

Driving down a corduroy road,
Weeds standing shoulder high
Ferris wheel is rusting off in the distance
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
Where the great plains begin

In the time it took for me to write this, the Wikipedia page for the Hip moved Gord Downie from ‘members’ to ‘past members’.

Come in, come in, come in, come in
From thin and wicked prairie winds, come in
It’s warm and it’s safe here and almost heartening
Here in a time and place not lost on our imagination

Wheat kings and pretty things
Let’s just see what tomorrow bring
Wheat kings and pretty things
Oh, that’s what tomorrow brings

I’ve never lived in a Canada that didn’t have the Tragically Hip.  On Wednesday, social media statuses declared, ‘There’s been a death in the family – Canada is closed today.’

His tiny knotted heart
Well, I guess it never worked too good
The timber tore apart
And the water gorged the wood
You can hear her whispered prayer
For men at masts that always lean
The same wind that moves her hair
Moves a boy through Fiddler’s Green

Stare in the morning shroud and then the day began
I tilted your cloud, you tilted my hand
Rain falls in real time and rain fell through the night
No dress rehearsal, this is our life

anonymous asked:

What are your favorite Taylor interviews/appearances?

Taylor on Jimmy Fallon promoting True Detective, he and Jimmy are always great together.

Taylor on Jimmy again, this time when he was promoting Battleship, they played jelly donut hockey and it is hilarious. (The jelly donut bit is after the interview)

Taylor with Josh Horowitz on his Happy, Sad, Confused podcast, maybe my favorite interview with him just because he’s so laid back. Podcast:

A few videos from the interview:

And last but not least, his interviews with Strombo are always good. They seem to be friends and again, Taylor is more laid back with him.

Print interviews I’d point you to his Interview Magazine piece: