(by the fucking way)

i dyed my hurr. i don't neeeed your approval, but it's always a nice side-dish.



oops there goes another value village run!

i dragged jen to the double v the other day. it smelled extra b.o.-ish, and i immediately felt that sunken feeling in my tum where you know that you're leading yourself down a road of unsuccessful scavenging.


i've always appreciated sequins. but PASTEL sequins? with poofy shoulders!? ahh, i'm weak in the knees.



yes, i have a lot of rules, but it's not to be taken entirely seriously. just take it with a grain of shut-the-fuck-up.

music: the boys - dragonette



obviously, the whole world is in mourning today because the most bad-ass dude the world has ever seen has passed away. when i heard he died, i laughed because i thought "michael jackson can't die!"

i, along with everyone else, have grown up on his music. and at one point i'm sure all of us busted a move, grooved in our bedrooms or sang a kareoke song that was of jacksons's creation. fuck, i was probably conceived to "billy jean".

i remember getting my copy of thriller on cd for christmas when i was five. it was on my list. from there, i had always appreciated his early stuff, from the jackson 5 to the off the wall album, which is my personal favorite.

today, i cheers my smoke to the heavenly m.j., you have been a huge influence on everyone, and me personally, being a musician and fellow moon-walker.

thanks man, you didn't stop until you got enough.


sad songs have never meant so much.



by andrew mcgrath

photos by andrew mcgrath (except for, of course, the cos)

Every time after I would visit New York I would say to myself, “I can really see myself living here.”
So, the summer of 2009, I thought to myself, “I have nothing important going on this summer… why not test the waters and see if I belong here?” If I can make it in NYC, yadda yadda.

STEP 1: Apply for a student visa. There is a program called SWAP that basically does all the work for you. Just provide them with the necessary documents and you’re good to go.

STEP 2: Find money. Usually people would save for a while before doing this. Me, on the other hand… I am a bit more impulsive. I had saved a bit of money but definitely not enough. I suggest taking out a student line of credit. It’s simple, easy and you can pay it back when you get home / get a real job (interest rates are super low on these things).

STEP 3: Find an apartment.Preferably on Craigslist; there are shit loads of posts everyday. Just figure out what neighborhood you want to live in.


Williamsburg is “cool” but smells funny in the summer and is a bitch to get to on the train.

Park Slope is a great area, very safe, but lots of young people (the Squid and Whale was shot there) and has a few train options.

Brooklyn Heights, Coble Hill and downtown Brooklyn are all a little more family oriented but are great areas as well and are very close to lower Manhattan…about two stops on the train.

Sunset Park is nice, good middle-eastern food but lots of Hasidic Jews who always seem to be grumpy.

Avoid Bed-Sty, East New York, Crown Heights, Flat Bush and anything further away from Manhattan. Those hoods are bad and the areas outside them are filled with crazy Russian mobsters.

In Manhattan, the East Village is great, and the SOHO area around Bleeker Street is really great (my favorite). Greenwich is nice but is a known family spot. It’s safe, but possibly a bit boring. Same with the upper west side. Avoid east Harlem (anything north of 80th street on the east side of Manhattan). Normal Harlem is okay as long as you stay on the west side. There is a neighborhood up around 163 street on the west side that seems nice, it’s just bloody far away from everything.

Don’t try to find anything in the Bronx and stay out of Queens… except for one area called Astoria, which is a young fun area that is easy to get to on the train and is still surprisingly cheap.

STEP 4: Figure out how you are going to get there. Plan you date of departure ahead of time or else you will end up paying a shit load of money for a plane ticket. If you are driving then sit back and relax.

STEP 5: PACK. And pack smart. If you are going to be flying, they will charge you upwards 300 bucks for over weight suitcases. It’s CRAZY! I almost had to pay that much but ended up buying another suitcase and checking a third bag. it saved me almost 200 dollars.

Usually things would be much easier if I knew more people here. But, I guess I didn’t think that all the way through. I look at it as more of a challenge; I’m ready for a few hard weeks of lonely time and reflective thinking until, like Madonna would say, I "get into the grooooove".

How will I pass the time and make the move a success? Easy. Find things you are interested in:

Thanks Andrew! Can't wait until you come back to Toronto, and to me.



photographer/designer/sweet dude

*second black and white photograph by luis mora

i met brandon for the first time last week as he stood outside of kool haus alone, looking just as confused as i was while trying to figure out how to get our all-access passes into the peace dot love festival. but we stuck it out together, two completely cool strangers trying to find a way in. i got my v.i.p. pass, he got his media pass. as i wandered into the band dressing rooms, and drank a few beers, i head out to the side door to have a cigarette. i then saw brandon standing with my good pal carl haeindl. i was wondering why they were in a fenced up cage, and i wasn't. apparently their pass only allowed them to get them so far.

i pulled the both of them back in through the side door, and brought them back in with me. as you've seen in my previous entry, insanity ensued.

i later checked out his photo blog, smile.n.pose, and had a brief chat as well.

SHIRK: Best and worst experience while shooting on scene?

BRANDON: Best experience: chatting to rusko about his g-shock wristwatch, and how he loves having multiple timezones available. Meanwhile, having all of The Social going wild, waiting for him to get on. I found it ironic... super nice dude.

Worst: passing out by the drake, from drinking too much. Then having my wallet and cellphone stolen on scene, but it was a bad experience regardless. Bring on the grillin!

SHIRK: Does being a photog help you meet chicks?

BRANDON: Haha, what a question. Okay, I'm not gonna lie; I use it to open chicks that I dig "*snap snap* Oh wow, you defs. need a better pose than that!", haha.

SHIRK: What's the most memorable situation you've experienced because you were a photographer, as in a great party, a great concert, or seeing something really fucked up; in terms of out of this mind-ness?

BRANDON: Hard question but i would have to say being invited to participate with all the party photogs in toronto it was like my payoff for all the work I'd put into the site. DJ Vaneska Gronowski emailed me, wanting me to be part of her CONTACT festival event, alongside all the peeps that motivated me to get my work around. it was a moment of realization, like all the hustlin' is payin off!

SHIRK: What's your favorite store/food/band?

BRANDON: Shopper's drug mart/raisin bran/the mars volta (FO SHO!)

SHIRK: Well, that seems about good! Interview, wise.


SHIRK: Just short and sweet, like me.

BRANDON: Hahaha!



i'm currently sporting a north by north east media pass. it doesn't match my outfit at all, but it's pretty shiny.
this will be the second time i've worn a vip tag this week!

thursday night, i ventured out to the PEACE DOT LOVE festival at kool haus to check out bands such as down with webster, stereo's and uss - even though (don't tell anyone) i've never even heard a single song by any of them.

i was mainly there to see DRAGONTETTE, finally, and it was a good show. i spent most of the time in the dressing room eating mixed nuts and drinking cold canadians, anyways. congratulations christopher on your first home-town Dragonette show, it was quite a success.

photos by elaine

photos by brandon sprouse

and tonight, i'm planning on seeing three bands play. looking through the nxne schedule, i have decided to set my minds on the blank tapes, woodpigeon and the fantastic will curry and the country french, who saw open for sloan earlier this year. despite the peice of shit canadian summer weather we're experiencing, i'm packing the umbrella, a notebook and a camera and i'm venturing out into the land of north east-ness solo. maybe i'll meet a nice fat teddy-bear like guy with a beard who will buy me a few drinks.

you can check out my review and photos soon (if they like it) at DEAD SEXY MAG
thanks to tom at dead sexy who thought i was cool enough to let me write about being cool and doing cool things.




i am proud to say that i am a kid of the lodge. like our parents, children of the sixties, streetsville's masonic lodge was our woodstock; every single weekend. to this day, those four/five years were the best of my life. it was friends, music, and fucking mind blowing hilarity. and not only am i happy to say i'm still good friends with most of my fellow lodgers, but that they're all really sweet human beings.

remember the studded belts? when the dudes wore tight pants before everyone started wearing tight pants? costumes made out of boxes, and bloody noses? horrible hair cuts, our collection of band pins, and buying pop for a buck at the back? smoking in the front, and getting pita nutsy? hell yes, i fucking do.



there were so many fucking bands that played the lodge, or got their start at the lodge. many of whom are now famous; alexisonfire, cancer bats, billy talent, ill scarlet, etc. then there's the bands that should've been way bigger than they were, or are on their way to be famous; dance electric, the junction, mare/the end, the pettit project, d.i.y. murder kit, strawman fallacy, andre t!,the vulcan dub squad, lava witch, at the mercy of inspiration, wheels on the bus, arkata, and uuuugh i'm drawing blanks. there has to be hundreds more that i'm forgetting. comment me if you remember any of the good ones i've forgotten, just for my own personal reference.

can we also mention that at the time i was dating CRUCIAL BRAMPTON ROB? and also, can we please talk about how i used to look like this?

and let's be honest, we were obviously the coolest kids in mississauga. so cool, we like... banged on shit together:

broken toilets may have torn us apart, but i will always remember the lodge and the people inside of it, for those days my friends... those were THE days.



today's featured style icon is a gorgeous, smart and hilarious young lady of whom i am proud to call one of the bestest friends i've ever had, ever, and she is celebrating finally graduating school today! so to celebrate, i thought we'd celebrate JEN STEWART- THE MAN KILLER.

her style drips with sophistication, smarts and classiness; and to my gentleman friends - she has quite a similar personality. did i mention that she's single? can you believe it? neither can i. hurry quick before someone takes this hot piece of ass off the market.

congratulations jen! you're so much cooler than me!