Saturday, May 12, 2018

Toronto | Lefsetz Letter

I just saw James Comey.

That’s right, I had to come all the way to Canada to get an up close and personal on the U.S. government.

Travel, the things you learn.

Used to be they passed out this immigration form on the plane, you know, did you hang at any farms, are you bringing in illegal drugs, that kind of stuff. And that always makes me anxious, because my pen is in my backpack in the overhead compartment and honestly, I do not know my passport number by heart, and it’s a race to immigration, if you’re not first, you could be waiting for an hour or so, after taking time to fill out the form after you’ve exited the plane, only this time…

There was no form. You spoke to a robot!

No, not exactly, you didn’t speak. But this device that looked like Robby took all your information and then automatically adjusted to your height and took a picture. How come we don’t have these in the States?

Things are so much better elsewhere. Not EVERYTHING, but it’s the blind loyalty, the nationalism, the inability to question precepts that bugs me about the U.S. Love it or leave it? Leave it so you can come home and improve it!

And we took the train from the airport to downtown. Pretty cool. Avoided rush hour traffic.

And when I had to go to the drugstore at ten thirty p.m., we took the streetcar.

I didn’t pay, don’t tell anybody. Jake asked me if I had any Canadian money and when I said I didn’t, he said to just follow him on, I didn’t know I wasn’t going to pay, honestly, well, kinda honestly, but the truth is we only went three blocks, his knee was hurting.

But the funniest thing was when we emerged from the drugstore, the Blue Jays game had just broken up, and the streetcar was full, and the driver started telling JOKES! Turned off the lights, made the assembled multitude pledge fealty. It cracked me up. There was a sense of community you don’t get in L.A., because even though there’s a downtown, and it’s burgeoning, it’s not the epicenter of the city, we’re all in our far-flung abodes, in front of our devices, since traffic is too bad to go out.

So I’m here for Canadian Music Week. They shifted it from March to May a few years back. The benefit is the weather, used to be you were worried about getting snowed in, now you can experience the city awakening from winter, the populace free and easy.

But there are concrete barriers in front of the train station, so no other incel drives up on the sidewalk and kills people.

And I saw Ralph and the regulars in the lobby.

And at lunch Michael remarked how it was first generation immigrants who were shaking up the music business. As for showcases, isn’t it interesting, the three biggest acts in the business, ironically Canadian, Drake, Bieber and the Weeknd, never played a gig before they made it.

It’s not your father’s music business anymore. We’re experiencing a great transition. And it will be driven by money, millennials will capitalize on it.

The truth is, you can be a worker bee in tech, and the odds of your startup triumphing are nearly nonexistent. But you can be a music manager and make it with nothing, no education, just your smarts.

And Post Malone plays arenas on his first tour.

That never used to happen. All the wankers are talking about artist development, that’s now the artist’s job, not the labels’, and if you’re great, your audience knows you, and quite possibly, nobody else.

So I’d love to tell you Comey said something revolutionary, but he didn’t, he’s too well media-trained.

But he was likable.

When he wasn’t hatable.

The interviewer asked him about the Hillary e-mail announcement eleven days before the election. He gave a completely plausible answer, but so did Dick Cheney.

But he was certainly human, right up there on the stage. And tall, you know Comey is 6’8″. But he was endearing and inofficious, is that a word? You know how muckety-mucks can be so polished, holier-than-thou, but not Comey, he was like the guy you went to high school with, albeit kind of a choirboy.

And everybody up here knows everything we know down there.

Except today there’s too much for everybody to know.

Used to be we all knew the same stories.

Now we’re at lunch and every story brought up the rest of the assembled multitude does not know.

Never mind all the crazy places people fly in from. Never mind Calgary, but Red Deer?

Canada’s only a motion away, you should visit!


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