Music To Break A Canadian Heat Wave

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My little village has been suffering through a week-long heat wave which, I think, is about to break… which would be nice, but it’s a promise we’ve been given all week.

Environment Canada has given us false hope every night of a next-day ‘heat wave breaking’ storm, only to change their mind about it while we were sleeping.

At least the humidity seems to have gone. It’s not the 32C heat that makes you want to give up, it’s the extra ten degrees in ‘humidity points’ that make stepping outside like slowly being smothered to death by one part oxygen and two very pissed off hydrogen molecules.

I don’t really mind the throbbing pain I get just behind my ear when I’m walking down Main Street Vankleek Hill at noon during a heat wave. When I was growing up I worked as a farmhand around Eastern Ontario, hand picking stones out of fields for farmers while it’s 30C, or working in the hay mow where the temperature could get up to infinity plus one.

I came out of the mow once with my shirt covered in blood from my dried out nose, and I couldn’t straighten either arm because I was so cramped from dehydration…. six bucks an hour, baby, six freaking bucks an hour.

When I worked as a fishing guide in Northern Ontario there was a ten day heat wave, during which I worked in a 16-foot, shiny aluminum boat out on a lake all day. My skin actually sloughed off my arms during that one.

It’s the stickiness I hate. My computer mouse sticks to my desk, my fingers stick to the keyboard, my boxers stick to my ass… the PS3 controller is sticky from the 4.5-year old fingers of my girlfriend’s oldest son.

There is one thing I love about heat waves… sitting outside, at night, listening to music played quietly.

This is not music to play Grand Theft Auto IV to… although I’ve been giving it a shot tonight. This is music I listen to while I’m sitting on my balcony, bent slightly sideways on my broken couch, trying to see the mountains through the thick haze as the sun sets or rises, and watching the finches and the doves and the seagulls.

Music I listen to while I recover from an ice cold shower on a hot second-storey balcony.

If you have any problems with the media player, let me know and I’ll get it fixed.


Mary Margaret O’Hara
Miss America (1988)
“Body’s in Trouble”


Joni Mitchell
Blue (1971)


Godspeed You Black Emperor!
Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada (1999)


Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson (1987)
“Somewhere Down the Crazy River”


Tragically Hip
Phantom Power (1998)


To be honest, this is mostly about posting some great Canadian music… these are all Canadian, by the way. Shame on you for not knowing that.

It generally takes two days for my apartment to cool off after a heat wave breaks. Hopefully by Sunday it won’t feel as though the air coming into my lungs is ready to catch fire.


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About Gabriel

I’ve lived in more than fifty places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
This entry was posted in Canada, Canadian Music, CSN:AFU Aboot Me, Eastern Ontario, Entertainment, Vankleek Hill and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Music To Break A Canadian Heat Wave

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Music To Break A Canadian Heat Wave | cultural sn:afu --

  2. And thanks for the Pikes in the sidebar.

  3. Gabriel says:

    That was my pleasure. I couldn’t include it in the post because it’s the kind of thing that breaks the moment rather than maintains one.

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