Articles by Andrew Saikali

July 24, 2009

Torch Ballads & Jukebox Music #4: Serenaded by Jonathan Richman 2

Jonathan Richman, along with his long-time drummer Tommy Larkins, took the stage, strummed his acoustic guitar and began to sing. Nothing. The mikes weren’t working. Where other performers, and indeed lesser legends, might have turned diva, Jonathan simply announced – loudly, to make up for the microphone – that he and the techies would confer […]

July 22, 2009

Notes From The Fringe 2

When I first began living in Toronto, I used to book off the week of the Film Festival. In those days it seemed much less schmoozy, more communal and low-key. Going from cinema to cinema, seeing multiple films each day, chatting with fellow movie buffs while waiting in lines. It was a treat. But I […]

July 20, 2009

A Bookshop Remembered: What Pages Meant to Me 0

The eulogies are already being written, but there are still six weeks of life left in Toronto’s best bookshop. There’s no escaping reality though: Pages, that literary hotbed amid the faux-cool of Queen Street West, is shutting its doors at the end of August. A casualty of skyrocketing rents, Pages has been THE place to […]

June 11, 2009

Toronto’s Tell-Tale Heart 0

In the darkened Anglican church, separated from a looming early-Victorian tower by an idyllic garden, we summoned the spirits and welcomed the macabre into our tell-tale hearts. Nestled at the bottom of Grange Park, the city’s bustle was a two-minute walk away, but it could have been two-hundred years away as the Luminato arts festival […]

May 26, 2009

Woke Up With A Fever: The American Journals of Albert Camus 0

“Obliged to admit that for the first time in my life I feel myself in the middle of a psychological collapse.” Albert Camus was in Montevideo, nearing the end of a lecture tour of South America, when he entered those words into his diary. American Journals, chronicling Camus’ 1946 voyage to North America and his […]

April 6, 2009

Torch Ballads & Jukebox Music #3: Sidelined By Pete Doherty 1

This isn’t the music post I’d planned on writing today. I was going to tell you all about the time a certain British guitar legend from the 60s shouted at me and a friend (yes, at us – specifically at us) across a packed hall in Greenwich Village eleven years ago. I was all set […]

March 11, 2009

Context is everything: Lit City in Toronto 3

Millions readers in the Toronto area should check out the Lit City exhibit at the Market Gallery (second floor of the St. Lawrence Market, on now through the spring, free). As part of the ongoing festivities marking Toronto’s 175th birthday, the Market Gallery, occupying a room that served as council chambers in the mid-late 1800s, […]

March 3, 2009

Thinking of a Dream I Had: The “Formative Novel” 7

So, it’s the early hours of the morning and I’m fast asleep. I dream the following: I’m in an empty restaurant, deep in conversation with someone I’d never met before. Even in the dream, this person is meant to be a stranger – a Millions reader named Oliver. (I had recently watched a new BBC […]

February 3, 2009

Torch Ballads & Jukebox Music #2: Haunted By Bob Dylan 1

Whenever I tell someone that my favorite songwriter is Bob Dylan, the response I usually get is some kind of respectful acknowledgment of his status as a lyricist. And there’s no question that Dylan has written some of the most extraordinary lyrics – depending on the period, and on his mood – they’re wise and […]

February 3, 2009

Torch Ballads & Jukebox Music #1: One Man’s Bliss… 0

There’s a scene in Fawlty Towers in which innkeeper Basil Fawlty, played with misanthropic relish by John Cleese, is having a moment to himself in the hotel office – away from his shrill, domineering wife Sybil, away from the pesky guests. For one brief moment, the cacophony of his life is neutralized by the glorious […]