by carl wilson

Drive-By Thursday Reading

Inundated at work at the mo', and not really wanting to put the brakes on the video-game debate (below), but here are some links for your perusing:

Eye's music coverage this week is dominated by its holiday record guide (as Now's was, last week) but there's one must-read in there, in which Denise Benson catches up with Sandro Perri aka Polmo Polpo aka Continuous Dick, who's mostly been singing ballads and improvising lately, but is coming back round to beats via Arthur Russell - as he'll show tomorrow night at the Boat. You can also catch a glimpse of Zoilus posing as an "idealistic intellectual" (and a very short one, at that) in a Snaps feature from last Sunday's fantastico all-day-and-alla-the-night Coach House Books launch for uTOpia: Towards a New Toronto, the new bible of T-dot love-ups. Meanwhile Now stages a showdown between Damian Jr Gong Marley and Lil Kim, who doesn't stand a chance, and interviews Bettye Lavette, who totally should have been the cover. (Oh, and they've also got an interview with Sandro, but it's not nearly as good.)

Elsewhere: My colleague Robert Everett Green does the official Globe review of The Hidden Cameras/TDT show. (His comment on the hetero/homo dance pairs reminds me of a note I made during a show: "A boy-girl pas de deux in modern dance always seems to me to tell the same story: She doesn't realize her boyfriend is gay.") The Star has a pretty appallingly badly written version of same.

Hip-hop censorship skirmishes at home and abroad. In reaction to which, Dave Morris presents the kicking of ass and the taking of names. Later: Oh, I missed this fine essay by Kalefa Sanneh in today's Times about the symbiosis between rap and R&B; (which, like Dave's rant, could feed into the expressive-content debate), as well as the Times' annual box-set roundup.

All About Jazz interviews Bernard Stollman, founder of ESP-Disk, the Albert Ayler/Sun Ra/Fugs/Godz/Pharoah Sanders label. Mark K-Punk offers a Deleuzian reading of Kate Bush's Aerial (which I'm beginning to think is really the record of the year - it's just got more scale than anything else). (Later: More K(ate)-punk.) Douglas on college radio in Slate. Clover on Zizek in the Voice: Jane provides outtakes as a good alter-ego should. Matos reviews the medicine-show-music anthology Buck 65 plugs in Now this week. Elvis Costello plans symphony tour. Xiu Xiu has new album. Greil Marcus plays rock-paper-scissors with Patti Smith's Horses reissue. Stereogum raises problem of "cover vs. translation", but then does not help solve it. Mark E Smith does the sports, a problem that needs no solution. Tom Breihan sums up doings at the Irv Gotti trial. Got something to say? Let Them Sing It For You (via Boing Boing). An ex-black-hat-hacker reflects on the Sony Rootkit scandal and concludes, "It would be good to arrest them." (YES.) Another consideration of jazz treatments of rock songs as "new standards." And Robert Christgau's annual "turkey shoot" takes aim at easy targets. (Leading with Burt Bacharach? C'mon.)

Late late: Hey, no one told me Matt Woebot was blogging again! Plus, the UK version of the 40-bands meme - distinctly more poppist, the top 10 being bookended by Girls Aloud and Rachel Stevens....

| Posted by zoilus on Thursday, November 24 at 05:53 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (6)



That Greil piece isn't about the reissue; it's a reprint of his review of the original album, written in 1975.

Posted by Matos W.K. on November 29, 2005 02:15 AM



Thanks Carl. I generally agree with your positive stance with regard to jazz covering pop. Although one somewhat disconcerting (I hesitate to call it a) phenomenon I have encountered occasionally is that, once a jazz artist has recorded a pop song, there is a tendency among (often younger) jazz musicians to subsequently discount the original version of that song as a frivolous, bone-headed trifle, when compared to the new, sophisticated jazz rendition. For example, at the time when Brad Mehldau was becoming popular for covering "Exit Music (for a Film)" and "Paranoid Android," I heard a particular jazz drummer say, without a hint of irony, that Mehldau was "making Radiohead listenable again." Luckily, it doesn't seem to be a widespread "problem" quite yet.

Posted by Craig on November 27, 2005 11:14 AM



Hey Craig,

I've written a bit about the jazz-covering-pop issue before, and will try to post about it in more depth when I've had a chance to listent to that Pavement-covers disc. In quick summary, abstractly I think it's a very very very very very good thing: It's exactly how standards became standards in the first place, and I suspect it's one of jazz's premiere survival strategies. Hell, even I kind of first started listening to jazz because I found jazz-bands-do-the-Beatles records among my dad's record collection, which led to being kinda interested in the Dave Brubeck records nearby them. (Reading Kerouac and hearing Tom Waits a couple of years later were probably more significant in making me dig deeper, though.) But of course it depends. "On what" is a question I'll come back to.

Posted by zoilus on November 26, 2005 10:18 PM



re: "bettye lavette, who totally should have been the cover."

yes. oh god yes. you have no idea the pain we went through.

Posted by lisstless on November 25, 2005 09:04 AM



I'm always impressed by Everett-Green. He seems to have about fifty pieces a week in the paper, on topics ranging from Baroque opera to metal. That guy has breadth. Whereas at The Star, it is many weeks' travel between Littler territory and Raynorsville.

Posted by marco on November 24, 2005 08:54 PM



Carl, considering how steeped you are in both the popular and jazz scenes, I imagine you have a well-considered take on the whole "pop music by jazz musicians" trend. A penny for your thoughts?

Posted by Craig on November 24, 2005 07:50 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson