by carl wilson

A Little Off the Top


In the future, every child will be given a pair of scissors and invited to shape our destinies. In the future, every child will be granted full citizenship rights; encouraged to vote, run for office and drive streetcars. In the future, children will teach and adults will learn; a playground will be built on every battlefield; and candy will be free. In the future, children will be powerful creatures able to cross the street without looking both ways, and hold their breath underwater forever and ever and ever. Darren O'Donnell

Darren O'Donnell is bringing his little masterpiece of social performance, Haircuts by Children, to Birmingham, England, next week, May 19-20. Maybe my favourite thing anyone in Toronto has created in the past couple of years.

Give or take a few Final Fantasy songs, of course. New stuff keeps popping up: Flare Gun (part of a compilation inspired by spam email), plus this terrif Polaris-finalist-teamup with Cadence Weapon for the CBC (including Owen's beautiful version of John Cale's Paris 1919), a live show in Kingston, Ont., a Montag track featuring Owen, the Stars remix... And you know of course about the ridikulonk hootenanny in NYC last weekend.

I'd heard a rumour about this but didn't quite believe it until a press release arrived today: Toronto's Andre Ethier (of the defunct Deadly Snakes) has been invited to - wait for it - sing the national anthem at a Major League Baseball game. Those who are (unlike me) knowledgeable about baseball might already have guessed that it's going to be an L.A. Dodgers game - a move inspired by the fact that Andre shares his name with Dodgers right-fielder Andre Ethier. I'm told the Dodgers got wind of the coincidence, had a cute idea, asked to hear some of our Andre's music and dug it, so they're flying him down to L.A. to sing O Canada when the Jays play the Dodgers on June 9. It seems like a bit of a psych to have a singer with the name of one of your players sing the other team's anthem - but on the other hand, A.E. brings a bit of hometown, so I guess it balances. Still, if the Dodgers had really listened to Ethier's very Dylanesque, Americana-styled solo work, it might musically have been better to get him to do the Star-Spangled Banner.

T-dotters, the gig guide continues to be updated; watch it and the sidebar for news, like the fact that Marc Ribot is returning May 18 to play with Italian singer-songwriter Vinicio Capossela. Second time this year! Second time I can't go! Is he dating somebody in Toronto all of a sudden, or is he just out to taunt me?

Tonight's Bitchin' improv session at the Gladstone Art Bar, including Eugene Martynec, Alan Bloor and other local improvimentalists, is going to be streamed live to the web via this site beginning at 8 pm.

Eye Daily reviewed the Arnold Dreyblatt show. (See interview below.) Just as I feared, since I couldn't go: "It was a big, joyful, almost overwhelming noise, maybe the greatest I'll hear all year."

Our pal Sean Michaels of Said the Gramophone has an interview with Will Sheff of Okkervil River in the new Believer. Hi'ly rec, natch.

Currently on TV: V.Mars has been watered down from noir to hot cocoa; Heroes and Sopranos are, in their different ways, ratcheting up the mind-fuckery; and Gilmore Girls is ending, simultaneously too soon and too late. The last half-season, from the splitup with Christopher on, has been, I think, the best sequence of episodes since... maybe, in fact, since Rory started college. But the story is ready to end. Too bad they didn't figure that out a year ago and plot it that way.

| Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, May 08 at 4:39 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (8)



Peli - There was a story, once upon a time - a pretty interesting story about parenthood and class and generational tensions - plus this whole idea of doing a tv show somewhat in the mode of classic-era screwball comedy, with Lauren Graham as the Rosalind Russell character... but then, as tv tends to do, they did too many seasons and completely lost the thread.

Posted by zoilus on May 13, 2007 3:51 PM



Jeff, when a Canadian team plays an American team, they play both anthems. And according to Andre's management's PR, he was doing O Canada & not the Star Spangled Banner.

Posted by zoilus on May 13, 2007 3:48 PM



Dude, what story? What was that show even about?

[yeah I watch it. not proud]

Posted by Peli on May 13, 2007 12:55 PM



*SWOOON* I love that Final Fantasy Stars remix!!!!!!!

Posted by JKelly on May 12, 2007 10:49 AM



"Still, if the Dodgers had really listened to Ethier's very Dylanesque, Americana-styled solo work, it might musically have been better to get him to do the Star-Spangled Banner."

Erm, I believe the national anthem down here _is_ the Star Spangled Banner.



Posted by jlb on May 11, 2007 7:04 PM



I don't know about giving every kid out there a pair of scissors.

After all, look at what happened to Elliott Smith.


Posted by juepucta on May 10, 2007 10:55 AM



Hi Erella. Yeah, I knew that was Stan - he's still at Coach House, and as such is actually Darren's publisher, too, now. Thus the photo, I s'pose.

Posted by zoilus on May 9, 2007 5:50 PM



I love that Haircuts by Children photo!
So great.
Did you know that brave man pictured is the original publisher/ designer at Toronto's Coach House Press?

Stan Bevington is known for publishing early works by writers such as Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Ann-Marie MacDonald, George Bowering, Nicole Brossard, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Christopher Dewdney, bpNichol and Anne Michaels.

Posted by erella on May 9, 2007 4:48 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson