Zoilus by Carl Wilson

Archive for July, 2010

‘Human love … messy and irrational,
and sometimes delivered at high volume’

July 19th, 2010

A beautiful response to my book, discussing funeral music, family, Catholicism and sentimentality, comes today from Australia’s Anwyn Crawford on her blog, Popular Demand.

Blah-blah to the World

July 16th, 2010

An interview with myself and Chris Randle about our new blog (with Margaux Williamson), Back to the World, appears today on Torontoist. Maybe of interest to Zoilus readers who wonder what it’s all about, or have forgotten it existed. I’m pleased with the dialogue - the interviewer is so open about finding everything we’re doing a little puzzling. The blog itself is pleasing me too. After years of flying more-or-less solo over here, the sheer luxury of seeing the site fill up with interesting work I didn’t have to do is delightful. But that’s not all, honest - a lot of what’s up is also awesome.

Scream It Out(side)

July 11th, 2010

Monday night brings the annual Scream in High Park, my favourite literary event in Toronto, which takes brilliant advantage of the existence of a stage, lighting and sound system in our underappreciated equivalent of Central Park (it’s all there for the annual Shakespeare production in the park), to bring innovative writing and performance to a broad audience.

This year it’s particularly special to me, because I was asked to help program it with festival director Bill Kennedy and poet-critic Kate Eichorn, and we’re very proud of the group of performers we’ve recruited: Novelist Gil Adamson, Montreal poet Angela Carr, Toronto art-prank-sound-writer Brian Joseph Davis, British Columbia steam-brained poet and essayist Jeff Derksen, Vietnamese-American poetry provocateur Linh Dinh, Toronto vocal-improvisation army The Element Choir, Montreal science-minded poet Michael Lista, the hilarious local performance-comedian Kathleen Phillips, poet-critic Damian Rogers, iconoclastic fiction writer Ken Sparling and Montreal poet/graphic-artist/event-impresario Sherwin Tjia.

It all happens beginning at 7 pm, in three sets, with things getting weirder and wilder as darkness falls. Bring your picnic gear to the park, camp out and drink it all in. I’d love to see you there.

Polaris Prize Shortlist

July 6th, 2010

Announced half an hour ago, the candidates to win $20,000 for Canadian album of the year at the gala this September are:

The Besnard Lakes, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night
Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Record
Caribou, Swim
Karkwa, Les Chemins De Verre
Dan Mangan, Nice, Nice, Very Nice
Owen Pallett, Heartland
Radio Radio, Belmundo Regal
The Sadies, Darker Circles
Shad, TSOL
Tegan and Sara, Sainthood

A solid list with some surprises. Not thrilling - the voting process mitigates against that - but very worthy.

Most noteworthy, aside from the omission of my #1 vote, Frog Eyes (sigh), is the presence of two francophone acts (Karkwa, Radio Radio), as well as two hip-hop records (Shad, Radio Radio). The only French-language records nominated before have been by one band, Malajube; and while there’ve been double-rap lists before, it was only if one of those albums was by K’naan. Otherwise with, I think, five Ontario acts, regional conspiracy theorists may continue their deliberations. Good that records weren’t shut out by previous-winner stigma (Owen Pallett, Caribou), long-time-veteran status (Sadies) or kinda-uncoolness (Tegan & Sara).

Personally I see only a couple of records on that list I’d be unhappy to have win. Anything could happen.

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