by carl wilson

So Sweet, So Cool, So Fair

Rob Walker, proprieter of the world's only one-song blog (as far as he or I know), as well as the New York Times Magazine's "Consumed" column and other good stuff, guest-hosts the downloadable mp4 podcast The Sounds in My Head, where he plays versions of "St James Infirmary" by everyone from Blind Willie McTell to Lily Tomlin and Peter Brotzmann. Fascinatin' rhythms.

Cool idea alert: As a benefit for the Regent Park School of Music, a bunch of Toronto rock-scene musicians are holding a "Rock Lottery," in which they meet in the morning, draw names to make up several new "bands" for the day, spend the day rehearsing and writing songs and perform them in a show that evening. The idea originates in Denton, Texas (home of the Hospital Bombers), apparently, and also operates in Seattle, under the happy-making slogan, "10 am: 25 Musicians. 10 PM: 5 New Bands." (It's not too far in concept from the "Instant Bands" project that Blocks Recording Club in Toronto did four years ago or so at Canzine, except in that case the musicians did not rehearse or write but attempted to generate songs spotaneously. But the American versions of Rock Lottery turns out to predate that, going back a decade.) Rock Lottery Toronto takes place on Dec. 1 at Sneaky Dee's and participants include Sook-Yin Lee, Katie Sketch (The Organ), Dan Werb & Paul Banwatt (Woodhands), Josh Reichmann (Jewish Legend), Ken Reaume, Adam Litovitz, Jonathan Adjemian (The River), Jonny Dovercourt (Republic of Safety) and many more.

Kelefa Sanneh reviews Celine Dion's new album today in the Times. Compared to mine, he is meaner, but generally fair - remarking, "She's easy to mock because she's so uncool, or rather, unchilly," a sentence that could have been plucked straight from my book. I am deeply envious of his "on this planet they call Earth" joke. Also very my-book-ish today, the new study from the Norman Lear Center about how political beliefs and entertainment tastes align - not much of which is so surprising, but I'm eager to dig into the demographic data there and see what we can learn about how the taste/ideology findings relate to class, education, etc., etc.

General | Posted by zoilus on Monday, November 19 at 6:02 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (6)



Gary, read the book. Or don't, but the point is, I'm not disagreeing with you.

Posted by zoilus on December 3, 2007 1:24 AM



Do I perchance detect a faint hint of the Gripes in this obsession with Celine? Would it be fun to be so her face, the dear sweet girl having coffee with you, would it be so much fun? Would it be easy to be harsh if she instead were singing Cage or Kasemets, or does the clothes make her cool?

I don't know, but what I do know is that any comprehensive Theory of Music must include both Celine Dione and Cathy Berberian (is she cool?) as a priori phenomenon, and who knows, maybe Laurie Anderson too. That just seems, to me anyway, an empirical imperative -- as in Feynman's famous quip about theories elegant, but still wrong -- wouldn't any critique hoping to describe any music work, be it Cage, de Machaut, or Kenny G, need to accept and embrace these phenomenon to be anything more than literary noise?

I could be wrong, of course.

Posted by Gary Murphy on December 2, 2007 12:05 PM



re: rock Saskatoon we did that for the first time last christmas...version 2 is coming up this christmas....the added twist we had was when everyone put there name into the hat, they also put in a cover each band was then asigned a cover song or two to do, in addition to writing there own songs...resulting in the mixed saskatoon's finest indie kids covering such classics as "honky tonk bedonk bedonk", no diggity and total eclipse of the heart.

Posted by tyson on November 20, 2007 5:15 PM



So, I tried to read your Celine review, and I get this:

To continue reading this article, you will need to purchase this article.

The Globe wants me to 'buy' the article for $4.95, for which it would be available to me to read for 30 days.



Posted by Rob P on November 20, 2007 9:46 AM



As soon as I saw Denton I was expecting/hoping for that reference, but it was awesome nonetheless. That Lear study looks fascinating - I haven't been reading for too long, but I presume you saw the (huge, long-running) study on the structure of fanaticism a little while back?

Posted by Ian Mathers on November 19, 2007 11:19 PM



hey carl,

i can't seem to locate it now, but i'm pretty sure there is/was an mp3 blog that only posts versions of House of the Rising Sun.


Posted by dave Dyment on November 19, 2007 10:44 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson