by carl wilson

4 Quickies for Possible Later Expansion

1. If you are a Wire fan, then this series on the Freakonomics blog ("What Do Real Thugs Think of The Wire?") is amazing reading. It's written by Sudhir Venkatesh, who does a kind of old-fashioned street sociology that is as much journalism as scholarship. The structure: Venkatesh watches each episode with a group of "New York-area gang personnel," and records their reactions, comments and predictions for future plot twists. As someone says in the comments section (which, warning, may include spoilers), these conversations should be included as bonuses on the next The Wire DVD. But they also model a bold new form of reflexive criticism, albeit with its own potential pitfalls to be sure.

2. The new Veda Hille record, This Riot Life, is not only very likely the greatest record she's ever made, it's one of the most wonderful (and I mean that very literally - "awesome" in the Biblical sense would do, too) records you'll hear this year, and there are a lot of wonderful records coming out this year.

3. Why the hell not? Go, Celine, go. (PS: Neil Young is "adult alternative" now? Wha'a?) (PS to confused Canada-philic Americans: The reason the best-int'l-album nomination list, including a Josh Groban Xmas album, looks like it's determined by Soundscan figures is that that's literally how it's determined.)

4. Anyone know what this "Kubilee" thing is all about?

General | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, February 05 at 6:43 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (10)



I'm not so sure he does quirkier things than the Eagles do- "One of These Nights" is enough meta-Bee Gees to measure up to "the same songs as usual, but on a synthesizer and it sounds bad" or "the same songs as usual, but unrehearsed and recorded in one take and it sounds bad".

Posted by Matt Collins on February 13, 2008 8:47 PM



I'm not claiming Neil Young is too "edgy" or something to be adult alternative, Steve. I'm saying, "alternative to what?" Isn't Neil Young more or less the definition of mainstream in Canada? Isn't he classic rock? Okay, he does quirkier things than the Eagles do, but so much so that he has to be classified off into some synthetic category? All right, I know the real answer is that he didn't sell enough records to qualify for the main categories and this is their way of fitting him in, but the results perversely make probably the most central Canadian-born musician of the past several decades seem like some sort of marginal figure.

Posted by zoilus on February 10, 2008 2:58 PM



hmmm, Looks like a another trebas graduate and a web developer got together.......but that is just me being a jerk by judging their design aesthetic, their use of sonic bids to get 'indie bands' to sign up for the festival, their lack of content, choice of venues and description of queen st. being the nexus of creativity in Toronto.

Posted by matt king on February 10, 2008 12:45 PM



Seriously: can I just zoom in on something here "Neil Young is adult alternative". WHY IS THIS SURPRISING? If only because boomer propaganda has been trying to convince us that they're never getting old? That their values are eternal? That there will be a 1,000 year reich? Seriously: OBVS. N.Y. is adult alternative - he is dad rock. Team cops. If "Holiday in Cambodia" is in Guitar Hero III then N.Y. was adult alternative 20 years ago really.

Posted by Steve Kado on February 10, 2008 11:30 AM



Ah. I thought we were talking about The Wire:

Posted by john mark on February 8, 2008 3:50 PM



Phil, The Wire's creator is David Simon, the ex-journalist who wrote the book on which Homicide - Life on the Street was based. But the Wire is better than Homicide by a factor of millions. (IMHO.) Decent primer here:

Posted by Jody on February 7, 2008 10:21 AM



I never the let the facts get in the way of a good should know that by now. So it's like Homicide - Life on the Street, only less about cops?

Posted by Phil on February 6, 2008 7:56 PM



I enjoyed the writing about The Wire, and I am very worried about the prospect of more festivals, even if I have more or less given up on music as an activity.

Posted by Matt Collins on February 6, 2008 6:23 PM



Check it 'fore you wreck it, Phil: The Wire isn't actually a UK series but an American series, set in Baltimore, and it's not really in the mode of Law and Order *or* Prime Suspect - though it has some things in common with the latter. It's not so much a cop show (though there are cops) as it's a city show: it's about crime, cops, immigration, schools, journalism and more.

I'm a fan of Wire, the band, too, of course!

(Not to mention the excellent CBC radio mini-series The Wire, which was about music & technology.)

Posted by zoilus on February 6, 2008 4:46 PM



You threw me for a loop on that one. I am a fan of Wire, the band, not The Wire, the Brit Television series. Anyhow, the writing is very interesting indeed, I just wish it was about my favourite punk band from the UK, not the gritty UK version of Law and Order, or is it a dirtier version of Cracker, or a macho version of Prime Suspect? Like I said, I'm not a fan.

Posted by Phil on February 6, 2008 12:37 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson