by carl wilson

Short-Attention-Span Friday

Wasilla, Alaska, band Portugal.The Man are no fans of their neighbour turned governor
turned VP-candidate, Sarah Palin. See final item.

I am on the programming committee for this year's Pop Conference at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. Our call for papers went out this week: This year's theme is "Dance Music Sex Romance: Pop and the Body Politic," a deliberate turn to the saucy after last year's perhaps-a-bit-earnest mix of topics. If you want to talk over ideas, feel free to get in touch - I'll be getting in touch with a few of you.

My fellow Pop Conf. committee member Ann Powers picks up on some points from my Silver Jews article to discuss the generational place of politics in today's music on the L.A. Times music blog. My quick answer to the question of "where's today's Rage Against the Machine/Public Enemy/The Clash/Bob Dylan?" by the way, is that the idea that putting messages in music is an effective means of rallying people politically is out of fashion - so the politics in music is now more about subcultural cluster formations and social networks. But since this is short-attention-span Friday, I won't stop to develop the point.

Local queer zine Fab talked to me for a piece in their new issue that asks: Celine Dion - worst gay icon ever?

I should have said earlier in the week, but voting is now on for the ECHO prize for Canadian songwriting. Go the page and you can listen to all five nominated songs; you can vote once a day up till 4:59 pm on Sept 29.

Another reminder: As part of the Toronto International Film Festival, my friend Margaux Williamson's beautiful documentartry Teenager Hamlet 2006 is screening through Sept 13 at the Katherine Mullherin gallery, 1082 Queen Street West. Previously discussed here, and this week's Eye has more.

Meanwhile, with a Canadian election call hanging over us like a dirty spiderweb about to get all up in our hair, the arts community is getting organized to respond to the Harper government's recent round of disses. Get involved in the well-sorted strategy of the unofficial "Department of Culture" here. More comment sure to follow.

Anyone been attending the Guelph Jazz Festival this week? I'd be happy to hear reports. I was there on Wednesday afternoon to moderate a panel discussion on "Improvising Digital Community" between DJ Spooky (Paul Miller) and Vijay Iyer, which flew by way too quickly to even summarize, though I think it got hottest when it ran into this zone: the role of creative labour (and corporeal labour) in digital culture, and whether there is still an important distinction between the artist's role as consumer and as producer. Vijay put it out: "We are more than our playlists" - Paul agreed, but ambivalently. I'll be going back to Guelph on Sunday for the double-header John Zorn jawn.

Finally, have you read this scorching anti-Sarah Palin screed from her Alaska hometown's leading rock band? Guitarist/vocalist John Gourley of the oddly punctuated Portugal.The Man writes, after a lengthy and touching personal anecdote: "I see the sport hunter, the censor, choice taker, the revelations reader, and the high school cheerleader. It is endlessly embarrassing to watch people fall all over this idea. This is not my Alaska. The Alaska I know." (Via Rock&Rap; Confidential.)

General | Posted by zoilus on Friday, September 05 at 1:45 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (5)



I was working most of the weekend, sadly, but via volunteering I got to see local act Tin's set for the Guelph Jazz Festival Sunday night (I wish, oh I wish I'd been able to see Zorn, or Tortoise, or that Spooky/Iyer discussion). It was pretty excellent.

Posted by Ian Mathers on September 11, 2008 11:51 PM



many apologies for mis-spelling of Jeff Reilly in above post

Posted by Rob on September 8, 2008 11:03 AM



I heard a lot of great music at the festival this year, most notably concerts by ICP and Matana Roberts.

The most remarkable event was a workshop by Barry Guy, Maya Homburger and Jeff Riley. This workshop was informative and featured exquisite solo, duo and trio performances. It could certainly serve as a model for future workshops.

Posted by Rob on September 8, 2008 9:01 AM



I think Buck 65 said it best when he said, "DJ Spooky, what does he even do?"

Posted by uhhuh on September 6, 2008 4:48 PM



Hey Mr. Short Attention Span! Thanks for the shout out and undeveloped argument, we'll have to tease that out in conversation at some point.

Meanwhile, I actually called up that dude at Portugal. the Man and got a little more info on why he is no Palin fan, including an interesting anecdote about her standing in the way of a skate park being built in Wasilla. Should be up on the LA Times Soundboard blog shortly.

your sis akp

Posted by Ann P on September 5, 2008 4:06 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson