by carl wilson

Got a Faceful of Ominous Weather


The accumulated CBC Radio 3 Sessions offer a pretty damn comprehensive Baedeker to Canadian indie music 2002-04, and international too - from Add N to X, to Young & Sexy, with 100 more in-between. (It looks difficult to navigate, but sqint yer eyes to the left and you'll see a Table of Contents button.) Note that the next issue will feature Clinic, though you can already stream that concert and many other live shows and studio sessions at Just Concerts. The CBC has issued one anthology of this stuff on CD (see above) but I wish the Official State Radio would go much further and put out some Peel Sessions-style EPs (or full-lengths with 2 or 3 compatible bands); CD booklets should include the complete stories & succulent photo features that accompany the sessions on-line. If you are at all familiar with the CBC, however, you know this will never happen. (Thanks to Chromewaves for the reminder.)

The Minutemen documentary is, sez the website, "one week from completion." Hoot! You fuckin' bahstid!

Luca responds to my throwdown on his M.I.A. diss with balance and equanimity. (Wuss!) He's right to shift his sights from M.I.A. to the blather-around-M.I.A. Howevs, I've still got some bone to splinter here: I sympathize when L.L. says, "It's just heartbreaking and again, frustrating, to see zero public/media interest being paid to the people who make music that is innovative and interesting and the clear influence for the type of music she is making, only because what? is it that its too exotic? its not framed for a comfortable first world music listener as MIA is? could it be that no one is paying attention to it because its made by people that are third world or lower class?" But I wonder if this question makes any sense.

While I don't go so far as to say homogenization and appropriation are non-issues, or that Real World-label "world music" is as good as its source material that has not been re-recorded with Bill Laswell and a bunch of French studio musicians, I think that music is done a great disservice by the myth of the "universal language." The more music I hear the more I'm convinced music is a local language, and that to understand the musical language of other communities (including class configurations as well as ethnic or national ones) does require immersion and study. Luca's obviously done that work (my "nicknames" jibe was just a jibe) but is it fair to expect that of everybody else? And is it such a crime for musicians who are musically multilingual to offer polyglot alternatives, such as M.I.A.'s (to be way too reductive) Global Ghetto 101, which might entice people who just don't feel dancehall or whatchagot to explore it for the first time, or reconsider it, and to brush up their vocabs - or, you know, not? The boundaries of underground/pop or ownership/piracy or native/colonist are already seeded with explosives, so I'm not eager to play the guard in the tower when somebody goes boogying across those borders. I hope I have the stomach, as a critic, to do the autopsies on the majority who fail, but I'm still pulling for Maya A. as nimble enough to make it. (To the degree that making pop music counts for a hill o'beans in this crazy world, shweethearts.)

Is dance music dead or not dead? (Via Aaron.) Eh. Declaring things dead is dead. Black is the new white, war is the new peace, Sex is the new funny-lookin', Bowling for Soup is the Knack. ... I'm much more interested in whether dissonance is the new dissonance, as Kyle Gann writes, which hints that rock is the new classical, i.e., young is the new old (but Downtown isn't the new Uptown). (Via Alex Ross, who wisely is not sure, but does mention the great piece of trivia that he once opened for Sebadoh in a noise band called Miss Teen Schnauzer - can we get a witness?) Anyway, I'll try to come back to this subject with something closer to a "thought" plus tard.

Not music: What Iraqi/Kurd bloggers are saying about the elections. A friend sent me this clip from the New York Times in 1967 which (assuming it's real, which I don't necessarily) strikes a necessary cautionary note: "U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote : Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2): WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong. The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here." (Later: Ah, it turns out to be via Kos. It's real.)

As should go without saying, I do hope things pan out better this time, for the Iraqis' sake. I also hope Seymour Hersh is wrong about USA-->Iran. But lately Hope has been nothing but a dead comedian.

News | Posted by zoilus on Monday, January 31 at 05:24 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)



There were witnesses, there is even a tape. I wonder if Lou Barlow remembers it. I recall him asking, as he took the stage, "Does anyone in the, uh, jazz band have a pick?" We did not.

Posted by Alex Ross on February 8, 2005 03:05 AM



I wasn't saying Iraq is Vietnam - obviously it isn't. There was a civil war in Vietnam; in Iraq the U.S. actually started the war, not intervening on one side. The Iraqi insurgents are not anything as ideologically coherent as communists. Etc. etc. But it's worth noting that just holding a relatively successful election does not by any means equate to establishing a functioning democracy, and the Vietnam 1967 example is a potent illustration of that fact, because the Times story sounded so much like the media coverage of Iraq on Sun. and Mon. that's all.

Posted by zoilus on February 1, 2005 02:54 PM



Check out Hitchens at for how Iraq is not Vietnam.

Posted by Andrew on February 1, 2005 10:01 AM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson