by carl wilson

Overtones, R.I.P.


My announcement really isn't that dramatic to anybody but myself - it's that I am retiring my column from The Globe and Mail. I've been writing a weekly music column for the Toronto-based paper, first as "Scene" on Thursdays and then as "Overtones" on the weekends, since November of 1999. It's been a huge part of my life in all that time, connecting me to musicians and readers and other writers, and in many ways giving rise to this website. Few writers are fortunate enough to be given carte blanche with a choice amount of newspaper real estate on the regular.

It was difficult to decide to put it to rest - I like to think the past year has been its strongest period yet, and it still had a lot of life in it (witness the recent Warren Kinsella flap, f'rinstance). But my father's death and other personal developments have reminded me of my mortality, and of all the other things I'd like to do. I've been getting more and more offers to write for other publications, and to consider larger projects, and none of that is possible while I'm chained to a weekly column on top of my editing day (and some nights) job at the Globe. I'll still be contributing to the paper's arts coverage, and Zoilus will keep on keepin' on, but this will give me space to think and write more broadly and in other venues.

Zoilus readers should benefit by my liberation from the punishing early-Wednesday-morning deadlines too. This is my first week (aside from vacations) not having to pull an all-nighter to deliver a column for a nine a.m. deadline, and I can't believe the difference. I feel about 30 pounds lighter and 5 years younger, more alert and energetic. I suspect you'll see the results on the blog in the next few months. Meanwhile, you needn't look for me on Saturdays in The Globe anymore. I'll let you know when and where I do have pieces.

Thanks to my editors for their support over the past five-plus years; to my friends and, most of all, Mrs. Zoilus for putting up with the crazy schedule; and to everybody who read and responded to the column. xo xo xo.

News | Posted by zoilus on Thursday, September 08 at 6:00 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (15)



While I'll definitely miss seeing you in print on Saturdays, I'm pumped about your move to bigger and blogger things. Besides, I read Overtones online most of the time anyway (especially those weeks when you posted an extended remix), so I guess that just means that I'll be hanging out here a little more often.

A refreshed CW, writing varied pieces for other publications, and being more prolific online? Sounds like good news for us.

John Sakamoto

Posted by John Sakamoto on September 13, 2005 9:51 PM



Carl - Wow. Please come back! I love your writing and you are very supportive of the talented grassroots artists out there... I always enjoyed your critiques since you infused a whole lot of careful thought into your columns. Thanks for the time and passion you have put in so far and look I look forward to what you do next. Best of luck to you...

Posted by Rebecca Webster on September 12, 2005 4:25 PM



With your departure from the regular columns of the Globe, does this mean you'll have to set u an offshore infrastructure for Zoilus i.e e-mail addy, a .O. Box for snail mail care packages etc?
What's the skinny on that, then?

Posted by Bruce Mowat on September 12, 2005 2:55 PM



Aw, I'll miss your column but I'll be excited to see what you do next! <3

Posted by Valerie on September 11, 2005 7:12 PM






Posted by misha on September 10, 2005 11:53 AM



Best wishes with new endeavors.

"Larger projects" -- sounds exciting!

Posted by John on September 9, 2005 2:42 PM



Even though you're going on to bigger and better things, it's still a loss. I liked to think of Overtones as the newsprint equivalent of Brave New Waves: something to be discovered, and upon being hooked, eagerly anticipated; something to go out of your way to see.

Anyways, please do keep it up, in whatever form suits your purpose!

Posted by Dave M. on September 9, 2005 1:53 PM



Rest assured, Phil, that as long as I'm still around the Globe, I'll do my best to ensure deserving local and other musicians get some exposure there.

Posted by Zoilus on September 9, 2005 11:24 AM



Not only will I miss your column, but I also think it will be missed by the often overlooked musicians and artists that have benefited from your championing spirit, entertaining and insightful analysis.

Kinsella crap aside, it's unfortunate that readers will lose such an intelligent voice with an obvious gift for pithy and innovative writing.

Thankfully we will still have this website and hopefully you'll soon be published in places more appreciative of your voice in the wildernesss that of mainstream pop culture writing.

You have been a knight in the cause of good taste with a healthy humour that was never been lost on this jaded soul.

Lede on McDuff...

Posted by Phil on September 9, 2005 10:54 AM



Our Saturday mornings will blow now!



RE: Louder CD Mastering. So, if we define "noise musician" as one who composes with sonic elements that exist at levels where recording technology does not capture them (compression), producing white and pink noise...then Ricky a noise musician. So cool.

Posted by Brian on September 9, 2005 10:43 AM



Thanks for everything so far. I shiver with excitement for the future!

Posted by Sean on September 9, 2005 1:43 AM



I am most curious to find out about the "larger projects" you may be considering, Carl. Enjoy the breathing room.

Posted by Carl Z. on September 8, 2005 10:20 PM



Carl, your insightful commentary in Overtones will be missed (and the fact that you were a beacon of jazz appreciation in the mainstream press, otherwise bereft of such persons, generally speaking). I'm glad you will continue to maintain this forum, and I look forward to reading your future work.

Posted by Craig on September 8, 2005 9:37 PM



Overtones will definitely be missed as a voice of LOCAL and AWESOMENESS and THOUGHT in the canadian music press. However, as long you can keep your loyal fans well-fed from zoilus and other activities, AND you don't have to pull off the grueling deadlines, so much the better! Good luck on your new endeavors, and hopefully sleepings in instead of all-nighters.

Posted by Andrew on September 8, 2005 9:18 PM



Well - thanks for all the fine columns Carl - best of luck with new endeavors, I'm sure we will be hearing from you soon.

Posted by originalspin on September 8, 2005 7:35 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson