by carl wilson

Audio Alibis

Since I'm a little bleary-eyed from a long night out + wrapped up with work, let me offer you some sonic distractions from current contentlessness. We still believe in text here at Zoilus and aren't jumping on the "every blog an MP3 blog" meme, but from time to time it's good to rest the eyes and work the earholes. So:

1. It's not the first best single of 2005 but it's worth an ear. Trevor, the new publicist at Paper Bag Records, woos me with offers of "exclusive" MP3 action for Zoilus, beginning with Cheap Linguistics, a B-side coming in February by Magneta Lane, the Runaways-meets-VU-meets-Blondie-meets-name-a-2002-Brooklyn-band, school-skippin', ass-kickin' female-teen trio that's been all the chatter of Hogtown this fall. The track hits the pavement with a nice skid but goes in a few too many circles coming down the back stretch. But this is a band that only picked up instruments a year ago, so it's more interesting to observe them in development than to kvetch. If this actually were an MP3 blog I wouldn't accept audio swag but since the contract around here does not read "I will select my favourite music for you to listen to, dear reader" but "I will blather, you will perhaps tolerate," I've got no ethical qualms: I find the syllables "cheap linguistics" in themselves irresistible and have yet another excuse to fill this page with pretty pictures. (Lifted from Photojunkie. Magneta Lane, by the way, plays the Rivoli on New Year's Eve.) Still if it came down to it, I would have to choose Girls Aloud.

[Edited to add: 2 a.m. Usually I don't feel I have to explain jokes, but after walking away from the computer this afternoon I had a sinking feeling about that last one. Rather than implying all groups composed of women share one cookie-cutter (imagery deliberate) "girl band" category, even ones as musically opposite as M.L. and G.A., the joke was (as jokes often are) the reverse. It's especially absurd the way M.L.'s femaleness is made its point considering that we're in Toronto, where all-guy bands are in no way a mandatory default. As Owen Pallett put it on 20hz earlier this year, "Stating that toronto is like a boy's club is retarded, there are more girls making music in toronto than anywhere except 'girl island'." So why are people talking about Magneta Lane in this novelty-band way? Which is not to say that Girls Aloud are not awesome.]

2. The evil twins of the Chromewaves empire, Chromewaves and My Mean Magpie each list off their top discs of the year and supply you with sample songs as persuasion. Magpie's is especially full of unexpectednesses - Half-Cousin (singing "Mrs. Pilling and the Pig Boy" in a heavy brogue)? Smoosh? - while Frank's is super-freakin'-consistent, just like Chromewaves itself. Neither of them chose The Nein, but since those North Carolinians are playing the Horseshoe free tonight (9:30 pm), here's what they sound like.

3. Are you still not sure what grime is, aside from "stuff kinda like Dizzee Rascal"? Luca has a really cool British FM radio tape up featuring the Nasty Crew and Roll Deep around late 2002 to give ya some edgrimication.

4. Pere Ubu got the picture way back in 1989, even before everybody was making music on their computers in their bedrooms: "There's too much music in the land/ You hear it everywhere, everybody's in a band/ They can't get enough of it/ Brother Jimmy, cousin Ray/ Mom and Dad on bass & drums/ Someone here's just gotta quit." Pere Ubu's Ice Cream Truck, courtesy of Artificial Radio Weblog. Watch for Zoilus' review of the new David Thomas joint, 18 Monkeys on a Dead Man's Chest, coming licketysplit.

5. And finally, Disques Hushhush's audio archive outta Montreal is bursting at the seams to serve all your broody experimental electronica needs. The label proclaims: "Unlike most other electronic labels from the Montréal area, we are not really releasing any dance floor oriented material. Off course, you are always free to dance on our stuff." So cruise over there and dance all over the likes of Mick Harris, Xingu Hill and Mark Spybey.

If you're in Montreal, Hushush is also co-hosting a movie night at the Goethe-Institut on Sherbrooke, screening a documentary about the recently disbanded sly Argentine conceptualists Reynols (the only known band fronted by a singer with Down's Syndrome) and another about the Nihilist Spasm Band, about whom you've heard much around here lately.

On Record | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, December 14 at 5:28 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (7)



defo, that set is big. it just barrels along, glad you enjoyed it man. i'll post another one tonight ;)

Posted by luca on December 17, 2004 10:37 AM



Carl...ooops...i knew your comments were directed at a reader, not that u didnt know what grime comments were directed at your readers, too :)

Luca...yeah, the only similarities that crunk and grime have in my mind are that both are, or cld be seen as, sub-genres of mainstream hiphop (and only then because they have MCS)...but the difference becomes immediately obvious after a listen or my mind (and probably my mind only) i see grime as deriving from dancehall more than hiphop...the Brits have created something pretty unique here

all categorizations aside, though, it just freakin' PUMPS! all grime tunage shld come with a warning label: may be hazardous to your speakers...amazing bass...and the lyrical virtuosity coming from the MCs is wild...there were parts during the mix u posted that almost took my breath missus and i were sitting there listening and just shaking our heads in amazement

Posted by Rob on December 15, 2004 4:53 PM



I really enjoyed the movie. Kerry Fox did an excellent job as the older Janet as well. It's difficult to judge it as a movie, since it was a miniseries first I believe, so to see it in one three hour sitting can be a bit tough. I still have no idea why it hasn't recieved international DVD release (I got a NZ copy). More interesting is comparing her minorly innaccurate autobiography with Michael King's biography "Wrestling with the Angel." I'd suggest "Daughter Buffalo" as another book by her.

Posted by Five Seventeen on December 15, 2004 12:02 PM



thanks for the big ups guys.

rob', you're right there's this critical stance that tends to lump grime in right with the crunk axis. the two are miles apart in many ways. crunk music is produced expressly for club/car soundsystems, systems that have big bass, whereas grime is (at this point) still almost entirely active on pirate radio. and yeah, grime owes a large debt to jungle, garage, dancehall...

Posted by luca on December 15, 2004 8:24 AM



Thanks folks - I should (maybe) add that the "still don't know what grime is...?" was a question to the reader and not a proclamation from me (I have the general idea), but Rob's reading list is a very useful one indeed.

And on the subject of mistaken impressions: I wasn't saying I didn't like Half Cousin - I actually did, quite a lot. Just that having read dozens of top-2004 lists the past few weeks, the Magpie list is certainly the only place this band has cropped up. (And yeah, Janet Frame rawks; I need to read more of her. What did you think of the movie, btw?)

Posted by zoilus on December 15, 2004 1:30 AM



Smoosh was actually your fault. Hadn't heard of them until clicking across your page. And Half Cousin, I suppose one has to have read (and loved) author Janet Frame's work as much as I have to truly understand that song's inclusion.

Evil Twins? (Frank maybe...) :);=lakeHolidayMar24-2004

Posted by Five Seventeen on December 14, 2004 8:40 PM



Grime...some people compare it to what they see as its North American counterpart: crunk...i dont...crunk is far more Rhythm and Blues based (and i dont mean like Destinys Child)...Grime is an amalgamation of various urban musics...comes from the UK Garage scene...think along the lines of hiphop plus dancehall reggae plus drum and bass...what makes grime so amazing is, like hiphop in the early days, the sheer ENERGY and lyrical virtuosity of the MCs and the scene in general

just to confuse matters an instrumental version of what is known as Grime has sprung up...epitomized by Plastikman...sounds more like dubstep to me, but hey.....

anyway, outside of the internet it is very hard to score this's native to small UK mom and pop record stores, clubs and pirate radio stations...Luca's blog is a genuine lil treasure...he is actually closer to this music than many in the UK, which is something for a cat from Toronto!

Simon SilverdollarCircle is also something of an expert on this music and an accomplished writer...see:

Posted by Rob on December 14, 2004 8:39 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson