Tag Archives: music

Montreal Is Burning

From the Walrus:

On February 13 of this year, the Montreal rock band Arcade Fire, known for their spirited live shows and ragged emotionalism, arrived at the Grammy Awards with low expectations. Their third LP, The Suburbs, released on the independent label Merge, was inexplicably nominated for album of the year, up against efforts from four of the biggest acts on the planet: Lady Gaga, Eminem, Lady Antebellum, and Katy Perry. The past decade has been hard on the music industry, but the Grammys have generally been content to go down with the ship, doling out prizes in accordance with establishment tastes. Few expected a bunch of shabbily dressed Canadians to beat out the luminaries who brought us “Poker Face” and “I Kissed a Girl.”

Read the rest. From the December 2011 issue.

Also, I’ve been having trouble sleeping.


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Pop Montreal 2010

From Maisonneuve:

Pop Montreal 2010: Music Made With Machines

John Cage once said, “I believe that the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the aid of electrical instruments which will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard.” We reached that point a long while ago—we can now record and manipulate any noise on earth—but Western music still sounds largely as it did at the height of Cage’s weirdo powers. Even when it isn’t straightforward pop, or when it uses found sounds, or when it’s outright noise music, it still has elements that strike us as familiar: tones and semitones that please our European-influenced ears. Music still sounds like music. The difference is that we have many more of Cage’s “electrical instruments”—we have many more machines with which to make sounds.

Read the rest.

Pop Montreal 2010: Palimpsest Loves Print

Palimpsest magazine is part publication and part time capsule, a search engine in a shoebox. In the age of the beginning of the end of print it worships the physical relentlessly, far beyond the charge of mere Ludditism; Palimpsest loves the internet too, for all it has done to mould us. For this year’s edition of Pop Montreal, the brains behind Palimpsest will produce a daily newspaper documenting the festival’s goings-on, but don’t expect a mere newsletter. Here, collective member Danielle St-Amour talks Pop, print and personal music journalism.

Read the rest.

Pop Montreal is the best, just so you know.

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The Guardian’s Jemima Kiss has a good post that simultaneously shrugs off the whining about the decline of the traditional news media and dismisses the much-vaunted iTunes solution. Kiss points out that publishers still largely control media content, unlike record labels at the height of the file-sharing age, among a host of other problems with assuming some similarity between the two situations. New models for journalism won’t look anything like iTunes, Kiss speculates. Instead, they’ll look like souped-up versions of the online media already out there.

There’s another problem, I think, with comparing file-sharing to accessing print media online. Content isn’t just under the control of publishers; it’s (mostly) offered for free online by those very publishers, on sanctioned websites, with no uncertainty or risk. Part of what makes iTunes attractive (I assume – I’ve never bought anything through it) is that it’s a virus-free alternative to torrenting or file-sharing, and the quality of the file is guaranteed. But it’s not like anyone worries that some article is going to turn out to be a virus or a garbled bootleg.


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Is Holy Fuck the new Young People Fucking?

From mediascout.ca:

Opening Ceremonies, Open War
August 8, 2008
by Drew Nelles

Millennia ago, when the ancient Greeks started the Olympic tradition, various warring Greek states would set aside their arms and compete in the athletic arena. That tradition has fallen by the wayside, as the Beijing Olympics began today, and so did what seems very close to becoming a new all-out war. This morning, Russia joined the battle between Georgia and its breakaway South Ossetia region, rolling into the area in support of the rebels. Russia has already reportedly bombed a Georgian… Read more »

Again, an interesting item at the bottom:

The Post
and the Citizen front a deft scoop on the Conservative government’s plan to cancel a federal arts travel fund for ideological reasons. An anonymous official tells the Citizen’s David Adkin that the $4.7-million PromArt program, which covers selected travel costs for artists and speakers promoting Canadian culture abroad, will be axed because the cash “went to groups that would raise the eyebrows of any typical Canadian.” The official and a Conservative memo specifically cite the examples of Toronto experimental band Holy Fuck, prominent left-wing journalist Avi Lewis, and pop-rocker Tal Bachman, all of whom received grants. The memo describes Lewis as a “general radical,” and also singles out grant recipients the North-South Institute as “a left-wing and anti-globalization think-tank” and author Gwynne Dyer, a grant recipient, as “a left-wing columnist and author who has plenty of money to travel on his own.” But the article also points out that plenty of grant money went to relatively uncontroversial groups, like the Canadian Museum of Civilization and various ballet theatres. The Conservatives’ focus on Holy Fuck because of the profanity in its name certainly seems misplaced; the band is instrumental, so it’s not as though its lyrics could be deemed offensive, and given Canada’s status as an indie-rock exporter in recent years, Holy Fuck is just the kind of band this country should promote on the world stage. In any case, Adkin points out that this move is sure to inflame the Canadian arts community, which is already fuming over the Conservatives’ plan to deny tax credits to films deemed offensive.

This is obviously a Tory conspiracy designed to make the party look as lame as possible. Lewis is no radical, but he’s one of Canada’s best, and his pedigree alone (husband of Naomi Klein, son of Steven Lewis) gives him plenty of mainstream-lefty legitimacy. The Holy Fuck thing is just awesome.

Something I didn’t point out in MediaScout was that the Post, in its print edition of the article, refers to the band as “Holy Fuck Music,” a mistake since corrected online. Apparently, they were confused by the domain name of the band’s website, but you’d think the Post’s philistine newsies could’ve double-checked with the paper’s not-bad Arts team. Anyway, I wonder whether this will do for Holy Fuck what C-10 did for Young People Fucking.

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