CAVALCADE OF CONFUSIONS
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.
Alina Simone - "Half My Kingdom". A Brooklyn singer born in the Ukraine, singing a song by the Russian folk-punk Yanka Dyagileva - the title translated but the rest still Russian. But this is not as impenetrable as it sounds. Simone finds the song's heart and with absolute single-mindedness, she sings it. It doesn't matter that we don't understand the words, that we never knew Dyagileva before she died - of apparent suicide - at age 24. There's no mistaking the single, bright trumpet amid a mud of guitars, or Simone's hard strum against the fade of her voice. This is a song about sacrifice, yearning, and what's already spent. It's a song about hope, and about the currents that carried Dyagileva away. [buy/website]
Vancouver - "Penalty Box". An Italian band named after a Canadian city, singing in an English accent that somehow still recalls the Decemberists' Colin Meloy. But it's not the nasal hoi-meloy that makes this worthwhile; no it's the Orange Juicey vim of it, the Hefner heartache, the grasping for Weakerthans lyrics - the absolutely contagious love that Vancouver have for their influences. If Vancouver's house burned down, you better believe they'd be weeping for their mix CDs. [MySpace]
Zoilus highlights a coherent, powerful, much less superfluous-than-it-seems letter from playwright Wajdi Mouawad to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, about the awful recent run of arts cuts in Canada.
Okay, oh man, the year's dopest over-long, official CERN-sponsored rap video is, well, obviously this one: "Large Hadron Rap". Antimatter is sort of like matter's evil twin / because except for charge and handedness of spin, / they're the same for a particle / and it's anti-self. Word! (also...)
"Atchoo!" is a very short film.
My short story "Bluebirds" will appear in The Art of Trespassing, an upcoming anthology by Invisible Publishing, edited by Anna Leventhal. Yay! You can buy a copy here or here. There's also a tiny book tour happening - I'll be reading at the Montreal launch this Saturday, 09/13 (at the Redbird studio, 8pm), and again in Ottawa on Sunday, 09/21, at Octobus Books.Posted by Sean at September 11, 2008 10:53 AM
Can that Alina Simone song be any better?Posted by Amanda at September 11, 2008 1:07 PM
Vancouver are a really cool band, quite original in blending a "brit" voice with US-postrock musicians. Do you wonder Noel Gallagher in Mogwai? It was like so... now they are, simply, Vancouver :) Thanks for your posting, there are a lot of Italian bands who deserved to be known worldwidePosted by enver at September 11, 2008 2:06 PM
hey, i'm a big fan of this blog and didn't make the connection that you were in the anthology. i am too; i guess i'll meet you at the reading on saturday!Posted by teri at September 12, 2008 7:22 AM
What time is the launch at Octopus Books?Posted by megan at September 12, 2008 4:06 PM
megan! what a nice question! they don't know yet. late afternoon or evening? i will update when i know!Posted by sean at September 12, 2008 4:16 PM
I hear some John Darnielle in Vancouver.Posted by Philana at September 13, 2008 3:18 AM
The grapevine tells me you're reading with Jesse - I was already planning to go to that. What luck!
From 5 to 8, btw, 116 Third Ave (@ Bank)Posted by megan at September 16, 2008 9:26 AM
a note that this weekend's Ottawa reading looks like it'll be postponed til october!Posted by sean at September 16, 2008 10:11 AM
Please do come, Ottawa needs you.Posted by clare at September 16, 2008 3:26 PM