Tea With Chris: Vote Oulipo

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Chris: Vibe‘s exposé of the venal rap aggregator WorldStarHipHop entertains and depresses at the same time – there are plenty of rich bottom-feeders online, but site founder “Q” must be among the most delusional, attributing his dubious achievement to a mystical revelation. Arianna Huffington would never explain her page views this cynically, though: “9-to-5 people love to see misery. People want to say, ‘I thought I had it bad, but look at these people.’ That’s what sells.”

Florida Republicans love restricting abortion rights, hate unhelpful legislative references to female bodies. So they’ve banned them too. Maybe a GOP representative is vying for Oulipo membership?

Light cones and “quantum financial products.”

Rich Juzwiak reminded me that I really need to read Hot Stuff, Alice Echols’ recent history of disco: “Echols examines gay macho (the 70’s trend that found gay dudes dressing butch to a stereotypical extent) as a mindfuck. Was it a way of balancing society’s expectations with gays’ innate humanity (allowing gayness to be tolerated as long as it wasn’t faggy), or was it more subversive, breaking the association of passivity and femininity with homosexuality, since so many man’s men-seeming dudes were taking it up the butt? Who knows? It’s so complicated! Echols ends the section with a quote from Guy Hocquenghem: ‘Our assholes are revolutionary!’ Yeah, that sounds about right.”

Carl: Margaux didn’t tell us she was working on a book, especially in such an awesome way.

Further afield, it’s sad to see LCD Soundsystem stop (and especially not to see them live this weekend, since I never have), but as Nitsuh Abebe eloquently limns in this New York Magazine piece, they’re doing it to leave the most perfect history behind them. The deftness of that gesture is like everything they have done – working with the ultimately mundane material of scenes and sounds and collector-ness but seeking the exact place in those subjects where they crack and let the whole universe in. Their humour, always double-sided, murmurs, “This would be bullshit, except that it’s my life.” And at that point the specific milieu ceases to matter, because that’s a T-shirt everybody can wear.

In a similar spirit, this is an obvious choice, but there’s nothing gained in clever ways to say goodbye.

Otherwise, if you are in Montreal tonight or any of these places, do whatever you must to catch the current Destroyer tour. (Except try to get in with fake ID when you are actually of age. Events witnessed last night told us that was a dumb idea. Get yourself real ID, okay?) There were people at the show last night who said they came prepared, even wanting, to dislike it, and could not. Freed of the need to play guitar by an eight-piece swirling horns-and-pedals-and-everything band, Dan Bejar becomes a whole other performer – not an extroverted one, quite, but a crooner who exudes relaxation and pleasure in the company of these people and all this sound, not to mention a healthy bang on a tambourine. If he’d done this a decade ago it’s hard to imagine how swish he’d be at it now, but fuck regret, the time has come. Also, the crowd last night was B-A-N-A… y’know what I mean. Gonzo excited. Their ironic moustaches were standing on end. Only one note: Soundmen, please keep keyboardist/vocalist Larissa Loyva’s voice higher in the mix. The duets are important. Not to pick nits. We Destroyer devotees are arrant knaves, all, believe none of us, but go thy ways to a clubbery, posthaste.

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