Little Boxes #146: Pim & Francie

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(by Al Columbia, 2013)

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Tea With Chris: Everybody Gets Scared

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

Carl: Friend of B2TW Veda Hille is posting videos for songs from her last album, Peter Panties, an adaptation of Peter Pan done in collaboration with a young man with Down’s Syndrome and a bunch of other rockin’ teenagers in Vancouver. I voted for it for the Polaris Music Prize recently, but it didn’t make the long list. This clip makes its case better than I could:

 

James Gandolfini’s death this week at 51 was the first famous-person passing in a while to knock the breath clean out of me. Aside from all the classic Sopranos scenes, I’ll remember him best like this:

 

Chris: I’ve never watched The Sopranos, so I knew James Gandolfini’s acting primarily through supporting roles in smaller films, which he once said he wanted to devote the rest of his life to. He should’ve gotten to do so many more of them. Thanks to HBO, there were several deceptively complicated brutes, but I liked when a director brought out something different, as with his appearance as the anti-war army general from Armando Iannucci’s despairing satire In the Loop: cynical, suspicious, yet possessed of a certain fatalist integrity. All this is to say that I feel kind of stupid for allowing the setting to put me off seeing Not Fade Away, which sounds like the perfect final note to his career, played decades too early.

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Little Boxes #145: Frenzy

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(from “Haunter,” by Sam Alden, 2013)

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Tea With Chris: Actually About Turkey

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

Chris: I have no idea what this is a photo of, but I like looking at it.

Carl: First & foremost let me direct your attention to the doctors who are trying to fix what the Canadian government is doing to refugee claimants on health care. Day of action on Monday.

A perfect model of a making-of-the-music article by Matthew Lindsay on the Quietus: The road to Madonna’s first album.

Lately I’ve been thinking about how Turkey and Iran resemble Toronto or the U.S. in terms of the geography of worldview and its effect on political formations. Case in point, Kansas.

And then, actually about Turkey.

Can your job be done by a hologram?

Do you agree with Russell Smith that voluntary self-revelation means that you have forfeited all other need for privacy? I say no. If you don’t want the government(s) to read your email, browser history, etc, here are some options.

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Carl’s Tuesday Musics: Nina Simone, “Feelings”

by Carl Wilson

After a superb show by Joshua Abrams’ Natural Information Society last night, preceded by a fantastic time-traversing folk-song one-man-machine performance by Martin Arnold, someone in conversation mentioned this Nina Simone performance at the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival of the Morris Albert song that was at that point a completely ubiquitous, world-shrouding hit. The original ironic punk cover version? Perhaps, but so much more. Over the course of playing it, Simone attacks the song satirically and aggressively, tries to get the audience to sing along, and yet also turns schmaltz to bouillabaisse. There’s nothing like it.

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Little Boxes #144: Dark Threatening Perfection

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(from The Incal, script by Alejandro Jodorowsky and art by Moebius)

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Tea With Chris: Highest Ghost Rate Per Capita

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

Chris: This interview with the big-on-Tumblr cartoonist Simon Hanselmann is, um, wow. For once the word “revelatory” seems not only justified but understated. From his very first answer: “I turned 31 last December, four days before Christmas. I spent it in a hot tub, drinking champagne, gazing out across the ocean. I was born in Tasmania. Tasmania is a small island/sovereign state at the bottom of Australia. It is densely haunted by convicts’ ghosts — highest rate of ghosts per square kilometer in the world. I was born in Launceston, the second largest population center in Tasmania. A real shit hole. Highest crime rate per capita in Australia. I detest it.”

Carl: Fresh from kicking the ass of the Venice Biennale, Toronto’s leading clit-rawk ensemble Vag Halen is profiled alongside a host of other “all-female tribute bands” in the Guardian. (Though they missed Toronto’s other exemplar, Sheezer.) Light on analysis but perhaps the analysis is obvious enough? Vanessa Dunn expands in The Globe and Mail: “As soon as you step on stage, you’re a feminist.”

Somebody please buy the novelization rights to this: Man Builds Secret Apartment in Mall, Gets Away with It for Four Years. It could be written by Sam Lipsyte, in one mode, or Lydia Davis, in another.

This is an extraordinary story about landays, Afghanistan’s Pashtun folk poetry form, and how women are creating them in undercover protest against their own repression, whether by men in their own culture or by the American invaders. “Making love to an old man/ is like fucking a shriveled cornstalk blackened by mold.” “O darling, you’re American in my eyes./ You are guilty; I apologize.”

LRB blog has been running some good first-person reports from Turkey.

(Here’s another.)

And in a more end-of-week mood: All of us with physiques kinda like Patton Oswalt wish we could be edited to dance as well as he does here in this video for his favourite Coup song, The Magic Clap.

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