Tag Archives: appropriation

Tea With Chris: A Dress of Beautiful Skeletal Crystal

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 miss the era when developers would publish a Laurie Anderson conceptual-art video game.

Connor Willumsen stays killing the incredible-full-length-comics-released-for-free-on-Tumblr game.


Carl: First and foremost, read this account by a freelance war correspondent in Syria. It’s an impassioned account of how and why we’re getting perilously close to losing our ability to gather important information about global situations: Most media companies are unwilling to pay what it takes, because their audiences, us, don’t seem to care.

Next, I can’t put this any better than the headline does: “Please Stop Wearing Redface to A Tribe Called Red Shows.” Oh, and please stop wearing redface anywhere else. This kind of absolutely appalling ignorant fashionable-appropriation-trivialization-racism bullshit has been going on for several years, with the would-be-chic wearing headdresses and feathers and “tribal” makeup and holding “fashion powwows” (see Ke$ha among many, many others), but I didn’t think people would actually have the gall to wear it to concerts by actual aboriginal people, obviously thinking they were paying some kind of compliment. Can we take up a collection and buy these kids a clue?


Here, on the other hand, is something nicer about Ke$ha. I wouldn’t call this stealing, I’d call it a tribute to one of my favourite oddball bands ever. (I don’t have it on hand but she’s been photographed wearing a Residents T-shirt before.) As someone said, if even one Ke$ha fan buys a Residents album as a result, that’d be awesome.

On the appropriation/tribute/collaboration theme, there is a lot to say about Jay-Z’s dance with Marina Abromovich this week, and the developing relationship between hip-hop artists, fine-art-museum and auction culture (which I discuss a bit here) and now performance art (NB also Kanye’s collaborations with Vanessa Beecroft, among others), but time is short. Meanwhile enjoy Jerry Saltz’ s first-hand account of the Jay-Z-meets-the-art-world experience – kind of giddy, but kind of on-point too, because isn’t the central fact that (even in his recent, weaker period) someone like Jay-Z is at the very least as good and vital an artist as any of them?

A sexy-filthy Soviet alphabet.

And because I didn’t post a Tuesday Musics this week … I’m not even 100% sure what kind of music this is, but it makes me feel really good:


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Filed under carl wilson, chris randle, linkblogging, margaux williamson

Tea With Chris: Missed Connections

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: The Canadian-music Polaris Prize shortlist was announced this week, and in synchronicity, Sam Sutherland has written an “oral history” of the Polaris, featuring interviews with founders, jurors and past winners. I think it includes anecdotes and reflections that are interesting and funny to non-insiders. I apologize in advance if I am wrong. But it’s good to be keeping some sort of record. (Leonard, sorry you didn’t make the shortlist.)

This is a tough (as in painful to read, but also strong) and complicated essay that goes places you don’t expect.

(On a lighter tangent from the topic, do you think Louis C.K.’s character really wanted to fuck the handsome Cuban lifeguard on his show last week or just appropriate his authenticity?)

In memory of Kitty Wells.

And in memory of Gus Fring, whom we don’t have to kick around any more on this season of Breaking Bad, here is the same actor, Giancarlo Esposito, as a camp counsellor on Sesame Street in 1982. (Dark thought: Was Big Bird the first pollo in Los Pollos Hermanos?)

Chris: “m4w: I burned your documents and in your identification photo you looked so sad”

There are different connections being made in Le1f’s music video for “Wut,” such as ’90s R&B choreography to Dragon Ball Z imagery, and Pikachu to…sexy lethargy? You should really grab his Dark York mixtape.

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Filed under carl wilson, chris randle, linkblogging, margaux williamson

A Tribe Called Red, “Look At This”

Final deliberations over the Polaris Prize shortlist continue this week among hundreds of jurors across the land, including tonight in a “Salon” (read panel discussion) at the Drake in Toronto. One of the discoveries the jury pointed me to this year is A Tribe Called Red, who provide the first convincing instance I’ve heard of aboriginal/electronic-dance-music fusion since the pioneering of Tanya Tagaq and before her, Buffy Sainte Marie. It’s always a mystery to me that, for all Canadian musicians’ cosmopolitan explorations, these sounds remain so obscured in our pop traditions. It might be an understandable hesitation towards exploitation and appropriation (even when native people themselves are the agents, as pow wow sounds are often related to sacred traditions). The history of borrowing and recontextualizing cultures in North American pop music is violently troubling, of course. But it’s also the whole history of North American pop music. So Tribe Called Red and others in this vein right now may propose a dare worth doubling.

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Filed under carl wilson, music, Tuesday Musics